Some may think that cloud computing already hit its maximum on the "hype meter" over the last few years. But honestly, 2018 is shaping up to be the biggest year ever. There are many factors that contribute to my conclusion, including advancements in virtualization technologies, increasing options in terms of cloud connectivity, and a massive IT policy shift of cloud computing as a long-term strategy.
These key factors will cause organizations, both small and large, to continue to divest in private data centers and begin their final push toward a fully cloud-managed world. Let's get into the details on why.
Containers and serverless technologies
This time last year, most enterprises still viewed application containers as a developer platform that wasn't ready for prime-time. What a difference a year makes! In 2018, container use in production environments is expected to climb, and will likely continue to do so steadily through 2020 according to 451 Research. Application containers are beneficial for enterprise customers for a multitude of reasons including: application/service portability, operating system license cost savings, and the ability to further consolidate server resources while maintaining the same level of application performance.
Taking the container concept one step further, serverless technologies squeeze additional performance out of even fewer resources by largely eliminating traditional server operating systems from the equation. This provides a level of efficiency that neither traditional virtualized server and application container environments can touch. For companies that strive for the utmost in cloud cost savings and efficiency, 2018 will be the year when serverless architectures truly make their mark.
Interest in dedicated connectivity to public clouds
The growth of public cloud computing usage in many organizations has happened so quickly that it created problems concerning throughput and latency to cloud resources accessed from the corporate office. Most organizations leverage the Internet as their primary connectivity option to the public cloud because it was cheap and readily available. However, network administrators now have to look for alternative methods to access public cloud resources to help alleviate connectivity problems. Fortunately, cloud service providers are providing plenty of direct connect options to help alleviate network bottlenecks. Going with dedicated WAN connectivity transport opens a host of new capabilities, including the ability to run real-time streaming applications that demand low latency and jitter to operate properly.
Shift in IT spending policies
Lastly, there's a noticeable shift in terms of what IT departments are planning to spend in the coming year. According to a recent Gartner Research report, cloud spending is expected to lead the charge in the new year. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly common that businesses are requiring all new IT projects to be deployed in the cloud unless there's a very good reason not to. I recently cautioned readers regarding a cloud-only architecture strategy. That said, it seems to be the way many companies are choosing to go. In many cases, it can be the right choice -- and 2018 may indeed be the right time to make that philosophical shift when looking at application deployment options.
In 2018, we also must consider new concepts, technologies and other disruptions that may further boost the adoption rates of cloud computing. Because technology is accelerating at such a rapid pace, the three factors mentioned here may take a backseat to something completely unforeseen. But rest assured, cloud computing is here to stay both in the short- and long-term.