The following 2017 predictions from our CEO, Sonal Puri, ran this week on Virtual Strategy at http://virtual-strategy.com/2017/01/18/executive-viewpoint-2017-prediction-webscale-networks.
Convergence of Services for Cloud Application Delivery Will Become Mainstream in 2017, as IT Focuses on User Satisfaction and Budget Alignment
Convergence in the cloud brings together advancements not just in compute, storage and networks, but in software and services that together serve the broader needs of customers. There are many advantages in convergence: simplifying deployments, enabling new capabilities, decreasing cost, and introducing infinite scale. Throughout this process, IT teams typically work with application owners, but at significant cost and long delays for both stakeholders.
For web application deployment, the path to success is long and fraught with missteps for most businesses. Building and deploying the application is just the beginning (phase 1); quickly followed by the need for security, higher availability and greater performance (phase 2). To track the success of phase 1 and 2, the need for monitoring and alerting tools, as well as a human resource to respond to alerts and take appropriate actions, is critical for end user satisfaction (phase 3). With future changes in the application, phase 1, 2 and 3 need to be redesigned.
Barry Schwartz, the American psychologist and author of “The Paradox of Choice,” argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for buyers. Doing so in a thoughtful way, bringing together the best of breed, promoting cross compatibility and packaging choices with guarantees, can give buyers the peace of mind they need.
In the technology realm, working with vendors bringing to market converged cloud platforms or cloud-based over-the-top (OTT) services is in the best interests of application owners, CIOs, CFOs and the end user.
Multi-cloud is the New Cloud in 2017
The definition of multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing services in a single heterogeneous architecture. The cloud race has three clear winners as of 2016, but it is also well accepted that no one provider can be everything for everyone. Each provider excels in certain types of workloads and applications, even though the range of features and pricing are competitive across the board.
Customer use cases show us that businesses may use multi-cloud in many ways: a single workload across multiple providers using technologies like load balancing, or a single workload on one provider, with a disaster recovery plan to be executed on a different provider, for example. Adoption will go mainstream in 2017, as the understanding of what multi-cloud can deliver becomes more clearly understood, and how traditional workflows like staging, production and disaster recovery in separate locations or providers can benefit.
Embracing multi-cloud will help businesses by reducing reliance on any single cloud provider and increasing flexibility. This will be achieved not just because of a broader choice of features, but also because of the ability to achieve or maintain compliance, expand or enhance geographical reach, mitigate against disasters, gain significant scale, control pricing or leverage vendors.
Until recently, the number of vendors providing truly multi-cloud experiences has been limited and their focus has been on hybrid cloud. The success of the public cloud has now made the need of multi-cloud abilities critical in making the customer the ultimate decision maker. However, the cloud providers themselves are obviously not able to support multi-cloud, so it will fall to independent SaaS (software as-a-service) vendors with over-the-top cloud capabilities to partner with businesses and make this a reality.