The world of enterprise tech is changing rapidly. A list of top trends by Eric Knorr of InfoWorld indicates just how quickly the landscape is adjusting: many of the technology practices and systems that started to become prevalent in 2014 were hardly noticeable in 2013. Knorr thinks a great deal of those technological advances are here to stay, “which indicates a pace of change that’s much quicker than usual.”
Here are the top enterprise technological shifts, according to Knorr (released December 1). They can be compared to the Computerworld predictions that were featured in our last post. Let it be known now that enterprise use of federally funded, algorithmically controlled drone bots has again not yet become trendy enough to make the 2015 list, but perhaps next year.
1. Cloud Providers More Sophisticated
The way that private cloud is commonly understood is as a system that is created with its own specific infrastructure for one organization (versus public, in which many different companies are accessing one vast network of virtualized processing power).
Knorr instead speaks of these two different varieties of cloud in terms of their location: private as “on premises” at a company, and public as provided through a hosting service.
Although that’s a little confusing, Knorr does make a salient point: the growth of private, on-site clouds “has stalled due to the cost and complexity of enterprises deploying and maintaining the whole stack in-house.” He argues that companies should move to what he calls the public cloud, although assumedly he means hosted hybrid solutions that offer private and public components – with the former available for particularly sensitive data and ones in which compliance requires certain configurations.
2. What’s in Your Container?
Docker is an incredibly game-changing open source tool that allows any user to package an application so that it will run within a Linux kernel container. That may sound boring or inconsequential, but it’s actually huge: “It means genuine application portability – using lightweight packages instead of full VMs.”
The for-profit side of Docker is not limiting itself to Linux but is working with Microsoft on a comparable Windows solution.
Knorr notes that Docker is often used to push an app through the development cycle (i.e. into testing and then production environments), but it could also facilitate the mobility of applications between different clouds.
The migration of one application package between a few different containers is simple. However, when an application is sophisticated and requires several containers to function, ancillary features available through Docker allow you to organize and transition.
In the current development world, typically apps are based off of services so that the code doesn’t have to be entirely original. The services that are designed to be used as components of more complex applications – each serving one directed purpose – are called microservices. Again, Docker is playing a hand in the acceleration of this trend, making the deployment process quick and clear-cut.
There was a similar trend about 10 years ago, called service-oriented architecture (SOA). Knorr notes that the primary differentiator between these two architectural methods is that “microservices architecture looks at services from a developer’s perspective rather than an enterprise architect’s perspective, so the services are finer-grained.” Additionally, it’s easier for services to interact with one another. In the SOA model, middleware was necessary, but that’s not the case with microservices.
4. Liquid Computing
The notion of liquid computing was created by Galen Gruman of InfoWorld to refer to the ability to switch between various devices with the state saved virtually.
You might be using a tablet to work on a project during a meeting, and the project will automatically populate on your desktop computer when you get back to your workstation. In Apple, this is called Handoff. Microsoft, Google, and Samsung are all working on technology to achieve the same purpose.
A cloud can be sophisticated. If you start integrating your company with a specific platform-as-a-service ecosystem, your workflow will start to incorporate features that might be specific to that one platform. Vendor lock-in can also occur. For this reason, more enterprises have become interested in using a multicloud strategy.
Cloud software that allows you to control and integrate various clouds is becoming more common. CliQr is a system funded by Google Ventures that decides in real-time what cloud is best suited to each specific task. RightScale and others allow a unified, comprehensive approach to the management of numerous cloud settings.
Placing Yourself First
We will continue to look at additional enterprise trends discussed by Knorr in a follow-up report.
As indicated by the multi-cloud section, distributed virtualization can become unwieldy. Superb Internet takes the confusion out of the cloud. Plus, our focus on the customer doesn’t go unnoticed: “Great customer service, dedication and expertise,” commented Stephan Mitchev.
Our concern with you and your needs is even backed by our Customer First Guarantee. Unlock your cloud potential today!
By Kent Roberts