As new technology becomes more understood and widespread, the development ecosystem around that technology begins to coalesce into certain ways of doing things. Formats develop. Standards are created and accepted across user communities. Platforms emerge...or canvases...or languages...or schools of thought...or even (for better or worse) silos.
This period of coalescence is the current state of cloud computing. As we head into 2020 and beyond, further development of these paradigms will transform the “levers” of cloud computing into ever more open-ended creative mediums for software engineers, data scientists, UX professionals, and all others who would dare attempt to mold a cloud-based solution for some aspect of life and/or business.
Here are just a few of the developments we’ll be following this year and beyond...
‘Serverless’ Computing Will Become More Popular
“Serverless” computing is a bit of a misnomer since the computing in question still actually happens on cloud servers. The difference comes in how the servers dynamically manage computing resources, according to individual user demand. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed, rather than pre-set units of computing capacity.
Serverless architecture also saves developers time in setting up and tuning systems, since the cloud server provider is the one responsible for allocating computing resources in real time to meet demand that can fluctuate wildly.
However, serverless computing isn’t right for everyone. The technology has a number of limitations related to performance, security, and privacy that may be of concern to some users.
Edge Computing Will Be Key to IoT Product Developers and Designers
Latency is a primary concern for manufacturers of IoT products that must collect, process, and react to huge amounts of data instantaneously. Edge computing systems only send pre-sorted datasets to the cloud that are essential for accomplishing a given task—instead of sending raw streams of data and relying on the cloud computational capacity to sort it all out. Edge computing allows an organization’s cloud computing infrastructure to operate much faster than it otherwise would.
The Growth of Containerization
Containerization is what happens when applications are abstracted from their native computing environments and deployed via cloud infrastructure to most any type of computing environment, such as a private data center, public cloud server, or even a single laptop. The advantage of containerization is that it separates application logic and dependencies from IT infrastructure concerns.
Containerization is often compared to virtual machines because it allows you to package an application, together with its libraries and other dependencies, into an isolated computing environment. Some of the benefits to this type of IT architecture include:
- Computing environment consistency – In a non-containerized environment, other applications running in a given environment can affect performance. Containerization provides developers a less cluttered "workbench,” which translates to less time debugging and more time perfecting the functions of the software.
- Containers can run anywhere – Containers can run on Linux, Windows, or Mac operating systems; on virtual machines or bare metal; on a developer’s machine or in on-premise data centers or in the cloud. This level of flexibility is a great asset for developers.
More Practical Applications of Cloud-Based Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Be Developed
The advent of AI is provoking organizations to reorganize their IT services and business operations in a variety of ways. When applied to large volumes of data, AI (or machine learning) can unleash value in both structured and unstructured data-sets. Here are just a couple areas where this value is being captured:
Self-Healing Networks – Over time, cloud-based AI can fix network problems by matching problematic patterns with proven solutions. With enough training, an AI can eventually perform such network troubleshooting better than humans.
Improved Defense of Cloud-Based Data and Applications – AI can protect cloud-based data and applications from a myriad of security threats and disruptions by learning what breach attempts look like and proactively defending against them.
Multi-Cloud Systems Will Become More Common as Workflow Issues Are Solved
Multi-cloud systems became a hot area of advancement in the last couple years. This march toward vendor-agnostic cloud computing environments will continue into 2020 and beyond...as long as a few kinks can be navigated.
Namely, multi-cloud environments require improvement in how workloads are migrated between varied cloud platforms. Achieving these improvements will become a major point of emphasis as organizations look to remove bottlenecks in their cloud-based workflows. Such solutions will become hot commodities in the coming year—IBM has already been making acquisitions to address the issue. Imaging Office Systems, meanwhile, is also working alongside our customers to define and solve these challenges.
Another key area for improvement will be multi-cloud observability and monitoring. Establishing these capabilities can be complex in a multi-cloud infrastructure. We should see a good deal of progress in this area in 2020.
The Increasing Role of Open Source Software in Cloud Environments
Open source software thrives in cloud computing ecosystems, and open source developer tools and automation and infrastructure platforms like OpenStack and Kubernetes are playing key roles in cloud-based implementations of open source software.
Not Sure How to Leverage Cloud Computing for Your Business? We Can Help
Cloud computing presents a wealth of opportunities for all types of businesses, but it does require a fair bit of knowledge and expertise to match business requirements with the right cloud computing solutions. At Imaging Office Systems, we’re experts at helping all types of companies figure it out. Get in touch today to start the conversation.