It should be clear by now that cloud computing is an essential tool of delivering services to end users and businesses. In the recent past, we have seen innovative uses of cloud that enable not only greater efficiencies but also brand-new user experiences that were not feasible previously (think Uber).
So what can we expect in the future for cloud computing?
Here is a look at a few key trends that will change the face of cloud computing:
1. Cloud will migrate from developer friendly to developer-driven
We all know that application developers are one of the primary consumers of cloud services. Many services strive to be developer friendly to drive adoption. In the future, however, just being developer-friendly will not suffice; clouds will be developer-driven. By that, all cloud services will support continuous delivery and continuous integration. In fact, continuous delivery will become a core tenet of cloud computing, bringing cloud even closer to developers. The different layers of the cloud, from infrastructure to platform to application, will be fundamentally API-driven. The APIs may start out as REST interfaces, but newer API standards will emerge in place of REST to drive more dynamic and seamless integration.
2. Containers will penetrate most of the large cloud platforms
We already see large cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft adopt container technologies. In addition, technology providers at the hardware, the OS, and the application layer are all building support for containerization. Intel, for instance, released Cloud Integrity Technology (CIT) to provide a chain-of-trust attestation all the way from the hardware root of trust to the container level.
As support for containers widens and more deployment/operational technologies in the container ecosystem mature, we will see more micro-service applications built on containers, enabling new systems of engagement and in turn more modern user experiences. By 2017, most of the cloud platforms will either support containers or will have switched to a entirely new container stack.
3. Cloud will be ubiquitous, obliterating the terms “private”, “public”, and “hybrid”
We are still in the stage that you classify your clouds as “private”, “public” or “hybrid”. With the introduction of containers and the new batch of agile deployment/management technologies, the locations of the cloud servers will be irrelevant. Organizations will no longer talk about private vs. public clouds. Instead, there will be a deep focus on user experiences, backed by and decoupled from the always-on and fundamentally elastic infrastructure that can live anywhere – from your developer’s workstations to a large data center halfway around the world.
Because of this, the nomenclature of “public cloud” “private cloud” and “hybrid” will be obsolete. What will remain is an omnipresent abstraction layer that is the cloud.
4. Lawmakers will finally make peace with boarder-less clouds
While cloud users today grapple with the discrepancy between country-level laws and border-less clouds, lawmakers in the future will adopt a different stance when it comes to cloud computing. By 2017 we will see the first efforts by various governing bodies to lower barriers of cross-border data transfers as part of cloud computing. Just as Binding Corporate Rules allow a multi-national organization to move data from one branch to another, special provisions governing the data planes of clouds will be considered and established.