With each new roundup of cloud computing trends, it’s become increasingly clear that 2018 will be THE year of OpenStack.
Why? Well, the OpenStack community has strengthened, the complexities of adopting the platform have been reduced, and more enterprises are attracted by the flexibility, cost savings, and customization capabilities. Organizations that are coping with cost containment and swelling customer demands are actively evaluating new cloud computing trends and strategies that will help them stay competitive.
Cloud-based technologies can have a tremendous business impact on an organization’s growth. Leaders in every department are faced with increasingly demanding assignments: CFOs must clearly quantify the relationship between cloud processes and business outcomes operationally and charge back to departments appropriately; legal teams are on high alert to ensure GDPR policies are implemented meticulously; and developers are expected to solve customer issues in real-time, as they happen.
Through a combination of all of these factors, organizations are increasingly turning to OpenStack as the next generation of cloud computing to serve the needs of each layer in the organization by customizing it to their specific needs.
Here are the cloud computing trends the OpenStack community is talking about in 2018:
For developers, containers mean simplicity as they are able to cut costs and implementation time while using the lightweight packages of standardized code when architecting systems. OpenStack lends itself very well to the rapid deployment of containerized resources, which explains why OpenStack users are adopting containers 3x faster than the overall market due to its ability to support multiple orchestration tools and to run on virtual machines or directly on bare metal.
Through projects like Magnum and the support of platforms like Red Hat’s OpenShift or Kubernetes, containers are becoming an obvious addition to enterprise cloud environments. With containers, organizations are able to use their virtualized networks to deploy in seconds while managing a controlled footprint.
Speaking of containers… Kubernetes is an open source orchestration platform that makes it easy to manage containerized applications across multiple hosts. It gives developers an easy-to-use tool for deployment automation, scaling applications, managing clusters, and organizing containers.
Organizations like Kubernetes because it helps them balance feature set, resource requirements, and complexity to run and scale distributed applications simultaneously. As OpenStack environments mature, organizations are drawn to making it easier to solve “Day 2” issues that may occur like upgrades, versioning and dev environments, all of which are make exponentially simpler through orchestration. In the near future, OpenStack users will be able to manage core services using the tool: projects like Stackanetes are already starting to emerge, using Kubernetes to deploy and operate OpenStack services.
The OpenStack Foundation is looking beyond the data center to make organizations more agile and shorten production time. Edge computing cuts the delivery time from where the data is created at the edge of the network to where it is processed. Instead of wasting time for the data to travel across long routes to the data centers or clouds, organizations are able to stay competitive and streamline the flow of traffic from IoT devices and provide real-time analytics.
IDC describes edge computing as “a mesh network of micro data centers that process or store critical data locally and push all received data to a central data center or cloud storage repository, in a footprint of less than 100 square feet.”
OpenStack’s flexible and modular nature allows organizations to efficiently run the minimal services needed at the edge of a network. We also see the adoption of network function virtualization (NFV) as organizations virtualize components like switches, load balancers, and firewalls. This allows organizations to have faster recoverability and elasticity with the cloud and lessen costs by virtualizing the network.
Enterprises are moving away from traditional data centers and towards hybrid (or multi-cloud) architectures in order to stay competitive and scale cost effectively. A hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds, whether those are private, third-party or public, each cloud remains its own separate entity and are tied together, offering the benefits of each model. These hybrid clouds provide greater control over computing resources and data coupled with cost savings and flexibility.
A major benefit of a hybrid cloud is the elasticity of the cloud as it expands and contracts based on an organization’s needs. This saves money for the organization that no longer needs to pay for a large, complex infrastructure all the time and instead only pays for the occasional bursts of usage. Organizations also benefit from increased security (as this TechTarget report highlights): cloud computing environments – whether public, private, or a combination of the two – are far less vulnerable to attacks than on-premise environments.
OpenStack is an obvious candidate for building hybrid clouds and carries a strong value proposition in helping organizations meet their increased IT demands while providing the foundation to improve security capabilities, save costs, and allow companies to incorporate emerging cloud technologies while still employing legacy applications.
With new compliance requirements around GDPR looming, data protection for OpenStack has never been more talked about. In the past, reasons for enterprises to adopt data protection may have been for testing and development environments, disaster recovery, business continuity or security and forensics. In today’s interconnected world, organizations have even more pressure to proactively protect the data and have explicit plans in place to prove that they have done everything in their control to protect customer data. New software like Trilio helps OpenStack users protect their clouds that efficiently create, store, and manage point-in-time backups while providing for speed of recovery when required – a crucial element in the data protection continuum.
The benefits of OpenStack are revolutionizing the traditional way organizations have managed their cloud environments in the past. The collaborative OpenStack community allows organizations to be nimble and agile as they share knowledge and best practices, saving them time and money while improving tenant/customer’s experience (both internal and external). As these aforementioned cloud computing trends described: containerization, Kubernetes, edge computing, hybrid cloud, and data protection come into the “cloud conversation,” OpenStack is always at the foundation. By offering a flexible, scalable cloud environment, OpenStack adoption is accelerating worldwide, driven by many of these increasing pressures IT teams are experiencing today.