2015 Predictions: Cloud and Software-Defined Technologies

As we kick off the new year, it’s time for us to get our 2015 predictions in. Today, I’ll post predictions from John Dixon around the future of cloud computing as well as from our CTO Chris Ward about software-defined technologies. Later this week, we’ll get some more predictions around security, wireless, end-user computing& more from some of our other experts.

John Dixon, Director, Cloud Services
On the Internet of Things (IoT) and Experimentation…
In 2015, I expect to see more connected devices and discussion on IoT strategy. I think this is where cloud computing gets really interesting. The accessibility of compute and storage resources on the pay-as-you-go model supports experimentation with a variety of applications and devices. Will consumers want a connected toaster? In years past, companies might form focus groups, do some market research, etc. to pitch the idea to management, get funding, build a team, acquire equipment, then figure out the details of how to do this. Now, it’s entirely possible to assign one individual to experiment and prototype the connected toaster and associated cloud applications. Here’s the thing; the connected toaster probably has about zero interest in the market for consumer appliances. However, the experiment might have produced a pattern of a cloud-based application that authenticates and consumes data from a device with little or no compute power. And this pattern is perhaps useful for other products that DO have real applications. In fact, I put together a similar experiment last week with a $50 Raspberry Pi and about $10 of compute from AWS — the application reports on the temperature of my home-brew fermentation containers, and activates a heating source when needed. And, I did indeed discover that the pattern is really, really scalable and useful in general. Give me a call if you want to hear about the details!

On the declining interest in “raw” IaaS and the “cloud as a destination” perspective…

I’ve changed my opinion on this over the past year or so. I had thought that the declining price of commodity compute, network, and storage in the cloud meant that organizations would eventually prefer to “forklift move” their infrastructure to a cloud provider. To prepare for this, organizations should design their infrastructure with portability in mind, and NOT make use of proprietary features of certain cloud providers (like AWS). As of the end of 2014, I’m thinking differently on this — DO consider the tradeoff between portability and optimization, but… go with optimization. Optimization is more important than infrastructure portability. By optimization in AWS terms, I mean taking advantage of things like autoscaling, cloudwatch, S3, SQS, SNS, cloudfront, etc. Pivotal and CloudFoundry offer similar optimizations. Siding with optimization enables reliability, performance, fault tolerance, scalability, etc., that are not possible in a customer-owned datacenter. I think we’ll see more of this “how do I optimize for the cloud?” discussion in 2015.

2015 predictions

Chris & John presenting a breakout session at our 2014 Summit Event

Chris Ward, CTO


We’ll see much greater adoption of SDN solutions in 2015.   We are already seeing good adoption of VMware’s NSX solution in the 2nd half of 2014 around the micro segmentation use case.  I see that expanding in 2015 plus broader use cases with both NSX and Cisco’s ACI.  The expansion of SDN will drag with it an expansion of automation/orchestration adoption as these technologies are required to fully realize the benefits of broader SDN use cases.


Software defined storage solutions will become more mainstream by the end of 2015.  We’re already seeing a ton of new and interesting SDS solutions in the market and I see 2015 being a year of maturity.  We’ll see several of these solutions drop off the radar while others gain traction and I have no doubt it will be a very active M&A year in the storage space in general.


What do you think about Chris and John’s predictions?

If you would like to hear more from these guys, you can download Chris’ whitepaper on data center migrations and John’s eBook around the evolution of cloud.


By Ben Stephenson, Emerging Media Specialist