The last year has shown that a growing number of enterprises are now choosing Platform as a Service (PaaS) ahead of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as the cornerstone of their private/hybrid cloud strategy. While the enterprise cloud market has obviously experienced a substantial amount of change over the last year, the one thing that’s certain is that this will keep on accelerating over the coming months.
Here are five specific enterprise cloud trends that we believe will prove significant throughout the rest of 2015 and beyond.
The PaaS standard will increasingly be to containerise – While we’ve always committed to the concept of a container-based PaaS, we’re now seeing Docker popularise the concept. The broader enterprise world is now successfully vetting the viability of a container-based architecture, and we’re seeing enterprises move from just asking about containers as a roadmap item to now asking for implementation details. This year won’t necessarily see broad-based customer adoption, but we’re anticipating a major shift as PaaS becomes synonymous with the use of containers.
Practical microservices capabilities will win out over empty posturing – It’s probably fair to say that most of the microservices ‘advice’ offered by enterprise PaaS vendors to date has been questionable at best. Too many vendors have simply repackaged the Service-Oriented Architecture conversation and represented it as their microservices positioning. That’s fine, but it hasn’t helped customers at all as vendors have avoided being held accountable to microservices at both a feature and execution level. This isn’t sustainable, and PaaS and cloud vendors will need to deliver practical guidance driven by core enterprise PaaS features if they are to be taken seriously.
Internet of Things will be a key driver for PaaS implementations – For PaaS to be successful they need to support core business use cases. However too many PaaS implementations are deployed just to simplify the IT model so that developers can quickly build cloud-enabled applications. That approach simply isn’t going to withstand the pressure caused by the increased take-up of innovations such as The Internet of Things that will require web-service back-ends that are easy to manage, highly available and massively scalable.
Containerising OpenStack services set to create confusion – The move towards OpenStack being deployed within containers is interesting, but we believe adoption will prove slow. With many now expecting container control and management to sit within the PaaS layer, moves such as containerised OpenStack are likely just to cause confusion. Given that PaaS is becoming the dominant form of cloud assembly, containerised IaaS will stall as it conflicts directly with the continued growth in enterprises deploying private/hybrid PaaS – regardless of whether they’ve built IaaS already.
PaaS buyers to dismiss infrastructure prescriptive solutions – Many PaaS vendors do a lot of marketing around being portable, but in reality many organisations find that this can increase IT risk and drive lock-in by deliberately creating stack dependencies. We’re finding PaaS buyers much keener to challenge vendors on their infrastructure portability as early as the proof of concept phase. That’s because customers want an enterprise PaaS that doesn’t favour one infrastructure over another. To ensure this outcome, customers are now using their RFPs and proofs of concept to insist that PaaS vendors demonstrate that their solutions are portable across multiple infrastructure solutions.
By Rene Hermes, general manager EMEA, Apprenda