Hybrid Cloud, Data Control Concerns and the Booming Edge: What to Expect

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A look into the coming year with Scott Crenshaw, EVP and GM Private Clouds at Rackspace, with trends in data control, hybrid cloud, and more.

Check out these 2019 predictions from Scott Crenshaw, EVP and GM Private Clouds, Rackspace, on what 2019 has in store for hybrid cloud, data control, edge computing, and IBM post-Red Hat acquisition.

1. Portability between clouds will be a top priority for smart CIOs

Moving to private and public clouds typically saves 20 to 40 percent on infrastructure costs, but this is a one-time benefit. Now, CIOs are beginning to realize that if their applications are locked into one cloud vendor, they will be at the mercy of that vendor when their current pricing contracts expire, driving cost increases of as much as 30 percent.

Forward-thinking CIOs recognize that to gain the advantage in pricing negotiations, they need to demonstrate low switching costs to their vendors. The result will be greater freedom and leverage, putting customers in control of their journey forward, rather than cloud vendors.

2. Data control will emerge as a central concern among enterprises

As the ability to analyze and act on the vast amounts of data organizations collect becomes a key competitive advantage, enterprises are beginning to view their dataset of record as a strategic corporate asset — meaning they’ll naturally seek to increase the control they have over it. This creates conflict with many cloud providers, which seek to attract customers’ data, then make it difficult or expensive for customers to repatriate that data (whether to the customer’s data centers or to another cloud).

See also: Cloudera launches data warehousing for hybrid cloud

Organizations will seek new ways to protect their data while evaluating storage costs, security and compliance while ensuring they can copy subsets to different clouds for specific analytics tasks and avoid ingress and egress fees. As internet of things and edge computing continue their rise, data control will become an issue more and more visible in the boardroom.

3. IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat will continue to expose weaness in its cloud business

The industry’s dinosaur agreed to pay a whopping $34 billion for Red Hat in the hopes it may help evolve them into a modern cloud player, perhaps with plans to put Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst in charge as IBM’s version of Satya Nadella. As uniquely talented a leader as Whitehurst is, this is a tall order for any mortal, and one the odds don’t favor. Or perhaps they intend to split the company into a smaller, more nimble cloud business led by Whitehurst, while carving off the cash flow generating legacy businesses. Any way you look at this acquisition, it’s a Hail Mary pass for IBM.

4. Edge computing continues its ascension

Edge computing will continue its fast-paced adoption to become integral to mainstream infrastructure and applications, scaling primarily by the drive to transform traditional industries such as transportation, healthcare, utilities and agriculture. A key enabler will be the emerging availability of 5G wireless gigabit speed and low latency. As they choose convenience over safety, companies and consumers alike will continue to ignore fundamental security and privacy concerns. This drive for convenience without slowing down to monitor security appropriately will continue to connect and remotely control everything – from buses and cars to medical devices — without a comprehensive set of policies and technologies to secure these devices, infrastructure, and data.

5. Hybrid clouds will finally live up to the hype

Since the dawn of cloud computing, vendors have promised “hybrid” cloud: the seamless blending of private and public cloud. Next year will be hybrid cloud’s moment to shine and catch up with the hype. Major milestones, such as the delivery of VMware on AWS, AWS Outpost and modern private cloud delivered-as-a-service on- and off- customer premises, combined with container technologies, will finally enable companies to develop, operate and manage applications consistently across both cloud types.

Enterprises should expect important benefits, including the ability to choose the optimal mix of performance, cost, reliability, and security for each and every application. But beware of the long-term, financial costs of vendor lock-in.

Scott Crenshaw

About Scott Crenshaw

Scott Crenshaw is EVP and GM of Private Clouds at Rackspace.

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