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Chris Folkerd is Director of Enterprise Technologies at UK cloud hosting company UKFast. Conceived in the bedroom of a tiny flat just off Manchester’s Oxford Road over twenty years ago, UKFast has grown into a multi-million-pound business which, via its five UK data centres, hosts the critical infrastructure of a raft of big-name organisations, including Chester Zoo and the NHS.
When we published our selection of cloud predictions last year, most predicted container orchestrator Kubernetes to consolidate its stranglehold over the container space and, correspondingly, modern cloud infrastructure.
Last November, one of the most extensive customer surveys bore this prediction out. In its study of thousands of companies, cloud and infrastructure monitoring company Datadog found 45 percent of its customers were using Kubernetes. And if that wasn’t evidence enough, just reflect on VMware’s announcement in March that it plans to transition its enterprise virtualisation platform to a system that runs and runs on Kubernetes. In reality, Kubernetes’ centrality to cloud was put beyond doubt just four weeks after we published last year’s roundup. In January, IBM steamrollered into 2019 with a $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat that saw the company’s popular Kubernetes implementation OpenShift integrated into IBM’s new multi-cloud strategy.
It is in this context that most of this year’s experts consulted their cloud crystal balls. Rackspace’s Lee James predicts 2020 to be a year of stiff competition between enterprise IT giants jostling to deliver a Kubernetes solution that dovetails with customers’ multi-cloud goals. On the other hand, Stephan Fabel of Canonical says end-users will start to understand the limitations of Kubernetes, and accordingly, utilise it more strategically. Lastly, Pivotal’s Michael Cote expects companies to use this experience to establish a singular, overall Kubernetes strategy.
In recent times, cloud platforms have rightly taken their seat at the forefront of mainstream IT plans, alongside on-premise servers. Cloud’s ability to enhance business agility, deliver cost savings, open new streams of revenue, improve application performance and unlock routes to leverage emerging technologies is widely acknowledged.
As a result, businesses have adopted cloud in their droves. Yet while the technology is thriving, the sheer myriad of choices available can make it a daunting task for IT managers when looking to find a cloud platform which meets their specific organisational needs.
In order to tap into cloud’s potential, it is imperative for any business to understand the elements of cloud technology and the benefits that it brings to the table.
But it is equally important that businesses don’t fall for the myths that persistently surround cloud.