Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Qcon 2012 Cloud 2017: Cloud Architecture in 5 years

I've attended a panel discussion on future of cloud architecture between Martijn Verburg, Mark Holdsworth, Patrick Debois, and Richard Daviews, moderated by Andrew Phillips. Here are some notes from the discussion. Note that I didn't stick around for the open discussion with audience.

Q: Will there be cloud teams in companies that decide to use cloud as PaaS or IaaS?
It depends how we define a cloud team. The companies will need a team of people that have a in-depth understanding of technology behind the cloud so they can support it. They will also need a broader spread idea of what it means to work with in cloud that will be on much higher level but will have to reach much more people. For companies that will go into "private cloud" old dev ops teams will be probably replaced by cloud teams, but their characteristics won't change much. Depending on how many companies will decide on staying in provate cloud or decide on treating the cloud as just a different way of hardware provisioning the cloud computing approach as an idea may be called a failure at some point in the future.

Q: In 5 year will the choice still be between "public" cloud, "private" cloud and in-house data center?
Depending on the requirements of the system some companies may require a public cloud that's not the standard that everybody uses at the moment. Currently a company is more likely to change it's code/architecture to fit into the cloud than the other way round. This is cause by the nature of the companies that are moving to the cloud and the reasons behing the move. The more big companies do the switch the more apparent the need for custom set up in the cloud will be.

Q: What technical breakthroughs we need to unlock the cloud and make it commonly used across companies?
The companies need to start developing software that is smart enough to understand the platform it's deployed to. Currently only 20% of applications deployed in cloud understand they are running on multiple and changing instances & they can figure out when to expected/contract it's hardware requirements. Developers, especially Java ones need to learn how to write applications for the cloud.

Q: Will there be companies that use cloud alongside in-house data center or maybe other solutions?
It will depend on a company and on the team. Most common patter right now is some teams/projects working on greenfield projects for a bigger company that work in the cloud alongside bigger and older projects running in in-house data centers.
The nature of this movement is that the shift usually happens outside of official paths within the company, and the approach - experimented on separately is than ported back to fit the enterprise model.

Q: How big is the gap between reality and the hype for the cloud at the moment? How it will change in 5 years?
At the moment the gap is really small, but the more widespread it will get the bigger the gap will be. The hype will probably peak around 2017, and we'll see a backlash caused by disappointed adaptors that didn't understand how to make the concept work for them.

Q: How cloud will integrate with everything social?
Very well :). There are already existing services that allow for very quick and easy, almost code-less integration. This will only get improved in next years.

Q: How will companies continue to interact between each oty=her and the cloud providers after migration?
Some ideas were thrown about peer 2 peer ad-hoc data/resources sharing between small groups of companies. Idea of Brokers for PaaS, SaaS and IaaS were discussed as well.

Overall it was interesting to see what the people who are so involved with the cloud think about where the business is and where it is going. It was mostly speculations but if I'm listening to anybody's speculation on this topic this guys are pretty high on my list.

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