Cloudy with a (very good) chance of AI and analytics


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As we entered 2020, the cloud was already on its way to becoming a de facto standard for running advanced analytics and AI for many organizations. Then COVID-19 came along, and the big cloud migration started to feel like a stampede.

This momentum will continue in 2021, according to our panel of experts. However, the way organizations use public cloud platforms – namely Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, but also Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud – may surprise you.

As large-scale use cases such as AI and machine learning have become mainstream across industries and segments, cloud computing has passed the inflection point and is now a technical certainty, according to Data bricks CEO Ali Ghodsi.

“With such rapid adoption of the cloud, more and more organizations are now operating on multiple cloud platforms,” says Ghodsi. “The reasons vary depending on regulatory requirements, risk diversification, increased bargaining power, foreclosure avoidance and M&A activity, but the result is the same. More and more organizations are looking for solutions that deliver a consistent experience across all cloud platforms. This will have a big advantage for companies that don’t want to reinvent the wheel with a second or third vendor, as well as for software companies looking for ways to vaccinate their businesses from native vendor offerings.

Hybrid and multi-cloud deployment scenarios will be most popular in 2021, experts predict (a-image / Shutterstock)

Once considered the “rest” on the cloud path, the hybrid is now the destination, according to Keith White, managing director of GreenLake Cloud Services at HPE.

“According to IDC, 70% of customer applications and data remain outside of the public cloud,” White says. “With that in mind, in 2021 we will see even more customers take a hybrid approach. Due to data latency, application entanglement, and security and compliance reasons, more and more organizations in all industries want to keep their data on-premises. At the same time, in part due to the pandemic economy, data egress fees, and vendor lock-in with public cloud providers, the reality is that CIOs and IT organizations are embracing hybrid as a result and not as a means to an end. “

2020 has been hectic in many ways, as COVID-19 uprooted established trends in many ways, including the shift to cloud computing. But according to StreamSets CEO Girish Pancha, companies will need to be pragmatic in their approach to multi-cloud hybrid data strategies in 2021.

“When hit by the pandemic, some industries experienced an increase in demand and had to rush to meet that demand,” writes Pancha. “For everyone, ‘the dish was the novelty’ in 2020. It was a win just to be on the side. 2020 marked the very first steps in the move to the cloud and cloud data platforms. Until 2021, the new apartment will be in place, and any business that survived 2020 will have to use all of its data, faster than ever to get back on the offensive. 2021 will see increased investment in hybrid multi-cloud data integration as companies double or triple their new data platforms, while ensuring that no data is left behind. “

The path Collibra co-founder and CTO Stijn Christiaens sees it, hybrid configurations will be useful for those who cannot move to the cloud.

“We will continue to see hybrid cloud and multicloud,” says Christiaens. “Why will we continue to see hybrids? Don’t watch what changes; see what doesn’t change. And what doesn’t change is that businesses can’t get everything to the cloud in the blink of an eye. It will take them years, even if they are fully behind the initiative. For this reason, you will continue to see hybrids. We are moving towards a future where on-premise is seen as a legacy.

Snowflake’s Successful IPO in 2020 Demonstrated Strong Demand for Cloud Data Warehouses

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud don’t work very well together at this point. But that will start to change in 2021 as cloud providers loosen the reins of multi-cloud interoperability, predicts Rick Farnell, president and CEO of Protection.

“Today we are seeing the start of a modern version of what happened in technology in the late 1990s and early 2000s,” Farnell said. “If you remember the explosion of software in the Internet age, you might remember that software companies struggled with questions about how to make their software available. For example, should this software support a single operating system in particular, or should it be more widely available? Now we are seeing similar questions when it comes to SaaS providers (e.g. Snowflake) among the major cloud providers. In the coming year, we can expect more competition among cloud providers, offering interoperability services to deliver an exceptional user experience. This multi-cloud interoperability will mark the providers’ commitment to innovation – and their willingness to innovate more than other cloud providers to create value for the SaaS ecosystem.

Cloud data lakes are good places to store large amounts of unstructured data. But according to Raj Verma, the CEO of Single store (formerly MemSQL), organizations will find the cloud suitable for other types of data.

“The next big data tsunami going to the cloud will be operational data – created through the marriage of historical data with real-time data to provide real-time insight – or what we call today’s data. Says Verma. “This deluge of data will be many times larger than what we’ve seen in the past. However, the single economy will not allow a fourth or a fifth cloud provider. This means that $ 40 billion to $ 50 billion in workloads now on legacy technologies such as IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and SAP Cloud will migrate to the top three cloud providers.

For many businesses in 2020, the increased use of cloud providers and online services has been key to keeping the lights on in virtual environments, prompting businesses to overcome the inertia and bureaucracy surrounding SaaS. , PaaS and other “aaS” products, according to Dan Sommer, senior director and Global Market Intelligence Lead at Qlik.

A data tsunami – a ‘datanami’, if you will – is in store for the clouds in 2021, experts predict (lassedesignen / Shutterstock)

“Organizations that once claimed they would never turn to SaaS suddenly embraced it. These changes had beneficial side effects, like adding scale and elasticity, ”he says. “While larger projects have been put on hold in the short term, the immediate move to SaaS will be a trigger for greater migration of databases and applications. Technologies that can access, move and harmonize data from multiple locations will follow. “

There is cloud storage and on-premises storage. In 2021, these separate entities will begin to become one, predicts Jon Toor, CMO for Cloudien.

“All public cloud providers now offer on-premises solutions, which position public and on-premises cloud as environments that should work in combination, rather than being seen as a choice decision,” says Toor. “Additionally, enterprise storage vendors have improved their cloud game, creating new solutions that work with the public cloud rather than compete with it. As both sides move toward the center, the inevitable result is that organizations will come to view the public and on-premises cloud as two sides of the coin of enterprise storage. “

Today we care deeply about where data is located, and whether it is “in the cloud” or in an on-premises data center. But in 2021, when data will start to matter less, predicts Yiannis Antoniou, analyst at Gigaom.

“Hybrid approaches seamlessly linking on-premises and cloud capacities around data will become stronger and more ubiquitous,” said Antoniou. Likewise, in the multi-cloud future, businesses will want to combine their on-premises data needs with cloud native capabilities seamlessly. The location of the data will become virtually invisible and there will be one-click movement and a combination of data from multiple on-premises data centers and public cloud providers. This will allow better compliance with data protection regulations on a localized basis; coverage of organizational bets around elastic infrastructures; and profitability and arbitrage for organizations that profit from temporary price fluctuations between public cloud providers.

Interoperability in the cloud will become more important, according to Poojan Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Clumio.

(Blackboard / Shutterstock)

“AWS has been the big leader in the cloud space, and in 2021, Azure and GCP will play a ‘catch-up’ with additional partnerships,” predicts Kumar. “In fact, both will place the partnership at the heart of their competitive strategy. We saw Google announce a deal with Box last summer – and we’ll see more deals like this next year, as partnerships will become an integral part of their cloud innovation strategy. As Azure and GCP become more partner friendly, it will force AWS to seek more partnerships to stay competitive in 2021. As VCs focus more on cloud-only businesses, we’ll see all cloud providers strive to find a balance. between building and partnering, especially when it comes to their API and platform strategy. “

We are experiencing big changes in the way we consume and use software, and these changes will continue to develop in 2021, says Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey.

“The operating systems of public clouds and private clouds will change places in 2021, as the company strives to balance the laws of physics (data gravity), the laws of the land (data sovereignty). and the laws of economics (elasticity), “Pandey said. “The GDPR and the CCPA are the tip of the privacy iceberg in a world increasingly contested by a wave of anti-globalization. That’s why the best cloud software will be available anywhere and everywhere, with location-independent frictionless control, putting an end to proprietary engineering hardware. Over the coming year, public and private nicknames will converge into a singular experience around invoicing, payment, identity, logistics and security. The consumerization of the enterprise will only be complete when building (private clouds) or purchasing (public clouds) becomes a non-issue for the enterprise architect. Clouds will converge after the pandemic, with 2021 being the year of Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Database as a Service (DBaaS).

Related articles:

Predictions 2021: Data Science

2020: Big Data Year in Review

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