This has been an eventful year, with lots going on. This is an end of year roundup. It is the year when second-order analytics and machine learning became commonplace. The year when artificial intelligence became more than just a daydream. It has been a year of some extremely nasty attacks, ones that nearly took out major companies and organizations—a year when security has been on everyone’s mind. It has also been the year of the true hybrid cloud.
The year started off with several attacks. Ransomware was and still is on everyone’s mind. Bitcoin prices have been skyrocketing, and all those who paid ransoms in Bitcoin have helped the criminals fund their lives, even more extravagantly if the criminals saved those coins rather than immediately using them. Will ransomware now demand a different cryptocurrency? Buying Bitcoin was an insurance plan for ransomware at one time; is it now an investment plan? No one knows, but a cryptocurrency used by criminals is now going crazy. The year has certainly been interesting from the cryptocurrency perspective.
Thankfully, we do not seem to be ending the year with big attack news; instead, we have entered the world of the hybrid cloud. Amazon is the center of this effort with VMware, as well as others. Getting the infrastructure market where consumers spend millions, if not billions, a year is a good way to go. However, there are still workloads people do not currently trust within the cloud. To counter this, Amazon has rolled out a large swath of security products. It seems like every week there is something new from Amazon, and this is a good thing. We have seen quite a bit of growth. A number of tools have come out to get folks over the hurdle of moving workloads into the cloud. Does this mean the days of the data center are numbered? No, not really.
Microsoft is also winning hearts and minds with its Azure platform; it talks migration but also market integration. This is not a new concept or ploy. The real question will be, “How can I use both Amazon and Azure simultaneously without having to commit to any one cloud?”
The answer ends up being containers for many; however, getting to containers is not simple for many organizations. This is where we start to discuss transformation in depth. We have done that throughout the year. Transformation in large organizations is not easy, no matter who is pushing the wheel up the hill. Yet, transforming they are. We are doing more with less these days than ever before, but many organizations are still hiring folks to work in IT, to help with automation.
We have always thought that automation is a big deal, and this year proved it out. Virtualization, containers, and cloud all depend upon automation—automation that leads to Infrastructure as Code to ensure repeatability. However, Infrastructure as Code leads to the need to integrate security checks into the pipeline. How to do that really came to the fore this year. Security DevOps, or SecDevOps, has been on many minds for years. Big organizations are now embracing the concept not only of Infrastructure as Code, but also of Security as Code. The real question will come in when those codes need to be massively updated to go between technologies. Can this happen safely? In time? At all?
Still, not every thing was about cloud. Some of the coolest technology I’ve seen this year is ages old, but in a new package. Finally we have a fifth resource to manage within our virtual and cloud environments. GPUs have made a massive dent in virtualization and cloud-virtualized desktops, and are poised to also move high-performance computing to new levels. Desktop usage is well understood, but now we have virtualized CUDA and, once more, vMotion for GPUs. Can we never get enough of vMotion? We are now applying it to many more things: CPUs, memory, network, storage, and now GPUs.
This was a year of change. At TVP Strategy, our lists of requirements for every technology have hit incredible numbers. The data protection category alone has 158 or so requirements that a product must meet to achieve full coverage on our coverage graph. Many of the new elements we added to our requirements lists this year were around anti-ransomware technologies and considerations. As a whole, this was the year in which many things came to the fore, things we have talked about for years. This is good, but be prepared for the next few years. If you think IoT is big now—just wait.
What do you wish to remember this year in the world of technology? What is it that made your year?