The implacable march of Amazon Web Services toward ultimate public cloud domination has been relentless, from its inception in 2006 with a single service (S3 Storage) to the behemoth it has become today. It seems this minnow has become the biggest fish in the pond. But is it unstoppable? Has it won the public cloud wars?
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At this year’s OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, the message was clear. OpenStack needs to pivot from a science experiment to a production system. Even though this is happening, it has been happening slowly. Some would argue that it has been achieved for the likes of PayPal and other extremely large institutions, such as AT&T. However, running, configuring, and installing OpenStack still takes more knowledge than the average enterprise system administrator has available to them. The new Certified OpenStack Administrator certification is a way to exhibit a level of competence for the age of the new OpenStack: the production-ready OpenStack.
Building a private cloud was a high priority for a number of organizations in 2014. This priority carried over into 2015 because it is hard to execute. For many organizations, it has carried over again into 2016. Of course, the definition of a private cloud has changed in that time, too. Some organizations are happy simply to have consistent VMs deployed in response to a helpdesk ticket. Other organizations aspire to have the AWS in their own datacenter. One significant trend is the use of public cloud services to manage on-premises private clouds. The other trend is OpenStack in the enterprise, rather than only in academia and hyperscale where it started.
Look at all the pretty clouds! Every day there are more clouds filling the sky, and that trend won’t change anytime soon. It appears that the future, at least for information technology, will be entirely in some type of cloud or even in multiclouds. To get a picture of where we’re going, let’s take a moment to look at where we have been.
Microsoft continues to take great strides forward with its cloud strategy, to the point where success has it charging forth at almost record pace. One thing I have learned, in my years working in IT, is that when Microsoft sets its mind on doing something, it is a pretty safe bet that it will succeed in pretty much whatever it puts its collective minds and resources behind. The cloud is just another example of that success.
CERN goes hybrid: Have you heard the news that CERN is going to the cloud? The term CERN is used to refer to the European laboratory located in the northwest suburbs of Geneva snug on the Switzerland border. Its main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other laboratory infrastructure needed to perform high-energy physics research. CERN was originally established in 1954 as The European Organization for Nuclear Research. Research at the facility has moved past nuclear research, and it has fully expanded into one of the largest laboratories for particle physics research, using the Large Hadron Collider. On an interesting side note, the main site at CERN is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web; before that, these facilities were a major wide-area networking hub for sharing the scientists’ research with different scientists located elsewhere.