For the past several years, private clouds have taken a backseat to the big public cloud providers, with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform sucking up all the oxygen around the conversation of how to manage enterprise infrastructure.
Now, however, private clouds are looking to make a comeback of sorts.
In looking ahead to the big cloud computing trends of 2018, Dave Bartoletti, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, finds that the market for private clouds, along with hybrid models, are ready to compete more with public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms.
The 2018 forecast calls for more clouds
In his Top 10 predictions, Bartoletti dedicates Nos. 6 and 7 to the return of public clouds:
- Private and hybrid cloud spending will rebound after a slowdown, driven by a raft of new on-premises cloud solutions.
- Private clouds will get a new life as app development and modernization platforms, moving beyond IaaS.
In and around the enterprise, vendors are starting to pick-up on this trend, giving some credence to what Bartoletti is predicting over the next 12 months.
Earlier this year, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) officially released Azure Stack, the company's long-talked about private cloud offering that offers a public cloud experience that can be set-up on-premises. Redmond lined-up several partners to distribute this private cloud to enterprise customer. (See Microsoft Azure Stack, SQL Server 2017 Emphasize Hybrid Cloud.)
Not to be outdone, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) announced in early November that both companies would offer a version of OpenStack as a paid, managed cloud service. This cloud is private and can be installed on-premises or managed from a separate data center or co-located. (See Rackspace, HPE Delivering OpenStack as Private Cloud Service.)
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The OpenStack Foundation, which oversees the OpenStack platform, is also trying to make the software easier to use and deploy within enterprises, especially as businesses look to keep some portion of workloads and application on-premises. (See OpenStack Foundation Wants to Help Real-World Operations.)
Finally, as Enterprise Cloud News contributor Andrew Froehlich, writes the new relationships between AWS and VMware, along with Google and Cisco, also offer news way for enterprises to think about private and hybrid cloud deployments. (See AWS & VMware Vs. Cisco & Google: A Cloud Fight Worth Watching.)
"And all of this innovation isn't only happening in the big public clouds; exciting new private cloud technology stacks and fresh partnerships between infrastructure vendor stalwarts and upstart cloud-native companies bring the power and energy of elastic, on-demand cloud services to the enterprise data center as well," Bartoletti writes.
This is not to say that the big public clouds are going away.
In his report, Bartoletti writes that 50% of all global enterprises will use at least one public cloud as part of their digital transformation strategy. Additionally, businesses shouldn't expect another major cloud provider to enter the scene, meaning Amazon Web Services Inc. , Microsoft Azure and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) are likely to continue to dominate. (See AWS, Azure Dominating Multi-Cloud Expansion – Study .)
Instead, the market might consolidate to a point, which could lead to cloud lock-in. (See Microsoft's Russinovich: Avoiding Cloud Lock-In Is Risky Too.)
One other interesting note that Bartoletti makes is around containers and microservices. In 2018, he expects the Google-backed Kubernetes orchestration management platform to take over and become the dominant force there. With the amount of tech vendors signing on to Kubernetes, that prediction may have already come true. (See Docker Climbs on the Kubernetes Train.)
— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.