What’s In Store for Cloud Computing, Apache CloudStack in 2017?


This article is sponsored by Accelerite as a Gold-level sponsor of ApacheCon Europe 2016.

Cloud computing is on the rise. Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, “a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no Internet’ policy is today.” That is also the year the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2016 Cloud Computing report predicts more computing power will be sold and deployed by Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud providers than by enterprise data centers.

Certainly Apache CloudStack, an open source IaaS platform, is in alignment with that expectation. The project and its community are still under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation but the CloudStack commercial product was recently acquired from Citrix Systems by Accelerite. The company is now the largest contributor and provider of commercial products based on the Apache CloudStack project for private clouds.

Rajesh Ramchandani, general manager of Accelerite’s Cloud Services and Platforms
We talked with Rajesh Ramchandani, general manager of Accelerite’s Cloud Services and Platforms, to get the company’s take on the future of cloud, its own vision for it, and why they think the Apache CloudStack project is a key element in both.

Linux.com: What key trends in cloud technologies do you see for next year, 2017?

Rajesh Ramchandani: Some of the key trends include hyper-converged infrastructure; hybrid clouds and software defined networks (SDN); Docker and container orchestration; real time and predictive analytics; microservices architectures and customized PaaS; serverless code maturity, IoT applications; and, machine learning for data center management.  

So far the hybrid cloud adoption has been slow, but we expect hybrid cloud to become a reality with real use cases next year. Software Defined Networks will be the key networks between private and public clouds, and come with enforceable policy management for risk, compliance and security management.

Expect almost all of Fortune 2000 to be using Docker and containers in production. The new workloads will evolve to leverage containers. Container orchestration will become key technology to deploy and manage workloads across hybrid infrastructure. Limitations in storage and networking with containers will continue to be eliminated.

Hyper-converged infrastructure, which are high density and highly virtualized self-managing systems, will be at the center of most enterprise IT. High density private clouds will be supplemented with public clouds to provide a highly scalable on-demand hybrid infrastructure which can virtually scale infinitely.

Microservices will be developed as serverless code. Expect multiple serverless frameworks to appear in the marketplace and bleeding edge enterprises.  ISVs will adopt them next year.

Microservices architectures will also be dominant for new applications. Enterprises will most likely build a customized PaaS by integrating CI/CD toolset rather than use an integrated PaaS platform that exists today. Different models of DevOps will evolve as each enterprise adopts processes to suite their own specific needs.

Linux.com: How do you see enterprise adoption of the cloud progressing?

Rajesh: Most enterprises have been using VMware virtualized environments and public clouds — such as AWS, Azure and Google — as an isolated environment for less security-sensitive workloads. We expect to see adoption of new technologies such as Docker and container orchestration and management platforms.

As newer services get deployed, the management of each of them adds complexity and cost and hence we should see enterprises leverage cloud-based control planes and management tools rather than on premise deployed point solutions.

The infrastructure that will be deployed will be mostly hyper converged which will have sophisticated operations intelligence built-in to manage the failovers, event pipelines, self-recovery mechanism and security analytics. Some infrastructure will support predictive analytics for advanced planning and downtime management. The most mature cloud-based control planes will provide most of the functionality either way.

On the development side, most of the enterprises will increasingly develop microservices and cloud-native applications. Some enterprises will implement and benefit from a full open DevOps model but majority of them will have a process to manage security, compliance and risk while implementing DevOps and SecOps.

Linux.com: What is the current state of CloudStack project? Is Accelerite going to continue to invest to grow the community?

Rajesh: We are committed to continue to invest and grow the CloudStack project and the community.

CloudStack is very mature technology and is proven to scale large-scale production clouds around the world. Some cloud providers run tens of thousands of nodes today in production, which is mostly unheard of with other competing platforms.

We are investing in the technology and adding resources to help us evangelize CloudStack, organize CloudStack meetups and other events, and be visible at key events such as ApacheCon.

We have also increased our investments in engineering and support to help customers improve their cloud operations operations and next generation cloud native technologies integrations to aid their growth and enable them to contribute back to the CloudStack community.

Linux.com: Accelerite already owns the commercial CloudStack platform, where else are you investing to help enterprises with cloud adoption?

Rajesh: Accelerite is the largest contributor and provider of commercial products based on the Apache CloudStack project for private clouds. As we talk to our customers, it’s becoming clear that there is a need to enhance CloudPlatform / CloudStack and integrate new technologies such as Kubernetes, Mesos, Docker and other container technologies so they can leverage both new technologies and their investment in their existing platform.

We are working on providing a next-generation cloud platform called Rovius to provide a single pane for provisioning VMs, containers on bare-metal and hybrid clouds.  We also recently acquired an IoT platform called Concert, an IoT-PaaS for the fast development of highly scalable and smart applications. Further, we have recently launched a new real-time security product called Sentient, which provides real time insights as well as remediation capabilities into security posture of the endpoints, connected devices and cloud infrastructure.