The 10 Cloud Trends in 2021

The cloud has become an essential component of companies’ information systems and a saving approach to IT architectures in times of pandemic crisis. He will remain one of the strategic pillars of companies in 2021. Here are the ten-strong trends that will sculpt his face in the 12 months to come. 

For almost all companies, business continuity during 2020 was achieved through and thanks to the cloud. The trend will become even more pronounced in 2021… Switching more operations and processes to the cloud to survive the crisis is a privileged avenue for innovating quickly and in the OPEX model.

The situation has never been so favorable for the cloud and its technologies. We looked at various reports from Forrester, Gartner, and other market analysts to trace ten major trends for 2021 around cloud computing.

An Ever-Growing Adoption Of The Public Cloud

As explained in the introduction, the trend is not a slowdown in investments in the cloud, particularly in the public cloud. The large hyperscalers experienced a year of strong growth in 2020. And even if the rhetoric around European data sovereignty held back some initiatives, they did little to affect the massive migration of workloads to the cloud.

All observers agree that “native cloud” development projects will accelerate further in 2021. Gartner anticipates in 2021 an overall growth of 19% in Cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), both private, hybrid, and public. . For the analysis firm, “the pandemic has validated the value proposition of the cloud”. Forrester, for its part, predicts 35% growth in the public cloud, with the market surpassing $ 120 billion.

A recent CIF (Cloud Industry Forum) study shows that 91% of IT managers say the cloud has played an important role in accelerating digital transformation in 2020. 40% even find that it has played a crucial role. And 88% of businesses anticipate increased adoption of cloud services in the next 12 months.

The Need To Create A Real Cloud culture

The Lift & Shift is over. Likewise, the time for cautious and hesitant adoption of the cloud by “quick win” without a real roadmap for long-term transformation is over. Now is the time for “native cloud” development, the adoption of PaaS, the generalization of containers and microservices, and the popularization of Server less.

Companies need to shift their culture to “cloud-first” and adopt cloud-centric project governance. Forrester estimates that by 2021, 60% of companies will operate containers in the public cloud. At the same time, companies will better equip themselves to control cloud spending better and avoid throwing money down the drain by accumulating resources never used. A cloud culture also requires rethinking the economic equation of its information system and better monitoring and controlling the uses of the cloud.

Also Read: Cloud Computing Trends 2021

The Take-Off Of The FaaS

A leading figure in “Serverless” trends, “Function as a Service” is one of the five best-performing Cloud services in 2020, according to the latest Flexera “State of the Cloud” report. And its adoption is accelerating. Forrester estimates that 25% of developers will use serverless and FaaS (Function as a Service) extensively in 2021.

The Hybrid War Will Take place … 

Everyone’s strategies were put in place in 2020. All the players are ready, and the battle for the hybrid cloud can begin. On the one hand, the two leaders in private cloud infrastructure have finished realizing their hybrid visions. VMware launched vSphere 7 with its native adoption of containers and Kubernetes, coupled with Tanru services, opening a new page in its history. Nutanix launched Carbon 2.0, Carbon PaaS, and Nutanix Clusters (on AWS and Azure). Let us not forget either IBM, which has completely overhauled its hybrid strategy through Red Hat, Open Shift (the Red Hat container orchestrator), and IBM Cloud Pak’s.

In contrast to the spectrum, the giants of the public cloud are also proposing to invade “on-perm” infrastructures with their solutions allowing them better to merge the internal infrastructure with their cloud services. At Google, the strategy is based entirely on Kubernetes and the Mesh Istio Service with its 100% software solution “Google Anthos,” which now operates in bare-metal and is also deployed on other public clouds. At AWS, the strategy relies in part on its AWS Outposts appliances and the recent announcements of ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere to deploy Amazon’s container orchestration services on its internal infrastructure. Finally, Microsoft launched in December the “General Availability” version of Azure Stack HCI, its hyper-converged solution that directly competes with VMware and Nutanix, which is very integrated with Azure which embeds AKS (Azure Kubernetes Services). The publisher also offers Azure Arc to deploy Azure data services in containers in any cloud or on its internal infrastructure.

SASE: Towards Native Cloud Security

Private/hybrid / public cloud cybersecurity is a hot topic. And the trend is clearly for the buzzword of 2020: the SASE.

Based on the principle that security must come from the cloud to ensure its universality, SASE combines SD-WAN, Zero Trust, Web Gateways, CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker), and central console in the cloud, so that traffic is secure from the user to the application, regardless of where the first is located and where the second is hosted.

Expect to see all cybersecurity players stamp their multifunction offerings “SASE.”

New Approaches For Multi-Cloud

Multi Cloud is a reality in almost every business, but a fuzzy and not always well-defined reality. His face will change a lot in 2021 because hyperscale’s have now integrated this notion and exploit it. Oracle and Microsoft intensified their interconnection partnership in 2020 to streamline and optimize Azure scenarios, for example, used for processing and ML on data hosted in Oracle Cloud. With Azure Arc, Microsoft makes its Azure data services available on all clouds. Google is deploying Anthos on AWS and Azure. With ECS / EKS Anywhere, AWS also wants to deploy its container services “anywhere,” therefore including with the competition.

These interactions between the different hyper scalers’ technologies will multiply in 2021 because no company wants to put all its eggs in one basket and that playing the competition remains the best way to lower the prices of the cloud.

The Rise Of DaaS

Gartner anticipates that 48% of employees will continue to work from home after the end of the pandemic. To secure this remote work and allow everyone to work from anywhere, it’s a safe bet that “VDI in the Cloud,” in other words, virtualized offices in the cloud, or DaaS (Desktop as a Service) will multiply.

The arrival of a “Cloud PC” offer at Microsoft, strategic for the success of its future Windows 10, should accelerate the movement by democratizing it. The competition will have to sharpen its value proposition.

The Edge Reaches An Inflection Point

In any case, this is Forrester’s conviction. The Edge is redefining where data is processed and how the cloud is used. The practical applications of this concept will finally emerge in 2021, where this architecture brings real advantages.

The possibility of implementing private 5G networks will also offer new use cases for Edge Computing.

Also Read: 8 Technologies To Keep An Eye On In 2021

The Distributed Cloud Takes Shape

This is one of the major IT trends advocated by Gartner for 2021. It is even “the future of the cloud,” according to the analyst. The idea of ​​distributed cloud is to distribute the services to different physical locations (on-prem, at the Edge, on different public cloud providers) while governing and operating them from a single public cloud provider. We find this idea at Azure Arc and AWS Outposts. The objective is to allow companies to have their services physically closer to their customers to benefit from low latency, optimize costs, and adapt to different local laws. In the same vein, Forrester considers that data center aggregators such as Edgevana and Inflect make it possible to think globally and act locally in an approach that is also distributed.

Gaia-X: For 2021 Or Forever

On the one hand, companies are working to prevent vendors from locking them into their cloud technologies. On the other hand, European legislation has been strengthened to ensure the sovereignty of European data, forcing companies to think of “European storage.” These two trends are the main drivers of the European meta cloud GAIA-X initiative. A meta cloud designed with interoperability and reversibility as primary values. Enough to make the cloud more agnostic. 2021 will be the year of all dangers for this initiative. It is essential to its success that it materializes quickly, probably in the middle of the year 2021. Otherwise, it is a safe bet that the European meta cloud will be a dramatic flop.

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