A tour of cloud computing: “Kubernetes is crucial for widespread multi-cloud adoption”
Cloud computing is worth exploring; this is what we think but of course, we’re no experts. Therefore, we decided to invite 12 experts to weigh in on the present and future of cloud computing. Our next guest is Ben Newton, Director of Product Marketing at Sumo Logic.
Cloud computing is worth exploring
In last year’s JAXenter Technology Trends Survey, we asked readers about their interest in different technologies and, according to the results, the cloud was a very relevant topic for developers. As you can see in the figure below, cloud computing was the runner-up in the “General IT topics” section, after software architecture.
If you want to read more about respondents’ favorite and least favorite cloud platforms, have a look at the results. Sure, cloud computing was already very popular but these results put things into perspective for us; in 2017, respondents were more interested in cloud computing than in microservices, DevOps, machine learning, blockchain and the list goes on. That may or may not still be the case, but these results opened our appetite for everything cloud-related.
Despite cloud computing’s popularity, there are still a lot of unknowns, misunderstandings and gaps. For example, earlier this year, we learned from Sumo Logic’s 2018 Global Security Trends in the Cloud report that almost half of their respondents reported that current tools do not work in the cloud. Furthermore, a whopping 97% out of the 300+ respondents felt that they lacked the tools for proper cloud security. Read more about the report here.
The bottom line is that cloud computing is worth exploring and the benefits definitely outweigh the risks. This is what we think but of course, we’re no experts. Therefore, we decided to invite 12 experts to weigh in on the present and future of cloud computing.
A tour of cloud computing will be published twice a week.
Here are the interviews published so far
- Abby Kearns: “It’s very important for technology to be cloud-compatible, if not cloud-native”
- Oleg Chunikhin & Terry Shea:“Serverless is another step towards improving productivity, especially in DevOps and operations”
- Peter Meulbroek:“Cloud-neutral adds a large amount of complexity and risk to a migration, without really solving the issue”
- Ross Kukulinski:“Observability is an essential component when successfully operating software in the cloud”
- Carlos Sanchez:“A seamless multi-cloud experience is currently practically impossible”
Our next guest is Ben Newton, Director of Product Marketing at Sumo Logic.
JAXenter: What benefits does a cloud-based infrastructure bring? What are the drawbacks?
Ben Newton: There is a shift going on from traditional monolithic architectures to more modern architectures using cloud and microservices-based approaches. The tendency is to view this as a technology shift only and that developers are adopting these services for their own benefit. That’s not the case – customer expectations are forcing companies to adopt new infrastructures.
Customers aren’t satisfied with a low-cost, always-on service. Instead, they want a more dynamic and personalized experience when they are shopping, or when they are using any online service. Monolithic apps are hard to scale, as they tend to be improved through moving to larger hardware rather than by scaling out smaller service components. It is, therefore, not a surprise that many businesses are looking at AWS for how to scale up. Using services like AWS to run cloud-based microservices provides the only hope for delivering competitive customer experiences at scale.
Customer expectations are forcing companies to adopt new infrastructures.
JAXenter: What is your favorite cloud-based tool, service, or platform to use and why?
Ben Newton: Container technologies, and specifically Kubernetes and Docker, are decreasing the barrier to entry for adopting a truly microservices-based approach to application architecture, and microservices are the best architecture for competing in a cloud-native, data-driven world.
For organizations that were struggling with adopting – or planning to adopt – microservices, Kubernetes has provided the impetus and confidence to move forward quickly.
JAXenter: Is Kubernetes becoming central to cloud adoption?
Ben Newton: Kubernetes is absolutely central to cloud adoption, and taking it one step further, is crucial for widespread multi-cloud adoption. AWS, Azure and GCP have all adopted Kubernetes on their platforms, which means the confusing and clashing standards for running server-style applications on those platforms are now less of an issue. Kubernetes is also a natural fit for both on-premises and cloud environments.
Adopting Kubernetes is now the surest path to a realistic multi-cloud strategy, while also providing a natural platform for driving cloud migration and hybrid cloud strategies.
JAXenter: Jakarta EE has recently taken the cloud-native Java path. How important is it for a technology to be relevant to today’s cloud-first world?
Ben Newton: In short, it is absolutely essential. When companies begin moving applications to the cloud, they often “lift and shift” some less important applications. But for truly critical applications, companies are willing to re-architect an application to take advantage of the cloud’s benefits. When rebuilding applications, engineering teams are not going to consider technologies with half-baked cloud stories or papered over issues. They will look for the best technologies to achieve their purposes, and any vendors not taking this seriously will find themselves, and their brands, associated only with the legacy technology stacks.
Ben Newton: I believe it is very important for technology to be cloud-neutral. Multi-cloud is becoming the by-word for enterprises of all sizes, and not having a solution for the top three cloud vendors is putting future adoption at risk. Even organizations that are single cloud are making future technology decisions with multi-cloud in mind.
JAXenter: If cloud technology wants to continue to grow, tools should grow and adapt as well. What are the most mature tools right now?
Even organizations that are single cloud are making future technology decisions with multi-cloud in mind.
Ben Newton: In the world of containers, the pace is incredible. The speed of adoption of Kubernetes is unprecedented, and companies of all sizes are investing into it. This tsunami of support has pushed all the major public cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP, of course – to fully support it, including as a fully managed service.
On the other hand, many commercial tools vendors are lagging behind these developments and are being outpaced by open-source alternatives.
JAXenter: How can we capture the multi-cloud opportunity? What are the roadblocks to multi-cloud success?
Ben Newton: The biggest roadblock for multi-cloud is the lack of common standards for “servers” and “services” like storage or database services. Containerization helps solve this problem, with Kubernetes and Docker abstracting away from those details and able to run anywhere so that users can much more easily transition workloads between AWS, Azure and GCP.
JAXenter: What do you think of serverless? Is it a “revolution of the cloud,” as Maciej Winnicki, Principal Software Engineer at Serverless Inc. told us last year?
Ben Newton: Serverless approaches just take another step in the direction of effortlessly scaling code and not just components. This means that enterprises can be extremely sensitive to user feedback and behavior, and drive towards a better user experience.
This kind of ever-changing application requires a new approach to analytics. While the older tools and approaches often in place were designed for older, more siloed teaming structures, the teams supporting these efforts need continuous, real-time visibility into their application, and measure their responses in minutes.
Application developers have entered a new era with the advent of cloud technology. If you want to meet the movers and shakers in the world of cloud computing, don’t miss JAX London, a four-day conference taking place October 8-11, 2018.