Defining and Understanding Emerging Cloud Technologies

Most pundits project the cloud computing market to expand by 20% in the next year.

Causing this expansion are, in part, emerging technologies that are trending among the IT crowd now, but which are translating to real value delivered to businesses across the globe. Pundits believe these will become common tools for business applications within the next couple of years remaking the rules yet again.

We’re here to explain some of these technologies, so you are poised to take advantage of them for your business.

Forrester projects three technologies to become commonplace in 2019.

Containers and Kubernetes (K8s)

A container is a unit of software in which pieces of code are packaged in a standardized way so it can quickly and reliably run on different computing environments. This is sort of like the innovation of a standardized commercial shipping container. Before the invention of shipping containers, there were inefficiencies in the way goods were packaged and shipped because manufacturers had to prepare the goods for a wide variety of shipping modes – trains, ships, trucks, etc. Shipping containers did away with that hassle because now, no matter the destination, you know your product will travel in a rectangular container of the same dimensions.

Software containers play a similar role in that they can be used across multiple computing environments. So instead of rewriting the code for each individual environment, now the same code can be containerized and reused. This decreases the amount of code that needs to be written and therefore shrinks cost and time-to-execute.

Kubernetes (K8s) is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.  It groups containers that make up an application into “pods” so they can be more easily found and managed. This is especially helpful in a production environment where containers can quickly accumulate as the environment becomes more complex. Think of K8s as a container for containers, serving the same goal of efficiency but on a much larger scale.

Expect more applications, more quickly. But the real winner here will be Business Process as a Service (BPaaS). BPaaS requires the use of numerous application environments, so containerization and K8s drives efficiency for these services.

If you haven’t heard of BPaaS before, read Defining Types of Cloud Computing without “IT-Speak”

Event-driven computing

Event-driven computing is a style of software design that promotes the production, detection, consumption of, and reaction to real-world events that have real business meaning and significance for system hardware or software – if this, then that. For instance, when a business sells a product, sales tracking software will change the product’s status from “for sale” to “sold” and communicate that change in status to other applications so the information becomes uniform with no data entry necessary.

Event-driven computing is emerging to support IoT devices, and it requires a different kind of computing to function properly. This is where serverless computing comes in.

What is serverless computing?

Until now, the cloud has functioned by apportioning a certain amount of resources ahead of the time that they are needed. However, this schema changes when demand for resources depends on real-world events, events that are impossible to predict.

Also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), serverless computing is a type of cloud computing where the customer does not have to provision or maintain servers. Instead, the cloud provider acts as the server and scales the function automatically per request. This reduces the overhead cost of ownership and frees up developers from having to worry about the management and operation of servers or runtimes. It also allows for computing resources to scale seamlessly in real time.

Serverless computing is designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). That is, it becomes useful when the myriad new sensors, small appliances, and connected objects relay information when they have something to report but then lie dormant otherwise.

However, serverless computing will also help to rewrite the Bring-Your-Own-Device Playbook, as well.

Both serverless computing and containers accomplish the same ultimate goal: They free up time spent on the maintenance of technology and give more time to creation and innovation. But whereas containers improve more traditional cloud deployments, serverless will drive next-generation development.