So, 2015 is nearly upon us…and it begs the question:  What will be the trending technologies?

Based on what we saw in 2014, we feel that one area of expansion and mainstream acceptance will be the Hybrid Cloud.  We believe that in the end the hybrid cloud does make most sense for distributed, orchestrated computing.

In our opinion, the true promise of the hybrid cloud is when an enterprise can take advantage of any provider, seamlessly utilizing publicly available solutions as well as those deployed on premise. Stitching this together is easier said than done, however, there have been some major advancements in 2014 which makes this approach much closer to reality.

There are many who have enabled hybrid IaaS using tools from both VMware and OpenStack as well as third-party solutions for seamless virtual machine and instance launch and migration between providers. This is fantastic, the tools are solid and well tested and most enterprise IT will be able to adopt this approach quickly.

However, the real power of hybrid cloud computing is harnessed by focusing on orchestrated deployment of application and services themselves.

Today the market is focused on two approaches and enabling technologies which makes this a reality: Container-based application deployment and orchestration (i.e., Docker, LXD) and Platform as a Service (i.e, Cloud Foundry and OpenShift). Both containers and PaaS are similar, abstracting the application and supporting software and libraries away from the infrastructure, therefore enabling easy portability. Depending on the requirements of an application (data gravity, security, etc.) one component can run on premise, while another is launched publicly. While containers and PaaS enable a portable application in a hybrid cloud model, each approaches the solution from a different perspective. Containers, providing a repository and extremely flexible unit of portability; PaaS focusing on providing integrated deployment, scaling, and service brokers. But they are not mutually exclusive as two major PaaS technologies are moving toward supporting Docker containers as a unit of execution.

It is clear this is the future, as Microsoft, EMC, IBM, Red Hat, and HP have all announced projects supporting this approach with their suites of both private and public offerings. 2015 will be an interesting year indeed – especially on the hybrid cloud front.

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