August 9, 2018

Updated: 6 DevOps Predictions for 2018 – Midyear Checkpoint

Last December, I made some predictions for 2018. Now that we’re at the halfway point, let’s check in and see how those predictions are faring. After all, a key tenant of DevOps is measuring performance and seeking ways to improve it. With that in mind, I’ll evaluate what data we’ll need to either prove or disprove the predictions.

1. Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing in DevOps

More and more DevOps tool vendors are starting to look closely at artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning. Harness has functionality to determine if application performance has regressed after a new deployment. Interestingly, this is baked in and does not require the user to make any special configurations to access functionality. What this means is that if you deploy an application, Harness will know if the new version is less performant than the previous. Of course, this only watches the response time of the application, so other areas like database and network performance can affect it. However, it’s a good sign that DevOps tool vendors are starting to incorporate machine learning into their products.

2. Platform as a service will deliver on cloud promises

Anecdotally, Datical is seeing more and more Pivotal Cloud Foundry implementations that are in production and enabling new functionality in record time. However, it turns out that there are more challenges to overcome, specifically around the database. As Scott Yara from Pivotal stated, “At the end of the day, if we’ve moved the applications onto [Pivotal] Cloud Foundry, but we still haven’t touched the database system, and those database systems are still managed the same way that they’ve been over the last 20 years, then we really haven’t solved the whole problem.” It’s outstanding that PaaS providers are seeking to address all areas of the application to offer a complete solution to customers! The cloud providers are not really focused on this, and it will be up to the PaaS vendors to provide the level of abstraction developers need to focus on their applications and not cloud plumbing.

3. RDBMS will continue to see growth and NoSQL will not replace it

Since revenue numbers are not released until the end of the year, I’m going to claim this is a push. We just don’t have enough data to make a call on how correct the prediction was.

4. The race for second place in cloud services will be fun

This one has been spot-on. If you like tech drama, you’ll love watching the cloud providers’ war of words. Specifically, things have become entertaining with software vendors and cloud providers teaming up against Amazon’s bid for a Pentagon contract. In fact, it has made for some very interesting partnerships such as a coalition of Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.

Just as entertaining was the Google Cloud Next conference with the announcement of Google Kubernetes Engine On-Premise. Companies can now have the GKE in their data center. The hope from Google is that when companies have that completed, it will be a no-brainer in moving to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). I certainly expect more cloud providers to offer the ability to run the same services in both on-prem and cloud to smooth the transition to the cloud. This is a very different approach than “lift and shift,” and I expect that sort of orthogonal thinking from providers who are not in the top two.

5. Security will shift-left and development will claim it was all their idea

Well, this was certainly a cheeky prediction. But, if you do a Google search on “DevSecOps <random security company>”, you’ll see blog posts as recent as last month on topics like “5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of DevSecOps.” Also, security software companies are now urging their customers to adopt DevSecOps quickly after adopting DevOps. And that’s a great idea. After all, the Equifax breach would not have happened if they had adopted DevOps and were able to patch their version of Apache Struts quickly.

6. Fewer and fewer companies will forget the database with DevOps

With software company executives from Pivotal, XebiaLabs and Delphix urging their customers to bring the database to the DevOps party, this prediction appears to be proving correct.

7. (Bonus) The Astros will repeat as World Champions

The Astros lead the AL West and are second to the Red Sox in the AL. So, looks like they are on track to the get to the postseason. Of course, their secret has been data analytics and convincing their staff to use the findings. Here’s a great article about the process.

My man, Chris Devenski, is having a good year, but not the All Star year he was having last year. So, unless he starts getting a save every game from now until the end of the year, a Cy Young award is not in the cards for this year.

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