10 Cloud Predictions for 2012
January 04, 2012
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As a continuation of the APMdigest list of predictions for 2012, industry experts offer a range of predictions specifically on cloud management, and Application Performance Management in the cloud.

1. Cloud management comes to the forefront

Cloud providers have to date been focused on getting their platforms to market - from the infrastructure to self-service provisioning to pricing - and have put management as a secondary priority. In addition, the ease of spinning up instances in the cloud often makes management an afterthought for users. In 2012, there will be increased attention paid to "day two" in the cloud: What do you do once you've moved resources to the cloud? Having visibility into and control of these resources is paramount: It has never been more important to have a centralized view into performance across physical, virtual and cloud-based resources. Both cloud providers and enterprise IT pros will shift their focus more to management in 2012 and separate truth from hype amongst the monitoring, management and orchestration vendors.
Antonio Piraino
CTO, ScienceLogic

If you are deploying applications on the cloud, you need to know how the applications are performing. If there is a slowdown, IT management needs to know where the problem is. Since a single business service can have applications in the private network and others in the public cloud, enterprises that host their key business applications in the cloud must ensure that the end user experience matches that of in-house business services. We are seeing that performance monitoring, diagnosis and reporting about the cloud will become more strategic and more important as enterprises start to move critical applications to the cloud. As we have seen with virtualization, initially the focus tends to be on proving the viability of the technology. As the technology matures, monitoring and management becomes the focus. We expect the same to happen with the cloud computing industry in the next 18 months.
Srinivas Ramanathan
CEO and Founder, eG Innovations

In 2011, the NIST Cloud Reference Architecture devoted a whole section to Cloud Service Management, and IT started to talk about “grown-up” disciplines – planning, budgeting, performance, asset, inventory, service levels, audit, etc. In 2012, even “commodity” cloud vendors will finally take cloud management seriously, as enterprises and governments demand these disciplines – and smaller providers differentiate on service and security, not just price.
Andi Mann
VP of Strategic Solutions, CA Technologies

2. The Term “Cloud Management” Will Not Disappear (Yet)

While all that my colleague Floyd Strimling wants for Christmas is for the term “Cloud Management” to go away, he'll have to wait until 2013. In 2-3 years, what is now “Cloud Management” just becomes IT Management or Service-Oriented IT Management. This is good news. The ultimate evidence of a paradigm's success is that it goes away as a separate phenomenon and is just assumed that all serious IT Management tools accommodate “Cloud” and traditional models.
Bill Karpovich
Co-founder and CEO, Zenoss

3. APM Will Be Built for the Cloud

According to Forrester's latest report on APM, “Application performance management must be considered a logical and pragmatic evolutionary step from system monitoring to service monitoring and management. We will begin to see an increase in apps deployed on the cloud as enterprises start to deploy mission-critical apps via SaaS based-tools." Thus, In 2012 as more enterprises move from thinking about the cloud to actually deploying business-critical apps into cloud environments, the application itself will take center stage for enterprise IT, Dev, and DevOps teams. Practically speaking, these applications must be managed and optimized using agile, effective, and automatic app performance management APM tools that are built for the Cloud.
Brian Doll
Lead App Performance Engineer, New Relic

4. 2012: The Year of the PaaS

Cloud management: 2012 will be the PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) year. Data as a service (from cloud broker to information broker).
Maxine Holt
Analyst, Ovum

One big theme of 2012 will be the move to platforms and services, away from virtual machines. “Rented metal” makes it easy to deploy new servers fast-but then we have to manage those servers. IT will have to provide platforms to build on, and APIs to code to. Want proof? Only one of Amazon's web services (EC2) is virtual machines. CIOs need to deliver more than just rented metal, and they'll do so in the form of PaaS.
Alistair Croll
Conference Chair, Cloud Connect and Partner, Bitcurrent

5. Expansion of Performance Benchmarking

Operating in the cloud, data can be anonymized. The data can then be combined with many other client’s data, turning the cloud provider into a state of the art benchmarking engine. Since the clients are all on a common physical data model, the data is more comparable than traditional survey-based benchmarking, offering endless possibilities. We expect to see the benchmarking capabilities offered by the cloud to expand. Additionally, because of the access to real time data that the cloud provides, this data can then be mined and analyzed at a detailed level, making performance management in the cloud precise and efficient for improving the business.
Sasha Gilenson
CEO, Evolven

6. CMDB Evolves to Handle Cloud

CMDBs will turn to federated, model-centric (versus database-centric) Configuration Management Systems within the next two to five years in most environments where they’re adopted — and Cloud will be a catalyst for this. Moreover those organizations that move to this model will be hugely more successful in assimilating the advantages of Cloud, as well as in managing their services overall.
Dennis Drogseth
Vice President, EMA

7. Monitoring Transactions Everywhere

Enterprise Cloud, virtualization, and integration projects will create bigger challenges for IT support teams responsible for business transaction availability and SLAs. To be effective, operations teams will need to move to management solutions that monitor transactions everywhere they go – beyond code, beyond networks and servers, and beyond VMs – to pinpoint the cause of problems no matter which system they’re in, even in applications across 4 tiers, 10 tiers, or more.
Chris Neal
CEO, BlueStripe Software

8. Managing Service Levels Across the Globe

With rapid adoption of the cloud, and with more business critical functions delivered via the cloud to end users across the globe, there will be an increasing pressure on IT to not only manage the user experience but deliver superior service levels from multiple geographically dispersed locations
Suku Krishnaraj
Senior Vice President of Product Strategy, SolarWinds

9. Cost monitoring becomes key to public cloud management

Part of optimizing compute resources accurately means understanding what the compute and storage costs are for cloud usage. Cloud users (specifically Infrastructure as a Service – IaaS - users) are tired of “flying blind” when it comes to knowing their cost position at any given moment. This is especially true in highly dynamic cloud computing environments, such as Amazon’s AWS.
Alex Bewley
CTO, uptime software

10. Mature Virtual Networking Technology Will Not Arrive in 2012

The relative immaturity of virtual networking compared to server virtualization will come into starker contrast in 2012. This limits the ability to secure, troubleshoot, and manage the performance of applications running in the cloud. I predict that cloud providers will drive demand for more mature virtual networking technology, but that it will not arrive next year.
Jesse Rothstein
Co-Founder and CEO, ExtraHop Networks

Related Links:

12 Predictions for 2012

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