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Where containers, cloud, blockchain, and AI are headed in 2019

If I had one word to characterize the projected behavior of enterprises in 2019, it would be collaboration. And if I had to pick a second word, it would be convergence.

Collaboration in 2019 is a welcome outcome driven by the pervasive adoption of technologies that fuel convergence. In the same collaborative vein, I reached out to my network of Red Hat chief architects and chief strategists for some of their 2019 enterprise technology predictions. Join me as I outline the role technology convergence and collaboration will play in 2019.

 “In 2019, we will see increased convergence of the container and cloud/edge/IoT space. Containers will become a dominant workload packaging format and (along with  Kubernetes)  the execution model providing uniformity across cloud/edge and even some IoT devices,” says Red Hat chief architect Matt Smith.

“Container adoption will increase as more folks start using containers as the means to do automated deployments regardless of the infrastructure,” adds Atif Chaughtai, Red Hat’s chief technologist for healthcare.

And therein lies the point. No matter the underlying infrastructure, the adoption of the container platform fosters increased collaboration – first within the enterprise, and then across the firewalls. Technology does not need to be the barrier for enterprise collaboration.

“Edge computing gathered a lot of interest in 2018. There was a lot of hype about what it is and what it can do,” says Red Hat chief architect Azhar Sayeed. “2019 will begin to introduce some deployments of edge computing for low-latency applications in IoT such as smart vehicles (cars, trucks, and trains) in pockets or controlled environments. Additionally, this year will mark some experiences with immersion applications such as gaming, AR, VR, and holographic presence and calling.”

Enterprises will containerize the integration layers of their organizations, with special focus on API management.

Chaughtai notes, “For such deployments to be effective – and ‘smart’ – integration is key. Container platform design patterns are going to mimic that of traditional enterprise integration technologies that were built on OSGI containers concept.”

Red Hat Chief technology strategist Mike Cardy agrees: “In order to accelerate business velocity and agility, enterprises will containerize the integration layers of their organizations, with special focus on API management. Why just applications? Integration can be innovated too!” Amen to that, Mike.

[ Want to help others understand Kubernetes? Check out our related article, How to explain Kubernetes in plain English. ]

 “You can talk containers all you want, but it also helps to be cognizant of the environment where the workloads are deployed,” says Red Hat enterprise architect Tarek Abdelsalam. “Running containers in the private cloud will become dominant in 2019 as organizations are getting smarter about which workloads belong in the public cloud versus which ones don’t. In this IDC survey, 400 IT decision-makers said their organization has migrated either applications or data that were primarily part of a public cloud environment to an on-premise or private cloud solution in the last year.”

The number-one reason for this repatriation? Security. I would also assert that without metrics that can be effectively measured, tracking the ROI on the cloud is challenging, which could also set in motion the reversal of the move to the public cloud for some organizations.

So, where is the technology convergence? This ability to innovate with containers no matter where you are has spawned open enterprise-grade, secure platforms that orchestrate, automate, and manage container workloads across all of these environments. And thanks to the convergence of such platforms, enterprises are poised to collaborate, with a freedom of choice to deploy the workloads where they want. Location transparency allows enterprises to collaborate regardless of where they are running.

[ Learn the do’s and don’ts of cloud migration: Get the free eBook, Hybrid Cloud for Dummies. ]

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