Each year begins with one of our favorite traditions: prediction season. These technology-trend forecasts are always insightful, helpful, and in some cases, humorous. Here are some of the predictions for 2015 that stood out:
Prediction: Adaptable Cloud Agendas
Analysts continue to highlight the fact that rapidly evolving cloud technologies have a real material impact on businesses. This is far more important than most people realize. Be prepared. It really is critical that companies have adaptable agendas for technology to help their business capitalize on key changes in core infrastructure. Something as simple as adopting high-performance cloud storage or deploying offsite backups of virtualized infrastructure could have a significant financial impact on their organization’s performance.
Prediction: RESTful Interfaces
As developers increase their desire (and need) to work with services that communicate via RESTful interfaces, it’s worth investigating formal enterprise API management.
Forrester, a leading market research firm, suggests one way to stay flexible in the face of rapid enterprise application evolution is by adding RESTful interfaces for back-office applications.
The flexibility afforded by this approach will enable far more control over upgrade cycles than traditional back-office application developer releases.
Prediction: Security Protocol Enforcement
It’s easy to relax in this area. Don’t.
Most organizations already have security protocols in place. If you do, begin clearly communicating and enforcing them. If you don’t, you should begin working on them immediately.
“There are two types of companies: those who have been hacked, and those who don’t yet know they have been hacked.”
John Chambers, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco
Be prepared for a security breach this year. It will most likely be the result of a common process or governance failure, not due to an application or infrastructure component. Be sure your IT security team is on top of management and perimeter-based processes, as well as current training so everyone knows exactly what to do when something happens.
Prediction: Software Containers
If you don’t already know about software containers (often referenced as Docker), you will. The benefits of well-designed, containered applications are real. More and more companies are using Docker and other container technologies to improve the efficiency of app development, deployment, and management. 2014 saw a tremendous amount of momentum in this area, and it’s only going to accelerate in 2015.
Prediction: Hybrid Clouds
This one has been on the prediction lists for the past four years, and it probably is going to be there for the next few years, too. As enterprise application architectures evolve into services and virtualization deployments, it’s never been easier to use off-prem private and public clouds for compute and storage. Don’t expect to see full-fledged cloud transitions where an entire enterprise is moved to the cloud in one step. Instead, watch out for steady migrations on an application-by-application basis.
Prediction: Disaster Recovery
There are always lots of doomsday predictions. While we don’t subscribe to the doomsday theory, we do see, all too often, situations where infrastructure and applications were not architected to withstand a disaster event. Whether this is a loss of power, a system failure, or a natural event, the result is the same: critical applications and services are no longer available. There are many ways to address disaster recovery. In many instances, a well-designed backup strategy may be more than enough to withstand an outage. Every application has its own service expectations, so be sure to identify exactly how critical each application is and what type of plan is needed: backup, replication, or complete disaster recovery.
Prediction: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack Mitigation
These days, all anyone needs to launch a DDoS attack are a credit card or prepaid debit card and a web browser. It really is that simple. As these “stress testing services” become more prevalent, the volume and sophistication of DDoS attacks will continue to increase, causing more damage than ever before.
It might also be worthwhile to ask your network and infrastructure partner(s) about the tools and processes they have in place to help you in the event of a DDoS attack. If they don’t give clear answers, you may want to consider protection via a third-party provider.
If you haven’t read 5 Key Questions for Selecting a DDoS Mitigation Service, now’s your chance.
Remember: it’s not if you are attacked, it’s when.