At the end of every year, pundits of all kinds write articles where they predict the year to come… predictions is playing hardball and going back to look at last years’ forecasts could be fun. Many times predictions are driven more by wishes and feelings than by real analytical approach. So I’m going to avoid potential failure with a post about my wishes, not predictions, for next year:

Openstack distributions

The word Openstack is everywhere but when we start to talk about real life adoption, especially in the enterprise, we struggle to find names and case histories. I think that the biggest problem here is not only the maturity of the stack itself but also the absurd amount of services that you need to buy to get stuff working. Fortunately, things are changing a little bit now that some vendors are beginning to think in terms of distributions. I’m sure that next year we will have some full functioning distributions and, also the rest of us, will be able to download and deploy a small openstack installation. This doesn’t mean that we will see a consistent enterprise adoption but, at least, it won’t remain a game only for few.

Taking advantages from the cloud war

Amazon Vs. Google Vs. Microsoft Vs. someone else. The war began a couple of years ago but it was only a few months ago that skirmishes have changed in maneuvers! All big players are pushing down prices and announcing new products/services on a weekly basis. That’s great, it’s driving continuos innovation (and price cuts) to end users. It’s also clear that commodity cloud services are no more a field where there is space for smaller CSPs, they should evolve or die. 2013 will offer a lot of opportunities to small/medium players to diversify their offering and become more appealing to a first generation of mature cloud customers.

Seamless clouds

The more cloud(s) you adopt, the more cloud management you need. The problem today is that cloud management platforms promise much more than they are realistically capable of doing! Especially when they promise to manage multiple cloud/virtualization environments at the same time. Actually, some vendors are showing interesting approaches but we are far from the elasticity and transparency that you could expect by reading some marketing material. I’m pretty sure that next year we won’t be seeing revolutionary products in this area but, perhaps, some significant steps forward could easily happen.

Hard drive rethinking

Some days ago I was in a meeting with a Seagate representative and he talked about the Hard drives future. The industry is working on a multi purpose next generation hybrid product that couples a small amount of flash to an ordinary mechanical drive. I’m sure you have already seen this before, but here the magic isn’t in the hardware: it’s in the software. The goal is to obtain a configurable hard drive that could change its behavior in function of user needs and that can be instantly optimized for different workloads. Flash usage, rotational speed, cache, spindles, etc. will be managed via APIs! Did you get it? An API based hard drive could open incredible new scenarios in storage landscape. (it could be a topic for a post)

Bottom line

Actually, these are only a few of my wishes, I could continue to write for hours! I think that 2013 will bring us many innovations and there are a lot of hot areas where you should keep an eye on :Bigdata, cloud storage, “API first” approach, and so on. And it’s incredible how all these things are strongly correlated together, more than ever!