By John Gentry, Chief Technology Officer
When it comes to applications, 2017 threw the idea of “one-size-fits-all” deployments out the window. There is a movement in IT towards more collaborative, cross-functional teams and less specialization overall. Enterprises are demanding an open ecosystem, and vendors will need to fill that demand or risk getting left in the dust. The following predictions for 2018 illustrate a shift in thinking across IT channels, and a focus on application-centricity as the new approach to infrastructure performance assurance.
Moving Beyond the Hybrid Data Center
2018 will bring a shift in thinking as IT managers move away from the hybrid data center and focus their attention on the “hybrid application.” The realization that there are multiple components to a single application, living in different data centers and on different infrastructure types, signals the beginning of the application-centric era. Technology decisions will increasingly be based on the needs of the application, and service level agreements (SLAs) will need to assure application-specific performance.
Shaking Up Workload Placement
Intelligent workload placement will also increasingly drive purchasing and deployment decisions for enterprises that see the value in finding the perfect match for their applications. Previously, deployment decisions were made with minimal understanding of application performance requirements and how they might be impacted by workload placement.
In 2018, we should expect to see a new concept take center stage: application tiering within overall workload placement strategies. Whether applications are tiered by technology or by infrastructure type, this strategy will result in a tighter alignment between application profiles, associated workload behavior analysis and the type of infrastructure supporting the individual applications.
Stepping Back from The Cloud
Cloud repatriation, or the act of pulling workloads that once were deployed in the public cloud back to on-premises or hybrid facilities, has made a significant impact this year. In fact, a recent survey from Enterprise Strategy Group found that more than half of the respondents had already pulled something back from the cloud, and IDG and Datalink found that nearly 40 percent of organizations with public cloud experience have migrated applications from the cloud back to the data center.
Moving into 2018, more enterprises will recognize that not all application workloads are suitable for public cloud deployment. Hybrid or on-premises environments oftentimes offer superior performance, tighter security and better cost control for business-critical applications. The repatriation of these workloads and the redeployment process will continue to shake up the cloud vendor ecosystem.
The Rise of Application-Centric IPM
Whereas infrastructure performance management (IPM) has traditionally collected data from virtual machines, servers and storage arrays, the new era of IPM will focus on the application. This “app-centric” version of IPM provides a different level of visibility into the performance, scalability and optimization of the infrastructure itself and the applications that rely on it.
In 2018, we will see IT organizations embrace app-centric, vendor-agnostic platforms that allow them to move beyond reactive troubleshooting – enabling truly proactive performance monitoring and management.