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How cloud computing is impacting enterprise architecture

Learn how cloud computing has evolved by reading the top 10 cloud computing articles of 2022.
Clouds seen through tunnel

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Cloud computing is one of the most important topics enterprise architects need to consider in their designs. The cloud's story has evolved over the last year since Chidambaram Muthupalaniappan predicted the cloud architecture trends for 2022. A few cloud topics surfaced this year, including containers, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and tips for explaining your cloud vision to leadership.

[ Learn how to build a flexible foundation for your organization. Download An architect's guide to multicloud infrastructure. ]

In 2022, architects generously shared their knowledge about cloud computing and other technologies with Enable Architect readers. Below, I'll describe some of the most exciting areas of cloud computing, using some of Enable Architect's most-read cloud computing articles of 2022 as examples. They help illustrate how cloud topics and discussions have evolved and where we are headed.

Fostering expertise and knowledge

Do you know who you're working with? What untapped potential do your colleagues or neighboring teams have? Have you explored your skill set and how you can best leverage your expertise to build robust architectures, especially in a way that drives value? When designing solutions, cloud solutions architects must balance the technologies they know to be effective with what the organization truly needs, as Marjorie Freeman explained in 3 lessons for aspiring cloud architects.

Strong communication is one thing, and once you get the right people in the room to talk strategy, your first task is to identify the problem you're trying to solve. A solution is only as good as its design, and a core aspect of architecture is assembling the teams responsible for bringing all elements of the architecture together. A Center of Excellence (CoE) is one way to make healthy collaboration and innovation happen. A CoE is defined as a team "that provides leadership, best practices, research, support, or training for a focus area."

A CoE scales the migration and transformation of internal business applications across the organization. The result is a dramatic increase in the consumption of hybrid cloud platforms in a scalable, secure way that will serve as an exemplary showcase. Drew McMillen shares more in his article 4 steps for creating a center of excellence (CoE) in your organization.

[ Discover ways enterprise architects can map and implement modern IT strategy with a hybrid cloud strategy. ] 

5G telecommunications and the cloud

Pairing the enormity of the cloud with the power of 5G unleashes a wealth of opportunities for facilitating real-time data streaming. In How to use cloud hyperscalers to handle 5G traffic demand bursts, Fatih Nar and Brandon Jozsa share how to garner the advantages of a hybrid cloud in a 5G environment. "A 5G architecture that uses hyperscaler resources, rather than expanding your infrastructure, helps you handle temporary traffic bursts without permanent capital expense," they write. The authors describe several ways to address this and make recommendations for a decision flow.

Telco cloud is one example of a robust 5G-supported cloud infrastructure. How to modernize 5G operational and business support systems for the cloud by Fatih Nar, Ishu Verma, Aviv Guetta, and Patrick Farley sheds more light on how cloud-ready operational support system (OSS) and business support system (BSS) architectures can help telco network operators modernize 5G and 6G communication solutions.

OSSes are information-processing systems that manage communications networks. These systems allow an organization to coordinate customers, services, resources, processes, and activities. A next-gen OSS and BSS can help network operators efficiently and reliably provide existing services at a lower cost and offer new services with better revenue models for enormous numbers of subscribers, devices, terminals, and machines.

Cloud operations and architecture

In What architects need to know about managed Kubernetes, Markus Eisele evaluates use cases for a managed cloud platform. "When you talk about managed Kubernetes, it's essential to understand that there's more than just the underlying orchestration implementation that's important to a successful implementation. When you pay attention to all the relevant requirements and extend the scope to everything required for modern, cloud-native solutions, you can prevent many mistakes and set yourself up for success early," he concludes.

In Deploying multicluster Kubernetes applications with GitOps, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Prada describes how to standardize and centralize critical functions in multicluster applications across hybrid multicloud environments. Jose also shares multicloud deployment challenges with notes on addressing an application's lifecycle and the corresponding governance.

Cloud services help organizations take advantage of the cloud more cost-effectively. 5 things architects should know about cloud service providers by Seth Kenlon lists things architects need to look for when choosing a cloud provider. Kubernetes, an open source mindset, and using Linux are some of the factors. "Find a cloud service provider that does exactly that: provides a cloud. The platform you run on that cloud and how you interface with it are up to you and your organization's needs—now and later. Keep the cloud dynamic, and keep it open," Seth says.

[ Plan your next cloud project based on your current cloud results. ]

Data and AI

What does the future of cloud technology look like? The impact doesn't stop with organizational technology needs. A few authors provide glimpses of the possibilities.

Sustainability is increasingly important. The dominant challenge in this context is finding the correct data to make the best decision. In How open source is unlocking climate-related data's value, Erik Erlandson looks at the Open Source Climate Initiative (OSCI), which tries to solve this problem with an open source mindset.

Francesco Murdaca, Tom Coufal, and Vaclav Pavlin collaborated on How to build and operate cloud-native AI with Open Data Hub. They highlighted the importance of using a lightweight platform to run artificial intelligence (AI) and how a standardized component like Open Data Hub can help. They say, "working openly with the community to identify issues and improve overall systems boosts productivity and reduces time to provide solutions and deploy AI applications safely."

What's next?

Cloud adoption? It's more like what's next for the cloud, as hybrid work has driven cloud-based services and infrastructure into the mainstream. For now, it seems that many organizations have already integrated the cloud into their enterprise architecture strategy.

But we live in uncertain times amid many critical situations. War in Ukraine, climate change, Covid and related supply chain disruptions, and cybercrime have impacted many. We must make our societies and companies more resilient to those situations. The IT systems we depend heavily on must evolve to adapt dynamically to changes while still meeting our needs. To stay on top of these and other challenges, architects and other innovators must keep pushing forward, designing the most resilient and future-proof architectures possible.

We will see if those topics will play a role in next year's review of 2023. I look forward to finding out, and I hope you do too.

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Topics:   Year in review   Cloud  
Author’s photo

Axel Saß

Axel is a Chief Architect for Red Hat FSI in Germany. After obtaining his business administration degree in Kiel, Germany, Axel worked as a consultant for mainframe development strategy and tools. More about me

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