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As 2014 comes to a close, we asked Red Hat executives and subject matter experts to weigh in with their thoughts on what they expect to see happen in the world of tech in 2015. We’ve grouped predictions from these experts on many topics, including:
  •     Big data
  •     Business of tech
  •     Cloud computing
  •     Containers
  •     Developers and application development
  •     Internet of Things
  •     Mobile
  •     OpenStack
  •     Security
  •     Software-defined datacenter

In today’s post, we’ll highlight big data, business of tech, cloud comuting, and container predictions for 2015. Come back tomorrow for the remaining predictions. And, if you haven’t already, make sure you check out what Red Hat customers identified as their top tech priorities for 2015.

Update: Read part 2 of our predictions here.



The importance of enterprise data scientists
The line between big data and data will continue to blur. CIOs will look to consolidate and integrate traditional data sources (e.g. data warehouses), business analytics with business intelligence dashboards, and data sets with new "big data" technologies such as Hadoop. New disruptive businesses and market segments will be created through big data insights. New data scientists roles will grow significantly including data hygienists to improve data quality, data explorers for data culling, and campaign experts to drive results from data insights. Additionally, the pace of open source based big data innovation will also accelerate and nascent technologies, such as Storm and Spark, will gain adoption.
- Greg Kleiman, director, strategy, Storage and Big Data
Integrating and processing data will lead to competitive advantage. Wearable smart technology like watches and glasses will take off, expanding the IoT and generating even a larger tidal wave of big data. Enterprises that can integrate, intelligently process and make rapid decisions incorporating these data flows into their business will pull ahead. Technologies required to build the requisite IT infrastructure include cloud IaaS and PaaS platforms to enable a flexible and agile base to develop and execute the applications and business processes; highly productive service and mobile application platforms; lightweight, cloud-based integration technologies to bring these data, applications, and business processes together to work in harmony from a customer point of view; and lastly, business process and decision automation platforms that enable rapid automation and modification of the business processes and decisions necessary to provide a higher level of customer engagement.
- Pierre Fricke, director, product marketing, Middleware
Just as the hit show House of Cards was a result of big data analytics at Netflix, new disruptive businesses and market segments will be created through big data insights.
- Irshad Raihan, senior principal product marketing manager, Storage and Big Data



I expect a frothy 2015, with IPOs, acquisitions and investment focused across all of the hot new areas in enterprise tech. At the same time, I think we’ll see some legacy vendors split and shed parts of their portfolios. I wouldn’t bet against seeing more old guard companies go private either.
- Joe Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager, Cloud Management
As technology become more and more ingrained in the operation and future of business, a CIO of a FORTUNE 500 company will become CEO.
- Erich Morisse, director, strategy, Cloud Management
One thing we've already been seeing is that PaaS providers themselves have been changing strategies over time. Docker did this, instead of focusing themselves on just Dotcloud they pivoted to containers. PaaS providers may have lots of tools and frameworks, but they have longer lifecycle requirements. This is what's making it difficult for providers who are focusing solely on private cloud -- a hybrid cloud strategy is the way to go.
- Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift
Increasingly natural, intelligent, and aware systems of engagement and/or interaction platforms drive customer experiences to higher levels. Higher levels of engagement include predictive, contextual, and timely offerings and services even when the customer has not yet indicated his emerging need, but has opted into such advanced services. GPS systems that have real-time traffic, construction, and other delay information guiding people to the fastest—rather than the shortest—route represents an example. Another example could be a local garage that connects a car to an application that analyzes the car maintenance and condition and brings up a list of parts to print on a local 3D printer to preemptively repair the car. A third example would be a travel reservation system that alerts you to cancellations/delays and offers up reworked itinerary options to select in real time while at the airport, before the delay is posted on the local screen.
These systems of engagement build on contextually-aware applications and business processes. An application or business process must be aware and make the right decisions, deliver the right answers or products, and delight customers and users. The systems of engagement are built on lightweight, enterprise-ready, and productive mobile systems, hosted on cloud infrastructure, and integrated with all needed applications, data, and business decision and process automation services required. This is the “secret” to successful customer engagement in 2015.
- Pierre Fricke, director, product marketing, Middleware



Hybrid cloud gains steam.
There is a lot of innovation that's happening in the public cloud, especially with recent announcements from Amazon Web Services and Google. Enterprises look at this and are very interested in trying out the public cloud and, while these innovations are interesting, some may make a commitment to the public cloud and end up isolating their existing investments, reducing customer portability and interoperability across those worlds. There will be more innovation from enterprises as they want to balance the two worlds -- get public cloud and continue to experiment as they move toward a hybrid cloud.
- Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift
More customers will realize that hybrid cloud is the way to go and will need a way to manage it. Going private cloud or virtualized infrastructure only makes them less nimble. Going public is too expensive and incomplete.
- David Egts, chief technologist, U.S. Public Sector
Enterprises will adopt public clouds more in 2015 and will experience some of the benefits of scaling, but also experience the challenges of the public cloud, especially in terms of outages and unpredictable behaviors in performance. The hybrid approach will be deployed more and more--not technically, but rather logically, as in the consumption of more SaaS applications.
- Marco Bill-Peter, vice president, Customer Experience and Engagement
Interest in cloud technology is really becoming global, we’re seeing it’s not just as an advanced phenomenon today, and that adoption will expand further in 2015. There is a lot of interest in public cloud accompanied by concern across the world regarding privacy, and security and regulatory issues, continuing to bolster hybrid clouds.
- Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift
The definition of the word “hybrid” will evolve to mean more than public and private clouds – it will become more common to describe hybrid deployment patterns (physical/virtual/cloud), hybrid service models (IaaS/PaaS/SaaS), hybrid architectures (scale up and scale out), hybrid applications (COTs vs. Custom and new vs. Legacy), and hybrid IT provider models (hosters, MSPs and CSPs, on premise).
- Mark Coggin, senior director, product marketing, Platform
Bare-metal will be a key use case for cloud computing.
Bare-metal will become a top-5 target environment for new cloud deployments.
- Bryan Che, general manager, Cloud Product Strategy
Public cloud wars will continue.
Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will square off in a big way on pricing, service differentiation, and hybrid cloud capabilities.
- Joe Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager, Cloud Management
The new age of ‘Cloud Sprawl’
Cloud sprawl will emerge in 2015 as a major trend in the datacenter. Similar to virtualization addressing server sprawl and subsequently cloud computing addressed virtualization sprawl, the IT industry will enter the age of cloud sprawl. The combination of affordable cloud service provider services and the rise of the line of business IT department resulted in an explosion of numerous small projects housed in private, public and hybrid clouds that has contributed to a significantly larger risk exposure to the enterprise.
- Irshad Raihan, senior principal product marketing manager, Storage and Big Data
IT will learn manufacturing 101
Operational Technology, from manufacturing, will become a "thing" in IT and Cloud.
- Erich Morisse, director, strategy, Cloud Management
Two kinds of cloud workloads
Cloud workloads will bifurcate into two distinct but related categories. One category will be more virtual machine (VM)-centric workloads that are stateful, require isolation from other applications, can share compute resources but may not co-exist well, are infrastructure consolidation-driven (tens of VMs), and are aimed at applications that scale out rather than up. The other category will be container-centric cloud workloads that reside on multiple hosts, require integration and orchestration across hosts, have resource management as a prerequisite, exhibit hyper-density (hundreds or thousands of containers), and are aimed at applications that scale out and everywhere.
- Mark Coggin, senior director, product marketing, Platform
Elastic Storage will enable inelastic applications.
Attracted by the efficiency benefits, enterprises will try to drive as much legacy infrastructure to the cloud as possible with varying success. Legacy applications will continue to prove hard to migrate and will mostly remain where they currently run but they will be re-architected to more easily consume scale-out storage, both on and off-premise, which often proves to be the easiest tier to scale.
- Neil Levine, senior director, product management, Storage and Big Data
IPv6 as the default
IPv6 will become the default tenant access networking option for VM in most clouds.
- Nicolas Barcet, director, OpenStack product management


Container discussions shift from use cases to standards
Application containers will dominate industry discussion in 2015. The conversation will move from "Why containers?" to "How can I effectively take advantage of containers to make my IT more efficient?" Instead of talking about the benefits of containers, the discussion will be on the standards that can help organization make their apps portable.
- Krishnan Subramanian, director, strategy, OpenShift
Container technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes will emerge as de facto standards for containerization and orchestration, respectively, and usher in a new generation of cloud computing solutions.
- Joe Fernandes, director, product management, OpenShift
Containers move beyond the hype
2015 will see containers progress past the hype phase to where organizations realize this type of software delivery has distinct needs for security, updates, and content authenticity, validation, and curation.
- Tim Burke, vice president, Cloud and Operating System Infrastructure
Next year we'll see a lot more mainstream activity around containers, and people asking providers “What's your container strategy.” As a cloud provider basically everyone has to have a container strategy, and a fair amount of skills need to be developed by users and ISV's who need to containerize their applications.
- Ashesh Badani, vice president and general manager, OpenShift
In 2015, IT operations departments will learn about containers and the technology will scare the heck out of them. How do you manage containerized applications? How do you secure them? What about provenance? [Today, Linux containers provide all the things that developers care about but not the things that operations teams care about. In the coming year, we predict that these apps will go from development to production and it will be a day of reckoning.
- David Egts, chief technologist, U.S. Public Sector
Linux containers will deliver on some of the original promises of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) but on a more manageable scale. Standards-based composite applications delivered as microservices but stitched together as an application fabric will become production use cases. Orchestrating these applications across multiple hosts with technologies like Kubernetes will allow for a new class of applications and use cases that deliver resilient architectures that are elastic, scale across geographic boundaries, and can easily respond to changing business conditions.
- Mark Coggin, senior director, product marketing, Platform
Containers will (continue to) change the cloud landscape and win new workloads
Docker has created a lingua franca for application delivery which will force old-school enterprise IT management vendors to compete against open source rivals to make containers useful.
- Gunnar Hellekson, chief strategist, U.S. Public Sector
Container technology will become the enabler for a much broader adoption of public clouds by enterprises.
- Werner Knoblich, senior vice president and general manager, EMEA
Linux containers and Docker will overtake individual configuration management tools as the single most popular technology for deploying applications in the cloud.
- Bryan Che, general manager, Cloud Product Strategy
Linux containers will continue to gain traction within enterprises and be increasingly evaluated as an alternative to traditional hypervisor-based virtualization for new application workloads.
- Joe Fernandes, director, product management, OpenShift
Containers will change business models and offerings from ISVs
A growing number of independent software vendors (ISVs) will begin offering their solutions packaged as certified, portable container images.
- Joe Fernandes, director, product management, OpenShift
Linux containers will open up new business models for software vendors. Traditional license sale/on-premise software vendors will now be able to capitalize on subscription models, app-store like distribution mechanisms, and also have a relatively easy transition to become a SaaS vendor. The modular, trackable, and fungible technology of "containers" will make all of these trends real in 2015. Technological capabilities that exist in other ares such as digital certificates/digital rights management (DRM), application metering, service catalogs including software registry/repositories, and application lifecycle management will all need to play catch-up to facilitate these new business models for ISVs.
- Mark Coggin, senior director, product marketing, Platform
Containerized OpenStack offerings emerge in the market
By the end of 2015, we will see at least one vendor offering an OpenStack product deployed in containers, and deploying only container workloads.
We have already seen community efforts to containerize OpenStack, and container management and orchestration with Kubernetes launched with great momentum during 2014. The next step will be to bring these to market, and I anticipate that we will see someone coming to market with a self-service container deployment platform, running and managing a containerized OpenStack.
- Dave Neary, principal software engineer, Open Source and Standards
Containers collide and open source projects consolidate in 2015.
OpenStack and Linux container technologies will begin to collide and we will begin to see multiple projects aimed at similar approaches consolidate, such as workload orchestration (Heat, Kubernetes, Mesos, Yarn) and service catalogs (Murano, various container index/registries). Another trend will be the containerization of OpenStack services - this will help to address the installation complexities of OpenStack, and also facilitate the building of more complex solutions like high availability and fail-over, workload clustering and load balancing, high performance storage infrastructure, and application autoscaling.
- Mark Coggin, senior director, product marketing, Platform
Image via Artis Rams under CC BY-ND 2.0

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Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver high-performing Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

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