The consumerization of IT started with the rapid adoption of the smart Tablet by companies like Apple with the iPad. The corporate workforce wanted their IT to work with the ease of use they experienced with the iPad and one-click or one- touch applications. Applications on demand from the free iTunes platform started a revolution of transforming how users interact, and rising expectations pressured IT to keep up. That transformation has led to Shadow IT, where non-IT departments started consuming virtual server workload resources in the form of cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. This was done to get around perceived hurdles in user experience and time to market.
The next round of technology is expected to change the digital world as we know it in many ways. They are ranging from advancements in artificial intelligence to more secure cloud computing, private on-premise cloud cost parity, automated workloads and more. Here are the next technologies you might expect to get commoditized in the near future.
The Future of Server Technology
Servers are already highly commoditized, and vendors are now differentiating in terms of the application of form factors, out of band management tools, support and power consumption. While highly optimized and infused with premium technologies that enable businesses to operate at superior levels, further consolidation is likely to occur. Though there is always room for advancement, and server-less computing is utopia, the in-house or on-premise servers are not going away. They are, however, becoming more commoditized in terms of parity and performance expectations.
Traditional cloud environments for the most part still run virtual workloads and the hyperscale public cloud providers are still consuming physical servers at a high rate, based on pricing and availability. As the software community develops next generation applications, they do so more by using containers and developing to a cloud native standard. This allows the freedom to ignore underlying operating systems and hardware. A cloud native standard is particularly beneficial for developers as they’re able to focus their attention on their expertise, instead of worrying about the operating systems and servers, or the management and provisioning aspects.
The change to server-less technology is the result of developers beginning to divide applications into smaller micro-services, which can operate in lightweight containers. This change enables function-as-a-service (FaaS) computing, which is anticipated to replace the need for most traditional servers used today. Make no mistake, servers are not going away, they are just moving to a more transparent and commoditized part of the IT stack.
What Corporate Desktops?
The landscape of the client workstation and notebooks in business has been under pressure for over a decade with consumer-grade devices abundant in the workplace. Operating systems are moving to subscription models, applications started moving to subscription years ago, and next, we will see more of our devices application move to these models as well. and the device’s applications have typically run on are also moving to as-a-service models, like Desktop as a Service.
Supply and demand are going to determine the future of most end user clients. Security, however, is still a battleground for innovation in the market, where vendors are now fighting over who has the most secured or the most ‘private’ device for conducting work. When we think of the mobile worker, we see notebooks, tablets and smart phones, not only abundant on office floors but also in coffee shops, restaurants, fitness centres, subways, trains and planes. The digital and social footprint of where our employees work and interact with others has changed rapidly. What may save the corporate PC or notebook from further commoditization, is security. To the vendor with the most robust secured end user productivity device will go the spoils.
The next desktop technology to be commoditized is the virtual desktop broker. With more and more applications moving to browser SaaS based access, the need for fat clients like a PC or Notebook are becoming less and less a requirement. Consumer tablets and even some smart phones are becoming good enough to run corporate applications on. Even at Zycom we demonstrate using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology on most smart phones…if we squint hard enough. Look for more competition and more parity in the VDI broker solutions available in the near term.
Hypervisor is Next
Consolidation in the Data Centre can be largely attributed to the hypervisor. The hypervisor makes it possible to share server hardware with multiple applications, each running on their own operating systems. This led to maximum utilization for server hardware investments and soon led to increased availability and resiliency of applications using hypervisor innovation.
Fast forward to 2019; multiple hypervisors are on the market with very similar features and price points. Some hypervisors are very low cost, even free, and are enterprise-grade by today’s standards, and some are good enough. VMware continues to enjoy the market share, but competition is shared, shifting that dominance away with the choice.
Hypervisors have become centric to most virtual server workloads and are a pre-requisite in most cases to migrating a workload to public cloud. Hypervisor to cloud compatibility dominates discussions for hybrid cloud but no one ever asks how the public cloud giants are running their virtual workloads. Why? Because you do not need to know how in most cases. For that reason, public cloud has driven the highest amount of hypervisor commoditization in the market.
Layer in hyper-converged or software-defined into the mix, and you see solutions that are hypervisor agnostic. Why agnostic? The market demands choice and one hypervisor over another may be very similar today, but customers still drive choice based on experience, training and a willingness to change.
For more information on how commoditized technologies can benefit your business, visit Zycom.