John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace Hosting in San Antonio

John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace Hosting in San Antonio

John Engates, the Chief Technology Officer with Rackspace, has made some predictions for cloud technology trends in 2014.

The cloud ushers in a new era in wearable technology.

Under Armour’s late 2013 acquisition of mobile workout app MapMyFitness and Nike’s continued sponsorship of TechStars Nike+ Accelerator validates that wearable technology is heating up and here to stay. Athletic apparel manufacturers will attempt to catch up with one another in a war for data about users’ exercising habits. This will also continue in other areas such as smart watches, glasses and goggles, and other medical devices. This staggering amount of data generated by the growing number of these devices need to be stored and analyzed somewhere and what better place than the cloud, where it can be seamlessly transferred between device and server? This will also usher in other ecosystems of app developers and plugins as these devices emerge as platforms and APIs are exposed. The vendors that help users make the most of this data will be the winners.

Specialized clouds will emerge in 2014.

Until now clouds generally fell into two buckets: public and private. In the new year, the idea of workloads running where they perform the best will prevail as new clouds that focus on specific application tasks and workloads will rise. There will be a cloud for high I/O needs, CPU performance, GPU, etc.

Open source projects will get even more prevalent and popular.

As the world begins adjusting to new realities around online privacy, developers will gravitate more and more to open source projects where source code is immediately available for anyone who so wishes to check on anything suspicious by inspecting the code directly. The NSA spying scandal and the lack of trust of foreign and even domestic technology will drive more and broader adoption of open source. With the added benefit that the community propels innovation faster, it’s hard not to feel good about the future of open source in this day and age.

IT will soon mean Information Transformation.

More and more enterprises will need to adopt tactics normally associated with startups (e.g.: devops, continuous integration and delivery) in order to handle the need to support ever-changing digital fields such as mobile application development, web analytics and social media. In this transformation, system administrators will need to brush up their coding or get left behind with the legacy applications. Database admins will need to make the jump to Big Data and NoSQL. The enterprise CIO who realizes how to make devops and agile work in their organization will lead the way. This will take root in 2014 and continue to grow over the next 5-10 years as applications are replaced.

Small packages, big time-savings.

Container technology such as Docker and ZeroVM will begin to simplify the way application deployment and portability works, allowing applications to be spun up and down at break-neck speeds. Containers will be used heavily in production starting in 2014 and beyond.