You asked for it John, so here it is!
In the realm of virtualization, 2014 was a major buzzkill. It's a big indicator of things on the horizon for 2015. From my look back in VCE, I saw a rise in VDI deployments because SSD is cheaper and getting to be commonplace. Lots of talk about network virtualization, but I've seen marginal "real-world use". I really thought a network virtualization provider such as Plumgrid, VMware NSX, Cumulous, or someone else would be leading the charge, but it looks like the technology still needs more time to mature. Give it a few more years. And for me personally, virtualization has lost my mindshare. Some of my VMware certifications have officially expired and the world doesn't need me as a VCDX.
Looking back in 2013, I thought IaaS was going to just be killer. With choices like vCloud Director, OpenStack, AWS, vCloud Automation Center, and more, how could there be anything else we need? Well, the second half of 2014 proved that wrong. OpenStack is a big elephant in the room for me. The value in being able to provision a VM or set of VMs for your application is quickly being diminished by PaaS and Docker. OpenStack's saving grace will be adopting a higher level container strategy to make the VM:Application ratio obsolete. I only need OpenStack to be the foundation for my higher layer pieces. And the first step in fixing that is removing all the complexity needed to deploy and manage a scalable OpenStack infrastructure. OpenStack is supposed to the be the IaaS for developers by developers, but guess what? Operations will have to be the team that needs to support all this so you can focus on application development. So either operations needs to start learning a new skill set, or there needs to be better direction by the Foundation on where to target this platform.
That leads me into my 2015 view. Docker, Rocket, containers, and more. We all know Docker conquered the tech world of 2014. It has packed a punch that have put many on their heels not knowing how their technology is going to stay relevant in the upcoming years. Docker is virtualization on steroids and the fact that it is an OpenSource technology puts many big vendors in a tough spot.
2014 also began the container war between CoreOS and Docker. Both of these companies are now releasing competitive container products and their biggest differentiator is going to be the eco-system products in 2015. We saw this same trend with VMware years ago. VMware creates the VM, then comes vCenter, then comes management and monitoring tools. The same process is happening in the container world at a much faster pace and out in the open. The biggest differentiator is going to be who can make the best "vCenter-like" tool for managing containers across multiple hosts that allow you to deploy scalable applications.
But what about PaaS? Doesn't Cloud Foundry pretty much do "vCenter-like" capabilities? That's true. A lot of that is already built in there today. Cloud Foundry uses containers to host applications and on the loss of a compute node, Cloud Foundry will redistribute and restart those containers on another host. PaaS masks a lot of the dirty details of managing containers and displays it more like an "Application Dashboard" instead of dealing with a "Container Dashboard". There will be two different sides to this argument. There will be the people that will want to have full-blown container management strategy for deployment of applications while others will think PaaS will be good enough. A pure container strategy will have much more flexibility especially for native Docker tooling and geo-dispersed applications. Yet, I have faith PaaS will still continue to grow in 2015 and I'm looking forward to seeing 1.5-2x the attendance for CF Summit. The container and PaaS space is going to grow larger in 2015.
As mentioned earlier, my focus has changed in my career from being a sysadmin to a coder. I know more people will start coding in 2015 and I'm excited to help others learn in that journey. Being a part of EMC Code as a Developer Advocate is awesome. It’s challenging to learn to code if you don’t have an end-goal in mind. Atleast for me, there must be brain sensors that let off fireworks in my brain when my code runs and accomplishes what I set out to do. It feeds that monster and makes me want to learn more. So for me in 2015, I'm looking to take some ideas and put them into reality. Without having an application written, you can't fully grasp what it's like to deploy it using Chef, Puppet, Docker, Rocket, etcd, Kubernetes, Vagrant, Packer, Mesos, Heroku, Deis, Cloud Foundry, or any other awesome Open Source tool that is eating the world!