Amazon AWS, Amazon RDS, Azure, Azure SQL Database, Editorials

What Do You See for 2018?

The end of the year (I’m not rushing it, just getting ahead of the curve to get your early thoughts), is when people start thinking through what’s coming up and what to expect.  I’m curious what you would see as the top 3 things or so that you’d expect to see happening in the data space in 2018.  Drop them in the comments below if you have a minute, let’s see how close we can come if we review this later next year.

My initial thoughts are seemingly swarming around the increasing maturity of PaaS and IaaS – with maturity comes acceptance and increasing deployments.  I think 2018 will be the time when it’s much less of a thought process to include hybrid and even cloud-dedicated infrastructure in planning.  I believe it will come to a point where it’s more about the right environment and right tools, and less about *where* they’re located.  This is a big shift from so many I’ve spoken with about cloud, on-premises and hybrid environments.  It seems almost like a religious struggle rather than a technological choice – maintaining control and all of that.

So my first prediction is that it’s just “normal.”  This has all sorts of implications.  From monitoring to troubleshooting to access controls and such – these all need to continue to blur that line between systems so you can use whatever tools you need/like and they’ll take care of normalizing the environment they’re helping you with.  That may be Linux, a cloud-based system, a system in your in-house data center, or more importantly, all of the above.  I think those tools will take away the lines between the different options you have and it’ll be irrelevant where things are housed, it’s just for whatever functionality you require.

My second thought about 2018 is that we’ll continue to have breaches of data stores, but I am hopeful in thinking that the payoff of these breaches will start to subside.  From data masking for normal queries (this can help with injection-type issues), to security and better options as systems mature, I think we’ll start to see more comprehensive encryption, better tools to thwart the incoming attacks.  I can’t even begin to think that they’ll subside, that would be ignorant and silly.  I know that there will always be this active back and forth of tools and protection vs. information and hackers and ill-intent from some that look to steal.

But I think if we can take more and more steps to make it less worth their while to do these things, we’ll start to see some real impact on the hacking of database servers.  I also think, though, that we’re in a very vulnerable spot right now with many versions of database engines out there, sharing information and legacy apps and solutions in place, along with people not yet up to speed on security and things that can and need to be done.  There’s just no way it’ll be a “turn-around” type year, but I do think we’ll make some headway that will be very helpful.  There is a long way to go to do those retrofits and updates and there are so many legacy systems and apps, that the workload is very significant.

Lastly, I think costs will continue to drop.  There is economy in the sheer numbers of resources that are being deployed – shared, or otherwise – and I’m hopeful and anticipate that the hard costs of hosting and such will continue to drop (not to mention the price wars between providers).  I think this will be a boon that will help fuel the first item on the list – the adoption and just acceptance of different options.  But I think people will see the leverage in all of this for their companies and that will feed increasing adoption, which means more cost savings for the providers, and you have a very strong cycle that points to good things cost and functionality-wise.

So what would be your 1 (or 2 or 3) top prediction(s)?  Drop a note in the comments and let’s see what everyone thinks…