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New cloud technologies that will fly high in 2016

For IT pros who are curious about the 'next big thing' in cloud, DevOps, IoT and machine learning are worth a closer look.

At the start of the new year, many IT professionals wonder which new cloud technologies will dominate the market in 2016. Containers were all the rage last year, but what's in store next?

While still an important technology, "the cloud is getting a little old," says David Linthicum, SVP of Cloud Technology Partners, a cloud consulting firm based in Boston. New technologies, such as IoT, machine learning and DevOps are taking center stage, along with open source options for cloud.

In his latest podcast, Linthicum discusses new cloud technologies and other topics with Vishwas Lele, CTO of Applied Information Sciences, Inc., a technical services and consulting firm based in Reston, Virginia.

Which new cloud technologies will be the talk of the market?

"DevOps is certainly very important. My area of interest in the last couple of years has been a lot around machine learning," Lele says, adding that he is especially interested to see how machine learning can play a role in software engineering. Machine learning algorithms, along with predictive analytics, can help developers better understand the features and functions of applications and the IT environments in which they run. Such technologies could expedite the software development process, particularly when multiple programming languages are being used.

Linthicum notes that automation will play a key role in the future of IT, and especially in DevOps processes. But it may take some time for organizations to get DevOps and machine learning off the ground.

"Ultimately there [are] a lot of hindrances and a lot of things that stand in the way. But a lot of those obstacles are falling down," Linthicum says. [3:30 to 8:45]

Is the Internet of Things getting a bit out of hand?

Other new cloud technologies include the Internet of Things (IoT), which could have a huge impact on the IT market. However, some of the use cases we've seen so far seem a little extreme.

"We're getting to this stuff where we have connected egg trays and we have Bluetooth-enabled toilets," Linthicum says. While he sees the advantage of IoT, he questions whether we need to have all these things connected to back-end cloud systems, especially with possible security risks.

But on the other hand, the medical applications of IoT are extremely useful -- such as a toy that can sense when an epileptic child is having a seizure, Linthicum says.

Lele cites an example where a car manufacturer uses IoT to optimize processes on the shop floor, and to make real-time adjustments. "I think the market will shake out, and we will come up with the important use cases," Lele says. [11:45 to 15:08]

Where are we in the journey toward cloud-native computing?

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a Linux Foundation group aimed at creating and driving adoption of a new set of common container technologies, was announced in July 2015. According to the group, "cloud native" refers to applications or services that use containers and microservices, and are dynamically scheduled.

While the Foundation's work could be beneficial, Linthicum questions how long the group will last. "I've seen a lot of these things start up and they just fall on the wayside after a few years, and ultimately it ends up being lots of companies with their own agendas, and they never really get too much done," he says.

Lele agrees that, while it would be good to see different vendors come together to donate code and collaborate on new cloud technologies, it remains to be seen how long the group will last.

"It may be a good thing, but it needs to be seen how well it does," Lele says. [15:10 to 22:04]

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