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2015 Predictions: EMC Spins Off VMware, Azure Catches Up to AWS

As we turn the page on 2014 and begin looking ahead to 2015, it quickly becomes apparent that 2015 will not be an ordinary year for IT. Fueled by innovation, new product introduction, advanced services and new marketing tools -- and, of course, mergers and acquisitions -- I expect 2015 to go down in the books as a defining year for technology. Here's a glimpse into what to expect.

Where Microsoft Goes, the Enterprise Follows
Ok, I admit that title is a bit of an exaggeration and intended to get your juices flowing in the comments section. That being said, Microsoft's influence on the enterprise is undeniable; and with its focus on cloud first, Microsoft will continue to invest in more Azure services and continue to close the gap with its No. 1 cloud rival, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

I predict that in 2015 Microsoft Azure will become the enterprise's favorite platform for deploying new workloads, migrating on-premises workloads and developing hybrid cloud solutions. By the end of 2015, Azure will seriously compete with AWS on scale, features and services, user experience and market share.

Microsoft Continues to Expand its Cloud Business
Microsoft will finally change its end-user license agreement (EULA) and its Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) to be more virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)- friendly.

Docker is Here to Stay
There was a lot of buzz about containers, and about Docker specifically, in 2014. In 2015 I predict that Docker and containers will finally cement its place and use case. For those who believe that containerization will eliminate server virtualization, however, I'm sorry to disappoint you. They will co-exist and each have a use case, but containers will be crucial for the cloud; and with Microsoft getting behind Docker, I'll let your imagination predict the rest.

Sensors in Action
We've been hearing about sensors for a few years now, and about the fact that we will find a sensor in pretty much every piece of machinery. I strongly agree with that. To take it further, I think that in 2015 we'll begin to see much more tactical use of sensors, even for small- and medium-sized businesses.

You've all heard the use cases for sensors, but let me give you one that affects every day life and can be enabled by SMBs: grocery shopping. Imagine walking into your grocery store; as you walk through the aisles, the store's mobile application will alert you to discounts and coupons on particular items. Heck, it may even direct you to the exact location of these items on the shelves.

My example covers the front end experience, the user experience; that requires mobile application development, and a verticalized cloud platform to support it in the backend. That will lead to the rise of not only sensors, but also verticalized SaaS applications.

The End of On-Premises Datacenters
Not really, of course, but my exaggeration has a point: it's safe to say that cloud is here to stay, and has overcome skepticism and doubt. In 2015, the focus will definitely be on how to leverage the public cloud as much as possible, and how to integrate on-premises with public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). I also predict that 2015 will be the year of the datacenter "thinning" period, which will last for several years as workloads migrate slowly to the cloud, with only the very valuable workloads remaining on-premises. In 2015, enterprises will focus more on automation and orchestration and on building real on-premises private clouds.

Citrix on the Move
Citrix will have a very busy year from an acquisitions perspective, and also from a new product introduction standpoint. I predict that Citrix will acquire FSlogix and will release a hyper-converged product of some sort. Many months ago I recommended that Citrix acquire Nutanix. I believe that time has come and gone; but had they done that, they would have been ahead of VMware's EVO:RAIL.

EMC Spins off VMware, and VMware Acquires ServiceNow
There's been a lot of talk about this, but I predict that it will finally happen in 2015: EMC will finally spin off VMware. VMware, in turn, will go on a buying spree as it firms up its competitiveness on several fronts. One of the most important goals of this spree will be to beef up vCloud Air and fend off both Microsoft and Amazon, which won't be easy to do.

Now, for the big one: I predict that in order for VMware to capture and enhance its private and hybrid cloud, it will acquire ServiceNow. Service management is a key component of any private cloud, and with ServiceNow's dominant market share, extensive platform and the potential to capture significant services engagement and enhance its own tools, it's the perfect acquisition target to cement VMware's place in the hybrid cloud game.

Do you agree? Disagree? Where am I likely to be right and wrong? Let me know in the comments.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 12/18/2014 at 8:03 AM


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