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My Big 5 Virtualization, Cloud Predictions for 2013

It is now tradition to kick off the new blogging season with predictions for the upcoming year. Last year I made some pretty good predictions, so let's see if my crystal ball is even more finely tuned for 2013.

The Private Cloudd
This year is, without a doubt, the year of the private cloud. We will see VMware, Microsoft and others make a huge push for automation and orchestration at every level and the technologies resulting from acquisitions made in 2012 by Cisco and others will find their way into products in 2013. I predict that automation and orchestration at the converged infrastructure level will play a major role in data centers. I also predict that Microsoft, VMware and other companies' private cloud solutions will go mainstream, with enterprises rushing to upgrade from highly virtualized environments to private cloud environments.

Converged Infrastructures
Systems from providers like VBLOCK, Flexpod, PureSystems and others will become much more favorable to organizations when they're finally convinced that the speed, agility and support of infrastructures from those providers far outweighs the traditional piece-it-together-myself approach. As pressure is placed on IT to break the 80/20 rule and do more with less, enterprises will start to finally let go of the notion that we must build and start to adopt these converged infrastructures that will integrate with automation and orchestration a lot more seamlessly than the traditional approach.

Software Defined network
While there is a lot of noise and buzz about SDN, this technology will not realistically start to be considered before the last quarter of this year. It will also be slow to adopt and will go through the same cycle of doubt and resistance that server virtualization went through in the early stages, followed by rapid adoption. I predict that VMware will play a major role in this new revolution but I also predict that it will not enjoy the same level of monopolized success as was the case with server virtualization. Players like Cisco, Microsoft, Juniper and others will most definitely weigh in and pick up market share.

Public Cloud
We will see more and more organizations export certain services and technologies onto the public cloud, and we will also find a huge role for the hybrid cloud not only in IaaS deployments but also in mixed services deployments. Take, for instance, unified communications -- we might find elements of this deployment in the public cloud while IT maintains certain aspects on-premise.

End-User Computing
We will continue to see organizations adopting a complete, end-to-end end-user computing strategy with desktop virtualization and mobile device management and mobile application management leading the charge. I think that all the voices that were vehemently opposed to desktop virtualization have started to come around. Citrix is very well positioned to capitalize in this space, while VMware has significant catching up to do in several areas, including, specifically, MDM. For that matter, I predict that VMware will acquire something in this space. If it's smart, it will finally acquire Teradici, which would increase its desktop virtualization offering, considering PCoIP can now connect to Microsoft RDSH. Cisco acquiring a company like Ericom would even be better. The Horizon product would also need to be enhanced in order to level the playing field.

Big Data Analytics
I'm a huge believer in big data analytics -- it will change the world and the way we do things. I think 2013 will amplify the tools and capabilities to use big data analytics in an easier and more streamlined approach, where small and large business will be able to benefit from it.

We can't end the predictions blog without acquisition speculation now, can we? In a nutshell, will be the year of Cisco and HP making some key acquisitions. Cisco would be best served acquiring Citrix, but getting NetApp would also interesting. I predict HP will break up into at least two and maybe even three entities. EMC will make a networking acquisition in 2013, with Arista Networks a very likely candidate even though Brocade would be the better choice. (There are many factors against the Brocade acquisition.) VMware will make a few acquisitions and probably an MDM provider -- possible candidates are OpenPeak or AirWatch.

If Citrix does not get acquired, I predict a quiet acquisition year for Citrix. It has made fantastic acquisitions in 2012, but if they do end up buying anything this year it won't be for end-user computing. More likely, it will be more on cloud and probably something in SDN or cloud security.

Whatever 2013 has in store for technology -- virtualization and cloud computing, in particular -- it will be a great year for innovation. Agree or disagree with my predictions? Let's hear it in the comments section.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 01/07/2013 at 12:49 PM


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