Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, September 28, 2020
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COVID’s ‘Next Normal’ Fueling Cloud Migration 

The pandemic’s impact on how and where enterprise IT infrastructure is deployed remains an open question, with datacenter backers arguing security doubts will keep corporate data on-premises while cloud advocates insist COVID-19 is forcing the migration of more workloads out of datacenters.

The uncertainty is among the reasons some public cloud vendors are hedging their bets with hybrid cloud offerings.

Among the latest surveys on the pandemic’s effect on enterprise IT is a poll released during this week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe Virtual Event. The survey commissioned by DevOps automation specialist Codefresh found that COVID-19 is at least prompting a reconsideration of on-premises infrastructure strategies.

The vendor survey released on Tuesday (Aug. 18) found that 58 percent of those polled are moving some infrastructure to the cloud in response to the pandemic. Of those, 17 percent are planning to move their entire software stack to the cloud.

Meanwhile, 75 percent said the pandemic has convinced them to move at least some infrastructure to the cloud, “representing a dramatic shift in strategy and further adoption towards the cloud,” Codefresh asserted.

Those findings differ from earlier surveys that uncovered lingering security and reliability concerns about a wholesale shift to the cloud. For example, an annual survey by the Uptime Institute released last month found that more than half of enterprise workloads are expected to remain in-house through 2022.

Meanwhile, a separate study released this week by business consultant Deloitte reports that cloud computing was cited by 80 percent of respondents as a “most relevant” technology as part of a “next normal.” An equal number cited cybersecurity. Investments in cloud and other digital technologies cloud “increase business agility, improve competitiveness and better prepare organizations to persevere, and position them well for the post-COVID environment,” the Deloitte study concludes.

If a pandemic-driven migration to the cloud does unfold, DevOps teams are expected to become even busier deploying cloud-native applications and services. Hence, the Codefresh survey forecasts a rise in DevOps budgets through the end of the year. Nearly three quarters of those polled said they are increasing DevOps spending, while more than half expect budgets increases of at least 25 percent.

Part of that increased spending is aimed at automating steps in the application development workflow. However, two thirds of engineers said they spend an inordinate amount of time fixing bugs in the very automated systems designed to ease their burdens.

That reality underscores the need for enterprise development teams to do their homework before selecting a DevOps automation stack, the vendor survey notes.

Despite growing skepticism about the across-the-board utility of the Kubernetes as well as ongoing security concerns about the cluster orchestrator, the Codefresh survey also found that 73 percent of respondents expect to use it for new cloud projects. Meanwhile, 75 percent have either deployed Kubernetes or expect to soon.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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