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NetApp: From cloud, edge computing to containers, the digital economy begins to dominate in 2019

The last decade has coincided with the maturity of the digital economy, and we have witnessed unprecedented data growth rates in the past eight years in particular. Today, we have an unprecedented amount of important data that can not only be used for efficient forecasting in all walks of life, but can also truly be a source of revenue generation and disruptive innovation for businesses.

The last decade has coincided with the maturity of the digital economy, and we have witnessed unprecedented data growth rates in the past eight years in particular. Today, we have an unprecedented amount of important data that can not only be used for efficient forecasting in all walks of life, but can also truly be a source of revenue generation and disruptive innovation for businesses. To keep up with the rapid pace of change in the industry, every business is actively investing in digital transformation to gain the ability to adapt quickly and outperform the competition. IDC White Paper[1]Businesses dubbed Data Thriver in 2018 are three times as capable and profitable as non-data-driven businesses in acquiring new customers. Through digital means to improve operations and products, business leaders can collect and use data to gain insights and help them uncover new business opportunities.

In 2019, enterprises can take advantage of the following four key technology trends to accelerate their digital transformation and become data achievers.

The cloud will facilitate the development of artificial intelligence

AI will become the norm in Asia Pacific, where 55% of businesses in the region have implemented AI or are expanding its use in 2018. In 2019, enterprises are expected to deploy more cloud-based AI software and service tools to ensure high performance and scalability of AI applications in both internal and external environments, and support multiple data access protocols and various new data format. This also requires that the infrastructure that powers AI workloads must be fast, resilient, and automated. While AI is set to be the next battleground for infrastructure vendors, most development efforts will start in the cloud.

Taking Shanghai Paipaidai as an example, by deploying NetApp’s hybrid flash memory solution in its IT infrastructure, its internet finance platform can now use artificial intelligence to process massive amounts of unstructured data and accurately assess users’ credit. Ultimately, Paipidai can better serve underserved populations and safely provide loans to consumers who do not have access to traditional credit scores.

Edge devices will be smarter

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to have 8.6 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices by 2020 and become the region with the largest 5G network in the world by 2025, with 675 million 5G connections. To take full advantage of the resulting trove of data, businesses must have the ability to process data at the edge to gain rapid insights and make real-time decisions. As a result, IoT devices and applications will increasingly have services such as data analytics and data reduction built in to make more rational, faster, and smarter decisions about which data needs to be processed immediately, which needs to be sent back to the core or the cloud, or even which data can be discarded.

Manufacturing will greatly benefit from smarter edge devices. Using IoT devices to process data at the edge, manufacturers can enable predictive maintenance by detecting early signs of equipment failure, which can help prevent failures that hamper production or conduct unnecessary maintenance checks.

For most large enterprises, hybrid multicloud is the default IT architecture choice, while other sizes choose a single cloud provider for simplicity and consistency

By 2024, 90% of the Global 1000 will mitigate vendor lock-in through multi-cloud and hybrid cloud technologies. By adopting technologies such as containers and Data Fabric, these enterprises can move workloads between environments easily and flexibly, while maintaining complete control over those workloads.

For example, Bank of America is using containers for application testing and development. This frees the bank’s developers and infrastructure staff to focus on high-value work without the hassle of managing middleware systems and messaging channels that don’t generate revenue for the bank.

While hybrid and multicloud have many advantages, they are not the IT architecture of choice for small businesses. The reason is that data itself is nowhere near as portable as computing and application resources, which affects the portability of the runtime environment. Also, some cloud services may be unique to a particular cloud provider, which means that such services cannot be ported to other environments.

Whichever path is chosen, businesses need to develop supporting strategies and practices in order to fully benefit from cloud computing.

Data services will be invisible in the background and applications will no longer be migrated

The rise of container technology will drive the abstraction of individual systems and services, which will push IT architects to design with data and data processing in mind to build hybrid multi-cloud data network fabrics rather than just data centers.

With the application of predictive technologies and diagnostics, decision makers are increasingly relying on powerful but “invisible” data services that deliver data when and where it is needed, no matter where it is stored. These new capabilities will also automatically broker infrastructure services in the form of dynamic commodities and move containers and workloads back and forth between service provider solutions that are most efficient for the task.

In Asia, Kubernetes adoption rose by 58% in just seven months in 2018, demonstrating the growing willingness of enterprises to use container orchestration tools. We expect this trend to continue as such tools help simplify the management of containerized applications, which are expected to grow in number as enterprise use of containers and hybrid/multi-cloud becomes the norm Exponential growth.

In 2019, container-based cloud orchestration technologies that support hybrid cloud application development will also emerge. This means that applications will be developed for both public cloud and on-premises use cases, making it easier to move workloads to where the data is generated, rather than porting the data to where the application resides.

In a world that is constantly innovating and changing, it is critical for businesses to be able to turn data into a strategic asset and respond flexibly to changing market demands. Therefore, enterprises should adopt hybrid cloud, container and edge computing to obtain these capabilities and promote business growth in the digital economy.

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