A Look Into 2020: What the New Year Will Bring for Data Infrastructure

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As we leave the 2010s behind and enter into the ‘20s, we have the opportunity to look back on the past ten years and look ahead to what is next for the technology landscape. From open source adoption to the rise of cloud-native apps and hybrid multi-cloud deployments, here are seven predictions to take seriously in 2020.

1. Adoption of Open Source Software Will Accelerate

Ten years ago, open source databases claimed 0% of the market. Now open source makes up more than 7%. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that by 2022 more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an open source database management system (OSDBMS) or OSDBS-based database platform-as-a-service. Looking at these numbers, we can clearly see that organizations are increasingly turning to open source database solutions. Even though some database vendors (Redis Labs, MongoDB, Cockroach Labs, and others) chose to abandon their open source licenses for some or all of their core products, market trends indicate that open source database adoption will accelerate in 2020 and beyond.

2. Legacy Database Usage Will Sharply Decline

We know from Newton’s third law that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As such, with the rise of open source databases, we’ll also see a sharp decline in legacy database usage. Businesses of all kinds, including Amazon, are already shutting down their Oracle databases in favor of faster, more scalable, and more cost-effective options. And with the ongoing move to microservices-based applications and cloud-native deployments, we expect to see organizations increasingly turn off their legacy Oracle systems and turn to modern alternatives.

3. Kubernetes Will Cement Its Position as the Default Standard

Containers have risen in popularity and adoption over the years because they help organizations be more flexible, move fast, and gain freedom in their choice of the underlying infrastructure. Great for modern, cloud-native applications (that are largely microservices-based or moving in that direction), containers offer myriad benefits for developers, DevOps teams, and enterprises alike. With containerization rising in the 2010s, Kubernetes has consistently held the leading position as the most widely deployed container orchestration technology. It works anywhere and is backed by a thriving open source community. We expect Kubernetes to cement itself as the default standard in 2020, and innovation of the open source platform to achieve unprecedented heights in the years to come.

4. Multi-Cloud Deployments Will Become the Norm

Many enterprises once wrestled with which cloud strategy to pursue – private, hybrid, or public cloud. If pursuing public cloud, the decision often came down to which provider. But naturally, over time, an enterprise’s cloud strategy has moved from “or” to “and”, resulting in a multi-cloud strategy becoming the norm, where organizations choose multiple different cloud providers for different workloads and use cases. In 2020 we can expect to see this trend continue to accelerate. And with multiple cloud providers being essential to an enterprise cloud strategy, we also expect to see enterprises embrace technologies like distributed SQL databases to help them fully embrace and leverage their multi-cloud future.

5. New Set of Cloud-Native App Stacks Will Continue Rising

A microservices-oriented architecture has risen in popularity as a practical way of enabling development teams to move quickly and independently in order to speed up the pace of enterprise innovation. Developing and deploying these self-contained services provides unprecedented flexibility for each service to use the technology stack – including disparate databases – that makes the most sense for that service, independent of other services that make up the application. As such, a new set of cloud-native application stacks is on the rise, supporting the microservices that are born and reside in the cloud. For example, in the Java community, we see a trend toward the Spring framework to build applications, Kafka as the messaging bus between services, GraphQL for serving APIs and connecting endpoints, and distributed SQL databases to store and query data in a scalable and efficient manner. We expect a new set of cloud-native application stacks to emerge and thrive in the modern microservices landscape.

6. The Number of Geo-Distribution Use Cases Will Increase

Gartner identified distributed cloud as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends in 2020. If we look back to the early stages of cloud, application builders had few zones and regions to choose from in which to deploy their applications. Now, there are many more options available and developers are quickly embracing them. Making applications geographically distributed (multi-zone, multi-region, and multi-cloud) solves very important challenges, including reducing latency to help keep customers happy and aiding regulatory compliance by enabling data to reside where it needs to be. We expect the number of geo-distributed use cases to increase and companies to continue to adopt distributed SQL databases to support their distributed application architecture.

7. Data Security in Cloud-Native Environments Will Remain a Top Priority

With an increasing amount of data spanning multiple clouds and on-premises environments, organizations are responsible for protecting more surface area than ever from data breaches that are damaging to customers and an organization’s reputation. And with the trend toward open source adoption, security is in the hands of both the organization and the open source community. So, what can technologists do to enhance their security posture in an increasingly cloud-native open source landscape? We expect a focus on security to remain a top priority, with even more technology communities and enterprises embracing the playbook followed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and turning to third-party audits to enhance and uphold the highest levels of security.

There has never been a more opportune time to leverage emerging technologies to reimagine the future of data. With these advances, this next decade will prove to be an exciting one if organizations are prepared to embrace new approaches to their data strategies.   

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