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Well, hello 2022 and looking forward to MLOPS, AIOPS & more on SRE

2021 — The year of Kubernetes, Cost Optimization, Infrastructure Automation and evolution of Chaos Engineering

The year 2021 saw businesses demonstrate resilience as a theme, as they tried to get back to normalcy. In the technology sector, with a majority of people continuing to work from home, security remained a critical priority to mitigate risks from cyber threats and attacks. Agile practices and DevSecOps are required to quickly and efficiently meet the evolving customer demands.

At CloudifyOps, we did a lot of interesting work on multi-cloud deployments, migration of workloads to Kubernetes, GitOps, single to multi-tenant Architectures, DevSecOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) across Cloud and DevOps in the year gone by. While some of these areas will continue to trend in 2022, we also foresee new focus areas for enterprises and startups.

  • Cost optimization was a key challenge:

Cloud offers flexibility in resource allocation and utilization and is a significant advantage for businesses with varying data usage. There are quite a few challenges that arise with migrating to the cloud, requiring visibility to the utilization of deployed resources. By understanding the current and historical utilization trends, businesses can restrict unnecessary billing at the end of a month.

It is typically difficult to create accurate cost estimates for cloud spending. With the right estimate of cloud infrastructure required and insights into how best it can be utilized, organizations can derive maximum value offered by the deployed resources.

We worked with many customers in the past year to bring down their costs by 18–35% on AWS and Azure. By implementing Continuous Integration/ Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) processes, we eradicated manual error-prone deployments, promoted healthy release cycles, and enabled near-real-time insights into platform usage. The overall cost reduction for our customers is significant in the long run.

  • 2021 was a year of Kubernetes

Cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes and serverless, among others, were adopted more in the past year, as was also noticed among our customers. Organizations are moving to the cloud to enable faster and more frequent delivery. This makes security vital and requires it to be adaptable to the speed with which new tools and processes are embraced.

Automation with Kubernetes has significantly quickened deployments for our clients and reduced manual effort hours for the rehydration/cluster-rebuild process. Our engineers have worked on multiple tools that aid in easy deployment and management of Kubernetes, like Helm Charts for deployments, Rancher for managing multi cluster Kubernetes Deployments, Consul to solve networking and security challenges, Vault for managing passwords and Prometheus to monitor the containers. Managed Kubernetes such as Azure Kubernetes Service, Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes and Google Kubernetes Engine, made it more so easier for the engineers to deploy and maintain Kubernetes cluster for multi-cloud setups.

  • Multi-Cloud Deployments

It has been a slow but steady shift from hybrid cloud deployment to multi-cloud deployments. While hybrid cloud deployments are still the go-to choice for large enterprises with a huge dependency on legacy systems, it is the newer SaaS-based startups that are more focused on multi-cloud deployments. Multi-cloud deployments have helped product companies deploy their services on any cloud and test them before presenting the services to their customers. This has worked very well for customers in the financial sectors, specifically in banking, where data colocation is a major concern.

Multi-cloud architectures are chosen for a variety of reasons. For some, multi-cloud is about avoiding lock-in to a particular cloud service provider (CSP). Others want to leverage the best capabilities of each CSP. Disaster recovery / high availability scenarios also require running the same service across multiple regions and cloud providers.

At CloudifyOps, we were able to solve the Networking and Security complexities of a multi-cloud deployment. We used implementation frameworks that maintained operational and functional consistency across cloud platforms and modernized enterprise security framework and governance services. For monitoring, we build a console with Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana + Grafana + Prometheus with other tools and in-house frameworks to provide a unified view of resource health and security.

  • Infrastructure automation (IA)

Automating manual repetitive tasks is core to a business’s success. Releasing resources (that may be expensive at times) from tedious tasks leads to higher productivity among teams and removes risks associated with human errors. This sets the path for innovation and customer satisfaction ultimately.

IA will be a key focus area for improved efficiency and optimization. By adopting IA tools, DevOps teams can increase their agility and improve their velocity while limiting disruption that can happen when adapting to new technology platforms.

Terraform has been a key skill for automation engineers at CloudifyOps. Version controlled Terraform scripts for different environments have been implemented for most of our customers in the past year.

2022 — The Advent of GitOps, MLOPS, AIOPS… May be NoOps or ZeroOps

Continued focus on Machine Learning Operations (MLOPS) and Artificial Intelligence Operations (AIOPS)

Gartner, in its Top 10 data and analytic technology trends earlier this year, had noted that businesses will start to understand the true potential of XOps, which comprises DataOps, MLOps, ModelOps and PlatformOps. XOps aims to achieve efficiencies and economies of scale using DevOps best practices and ensure reliability, reusability and repeatability. It also reduces technology and process duplication, thereby enabling automation.

MLOps aims at using DevOps practices (such as CI/CD) to continuously train machine learning models. AIOps allows automation to deal with the rising multi-cloud complexity. By leveraging AIOps as part of the DevOps tool chain, businesses will be able to leverage automated operational feedback from AIOps tools.

An IDC report released in 2020 noted that companies will likely shift towards autonomous IT operations by 2023. Achieving these objectives will require aggressive integration of proactive AI/ML powered analytics, adoption of policy driven automation, and greater use of low code, serverless workflows to enable consistent self-driving infrastructure.

While we are already doing a lot of work on GitOps, MLOPS and AIOPS would be the focus areas in the forthcoming years.

  • Strengthen the Managed Services Operations team further to take up more SRE-based projects

SRE has been around for some years now. SRE practices have gained considerable acceptance over the past year and are only set to gain more prominence in the next couple of years. A LinkedIn research article endorses that SRE is and will continue to be closely connected with DevOps as a practice. With an increasing number of critical applications moving to cloud-native technologies, businesses must make operational changes to handle the applications.

Chaos engineering is not about chaos, as the name suggests. It is about reliability, and learning how best to limit chaos by carefully simulating problems in controlled environments to collect useful data for making systems more robust and resilient. SRE is a broader concept as compared to chaos engineering and will only gain more relevance for companies in the years to come.

CloudifyOps is an AWS Select Technology Partner and we are exploring our Azure and Google Cloud Platform partnerships. In 2022, we will focus on building our experience and strengthening our capabilities with the leading CSPs, to offer sophisticated, customized and scalable solutions to our customers across diverse industries.

We are looking forward to supporting our customers, both current and new, on their digital journeys in these exciting areas mentioned above. We believe there are significant opportunities in DevOps and cloud that businesses should take advantage of, to reach newer successes. To know more about how we can help you, visit our site.

References:

https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3982411/how-to-manage-and-optimize-costs-of-public-cloud-iaas-an

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-03-16-gartner-identifies-top-10-data-and-analytics-technologies-trends-for-2021

https://techbeacon.com/app-dev-testing/future-devops-21-predictions-2021

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46963620

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/devops-takes-off-site-reliability-engineers-flying-high-jason-kong

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