I’m hesitant to make predictions for 2017 because I’ve read the parts of the Old Testament that deal with prophets whose predictions did not come to pass. Perhaps a better title for this post is “Hopes for 2017” or “Thoughts for 2017”.
The Cloud Will Grow
(Filed under “DUH!”) 2016 saw a number of data services introduced and improved in the cloud. I hope the propagation of economies of scale accelerate in 2017; that the cost-savings will continue and continue to be passed onto the end-users. I heard some complaints in 2016 about the costs of some cloud-based services. While I concur that the costs of some services seem high with some bordering on extravagant and some crossing that border, I see pricing as an effective throttle while new services and offerings are maturing (see Supply and Demand).
Automation Will Increase Operational Efficiency
Automation allows one administrator or developer to do the work of many. One of the reasons the cloud will grow is automation. Having worked with computer technology for four decades, I’ve experienced firsthand the efficiency of automation. Automation includes tools that surface metadata and data collected by instrumentation. An entire industry selling support utilities exists and appears to be flourishing.
This is a good thing.
Consider the past: Hundreds of years ago many spent a significant portion of each day seeking food for that day. Contrast that with today (in first world countries), where we spend minutes each day seeking food. IN the US we spend more time actually eating than searching for food. Not having to search for food frees time for other endeavors. The same can be said of database, network, and systems administration. Automation doesn’t actually create time, it allows us to repurpose time. One way we repurpose time is by administering other databases, networks, and systems. That makes each of us more efficient.
My friend and brother Brian Kelley (blog | @kbriankelley) preaches. To we geeks, he preaches about security. Another friend, Steve Jones (blog | @way0utwest) preaches the same message as Brian: Security matters. Data breaches remain too common. I expect more and worse, in part because people using bot-net attacks are ahead of the curve with automation. They are extremely efficient, using hundreds – sometimes thousands – of machines to do their bidding. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create. I would love to see these beautiful minds rise to the real challenge of creating.