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Tech Trends & Predictions 2021 – Cloud

January 05, 2021 | 28 min 30 sec

Podcast Host – Madhura Gaikwad, Synerzip

Podcast Guest – Vinayak Joglekar, CTO at Synerzip

Brief Summary

Like everyone in the tech industry, we have done our own research on what technologies will be under the limelight this year, which has been cited as the year of innovation, recovery, and renewal.

Cloud remains the primary focus for businesses based on our technology survey and the research conducted by experts such as Gartner, Forrrester, and Forbes. Businesses continue to invest in cloud as they try to accelerate digital transformation and increase accessibility for remote teams.

Tune into the first episode of this 3-part series where we gain the perspective of a CTO on cloud as one of the top technology trends in 2021. Vinayak Joglekar, CTO at Synerzip, talks to us about:

  • Accelerated cloud adoption
  • Hybrid cloud models
  • Edge computing to fasten decision-making
  • Prioritization of Cloud security
  • Cloud and 5G in 2021

For more insights on technology trends and predictions, download  – 9 Technology & IT Trends and Predictions 2021

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Podcast Transcript

Madhura Gaikwad:

Hello, and welcome to ZipRadio podcasts powered by Synerzip. I’m your host Madhura Gaikwad. And I’m joined today by one of our guests, Vinayak Joglekar, who is our CTO at Synerzip. In today’s episode, I’m going to chat with Vinayak about the technology trends and predictions for 2021. Like everyone in the tech industry, we’ve been doing our own research on what technologies will be under the limelight this year, which has been cited as a year of innovation, recovery, and renewal. So welcome onboard Vinayak. And thank you for joining us today.

Vinayak Joglekar:

Thanks Madhura. Thanks for the introduction. You know, I’m really excited about 2021. 2020 was not really a good year that one could look forward to given the COVID situation and all that. But, uh, 2021 is a really exciting year. There is so much to talk about the trends in 2021 that let’s divide and conquer by talking a little bit about cloud today. And particularly since we are advanced partners or AWS and as Azure partners. So we should focus today’s conversation a little bit on cloud, and then we could have another episode to talk about other things. Would that be okay? 

Madhura Gaikwad (01:35):

Absolutely. That completely makes sense. And since we have a lot to talk about, we’ll just get started right away. So my first question to you, Vinayak, is that cloud has been highlighted in every 2021 prediction of tech trends, such as Gartner, Forrester, Forbes. And we’ve also validated it through our own survey where our respondents said that the top skills that they will focus on in 2021 will be around AWS. So what do you have to say about this?

Vinayak Joglekar (02:04):

Yeah, so, you know, cloud has been the, you know, cutting edge or, uh, you would say for many years now. So firstly saying that cloud will be at the forefront it’s a no-brainer like, it has been there for many years now, so it’s going to continue, but what has changed? So let’s look at what was happening. So in terms of adoption of cloud, there are many enterprises who were kind of just sitting on fences or paying lip service. If you will. They were not really going there though. They kept saying that they wanted. But this 2020 Covid thing has now forced everyone to not sit on the fence anymore. So now they have to, so it’s like a ‘now or never’ kind of situation for many industries. Take retail, for example, like, I mean, the restaurants are closed. Now you have to think of your business differently. Restaurants can’t be the same that they were and delivery, for example, takes precedence over traditional restaurants.

Right? And you have cloud kitchens. There are many businesses who don’t look like a restaurant at all. It’s just a kitchen connected to cloud. So that’s where, you know, the business models are changing. Take retail. For example, if you don’t see people going out for shopping, it is materially can say irreversibly changed habits of people. People have started buying online. And that is the norm that is the default now, before one would go shopping only if you know something like a Garment or something like a fashion accessory where you can’t really judge, unless you wear it. And, you know, look at yourself in the mirror of some of those things won’t change, but you know, commodities, groceries and things, which are like, you know, don’t really require much of decision-making. They will all move to the cloud. So that’s their default model. So, you know, it was already happening, I would say, but this has been like one would say, we have just crossed a tipping point and now it’s become mainstream. So earlier the default model was the brick and mortar shop or the brick and mortar restaurant. Now the default model is changing. So that’s the big difference that I’m really excited about. Healthcare, for example, I’ve seen a lot of doctors there wary have patients coming in because they themselves have to protect themselves. So they are doing a lot of telemedicine. Now you can have a zoom call with your physician and ask him and he’ll send you the prescription via email. And so all those things are totally a different way of working. And I think a lot of material has already been published on this, the business cycles are becoming faster because of this. Because you don’t have to really wait for, to get to a particular location, physically get to there by traveling there, the decision once it’s made in your mind, it’s just a click away for you to execute on their decision. So overall, I think there’s going to be more of that in 2021 and that sort of I’m excited about.

Madhura Gaikwad (05:28):

And, uh, so this pretty much, uh, will continue. We’ve seen this a lot in 2020, and this will of course continue in the coming year. So based on that subject, as we are on that subject, let’s talk about the upcoming trends in cloud, such as hybrid cloud and distributed cloud. You know, we are listening and watching and reading everywhere about these hybrid and distributed cloud such as on-premise, public cloud, IOT edge cloud, and metro area community cloud. So anything you want to share with us about those?

Vinayak Joglekar (05:59):

Yeah. So they say that every cloud has its silver lining, right? It is something like that. It’s the edge of the cloud that is going to bring in new innovation. So of course there will be continuity in terms of what you see in the mainstream cloud. There will be elastic services such as AWS EC2 or S3 and traditional Lambdas and EKS. And all of that is going to continue. There is not going to be my change in terms of that, but it’s the IOT and IOT Greengrass, particularly that is going to and similar services by other cloud providers like Azure, Google cloud service, or Alibaba. These are, you know, I’m going to talk a little bit in terms of AWS because that is closer to my heart, but there are similar services available. So the listeners should not take the brand as the constraint. I can say that every brand will have its own offering in this area. So coming to what’s going on here is there are two reasons why hybrid cloud makes sense. One is the, you know, the way people are used to having their own data on-prem, security concerns, particularly for the healthcare and fintech sectors, they need to have a part of their data and their application residing on their own private cloud. So that is something which has been made possible because last year, or even before, there has been a way that the clouds operate uniformly. So let me explain a little bit, what is happening is that Kubernetes, for example, has become the de facto standard for most of the microservices, which are running, whether it’s Azure or AWS or on any other cloud. As a result what has happened is that if you build an application that runs on containerized application, which is microservices based, and it can be easily migrated from your private cloud to a public cloud and vice versa.

So really speaking, you could have a company such as soon as a building your application use on the public cloud, and then you could easily take it from there and with a push button deploy it on your private cloud. So really speaking that there was some level of resistance or some level of difficulty that was involved earlier in building applications, which were hybrid in nature, but now it has become so easy because of this underlying common, you can say orchestration framework and the common model of building containerized services. So that has made it possible. So this is one thing that definitely is the trend. The second is in terms of edge computing. So edge computing, lot of devices, particularly with IPV six becomes the norm, which is this. So in which case, there will be millions of billions of devices. So imagine Madhura, what happened when we went from the, you know, the IT industry was focused mainly on the laptop and desktop computers.

And that’s where the number of devices was limited. Like, and then when the mobile revolution happened somewhere 10, around 10 years back, certainly the number of devices that were connected increased many fold and totally new types of applications came into being. Now the same thing is going to happen again, there is going to be a hundredfold increase in the number of connected devices, because everything now, whether it’s your toaster or refrigerator, I mean it’s a cliche, but then figuratively speaking, everything will be connected. So the same type of revolution that we saw when the mobile devices came to the mainstream 10 years back. The same thing is going to happen. I mean, will repeat itself now, and that is going to make it possible for you to do a lot of computing at the edge. So this is something which excites me a lot because at the end edge, I’m currently using a postcard size, just half an inch by half an inch processor.

There’s a built-in radio and a modem that which is, you know, underneath, I can slip in a SIM card and it can connect using 5g. And I can write Python code to run on and do a lot of crunching. It has its own file system, right? Instead like a, you know, you could be 300, 400 meters away from the hub and it can connect to hundreds of search devices, maybe in a plant or anywhere. So the decisions can be pushed to the edge, right? So there is no heavy lifting required. You don’t have to take their data, take it from the edge, then put it on the cloud and then run your decisions and then communicate those back to the edge. Right? So here, what is going to happen is you capture the data there. You would just push the decision model to the edge.

And the decision model will be applied, whatever you cam use, machine learning, artificial intelligence to build that model, but push that model to the edge and all the decision-making will happen at the edge so that, you know, a lot of that heavy lifting traffic that used to happen that is not really needed. So it’s very exciting 5G. Yes. I mean, the story is not complete without talking about 5g. 5g is going to make it possible for you to communicate using, Imagine having a device that is able to communicate, let’s say in real time, video streams across to the cloud from the edge. So there’s a camera sitting somewhere and then that camera in real time send streaming data. So upload speeds using 5g. So, you know, currently you just don’t get those kinds of speeds using 4G. So this is going to make a big difference once the 5g network applications, which are at the edge, which are communicating back to the cloud, using 5g and IOT, Greengrass is another thing where it works the same way it would work.

I mean, if you write a Lambda or a serverless function on the cloud, it works on the cloud, it works at the edge. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel it’s as if the cloud functionality that you’re so comfortable with. If you’re happy with that, if it is available, when you are connected to the cloud, it’s available when you’re not connected also at the edge. So that is a different type of edge where you have processing at the edge computing happening, maybe using small computers, like raspberry pies, or you might use Arduino boards or whatever. I mean, there’s a number of these processes that are, so I think, as I said, silver lining at the edge, right. That’s how I would describe 2021. So look at the edge and that’s their silver lining. You’ll see a lot of activity in that area.

Madhura Gaikwad (13:26):

So it says Forester. So it says Gardner. So that makes complete sense as to how 2020 will be enlightened with edge computing and how everything is going hand with edge computing, like 5g and facilitating the use cases for edge. So, yes, which brings me to our next question. Vinayak, do you remember, we talked about how serverless will become mainstream in the coming year. And we recently even had a Zipchat with analysts from AWS, an alchemy, but we had, you know, a topic about how serverless technologies, the adoption of serverless technologies, the challenges, the benefits. So how do you see serverless becoming mainstream in the coming year?

Vinayak Joglekar (14:07):

Yeah, so, you know, whether it is  serverless or it is consumer data services, these are all progressions in the value chain, right? Initially we used to have just virtual servers or easy two instances if you will. And that was the way people were happy with their operating. Then with EKS, you had containers and or GKE, you had containers, you’re stopped worrying about instances. And instead you are deploying your applications in containers. You know what that abstracted away, a lot of headache that caused there or managing the environment, configuration, scalability and those so many things which are taken care of, you know, why even that. So, serverless is the next progression in the same value chain there, why even bother you over containers and all that. You write your code and zip it and upload it. And then, you know, the provider, whether it is a Google or whether it is AWS, they will take care of it and you will have serverless functions.

Vinayak Joglekar (15:16):

So that is going to be increasing because it makes a lot of sense. First of all, it’s scalable and you don’t have to worry about a lot of, you can say DevOps stuff. So the amount of hours, one would spend on building your deployment files, and then all of that and thinking about it, designing all that is there because then you just don’t have to worry about it is, are taken care of by the provider. So that is, and also the earlier I talked about using the same paradigm also at the edge. So you can very seamlessly migrate your applications from cloud to the edge because it’s the same serverless architecture that works. And, you know, even clients such as Alexa, they connect directly to your, uh, cloud, right? And they will directly talk with these serverless functions or Lambda.

So your clients on the client side are also now martyr and they expect a serverless function and not an end point like a microservice or something. So on the whole everything, including the client side, as well as the server side, they both are moving up the value chain. So this is a progression, same thing. I’ll take a little bit of time and talk about the data services. So initially when we start working on the cloud, we used to have just dead storage, S3, data Lake, or whatever, object storage, you dump your files or whatever, that’s just your storage. And there was no real value addition. But then, you know, now you have Redshift, and then you have a Snowflake and you have a number of other value added managed services available on top of that. So you don’t have to worry about installing or configuring or managing these things.

Vinayak Joglekar (17:20):

So these are all managed services, which are readily offered users, your data model that goes sit on top. The funny thing is that now the, you know, the next thing that is going to happen is you’re going to get real ready-made data available. So not only that, it will be modeled along in these frameworks or in these business intelligence data warehouses, but also the data itself would be made available for a price. There’s lot of public data that can be shared, and that can be put in these data warehouses. And that is going to be the next thing I think in 2021, you can look forward to having a lot of these, what you call as the consumer data services. I’m sure when we talk about it next year, there will be something else that is put on top and we will be moving one step ahead in the value chain. I don’t know what that could be, but for now I think these are all natural progressions. And I see whether it’s on the computing side or whether it’s on the data side, both ways we will be going hand-in-hand and go to the next level in the value chain.

Madhura Gaikwad (18:30):

Absolutely. And one such example, uh, when I, that, uh, you and I were discussing earlier was about AWSs workspace offering about desktop as a service. So that is an example, which is pretty exciting. And hopefully it will scale in the coming year.

Vinayak Joglekar (18:46):

Absolutely. With work from home situation happening in families, you don’t have control on who has access to the laptop. You know, if it’s laying there, then somebody is going to download or use it for watching Netflix or whatever. Right. And definitely that is going to be a major threat for everyone working from home. And you can’t really dictate to employees what they should be doing with their devices at home, right. As long as they’re able to connect to your cloud. So the right thing to do there would be to virtualize the desktop on the cloud, using workspaces. And that’s going to be the trend because then that is your office in the cloud. So, you know, it doesn’t matter, you know, what kind of laptop you use to connect to whatever device you use to connect, you will get the same experience. And it will be a very sanitized environment of which companies would be very secure and they will get that comfort from that, which they need that, you know, even though the employees are connecting, using laptops from home, they’re not introducing malware or there no. So as far as the enterprise code and software is concerned, it is all kosher or sanitized. I mean, so that’s the actual assurance that companies will need going forward. I think the, we will see a lot of these development environments also, you know, people use it even for day-to-day work. Uh, like, you know, I know of a company in Singapore, it has lawyers. So they have some applications like Microsoft or Adobe, yours, or whatever, the standard stuff that legal systems use those things are installed. You know, they can connect to that using their, uh, iPads or whatever tablts or whatever device they don’t do a need a laptop. So these kinds of things, uh, are very promising. And, uh, you know, when it’s a situation where you’re not only working from home, but working from anywhere, you know, so it doesn’t matter what kind of device you’re using. You should be able to connect to the same workspace or desktop that you would normally use using whatever you’re holding in your hand. Maybe at some point of time, you might be able to even issue voice command. So that is another trend that I see coming up very soon. It will be mainstream in the coming year, 2021 definitely would be where you are in which you will see a lot of people who are a lot of companies who are having their employees, working from home, connecting to these are desktops in the cloud.

Madhura Gaikwad (21:33):

Yes, that is true. So Vinayak, before we wrap up one important question and obvious question that I have for you, uh, and which are addressed in all these trends and predictions is about how cloud security will be one of the most important and critical subjects for the coming year, since everything is going to be on cloud.

Vinayak Joglekar (21:52):

Absolutely. Whether it is data privacy. So these are the main things. So that is why I said, that’s where I see two definite trends that are happening. One is you have different levels of encryption, private key, public key setting. And all that would be very, very normal. I mean, its not just authentication authorization that you’re used to using password protection, but you are going to have a lot more of that in all the interaction between users and the networks. The second thing, as I said, was a hybrid cloud part where you’ll have a very secure data, private areas where the access itself would be controlled. And there will be a lot that is virtualized. So, you know, firewall, for example, or it’s a  switch or it’s a gateway, so you will have virtualization of those of those. So you will be able to configure your own  virtual network within a cloud setup. So just the way what you had of a few years back in your office, you would have connected computers in the office.

Which are  secure behind the firewall. And then, you know, you have firewall policies that are set up and everything that protects it from outside work. So you had your own private within the four walls, your office, the same thing you can do in a virtual space. Now you can set up a virtual kind of firewall you can set up a virtual switch, a virtual gateway. So, I mean, it’s going to be physically not present all virtual, but it is going to have the same functionality in the same way, it protects us from the outside world. It could protect our data and our hybrid network. So I think there’s a lot of things in security and security. One thing about security is that there is no end to it, I mean, the more you have it, the more people will want it because it’s a game where, you know, people who are trying to breach the attack surface would grow.

Attackers will become smarter. And then, you know, you’ll have protective measures that have to, again, respond to that. So this is for people on and on, but in the coming year, I see the trends I talked are two major things I talked about is, one is public key, private key based, uh, I mean, it is more, more or less is going to be more or less the norm,  that you’ll always have a key with which you are being able to access something. So that will be, uh, a norm, so that is one second, is the hybrid cloud where you’ll have virtual environments, which are configured to protect your network, your data from the outside public cloud. So that I think is going to be a major trend. 

And this is one last thing before we wrap up that I wanted to touch upon. And that’s a big thing that is happening is the availability of GPU’s right on the cloud.

GPU is having more or less used extensively for manufacturing bitcoins. And that is something that is something where it has earned its reputation. You can call it, but, you know, going forward, GPS will be used extensively for artificial intelligence, machine learning applications where speed computations are required only for a short while. I mean, if you’re making a model that requires you to use it for a day or two days, and you, once your model is ready, you don’t need that computing power. So it doesn’t make sense for you to even acquire that. So, you know, if it is available, you can spin up GPU on the cloud. Nothing like it, you would rather do that. And then, you know, I have seen that applications, which, you know, machine learning, training sessions, where you’re training a machine learning algorithm, that session could go on for hours and hours. But if you use a GPU, it can get over within minutes and seconds. So it makes a lot of difference though. GPU time is going to be more expensive, but I foresee that cloud-based GPU’s are going to be the way to go, particularly for AI applications.

Madhura Gaikwad (26:25):

That is brilliant. And, uh, unless there is anything else that you would like to share about cloud that we have missed out on, I would like to wrap up this session and kind of talk a little bit about the coming episodes.

Vinayak Joglekar :

So one last interesting thing about data. Is that still, you would require a lot of this data to be tagged, and there’ll be this new breed of people who will be tagging data, making it ready for machine learning applications. And, you know, those would be not office workers working from an office, working as analysts, but they will be specialists who are specialized in a certain field, but they offer the services to tag the data from wherever they are using their mobile devices, connecting to the cloud. So this kind of a, you can say democratization or crowdsourcing of tagging is something that is going to be facilitated by cloud. So I am very, very excited about this because there’s a lot of data that is there, but unless you tag it, it can be used for training artificial intelligence algorithms. 

Madhura Gaikwad:

That is true. That is true. AI and democratization. I’m excited to host you again, Vinayak in the coming episode, and discuss the other two trends that we’ve identified, which will be big in the year of 2021. So thanks again for joining us today. It was a very interesting and insightful chat, and I will see you in the next episode again. 

Vinayak Joglekar :

Wonderful. Thank you for the real thank you for having me

Madhura Gaikwad:

And thank you everyone for tuning in. If you are looking to accelerate your product roadmap, visit our website, www dot [inaudible] dot com for more information, stay tuned to future radio episodes for more insights on technology and agile trends. Thank you.


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