The Cloudy Future in 2021

Ignite took place recently, and the keynote from Satya Nadella was interesting, and if you have time, interesting to watch. If not, there’s an excerpt in written form. In any case, I like his passion and excitement about the future. I’m slightly sad that he’s not on stage somewhere, and instead in a studio of some sort, but that’s the world today.

There were five pillars of the keynote which related to the future of the cloud. One of these was the idea that we are at “peak centralized computing” now, but we need to get more decentralized. The idea here, I think, is that we will have more of the computing services taking place outside of data centers and server rooms, and in more devices. We already see some of this, with mobile devices, cars, sensors, and more handling some computing loads.

The Edge is something Microsoft continues to push, and I think the adoption of this paradigm will continue, with some pre-processing or filtering occurring in devices or intermediate servers, and then less, or limited, data being loaded into our database platforms. I also expect that we’ll see more data loaded into a database somewhere, and less ETL into another platform and more just in time querying from a client or other data store.

I was also glad that trust was a pillar, though I think this was an attempt to corral a number of disparate ideas into one topic. However, the idea of data protection, and individual rights such as privacy, are important, and I do think that Microsoft recognizes this. Even if they are just trying to build a product to profit, I appreciate the work they are doing in this area, adding new capabilities to allow companies to better control, limit access, and protect data in flexible ways. Now, if we can just get the companies to respect the individual’s data they hold, I think the world will be better.

Lots of what Microsoft presents in their keynotes and conferences is aspirational, with limited experience or understanding of whether customers really will adopt these ideas. Every year I see some visions that don’t ever get widely used across the next year and aren’t mentioned the next year. However, some of their ideas are good, and some will evolve in different ways to help improve our world. This year, I loved seeing the remote ways HoloLens 2 is being used.

I never know what will catch on, but I do like seeing the visions that others have for our world.

Steve Jones

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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