John Engates Rackspace's CTO's 2015 Cloud Predictions

Recently Rackspace hosted a google+ cloud hangout from ‘The Castle,’ Rackspace’s San Antonio headquarters in Texas. It was hosted by Alan Bush and Drew Cox along with Rackspace CTO, John Engates. The hangout covered a post on the Rackspace blog which covers Engates’ 9 cloud predictions for the coming year. In the hangout they touched on all nine, and here are some interesting points were raised.

More choices in the cloud

6-8 years into the cloud and the industry and it is still changing and evolving, with numerous new niche’s emerging to cater to specific customer needs. This really started with Amazon as the first and biggest cloud company and many companies tried to emulate Amazon’s services, over time this has moved a long way from that into a wider range of cloud apps.  Rackspace for example took this with their development of private and managed cloud offerings, as opposed to joining the race to the bottom within the price war.  Additionally, third party offerings have started building on their expertise to create better user experiences and give cloud consumers many more choices.


In 2015 Docker and similar tools for containerization will become standard. The wave started in 2014 and will flow with full steam into 2015. Companies and developers gravitated to containers because of ease of use, deployment and management benefits for developers. They are able to take advantage of all CPU’s and machine performance, thereby making a more efficient way to work. Additionally, applications are compartmentalized and put more on top of an existing hardware platform, giving a more fine grained experience than what one would get with virtualization. Thereby, removing the friction for re-deployment.

‘IT gets sensored’

There will be a further increase in the use of sensors within everyday life. Consequently, there will be an increase of the internet of things. Every aspect of our daily lives in transitioning to be connected to the cloud or have a sensor that it feeding an app on the cloud. An example of this is an exercise app that measures different aspect of fitness such as how often you work out, and how far you run as measured by GPS. These technologies will increase within cars, homes, phones and devices, which will only increase over the next year. This is true of both consumer and business, such as within, manufacturing, medicine, insurance, and really area that needs measuring or monitoring.  Drones was also mentioned as an exciting use of sensors.

It’s not only the cost that counts but making the cloud work for you

Non tech companies will soon also maximize the cloud.  There is a clear value proposition such as with cloud based monitoring there is less need for manual monitoring, thereby keeping headcount down. Managed cloud not just saves money, but also gives businesses access to expertise in the cloud for managed success. IT enables businesses to know what is working for them and how to improve on that.

Big data

Early platforms for big data were mainly focused on analytics and storage, and now new tools are emerging for more mature treatment of big data. As a result of successes and maturity within this area, 2015 will have more and more adoption of big data tools, analytics and distributed computing.  Data scientist roles are emerging and will propel this wave. It was noted that currently, businesses really only have small data problems, but with advances with big data, companies are able to create big data problems and use this for improving their business.

CMO becoming the CMT

Within the next year all businesses will increasingly have a tech connection, and the chief marketing officer (CMO) will oftentimes be the instigator in making this happen. CMO’s are increasingly having to have an understanding of technology and step a little into the role of CTO, seeing what technologies can be applied to their org. Thereby creating a new role of chief marketing technologist (CMT).


Trends over the last year with an increased number of hacks have shown that companies are struggling to respond to and cannot prevent these attacks. Engates predicts that there will be a  boom of Security-as-a-Service to fill this need. Traditionally, security was a set of best practices protocols, but now there has been a move for more and more services to be delivered from the cloud as a means of securing their businesses. SaaS services will allow companies to rally traffic though services that will secure them, such as proxy services.  Also more secure ‘cloudy’ apps will be equipped with more modern architecture that will enable them to face the challenges they are being confronted with.

Alternative Silicon Rising

For the first time Rackspace are seriously looking at an alternative from X86 architectures, such as alternative CPU architectures that will help save costs or will improve computing power. 2015 will see this increasing across cloud computing servers and platforms.

You can watch the full hangout here: