back to article Hyperscale oligarchs to rule the cloud as the big get bigger, and the small ... you won't care

The latest iteration of Cisco's Global Cloud Index has painted a picture of an even more massively oligarchic future cloud. Switchzilla predicts rough seas ahead for all but the biggest cloud operators, if the index [PDF] is any guide: the company reckons the mere 24 operators that count as “hyperscale” will dominate cloud …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, as a sysadmin specializing in Openstack deployments and maintenance, how fucked are my employment perspectives for the next five years according to this study?


    2.Very fucked

    3.Go get a job as a plumber instead or something.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Not really

      US Congress and Eu ride to your rescue:

      All hail the cavalry.

      Courtesy of the CLOUD act doing the Waltz with GDPR, after an elementary legal due diligence a lot of shops especially on the continent will much more in house than predicted by this study. If they do not, they will get nuked with up to 6% global turnover.

      Disclaimer: I am pretty good plumber already so I do not need to "go get that" as a job. So based on your 3 point program my opinion may be a bit biased.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not really

        "after an elementary legal due diligence a lot of shops especially on the continent will much more in house than predicted by this study"

        We just used "bring your own tennant keys". Cloud data is always under our control.

    2. Bill M

      It is really hard to get a decent plumber, do you reckon you'd make a good plumber ?

    3. Ogi

      > So, as a sysadmin specializing in Openstack deployments and maintenance, how fucked are my employment perspectives for the next five years according to this study?

      I think "fucked", but not yet "very fucked" as there is still a few more years of life in it. I say this primarily as I had noted the shift in my career a while ago (As a sysadmin, who then went into openstack deployments and automation).

      I am finding less and less work out there as a sysadmin, shorter and shorter duration work, and generally being offered lower and lower salaries (or correspondingly fewer benefits, more and more onerous work, like fewer weekends off, longer on call, etc...) . Those few high paying sysadmin jobs are being being chased by ever more and more people, so are getting hard to come by, and easy to lose as it is "an employers market" as they say.

      Whereas devs are getting better and better salaries and benefits. A mate who is out of uni just over two years just landed a job as a Java/JS developer for £90k, free meals every day + amazing benefits, which is more than I get after 13 years as a sysadmin. In the financial sector I've heard of C++/Java devs on 120k+ type salaries.

      A dev can easily spin up an OS instance and just configure and deploy. Now with docker and amazon style "compute cloud" they don't even have to bother configuring and operating an operating system.

      If something cocks up or they get hacked, just "wipe and redeploy" and carry on, and recruit a decent PR person to spin it, and a "security consultant" to pin the blame on. There is no real need for a sysadmin in the eyes of SMEs.

      The only places still hiring sysadmins are the cloud providers themselves, and those with legacy in-house infrastructure, so big businesses, businesses who don't trust their IP in the cloud, such as finance/defense (and even there they are using private/hybrid cloud tech, OpenStack and VMware mostly in my experience). The rest seem happy to not have the headache of their own IT infrastructure, and fewer IT staff on the payroll.

      I predict in future you will have few highly paid sysadmins managing public and private clouds, and some cheap contract type low level "support/sysadmins" who manage peoples desktops/laptops/tablets, etc... At least until the next great rotation back from timeshare/mainframes into personal devices.

      So yeah, for my latest job, I gave up sysadmin work, took a pay cut and switched to pure development. Hopefully it will unlock higher salaries for me in future. If not, then screw it, might become a car mechanic. The pay is relatively poor, but the skills don't become usless after a couple of years, and garages near me are always chock full of business, and show no sign of abating.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Strange they dont mention Microsoft. Who on current track are likely to end up market leader. And already are in IaaS:

      And are growing at the expense of AWS it seems:

      Amd that doesnt even include Xbox Live, O365 and their various other SaaS solutions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Who on current track are likely to end up market leader."

        Yeah, we heard the same story about Windows Mobile when it had massive growth too.

        Don't get me wrong, they are a very big player, but I wouldn't get too excited about them winning. There's no way that any big vendor outright 'winning' this will translate well for end users or customers. It's long about time MS were cut down to size a bit anyway.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Yeah, we heard the same story about Windows Mobile when it had massive growth too"

          When was that then? Azure is already a storming success. Windows mobile never was.

          "It's long about time MS were cut down to size a bit anyway."

          Microsoft's share price says no one thinks that's happening anytime soon.

    6. Naselus

      Just go do a couple of courses in Cloud sysadmining and you'll be fine - hell, you can probably call yourself a 'cloud architect' and start pulling in twice your current salary for easier work.

      In my experience, cloud doesn't actually reduce the amount of system administration that is needed in-house. It just means you spend more time swearing at AWS and Azure portals rather than swearing at poor Server 2012, VSphere and ONTAP integration.

    7. OnlyMee

      Plumbing is always a good skill to have... I was working as a welder in Norwegian gas fields during my years in university. That said if you know OpenStack you probably know at least a bit Python.

      Start from there. Cloud or on-prem what I really find is companies are looking to automate(they often move to cloud as it's seems easier to automate). If your job is to manage Linux boxes using SSH your job perspectives are going down the drain sooner or later. So based on Python learn Ansible/Salt to automate infrastructure then learn python APIs for 1 or more of the cloud vendors. All have a Python SDK (AWS is called Boto for some reason...)

      Companies are cutting admin staff but same time ready to pay top money for people who can automate admin tasks using code. Other things that seem hot right now are Docker containers (you can run these with Ansible as well) and Kubernetes for managing a huge number of containers. Kubernetes yml file does pretty much the same thing as OpenStack heat chart except it uses containers and seems to gain popularity much faster.

  2. hplasm

    Sounds familiar...

    "we're headed for ~700 colosso-bit-barns"

    640 colossal bit-barns should be enough for anyone!

  3. CheesyTheClown

    My predictions

    All public services will be cloud based. This means that public email, conferencing and collaboration systems, etc... these systems generally go across the public Internet anyway, there is no point claiming that you can secure it better at home. In addition, spam and virus protection doesn’t work unless the mail server is global, individual organizations running things like Cisco Email Security Appliance are screwed. Global providers can also work better together to secure the backbone. New providers will not be able to enter this market in the future due to locked down peering.

    Private networks will become far harder to manage. Military and other government networks will lack access to proper solutions in the future since enterprise scale software will become a niche market for collaboration and messaging. This will probably result in a lot more open source solutions being deployed for private servers. Microsoft will probably make an Azure Stack solution for offline networks. NATO governments will adopt it and other governments will reject it.

    Software defined is already universal in cloud providers. AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are already nearly 100% SDN. All their solutions are completely software based as well. Cisco doesn’t make a software define solution, so they missed out. They have policy based networking which is similar, but not scalable.

    Storage will be back to non-enterprise. There is no reason in a software defined world to consider enterprise storage. Cloud storage doesn’t need it and it doesn’t benefit from it at all. Systems like NetApp, EMC, 3Par and others are already relics of the bad old days. As more systems are cloud based, we’ll focus on NewSQL, NoSQL, and object storage. These perform fantastically badly on scale-up systems like SANs and NAS. They also regularly have high risks of single point of failure. Their cost is 20-30 times higher per gigabyte than their alternatives. NVMe fabrics, FC fabrics, etc... are almost the worst possible ideas in cloud storage. All flash is a total waste and all these systems just don’t work well anyway.

    As a matter of fact, Hyperflex from Cisco is among the worst solutions for cloud storage as it almost guarantees your data will suffer from high latency and poor performance. It’s great for VMware, but terrible otherwise.

    Business systems will come back home. Using FaaS in a box solutions, we’ll see more systems come home. They will be much smaller and simpler. Expect to see entire enterprises running on clusters of computers that cost less than $1000. Now that we’re shipping our crap to the cloud, we’re learning that we don’t need VMs and containers and other wasteful tech to run our enterprises. We simply need better systems. The average Raspberry Pi 3 has substantially more capacity than most enterprises need for their systems.

    Zero-trust networking (thank you Google for the name, been working on ZTN for 6 years and didn’t have a name for it) will eliminate the need for most corporate enterprise networking. By centralizing most services, we’ll no longer need east-west network traffic. As such, we can eliminate nearly all network equipment we use today.

    In addition, whether you’re 5 users or 50,000 users, the cost of LTE and SIM cards at now cheaper than buying a Cisco or Aruba wireless network. Almost universally, it’s more cost effective to eliminate your enterprise network completely and move entirely to mobile services. With zero-trust, it makes perfect sense of to simply dump your Cisco enterprise network. After all, your company probably already pays for at least some of your cell phone bill today. The cost to cover the additional bandwidth needed would be $10-$20 a month per user. That is A LOT cheaper than Cisco networking and that’s not even counting the consultants or endless lost hours of business to silly meetings about things like Cisco DNA.

    SDN in the cloud is accomplished through mostly open source virtual switches connected via IP. The cloud management platforms then integrate with things like Kubernets or Azure Resource Manager to handle the cloud networking. Because of how clouds, containers and FaaS works, generally single homes, gigabit, layer-3 connectivity is all the systems need. As such, Cisco data center networking and ACI fabrics just don’t belong there.

    CPU capacity will decrease a great deal as well. The average FaaS (Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud function) requires 1/10,000th the system capacity to run compared to containers or VMs. As such, as more systems are launched using less capacity. The clouds will shrink and not grow.

    Sinc Cisco has nothing in the cloud server category to sell. The servers in my cloud are Raspberry Pi’s with 12TB spinning discs and LattePanda’s with 64GB eMMC. We have 9 of each (18 devices) we’ll run a million active users on. We’ll add more for geography not capacity. We are using 8 port Cisco c3560-CX switches for now.

    So, let’s see what the problems are in 2021 :

    - Enterprise networks are going to fizzle. Cisco never managed to gain presence with LTE and basically resells ASR-5000 but lacks their own product

    - ACI was a no-starter and basically is on its way down.

    - UCS has no real need to be upgraded or replaced. I have racks full of them turned off. We now use two chassis, 4 FIs, no switches, and we’ll shit those down too. We’re moving to cloud and Raspberry Pi.

    - Zero-trust networking eliminates the need for about 85% of all Cisco security products.

    - We just laid off 50 Cisco UC (phone and video conferencing) “experts” and shut down that division because of Skype and FaceTime. That business is dead.

    - SD-WAN from Cisco is way too expensive and it’s cheaper (and better) to use LTE, Citrix, or Microsoft DirectAccess. If you’re going to waste money on SD-WAN, get VPLS instead.

    - SD-ACCESS costs way too much and even if you have the $1.5 million to spend for the minimal safe implementation, it’s far too expensive to maintain and Cisco will probably lose interest before getting much further with it.

    I think this research was basically “Please don’t forget us!!! Really... we can do stuff too!!!”

    But in all fairness, I’m wearing a Cisco hoodie over a Cisco T-Shirt will sitting next to a rack of $200,000 of Cisco equipment I personally own... logged into a VM on a Cisco UCS blade server in a Cisco UCS data center I personally own. And next week I’ll train a national security agency on using Cisco. Oh and I work for a multinational massive Cisco partner.

    And what I’m telling you is, I have no plans of using Cisco in my upcoming designs which surprisingly are to automate Cisco customers. Cisco just doesn’t really fit in the next generation enterprise.

  4. spold

    Of course we do...

    We need a MultiVAC and a UniversalAC, eventually in Hyperscale Hyperspace hosting facilities.

    Thank-you Mr. Asimov.

  5. PortlandBill

    I can remember IBM telling us that one day there would be just four giant Mainframes in the world . Two in the USA one in Europe and one in Asia and they would run everything.

    Things change.

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