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OpenStack, Oracle, iCloud, and Obama — My Predictions for 2013

Joshua McKenty  /  Jan 14, 2013  / 

A couple weeks ago, I analyzed the predictions I made at the beginning of 2012 to see how I did. I ended up with an even 50/50. This year, I’d like to see if I can improve on that figure. Without further ado, here is what will happen (fingers crossed) by the end of 2013.

The number of OpenStack Foundation individual members will double.

The rapid growth that the OpenStack community has seen in its three years of life is indicative of the widespread acceptance of open source software as something not for hobbyists in bathrobes in their parents’ basements, but as a necessary concept for the enterprise. I predict that this trend will continue in 2013, with the number of OpenStack individual members doubling from 6,695 (enough to fill the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre) to an incredible 13,390 (the capacity of the Springfield, Illinois State Fairgrounds).

Oracle is going to buy something that puts them in the hypervisor game, for real.

Oracle’s virtualization product, Oracle VM, hasn’t shown much traction in the industry. In hypervisor-adoption pie charts, it usually resides in the “other” slice. Oracle won’t be content to cruise through 2013 without trying to remedy their position, and they will do what any 36-year-old technology company does — buy things. Look for promising hypervisor startup employees relocating to Santa Clara in the next twelve months.

Mobile apps will become the major driver for private clouds.

The fate of mobile apps and cloud are tied together. As Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell says, “cloud plus mobile is a classic more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts combination.” Mobile apps will continue to grow more powerful as they tap into cloud-based back-end services. This will also drive the adoption and development of PaaS, as mobile developers will jump at the chance to not have to think about the dreary innards of the infrastructure layer. Here’s to abstraction!

VDI has a come-back — and the desktop lives on.

It is passé at this point to use up valuable internet space writing about the “death of the desktop” because, for the last five years, it has been done to, well… death. And yet, the desktop lives on, at least in the enterprise. I bet that virtual desktop infrastructure will finally gain more attention this year as desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) and the cloud in general firm up their roots.

Apple re-launches iCloud (again) to stay in the infrastructure game.

With the reshuffling of Apple’s top brass, Eddy Cue, Apple’s “Mr. Fix-It” and original creator of iCloud, will have more power and leeway to re-launch iCloud and make it a more formidable public cloud service. Look for it syncing data from a wider variety of apps in a better way (not just photos and contacts and calendars), becoming a serious Google apps competitor, and just working more of the time.

Dropbox gets bought.

Dropbox co-founders Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston reportedly said no to an $800 million acquisition offer from Steve Jobs and Apple in 2009, but this time around a company will get lucky with better timing and acquire Dropbox in 2013. The prospect of bringing recent Dropbox hire and father of Python Guido Van Rossum on with the acquisition is almost reason enough to buy the company. Additionally, the IPO market may be crowded with another cloud giant gearing up for an IPO: Box.net.

Box.net goes public.

Box.net founder Aaron Levie played down the possibility of an IPO in 2012, but in the future all bets are off. Widely considered an IPO candidate in 2013, Box.net has a large enterprise client base and a fresh $125 million round of fundraising that serve as a solid foundation for a billion-dollar IPO.

Intel drops the other shoe – they enter a new market that surprises people but makes sense.

Intel has made big news recently with their announced foray into the world of television. While I’m not sure that the Intel TV will be a smash, I’m certain that they no longer want to be just the “inside” guys. This year, Intel will do something cool and smart in the consumer space. What, exactly, remains to be seen. I’ll do a favor to my 2014 self by not guessing at the specifics.

Obama takes fresh stab at revamping government IT with cloud, but it won’t be more FedRAMP.

President Obama and his CIO Steven VanRoekel will take another stab at unified cloud computing standards and practices, because FedRamp and the “Cloud First” strategy just aren’t enough. Increased demand for big data will help this process along in 2013, as seen already with President Obama’s Big Data Research and Development Initiative.

Do you agree with me on these predictions? Vehemently disagree with every word I’ve ever written? Let me know on Twitter.

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  • Michal

    I agree vehemently. Great article.

    Perhaps I would add that Apple iPhone may start loosing the ground and Nokia will be a bit making that back.

    Also, your predictons seem to be quite US centric. I do expect accelerated acceptance of Cloud worldwide. Large markets like Russia will play catch up and perhaps even leapfrogging – taking the full benefit of OpenStack, which is now being now more mature nd giving customers more control, more choice. And it is not only in Public, but also in Private.

    I agree that mobile apps will grow. Mobile data will accelerate furter with mobile video being some 60% of mobile data. Conseqently we may expect more presence of Telcos in Cloud.

    Overall, I see 2013 to be the year of smartphones & Cloud (OpenStack).

    What think?