New Year, New Trends – Nephos Predicts Mainstream Tech for 2018

As we welcome in the new year, we at Nephos have taken a glance into our crystal ball to predict what we think will be some of the emerging technologies to go mainstream in 2018, all of this without even mentioning things like GDPR or MiFID 2 as these are compliancy elements that have to come in this year:

  1. Increased abstraction in application deployment

As companies are moving more and more into a Continuous Improvement/Continuous Development deployment methodology and roll-out more apps based on microservices, we anticipate that the use of things like Docker, Kubernetes and Mesosphere grow with it, as a key component to making those types of flexible deployments work. Also, with companies looking at being able to spin up and deliver services in near real-time, the only possible way of doing that is via these types of deployment methodologies

  1. Companies will look to deploy AI for key applications

2017 saw a number of companies begin to test AI based applications, and WEbelieve that 2018 will start to see it roll out into key business applications, especially around any algorithmic, picture, risk, relationship data based app’s. Because of this move to more AI driven applications we’re expecting GPU’s to experience triple digit growth and high performance NAS’s will become more mainstream than just the rendering market that they play in currently.

  1. 2018 will be the year when Hyper Converged becomes the default option

This one’s self-explanatory and realistically the most obvious, with the huge growth in this space over the last 5 years and the reasons for deploying it continuing to grow. 2018 will see companies adopt a “HC First” strategy for both data centre and remote deployments, with biggest challenge coming from the continued consolidation of the vendors in that market.

  1. Blockchain will become the standard for finance based transactional applications

Towards the end of 2017, Bitcoin was grabbing all the headlines, but we heard very little about the technology that actually drives it – Blockchain. Most, if not all, financial organisations have been looking into areas where they could utilise Blockchain based technologies, with the majority of Fintech start-ups that are launching focussing on there too. We’re expecting 2018 to be the year where we’ll begin to see financial services companies turning to Blockchain for key finance and risk applications, with potentially wider adoption in other industries like legal services, media and rights management firms.

  1. Critical business workflows will now include Cloud at multiple levels

People talk about “year of the hybrid” and “biggest year for Cloud ever”, which are both slightly over stated, but we do think this will be the year where almost every critical business process will now involve some sort of integration with a Cloud based application. We believe that 2018 will be the year where more of a company’s data will reside outside the business, rather than inside.

  1. Vendor independent Data Lifecycle Management will become a standard

Data is becoming more active, being moved around, and used, by more of the company than ever before; with a broader range of storage technologies being used too. As a result, a data lifecycle management platform (DLM) will become more important than ever before. Until this point a number of vendors have offered or included some sort of data management solution within their storage offering, but this has generally been a very vendor specific offering; with more diversity in the storage market (AFA, NVME, Object, Cloud) it might not be so easy to have your existing storage vendor be able to provide a platform that supports all of your storage ecosystem – which is where the external, independent providers come in. Lastly, let us be clear, a DLM platform is not just being able to do archive! A DLM platform needs to be able to profile your data (wherever it is), provide insights into that data, make policy based decisions on where to deploy it, and make it always available to users.

  1. Cloud Access Security Brokerage (CASB) will become critical rather than nice to have

As more critical data moves to the Cloud, securing it will become a mandatory compliance point rather than a nice to have. That’s not only data stored in SaaS based applications like but also, with platforms like O365 and Google Apps becoming the defacto standard for Email and home drive file storage and collaboration, the current / traditional security measures just don’t give the protection you need. With ransomware on the increase, and a large amount of that process starting from hacked email accounts, the ability to identify and block those types of attack as early as possible becomes critical. Realistically CASB platforms that can cope with an API based architecture offer the most effective option.

  1. AI will become the standard for all security solutions

This has started to happen over the last 12-24 months, with players such as Cylance and Exabeam becoming the visionaries in their respective markets, but 2018 will be the year where all security start-ups will include AI as part of their overall solution to drive quicker response times and deeper insights into data that has been gathered to provide more effective threat protection.

  1. S3 API will become a standard protocol for storage ecosystem

At Nephos one of the areas we specialise in is object storage and we have seen the growth of the S3 protocol over the past 24 months as a requirement within storage ecosystems, with more and more companies adopt object storage for their capacity driven data storage e.g. backups, content distribution and file storage. We’re expecting S3 to become a mandatory requirement in 2018, particularly as people seek to use a more API driven architecture to get a tighter integration between their data and their applications.

  1. SD-WAN to overtake MPLS as the first option for WAN deployments

This isn’t a huge leap of faith, with SD-WAN becoming more mainstream (even VMWare have entered the market with their recent acquisition of VeloCloud), but most organisations are still using complicated and expensive MPLS delivered by Telco’s. SD-WAN will almost certainly become more mainstream in 2018, as organistions continue to try to drive efficiency, and the concept of a fixed WAN becomes less relevant, with more services moving into the Cloud and circuit performance grows at lower cost points. There is now no reason that a company shouldn’t be looking at SD-WAN as the default choice, rather than the more traditional “safe” option of MPLS.

Written by Lee Biggenden

Lee Biggenden is the Co-Founder of Nephos Technologies, a specialist integrator focussed on helping our customers to transform the way that they store, process and protect their data. You can find Lee on LinkedIn or Twitter (@LeeBiggenden) for more social posts.


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