What a decade! Thinking back to 2009, it’s obvious that so much has changed – and so fast! Not surprisingly, technology is at the forefront of everything. But it’s not confined to just one branch or field of advancement. The 2010s can rightly be characterized as a decade of technological synergy. An era of overlapping and interdependent technologies where the combined effect and impact is greater than the sum of the individual elements.
Here are just a few examples that are close to my heart.
Data addiction and analytics
We live in an “all you can eat” world of data. Americans already use a combined total of over 4.2 petabytes of data every minute. By 2020, our global appetite for data will result in 40x more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe. That’s way beyond “big data!”
Fortunately, our ability to process and analyze this vast ocean of data has also been rapidly improving. The fastest supercomputer today is 85 times faster than the best that was available 10 years ago. Today, all of the world’s top 500 supercomputers perform at over a petaflop (one quadrillion floating-point operations a second), and every one of them runs on Linux.
Why is this important? Because HPC (High-Performance Computing) is at the intersection of so many other trending technologies. Everything from AI, ML, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, IoT solutions and many more. SUSE recognizes the importance of this market by tailoring an enterprise Linux ideally suited for modern HPC environments.
Smartphones and mobile devices
Nothing illustrates how much can change over 10 short years that our personal obsession with smartphones. They’ve become indispensable as we crave instant access to information, services, entertainment, social media, and business interactions.
Commercial 4G mobile internet services were first deployed in Scandinavia in 2010. However, it took a few years more for 4G phones and services to be rolled out for the rest of the world and to take complete control of the mainstream market. Today, around 87% of all smartphones use the Andriod open source operating system, which is based on a modified Linux kernel. With over 3.2 billion users globally, mobile devices have become the center of our digital universe.
5G digital networks are on the horizon, with the promise of faster connectivity, higher throughput, and greater capacity. That’s just what is needed for autonomous vehicles and the next generation of IoT solutions.
Cloud computing is a prime example of converging and cooperative technologies. At the outset, it involved the ability to share computing infrastructure and resources across telecommunication network infrastructures. Since then, it has matured into a whole new way of architecting and delivering applications, solutions or services with outstanding speed and scale. Naturally, open source technologies play a pivotal role in this cloud native approach.
In many ways, 2010 was the year cloud computing really started to accelerate. That was when Rackspace and NASA launched OpenStack, and Microsoft released Azure. Things have certainly taken off since then. Today, over 90% of organizations are using cloud services. Forecasts suggest that in three years’ time, there will be 50 times more apps and services in the cloud than last year.
A mix of tech changes is also at the root of how our consumption of entertainment has drastically altered over the past decade. 2010 was a landmark year when both DVD and Blue-ray disk sales began to slump. It was the point where cable, video streaming, and web-based services began to take over.
Today, the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and others are getting video and TV shows to us wherever, however, and whenever we want them. They are also trailblazers at the forefront of cloud native development, CI/CD, DevOps, and other trends.
Where to next?
As we finish one decade and start on a new one, it’s natural to speculate about what’s coming next. But as always, the future is difficult to predict. Sometimes, we don’t become aware of paradigm shifts or radical changes until they are in progress, or maybe even for a while after they have happened.
Even so, one thing is beyond doubt. All the dominant industry trends involve interconnected, converging and synergistic technologies. In such a collaborative environment, the open source model is an indispensable and crucial element. It has become the “secret source” driving so much of the technological advancement and progress around us.
Whatever the next decade brings, all of us should be expecting an exciting rollercoaster of a ride.
Thanks for reading!