What will happen around the world of data in 2022?

Data has become critical to businesses, but how will they manage this critical asset in the future? And how will infrastructure, policy and business costs all change in response?


This is a contributed article by Patrick McFadin, Vice President Developer Relations, DataStax.

Whatever metaphor you prefer to use - from oil, gold, nuclear waste, or even bacon - the role for data in business is not going down. Companies want to use data that they have, and they want it to power the applications and services that make them money. However, data is not simple. The services used for long term analytics are different to those that power a business.

While a lot of attention and funding has gone into that analytics side of the market, the fast data side will be where the biggest changes take place in 2022.

Prediction #1 - 2022 will be the year we hear the words “Legacy NoSQL”

After being the next big thing for years, NoSQL has now been around long enough to see long-term installations. With anything in IT, there’s always going to be a discussion about migrating to the latest technology. In this case, seeing the world of cloud and cloud native data, IT teams will be debating what the right choices are for them to run on for the next ten years.

In those meetings taking place in 2022, there will be some interesting new language when somebody says “Legacy NoSQL” when talking about existing systems that don’t run natively in Kubernetes. Mainstream NoSQL will be tighter aligned with cloud native applications, and there will be more development work taking place around how NoSQL databases run as part of those cloud deployments.

Prediction #2 - Cloud providers will blink on egress pricing

For as long as cloud providers have been in business, there has been lopsided pricing around data coming in and going out. Data coming in is usually free, which was a great way to drive adoption into the clouds. Data leaving cloud providers are where the real costs started racking up. Again, to drive not only adoption but incentivise users to keep data inside the cloud.

Cracks have started to form on this business plan. Cloudflare boldly announced no egress fees on up to one terabyte of data, while a handful of smaller providers charge a flat fee on bandwidth. AWS responded to this by upping its free tier for data egress from a measly one gigabyte to 100 gigabytes.

Just like how storage became the weapon in a price war, we’ll see egress and ingress fees becoming much lower and normalised on a race to the bottom in 2022. Will this make more companies consider alternative cloud providers, or will it make AWS more popular with cost-conscious customers? This will remain to be seen.

Prediction #3 - Kubernetes will spread beyond applications and single cluster deployments

The Kubernetes cluster is a popular destination for cloud native applications. By design, that cluster can be an island with very tight security and controls for what comes in and out. Use cases now require more than one cluster to be involved in the total application.

This has created a lot of discussion and movement in the Kubernetes project around how to bridge multiple clusters. Meanwhile, more Kubernetes clusters are getting pushed to the edge. This is all pointing to one thing. 2022 is when Kubernetes breaks free of the single cluster norm.

In practice, during 2022, more applications will get deployed with that distributed model in mind from centre to edge. This will also force more companies to look at how they adopt distributed data approaches that do the same thing - put the data next to the application, whether this is one cloud or multiple ones, or in the centre out to the edge.

Prediction #4 - A newly renamed Facebook will enter the cloud infrastructure market

If you missed it, Facebook has renamed to Meta to serve as an umbrella for many sub-brands. This new company is also going to be heavily focused on VR/AR which they feel is a huge growth area of the future. When it comes to being an infrastructure company, Facebook has one of the largest footprints in the world. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see them offer cloud services to developers building VR applications.

In a real 2022 surprise, Meta will announce their cloud platform and quickly become the number four horse in the race with a huge head start.

Prediction #5 - Data and privacy regulations will explode

After years of people being angry at social media platforms and technology in general, government regulation around the world will finally catch up with public opinion. The US state of California has adopted data privacy rules based on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, while the EU has extended its work to areas like open data and artificial intelligence.

All this work is necessary for privacy, but the result will be a very complicated regulatory maze for anyone building data driven applications. Which means to say, everyone. Data regulation has not kept up with the sophistication of privacy issues that constantly come up. Just this year, we saw private industry try to self-regulate with a battle between Apple and Facebook. At the speed of government, this was too little too late.

2022 will be the beginning of a multi-year journey through new regulations and deadlines. To keep up with this, companies will want to keep control over where their data gets deployed, how this data is managed, and how they use it for their business. This fast data approach will rely on an open-source stack to work.

Patrick McFadin is the Vice President of Developer Relations at DataStax, where he leads a team devoted to making users of DataStax products successful. He has also worked as Chief Evangelist for Apache Cassandra and consultant for DataStax, where he helped build some of the largest deployments in production. Previous to DataStax, he was Chief Architect at Hobsons and an Oracle DBA/developer for over 15 years.