2022 - A Year in Review, and What's Ahead in 2023
January 10, 2023

Don Boxley
DH2i

2022 - A Year in Review

1. CEOs Dialing Back Their Back-to-the-Office Mandates

During 2022, a key trend that companies are still struggling with is back-to-office mandates — to do, or not to do… or to do so, but in a hybrid fashion. The thing is however, people have now not only gotten used to working from home, most really prefer it. As a result, as organizations are requesting that employees come back to total or hybrid onsite work, they are experiencing quite a bit of pushback. In some cases, it is even a deal-breaker — helping to contribute to the recent "Great Resignation" phenomenon. And, for those that aren't able to quit, they are staying. But they aren't happy about it; and no organization wants to employ a disgruntled workforce. So now, after many CEOs really put their foot down, many are finding the smart thing to do is to walk that back a bit …

2. Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) Moved from Marketing Hype to Real-World Proven

From a data management standpoint, this means that security remains a tip-top priority. During the past year, ransomware and other organized cybercrime experienced astronomical growth. And now with the addition of disgruntled former and current employees, internal threats are on the rise as well! Additionally, for those that are continuing to work from home in a complete or hybrid fashion, that adds another piece to the data protection puzzle.

One thing that was learned over the past year however was that traditional approaches to data security were not up to snuff for the way we work today. Take for instance virtual private networks (VPNs). Even today's most up-to-date VPNs rely upon complex, expensive and less-than-secure network-to-network approaches that create too large of an attack surface. Because of this, the next trend that occurred during 2022 was that the Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) moved from the innovator into the early adopter phase, as SDP offers a much faster, easier to manage and dramatically more secure method for connecting people, and people to places. In other words, SDP moved from marketing hype to people using it and seeing the value in it.

3. Kubernetes (K8s) Has Crossed the Chasm

Kubernetes (K8s), an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications, is becoming the standard for container orchestration. According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), "As of Q1 2021, 57% of backend developers had used containers in the last 12 months, but only 31% of developers used Kubernetes to orchestrate these: 5.6M developers in total. Their overall usage of Kubernetes has increased by 4 percentage points in the last 12 months. Kubernetes thus seems to exhibit a distinctive positive trend within the cloud native space, and there is arguably still room to grow." Why do you think this is? I believe that developers have figured out that they can develop code and deploy it much faster if they containerize. Likewise, developers are finding that nothing else compares with the speed at which Kubernetes can automate the deployment and management of containerized apps.

2023 - What's Ahead

1. SDP Will Become Ubiquitous, VPNs Not So Much

In 2023, I predict that SDP will finally pull-ahead of VPNs as the dominant technology for remotely connecting people and devices. One of the most critical drivers here will be awareness and acceptance. More and more IT professionals are already using it successfully to connect to cloud or on-premises applications from wherever they are — the airport to the home office to the local coffee shop, and they are talking about it.

Likewise, VPNs will slip in popularity as there is now a viable solution that can help IT professionals to overcome its inherent challenges. VPNs are buggy and the performance has always been spotty. VPNs are simply not reliable from a performance standpoint. And of course, the security issues are there, because of the way it is designed - inherent in the architecture. It allows for fast and easy lateral network attacks from bad actors. Previously, a relatively small portion of the workforce was dependent on it. So, the problems were more self-contained. However, over the past few years, with more and more people and organizations dependent on it, the risks have multiplied significantly.

2. Developers Will Demand Solutions That Enable Highly Available Cloud-Native SQL Server Availability Groups (AGs) In Containers, Including Support for Kubernetes (K8s)

In 2023, developers will demand solutions that enable highly available cloud-native SQL Server availability groups (AGs) in containers, including support for Kubernetes (K8s) clusters — across mixed environments and across any type of infrastructure or cloud.

Kubernetes alone struggles to meet SQL Server production database HA requirements due to its prolonged pod/node-level HA failover of 2-10 minutes. What is required is a solution that can solve this problem by enabling highly available AG support in Kubernetes, which is an essential component to using stateful containers in production. The solution(s) must seamlessly complement K8s' pod/node-level cluster HA, allowing Microsoft SQL Server users to confidently deploy HA SQL Server containers in production while meeting database HA requirements. Bottom-line, the ideal solution must combine with Azure Kubernetes Services and SQL Server to create a single, holistic solution for containerized SQL Server.

Don Boxley is CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i
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