In this modern age of cloud computing; one must step back and think. Not that long ago agility was constrained by how fast you could plan, order, provision and deploy the hardware. It was for lack of better description “hard.” These days though it’s a matter of a few clicks, some templating or potentially an automated scaling event that enables much the same result. Often we forget just how much operations teams take for granted. It’s a fleeting memory for many that not long ago a 30-minute task took 30 days or more.

Technology is evolving and the barrier for entry to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud continues to diminish. We stand on the brink of the next evolution, one where the boundaries of individual cloud providers have begun to fade. Google allowed the industry to begin unifying how we manage services across compute resources when they gave us Kubernetes. A common platform for the management of container-based architectures. Tooling sprouted up to enhance the platform; service discovery, service meshes, and operators oh my… The ecosystem has thrived and matured.

Now back to those boundaries, yeah the ones that have made it difficult to architect solutions across clouds. We are now beginning to think beyond one cloud, able to consider the benefits that each cloud offers. Freeing engineering teams to explore the strengths each cloud has based on particular use-cases presented. The ability to craft a solution that reaches across these boundaries and allows teams to exploit the native strengths is becoming a reality.

This new panacea has names like Rancher, Anthos, and others. Companies are creating a unified control plane from which ecosystems that span vendors can easily be monitored and managed. Teams can develop abstractions that break the chains of platform lock-in. Fluidly moving services to where business requirements are best satisfied, whether they be cost, resiliency or service availability. I can’t wait to see where this new freedom will take us as it matures.