With 2019 coming to a close, we are excited to see what 2020 has in store for the database world. Patrick McFadin, VP of Developer Relations at DataStax, gives us his take on the future of databases, microservices/containers, and more!

DBaaS offerings will make an impact on developers

"Developers have more options on what data models they can use to support their applications, from traditional relational to new databases that are better suited to use cases like graph or time-series data. NoSQL databases will continue to grow in popularity to keep up with the pace of data coming in.

Database as a Service (DBaaS) offerings will underpin many of these new workloads, making them easier to deploy and manage. Using cloud and data management expertise to inform how these instances are managed will make it easier for developers to adopt the right database platform to help them scale up quickly."

Database security and operations issues will continue to cause problems

"2019 has seen more breaches and issues due to misconfigurations of database instances. This won’t go away in 2020. Unless the industry makes it easier to adopt solutions that are hardened from the start—and unless default insecure deployments are stopped—the problems will persist.

To solve this, getting best practices for security in place and making it easier to follow these will be needed. This will be down to the companies that support database technologies themselves and the cloud providers that offer these as managed services. Building on the expertise that surrounds databases and using this insight to create better services—either through the products themselves or available as a service—will go a long way to solving the problem."

Graph will become a mainstream technology

"Graph has continued to develop—knowledge graphs and property graphs make it easier to model and analyze the relationships between data objects. As more companies set out to solve problems that are about the relationships between things, locations, and people, graph will become more popular in enterprises.

The problem for graph in 2020 is the lack of understanding around the technology, and as a result the shortage of talent with specific graph skills. The expansion of the market with new graph products will help the adoption process, but there will be a hurdle in setting up data correctly in the first place. Thinking through problems with a “relationship-first” mindset will help graph adoption to be successful."

Multi-cloud turns from a strategic goal to a practical reality

"Multi-cloud has been on the CIO wishlist for the past year—this has been a way for them to keep control over their companies’ IT strategies even as they adopt public cloud services. However, a lot of these projects have been standalone implementations that were not running across cloud deployments. For some, the ability to have some projects running on public cloud and some internally will be enough to be called ‘multi-cloud’.

For most enterprise CIOs, this will be the starting point on making hybrid cloud and multi-cloud projects a reality. For mission-critical applications, running across multiple cloud services independently and at scale will be a challenge that will be met in 2020. This will be associated with more understanding of what multi-cloud really means when it comes to data, and how to mix and match specific cloud services alongside cross-cloud database designs."

The move to containers begins to affect data management

"Database technologies tend to follow application designs by a year or two—this means that the growth of containers and microservices will start to affect database design decisions in 2020. The reason for this is that more microservices applications are going into production, and they have to be supported fully.

In 2020, developers will have to engage with their operations teams around areas like availability, resiliency, and security for data created by microservices applications. Getting this right will involve looking at how to support these requirements from the start. Getting the right database and data replication approaches built into application designs from the start will help."

Kubernetes (k8s) will enter the “trough of disillusionment”

“The past few years have been really good for the Kubernetes project with a lot of hype and big meetup numbers. 2020 will start showing some signs of strain as real-world deployments start taking off some of the shine. This is a very typical life cycle pattern for projects and a good sign of a strong future. As a result, you will see a lot more antipattern talks. New projects trying to take its place with improvements. Voices of doubt at why they ever started a project using Kubernetes. In all, the community of operators considering k8s for massive deployments will use more caution and careful evaluation.”

The availability of 5G will drive up data growth rates

"5G is still in its infancy. Launches have started and there are some great examples of new consumer marketing efforts that show what will be possible. However, 2020 will see the first deployments scaling up and starting to support businesses.

For companies looking at IoT, 5G should support them with using data in more expansive ways. For example, taking more data per device and polling the device more frequently will provide supply chain and logistics organizations with more accurate insight into their performance. However, that will also lead to an explosion of data that will have to be stored and managed. Scaling up applications and database implementations to keep up with more data coming in will be necessary, and the cost here will have an impact on how IoT services are designed."

Apache Cassandra™ 4.0 release will create a wave up upgrades

“With the amount of stability fixes and testing that has gone into Apache Cassandra™ 4.0, it will be quickly adopted by the larger Cassandra community in 2020. In addition to some of the scalability and operations features, this will mark a massive milestone for the project. Cassandra has had an unofficial rule of waiting six months after a major release before even thinking about using it in production. The focus of the PMC and committers in the project has been to build and test with a goal of a day zero readiness. There is no doubt they will be successful and the effect will be large deployments moving over quickly throughout 2020. It takes years for a database to work through stability bugs. Some of the most subtle are hard to find and remove. It’s been over 10 years now in the project and this will arguably be one of the fastest timeframes for ultra-stability. Projects following Cassandra can only dream of this claim and as a result, we have a very proud community.”