Computer trends 2018

IT seems to be growing again. Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending will increase 4.5% this year to $3.68 trillion, driven by artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain technology, and the IoT.

Digital transformations are fashionable. You won’t find an enterprise that isn’t leveraging some combination of cloud, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to better serve customers or streamline operations. But here’s a hard truth about digital transformations: Many are failing outright or are in danger of failing. Typical reasons for failing are not understanding what is digital transformation (different people understand it differently), lack of CEO sponsorship, talent deficiency, resistance to change. Usually a technology-first approach to digital transformation is a recipe for disaster. Truing to just push trough technically unfeasible transformation idea is another way to fail.

The digital era requires businesses to move with speed, and that is causing IT organizations to rethink how they work. A lot of  IT is moving off premises to SaaS providers and the public cloud. Research outfit 451 standout finding was that 60 per cent of the surveyed enterprises say they will run the majority of their IT outside the confines of enterprise data centres by the end of 2019. From cost containment to hybrid strategies, CIOs are getting more creative in taking advantage of the latest offerings and the cloud’s economies of scale.

In 2018 there seems to be a growing Software Engineering Talent Shortage in both quantity and quality. For the past nine years, software engineers have been at the top of the hardest to fill jobs in the United States. And same applies to many other countries including Finland. Forrester projects that firms will pay 20% above market for quality engineering talent in 2018. Particularly in-demand skills  are data scientists, high-end software developers and information security analysts. There is real need for well-studied, experienced engineers with a formal and deep understanding of software engineering. Recruiting and retaining tech talent remains IT’s biggest challenge today. Most CIOs are migrating applications to public cloud services, offloading operations and maintenance of computing, storage and other capabilities so they can reallocate staff to focus on what’s strategic to their business.

The enterprise no longer is at the center of the IT universe. It seems that reports of the PC’s demise have been greatly exaggerated and the long and painful decline in PC sales of the last half-decade as tailed off, at least momentarily. As the sales of smartphones and tablets have risen, consumers had not stopped using PCs, but merely replaced them less often. FT reports that PC is set to stage a comeback in 2018, after the rise of smartphones sent sales of desktop and laptop computers into decline in recent years. If that does not happen, then PC market could return to growth in 2019. But the end result is that PC is no longer seen as the biggest growth driver for chip makers. An extreme economic shift has chipmakers focused on hyperscale clouds.

Microservices are talked about a lot. Software built using microservices is easier to deliver and maintain than the big and brittle architectures or old; these were difficult to scale and might take years to build and deliver. Microservices are small and self-contained, so therefore easy to wrap up in a virtual machine or a container (but don’t have to live in containers). Public cloud providers increasingly differentiate themselves through the features and services they provide. But it turns out that microservices are far from being one-size-fit-for-all silver bullet for IT challenges.

Containers will try to make break-trough again in 2018. Year 2017 was supposed to be the year of containers! It wasn’t? Oops. Maybe year 2018 is better. Immature tech still has a bunch of growing up to do. Linux Foundation’s Open Containers Initiative (OCI) finally dropped two specifications that standardise how containers operate at a low level. The needle in 2018 will move towards containers running separately from VMs, or entirely in place of VMs. Kubernates gains traction. It seems that the containers are still at the point where the enterprise is waiting to embrace them.

Serverless will be talked about. Serverless computing is a cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. Serverless architectures refer to applications that significantly depend on third-party services (knows as Backend as a Service or “BaaS”) or on custom code that’s run in ephemeral containers (Function as a Service or “FaaS”), the best known vendor host of which currently is AWS Lambda.

Automation is what everybody with many computers wants. Infrastructure automation creates and destroys basic IT resources such as compute instances, storage, networking, DNS, and so forth. Security automation helps keeping systems secure. It bosses want to create self-driving private clouds. The journey to self-driving clouds needs to be gradual. The vision of the self-driving cloud makes sense, but the task of getting from here to there can seem daunting. DevOps automation with customer control: Automatic installation and configuration, Integration that brings together AWS and VMWare, workflows migration controlled by users, Self-service provisioning based on templates defined by users, Advanced machine learning to automate processes, and Automated upgrades.

Linux is center of many cloud operations: Google and Facebook started building their own gear and loading it with their own software. Google has it’s own Linux called gLinux.  Facebook networking uses Linux-based FBOSS operating system. Even Microsoft has developed its own Linux for cloud operations. Software-defined networking (SDN) is a very fine idea.

Memory business boomed in 2017 for both NAND and DRAM. The drivers for DRAM are smartphones and servers. Solid-state drives (SSDs) and smartphones are fueling the demand for NANDNAND Market Expected to Cool in Q1 from the crazy year 2017, but it is still growing well because there is increasing demand. Memory — particular DRAM — was largely considered a commodity business.

Lots of 3D NAND will go to solid state drives in 2018. IDC forecasts strong growth for the solid-state drive (SSD) industry as it transitions to 3D NAND.  SSD industry revenue is expected to reach $33.6 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 14.8%. Sizes of memory chips increase as number of  layer in 3D NAND are added. The traditional mechanical hard disk based on magnetic storage is in hard place in competition, as the speed of flash-based SSDs is so superior

There is search for faster memory because modern computers, especially data-center servers that skew heavily toward in-memory databases, data-intensive analytics, and increasingly toward machine-learning and deep-neural-network training functions, depend on large amounts of high-speed, high capacity memory to keep the wheels turning. The memory speed has not increased as fast as the capacity. The access bandwidth of DRAM-based computer memory has improved by a factor of 20x over the past two decades. Capacity increased 128x during the same period. For year 2018 DRAM remains a near-universal choice when performance is the priority. There is search going on for a viable replacement for DRAM. Whether it’s STT-RAM or phase-change memory or resistive RAM, none of them can match the speed or endurance of DRAM.



PCI Express 4.0 is ramping up. PCI-standards consortium PCI-SIG (Special Interest Group) has ratified and released specifications for PCIe 4.0 Specification Version 1. Doubling PCIe 3.0’s 8 GT/s (~1 GB/s) of bandwidth per lane, PCIe 4.0 offers a transfer rate of 16 GT/s. The newest version of PCI Express will start appearing on motherboards soon. PCI-SIG has targeted Q2 2019 for releasing the finalized PCIe 5.0 specification, so PCIe 4.0 won’t be quite as long-lived as PCIe 3.0 has been. So we’ll See PCIe 4.0 this year in use and PCIe 5.0 in 2019.

USB type C is on the way to becoming the most common PC and peripheral interface. The USB C connector has become faster more commonplace than any other earlier interface. USB C is very common on smartphones, but the interface is also widespread on laptops. Sure, it will take some time before it is the most common. In 2021, the C-type USB connector has almost five billion units, IHS estimates.

It seems that the after-shocks of Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities on processors will be haunting us for quite long time this year. It is now three weeks since The Register revealed the chip design flaws that Google later confirmed and the world still awaits certainty about what it will take to get over the silicon slip-ups. Last pieces of farce has been that Intel Halts Spectre, Meltdown CPU Patches Over Unstable Code and Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticises Intel’s ‘garbage’ patches. Computer security will not be the same after all this has been sorted out.

What’s Next With Computing? IBM discusses AI, neural nets and quantum computing. Many can agree that those technologies will be important. Public cloud providers increasingly provide sophisticated flavours of data analysis and increasingly Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Central Banks Are Using Big Data to Help Shape Policy. Over the past few years, machine learning (ML) has evolved from an interesting new approach that allows computers to beat champions at chess and Go, into one that is touted as a panacea for almost everything. 2018 will be the start of what could be a longstanding battle between chipmakers to determine who creates the hardware that artificial intelligence lives on.

ARM processor based PCs are coming. As Microsoft and Qualcomm jointly announced in early December that the first Windows 10 notebooks with ARM-based Snapdragon 835 processors will be officially launched in early 2018, there will be more and more PCs with ARM processor architecture hitting the market. Digitimes Research expects that ARM-based models may dominate lower-end PC market, but don’t hold your breath on this. It is rumoured that “wireless LTE connectivity” function will be incorporated into all the entry-level Window 10 notebooks with ARM processors, branded by Microsoft as the “always-connected devices.” HP and Asustek have released some ARM-based notebooks with Windows 10S.

Ohjelmistoalan osaajapula pahenee – kasvu jatkuu

PC market set to return to growth in 2018

PC market could return to growth in 2019

PC sales grow for the first time in five years

USBC yleistyy nopeasti

PCI-SIG Finalizes and Releases PCIe 4.0, Version 1 Specification: 2x PCIe Bandwidth and More

Hot Chips 2017: We’ll See PCIe 4.0 This Year, PCIe 5.0 In 2019

Serverless Architectures

Outsourcing remains strategic in the digital era

8 hot IT hiring trends — and 8 going cold

EDA Challenges Machine Learning

The Battle of AI Processors Begins in 2018

How to create self-driving private clouds

ZeroStack Lays Out Vision for Five-Step Journey to Self-Driving Cloud

2017 – the year of containers! It wasn’t? Oops. Maybe next year

Hyperscaling The Data Center

Electronics trends for 2018

2018′s Software Engineering Talent Shortage— It’s quality, not just quantity

Microservices 101

How Central Banks Are Using Big Data to Help Shape Policy

Digitimes Research: ARM-based models may dominate lower-end PC market

Intel Halts Spectre, Meltdown CPU Patches Over Unstable Code

Spectre and Meltdown: Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticises Intel’s ‘garbage’ patches

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

What’s Next With Computing? IBM discusses AI, neural nets and quantum computing.

The Week in Review: IoT

PCI Express 4.0 as Fast As Possible

Microsoft has developed its own Linux!

Microsoft Built Its Own Linux Because Everyone Else Did

Facebook has built its own switch. And it looks a lot like a server

Googlella on oma sisäinen linux

Is the writing on the wall for on-premises IT? This survey seems to say so

12 reasons why digital transformations fail

7 habits of highly effective digital transformations



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Valentina Palladino / Ars Technica:
    HP unveils Envy all-in-one PCs with built-in Alexa support, updates Envy and Elite device lineup with new designs, faster processors, and better displays — Better graphics, 700-nit brightness screens, and more define HP’s newest PCs. — HP announced a slew of updates to its premium lines …

    New HP all-in-one houses Alexa, provides power with wireless charging base
    Better graphics, 700-nit brightness screens, and more define HP’s newest PCs.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel’s First 10nm Cannon Lake CPU Sees the Light of Day

    A Chinese retailer has started selling a laptop featuring Intel’s first 10nm CPU the Intel Core i3 8121U. Intel promised to start producing 10nm CPUs in 2016 but the rollout has been postponed almost until the second half of 2018. It’s worth noting that this CPU does not have integrated graphics enabled and features only two cores.

    First 10nm Cannon Lake Laptop Spotted Online: Lenovo Ideapad 330 for $449
    by Ian Cutress on May 13, 2018 11:02 AM EST

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AMD Integrates Ryzen PRO and Radeon Vega Graphics In Next-Gen APUs

    The three biggest PC OEMs — Dell, HP, and Lenovo — are now offering AMD Ryzen PRO mobile and desktop accelerated processing units (APUs) with built-in Radeon Vega graphics in a variety of commercial systems. There are a total of seven new APUs — three for the mobile space and four for the desktop. As AMD notes in its press release, the first desktops to ship with these latest chips include: the HP Elitedesk G4 and 285 Desktop, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M715, and the Dell Optiplex 5055.

    AMD integrates Ryzen PRO and Radeon Vega graphics in next-generation APUs
    AMD unveils seven new Ryzen PRO APUs, three for mobile space and four for the desktop, for the commercial users.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chipmaker Nvidia sees fewer crypto miners, more gamers in future

    Too many cryptocurrency clients and fewer cloud computing orders than expected underwhelmed Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) investors on Thursday, although the graphics chip maker said a supply shortage that hit its core video game audience had eased.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple will soon grow bigger than Finland

    News agency Reuters has presented figures that are confusing. Apple’s turnover has exceeded $ 200 billion and the figure is approaching Finland’s gross domestic product. For example, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is half smaller than Apple.

    Apple’s share price was quoted at $ 188. At this valuation, the company’s market value is $ 944 billion. As the share reaches $ 195, Apple’s market value will break the trillion, or $ 1000 billion.

    However, Reuters recalls that Apple is not the fastest growing company. Amazon is growing significantly faster and its market value is already $ 780 billion.


  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 misconceptions CIOs still have about agile

    Agile has made great headway in the enterprise, but common misconceptions prevent organizations from making the most of the methodology.

    By now, CIOs should be aware of the many benefits of the agile methodology. But there’s a few persistent misconceptions that could be getting in the way of even greater outcomes. We asked experts to discuss the most common misconceptions they see organizations falling prey to when it comes to agile practices. Here’s what IT leaders are likely to misunderstand about effectively implementing the framework.

    Understanding the relationship between the agile methodology and effective talent management is an area where many CIOs struggle, says Dave West, product owner at Agile is more than just a set of processes and policies for defining workflows, and it takes more than just hiring technical talent with agile experience to succeed.

    “Almost every organization says, ‘People are our greatest asset,’ but so many don’t follow through on it,” he says. “You need to have structures and policy in place to support education, progression, feedback, continuous improvement, yes, but your talent management strategy has to be agile and focus on different factors.”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dell PC business to continue thriving in 5G era, says CEO

    Unlike most IT players showing pessimism about the future of the PC industry, Michael Dell, CEO of of his namesake company, has optimistically stressed that Dell’s PC business will continue to thrive as the advent of 5G and the raging development of AI applications will fuel the demand for multiple advanced cloud and edge computing algorithms, thus providing more space for the development of PC products and computing applications.

    IBM declared the beginning of a “post-PC era” 20 years ago, prompting many to feel pessimistic about the PC prospects. Over the past 20 years, however, more than four billion PCs have been sold globally, and IBM was right in that computing would expand to include embedded devices, the CEO said while speaking at his firm’s recent major annual conference.

    Now the world’s No. 3 PC brand and top server vendor with its affiliate EMC as the leading storage vendor and VMware as the largest supplier of virtualization software products, Dell is continuing its business integration and consolidation efforts

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fedora 28 Is Out And Developers Are In Love With It

    The latest version of Fedora uses Linux Kernel 4.16.3. The latest Fedora28 comes in three different editions for a different use- cases: Fedora 28 Workstation, Fedora 28 Server, and Fedora 28 Atomic Host.

    The latest Fedora28 base package comes with all the latest compilers including GNU Compiler Collection(GCC) 8, Ruby 2.5 and Golang 1.10.

    The latest Fedora version tries to solve a very common problem most programmers face. It brings the modular repository feature which lets the developer use alternative software versions rather than the default package

    “Application Stream” or AppStream in short. This software ships the software versions on independent life cycles. This helps in choosing the right version of the repository and still keep the operating system up-to-date.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros
    If you want your fave to survive, you’ll need to dig deep

    If you’re new to Linux you’d be forgiven for thinking there are only a half-dozen distributions – names like Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux tend to get most of the headlines.

    These big distros tackle big projects like Wayland, systemd, Mir, and other tools that will, for better or worse, change Linux as we know it. The big fish always get the attention, if for no other reason than these are also the only distros with million-dollar companies backing them.

    They are not, however, the end of the story. In fact there are hundreds, if not thousands, of distros out there that barely register on trackers like distrowatch.

    Two such distros managed to shake the boat recently when, for separate but related reasons, they announced their closure.

    Take a chance on me

    However, if the trend among users is moving against small distros, all Linux users may suffer, even those that never move away from the first distro they try.

    Without people willing to take a chance on unknown but potentially really great distros, there would be no Linux Mint, no elementaryOS and no Solus, to name three recent, very popular arrivals in the Linux world.

    All three are big now, but they got that way only because some people took a chance on them long ago.

    There’s a reason RHEL, CentOS and Ubuntu dominate the server market – they’re backed by companies that other companies can understand. Corporate customers are always going to stick with the bigger distros for a variety of reasons such as reliability of support, the existence of a roadmap – things they, as corporations, can rely and bet their infrastructure on. This will pour more attention, more contributions, and, more importantly, more money into big projects like Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS and openSUSE.

    “The distros that seem to last – be they large or small – tend to be the ones that have some form of revenue. Whether that comes from users via donation as in the case of Linux Mint, or from a corporate backer as in the big-name distros, at the end of the day – in our culture – money matters.”

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Opinion: New AMD chip goes after $10 billion market that Intel dominates

    Advanced Micro Devices is launching yet another offensive on a market that has been sewn up by Intel for more than a decade.

    While the Ryzen processor family that was unveiled in 2017 goes after a premium segment of the PC market with more than $20 billion of TAM (total addressable market), more than half of that is tied to commercial-device sales. Commercial PCs and notebooks are bought by companies for employees or purchased by employees themselves as part of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. And that’s what AMD has its eyes on.

    Commercial customers have more demanding requirements on product portfolio stability and security, and not having a processor designed for laptops was keeping AMD AMD, +2.97% out of race for that $10 billion segment of the market.

    PC manufacturers appear to be signing on to work with AMD and its new family of Ryzen PRO processors.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The new processor challenges Intel, Nvidia and everyone else

    New processor architectures are not published every day, and at least those that promise to revolutionize everything from computers to graphics cards and artificial intelligence to servers and datacenters. The architecture of Silicon Valley Tachyum promises to do so.

    Tachyum has released its first processor family. Prodigy promises 10 times more performance per watt than universal processors. According to the company, the server machines are so efficient that the same computing power equals one percent space and consumes ten less power than the current solutions.

    Tachyum says that in 2020, the Prodigy processors are to build a supercomputer capable of simulating human brain activity in real time.


  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IT’s adult day care dilemma

    Curious, malicious or otherwise careless users can create all sorts of information security-related issues in your business including:

    · Malware infections that can install keylogging software, or worse, ransomware on your computers or allow your systems to be accessed and controlled by outsiders looking to attack others

    · Exposed intellectual property which can negate the time, money and effort you’ve put into the legal side of protecting your business assets

    · Compromised personally-identifiable information that can lead to compliance violations and subsequent legal problems

    · Accessing illicit web sites that can create HR-related challenges such as sexual harassment that you might not be ready to take on


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *