Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Long-term CIO implications of application experience

I wrote previously that the networking industry was evolving from CapEx to OpEx to AppEx (Application Experience). There is certainly enough market buzz around applications if you listen to the major vendor positions. Cisco includes applications in its overarching moniker (Application-Centric Infrastructure), VMWare has blogged about application awareness as it relates to NSX, and even some of the peripheral players like F5 have embraced applications as part of their ongoing dialogue with the community.

If there is a shift to AppEx, what are the implications for the CIO?

The most obvious requirement to move to Application Experience as an IT driver is to define in explicit terms what application experience means. We need to define terms like performance and scale and even secure, and then break down the various contributions by system component so that we can understand who is responsible for what impact.

But a movement towards explicitly-defined application experience means a lot more than just instrumenting some infrastructure, collection statistics, and correlating the data.

What would have to be true for application experience to be a major driving factor behind architectural decisions? At its most basic, there would have to be widespread agreement on what the meaningful applications in the company are. Certainly you cannot create blanket application experience metrics that are applied uniformly to every application. This means that CIOs who want to prepare for a move in this direction could start by cataloguing the applications in play today.

Any such inventory should explicitly document how applications contribute to meaningful corporate objectives. For high-tech companies with a distributed development force, the applications might hinge around code versioning, bug tracking, and compilation tools. For companies that deal with tons of human resources, the most important applications might be HCM or even ERP. For companies whose job it is to maintain data, the applications could be more related to storage and replication.

Whatever the applications, the CIO ought to know those that are most critical to the business.

Note that the focus is on what is most important. There is not a real need to understand every application. Optimization is about treating some things differently. If you inventory 4,000 applications and try to make them all somewhat different, the deltas between individual applications become irrelevantly small. Instead, application experience will dictate that you manage by exception – identify the really critical or performance-sensitive stuff and do something special there.

For most enterprises, IT is treated as a service organization. If this is the case, the CIO will be expected to align application experience to the various lines of business. Not only will they have an interest in what the most critical applications are but also in what metrics are being used to define success. After all, it is their employees that are the consumers of that experience. This means that CIOs should include the lines of business in the definition of application experience.

But once you define the objective, you will be expected to report progress against it. It seems likely that these metrics would eventually become performance indicators for specific groups or IT as a whole. The implication here is that the metrics will help set objectives, which means that they will influence things like bonuses and budgets.

Leaders need to understand the likely endgame. The temptation when creating metrics in many organizations is to quickly pull together metrics that are good enough. But if you know ahead of time that those metrics will eventually drive how the organization is compensated, perhaps you ought to spend more time up front getting them right. And before setting targets, you likely want to spend real time benchmarking performance in a repeatable way.

Repeatable is the key here. Anyone who has instrumented ANY system will attest to the fact that metrics are only useful if they are repeatable. If running a report yields different results every time you run it, chances are that the report is not as meaningful as you would like. The ramification is that reports need to be run around well-defined scenarios that can be reproduced on demand.

The upside of all of this preparation is that the right set of metrics can be powerful change agents. They help focus entire organizations on a small set of tasks that can have demonstrable impact on the business.

The point here is that there is a lot of work that has to happen on the customer side before something like Application Experience becomes real. While it is incumbent on the vendors to create solutions that do something better for applications, customers should eventually be complicit in any shift in purchasing criteria. Those customers that start early will be in the best position to lead the dialogue with vendors.

And leading will matter because the efficacy of all of this will eventually rest on the existence of a solid analytics foundation. It is possible that clever customers can steer their vendors to work with specific analytics companies. That would give them a tangible deployment advantage, both in terms of acquisition costs (the solution is already on-prem) and operational effort.

For vendors, this means you ought to be looking around now to see who you will partner with. Choose wisely, because if the industry does go through consolidation and your dance partner is gobbled up, you might be left alone. The stakes might not be super high now, but when purchasing decisions hinge on a measurable Application Experience, you might think differently.

[Today's fun fact: In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator. You would think we would all be thinner.]

The post Long-term CIO implications of application experience appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...