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
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
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.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.