|By Roger Strukhoff||
|March 29, 2014 04:43 PM EDT||
"What era do we live in?" A good friend of mine asked me this simple question many years ago. "Post-modern" was not an acceptable answer. She deemed the "Nouveaux Fin de Siecle" too clever by half. "The Information Age" was hackneyed, and had already been in use for a couple of decades anyway.
The point is that it's very difficult to perceive one's current reality. Certainly no one alive during the Dark Ages thought of that time as remotely dark. Renaissance artists and musicians just thought they were creating, as did those of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Only later, with the perspective of decades or centuries of hindsight, do we name the times in which our predecessors lived.
But sometimes, even the slowest and dullest amongst us can perceive obvious truths. And it is thus that I've recently had a sharp, thundering awakening to the age of the Internet of Things. From the time of my original involvement in the technology industry in the early 80s - can you say Zilog and CP/M? - I've not witnessed the manic excitement I'm now seeing.
The Internet was big - "bigger than fire" a few overheated folks said in the 90s - but IoT is bigger. As sensors start creating a fully fledged parallel world, the data demands of the IoT-driven Web will easily eclipse today's puny global cyberstructure. Magnitudes will ensue, and there will be increasingly insane demands for routers, switches, storage, cables, and processors. Like those old skinny ties in your closet, hardware will come back into vogue as never before. Take that, Marc Andreessen.
What has me jazzed about IoT is its totality throughout the stack. This is not just a play for Cisco, for Rackspace, for Dell, for all who supply AWS and Google Cloud. There is some excitement for the software folks, too. High-level, low-level, and that vast sea of middleware.
PaaS Is Still Cool
As an example, I've had two tremendous conversations about PaaS recently - one on Twitter (my natural métier) and one on Facebook (more difficult for me, but ultimately satisfying) - both hosted by IBM. Some of the social-media folks at Big Blue, working as a team from Chicago and Bangalore, wanted to just, um, chat about PaaS.
Infographics that showed the cloud's advantage throughout the software development and testing process were featured. Questions about moving amongst platforms were addressed. Security concerns were raised. In the end, I sensed an urgency among attendees that reflected their uneasiness that they're simply not moving fast enough.
Back to IoT
The culprit is IoT. Over the past decade, many millions of words have been written about liberating processes from apps and re-integrating them as Web Services; about decoupling everything into a Service-Oriented Architecture; about virtualizing all this and migrating it into the cloud; and about dealing with new troves of Big Data (however an enterprise defines that term).
But now, with IoT, the world is waking up to the reality that with things, we can measure things as never before. Vast new oceans of data are being divined, and companies large and small are taking swimming lessons.
All of this will coalesce in a few months, June 10-12 to be exact, at Cloud Expo in New York. I serve as Tech Chair of the @ThingsExpo track at the event, as part of the overall team of great human beings who serve in other Conference & Tech Chair capacities.
Do you want to learn about the latest in PaaS? IaaS? SaaS? XaaS? Or maybe public cloud? Private? Hybrid? Optimization? Monitoring? Governance? Data Integrity and Security?
Or Internet of Things?
What era do we live in? I'll see you in New York.
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