|By Esmeralda Swartz||
|June 29, 2014 09:00 AM EDT||
In my last blog, I looked at the evolution of technology as we move to virtualization. What will this new development mean for business models, industry developments and industry players?
Virtualization means that everything will run on commodity hardware - the same as the rest of the commercial world. No proprietary equipment, just generic devices and servers running software. Who will build the data centers? Probably the same set of companies that build data centers for everyone else. That is, not necessarily network equipment companies or phone companies.
Who will write the software? Presumably the network equipment companies, at first. But the cost of entry into a software-driven industry is much lower than the cost of entry into a hardware-dominated industry. Mass-producing software is far less expensive than mass-producing hardware, so new players will rapidly emerge and some of them will prosper. Just as likely, some of the existing players will not. An industry with thousands of large, medium and small companies has different dynamics than an industry dominated by a few giants.
Will communications service providers (CSPs) get into the software business? They understand how networks work, and the move to virtualization provides a new playing field in which CSPs stand as good a chance as any of creating new, reliable and secure software. Why shouldn't the CSPs work together in a sort of almost-open-source movement, share their products and services and reap the financial benefits?
And then who will design the networks and do the network capacity planning? Ultimately, the network will do most of that itself. Just as it is possible to write code that writes more code according to rules, it is possible to write code within the network that not only manages the traffic, but identifies when and where new capacity is needed, and installs itself in the newly activated devices. Where do those devices and servers come from? Anywhere; they are generic, standardized and commoditized.
Who will create network capacity by actually placing the building blocks in position? Some humans may do this, or maybe robots, but they don't need to work for the phone company. They could work for a sub-contractor or one of the companies that today we think of as equipment vendors. Or perhaps that is a whole new industry, in the same way house builders don't have to make bricks, or be architects, real estate agents or landlords. They just build and sell.
So who will actually own the network assets? It could be anyone, even a company that has no actual end users as customers. Virtualization, and all that goes with it, will make it possible to own network assets, and to offer those assets as capacity for others to rent. That capacity could then be used by whatever CSP needs it most at the time, and is willing to pay for it.
CSPs will both own and rent capacity, or rather their automated agents will do so on their behalf, guided by rules that will be developed initially by human coders, but which will evolve and be optimized by more software. And the fact that all network capability can be addressed by anyone with access means that we could end up with a rich network of niche relationships, with services appearing and disappearing like twinkling stars.
Users of the network today are somewhat imprisoned: they have limited choices of service providers and services. It may be in the interests of CSPs to keep it that way for a while, but ultimately the capabilities of the technology will create a completely new type of customer. The Internet has shown us the model: people can go almost anywhere they want to. But let's not confuse "The Internet" with "The Network." The global telecommunications network is bigger than the Internet, and actually contains it. It is this larger, all-containing global network that is being virtualized by network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Soon the flexibility and power created by this move to virtualization will spawn all sorts of new services driven by whoever wants them and is willing to pay their share for capacity. The Internet as we know it will be just one particular mode of networking. NFV and SDN can, and probably will, lead to a multiplicity of Internet-like services, both competing and collaborating, with different purposes and philosophies. Some of those exist just now, in the form of commercial, governmental and academic intranets, but we should expect more when anyone can address the network, define the necessary capabilities and use them as needed. These individuals can also sell them to others with any type of charging arrangement: charging for time or for capacity used, by content consumed, or subscription by the hour, the year or the second. And if you need a content delivery network, you can rent space on those built by others, independent of other business relationships you might have. Or you can build one yourself.
So monthly bills? Well, remember the hansom cabriolet? It's cute, but not what we need today.
What other business processes may soon become outdated? Let us know on Twitter.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Nov. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 257
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Nov. 29, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 490
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion...
Nov. 29, 2015 06:45 AM EST Reads: 739
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 372
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 551
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Nov. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 459
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:30 AM EST Reads: 483
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application del...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 375
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 338
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 595
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 29, 2015 02:45 AM EST Reads: 421
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Nov. 29, 2015 02:30 AM EST Reads: 500
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 436
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 28, 2015 08:00 PM EST Reads: 435
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 479