|By Lori MacVittie||
|January 5, 2015 09:30 AM EST||
Cloud and Things and Big Operational Data
Software-defined architectures are critical for achieving the right mix of efficiency and scale needed to meet the challenges that will come with the Internet of Things
If you've been living under a rock (or rack in the data center) you might not have noticed the explosive growth of technologies and architectures designed to address emerging challenges with scaling data centers. Whether considering the operational aspects (devops) or technical components (SDN, SDDC, Cloud), software-defined architectures are the future enabler of business, fueled by the increasing demand for applications.
The Internet of Things is only going to make that even more challenging as businesses turn to new business models and services fueled by a converging digital-physical world. Applications, whether focused on licensing, provisioning, managing or storing data for these "things" will increase the already significant burden on IT as a whole. The inability to scale from an operational perspective is really what software-defined architectures are attempting to solve by operationalizing the network to shift the burden of provisioning and management from people to technology.
But it's more than just API-enabling switches, routers, ADCs and other infrastructure components. While this is a necessary capability to ensure the operational scalability of modern data centers, what's really necessary to achieve the next "level" is collaboration.
That means infrastructure integration.
it is one thing to be able to automatically provision the network, compute and storage resources necessary to scale to meet the availability and performance expectations of users and businesses alike. But that's the last step in the process. Actually performing the provisioning is the action that's taken after it's determined not only that it's necessary, but where it's necessary.
Workloads (and I hate that term but it's at least somewhat universally understood so I'll acquiesce to using it for now) have varying characteristics with respect to the compute, network and storage they require to perform optimally. That's means provisioning a "workload" in a VM with characteristics that do not match the requirements is necessarily going to impact its performance or load capability. If one is making assumptions regarding the number of users a given application can support, and it's provisioned with a resource profile that impacts that support, it can lead to degrading performance or availability.
Data, is the key. Measurements of performance, rates of queries, number of users, and the resulting impact on the workload must be captured. But more than that, it must be shared with the systems responsible for provisioning and scaling the workloads.
This is not a new concept, that we should be able to share data across systems and services to ensure the best fit for provisioning and seamless scale demanded of modern architectures. A 2007 SIGMOD paper, "Automated and On-Demand Provisioning of Virtual Machines for Database Applications" as well as a 2010 IEEE paper, "Dynamic Provisioning Modeling for Virtualized Multi-tier Applications in Cloud Data Center" discuss the need for such provisioning models and the resulting architectures rely heavily on the collaboration of the data center components responsible for measuring, managing and provisioning workloads in cloud computing environments through integration.
The location of a workload, you see, matters. Not location as in "on-premise" or "off-premise", though that certainly has an impact, but the location within the data center matters to the overall performance and scale of the applications composed from those workloads. The location of a specific workload comparative to other components impacts availability and traffic patterns that can result in higher incidents of north-south or east-west congestion in the network. Location of application workloads can cause hairpinning (or tromboning if you prefer) of traffic that may degrade performance or introduce variable latency that degrades the quality of video or audio content.
Location matters a great deal, and yet the very premise of cloud is to abstract topology (location) from the equation and remove it from consideration as part of the provisioning process.
Early in the life of public cloud there was concern over not knowing "who your neighbor tenant" might be on a given physical server, because there was little transparency into the decision making process that governs provisioning of instances in public cloud environments. The depth of such decisions appeared to - and still appear to - be made based on your preference for the "size" of an instance. Obviously, Amazon or Azure or Google is not going to provision a "large" instance where only a "small" will fit.
But the question of where, topologically, that "large" instance might end up residing is still unanswered. It might be two hops away or one virtual hop away. You can't know if your entire application - all its components - have been launched on the same physical server or not. And that can have dire consequences in a model that's "built to fail" because if all your eggs are in one basket and the basket breaks... well, minutes of downtime is still downtime.
The next evolutionary step in cloud (besides the emergence of much needed value added services) is more intelligent provisioning driven by better feedback loops regarding the relationship between the combination of compute, network and storage resources and the application. Big (Operational) Data is going to be as important to IT as Big (Customer) Data is to the business as more and more applications and services become critical to the business.
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
Mar. 27, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,130
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership abi...
Mar. 27, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 11,025
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
Mar. 27, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 999
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Mar. 27, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,943
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Mar. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,133
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Mar. 27, 2017 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,963
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you ...
Mar. 27, 2017 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,135
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
Mar. 27, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,953
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 27, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,893
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 27, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,842
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 27, 2017 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,082
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Mar. 27, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 834
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
Mar. 27, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,332
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Mar. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 7,614
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
Mar. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,049