IDG Contributor Network: Challenges in realizing the promises of the holistic edge

Cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are already rolling out distributed cloud infrastructure. Whilst the central cloud is established as an integral part of current and future networks, there are key issues that make the central cloud simply not the solution to several use cases.

  • Latency, also known as the Laws of Physics: The longer the distance is between two communicating entities, the longer the time it takes to move content there. Whilst the delay of reaching out to the cloud today might be tolerable for some applications, it will not be the case for emerging applications that will require nearly instantaneous responses (e.g. in industrial IoT control, robots, machines, autonomous cars, drones, etc.).
  • Data volume: The capacity of communication networks will simply not scale with the insane amount of raw data that is anticipated will need ferrying to and from a remote cloud center.
  • Running costs: The cost of a truly massive computational and storage load in the cloud will simply not be economically sustainable over the longer term.
  • Regulatory: There are and will very likely be new constraints (privacy, security, sovereignty, etc.) which will impose restrictions on what data may or may not be transferred and processed in the cloud.

So it certainly does make sense to distribute the cloud and interconnect this distributed infrastructure together with the central cloud. This process has already begun. One good tangible example is Amazon’s launch of the AWS GreenGrass (AWS for the Edge) product and their declared intentions to use their Whole Foods Stores (in addition to the small matter of selling groceries) as locations for future edge clouds/data centers. In general, cloud providers, perhaps driven by their real estate choices, have a relatively conservative view of the edge, restricting it to a point of presence typically 10 to 50 km from the consumer.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: The future is not the cloud or the fog: it is actually the SEA!

A casual reflection on the last few years in the evolution of the wireless network provides us all the insights necessary to reason that there is at least one final frontier coming down the road. Who can deny that the last few years have been owned by the cloud, virtualization and softwarization (if that is even a word!). Edge Computing too, which is really nothing more than the pushing of all of these concepts deep into places in the network where they have never been before. Fog computing is another term (created by Cisco) for something similar but driven in its genesis more bottom up from the many Internet of Things use cases. The bigger trend is obvious; network intelligence is distributing but where will it, can it go, beyond this?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: The future is not the cloud or the fog: it is actually the SEA!

A casual reflection on the last few years in the evolution of the wireless network provides us all the insights necessary to reason that there is at least one final frontier coming down the road. Who can deny that the last few years have been owned by the cloud, virtualization and softwarization (if that is even a word!). Edge Computing too, which is really nothing more than the pushing of all of these concepts deep into places in the network where they have never been before. Fog computing is another term (created by Cisco) for something similar but driven in its genesis more bottom up from the many Internet of Things use cases. The bigger trend is obvious; network intelligence is distributing but where will it, can it go, beyond this?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: The future is not the cloud or the fog: it is actually the SEA!

A casual reflection on the last few years in the evolution of the wireless network provides us all the insights necessary to reason that there is at least one final frontier coming down the road. Who can deny that the last few years have been owned by the cloud, virtualization and softwarization (if that is even a word!). Edge Computing too, which is really nothing more than the pushing of all of these concepts deep into places in the network where they have never been before. Fog computing is another term (created by Cisco) for something similar but driven in its genesis more bottom up from the many Internet of Things use cases. The bigger trend is obvious; network intelligence is distributing but where will it, can it go, beyond this?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Driving operational excellence with your cloud vendors

Once, there was a pin factory. It employed ten workers – each of whom performed a different task. This organizational structure allowed them to generate 48,000 pins every day. If the people working at the plant were working independently, the output of each would have been limited to 20 pins at most – totaling 200 pins. This story describing division of labor was used in Adam Smith’s 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, as an example of operational excellence (OE).

If your company is to survive in a competitive market, OE must be sought, explained Faisal Hoque in Fast Company. In other words, the enterprise must “identify, understand and create the capabilities, behaviors and focuses necessary for repeatable, continuous and measurable operational improvement,” said Hoque.

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Driving operational excellence with your cloud vendors

Once, there was a pin factory. It employed ten workers – each of whom performed a different task. This organizational structure allowed them to generate 48,000 pins every day. If the people working at the plant were working independently, the output of each would have been limited to 20 pins at most – totaling 200 pins. This story describing division of labor was used in Adam Smith’s 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, as an example of operational excellence (OE).

If your company is to survive in a competitive market, OE must be sought, explained Faisal Hoque in Fast Company. In other words, the enterprise must “identify, understand and create the capabilities, behaviors and focuses necessary for repeatable, continuous and measurable operational improvement,” said Hoque.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: SIP trunks are more reliable than a PRI T1

Are SIP trunks as reliable as an ISDN PRI T1?

I’m asked this question a lot, so I thought it’d be a great blog topic.

I don’t think you are as concerned with this as the amber lights in the server room… But if you are making any changes to your company’s phone system, I’m assuming this question is on your mind.

The simple answer is… no. SIP trunks are not as reliable. They are more reliable than a Primary Rate Interface (PRI). But it has nothing to do with the public Internet.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: The promise and payoff of NoSQL, Part 1

The current database landscape can be confusing, even for experienced technology professionals.  There was a time when a one-size-fits-all database system was an adequate answer to any database question, but that’s no longer true.  Decisions about database systems now involve a dizzying array of application requirements, products, features, buying-criteria, and vendor claims.   

This confusing environment has left application architects and strategists with a mess of confusion as they consider database technology going forward. Meanwhile, the recent explosion in database choices has fragmented the market and made it more challenging to weed through the different options. The question for many is: Is this a permanent state of affairs or a transition phase? What can we expect next, and how can application architects plan for it?

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud security: Trends and strategy

Cloud computing can generate mixed feelings. Corporate leaders generally welcome technologies that produce efficiency, agility and speed. Cloud services deliver those benefits, yet many are concerned about security, even while being often uninformed about how widely the cloud is used within their own businesses.

Executives of large companies, for instance, tell us that they are holding back on the cloud because of security concerns. But when our professional services teams engage with them, we generate log files and find evidence of large numbers of cloud services the company’s employees are using every day.

It is easy to understand the disconnect. Consider a simple example: a director of HR, tasked with filling several critical positions as quickly and confidentially as possible, turns to a low-cost SaaS recruiting tool. Job descriptions, resumes, cover letters, job offers and other documents are shared and possibly uploaded to a third-party server. Soon enough, candidates arrive for interviews. Mission accomplished, thanks to an efficient cloud-based business tool, with the C-suite never needing to know all the details.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Must-have features for enterprise VoIP

If your company has 100+ users and is in the market for a hosted VoIP phone system, be careful.

Remember the scene in the movie Tommy Boy, “Fat Guy in a Little Coat”? You don’t want your company’s new phone system to feel like this.

You won’t hear it from the salespeople [collective gasp] but most hosted VoIP solutions are designed for micro-size companies. If you want an “enterprise” system, you will have to dig a little to find a provider catering to larger companies.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Fix poor VoIP call quality with a dedicated circuit

This is a bummer but I’m going to say it.

Getting a huge fiber Internet connection may not do anything to help your company’s VoIP call quality.

Assuming everything is squared away on your LAN, the most common causes of poor call quality are latency, packet loss and jitter; None of which can be controlled over the public Internet, no matter how much bandwidth you throw at it.

“But what if we have a 1G dedicated Internet connection?” Sorry, it’s not immune.

“But what if it’s fiber from a Tier 1 provider?” Your call quality is still high-risk.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: How to plan your successful cloud migration

Recent Accenture Strategy research found that four out of five companies run up to half of their business functions in the cloud. Moreover, that figure is likely to increase significantly over the next few years. The research reveals that a clear majority of business leaders see the cloud platform as a critical enabler of greater innovation and competitive edge.

Yet, companies still struggle when it comes to structuring the cloud transformation, beginning with the fundamental first step — planning a successful migration. What’s lacking is a solid comprehension of what value the cloud brings, its potential and its elasticity.

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: How to plan your successful cloud migration

Recent Accenture Strategy research found that four out of five companies run up to half of their business functions in the cloud. Moreover, that figure is likely to increase significantly over the next few years. The research reveals that a clear majority of business leaders see the cloud platform as a critical enabler of greater innovation and competitive edge.

Yet, companies still struggle when it comes to structuring the cloud transformation, beginning with the fundamental first step — planning a successful migration. What’s lacking is a solid comprehension of what value the cloud brings, its potential and its elasticity.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Future-proof your business with cloud ERP

Today you face a choice. Be a disruptor or be disrupted. Beat or be beaten by the opposition. And while you’re weighing the options, every new digital development is making your margin for error smaller.

What you could have dealt with 10 years ago, before the availability of real-time data and digital channels, is now enough to be fatal. Company size, market share and market cap aren’t the only metrics that matter to a company. Digital value and innovation are increasingly important and with good reason. It’s about being able to create digital value and innovate – and that’s no longer just a nice-to-have.

If you’re like me, and billions of others, you expect customization and personalization. You’re unique. Your needs are unique. Why should your car or your Nikes be just like all the others?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Future-proof your business with cloud ERP

Today you face a choice. Be a disruptor or be disrupted. Beat or be beaten by the opposition. And while you’re weighing the options, every new digital development is making your margin for error smaller.

What you could have dealt with 10 years ago, before the availability of real-time data and digital channels, is now enough to be fatal. Company size, market share and market cap aren’t the only metrics that matter to a company. Digital value and innovation are increasingly important and with good reason. It’s about being able to create digital value and innovate – and that’s no longer just a nice-to-have.

If you’re like me, and billions of others, you expect customization and personalization. You’re unique. Your needs are unique. Why should your car or your Nikes be just like all the others?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Future-proof your business with cloud ERP

Today you face a choice. Be a disruptor or be disrupted. Beat or be beaten by the opposition. And while you’re weighing the options, every new digital development is making your margin for error smaller.

What you could have dealt with 10 years ago, before the availability of real-time data and digital channels, is now enough to be fatal. Company size, market share and market cap aren’t the only metrics that matter to a company. Digital value and innovation are increasingly important and with good reason. It’s about being able to create digital value and innovate – and that’s no longer just a nice-to-have.

If you’re like me, and billions of others, you expect customization and personalization. You’re unique. Your needs are unique. Why should your car or your Nikes be just like all the others?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Future-proof your business with cloud ERP

Today you face a choice. Be a disruptor or be disrupted. Beat or be beaten by the opposition. And while you’re weighing the options, every new digital development is making your margin for error smaller.

What you could have dealt with 10 years ago, before the availability of real-time data and digital channels, is now enough to be fatal. Company size, market share and market cap aren’t the only metrics that matter to a company. Digital value and innovation are increasingly important and with good reason. It’s about being able to create digital value and innovate – and that’s no longer just a nice-to-have.

If you’re like me, and billions of others, you expect customization and personalization. You’re unique. Your needs are unique. Why should your car or your Nikes be just like all the others?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: The future is not the cloud or the fog: it is actually the SEA!

A casual reflection on the last few years in the evolution of the wireless network provides us all the insights necessary to reason that there is at least one final frontier coming down the road. Who can deny that the last few years have been owned by the cloud, virtualization and softwarization (if that is even a word!). Edge Computing too, which is really nothing more than the pushing of all of these concepts deep into places in the network where they have never been before. Fog computing is another term (created by Cisco) for something similar but driven in its genesis more bottom up from the many Internet of Things use cases. The bigger trend is obvious; network intelligence is distributing but where will it, can it go, beyond this?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: What does ‘open’ mean to IT in the cloud era?

The term “open” when used in the IT context is an old and heavily used word. In an industry where new terms are introduced with incredible frequency, then age, and are discarded like napkins at a BBQ restaurant, the term “open” has surprising longevity. But what does “open” mean in the IT context? And why is it important to IT decision makers?

Dictionary.com offers a robust set of definitions for “open” as a verb, adjective and noun. For IT, I like number 5 under adjective – “relatively free of obstructions to sight, movement, or internal arrangement.” This fits with the most common uses in IT associated with open standards and open source software (OSS) – visibility and access to the creation, enhancement and maintenance of standards and software.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: What does ‘open’ mean to IT in the cloud era?

The term “open” when used in the IT context is an old and heavily used word. In an industry where new terms are introduced with incredible frequency, then age, and are discarded like napkins at a BBQ restaurant, the term “open” has surprising longevity. But what does “open” mean in the IT context? And why is it important to IT decision makers?

Dictionary.com offers a robust set of definitions for “open” as a verb, adjective and noun. For IT, I like number 5 under adjective – “relatively free of obstructions to sight, movement, or internal arrangement.” This fits with the most common uses in IT associated with open standards and open source software (OSS) – visibility and access to the creation, enhancement and maintenance of standards and software.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Accelerating Organizational Velocity through a Data Center Autopilot

Understanding the impact of the data center autopilot

Current state of the art and my disappointment with traditional databases aside, I mentioned in my comments last week that the data center autopilot will have big consequences. It seems to me that there is not enough recognition of the likely impact. The tactical observations are that automation will reduce people costs, at least on a per-workload basis, and that automation will:

  • Minimize over-provisioning,
  • Help reduce downtime,
  • Help to manage SLAs, and
  • Improve transparency, governance, auditing and accounting.

That is all true, but it’s not the big story: The overall strategic impact is to significantly accelerate organizational velocity. The acceleration is partly as a result of the above efficiencies, but much more importantly as a consequence of automated decisions being made and implemented orders-of-magnitude faster than manual decisions can be. Aviation autopilots do things that human pilots are not fast enough to do. They are used to stabilize deliberately unstable aircraft such as the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk at millisecond timescales, and deliver shorter flight times by constantly monitoring hundreds of sensors in real time and optimally exploiting jetstreams.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Digital Ecosystems: Do Not Do It Alone!

As software becomes an increasingly large part of an enterprise’s external expression, traditional physical ecosystems—such as suppliers, resellers, and retailers—need to be supplemented, and in some cases supplanted, by new software ecosystems.

Consider Walgreens, a customer of my employer, Google. To interact with customers, Walgreens doesn’t merely operate physical stores and provide first-party apps and websites. On the contrary, it also expresses core services—such as filling prescriptions or ordering photo prints—as APIs. This enables developers and partners to easily integrate Walgreens services into their own products, which in turn enables Walgreens to extend its brand presence into ecosystems it neither owns nor had to build.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud API integration platforms make the digital economy work

In the digital economy, integration and collaboration involving platforms and applications is essential for success. Whether with a startup or a mature enterprise, one of the most important strategic initiatives a business puts forth is the design and implementation of a clean and efficient SaaS-based application programming interface (API) integration system.

“APIs are important because no man is an island,” says Matthew Woodget, CEO of Go Narrative, a Seattle-based marketing consultancy specializing in storytelling for business. “We are interconnected and our technology needs to be too.”

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: When it comes to cloud, one size does not fit all

While the cloud market is very competitive, enterprises are making it clear that when it comes to cloud, one size does not fit all. They can’t build their businesses by just relying on infrastructure-as-a-serve (IaaS) and committing to one vendor.

These sentiments were echoed by Mary Meeker’s annual internet trends report, which found that companies are increasingly concerned about being locked-in with one cloud vendor. Citing data from Bain and Morgan Stanley, it was found that in 2015, 22 percent of organizations surveyed said they had concerns about using only one cloud vendor, compared with only seven percent in 2012.

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Network World Cloud

IDG Contributor Network: Is shadow IT something CIOs should worry about?

Pervasiveness of shadow IT

I talked to several CIOs in the #CIOChat recently about shadow IT.Their collective wisdom is shared in this post. The first thing that impressed me in this chat is that the CIOs know the numbers. CIOs shared what they had learned from Cisco, Gartner, and Brocade. Cisco found that shadow cloud use was greater than 15 times higher than estimated by CIOs. CIOs said that Gartner’s research found that more than 40 percent of IT spend is in fact shadow IT. And Brocade, which did a global survey of 200 CIOs, found that more than 80 percent had seen some form of unauthorized cloud/SaaS usage.

Does the presence of shadow IT make a statement?

I asked the CIOs whether the presence of shadow IT makes a statement about business/IT alignment. CIOs had a wide range of answers to this question. CIOs said that often the real problem is not shadow IT but why and how shadow IT emerged. CIOs suggest that in many cases, shadow IT is in fact a symptom of unmet needs. It can as well imply a perceived lack of speed for IT versus the needs of the business.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: VDI deserves another look based on Dell EMC VDI Complete

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is well known to be a vastly underutilized technology in enterprise. A large majority of the market has long been aware of the potential benefits but has been waiting on the technology to mature. The new Dell EMC VDI Complete offering announced recently at Dell EMC World 2017 was a big reminder of how far this technology has most recently progressed and why it is time for a revisit.

Dell EMC’s VDI Complete offering takes a unique step beyond past VDI solution bundles by combining all of the hardware infrastructure and the software stack into a fully validated offering that is priced, delivered, and supported by a single vendor. This consolidated offer structure also enables them to offer a monthly cost per user consumption model in addition to an upfront prepay model. With this introduction, they have tackled each of the top remaining complexities to delivering VDI solutions, namely cost predictability, deployment, and support.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud helps Elon Musk further his audacious goals

There are some people whose vision of the future simply defy words. I would put Elon Musk firmly in the category – changing the world through a single initiative isn’t Musk’s style, rather, he wants to deliver his vision of the future across multiple areas. Space travel? Check. Hyper-efficient terrestrial transportation? Also check. Personal automobiles that challenge both existing business and technology models? Check. Solar power with new economics and scale? Also check. While many would question his political leanings, there is no denying that Musk is a genius.

I’ve never met Musk, but watching him speak it is obvious that this is one visionary who not only sees a “bigger picture” for the future of humanity, but he also deeply understands the technology constraints and opportunities that will deliver the future. Which is an inspiring thing to watch, but which also places huge challenges upon the individuals who need to deliver that work. By extension, it also pushes the boundaries of what existing technologies can do.

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Network World Cloud

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud helps Elon Musk further his audacious goals

There are some people whose vision of the future simply defy words. I would put Elon Musk firmly in the category – changing the world through a single initiative isn’t Musk’s style, rather, he wants to deliver his vision of the future across multiple areas. Space travel? Check. Hyper-efficient terrestrial transportation? Also check. Personal automobiles that challenge both existing business and technology models? Check. Solar power with new economics and scale? Also check. While many would question his political leanings, there is no denying that Musk is a genius.

I’ve never met Musk, but watching him speak it is obvious that this is one visionary who not only sees a “bigger picture” for the future of humanity, but he also deeply understands the technology constraints and opportunities that will deliver the future. Which is an inspiring thing to watch, but which also places huge challenges upon the individuals who need to deliver that work. By extension, it also pushes the boundaries of what existing technologies can do.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud

IDG Contributor Network: How SaaS abandonment is killing your enterprise bottom line

Ten years ago every company bought enterprise software, often in abundance. Today, 96% of organizations have now shelved some or all of it. While buying software is daunting, it is essential for competing in increasingly sophisticated industries.

The right software stack can give companies a competitive advantage, and because it is so much easier to buy today, brands are increasingly open to buying from more and more vendors.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Making a business case for Alexa

I have been fascinated with the idea of a personal voice assistant since the day Amazon made their Echo devices available. Once in awhile I come back to it, try to write another skill, see what is new. I published a couple of articles on the topic. I struggle to find a good use case for a business application. A lot of it has to do with technical limitations.

On February 23, 2017, Amazon published a blog post celebrating over 10,000 skills. The good news is that this is a three-fold increase since September of 2016. The bad news is that the majority of the skills are solutions in search of problems.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing