ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
|By Brian McCallion||
|January 2, 2013 08:45 AM EST||
Christmas Eve and the AWS/Netflix outage to me aren't so much about whether or not the Cloud is viable or scary or dangerous. Rather, the event resonated with users across the United States because the Cloud delivers so much utility to each of us. And regardless of who was at fault -- Netflix or Amazon Web Services, the event made it clear that there's no going back and that the Cloud has quickly become a part of our culture and our everyday lives. This is significant because while the Internet itself is a technology consumers have grown to love, Cloud is a way of delivering service that makes a service like Netflix streaming possible, and at a measly $8 bucks a month. The Netflix business model of delivering outsize utility for a low price point makes the business of streaming video all the more difficult. HBO, Cinemax, and the networks for me are unusable. I sense something beyond just making money remains in play at Netflix. Somewhere in that organization seems to beat a heart that quickens for humanity.
While much is made of the sparsity of the Netflix streaming catalog, keep in mind that streaming is the disruptor's second act. The Wicked Witch, aka Blockbuster is dead, I think in part because each of us desired a little bit of payback for all the times we returned videos late and were charged outrageous fees. Rather than punish Netflix Streaming for innovating, and for challenging the iron grip of the legacy media houses, I praise Netflix and personally admire the generous open source contributions Netflix has made to the Cloud Community.
I once tweeted that the value of the code and tools Netflix has shared on GitHub may well be larger than the value of the streaming business as a whole. That may be true for about five minutes. We're at a tipping point in streaming video media similar to that of the music business just before the iPod. Yet each evolution carries forward a little bit of spin from the last disruption. In this iteration all the players know the iPod playbook and so they are trying very very hard to fight the gravity of disruption. Having lost Blockbuster and effective control over the distribution of their content, the old guard hold onto to their catalog stubbornly hoping Netflix will disappear. But we all know how this movie ends. I see a much larger Netflix catalog of content on the horizon and substantial value for consumers. Once the old guard have been disintermediated and a more open, consumer friendly market for content prevails every Christmas will be a little brighter (that's kind of a stretch?). In my opinion what's in play today with respect to old media firms is not so different from the agency model that kept eBook prices artificially high for many consumers.
So what about the Global Load Balancer Already?
Most Cloud Architect and Solution Architects of high availability systems are familiar with Load Balancers. AWS designed a mostly well-intended and useful service around this technology and it's often referred to as the (infamous) ELB (Elastic Load Balancer). Functionally a "classic" load balancer distributes service requests across hosts grouped into a pool of largely identical servers. Spreading requests across multiple servers is a key capability required for the horizontal scale-out favored by Cloud and to a lesser degree Enterprise Architecture.
A Global Load Balancer operates one or more levels above the Local Load Balancer. Similar to a classic DNS server, the Global Load Balancer returns an ip address. Often the IP address is the address of a Local Load Balancer but could be configured to return a public or private ip address. The IP address or VIP returned is determined by the specific solution requirements. Because Global Load Balancer technology stands on the shoulders of a fundamental and ubiquitous technology like DNS, the service can be very resilient if configured that way. If LLB (Local Load Balancer) high-availability solution is designed correctly the Load Balancer monitors the health and responsiveness of a pool of servers and directs requests to nodes of an application. A Global Load Balancer performs a similar function, except at a data center level. A Global Load Balancer can detect when a Local Load Balancer is no longer available, and when this happens can return the ip address of a load balancer or endpoint in another data center anywhere in the world. As it is based on DNS technology the Global Load Balancer is not coupled to a specific network. Moreover, the top-level domain is likely not hosted in any Cloud, and so provides a degree of separation. Further, Global Load Balancers can determine the nearest endpoint for a specific user request, and can return an endpoint closest to a user. Global Load Balancers can be configured to monitor the latency of response times across a pool of endpoints. In times of network failure, the endpoint that is normally "closest" or "lowest latency" frequently becomes a very high latency endpoint. So the ability to monitor latency and to adapt how it responds to requests based on latency, enables a very fine grained capability to direct users around system and network anomalies such as those that continue to plague US-EAST-1.
My observation is simply this: why don't Cloud or Web firms take a lesson from classic availability architecture and use a load balancer to enable endpoints to fail across data centers. For enterprise, why make Cloud an either/or question. And why gamble with the availability of important systems when it's not so difficult (especially if you've figured out the persistence layer) to balance systems across multiple Clouds. Using such an architecture to enable rapid switching of endpoints to other data centers could enable an enterprise to run an application both in the Cloud and in the data center and to balance traffic across them not in the sense of the much hyped "Cloud Bursting" which seems to focus mostly on "bursty capacity" but rather as a strategy for mitigating risk and reducing the correlated risk of running Load Balancers and applications within a single specific Cloud, even in multiple availability zones (as in the case of AWS). Hurricane Sandy in New York City would have been far more disruptive if not for systems built using Global Load Balancers for high availability. While there's no comparison to the complexity of failing over critical, albeit smaller-scale platforms to Netflix, several non-web facing internal applications for which I designed the architecture in 2011-2012 failed over to alternate data centers simply by changing the endpoint returned by the Global Load Balancer. In the case of Netflix, the option to migrate all the data was not an option, yet the instances remained healthy while those impacted by the ELB failure received no requests. An alternate strategy for directing traffic, in hindsight, could have made a difference. It puzzles me to no end why given the extensive focus on Cloud failure modes, the AWS ELB remains a single point of failure for Netflix and many other applications running in AWS whether at modest or extreme scale.
I wonder if Netflix will select an additional Cloud in 2013 and in doing so create some real competition in the Cloud Service Provider space. After such a high profile failure (Christmas Eve, for Christ's Sake), I feel certain the decision has already been made. The impact of such a move would legitimize another Cloud. People who know these things tell me that 80% of Amazon Web Services capacity is in US-EAST-1. To me this suggest Amazon Web Services has fallen victim to it's own success. The nature of Clouds is such that as they grow bigger the network effect driven by the efficiency of locating data and compute capacity as close together as possible becomes overwhelming and the penalty for locating in another region, such as the West Coast, or another Cloud in another data center, becomes higher. While recently AWS has announced some capabilities to make it easier to migrate to the US-WEST-2 (Oregon region, which is priced about the same as US-EAST-1) such capabilities don't really seem to matter.
I spend a great deal of my time learning from web scale best practices such as those co-developed by firms like Netflix, Heroku, Pinterest, Google and redefine what people think they know about distributed computing.. Yet based on the theme of AWS re:invent, and my personal experience in Fortune 500 Cloud, 2012 may not only "not be the end of time and ancient calendars," but 2012 may mark the year when this thinking makes the leap and infects the DNA of Fortune 500 technology. The itchy little problem of Cloud as ready for big business remains the persistent failures, yet the risk of failures in hindsight can be minimized--and using technology commonly used by Enterprise that unlike Oracle RAC clusters and other High Availability technology works just fine in both Cloud and traditional data centers.
Listen closely to what Cloud and web scale practitioners have to teach. Architecture of Cloud applications deviates in ways that will make your database and application engineers pull-out their hair, scream, and storm out meetings (based on what I've seen, except for the hair pulling). For example the application server architecture and scale-out strategy for scaling applications in the Cloud is very different from how most of Fortune 500s do Enterprise Application Server clusters today. And after you fail in the Cloud trying to kick it old school, the enlightenment comes quickly. Yet at the same time, don't get too caught up in the hype and forget everything. The Global Load Balancer commonly used in large enterprise, when deployed effectively, could very well help you build applications which balance the new with the familiar.
Further Reading / Cultural Reception of Cloud
Some of the media reception of the events. I find the coverage to be grossly inaccurate, yet it's part of the cultural reception of the Cloud, so I've included some links:
‘The Cloud’ Challenges Amazon http://nyti.ms/ZBXT86
Heroku, if you were a character on South Park, I would call you Kenny.Every time AWS has an episode you're killed. bit.ly/U7pu9w
— Brian McCallion (@BrianMcCallion) December 25, 2012
Nov. 20, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 555
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 20, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 886
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
Nov. 20, 2014 05:15 PM EST Reads: 692
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Nov. 20, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 767
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 20, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 420
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
Nov. 20, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,246
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Nov. 20, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,558
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Nov. 18, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,895
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 18, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,355
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Nov. 18, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,296
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Nov. 18, 2014 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,914
Smart devices that use wireless technology to exchange information with each other and with their human owners: this is the Internet of Things (IoT). This incredible level of connectivity is already transforming how we exercise, treat diseases, park our cars and access business documents. Research firm IDC projects that the IoT world of connected devices will grow to 200 billion objects by 2020. As more businesses, entrepreneurs and government entities embrace the IoT, more data will be generated daily than the already mind-boggling 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. However, even curren...
Nov. 15, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,585
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th to 19th centuries was a period during which predominantly rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Advances in steam technology, transportation, mass production and the telegraph collectively transformed industry and society. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to once again transform industry and society just as the Industrial Revolution did. Analyst firm IDC forecasts that the IoT market will grow to $8.9 trillion by 2020 with anywhere between 30 to 50 billion connected autonomous things, making the potential g...
Nov. 15, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,648
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.
Nov. 13, 2014 05:00 AM EST Reads: 3,485
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
Nov. 10, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 2,587
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 10, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 5,892
Located in booth #314, the Bsquare team will present DataV demos and discuss how DataV will help customers put their data to work to improve business outcomes. DataV is unlocking new initiatives across a wide landscape of customers in industries such as industrial manufacturing, transportation, retail and mobile. The solution is designed to complement a new project start or help to enrich an existing machine investment.
Nov. 6, 2014 03:15 PM EST Reads: 2,321
The Physical Web incorporates beacons that can be put in any small retail store, for example, so that every store now has "an app" for its customers. In this Birds-of-a-Feather session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Scott Jenson, Product Designer at Google, will discuss the Physical Web and how it is an open standard so any device can broadcast a URL wirelessly, so any phone/tablet/watch nearby can see, and rank those devices. When the user taps on one, they just go to that web page. It's really that simple. It's about thinking small, enabling micro-information (what is in my prescription bottle...
Nov. 3, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 2,502
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
Nov. 3, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 3,495
Whether you're a startup or a 100 year old enterprise, the Internet of Things offers a variety of new capabilities for your business. IoT style solutions can help you get closer your customers, launch new product lines and take over an industry. Some companies are dipping their toes in, but many have already taken the plunge, all while dramatic new capabilities continue to emerge. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Reid Carlberg, Senior Director, Developer Evangelism at salesforce.com, to discuss real-world use cases, patterns and opportunities you can harness today.
Nov. 3, 2014 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,778