Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Daniel Khan, Craig Lowell, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Industrial IoT, Mobile IoT

Microservices Expo: Article

Utilities and M2M: Four Challenges En Route to Smart Grid

M2M/Telematics and Smart Grid are a natural fit – but tough choices still remain for utilities.

As utilities shift to smart meters and more customer-oriented systems under new government-mandated Smart Grid initiatives, they will quickly face the need to handle billions of real-time energy utilization transactions. In this new energy arena, the high volume, low-cost model of M2M is the optimal solution to support energy utilities’ communications infrastructure needs. Indeed, the proliferation of SIMs in new meters to enable remote reads is alone driving massive amounts of M2M transactions.

That said, M2M and Smart Grid are a natural fit – but tough choices still remain for utilities.

In markets where the regulatory environment gives utilities latitude to make their own decisions on Smart Grid infrastructure, energy companies can choose whether to build their own communications networks or outsource the job to established telecom providers. Whatever route utilities take will hinge on their confidence in managing four challenges:

1.  Balancing Capital Requirements with M2M Expertise – While networks increase the asset base of utilities, they are expensive to build, own and operate.  As utilities assess the impact of M2M on their networks and their need for network expansion, there may be times when undertaking outsourcing partnerships with telecoms for support makes sense.   For example, networks must be capable of handling settlement for M2M transactions that can unpredictably peak or decline, a situation familiar to experienced telecoms providers.  For a smaller utility that may not have a large pool of assets, partnering with a telecom may alleviate the enormous time and capital investment of building a new network, allowing the utility to direct more funds to upgrading its own infrastructure.  Engaging in an outsourcing partnership with a telecom provider may also alleviate the sharp learning curve amidst a quickly evolving and changing technology set, and reduce the ongoing cost of maintaining the network. In short, an outsourcing partnership with a telecom could be the right business model for some utilities to achieve their best balance of risk and capital investment as they seek to handle the evolving requirements for M2M growth.

2.  Scalability, Reliability and Reach – According to Lux Research, as a result of Smart Grid, the amount of data utilities will have to communicate, manage, and analyze will increase 900 percent over the next decade. Partnering with a telecom offers a distinct advantage: access to an already established communications network and source of industry experience. However, if a utility opts to engage in an outsource arrangement with a telecom, it should demand proof that a carrier’s network is scalable to handle the explosive surge in real-time transaction volume; is ubiquitous to reach the remote areas covered by utilities; and has “five 9s” reliability as well as disaster recovery capabilities in times of natural calamities or outages.

3.  Data Security – The increased reliance on IP-based technology in Smart Grid systems raises utilities’ vulnerability to cyber attacks.  Because the data transferred from businesses and households is sensitive information, utilities are justifiably concerned about network security issues. If the choice is to outsource, telecom service providers must be ready to demonstrate that they have the expertise and technology in place to prevent data breaches.

4.  Back Offices Built for M2M – In tandem with pursuing a new network infrastructure, the utility must also look to new back office systems expressly designed for the high-volume needs of M2M. Today’s utility billing systems were not built to manage the pace or volume of Smart Grid information in an M2M environment. Telecom service providers do offer a key advantage in this respect: Most are familiar with complex billing through partnerships with third-party billing systems providers that have already proven their capabilities in meeting Smart Grid demands.

While the conversion to Smart Grid is still in its earliest stages, whether utilities choose to go alone or partner with telecom companies will set their course on how they’ll handle the four challenges that confront them en route to Smart Grid.  Given the active involvement of Verizon, AT&T, and Vodafone with M2M-based Smart Grid solutions, it’s clear that telecom industry leaders already understand the sheer scope of this opportunity and the potential for partnerships with utilities.

More Stories By Mohammed Sha

Mohammed Sha is the Director of Product Marketing at AsiaInfo-Linkage, the supplier of the world's most advanced software solutions and IT services to the telecommunications industry.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
A company’s collection of online systems is like a delicate ecosystem – all components must integrate with and complement each other, and one single malfunction in any of them can bring the entire system to a screeching halt. That’s why, when monitoring and analyzing the health of your online systems, you need a broad arsenal of different tools for your different needs. In addition to a wide-angle lens that provides a snapshot of the overall health of your system, you must also have precise, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...

Modern organizations face great challenges as they embrace innovation and integrate new tools and services. They begin to mature and move away from the complacency of maintaining traditional technologies and systems that only solve individual, siloed problems and work “well enough.” In order to build...

The post Gearing up for Digital Transformation appeared first on Aug. 31, 2016 06:15 PM EDT  Reads: 1,745

Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 - comp...
Thomas Bitman of Gartner wrote a blog post last year about why OpenStack projects fail. In that article, he outlined three particular metrics which together cause 60% of OpenStack projects to fall short of expectations: Wrong people (31% of failures): a successful cloud needs commitment both from the operations team as well as from "anchor" tenants. Wrong processes (19% of failures): a successful cloud automates across silos in the software development lifecycle, not just within silos.
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
This complete kit provides a proven process and customizable documents that will help you evaluate rapid application delivery platforms and select the ideal partner for building mobile and web apps for your organization.
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...