Microservices Expo Authors: TJ Randall, Pat Romanski, Andreas Grabner, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Java IoT, Microservices Expo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Re-Distributed Computing

What have we developers been doing over the last decade?

This morning, Chaucer, our relatively new Sheltie puppy, took off with my slippers. I found one lying in his favorite spot almost immediately, but the other had gone missing. I wandered about the house with one slipper in hand while he hid in his kennel, knowing I was angry but not quite understanding why. It made me ponder the state of computing today, and where we’re headed, because it made me ponder years ago with our last dog, doing exactly the same thing. One was a Shih Tzu, the other is a Sheltie, but puppies chew on slippers with rawhide ties, doesn’t matter the breed or how many years in between.

Interesting thing about the state of the computing market, puppies – all puppies – do chew on slippers, and that rarely changes, even as we see change all around us in the high-tech world. The corollary? I sat down to learn Android development at a level most people aren’t interested in learning months ago, and guess what? After a decade of progress and hype about new and different, I wrote in Java and C++, used some of the same libraries I used when writing for the Blackberry several years ago, and made calls to most of the familiar parts of Java and quite a few unfamiliar that haven’t significantly changed. The same is largely true of Objective-C. I used it a very long time ago, and while there have been changes, it’s still Objective-C.

The same is largely true of .NET development. There have been changes over the years, but for the last decade or so, they’ve changed .NET less than they’ve changed the command line (if you count PowerShell). Alternative languages like Ruby have come along, and those of us who geek out on this stuff have tried them, but to-the-hardware development is still done largely in C/C++, and high-level software development is still done largely in Java and .NET with a healthy dose of PHP. The databases organizations ask for have been stable for just about as long. No, I’m not ignoring the Hadoop and derivatives craze, regular app developers are rarely asked for that skill set as a primary skill – so far.

So what have we developers been doing over the last decade? Learning new platforms, of course. Learning new ways to integrate, of course, but largely, not stretching enough. There are day-to-day problems we’re dealing with, and every dev has to learn new things just to do their job, but they’re largely mundane or vertical things.

To some extent, the fragmentation of dev combined with the growth of software as the engine of business and a projected reduction in development jobs that never seems to have occurred all contribute to this scenario. And of course, the difficulty in displacing languages with millions or billions of lines of code impact it.

So does a slowdown in what is revolutionary, I think. after SOA, what next? Well, there have been a lot of developments, from Git to AWS, but in the end, development is much the same. PaaS changed that very little, though it was the most likely of the cloud technologies to do so. We also filter a lot, I think. Do you write multi-core code? Seriously? Most devs in the enterprise don’t, even though there are documented benefits. That’s “beneath the hood” so-to-speak.

So what has me excited? There are signs of significant change. SDN promises not just a change in platform, but hooks you can manipulate to make your code more reliable. It’s not a Brave New World or anything, but it is food for improving App Dev without a seismic shift in development environments or methodology. The future of mobile device development promises more changes too, as more and more devices suck up more and more bandwidth. An interesting analyst note was that 4G wasn’t helping because devices were being added to the network faster than the network speed was improving. That means optimized communications either in the app or in a device between the app and users, is going to continue to be important.

Things like Git fall firmly into the re-distributed computing category. It’s a server. Always. You may not think of it as one, but if I have permissions, I can ask to clone the code in your repository. That’s a server. With the added resiliency that so is every other dev machine. Which means the loss of a “server” is not likely to be catastrophic as long as best practices for SVN have been followed. Someone will have a new enough copy that only the most recent work will be lost. And of course, if you’re replicating to GitHub, the likelihood of a catastrophic loss is even smaller. Not a huge change (it’s still version control), but a change that stabilizes source issues in the loss of a single machine.

This whole micro-server concept will creep in elsewhere, I think. Making a single machine or VM the repository of knowledge critical to your business has never been a great idea, and our outrageous backup plans show we know that at some level. If we’re replicating by virtue of daily business, it will increase network traffic in exchange for less single points of failure. Which means it will happen, because network bandwidth always increases, single points of failure are always a weak point.

As to languages, the death of Java has been predicted a lot, but I just don’t see it happening any time soon. Java and .NET are both general purpose environments suited to the current state of enterprise computing. Mobile may produce something that truly changes things, but at this point it doesn’t look like it. Low-level systems and those that need greater performance will likely continue with C/C++, though the number of environments that entails will continue to decrease. RoR and PHP will continue to eat a lot of web UI space because they’re particularly suited to it, and we’ll continue on our way.  Command line scripting languages are almost never impacted by even seismic change, so nothing to see there.

In short, the places to innovate are the connections we can make to other parts of the network – applications and increasingly infrastructure. REST and SOA will continue to rule that space.

So we’re re-redistributing. Don’t get complacent. In high tech, when you cannot see the massive changes, that means they’re happening incrementally. Continue to grow, stretch your boundaries. Try new things. Bring more to the table, because it is the external environment that is currently changing, and that needs to be accounted for in application development.

And if you haven’t tried out Git, go check it out (pun intended), you’ll find it intuitive and well documented.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is currently a Senior Solutions Architect at StackIQ, Inc. He is also working with Mesamundi on D20PRO, and is a member of the Stacki Open Source project. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions 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. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago. By definition, DevOps is the natural alignment of IT performance to business profitability. The relevance of this has yet to be quantified but it has been suggested that the route to the CEO’s chair will come from the IT leaders that successfully ma...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will show how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyon...
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a concise proper definition of just what exactly DevOps entails. However, I did come across this quote that seems to do a decent job, “DevOps is a culture, movement or practice that emphasizes the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes.”
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 microservices. 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 conta...
DevOps theory promotes a culture of continuous improvement built on collaboration, empowerment, systems thinking, and feedback loops. But how do you collaborate effectively across the traditional silos? How can you make decisions without system-wide visibility? How can you see the whole system when it is spread across teams and locations? How do you close feedback loops across teams and activities delivering complex multi-tier, cloud, container, serverless, and/or API-based services?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
Today every business relies on software to drive the innovation necessary for a competitive edge in the Application Economy. This is why collaboration between development and operations, or DevOps, has become IT’s number one priority. Whether you are in Dev or Ops, understanding how to implement a DevOps strategy can deliver faster development cycles, improved software quality, reduced deployment times and overall better experiences for your customers.
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
“Being able to take needless work out of the system is more important than being able to put more work into the system.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Gene Kim’s book, The Phoenix Project, and it plays directly into why we're announcing the DevOps Express initiative today. Tracing the Steps. For years now, I have witnessed needless work being performed across the DevOps industry. No, not within our clients DevOps and continuous delivery practices. I have seen it in the buyer’s journe...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu 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. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
The reason I believe digital transformation is not only more than a fad, but is actually a life-or-death imperative for every business and IT executive on the planet is simple: there will be no place for an “industrial enterprise” in a digital world. Transformation, by definition, is a metamorphosis from one state to another, wholly new state. As such, a true digital transformation must be the act of transforming an industrial-era organization into something wholly different – the Digital Enter...