|By Sean Rhody||
|June 22, 2007 04:30 PM EDT||
Many recent science fiction novels deal with the concept of nanites - tiny bits of computers than can aggregate themselves to form new larger composites to assist their host. These concepts typically relate to making human cells self-healing, but they also have their sinister aspects, like the terminator, made out of liquid living metal in the last movie, who could reconfigure himself at will into any shape, and recover from any injury.
While this may seem like fantasy at the moment, there's a quiet revolution going on in the computing industry that makes this dream (or nightmare) one step closer to reality. Oddly enough, it's all a part of service-oriented architecture.
The underpinnings of any SOA are based on a service-oriented infrastructure, which basically creates callable, configurable services out of the lower-level components that make up an application infrastructure. Many of these services are familiar as system services - single sign-on, auditing, security management, reporting, etc. But what is fascinating in this world is the change that is taking place in the guts of the hardware.
Space in a data center is always at a premium, as is computing power. The natural tendency to try to pack more computing into the same space has been taken to its extreme conclusion with recent advances. Multi-core chips put two, four, or even more CPUs in the space previously occupied by a single CPU. Processing power is exploding like never before, and with cheaper memory and disk costs, the machines of today under the average user's desktop pack more processing power and capacity than many supercomputers of the previous decade.
All this would be trivial, except that with this rise we've also seen some very interesting services developed along with the silicon. Virtualization is a key part of the new wave of computing. With the ability to share resources down to as little as a 1/10th of a CPU, virtualization provides an amazing degree of flexibility.
Many developers and project leaders will tell you that the infrastructure costs for disaster recovery and testing are prohibitive. It is frequently impossible to fully fund multiple environments to support such requirements. With the advent of virtualization, the DR environment can be the testing environment under normal conditions, and then, at a time of emergency (or even just a request for increased capacity), can reconfigure itself quickly, ratcheting back or eliminating testing completely to become a full production environment, much like our terminator changing from one form to another.
The key to all of this is a service-based approach that allows for definitions of environments to be modified in response to changing environmental conditions. Theoretically no human intervention is even necessary - fail over at the router or load balancer will trigger a service call that can make the transition happen automatically. Similarly, with the return to service of a primary site, the fail back of the environments can reconfigure the disaster recovery site back to a testing environment.
Nor is this a binary condition - testing comes in different flavors and it's easy to imagine having multiple virtual environments to switch to - some with additional horsepower to support performance testing, others with less capacity to support functional testing instead. With automated testing tools, this can even take place in the complete absence of human intervention. At night the machines run themselves; in the morning, the humans analyze the results and plan the next evening's run.
Hundreds of other possibilities exist, from automating existing processing assignments, to reconfiguring networks, to adding additional disk capacity from a farm, the ability to morph and change the infrastructure is increasing rapidly.
Fortunately we're a long way away from sentient machines, and time travel still appears to be a fantasy with no real hope of ever happening. But the rise of SOA is certainly upon us.
The annual holiday shopping season, which started on Thanksgiving weekend and runs through the end of December, is undoubtedly the most crucial time of the year for many eCommerce websites, with sales from this period having a dramatic effect on the year-end bottom line. Web performance – or, the overall speed and availability of a website or mobile site – is an issue year-round, but it takes on increased importance during the holidays. Ironically, it is at this time of year that networks and i...
Dec. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 160
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Dec. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 136
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
Dec. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 128
DevOps is an organizational and cultural rethink of how software-driven organizations can become organizations at velocity – agile enough to innovate and fast enough to deal with any change that comes their way. Information technology is a central enabler of DevOps, but today’s better-faster-cheaper technology is not the whole story, as tools are only as good as the people wielding them. The more fundamental story here is the organizational and cultural transformation necessary to take full adv...
Dec. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Dec. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 576
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
Dec. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 658
ThoughtWorks has issued the latest Technology Radar, an assessment of trends significantly impacting software development and business strategy. The Technology Radar sets out the current changes in software development - things in motion to pay attention to based upon ThoughtWorks' day-to-day work and experience solving their clients' toughest challenges. "With the threat landscape still evolving, our latest edition of Technology Radar continues to focus on security and innovative approaches,...
Dec. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EST
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Dec. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 481
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Dec. 1, 2015 06:30 AM EST Reads: 515
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Dec. 1, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 273
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 359
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 622
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
Dec. 1, 2015 04:15 AM EST
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Dec. 1, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 533
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 470
You may have heard about the pets vs. cattle discussion – a reference to the way application servers are deployed in the cloud native world. If an application server goes down it can simply be dropped from the mix and a new server added in its place. The practice so far has mostly been applied to application deployments. Management software on the other hand is treated in a very special manner. Dedicated resources are set aside to run the management software components and several alerting syst...
Dec. 1, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 254
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 ab...
Dec. 1, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 437
Naturally, new and exciting technologies and trends like software defined networking, the Internet of Things and the cloud tend to get the lion’s share of attention these days, including when it comes to security. However, it’s important to never forget that at the center of it all is still the enterprise network. And as evidenced by the ever-expanding landslide of data breaches that could have been prevented or at least their impact lessened by better practicing network security basics, it’s ...
Dec. 1, 2015 12:45 AM EST Reads: 301
This morning on #c9d9 we spoke with two industry veterans and published authors - James DeLuccia and Jonathan McAllister - on how to bake-in security and compliance into your DevOps processes, and how DevOps and automation can essentially help you pass your next audit.
Dec. 1, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 122
Put the word continuous in front of many things and we help define DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous assessment, and there is more. The next BriefingsDirect DevOps thought leadership discussion explores the concept of continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications and systems. Put the word continuous in front of many things and we help define DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous assessment, and there is more.
Dec. 1, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 195