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Re-Distributed Computing
So 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.

Chaucer.blogInteresting 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...

About 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.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV

Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Danny Sabbah, CTO & General Manager, Next Generation Platform, will detail the critical architectural considerations and success factors organizations must internalize to successfully implement, optimize and innovate using next generation architectures.
Lisa Larson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
In the old world of IT, if you didn't have hardware capacity or the budget to buy more, your project was dead in the water. Budget constraints can leave some of the best, most creative and most ingenious innovations on the cutting room floor. It's a true dilemma for developers and innovators – why spend the time creating, when a project could be abandoned in a blink? That was the old world. In the new world of IT, developers rule. They have access to resources they can spin up instantly. A hybrid cloud ignites innovation and empowers developers to focus on what they need. A hybrid cloud blends the best of all worlds, public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers to fit the needs of developers and offer the ideal environment for each app and workload without the constraints of a one-size-fits-all cloud.

Keynote: Driving Cloud Innovation: SSDs Change Cloud Storage Paradigm
Cloud is a transformational shift in computing that can have a powerful effect on enterprise IT when designed correctly and used to its full potential. Join Citrix in a discussion that centers on building, connecting and empowering users with cloud services and hear examples of how enterprises are solving real-world business challenges with an architecture and solution purpose-built for the cloud.

Go Beyond IaaS to Deliver "Anything As a Service"
Many organizations want to expand upon the IaaS foundation to deliver cloud services in all forms—software, mobility, infrastructure and IT. Understanding the strategy, planning process and tools for this transformation will help catalyze changes in the way the business operates and deliver real value. Join us to learn about the new ITaaS model and how to begin the transformation.

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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...
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Cloud computing is unquestionably one of the driving forces of DevOps, as the automation of operations transforms enterprise software development. DevOps, however, is more than a technology trend, as it represents a move toward silo-busting, self-organizing horizontal teams that drive business velocity. At the same time, enterprise Digital Transformation represents an upheaval across the enterprise, as customer preferences and behavior drive enterprise technology decisions. This transformation ...
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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.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
In demand-intensive mobile and web applications, an emerging pattern is to host the Systems of Engagement in the cloud (for maximum responsiveness) but keep the Systems of Record with the other important business systems in the company datacenter, often on a tightly secured mainframe. But what about the space in between? In this IBM Redpaper publication, we show that the IBM Bluemix cloud platform offers technologies that make it easy for cloud-based SoEs to securely connect to on-premises IBM...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Actifio is powering new application development and testing services from Net3 Technologies (N3T), a managed cloud services provider. N3T's new Symmetry DevOps™ service builds on its existing Palmetto Virtual Data Center (PvDC) Cloud services for data backup and disaster recovery (DR) based on the Actifio Copy Data Virtualization platform. Previously, N3T's data protection and DR services were challenged by overlapping and inefficient legacy hardware and software platforms from multiple vendo...
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 ...
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 ...
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The IoT trend brings rise to a plethora of new and useful services that enrich our lives, simplify it, or save us time and money. To provide these kind of connected – and complex – services, software companies must have three different software teams (at least!) and they have to deliver the different, integrated, service components across different platforms and devices. In addition, software upgrades must be coordinated across all environments to ensure service continuity. Only an integrated DevOps platform can provide the traceability, visibility, shared control, and the ability to react qui...
In today’s pharmaceutical supply chain, counterfeit activity is thriving. As pharma companies have expanded target markets and outsourced production over the last decade, the supply chain has become increasingly global, virtual, and vulnerable. Illicit activity has thrived, and patients have suffered, with hundreds of thousands dying each year from counterfeit and contaminated drugs. More than 40 countries have responded with new laws that regulate prescription medications as they travel through the supply chain. While this is a quantum leap forward for patient health, the implications for su...
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In order to be ready for the Christmas season, online retailers typically bring their shops into shape right before Black Friday. Together with Cyber Monday this is the most important day in the retailer’s year. Stilnest.com (@Stilnest) is a publishing house for designer jewelry, running their online shop on Magento. While the guys at Stilnest did a good job of preparing their environment, the interest in their products and, therefore, the traffic on their site, was much higher than expected. The shop even went down after one of the YouTube stars released a new video showing off her new jewel...
I recently spent the weekend up in the lakes region of New Hampshire, and made the rounds of all the various country stores and craft shops that are a staple of the area. In one shop, I noticed something I hadn’t seen in a long time: a large set of Russian nesting dolls. The quality, craftsmanship, and level of detail were impressive. As I removed the cover on the first intricately painted doll, nestled inside was the next, slightly smaller one, a duplicate of the outer doll, with all of the same detail on a slightly smaller scale. As I continued opening each successive doll, revealing the nex...
So-called ‘paradigm shifts’ happen across the information technology landscape roughly every five years. We can make this statement with enough approximate ambiguity for it still to be of some value in terms of the way an average CIO might look to plan for major infrastructural changes. As we stand today, Big Data has been around for roughly five years. In the year 2000, famed economist Francis X. Diebold is said to have published the first version of a paper titled “Big Data Dynamic Factor Models for Macroeconomic Measurement and Forecasting” – and the rest we know is modern history....
Test-driven development (TDD) has been around for a while now. Behavior-driven development (BDD), a comparably recent methodology, emerged from the practice of TDD and could reasonably be called a narrower application of TDD. The TDD process allows a developer to use a failing unit test to express a shortcoming of the system. The next step is to modify the production code to get the failing test to pass without making existing tests fail. BDD more or less takes this same concept and adds the idea that the tests should be written in easy-to-understand language describing the problem domain,...
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One of the most important tenets of digital transformation is that it’s customer-driven. In fact, the only reason technology is involved at all is because today’s customers demand technology-based interactions with the companies they do business with. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we at Intellyx agree with Patrick Maes, CTO, ANZ Bank, when he said, “the fundamental element in digital transformation is extreme customer centricity.” So true – but note the insightful twist that Maes added to the customer-driven digital mantra: extreme. In the context of digital transformation, then,...
Using any programming framework to the fullest extent possible first requires an understanding of advanced software architecture concepts. While writing a little client-side JavaScript does not necessarily require as much consideration when designing a scalable software architecture, the evolution of tools like Node.js means that you could be facing large code bases that must be easy to maintain.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
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Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty












Dell Boomi


Layer 7 Tech



What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances

"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD

"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
Citrix Systems

"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
Brick Group