Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Jonathan Fries, AppDynamics Blog, Sujoy Sen, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, API Journal, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

It is All About Repeatability and Consistency

It is often more risky to skip upgrading than to upgrade. Know the risk/benefits of both.

Not that I need to tell you, but there are several things in your network that you could have better control of. Whether it is consistent application of security policy or consistent configuration of servers, or even the setup of network devices, they’re in there, being non-standard.

And they’re costing you resources in the long run. Sure, the staff today knows exactly how to tweak settings on each box to make things perform better, and knows how to improve security on this given device for this given use, but eventually, it won’t be your current staff responsible for these things, and that new staff will have one heck of a learning curve unless you’re far better at documentation of exceptions than most organizations.

Windows 95 ScreenshotSometimes, exceptions are inevitable. This device has a specific use that requires specific settings you would not want to apply across the data center. That’s one of the reasons IT exists, is to figure that stuff out so the business runs smoothly, no?

But sometimes it is just technology holding you back from standardizing. Since I’m not slapping around anyone else by doing so, I’ll use my employer as an example of technology and how changes to it can help or hinder you. Version 9.X of TMOS – our base operating system – was hugely popular, and is still in use in a lot of environments, even though we’re on version 11.X and have a lot of new and improved things in the system. The reason is change limitation (note: Not change control, but limitation). Do you upgrade a network device that is doing what it is supposed to simply because there’s a newer version of firmware?

it is incumbent upon vendors to give you a solid reason why you should. I’ve had reason to look into an array of cloud based accounting services of late, and frankly, there is not a compelling reason offered by the major software vendors to switch to their cloud model and become even more dependent upon the vendor (who would now be not only providing software but storing your data also). I feel that F5 has offered plenty of solid reasons to upgrade, but if you’re in a highly complex or highly regulated environment, solid reasons to upgrade do not always equate to upgrades being undertaken. Again, the risk/reward ratio has to be addressed at some point.

And I think there is a reluctance in many enterprises to consider the benefits of upgrading. I was at a large enterprise that was using Windows 95 as a desktop standard in 2002. Why? Because they believed the risks inherent to moving to a new version of Windows corporate wide were greater than the risks of staying. Frankly, by the time it was 2002, there was PLENTY of evidence that Windows 98 was stable and a viable replacement for Windows 95. You see the same phenomenon today. Lots of enterprises are still limping along with Windows XP, even though by-and-large, Windows 7 is a solid OS.

In the case of F5, there is a feature in the 11.X series of updates to TMOS that should, by itself, offer driving reason to upgrade. I think that it has not been seriously considered by some of our customers for the same reason as the Windows upgrades are slow – if you don’t look at what benefits it can bring, the risk of upgrading can scare you. But BIG-IP running TMOS 11.X has an astounding set of functionality called iApps that allow you to standardize how network objects – for load balancing, security, DNS services, WAN Optimization, Web App Firewalling, and a host of other network services – are deployed for a given type of application. Need to deploy, load balance, and protect Microsoft Exchange? Just run the iApp in the web UI. It asks you a few questions, and then creates everything needed, based upon your licensing options and your answers to the questions. Given that you can further implement your own iApps, you can guarantee that every instance of a given application has the exact same network objects deployed to make it secure, fast, and available. From an auditing perspective, it gives a single location (the iApp) for information about all applications of the same type. There are pre-generated iApps for a whole host of applications, and a group here on DevCentral that is dedicated to user developed iApps. There is even a repository of iApps on DevCentral.

And what risk is perceived from upgrading is more than mitigated by the risk reduction in standardizing the deployment and configuration of network objects to support applications. IIS has specific needs, but all IIS can be configured the same using the IIS iApp, reducing the risk of operator error or auditing gotcha.

I believe that Microsoft did a good job of putting out info about Windows 7, and that organizations were working on risk avoidance and cost containment. The same is true of F5 and TMOS 11.X. I believe that happens a lot in the enterprise, and it’s not always the best solution in the long run. You cannot know which is more risky – upgrading or not – until you know what the options are. I don’t think there are very many professional IT staff that would say staying with Windows 95 for years after Windows 98 was out was a good choice, hindsight being 20/20 and all.

Look around your datacenter. Consider the upgrade options. Do some research, make sure you are aware of what not upgrading a device, server, desktop, whatever is as well as you understand the risks of performing the upgrade.

And yeah, I know you’re crazy busy. I also know that many upgrades offer overall time savings, with an upfront cost. If you don’t invest in time-saving, you’ll never reap time savings. Rocking it every day, like most of you do, is only enough as long as there are enough hours in the day. And there are never enough hours in the IT day. As I mentioned at #EnergySec2012 last week, there are certainly never enough hours in the InfoSec day.

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.