Welcome!

Java Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Trevor Parsons

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, XML, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

Of Escalators and Network Traffic

One thing about escalators is, they’re always either going up, or down

Escalators are an interesting first world phenomenon. While not strictly necessary anywhere, and taking more horizontal space than an elevator, they still turn up all over in most first-world countries. The key to their popularity is, no doubt, the fact that they move traffic much more quickly than an elevator that has to stop and go, and offer the option of walking while on them to increase speed to destination even more.

Copenhagen Metro escalators - Wikipedia.orgOne thing about escalators is, they’re always either going up, or down. Not something you see in an elevator that changes direction with each trip.

The same could be said of network traffic. It is on the up escalator, with no signs of slackening. The increasing number of devices not just online, but accessing information both inside and outside the confines of the enterprise has brought with it a large increase in traffic. Combine that with increases in new media both inside and outside the enterprise, and you have a spike in growth that the world may never see again. And we’re in the middle of it.

Let’s just take a look at a graph of Internet usage portrayed in a bit of back-and-forth between Rob Beschizza of Boing Boing and Wired magazine. This graphic only goes to 2010, and you can clearly see that the traffic growth is phenomenal.

3.jpg

(side note, Mr. Beschizza’s blog entry is worth reading, as he dissects arguments that the web is dead)

As this increase impacts an organization, there is a series of steps that generally occurs on the path to Application Delivery Networking, and it’s worth recapping here (note, the order can vary).

  • First, an application is not performing. Application load balancing is brought in to remedy the problem.
    • This step may be repeated, with load balancing widely deployed before
  • Next, Internet connections are overloaded. Link load balancing is brought in to remedy the problem.
  • Once the enterprise side is running acceptably, it turns out that wireless devices – particularly cell phones – are slow. Application Acceleration is brought in to solve the problem.
  • Application security becomes an issue – either for purchased packages exposed to the world, or internally developed code. A web application firewall is used to solve the problem.
  • Remote backups or replication start to slow the systems, as more and more data is collected. WAN Optimization is generally brought in to address the problem.
  • For storefronts and other security-enabled applications, encryption becomes a burden on CPUs – particularly in a virtualized environment. Encryption offloading is brought in to solve the problem.
  • Traffic management and access control quickly follow – addressed with management tools and SSL VPN.

That is where things generally sit right now, there are other bits, but most organizations haven’t finished going this far, so we’ll skip the other bits for now.

The problem that has even the most forward-thinking companies mostly paused here is complexity. There’s a lot going on in your application network at this point, and the pause to regain control and insight is necessary. An over-arching solution to the complexity that these steps introduce is, while not strictly necessary, a precursor to further taking advantage of the infrastructure available within the datacenter (notice that I have not discussed multi-data center or datacenter to the cloud in this post), some way to control all of this burgeoning architecture from a central location. Some vendors – admittedly like F5 (only marketing here) – offer a platform that allows control of these knobs and features, while other organizations will have to look to products like Tivoli or OpenView to tie the parts together.

And while we’re centralizing the management of the application infrastructure, it’s time to consider that separate datacenter or the cloud as a future location to include in the mix. Can the toolset you’re building look beyond the walls of the datacenter and meet your management and monitoring needs? Can it watch multiple cloud vendors? What metrics will you need, and can your tools get them today, or will you need more management?

All stuff to ask while taking that breather. There’s a lot of change going on and it’s always a good idea to know where you’re going in the long run while you’re fighting fires in the short run.

The cost of failing to ask these questions is limited capability to achieve goals in the future – eg: more firefighting. And IT works hard enough, let’s not make it harder than it needs to be.

And don’t hesitate to call your sales rep. They want to give you information about products and try to convince you to buy theirs, it’s what they do. While I can’t speak for other companies, if you get on the phone with an F5 SE, you’ll find that they know their stuff, and can help from understanding future needs to meeting current ones. Presumably that’s true of other vendors also.

Keep making business run like they don’t know you’re there. And since they won’t generally tell you, I’ll say “thank you” for them. They have no idea how hard their life would be sans IT.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is Founder of Ingrained Technology, LLC, specializing in Development, Devops, and Cloud Strategy. Previously, he was a Technical Marketing Manager at F5 Networks. As an industry veteran, MacVittie has extensive programming experience along with project management, IT management, and systems/network administration expertise.

Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was a Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing, where he conducted product research and evaluated storage and server systems, as well as development and outsourcing solutions. He has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. 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
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
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 Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...