|By Lawrence Wilkes||
|February 27, 2013 11:00 AM EST||
Or how to connect the architecture dots to support a smart connected planet.
The notion of a connected planet is far from new. However, the number of connections as illustrated in figure 1 is growing at an exponential rate, and it is fast becoming a reality in which many organizations must operate.
However, I doubt many organizations are preparing for this in a systematic way. More likely, experience suggests that dozens of connected ‘solutions' will permeate the organization via myriad routes and just add to the complexity of the business and IT landscape, becoming yet more spaghetti that someone is left to untangle.
Architecture is key to dealing with this. However, architectural practices must evolve to themselves become more connected, and not a set of isolated disciplines as they are often practiced today. Hence, in this note as well as considering the challenges and opportunities provided by the connected planet, I outline the role of connected architecture.
The Connected Planet
The looming challenge, or for some the opportunity, facing organizations is how they cope with the scenario shown in figure 1.
Figure 1 - The Connected Planet
Namely, that there will be
- Trillionsof connected things, sometimes dumb but increasingly smart
- Used by billionsof people, socializing and interacting to evaluate and rate you, your products, prices, and competitors.
- Generating quadrillionsof messages representing quadrillions of events, some significant but many insignificant
- Connected to millions of APIs and services, hosted in the cloud
- Accessing and creating petabytes of information, both current and historical
This is a scenario I first documented back in a blog in2009 . IDC talk about this as the "3rd platform, built on mobile devices and apps, cloud services, mobile broadband networks, big data analytics and social technologies" , and paint a scenario in their research that reads remarkably similar to the above.
Winners and Losers on the Connected Planet
The key issue for organizations will be
- How does the business cope with information overload, or derive value from it?
- How does IT deliver business solutions that manage the resulting transaction and information explosion, in a cost-effective manner?
The winners in this scenario will be those that exhibit the characteristics outlined in Table 1.
|Constantly Connected||With their Customers. Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow|
|Constantly Engaged||To help customers (and themselves) make informed decisions|
|Agile||Responsive to change Creating new opportunities|
|Decoupled||Provider from Consumer Solution from Technology Application from Process from Capability|
|Responsive||Sensing and predicting events Correlating events Autonomic response|
|Excellent||Six-Sigma products and processes|
|Efficient||Automated and Autonomic Low operational cost per event response (e.g. business transaction) Optimized processes|
|Federated||Driving multi-party ecosystems (internal and external)|
|Focused||On core capabilities Best sourcing and collaborative sourcing of non-core capabilities|
Table 1 - Winners and Losers on the Connected Planet By implication, the losers will be those organizations that fail to exhibit these characteristics!
The Connected Architecture Solution
So, how does an organization make sense of trillions of connected things and billions of people accessing petabytes of information via millions of APIs and services? Firstly, organizations and their IT solutions need to become increasingly,
- Autonomic, in the way they,
- respond to events, and how they correlate events and information
- discover new service providers and their APIs
- manage resources, adopting the principle of ‘management of services, by services'
- freeing up human resources to deal with exceptions and ‘special cases'
- Analytical, in the way they,
- make sense of events and information
- Decoupled, in the way they,
- participate in federated ecosystems, not tightly bound partnerships
- separate service provider from service consumer
- assemble solutions from services not implementations
Figure 2 - Connected Architecture
As stated earlier, architecture is key to dealing with this. However, there is no one architectural ‘style' that encompasses everything that is required to solve the problem. It would be tempting to say the answer is SOA, or the answer is WOA, or any other acronym that is or was flavor of the month, or for architects to believe that it all revolves around whatever is their ‘pet' approach. While SOA principles of encapsulation and separation will inevitably be at the heart of the connected architecture, the practical reality of a collaboration between disparate organizations and capabilities will mean a federated architecture involving different technical solutions.
As illustrated in figure 2 what is required is an agile federated approach to architecture that assembles a Connected Architecture consisting of the following,
- Web 2.0 Architecture - enabling people to rapidly mash up user and community driven solutions, in turn assembled from millions of APIs and services, and generating quadrillions of events,
- leveraging Enterprise Mobility to connect employees, partners and customers, and their devices, anytime, anywhere,
- requiring Event Driven Architecture (EDA) to determine the autonomic response required to sensors and changes in state, and correlate events,
- that are also placed into context by agile Business Process Architecture (BPA/BPM) and Information Architecture (IA), with Real-time Business Analytics (BA) to make sense of what is happening,
- using capabilities provisioned through APIs and services in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that provides a formal basis for the decoupling of Provider and Consumers resources,
- combined with a Web Oriented, or Resource Oriented Architecture (WOA/ROA) exchanging information between those trillions of devices in an efficient manner that will likely be done in a more lightweight manner than full blown Web Service-based SOA, with their implementations defined in a Component Based Software Architecture (CBSA) - with the focus on right-grained software units enabling agile, federated software delivery, that is hosted anywhere, anytime on a Cloud Based Architecture (CBA) that describes the virtualized, federated infrastructure providing scalability, reliability.
No one of these styles covers the problem space by itself. Rather, the problem space needs to be decomposed and the appropriate architecture approach applied to each domain.
Another key enabler will be the increasing use of ‘Connected Platforms'. Cloud ‘platforms' such as Salesforce, Facebook or Amazon are in wide use and are already dominant in their respective domains because their platforms provide a considerable benefit by way of platform capabilities in comparison to building their own, and more importantly to business perhaps, provide a gateway to a ready-made ecosystem that use the platform.
Expect Connected Platforms to emerge that act as a ‘hub' or focal point around which industry ecosystems evolve, and it is likely that every industry will come to be dominated by a few key platform providers.
Many organizations will therefore have little choice of which Connected Platform they use as they will be forced upon them by participants in their industry - either by the 400lb gorillas who already dominate their industry, or by the platforms to which their ecosystem and end customers have gravitated, forcing them to adopt.
As illustrated by figure 3, the challenge for each enterprise will be to determine,
- what their role is in the ecosystem, as provider and /or consumer, or possibly platform operator
- hence, which services they should be expected to provide, and which they should consume
- what services the Connected Platform is or should be providing, and who should providing them
- their willingness to depend on the Connected Platform and the extent to which they allow the platform to dominate
- the extent to which architects design their service architecture around the Connected Platform, or to what extent they should design their own platform independent architecture, especially for large organizations who may participate in multiple overlapping ecosystems, with multiple Connected Platforms.
Figure 3 - The Connected Platform
The Architect's Challenge
The key challenge for architects is that they cannot treat the various elements of the Connected Architecture as they often do today - as architectural silos  in ivory towers. Instead, as discussed earlier the elements must work seamlessly together. But this isn't solved by Enterprise Architecture - which may contain elements of all these - at least not alone, as this is about working at the detailed level to deliver solutions, not just a high-level view of the enterprise.
Hence it is important that architects develop a consistent framework for collaboration within the Connected Architecture. This is an area in which Everware-CBDI is well placed to assist.
IASA UK Architecture Summit
My colleague David Sprott and I will be running a one day workshop on these and other related ideas at the IASA UK Architecture Summit.
 Architecture for the Smarter Planet. http://lwsoa.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/architecture-for-smarter-planet.html  IDC Predictions 2013. November 2012, IDC #238044, Volume: 1 http://www.idc.com/research/Predictions13/index.jsp#.UR4HSmf-unI  Beware the new silos! http://everware-cbdi.com/index.php?cID=118&cType=document
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 PM EST Reads: 3,623
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 3,096
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,753
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).
Jan. 19, 2017 04:00 PM EST Reads: 5,425
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
Jan. 19, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,788
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC 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, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
Jan. 19, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 4,778
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,667
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,160
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Jan. 19, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 2,012
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Jan. 19, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 4,308
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Jan. 19, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,718
"What is the next step in the evolution of IoT systems? The answer is data, information, which is a radical shift from assets, from things to input for decision making," stated Michael Minkevich, VP of Technology Services at Luxoft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 19, 2017 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,563
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Jan. 19, 2017 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,581
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Jan. 19, 2017 09:30 AM EST Reads: 6,035
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 19, 2017 07:30 AM EST Reads: 3,658
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Jan. 19, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 2,030
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 19, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,224
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 19, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 870
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 AM EST Reads: 1,909
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 6,117