Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Scott Allen, AppDynamics Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Transforming Internet Datacenters

Using fully optimized data access appliances

With the explosive growth of Web-based businesses and applications, datacenter workloads have increased exponentially. IT managers are finding it difficult to meet the accelerating demands for performance, capacity, scalability and reliability, while at the same time meeting budgets, maintaining service-level agreements and driving green initiatives.

New component and middleware technologies - including multi-core processors, low-latency interconnect, flash memory, and highly optimized data access and caching technologies - hold serious promise for accomplishing these goals. But without optimal integration and implementation, these technologies have failed to deliver the benefits that datacenter managers and the business demand. Because Web 2.0 and cloud computing enterprises must focus on their core business, higher-level building blocks are needed that can exploit these advanced technologies to fundamentally solve these costly challenges.

Datacenter Trends and Challenges
With the explosive growth of Web 2.0, software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing and other emerging Web-based applications, datacenter workloads have increased exponentially. The business opportunities that are created from the deployment of these new applications are substantial, but the demands they place on the datacenter are daunting. Challenges include:

  • Unprecedented data growth. Recent studies indicate that the amount of data managed by today's datacenters will quadruple every 18 months. To complicate matters, online users are getting much more sophisticated, and response time expectations are at an all time high. But with the large increases in data volume, user interaction times are actually increasing for many datacenters.
  • Severe capacity constraints. Datacenter managers are struggling to manage huge increases in rack, power and network utilization. They are constrained by limited datacenter power and space and are seeking cost-effective ways to expand capacity without increasing the datacenter footprint.
  • Increasing data complexity. Organizations have too much data to process in a time-sensitive and consistent manner. Information management requires extensive data partitioning and application-level mapping, caching, replication/recovery and load balancing. Existing data management tools are complex and existing commodity, non-application-specific hardware is difficult to use and manage.
  • Lack of scalability. Current datacenter environments lack the ability to scale effectively to manage peak demand. Even in multi-core server environments, many datacenters have already scaled to the point they are memory and disk bound.
  • Underutilized resources. Estimates of current datacenter equipment utilization rates run between five and 30 percent. Kilowatt-hours are very expensive and inefficient. Underutilized hardware translates into wasted capex and opex, as well as increased power consumption.
  • Severe budget constraints. Budgets are tighter than ever. Only solutions that are able to provide quick return on investment (ROI) are now being approved. Traditional approaches to datacenter expansion are no longer viable.
  • Corporate mandates to go green. According to the 2007 EPA Report to Congress on Server and Datacenter Energy Efficiency, the energy consumption of servers and datacenters has doubled in the past five years and is expected to almost double again in the next five years to more than 100 billion kWh, costing about $7.4 billion annually. Datacenter managers are working hard to save energy, reduce datacenter space requirements and protect the environment.

Limitations of Today's Technology
The ability to effectively scale the database and caching tiers is critical for the success of any growing Web-enabled business. Unfortunately, ordinary server and middleware infrastructure is loosely integrated and minimally optimized. Existing datacenter solutions aren't adequately addressing the performance, capacity, scaling, reliability and power challenges of supporting new Web applications effectively.

Several new technologies have the potential to solve these challenges:

  • Multi-core processors offer the promise of improved application performance and increased energy efficiency, but harnessing that potential effectively requires very high parallelism and synchronizing the processors, with a resultant higher degree of complexity.
  • Enterprise-class flash memory has several advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), including 100 times faster access time, increased reliability due to no moving parts, and significantly reduced power. Space and power savings, for the same server workload, translate into a tangible reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Low-latency interconnect technologies provide the ability to send a message in a millionth of a second - more than an order of magnitude improvement over existing solutions.
  • Optimized data access and caching applications can speed access to data. But these applications need to be deeply integrated with the operating environment and hardware to fully utilize the benefits of multi-core processor, flash memory and low-latency interconnect technologies.

The unfortunate reality is that each customer's IT team must become its own integration house, developing software in an attempt to optimize these advanced technologies - a highly complex and error-prone process that can take years to implement. This approach not only diverts valuable IT resources from the enterprise's core business, it results in unmanageable application and administrative complexity, low-resource utilization and high TCO.

Challenges of Utilizing New Technologies
The new generation of commodity multi-core processors, flash memory and low-latency interconnects offer tremendous potential in Web 2.0 and cloud computing datacenters, but in reality, due to the extensive work to implement, the benefits are limited. The effort required to utilize these new technologies to solve today's severe performance, power, space and TCO challenges is significant. IT teams need to develop highly parallel middleware applications, a high-performance operating system, and develop and optimize numerous, specialized configurations.

Adapting or inventing new deployment architectures to take advantage of the new technologies is a major undertaking, with large development and support costs that are not the core value of the businesses. Fortunately new, higher-level building blocks are now being introduced that address these challenges.

New technology integrates advances in flash memory, multi-core processors, low-latency interconnect, and optimized data access and caching technologies into fully integrated, optimized, multi-node appliances for faster data access. In the first half of 2009, several vendors introduced all-new, fully integrated appliances that leverage some or all of these technology advances.

By using these fully optimized data access appliances, enterprises can leverage higher-level building blocks that eliminate the need for complex integration projects. These appliances enable IT to meet corporate goals of increasing capacity, scalability and reliability, while at the same time slashing costs and dramatically curtailing energy consumption across the datacenter. The net result is not just more efficient datacenter operations, but the creation of new revenue-producing business opportunities based on rapid access to terabyte-scale data.

More Stories By John Busch

Dr. John Busch is CEO, president and co-founder of Schooner Information Technology, a provider of data access appliances for information-intensive Web 2.0 and cloud computing datacenters. Dr. Busch has more than 25 years of industry experience as a computer system research director at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, vice president of engineering and business partnerships at Diba (acquired by Sun), and as co-founder/vice president of engineering of Clarity Software.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software 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. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, 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. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, 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. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of 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, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, 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. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...