Welcome!

Java Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Lori MacVittie, Esmeralda Swartz, Trevor Parsons, Sandi Mappic

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: 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 Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss 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! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
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 Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
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 style...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...