Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, Microservices Expo

Agile Computing: Blog Feed Post

All Applications Are NOT Created Equal

The IT world is changing yet again, but any rumors of IT’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

It is an interesting twist in the IT world that with the increased usage of purchased packages and the growth of on-demand IT, we increasingly find ourselves talking about “Applications”. This is a good reference point, it addresses all of the things running on our servers with one fell swoop, but much like when you talk about “vehicles”, the phrase has little meaning beyond discussing similarities.

In the IT sense of the word, Application can be defined as a program running on hardware. In the datacenter sense of the word, it can be a program running on one of our servers, or an outsourced service, or in the cloud. In the business sense, an “application” is “something that helps us get our daily job done”, and that includes (sometimes) many “IT” applications that the user sees as a single thing.

image Imagine taking a mechanic from a construction outfit, an aerodynamics designer from a car company, and a maintenance specialist from a military armored unit and putting them in the same room. The very first thing they would have to do is hash out the definition of “vehicle” – to one it is a car, to another construction equipment, and the third sees vehicle primarily in the sense of Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV – tanks and armored cars). It is not the point of this blog to remind you that business people see applications differently than you, if you’ve been in IT for more than a year, you already know that. But I mention it here for clarity.

For this blog, we’ll use cars as our limited definition of vehicle and “Software that IT is responsible for” as our limited definition of applications, and won’t mention it again. After we’re agreed on terminology, the next problem area crops up immediately. While a Yugo, a BMW, and a Jeep are all cars by any definition I know of (my Jeep is even registered as a station wagon), they have vastly different uses, markets, and weaknesses. The same is true of applications. Your Database Management System is certainly not in the same category of “application” as the static web server you inherited in that acquisition a few months back and are planning on removing as soon as you have time to redirect users to your website. Yes, I know you are aware of that too, please bear with me, I’m setting this up, not telling you the obvious.

The Toddler plays with a construction “Vehicle”

imageAnd this permeates applications to many levels. Every application is a unique entity with unique requirements, strengths, weaknesses, uses, and misuses… And that is where we tend to start to lose control of the conversation. The idea that web server A has completely different needs that web server B even though both are running the same web server software sometimes causes confusion beyond the people responsible for the daily care and feeding of these web servers. In fact, we in IT tend to talk about the “Accounts Payable System” or “HR System” rather than “The web server serving up HR Apps”. For this reason (or because we’re lazy, one of the two).

But as we move to an increasingly virtualized world, our application inventory must start to include important parts that just didn’t matter when the application didn’t have to share resources. How much disk does it require was always a concern, so you’re in the clear there, but what about the volume of IP traffic the application generates? In a virtualized environment, it is sharing network cards, and this could quickly become an issue. The same with memory and CPU usage, both of which were only a concern if you ran out on the physical box, but now you can run into issues earlier because other applications are using those resources too.

ASCOD – A Spanish AFV army-technology

A few years back, when virtualization was picking up, we saw a case where a company had “load balanced” several instances of a critical application to the same physical server. While not the worst architectural decision ever made, it certainly wasn’t a good one. These days you don’t see that particular mistake, but you do see an increasing number of virtual machines sharing the same set of physical hardware. Without including in your software inventory what a given application requires in terms of machine resources, you can’t predict when that physical server will need an upgrade or how to better distribute load. And no matter where you are in the virtualization process, I guarantee this will become more important to you in the coming year or so – either due to some serious performance issues or attempts to implement internal cloud.

imageAnd you thought virtualization was going to make your life easier? It did that by eliminating a ton of hardware, but it did not eliminate your dependence upon hardware. That’s what the Cloud is supposed to do, but that comes with some caveats also, because it will shift pressure from your local network to your WAN connection. After all, now you have apps “out there” that need to communicate – even if only for reporting – with apps “in here”, and that, by definition, adds traffic to your WAN link. BIG-IP LTM and BIG-IP WOM can help, as can other tools, but you’ll need to be more proactive in monitoring WAN throughputs as you move to the cloud, though the cloud will ostensibly free you from worrying about how much is running on a given machine. I would urge caution though, since implementation at the cloud provider is going to determine whether you actually get all the resources your applications desire. And again, you don’t have to worry about the hardware, but you will have to worry about the size of the bill at the end of the month, so monitoring is a must.

The IT world is changing yet again, but any rumors of IT’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. You’re essential to the business, what you do will change, but the need to have you around is still visible on the distant horizon. Keep your skills honed though, new architectures require new thought patterns.

An Advert for the inimical Yugo Autoblog.com

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, 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
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...