Welcome!

IoT Expo Authors: Hovhannes Avoyan, Roger Strukhoff, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Mike Kavis

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Java, Linux, Cloud Expo, IoT Expo, DevOps Journal

SDN Journal: Blog Feed Post

@DevOpsSummit | The Operational Amplifier [#DevOps]

Operational amplifiers are a lot like force multipliers in that they enable a small number of people to achieve more

When Instagram was sold to Facebook in 2012, it employed only 13 people and maintained over 4 billion photos shared by its 80 million registered users.

Internally, Instagram was a small business. Externally, it was a web monster. Filling the gap between those two contradictory perspectives is DevOps.

Now to be fair, Instagram (like many other web monster properties today) has it easier than most other businesses because it supported only one application. One. That's in stark contrast to large enterprises which are, by most analyst firms, said to manage not one but one hundred and even one thousand applications - at the same time. Our own data indicates an average of 312 applications per customer, many of which are certainly integrated and interacting with one another.

Which makes it difficult to manage even the most innocuous of processes. Maintenance windows exist in the enterprise, after all, to manage expectations with respect to downtime and disruption specifically because of the interdependent nature of enterprise applications.

The thing is, these numbers are only going to get worse as the Internet of Things continues to put pressure on organizations to up their app game with new ways to offer things and apps together using new business models.

Unfortunately IT budget and staff is not necessarily going to increase at the same pace. In fact, despite analysis that suggests a highly mobile customer base requires a lower ratio of IT personnel to users due to higher complexity, it is unlikely IT will suddenly grow enough to meet a ratio nearly 40 to 1 lower than optimal to support static technology users.

That means IT has to look to other means to up the output of operations teams tasked with deploying and maintaining the applications and infrastructure critical to business success.

IT needs an operational amplifier.

Operational Amplifiers
Operational amplifiers are a lot like force multipliers in that they enable a small number of people or infrastructure to achieve more, as if they were multiplied (or cloned, if you prefer).

The term comes from electrical engineering, which describes an operational amplifier as:

An operational amplifier (op-amp) is a DC-coupled high-gain electronic voltage amplifier with a differential input and, usually, a single-ended output.[1] In this configuration, an op-amp produces an output potential (relative to circuit ground) that is typically hundreds of thousands of times larger than the potential difference between its input terminals. -- Wikipedia

And that is what makes it possible for a 13 member staff to support 80 million users; for a small business inside to perform like a web monster outside. That operational amplifier is devops, and it's going to be critical moving forward to shift staff from break and fix to the innovation necessary to meet the demands of the Internet of Things.

Now, that said, DevOps is not a tool. It's not a thing, it's not something tangible. It's an approach, a verb, a perspective that requires organizations to shift process burdens from people to technology in a way that makes them more efficient, repeatable and consistent.

And because there is no specific tool, but rather a mindset and methodology, it behooves producers of the infrastructure and platforms upon which applications and application services are deployed to enable operations to put into action the principles behind those methodologies: automation, orchestration and process re-engineering.

That means APIs - strong APIs - as well as extensibility and flexibility. Infrastructure cannot remain rigid and static in an environment that is rapidly changing. It must be dynamically configured, extensible, and imminently flexible.

The support of well-designed APIs and programmable data paths associated with emerging architectures like SDDC and SDN is a requirement not just for the network but for "The Network" - the whole shebang  from layer 2 to layer 7. It is through these APIs and programmatic extensibility that operational excellence is amplified and repeated across the myriad applications supported by most enterprises today.

DevOps can be the amplifier necessary to enable the economies of operational scale required to efficiently meet challenges associated with rapid, explosive growth in both user communities and app deployments. Infrastructure supportive of those efforts must provide the means by which that scale can occur.

Infrastructure must support DevOps and the shift from process reliance on people to technology through both control and data path programmability, lest it become a resistor instead of an amplifier.

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Latest Stories from IoT Journal
We were in contact recently with Shrikant Pattathil (pictured below), Executive Vice President of Harbinger Systems. Here are some of his thoughts about healthcare, the IoT, and disruption: IoT Journal: Healthcare, with all of its systems and dataflows, seems an ideal area for IoT solutions. What is Harbinger Systems doing in this area? Shrikant Pattathil: Being a service provider we work with many product development companies who are building new IoT-based applications to solve problems that plague the healthcare industry. For example, there is a need for applications to manage your medicine dosage, seek help, and notify your care provider. IoT Journal: And how do you go about addressing these problems? Shrikant: We are approaching IoT from mobile and cloud perspective. These are our key strengths. We are helping product companies in IoT space to quickly build the mobile interfaces for their product offerings. We are also helping them to place the data on the cloud in a secure way, so that they can truly exploit the benefits of IoT. IoT Journal: What are the advantages of the IoT here? Cost? Better care? What sorts of metrics can be applied, and are there intangibles as ...
Building low cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, will provide an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He will also provide examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He will review the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power such wearable devices.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, more manufacturers will embed sensors in their products and connect them to the Internet to monitor their performance and offer pro-active maintenance services. As a result, engineers who know how to incorporate software and networking into their mechanical designs will become more in demand.
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, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
Launched this June at the Javits Center in New York City with over 6,000 delegate attendance, the largest IoT event in the world, 2nd international Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara ConventionCenter in Santa Clara, California with estimated 7,000 plus attendance over three days. @ThingsExpo is co-located with 15th international Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world. In 2014, more than 200 companies will be present at the @ThingsExpo show floor, including global players, and hottest new technology pioneers.
Where historically app development would require developers to manage device functionality, application environment and application logic, today new platforms are emerging that are IoT focused and arm developers with cloud based connectivity and communications, development, monitoring, management and analytics tools. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies, will explore how to rapidly prototype using IoT cloud platforms and choose the right platform to match application requirements, security and privacy needs, data management capabilities and development tools.
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 without the kinds of agile software development and infrastructure approaches pioneered by the DevOps movement.
As the Internet of Things gains momentum, the focus has been on securing billions of IoT devices and the servers that orchestrate their connectivity. However, the greatest security and authentication risks reside within the communications among devices and servers. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will discuss the top 10 challenges in securing IoT communications that, unsolved, render it impossible to deliver a secure IoT rollout. Learn the requirements for a ubiquitous, secure, bi-directional communication protocol for IoT. Specific design patterns to deliver secure device updates, as well as comprehensive solutions for malware defense and security credential management will also be shared.
I write and study often on the subject of digital transformation - the digital transformation of industries, markets, products, business models, etc. In brief, digital transformation is about the impact that collected and analyzed data can have when used to enhance business processes and workflows. If Amazon knows your preferences for particular books and films based upon captured data, then they can apply analytics to predict related books and films that you may like. This improves sales. This is a simple example, but let me tell you what I learned yesterday in sunny and warm San Francisco about more complex applications.
The worldwide cellular network will be the backbone of the future IoT, and the telecom industry is clamoring to get on board as more than just a data pipe. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Evan McGee, CTO of Ring Plus, Inc., to discuss what service operators can offer that would benefit IoT entrepreneurs, inventors, and consumers. Evan McGee is the CTO of RingPlus, a leading innovative U.S. MVNO and wireless enabler. His focus is on combining web technologies with traditional telecom to create a new breed of unified communication that is easily accessible to the general consumer. With over a decade of experience in telecom and associated technologies, Evan is demonstrating the power of OSS to further human and machine-to-machine innovation.
Whether you're a startup or a 100 year old enterprise, the Internet of Things offers a variety of new capabilities for your business. IoT style solutions can help you get closer your customers, launch new product lines and take over an industry. Some companies are dipping their toes in, but many have already taken the plunge, all while dramatic new capabilities continue to emerge. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Reid Carlberg, Senior Director, Developer Evangelism at salesforce.com, to discuss real-world use cases, patterns and opportunities you can harness today.
The Industrial Internet of Things represents a tremendous opportunity for innovative companies looking to unlock new revenue sources by packaging their products with new digital services, says Accenture (NYSE:ACN) in its new report, “Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things.” Combining sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics and intelligent machine applications into a single universe of connected intelligent industrial products, processes and services, the Industrial Internet of Things generates data essential for developing corporate operational efficiency strategies. However, the Accenture report finds that the Industrial Internet of Things also provides a rich opportunity to drive revenue growth through new, innovative and augmented services for a rapidly expanding marketplace.
littleBits Electronics, the company putting the power of electronics in everyone’s hands, today announced the launch of the bitLab, an app store for user-generated hardware. The marketplace furthers littleBits’ goal to democratize the hardware revolution, giving hardware developers the tools and ecosystem to develop and sell their own littleBits modules. "When Apple launched the App Store, many apps were games, many were frivolous. But now - 6 years later - there are more than 1.3 million apps that have distributed nearly $15 billion to the software developer community,” said Ayah Bdeir, CEO and founder of littleBits. “And those apps are solving huge problems, from cancer detection to transportation and anything in between. We believe the same thing will happen with hardware - developers just need one common platform to develop on, a supply chain that powers it, and a marketplace for community and distribution. We believe the bitLab will be the hardware industry’s solution to innovation, scale and growth.”
It's time to condense all I've seen, heard, and learned about the IoT into a fun, easy-to-remember guide. Without further ado, here are Five (5) Things About the Internet of Things: 1. It's the end-state of Moore's Law. It's easy enough to debunk the IoT as “nothing new.” After all, we've have embedded systems for years. We've had devices connected to the Internet for decades; the very definition of a network means things are connected to it. But now that the invariable, self-fulfilling prophecy of Moore's Law has resulted in a rise from about 10,000 transistors on a chip in 1980 to more than 2.5 billion today, our systems are powerful enough and fast enough to deliver long-imagined dreams. There simply was not enough bandwidth even a decade ago to the dataflows from tens of billions of sensors, billions of phones and tablets, and tens of millions of enterprises. Systems were not powerful enough to process such large amounts of data, nor could they handle software sophisticated enough to make sense of it all. Now, everything is up to speed. Moore's Law will continue, future systems will continue to make past systems look quaint and comical. But the paradigm will shift n...
Internet of @ThingsExpo announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option. On site registration price of $600 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during this period. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code "IoTAugust" and secure their "@ThingsExpo Plus" registration to attend all keynotes, as well as limited number of technical sessions each day of the show, in addition to full access to the expo floor and the @ThingsExpo hackathon. Registration page is located at the @ThingsExpo site.