Public Cloud Wars Will Heat Up in 2017; Amazon and Google Battle Microsoft via Middleware Partnerships

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Enterprises seeking greater infrastructure and data/application services efficiency are moving cloud-native and hybrid cloud application development to the public cloud.

• The next phase of cloud computing growth will be driven by containers, microservices, and Functions-as-a-Service, specifically those supporting mobile and IoT platform services.

Cloud-native and hybrid cloud application development is making its way to the public cloud as enterprises increasingly see Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as a viable infrastructure and data/application services model. In the past week, AWS and GCP separately increased their app development arsenal by way of two key middleware and mobile middleware partnerships. Read more of this post

Establishing a Zero Outage Standard is About Technology, People and Processes

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• A new initiative, spearheaded by 11 major IT companies, aims to establish industry-wide standards that enable zero outage and the continuous operation of IT systems.

• To succeed this initiative must include the wider industry, and should address the interaction between technology, people and processes as a source of IT systems failure.

On November 4th, a group of 11 major IT firms announced the formation of the “Zero Outage Industry Standard” association. Established in London by founding members Brocade (now being acquired by Broadcom), Cisco, Dell EMC, Fortinet, Hitachi Data Systems, HPE, Jupiter Networks, NetApp, SAP, SUSE and T-Systems, the association aims to kick-start discussions that it hopes will lead to new industry-wide standards that enable the continuous operation of IT systems. Read more of this post

Security Product Integration Frameworks: A Gamechanger for Enterprise Security

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

• SPIFs enable pre-integration of standalone third-party security products, eventually enabling enterprises to construct a customized, more effective enterprise security solution architecture.

• SPIFs are nascent, but they will have a growing impact on security product purchasing decisions. Leading-edge enterprises should begin researching SPIF ecosystems.

Enterprises have long been frustrated with the lack of interoperability among their enterprise security point products. The average large enterprise uses dozens of unique commercial security products and services, with few if any of them designed to work together.

Security product integration frameworks (SPIF) have the potential to change the game. SPIFs facilitate the sharing of security-related metadata, help standalone security products and services to interoperate effectively, and ultimately improve the efficacy of enterprises’ unique security architectures.

So what is a SPIF and how can it possibly deliver on such lofty ambitions? At its core, a SPIF is a fancy message bus system, typically augmented with authentication and access control, message encryption, subscription management and limited message store. Its centralized interconnection and messaging architecture enables security products to distribute data to other products and services and receive data from them. Third-party vendors add a SPIF’s pre-built messaging client code into their own products, customizing it as needed, and voila: enterprises using a SPIF can integrate products supporting that SPIF, often in a matter of minutes. Read more of this post

How Lightweight Middleware and SOA Are Evolving into Fine-Grained Microservices

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • SOA supports the idea of reusing application development resources and functions, while a microservices architecture allows the same at a much more granular level.
  • Microservices plus automation addresses CI/CD via distributed service components.

During the next 12 months, we’ll see a flood of structured DevOps architectures emerge to support the growing microservices trend, which in turn fosters continuous deployment.

The emerging trend around microservices enhances traditional Java EE multitier/n-tier architectures with distributed service components and greater use of automation to support continuous integration, continuous deployment (CI/CD). Note that Java EE is considered the dominant standard for building next-generation, business-critical, distributed apps. By breaking an app down into smaller components, developers can target specific units of the app with more frequent updates. This enables more frequent deployments, which is where CI/CD comes into play. Read more of this post

What Enterprises Can Expect from Enterprise Mobility Services Providers

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis’s recently updated reports on global enterprise mobility services providers show relatively static portfolios.
  • There were some notable exceptions, with some providers focused on new business tariffs, network upgrades, and security enhancements, along with portfolio restructuring to add simplicity.

In October, Current Analysis updated its profiles on the leading global enterprise mobility services providers, including both operator-led or operator-affiliated companies (AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, DT/T-Systems, BT, Orange Business Services, and Telefonica) and IT service providers (IBM, CSC, HPE, and Accenture). While some aspects of these providers’ portfolios have been stagnant (or stable, depending on one’s interpretation) over the last six months, two things stand out. First, while portfolios may not have not changed dramatically, this does not imply that service providers believe there are limited growth opportunities in the market; and, second, for those companies that did add new services or restructured their portfolios, differentiation is important. As a result, pricing or service elements may need recrafting to meet customer needs more effectively and competitively. Read more of this post

The New PaaS Looks a Lot Like CaaS, with Orchestration

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

• The benefits of PaaS are being realized through a consistent deployment format, easing DevOps processes

• New microservices architectures and containers will usher in advanced technologies including serverless architectures

PaaS is evolving to address growing DevOps concerns through open technologies; these, in turn, support new architectures, new forms of deployment through containers, and necessary features including orchestration, management, monitoring, and push services. PaaS services have evolved beyond providing basic app hosting to address modern DevOps’ needs, including the ability to leverage hybrid cloud and multi-cloud portability to ensure continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD). Platform services provide containerization with particular importance now being placed on the ability to deploy and orchestrate containers, with policy, in order to modernize and port legacy and new apps onto any cloud infrastructure. Read more of this post

Mobile App Platforms’ Role Continues to Evolve in API, IoT Era

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • MEAP vendors are focused on IoT platforms and user experience (UX) technologies, which aim to help enterprises reach new markets according to the usability of their mobile apps and their ability to connect things.
  • Low-code development platforms leverage the infrastructure strengths of public clouds, such as IBM Bluemix and Microsoft Azure, to create mobile apps that analyze and respond in real time.

The role of mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAP) and mobile services continues to evolve, not only as a significant component of business transformation projects, but also as a means for extending current business app use. What began as technology to support desktop web experiences subsequently moved to omnichannel, mobile-first, and cloud-first experiences. MEAP is now at the crux of connecting devices – mobile and otherwise – as well as serving as the UX backbone that will empower a broader group of stakeholders, from savvy developers to non-coding business users. The technology spans both front-end mobile app and website design frameworks as well as backend integration services. The role of mobile app platforms is maturing into one that connects people, devices, and data, while helping to drive business-transforming marketing programs. (For further reading, please see: Competitive Landscape Assessment: Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP), October 21, 2016). Read more of this post

Hello BlackBerry: Why Dropping Hardware Is Part of a Brighter, Security-Centric Future

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry’s smartphone hardware exit is a positive development, not negative, and signals that the company’s turnaround is nearing completion.
  • BlackBerry held on to its hardware long enough to grow its software and services business, a move now paying off strategically and financially.

I must respectfully disagree with my esteemed colleague Avi Greengart’s take on BlackBerry’s recent decision to exit smartphone hardware design and manufacturing. Not only is this a positive development for BlackBerry, but it’s also a key sign that the vendor’s dramatic turnaround is nearly complete. Read more of this post

Can Qlik Weather the Storm in Transitioning from Premises to Cloud?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• As with many pure play software vendors reared on the slow but steady revenue stream of on-premises perpetual licensing, Qlik knows it must make the transition to the cloud.

• Now that the firm’s sale to Thoma Bravo is complete, Qlik is using hopeful that its newfound stature as a private company will allow the freedom necessary to endure short term disruptions in favor of long term benefits.

This week I had the pleasure of attending Qlik’s annual analyst meeting, the Qlik UnSummit, held in Miami Florida. Surprisingly, despite having endured a category four hurricane (Hurricane Matthew) just a fortnight earlier, local Miami businesses and beachgoers seemed entirely unchanged and unharmed by the storm (I know; I was there just prior to Matthew’s arrival). That’s the way forces of nature work. They are unpredictable in the extreme. You have to plan for and expect the worst all while hoping for the best, knowing that unseen and unknowable variables will ultimately decide the outcome. Read more of this post

That’s Right, IoT Needs the Outdated Notion of Middleware

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• One of the greatest challenges with IoT isn’t device instrumentation or even data storage or analysis. It’s integration and how you move instrumented data (at speed) between endpoint, edge device, gateway, processing engine, data lake and analytics software.

• This focus on data integration coupled with the emergence of cloud-born software development/deployment practices will lead to a resurgence among traditional middleware vendors TIBCO, Software AG and Red Hat.

Memory deceives us so gently sometimes, like an old friend whispering in our ear, telling us that what has gone was so much nicer than what we have now. For me, I miss my childhood friends and home, my days at college, and most certainly my clear case Apple Newton. My recollections of those times and artifacts are so real, so warm and reassuring. And of course they’re each an absolute lie, as proven time and again by scientific research. We create the past anew each time we draw a memory to the forefront of our attention. Read more of this post