Serverless Computing: Newest Cloud Evolution Abstracts Infrastructure Complexities

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Serverless computing promises to further abstract and thereby simplify VM/server infrastructure complexities, while supporting pay-as-you-go models.
  • Serverless is a logical extension and evolution of the ideas of microservices, containerization tools, and cloud-oriented software development itself.

Serverless computing’s ability to eliminate next-generation application development/deployment complexities by stripping away as much code from the server as possible will usher in a number of cloud service rollouts this year. This begs the question: when should DevOps adopt this approach? This next evolution in cloud computing builds on the momentum of PaaS offerings, microservices development methodologies, and containerization tools like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes, to support agile app development through functions-as-a-service (FaaS). First brought to light a few years ago through Amazon’s AWS Lambda service, serverless computing – also known as FaaS – lets enterprise developers focus on writing code and not managing servers. The technology is based on the concept that when an event is triggered, a function is invoked automatically via a container to provide the context and execution framework for the work, all aimed at reducing operational requirements. A number of cloud providers are rolling out services this year based on investments in FaaS, so in addition to Amazon, buyers will be able to explore IBM OpenWhisk, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and Pivotal Spring Cloud Function. Read more of this post

VMware Reports Strong 2016 Growth and Dismisses HPE Threat, but Needs a Plan to Protect New Businesses

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • VMware has emphasized the importance of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure to its 2016 revenue performance.
  • In order to safeguard future growth, VMware must pay attention to the rapidly changing competitive dynamics within these emerging business segments.

Presenting his company’s Q4 and full-year results for 2016, VMware CFO Zane Rowe noted the important contribution of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to VMware’s overall performance. In Q4, hybrid cloud and SaaS revenue – a category that includes vCloud Air and SaaS offerings such as vRealize as a Service – experienced double-digit growth and accounted for 8% of total revenue. VMware has emphasized the importance of its Cross-Cloud Services initiative – commercially availability in mid-2017 – for the future of its hybrid cloud strategy. Another key element of this strategy is Cloud Foundation, a software-defined data center platform based on NSX, vSphere and vSAN for building private clouds and extending them to the public cloud. Read more of this post

MobileIron Quietly Debuts Sentry for Azure, Enabling Fully Cloud-Based EMM

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Now that Sentry, the gateway component of MobileIron’s EMM solution, is compatible with Azure, the vendor has a fully cloud-based offering for the first time.
  • For MobileIron, the move should accelerate product development, boost cloud-based EMM sales, and increase its competitiveness with rivals Microsoft and VMware AirWatch.

Just before the holidays, enterprise mobility management vendor MobileIron quietly revealed that it had completed the first stage of its long-planned effort to port the centerpiece of its EMM architecture to the cloud. Despite the lack of fanfare, the move represents a significant pivot point that not only enables MobileIron’s first fully cloud-based EMM solution, but also positions the vendor to compete more broadly and effectively. Read more of this post

Is BlackBerry Your Next Enterprise IoT Platform Vendor?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry appears to have risen from its own ashes and now seeks to put its intelligent mobile device expertise to work within the ultra-lucrative (and ultra-competitive) IoT marketplace.
  • With a unique set of resources and technologies at the ready, BlackBerry is capable of building an end-to-end platform, but the trick will be for the vendor to work with, not against, established enterprise IoT platform players.

It’s not often that a company is able to rise from its own ashes. Like Mother Nature, the great crucible of modern capitalism doesn’t often grant a stay of execution for those found wanting. See: TWA, Atari, DeLorean Motor Company or Enron. Once-dominant forces to be reckoned with, those companies are no longer with us. For a while, it seemed that the beloved brand BlackBerry was about to join their ranks. Read more of this post

RAD’s Speed, Collaboration Key to Cloud Offerings in 2017

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • RAD goes hand-in-hand with microservices architecture and container deployment scenarios.
  • RAD vendors will continue to leverage OSS technologies including Cloud Foundry and Docker.

Rapid application development (RAD) platforms are a technology whose time has finally come with the advent of platform service, microservices architecture and containers. The low-code, high-productivity tools go hand-in-hand with new cloud infrastructures, architectures and deployment capabilities, because they address DevOps’ concerns around speed and efficiency, collaboration and accessing open source software to support portability. (Please see “PaaS Cloud Providers and SIs Will Bulk Up on RAD Technology,” January 20, 2017.) Read more of this post

Customer Tracking Using WiFi and Beacons Should Be Dead in Retail

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • WiFi and Bluetooth beacons are inconsistent trackers that can tell retailers little more than ‘some device was somewhere in this vicinity for a period of time.’
  • Beacons and RFID on products open up more opportunities for many benefits, including increasing customer touch and understanding their shopping habits.

The National Retail Federation’s 2017 Big Show in New York was a cornucopia of everything retail, from smart displays to supply chain management to social media analytics. One overall theme I kept hearing was how retailers want to enhance the shopping experience with customers and ultimately sell more products. Online retailer sites like Amazon and Best Buy can gather a wealth of information about user behavior and feed that data back into their analytics to track product performance and make recommendations to customers based on past behavior and the behaviors of similar customers. Brick-and-mortar stores don’t have that advantage and are desperately trying to learn more about the buyer and increase sales. Read more of this post

I Run Applications, You’re Measuring Packets: It’s Time to Revisit Those Network SLAs

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn – Service Director, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises are increasingly focused on, and making decisions around, applications performance. WAN providers’ stock SLAs are still mired in the language of packets and frames.
  • Network partners already aren’t top of mind for enterprises’ applications performance discussions despite their key role in applications delivery.

Through our regularly conducted global ICT surveys here at Current Analysis, we caught one of the most recent purchasing trend shifts early on: enterprise lines of business are increasing their purchasing influence, even influencing networking-related decisions. More accurately, our surveys have been validating a power shift that we’d already been experiencing in our enterprise inquiries. Read more of this post