KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe: Another Milestone Event for Kubernetes, but Don’t Expect a Developer-Led, Infrastructure-Agnostic World Anytime Soon

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Last week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe conference in Denmark demonstrated the extent to which Kubernetes has become the industry standard for orchestrating and managing cloud-native applications.
  • The conference saw Kubernetes announcements from Cisco, Red Hat, and Oracle, illustrating the growing commitment of data center infrastructure vendors to open source and application performance management (APM) technologies.

Last week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe conference in Denmark saw over 4,000 people descend on Copenhagen’s Bella Center for three days of keynote presentations, technical discussions, and networking with a focus on containers, microservices, serverless computing, and the challenges and options facing cloud-native application development. Continue reading “KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe: Another Milestone Event for Kubernetes, but Don’t Expect a Developer-Led, Infrastructure-Agnostic World Anytime Soon”

Is Public Safety China’s New Export?

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• Huawei showcased its Video Cloud Platform at its recent analyst event, touting its application for public safety.

• The company pointed to widespread adoption and success in China, but can it find a market for its solution overseas?

During Huawei’s Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, China, executive keynotes emphasized the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the company’s vision to create a more connected, more intelligent world. The company’s vision is to use AI to improve people’s daily lives and to benefit society as a whole. Unlike some competitors, who often showcase the application of AI to improve the customer experience, or point to use cases that incorporate natural language processing or natural language generation, Huawei was keen to highlight its video strategy. The company has roughly 5,450 members of its staff involved in developing video solutions and eight research and development centers that focus on video technology (three in China, as well as sites in the US, France, Ireland, Russia, and Japan). Huawei envisions several use cases for the application of AI and video, including identification of abandoned objects, intrusion detection, crowd density monitoring, facial control/admission processing, and vehicle, facial, and physical attribute identification. Continue reading “Is Public Safety China’s New Export?”

Why Company Culture Is Critical to Successful Collaboration Technology Deployments

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Company culture is pivotal to the successful adoption of collaboration solutions.
  • Task cultures are more likely to succeed in reacting to change and adapting to the organizational challenges required to transform a business using collaborative solutions.

Technology alone does not allow a business to change and transform. It won’t make organizations more efficient, productive, creative, or innovative unless businesses are able to assimilate the technology into their culture. Company culture is pivotal to the successful adoption of collaboration solutions; indeed, oftentimes there is too much focus on technology rather than addressing change and rethinking how employees, partners, and customers work together. Continue reading “Why Company Culture Is Critical to Successful Collaboration Technology Deployments”

Huawei Analyst Summit 2018: Edge Computing, Hybrid Cloud, and AI are Central to Huawei’s Future Vision of the Data Center

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• Key themes from the 15th Huawei Analyst Summit (HAS) in Shenzhen, China, included edge computing, hybrid cloud enablement, and the application of AI to data center technologies.

• To unlock commercial opportunities and reinforce the competitiveness of its solutions, Huawei would benefit from a stronger articulation of both its hybrid cloud and edge computing capabilities.

Judging by the themes of the 15th HAS in Shenzhen, China, 17-19 April, Huawei expects data center technologies to become increasingly more intelligent, more distributed in the way they are deployed, and more diverse in the use cases they support. Key themes from the Summit, with particular relevance to data centers, included edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), multi-cloud and hybrid cloud enablement, and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to both data centers and the use cases they support.

The Summit saw a recurring emphasis on the theme of “boundless computing”, reflecting Huawei’s commitment to a single infrastructure platform that blurs the boundaries between CPUs, servers, and data centers and supports the delivery of resources wherever they are required. There was considerable discussion of edge computing, which involves the maintenance and operation of IT resources at locations that are closer to the points of data generation, and to the end users of digital content and applications. Huawei already offers several solutions that support enterprise edge computing initiatives, including its Cloud Fabric SDN solution and a version of its hyperconverged infrastructure offering, FusionCube, which is specifically optimized for remote office and branch office (ROBO) and edge computing deployments. Continue reading “Huawei Analyst Summit 2018: Edge Computing, Hybrid Cloud, and AI are Central to Huawei’s Future Vision of the Data Center”

It’s Time to Orchestrate AI Hardware for Maximum Effect

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • There are many AI-savvy chipsets on the market right now, each fine-tuned to support specific AI workloads, development frameworks, or vendor platforms.
  • But, what if developers could flexibly combine AI-specific hardware resource pools on the fly, on-premises as well as online?

There’s certainly enough buzz in the industry right now about artificial intelligence (AI). If you look beyond the doomsday predictions of a machine uprising, the prevailing view is that AI is a literal Swiss Army knife of circumstance, able to cut through any and all problems, ready to assemble opportunity out of nothing more than data. It seems that every vendor has one or two machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) frameworks lying about. It’s no wonder. There’s TensorFlow, Caffe, Theano, Torch, and many, many more to choose from, most of which open source and are quite accessible to the broader developer community. Continue reading “It’s Time to Orchestrate AI Hardware for Maximum Effect”

Cloud Foundry Summit: CF Goes to Battle Against AWS, Red Hat, DIY Options

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Cloud Foundry, AWS, and Red Hat OpenShift will duke it out in the OSS PaaS space over the coming year.
  • Cloud Foundry members favor the OSS community’s growing ecosystem in a multi-cloud era.

The phrase ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ never rang truer as AWS contacted the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) at the eleventh hour asking to be a sponsor at this month’s annual Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston. The open source project’s top rivals are AWS, Red Hat OpenShift, and enterprise DIY projects. Perhaps Amazon wanted to get a peek into the goings-on between the 63 members which make up the Cloud Foundry community, including the newest member, Chinese telco giant Alibaba. Continue reading “Cloud Foundry Summit: CF Goes to Battle Against AWS, Red Hat, DIY Options”

Blockchain Has No Place in Network Management

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Blockchain may have many use cases, but there is little value in networking and network management.
  • Multivendor interoperability will remain a problem unless there are standards and the backing of networking vendors.

I may come to regret that headline, but for the moment, I stand by it. The financial world is simply breathless over cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Not only have cryptocurrencies skyrocketed to meteoric heights; there have also been numerous reports that simply adding ‘blockchain’ to a company name can boost the company’s value, which demonstrates the buzz has reached peak ridiculousness. In the tech world, a number of commentators, bloggers, and vendors are ‘blockchain signaling’ in an effort to be viewed as in touch with a hot, current trend. This is true even in networking, where blockchain proponents position it for authenticated management, multivendor management, and configuration compliance.

Let me burst that bubble with a slap of cold, hard reality. Blockchain provides little benefit to auditing network management that is better than existing alternatives. Furthermore, I’d suggest that blockchain is an unproven technology in enterprise IT. Continue reading “Blockchain Has No Place in Network Management”

Atos Analyst Event 2018: IoT Solutions and Alliances Provide Differentiation as Atos Focuses on Business Outcomes

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• The Atos event theme was described as an evolution “From Vision to Business Outcomes”; the integrator uses digital technology, including IoT, to help customers improve bottom lines, enhance products, and streamline operations.

• A growing number of Atos engagements are enabled by IoT platforms and services, including its own products and those of strategic partners. The event showcased offerings and examples of IoT-enabled outcomes.

Atos is a digital services provider and integrator, headquartered in France, with approximately 13 billion euros in annual revenues. The company has expertise in big data and security, high performance computing, business and platform solutions, digital payments, infrastructure and data management, and unified communications. While IoT is not a separate corporate business area, it has clearly become an enabler of digital transformation for a growing number of Atos’ business customers. IoT offerings and deployment examples were highlighted frequently in the company’s annual analyst event held in Boston on April 5th and 6th.

In a discussion entitled IoT: From Experimentation to Business Scale, Atos laid out the three primary solutions in its portfolio which feature IoT.

Atos Codex is a set of services around IoT including consulting, managed services (including device lifecycle management, remote monitoring, and security), back/office integration, application development, and “cloudification” platforms. The platforms have enabled Atos to develop custom vertical solutions in payments, automotive, smart home, healthcare, smart city and manufacturing. Atos focuses on industrialized use cases that allow customers to go beyond the primary phase of pilots and connectivity/data collection to large-scale deployments that provide process transformation and allow businesses to generate revenues from new services. Customer examples include: Renault’s connected car service; an unnamed global truck manufacturer for whom Atos provides fleet management, logistics and design optimization; and a “pay as you drive” scheme for a global insurance company. Throughout the examples Atos provided outcome statistics. For example, the trucking company was able to realize a 13% reduction in fuel costs and the insurer realized a 24% reduction in accident-related pay-outs. Continue reading “Atos Analyst Event 2018: IoT Solutions and Alliances Provide Differentiation as Atos Focuses on Business Outcomes”

Atos Has a Secret Weapon, and It Rhymes with Awesome Computing

Brad Shimmin – Research Director, Business Technology and Software

Summary Bullets:

• There’s a race right now in high tech to build the first general purpose quantum computer, with industry leaders IBM, Google, D-Wave Technologies, and Intel each building out very different implementations of a single, revolutionary idea — the use of qubits instead of plain old bits.

• But unlike most races, this one has no clear finish line as we’re still figuring out the best approach to quantum computing or to building software for them. Enter IT services powerhouse Atos, which is backing a pure but as yet simulated idea of quantum computing in an effort to garner what matters most, namely the hearts and minds of future quantum developers.

There’s an awful lot of noise in the technology industry right now regarding the promise of quantum computing. A sizable number of dissimilar technology and platform players, ranging from Intel to Google to Atom Computing (a 2018 startup) are all busy building increasingly capable computers that push and pull qubits rather than bits. And as you might expect from such a diverse cast, there are a lot of differing views on how to build such a beast and how to best put it to use.
Continue reading “Atos Has a Secret Weapon, and It Rhymes with Awesome Computing”

Edge Computing Will Decentralize but Complement Traditional and Cloud-Based Data Center Architectures

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Although edge computing will decentralize IT, it will not replace traditional data centers or cloud-based architectures, instead operating as an additional tier of IT processing, storage, security, and analytics.
  • In addition to supporting IoT, edge computing use cases will include VR, AR, and connected car applications that are latency-sensitive and require high levels of performance.

Edge computing promises to transform the way data center resources are deployed and managed, as well as the type of workloads they support. A newly published Market Assessment Report from Global Data defines edge computing as the deployment and operation of IT resources – including compute, storage, networking, data management, and analytics – at locations that are geographically closer to data-generating devices and to the end users of digital content and applications. Continue reading “Edge Computing Will Decentralize but Complement Traditional and Cloud-Based Data Center Architectures”