We discuss modern-day data analytics for enterprises. We look at new and old AWS products like AWS Glue, AWS Kinesis, and Redshift. AWS Kinesis is something Thorn Technologies leveraged to create a product that allowed them to capture location data to track user behavior data at large trade shows. They could find out where users were spending time in the physical space. At first, it was hard to process the large amount of data coming in with user information and it sometimes took 24 hours to provide insights. When they migrated it to the cloud and used AWS Kinesis streaming data and Redshift data warehouse on the back-end they were able to get near real-time insight into behavior data. Kinesis is Amazon’s real-time streaming data processing service. It is good for when you have a lot of data coming in all at once and want real-time insights.
The top data products in the cloud change the way you can solve problems. Today, the top game changers are Hadoop and spin-offs based on the Hadoop infrastructure. Hadoop gives users more power because you do not have to pre-structure your data. It opens the door to new kinds of analytics. In the past, you needed a data warehouse that was designed specifically for the data it held and with new information you had to spend months re-designing it to fit into the existing system. With Hadoop and other distributed analytics platforms you can manipulate your data on the fly and write analytics specific to your data.
In the next five years, big data and analytics will continue to evolve. Right now doing your own analytics and making your own decisions is popular. However, IoT and AI are quickly becoming a reality. In five years it will not be you making decisions, it will be machines making decisions. We will see what machines tell us about our businesses.
We discuss the difference between hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. Hybrid is anything that’s not just one cloud provider, which includes multi-cloud. Multi-cloud is a strategy where some workloads are running on one cloud, some on another. One trend we see is that big enterprises are splitting workloads more and more between at least two major public clouds for a multi-cloud strategy. According to Gartner, 70% of enterprises will be implementing a multi-cloud strategy by 2019. Some do it because they are mandated by regulators to have more than one cloud. Others are deciding they can’t put all eggs in one basket and want the flexibility to use multiple different vendors.
Companies used to look at cloud as a data center and it was all about IaaS. Now it’s becoming more and more abstract: PaaS, containers as a service, microservices, functions as a service, IoT developer kits, and edge computing are just the beginning. It seems that the more mature a company is in the cloud, the further up that stack they go. Where is all this going? Customers are looking for operational efficiencies, cost savings and more productivity and agility. In conclusion, there is no question customers will slowly continue to adopt these new technologies.
We discuss cloud security best practices for 2020, what happens when IAM meet artificial intelligence, and the security patterns and products you need to know now. Our hosts also take Q&A from the audience to answer how compliance fits into security and what the links are between DevOps and your security team.
We discuss how to translate customer pain points into product requirements when the customer is the government. David’s role at Red Hat is to make it easy for the government to use open source technologies. With open source, if you are not actively participating in the community it is hard to have your requirements heard. That is a challenge for governments and the public sector. They often have exotic requirements and require highly regulated environments. But they can benefit from open source technologies, so it is important to bridge the gap. Interestingly, governments have a reputation of being laggards when compared to other industries. But in cybersecurity, the government leads the way. They outpace the commercial cybersecurity industry with their security policies.
We also look at modern cloud careers and how to transition into the industry. It used to be important in IT to have general skills, but today knowledge of specific tools and specific tools are much more important. To survive in the technology industry you have to care about where the puck is going. The price of software used to define what developers would be able to learn. Now, with open source technology, there is no excuse not to learn because of the access. To be attractive to a future employer, it’s not just about consuming open source technologies, it’s also about living the open-source lifestyle and contributing to its communities. In the end, do not wait for your employer to train you in something you want to be doing. Spend years working on it for free so that you can learn and craft the career you want.
We discuss the many definitions floating around for what edge computing is. Some call it fog computing or MEC (mobile edge computing). It is simple. It is a perspective that as the shift goes from wireless networks and person-to-person interaction to machine-to-machine interaction, underlying architectures must change along with that shift. For things like IoT and distributed data, they require reliability and speed at the source. Increased embeddedness from IoT to healthcare, finance to automotives requires lower latency and need solutions that are mass-scaled to meet distribution requirements.
There are many use-cases for edge computing. Many often think first of Fitbits or Amazon Echos. However, it is transforming enterprises and changing entire business models based on the access to real-time data on the edge. It’s used in places like industrial IoT where sensors and sound collection takes place in factories. Managing these at the source helps solve scalability issues. Hospitals are transforming into mobile computing labs. As this technology enters the operating room, it needs to be 100% reliable and fast because lives are on the line. Last, autonomous vehicles and drones use edge computing. Decision-making is brought closer to the device, reducing steps of communication that can result in errors or latency and could cause accidents. Clearly, edge computing is the future in many budding industries.
We discuss multi-cloud strategies and how this affects company go-to-market and business strategies. That is what THINKstrategies specializes in: the integration of cloud computing with business. We are living in an on-demand world and customers want multiple alternatives at their disposal. Lucky for them, they now have many choices. There is SaaS competition, but even more prominent is the infrastructure competition. Now that companies like Google and Microsoft and even IBM are entering the mix, more competition allows enterprises to have the privilege to select their ideal partner that fits their needs. However, with all this choice comes a need for the enterprises to know what they’re doing and have the skills to orchestrate everything. Companies with more limited skills need to be careful. The customized world can complicate things when enterprises do not have the expertise to build on.
We also look at IoT and how that can be a game-changer in all kinds of industries. At this point, anything can become internet-connected. This also comes with new opportunities to monetize information and engage customers in new ways. That is what the focus of a cloud strategy should always point back to: what does it mean for the customer.
We discuss how Kubernetes has won the war as a leader in orchestration. However, it is still not easy to use or maintain. We explore what organizations need to consider to build operational efficiencies around the technology. Kubernetes, Docker, and containers are very different from something like VMware and Amazon in terms of adoption. When new technology comes into an organization, they usually would quickly become an IT-led project. With containers, they are more like Puppet, Chef, and Ansible. They pop up in clusters around the organization, started directly by DevOps teams, developers, and users. A lot of times they already exist scattered around an organization and need a framework or logic to manage it all. That is what Rancher does, they act as a services platform to help manage many clusters.
We talk about the key considerations organizations need to think about when trying to deploy Kubernetes across multiple clusters across multi-cloud. Some key points are:
What many don’t realize is that often organizations are running Kubernetes in conjunction with legacy technologies. If you keep up with cloud news, it can sometimes seem like everyone is using the latest technology. In reality, many organizations still use legacy technology like VMs and only make small incremental changes. The two biggest place Rancher runs containers is on VMware and on Amazon. In summary, Kubernetes may prolong the life of legacy technologies like VMware.
We discuss the state of OpenStack and where it will go in the next few years. Many have become pessimistic over time. 16% of deployments OpenStack deployments are in the telecommunications carrier segment and it will continue to do well in that category. OpenStack is willing to put up with complexity that others are not. However, growth is not where it should be. People don’t want all that complexity and they are walking away from it and gravitating to Kubernetes. Many organizations have parallel strategies now of Kubernetes and OpenStack. With standards, if they don’t catch on in the first few years they often die. There has to be a certain amount of enthusiasm to build a groundswell. With OpenStack, there was a groundswell but they did not have enough authoritative leadership to help make decisions good for the code base and the users.
Next, we talk about the new private cloud product from Microsoft, Azure Stack. Microsoft is one of the few public cloud providers that has started providing a private cloud right out of the gate. As a cloud player, Microsoft has gained a lot of market share in recent years and is on the way up. With this product, they found a need and are filling a niche with this new offering. Now organizations can get Azure on-premise to work with existing Microsoft infrastructures and add Azure public cloud. No one provider has ever offered this end-to-end hybrid cloud. In the end, this may allow Microsoft to make even more gains on Amazon going forward.