|By Michael Bushong||
|June 9, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
There are two fairly recurrent memes in IT infrastructure: the There’s an API for that! theme, and the Out of box! theme. It is actually telling that both continue to get play in IT given that they represent polar opposites. Assuming that each has a value, when do you need something that is -able (integratable, orchestratable, programmable), and when is it better to have something that is -ed (integrated, orchestrated, programmed)?
Extensibility or capability?
At the heart of the -able vs -ed decision is whether your primary requirement is extensibility or capability. But even then, which one is better?
The marketing talk around extensibility is that without something that is easily extensible, you will find yourself painted into a corner. To a large extent, this is actually true. Doing an integration once demonstrates that it can be done once, but if an environment calls for many integrations, the capability might not be as important as its repeatability.
Consider for a moment a lot of the network programmability, SDN, and DevOps talk. Common in many of these discussions is the availability of various APIs and constructs that allow things to communicate together. If you are an organization that actively makes use of these APIs (either consuming them directly or buying products from others that consume them directly), then you should care a lot about -able. If, however, you are an organization that does not actually do anything with these APIs, then they likely have limited value to you.
Future-proofing and realizing value
The key here is when one or the other has value. Given this, the extensibility and capability discussion can actually be framed up a little bit differently. Think of extensibility as future proofing your infrastructure. If you are concerned that the environment is changing and you want to have unfettered access to an undetermined future, then -able makes a lot of sense.
But be aware that -able by itself doesn’t actually provide any value. There is a separate step that must be taken to convert -able into -ed. This conversion is what takes future proofing and turns it into something that has a return on investment.
For example, having an API that makes the network programmable is useful if tools emerge that program the network. However, even as those tools emerge, if you continue to run the network the same way, the API has really no function for you. So while it is tempting to buy into the notion of programmable, it might not actually be relevant to your environment.
The point here is not about whether programmability is good or bad; it is that you have to have a view of what is meaningful to your organization. If you have never used the -able side before, do you have line of sight to a change in behavior that makes that more meaningful? If yes, then changing buying behavior makes a lot of sense. If no, then it might not matter that much.
Striking a balance
Because there is inherent but not realized value in the -able side of things, you will ultimately need to strike some balance. Your infrastructure has to be capable, so there is some measure of -ed that has to be included. And you will want to consider how that infrastructure will age and grow, making -able important as well.
As you consider the balance, it is important to be aware of your actual IT practices. It is very easy to elevate the concept of something that might not be that important. In past lives, for example, I have purchased cars that have sizable engines. Forgetting for a moment that I rarely accelerated quickly or hauled something, having the engine seemed better than not having it. But had I considered my actual driving habits, I might have opted for the slightly lower-cost car with the hamster wheel under the hood.
The bottom line
The point here is that the balance for your organization ought to reflect your actual practices. Whether you consider past practices or anticipated practices is an interesting thought exercise, but you should be considering something.
Once you arrive at what is important, then you have to actually shop around for it. If what you need is an -ed network, then you need to look for network equipment that is instrumented, orchestrated, and integrated. How you evaluate equipment changes, and your buying questions should match that. If, however, you are a DIY type shop, then you might look for the -able set of devices.
Wherever you end up, be explicit about what you need. You might find that your needs are better served by different decisions than you have previously imagined.
[Today’s fun fact: Mountain goats are not actually goats. They are antelopes. I wonder if this impacts the naming of facial hair in any meaningful way.]
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 26, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,645
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 26, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,811
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 26, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,255
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 26, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,670
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
May. 26, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,106
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
May. 26, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,616
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 26, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,403
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-...
May. 26, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,931
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 26, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,982
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 26, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,080
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 26, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,840
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 26, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,912
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 26, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,140
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
May. 26, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,445
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
May. 26, 2016 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,106
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 26, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 576
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 26, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,898
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 25, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 924
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors...
May. 25, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,789
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 25, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,256