Ed Featherston Joins @CloudEXPO NY Faculty | #BigData #IoT #IIoT #SmartCities

When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the massive amount of information associated with these devices. Ed presented sought out sessions at CloudEXPO Silicon Valley 2017 and CloudEXPO New York 2017. He is a regular contributor to Cloud Computing Journal.

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Three Pillars of DevOps Success in 2018 | @DevOpsSummit @CollabNet #DevOps

I love the beginning of the year. It is always enjoyable to see people’s predictions for trends in the coming year. Publications like Fortune, CNN Money, Washington Post and the Atlantic speculate about what gadgets and technologies are going to take off in popularity this year, psychics predict which celebrities will have babies and fall in love, and I start to think about trends like DevOps and where the software delivery industry is headed next.CollabNet, Eric Robertson, predicted.

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Yung Chou Joins @CloudEXPO NY Faculty | @Azure #Serverless #DevOps #Jenkins #Github #Docker

CI/CD is conceptually straightforward, yet often technically intricate to implement since it requires time and opportunities to develop intimate understanding on not only DevOps processes and operations, but likely product integrations with multiple platforms. This session intends to bridge the gap by offering an intense learning experience while witnessing the processes and operations to build from zero to a simple, yet functional CI/CD pipeline integrated with Jenkins, Github, Docker and Azure.

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Sanjeev Sharma Joins @CloudEXPO NY Faculty | @IBMDevOps #DevOps #SRE #GoogleSRE

Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev’s industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM’s core of technical leaders.

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Why bots are the future of Facebook’s enterprise platform

Adam Shepherd

27 Feb, 2018

Artificial intelligence is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world right now, with scores of companies rushing to take advantage of advances in machine learning and neural networks.

Facebook is one such company, and the social network has invested a great deal of time and energy into building support for chatbots and AI tools into platforms like Facebook Messenger.

It has also extended these functionalities to Workplace, its enterprise collaboration platform that now has 30,000 customers.

At MWC in Barcelona, Julien Cordoniou, Facebook’s vice president for Workplace, told Cloud Pro that artificial intelligence and bots are key to the tool’s future.

“The move from collaboration to automation is a pattern we see across every company, every industry and all of our customers,” he said. “Turning Workplace from being a collaboration platform into an automation platform is what we define as next-generation IT.”

According to Cordoniou, Workplace customers like Norwegian retailer Elkjop are changing the way they use the platform, making use of Workplace’s bot support to automate tasks like inventory management and shift management.

“I think it’s extremely important. If artificial intelligence can be used to automate some of the repetitive tasks that you don’t necessarily want to be doing, or that you don’t want your employees to do, I think it’s a big win for the company. And that’s typically the kind of thing that drives employee happiness, employee sentiment and hopefully employee retention.”

Amazon is also making a big effort to work AI into its commercial offerings, launching Alexa for Business as a way to let customers use voice-activated AI for practical tasks like booking meetings.

Most customers, Cordoniou said, are still buying Workplace as a collaboration tool, in an effort to reduce the distance between head office and frontline staff. The product has been particularly successful in the retail and manufacturing sectors, where workers on production lines or shop floors don’t have a desktop device with which to access traditional intranets or enterprise messaging tools.

Danone, for example, has 80,000 workers, half of whom are factory workers who have never had a company laptop – but they do all have mobile phones. This also applies to Walmart’s 2.5 million staff, who also use Workplace to communicate.

However, he told Cloud Pro that he thinks this is changing, and that bots and other solutions will soon be as big a driver as Workplace’s collaboration tools. “In a few years, people will buy Workplace for the network and the communication platform that it is, but they will also buy Workplace for the quality and the diversity of the applications that they will find on top of the platform,” he said.

“It’s certainly a conversation we have with every customer, and this is also where we want to take them to. We don’t just want to be a communication platform, we want to be the platform where you go to do your job, to get the job done – and that goes with automation.”

Facebook is also committed to building a platform rather than a product with Workplace. Rather than attempting to be a one-stop shop, Cordoniou said, Facebook’s strategy is to partner with best-of-breed companies like Box, Okta, Microsoft, Google and others.

This, he said, allows customers the specifically tailor workplace to their needs, or even to build their own solutions of top of it using tools like AI. “We don’t want to build everything ourselves. We know very well what we do well and what we don’t do well,” he said. “For me, it’s a partnerships play.”

Legacy IT and RoI fears limit public sector’s cloud appetite

Rabbil Sikdar

27 Feb, 2018

Many government departments are still not adopting public cloud services, while the NHS have doubts over the RoI potential on cloud spending, according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.

Less than a third of NHS trusts surveyed (30%) and under two-thirds of central government departments (60%) have adopted any level of public cloud services within their organisation, according to the FoI. 

Fewer than one in five NHS trusts and central government organisations believe they will get a return on their investment in public cloud adoption. Meanwhile, 41% of central government respondents (41%) and 79% of NHS respondents plan to migrate all their services onto a cloud platform.

This is despite the NHS setting out guidelines just last month designed to protect patient data while encourage trusts to adopt cloud services, and a longstanding cloud-first motto pushed by the Government Digital Service.

IT management firm SolarWinds, which received replies from 160 NHS trusts and 28 government departments to its FoI, said the findings are clear evidence that barriers to public sector cloud adoption still exist.

Chief technologist Paul Parker said: “Public sector users, particularly those handling sensitive data, have yet to be convinced that the public cloud is an integral tool that can provide considerable ROI.”

One problem identified in the research was the difficulty public sector organisations have in monitoring the public cloud as part of their broader data infrastructure. Approximately half of NHS organisations and just over half of central government departments use four or more monitoring tools to manage their infrastructure.

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Around half of NHS trusts said the biggest barriers to managing and monitoring their cloud environments were finding suitable workloads for the cloud and a lack of control over cloud vendors’ performance. For central government, 35% highlighted uncertainty around securing clouds as their biggest obstacle.

More broadly, 53% and 50% of NHS and central government respondents respectively believe legacy IT systems have contributed to the failure to adopt public cloud. They also blamed vendor lock-in and security concerns, while 25% of central government deparments complained that a lack of cloud skills was holding them back. 

In terms of cloud priorities for central government, the FoI found that 76% of departments using the cloud are migrating applications, 53% are using it for data storage, and 41% for databases. Within the NHS, 68% of trusts using the cloud are migrating applications, 43% using it to host databases, and 32% storing data.  

Alibaba Cloud expands European push and previews cloud enterprise network offering

MWC Alibaba’s European cloud push continues, with the Chinese provider announcing a series of products for enterprises on the continent around infrastructure, automation, security and more.

The company has announced eight products in total. On the infrastructure side, launching today, are ECS bare metal instances and high performance supercomputing clusters for European customers. While these are both products currently in operation, April will see the new launch of Alibaba’s Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN). The company describes it as a ‘global network for rapidly building a distributed business system and hybrid cloud to help users create a network with enterprise-level scalability and the communication capabilities of a cloud network.’

For big data and AI, Alibaba’s products rolled out to European customers include machine learning-powered image search and a business chatbot – both available today – yet the more intriguing product is Dataphin. Described by the company as a ‘one-stop big data PaaS’, the product offers data integration, warehouse modelling, identity and profile distilling and asset management.

Also included in the launch are a new SaaS-based vulnerability discovery service, as well as Apsara Stack, which offers a scalable and built-in hybrid cloud services platform and launches internationally with adoption from more than 120 enterprise customers.

It has certainly been a long road since July 2015, when the company put in $1 billion in funding to expand its cloud computing operations. In September, Gartner ranked Alibaba as the third player in public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), behind AWS and Microsoft – a fact the company now proudly states on its information section on press materials – while the previous month saw the company pass one million paying cloud customers.

The natural reliance towards Asia-based customers – Philips China, Bank of Nanjing and Air Asia to name three – has facilitated a European push. As revealed at the company’s Computing Conference in Hangzhou in October, the company alongside its partners is targeting 10 million customers.

“Alibaba Cloud wants to be an enabler for technology innovation in Europe helping enterprises do business,” said Yeming Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe in a statement. “The Mobile World Congress is a great opportunity for us to refresh our European strategy and consider how we can make an increasing contribution to the digital transformation of enterprises in this market from different sectors with our offerings and expertise.”

Photo source: www.alibabagroup.com

Apple confirms iCloud is now a customer of Google Cloud

Lee Bell

27 Feb, 2018

Apple is relying on Google’s public cloud to provide data storage for its own iCloud servers, according to a file that Apple recently updated on its website.

The proof that Apple is a customer of Google was spotted by CNBC and comes after it was widely reported by various media outlets that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) won a deal to host Apple’s iCloud in 2016, but the Cupertino firm never confirmed those reports.

The file comes in the form of a PDF called the iOS Security Guide, which Apple publishes new versions of periodically. Up until recently, the document contained language that suggested iCloud services were based on remote data storage systems from Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as Microsoft’s Azure.

But in the most recent version of the PDF, the Microsoft Azure reference has disappeared and has been replaced by Google Cloud Platform. However, the most recent version of the PDF doesn’t clearly state whether Apple will be using any Google cloud services other than core storage of “objects” like photos and videos. It’s also not clear when exactly Apple begun using Google’s cloud.

The confirmation that Apple is using Google’s cloud to support its iCloud services suggests the firm is starting to break ground in catching up to its competition such as AWS and Microsoft. It also comes merely weeks after it was revealed Google could be set to enter the video game industry by launching its own subscription-based game streaming service.

The cloud giant will reportedly offer the service through its Chromecast streaming stick or even a proprietary console, with the project – codenamed ‘Yeti’ – in the works for around two years.

Yeti will apparently operate similarly to Sony’s video streaming Playstation Now service. Users will be able to stream games through cloud servers via a Google console with its own controller. Rather than requiring hard copies, users would simply have to subscribe to access the streaming games through Google’s cloud servers.

Picture: Shutterstock

William @Schmarzo Joins @CloudEXPO NY Faculty | @DellEMC #BigData #AI #ArtificialIntelligence

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business” and “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science,” is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written several white papers, is an avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and data science to power the organization’s key business initiatives. He is a University of San Francisco School of Management (SOM) Executive Fellow where he teaches the “Big Data MBA” course. Bill was ranked as #15 Big Data Influencer by Onalytica.

Bill has over three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. He authored EMC’s Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements, and co-authored with Ralph Kimball a series of articles on analytic applications. Hel has served on The Data Warehouse Institute’s faculty as the head of the analytic applications curriculum.

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