Unleash the Digital Transformation

Digital-Transformation-6

Image Credit

The world has changed. We’ve seen massive disruption on multiple fronts—business model disruption, impact from cybercrime, new devices, and an app centric world. Power of this network is crucial to success in a mobile first, cloud first world with this ever increasing amount of data that we have at our hands. Internet of things or IoT, we can connect instrumented devices worldwide to use new data to transform business models and products.

DISRUPTION

Disruption comes in many forms. It’s not big or scary, – it’s just another way of describing change and evolution. In the 80’s it manifested as call centers. Then, as the digital landscape began to take shape, it was the Internet, Cloud Computing … now it’s AI.

 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Now everyone is talking about “Digital Transformation” and it may mean different things to different companies, but in the end it will be a simple salvation that will carry us forward. If you Bing (Remember, I had worked 15 years in Microsoft before experiencing Digital transformation from the lens of the outside world)“digital transformation,” it says it’s “the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way.” Let me simplify it, keep reading:)

Do you watch Sci-Fi, I am assuming you have watched Star Track series? We are stealing our ideas from there, Star Track team wished to patent them to get royalty:). But in all seriousness we are forecasting our future with our imagination. Whether the robot assistants of 2001, or concept of Artificial Intelligence. So, lets move on to why it is needed in current world, your world.

BUSINESS CHALLANGES

The challenges facing businesses today are familiar: engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing operations, and reinventing the value they offer to their customers. However, what has changed is the unique convergence of three things:

  1. Increasing volumes of data, particularly driven by the digitization of “things” and heightened individual mobility and collaboration
  2. Advancements in data analytics and intelligence to draw actionable insight from the data
  3. Ubiquity of cloud computing, which puts this disruptive power in the hands of organizations of all sizes, increasing the pace of innovation and competition

OK, so explain DT in simple English (USE CASE)

Hernan Marino explains it by giving specific industry examples to make is simpler.

Automobile manufacturing used to be the work of assembly lines, people working side-by-side literally piecing together, painting, and churning out vehicles. Made a transition to automation, reducing costs and marginalizing human error. That was a business transformation. Now, we are seeing companies like Tesla and BMW incorporate technology into their vehicles that essentially make them computers on wheels. Cameras. Sensors. GPS. Self-driving vehicles. Syncing your smartphone with your car.

The point here is that companies need to make the upfront investments in infrastructure to take advantage of digital transformation, and that upfront investment will pay dividends in the long run as technological innovations abound. It is our job to collaboratively work with our customers to understand what infrastructure changes need to be made to achieve and take advantage of digital transformation.

Harman gives another example of Electric companies. Remember a few years ago, when you used to go outside your house and see the little power meter spinning as it recorded the kilowatts you are using? Monthly, the meter reader would show up in your yard, record your usage, and report back to the electric company.

Most electric companies then made a business transformation and installed smart meters – eliminating the cost of the meter reader and integrating most homes into a smart grid that gave customers access to their real-time information. Now, as renewable energy evolves and integrates more fully in our lives, these same electric companies that switched over to smart meters are going to make additional investments to be able to analyze the data and make more informed decisions that will benefit both the company and the customers.

That is digital transformation. Obviously, banks, healthcare, entertainment, trucking, and e-commerce all have different needs than auto manufacturers and electric companies. It is up to us – marketers and account managers promoting digital transformation – to identify those needs and help our clients make the digital transformation as seamlessly as possible.

30 SECONDS PITCH

Digital transformation is a fancy buzz word, but it is present and future. It is re-envisioning existing business models and embrace a different way of bringing together people, data, and processes to create value for their customers through systems of intelligence.

Credits: Articles from Dan Stevens , Jack Dyson and Hernan Marino from SAP Digitalist magazine

Advertisements

What about Microsoft Azure Storage?

Storage archIt’s a good Segway to move from OpenStack Storage to Azure Storage. Core concepts of Object storage remains the same. Azure Blob storage stores large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed via HTTP (s). Gartner projects 40% growth in global data generated YoY, with 90% being the unstructured data. With the explosion of data we have a requirement for Serving images or documents directly to a browser or stream video and audios. Millions of images and videos are becoming a norm not only for social sites but also for any marketing, any size business to attract and retain their target base. Customers are getting smarter and smarter and want the access data/ information anytime, anywhere and in an effective form. In this hypercompetitive world businesses have a need for this multi dimension data and to store files for distributed access. But most important thing for any business is ‘insight’ since data is a new currency. There is a tremendous need for data analytics and making a sense of tons of information to create unique value proposition for target users. For all these activities, from storage point of view, we would require to perform secure backup and disaster recovery and storing data for analysis.

blob1Lets start with Blobs which is a file of any type and size and offers block blobs (+append), page blobs storage services . While block blobs are ideal for storing text or binary files, page blogs are good for frequent read/write operations. Azure Virtual Machines use page blobs as OS and data disks. Important concept in blob is ‘container’, which provides a grouping of a set of blobs. All (unlimited) blobs must be in a container. Every object that holds data is stored in Azure Storage is identified by a unique partition key. Each blob contains its own partition. Blobs can therefore be distributed across many servers in order to scale out access to them.

table1For storing large amounts of structured, non-relational data Table (collection of entities) storage is used. It is a NoSQL data store which accepts authenticated calls from inside and outside the Azure cloud. Typically for quick querying data using a clustered index or storing datasets that don’t require complex joins, or stored procedures; and tables can scale as demand increases. Tables don’t enforce a schema on entities, which means a single table can contain entities that have different sets of properties. Each entity can include up to 252 properties to store data. The partition key for an entity is table name + partition key, where the partition key is the value of the required user-defined Partition Key property for the entity.

files-conceptsFile storage is a shared storage for apps using SMB 2.1 protocol. Virtual machines and cloud services share files across FSAPI. Since a File storage share is a standard SMB 2.1 file share, applications running in Azure can access data in the share via file I/O APIs. File Storage is used when we migrate on-premises applications that rely on file shares to run on virtual machines or cloud services (unless someone decides to re-write:)). Other usage could be around storing configuration files, or storing tools and utilities needed for developing or administering virtual machines or cloud services.

Oh yes, Queues are nothing but the storing large numbers of messages to access via http. Primary role of queues are to pass messages from Web role to worker role.

Everything (well, almost) is getting automated even driving of cars, so why not storage. Azure storage automation (my last blog about cleversafe for OpenStake swift) requires us to learn PowerShell tools which I don’t know. But I know that Azure automation runbook contains variety of cmdlets which are used for automation.

We will build Azure storage solutions based on these core concepts and architecture. Let me know what else you would like to see in this ongoing storage series.

Hybrid Cloud war Continues:IBM, EMC, Cisco and…

Enterprise customers are seeking to move workloads to the public cloud while keeping more critical data on-premise. This combination is known as a ‘hybrid cloud,’ and Gartner and Pacific Crest Securities expects it to become the majority of enterprise deployments by 2017, per Gartner. Gartner also forecasts that 72 percent of enterprises will be pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy this year, with $84B hybrid Cloud market size by 2019.

hybrid-cloud

 It is important for companies to leverage multiple models while maintaining consistent management across their cloud platforms, and giving options and choices to customers so that they can leverage their existing investment on on-premise, and build on power of cloud. I think most big IT players are recognizing it.

Amazon continues to lead this space with a 28% market share, followed by Microsoft and IBM with a 10% and 7% share, respectively, per reports from IDCs. In the dominance of AWS, Microsoft Azure continues to build its hybrid cloud muscle, but it is interesting to see the growth of other key players in Open stack world.

IBM Acquired Bluebox, Private Cloud provider built on OpenStack to make it easier for customers to move to data and applications across clouds and adopt hybrid cloud environments. Blue Box provides businesses with a private cloud as a service platform based on OpenStack, and provide access to public, dedicated and local cloud infrastructures. This acquisition will provide a single management tool for OpenStack-based IBM/ Bluebox private clouds.

Cisco is not sitting silence, and watching the game. They have Piston Cloud (Intercloud) in their portfolio.

EMC acquired Virtustream to complement its Cloudscaling acquisition on mission-critical applications like SAP business applications/ SAP HANA for the enterprises. EMC could position itself as a strong player in the expanding public cloud infrastructure market by having Virtustream in its portfolio.

How do you envision this cloud war, year from now?

OpenStack Invocation center- Growth Hacking of Open Cloud Platform

Intel and Rackspace are collaborating on an OpenStack Invocation center. it will be a Largest OpenStack developer cloud with 1000-node clusters. The project will bring together OpenStack engineers from Rackspace and Intel to advance the scalability, manageability and reliability of OpenStack by adding new features, functionality and eliminating bugs through upstream code contributions.

It’s good for Rackspace and open source technology, it will make easier to deploy, manage and use OpenStack in the hope of advancing enterprise adoption of the open-source cloud operating system. Especially when Amazon is thriving in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution, and Microsoft Azure is catching up and growing market share. OpenStack, is still seen by many as unfinished and hard to deploy in enterprise companies. Per fortune.com, some argues that the advent of containers and container management technologies may negate the need for some of what OpenStack does. And Don’t forget when Rackspace was in market to be adopted by someone:).

Now, it’s a great opportunity for Open Stack to set the base and improve the credentials. Open stack has an unique advantage where it is backed up by more than 500 companies including AT&T, AMD, Avaya, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei, Juniper Networks, NetApp, open source favorite Red Hat, VMware, and list goes on. OpenStack’s promise is that, because it is supported by so many vendors, there is less chance of a customer getting locked into one vendor’s solution. The downside is that vendor proliferation introduces fears of incompatible versions of OpenStack, something the OpenStack Foundation has vowed to nix.

Can Open Stack execute on its vision? How will (or not) AWS, and Microsoft Azure steer their way to accelerate their growth of Cloud Infrastructure?

(more…)