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You Are the Network | @CloudExpo #BigData #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API #DX #AI
To fully grasp our connectivity, we must look at the speed of life today

First there was the Stone Age. Then we learned how to manipulate and smelt metals, which led to an Agrarian age. From there, machines helped bring about the Industrial age, then the Space Age. So where are we now?

Shall We Call It the Network Age?
Metcalfe's Law holds that the value of a connected network, telecommunications in the parlance of his day, is proportional to the square of the number of connected users. Or stated more simply, the utility of a connected ‘thing' increases as more and more ‘things' are connected. The telephone acts as an easy example. One phone by itself is a paperweight, but one million connected to the same network is immeasurably powerful.

We live in a day of increasing connectivity. Think back to just a few years before the ubiquitousness of the Internet. How did we look up information? A phonebook for a phone number? An encyclopedia for random information? How did we we find more targeted information? How well did a movie perform on its opening weekend? Who won the academy award for best actress in 1980? What was the high temperature in Nagasaki yesterday? These questions required real research. Today, they require only a smart phone, tablet or any web-connected device. Even a smart watch will provide you with answers in milliseconds.

In short, the very nature of a thing changes with connectivity. A telephone isn't just a phone, it's a voice portal to millions of others. This applies to us as well. As people, we are changed as a result of our ready access to a near limitless supply of information, facts, anecdotes and dumb cat jokes. It's not just the availability of this information, it's how we live our lives knowing we have this access. Who hasn't been at a dinner, heard a song, and opened up Shazam to identify the music playing? Or googled a movie to remind us of the lead actor whose name we forgot?

I remember years ago, in the late '80s, working with a customer and arguing for the utility of networking their office PCs. At the time, each person had their own printer and files were moved from desk to desk via floppy. I failed in making my case and, I'll note, they were out of business a few short years later. I am not implying causality, but a company today that doesn't see the changes in the world around them will likely see a similar fate in their future.

No one of us can pretend to live, work, or play in isolation any longer. Whether we are a fisherman in southern China or an executive on Wall Street, we are connected to each other by virtue of our connections to technology. It is the age we live in. We cannot change that.

By extension, the isolationist aims of some politicians simply fail to recognize our world today. Nations have tried to shut down some Internet sites or censor access entirely. Most fail, while others have been overthrown. Remember the Arab Spring? In addition, this connectivity has brought about a profound change in many third world countries. To stop jobs from moving overseas one would have to shut down the Internet to prevent companies from using overseas labor, or cut satellite feeds, and transoceanic cables.

What we see with increasing regularity happening in many of these lands that embrace open access to information is an increase in education levels, standards of living, and a slow normalizing of costs. This connectivity has fundamentally shifted the balance of power in the world.

We can no more become isolationist than we can revert to a stone age society. Not one of us would stand for it.

Speed
To fully grasp our connectivity, we must look at the speed of life today. How long did it take someone to research an article, paper, or book 50 years ago? How long did it take to travel to Europe 100 years ago and at what cost? How much did a long distance call cost only a generation ago? Today, I can have a video call with someone anywhere on the globe instantly, and at an effective cost of zero. How has this changed us?

Speed has a profound effect on our lives - from expectations of traffic when traveling or commuting, to responsiveness of websites when shopping. Speed is an extension of convenience. Would you rather go to a mall to purchase a book today, or order one online from Amazon? Better yet, log on with your Kindle and have it instantly. One result of this shift, of course, is that retail bookstores, and ultimately as Amazon expanded its offerings, retailers in general, began to close their doors, and lately in increasing numbers.

Similarly, in years past, we chose where to live based on access to quality schools and jobs. Today, a growing number of people work remotely, while still more take advantage of online schooling. Speed has changed the retail landscape, where we choose to live and, by extension, changed our world.

At the same time, we always demand more speed. We are hardwired to be more efficient. To do more, in less time, with less effort. Build a bigger, wider, highway and more traffic will find it. Increase the speed of a network, more people will use it. Unsure about this? Try driving through traffic in LA or Toronto.

Power
These changes have negative consequences as well as positive ones. Napoleon realized the value of the third dimension when mounting his armies. He recognized that air superiority could win the day, and so he introduced artillery and other airborne weapons not yet seen by his rivals. Similarly, the United States leveraged the air to save the day in World War I. In the 20th century, nations battled nations, and the winner, while both carrying superior intelligence, numbers and power, was able to realize and take advantage of a world not yet recognized by their enemies.

Today, the nature of power has shifted, and world leaders face an ugly future if they fail to see it. So too must business leaders recognize this paradigm shift in the world and, by extension, in their customers. Amazon killed far larger retailers with their business model. Apple's iTunes fundamentally changed the music industry, while Netflix forced the shuttering of Blockbuster stores and helped change how we consume media. The common theme is seeing a different future brought about by connection. The power is in the network, and those leaders who understand and leverage this, will rule the future.

Sadly, the ugly side of this is that many terrorist networks have figured out how to leverage networks and connectivity before many of our traditional world leaders. Just as military strength ruled the day in the previous century, network power and understanding it will rule tomorrow's world.

Value
At the same time, we must also recognize we are the sum of our connections. As the network grows, so grows our value. The tide is rising and so to do all the ships. Each additional point or connection to us, no matter how remote or small, increases the overall value of us and our collective networks.

Conclusion
As we look to the future, we must understand this is more than another ‘paradigm shift' in our society. This amounts to a redistribution of power in ways heretofore unknown in human experience.

In days gone by, power was concentrated among the few. Military leaders, the clergy, and wealthy merchants controlled most of the world's power up until the 17th century. The Industrial Age saw power slowly redistributing as capitalism took hold, and led to the rise of the middle class.

Today, however, networks both concentrate power among those who control networks, while also distributing it to users. More power has been placed in the hands of ‘everyman' than ever before. Think about the supercomputer most of us carry in our pockets and purses everywhere we go.

Networks are also made up of many complicated pieces. Routers, servers and switches make up the technical backbone. These are complicated items, but predictable and understandable. Together, they make up a complex system. Complex things, on the other hand, are randomized and unpredictable. A car is complicated, but predictable (at least to some extent). Traffic, however, is complex. Both have complicated pieces, but complex things are more unpredictable, like the weather, ocean currents, or storms.

In addition, complex systems lead to the creation of things previously unfathomable. Think about Linked in, Facebook or Snapchat as contemporary examples. Without their network of users, they are single web pages. They are nothing. Similarly, Uber, Airbnb, and other examples have led to the creation of new systems previously unimaginable. These networks have also arisen with remarkable speed, and created immense riches for their founders.

Sadly, terrorist groups have also formed upon these network backbones. ISIS emerged from this complexity. This process of creation of the unimaginable is only just accelerating.

At their core, networks contain enormous power. To control such a system is arguably to control anyone connected to it, or at least to dramatically influence those users, or connections. Think about when we search for information. When we do a Google search, do we trust the results implicitly, or second guess them?

Today's networks are increasingly led by a young, technically savvy group of technorati with limited experience with our world history, its politics or philosophy. Yet our world is led by a group of leaders with no experience with these new networks. Think about this market contrast between those running technology companies and those running countries. We cannot go back, we can only look forward.

To quote Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense, who does a wonderful job of summarizing this new world order: "One thing is clear. If we are going to play a role in shaping our world. We don't have much time."

And remember, you are the network.

About Chuck Fried
Chuck Fried is the President and CEO of TxMQ, a consulting company which works with mid market up through global 2000 companies to help them understand these new realities. He is also a father of 10, grandfather of one, husband of 31 years, and a wildly mediocre triathlete. He can be reached at chuck@txmq.com.
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The World's 30 Most influential Cloud Bloggers
Cloud Expo on Ulitzer
1
Dustin Amrhein 11 Kevin Hoffman 21 Greg O'Connor
2
Ezhil Babaraj 12 Alin Irimie 22 Maureen O'Gara
3
Tony Bishop 13 Kevin Jackson 23 Mark O'Neill
4
Reuven Cohen 14 Fuat Kircaali 24 Bill Roth
5
Ernest de Leon 15 David Linthicum 25 Ellen Rubin
6
David Dean 16 Lori MacVittie 26 John Savageau
7
Ray DePena 17 Bill McColl 27 Michael Sheehan
8
Dana Gardner 18 Paul Miller 28 Roman Stanek
9
John Gauntt 19 Louis Naugès 29 John Treadway
10
Jeremy Geelan 20 Greg Ness 30 Alan Williamson

@CloudExpo Blogs
In the decade following his article, cloud computing further cemented Carr’s perspective. Compute, storage, and network resources have become simple utilities, available at the proverbial turn of the faucet. The value they provide is immense, but the cloud playing field is amazingly level. Carr’s quote above presaged the cloud to a T. Today, however, we’re in the digital era. Mark Andreesen’s ‘software is eating the world’ prognostication is coming to pass, as enterprises realize they must become software companies to remain competitive. The value IT brings to such companies is unquestiona...
Hybrid IT is today’s reality, and while its implementation may seem daunting at times, more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud. In fact, according to SolarWinds 2017 IT Trends Index: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization 95 percent of organizations have migrated crucial applications to the cloud in the past year. As such, it’s in every IT professional’s best interest to know what to expect.
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud solution ideal for all applications, and some applications might not fit the cloud at all. For example...
As more technologies become software-defined, their adoption demands a significant shift in thinking about how a business organizes its value stream. This shift may be difficult, but it enables you to anticipate changes and position your business to react when software-defined technologies emerge. Recently a new set of tools and practices has emerged to create and manage environments. Known as Infrastructure as Code (IaC), it enables infrastructure management through a software-defined layer.
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cloud marketplaces and DevOps are changing the economics of hosting and delivering software. ...
Mark Burgess (@markburgess_osl) is a theoretical physicist, but in his keynote at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference, he talked more about economics and human interactives than physics. What does either have to do as the keynote for a conference on DevOps? Well, for a little more background, Mark Burgess is also the founder and former CTO of CFEngine, a configuration management and automation framework, and is the author of Promise Theory. While at CFEngine, Mark worked to apply a theory of how the autonomous agents in software interact with each other. Promise Theory was born.
Companies have always been concerned that traditional enterprise software is slow and complex to install, often disrupting critical and time-sensitive operations during roll-out. With the growing need to integrate new digital technologies into the enterprise to transform business processes, this concern has become even more pressing. A 2016 Panorama Consulting Solutions study revealed that enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects took an average of 21 months to install, with 57 percent of these projects experiencing timeline overruns. A span of almost two years can be a long time when disr...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Arago, will discuss the digital enterprise evolution in the context of artificial intelligence.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the demands of Digital Transformation – including accelerating application delivery, closing feedback loop...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity that makes In-Memory Computing possible. This means that large databases can now reside entirely in...
The size of competitors and the longevity of their brands, are less predictive of future success than the quality and speed of their information logistics systems, and their ability to use it as a competitive advantage. More data is being generated today than ever before, and successful companies are investing in business analytics and big data solutions to mine competitive advantages. There is a new sense of urgency today as businesses realize data has a shelf life, and the value of it diminishes rapidly over time. In an always-connected world where consumers and their needs are transient, ...
The purpose of enterprise architecture is to be able to consciously design an enterprise rather than allowing it to happen randomly and unconsciously. It is worth noting that it implies knowledge of a certain intended outcome or desired state in mind. Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline that enables designing the enterprise consciously and deliberately, rather than letting it happen randomly. EA design is informed by business vision, strategic intent, and insights on the functioning of the enterprise. So the purpose of enterprise architecture is to be able to consciously design an ent...
The cloud’s massive success and the growing desire for Big Data analytics are just two of the factors that are making traditional storage architectures obsolete. Organizations cannot afford to scale bygone storage appliances. Even if they could, the time it would take is unacceptable in the digital world. Adding multiple servers could not accommodate storage demands, either. Vertical storage architecture contains bottlenecks that slow performance to a crawl.
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments in AI and Cloud Computing technology innovation for enterprise communications to help you shape your ...
The dirty little secret, however, is that we are as unable to predict the future as you. None of us really knows what will happen next. The future is made up of an incredibly complex mixture of technologies, possibilities, and events that come together in ways that no one can truly predict. The answer, therefore, is not to attempt to predict the future. But instead, to prepare for an uncertain future by building organizational capabilities that allow you to anticipate and rapidly pivot, respond and react to any change that the market may throw at you.
For a phrase that’s being thrown around a lot recently, what does “Digital Transformation” really mean? When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what does one really mean, why do they want to do it, and should they approach this “digital transformation” process? First off, let’s start with a definition. If we don’t know what we are trying to achieve, then how do we know how to get there? Or to quote the famous Greek philosopher Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers balance and flexibility. It helps companies achieve a wide array of business goals, including availabili...
Digital transformation can be exciting, but it also can be painful. Organizations are trying to better support a growing mobile workforce that needs the flexibility to work from anywhere on any device. The ability to do so offers a distinct competitive advantage, as productivity soars. Virtualizing applications and desktops has been an important step toward achieving these productivity gains, but the first generation of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and application publishing solutions not only failed to deliver on cost savings and streamlined IT promises, but they contributed an overwh...
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2010 Allstar Conference Faculty

SARWAL
Oracle

COFFEE
Salesforce

KHAN
Sybase

BISHOP
Adaptivity

MALCOLM
Abiquo

KHALIDI
Microsoft

RILEY
AWS

AZUA
IBM

BARRETO
Intel

CHAKRAVARTY
Novell

CRANDELL
RightScale

GAUVIN
Virtual Ark

GROSS
Unisys

SCHALK
Google

YEN
Juniper Networks

WILLOUGHBY
Compuware

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
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Navisite
 


 
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CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
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Software Architect
Myriadtech