Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Jerry Melnick, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Esmeralda Swartz, Michelle Drolet

Related Topics: Big Data Journal, SOA & WOA, Open Source, Virtualization, Red Hat, Cloud Expo

Big Data Journal: Blog Post

Evolution and Innovation in Middleware

Undoubtedly, the future holds a number of surprises for the enterprise IT industry

2013 middleware predictions by Red Hat's Craig Muzilla. This post originally appeared on Dec. 18, 2012.

Last year, I offered my thoughts on trends and developments that the market would see in 2012. At that time, I felt that we were looking at a continued emphasis on cloud, while mobile and backend integration technologies would rise in prominence within enterprise IT. I think the industry made progress in all three areas: analysts indicate huge adoption of mobile technologies as a substitute for what would have typically been a laptop or desktop computer; at Red Hat we saw an uptick in interest around some of our backend integration tools like rules-based processing and business process management (BPM); and the industry as a whole saw a solidification around cloud visions and roadmaps from vendors.

One area that turned out to be much bigger than I had anticipated was the explosion and interest in big data. Moving forward, I think applications will be much more data-driven, using information generated by the millions of mobile devices I mentioned earlier.

To-date, the primary use of big data has been related to the analysis of large volumes of information that could not be analyzed using traditional data warehouses. I think this will continue; however, I anticipate a rise in applications wanting to participate in either big data or NoSQL solutions. I expect technologies such as Hive, which allows users to do traditional SQL queries in a big data setting, are going to become very important and popular in the coming year.

Transactional or production-related applications will need to interface with these big data solutions beyond simple analysis to take on some action or activity. Where I predict the market will likely see the most activity is around technologies like middleware that have been on the sidelines but may now begin to develop interfaces for things like MapReduce queries, Hive, or even traditional SQL queries. In this way I expect to see the more traditional application servers and tools like ESBs participate in the big data movement.

Another significant development that I anticipate for next year is the explosion of private cloud. There has been a lot of discussion lately about cloud in general, but public cloud has largely been the focus. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technologies have both made a lot of progress from a public cloud standpoint, where they have primarily been used for development, testing and experimentation. I predict that PaaS will come out of this paradigm for production purposes. While very few applications are in production right now in public clouds, I think we'll see a lot of companies begin to take applications into production via private clouds.

A word of caution, though. Organizations need to shift their ways of thinking about governance models. Developers have much more responsibility and power than they did in the on-premises world. There was always a development process, and then an application went into operations, and operations took it into production. Today, we have the idea of DevOps, which is designed to empower the developer to not only work in the development phase, but then take the finished application into production and even manage it there. This model redefines governance because companies will need to think about what kind of responsibility and authority they give to staff members that may have not had those roles before. Ultimately, I think there will be a lot more flexibility, productivity and freedom, but companies will need to rethink their governance model to avoid running into problems.

In the near term, I predict the primary themes will remain the top priorities moving forward: cloud computing and PaaS, especially on-premises, will be important; OpenStack will play a big role in terms of basic cloud infrastructure for IaaS; and the industry will see continued movement in the mobile area. Today, most enterprise mobile activity has been around the client application with little backend service considerations, but I think we'll see a huge movement in iPhone or Android development, even natively, but requiring backend services such as security, transactions, enterprise integration, and persistence. As a result, I expect to see a lot of technology being developed that allows these mobile applications to fully participate in backend services and applications, and that will be a breakthrough for the industry.

In terms of big data, I hope to see a surge of technologies that seek to allow a broad set of applications, both analytical applications and transactional applications, become more involved. Whether this is using data in-memory, such as NoSQL solutions, or data management solutions like Hadoop with virtualized storage, I predict that it will ultimately lead to more data-driven applications. The foundation for this is already in place with MapReduce and Hadoop, and NoSQL solutions like Mongo and our own Red Hat JBoss Data Grid, but I think the interfaces required for participation from a broad set of applications still need to be built out over the next few years. Companies will look to NoSQL and big data solutions as a replacement for traditional relational databases or to reduce the dependency on them, and they will use them for a variety of transaction and analytical apps. I expect middleware to evolve to support this.

Long term, I think the nature of an enterprise application will change, especially as it relates to creating higher levels of abstraction, allowing non-technologists and business users to participate in the creation of those applications and mobile applications. Over the next two to five years, business users, consumers and partners will use tools like BPM and rules management that offer this level of abstraction to develop and adjust applications based on needs. There is some discussion regarding intelligent BPM (iBPM) now, but it still seems to be largely under the radar. The industry will likely hear much more discussion about these sophisticated and end user-friendly technologies, both in the cloud and in traditional uses, in the years to come.

Undoubtedly, the future holds a number of surprises for the enterprise IT industry. While my thoughts and observations here are based on some existing trends, all of these things are driving innovation. What's more, cloud, mobile and big data are all driving the need for innovation. Small pieces of innovation are happening every day in communities at the developer level. It's exciting to see and be a part of these innovations as they emerge, take hold in the enterprise and make their mark on the world.

More Stories By Daniel Thompson

I curate the content on this page, but the credit goes to my talented colleagues for the posts that you see here. Much of what you read on this page is the work of friends at How to JBoss, and I encourage you to drop by the site at http://www.howtojboss.com for some of the best JBoss technical and non-technical content for developers, architects and technology executives on the Web.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.