@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Short Ts

There's been a lot of hullaboo in the last few years about the current cycle of disruption in IT

There's been a lot of hullaboo in the last few years about the current cycle of disruption in IT:  Public Cloud, Private Cloud, SDN, DevOps, Everything-as-a-Service… the list goes on and on and every vertical, every field, and every niche is feeling the churn.  Every day there is no shortage of opinions "for" and "against" something in tech that is emerging, in decline, or re-emerging.  There is one aspect to all of it though that is largely ignored:  "The Short 't'."

Every System in Summary

Figure 1.  A summary of any given system.

Figure 1. A summary of any given system.

Let's have a look at Figure 1.  It represents any given system:  A car, an MP3 player, a network, or a cloud-service.  Policy-Set "1" in implementation consists of some input state, configured or ephemeral, that allows the consumer of this system (be it human or another system) to express to the system some desired behavior or outcome the system should exhibit.  This expression happens in the context of a policy-framework which provides some set of policy "constructs."  In networking, this would be things like prefix-lists, ACLs, route-maps, affinity groups, affinity links, etc.  In the case of an MP3 player, this would be some set of menu selections leading the MP3 player to play music.  In the case of Amazon's cloud services, it could be a deployed CloudFormation template.

This set of constructs is then rendered (that would be the "r") by the system into some aggregate system state which exhibits the desired behavior or outcome that the consumer originally tried to express using the policy framework.  This rendering consists of a process in which the total set of policy constructs is deconstructed and turned, ultimately, into system state.

So what can we say about "r" in this diagram?  Well, not much actually.  We have to add something to the diagram to put "r" into meaningful context.  This is the something that is largely ignored in much of the discussion and, frankly, in much of the systems engineering and development work being done in IT.

Crossing your Ts

Figure 2.  System Summary with a measure of User Experience.

Figure 2. System Summary with a measure of User Experience.

Imagine you have two devices, both providing equivalent functionality.  For instance, you have two top-of-rack ethernet switches.  You actually own, and have installed vendor A's switch.  You have purchased vendor B's switch, and you are about to replace vendor A's switch with it.  Before you can do this, you must configure vendor B's switch.  You must "transform" vendor A's configuration (policy-set 0) to vendor B's configuration (policy-set 1).  If "t" is very long in this process, that means a lot of work must go into deconstructing vendor A's policy, and reconstructing them using vendor B's available policy constructs.  If "t" is very short, then the conversion is relatively easy (for instance, both vendors happen to use a Cisco IOS-like user interface).  Following me so far?  Good… now let's get a little more cerebral!

What we can say about "r" and "t" is a little clearer now.  The distance between "p0" and "s" is fixed and is a measure of user experience.  You can not shorten or lengthen "t" without impacting the length of "r", and vice versa.  If "r" is very short, then "t" must be long.  If "t" is very short, then "r" is very long.  In other words, the closer the policy constructs represent the design choices of the underlying system, the more difficult it is for a consumer to express their desired intent to the system.  A short "r" will manifest as many different "knobs" in the policy-framework.  In complex systems, a short "r" means innumerable potential outcome states, and therefore greater fragility.  A short "r" also means the level of abstraction relative to the overall system is low….  still here?  Let's get even more cerebral…

What if policy-set 0 is actually what's in your mind?  It's what you naturally intuit you want the system to do.   Now imagine the system is actually a "system of systems" popularly known as a network.  In legacy networking, "t" is very long between human intuition and the idioms native to the system. In fact, it's so long that you need to hire specialists to make the journey.  What is the CCIE exam except a test of "t?"  You must transform a confusing set of overlapping broken-english requirements into a set of router configs!

It would seem a natural conclusion, then, that SDN represents a new level of abstraction that shortens "t," making the network as a whole easier to interact with.  However, we've learned a lot in the last couple of years.  SDN, much like it's more popular sub-topic OpenFlow, isn't as practical as much as it is a great starting point for asking questions about what we really want out of the network.

It's not about the network, it's about everything surrounding the network


What we've learned about network automation is that it's impossible to automate the network, or associated network functions, without reference to the systems surrounding the network.  As soon as you accept this inevitable fact, then the "system" becomes the data center.  See Figure 3. In this context, the interface to the network should present network-wide behaviors in an orchestration friendly way.  In fact, all constituent components of the data center should represent domain-wide behaviors that are highly automatable. In the next article, we'll go further down the rabbit hole, discussing the implication here for APIs and the data and policy constructs they represent.  We'll further enhance Figure 3, as well, as we discuss the primary importance of "deconstruction" along the path from human intent to system state.

For now, the take away here is this:  KEEP "T" SHORT! Burn it into your mind, customer and vendor alike.  Don't expose the contours of the underlying system to the user, because user experience matters.  This is true for data-center wide policy as well as for the constituent systems of the data center.

The post Short T’s appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@CloudExpo Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...