|Information Technology in Transition||Home|
|Data Center Operations and Virtualization|
Organizational enterprise and new entrants are evaluating system and application software in relation to their business model, the needs of clients, and the economics associated with going directly to the next generation of software technology. Unlike the investment in data processing and information technology infrastructure which has been developed and implemented over a half century as part of the modern era of data processing, these new technologies may not be categorically or immediately better than a web-enabling and retrofitting of an existing software infrastructure. Accordingly, the selection of the appropriate combination of commercial and open source software and accompanying business decisions will require a comprehensive examination of the data to be processed in relation to intellectual property laws, security, and reporting requirements in a global economy. The consensus among industry leaders is that the immense number of individuals, a billion plus, who will be connecting to and joining the Internet for the first time in the immediate future, will be a significant demographic component of a strategy. Projections are there will be 30 billion internconnected objects on the Internet by 2020.1 The protocols, standards, and open source projects for evaluating and implementing coherent short and long term strategies are becoming estabished; compliance and standardization is a work in progress. There is competition among the established hardware and software companies transitioning their business models and new entrants to the cloud computing platforms. Leadership and market share is highly competititve.
Cloud leaders AWS: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Alphabet - Google, IBM, and others - Apple, Facebook, and Oracle are spending tens of billions of dollars to construct massive data centers. In addition to the underlying costs - electricity, infrastructure, and tax considerations and customer demographics, servers have been placed near the largest centers of Internet use growth to meet American and nation-state data regulations and privacy laws and client preferences throughout the world. There are global data center locations in the major emerging markets: Australia - Sydney and Melbourne, Brazil - Sao Paulo, Canada - Quebec City and Toronto, China - Hong Kong, Germany - Frankfort, India - Pune, Chennai, and Mumbai, Ireland - Dublin, Japan - Tokyo, Malaysia - Singapore, and United Kingdom - London. As required, data privacy and security can then be stored in a user's home country. This reflects a global shift in 2014 and 2015 from traditional information technology to cloud computing: decrease in traditional IT and increase in a public cloud 17.5% to 24%, and private cloud 10.6% to 12.7%.2
Storage is a critical feature of enterprise cloud computing. The ability to remotely store and access anywhere, provides flexibility in reducing or eliminating on-premises storage costs. Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure, offer their own storage options to meet specific IT needs. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have designed their own customized cloud equipment. Dell Technologies completed a $67 billion merger with EMC, a data storage company with interests in software and security. Apple, IBM, and Oracle are involved in varying degrees with hardware and software. Hewlett-Packard is now two companies: HP-Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
Cloud computing is shifting the emphasis from locally managed server-client installations to externally located web-accessible computing centers consisting of thousands of servers. However, there is no single uniform definition of cloud computing and there are different types of clouds. The hardware and software languages, development platforms, and scalable enterprise databases reflect competitive and evolutionary forces of commercial software providers, open source software alternatives, and intellectual property laws in a global economy. High bandwidth performance has becoming increasingly important for the commercial use of analytics and video. It is required for the aggregation of immense amounts from phones, RFID: Radio Frequency Identification tags and sensors. The challenge will be to build for scale and to cluster and manage the data.
Leading hardware and software companies and new entrants are implementing and experimenting with public and private clouds. Most clouds currently operate in isolation; however, protocols, data structures, and formats which allow cloud interaction are being defined and tested. In addition to the underlying base protocols, the laws of chemistry, physics, and applied mathematics continue to result in the application of Moore's Law and significant improvements in performance and reduced cost of semiconductor technology and devices hardware. This also will lead to increased demand for specialized clouds.
The advantages associated with an integrated cloud include: 1- Moving data directly from one cloud to another cloud without having to download the data and then upload it again. 2- Storing the same data in multiple clouds for backup. 3- Coordinating computation in multiple clouds. Interfaces are being developed in order that clouds can communicate with other clouds and data be synchronized across different clouds. As services are able to run on cloud platforms, the cloud becomes more central to application development and providing reliability and delivery of value to customers.
The appropriate mix and selection of hardware, software, and cloud computing technologies will be determined by a combination of budgetary constraints, competitive forces in the market, and regulations imposed by governing bodies. The degree of success will be highly dependent upon the ability of organizational enterprise to educate and train its employees to maintain, develop, and migrate its computer systems.
Mobile devices, web information, and social media innovations are converging to impact business models and the centralized management function of the information technology department. The mobile experience is eclipsing the desktop experience and the large number of mobile device types increasingly has been disrupting the web browser uniformity with the Microsoft Windows family of desktop operating systems. Mobile devices coupled with cloud computing have changed the architecture of modern corporate computing to include cloud-client. Emerging trends indicate that cloud computing platforms will become a central access and control point for the client. There will be tradeoffs to be made between the use of native mobile device operating systems and HTML5 web browser alternatives.
Consumer driven forces are challenging enterprise information technology and application development. Mobile applications now outnumber those for static deployment. End user expectations are affecting IT. New workers getting out of college are expecting access from any device, from anywhere. They typically own between three and four devices today. Small screen size, limited mobile bandwidth, and physical and logical database design issues on mobile devices present challenges to running applications originally designed for full screen devices.
User requirements for mobile apps include fast page load, reliability, and user interface acceptance. Mobile development requires changes in the conventional architecture: programming model, platform, and language. In order to migrate and utilize an investment in desktops and laptops to mobile devices, service oriented architecture can be applied to modularize and resize the user interface into chunks of relevant data presented to the user in a logical sequence. Google Android is the most widely used open source mobile operating system platform. The leading commercial platforms are Apple iOS, MS Windows 10 - Phone and Surface, and Research in Motion Blackberry. Browser and Hybrid apps can run on native mobile runtimes.