Podcast: Dave McCrory on Data Gravity, Data Inertia, and Edge

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Dave McCrory, VP of Engineering for Machine Learning at GE Digital. He focuses on several interesting topics:

  • Data Gravity Overview
  • Data “Training” – Monetization – Application Usage in Edge
  • Multi-Tenancy in Edge?

Topic                                                            Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                                  0.0 –  0.33
Data Gravity                                                  0.33 – 4.36 (CTO Advisor Podcast)
Latency vs Volume of Data                        4.36 – 9.00  (Data Gravity Mathematics)
Day Job at GE                                               9.00 – 11.25
Training the Data in the Field                    11.25 – 14.38
Core Data Centers                                       14.38 – 18.03
Half-Life on a Data Model                          18.03 – 19.27
Keep the Data? Plane Example                19.27 – 24.58 (Data Inertia)
Monetize Data in Motion                            24.58 – 29.45 (Uber Credit Card)
Data at the Edge for App Usage               29.45 – 36.40 (Augmented Reality Example)
Portability of Processing and Platforms   36.40 – 41.45
Scale Needs Multi-Tenant                          41.45 – 46.00
Wrap-Up                                                        46.00 – END

Podcast Guest
Dave McCrory, VP of Engineering for Machine Learning at GE Digital

Currently I’m the VP of Engineering for the ML division of GE Digital. Our group creates scalable, production ready solutions for the Internal Business Units of GE. We focus on solving complex Industrial IoT problems using Machine Learning in industries such as Aviation, Energy, Healthcare, and Oil & Gas to name a few.

Follow Dave at https://blog.mccrory.me/

January 12: Weekly Recap of Digital Rebar, RackN and Latest Industry News

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, Edge Computing, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at info@rackn.com or tweet RackN (@rackngo)

Items of the Week

Industry News

According to a recent report from Forrester, executives and DevOps practitioners are on very different pages when it comes to strategy, customer experience, and progress. Consider this: more than 60 percent of executives believe their organization’s DevOps plans have been implemented and will even expand in the new year. However, more than 50 percent of DevOps pros who are in the weeds and working through their pipelines every day disagree.

What’s leading to this disconnect?

Open source has officially been a thing for 20 years now. Did anyone notice?

No, really. For something as revolutionary as open source, you’d think it would have changed the way all software is developed, sold, and distributed. Unfortunately for those party planners looking to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of open source, it hasn’t—changed software, that is. For most developers, most of the time, software remains stubbornly proprietary.

A lot of tomorrow’s analytics will be done locally at the “edge,” or in a public or private cloud. Here’s what will drive where your analysis will happen.

Some say everything — all data and applications — will go to the cloud. Others, such as market research firm IDC, say that around 40 percent of data will be stored, managed, analyzed and kept right where it was produced, at the edge. So where’s the truth? Everywhere, actually. Analytics will be done locally at the edge of the data center, or in a public, private, or hybrid cloud.

Digital Rebar

RackN

Re-defining physical automation to make it highly repeatable and widely consumable while also meeting the necessarily complex and evolving heterogeneous data center environment is the challenge the RackN team is solving. To meet this challenge, we have developed a unique philosophy in how we build our technology; both open source Digital Rebar and the additional RackN packages.

  • Stand-alone Provisioning
  • Building Software from the API
  • Single Golang Executable
  • Modular Components – Composable Content
  • Operator Defined Workflows
  • Immutable Infrastructure
  • Distributed or Consolidated Architectures

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Stephen O’Donnell, Senior Analyst for Global Hive and author of What Every CIO Wants. He focuses on several interesting topics:

  • Building Massively Scalable Datacenters
  • What is the Edge? Complete 25 Use Case Definition
  • Enterprise Datacenters Move to Edge
  • Layering Solutions on Edge Services

UPCOMING EVENTS

Follow the latest info on RackN and Digital Rebar events at www.rackn.com/events

 

Podcast: Stephen O’Donnell on Massively Scaled Datacenters and Edge Service Layers for Innovation

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Stephen O’Donnell, Senior Analyst for Global Hive and author of What Every CIO Wants. He focuses on several interesting topics:

  • Building Massively Scalable Datacenters
  • What is the Edge? Complete 25 Use Case Definition
  • Enterprise Datacenters Move to Edge
  • Layering Solutions on Edge Services

Topic                                                            Time (Minutes.Seconds)
Introduction                                                   0.0 – 2.17
Lessons Learned at Data Center Scale    2.17 – 4.00
How make Changes at Scale?                    4.00 – 6.09 (Financial Driven)
Symbian Army                                               6.09 – 7.41 (Software Survival)
Changing Server Design Thinking              7.41 – 12.25
Operational Turnover                                    12.25 – 14.28 (All about ROI)
Edge Datacenter Definition                          14.28 – 21.58 (25 Use Cases: Latency, Human Life, …)
Street Furniture to Cloud                              21.58 – 22.53
Edge to Cloud Tiers                                       22.53 – 26.09 (Edge is Multi-Tenant)
Internet turn Inside Out                                 26.09 – 26.45
Data Flow Reverses                                        26.45 – 28.09 (Write Once / Read Never)
Enterprise Datacenters are Edge                 28.09 – 30.41
Managing Edge w/ Low Touch Solutions  30.41 – 33.20 (Edge Infrastructure Saloon)
Edge Infrastructure is not Wide-Open       33.20 –  37.40  (Can everyone leverage Edge?)
Wrap Up w/ Alexa                                         37.40 – END

Podcast Guest
Stephen O’Donnell, Senior Analyst, Global Hive
@stephenodonnell

Steve O’Donnell has over three decades of global high technology experience. He is currently works as a Senior Analyst for Global Hive, a specialist Data Center consulting and analyst firm he founded. He served as Transformation Director for Ferguson plc working to fundamentally modernise business operations. He served as CIO for G4S plc, a managed services firm who are the second largest employer the world. He was CTO at Amlin Underwriting in the UK. He formerly served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GreenBytes (acquired by Oracle Corp), a Providence, Rhode Island-based manufacturer of cloud-scale Desktop Virtualization solutions, O’Donnell currently serves as Chairman of the Board at KSBC plc and Lanix, and Chairman of the Advisory Board at Eco4Cloud srl. O’Donnell is also a partner and founder at IABpro, a global Industry Advisory Board business

Previously, O’Donnell was CEO at MEEZA in Qatar, a large data center and managed services business, Managing Director at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a leading analyst firm, Global Head of Data Centre Operations at British Telecom, and member of the Advisory Board at Fusion-io (FIO) and Violin Memory Inc (VMEM). He leads the judging panel of the Tech Trailblazers Awards.

Recognized as an expert commentator in Data Centres, Storage, IT Security and Cloud & Managed Services, O’Donnell has been the recipient of six industry awards including the British Computer Society Best Use of Green Technology. He has acted as a spokesperson for the IEEE on Cloud and IT Security, and is credited as the initiator of the Green Grid’s Data Center Maturity Model.

 

Podcast – Year of the Crawfish Recap and 2018 Predictions for Bare Metal, Virtualization, Edge and Serverless

Welcome to the final L8istSh9y Podcast for 2017 with a recap of Rob Hirschfeld’s predictions for 2017 (2016 Infrastructure Revolt makes 2017 the “year of the IT Escape Clause”) as well as a look ahead into 2018. Key topics covered in the podcast:

  • Hybrid is Reality; How do I Cope with it?
  • Site Reliability Engineering; People are Just Doing it
  • Bare Metal to Immutable Images
  • Virtualization Decline with Bare Metal Growth
  • 2018 is not the Year of Serverless
  • Edge Computing Still Not Ready for Prime Time
  • OpenStack Foundation as Open Infrastructure Group

Topic                                                       Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                               0.0 – 1.50
2017 ~ Year of Crawfish                           1.50 – 3.00  (Summary)
Hybrid Mainstream                                  3.00 – 7.30
Site Reliability Engineering                    7.30 – 12.45 (Cloud Native Infrastructure Book)
RackN Changed Focus to Bare Metal  12.45 – 13.50
Bare Metal to Immutable                       13.50 – 17.03
Decline of Virtualization                         17.03 – 21.47  (ARM Servers)
Serverless – Not in 2018                         21.47 – 22.57
Edge Computing                                      23.16 – 26.39
OpenStack Foundation                           26.39 – 32.55
Wrap Up                                                    32.55 – END

 

Thank you for joining us in the past few months in launching our new Podcast focused on DevOps, Site Reliability Engineering, Operators, Infrastructure, Edge Computing, Cloud Computing and other related topics. Please contact us if you are looking for information on a specific topic for a future podcast or if you are interested in participating as a guest.

Podcast Home Page – L8istSh9y Podcast
YouTube Videos of Audio Podcasts – Playlist

December 22 – Weekly Recap of Digital Rebar, RackN and Latest Industry News

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, Edge Computing, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at info@rackn.com or tweet RackN (@rackngo)

Items of the Week

Industry News

DevOps is a means to an end — not doubt it will also evolve, as even iterative methods need to move with the times (keep an eye on how analytics and machine learning can further speed up the development process and increase operational efficiency).

Year after year businesses face challenges when it comes to security, and 2017 was no different. Instead of trying to lecture the industry about the importance of application security testing, organizations tried to find new ways to bring security front and center.

“I think edge is to fog as…apple is to fruit,” Helder Antunes, chairman of the OpenFog Consortium explained. “We look at fog computing as an end-to-end architecture from the cloud to the very thing connected. It encompasses bits and pieces from the cloud. Edge means different things to different people. Edge is of course a big part of it. When you talk about fog nodes and fog gateways, aggregating sensory devices at the edge, it is in essence an aspect of edge computing.”

Digital Rebar

RackN

White Papers 

RackN allows Enterprises to quickly transform their current physical data centers from basic workflows to cloud-like integrated processes. We turned decades of data center experience into data center provisioning software so simple it only takes 5 minutes to install and provides a progressive path to full autonomy. Our critical insight was to deliver automation in a layered way that allows operations teams to quickly adopt the platform into their current processes and incrementally add autonomous and self-service features.

READ PAPER

 

 

RackN’s mission is to fix the current lack of fast, simple and standard ways to manage fundamental data center infrastructure activities. These include updating server firmware, operating systems and integrating provisioning into application life-cycles. RackN on-premises software integrates easily with existing processes while providing a clear path from home-grown scripting to common best-practices. RackN customers achieve a 10x performance improvement by automating provisioning and orchestration. Like any building activity, a solid foundation makes the entire stack more robust and secure.

READ PAPER 

 

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

In this week’s L8ist Sh9y Podcast, we bring on the Digital Rebar team at RackN to discuss several issues they have working on over the past few months:

* Patch Rest APIs and CLI : Scaling Challenges Require Patch
* Swagger API History and Changes : No CLI Generation
* Integrations to Existing Tools up the Stack

UPCOMING EVENTS – Stay Tuned for our 2018 Plan

December 8 – Weekly Recap Of Digital Rebar, RackN, And Industry News

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, Edge Computing, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at info@rackn.com or tweet RackN (@rackngo)

Items of the Week

Industry News

Maybe we’re just too lazy to put in the work to become DevOps-minded, though, to the industry’s credit, the desire to “get DevOps” is real. Roughly 10 years after DevOps was coined as a thing, enterprises are madly scrambling to embrace it, as survey data uncovers. The problem is that too often we think it’s about hiring a few “DevOps engineers” and setting them free to… DevOp… or whatever.

Many industrial applications have been developed to utilize IoT devices and the data they produce.  They generally use cloud hosting, analytics and edge computing technology, often provided and connected via an IoT Platform – a set of tools and run-time systems hosted on the cloud that enable the development and deployment of a “complete IoT solution.”

With the advent of KubCon and CloudNativeCon in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, assorted enterprise vendors have chosen this week to flog their latest devops-oriented wares, before the impending holiday torpor leaves IT folks too distracted, weary or inebriated to care.

Digital Rebar

RackN

Like other Gartner events, the Infrastructure and Operations (IO) show is all about enterprises maintaining systems.  There are plenty of hype chasing sessions, but the vibe is distinctly around working systems and practical implementations.  Think: sports coats not t-shirts.  In that way, it’s less breathless and wild-eyed than something like KubeCon (which is busy celebrating a bumper crop of 1.0 projects).  The very essence of this show is to project an aura of calm IT stewardship.

Join this webinar to learn more about the RackN Kubernetes installation integration using community tools like Kubeadm demonstrated at this week’s KubeCon event (Slides) in Austin, TX. Co-Founders Rob Hirschfeld and Greg Althaus of RackN will discuss this fast and simple approach to operating Kubernetes. Of course, we’ll also demonstrate the technology installing Kubernetes following the immutable infrastructure model highlighting the automated provisioning technology built on the open source Digital Rebar project.

Dec 14, 2017 1:30 PM CST

We are actively looking for feedback from customers and technologists before general availability of both RackN and the Terraform plug-in. It takes just a few minutes to get started and we offer direct engineering engagement on our community slack channel. Get started now by providing your email on our registration page so we can provide you all the necessary links.

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

Podcast Guest: Keith Townsend, The CTO Advisor

UPCOMING EVENTS – None until 2018

2017 Gartner IO & DC Wrap Up

Like other Gartner events, the Infrastructure and Operations (IO) show is all about enterprises maintaining systems.  There are plenty of hype chasing sessions, but the vibe is distinctly around working systems and practical implementations.  Think: sports coats not t-shirts.  In that way, it’s less breathless and wild-eyed than something like KubeCon (which is busy celebrating a bumper crop of 1.0 projects).  The very essence of this show is to project an aura of calm IT stewardship.

So what keeps these seasoned IT pros awake?  Lack of cross-vendor Integration.

Terry Cosgrove of Gartner said this very clearly, “most components were not designed to work together.” This was not just a comment about the industry, but within vendor suites.  In today’s acquisitive and agile market, there’s no expectation that even products from a single vendor will integrate smoothly.  Why is integration so hard?  We’re innovating so quickly that legacy APIs and new architectures don’t align well. For enterprises who cannot simply jump to the new-new thing, integrations drive considerable value.

Cosgrove went on to add that enterprises need to OWN the integrations – they can’t delegate that to vendors.

That advice resonated for me.  We’re clearly in a best-of-breed IT environment where hybrid and portability concerns dominate discussions.  This is not about vendor lock-in but innovation.  That leads us back to the need for better integrations between products, platforms and projects.  Customers need to start rejecting products without great, documented APIs; otherwise, there is no motivation for products to focus on integration over adding features.  

Sadly, it was left to the audience to infer the “use dollars to force vendors to integrate” message.

There were many other topics of interest at the show.  Here’s a very short synopsis of my favorites:

  • Edge is coming and will be a big deal.  We’re still having to explain what it is.  Check back next summit (or listen to our great podcasts to get ahead of the curve).
  • AI Ops is not really AI, it’s just smarter logging.  We’ll get there eventually, but it will take some time.
  • DevOps is still a thing and it’s still hard because of the culture change required.  We’re slowly getting to a point where “DevOps = Automated Processes” and that’s OK.  If you agree with that then you’ve missed the point of system thinking and lean.  We’re done trying to explain it to you for now.
  • No start-ups.  Sadly, disruptive innovation is antithetical to this show and that may be OK.  The audience counts on the analysts to filter this for them instead of getting raw.

In all these cases, it’s listener beware.  There’s more behind the curtain that you are allowed to see.

Podcast with The CTO Advisor on Edge vs Cloud, Compute vs Data Gravity, and Impact of Massive Scale

Joining us this week is Keith Townsend, The CTO Advisor, for a joint podcast of the L8ist Sh9y and CTO Advisor Podcast. Keith and Rob discuss the Edge Computing concept and several issues facing enterprise companies looking to move beyond the current cloud offerings. Key highlights from the podcast:

  • What is the Edge? 2 Separate Definitions are Discussed
  • Comparison of Edge and the Electricity Model
  • Building and Managing Apps for Edge at Massive Scale
  • Data vs Compute Gravity

Topic                                                        Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                              0.00 – 1.30
What is Edge?                                           1.30 – 2.30
Hands-Off Edge Infrastructure              2.30 – 5.20   (Snowball Edge)
General Purpose App Stacks in Edge  5.20 – 6.38
AWS Predictions                                      6.38 – 7.32
Enterprise Model for Edge                     7.32 – 9.24
Bernard Golden and Death Cloud        9.24 – 15.15   (Edge vs Electric Market / AWS in China)
Will Edge be Transaction Model?        15.15 – 19.32  (Workloads Space Access?)
What is the Edge? (Second Pass)         19.32 – 21.55
Scale of Edge / Thousands of Nodes   21.55 – 25.27   (Building Apps for Massive Scale)
Centrally Managed Edge                       25.27 – 29.20   (Patch Management)
Cloud Outages                                         29.20 – 31.39
SAP Example                                            31.39 – 33.10
Scale and Automation from AWS         33.10 – 34.46
Edge not like Cloud for App Devs        34.46 –  37.04  (Control Plane too large for Edge)
Compute Now has Gravity                     37.04 – 40.00  (Data vs Compute Gravity)
Conclusion and Wrap-Up                      40.00 – END

 

Podcast Guest: Keith Townsend, CTO Advisor

Keith is a Principal CTO Advisor with 20 years of experience helping organizations achieve their mission through optimized IT infrastructures. Keith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computing and a Master’s in IT Project Management from DePaul University. Follow Keith on Twitter @CTOAdvisor

December 1 – Weekly Recap of Digital Rebar, RackN, and Industry News

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, Edge Computing, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at info@rackn.com or tweet RackN (@rackngo)

Items of the Week

Industry News

Edge computing, in the context of IoT, is the idea that you can actually do some of the computational work required by a system close to the endpoints instead of in a cloud or a data center. The intent is to minimize latency, which, according to Renaud, means that it’s going to be a hot trend in certain kinds of industrial IoT application.

Solution providers that have been hit hard by a data center hardware retreat are finding sales and profit growth by living on the edge—the network edge, that is.

DevOps — a term used to refer to the integration of software developers and operations teams — continues to spread like wildfire throughout the open networking ecosystem. The main idea behind DevOps is that by breaking down barriers between these two departments, market applications can be delivered faster with lower costs and better quality. Nevertheless, for all the advantages attached to DevOps, it is still a budding concept since it is primarily concerned with re-aligning the workforce with a variety of tools. The following, therefore, is a list of DevOps trends to keep an eye out for.

Digital Rebar

Our architectural plans for Digital Rebar are beyond big – they are for massive distributed scale. Not up, but out. We are designing for the case where we have common automation content packages distributed over 100,000 stand-alone sites (think 5G cell towers) that are not synchronously managed. In that case, there will be version drift between the endpoints and content. For example, we may need to patch an installation script quickly over a whole fleet but want to upgrade the endpoints more slowly.

Prior Meetup on November 21st Notes

RackN

Yesterday, AWS confirmed that it actually uses physical servers to run its cloud infrastructure and, gasp, no one was surprised.  The actual news about the i3.metal instances by AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr shows that bare metal is being treated as just another AMI managed instance type (see also GeekwireTechcrunchVenture Beat).  For AWS users, there’s no drama here because it’s an incremental add to processes they are already know well.

We are actively looking for feedback from customers and technologists before general availability of both RackN and the Terraform plug-in. It takes just a few minutes to get started and we offer direct engineering engagement on our community slack channel. Get started now by providing your email on our registration pagey so we can provide you all the necessary links.

L8ist Sh9y Podcast

Podcast Guest: Krishnan Subramanian, Rishidot Research

Founder and Chief Research Advisor, Infrastructure, Application Platforms and DevOps

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon : Dec 6 – 8 in Austin, TX

Event plans for the RackN and Digital Rebar team include 2 sessions and the RackN booth. We look forward to seeing you in Austin.

The RackN team is preparing for a series of upcoming events where they are speaking or just attending. If you are interested in meeting with them at these events please email info@rackn.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

100,000 of Anything is Hard – Scaling Concerns for Digital Rebar Architecture

Our architectural plans for Digital Rebar are beyond big – they are for massive distributed scale. Not up, but out. We are designing for the case where we have common automation content packages distributed over 100,000 stand-alone sites (think 5G cell towers) that are not synchronously managed. In that case, there will be version drift between the endpoints and content. For example, we may need to patch an installation script quickly over a whole fleet but want to upgrade the endpoints more slowly.

It’s a hard problem and it’s why we’ve focused on composable systems and fine-grain versioning.

It’s also part of the RackN move into a biweekly release cadence for Digital Rebar. That means that we are iterating from tip development to stable every two weeks. It’s fast because we don’t want operators deploying the development “tip” to access features or bug fixes.

This works for several reasons. First, much of the Digital Rebar value is delivered as content instead of in the scaffolding. Each content package has it’s own version cycle and is not tied to Digital Rebar versions. Second, many Digital Rebar features are relatively small, incremental additions. Faster releases allows content creators and operators to access that buttery goodness more quickly without trying to manage the less stable development tip.

Critical enablers for this release pace are feature flags. Starting in v3.2, Digital Rebar introduced the system level tags that are set when new features are added. These flags allow content developers to introspect the system in a multi-version way to see which behaviors are available in each endpoint. This is much more consistent and granular than version matching.

We are not designing a single endpoint system: we are planning for content that spans 1,000s of endpoints.

Feature flags are part of our 100,000 endpoint architecture thinking. In large scale systems, there can be significant version drift within a fleet deployment. We have to expect that automation designers want to enable advanced features before they are universally deployed in the fleet. That means that the system needs a way to easily advertise specific capabilities internally. Automation can then be written with different behaviors depending on the environment. For example, changing exit codes could have broken existing scripts except that scripts used flags to determine which codes were appropriate for the system. These are NOT API issues that work well with semantic versioning (semver), they are deeper system behaviors.

This matters even if you only have a single endpoint because it also enables sharing in the Digital Rebar community.

Without these changes, composable automation designed for the Digital Rebar community would quickly become very brittle and hard to maintain. Our goal is to ensure a decoupling of endpoint and content. This same benefit allows the community to share packages and large scale sites to coordinate upgrades. I don’t think that we’re done yet. This is a hard problem and we’re still evolving all the intricacies of updating and delivering composable automation.

It’s the type of complex, operational thinking that excites the RackN engineering team. I hope it excites you too because we’d love to get your thinking on how to make it even better!