Welcome!

Apache Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, John Mertic, Liz McMillan, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Java IoT, Microservices Expo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Re-Distributed Computing

What have we developers been doing over the last decade?

This morning, Chaucer, our relatively new Sheltie puppy, took off with my slippers. I found one lying in his favorite spot almost immediately, but the other had gone missing. I wandered about the house with one slipper in hand while he hid in his kennel, knowing I was angry but not quite understanding why. It made me ponder the state of computing today, and where we’re headed, because it made me ponder years ago with our last dog, doing exactly the same thing. One was a Shih Tzu, the other is a Sheltie, but puppies chew on slippers with rawhide ties, doesn’t matter the breed or how many years in between.

Interesting thing about the state of the computing market, puppies – all puppies – do chew on slippers, and that rarely changes, even as we see change all around us in the high-tech world. The corollary? I sat down to learn Android development at a level most people aren’t interested in learning months ago, and guess what? After a decade of progress and hype about new and different, I wrote in Java and C++, used some of the same libraries I used when writing for the Blackberry several years ago, and made calls to most of the familiar parts of Java and quite a few unfamiliar that haven’t significantly changed. The same is largely true of Objective-C. I used it a very long time ago, and while there have been changes, it’s still Objective-C.

The same is largely true of .NET development. There have been changes over the years, but for the last decade or so, they’ve changed .NET less than they’ve changed the command line (if you count PowerShell). Alternative languages like Ruby have come along, and those of us who geek out on this stuff have tried them, but to-the-hardware development is still done largely in C/C++, and high-level software development is still done largely in Java and .NET with a healthy dose of PHP. The databases organizations ask for have been stable for just about as long. No, I’m not ignoring the Hadoop and derivatives craze, regular app developers are rarely asked for that skill set as a primary skill – so far.

So what have we developers been doing over the last decade? Learning new platforms, of course. Learning new ways to integrate, of course, but largely, not stretching enough. There are day-to-day problems we’re dealing with, and every dev has to learn new things just to do their job, but they’re largely mundane or vertical things.

To some extent, the fragmentation of dev combined with the growth of software as the engine of business and a projected reduction in development jobs that never seems to have occurred all contribute to this scenario. And of course, the difficulty in displacing languages with millions or billions of lines of code impact it.

So does a slowdown in what is revolutionary, I think. after SOA, what next? Well, there have been a lot of developments, from Git to AWS, but in the end, development is much the same. PaaS changed that very little, though it was the most likely of the cloud technologies to do so. We also filter a lot, I think. Do you write multi-core code? Seriously? Most devs in the enterprise don’t, even though there are documented benefits. That’s “beneath the hood” so-to-speak.

So what has me excited? There are signs of significant change. SDN promises not just a change in platform, but hooks you can manipulate to make your code more reliable. It’s not a Brave New World or anything, but it is food for improving App Dev without a seismic shift in development environments or methodology. The future of mobile device development promises more changes too, as more and more devices suck up more and more bandwidth. An interesting analyst note was that 4G wasn’t helping because devices were being added to the network faster than the network speed was improving. That means optimized communications either in the app or in a device between the app and users, is going to continue to be important.

Things like Git fall firmly into the re-distributed computing category. It’s a server. Always. You may not think of it as one, but if I have permissions, I can ask to clone the code in your repository. That’s a server. With the added resiliency that so is every other dev machine. Which means the loss of a “server” is not likely to be catastrophic as long as best practices for SVN have been followed. Someone will have a new enough copy that only the most recent work will be lost. And of course, if you’re replicating to GitHub, the likelihood of a catastrophic loss is even smaller. Not a huge change (it’s still version control), but a change that stabilizes source issues in the loss of a single machine.

This whole micro-server concept will creep in elsewhere, I think. Making a single machine or VM the repository of knowledge critical to your business has never been a great idea, and our outrageous backup plans show we know that at some level. If we’re replicating by virtue of daily business, it will increase network traffic in exchange for less single points of failure. Which means it will happen, because network bandwidth always increases, single points of failure are always a weak point.

As to languages, the death of Java has been predicted a lot, but I just don’t see it happening any time soon. Java and .NET are both general purpose environments suited to the current state of enterprise computing. Mobile may produce something that truly changes things, but at this point it doesn’t look like it. Low-level systems and those that need greater performance will likely continue with C/C++, though the number of environments that entails will continue to decrease. RoR and PHP will continue to eat a lot of web UI space because they’re particularly suited to it, and we’ll continue on our way.  Command line scripting languages are almost never impacted by even seismic change, so nothing to see there.

In short, the places to innovate are the connections we can make to other parts of the network – applications and increasingly infrastructure. REST and SOA will continue to rule that space.

So we’re re-redistributing. Don’t get complacent. In high tech, when you cannot see the massive changes, that means they’re happening incrementally. Continue to grow, stretch your boundaries. Try new things. Bring more to the table, because it is the external environment that is currently changing, and that needs to be accounted for in application development.

And if you haven’t tried out Git, go check it out (pun intended), you’ll find it intuitive and well documented.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is currently a Senior Solutions Architect at StackIQ, Inc. He is also working with Mesamundi on D20PRO, and is a member of the Stacki Open Source project. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. 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 sett...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...