|By Michael Bushong||
|July 30, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
The primary indicator of success is success. That is to say that the number one thing people look to as a predictor of future performance is past performance. In the product space, this means that things like adoption are important as much for what it signals to other people as they are for bottom line revenues. And this is true even in the open source world.
As SDN speeds its way towards mainstream adoption, this means that projects like OpenDaylight will need to establish early on that they are not only deployable but also deployed.
Open source adoption
People frequently point to Linux as an example of an open source project that has seen wide adoption. But even Linux adoption did not happen overnight. It took more than a decade to see growth. And if you look at RedHat as an indicator of when that growth spawned commercial success, you have to extend all the way out to 2012 before the first $1B fiscal year.
The point here is not that Linux was not successful but rather that it took time to become successful. And the more success there was, the more success there tends to be. The rise of RedHat has enabled an acceleration of Linux deployments, in part because of an improved support model but in part because it represents a visible measure of commercial viability.
OpenDaylight and adoption timelines
Now consider that Linux was largely unknown and had virtually no expectations around it when it was created. There was no market that was waiting for it to hit. There were not industry players banking on its commercial success. There was not an entire technology movement underway dependent in part on the rise of a vendor-neutral platform.
The conditions under which OpenDaylight has been incubated are markedly different. And that means the expectations are different. Imagine how OpenDaylight would be evaluated if it took more than a decade to reach any kind of adoption. The pundits would not be kind, the customers would not be happy, and the companies expecting OpenDaylight to contribute to their commercial success would not be satisfied. OpenDaylight simply has to accelerate adoption.
What the bulls would say
Those bullish on OpenDaylight will tell you that conditions are certainly different. Open source is a better understood beast than it was in the early 90s. The lessons learned by those that championed Linux should result in faster adoption for projects that follow, and having the very group responsible for Linux (the Linux Foundation) at the helm only makes those lessons easier to put to use. There is an entire consortium of industry giants and would-be giant slayers who are building products and an ecosystem around OpenDaylight. Marketing efforts are helping drive awareness in both the vendor and user communities.
There are absolutely reasons to believe that adoption will happen faster than it did the first go-around.
What the bears would say
But there is a case to be made for the bears as well. SDN is more than a new technology; it’s a new architecture. Migration between architectures is far more disruptive, and thus more risky. The only way to mitigate risk is to move even slower, waiting for others to pave the way. And with a much lower volume of customers to pull from, this means that there will be fewer success stories early on and less overall experience to rely on. On top of that, while the consortium of companies is building products, they continue to sling their legacy portfolios that compete with the very thing they are collaborating on. Can they possibly be expected to push forward aggressively?
The missing ingredient
So what is missing for OpenDaylight to be successful?
In a word, deployments. But how do solutions get deployed? In the networking world at least, the answer is that they are pushed by the people building and ultimately selling them. Whether that’s the vendor itself or the resellers working on its behalf, there is someone on the end of the sales cycle who is explaining to the customer why and how they should deploy the solution.
Who is going to do that for OpenDaylight?
Right now, the answer is unclear. The most obvious answer is that OpenDaylight needs a RedHat to help speed deployments. In the OpenDaylight case, RedHat seems like the likely company to be RedHat. They are already OpenDaylight contributors, and they understand the business model well enough that they should be able to take a page from their own playbook.
But RedHat doesn’t own the networking channel or have the networking street cred. It’s not that they cannot be successful, but it will take more than RedHat to sell OpenDaylight.
Of course, the individual vendors all have a stake in OpenDaylight as well. Maybe they will make up the salesforce? Perhaps. But there is a challenge here. OpenDaylight is not really a revenue generator (at least not right away and not directly). Individual salespeople are compensated on the revenue they bring in. They don’t have a personal incentive to promote an open source project. More tactically, even if they wanted to, they aren’t fully trained on how it works and how they ought to be selling it. And even then, whatever they do know will be specific to the context in which the rest of their product catalog functions. A huge part of the value of OpenDaylight is that it works in heterogeneous environments and has technologies contributed from a bunch of different players. No salesperson is ever going to promote those aspects as aggressively as their own products.
What is needed?
If the problem is similar to a sales problem, then the solution will resemble a sales solution. Adoption will hinge on marketing to drive awareness and field enablement to drive sales capability. The first one is already being done with great effect, but the second one is missing. It’s hard to enable a salesforce that doesn’t really exist.
My suspicion is that the very thing that makes OpenDaylight powerful from a development perspective will swoop in to help out here: namely, the open source community. If community members who are leading adoption become active ambassadors for OpenDaylight, they can take the role of a Systems Engineer (SE) and help speed along deployments.
Engagements will be a little bit tough. Pairing ambassadors with active opportunities is non-trivial because it requires the customer to seek counsel from an ambassador they do not know while being presumably in a sales cycle that is led by vendors who are pushing alternative solutions. Fortunately, the biggest thing OpenDaylight can help do here is right up its alley: provide transparency. If customers are active in registering OpenDaylight opportunities, the Linux Foundation can pair ambassadors with those seeking guidance.
The bottom line
The industry needs a neutral point of control, and having every company reinvent and maintain a common platform is silly. Open source is a great way to advance the industry while limiting overlapping investment on the vendor side. But for adoption to take place, adoption has to happen. OpenDaylight can do something to solve this chicken-and-egg problem. Ultimately, if OpenDaylight is successful at providing opportunity transparency to its community, everyone benefits.
[Today’s fun fact: A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, but a group of geese in the air is a skein. This is to flocking hard to remember.]
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
Apr. 28, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,450
Join IBM June 8 at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn how to innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. You need to deliver quality applications faster and cheaper, attract and retain customers with an engaging experience across devices, and seamlessly integrate your enterprise systems. And you can't take 12 months to do it.
Apr. 28, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,710
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
Apr. 28, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,601
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
Apr. 28, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,345
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
Apr. 28, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,536
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
Apr. 28, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,071
The paradigm has shifted. A Gartner survey shows that 43% of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016. However, not just a handful of companies are still using the old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways, unaware of the critical barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can you become a winner? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will present a methodical approach to guide the holistic adoption and enablement of IoT implementations. This ov...
Apr. 28, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,484
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Apr. 28, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,437
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
Apr. 28, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,582
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
Apr. 28, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 510
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Apr. 28, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,158
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Apr. 28, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,380
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Apr. 28, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 507
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Apr. 28, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 919
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Apr. 28, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 700
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
Apr. 28, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 659
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, 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...
Apr. 28, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,490
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
Apr. 28, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 506
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Apr. 28, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 940
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Apr. 28, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 778