A few questions on the eve of 2012

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Yesterday I talked about some things I saw as coming technology trends. Today I end the year with a few questions.

  • Is this the year of the converged device? The combination device that acts like a smart phone and a tablet at the same time?
  • Will windows 8 bring a real tablet OS to Microsoft?
  • Will cloud security continue to improve?
  • Is this the year after cloud or the year before?
  • Is this the year of the private cloud?
  • Is this the year of the hoster?
  • Can you migrate your solution to the cloud? Why not?
  • Is this the year of cloud application development?
  • Is the converged living room device coming this year? 1 device to sit in your living room and be a monitor, be a television and a computer?
  • Will this be the year that applications allow you to change where processing occurs on the fly?

lust a few questions to kick off the year…

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Things that will change the world next year…

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Here is my initial thinking on the overall technology trends that will change the world next year.

  • The concept of “not” moving large data stores will begin to take hold. Why do we have to centralize data to analyze it? I call this concept “data pools” and I think it will change the way the world considers and acts on big data.
  • Security for and in on-line services. Its getting better but there is considerable room for improvement.
  • The adoption of NIST standards around the AAS explosion. Not everything is a service and most everything fits into the three primary categories (SaaS, IaaS and PaaS) so we need to move away from confusion and towards standardization.
  • The great Internet burp will happen in 2012. I am just saying. Unless we pay attention and clean up some of the issues we have in the on-line world, that burp is coming.
  • Cloud begets Big Data support services.
  • Big Data shows value in cloud beyond cost savings.
  • Big Data grows into the need for Data Pooling (ok its kind of circular but its my theory)
  • Data services will expand.
  • On-line backup will take off in 2012.
  • We will expand beyond Zetabytes of data.

Next year may become the year of transition, as organizations and developers began truly considering the value proposition of cloud computing. To date we’ve focused on cost savings and initial migrations. In the future however the areas of growth are in new application patterns (elastic, portable etc.)

Now all we need is a name for 2012.

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Functional Boundaries Redux

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A classic (blast from the past).

The concept of Functional Boundaries

A functional boundary is the edge of both how something is used but also the requirements for that use. It has two aspects that must be considered Human and Machine. The human functional boundary can be “physical” such as physical limitations that make usage harder. The Machine boundaries can be as complex as overall maximum processor capacity or as simple as the screen simply can’t display the content.

Functional boundaries don’t impact you or your solution until they actually impact you and your solution. From having to hold your phone at arm’s length to read information or having to wear glasses because the print is so small you can’t read it there are human boundaries to solutions. The machines continue to get smaller, faster and more capable. But the screen size is a significant impact. Watching a movie on your cellular phone is one thing, working your way through a complex spreadsheet or presentation with lots of builds is quite another thing.

Machine boundaries

The machine boundary can be broken into capabilities and capacity. Simply put some devices has a set of capabilities that support the “Syncverse” effectively. Other devices do not have those capabilities and will limit the effectiveness of the solution overall.

Capabilities

· HD screen or capacity to render video or images in HD

· Local storage capacity for cache

· Processor capable of rendering requirements

Capacity

· Network bandwidth (right now)

· Network bandwidth (overall monthly)

· Software interaction that allows for soft keyboard and other functional “interactions” such as camera (video conferencing) and voice.

Human boundaries

Human boundaries are harder to discuss because all of us have them. It is the willingness to try new things, the ability to understand and use technology and a willingness to try new ways of doing things.

Ability

· Can you use an on-screen keyboard?

· Can you see what is on the screen clearly?

· What do you want your device to do?

Access

· Is the environment you are in conducive to the task you are trying to complete (is it loud? To bright? Etc…)

·

From ability as is often the case we open the door. If you have the ability to do something that is frequently the first step. There is a factor that is limiting your ability and that is simply what do you want the device to do. I bought my first Swiss army knife when I was 11 years old. I used that knife to open wine, carve balsa wood and as a screw driver and all around quick to use device. Would I however use a Swiss army knife to cut down a tree? Only if it was the only device I had for that purpose other than my hands, yes. Otherwise I would never use a Swiss army knife to cut down a tree.

Machine boundaries are often more clearly defined and less variable. They do appear frequently as you move to the edges of what you are trying to accomplish. You see people all the time who struggle with the performance of their device as they attempt to complete a task. This represents the functional boundary of that device for them. It could be as simple as lack of bandwidth or as complex as trying to work on a spreadsheet on a phone screen.

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Really. Are you sure you know that?

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What you thought you heard. I don’t know why it bothers me what people think they heard.

I heard from someone something that someone else had heard about me and for whatever reason I think it hurt. It was someone that I care about so I guess in the end it hurts more.

So to the person unnamed who will never know, I guess the reality is you don’t know. Now of course your chance of ever knowing is greatly reduced. You assume you know and for you I feel sad.

I wonder if the frailties’ of human communication in the end will destroy the potential of cloud computing. What is and what yet could be are truly wonderful because of and with what cloud computing could become.

The frailty that is human communication however will be a great speed bump in the highway to nirvana. Human’s are so sure of what they know without ever having to check their facts.

In the end that will destroy the promise of cloud computing, to truly have a world where everyone has equal access to the information they need.

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The time ahead and the search for application device rest state…

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I have been thinking about the concept of application designs that enable and enhance the overall cloud experience. Applications that are compute resource aware, bandwidth aware and are able to on the fly reverse their focus. For example an applications that can stop processing locally when you move from your laptop to your cellular device. For that matter an application (like Bluetooth in the car) that is aware of change and let’s you “throw the app” over the wall.

The problem of course is that applications aren’t like that today. You can’t simply press a button that transfers your application from device to device (which technically a car can’t do either – the call is always on the cell phone, it’s a simple change between speakers at that point). That pass off point is critical for cloud applications going forward. The maintenance of a rest state beyond simply the application to the device.

There are a number of other things that will limit cloud applications, but building applications with device rest states enabled is a critical ongoing solution. It is one that will in the end determine how effective the cloud is long term. Many organizations are chasing cloud computing today because they can reduce their overall cost. The problem with cost reduction is that once you reduce your budget by that amount, it doesn’t magically stay there. The organization reabsorbs that money and leverages it for something else. Its all about effective accounting. This means that the time of cost cutting is always short (it is in effect a large application of the red ocean theory).

What lies beyond cost is the change in applications and how we work. This however is as much cultural as it is technological. The technology pieces (like application device state) are painful and hard but not impossible. I wonder about the overall people changes that lie ahead.

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The shortest distance is a circle.

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The shortest distance between two points is realizing you are on the wrong side of very thin ice. Or is it that you are on the wrong side of well, everything. Straight lines don’t exist on the Internet. If you saw a routing map between the major telco’s and the various other systems that have wire and routers that make up what we call the Internet it would scare you.

It has more hops than Sam Adams winter ale.

Every hop leaves its little impression on the packets that go by. This adds weight to the packet if that is possible in reality is adds size. Over time the packets grow in size until they begin to overflow. Many people argue that the adoption of IPv6 fixes this. I wonder. But then I am the great voice in the wilderness saying there is a burp coming.

Not that I am the Nostradamus of the Internet age. You throw enough crap on the wall something will stick by default.

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I need gloves that support a touch interface and conceptual knowledge management.

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Some conceptual thinking. (partially embedded in my title – which in the end signifies nothing).

I think I should often put that disclaimer in front of the things I post on my blog. There are a number of things I consider over the course of idea gestation that are conceptual at best.

My concept of choice for the past couple of weeks has focused on the internet burping and the concept of do we have enough bandwidth.

Today I would like to take a user’s view of cloud computing. Don’t ask me why. I just woke up this morning thinking about thing from a users point of view (something I have done in my conceptual ideas around “The Syncverse” for a long time).

What do I need to have at my fingertips?

Yes for those of you that have followed by blog for awhile it is in fact “the circular slide rule” concept.

What needs to be available to me at all times. I have argued and thought through that idea for a long time. There is a delta of course and in the old days I used to argue one side and then the other. The first sides deal with online versus offline access. There was a time as a vendor huckster that I argued online access was the only model that held any value. Of course like a good vendor huckster when Microsoft improved its offline story I changed direction per the companies mandates.

There is some value in that old argument however. Not in the reality of being a vendor huckster and waffling between online only and offline. Rather in the reality of data itself. Data has a lifecycle (which I talk about in my book Transitional Services in the DLM© chapter). It also has a value.

You can apply a relevance formula to data (How long is the information valid, what problem does it solve, how effective is it at solving that information, how often does it change) that I won’t write out (its in the book however).

The relevance of the data then applies to the data itself. There is also a conceptual idea about the relevance of the data in the situation. That moves you towards a matrix – with the core axis being online and offline. Above the line and the data needs to be available offline and refreshed as often as is possible.

if only I had this information 10 years ago. I wouldn’t have made a marketing waffle.

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