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  Think Big – Now Think Even Bigger
  Join Us at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo, November 11-13,
at the Javits Center!


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend Internet of Things at Cloud Expo in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

Delegates to Internet of Things at Cloud Expo will be able to attend eight separate, information-packed tracks:

  • Enterprise Cloud
  • Digital Transformation
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility & Security
  • DevOps | Containers & Microservices
  • Cognitive Computing | AI, ML, DL
  • Big Data | Analytics
  • IoT | IIoT | Smart Cities
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

There are 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.


We'll see you in New York!



Day 3 Keynote at @ThingsExpo | Chris Matthieu, CTO of Octoblu
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu's platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
  Themes & Topics to Be Discussed

Consumer IoT
• Wearables
• Smart Appliances
• Smart Cars
• Smartphones 2.0
• Automation
• Smart Travel
• Personal Fitness
• Health Care
• Personalized Marketing
• Customized Shopping
• Personal Finance
• The Digital Divide
• Mobile Cash & Markets
• Games & The IoT
• The Future of Education
• Virtual Reality

Enterprise IoT
• The Business Case for
x IoT
• Smart Grids
• Smart Cities
• Smart Transportation
• The Smart Home
• M2M
• Authentication/Security
• Wiring the IoT
• The Internet of
x Everything
• Digital Transformation
x of Enterprise IT
• Agriculture
• Transportation
• Manufacturing
• Local & State
x Government
• Federal Government

IoT Developers | WebRTC Summit
• Eclipse Foundation
• Cloud Foundry
• Linux Containers
• Node-Red
• Open Source Hardware
• Ajax and the IoT
• Leveraging SOA
• Multi-Cloud IoT
• Evolving Standards
• WebSockets
• Security & Privacy
x Protocols
• GPS & Proximity
x Services
• Bluetooth/RFID/etc
• XMPP
• Nest Labs



The Top Keynotes, the Best Sessions, a Rock Star Faculty and the Most Qualified Delegates of ANY Internet of Things Event!


The future of computing lies in these things. As computing takes a much more active role in our lives it will at the same time become much more invisible. Internet of Things Expo will address the challenges in getting from where we are today to this future.
 
The high-energy event is a must-attend for senior technologists from CEOs on down – including CIOs, CTOs, directors of infrastructure, VPs of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, and communications and networking specialists.




@ThingsExpo Power Panel | The World's Many IoTs: Which Are the Most Important?
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Benefits of Attending the Three-Day Technical Program
  LEARNexactly why Internet of Things is relevant today from an economic, business and technology standpoint.
  HEAR first-hand from industry experts the common issues and requirements for creating a platform for the Internet of Things.
  SEE what new tools and approaches the Internet of Things requires.
  DISCOVER how to drive a distributed approach to the Internet of Things, where applications move to the data.
  FIND OUThow the vast volumes of new data produced by the Internet of Things provides a valuable new source of business insight through advanced analytical techniques.
  MASTER how the ongoing development of smart cities, cars, and houses will enhance connectivity infrastructure.
Lunch Power Panel | Microservices & IoT- Moderated by Jason Bloomberg
In this Power Panel at @DevOpsSummit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, panelists Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana; Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks; and Troy Topnik, ActiveState's Technical Product Manager; and Otis Gospodnetic, founder of Sematext; peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.


Probe Your Servers
Probe Your Servers

For ColdFusion to work properly lots of bits and pieces have to be in place and functioning correctly. Web servers need to be up and running, database servers need to be accessible, any external components need to be reachable, and, of course, ColdFusion must be functioning properly.

If any of these fail, so will your applications; if failure does occur, you need to know as quickly as possible, preferably before end users find out. Which brings us to the subject of probes.

Understanding Probes
There are lots of ways to check that code or services are working, but the simplest is to just give it a try - if an error is generated, what you're testing is broken. For example, to test that a database is accessible you could run a simple query against it using ColdFusion <CFQUERY>. If <CFQUERY> returns an error, you'll know that the database was not accessible - simple as that.

Now imagine you had a way to automatically execute that simple query at regular intervals, perhaps every few minutes. Also imagine you had a way to examine any output generated by the query and could take some action based on what it contained. Well, don't imagine. That's exactly what a probe is, and ColdFusion has them built right into the product.

The basic principle behind probes is very simple. You tell ColdFusion what to execute and how often, how to recognize a failure condition, and what to do when one occurs - ColdFusion does the rest. You can create as many probes as you need, and you can edit and remove probes too, all using the ColdFusion Administrator.

Note: Probes are only supported in ColdFusion Enterprise, not in ColdFusion Professional.

Standard Probes
Before we discuss writing your own probes, it's worth mentioning that ColdFusion has several standard probes built right into the product, and you can use these without defining or creating anything. To access these, open the ColdFusion Administrator, select the Tools tab, and select Alarms from the Server Monitoring options. You'll see a screen like the one shown in Figure 1, which lets you specify the e-mail address (or multiple addresses separated by commas) to which alarms should be sent if any of the following events occur:

  • Web server is inaccessible
  • Web server is busy
  • Load balancing server (if one is being used) is inaccessible

    You may also specify which e-mail address to use for notification if any other probes fail, as well as the SMTP server to use to send the mail.

    Creating Probes
    The real fun (okay, so fun may be a bit strong, but bear with me) is in creating your own probes. To do this go to the Server Probes page in the ColdFusion Administrator by selecting the Tools tab, and then System Probes from the System Monitoring options. As seen in Figure 2 this page displays a list of probes along with their status (green if okay, red if failed, yellow if temporarily suspended), along with buttons that allow you to create, edit, or delete probes.

    To create a probe click the New button to display the Server Probe Setup screen seen in Figure 3. You'll be prompted for two settings: Probe Settings, which define the probe itself, and Failed Probe Response Settings, which specify the actions to be taken upon probe failure.

    First you must define the probe type and you have two choices: Default Probe executes a URL (usually a CFM page, but it doesn't need to be so) that allows you to inspect the generated results; Custom Probe executes an application (an EXE file, for example) that allows you to take action based on return values. You'll also need to name the probe using any unique name, and specify either the URL (if creating a Default Probe) or application name (if creating a Custom Probe to be executed).

    Next comes the important part - you'll also need to tell ColdFusion what to look for to determine success or failure, and this too differs based on the probe type. If you're creating a Default Probe specify a string of text to search for (the match is case-sensitive); if you're creating a Custom Probe specify the return value that's expected upon success. Either way, each time the probe has been executed Cold-Fusion will be able to determine success or failure by inspecting the results.

    You may also specify a frequency (how often the probe should be executed, default is every 60 seconds) and a timeout (when should ColdFusion give up and assume the probe is failing, default is also 60 seconds). Be careful not to specify too low a frequency; you wouldn't want all those requests being executed unless you absolutely need that level of monitoring.

    Having defined the probe you'll then need to tell ColdFusion what to do when a failure occurs. You have several options here:

    • Specify a server against which actions should be applied
    • Restrict traffic (preventing further access) to a server
    • Execute a script or file of your choice
    • Restart ColdFusion (this option is only available if creating a Default Probe)
    • Log that ColdFusion was restarted (this option is available only if creating a Default Probe)
    And of course, if you specified an e-mail address in the alarms page (see Figure 1), an e-mail will be sent as well.

    What to Probe
    Now you know how to create probes. But what should you probe? Here are some suggestions:

    • You should have one global probe to check that your site is up. Have it request your home page, or any other page of your choice, to check that the site is up and responding.
    • Monitor your databases. Either retrieve no rows (write a query that returns nothing) or execute a stored procedure - the data re-turned is not important, you just need to make sure no errors are returned. To do this, wrap the query in a block and output either SUCCESS or FAIL-ED (and set the probe to check for SUCCESS).
    • If you have a production site and aren't expecting code changes, monitor the file and directories (traverse the tree finding date and time stamps and compare them to known values). You don't want to execute code like this too often, but running it periodically will let you know that someone has been up to no good. You could even specify an action that would restore the server to a prior known state (self-unhacking, now that's a cool idea!).
    • If your DBMS or any other system has diagnostic utilities, set up Custom Probes for them to ensure it's up and running.
    • You could even create a special probe page that performs all sorts of tests and sets results as needed. This way a single defined probe could test for multiple potential problems, and you'd be able to update the list easily without even having to access the ColdFusion Administrator.
    Give it some thought, you'll have no problem coming up with a list of items or services to probe.

    Summary
    Exactly what you probe is up to you, as well as where you probe it from (using Default Probes you can probe remote servers just as easily as you could local servers), and what you do when a failure occurs. Probes are not just the 24/7 eyes and ears monitoring the health of your servers, they're also the toolkit you can utilize to correct problems when they occur. If you're not using probes yet, you should...and quickly.

    About Ben Forta
    Ben Forta is Adobe's Senior Technical Evangelist. In that capacity he spends a considerable amount of time talking and writing about Adobe products (with an emphasis on ColdFusion and Flex), and providing feedback to help shape the future direction of the products. By the way, if you are not yet a ColdFusion user, you should be. It is an incredible product, and is truly deserving of all the praise it has been receiving. In a prior life he was a ColdFusion customer (he wrote one of the first large high visibility web sites using the product) and was so impressed he ended up working for the company that created it (Allaire). Ben is also the author of books on ColdFusion, SQL, Windows 2000, JSP, WAP, Regular Expressions, and more. Before joining Adobe (well, Allaire actually, and then Macromedia and Allaire merged, and then Adobe bought Macromedia) he helped found a company called Car.com which provides automotive services (buy a car, sell a car, etc) over the Web. Car.com (including Stoneage) is one of the largest automotive web sites out there, was written entirely in ColdFusion, and is now owned by Auto-By-Tel.

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    Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

    I am using CFMX and see not tools tab althouth there is a system probe link.

    Can you give some examples of probe settings for Default probe of remote SQL servers? Also how would I restart CF on failure? I have no drop downs that you talk about in the administrator.

    I have been taking a web certification program at Troy State University, where we use your books. I just recently got a computer that can handle cf. I have windows 2000 Professional. I tried to load cf, server first, but it didn't work properly. I had to unload all.
    Now, I still have cfusin in my c:drive even though I deleted cf. Apparently cookies and the registry have been acctivated by my attemps.

    HELP


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    This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
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