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It's Like Load Balancing. On Steroids
What is this application delivery thing that everyone keeps telling me I need?

What is this application delivery thing that everyone keeps telling me I need? Isn’t that just the latest marketing term for load balancing?

A recently released Forrester report concludes that “firms must develop and integrated strategy for application delivery.” We don’t disagree with that, or with the Gartner report claiming that “Load Balancing is Dead, Time to Focus on Application Delivery.” Application delivery is the next step in the logical evolutionary path from the tactical solution of load balancing to a comprehensive application infrastructure strategy.

Forrester’s research indicates that despite the fact that application delivery makes sense, many organizations are still operating in a very tactical, problem-resolution oriented manner.

Application Delivery Takes Center Stage

Top infrastructure initiatives — like consolidation and virtualization — are focused within the data center, and firms aren’t paying enough attention to solving the growing need to provide anywhere, anytime access to applications. The result? Application response times don’t meet expectations. The knee-jerk usual reactions are to increase network bandwidth and to deploy point solutions like WAN optimization, but these measures do not address the underlying problems. Our conclusion: To deliver acceptable application performance levels without unacceptable increases in IT costs, firms must develop an integrated strategy for application delivery.

Despite the increased focus on the network, we still don’t see a lot of companies taking advantage of more purpose-built solutions that tackle application performance, availability, and scalability. An increasing number of firms are throwing hardware point solutions at the problem, as demonstrated by the 41% reporting that they are deploying such equipment as load balancers. However, we were a bit surprised to see a lower emphasis on more comprehensive solutions, with 33% and 20% indicating they are taking a more strategic approach by implementing application delivery infrastructure and application acceleration equipment, respectively.

Some of the reason for the lack of adoption of more integrated solutions is likely that organizations are simply not aware of what application delivery is. Some of the reason is certainly that there still exist silos within IT that focus on the many functions of application delivery but do so in a non-integrated fashion themselves. Some of the reason is simply that IT is overburdened at the moment; and has very little time for strategy when it is tasked with solving real problems right now.

Ironic, then, that IT doesn’t have time to focus on the very strategy that could reduce the burden of siloed application delivery management and thus give IT the time they need in the first place. A Catch-22, to be certain.

 


WHAT IS APPLICATION DELIVERY


Analysts, press, industry pundits. All three agree that application delivery is an essential component to the efficient data center of tomorrow. But they – and I’m guilty of this too - often assume you know what application delivery is, and what it does, and why it’s so necessary as part of solid foundation for emerging data center models.

The question “What is it?” is far more common than you might think. The term is one that almost always requires defining unless you’ve been knee-deep in the industry for a while. If I say “load balancer” to a crowd the term is immediately understood. But if I say “application delivery” the audience gets that “are-you-speaking-in-a-foreign-language-because-I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-you’re-talking-about” look on their face. You know, the one that makes you wonder if you just brayed like a donkey or maybe your latent Tourette’s Syndrome just kicked in.

That’s why I often describe it with “it’s like load balancing on steroids.” Mostly because application delivery grew out of load balancing because it just made sense.

Application delivery is what you do with applications. You deliver them, via some kind of network, to users. Application delivery infrastructure, then, is all the components necessary to make that happen.

Load balancing is the core of application delivery. This is because the load balancer just happened to be deployed in the perfect place in the data center to provide additional, application-focused functionality: between the client and the server. Because it usually acted as a proxy, it was able to grow from simple layer 4 (TCP) load balancing to a more flexible, intelligent and application-aware layer 7 (application) device. As it did so, developers began to see the potential benefits of adding functionality to the load balancers. Because the device could see everything from the network layer to the application data, it could optimize network and communication protocols, add security options, implement rate shaping and other QoS functionality, and be more “smart” regarding the definition of “availability” when it came to the application. And thus application delivery solutions began to appear, each one comprising more and more application-aware functionality; each one capable of providing more and more benefits.

And as applications grew more complex, so did the infrastructure. There’s performance and access considerations. Reliability, scalability, and security concerns. Failover, optimization, and application-specific quirks that must be addressed in a load balanced environment. There are a lot of components required to deliver an application, keep it secure, and make sure it’s fast enough to keep the user happy.

The Forrester report discusses the need to “provide anywhere, anytime access to applications.” That means from home, on the road, in the office, in the wee-hours of the morning or during the middle of the day. Application delivery also concerns itself with being able to handle the myriad other factors that go into application delivery such as SLAs based on application and user and network conditions.

Application delivery is about making decisions based on the context of each request, rather than on one or two variables. And not just decisions like which server should respond, but which network should it be returned on and which data center should be used and should the request be scanned for malicious intent and is this request even a legitimate one for this application, for this user, from this location. It’s about applying optimizations to protocols that improve the performance of applications over both WAN and LAN. It’s focused on ensuring availability of applications and maintaining service-level agreements through intelligent load balancing decisions and careful monitoring of application health at the application layer, not just the network layer. Application delivery focuses on the application and on its unique quirks and behaviors that can impede performance. It provides a platform on which on-demand adjustments can be made to the application delivery process; on which functionality can be deployed to address security or architectural issues in a centralized manner.

Application delivery is the integration of solutions focused on the security, performance, and reliability of applications.

This graphic from the aforementioned Forrester report very nicely illustrates the difference between a point-product based solution and an integrated application delivery architecture.

 

image

Source: “Application Delivery Takes Center Stage,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Citrix Systems, December 2008


WHY APPLICATION DELIVERY


Hardware point solutions can result in sprawl. Sprawl increases operating expenses, makes it difficult to troubleshoot, introduces unnecessary complexity, and as a bonus it negatively impacts application performance – the very thing the solutions were put in place to address - by adding latency at every hop. I’ve explained the problem of sprawl and the proliferation of point solutions to many different types of audiences and not once has someone yelled out, “You’re a liar! Does not!” because everyone knows it’s true; we just may not agree on the best way to solve that problem.

Obviously if you integrate all the functionality normally found in point solutions so that they all work on the same data set, it’s going to remove the issue of latency because all the solutions can work on the same data without needing it packaged up and delivered via a fairly expensive TCP connection.

That used to be “the big” problem application delivery solved. Today the focus is also on streamlining application delivery processes: the manual configuration and coordination of policies across disparate solutions designed to secure and speed the delivery of applications. That process, when using multiple point solutions, can become a nightmare. It’s not just the configuration of each individual device that’s the problem, it’s the coordination across all those solutions that becomes problematic and time consuming. Policies implemented and enforced on one point solution may interfere with the application of a policy on another device, conflicting with one another even though both are equally valid and equally necessary. Resolving those conflicts takes time and can actually require a re-architecting of the network. For example, where in the data flow you place certain solutions such as security can change how the policies act. If an intermediary acting as a full proxy changes, in any way, the application data or headers it can trigger false positives on security devices inspecting traffic behind it.

Encrypted data has to be decrypted to be inspected by security and content filtering solutions, so it’s essential to ensure that those solutions are in the flow in the right place in the network. Or you have to provide them with the proper certificates so they can decrypt the data, which means more management and tracking of certificates. This also introduces the potential for certificate theft as few devices have secure key stores and cert management. That’s assuming you can store the cert on an intermediary device; some provide no mechanism for doing so.

These problems are solved with an integrated application delivery solution because the policies are designed to collaborate with one another; to work in concert with each other rather than conflicting with one another. They have access to each other’s data if necessary and understand their relationship with one another. And when there is still a conflict – and there invariably is for some situations – then the answer is to reorder policies, not re-architect the network. The former is a much simpler solution that requires less time and fewer headaches.

An integrated solution also ensures the reuse of knowledge. If you know how to configure the application acceleration components you also know how to configure the application security, and the core load balancing features. The interfaces are the same and the processes (and terminology) are the same, which means less time spent learning the nuances of each product and becoming familiar with each product’s unique view of how the product should be configured and managed. This streamlines the application delivery process and makes it more efficient, which translates into reduced operating expenses.


THE PROBLEMS OF ACCURACY and CONTEXT


In an architecture comprised of multiple solutions, the only real way to share that context is to pass it around somehow between devices. The only exception to this is in the case of some security solutions that can be deployed in a bridged mode. IDS and web application firewalls are the most common example, where the solutions are deployed in such a way that the original requests are essentially broadcast to the devices, usually through the use of mirroring on the switch. This solution does solve the problem, but it also results in duplication of data on the network and increases the bandwidth used in the process.

The passing around of context between devices doesn’t happen for a number of reasons. Foremost is the lack of a communication protocol to do so. There is no “context-sharing” standard, no best practices, no agreed upon method of sharing that context between disparate devices. context While there may be a way to do so among products from a single vendor, anyone who builds an application delivery network based on individual components rarely sources from a single vendor, so any “sharing” of context that is possible is generally lost.

The other issue with a multiple-solution architecture is that many solutions are full proxies. That means that it is not the user that appears to be the client, it is the last intermediary in the chain of proxies that appears to be the client. If the flow of data is client –> SSL accelerator –> load balancer –> server then the load balancer sees the SSL accelerator as the client, and not the end-user. That means data regarding the network conditions for the client are not accurate. The load balancer sees the local segment of the network as the “client link” and any decisions made based on that will be based on incorrect data.

This problem is particularly prevalent in Web 2.0 applications which provide APIs for integration. Requests via the API have different requirements; they are treated differently than requests for the same data arriving via the web application itself. Without an intelligent infrastructure, the handling of these requests is spread across multiple pieces of infrastructure – and often in the application itself. A change in policy requires changes across multiple devices, which can not be only be time-consuming but is prone to error introduction based on the sheer volume of changes required.

In an integrated application delivery network the myriad functions are integrated and deployed on the same platform. This means that what one solution (e.g. security) does to data is understand and recognized by other solutions (e.g. caching and application acceleration). The context is preserved as requests and responses flow through the disparate functions. It solves the second issue – accurate data upon which to make decisions – by having access to the original request, from the network layer up to the application layer.


START SIMPLE, GROW LATER


Most organizations necessarily turn to application delivery solutions because they are in need of a high availability architecture; they need a load balancer. As scalability through virtualization (horizontal scalability) continues to rise in popularity as a more efficient means of achieving goals, load balancing will continue to be a more strategic part of the data center. It behooves network and system architects, then, to consider the long-term ramifications associated with virtualization and increasing demand on applications in terms of access, performance, and security. Doing so should, according to analysts, lead those architects to determine that an application delivery networking solution will serve their needs best as it is these very issues that are addressed by such platforms.

Choosing a modularized, extensible application delivery platform allows architects to start with load balancing and add additional functionality as they need and in such a way as to allow them to truly design a solution that fits their specific needs rather than simply acquire and deploy more devices that may dictate changes in the network and infrastructure architecture. 

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About Lori MacVittie
Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.

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Internet of Things at Cloud Expo
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[June 5 - 7 2018]


Internet of Things at Cloud Expo 2018 East
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Sponsorship opportunities are now open for Internet of Things at Cloud Expo 2018 New York, taking place June 5-7, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, and Internet of Things at Cloud Expo 2018 Silicon Valley, November 6-8, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For sponsorship, exhibit opportunities and show prospectus, please contact Carmen Gonzalez, carmen (at) sys-con.com.



@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

MAHADEV
Cisco

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

FELICIANO
AMDG

PAUL
VenueNext

SMITH
Eviot

BEAMER
goTraverse

GETTENS
goTraverse

CHAMBLISS
ReadyTalk

HERBERTS
Cityzen Data

REITBAUER
Dynatrace

WILLIAM-
SON

Cloud
Computing

SCHMARZO
EMC

WOOD
VeloCloud

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

VARAN-
NATH

GE

SRIDHARA-
BALAN

Pulzze

METRIC
Linux

MONTES
Iced

ARIOLA
Parasoft

HOLT
Daitan

CUNNING-
HAM

ReadyTalk

BEDRO-
SIAN

Cypress

NAMIE
Cisco

NAKA-
GAWA

Transparent
Cloud

SHIBATA
Transparent
Cloud

BOYD
Neo4j

VANDER-
MINDEN

Flatiron
Strategies

JAME-
NSKY

Embotics

KOCHER
Grey Heron

SPROULE
Metavine

BLACK
SQLstream

WARD
DWE

MILLER
Covisint

EVAVOLD
Covisint

MEINER
Oracle

MEEHAN
Esri

WITECK
Citrix

LIANG
Rancher Labs

BUTLER
Tego

ROWE
IBM Cloud

SKILLERN
Intel

SMITH
Numerex
@ThingsExpo New York All-Star Speakers Include

CLELAND
HGST

VASILIOU
Catchpoint

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

HINCH-
CLIFFE

7Summits

DE SOUZA
Cisco

RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
Infobright

QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
Cognizant

KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

GOLO
SHUBIN

Bit6

PROIETTI
Location
Smart

MARTIN
nfrastructure

MOULINE
Everbridge

MARSH
Blue Pillar

PARKS
SecureRF

PEROTTI
Plantronics

HOFFMAN
EastBanc

WATSON
Trendalyze

BENSONOFF
Unigma

SHAN
CTS

MATTELA
Redpine

GILLEN
Spark
Coginition

SOLT
Netvibes

BERNARDO
GE Digital

ROMANSKY
TrustPoint

BEAMER
GoTransverse

LESTER
LogMeIn

PONO
-MAREVA

Google

SINGH
Sencha

CALKINS
Amadeus

KLEIN
Rachio

HOASIN
Aeris

SARKARIA
PHEMI

SPROULE
Metavine

SNELL
Intel

LEVINE
CytexOne

ALLEN
Freewave

MCCALLUM
Falconstor

HYEDT
Seamless

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

SCHULZ
Luxoft

TAMBURINI
Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
SaneIoT

TURNER
Cloudian

ENDO
Intrepid

NAKAGAWA
Transparent

SHIBATA
Transparent

LEVANT-LEVI
testRTC

VARAN NATH
GE

COOPER
M2Mi

SENAY
Teletax

SKEEN
Vitria

KOCHER
Grey Heron

GREENE
PubNub

MAGUIRE
HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

PAOLALANTORIO
DataArchon

KAHN
Solgenia

LOPEZ
Kurento

KIM
MapR

BROMHEAD
Instaclustr

LEVINE
CytexOne

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

GORBACHEV
Intelligent
Systems

THYKATTIL
Navisite

TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
KRISHNAN

Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

DE SOUZA
Cisco

POTTER
SafeLogic

ROBINSON
CompTIA

WARUSA
-WITHANA

WSO2 Inc

MEINER
Oracle

CHOU
Microsoft

HARRISON
Tufin

BRUNOZZI
VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
Basho

TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
Liaison

ADAMIAK
Liaison

KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
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."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

Download Cloud Expo Show Guide
Cloud Expo Show Guide
Download PDF

Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Lissette Mercado at lissette@sys-con.com.

@ThingsExpo Blogs
This is the time of year when everyone makes his or her predictions for 2018. I have my predictions as well, but wanted to do something a bit more fun. So I thought I’d look backwards to the state of technology 50 years ago to gain some insights that we can use to make projections about 2018. That is, what “predictions” made in the 1950’s might tell us about 2018. However, it’s really hard to find predictions about the future made in the 1950’s. There was no Internet or Social Media or Reality TV, so I found the next best proxy…sci-fi movies! I decided to review the most popular sci-fi mo...
Our cities have been connected since the dawn of urbanization in the Indus Valley and on the plains of Mesopotamia nearly ten millennia ago. Cities exist to gather and connect people, bringing us together into communities and joint ventures that need complex networks of communication. But in recent years the connected city has come to mean something more. Today and in the future, the connected city will not just be about people connecting with people, but people with machines, people with people via machines, and perhaps most importantly, machines with machines.
The time of year when crystal balls get a viewing and many pundits put out their annual predictions for the coming year. Copying off since 2012, rather than thinking up my own, I figured I’d regurgitate what many others expect to happen. Top 10 Cyber Security Predictions for 2018 – Infosec Institute kicks off this year’s Top 10, Top 10 list with a look back at their 2017 predictions (AI, IoT, etc.) and dives head first into 2018 noting that Ransomware will be the most dangerous threat to organizations worldwide; cryptocurrency will attract fraudsters looking to mine; cloud security will (ag...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development process, accelerating application delivery times, and ensuring that developers will become hero...
A strong declaration from a historically antagonist foe should put chills in the hearts of Americans preparing themselves for the world ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world [1]” … The ruler of the world! From the article (with some modification to avoid political landmines), we get the following: “The development of artificial intelligence has increasingly become a national security concern in recent years. It is China and the US (not Russia), which are seen as the two frontrunners, with China recently announcing its ambi...
This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been the subject of much discourse in the last several years. They were widely anticipated in the gaming and entertainment industries, but in marketing and corporate settings, the benefits were murky at best. Today, these technologies are becoming more of a reality in all areas of business. For example, the new IKEA® shopping app leverages augmented reality to help shoppers determine how certain popular items will look in their homes – no trip to a crowded megastore necessary. Marriott® deployed virtual reality for customers to see its hot...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As we end 2017, I’m tired of writing “lecturing” blogs about what organizations should be doing to master data monetization in order to power their business models and achieve digital transformation. While the objective of every organization should be to master big data and data science (artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning) to drive “data monetization,” let’s take a breath and have some fun. My recent ankle surgery afforded me the opportunity to binge watch “Game of Thrones.” As I watched the impending battle between the White Walkers and humanity, I couldn’t help but ...
For better or worse, big data has irrevocably altered the digital landscape. The explosion in variety, velocity, volume and value of information presents an abundance of previously unimaginable opportunity. But it also creates a number of challenges that need to be successfully navigated. This reshaped technical world poses the following question to organizations: do you risk presenting, stale, incorrect or erroneous data to your customers? Because, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data now being created every day, finding a way to manage and harness such potential is a new experience for everyo...
Net Neutrality rules were originally enacted to ensure that all Americans would have equal access to a free and open Internet. We can argue about what Net Neutrality rules did and did not accomplish in a moment, but now I want to explore the most sensational of all the post–Net Neutrality fears: the death of the Internet. If you’re still reading, you know that the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality rules (aka the Open Internet) and replace it with the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. The outcry from the Open Internet camp has been loud, hyperbolic, hypothetical, and mostly based on the fun...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
“Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
What's disruptive innovation, and why does it matter to leaders in the C-suite? It's how the savvy non-conformist will target market opportunities. How does this happen, when established companies seem to have the advantage? Creative software developers can quickly apply new technologies and digital business models to capture untapped demand.

Moreover, the most disruptive new companies will eventually reshape entire industries, swiftly pushing aside the legacy incumbent players -- it's a form of Digital Darwinism. The global networked economy will blossom, thanks to the pervasive In...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infras...
So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.