September 22, 2015

Microsoft forges ahead with 'Prajna' big-data analytics framework for cloud services

The "functional programming" component of Prajna has to do with F#, the .Net functional programming language. ... "Prajna offers real-time in-memory data analytical capability similar to Spark (but on .Net platform), but offers additional capability to allow programmer to easily build and deploy cloud services, and consume the services in mobile apps, and build distributed application with state (e.g., a distributed in-memory key-value store)," that job posting adds. ... the Microsoft team claims that Prajna is pushing the distributed functional programming model further than Spark does by "enabling multi-cluster distributed programming, running both managed code and unmanaged code, in-memory data sharing across jobs, push data flow, etc."

IoT: Connect Physical and Digital Worlds for New Business Models

A physical thing becomes “smart” when it connects to the digital world. The layers 2,3 and 4 allows us to invent and propose to individuals (customers but also citizens) new services (digital services of layer 5). One important fact is that layers 1 through 5 cannot be created independently of each other. That is why the arrows connecting them are bi‐directional in fig 1. An IoT solution with value is usually not the simple addition of layers, but rather, an integration extending into the physical level. How the hardware is built, for instance, is increasingly influenced by the subsequent digital levels and on the other hand, software which compose the digital levels and must be designed to fit the physical levels.

A new breed of database hopes to blend the best of NoSQL and RDBMS

Relationships are as important as the data itself in today's connected world. Use cases that require modeling complex relationships are the best for graph databases. As such, Real Time Recommendation, Fraud Detection, Master Data Management, Social Networks, Network Management, Geolocalized Apps and Routing, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Identity Management, and many others come to mind. ... OrientDB is a distributed graph database where every vertex and edge is a JSON document. In other words, OrientDB is a native multi-model database and marries the connectedness of graphs, the agility of documents, and the familiar SQL dialect.

Data Governance and Data Management Are Not Interchangeable

The funny thing is, vendors actually began drinking their own marketing Kool-aid and think of their MDM, quality, security, and lifecycle management products as data governance tools/solutions. Storage and virtualizations vendors are even starting to grock on to this claiming they govern data. Big data vendors jumped over data management altogether and just call their catalogs, security, and lineage capabilities data governance. ... First, you (vendor or data professional) cannot simply sweep the history of legacy data investments that were limited in results and painful to implement under the MadMen carpet. Own it and address the challenges through technology innovation rather than words.

3 key DevOps principles to apply to your IT team

Development teams want to launch features fast and frequently while IT Ops wants to maintain infrastructure stability and availability – which means as little changes as possible. Customers want both. ... Developers are often isolated from the rest of IT in larger organizations. Even though they’re part of the same department, lack of collaboration can impact how teams work without so much of a reason as people sit in different parts of the building or don’t talk at lunch. However, they often need to work together. Not only should developers assign resources for escalation, but also they should also support the SLA with the customer. The SLA makes them accountable for impact to business productivity, aligning them with IT.

Test, deploy, release ... repeat

The Toyota Kata refers to this as establishing “strategic direction.” To Stephen Bungay, though, it is strategic intent and Hoshin Kanri calls it strategy deployment.  Once you have a strategic direction, you can find out where the gaps are, then establish immediate steps, called a target condition and move toward that goal. ... One way to conduct a gap analysis is to look at the entire process: Build, Test, Fix, Deploy-Coordinate, Deploy/Do -- looking at how long each step takes if done ideally, and the various ways that step breaks down. Eventually, you'll find a bottleneck: a step that’s holding back improvement the most. Sometimes, the what-to-fix isn't the bottleneck, but the easiest to improve right now.

OpenStack + Windows Nano Server

Nano Server is a Windows OS created for the cloud age. It has been announced by Microsoft this April and is going to be shipped with Windows Server 2016. What makes Nano Server special? A very small disk footprint compared to traditional Windows Server deployments (a few hundred MB instead of multiple GB); A very limited attack surface; A very limited number of components, which means fewer updates and fewer reboots; and Much faster virtual and bare-metal deployment times due to the reduced footprint. ... In short, the OS has been stripped from everything that is not needed in a cloud environment, in particular the GUI stack, the x86 subsystem (WOW64), MSI installer support and unnecessary API.

Q&A on the Scrumban [R]Evolution

In Scrumban, teams can still employ the same estimation techniques, but they can enhance their understanding of the work in the context of their historical performance. Delivery time -- the amount of time it takes for work to be completed once it has begun -- can be graphically plotted to reflect the team’s distribution pattern. These kinds of additional views into the team’s work provides many advantages.  From a team standpoint, they begin to better understand the degree of variability in their historical deliveries. They can explore whether or not some of that variability can be correlated to other factors, and manage their estimation and Sprint planning process from a position of superior understanding of their historical performance.

Five digital disruptors talk successes and strategies

Success in breaking down barriers doesn't come from just talking the talk. Conophy is strategic when pairing up a member of his team with a business colleague, selecting someone who understands business basics such as how the company makes money and is patient enough to sit in a room with the business and field question after question. "It's a different dynamic," Conophy said. "And that also means your people have to be articulate, understand the technology ecosystem and, at the same time, understand the business to be effective in that room." He's also introduced a two-speed IT model by unshackling "those at the sharp end of the sharp end" -- potential digital disruptors -- from traditional IT functions so that they can experiment, innovate and "go after the likes of a different kind of competitor," he said.

Instead of robots taking jobs, A.I. may help humans do their jobs better

"Think about when Luke Skywalker loses his hand," said Melroy. "He gets a new one and it can feel. It's no different. He can continue to function in all the ways he was used to. The ability to control that new hand with your brain and have seamless sensing in real life? Absolutely, that is coming. That is five to 10 years away." To make that work, Melroy said, we'll need to be able to communicate with our smart devices without typing on a keyboard or using a mouse. Even spoken commands would be too awkward. We'll need to communicate with our assistants or devices with our thoughts. According to several researchers, such an advance is not far away.

Quote for the day:

"Every time you share your vision, you strengthen your own subconscious belief that you can achieve it." -- Jack Canfield