Daily Tech Digest - March 07, 2020

Hybrid-cloud management requires new tools, skills

staffing the hybrid cloud 2 public private cloud clouds
A complex hybrid cloud requires constant oversight as well as a way to intuitively and effectively manage an array of operations, including network performance, workload management, security and cost control. Not surprisingly, given the large number of management tasks needed to run an efficient and reliable hybrid cloud environment, adopters can select from a rapidly growing array of management tools. "There’s a dizzying array of options from vendors, and it can be difficult to sort through them all," says R. Leigh Henning, principal network architect for data center operator Markley Group. "Vendors don’t always do the best job at making their differentiators clear, and a lot of time and effort is wasted as a result of this confusion. Companies are getting bogged down in an opaque field of choices." The current hybrid cloud management market is both immature and evolving, declares Paul Miller, vice president of hybrid cloud at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Vendors are still getting a handle on the types of management tools their customers need. "Offerings are limited and may not be supported across all public, on-premises and edges," Miller adds.

The tech foundations supporting financial services in Asia

“We measure our success based on our contribution to the overall strategy of the organisation,” Angelin-Linker explained. “This is achieved either through the introduction of automation, digitalisation or simply by providing effective solutions to allow our customers and staff to be productive. “Consumers will have a very different expectation on how they do their banking and how they want to get access to their financial information. “Business initiatives will be centred around mobility, flexibility and accessibility of services so our focus will be on how we can provide the information our customers want quickly and securely to help them make right decisions.” Angelin-Linker also emphasised the importance of investing in process improvements to deliver significant productivity improvements within the business, a task which will require a great deal of prioritisation.

3 microservices resiliency patterns for better reliability

While the retry pattern works for transient failures, teams still need a reliable microservices resiliency pattern that handles larger, long-term, permanent faults. If a retry mechanism accidentally invokes a severely damaged service several times until it gets the desired result, it could result in cascading service failures that become increasingly difficult to identify and fix. The circuit breaker pattern creates a component that resembles a traditional electric circuit breaker. This component sits between requesting services and the services' endpoints. As long as these services communicate normally, the circuit breaker delegates messages between them in a closed state. When a retried service request travelling through the closed circuit fails a predetermined number of times, the breaker opens the message circuit to halt service execution. During this open state, the breaker stops service execution and returns error messages to the requesting service for each failed transaction.

Building intelligent school security systems of tomorrow

While greater application of video based tools for improving school and campus security is a positive sign, it is only the tip of the ice berg. Administrations are just beginning to scratch the surface of their video systems’ capabilities beyond security monitoring. When integrated with video analytics, schools can use their security cameras for proactive crime prevention and smarter operational planning. The data that video solutions yield is invaluable and can substantially improve public safety and the overall campus experience for staff and students. From a perimeter security perspective, cameras with analytics, such as facial, object and motion detection, act as a force multiplier for threat detection. For example, individuals who are not permitted to enter campus, such as known sex offenders or criminally wanted persons, can be identified just by walking into the view of a camera, in which case security personnel and police can be immediately notified. Security directors can track suspicious bags or other objects, dispatching an officer to the scene for further investigation.

Forget foldable phones. Large rollable displays are the way to go

The mockup had no electronics, and the display was little more than a thin, flimsy-feeling plastic sheet printed with what the display would look like. There were multiple instances when I had trouble prying the thing open. And the entire time, I was fearful it would break. TCL said it has a working prototype, including a mechanism that automatically opens and closes the phone. We saw footage of the device and the moving screen. It moved slower than we would've liked, and still looked rough as a prototype. But the idea is enough to get me excited, and aside from the wow factor, there are a few reasons why. Much of the attention around foldables has been focused on the hinge and getting the display to fold down completely. That's why the Mate X folds outward, and why the Galaxy Fold has an unsightly gap in the middle. The clamshell Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr use different hinges to minimize the actual turn radius, but they don't actually fold flat. A scrollable phone would avoid that issue. Because it would roll out, there'd be no need for it to fold completely shut or for a fancy hinge to get around the crease issue. There wouldn't be creases.

It’s time to stop calling every firm that uses technology a tech company

It’s important to draw a distinction between what a tech company is and isn’t not only because mislabeling could portend another stock market bubble, but because management’s attention, like other resources, is limited. A tech-bedazzled management is liable to spend too much time, money, and energy on the underlying technology, or the touting of it, rather than on what will ultimately determine whether the company can grow, scale, and prosper. So how do we decide which companies get to be called tech companies and which are using the term as sleight of hand? Defining a company begins first by looking at what it produces and sells. Second, going deeper, it means asking not just what the company sells, but what the customer buys. Finally, defining the company means asking who the competitors are and why customers choose one company over another. The first element is what a company sells; the second is what customers want; the third is what they want from that specific company. The sum of those answers will tell you what that company is and what it should be designed to be.

Enterprises being won over by speed, effectiveness of network automation

gears / build management + automation / circuits
Network automation is designed to streamline the maintenance of physical and virtual network devices. Enterprises are looking to reduce their dependency on manual methods, and automation can simplify repetitive IT processes, improve consistency across branches and geographies, lower operational costs, and reduce human errors. Enterprises are deploying automation technologies in various types of networks, across data centers, wide area networks (WAN) and cloud environments. Major players in the market include traditional network vendors such as Cisco Systems and VMware; IT management players including SolarWinds, Forward Networks and Micro Focus; and automation specialists and startups such as AppViewX and NetBrain Technologies. It's a burgeoning field: MarketsandMarkets Research reports that the global network automation market is on track to grow from $2.3 billion in 2017 to an estimated $16.9 billion by 2022. "It’s a really exciting topic in the networking industry right now because the scale and complexity of networks is really greater than it ever was before," says Brandon Butler, senior research analyst covering enterprise networks at IDC, a Framingham, Mass.-based industry analyst firm.

Is IT the Good Guy or Bad Guy in Upskilling?

Image: Pixabay
How can CIOs lead change and drive digital training to close the skills gap across the entire organization? Instead of compartmentalizing learning to only technical skills, CIOs should lead by example to enable a culture of workforce-led innovation, an approach built around leadership and employee crowdsourcing. They are in the prime position to demonstrate different ways of applying technology in real business scenarios. Consider data: In HR, mixed data sources perform predictive data analytics to identify future skills, and challenges related to both old and new data warehousing pop up. Data governance becomes hypercritical and IT is distinctively positioned to support this function. As for the hub: The need for a virtual lab environment is logical to support citizen-led digital innovation. Who has the best timesheet bots? Who wrote the best demand pipeline visualization? The trick to scaling all of this is interoperability. And IT is especially primed to address this since it’s been making workforce technology interoperable dating back to the when PCs entered the workplace in large numbers.

How do software developers and architects work together?

Developers should ask lots of questions when they work with architects, Holnes said. Understand why the architect makes certain decisions, and repeat back information to ensure a shared understanding. Developers and architects collaborate best when the thought process is public. Context matters. For example, the architect announces that the team will build a web app feature for online shoppers with Python, even though two developers are experts in Go. Go would ensure high performance, but the whole team doesn't use it yet, and the retailer they work for wants the capability ready for a major product launch. In this case, Python is the right choice to balance benefits and constraints. On another project, however, the architect might ask developers to choose the language. Just as code-savvy architects can benefit a project, architecture-savvy developers are an asset.

How agile teams can support incident management

During an incident, software developers should aid in fixing the issue and restoring service in minimal time. Once the developers are called in, the assumption must be that operational engineers have already reviewed and possibly ruled out infrastructure-related concerns, and that site reliability engineers have already explored a list of common problems with the application. When there is a major incident, incident managers will often set up bridge calls, chat sessions, and physical war rooms to assemble a multidisciplinary team to work through the problem collaboratively. Developers who are called in should know and follow the incident response and communications protocols established for these war rooms. In the war room, developers should be application experts. After reviewing monitors, log files, and other alerts, they should make recommendations on courses of action. It’s essential to use specific language and separate fact from speculation.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is a dynamic process that expresses our skill, our aspirations, and our essence as human beings." -- Catherine Robinson-Walker

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