The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Questions to be answered to modernize an application portfolio

apps modernization.pngI was talking an individual focused on application portfolio modernization the other day and we got into a discussion about portfolio management and determining value and cost for applications. A quadrant diagram with costs on one access and value on the other is one of the ways organizations can visualize their portfolio and determine which applications need to be focused upon – the high cost, low value ones.

 

That’s a great tool but we then got into a discussion about what leaders need to move past the tipping point and actually invest in making the change. Everyone understands the concept of technical debt and the fact that all application portfolios get more fragile with age.

 

Since I am interested in gamification, I thought of it from that perspective – based on the need for metrics and behavior modification.

 

Organizations want a variation of the scientific method to be applied:

1)      What needs to be done and why?

2)      How is it going to be accomplished?

3)      What is the expected outcome?

4)      When will it be done?

5)      How will we measure outcome so we can validate when the task is complete and effective?

6)      What resources will be required? ($$, people…)

 

I am sure I missed something in there but if you can answer questions like that effectively for the leaders, you should be able to get them onboard – assuming you don’t try to eat the elephant whole and take on too large a project too early.

 

The next day, I was talking with a team doing SAP consulting and deployment for HP ES and ran into the same kind of perspective -- talking about value of the effort from a proven basis. In this case, the team was working directly on the development and execution of SAP RDS.

 

When I was dealing with SAP (long ago), it was much more of a big bang approach, this RDS approach to embracing new technologies like HANA, mobile deployment and SAP as a whole was refreshing – at least to me. Many folks don’t realize the depth and breadth of the relationship between HP and SAP, fueled by the fact that SAP runs on more HP hardware than any other server, but also by the SAP consulting work underway to answer the kinds of questions listed above.

Cloud reference materials – for free…

cloud.pngEarlier this month, I had some fun posting a song about private cloud architects, today I’d like to back it up with some materials that may actually be useful.

 

HP and Microsoft have jointly defined a Departmental Private Cloud Reference Architecture   based on best-in-class HP Converged Infrastructure and Microsoft Windows Server with Hyper-V and System Center. This site may be useful for those going who are closely aligned with Microsoft’s approach to cloud computing.

 

There is also other reference architecture and materials sites like:

There are also a few free books at the HP Book Store, including:

CRM, Cloud computing, 2013 and changes in IT spending

rocket.jpg

Recently Gartner put out a press release saying Cloud and CRM will drive enterprise software spending in 2013 and 2014. I found this focus on CRM a bit confusing based on all the other demands on spending. One of the interesting areas is the use of private clouds. HP has some new hardware coming out soon that should be of interest to anyone interested in cloud hardware.

 

See if moonshot will be right for you. Many of the issues defined as tech trends, should be addressed more effectively and economically by the moonshot approach than traditional hardware. 

Moving closer to carbon based processing

It seems like about once a year there is another breakthrough story about graphene and its potential for high performance computing.  A recent paper describes a different transistor construction approach improves the performance-to-leakage ratio (Ion/Ioff) dramatically. This is crucial to lower power and reliable, higher performance. This article in NewScientist U-bend breakthrough for superfast graphene transistors, gives a bit more background for those interested.

 

New materials and approaches are going to be needed if we’re going to continue to have higher performance computers and not just continue to have more cores applied to problems. Some types of problems can be parallelized effectively, but not all.

 

On the other hand for those problems that can be broken into parallel execution, the advent of the 16 core Atom based processor may be the foundation for the next generation of data center hardware. I was part of team that took advantage of a structure similar to this in the mid-90s. We front-ended the I/O bound portion of a large ERP system with low cost, multi-core devices, freeing up the backend to do the heavy lifting. It was cheaper, more efficient and scalable. This may fly in the face of some organizations approach to IaaS where all VMs are targeted at the same type hardware but necessary as organizations expect different characteristics.

Unveiling new cloud offerings today

next generation enterprise.pngToday HP is announcing a few offerings building upon the Instant-On Enterprise focus from last fall. There are websites with all the details, but I thought I’d provide the highlights from my perspective.

The announcements introduce the following components:

  • HP Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute with the focus on a more agile way of accessing compute resources for organizations. It lets organizations scale their cloud capacity as much as they like within a range that the customer defines. So there is control as well as flexibility. Enterprises can choose between HP-managed or self-managed server packages – so it is more than just a virtual machine in the cloud (if you want it to be). One goal of this effort is to allow businesses to focus on their core goals like gaining market share, improving customer satisfaction, and growing their bottom line, without having to worry about the infrastructure operational details.
  • HP CloudSystem: this offering is a complete integrated system to build, manage and consume services across private, public and hybrid cloud environments. It is not just about what is out in the cloud but more of an enterprise integrated approach. This lack of a holistic view has always been a weakness of most cloud offerings (in my opinion). The offerings intelligent resource management capabilities automate the allocation of private and public cloud resources to enable an enterprise to meet cost, performance and compliance goals based on their pre-defined business policies.
  • HP Cloud Service Automation is a core management engine for private and public cloud environments. It enables enterprises to manage cloud services with one-touch provisioning and monitoring, include service levels. Too often organizations underestimate the effort required to deploy and manage applications in the cloud. As a result, they often experience costly delays and lose the cloud benefits that they sought in the first place. This tool is focused on addressing these concerns.
  • HP Cloud Discovery Workshop is focused on helping an enterprise develop a holistic cloud strategy. It is more of a facilitated exercise where the organization teases out their issues and requirements. By understanding critical success factors, benefits and challenges, it helps organizations make a more informed decision and helps them stay on the right path. It consists of a number of perspectives (or panels) to facilitate discovery. I actually coordinated the creation of the applications panel for this one with a team of folks from HP Enterprise Services.

 

The overarching theme is to enable organizations to increase their flexibility, visibility and transparent access to a wider range of computing capabilities -- enabling them to free up resources and support other business objectives.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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