|By Michael Bushong||
|July 30, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
The primary indicator of success is success. That is to say that the number one thing people look to as a predictor of future performance is past performance. In the product space, this means that things like adoption are important as much for what it signals to other people as they are for bottom line revenues. And this is true even in the open source world.
As SDN speeds its way towards mainstream adoption, this means that projects like OpenDaylight will need to establish early on that they are not only deployable but also deployed.
Open source adoption
People frequently point to Linux as an example of an open source project that has seen wide adoption. But even Linux adoption did not happen overnight. It took more than a decade to see growth. And if you look at RedHat as an indicator of when that growth spawned commercial success, you have to extend all the way out to 2012 before the first $1B fiscal year.
The point here is not that Linux was not successful but rather that it took time to become successful. And the more success there was, the more success there tends to be. The rise of RedHat has enabled an acceleration of Linux deployments, in part because of an improved support model but in part because it represents a visible measure of commercial viability.
OpenDaylight and adoption timelines
Now consider that Linux was largely unknown and had virtually no expectations around it when it was created. There was no market that was waiting for it to hit. There were not industry players banking on its commercial success. There was not an entire technology movement underway dependent in part on the rise of a vendor-neutral platform.
The conditions under which OpenDaylight has been incubated are markedly different. And that means the expectations are different. Imagine how OpenDaylight would be evaluated if it took more than a decade to reach any kind of adoption. The pundits would not be kind, the customers would not be happy, and the companies expecting OpenDaylight to contribute to their commercial success would not be satisfied. OpenDaylight simply has to accelerate adoption.
What the bulls would say
Those bullish on OpenDaylight will tell you that conditions are certainly different. Open source is a better understood beast than it was in the early 90s. The lessons learned by those that championed Linux should result in faster adoption for projects that follow, and having the very group responsible for Linux (the Linux Foundation) at the helm only makes those lessons easier to put to use. There is an entire consortium of industry giants and would-be giant slayers who are building products and an ecosystem around OpenDaylight. Marketing efforts are helping drive awareness in both the vendor and user communities.
There are absolutely reasons to believe that adoption will happen faster than it did the first go-around.
What the bears would say
But there is a case to be made for the bears as well. SDN is more than a new technology; it’s a new architecture. Migration between architectures is far more disruptive, and thus more risky. The only way to mitigate risk is to move even slower, waiting for others to pave the way. And with a much lower volume of customers to pull from, this means that there will be fewer success stories early on and less overall experience to rely on. On top of that, while the consortium of companies is building products, they continue to sling their legacy portfolios that compete with the very thing they are collaborating on. Can they possibly be expected to push forward aggressively?
The missing ingredient
So what is missing for OpenDaylight to be successful?
In a word, deployments. But how do solutions get deployed? In the networking world at least, the answer is that they are pushed by the people building and ultimately selling them. Whether that’s the vendor itself or the resellers working on its behalf, there is someone on the end of the sales cycle who is explaining to the customer why and how they should deploy the solution.
Who is going to do that for OpenDaylight?
Right now, the answer is unclear. The most obvious answer is that OpenDaylight needs a RedHat to help speed deployments. In the OpenDaylight case, RedHat seems like the likely company to be RedHat. They are already OpenDaylight contributors, and they understand the business model well enough that they should be able to take a page from their own playbook.
But RedHat doesn’t own the networking channel or have the networking street cred. It’s not that they cannot be successful, but it will take more than RedHat to sell OpenDaylight.
Of course, the individual vendors all have a stake in OpenDaylight as well. Maybe they will make up the salesforce? Perhaps. But there is a challenge here. OpenDaylight is not really a revenue generator (at least not right away and not directly). Individual salespeople are compensated on the revenue they bring in. They don’t have a personal incentive to promote an open source project. More tactically, even if they wanted to, they aren’t fully trained on how it works and how they ought to be selling it. And even then, whatever they do know will be specific to the context in which the rest of their product catalog functions. A huge part of the value of OpenDaylight is that it works in heterogeneous environments and has technologies contributed from a bunch of different players. No salesperson is ever going to promote those aspects as aggressively as their own products.
What is needed?
If the problem is similar to a sales problem, then the solution will resemble a sales solution. Adoption will hinge on marketing to drive awareness and field enablement to drive sales capability. The first one is already being done with great effect, but the second one is missing. It’s hard to enable a salesforce that doesn’t really exist.
My suspicion is that the very thing that makes OpenDaylight powerful from a development perspective will swoop in to help out here: namely, the open source community. If community members who are leading adoption become active ambassadors for OpenDaylight, they can take the role of a Systems Engineer (SE) and help speed along deployments.
Engagements will be a little bit tough. Pairing ambassadors with active opportunities is non-trivial because it requires the customer to seek counsel from an ambassador they do not know while being presumably in a sales cycle that is led by vendors who are pushing alternative solutions. Fortunately, the biggest thing OpenDaylight can help do here is right up its alley: provide transparency. If customers are active in registering OpenDaylight opportunities, the Linux Foundation can pair ambassadors with those seeking guidance.
The bottom line
The industry needs a neutral point of control, and having every company reinvent and maintain a common platform is silly. Open source is a great way to advance the industry while limiting overlapping investment on the vendor side. But for adoption to take place, adoption has to happen. OpenDaylight can do something to solve this chicken-and-egg problem. Ultimately, if OpenDaylight is successful at providing opportunity transparency to its community, everyone benefits.
[Today’s fun fact: A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, but a group of geese in the air is a skein. This is to flocking hard to remember.]
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 30, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 382
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, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, 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.
Nov. 30, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 493
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 347
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 605
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 AM EST Reads: 435
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 446
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 448
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Nov. 30, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 449
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 488
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 358
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 423
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 428
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).
Nov. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 530
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 334
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 455
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 347
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 234
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 284
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 29, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 502
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:45 AM EST Reads: 746