Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Dalibor Siroky, Jignesh Solanki, Karthick Viswanathan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Linux Containers, @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

In-Stream Processing | @CloudExpo @robinAKAroblimo #BigData #AI #BI #DX

We are still getting sales reports and other information we need to run our business long after the fact

Most of us have moved our web and e-commerce operations to the cloud, but we are still getting sales reports and other information we need to run our business long after the fact. We sell a hamburger on Tuesday, you might say, but don't know if we made money selling it until Friday. That's because we still rely on Batch processing, where we generate orders, reports, and other management-useful pieces of data when it's most convenient for the IT department to process them, rather than in real time. That was fine when horse-drawn wagons made our deliveries, but it is far too slow for today's world, where stock prices and other bits of information circle the world (literally) at the speed of light. It's time to move to In-Stream Processing. You can't - and shouldn't - keep putting it off.

[Figure 1, courtesy of the Grid Dynamics Blog]

This diagram may look complicated at first, but if you trace the lines it will soon become clear. The only thing that might throw some managers for a loop is the "Data Science" box at the bottom. This term may seem intimidating, but in real life it's just a method of deciding what data is most important to extract from the data stream as it flows by, and how it should best be displayed to the business people who are its end users. Some say, "Data science is just a sexed-up term for statistics." Perhaps. But title aside, displaying the dynamic information needed to run a business - and only that information - in real-time is what In-Stream Processing is all about.

Data Nuggets in the Stream
A retailer may do 100,000 POS credit card transactions per day. That's nice to know, and it's nice to have a dashboard-type display that shows them in real-time, and shows upward and downward trends minute by minute so that cashiers can be assigned with maximum efficiency. In-Stream Processing can do this, and with the right output devices, can even trigger a storewide PA announcement that automatically says, "All cashiers to the front, please." Opening more registers as soon as checkout volume starts to trend upwards makes customers happy. Even the announcement makes them happy, because it shows that management cares about them.

And buried in those 100,000 credit card transactions, there is one that is an attempt to use a stolen card. Obviously, that transaction will be declined. But then what? In the era of batch processing, an automated alert might get sent to management or loss control hours or days after the miscreant was gone. Perhaps the cashier called security, perhaps he didn't. After all, he had other customers in line, and when he told the person with the hot credit card that it was declined, the criminal probably bolted, and the cashier didn't give chase because it was probably against store policy - and he had other things to worry about, anyway.

Now let's fast-forward to tomorrow, when we have In-Stream Processing up and running. The second - literally the second - the hot credit card transaction takes place, both the store's loss control people and management at HQ learn about it. Store security can head for the appropriate POS before the bogus customer is informed that "his" credit card is no good. Indeed, notifying the cashier, and therefore the bogus customer, that the card has been declined can be automatically delayed until store security personnel acknowledge receipt of the alert, which gives them a far greater chance to detain the criminal than they had in the bad old days before they had In-Stream Processing as an anti-theft weapon.

Predicting production failures with In-Stream Processing
Now, let's turn our sights from the POS system to the conveyors in our packing and shipping facility. Whoops! It seems the drive motor for belt number five is suddenly running at 40 degrees C instead of its typical 30C - 32C. If we don't learn about this for a day or two, chances are we'll have burnt-out motor to replace, and we've had a packing line down for a number of hours.

With In-Stream Processing, we can see temperature sensor output changes instantly, and even have alerts set to go off if they move more than X degrees outside their normal operating range. We can do the same thing with strain gauges and many other measurement devices. We can even check the number of boxes getting packed on each line, with alerts set for changes beyond our expectations so that a manager can check that line to make sure everything is okay both with the workers and with their equipment.

The sooner a potential problem is detected, the better our chance of solving it before it becomes a major, costly problem. This applies to almost every aspect of our business, including a sudden spate of customer calls about problems with a particular product.

Keeping irritated customers from becoming angry customers
An exciting recent development in call center management, which couldn't have happened before big data and the cloud made immense data processing power and data storage available at low (and ever-dropping) prices is Emotion Analysis. It's no great trick for a human to tell whether a caller is happy, inquisitive, upset or downright angry. But this is a recent trick for computers, and is just now starting to become a practical business application.

The idea is that as soon as the system detects unhappiness beyond a preset level in a customer's voice, the call is automatically diverted to a supervisor or 2nd-level support person. In theory, a first-tier support person should be able to detect that unhappiness and call for help, but as you know from your own experience calling businesses for help, people in the first support tier may not be capable of recognizing unhappiness even if - it often seems - you bluntly say, "I'm unhappy. Please get your supervisor."

Think what a pleasant surprise it would be if a fresh voice came on the line and said, "This is Ron, in support management. It sounds like you're upset. I don't blame you. Let's see what we can do to solve your problem!" We're not using a chatbot in this scenario - yet. It may not be long until we have good enough AI (or at least pseudo-AI), and good enough voice recognition to replace human customer service workers, but right now nothing beats a knowledgeable employee with the authority to actually make things right for a customer who has gotten a defective product or poor service of some sort.

But In-Stream Processing, running Emotion Analysis, can certainly help us hook our unhappy customer up with the person who can make her problems go away - and do it right now, not a week from Sunday.

New uses for In-Stream Processing are cropping up all the time
Indeed, Emotion Analysis and dozens of other applications that are new or are still being developed all depend on In-Stream Analysis, because they all rely on real-time or near-real-time processing, not processing that happens someday. Program trading is a great example. If you're doing high-frequency stock buying and selling, making hundreds or thousands of trades per minute (or even per second in some cases), you must be able to process data and make decisions - or have a program that makes decisions - fast enough that the length of your connection to the stock exchange can make a noticeable difference in your profits -- which is pretty darn fast.

-------------------------

With a little thought, you can almost certainly think of at least a few ways In-Stream Processing can benefit your business. If not, throw the idea out to your fellow executives. The chances are 100%, more or less, that within a week they'll think of at least a few ways In-Stream Processing can increase your profits.

More Stories By Robin Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a long-time IT journalist known for his work on Slashdot, Linux.com, and other sites covering software so new that its edges haven’t even started to bleed. Nowadays, he writes for FOSSForce.com and works as an editorial consultant and blog editor for Grid Dynamics, “the engineering IT services company known for transformative, mission-critical cloud solutions for retail, finance and technology sectors.”

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
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 ...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
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...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"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...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
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 develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"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.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...