Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mihai Corbuleac, David Bermingham

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Java IoT, Microservices Expo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Re-Distributed Computing

What have we developers been doing over the last decade?

This morning, Chaucer, our relatively new Sheltie puppy, took off with my slippers. I found one lying in his favorite spot almost immediately, but the other had gone missing. I wandered about the house with one slipper in hand while he hid in his kennel, knowing I was angry but not quite understanding why. It made me ponder the state of computing today, and where we’re headed, because it made me ponder years ago with our last dog, doing exactly the same thing. One was a Shih Tzu, the other is a Sheltie, but puppies chew on slippers with rawhide ties, doesn’t matter the breed or how many years in between.

Interesting thing about the state of the computing market, puppies – all puppies – do chew on slippers, and that rarely changes, even as we see change all around us in the high-tech world. The corollary? I sat down to learn Android development at a level most people aren’t interested in learning months ago, and guess what? After a decade of progress and hype about new and different, I wrote in Java and C++, used some of the same libraries I used when writing for the Blackberry several years ago, and made calls to most of the familiar parts of Java and quite a few unfamiliar that haven’t significantly changed. The same is largely true of Objective-C. I used it a very long time ago, and while there have been changes, it’s still Objective-C.

The same is largely true of .NET development. There have been changes over the years, but for the last decade or so, they’ve changed .NET less than they’ve changed the command line (if you count PowerShell). Alternative languages like Ruby have come along, and those of us who geek out on this stuff have tried them, but to-the-hardware development is still done largely in C/C++, and high-level software development is still done largely in Java and .NET with a healthy dose of PHP. The databases organizations ask for have been stable for just about as long. No, I’m not ignoring the Hadoop and derivatives craze, regular app developers are rarely asked for that skill set as a primary skill – so far.

So what have we developers been doing over the last decade? Learning new platforms, of course. Learning new ways to integrate, of course, but largely, not stretching enough. There are day-to-day problems we’re dealing with, and every dev has to learn new things just to do their job, but they’re largely mundane or vertical things.

To some extent, the fragmentation of dev combined with the growth of software as the engine of business and a projected reduction in development jobs that never seems to have occurred all contribute to this scenario. And of course, the difficulty in displacing languages with millions or billions of lines of code impact it.

So does a slowdown in what is revolutionary, I think. after SOA, what next? Well, there have been a lot of developments, from Git to AWS, but in the end, development is much the same. PaaS changed that very little, though it was the most likely of the cloud technologies to do so. We also filter a lot, I think. Do you write multi-core code? Seriously? Most devs in the enterprise don’t, even though there are documented benefits. That’s “beneath the hood” so-to-speak.

So what has me excited? There are signs of significant change. SDN promises not just a change in platform, but hooks you can manipulate to make your code more reliable. It’s not a Brave New World or anything, but it is food for improving App Dev without a seismic shift in development environments or methodology. The future of mobile device development promises more changes too, as more and more devices suck up more and more bandwidth. An interesting analyst note was that 4G wasn’t helping because devices were being added to the network faster than the network speed was improving. That means optimized communications either in the app or in a device between the app and users, is going to continue to be important.

Things like Git fall firmly into the re-distributed computing category. It’s a server. Always. You may not think of it as one, but if I have permissions, I can ask to clone the code in your repository. That’s a server. With the added resiliency that so is every other dev machine. Which means the loss of a “server” is not likely to be catastrophic as long as best practices for SVN have been followed. Someone will have a new enough copy that only the most recent work will be lost. And of course, if you’re replicating to GitHub, the likelihood of a catastrophic loss is even smaller. Not a huge change (it’s still version control), but a change that stabilizes source issues in the loss of a single machine.

This whole micro-server concept will creep in elsewhere, I think. Making a single machine or VM the repository of knowledge critical to your business has never been a great idea, and our outrageous backup plans show we know that at some level. If we’re replicating by virtue of daily business, it will increase network traffic in exchange for less single points of failure. Which means it will happen, because network bandwidth always increases, single points of failure are always a weak point.

As to languages, the death of Java has been predicted a lot, but I just don’t see it happening any time soon. Java and .NET are both general purpose environments suited to the current state of enterprise computing. Mobile may produce something that truly changes things, but at this point it doesn’t look like it. Low-level systems and those that need greater performance will likely continue with C/C++, though the number of environments that entails will continue to decrease. RoR and PHP will continue to eat a lot of web UI space because they’re particularly suited to it, and we’ll continue on our way.  Command line scripting languages are almost never impacted by even seismic change, so nothing to see there.

In short, the places to innovate are the connections we can make to other parts of the network – applications and increasingly infrastructure. REST and SOA will continue to rule that space.

So we’re re-redistributing. Don’t get complacent. In high tech, when you cannot see the massive changes, that means they’re happening incrementally. Continue to grow, stretch your boundaries. Try new things. Bring more to the table, because it is the external environment that is currently changing, and that needs to be accounted for in application development.

And if you haven’t tried out Git, go check it out (pun intended), you’ll find it intuitive and well documented.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is currently a Senior Solutions Architect at StackIQ, Inc. He is also working with Mesamundi on D20PRO, and is a member of the Stacki Open Source project. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
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, wh...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
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 sett...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...