Posts Tagged ‘Enterprise Software’

Why the F22 Crashed and the iPad Took Off

October 20, 2011

In the 20th century the majority of innovation started as evil nations wanted to destroy other nations.

As a result, the evil (and peaceful) nations devoted large chunks of their tax money to the defense budget.

The flow of research money was the following:

Public (taxes) -> Government -> Defense Agencies -> Universities -> Private Companies (implementation)

Research Budget Flow

Research Budget Flow

Many of the most important contributions to technology and science were created or commercialized through this path: the internet, GPS, atomic energy , satellites and plenty more.

The innovation flowed from the government to enterprises and only then into consumers.

Space and Aviation -> Military ->  Large Enterprises -> Civilian Government -> Small Enterprises -> Consumers

The early experiments or products were extremely  expensive  and sold in small quantities and required public financing.

In the 21st century the flow of innovation and new technology has reversed.

innovation Flow in a Consumer World

innovation Flow in a Consumer World

The recent launch of an iPhone into space with GPS tracking by civilians, is one amazing example.

The following stock chart provides more evidence. It plots the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index Fund compared to some major consumer oriented companies like Google, Sony, Amazon.

Chart of Defense Index Vs Consumer Companies 2006-2011

Chart of Defense Index Vs Consumer Companies 2006-2011

The new innovations are derived from consumer demand and consumer services or products : cellular phones, smart Phones, social networks,cloud computing, personal computers and online advertisement.

I believe this is the reason the Intel, Apple and Google are now the largest companies in the world, displacing companies like SUN, Nortel, Lucent, HP , IBM and similar companies more focused on enterprise and governmental markets. While IBM, Microsoft and Intel are still leading the patent table, one can claim it implies more on the inflation of patents , rather than true  innovation.

Top 10 Companies Patents ROI from MSN

Top 10 Companies Patents ROI from MSN

The reversal of innovation can be explained by multiple theories:

Moral – the global society has become more civilian and democratic. Individuals have more civil rights, more control of the public spend and therefore there are fewer wars, less dictators  and less weapons. Unfortunately , I’m not sure all of the facts support this theory. I have found some evidence. For example, from 1988 to 2009 the global military spending share of GDP has dropped by 34% from 3.5% to 2.4% , global average. The number of conflicts decreased by 40% from 1992 to 2009.

Share of Military Expenditure as Percentage of Gross Domestic Product 1988 2099

Share of Military Expenditure as Percentage of Gross Domestic Product 1988 2099

Armed Conflicts by Region 1946-2009

Armed Conflicts by Region 1946-2009

Economics – In the end of the day we are all consumers and individuals. Economics are driven by numbers and since there are about 1 Billion consumers with a high standard of living, it is the largest market for almost any product. Selling a $300 product to every consumer translates to $300 billion market, this is equal to the global IT market spend. Selling $30 of advertisement to one Billion people …. you can do the math on your own.  Compare that with the cost of design and manufacturing of a new stealth plane.

The R&D alone would cost Billions  of dollars, and each airplane would cost $336M million dollars , if it the project is not aborted during the 20 years of development. Programming an amazing computer vision system for smart missiles would only be relevant to 20-40 customers. Delivering an amazing face recognition for  facebook generates access to 750 Million customers. The OCR domain is one example I already bogged about.

Sociological Open source software has allowed sharing of innovation and technology with zero cost of patents, licensing and removing many anti-competitive habits , either explicit or hidden that were common in past years. It also allows sharing of development costs across organizations. Younger generations are used to great user experience, and would not “go back” when entering Enterprise office. Cloud computing is also helping to build start-ups in 50 dollars.

The fact that Google and Amazon are hosting funding challenged public database of bioinformatics, that used to be funded by the government is rather  provocative.

To summarize, while there are still huge budgets in defense and commercial enterprises, there is strong trend driving innovation from the individual. Do you believe the trend is real?

The unique requirements of cloud-based enterprise applications

February 9, 2009

We just published on IT Structures web site the white paper I was working on.

Not So Virtual Cloud, But Virtually Nice

Not So Virtual Cloud, But Virtually Nice

Here is the abstract and the full paper can be found here. If you want to get to the technical part, jump to the requirements section below.

  • The unique requirements of cloud-based on-demand multi-tenant applications
  • Limitations of existing building blocks in virtualization and enterprise software technologies
  • Introducing an intelligent technology layer to provide automation of environment setup & provisioning, elasticity, resource allocation and scalability

The Challenge: Virtual Labs for Sales and Training

The days of “blind” purchasing of enterprise software and hardware solutions based on vendor promises alone are a thing of the past.

Customers have universally adopted a “try before you buy” approach, demanding not only a generic evaluation of the solution prior to purchase, but also a proof-of-concept (POC) implementation using their own data, integrated with their own applications and in their own environment. Equally, customers
want to invest the minimum effort in such POCs, whose setup is often more time- and resource-consuming than the actual evaluation process.

Vendors consequently find themselves providing POCs and pilot projects with a significant increase in cost of sales and a lengthened sales cycle: tying up hardware inventory, wasting sales engineers’ time at customer premises and inflating travel costs. The same often applies to post-sales training, where the vendor must provide staff for training and the cost is borne by either the vendor or the buyer, or both.

Thankfully, the convergence of virtualization and cloud computing is making POCs, interactive demos and postsale training easier and more accessible, at least in theory.

Since any network environment, server or application can run as a VM, and since cloud infrastructure can run such VMs (as well as real hardware) on demand as a service, it is logical that the two can be combined to deliver scalable, multi-tenant, on-demand provisioning and management of virtualized POCs, demos and training. Such a solution would deliver “virtual engagement” of customers during pre- and post-sales stages and reduce the expensive, lengthy real-world sales processes.

Unfortunately, although the base infrastructure and building-block components are available, assembling them to deliver virtual sales engagement and training is not at all straightforward. This is where IT Structures steps in.

This white paper explains the complex requirements for on-demand virtual engagement delivered as a cloud based service, and how IT Structures developed its ground-breaking orchestration technology in order provide it in a scalable, flexible model.

The Requirements

Cloud-based solutions must fulfill at least all the requirements expected from traditional data center management tools, software-as–a-service solutions and modern virtualization environments.

The core requirements are:
1. Complexity and Realism – The ability to build and run any enterprise application or appliance in a multi server
environment, with a complex networking topology that can be connected to the internet and to on premise
data centers.

2. Instant Gratification – Trying out a new environment should be fast and easy. As a result, the performance of the system must be excellent and it must not require any dedicated client installation. In an elastic production environment it is critical to have a frictionless solution because of the extremely frequent changes.

3. Multi-Tenant and Tiered – the system must support multiple software vendors working at the same time;
it must allow multiple enterprise customers to work at the same time on an identical but separate copy of the environment. The system must ensure the complete privacy and security for each user. The service must ensure that failures are confined to a specific environment and do not propagate across the system.

4. Replication – The system must be able to replicate a template of an IT environment and create hundreds of new customized running instances on the fly. This is critical for production, training and demo solutions and is at the core of the cloud concept.

5. Internet Enabled – All functionality must be available over the internet. The service must allow secure access to environments over the web on the one hand, and simulate private networks on the other hand. All instances should run concurrently and be accessible in the cloud.

6.Self Service – The service is geared towards both non-technical as well as technical users. It must abstract complex, composite IT operations into simple, web-based, single-click business operations.

7. Availability - The service must be able to recover from failures automatically, maintain exceptional uptime and provide self-healing and recovery functionality across all its components. Even when certain tasks fail, the service should optimize its resources to provide the highest service levels to the maximal number of
customers.

To read the way we achieve the implementation you can get the full paper or just send me an email.


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