DevOps Now With CALMSS

Eveline Oehrlich

I would like to welcome you to the "Modern Service Delivery" playbook.  In this playbook, we are researching how you can take your tech operations team and transform it into a modern operations team.  You know already that in the age of the customer, I&O must transform to support businesses by accelerating the speed of service delivery, enabling capacity when and where needed and improving customers and employee experience.  You  must buddy up with your application development team!  Get used to a new way of working.  That gets me to the point of this blog – CALMSS!  Yes – you are reading this right.  CALMSS is not just a scramble of words – it is a fine assessment of characteristics with the purpose of describing a methodology.  The first acronym - CAMS (Culture, Automation, Measurement, Sharing) was coined by John Willis and Damon Edwards in 2010 in the first US based Devopsdays in Mountain View, California.  Later on the “L” for lean was added by Jez Humble.  We at Forrester have added an additional “S” for sourcing as we believe that DevOps must be supported with a solid sourcing strategy to extend the ecosystem.  This then brings us to the arcronym of CALMSS.

After a great conversation with Patrick Debois  – godfather of DevOps – we are working on a Forrester CALMSS research report (publishing April 2015) where we list what we think are the characteristics of each letter that supports measurement at individual, project, intra-company and inter-company levels.  We will be focusing in our playbook on the project level so that you can measure and benchmark yourselves.    

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What is the difference between white-box, bare-metal, branded bare-metal, and OEM network switches?

Andre Kindness

I’m getting a lot calls from clients who are using “white box” and “bare metal” interchangeably when discussing network switches. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is when customers are trying to accomplish a certain task and are examining the wrong products or don’t see the full picture. This is especially true when it comes to assuming that the hardware cost of an Accton 5712 switch is significantly lower than the hardware cost of Broadcom-based switches from Arista, Cisco, or HP. The reality is that pundits are mixing up terms and products.

 Fundamentally, they are not making an apples-to-apples comparison and therefore are setting up the wrong expectations for customers. Forrester’s research document The Myth Of White-Box Network Switches dissects the cost of the Accton Edge-Core 5712 (Broadcom Trident II ASIC) switch layered with Cumulus Linux OS and compares this combination against a generic vendor switch built on Broadcom II ASIC, such as Cisco Nexus 3172PQ. We built a model showing the cost of goods sold from the components up and found less than a 5% difference between the switch from the original design manufacturer and traditional network vendor. This holds true when comparing other Accton Edge-Core switches against other traditional vendor Broadcom Trident II switches. The real cost is in the software, global distribution channel, compatibility testing between hardware and software, and global support. “The Myth Of White-Box Network Switches” gets into a lot more detail regarding actual costs.

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Ensure Brand Longevity With A Sustainable (Technology) Strategy

Sophia Vargas

While green and sustainable initiatives haven’t traditionally been a high priority for business technology decision makers, the growing urgency of climate change continues to place scrutiny on large resource users. In today’s hyper competitive marketplace, your customers, employees, partners, and possibly regulators are demanding more transparency in company operations and products.

In reaction to this trend, many organizations have already started to embrace sustainable initiatives as an opportunity to showcase creativity, technological achievement, as well as their brand’s commitment to the environment and broader community. In order to investigate this trend, my colleague and principal analyst Jim Nail and I set out to better understand the technology, processes and marketing strategy behind corporate sustainability initiatives.

The resulting report “Bolster Your Brand With A Greener Technology Ecosystem” outlines the buisness case and technology roadmap for sustainable initatives, intended to help your organization achieve and communicate operational excellence, while simultaneously providing further differentiation for your brand and organization.

The unexpected appendix

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Application Performance Matters! Not Just On Valentine's Day

Eveline Oehrlich

You are running from the office to your car to pick up the kids and while you are at it you think "OMG! Valentine's day is coming, I forgot to order the flowers for my wife."  You pull out your mobile phone and stop on the side of the road to log on to your favorite Valentine's specialty retailer - leveraging a mix of digital retailers which sell flowers (or candy or other items) and you want to order something.  Unfortunately, your favorite retailer is slow and the kids start complaining in the back seat and you must drive on.  Too late!  You are going to break hearts (ok maybe that is a bit too much) but certainly some of the retail vendors will experience a "break" in revenue.  If you are working for a retail vendor, Mobile Application Performance Management matters - not just on Valentine's day.  

See our recent report titled "Brief: Shopping Guide On Mobile Application Performance Management Solutions" so that you can get prepared.  Don't wait until Easter. 

Which Private Cloud Solution Provider In China Suits You Best?

Frank Liu

Chinese organizations should leverage the benefits of private cloud to address emerging requirements such as more agile technology services to improve customer engagement. However, determining which private cloud solution your company should choose is not a matter of size or market share. What’s most important is fit for purpose — your purpose. And that’s exactly what our The Forrester Wave: Private Cloud Solutions In China, Q1 2015 report helps you determine.

Charlie Dai and I spent the past six months identifying and evaluating the leading vendors in the private cloud space in China by scoring them against 24 criteria, grouped into three high-level buckets:

  • Current offering. A vendor’s position on the vertical axis of the Forrester Wave graphic indicates the strength of its current product offering. The key current offering criteria are cloud management and self-service access, service management and creation, automation capabilities, heterogeneity, contract terms and support, and cost.
  • Strategy. A vendor’s position on the horizontal axis indicates the strength of its go-to-market strategy. Forrester evaluates strategy with planned enhancements, strategic vision, third-party ecosystem, partnerships, and customer experience.
  • Market presence. The size of a vendor’s bubble on the chart indicates its market presence in China. Forrester evaluates market size via installed base and revenue.
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Rethinking Analytics Infrastructure

Richard Fichera

Last year I published a reasonably well-received research document on Hadoop infrastructure, “Building the Foundations for Customer Insight: Hadoop Infrastructure Architecture”. Now, less than a year later it’s looking obsolete, not so much because it was wrong for traditional (and yes, it does seem funny to use a word like “traditional” to describe a technology that itself is still rapidly evolving and only in mainstream use for a handful of years) Hadoop, but because the universe of analytics technology and tools has been evolving at light-speed.

If your analytics are anchored by Hadoop and its underlying map reduce processing, then the mainstream architecture described in the document, that of clusters of servers each with their own compute and storage, may still be appropriate. On the other hand, if, like many enterprises, you are adding additional analysis tools such as NoSQL databases, SQL on Hadoop (Impala, Stinger, Vertica) and particularly Spark, an in-memory-based analytics technology that is well suited for real-time and streaming data, it may be necessary to begin reassessing the supporting infrastructure in order to build something that can continue to support Hadoop as well as cater to the differing access patterns of other tools sets. This need to rethink the underlying analytics plumbing was brought home by a recent demonstration by HP of a reference architecture for analytics, publicly referred to as the HP Big Data Reference Architecture.

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Microsoft HoloLens Is A World-Changing Mixed Reality Product

JP Gownder

It’s not often that a new product release has the potential to reshape the way people work and play. The PC, the browser, the smartphone – all of these products fell into that category.

Microsoft’s new HoloLens has the potential to do the same. (Check out some photos from Gizmodo here -- they don't live up to the actual experience even a little bit -- and this video, which doesn't do it justice, either).

 

Yes, that’s a big claim. But I’m here to challenge your thinking with this assertion: Over the next few years, HoloLens will set the bar for a new type of computing experience that suffuses our jobs, our shopping experiences, our methods for learning, and how we experience media, among other life vectors. And other vendors will have to respond to this innovation in holographic, mixed reality computing. 

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IBM Amps up the Mainframe and Aggressively Targets Mobile Workloads with new z13 Announcement

Richard Fichera

On one level, IBM’s new z13, announced last Wednesday in New York, is exactly what the mainframe world has been expecting for the last two and a half years – more capacity (a big boost this time around – triple the main memory, more and faster cores, more I/O ports, etc.), a modest boost in price performance, and a very sexy cabinet design (I know it’s not really a major evaluation factor, but I think IBM’s industrial design for its system enclosures for Flex System, Power and the z System is absolutely gorgeous, should be in the MOMA*). IBM indeed delivered against these expectations, plus more. In this case a lot more.

In addition to the required upgrades to fuel the normal mainframe upgrade cycle and its reasonably predictable revenue, IBM has made a bold but rational repositioning of the mainframe as a core platform for the workloads generated by mobile transactions, the most rapidly growing workload across all sectors of the global economy. What makes this positioning rational as opposed to a pipe-dream for IBM is an underlying pattern common to many of these transactions – at some point they access data generated by and stored on a mainframe. By enhancing the economics of the increasingly Linux-centric processing chain that occurs before the call for the mainframe data, IBM hopes to foster the migration of these workloads to the mainframe where its access to the resident data will be more efficient, benefitting from inherently lower latency for data access as well as from access to embedded high-value functions such as accelerators for inline analytics. In essence, IBM hopes to shift the center of gravity for mobile processing toward the mainframe and away from distributed x86 Linux systems that they no longer manufacture.

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Transformation Fatigue? Don't Let That Stop You.

Eveline Oehrlich

The Webster Dictionary describes fatigue (also sometimes called exhaustion, tiredness, languor, lassitude or listlessness) as "a subjective feeling of tiredness which is distinct from weakness, and has a gradual onset."  

Technology management transformations - and in specific, I&O transformations - suffer from fatigue in many organizations.  Some of it is due to the fact that the term "transformation" is more jargon than anything real.  Transformation means many things to many people and therfore we never really exit a transformation as we move from project to project, continually transforming.  

If I asked you, does I&O transformation mean reshaping your architecture? Streamlining your service management and integration (SIAM) processes? Adjusting your automation strategy? Improving your application performance management to become more proactive?  Reducing operational cost? Shifting your infrastructure and applications into the cloud? You would say "yes" to all of them, with all of them being described as some kind of transformation.  Eliminating fatigue means following a transformation plan.  The plan needs to be supported with details to shift the conversation from costs of the technology “feeds and speeds” to how the technology will enable the business to win, serve, and retain their customers.

What I&O Leaders Should Look For At CES

JP Gownder

This weekend, I’ll be heading off to Las Vegas for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Infrastructure & Operations leaders should – and do – keep tabs on the news coming out of CES. In this era of consumerization, bring-your-own (BYO) technology, and Shadow IT, CES announcements affect the I&O role more than ever before. I have three tips for how to think about CES 2015:

  • Look at consumer technologies through a workforce lens. So many smart, connected products quickly migrate to the workforce. Sometimes these technologies enter via BYO and segue into company-owned, as tablets have done over the past few years. In other cases, vendors that target consumers immediately see the value their products can bring to workforce scenarios. For example, I recently spoke with Jonathan Palley, CEO of Spire, a wearable device that tracks not just activity but also state of mind (tension versus calm, focus versus distraction, and related states). While the product was launched to the consumer market just about a week ago, Jonathan made clear that “workforce is a huge part of our strategy as well.” Imagine helping workers remain in a more productive, less stressed state of mind via wearables.
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