Five Links: Band of Brothers Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

Red Hat has a lot of corporate blogs (worth reading!), but a huge part of our culture as a company is collaboration and meritocracy. As in … letting our opinions be known. There’s a reason we actually made a t-shirt to commemorate our corporation-wide mailing list.

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From Pinterest

A lot of Red Hatters have personal blogs (or active LinkedIn postings) precisely because of the value that we as a group place on transparency, defending ideas, and innovation.

This week, I want to highlight some of the blogs by Red Hatters that I’ve read recently. I’m not even going to call this a “top 5,” because we have a lot of prolific and interesting writers on a million different topics. These are a random sampling of the blogs that I hit periodically.

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Five Links: Pattern Recognition Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

When I was a reporter in Livingston, Montana, I wrote a story about a massive infrastructure campaign that was just kicking off — new sewer and water lines across town, changing traffic flows and redesigning streets, new green spaces and public art. I interviewed the primary architect, and he told me that the designs were influenced by A Pattern Language, published in 1977. That book has fascinated me; from the placement of a single window to the layout of an entire central business district, it breaks down the patterns of human behavior and then analyzes design techniques that best reinforce the desired patterns for a given space. It doesn’t say what should be done; it simply uses patterns to say if you want to accomplish Goal A, use Design Technique B.

In a roundabout way, this week’s series of links look at patterns and how they influence behavior.

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Ultra Low Latency API Management for Microservices with Red Hat 3scale

In this article, we provide a solution that enables almost latency free API management for Java-based microservices APIs. We build on Manfred Bortenschlager’s white paper Achieving Enterprise Agility With Microservices And API Management. We provide a practical solution for adding the management layer Manfred outlines to internal microservice-to-microservice API calls.

API Management and Microservices

Figure 1 – a typical microservices architecture with depictions of externally and internally consumable microservices

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In the white paper Manfred describes a typical microservices architecture consisting of:

  • A perimeter service layer that is typically implemented by an API gateway which manages and secures components that follow the backend for frontend (BFF) pattern. The perimeter service exposes APIs to external consumers.
  • Internal microservices that are clustered into functional elements and communicate via APIs.

The most common and most decoupled way to achieve API management is through deployment of API gateways on the API provider’s infrastructure. These gateways act as traffic controllers which authenticate, authorize, and report on API traffic to the 3scale API Management Platform. These extensive management features are achievable with very low latency overhead through our caching and asynchronous architectural features. Additionally the gateways provide excellent routing and security protections such as defense against DDoS attacks and more.

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Data and Architecture: Business Architecture and Capabilities

Does your organization talk about connecting the execution of work to its strategy? Are you building a roadmap on how to get there and achieve desired goals? To help your organization achieve the strategy and goals, model the business architecture by understanding the organization’s strategy, communicating business outcomes, and aligning these outcomes to the appropriate business capabilities.

Business architecture is illustrating what the business does and how the business operates. Gartner defines business capabilities as  “what the business needs to do to achieve the business strategy.” Business architecture uses business capability modeling, to visualize and influence people, processes, and technologies needed to maximize stakeholder value, achieve organizational goals, and execute on the business strategy. This model should map out the future state capabilities needed to support where the business is going over multiple years, as defined by the organization’s strategy.

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APIs Are The New Language of Collaboration

“Survival of the fit,” in Darwinian evolutionary theory, describes the mechanism of natural selection. The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success. But could this also apply to modern business? Sustained growth might be the criterion for fitness in a business context. So why is sustained growth so difficult to achieve? Surprisingly, it is not for the lack of ideas but lack of ability to adapt to change and competition.

The fittest business can quickly innovate and adapt to competition and it can use its core competencies to extend itself in new ways. These organizations are often lean, mean, and learning machines using application programming interfaces (APIs). They are built on a foundation of cloud, mobile, big data analytics and social computing and they are generally connected to the internet of things, to extend and monetize the organization’s core assets for growth and  new value and revenue streams.

Even organizations born in different eras of digital transformation (mobile, internet-based, and client/server) that are successfully using APIs to achieve disruptive growth in their respective industries.

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Architecture, Process, Platform

Digital transformation is a hot topic in enterprises these days, and like any such topic it’s associated with a wide range of use, overuse, and misuse. But the phrase does get at something that we can all sense is really going on, a truly profound change. As different businesses undergo or undertake variants of digital transformation, we see a number of common characteristics of the more digital world:

  • More things happen (or are expected to happen) in real time
  • More different sources and kinds of data are brought together
  • Activities are more decentralized and ad hoc
  • There is a broadening of participation in both the building and the use of I.T.
  • There is a shift from analysis and planning to trial-and-error experimentation

Each of those ideas deserves elaboration–topics for future blogs–but going for the moment with whatever came to mind for those bullets as a rough characterization of digital transformation, let’s explore the interplay of architecture, process, and platform in helping enterprises compete and succeed in this emerging digital world.

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The Shared Economy for your IT

Don’t forget that Red Hat’s JBoss Middleware is part of the Shared Economy, too.

Whether it’s Uber, Airbnb, Waze, Snapchat, or Spotify, the new shared economy is the way of the future, or at least it seems so right now. In 2017, the Shared Economy is going to be a buzzword. What will happen to the Shared Economy under the U.S government’s new administration, what about taking Shared public in the Snapchat IPO, how is the Shared Economy going to deal with regulation issues? Regardless of the specific ponderings of the day, the Shared Economy is more often than not, at the front of most of them – just read the latest copy of Fortune Magazine. According to Investopedia, the definition of the Shared Economy is  “… an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is most likely to be used when the price of a particular asset is high.” Huh, that sounds a little like Red Hat’s Open Source approach to Middleware, doesn’t it? I know it’s a big claim to make, but Open Source was one the originals of the Shared Economy, and Red Hat belongs in conversations on the topic. Further, Open Source is needed now more than ever.

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Webinar Now: In-Memory Computing and Real-Time Analytics

In-memory data grids provide a distributed network (or “grid”) of nodes that work as an elastic data store. This is an approach to distributed computing which can work as a foundation for systems which require rapid scale, responsiveness, and high loads, like Internet of Things and mobile applications.

In-memory computing (like any distributed architecture) can be very complex, and understanding how to map the functionality of your existing infrastructure to a distributed computing infrastructure is critical.

So we have a webinar for that! “Real-time advantages of an in-memory data platform” with Cojan van Ballegooijen and Thomas Qvarnstrom (both JBoss technology evangelist at Red Hat) will be covering:

  • An introduction to in-memory computing
  • In-memory data grid use cases
  • How data access can affect business decision making, application responsiveness, and customer / revenue opportunities

Details

  • Tuesday, Dec. 6
  • 11a.m. Eastern time (US)
  • Presenters: Cojan van Ballegooijen and Thomas Qvarnstrom

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Let me tell you a beautiful story about APIStrat

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A conference about the strategy for APIs?  APIs need a strategy too?  Those are the intriguing thoughts on my mind as I walked into the 2016 API Strategy and Practice conference — APIStrat at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston.  Gartner Fellow, Peter Sondergaard characterizes APIs as the synapses of IoT — a point reinforced by Gartner Analyst Mark O’Neil during his keynote at the conference.  There was a general ambiance of openness, inclusion and collaboration which can only be realized if the organizers, coordinators and attendees collectively share that mindset – a mindset that can only stimulate innovation that is relevant.  Even though I came in with an intent to exchange ideas on the technology of APIs, I came out with other supplementary but powerful thoughts that I share below.  APIs may be the synapses of IoT but conferences like APIStrat are those critical junction points experience based insight is shared through beautiful real-life stories by knowledgeable practitioners.

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Five Links: The More You Know Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

There have been a couple of events lately that, at least tangentially, made me think about information and what we do with it. There have been a series of DDOS attacks on popular sites, at least one of which was driven by a blind army of smart devices. The other is the volatile and ultimately inaccurate polling leading into the US Presidential election. Both of these hint at the Wild West nature of technology — its flexibility and newness offers a lot of promise and a lot of unknown risks. So the theme for this week is — what is the quality of data and analytics and how do we do it “right.”

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