Data and Architecture: Data-Driven Portfolio Decision Making

To effectively prioritize an organization’s collection of work, including operational services and projects to support products and innovation, leading organizations develop standard evaluation criteria to make data-driven decisions. These data-driven decisions help leadership make the right investments and ensure the organization is working on the most impactful work to improve competitive advantage. An organization’s decision makers should build simple and clear data requirements to enhance decision making and to better inform leadership and stakeholders.

Portfolio planning is the alignment of an organization’s corporate strategy to data-driven decisions about capabilities and resources to achieve desired business outcomes. Effective portfolio planning and management capabilities should provide the organization with dashboards, reports, and analytics to inform better decision making.

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Five Links: Amazon Broke the World Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

In the most cruelest of cuts, Amazon killed the internet for several hours on Tuesday. The one upside is that it was more real-life evidence that some IT intern would probably fat-finger a Skynet password and stop Judgment Day before it ever begins. In honor of those lost, dark hours, this week’s post is about the times that the internet and technology have let us down. Nightmare fuel, it is.

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Enhanced containerized integration services on OpenShift: Red Hat JBoss Fuse Integration Services

Updated and enhanced integration services are now available on Red Hat OpenShift. A containerized, formatted version of Red Hat JBoss Fuse 6.3 is now available for simplified deployments on OpenShift instances.

Technology is shifting so rapidly — from cloud-based architectures, Internet of Things and a variety of devices for interaction, new data streams, and mobile apps, to name a few — that organizations have to be able to create and deploy applications and process data quickly. Traditional, monolithic systems and top-heavy ESB-style integration approaches tend to be too slow and rigid to enable this level rapid innovation.

That is where an agile integration framework like JBoss Fuse can be a foundational element in your IT and digital strategy. Agile integration has three core capabilities: distributed integration, containers, and an API-based architecture.

  1. JBoss Fuse uses the lightweight distributed integration patterns of the underlying Apache Camel project.
  2. As part of the JBoss middleware services on OpenShift, JBoss Fuse is available for rapid deployment within container and cloud environments. Red Hat OpenShift is based on Docker and Kubernetes. Container architectures allow developers to build and integrate traditional and microservices-based applications at scale quickly.
  3. JBoss Fuse can be used together with Red Hat 3scale API Management Platform as an engine to develop and deploy APIs, both internally to development groups and externally for customer and partner ecosystems.

Integration technologies help organizations build on their existing infrastructures even as they pivot to new cloud-based and service-based architectures.

Features (and Benefits) at a Glance

  • Spring Boot support
  • Custom-developed, containerized applications based on Apache Camel 2.18
  • Integration with Hystrix and Zipkin microservices frameworks
  • An optimized integration environment for microservices applications on Red Hat OpenShift
  • Path to transition off existing Apache Karaf-based applications to cloud architectures
  • Consistent hybrid integration platform across their enterprise

More Information

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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Five Links: Culture Is the Way We Do Things Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

True story: I was at an OpenStack conference a couple of years ago, and on a whim, I signed up for a contest to install OpenStack in a certain configuration. I did it on a whim because I wanted the T-shirt, but I found out later that this was a huge deal — guys had been prepping their automated installs for weeks leading up to the event. I went to the organizer and tried to back out, and he got this panicked look and begged me to stay, just to show up — he had already told his manager that they had their first woman in the competition ever, and if I just showed up, no matter how badly I did, I was guaranteed the “diversity prize.” Long story short, I did terribly, but I got a T-shirt and a Venue 8 Chrome tablet.

I mention this, because I have stumbled across probably a half dozen stories on diversity in IT departments in the past couple of weeks, which seemed like an oddly-specific trend in articles. But that’s not all I’ve been seeing! I have hit a lot of really great articles on team work and productivity in general — attributes of healthy teams, setting effective priorities, and managing your talent.

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