Five Links: A Big Cup of Joe Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

This week started off great with a bout on Monday with a lot of people talking about AI and virtual reality (links picked at random). I’m not saying I started a trend, I am simply observing a certain zeitgeist. This is week, I’ve been looking at more familiar worlds: Java, Java EE, and app development. This is the heart of what we do in middleware.

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Image credit: Headline Shirts. Also, the shirt is on sale now.

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Portfolio Management: Balancing the Portfolio

One of the challenges of IT management is to balance the enterprise portfolio with initiatives that deliver on objectives and outcomes with varying timeframes and differing investment categories. Yet this balance is key to run, grow, and transform the business now and over time.

Balancing the enterprise portfolio is important to deliver on initiatives within short (within the fiscal year), medium (1 to 2 years) and long (over 2 years) timeframes. This is part of the advice for a lean startup.

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Source: Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit 2016 – Secrets of Prioritizing IT Demand – Audrey Apfel

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Five Links: How Virtual Is Reality Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

As always, the “Internets” is a fascinating place (assuming a massive denial of service attack hasn’t cut you off from Twitter and Spotify) and there is a new trend in the things I was clicking. This is probably inspired by my recent obsession with Westworld, but I have been thinking in general about the essence of reality and how far technology can go to both conceal reality and create it. So this week’s theme is reality-bending technology: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the technologies behind it.

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Data and Architecture Simplified, pt. 3: Business Architecture – The Core Diagram

To effectively plan and execute a technology-driven service or product offering, IT and business leaders should start with business architecture. Business architecture is the essential building block for mapping an organization’s business vision of what they want to accomplish. Business architecture is one of the four enterprise architecture domains – including data, applications and technology.

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Five Links: We Are All Connected Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

This has been a cool week on the web, and I noticed a trend in the things I was clicking. I saw a lot of articles and images that show relationships — mainly with the Internet of Things (relationships between devices, software, and people), but a couple of interesting ones on group dynamics.

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Why Group Brainstorming Doesn’t Work (Trello blog)

This deserves the top spot because of how counterintuitive it is, but the post makes some excellent points about how to get group ideas more effectively. Along with pointing out a lot of the pitfalls of group brainstorming sessions, it also has advice on how to be more effective in eliciting the best ideas from a group — including creating time for independent brainstorming, providing better structure to the process, and having a final decision.

Interactive Map of Internet of Things Companies (The Pointy Haired Manager blog, via IoT LinkedIn group)

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Data and Architecture, pt 2: Process Improvement

Does your organization need to reduce costs and improve efficiencies? Start with a process-first approach. Before you dive into what software tool to implement or select a new solution to address a business challenge, understand your existing business processes. What steps does your organization take within the business processes? Are things manual? Can you automate and improve the way you do business?

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Containerizing an application for the cloud: A journey of settings, state, and security.

Red Hat Developers and author N. Harrison Ripps have just begun releasing a ten-part series in which Harrison describes the process of deploying an application using containers into a clustered environment on the cloud.

Using the ZRC IRC client as a sample application, Harrison demonstrates each step in the process of containerizing software, dealing with issues like statelessness, security, and robustness that are typically architectural hurdles for most development teams moving to a cloud infrastructure.

Parameterizing application settings is a common requirement of applications that end up deploying to any environment, and containers have only heightened this need — with the emergence of on-demand environments, scriptability and configurability of the application images being deployed is a must.

Harrison suggests that containerizing applications should happen later, while development should happen first. This might seem intuitive, but his point is that containerizing an application actually need not introduce many development-time changes that would affect the architecture of your system — it can, but it need not. For a small sacrifice of startup performance, container images can be made more configurable and flexible, supporting DevOps procedures and deployments.

Once configured, the series also demonstrates how to host the application on a private instance of the OpenShift Container Platform, including clustering, via either the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK), or binary download of OpenShift. Harrison goes step-by-step through the process of starting the private cloud, deploying the application, and using Kubernetes to cluster the application.

Using attached storage, Harrison introduces a window of statefulness into our container environment. This produces an application that runs on the cloud in stateless containers, but maintains its internal state throughout the lifecycle as pods are brought up and down.

Follow along and learn some of these core cloud concepts as the series is published:

Title Date
That app you love, part 1: Making a connection 2016/09/27
That app you love, part 2: Immutable but flexible – What settings matter? 2016/09/29
That app you love, part 3: Every setting in its place 2016/10/04
That app you love, part 4: Designing a config-and-run container 2016/10/06
That app you love, part 5: Upping our (cloud) game 2016/10/11
That app you love, part 6: Container, meet cloud 2016/10/13
That app you love, part 7: Wired for sound 2016/10/18
That app you love, part 8: A blueprint for “that app you love” 2016/10/20
That app you love, part 9: Storage and statefulness 2016/10/25
That app you love, part 10: Long live “that app you love” 2016/10/27
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