Forget InterWebs Think InterClouds

I ran into this post by Cisco’s James Erquhart on Infra20.com titled – Is the Intercloud History Repeated?

James writes:  definitely some of the same elements are appearing in the Cloud Computing ecosphere that once helped build the Internet. Specifically, I see three key initiatives that have an analog in the Internet’s past:

1.  The rising importance of academia. Several initiatives are out there that show the increasing importance of the academic pursuit of cloud computing on the overall effort.

2.  Increasing interest in interoperability among cloud vendors. Surprisingly, vendors that stand to gain somewhat from cloud lock-in are admitting that customers are hesitant to move to the cloud for just that reason.

3.  Carrier interest in new service opportunities. The Internet represented huge business growth for telephone carriers in the early 90s, resulting in changing that designation to data network carriers.

Read the full post here.

Internet Traffic Explosion by 2015 – Next Phase is Rich Media for Infrastructure 2.0

The article today about Apple iPhone having video capabilities made me think about the scale of the net.  We have to see full scale global video by 2015.  However, first things first, we need an infrastructure revamp – Infrastructure 2.0.

We need to handle the traffic explosion. Here is a great deep review of the coming trend of Infrastructure 2.0 with info on the coming infrastructure revolution. The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet — A ‘zettabyte’ by 2015 by the Discovery Institute.

The U.S. Internet of 2015 will be at least 50 times larger than it was in 2006. Internet growth at these levels will require a dramatic expansion of bandwidth, storage, and traffic management capabilities in core, edge, metro, and access networks. A recent Nemertes Research study estimates that these changes will entail a total new investment of some $137 billion in the worldwide Internet infrastructure by 2010. In the U.S., currently lagging Asia, the total new network investments will exceed $100 billion by 2012.

Technology remains the key engine of U.S. economic growth and its competitive edge. Policies that encourage investment and innovation in our digital and communications sectors should be among America’s highest national priorities.

New technologies are driving a deep transformation of the Internet’s capabilities and uses. We are entering a new phase. The first phase of the Internet, starting with Arpanet in 1969, was a small research project that linked together a few, and then a few thousand, scientists. They exchanged rudimentary messages and data. In the mid-1990s the second broad phase delivered the Internet to the masses with e-mail, graphical browsers, and the World Wide Web.

Today, the third phase is underway. Video over the Net portends innumerable consumer and commercial possibilities. This new medium will change every realm of communication and content. The broadcast petabyte flows of radio and television will branch out into narrowcast, multicast, mobilecast, and everycast streams. With real-time transactions and collaborations, rich images, video, and interactive virtual worlds, the Net’s current content of static text and pictures will swell to form exabyte rivers. We call this third phase of rich broadband content the Exaflood.

This Exaflood is coming. However, it will only be possible with a vast new infrastructure to match the vastness of the coming digital deluge. Building this new infrastructure will be very expensive, likely requiring some $137 billion in global new investment over the next two years alone and at least $50 billion in the U.S. Technology remains the key engine of U.S. economic growth and its competitive edge. Consummating a true broadband Internet will depend on smart communications law and an investment friendly economy.

The second phase of the Net was chiefly enabled by two broad technical advances: (1) new computer modems at the edge of the network and dramatic advances in fiber-optic communications in the core of the network, both of which supplied unprecedented physical connectivity; and (2) new logical concepts like the HTTP-based World Wide Web and software applications like the browser, which made the Net accessible to the masses.

Prefixes – Kilo — 103 Mega — 106 Giga — 109 Tera — 1012 Peta — 1015 Exa — 1018 Zetta — 1021Today, the third phase is likewise being driven by a combination of advances in physical connectivity and software innovation. Today’s residential cable modems now average more than 5 megabits per second, or 100 times faster than the 56-kilobit modems that mostly reigned at the outset of phase two. Many cable MSOs now offer 10- or even 15-megabit services. Meanwhile, the nation’s telecom companies are building a new generation of fiber-optic networks to neighborhoods and homes that will reach tens of millions of consumers in the next few years. These networks will offer an additional factor of 20 capacity increase initially and are massively scalable for the future. On the software side, user-friendly self-publishing applications have given rise to millions of blogs and myriad social networking communities. Media players and Flash applications enable the easy creation and dissemination of rich visual content.

PEAK IT – Big Trend in Enterprise Information Technology – IT Trend

Some are saying that the polarization of IT is changing back to one side.  You decide.  Right now I’m digging into this further.

Here is the paragraph to read.

Peak IT occurs in an organization when investments in automation and productivity tools are crowded out by rising operations and management expenses. The result is a downward spiral of increasing complexity and expense and shrinking productivity as expenses continue to increase and take a growing share of budgets.

If you can understand the following paragraph then go directly to the site (via the link) and read the detailed post on “Peak IT”.

Social Media Fallacies – What To Know If You’re Thinking of Social Media

Here is a great post by Jason Baer on the fallacies of social media. Social media is the email marketing of our web 2.0 everyone will do it but how is the question.  I’ve been doing it for years and I agree with this post.  I’ve added some of my comments in { } below.  Thanks Jason for a great post.

1. Social Media is Inexpensive

False. Done correctly, social media – even a simple reputation monitoring program – is a time intensive proposition that requires daily vigilance.

2. Social Media is Fast

False. Social media is by definition slow. Done correctly, social media is about developing meaningful relationships with customers and prospective customers in their natural habitat. You have to create content, be part of many communities, and proceed incrementally. Many successful social media programs take months (or even more than a year) to really germinate.

3. Social Media is “Viral Marketing”

False, in the same way that a square is also a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. Can a social media program go viral? Absolutely. But if you’re engaged in a social media program in an effort to go “viral” you’re not really engaged in social media at all. You’re engaged in an advertising and marketing campaign that uses the Web as its distribution platform.

{I will agree but add something here to Jason’s post:  the conversation is the advertising campaign and the social result of the conversation if done correctly is the definitive word on the topic – hence an ad-like message or effect}

4. Social Media results can’t be measured

False. Especially in comparison to many other communication programs like traditional PR, TV advertising, outdoor advertising and others, social media actually offers pretty solid metrics.  Can those results be tied back directly to sales, and therefore ROI? Probably not yet, but other than search and email (and maybe banners) where CAN you do that?

{I will add that the metrics are not online and this is the opportunity to bridge both offline and online experiences and benefits to users}

5. Social Media is optional

It doesn’t matter what the demographics of your customers are. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Your customers and prospects are talking about you online. Your company needs to be part of that conversation. Today. Online is where many people do their talking, so that’s where you need to be.

6. Social media is hard

False. It’s not hard, it’s complicated.  It’s about having a strategy for making your company or organization more like a person and less like a machine. It’s about humanization.

If your customers and prospects feel like your company is more human and actually cares about them, they’ll want to be part of it….use technology to be yourself, and don’t overthink it.

Update: Thanks to Ben Smithson for point out the mistake in the title..

Silicon Valley in Trouble? I Don’t Think So – A New Model Will Arrive

Comparing Silicon Valley to Detroit is ridiculous, but Dan Lyons does bring up a big issue worth discussing – innovation problem. Silicon Valley is not setup for long term research in a way that made it what it is today. We are seeing institutional research vaporize in front of our eyes. Checking around it’s apparent that there is very little core and applied research going on. If there is research it is controlled by short term horizons like business profits and venture capital horizons. I’ve said before that we need a new approach.

I posted about this before about a new venture development paradigm that will emerge soon – one based upon open principles and collaboration.

Here is a snip of my post from last year – Silicon Valley – The Rebooting Meritocracy

Silicon Valley is a special place for entrepreneurship, and it continues to be. The issue is not that there is a wrench in the machine, but that the machine is broken. It’s rebooting.

One thing I love about Silicon Valley is that there are no handouts. It’s the ultimate entrepreneurial meritocracy. Change happens and it happens both from the bottom up (entrepreneurs) and the top down (capital market). The question is which force is driving the change.

Redistribution of wealth is upon us. The entrepreneurs and investors that move on this current market opportunity will capture the proverbial “chips on the table”. As an entrepreneur, I love this market. Opportunities are everywhere. Unlike the dot com bust, this tech (entrepreneurial) market never really crashed. Everywhere I look I see discounts and new opportunities. Smart money will move around, but in select places. Is the market scary? If you’re an incumbent it sure is scary.

Silicon Valley Web 2.0 is hurting, but not for the obvious reasons. A bigger force is at play here – massive redistribution of wealth is taking place. Some are scared, and some are welcoming the opportunity of possibly acquiring the wealth “on the table”. I think that Facebook and Twitter are great examples of what might be possible. Facebook will become the next Google. The only thing holding them up is that the ‘new revenue’ model that is soon to arrive at the “station”. When that “train” arrives (and it will) Facebook will say Goodbye to all the naysayers.

Research & Development Void?

The bigger picture is more long term and that’s all about research and development. Judy Estrin recently came out to talk about something really important – the innovation gap. Let me translate her thesis – we are screwed if we don’t have steady research unencumbered by short term agendas. Think how important institutions like Stanford, MIT, and SRI have been to Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship. Without these deep research institutions we would not have many innovations that created wealth – hello Ethernet; hello Apple; hello Cisco; hello Google, ..etc.

The lack of institutional research leaves a void in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. John Markoff postulates in his book “What the Dormouse Said” that the culture and research of the 60s drove the PC revolution. The question now is what revolution are we developing and where is the research? Will we miss the next important energy, medical, or tech breakthrough? Where is our modern day moonshot mandate?

Even top HP executives agree with me.  At HP, the concern reaches the very highest levels of the company. Shane Robison, HP’s chief strategy and technology officer, says he’d like to see the following: a permanent research-and-development tax credit, which would encourage tech companies to do more basic science research, which in turn would benefit everyone, not just the company that conducts the research; more government funding for basic science research; more spending on education; and changes in immigration laws to help foreign-born students who study in the United States to stay in this country afterward. “The technology industry is one of the crown jewels of our country,” Robison says. “It’s the one industry where we stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world. We need to protect that.”

My Version of Yahoo’s Turnaround Plan – Focus on Management Team and New Players

Boomtown has a post speculating that Carol is taking the :bull by the horns” and charging hard to make changes. First up an earnings call that will surely be a bad report.

In the NFL they talk about franchise players. In business and startups they talk about the management team. Here Yahoo has one clear short term goal – GET A TEAM. More importantly get some ‘franchise players’.

There are more than a few great and wacky ideas that Yahoo could do, but if were advising Carol I’d say focus on the management team first. Overhaul that team. Waive all the people not performing, get a great staff, trade for players who want to play for you, and sign some fresh new talent.

Remember Yahoo still has a great revenue stream and a massive user base. Get the management and players then make the big moves.

“Build It Because They Are There” – The Real Meaning of Cloud Connect – It’s About Getting Apps Up and Running

As I sit in the CloudConnect Event at the computer history museum (twitter stream here), I was wondering about how to talk about cloud computing and the meaning of all this.  It became clear to me when I saw the Paul Buchheit post today on “Communicating with Code”.

He writes (talking about his experience with the development of Gmail..)…“From that day until launch, every new feature went live immediately, and most new ideas were implemented as soon as possible. This resulted in a lot of churn — we re-wrote the frontend about six times and the backend three times by launch — but it meant that we had direct experience with all of the features. A lot of features seemed like great ideas, until we tried them. Other things seemed like they would be big problems or very confusing, but once they were in we forgot all about the theoretical problems.”….”The great thing about this process was that I didn’t need to sell anyone on my ideas. I would just write the code, release the feature, and watch the response. Usually, everyone (including me) would end up hating whatever it was (especially my ideas), but we always learned something from the experience, and we were able to quickly move on to other ideas.”

What we have here is a real time web waiting for real time code.  All of the discussion about cloud computing is really about rapid development,provisioning of resources..etc. – in the end a better product for users (hopefully).  Paul talks about this in his post -Gmail turned out pretty good.

Cloud computing allows developers the ability to get “stuff” up fast.  Speed and feedback is critical to success and more important than having some “hardened app” that no one wants.  This is only way to develop in the web today.  Success is about speed and product acceptance is dependent on that speed which drives relevance.  Build a great product and it will work.

The motto “build it they will come” is irrelevant.  Instead the motto today is “Build it because they are there already”.  Having a robust, easy to use, easy to provision, and reliable cloud and services will flow to users for critical feedback  The rest will take of itself.  The good apps and services will “come to us” – Welcome to Infrastructure 2.0.

discussion on twitter via tag #cloudconnect