Is a Multi-Cloud Strategy A Fit For your Enterprise?

Enterprises and cloud computing become more integrated and essential for gain or maintain a competitive advantage through big data and Analytics. Cloud is now essential in improving operations efficiency and synergy. To optimize the enterprise architecture with the cloud, there are a few strategic questions need to be considered;

  • First, how much cloud business does your enterprise need?
  • And, what cloud strategy best meets your enterprise operational and security needs?
  • Where do private, public clouds, or hybrid cloud fit in your enterprise’s information workload deployment strategy?
  • Does multi-cloud fit in the enterprise’s information workload deployment strategy?

What is A Multi-cloud Strategy?

This probably is the point where the narrative should introduce the principle of multi-cloud. A multi-cloud is an approach to cloud computing which seeks to optimize enterprise costs, Return-On-Investment (ROI), and enabling big data analytics, which is already evolving the information workload deployment strategy of many organizations. Multi-cloud has already affected the major software and Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) providers, which have been rapidly evolving their application suites to enable this new reality.  As recently as this week, IBM announced that they had moved its Cloud-native software architecture.

Is It Time To Consider A Multi-Cloud Strategy For Your Enterprise?

Multi-cloud is a cloud computing strategy seeks to align from different cloud providers capability to optimize different business operations and technical requirements. A multi-cloud strategy can be a way to reduce the dependence upon more traditional software vendors and or on a single cloud service provider.

Advantages Of A Multi-Cloud Strategy

The advantages of a multi-cloud enterprise information workload deployment strategy are:

  • the enterprise can still operate even if one or more of the clouds providers goes offline or encounter other difficulties.
  • enterprises can avoid vendor lock-in since the enterprise’s data is stored on different clouds service providers and could be migrated if need be.
  • Multi-cloud can provide a reduction in the scales of data breach vulnerability since breaching one cloud does not provide access to the entire data of your enterprise, even if your organization has not implemented hybrid-cloud (private/public) strategy because all the data simply isn’t all housed one cloud.
  • Importantly, multi-cloud solutions are customizable. Every enterprise can select what works best in order to achieve optimal efficiency.

Disadvantages Of The Multi-Cloud

The multi-cloud enterprise information workload deployment strategy has downsides as well. For instance:

  • integration across the multi-cloud providers may require more planning, relationship management, and strategic oversight.
  • Multi-cloud implementations, while reducing the potential scale of any one security breach, it does provide more than one potential breach point to be monitored, managed, and mitigated.

Conclusion

Based on your enterprise’s industry, use of big data technologies, information security needs and the use information analytics to gain or maintain a competitive advantage and or comparative advantage, a multi-cloud enterprise information workload deployment strategy has a place in optimizing your enterprises technical and information strategy.  Especially when your multi-cloud strategy includes a hybrid-cloud (public/private) as a major pillar in your cloud strategy. 

Related References

Using Logical Data Lakes

Today, data-driven decision making is at the center of all things. The emergence of data science and machine learning has further reinforced the importance of data as the most critical commodity in today’s world. From FAAMG (the biggest five tech companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google) to governments and non-profits, everyone is busy leveraging the power of data to achieve final goals. Unfortunately, this growing demand for data has exposed the inefficiency of the current systems to support the ever-growing data needs. This inefficiency is what led to the evolution of what we today know as Logical Data Lakes.

What Is a Logical Data Lake?

In simple words, a data lake is a data repository that is capable of storing any data in its original format. As opposed to traditional data sources that use the ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) strategy, data lakes work on the ELT (Extract, Load, and Transform) strategy. This means data does not have to be first transformed and then loaded, which essentially translates into reduced time and efforts. Logical data lakes have captured the attention of millions as they do away with the need to integrate data from different data repositories. Thus, with this open access to data, companies can now begin to draw correlations between separate data entities and use this exercise to their advantage.

Primary Use Case Scenarios of Data Lakes

Logical data lakes are a relatively new concept, and thus, readers can benefit from some knowledge of how logical data lakes can be used in real-life scenarios.

To conduct Experimental Analysis of Data:

  • Logical data lakes can play an essential role in the experimental analysis of data to establish its value. Since data lakes work on the ELT strategy, they grant deftness and speed to processes during such experiments.

To store and analyze IoT Data:

  • Logical data lakes can efficiently store the Internet of Things type of data. Data lakes are capable of storing both relational as well as non-relational data. Under logical data lakes, it is not mandatory to define the structure or schema of the data stored. Moreover, logical data lakes can run analytics on IoT data and come up with ways to enhance quality and reduce operational cost.

To improve Customer Interaction:

  • Logical data lakes can methodically combine CRM data with social media analytics to give businesses an understanding of customer behavior as well as customer churn and its various causes.

To create a Data Warehouse:

  • Logical data lakes contain raw data. Data warehouses, on the other hand, store structured and filtered data. Creating a data lake is the first step in the process of data warehouse creation. A data lake may also be used to augment a data warehouse.

To support reporting and analytical function:

  • Data lakes can also be used to support the reporting and analytical function in organizations. By storing maximum data in a single repository, logical data lakes make it easier to analyze all data to come up with relevant and valuable findings.

A logical data lake is a comparatively new area of study. However, it can be said with certainty that logical data lakes will revolutionize the traditional data theories.

Related References

A 720-Degree View of the Customer

The 360-degree view of the consumer is a well-explored concept, but it is not adequate in the digital age. Every firm, whether it is Google or Amazon, is deploying tools to understand customers in a bid to serve them better. A 360-degree view demanded that a company consults its internal data to segment customers and create marketing strategies. It has become imperative for companies to look outside their channels, to platforms like social media and reviews to gain insight into the motivations of their customers. The 720-degree view of the customer is further discussed below.

What is the 720-degree view of the customer?

A 720-degree view of the customer refers to a three-dimensional understanding of customers, based on deep analytics. It includes information on every customer’s level of influence, buying behavior, needs, and patterns. A 720-degree view will enable retailers to offer relevant products and experiences and to predict future behavior. If done right, this concept should assist retailers leverage on emerging technologies, mobile commerce, social media, and cloud-based services, and analytics to sustain lifelong customer relationships

What Does a 720-Degree View of the Customer Entail?

Every business desires to cut costs, gain an edge over its competitors, and grow their customer base. So how exactly will a 720-degree view of the customer help a firm advance its cause?

Social Media

Social media channels help retailers interact more effectively and deeply with their customers. It offers reliable insights into what customers would appreciate in products, services, and marketing campaigns. Retailers can not only evaluate feedback, but they can also deliver real-time customer service. A business that integrates its services with social media will be able to assess customer behavior through tools like dislikes and likes. Some platforms also enable customers to buy products directly.

Customer Analytics


Customer analytics will construct more detailed customer profiles by integrating different data sources like demographics, transactional data, and location. When this internal data is added to information from external channels like social media, the result is a comprehensive view of the customer’s needs and wants. A firm will subsequently implement more-informed decisions on inventory, supply chain management, pricing, marketing, customer segmentation, and marketing. Analytics further come in handy when monitoring transactions, personalized services, waiting times, website performance.

Mobile Commerce

The modern customer demands convenience and device compatibility. Mobile commerce also accounts for a significant amount of retail sales, and retailers can explore multi-channel shopping experiences. By leveraging a 720-degree view of every customer, firms can provide consumers with the personalized experiences and flexibility they want. Marketing campaigns will also be very targeted as they will be based on the transactional behaviors of customers. Mobile commerce can take the form of mobile applications for secure payment systems, targeted messaging, and push notifications to inform consumers of special offers. The goal should be to provide differentiated shopper analytics.

Cloud

Cloud-based solutions provide real-time data across multiple channels, which illustrates an enhanced of the customer. Real-time analytics influence decision-making in retail and they also harmonize the physical and retail digital environments. The management will be empowered to detect sales trends as transactions take place.

The Importance of the 720-Degree Customer View

Traditional marketers were all about marketing to groups of similar individuals, which is often termed as segmentation. This technique is, however, giving way to the more effective concept of personalized marketing. Marketing is currently channeled through a host of platforms, including social media, affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, and mobile. The modern marketer has to integrate the information from all these sources and match them to a real name and address. Companies can no longer depend on a fragmented view of the customer, as there has to be an emphasis on personalization. A 720-degree customer view can offer benefits like:

Customer Acquisition

Firms can improve customer acquisition by depending on the segment differences revealed from a new database of customer intelligence. Consumer analytics will expose any opportunities to be taken advantage of while external data sources will reveal competitor tactics. There are always segment opportunities in any market, which are best revealed by real-time consumer data.

Cutting Costs

Marketers who rely on enhanced digital data can contribute to cost management in a firm. It takes less investment to serve loyal and satisfied consumers because a firm is directing addressing their needs. Technology can be used to set customized pricing goals and to segment customers effectively.

New Products and Pricing

Real-time data, in addition to third-party information, have a crucial impact on pricing. Only firms with a robust and relevant competitor and customer analytics and data can take advantage of this importance. Marketers with a 720-degree view of the consumer across many channels will be able to utilize opportunities for new products and personalized pricing to support business growth

Advance Customer Engagement

The first 360 degrees include an enterprise-wide and timely view of all consumer interactions with the firm. The other 360 degrees consists of the customer’s relevant online interactions, which supplements the internal data a company holds. The modern customer is making their buying decisions online, and it is where purchasing decisions are influenced. Can you predict a surge in demand before your competitors? A 720-degree view will help you anticipate trends while monitoring the current ones.

720-degree Customer View and Big Data

Firms are always trying to make decision making as accurate as possible, and this is being made more accessible by Big Data and analytics. To deliver customer-centric experiences, businesses require a 720-degree view of every customer collected with the help of in-depth analysis.

Big Data analytical capabilities enable monitoring of after-sales service-associated processes and the effective management of technology for customer satisfaction. A firm invested in being in front of the curve should maintain relevant databases of external and internal data with global smart meters. Designing specific products to various segments is made easier with the use of Big Data analytics. The analytics will also improve asset utilization and fault prediction. Big Data helps a company maintain a clearly-defined roadmap for growth

Conclusion

It is the dream of every enterprise to tap into customer behavior and create a rich profile for each customer. The importance of personalized customer experiences cannot be understated in the digital era. The objective remains to develop products that can be advertised and delivered to customers who want them, via their preferred platforms, and at a lower cost. 

Infosphere Knowledge Resources

IBM Knowledge Center

The IBM Knowledge Center is the IBM product documentation Site designed to help you plan, install, configure, use, tune, monitor, troubleshoot, and maintain the product.

IBM InfoSphere Information Server Version 11.7.0 documentation

The IBM InfoSphere Information Server Version 11.7.0 documentation provides IIS specific documentation about how to install and use InfoSphere Information Server

IBM Support Portal

The IBM Support Portal is IBM’s technical support resource for all IBM products and services including downloads, fixes, drivers, APARs, product documentation, Redbooks, whitepapers and more.

IBM InfoSphere Information Server Content Hub

The IBM InfoSphere Information Server content hub provides additional on Information Server components including documentation, blog entries, videos, and more.

IBM developerWorks

The IBM InfoSphere Information Server content hub provides additional on Information Server components including documentation, blog entries, videos, and more.

Related Reference

Technical Debt

During the software engineering process, there are different issues which should be dealt with or else they will subject the project to unnecessary costs later. The technical debt perspective should be considered in each step of software development. For instance, when analyzing the cost of cloud approaches, you need to take into consideration the technical debt. You should as well factor the engineering aspect when making technical decisions such as choosing between cloud services vs. homegrown solutions.

What is technical debt?

Technical debt refers to the implied cost which will be incurred to do additional rework on a system after the engineering process is done. For example, engineers can choose to go for an easy option so that they can save time during the product design. The right steps which they will avoid will later need to be implemented which will mean a product has to be recalled or it will have to be fixed after it has reached the market which will cost more in terms of resources and manpower.

What are the most common types/causes technical debts?

Deliberate tech debt

In this case, engineers are aware of the step which is necessary during project implementation, but they will ignore it provided they can go for a shortcut which will save on cost and avail the product to the market. For instance, when analyzing the advantage of using the public cloud, some engineers may assume certain benefits, and later they will realize they are very necessary hence they are forced to go back and procure the system. It will lead to wastage in the company. Some engineers will not like doing the same process every now and then; they can avoid a given process only to expose the final product to flaws which will require re-engineering.

Accidental/outdated design tech debt

After designing a product or software, with time the technology will advance and render the design less effective in solving certain needs. For instance, due to advancement in technology, the tools you incorporated in a given software may end up being flawed which will make the product less effective which may necessitate re-engineering. Engineers may try their level best to come up with great designs, but advancement in technology can make their designs less effective.

Bit rot tech debt

It is a situation where a complexity develops over time. For example, a system or a component can develop unnecessary complexity due to different changes which have been incorporated over time. As engineers try to solve emerging needs, they can end up exposing the product to more complications which can be costly in the long run.

Strategies for minimizing technical debt

How to minimize deliberate tech debt

To avoid the tech debt, you need to track the backlog when engineers started the work. If you can track the backlog and identify areas where the engineers are trying to save time, you can avoid the debt.

Minimizing Accidental/outdated design tech debt

You need to refactor the subsystem every now and then so that you can identify the technical debt and fix it. For example, if the software is exposing you to unnecessary slowdowns, you need to fix the errors and make it meet industry standards.

Addressing Bit rot tech debt

Engineers should take time to understand the system they are running and clear any bad codes.

Public Cloud Versus Private Cloud

Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

A public cloud strategy refers to a situation where you utilize cloud resources on a shared platform. Examples of shared or public cloud solutions include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google cloud. There are several benefits associated with cloud solutions. On the other hand, a private cloud strategy refers to a situation where you can decide to have an infrastructure which is dedicated to serving your business. It is sometimes referred to as homegrown where you employ experts to run the services so that your business can access different features. There are several advantages of using a public cloud over private cloud which you should know before you make an informed decision on the right platform to invest. Some of the benefits of the public cloud strategy include the following:

Availability and scale of Expertise

If you compare the public cloud and the private cloud services, the public cloud

allows you to access more experts. Remember the companies which offer the cloud services have enough employees who are ready to help several clients. In most cases, the other clients whom the service providers serve will not experience problems at the same time. It implies that human resource will be directed toward solving your urgent issue. You can as well scale up or down at any given time as the need arises which is unlike a case of private cloud solutions where you will have to invest in infrastructure each time you will like to upgrade.

Downgrading on a private cloud system can expose you to lose because you will leave some resources underutilized.

The volume of Technical Resources to apply

You access more technical resources in a public cloud platform. Remember the companies which offer the public cloud solutions are fully equipped with highly experienced experts. They also have the necessary tools and resources which

they can apply to assure you the best technical solutions each time you need them. It is unlike a private arrangement where you will have to incur more costs if the technical challenges will need advanced tools and highly qualified experts.

Price point

The price of a private cloud is high when compared to a public arrangement. If you are looking for ways you can save money, then the best way to go about it is to involve a public cloud solution. In the shared platform, you will only pay for

what you need. If you do not need a lot of resources at a given time, you can downgrade the services and enjoy fair prices. Services such as AWS offer great cost containment across the time which makes it easy to access the services at fair prices. For any business to grow, it should invest in the right package which brings the return on investment. The services offered by the public cloud systems allow businesses to save and grow. You should as well take into consideration other factors such as ecosystems for cloud relationships before you make an informed decision. There are some business models which prefer private cloud solutions while others can work well under public cloud-based solutions.

Related References

Business Linux Operating Systems

Linux
Linux

Unix and Linux are different operating systems with have some common commands. Source code for Linux is freely available to the public and Unix is not available. Linux operating system is a free/open source and Some versions of Unix are proprietary and others are a free/open source. Linux Operating system can be used for desktop systems and for servers. But the Unix is mainly used in servers, mainframes and high-end computers.

AIX is an operating system based on Unix versions from IBM. It is mainly designed for IBM’s workstations and for the server hardware platforms. And HP-UX is the operating system from HP ( Hewlett Packard ) based on Unix versions.  HP-UX and AIX are stable operating system compare with Linux. HP-UX and AIX are platform dependent and they are limited to their own hardware. But in the case of Linux, it is platform independent and can be used with any hardware. Since HP-UX and AIX are platform dependent, they are optimised for the hardware and the performance is better than Linux operating systems.  AIX is outperforming Linux from 5 to 10 percent.

Unix

AT&T Unix, started in the 1970s at the Bell Labs and newer versions of Unix have developed and some of them are listed below. In 1980, AT&T licensed Unix to third-party vendors and leading to the development of different variants. Some of them are;

  • Berkeley Unix, FreeBSD and its variants
  • Solaris from Sun Microsystem
  • HP-UX from Hewlett-Packard
  • AIX from IBM
  • MacOs from Apple
  • Microsoft’s Xenix

Unix installations are costlier since it requires some special hardware. MacOS needs apple computers, AIX needs IBM hardware and HP-UX needs HP hardware etc.

Linux

Linux is a free and open source operating system based on Unix. Linux kernel was first developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux was originally developed for personal computers but nowadays it is using personal computers as well as in server systems. Since it is very flexible, it can be installed in any hardware systems. Linux operating system is available for mobile phones, tablets, video game consoles, mainframes and supercomputers. Some of the best distros for small business are;

  • Centos
  • ClearOS
  • OpenSUSE
  • IPFire
  • Ubuntu
  • Manjaro
  • Slackware

Linux Vs Unix

Linux Unix
The Source Code of Linux is freely available to its Users. The Source Code of Unix is not available for the general public.
Linux primarily uses Graphical User Interface with an optional Command Line Interface. Unix primarily uses Command Line Interface.
Linux OS is portable and can be executed in different Hard Drives. Unix is not portable.
Linux is very flexible and can be installed on most of the Home Based Pcs. Unix has a rigid requirement of the Hardware. Hence, cannot be installed on every other machine.
Linux is mainly used in Home Based PC, Mobile Phones, Desktops, etc. Unix is mainly used in Server Systems, Mainframes and High-End Computers.
Different Versions of Linux are: Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse, Redhat, Solaris, etc. Different Versions of Unix are: AIS, HP-UX, BSD, Iris, etc.
Linux Installation is economical and doesn’t require much specific and high-end hardware. Unix Installation is comparatively costlier as it requires more specific hardware circuitry.
The Filesystems supported by Linux are as follows: xfs, ramfs, nfs, vfat, cramfsm ext3, ext4, ext2, ext1, ufs, autofs, devpts, ntfs The Filesystems supported by Unix are as follows: zfs, js, hfx, gps, xfs, vxfs.
Linux is developed by an active Linux Community worldwide. Unix is developed by AT&T Developers.

Hardware architecture

Most commercial versions of UNIX distributions are coded for specific hardware. Like HP-UX for PA-RISC (Hewlett-Packard) and Itanium machines (Intel) and AIX is for Power processors ( IBM ). Since these distributions are limited, the developers can optimise their code for these architectures to get maximum utilisation of resources.  Since it uses proprietary hardware, Unix distributions are not cost effective.

  • HP-UX needs HP or Intel hardware
  • AIX needs IBM Hardware

Linux operating system is not dependent on the hardware, so it can be installed in any of the server systems which have a processor. Since the developers cannot assume the hardware architecture and they need to prepare the code for some general hardware specifications and that’s why Linux operating system has less performance than the commercial Unix variants.

  • Linux is open to all hardware

Licensing

GNU General Public License (GPL), is a form of copyleft and is used for the Linux kernel and many of the components from the GNU Project. Free software projects, although developed through collaboration, are often produced independently of each other. AIX and HP-UX are using proprietary licenses.

HP-UX

Developer Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
Written in C
OS family Unix (System V)
Initial release 1982; 36 years ago
Kernel type Monolithic with dynamically loadable modules
License Proprietary

 

IBM AIX

Developer IBM
Written in C
OS family Unix
Initial release 1986; 32 years ago
Kernel type Monolithic with dynamically loadable modules
License Proprietary

 

Linux

Developer Community, Linus Torvalds
Written in Primarily C and assembly
OS family Unix-like
Initial release September 17, 1991; 26 years ago
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux kernel)
License GPLv2[7] and other free and open-source licenses (the name “Linux” is a trademark[b])

 

Softwares and Tools

Softwares and tools in Linux are general to all hardware. But in the case of Unix, separate tools and software which leverage to get the maximum performance. So the performance of the systems is higher than the Linux operating system by comparing the hardware configuration. Unix has good performance than Linux systems. While considering the cost estimation, Linux will get more votes.

System Management Interface Tool ( SMIT ) with AIX is the tools used for package management, System Administration Manager (SAM) on HP-UX. Linux operating system uses rpm or dpkg etc. based on the variants.

Software Installation and Patch Management

R H Linux

HP-UX

AIX

Install rpm -i file swinstall –s depot software installp –a [-c] FileSet
Update rpm -U/F file swinstall –s depot software installp –a FileSet
List rpm -q swlist –l product lslpp –L all
Remove rpm -e swremove software installp –u FileSet
Patches rpm -u swinstall installp
List Patches rpm -q -a swlist –l product lslpp –L all
Patch check up2date/yum security_patch_check compare_report

File system

While talking about the file systems, Linux scores more than the other Unix versions. Unix supports two or three file systems locally. But Linux supports almost all the file systems available on any operating system.

 

System Filesystem
AIX jfs, gpfs
HP-UX hfs, vxfs

Kernel

The kernel is the core of the operating system and the source code of the kernel are not freely available for the commercial versions of Unix. For the Linux operating system, the users can check and verify the code and even modify it if required.

Support

The commercial versions of Unix come with a license cost. Since these operating systems are purchased, the vendor will provide technical support to the end users to the smooth running of the operating systems.

In the case of the Linux operating system, we need to use the open source forums and community for getting support from the users and developers around the world or hire some freelancers for fixing the issues.

Related References