The term supercloud is relatively new, but the concepts behind it have been bubbling for years.
Early last decade when the National Institute of Standards and Technology put forth its original definition of cloud computing, it said services had to be accessible over a public network — essentially cutting the on-premises crowd out of the conversation. Chuck Hollis, the chief technology officer at EMC and prolific blogger, objected to that criterion and laid out his vision for what he termed a private cloud. In that post he showed a workload running both on-premises and in a public cloud, sharing the underlying resources in an automated and seamless manner – what later became more broadly known as hybrid cloud.
That vision, as we now know, really never materialized and we were left with multicloud — sets of largely incompatible and disconnected cloud services running in separate silos. The point is, what Hollis put forth – the ability to abstract underlying infrastructure complexity and run workloads across multiple heterogeneous estates with an identical experience – is what supercloud is all about.
In this Breaking Analysis we’re excited to share what we hope to learn at Supercloud22 next week.
On Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 9 a.m. PDT, the community is gathering for Supercloud22, an inclusive and open pilot symposium hosted by theCUBE and made possible by VMware Inc. and other founding partners. It’s a one-day, single-track event with more than 25 speakers digging into the architectural, technical, structural and business aspects of supercloud. This is a hybrid event, with a live program in the morning and pre-recorded content in the afternoon featuring industry leaders, technologists, analysts and investors up and down the technology stack.
After the very first re:Invent, Amazon Web Services Inc.’s annual cloud conference, we published our Amazon Gorilla post seen in the upper right above. And we talked about how to differentiate from Amazon and form ecosystems around industries and data and how the cloud would change information technology permanently.
In the upper left we put a post up on the old Wikibon.org wiki and we talked about the importance of traditional tech companies and their customers learning to compete in the Amazon economy. We showed a graph of how IT economics were changing and cloud services had marginal economics that looked more like software than hardware at scale. And we posited that this would reset opportunities for both technology sellers and industries for the next 20 years.
This came into sharper focus in the ensuing years, culminating in a milestone post by Greylock’s Jerry Chen called Castles in the Cloud, an inspiration and catalyst for us using the term supercloud in John Furrier’s post prior to re:Invent 2021.
Once we floated the concept, people in the community started to weigh in and help flesh out this idea of supercloud — where companies of all types build services on top of hyperscale infrastructure and across multiple clouds, and going beyond multicloud 1.0, which we argued was really a symptom of multivendor.
Despite its somewhat fuzzy definition, it resonated with people because they knew something was brewing. Keith Townsend, the CTO Advisor, even though he wasn’t necessarily a big fan of the buzzy nature of the term supercloud, posted this awesome blackboard talk on Twitter:
Keith has deep practitioner knowledge and lays out a couple of options. Especially useful are the examples he uses of cloud services, which recognize the need for cross-cloud services and the aspirational notion of VMware’s vision. Remember this was in January 2021. And he brings HashiCorp into the conversation. It’s one of the speakers at Supercloud22. And he asks the community what they think.
Which is what we’re asking you. We’re trying to really test out the viability of supercloud and people like Keith are instrumental as collaborators.
It’s probably not a shock to you to hear that not everyone’s is not on board with the supercloud meme. In particular, Charles Fitzgerald has been a wonderful collaborator just by his hilarious criticisms of the concept. After a couple of supercloud posts, Charles put up his second rendition of supercloudafragilisticexpialidocious. It’s just beautiful.
To boot, he put up this picture of Baghdad Bob asking us to “Please Just Stop.” Bob’s real name is Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf. He was the minister of propaganda for Saddam Hussein during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, making outrageous claims of U.S. troops running Saddam’s elite forces in fear.
Charle’s laid out several helpful critiques of supercloud, which has led us to further refine the definition and catalyze the community’s thinking on the topic. One of his issues, and there are many, is we said a prerequisite of supercloud was a superPaaS layer. Gartner’s Lydia Leong chimed in (see above) saying there were many examples of successful platform-as-a-service vendors built on top of a hyperscaler, some having the option to run in more than one cloud provider.
But the key point that we’re trying to explore is the degree to which that PaaS layer is purpose-built for a specific supercloud; and not only runs in more than one provider, as Lydia said, but runs across multiple clouds simultaneously, creating an identical developer experience irrespective of estate. Now maybe that’s what she meant… it’s hard to say from a tweet.
But to the former point, at Supercloud22 we have several examples we’re going to test. One is Oracle Corp.’s and Microsoft Corp.’s exact announcement to run database services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Microsoft Azure, making them appear as one. Rather than use an off-the-shelf platform, Oracle claims to have developed a capability for developers specifically built to ensure high performance, low latency and a common experience across clouds.
Another example we’re going to test is Snowflake Inc. We’ll be interviewing Benoit Dageville, co-founder of Snowflake, to understand the degree to which Snowflake’s exact announcement of an application platform is purpose built for the Snowflake Data Cloud. Is it just a plain old PaaS – big whoop as Lydia claims – or is it something new and innovative?
By the way we invited Charles Fitz to participate in Supercloud22 and he declined, saying, in addition to a few other semi-insulting quips:
[There’s] “definitely interesting new stuff brewing [that] isn’t traditional cloud or SaaS. But branding it all supercloud doesn’t help either.
Indeed, we agree with the former sentiment. As for the latter, we definitely are not claiming everything is supercloud. But to Charles’ point, it’s important to define the critical aspects of supercloud so we can determine what is and what isn’t supercloud. Our goal at Supercloud22 is to continue to evolve the definition with the community. That’s why we’ve asked Kit Colbert, CTO of VMware, to present his thinking on what an architectural framework for cross-cloud services, what we call supercloud, might look like.
We’re also featuring some of the sharpest analysts in the business at Supercloud22 with The Great Supercloud Debate.
In additional to Keith Townsend, Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research and Sanjeev Mohan, former Gartner analyst and now principal at Sanjmo, participated in this session. Now we don’t want to mislead you and imply that these analysts are hopping on the supercloud bandwagon. But they’re more than willing to go through the thought experiment and this is a great conversation that you don’t want to miss.
Maribel Lopez had an excellent way to think about this topic. She used TCP/IP as an historical example, saying:
Remember when we went to TCP/IP, and the whole idea was, how do we get computers to talk to each other in a more standardized way? How do we get data to move in a more standardized way? I think that the problem we have with multicloud right now is that we don’t have that. So that’s sort of a ground level of getting us to your supercloud premise.
Listen to Maribel Lopez share here thoughts on the base level requirements for supercloud.
As well, Sanjeev Mohan has some excellent thoughts on whether the path to supercloud will be achieved via open-source technology or a de facto standard platform.
Now again, we don’t want to imply that these analysts are all out banging the supercloud drum. They’re not necessarily. But it’s fair to say that, like Charles Fitzgerald, they believe something new is bubbling up. And whether it’s called supercloud or multicloud 2.0 or cross-cloud services, or whatever name you want to choose, it’s not multicloud of the 2010s.
Our goal here is to advance the discussion on what’s next in cloud. Supercloud is meant to be a term that describes the future. And specifically the cloud opportunities that can be built on top of hyperscale compute, storage, networking, machine learning and other services at scale.
That is why we posted the piece on answering the top 10 questions about supercloud, many of which were floated by Charles Fitzgerald and others in the community.
Why does the industry need another term? What’s really new and different and what is hype? What specific problems does supercloud solve? What are the salient characteristics of supercloud? What’s different beyond multicloud? What is a superPaaS? How will applications evolve on superclouds?
All these questions will be addressed in detail as a way to advance the discussion and help practitioners and business people understand what’s real today and what’s possible in the near future.
One other question we’ll address is: Who are the players that will build out superclouds and what new entrants can we expect? Below is an Enterprise Technology Research graphic we showed in a previous episode of Breaking Analysis. It lays out some of the companies we think are either building superclouds or are in a position to do so.
The way the Y axis shows Net Score or spending velocity and the X axis depicts presence in the ETR survey of more than 1,200 respondents.
The key callouts to this slide, in addition to some of the smaller firms that aren’t yet showing up in the ETR data, such as ChaosSearch and Starburst and Aviatrix and Clumio, are the really interesting additions that are industry players. Walmart and Azure, CapitalOne and Goldman with AWS, Oracle Cerner: These, we think, are early examples of industry clouds that will eventually evolve into superclouds.
They may not all be cross-cloud today (Oracle/Microsoft is and perhaps Goldman’s cloud fits, since it connects to on-prem systems), but the potential is there. So we’ll explore these and other trends to get the community’s input on how this will play out.
We have an amazing lineup of experts to answer your questions: Technologists such as Kit Colbert, Adrian Cockcroft, Marianna Tessel, Chris Hof, Will Laforest, Ali Ghodsi, Benoit Dageville, Muddu Sudhakar, Steve Mullaney, Priya Rajagopal, Lori MacVittie, Howie Xu, Haseeb Budhani, Rajiv Ramaswami, Vittorio Viarengo, Kris Rice, Karan Batta. Investors such as Jerry Chen, In Sik Rhee, the analysts we featured earlier, Paula Hansen talking about going to market in a multicloud world, Gee Rittenhouse, David McJannet, Bhaskar Gorti of Platform9 and more.
And of course you.
Please register for Supercloud22. It’s a really lightweight registration; we’re not doing this for lead gen, we’re doing it for collaboration, and if you sign in, you can chat and ask questions in real time. Don’t miss this inaugural event on Aug. 9 starting at 9 a.m. PDT.
Thanks to Alex Myerson, who does the production, podcasts and media workflows for Breaking Analysis. Special thanks to Kristen Martin and Cheryl Knight, who help us keep our community informed and get the word out, and to Rob Hof, our editor in chief at SiliconANGLE.
Remember we publish each week on Wikibon and SiliconANGLE. These episodes are all available as podcasts wherever you listen.
Email email@example.com, DM @dvellante on Twitter and comment on our LinkedIn posts.
Also, check out this ETR Tutorial we created, which explains the spending methodology in more detail. Note: ETR is a separate company from Wikibon and SiliconANGLE. If you would like to cite or republish any of the company’s data, or inquire about its services, please contact ETR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the full video analysis:
All statements made regarding companies or securities are strictly beliefs, points of view and opinions held by SiliconANGLE Media, Enterprise Technology Research, other guests on theCUBE and guest writers. Such statements are not recommendations by these individuals to buy, sell or hold any security. The content presented does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. You and only you are responsible for your investment decisions.
Disclosure: Many of the companies cited in Breaking Analysis are sponsors of theCUBE and/or clients of Wikibon. None of these firms or other companies have any editorial control over or advanced viewing of what’s published in Breaking Analysis.
VMware Inc. today introduced VMware Carbon Black Workload for Amazon Web Services to help defend against emerging threats and deliver comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
VMware Carbon Black for AWS has been designed to deliver advanced protection purpose-built for securing both traditional and modern workloads. The service uses a single unified console that integrates into existing infrastructure, allowing security and information technology teams to reduce attack surfaces and strengthen security postures. The improved security postures are delivered while achieving consistent and unified visibility for workloads running on AWS, VMware Cloud and on-premises.
The service allows security teams to see ephemeral and transient workloads, providing context to help AWS customers better secure modern applications. Features include automatic gathering and listing of vulnerabilities to help identify risk and harden workloads, further shrinking the attack surface. Support for continuous integration and continuous integration packages used in sensor deployment is said to simplify agent lifecycle management further.
By onboarding their AWS account, AWS customers using the new service can achieve more complete, comprehensive and deeper visibility into the workloads that extend beyond when the VMware Carbon Black Workload sensor was first deployed.
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS combines foundational vulnerability assessment and workload hardening with Next-Generation Antivirus to analyze attacker behavior patterns over time and help stop never-seen-before attacks.
The inclusion of enterprise threat hunting for workloads with behavioral endpoint detection and response allows AWS customers to turn threat intelligence into a prevention policy to avoid hunting for the same threat twice. Telemetry gathered feeds into VMware’s Contexa, a full-fidelity threat intelligence cloud that shrinks the gap between attackers and defenders while enabling greater visibility, control and anomaly detection for workloads.
“Security and IT teams lack visibility and control in highly dynamic and distributed environments,” Jason Rolleston, vice president of product management and co-general manager for VMware’s Security Business Unit, said in a statement. “VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS improves collaboration between these teams via a single consolidated platform for all workloads, regardless of where they’re running, to help defenders see and stop more threats.”
The US Department of Homeland Security has released the Cyber Safety Review Board’s (CSRB) report into Log4j vulnerabilities, which details actionable recommendations for government and industry.
The CSRB is a new public-private initiative within CISA that aims to bring together government and industry leaders to review and assess significant cyber security events and threats.
The board’s first report addresses the “continued risk” posed by the Log4Shell vulnerability in the widely used Log4j open-source software library, discovered in late 2021. It is one of the most prominent cyber security threats of exact years.
Described as “one of the most serious vulnerabilities discovered in exact years”, the CSRB’s recommendations focus on driving better security in software products, as well as enhancing organizations’ response abilities.
“The CSRB’s first-of-its-kind review has provided us – government and industry alike – with clear, actionable recommendations that DHS will help implement to strengthen our cyber resilience and advance the public-private partnership that is so vital to our collective security,” commented Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who delivered the report to President Biden.
First disclosed on 9 December 2021, Log4Shell is a zero-day remote code execution vulnerability in Java logger Log4j, which was awarded a 10/10 criticality rating by CISA.
In a nutshell, the flaw enables attackers to submit a specially crafted request to a vulnerable system, causing it to execute arbitrary code. As a result, the attackers can take full control of the affected system from a remote location.
According to CISA, cyber threat actors have continued to exploit the vulnerability in VMware Horizon and Unified Access Gateway (UAG) servers to obtain initial access to organizations that did not apply available patches or workarounds.
The CSRB engaged with nearly 80 organizations and key individuals to gather insights into the Log4j event and develop actionable recommendations for future incidents.
The 19 recommendations outlined in the report have been split into four categories; the first focuses on addressing the continued risks and states that both organizations and government bodies should be prepared to apply vigilance to Log4j vulnerabilities “for the long term”.
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The second outlines recommendations for driving best practices for security hygiene, advising adoption of industry-accepted best practices and standards for vulnerability management. That includes investment in security capabilities and development of response programs and practices.
The third category advises organizations on building a better software ecosystem to move to a proactive model of vulnerability management, including increasing investments in open source software security, as well as training software developers in secure software development.
Lastly, the fourth group notes that investing in new systems and groups for the future will be essential in securing the US’ infrastructure and digital resilience in the long term.
“Never before have industry and government cyber leaders come together in this way to review serious incidents, identify what happened, and advise the entire community on how we can do better in the future,” said Robert Silvers, CSRB Chair and DHS Under Secretary for Policy.
“Our review of Log4j produced recommendations that we are confident can drive change and Boost cyber security.”
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Today in Tech
When I began my career in technical operations (mostly what we call DevOps today) the world was dramatically different. This was before the dawn of the new millennium. When the world’s biggest and most well-known SaaS company, Salesforce, was operating out of an apartment in San Francisco.
Back then, on-premise ruled the roost. Rows of towers filled countless rooms. These systems were expensive to set up and maintain, from both a labour and parts perspective. Building a business using only SaaS applications was technically possible back then but logistically a nightmare. On-prem would continue to be the default way for running software for years to come.
But technology always progresses at lightspeed. So just three years after Salesforce began preaching the “end of software”, Amazon Web Services came online and changed the game completely.
Today a new SaaS tool can be built and deployed across the world in mere days. Businesses are now embracing SaaS solutions at a record pace. The average small to medium-sized business can easily have over 100 SaaS applications in their technology stack. Twenty years ago, having this many applications to run a business was unthinkable and would have cost millions of dollars in operational resources. However, at Rewind, where I oversee technical operations, I looked after our software needs with a modem and a laptop.
SaaS has created a completely different reality for modern businesses. We can build and grow businesses cheaper and faster than ever before. Like most “too good to be true” things, there’s a catch. All this convenience comes with one inherent risk. It’s a risk that people rarely discussed in my early days as a DevOps and is still rarely talked about. Yet this risk is important to understand, otherwise, all the vital SaaS data you rely on each and every day could disappear in the blink of an eye.
And it could be gone for good.
This likely goes without saying but you rent SaaS applications, you don’t own them. Those giant on-prem server rooms companies housed years ago, now rest with the SaaS provider. You simply access their servers (and your data) through an operating system or API. Now you are probably thinking, “Dave, I know all this. So what?”
Well, this is where the conundrum lies.
If you look at the terms of service for SaaS companies, they do their best to ensure their applications are up and running at all times. It doesn’t matter if servers are compromised by fire, meteor strike, or just human error, SaaS companies strive to ensure that every time a user logs in, the software is available. The bad news is this is where their responsibility ends.
You, the user, are on the hook for backing up and restoring whatever data you’ve entered and stored in their services. Hence the term “Shared Responsibility Model”. This term is most associated with AWS but this model actually governs all of cloud computing.
The above chart breaks down the various scenarios for protecting elements of the cloud computing relationship. You can see that with the SaaS model, the largest onus is on the software provider. Yet there are still things a user is responsible for; User Access and Data.
I’ve talked to other folks in DevOps, site reliability, or IT roles in exact years and I can tell you that the level of skepticism is high. They often don’t believe their data isn’t backed up by the SaaS provider in real time. I empathize with them, though, because I was once in their shoes. So when I meet this resistance, I just point people to the various terms of service laid out by each SaaS provider. Here is GitHub’s, here is Shopify’s and the one for Office 365. It’s all there in black and white.
The reason the Shared Responsibility Model exists in the first place essentially comes down to the architecture of each application. A SaaS provider has built its software to maximize the use of its operating system, not continually snapshot and store the millions or billions of data points created by users. Now, this is not a “one-size fits all scenario”. Some SaaS providers may be able to restore lost data. However, if they do, in my experience, it’s often an old snapshot, it’s incomplete, and the process to get everything back can take days, if not weeks.
Again, it’s simply because SaaS providers are lumping all user data together, in a way that makes sense for the provider. Trying to find it again, once it’s deleted or compromised, is like looking for a needle in a haystack, within a field of haystacks.
The likelihood of losing data from a SaaS tool is the next question that inevitably comes up. One study conducted by Oracle and KPMG found that 49% of SaaS users have previously lost data. Our own research found that 40% of users have previously lost data. There are really three ways that this happens; risks that you may already be very aware of. They are human error, cyberthreats, and 3rd party app integrations.
Humans and technology have always had co-dependent challenges. Let’s face it, it’s one of the main reasons my career exists! So it stands to reason that human inference, whether deliberate or not, is a common reason for losing information. This can be as innocuous as uploading a CSV file that corrupts data sets, accidentally deleting product listings, or overwriting code repositories with a forced push.
There’s also intentional human interference. This means someone who has authorized access, nuking a bunch of stuff. It may sound far-fetched but we have seen terminated employees or third-party contractors cause major issues. It’s not very common, but it happens.
Cyberthreats are next on the list, which are all issues that most technical operations teams are used to. Most of my peers are aware that the level of attacks increased during the global pandemic, but the rate of attacks had already been increasing prior to COVID-19. Ransomware, phishing, DDoS, and more are all being used to target and disrupt business operations. If this happens, data can be compromised or completely wiped out.
Finally, 3rd party app integrations can be a source of frustration when it comes to data loss. Go back and read the terms of service for apps connected to your favourite SaaS tool. They may save a ton of time but they may have a lot of control over all the data you create and store in these tools. We’ve seen apps override and permanently delete reams of data. By the time teams catch it, the damage is already done.
There are some other ways data can be lost but these are the most common. The good news is that you can take steps to mitigate downtime. I’ll outline a common one, which is writing your own backup script for a Git.
There are a lot of ways to approach this. Simply Google “git backup script” and lots of options pop up. All of them have their quirks and limitations. Here is a quick rundown of some of them.
Creating a local backup in Cron Scripts
Essentially you are writing a script to clone a repo, at various intervals, using cron jobs. (Note the cron job tool you used will depend on the OS you use). This method essentially takes snapshots over time. To restore a lost repo, you just pick the snapshot you want to bring back. For a complete copy use
git clone --mirror to mirror your repositories. This ensures all remote and local branches, tags, and refs get included.
The pros of using this method are a lack of reliance on external tools for backups and the only cost is your time.
The cons are a few. You actually won’t have a full backup. This clone won’t have hooks, reflogs, configuration, description files, and other metadata. It’s also a lot of manual work and becomes more complex if trying to add error monitoring, logging, and error notification. And finally, as the snapshots pile up, you’ll need to consider accounts for cleanups and archiving.
Syncthing is a GUI/CLI application that allows for file syncing across many devices. All the devices need to have Syncthing installed on them and be configured to connect with one another. Keep in mind that syncing and backing up are different, as you are not creating a copy, but rather ensuring a file is identical across multiple devices.
The pros are that it is free and one of the more intuitive methods for a DIY “backup” since it provides a GUI. Cons: Syncthing only works between individual devices, so you can’t directly back up your repository from a code hosting provider. Manual fixes are needed when errors occur. Also, syncing a git repo could lead to corruption and conflicts of a repository, especially if people work on different branches. Syncthing also sucks up a lot of resources with its continuous scanning, hashing, and encryption. Lastly, it only maintains one version, not multiple snapshots.
Using SCM Backup
SCM Backup creates an offline clone of a GitHub or BitBucket repository. It makes a significant difference if you are trying to back up many repos at once. After the initial configuration, it grabs a list of all the repositories through an API. You can also exclude certain repos if need be.
SCM lets you specify backup folder location, authentication credentials, email settings, and more.
Here’s the drawback though, the copied repositories do not contain hooks, reflogs, or configuration files, or metadata such as issues, pull requests, or releases. And configuration settings can change across different code hosting providers. Finally, in order to run it, you need to have .NET Core installed on your machine.
Now that’s just three ways to backup a git repository. As I mentioned before, just type a few words into Google and a litany of options comes up. But before you get the dev team to build a homegrown solution, keep these two things in mind.
First, any DIY solution will still require a significant amount of manual work because they only clone and/or backup; they can’t restore data. In fact, that’s actually the case with most SaaS tools, not just in-house backup solutions. So although you may have some snapshots or cloned files, it will likely be in a format that needs to be reuploaded into a SaaS tool. One way around this is to build a backup as a service program, but that will likely eat up a ton of developer time.
That brings us to the second thing to keep in mind, the constantly changing states of APIs. Let’s say you build a rigorous in-house tool: you’ll need a team to be constantly checking for API updates, and then making the necessary changes to this in-house tool so it’s always working. I can only speak for myself, but I’m constantly trying to help dev teams avoid repetitive menial tasks. So although creating a DIY backup script can work, you need to decide where you want development teams to spend their time.
So what’s the way forward in all of this? There are a few things to consider. And these steps won’t be uncommon to most technical operations teams. First, figure out whether you want to DIY or outsource your backup needs. We already covered the in-house options and the challenges it presents. So if you decide to look for a backup and recovery service, just remember to do your homework. There are a lot of choices, so as you go through due diligence, look at reviews, talk to peers, read technical documentation and honestly, figure out if company X seems trustworthy. They will have access to your data after all.
Next, audit all your third-party applications. I won’t sugarcoat it, this can be a lot of work. But remember the “terms of service” agreements? There are always a few surprises to be found. And you may not like what you see. I recommend you do this about once a year and make a pro/cons list. Is the value you get from this app worth the trade-off of access the app has? If it’s not, you may want to look for another tool. Fun fact: Compliance standards like SOC2 require a “vendor assessment” for a reason. External vendors or apps are a common culprit when it comes to accidental data loss.
And finally, limit who has access to each and every SaaS application. Most people acknowledge the benefits of using the least privileged approach, but it isn’t always put into practice. So make sure the right people have the right access, ensure all users have unique login credentials (use a password manager to manage the multiple login hellscape) and get MFA installed.
It’s not a laundry list of things nor is it incredibly complex. I truly believe that SaaS is the best way to build and run organizations. But I hope now it’s glaringly obvious to any DevOps, SRE or IT professional that you need to safeguard all the information that you are entrusting to these tools. There is an old saying I learned in those early days of my career, “There are two types of people in this world – those who have lost data and those who are about to lose data”.
You don’t want to be the person who has to inform your CIO that you are now one of those people. Of course, if that happens, feel free to send them my way. I’m certain I’ll be explaining the Shared Responsibility Model of SaaS until my career is over!
Dave North has been a versatile member of the Ottawa technology sector for more than 25 years. Dave is currently working at Rewind leading 3 teams (devops, trust, IT) as the director of technical operations. Prior to Rewind, Dave was a long time member of Signiant, holding many roles in the organization including sales engineer, pro services, technical support manager, product owner and devops director. A proven leader and innovator, Dave holds 5 US patents and helped drive Signiant’s move to a cloud SAAS business model with the award winning Media Shuttle product. Prior to Signiant, Dave held several roles at Nortel, Bay Networks and ISOTRO Network Management working on the NetID product suite. Dave is fanatical about cloud computing, automation, gadgets and Formula 1 racing.
Advanced Provider Assistance Systems: Autonomous AI, The Age of Intelligence
NEW YORK, July 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The state of healthcare today is one where healthcare providers are slumped over, face-down, typing, and clicking in front of a computer while talking to patients. By doing so, patients take the back seat, and their stories are missed. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to mature, it has the potential to make this manual click obsolete and trend toward seamless ambient solutions. Zero-Click© is a company that raises awareness of the emerging trends in healthcare AI. It released a book titled Advanced Provider Assistance Systems: Autonomous AI, The Age of Intelligence that highlights how impactful AI can be.
AI keeps patients at the center of care; it allows providers to capture their true stories. Although nascent, AI is promising because it automates the mindless non-clinical, non-value-adding processes embedded in the healthcare system. Advanced Provider Assistance Systems delves into the complex world of healthcare delivery and examines how healthcare systems can transform during this digital era. This book also tackles the myth that AI will eliminate provider jobs and outlines the inherent challenges of AI in medicine.
Anyone interested in this subject will be fascinated by these technological advancements. Individuals can see how their trips to the doctor could change by having an AI assisting in the background.
You can purchase the book at Amazon.com:
Advanced Provider Assistance Systems: Autonomous AI
You can view the video trailer here:
YouTube Channel Link: Healthcare AI: The Age of Intelligence
Dr. Benson Babu earned his degree in Internal Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He studied the Lean Six Sigma method while attending the University of Tennessee physician executive MBA program. As an AI Champion, Dr. Babu participates in projects to help providers preserve warmhearted clinical care while working in hospital medicine. Visit him online at his LinkedIn profile for his credentials.
Image 1: Advanced Provider Assistance Systems: Autonomous AI, The Age of Intelligence
This content was issued through the press release distribution service at Newswire.com.
Factors like latency, bandwidth, security and privacy are driving the adoption of edge computing, which aims to process data closer to where it's being generated. Consider a temperature sensor in a shipyard or a fleet of cameras in a fulfillment center. Normally, the data from them might have to be relayed to a server for analysis. But with an edge computing setup, the data can be processed on-site, eliminating cloud computing costs and enabling processing at greater speeds and volumes (in theory).
Technical challenges can stand in the way of successful edge computing deployments, however. That's according to Said Ouissal, the CEO of Zededa, which provides distributed edge orchestration and virtualization software. Ouissal has a product to sell -- Zededa works with customers to help manage edge devices -- but he points to Zededa's growth to support his claim. The number of edge devices under the company's management grew 4x in the past year while Zededa's revenue grew 7x, Ouissal says.
Zededa's success in securing cash during a downturn, too, suggests that the edge computing market is robust. The company raised $26 million in Series B funding, Zededa today announced, contributed by a range of investors including Coast Range Capital, Lux Capital, Energize Ventures, Almaz Capital, Porsche Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Juniper Networks, Rockwell Automation, Samsung Next and EDF North America Ventures.
"There were two main trends that led to Zededa's founding," Ouissal told TechCrunch in an email interview. "First, as more devices, people and locations were increasingly being connected, unprecedented amounts of data were being generated … Secondly, the sheer scale and diversity of what was happening at the edge would be impossible for organizations to manage in a per-use case fashion. The only successful way to manage this type of environment was for organizations to have visibility across all the hardware, applications, clouds and networks distributed across their edge environments, just like they have in the data center or cloud."
Ouissal co-founded Zededa in 2016 alongside Erik Nordmark, Roman Shaposhnik and Vijay Tapaskar. Previously, Ouissal was the VP of strategy and customer management at Ericsson and a product manager at Juniper Networks. Nordmark was a distinguished engineer at Cisco, while Shaposhnik -- also an engineer by training -- spent years developing cloud architectures at Sun Microsystems, Huawei, Yahoo and Cloudera.
Zededa's software-as-a-service product, with works with devices from brands like SuperMicro, monitors edge installations to ensure they're working as intended. It also guides users through the deployment steps, leveraging open source projects designed for Internet of Things orchestration and cyber defense. Zededa's tech stack, for example, builds on the Linux Foundation's EVE-OS, an open Linux-based operating system for distributed edge computing.
Image Credits: Zededa
Zededa aims to support most white-labeled devices offered by major OEMs; its vendor-agnostic software can be deployed on any bare-metal hardware or within a virtual machine to provide orchestration services and run apps. According to Ouissal, use cases range from monitoring sensors and security cameras to regularly upgrading the software in cell towers.
“The C-suite understands that digital transformation is critical to their organization’s success, particularly for organizations with distributed operations, and digital transformation cannot happen without edge computing. The ability to collect, analyze and act upon data at the distributed edge makes it possible for businesses to increase their competitive advantage, reduce costs, Boost operational efficiency, open up new revenue streams and operate within safer and more secure environments," Ouissal said. "As a result of this, edge computing projects are accelerating within organizations."
Some research bears this out. According to a June 2021 Eclipse Foundation poll, 54% of organizations surveyed were either using or planning to use edge computing technologies within the next 12 months. A exact IDC report, meanwhile, forecasts double-digit growth in investments in edge computing over the next few years.
Zededa's customers are primarily in the IT infrastructure, industrial automation and oil and gas industries. Ouissal wouldn't say how many the company has currently but asserted that Zededa remains sufficiently differentiated from rivals in the edge device orchestration space.
"In terms of the 'IT down' trajectory, we are complementary to data solutions from the likes of VMware, SUSE, Nutanix, Red Hat and Sunlight, but these solutions are not suitable for deployments outside of secure data centers. From the 'OT up' standpoint, adjacent competitors include the likes of Balena, Portainer and Canonical’s Ubuntu Core. However, these solutions are more suitable for 'greenfield' use cases that only require containers and lack the security required for true enterprise and industrial deployments," Ouissal argued. "Despite the economic downturn, the strategic and transformative potential of edge computing to create new business opportunities is leading investors across verticals to increase their commitment, at a time when they may be more reluctant to invest in other avenues."
In any case, Zededa, which has a roughly 100-person team spread across the U.S., Germany and India, is actively hiring and plans to expand its R&D, sales and marketing teams within the year, Ouissal said. To date, the eight-year-old startup has raised a total of $55.4 million in venture capital.
"[We aim to increase] the use cases and integrations that we support. Within our product, we will continue to focus on innovation to Boost ease of use and security. As the edge computing market evolves and matures," Ouissal said. "We are also focused on enabling applications including updating legacy applications and bringing new solutions to the market that simplify technologies like AI and machine learning.”
BP-owned lubricant brand Castrol is partnering with immersion cooling system manufacturer Submer to help accelerate the adoption of this form of cooling in datacentre environments.
The two companies have signed an agreement that will see them work together to develop new immersion cooling fluids, which are thermally conductive, and dielectric liquids in which IT equipment is submerged to lower its temperature.
“By combining Castrol’s thermal management expertise with Submer’s expertise in immersion cooling systems, the two organisations aim to achieve a multitude of benefits, particularly in allowing datacentres to be managed in a more sustainable manner,” the companies said in a joint statement.
“With immersion cooling, water usage and the power consumption needed to operate and cool server equipment can be significantly reduced.”
The two companies have also suggested that, in time, their collaboration could be expanded to incorporate elements of the related work that Castrol’s parent company, BP, is doing to help companies in multiple industries curb their carbon emissions through the roll-out of integrated energy offerings.
“This potentially opens additional opportunities for Castrol and Submer to explore integrated coolant and energy offers, tailored to support datacentre customers to help them meet their sustainability goals,” the statement added.
Rebecca Yates, BP’s vice-president of advanced mobility and industrial products, said the two firms’ partnership aligns with Castrol’s commitment to help its customers reduce the amount of energy and water their operations use and cut the amount of waste they produce.
“Teaming up with Submer is a great example of how cooperation can help deliver more efficient operations and can bring about many opportunities for us to continue to deliver products that help save energy while delivering high performance with increased efficiency,” said Yates.
Daniel Pope, co-founder and CEO of Submer, said the company was on a mission to make the building out of sustainable digital infrastructures possible, and immersion cooling was the best way to do that.
“There are two key drivers for needing a different medium other than air [to cool datacentres],” he said. “There is a technical need driven by the supporting future generations of high-density chips that can no longer be cooled by traditional means, and a sustainability driver, driven by the need to deliver more sustainable datacentres with improved environmental performance.
“Thanks to immersion cooling, we can run these digital infrastructures with considerably reduced energy and space than is typically required. Also, by utilising heat recovery and reuse technology, we turn them into highly efficient thermal power sources that can deliver hot water to neighbouring businesses. All this happens thanks to a liquid medium that both Castrol and Submer are experts in.”