Thursday, October 13, 2011

IBM Cloud : The Smart Cloud


Here comes the public cloud from IBM called SmartCloud. It is actually both public and private but I am covering only public in this post.

SmartCloud offers full range of public cloud capabilities IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Here is the summary:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • Provides hardware, software and storage as Virtual Machines
  • Option of reserving a VM or ‘Pay as you go’
  • Choose either a public cloud solution (IBM SmartCloud Enterprise) or a managed service (IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+)
  • Operating Systems available : Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server & Microsoft Windows Server
  • Other Software available for Application dev environments (WebSphere), Application lifecycle(Rational), Application Server (WebSphere), Business Intelligence (Cognos), Database (DB2 only) etc.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • Provides an environment for application development, deployment, management and integration in the cloud
  • Development  : Rational Tools
  • Deployment   : Workload Deployer, WebSphere
  • Management : Systems Director, Smart Analytics, Hosted Application Security Management
  • Integration     : WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration

Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Provides solutions for following categories:
  • Social Collaboration : LotusLive
  • Business Process Management : Blueworks Live
  • Web Analytics : Coremetrics
  • Enterprise Marketing Management : Unica on Demand
  • B2B Integration : Sterling
  • Supply Chain Management : Sterling
  • Governance Risk Compliance : AppScan
  • Business Service Management : Tivoli Live

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Enterprise Architecture : 2011 Forrester Reports on Trends


Forrester has released two very important reports related to Enterprise Architecture featuring trends to watch for 2012 to 2014. Not free and so you need to purchase to read them.

The Top 10 Business Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014

The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014

Here is a sneak peak on what it may contain as published by Brian Hopkins few days back.

Here are a few trends of interest:

  • Business Technology Trends -
    • BPM embraces rules, events, and empowered technologies.

    • The need for deeper customer engagement drives more Social Computing.

    • The cloud applies pressure to IT economics

  • Technology Trends

    • Platform-as-a-service crosses the chasm.

    • Social technology becomes enterprise plumbing.

    • Improved virtualization sets the stage for private cloud.

DART : Overview of Google’s new web programming language


So finally, the technology has started moving on the client side of web too, faster than we expected. After many years of using HTML, JavaScript, ActiveX, Flash & Silverlight came the big innovations like HTML5 & CSS3.

Here comes the latest from Google, called DART – Structured Web programming language. Personally I have never been happy with JavaScript due to readability, maintainability & lack of support of good developer tools.

So what is DART ? Here are few highlights:

  • Open source project
  • Class-based programming language (not mentioned as object-oriented language) 
  • Moving to more structured environment. It supports classes & libraries. This is what JavaScript lacked though supported in unstructured way.
  • Optional types. This is interesting as this will allow you to start prototyping your application quickly using JavaScript style programming with simple and untyped code and then as you progress in application lifecycle convert the code from untyped to typed style which is easy to debug, understand and maintain.

Google promises to provide the right tooling support to leverage the enhancements done over javascript in Dart.

Design goals of Dart as mentioned by Google :

  • structured yet flexible
  • familiar & natural
  • high performance & fast application startup
  • full range of devices on the web – phones, tablets, laptops & servers
  • support across all major modern browsers – the current test environment does not support IE.

Deployment/Execution Models

  • Translate Dart code to JavaScript and run it in browsers today except IE.
  • Execute Dart code in a virtual machine on server side
  • Use Dartboard to write and execute code snippets in browser window except IE
  • Proposes a new MIME type called ‘application/dart’ so that it can be embedded or imported into HTML pages.

Dart & HTML5 – Dart will have HTML5 Dom library to interact with HTML elements

I feel Dart will help in making the web richer without compromising the developer productivity. JQuery is helping a lot currently in this aspect on top of JavaScript. Based on the acceptance of Dart, JavaScript may continue to remain popular.

It would have been better if instead of releasing a new language, Google had advocated such advances in JavaScript itself.

With Google Chrome making big advances and may soon become second most popular browser, it could dare to take such a bold step.

Monday, October 10, 2011

ITIL and Service Lifecycle Stages

ITIL identifies five stages in a service lifecycle.

Here they are :

  1. Service Strategy (SS)
  2. Service Design (SD)
  3. Service Transition (ST)
  4. Service Operation (SO)
  5. Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

Visually these stages can be stacked like this:


Strategy forms the core part of service lifecycle and is all about making the informed decisions on what kind of value we expect from service. Design, Transition & Operation bring the vision to reality. Design is all about creating blueprint and how it should look like once operational. Transition addresses the challenges of handover from development to operations team. Operations provides guidance on how to ensure that service keeps delivering value without interruption. Continual Service Improvement is kind of feedback loop to ensure that there is continuous focus on improving every part of service lifecycle.

We will deep dive into each of these stages in next few posts.

ITIL Overview


This is the first post of the series were I will be covering ITILv3 and its applications to the real world.

ITIL or IT Infrastructure Library is approximately 20 years old best practice, guidance or framework for doing IT Service Management (ITSM). The current version of ITIL is third major version and hence called ITILv3.

ITIL defines service as following:

A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.

ITIL Library has the following two components:

1. ITIL Core : Generic set of best practice applicable to all types of organization (internal or external) which provide services to business.

2. ITIL Complementary Guidance : specific to industry sectors, organization types, technology, etc.

ITIL v3 addresses the complete service lifecycle and has following lifecycle stages defined:

1. Service Strategy

2. Service Design

3. Service Transition

4. Service Operation

5. Continual Service Improvement

For each stage it also describes various key processes which should be focused on and also various roles and their responsibilities.

In future posts, we will go through in detail these lifecycle stages and various processes. We will also cover how it compares to other frameworks available and how they can be used together.

ITIL Official Site :

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Business Continuity Planning or Disaster Recovery–The ‘Deep Impact’ way


The other day I was watching the ‘Deep Impact’ movie and realized that there is so much to learn for Enterprise Architects from it in the area of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) or Disaster Recovery (DR).

Just to mention here, BCP is a very broad term which influences both business and IT. While DR is mostly used by IT and refers to bringing the IT systems back after natural disaster or catastrophe failure.

The two most important lessons learnt are:

1. Diversity – For enterprise to run normal at some capacity, most important systems of every business function needs to be running.

2. Dependency – The interdependency amongst systems should be known and should be used while planning the recovery.

So while preparing your DR plan, it is important that you do not plan for ‘all systems need to be brought up as soon as possible’ kind of stuff. Instead in conjunction with business, have the priority of systems clearly identified so that you can sequence the recovery while keeping in mind the interdependencies of systems.

Also make sure you do not have circular dependencies amongst your systems.

Oracle Public cloud is PaaS and SaaS


Recently Oracle joined the list of Public Cloud providers. Simply put Oracle’s public cloud is combination of:

- PaaS : Platform as a service – allows you to run java code/application with Oracle database engine in the cloud and weblogic as app engine

- SaaS : Software as a service – Hosts few of the Oracle’s popular enterprise apps like Fusion CRM & HCM. Also introduces Social Network – an enterprise wide communication and collaboration platform with a connect to customers and partners

The main components include :

1. Oracle Fusion CRM Cloud Service

2. Oracle Fusion HCM Cloud Service

3. Oracle Social Network

4. Oracle Java Cloud Service

5. Oracle Database Cloud Service

Other highlights include monthly subscription service, against multi-tenancy, self-service.

This is surely going to be hit with teams developing java apps.

Here is how the Oracle Cloud architecture looks like


IASA : Architect Career Map

IASA – International Association of Software Architects has published a career roadmap for aspiring and experienced IT architects. They provide training and certification too.

Check out the details at



















Steve Jobs : A Tribute


To the person for whom Customer and Customer Experience comes first. Rest all second and nothing beyond that.

We will miss you.