Predictions: 6 IT trends that will drive 2017

It’s hard to have a discussion about 2017 without a clear definition of “DIGITAL”.  In my mind Digital is the application of contextualized information to improve experience and outcome, whether consumer or employee, an informed decision brings all available information to the point of decision to attempt to guide and de-risk that decision.  As a result we are building services in the cloud for agility and scale, composing with independent services that are linked through HTTP/S based API’s.  These applications are intensive in the information that they produce for downstream analytics as well as consume.  For the past several years, we have talked about the digital client experience, but the pressing opportunity is the digitization of the core.  Whether a more dynamic set of streamlined processes, more predictive analytics across a broader set of real-time enterprise information, or more agile approach to take down of critical requirements; true, stock growth enhancing, enterprise productivity becomes possible.

Every company I talk to today has a strong vision leading it to a digital future. The digital imperative is forcing businesses to rethink their products, technologies, operating models, management systems, corporate culture and beyond. And as we move into the new year, I predict that change will continue at warp speed.

In fact, I see six IT trends on the near-horizon that will alter business in radical ways in the months ahead. Here’s a quick look at them (And for more details, check out this article and video )

Reconfiguring the Enterprise for the 21st Century

The 21st century enterprise really needs to rethink how it operates – and 2017 will be the year the pieces start to fall into place. More and more, companies will embrace agile approaches, focus on innovation and empower employees with a “small-team” mentality. Data will rule decision-making, as every employee gains access to the right information at the right time.

And these changes, I think, will be top-down, as our executives become the true digital leaders needed for today.

More blogs on reconfiguring the enterprise:

2. Rise of the Intelligent Machines

Technology is becoming better at people tasks than people.  Anyone who has ever watched a sci-fi movie knew this day was coming!

We’re beginning to see machines outthink their counterparts with the ability to perform much more complex math, integrate broad information sets and find correlations – even causations – that would escape the human mind.

On the whole, this is a good thing. But it will mean some disruption in the workplace as intelligent machines get added to the mix, maybe even replacing human employees. In 2017, we’ll see these tools serve in a “coaching” role, helping employees in nearly all sectors make better business decisions.

More blogs on intelligent machines:

3. Maturing of IoT and the Industrial Internet

2016 was a remarkable year for the Internet of Things (IoT). We saw broad-based adoption and a pent-up demand for these technologies. What businesses will be looking for now is a platform that makes IoT easier to implement and drive value from.

We’re also going to be talking about how to protect the information that comes from sensors and other edge devices, as well as the devices themselves. As a massive Dyn DNS attack in 2016 showed us, cybersecurity will be central to the IoT conversation going forward.

More blogs on IoT:

4. Emergence of the Sinosphere as an Innovation Leader

The Internet economy has truly gone global, but those of us who orbit Silicon Valley tend to discount the amazing innovation happening in other parts of the world. One of those areas I’m keeping an eye on is East Asia – the Sinosphere. I think we’re right on the cusp of seeing a massive amount of business and technical innovation coming out of that region emerging to advantage the intimate knowledge of local culture.

Ideally, this will lead to what I call “competitive geographic competition.” As enterprises in the Sinosphere ride this wave of innovation, businesses around the world can watch what they do and catch the next wave that comes our way.

More blogs on innovation:

5. Increased Adoption and Simplification of Cloud Platforms

In talking to CEOs and CIOs recently, I’m hearing from many of them that they have an 80/20 plan for cloud adoption. That is, they are making plans to have 80% of their business in the cloud by 2020. This is truely a “operate my business in the [public] cloud” strategy!

This growth in cloud adoption will lead, I believe, to a new range of competition in cloud providers – and a new conversation around how to make it easier, safer and cheaper for clients to adopt cloud. I also think 2017 will bring new cloud-native staff into our IT organizations, and these folks will add big value to the enterprise.

In 2017, there’s no turning back on cloud. We’re going both feet in.

More blogs on cloud adoption:

6. Next Wave of Digital Interface: Virtual and Augmented Reality

In the VR/AR world, we’ve been waiting to see consumer technology move into the enterprise. But I predict this will start happening in 2017.

We’re seeing firefighter helmets fitted with AR safety tools. Technicians are building failure-prone parts of aircraft engines with the help of AR. Architectural design is being greatly enhanced by VR/AR capabilities, as is healthcare. There are so many new use cases being explored successfully.

As more companies start to see how putting these devices in employees’ hands can raise productivity and drive efficiency and success, we’ll start to see a huge upswing in adoption.

More blogs on AR/VR:

Well, that’s what I predict 2017 will bring our way. What’s on your “wish” list for the year?

Journey to the Digital Enterprise

Over the past year, we have all seen signs that “Digital” is moving past the consumer focused startup, and past the CMO and their digital-social agendas into a much broader enterprise strategy discussion.  Many digital strategies center around bringing information into “for purpose” integrations [often visualized], and into decision/recommendation environments.  By expanding the information, the analytics and new consumerized apps, mass-customized [and context aware] experiences are becoming the norm.

The Digital Enterprise has the potential to produce a wave of financial productivity , that might dwarf the first digital wave in the mid-90’s where paper moved to email.  What do I mean?

In this new digital productivity environment, information from multiple sources is joined together, just in time, and using substantial meta-information to guide it’s integration.  The information, is now customized to the context of each transaction, each search, and each alert.  This need to bring information together “just for a purpose” promises to provide more accurate decision support [recommendation], improved presentment [single screen all the right information], and potentially mass-customized processes that are highly tuned to improve time-to-decision by understanding just what information is required to react vs. the collect everything you might ever need [just think about a loan application that uses a digital actuary, to re-evaulate risk vs. threshold with the arrival of each new piece of information vs. on a complete book of data].


Photo from Dave McCrory Blog:

The net, for me, is that Digital is all about finding new ways to use a full “open world” of information federated across internal and external sources alike.  This information comes together in value ecosystems and trades on currency, specificity and link-ability.  Data does have Gravity (as Dave McCrory and others have developed here), and this gravity will begin to drive industry “information supply chains” and new demands for thoughtful co-location due to the challenges of distance comparators (like the Hadoop Shuffle Sort).  The transformations of Enterprise IT will be greater than those of the email revolution, digital documents and the Business Process Revolution that ensued.

I believe that the time is ripe for a massive transformation of each layer of the IT stack as the new Digital Businesses drive demands for intelligent information processing, improved governance and of course business agility.  Innovations -> Standardizations including: cloud, DevOps, RESTful API’s, and even scale out data fabrics have established a new way of delivering IT.  Today, most enterprises are looking for the proven roadmaps to help them adopt, prove and then transform the legacy estate to enable them to compete in this new digital marketplace… from consumerized experiences customers, employees and partners, to fully agile information services that may evolve continuously as new insights naturally fine tune the business.

CSCDigitalTransformation-pp-series2016Today, the CSC Technology team launches a number of position-papers.  These papers address the Journeys to the Digital Enterprise both in key vertical markets, but also across the new IT stack.  These position papers are designed around an “open world” content base, will be continually amended to bring new details and evidence to the journey. Further, these papers bring forward some new solution patterns to help build-out the green field digital enterprise [start small and protect the benefits], and then bring the information from the legacy estate forward into these conversations through API’s, federation and new process strategies.  Each paper includes a FROM:TO discussion along with a set of first steps to help enterprise move strategically toward this common digital horizon in which information and agility are the new currency of IT.


More Complete Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Deployments [hint: the NETWORK IS THE COMPUTER]

Today we are announcing, with our partner AT&T, support for the integration of AT&T NetBond™ API based [WAN] orchestration within a standard CSC Agility Platform™ cloud blueprint has GA’d.  This bring dynamic WAN networking into the application developers toolbox; cross linking the public cloud’s “VPC” intra-nets and the Enterprise Cloud VLANS via dynamically provisioned private channels in the WAN.

Let’s cut today’s announcement up into pieces:

  • Public Cloud VPC’s is a private tenancy that enable a group of virtual machines to share an internal network, while describing external network interface points. The VPC can be measured as a container and can manage administrative AuthN/Z, aggregate metering data, basically it is a mini-datacenter for the tenant.
  • The Enterprise Cloud that we’re hybridizing could be another public cloud VPC or an enterprise cloud tenancy that, like the Public Cloud VPC represents a protected administrative domain.
  • The WAN is the network that links the Public Cloud VPC to another Enterprise/External Cloud VPC. As you might expect, AT&T NetBond™ enables the idea of a tenancy to provide privacy as the bits transit from point to point via a secured WAN channel.

AT&T NetBond™  provides the ability to establish a private tunnel [channel] across a circuit (in this case an MPLS VPN) creating an Layer 2 or L3 network tenancy.  I like to think about the circuit like a great big conduit, and the channels are a garden hose that is run along the desired path end-2-end. The API enables the programming of “channel” bandwidth, route-path/priority and even [forward statement] the stitching of other services (network functions like firewalls, DDoS edges, accelerators via NFV capabilities see: AT&T Domain 2.0).  In effect, the app get’s its own private tunnel on a private [off public internet] network with the ability to elastically change performance, membership and with strong audit for privacy.


With the introduction of an API earlier this year, CSC and AT&T have been partnered to deliver an end-to-end Virtual Private Hybrid Cloud Experience for enterprise clients that are looking to exploit public, private and hybrid in an integrated REGULATED IT environment.

We all know that there is a gap between IT and the business, and in an effort to shrink the gap, CSC has been investing substantially in the CSC Agility Platform extending the public clouds that we support, the intimate support for Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) as well as hybrid cloud orchestration to support a “single push button deployment of complex hybrid cloud applications supporting enterprise demands for policy/regulatory control.  By putting standard blueprints for end-to-end Software Defined Networking (SDN), CSC and AT&T are stitching together workloads and their network requirements into a policy controlled orchestration, to provide more consistent and auditable infrastructure for the modernized enterprise.

For more information on the solution, visit or

The CSC Agility Platform:

The CSC Agility Platform is often grouped with Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs), but this sells short some key benefits to several different constituencies, from individual developers, to enterprise application architectural managers, to risk managers and of course infrastructure/cloud administrators.  From blueprints and release management, to blueprints and a policy engine to an orchestration and brokering capability, the Agility Platform helps enterprises with speed, consistency, risk and optimization.  Now, the Agility Platform is more powerful than ever, empowering developers while maintaining consistent fulfillment of enterprise architecture and policy standards.

Digital Disruptions and Continous Transformation

Recently, there have been a lot of discussion around a new role in the enterprise, something akin to “Chief Digital Officer” and many have suggested that this creates the need to establish “Bi-Modal IT” in effect a new parallel organization that reflects agile development against a new technology basis.


Executing Digital Leadership

Based upon some core research from the LEF‘s David Moschella, Digital Leadership (DL) is really just the transformation of traditional Leadership, and is required from the boardroom down in order to create a competitive company.  DL is not a role, but an operating model within those firms.  We think that having engaged and technically savvy CxO’s, Double Deep “Vertical | Technology | Process” Employees, an Outside-In Execution Model, as well as an ecosystem strategy are really more important qualities than organization (who is going to be CDO or front vs. back-office IT).

If you agree that having the right operating model is more important than organization please read on, as I believe that the digital organization really needs to be grounded in Continuous Transformation and Transformation.

Instead of focusing on organizational strategies for DL, clients need to think substantially about the key transformations that they are trying to achieve and the skills and communities that enable digital value to be realized.


In my experience, all CValueChainEvolution.001ompanies are really looking at an evolutionary value chain.  In this value-chain, companies can depict bringing new innovation into the firm, but also around a set of core functions that are “table stake” requirements driven by vertical industry and regulation.


OverValueChainEvolution.002 the last decade+, new “as a Service” players have entered the market enabling companies to replace functions that used to be viewed as core, with basic highly standardized commodity services – utilities.  These utilities are highly evolved, to operate against a homogeneous target and derive efficiency from their focus.  Whether we want to talk about Power Generation, Inter-networking, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) the ability to contest [find a multitude of providers against] a standard set of requirements has been key to the value proposition.  But, to fully exploit this proposition, many clients are forced to substantially change their own requirements.  In most case,s the enterprise must change things like contracts (SLAs, warranties) and  specific customization requirements; to materialize the benefits of ?aaS.

InValueChainEvolution.003 many clients, the move to mainframe  & open-system teams and standard enterprise architecture capabilities was a step toward this, as were Labs teams that operated to bring innovation to the firm.  But we know that the standardization efforts within large firms typically fell far short of their “single purpose” competitors in the open market.  In the past, we have seen BPaaS providers like, Google Analytics and Workday make substantial progress at standardizing several key processes, but this year we’ve really seen a push toward “Hybrid Cloud” and “Hybrid Workplace” as core IT looks to increase the savings of lower level (potentially harder to standardadize) functions because of organizational hierarchies (clinging to the past) and un-necessary but often fiercely defended complexities.

ValueChainEvolution.004The really important strategic plays, that CSC has been bringing to it’s customers are really our ability to bring ecosystem innovation to every customer to help create growth, and to modernize applications onto governed cloud utilities to help to create the savings to invest in this innovation.

These strategic plays count on 3 predominant evolutionary stages, but again, it’s the actions from pioneer to settler, or from settler to city planner that are the most profound transformational opportunities:

  1. THE PIONEER: Groups that are naturally at the cutting edge in business and technology that actively engage in new areas with the expectations of fairly low batting averages.  “Tangible Understanding of the Landscape -> Customer Zero”. Innovator
  2. THE SETTLER: Groups that derive some benefit from co-location/co-creation, typically form into small ecosystems with mutual benefit in order to cover an end-to-end value proposition, but because of ad-hoc nature of relationships and processes are not optimized. A “Lean Startup”
  3. THE CITY PLANNER: A stage of evolvement in which all entities benefit from the shared capabilities associated with multi-tenancy “single/multiple investment against multiple stakeholders.” A Service Provider

imagesThe critical focal point for our enterprise customers should be the transformations across these different evolutionary stages .

For a Systems Integrator like CSC, this natural value chain, that despite being different for every company, begins to reflect some very consistent transformation/integValueChainEvolution.005ration opportunities.  Suggesting that we can bring “High Value” services into the Strategic Core if we’re able to harvest innovation from one customer/vertical across to other clients.  Or through Highly Evolved “as a Service” plays helping to bridge core IT with the broad network of our “as a Service” partners.

The net is that CSC, as a global delivery partner, and augmented with the worlds best Strategic Partnerships, can help our clients map their own value domain, develop strategies for pioneers, settlers and city-planners alike.  We can help establish a process for digital leadership and use our “Double Deep” skills to ensure that each client gets the business and technical benefit for their strategy.  Most importantly, we can help you, our clients, align the value chain evolution investments for optimal business results.

I really want to thank @swardley for his insightful work that I’m blatantly dumbing down and exploiting here.. for more please see: OSCON2014 or his blog here.

The need to extend SIAM for the Digital Enterprise

In the new “as a Service” Enterprise, we talk aggressively about Service Integration becoming a combinator of core enterprise services, contextual services, and utility services (see Simon Wardley’s mapping taxonomy).  Core enterprise services, those that support the core industry: ERP for manufacturing, Core Banking for retail banks, Policy Management for insurance and the like; provide access to core transactional services that operate to the industry regulations and corporate policies.  Contextual services are distinct differentiated services to engage employees, partners and customers that provide the “secret sauce” of value driven differentiation – things that we often discuss around co-creation, innovation and disruption.  Diametrically opposed to these context services are utility services; services that are substantially undifferentiated, supporting multiple businesses and are provided as commodities: email, voice, IaaS, BURA, leveraging the scale of a demand-pool to reduce costs toward the cost of power + long term debt service.

As we begin to think about Service Integration and Management (SIAM) I actually think that today’s paradigm is net-incomplete. Though we need to manage vendors/suppliers in service oriented and quantitative ways, we need to think more extensively about our approach.  Namely, the usage of the Continuous Delivery model from the SDLC to help us operate within the aggressive cycle time needs of business and continuous improvement.  What as a Service enterprises are really looking for is Managed Service Integrations (MSI) with full operational data commonly and consistently captured and analyzed.  Where SIAM provides frameworks and processes for integration, supporting procurement, contracts, risk and governance, the digitization of SIAM really looks more like MSI a more automated, digital and quantitative process driven by full scope operational analytics.
For me, as we begin to discuss “Services” it becomes important to think about the end-state business and IT architecture and the natural move toward being a “Service Provider” to the business, and with this comes a strategy that begins to morph ITSM toward Operational Support Services (OSS) / Business Support Services (BSS) and the desire to automate like crazy via aggressive operational analytics to guide this automation.  This shift of an operating model toward massive automation, via consistency of deployed solutions, on top of substantially less differentiated platforms creates key economic advantages via OpEx and CapEx, but also results in higher predictability and thereby lower business risk.  But this SP model does come at a cost, namely that hands need to come off keyboards as Continuous [Automated] Deployment and Continuous Monitoring emerge to improve ongoing operations via analytics on operational log data.
One of the key challenges, ongoing is the ever increasing complexity of the enterprise, SIAM is designed to address complexity via a governance strategy, but is still largely dependent on people, it’s achilles heel.  My proposal is to create a fully digital, auditable and requirements driven (managed) set of enterprise service integrations.  This approach requires a couple of core elements:
  1. Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) platform,
  2. a declarative and automated delivery platform that can automate policy conformance and the placement of controls,
  3. the adoption of a programmatic release management paradigm – todays SIAM
  4. the systematic continuous logging of key operational services and controls
  5. analytic reporting can round trip to the GRC platform to expose the real-time risks.
  6. GOTO 1.  The risks then generate the need to amend the delivery platform which then updates/upgrades/replaces current services… and the looping continues.
This virtuous cycle of consistent service improvement against both functional (business driven) integrations as well non-functional use-cases including things like regulation, corporate policy and contract conformance now become digitized, and continuously monitored and improved… in effect governing digital business services, decreasing operational risks, and overtly complying with appropriate policies.
With this in place investments in DevOps/Automated Orchestration, Policy Driven Cloud Management Platforms (like CSC Agility Platform), Release Management and Operational Logging / Analytic platforms (like the CSC BDPaaS,

Common Distributed Logging

SEIM: Splunk/ArcSight) and eGRC platforms (RSA Archer) all begin to fit together into a MSI future state.

The result: a continuously improving, fully digital, as a Service enterprise running fully compliant with industry regulations, corporate policies and business contracts.

Data Centers and the [Forced] March to an IaaS Utility

Simon Wardley has once again made me think seriously using his “Mapping” methodology as I try and think thru the disruptions in the traditional Enterprise and “Outsourced” Enterprise Data Center(DC) space (whilst managing my own confirmation bias).  We have long used the analogies of electricity and as the “cost of compute trends to the cost of power”, it probably makes some sense to talk about this!Wardley Capability Progression

Most of us know about power generation, power distribution, line loss, co/lo-generation and have even seen “backup generators.” BTW, I believe these to be good analogies as we discuss the evolvement of corporate, CoLo and provider/partner Data Centers.

One critical element in understanding competition in the “production” space is to understand the demand equation.  In power, a huge number of factors govern demand (and also supply) in order to approximate price (Michaillat and Oren, 2007).PowerPriceCompetition

Notice that the price (P) rationalizes a hybrid landscape of generators as well as a calculation that helps to resolve load [uncertainty] over time.  These generators could include long cycle and short cycle (nuclear vs. gas turbine) that help to characterize the responsiveness to demand from low elasticity to “just in time”, and we know that loads will also share the characteristics of permanent, predictable times and unpredictable peaks/valleys.

From a pure math perspective in power-plants there are a couple of key dimensions including capital/fuel/maintenance/loss which are important parts of the calculus, but perhaps most interesting to me is LOSS.  Many people know that power distribution is exceedingly expensive… namely, resistance in the transmission wires/process (~6.1% of net generation), as well as the capital costs associated with the poles, holes, copper, transformers, etc…   I think that there are real analogies to utilities like “compute”.

We, as an IT industry, rarely talk about “loss” associated with distance, and yet these costs are just as real.  Whether we talk about the variable networking costs for ingress/egress traffic (including HA/DR) which might be substantially avoidable by locating closer to the places where information is produced/concerned, or even the costs associated with latency in the form of lost opportunity?.  The traders have been doing this for years, as have outsourcers like CSC.  The real value begins to emerge as colocation begins to create markets like “Big Data Malls” of which a number of us have been discussing online.

Simon Wardley maps emergence of utility markets.

Simon Wardley maps emergence of utility markets.

If we really believe that major industries move to service utilities, as evidenced by the increasing commoditization of computing [checkout  the most recent price wars – apples-to-apples]… Although the move toward analytic services may, as yet, be premature [though I am certain that many of you will tell me of the great analytic services like google analytics and others]

Everything said, data centers are, by their very nature, things that we just want to “take for granted” and this points to a service utility treatment.  These utilities need agreed standards, and in our case PaaS/IaaS via the NIST, to enable reduced friction across the landscape.

James Hamilton on DataCenterWhat OCP has done for infrastructure and OpenDaylight is doing for Networks all in the name of concentrating demand (and therefore focusing supply) needs a parallel in the Data Center. Data Centers, though a useful subproject in OCP, don’t get talked about in an “industrialized” way, but there are a huge number of examples that are very convergent in their thinking [I would be remiss not to mention Amazon’s James Hamilton‘s who has helped me shape some of my thinking

For Data Centers, I contend that the decision calculus include key factors including:

  • stability of capital utilization (and ability to capitalize on multi-tenancy to maximize)
  • peak demands and periodicity of utilization
  • workload friction,
  • network intensities (dimensions of information ingress/egress – volumes, variety, velocities)
  • cost of power, people, capital
  • location of available public / CoLo – IaaS Utilties
  • and, unfortunately, regulation, policy and politics

So lastly,

  1. Is there a need for a common DC pattern? absolutely!
  2. Do you need your own DataCenter? Maybe – depends on the individual economics.
  3. Would you build a corporate datacenter today? depends on multi-tenancy and vectors of information exploitation!

Comments very welcome!

Finding Value in OpenSource

It seems a perpetual journey for me to help my employers understand the value associated with full participation with the global Open Source community.  Sure, everyone leeches the value, but what happens when you move from GET to GET, POST, PATCH within that ecosystem. Open Innovation, Open SourceAs CSC looks at a number of the forces that are re-shaping IT, it is important for CSC to be an active participant and a transformational partner for our customers. There are many technical, policy and more importantly cultural barriers to full community participation that need to be overcome. Whether we want to talk about the shift from IP/Patent centric defensive strategies, the legal ramifications associated with contract compliance and confidentiality, to the changes in skills and the retention of now publicly recognizable employees. There are many books written on this, but CSC is getting there! First comes the forced education that Open Source participation isn’t necessarily FREE (as in speech or beer). Not to mention the “soft” training around HOW to participate in these communities and the meritocracy that is/needs to be ever present alongside the discussions around the global nature, the timeliness and attention required.  Finally, the obligatory training around licenses, copyright, and compliance that ensure that we are good community citizens. The good news, CSC is ready.  Today we announce both the launching of CSC’s Open Source Community program, alongside the training materials and the first projects into the community via our github (  You will notice that we’re embracing “Free as in Beer” with the APL2.0 as our default license so that other collaborators can fully leverage their participation in our projects! Of the first projects, one that is exceedingly meaningful to me is Hanlon, some may remember a contribution that a few amazing guys (Nick Weaver and Tom McSweeney made while at EMC).  Today we’re taking Razor to the next level, alongside some key partners that I will allow to announce themselves.  Hanlon serves to take over where we left off with Razor: restructuring and reorganizing the codebase, and changing the way that the API (RESTful of course) and CLI are implemented (via Grape, JRuby, etc…) to simplify and improve portability.  Much more to come via Tom McSweeney’s blog. We have a substantial backlog of projects for whom open sourcing is the best way to advance the state of the art, and underwrite, with transparency our new approach to open application development and systems integration.  Stay tuned as we begin to empty the queue over the next couple of weeks!

SDN for the Global Enterprise

NetBondheadIconFor many in the enterprise, their relationship with their WAN carriers has been an opaque, long lead time, inflexible experience, looking at the WAN as a big, dumb pipe.  With the advent of NetBond, AT&T has taken a bold step in putting the enterprise “user” in control of their own, private channel between two points on the MPLS cloud.  In effect, turning what is often a set of static MPLS configurations, into a fully dynamic and user controlled extension of their software defined “control plane”.

The CSC / AT&T partnership continues to look for new ways to enable the global enterprise with capabilities to reduce costs/complexity, to increase capability while maintaining security and to enhance agility.  In effect, NetBond does all three of these, and CSC recognizes that there is a key value proposition for the global enterprise.

  • As enterprises emerge their “outside in” strategies, they will naturally connect to a multitude of Cloud and XaaS providers.  AT&T is announcing a steady stream of NetBond participants beyond CSC BizCloud (both private and virtual-private): Microsoft Azure as well as now  The ability to exploit a single MPLS endpoint, and establish dynamic “direct connection” virtual private channels via software control will enable provisioning or configuration in minutes not months.
  • The provisioning of a NetBond channel controls membership and offers elastic (up/down) bandwidth allocation in the control of the customer.  CSC is making NetBond control an integral part of ServiceMesh, so that applications can define their WAN scalability needs and define elements such as “high water marks” or “clock time rules” to orchestrate scalability within the NetBond channel.  Further as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) emerges into the WAN we will see additional features emerge into the service chain to enable everything from DDoS (today) to IDS/IDP, path engineering and even WAN accelerators to emerge as on demand network services.

These e2e SDN services become exceedingly important in the aaS/Hybrid Cloud world.  Here are just a few use-cases that we’ve thought about:

  1. priority/capacity driven migration to a public cloud provider (align capital with highest priority workloads)
  2. capacity driven migration from a public cloud provider (maximize internal cloud utilization/minimize spend)
  3. hybrid applications with data channels back into the enterprise for regulatory guarantee (even things like o365)
  4. enterprise service integration with aaS vendors for lumpy data movement (batch enrollment, report generation and download)…
  5. DR site re-sync window shortening & BCDR in general
  6. The one I really long for is slow drain (background) data transfer at very cheap rates in other words “fill in work” serviced out of a deep queue/volume for things like CDN distribution (content or analytic cubes/rules) or bulk ingress from IoT.

CSC and AT&T are partnered to emerge the end-to-end Software Defined Network, Service->Core, Core->WAN, WAN->Core, Core->Service to help customers improve agility, reduce cost and complexity, while improving security and audit-ability within their operations.  We are really excited to see the eco-system expanding.

Some notes from a friend, Steve Caniano on NetBond

CSC and Amazon Team Up to Deliver Enterprise Clouds

CSC has been building on it’s successful BizCloud plans for the past 3 years, but this year we really put Cloud in the center of our Infrastructure portfolio.  We have moved our Cloud delivery into our Global Infrastructure business so that customers gain a consistent service experience, but also so that the CSC clouds become the “first place” that we position workloads that we develop, service and manage for customers.

As we have continually reviewed the market, we recognized that the market was at a transition point.  Our enterprise customers [many of which being large, global, regulated entities and governments] needed unique clouds that supported tremendous scale and complex environments and really needed to refactor their approaches to CMDB’s, runbooks in the face of a populist revolt.  CIO’s needed more agility and the ability to create self service whilst ensuring that regulations were met, we needed a Multi-Cloud Management Platform.  We acquired ServiceMesh late last year to offer a common language for describing and deploying workloads, but also to manage complex environments such as hybrid clouds. But, there was still a gap in our strategy and our customers were looking for more than just the governance of a multi-cloud environment, they wanted to service the very demanding needs of the new enterprise developers.

Today we are announcing another key relationship, namely that CSC and Amazon are creating a Global Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) initially based in Austin (with ServiceMesh developers.  The goal of this work will be to help enterprises adopt cloud platforms taking maximum advantage of their locations, value added services, availability mechanisms, as our cloud partners like Amazon are innovating value for developers at an astounding rate.  We will be making ServiceMesh the best platform for interacting with Amazon and other public clouds while helping the CIO stay in control of their environment.


aws_logo_advanced_consulting_partner_darkWe are really excited to add Amazon, an incredible innovator to our partner list, and all of CSC is excited to make our customers succeed with their amazing cloud platform, which adds to other key public cloud partners like AT&T, VMware and Microsoft that help give our customers choices that align the differentiations of each with key customer requirements.

IT and SDDC, Agile Development and Release Management

For me, there have been a number of processes in typical IT that have been substantial challenges from a business risk, regulatory and latency perspective.  I constantly ask myself: Why is the hurdle between Dev and Ops so high which causes so many to “trip and fall”.  Many key DevOps projects focus necessarily on the agile developer/operational staff scrum in order to underwrite the risk of the addition of a new set of services into a production environment.  Born from web-scale companies, enterprises have long struggled with getting to the singular operating model that these new companies try and effect: the Google, eBay, Facebook, Twitter envy that we are always hearing about.  I’ve seen some companies move to “InfraOps” as a strategy to begin to hyper automate critical functions across an enterprise, but then they talk about proven <older> concepts like the CMDB and ITIL.  But most of the time they focus on organizational streamlining and alignment but maybe a lack of understanding of the common functions holds them back.

SM-DevOps-BlueprintsInterestingly, if you looked at the typical SDLC, the software development teams seem to struggle with similar things: Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery via version control and formal Release Management.  Fortunately, the team at ServiceMesh agreed to join CSC as we set out to delivery Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) benefits to our customers.  As such, we are refactoring our delivery process to substantially align infrastructure ops with app ops and to get to full scope DevOps.

Per Gene Kim, the advantages can be amazing (my interpretation) for the SDLC:

Agility (50-87% improvement*)

  • Developer Productivity: lead time reductions
  • Deployment Frequency: feature add, repeatability
  • Deployment Success: Improvement in SLA
  • MTTR: decrease in time to resolve

Efficiency (~50% improvement*)

  • Resource Reduction: fewer resources per project <holding constant feature rate>
  • Developer Productivity: % of time new vs. remediation work
CSC Agile Delivery Model

CSC Agile Delivery Model

If you say, I want that same advantage in IT operations then we need to start with some of the same lifecycle strategies… Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration, Release Management.  And if we’re good, we’ll remove the leading cause of fault = People [with hands on keyboards], improve deployment success, and maybe most valuable to large enterprises, reduce compliance/regulatory risk through the declarative model that results from fully automated provisioning/patching of the runtime environment.This shift isn’t without it’s challenges, but the benefits can be remarkable!

What if we really could drive IT via an iPod, with fully automated provisioning and automated recovery!