Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies- Hype or Reality?

You probably know about Gartner Hype Cycles, and just in case you don’t it is communicated as an infographic produced regularly by famous IT research and advisory firm, Gartner, “to represent graphically the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies” (wikipedia), in a nutshell the lifecycle of innovations and products in the markets.

I just wanted to share with you theGartner hype-cycle-for emerging technologies 2013 latest Gartner Hype Cycle chart for Emerging Technologies (Image attached- dated August 8, 2013). It is of course a very interesting diagram, including a lot of technologies, and based on the collection of lots of data, which does not mean everything is thru and that we have to drink their coolaid, straight“on the rocks”.

What is predominant this year is the hype around smart machines, machine-to-machine (M2M), cognitive computing and the Internet of Things, all the Human/Machine relationship stuff and it’s impact on the enterprise of the future. There are so many innovations and emerging technologies and growing markets in that space, this is no surprise. (I just want to know more about SmartDust!)

Hype-Cycle-GeneralHowever, and more specifically, based on my focus at my present job,  I am looking with some level of skepticism, with all due respect to Gartner analysts, at two of these technologies: Cloud Computing and Big Data.

Gartner shows Cloud Computing as having passed the Peak of Expectation and already falling way down the Trough of Disillusionment ! I certainly don’t agree with that assessment. In my view Cloud is delivering on premises and on planned schedule, with a steady adoption and with little failure rate and not much negative press and still has with a huge potential growth.

Also Gartner shows Big Data almost at the mastering the hype cyclePeak of Inflated Expectation and again I would not embrace this idea; Big data is still in very early stage, it is transforming if not revolutioning all enterprise information management and business processes, and much more is  to come before it come to this peak.

Where I would agree, however is on the positioning of predictive Analytics, welcome to the Plateau of Productivity, my company should be able to make money out of it in the short term.

 

PlanetHype_1024So Hype or Reality?

I am no Nostradamus… Feel free to comment and provide your own vision, as your real life experience within your company or your customers if you’re a consultant or a technology vendor, may be as valid as Gartner’s survey and interpretation. No offense, we are talking about predictions and there is no such thing as Magic! and as my charming wife would say “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion."

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Key Trends for Data Centers Transformation in 2011 – Next-Gen Data Centers

Times are changing and IT is leading the transformation:

datacenter_next gen IT organizations, are pressurized between improved performances expectations, growing data and network bandwidth, cost reduction targets, converged architectures and technology innovations. As a results all large enterprises and SMB have a common short term objective to transform their data center to become a `Next-Gen Data Center. For this there are some key steps to take and here are some major trends we can predict to achieve this transformation in 2011 and beyond:

More performant, cost effective, energy efficient hardware platforms:data-center-costs

 From the silicon semi-conductor & processors, to the servers, to the data storage, to the networking switches, to the rack or data center cooling systems, at all level some very competitive and innovative offerings are coming to market from major vendors as well as start-ups with more performance, cheaper price, and more specially more energy efficient hardware platforms, helping to reduce the cost of acquisition (Capex) and of operating (OPEX) a data center.

Consolidation:

data center consolidationServers & Data Centers Consolidation simplify IT workload and the management of complex IT infrastructure, optimize floor space, power and cooling, and staffing while providing required flexibility to rapidly adapt to changing business needs. Combining multiple data centers into a single facility is a primary strategy for cutting costs while improving service levels.

 

Virtualization: server-virtualization-storage

With the economic recovery, Industry Analysts predicts an increase on IT spending in 2011,and we can predict that much of the data center transformation spending will be around virtualization. Virtualization of servers, storage, networks and applications will provide many benefits including cost savings and consolidation, energy consumption reduction, as well as the flexibility to meet new business requirements.

Cloud Computing:

cloud-computingThe Hype is over, mature and competitive offerings are available from serious vendors and providers, market acceptance is growing and SMB as well as major enterprises will be starting to deploy cloud platforms and leverage cloud architecture and services for some critical Web 2.0 applications in what some people call a “Data Center without Walls”.

 

Modular design: data_center_design

To reduce the cost and time to build a data center and to reduce the space required, a shift will operate to standard modular data center designs, instead of traditional floor-raised design, specifically built for each customer.

Key Performance Indicators:

data-center-best-practicesPerformance measurements and metrics will be more important, KPI will be developed and adopted to better measure performance, capacity planning, change control processes, system utilization, efficiency, energy consumption, and sustainability, moving to the Green Data Center vision, using renewable energy.

 

 

In summary, green data centers

Energy Efficiency, Cost Reduction, and Flexibility are the Key words for 2011 and the design and operations management of next-gen data center tends toward these requirements. Data Center transformation will be achieved through next-gen energy efficient hardware platforms, consolidation, virtualization, cloud computing, green initiatives, modular designs and best measurement practices, to enable organizations to quickly and cost effectively respond to market demands and new revenue opportunities.

Are you ready to lead  the transformation to next-gen data center ?

11 New Technologies to impact our lives in 2011

welcome to the futureIn this first week end of a new year, just like making new resolutions on new year day, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight new technologies or innovations that will go to market or will get market acceptance in the next 12 months and will have a significant impact on the way we live, therefore here is a list of 11 new technologies to change our life in 2011:

1. 4G wireless technology: Succeeding to 2G & 3G, this fourth generation of cellular wireless standards offer speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (in planes, trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (walking or seating users). And provides secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smart-phones, laptops & any other mobile devices. Current Mobile-WiMAX and LTE as marketed by carriers as Verizon Wireless or Sprint may not fulfill all of the 4G requirements but still will provide fantastic improvement in speed and quality required for new rich content in mobile communications (3D video and 3D games as an example).

2. Mobile 3-D: In 2011 several smart phones manufacturers as LG, Samsung, Nokia,best phone MasterImage 3D etc, will introduce 3D mobile phones and tablets, and here is the best part this is 3D technology WITHOUT GLASSSES – Market adoption will be very quick for 3D glass-free mobile devices.. (I want one for my next Christmas!)

3. 3D TVs and Game Consoles: we can already find 3D TV and Game Consoles today, but in 2011 with more 3D broadcast programs, DVD and games, more competition and cheaper prices, market adoption will come and these devices will invade our homes. Unfortunately we will have to wait few more years to watch glass-free 3D TV in our living room.

gest recognition4. Gesture recognition for hands-free devices: interprets human gestures from faces or hands via mathematical algorithms to interface with the machine (Human Machine Interface) and interact naturally with a computer or machine without any mechanical devices, replacing traditional mouses, keyboards, touch-screens, game controllers and remote controls. To me this technology means FREEDOM.

5. Augmented Reality: this technology enable live view of a physical real-world augmented_realityenvironment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound, text, graphics or video to modify and enhance your perception of reality, by combining real and virtual elements, real time interactive functions and 3D technologies in devices as TV, computer screens, tablets, smart phones, touch screens kiosks, head displays in cars or planes, display in your glasses etc…and even retinal displays (Yes retinal !)

6. Text-to-Speech/Speech-to-Text: Technologies to convert text into MP3, WAV or VOX are already there, as well as Speech-Recognition has been there for some time but it is now reliable and will become common in 2011 and many of us will use it in many ways: listen to your emails and voice message while driving, send email and text message or instant message while driving, read (listen) an eBook, surf and read web pages etc.

hearing7. Real-time translation: By combining voice recognition, language text translation & text-to-speech technologies into a unified voice-to-voice translator system, this technology converts in real-time one language into another quickly enough to allow 2 speakers without a common language to communicate in real time. Which mean I can discuss over my cell phone with a customer, me being in Toronto speaking French, and him being in ShangHai speaking Chinese, the system will translate in real time, and we will understand each-other. Come to see me next month in the IBM stand at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and I will show you a demo.

8. Radar technology in automobiles with front and rear detection to avoid collisions,audi radar adapt cruise control, monitor blind spot, line change detection and parking assistance. The technology is already there on high end luxury cars but it 2011 it will be included in a wider range of cheaper cars. That’s a short term step, but in the future this technology will take us to the driverless cars on highways.

mobile health9. Mobile Healthcare: after tele-healthcare, there is a now a series of new m-Health hardware and software solutions ready to go to market, and mHealth Regulatory Coalition, an industry group comprised of mobile health and IT companies, is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eventually regulate mobile healthcare hardware and software. Those new technologies and solution will improve our life by receiving diagnostic and treatments (including life threatening urgencies) more quickly and more comfortably, remotely in our home or on the move.

10. Mobile Shopping/Mobile Banking: I have been writing on this topics techn on this blog so I encourage to read it as this will definitively change the way we shop and the way we pay for our purchases and manage our finances in our daily life. “In Store Mobile Shopping will change the way we shop”.

11. The year of the tablets: Apple created the market for tablets by launching its iPad, there were tablets available for quite some time but nobody would buy it before, that is Steve Jobs/Apple’s Magic again at creating new markets. A lot of new tablets are now coming to market from several vendors (RIM, HP, Dell, Google, Sony, Motorola, Samsung etc) in different shapes and size and running different mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, Palm OS, Symbian, Microsoft), over 50Million tablets are expected to be sold in 2010, Apple remaining dominant, followed by RIM, Sony, Google, HP and others…(I want one for my Birthday !!!)

Bonus: Last but not least, as a Green bonus, I had to choose one among all the new Green technologies that will penetrate the market in 2011, here come the Electric Cars, with Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, or Neiborough Electric Vehicules (NEV) as the GEM, Dynasty, ZENN and as GM EN-V personal vehicule or many others ones finally available at your dealership. Still a hype but a radical turn for the future of the auto-industry, slowly but definitively moving to electric. Accelleration of adoption will come with new battery technologies in the work, and building of the infrastructure. In any case in 2011 most of us (Governments, Industries, Companies, Individuals) will demonstrate more Green conscience, saving on energy, whatever fuel, gaz or electricity, and so many green technologies and energy efficient devices, or recyclable materials will invade the market, visible or not, to help us reduce the damage on our planet. (Do you know that a Canadian company, Motive Industries, is building an electric car with Cannabis or hemp, replacing all plastic and carbon fibre parts including its body? Name of the car is Kestrel, look for it! Watch this video)

Do not be surprised if many of these technologies or innovations are relevant to the telecom or mobile communications field, that is because we are entering an age where everything is getting interconnected through wireless networks and through the internet (and because it is one of my areas of expertise), embedded hardware and software making these devices more intelligent and our planet smarter.

Few years from now we may have chips embedded in our body! But be reassured not in 2011 yet…

I have not been selecting social networks and social media because it has already project_natalgrown so much, Facebook growing from 500 to 650 million users in the last few months of 2010, and all major companies using it as a marketing tool, being sufficient proofs.

There is of course many others technologies and innovations, like nanotechnologies in the medical field just to name one, that will also change and improve our lives, and you are more than welcome to add some of yours to this blog.

Happy New Year 2011.

The Future is Bright for Linux

Linux, the new kid on the block of operating systems has been enjoying a steady growth and adoption in the Enterprise Servers segment for the last few years and especially in the Largest Enterprises, Fortune 1,000 and Government Agencies.

ibl linux tux imagesCAOQGB17 In the early days, few years ago, around 2002/2003, as I was a Product Marketing Manager and a Linux Advocate , part of the IBM Linux Technology Center, we were advocating and preaching the benefits of Linux to our customers, our ecosystems of partners, & developers, to Press & Media, in order to accelerate Linux adoption, and we had to overcome many obstacles; our programmers were developing codes in our Linux Labs to offer to the Linux Open Source Community; Our Linux Team was building integrated infrastructure offering for ISVs and customers to build their applications on top and we were collaborating with Industries Open Standards groups to create Industry Open Frameworks. We have been just a part of a much larger movement, but we had been embracing this new wave, and our involvement has modestly but certainly been helping the early adoption of this new OS in the Enterprise segment and I am glad to have been part of it.

Only few years later, today, it’s amazing to see how Linux has been evolving, growing and is widely recognised as an Enterprise level OS.

So from whom is Linux grabbing market share?

Originally Linux was mainly used by early adopters for tests, pilots and developers, and then it quickly started to replace UNIX in the Enterprise to migrate UNIX applications or deploy new Edge applications and by more and more developers to develop new applications.

In a second phase adoption went broader to more enterprises, migrating more and more UNIX applications, and moved to more mission-critical applications.

However lately Linux is also significantly grabbing market share from Microsoft and that is indeed a new trend.

-The latest report published by Linux Foundation End User Council (a non-profit organisation) and Yeoman Technology Group reveals some very interesting facts and numbers that I would summarise for you:

  • 76.4%of Big companies are planning to add more Linux servers in the nextLinux Adoption year,
  • 41.2% are planning to add Windows servers in the next year,
  • 43.6% are planning to decrease use of Windows servers in the next year,
  • 60% are planning to use Linux for more mission critical workloads,
  • 66% are deploying new applications on Linux,
  • 36% are migrating from Windows,
  • 31.4% are migrating from Unix to Linux,
  • CIOs see Linux as more strategic, and less as a way to just cut cost,
  • Features and technical superiority came in at 67.5% as the primary driver for adopting Linux,
  • 65.4% said lower TCO is a factor but not the first driver,
  • 50% said that ability to modify code was a reason to adopt Linux,
  • 45.8% said that long-term viability of the platform is a reason to adopt Linux,
  • 33% say that they test and submit bug reports,
  • 13.4% actively contribute code to Linux,
  • 70.3% are using Linux as their primary cloud platform,
  • 86.5% of respondents feel Linux continues to improve,
  • 60% of their CIO sees Linux as more strategic to the organization as compared to three years ago.

So in conclusion we can see some clear market trends:

Linux Unix_F – Linux continue to take market share from UNIX but now also grab market share from Windows.

– Large Enterprise plans to deploy more Linux servers than Windows servers in the next year and even more in the next 5 years.

– Linux adoption by large enterprises is accelerating and moving from edge to mission-critical workloads.

– Features, technical superiority, security and quality are the major drivers of adoption and not lower cost or better TCO anymore.

– Customer satisfaction is quite high.

– Linux is dominant for new developments and deployments on Cloud infrastructures and brand new “Greenfield” environment, which is the future.

The picture is not totally Pink, there is still a few obstacles on the road, the two top concerns about Linux adoption are hardware drivers and interoperability, and in third a lack of skilled resources –which is good news for the job market.

Interesting data came from another study done by Springboard Research in partnership with Spiceworks, in India, where small and mid-size businesses are increasingly favouring the Linux operating system, showing that between April 2009 and May 2010, overall Linux server OS adoption in India increased to 8.1 percent from just 7 percent and continues to rise.

This survey also revealed that Linux adoption in the Asia/Pacific region registered at almost 26 percent higher than in the U.S. and grew even faster than the global average.

So: Is Linux the UNIX Killer AND the Windows Killer?linux-wallpaper-006

For sure Linux has not been successfully yet on the desktop side, except for the unconditional love of many software developers and computers geeks, but its success on the server side has been demonstrated.

All this combined clearly shows that Linux is on the Rise and we can predict without risk a Bright Future for Linux.

Cloud Computing: The sky is the limit, but where is the money ?

With the combination of several factors: economic crisis and signs of recovery, increasingly complex virtual and physical IT infrastructure, an aging server installed base, maturing new technologies and IT managers challenged to simplify infrastructure, deliver new services quickly and reduce capital expenses and operation cost, demand for both public and private cloud computing is growing.

First let’s look at a few numbers:Cloud providers Growth yoy 2009-2010

  • IDC says the total global cloud market in 2010 will be $22 billion and $55 billion in 2014.
  • IDC says the total servers and storage account for $5 billion-to-$6 billion in 2010 and $15-to-$20 billion in 2015.
  • IDC also predicts server revenue for public cloud computing will grow from $582 million in 2009 to $718 million in 2014. Server revenue for the much larger private cloud market will grow from $7.3 billion to $11.8 billion in the same time period.
  • Gartner states: Cloud services are expected to hit $68.3 billion in 2010,  a 16.6% rise compared to 2009 cloud services revenue,
  • According to IBM: The global cloud computing market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008 to $126 billion by 2012,Amazone AWS Revenue & Growth
  • Amazone, a Pioneer in Cloud Computing, will generate a total revenue of $500 million this year and $1.1 billion by 2014 with its Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Based on UBS Investment Research firm, AWS gross revenue growth from 2006 to 2011 is estimated at 801 percent annual increase ($329.4 million).
  • UBS analysts believe that the total market for AWS-type services will be between $5-to-$6 billion in 2010 and will eventually grow to $15-to-$20 billion in 2014.
  • RightScale, another major Cloud Services Provider, announced a 1,000 percent customer spending increase from June 2009 through June 2010, a significant Cloud-based revenue growth, and a 100% increase in number of Cloud customers between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010 (43,030 to 80,080).

By the way, these revenue numbers are quite small compare to total IT market, Cloud Computing is still young but the offering is maturing and starting to shake the IT market, and even If Analysts experts do not agree on the same estimated numbers, all agree that Cloud Computing growth is sky-rocketing, and growth (and margin) is what everyone is looking for.

That is however a big and attractive pie, and there is no doubt that a lot of players are – or will be- running for a slice of it, so the question is: where is the money and who will be the winners?

First winners of the Cloud have been startups, development and test labs, Web businesses, online storage, content distribution and social media websites.

Private Cloud market opportunity appears to be huge, and today, many companies are testing or building their own private clouds on small-scale projects, however due to  the lack of maturity in enterprise-class cloud infrastructure products,some security issues, and some uncertainty on the real cost saving, Private Cloud will still be a small part of the pie on a short-term perspective.

Public Cloud has more potential and is the real Eldorado for now, and therefore many cloud solutions or services  providers are quickly moving from selling clouds to enterprises to targeting service providers for partnerships, to create an ecosystem and offer a complete service.

Web services hosted in the Cloud are definitively growing, customer demand is still growing fast, starting with Media Companies and Mobile Services as an example, as per numbers above, so Cloud Hosting and Service Providers market is certainly a real business opportunity, and today’s winners.

As Cloud Services is a natural evolution for Web hosting and virtualization, Many web hosters or outsourcers have rebranded their services as Cloud Services, offering Cloud, on-demand and pay-as-you-go hosting services, and many Virtualization vendors have rebranded their offerings as Cloud.

Software vendors are offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS),

Infrastructure vendors are offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS),

Applications vendors are offering Applications-as-a-Service (AaaS),

Platform vendors are offering Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) etc…

If Enterprises are still being prudent in investing on Private Cloud, the Hybrid cloud is a balanced solution combining both public and private resources , managed through a common framework simplifying operations and reducing operation cost. Lately, Hybrid Cloud solutions offered by large vendors as IBM, HP, Microsoft etc has been slowly but steadily gathering interest, adoption and investment.

Finally, as per numbers above, there is a significant new business opportunity for servers and storage vendors, in both Private and Public Cloud market. Based on IDC report, almost 20% of servers purchased in 2009 were for cloud computing deployments.

In conclusion, the business opportunity is there, with real growth and profit, and I believe Web hosted services and Public Cloud Services Providers are today’s winners, Hybrid Cloud is on the rise, but in the future Private Enterprise Cloud may finally emerge as the holy grail.

Question for you is WHEN ?

5- We Need Smarter and Greener Telecommunications Networks

You probably know that the electricity used to power all computing Data Centers in the world generate more CO2 emissions than the Air Transportation industry, despite all these planes burning huge quantities of  jet-fuel in our skies!     

Green Telecom Network Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014

 

 Therefore reducing data center power usage is one of the strategic focus of any CIO or Data Center manager, as well as for all computers, servers, storage vendors, not just for the satisfaction of being  Green but also and first to reduce operating cost as power is one of the major cost of operating a Data Center.     

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) & Operators have a double challenge as they also need to reduce the power consumption of their Network Operation Center (NOC), especially now that fixed and mobile communications are growing fast, the volume of data transmitted is exploding and their network is quickly expanding to satisfy the demand.     

Telecom Networks have become a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and growth, and all CSPs are being challenged to reduce their carbon emissions , to use more energy-efficient hardware to power their network elements (micro-processors, servers, storage, network switches vendors are being challenged to manufacture and sell more energy-efficient equipments), to use new  and more efficient cooling technologies, to optimize their resource with virtualization technologies, to use renewable energy, to Recycle & Reuse, in a nutshell to be Smarter and Greener.     

Most of them today are putting a lot of effort and resources in greener initiatives to meet these challenges, to reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, which in the end will improve their Capital Expenses (Capex) and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of their network and also dramatically reduce their operating expenses (Opex).     

A recent report from Pike Research, Cleantech Market Intelligence, addresses in much detail all the following questions:     

•             Who are the leading providers, OEMs, and technology companies that are driving green telecom initiatives?     

•              What are some of the best practices being implemented today?     

•              What is the impact of green telecom on emerging markets versus developed markets?     

•              What is the business case for green telecom, and which components have the most impact on ROI?     

•              What is the market opportunity for green telecom in terms of Capex spending?     

•              How large is the opportunity for renewable energy in telecom networks?     

•              What is the potential for carbon emissions reduction through green telecom initiatives?     

I have included in this blog two charts from the Pike Research Report.     

So many new technologies, solutions and best practices are available today to help CSPs meet their challenges, it is also a great market opportunity for vendors and integrators:     

•             Network and data center platforms and designs , More efficient cooling technologies and design     

•              Access network efficiency improvements: DSLAMs, ONTs, BTSs, etc.     

•              Smart processors, controllers, and sensors     

•              Fuel cells and batteries     

•              Remote monitoring solutions (hardware and software)     

•              Solar PV for network power,  Wind energy for network power, Biomass for network power     

•              Improved ASICs,  Low Energy CPUs, IP Softswitches, Reduced Power RF Amplifiers     

•              Hardware, Software and Applications Virtualization     

•              Cloud Computing  etc…     

Mobile Network Green Capex, World Markets, 2009-2014

 

 So it should be a Win-Win for all, reduce cost and increase profitability and competitiveness for CSPs, additional revenue for innovative technology vendors and improved carbon emission for our planet.     

As so much of our life in the future will depend more and more on communications, 

     

We Need Smarter and Greener Telecom Networks!