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A recent BusinessWeek article titled “America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever” summarizes the epidemic that retailers are facing today (see Figure 1). Figure 1:  Growing Epidemic of Store Closures Retailers are closing stores at a record path and the driving force behind the acceleration in store closings is Amazon, who now accounts for over 50% of all on-line retail sales (see Figure 2). Figure 2:  Amazon’s Growing Dominance of e-commerce; source:  “Competitors Can’t Keep Up With Amazon’s Growth” What are retailers to do when the tricks and techniques that worked in the past just don’t work in today’s real-time data and analytics driven business world?  Business models that worked in a world that valued size and location quickly fall apart in a world where retailers are leveraging customer, product and operational data and analytics to provide a h... (more)

What Is #DigitalTransformation? | @ThingsExpo #AI #DX #IoT #SmartCities

For a phrase that’s being thrown around a lot recently, what does “Digital Transformation” really mean? When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what does one really mean, why do they want to do it, and should they approach this “digital transformation” process? First off, let’s start with a definition. If we don’t know what we are trying to achieve, then how do we know how to get there? Or to quote the famous Greek philosopher Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” In a recent blog “How To Achieve Digital Transformation,” I stated with the following definition of Digital Transformation: “The coupling of granular, real-time data (e.g., smartphones, connected devices, smart appliances, wearables, mobile commerce, video surveillance) with modern technologies (e.g., cloud native apps, big data ... (more)

OpenStack monitoring beyond the Elastic Stack – Part 3: Monitoring with Dynatrace

This post is the third and final installment in our OpenStack monitoring series. Part 1 explores the state of OpenStack and some of its key terms, Part 2 is about the OpenStack monitoring space and how open source tools like the Elastic Stack (ELK Stack) compare to Dynatrace. In this last part let’s take a closer look at how Dynatrace monitors OpenStack. Since we started our journey with OpenStack, we had a lot of interesting conversations with OpenStack cloud users. As a general conclusion, we learned that the most important metrics and capabilities they are looking for include: OpenStack service performance Service availability Resource utilization metrics Log monitoring However, what we also learned is that OpenStack is a different kind of beast: due to its elusive nature, problems with one OpenStack service can manifest themselves as performance issues within o... (more)

Top 15 Solr vs. Elasticsearch Differences

Solr vs. Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch vs. Solr.  Which one is better? How are they different? Which one should you use? Before we start, check out two useful Cheat Sheets to guide you through both Solr and Elasticsearch and help boost your productivity and save time when you’re working with any of these two open-source search engines. Check out Solr Metrics API Cheat Sheet Check out Elasticsearch DevOps Cheat Sheet These two are the leading, competing open-source search engines known to anyone who has ever looked into (open-source) search.  They are both built around the core underlying search library – Lucene – but they are different.  Like everything, each of them has its set of strengths and weaknesses and each may be a better or worse fit depending on your needs and expectations. In the past, we’ve covered Solr and Elasticsearch differences in Solr Elasticsearch... (more)

Digital Transformation from 40,000 Feet

The size of competitors and the longevity of their brands, are less predictive of future success than the quality and speed of their information logistics systems, and their ability to use it as a competitive advantage.More data is being generated today than ever before, and successful companies are investing in business analytics and big data solutions to mine competitive advantages.  There is a new sense of urgency today as businesses realize data has a shelf life, and the value of it diminishes rapidly over time.  In an always-connected world where consumers and their needs are transient, timing is everything and a special type of data is needed - real-time data. In order to capture competitive advantages and contextual relevance before data expires, enterprises must deploy optimized information logistics systems (OILS) that deliver on the potential fast enough t... (more)

Blockchain and Smart Contracts | @CloudExpo #FinTech #Bitcoin #Blockchain

Blockchain is certainly the rage. No matter the industry, you can't seem to have a technology discussion before the topic is raised. According to Gartner's latest hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.' Approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just this year, according to PwC executive Seamus Cushley. While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality' discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is being taken very seriously across industries and cannot be ignored. In its simplest terms, blockchain is a distributed ledger. However, the reality is much more complex than that. Some of my earlier blogs on blockchain examine some of those complexities (‘Blockchain - It's So Much More than Bitcoin', ‘Blockchain - You want me to trust... (more)

How It’s Made: A #ContinuousDelivery Pipeline | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

How It's Made: A Continuous Delivery Pipeline By Necco Ceresani Software delivery was once specific to the IT industry. Now, Continuous Delivery pipelines are used around world from e-commerce to airline software. Building a software delivery pipeline once involved hours of scripting and manual steps – a process that’s painful, if not impossible, to scale. However Continuous Delivery with Application Release Automation tools offers a scripting-free, automated experience. Continuous Delivery pipelines are immensely powerful for the modern enterprise, boosting production and even customer satisfaction. Getting Started: Measure the Existing Process To get started building a Continuous Delivery pipeline, the IT Manager measures key metrics from the existing software release pipeline. The most important metrics to look at are: Time to Deployment Deployment Frequency Cha... (more)

Site Reliability Engineering: DevOps 2.0 | @DevOpsSummit #Cloud #DevOps #DataCenter #Monitoring

Site Reliability Engineering: DevOps 2.0 By Saba Anees Has there ever been a better time to be in DevOps? TV shows like “Person of Interest” and “Mr. Robot” are getting better at showing what developers actually do, using chunks of working code. Movies like Michael Mann’s “Blackhat” (2015) won praise from Google’s security team for its DevOps accuracy in a few scenes. Look around and you’ll discover elements of DevOps culture filtering out into wider society, such as people in all walks of life discussing their uptime or fast approaching code lock. On the other hand, perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of DevOps is that developers and operations teams don’t normally get along well. Developers want to rush ahead and compile some groundbreaking code under extremely tight schedules, while operations teams try to slow everyone down to identify systemic risks from acci... (more)

Don’t Call #BigData Dead | @CloudExpo #IoT #AI #ML #MachineLearning

You can call me biased, or out of touch, but over the past two years, I’ve been reading articles and blogs about how Big Data is going away, dying, or already dead. So what changed? Is Big Data falling into Gartner’s dreaded trough of disillusionment? Did someone discover that predictive analytics could have a butterfly effect and change the course of history and hence, we should abandon these voodoo analytics practices? Did we figure out that we actually don’t have enough data to call it “Big” data? Did we already finish analyzing all the data and we’re all done? Or… are the people calling it dead really just a bunch of marketers who are looking move on to the next new thought leadership topic, so they write one final blog to make one final impression just before they abandon the topic? Bingo. I’m looking at you… industry pundits, thought leaders, and analysts. T... (more)

The Impact on Ecommerce Customer Experience | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps #DigitalTransformation

Personalization: The Impact on Ecommerce Customer Experience By Matt Keenan The generic customer journey is dead. One size no longer fits all – for both B2C and B2B customers. So how do you make a customer feel special when the internet has all but eliminated differentiating by product or price? According to Gartner, the delivered digital customer experience must be the key differentiator for your organization.1 So it’s no surprise that one of the top initiatives for retailers is to deliver unique and engaging experiences to each and every customer they serve, appealing to their unique wants and needs, on-line and in-store . The first wave of targeting content, or Personalization, consisted of segmenting customers into static, broad groups across channels such as web, email, banner ads, and product recommendations. The premise was that customers can be grouped based... (more)

Technology for a Cashless Society | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #Sensors

I happened to be in India last November when prime minister Modi announced the demonetization program, where 86% of the currency in the form of two paper bills (Rs. 500 and 1000 denomination) were made defunct. People were given time to deposit their existing currencies in the bank. Those who had unusually high volume of such currencies were supposed to declare the legal source or face stiff penalties such as 60-75% tax. The goal was to catch the money hoarders and black marketers who avoid paying taxes on such undeclared money. Four months later, I happened to visit India last February. Everyone suggested I download an app called Paytm. I could transfer money from a bank account instantly. What was convenient with Paytm was that I could use it at gas stations, small stores, and even at roadside vendor shops. Everyone seems to have installed the Paytm station where... (more)