Monday, October 27, 2014

Available Applications Anywhere

The path to successful application delivery has been a long and winding road for many companies.

Back in the days of Y2K and the dot-coms, applications were often delivered out of a physical data center. This usually consisted of a dedicated raised-floor room at the corporate headquarters or leased colocation space from one of the web hosting vendors—or both.

Soon, global organizations and ecommerce sites started to distribute their applications and deploy them at multiple physical data centers to address geo-location, redundancy, and disaster recovery challenges. This was an expensive endeavor even without the networking, bandwidth, and leased line costs.

Enter the cloud

When server virtualization emerged and organizations realized that they had the ability to divide resources for different applications, content delivery was no longer tethered 1:1 with a physical device. Content could live anywhere. With virtualization technology as the driving force, cloud computing formed and offered yet another avenue to deliver applications.

As cloud adoption grew, along with the software, platforms, and infrastructures enabling it, organizations were able to quickly, easily, and cost effectively distribute their resources around the globe. This allowed organizations to place content closer to the user depending on their location, and provided some fault tolerance in case of a data outage. Cloud also offers organizations a way to manage services rather than boxes along with just-in-time provisioning rather than over provisioning, which can be costly. Cloud enables IT as a Service and the flexibility to scale when needed.

Today, there is a mixture of options available to deliver critical applications. Many organizations have private, owned, on-premises data center facilities. Others lease resources at a dedicated location.

Staying a step ahead

In order to achieve or even maintain continuous application availability and keep up with the pace of new application rollouts, many organizations are looking to expand their data center options, including cloud, to ensure application availability. This is important since 84 percent of data centers had issues with power, space, cooling capacity, assets, and uptime that negatively impacted business operations according to IDC. That translates into application rollout delays, disrupted customer service, or unplanned expenses for emergency fixes.

Many organizations have found that operating multiple data centers is no easy task. New data center deployments or even the integration of existing data centers can cause havoc for visitors, employees, and IT staff alike. Public web properties, employee access to corporate resources, and communication tools such as email require security and back-end data replication for content consistency. On top of that, maintaining control over critical systems spread around the globe is always a challenge.

Simplify. Scale. Secure.

The BIG-IP platform provides organizations with global application services for DNS, federated identity, security, SSL off-load, optimization and application health and availability. Together, they create an intelligent, cost-effective, resilient global application delivery infrastructure across a hybrid mix of data centers. As companies simplify, secure, and consolidate across multiple data centers, they mitigate the impact to users or applications, minimize downtime, ensure continuous availability, and have on-demand scalability as needed.

 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Internet of...(Drum Roll Please)...Band-Aids?!?

Last week I told you about my family's experience with an under the skin glucose sensor that tracks blood sugar levels. While this Internet of Things trend often takes the form of a thermostat, light bulb or coffee machine, the medical field has been using sensors for a while and it is about to get even more connected with your skin.

We're talking skin tags of a different kind.

bandaid asile First up is a sensor filled smart bandage. Ed Goluch, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University is working on a smart band-aid that will monitor infections and alert the person. He was investigating how individual bacteria cells behave by using a sensor. The sensor measured the produced toxins and how cells reacted to antibiotics when the idea hit. Next they build an electrochemical sensor with computer chips to detect Pseudomonas aerug­i­nosa, a bacteria that commonly takes advantage of people with compromised immune systems. For this particular bacteria, it can detect of an infection is starting before symptoms show and the patient can put an antibiotic on the wound to heal it. So far the testing has only occurred in the lab and the next step is humans and animals. Pretty Cool.

In Japan, University of Tokyo, in cooperation with JST, has introduced the world’s very first flexible wireless organic sensor. This paper-thin, water proof sensor can also be used for band-aids but also a few other health situations. Like urine. OMG! Did he just write the word for pee in a blog post?!? Yup, we all do it but back to the story. The idea is to be able to detect the chemical compound for health related matters. The circuit was actually tested on a wet diaper where it was successfully able to transmit the needed data and receive power from a nearby source. The cool thing about this sensor is that they wanted to develop something that is easy to make, use, xNT_package_front-700x700 dispose and replace. Instead of expensive components, they went for simple detectors for thing like humidity and air pressure. Being small and low cost, they could be used for such disposable things like diapers or bandages.

Next up is a microchip that can now be printed directly on the skin. Originally designed for sports physicians, MC10 has created a health sensor that is formed with spray-on bandage material. Since it is essentially a second skin, it can detect hydration levels and temperature of the wearer. It lasts about two weeks on the body even while bathing or swimming and it is 1/30 the size of previous sticker sensors.

Lastly, the iPhone 6 and it's NFC (near field communications) chip has been one upped by a human. Robert J. Nelson has had a NFC chip implanted in his hand! We've seen stories the past couple years about body modification with chips so he isn't the first but for $99 he picked up a chipset and got someone to implant it. In his story he states,

'I should make it clear that I am not trying to become a cyborg or anything like that. For me, getting this implant came down to having a strong interest in technology and the connected space, and more to the point is that I am someone who likes seeing technology integrated into life. Or in this case, my body'

Seriously, wouldn't be cool if you twisted your ankle and your sock would tell you how bad the sprain was? And then sent the data to your doctor for an appointment if it was serious? Or just quickly cooled down so you have ice around the sprain? Dizzying, all the applications for this.

Forget about the internet being this thing we use to look up stuff and email...soon we all will be part of the internet with our connected bodies. The Internet of You!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Sensored Family

The Important Things

IMG_1360 Lately I've been writing a bunch about the Internet of Things or IoT. You know, where everyday objects have software, chips, and sensors to capture data and report back. Household items like refrigerators, toilets and thermostats along with clothing, cars and soon, the entire home will be connected. Many of these devices provide actionable data - or just fun entertainment - so people can make decisions about whatever is being monitored. It can also help save lives.

Recently my daughter became a robot, at least according to her.

My daughter has a rare genetic disorder called HI/HA GDH - Hyperinsulinism/Hyperammonemia Syndrome in the Glutamate Dehydrogenase gene. Say that 3 times fast. Basically, she produces too much insulin (extreme hypoglycemic) and too much ammonia. She gets blood work done every couple months and recently we've had some concerning numbers on those reports. While we certainly check her blood multiple times a day, the doctor wanted to get a more precise reading over the course of a few days to determine a plan of action. Enter the sensor.

IMG_1358 The doctor installed a Medtronic Sof-Sensor Glucose meter which measured her blood sugars every 5 minutes and stored it on a chip. They also have models which transmit the BSL to a base for instant readings. Out of the package, the device has a needle almost tented over the sensor. You put it in an apparatus which punches the needle and sensor into the skin. You remove the needle and the sensor stays. You then connect it to a clam shell looking thing which houses the microprocessor. Tape over it, go on with your daily routine and the sensor does the rest. While she had hers in for 3 days, there are some that can be inserted for longer term measurements. After our three days, we pulled it out and retuned it to the doctor. Pulling the tape off her skin hurt more than yanking the sensor out.

They connected the storage to a computer and retrieved the data. We could match the charted times and readings (along with a daily food diary) with the regular meter readings to get a great overall picture of what might be causing some of the recent abnormalities. From that, we got our medical marching orders and so far it seems like things are moving in the right direction. The parental worries have also dwindled now that we know what's going on. That anxiety is part of the challenge whether you're a global business or a parent...the data and context to make informed, knowledgeable decisions about a path forward. Sometimes sensors can provide that.

This Internet of Nouns trend is still in the early stages and many of our already connected gadgets do provide human benefits over the typical infotainment. While IoT is certainly interesting and the wave is building, I'm not particularly rushing to get everything or everyone connected like that...except for our micro chipped dog. But in this instance, installing a sensor in my daughter's side for a few days made all the difference in the world.

And gave us some uncensored peace of mind.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Play Ball!

...Oh Wait, Let Me Check the Stat-Cloud First!
My 1982 Wilson A2000 It is like a SAT question: Cincinnati Reds Billy Hamilton has a 10.83 foot lead off first base, can hit a top speed of 21.51 mph and clocked a jump of 0.49 seconds. If the Milwaukee Brewers catcher took 0.667 seconds to to get the ball out of his glove to throw to second and the ball is travelling at 78.81 mph, is Hamilton safe or out?
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Internet of Sports, and can't believe I missed this one. But with the MLB playoffs in full gear, I didn't want this to slip through the IoT cracks. Sports analytics has been around for a while but never to this degree.
Just like the NFL, Major League Baseball is equipping stadiums with technologies that can track moving players, flying baseballs and accurate throws. More than the RBIs, hits and stolen bases that appear on the back of trading cards, new technology (and software) also gathers stats like pop-fly pursuit range or average ground ball response time. Professional sports teams have always tracked their players' performance and often such milestones are included in the player's contract. Bonus for so many games played, or home runs hit or some other goal. With all this new detailed data, teams can adjust how they train, prepare for games and even player value for personnel moves like trades.
For the 2014 season, only 3 stadiums (Mets, Brewers, Twins) had the new Field f/x (Sportvision Inc.) system but the league plans to have all 30 parks complete for the 2015 season. Field f/x can show data such as the angle of elevation of a batted ball, the highest point in its trajectory and the distance covered and top speed attained by a player attempting to field a ball. Of course all this can then be crunched for cool graphics during a replay. Cameras, sensors and software are all now part of the game.
So are data centers, clouds and high speed links.
All this data needs to be crunched somewhere and more often it is in a cloud environment. Add to that, the connection(s) to the fans and with the fans at the stadium. Levi's Stadium, for instance, has 1200 access points and an app that allows you to order food, watch instant replays and know which bathroom line is the shortest. Our sport stadiums are becoming data centers.
Announcer: Welcome to Exclusive Sponsor Data Center Field! Home of the Hypertext Transfer Protocols. Undefeated at home this year, the Prots look to extend their record and secure home field throughout the playoffs.
And of you were wondering, Hamilton was Safe.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014: That’s a Wrap!

I wrap it up from #OOW14. Special thanks to guests Dana Gauthier, Jonathan George, David Wallace and Rubyanne Deang along with Natasha, Robert, Jonathan & Courtney for their spectacular camera work. And of course, thanks to you for watching. I also give a quick update on the Shellshock vulnerability and how to find information on f5.com. Reporting from San Francisco, that’s a wrap!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Identity & Access Management in the Cloud (feat Deang)

Rubyanne Deang, F5 Global Field Systems Engineer, shares some insight on many identity and access challenges organizations face when deploying applications in the cloud. Multiple directories, orphaned accounts and business risk all make the list. Not to leave you hanging however, she also guides on how organizations can solve this dilemma with BIG-IP.

 

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Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Partner Architectural Solutions (feat Wallace)

Oracle’s David Wallace, Director of Partner Architected Solutions, takes over the mic – literally – and offers some insight of the F5 and Oracle global partnership…from an Oracle perspective. After many years and many joint solutions, David covers some of the coolest F5/Oracle integrations that are being used by 47 of the top Fortune 50 companies. Very well versed in our joint solutions, David has joined the F5 booth staff for the last 4 years at #OOW14.

 

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