Sunday, January 5, 2014

Nexus of Five - Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (5F) Intro

Traditional Companies planning to go Social and to leverage the amount of data generated internally and externally - are they really Ready to be able to manage such data ?

Managing entire data layer for a Large Insurer , thought of how the Infrastructure needs to be designed for better management When My_Customer embarks on social strategy.

Gear up their Infrastructure for such needs Link
This means terabytes’ of storage, if not more. Additional storage means more cost to already huge company’s spend in Storage ,  which we have been showing some innovative ideas like compression etc to save and also have Stringent process which almost takes three months to get a chunk of storage – more Storage admins – more storage failures Note:  they do have sizable Hardware failures every other day and more and more storage is going to just aggravate the issue if not taken care

Challenge : Data needs to be stored in huge quantities and also available (with performance) at a Low Cost (Mutually exclusive unless taken proper measures)

Answer :-  Raid Arrays - not exactly , they could add to problem of Cost being replicated 5 times. Larger chunk for efficient usage of power would mean lot of time to replace full parity - erasure codes
Reed-Solomon erasure codes were originally used as forward error correction (FEC) codes for sending data over an unreliable channel, like data transmissions from deep space probes. Using erasure codes, a piece of data can be broken up into multiple chunks, each of them useless on their own, and then dispersed to different disk drives or servers. At any time, the data can be fully reassembled with a fraction of the chunks, even if multiple chunks have been lost due to drive failures.
Clever safe - dispersal coding uses erasure codes with location info.
  • Width- The number of pieces you generate.  
  • Threshold - minimum number needed to put it back together.
  • Width – Threshold determines its reliability. The highest amount of reliability you can get with RAID is dual parity. You can lose two drives. That's it. With our solution, you can lose up to six
An Erasure code is scalable as it is software-based technology.  When a drive fails or goes offline, storage infrastructure is able to mark it as unavailable and route data around it while recovering data on that drive transparently- Instead of an "all hands on deck" situation.

Reliability has some thoughts, How about Performance ?              

                     ·     Database Structure Link
o   Partition….
           ·     Database Search Patters

Parallel to technology how the Business  strategy should be for the Nexus of Force ( Social, Mobile, Cloud, AI and BigData)
o   How they should approach Social presence
o   What BIG Data initiatives they should embark? BIG Data in 2014 is on trough wave of disillusionment
How they could do IBO
o   How they should leverage Cloud (Private and Public) not to recreate available resources outside ?
§  Just done a pricing for a Private cloud unit based pricing
o   How to leverage Machine learning help the same in general and Insurance in Specific
§  List of use cases ?

§  Important as data increases Artificial Intelligence is built in conjunction else resources needs will be needed heavily

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's a Job for Batsmen

Below is article from Cricket tournament organized by Me and My Friends
It's a Job for Batsmen
Cricket, alive and well in Hartford, even if you don't know the rules
By MICHAEL MCGRATH, Hartford Advocate Staff Writer
October 11, 2007
The Hartford Cricket Hall of Fame was housed in the now defunct Sportsmen's Athletic Club, on the corner of Cleveland and North Main Street, uptown. It is a one-story brown building sandwiched between a busy Jamaican restaurant and a closed Caribbean grocery store. The doors are locked and there are orange parking cones in front of them. Someone has stenciled on the front of the building, "Don't get mad, get money!" Two deflated balloons hang from a railing. Across the street, I ask the woman behind the counter of the hardware store whether she knows about the Hall of Fame. She looks at me like I'm wasting her time, conditioned by other sports to imagine a Cooperstown, a Canton, even a Springfield. "There's no Hall of Fame around here," she tells me.
Despite the lack of a local physical shrine, the sport of cricket is alive and well in the city of Hartford, and never was this more evident than early Saturday morning, Oct. 6, as I tried to make heads or tails of the game while a record-breaking Indian summer burned off the fog that settled over Elizabeth Park. The TCS Hartford Cricket League was holding their championship match, following a 10-team, month-long tournament.
The league is largely made up of Indian men who live in and around Hartford while working for IT companies. These men, dressed in track pants and non-matching T-shirts, strolled down the hill from the parking lot as their teammates and opponents warmed up within the large oval marked by plastic orange cones. The match was to be played on the park's baseball field, with the pitch set up just above first base. The pitch is the central focus of the match, and consists of two three-pronged wickets placed 22 yards apart. The majority of the action takes place between these two wickets, as a "bowler" from one team hurls the ball toward the "batsman," who is stationed just in front of his team's wicket. The batsman swings, and if there is contact, the batsman runs to the second wicket. In turn, another batsman, the "non-striker," runs from the second wicket towards the first, with the two batsmen passing each other as the other team scrambles after the ball. As they switch off in the pitch, their team accumulates runs.
I had the good fortune of watching the match with a print-up of the rules hidden in my notebook, but even then I had difficulty following the rhythm of the game, or even keeping score. Luckily I also had Sathish, who sat between me and the trophies on the dugout bench, and who kept my head just above water as the Aspen Bulls took on NIIT for the TCS Championship. Sathish explained the rules to me as I looked for familiar movements; the game of cricket seems to contain elements of baseball, croquet and the shot-put, as the bowler skips and hops towards the pitch before firing a heavy ball towards the opposite end. During TCS matches a tennis ball is used, due to safety concerns, but the bowler's motion remains unchanged.
Even without a thorough understanding of cricket's rules, a spectator can appreciate the sport. There is a symmetry to the game. The hits usually resemble a bunt, or even a hard foul, but there is the occasional shot into the sky that floats over the many fielders and breaks the invisible threshold of the orange cones. There is the pop-fly, and the pressure on the fielder. Twice a sheepish man in a striped shirt caught arcing balls, and the fielders rushed toward their hero.
The players' enthusiasm was infectious as the match came down to an exciting conclusion. Sathish had told me that a tie was a possibility, and this was the first time that the sport seemed truly foreign to me, as it would to any American accustomed to watching extra innings, or sudden death shoot-outs. For a game that can last all day, it seemed important that a victor be declared. Fortunately one team did prevail, with NIIT seizing the title, and the celebration that followed would be recognizable to any sports fan. The men gathered excitedly in the center of the field, to the left of the trampled pitch. Soda cans were shaken and then let loose. Gatorade baths followed for the captains. A couple walking their dog stopped to watch the scene as it unfolded before the backdrop of Asylum Avenue. It must have looked familiar to them, even if they were clueless as to which sport had preceded it.

Courtesy Hartford Advocate

Saturday, May 21, 2011

GOAL : Architecting like Adi Shankaracharya ?

Events in life destined to happen in an interesting order and has hidden message in them.  You realize them only when you intrigue these. I felt this info is related to ME and not pertaining to any abstraction of roles I play– thus felt to update in all my 3 blogs.

Recently watched a movie on Adi Shankaracharya and prepared for TOGAF part-I exam.

Most number of architects in humanity is from INDIA and is from Hinduism. Hinduism is not a religion of one but is a continuum, where many have realized the god in themselves.  It is not one or two books but numerous artifacts written over centuries by these God-realised Yogis/Sadhus. Pre Adi Shankaracharya era these numerous artifacts were interpreted in as many number of ways causing confusion on what they ideally meant.

Adi Shankaracharya (in Film) looks at heap of Vedic documents in a cave of his guru and asks why they are in this state. Guru explains threat to them and inspite his noble and best efforts he couldn’t maintain these well and make them available to general public. People with no proper knowledge were taking not so correct interpretation of these texts were following few blind believes. Adi Shankaracharya embarks on his mission not only to re-engineer the artifacts but also make a continuum to dissipate correct information on what actually Hinduism core principles were. To him the prophesy was “bring his friends, family and community from cult behavior and establish a continuum to avoid the same beyond his life time”. He went onto bring Advaitam meaning of Hinduism, Defy many Blind-Believes in community by himself and establish Four Maths to sustain Hinduism’s true message come out for centuries. Can we do at least 1% what Adi Sankaracharya did centuries back. I feel I would be blessed even if we could do 0.1% of what we wish to do.

Challenge of current period is lack of time !? Advent of Internet and Web2.0 data has been ever increasing but when it comes to get right information we have the similar issue of having numerous interpretations but not sure if have the right answer required.

What is it to club these numerous artifacts being built/written through aspirants interpretation of the core epics along with these Epics. “Hindu Arch Repository”. Classify documents- what would be ABB, SBB? What’s the scope or enterprise ? What is the “Archtecture work” to start an TOGAF-ADM cycle. Is the answer is to have active blogs by categories like Karma, Yoga, Varnam, Varnasankaram, DHarmanm, Nyayam, Rules of Balyam-Komaryam-Bhramacharyam-GruhaPrasatham-Vanaprastham-Sanyasam etc.,

                                Goal is to enhance the Primal Vedic Literature(Literature its manifestation to Upanishads and its essence of these illustrated by Gita) through an state of art architecture (creating respository) using collaboration of aspirants/knowledge-seekers under guidance of Gurus – Thus provide mos accurate and relevant information.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shareholder vs Stakeholder

Future of Indian IT Industry with growing Salaries and reduced billing rates lesser Dev projects due to “buy instead of build” strategy?

One of my favorite Leader has seems taken oath to find an answer on how to manage Indian IT which is caught between raising Cost (Employee Demands) , Reduced Bill rates due to competition, Decreased build needs with Buy strategy – Thus challenging the sustainability of Indian IT reign for/till next generation. While his thought is primarily to drive points like Company needs to be profitable end of day to sustain against acquisition or extinction. To do that we need to see how we be cost efficient, Value adding to customer to raise top-line and work through this Buy strategy of various industry through various differentiating roles.

Stepping back we will come through different perspective - One of the Ten Strategic thought or schools is “Organizational Purpose” as per management books. Tension on this is Profitability vs Responsibility. Perspective is pulled between shareholder and stakeholder. [[[Note not sure why people can’t catch a fact that shareholder is one party of many that constitutes stakeholders]]]

One more perspective - For initial few years of My company gone public in 2004, I wondered why it is not faring well compared to its next biggest IT company. Profit – was the unanimous answer then, as long as you are not most profitable you are not going to get better visibility and mileage than your competitor who is nowhere near your revenue (note NOT profit). I also felt my company was lacking marketing, but what marketing you need than your P/E ratio.

It is undisputed fact that we need to be Profitable to satisfy shareholder, but not at the cost of key stakeholder employees (or as they officially called as “associates” to make people feel that they are not COST to company but assets). It is pendulum though it might achieve profit for a while but would come back a blow to other side as attrition evident through recent Attrition rate of the other company which I envied all along. But I could see same situation round the corner to my company unless stringent steps are taken to do something rather than go on jolly ride for a while satisfying shareholders at cost of stakeholders (customers, Employees, Society etc.,).

Interestingly there are many views that Profits are proportional to market share

It’s easy to point the problems! So what’s the solution???

Ever understood why Japanese industries are far more successful than Corporate American peers post Second World War during 70’s. Industry after industry, including steel, watches, ship building, cameras, autos, and electronics, the Japanese were surpassing American and European companies. Initially one key factor Management Gurus felt was the cost structure is in advantage of Japan, but after detailed study it seemed that Japan’s cost structure is inferior to American. SO there is some beyond Cost which is behind the avalanche of Japanese success.

7S Model – Is the answer for this question (Link)


• Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition. (We will go into Porter and Blue Ocean Thoughts in detail later)

• Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom.

• Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done.

• Shared Values: called "superordinate goals" when the model was first developed, these are the core values of the company that are evidenced in the corporate culture and the general work ethic.

• Style: the style of leadership adopted.

• Staff: the employees and their general capabilities.

• Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company.

Though Americans had greater control on hard parameters and Japanese mastered on the soft parameters and the results speak. Shared Values: Great value on corporate culture, shared values and beliefs, and social cohesion in the workplace. Style: In Japan the task of management was seen as managing the whole complex of human needs, economic, social, psychological, and spiritual. Pascale also highlighted the difference between decision making styles; hierarchical in America, and consensus in Japan.
Many Management guru's are thinking that era of hierarchial management started after second world war is ended - I think key of current IT orgs change should be aligned to non-hierarchial model for it to sustain the gain momentum and not fall into any other industrial sector where process managment dominated innovation (innovation in tranditional industries are done mostly at R&D labs ?)

VALUES – The epicenter

I always wondered if companies’ values (should be shared) are epicenter contributing to centrifugal and centripetal binder for the wheel of success (Fortune?), is this values valued to the extent its required ? Not being critic, but I feel the Values are paper protected these days. Take for example “Respect for Individual” retrospect the same. What goals on this Value is cascaded to the middle management, except for profitability and Growth? I wondered can we get back the confidence of employees fear and resentment that hangs over many employees, still tender from years of layoffs, salary freezes, pay cuts, Promotion delay and furloughs. Liked the answers @ HBR blog . Forget gaining Trust work win-win

“The organization will provide interesting and challenging work. The individual will invest discretionary effort in the task and produce relevant results. When one or both sides of this equation are no longer possible (for whatever reasons) the relationship will end. So if the organization no longer has interesting or challenging work for the individual to do, or if the individual is no longer willing or able to engage in the work — to invest the levels of discretionary effort required for excellent results — it is in everyone's best interest to part ways.

This new equation has significant implications for our talent-management practices. To start:
  • It reinforces the premium many organizations have wisely put on engagement.
  • It calls for new approaches to performance management — ones that gauge the evolving needs of the task, as well as the individual's skills and contributions.
  • It requires tighter integration of learning and work.
  • It raises the need for on-boarding processes that are quick and efficient and exiting approaches that are nonjudgmental and designed to encourage the individual to return if appropriate work opportunities arise.”
HR has always been tactical in many ways needs to innovative in implementing this with consensus in phased manner.

(Thoughts are flowing and to be continued)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cloud9 or Passing Cloud

Cloud Computing (CC) is perceived to be a most disruptive force in the IT industry today, the most evaluated technology as per Gartner 2009 and is at “peak inflated expectation” in Hype cycle 2010.

Simplest definition of it is “CC allows users to use only a web browser to receive computing services via internet, also enabling users only to pay for services they actually use”. CC concept is as old as free email services like Hotmail, Yahoo mail. Reincarnation of CC is driven by advances in Virtualization technologies (like VMWare Xen etc), Web Technologies and Infrastructure technologies. Virtualization has evolved from Consolidation through Agility to Alternate sourcing (CC).

Clouds could vaporize if Security (Not less secure than ‘on premise’ but risk is high), Performance (Bandwidth, Latency), Compliance (SOX, HIPPA etc regulations scope not addressing Cloud) and Availability (Inevitable outages and its costly alternatives) challenges are not addressed effectively. Cloud vendors are positioning TCO as value where as many customers are looking business agility as driver. Cloud is still maturing and it is gauged on three fronts Elasticity (Slow vs Brisk, Large vs Granular), Service (Standard vs Custom) and Market (Closed vs Open).

OLAP applications have been adopting CC comparatively well, architectures are still evolving to address transaction processing. SOA and Integration capabilities are deemed to be key foundational competencies required for IT to be successful at CC.

Lets see some stats:- Market for public cloud products and services is estimated at $16B in 2010 growing to $56B by 2014(IDC). Gartner predicts cloud market be $150B by 2014 and Merillynch estimates $160B by 2011. Various acquisitions to align. Microsoft, Yahoo is building massive data centers in Quincy, WA. Google which currently controls 2% of all servers in world (1 million servers) plans to have upwards of 10 million servers in the next 10 years. Quick moves and acquisitions happening to capture CC potential opportunity. Ubiquitous computing is reality with Mobile web set take over Desktop web by 2015. Many organizations already embarking some sort of virtualization or private clouds, including The Hartford, a key step in one among of three approaches towards CC.

Looking at these statistics and moves of major player’s it is promising that CC not just a passing “Cloud”, for sure it is going to rain if not pour and certainly play a disruptive force days to come. CC has lot of challenges yet for c-level management and vendors before jumping onto “Cloud” Nine.