The Puchi Herald Reblog

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What is Openstack

What is Openstack

English: This is a picture of the Nebula cloud...
English: This is a picture of the Nebula cloud computing container located at NASA Ames Research Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OpenStack is an open source platform for creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers in a cloud computing environment. The platform supports interoperability between cloud services and allow businesses to build and deploy private cloud services in their own data centers.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) worked with Rackspace, a managed hosting and cloud computing service provider, to develop OpenStack. RackSpace donated the code that powers its storage and content delivery service and production servers. NASA contributed the technology that powers their high performance computing, networking and data storage cloud service.

OpenStack has a modular architecture that currently has eleven components:

  • Nova – provides virtual machines (VMs) upon demand.
  • Swift – provides a scalable storage system that supports object storage.
  • Cinder – provides persistent block storage to guest VMs.
  • Glance – provides a catalog and repository for virtual disk images.
  • Keystone – provides authentication and authorization for all the OpenStack services.
  • Horizon – provides a modular web-based user interface (UI) for OpenStack services.
  • Neutron – provides network connectivity-as-a-service between interface devices managed by OpenStack services.
  • Ceilometer – provides a single point of contact for billing systems.
  • Heat – provides orchestration services for multiple composite cloud applications.
  • Trove – provides database-as-a-service provisioning for relational and non-relational database engines.
  • Sahara – provides data processing services for OpenStack-managed resources.

OpenStack, which is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license, is often referred to in the media as “the Linux of the Cloud” and is compared to Eucalyptus and the Apache CloudStack project, two other open source cloud initiatives.

OpenStack officially became an independent non-profit organization in September 2012. The OpenStack community, which is overseen by a board of directors, is comprised of many direct and indirect competitors, including IBM, Intel and VMware.

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What is Openstack was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The IoT Files – Business Models

The IoT Files – Business Models

The IoT Files – Business Models

Ok we talked about security, privacy and infrastructure in the last post Here we are.

do we really think that IoT will work in the current business model environment?

Well I have to tell you, probably it would not.

The key factor of IoT will be if it will be able to generate revenue? the problem of revenue is related to the fact they should cover the infrastructure costs, in order to do so, since we already seen that infrastructure costs will be big, as well as security, privacy implication that have, also, a cost, selling devices will not be enough.

And selling the device, per se, could not justify the costs the user will have to deal with for connection.

So to make IoT an attractive success, and not a marketing bubble, we should rethink our business models and various levels.

Old Telco model is out

The first to pay for the revolution will be the telco provider. Telephone companies are struggling even now in the effort to survive digitalization. the expensive infrastructure created to teal with voice communications are becoming rapidly obsolete. New digital provider are eroding the classi telco area. Think of the digital company that go through data (wechat, skype, whatsapp, line just to name few) and offer also voice services.

The telco model is so out that even big content providers as Google and Facebook are trying to overcome their limitation starting to consider to offer connectivity.

But telco model has been created in years, and now generation of managers that grown up there have great resistance to rethink their role.

The New Data Paradigma.

The truth is that the new business model should start form the new data paradigma. It is data that matter, and the rest is just a companion.

We keep calling them phones, but smartphone are used 99% to transmit data, digital data, every day less and less to make voice communication. the reason is that voice communication can’t provide the same level of experience that data can.

So data will be more and more important, in terms of quantity and quality. this is already a reason to concerns, but we should start to learn how to deal with it.

A big mistake would be to consider data as a gray amount of bits all the same, in this model (an old model) we can simply make to pay you the bandwidth you consume. But in IoT the data are not all the same, and we will not be able to justify to pay (and offer the same service level) to medical data and chat.

As well as in critical segment as automotive, or scada control we can’t think we can just reason in terms of amount of data.

So Data will require a new approach, because all data are important, but some data are more important than other.

From Product to services

as well as data is nothing if not associated with a service. In the IoT environment services that manipulate data will replace products.

If data will be the object of our interest, than product will be just a media to obtain the service, the cultural shifting is to a box moving environment to a service one.

But this require a different approach on selling, measuring, marketing all this. Isn’t it a big change of the business model?

The Big Marketing Imperative

Marketing will become way more important, because it will be mandatory to understand the mood of the customers to offer and modify services accordingly.

But at the same time marketing will be the most interested entity to collect and analyze data, so marketing will become more important even than finance guys, something  would really see, a Marketing manager shouting a CFO in a board meeting….

Roaming, connectivity and other hidden costs

meanwhile in the transition to the IoT we will have to face how hidden cost could impact the new world.

Think, as an example, to roaming costs: I travel a lot, and when abroad I can be asked to pay till 18 euros for 1 MB of data when abroad…. this will be not possible in IoT, and basically unthinkable right now.

I do what all the other do in this case, don’t use roaming for data and try to find wifi hotspots able to provide me data connectivity I need.

Or buying a new sim card in the place where I am.

But if I will use dozen of different devices this could become impractical. a cost is not just the money you have to pay, but also the value you lose for some reason. so basically every time I can’t use my devices the way i want, it is a cost, an hidden cost, that sooner or later will be taken into consideration.

All those hidden cost have to be taken into account in a new IoT business model.

B2B, B2C and more?

This could lead us to say hello to the old B2B and B2C characterization. IoT will require a different approach where the interaction between consumer and business will be more complicated. we will probably have to go beyond B2B and B2C for a X4Y and something more ….

 

Who Pay all this?

Everything change, so business models, but every change create reactions and costs. As for infrastructures we should ask ourselves who will pay for this?

the biggest problem is that at the moment we have a lack of knowledge on what we will face, and using the standard metrics can drive us into wrong conclusion.

But this is the object of the last post for this introductory analysis of IoT. the Cultural impact of IoT.

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The IoT Files – Business Models was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The IoT Files – intro and security

The IoT Files – intro and security

The IoT Files – intro and security

I will start a series of posts on the IoT (Internet o Things) since it seems me that most of the talking about IoT are missing some key aspects.

I will start with a general introduction, taken from a webinar I delivered recently.

There is a lot of rumors around IoT lately. It seems the new holy grail of the technology industry, the panacea that will solve every business pain and will drive us to the next point.

All those talking are interesting, but somehow a little bit apologetic, since there is a lot of things still to be evaluated in an IoT world, and some could give us some headache and concerns.

so let us start trying to understand what we are talking about when we talk about IoT.

IoT,internet of things is the extension of the consumerization of connected device, that will cover much more than we are used nowadays. the key target of the IoT is the User and its world.

This does not means that IoT is not about scada systems or industrial contol systems, or e-government or smart cities. is all about this and more, but the focus point will be the user, the new hyperconnectd guy: mr Guy Smart.

But aren’t we already hyperconnectd with our always present smartphones, tablets and now smartwatch?

What is the difference between us now and mr Smart?

The difference rely on the level of devicesystems connected that are related to the new user. Way more than the simple phone and watch; we can think of wearable devices, medical devices, glasses for augmented reality, smart shoes that tell us how we walk or belt that monitor pour waste and diet.

But My Smart is not only using those stuffs he wear, he is also living in a hyper connected world. driving a smart car (autonomous and more…) on smart roads, with intelligent traffic lights, in a smart city where he find its smart home.

All connected, all sharing information, all dynamically changing status upon the user request and the context.

A way to live quite different from our actually way of life, since everything can modify the behavior related to the heat of the moment.

All this look wonderful, a personalized environment that follow our needs and provide us a completely new experience. A new industrial revolution able to shape our needs and think and way of life.

But is this real? how far are we from this?

To understand what all this means we should start from the definition of Internet of Things. A good definition is the following:

The  Internet of Things ( IoT) refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.

According to most of the analyst this is the main trend we should expect in the next years.

All analysts forecast billions of devices connected, a great hope for a growing business….

  • But is this coming without a price?
  • Is this so easy to achieve?
  • What are the consequences?

 

IoT is a great opportunity, but is also something should make us think about the consequence. as every thing there is always a price to pay, and we should understand what is this price.

I will try to give a short description of 5 aspects related to IoT we should take care of:

  1. Security
  2. Privacy
  3. Infrastructures
  4. Business Models
  5. Culture

IoT and Security

I know that security is on everyone mouth recently, the rising of cyber crime and the warfare has put security under everyone attention.

But yet we are far away from a real understanding of what security really is, and what means make security. We usually focus on particular aspect of the security domain, or on specific technologies, forgetting that make security is a complex affair that cope with behavioral science as well as technology. Is more a process than a product or service.

What should be put us on alert is that in a IoT world the dependency of our lifestyle and life from the devices will be so tight that security will assume a completely new meaning for the normal user. We are not talking about an annoying virus on our laptop, but something that can literally kills us as in the case for medical device or smart drive systems.

IoT bring a lot of security concerns, some quite easy to understand, other alas too often neglected. Let us try to name a few:

Hacking

This is something everyone knows, every years the knowledge about hacking rise up as well as hackers ability. Is a never ending run.  But can we try to imagine what would happen in a world where the number of hackable devices is in the range of billions?

This is something we should take into serious consideration, no OS is secure (sorry Linux, Unix and Mac guys) and we are talking of billions of objects that exchange data, transmit data, manipulate data, collect data through sensors. the attacking surface will become incredibly wider, and the result unpredictable.

The classical reactive approach of OS designer have to be radically modified, since this can be the door for a hell. A new security design approach is needed. And don’t think for a moment that IoT device will have few lines of code and therefore easy to be secured. Even the smallest simplest device will have its sensor and will have to communicate data and receive orders (otherwise wold not be SMART). so there is nothing like a simple OS here. beside the smaller the OS the herder can be to secure and patch it. in bigger environment it is a common operation to wrap the vulnerability into something that solve somehow the problem, will this be possible in the smaller IoT OS?

Cyber Criminals

And if the hacking surface will grow, we can expect also criminal activities to grow and find new way to monetize the risks.

For the ones who works in the Cyber Security arena, it is well known that Cyber criminality move more money than drug and weapon illegal market.  this can only grow, making cyber crime more important than ever. And when something is so important, corruption and collaboration between the underworld and the official ones is to be expected.

So IoT brings with him a great concerns from this point of view.

Cyber Warfare

But if it is not a criminal organization, can be a government. Do we really think that this will be an area where government will not play the part? Do we realize that IoT will be tied to our life, and our productive environment. So targeting the IoT could harm a country more than a conventional war, blocking its productive system.

Science Fiction? Try to remember stuxnet and may be we can agree that this is a plausible scenario: a country that attack the IoT infrastructure in order to harm another country.

And if it is not a state, a government can be a terrorist organization, activism …..

Geopolitical Issues

And if it is not on purpose, may be the system can be harmed by geopolitical issues. In an Hyperconnected world damage can be done even targeting something else.

Censorship

Let’s take censorship as an example. we can not realize that censorship can harm the functionality of a device, at the end we are not talking about nor twitter nor facebook, but…

Take your android phone and go to China, as an example, and you will see directly the effect of censorship on IoT. Your wonderful android functions and services will not work since Google has be banned for censorship reasons from china. (Sure you can use VPN, but please, try to see the picture here).

Errors and Incidents

And even if it is not on purpose, accident and errors can anyway harm the system. probably in ways at the moment we still don’t see, due the complex nature of the various interrelationships between the objects.

Compatibility

And if will be not error or incidents the harm can be done by compatibility issues. At the end you will like to change object or location from time to time. some IoT objects will travel with you, compatibility will become a great issue.

What if you change medical device provider and the new does not support vital data taken from the old one? or if you go in place that does not allow the same level of communication? (may be because encryption is not allowed there).

What More?

Many other scenarios can be recalled related to IoT and security, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is good to make the point. Security is a serious issue in an IoT world.

The classical approach that consider security an “Add ON” of IT and a business weight to avoid have to change dramatically. Security Must become part of normal thinking because the risk is higher than ever.

When consider IoT and security ask yourself:

  • Would you drive or feel safe in a easy to hack car, in a easy to hack road.
  • Would you like to depend on easy to hack medical device?
  • Would you like to count on a hackable safe city system?
  • ….

We have to realize that Security is important in all realms.

It is not just a product add on §(the antivirus….) but we will have to deal with new things like:

Operating System security

  • Vendor Security Approach
  • Service Provider Security System
  • Supply Chain Security

Authentication

Communication security:

  • Reliable
  • Protected

Compatibility

Open Sources vs legacy code

Vulnerability and Vulnerability Disclosure policy

Hacking accidents communication

Training and awareness

Reliability

alas we are still far form the arrival.

Next post I will talk about Privacy in the IoT

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The IoT Files – intro and security was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

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