By Cheranka Mendis
WSO2Con 2011, the much looked forward to, user conference for technology enthusiasts kicked off yesterday at the Water’s Edge, promising three days tech-savvy interaction to more than 250 participants from all over the world.
With over 40 sessions planned out with speakers from 10 countries alongside local speakers and participants, the conference is WSO2’s second annual conference organised.
It aims at exploring unique convergence of service oriented architecture, open source software, cloud computing implementations and IT strategies for improving productivity and competition in the global front.
Extended from the original two day workshop to a week long event, the conference officially started off on Monday with a pre- conference workshop and will be followed by a post-conference workshop on the fifth day. With participants from USA, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Ukraine and Germany among others, the event was a truly global affair and was made available live via a link provided on the company website.
IBM Fellow and former IBM India Chief Scientist Dr. C. Mohan delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of the official conference yesterday presented the IBM Global Technology Outlook for 2011 (GTO) which is the IBM Research’s vision of the future for IT and its impact on industries using the technology. “Each year the research arm comes up with major themes that they see affecting the future. Each theme will be discussed under one or two topics that are identified by the research arm as those will have severe consequences in the future,” Mohan said.
One of the key initiatives picked by the researchers is the smarter planet theme. “There have been a lot of discussions during the last few years on this theme. We see this as a major driving force for things that are going out now.” Under smarter planet two topics are broadly discussed, he said- Internet Of Things (IOT) and natural resource transformation and management. “Then there is analytics. This is a big deal topic and there are lot of acquisitions taking place.” Under analytics; topics under discussion are petascale analytics appliance ecosystem and socially synergistic enterprise solution. The work load optimise system under which falls the frontiers of IT and services are also part of the highlights.
Mohan said, “Smarter planet has a whole lot of growth market units involved which includes countries such as Russia, India, China, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. These are areas that have a wider scope for IOT and natural resource transformation and management.”
IOT is considered to be the infrastructure foundation for a smarter planet. It is also expected to offer significant growth opportunities in the infrastructure space and the services. “There will be a lot on the management and security front to discuss, there will be an effect coming from almost everything in the world being treated as management in the internet. All sorts of devices, monitors, censors all on the internet with IP address where the address base can be expanded to hook up everything to the wire or wireless. There will be all sorts of implications coming in the attempt to hook up everything.”
It is believed that there are now about seven billion components that are now hooked together globally. By 2015 this is to grow to 15 billion and by 2020, it is expected that 50 billion objects would be interconnected and accessible through the internet.
“Various technologies enabling this to happen would be Bluetooth and M2M (machine to machine). It won’t be just machine to human but will also focus on one system talking to another.”
Areas or vertical domains that will be impacted by IOT are topics like water management, grid, food safety, logistics, healthcare, transportation etc. Pain points today under this was listed as lack of capability to design, implement, deploy or manage complex of IOT systems. Threat to security is also a pain point identified.
“9/11 sort of situation showed that why is it important to connect everything- you can now destruct the whole world. Society can be impacted severely. Therefore security becomes a much more important thing. This is one of the main pain points in the cloud way of doing things,” Mohan said, “It is not just important for air force or army guys.”
Wireless networking will also play an important role. Its significance lies in the fact that not everything is available in areas that can easily be reached wired and that the high cost attached. “Wireless is lot easier to deal with and fewer infrastructures are needed. There would be IPO appliances, application gateways etc.”
Connectivity will also increase the efficiency of usage in areas such as power management and container management. “As time goes on new technologies have come in and companies such as IBM has a lot to offer. There is a possibility of getting into white space areas, things that are currently not covered by any part of the company.”
On national resource management, Mohan noted that with the phenomenal growth in
BRIC countries, the demand for luxury goods and improved lifestyles is resulting in more consumption of scarce resources- through electricity and water and such. “More carbon needs to be released and the growing countries need more capital energy consumption.” However the newer growing countries could try to do something learning through the lessons of other countries to prevent previous issues from rising up.”
The research looks at various aspects of society’s functioning and outlines areas so that the team would be able to predict better and anticipate things before it actually happens.
Importance of socially synergistic enterprise solution explores the areas of how marketing can be done from various parts of the world through areas such as facebook, twitter etc. Under workload optimizing solutions the research looks at areas of interest in the overall field of IT which includes software, hardware, services, vertical domains etc.
Among the other global speakers lined up for the event are Architect of eBay Sastry Malladi, Grgor Hohpe from Goggle, Cofounder and CTO of WSO2 Paul Fremantle, Research Assistant of Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS) David Schumm, Head of Intergartion Solution Department Alfa-Bank Ukraine Dmitry Lukyanov among others.
Pix by Upul Abayasekara