Feedback & Control signals its arrival in the Cloud & Enterprise
Judging by the postings this weekend from prominent cloud bloggers on the management of complex systems via control & feedback loops it appears that our shared vision of application software, in the cloud or enterprise, that is inherently self-aware (in particular cost-aware) and self-regulated, is gaining supporters, promoters and soon more early adopters.
“We’re drowning in data. Bits are faster than atoms. Our jungle-surplus wetware can’t keep up. At least, not without Boyd’s help. In a society where every person, tethered to their smartphone, is both a sensor and an end node, we need better ways to observe and orient, whether we’re at home or at work, solving the world’s problems or planning a play date. And we need to be constantly deciding, acting, and experimenting, feeding what we learn back into future behavior. We’re entering a feedback economy.” Alistair Croll
“Systems that pursue a goal, adapting to uncertainty and compensating for disturbance, display the most important kind of feedback: the ‘negative feedback’ that measures deviation from a desired state, and uses that measurement as a corrective signal.” Peter Coffee
“The thing is, however, a certain class of complex systems, complex adaptive systems, have the additional trait that they can change their behavior in response to the success or failure of previous behaviors when a given event occurs or when a certain series of events occurs. This ability to “learn” and adapt to the surrounding system environment creates amazing outcomes, including many of the most rich, enduring and powerful systems in our universe.” James Urquhart
Since 2003 our engineers have invested considerable R&D effort looking at the challenges in designing and developing self adaptive software. In 2008 we delivered the first truly scalable and versatile solution based on activity based costing & metering (ABC/M), which we initially referred to as CARS (Cost Aware Runtimes & Services), that makes this long held dream a reality today. And we achieved this in the most demanding of environments in which our technology is used to dynamically influence (prioritization, police, protect and provision) the execution behavior of concurrent threads executing financial trades (orders) in what many see as being near real-time.
Outside of such constrained environments it should be a breeze, clearing the way forward for greater insight and control in the cloud.
If after reading the above blogs you are still interested in going beyond “what we can expect to happen in the cloud” to “what is already happening in specialized environments”, environments that move at much faster innovation adoption pace, then check out the following PDF version of articles which were posted on our developer site last year.
Activity Based Costing & Metering – The Ultimate Feedback Loop
Automated Performance Management starts with Software’s Self Observation
Quality of Service (QoS) for Applications – Introduction
From Management Dashboards & Consoles to Management Code & Control
Here are a set of slides used to present some of the above at the recent O’Reilly Velocity (EU) Conf in Berlin.
For those even more interested in seeing how we have applied self adaptive techniques within our own metering technology to (auto)tune and budget measurement (and its overhead) in addition providing fairer performance web request servicing then please check-out the following links to PDF version of articles previously posted on our developer site.
Innovation never stops here at JINSPIRED which is why in 2012 we will deliver an incredibly new and exciting technology, called Signals, that brings control & systems theory to software applications and platform services – in the cloud and enterprise. And we are doing this by enabling such capabilities to be engineered into applications by skilled developers who need to manage not just code but cost, capacity, consumption and its control.