Emerging Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

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By Liz Young, Marketing Coordinator

I recently hit up one of our visionaries here at Evolving Solutions, our CTO, Michael Downs, to get his take on the technological trends we can expect to see in the coming year.  Michael evaluates emerging and disruptive technologies.  He brings together the real-world experience our team possesses to help our clients implement solutions that are agile, offering as much longevity as technology allows.

He offered some really great insight on some pretty cool emerging technologies and I had to share three of them because I think they are something to look forward to.

Automation

IT Automation is the trend that keeps coming back. We’ve been talking about IT automation for decades, but it has taken on increasing relevance with most infrastructure now able to be treated as code for deployment and changes. This has allowed developers to integrate the development automation they already created with deployment automation for infrastructure.

The rise of both containers and “server-less” application development models have made automation required. Managing a container that might only run for less than 30 seconds before it’s deleted simply can’t be managed with more traditional manual processes.

Blockchain

After several years of crypto currency hype and over-promise for solving every enterprise problem, some practical and realistic implementations are starting to emerge.

In spite of the reputation for Blockchain supporting interactions between completely untrusting, anonymous parties, the “permissioned Blockchain” model, where the participants are known is showing significant promise for enterprise use cases.

Deriving value from enterprise Blockchain implementations usually necessitates a consortium. We recommend you identify others in your industry or value chain who would also benefit from a shared ledger and work with them on use cases.

Quantum Computing

Undoubtedly the most futuristic and uncertain area of emerging technology. Tremendous energy and time is being spent on Quantum Computing research by companies with the resources, capabilities and interests to achieve breakthroughs. IBM (https://quantumexperience.ng.bluemix.net/qx/experience)  and Google (https://ai.google/research/teams/applied-science/quantum-ai/) both have significant efforts and are  enlisting developers to experiment with algorithms and programming models through their respective portals and cloud based offerings.

In addition to the technical challenges related to making a commercially viable Quantum Computer, use cases that truly take advantage of the unique computational paradigm of Quantum Computing are still being developed. Physical Chemistry, cryptography and certain artificial intelligence use cases seem the most promising, but until more people outside of research laboratories begin to understand the true nature of Quantum Computing, it’s potential will remain limited.

Automation, Blockchain and Quantum Computing are just a few of the technologies that should make 2019 interesting.   I know Evolving Solutions will be watching these technologies for their potential in helping our clients solve their organizational challenges so stay tuned to our blog and social media for more!


Liz Young - Evolving Solutions

Liz is the Marketing Coordinator and is responsible for the digital/social strategy, content creation and campaign execution for Evolving Solutions. She handles all online platforms including the Evolving Solutions website, blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Liz works with the incredibly talented sales, consultant, and architect teams to ensure we offer the best support to our clients. From creating collateral, to planning world-class events, Liz works to ensure our best foot is always forward.

With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Liz is also pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Minnesota.

Like what you read? Follow Liz on LinkedIn.


Michael joined Evolving Solutions in 2014 to develop solutions for our clients across hardware and software, both on and off premise. He brings over 18 years of creating architectures to solve complex business problems including big data, high performance computing, integration, automation and end user computing.

His broad technology, business and industry experience provides valuable perspective to our clients working to implement innovative technologies to support their success.

Like what you read? Follow Michael on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mldowns/

Evolving Solutions and TechData: A Partnership in Innovation

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We are so excited that TechData chose Evolving Solutions as a feature for their partnership video series.  The video debuted at the TechData Summit in Phoenix, AZ yesterday.  Our team had a blast telling the story of the special relationship we share and explain why it is so valuable for our clients.

Check out the short video, where we talk about just what makes this partnership so special, and how it helps us deliver the right solutions to our clients:

Special IBM ZR1 Server installed in our Innovation Center. A first in the Twin Cities!

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By Jim Fyffe, Enterprise Systems Solution Architect; CISSP-ISSMP

Evolving Solutions clearly is not the first to install IBM Z14 Server Technology.  However, we are the first to install an IBM ZR1 server with a rather unique feature code (16U) in the Twin Cities area.  This feature allows you to effectively deploy a data center within a 19-inch industry standard rack, including mainframe server technology, Intel® server technology, and storage.

Having the opportunity to add one of these units to our Innovation Center is pretty awesome.  We not only got to practice an install, but now we can really test this technology and its capabilities to find better solutions to help our clients in their environments.

Here’s how installation went.

As our installation progressed, we removed the 16U flat panels, put in the 1U covers, and added the included cable guide (spline).  This spline is a nice addition, to ensure our cabling activity will look professional.

The support element keyboard and display (typically used by IBM service) are tightly integrated between the I/O Cage and 16U feature.  Something cool to note; the ZR1 hosts up to 4 I/O cages.

One of the clear mainframe strengths is the ability to reuse existing I/O from our prior server, an IBM z13s.  As part of our install, we carried forward our FICON 16S and 8S cards, along with our 5S OSA cards and the crown jewel – our CryptoExpress5s cards.

Our ZR1 server provides the ability to change hardware, non-disruptively.  Note the amber lights that are on, it is those slots that will accept our FICON cards that we will be installing.

We are now in the home stretch for this installation.  Just a couple hours after we began, the server is installing MCL (hardware firmware updates from IBM). Once completed, a processor upgrade will take place.

Our prior server, the IBM z13s had 10 cores available. Evolving Solutions configured those cores to take advantage of z/OS clustering as well as Linux on z capabilities.  Our new ZR1 offers 12 cores, given the model we purchased, which will help increase core capability; providing added configuration flexibility.

We’re all done!  Here is the ZR1, next to its partner, the DS8884 Storage subsystem.  What an excellent way to spend a Thursday!  Now, we move onto cabling, followed by our most anticipated IPL.  Stay tuned for more about what we do with this system!

Jim joined Evolving Solutions in 2016, following a 36 year career with IBM as a Level 3 Certified Band-10 Technical Lead supporting the z Systems platform. He specializes in IBM z Systems, z/OS, platform security, Geographically-Dispersed Parallel SysPlex (in support of Business Continuity, Continuous Operations, and Disaster Recovery), Linux, Open Source,and HyperLedger Fabric.

Like what you read? Follow Jim on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimfyffe/

3 Signs Your Database May Be Out of Date

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For decades, a company’s database usually had a single job: operating as either an operational — also known as transactional — database or acting as a data warehouse. It was also typically deployed in a single location: on premises.

Today, companies not only want more from their databases, but also expect greater flexibility concerning where they are located and how they consume data management resources. Even though organizations may recognize that these new demands on their databases exist, they may not fully realize when their business has outgrown their current data management solution. If that happens, problems will eventually occur and the business will slow or, worse, stop because the database cannot keep up.

Make sure to address that possibility before it happens by checking for these three signs that your database may be out of date:

  1. A lack of on-time or real-time analytics from transactional data

With the significant level of competition present in every industry, if you are not running analytics on your data as soon as possible, your business risks falling behind. Data that is ready for analytics quickly is important for multiple stakeholders including data scientists who want to discover trends in your business, marketing professionals who want to run real-time promotions for consumers and executives who want to review the overall health of the business. If these professionals have access to this data sooner, they will be able to derive the insights your organization needs to outpace the competition faster. If your current database does not provide a way for you to understand your business in real-time, that may be a sign that an upgrade is needed.

  1. Inefficient scaling or limited scaling of database resources

The volume of data continues to rise at an impressive rate, a fact which most businesses know by heart. The multitude of papers, blogs, podcasts and other media which continue to be created on the subject only serve to further increase the amount of data. Still, because no company is immune to the effects of this increase, databases must be designed to support continued data growth.

Your database must be able to scale as your business scales, but your database should go one step beyond that. It should scale efficiently.  If you are constantly feeding your database more resources, such as memory and storage, it might be a sign your database is out of date.  A modern database should scale resources up or down as needed without impacting users.  In addition, it should efficiently manage those resources so nothing is being wasted, including your budget.

  1. No database deployment flexibility

By now, cloud deployments, whether public or private, should be part of your data center. So your database solution should be part of your cloud conversation too. Currently, there are multiple options for database deployment, and companies should consider which is best based on their existing needs and goals.

That can often be hard to predict or may change unexpectedly. Having multiple deployment options gives companies the flexibility to support the ever-changing needs of their business regardless of what they might have first envisioned. Make sure your database supports on-premises, hosted cloud and managed cloud deployments. Failure to provide even one of these options could result in the inability to effectively address your ongoing needs and is a sure sign your database may be out of date.

With both business and technology changing so rapidly, it’s always prudent to ask yourself if your current database is out of date and unable to provide support for emerging business needs. Inability to perform real-time analytics, scaling limitations and deployment inflexibility are all good indicators that it may be time for a change.  It’s also not a bad idea to call in a third party to help identify other issues which are easily overlooked and help make recommendations on managing your infrastructure’s processes and assets.

We Are Evolving Solutions

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This has been an exciting week! Our company has launched new tools, including a refreshed website, so we can better communicate how our IT solutions help our clients overcome technology challenges.  Here are some highlights.

Tech. No Babble. That’s Evolving Solutions.

Our clients view us as a trusted technology advocate and partner, because we take the time to understand their needs and goals.  Evolving Solutions advises, builds, and maintains the best IT solutions from beginning to end, so we truly get to know the client’s operation and business.

Rather than use technology babble, we prioritize real language.  We pair this value with the desire to deliver innovative solutions with common-sense implementation. As a result, we provide the best technology guidance.

Fanatics About New Technologies.

Our team thrives on tackling complex IT challenges.  We take the latest technologies, such as big data and analytics, cognitive computing and cloud, and develop results-driven IT solutions.  Consequently, our clients gain real advantages over competitors and operational efficiencies.

Finally, our team is there every step of the way from planning and implementation to testing, training and maintenance.

New Technologies

The Heart of IT – The Data Center.

Data Center technologies are ever changing, and there is a growing need to become more efficient and agile. As companies focus on data and technology strategies to differentiate themselves, data center infrastructure becomes even more crucial. Our expertise in data storage, servers and infrastructure helps our clients make the most of their IT operations.

In addition, Evolving Solutions has built a reputation and business around recertified IT equipment.  Our clients know that when equipment decisions must be made, we can guide them to make the right choice to fit their need and also their budget.

Finally, we invite you to spend time today to learn more about how Evolving Solutions can help your company overcome today’s technology challenges.  Better yet, contact us to speak directly about your IT solution needs.

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