The stack is the hack, Jack. That's my takeaway from several events I attended over the past few weeks in Silicon Valley and Southeast Asia.
I listened to and participated in discussions about everything from large datacenter management (think Facebook Open Compute) to enterprise-level cyberfraud (at a seminar in Manila attended by the US State Dept. and Philippine National Police) to the world of entrepreneurial startups, app deployment, and mobility (in a series of meetups and talks in both the US and Asia.)
All had something to do with some sort of stack – IT is interconnected, globally, as never before. The increasingly ubiquitous nature of decent connectivity across the globe has joined billions of people into one large, mobile, data-driven stack of information and entertainment.
All aspects of all this will be present in force at our upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11. The event, as has been its practice recently, will also feature the WebRTC Summit (chaired by Acision's Peter Dunkley) and DevOps Summit (chaired by CA's Andi Mann).
This time out, there is also the IoT Bootcamp (taught by Janakiram MSV, who conducted a fabulous Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo last November in Santa Clara), and for the first time, the DevOps Certification Foundation Track (taught by Alan Shimel of the DevOps Institute.)
But back to the stack—or stacks. There are many ways to view the current era. One way is to look at SMAC—social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing:
93% of marketers now use social media for business (according to AdWeek)
In the US, 89% of adults 18-29 are regular social media users. No surprise, but two-thirds of adults in the 30-64 age group are also active, as well as 43% of those age 65 and over (according to AdWeek).
Mobile access has now reached a median of 100MB per person in the US, and an amazing 361MB per person in Asia (according to Sandvine).
Mobile will represent more than 50% of all Internet traffic by the end of next year (according to Cisco).
Analytics are driving a Big Data era that's going to put the world into the Zettabyte Age (a zettabyte is one million petabytes) by the end of next year (according to Cisco).
Big Data is dovetailing with the emerging Internet of Things, which will see 82% annual growth rates in the machine-to-machine (M2M) market alone this year and beyond (according to Cisco).
The IoT has almost 5 billion “things” deployed today, and will grow to 20 billion in 2020 (according to Gartner).
Analytics are seen as forming a market greater than $40 billion by 2018 (according to IDC).
Then there's cloud computing, which is reaching some level of maturity even as it still commands only about 8% of the world's $2.1 trillion in IT expenditures (according to several sources). Even at that, cloud now commands well over $100 billion in hardware services alone, and has the vibrant software ecosystem that will be on display at Cloud Expo.
SMAC is of course just one way to look at the overall picture. The open-source world has given us OpenStack and Apache CloudStack, which continue to drive a lot of conversations if not enormous revenue just yet. The venerable LAMP stack and its many derivatives has quietly become a de facto way to build serious websites and connect them to serious back ends. The idea of stacking all this IT across compute resources, connectivity, and the software the drives it is taking hold.
I've grown fond of telling people that I'm glad the dot-com crash occurred more than a decade ago, because had I been able to retire then (and oh how close so many of us came to doing so) I would have missed today, the greatest era of innovation and creativity in the history of computing.
Things are stacking up for this to be a great year.