From the 2012 Dev Summit – Wednesday


The cloud is the future of information technology.

This is the point Steve Riley was driving home in his keynote presentation at the 2012 Esri Dev Summit today. Being the CTO of Riverbed Technology, as well as having Amazon and Microsoft on his resume, he’s got some legit experience lending credit to his intelligent and animated dialog this morning on the paradigm shift into a cloud infrastructure.

“Change happens. You have to adapt or die” Riley pointed out. Adaptation is key to human progress. The wine press turned into a printing press (did that turn into twitter?). Smart organizations are getting in front of cloud technology and Riley laid out several steps he called architecture lessons for building a successful cloud implementation.

Here are some of the main points I made evernotes of:

  • Servers are disposable horsepower and cloud storage is infinite.
  • If you need more performance simply use more resources. you can turn these off when they aren’t needed.
  • You can spin up a bunch of processes and run them in parallel. This also allows you the freedom to experiment.
  • Don’t assume the resources will always be there. Build dynamic configurations.
  • Assume failure and design backwards. It’s a big planet. There’s lots of clouds so there’s no need to use just one.
  • There are bad guys and they are targeting you. Make sure your system won’t be brought down by bad guys. Assume there’ll be threats and design backwards.
  • Handle failure by killing it and restarting. Don’t have to waste time trouble shooting problems. Spin up another one.
  • … there were a ton more.

Riley also spent some time detailing cloud security and did a great job assuaging any fears people had. The cloud is likely more secure than your on premise data.

In closing he really brought it home with regards to the future of our own product, saying that the cloud is a fundamental way to expand the availability of the data that Esri provides. By moving into a cloud infrastructure we also allow our users to create new value on top of what we are already providing. Being comfortable with the cloud is increasingly important to our users since it will become essential to the way we deliver services.

One last fun fact from this mornings keynote: In 2009 humans were creating an exabyte of data per day. Thats 1×10^18, or 1 million terabytes.


Afterwards, I sat in on a great demo theater presentation from Sagit Thomas and Andy Gup called Flex the World. It was an introduction into accessing and exploiting mobile functionality through Flex. I applaud them for using Prezi, it made for a slick presentation in terms of the information offered and the way it was delivered. They’ll be tweeting their presentation out probably by the end of the week (@SpatialAgent, @agup).

And thanks to everyone who came poolside for the Geodatabase Meet the Teams session last night. It was great to meet some new people and hear what they’re working on. It was also great to grab a beer with some old colleagues, now attending the Dev Summit as users, and play some much needed catch up.

This entry was posted in Geodata and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

One Comment

  1. kristahernandez says:

    I had the awesome opportunity to attend this years DevSummit. The Keynote was one of my favorite presentations of the event.