Friday, January 24, 2020

Google in trouble: Root Level Domain or Root Cause Analysis?


   Google's headquarters, the Googleplex
  Picture Source: Wikipedia

What is Root Level Domain and what is Root Cause Analysis?

It is easy to define Root Cause Analysis (RCA). For example, you can read an article on it in the English Wikipedia. 

In the context of Risk Management, RCA is a Risk Identification and Risk Assessment technique.

Root  Level Domain is not well defined in the context of Google's Blog spot. 

Therefore the answer to the question in this post's title is: Root Cause Analysis.

Google is in a risk. The next post in this blog will be titled: Vendors Survival: will Google Survive until 2030? 


Google and The Devil 


The proverb "the Devil is hidden in the details" is applicable to Google's advertisement in Blogger's blogs: A good new idea but poor design and very poor execution.

This is a small indicator showing that Google is not the same Google of 10 or 20 years ago.

Background


Google offered free blogging services in Blogger. People who use Blogger's services could earn some money based on exposure and clicking of Google's advertisement on the posts they are publishing. Until recently the bloggers were responsible  for designing the advertisement patters e.g. location in the blog's pages, size and colour.

Google is providing tools, feedback, tips and analytics helping bloggers to customize the advertisement in their blog's pages. 


First Step: Good idea


A new option was offered to bloggers. They can select it and Google will take care of advertisement placement and appearance in the blogs. 

I thought that it is a good idea. I am an expert in the topics I am writing about in three different blogs. However, my knowledge and understanding in web advertisement is very limited. 
Google could do a lot better job. It is a Win-Win situation: Google advertisement in blogs will be more effective and I will earn more money.

I made the simple change authorizing Google to take care of advertisement in my blogs. 
In the next month I earned more than in months before.

Second Step: Something went wrong in Google

 On January 2020 my earnings declined significantly. I would not care if I would not get the following message every day:



Earnings at risk - You need to fix some ads.txt file issues to avoid severe impact to your revenue.
FIX NOW
LEARN MORE


The screen included statistics showing that I earned nothing but there were pageviews. In previous months the same pageviews statistics would generate some earnings.

There was no choice but to fix the problem. 
10 years ago or 15 years ago Google provided videos explaining the problem and how to fix it. Usually their were two participants in the video: a young man and a young woman discussing the issue and describing step by step solution. Showing images of step by step actions. Needless to say that English was their Native Language. 

This time i had to guess were should I place HTML/Javascript code provided by google. I ought to place it on the first level under Root Level Domain of my site. 

I guessed incorrectly. I found some queries and answers by Google's  experts. However, they did not provide a unique and straight forward answer. I looked for a video explaining the problem and depicting the answer.

I found one. I do not know if the man explaining is a Google's employee.
I do know that he is not an English Native Speaker and it is not easy to follow his advice. The explanation is far from being clear and helpful.

Happy End?

Not yet. I finally understood what Google is expecting me to do and did it.
No revenues yet. 
There was another message in the next screen telling me that: "It may take a few days for changes to update. If you’re using another ad network, remember to add the network to the ads.txt file. See the ads.txt guide for more details".  

What to expect for an implementation in 3rd decade of 2000?


1. The user should define parameter or few parameters defining what he would like to do.

2. Google software should automatically create the code and place it in the Root Level Domain.

3. The option allowing Google to design the advertisement in blogs pages should be the default option or at least  the default option for new blogs.



Thursday, October 10, 2019

IBM z15 Mainframe First take: Mission Critical Hybrid Cloud

    
I was a Junior IBM Mainframe COBOL Programmer in the beginning of the 1970's. 
IBM 360 computers was the leading platform with SVS Operating System and afterward MVS Operating System.
IBM Mainframe platform was a leading platform in the decade before I started my computers career.

My roles were changed to a System Programmer, a Manager, a Consultant etc. 
I worked on many other platforms and on multiple platforms environments.

The IT industry was also changed and the IBM Mainframe was no longer the leading platform. However, unlike other proprietary platforms it survived. 

Nine years ago I wrote a post about a new Mainframe released. The post was titled: 
IBM z-Enterprise First Take: Data Center in a Box or Cloud Computing.
IBM Mainframe was still a viable platform for large Enterprises.

It should be noted that Public Cloud implementation replacing Core Mainframe systems by Linux and/or Windows based systems is not yet a viable option, so Hybrid Cloud integrating the Private Cloud systems with other systems deployed on Public Cloud is the only realistic solution for many Large Enterprises.

IBM succeeded in adapting the Mainframe to decades of Rapid Changes in the IT Technology.
The Mainframe is still alive and kicking

On September, IBM announced  a new Mainframe Generation: z15 trying to adapt to current IT trends.


z15


The z15 targeted the Hybrid Cloud market. 
It also identified a need for Mainframe participation in the Heterogeneous Cloud. 67 percent of  survey responders said that access to Mainframe Data is critically important or very important in cloud environments.

What was identified by Forrester Consulting is being implemented gradually and continue to be  implemented in 2019. 


The main new features of z15



Enhanced Security

The Security is enhanced by encryption in the Mainframe as well as on other platforms participating in the Cloud.
The Mainframe controls the encryption in other platforms.

My take
Mainframe Security was more robust than other platforms Security even prior to z15. 


Cloud Native Development on Mainframe


My Take
I doubt if developers will use these features on IBM Mainframe with z/os Operating System
It should be checked if there are advantages for development on Mainframe with Linux Operating System justifying development on Mainframe instead of more flexible platforms.
Size Matters so it may applicable to Large Enterprises. 


Enhanced Availability

Limiting the impact of downtime by a new approach named Instant Recovery


Conclusions

Taking into account the requirements for z/os Mainframe systems and z/Linux Mainframe systems by Large Enterprises whose Core Systems are deployed on z/os the z15 could be successful. 

It provides new features supporting Modern Enterprise Systems participating in an Hybrid Cloud. 

Another significant trend that should be addressed is the Digital Transformation, which will be discussed in the next post.



Saturday, March 9, 2019

Managers Typology: The conservative

Steve Balmer. Picture source: Wikipedia

The Professional manager and the Captive manager    were described in previous posts. 
This post is dedicated to another manager type: The Conservative.


Characteristics of The Conservative Manager

The Conservative Manager's management style is described by his type: His goal is to preserve: The  Organization's Culture, The Business behaviour, The Business Lines, The Marketing Methods etc.

Major Changes, Revolutions and Innovations are not expected. 
Improved efficiency could be expected. 

If the Conservative is a CEO or a company's President, then the whole company's patterns will be preserved.
If he is a lower lever manager, then the patterns of the department or domain he is managing, will be preserved.

Frequently, the Conservative Manager was a classic number 2 or number 3 in the hirarchy. Classic in the above context is a long time employee who accumalated a lot of knowledge about various aspects of the organization's Culture, Business Lines, Business processes, Products, Empoyees and Customers. 


Is The Conservative a good Manager?

The answer is similar to the anser to the same question related to the Professional Manager: Sometimes he is a good manager and sometimes he is not. 

The answer depends on the circomstances as well as on the Manager's characteristics.

A typical case of a Conservative Manager promotios is when he was number 2 in the hirerchy and a number one Mithological Manager moves on to a new position and/or new challenge. 

The Conservative Manager replaces him in order to preserve the Orgaizational Culture and approach and move on in the same direction.
Usually, he may be a good Manager as long as Continuation and Presevation are require. 
However, the Modern world is characterized by rapid change rate in which Adaptation is a must.

The Conservative may or may not adapt to a new type of Leadership.
If he would Adapt successfuly, he may be a great manager.

If he is not capable of changing his Management style he could be an unsuccessful manager. 
 

The Case of Microsoft

Satya Nadella in 2017. Source: Wikipedia

Steve Balmer was a classic Conservative Manager. For a short period he was the right manager to replace Bill Gates.

Balmer, a Microsoft veteran, was not a visionary and creative manager, who is capable of adapting Microsoft to new Technological and Business curcomstances.

When Balmer had to step off due to is inability to adapt the company to new circomstances, Satya Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992, replaced him.
Nadella was able to lead significat conceptual changes.
For example, "The Cloud First" approach is a major conceptual change initiated by him.

  

Sunday, November 4, 2018

First Take: IBM's Red Hat Acquisition - Is it too late?


Red Hat logo. Source: Wikipedia


According to Business Insider some of the key points are:

1. Red Hat will join IBM's Hybrid Cloud Team as a distinct unit preserving the Independence and neutrality of Red Hat's Open Source development heritage and commitment, current products portfolio and go to ,market strategy and unique development culture. 

My Take: RED Hat will continue selling its Linux Operating System and services to IBM's Cloud competitors such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

2. IBM will remain committed to Red Hat's Open Governance, Open Source contributions, participation in the Open Source Community and development model.

My Take: IBM is also committed to Open Source and its Cloud is based on Open Stack. with IBM's long tradition of Open Source usage and contributions it is easy for IBM to preserve Red Hat's Open Source Commitment. 

3. IBM and Red Hat also will continue to build and enhance Red Hat's partnerships including those with major cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft's Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba and more in addition to IBM Cloud.

My Take: IBM will provide services and products to its Cloud competitors. 

4. Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat's current management team...  

My Take: Red Hat's key employees will continue to work for IBM. 

5. " IBM will become the world's number 1 Hybrid Cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses" Ginny Rometty, IBM chairman and CEO, said.

My Take: IBM's target is the Hybrid Cloud market. Its strategy is to be the leading provider of that market. 

I cited only the key points which are relevant to this post's context. 

Why IBM needs to change?

More than a year ago I wrote a post titled: Vendors Survival: Will IBM Survive until 2027?

My conclusion was that IBM will probably survive, however the company's position was not as good as it was few years ago. 
IBM still earning from old Business Lines but is failing to dominate any of the the new emerging technological markets.

After 20 quarters of declined earnings Warren Buffet, a significant shareholder, sold his IBM shares.


Which of the emerging market best fits IBM?


I concluded that Cloud Computing was the best fit for IBM among the emerging markets. Unfortunately for IBM, Amazon was more innovative and is this market leader. 

Microsoft with its Azure and Satya Nadella's Cloud First was also more innovative.    

Google was the third vendor in  market share. IBM was fourth, but Alibaba leapfrogged it. 


Is the Cloud Market a single Market? 


The answer is no. There are three different markets:

1. The Public Cloud
The Public Cloud is a promise of a new model without Information Technology Infrastructure. However, there are many obstacles. Some of the obstacles are depicted in my post: Public Cloud Core Banking: Vendors Hype or Short Term Reality

This Market is dominated by Amazon. Microsoft owns the second larger Market share followed by Google.  Microsoft's market share is a lot larger than Google's share. Google is followed by Alibaba and IBM. 
It looks like IBM missed the opportunity to lead this market and it is too late for it to become this market leader. 

The market is based on commodity Operating Systems i.e. Windows and Linux. Red Hat is the leading Linux vendor.

You can read the third key point and My Take on the first key point and realize that IBM will continue to sell Red Hat Linux to its competitors.
It seems that IBM understands that the acquisition will not promote IBM as a leader in this market.

2. The Private Cloud
According to Forrester Research, Next Generation of of Private Clouds "will use Hybrid Infrastructure"
Private Clouds are used by Large Enterprises. According to Forrester's survey in 2013, "67% of responders thought that access to Mainframe Data is critically important or very important in Cloud environments".

This market is not clearly defined. Forrester Research provides three different definitions of this market.

According to all definitions IBM is a significant player in this market and could become the leader of this market in the Next Generation, which will include proprietary platforms. 

This market is an improvement to a traditional market. Nothing to write home about.


3. The Hybrid Cloud
This is a combination of Public Could or Public Clouds and a Private Cloud. It is less elegant and less promising model in comparison to Public Cloud but it is more realistic model, for the following years.
It is a growing market.

The Hybrid Cloud is the "battle field" of the Cloud Computing vendors. 
Ginny Rometty, IBM chairman and CEO, is quoted in the fifth key point. She states that IBM's strategic goal is to become the leader of that market. 

Is it too late?

Could the combined forces of IBM and Red Hat and the Open Source Cloud model realize this strategic goal? It may be too late.

Could the dual strategy of coopetition by selling Red Hat's solutions to IBM's competitors differentiate IBM's solution based on Red Hat's Linux from the comptitors' solutions also based  on Red Hat's Linux?

If IBM would acquire Red Hat few years ago, it would not need to  pay 66% above Red Hat market share value. 

If IBM could be more innovative before the leading vendors emerge the probability of accomplishing this strategic goal would have been a lot higher.








Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How to find that a company could not care less about your Privacy?

The trade offs of the Web and Digital world are well known: Vendors do not charge Consumers for using their software products. Consumers pay by allowing advertisement content on their computers and Smart Phones screens.

Vendors such as facebook, Google and many other vendors and service providers collect and analyze personal data. 

When it comes to selling the Consumer Private Data  it is a different issue.
The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal is an example. 

I am surely do not agree with selling Customers Private Data without their explicit permission, however, I am able to understand why some employees or some companies could sell the data. The motivation is earning more money.

Not taking enough care of customers Privacy without any benefit is beyond my understanding. 

You should not trust any company for protecting your Privacy do it yourself.
It is a good practice not to publish private information, if not necessary. Your Private Data is Unforgettable
If a company deliberately not taking care of your Privacy it could not care less about it, however it is very difficult to distinguish between deliberate careless and poor design and implementation.  


Facebook Messenger in my Xiomi Smart Phone 

When someone receives a Smart Phone application message an alert sound is notifying him about the new message.
This notification method is used by applications such as SMS, Whatsapp etc.
It is also used by Facebook Messenger, however the sender's picture is stuck on the screen (you can roll it down until it will disappear). 

This feature is unique to Facebook Messenger. 
I suspect that it appears not only on Xioni's phones but on other vendor's phones as well.

This weird feature is an example of not caring about Privacy without any benefit to Facebook. 
It could be a poor design without any intention to compromise Privacy, however the bottom line is reduced Privacy. 

Nobody sitting next to you will notice an SMS or Whatsapp message sender's identity. 
Anybody sitting next to you Will see the picture appearing on the screen accompanying a Facebook Messenger message. 
He may know the sender and will be aware of some interaction between you and that sender.

After the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal Facebook should avoid of Privacy issues. Even minor issues.




Sunday, December 17, 2017

Managers Typology: The Professional



Steve Jobs
Source: Wikipedia

In previous posts I classified Customers e.g Customers Typology: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Part 3: The Ugly and Customers Typology: The Social . In other posts I classified Consultants e.g Consultants Typology: The Consultant who knows everything. The post Mangers Typology: The Captive was the first post classifying Managers. 

The Professional manager is an expert. His expertise, knowledge and understanding in the subject matter could be better than the knowledge and understanding of the employees he is managing. 
They would ask for his professional opinion and guidance and will not disagree with his technical decisions.

Is the Professional a good manager?
There is no definitive answer to the question above. The answer depends upon the manager's skills and characteristics and the circumstances. 

a personal example
I was a successful manager in the first time I was promoted to a management position.
Of course Management Experience was a skill I lacked. It was not the only Management skill I lacked.   

I was an IBM Mainframe Systems Programming Group Manager. I had more than a decade of technical experience as a Mainframe Systems Programmer. I had a profound understanding of IBM Mainframe Operating Systems, including Internals. 

I was lecturing on Mainframe Operating Systems and I published articles in local and international professional journals.

My profile was a very good fit for the organization requirements. 
Most of the employees, working in an excellent Systems Programming Group, left for another job in another place. The former Manager left after the majority of the people working in the department left. 

The Organization had to find a Manager who could maintain the Operating System and related Hardware and Software. The Organization required a Manager who could select new inexperienced Systems Programmer and could train them and be perceived by them as a Professional authority. 

The Results
The systems operated better than expected. The inexperienced Systems Programmers studied in a course specially designed for them and did a good job. 
A major Operating System migration Project was completed according to schedule. 
Completing a large IT project is important, but the quality of the project is even more important. This migration project was executed without any significant bug or any significant problem.  

After two years: an unsuccessful Manager
The crisis was over and after few years the Operating Systems Department was mature and functioning well. 
The new circumstances required a Systems Programming Department Manager with different skill set. The new skill set included skills such as internal organization Political skills, Internal and external  Sales and Marketing skills etc.

My skills set was not adequate for the new role so I was no longer a good manager. 

I am not the only one
It happened to other Professional Managers as well: when the skills set is no longer adequate, they are replaced by a Manager who is more suitable to the new management focus.
Steve Jobs was one of them. Jobs was forced out of Apple on 1985. Jobs was a co-founder and a CEO of the company. 

He was replaced by John Sculley. Sculley was the President of Pepsi-Cola. 
No doubt that, as far as professional Computers skills are concerned, Jobs skill set was superior. Sculley was a marketing expert, Sales expert and better Politician than Jobs.

Apple of 1985 required a CEO with Sculley's skills set.

Another Example
One of my customers had two main Business Lines. Two IT managers manage the systems of the two Business Lines. They left the company few months before I was hired by the new CIO. 

I do not know if one of these two managers was a good IT Professional, however he cooperated with a deputy. His deputy replaced him when he resigned. 
The former deputy new a lot about the systems and the people responsible for each of them. The systems were documented properly.
I received updated and correct information about the systems.

No doubt that the other Manager was a good Professional, however nobody could tell me about the Systems, the Interfaces between them and who is responsible for each system. 

There was not real deputy (I did not know if someone was formally a deputy. If there was a deputy, he did not know much about the systems). 
The Manager was replaced by someone whose knowledge about the Systems and the responsibilities of the systems was very limited.
I received an incomplete, an inaccurate and sometimes incorrect information about the systems.

I discovered that the manager was performing technical tasks instead of the people who should do it. There was no "natural Deputy", workers' roles and responsibilities were not properly defined and no documentation was available.

It was one man's show. When the man left no show remained.
   
The bottom line: The second manager was a Professional Manager but lacked management skills. The consequences were awful.

Summary
 A Professional Manager could be a successful manager when the focus is on Professional and/or Technical issues.
His fitness to Management positions when other issues are more important than Professional issues is subject to his skills in other domains. Excellent Professional Manager could be a bad manager when the focus is on non-professional issues.        

Monday, October 30, 2017

IOT: Streaming Analytics is an Enabling Technology

Nobody is able to predict accurately. IT is less predictable than other industries because it is a"moving target". 
My "Vendors Survival" posts titled: Vendors Survival: will X survive until y (ten years from the year the post was written)? X is a large IT vendor such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM. HP etc., could be wrong. Actually I wrote explicitly that my predictions could be wrong.
Even predictions for the next year could be wrong. Even leading analysts firms predictions could be wrong.

Based on this idea I wrote a post titled: Gartner's 2015 Strategic Predictions: Trivial, Over Estimated and Interesting.
Gartner's prediction about IOT as a Strategic Technology was included in the Interesting group i.e predictions that are not trivial and I believe will be important few years after the prediction. 
In 2017 it seems that Gartner's IOT Prediction was not a wrong prediction. There are plenty of Things which are Internet entities e.g cars, medical equipment etc. 

What differentiate IBPMS from BPMS?
Another old post titled: BPMS Next Generation: IBPMS, explained the difference between BPMS and IBPMS: IBPMS includes a new Use Case named Intelligent Business Operation.
The implications of Intelligent Business Operations is convergence with other technologies. Business Intelligence and Analytics, especially Real Time Analytics, are significant technologies related to  Intelligent Business Operations.

The Forrester Wave: Streaming Analytics, Q3 2017  
This interesting Research note was written by three analysts: Mike Gualtieri, Srividya Sridharan and Elizabeth Hoberman. 
Reading this interesting Research Note reminds me of the distinction between BPMS and IBPMS.
The similarity between Intelligent Business Operations Processes and IOT data Streaming Analytics is the need to Analyze in Real Time and respond immediately and automatically to events. 

For example, Fraud Detection in the Banking vertical is based on Real Time Analytics. 
It is crucial to notify a customer that a suspicious withdrawal of large sum of money from his account just happened. 

Streaming Analytics is not limited to IOT, however, "Streaming Analytics are particularly suited for Internet of Things applications..." (the suffix is a quotation from Forrester's Research Note).
Real Time Streaming Analytics of IOT data is important because the technological limitations of IOT devices. These devices are not computers such as Servers, Personal Computers or Smart Phones. 

IOT devices are not able to analyze deeply the data they receive and the data they send.
Real Time Data Streaming is an Enabling Technology which analyze the IOT data immediately as it is reaching a computer. 

The Largest DDoS attack
DDOS attacks are Denial of Service attacks. A server which is overloaded with too much data is not able to handle it and stops providing its Services. if it is due to DDOS attack some people deliberately send large amounts of irrelevant data.

The largest DDoS attack in history was based on attacking many IOT entities and forcing them to send a lot of data. Many internet sites collapsed.
For more details read: DDos attack that disrupted internet was largest of its kind in History, experts say.

Advanced Data Streaming could identify an event like DDoS attacks, as well as other events, and immediately alert.  

The Streaming Analytics Vendors
According to the Forrester Research Note the leaders in Q3 2017 are: Software AG, IBM, Tibco Software, SAP, SAS and Microsoft.

Google in trouble: Root Level Domain or Root Cause Analysis?

    Google's headquarters, the  Googleplex   Picture Source: Wikipedia What is Root Level Domain and what is Root Cause Analysis...