IOT AND MICROSERVICES IN THE HOME, and GO FASTER REMOVE THE INHIBITORS TO INNOVATION

IOT AND MICROSERVICES IN THE HOME

IoT, the prevalence of specialized interconnected devices, has invaded business and home. The myriad of devices, hubs, and APIs has created a Tower of Babel that makes the Android phone scene seem mild. Such devices are inherently less networkreliable than previous products, primarily due to the casual attachment (convenient outlets). Add to this heterogeneous soup the security exposure that has already been exploited in DDoS attacks, and you have an environment begging for technical solutions.

We propose Asynchronous MicroServices as a solution. Borrowing a page from historical J2ME thinking and more recent implementations using IFTTT, we introduce small bridging MicroServices for the various devices. Further, also consistent with MicroServices, we keep these services very simple: They broadcast device status to an event bus, or listen for action commands to relay to the devices from the same bus. Interaction among the various IoT devices is delegated to yet another set of MicroServices.

One exemplary composite application would accept signals from motion detectors to turn on appropriate lights, or alternatively alerting the owner of unauthorized intrusion. Using the same motion detectors, lights can be dimmed and eventually turned off. Room temperatures and even audio/video gear could be adjusted as well. Using Asynchronous MicroServices, we can also set up controlled access from the outside world, rather than exposing each device with its own vulnerabilities.

Finally we wrap up talking about the challenges of implementing this in my own flat using Hue lights, Amazon Alexa, and 4th generation Apple TV. We run these MicroServices in local containers attached to the same home network. Docker support of ARM devices enables low cost redundancy as well.

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GO FASTER REMOVE THE INHIBITORS TO INNOVATION

 
The industry is replete with fresh topics: DevOps, Cloud Computing, MicroServices, Lean Startup, Full­stack Developers, Agile Variations, and the like. Having seen all these at conferences, there is an emerging theme around all these topics: Go Faster.
 
Going faster is an old theme; I have heard it for over four decades. But the business incentives for it are more powerful than ever because competitors have become unfettered from traditional barriers:
  • Massive, free application frameworks replace expensive vendor packages
  • On­demand computing replaces expensive, pre­planned machine installations
  • World­wide access to customers through social networks replaces dedicated sales teams
So either you go faster, or a competitor will emerge who is faster.
 
In this presentation, I identify three categories of inhibitors, and suggest mitigation strategies I have employed for each one:
  • Technology inhibitors, whether dealing with legacy languages, tools, or architectures,
  • Process inhibitors, particularly daunting as shifts to faster processes run counter to the “tried and true” processes inherent in the organization, and
  • Organization inhibitors as we shake off the time­consuming waterfall structures.
Embracing the technology change is not sufficient. Going faster can be crippled if supporting IT processes are not implemented. We wrap up by addressing the impact to roles and responsibilities, a challenging and key aspect of going faster. We will delve into some detail on an implementation in a large, traditional business.

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ABOUT THE PRESENTER: FRED GEORGE

Fred George is a Developer and Co­founder at Outpace Systems, and has been writing code for over 46 years in (by his count) over 70 languages. He has delivered projects and products across his career, and in the last decade alone, has worked in the US, India, China, and the UK. He started ThoughtWorks University in Bangalore, India, based on a commercial programming training program he developed in the 90’s. An early adopter of OO and Agile.
Fred continues to impact the industry with his leading­ edge ideas, most recently advocating Micro­Service Architectures and flat team structures (under the moniker of Programmer Anarchy). Oh, and he still writes code!

 

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