Entries by Dave McAllister

Webinar Recap: Microservices in Practice

Microservices are extremely popular these days, and for good reason. They provide a blueprint that make it easier to create robust and scalable applications. During a webinar called “Microservices in Practice” (which you can watch here), Jonathan Schabowsky of Solace’s office of the CTO demonstrated how important the right choice of communications between services really is.

As you might expect, REST was the opening topic. But REST has some limitations that any architecture needs to consider. Jonathan described the challenges in interaction cardinality of synchronous and asynchronous, and how the wrong choice can lead to tightly coupled architecture. During the talk, a poll of the viewers found that 71% felt that asynchronous delivery is very important.

Jonathan then highlighted a few desirable characteristics for microservices: scaling, fault tolerance, performance, management and security. Using personal experience, he guided participants through the role each of these items plays and how to achieve them.… Read the rest

Solace Says: Enabling Event-Driven Microservices

In this edition of Solace Says, I interviewed Jonathan Schabowsky of Solace’s office of the CTO, who recently wrote a blog post about event-driven microservices that’s turned out to be quite popular. In that post, and this video, Jonathan describes the characteristics most microservices share, what they’re commonly used for, and how they share information with REST and/or messaging technology.

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How Quants are Winning the Battle for Alpha using AI and Smarter Infrastructure

Our recent webinar on July 11th introduced attendees to how machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the nature of financial technology, known these days as fintech. Our speakers, Terry Roche of Tabb Group and Keith McAuliffe of Solace dove into the impact these technologies are having on modern capital markets.

Together, Terry and Keith explained how AI has evolved from a backroom experiment to being a key part of significant “run the bank” programs like trade surveillance and sentiment analysis. Today the focus is on cost savings and compliance, but things are clearly moving towards revenue generation.

One of the drivers of this new world of AI and ML in finance is the massive onslaught of data, both in volume and variety of both sources and consumers. Clearly, the future of finance is being driven by the need to expand data reach and ability to accept data in ever changing ways.… Read the rest

Open for Business: APIs, Standards and Open Source

Openness in technology is an element of interactions. It’s about allowing access to whatever information is needed to take appropriate action, without tying that access to a single technology or vendor so you can always pick the right solution for each problem.

Of course, open has become a heavily loaded term. A few years ago I did a talk on the overloaded nature of the word open, and I suspect you could add additional examples to the list therein. But in nearly every case, openness in communications benefits everyone.

The ability to move and share information is the lifeblood of many corporations – and some would say all of them these days thanks to the advent of analytics, IoT and the cloud. As technology evolves, that movement of information will increase in both ubiquity and value.

And that is why open data movement is important. Open data movement is designed to get data moving on your terms. … Read the rest

Open source is dead. Long live open source!

I recently ran across an opinion piece with an attention grabbing headline: Did Amazon Just Kill Open Source?

The author’s primary argument is that the industry is moving too fast for good architecture to take shape around open standards like inter-application protocols and common APIs (which take time and collaboration). He makes his case by pointing out that well thought out integration layers were a hallmark of early open source projects like Linux.

The article also layers in the idea that a glut of overlapping open source projects that don’t have clean integration layers has benefitted Amazon’s “full stack” cloud approach, which is easier for developers than sifting through many similar choices and tackling integration on their own.

His points are correct, in some contexts, but they have little to do with problems with open source as a concept or market model. Open source is here to stay. Even if managed cloud services replace some of what people do today with open source code, there will always be other aspects of any project that will inevitably come from the community.… Read the rest

Webinar Recap: Solace: Messaging with Purpose on Pivotal Cloud Foundry

On May 30, Solace Senior Architect Jonathan Schabowsky explained how messaging and microservices work with Pivotal Cloud Foundry as part of a Brighttalk webinar. He provided a great introduction to the concept of microservices and then dove into the details of architectural considerations.

As part of that he covered how Platform as a Service (PaaS) makes it easier to deliver on the microservice promise by eliminating some of the distractions that app developers face while providing a “deploy anywhere” capability. But, as Jonathan covers, “deploy anywhere” comes with its own headaches around communication and data movement.

Jonathan dug into a comparison of REST and other open protocols, like AMQP and MQTT. One of his comments (often mentioned in technology) refers to the fact that not everything is a nail to the REST hammer. Fortunately, we find out that there are a lot of different tools available in the Solace toolbox. You can find even more on microservices on the Solace dev site and find code, demos and more examples on the Labs site and Github repositories.… Read the rest

Big Data Rivers Webinar

Every wonder about the impact of data in motion? Or how lambda architecture is used to drive real world big data solutions?

Sumeet Puri, Solace’s global head of systems engineering, shared his experiences and expertise in a webinar covering those topics and more. In particular, Sumeet discussed event-driven architectures and how data movement patterns vary across such architectures, not being limited to request/reply exchanges. He also focused on the importance of open data movement, i.e. the distribution of data using standard protocols and open APIs across diverse cloud and on-premise environments.

The technologies used to implement big data vary across use cases and continue to evolve, but the common thread, as Sumeet put it, is that “Data lakes need data rivers to feed them”.

sumeet-data-river-slideSumeet illustrated with analogies and anecdotes some ways to deal with sync and async data, and how data rivers apply to financial services use cases such as the processing of orders and online payments.… Read the rest

Solace and Docker: Multi-Cloud Messaging Containers

From the dawn of (software) time, developers have been searching for the solution to software portability. The challenge of managing dependencies, from versioning to network topology to storage in a world of public and private clouds and legacy datacenters is mind-boggling. However, with the advent and acceptance of application containers, the world is closer to a solution that allows apps to be easily moved from one environment to another.

Today’s environments aren’t just a single staging ground or single deployment space. Increasingly, the production solution crosses multiple systems, clouds and datacenters. Sharing messages and data across those multiple environments is also challenging, which is why Solace has embraced open data movement.

That’s why we’re excited to announce today that our Solace Virtual Message Router (VMR) is now available as a Docker image. With this, the VMR can now run in Docker environments with other dockerized apps to combine the benefits of containers with those of the leading open data movement technology.… Read the rest

Solace at PCF Meetup in Boston

On February 16th, Solace took part in the Boston Pivotal Cloud Foundry meetup, talking about the Solace Tile for PCF and how easy it makes it to add enterprise class data movement and messaging services to your PCF environment.

Mark Spielman, a member of Solace’s Office of the CTO, demonstrated horizontal scaling of aggregated microservices. Microservices are a hot architectural topic among developers today, and the ease of using messaging to allow those microservices to communicate was clearly shown. Additionally, the ability to elastically scale messaging and streaming capacity was demonstrated using the standard PCF tools.

Pivotal’s John Ferguson talked about PCF’s OPS capabilities, and how the Solace and PCF work together to create a seamless devops environment.

The Solace Tile for PCF is available now, as is the Virtual Message Router, on which the Tile is based. More information on Solace and PCF is available on the developer portal and that the demo code is open sourced on Github as well as the availability of additional samples and Spring integrations.… Read the rest