Notes for Infrastructure Post

Notes for Infrastructure Investments blog post:

This is a list of points from my notebook over the past year collected over various meetings and conferences.


  • Consumer mobile behaviour matters – leading indicator broadly for mobility
  • Think beyond current devices (3-5″ smartphones, 7-11″ tablets) – what devices/screens matter in 2015 ?
  • Pay attention to the rise of infrastructure apps (How mobility connects information silos)
  • Composite Apps matter more vs. individual apps (IFTTT + hardware + ambience awareness)
  • Role of data in mobile architectures (Virtual cell definitions, moving beyond ‘circuit’ connections to a single base station). Multiple radios (WiFi, 4G/LTE, …)
  • Offloading mobile traffic to data-centers vs. core-networks.
  • Mobile is not a “second screen”
  • Think “Interaction” when you think of mobile screens, not “presentation”

Cloud & Control

  • Management & Control frameworks for heterogenous hardware
  • Service-to-service information exchange with policy/compliance
  • Stupid simple ways to deliver app-aware performance (no QoS please), solve by sufficiency/availability of resources, not strict reservation.
  • Cloud-to-cloud resource signaling/advertisement/reservation
  • Software defined networking v1.0 was MPLS (remember Ipsilon), pay more attention to protocols vs. systems/boxes. Global knowledge neither required, nor assumed for optimal/practical TE.
  • Data-center to network boundary+Control matters.

Custom Hardware

  • Software defined hardware (is there any other kind?)
  • Processor controlled modules for specific workloads (across consumer/enterprise/ServiceProvider/DataCenters)
  • Software-defined Networking hardware required: backplanes, Top-of-rack switches, Data-center fabrics, DC-to-DC core networking vs. CO-to-CO (Flows/mobile-traffic/…)
  • IO bottlenecks need to be solved – scale (Users/apps) begets throughput problems.

Data Intelligence

  • New BI stack on Google/Amazon infrastructure vs. specialized warehouses
  • DI stack = presentation/visualization + Infrastructure-smarts (SW, HW) + Federated DI warehouses + DR/HA + flex-scalable db + Caching + …
  • Optimize cost per bit/byte of [store, manipulate, move, serve]
  • Infrastructure apps play a big role here, as does custom hardware (workload specific compute/store/network)
  • 2000-2010 was v0.1 (MapReduce), think Dremel, Cassovary, Spark & Shark,…