The models that have emerged are typically either advertising- or subscription-based. But German company LaterPay thinks it has found a way to bridge the two – by focusing on readers and how they consume content.
In an annual address last week, Lee named digital payments as one area where better use of information technology could improve the lives of Singaporeans.
But what does all this mean to payment facilitators?
As we’ve noted previously, many small businesses are turning to payment facilitators for their capital needs. And PFs are seeing this business as one opportunity to expand the ways they serve their merchant clients’ business needs, in an integrated environment that includes payment processing.
But according to recent media reports from the region, not everyone there is necessarily happy with the disappearance of cash or the pervasiveness of mobile payments.
The Eastern tip of Long Island is home to one of the United States’ largest wine producing regions. For anyone who has explored the wine trail and the abundance of wonderful vineyards, you may have also noticed something equally wondrous to see. Once you pass the town of Riverhead you encounter huge fields of bright green perfectly manicured grass. Alas, this area is also known as one of the largest producers of sod for the Northeast, with some fields stretching for miles uninterrupted.
If you’ve seen how sod is farmed, it’s quite amazing, as the manufacturers literally roll up the grass, roots and dirt like a rug.
For infrastructure architects, there is nothing quite as exciting as designing and building pristine networks and compute farms. At Apstra we have customers who regularly deploy new data centers and get to experience the value of the Apstra Operating System™ (AOS) Intent Based Network System, but we also have potential customers who want to try AOS but don’t know where to begin.
AOS has a number of features that can be used for operating a legacy “brownfield”, but the amount of value and simplicity offered when deploying AOS on a new environment is truly something to be experienced. When an architect or operator uses AOS to design, deploy and operate a network, they see the new paradigm for system management and quickly realize how inefficient the old methods are.
So in a modern enterprise IT shop, how can an architect dip their toes into Intent Based Networks?
Playing Infrastructure Leapfrog
All data centers go through a lifecycle, where they rip out old equipment and replace it with newer, more powerful gear. I like to remind customers that if their servers are designed to be replaced every five years, then one sixth of their data center should be upgraded or replaced every year. I describe this as “Server Leapfrog”. In reality this process is much more complicated, it can take a whole year to evacuate services from a compute pool. If you have 6 rows of compute, you end up with four rows with no changes for the year, one row that is being decommissioned, and one row that is being rebuilt with new hardware. This formula is consistent based on the hardware refresh cycle, For example, if you operate six fields of rows, the model is generally the same as if you only have six racks.
|Once Rack1 has been completely decommissioned, Rack6 can be built in the same location|
Rolling Out Your Green Patch
|If only networking and server deployments could be this easy|
A green patch is a new system or “pod” that is a fresh build with some freedom to try new hardware, software, and system designs, A green patch can be as small as a single rack. With AOS, a green patch can be two switches (one leaf and one spine), however for the purposes of this discussion we will focus on a
2 by 2 Clos Leaf/Spine design to ensure adequate redundancy.
Using two top of rack (TOR) switches and two centralized spines, you can achieve a much lower price per port than a large chassis. Buying a chassis requires a huge upfront investment, as well as logistical issues related to the size and power requirements of a large switch.
Your new green patch environment with four switches only requires four 19″ rack units (RUs), so it will easily fit into the top of one standard rack with plenty of room for servers. These fixed form factor switches also use standard 110V power, so they can be placed just about anywhere in the data center.
Despite the fact that we only have 4 switches, AOS allows the architect or operator to easily expand and contract the network based on need. If you need more switch ports for servers you add more leaf switches, if you need more bandwidth between servers you add another spine. AOS automates the configuration and deployment down to telling you exactly how to plug it into the rest of the network to eliminate the possibility of service interruptions. You can also choose from a large variety of different vendors for the hardware, allowing you to add new capacity at the lowest price point and mix and match different vendors.
Intent Based Networking solutions wizards, you can pick from a large number of common vendors and switch models, dial in the exact subscription ratios you need, and AOS will immediately provide an accurate cabling list. I like to think of this as the instruction manual that comes in every box of Legos. Once the system is connected, AOS will automatically validate all of the cabling to ensure the system is wired properly, and then you can deploy the running configurations to the devices. AOS will automatically monitor and report on any issue it encounters in the IP fabric, as well as inform you of any changes it notices in the configurations.
Using AOS to design, deploy and operate your new green patch, you automatically gain the following capabilities:
A single dashboard for the health of the system
A simple GUI for managing switch ports, servers, vlans, routing, and more
Configuration validation and deployment for all devices
Automated monitoring and alerting of all major issues that impact service availability and violate your stated intent.
Easy point and click scaling when adding or removing new leafs or spines
Integration via REST API to all 3rd party systems and tools
I hope this brief explanation has given you an idea of how quickly you can build a new network with AOS, and how small a running system can be. There are a number of additional features and value that AOS provides and we would love to give you an overview of the benefits that come right out of the box.
But rest assured, you do not need a lot of resources to build a brand new pristine network. It can indeed be as simple as rolling out a small carpet of bright green grass.
There’s nothing like fresh green grass beneath your toes. Reach out to us to help you build a new special place in your data center.
This article is directed to you, CIO of an organization that made digital transformation your key initiative. My message to you is: you need to ensure your network infrastructure operations are transformed as a critical part of — and to support — this digital transformation. The technology to enable this transformation — namely an intent-based self-operating network™ — is available TODAY, and the time to start is NOW.
Your network is a critical asset of your digital transformation initiative. Whether it involves IoT, big data, or machine learning, these technologies will only work — and you will only be able to compete — at the speed of your network. If it takes you 6 months to spin up your network, realize that organizations that have invested in operating their networks properly will spin theirs up in a few minutes. If you experience a significant outage, your entire business will suffer, and your competitor who was able to avoid the outage, or fix it quickly through the proper operational model, will take full advantage of your mishap.
It makes no sense to have a digital transformation strategy that automates large portions of the business while the very foundation of that transformation, the network, is run manually. Let’s go over some data to illustrate the urgency of ensuring network operations are transformed as part of your digital transformation.
Networks have been operated in essentially the same way since 1995. That is 22 years ago — the year Intel Pentium Pro was released! Today, 85% of networking teams still use arcane commands to configure each device in your network manually.
As a result, you spend $3-$5 on average for every $1 of CapEx. If you’re a traditional enterprise with legacy systems, you spend a lot more — in some cases, an order of magnitude more!
On average, 80% of those resources are spent on manual operations — wasted I would say, because anything you could automate, but that you haven’t automated is effectively wasted.
So on average, 80% of approximately $4 is wasted. That is $3.20 for every dollar of CapEx. Some organizations waste a lot more.
Gartner estimates by deploying available Intent-Based Networking Systems, you can improve your network agility by 50% to 90%. Assuming an average 70% improvement, and applying it to the average $3.20 waste, that’s a value creation of $2.24 for every $1 of CapEx.
This means that by implementing proper network automation, enterprises can, on average, recoup more than $2 for every $1 that they spend on CapEx!! Think about it. And if you’re a traditional enterprise then you are likely to recoup an order of magnitude more!
It doesn’t end there — in fact it gets a lot worse. Until this point, this analysis has only focused on CapEx, and did not consider the opportunity cost of lack of automation. Here are a few examples:
The cost to your reputation from having an outage; for a company in the S&P 500, this can amount to tens if not 100s of millions of dollars per outage instance;
The revenue you are likely to lose from having an outage; on average $1M per minute or outage — and in some cases a lot more;
The amount of deferred revenue from taking your organization many months to stand up and provision a network required to deploy a new business service or implement a new initiative;
The amount of deferred revenue from taking weeks to make a change to the network that is required to support a new business service;
The lack of competitiveness from your organization’s inability to provision the infrastructure necessary for critical business initiatives;
The opportunity cost associated with the inability for the staff to improve their skills in a manner that’s beneficial to the business.
These costs are harder to measure generally, as they are specific to every business. However, they are massive, and are a lot higher than OpEx Costs. In these areas, 50%-90% improvements are game changing. And given that technology that enables autonomous operations of the network is now available to all organizations, those that don’t leverage those technologies will be unable to compete. If you don’t automate, you will be at a significant competitive disadvantage because others have, and more will.
In a newly released report, Gartner emphatically points out that “Digital business initiatives will struggle unless CIOs and business leaders change the way they think about networking.” Gartner states that “by 2022, the percentage of enterprises that deem networking core to their digital initiative success will increase to over 75%”, up from 25% today. In fact, Gartner believes — and we agree — that enterprises should consider networking to be a profit center rather than a cost center. In fact for the first time since the early 2000’s, Gartner urges CIOs to make “Networking a critical strategic infrastructure resource for enabling digital business.”
Your digital initiatives are critical to the bottom line of your company and an intent-based self-operating network is fundamental to getting you there. The technology is available TODAY. The time to start is NOW.
Our mission at Apstra is to enable you to make your network the most critical part of your infrastructure. We look forward to hearing from you.