Dot-Com and Beyond: Breakthrough Internet-based Architectures and Methodologies

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9780130622976: Dot-Com and Beyond: Breakthrough Internet-based Architectures and Methodologies
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Today and in the future, your business is on the network.The real dot-com revolution is yet to come.

Dot-Com & Beyond introduces the breakthrough methodologies, architectures, and best practices that will enable you to take full advantage of the 21st-Century Internet. It provides indispensable guidance to Senior Technical Developers, Technical Architects, IT Project Managers, Technical Managers, CIOs, and CTOs responsible for designing and developing Internet-based infrastructures and services.

Based on the deep knowledge and extensive experience of the experts in Sun's .Com Consulting group, Dot-Com & Beyond focuses on the proven architectural models, design patterns, and methodologies architects and developers need to build Internet-based infrastructure components that meet real-world business requirements. Managers focused on the emerging business and computing needs of their companies will also learn how to understand and define the system requirements and capabilities essential to meeting long-term business goals.


Chapter 1, The Dot-Com Landscape: A View From 10,000 Feet, provides an overview of today's Internet landscape and the business opportunities inherent in the networked age.

Chapter 2, The CNN Moment: Trouble in Paradise, describes the CNN Moment—the damaging public infrastructure failure often experienced by dot-com enterprises—and outlines its most common causes.

Chapter 3, The Naked Cowboy: Warning Signs in the Dot-Com Age, further explores the telltale symptoms of impending disaster within IT organizations, both traditional and cutting-edge, large and small.

Chapter 4, The New Wave: Architecture to the Rescue, explains the theoretical underpinnings of Sun Microsystems' approach to creating successful dot-com infrastructures.

Chapter 5, Built to Last: Designing for Systemic Qualities, examines the importance of systemic qualities such as availability and scalability to any Internet-based system, and provides strategies and tactics for developing, implementing, and integrating them.

Chapter 6, Getting to Dot-Com: The SunTone Engineering Methodology, describes the key elements of stakeholders, artifacts, iterated phases, and workflows that provide a rigorous and tested blueprint for creating dot-com systems.

Chapter 7, Don't Eat the Boat: Managing Dot-Com Projects, shares the knowledge and experience of Sun's project managers that will help you keep dot-com projects on track and bring them to a successful conclusion.

Chapter 8, Not Rocket Science: A Dot-Com Case Study, illustrates the successful architecture, design, construction, validation, and deployment of a complex commercial Internet-based system.

Chapter 9, The Next Generation: Future Dot-Com Infrastructures, explores current and coming changes in the Internet landscape, and some emerging trends in network-based infrastructures and services that make the wisdom of Dot-Com & Beyond vital to businesses everywhere.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


Dot-Com Now!

Dot-com is our future.

Where are we going? There may be detours along the road, changes in speed, questions about the route, but the answer is clear: businesses today are on their way to a new world, in which they will all live on the network. In order to thrive there, they must rethink their strategic and technological foundations. They must transform themselves to meet the challenges of the networked age.

To many people, 2000 was a bad year for dot-com. But this view derives from a narrow understanding of what the term dot-com means. In truth, dot-com refers not to failed e-tailers with poor business models, but to a fundamental transformative process, represented by the far-reaching information technology changes sweeping the economy and creating new business opportunities.

Consider these recent statistics:

  • The Commerce Department said online purchases of everything from books to clothes and toys surged 35.9% to $8.686 billion in the fourth quarter from third-quarter levels, far outstripping the 5.4% gain in total retail sales during the traditional holiday shopping season. (ZDNet; Study: Online shopping jumps 36%; Feb. 16, 2001)
  • The U.S. Census Bureau said that online retail purchases came to an estimated $8.69 billion in the fourth quarter of 2000, up from third quarter sales of $6.39 billion. ( U.S. Online Sales Hit $8.69B in 4Q; Feb. 16, 2001)
  • Most Internet specialists believe the U.S. will embrace m-commerce (mobile commerce) within one year, according to a recent B3 Corp. survey. (E-Commerce Business Daily; M-commerce seen gaining quick U.S. acceptance; Dec. 26, 2000)
  • Seventy percent of all online purchases in Brazil were of music. But one-quarter of respondents reported purchasing clothing last year, and increased spending was also seen in health and beauty products, sporting goods, flowers, and toys. ( Shop Talk: E-commerce comes around; Feb. 13, 2001)
  • A report from Ernst & Young predicts that Australian e-commerce will grow from US$3.1 billion in 2000 to $39 billion in 2004. The number of e-shoppers is also set to explode from 2.2 million in 2000 to 5.84 million in 2004. (E-Commerce Times: Report: E-Commerce Surging Down Under; Jan. 18, 2001)
  • Research by the Interactive Audience Measurement Asia (iamasia) showed the number of Internet users in Greater China (the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the Republic of China on Taiwan) reached 23.8 million. ( E-Commerce Growth Remains Slow in Greater China; Jan. 17, 2001)

Does this sound like a flash in the pan?

Dot-Comming Ourselves

At Sun, we not only believe in the value of dot-com, we live it. Sun is focused on delivering a services-driven network to provide customers, partners, shareholders, suppliers, and employees with simple, efficient, convenient ways to do business with the company. This focus is called the eSun? program-an effort to dot-com Sun itself.

The eSun effort is not concerned solely with improving existing transactions between Sun and its associates. Rather, eSun is the complete transformation of Sun's interactions with a wide audience of constituents, including customers, partners, employees, and suppliers. With eSun, everyone at Sun is committed to providing full access-easy, anywhere, anytime access-to everything they do.

As part of this effort, we run Sun on Sun, using our own products and partner solutions to dot-com ourselves. We have also built a portal framework to enable complex interaction with all of our constituents. We took a new look at all transactions, from many different perspectives, and provided a variety of ways to perform each of them over the Internet-by using the Web, EDI, auctions, and so on. For example, we know the Internet browser is increasingly important in assisting customers as they make key purchasing decisions. A recent study we conducted showed that nearly 90% of our online visitors find our Web site useful in making IT purchases and strategy decisions. In fact, each day our customers use the Web to request 7,000 quotes and configurations and track more than 1,000 orders.

Overall, we estimate that dot-comming our organization will save us nearly $400 million this year and up to $600 million next year, while boosting the productivity of our sales operation by $1 billion a year. And this transformation remains ongoing, including initiatives ranging from participants registering online for Sun Education to Sun sales reps accessing needed information from a handheld device.

Simply put, we look into every nook and cranny of Sun and ask, "Why isn't it online?" Then we make sure we get it online, and we make sure we do it properly. The future of Sun depends on it.

The Net Effect

Here at Sun, we see the exponential increase in the availability and bandwidth of the Internet, and the ever-greater number of people and devices it connects, as a pivotal development in both computing and business. We call the tremendous opportunity created by this phenomenon the Net Effect.

Not long ago, the dominant computing model was one of PCs and applications, driven by advances in CPU technology. Today, computing is centered around the network and the services it provides, with advances in network architecture and technologies that maximize bandwidth driving the evolution of information technology.

The Net Effect will continue to generate more devices, more users, more information, and more services-all of which will further multiply the value of the Internet to businesses and consumers alike. It won't be long before everything-music, video, TV, and even data from household appliances-is carried over the Internet, giving each of us access to information whenever and wherever we want it.

To better understand the Net Effect and its foundations, consider:

  • Single optical fiber bandwidth has doubled every 16 months since 1975, and every nine months over the past three years. Overall, such bandwidth has increased by a factor of 1,000,000 since 1975. CPU power, on the other hand, has doubled only every 24 months since 1975.
  • The delivery capacity (in packets per second) of a single optical fiber now exceeds the processing capacity of even the fastest CPU-and the gap is growing.
  • Not only does this performance gap highlight the need for scalable multiprocessor systems, it hints at the opportunities inherent in exploiting virtually unlimited network bandwidth rather than a relatively limited supply of CPU cycles. Network bandwidth and latency considerations are now driving service architecture and design.
  • 85 percent of all commercial buildings in the U.S. are within 1 mile of dark fiber-fiber that is installed but is not being used.
  • New technologies such as fixed wireless can deliver more than 100 megabits per second to every business or home within range of fiber, thereby significantly reducing so-called last mile costs. This is easily enough to support all the data needs of all the appliances (radios, TVs, computers, and so on) in a typical home.
  • New mobile wireless technologies, such as so-called 3G Wireless, will provide data rates rivaling T1 lines (1.5 megabits per second) to mobile devices such as cell phones and automobiles.

Imagine the impact of these developments in even the immediate future, and ask yourself this: Is my organization ready?

You Can't Keep a Good Internet Down

Despite all the trendy talk and media gloom, the Internet and e-commerce are alive and well. Did you know that online sales during the 2000 holiday shopping season doubled from last year? According to PC Data and Goldman Sachs, shoppers spent $9.8 billion online between the first week of November and Christmas eve-twice the $4.7 billion spent during the same period in 1999.

So while some dot-coms are indeed fading away, online commerce continues to grow where it has already taken root, and to crop up in more and more established industries and enterprises. In fact, some of the biggest online profit-makers in recent months have been the so-called bricks-and-mortar companies. teamed with to draw about 28% more shoppers than eToys during the holiday buying period. Nielsen//NetRatings found that 11 of the 15 most visited e-tailing sites during this season were run by so-called "offline, old economy" firms such as Barnes and Noble, Walmart, JC Penney, Sears, and Kmart.

Tomorrow's online business winners are realizing that they must transform their companies now. The changes that are sweeping the new economy are not concerned with the sales transaction itself, but with tasks like linking up with thousands of partners, slashing customer response times, and removing hundreds of millions of dollars in costs from business systems. Farsighted organizations are turning the Web into a tool that streamlines, expedites, and enhances hundreds of aspects of business, not just sales. And they are making ever more of their daily business activities easily accessible online.

Above all, online relationships must reflect the fact that behind each sale is a tremendous amount of work. Sun's constituents, for example, are actively concerned with far more than online sales. They want to use the Internet for inquiries, price quotes, product orders, and status updates. They want a Web-based tool that can assist with events before and after the sale-telling them how to configure their hardware, when their items are shipped, and who can answer their service questions.

Simply put, these changes are not optional. The Internet is here to stay; it's up to you and your business to come to terms with it, as so many successful enterprises are already doing, or be left out and left behind.

Dot-Com and Beyond

This book represents what we know about dot-com. And we know a great deal! The concepts, methodologies, and best practices described here grew out of, and were tested and refined by, our experiences in thousands of real-world projects. Whatever your circumstances, Sun Professional Services and the .Com Consulting team have seen them before, and have guidance and advice to help you create successful dot-com architectures, infrastructures, and services.

From a technical perspective, this book covers the architectural models, design patterns, and methodologies used by architects and developers in the delivery of Internet-based infrastructure components to meet given business requirements. As you focus on your company's business needs, you'll find this book very useful in learning to understand and define infrastructure requirements and capabilities, and use that knowledge to architect and deliver the quality of service levels needed to meet your long-term business goals.

We don't have every answer, and we can't predict the future in detail. That's exactly why we've developed these best practices-to help you do it right, no matter what challenges you encounter. Call on us if we can assist you. We hope you'll let us be your partner in dot-com success; we know you won't be sorry.

— The Consultants of Sun Professional Services

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