Episode 9

The Holiday Episode

Happy holidays! This month, Jeff and Nick sit down with Dave Judd, ObjectSharp’s App Dev Practice Lead, and Shane Castle, ObjectSharp’s Cloud Practice Lead. They discuss the year that was in cloud-first application development in 2019 ,and look ahead to 2020 for predictions on where cloud-first software development will be going and what it means for businesses looking to grow and scale with software in the New Year.

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Show Notes
  • 0:30 – Introduction to the show – looking at the year that was and the year ahead in tech and cloud-first software development
  • 01:54 – Dave Judd introduces himself
  • 02:09 – Shane Castle introduces himself
  • 03:10 – Nick provides a quick description of ObjectSharp and the podcast
  • 04:10 – Nick and Jeff kick things off, talking about Microsoft Cosmos DB and asking Dave and Shane what their views are on Cosmos DB and how they have changed over the course of the year
  • 05:18 – Dave Judd talks about how 4-5 of the projects he worked on this year used Cosmos DB, which killed a lot of ORM code and helped his teams move faster. Dave notes that a lot of enterprise customers are familiar and used to SQL, but increasingly teams are starting to use a hybrid model – using Cosmos DB to do fast, real-time data replication in multiple regions but then using Azure Data Factory to move data into SQL for BI and reporting. Using the tech is great, and the new SDK is also awesome.
  • 07:20 – Dave Judd talks about pricing with Cosmos DB. Recent changes have made the technology much more affordable with shared pricing and scale. He notes that one of ObjectSharp’s clients that use Cosmos DB heavily have only a bill of $40 / month. Implemented correctly, it can be very cost-competitive. Dave Judd discusses a couple of strategies companies can use to reduce their Cosmos DB costs.
  • 10:10 – Shane Castle talks about cloud security and comments on Cosmos DB: when people understand they can go to an active-active architecture, they also understand they can remove costs associated with older disaster recovery (DR) strategies and remove downtime. Shane thinks Cosmos DB will become even more popular in 2020.
  • 11:10 – Shane Castle dives deeper on the issue of cybersecurity in the cloud, a big theme from 2019. He talks about the importance of encryption and access control, as well as the ongoing monitoring of those. Shane talks about Azure Security Center.
  • 11:55 – Dave talks about how security and privacy by design – privacy-first development – is now becoming standard practice not only for software developers like ObjectSharp but also its clients. Customers are increasingly demanding architectures that are well designed in terms of privacy and security from the outset, not simply as an afterthought.
  • 12:30 – Dave talks about a unique project ObjectSharp took on this year which involved encryption of data on-prem before the data was stored in the cloud and then re-encrypted, with a unique key management solution.
  • 13:30 – Jeff asks Dave and Shane to talk about containerization with Docker and Kubernetes – what’s the story for 2019?
  • 14:00 – Shane talks about the rise of Kubernetes (k8s) and the decline of Docker the company but the rise of Docker the format
  • 14:40 – Shane and Nick talk about the work of ObjectSharp Consultant Gui Martins, whose work for Finastra led to ObjectSharp winning a Microsoft Impact Award for Application Innovation in FinTech
  • 17:40 – Jeff notes that a number of companies are choosing not to lift and shift but rather to move quickly to PaaS services and asks Dave and Shane to comment
  • 18:20 – Shane notes that once the guardrails of security are in place, kubernetes gives you a much greater advantage – there’s no waste, no idle infrastructure. Simply lifting and shifting doesn’t make your app a “cloud” app. You can leave what you have, and build your new stuff in the cloud, and gain the cost advantages of cloud services that are based on a consumption model. If your new feature is not popular, you won’t pay for it.
  • 21:00 – Dave talks about a PoC ObjectSharp did for a government agency that first involved a lift and shift. It didn’t fundamentally alter the nature – and slow performance – of the application. But when the team started taking advantage of cloud-native technologies and tooling – and scaling out horizontally – they could measure the cost in nickels vs. hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital expenditures. Part of this was due to the fact that the cloud-based solution also reduced compute time from several hours to mere minutes. So not only was it totally faster than the existing application, it ended up being insanely cheaper too.
  • 23:50 – Shane talks about Microsoft API Management – a very popular topic and technology in 2019 – digitizing the business, leveraging the data that businesses have for stakeholders internally and externally
  • 25:40 – Dave talks about the importance of security and throttling control, and how Azure API Management helps make that a much simpler process
  • 26:40 – Nick derails the entire episode into a diversion about KFC’s recipe as a GET endpoint
  • 28:05 – The team moves from looking at 2019 to trends in 2020 – big themes and predictions
  • 28:55 – Shane talks about Azure Arc: a single tool / cloud management system from which you can deploy resources to multiple environments / cloud providers (AWS, Google, IBM, and even on-prem) – you can use ARM templates to provision to all of those environments. Amazon SSO now integrates with Azure AD, so you can domain join resources into Azure.
  • 30:30 – Nick asks what kinds of businesses should be thinking about Azure Arc.
  • 32:30 – Jeff talks about the issues customers still have with managing multiple clouds
  • 33:50 – Shane talks about Blazor and .NET 5.
  • 34:24 – Dave talks about the evolution of .NET Core to .NET 5.
  • 36:00 – Dave talks about Blazor and explains what it is: effectively .NET running in the browser, compiled and running in Web Assembly (WASM). This means C# developers can ship their code to the browser and run it there. And Blazor has brought back a better component model to .NET that has been missing for a long time.
  • 37:40 – Dave notes that they will not be porting Web Forms to .NET Core: teams will have to replace their Web Forms applications with Blazor applications. Dave thinks this will be big in 2020.
  • 38:00 – Jeff asks the team to comment on the business value of Blazor. When is it an advantage from a business perspective?
  • 38:20 – Dave answers Jeff’s question with a real world example of some advanced work that ObjectSharp is doing now for one of its clients that needs complex calculations done extremely fast and in an environment where network speeds are slow and unstable. Writing the advanced computation and algorithms in Blazor and shipping that to the browser avoids the front-end React application having to make round trip network calls to the server, making the application lightning fast. Further, by moving compute to the browser, it saves cloud compute costs as well.
  • 40:00 – Shane talks about Angular and React, but now with Web Assembly, C# developers can do more work in the browser. Shane thinks this will change the stacks that teams are using and have a big impact on JavaScript.
  • 43:00 – Dave talks about the importance / relevance of Blazor for teams that haven’t even moved to JavaScript are still on web forms
  • 44:00 – Nick talks about Figma and their use of WASM and their own Web GL based rendering engine to create highly performant experiences for UX designers in the browser
  • 45:50 – Dave and Shane suggest that in 2020 we’ll start seeing new UI frameworks emerge that transcend the DOM
  • 47:00 – Outro

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