Gonna Carve Me a (Hybrid) Mountain

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • The hybrid cloud could benefit from a strong, open-source model upon which to base future development.
  • Projects of this magnitude depend on a clear vision that can be shared across large groups.

For the last few weeks I’ve been deeply involved in research regarding open-source cloud, and in so doing I ran across a quote from Jim Whitehurst of Red Hat that compared the challenges of OpenStack to those faced during the creation of the Interstate-90, way back in 1956. I know many of us weren’t around then, but his point was well taken, it was a massive undertaking that ultimately benefited the entire nation and it led me to considering other projects that could serve as a simile to the creation of an open cloud framework. The Hoover dam came to mind, as did the space program, but just as I was pondering this a TV show came on about the carving of Mount Rushmore. BINGO! GENIUS! Read more of this post

M2M Heavyweights Back Standards Drive for Wireless IoT, but They Need Help

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco and Accenture add global credibility to the Wireless IoT Forum’s standards rationalisation efforts, while WSN Tech adds China to the UK contribution from BT, Telensa and Arkessa.
  • Consolidated standards should give developers a bigger target market at which to aim, increase innovation in applications, reduce develop-ment costs and lower ROI thresholds for buyers, but market history suggests it may never happen.

The Wireless IoT Forum, backed by Cisco, Accenture, BT, Telensa, Arkessa and WSN Tech, hopes to rationalise the many largely proprietary wireless standards used in M2M/IoT applications. It believes this will encourage more application developers and systems suppliers to enter the sector, giving more choice, so that more customers buy wireless M2M projects. Read more of this post

Microservices Get a Kick Start as OSS PaaS Leaders Commit to New App Development Architecture

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Red Hat and Pivotal/Cloud Foundry are looking to establish leadership roles in defining microservices technologies.
  • Approaches vary between the two OSS players, with a division primarily around buildpacks versus containers.

Microservices is the hottest new technology to hit the application platforms market sector, promising to deliver a more agile and efficient way to build, deploy, and manage apps. Most application platform providers are trying to figure out how microservices fit into their current middleware portfolios, but Red Hat and Pivotal (Cloud Foundry) are taking an early lead on launching their own distinct initiatives. The OSS PaaS leaders are causing disruption to the application platforms industry through thought leadership and announcements around microservices, albeit through varying technology support of containerization, buildpacks, and orchestration. The battle has begun over which of the two will generate the most momentum around their technology strategies. This week, I compared the different approaches between the rival PaaS players (please see: OSS PaaS Rivals Red Hat and Pivotal Tackle Microservice Architectures via Very Different Approaches, June 30, 2015). Read more of this post

OPM Breach Analysis: Many Failures Highlight the Cost of Risk Ignorance

Summary Bullets:

  • OPM’s data breach may have been prevented by any number of widely used security controls.
  • However, OPM’s biggest failing was in not applying security controls in measure equal to its risk.

Given the catastrophic nature of the recently discovered data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), it’s clear both the investigation and the finger-pointing will continue for some time. However, it’s not too soon to highlight not only the security controls that may have prevented or mitigated the damage, but also the inevitable disaster that will result for any organization which fails to implement information security in equal measure to its risk. Read more of this post

Will TEM Have Trouble Finding Ongoing Traction in an Industry Where Complex Solutions Become Dominant Over Commodity Services?

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• IBM sold off its Rivermine TEM business to Tangoe in May 2015, signaling that it was not as strategic a business as its other mobility-related services.

• Verizon shuttered its TEM service in 2014, as prospects favored independent providers for billing verification, expense reporting, device and service plan logistics and provisioning, and especially multi-carrier expense optimization.

While all Tier 1 operators and IT service providers (ITSPs) have offered telecom expense management (TEM) services for years, there are some changes in the market that harken back to the original question of whether a mobile operator can be impartial enough to be trusted with seeing, validating, recommending and helping optimize both its own voice and data services, as well as those of other operators. The ITSPs often used this argument to tout their own offerings, since they clearly weren’t tied to a particular operator. But network operators went out of their way to be impartial too, by separating their TEM staff and services from their network services. Meanwhile, as the TEM platform providers grew into TEM services and became service providers themselves, carriers increasingly used them as an independent liaison, whether the carriers were simply reselling their platforms or basing more advanced services on them. Read more of this post

“Hello, Cortana. This Is Big Data Calling.”

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Artificial avatars combine natural language processing, contextual awareness, predictive analytics, and machine learning not only to answer requests, but also to anticipate them.
  • What if these avatars were instructed to include not just your inbox, but everyone’s inbox, your corporate ERP database, even your nifty little Hadoop cluster?

As you may have heard, Microsoft is playing around with the notion of intelligent automation. Like Google and Apple, the company has its own personal, mobile assistant named Cortana, which can help you find a nice restaurant, schedule a meeting, or remind you to call your mom more often… seriously. These artificial avatars combine natural language processing, contextual awareness, predictive analytics, and machine learning to sift through your inbox, search history, and calendar, not only to respond to your requests, but actually to anticipate them. Of course, they’re still fraught with negative perceptions and unreasonable expectations, which currently limits their effective use to basic responsive tasks such as looking at your calendar and seeing that you need to call your mom today because it’s her birthday. Read more of this post

Easy Usually Starts Out Being Hard

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors have been surprisingly receptive to getting on board with the OpenStack initiative.
  • OpenStack is still a major challenge for companies to adopt.

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of key acquisitions in the world of hosted and managed private cloud startups. First tier vendors like IBM, EMC, and Cisco have all made significant investments in private cloud startups that have already built a respectable business providing a simplified path to an OpenStack private cloud through either hosting secure externalized private clouds (which seems like an oxymoron) or by offering a managed private cloud service that can take a lot of the pain out of building an OpenStack-based private cloud. But to me, this raises the obvious question of just why is private cloud so darn hard? Read more of this post

Overlapping Mixed Messages? Service Providers Aim to Commoditize Adjacent Peers

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Various service provider categories – ITSP/SI, cloud, data center, network and technology vendors – seek to outmaneuver each other and win control of the customer relationship.
  • The provider (and sector) that secures the customer relationship can seek to preserve its own margins and, through commoditization and automation, push down those of adjacent providers.

If you’re a large enterprise buyer and can wade through the mixed messages from service providers, it’s a great time for shopping around to find deals. But, for many service providers, the same overlapping messages are cause for apprehension. The mixing of cloud, data center, network and managed/professional services plays up fears that every adjacent sector is now a competitor. Those concerns are well-founded. Read more of this post

All in it Together: Enterprises Join Threat Intelligence Alliances to Combat Security Risk

John Marcus

John Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Crowdsourcing in cybersecurity is not new, but it is gaining significant traction with heavyweight sponsors
  • Enterprises can benefit from participating, with the potential value outweighing any perceived costs

It’s impossible for any one organization to keep up with every current security threat on its own. That’s why enterprises use tools and managed services from security vendors in the first place, right? But even those specialists who have invested millions in real-time security intelligence and analytics platforms–and/or armies of security analysts—can’t know or predict everything. That’s why numerous initiatives have been started to pool threat monitoring resources together in a cooperative fashion and on a large scale, using crowdsourcing techniques to protect the community as a whole.

On May 14th, IBM announced that more than 1,000 organizations across 16 industries are participating in its X-Force Exchange threat intelligence network, just one month after its launch. IBM X-Force Exchange provides open access to historical and real-time data feeds of threat intelligence, including reports of live attacks from IBM’s global threat monitoring network, to help enterprises defend against cybercrime. The company provided free access to its 700 terabyte threat database, including two decades of malicious cyberattack data from IBM, as well as anonymous threat data from thousands of its managed security clients. It already supports an average of 1,000 data queries from participating organizations each day. Read more of this post

Get Ready for Cloud-borne BI That’s Both Scalable and Free, Mostly

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Though traditional business intelligence (BI) players have been slow to adopt the cloud, they are moving in that direction with alacrity, targeting both departmental buyers and CxO decision makers.
  • BI solutions are beginning to combine a freemium data discovery and visualization user experience with pay-as-you-go data storage and processing, all delivered via the cloud.

The cloud reminds me of the sea. Not in the sense that it smells of brine and brims with mystery at what lies beneath those soothing waves, but rather in how the sea evolved into an economic engine, driving society forward through powerful but invisible trade routes. Like the sea, the cloud has evolved to carry commerce at scale. This is especially true with enterprise data and analytics. Only instead of mega-vessels carrying staggeringly massive numbers of shipping containers (think 18,500 of them on the Maersk Triple E class of ships), we have cloud platform providers like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon building mega-scale data repositories capable of storing, processing and carrying petabytes of information. Read more of this post

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