Safe Enough for Government Work? Bringing in the Internet as Part of UK Hybrid Networks

G. Barton

G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

• The UK Government Digital Services (GDS) statements about moving to the Internet may be over ambitious, but they are not wholly wrong.

• SD-WAN is making the Internet a more viable and better-performing WAN alternative.

Internet connectivity has been an accepted part of hybrid WAN infrastructure for a while, but traditionally this has focussed on remote/home workers and small branch offices or retail stores. However, the public Internet is becoming a more mainstream connectivity medium. A big indicator of this shift is the UK GDS announcing that it intends to kill off the Public Services Network (PSN) ‘network of networks’ programme in favour of public Internet services. GDS has been lukewarm on PSN for a while now so the announcement is not a wholly unexpected shock. However, the seemingly open-armed embrace of Internet connectivity is more surprising, particularly for a public sector body where the data held is both sensitive and politically charged. Is this announcement a watershed moment or an overly ambitious/foolhardy move? Read more of this post

What Should Avaya Do Next?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Assuming Avaya exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the next few months, what should the company do to succeed going forward? We entertain five changes we feel necessary for Avaya not just to continue, but to thrive within the rapidly changing unified communications and collaboration market.
  • We emphasize a focus on the public cloud and advanced analytics as well as a return to a more unified product portfolio.

A few days have passed now since I returned from my visit with Avaya at its annual user conference (Avaya Engage) last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. And my opinion hasn’t changed substantially. Avaya is in trouble. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel of its self-administered Chapter 11 filing with the bankruptcy courts. The question, of course, concerns the type of light that awaits Avaya. Will it be the warming rays of our modest sun, or will it be the blinding glare of an oncoming train? I believe it will be the former. I believe that Avaya can succeed long-term within a marketplace that is undergoing a highly disruptive change from hardware to software and services. Read more of this post

RSA Conference 2017 Preview: Three Themes I’m Watching

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

  • Serverless security and security product integration frameworks are two emerging InfoSec industry market segments worth watching.
  • After contracting last year, the intrusion prevention system market should rebound thanks to new use cases and product innovation.

Next week, thousands of cybersecurity pros will converge in San Francisco for RSA Conference 2017. While there will be no shortage of interesting storylines, here are the three top themes I’ll be watching for at the industry’s largest annual confab: Read more of this post

SD-WAN Buyer’s Guide: A Summary of Potential Technical Benefits

J. Stradling

J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • SD-WAN complements dedicated IP/MPLS VPNs; it’s a case of different horses for different courses, with certain parts of the IT estate benefiting from both technologies.
  • SD-WAN services offer rapid turn-up for multiple branch sites where typically there might not be an IT technician on site.
  • SD-WAN solutions can be crafted to give cost-effective and agile support for leveraging IaaS environments, and will typically support traffic optimization and robust security.

Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) services received enormous marketing attention during 2016, as various providers and operators sought to gain mindshare among their potential customer bases. As we proceed through early 2017, it is now clear that SD-WAN services can be sourced from a wide variety of company types including telcos, platform developers, hardware manufacturers, cloud providers and software developers. For the average IT manager, this has made the market landscape difficult to understand and navigate to find a solution. Read more of this post

Fortinet and Marketing Management: Third Time’s a Charm?

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

  • New Fortinet marketing chief Stacey Wu plans to build Fortinet’s brand by leveraging its culture of innovation, imagination, and technical breakthroughs.
  • It’s unclear whether Wu can overcome the pitfalls that recently doomed her two predecessors, namely wavering support for marketing by CEO Ken Xie.

When it comes to marketing, Fortinet has a checkered history. Historically, the company has not prioritized marketing, embracing a corporate identity that places technological innovation at the fore.

In recent years, however, the company has endeavored to increase marketing spending in order to bolster sales growth. It has also sought to create a brand and go-to-market message that matches the agility of its technology, which helps justify purchasing from a vendor that was previously unfamiliar to many IT buyers. But, these efforts have been inconsistent and uncoordinated; insiders and those close to Fortinet lay the blame on CEO Xie, noting his inability to commit to a consistent marketing strategy and his eagerness to redirect marketing funding back toward product development. Read more of this post

Serverless Computing: Newest Cloud Evolution Abstracts Infrastructure Complexities

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Serverless computing promises to further abstract and thereby simplify VM/server infrastructure complexities, while supporting pay-as-you-go models.
  • Serverless is a logical extension and evolution of the ideas of microservices, containerization tools, and cloud-oriented software development itself.

Serverless computing’s ability to eliminate next-generation application development/deployment complexities by stripping away as much code from the server as possible will usher in a number of cloud service rollouts this year. This begs the question: when should DevOps adopt this approach? This next evolution in cloud computing builds on the momentum of PaaS offerings, microservices development methodologies, and containerization tools like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes, to support agile app development through functions-as-a-service (FaaS). First brought to light a few years ago through Amazon’s AWS Lambda service, serverless computing – also known as FaaS – lets enterprise developers focus on writing code and not managing servers. The technology is based on the concept that when an event is triggered, a function is invoked automatically via a container to provide the context and execution framework for the work, all aimed at reducing operational requirements. A number of cloud providers are rolling out services this year based on investments in FaaS, so in addition to Amazon, buyers will be able to explore IBM OpenWhisk, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and Pivotal Spring Cloud Function. Read more of this post

VMware Reports Strong 2016 Growth and Dismisses HPE Threat, but Needs a Plan to Protect New Businesses

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • VMware has emphasized the importance of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure to its 2016 revenue performance.
  • In order to safeguard future growth, VMware must pay attention to the rapidly changing competitive dynamics within these emerging business segments.

Presenting his company’s Q4 and full-year results for 2016, VMware CFO Zane Rowe noted the important contribution of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to VMware’s overall performance. In Q4, hybrid cloud and SaaS revenue – a category that includes vCloud Air and SaaS offerings such as vRealize as a Service – experienced double-digit growth and accounted for 8% of total revenue. VMware has emphasized the importance of its Cross-Cloud Services initiative – commercially availability in mid-2017 – for the future of its hybrid cloud strategy. Another key element of this strategy is Cloud Foundation, a software-defined data center platform based on NSX, vSphere and vSAN for building private clouds and extending them to the public cloud. Read more of this post

MobileIron Quietly Debuts Sentry for Azure, Enabling Fully Cloud-Based EMM

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:                 

  • Now that Sentry, the gateway component of MobileIron’s EMM solution, is compatible with Azure, the vendor has a fully cloud-based offering for the first time.
  • For MobileIron, the move should accelerate product development, boost cloud-based EMM sales, and increase its competitiveness with rivals Microsoft and VMware AirWatch.

Just before the holidays, enterprise mobility management vendor MobileIron quietly revealed that it had completed the first stage of its long-planned effort to port the centerpiece of its EMM architecture to the cloud. Despite the lack of fanfare, the move represents a significant pivot point that not only enables MobileIron’s first fully cloud-based EMM solution, but also positions the vendor to compete more broadly and effectively. Read more of this post

Is BlackBerry Your Next Enterprise IoT Platform Vendor?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry appears to have risen from its own ashes and now seeks to put its intelligent mobile device expertise to work within the ultra-lucrative (and ultra-competitive) IoT marketplace.
  • With a unique set of resources and technologies at the ready, BlackBerry is capable of building an end-to-end platform, but the trick will be for the vendor to work with, not against, established enterprise IoT platform players.

It’s not often that a company is able to rise from its own ashes. Like Mother Nature, the great crucible of modern capitalism doesn’t often grant a stay of execution for those found wanting. See: TWA, Atari, DeLorean Motor Company or Enron. Once-dominant forces to be reckoned with, those companies are no longer with us. For a while, it seemed that the beloved brand BlackBerry was about to join their ranks. Read more of this post

RAD’s Speed, Collaboration Key to Cloud Offerings in 2017

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • RAD goes hand-in-hand with microservices architecture and container deployment scenarios.
  • RAD vendors will continue to leverage OSS technologies including Cloud Foundry and Docker.

Rapid application development (RAD) platforms are a technology whose time has finally come with the advent of platform service, microservices architecture and containers. The low-code, high-productivity tools go hand-in-hand with new cloud infrastructures, architectures and deployment capabilities, because they address DevOps’ concerns around speed and efficiency, collaboration and accessing open source software to support portability. (Please see “PaaS Cloud Providers and SIs Will Bulk Up on RAD Technology,” January 20, 2017.) Read more of this post