Is Your Network Ready for the Software-Defined Data Center?

Mike Spanbauer
Mike Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • The software-defined data center is a concept that encapsulates networking, virtualization, storage, orchestration, and ultimately, a truly agile framework.
  • Orchestration and manageability must be designed into a solution, rather than being bolted on, to yield the best results.

It became evident during VMworld that the notion of a software-defined data center is central to VMware’s strategy.  However, when you pause a moment and reflect on where the tech industry has been heading for the last five to ten years, it is easy to see elements of this notion accelerating over time, really coming to dominate design principles across the disciplines that constitute the DC (storage, compute, network, and operations platforms) in the last few years.  Software-defined networking (SDN) is perhaps one of the most visible or actively marketed software-defined concepts, but when one realizes that virtualization is just another software-defined concept (compute/machines), it is easy to see the theme encompassing practically every element of DC technology, not to mention platforms and applications already being managed as software elements themselves.  The logical question here is: If all elements within a data center are software-controlled, then what about the technology characteristics of fabrics, SPB-M/Trill, FCoE, and more of the physical network elements?  The answer is that the technology differentiation of the devices which constitute the infrastructure does not go away or diminish with the SD DC, but rather becomes instrumental as the devices themselves must each integrate with upper-level orchestration platforms (i.e., VMware vCenter/vCloud Director).  Continue reading “Is Your Network Ready for the Software-Defined Data Center?”

Device Specialization Portends Further BYOD Frustration

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors Amazon, Samsung, Google, Apple, and even Microsoft are rushing to either fill or invent gaps remaining within the iPad-dominated tablet marketplace with an array of device sizes, media capabilities and increasingly improved access to enterprise collaborative services.
  • This will leave IT professionals to expand management policies through separate, pure-play mobile management solutions. Thankfully, though collaboration players themselves are seeking to do more than simply support mobile devices.

Like many, I tuned in for a few moments to watch last Thursday’s special news conference put on by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, where the outspoken entrepreneur unveiled a new array of portable media devices, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD family of tablets. I was heartened to see the company directly responded to Google’s recent market bombshell, the Nexus 7 tablet, with a number of device sizes and features tailored to those who prize both high speed (dual-band WiFI and 4G LTE) as well as high (ok improved) audio and video fidelity. This is a good thing specifically for the Android market and broader tablet industry. At least it will make for a very interesting, more competitive holiday season, especially once Apple’s mid-sized device hits the streets. Continue reading “Device Specialization Portends Further BYOD Frustration”

How the Cloud Is – and Isn’t – Changing IT

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • The cloud strikes fear in the hearts of IT professionals that see the model’s potential to render them obsolete.
  • Yet, according to a recent Current Analysis survey on enterprise cloud adoption, many enterprises in the process of migrating to the cloud are finding that while on-demand solutions may alter the role of IT, there is still a need for internal professionals to manage technology.

Corporate IT staffers’ concerns about the threat to their job security posed by providers of external sourcing solutions are hardly new.  In both complex and more tactical engagements through the years, IT managers have often been leery of third-party providers.  At a minimum, IT staffers worry about outsiders disrupting processes and adding unnecessary complexity; at worst, they see third-party providers as presenting their employers with a cheaper alternative to their own IT expertise. Continue reading “How the Cloud Is – and Isn’t – Changing IT”

The (Potential) Upside of Cloud Insecurity

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Half of all organizations surveyed in Trend Micro’s 2012 study said “apprehension over security” is a major inhibitor in their adoption of cloud technologies.
  • This reticence may actually prove to be a good thing as enterprises examine their own security strategies, and press their providers to offer up proof points around protecting data privacy and integrity in the cloud.

As is the case with the deployment of any transformational technology or IT delivery model, the enterprise migration to the cloud is pushing IT organizations to reexamine their own security postures and policies, and question the practices their providers employ to protect their data.  Even as more organizations move workloads into the cloud, many are still reticent about making the leap of faith into an on-demand environment, and perhaps for good reason.  A recently released survey of IT professionals sponsored by security vendor Trend Micro found that 41 percent of companies in the U.S. that had deployed workloads in the cloud experienced some kind of lapse or security breach.  Continue reading “The (Potential) Upside of Cloud Insecurity”

Education is Needed to Assure End User Buy-in to BYOD policies

Paula Musich
Paula Musich

The younger generation of smartphone and tablet users brings a false sense of security to all things cloud and mobility, trusting way too much in the security and intentions of apps providers, cloud purveyors, the Internet and even friends.  This brings even greater unease to security professionals charged with protecting corporate data as BYOD becomes pervasive in all sizes of enterprises.  A raft of articles in IT-focused publications exhort IT to put in place the proper policies and security controls to mitigate this new risk (as if they needed more risks to worry about) with regard to the use of employee-owned devices in the enterprise.  Continue reading “Education is Needed to Assure End User Buy-in to BYOD policies”

From Deserts to Glass Skyscrapers and Smart Cities: The Middle East and Africa Offer Growing Availability of Managed IP Service

J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Several very large global providers have both subsidiary presences and extensive partnerships in place to serve the MEA region.
  • ‘Smart city’ projects and verticals such as finance, construction, oil and gas offer growth potential.

Have you ever wanted to open a new presence in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) but baulked at the potential challenges and pitfalls in this diverse region?  In some cases, a satellite link might be the only option to connect, say, a research lab deep in East Africa.  In contrast, an information super-highway backed by very fast networks and sophisticated business and IT applications is available in new ‘smart cities’ in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  The availability of QoS-backed connectivity and managed end-to-end IP service is growing in MEA, as global carriers are focusing considerable attention on the region due the potential for revenue growth, which far exceeds growth rates in more saturated and mature markets elsewhere (for example, Western Europe and North America).  Regional providers (such as MTN, Neotel, Gulf Bridge International, Gateway Business Africa, STC, Qtel and Zain) all have solid roadmaps and international partners that they are leveraging to provide international MPLS, backed by QoS and professional services. Continue reading “From Deserts to Glass Skyscrapers and Smart Cities: The Middle East and Africa Offer Growing Availability of Managed IP Service”

Impatient Customers and Stiff Competition Make Website Optimisation a Must for e-Commerce

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • E-commerce should be at the heart of modern retail solutions
  • Optimisation and monitoring tools are critical for modern websites hosted in multiple locations

The importance of e-commerce to modern businesses is a ‘no brainer’. Internet sales in the UK, for instance, account for around 9% of all retail sales (excluding fuel), and the value of all Internet transactions was GBP 489 million per week during April 2012, according to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) – values that will be much higher at peak points such as Christmas. The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) report for August 2012 notes that year-on-year growth of Internet sales in the UK slowed to its lowest point since monitoring began in 2008. However, the value of online sales still rose by 4.8% during August, or 12 times the rate of growth for in-store sales. Continue reading “Impatient Customers and Stiff Competition Make Website Optimisation a Must for e-Commerce”

What Does VMware Mean to You?

Jerry Caron – Senior Vice President, Analysis

Summary Bullets:                

  • VMware’s VMworld was a hit again, pulling in partners and customers alike
  • The buzz around VMware is about much more than simple virtualization software

I did not attend last week’s VMworld in Las Vegas, hosted of course by VMware, the virtualization software market leader. I wish I had, though. While timing and location prevented my own pilgrimage, Current Analysis was very well represented as were a who’s who of technology-market partners and a robust contingent of IT executives and managers. The reason why this event has become so important for so many is simple, but also profound: Certainly VMware caught lightning in a bottle with its virtualization software, but the company is also leveraging this rather arcane solution as a platform to help solve myriad other IT problems, both with and without partner support. Continue reading “What Does VMware Mean to You?”