Is the Promise of IoT Getting Lost in “Good Enough” Analytics?

Brad Shimmin – Research Director, Business Technology and Software

Summary Bullets:

• In studying buyer expectations and experiences from more than 1,000 IoT practitioners, GlobalData found that the majority of users rely upon basic reporting mechanisms as found in business intelligence (BI) systems when analyzing IoT data.

• This points to a significant mismatch between opportunity and expectation with enterprises setting the bar far too low when it comes to using IoT as a means of moving beyond basic operational efficiencies and into the realm of intuitive, self-governing business systems.
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Connecting to Your Cloud Provider – Internet, Direct Connect or Use the IP VPN?

Joel Stradling

Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • There are no real technical differences between cloud connectivity portfolios and traditional data connectivity
  • Public, private and hybrid cloud solutions are supported by different connectivity options from shared to dedicated infrastructure
  • Connectivity is largely provided on-net from operators, but other players such as collocation houses may offer a range of options through third party relations

When considering how to connect your business to cloud solutions, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, there are a wide variety of options. If the services can be supported by best-effort, then public Internet with IPSec can suffice with the benefit of a low-cost base. However, a private cloud will give more security and resilience and can be provisioned by your service provider via a break out from a corporate IP/MPLS VPN solution to the carrier’s MPLS network and over an NNI to the cloud provider. That’s assuming of course that a corporate IP VPN solution is already in place, because building one from scratch is not a low-cost route. Read more of this post

Monitoring and Managing Business Applications in Hybrid Clouds: Technical Elegance or Road-kill?

Joel Stradling

Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Monitoring the health of virtual infrastructure, for example on-demand computing resources and business-critical applications, running across hybrid clouds is a challenge
  • New generation cloud-aware and software management developers such as Intigua are emerging to help simplify unchartered waters of virtualizing servers, networks, and storage infrastructure

A lot of enterprises do not have even basic applications performance management and monitoring tools in place, especially where the applications in use work just fine on a best effort traffic basis, so applications that are non-latency dependant, and non-critical to business function or production. The contrast to this is where applications are seen as business-critical and in such cases the organization’s IT department is most likely to invest in an applications performance management (APM) solution from a range of choices. Service providers have made progress to meet the need for visibility on the WAN for business critical applications they are running on behalf of clients with the result all the major carriers offering data networks services proffer a backing range of APM solutions for customers. The same is nearly true for cloud-based service, but not quite! The industry is pretty good at monitoring and managing performance of physical network and infrastructure, including in the WAN. There are plenty of legacy premises-based choices, and software for management, but the cloud-aware and virtualized management layer for multiple IT resources sitting on distributed and shared cloud platforms is more of a work in progress. Read more of this post

Silver Peak Drives Home Coordination’s Benefits with Data Center Optimization

B. Washburn

B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Silver Peak optimizes loads between data centers by deploying WAN optimization software and VMware integration that reaches beyond vCenter.
  • This is not great news for WAN providers, as the data center innovation treats the WAN as a static commodity.

My last blog addressed the elements of building intelligent networks.  It bemoaned that the managed service elements that could go into end-to-end services visibility and control are a largely uncoordinated patchwork.  Well, it looks like WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak has been thinking along the same lines.  The vendor took a step forward by embedding its WAN optimization solutions inside VMware vCenter.  An IT manager that needs to connect workloads across data centers can access vCenter, select from the list of virtual machines and workloads, and click-to-activate/deactivate WAN optimization for selected applications.  VMware vCenter launches a Silver Peak tab that displays information about the application flows being optimized.  To make this technique work, the company can’t rely on placing hardware everywhere.  Instead, Silver Peak lets customers load its WAN optimization software to run on virtual machines residing at each end of their cloud applications.  Besides getting its application plugged into VMware vCenter, Silver Peak controls VMware’s switching between virtual machines in the cloud, to optimize the connection between Silver Peak’s WAN optimization instance and the targeted application to be accelerated.  Silver Peak is unlikely to remain a lone player for long for this type of solution. Read more of this post

The Gradual Rollout of IP eXchange and Its Potential Implications on the Enterprise

J. Stradling

J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • The main idea behind IPX is end-to-end QoS for both mobile and fixed IP traffic.  Mobile data and video are about to go on a bungee jump driven by handset and LTE evolution, and IPX is designed to ensure that improved qualities can be delivered on new offerings.
  • At the moment, a handful of global wholesale providers offer early-stage IPX, and many more are expected to follow suit.

Thus far, IPX has provided real benefits on single-provider platforms to deliver HD voice and premium VoIP.  Companies such as BT Wholesale, KPN/iBasis, DT ICSS, TI Sparkle, France Telecom Orange, A1 Telekom Austria, TeliaSonera International Carrier and Tata Communications are all examples of IPX providers with full commercial products available.  We are likely to see more such bilateral agreements in the short term.  Carriers report that mobile voice calls last longer when the voice quality is better.  To put some numbers on this and get some idea of how much longer: BT Wholesale cites around 10% longer call times, whilst TI Sparkle reports increases approaching 40%.  Business clients might surmise that this potentially leads to raised corporate efficiency in closing deals, as both parties can actually hear what the other is talking about, as well as for solving technical issues and so on. Read more of this post

2011 Was a Great Year for MDM

A. Braunberg

A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • The MDM market is not just growing, it’s expanding
  • Leading vendors had a very good year in 2011

Before talking about market growth, I should make it clear that Current Analysis does not do market sizing. (We aren’t a quant house.) That being said, we look at market numbers just like anyone else, and sometimes with a bit of amusement. A serious difficulty in trying to size the MDM market is that it is a moving target. The question is not so much what is MDM today, but rather what will it be in two or three years? If you don’t scope the market correctly then sizing it is impossible. One of the quantitative analyst firms this summer upwardly revised their MDM forecasts for 2015 from $3.9 billion to $6.6 billion. That is a huge resizing, but it makes sense in light of the expanded scope of the MDM market that the firm now anticipates. Read more of this post

Squeezing Maximum Juice Out of Your Corporate WAN

J. Stradling

J. Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Your network service provider should be able to provide applications performance management and WAN optimization.
  • Poor applications performance damages corporate productivity; meanwhile, understanding how applications are performing and behaving should lead to cost savings and a faster network.

Like going to the dentist, IT managers should be encouraging their data network suppliers to work together to conduct regular network performance audits to learn about how the data WAN is running between all connected business locations, including data centres.  Performance on off-net, IPSec-connected sites continues to raise challenges, but all of the major telecom companies, including AT&T, BT, Telefonica Multinational Solutions, Tata Communications, T-Systems, Orange Business Services and Verizon, for example, now support broad ranges of applications performance management and WAN optimization/acceleration tools, which can help considerably to improve applications response times over the available bandwidth.  Typical third-party partners that carriers use for delivering such services include Bluecoat, Cisco, Juniper, Ipanema and Riverbed.  Just to frame what one could be missing: A major European carrier has claimed 20 times faster WAN response and 63% bandwidth reduction following one such consultation.  Applications performance is also evolving rapidly for mobile networks and devices; a handful of telcos are deploying a Gomez (Compuware) platform to assess end-user experience from mobile devices to corporate Web sites and Web applications, whilst Riverbed provides acceleration to mobile users using a ‘Steelhead Mobile’ client.