How Much IT Can We Host in a Cloud?

M. Spanbauer
M. Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:         

  • Cloud-based applications and controllers reduce complexity and move costs from CapEx to OpEx.
  • Cloud-based control and management are likely to provide one of the most secure job roles for the next decade.

Since the beginning of the “cloud era,” new use cases for applications have been created nearly overnight.  It has evolved the application hosting market and created new IT service juggernauts (Salesforce, Amazon, etc.).  However, an area seeing increased attention from both vendors and start-ups/VC is that of hosting infrastructure within the cloud.  I am referring to wireless LAN controllers, security gateways, and other technologies that were often appliance-based and located on-premises nearly 100% of the time.  By virtualizing the location, IT achieves a range of benefits: fewer assets committed in the data center (if they host offsite), a greatly simplified support model, reduced “truck rolls,” and less hardware required on-premises.  Continue reading “How Much IT Can We Host in a Cloud?”

Beating Wired Psychology with 4G/3G Fixed Wireless Broadband Access

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Mix 4G, 3G, CPE, and processes: wireless broadband can be drop-in T1 competition.
  • For enterprises having a tough time accepting wireless, a trial should be simple.

With carriers’ 4G build-outs progressing, will wireless data finally become an eligible alternative to traditional T1 access sales?  Fixed wireless as an alternative to copper or fiber has been around practically forever: see microwave.  Widespread 3G rollouts sparked wireless carriers’ interest in adapting mobile wireless broadband for fixed applications, a cheap and easily deployed alternative to microwave systems.  In 2007, carrier support of Cisco Systems’ 3G high-speed WAN interface card (HWIC) for its Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) helped legitimize the practice.  Besides direct sales by major providers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, CLECs, network aggregators, and international carriers doing business in the U.S. have jumped on board with the major wireless providers.  Among businesses, fixed access for 3G wireless broadband has been a smashing success – sort of.  The “sort of” is because most of the time, 3G fixed wireless broadband is in the back seat.  The technology wins jobs such as backing up primary (wired) access; fast-in, temporary connectivity until wired service is in place; or as a primary connection, as a last resort.

Continue reading “Beating Wired Psychology with 4G/3G Fixed Wireless Broadband Access”

New Developments in BYOD: How to Keep IT and Employees Happy at the Same Time

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • The current generation of solutions for dealing with use of personal mobile devices in the enterprise have been an unsatisfactory compromise between IT control and employee flexibility
  • A new generation of technologies is poised to solve the problem of dual personas with less complexity and more flexibility for both the business and the employee

Enterprises are changing their minds about allowing employees to bring in their own mobile devices to work, because it’s actually a huge money-saver. Why shell out scarce dollars for new corporate-owned cell phones when employees are already buying the latest devices? Corporate-liable ownership is starting to go the way of company cars and even company-owned laptops. The problem is that smartphones are now frighteningly capable computers that can access internal corporate information behind the firewall, can store confidential emails, documents and customer data, surf the internet, become virus-ridden, and are much more likely than laptops to be left in a taxicab (or a bar). Continue reading “New Developments in BYOD: How to Keep IT and Employees Happy at the Same Time”

Benefits (and Challenges) of M2M Deployments

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • M2M is starting to provide many benefits to enterprises across diverse industries
  • Challenges remain that require solid operational, financial, and resource planning

What is so exciting about M2M technology is that the use cases are expanding so rapidly. Enterprises start out with one application – using low-speed, sporadic data connections – and then think of a half-dozen other aspects of their business that can benefit. The most tangible benefits are the productivity gains from automating processes that have been done manually. By collecting data on the performance and status of remote assets, such as industrial equipment, vehicles, people, inventory, containers, and cargo, businesses can prevent problems and save substantially on onsite service calls. By optimizing routes, companies can save on gas, mechanical wear and tear, and the time it takes for a technician to get to and complete a call. By remotely checking on the status of equipment and setting alerts if a device is out of compliance, companies see reductions in problems, service calls, and the need for routine maintenance, as well as less customer frustration due to out-of-order equipment or low inventory. Benefits relating to productivity gains, resource optimization, and problem and cost avoidance are often the starting point for M2M deployments, as they represent almost guaranteed and rapid ROI.
Continue reading “Benefits (and Challenges) of M2M Deployments”

When Vendors Attack

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors sniping at each other is nothing new – it’s just business
  • Increased competitiveness cannot be a bad thing for IT buyers

Who out there really could be offended by Cisco’s recently launched attack campaign on Juniper? Well, Juniper of course—but Juniper is a massively successful multi-billion dollar company perfectly capable of handling itself in such matters. My view is that pointing out competitor deficiencies—real or imagined—is part of the process; indeed, a healthy part of the process if done above board and within legal parameters. It’s a sign of heated competition and fear, and as we all know there is fun in fear. In this case, the fun comes from suppliers slapping each other silly, decreasing development cycles while increasing pricing pressure – you know, generally making the world a better place for IT and networking buyers.

Continue reading “When Vendors Attack”

IT Market Upheaval Drives Opportunity

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • IT market upheaval is good for IT managers
  • New Current Analysis IT Connection blog delivers access to analyst thoughts

These are intensely turbulent times. This is true at a macro level, in terms of economic and socio-political change, but also true in the world of IT technology and services. From the hype surrounding the so-called convergence of networking and IT, to the bombastic (some would say obnoxious) revolutionary claims of cloud services, the world of the IT manager and executive really is changing, and this is really good news.

Continue reading “IT Market Upheaval Drives Opportunity”