04
Oct 17

TechTarget – More users flub evals of colocation data center providers

Colocation data center buyers are needlessly captivated by impressive features at data centers that distract them from important decision-making information.

If enterprises want to make the right colocation decisions, they’ve got to ask better questions.

IT pros in search of a colocation data center for their IT gear today know what’s most important to them: price, physical security and uptime. But increasingly, enterprises ask vague, open-ended questions instead of pointed relevant questions to evaluate and choose a colocation data center provider.

Comparison of colocation data center capabilities is a boring problem solved with a simple recipe: Take the time to research and ask the most appropriate questions, said Peter Kraatz, the national portfolio director of consulting services at Datalink Corp., a data center services provider in Eden Prairie, Minn.

More of the TechTarget article from Robert Gates


08
Sep 17

The Register – ‘Other’ may yet become the biggest and most useful cloud

In recent weeks I didn’t write stories about Packet.net splashing down in 15 new nations to start an edge compute service, or the plans that Tata Telecoms shared with me to expand its data centre footprint by targeting partnerships with users of its submarine cables.

I skipped them both because the companies concerned are minor players in the big, big, drama that is the shift from on-premises computing to the cloud. Even if we’d loosed the crack Reg Punning Squad to work some headlining magic, I couldn’t imagine many of you would click on news of either company.

But a conversation with Zerto’s president Paul Zeiter has me thinking perhaps we all need to spend more time looking at small clouds.

Zeiter pointed out to me that in almost every enterprise IT category, there’s a couple of leaders, a few followers and then a big pool of “other” that often accounts for 40 per cent or more of the market. And sometimes the “Others” are more interesting than the mainstream: for example, The Register has often had good responses to our coverage of niche PC vendor Eurocom becuase the company makes stuff like server-class laptops that insist their batteries are actually an uninterruptible power supply.

More of The Register post from Simon Sharwood


06
Sep 17

IT Business Edge – Clouds Vie for Critical Workloads

Editors note: Like the Skytap illustration in the article, Expedient clients are using public and private cloud services RIGHT NOW to improve application performance, reduce maintenance workloads, and improve uptime. These organizations don’t have the luxury of waiting for their development teams or primary software vendors to rewrite their mission critical apps from the ground up.

It seems that cloud providers are no longer fooling around when it comes to getting enterprise workloads. With new migration packages and services optimized for mission-critical data and applications, CSPs large and small are eager for your business.

The question for most enterprises, however, is whether to stick with the hyperscale providers like Amazon and Microsoft, or go with a not-so-large firm that may have a bit more flexibility when it comes to matching infrastructure with customized user needs.

Skytap, for one, is hoping that the one-size-fits-all approach will not be enough for most enterprises as they embrace crucial service offerings like Big Data and the IoT. CEO Thor Culverhouse argues that the cloud giants are overlooking key market segments like the legions of mission-critical apps that are stuck on legacy systems but will have to move to hybrid infrastructure in order to keep up with the speed of business activity. His plan is to offer specialized infrastructure optimized for the 75 percent of the enterprise workload that is not likely to become cloud-native any time soon.

More of the IT Business Edge article from Arthur Cole


06
Jul 17

TechTarget – Avoid steep network integration costs in multicloud

While a VPN is useful for multicloud networks, IT teams still need to be careful to avoid high traffic charges, as applications move from one provider to another.

One of the most important — and most complex — concepts in multicloud is network integration between public cloud providers. This model facilitates cross-cloud load balancing and failover but, without careful planning, can also lead to hefty network integration costs.

Nearly all enterprises have a virtual private network (VPN) that connects their sites, users, applications and data center resources. When they adopt cloud computing, they often expect to use that VPN to connect their public cloud resources as well. Many cloud providers have features to facilitate this, and even when they don’t, it’s usually possible to build VPN support into application images hosted in the cloud.

More of the TechTarget article from Tom Nolle


14
Jun 17

ZDNet – Three ways to survive the rise of the cloud and ‘big software’

Applications that were once simple to manage are now rolled out across thousands of physical and virtual machines.

These sprawling applications include multiple components, with the potential points of integration spread across the enterprise and out into the wider cloud.

So, what are the key challenges CIOs will face as they overhaul their IT departments in readiness for the next stage of enterprise computing? Here are some key lessons for CIOs.

1. Build a platform for business change

Successful companies in the digital age are characterised by their ability to absorb technology into everyday processes and by ensuring there is no division between what might previously have been classed as IT and business professionals.

More of the ZDNet article from Mark Samuels


13
Jun 17

IT Business Edge – The Devops Chicken or the Agile Infrastructure Egg?

Does devops lead to agile, or does agile lead to devops? Or perhaps they move in tandem as the enterprise gropes its way through digital transition. And if that’s the case, is optimized, automated infrastructure the cause or the effect of this new IT model?

The answers to these questions could be crucial for the enterprise over the next few years because they speak directly to how technology decisions will be made. For instance, if the right infrastructure is required for devops, then what technologies are needed to deliver the appropriate outcomes? But if devops evolves naturally, then how does the enterprise foster an integrated IT environment rather than simply another collection of disjointed point solutions?

According to a recent survey by BMC Software, the top three priorities for IT investment over the next two years are containers, workload automation/scheduling and devops

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole


06
Jun 17

The Register – The joy and pain of buying IT

Study You, dear readers, continually tell us in surveys how hard it is to get the investment needed to help you do your jobs effectively. Regardless of the topic – core infrastructure, middleware, management tools, etc – it’s common to hear stories of execs not “getting it”, while expecting IT to muddle through as more pressure is piled onto already stretched teams.

But it has been a while since we have run a survey specifically focused on the pain and practicality of IT-related procurement, so let’s put this right.

Our latest study includes questions like:

“How often do procurement or finance get involved, then skew decisions towards cost, regardless of value?”

There’s then the old chestnut:

“How often are you forced to buy from an incumbent supplier, regardless of whether it’s the right choice?”

Of course the level of pain or pleasure often depends on the environment you work in and how well business and IT people communicate and understand each other, so we touch on that too, including the problem of senior management often having inflated or unrealistic expectations.

More of The Register article and survey link from Dale Vile


05
Jun 17

The Register – So your client’s under-spent on IT for decades and lives in fear of an audit

Infrastructure as code is a buzzword frequently thrown out alongside DevOps and continuous integration as being the modern way of doing things. Proponents cite benefits ranging from an amorphous “agility” to reducing the time to deploy new workloads. I have an argument for infrastructure as code that boils down to “cover your ass”, and have discovered it’s not quite so difficult as we might think.

Recently, a client of mine went through an ownership change. The new owners, appalled at how much was being spent on IT, decided that the best path forward was an external audit. The client in question, of course, is an SMB who had been massively under-spending on IT for 15 years, and there no way they were ready for – or would pass – an audit.

Trying to cram eight months’ worth of migrations, consolidations, R&D, application replacement and so forth into four frantic, sleepless nights of panic ended how you might imagine it ending. The techies focused on making sure their asses were covered when the audit landed. Overall network performance slowed to a crawl and everyone went home angry.

More of The Register article from Trevor Pott


01
Jun 17

TechTarget – Enlightened shadow IT policy collaborates with users

A cloud-era shadow IT policy still needs to manage risk, but the era of “no way” is giving way to allow users quick access to the productivity apps they need.

Most IT departments have spent time rooting out the shadow, or non-IT-sanctioned, applications and systems in use within their organizations. Today, users find that cloud-based services not necessarily approved by IT enable them to quickly subscribe to applications and platforms that improve their collaboration and productivity. That advantage is prompting IT organizations to rethink how to work with users rather than have a shadow IT policy that is in full-out combat against apps that haven’t been fully blessed by the enterprise and could introduce security risks.

More of the TechTarget article from Sandra Gittlen


03
May 17

ZDNet – Cloud v. Data Center: Key trends for IT decision-makers

Cloud-based compute, networking and storage infrastructure, and cloud-native applications, are now firmly on the radar of CIOs — be they in startups, small businesses or large enterprises. So much so that, whereas a few years ago the question facing them was “Which workloads should I move to the cloud?”, it’s now becoming “Which, if any, workloads should I keep on-premises?”. While most organisations will probably end up pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy in the medium term, it’s worth examining this turnaround, and the reasons behind it.

The general background, as ZDNet has explored in recent special features, is the competitive pressure for organisations to undergo a digital transformation based on cloud-native applications and methods such as DevOps, in pursuit of improved IT and organisational performance.

More of the ZDNet article from Charles McLellan