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


01
May 17

Arthur Cole – The Reality of an Intelligent IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) may be barely off the ground, but developers are already looking for ways to imbue the technology with high degrees of intelligence.

On one level, an intelligent IoT is a reason unto itself given that the scale and complexity of the data environment is beyond the capabilities of today’s management tools. But ultimately, the expectation is that much of the IoT will govern itself, and that includes the basic interactions between systems and users.

Zebra Technologies’ Tom Bianculli gave eWeek a good overview of all the ways in which intelligence is likely to affect the IoT. From the intelligent enterprise itself, capable of dynamic data streaming, real-time analytics and self-managing applications, to advances in health care, transportation, retail and virtual every other industry, the intelligent IoT has the potential to revolutionize the way we live, work and play.

More of the IT Business Edge article from Arthur Cole


28
Apr 17

IT Business Edge – Perception or Reality: Your Security System Is Probably Weaker Than You Think

How confident are you about your cybersecurity operations? If you are like the vast majority of respondents in Arctic Wolf Networks’ recent survey, you are highly confident in your cybersecurity defenses.

However, the perception of cybersecurity operations doesn’t match the reality for these mid-market companies. While 95 percent of the respondents think their security posture is well above average and 89 percent think their security systems are combatting attacks, large majorities also admit that they aren’t able to stop certain types of threats and they are so overwhelmed with the breadth of overall IT that security isn’t given the attention it deserves. In a formal statement, Brian NeSmith, CEO of Arctic Wolf Networks, said:

Most mid-market enterprises believe they are safe because they have the traditional perimeter defenses in place. This falls far short of what’s needed for rigorous security in today’s complex threat environment. The challenge smaller enterprises face is that they have all the same security issues as large enterprises with only a fraction of the budget and less specialized personnel.

More of the IT Business Edge post from Sue Marquette Poremba


13
Apr 17

Arthur Cole – The New Cloud and the Old Data Center

What do your business requirements tell you about your best data center or cloud solution?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s a trite saying but appropriate for today’s cloud infrastructure market, which seems to be evolving along much the same vendor-defined trajectory as the data center before it.

According to new data from Synergy Research Group, the top three vendors duking it out for cloud dominance are … wait for it … Dell EMC, Cisco and HPE. This may come as a surprise to some, considering commodity manufacturers in the APAC region are supposed to be taking over. But according to the company’s research, the new Big Three each hold about 11.5 percent of the market, while an equal share went to multiple ODMs in the Pacific Rim. Microsoft and IBM each held smaller shares, which means that more than a third of the market is divvied up between numerous small to medium-sized vendors.

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole


10
Apr 17

ZDNet – VMware shifts away from public cloud hosting with sale of vCloud Air to OVH

VMware exits the public cloudinfrastructure game as it shifts focus onto hybrid and cross-cloud software.

VMware is selling its infrastructure-as-a-service offering vCloud Air to global hyperscale cloud provider OVH.

VMware launched vCloud Air Network in 2014 with the aim of providing greater flexibility to users of VMware technology. Three years on, its public cloud business is set to be bought by French cloud computing and web hosting company OVH.

In an interview with Fortune, VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger said the sale will include vCloud operations and sales staff, datacenters, and customers. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and the buyout is expected to be completed during the second quarter of this year.

More of the ZDNet article from Danny Palmer


07
Apr 17

CustomerThink – Do CMOs Really Spend More on MarTech Than CIOs? A New Study Says No

Like many people in the marketing technology industry, I was tickled in 2011 when Gartner predicted that CMOs would soon have bigger tech budgets than CIOs, and even more tickled when Gartner said in 2016 that it had happened. But my recent pondering of the relationship of marketing and IT departments had me rethinking the question. On an anecdotal level, I’ve never seen or heard of a company where the marketing technology group was anywhere near the size of the IT department. And from a revenue perspective, there’s no way that marketing technology companies make up half the total revenue of the software industry.

But just as I was working myself up for some back-of-the-envelope calculations, the good people at International Data Corporation (IDC) announced a report with authoritative figures on the topic. Actually, the study estimates spending on 20 technologies and 12 corporate functional areas across 16 enterprise industries in eight regions and 53 countries, comparing the amounts funded by IT departments and by business departments.

More of the CustomerThink article from David Raab


06
Apr 17

The Register – Researchers steal data from CPU cache shared by two VMs

A group of researchers say they can extract information from an Amazon Web Services virtual machine by probing the cache of a CPU it shares with other cloudy VMs.

A paper titled Hello from the Other Side: SSH over Robust Cache Covert Channels in the Cloud (PDF) explains the challenges of extracting data from CPU cache, a very contested resource in which the OS, the hypervisor and applications all conduct frequent operations. All that activity makes a lot of noise, defying attempts to create a persistent communications channel.

Until now, as the researchers claim they’ve built “a high-throughput covert channel [that] can sustain transmission rates of more than 45 KBps on Amazon EC2”. They’ve even encrypted it: the technique establishes a TCP network within the cache and transmits data using SSH.

The results sound scarily impressive: a Black Hat Asia session detailing their work promised to peer into a host’s cache and stream video from VM to VM.

The paper explains that this stuff is not entirely new, but has hitherto also not been entirely successful because it’s been assumed that “error-correcting code can be directly applied, and the assumption that noise effectively eliminates covert channels.”

More of The Register article from Simon Sharwood


05
Apr 17

CIO Insight – Despite the Cloud’s Value, Funds Are Often Wasted

On average, the IT pros surveyed said their organization wastes 30% of its cloud spend.

With its days as an emerging technology behind us, the cloud is now firmly established in the fabric of modern companies: Nearly all organizations are investing in the cloud in some way, according to a recent survey report, “State of the Cloud,” from RightScale. The hybrid cloud has emerged as the most preferred option, followed by the public cloud. Regardless of the chosen cloud pathway, companies are reaping the rewards of faster access to infrastructure, greater scalability, higher availability, quicker time to market and more assured business continuity. Challenges linger, however, especially in the form of security concerns and a lack of needed staffing expertise.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty


03
Apr 17

HBR – Why CIOs Make Great Board Directors

According to Korn Ferry unpublished data, there has been a 74% increase in the number of CIOs serving on Fortune 100 boards in the past two years.

It’s no wonder CIOs are the fastest-growing addition to the boardroom: They can help address a host of issues of crucial importance to boards, including using technologies to create operational efficiencies and competitive advantage; identifying opportunities related to cloud computing, digitization, and data; addressing threats and risks associated with information security; and using their experience and judgment to oversee, question, and provide input on technology budgets.

But there’s room for growth. Only 31% of Fortune 100 boards currently have a director who is a CIO, even though technology is at the core of every business today. As Sheila Jordan, CIO at Symantec and director at FactSet, put it, “All companies are technology companies today. Technology is a lever to run the business, but also to change and grow.”

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Craig Stephenson and Nels Olson


15
Mar 17

The Register – It’s time for our annual checkup on the circus that is the Internet Governance Forum

Unaccountable? Check. Pointlessly bureaucratic? Check. Blocking reform? Check

It’s March again so it must be time for an annual checkup on the Internet Governance Forum – the United Nations body that is tasked with working through the complex social, technological and economic issues associated with a global communications network, and runs an annual conference to that end.

Around this time every year, the IGF’s organizing group the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) meets in Geneva to decide how the annual conference will be structured and what topics it will cover, and to set the rules for how sessions and the conference itself will be run.

And we are pleased to announce for another year, the IGF remains a circus, an unaccountable and pointlessly bureaucratic organization that goes to great lengths to pretend it is open to everyone’s input and even greater lengths to make sure it isn’t.

At the two-day meeting, the IGF’s three core issues again took pride of place at the event:

  • Fantasy of democratic representation
  • Opaque decision-making and finances
  • Bureaucratic blocking of any efforts at reform

Let’s take a look at each:

More of The Register article from Kieren McCarthy