Splunk Intent on Extending Cybersecurity Leadership

I attended the Splunk user conference earlier this week (.Conf2016) and came away pretty impressed. Since I started watching Splunk years ago, the company climbed from a freemium log management and query tool for IT and security nerds to one of the leading security analytics and operations platform. Not surprisingly then, security now represents around 40% of Splunk’s revenue. Given the state of the cybersecurity market, Splunk wants to work with existing customers and get new ones to join in to build on this financial and market success.

Topics: Cybersecurity SIEM security analytics Splunk

Is gamification in your training and sales enablement vocabulary?

There is a new way for vendors to encourage channel partner engagement with their products, and it’s called gamification.  When I first heard this term I was like, game-if-a-what?  Now it’s a term that has been accepted as sales enablement lingo, but usage (or implementation) seems to be a mythical as the jackalope.  

Topics: channel

Wrap-Up on Backup from Microsoft Ignite (with Video)

As ESG often tries to do, here is a short summary video of ESG’s impressions from a major industry event – Microsoft Ignite, held in Atlanta over September 26-29, 2016 – from a backup perspective.

In the video, I suggested that Microsoft is a leader in Windows data protection. Certainly, this is not to disparage the many Microsoft partners that have built whole companies and product lines around data protection. And from a revenue perspective, their backup offerings wouldn’t register at all.  But …

Topics: Microsoft Backup Data Protection Windows Microsoft Ignite

Incident Response Automation and Orchestration

Incident response processes can be challenging when organizations struggle to keep up with unprecedented volumes of security alerts. What’s needed? IR automation and orchestration. See my blog video below for more. 

Topics: Cybersecurity incident response incident response automation and orchestration

Swirld's Hashgraph: A Better Blockchain?

Blockchain receives a lot of attention these days for some very good reasons. Some of the common attributes that are frequently used to describe Blockchain are distributed, sustainable, secure, indelible, transparent, auditable, consensus-based, transactional, orchestrated, and flexible. This is certainly a good start for a distributed ledger, but some are questioning whether this goes far enough. A recent conversation with Dr. Leemon Baird, CEO of Swirlds, shed light on some of the issues with Blockchain and the advantages of his hashgraph alternative.

Topics: Hashgraph Blockchain Swirlds Systems Management

Oracle Open World: Beginning to Focus on the Middle Word (includes video)

Sometimes words can be misleading – let me give an example from my background: in England a "public school" is one you pay for, and therefore what most of the world would consider private! The reason is centuries old and based in how different types of schools were established. The early "public" schools in the UK were public in as much as – unlike local free schools that were invariably tied to a manor or church - they were open to anyone with the money to pay! One of the biggest takeaways from last week’s Oracle Open World is that its use of the word “Open” – that I’d long assumed had a similar logic to those early English schools – is genuinely something Oracle is working on!

Topics: Storage Big Data Oracle Oracle Open World 2016

The Newest Member of the ESG Lab Analyst Team

Greetings Blogosphere,

I’m Evan Marcus, the latest addition to ESG’s Lab Analyst team.

Although I am new to ESG, I am certainly not new to the industry. I have worked for a variety of tech companies over the years, including Veritas Software, Sun Microsystems, Riverbed, and VMware from here in the Metro New York area.

Topics: ESG Lab High Availability

Oracle Sees Multiple Journeys to Cloud Computing

When discussing the adoption of new technologies, we often talk about a journey or some required organizational transformation.  That is easy to visualize if there is one destination.  VMware once had a journey to IT-as-a-service, and continues to offer operational transformation services to continue that journey.

But what if there is more than one destination? 

Topics: cloud Oracle Cloud Platforms & Services

Trends in Software-defined Networking Webinar Recording

I recorded a free webinar on trends in software-defined networking.

In this webinar, we explore the trends in Software-defined Networking: how it has evolved from data center uses to support WAN use-cases, support for security, new programming models such as containers, and more. We examine how it offers different models to support traditional networking professionals, DevOps users, and how Layer-2-based software-defined networks differ from pure Layer-3-based systems.

 

Topics: Networking SDN

Keeping Up with Incident Response

A fire department in a large city certainly has a difficult job but its mission is fairly straightforward. When a fire is detected, the fire department dispatches an appropriately sized staff to assess, contain, and put out the fire, clean up, investigate what happened, and prepare themselves for the next blaze.

Yup, a pretty simple process when a manageable number of fires are burning but what would happen if there were hundreds or thousands of simultaneous infernos? My guess is that a senior fire chief (and perhaps other participants from local government and law enforcement) would have to make decisions on which blazes to resource and which to ignore. These decisions would certainly be based upon information analysis and best practices but there is still some risk that the disregarded fires would end up being far worse than expected, turn into disasters, and call into question the judgement of all involved.

Topics: Cybersecurity incident response

Vision 2016: Bringing Veritas into Focus (includes video)

 

Safely removed from the loving embrace of Symantec, and with new owner Carlyle Group’s financial clout at the ready, Veritas held a “coming out” (pun probably intended) party at its recent Vision event.

Under the somewhat plain theme that “Information is Everything,” the event was fully focused on Veritas staking its claim – certainly its intent – to be(come) a data management platform. Before I make a few other points about the event, take a look at this video that has summary comments from my colleague Jason Buffington as well as me. And if you’d like additional insights from Jason (@JBuff) on the data protection angles of Veritas Vision, you can check out his vblog at http://bit.ly/jbESGvtas16a

Topics: Storage Veritas Vision 2016

SIEM Market Dynamics in Play

When I started focusing on the security market 14 years ago, the SIEM market was a burgeoning market populated by vendors such as CA, e-Security, Intellitactics, and NetForensics. 

In the intervening timeframe, the SIEM market has grown, thrived, and changed every few years. SIEM started as a central repository for event correlation for perimeter security devices. It then morphed into a reporting engine for governance and compliance. In a subsequent phase, SIEM became more of a query and log management tool for security analysts. 

Topics: Cybersecurity SIEM security analytics

ESG Video Capsule: Upcoming Research on Database Market Trends

Preview the topics of ESG's upcoming research project examining who the buyers and influencers of database decisions are and what drives their evaluation by watching this ESG Video Capsule:

Topics: Big Data Data Management database

Qualifying Micron's QuantX

 

When Intel and Micron started talking about their joint development of what's-called 3D XPoint, the technical attraction was immediately obvious - it is to be something that fits (both in terms of specifications and price) between current solid-state storage variants and the DRAM/memory space. There is an enormous current gap right there - we get so used to comparing solid-state to spinning disks that we forget that there's a massive range of pricing and capabilities within the various types of solid-state (be it memory or storage....which is a line, by the way, that will continue to blur).

Topics: Storage

New Veritas = New Vision

This week, the newly unencumbered Veritas (from Symantec) relaunched its premier user event – Veritas Vision. There was a palpable energy that resonated around “we’re back and ready to resume our leadership mantle,” starting with an impressive day one from main stage:

Topics: Data Protection Data Management Veritas information governance

The Era of Identity-based Applications

Identity and access management (IAM) has always been a heavy burden for large organizations. Why? Multiple folks across companies – business people, software developers, IT operations, human resources, security, compliance auditors, etc. – play some role across the IAM spectrum.

As a result of this IAM group hug, technology decisions tend to be made tactically without any central oversight or integrated strategy but this behavior may be changing. According to ESG research, 49% of large organizations claim they now have a formal enterprise-wide strategy in which IAM technology decisions are managed by central IT. In other words, someone in IT is now responsible and accountable for all IAM technology.

Topics: Cybersecurity IAM identity and access management

Oracle ZS5 Is Foundational for Oracle's Data Cloud Future

At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, we live in interesting times, not just for IT itself, but for the IT vendor ecosystem too. There's divestitures, (re)spin-outs, and corporate combinations going on all over the place—think of HPE, Veritas and Dell/EMC respectively as some recent notable examples. Then there's the cloud-focused crowd, and the on-prem-focused crowd...indeed, this can often be different product offerings from the same vendor. And then we have Oracle, not for the first time, marching to its own tune. And it could well be mellifluous for many.

Topics: Storage cloud Oracle

IT Operations Analytics from the Source

 

One of the top uses of big data today is IT operations analytics. This makes sense. By nature, IT components are designed to log all of their many status messages, and this information is generated with debug, tracking, and audit purposes in mind. The aggregate output, however, can be a logistical problem in itself. For each device, some poor sysadmin has to decide what level of logging is desired, and then live with the consequences of that decision. Set the logging threshold to "errors only" and important context will be missing when it's time to diagnose an issue. Set the logging criteria to "everything" and staggering amounts of data will be generated, often too much to process, and certainly much of little or no value. Limit the time period to an hour or a day, and the key information may have been overwritten by the time it's needed, and then the problem will have to be recreated.

Topics: Big Data Data Management Data Analytics IT operations analytics

Is Your Data Protection Strategy Suffering a Civil War?

I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies. Each of the individual hero movies has done an awesome job contributing to the greater albeit fictional universe. Each of the heroes has their unique role to play within the Avengers team. And yet, in the latest movie that released on Blu-Ray today, it appears as if this colorful array of heroes is divided.  They have similar goals, but what seems to be opposing methods that put them at odds with each other. Data protection can have similar contradictions.

Topics: Data Protection

My 30 Years At EMC, Sort Of……

I went there in 1986. I knew they would never make it, so I left in 1989. I am still not sure what was more important to the company’s meteoric rise to greatness, me leaving or Mike Ruettgers coming in. (Mike was the guy brought in to ensure that the stuff we built and sold actually worked.)

It’s been a stunningly awesome success story that could have derailed many times along the way, but took every beating that came along (whether self-imposed or not) and came out stronger. Many times people wrote them off. Every time they were wrong.

I have a thousand stories.  Here are just a few of the thoughts off the top of my head.

Topics: Storage Mergers / Acquisitions dell-emc

Cybersecurity Goes Private: McAfee and RSA

There are some interesting industry dynamics going on in the cybersecurity market. Just a few months ago, Symantec bought Blue Coat, taking a private company public and forming a cybersecurity industry colossus in the process. 

Now two other historical cybersecurity powerhouses are heading in the other direction and going private. When the Dell/EMC deal was approved this week, industry veteran RSA became the security division of the world’s largest diversified private technology company. Not to be outdone, Intel and partner TPG are spinning out McAfee as an independent private company.

Topics: EMC Cybersecurity Dell McAfee RSA Intel Intel Security

The End of the All Together

And then there was one. I've written before about the end of "end-to-end" IT solutions, but yesterday was a defining moment in the market. HPE sold off its software division, including all big data and analytics assets like Vertica and IDOL. Dell and EMC closed their merger, creating a new hardware powerhouse, but only after selling its own Dell Software group which encapsulated Statistica and TOAD. Intel carved out McAfee security. In the not so distant past, IBM also shed its server division to focus more on analytics and Watson offerings. What all these actions signal is a seismic shift in the market, a rift between the hardware and software and the idea that a single vendor can win everywhere. The sole remaining exception may be Oracle, and if the movie Highlander taught us nothing else, it is that there can be only one.

Topics: Cloud Computing Data Management hardware software

VMworld 2016 Key Takeaway: The Announcement of “VMEverywhere”  (includes video)

As the hours count down to the official coming together of Dell and EMC (and thus VMware), we could all be forgiven for overlooking the events of last week at the 2016 version of VMWorld. While I think it would be fair to say that there wasn’t a breathless enthusiasm from those covering the immediate news at the event – no cries of “hold the front [web] page!” -- there was nonetheless a lot of both content and intent whose impacts will be seen more gradually, but tellingly, over the coming years. While “VMEverywhere” is neither a product nor (as far as I know!?) an actual initiative at VMware, it was nonetheless the essence of what was discussed last week. There was some product, lots of principle, and – given the pervasiveness of VMware – a realistic possibility of success.

To get into some of the details – both about strategy and some key product areas – I and some of my ESG colleagues that attended the event give their succinct views in this short recap video.

Topics: Storage VMware VMworld 2016

Understanding Poetry at the HPE Big Data Conference

HPE's Big Data Conference was given the tag line #SeizeTheData which immediately made me think of the wonderful film "Dead Poets Society." One of my favorite scenes is when the students learn how to measure and analyze poetry. You can refresh your memory of the dialogue by watching this clip  or reading here. Of course, the whole point is that using analytics doesn't work in poetry appreciation. Which I thought made #SeizeTheData rather ironic as a hashtag. 

Topics: Big Data Data Management HPE

VMworld: My Cybersecurity-centric Impressions

In my last blog, I wrote about what I was anticipating as far as cybersecurity for VMworld. Now that I’m back from Vegas, it’s time for me to report on how reality aligned with my expectations.

  1. NSX penetration. It seems like VMware has made progress in terms of NSX market penetration over the past year. At VMworld 2015, VMware talked about around 1,000 production environments for NSX while at VMworld 2016, VMware mentioned somewhere between 1,700 to 2,000 production NSX customers. Still a small percentage of the total VMware installed base but at least 70% growth year-over-year. Yes, some of these customers are likely just getting started or are using NSX on an extremely limited basis, but I still see good progress happening as more and more organizations begin playing with and using NSX. VMware describes three primary uses for NSX:  Disaster recovery, security, and network operations automation. It is worth noting that around 60% to 70% of NSX deployment is skewed toward security use cases. 
Topics: Network Security Cybersecurity VMware VMworld cloud security

VMware Expands NSX Use Cases With Cross-Cloud

Companies now have alternatives to big capital outlays for networking equipment.

VMware has banged the drum loudly about security as a top use case for its NSX network virtualization platform via micro-segmentation. At VMworld this week, the vendor previewed another use case for NSX based on its Cross-Cloud Architecture that will enable customers to create and manage a unified network across private and public clouds.

 

Topics: VMware Networking NSX