ServiceNow - A Platform for More than Just the Service Desk

I recently went to my first ServiceNow show, Knowledge17, and it certainly opened my eyes to the potential of the ServiceNow platform. First, I think that the size and scope of ServiceNow has flown under the radar of many in the IT industry. ServiceNow has over a $1 billion in revenue and Knowledge17 had over 15,000 participants, a huge number that rivals shows from Microsoft and VMware. There was certainly a level of buzz and excitement with the attendees and I think ServiceNow lived up to their expectations.

Topics: ServiceNow Systems Management

What Users Tell Infrastructure Vendors in Recent ESG Research (Video, Part 2 of 2)

If the words that follow seem more than a tad familiar to those of you that saw the first installment on this topic,  I am thrilled that you pay such close attention!

Every year, ESG’s IT spending intentions survey provides a broad look at the key themes and tides in the contemporary IT world. Its sheer breadth is certainly fascinating for practitioners and purveyors of IT alike. Anyone can access the abstract here, while ESG subscription clients can obviously enjoy the entire report.

Topics: Storage Internet of Things IT Infrastructure IoT business initiatives 2017 IT Spending Intentions Survey

ChefConf Showcases Chef and Continuous Automation

It can be said about a technology company that you know it has reached real critical mass when others in the space, including competitors, talk about supporting them with the phrase, "And of course, we support <insert here>." Chef is a company that has now reached that level. In terms of automation, Chef has reached a point of critical mass among companies looking to advanced their IT operations with automation, especially with Linux and containers systems.  

Topics: automation Systems Management Chef

Thank You, Analyst Relations

I’ve had the honor to participate in three very different events in the last three weeks. Each gave me the opportunity to serve, share ideas, and hopefully contribute value to the attendees. If you’d like to read more about the events, check out these blog posts:

Topics: Data Protection Analyst Relations

Red Hat Lays Out Its Hybrid Cloud Vision

Red Hat held its Red Hat Summit 2017 in Boston recently and took advantage of the show to clearly lay out its hybrid cloud vision. Red Hat has been the undisputed leader of commercial Linux but its position in cloud has been complicated by all the different solutions it has on offer. In the past couple years, Red Hat has invested in OpenStack, OpenShift, containers, CloudForms, Ansible, and Insights. All these products are strong offerings but what Red Hat lacked was a more cohesive message around how all those products work together for customers.  

Topics: hybrid cloud Red Hat Systems Management

Dell EMC Partner Summit - Excitement…New Benefits… and a Little Transformation Math!

We came into Dell EMC World Partner Summit expecting a healthy dose of enthusiasm and energy, as personified by Scotsman and President, Global Channels John Byrne and his goal of becoming the #1 Channel company in IT. Well, that was delivered in spades, or should I say kilts, on the opening day of Dell EMC World in Las Vegas, when Partner Summit kicked off with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the most rock-and-rolling bagpipers this side of the Atlantic.

90 Days Later – the New Dell EMC Partner Program is firmly in place

After getting the crowd of about 1,000 top Dell EMC Partners from around the world up on their feet and ready, John first recapped the highlights of the first 90 days of the new, combined Dell EMC Partner Program, brought together under the binding premise of “Simple. Predictable. Profitable” in order to drive growth, profitability, and deeper ongoing customer relationships through the Channel.

Topics: Digital Transformation Dell EMC Partner Summit Dell EMC Partner Program

Wrap-up on Backup from VeeamON 2017

Last week, I sat down with the folks at The Cube at VeeamON 2017 to talk about a range of topics including Veeam, the evolutions in the broader data protection market, and more.
Topics: Data Protection Veeam High Availability Copy Data Management VM-backup-recovery VeeamOn 2017

Splunk on SOAPA (part 1)

I’ve written a lot about ESG’s security operations and analytics platform architecture (SOAPA). SOAPA is happening because enterprise organizations are surrounding SIEM with lots of other security analytics and operations tools to accelerate incident detection and response. As this occurs, many organizations are actively integrating these technologies together with the goal of building an end-to-end, event-driven, security technology architecture.

SOAPA is impacting security strategies of large organizations, leading to reactions and changes on the supply side. What type of changes? I recently sat down with Haiyan Song, EVP at Splunk, to discuss Splunk’s views on SOAPA. Here are a few highlights of our discussion:

Topics: Cybersecurity SIEM incident response Splunk SOAPA

What Users Tell Infrastructure Vendors In Recent ESG Research (Part 1 of 2)

Every year, ESG’s IT spending intentions survey provides a broad look at the key themes and tides in the contemporary IT world. Its sheer breadth is certainly fascinating for practitioners and purveyors of IT alike. Anyone can access the abstract here while ESG subscription clients can obviously enjoy the entire report.

Topics: Cloud Computing Storage Cybersecurity IT Infrastructure

Google I/O Fascinates Developers, but How About CIOs?

Attending Google I/O you can instantly feel the inspiration and visually see the excitement from the developers. I quickly learned that long gone are my days programming COBOL!?!?! Creativity runs wild at the event and while it is easy to get excited about the innovation that Google splashes around, I try to snap a business lens on everything I see so I can start matching Google with the top IT and business priorities ESG captures in our research. This involves some creative thinking, but here it goes.

Let’s first start with the most creative piece--I need to give credit to Corey Latislaw for tweeting these fascinating and accurate notes. 

https://twitter.com/corey_latislaw/status/864940569843294208

Topics: google Enterprise Mobility artificial intelligence Google I/O

A Video Interview about SOAPA with Haiyan Song, SVP of Splunk, Part 1

The trend toward security operations analytics platform architectures (SOAPA) is impacting the traditional SIEM market, causing leading vendors to adapt their strategies to accommodate the need for product integration and functional expansion. In this video, I talk with Haiyan Song, SVP of Security Markets at Splunk,who comments on changing security requirements, customers’ desired outcomes, and what this means for Splunk’s business strategy and R&D investments.

Topics: Cybersecurity Splunk SOAPA security operations analytics platform

Availability Comes of (Digital Life) Age - VeeamOn 2017

I've just finished up at VeeamOn 2017 in New Orleans and the show really was a coming out party for Veeam. As the leader in terms of availability and data protection, Veeam can define the space with its messaging and positioning. Thus, when Veeam presents a new vision for how availability is seen from today's digital businesses, it elevates how the industry should think about data.

Topics: Systems Management VeeamOn 2017

The VMware EUC Team’s Execution Machine Continues to Roll

It is a busy time of year for IT vendor announcements, and the VMware EUC team is actively demonstrating its path to growth with multiple announcements. Before dipping into the specifics, it is important to put a few items in perspective:

  • The EUC business unit is one of the top, if not the top, primary growth areas for VMware.
  • Now that the dust has settled with the Dell EMC acquisition, the execution machine has started to roll down the tracks.
  • Digital workspace transformation is a major component of IT transformation (core to Dell EMC strategy) and an area the EUC team is ready to strike with relentless go-to-market and sales execution.
Topics: VMware Enterprise Mobility EUC

Informatica Origami

Choosing an orange origami swan as your logo is an interesting signal, ripe with metaphors. Was Informatica unfairly labeled as an ugly duckling before? Is the company now folding in on itself? Does it take a lot of skill and dexterity to create something beautiful from a blank square of paper? Is this latest re-invention a swan song? Let's hope not, as there is actually quite a bit to like about the new directions.

Anil Chakravarthy, Informatica's CEO, has outlined the three iterations of the company. First, focused on ETL and ingestion. Second, expansion into MDM, archiving, and data quality. And today, re-launching as an "enterprise cloud data management" platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vendor, which is again functional, if not sexy.

Topics: Informatica Data Management platform-as-a-service enterprise cloud data management

Wrap-Up on Backup – from Dell EMC World 2017

I had pre-blogged before this event about looking for the unified narrative that knits together a breadth of DP products in a more focused way via the newly (re)formed Data Protection Division within the Dell EMC institution.  

Topics: Data Protection Data Domain integrated infrastructure data protection appliances Dell EMC World

Dell EMC World – ESG’s On Location Video Insights

While Dell EMC was busy in Vegas last week talking about Digital Transformation (of organizations) and the IT Transformation (of, duh, IT) that underpins it, many of us were equally interested to see what had, and is, transformed within Dell EMC itself…..the portfolio, the approach, and people’s attitudes (both employees and customers).

I’ll keep this brief because the video we made at the event is a full 7 minutes – but, knowing that in advance, hopefully you’ll find it a valuable 7 minutes as you’ll get succinct insights from not just me but also four of my colleagues - Jason Buffington (on DP), Scott Sinclair (on storage platforms), Terri McClure (on converged platforms), and Kevin Rhone (for the channel perspective).  

Topics: Storage channel Data Protection Digital Transformation Dell EMC World

WannaCry Makes Me Want to Cry!

As I read about the WannaCry ransomware attack, my brain is racing with thoughts about the causes and effects of this global incident. Here’s my two cents:

Topics: Cybersecurity endpoint security cybercrime AV ransomware wannacry

Feeling Transformed after Dell EMC World 2017

When I wrote about my expectations prior to Dell EMC World 2017, which you can read here, I expected this show to be a bit of an anomaly. With the show happening so soon after the one in Austin, I had lowered expectations on the number of new storage product announcements. I thought I would use the time to better investigate how the merger is progressing. I have not been shy to point out that prior to the merger, these two companies had dramatically different cultures. And I wanted to see if the two companies fit together like oil and water or like yin and yang. What I learned at Dell EMC World left me hopeful not only for the future of its storage portfolio, but the rest of its product offerings as well.

Topics: Storage All-Flash Array Dell EMC World

Will WannaCry Help Drive Google Chromebooks?

Microsoft Windows is prime target for cybercriminals, and the daunting cadence of patching places businesses at great risk. Factor in the unsettling thought that critical business systems still run on Windows operating systems that have reached EOL years ago. IT pros like to point the finger at Microsoft and, while one would think that exploits like WannaCry ransomware should negatively impact Microsoft’s credibility, the vendor is not likely going to be held accountable. However, the skyrocketing valuation of cybersecurity IT vendors as a result of WannaCry also has the potential to create a similar ripple effect for Google Chromebooks.

First, let’s agree that if a business system is written and designed around the Windows operating system, it’s likely going to involve an application migration and/or re-platform. Typically, projects like these are associated with a high cost of change that halts investment. Now, let’s factor in the race to the cloud for applications, data, business intelligence, and improved security. With this technology shift, the conundrum of an application being written to run locally on a client OS is diminishing—thus creating an ideal environment for companies to consider Google Chromebooks. WannaCry has indeed generated an opportunity for Google to:

Topics: Microsoft google Enterprise Mobility chromebook wannacry

Citrix Synergy 2017: Anticipating a Focal Point on Cloud and Security

ESG annually checks in with IT professionals to capture the top items on the CIO’s whiteboard, and potential areas of increased spending. ESG’s research findings place security at the top of the list (no surprise here) but what if you are an IT vendor (like Citrix), have been in business for 20+ years and, while you help with security, you don’t possess any security products as they are defined by the market. Now let’s layer in the fact that businesses are racing towards cloud consumption models and you have 20+ years’ experience producing on-premises solutions. This means that it’s time to make some product family changes, marketing tweaks, and sales execution adjustments—and this is exactly what I expect we will see at Citrix Synergy 2017.

Topics: Data Management Citrix Citrix Synergy

Dell EMC World - Positive Attitudes (Plus New Latitudes!)

As I prepared to head to the geek-fest that is Dell EMC World I wrote a blog talking about the fact that I was interested to see how the emotional "threads" felt (it's here), at least as much as the "fabric" of the story and products. After all, much of the logic of the two companies becoming one is easy enough to figure—and there's myriad reports of the gradual but multiple portfolio manifestations of the communion (which will indeed be discussed in an ESG On Location summary and insights video that we expect to post in the next few days).

Topics: Storage Dell EMC World

SIEM: Remains an Enterprise Security Architecture Requirement

Earlier this week, I posted a blog about changes cybersecurity technology procurement changes at enterprise organizations. According to ESG research, enterprises are consolidating the number of cybersecurity vendors they do business with and purchasing security products designed for integration. 

Topics: Cybersecurity SIEM SOAPA

Microsoft Build: a Smarter Future Today

Microsoft Build is aimed at developers. From the presenters' dress code of jeans and tight polo shirts or T-shirts, this much is clear. The expectation is that attendees are here to learn to use a broad portfolio of Microsoft software and cloud resources to create new applications. The keynotes were a mix of genuinely inspiring, even life-changing possibilities and the lines of code that were used to make it happen.

A top-level theme was" cloud’s new edge," or rather the combination of an intelligent cloud with an intelligent edge. Since I've been writing for a while about how the battlefield for cloud isn't resource capacity per unit cost, but rather the tooling for integrated and assisted analytics, this idea wasn't a big surprise to me. See a few example blogs here and here and here

Topics: Cloud Computing Microsoft Data Management artificial intelligence Microsoft Build

Interop ITX 2017- A View into a Full Stack of IT

I’ll be attending Interop ITX in Las Vegas. What people may not realize is that this show is one of the few that provides a view of the whole IT Stack ranging from networks & other parts of core infrastructure, through data & analytics, to security and dev ops. Plus there’s a business track useful for CIO and business leaders.

While this provides a wide menu for core IT professionals, it also provides a good foundation to those who are seeking the wide range of knowledge for digital transformation of their organization. Like you, I sometimes feel that the term “digital transformation” is often abused and misused, but if you consider this to be how  a range of technology is used to transform all elements on an enterprise, then you realize that you just can’t focus on one element – such as security or storage. By looking at the whole stack, you get an appreciation of what’s needed and that's where Interop ITX does it all in one show.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking

Is Intel Inside Your Digital Transformation?

Today’s market opportunity for IT vendors is razor-focused on cloud consumption and economics. As a result, it can be easy to lose track of what’s actually powering on-premises data centers, various cloud platforms, and massive numbers of ever-proliferating endpoints.

In a prior role, when I was running an IT organization, it was difficult to acquire new servers at the rapid pace at which innovation was happening in the x86 server market—even though each server upgrade would provide an instant increase in application performance. While the performance bump still exists, the benefits extend beyond core performance—so it’s also important to understand the scale and security benefits. And speaking of scale and security, with Citrix Synergy right around the corner, it seems only fitting to take a look at Intel and Citrix.

Topics: Citrix Intel Enterprise Mobility Digital Transformation Citrix Synergy

The Rise of Enterprise-class Cybersecurity Vendors

When I’m asked to explain what’s happening with enterprise cybersecurity technology, I often use an analogy from the business software market in the 1990s. 

Back then, application vendors tended to specialize in one area – PeopleSoft owned HR, Baan offered manufacturing apps, JD Edwards played in finance, etc. Around 1995, companies began replacing these departmental applications with enterprise-class ERP solutions from Oracle and SAP. The objective? Centralize all business data into a common repository that could anchor the business and be updated and used for various departmental functions and business processes in real-time. Yes, the ERP journey was a bit painful but the transition resulted in a steady increase in business productivity, enhanced efficiency, and better decision making.

Topics: Cybersecurity cybersecurity skills shortage ERP

Are Next-generation Firewalls Legacy Technology?

A few years ago, next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) came out of nowhere to become a network security staple. These devices combined traditional L3/L4 packet filtering with deep packet inspection, IPS, and other network security services along with knowledge about users and applications. This broad functionality packaging changed the network security paradigm – everyone needed, or at least wanted, an NGFW at the perimeter or within the internal network.

Topics: Network Security Cybersecurity Firewall SDP

Wrap-up on Backup – from Veritas Sales Conference FY18

This week, I had the privilege of being part of Veritas’ global Sales Conference (VSC), which Veritas themed as ‘Right Now FY18.’  Much of my early career was in pre-sales engineering and field enablement, so I always enjoy “internal” conferences, as much if not more than “external” trade shows, because:

Topics: Data Protection Veritas

Dell EMC: IT Transformation Is About Attitude as Well as Aptitude

Since I recently blogged about what I expect to find/check out at Dell EMC World in Vegas, I have had a large number of requests for more explanation about a particular reference I made. While the full blog is here, the section that caused the questions, and thus this extra blog post, was this:

I expect Dell EMC will talk a lot about a hybrid world (everyone does these days, or else they are trying to defy gravity) but will do so from the perspective of “transformation”…this is borne of logic but also from knowing (a) that ESG just completed work with Dell EMC on just this topic—how to measure, evaluate, drive, and achieve “IT Transformation Maturity”—and (b) the fact that Digital/IT Transformation is all over the event website.

Topics: Storage Dell EMC World IT Transformation

Public Cloud Trends - 2017 research study shows steady cloud growth

ESG recently released a new research report: 2017 Public Cloud Trends by 

Bill Lundell, Director of Syndicated Research, and me. (Subscription login is required to read the report.)

 

I won’t spoil the fun by repeating everything in the report in this blog, but some observations show that public cloud computing growth continues unabated.

Over a third of the respondents state they have a cloud-first policy—where a new app is deployed using public cloud services unless someone makes a compelling case to deploy it using on-premises resources. A cloud-first policy is most prevalent in younger companies (age of org, not employees).

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Toward Enterprise Security Technology Integration

Last week, I posted a blog about the move toward cybersecurity vendor and technology consolidation along with a growing emphasis on technology integration in the enterprise. 

Topics: Cybersecurity SOAPA

Networking @ Scale: Who Can Learn these Lessons?

The Networking @ Scale conference is a different conference in that it is not run by a particular vendor (it was sponsored by Facebook but served the broad community in the networking industry) and aims to share networking solutions that can scale to serve apps and services that scale to millions and perhaps billions of users around the world.

First off, we all know that IPv4 is out of date, and the conference venue had Wi-Fi that was IPv6 only. Most people could connect to it, but many had problems with their VPN. It was a subtle hint to ask the vendors or IT groups to “get with the program”.

Topics: Networking

Microsoft's Broad AI Strategy in 10 Tweets

This morning Microsoft hosted an analyst-oriented overview of select elements of the company's artificial intelligence strategy. Since they said it wasn't under a NDA, I'm happy to share that with you here. This really just scratches the surface (no pun intended) of their offerings around AI, machine learning, deep learning, and associated applications, enhancements, APIs, and development platforms. As noted in several blogs before, this will be the major battleground for the cloud service providers. It was high time Microsoft took the field and strutted their might. I'll have more to say on the topic after Microsoft Build next week.
Topics: Microsoft Data Management artificial intelligence

The Ultimate in Convergence: Looking Ahead to Dell EMC World

The changes I've witnessed at EMC over the years, first as a competitor, then as an employee, and now as an analyst, have been profound. I put 11 years of my heart and soul into the company, joining when there were less than 4,000 employees and leaving when there were tens of thousands. And even though I'd been gone for about 8 years when Dell acquired EMC, and even though the joining of these two behemoths makes tremendous sense from a business standpoint, it was still somewhat bittersweet to see it happen. But it had to happen. The competitive environment demanded it. Convergence is the way of the future. Dell's server business and EMC's storage business pair beautifully--add VMware in the mix and and you have all the infrastructure pieces to put together a next-gen, software-defined data center. There may be some weak spots, but the overall portfolio is tough to beat. 

Topics: Converged Infrastructure Dell EMC World hyperconverged infrastructure