Mike Leone

Mike Leone

ESG Senior Analyst Mike Leone focuses on big data, data management, and data analytics, including emerging segments such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and IoT. Since joining ESG, Mike has primarily been a part of the validation team, where he provides third party validation of claims made by vendors about their solutions with coverage across all aspects of enterprise IT. Mike has a strong technical background with early roles in software/hardware engineering and gradually moved into marketing roles by helping translate deep technical concepts into understandable business benefits. His enthusiasm for bleeding edge technology is contagious and his combo engineering/marketing background helps IT vendors improve everything from product development and marketing to go-to-market strategies and road-map adjustments.

Recent Posts by Mike Leone:

Think Economics -- Not Features -- When Evaluating Big Data Value

Traditional enterprise data warehouse solutions helped to open the eyes of many organizations to the value of their data. Although these are significant systems, organizations quickly learned to monetize the actionable insight extracted from these systems, which led the rampant growth of the industry. Big data did not get big just from data growth. It got big because of its potential value, opportunities, and savings.

The more cost-efficiently you can capture a lot of data, plus the number of ways you can analyze it, equals the more worthwhile all that data could become. Value is results divided by costs. These (pseudo-)equations of big data value now extend not only to the disruptive power of transformative technologies like Hadoop, but also to increasingly popular cloud services for databases and data warehouses.

Topics: Big Data Data Management google data warehouse economic value validation BigQuery

Targeting the Best of Both Worlds with Next-generation SQL Databases

Conventional relational databases and recently-developed NoSQL databases have led some enterprises to an impasse. They want to scale the systems that are handling their data. However, an RDBMS used to guarantee transaction integrity is difficult to expand. NoSQL systems, although scalable, typically do not offer full transaction integrity via the ACID properties discussed in earlier posts. The latest solution in the SQL/NoSQL saga—next-generation SQL databases—may have the answer.

Topics: Big Data Data Management database rdbms NoSQL SQL ESG Lab

NoSQL - The Great Escape from SQL and Normalization

For the last decade or so, data and data structures have been moving at the speed of the web. They change rapidly to keep pace with end-users and markets that are in constant flux. The data model is volatile and will continue to be as more and more unstructured data (images, videos, social media content, online purchase histories, and more) is generated. The solution of the pre-Internet era, meaning the RDBMS, can’t keep up. Enter the NoSQL database—a solution for handling data with highly variable formats in massive quantities at lightning speeds.

Topics: Big Data Data Management database rdbms NoSQL SQL ESG Lab

Why Won’t the RDBMS Go Away?

The relational database management system was a breakthrough when it first appeared about 40 years ago. A relational database puts power into a user’s hands. Few assumptions are needed about how data is related or how it is to be extracted. Data can then be viewed in a variety of ways, each one illustrating different connections or correlations. This power, history, and a little user inertia have led to the RDBMS being implanted and used in practically every sector of business today. Well-known RDBMS product examples are IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle databases.

Topics: Big Data Data Management database rdbms NoSQL SQL ESG Lab

Today’s Database Landscape at a 50,000 Foot Level

We all know the drill—data is exploding in size, but it’s not just the volume of data that is wreaking havoc on organizations. It’s how quickly it’s growing, how many different forms it can take, and how it’s constantly changing. And that’s just scratching the surface. How can the potential of data truly be harnessed? The database technologies for organizing the data that we generate and manipulate continue to morph and multiply. The hugely successful relational database management systems (RDBMSs) continue to soldier on using principles now over 40 years old, while newer database technologies have come along and been widely adopted to address specific needs in the data storage, management, and analytics space. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be going through the evolution of database technology at a 50,000 foot level to highlight the old and the new, how they’re used today, and what vendors to keep an eye on.

Topics: Big Data Data Management database rdbms NoSQL SQL ESG Lab

Converged and Hyper-converged – We’ve Got It Covered

In the last few years, we’ve seen a major boom in the converged infrastructure space. This coincides with ESG research findings, where more than 50% of respondents said they currently or plan to utilize a converged solution in their IT environments. We’re not at all surprised, since they make infrastructure tasks significantly easier for IT pros – easier to plan, easier to configure, and easier to grow. By deploying a converged solution, companies have realized gains across all facets of IT, from faster deployment times and improved service and support, to ease of management and improved TCO, scalability, and agility.

Topics: Private Cloud Infrastructure Mark Bowker integrated computing platform ESG Lab integrated infrastructure Hyper-converged Converged

Enterprise Hadoop with VCE and Isilon

What happens when you combine two field-proven, widely-adopted technologies from tech power houses? You get a super flexible, scalable Hadoop platform to address your big data analytic needs. And the best part is that it really doesn’t matter where you currently fall on the Hadoop adoption spectrum. Deploying a traditional Hadoop distribution? Expanding one that’s already deployed?  Starting a brand new Hadoop implementation to merge with your existing IT infrastructure? VCE and Isilon have come together to make your life easier.

Topics: EMC Big Data NAS Hadoop VMware Isilon VCE ESG Lab Big Data Analytics Scale-out

Backup AND RECOVERY for the Little Guy

Let’s face it, tools for backing up your data have become ubiquitous. Everyone can do it. It provides peace of mind, especially for small businesses (think law or a doctor’s office) who don’t have IT pros on staff. “All my data is backed up somewhere so if something bad happens, I’m covered.” Unfortunately backup is only a piece of the data protection puzzle. How do you get the backed up data back into production if something goes wrong? How long will it take to get up and running again? And the killer question: How will it impact my small business if it takes a long time to recover? Recovery is just as important as backup, and probably MORE important.

Dell is concentrating on just that for small businesses. It’s not just about backup. It’s about guaranteeing application uptime through various recovery options. And replication for disaster recovery. And archiving to the cloud. And keeping costs down. And making it dead simple for anybody to set up and manage a data protection solution. The Dell DL1000 Backup and Recovery Appliance is designed for smaller organizations to address their data protection concerns. It has a compact, lightweight design, runs quietly, cools easily, and won’t consume lots of power. And it comes packaged with Dell AppAssure software, which provides protection for local servers through incremental snapshotting.

Topics: Data Protection Dell disaster recovery ESG Lab backup & recovery

Is This Storage Solution the Holy Grail for Distributed Organizations?

Imagine you’re running IT for a major retail chain and you need to pick the best storage solution to be deployed at every branch office across the country. What would be on your requirements list? It would have to be easy to deploy and manage – gradually rolling out across every location. It would definitely have to perform well. Ideally, application downtime would be as close to zero as possible. If something went wrong, I would have to be 100% positive I did not lose any customer data. I would want a solution with as small a hardware footprint as possible to help minimize cost. Speaking of cost, let’s keep that as low as possible. Good luck finding all that with a traditional storage solution.

Topics: Storage scale-out storage ESG Lab robo StorMagic

A Storage Strategy Built for the Future

We know the benefits that cloud storage can offer organizations - flexibility, agility, and elasticity more efficiently at lower costs. And that’s really just the start. Once you factor in the potential to address business continuity and productivity concerns with instant backup, archive, and disaster recovery plans, it’s turning into a no brainer. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should only use cloud storage. On-premises, primary storage is still important, especially for those mission-critical applications with strict performance SLAs.

Topics: Hybrid Cloud Storage Cloud Computing Storage Azure Microsoft IT Infrastructure cloud Data Protection Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management