The Internet of Things (IoT)

I shall be expanding on this theme--the internet of things (IoT) over the next few years, as I find it to be the most interesting thing to happen not only in tech, but potentially in modern society, ever.

Topics: Cloud Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization Internet of Things IT Infrastructure IoT Enterprise Software Data Management Compute Enterprise Mobility Public Cloud Service

End-user Computing with EMC VSPEX, XtremIO, Brocade, and VMware

In my time with ESG Lab, I have seen and tested numerous virtual desktop solutions and reference architectures. It’s common knowledge that virtualizing end-user computing environments can present the most challenging workloads an infrastructure must support. Users have become accustomed to the performance of flash drives in their business and personal computers, making delivery of an exceptional user experience–essential to the success of desktop virtualization–even more challenging. If you can’t deliver performance equal to or better than what users already have, you’ve already lost.

Topics: Endpoint & Application Virtualization Enterprise Mobility ESG Validation Services

Enterprise Mobility and the Cloud highlight Microsoft TechEd Conference

This year's TechEd conference was enlightening in Microsoft's approach to the topic of mobile security. The core message of endpoint device flexibility and security was simple, but the breadth of Microsoft's coverage is underestimated. For example, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite includes layered protection with identity management, device management, application protection, and file rights management for $4 per month per user for up to five devices.

Topics: Cloud Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization Enterprise Mobility Public Cloud Service Cloud Platforms & Services

Fusion-io's VDI Reference Architecture Promises to Change the VDI Game

Virtual desktop environments can present one of the most challenging workloads an infrastructure must deal with. Random, shifting I/O and bottlenecks in the storage domain will have a significant impact on performance. Delivering an exceptional user experience is essential to the success of desktop virtualization deployments because users are becoming conditioned to the performance of flash drives in their business and personal computers. Users demand performance equal to or better than what they already have.

Topics: Storage Endpoint & Application Virtualization IT Infrastructure Compute Enterprise Mobility ESG Validation Services

Desktops and Apps On the Go

I still remember the day I had to feed the PC with 20+ 3.5” disks to load it up with Windows 95. The ultimate result of the install was fantastic for time, but the process was like watching paint dry! I didn’t have to worry much about laptops, and cell phones were just beginning to take hold…but I did carry a beeper. Wow have times dramatically changed. I am headed off to attend Citrix Synergy and Microsoft TechEd with a sharp focus on:

  1. The choices businesses have with alternative desktop and application delivery models. Which use cases they may map to and how aggressive (or not) IT is planning and adopting new delivery models.
  2. Determining how critical heterogeneous device support may be becoming and the different approaches Citrix and Microsoft may take in a world where Apple-, Google-, and Microsoft-based devices are sprinkled throughout most businesses.
  3. The criticality of an app store. The app store works extremely well for consumers, but are businesses looking for the same experience? And, if so, how can they apply it to their unique businesses?
  4. Potential new application development trends. I’m curious to see if businesses are looking closer at web designed apps, mobile apps, Windows apps, etc., and which development tools they are using to create the new generation of applications.
  5. Device management. MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile application management) sure seem to capture a lot of market and investor attention, but are these quickly becoming commoditized or are they true differentiators in the market?

I have my theories on all of these, and I'm excited to spend some seat time with the folks at Citrix and Microsoft as well as end-user attendees to see how they are prioritizing mobile workspaces and what each of these companies has in store. Please keep checking in to my blog and follow me on twitter (@markbowker) to keep track of real-time information we may glean from these events.

Topics: Endpoint & Application Virtualization Enterprise Mobility

The Future of Network Security in the Data Center – Flexible, Distributed, and Virtual

Think of a modern enterprise data center. There are likely hundreds of physical servers hosting thousands of VMs. Individual systems are connected via 10gbE links that likely feed 40gb cores. Local data centers connect over DWDM, remote data centers use MPLS, and cloud data centers chat amongst each other over high-speed VPNs.

Topics: Network Security Cybersecurity Endpoint & Application Virtualization IT Infrastructure Networking

My Two Cents on the Security and Market Implications of the End of Windows XP

I know there have been a substantial number of articles on the end of Windows XP and its implications, but I couldn’t resist chiming in. Hey, maybe I was destined to do so since I was one of a few thousand people at the Windows 95 introduction in Redmond (back in the summer of 1995 of course). Here are my thoughts on this transition, I’ll try to take a bit of a different angle on the topic.

1. Microsoft will likely come out of this with a black eye. Windows XP was released in 2001 and was supported by Microsoft for nearly 13 years. As a point of comparison, the aforementioned W95 was supported for just over 6 years. Microsoft was more than generous with XP support, in spite of its market misstep with Vista, yet roughly 27% of PCs are still running XP and will now be vulnerable to a certain wave of malware over the next few months. If any of these attacks result in a major breach, we are bound to see publicity-seeking pols lambasting Redmond in the halls of the U.S. Congress conjuring up imagery of Teddy Roosevelt and his famous trust-busting exploits of 1902. In truth, Microsoft did nothing wrong, but if and when there are XP security problems, look for the Washington PR machine to seize on the opportunity for Microsoft vilification.

Topics: Cybersecurity Endpoint & Application Virtualization Information and Risk Management Enterprise Mobility

Security Vendors Are Racing Toward a New Anti-malware Technology Model

While the calendar still indicates that we are in Q1 2014, the security industry continues as a nexus of M&A activity. The year started with FireEye grabbing Mandiant, and proceeded to Bit9’s merger with Carbon Black, and yesterday’s announcement that Palo Alto’s intent to acquire Cyvera.

These are the most recent deals but similar M&A activity is well established. In 2011, Sourcefire acquired cloud-based AV startup Immunet. Just last year alone, McAfee purchased ValidEdge in February, IBM snapped up Trusteer in September, and Blue Coat grabbed Norman Shark just before the Christmas holiday.

Topics: Cybersecurity Endpoint & Application Virtualization Information and Risk Management Enterprise Mobility

Are Enterprise Organizations Ready to Use Free AV Software?

Last year, ESG published a research report titled, Advanced Malware Detection and Protection Trends, based upon a survey of 315 security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e., more than 1,000 employees). In one question, ESG asked security professionals whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “Commercial host-based security software (i.e., AV) is more or less the same as free security software.”

It turns out that 36% of security professionals either “strongly agree” or “agree" with this statement, while another 25% are sitting on the fence (i.e., they neither agree nor disagree with the statement).

Topics: Microsoft Cybersecurity Endpoint & Application Virtualization Cisco Information and Risk Management McAfee Symantec antivirus

AirWatch: VMware's Biggest Acquisition

The days of IT handing out a standard device across the company and maintaining a perimeter fence with known holes are fading fast. Employee preferences and modern applications are driving alternative device types while data security makes national news on a nightly basis these days. The opportunity to embrace alternative computing devices is massive and the requirement to simultaneously tighten policy and control is a must have for organization that are serious about their mobility efforts.

Topics: Endpoint & Application Virtualization VMware Enterprise Mobility