Informatica Grows Up and Gets Organized

What could possibly entice me to return to Las Vegas for the third time in three weeks? Informatica World 2015. Frankly, I was curious to see just what was a-goin' on with the company. We know this is a group with serious chops in the data management space, but it's also a bit of an anomaly generation-wise. Founded in 1993, Informatica doesn't have so many decades of seniority as IBM, HP, or Oracle, but it's far too old to be a precocious startup any longer. Informatica was born prior to the Dot Com boom, yet is still trying to define itself, actually a lot like most 22-year-olds I know. Last year the company graduated with a Master's Degree in Data Management, and now it's hitting the workforce with new energy. I'm not sure how the whole "going private" move fits this metaphor, but Informatica isn't talking about that yet either until the deal closes.

Topics: Informatica Data Management Governance

The Hollywood Perils of Big Data and Personal Information

I recently saw a low-budget documentary about the perils of big data when applied too broadly to consumer mobile device data. The filmmakers emphasized that when data collection is expanded to include applications like widespread video and audio analysis, significant thought must be given to governance and strict definition of appropriate use cases. Un-authorized access to this real-time information stream could easily lead to personally identifiable information (PII) being used for choosing a particular member of a specific demographic and plotting the individual’s geographic paths, even intercepting them with targeted payloads at vulnerable moments. All without the knowledge or consent of the citizen. 

(Image from Universal Studios, 2015. Congrats to Dell on the big data and analytics platform product placement.)

Topics: Analytics Big Data Governance

Big Data Security Analytics Meets Identity and Access Management (IAM)

While most enterprise organizations have SIEM installed, they now realize that these venerable security systems cannot address today’s dangerous threat landscape alone. As a result, many are adding network forensics and big data analytics systems for capturing, processing, and analyzing a whole bunch of additional security data.

In the majority of cases, big data security analytics systems are applied to data such as network packets, packet metadata, e-mails, and transaction systems to help security teams detect malware, phishing sites, and online fraud. Great start, but I’m starting to see another burgeoning focus area – IAM. Of course, many large organizations have IAM tools for user provisioning, SSO, and identity governance, but tracking all the instantiations of user activity remains elusive. In a recent ESG research survey, security professionals were asked to identify their weakest area of security monitoring. More than one-quarter (28%) pointed to “user behavior activity monitoring/visibility,” – the highest percentage of all categories.

Topics: IBM End-User Computing Data Management & Analytics Information and Risk Management Enterprise Software Security and Privacy Security big data security analytics Courion Sailpoint compliance IAM Governance cybercrime Anti-malware

Software Defined Everything (SDM) Includes Management

I find it fascinating that when new technologies are invented that are designed to improve efficiency and drive down costs, they end up having the reverse effect – especially the more disruptive ones. Let’s take cloud computing as an example. On the one hand, it provides an enterprise this wonderful ability to offload all of the basal tasks of ordering, installing, and configuring server/storage/network stacks with virtualization and potentially guest OSs on them. This alone is non-trivial and time consuming. For some of the more advanced clouds, you can actually change the size of (virtual) memory, processor, or storage sizes on the fly! What about patching? Hot patching anyone? Automated patches and updates for the core technology such as the guest OSs? These are additional, great benefits found on some cloud providers. And this is just the easy stuff. What happens when a VM becomes a zombie? Who finds, kills, and restarts the zombie? The list goes on …

Now what happens if you realize that one cloud platform was really great for development and scale testing, but when it came to the operational standard that has come to be expected in the enterprise, it can’t be easily replicated on that provider so you decide to build and test on one cloud and deploy on another? Oh and wait … what if you also want to be able to standup just enough to get by on-premises for a last resort, disaster recovery location?

Topics: Cloud Computing cloud Private Cloud Infrastructure compliance Governance Public Cloud Service

Video Blog: What's the Big Deal with IT-as-a-Service?

Virtualization helps make IT more efficient, Clouds improve the ability for a company to be more agile when deploying technology-based resources. ITaaS requires some additional heavy lifting across the business with regard to the organizational changes required as well as employing a new service-based governance model. Once these are underway the technology will seem easy and will allow IT and the business to truly be more agile, accountable, and ready for new initiatives to stay competitive. This video blog highlights some of the possibilities when a company make the transformation to ITaaS.

Topics: Cloud Computing cloud Private Cloud Infrastructure Virtualization Governance ITaaS