Amazon Throws Its Hat Into the Blockchain Ring

If you haven’t been paying attention, welcome to the year of blockchain. It was only a matter of time until the next big hyperscaler announced a blockchain service offering. There’s IBM with Hyperledger, Microsoft, Oracle, and now AWS has some skin in the game.

Late last week, Amazon announced AWS Blockchain Templates with a goal of simplifying the deployment and management of customized blockchains. Start by selecting the underlying blockchain technology – either Ethereum or Hyperledger – and instantly deploy and customize. You can selecte the type of consensus algorithm, set access controls (think private blockchain), and create applications with smart contracts. And being AWS, you have the ability to easily manage and monitor the service, as well as leverage the on-demand resource capabilities, meaning you only pay for what you consume when you consume it.

Topics: IBM Microsoft Data Management Huawei Amazon AWS Blockchain hyperledger BCaaS

In Conversation with IBM's Eric Herzog at Think 2018 (Video)

At IBM’s recent Think conference I grabbed the chance to spend a few minutes with Eric Herzog; his title is as long as his shirts are colorful, but basically he runs all storage marketing for IBM.

Eric is one of the most infectiously enthusiastic execs in the industry, and it means a lot can be packed into the six minute video interview. While the main topics are storage-focused, the conversation was broader, as clearly IBM recognizes the value of integrated offerings....not only because that’s what users increasingly want these days, but also because - conveniently! - IBM is one of very few vendors that can deliver a wide range of integrated solutions off of its own shelves.

Topics: IBM Storage IBM Think Eric Herzog

The ELI5 version of Blockchain Technology Components (Video)

In my previous blog, I walked through why blockchain matters, highlighted the core tenets that make it disruptive, and mentioned some of the enterprise IT vendors to keep an eye on. What I left out was a deep dive on the technology. So, based on feedback, requests, and the ongoing level of confusion that can be seen across the internet, here is my Explain It Like I'm 5 (ELI5) version of what a blockchain is and how it actually works.

Topics: IBM Microsoft Blockchain hyperledger supply chain

Blockchain Progresses in the Enterprise IT Space (Video)

As blockchain continues to progress outside of cryptocurrencies and into the enterprise IT space, organizations are beginning to look for ways to leverage the benefits of blockchain. Let me stop right there. You’re probably thinking, “What benefits? It’s just Bitcoin.” While Bitcoin gets the headlines, as it should since it’s the top use case within the financial vertical and has a massive consumer-based following, blockchain is so much more than Bitcoin. It’s truly disruptive technology that will enable organizations to recognize massive efficiency gains and cost savings across all verticals, from communications & media, and transportation & logistics to business services and retail. Check out my video below where I talk about the top reasons why blockchain should matter to you.

Topics: IBM Microsoft Cybersecurity Data Management infrastructure Blockchain ethereum hyperledger

THINK-ing about IBM (includes video)

The month of March in the US signifies its eponymous “Madness” (it’s big college basketball tournaments for those of you reading from places it does not reach); perhaps to give a nod to that, IBM did a few things to create its own madness at its “Think” event in Las Vegas. There was the frustration type of madness with the registration system for a unified-and-therefore-very-big event…there was the amusing type of madness from seeing IBM execs trying to look comfortable in jeans…and there was the messing-with-our-minds type of madness from seeing a truly cohesive story, and event, and wondering if it actually was dear old IBM that we were witnessing!

Topics: IBM Storage IBM Think

Thoughts from IBM Think 2018: Bridging IT Transformation and Digital Transformation 

Think 2018 was a massive culmination of multiple and previously separate IBM events (Edge, InterConnect, World of Watson, Amplify, and Connect). While I was never able to get an official headcount, estimates were north of 30,000. And attendees nearly overflowed the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Topics: IBM IoT flash storage artificial intelligence Blockchain Public Cloud Service IBM Think

The Impact of Server Refreshes on the Server and HCI Markets

As of late, the server market has been heating up. Companies like Dell, IBM, Cisco, Super Micro, and Huawei all saw growth in server shipments, while many saw double digit revenue growth year-over-year. So what’s driving the growth? Some argue it’s from the big web-scalers like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, and to an extent, that is true. When the big guys do something, many follow suit, but I think the growth is also due in part to the mandate within many organizations to digitally transform by leveraging HCI.

Topics: IBM Cisco VMware nutanix Lenovo HPE dell-emc HCI hyperconverged infastructure supermicro

What is an Enterprise-class Cybersecurity Vendor?

On Monday of this week, I posted a blog about enterprise-class cybersecurity vendors. Which vendors are considered enterprise-class? According to recent ESG research, Cisco, IBM, Symantec, and McAfee top the list. 

This blog addressed the “who” question but not the “what.” In other words, just what is an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor anyway? As part of its research survey, ESG asked 176 cybersecurity and IT professionals to identify the most important characteristics of an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor. The data reveals that:

  • 35% of survey respondents say the most important attribute for an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor is cybersecurity expertise specific to their organization’s industry. In other words, enterprise-class cybersecurity vendors need more than horizontal security solutions, they need to understand explicit industry business processes, regulations, organizational dynamics, global footprints, etc.
Topics: Information Security IBM Cybersecurity Cisco McAfee Symantec CISO NIST ISSA

Cybersec Pros Choose Their Top Enterprise-class Cybersecurity Vendors

Based upon lots of ESG research, some enterprise cybersecurity technology trends are emerging:

  1. Large enterprises are actively consolidating the number of vendors they do business with. This puts some of the point tools vendors at risk as CISOs sign up for enterprise licensing agreements and try to maximize ROI by using more tools from a few select vendors.
  2. Enterprises are seeking to integrate point tools into a cohesive technology architecture. Like ESG’s security operations and analytics platform architecture (SOAPA) concept, large organizations are actively integrating tools to bolster technology interoperability, improve security efficacy, and streamline security operations.
  3. All organizations need help. Yes, companies are still buying new security tools, but these new products are often accompanied by professional services. Additionally, many CISOs are now looking at cybersecurity through a portfolio management lens and figuring out which areas to outsource to MSSPs and SaaS providers.
Topics: IBM Cybersecurity Cisco McAfee Enterprise Symantec CISO

IBM Interconnect 2017: Sharpening IBM's Enterprise Focus

It certainly is an exciting time in the cloud landscape, with all the major vendors starting their summer show season and making their major announcements. At first glance, it can be a confusing world, with all the vendors giving similar messaging and along with it, promoting extremely similar features and functions.

One of the prime differences between the cloud vendors is how they are reaching out to and marketing at enterprise customers. For the "new," cloud-born vendors, much of their work started either with consumer applications or by getting new, emerging companies to use their services. Great examples of this would be Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud. AWS certainly has ramped up its enterprise focus over the past two years, with a growing enterprise sales force and new purchasing options. As I noted in my blog about Google Next 2017, Google has made a significant shift with a new go-to-market effort for enterprise customers and new product announcements with a distinct enterprise product set. Both of these companies are leveraging their innovations and targeting enterprises with them.

Topics: IBM Cloud Computing IBM Connect big data and analytics Systems Management