VMware’s much heralded “Virtual SAN”—the hypervisor-managed provisioning of shared storage using pooled server storage capacity—is another line in the sand regarding the future of IT in general and storage in particular. VMware’s new product adds further clarity to the notion that convergence driven by software is a real direction—and a real choice—not only for the provisioning of business IT infrastructure, but also for the management of that infrastructure. While the functionality of the product still have room to grow, the simplicity and economy of Virtual SAN represents clear writing on the (software-defined data center) wall that traditional storage models are under threat.
Consumerization of IT and BYOD have IT walking a delicate line. How does IT empower employees to be productive and use the devices they want, yet keep data protected and secure? It also makes it increasingly difficult to meet compliance mandates when data is scattered across the enterprise on employees’ multiple endpoint devices. It is a difficult challenge to meet, but companies like Acronis are stepping up to the plate to offer solutions that enable organizations to keep employees working the way they want while meeting security compliance requirements.
ESG data indicates that many enterprise organizations are not only consuming commercial threat intelligence, but also using it to improve risk management. In fact, advanced organizations seem to include security intelligence as a best practice as they claim to get a lot of value from external security intelligence. While this is encouraging, the fact remains that not all security intelligence is created equally. New independent security intelligence services from providers like Norse are starting to emerge in the market. This type of intelligence can provide real-time, detailed intelligence focused on cybercriminal activities. Enterprise organizations can use this type of focused data to make timely risk management decisions, automate security operations, and improve incident detection/response.
Pure Storage—a leading general-purpose, all-flash solution vendor—has just announced its “Forever Flash” program, which is an amalgam of acquisition, maintenance/support, and non-disruptive system upgradability choices. This flexible arrangement between the vendor and its customers not only streamlines and makes explicit a traditionally obfuscated area, but also offers a choice between Opex- and Capex-optimized approaches. This offering should appeal to any Pure user who is looking to manage and constrain costs or uncertainty, while retaining control of, and flexibility in, her storage infrastructure. Pure’s existing and potential customers should evaluate this new program; if they are generally happy with Pure and expect to be committed to Pure, then their share of the mutual benefits of the Forever Flash approach will be a welcome practical bonus.
As big data continues to grow in volume and importance, many businesses are looking for the optimal building blocks on which to deploy a solution. There is no shortage of vendors keen to provide their tools, but not all have the same depth of functionality to meet both application needs and operational requirements. With its recent version 7 release, MarkLogic has developed a robust NoSQL database capable of satisfying enterprise customer expectations.
Gigamon announced the next round of enhancements to its Visibility Fabric solution. The added features will help service providers and large enterprises deliver granular filtering and forwarding of relevant data across very large and rapidly growing network environments. This should ultimately result in more targeted information to feed management and analytics engines, which in turn will accelerate the ability of service providers and enterprises to create new services and make important business decisions.
One of the more common challenges in realizing the benefits of advanced analytics is the relative scarcity of talent with the technical skills to manipulate the data. Business decision makers are not often experts in statistical analysis, and IT staff doesn’t always understand how to best frame the questions for the business. Alpine Data Lab’s web-based visual tool simplifies the process of configuring and running a host of common analytical functions from a wide range of sources, making it easier for more people to gain valuable insights from their data.
EMC recently announced major updates to its Syncplicity offering, related to improved UI, increased admin control, and additional flexibility for storage options. In today’s online file sharing and collaboration market, most organizations are trying to combat rogue usage and determine which OFS solution will best meet their needs. EMC’s updates are aimed at addressing key areas of IT concern and the company has added many features to put minds at ease. However, since there is still no clear dominant player in the noisy OFS enterprise space, EMC needs to continue adding valuable enterprise features and educating the market on how Syncplicity is making IT and knowledge worker lives easier in order to drive sales in this skeptical market.
By deploying an emerging solution—data-defined storage—users can enjoy a storage-media independent, data-centric model that enables them to manage the placement, use, and retention of data according to its prescribed value over time; this allows for optimized application service levels combined with advantageous economic efficiencies and reduced organizational risk.
At re:Invent 2013, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Amazon WorkSpaces, a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud that enables end-users to access the documents, applications, and resources they need with the devices of their choice, including laptops, iPads, Kindle Fires, and Android tablets. The potential success of Amazon WorkSpaces will hinge on the initial experiences customers have consuming a desktop from the cloud related to its performance, usability, security, and overall end-user experience. In order for this to be successful, AWS’s new offering has to quickly transition from proven technology to a solid execution path that engages tightly with its customers.