Data center security is in a perilous position. Large organizations have been using server virtualization technology for nearly 10 years and are currently testing/deploying private cloud platforms like OpenStack and VMware vCloud, and using cloud-based infrastructure from Amazon, IBM, Rackspace, and others. In spite of this progress, however, many firms continue to rely on perimeter security technologies and architectures based on physical security products like network firewalls, IDS/IPS, and other L4-7 technologies to protect physical and virtual servers. This creates significant risk to the enterprise, as legacy security tools don’t offer the right levels of agility, flexibility, efficacy, and visibility for today’s virtual data centers. CISOs need to address this precarious situation by introducing virtual network security services into their data center security strategies. Virtual network security services can offer L4-7 security controls and provide network security visibility for virtual workloads regardless of network topology, workload mobility, or physical location. Virtual network security services can also offer cloud-like orchestration with central control, software-based provisioning, and a variety of security controls that provide the ability to align with workload privacy and security requirements.
Oracle’s Application Express has logged 17 releases over the last 11 years and is closing in on version 5.0 expected in H1 2015. While Application Express is not nearly as well known as JDeveloper or Oracle’s Business Process Management Suite, Application Express is Oracle’s preferred development tool for database-centric application development. Application Express provides a lightweight approach to building browser-based applications that can readily access Oracle Database functionality, thereby making Application Express the ideal tool for building database-centric applications. With the improvements slated for version 5.0, Oracle should position Application Express alongside JDeveloper and Oracle BPM Suite as tools optimized for each of the three primary development paradigms.
Splunk continues to expand its value with analytics for Hadoop and NoSQL data stores, complementing its enterprise and cloud platforms with additional big data capabilities. This helps customers discover, analyze, and share information, increasing access to and relevance of more types of big data. Tighter integration with the providers of these technologies would help build an invaluable ecosystem solution for many customers.
In April, Trend Micro announced additions and updates to its Complete User Protection solution and changes to its licensing model that focus on improving its compatibility with cloud computing. Trend Micro’s strategy aids partners in protecting their customers from unnecessary upselling or licensing confusion, while allowing customers to combine on-premises security solutions with cloud-based security services. This strategy can put Trend Micro at a competitive advantage moving forward, provided it educates the market aggressively as to the true extent and benefits of its endpoint security portfolio.
Release 1 of Fujitsu’s Cloud Integration Platform is now being introduced to targeted customers and will be announced across worldwide markets in the third quarter of 2014.This platform joins existing IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS offerings from Fujitsu and is intended to provide a solution to the complexity that occurs because of the rapid proliferation of applications, cloud, and non-cloud environments. Fujitsu’s Cloud integration Platform will clearly provide large enterprises with a method to simplify the management and integration of resources residing on traditional systems, private cloud environments, and public cloud platforms. While Fujitsu’s approach is a refreshing solution to a problem of growing magnitude, the true test of customer acceptance will be contingent on the depth of integration and management that Fujitsu is able to provide. Additionally, Fujitsu’s brand recognition is stronger in some regions than others, meaning that selected regions will require added investment in order to achieve brand parity.
While arguably the most dominant relational database vendor, Oracle recently faced increasing competition pressure from products with performance advantages stemming from in-memory processing. With the announcement of the Oracle Database 12c In-Memory option, the speed differences have been largely mitigated for many common workloads. The question remains about which architectures will better satisfy enterprise applications and various approaches to scaling.
Teradata has long been a leader in traditional integrated data warehousing and data mart solutions, offering a wide range of platforms and tools for analytics and reporting. Now the company is modernizing its portfolio with a much greater emphasis on big data and analytics and an inclusive approach to newer offerings such as Hadoop. The flexible range of multi-functional systems will appeal to Teradata’s current enterprise customers who need to blend different data types for advanced analytics, although more must be done to show the broader market the value of appliances over commodity hardware and open source software.
IT shops are looking to achieve greater efficiency and agility, so they are embracing cloud technology, whether to build an internal private cloud, move to a public cloud, or adopt a hybrid mix of cloud technologies. But when it comes to transforming the file storage environment, the road to efficiency is fraught with challenges. File data is often stuck in silos of Windows File Servers and dedicated NAS systems scattered across the enterprise. And even for shops where file data is tightly managed, when it comes time to update systems to take advantage of newer technology or embrace cloud economics, migrating data to the new environment is a difficult process: lengthy, time-consuming, people-intensive, and expensive. Data Dynamics StorageX can help IT organizations deal with the new era of IT, breaking down the barriers between file repositories and even between the data center and the cloud, helping IT transform the file storage environment in support of building agile IT.
Dell has shared a new vision for big data and analytics solutions, which is well positioned to utilize the company’s broad portfolio of software, hardware, and services offerings. The new focus on building a complete technology stack for midmarket and departmental environments will be well received by a segment of the market that has been underserved. More development of specific functionality for identified vertical and line-of-business use cases will further accelerate Dell’s growth compared with more niche competitors.
Microsoft TechEd 2014 will be looked back on as an important point in time for Microsoft. This year, TechEd was unique in that Microsoft approached the event with a set of integrated offerings for the IT pro, developer, and end-user. Expect to see rapid innovation in this space from Microsoft and others. The challenge will be for businesses to choose a partner that can provide a platform and associated services that can economically deliver a secure mobile computing environment and instill long-term confidence in IT decision makers, who tend to favor short-term gains that can be delivered today, with a future-proof mobility strategy.