With the official end-of-life date for Windows Server 2003 quickly approaching, how ready are IT organizations? According to ESG’s data, the vast majority still have some measure of a Windows Server 2003 footprint and, as such, will be affected by Microsoft’s decision. What kind of strategies do organizations have in place to upgrade from and migrate off of these soon-to-be unsupported systems, and how prevalent a role will cloud computing services play?
Several IT meta-trends have potentially significant network infrastructure implications for the course of 2015 (and beyond), including cloud computing, software-defined data centers, and information security. How will this translate into spending on networking technologies over the next 12 months, and how do this year’s anticipated budget levels compare with those of 2014? Regardless of year-over-year trends, in which areas of network infrastructure are organizations most likely to invest in 2015?
Long-time collaborators IBM and Cisco recently introduced a new converged infrastructure solution, VersaStack. Available through IBM and Cisco’s qualified business partners, this new solution focuses on making cloud, big data and analytics, and mobile deployments attainable and efficiently packaged for simplified deployment. This solution gives IBM and Cisco a unique advantage in the integrated full-stack market, as long as it can demonstrate the value of the B Series Blade Servers coupled to the strategic direction Cisco is headed in with ACI architectures, and Cisco Intercloud Fabric with IBM’s enterprise accounts.
Dropbox recently introduced a new extension to its business collaboration and productivity solution—the Dropbox for Business API set. More than just another enterprise file sync and share app, this new API addresses a growing requirement among businesses—allowing them to easily link third-party security and compliance tools to their Dropbox environments. It could give Dropbox a competitive advantage in the developing enterprise-focused file sharing and collaboration market.
Citrix recently acquired software-defined storage from Sanbolic and teamed up with technology partners, including global technology leader HP, to announce a new converged infrastructure solution line up targeted at simplifying and streamlining the deployment of mobile workspaces. These pre-engineered offerings include integrated compute, storage, and networking in converged “pods,” which have the ability to reduce the time, cost, and complexity of delivering applications and virtual desktops to end-users. The converged infrastructure appliances will be available in three offerings, which focus on differently sized deployments—from small to mid-sized to large organizations. While reducing the cost and complexity of application delivery and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments, this new solution also adds sophisticated new storage capabilities and positions Citrix side-by-side among the converged infrastructure players in the mobile workspace arena today—as long as Citrix can provide the architectural differentiation, economic advantages, and go-to-market awareness and execution to get prospective customers on board.
NetApp released the latest version of the StorageGRID Webscale object-storage offering, further expanding a broad storage portfolio that includes unified, SAN and flash storage systems. Targeting large unstructured data content repositories, StorageGRID Webscale is delivered as software-defined storage supporting heterogeneous storage hardware along with mixed on-premises and hosted cloud environments. With an already strong set of NAS offerings in the portfolio, NetApp’s decision to extend the StorageGRID technology signals that more organizations are turning to object storage to handle larger content stores and their exponential growth in unstructured data.
Progress Software is emerging from a major transformation that took several years. Progress Software’s flagship product for more than two decades has been what is now known as OpenEdge. Despite the stability and loyalty of the OpenEdge installed base, Progress Software needed to find a way to move forward. A series of product divestitures in 2012 followed by acquisitions in 2013 and 2014 have thoroughly modernized the product portfolio. Rollbase was acquired in 2013 amid raised eyebrows, but was followed by the brilliant acquisition of both Modulus and Telerik in 2014. By the end of 2014, Progress will have successfully demonstrated a path forward. Key to this roadmap is the delivery of the Pacific Application Server (PAS) for OpenEdge. The PAS will become the Docker-based focal point for enabling OpenEdge, Rollbase, and Modulus application services to work together cohesively. Progress Software has done an outstanding job of demonstrating a thoroughly modern path forward and the current portfolio reflects a well-conceived foundation on which to build out additional services and capabilities.
Accellion has introduced major enhancements to its kiteworks mobile-first platform. Why now, though? What did Accellion see in the market that spurred the effort? The vendor already considers itself ahead of the competition in building out mobile-centric content-management tools, but Accellion is now concentrating even more actively to offer capabilities that it believes give it a competitive advantage in a crowded market.
In September 2014, RSA announced the release of RSA ECAT 4.0, an endpoint security analytics solution aimed at improving organizations’ ability to detect, prioritize, investigate, and remediate threats. In a move toward integration, ECAT rounds out RSA’s product line alongside its web threat detection, GRC, and IAM solutions for data protection, security analytics, and now endpoint security as well. This approach to endpoint security widens RSA’s footprint in the enterprise security market, providing customers with end-to-end integration between their networks and endpoints.
ESG is seeing a new focus on platforms designed to support both development and integration. The need to address integration is akin to the elephant in the room—everyone is aware of the situation but nobody has a good way to resolve it. The siloed heterogeneous environment that defines IT today needs a pragmatic approach to bringing together application integration and mobilization. However, the resolution to the integration problem cannot just be addressed from a data or messaging perspective. Context and process is needed to bind these systems together in a meaningful way. While we’re at it, how about finding a way to provide support for virtually any front-end device that needs to interoperate with this potentially integrated environment? MobileForce is one of a new breed of vendors that is targeting exactly this problem with a lightweight approach to resolving both integration and access to enterprise applications.