EMC the Infrastructure and Cloud Company

ESG recently attended EMC’s annual global analyst summit in Boston, MA. The event landed right on the heels of VCE rolling into EMC and directly on its Hybrid Cloud announcement, and shared a wealth of insights into the company direction, soutions portfolio, product strategy, and go to market. David Goulden and Joe Tucci set the stage with a business update anchored in the federation of EMC, VMware, Pivotal, and RSA - a force to contend with at every level.

What IBM Can Learn from Its Own Cybersecurity Business

IBM’s fortunes in cybersecurity improved substantially when it abandoned its internally-focused strategy and built a business to meet customer requirements.

Topics: Cybersecurity

Is This Storage Solution the Holy Grail for Distributed Organizations?

Imagine you’re running IT for a major retail chain and you need to pick the best storage solution to be deployed at every branch office across the country. What would be on your requirements list? It would have to be easy to deploy and manage – gradually rolling out across every location. It would definitely have to perform well. Ideally, application downtime would be as close to zero as possible. If something went wrong, I would have to be 100% positive I did not lose any customer data. I would want a solution with as small a hardware footprint as possible to help minimize cost. Speaking of cost, let’s keep that as low as possible. Good luck finding all that with a traditional storage solution.

Topics: Storage ESG Validation Services

EMC’s Data Protection Portfolio Now “Spans” Cloud-based Workloads

There are several “disruptive” trends in IT.  And when vendors talk about disruptive, it's usually in regard to some new feature/service that does things differently. But from my perspective, one of the most disruptive trends in data protection is that traditional workloads are leaving the data center.  According to ESG’s 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey research report, traditional workloads like “file/collaboration” and “e-mail” are moving from data centers to cloud-providers, e.g., Office365 and GoogleApps.

Topics: Data Protection Cloud Services & Orchestration

EMC Hybrid Cloud Bridges Private and Public Clouds

Businesses of every size are evaluating or integrating with some kind of cloud computing model. But how they get there and who they turn to remains a challenge. At an IT industry level, it also is fascinating to observe which IT vendor's cloud strategy will be successful and how IT professionals leverage trusted relationships they have built with IT vendors. Businesses also see the value in hybrid cloud and want IT to capture the control, management, and orchestration across both on-prem and off-prem consumption models as they broker traditional and new IT services to the business.

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration

5500 Viewpoints at Strata+Hadoop World (Includes Video)

With a record-setting audience and hundreds of solutions being touted, Strata+Hadoop World in NYC was the place to learn about all the wild and wonderful ways companies are transforming their capabilities with big data and analytics.

Watch the video for my reactions from the show floor and read my further thoughts on the conference below. 

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI ESG on Location

EMC Embraces Ownership of VCE…and So Will Customers

While many IT vendors will claim to have pioneered the converged systems market, VCE has truly become a marquee brand. From the beginning there have been expectations that VCE would eventually roll into one of its parent companies. While VCE’s business is well proven at this point, with greater than 50% annual revenue growth, prospective customers still have had concerns.  In fact, ESG is aware of Fortune 500 customers that have been holding back multimillion-dollar commitments to VCE, due to the concerns stemming from ownership uncertainty.

This week’s announcement that VCE will be folded into EMC takes these client concerns off the table and makes sense as it matches up nicely with what EMC is already doing on a broader scale.  Specifically, we think this announcement will be welcomed by current and prospective VCE customers, as it means:

  1. There is no longer any uncertainty about the ownership status of VCE, and customers can feel more confident in committing to a long-term VCE relationship backed by a strong owner.
  2. The timing and efficiency of new product innovation cycles will only improve as a result of a single owner structure with more streamlined transition from vision to technology-based execution.
  3. The long-range commitment to Cisco-branded technology in the VCE Vblock is sound, with a robust roadmap that includes assurances of leveraging both UCS and ACI as cornerstones moving forward.

The Roller Coaster Ride toward Free Antivirus

ESG data shows that 57% of enterprises have either already switched to free antivirus software or are actively exploring the option. It makes some sense: Free AV programs have posted competitive efficacy rates against paid versions, and AV is increasingly viewed as an IT operations checkbox as opposed to a pure endpoint security control. There also seems to be a decreasing need to assign budget for AV. The thinking is that those dollars could instead be spent on newer technologies such as advanced endpoint anti-malware products, endpoint forensics, or endpoint analytics. For many organizations, ditching paid antivirus for a free product could be viewed as a sensible cost-cutting move. 

Topics: Cybersecurity

Enterprise Organizations Are Establishing a “Cybersecurity Cavalry”

In the past, enterprise cybersecurity responsibilities were tilted toward oversight rather than hands-on operations and technology procurement. Security analysts were counted on for incident detection and response, but aside from this function, CISOs helped organizations develop and enforce the right policies. Meanwhile, functional IT groups selected, deployed, and operated security products. 

Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS)

The way IT consumes infrastructure is experiencing a rapid change as ESG shared in an infographic: Why ICP? A Practical Guide to Integrated Computing Platforms. The success, measured in billions of dollars in revenue generated from companies like VCE and Cisco/NetApp FlexPod, demonstrates how businesses have gravitated to a simplified consumption model. Additionally, VMware put its stamp on the market introducing its EVO family of solutions and called further attention to hardware choice and alternative software-defined architectures.

Splunk Show Shows Spunk (Includes Video)

Check out my "man on the street" video from the event, and read my additional takeaways below. 

Topics: Internet of Things Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI Cloud Services & Orchestration

Board-level Security Ratings Meet Threat Intelligence (BitSight Acquires AnubisNetworks)

With the recent avalanche of security breaches, including Target, Home Depot, and JP Morgan Chase, cybersecurity companies have become financial darlings from Wall Street to Sand Hill Rd.  Investors on both coasts are looking for the next major IPO or acquisition to cash in on the dangerous threat landscape.

Topics: Cybersecurity

Better Catalogs Make for Better Data Restores (video)

It really is just that simple: backup products without robust catalogs are just that, backup products – not restore products.

There are lots of reasons that just maintaining a browse-able file list is not enough today, including not only a lack of search-ability but also because the catalog is the key to really leveraging primary storage snapshots and replication capabilities with traditional backup for a modern recovery capability.


Topics: Data Protection

Yet Another Proof Point for Network and Endpoint Security Integration

As I’ve mentioned many times in my blog, there is a lot of evidence suggesting a trend toward the amalgamation of endpoint and network security.

Here’s another recent data point that supports this further. ESG recently published a new research report titled Network Security Trends in the Era of Cloud and Mobile Computing. The report is based upon a survey of security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e., more than 1,000 employees). ESG asked them: “Is your organization engaged in any type of project to integrate anti-malware and analytics technologies on networks and endpoints?” Nearly one-quarter (22%) said, “yes, extensively,” while another 39% responded, “yes, somewhat.”

Topics: Cybersecurity IT Infrastructure Networking Enterprise Mobility

Time to Embrace or Terminate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

Most people know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Far fewer people know that October is also American Archives Month, National Book Month, and Pastors Appreciation Month.

Topics: Cybersecurity

Hyperconverged – Hyper Market Acceleration

Before I jump into the wild world of IT hypervconverged infrastructure, let’s quickly remind ourselves of the benefits ESG has seen from these types of deployments:

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration

Proofpoint Report Exposes Details about Cybercrime Division-of-Labor and Malware Architecture

One of the more vapid cybersecurity cliché statements goes something like this: “Hacking is no longer about alienated teenagers spending countless hours in the basement on their PCs. Rather, it is now the domain of organized crime and nation states.” While this is certainly true, it is also blatantly obvious. It is also nothing more than a meaningless platitude with no details about why this is true, how hackers operate differently than teenagers, or what the implications are.

If you want to understand these issues, I strongly suggest that you read a new threat report, Analysis of a Cybercrime Infrastructure, published this week by Proofpoint. The report follows the tactics and techniques used by a Russian organized crime group as it launched an attack on US- and European-based users aimed at stealing online banking credentials.

Topics: Cybersecurity Enterprise Mobility

Informatica and the Challenge of Data Unification

Informatica is clearly a leader in data integration. In fact, a case could be made for Informatica being the leader in data integration. Since superlatives are not typically part of my lexicon, this represents something of an accomplishment on Informatica’s part. Informatica has been around for just over 20 years and is now driving over $1 billion in revenue. Informatica is unique because it’s the only large leading vendor in the data integration space that is a pure-play in integration. This means that Informatica’s future is inexorably tied to how enterprises leverage data. This is a good thing.

When you look at IT, you find that everything is data driven. Solutions and tools differ only by what data they align with and how they put this data to use. The reason we can say this with confidence is that every event is the result of one or more changes in state. As a result, whether we chose to formally recognize these changes in state from a data standpoint, they are responsible for initiating IT activities. For a comprehensive discussion of this topic, see ESG’s market summary report on Decision Analytics: Building the Foundation for Predictive Intelligence and Beyond.

Topics: Internet of Things Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI Cloud Services & Orchestration

HP - Parsed and Future

So, after a furor of news, we can all settle down now in the knowledge that there will be two HP's. I so wanted one to be called Hewlett and the other Packard! Maybe with a lower-case "i" in front of each name for a contemporary nod and wink to the founders. By the way, if ever you are having trouble remembering which HP is which, they did at least make that easy for us: the ink is in the Inc.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Leading Enterprise Organizations Have Established a Dedicated Network Security Group

When an enterprise organization wanted to buy network security equipment a few years ago, there was a pretty clear division of labor. The security team defined the requirements and the networking team purchased and operated equipment. In other words, the lines were divided. The security team could describe what was needed but didn’t dare tell the networking team what to buy or get involved with day-to-day care and feeding related to “networking” matters.

This “us-and-them” mentality appears to be legacy behavior. According to ESG research on network security trends, 47% of enterprise organizations now claim that they have a dedicated group in charge of all aspects of network security. Additionally, network security is done cooperatively by networking and security teams at 26% of organizations today but these firms insist that they are in the process of creating a dedicated network security group to supplant their current division of labor.

Topics: Cybersecurity IT Infrastructure Networking

Could VeeamON be the next MMS?

This week is the first VeeamON, Availability for the Modern Data Center, conference in Las Vegas.

Topics: Data Protection ESG on Location

ESG Recap of Oracle OpenWorld 2014

This year’s Oracle OpenWorld has reflected some interesting bets on the future of databases, cloud, big data, and analytics, along with many other macro-trends like social, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Topics: Storage Internet of Things IT Infrastructure Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI Enterprise Mobility Cloud Services & Orchestration

The Internet of Things (IoT)

I shall be expanding on this theme--the internet of things (IoT) over the next few years, as I find it to be the most interesting thing to happen not only in tech, but potentially in modern society, ever.

Topics: Internet of Things IT Infrastructure Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI Enterprise Mobility Cloud Services & Orchestration

PernixData FVP 2.0: Not Your Grandfather’s Storage [Management]

PernixData just announced a new release of its core FVP server-side-storage management product as well as a number of product extensions. Of course, you can get all the specific details from its press release but it did make me consider how a company like PernixData is truly a manifestation of a significant change in the storage world. It represents that change by talking a lot about “decoupling” storage performance and capacity. While that’s technically true, what companies like PernixData really reflect is something bigger than that.

For years “storage” has been just that – a singular, monolithic, and only-somewhat-malleable entity. You get more or less of it, and it is more or less capable to deliver some level of performance. The original IBM term of “DASD” – Direct Access Storage Device (how quaint that sounds in today’s mobile and networked world eh!?) – gave way to “disks” and indeed in many parts of the IT world the terms “disk” and “storage” were actually synonymous….despite the existence of alternatives. But, anyhow, for decades we muddled along with what we had. It was the least-worst option in many respects – and this is said with no lack of respect for the brilliant engineering that drove HDDs from MBs to GBs to TBs. It has been quite a ride.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Palo Alto Endpoint Security Announcement: A Proof Point of a Market in Transition

Did you see the Palo Alto Networks announcement yesterday? If not, here’s my synopsis. PAN introduced a new endpoint security technology named “Traps” that is the ultimate result of the company’s acquisition of Cyvera this past March. In simple terms, Traps provides three core security functions:

  1. Advanced malware prevention. Traps is designed to deal with the most important attack vectors such as memory corruption, changes in registry settings, and malware persistency, with no prior knowledge about the malware itself.
  2. Endpoint forensics. Traps captures system level activities to help security analysts understand what changes, if any, were made to compromised systems.
  3. Integration of network and endpoint security. Traps ties into PAN Wildfire and NGFW. This integration provides more holistic protection and gives analysts a vantage point across network and endpoint activities. The integration also ties Traps into Palo Alto threat intelligence.

A few years ago, the endpoint security market was a cozy little oligopoly that was dominated by five vendors: Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro. Others like CA, Check Point, and even mighty Microsoft couldn’t crack the code and either exited the market or minimized their product development, marketing, and sales.

Fast forward to 2014 and things have changed. Network security vendors like Cisco (Sourcefire), FireEye, and PAN are jumping into the endpoint security pool. An army of others like Bit9, Bromium, Cylance, Digital Guardian (Verdasys), Guidance Software, IBM, Invincea, Malwarebytes, Raytheon, RSA, and Trimufant are all offering some type of endpoint security technology.

Why the change? For one thing, enterprises are being breached right and left and have no confidence in the efficacy of AV software alone. In fact, 62% of enterprise security professionals strongly agree or agree that AV software is ineffective at blocking all types of advanced malware. From a vendor perspective, there are dollars available for new endpoint security technologies. ESG research also indicates that 51% of enterprise organizations plan to add new layers of endpoint security technology as part of their cybersecurity strategy over the next 2 years (Source: ESG Research Report, Advanced Malware Detection and Protection Trends, September 2013).

PAN is not the only game in town but it may have a market advantage (along with its network security competitors): ESG research indicates that 61% of enterprise organizations are currently rolling out or planning a project to integrate network and endpoint security technologies (Source: ESG Research Report, Network Security Trends in the Era of Cloud and Mobile Computing, August 2014). Since network security captures the majority of security brain power and resources at most enterprises, PAN and others are well positioned to flank the AV crowd with a full frontal assault from the network to the endpoint.

Like other “Endpoint Nuevo” vendors, PAN will not suggest that customers rip-and-replace traditional AV and substitute Traps – at least not for the time being. My guess is that this nice guy strategy won’t last however. In the next 18 months, regulators will eschew AV requirements, replacing these with broader mandates for endpoint security. As this transition plays out, PAN and others will change their collective tune, suggest full replacements, and support this market strategy with security efficacy reports and ROI studies trumpeting AV replacement benefits.

The endpoint security market is changing before our eyes, which puts a $10 billion market in play. PAN’s announcement represents a bold, intelligent move by the company and a sign of things to come in the marketplace.

Topics: Cybersecurity