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: Blockchain Data Management

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: Blockchain Cybersecurity Data Management IT Infrastructure

Is It Too Late For Oracle to Enter the Cloud Analytics Space?

So Oracle has officially entered the cloud analytics space. Building off the announcement at Oracle Open World last fall, yesterday they officially released their autonomous data warehouse for the cloud. And it’s a big deal for them. Built on their latest 18c database, the autonomous data warehouse brings the potential for a new level of simplicity. It leverages machine learning to ensure constant uptime by automatically (hence “autonomous” everywhere in their announcement) protecting, securing, and repairing the database. On top of the promised simplicity, they tout the ability to lower costs and perform faster than the competition. OK, Oracle, well played. I’m intrigued, maybe even a little excited, but the reality is that Oracle is still behind. They (self-admittedly) lost the cloud infrastructure war, and I’m nervous that they could lose this one too if they don’t play their cards right.

Topics: Data Management Cloud Platforms & Services

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - More Than Just Buzzwords

The traction over the last few years in the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) space is remarkable, and I’m not just talking about consumer-based products like self-driving cars, or virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. While those products get the headlines, AI/ML is rapidly spreading across the enterprise IT space. I feel like I can’t go a day without a company mentioning AI or ML as part of their product or forward-looking strategy. It’s not just for crazy, sci-fi predictive analytics projects in a bunker somewhere. While that definitely still happens, AI and ML (and deep learning too) are being used across all aspects of IT: big data, cloud, IoT, security, infrastructure, systems management, etc.

Topics: Artificial Intelligence Data Management

Analytics in the Cloud – Usage Is Only Going Up (Video)

So you have a decision to make: behind door number 1 is a huge, costly on-prem infrastructure that requires expertise across a bunch of different tools involved in the data pipeline for support, and ongoing management and maintenance. Behind door number 2, you have a no-upfront-cost cloud infrastructure that requires minimal expertise, and a single point of support and management. Which do you pick? There are a lot of considerations, such as performance, availability, and arguably most importantly, long-term cost. What is my overall data footprint and growth over the next 3-5 years? How much data does my organization process on a monthly basis? Is the cloud a final destination for my data sets? And that’s just the start. Now with that said, for organizations that are looking into becoming more data-driven as quickly as possible without a potentially massive upfront investment, I would like to be the first to say…welcome to the cloud my friend.

Topics: Data Management

Storage Versus Data: The Role of Storage in Managing the Larger Data IT Ecosystem (Video)

As a storage guy, this is going to be little difficult for me to say, or write, but the enterprise storage technology is only one part of the data management ecosystem. It is not the be-all and end-all of data management.

This realization may be tough for some storage vendors to admit, while I assume the majority of CIOs just intuitively understand it. For a business, what matters is the data, not the storage. In this ever-increasing digitally enabled world of business, data management is not a necessary evil, it is a business enabler, and can in the right circumstances become a differentiator for your company and drive revenue growth.

Topics: Storage Data Management

Looking towards Data Management and Enablement in 2018 (Video)

Copy Data Management (CDM) and all the permutations of “Copy” “Data” “Management” with or without additional terms like “Active” “Enterprise” “Virtualization,” etc., seems to be the rage these days. A few years ago, there was only one visionary company talking about CDM. Today, we see a range of vendors now claiming to be CDM, even when they don’t deliver the breadth of capabilities that the industry may have presumed CDM to be; and others who have been quietly delivering those capabilities and more, without the terminology (a.k.a. they were CDM before CDM was cool).

Topics: Data Protection Data Management

Think Economics -- Not Features -- When Evaluating Big Data Value

Traditional enterprise data warehouse solutions helped to open the eyes of many organizations to the value of their data. Although these are significant systems, organizations quickly learned to monetize the actionable insight extracted from these systems, which led the rampant growth of the industry. Big data did not get big just from data growth. It got big because of its potential value, opportunities, and savings.

The more cost-efficiently you can capture a lot of data, plus the number of ways you can analyze it, equals the more worthwhile all that data could become. Value is results divided by costs. These (pseudo-)equations of big data value now extend not only to the disruptive power of transformative technologies like Hadoop, but also to increasingly popular cloud services for databases and data warehouses.

Topics: Data Management

Informatica Origami

Choosing an orange origami swan as your logo is an interesting signal, ripe with metaphors. Was Informatica unfairly labeled as an ugly duckling before? Is the company now folding in on itself? Does it take a lot of skill and dexterity to create something beautiful from a blank square of paper? Is this latest re-invention a swan song? Let's hope not, as there is actually quite a bit to like about the new directions.

Anil Chakravarthy, Informatica's CEO, has outlined the three iterations of the company. First, focused on ETL and ingestion. Second, expansion into MDM, archiving, and data quality. And today, re-launching as an "enterprise cloud data management" platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vendor, which is again functional, if not sexy.

Topics: Data Management Systems Management

Citrix Synergy 2017: Anticipating a Focal Point on Cloud and Security

ESG annually checks in with IT professionals to capture the top items on the CIO’s whiteboard, and potential areas of increased spending. ESG’s research findings place security at the top of the list (no surprise here) but what if you are an IT vendor (like Citrix), have been in business for 20+ years and, while you help with security, you don’t possess any security products as they are defined by the market. Now let’s layer in the fact that businesses are racing towards cloud consumption models and you have 20+ years’ experience producing on-premises solutions. This means that it’s time to make some product family changes, marketing tweaks, and sales execution adjustments—and this is exactly what I expect we will see at Citrix Synergy 2017.

Topics: Data Management ESG on Location