Three Opportunities to Create Positive Experiences with Consumer IAM

By Steve Brasen on Sep 10, 2020 2:53:42 PM

One-half of one second—that is how brief of a time-span it seemingly can take for a business to lose a customer. Gaining and retaining consumer attention is something of a nuanced art form and science that can be completely undone by an easily misplaced word or a cumbersome process. Businesses frequently lose customers not because they have an inferior product or service but simply because, for some reason, the customers had a brief negative experience. While it is impossible to control what customers are thinking and feeling at any given time, it is clear that many of these negative impressions are self-inflicted by businesses that fail to create welcoming environments. Unfortunately, many organizations find it difficult to adopt CIAM approaches that enable favorable consumer experiences without violating security requirements. After all, the primary purpose of CIAM is to protect a business’s intellectual property, secure private customer information, and prevent account misuse or fraud.

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Entrants in the Unified Analytics Warehouse Race

By John Santaferraro on Aug 26, 2020 2:59:08 PM

As the race to deliver the UAW heats up, EMA sees the following vendors working toward a convergence of the data warehouse and data lake: Ahana, Amazon, Cloudera, Databricks, Dremio, Google, HPE Ezmeral, Incorta, isima.io, Oracle, SAP, Starburst, Teradata, and Vertica. EMA also anticipates that vendors that successfully deliver a unified analytics warehouse will quickly eclipse data warehouse and data lake vendors, making them obsolete, except for targeted use cases and analytical projects.

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The Requirements for a Unified Analytics Warehouse

By John Santaferraro on Aug 21, 2020 12:38:29 PM

To assess the likely winners in the race for the unified analytics warehouse, it is important to understand the various requirements of modern analytics programs and the unified analytics warehouse.

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The Emergence of the Unified Analytics Warehouse

By John Santaferraro on Aug 21, 2020 12:37:39 PM

The race for a unified analytics warehouse is on. The data warehouse has been around for almost three decades. Shortly after big data platforms were introduced in the late 2000s, there was talk that the data warehouse was dead—but it never went away. When big data platform vendors realized that the data warehouse was here to stay, they started building databases on top of their file system and conceptualizing a data lake that would replace the data warehouse. It never did.

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Five Reasons Consumer IAM is Indispensable in the New Normal

By Steve Brasen on Aug 19, 2020 11:33:19 AM

When regional stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were first issued in early 2020, the general expectation was that societal changes would only be temporary. As people hunkered down in homes around the world, they expressed a collective confidence that life would eventually (perhaps after only a few weeks) return to normal. Over time, the realization that the pandemic has, in many ways, changed the world forever has slowly been gaining acceptance. Of course, it seems likely that at some point medical science will discover the means to control and perhaps even eradicate the illness, and eventually people will feel free to emerge from their homes. However, many of the fundamental changes to day-to-day activities and lifestyles that have been adopted are likely to persist well into the future.

Topics: IBM CIAM Akamai
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Star Wars Day – How Security Failures Led to the Empire’s Downfall

By Chris Steffen on May 4, 2020 12:15:00 AM

To celebrate Star Wars Day, I thought I would share a few ways in which the Empire did not adhere to information security best practices, and that enabled the Rebels to win.

To be clear: I do not support the Empire, the Sith Lords, or any other types of scum and villainy. Nor am I trying to portray the Rebel Alliance as a weird, Force-wielding, Galactic hacker consortium or something. But had the Empire not been so lax in their security controls, Emperor Palpatine and his buddies might have been able to bring their “order and peace” to the galaxy.

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Digital Marketing - Find the Right Media to Create a Dialogue

By John Santaferraro on Apr 22, 2020 2:21:33 PM

Syndicate, Syndicate, Syndicate

We are a multi-media generation that offers unlimited media choices to information consumers. Buyers can choose from mobile apps, videos, websites, podcasts, or printed media. They consume infographics, eBooks, whitepapers, slide shares, webinars, interactive sites, and e-learning systems. They can find their media via search, social streams, mashups, or journalistic consolidation sites.

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Digital Marketing - Understand How People Buy

By John Santaferraro on Apr 22, 2020 2:12:48 PM

The Magic of the Buying Cycle

Increasing sales and revenue with digital marketing involves far more than generating leads. Too many marketers have focused their efforts almost entirely on demand generation at the expense of proactively moving leads through the funnel and closing more deals. EMA supports a balanced digital marketing approach that focuses on moving buyers forward at all points in their buying journey.

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Digital Marketing - Know the Person You Want to Target

By John Santaferraro on Apr 22, 2020 1:42:22 PM

The Search for the Right Persona

Savvy marketers want to better understand buyer personas relevant to the products and solutions in their portfolio. However, not every marketer understands the importance of prioritizing the search for the right persona. Persona creation can be laborious and getting agreement on personas can be even more challenging, but it is worth the effort. Once you create a persona, it becomes the guide for every person in your organization entering a dialogue with a customer or potential buyer.

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How Knoa’s User Experience Management can Optimize RPA for Value

By Dennis Drogseth on Apr 16, 2020 11:21:20 AM

UEM for user experience management and RPA for robotic process automation are two IT acronyms that continue to elude well-understood definitions, albeit for somewhat opposite reasons. UEM goes back decades, first emerging out of primarily network-centric management, becoming a cornerstone of business service management, and later being consumed by application performance management (APM) much to its own detriment. RPA is comparatively recent, evolving out of screen scraping into far richer technical options that are diverse in nature, with many RPA vendors contending with and replacing the more consultancy-driven platforms for business process management (BPM).

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Prioritizing Security When Selecting A Video Conferencing Solution...

By Chris Steffen on Apr 10, 2020 9:08:08 AM

Before the recent COVID -19 pandemic, most companies looked at unified communications and collaborations (UC&C) solutions as important technology often used by sales and marketing teams as part of their process, but not necessarily a critical part of the business infrastructure. With work from home (WFH) becoming the mandated norm, businesses have come to look at UC&C solutions as mission-critical tools, allowing managers and leaders to communicate with their employees and employees to conduct some semblance of normal business.

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FBI Warns of Coronavirus Scams

By Chris Steffen on Mar 23, 2020 11:08:03 AM

On Friday, the FBI released an alert warning of increased scams related to the Coronavirus outbreak. From the FBI announcement:

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Righting a Wrong: IBM is a Leader in the Cloud...

By Chris Steffen on Mar 13, 2020 11:38:19 AM

A article was recently released by Bloomberg news discussing the market share of various cloud providers, and their methods and rankings need  to be re-examined.

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Creating Personalized, Targeted Webinars

By John Santaferraro on Mar 10, 2020 6:55:41 PM

The best webinars are personalized and targeted. They are personalized by carefully considering and engaging those who will be attending the webinar. They are targeted by understanding the buying phase and persona of the audience. In other words, a webinar created with the audience in mind maps perfectly into digital marketing strategies created and carefully considers the different stages of the buying cycle. This is the way we do webinars here at EMA.

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10 Creative Options for Your 2020 Webinars

By John Santaferraro on Mar 10, 2020 6:44:31 PM

Webinars are boring…until you think outside the box and utilize creative ideas to wake up the minds of your attendees. Pick one of these ten creative options to revitalize your webinars in 2020.

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Engaging, Inspirational Webinars Drive the Most Leads

By John Santaferraro on Mar 10, 2020 6:34:01 PM

“Webinars are boring!” I’ve heard those exact words from both marketing leaders and webinar attendees. And for the most part it’s true. If you are still doing webinars in which the third-party pundit speaks first, then your company spokesperson gives a product pitch, your audience is probably mumbling those same words.

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Security Awareness - Tax Scams 2020

By Chris Steffen on Mar 10, 2020 3:00:02 PM

Few people like the process of completing their taxes every year. But no one wants to be scammed out of the monies owed to them by the government. Be especially careful about those that contact you regarding your taxes, and confirm the sources of those emails and calls whenever possible.

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Cisco becomes a Merchant Silicon Vendor, Launches a Disaggregated Super-Router

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Dec 12, 2019 10:44:41 AM

Five years and $1 billion in R&D investment has led to this. Cisco has positioned itself to be a jack-of-all trades routing supplier to network service providers and web-scale data center operators.

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Top 5 Reasons You’re Spending Way Too Much Time, Energy, and Money on Modern Endpoint Management

By Steve Brasen on Nov 26, 2019 9:47:50 AM

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Enterprises Must Adapt Network Performance Management to Next-Generation Technology

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Oct 9, 2019 10:00:23 AM

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The Transformational Promise of Per-Application ADCs

By Shamus McGillicuddy on May 23, 2019 11:09:45 AM

Today’s cloud-centric enterprises require agile infrastructure that can scale up and down as capacity requirements evolve. Nowhere is this shift in infrastructure requirements more apparent than in the world of application delivery controllers (ADCs) and load balancers. Today’s enterprises are shifting away from monolithic ADC appliances in favor of lightweight, per-application software ADCs and load balancers.

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SAP Set to Revolutionize Cloud Intelligence for Business Professionals

By John Santaferraro on May 23, 2019 9:27:33 AM

At SAPPHIRE Now 2019, SAP introduced new cloud services that reach far beyond their installed base and make them a solid option for anyone looking for application or analytics solutions in the cloud. The new data and analytics offerings are not a departure from their commitment to current customers; they extend increased business value for all medium and enterprise companies looking for rapid return on their cloud investments. 

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Datastax Ready for Next-Generation Cloud and Mobile Application Delivery

By John Santaferraro on Jan 28, 2019 1:53:12 PM

Two primary streaks of innovation drive the need for more flexible, scalable technology at the start of the 2020s. First, digital and mobile business models continue to push organizations to expand their use of data far beyond traditional, structured, and centralized data management. The promise of big data platforms to easily allow for global data collection and analysis has never been realized. Second, modernization and innovation cycles that used to recur every five to seven years have been condensed. Most organizations trying to stay ahead of digital transformation are not ready for the speed and agility necessary to maintain a competitive advantage in a digital world.

In summarizing the teachings of Charles Darwin, Louisiana State University business professor Leon C. Megginson said the following at a convention of the Southwestern Social Science Association:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

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Celonis Process Mining: A Modern Value Creation Engine for the Digital World

By John Santaferraro on Dec 12, 2018 8:18:10 PM

We have come a long way from the days of theoretic business process optimization. A massive wave of digital transformation is leaving electronic footprints and fingerprints that enable the ongoing optimization of business processes based on facts and figures. As a result, we are seeing a wave of new vendors in the business optimization market, which includes process mining and robotic process automation (RPA).

Process mining technology extracts business application data, tags it based on time and location within a business process, visualizes the business processes, logs variations, and makes recommendations for process improvement based on built-in advanced analytics. RPA technology identifies repetitive business processes with potential for automation and codifies the logic necessary to take intelligent action without human intervention. In some more critical areas, the RPA engine makes recommendations for validation by human decision-making.
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Tableau Sets the Tone for Business Intelligence 2019

By John Santaferraro on Nov 7, 2018 11:57:56 AM

From community to consumers of data, Tableau Conference 2018 (TC18) set the tone for the business intelligence market in 2019.

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Salesforce Honors Customers, Boosts Sales Productivity: Gleanings from an Industry Analyst Observer

By John Santaferraro on Oct 9, 2018 12:44:15 PM

I could spend pages and days talking all about the new technology that was released at Dreamforce 2018, but I am going to take the higher road and discuss what Dreamforce 2018 means to customer organizations. Salesforce demonstrated that it cares about its customers and is committed to increasing the productivity of customer-facing teams around the world. Of course, if customer-facing teams are more productive, that will mean increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction, and a palpable competitive advantage.

The C-Suite Should see Gains in Productivity and Profitability

Many sales leaders complain about the challenge of getting sales representatives to enter information into their sales automation systems. The results are incomplete information and the inability to properly forecast and manage sales teams for success. The introduction of Einstein Voice allows sales teams to interact with Salesforce products over their morning coffee or handsfree on their drive home, freeing them to do more of what they are paid to do: sell.

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Cyber Attackers Turn Their Sight to ERP Applications

By Paula Musich on Sep 26, 2018 7:58:29 AM

In late July, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about a growing number of malicious cyberattacks aimed at ERP systems based on a research project conducted by Digital Shadows and Onapsis. This warning comes at the heels of the first-ever DHS CERT Alert focused on SAP Business Applications released in May of 2016. According to the report, hackers exploited old, unpatched vulnerabilities to successfully hack multiple organizations, including government agencies, energy businesses, and financial services companies. Onapsis and Digital Shadows found significant evidence of increased interest on ERP applications, including bad actors in criminal forums on the dark web asking for exploits specifically targeting ERP technology vulnerabilities. The study, “ERP Applications Under Fire: How Cyberattackers Target the Crown Jewels,” found that the attackers do not need to use advanced techniques to breach their targets because the current state of ERP application security across organizations is such that old vulnerabilities still affect these systems. This means that attackers don’t need to develop new zero-days or advanced exploitation techniques.

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EMA Perspectives – Informatica Makes Sparks Fly in the Cloud

By John Santaferraro on Sep 18, 2018 11:54:08 AM

On September 12, 2018, at Strata NYC, Informatica announced a data management solution for Apache Spark-based cloud environments, including Google Cloud Dataproc, Qubole, and Azure Databricks. Touting new advancements in CLAIRE™, a metadata intelligence technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, this new release is targeted at increasing the efficiency and reach of data management organizations. To expand efficiency, Informatica is releasing more than 50 new algorithms and functions for automated data discovery and preparation, as well as machine learning focused on industrializing data operations.

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Public Clouds Are Disrupting Enterprise Network Management

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Sep 14, 2018 3:31:41 PM

Network managers who are supporting the migration of critical applications to the public cloud will need a new set of tools for engineering and operations.

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3 Key Lessons from DockerCon 2018: Strategic Analysis of the Container Market Place

By Torsten Volk on Jun 26, 2018 5:21:30 AM

Today, where there are almost as many approaches to digital transformation as there are enterprise software vendors, Docker refocuses its strategy on providing the best unified container management platform for DevOps. Docker’s key value proposition is to enable developers to build an application once and then deploy it to any Kubernetes-driven private or public cloud, where DevOps teams and IT operations can manage it throughout its lifecycle and move it to another location at any point in time. However, Docker also aims to absorb traditional enterprise applications, edge and IoT workloads, big data apps, blockchain, and serverless functions, both on Windows and on Linux.

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Future-Proofing Your EDR Solution

By Steve Brasen on Jun 19, 2018 5:16:04 PM

EMA recently published primary research on the topic of “Adopting Effective Solutions in Endpoint Detection and Response,” which included a detailed comparison of two of the most popular platforms on the market today: Tanium and 1E Tachyon. Put simply, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions represent a classification of management tools designed to proactively provide the holistic visibility and rapid automation necessary to respond to endpoint security threats and administration requirements in real-time. The purpose of the evaluation was to provide an example of how to conduct a side-by-side comparison of EDR solutions in order to determine the optimal platform for meeting current endpoint management requirements.

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Cisco Live 2018: Forget Hardware, Cisco Is All About Software

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jun 14, 2018 4:17:51 PM

For years network engineers have built lucrative careers upon their wizardly knowledge of things like network protocols, hardware specifications, and the Cisco command line interface (CLI). These skills are still essential to network engineering, but they are emblematic of a highly manual, box-by-box era of network engineering and operations. Today’s enterprises need agile, programmatic networks that leverage software, automation, and more

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Putting the User into “User Experience Management”

By Dennis Drogseth on May 31, 2018 8:05:11 AM

In the course of researching, documenting and advising on user experience management needs and directions for more than a decade, I’ve found myself waging a quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) war with several industry assumptions. Chief among these is the notion that user experience management (UEM) is purely a subset of application performance management (APM). This APM-centricity misses some of UEM’s most critical value points, and in a basic sense fails to recognize what UEM is truly about.

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Thoughts and Lessons Learned From an Analyst and CISO Conference

By David Monahan on May 15, 2018 8:52:00 AM

The week of April 30, 2018, I spent a few days in the great city of London at “The IT security Analyst and CISO Forum,” a small, invitation-only event hosted by Eskenzi PR and Marketing. It was my first year at the event, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. After I arrived, it was obvious the Eskenzi PR team had this event down. It was well orchestrated and executed, and the entire team was very professional.

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Top 10 from Dell Technologies World in 2018 – Quick Edition

By Torsten Volk on May 4, 2018 10:11:25 AM

OpenManage Enterprise is a big deal, but underrated: OpenManage Enterprise is the new infrastructure automation platform that could unlock the private and hybrid cloud for Dell. Deploying Dell infrastructure through a simple YAML file is within reach.

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EMA Digital Attacker Scorecard

By Torsten Volk on Apr 18, 2018 10:59:58 AM

Topics: Uncategorized
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Artificial Intelligence Delivered WYSIWYG-Style

By Torsten Volk on Apr 12, 2018 10:22:33 AM

Companies who manage to put AI capabilities into the hands of each and every business employee will be vastly successful in the marketplace. Enabling business employees to back up their decisions with data will dramatically increase staff productivity. At the same time, employees will feel empowered by their new ability to make much more informed decisions and automating certain tasks, based on intelligence derived from operations and market data that is now available to them.

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IBM’s Differentiation in 10 Quotes from Think 2018 – Let’s Put Smart to Work

By Torsten Volk on Mar 27, 2018 7:29:10 AM

Here are the 10 quotes that best sum up #Think2018. Inspired by Think 2018, I came up with my own ideas for AI bots and posted them here.

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Understanding Network-as-a-Service from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Mar 19, 2018 10:44:00 AM

Editor’s note: This blog post was sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, but the sentiments are entirely my own.

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11 Golden Rules to De-stress Your DevOps Process

By Torsten Volk on Mar 14, 2018 9:44:08 AM

With development teams working on 3-4 releases in parallel and releasing at least once a quarter, we often see release overhead consuming an average of 20-30% of development and operations resources. Enterprises releasing every month, week, or even day suffer from even larger overhead. Here is what you can do to free up most of these 20-30% for the faster creation of new critical software features: to enhance customer value:

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How an EMA Top 3 Product Is Selected – Quick Overview by the Example of Chef Habitat and InSpec

By Torsten Volk on Mar 2, 2018 10:56:35 AM

The EMA Top 3 report for Container Management and DevOps in Production and at Scale is a curated collection of a large number of data points that reflect individual priorities, pain points, technology adoption patterns, requirements, opinions, and so on, of 300 enterprises. It then dives deeper into these individual data points to provide readers with enough context to inform their technology selection process to some degree. However, each reader needs to pick out the nuggets that are the most relevant to him or her and then draw her own conclusions. Look at it this way: the EMA Top 3 polls 300 of your peers on 58 container and DevOps related questions and you can learn from the answers without having 300 separate conversations.

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What is Advanced Network Analytics? Cutting Through the Hype

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Feb 19, 2018 10:26:00 AM

Everyone wants to talk about how analytics is the future of network engineering and operations. The phrase “network analytics” is used by vendors of various stripes to imply that a particular technology is smarter and better than the average solution.

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Solve the Cloud Networking Conundrum With SD-WAN

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 9, 2018 2:41:04 PM

Enterprise networking professionals have a cloud problem, even if they don’t know it. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions can help them solve this problem.

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Why Machine Learning Diagnoses Cancer but Can’t Run our Hybrid Cloud

By Torsten Volk on Jan 9, 2018 10:05:16 AM

Why Machine Learning Diagnoses Cancer but Can’t Run our Hybrid Cloud

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Limitations of Neural Network Learning and How They Should Be Attacked in 2018

By Torsten Volk on Jan 3, 2018 2:00:53 PM

Neural Networks Are Key in 2018

Neural networks are back, but please don’t think they are able to emulate the context awareness of the human brain. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the neural network approach is a viable one, but we do need to be clear about its limitations. All of these limitations are rooted in the limited 'worldview' the neural network is able to take in. This worldview is limited as it relies on a human being with limited time and knowledge creating the neural network topology by providing the following components and enough sample data for the machine to determine how input should be processed.

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Top 3 Coding Toys and Apps for Kids that Are as much Fun for Parents

By Torsten Volk on Dec 29, 2017 12:55:37 PM

My constant search for the next ‘cool’ tech toy or app is inspired by my obsession for automation. Trying to teach my 4 and 6 year old kids to think of creative solutions for their repetitive problems (no, there’s not yet a robot that cleans their rooms) surfaced the following 3 top toys and top apps in 2017.

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7 IT Operations Challenges to Attack in 2018 – EMA Punch List

By Torsten Volk on Dec 28, 2017 12:46:11 PM

Digital attackers in 2018 need to focus on one key challenge: “how do I deliver the best possible value to my clients, without significantly increasing cost.“

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6 Recommendations for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in 2018

By Torsten Volk on Dec 26, 2017 12:20:52 PM

In 2017, CEOs arrived at the conclusion that machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML / AI) will be critical to unlock competitive advantages in the future. However, most enterprises had very little understanding of exactly what is possible today and how much value the investment in various ML / AI technologies can bring. Here are my six key recommendations for 2018:

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The Frustrations of Applied Machine Learning – A Not So Common Case Study

By Torsten Volk on Dec 17, 2017 1:33:54 PM

Now that I’ve predicted that in 2018 machine learning will be available to ‘average Joe developer,’ let me share my experience from this weekend. Note that I’m not trying to be a ‘cool geek’ by doing some hands on work (I’m way too old to still be cool), but based on all the machine learning and artificial intelligence buzz in 2017, I thought my use case should be quick, simple, and most importantly solving a problem that could otherwise not be solved.

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Top 10 enterprise IT Predictions for 2018 – Release Faster, Cheaper, and at Higher Quality – Everything Is about Becoming a Digital Attacker

By Torsten Volk on Dec 10, 2017 2:26:13 PM

For readers who would like to see what happened to our 2017 predictions, please take a look. Jens Soeldner and the EMA Team sat down again this month to look into the crystal ball for 2018.

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10 Priorities for Container Management in Production and at Scale in 2018 – EMA Top 3 Report and Decision Guide for Enterprise – Sneak Peak

By Torsten Volk on Dec 5, 2017 3:15:15 PM

Here's the Sneak Peak to the EMA Container Management in Production and at Scale research project that so many of you have been asking about over the previous 2 months.

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AWS Re:Invent 2017 – Two Big Time Machine Learning Highlights

By Torsten Volk on Dec 4, 2017 9:33:31 AM

“We want everyday developers (...) to be able to use machine learning much more extensively.” This is Andy Jassy’s mantra targeted at making AWS the company that turns machine learning into a commodity, similar to what the company achieved for IaaS before. Within this context, the following two new offerings stood out of the glut of machine learning and IoT news at Re:Invent 2017.

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AWS Re:Invent 2017 – Serverless Containers, Managed Kubernetes, Bare Metal, Machine Learning, and IoT

By Torsten Volk on Dec 1, 2017 9:56:21 AM

Breaking the Triangle of Cost, Quality, and Speed

This year’s AWS Reinvent delivered major announcements in DevOps, machine learning and IoT. All of the announced capability aim to eliminate infrastructure as the bottleneck for enterprises to become ‘digital attackers’. Observing the nearly 50.000 developers, architects, and software operators that came to Reinvent showed us a significant degree of genuine excitement about Amazon helping enterprises release new software faster, at a higher quality and lower cost.

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Intent Driven DevOps – A New Journey to NoOps

By Torsten Volk on Nov 27, 2017 6:07:38 PM

First Came Autonomic Computing
‘Autonomic Computing’ was the original concept of providing systems and apps with the power autonomously responding to unpredictable challenges. ‘Autonomic Computing’ came with all the right ideas (IBM deserves a good share of credit for defining this concept), but failed due to the same cultural and technological barriers DevOps is struggling with today. There simply was not enough ‘pressure to innovate.' This allowed inertia to prevail, leading to 'business as usual,' instead of magical self-healing and self-optimizing datacenter infrastructure.

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DevOps Enterprise Summit 2017 in SFO – Real Life DevOps Demystified

By Torsten Volk on Nov 17, 2017 1:39:24 PM

This year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) in San Francisco was carried by the enthusiasm of 1500 practitioners who were genuinely enthusiastic about how DevOps can transform their enterprises into a ‘digital attacker.’ Digital attackers rely as DevOps as their innovation engine to rapidly release high quality software that offers measurable business value. In short, digital attackers bully their competition by offering best in class customer value on an continuous basis and in a cost effective manner.

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CA Technologies Pushes for Diversity in Tech Industry

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Nov 16, 2017 2:41:03 PM

Despite what you hear from trolls, bigots, and misogynists, diversity in the technology industry is a good thing. But the philosophy of diversity needs more champions. Tech companies and IT organizations need to expand their workforce beyond the herds of white men that have dominated the industry for decades.

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SDDC 2.0 with Kubernetes, Apigee, and Istio – Cisco’s Collaboration with Google Follows a Grander Vision

By Torsten Volk on Oct 27, 2017 10:13:23 AM

On October 25, Cisco and Google announced their hybrid cloud partnership, where Google brings the container runtime (Kubernetes), the platform to provide, manage, and consume APIs (Apigee), and of course a wide range of consumable cloud services (visual recogngition, machine learning, text to voice, etc.). Cisco contributes the hyperconverged infrastructure (Hyperflex) with Kubernetes management (Harmony), networking (Nexus 9k), and hybrid cloud management software (CloudCenter) to integrate Google’s public cloud services with the customer’s local data center.

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Microsoft Pulling ahead of Amazon with its fully Managed Kubernetes Offering

By Torsten Volk on Oct 25, 2017 9:00:55 AM

Azure Container Service (now AKS where the K stands for Kubernetes) is now offers managed Kubernetes as Tech Preview. This new service provides single-line install (az aks create –n myCluster –g myResourceGroup), automated upgrades, self-healing, and scaling. Microsoft promises that the Azure control plane for Kubernetes will remain free (AWS charges for management servers), with customers only paying for worker nodes running applications. Like all other major vendors, Microsoft declares Kubernetes the winner of the container orchestrator and scheduler race and stresses its contribution to the open source project (only 37 commits, compared to 114 by IBM, 668 by Red Hat, and 1543 by Google as of October 25, 2017). Microsoft also stresses the importance of its Draft project (acquired through Deis) to make Kubernetes accessible to developers without any container experience. Today, Amazon does not offer managed Kubernetes, but it is expected that there will be an announcement in this regard at re:Invent in November.

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The Scheduler Race is Over – Why Kubernetes Won and What it Means to the Market

By Torsten Volk on Oct 19, 2017 11:51:23 AM

What Happened?

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Struggling to Turn Around – Finally Docker Announces Kubernetes Support

By Torsten Volk on Oct 18, 2017 9:27:18 AM

Docker used the picturesque setting of its Copenhagen DockerCon event to announce Kubernetes support for both, Docker Enterprise Edition and Docker Community Edition. The company plans to deliver betas for end of 2017.

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SDN and the Data Center of the Future

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Oct 16, 2017 12:42:17 PM

Despite some recent obituaries published by my peers, software-defined networking is not dead. But perhaps certain aspects of it are dead or dying. If that’s the case, I say: “SDN is dead. Long live SDN.”

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EMA Enterprise Decision Guide: Container Management in Production and at Scale

By Torsten Volk on Oct 9, 2017 11:09:24 AM

I’m excited to kick off this project, as no other topic in IT seems to have so many different aspects to consider and so many points to attack it. As, hopefully, in all our EMA research projects, we will look at this topic from all angles without any predetermined outcomes. The project will be exclusively guided by what’s best for the customer when it comes to ramping up a container strategy.

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Top 3 Guidelines for Leveraging Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to Lower OPEX and Increase Competitiveness

By Torsten Volk on Oct 2, 2017 11:40:35 AM

“Machine learning (ML) today is frustrating. There is so much potential and the algorithms are all there, but I just do not know how I can leverage it for my organization,” says the CTO of a major professional services firm. “My CEO wants me to ‘leverage ML to lower OPEX and differentiate our service offerings, but there is nothing out there in the market that would allow me to get this done in a manner that has a high probability of success.” Then of course he asks me what I would do and where I would start, because the guy with “Machine Learning and AI” in his job title must know for sure…

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Transforming End-User Support – What Does It Mean and What Is It Really About?

By Dennis Drogseth on Sep 26, 2017 3:03:33 PM

I admit, “end-user support” sounds kind of old-fashioned. But in many respects just the opposite is true. In the digital age the need for easy access to new services is on the rise, and even with a much ‘hipper’ (and increasingly impatient) end-user population, the need for support and guidance remains. It is just taking different forms than in the past.

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Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: The Promised Land for Lowering IT OPEX, Decreasing Operational Risk and Optimally Supporting Business Goals

By Torsten Volk on Sep 26, 2017 11:37:40 AM

What should machine and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) do for IT operations, DevOps and container management? The following table represents my quick outline of the key challenges and specific problem ML/AI needs to address. The table is based on the believe that ML/AI needs to look over the shoulder of IT ops, DevOps, and business management teams to learn from their decision making. In other words, every virtualization administrator fulfills infrastructure provisioning or upgrade requests a little bit differently. Please regard the below table as a preliminary outline and basis for discussion. At this point, and probably at no future point either, I won't claim to know the 'ultimate truth.'

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Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: The Promised Land for Lowering IT OPEX, Decreasing Operational Risk and Optimally Supporting Business Goals

By Torsten Volk on Sep 26, 2017 10:44:15 AM

What should machine and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) do for IT operations, DevOps and container management? The following table represents my quick outline of the key challenges and specific problem ML/AI needs to address. The table is based on the believe that ML/AI needs to look over the shoulder of IT ops, DevOps, and business management teams to learn from their decision making. In other words, every virtualization administrator fulfills infrastructure provisioning or upgrade requests a little bit differently. Please regard the below table as a preliminary outline and basis for discussion. At this point, and probably at no future point either, I won't claim to know the 'ultimate truth.'

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EMA Quick Take: Why Puppet Acquired Distelli – Kubernetes Management Is Key

By Torsten Volk on Sep 21, 2017 4:50:38 PM

 

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Prologue for EMA Research Project: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Enterprise IT and DevOps

By Torsten Volk on Sep 18, 2017 2:29:07 PM

Why are there still so many repetitive tasks in data center and cloud management today? Why does application management still contain so many manual steps? Why do most organization still suffer from automation and monitoring silos that prevent them from avoiding preventable application outages and service degradations?

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VMworld 2017 – vRealize 2017 Announcement

By Torsten Volk on Sep 12, 2017 8:14:29 AM

Accelerated Deployment and Lower OPEX

Faster time to value, lower OPEX and deeper multi cloud support are the key elements of VMware vRealize Suite 2017, as it was presented at VMworld 2017
in Barcelona. The new vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSCLM) provides
one central user interface tying together the formerly fragmented and complex deployment process for new vRealize environments. Additionally, vRSCLM enables health monitoring, product con guration, IAM integration, and simpli ed upgrades.

[embed width=500]https://youtu.be/Mk3b5UVaFIU [/embed]
Should You Care about the Release of vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager?

VMware vRealize Suite has received much criticism in the past for its complicated and too brittle deployment, con guration, and integration process. Considering that vRSCLM addresses exactly this critical issue by offering a uni ed installation wizard and a centralized operations dashboard for one or multiple vRealize Suite environments, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) can only conclude that this new release is signi cant and deserves a close look.

New Deployment Wizard

The new vRS deployment process has been simplified and reduced to the following few steps:

Select whether to import an existing vRS environment or install a new one.

The “import” option lets enterprises manage and upgrade existing vRS environments. The installation process begins as follows:

  • Review the compatibility matrix
  • Select the target version for each component
  • Pick a deployment sizeSelect target data center for new deployment
    Select the vRealize Suite license to apply directly from MyVMware.com Provide the required network details, certi cates and product parametersReview the summary and start the installation process. Due to the new pre-checks it is now less likely for the installation process to fail and in the event of failure, the installation can be resumed from the administration panel, once the root cause has been addressed.

New Operations Management Dashboard

The vRLCM admin panel provides provides a UI to manage, upgrade, and con gure all corporate vRS environments, even across data centers or clouds, through a single pane of glass. vRLCM leverages vRealize Operations (vROps) for health monitoring and root cause analysis and enables administrators to set alerts in case of con guration drift.

Upgrade preparation: Before an upgrade, admins can create a complete snapshot of the environment and view the compatibility matrix.

Upgrades through GUI or Con g File: While the rst upgrade will often be done through the UI, future upgrades could simply leverage the con guration le created through the UI-driven process.

Best practice con guration: vRLCM tracks con guration drift, enables admins to restore previous con gurations, and apply best practice architectural principles.

Leverage VMware Identity Manager: Admins can either leverage an existing installation of VMware Identity Manager or use vRLCM to install a new one.

Final Words

After the initial private cloud hype died down, the race for market leadership is on once again. EMA research shows that in 2017 private cloud is high up on the list of investment priorities for enterprises
of all verticals and sizes. Vendors who will succeed in capturing a signi cant market share have to check the following boxes:

Support any cloud, offer developer friendly APIs and provide customers with a near turn-key deployment experience. With its recent announcements –Vmware Cloud Services, VMware Cloud on AWS, and Pivotal Container Service- Vmware is doing all the right things to be successful.

And then there’s of course one thing that’s needed to juggle apps between clouds and data centers: software de ned networking, where VMware is strategically well positioned with its NSX solution.

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Network Operations and Analytics from CA Technologies has Won the EMA Innovator Award

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Sep 5, 2017 12:42:17 PM

Network Operations and Analytics from CA Technologies has been named a winner of Enterprise Management Associates’ Innovator Award, which recognizes products and services that demonstrate true innovation in the IT industry and address the most critical challenges IT organizations face today.

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VMware Goes SaaS-Ops and Multi Cloud: Launch of VMware Cloud on AWS and Six VMware Cloud Services for Consistent Data Center and Cloud Management

By Torsten Volk on Aug 28, 2017 7:45:57 AM

At VMworld 2017, VMware announced the availability of VMware Cloud on AWS and of the six initial VMware Cloud Services. VMware Cloud on AWS offers customers the long expected capability of deploying VMware's Cloud Foundation Suite of SDDC products (vSphere, NSX and vSAN) to AWS. VMware Cloud Services enable operators, developers, security experts and compliance staff to consistently deploy and operate application infrastructure across today's most popular clouds: AWS, Google, Azure and vSphere. Today, both offerings, VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Services are available from AWS U.S. West (Oregon Region), but can be used worldwide. VMware and Amazon are planning to roll out both offerings worldwide during 2018.

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VMworld 2017 – The Container Story Will be Key for VMware’s Future

By Torsten Volk on Aug 23, 2017 10:45:10 PM

VMware’s container management strategy should be seen as the key to success for this year’s VMworld. VMware needs to conclusively convince its customers that instead of doing their own thing the company is able to offer a strong value proposition based  on the fact that Kubernetes and Amazon ECS are the key container technologies to embrace. DockerCon has shown that VMware admins have realized that it is time to “learn about containers,” but VMware’s challenge today is to convince customers that Kubernetes management will not happen entirely separately from virtualization management. Even worse, Kubernetes management may not even require virtualization at all.

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VMworld 2017 Prologue 2 – Where Are the APIs

By Torsten Volk on Aug 22, 2017 10:08:25 AM

“vRealize Automation really doesn’t have an API,” says a reputable partner of a VM-ware centric consulting firm, “they say that it does, but it still does not, so I won’t tell my customers that it does.” Then he goes on in a slightly agitated manner “,also, there is no easy-to-implement orchestrator and no central queueing system to tie together all the VMware components based on dynamically changing policy-defined app requirements.” “Then finally,” he continues, “I have yet another client who asked me to come back with ‘an alternative to vRA, as my developers just don’t want vRA."

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Springpath for $320 Million

By Torsten Volk on Aug 21, 2017 10:12:51 AM

Cisco’s Springpath Acquisition Will further Boost Its EMA Top 3 Winning Hyperconverged Portfolio

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VMworld 2017 – Prologue

By Torsten Volk on Aug 18, 2017 4:18:34 PM

“Oh, I’m not coming to VMworld this year, we are at Jenkins instead.” This is a sentence I’ve heard quite a few times now from vendors that I’m used to seeing at VMworld and it makes me wonder what’s going on.

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The Internet of Things will Drive Network Management Evolution

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jul 26, 2017 3:34:24 PM

EMA research has determined that network managers will need to upgrade, expand, and adapt their network monitoring and management tools and practices if they are going to support the Internet of Things (IoT).

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EMA Top 3 Product Selection Process

By Torsten Volk on Jun 16, 2017 5:14:24 PM

(You can read more about the content of the EMA Top 3 - Enterprise Decision Guide in my first Post)

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The EMA Top 3 Report: Ten Priorities for Hybrid Cloud, Containers, and DevOps in 2017

By Torsten Volk on Jun 15, 2017 4:34:31 PM

(Click here to jump to the next part and read about how EMA selected its Top 3 products)

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HPE Project New Stack – It’s a “Free Play”

By Torsten Volk on Jun 8, 2017 1:32:07 PM

At its Discover event this week, HPE announced its own multi cloud management platform: HPE Project New Stack.

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Optimizing the Business With Network Analytics

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jun 7, 2017 3:36:32 PM

Some network operations teams are discovering that they possess a critical asset that can transform enterprises: network data.

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Q&A From How Digital Business is Shaping the Next Wave of Automation Webinar

By Dan Twing on Jun 5, 2017 8:14:06 AM

I recently presented findings from my Workload Automation (WLA) research and other EMA research on a webinar with Tim Eusterman, Sr. Director Solutions Marketing at BMC in a webinar titled “How Digital Business is Shaping the Next Wave of Automation”. The recording of the webinar is now live here, and the slides are available here.

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An Easy Button for Serverless Functions: Back& Turns Average Joe Developer into Serverless Super Hero

By Torsten Volk on May 17, 2017 10:36:52 AM

Backand provides a simplification layer that makes serverless functions approachable for the average Joe developer
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Dell EMC World – The Easy Button for Digital Transformation

By Torsten Volk on May 15, 2017 8:44:12 AM

“It feels like magic but it is technology,” and “we will help transform every company into a software company,” were the two quotes by Michael Dell that best summed up the spirit of  Dell EMC World 2017. These statements show the genuine excitement of a seasoned tech executive to attack the next challenge of his career: merging the Dell EMC brands -Pivotal, VMware, RSA, SecureWorks, and Virtustream- into one highly differentiated IT powerhouse.

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ExtraHop Addy applies cloud-based machine learning to network data

By Shamus McGillicuddy on May 7, 2017 3:36:29 PM

IT analytics vendor ExtraHop unveiled a cloud-based service that applies machine learning heuristics to the metadata that its appliances generate from packet stream analysis. The service should give users better visibility into IT service problems and security threats.

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The Open Networking Foundation’s New Direction: We Live in a Post-OpenFlow World

By Shamus McGillicuddy on May 6, 2017 3:36:32 PM

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) recently unveiled plans to redefine itself for the post-hype phase of software-defined networking (SDN). I welcome the ONF’s reset and believe it bodes well for the industry’s future.

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Redefining the Branch Office With SD-WAN

By Shamus McGillicuddy on May 5, 2017 3:36:32 PM

Editor’s Note: This blog post is sponsored by Citrix. The ideas and analysis are entirely the authors own.

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New EMA Research: 68% of Enterprises are Evaluating Containers TODAY

By Torsten Volk on Apr 27, 2017 12:59:03 PM

EMA's latest research shows that 68% of enterprises are in the process of evaluating container technologies. Why is everyone today so fascinated by containers? It reminds me of the OpenStack-mania in 2013. At the time I was convinced that VMware had set out to crush the hype, while IBM, Rackspace and a ton of VC funded startups oversold OpenStack to the highest degree. I still have my collection of USB sticks with OpenStack distributions from Piston, Mirantis and friends. Claiming that all I had to do was plugging these sticks into any piece of metal and I'd have Amazon EC2 running right under my desk was not a great idea and ultimately lead to a degree of frustration that made the Microsoft and VMware tax look attractive and ultimately turned Amazon Web Services into a $4.5 billion business.

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Full Stack Container Monitoring – A Whole New Animal

By Torsten Volk on Apr 19, 2017 11:52:20 PM

Traditional IT infrastructure monitoring focuses on hypervisor hosts, storage and VMs. Application impact is tracked through vSphere resource tagging. This simple and mostly static drilldown approach to full-stack monitoring no longer works for modern microservices based computing.

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VMware Goes DevOps: Wavefront Acquisition Brings Massive Data Analytics Capabilities for IT Operations

By Torsten Volk on Apr 18, 2017 5:21:03 PM

Wavefront could be seen as the Swiss Army knife of IT Ops Analytics tools, which makes this VMware acquisition so interesting. Infusing vRealize, Cloud Foundation and even vSphere, vSAN and NSX with Wavefront analytics would enable VMware to run, not walk, toward the Business-defined Data Center (BdDC).

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Advanced IT Analytics: Making it Simpler to Optimize What’s More Complex

By Dennis Drogseth on Apr 13, 2017 3:03:33 PM

The growing market for analytics in IT is one of the more exciting areas to watch in the technology industry. Exciting because of the variety and types of vendor innovation in this area. And exciting as well because our research indicates the adoption of advanced IT analytics supports data sharing and joint decision making in a way that’s catalytic for both IT and digital transformation.

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Microsoft Challenges Amazon and Google with Deis Acquisition

By Torsten Volk on Apr 10, 2017 1:26:33 PM

One week after the GA of Azure Container Registry and only two months after the availability of Kubernetes on Azure Container Service, Microsoft acquires Deis, the guys who make open source Kubernetes management software (Helm, Steward and Workflow), from PaaS Cloud Provider Engine Yard. The Deis slogan is “making Kubernetes easy to use.” With the Deis acquisition Microsoft obtains talent and technologies to successfully compete in the container arena. Infusing Windows, Visual Studio, Azure and OMS with easy container management capabilities is key for Microsoft to catch up with AWS and stay ahead of Google Cloud Platform.

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InterConnect 2017 – Showing off a whole New IBM

By Torsten Volk on Apr 10, 2017 1:19:45 PM

“Today, a dev team leveraging Kubernetes containers can get a cloud app up in minutes.” This statement by Arvind Krishna, IBM’s GM for Hybrid Cloud, at the beginning of his InterConnect 2017 keynote should have received a lot more recognition than it did. This one sentence shows the fundamental shift in IBM’s strategy, away from the old Tivoli-centric IT ops company and toward a modern DevOps-focused organization that is looking for differentiation up the stack. Today’s IBM encourages developers to deploy entire application environments without IT administrators even being aware.

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InterConnect 2017 – Showing off a whole New IBM

By Torsten Volk on Mar 24, 2017 10:31:12 AM

"Today, a dev team leveraging Kubernetes containers can get a cloud app up in minutes." This statement by Arvind Krishna, IBM’s GM for Hybrid Cloud, at the beginning of his InterConnect 2017 keynote should have received a lot more recognition than it did. This one sentence shows the fundamental shift in IBM’s strategy, away from the old Tivoli-centric IT ops company and toward a modern DevOps-focused organization that is looking for differentiation up the stack. Today’s IBM encourages developers to deploy entire application environments without IT administrators even being aware.

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The Business Defined Hybrid Cloud – Or Why the Software Defined Data Center Needs a Brain

By Torsten Volk on Mar 15, 2017 10:49:46 AM

Let us look at a hypothetical example to better understand the difference between the traditional bottom-up approach to hybrid cloud management and the new business-driven paradigm. In Q4 of 2016, a bank wants to gain a 3% market share in North America with its trading tools directed toward savvy end customers that are between 30 and 40 years old, have an average household income of over $100k, and live in California. After reaching the Q4 goal, this same bank sets itself the new objective of defending its IRA market share against aggressive competition in California.

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Cisco Is Turning Enterprise Pets into Scale Out Cattle

By Torsten Volk on Mar 7, 2017 11:01:31 AM

When we think back to why everyone’s favorite child named OpenStack failed so miserably to catch on in all but the largest enterprises, the conversation comes back to one central topic: OPEX. This topic consists of multiple dimensions:

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EMA Innovators of Cisco Live 2017 in Berlin

By Torsten Volk on Feb 27, 2017 1:12:26 PM

Jens Soeldner writing for iX Magazin, the largest German IT publication, and Torsten Volk of Enterprise Management Associations (EMA) have selected the two most outstanding and innovative vendors (out of 150 exhibitors) at last week’s Cisco Live event in Berlin. This EMA Innovators award crowns vendors that dare stepping outside the box to help their customers solve hard IT problems in a simpler, faster and often more cost effective manner.

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EMA Innovators of IBM Connect 2017

By Torsten Volk on Feb 23, 2017 4:43:29 PM

After three fascinating days at IBM Connect 2017, EMA crowned a very short list of vendors with the “EMA Innovators of IBM Connect 2017” award. These vendors are true game changers because they look at a traditional IT challenges from a whole new angle, which enables them to drive highly differentiated customer value. Please note that some of these vendor products might still be in an early or even experimental stage, but Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) believes that they are absolutely worth any IT professional’s time to check out.

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as the Guardians of Your Hybrid Data Center

By Torsten Volk on Feb 16, 2017 8:42:38 AM

Serverless computing, containers, IoT, DevOps, mobile workspaces and of course hybrid cloud are all technologies -and of course excellent buzzwords- with immediate impact on your organization’s security. Each one of these technologies increases the speed and agility of corporate IT, enabling your company to beat the competition. As enterprise IT complexity is exploding, this year’s RSA Conference attracted over 400 exhibitors and 45,000 attendees which makes it one of the largest IT events of the year, even bigger than the 2016 Amazon Re:Invent show.

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The Four Horsemen of the Hybrid Cloud Apocalypse – Vision of the Business Defined Data Center

By Torsten Volk on Feb 15, 2017 9:53:09 AM

EMA estimates that enterprises today waste over 50% of their IT budgets on inefficient application workload placement, configuration and management. As a side effect, they introduce tremendous operational risk in terms of security, regulatory compliance, performance and reliability.

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Cisco introduces “Digital Building” Catalyst switches for IoT

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Feb 10, 2017 5:03:17 PM

Cisco recently announced a new series of Catalyst “Digital Building” switches. These Catalyst switches are designed for connecting and powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems in smart buildings and other related environments. For example, one design innovation is the use of a separate power plate for Power over Ethernet (PoE), so even when an administrator reboots the device or updates its software, the switch will continue to deliver power to peripheral devices such as smart lighting and surveillance cameras.

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Juniper founder steps away to run new startup Fungible: What is Fungible?

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Feb 10, 2017 10:45:30 AM

What is Fungible, Inc., the new startup created by Juniper Networks’ founder Pradeep Sindhu, working on?

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Unified Endpoint Management: Bringing Multi-Device Support to the Next Generation of Business Professionals

By Steve Brasen on Jan 31, 2017 4:16:42 PM

It’s hard to believe there was actually a time before mobile devices. It wasn’t even all that long ago. In fact, this month Apple is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. While the iPhone was not the first smartphone, its introduction is credited with kick-starting the mobile revolution and initiating the “consumerization of IT,” forever changing how technology is developed, marketed, and utilized in business environments. In trying to relate these historical milestones to Millennials, I find myself more and more sounding like a crotchety old man: “Back in my day, we only had PCs—and we were glad to have ‘em, too!” Today, three-quarters of all business workers regularly use mobile devices to perform job tasks, so my nostalgic recollections of PC-only business environments are increasingly falling on disinterested ears.

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Dell EMC Opens Door to Bare-Metal Campus Switching

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:37 PM

Back when Dell EMC was still just known as Dell, its networking business staked out a leadership position by becoming the first mainstream switch manufacturer to embrace bare-metal data center switching. Now it’s moving into the bare-metal campus switching market, too.

Topics: Featured
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Avaya’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing points to a sale of its networking business

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:37 PM

Avaya will restructure its debt under the protection of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The company aims to emerge from this action intact with minimal impact on customers. However, it is very possible that Avaya will sell its network infrastructure business.

Topics: Featured
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The Software-Defined Future of the WAN

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:36 PM

Software-defined networking (SDN) exploded onto the scene five years ago with a tremendous amount of hype, but the transition from hype to reality has been a little less explosive. Most enterprises are still in evaluation mode with SDN.

Topics: Featured
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How Network Infrastructure Teams Support the Internet of Things

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:36 PM

[Editors Note: This blog post is sponsored by Infosim®, but the ideas expressed here are entirely my own]

Topics: Featured
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EdTech Networkers: Be Ready for Cloud, SDN, and IoT this Year

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:35 PM

This sponsored blog post was originally published at at HelpSystems.com

Topics: Featured
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Cisco DNA is Marchitecture, But Also a Shift Away From CLI

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:35 PM

The industry has seen plenty of marchitectures from Cisco and its peers over the years. Its newest one, Digital Network Architecture (DNA), feels different, especially after I spent a week at Cisco Live 2016. DNA is different because underneath all the slideware and demos is an apparent commitment to changing the way enterprises do networking. In other words, Cisco wants network engineers to rely less on their skills with its command line interface (CLI).

Topics: Featured
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Preparing Network Management for SDN and NFV

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:34 PM

[Editor’s note: This blog is sponsored by Infosim®, but the content is entirely my own]

Topics: Featured
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Network Managers Should be Monitoring Servers

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:33 PM

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by HelpSystems on February  2, 2016.

Topics: Featured
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Early Adopters Define SDN

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:33 PM

Greg Ferro recently blogged about how attempts to define software-defined networking (SDN) are a waste of time. He wrote:

Topics: Featured
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The Benefits of Leveraging MSPs for Performance and Security Monitoring

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jan 26, 2017 2:02:32 PM

[Author’s Note: This post is sponsored by Edgeworx. The content is entirely mine.]

Topics: Featured
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Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for the Masses

By Torsten Volk on Jan 18, 2017 1:35:25 PM

Recently, I’ve been thinking about why we haven’t come all that far in machine learning and artificial intelligence over the previous decade. Today, Keen Browne, Bonsai’s Co-founder and Head of Product, summed it up for me in a concise manner: “The tools really suck and are meant for scientists and mathematicians, not for people who work for the line of business.”

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HPE Acquires Simplivity – A $650 Million Data Virtualization Play

By Torsten Volk on Jan 17, 2017 9:10:26 PM

Today, HPE paid $650 to acquire Simplivity. HPE paid this sizeable amount mainly to acquire OmniStack, Simplivity’s data virtualization software platform. OmniStack’s central value proposition is OPEX reduction through the elimination of traditional infrastructure management tasks. In short, Simplivity enables customers to manage their infrastructure at the virtual machine (VM) – level. Please note that there will be a separate EMA Impact Brief covering this topic in much more detail.

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The Truth Behind the Scope of the Endpoint Problem in the Enterprise

By David Monahan on Jan 12, 2017 6:41:06 PM

The Evolution of the “Endpoint”
Over the past few years, the perception of what an “endpoint” is, and therefore the definition, has changed. The original perception was a user workstation independent of operating system. With the expansion of functionality, data persistence, Internet connectivity, and ultimately the threats against them, that definition no longer applies. Laptops became included, then smartphones, servers, tablets, internal file shares, and dedicated or special function devices such as point of sale terminals and processors.

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Analytical Resolutions for Technologists and Tech Teams in 2017

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2017 9:03:35 AM

Ahhh, the annual resolutions list! A time-honored tradition when we all look at the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start.

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PODCAST: Discussing Big Data, Integration and Security

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2017 9:03:34 AM

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Dos and Don’ts for the Data Scientist

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2017 9:03:34 AM

Review of Statistics Done Wrong by Alex Reinhart

Since the advent of the big data era, organizations have been crying out for data scientists. Initially it was finding the true data scientist. But as these resources were considered scarce, it was a search for people who could hand-code analytical models in a Hadoop environment.  As statistical tools such as R, Alteryx, and RapidMiner augmented Hadoop environments, we started to include traditional tools such as SAS and SPSS. These data scientists, or data scientists in training, were asked to take large amounts of data and divine the nuggets that would create a “cross-sell/up-sell” recommendation engine that would launch the next Netflix or link two disparate data sets that explain how markets interact and find the next groundbreaking investment opportunity.

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PODCAST: Cloud Data Warehousing

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2017 9:03:34 AM

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Big Data and the Data-Driven Enterprise

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2017 9:03:34 AM

 

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How the EMA HDE Information Management Layer Impacts the Growth of Analytical Platforms

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2017 9:03:32 AM

The ability to execute in a low latency time frame is a core component of the concept of next generation data management architectures such as the Enterprise Management Associates Hybrid Data Ecosystem (HDE). One of the key business drivers of the HDE is speed of response,  which stems from an organization’s drive to execute faster than their competitors to create an advantage or to be on par with those competitors to simply “keep up with the Joneses.” You see this in workloads such as cross-sell/up-sell opportunities for revenue generation. You see this in opportunities to limit costs with asset logistics and labor scheduling optimization. You see this in opportunities to limit exposure to risk in fraud management and liquidity risk assessment.

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A Tribute to IoT Device Security Researchers

By David Monahan on Jan 3, 2017 9:34:22 AM

This blog in the Internet of Things (IoT) series comes as a tribute to security researchers everywhere. The autumn’s largest security-focused show is the Black Hat Security conference. If you are not familiar with Black Hat, it is a tech conference that started in 1997 and covers numerous security topics in various presentations that are fairly to highly technical. As mentioned in the first blog in the series, IoT-like systems have been around a long time. However, researchers began paying more public attention to IoT around 2011. Visibility on the subject of the security, or lack thereof, of IoTincreased in 2011, when researcher Jay Radcliffe demonstrated that medical devices; in this case, his own automated insulin pump, could be hacked to deliver a lethal dose of insulin.1 Since that time, there were numerous other IoT hacks in various fields, including:

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Enterprise IT Predictions for 2017 – Journey to a Business-Defined Hybrid Cloud

By Torsten Volk on Dec 29, 2016 8:15:34 AM

Customers in 2017 will demand solutions to claim back today’s massive CAPEX and OPEX waste of over 50% of their total IT spend. All our 2017 predictions are directly derived from the rapidly increasing pressure to reclaim these resources and leverage them to achieve direct business advantages in today’s highly competitive and fast moving marketplace.

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IoT Enterprise Risk Report

By David Monahan on Dec 21, 2016 2:47:12 PM

ForeScout recently released an IoT Enterprise Risk Report based on research from ethical hacker Samy Kamkar. Based on Kamkar’s findings, the report on IoT security issues could readily be renamed something like, “IoT: the bane of the enterprise environment,” or “IoT brings new meaning to the term ‘Enterprise Risk’.”

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Acronym Acrobatics: Relating UEM to UEM

By Steve Brasen on Dec 6, 2016 11:14:30 AM

An unfortunate side effect of maintaining a vibrant technology subculture is an over-reliance on acronyms to describe basic concepts and solutions. For instance, to be ITIL compliant a CTO may need to invoke the ARP of a TCP or UDP IPv6 WAN to determine the DNS entry of an SMTP server for a POS system to prevent GIGO and ensure WYSIWYG. Now, if you understood that statement, you are certainly among the lucky few “in the know” and probably use these terms on a regular basis. However, if you are unfamiliar with or had to look up any of those terms, you likely recognize the core problem. While acronyms are intended to simplify complex technical conversations, they actually impede successful communication if any participants are unaware of their meaning. Sometimes acronyms are introduced to shorten long-winded technobabble; sometimes they are developed as marketing devices to create unique sounding products; and often they evolve simply because they make techno-elitists sound more knowledgeable.

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How to Unleash the Full Value of Hybrid Cloud

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:03:28 PM

In an ideal world, customers would be able to fully take advantage of the benefits of hybrid cloud by rationally matching infrastructure parameters -cost, performance, reliability, availability, security, regulatory compliance, scalability- with the requirements and dependencies of each application.

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VMware and OpenStack: A Marriage Made in Heaven?

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:00:28 PM

As we -Evan and I- were ranting last week about how OpenStack and VMware fit together (see #EMACloudRants), we were mainly focusing on the central conundrum that VMware faces within this context: “Should we support an open platform that could commoditize away a substantial part of our profitable infrastructure business or should we ignore the threat and do our own thing”

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Software Defined Storage: The Vendor Landscape – Part 2 of 2

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:00:27 PM

As promised in my previous post on “Software Defined Storage – Why Customers Should Care”, I want to follow-up with a brief overview of the competitive landscape.

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EMA Cloud Rants – Pilot Episode

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:00:27 PM

Evan Quinn and I have been collecting popular customer questions for a while and wanted to share our thoughts on these questions in the form of a new format: EMA CLOUD RANTS. Each week we will discuss one of the hot topics in enterprise IT to provide the viewer with rapid analyst insights, without any fluff. Here goes the first one:

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The State of the Software Defined Data Center

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:00:26 PM

Of course, I always encourage practitioners to carefully study the full EMA research report on the “Obstacles and Priorities on the Journey to the Software-Defined Data Center” or at least read the research study summary or at the very least join the EMA SDDC Research webinar on February 18, but I still want to briefly summarize the key findings here.

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EMA Research: Enabling Enterprise IT Management to Optimally Support Big Data

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:00:26 PM

What does Big Data mean to traditional enterprise IT? Organizations of any size and industry are becoming more and more aware of the incredible importance of capturing, managing and analyzing the data available to them. The more comprehensively companies are able to tap structured and unstructured data sources, the quicker they can refresh this data and the more successfully they make this body of data available to all business units, the better they can develop advantages in the market place. Today’s business units are demanding the rapid implementation of these big data use cases, as well as optimal resiliency, cost efficiency, security and performance.

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Software Defined Storage: Why Customers Should Care – Part 1 of 2

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 4:00:26 PM

Much marketing hype and heated discussions should be seen as excellent indicators for the fact that Software Defined Storage (SDS) is one of the hottest topics in today’s data center. Naturally, every vendor defines SDS based on their own product range, sometimes leaving customer out of the equation.

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Highlights from IBM Analyst Insights 2013

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 3:59:25 PM

As every year, IBM invited the analyst community to Stamford, CT, for a deep dialogue on today’s most important topics in enterprise IT. Here is a short overview for everyone interested in IBM’s current world view.

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Rapid Evolution – OpenStack Is Growing Up

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 3:59:24 PM

The Havana release of OpenStack was launched on October 17, about three weeks prior to the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong.  As always, there are many new features -high availability, load balancing, easier upgrades, plugins for development tools, improved SDN support, fiber channel SAN support, improved bare metal capabilities- and even two new core components, Ceilometer -metering and monitoring- and Heat -orchestration of the creation of entire application environments- to admire. Without any doubt, OpenStack is becoming more enterprise ready with each new release .

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War of the Stacks: OpenStack vs. CloudStack vs. vCloud vs. Amazon EC2

By Torsten Volk on Nov 9, 2016 3:59:23 PM

When it comes to cloud technologies, discussions often get passionate or even heated. It’s all about the “war of the stacks”, where much Cool Aid is dispensed to get customers to buy into the respective cult. This discussion reminds me of the old days of enterprise IT, where everything was about technology instead of business value. You either bought one thing or the other and then you were locked in for a half decade. Dark times.

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Making Your Service Desk Less Vocal Actually Tells You Things Are as They Should Be

By Dennis Drogseth on Nov 4, 2016 3:03:32 PM

Optimizing the end-user experience has many dimensions to it, and one key element of them is ensuring that any issues from password reset, to application access, to support for multiple endpoints by a single user—are all addressed without your users feeling that they’re queuing up at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This blog leverages EMA research to examine how a truly efficient service desk can make itself all the more effective by becoming more transparent, less verbally visible, and yet ultimately far more end-user empowering.

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How to Unleash the Full Value of Hybrid Cloud

By admin on Oct 25, 2016 1:37:52 PM

In an ideal world, customers would be able to fully take advantage of the benefits of hybrid cloud by rationally matching infrastructure parameters -cost, performance, reliability, availability, security, regulatory compliance, scalability- with the requirements and dependencies of each application.

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How to Unleash the Full Value of Hybrid Cloud

By Torsten Volk on Oct 24, 2016 12:26:50 PM

In an ideal world, customers would be able to fully take advantage of the benefits of hybrid cloud by rationally matching infrastructure parameters -cost, performance, reliability, availability, security, regulatory compliance, scalability- with the requirements and dependencies of each application.

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The Magnificent Seven ITSM 2.0 Challenges

By Dennis Drogseth on Oct 11, 2016 3:03:31 PM

This is my second blog targeting the next generation of IT service management, or ITSM 2.0. The first blog described the characteristics I see as defining ITSM 2.0. Here we’ll look more closely at the key challenges you might face in getting there from a more traditional ITSM background.

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Introducing IT Service Management (ITSM) 2.0: A Cornerstone for Digital and IT Transformation

By Dennis Drogseth on Sep 27, 2016 3:38:11 PM

Over the course of numerous deployment dialogs and multiple research projects starting with last year’s work on “ITSM futures,” I have been tracking a still largely unheralded phenomenon: ITSM teams in many organizations are evolving to take a leadership role in helping all of IT become more efficient, more business aligned, and ever more relevant [...]

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The Real Reason Apple Users Are Treated Like Second-Class Citizens

By Steve Brasen on Sep 26, 2016 3:03:15 PM

(With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy) You might be an Apple user if…

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The Top 5 IoT Lessons I Learned From Hollywood

By David Monahan on Sep 23, 2016 12:07:46 PM

In my last IoT blog, I talked about the history of IoT and the evolution of issues surrounding IoT devices. In this part of the series, we will expand on the issues around IoT and the data it collects.

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Endpoint Management and Security – More Effective as Partners than Adversaries

By Steve Brasen on Sep 2, 2016 10:59:52 AM

The primary function of enterprise IT management is to empower end users with access to technology resources that will boost their productivity and job performance. However, this focus is at odds with the core precepts of IT security which are adopted to minimize the exposure of enterprise systems, applications, and data. I recall that in a number of IT operations management adventures throughout my career, I often joked with colleagues that the most effective way to create a secure environment is to simply shut down all computers in the data center. Naturally, management executives dependent on the IT infrastructure to generate revenue were not amused by my flippancy…and even less happy that their workers had to “jump through hoops” to gain access to IT resources.

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Increased Focus on Digital Experience Management Prompts New Research- Done Jointly by Dennis Drogseth and Julie Craig

By Dennis Drogseth on Aug 26, 2016 9:11:12 AM

Digital and user experience management has been the focus of multiple EMA research studies throughout the years, both as a stand-alone topic and as part of EMA’s ongoing examination of critical trends such as digital and operational transformation, IT performance optimization, and of course application performance management (APM).  In many respects, optimizing the digital experience [...]

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The Enterprise Service Catalog—Unifying IT Services for the Digital Age

By Dennis Drogseth on Aug 26, 2016 9:11:11 AM

While service catalogs are not new, they are becoming increasingly critical to enterprises seeking to optimize IT efficiencies, service delivery and business outcomes. They are also a way of supporting both enterprise and IT services, as well as optimizing IT for cost and value with critical metrics and insights. In this blog we’ll look at [...]

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How Is Cloud Changing the Face of IT Service Management?

By Dennis Drogseth on Aug 26, 2016 9:11:11 AM

Cloud is no longer a new topic for IT, or for IT service management (ITSM). But its impact on how ITSM teams work, as well as on how IT works overall, has probably never been greater. Indeed, more and more IT organizations have been “moving to the cloud.” But understanding its relevance can’t be achieved [...]

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Effective Security Requires a Change in Mindset and the Protection Paradigm

By David Monahan on Aug 24, 2016 11:05:53 AM

Nearly every day another successful breach is reported. In 2016 alone, organizations from major governmental agencies such as the IRS and Department of Defense, to major retailers including Wendy’s, have succumbed to attack. These organizations are not alone; every major business and governmental sector has been compromised. Large tech companies such as LinkedIn and Oracle, healthcare providers including Premier Healthcare (as well as numerous hospitals), manufacturers, major educational institutions, and large financial organizations have all succumbed to either internal or external threats.

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Windows 10…One Year Later

By Steve Brasen on Aug 18, 2016 1:58:29 PM

Time flies when you’re upgrading operating systems. It has officially been a year since Microsoft introduced Windows 10 to much fanfare and approbation. Acceptance of the platform was almost immediate, with many users simply grateful to migrate away from the much-maligned Windows 8 environment. At the core of the problems with the previous edition of Microsoft’s flagship OS was that the GUI was designed to function more effectively on a tablet than on a PC, which infuriated users who had grown used to the Windows 7 look and feel on their laptops and desktops. The release of Windows 10 gave Microsoft’s core audience exactly what it wanted—a unified code base that enables the same applications to be employed on all device architectures (desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) while retaining the look and feel of the classic Windows 7 desktop that they had come to appreciate.

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IoT Devices in the Network: Can you find them?

By David Monahan on Aug 10, 2016 2:26:18 PM

In the last year or so, the topic of Internet of Things (IoT) received a lot of attention. Both the concept of the topic and scope of what should be included in IoT changed dramatically in that time. The first commercialization of IoT were wearables such as GoogleGlass. Shortly thereafter came the next wave, with devices such as smart watches. The first security concerns were focused on personal safety due to user distractions, similar to those voiced when smartphones became popular, and then came the invasion of privacy concerns. However, shortly after the first hackers got hold of them and identified attacks to gather data from them. At that point, the view on IoT expanded to recognize that the concept of IoT was actually much broader and had more significant impacts than privacy.

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Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your 1:1 iPad Education Program

By Steve Brasen on Jul 5, 2016 8:18:16 AM

There is no greater investment we can make in the future than to prepare our children to successfully navigate the challenges of tomorrow. Of course, predicting the workforce requirements of the future is a bit like trying to capture a fly with a cargo net—just when you think you have it, it slips through the holes and buzzes in a different direction. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that workforce mobility will be an essential aspect of the coming generation’s career experiences. Mobile technology is already an integral part of nearly every business role, and its use can only be expected to increase in the years to come. To help support this revolution, Apple has pledged to donate $100 million worth of teaching and learning technology to 114 underserved schools across the country and has offered special discount pricing and volume-purchase programs to all educational institutions. A large number of grade schools have embraced these financial enticements and introduced 1:1 iPad programs that provide every student with their own personal iPad to be used during the duration of a school term.

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Q&A from EMA Radar for Workload Automation (WLA): Q1 2016 Webinar

By Dan Twing on May 2, 2016 11:15:13 AM

I recently presented findings from my EMA Radar for Workload Automation (WLA): Q1 2016 report. The recording for the webinar is now live here.

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Linux on Power—Poised for Greatness

By Steve Brasen on Apr 22, 2016 11:12:45 AM

For two decades, IBM’s Power Systems family of high-performance servers has been considered the premier alternative to x86-based systems. Combining fast processing, high availability, and rapid scalability, Power Systems are optimized to support big data and cloud architectures. Popularly deployed to run IBM’s AIX and IBM i operating systems, the platform has seen stiff competition in recent years from x86-based Linux systems. In 2013, IBM responded to this challenge by investing a billion dollars into the development of enhancements to the Power line that would support Linux operating systems and open source technologies. This bold move was hailed as a strategy that would greatly improve the attractiveness of the platform and drive broader adoption.

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The Desperate Need for Accuracy and Efficiency in Security for Detecting Network Intruders and Other Threat Actors Quickly

By David Monahan on Apr 14, 2016 2:37:49 PM

According to 2015 research reports published by Ponemon, Mandiant, and others, median intruder dwell time in a target network prior to detection ranges from just under to just over 200 days. That is a little over six months and as everyone agrees, totally unacceptable.

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5 Reasons to Transition From the Dark Ages to the Digital Age With a Document Management System

By Steve Brasen on Apr 11, 2016 1:18:47 PM

We live in the digital age—or at least many of us do. Today’s IT-savvy users expect to be able to access any data, form, or record from any device at any location and at any time. However, some organizations seem to be perpetually stuck in the dark ages, relying on antiquated paper documents and physical filing cabinets for document retention. Other businesses may have documents in electronic form but lack any method for organizing them beyond just saving them to a basic filesystem. I’ve even known business professionals who store critical records in archive folders in their email package because they lack any other method for document organization. Electronic document management has never been more essential, and organizations that fail to provide adequate document support either will not be able to compete effectively against businesses that do or, even worse, will fail to meet compliance objectives and lose customers due to an inability to provide adequate support services.

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Q&A from EMA Radar for Workload Automation (WLA): Q1 2016

By Dan Twing on Mar 16, 2016 8:05:41 AM

Earlier today I presented findings from my recent EMA Radar for Workload Automation (WLA): Q1 2016 report. The recording for the webinar is now live here.

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Automation is Key to Staying in the Driver’s Seat of Your Data-driven Strategy

By Dan Twing on Feb 8, 2016 12:54:28 PM

More and more organizations are increasing the use of data in their decision making. EMA describes this as having a data-driven strategy. Recent research has revealed that almost 63% of respondents included data-driven strategies in their organization at a significant level. EMA has been tracking the growth of big data with annual research since 2012. From our 2015 research, you can see in the chart below how organizations are moving forward with their big data projects.

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2016: Looking Ahead at ITSM—Want to Place Any Bets?

By Dennis Drogseth on Jan 22, 2016 12:52:29 PM

I thought I’d begin the year by making some predictions about what to look for in 2016 in the area of IT service management (ITSM).  For those of you who have been following my blogs with any regularity, and particularly for those who sat in on our webinar for the research report “What Is the [...]

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Who Owns User and Customer Experience Management?

By Dennis Drogseth on Jan 22, 2016 12:52:28 PM

There is growing industry attention to user, customer, and digital experience management—often condensed by the acronym UEM for “user experience management.” This attention is more than justified, but most of the buzz leaves out critical questions like, “What is user experience management?”, “Who really runs (or who should run) the UEM show in the digital [...]

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PODCAST: Discussing Qlik unSummit and QlikView 12

By John Myers on Jan 5, 2016 9:03:35 AM

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HEAT Software Meets the Need for Endpoint Protection Head-On

By David Monahan on Dec 11, 2015 12:40:49 PM

In many organizations, endpoints see virtually constant change. Users access, download, and utilize applications, data, drivers, files, toolbars, widgets, etc., introducing both new security threats and undocumented changes in systems and processes. For better or for worse, all of these activities leave their mark on the endpoint.

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Best Practices for Innovating Through Cloud Technologies – Utilizing Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud

By Dan Twing on Nov 25, 2015 9:15:12 AM

Cloud computing can speed up deployment, reduce costs, and increase efficiency and connectivity. It can open up new ways to get computing work done, but more importantly, the inherent connectivity can change the way employees interact with each other and with customers. It can also change the way companies interact with suppliers and partners. The ease of standing up new apps and connecting with users through mobile devices, as well as the minimal capital investment, can spur innovation.

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The Rise of Thingbots in the Internet of Things (IoT)

By David Monahan on Nov 20, 2015 12:50:39 PM

The Internet can be a pretty scary place. Places like the dark web exist in the form of trading houses with stolen personal information from credit cards and social security numbers, to health records and full identities being obtained for a price. Malware development and deployment and other attack services such as DDoS and botnets can be rented by the hour. Recent reports indicate that DDoS attacks are increasing in both frequency and size, and the problem of botnets being used as attack networks or launch points in DDoS and other malicious activities is significant. Indications are that it will only continue to get worse.

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EMA Research Shows that Cyber Security is Achieving Executive Visibility in a Big Way

By David Monahan on Nov 20, 2015 12:50:32 PM

One of the services that EMA provides to the tech industry is research. During the course of the year, numerous projects are launched to help IT consumers and vendors understand market perceptions. EMA then provides analysis and forecasts on trends based upon those perceptions.

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Why Analytics and Automation Are Central to ITSM Transformation

By Dennis Drogseth on Nov 9, 2015 11:12:00 AM

In research done earlier this year, we looked at changing patterns of IT service management (ITSM) adoption across a population of 270 respondents in North America and Europe. One of the standout themes that emerged from our findings was the need for the service desk to become a more automated and analytically empowered center of [...]

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Digital Transformation and the New War Room

By Dennis Drogseth on Nov 3, 2015 10:42:46 AM

In August EMA surveyed 306 respondents in North America, England, France, Germany, Australia, China and India about digital and IT transformation. The goal was in part to create a heat map around just what digital and IT transformation were in the minds of both IT and business stakeholders. We targeted mostly leadership roles, but also [...]

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User Experience Matters in Self-Service Provisioning

By Steve Brasen on Oct 26, 2015 12:08:22 PM

If you’re like me, you are increasingly becoming reliant on online shopping to replace the more arduous task of physical in-store shopping. I find this is particularly true during the holiday season when the idea of fighting traffic and elbowing crowds to desperately search numerous shops in order to find just the right gift for Aunt Phillis (who’s just going to hate whatever she receives anyway) gives way to the more idyllic setting of web-surfing multiple stores simultaneously from the privacy of your home while the dulcet tones of Nat King Cole playing gently in the background lull you into the holiday spirit (a little spiced eggnog on the side doesn’t hurt either). But have you ever stopped to consider why you shop at some websites and not at others? Certainly item prices have something to do with it, as does the breadth of product selection. However, there is almost certainly a third element involved—one of which you may not even be consciously aware: The quality of the online store shopping experience directly impacts the likelihood that you (and other consumers) will purchase items on it. Websites that are friendly, professional, and easy to use are far more likely to produce sales than those that are confusing and difficult to navigate.

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Top 5 Reasons IT Administrators Are Working Too Hard Managing Endpoints

By Steve Brasen on Oct 9, 2015 10:25:18 AM

IT administration is a thankless job. Let’s face it—the only time admins gain any recognition is when something goes wrong. In fact, the most successful IT administrators proactively manage very stable environments where very few failures and performance degradations occur. Unfortunately, though, this is rarely the case, and it is far more common for admins to get stuck in the break/fix cycle of reactive “firefighting” where problems are never truly resolved and are destined to occur again. Making matters worse, increasing requirements for mobility, business agility, high performance, and high availability have substantially increased IT administrator workloads. With this kind of pressure, it’s no wonder IT professionals are frustrated.

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Running Containers Doesn’t Have To Mean Running Blind

By Dan Twing on Oct 6, 2015 2:17:15 PM

The idea of containers has been around for a long time in various forms on various operating systems. It has been part of the Linux kernel since version 2.6.24 was released in 2008. However, containers did not become mainstream until a couple years ago when Docker was first released in March 2013. Docker introduced container management tools and a packaging format, which made container technologies accessible to developers without Linux kernel expertise. By doing so Docker led the way to making containers mainstream as well as one of the hottest trends in application development and deployment because it simplified the way applications are packaged. While this has big advantages, containers are still early in their lifecycle and lack operational maturity. The ease of use with which Docker images can be created leads to image sprawl, previously seen with VMs, and exacerbates the problem of managing security and compliance of these images. Container environments do not integrate well to existing developer tools, complicating team development due to a lack of staging and versioning for preproduction and production promotion. Also, containers do not integrate with existing monitoring tools, complicating management. However, new tools are being developed targeting Docker as an application delivery format and execution environment by an ever-growing Docker community. Many of the benefits are on the development side of the house, with the promise of DevOps benefits. Running in production can be a different story.

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Are Laptops Really Mobile Devices?

By Steve Brasen on Sep 25, 2015 10:39:16 AM

When people think of IT mobility, the images most immediately conjured regard smartphones and tablets. In truth, however the mobile device landscape could be considered broader than this. The basic definition of a mobile device is simply “any computing device designed principally for portability.” By that definition, laptops should clearly be included in that scope. However, some definitions state that a mobile device must be “handheld” indicating size is a factor without actually specifying how small a device must be to achieve that designation. Regardless of size limitations, those definitions still favor inclusion of laptops since many are available with a form facture that is smaller than some of the larger tablets. Therefore, the defining descriptor for a mobile device must fall to its portability, which also happens to be the key differentiator between a laptop and a desktop PC. Logically, therefor, a laptop is, in fact, a mobile device.

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Process, Dialog, and Workflow: A Formula for Interconnection and Automation

By Dennis Drogseth on Sep 24, 2015 11:42:46 AM

As a follow-up to my previous columns on change management, I’d like to step back a little and shine a light on an even broader landscape. Here I’ll touch briefly on process, dialog, and workflow as a triad that can help IT organizations move forward toward a more efficient and potentially more business-aligned way of [...]

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Why It’s Never Too Soon to Think about IPv6 Network Management

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Sep 9, 2015 3:23:37 PM

Most network managers are still many years away from turning on Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in their enterprise local area networks (LANs). Private non-routable IPv4 address ranges can happily exist behind a network address translation (NAT) gateway for the foreseeable future. However, things could change. At any time, someone above your pay grade might [...]

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Know when it’s time to replace open source and freeware infrastructure management tools

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Aug 28, 2015 2:02:09 PM

Many small and midsized IT organizations rely on a mix of freeware and open source software to manage their infrastructure. These free tools can be effective and economical choices for smaller networks. But how do you know when it’s time to upgrade to a commercial product? Scale is one of the first indicators that you [...]

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InterMapper Application for Splunk Answers Need for Log Analytics in Network Management

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Aug 28, 2015 2:02:08 PM

You may not have noticed, but log analytics has become table stakes for network management toolsets. Last year, Enterprise Management Associates® (EMA™) surveyed network managers about the data sources that have become important to engineering and operations tasks. Log files consistently scored higher than anything else, including flow data, packet analysis, and SNMP metrics. Fifty-nine [...]

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Top 5 Reasons Custom Scripts are Putting Your Business at Risk

By Steve Brasen on Aug 25, 2015 3:09:13 PM

IT administrators love to write scripts – at least, the most talented ones do. Scripting provides a powerful platform to automate simple and repeatable tasks. However, like with most powerful tools, there is an overwhelming temptation for scripting to be overused. When faced with a project deadline, a high-pressure failure event, or even just the need to simplify day-to-day events, administrators can unintentionally create scripts that are so complex they actually put the business at risk. I must confess that during my 2 decades-long tenure as an IT administrator and engineer, I’ve written a lot of scripts…a LOT of scripts…and learned a lot of important lessons. Scripting was never intended to replace application programming. Its purpose is to provide a quick and easy resource for performing simple and repeatable tasks. It is not uncommon, however, for scripts to start simple but balloon over time into complex code that is virtually unintelligible even to its author.

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The Limits of Packet Capture

By David Monahan on Aug 19, 2015 3:42:12 PM

In preparation for my new ‘Achieving Hi-Fidelity Security’ research project, I thought I would post a relevant blog I wrote for InformationSecurityBuzz.com.

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Workload Automation: A Key Tool in a Fast Paced Tech Landscape

By Dan Twing on Aug 17, 2015 4:24:54 PM

Consumers of IT services want speed and dependability above all else. When they envision a new service, they want it built and deployed in record time. While there has always been time pressure, it has become more pressing with the consumerization of IT. Consumerization describes the emergence of IT in the consumer market which then spread to business and government organizations. Users carry their devices and expectations to the workplace and want the same instant gratification, self-service mobile access, and constant stream of new apps they experience in their personal use of technology. Combine this with business intelligence capabilities advancing big data and analytics, and you end up with digital transformation: using data, pervasive connectivity, and easy to use devices to change the way businesses interact with their customers and conduct their core activities. These trends have raised the bar on the expectations of IT to innovate as quickly as possible.

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Optimizing Change Management for Cloud, Agile, and Mobile: How the Technologies Are Evolving

By Dennis Drogseth on Aug 13, 2015 11:42:45 AM

This is the third blog in my series on change management. In the first, I examined both the processes and the use cases associated with managing change. In the second, I looked at metrics, best practices, and pitfalls. In this third blog, I’ll look at how the technologies for service modeling, automation, visualization, and self-service [...]

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Orchestrating a Symphony of Application Automation

By Steve Brasen on Aug 3, 2015 10:42:16 AM

There is a reason orchestras have a single conductor. Can you imagine the cacophony that would result if a horn section performed out of sync with a string section? Or if the percussions played a faster beat then the woodwinds?  But in IT management, it’s all too common for organizations to have separate automation platforms conducting individual software elements. In fact, this is often the cause of an increased IT complexity that results in degraded performance and reliability. For instance, SAP’s popular customer relationship management (CRM) software includes a built-in job scheduler – the Computing Center Management System (CCMS) – with some limited capabilities specifically designed to support its unique platform (such as to analyze and distribute client workloads). But this is an independent tool requiring administration and monitoring tasks separate from any other automated solutions. An average IT organization will need to manage dozens of similar management platforms, each with its own unique interface and operating parameters.

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Change Management—Metrics, Best Practices, and Pitfalls

By Dennis Drogseth on Jul 31, 2015 11:42:45 AM

This is part two of a three-part series. In part one, I addressed the question, “What is change management?” and examined change management from the perspectives of both process and use case. In this blog, I’ll look at what it takes to make change management initiatives succeed—including metrics and requirements, best practice concerns, and some [...]

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Change Management—The Big Picture

By Dennis Drogseth on Jul 20, 2015 11:42:44 AM

This is the first of a three-part series on change management. In this blog, I’ll try to answer the question, “What is change management?” from both a process and a benefits (or use-case) perspective. In the second installment, I’ll address best practices for both planning for and measuring the success of change management initiatives. I’ll [...]

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The Real Reason Your Workforce Is Not As Productive As It Should Be

By Steve Brasen on Jul 20, 2015 11:32:49 AM

Chances are, in an average day, you are not accomplishing as many tasks as you would like … and neither are your colleagues or your employees. What is mystifying about that statement is that it seems today’s workforce is putting in more hours and more effort than ever before coinciding with an increased adoption of IT devices and applications designed to improve user productivity. In fact, this has been a key driver for organizations to enable workforce mobility – to provide flexibility in accessing business IT resources (applications, data, email, and other services) from any device at any location at any time in order to improve overall business performance. But even the most accomplished business professionals must admit there are days when little gets done despite herculean efforts.

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ITSM Futures: A Closer Look at Mobile and Unified Endpoint Management

By Dennis Drogseth on Jul 8, 2015 11:42:43 AM

In my last blog, I discussed how IT service management (ITSM) roles (and rules) are becoming more operations-aware. The blog examined a number of key game-changers for ITSM, including a growing requirement for shared analytics; the rise (not the demise) of the CMDB/CMS and service modeling; cloud as both a catalyst for innovation and a [...]

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Office 365: To Cloud or Not to Cloud—That IS the Question!

By Steve Brasen on Jun 21, 2015 9:01:07 PM

It’s time to take a serious look at Office 365. The cloud edition of Microsoft’s broadly adopted business productivity suite – which bundles such popular packages as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook – has been both heavily praised and heavily criticized since its introduction in 2011. While the adoption rate of the traditional software edition of Microsoft Office is currently in no danger of being overtaken by its cloud-hosted cousin, recent adoption rates for Office 365 have substantially accelerated. Businesses, in particular, have shown increased interest in the cloud-based platform, and many are carefully considering whether to make the transition after existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) licenses expire.

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Cisco’s Big Data Analytics Vision: Some Data Will Be Distributed Forever

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Jun 12, 2015 12:26:17 PM

Champions of big data analytics extoll the virtues of massive data stores. Enterprises have so much unstructured data that could help them improve operations and generate new revenue, they say. The more bytes, the better. Some might assume that enterprises will simply push every byte they can find into a Hadoop cluster or data warehouse. [...]

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Is Your Organization Ready for Windows 10?

By Steve Brasen on Jun 5, 2015 10:18:52 AM

Here we go again. New releases of Microsoft’s flagship operating system are typically greeted with a combination of angst, curiosity, confusion, and dread in equal measure. It seems just as folks have gotten used to a particular Microsoft version, a new one is released with a completely different interface and requiring a whole new set of operational practices. Even worse, upgrading large numbers of desktops to the new edition in a large enterprise environment is a daunting task often avoided by IT operations teams until and unless it is absolutely necessary to perform a mass migration. More often, new OS platform adoption occurs due to device attrition (i.e., replacing old devices hosting old OS versions with new devices hosting the new OS version). The upcoming, late-July release of Windows 10 will likely be no exception to this.

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The Future of ITSM: How Are the Roles (and the Rules) Changing?

By Dennis Drogseth on May 28, 2015 8:09:36 AM

Both the “rules” and the “roles” governing IT service management (ITSM) are evolving to support a far-broader need for inclusiveness across IT, and between IT and its service consumers. Recent EMA research, “What Is the Future of IT Service Management?” (March 2015), exposed a number of shifting trends that might surprise many in the industry. [...]

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Open network management is the focus on spring ONUG meeting

By Shamus McGillicuddy on May 21, 2015 1:19:20 PM

The Open Networking User Group (ONUG) is a community of IT executives that are using their combined buying power to influence the networking industry. Members hail from companies such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity Investments. ONUG’s goal is to specify requirements and reference architectures for products that are open, more affordable and more agile than what vendors traditionally offer.

Over its first two years of existence, ONUG has focused on software-defined WAN (SDWAN), network virtualization overlays and network service virtualization (also known as network functions virtualization or NFV).  Last week, ONUG convened its spring meeting at Columbia University, where its focus expanded into network management and operations. ONUG introduced three new working groups that will specify open networking requirements and begin testing vendor solutions in various management areas.

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SDN and Network Management at ONUG

By Shamus McGillicuddy on May 12, 2015 9:13:36 AM

As an analyst who focuses on network management research, I am particularly intrigued by software-defined networking (SDN). As SDN architectures are deployed in data centers, local area networks and WANs, network management practices will have to evolve. For instance, SDN may make it easier for cloud administrators to provision network services and connectivity for a new application, but how do you ensure that your new programmable network remains compliant with configuration controls and policies? Is your performance management tool able to model and monitor an SDN controller? If you have traditionally relied about appliance-based load balancers and firewalls in your data center, how do you monitor and manage those network functions when they become virtualized services that are as mobile and dynamic as the workloads they serve?

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Best Practices for Maximizing Efficiencies – Governance and Optimization

By Dennis Drogseth on May 8, 2015 12:56:04 PM

In my last blog, I talked about “IT Cultural Transformation and the Elimination of Technology Silos.” That blog keyed on four key areas of advice, which also provide a useful foundation for the topic of “Governance and Optimization.” These key areas include: Standing in the middle of the storm –This means looking at the interdependencies [...]

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Rewarding Impatience with User Self-Service

By Steve Brasen on Apr 27, 2015 7:34:39 AM

There seems to be a direct correlation between how successful business professionals are and their level of impatience. While I am not familiar with any studies on this particular subject, it is simple logic that the most productive employees are those who most frequently demand rapid response to service requests. From my past experience managing and providing IT administrative support, I can attest that these individuals are usually the most irritating—constantly requesting access to new applications, data, and other business resources with expectations of an immediate response. Begrudgingly, I must acknowledge that these are the folks who are also most likely to close deals, beat deadlines, increase revenues, and win awards. In the modern world of highly competitive markets and increased organizational requirements, impatience may actually be a virtue.

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Business Process Management in the Real World — Why It’s Important to Govern Both Automated and Manual Processes

By Steve Brasen on Apr 13, 2015 10:15:12 AM

In a perfect world, all business processes would be automated and all work tasks would be accomplished with the click of a button. This idyllic work experience seems to be the realization of Plato’s utopia…or, if you prefer, the world of the Jetsons. Regrettably, however, we clearly do not live in a perfect world. Put simply, while any repeatable process can be automated, not every process is repeatable, so automation is not a practical solution in all cases. This is particularly a problem for enterprises since business productivity is almost entirely dependent on the rapid and accurate performance of business processes.

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Vectra Provides Pervasive Visibility & Analysis to Detect Cyber Attacks

By David Monahan on Apr 9, 2015 2:21:39 PM

Though cyber attacks have been around for years, in 2014 there was an explosion in the volume of attacks and a marked increase in the losses and damages they inflicted. In 2015, this does not seem to be lightening up.

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Avoiding Enterprise Mobile Management: A Futile Exercise in Procrastination

By Steve Brasen on Mar 30, 2015 9:38:31 AM

IT operations managers are cringing all around the world – desperately trying to avoid those inevitable words from their executive management: “You need to support enterprise mobility.” Their concerns are understandable. After all, IT administrators are already overtaxed with supporting desktop, server, application, and infrastructure management requirements. Asking them to layer a whole new management discipline on top of that can be a daunting prospect. IT managers who find themselves in this predicament often recognize it as an opportunity to practice the fine art of procrastination. Particularly skilled procrastinators will employ one or more of the following excuses:

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IT Cultural Transformation and The Elimination of Technology Silos—An Exercise in Efficiency or a Dream Turned Nightmare?

By Dennis Drogseth on Mar 13, 2015 12:48:19 PM

Cultural transformation and eliminating IT silos may sound like an impossible dream—and indeed, perhaps “eliminating” is too strong a word. But the reality is that IT organizations must change toward a more responsive, business-aligned culture, as well as toward a more service-aware (versus siloed) way of working. So how do you begin? A lot depends, [...]

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Developing an Information Management Strategy Within the EMA Hybrid Data Ecosystem

By John Myers on Mar 13, 2015 9:24:56 AM

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) has recognized that big data implementers and consumers rely on a variety of platforms to meet their big data requirements. These platforms include new data management technologies such as Hadoop, MongoDB, and Cassandra, but the collection also includes traditional SQL-based data management technologies supporting data warehouses and data marts; operational support systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP); and cloud-based platforms. EMA refers to this collection of platforms as the Hybrid Data Ecosystem (HDE):

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Leveraging User Activity Monitoring to Protect Information and Employees from Cyber Threats

By David Monahan on Mar 4, 2015 2:46:04 PM

Historically, many organizations and personnel have been concerned about user activity monitoring (UAM). Certain business cultures feel that these activities are an invasion of privacy or are distrustful. However, in today’s Internet connected, data driven world, having specific information or data means the difference in being a market leader and being out of business.

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Docker acquires SocketPlane for multi-host container networking

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Mar 4, 2015 2:36:21 PM

Docker Inc. acquired networking startup SocketPlane today, indicating that Docker wants to accelerate the development of networking APIs and software that will help network managers operationalize production Linux containers. Docker is a suite of open source software that helps developers and admins manage and scale their use of Linux containers. Containers offer the same resource [...]

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PFP CyberSecurity Breaks on to the Scene to Identify Malware at the Chip Level.

By David Monahan on Mar 2, 2015 11:51:59 AM

A few weeks ago, I briefed with a new company called PFP Cybersecurity, also known as Power Fingerprinting, Inc., and was so intrigued by the concept alone that I wrote a Vendor to Watch about them. They officially launched on January 26, , and currently their claim to fame is their physics-based scanning technology which monitors the electromagnetic frequency (EMF) emanations of a microchip while operating. It then compares those readings to either a previous reading or to an established manufacturer’s baseline to determine the state of the chip. There are numerous uses for the technology from supply chain chip counterfeit detection, to operational failure prediction, and most unique of all, malware detection. The scanners are useful in many environments, but especially those that are change and failure/fault intolerant like space vehicles, nuclear and other critical infrastructure environments, and multiple military and natural resource acquisitions environments because they are touchless. There is nothing to install on the system using the microchip, so no change control requests or outage windows are needed. The other interesting thing about their technology is it is disruptive to the current scanner market, costing significantly less than competing products. Their platform is that each model of chip has a different EMF/power signature. These also vary by manufacturer because of variances in raw materials sourcing and manufacturing processes. It is well known that under use conditions, especially when heat dissipation is not well implemented, the chips degrade over time until failure. (That’s the point when the ‘magic smoke’ comes out and it stops working.) The cool part for me was the concept of malware detection. Aside from the physical properties of the chip, the software running on the chip will change the output pattern because of register changes and associated changes in code execution. This means that if a probe is scanning a chip and malware installs itself, the scanner can detect it at the time of installation and alert an operator that it has happened, potentially avoiding larger impact failures and data exfiltration. This technique reminds me of classic side channel attacks on CPUs that perform encryption to attempt a key extraction based on how the various chip leads changed over time. (The key difference being those attacks required contact with the open leads.) In a sense, this technology is highly disruptive, in a positive way, to both the current scanning system suppliers because of the lower cost, and to the infrastructure and supply chains because of not only the cost, but also because of the reported accuracy. It will significantly improve supply chain verification, system reliability, and security. I am looking forward to see how they progress in the marketplace over the next few years. About PFP Cybersecurity Headquartered in Washington, D.C., PFP Cybersecurity provides a unique, anomaly-based cyber security threat detection technology that can instantly identify software and hardware intrusion including active and dormant attacks. With its innovative technology, PFP shortens the compromise detection gap to milliseconds by monitoring changes in electromagnetic frequencies and power usage. This physics-based technology can be applied to detect advanced malware and sophisticated threats in critical cyber systems. It can also detect hardware Trojans and counterfeits in the supply chain. For more information, please visit: www.pfpcyber.com

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Top 5 Trends in 2015 for Unifying PC and Mobile Management

By Steve Brasen on Feb 12, 2015 9:18:00 PM

Have you ever tried to create a major slide presentation on a tablet? Or edit a large spreadsheet? Or write a long document? Probably not. While it’s certainly possible to perform more substantial business tasks on a tablet, the small screen real estate and limited system resources (e.g., processing speed, memory, graphic support, etc.) are typically insufficient in current tablet form factors. However, carrying a laptop around with you everywhere you go just so you can access email is not very practical either. The reality is that we live in a multi-device world where the average worker employs 3 – 5 different computing devices in the regular performance of their job function. . . . and I would argue that’s exactly how it should be. Each user employs the device they prefer to optimally perform tasks at any particular time or place.

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A new analyst on the block

By Shamus McGillicuddy on Feb 10, 2015 2:36:21 PM

Hello world. I am the new senior analyst for the network management research practice at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).  My name may be familiar to some of you. Prior to 2015, I led the news team for TechTarget’s networking and telecommunications publications for seven years. Now I’m making the transition from journalist to analyst. The [...]

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