Enterprise IT Watch Blog


March 28, 2016  10:17 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/21 – 3/28)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Amazon, Cisco, Public Cloud, SDN

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Cisco image via Shutterstock

Do you agree with Cisco’s reorganization plan? Find out why it might be a wise decision in this week’s roundup.

1. Cisco reorganizing to make engineering more nimble – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

The latest Cisco reorganization has divided engineering into four units, each targeting what CEO Robbins has identified as growth areas.

2. Better late than never, Google plants its flag in public cloud market – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)

AWS remains king, but Google Cloud Platform has made strides to offer enterprise IT some enticing features to give it a second look.

3. SDN learning: Blogs to follow today – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchSDN)

The software-defined networking blogosphere is a vibrant space, with regular postings from analysts, engineers and programmers. Here are some of the top SDN blogs to follow.

4. Outbreak of ransomware attacks hit hospitals, enterprises – Peter Loshin (SearchSecurity)

A series of ransomware attacks have been reported at hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, leading to experts recommending automated backup for enterprises.

5. Amazon’s cloud faces new challenges in second decade – Trevor Jones (SearchAWS)

AWS turned 10 this month, and for the first time it faces the potential of real competition in a market that promises to be different in its second decade.

March 21, 2016  10:57 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/14 – 3/21)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
AWS, Cyberattacks, Java

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Amazon image via Shutterstock

10 years ago, AWS was born. How did it change the IT industry? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. AWS at 10: How the cloud giant shook up enterprise IT – Caroline Donnelly (ComputerWeekly)

A decade on from the launch of its first cloud service, the UK managing director of Amazon Web Services reflects on its first 10 years in business.

2. Drunk user testing changed HubSpot’s approach to UX research – Jan Stafford (SearchSoftwareQuality)

Giving a drunken UI designer a user test changed HubSpot’s UX research and UI design practices. The results were stunning, said UX designer Austin Knight at the Fluent Conference.

3. Java vulnerability report strains responsible disclosure – Peter Loshin (SearchSecurity)

A security researcher reports Oracle’s 30-month-old failed patch for a Java vulnerability, and experts suggest it was an irresponsible disclosure, despite frustration with Oracle’s patching process.

4. Prepare for a cyberattack on the power grid, Wisconsin officials say – Jason Sparapani (SearchCIO)

The state’s CIO says Americans should take the threat of a prolonged blackout seriously. For an effective response, the public and private sectors need to work together.

5. Network analytics will play a key role for IT managers – Craig Mathias (SearchNetworking)

The enterprise network is transforming with mobility and SDN, and the additional complexity means network analytics has to become a primary tool.


March 14, 2016  10:59 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/7 – 3/14)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Docker, HPE, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Unified Communications

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Cloud technology image via Shutterstock

What was the hot topic at Enterprise Connect last week? Find out why it was all about the cloud in this week’s roundup.

1. Cloud-based technology is hot at Enterprise Connect – Tracee Herbaugh (SearchUnifiedCommunications)

Vendors met in Orlando, Fla., for the annual unified communications-focused Enterprise Connect conference, where cloud-based technology was one of the most discussed topics.

2. March 2016 Patch Tuesday highlights Windows 10 security – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

Microsoft’s March 2016 Patch Tuesday release has put Windows 10 security on display for good and bad, experts say.

3. Docker Cloud pricing irks Tutum users – Beth Pariseau (SearchCloudComputing)

Beta users of the Tutum platform aren’t happy with a steep price increase, but Docker officials say to stay tuned for further pricing options this year.

4. HPE intros its first open 25 GbE top-of-the-rack switch – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has released its first 25 GbE top-of-the-rack open switch. The Altoline 6960 joins 10/40/100 GbE switches in the portfolio.

5. Gridstore HyperConverged Appliances prove fail-safe in tests – Garry Kranz (SearchVirtualStorage)

Gridstore’s all-flash HCA cluster suffered an outage during testing with no performance drop, giving the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe fault tolerance and high availability.


March 7, 2016  11:08 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/29 – 3/7)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
cybersecurity, Oracle, SDN, Unified Communications

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Cybersecurity image via Shutterstock

Do you agree with Yoran’s view on cybersecurity and encryption? Find out why he’s backing strong encryption in this week’s roundup.

1. Yoran: Solve cybersecurity challenges with creativity, encryption – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

Amit Yoran kicked off RSAC 2016 by publicly backing strong encryption, denouncing the ‘going dark’ debate and calling for more creativity in cybersecurity.

2. New UC products and services on display at industry expo – Katherine Finnell (SearchUnifiedCommunications)

Vendors will exhibit their latest UC tools at Enterprise Connect 2016, from team chat apps to virtual collaboration. Check out some of the announcements coming out of the conference.

3. Oracle VSM brings cloud backup to the mainframe – Sonia Lelii (SearchDataBackup)

Oracle upgrades its virtual tape library for the cloud. The Virtual Storage Manager system helps connect traditional mainframe storage to the cloud through tiering.

4. ONUG hosts SDN hackathon to jump-start network automation – Alissa Irei (SearchSDN)

The Open Networking User Group is hosting the first ONUG Grand Challenge Hackathon, with the goal of encouraging the development of new automation applications.

5. Mulling the network impact of the Internet of Things – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchNetworking)

This week, bloggers examine the network impact of IoT, tackle RSA Conference priorities and how to use MS Visio for network diagramming.


February 29, 2016  11:40 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/22 – 2/29)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Apple, Big Data, Cisco, iPhone, SDN, VMware

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Apple image via Shutterstock

Whose side are you on: Apple or the FBI? Check out where the lines are being drawn in this week’s roundup.

1. Lines drawn in iPhone backdoor case; Apple gets backup – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

The public debate surrounding the iPhone backdoor case heats up; Apple and the FBI clarify their messages; and Apple gets legal support from major tech companies.

2. Spotify moves to Google cloud with eyes on big data – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)

Spotify surprised industry observers by becoming one of the most high-profile cloud customers for Google, which is trying to shake the image that it can’t compete with Amazon and Microsoft.

3. Hybrid cloud benefits outweigh cons, say IBM customers – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)

Benefits of a hybrid cloud transition outweigh complex integration challenges, according to IBM execs, users and industry watchers at the company’s annual Interconnect event.

4. Cisco NFV technology targeted at mobile carriers – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

Introduced at Mobile World Congress, the latest Cisco NFV technology is an all-in-one package of computing, storage and networking infrastructure.

5. Casado departure not expected to hurt VMware SDN tech plans – Antone Gonsalves (SearchSDN)

SDN pioneer Martin Casado is leaving VMware, and analysts say the departure is unlikely to affect VMware’s SDN tech strategy.


February 26, 2016  10:18 AM

The robotic throttling of information overload

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Machine learning, Robotics

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Machine learning image via Shutterstock

By James Kobielus (@jameskobielus)

People will increasingly have to learn how to collaborate with robots in unprecedented situations. And I’m not referring to some “Star Wars” scenario where R2D2 is all that stands between Luke Skywalker and interstellar annihilation.

Machine learning is increasingly powering search-and-rescue scenarios in which intelligent machines—such as drones—team with human agencies, such as the military and police. In the previous sentence, I used the active voice—“team with”—rather than the passive “are controlled by” to signify the fact that the robotic agents will increasingly be capable of autonomous or semi-autonomous capabilities.

This distinction will be increasingly important in emergency response situations in which events unfold too fast for human controllers to make the right decision, but in which the machines might—based on sensor-driven real-time and predictive algorithms—act first to save lives or nip potential catastrophes in the bud. There might even be scenarios where the robots take action first while delaying the communication of selective pieces of information from human team members, or even withhold it entirely, when there’s a significant risk that the people in question might inadvertently jeopardize the desired outcome by misinterpreting or misapplying the information.

What I’ve just sketched out is a human-machine communication scenario that popped into my mind as I read this recent article on an MIT research project that’s applying algorithmic approaches for reducing communications overload in human-robot emergency response teams. Essentially, it uses machine learning to identify when it’s best for rescue robots to suppress some of the chatter they communicate to human collaborators, on the grounds that these communications not only pose a cost on the machines themselves (processing, memory, bandwidth) but also might drown the humans involved in so much informational noise that they’ll have trouble identifying the gist of what they need to do.

In other words, it’s a project that’s developing approaches under which robots might need to operationally divulge information to humans on a “need to know” basis, or, conversely, withhold information. Though the team-effectiveness rationale for this makes perfect sense, it raises an uncomfortable question: In scenarios where robots are using the “need to know” criterion to algorithmically throttle the information they provide to humans, will we ever be able to trust them entirely? Even though their algorithmic hearts may not be lying to us, is their failure to be entirely candid and transparent in all circumstances a trust-killer?

Humans, of course, also engage in “need to know” communication throttling under similar circumstances. But that doesn’t always destroy the mutual trust that’s essential to team effectiveness. Recognizing this, the researchers have used machine learning to find communication-throttling patterns within 100 percent human teams engaging in equivalent (albeit virtual) rescue missions. They will use the results to build the interaction logic that guides robots in these same scenarios.

But the fact that some robots will be capable of autonomous operation means that they will have the power, under pre-programmed circumstances, to act first, perhaps without asking for explicit permission, and then explain their actions later. What that will mean operationally is that we’re creating a world where, under some emergency circumstances, our robotic team members may briefly have more knowledge than we do about what’s going on, even though we’ve programmed them for total candor.

There may simply be no time for them to explain or ask permission when lives are hanging in the balance. And if they had to wait for us to comprehend the urgency of the situation, those lives may be lost.

We will need to trust them to do the right thing and then report back to us when the situation has stabilized.


February 22, 2016  10:32 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/15 – 2/22)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Cisco, Data Center, Internet of Things, OpenStack

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Data Centers image via Shutterstock

Why are more data centers moving to Canada instead of staying in the United States? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. Privacy, power concerns drive Canadian data center growth – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)

One U.S. city has more data center space than all of Canada, but some data centers are being lured up to the ‘True North’ by inexpensive power and privacy concerns in the U.S.

2. OpenStack adoption stays niche with new deployment prospects – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)

To boost OpenStack adoption, the open source project continues to push into new areas. But are disparate projects and users’ competing needs creating friction in the community?

3. RSA Conference 2016 preview: IoT and encryption take center stage – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

The Internet of Things once again dominates the agenda at RSA Conference 2016, but experts say there will be other hot topics, including the growing debate between IT and the government over encryption backdoors.

4. Largest paint producer in U.S. eliminates work voicemail – Tracee Herbaugh (SearchUnifiedCommunications)

The largest paint producer in the U.S. eliminated work voicemail for roughly 800 employees at its corporate office because of declining popularity among workers.

5. Cisco next-generation firewall marks improvements – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchNetworking)

The Cisco next-generation firewall, Cisco FirePower, deploys improvements to make the system more ‘threat-focused.’


February 15, 2016  11:01 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/8 – 2/15)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Cisco, cybersecurity, Symantec, Verizon

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Verizon image via Shutterstock

Are you surprised Verizon is shutting down its public cloud offering? Find out what happened in this week’s roundup.

1. Verizon Cloud joins casualty list amid public IaaS exodus – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)

Two years after launching Verizon Cloud with lofty ambitions, Verizon this week quietly told customers it plans to shut down its public cloud offering.

2. Study: IT staff pressured to buy useless cybersecurity products – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

A new study found that IT managers feel pressured to purchase new cybersecurity products even if they don’t have the skills to implement the technology properly.

3. Cisco earnings show slowdown in data center tech buying – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

Besides higher revenue and profits, Cisco earnings also showed that volatility in the global markets had caused tech buyers to reduce spending in the data center.

4. President: We’re moving VCE converged infrastructure up the stack – Ed Scannell and Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)

IT pros increasingly want to buy infrastructure and not build it, says president of VCE Chad Sakac, as he outlines plans for the company’s converged infrastructure products.

5. Veritas Enterprise Vault updated after Symantec sell off – Carol Sliwa (SearchStorage)

Veritas Technologies updated Enterprise Vault and Data Insight with enhanced classification, review and workflow capabilities and beefed-up Box support.


February 8, 2016  11:19 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/1 – 2/8)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Container, Data Center, Oracle, SDN

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Cloud container image via Shutterstock

Who will win the battle of cloud containers: Amazon or Google? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. Cloud containers race heats up between Amazon and Google – Beth Pariseau (SearchCloudComputing)

The heaviest hitters in Docker Linux cloud containers are still Amazon and Google, whose battle is reaching a fever pitch, as Microsoft Azure gears up to join in.

2. OCP making friends outside the Facebook data center – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)

The Open Compute Project is like buying supermarket store brands — you still get what you want without the high price in your data center.

3. Microsoft SDN stack to challenge Cisco, VMware – Antone Gonsalves (SearchSDN)

Microsoft is preparing to release a Windows Server SDN stack that could make the company a rival to Cisco and VMware in software-defined networking.

4. Former CIA/NSA director Hayden supports strong encryption – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

Former CIA and NSA director General Michael Hayden came out in favor of strong encryption but representatives in Congress and the Senate are continuing to pursue encryption backdoor legislation.

5. Oracle’s first cloud program aims to sign thousands of partners – Lynn Haber (SearchCloudProvider)

Oracle’s four-tier cloud initiative underscores the company’s push to put its cloud strategy into action; the vendor hopes at least 20% of its partner base will apply.


January 31, 2016  7:54 PM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (1/25 – 2/1)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Cloud Computing, SSH, Virtual networking, VMware

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VMware image via Shutterstock

How will VMware react to the Dell-EMC deal? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. Dell-EMC merger weighs on VMware fortunes – Ed Scannell (SearchServerVirtualization)

As the Dell-EMC deal looms large, VMware will retool its cloud strategy, led behind private to public cloud migrations.

2. Expect growth higher up the cloud stack in 2016 – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)

IT analysts expect markedly increased adoption in 2016 across all layers of the cloud stack, with IaaS leading the growth and higher-end services becoming more attractive.

3. VMware’s NSX virtual networking software ready for the cloud – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

VMware plans to release this year a new version of its NSX virtual networking software. The product will connect enterprise data centers to public clouds.

4. Fortinet SSH vulnerability more widespread than thought – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

Fortinet denies that a vulnerability found in many of its products is a true backdoor, but finds that the flaw is more widespread than once thought.

5. Report highlights growing role for location-mapping software – Ed Burns (SearchBusinessAnalytics)

A new report from Dresner Advisory Services says businesses see increased value in location intelligence software, but products need to improve.


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