Enterprise IT Watch Blog

April 3, 2017  6:51 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/27 – 4/3)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Cisco, Encryption, IBM, SAP

Conference room image via FreeImages

What impressed you the most at IBM InterConnect 2017? Check out the top news from this year’s event in this week’s roundup.

1. Tech jobs for all, robots and fighting fake news at IBM InterConnect 2017 – Jason Sparapani (SearchCIO)

Alongside pitches for state-of-the-art technologies at the tech company’s Las Vegas show was a call for young women in technology and distinguishing the funny from the phony.

2. Experts debunk strong encryption claims by FBI’s Comey – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

FBI director James Comey clearly laid out his views on strong encryption and urged more conversation, but experts say his arguments fall flat and may even be misleading.

3. Cisco using Spark hybrid hardware to nudge customers to the cloud – Antone Gonsalves (SearchUnifiedCommunications)

Cisco unveiled at Enterprise Connect Spark hybrid video conferencing to help companies move to the cloud. The new Room Kits run off Spark or on-premises gear.

4. SAP CEO Bill McDermott touts the intelligent enterprise – Jim O’Donnell (SearchSAP)

In a roundtable at SAP Ariba Live 2017, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger discuss the intelligent enterprise and how it will transform businesses.

5. Oracle cloud storage embraces ZFS Storage Appliance – Carol Sliwa (SearchCloudStorage)

New Oracle operating system update enables ZFS Storage Appliance to transfer file- and block-based data to Oracle Storage Cloud without an external cloud gateway.

March 27, 2017  7:16 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/20 – 3/27)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Artificial intelligence, Collaboration, Encryption, IBM

Encryption image via FreeImages

Where do you stand on the encryption debate? Check out FBI Director James Comey’s views in this week’s roundup.

1. Encryption debate needs to be nuanced, says FBI’s Comey – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

FBI Director James Comey brought the encryption debate back to the forefront by asking for a ‘nuanced and thoughtful’ conversation on the topic before there is a serious attack.

2. Latest collaboration products on display at Enterprise Connect 2017 – Katherine Finnell (SearchUnifiedCommunications)

Vendors will exhibit their latest UC products at Enterprise Connect 2017, from collaboration tools for huddle rooms to apps that support enterprise mobility.

3. IBM cloud dreams soar on the wings of AI, open source – Ed Scannell (SearchDataCenter)

Hoping to play catch-up with its web services archrivals, IBM has rolled out a raft of products and services fueled by AI and open source.

4. Future of SAP Ariba Network on display at SAP Ariba Live – Jim O’Donnell (SearchSAP)

SAP Ariba Live shows enhancements to procurement software and looks at the future of the SAP Ariba Network, including machine learning, AI, bots and blockchain.

5. AI advances can slow a Salesforce cloud migration – Jesse Scardina (SearchSalesforce)

Showing incremental improvement and investing over time are keys to successful cloud implementations, especially in government.


March 20, 2017  6:25 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/13 – 3/20)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Data Center, HPE, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Security, Storage

Hacker image via FreeImages

From hackers to vulnerabilities – it was a big week for security news. Check out all the coverage in this week’s roundup.

1. DOJ indicts suspected Yahoo hackers from Russia; extradition unclear – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted four men — including two Russian Federal Security Service officers — accused of being the Yahoo hackers, but only one person was arrested.

2. Microsoft plugs zero-day SMB vulnerability on March Patch Tuesday – Dan Cagen (SearchWindowsServer)

After Microsoft skipped February Patch Tuesday, it released 17 updates in March, including a long-awaited patch for a zero-day Server Message Block vulnerability.

3. Workspace suites wait for IT to catch up – Colin Steele (SearchEnterpriseDesktop)

Workspaces give users the data, desktops and apps they need on any device. But too much of a good thing may not be so suite.

4. Bumpy ride predicted as HPE storage absorbs Nimble SANs – Garry Kranz (SearchStorage)

Merging the Nimble Storage product line with HPE gear and engineering teams creates overlap and competition for its R&D budget. Other storage startups see an opening.

5. Prepare for smart data center scenarios in IoT, colo – Erica Mixon (SearchDataCenter)

Smart technologies can automate and simplify the data center — but only if you prepare for their implementation. Learn how to transition smoothly from legacy hardware.

March 13, 2017  6:00 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (3/6 – 3/13)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Analytics, AWS, iot, Security, Windows 10

Operating system via FreeImages

Has your organization migrated over to Windows 10? Find out why migration plans have stalled for many businesses in this week’s roundup.

1. Windows 10 migration plans hit a wall – Ramin Edmond (SearchEnterpriseDesktop)

Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade offer boosted adoption last year. But now, without that incentive, businesses are holding onto Windows 7 for as long as they can.

2. FBI chooses to protect Tor vulnerability and dismiss child porn case – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

The Department of Justice dropped a child pornography case in order to avoid disclosing a Tor vulnerability; dozens more cases potentially affected.

3. AWS S3 outage: Channel partners mull redundancy options – John Moore (SearchCloudProvider)

Channel partner executives and industry observers consider redundancy options in the aftermath of Amazon Web Services’ recent Simple Storage Service outage.

4. City CIOs debate the merits of the IoT-powered smart city platform – Nicole Laskowski (SearchCIO)

Smart city projects often begin as a one-off. Now, city CIOs face the challenge of knitting it all together.

5. Analytics teams give data science applications real scientific rigor – Craig Stedman (SearchBusinessAnalytics)

Data scientists at companies such as LinkedIn and Cisco are applying aspects of the scientific method to data mining and analysis initiatives to try to make sure they get valid results.

March 6, 2017  7:56 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/27 – 3/6)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Amazon, AWS, CIO, Open source, Yahoo

Cloud image via FreeImages

What should CIOs do after an event like last week’s Amazon cloud outage? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. Amazon cloud outage: A CIO survivor’s guide – Jason Sparapani (SearchCIO)

Industry watchers sound off on cloud worries following Tuesday’s disruption. Also in Searchlight: FCC issues stay on privacy rule; Wendy’s will serve up self-ordering kiosks.

2. Microsoft open source efforts draw praise – Ed Scannell (SearchWindowsServer)

Industry observers are buying into Microsoft’s attempts to reach new users, as the company builds support for Linux and other open source technologies in its offerings.

3. Employees knew about Yahoo security breach years ago, per new SEC filing – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

A new SEC filing details who knew about the major Yahoo security breach in 2014, but experts are confused by the repercussions of the announcement.

4. A low-code/no-code app makes a splash on iTunes – Valerie Silverthorne (SearchSoftwareQuality)

Low-code/no-code platforms are largely targeted to business users. No-code platform maker Appy Pie is trying to change all that. And so far, it’s had an iTunes hit.

5. AWS disruption wreaks havoc for Amazon S3 users – Trevor Jones (SearchAWS)

An AWS disruption Tuesday was the longest and most impactful downtime for the public cloud provider in years, as S3 became unresponsive in a major data hub.

February 28, 2017  11:38 AM

Don’t let Agile methods undermine data science

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Agile, Data Science

Data science image via Shutterstock

By James Kobielus (@jameskobielus)

Science isn’t a mad dash to enlightenment. Instead, it usually involves tedious, painstaking, and methodical slogs through empirical data by researchers seeking confirmation of precisely scoped hypotheses.

You shouldn’t trust scientific findings unless they’ve been independently reproduced. To confirm someone else’s findings, an independent researcher needs to know precisely how those results were achieved in the first place. If, however, the original researcher failed to document their procedures in precise detail, neither they nor anybody else can be confident that what they found can be reproduced at a later date by themselves or anyone else.

When scientists use Agile methodologies, there’s every incentive to skimp on documentation in the interest of speed. The essence of agile is that self-organizing, cross-functional teams sprint towards results in fast, iterative, incremental, and adaptive steps. Considering that methodological improvisation is the heart of this approach, it’s not surprising that teams that follow agile principles may neglect to record every step in the winding journey they took in achieving desired outcomes. If they’ve failed to maintain a detailed audit trail of their efforts, they may inadvertently undermine later efforts to reproduce their discoveries.

If data scientists wish to deserve the title of “scientist,” they can’t turn a deaf ear to the need for reproducibility of findings. Unfortunately, reproducibility is seldom a high priority in data science initiatives, especially those who are caught up an agile scramble for some semblance of statistical truth. As Daniel Whitenack says in this recent O’Reilly article, “Truly ‘scientific’ results should not be accepted by the community unless they can be clearly reproduced and have undergone a peer review process. Of course, things get messy in practice for both academic scientists and data scientists, and many workflows employed by data scientists are far from reproducible….At the very best, the results generated by these sorts of workflows could be re-created by the person(s) directly involved with the project, but they are unlikely to be reproduced by anyone new to the project or by anyone charged with reviewing the project.”

In order to ensure that reproducibility isn’t undermined by agile methods, data scientists need to ensure that their teams conduct all their work on shared platforms that automate the following functions:

  • Logging of every step in the process of acquiring, manipulating, modeling, and deploying data-driven analytics;
  • Versioning of all data, models, and other artifacts at all stages in the development pipeline;
  • Retention of archival copies of all data sets, plots, scripts, tools, random seeds, and other artifacts used in every iteration of the modeling process;
  • Generation of detailed narratives that spell out how each step contributed to analytical results achieved in every iteration; and
  • Accessibility and introspection at the project level by independent parties of every script, run, and result.

Of course, some data scientists might argue that training their models from fresh data is a form of reproducibility. In other words, iterative training of models shows that the features and correlations identified on prior runs are still valid predictors of the phenomena of interest. But training does not address the following concerns that stand in the way of true reproducibility of data-scientific findings:

  • Training may not flag circumstances in which a statistical model has been overfitted to a particular data set, a phenomenon that limits the reproducibility of its predictions in other circumstances.
  • Training may simply confirm that the model has identified key statistical correlations, but may obscure the underlying causal factors that could be confirmed through independent reproduction.
  • Training doesn’t address the need for interpretability of the results by independent parties, which ensures that the reproduced findings are not only statistically significant but also relevant to the application domain of interest.

For all these reasons, data scientists should always ensure that agile methods leave a sufficient audit trail for independent verification, even if their peers (or compliance specialists) never choose to take them up on that challenge.

Reproducibility is the hallmark of professional integrity, being grounded in a commitment to the quality, transparency, and reusability of one’s work. At the data-science community level, reproducibility can be the greatest agility enabler of all. If statistical modelers ensure that their work meets consistent standards of transparency, auditability, and accessibility, they thereby make it easier for others to review, cite, and reuse it in other contexts.

Science is, after all, an iterative process in which an entire community of data-driven investigators systematically probe their way closer to the truth.

February 27, 2017  12:08 PM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/20 – 2/27)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Azure, Compliance, cybersecurity, HIMSS

Web security image via FreeImages

How should business and federal government cybersecurity policies differ? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. Cybersecurity policies take center stage at RSA 2017 – Eamon McCarthy Earls (SearchNetworking)

This week, bloggers look into cybersecurity policies presented at RSA 2017, how to confront hybrid cloud challenges and the meaning of the SMS-Curvature merger.

2. Microsoft commits to GDPR compliance in the cloud by 2018 deadline – Peter Loshin (SearchSecurity)

Microsoft vows GDPR compliance in all cloud services when enforcement of the new EU data privacy regulation begins in May 2018, but companies still must take action to avoid fines.

3. Azure Stack appliance choices widen, as pricing questions linger – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)

Azure Stack will have a fourth appliance option when it becomes generally available later this year, but questions about pricing continue to emerge.

4. Kubernetes on Azure hints at hybrid cloud endgame – Beth Pariseau (SearchCloudComputing)

Microsoft’s Azure container strategy could take hybrid computing to an entirely new level and help launch both technologies into more mainstream waters.

5. HIMSS 2017 buzz ranges from patient engagement to AI, machine learning – Shaun Sutner (SearchHealthIT)

The busy floor and outskirts of HIMSS 2017 were abuzz with hot health IT topics ranging from patient engagement and care collaboration to AI and machine learning.

February 20, 2017  9:29 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/13 – 2/20)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
Cisco, cybersecurity, Google, SAP

3d illustration of computer technologies. Concept server station
Security image via FreeImages

What should the next cybersecurity policy look like for the new presidential administration? Check out some of the suggestions in this week’s roundup.

1. Experts debate national cybersecurity policy suggestions at RSAC 2017 – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

Experts at RSAC 2017 discussed national cybersecurity policy suggestions for the new presidential administration, including what to do about encryption and the DHS mission.

2. Cisco revenue continues to fall from weak sales in switches, routers – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

Cisco revenue dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter due to declining sales of switches and routers. The company is expected to counter the drop with more acquisitions of network software makers.

3. SAP S/4HANA Cloud deepens vendor’s cloud offerings – Jim O’Donnell (SearchSAP)

SAP S/4HANA Cloud was unveiled at the Capital Markets Day event; ‘next-generation intelligent’ ERP aims to give large enterprises a cloud option for S/4HANA.

4. Tech trends in 2017: A legal view – Jason Sparapani (SearchCIO)

Data regulations, blockchain and the popularity of Agile will have a significant impact on organizations’ technology partnerships and contracting, according to law firm Mayer Brown.

5. New Google cloud database service brings scale, data consistency – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)

Google’s Cloud Spanner may be years from broad adoption, but could represent a big step toward maintaining consistency across the globe with massive data sets in the public cloud.

February 13, 2017  9:10 AM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (2/6 – 2/13)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
AWS, cybersecurity, Data Center, Storage

Plane image via FreeImages

Over the past few months, several airlines have come under scrutiny due to several data center outages. Have they finally made progress? Find out in this week’s roundup.

1. Lessons learned from data center outages, but still a long trip ahead – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)

The hits keep on coming for the airline industry, with several more IT outages that have stranded angry passengers in recent months. Are there any new lessons for IT pros?

2. Trump tells White House cybersecurity officer, ‘You’re fired’ – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

Rumors have been confirmed that President Trump has fired the White House cybersecurity officer in charge of making sure he and his staff are not hacked.

3. Cisco joins Microsoft in providing Azure Stack services in UCS server – Antone Gonsalves (SearchNetworking)

Cisco and Microsoft have worked together in delivering Azure Stack services through Cisco’s UCS server. The new product ships in the third quarter.

4. The data storage industry will turn upside down in 2017, or will it? – Rich Castagna (SearchStorage)

Rich Castagna reviews the prognostications offered by data storage vendors on the future of data storage technology in 2017.

5. AWS IPv6 support answers call for IP address space – David Carty (SearchAWS)

IPv6 is not new, but the proliferation of the internet of things creates new demand for the protocol. And AWS has responded in deliberate fashion.

February 6, 2017  2:58 PM

TechTarget’s weekly roundup (1/30 – 2/6)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh
cybersecurity, Data Center, Oracle, salesforce

Security image via FreeImages

What do you think should be included in any potential cybersecurity executive order? Check out what several experts think in this week’s roundup.

1. Experts debate effects of government cybersecurity executive order – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)

A leaked version of a draft of a government cybersecurity executive order from President Trump has experts debating the effects such an order would have.

2. Slack Enterprise Grid needs more than tech to beat Microsoft Teams – Antone Gonsalves (SearchUnifiedCommunications)

The new Slack Enterprise Grid has the technology basics for business. But winning large enterprise deals will require a better strategy against Microsoft.

3. Oracle cloud licensing requirements doubled for AWS, Azure users – Adam Hughes (SearchOracle)

Oracle has updated its cloud licensing policy, and the result doubles the processor license requirements for customers on the AWS and Azure platforms.

4. How Salesforce AI aims to change everyday business – Lauren Horwitz (SearchSalesforce)

The Salesforce flavor of artificial intelligence, Einstein, is trying to bring practical productivity to everyday tasks, but can it prevail over long-standing competition?

5. Advisory board: Learn from these top data center challenges – SearchDataCenter Advisory Board (SearchDataCenter)

For many, time is the ultimate teacher. Explore the top data center challenges and lessons learned from our advisory board members in 2016, and how they plan to move forward.

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