What happens when a bored IT admin meets a hotel Wi-Fi network that does not want to cooperate?
Recent security breaches are so egregious and so truly detrimental to the bottom lines of some really well-known brands that they’re — ironically — becoming decreasingly effective cautionary tales about security. The spin machine is in full swing, and any time lawyers and PR get involved, takeaways for network administrators are lost.
Far better is to search out personal examples of network security misadventures we encounter during the course of our everyday lives. And this holiday season, while on the road visiting family for Christmas, I found something really juicy. It’s also unfortunately something all too common in our enterprise networks, especially when we’re standing up branch office infrastructure.
Global-scale scandals around sensitive data losses have highlighted the need for effective data protection, especially from insider attacks. Data masking, which is focused on protecting data from insiders and outsiders, is a must-have technology in enterprises’ and governments’ security portfolios.
Data masking (DM) is a technology aimed at preventing the abuse of sensitive data by giving users fictitious (yet realistic) data instead of real sensitive data. It aims to deter the misuse of data at rest, typically in nonproduction databases (static data masking [SDM]), and data in transit, typically in production databases (dynamic data masking [DDM]).
SDM for relational databases remains the most demanded technology, and, in this research, we highly value vendors’ ability to execute in the SDM space (that is, to demonstrate maturity, quality and scalability of SDM technology, as well as the high revenue from and broad adoption of it). From a visionary’s viewpoint, we highly value vendors’ ability to offer DDM, the masking of the big data platform and suites with multiple data security technologies.
Why are traditional development and deployment processes unfit for the demands of the modern software lifecycle? Let’s count the reasons:
Approaches that work for 18-month release cycles do not work for new, shorter cycles
Manual processes are too error-prone and inefficient
More people would need to be added to keep up with release
To do more with less while producing higher quality software, savvy organizations are creating more collaborative teams to balance business, development, operations, and testing. This approach is called Dev Ops.
In this informative resource, learn more about the DevOps approach, and explore the benefits you could experience by switching to automated release and deployment, including a faster pace of delivery, better management of complexity, and adherence to regulations and audits.
Despite more than one billion Android smartphones in circulation worldwide, smartphones and tablets are “underutilized in the workplace,” lamented Rajen Sheth, director for product management of Android and Chrome for Work, in a blog post on Wednesday.
Android certainly has a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) presence on its own, with other mobile device management (MDM) platforms already being widely deployed, such as Samsung Knox or VMware-owned AirWatch.
Now Google is going further on its own while still touting its Android ecosystem and partner community through an Android for Work program unveiled on Wednesday.
For the best of both worlds on a single device, Android for Work can be utilized to establish “work profiles” on a smartphone or tablet.
IT departments can deploy and manage approved apps to these profiles, securing them through default encryption, enhanced SELinux security enforcement and multi-user support baked into Android 5.0, a.k.a. Lollipop.
Employees can continue to use their own personal apps and profiles with the promise that their employers can only manage work data but not view or erase personal content.
To encourage productivity even further, Google has built in a suite of business apps for email, contacts and calendar, supporting Microsoft Exchange as well as Notes for editing capabilities on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
At the moment, Google is partnering with a number of other tech giants, from device makers to network infrastructure providers to management software and app makers to launch Android for Work. Among them include Cisco, Salesforce.com, Box, and SAP as well as dozens of other familiar brands.
Google is courting software developers with a more streamlined approach to enterprise app development, touting they only have to create a single version of any Google Play app, which can then be deployed to any Android device without alterations. Developers can also establish standard management configurations for IT policies on each app.
Are Android smartphones finally poised to conquer the enterprise?
Android has long ruled the consumer smartphone market – but can it make an impact on the business market too?
Android for Work started to take a firmer shape at Google’s annual developer summit I/O last June as the Internet giant started to blur the lines between its mobile platform and other cornerstone OS, Chrome.
Android Work for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) was designed to help IT administrators publish work apps on Google Play while also limiting access to users in a designated organization.
In November, Google took the next step by following up on its springtime acquisition of enterprise BYOD startup Divide.
Founded in 2010 by former Morgan Stanley mobile IT executives, Divide offered a service touted to both comply with corporate BYOD policies without compromising individual employee privacy and freedom with said devices.
Google took Divide on a new direction by placing it under a special “IT Preview” program in which the device running the app must first be enrolled in specific enterprise MDM platforms.
To access Divide Productivity Preview, users needed to sign up for the invite-only Android IT Preview Program, then already supported by many of those now under the Android for Work umbrella, such as VMware, Citrix, IBM and MobileIron, among others.
All Android for Work capabilities will be delivered through enterprise mobile management partners. More providers are expected to be announced soon.
According to TechTarget’s 2015 IT Priorities Survey, 44% of enterprises are planning network management projects this year.
Andy McInerney was on vacation, relaxing at the beach, when an alert popped up on his smartphone. It was work.
McInerney, the data network and voice manager at Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., read the email from a colleague in his company’s Houston office. They needed help. A rogue device on the network had been shut down, but staff members requested that access be restored to it for a meeting that afternoon.
McInerney fired up Cisco’s Meraki mobile app on his phone, accessed his network management dashboard and, within minutes, reinstated connectivity for the unauthorized device in the Houston office’s conference room. With just a few taps on a smartphone screen, the crisis of the day was resolved. McInerney resumed his vacation without further interruption.
“I can literally manage the network from my cell — from that little form factor, which I would never really do [as a standard practice]. I’ll use an iPad or MacBook if I’m home. But the point remains that I can be anywhere with Internet access and manage my 45 offices,” McInerney said. “They’re always reachable. My switches, my APs and my firewalls are always reachable.”
The fact that McInerney can oversee his network from anywhere reflects the extent technology has reshaped network management. But it also reflects the importance administrators and executives place on network monitoring and management, as demonstrated by TechTarget’s 2015 IT Priorities Survey.
The study, which polled 2,212 IT professionals worldwide, found that network monitoring and management projects tied for first place – with disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity — as the top IT initiative for 2015. A total of 44% of respondents selected those projects as ones they would pursue this year — up from 41% last year and 39% in 2013.
In Penn Mutual’s case, the insurer deployed Meraki’s network equipment throughout its LAN, WAN and wireless LAN (WLAN) in 2013 as part of a broader effort to add more flexibility and visibility to its network. It’s a goal shared by many enterprises trying to find smarter ways to manage networks that are being thrown curveball after curveball — everything from cloud computing to bring your own device initiatives.
Management is further complicated by the blossoming of “hybrid” operating models, which could mean a hybrid cloud computing environment, a hybrid of wired and wireless networking, a hybrid of corporate-owned and personal mobile devices, or all of the above, according to Amy DeCarlo, a principal analyst at Current Analysis. All of those things are putting pressure on network managers to implement new tools and best practices that help them keep up with more diverse network requirements.
“There are so many changes happening quickly, and IT managers are looking for something better than what they had in place. Their expectations are higher because the expectations on them are also higher,” DeCarlo said. “Sometimes it doesn’t necessarily involve big investments, but it may involve thinking strategically about specific elements in the network, having the right tools in place and having some way to integrate them so it’s a much more manageable environment.”
The fact that network management and monitoring share first place with DR and business continuity is also revealing, she added.
I was recently at a job interview at which I was asked by the CEO what I would do (as the senior IT/IS leader in the organization) to make his life easier. My response included the typical “reduce cost, reduce risk, improve efficiency” lines, but what got his head nodding in agreement was my explanation that – probably a couple years out – I would want the IT/IS to be at the forefront of the company’s strategy and not solely ‘aligned’ with the strategy. To me, this should be standard, but apparently it isn’t. Over the next several posts, I’ll be exploring what I believe to be the major contributors to this gap.
The traditional CIO
Almost 15 years ago I completed my MBA to complement my computer science degree. Upon graduation, I knew the career I was seeking would be a combination of business and IT. I spent a number of years in the world of business analysis and eventually set my sites on the role of CIO. To me, the CIO role appeared to be the ideal means to leverage my technical and business education, experience, and expertise.
As I moved to more senior roles, I began to gain more exposure to the CIO position, and what I saw surprised me. For the most part, the CIOs I saw either were senior technologists whose experience lay within IT infrastructure, or the CIOs were so focused on ‘keeping the lights on’ that the applications side of the shop was clearly not their priority. As someone who had come up the applications ranks, this was discouraging, as it appeared that future opportunities would be limited due to me being on the “wrong” side. Looking back on it now, I obviously do understand the absolute necessity of keeping the lights on; at the same time, I wonder how those CIOs – and those IT infrastructure & operations teams – are faring in today’s world.
The concept of thin provisioning in storage has been around for longer than many people think. I first used space-efficient volumes in the early 1990s on StorageTek’s Iceberg storage array, later resold by IBM as the RAMAC Virtual Array.
The idea of thin provisioning is a simple one. On a traditional array, creating a logical unit number, or LUN, reserves the entire capacity of that volume, whether the host fully utilises that capacity or not. In many cases utilisation by the host can be as low as 30%, and represents a significant waste of space.
Thin provisioning makes volume creation more efficient by reserving physical capacity on the array only when the host actually writes data to the logical volume. The result is that (subject to a little management) significant cost savings can be made using thin provisioned LUNs.
In a virtual environment, the hypervisor (for example, vSphere or Hyper-V) can also implement thin provisioning of space allocated to virtual machines.
The question therefore is which is more efficient. Should you use thin provisioning on the array, in the hypervisor, or even both?
Global IT budgets are finally on the increase, according to a survey from CW Europe/
TechTarget – but Europe has reported the lowest predicted growth for 2015.
This issue of CW Europe looks at the results of the 2015 IT Priorities report, which questioned more than 1,000 technology professionals worldwide to reveal how IT departments are finally starting to shake off the effect of the 2008-2009 recession.
But some regions are recovering at a faster pace than others. The Middle East is predicting the most growth in IT budgets this year, followed by South America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and North America. Europe comes bottom of the list, with more than a third expecting their IT budgets to stay the same. Within Europe, Germany is predicting the highest increase in 2015 IT budgets, followed by the UK and France. Budget seasons can be stressful times for CIOs, who have to highlight the business’s priorities for the coming 12 months. CW Europe investigates the
top concerns of businesses globally this year, with Europe’s main priorities painting a different picture from the rest of the world. Overall, businesses worldwide plan to use or maintain their budgets in software and hardware; however Europe’s main IT priority this year will be increasing expenditure on cloud services, with a decrease in hardware spending predicted.
Individual European countries also show dissimilar priorities. Organisations in the UK will spend budget increases on staff, whereas France will invest more in cloud services and Germany will spend more on hardware. Global priorities are focused on datacentre consolidation, whereas Europe plans to focus its efforts on mobility.
This issue of CW Europe offers guidance to IT leaders by revealing what other businesses in your region will be focusing their efforts on this year.
McKinsey&Company latest survey of business and IT executives finds that IT performance increases across the board when CIOs are involved in shaping business strategy.
When CIOs play an active role in business strategy, IT performance on a wide range of functional and business tasks improves. But in McKinsey’s latest survey on business technology,1 few executives say their IT leaders are closely involved in helping shape the strategic agenda, and confidence in IT’s ability to support growth and other business goals is waning. Moreover, IT and business executives disagree strongly on the function’s overall priorities—though both sides agree on the need for better data and analytics talent, a challenge that has grown in importance since the previous survey. The results suggest that closing the gap to engage more CIOs in strategy discussions could deliver business benefits and address widespread concerns over IT effectiveness.
To better support the business, I&O managers often turn to IT service support management tools. The vendors in this Magic Quadrant offer integrated products that address functionality from a combined perspective of people, processes and tooling.