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Microsoft versus VMware -- dead-heat death match

Microsoft has attained near-parity with VMware in hypervisor functionality and is ahead in basic cloud offerings, writes Consultant and Wikibon Analyst Scott Lowe in “An Analysis of the Microsoft vs VMware Landscape.” While VMware continues to dominate the market, Microsoft is eating into that lead and clearly has ambitions to replace VMware as the leading hypervisor provider. Hyper-V has essentially pulled even with vSphere in features, according to Lowe - to the point that both companies have resorted to nit picking the opposition in unimportant areas to try to establish technical differentiation. Lowe contends that the one area where VMware still... more »
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Weekly security review: RSA lashes out over bribe allegations, mobile security takes spotlight

RSA, EMC’s security division, was recently dragged into the NSA scandal by a Reuters reporter accusing it of accepting a $10 million bribe from the spy agency to insert a vulnerability into the Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator, or Dual EC DRBG, a widely used cipher implemented by companies worldwide. If the story is to be believed, the encryption stalwart - which in the 1990s opposed a plan to equip computers with chips that would allow the US government to spy on users - purposely packaged an NSA-developed backdoor into the cipher, which is distributed with its BSafe software.... more »
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Internet of Things review: Oculus bags $75M for VR, China joins iPhone craze

The Internet of Things is taking on new heights, with an ever-widening range of connected devices driving an unprecedented shift in the way we interact with technology. A company called Oculus is leading the charge with its namesake virtual reality headset, which succeeded in drawing the interest of both gamers and prominent Silicon Valley investors. The company announced that it has closed a massive $75 million Series B financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing backers Spark Capital, Matrix Partners and Formation 8. The funding will be used to develop commercial models of the Oculus Rift, which made... more »
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Weekly Big Data review: Hadoop gets smarter and more secure

To move beyond the Big Data hype, business users need a new breed of applications that can not only accommodate information growth, but also separate the signal from the noise to improve decision making. These are the kind of apps Resolution Analytics wants customers to build using the latest release of its enterprise R distribution, which saves developers the trouble of optimizing their code for multiple platforms. By making it more portable, Resolution is aligning the statistical language with the heterogeneous nature of big data environments. The new “write once, deploy anywhere” feature of Revolution R Enterprise 7 (RRE 7) is... more »
IBM internal experts club together to offer 2014 predictions

IBM internal experts club together to offer 2014 predictions

IBM has picked the brains of its  industry experts to gain some high-level predictions for the coming year in four key areas: Analytics The world of Big Data and Business Analytics is changing dramatically. It is becoming pervasive across the business, built in to core operations and driving real time insights into business transactions to create value for both the business and its clients. This demands new thinking in the way analytics should be deployed. IBM System z experts are looking at 2014 and seeing big data analytics taking a huge step away from traditional approaches and towards more economical and secure... more »
Target's big mess: Customer PIN information part of breach

Target's big mess: Customer PIN information part of breach

It turns out that the massive Target hack that compromised an estimated 40 Million accounts actually did include PIN numbers. As previously mentioned here, little facts are starting to trickle out. Now think big here, the picture is a bit more critical. With PIN information, thieves can clone debit cards onto new plastic cards, opening the bank accounts of victims up to a cash network accessible anywhere in the world through ATMs. Reports so far have been that many banks have been quick to respond to account issues that may have been affected by the breach, but responses of course... more »
VMware, Cisco square off in nascent SDN market

VMware, Cisco square off in nascent SDN market

VMware NSX and Cisco ACI are the early leaders in the nascent software-defined network market mainly because of their positions in the marketplace, writes Wikibon Principal Research Contributor Stuart Miniman in “VMware NSX and Cisco ACI lead the SDN conversation”. Hypervisor market leader VMware vaulted itself into a prominent position in SDN with its 2012 purchase of Nicera, which it used to create NSX, its SDN solution. Cisco, the dominant network switch vendor, has replied with its own solution, the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which does not work with NSX and requires an all-Cisco networking environment, specifically the new Nexus... more »
DevOps into 2014: The biggest challenges for DevOps next year (Part 2 of 2)

DevOps into 2014: The biggest challenges for DevOps next year (Part 2 of 2)

In the first part, we discussed the practical adoption of DevOps practices (and the potential pitfalls of failing to instance them properly) as well as how the market right now is being flooded with new ideas and tools. But other challenges that affect DevOps include how tools work for developers and operations. One big area happens to be security, which is tied extremely tightly to maintenance and testing. Software bugs may cause frustrations for customers (UI bugs especially) but any defect runs the chance of opening up a company and customers to attack. “With the increased visibility of software defects and the... more »
2014 not the "year of VDI" #CIO Angle

2014 not the "year of VDI" #CIO Angle

The much heralded "year of VDI" will not happen in 2014 despite the huge popularity of BYOD and the technical issues that creates for CIOs, says Managing Consultant of The 1610 Group and Wikibon Analyst and frequent contributor in his Professional Alert, “CIOs Will Never See the Year of the Virtual Desktop”. Nor will 2015 or 2016 see the mass adoption of VDI. In fact, writes the former CIO, we will never see the "year of VDI". That does not mean that VDI use will not grow. But it will be confined largely to traditional VDI-type environments such as phone centers,... more »
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Top 10 Smart Car innovations of 2013

From electric vehicles to wireless charging stations for cars, weird concept cars to intriguing technologies that makes our cars better safer - we have seen a great deal of innovation in the automotive sector this year. With the approach of 2014, let's take a look back at the top developments in Smart Cars these past twelve months. Top 10 Smart Car Trends of 2013   10. Dodging speed traps The Cobra iRadar ATOM is a device that uses leading radar/laser detection technology to alert you of speed traps ahead.  It gives you information if there are any upcoming speed cameras or red lights, and because... more »

Premium Research

- David Floyer

Industrial IoT, the largest segment of the Internet of things (IoT) with the highest potential value, will require a deep integration between modern IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operations Technology). Modern IT technologies, to be truly extensible to OT, will need a hybrid cloud approach, with by far the majority of data and processing residing at the so-called "Edge". Architectures and software written by industrialists for industrialists, such as GE Predix, are showing how that can work.

- George Gilbert

The big data arena is at a crossroads. Use cases and tools are proliferating faster than most big data teams are gaining experience. In establishing the big data business capabilities required to cut through the complexity, CIO’s must balance the accessibility of integration of traditional SQL DBMS’s versus speed of innovation in the mix and match open source big data ecosystem.

- Peter Burris

In the big data domain, businesses are trying to solve complex problems with complex and novel technology -- and often failing. Simplifying the packaging of big data technologies will streamline big data pilots and accelerate big data time-to-value. CIOs looking to establish differentiating big data capabilities need to consider Single Managed Entities to help solve the complexity problem.

- David Floyer

Oracle M7 technology is meeting or exceeding the announcement performance claims against previous generation. Even taking very conservative assumptions, the business case for migration from T5 to T7 servers is good. Wikibon concludes that for Oracle software and the servers they run on, the adoption of M7 technology (and T7 server technology) is best practice for these high value compute areas.

- David Floyer

The premise tested in this research is that high value applications and software should be run on more capable converged performance-optimized infrastructure, even when they constitute a small proportion of the total workload. In contrast, cost-optimized infrastructure will save on short-term hardware costs, but will incur much higher overall costs long-term. The conclusion strongly recommends IT executives adopt a default of performance-optimized converged infrastructure for all mixed workloads when even a small proportion includes high-cost software and/or high-value applications.

- George Gilbert

Big data pros need to identify which data feedback loops in their machine learning applications can deliver sustainable differentiation through network effects. Starting early is critical because getting to scale is likely to create the "winner takes most" competitive dynamics that have become so common in tech industries. The biggest sin is to wait for the tooling to become automated enough for all competitors to jump in.

- Ralph Finos

The public cloud competitive environment remains turbulent, but sectors show signs of crystallizing a longer-term market structure.. SaaS remains turbulent with SaaS vendors successfully gaining share vs. incumbent licensed software providers who must migrate their core products to cloud-friendly offerings and/or acquire native SaaS applications to shore up their applications leadership positions. Public cloud IaaS segment leadership is crystallizing to a handful of viable providers as a function of scale requirements. PaaS is just formulating and finding its way, but is likely to gravitate towards a wide variety of development models suited for different application types and public cloud platforms.

- David Floyer

For enterprise executives trying to achieve aggressive RPO and RTO SLAs , Wikibon believes that batch backup appliances (PBBAs) will give way to real-time, continuous data protection systems that aggressively support very large memory application memory. Practitioners requiring close to RPO zero and aggressive RTO SLAs should plan for an integrated data protection approach that effectively eliminates the concept of storage-led backup and shifts thinking to a application-led virtual point-in-time recovery model. The database and file system vendors will be the predominant suppliers of this technology, and understanding their roadmaps and commitment to support application-led recovery strategies is crucial to both database and data protection technology selection.

- George Gilbert

Mainstream enterprises are beginning to deploy machine learning applications that add differentiation to traditional products and services. But the complexity of their big data infrastructure is becoming a problem. Big data pros need to deploy a digital business platform (DBP) to support modern applications and then extend the DBP to machine learning applications.

- Peter Burris

IT shops that want to achieve modern IT status will have to address the "IT iron triangle" constraining transformation.