Archive

Archive for the ‘CIOs’ Category

Brocade intros HyperEdge architecture for campus networks


Brocade has announced its HyperEdge architecture, a unified wired and wireless infrastructure, it claims is as dynamic as its users.

Edgar Dias, regional director and country manager, India, said that mobility Is redefining how we access information and connect to each other. By 2020, there are likely to be over 30 billion connected things, with over 200 billion with intermittent connections.

The number of wireless devices connecting to the corporate network has been exploding. It is estimated that by 2016, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile.

Healthcare revolutionized by mobility. About 80 percent of remote patient monitoring will be by mobile devices by 2016. Education engages with wireless devices as well, with universities projected to spend more than $837 million on WiFi access points and controllers in 2013. About 22 percent of pupil-facing computers will be tablets by 2015.

The three things required from a campus network solution include reduced complexity, integrated wired and wireless, and investment protection. Mobility changes the game for all organizations and their IT departments. The campus network takes center stage in staying competitive.

Brocade's HyperEdge architecture.

Brocade’s HyperEdge architecture.

Brocade’s HyperEdge architecture is agile, as there are collapsed network layers with active links and intelligent wireless AP traffic management for mobile users. It is also automated, simplified with reduced management touch points, and self discovery and configuration of wired and wireless devices. Lower cost of acquisition and operation makes it cost effective.

HyperEdge innovation radically simplifies management, and improves performance. Distributed services such as advanced features and capabilities are propagated across premium and entry level switches. Consolidated management leads to shared switch configuration and network policies, automated management and software updates.

There are active-active links that eliminates STP to improve efficiency and performance. Multichannel trunking is available to scale and interconnect. Distributed AP forwarding leads to intelligent access points route traffic locally to avoid controller bottlenecks. There is the  centralized AP management, where controller based management keeps costs low and coverage levels high. Lastly, there are self-healing access points that automatically adjust to maintain coverage in the event of an access point failure.

IT in smaller companies need help too!

April 21, 2012 Comments off

According to Steve Bailey from CommVault, IT managers are said to be walking on a tightrope between resources and data growth! Conversely, the resources for CIOs are much lesser, compared to the data growth, which is explosive!! Find all of this hard to believe? Well, ask around!

IT storage professionals are actually considered to be somewhat of ‘tightrope walkers’, given the fact that they have to perform tremendous balancing acts while driving projects — all along with the budget allocated to them.

As per a survey conducted by CommVault, the IT organizations are prioritizing managing data growth (i.e., data reduction) first, followed by network and equipment, disaster recovery, applications/software, data backup and recovery and backup of virtual server environments. Managing data growth remains a major budgetary priority for the IT managers. Besides, all of the data has to be managed by organizations without the benefit of adding IT staff!

There’s hardly anything that anyone, let alone the IT staff, can do to curtail the data growth. And now, the advent of mobile devices, virtual servers and the increasing use of social media have added to the creation of even newer and massive data!

By the way, have you visited media houses, small IT shops or companies, small retail stores, and so on? IT protection is, most of the times, way of the mark. Why, there are even media houses that have poor IT infrastructure! In fact, some of the offices even had their web site spammed quite often in the past. I have little idea right now, but I do hope they have improved their IT defence. Some commentators have even expressed the need for next-generation firewalls as the need of the hour!

Apparently, managing the IT side of things or the IT infrastructure is considered not so important by many of the small organizations. Don’t you think that it is necessary that they too protect their organizations? Forget about the absence of IT storage professionals in such organizations!

If one may add, vendors either seem to charge these companies exorbitantly, or, they are least bothered if such companies get into ‘IT trouble’. The fact is: such companies are small in nature, and do not have that much money to spend on IT. Or, at least, that’s not their main game! It takes a great deal of convincing on part of vendors, I am sure, to get such companies to protect their IT infrastructures.

So, how do the CIOs and the IT managers manage all of this exploding data (and devices, of course)? Certainly, this calls for a seamless process — from backup to recovery to archiving data. There is a need to develop and have a single platform to manage and protect data. This needs to be done across heterogenous applications, hypervisors. operating systems and infrastructure — from a single console.

Well, how do you help the smaller companies, especially those located in smaller and sometimes, remote areas and cities? The answer is simple: vendors really need to take upon themselves the trouble of going down to such places, meet companies, and at least, sound them out on the IT solutions on offer. That will be a start!

Succeeding with enterprise mobility

March 13, 2012 Comments off

It has been proclaimed that today’s connected world demands relationships, not just eyeballs, at the Mobile World Congress 2012. There have been messages such as ‘If you pepper consumers with stuff they are not interested in, you will get vigilante consumers who will shut you out’. And, the ‘connected consumer value proposition is not being fully developed’.

Also, another report has stated that the average volume of video traffic on the mobile networks has risen by 10 percentage points since this time last year – up to 50 percent. Android devices are said to be generating more advertising transactions and corresponding data volume on mobile networks than the Apple iOS devices.

The oncoming rise in data-hungry devices is set to be the most disruptive force. However, driving revenues will present the biggest challenge. Next, consider this: Compared to smartphones, tablets seem to generate much more traffic – this is also set to increase as tablets evolve, more applications become available, and those tablets increasingly use cellular networks instead of Wi-Fi for access.

Already, there are several challenges, if you have noticed, right? Also, where does it leave the poor CIO? Does the CIO rejoice at these news, or does he ponder?

Now, I was reading the CIO Guide: Making a Business Case for Deploying a High-Performance Networking Infrastructure by Sufian Dweik, Regional Manager – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at Brocade Communications. He clearly says that a modern enterprise network should meet four basic requirements:
* non-stop networking to maximize business uptime;
* unmatched simplicity to overcome today’s complexity;
* optimized applications to increase business agility; and
* investment protection to provide a smooth transition to new technologies while leveraging existing infrastructure. Read more…

WhipTail’s SSD addresses bottlenecks beyond HDD capabilities!

January 30, 2012 Comments off

Recently, WhipTail, maker of high-performance, cost-effective solid-state storage arrays, landed AMD as a customer, as well as a Series B round of funding.  It announced that AMD’s System Optimization Engineering Department has replaced 480 15K spinning drives with WhipTail’s solid-state storage arrays. The move will help eliminate slow response times associated with traditional storage arrays.

Problem WhipTail solves!
The key question is: How are flash storage arrays changing enterprises?WhipTail addresses this question from the angle, “what problem does WhipTail’s technology solve?” According to Dan Crain, CEO of WhipTail, there is a unique problem in the storage industry right now. Hard disk drives (HDDs) are completely overprovisioned and have outlived their practicality for high performance applications.

Rather than fix the real problem (need for better performance), CIOs keep throwing money into hard disks, which have reached their capacity and cannot compete with the performance levels of solid state drives (SDDs). WhipTail has found a unique way to address the bottlenecks that have evolved beyond HDD capabilities.

WhipTail’s XLR8r (Note: this name will be changing in Q1) is comprised of an array ofSSDs, which are considered the next generation of data storage.  Unlike traditional HDDs, the SSDs do not include spinning disks and are built fromfewer parts. Compared to an HDD, the SSD promises incredible increases in performance (nearly 30x faster), a dramatically lower total cost of ownership and an increased durability.

The XLR8r is the world’s first and most widely deployed all-flash enterprise class storage array.  It leverages the advantages of SSD to solve three critical issues that face WhipTail’s customer base: performance, endurance and price.

Performance: The XLR8r delivers a read performance of 200,000 I/O per second and a write performance of 250,000 I/O per second, with 0.1 ms latency.

Endurance: Characteristic to SSDs, the XLR8r is inherently more reliable than an HDD because it has no moving parts. To increase the operational longevity of the device, the XLR8r uses wear-leveling technologies that are embedded on the drivers. These technologies evenly distribute data across all of the available storage space during write operations, eliminating the constant re-use of cells in your storage device. The XLR8r has a lifetime greater than seven years.

Price: WhipTail’s product has one of the most attainable prices in terms of investment for IT purchasers. The key to this price is that WhipTail uses multi-level cell (MLC), which is traditionally less expensive than single-level cell (SLC). While less expensive, MLC has historically also been less durable, but WhipTail found a way to extend the life of their MLC, allowing them to sell their product at an extremely attainable price. Read more…

Categories: CIOs, Enterprises, SSDs, WhipTail

CIOs unfurl newer efficiencies out of IT operations

January 25, 2012 Comments off

How can today’s CIOs be able to unfurl newer efficiencies out of their respective IT operations? At the same time, how can they, present solutions that can also empower their businesses even as the businesses work toward achieving their organizational goals? The answer, perhaps, lies in infrastructure optimization!

IT spends are said to be increasing and in line with the overall aim of accelerating a company’s business performance. Balance between innovation and maintenance is said to be critical for the effective functioning of IT.

According to Greg Crider, senior director of technology product marketing at Oracle, IT leaders need to embrace an alternative model for optimizing data center performance that eliminates much of the time and cost associated with integrating, tuning, and maintaining complex multi-tiered environments.

“IT leaders need to know that they have choices other than integrating these pieces themselves or paying a service partner to do some of the integration. Oracle, for instance, has thousands of examples of how to squeeze cost and complexity out of IT infrastructures by doing optimization projects at each layer,” he says.

There is typically said to be a huge difference between one, installing a system and, two, having it production ready. Why? Ask any IT manager at any company, in case you do not believe this!

Crider says: “Many organizations just don’t have expertise in every dimension of a complex architecture. So, they have to rely on outside resources or make do with default configurations that don’t take into account everything else that is going on.

“Fortunately, many important business processes are now available as optimized end-to-end solutions based on open standards.  Enterprises are beginning to realize that they can deploy customized, secure, high performance applications without taking on all the cost of integration, tuning and maintenance.”

IT leaders also need to embrace an alternative model for optimizing data center performance that eliminates much of the time and cost associated with integrating, tuning, and maintaining complex multi-tiered environments.

Driving a sustainable, future-focused transformation across an IT infrastructure is a layered process that requires the IT leaders to optimize the entire spectrum of their data center hardware and software operations. This includes servers, databases, middleware and business process management software, and so on.

Standardization, virtualization, consolidation, and rock solid cloud orchestration (management) capabilities are necessary steps organizations work on to improve the application lifecycle management process, as per Mike Palmeter, director of product management with Oracle.

“Many companies have started down the virtualization path, and have even consolidated some of the tier 2 and 3 workloads, but many still have yet to best determine how to standardize, what to standardize upon, and how to best manage all these disparate applications and workloads,” he says.

“These are key considerations especially as companies start moving mission critical workloads to a shared infrastructure. Furthermore, availability, data and app mobility, as well as performance become paramount as applications are moved from dedicated silos to a shared infrastructure.”

With the automation components that are inherently part of a properly deployed private cloud, IT administrators can install complex applications, without going through all of the traditional configuration steps. As IT leaders look to get out from under the complexities, the benefits of highly integrated and engineered solutions get strikingly clear.

IT optimization and database consolidation!

December 12, 2011 Comments off

How does an organization kick-start its transformation and achieve an optimized data center ready for the future? Does an organization adopt a futuristic, focused program to achieve immediate wins?

There is a need for CIOs to formulate a winning, if not, a workable strategy! In a white paper titled: “Planning for Tomorrow’s Data Center through Strategic Infrastructure Optimization”, Greg Crider, senior director of technology product marketing at Oracle, recommends companies to take a look at their existing IT infrastructure and explore the strongest business needs. The companies can also find out where where its possible to realize immediate business benefits.

For instance, a shared database platform allows IT to get the elasticity they need so they can move resources where the demand is greatest. Standard configurations mean fewer moving parts, which means faster provisioning, notes Willie Hardie VP of database product marketing, Oracle, in the same white paper.

A quick poll on challenges of database consolidation within an organization, done in the same white paper, is interesting. At least 55 percent feel that IT resources are focused on managing the existing systems. However, 41 percent say there is no IT budget to embark on the consolidation project.

According to Crider, IT leaders need to embrace an alternative model, optimized from end-to-end by taking advantage of collective expertise and experiences throughout deployment.

Organizations also face a number of challenges, such as IT resources focused on managing existing systems, limited IT budgets to embark on consolidation projects, and running the risk of compromising enterprise information security. Hence, there is a need for database consolidation.

Benefits of database consolidation
The benefits of database consolidation are huge. According to a survey, 74 percent say it reduces IT costs, while 67 percent say it reduces complexity in the data center. It was found that 29 percent had already consolidated some or all of the databases, and 22 percent had started the process.

Private cloud computing is about consolidation, standardization and rationalization of the hardware, storage and software portfolio,” explains Hardie. As IT leaders move toward transforming data centers, a well-planned database consolidation strategy can help drive toward sustainable success. Similarly, application consolidation also plays a key role in helping IT leaders establish and support manageable environments capable of transforming data centers better prepared for an uncertain future.

Considering the potential benefits associated with application consolidation and optimization, it’s easy to understand why IT leaders are serious about embracing well-crafted plans as a key component of their data center transformation. Of course, IT leaders need to arm themselves with the right tools to overcome the potential obstacles head-on.

Specifically, it’s crucial to start by gaining an understanding of the potential challenges, developing a strategic plan, establishing a well defined end goal, securing senior support early in the process and staying determined throughout the process. That’s the surest route to an optimized infrastructure and a data center designed for the future.

Standardization, virtualization, consolidation, and cloud orchestration capabilities are necessary steps for organizations as they work to improve the application lifecycle management process, explains Mike Palmeter, director of product management with Oracle. IT leaders are starting to realize that even though they could create a list and build a system with the best-of-breed components, there is still a need to account for system efficiency.

Cisco’s borderless networks architecture help enterprises overcome security challenges

November 15, 2011 1 comment

Thanks to Riyanka Khanna at Text100, New Delhi, I managed to get into conversation with Bipin Kumar Amin, principle consultant, Borderless Networks – Security, Cisco. I started by asking him about the security challenges currently faced by enterprises.

Bipin Kumar Amin, principle Consultant, Borderless Networks – Security, Cisco.

Bipin Kumar Amin, Cisco.

Security challenges faced by enterprises
He said: “Indian network security market is growing consistently as organizations increasingly realize the importance of securing their data against external and internal threats. The advent of 3G in India has opened up new roads for technologies and applications owing to the greater bandwidth available, as well as faster data transfer. As data becomes more pervasive, privacy and security becomes the important concerns for the enterprises. Consequently, there has been no let-down in IT security spending because CIOs realize that without ensuring the security of their vital data, it’s not possible to expand business.

“The traditional network and physical perimeter is no longer the only border where information must be defended. Collaboration, IT consumerization, mobility, and new computing technologies are increasing productivity while presenting new security requirements.

“BYOD is a new phenomenon, which every enterprise is witnessing and has to deal with the management and security the data on mobile devices, whether they are owned by an enterprise or user. There is greater pressure on IT to meet the demands of a dynamic workforce-both in terms of service delivery and security challenges. New solutions are needed to protect borderless networks and to help further improve business efficiencies in the mean time.”

As for the trends in security, he added: “There are three major trends sweeping through the enterprise: rapid rise of the consumerized endpoint, onset of virtualization and cloud computing, and c) growing use of high-definition video conferencing. Each one of these critical technologies is transforming business—and forcing a fundamental shift in how security is developed and deployed.”

Borderless network architecture
So, the obvious question: what is borderless network architecture?  How is Cisco’s borderless networks architecture enabling enterprises to overcome security challenges?

Amin said: “The challenges CIOs face today, from a business or technology perspective, is very different from what their predecessors have faced.  Technologies such as collaboration, cloud computing, and web applications promote productivity for an increasingly distributed workforce. These technologies need to be employed within an organization to provide employees with the flexibility that they have come to expect. However they pose new security challenges for CIOs. Cisco Secure Borderless Networks promote workforce-enabling technologies while protecting company data, resources, and staff.” Read more…

Categories: CIOs, Cisco, Enterprises, Security
%d bloggers like this: