DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)
May10

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: During one of my Dell Technologies World 2018 briefings last week I had to stop part way through and explain that I meant digital transformation, not Dell Technologies, when I used the DT acronym. The business phenomenon digital transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — is literally an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’. While clarifying acronym anomalies is not a unique experience, it made me think of the greatest challenge I see facing Dell: how will the biggest IT infrastructure vendor — i.e. products and services — continue to prosper when the customer focus is moving to business outcomes, and not the bits and bytes that facilitate those outcomes? The answer is “better than everyone else.” I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Dell is better-positioned than every other vendor out there. That’s not to say countless companies won’t provide one or more superior offerings in the fast-emerging software-driven, cloud-first IT environment, but that when it comes down to the vendor to trust most — and most often — it will probably come down to Dell. During his opening keynote to the approximately 14,000 customers, partners, employees, media and analysts in attendence — and an estimated 35,000 online — Michael Dell talked in generalities, stressing digital (along with IT, workforce and security) transformation  and the latest buzzword trifecta — AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and NN (neural networks), ‘Make It Real’ (the event’s DT theme), and how “our customers are using technology to change the world for the better, whether through a reimagined process or a reimagined industry.” He noted that since starting the company 34 years ago, it had grown to over a trillion dollars in revenues and a trillion customer successes but all that is “absolutely noting compared to what’s ahead.” The DT future — with or without Dell — is incredibly bright: spending on related hardware, software and services is expected to reach approximately $1.3 trillion in 2018, a 16.8% year-over-year increase, and continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% through 2021 to more than $2.1 trillion. And the reasons so much money is being thrown at DT initiatives are equally compelling, as Dell (along with Intel and the Enterprise Strategy Group) told us in survey data released last month: -transformed companies are 22x more likely to get new products and services to market ahead of the competition; -81% of firms (4,000 were surveyed) agree if they do not embrace IT Transformation, their companies will no...

Read More
DWT18: The Premptive Prequel
Apr26

DWT18: The Premptive Prequel

In the increasingly cloud-first IT environment the misperception persists that “Infrastructure? We don’t need no stinkin’ infrastructure” is the ‘truth’. However, somewhere, somebody is supplying hardware, software and services to a datacenter to enable the cloud to function. Just ask cloud’s dynamic duo, Amazon and Google (and Microsoft), who helped more than double the amount spent on datacenters last year. While ODMs (original design manufacturers), whitebox servers and switches and public-domain software continue to proliferate, it comes down to three primary vendors in the broadline enterprise infrastructure business: IBM, HPE and Dell EMC. Big Blue looks like it has gotten it’s act together and is once again the profit-generating machine we’ve known forever (1Q18 $19.1 billion), while the post-Meg-HPE appears to be taking its new smaller-is-better philosophy and making a go of it (FY1Q18 $7.7 billion). Meanwhile the world’s largest private technology company, Dell EMC/Technologies, which is holding Dell Technologies World, its annual customer event, next week in Las Vegas, has continued to prosper (FY4Q18 $21.9 billion), despite running up a truly massive debt with its EMC acquisition (approximately $46 billion). The company borrowed billions to go private in 2013, and then a lot more billions ($52 billion?) to buy EMC n 2016, so while the amount still owed is impressive, the amounts paid off – around $10 billion – are equally impressive. The numbers were much less impressive for storage revenue ($13.6 billion), where HPE edged out Dell EMC for the fourth-quarter, 18.9% versus 18.0%. While IDC noted that “Investments on enterprise storage systems are increasing at a very healthy pace,” the original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacenters recorded the biggest increase – 34.3% year over year – to just under $2.8 billion. Gartner puts overall Q4 server revenues up 25.7% year-over-year, on just an 8.8% YoY increase in shipments. Dell EMC won bragging rights, with top spot for the year (19.4%), up 39.9% in Q4, versus HPE (19.3%), on a respectable 5.5% increase in Q4. For the year, shipments were up 3.1%, while revenues jumped 10.4%. The latest numbers from IHS Markit show that Dell has supplanted HPE atop the datacenter server revenue heap. For the fourth quarter of 2017 Dell EMC accounted for17.9% of the market, worth $3.6 billion, just edging out white boxes (17.6%), and HPE (17.1%). The numbers are troubling for the non-ODMs, as white box shipped more units (24%), and while enterprises accounted for 44% in Q4 and 48% for the year, that segment is slowing down as cloud service providers (41%) are expected to overtake enterprises in 2019. Overall, Dell reported a 9% increase in quarterly revenues, and...

Read More
Cisco: Just Because You’re Paranoid…
Apr19

Cisco: Just Because You’re Paranoid…

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” Joseph Heller, Catch-22   With most of the cybersecurity world gathered in San Francisco for this week’s RSA Conference 2018, the timing was impeccable: on Monday Cisco made significant endpoint and email protection announcements; that was also the day the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a warning that ‘Russian hackers are attacking networking devices, network management protocols and the Cisco Smart Install Client that belong to governments, infrastructure providers and businesses.’ According to the networking giant, more than 168,000 systems are potentially exposed via that client. “Russian state-sponsored cyber actors have conducted both broad-scale and targeted scanning of Internet address spaces. Such scanning allows these actors to identify enabled Internet-facing ports and services, conduct device fingerprinting, and discover vulnerable network infrastructure devices,” said the April 16 alert, which was based on results of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre. Cisco noted several incidents in a release on April 5. “We are taking an active stance, and are urging customers, again, of the elevated risk and available remediation paths.” While Cisco might rue the timing of the hacker alert, it is generally a good time to be in the cybersecurity business: -the data protection market is expected to grow from $57.22 billion in 2017 to $119.95 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16%, and, -the total cybersecurity market will grow at a CAGR of 11%, from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022. The reason this market is so hot, is because the threats are escalating even faster: – malware attacks increased 18.4% year-over-year to 9.32 billion in 2017; -while ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017, ransomware variants increased 101.2%; -the average organization will see almost 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption; -32% of breaches affected more than half of respondents’ systems, compared with 15% in 2016; -more than half of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than $500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs; -complexity is growing: in 2017, 25% of security professionals said they used products from 11 to 20 vendors, compared with 18% in 2016; and, -time to detection has improved from the 39-hour median TTD reported in November 2015, and the 14-hour median reported in 2017. To add injury to insult: -only 66% of organizations are investigating security alerts, and businesses are mitigating less than 50% of attacks they know are legitimate; and, -in almost all breaches (93%), it...

Read More
Automation: Coming Soon To Your Network
Mar29

Automation: Coming Soon To Your Network

One of the latest industry buzz words is automation and while network automation is considered to be essential for digital transformation, the dominant trend in IT and Industry 4.0, it is neither new, nor as simple as the marketers would have us believe. Network automation – along with intent-based networking (IBN) and Intent-based analytics (IBA) – is just part of the evolving and expanding software-defined networking (SDN) market, said Scott Raynovich, Founder and Chief Analyst, Futuriom. ‘The [SDN 2.0] goal (of operators, including service providers and cloud network managers) is to remove manual networking configuration from their operations, reducing the cost of operating the network,’ he wrote recently. ‘Service providers, in particular, see SDN 2.0 as a key driver of automation.’ Forrester reported that 80% of IT operations time is spent performing maintenance on the existing network. And with close to half of all network outages are due to manual misconfiguration (Gartner), it’s no wonder the automation market is hot: -the datacenter automation market is projected to grow at plus-18% CAGR through 2022 -68% of automation projects are commissioned to ensure network availability; -the network automation market is expected to grow from $2.32 billion in 2017 to $16.89 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 48.7%; –intelligent automation services – Gartner’s umbrella term for a variety of strategies, skills, tools and techniques that service providers are using to remove the need for labor, and increase the predictability and reliability of services while reducing the cost of delivery by 15-25% annually – so that when 70% of the workload is dealt with by IAS, only 30% of the staff will remain. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the ONAP project (Open Network Automation Platform) and community, which has become the de facto mobile network automation platform for 60% of the world’s mobile subscribers. ‘What ONAP brings to the table — a unified platform for closed-loop automation — is built on years’ of collaborative efforts across open source projects and communities’, stated the Linux Foundation on Tuesday. ‘ONAP is the first open source project to unite the majority of operators (end users) with the majority of vendors (integrators) in building a real service automation and orchestration platform.’ Networking’s 800-pound gorilla is actively pushing automation and SDN, and last month rolled out its Crosswork Network Automation software portfolio. Targeted at service providers with really big networks, the portfolio is designed to ‘offer greater network visibility at scale (mass awareness), data-driven insights (augmented intelligence)and outcome-based automation (proactive control)’, and will typically deliver a 70% improvement in operational efficiency, 30% revenue uplift and a 40% improvement in customer satisfaction, according...

Read More
SD-WAN Wars: VEP-ons of Mass Attraction?
Mar22

SD-WAN Wars: VEP-ons of Mass Attraction?

Enterprise-networking-powerhouse-wannabe Dell (Technologies) EMC, which held the bottom position in an almost-recent top-10 vendor list (although VMware was in 6th place, behind first-place Cisco, and the pretenders to its throne such as HPE/Aruba, Juniper, and Huawei), is looking to make a big splash in the SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area network) puddle with its Virtual Edge Platform family. According to the company, which claims to already serve 98% of the Fortune 500, the new platform family and software bundles enhance SD-WAN to speed digital transformation, and is the first product to use Intel’s D-2100 processor, and the features validated and tested solutions with Silver Peak, VeloCloud and Versa software to simplify and accelerate deployments. The VEP4600, which will start at $1,500, will begin shipping worldwide on April 24. A subset of software-defined networking (SDN) — i.e. technology versus architecture — SD-WAN represents a small fraction of the overall networking market (~5%) but is growing at 59% annually and is expected to be worth $1.3 billion by 2020 (Gartner). 451 Research is a little more pessimistic, putting the market at $1.5 billion by 2021, while IDC is more optimistic — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and $8.05 billion by 2021. The 4Q17 SD-WAN market was valued at $147 million, with CY17 up 3.9x over CY16. VeloCloud (acquired by VMware acquired by Dell) was the top vendor with 19% share, followed by Aryaka (17%) and Silver Peak (12%). “Reviewing recent wins, we can see a market that is maturing with a transition from early market adopters to mainstream buyers. Other signs of maturation include expansions at existing clients and incremental product offerings such as security and WAN optimization on top of basic WAN transport virtualization,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., Senior Research Director and Advisor for the Cloud and Data Center Research Practice at IHS Markit. Great growth projections, but on a really small base, when you consider that the overall network market was worth $51 billion last year, and Cisco held 54.3% of it. Dell Technologies, the parent of Dell EMC, lumps networking with its much-larger server business, and in its most recent quarter, 3QFY18, reported overall revenue of $19.6 billion, while the networking/server tandem came in at $3.9 billion, an increase of 32% year over year and 3% quarter over quarter. Still, the SD-WAN market — which Dell has the largest share — is hot, driven by the need to to increase security and reduce appliance sprawl, with 93% of recent survey respondents planning to implement the technology by the end of 2019. It’s a little premature to call it a family yet, Jeff Baher, Senior Director of Product...

Read More
Do You Want CybSec With Your Cookies?
Mar08

Do You Want CybSec With Your Cookies?

This week’s cybersecurity threat report from SonicWall doesn’t hold any real surprises from every other cybsec alert that frequents my inbox — i.e. the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report — but it does reinforce the key themes: cybsec threats are bad, and growing worse (it was called the ‘greatest concern’ at last month’s Senate threats hearing). “We tend to view the world as a cybersecurity arms race… the good guys make advances and the bad guys make advances,” John Gordineer, Director of Product Marketing, SonicWall, tells IT Trends & Analysis. The cybsec vendor said cyber attacks are becoming the number one risk to business, brands, operations and financials, and it identifies almost 500 new previously unknown malicious files each day, which makes this one of the hottest IT — and business — markets. MarketsandMarkets states the data protection market is expected to grow from $57.22 billion in 2017 to $119.95 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16%, while the total cybsec market will grow almost as quickly, from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 11%. While the SonicWall survey found that the number of attacks was down, the variety of attacks is increasing, which he attributed to several factors, especially in ransomware attacks, he said. First, companies that paid their ransoms did not get their data back; more effective protection is being deployed; and data backup and recovery solutions make companies less likely to become a victim or need to pay ransoms. As a result, the bad actors are scrambling to retool their ransomware to be more profitable, since they are catching fewer victims, said Gordineer. “We’re curious to see where that goes in 2018. One of the things we’re seeing is ransomware as a service.” Key findings of the SonicWall survey included: -9.32 billion total malware attacks in 2017, an 18.4% year-over-year increase; -ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017; -ransomware variants increased 101.2%; -the company collected 56 million unique malware samples in 2017, a 6.7% decrease from 2016, but the total volume of unique malware samples in 2017 was 51.4% higher than 2014; and -the average organization will see almost 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption. Cisco’s results offered similar dire news: -32% of breaches affected more than half of respondents’ systems, compared with 15% in 2016; -more than half of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than $500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs; -complexity is growing: in 2017, 25% of security professionals said they used products from...

Read More