Cisco and Collaboration

I’m at C-Scape, Cisco’s big analyst event which is held during Cisco Live, this week. One of the more interesting sessions was by Jonathan Rosenberg who is the VP and CTO of Cisco’s collaboration business. What caught my attention is that he opened with Metcalf’s law, which states that the value of a network is the square of the number of people on the network and he suggested this law also applied to communications tools. The reason this caught my attention is that it seems that most of the folks that are building collaboration/communications tools seem to believe that just building the tool is all you need. But, as Jonathan pointed out, if you don’t have a critical mass of folks actually using the tool it is worthless. He made a number of interesting additional observations let’s cover a few of them. Tools Are Gaining Communications/Collaboration Features According to Jonathan, there are a ton of developer tools that are gaining communications and collaboration features which may be causing some confusion about the purpose of these tools. This doesn’t change these tools into an alternative to email—the features just enhance these tools. However, they are creating (along with the social media stuff) a huge problem with regard to tracking the related conversations and managing them. The implication is there is an increasing need for a tool that can aggregate all of these conversations for the user. Kind of like the BlackBerry hub or Hootsuite for social media, but with far more reach. Cisco is developing just such a tool—a tool that can aggregate all communications—with WebEx Teams. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Flash, AI Help Fuel Record Growth, Bright Future For Pure Storage
May24

Flash, AI Help Fuel Record Growth, Bright Future For Pure Storage

SAN FRANCISCO: I’m in the City by the Bay attending PURE//ACCELERATE 2018, the third annual customer/partner event from Pure Storage, and it appears the enterprise flash storage vendor couldn’t have scripted the timing any better. In addition to its new partnership with NVIDIA — AI-Ready Infrastructure (AIRI), a ‘major move in serving the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) space’ — and its ongoing relationship with Cisco — i.e. as an Original Storage Manufacturer (OSM) — on Monday the company reported Q1 revenue of $255.9 million, up 40% YoY. “Pure has delivered another strong quarter as we lead the industry in delivering new data-centric architectures that enable enterprises to succeed both today and tomorrow,” said Pure CEO Charles Giancarlo, in a prepared statement. “The combination of our innovative business model, first-to-market technology innovations, and focus on customer success drove continued momentum in Q1.” In addition to record revenues, the company announced it had added 300 new customers during the quarter, bringing its installed base to amost 5,000 organizations. It forecast an even better Q2 — $296 million to $304 million — and approximately $1.345 billion for the year, up from 2017’s $1.023 billion, as well as a slightly higher net loss, $64.3 million compared to last year’s net loss of $57.2 million. “We were ahead of the market in all-flash,” said Giancarlo in the earnings call. “We were ahead of the market with NVMe. And we’re ahead of the market with A.I. (artificial intelligence).” At last year’s event — more than 3,000 customers, partners and staff (with another 2,000 online, for a total increase of 300% over 2016’s inaugural event) — the vendor was predicting at least three more years of 30%-plus revenue growth, surpassing the $2-billion annual revenue mark by 2020. It also stated that the total addressable market for its faster solid-state storage arrays is $35 billion, but according to Dave Vellante, chief analyst of Wikibon, Pure was involved in a knife fight, and a market ripe for consolidation. “If it can stay ahead of what I call the ‘storage cartel,’ it will emerge a winner.” Shortly after last year’s event the company hired Giancarlo, formerly the Cisco CTO and then Avaya CEO,  who took over as CEO in late August when Scott Dietzen was bumped up to chairman of the board. Late last year he told Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research, that if “you had asked me at the beginning of 2017 if I would join a storage company, I would have said probably not. I was caught up in the conventional wisdom that the storage industry had reached its zenith,...

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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...

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Intel.. Taking Security to the Silicon Level

When it comes to digital security, the past year or so has delivered multiple lessons with a single conclusion: that whatever people, including individual consumers to business organizations to the IT vendors who serve them, have done or are doing regarding IT security, it isn’t enough. Taken in total, the situation may appear hopeless, but it sets the scene for the new silicon-level security technologies and initiatives that Intel announced this week at the RSA 2018 conference. The problem(s) with security The problems dominating security are two-fold. First, computing endpoints, systems and networks have become so complex that the industry’s decades-long approach of building/promoting numerous individual specialty solutions is at the breaking point in terms of working properly and meeting clients’ needs. Customers themselves bear at least part of the blame for these failures. Not only are most unwilling to learn or do what’s necessary to secure their devices against cybercriminals and exploits, but they also expect those products to work without any impact on performance and functionality. That can be a fatal combination, at least when it comes to protecting identity, financial and other assets. The other problem is that the cyberthreat landscape is growing exponentially. The situation is no longer limited to the prototypical evil hackers long-beloved by the mainstream media and entertainment industries. End users also need to worry about having valuable digital information “mined” or otherwise ripped-off by a variety of well-organized and financed cybercriminals and gangs, state-sponsored espionage rings and corporate thieves. And let’s not forget supposedly trustworthy organizations, like social media players that sell their users’ data with little care or oversight until they get caught. Facebook is currently sweating the spotlight, but it’s not like the company is any kind of “lone gunman” in this regard. Plus, there are bumblers like Equifax and other massive credit and finance companies whose efforts to secure consumer data are, to put it mildly, as deeply careless as they are dumbly clueless. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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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...

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