|By Jeff Fisher||
|April 15, 2013 09:00 AM EDT||
IT departments within companies are seeing the growth of a more complex IT environment fueled by growing user demands for more flexible and productive solutions. The growing desire of users to have instant access to their IT services from any device at any given time - combined with IT trends such as the consumerization of IT, cloud-based technologies and hybrid end-user computing - are challenging the way nearly every enterprise IT department operates. The rising demand for flexibility is forcing them to grapple with the increasingly blurred lines between personal and professional device usage and making it difficult to reconcile the security and compliance implications of granting users constant access to IT services.
While IT departments struggle to fix and manage complicated IT infrastructures, the mobility and variation of today's workers and their devices has led to the slow and steady disintermediation of the IT department. Historically, IT departments have dictated the corporate policies that manage access to company data and applications. This worked well enough when employees did their work in their offices during set business hours. Now, a more competitive economic landscape and new technologies are changing the way people work.
Workers today want access to enterprise IT services 24/7 from any location, and a traditional PC-based setup simply cannot support this. Adding to this challenge, new technologies do not merely replace older ones. They add layers of complexity when they are folded into the mix along with legacy applications and existing systems. Companies introduce new technologies with the hope that they will provide the ease-of-use and flexibility that end users demand. But, problems arise when each new product requires its own set of management tools. This adds massive technical complexity to an already clunky IT environment. Managing these environments has become not just convoluted, but costly as well.
What's on the IT Department's Wish List?
It's clear that the traditional way of managing and dictating IT policies is out-of-date and out-of-touch with the daily realities of modern IT departments. What are the top issues IT managers are grappling with to maintain control over their IT architecture and deliver the types of services expected by today's workers?
Providing secure access. The challenges that affect IT departments trying to maintain security and control over corporate data and apps are rooted in the extreme complexity of their multi-layered IT environments. With the hodgepodge of applications and devices connecting to a company's network today, IT departments have had to implement security measures for a myriad of different software and platform requirements. Across several industries, such as government, finance and healthcare, more stringent regulations are being drafted and enforced that are requiring companies to maintain better data privacy and security. IT departments are not only mandated by their companies to protect intellectual property, but outside regulatory pressures are also demanding that they do the same in order to remain compliant.
Increasing automation. Workers have often complained about how slow the IT department can be when responding to troubleshooting requests, while the IT department complains of having to fix the same task over and over again on a regular basis. Employees who have grown used to the fast and easy service delivery of their consumer technologies will sometimes grow impatient waiting for a response from their help desk and attempt to "fix" the problem themselves by downloading software without the IT department's approval or using a third-party application to complete their work. Having the ability to automate standard IT tasks in the infrastructure can help reduce the amount of time and resources a company's IT department spends on help desk calls, while minimizing the security risks inherent with the usage of rogue IT applications.
Designing a flexible and personalized virtual workspace. How does a company keep control of their data and manage their critical applications while still allowing for users to work remotely, on the road, evenings and weekends, independently of their traditionally locked-down computing devices? Over the span of one day, a user's job role, location, and time zone can vary greatly, along with the kind of device they may be using. The desired features, capabilities, and access requirements that doctors or financial professionals, for example, can have will fluctuate drastically depending on the physical setting and the hour of the day they are attempting to access information. IT departments need to find a solution that not only provides the end user with the appropriate information they need within a user-friendly interface, but one that also seamlessly integrates with a company's existing hybrid IT infrastructure.
The Path to Workspace Virtualization
The rising need for IT operational excellence, improved user experience, better security and increased compliance has created a perfect storm for the IT department. End users are demanding a workplace experience that is similar to that of their consumer lifestyle - one of instant gratification. The "I want it, and I want it now," mentality has left IT management searching for answers for the inevitable need for self-servicing.
Achieving an easy-to-manage, low-cost, automated and secure virtualized IT environment can be achieved with workspace virtualization. The benefits provided by workspace virtualization can meet the demands of both end users and IT managers, while also providing a foundation for the inevitable need for more self-service within an enterprise IT environment. With workspace virtualization, IT departments and end users are given a lightweight, independent technology that provides context awareness and automation capabilities to its IT applications, while seamlessly integrating with an existing hybrid application delivery infrastructure. A context-aware virtualized workspace allows IT managers to attach rules governing computer access based on a user's circumstances, without regard to device type, location or time of day. In short, workspace virtualization enables enterprises to operate more efficiently while simultaneously lowering the costs of daily operations. It frees up an IT department's staff from constant support requests and it satisfies the "do-it-yourself" urge in every modern consumer.
What's more, workspace virtualization enables IT to centrally deliver, manage, and secure the key elements of a user's computing experience, independent of workstyles and devices. This also appeases some of the headaches faced by enterprises struggling with liability and compliance issues. With a carefully deployed workspace virtualization solution, gone are the days of IT nightmares, and here to stay is a vastly more productive IT experience where the enterprise, the consumer and the IT department are in perfect harmony.
Context Awareness: A Virtual Workspace that Adapts with Users
Within the IT environment, context awareness refers to the idea that an end user's virtual workspace can both sense and react based on their environment. With context-aware technology, IT managers can provide end users with workspace personalization while maintaining security and regulatory compliance oversight, without hands-on intervention. Context-aware technology can automatically prevent unauthorized actions such as executing certain applications and using removable disks. These restrictions can be added or removed based on a user's context as it changes, 24/7. IT can also automate all day-to-day tasks and combine them into run-books, saving time on about 80% of manual tasks. And, ultimately, IT can introduce self-servicing, where users can request and be automatically approved for services directly - based on a user's circumstances. Workspaces that are context-aware can provide end users with a fully dynamic desktop environment, while allowing IT managers to retain full control and management of an organization's IT structure.
[video] Logging and Monitoring with @Sematext Founder @OtisG | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Logging #Monitoring
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,018
Modern DevOps Tool Kit By @Logentries and @NewRelic | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Containers #Microservices
Auto-scaling environments, micro-service architectures and globally-distributed teams are just three common examples of why organizations today need automation and interoperability more than ever. But is interoperability something we simply start doing, or does it require a reexamination of our processes? And can we really improve our processes without first making interoperability a requirement for how we choose our tools?
Jul. 29, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 308
Where the Network Got Invited to the Party By @LMacVittie | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Jul. 29, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,735
How do you securely enable access to your applications in AWS without exposing any attack surfaces? The answer is usually very complicated because application environments morph over time in response to growing requirements from your employee base, your partners and your customers. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Haseeb Budhani, CEO and Co-founder of Soha, shared five common approaches that DevOps teams follow to secure access to applications deployed in AWS, Azure, etc., and the friction an...
Jul. 29, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 497
Take the Long View with Digital Transformation By @IoT2040 | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API #Microservices #InternetOfThings
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Jul. 29, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,066
This week, I joined SOASTA as Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics. Given my background in cloud computing and distributed systems operations — you may have read my blogs on CNET or GigaOm — this may surprise you, but I want to explain why this is the perfect time to take on this opportunity with this team. In fact, that’s probably the best way to break this down. To explain why I’d leave the world of infrastructure and code for the world of data and analytics, let’s explore the timing...
Jul. 29, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 352
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 466
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 143
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 280
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,169
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 424
Microservices Total Cost of Ownership: Too Soon? By @Aruna13 | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
Microservices are hot. And for good reason. To compete in today’s fast-moving application economy, it makes sense to break large, monolithic applications down into discrete functional units. Such an approach makes it easier to update and add functionalities (text-messaging a customer, calculating sales tax for a specific geography, etc.) and get those updates / adds into production fast. In fact, some would argue that microservices are a prerequisite for true continuous delivery. But is it too...
Jul. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 669
Summer is finally here and it’s time for a DevOps summer vacation. From San Francisco to New York City, our top summer conferences list is going to continuously deliver you to the summer destinations of your dreams. These DevOps parties are hitting all the hottest summer trends with Microservices, Agile, Continuous Delivery, DevSecOps, and even Continuous Testing. Move over Kanye. These are the top 5 Summer DevOps Conferences of 2015.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 663
[video] Infrastructure as a Toolbox By @SoftLayer at @CloudExpo New York | #IoT #API #Containers #Microservices
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry. Resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, broke down what we've got to work with and discuss the benefits and pitfalls to discover how we can best use them to d...
Jul. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,946
Puppet Labs has published their annual State of DevOps report and it is loaded with interesting information as always. Last year’s report brought home the point that DevOps was becoming widely accepted in the enterprise. This year’s report further validates that point and provides us with some interesting insights from surveying a wide variety of companies in different phases of their DevOps journey.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 169
[session] The Container New World By @KeGilpin | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,060
What we really mean to ask is whether microservices architecture is SOA done right. But then, of course, we’d have to figure out what microservices architecture was. And if you think defining SOA is difficult, pinning down microservices architecture is unquestionably frying pan into fire time. Given my years at ZapThink, fighting to help architects understand what Service-Oriented Architecture really was and how to get it right, it’s no surprise that many people ask me this question.
Jul. 29, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 377
[video] An Interview with @ProfitBricksUSA CEO @AchimWeiss | @CloudExpo #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
"ProfitBricks was founded in 2010 and we are the painless cloud - and we are also the Infrastructure as a Service 2.0 company," noted Achim Weiss, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ProfitBricks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,110
One of the ways to increase scalability of services – and applications – is to go “stateless.” The reasons for this are many, but in general by eliminating the mapping between a single client and a single app or service instance you eliminate the need for resources to manage state in the app (overhead) and improve the distributability (I can make up words if I want) of requests across a pool of instances. The latter occurs because sessions don’t need to hang out and consume resources that could ...
Jul. 29, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 154
Approved this February by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), HTTP/2 is the first major update to HTTP since 1999, when HTTP/1.1 was standardized. Designed with performance in mind, one of the biggest goals of HTTP/2 implementation is to decrease latency while maintaining a high-level compatibility with HTTP/1.1. Though not all testing activities will be impacted by the new protocol, it's important for testers to be aware of any changes moving forward.
Jul. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 146