|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It's clear that the traditional way of managing and dictating IT policies is out-of-date and out-of-touch with the daily realities of modern IT departments.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.
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,178
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
Jul. 30, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,380
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
Jul. 30, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,783
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Jul. 30, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,344
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Jul. 29, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,292
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 29, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,749
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Jul. 29, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,689
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Jul. 29, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 9,831
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Jul. 29, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,843
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Jul. 29, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,306
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Jul. 29, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,353
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Jul. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,493
No matter how well-built your applications are, countless issues can cause performance problems, putting the platforms they are running on under scrutiny. If you've moved to Node.js to power your applications, you may be at risk of these issues calling your choice into question. How do you identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risk to take the focus off troubleshooting the technology and back where it belongs, on innovation? There is no doubt that Node.js is one of today's leading platforms of ...
Jul. 29, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 667
Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?
"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.
They are not.
One is about the application. The other, the network. T...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,733
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,381
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,289
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,700
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
Jul. 28, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,256
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
Jul. 28, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,365
Jul. 28, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,977