|By Don MacVittie||
|October 5, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
Not that I need to tell you, but there are several things in your network that you could have better control of. Whether it is consistent application of security policy or consistent configuration of servers, or even the setup of network devices, they’re in there, being non-standard.
And they’re costing you resources in the long run. Sure, the staff today knows exactly how to tweak settings on each box to make things perform better, and knows how to improve security on this given device for this given use, but eventually, it won’t be your current staff responsible for these things, and that new staff will have one heck of a learning curve unless you’re far better at documentation of exceptions than most organizations.
Sometimes, exceptions are inevitable. This device has a specific use that requires specific settings you would not want to apply across the data center. That’s one of the reasons IT exists, is to figure that stuff out so the business runs smoothly, no?
But sometimes it is just technology holding you back from standardizing. Since I’m not slapping around anyone else by doing so, I’ll use my employer as an example of technology and how changes to it can help or hinder you. Version 9.X of TMOS – our base operating system – was hugely popular, and is still in use in a lot of environments, even though we’re on version 11.X and have a lot of new and improved things in the system. The reason is change limitation (note: Not change control, but limitation). Do you upgrade a network device that is doing what it is supposed to simply because there’s a newer version of firmware?
it is incumbent upon vendors to give you a solid reason why you should. I’ve had reason to look into an array of cloud based accounting services of late, and frankly, there is not a compelling reason offered by the major software vendors to switch to their cloud model and become even more dependent upon the vendor (who would now be not only providing software but storing your data also). I feel that F5 has offered plenty of solid reasons to upgrade, but if you’re in a highly complex or highly regulated environment, solid reasons to upgrade do not always equate to upgrades being undertaken. Again, the risk/reward ratio has to be addressed at some point.
And I think there is a reluctance in many enterprises to consider the benefits of upgrading. I was at a large enterprise that was using Windows 95 as a desktop standard in 2002. Why? Because they believed the risks inherent to moving to a new version of Windows corporate wide were greater than the risks of staying. Frankly, by the time it was 2002, there was PLENTY of evidence that Windows 98 was stable and a viable replacement for Windows 95. You see the same phenomenon today. Lots of enterprises are still limping along with Windows XP, even though by-and-large, Windows 7 is a solid OS.
In the case of F5, there is a feature in the 11.X series of updates to TMOS that should, by itself, offer driving reason to upgrade. I think that it has not been seriously considered by some of our customers for the same reason as the Windows upgrades are slow – if you don’t look at what benefits it can bring, the risk of upgrading can scare you. But BIG-IP running TMOS 11.X has an astounding set of functionality called iApps that allow you to standardize how network objects – for load balancing, security, DNS services, WAN Optimization, Web App Firewalling, and a host of other network services – are deployed for a given type of application. Need to deploy, load balance, and protect Microsoft Exchange? Just run the iApp in the web UI. It asks you a few questions, and then creates everything needed, based upon your licensing options and your answers to the questions. Given that you can further implement your own iApps, you can guarantee that every instance of a given application has the exact same network objects deployed to make it secure, fast, and available. From an auditing perspective, it gives a single location (the iApp) for information about all applications of the same type. There are pre-generated iApps for a whole host of applications, and a group here on DevCentral that is dedicated to user developed iApps. There is even a repository of iApps on DevCentral.
And what risk is perceived from upgrading is more than mitigated by the risk reduction in standardizing the deployment and configuration of network objects to support applications. IIS has specific needs, but all IIS can be configured the same using the IIS iApp, reducing the risk of operator error or auditing gotcha.
I believe that Microsoft did a good job of putting out info about Windows 7, and that organizations were working on risk avoidance and cost containment. The same is true of F5 and TMOS 11.X. I believe that happens a lot in the enterprise, and it’s not always the best solution in the long run. You cannot know which is more risky – upgrading or not – until you know what the options are. I don’t think there are very many professional IT staff that would say staying with Windows 95 for years after Windows 98 was out was a good choice, hindsight being 20/20 and all.
Look around your datacenter. Consider the upgrade options. Do some research, make sure you are aware of what not upgrading a device, server, desktop, whatever is as well as you understand the risks of performing the upgrade.
And yeah, I know you’re crazy busy. I also know that many upgrades offer overall time savings, with an upfront cost. If you don’t invest in time-saving, you’ll never reap time savings. Rocking it every day, like most of you do, is only enough as long as there are enough hours in the day. And there are never enough hours in the IT day. As I mentioned at #EnergySec2012 last week, there are certainly never enough hours in the InfoSec day.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 31, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,446
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 30, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,029
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 30, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,459
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,642
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,097
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,160
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,130
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,363
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,596
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,089
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 30, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,405
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 30, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,876
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 30, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,471
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 30, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,416
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 30, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,318
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,326
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 30, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,363
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 30, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,562
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,106
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,415