In October, I had the opportunity to travel back to Russia for the 9th annual EMC Forum, hosted at the World Trade Center in Moscow. With more than 1,500 attendees, including customers, partners and press, it was clear that the people of Russia are excited by the transformation happening in IT and are eager to learn more and capitalize on the growing megatrend that is big data.One of the topics that I covered in my keynote was the benefits of big data. It’s a source of business innovation and revenue growth and these mimic the challenges that every organization deals with and are not going away anytime soon. Big data can help gain new insights that grow the business and improve operational efficiency. In fact, the number one use of big data is to increase customer intimacy by gathering more data about customers to improve marketing efficiency, product designs and satisfy customer needs.Given the technical expertise and sophistication of IT users in Russia, the adoption of big data ideas have disseminated quite quickly compared to years past when we would introduce new concepts region by region, hoping for acceptance. The question is not whether big data will be a big deal but rather, how ready are IT companies to bring these ideas to market?Russia is a hotbed of IT IP and they are ready and excited about jumping on the big data opportunity.Two of the biggest sectors in Russia in which big data can make an extraordinary impact are in financial services and oil and gas. Banks are often looking for solutions to engage customers in new ways, generate business demand and increase revenue streams. With high-volume, varied customer data, big data infrastructure and analytics are needed to improve growth strategy and gain competitive advantage. In oil and gas, anticipating trends and predicting findings is critical to improving operational efficiency. Not to mention that seismic data is tailor made for big data analysis.To have the chance to visit Russia twice in just a few short months was wonderful as I was able to meet with our talented team who are focused on taking EMC to the next level. EMC was recently listed as the #4 IT employer in Russia by Aon Hewitt and we are committed to growing our talented workforce there. Our customers and partners who go to market with us are very excited about the depth and breadth of our product line, the strategic positioning that we’ve carved out for ourselves, and the expansion on their ability to serve their customers’ broad IT requirements.
I spend a lot of time talking with CIOs around the world, on the infrastructure side of the house as well as the database/enterprise app side of the house. I hear first-hand, from DBAs and IT infrastructure teams alike, about the challenges they face with choosing the right infrastructure for their database and enterprise app environments. I consistently hear stories of the difficulties of meeting service-level agreements, of meeting performance objectives, of providing continuous availability, availability to recover quickly, of driving down TCO and leveraging the benefits of virtualization. Customers tell me they want a virtual, open architecture that will allow them to leverage best-in-class technologies, but are concerned about the performance impact this may have on their production databases and applications.At EMC World, I told you how EMC faced this challenge as we standardized our own business-critical applications infrastructure that included Oracle, SAP, and Exchange. Like many of our customers, our experience proved that virtual infrastructure can achieve the standardization gains across IT while being able to maximize performance for production applications and databases.I provided specific examples of this in my keynote address. Just a small amount of flash in virtualized Oracle databases in online transaction processing (OLTP) and Data Warehouse workloads delivers extreme levels of performance. How much? 3.7 million random I/Os per second for Oracle OLTP environments at very low latencies and over 32 GB/second read scan performance with over 21 TB/hour data loads for Oracle data warehouses. More importantly, this standardized approach of flash and virtualization makes a measurable impact on long-term TCO.There is also an interesting added benefit of virtualization and flash in terms of multi-year TCO for production database and application environments. A recent post by Wikibon.orghighlights the impact of how a small amount of flash, combined with virtualization of Oracle production database servers, can dramatically impact hardware, software, and maintenance TCO over a three-year period.Optimizing performance and TCO for one specific database or application is nice, but what most IT organizations are driving toward is a way to standardize how these benefits are delivered across the data center. Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP have all been offering strategies to standardize within their own field of vision. Take Oracle’s “engineered systems,” for example. Oracle applies standardization vertically and promises optimized levels of IT performance and IT productivity—at least for a part of IT. That doesn’t mean that standardization is a compromise—it just means that standardization needs to be broadly applied to be effective for all business-critical applications. A vertically integrated approach for a specific database, custom-written application, or one vendor’s stack is not easily leveraged across a virtual cloud computing environment, and several customers have found they have become locked in and can’t leverage best-of-breed technologies that could make their organizations more efficient and flexible, and avoid the single-vendor lock-in problem.Customers looking to standardize IT infrastructure for their high-performance Oracle database environments can do so without sacrificing openness and choice thanks to the new Vblock™ Specialized System for High Performance Databases. Unlike narrowly focused engineered systems, the new Vblock System delivers optimized performance for Oracle with flash, along with the Vblock System’s inherent high availability and ability to cost-effectively scale the system incrementally, all while preserving the choice to run other Oracle or non-Oracle workloads today or in the future. Targeted for large database environments requiring millions of IOPs, the system will enter limited availability (through VCE’s First Customer Ship Program) in Q4 2013, with targeted GA in Q1 2014.To help our customers optimize their unique Oracle environments, EMC has created an open, online community for Oracle customers to engage directly with EMC’s global solutions experts. Here, Oracle DBAs and IT infrastructure teams can access dozens of tested and proven solutions, training materials, and case studies from EMC/Oracle customers who have achieved impressive performance and efficiency results virtualizing their Oracle database environments.When selecting the right infrastructure for your Oracle database environment—where performance, availability, and efficiency for business-critical apps such as Oracle are paramount—don’t settle for just any engineered system. Choose the system that will best help you meet your performance objectives, availability requirements, and service-level agreements and at the same time drive down TCO.
Last week, I attended Evanta’s CIO Executive Summit in New York, where I spent time with CIOs from some of the largest enterprises in business.This is an exciting time to be a CIO, and a risky one, too, because I’d say about a third of the customers I talk to have decided their current IT team is not the team that is going to lead their IT transformation in the coming years. To get around that, these firms are building new teams to address business disruption and opportunity head on.Yesterday’s CIO agenda was about building applications for a client/server model. Almost every new application is being written for mobile devices, smart phones and tablets. Just think of someone filing a property insurance claim, submitting video and images captured by their mobile device. Every single mobile user is generating a thousand times more data than before. And a mobile application can have a thousand times more users than a client/server era application. That means a million times more data than before, and all that data needs a new type of infrastructure to run upon.In the new paradigm upon us, do you have a strategy to enable your apps for mobile devices? Within EMC’s IT, we’re building a mobile environment that is safe and secure and more available to more of our employee base, especially our road warriors in the field. We’re even looking at ways to reduce travel expenses related to internal meetings, freeing up resources that we can invest in a more mobile-enabled workforce.Do you have the software development skills for agile application development and rapid deployment? Many enterprises gave up those talents for leaner organizations years ago and have lost that core DNA. But some, especially in financial services, kept those skills in-house for customized work. That extra cost used to be seen as a liability, but now bespoke applications are coming back into favor. Pivotal Labs has attracted the ninjas of agile app development who are helping organizations relearn those lost skills.Yesterday’s CIO agenda was about building data warehouses that feel static and limited today. Leading edge enterprises are now building data lakes, which can pool a lot more information about the business, in various data formats, that can be analyzed in real time, usually based on Hadoop or HDFS. Data lakes yield better predictive insights than the rear view mirror perspective of a data warehouse. At EMC, we’re using our own big data tools to analyze failure rates in real time, to predict and address potential problems before they occur. Predictive analytics is one area of IT today that really interests a CIO’s ultimate boss, the CEO.Most enterprises still need to run client/server platform applications, but in a way that enables consumption-based ITaaS in the cloud/mobile world. The term “Cloud” can mean all sorts of things to all sorts of people, so planning for cloud-enabled IT raises fundamental questions to answer: Which of these applications will live in your data center’s private cloud? Which ones will live in a public cloud, off-premise? Building a hybrid cloud at enterprise scale is an IT organization’s next ERP project. But few organizations can afford to wait two years for implementation. That’s why we just introduced our Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution that can help customers get their hybrid cloud up and running in 28 days or less.Finally, yesterday’s approach to IT security was all about perimeter defense, putting heavy locks on doors to keep the bad guys out. In a cloud/mobile world, the perimeter is more porous, so the bad guys are sneaking in undetected… but less so under the radar of forward-looking CIOs and CISOs who are deploying advanced security techniques: security analytics that monitor network traffic for anomalies in the flow of information, enabling an enterprise to catch bad actors in the act.For CIOs who lead large organizations and must manage the expectations of a business and its executive team, the change management challenge may be the greatest challenge of them all. There is no question that today’s IT platform is changing dramatically. The question for CIOs is, are you?
Following a challenging year for server security, one big question remains: where is the industry headed in 2019? How do we rethink our approach in the wake of Spectre & Meltdown? What are the dangers on the horizon, and what sort of innovation can businesses use to combat them?I spoke with our Dell Fellow, Mukund Khatri to get the answers to all of this and more.What do you think customers will be dealing with this year?Customers will continue to be plagued by increasing vulnerabilities and security challenges this year. Last year started with Spectre/Meltdown followed by seemingly endless other side-channel issues, sending many companies into a security maelstrom.Companies are in the midst of digital transformation. For digital transformation, security transformation is essential. There are predictors that indicate ransomware will continue to increase, as well as smarter means of harvesting credentials. Timely infrastructure patch management is a challenge that customers will have to address to decrease their exposure. If consumers don’t have adequate encryption and encryption management, their data is insecure and at high risk for data loss and exfiltration.These issues will require customers to handle increasing privacy regulations – like the EU’s GDPR, Australia’s new encryption law, and California’s new privacy regulation which goes into effect at the end of this year. Customers will need to determine the best way of balancing risk, while meeting regulations at the same time.What security innovations do you see coming in 2019?There will be many. I believe some of the major innovation focus areas will be in supply chain security. Also, I expect we’ll see innovation in encryption and encryption management with data at the edge, not just in the cloud or in the data center. I think there will be enhancements to monitoring and remediation technologies using AI and machine learning (ML) to enhance the security of their systems. Customers will be looking for innovative and easy ways to stay current with patch management tools. These tools will be key to minimizing the impact to their business, resource allocations, and other business disruptions.I believe we will see innovations leveraging new technologies like AI, blockchain, and multi-factor authentication across various security solution spaces, including supply chain risk management, advanced threat monitoring solutions, and enhanced access and identity management (AIM). Secure enclaves for better protection of secrets is another emerging solution space.Is it true that businesses only have to worry about security with their software, and all servers have the same security features?Absolutely not! It might have been that way in the past, but hardware technology continues to evolve. Of course software must continue to be a critical focus for security, but there is a growing recognition that the hardware infrastructure must be protected as well. Think of it this way – would you buy a house at the beach without checking its foundation? That would not be very smart! Your server is the foundation of your data center, and it should have security built in to confidently build upon.Security must be designed within the architecture of the server to effectively withstand sophisticated cyber-crime: phishing attacks that harvest credentials, advanced persistent threats (taking control of your firmware), data exfiltration (stealing your data). Server and server supply chain security must be looked at and considered as critical criteria in your purchasing decisions. Whether you are the CIO, the IT manager, or the IT admin, you want to know that you have made the right choice and are protecting your data center and your data from the ground up.How can a business focus on their growth, and not concentrate most of their resources on security within their data center?In the current environment, and for the foreseeable future, security will continue to remain top of mind for everyone. If you are moving data to the edge, utilizing AI or ML, or a hybrid cloud customer, you will need a trusted partner to manage resources that implement these new technologies.I wish I could tell you that you didn’t have to do anything regarding your infrastructure security, but that is unrealistic in the world we live in. You will have to focus on security, but sometimes challenges grow at a faster rate than investments grow. To enable a business to focus on their growth, they need to have trusted infrastructure. Infrastructure within businesses will continue to grow, increasing the likelihood of threats, but with a trusted partner you focus more of your resources on growth, rather than managing threats. This is where Dell EMC can help. We want our customers to be able to focus on their growth and innovations, and let us focus on creating, delivering and managing a security enhanced product for their data center.As a Dell Fellow, I focus on PowerEdge servers and data centers. I think of how we can keep up with emerging threats, sideline them before they impact our customers. Dell EMC brings a lot to the table as a whole, in client, storage, and servers. Resilience…cyber resilience benefits everyone.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A growing number of Republican senators say they oppose holding an impeachment trial. That’s a sign of the dimming chances that former President Donald Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House Democrats, who will walk the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate on Monday evening, are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. And Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defense.
LONDON (AP) — Google says it’s making progress on its plan to revamp Chrome user tracking technology aimed at improving privacy even as it faces challenges from regulators and officials. The company gave an update Monday on its work to remove from its Chrome browser so-called third-party cookies, which are used by a website’s advertisers or partners and can be used to track user browsing habist across the internet. They’ve been a longtime source of privacy concerns and Google said a year ago that it would do away with them, in an announcement that shook up the online advertising industry. In a blog post, Google said the proposals will “help publishers and advertisers succeed while also protecting people’s privacy as they move across the web.”
A new study finds that tropical cyclones around the globe are getting closer to land than previously, except for Atlantic hurricanes. Thursday’s study finds that these storms, also called typhoons, are moving about 18 miles closer to land and people every decade since 1982. Scientists aren’t sure why this is happening. Nor do they understand why it’s happening all over except in the Atlantic. And they find it even more puzzling that while storms seem to be getting closer to land, they don’t seem to be hitting land significantly more.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A Chinese-Australian billionaire has been awarded $450,000 in damages after winning his defamation case over an a state broadcaster’s investigation that suggested he was a member of the Chinese Communist Party who bribed Australia lawmakers to make decisions in China’s interests. Chau Chak Wing sued Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Fairfax Media over the investigation broadcast on the “Four Corners” program and published in newspapers in 2017. The court rejected two of his claims but found four of them were defamatory. The ABC and Nine Entertainment were considering whether to appeal. The publishers had previously had their truth defense struck out, leaving only the question of whether Chau’s claims had been suggested in their reporting.
PARIS (AP) — A homeless man has been detained on suspicion of ramming a van into two pedestrians in Paris’ La Defense business and shopping district, killing one and injuring the other. Police and the prosecutors’ office said the man was detained after he fled on foot following Wednesday’s incident with a stolen cleaning van. The prosecutors’ office said there was no immediate evidence of any terrorist motive.
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Prosecutors in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas say they have arrested a dozen state police officers for allegedly killing 19 people, including Guatemalan migrants, whose bodies were found shot and burned near the U.S. border late in January. Tamaulipas state Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica said late Tuesday that all 12 state policemen are in custody and face charges of homicide, abuse of authority and making false statements. The killings revived memories of the gruesome 2010 massacre of 72 migrants near the town of San Fernando in the same gang-ridden state.