|By Josh Mazgelis||
|April 2, 2014 01:36 PM EDT||
As a curious, social person at heart, the best part of my job is undoubtedly meeting customers and hearing at first hand what issues and challenges they grapple with on a daily basis, especially those that keep them awake at night. I’m also a bit of a magpie because I love to steal their best ideas and reflect these back into our product roadmap. Everyone wins when we deliver what customers really need.
So I had a very enjoyable day out of the office yesterday to meet with the head of infrastructure and operations at one of the UK’s leading mutual financial services providers. With assets of £7bn, it is one of the largest mortgage providers in the UK, serving clients through the internet and telephone as well as at around 100 high street branches. Since I can’t reveal their identity here, I will simply refer to them as The Bank.
The Bank has invested significantly in information technology, with all core banking systems developed in-house using Windows and .NET and deployed on around 350 production VMs, managed via SCOM. Including dev and test, they have 500-600 VMs overall and are a poster child for VMware with only 15 physical file servers yet to be virtualised. Critical systems are protected using a combination of Veeam backup, Microsoft DPM backup (for SQL & Exchange only), virtual clustering for HA, and VMware Site Recovery Manager with vSphere Replication for disaster recovery.
The Bank has an obligation to demonstrate to their auditors that critical banking systems are protected from local and site disasters. Moreover, their IT Ops team have an internal obligation to report compliance status monthly to executive management, meaning that they must be in a position to demonstrate that key systems are appropriately backed up and replicated across to their DR site within service level targets. The problem they face is that it is currently too resource intensive to produce either report. For example, it takes 4 hours for IT Ops to run through daily backup reporting looking for failed Veeam and DPM jobs. They estimate that to produce the monthly internal compliance reports would require one full-time equivalent (FTE) head dedicated continuously to the task. With a team of just 12 ops professionals running all system across The Bank and its subsidiaries, the manual effort to product compliance reporting simply cannot be justified. Instead, they talk through their procedures to protect key systems with executive management and auditors, but they are in no position today to prove that these systems are protected as envisaged.
The reason why The Bank purchased Architect is simply that it automates the production of compliance reporting so that they can prove compliance at the press of a button. Specifically, they will be able to see at a glance where data protection technologies (Veeam, virtual clustering, SRM/vSphere replication) have been deployed, how they have been configured, and whether they will meet service level targets or not. The business case for Architect was simple insofar as it automates the production of compliance reporting and, in the process, saves one FTE head. Although I can’t get into the specific numbers here, The Bank’s ROI will be less than six months.
I also heard some great ideas on enhancements that will make Architect uniquely valuable to The Bank and, by extension, enable Neverfail to offer a world-class compliance solution to the broader banking market. For example, we plan to extend Architect’s behavior from being fundamentally passive to one where Architect takes on an active role. Today, customers use Architect to identify exceptional cases within their technology resiliency strategy and then they go on to manually tweak the protection configuration of those exceptional items to bring them back into compliance. Since Architect’s ROI is driven by eliminating cost from the IT Ops budget, it is a no-brainer to take the next step and use the REST APIs that we integrate with to action the insights coming out of Architect by offering automated configuration updating. So think about automating the restart of failed Veeam backup jobs, or changing the config of Veeam or vSphere backup/replication RPOs to bring protection back into compliance, all at the press of a button within Architect. That, as they say, is the future!
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:00 AM EST Reads: 572
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:45 AM EST Reads: 6,155
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,611
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 1,233
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,366
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,014
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 1,255
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 6, 2016 11:45 PM EST Reads: 727
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 10:15 PM EST Reads: 1,139
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Dec. 6, 2016 09:15 PM EST Reads: 330
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 6, 2016 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,078
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 6, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 2,151
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,705
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 396
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 797
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 1,645
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Dec. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 630
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 3,349
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,216
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 6, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,257