In late 2014, I took a moment to think about a few trends enterprise IT should expect to see for 2015. I’d like to explore these trends a little further.
Network functions virtualization takes off, even without SDN
2015 will see continued development of SDN technologies, and buyer confusion will not abate as the incumbent switch and router vendors jockey for position. But NFV, already being widely deployed into service providers, will make its way into “classical” enterprise networks without the need for any SDN refresh (which, curiously, may require new hardware). Virtualized network functions allow organizations to dynamically provision networks wherever they’re needed, on an on-demand basis, independent of any underlying fabric.
It’s one of those things that you start out thinking will be a simple and straightforward task. You know, buying a shirt, a pair of shoes, or a car. Even something as mundane as a cup of coffee to help you survive the morning commute.
Contrary to our desire for simplicity, it is very rare to find that “one size fits all." That’s why you can order your “skinny latte frappe with chocolate sprinkles” from the barista in one, of many different coffee cup sizes, to suit you.
The same can be said of SteelHeads. It is important to make sure that you deploy the appropriate size of SteelHead to meet your needs. To keep it as simple and straightforward as possible, understand what metrics are important to you and make use of some basic rules of thumb.
Factors include keeping track of a changing mix of cloud-hosted, on-premises, and even shadow IT apps that provide the backdrop for most modern enterprise networks and now more commonly named, the "hybrid enterprise."
Saving money while meeting more demand for better user experience drives the hybrid enterprise effort. The cost-saving infrastructure in a hybrid enterprise includes networks, storage, and servers that can be fully or partially implemented somewhere in a private or public cloud with virtual and traditional computing that is software defined.
In the early days of the web, people joked about the ‘World Wide Wait’ as eager net surfers were forced to wait for animated GIFs to render or emails to load, strangled as they were by the bandwidth constraints of 38k modems. But today, everyone has high expectations of IT. That might be frustrating for CIOs and others with deep domain knowledge, but users’ voices have to be heard. And they say that they’re not going to put up with a World Wide Wait in the office.
According to Microsoft market research, 78% of all Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint.
Enterprises choose between the growing popularity of SharePoint Online provided with Office 365 and the more traditional on premises solution for more complex deployments. In some cases, enterprises deploy a hybrid solution with some of both.
User experience of SharePoint can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Here are three tips to make sure it's top-notch.
In 1963 Sweden switched from left-hand driving to right. That they did this overnight (literally) seems unbelievably hard, until you imagine phasing something like that in over a month or two. New signs, new buses, new street marking, new traffic signals – the list goes on and on.
In many ways, IT has faced a similar set of challenges for the past 30 years. Think of the dramatic, game-changing shifts that IT has had to adapt to: Personal computers, the Internet, virtual computing, the cloud, mobility – the list also goes on and on. The latest addition? The Hybrid Enterprise.
What’s a Hybrid Enterprise? Simply put it is a computing fabric that comprises public and MPLS traffic, as well as apps deployed on physical and virtual servers hosted on premise or in the cloud.
The “Big Shift” to Value and Velocity: Is IT Still Relevant?
For over a decade, big changes have been rippling through IT organizations the world over, forcing CIOs and other technology executives to rethink how they deliver value to the business. At the extreme, the changes are causing businesses to question the very existence of IT departments. But I can say with confidence that IT is very much relevant today -- perhaps more than ever before.
The rumblings started some years ago with a trend toward outsourcing and offshoring. Then came the cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS), which provided an easy alternative to owning and operating software and hardware in-house. As industry analyst Steve Ranger explains in an excellent ZDNet article, “CIOs are facing a new reality in which success is measured not by the number of staff and projects on the books, but by how few.”
We've heard the big stories about bad days for application performance—like Best Buy's challenge on Black Friday. I discussed simliar issues in this recent post. And we're still hearing about Healthcare.gov's performance problems.
The cost for application downtime can be incredibly crippling even if it's just seconds, much like a kid spilling their ice cream cone.
What is the optimal end user experience for a business critical enterprise application, such as Salesforce.com? How does it affect user productivity and what are the business impacts?
Well, it is better to ask the end users. Brice Charneau, Sales Enablement Analyst from Riverbed's UK office explains, “When a local inside sales representative is accessing leads in Salesforce.com while making outbound calls to prospects or running a report on opportunity in his region, it is frustrating to wait for pages to load. Performance degradation peaks around mid to end afternoon UK time, when US employees are waking up.” Chris Havelka, Regional Sales Manager puts it another way, “As you move along the sales funnel during a deal process, especially during quarter end, managers want instant information as they are updating their forecast reports based on the commit from the team to accurately reflect revenue prediction. Any slowness in the tool has direct impact to business.” End user experience, although a personal matter, is a critical component for business success when it relates to Salesforce.com.
If you didn’t attend the Riverbed FORCE user conference or the live virtual event, you missed some amazing keynote speakers, including Intel's CIO Kim Stevenson, Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly, and author Geoffery Moore. Riverbed SteelCentral SVP and General Manager Mike Sargent spoke on the future of application visibility and the importance of both longitudinal and latitudinal visibility in performance management.
Mike discusses how visibility will and must evolve as big data gets exponentially bigger. Visibility has evolved from a “siloed” approcah to more comprehensive, an approach which we now provide with Riverbed SteelCentral. He further posits that from this complex visibility we will likely evolve network analytics and predictive visibility, and then to business-driven visibility, which “will assure reliability beyond IT components, and will assure reliability of the entire business process while delivering high-impact insights.” Check out the highlights in the video:
Riverbed delivers the most complete platform for Location-Independent Computing, turning location and distance into a competitive advantage. The Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ allows IT to have the flexibility to host applications and data in the most optimal locations while ensuring applications perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues are detected and fixed before end users notice. At more than $1 billion in annual revenue, Riverbed has 25,000+ customers, including 97% of both the Fortune 100 and the Forbes Global 100.