Yep, I play Pokémon Go. I take joy walking around the neighborhood and in
strange towns catching a Pinsir, Ponyta, or Growlithe or two (though I have
to put up with those pesky Ekans, Paras and Spearows). You see, I play
Pokémon Go for …er, um,… research purposes. I can’t help but to
imagine how organizations can leverage “augmented reality,” the secret
sauce behind Pokémon Go, to deliver analytic insights and recommendations to
key business constituents in a way that is more direct and actionable (not to
In previous blogs (see “Analytics, Meet the User Experience” and “Store
Manager Actionable Dashboard”), I discussed how critical it was to the
success of your big data initiatives that you identify and understand upfront
how to deliver the analytic insights and recommendations in a manner that is
actionable (and measurable). Virtual an... (more)
Cloud Expo Early Bird Savings
A robust ecosystem of solutions providers is emerging around cloud computing.
Here, SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal expands its list of most active
players in the fast-emerging Cloud Ecosystem, from the 'mere' 100 we
identified back in January of this year, to half as many again - testimony,
if any further were needed, to the fierce and continuing growth of the
"Elastic IT" paradigm throughout the world of enterprise computing.
Editorial note: The words in quotation marks used to describe the various
services and solutions in this round-up are in every case taken from the Web
sites cited. As ever we encourage software engineers, developers, IT
operations managers, and new/growing companies in every case to "suck it and
see" by downloading or otherwise sampling the offering in question for
(Omissions to this Top 150 list sh... (more)
Anyone who’s been around cryptography for a while understands that secure
key management is a critical foundation for any security strategy involving
encryption. Back in the day it was SSL, and an entire industry of solutions
grew up specifically aimed at protecting the key to the kingdom – the
master key. Tamper-resistant hardware devices are still required for some US
Federal security standards under the FIPS banner, with specific security
protections at the network and software levels providing additional assurance
that the ever important key remains safe.
In many cases it’s advised that the master key is not even kept on the same
premises as the systems that use it. It must be locked up, safely, offsite;
transported via a secure briefcase, handcuffed to a security officer and
guarded by dire wolves. With very, very big teeth.
No, I am not exaggerating. At least ... (more)
With hypervisors a ubiquitous component of nearly every IT deployment,
virtual appliances present a compelling alternative to traditional physical
appliances by offering a simpler and faster software deployment model. In
recent years, many data storage vendors have jumped on the “virtual
bandwagon,” offering virtual storage appliances, often referred to as VSAs,
and bucking the trend of an industry largely dominated by traditional
While virtual storage appliances may seem disruptive to the accepted model of
an integrated storage array, their attractiveness is largely based on the
separation of the high-value I/O software stack from the commodity hardware
that underlies them. This software/hardware decoupling enables new levels of
deployment flexibility for end-users. For those considering deploying new
storage infrastructure, VSAs offer a number of ... (more)
It's that time of year again. Time for the industry's most influential
infrastructure gathering, VMworld. And, as has become an annual occurrence, I
jot down some pre-show thoughts about the event (2012, 2011).
Who is VMware in 2013?
While Pat Gelsinger was introduced at the 2012 VMworld as the new CEO,
replacing Paul Maritz, the themes and strategy were still very much inline
with Maritz's prior plans. Since then Gelsinger has narrowed the focus of the
company, shed many products and begun putting his leadership team in place.
So I'll be very interested to see how VMware gets presented this year.
Gelsinger has not yet named a new CTO or CMO, so this year's event should
very much be a representation of how he wants to present the company to the
VMware is definitely a company in transition. Server virtualization is a
mature market. The role of the desktop is bei... (more)
I've always found that the obvious things in life are easy to understand once
you see them. I've got a good one for you.
Question: If an ISV can bring install time close to zero, their proof of
concept (POC) efforts will:
Take less time Become predictable and repeatable Go more smoothly in the eyes
of the potential customer Provide more time for actually working with the
customer and proving the concept Look impressive compared to competitors who
need to send SEs on site for hours and days of sweating through glitch-filled
installation and configurations Increase the likelihood of a win Use less of
the most skilled and valuable ISV asset - the knowledgeable SE who is also
good in front of living, breathing, revenue-generating potential customers
Lower the cost of sales Generate incremental revenue All of the above
The obvious thing here is ISVs should reduce POC insta... (more)
VAA on Ulitzer
We've all been there. Minding our own business in a local establishment,
when a discussion's heat rises to the level of a sporting bet. Sides are
chosen, money plunked down, combatants await the reveal. Other than adult
beverages, the thing these bets seem to have in common is that the winning
fact generally runs against commonly held assumptions.
Here's a winner for you:
Q: What company "invented" virtualization technology?
A: The long defunct Burroughs Corporation first brought mainframe
virtualization to market in the 1960s. But it was not until the then
laggard IBM brought it to their 360 line in the 1970s that the concept was
I'm willing to make this little bet with you: Most people of a certain age
are more than willing to bet folding green that IBM ‘invented'
virtualization. Gen-any-letters will bet VMware with confidence.... (more)
Hypothetical question: If a big ISV were to fall in love with AppZero
technology but turn out to be a VMware sibling, do I have a.) a great
opportunity, b.) a giant time sink, or c.) a competitive trap on my hands?
I love talking with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) about how Virtual
Application Appliance (VAA) is the way to go for delivering applications to
their users. It's true. It's fun. It's revolutionary.
Last week my CTO and I were in a room with 5 engineers who were describing
the challenge of supporting close to 10,000 customers on a software
application that does replication for mirroring, backup, business continuity,
and other such mission critical functions. Their comments went pretty much
"Every day we have an install that doesn't seem to work"
"We had Microsoft and InstallShield on a call with a customer last week"
"Files are sometim... (more)
I’m on a ID fraud kick lately and there are quite a few stories of late
about identity theft. Here are just a few:
House Approves Red Flags Exemptions – In January 2008, the Red Flag Rule
went into existence which said that organizations (mainly banks and financial
institutions) that extend credit to have a written Identity Theft Prevention
Program designed to detect identity fraud on a day to day basis. This new
bill would except certain businesses like physicians and hospitals from
having to abide by the rule. Sen. Dodd (D-Conn) said that the bill,
‘makes clear that lawyers, doctors, dentists, orthodontists, pharmacists,
veterinarians, accountants, nurse practitioners, social workers, other types
of healthcare providers and other service providers will no longer be
classified as ‘creditors’ for the purposes of the Red Flags Rule just
because they do not receiv... (more)
Nothing says fun like a hurricane party, a bottle of "Jack," and a little
game theory debate as lights begin to flicker across New England. And
speaking of "Jack," what can possibly explain the handlers at HP letting Leo
Apotheker get off the reservation long enough to proclaim the obvious market
shift brought on by the iPad?
Note to Leo: Never tell the world your business problems right before you put
up the "for sale" sign. Never.
Note to Larry: Please put Leo, the board and shareholders out of their
misery. Can you imagine?
Ahhhhh. I feel better. Now .... turning to the chasm-crossing cloud
market ... I am fascinated by how the maturing of this market changes the
competitive landscape as players reposition where they'll compete and
investors ask, "Where is the smart money?"
So, with a nod to Geoffrey Moore's iconic taxonomy, here's my cut at a
bare-bones ou... (more)
One of my favorite jobs was working in corporate development and looking at
companies to acquire back at Progress Software. We had a couple hundred
million in the bank, low single digit organic growth, margins expanding from
20% by 2 or 3% per year, and had gotten addicted to buying top line revenue
to "juice" our top line.
Corporate development got to go shopping for acquisitions, meeting with tons
of small to medium sized companies to find the next one that met our model
and fit our strategy. We called the activity around this shopping "kissing
frogs" and "turning over rocks." When we found a live one, I would:
a. vet them
b. buy them, and
c. run like hell - far away from the integration team.
Why run? Because no matter how diligently one does due diligence, there is
always a difference between the "story" (business-as-promised) and the
"install" (business... (more)