Trends Shaping Active Directory Management In 2008 And Beyond

Silva

Recently, Forrester picked apart and compared the Active
Directory management offerings from the largest players in the space. This is a
market that continues to grow and where players are jockeying for position,
making strategic acquisitions, and refocusing their solutions. Symantec doubled
down on auditing and compliance by rolling their BindView solutions into their
broader suite. Quest Software acquired ScriptLogic – a move that certainly
helps them better target the mid market. Beyond all of that, we see a few
factors and trends that will shape this space in 2008 and further down the road
like: 

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2008: The Year Of Mobile Operations

Silva

It's the end of year and, along with the winter gusts here in New England comes a similar bluster - that of the analysts' predictions. Given my penchant for bluster and the fact that nothing helps pass a long winter's day than writing fanciful predictions, I've got one of my own.

In all seriousness, 2008 will prove to be the year that witnesses the dawn of Mobile Operations. "What's that? Mobile Operations? Don't you mean IT Operations," you say? Yes, this new sub-role, which will be getting a fair deal of coverage and, with any luck, some hard-data and real-world examples of how organizations will be merging mobile voice, mobile data, wireless infrastructure, devices and device management into one, central IT function. This movement by IT organizations, which we expect to see take shape over the course of 2008, will reduce de-duplication of tasks, allow for synergies in managing device and the increase the potential for pooled negotiations with vendors and carriers.

Keep an eye out for January's upcoming research Key Wireless Trends That Will Shape Enterprise Mobility In 2008 which will discuss the role and trend in more detail.

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Microsoft Makes A Bigger Step Into DR With Exchange Server SP1

Voce Microsoft recently released the final version of Exchange Server 2007 SP1, bringing many features into production that didn’t make the cut for the original RTM. Some of the more notable enhancements include improvements to Outlook Web Access (OWA) and the management console and native IPv6 support. Arguably the most significant addition is Standby Continuous Replication (SCR). SCR enables organizations to replicate storage groups to stand-by servers or clusters at remote or secondary data centers. The SCR target can be manually activated if there is a failure at the primary data center. Existing disaster recovery (DR) solutions using native Microsoft tools were scarce and complex, especially compared to other platforms like Domino. To date, third parties like Symantec, NetApp, and Mimosa Systems have filled the gap for customers looking for true rapid failover in site-level failures, but some companies like to see more native options. SCR could be an interesting alternative for firms looking to balance cost and their recovery SLA's.

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Keeping up with global regulations

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has been seemingly more newsworthy than usual recently (even impacting Hollywood elite), with somewhat conflicting accounts of the US cracking down on bribery both here and abroad, and the rationale for the US to accept some level of bribery for the sake of broader national interests.

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Master Data Management 2007: The Year In Review

by Rob Karel.

As 2007 comes to a close, I've decided to take a step back to reflect on what's happening within master data management (MDM). In early 2007, I published a market forecast for master data management that highlighted a $344M total MDM software market size (not including services) in 2006 with anticipated growth to over $2.2B by 2010. In this research, I also predicted the following:

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Risky by association

The holiday season gave media and industry one more opportunity to discuss Mattel’s massive product recalls this year, and admittedly, I still find myself interested in the story. In this case, it was the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s article calling out Mattel’s “Epiphany at Christmas”. 

The revelation: “If it's got your company's name on it, it's your problem.”

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Microsoft Backs Off Hard-Line Activation Techniques

Voce The element of piracy always presents Microsoft with a difficult choice in how best to protect its intellectual property. Measures that are too lax could contribute to an uptake in unlicensed deployments and lost licensing revenue while more draconian techniques could threaten adoption of their products and place an unnecessary management burden on their paying customers. The software giant always has a formidable task in finding a balance between the two extremes and determining the best course of action with regard to protecting their products. Take the example of a university with a compromised Windows Server volume license key, posted by a student administrator on to the Internet for “sharing.” Installations using the key pop up around the globe, forcing Microsoft to invalidate the key. Software pirates around the globe shrug their shoulders and move on to the next key on their list while the university is stuck cleaning up the mess resulting from having a now invalid key.

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Is Cisco Really Opening Up IOS?

Rob As mentioned in my last post, I was recently at Cisco’s C-Scape. One reporter asked me to comment on my thoughts regarding a specific announcement (if you can call it that): Cisco will begin go to open up IOS. So you’ve probably got the same question I had: ‘What does “open” mean?’ As best I can tell, it means providing some standards-based APIs so that IOS can be controlled by third-party applications and infrastructure. Seems interesting, but I feel there’s more to it than that.

My initial thoughts are:

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New Year's Resolutions for choosing online retailers

With CardSpace and Higgins being in nascant and almost non-existent market adoption mode, you may wonder what authentication features you want to be looking for when shopping online. Usernames and passwords are a thing of the past: you can safely assume that you will use a computer to log in which has a keylogger or trojan capturing your keystrokes, and with it your username and password.

Savvy customers are increasingly turning towards online retailers and financial institutions which provide at least some form of multi-factor authentication to protect against password theft. The following list gives a compass to consumers and vendors to navigate the misty waters of online transactions.

Smart cards / USB tokens (very costly, high level of security, great user inconvenience)

Hardware based solution that contains applications, PKI certificates used to authenticate to a site. These cards can include a magstripe for physical access management and RFID proximity sensors.

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Hesse Takes Top Job at Sprint Nextel

Silva Today, Sprint Nextel announced Dan Hesse would be filling the role of CEO, a position vacated in October by Gary Forsee. Hesse, coming most recently from Sprint MVNO Embarq – one of only two carriers in the US to offer Dual-Mode calling over WiFi – may prove to be a strategically minded, advanced-technology maven with the telecoms experience that can bring some much needed success in enterprise and consumer business to Sprint Hesse will face three major challenges, his success on all of which Sprint’s success ultimately rests:

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