Adobe proves that the cloud is good for IT Ops

James Staten

Adobe Systems is a pioneer and fast mover in the public cloud and in so doing is showing that there is nothing for infrastructure & operations professionals (IT Ops) to fear about this move. Instead, as they put it, the cloud gives their systems administrators (sysadmins) super powers ala RoboCop.

RoboCop 2014This insight was provided by Fergus Hammond, a senior manager in Adobe Cloud Services, in an analyst webinar conducted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) last month.  Hammond (no relation to Forrester VP and principal analyst Jeffrey Hammond) said that Adobe was live on AWS in October 2011, just 8 months after its formal internal decision to use the public cloud platform for its Adobe Creative Cloud. Prior to this there were pockets of AWS experience across various product teams but no coordinated, formal effort as large or strategic as this.

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Top 5 Things Rapper Drake Can Remind Us About Service Management

Amy DeMartine

Forrester is big on music. Conference rooms are named after bands or musicians and headquarters just held a music festival.   As for me, I am a big Drake fan.   Therefore, to honor Drake (shout out to Noah “40” Shebib too!) and with a nod to the love of music at Forrester Research, I have combed through his lyrics and here’s the top 5 things I think Drake can remind us about service management:

  1. “I be yelling out: money over everything, money on my mind”  Especially after a long week of dealing with outages, changes gone awry, or a huge volume of service requests, it is good to remind ourselves why service management is so important.  At its heart, service management solves critical business problems or enables business success.  Good service management can make employees more productive which in turn makes the company more profitable.   How are you measuring success?  More on that later.
  2. “There ain't really much out here that's popping off without us” Whether it is business processes or applications that support functions such as HR, Finance, R&D, Marketing, or Sales, service management is at the heart of it all.  Service Management should be enabling, monitoring, and measuring all of these business processes and therefore making you relevant to the business success or failure.
  3. “It’s hard to do these things alone” Services are reliant on the networks, servers, databases and all other parts of IT to run smoothly.  Boundaries can easily pop up between functions of IT.  Work hard to break down those boundaries to make everyone’s job easier. 
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WebRTC: The Next Wave Of Innovation In Customer Engagement

Nupur Singh Andley

In the age of digitally empowered customers, advancements in the ubiquitous, multimedia web collaboration space will gain momentum, riding on the developments in web real-time communication (WebRTC) technology. While still nascent in Asia Pacific, according to WebRTC Stats, as of March 2013 more than 11% of the video calls in Asia Pacific were made leveraging the technology.

The central theme of the WebRTC project is to enable interconnectivity between web browsers for real-time communications via a JavaScript API (application programming interface). It aims to achieve interoperability on two distinct levels:

  • At the platform level to eradicate the need for codec download to establish the connection between different web browsers, as is the case today.
  • At the application level to allow multimedia sessions to run simultaneously on the same connection.
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To Build Or To Colocate Your Next Data Center – That Is The Question

Sophia Vargas

Technology and business leaders don’t always fully understand the true costs and risks associated with both building and operating a data center. Data center facilities are one of the largest line items in an IT infrastructure budget, and these costs can run into the tens or even hundreds of millions over a data center’s lifetime. If you’re currently looking for more data center capacity, before you make a decision, it’s important to understand the cost and risk implications of your choice and justify the business case to your executives and budget holders.

Using Forrester’s Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) methodology, we built an ROI calculator to help infrastructure & operations professionals evaluate three approaches to greenfield data center implementations: traditional builds, modular builds, and colocation. In this model, we quantify the costs, risks, and benefits associated with each scenario and calculate the net present value (NPV) of this investment over 15 years.

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Microsoft’s Next CEO Will Contend With Mobility, Platforms, And Consumerization

JP Gownder

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced today that he will be retiring within 12 months. My Forrester colleague Ted Schadler laid out some of the strategic challenges his successor will face in coming years. Here, I add to Ted's analysis.

Microsoft remains one of the great global technology companies, a solid member of the Fortune 50. Although it no longer enjoys the reputation for innovation it did in the 1990s, it’s a critical player in every aspect of end user computing (including devices, software, browsers, development platforms, and services) and of other technology product and service markets.

As CEO, Steve Ballmer solidified Microsoft’s stronghold in enterprise solutions. Microsoft built and maintained — or built and made itself into a key challenger — in several enterprise markets. Microsoft Office remains a titanic success, even as it faces lower-cost competition from Google and others. Windows Azure has been cultivated into a full-fledged contender in the cloud services market. Exchange remains entrenched in enterprises, as do many of Microsoft’s Server and Tools offerings. Microsoft remains the company to beat in some of these markets, and has become a formidable challenger (e.g. as Azure takes on Amazon Web Services) in others.

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Q&A with Stephen DeWitt, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Marketing at Hewlett-Packard

JP Gownder

I recently spent an hour with Hewlett-Packard executive Stephen DeWitt, a longtime leader at the company who is currently leading up HP’s enterprise marketing efforts. I wanted to learn more about the value proposition of products and services HP is selling to infrastructure & operations professionals and to understand HP’s vision of the future for enterprise customers.

“It’s easy to think of HP as a ‘PC and printing’ company – and we’re obviously a huge player in those traditional product areas – but we have a broader vision for enterprises and for workers…all built around the new style of IT,” Stephen told me. “Our new enterprise campaign, for example, is going to introduce people to the degree of breakthrough innovation we are providing customers today, and how co-innovating with HP can empower your business in the dramatically changing world ahead.”

To give you a deeper sense of how HP serves its enterprise customers, here are some edited excerpts from our conversation:

Q: What’s HP’s overall vision for enterprise solutions? How do you make that vision tangible and concrete for your customers?

HP is a portfolio company, from core to periphery, from cloud to the device. We work very closely with our customers to provide end to end solutions rather than just ad hoc or best of breed products, and we focus on solving for business outcomes and co-innovating with our customers.

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Chinese Government Raises Security Concerns for IBM, Oracle and EMC

Bryan Wang

On August 16, a branch of the Chinese government said it would investigate three large U.S.-based technology firms due to “security concerns”, naming IBM, Oracle and EMC.  The move – feeling somewhat similar to the US government’s security concerns on Huawei – is the first time Chinese government officials have openly addressed this issue.

However, this issue extends beyond IBM, Oracle and EMC. There is talk that Chinese government entities and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will begin to shun foreign IT vendors in their IT environment, and instead replace them with local vendor solutions.  A number of foreign vendors are already feeling the heat.  In Cisco’s FY13 Q4 financial statement last week, its China bookings declined 6% YoY.  We have observed similar trends for IBM in China, and believe it is a headwind that will challenge MNC vendors to further expand their China businesses. 

While it has never been confirmed officially, the latest development seems to suggest the possibility of the Chinese government formalizing it as policy. In the past couple of months, I have already seen SOEs seeking out local suppliers, like Huawei, Inspur, Lenovo, and ZTE. The primary considerations were:

·        CIOs are concerned that critical business and customer data might be compromised after the Snowden revelation.

·        CIOs are cautious about holding off buying foreign equipment, pending new governmental policy in the coming years.  Hence, they want to prepare to protect their current investments.

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You can learn from the clouds but you can’t compete

James Staten

If you want to be the best in data center operations you are right to benchmark yourself against the cloud computing leaders – just don’t delude yourself into thinking you can match them.

In our latest research report, Rich Fichera and I updated a 2007 study that looked at what enterprise infrastructure leaders could learn from the best in the cloud and hosting market. We found that while they may have greater buying power, deeper IT R&D and huge security teams, many of their best practices apply to a standard enterprise data center – or at least part of it.

There are several key differences between you and the cloud leaders, many of which are detailed in the table below. Perhaps the starkest however is that for the clouds, they are the product. And that means they get budgetary priority and R&D attention that I&O leaders in the enterprise can only dream about.

Some key differences between Clouds, hosters and you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HUAWEI’S NEW SWITCH LOOKS PROMISING, AND ITS STORYLINE NEEDS REINFORCING

Bryan Wang

by Clement Teo, Bryan Wang, Katyayan Gupta (this blog is also published by Clement Teo)

We recently met with Huawei executives during the launch of its latest product in China, the S12700 switch.  The product, which ships in limited quantity in Q1 2014 is designed for managing campus networks, and acts as a core and aggregation switch in the heart of campus networks. While wired/wireless convergence, policy control and management come as standard features, the draw is the Ethernet Network Processor (ENP). The ENP competes against merchant silicon in competitive switch products, and Huawei claims to be able to deliver new programmable services in six months, compared to one to three years for competitive application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips. This helps IT managers respond quicker to the needs of campus network users, especially in the age of BYOD, Big Data, and cloud computing.

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Our Collaborative Computing Future: Oblong’s Mezzanine

JP Gownder

When people think of futuristic user interfaces (Forrester analysts included), they often invoke the 2002 Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. The imagery in the movie offers a compelling vision of how next-generation technologies – gestural control, voice command, 3D visuals, multi-screen interactions – can empower computing experiences.

Where did Minority Report get this vision? From a man named John Underkoffler, Chief Scientist at a company called Oblong. He designed the computer interfaces in the film.

I had the pleasure of visiting Oblong’s Boston office recently, where I saw demonstrations of several technologies. Most interesting to me was the company’s Mezzanine offering, an “infopresence” conference room that the company sells to enterprises today.

The solution involves equipping a conference room (or multiples – it works as a long distance telepresence location) with a number of monitors (5 in the room I visited), teleconferencing equipment (industry standard products work well), and ceiling-mounted sensors (for interpreting gestural controls), and a whiteboard (a physical one, but visible to a camera). Workers control the room with a wand, which works via both gestural controls and a button.

Putting all of these things together, workers can collaborate both within the room itself and with remote teams (or remote individual team members). The resulting experience, in my view, offers two sets of benefits:

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