Zeus Kerravala

Author Archives: Zeus Kerravala

Online performance benchmarks all companies should try to achieve

There's no doubt about it: We have entered the experience economy, and digital performance is more important than ever.Customer experience is the top brand differentiator, topping price and every other factor. And businesses that provide a poor digital experience will find customers will actively seek a competitor. In fact, recent ZK Research found that in 2018, about two-thirds of millennials changed loyalties to a brand because of a bad experience. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.)To help companies determine if their online performance is leading, lacking, or on par with some of the top companies, ThousandEyes this week released its 2019 Digital Experience Performance Benchmark Report. This document provides a comparative analysis of web, infrastructure, and network performance from the top 20 U.S. digital retail, travel, and media websites. Although this is a small sampling of companies, those three industries are the most competitive when it comes to using their digital platforms for competitive advantage. The aggregated data from this report can be used as an industry-agnostic performance benchmark that all companies should strive to meet.To read this article in full, please click here

When it comes to uptime, not all cloud providers are created equal

The cloud is not just important; it's mission-critical for many companies. More and more IT and business leaders I talk to look at public cloud as a core component of their digital transformation strategies — using it as part of their hybrid cloud or public cloud implementation.That raises the bar on cloud reliability, as a cloud outage means important services are not available to the business. If this is a business-critical service, the company may not be able to operate while that key service is offline.Because of the growing importance of the cloud, it’s critical that buyers have visibility into the reliability number for the cloud providers. The challenge is the cloud providers don't disclose the disruptions in a consistent manner. In fact, some are confusing to the point where it’s difficult to glean any kind of meaningful conclusion.To read this article in full, please click here

When it comes to uptime, not all cloud providers are created equal

The cloud is not just important; it's mission-critical for many companies. More and more IT and business leaders I talk to look at public cloud as a core component of their digital transformation strategies — using it as part of their hybrid cloud or public cloud implementation.That raises the bar on cloud reliability, as a cloud outage means important services are not available to the business. If this is a business-critical service, the company may not be able to operate while that key service is offline.Because of the growing importance of the cloud, it’s critical that buyers have visibility into the reliability number for the cloud providers. The challenge is the cloud providers don't disclose the disruptions in a consistent manner. In fact, some are confusing to the point where it’s difficult to glean any kind of meaningful conclusion.To read this article in full, please click here

How to shop for enterprise firewalls

Firewalls have been around for years, but the technology keeps evolving as the threat landscape changes. Here are some tips about what to look for in a next-generation firewall (NGFW) that will satisfy business needs today and into the future.Don't trust firewall performance stats Understanding how a NGFW performs requires more than looking at a vendor’s specification or running a bit of traffic through it. Most firewalls will perform well when traffic loads are light. It’s important to see how a firewall responds at scale, particularly when encryption is turned on. Roughly 80% of traffic is encrypted today, and the ability to maintain performance levels with high volumes of encrypted traffic is critical.To read this article in full, please click here

How to shop for enterprise firewalls

Firewalls have been around for years, but the technology keeps evolving as the threat landscape changes. Here are some tips about what to look for in a next-generation firewall (NGFW) that will satisfy business needs today and into the future.Don't trust firewall performance stats Understanding how a NGFW performs requires more than looking at a vendor’s specification or running a bit of traffic through it. Most firewalls will perform well when traffic loads are light. It’s important to see how a firewall responds at scale, particularly when encryption is turned on. Roughly 80% of traffic is encrypted today, and the ability to maintain performance levels with high volumes of encrypted traffic is critical.To read this article in full, please click here

When Wi-Fi is mission-critical, a mixed-channel architecture is the best option

I’ve worked with a number of companies that have implemented digital projects only to see them fail. The ideation was correct, the implementation was sound, and the market opportunity was there. The weak link? The Wi-Fi network.For example, a large hospital wanted to improve clinician response times to patient alarms by having telemetry information sent to mobile devices. Without the system, the only way a nurse would know about a patient alarm is from an audible alert. And with all the background noise, it’s often tough to discern where noises are coming from. The problem was the Wi-Fi network in the hospital had not been upgraded in years and caused messages to be significantly delayed in their delivery, often taking four to five minutes to deliver. The long delivery times caused a lack of confidence in the system, so many clinicians stopped using it and went back to manual alerting. As a result, the project was considered a failure.To read this article in full, please click here

How to determine if Wi-Fi 6 is right for you

There’s a lot of hype around the next Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax, more commonly known as Wi-Fi 6. Often new technologies are built up by the vendors as being the “next big thing” and then flop because they don’t live up to expectations. In the case of Wi-Fi 6, however, the fervor is warranted because it is the first Wi-Fi standard that has been designed with the premise that Wi-Fi is the primary connection for devices rather than a network of convenience.Wi-Fi 6 is a different kind of Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 is loaded with new features, such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), 1024-QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) encoding and target wake time (TWT), that make Wi-Fi faster and less congested. Many of these enhancements came from the world of LTE and 4G, which solved many of these challenges long ago. These new features will lead to a better mobile experience and longer client battery life, and they will open the door to a wide range of new applications that could not have been done on Wi-Fi before. For example, an architect could now use virtual reality (VR) over Wi-Fi to showcase a house.To read this article in full, please Continue reading

Why Wi-Fi needs artificial intelligence

This week Juniper Networks plunked down $405 million to acquire Wi-Fi vendor Mist Systems. As always, Network World's Michael Cooney did a fine job covering the news, so I won’t rehash that. What I want to look at is something specific that Cooney wrote — that “Mist touts itself as having developed an artificial-intelligence-based wireless platform.” Why does Wi-Fi need artificial intelligence (AI)?To read this article in full, please click here

IoT security plans: 3 things you must include

With many IT projects, security is often an afterthought, but that approach puts the business at significant risk. The rise of IoT adds orders of magnitude more devices to a network, which creates many more entry points for threat actors to breach. A bigger problem is that many IoT devices are easier to hack than traditional IT devices, making them the endpoint of choice for the bad guys.IoT is widely deployed in a few industries, but it is in the early innings still for most businesses. For those just starting out, IT and security leaders should be laying out their security plans for their implementations now. However, the landscape of security is wide and confusing so how to secure an IoT deployment may not be obvious. Below are three things you must consider when creating an IoT security plan.To read this article in full, please click here

Protecting the IoT: 3 things you must include in an IoT security plan

With many IT projects, security is often an afterthought, but that approach puts the business at significant risk. The rise of IoT adds orders of magnitude more devices to a network, which creates many more entry points for threat actors to breach. A bigger problem is that many IoT devices are easier to hack than traditional IT devices, making them the endpoint of choice for the bad guys.IoT is widely deployed in a few industries, but it is in the early innings still for most businesses. For those just starting out, IT and security leaders should be laying out their security plans for their implementations now. However, the landscape of security is wide and confusing so how to secure an IoT deployment may not be obvious. Below are three things you must consider when creating an IoT security plan.To read this article in full, please click here

Protecting the IoT: 3 things you must include in an IoT security plan

With many IT projects, security is often an afterthought, but that approach puts the business at significant risk. The rise of IoT adds orders of magnitude more devices to a network, which creates many more entry points for threat actors to breach. A bigger problem is that many IoT devices are easier to hack than traditional IT devices, making them the endpoint of choice for the bad guys.IoT is widely deployed in a few industries, but it is in the early innings still for most businesses. For those just starting out, IT and security leaders should be laying out their security plans for their implementations now. However, the landscape of security is wide and confusing so how to secure an IoT deployment may not be obvious. Below are three things you must consider when creating an IoT security plan.To read this article in full, please click here

SD-WAN creates new security challenges

SD-WAN products have been available for the better part of five years. Early adopters of the technology focused primarily on transport-related issues such as replacing or augmenting MPLS with broadband. As any technology matures and moves out of the early adopter phase, the buying criteria changes — and SD-WAN is no different.In 2018, a ZK Research survey asked respondents to rank SD-WAN buying criteria, and security came out as the top response, well ahead of technology innovation and price. (Note: I am employee of ZK Research.) To better understand this trend and what it means to network professionals, I sat down with Fortinet’s executive vice president of products and solutions, John Maddison, who sets the company’s product strategy, making him well versed in both SD-WAN and security.To read this article in full, please click here

SD-WAN creates new security challenges

SD-WAN products have been available for the better part of five years. Early adopters of the technology focused primarily on transport-related issues such as replacing or augmenting MPLS with broadband. As any technology matures and moves out of the early adopter phase, the buying criteria changes — and SD-WAN is no different.In 2018, a ZK Research survey asked respondents to rank SD-WAN buying criteria, and security came out as the top response, well ahead of technology innovation and price. (Note: I am employee of ZK Research.) To better understand this trend and what it means to network professionals, I sat down with Fortinet’s executive vice president of products and solutions, John Maddison, who sets the company’s product strategy, making him well versed in both SD-WAN and security.To read this article in full, please click here

SD-WAN creates new security challenges

SD-WAN products have been available for the better part of five years. Early adopters of the technology focused primarily on transport-related issues such as replacing or augmenting MPLS with broadband. As any technology matures and moves out of the early adopter phase, the buying criteria changes — and SD-WAN is no different.In 2018, a ZK Research survey asked respondents to rank SD-WAN buying criteria, and security came out as the top response, well ahead of technology innovation and price. (Note: I am employee of ZK Research.) To better understand this trend and what it means to network professionals, I sat down with Fortinet’s executive vice president of products and solutions, John Maddison, who sets the company’s product strategy, making him well versed in both SD-WAN and security.To read this article in full, please click here

SD-WAN creates new security challenges

SD-WAN products have been available for the better part of five years. Early adopters of the technology focused primarily on transport-related issues such as replacing or augmenting MPLS with broadband. As any technology matures and moves out of the early adopter phase, the buying criteria changes — and SD-WAN is no different.In 2018, a ZK Research survey asked respondents to rank SD-WAN buying criteria, and security came out as the top response, well ahead of technology innovation and price. (Note: I am employee of ZK Research.) To better understand this trend and what it means to network professionals, I sat down with Fortinet’s executive vice president of products and solutions, John Maddison, who sets the company’s product strategy, making him well versed in both SD-WAN and security.To read this article in full, please click here

Build security into your IoT plan or risk attack

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer some futuristic thing that’s years off from being something IT leaders need to be concerned with. The IoT era has arrived. In fact, Gartner forecasts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices globally by 2020.An alternative proof point is the fact that when I talk with people about their company's IoT plans, they don’t look at me like a deer in headlights as they did a few years ago. In fact, often the term “IoT” doesn’t even come up. Businesses are connecting more “things” to create new processes, improve efficiency, or improve customer service.As they do, though, new security challenges arise. One of which is there's no “easy button.” IT professionals can’t just deploy some kind of black box and have everything be protected. Securing the IoT is a multi-faceted problem with many factors to consider, and it must be built into any IoT plan.To read this article in full, please click here

Build security into your IoT plan or risk attack

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer some futuristic thing that’s years off from being something IT leaders need to be concerned with. The IoT era has arrived. In fact, Gartner forecasts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices globally by 2020.An alternative proof point is the fact that when I talk with people about their company's IoT plans, they don’t look at me like a deer in headlights as they did a few years ago. In fact, often the term “IoT” doesn’t even come up. Businesses are connecting more “things” to create new processes, improve efficiency, or improve customer service.As they do, though, new security challenges arise. One of which is there's no “easy button.” IT professionals can’t just deploy some kind of black box and have everything be protected. Securing the IoT is a multi-faceted problem with many factors to consider, and it must be built into any IoT plan.To read this article in full, please click here

Build security into your IoT plan or risk attack

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer some futuristic thing that’s years off from being something IT leaders need to be concerned with. The IoT era has arrived. In fact, Gartner forecasts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices globally by 2020.An alternative proof point is the fact that when I talk with people about their company's IoT plans, they don’t look at me like a deer in headlights as they did a few years ago. In fact, often the term “IoT” doesn’t even come up. Businesses are connecting more “things” to create new processes, improve efficiency, or improve customer service.As they do, though, new security challenges arise. One of which is there's no “easy button.” IT professionals can’t just deploy some kind of black box and have everything be protected. Securing the IoT is a multi-faceted problem with many factors to consider, and it must be built into any IoT plan.To read this article in full, please click here

Build security into your IoT plan or risk attack

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer some futuristic thing that’s years off from being something IT leaders need to be concerned with. The IoT era has arrived. In fact, Gartner forecasts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices globally by 2020.An alternative proof point is the fact that when I talk with people about their company's IoT plans, they don’t look at me like a deer in headlights as they did a few years ago. In fact, often the term “IoT” doesn’t even come up. Businesses are connecting more “things” to create new processes, improve efficiency, or improve customer service.As they do, though, new security challenges arise. One of which is there's no “easy button.” IT professionals can’t just deploy some kind of black box and have everything be protected. Securing the IoT is a multi-faceted problem with many factors to consider, and it must be built into any IoT plan.To read this article in full, please click here

Wi-Fi 6 with OFDMA opens a world of new wireless possibilities

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is viewed by many to be game changing, as it’s the first major architectural change to the wireless LAN since its inception. Unlike other standards, which were just faster versions of the previous incarnation, Wi-Fi 6 is built from the ground up to support a world that is hyper-connected over Wi-Fi. To accomplish this, Wi-Fi 6 includes several new features and design enhancements.OFDMA enables more clients to connect to access points Many industry people I have discussed Wi-Fi 6 with believe the most important new feature is something called orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), which allows multiple clients with varying bandwidth requirements to be connected to a single AP simultaneously.To read this article in full, please click here

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