Zeus Kerravala

Author Archives: Zeus Kerravala

What to expect from SD-WANs in 2019

In network circles, there may be no hotter topic right now than software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). Given WAN technology stood still for the better part of three decades, this makes sense, as most companies have a WAN that’s long overdue for a refresh and architectural update — and SD-WANs make this a reality.SD-WANs are definitely moving out of the early-adopter phase and into mainstream adoption. And anytime a technology does this, the market changes. Below are the primary ways SD-WANs will change in 2019.[ Check out: 10 hot SD-WAN startups to watch | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Less focus on cost savings The initial wave of SD-WANs was sold with the promise of slashing network costs by replacing MPLS with broadband. If a business is willing to ditch all of its MPLS, and that’s a big if, and replace it wholly with broadband, it will save money on transport. However, it will likely need to add some optimization technologies to account for the unpredictability of broadband.To read this article in full, please click here

What to expect from SD-WANs in 2019

In network circles, there may be no hotter topic right now than software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). Given WAN technology stood still for the better part of three decades, this makes sense, as most companies have a WAN that’s long overdue for a refresh and architectural update — and SD-WANs make this a reality.SD-WANs are definitely moving out of the early-adopter phase and into mainstream adoption. And anytime a technology does this, the market changes. Below are the primary ways SD-WANs will change in 2019.[ Check out: 10 hot SD-WAN startups to watch | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Less focus on cost savings The initial wave of SD-WANs was sold with the promise of slashing network costs by replacing MPLS with broadband. If a business is willing to ditch all of its MPLS, and that’s a big if, and replace it wholly with broadband, it will save money on transport. However, it will likely need to add some optimization technologies to account for the unpredictability of broadband.To read this article in full, please click here

Visibility plays critical role in a successful SD-WAN deployment

The rise of SD-WANs has been well documented by every analyst firm that covers network technology. I have the market growing from $1.0 billion in 2017 to over $9.5 billion in 2022, indicating the market is about to go through an accelerated phase of growth. Given SD-WANs can help save money and improve network agility, it seems like a no-brainer to evolve to an SD-WAN.However, the path to an SD-WAN isn’t easy. There are a lot of factors to be considered, including the use of broadband, how to optimize the links, network architecture, and the impact of moving the on-premises infrastructure out to the cloud. If anything is missed, application performance could be severely degraded, which would negate the return on investment of the project.To read this article in full, please click here

Visibility plays critical role in a successful SD-WAN deployment

The rise of SD-WANs has been well documented by every analyst firm that covers network technology. I have the market growing from $1.0 billion in 2017 to over $9.5 billion in 2022, indicating the market is about to go through an accelerated phase of growth. Given SD-WANs can help save money and improve network agility, it seems like a no-brainer to evolve to an SD-WAN.However, the path to an SD-WAN isn’t easy. There are a lot of factors to be considered, including the use of broadband, how to optimize the links, network architecture, and the impact of moving the on-premises infrastructure out to the cloud. If anything is missed, application performance could be severely degraded, which would negate the return on investment of the project.To read this article in full, please click here

Mass data fragmentation requires a storage rethink

Companies are experiencing a growing problem of mass data fragmentation (MDF). Data is siloed and scattered all over the organization — on and off premises — and businesses are unable to use the data strategically.When data is fragmented, only a small portion of it is available to be analyzed. In my last post, I described MDF as a single trend, but it can occur in a number of ways. Below are the most common forms of MDF: Fragmentation across IT silos: Secondary IT operations such as backups, file sharing/storage, provisioning for test/development and analytics are typically being done in completely separate silos that don’t share data or resources, with no central visibility or control. This results in overprovisioning/waste, as well as a challenge to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) or availability targets.   Fragmentation within a silo: There are even "silos within silos." Example: backup, where it is not uncommon to have four to five separate backup solutions from different vendors to handle different workloads such as virtual, physical, satabase, and cloud. On top of that, each solution needs associated target storage, dedupe appliances, media servers, etc., which propagate the silo problem. Fragmentation due to copies: Continue reading

Mass data fragmentation requires a storage rethink

Companies are experiencing a growing problem of mass data fragmentation (MDF). Data is siloed and scattered all over the organization — on and off premises — and businesses are unable to use the data strategically.When data is fragmented, only a small portion of it is available to be analyzed. In my last post, I described MDF as a single trend, but it can occur in a number of ways. Below are the most common forms of MDF: Fragmentation across IT silos: Secondary IT operations such as backups, file sharing/storage, provisioning for test/development and analytics are typically being done in completely separate silos that don’t share data or resources, with no central visibility or control. This results in overprovisioning/waste, as well as a challenge to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) or availability targets.   Fragmentation within a silo: There are even "silos within silos." Example: backup, where it is not uncommon to have four to five separate backup solutions from different vendors to handle different workloads such as virtual, physical, satabase, and cloud. On top of that, each solution needs associated target storage, dedupe appliances, media servers, etc., which propagate the silo problem. Fragmentation due to copies: Continue reading

Dell EMC committed to networking, shares product and partnership plans

Dell EMC has one of the broadest networking portfolios in the industry. What’s unique about Dell EMC’s approach is that it's a mix of its own technology, as well as network partners. Also, it offers traditional hardware products and software-only products and supports white-box implementation. As an industry watcher, I’ve always been confused by the strategy of Dell EMC Networking. I know I’m not alone in this, as other network professionals I’ve talked to have echoed this sentiment.Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager of Dell EMC Networking and Solutions, about the company's networking portfolio and asked if he could clarify what is included in it.To read this article in full, please click here

Dell EMC committed to networking, shares product and partnership plans

Dell EMC has one of the broadest networking portfolios in the industry. What’s unique about Dell EMC’s approach is that it's a mix of its own technology, as well as network partners. Also, it offers traditional hardware products and software-only products and supports white-box implementation. As an industry watcher, I’ve always been confused by the strategy of Dell EMC Networking. I know I’m not alone in this, as other network professionals I’ve talked to have echoed this sentiment.Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager of Dell EMC Networking and Solutions, about the company's networking portfolio and asked if he could clarify what is included in it.To read this article in full, please click here

Securing the IoT has become business-critical

The IoT era has arrived.Here's some proof: 83% of organizations say the Internet of Things (IoT) is important to business today, and 92% say it will be in two years.That's according to a recent DigiCert survey conducted by ReRez Research of 700 organizations in five countries to better understand the IoT and IoT security.Anecdotally, I always find that markets have matured when it’s no longer an unusual thing. For example, a few years ago, it was hard to find IoT deployments that were outside of the traditional machine-to-machine industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas. Today, connected things are everywhere. Case in point: I recently interviewed the IT director at an entertainment venue and he walked me through all the connected things without ever saying “IoT.” The organization was connecting more things to improve customer experience, and it was treated as no big deal.To read this article in full, please click here

Securing the IoT has become business-critical

The IoT era has arrived.Here's some proof: 83% of organizations say the Internet of Things (IoT) is important to business today, and 92% say it will be in two years.That's according to a recent DigiCert survey conducted by ReRez Research of 700 organizations in five countries to better understand the IoT and IoT security.Anecdotally, I always find that markets have matured when it’s no longer an unusual thing. For example, a few years ago, it was hard to find IoT deployments that were outside of the traditional machine-to-machine industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas. Today, connected things are everywhere. Case in point: I recently interviewed the IT director at an entertainment venue and he walked me through all the connected things without ever saying “IoT.” The organization was connecting more things to improve customer experience, and it was treated as no big deal.To read this article in full, please click here

Which cloud performs better, AWS, Azure or Google?

Most IT professionals select cloud providers based on price or proximity to users, but network performance should also be considered. Because as we see in a new report from ThousandEyes, the underlying network architecture of the big cloud providers can have a significant impact on performance. And performance varies widely among cloud service providers.In its first annual public cloud benchmark report, ThousandEyes compared the global network performance of the “big three” public cloud providers — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. The network management company looked at network performance (latency, packet loss, jitter) and connectivity architecture. It also measured user-to-cloud connectivity from 27 cities around the globe to 55 AWS, Azure, and GCP regions and measured the inter-AZ and inter-region connectivity within all three cloud provider networks. In addition, they measured inter-region connectivity between all 55 regions on a multi-cloud basis.To read this article in full, please click here

Which cloud performs better, AWS, Azure or Google?

Most IT professionals select cloud providers based on price or proximity to users, but network performance should also be considered. Because as we see in a new report from ThousandEyes, the underlying network architecture of the big cloud providers can have a significant impact on performance. And performance varies widely among cloud service providers.In its first annual public cloud benchmark report, ThousandEyes compared the global network performance of the “big three” public cloud providers — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. The network management company looked at network performance (latency, packet loss, jitter) and connectivity architecture. It also measured user-to-cloud connectivity from 27 cities around the globe to 55 AWS, Azure, and GCP regions and measured the inter-AZ and inter-region connectivity within all three cloud provider networks. In addition, they measured inter-region connectivity between all 55 regions on a multi-cloud basis.To read this article in full, please click here

The network matters for public cloud performance

Most IT professionals select cloud providers based on price or proximity to users, but network performance should also be considered. Because as we see in a new report from ThousandEyes, the underlying network architecture of the big cloud providers can have a significant impact on performance. And performance varies widely among cloud service providers.In its first annual public cloud benchmark report, ThousandEyes compared the global network performance of the “big three” public cloud providers — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. The network management company looked at network performance (latency, packet loss, jitter) and connectivity architecture. It also measured user-to-cloud connectivity from 27 cities around the globe to 55 AWS, Azure, and GCP regions and measured the inter-AZ and inter-region connectivity within all three cloud provider networks. In addition, they measured inter-region connectivity between all 55 regions on a multi-cloud basis.To read this article in full, please click here

Understanding mass data fragmentation

The digital transformation era is upon us, and it’s changing the business landscape faster than ever. I’ve seen numerous studies that show that digital companies are more profitable and have more share in their respective markets. Businesses that master being digital will be able to sustain market leadership, and those that can’t will struggle to survive; many will go away. This is why digital transformation is now a top initiative for every business and IT leader. A recent ZK Research study found that a whopping 89% of organizations now have at least one digital initiative under way, showing the level of interest across all industry verticals.Digital success lies in the quality of data The path to becoming a digital company requires more than a CIO snapping his fingers and declaring their organization digital. Success lies in being able to find the key insights from the massive amounts of data that businesses have today. This requires machine learning–driven analytics, and there has been a significant amount of media focus on that topic. The other half of the equation is data. Machine learning alone doesn’t do anything. It needs to analyze data, and as the old axiom goes, good data leads Continue reading

Understanding mass data fragmentation

The digital transformation era is upon us, and it’s changing the business landscape faster than ever.I’ve seen numerous studies that show that digital companies are more profitable and have more share in their respective markets. Businesses that master being digital will be able to sustain market leadership, and those that can’t will struggle to survive; many will go away.This is why digital transformation is now a top initiative for every business and IT leader. A recent ZK Research study found that a whopping 89% of organizations now have at least one digital initiative under way, showing the level of interest across all industry verticals.To read this article in full, please click here

Why 802.11ax is the next big thing in Wi-Fi

I know, I know, I’ve heard it before. A new technology comes along, and it promises to be the next big thing. Consumers and businesses buy it, and what happens? It fails to live up to the hype. In my opinion, almost every iPhone release over the past five years has been that way. Sure there were some cool new features, but overall it’s not something I’d say was game changing. One technology that does promise to live up to the hype is 802.11ax, the next standard for wireless LANs. I say that because this next generation of Wi-Fi was engineered for the world we live in where everything is connected and there’s an assumption that upload and download traffic will be equivalent. Previous generations of Wi-Fi assumed more casual use and that there would be far more downloading of information than uploading. To read this article in full, please click here

5 criteria for application-aware SD-WANs

Over the past five years, SD-WANs deployments have skyrocketed. And for good reason: They increase network agility and cut the cost of network transport.One common myth about SD-WANs, however, is that they improve application performance. They certainly can under some circumstances, but there is no guarantee they will under all situations. SD-WANs address only part of the transformation of the network to becoming a digital enabler. SD-WANs must now become smarter, or “application aware,” to optimize user experience, improve customer service, and increase worker productivity. The requirement to have an application-aware network has never been more urgent, as application performance has a direct impact on a company’s top and bottom line. For example, according to an Accenture survey, 66 percent of millennials have changed their brand loyalties because of a bad user experience. Also, a recent ZK Research survey found that workers are 14 percent less productive than they could be as a result of poor application performance. Make no mistake; poorly performing applications are costing companies today.To read this article in full, please click here

5 criteria for application-aware SD-WANs

Over the past five years, SD-WANs deployments have skyrocketed. And for good reason: They increase network agility and cut the cost of network transport.One common myth about SD-WANs, however, is that they improve application performance. They certainly can under some circumstances, but there is no guarantee they will under all situations. SD-WANs address only part of the transformation of the network to becoming a digital enabler. SD-WANs must now become smarter, or “application aware,” to optimize user experience, improve customer service, and increase worker productivity. The requirement to have an application-aware network has never been more urgent, as application performance has a direct impact on a company’s top and bottom line. For example, according to an Accenture survey, 66 percent of millennials have changed their brand loyalties because of a bad user experience. Also, a recent ZK Research survey found that workers are 14 percent less productive than they could be as a result of poor application performance. Make no mistake; poorly performing applications are costing companies today.To read this article in full, please click here

Businesses need better automation to regain control of their data centers

The cloud continues to grow in popularity as businesses look to take advantage of digital trends. However, the term “cloud” is multi-definitional and means different things to different types of organizations. In the small-business segment, cloud likely means software as a service (SaaS), as those organizations want turnkey applications offered on a pay-as-you-go model. For larger companies, cloud means public infrastructure as a service, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.  [ Related: How to plan a software-defined data-center network ] Private clouds are alive and kicking For large businesses, the cloud likely means hybrid where private data centers make up most or even all of the cloud infrastructure. The ZK Research 2018 Global Cloud Forecast projected that by 2020, there would be more workloads in private clouds than in public clouds or available as legacy on-premises workloads. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.)To read this article in full, please click here

Businesses need better automation to regain control of their data centers

The cloud continues to grow in popularity as businesses look to take advantage of digital trends. However, the term “cloud” is multi-definitional and means different things to different types of organizations. In the small business segment, cloud likely means software as a service (SaaS), as those organizations want turnkey applications offered on a pay-as-you-go model. For larger companies, cloud means public infrastructure as a service, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Private clouds are alive and kicking For large businesses, the cloud likely means hybrid where private data centers make up most or even all of the cloud infrastructure. The ZK Research 2018 Global Cloud Forecast projected that by 2020, there would be more workloads in private clouds than in public clouds or available as legacy on-premises workloads. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.)To read this article in full, please click here