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Vendors form strategic relationships with Hadoop distributions

SN blogs: This week, analysts discuss the importance of strategic vendor partnerships, the lack of security in IoT devices and why SDN might not be necessary for some network operators.

Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Nik Rouda looks at partnerships in the big data marketplace as strategic relationships that will ultimately determine which platforms will gain acceptance and market share. Rouda explains that Hadoop distributions are at the center of the action with vendors on the perimeter, linking up with different Hadoop distributions. Rouda likens the relationships to high school cliques, with popular companies like Cloudera Inc. partnering with more than 200 organizations, and Pivotal Software Inc. chalking up 93 company allies, including EMC, VMware and RSA Security LLC. Rouda concludes that big-time vendors like Cisco, Dell, HP and VMware will work with a lot of Hadoop distributions and therefore will not be exclusive.

Read more about the different strategic partnerships Rouda writes about.

Lack of security controls in IoT devices needs to be addressed

Paula Musich, principal analyst for Current Analysis, says that security concerns related to the Internet of Things (IoT) was an important topic at this year's Black Hat conference. Musich says that vulnerabilities exist in a range IoT devices, such as home alarm systems, virtual desktops and point of sale (POS) systems.

Musich cites an HP study that showed 70% of the most common IoT devices had vulnerabilities, ranging from weak passwords to the Heartbleed bug. Of the 10 devices that HP tested -- including home thermostats, webcams and automatic door locks -- it found that most of them did not use encryption to communicate control information nor did they adequately protect user credentials. Musich says that a few suggestions came up at the conference, one of which was to develop open security standards with the help of security experts.

Read more about vulnerabilities in IoT devices.

Network packet brokers to come in vendor packages

Andrew Lerner, research director at Gartner Inc., says that cost-effective network packet brokers (NPB) are emerging as packaged products from network vendors. Lerner says this is a big deal for anyone in networking and security because it enables network security and performance tools to be more efficient. Lerner says he's heard a lot of conversations where people decide not to buy NPB products because they are too expensive. Or, they buy NPB products, but they can't afford to deploy them across the entire network.

Today, vendors are adding NPB capabilities to their products. Arista, for example, packages NPB capabilities into its switching operating system using a program called DANZ. Big Switch, by contrast, uses a software-defined networking (SDN) application to provide the capabilities. Cisco also uses an SDN-based application, Monitor Manager.

Read more about why NPB capabilities are critical.

SDN not worth the hype for network operators

Current Analysis analyst Steven Hill is not totally buying into the software-defined networking (SDN) hype. Hill says that a network administrator's primary job is to keep the network running smoothly and efficiently. A popular motto is, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." So what does this have to do with SDN? Hill says that while every vendor is scrambling to create strategic relationships and an SDN strategy, there isn't an apparent need to fundamentally change the way the network has been operating. According to Hill, only a small group of people in a company are in charge of network operations. To that end, he argues, only a handful of people might actually receive some of the benefits of SDN. Moreover, the benefits may or may not be visible to the end user. For these reasons, Hill says, it's hard to justify SDN's cost.

Read more about Hill's counterargument against SDN.

Next Steps

The role of network admins in SDN

Is PoS worth defending?

Experts urge caution for easing into IoT services

Dig Deeper on Open source networking

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Who do you see as the most strategic alliance for big data in your business?