Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Colm Keegan says that it can be difficult to get started on innovation strategies like big data or data mobility when most of the IT budget goes toward facilities, hardware and software maintenance costs, licensing renewals and labor. His advice is to reduce some of those housekeeping costs by using cloud-based technology platforms. According to ESG research, 70% of companies are using some type of software as a service like Salesforce or Workday. Keegan says that database as a service (DBaaS) options could help businesses reduce costs even further. Oracle claims its DBaaS platform, for instance, can reduce the costs of an on-premise deployment by 35%. Keegan says enterprises shouldn't be concerned about trusting a cloud provider as opposed to a database vendor. In the case of Oracle, the vendor itself hosts its enterprise database systems, which should mollify enterprises evaluating cloud-based database deployments. Read more about how Keegan says services like Oracle's DBaaS can help reduce costs of IT maintenance.
SDN isn't making networking easier just yet
Enterprise Management Associates analyst Shamus McGillicuddy says that just because a technology is easy to use, doesn't mean it is operationally effective. When it comes to software-defined networking, virtualization technology promised to make networking easier. But McGillicuddy says that there are questions to be considered, such as "How do you ensure that your new programmable network remains compliant with configuration controls and policies?" and, "Is your performance management tool able to model and monitor an SDN controller?" Part of what makes the migration to SDN difficult to manage is the variety of different architectures: hardware-based, hypervisor-based and open source. McGillicuddy says he hopes that some of those questions get answered at events like this week's Open Networking User Group (ONUG).
Read more about why McGillicuddy says SDN might not be making networking easier just yet.
Using smart labs for networking and security operations
Abhinav Gupta, product and solutions marketing director at virtual lab vendor Ravello, says on a Packet Pushers blog post that public clouds aren't good environments for testing labs designed to study networking and security issues. Placing an overlay network on top of a public cloud, however, could help solve that problem. Gupta says that one example of how his team at Ravello has used this idea is the creation of a network and security smart lab. The smart lab, powered by a distributed hypervisor that combines a software-defined overlay network and a nested virtualization engine, can be used by a variety of networking professionals. Network engineers, he says, can design networks and deploy applications, security professionals can test for malware and trainers can create simulations for students.
Gupta says many organizations are already using smart labs. Arista Networks uses Ravello's Smart Lab for repeatable sales demonstrations. Blackfin Security uses it for training and threat simulation.
Read more about why Gupta says that smart lab technology like Ravello's Network and Security Smart Lab might help out the networking team.