Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Digital Transformation Drives Mainframe’s Future


Digital Transformation is amplifying mainframe as mission critical to business growth more than ever before. With 70% of the world’s corporate data and over half of the world’s enterprise applications running on mainframe computers, they are at the core of just about every transaction. A single transaction can, in fact, drive up to 100 system interactions. The continued increase in mainframe transaction volumes, growing on average 7-8% a year for 78% of customers,  has even led to a new buzzword: The Connected Mainframe.

According to IDC’s research, connected mainframe solutions generate almost $200 million in additional revenue per year while simultaneously improving staff productivity and cutting operational costs. Over 50% of the benefit value ciomes from higher transaction volumes, new services, and business expansion. Businesses rely on mainframes to:
  • Perform large-scale transaction processing (thousands of transactions per second)
  • Support thousands of users and application programs concurrently accessing numerous resources
  • Manage terabytes of information in databases
  • Handle large-bandwidth communication


The growth of transaction volumes and diversity of applications connecting into the mainframes can lead to significant operational challenges. With more mobile to mainframe applications tio manage and more data to transact, including eventually blockchain data, organizations need to improve their mainframe operations model drastically. Reactive approaches to mainframe management just can’t keep up with the velocity of change and dramatic growth. Enterprises are losing an average $21.8 million per year from outages and 87% of these enterprises expect this downtime cost to increase in the future. An astounding 66% of enterprises surveyed admit that digital transformation initiatives are being held back by unplanned downtime.

Improving the enterprise’s ability to support increased mainframe workloads is why machine learning, augmented intelligence, and predictive analytics are critical to the CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence solution. Embedded operational intelligence proactively detects abnormal patterns of operation by ingesting operational data from numerous sources. This helps to anticipate and avoid problems through:
  • Detecting anomalies quickly and delivering proactive warnings of abnormal patterns
  • Using advanced visualization and analysis that accelerates issue triage and root-cause analysis
  • Deploying multiple data collectors that work synergistically to provide broad visibility, more in-depth insights and increased accuracy of predictions
  • Delivering dynamic alerts that improve mean time to resolution (MTTR)
  • Combining simplified visualization of time-series data with deep-dive analysis tools
  • Clustering alerts automatically to correlate related alerts and symptoms
  • Removing irrelevant data points from reports to provide more actionable insights

CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence consumes data from multiple CA solutions and directly from the IBM® z Systems® environment through SMF records. Raw alerts from performance, network and storage resource management tools are automatically correlated to surface specific issues and provide predictive insights for each issue. With machine learning and intelligence, wide data sets lead to more accurate predictions, and better relationship and pattern analysis. This insight also includes drill-down and probabilities which can also trigger automated problem remediation. This capability is uniquely embedded into the management environment to more proactively optimize mainframe performance and availability with fewer resources.

This modern approach to operational management will help organizations on-board new IT staff to manage the mainframe moving forward, while also protecting limited mainframe experts to focus on essential tasks. Using machine learning and advanced analytics, your entire team can now act on potential issues much earlier, isolate the real root-cause faster and ultimately remediate issues before they become revenue-impacting incidents.


( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Endpoint Imperative: Global Security Compliance. Are you ready?



China has its Cybersecurity Law. Next May, the General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR –goes into effect for the European Union. Research shows most organizations just aren’t ready for these and other measures.

Tune into this episode of “The End Point Imperative: A Podcast Series from Intel,” to hear from Intel’s Yasser Rasheed, Director of Business Client Security on how a combination of protection at the hardware and software level can help organizations gain compliance and avoid breaches, fines, and financial impact.

Kevin L. Jackson: Hi everyone and welcome to this episode of the Endpoint Imperative. A podcast series from Intel. My name is Kevin L. Jackson and I'll be your host for this series. The topic for this episode is "Global Security Compliance. Are you ready?" With me is YasserRasheed, director of Business Client Security with Intel. Yasser, welcome.

Yasser Rasheed: Thank you for hosting me today. I'm very excited for this talk.

Kevin L. Jackson: It's really our pleasure. Let's get started on this. The security world is really abuzz. We talk about GDPR or the General Data ProtectionRegulation. This is Europe's looming security regulation. Can you tell us a little more about it?

Yasser Rasheed: Absolutely. You know Kevin, the industry is shifting and evolving very quickly in this space. We're excited about the positive changes taking place in the industry. The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation coming out of Europe is really a replacement for the European directive that they had in the past. It covers a whole slew of data protection and security regulations that allows - but really caters to protecting the end user and the end user data.

Kevin L. Jackson: I understand it's really the hefty fines that have the information security officers worried. I'm told that they can be the greater of either 20 million Euro or 4% of global annual revenues. Why is this putting the spotlight on security and compliance in North America? I thought this is a European thing, right?

Yasser Rasheed: It is not a European thing only. It affects anyone that deals with the European citizens or in business in Europe so global companies are really impacted by this regulation and they need to pay attention to it.



                     (When viewed on a mobile device, please press select "Listen in browser")

Kevin L. Jackson: This is really important to you. From your point of view, at the IT and operations level, what should these companies be really focused on?

Yasser Rasheed: The companies need to first get educated on the new regulations. It is going to be applicable in May or enforced starting May 2018. It is really coming very soon. The GDPR regulation is really a legal framework that comprehends a number of data security and privacy guidelines for organizations. For example, they need to make sure that they look at how the data is processed, how the data is protected. Who gets access to the data at what point in time and under what tools? Is everything audited and logged in the right way so that they can have the right traceability. There are a number of things that the organizations and especially IT and chief information security officer teams need to pay attention to in this case.

Kevin L. Jackson: With all that in mind, what should these enterprises be thinking about when it comes to data protection at the hardware and the software level?

Yasser Rasheed: That's a great question. First, let's head back and look at what's happening in the industry nowadays. The whole space of cybersecurity is full with hackers and really malicious users trying to get access to information and this is impacting everyone. We see breaches every day. Solutions today are available in software, however, we believe that the software alone cannot protect and cannot enforce the level of readiness for GDPR and the likes. What we really look for is the role of the hardware to augment and compliment the role of the software in the space. More specifically in the security space, there are many hardware products that companies like Intel is offering in this space to protect the identity of the user, to protect the data of the user. These are tools that our key organizations can take advantage of to be ready for GDPR compliance and in general, to have a more healthy and stronger security posture in the environment.

Kevin L. Jackson: Thank you very much for sharing that important point. Unfortunately, though, we're at the end of our count for this episode. Many thanks to Yasser Rasheed with Intel for his insights and expertise.



( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Endpoint Imperative: IT Spending: Setting Priorities in a Volatile World




Fast-evolving trends are changing the way IT thinks about security. To stay secure and productive, IT operations must excel at the fundamentals: PC refreshes for security, and optimizing end-user computers with Microsoft Windows 10. In “The Endpoint Imperative,” a podcast series from Intel, learn from the experts how hardware and software together make for optimized security.

In Episode 1,"IT Spending: Setting Priorities in a Volatile World," Intel’s Kaitlin Murphy talks PC refresh, security, and productivity. Here she also addresses the key trends that drive IT spending decisions. As Director of Marketing for business clients with Intel, Kaitlin leads the business client marketing organization responsible for mobile and desktop platforms, vPro, Intel Unite, and other products.]

Kevin L. Jackson: Let’s get started. Kaitlin, IT spending is up and this is being driven by cloud computing digital transformation. What could this mean to Intel?

Kaitlin Murphy: Digital transformation is really the changes associated with applying digital technology to people. In the case of my group, it's about businesses and employees, the end user, IT, facilities, and even other groups. Digital transformation touches all of the aspects of a business like, smart office or smart workspaces. How do you make your environment aware and then have it take action on your behalf?

Kevin L. Jackson: Can you give us some examples of this?

Kaitlin Murphy: Sure. This could be something as simple as air conditioning. When the room's unoccupied, the air conditioning is off, but when it sees somebody come in, it knows to adjust the temperature to their preference. It could even be something more complex like, the room knows who you are and it can contextually retrieve information based on your conversation in real time, knowing that you're allowed to access that information.

 (When viewed on a mobile device, please press select "Listen in browser")


Kevin L. Jackson: That's amazing. One of the real key driving components of this spending has been the personal computer or PC sales. This is also driving the PC refresh cycle. Can you talk about those drivers and their impact on organizations?

Kaitlin Murphy: Absolutely, totally agree. PC refresh or PCs, in general, are a huge piece of digital transformation. Today, it's heavily influenced by a variety of things, one of which is security manageability. In general, a newer PC with a newer operating system is more secure and more manageable. That means less burden on IT resources, lower lifetime costs, and higher employee productivity and satisfaction. Having performane, secure, managed up to date devices is critical for a business of any size. Not only does it help with the items we talked about above but more and more that we're seeing in a company that has a digital transformation strategy is better able to attract and retain the target talent that they want. It literally affects every single aspect of a business.

Kevin L. Jackson: Let’s zoom in on security. How do you see that factoring in on the spending decisions?

Kaitlin Murphy: The corporations are a major target for bad actors. Literally, in one place you've got the crown jewels. You've got IP. You've got customer information. You've got employee information and more. Because of this, companies have to have a comprehensive security strategy in place and then the products to execute that. Part of the executing their strategy means having secure PCs. Like we mentioned before, newer PCs are typically more secure and that's for a variety of reasons. First, you've got the latest and greatest technologies and solutions and the PC ecosystem behind it. Second, with an older PC bad actor have simply had more time to find the holes and to exploit them.

Kevin L. Jackson: It really seems like you’re focusing on the PC instead of the data center. Why is that?

Kaitlin Murphy: You need to focus on both. You're right, the PC is a critical piece. One thing that not everyone knows, is that when an attack is launched on an enterprise the most common route into that company is through the endpoint. What happens is a bad actor captures the credentials of an employee and they can access their PC. When they can access the PC, they can access all the data on that PC. Typically, any place that PC is authorized to access as well. Newer PCs have solutions to help minimize this risk.

You can protect your credentials and hardware, for example, so they're harder to be spoofed or otherwise exploited. When we look at IP support desk calls, the one type of call that's grown the most in the past years' security-related incidents, like viruses or malware. These incidents place a resource burden on the company, not to mention the security risk. IT now has to make a decision. Is the cost of that older PC protecting it, securing it plus the safety risk worth more or less than just buying a new PC that has new security?



Kevin L. Jackson: Now, let’s zoom out to 18 or 24 months from now. What considerations do you see impacting IT budgets, especially, the spending on PCs and other endpoint devices?

Kaitlin Murphy: Well, while technology moves quickly, sometimes, it often moves a little bit slowly as well. I think the trends we talked about today are very firmly entrenched and the ones that we're going to continue to see in the next 18 to 24 months, security, manageability, even the value of local compute performance will all be relevant.

Kevin L. Jackson: [chuckles] Wait a minute. Why do you have to worry about local compute? Everyone's going to the cloud.

Kaitlin Murphy: Local compute's going to continue to be important. There are some things you just don't want in the cloud and some things you can do better locally, not to mention that when you have performance on the endpoint you can run some of these security solutions we've talked about today. I also think there's a trend around security innovation and that's definitely not going anywhere. Look at Off Network Solutions and Loan. The average US company has to use six different endpoint solutions just to secure a single device.

There's also a lot of trends around unified endpoint management. How can an IT organization manage its entire fleet, but usually at this point is more than one PC per person with a single set of tools? This coupled with more ambient compute devices, think of workplace transformation, devices that don't necessarily have a dedicated user, are going to increase the need for a single out of band management solution. The reason why I say out of band management is because you need to be able to manage your device regardless of OS State.

Especially as organizations become more geographically dispersed, it is increasingly important. Collectively, it seems like there's going to be a continued strain of IT resources. Budgets might be up but they aren't necessarily keeping pace with the number of new trends that IT have to track, make decisions on and execute against. This is going to pose an important question and decision for IT, on how to best allocate the resources to serve both as strategic and operational initiatives in the organization.

Kevin L. Jackson: Unfortunately, we are at the end of our time for this episode but thanks to Kaitlin Murphy with Intel, for her insights and expertise.


( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)