Thursday, March 29, 2012

Uplogix partner releases State of the Network report

Network Instruments recently issued their annual State of the Network report predicting a number of network challenges due to increasing use of video and Cloud technologies.

With no shortage of work for IT at most companies, the next year should be busy. The highlights from the study include the following challenges for IT staffs:
  • Moving apps to the cloud: 60% anticipate half of their apps will run in the cloud within 12 months
  • Video is mainstream: 70% will implement video conferencing within a year
  • Bandwidth demand driven by video: 25% expect video will consume half of all bandwidth in 12 months
  • Chief application challenge: 83% were most challenged by identifying the problem source
  • Increased bandwidth demands: 33% expect bandwidth consumption to increase by more than 50% in next two years.
Skip the details and see the report highlights in the infographic.

Critical CloudThe study showed the number of companies embracing cloud remaining steady at 60%, but the number of implementations at those companies increasing. Overall, respondents expected one-third of their applications to be running in the cloud in the next year, and of those already using cloud, that number was half of their applications.

The major concern was data security, with twice as many companies listing that as their biggest fear in the Cloud.

Video is finally mainstreamOver half of the respondents have implemented video conferencing at some level with that number expected to hit 70% within the year. Implementations are fairly distributed with nearly two-thirds with multiple deployments including conference rooms (75%), desktop PCs (63%) and telepresence (30%).

These hungry deployments are expected by one-in-four respondents to top half of their bandwidth consumption by 2013. Bandwidth that is also going to be critical for delivering high quality I/O for the growing number of business-critical applications hosted in the Cloud.

The network is more important than ever
With this perfect storm of increasing network performance and bandwidth requirements facing IT shops around the world, it's clear the answers are going to come from multiple sources. Application and performance monitoring products like Network Instruments to find problem areas is one side of the solution, and proactive tools to save the precious time of IT staff like Local Management that can address network problems at the infrastructure level as soon as, or maybe even before they become an issue.

California Lunch & Learns

Join Uplogix, Network Instruments, Anue Systems and NewFocus Networks at an Executive Lunch and Learn with Jim Frey of Enterprise Management Associates.

April 18th, 11 a.m.City Club on Bunker Hill
Los Angeles, CA

April 19th, 11 a.m.
Center Club @ Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa, CA

Click here to register

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cloud computing: What it might mean for your job

Over the next few months we'll be talking more about the impact Local Management can have on cloud computing network infrastructure, what does Cloud mean for your job? Looking more at the macro level of the impact of Cloud on IT jobs, two  recent studies show the answer is mixed.

On a global basis, Microsoft and IDC concluded in their study that by 2015, cloud computing will create 14 million jobs, while a study by CSC reported that 14% of companies reduce IT jobs after deploying a cloud strategy.

The key difference is that Cloud shifts the location and types of IT jobs. According to Network World, the impact to IT staff is that, "instead of managing infrastructure, tending the help desk and commissioning server instances to be created, IT workers of tomorrow are instead more likely to be managing vendor relationships, working across departments and helping clients and workers integrate into the cloud."

This fits the traditional argument that when positions are eliminated in one area through technology advancements, demand is created that increases positions elsewhere.

John Gantz, an IDC researcher said that three-quarters of IT spending today is on legacy systems and upgrades, with the remainder on new products. "By offloading services to the cloud, you increase the amount of budget you have for new projects and initiatives, which are the things that truly lead to new business revenues."

In the longer term, increasing the funding available for new projects and initiatives through cloud savings can drive revenues and potentially create jobs. In the shorter term, cloud deployments can create increased need for IT staff to manage transitions, but as the efficiencies reduce IT staffing jobs in an enterprise, these lost jobs might just migrate to the cloud vendors.

What's the moral of the story? Get ready to be flexible. At a macro level, the impact of cloud on IT jobs might mean transitioning into new roles in enterprise IT or following the infrastructure to a job at a cloud provider.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Widening IT skills gap impacts business success

The non-profit IT trade association, CompTIA, recently released a study reporting that eight in ten organizations say their business operations are impacted by gaps in the skill sets of their IT staffs. The fast-pace of technology change and a lack of training resources are listed as the biggest factors contributing to the skills gap.

The majority of companies surveyed intend to devote more resources to training.

“The expected commitment to more education is an encouraging sign,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. “IT professionals have a strong propensity for lifelong learning and skills enhancement, so the large majority will welcome the opportunity to broaden their knowledge. An investment in new IT education and training will deliver strong return on investment to the business’s bottom line.”

The key resource is time
Over 50% of respondents said that the most popular training method is online self-study, followed by vendor-provided training and in-person classroom training. Unless part of the expected investment in training includes addressing the average IT workers workload, it's going to be tough to find time to take more training classes.

How do you make more time? Short of inventing a time machine, you need to cut IT workload. How do you cut workload? By hiring more employees, outsourcing, or working smarter by automating tasks that don't actually require a human IT specialist.

Here is where Uplogix can help out by automating many of the routine network management tasks that consume a majority of IT staff time -- important functions that have traditionally required human intervention. Local Management brings a combination of network-independence, intelligence and integration that provides IT with the ability to reduce everything from the number of truck rolls to support remote sites, to configuration struggles due to human error or the need to individually update multiple devices, to convenient, secure out-of-band access to equipment for those times when an issue does require human attention.

With Uplogix Local Management deployed in the network handling routine issues currently sapping time from your staff, IT can be more proactive -- learning the skills required to ensure your network delivers business value and innovation instead of just trying to keep the lights on.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Persistence, survivability key requirements for arctic network

What qualifies a site as "remote" to you?
Researchers at DARPA (the US military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) recently announced that they want to create a massive system of unmanned sensors and systems to monitor and track the even the most remote regions of the Arctic.

With retreating ice expected over the coming decades, the regions strategic importance is expected to grow with increased shipping during summer months and a push to exploit natural resources along the continental shelf. The Assured Arctic Awareness (AAA) project will be challenging. According to DARPA:
As with the development of any remote distributed system, developers will need to overcome the technical challenges of persistence, survivability, energy management, sensing, mobility, delivery, and communications.
This description could be applied to some of the use cases for Local Management from Uplogix. While many of our devices are deployed in climate controlled data centers in suburbs and big cities, other Local Managers are in racks on oil platforms in the North Sea, isolated pipeline monitoring stations, and military bases in Afghanistan

Local Management provides persistence and survivability for critical network infrastructure by managing directly - not over the network. For widely distributed applications, the capability of Uplogix to automatically address common faults without human intervention is key to ensuring service levels are met and avoiding costly monitoring over the network.

Uplogix can do anything from automatically rebooting a hung, or wedged, device to performing multiple types of configuration recovery. Uplogix also provides a robust framework for end-users to define new recovery procedures or customize and extend prepackaged ones.

So, whether you are putting together a proposal for a monitoring network in the Arctic for DARPA, or maybe just a branch office for your company, you might be looking for some of the same functionality that Local Management delivers.