Month: December 2014

A Roundup of 2014 by VMware

A Roundup of 2014 by VMwareBy Arun Parameswaran,
Managing Director,
VMware India 

2014 has been a momentous year for VMware, particularly in India. We are witnessing a pretty significant business transformation, where businesses are digitizing and their products and go-to-market strategies are changing. For IT, it’s a question of how do all of the things they do to support their businesses change to keep up with and help drive the transformation.

To help CIOs gain the flexibility, agility and innovation needed to succeed, VMware rolled out significant announcements in the region this year, including the launch of EVO:RAIL at VMworld 2014 with Inspur in China and NOS in Japan; the expansion of vCloud Air in Australia and Japan; along with our acquisition of AirWatch earlier this year, which will propel the most mobile region in the world (APJ) towards the inevitability of the software-defined enterprise.

With just a little under a month away to 2015, we roundup key predictions themed around our three company missions that will be useful to bear in mind as CIOs continue to define what the North Star is for their organization’s IT infrastructure.

Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)

Software-defined networking, storage, data centers and security will start to mature. After all, according to an IDC whitepaper commissioned by VMware in October 2014 entitled, “Empowering Organizations in a Software Defined World”, businesses in India have already avoided US$1.5 billion in CAPEX and will be able to avoid a further US$4 billion by 2020.

Simply being able to virtualize some servers has a limited value, but when combined with a highly automated infrastructure, IT departments can deliver a degree of IT agility that the business has been demanding.

To deal with the rapidly changing demands of digital business and scale systems up – or down – rapidly, computing has to move away from static to dynamic models. According to IDC , integrated infrastructure and platforms will grow 26 percent and reach US$1.47 billion in 2015.

Hybrid Cloud

Across APJ, according to the VMware APJ Cloud Index 2013, around two-thirds of IT decision-makers have told us they intend to invest most heavily in private and hybrid clouds. We know hybrid interest in the region will continue to be strong.

In a similar vein, IDC analysts predict that the hybrid cloud will be the choice data center infrastructure in 2015. By end of 2015, 20-25 percent of enterprises will be in a hybrid cloud environment with SDDC and/or integrated infrastructure.

End-User Computing

In 2015, Forrester expects to see a significant number of businesses across Asia Pacific embrace hybrid tablet/laptop devices as a start of their enterprise mobility journey. After all, enterprise IT’s transition to the mobile-centric delivery model is powered by the software-defined generation who continue to enter the workplace every year. Our end-user study, VMware MeConomy 2014, reveals that 28 percent of college students say they would not consider joining a company that restricts them from using own devices at work.

A growing proportion of forward-thinking businesses in Asia Pacific will begin to examine their employee’s mobile moments and those who succeed will think customer mobility, not enterprise mobility.

2015 Outlook from McAfee

2015 Outlook from McAfeeBy Jagdish Mahapatra,
MD- India and SAARC,

Following are the mega trends that will dominate 2015’s security industry in India-

1.       Increased use of cyber warfare and espionage tactics. Cyber espionage attacks will continue to increase in frequency as long-term players will become stealthier information gatherers, while newcomers to cyber-attack capabilities will look for ways to steal sensitive information and disrupt their adversaries.

•         Established nation-state actors will work to enhance their ability to remain hidden on victim systems and networks.
•        Cybercriminals will continue to act more like nation-state cyber espionage actors, focusing on monitoring systems                    and      gathering high-value intelligence on individuals, intellectual property, and operational intelligence.
•        McAfee Labs predicts that more small nation states and terror groups will use cyber warfare.

2.       Greater Internet of Things attack frequency, profitability, and severity. Unless security controls are built-in to their architectures from the beginning, the rush to deploy IoT devices at scale will outpace the priorities of security and privacy. This rush and the increasing value of data gathered, processed, and shared by these devices will draw the first notable IoT paradigm attacks in 2015.

•     The increasing proliferation of IoT devices in environments such as health care could provide malicious parties access to personal data even more valuable than credit card data. For instance, according to the McAfee Labs report entitled Cybercrime Exposed: Cybercrime-as-a-Service, the cybercrime community currently values stolen health credentials at around $10 each, which is about 10 to 20 times the value of a stolen U.S. credit card number.

3.       Privacy debates intensify. Data privacy will continue to be a hot topic as governments and businesses continue to grapple with what is fair and authorized access to inconsistently defined “personal information.”

•     In 2015 we will see continued discussion and lack of clarity around what constitutes “personal information” and to what extent that information may be accessed and shared by state or private actors.

•             We will see a continued evolution in scope and content of data privacy rules and regulations, we may even see laws begin to regulate the use of previously anonymous data sets.

• The European Union, countries in Latin America, as well as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and many others may enact more stringent data privacy laws and regulations.

4.       Ransomware evolves into the cloud. Ransomware will evolve its methods of propagation, encryption, and the targets it seeks. More mobile devices are likely to suffer attacks.

• We predict ransomware variants that manage to evade security software installed on a system will specifically target endpoints that subscribe to cloud-based storage solutions.

• Once the endpoint has been infected, the ransomware will attempt to exploit the logged-on user’s stored credentials to also infect backed-up cloud storage data.

• We expect the technique of ransomware targeting cloud-backed-up data to be repeated in the mobile space.

• We expect a continued rise in mobile ransomware using virtual currency as the ransom payment method…See More

2014 – Celebrating the year that was: Microsoft

2014 - Celebrating the year that was: MicrosoftBy Bhaskar Pramanik,
Chairman at Microsoft India

Management guru Tom Peters said, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” And, as we stand on the threshold of 2015, I want to reflect on the string of positive moments we have seen over the past 12 months. It is a year that I wish had lasted a little longer!

Reinventing productivity

Triggered by new leadership, both India and Microsoft saw exciting developments in 2014. As part of Microsoft’s transformation journey, we focused on helping people and companies all over the world thrive in this mobile-first, cloud-first world by reinventing productivity and providing platforms to work from. When we talk about productivity, we are not just referring to being more productive at work. We see productivity as the engine of human progress, and helping people get more out of their time, whether it be for work, family time or to conquer their own pursuits. It’s not just a software category, and it’s not about simply producing more technology, but rather having the right tools and platforms to help anyone make the most of any moment.

The ambitious goals set by the new Indian Government, including the focus on technology to promote economic growth, are heartening. India is on the path to becoming a digitally empowered knowledge economy and the landscape in India is evolving at a rapid pace. The mindset of users across the board has undergone a significant shift. This demands innovation at every step, and that is our driving force.

IoT, Big data, Hybrid Cloud to be India’s mega trends for 2015: NetApp

IoT, Big data, Hybrid Cloud to be India’s mega trends for 2015: NetAppBy Anil Valluri,
President, NetApp India & SAARC

If 2014 was a year of big change in technology and new visions for India by the government – the digital India, Make in India and the smart cities campaign, 2015 will solidify these changes and start a transformation. Technology will play an important role, with massive deployments in network, data, storage and analytics. Some top technology trends we envisage in India are –

 # Mushrooming of Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics 

The year ahead will see quantum increases in data generation, led by the IOT phenomenon. Data will become the new gold. A leading industry analyst firm’s Digital Universe analysis of the growth of data projects that intelligent connected devices will increase the amount of “useful data” that can be analyzed and used to make decisions from 22% in 2013 to 35% in 2020. This “useful data” needs to be in digital storage in order to enable the analysis and use of this data. This will compel enterprises and government alike to think harder about network efficiency, storage and analytics. If India is to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves in 2014, a calibrated approach is an imperative, born of long term technology roadmaps. Analytics deployments will be spurred in the increasingly complex marketing and consumer engagement environment that have been created in the digital era.

 # Enterprise platforms will move to multi-vendor hybrid cloud architectures

Organizations contemplating both green field and brown field cloud deployments will tend towards a multi-vendor hybrid cloud environment, that will provide the benefits of both the worlds – public and private cloud.  Avoidance of lock-in, leverage in negotiations, or simply a desire for choice will make customers reluctant to work with one cloud vendor, and multiple-vendor hybrid clouds will attain prominence. This growth will further be boosted as big data evolves and drives the need for sophisticated storage infrastructure.

# Software Defined Storage will form the foundation for hybrid cloud 

Software Defined Storage (SDS) is foundational platform which address range of use cases managing data placement according to cost, compliance, availability, and performance requirements. SDS has the ability to be deployed on different hardware platforms and will extend to cloud architectures as well. SDS will enable data accessibility across cloud platforms consistently, thus simplifying data management.

In addition, India will see fallout impact of the following global trends in 2015 (as predicted by Jay Kidd, SVP and CTO, NetApp)

 # Flash arrays will take baby steps

Till date, enterprises have used disks to store their critical data. These SATA disks come with a lot of challenges including space usage, time taken to input and overhead costs to maintain the requisite environment. While this is definitely not going to change and at least 80% of enterprise data will continue to reside on disks, Flash will start taking baby steps as organizations become aware of its advantages and ease of use. However, the growth of this transformative technology will be hindered by costs – the least expensive SSDs will likely be 10 times more expensive than the least expensive SATA disks.

 # Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is the New Compute Server 

Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) products are becoming the new compute server with Direct-Attached Storage (DAS). Traditional data center compute consists of blades or boxes in racks that have dedicated CPUs, memory, I/O and network connections, and run dozens of VMs. HCI such as VMware’s EVO allows local DAS to be shared across a few servers, making the unit of compute more resilient, while broadly shared data is accessed over the LAN or SAN. Starting in 2015, the emergence of solid state storage, broader adoption of remote direct memory access (RDMA) network protocols, and new interconnects will drive a compute model where the cores, memory, and IOPs storage will be integrated in a low-latency fabric that will make them behave as a single rack-scale system.

 # Dockers replace hypervisors as the container of choice for scale-out applications

Companies are increasingly looking for scale-out applications. To accommodate this need, Dockers are more resource efficient and reduce the storage space required as compared to hypervisors. We will see the emergence of a robust ecosystem for data management through Dockers and other surrounding services in 2015.

With the IoT devices expected to grow to 4.9 billion in 2015, up 30 per cent from 2014 and reach 25 billion by 2020 as per a leading analyst firm, unstructured data is being created by every device thinkable – from smartphones, laptops, social to cloud applications. Organizations need to become technologically sharp to deal with the changing dynamics in the big data space. They should adopt improved storage solutions to address their needs and the above predictions hold good for them.

2015 Focus: Accelerated Rollout of IoT

2015 Focus: Accelerated Rollout of IoTBy Geoff Webb,
Senior Director,
Solution Strategy, NetIQ

1. The IoT is going fast

We’ve been talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) for what feels like years now.  Yet the reality is that while it’s quickly starting to dominate technology conversations, it’s still a new and not broadly understood trend.  And like any potentially highly disruptive trend we tend to develop a sense of buzzword fatigue long before the real impact is felt.  This is especially true for IoT if for no other reason than so many people are discussing it in so many different contexts.  But it would be a mistake to underestimate both the rapidity of change and the impact of the IoT.  It’s moving fast – far faster than anything we’ve seen before.  From early thinking around smart devices to the current developments in connecting home management, appliance and car computers to form a much smarter ‘home’ experience.  What we’re seeing is one part of the IoT building on others, and as each layer gets deployed, so it opens up more opportunities to create new smarter technologies.  The effect is shifting from additive to geometric, and we should expect to see this really accelerate next year.  We’re not overstating the rate of growth of the IoT, we’re chronically underestimating it.

2. Changes will be widespread and subtle

As the IoT grows, so the impact of the technologies will grow with it.  Just as the impact of the World Wide Web was limited in the early days of the mid 90’s by slow speeds and limit commerce, so the early impact of the IoT is still in its infancy.  Yet just as for the web, once you reach a critical mass of technologies and services, so the fire goes from smoldering to raging.  We’re not going to see that quite in the next 12 months, but we should see the first signs that the explosion is coming.  Again, once enough of the pieces are in place, the effect builds and becomes geometric in nature – each sensor and device adding to a cumulative effect on our lives.  At some point the impact will be so profound that just as today it would be difficult to imagine our lives without the internet, so it would be equally difficult to imagine the world without the IoT – where billions of smart devices, actuators and sensors are operating together to constantly redefine and respond to the world around us.  At no point will we cross some IoT Rubicon, but looking back we’ll see a very different world.  Over the next 12 months we should be looking for the first signs of those truly definitional technological changes.

3. Businesses will have to go faster than they plan today

However fast we think the IoT will have an impact on businesses, we are likely underestimating it.  As computing and wireless technologies become cheaper and cheaper, so more and more products will embed a smart element to initially provide differentiation and shortly thereafter meet baseline expectations.  Even a couple of years ago who would have predicted smart light bulbs and intelligent, network-aware washing machines?  Business that sell to consumers must use 2015 to plan their next generation of smart products – those that don’t will be out maneuvered and left behind by their competitors.  Other businesses must begin to incorporate planning for the IoT world now – because there will be literally oceans of data to mine, new industries emerging, and an entire new breed of demands placed on information technology to meet the demands of a foundational re-tooling of the way we think about products.  Over the next 12 months we will see more smart technologies becoming common place – including wearable tech, smart packaging, highly connected appliances, and deep integration between many different types of sensors including city management systems that will offer up significant insight into behavior of complex, global events.

Finally business will need to start hiring and training now – the time needed to plan and build IoT aware products and services must be considered.

NETGEAR extends its ProSAFE Wireless Range

NETGEAR extends its ProSAFE Wireless RangeNETGEAR has extended its line of ProSAFE wireless products with ProSAFE WC7600 Premium Wireless Controller products, designed specifically to offer easy-to-deploy access for mid-sized hospitality facilities, healthcare and educational institutes, etc. The expanded NETGEAR family of ProSAFE wireless LAN products are designed for the special requirements of these markets: built with high-performance, flexibility and ease-of-use in mind, while offering the best cost-performance solution on the market today.

“Our customers in hospitality, education and healthcare are looking for solutions that enable them to add more users to the networks very quickly and easily, in denser deployment scenarios. NETGEAR ProSAFE WC7600 helps meet these needs, for high performance, flexibility and ease-of-use along with support for the complete range of NETGEAR PROSAFE Managed Access Points to better support the increasing BYOD trend and demand for wireless connectivity,” said Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & SAARC.

The ProSAFE WC7600 Wireless Controller manages the complete line of NETGEAR ProSAFE Managed Access Points. The WC7600 is a scalable, secure mobile access solution that can support a small organization with dozens of users, with up to several thousand concurrent clients across 150 access points in a stacked arrangement.

With its Ufast protocol, the WC7600 delivers ultra-fast access point discovery, Layer 2 and Layer 3 fast roaming, a captive portal for guest access, a fully distributed architecture, and ease of configuration and management. A pay-as-you grow licensing model of ten access point licences ensures that the organization only pays for what is needed.

It is ideal for education, hospitality and healthcare deployments. Designed with simplicity in mind for management and ease-of-use, it offers enterprise-grade functionality and capability for small- to mid-sized organizations, without the cost and complexity of big IT.

Vodafone strengthens retail footprint

Vodafone strengthens retail footprintVodafone Delhi has taken a leadership position for providing quality and unmatched customer experience to its over 95 lakh customers in Delhi NCR. With more than 50,000 retail touch points including Global design & exclusive Stores, Mini Stores, Angel Stores and Multi Brand Outlets, Vodafone is bringing a world-class retail experience to its customers.

One such innovation is the Vodafone Red Box Service – first-of-its-kind free-of-cost telecom service offering by Vodafone India, that facilitates secure data transfer, specially pictures, videos and documents, from one mobile handset to another. The service is available at any Vodafone RoTo (Retail of Tomorrow) stores in Delhi. The service will be provided free of cost to customers, irrespective of their mobile network. Trained Vodafone customer service personnel at these stores will take care of the data transfer requirements of the customers. Vodafone Red Box is compatible with all branded handsets. The technology is handset-agnostic and can transfer data from and to any handset brands available in the market.

The new Vodafone Global Design Store retail concept is intended to be warm and customer-friendly, to meet the evolving needs and expectations of the customers.

Apoorva Mehrotra, Business Head, Vodafone Delhi, said, “Looking at the market dynamics and with more customers adopting smart phones and mobile internet, we have taken an innovative approach in retail design. Not just Vodafone stores but our retailers and other partners will go well beyond just being service providers, offering live and engaging experience of Vodafone’s complete range of products and offerings and ensuring best-in-class service and one-stop shop experience. Our retail outlets have been specifically designed and customized after testing and validating a full suite of customer insights which are relevant to customer needs in the National Capital Region.”

Vodafone has also set up 85 Self-Service Kiosks (SSKs) facility across its existing network. Subscribers can use the Self-Service Kiosks 24×7 at various locations across the region to recharge their talk-time and pay bills.

Additionally, Vodafone is the only telecom operator in the region to have 3 Angel Stores. The Vodafone Angel Store has only women staff members, including security, pantry staff, customer service resources as well as management level personnel. This initiative is in line with Vodafone’s endeavour to encourage diversity and inclusion at workplace by constantly improving and reinventing itself and offering its employees with best-in-industry workplace conditions.