Based on insights gleaned from customers and partners as well as IT industry thought leaders and analysts, ExtraHop predicts that IT and business stakeholders will move beyond curiosity and take a serious look at adopting next-generation technologies, from software-defined networks and storage to public cloud.
As part of this move toward adoption, IT organizations are beginning to explore new ways to actively address challenges around ensuring the performance, availability, and security of their applications and infrastructure.
Experts at ExtraHop offer the following predictions for IT in 2014:
1. No one wants to be the next Healthcare.gov
The widely publicized, colossal debacle that was the rollout of Healthcare.gov is forcing a reckoning for IT organizations across all market sectors, both public and private. No one wants to be the next Healthcare.gov.
The reality is that, as technology and infrastructure grow increasingly complex, businesses must apply the same architectural approach to operations in their IT department that they do across the rest of the organization. As we have seen with Healthcare.gov, failure to do so can result in misspent OpEx and CapEx, and lack of insight into the performance, availability, and security of applications. Notably, in late November the federal government acknowledged that the lack of visibility into the Healthcare.gov infrastructure has been at the core of the challenges the website experienced.
In 2014, expect organizations to take the lessons of Healthcare.gov to heart and start moving toward an IT operations architecture that leverages critical sources of data, including wire data, agent data, machine data, and synthetic data, to achieve comprehensive visibility across applications and infrastructure.
2. Incumbent Vendors Roil the Software-Defined Waters
The move toward software-defined networks (SDN) and infrastructure — spearheaded by the OpenStack Foundation and a number of forward-thinking vendors such as Big Switch and Arista — has been heralded by many as the death of vendor lock-in. However, incumbent vendors such as Cisco are looking for ways to maintain a hardware-centric approach to SDN. Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure has a SDN controller that allows datacenter switches to act as a single fabric and enables the management of tens of thousands of ports from a centralized point, but it's still built on a foundation of Cisco hardware.
ExtraHop expects to see further expansion of the definition of SDN over the coming months as more vendors seek to include things like application delivery controllers (ADCs) and IP management.
3. Enterprises seek solutions for greater cloud confidence
According to a recent Gartner survey, 80 percent of respondents stated that they plan to use cloud services in some form within the next 12 months, as compared to the 38 percent currently using cloud-based solutions. Despite growing curiosity about the cloud, there's a big leap to be made between being cloud curious and cloud confident. Legacy solutions that monitor CPU usage alone simply do not deliver the broad visibility that is necessary before making the leap to the cloud.
ExtraHop anticipates that over the next few years, the rate and degree of cloud adoption will rely heavily on solutions that can provide this deep visibility into the security, performance and availability, and maturity of cloud offerings — solutions that provide IT with the confidence they need to make the leap.
4. Organizations move to fix leaks in their security portfolios
Last spring, Edward Snowden's leak of classified CIA documents sent shock waves through the intelligence and security communities. How could a contractor have copied and stolen so much important data undetected? The Snowden leaks underscore a critical weakness in IT security: understanding what constitutes anomalous behavior and being able to detect it early. This understanding and early recognition of anomalous behavior is a crucial line of defense against a major breach.
In 2014, ExtraHop expects to see growing recognition of advanced threats and the emergence of a new approach to defend against them. While traditional security solutions will remain a critical part of securing IT applications and infrastructure, pervasive monitoring across the entire IT architecture will be used to proactively identify emerging threats.
5. Big Data is not just for the marketing department
Ask your average Joe what Big Data is, and you'll likely get an answer that includes social media, mobile data, search patterns, and buying habits. While there's been much ado over Big Data, the use case du jour has clearly been marketing. In 2014, expect to see that change. Of course, customer data gleaned from these channels is critical to building a competitive, successful business, but that shouldn't overshadow the value that data and analytics can offer across the organization.
IT is poised to be the next major beneficiary of Big Data, with the emergence of tools that capture and analyze crucial sources of IT intelligence traversing the enterprise network, including machine data, agent data, wire data, and synthetic data. Just as search and social data has transformed marketing departments, Big Data analytics are poised to create a more efficient IT operations architecture.
“Today, information technology is central to the survival and success of businesses all over the globe,” said Jesse Rothstein, CEO, ExtraHop. “As these technologies become more sophisticated and line-of-business stakeholders demand rapid adoption, IT teams must take an operations-oriented, business-minded approach to deployment and management. In this way, IT organizations can ensure business-critical performance, availability, and security.”
Erik Giesa is SVP of Marketing & Business Development for ExtraHop.
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