Microsoft update in London 28 Jan 2011Posted by Tony Law in Cloud, IT marketplace, ITasITis, Managing IT, Tech Watch.
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I spent most of today at a briefing at Microsoft’s London Customer Centre, hosted by one of their development partners: a mix of Microsoft and partner presentations, covering Microsoft’s office (small ‘o’), collaboration and enterprise management tools. It’s rare to have this kind of opportunity since I left enterprise IT. But it’s important, because topics like Sharepoint and Microsoft’s cloud office services (Office 365 for example) come up regularly in conversations, and in technical events that I facilitate.
Leading off the event was James Askrigg, of Microsoft. He ran through some of Microsoft’s visionary directions: Natural User Interface (which largely means gesture), with reference to the Xbox Kinect; the future of real telepresence, meaning fully animated avatars re-creating a full representation of a teleconference participant by close monitoring of the movement of the real individual. Is this cheaper/more effective than full high definition video? Don’t know; but we saw that, too, when Polycom took the stage.
Askrigg took the discussion towards the variety of form factors and “Post PC devices” which are coming through, and the need to work generically with these categories. As was commented in an event I was working with yesterday: you can’t enumerate the possibilities, and deal with them individually, any longer. The approach has to be more generic. And he sees the move to cloud services as very much part of the solution to this problem. If services, and data, and authentication, and management are mediated through the cloud then provisioning unconventional devices becomes simpler. Bill Gates’s original vision of “A PC in every home and on every desk” has become “Continuous cloud services for every person and every business”. Cloud Power is a paradigm, not for provisioning boxes, but for delivering services.
And there was a considerable focus on Lync 2011: communication, collaboration and technology platforms brought together and integrated under the one marketing banner. As we saw these services demonstrated later, the story is a strong one. Windows Live (free for home users) and the new IE9 with HTML5 and features which increase the integration between the browser and the rest of the desktop experience: both are crucial parts of the overall picture. There was a lot on Sharepoint too, difficult to reflect in these notes particularly as the online demo suffered from loss of network connectivity (or something) and had no Plan B.
We had two other presentations from Eurodata, the hosts of the event. The first focussed on Microsoft’s Forefront unified access gateway (UAG) and Direct Access technologies giving users seamless (ish, as a later presentation showed) access to their enterprise network and services without the intrusion of a VPN connection. It depends crucially on IPv6; IPv4 can be integrated, but the feature set is less complete. Polycom then shared a joint presentation with Microsoft: if I have it right, Microsoft give Polycom the lead on “phones and TVs”. Polycom on their own have a strong Unified Communications and presence story, but the integration with other office functionality, essentially through Lync, offers a lot of user options and flexibility. Perhaps too many options? but the live interaction which was demonstrated moved smoothly between IM chat, voice, video and screen sharing; and the ability to see who’s online and available saves a lot of wasted calls. These concepts have been around for a long time. Perhaps they’re now coming to fruition. I need to look up the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum. “Presence is king”, as another Microsoft speaker commented.
Eurodata’s second presentation took us through many of the management tools in Microsoft’s new management suite: not something I’d ever been familiar with (or needed to) and, if I gathered correctly, something of a rebranding exercise as well as a redevelopment. Good capabilities, and quite a strong plug for the Hyper-V virtualisation service.
Finished with a client case study and a few Q&A. And in the lunch break I got interviewed for their video capture of attendee feedback. If it turns up on the Eurodata website, I’ll let you know!
• Microsoft Lync currently showing the 2011 launch with a Bill Gates video
• Microsoft Cloud Power (this is where you get by searching for Office 365)
• Microsoft Sharepoint 2010
• Microsoft Forefront
• Xbox Kinect
• UC everywhere, by Polycom
• All you need to know about Microsoft in 2011: event page, 28 Jan 2011, from Eurodata Systems
About cryptography: coverage 12 Jan 2011Posted by Tony Law in Cloud, Insight services, ITasITis, Managing IT, Tech Watch, Technorati.
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In preparation for an event next week, I’ve been engaged in some research (though quite sketchy) on the subject of cryptography. Here are some notes on the coverage that I’ve found.
As a general rule, search on “Encryption” if you’re looking for strategy and implementation; but for “Cryptography”, unless you’re looking for information on technical standards and developments.
Encryption is an element of what Forrester call “Digital Leak Prevention” or DLP, and Forrester’s coverage includes a recent (Oct 2010) Wave on DLP products. This is available for download from CA, who come out of it quite well. There’s also a document named from the aphorism Own Nothing. Control Everything, attributed to John D Rockefeller, which identifies “Five Security Patterns For Securing Data On Devices You Don’t Own”. Worth a read, if you’re a Forrester client, and worth a view of the outline if you’re not.
Gartner’s coverage, at least as thrown up by my search, doesn’t include this level of general advice; there are specifics for iPads, smartphones, and PCI (Payment Card standards) but no general or strategic guides.
But a blog search (via the InformationSpan index) identifies former Burton analyst Raymond Krikken as probably the key person in the Gartner network if you want to follow this area. As you’d expect from the Burton stable, there’s some specific and knowledgeable insight here; and research is still being published on Burton’s own website, in line with Gartner’s strategy to maintain the Burton brand. Burton too speak of DLP, and have advice for deployment of encryption (“technical position covers the choices to be made once an organization has determined to use encryption”, dating from mid 2009) and specific documents for Cloud and mobile device issues.
Looking at standards and interoperability, the best summary is probably from the US National Security Agency if you can read between the lines of the Agency’s own agenda. RSA Inc’s own information on public key standards which they co-ordinate seems to be fairly elderly.
If you need initial briefing, try Wikipedia (where I found material on the newer Elliptic curve cryptography as well as on RSA). There are FAQs on faqs.org although much of this information appears (on a quick look) to be from newsgroup archives and not very recent.
• The Forrester Wave: Data Leak Prevention Suites, Q4 2010, Forrester Research, 12 Oct 2010; non-clients can follow the link from the CA release, below
• CA Technologies Named a Leader in Data Loss Prevention by Independent Research Firm, CA Press Release, 25 Oct 2010, with link to download the document
• Own Nothing. Control Everything, Forrester Research, 22 Jan 2010 (summary; full document client-only or for-purchase)
• Using Encryption to Protect Sensitive Data in Cloud Computing Environments, Burton Group, 31 Mar 2010 (full document client-only; non-clients may need to log in with guest credentials to get this link to work, or find it by search from their website)
• What exactly makes a “secure tokenization” algorithm?, Raymond Krikken, Gartner blog network, 21 Oct 2010
• NSA Suite B Cryptography, US National Security Agency, 15 Jan 2009
• Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) from RSA, Inc.
• Elliptic curve cryptography, Wikipedia (links to RSA and other sections)
• Cryptography FAQ Index from faqs.org
Find the Gartner Blog Index and search on InformationSpan by following the link in the right hand panel.
ITasITis: 2010 in review 4 Jan 2011Posted by Tony Law in Uncategorized.
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This post was auto-generated by WordPress, slightly edited by me (but I haven;t fiddled the stats). One or two surprises: particularly, the ongoing number of hits on the Satyam post I wrote back in April. And interesting links coming in from the Gartner Blog network: I guess some of these are trackbacks, but don’t forget that we provide a structured group of indexes to Gartner Blogs via InformationSpan (link at the right hand side here).
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.
In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 176 posts. There were 7 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb.
The busiest day of the year was January 7th with 120 views. The most popular post that day was Gartner update on Burton and AMR.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were linkedin.com, informationspan.com, analystequity.com, blogs.gartner.com, and googleblog.blogspot.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for satyam case study, satyam scandal case study, case study of satyam, case study on satyam, and case study on satyam scandal.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Gartner update on Burton and AMR January 2010
Satyam: an analyst case study February 2009
About InformationSpan February 2008
Forrester get TechRadar on the road [updated] April 2008
What am I reading? May 2009