Third Platform’s the Charm

Keith Wiley

Keith Wiley

Senior Director and General Manager, Global Solutions

“The Third Platform” – Big Data, cloud computing, mobile, and social – is having a tremendous positive impact on government and citizens alike. Analyzing trends in real time, and capturing all data sources where they originate is game changing.

This past fall at the EMC Federal Summit, Federal leaders gathered to discuss how to “Redefine Federal IT.” In my morning keynote, I looked at how to utilize the third platform in the rapidly changing IT environment. Here are some takeaways:

According to the recent IDC Digital Universe study, the digital universe is enormous – and growing exponentially. Data is growing faster than our ability to manage it, and agencies need to redefine their approach – but how?

The first step in redefining IT is determining what users want. It’s really quite straightforward – they want simplicity. They want instant gratification. But, how do we get there? It’s all about how the data in the digital universe is orchestrated and automated, and solutions like enterprise hybrid cloud can help. By leveraging a hybrid cloud, agencies can maximize their data – with the speed and agility of public cloud services and the control and security of private cloud infrastructure.

And, it’s important to keep in mind the power of software-defined solutions in innovating Federal IT. Take a look at a MeriTalk study, “Innovation Inspiration: Can Software Save IT?,” that found that more than 70% of money spent on Federal IT is dedicated to maintaining legacy systems. Additionally, over 50% of Feds believe a transition to software-defined models will not only save money, but will also enhance IT performance. Software-defined technologies redefine IT, enabling the automation and simplification of IT management, and increasing the agility and flexibility of infrastructure. Costs go down, and room for growth goes up. The software-defined enterprise will enable agencies to enhance support and innovate like never before.

As more agencies turn to the third platform for the support to handle Federal missions, they gain the ability to obtain real time insights, improvise, and quickly adapt to changes. To learn more, register here to view the keynote.

Deep Dive Into the Data Lake

Audie Hittle

Audie Hittle

Federal CTO, Emerging Technologies Division, EMC Corporation

The IT landscape is constantly changing – that’s a given. But, what doesn’t change is the responsibility for Federal agencies to protect their highly sensitive data – from healthcare records, to tax information, to geospatial intelligence. As data in the digital universe continues to grow, providing sufficient storage for large sets of data can be daunting without the right storage management systems. The solution? Data Lakes.

I will speak at this year’s Cloudera Federal Forum on Wednesday, February 25, to discuss the impact of this data growth on Feds. Many other Federal IT thought leaders and decision makers will also attend and contribute to the discussion about how Big Data platforms and applications are changing Federal outcomes.

We’ll take a deep dive tour into the strategies your agency can use to leverage innovative collaboration environments – specifically the Data Lake. This type of environment allows agencies to store, manage, and protect unstructured data for traditional and emerging workloads. As an example, EMC just announced new products and solutions to support the Data Lake Foundation – including the new high-density Isilon HD400 platform and the new highly-resilient OneFS 7.2 operating system. Not only do these technologies aim to eliminate silos and simplify the storage and management of data, but they also bring many other benefits to agencies, such as:

  • Efficient storage
  • Massive scalability
  • Increased operational flexibility
  • Enterprise attributes
  • In-place Big Data analytics

Data Lake technologies expand the possibilities of what your agency can do with its data and the insights which can be achieved – managing not only structured, but also unstructured information, in a faster, more cost-effective way. In my session, I will share case studies and examples of successful implementations, from data warehousing to knowledge management.

The increasing flow of data presents the need for a closer look at cloud computing best practices as well. As we delve deeper into the data deluge, agencies might find it challenging to continue the successful management of their data, especially when their technology is unable to support large data volumes. Fortunately, today there are options available to handle these evolving requirements. Hybrid clouds combine the best of private and public clouds, and provide organizations with the opportunity to transform operations and deliver IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). As agencies work to balance cost and performance, they turn to innovative solutions, and hybrid cloud technology provides just that.

It’s not too late to register for the February 25 Cloudera Federal Forum, and learn how to advance your agency’s data analytics initiatives and save time, money, and resources. I hope to see you at my 10:50 a.m. session to hear more about implementing an enterprise data hub.

To learn more about the announcement of EMC’s new Data Lake products and solutions, check out an EMC Pulse blog post from my colleague, Sam Grocott, here.

RSA Responds to Executive Order on Cybersecurity

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Vice President & General Manager, RSA Global Public Sector

President Obama and leaders in government and industry discussed cybersecurity and consumer protection at Stanford University last week. As part of the summit, President Obama signed a new Executive Order related to cybersecurity. The President’s actions, combined with recent legislative success in the last session of Congress, demonstrate the criticality of taking action now to combat the malicious activity that is occurring and bring some support to the consumer.

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The executive order and the legislation previously passed by Congress is a great start. But in order for the actions taken to increase information sharing among the public and private sectors to really be effective, additional legislation is necessary. We need to see liability relief along with codified roles and responsibilities for the public and private sector regarding information sharing. In addition, the President has called for a national breach process and updated criminal laws to support today’s security needs and the future environment. We support that. With this approach, information sharing can, in fact, truly become actionable and allow the good guys to operate inside the bad guy’s decision cycle.

In addition, last week’s summit highlighted the importance of the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) developed by the private sector while working with the government. The CSF for the first time provides all a common taxonomy and approach to understanding an organization’s risk (business or otherwise) and determine that organization’s ability to mitigate and prioritize those risks with cybersecurity capabilities. Many in the private sector have started implementing the CSF. Many, however, are confused or overwhelmed and have not yet started. RSA can help.

The CSF is a great model for organizations to implement. And for those mature organizations that have implemented a framework, it provides an easy way to communicate status and performance to those who are interested in cybersecurity posture – such as corporate leaders, board members and even regulators.

In the wake of the serious breaches so far this year, a common question asked is: “what company is next?” All are at risk – but particularly those who don’t know where they stand. As I’ve mentioned, I think the CSF is the best place to start. It truly is a business oriented approach to understanding risk and building a roadmap to address those risks with an operational cybersecurity posture.

So, if you’re looking to get started, try the Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment that RSA has developed and offers at no cost. Alternatively, businesses can download and review the current framework directly from NIST.

As we heard from President Obama, we face serious threats. Our national leaders of both parties are committed to continuing to address this threat as our way of life is becoming ever more connected to and dependent on the security of our IT networks. For our part, businesses around the nation need to join America’s elected officials in the common purpose of cybersecurity: becoming aggressive defenders of our collective right to digital security.

This post was originally published on our sister blog Reflections, where senior leaders at EMC blog regularly on trends in information technology.

Journey to the Hybrid Cloud

Bernie Baker

Bernie Baker

Vice President, Global Executive Briefing Program

One of the best parts of my job is engaging with customers and partners from around the globe.  Regardless of location, customer size or the maturity of their IT and business operations, a common theme has emerged.  Almost every conversation leads to cloud computing.  Specifically, organizations struggle with the strategy and implementation of fully functional cloud environments.

There are many operating models: private, public, hybrid.  Where do we begin?  How do we automate and orchestrate?  What workloads are the best candidates for these environments?  When should I leverage an off-premise solution?

The biggest question however may be this: how do I get started?

The challenge can be daunting, but the solution doesn’t have to be complicated. Everyone agrees there is a tremendous savings potential both financially and operationally by implementing a hybrid cloud.

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Let me provide a little context.  Last year we hosted 6,000 accounts at our executive briefing centers across the globe.  An overwhelming majority of these accounts requested discussions that pertained to EMC’s internal IT transformation, hybrid cloud, the Service Provider Program, or general sessions with EMC’s consulting services practice.

In 2014, EMC announced our Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution.  The launch led to almost 400 customer sessions over about 12 weeks.  These discussions focused on either the strategy of a hybrid cloud or a specific technology that can be utilized to implement a hybrid cloud.

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In addition to these conversations, EMC delivered approximately 150 IT Transformation Workshops last year. These workshops bring together representatives from our global services and IT teams for in-depth engagements to understand the customer’s current environment, their desired end state, and the methodology required to get there. These workshops are either a half-day or a full day and involve working in a “roll up the sleeves” style.  The feedback and results have been nothing short of stellar.

Last year, the global services team led an engagement to build a proof-of-concept (PoC) for an enterprise hybrid cloud with one of the largest global financial services institutions in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.  The PoC incorporated client-required technologies, an operational transformation design of the expected end-state hybrid cloud model, and an IT service management model.  The customer has since selected EMC as their provider of record moving forward.

This is a shining example of how our technologies and services came together around the appropriate solution that encompassed a holistic transformation approach.  One of the most unique aspects of this PoC included live integration with the customer’s existing infrastructure.  This provided a real world opportunity to experience a full solution that started solving business, operational and technology problems from day one.

Most technology organizations in the cloud enablement space are pushing proprietary offerings that require protracted service commitments and substantial investments of time and money.  The approach at EMC is different.  We offer best of breed products and services with a focus on the whole approach that includes the what, why & how.  Not just the pieces and parts that make up the infrastructure.

I would like to extend you an invitation to visit one of our global executive briefing centers and experience, first hand, the EMC approach.

This post was originally published on our sister blog Reflections, where senior leaders at EMC blog regularly on trends in information technology.

RSA – Protecting the Federal Government in the Digital Universe

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Vice President & General Manager, RSA Global Public Sector

The holidays have passed, and we have all gotten a little bigger – too much food, too many desserts. But that’s nothing compared to how fast data is growing. The EMC-sponsored IDC Digital Universe study found that the digital universe doubles in size every two years. By 2020, the data we create and copy annually will reach 44 trillion gigabytes. More data means more risk. The Government Accountability Office found that the number of data breach incidents more than doubled between 2009 and 2013, from 10,481 to 25,566.

To fulfill its mission, the Federal government needs to collect and store data that is the most critical, classified, and personal out there – making it a huge target to malicious actors of all stripes. To manage this high risk environment, agencies are taking a renewed focus on their cyber security posture. Federal security leaders are starting this year by addressing new threats and regulations that are critical in their efforts to combat breaches.

Cue RSA, the Security Division of EMC. RSA believes that everyone has the right to communicate, collaborate, and innovate securely in the digital world. Every day, RSA supports the security mission of the Federal government, serving every cabinet-level agency and military command. RSA helps our nation’s government to:

  • Defend against advanced threats
  • Manage organizational risk
  • Safeguard access and collaboration
  • Prevent online fraud

Agencies need an operationally relevant approach to security that is risk-driven, incremental and achievable, future proof, and agile. Through RSA’s Intelligence Driven Security approach, architecture, security tools, personnel, and processes work together – completely integrated to maximize security and resilience. This approach to cyber security empowers agencies with the tools they need – visibility, analysis, and action – to effectively detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats; confirm and manage identities; and ultimately prevent online fraud and cybercrime. RSA delivers agile controls for identity assurance; fraud detection; data protection; robust security analytics; industry-leading governance, risk, and compliance capabilities; and expert consulting and advisory services – including time-critical breach response services.

As we begin a new year, keep in mind – the most effective way to defend against advanced threats is to detect and eliminate risky activities before they can do any damage. For more information on what 2015 may have in store for us, check out my colleague Art Coviello’s, Executive Chairman, RSA, Predictions post on the topic: http://www.emc.com/collateral/corporation/h13746-ep-pdf-coviello-end-of-year-predictions.pdf

To learn more about RSA, check out www.rsa.com.