February 11th, 2013 — Data management
On February 21, at 10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST, I’ll be taking part in a webinar – How to Take Advantage of NewSQL in the Cloud – in conjunction with Clustrix.
In this free webinar I, along with Mark Sarbiewski, Clustrix CMO, will discuss:
- The current cloud database inflection point – and how that affects you and your company
- How to migrate your SQL database to the cloud
- How to get effortless scale from your database in public or private clouds
- How to ensure database availability in the cloud for business critical applications
For full details and registration, click here.
October 17th, 2012 — Data management
Teradata launches Aster/Hadoop appliance. SAP takes HANA to the cloud.
And that’s the Data Day, today.
August 28th, 2012 — Data management
Citrusleaf. Aerospike. AlchemyDB. Sqrrl. Percolator. Dremel. Pregel. And more.
And that’s the Data Day, today.
January 27th, 2012 — Archiving, Collaboration, Content management, Data management, eDiscovery, Search, Text analysis
Every New Year affords us the opportunity to dust down our collective crystal balls and predict what we think will be the key trends and technologies dominating our respective coverage areas over the coming 12 months.
We at 451 Research just published our 2012 Preview report; at almost 100 pages it’s a monster, but offers some great insights across twelve technology subsectors, spanning from managed hosting and the future of cloud to the emergence of software-defined networking and solid state storage; and everything in between. The report is available to both 451Research clients and non-clients (in return for a few details); access the landing page here
. There’s a press release of highlights here
. Also, mark your diaries for a webinar discussing report highlights on Thursday Feb 9 at noon ET, which will be open for clients and non-clients to attend. Registration details to follow soon…
Here are a selection of key takeaways from the first part of the Information Management preview, which focuses on information governance, ediscovery, search, collaboration and file sharing. (Matt Aslett will be posting highlights of part 2, which focuses more on data management and analytics, shortly.)
- One of the most obvious common themes that will continue to influence technology spending decisions in the coming year is the impact of continued explosive data and information growth. This continues to shape new legal frameworks and technology stacks around information governance and e-discovery, as well as to drive a new breed of applications growing up around what we term the ‘Total Data’ landscape.
- Data volumes and distributed data drive the need for more automation and auto-classification capabilities will continue to emerge more successfully in e-discovery, information governance and data protection veins — indeed, we expect to see more intersection between these, as we noted in a recent post.
- The maturing of the cloud model – especially as it relates to file sharing and collaboration, but also from a more structured database perspective – will drive new opportunities and challenges for IT professionals in the coming year. Looks like 2012 may be the year of ‘Dropbox for the enterprise.’
- One of the big emerging issues that rose to the fore in 2011, and is bound to get more attention as the New Year proceeds, is around the dearth of IT and business skills in some of these areas, without which the industry at large will struggle to harness and truly exploit the attendant opportunities.
- The changes in information management in recent years have encouraged (or forced) collaboration between IT departments, as well as between IT and other functions. Although this highlights that many of the issues here are as much about people and processes as they are about technology, the organizations able to leap ahead in 2012 will be those that can most effectively manage the interaction of all three.
- We also see more movement of underlying information management infrastructures into the applications arena. This is true with search-based applications, as well as in the Web-experience management vein, which moves beyond pure Web content management. And while Microsoft SharePoint continues to gain adoption as a base layer of content-management infrastructure, there is also growth in the ISV community that can extend SharePoint into different areas at the application-level.
There is a lot more in the report about proposed changes in the e-discovery arena, advances of the cloud, enterprise search and impact of mobile devices and bring-your-device-to-work on information management.
January 20th, 2012 — Archiving, eDiscovery, M&A
We commented recently on Symantec’s acquisition of cloud archiving specialist LiveOffice. The announcement also afforded Big Yellow an opportunity to unveil what it calls “Intelligent Information Governance;” an over-arching theme that provides the context for some of the product-level integrations it has been working on. For example, it just announced improved integration between its Clearwell eDiscovery suite and its on-premise archive software, EnterpriseVault (stay tuned for more on this following LegalTech later this month).
There’s clearly an opportunity to go deeper than product-level ‘integration,’ however. In a blog post, Symantec VP Brian Dye raised an issue that we have been seeing for a while, especially among some of our larger end-user clients. In the post, Brian discusses the fundamental contention that all of us – from individuals to corporations to governments — face around information governance — striking the right balance between control of information and freedom of information.
Software has emerged to help us manage this contention, most typically through data loss prevention (DLP) tools – to control what data does and doesn’t leave the organization — and eDiscovery and records management tools, to control what data is retained, and for how long. Brian noted that there is an opportunity to do much more here by linking the two sides of what is in many ways the same coin, for example by sharing the classification schemes used to define and manage critical and confidential information.
This is an idea that we have discussed at length internally, with some of our larger end-user clients, and with a good few security and IM vendors. Notably, many vendors responded by telling us that, though a good idea in principle, in reality organizations are too siloed to get value from such capabilities; DLP is owned and operated by the security team, while eDiscovery is managed by legal, records management and technology teams. While some of the end-users we have discussed this with are certainly siloed to a point, they are also working to address this issue by developing a more collaborative approach, establishing cross-functional teams, and so on.
A cynic would point out that some self interest might be at play here too from a vendor perspective; why sell one integrated product to a company when you can sell them essentially the same technology twice. But of course, we’re not the remotest bit cynical (!) There is also the reality that at most large vendors, product portfolios have been put together at least in part by acquisitions. Security and e-discovery products may be sold separately because they are, in fact, separate products with little to no integration in terms of products or sales organizations. And vendors may not yet be motivated to do the hard integration work (technically, organizationally), if they are not seeing consistent enough demand from consolidated buying teams at large organizations.
Wendy Nather, Research Director of our security practice, notes that such integration is desirable;
- Users don’t WANT to have meta-thoughts about their data; they just want to get their work done, which is why it’s hard to implement a user-driven classification process for DLP or for governance. The alternative is a top-down implementation, and that would work even better with only one ‘top’ — that is, the security and legal teams working from the same integrated page.
However, Wendy also notes that such an approach is itself not without complexity;
- Confidential data can be highly contextual in nature (for example, when data samples get small enough to identify individuals, triggering HIPAA or FERPA); you need advanced analytics on top of your DLP to trigger a re-classification when this happens. Why, you might even call this Data Event Management (DEM).
It’s notable that Symantec is now starting to talk up the notion of a unified, or converged approach to data classification. Of course, it is one of the better-positioned vendors to take advantage here, given its acquisitions in both DLP (Vontu in 2007) and eDiscovery (Clearwell in 2011), while LiveOffice adds some intriguing options for doing some of this in the cloud (especially if merged with its hosted security offerings from MessageLabs).
Nonetheless, we look forward to hearing more from Symantec — and others — about progress here through 2012. Indeed, if you are attending LegalTech in New York in a couple of weeks, then our eDiscovery analyst David Horrigan would love to hear your thoughts. Additionally, senior security analyst Steve Coplan will be taking a longer look at the convergence of data management and security in his upcoming report on “The Identities of Data.”
In other words, this is a topic that we’re expending a fair amount of energy on ourselves; watch this space!
December 16th, 2011 — Collaboration
We recently published a spotlight report on cloud file sharing and sync, file backup and file-oriented collaboration in the cloud – and all the overlaps and intersections between these areas. The full report is available here for 451 Research subscribers (link requires log-in).
The idea was to shed some light on this sector that often seems to be described by its two best known players – Dropbox and Box. Despite the similar names, the services offered by these two providers have significant differences. And each is after a different, though in some cases overlapping, target market.
Dropbox in particular seems to be gaining a lot of attention from enterprise IT departments — and it’s not all good. As compliance, security, risk and IT folks in general try to get their arms around the fact that corporate data is moving to Dropbox (and other services), a number of providers have started to look at providing alternatives. All of this largely driven of course by the widespread use of iPads and other mobile devices by business users and their need to access files from these devices and keep them in sync across mobile and desktop systems. Box exploits this requirement as well, but offers more file-oriented collaboration capabilities, though not full-blown content management in the traditional sense.
Cloud file sharing, sync and mobile support for file collaboration will all be hot topics in 2012. We feel we might quickly be inundated by the number of providers that want to offer some kind of alternative to Dropbox to appease IT departments and/or better mobile access to existing enterprise content systems, like SharePoint. Below is our first-stab attempt to start to map some of this to the sub-sectors within this broader and rapidly shifting landscape. And we know it’s not comprehensive, the players here are changing almost daily.
Cloud file backup, sharing, sync and collaboration providers
Source: 451 Research
December 7th, 2011 — Data management
Cloud computing and big data are two of the hottest topics in the industry today, which makes cloud databases a particularly hot prospect for 2012. What is a cloud database, however? On Thursday, December 15 at 12:00pm EST I’ll be taking part in a webinar with Karen Tegan Padir, Vice President of Products and Marketing, EnterpriseDB on the subject of cloud computing and true cloud databases.
In this webcast, you’ll get an overview of the current state of cloud database computing, and more specifically the differences between cloud databases and databases in the cloud. I’ll be providing an overview of the functional requirements that separate databases running in the public cloud, and databases that will be used to power private and hybrid clouds.
Then Karen will provide an overview and demonstration of Postgres Plus Cloud Server, which provides DaaS for PostgreSQL databases and went into public beta earlier this week.
You can register for the event here
January 13th, 2011 — Collaboration, Content management
Looking further into the growing ecosystem of vendors that extend and support Microsoft SharePoint, we get to the question of where ISVs fit when SharePoint is in the cloud. The short answer, really, is that they don’t. OK, that’s an oversimplification of course, but there is currently a far more limited role for third parties looking to extend SharePoint if it is run in a shared cloud environment. And this points to some contradictions in Microsoft’s strategy. On the one hand, we see a big push around SharePoint as a platform and this growing ecosystem of third parties. On the other hand, Microsoft is touting SharePoint Online as part of the upcoming Office 365 cloud-based service (to replace the existing Business Productivty Online Suite, aka BPOS), which really has very little support for third parties.
BPOS, which bundles SharePoint Online along with Exchange and a few other services, is currently offered in both Standard and Dedicated versions. In the Standard version, customers have multi-tenant infrastructure that is shared across customers. With the Dedicated version (or BPOS D), they have (obviously) dedicated infrastructure, which pretty much traditional application hosting; with this BPOS D configuration, Microsoft is the hosting provider, though this scenario would really not be much different from having another hosting provider run your SharePoint deployment on dedicated servers. Office 365 will also be made available on either shared or dedicated infrastructure.
There is currently no support for trusted third-party code in the Standard version of BPOS (aka BPOS S), nor will there be in the Office 365 Standard version. Customers that want to extend their SharePoint deployment with, say, workflow tools from Nintex or imaging capabilities from KnowledgeLake (or any of their own custom code), will have to run their SharePoint deployments on prem or in a dedicated environment, hosted by either Microsoft or another hosting provider.
That isn’t to say that integration with BPOS / Office 365 is impossible — web services-based integration that requires no server-side installs on the SharePoint servers isn’t an issue. So, for example, Metavis Technologies has migration tools that can move data to / from BPOS without installing anything on the SharePoint servers and so can work with SharePoint as part of BPOS S (and Office 365 presumably). Similarly, on the Exchange side of BPOS, email archiving to a cloud provider like LiveOffice works via a data export function that doesn’t touch the cloud-based Exchange servers.
Maybe the argument is that orgs don’t want to run more sophisticated content management apps in pure cloud environments. That may be an ok way to segment the market today but it will be limiting in the future. One of the advantages Microsoft has today over an upstart cloud player, like Box.net for example, is the growing ecosystem of extensions that can help fit SharePoint into a broad array of use cases. But these aren’t there in the cloud. If Box (or another player) could grow and support an ecosystem in the cloud (and support custom code and in-house developers), it might get some advantage; this is the strategy SpringCM has been attempting, with some, limited success, with its platform approach to ECM in the cloud. Salesforce has also been more aggressively building its social software offering, Chatter (see recent acquisition of Dimdim as case in point). This doesn’t meet a plethora of content management requirements yet but is potentially competitive to SharePoint as a social software service for internal use.
There are clear limitations to the approach Microsoft is currently taking with the SharePoint ecosystem and BPOS / Office 365 and it seems this will be something that Microsoft will have to ultimately address if it wants to be serious about offering SharePoint as cloud services. This isn’t the only issue that might keep organizations away from the Standard version of Office 365 (i.e., how much SharePoint functionality will it include and how often will it rev?), but it could be a big one.
November 16th, 2010 — eDiscovery
Yesterday I attended the 6th Annual e-Disclosure Forum at Canary Wharf in London, organized by the globe-trotting triumvirate of Chris Dale, Browning Marean and George Socha. It was a good program, with an audience comprising a mix of lawyers, litigation support professionals, IT practitioners, tech software and service providers and other assorted folks, like myself. It’s the second year I’ve attended and these were the key themes I picked up on:
- Practice Direction 31B – not surprisingly this was a major issue throughout the day, considering may of those present for instrumental in drafting it, including Chris Dale and Senior Master Steven Whitaker (among others) and it only passed into the rules on October 1. For those that don’t know, 31B amended the rues of civil procedure in the UK (the rough equivalent of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the US), as they pertain to the disclosure of electronic documents (which can of course include email and other forms of communications). One aspect of the changes is a questionnaire to be used in more complex cases that involve a large number of documents. Not only does it sound to us like a sensible way of helping to to contain and get parties prepared for the case management conference (meet and confer in US parlance), but quite frankly it could be useful starting point for organizations simply to looking to get their house in order to get prepared for future litigation.
- Another key theme was the effect on recent UK cases on the way parties are now cooperating in case management meetings. One speaker, Jeremy Marshall, head of commercial litigation at Irwin Mitchell said that in his experience there’s a vast difference in terms of what happened before landmark cases such as Earles vs Barclays Bank in 2009 and the Digicel vs Cable & Wireless case in 2008 and what happens now. Companies know that if they don’t cooperate to make sure the necessary documents are disclosed, they could be penalized by the court, even if they win the case. For more on the Earles case and what it means regarding the destruction of documents see Chris Dale here.
- Cloud. I had a lot of conversations with IT and legal people at the conference and they’re still not seeing the necessary granularity in service level agreements (SLAs) from cloud service providers. If you need to search your data for the purposes of e-Disclosure, it’s not clear in what format the data will come back to you or even if such a search is possible. That’s a bit of a deal-breaker, over and above any trepidation firms might feel about using cloud for any perceived security issues.
- In general I detected a much clearer understanding on the part of US attendees of the issues in the UK market. Gone are the days it seems of assuming that the exhaustive e-Discovery process in the US is suitable without any alteration in the UK. The two countries obviously share a common law tradition, but like so many other things, there are distinct differences in the way litigation is done and that – aided in part by Chris Dale et al’s work – is now getting through to US vendors, which after all, dominate the market from the technology point of view.
- Tips for next year to the organizers?
- come up with a hashtag so we don’t write out ’6th annual #eDisclosure conference’ in our tweets
- make the sessions a tad shorter
- get a couple of additional panelists to mix it up a bit
But overall it’s the best way I know for taking the pulse of the UK e-Disclosure market in a single day.
We’ve also been active in this area ourselves recently with webinars on litigation readiness with Zylab and Katey’s participation on a Brighttalk webinar on cross-border eDiscovery. But most importantly, we have new e-Discovery research out in the shape of our cloud e-discovery [PDF]and cloud archiving [PDF] reports.
November 8th, 2010 — Archiving, Data management, eDiscovery, Search
This week we publish a new long-form report, Cloud e-discovery: litigation comes down to earth – download an executive summary here.
In cloud e-discovery we see two major market shifts: corporations in-sourcing e-discovery to lower costs, while outsourcing IT infrastructure and services around it through hosting. Still in early adoption, it is a leap of faith on some level, and carries both risks and benefits. While most users in our 2010 e-discovery survey were bringing the e-discovery process in-house, only 16% were using cloud to do it, for a variety of reasons including security, data loss, regulatory concerns, and ease of retrieval.
But consider that hosted e-discovery has actually been around for over 20 years. What’s more, while some enterprises are resisting the cloud, their law firms, service providers, and other outsourcers entrusted with their data are not.
Witness this month’s 2010 Am Law tech survey – 80% of law firms are using hosted technology, 60% of those for e-discovery. In fact, e-discovery tops all hosted software usage, far surpassing HR (21%), spam filter/email (21%), storage (6%) or document management (5%). And while 79% report a positive experience, 30% said the savings were not what they expected. Limited customization, diminished data control and security were even greater concerns.
And what of the bigger-picture risks? Cloud topped the agenda last month at the Masters Conference as well: the growth of public and private cloud data from mobile use and social media, potential regulatory pitfalls, the benefits and risks of hosted e-discovery, and growing cross-border issues. No blue-sky thinking here, just hard truths on the cloud from those on the front lines.
From e-discovery lawyers and consultants:
- “[Public] cloud providers can’t meet the needs [of e-discovery] today.”
- “Your data, your problem.”
- “Data privacy in the EU is like free speech or freedom of religion in the US. . . they will give up the cloud before they give this up.”
From Microsoft General Counsel, speaking on cloud regulation:
- “Things will move quickly, and if something bad happens, things will move faster still.”
From an enterprise buyer on procurement:
- “It will take 19 months to work out e-discovery issues once you start talking about it.”
- “Every dollar they save on cloud will be three dollars in legal.”
- “I hate when people say ‘it’s not gonna stop – it’s already there.’ It makes customers think there is no choice but to comply. But maybe ‘cloud’ will go away?”
And for the last word, a characteristically common-sense admonition from UK expert Chris Dale (speaking on ECA):
So, how to navigate it all? For a succinct analysis of the cloud e-discovery market, our report is available to 451 CloudScape or Information Management subscribers, or get an executive summary here. It offers a market overview, benefits and risks of cloud e-discovery, adoption trends and inhibitors, market drivers, current vendor and service-provider offerings, and the future direction of the market, particularly for enterprise customers.
Also note a complementary report, Cloud archiving: a new model for enterprise data retention, by Simon Robinson and Kathleen Reidy. They estimate the market will generate around $193m in revenues in 2010, growing at a CAGR of 36% to reach $664m by 2014. This report covers growth drivers, the competitive landscape and the outlook for consolidation, featuring detailed vendor profiles and end-user case studies.