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SN blogs: Cloud workspace approach can work if you plan correctly

An analyst debates the merits of cloud-assembled workflows; and a new security feature gets a thumbs-up.

Mark Bowker, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., takes a look at the notion of cloud-assembled workspaces and the challenges IT faces in supporting such a cloud workspace approach.

Mobile, Bowker writes, makes it necessary for enterprises to create systems that can connect workers and users regardless of where they are located. IT's prevailing strategy -- to manage software and tools on an application-by-application basis -- is no longer sufficient in an anywhere-to-anywhere world. By moving administration and access to these applications to the cloud, Bowker says enterprises can tap into a deep reservoir of flexibility and versatility.

But assembling a cloud-assembled workspace isn't for the faint of heart, Bowker writes. Challenges with infrastructure and performance issues associated with connectivity have held most companies back from integrating all of their desktop and application delivery models into a cohesive whole.

Read what else Bowker has to say about cloud-delivered workspaces.

Network security feature gets thumbs up

Packet Pushers blogger Drew Conry-Murray reviews Gigamon Inc.'s new security delivery feature, saying the product is well-positioned, but will require additional training and operational rigor to make it effective.

Gigamon's GigaSecure platform is the latest move by the vendor to broaden the capabilities of its network monitoring foundation. The tool routes network traffic to security applications in order to enable organizations to spot malicious activity.

Conry-Murray writes that he likes the fact the new product shines additional light into an enterprise's entire infrastructure and that it reflects a bigger industry transition that calls for security tools to be proactive, rather than reactive.

But the app could also flood IT operations with even more reams of alerts and useless data. As a result, security teams must be trained to extract and understand which information is most important, Conry-Murray says. In addition, the product's six-figure price tag might cause some prospective customers to think twice before investing.

See what else Conry-Murray has to say about Gigamon's new security product.

Why job schedulers make business processes harmonious

Steve Brasen, research director at Enterprise Management Associates Inc., based in Boulder, Colo., extols the virtues of job schedulers and their role in placing complex business processes into a single workflow.

Too often, Brasen writes, enterprises are plagued with disparate automation platforms that oversee individual software elements. That results in increased IT complexity, which translates into poor performance and reliability. Business processes require the coordination of the automated elements that must be performed in a specific sequence. If any of those elements don't do what they are supposed to do, the job will fail and productivity will derail.

A job scheduler can eliminate the guesswork by placing all application elements into a single automated process, and it can do this organization during off-hours when network traffic is low and databases available. But to be effective, these schedulers must also be directly integrated with the applications and tools required to support business process workflows.

See Brasen's examination of job schedulers and how they're like a well-conducted symphony.

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