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HPE focuses on hyper-converged infrastructure consolidation

This week, bloggers assess hyper-converged infrastructure consolidation after HPE's buy, Cumulus Networks' new switch hardware and why companies accept poor cybersecurity.

Keith Townsend, writing for The CTO Advisor, said he loves the architectural concept of hyper-converged infrastructure. But while Townsend said he admires Hewlett Packard Enterprise's hyper-converged infrastructure, he is not convinced it will be a stand-alone product category. Townsend said he believes HPE has struggled to build a "robust" hyper-converged infrastructure offering, but the purchase of SimpliVity may have put the vendor back in the running.

Townsend also speculated about the long-term potential of category-leader Nutanix within a data center and its cloud strategy, which remains unclear.  "Leveraging an all-Nutanix infrastructure for private cloud, enterprise engineers turn their focus to customer-facing data center bits, such as Kubernetes. The question, is there enough of the market that buys into Nutanix' vision versus a Dell EMC, HPE or Cisco infrastructure vision?" Townsend said.

He noted that at the time of HPE's purchase of SimpliVity, Nutanix's stock price fell 3.5%. "HPE only paid $650 million for SimpliVity. The price was much lower than the rumored $2 billion just a few months ago. I believe it's a reflection of the lack of height to the barrier of entry into HCI," Townsend added.

Explore more of Townsend's thoughts on HCI consolidation.

Is Cumulus Networks thinking of reaggregating?

Cumulus Networks Inc. recently announced Cumulus Express -- switch hardware with the Cumulus Linux network operating system preinstalled -- in a break with its pattern of installing the software on white box switches. "Why would the startup take a step toward reaggregation?" asked Drew Conry-Murray, blogging on Packet Pushers.

Conry-Murray looked to an interview with Cumulus CEO Josh Leslie for answers. According to Leslie, disaggregation offers downstream benefits at scale, but by preloading the software, Cumulus may be better able to help its customers manage their software stacks using Linux-based tools.

Even though Cumulus is primarily a software company, as part of its foray into hardware, it will offer hardware support for the Express product line. The new offering relies on hardware from EdgeCore, with port speeds ranging between 1 Gbps and 100 Gbps. Conry-Murray said he suspects customer demand will drive any hardware partnerships for Cumulus, amidst speculation that Cumulus might partner with Barefoot Networks to offer network OS support for the new Tofino programmable switch.

Dig deeper into the Cumulus announcement with Conry-Murray.

Too many organizations accept 'good enough' cybersecurity

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass., discussed a 2016 study conducted by Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and ESG, which examined the range of cybersecurity incidents faced by companies.

Among the findings, the survey indicated 39% of organizations experienced one or more incidents that led to reimagining their servers or endpoints, while 27% experienced one or more incidents of ransomware. Up to 20% of respondents said their companies had incidents that disrupted business applications.

"Why are so many organizations experiencing so many security incidents? Lots of reasons, including apathy, money and the cybersecurity skills shortage," Oltsik said. The survey gave credence to this information, with 31% of cybersecurity professionals saying their departments were understaffed and 20% citing lack of funding.

"It's 2017, and cybersecurity issues are a major international issue. Despite this reality, many organizations continue to maintain the same 'good enough' security attitude of the past. These organizations have no one else to blame when they are inevitably breached, but unfortunately, we the people must deal with the consequences of their irresponsible actions. If this isn't a reason for changes in public cybersecurity policies, nothing is," he concluded.

Read more of Oltsik's thoughts on "good enough" cybersecurity.

Next Steps

Exploring hyper-converged vs. converged

Secret Service audit reveals poor cybersecurity

Cumulus focuses on bare-metal switching

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