Scouting Report 5-17


As we discover next-generation technologies, industry trends, relevant events and local tech activity, we want to pass them along to you. In this report, we highlight interesting news about Cybersecurity, Application-level Data Encryption and other notable bytes of information;, Fog computing, and Blockchain.

Cybersecurity – SOC-as-a-Service

  • Why is this important to you? A Security Operation Center (SOC) is the most essential element of modern security. But SOCs are expensive, complicated and far beyond the reach of most enterprises. So many folks take the easy route and invest in products, but investment in new security products is no guarantee of security. The challenges are many;
    • Too Many Point Products
    • Too Many Alerts
    • Lack of Centralized Security Visibility
    • No/Limited Security Expertise
    • No Incident Response Capabilities
    • Do Not Have 24/7 Coverage
  • The bottom line “Are you 100% confident that you are identifying every threat?”.
  • ScoutPoint solution – Arctic Wolf Networks partner.
    • Arctic Wolf Networks (AWN) is a cybersecurity company specializing in managed threat detection and response.
    • AWN utilizes proprietary technology to create a turnkey SOC as an extension of your existing team, giving actionable intelligence and visibility at a fraction of the cost of an in-house solution. Value is delivered every day without any upfront costs or long-term contracts.
    • The AWN CyberSOC™ makes every link in the security chain stronger. Customer-dedicated Security Engineers anchor the service, act as the stewards of log data and are focused on reviewing events, identifying incidents, and eliminating false positives. The cloud-based AWN CyberSOC™ service provides the peace of mind that comes with vigilant cybersecurity.

Application-level Data Encryption

  • Why is this important to you? Most likely your existing storage and backup devices provide Data-At-Rest encryption as well as Data-In-Flight encryption. Increasingly due to regulatory and compliance reasons, you are required to store your data encrypted. So far, Data-At-Rest encryption and Data-In-Flight encryption has “checked the box” and has satisfied the auditors and compliance regulations. However, there’s a big change coming…
  • Have you heard of the “23 NYCRR 500” regulation? This regulation was enacted by the New York State Department of Financial Services and defines cybersecurity requirements for financial service companies. It became effective on March 1, 2017, and all covered entities must submit the first certification by February 15, 2018.
  • Why have I mentioned “23 NYCRR 500”, especially since it’s specific to New York State”? Well, for several very good reasons;
    • You are required to meet this regulation if you operate or work within New York State.
    • It is very likely that this cybersecurity regulation will eventually be adopted by other States and potentially become a Federal Government regulation.
    • This is the big one… It requires Application-level encryption. In other words, Data-At-Rest encryption and Data-In-Flight encryption won’t “check” the box.
  • What are you going to do when you are required to provide Application-level encryption?
  • What are you going to do when your storage and backup data compression and deduplication savings vaporize?
  • ScoutPoint solution – Thales/Vormetric partner.
    • Specifically, Vormetric Transparent Encryption
    • The Vormetric Transparent Encryption solution protects data with file and volume level data-at-rest encryption, access controls, and data access audit logging without re-engineering applications, databases or infrastructure. Deployment of the transparent file encryption software is simple, scalable and fast, with agents installed above the file system on servers or virtual machines to enforce data security and compliance policies.
  • The good news is that Vormetric Transparent Encryption will address your Application-level encryption requirement.
  • What about solving the storage and backup data reduction issue? There are some interesting developments in this area. If you’re interested in more detail, contact us and after you sign an NDA we can share the juicy details with you.

Interesting Bytes


Scouting Report 4-17


As we discover next generation technologies, industry trends, relevant events and local tech activity, we want to pass them along to you. In this report we highlight interesting news about Application/Software Development, Intelligent Data Management and Hyperconverged/Software-defined Storage.

  • Application/Software Development
    • Why is this important to you? Is application development critical to maintaining or gaining competitive advantage in your markets? Is it vital to create differentiation for your products or services? Are your most valuable resources focused on developing the applications that can accelerate your business, maintaining existing applications, or both? If you are managing for any of the following business lines: Product Support, Facilities Management, Logistics Management, Customer Service/Support, Product Development & many more, you should be preparing for the AR/VR revolution now.
    • Does any of the above apply to you? What if there was a way to accomplish everything using the right resources, in the right place at the right time?
    • ScoutPoint solution – Monster Pixel partner.
      • Monster Pixel is a full service Enterprise Software Development company specializing in developing custom applications. Monster Pixel works on ways to make clients just like yourself more efficient, productive and profitable through creating software systems that improve your business functions. Through innovative solutions created by a highly talented team of developers they help you solve problems that make your software implementations more powerful, less expensive and more capable of managing and utilizing the data you collect on a daily basis. Whether you are developing new applications, redesigning legacy applications or just attempting to architect for the next phase of advancement in your existing platforms, Monster Pixel can help.
      • Why Monster Pixel?
        • Your project is unique, and so is the software you want. Monster Pixel has experience in custom software development for a variety of industries, and they excel at understanding what you need and how to tailor your application to its users.
        • Team of Top Talent
        • Transparent and Fair Pricing
        • Glowing Testimonials
        • Comprehensive Maintenance Plans

  • Intelligent Data Management <> Archival
    • Why is this important to you? Data growth is exploding but budgets are tight. Getting visibility into what data is being used, and how much it costs are critical to making informed data management decisions. I’m certain you know that a vast majority of your NAS/file data is old and hasn’t been accessed in over a year, like probably 80% or more. And yet, it’s still consuming capacity on your primary NAS storage and you’re backing it up. This is inefficient and costly and you know it. The challenge is that it’s difficult to identify this stale data and, if you could, practically all archival solutions are complicated as they’re difficult to install, configure & maintain and are disruptive to your users. In other words, these archival solutions are just too costly so the easiest thing to do is to just keep throwing more capacity and money at the problem.
    • Don’t you think it’s about time that someone comes along and addresses all of these data management challenges?
    • ScoutPoint solution – Komprise partner.
      • Komprise can solve your major data management challenges; Data Growth, Data Visibility and Storage Cost with their intelligent data management solution using analytics driven automation. Komprise raises the bar on simplicity and efficiency by eliminating cost, complexity, limited scalability, and disruption of prior approaches.
      • Komprise Unique Value
        • Intelligently moves inactive/cold data: No impact to hot data path, No dedicated hardware, No agents on existing storage
        • Moves files to the cloud without lock-in: Direct access in the cloud, Any cloud, Any NAS, No lock-in to any storage, Cuts 70%+ of cost
        • Modern Scale-Out architecture: Any NFS and SMB/CIFS storage, Cloud-like cost-effective pricing, Analytics-driven automation, Adapts to run non-intrussively

  • Hyperconverged / Software-defined Storage
    • Why is this important to you?  Unless you’ve been living under a rock you can’t escape the topic of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) which typically includes a discussion on software-defined storage (SDS). In summary, HCI combines compute, storage and networking in a single appliance. A key capability is the ability to virtualize the internal storage in the physical servers to avoid the cost and complexity of utilizing an external storage array. The end result is a fully integrated, pre-configured appliance that simplifies your virtual infrastructure. Gartner has predicted that Hyperconverged Integrated Systems will be mainstream within 4 years. The article is from last year but you can check it out here As stated in the article, Gartner predicts that HCIS will be the fastest growing segment in  the overall market for integrated systems.
    • As popular as HCI is becoming there are several concerns with the approach, e.g., hardware lock-in, no software-only solution, re-purchase of software licensing and restrictive application performance tuning capabilities.
    • What if there was an alternative that addressed all of these concerns?
    • ScoutPoint solution – Maxta partner.
      • Maxta MxSP software enables a server-agnostic, VM-centric hyperconverged  infrastructure platform for virtual and software-defined data centers. Maxta’s innovative, peer-to-peer architecture aggregates storage resources from multiple servers, incorporating a global namespace and all the functionality of shared storage that enterprises need to leverage capabilities such as migration of virtual machines, dynamic load balancing, high availability and disaster recovery.
      • Maxta’s Key Differentiators
        • No Hardware/Vendor Lock-in – use your own servers
        • No Refresh or Upgrade Tax – perpetual and transferable licensing
        • No Compromise on Application Performance Tuning – optimize on a per VM basis

Scouting Report 3-17


As we discover next generation technologies, industry trends, relevant events and local tech activity, we want to pass them along to you.  In this report we highlight interesting news about NVMe, Virtual Replication and Copy Data Management.

  • NVMe
    • Why is this important to you? It’s no secret that data storage platforms are moving away from HDD/spinning magnetic disk to all Flash/NAND media. However, we’re still utilizing interfaces and protocols designed for mechanical disk drives to access the Flash media; Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). The issue is that these legacy storage interfaces come with a software stack which adds latency. The solution is to develop a new interface and protocol that is more efficient and can natively access the Flash media… enter NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express). The bottom line, NVMe is optimized for Flash media and will eventually replace the legacy storage buses; SATA and SAS.
    • I’ll repeat the question “Why is this important to you?” Because, if you’re investing in all-flash storage platforms you need to make sure your investment is protected by selecting an array that is future proofed to support NVMe. Better, yet, investing in an all-flash storage array that already utilizes and supports NVMe.
    • For a quick intro to NVMe, check out this webinar “How NVMe Will Change Flash Storage” facilitated by Storage Switzerland. To save you some time, jump ahead to the 25-minute mark. Note that this webinar is a bit dated but it’s still relevant.
    • ScoutPoint solution – Pure Storage partner.
      • First of all, the current Pure Storage all-flash FlashArray//M storage systems utilize NVMe for the NVRAM modules and the Flash Module slots are pre-wired to support NVMe Flash Modules.
      • Second, Pure Storage has recently announced the first Enterprise-class All-NVMe FlashArray//X.
      • Third, if you have a FlashArray//M, you can upgrade it to an All-NVMe FlashArray//X.
      • Check out this page for an introduction to the FlashArray//X
  • Virtual Replication
    • Why is this important to you?  As noted in a previous Scouting Report, everyone needs a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan and a solution that actually works. The challenge is providing such a DR solution while leveraging existing infrastructure, eliminating complexity and avoiding vendor lock-in. We all know that functionality and cost are major factors.
    • What if you could utilize a product that is simple to install & config, is compute, storage and hypervisor agnostic and at the same time provides an incredibly aggressive Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO)? Let’s define aggressive, we’re talking an RPO measured in seconds and an RTO measured in minutes.
    • ScoutPoint solution – Zerto partner.
      • Zerto is the only future-proof all in one replication and recovery solution that makes disaster recovery simple and scalable from private, hybrid and to public clouds. With Zerto you can simultaneously replicate VMs within the same datacenter, to a remote datacenter (between hypervisors VMware <> Hyper-V) and to public clouds such as Azure or AWS with no snapshots and no performance impact.
      • For a quick and informative introduction please note this Zerto & Storage Switzerland ChalkTalk
  • Copy Data Management
    • Why is this important to you?  If you’re like most organizations you have multiple copies of your production data (think SQL and Oracle databases). In addition, you are probably utilizing a multitude of different tools and utilities to create, manage and deploy these copies to the applicable business units. This can become a very complicated, time consuming and wasteful process.
    • What if you could automate, orchestrate and analyze the creation and use of these multiple copies leveraging your existing enterprise storage infrastructure?
    • ScoutPoint solution – Catalogic Software partner.
      • Catalogic ECX Software is a Copy Data Management platform that can bring modernization to your existing environment without disruption. ECX delivers “in-place” copy data management to enterprise storage arrays from EMC, IBM, NetApp and Pure Storage. Catalogic ECX modernizes IT processes, enables key use cases, and does it all without additional hardware. By the way, it’s very simple to install, configure and use.
      • Check out these quick 15 minute Coffee Talk webinars for more info
  • Upcoming Events

Scouting Report 2-17

Original Report Date 3/3/2017

As we discover next generation technologies, industry trends, relevant events and local tech activity, we want to pass them along to you.  In this report we highlight interesting news about Big Data/Analytics, ADC/LB, SAP User Productivity and AWS Cloud Desk.

  • ADC/LB (Application Delivery Controller / Load Balancer)
    • Why is this important to you?  If you use traditional load balancing technology (F5, NetScaler, A10, etc.) you should definitely investigate the next generation of ADC / Load Balancing technology. It’s about time this technology is redesigned from the ground up to support today’s compute environments and modern application development. This is not your father’s load balancing!
    • It’s time to look at next generation software-defined application delivery / load balancing. Case in point…
    • ScoutPoint solution – Avi Networks partner.
  • Application User Productivity
    • Why is this important to you?  How has your business software helped you achieve more? How about 700% increase in employee productivity, 52 screens eliminated, 5,000 lines of custom code eliminated and 4 disparate processes streamlined!
    • Any chance you’ve heard of Clear Software ClearUI from Clear Software dramatically improves user productivity for SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, Salesforce, PeopleSoft, and Custom Software. Check out this Case Study

  • AWS Cloud Desk
    • Why is this important to you?  This is an alternative to AWS’s support options.  The key differentiator is the financial predictability.
    • Supporting the next generation of AWS clients
    • Tier one and two support 24/7/365
    • Support via phone, chat and/or email
    • Can be the added layer of support to someone who’s on AWS and doesn’t want the AWS support
    • ScoutPoint solution – Netfor partner.

Scouting Report 1-17

Original Report Date 1/19/2017

As we discover next generation technologies, industry trends, relevant events and local tech activity, we want to pass them along to you.  This report includes an intro to S3 compatible storage, SD-WAN and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).

  • S3 Compatible Storage
    • IT industry pundits believe that Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) API will become a defacto standard protocol for object storage. Basically, very similar to how Network File System (NFS) developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984 became a standard distributed file system protocol. BTW, some may actually consider S3 an API vs. a protocol, regardless it utilizes a simple web service interface to store and retrieve data.
    • Why is this important to you? Web-based applications utilize S3 and the major software vendors support utilizing an S3 storage target, i.e., Veritas NetBackup and Commvault natively support an S3 storage target for backups.
    • ScoutPoint solution – Cloudian as a 100% S3 compatible object storage system.
    • Key Attributes:  On-premise (appliance or software), Lower cost than AWS, Web-scale
    • Use Cases: Backup storage, Long Term Archiving, File Sync and Share, Storage-as-a-Service
  • SD-WAN
    • SD-WAN is a potential game-changer for wide area networking—on the same level as server virtualization, which transformed data centers over the last 10 years. SD-WAN combines the use of multiple active branch links, intelligent direction of traffic across those links, and centralized, policy-driven management of the WAN as a whole. 
    • Why is this important to you?  SD-WAN technology has the potential to dramatically reduce your WAN costs and improve performance (by utilizing broadband with or without  MPLS) while providing centralized management.  A good SD-WAN solution is easy to deploy, easy to manage, dramatically simplifies ongoing administration and most likely includes higher security than you have today.
    • The following SD-WAN article is almost a year old but it’s a great one. The title says it all “SD-WAN: What it is and while you’ll use it one day”
    • ScoutPoint solution – Viptela as an industry leading SD-WAN technology.
      • The Viptela Secure Extensible Network (SEN) solution provides these benefits:
        • Business Driven Connectivity
        • Encrypt Everything with Ease
        • App Aware Routing on the Hybrid WAN
        • Zero Touch Bringup
        • Centralized Enforcement of Business Logic
        • WAN Visibility Across the Hybrid WAN
        • Simplified Ops
  • Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)
    • Well, here’s another X-as-a-Service, DRaaS. You know you need a solid Disaster Recovery (DR) plan. We’re talking about a DR plan that actually works and that you can depend on, not just a check box. The challenge is that this is not an easy thing to accomplish, especially when you consider the costs involved; a secondary site for recovery and all of the infrastructure (compute, network, storage, etc.) that is required.
    • So why is DRaaS important to you?  You don’t have to build out a secondary site and you only pay for the infrastructure when you use it. Also, a good DRaaS provider will work with your organization to design a DR solution that meets your RPO and RTO requirements, will create customized runbooks for your environment and require regular DR exercises to test the plan. In addition, they’ll design a front-end network that will actually allow your users to access the applications in the event of a DR situation. Just getting the applications back up and running is worthless if your users can’t access them. Oh yeah, don’t forget providing auditing for compliance and regulatory requirements.
    • ScoutPoint solution – Bluelock as a premier DRaaS solution provider.
      • With a track record of 100% recovery testing success, Bluelock’s cloud recovery solutions integrate proven processes, insightful tools and top tier technology to deliver results and complete assurance to your business.
      • Here’s a great article from Storage Switzerland “Making DRaaS Make Even More Sense – Bluelock Briefing Note”