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Welcome to MarkoInsights

By | May 1, 2014

Welcome to MarkoInsights, my new online home where you’re all invited to join in what I hope will be a mutually beneficial exploration of the always fascinating world of technology, where the implications for business, personal life and society have never been greater. We collectively are inventing the future and I hope to provide insights into not only what is happening, but why and what it all means.  As I wrote in an inaugural… Read More »

The SAP Money Pit: The Quintessential Business Application Is Immune to SaaSification

By | December 16, 2014

There’s a giant sucking sound emanating from most large enterprise IT departments. It’s called SAP and as I write in this column, the devilishly complex ERP product cum application platform has a life of its own that resists all attempts at efficiency, simplification and IT budget cutting. SAP is the enterprise equivalent of an out-of-control defense contract with C-level business managers channelling Congress and the Pentagon by endlessly shoveling money at overdue and… Read More »

Intel Still Rules the Cloud: Haswell Puts the Squeeze on ARM’s Server Plans

By | December 9, 2014

Update: A rewritten and condensed version of this report appeared as a Forbes column, available here. Cloud software stacks, like those used at Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other hyper scale operations, have radically altered how system architects design and build data centers. Out are big, gold-plated integrated hardware systems like fault-tolerant x86 boxes, mainframes and enterprise storage arrays. In are vast arrays of interconnected commodity pizza box servers with local disks,… Read More »

Enterprise Cloud Use to Skyrocket in 2015: Will AWS Be Your Next Data Center?

By | December 3, 2014

As we close another year full of IT changes, there are more signs that enterprise adoption of public cloud services will…wait for it…soar in 2015. As I write in this column, big enterprise IT vendors used to charging 6- and 7-figures for hardware and 20% or more of that per year for ongoing support could be in for quite a shock. The current cloud enthusiasm could just the collective industry… Read More »

The State of Open Source Enterprise Software: The GnuNew Manifesto

By | November 22, 2014

Open source software built the Internet, but for years was distrusted by large enterprises. That’s obviously changed with Linux servers, LAMP stacks and Hadoop cluster now common in enterprise data centers. But despite a history of strident debates, open source versus proprietary is no longer an either-or decision. Indeed, the distinction between the two is nuanced and hard to identify as vendors leverage freely available code, fund open source projects… Read More »

Mobile Security Isn’t an Oxymoron: Startups Up the Protection with New Tech

By | November 19, 2014

A year ago, Target was in the midst of being pwned by cyber criminals that turned the season into anything but a Merry Christmas. The retailer ultimately discovered that more than 70 million customers had their credit card information stolen by an exploit that cost the company upwards of $400 million and the CEO his job. The year since has been filled with cyber-breach-of-the-week headlines (we’re looking at you, JP… Read More »

The Software Defined Business: The New CA Stokes the App Economy

By | November 17, 2014

There’s an interesting dichotomy between old-tech and new-tech companies that crosses several dimensions: speed and level of innovation, financial performance and cultural work environment. It’s the contrast between tech stalwarts that gave us the PC, Internet and modern database and those from the post-PC generation whose origins date from the era of smartphones, social networks and cloud services. However as companies like a revitalized Microsoft under it’s cloud-savvy new CEO have demonstrated,… Read More »

Big Data with Connected Defenses: The Silver Bullet Cyber Security Needs

By | November 13, 2014

Cyber security news has been almost universally dispiriting for the last few years as the barrage of new exploits has created a sort of ‘breach fatigue’. As I wrote in this column, cyber security has been a losing game of whac-a-mole for years as the malefactors manage to pop out of new security holes faster than IT and their software suppliers can plug the last batch. With the knee-jerk IT response… Read More »

NetApp Doubles Down on the Cloud: Execs Pitch Storage as the Foundation

By | November 6, 2014

In a city where “doubling down” evokes images of smoke-filled rooms filled with gamblers donning shades pushing stacks of chips around a green felt table, as I detailed in this column, NetApp used its Insight conference in Las Vegas to do exactly that with a cloud-centric strategy that moves the company further away from its heritage as a storage box builder. It’s ironic that a company whose name derives from the word… Read More »

Big Data Overload Yields Start-ups With Innovative Analytic Tools and Services

By | October 20, 2014

The problem with big data is that there’s so much of it. No, that’s not a Yogi-ism, but an accurate description of the paradox facing many organizations today. Generating  and storing data is easier than ever. We’ve entered an era in which it is straightforward to collect a myriad of data, from the most mundane (think server logs or retail register receipts) to the most profound (like one’s genome or daily online… Read More »

Enterprise Server OS Update: Windows Domination at Risk

By | October 16, 2014

Server operating systems seem positively boring in an era of cloud infrastructure, omni-virtualization, mobilized business and big data, but they are a necessary component of enterprise applications that still influences many IT decisions. However, we’re undeniably in the midst of technology transitions that will have profound implications for the server OS landscape over the next product cycle, many of which present new challenges to the dominance of Windows Server in enterprise data… Read More »