By Darryl Smith — Chief Oracle Architect for EMC IT
In this blog (the third in a series on virtualizing Oracle), I will describe the best practices that EMC IT developed as we virtualized our most mission critical and highly transactional databases. You can find the earlier blogs here: [Running Oracle on Virtual Infrastructure Really Pays Off, Best Practices for Virtualizing Your Oracle Database]
There are two trains of thought when you talk to people about virtualization. From the infrastructure point of view, it is all about getting more efficiency out of the physical infrastructure layer. On one hand you can try to go extreme with this approach, but it will come at the expense of incurring higher administrative costs required to constantly troubleshoot performance and functionality issues. The other point of view is mainly about reserving all of the resources of the underlying servers, just in case the application needs it. Fortunately, with VMware vSphere you can have both, by using a more balanced approach.
I promised, in my earlier posts, that I would publish the secret sauce to achieving both great performance and high efficiency when virtualizing Oracle databases – so here it is. I have broken it up into four categories: memory, networking, CPU and storage (vSphere datastores). I will actually save the datastore best practices for the next and last post in this series, due to their complexity.
By Doug Graham, Senior Director, Global Security Office – Risk Management
In the face of an ever-changing security landscape that presents constantly unique threats, an enterprise’s defense must be robust and complete with multiple layers of prevention and defense strategies.
While enterprises may arm themselves with the most technical controls possible, a critical element to a proactive defense is communication. When we speak about communication, we refer to a strategy that goes far beyond messages to your employees about the latest security guidelines being handed down. The key to communication is removing the perception that the security organization is an obstacle to doing business.
At EMC, we have moved to empower people by breaking down barriers of communication between IT and the business. Through this approach, we have found success broadening the responsibility of risk management and changing the core behaviors of individuals that results in a stronger security posture and overall defense.
By KK Krishnakumar, Vice President & Chief IT Architect
Planning our EMC IT strategy to meet the company’s future business capability requirements is a lot like planning for the future growth of a city. For a city to thrive and prosper, leaders must holistically coordinate infrastructure projects and resources across municipal departments to meet the needs and demands of its residents within city policies–hopefully with the least amount of bureaucracy. Road improvements, for example, need to link to traffic and development patterns and not conflict with sewer or water line installation.
As EMC’s business has become more complex, EMC IT has been striving to work closely with business units in a similarly holistic approach to map out what capabilities they need and how IT can support them. We are in the process of forging such a strategic plan for the current year, based on an increasing level of collaboration with the business units we serve.
Providing business users with financial transparency about your company’s IT services doesn’t just promote business unit (BU) participation in their own IT consumption choices; it can also be a great tool to make sure enterprise-wide IT initiatives are on track in meeting business and corporate objectives.
After launching financial transparency last year as part of our IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model, EMC IT invited business unit leaders to meet with IT executives to share details and opinions about our enterprise IT spending. They got to discuss their views with each other on a list of teed up enterprise IT initiatives— those projects that have cross-business benefits as opposed to serving a single business unit. In fact, we asked them to vote on the enterprise initiatives to help us rank their importance.
We used business leaders’ feedback to turn what was previously a less than precise approach to setting our enterprise IT spending priorities into a much more refined list of which initiatives we should spend money on and which should wait. In addition, we’ve maintained the goal of continuing to shift our overall EMC IT budget to enterprise initiatives.
EMC IT, spearheaded by EMC CIO Sanjay Mirchandani and his team, has been on course to evolve into a fully-enabled cloud environment. EMC IT’s “Journey to the Cloud” has required a new way of thinking of service management and service delivery. The benefit has been significant savings in operation expenditures and a more dynamic IT environment. This transition signifies a changing of the guard in the industry, which is why Sanjay told InformationWeek that “there’s never been a better time to be in IT.”
Click here to read the full interview.
By KK Krishnakumar, Vice President and Chief IT Architect
Harnessing Big Data is an important strategy for all companies in today’s information-driven world. But where do you begin in choosing a project to utilize this vast resource effectively?
Much has been written about the three Vs of Big Data – Volume, Velocity and Variety. But the unsaid fourth V–Value–is the one where we have to direct our focus. It only makes sense to start where Big Data analytics will have a big impact right away. At EMC, we have seen that there are at least three types of use cases to consider—those involving business data (customer data, product data, quotes and orders, financial data), data center data (events from networks, storage, servers, applications) or security (events from firewalls, IDS, antivirus, etc… ). Chances are, like EMC, your company has already taken steps to consolidate your data and found that traditional data stores or standard analytics tools still do not provide the agility that you need.
At EMC, for our first Big Data use case, we chose to focus on the business side of the house in a project to bolster our Customer Quality (CQ) effort. This is a critical focus that touches on all aspects of our business. Utilizing Big Data analytics here promised to be an early and substantial win.
Want to Read More? Visit the EMC Executive Reflections Blog for the full post.
In an interview with the Economic Times, EMC CIO Sanjay Mirchandani explores the need for a more agile, dynamic environment in the IT industry. During his tenure as CIO, Sanjay and his team have led the effort to not only deliver cloud-based services to EMC, but to communicate how such a transition can change a company into a faster, more competitive operation with benefits both to the business and its customers. Read more about Sanjay’s views on what it means to be more agile, what the affect is to today’s CIO and more.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to Big Data Analytics, foresight is where the business gains really lie. Therefore, a project by two key EMC business groups uses our newly established Business-Analytics-as-a-Service (BAaaS) offering to gain foresight into future sales and marketing opportunities. It isan exciting milestone on our journey into the world of truly advanced analytics.
The project is called MARS — a joint effort to use BAaaS to consolidate customer, sales and marketing data from multiple sources into a single data repository using the Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform. The initiative, which creates Master Analytical Records — or MARS — for each customer, will provide both Sales and Marketing with easily accessible and accurate data for advanced analysis and modeling that will guide future sales and marketing efforts.
Our BAaaS offering enables EMC’s business units to rent an “analytic workspace” with the analytics capabilities to conduct their own data analysis projects. The offering provides full access to EMC’s previously restricted corporate data assets. Users can also mine data from multiple sources beyond EMC’s traditional corporate data sources for their research. If this data proves to be valuable to the ongoing analysis, users can work with IT to get it added to the central “data hub.” This data hub is managed by IT, freeing the business from the responsibility of ensuring the data is loaded, reliable and secure.
By Tony Pagliarulo, Senior Vice President, Business Technology & Service Delivery
First we called it shadow IT. Then it was rogue IT. Now, we refer to it euphemistically as business-managed IT (BMIT). No matter what you call it, the longstanding problem of business groups buying, building and deploying IT solutions without company authorization presents the same challenges to IT executives everywhere.
In some cases, it could mean that business-sensitive information is being used and shared without proper security controls, sometimes in external environments. It often leads to fragmented architecture, a lack of integration and inconsistent and ineffective management of vendor contracts. It also increases overall costs, complexity and may create a “double standard” between IT and business-implemented solutions. And it is a practice that is on the rise across a wide range of industries, as cloud technology has evolved.
No longer limited to resorting to stealth servers under someone’s desk, the business now has easy access to a growing number of Internet-based providers offering nearly unlimited IT capabilities in the public cloud. But we in IT also have more options than ever to turn this headache into a business-empowering opportunity.
It’s not like business leaders’ reasons for using BMIT aren’t good ones. They are under increased pressure to drive top line revenue ASAP. They want new capabilities, and more agile IT tools. At the end of the day, business leaders’ choice to use BMIT is about faster time to market and better control.
The good news is that enterprise IT organizations have also transformed with cloud technology, and new, in-house IT models and can now compete with outside cloud providers to give the business the capabilities it wants, at competitive cost and in shorter cycle times.
Want to Read More? Visit the EMC Executive Reflections Blog for the full post.
New, advanced technologies continue to provide a faster, more agile environment. But those technologies – cloud computing, mobile platforms, Big Data and social media – can widen the exposure companies face to potential security threats.
To help companies remain proactive in their security measures, the latest Security for Business Innovation Council (SBIC) report titled, “Information Security Shake-Up: Disruptive Innovations to Test Security’s Mettle in 2013,” offers a forward-looking analysis of the new enterprise threats in 2013, and recommendations for how security teams can limit risk.
The report also examines four strategic steps enterprises can leverage to strengthen their security programs, including: How to boost risk and business skills, court middle management, tackle IT supply chain issues and build tech-savvy action plans.
You can learn more about the SBIC Trends Report 2013 by viewing the following video featuring EMC Vice President and Chief Security Officer Dave Martin. We have also discussed related topics in previous blogs on this site, which combined with Dave’s video and the new report, will offer a full picture of security innovations we’ve explored at EMC.