Archive for March 6th, 2012
How ironic that here I am at Pulse 2012, where we’re talking about Internet and other related security matters, and then this headline: EXCLUSIVE: Infamous international hacking group LulzSec brought down by own leader.
Apparently, law enforcement agents on two continents arrested five members of the infamous hacking group, Anonymous, early this morning. Furthermore, they were apparently acting on information and evidence gathered by the organization’s leader, who apparently had been cooperating with the government for months.
Anonymous and its various offshoots — LulzSec, AntiSec, etc. — Are believed to have caused billions of dollars of damage to the government, banks, and corporations around the world.
The New York field office of the Federal Bureau of investigation released a press statement which indicated that five computer hackers in the United States and abroad were charged today, and six pled guilty, for computer hacking and other crimes.
The six hackers identified themselves as aligned with the group anonymous, which is a loose confederation of computer hackers and others, and/or offshoot groups related to Anonymous.
The now unsealed indictment revealed the perps were charged with hacks including of Fox Broadcasting Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Public Broadcasting Service. Included in the indictment were that of Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu” and “Leon” and “Xavier DeLeon,” who pled guilty last August 15th to a 12-count information charging him with computer hacking conspiracies and other crimes, and who apparently has been cooperating with the government to bring several of the others to justice.
According to the New York Times’ coverage of the story, Mr. Monsegur ran his schemes out of a public housing project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
So was he the head of the Anonymous snake? Now that the indictments are out, I suspect we’ll be finding out very, very soon.
The number of enterprises turning to cloud computing to revamp outdated business models will more than double in the next three years, as business leaders move to capitalize on the rapid availability of data and the growing popularity of social media, according to a new study released today by IBM.
Businesses that embrace the transformative power of cloud will have a significant advantage in the race to introduce new products and services and capture new markets.
To better understand the shift in how organizations use cloud today and how they plan to employ it in the future IBM, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, surveyed more than 500 business and technology executives worldwide. The findings were compiled in a new study, titled “The Power of Cloud: Driving business model innovation.”
“Companies are starting to understand — cloud isn’t just about gaining efficiencies and cost savings; it’s about driving the kind of fundamental innovation that provides lasting marketplace advantage,” said Saul Berman, IBM global strategy consulting leader and co-author of the study.
Changing Motivations for Cloud Adoption
According to the study, as they strive to better meet customers’ needs and drive future growth, business leaders will increasingly tap cloud to develop new business models that can exploit the capabilities resulting from these digital trends.
While 16 percent of the executives surveyed indicate they are already using cloud capabilities for sweeping innovation, such as entering new lines of business or reshaping an existing industry, by 2015 35 percent intend to use it to transform their business models.
While a little more than half of the respondents indicated “improving organizational efficiency” as a top business challenge today, only 31 percent anticipate it will be a top challenge in three years. Instead the study indicates that their focus is shifting to growth and competitive initiatives in the future. The objectives cited by survey respondents for adopting cloud are in line with these business goals, indicating that business needs will soon rival IT motivations for cloud adoption:
- 62 percent of survey respondents said increased collaboration with external partners is a key objective for adopting cloud;
- 57 percent cited competitive cost advantages through vertical integration as a major motivation and;
- 56 percent pointed to opening new delivery channels and markets as an important objective.
Examples cited in the report showcasing how cloud is being tapped to drive new revenue streams and enhance business models include an online marketplace for handmade goods that has taken advantage of cloud’s cost flexibility to gain access to more powerful analytics online.
The company is able to cost-effectively analyze data from the approximately one billion monthly views of its Web site and use the information to create product recommendations, providing it with access to tools and computing power that might typically only be affordable for larger retailers.
The study also cites an online health information network that enables the exchange of health information and transactions among healthcare providers, employers, payers, practitioners, third-party administrators and patients in India.
By connecting more than 1,100 hospitals and 10,000 doctors, cloud computing’s capabilities are facilitating better collaboration and information sharing — helping the network to pursue a more collaborative business model and deliver improved care at a low cost.
Masking Complexity, Enabling Consumer Needs
The study’s authors point to cloud’s capabilities to mask complexity and enable user-defined experiences, as well as its overall scalability and cost flexibility as key reasons companies are planning to move it into front office operations in the near future.
“Cloud has the power to open doors to more efficient, responsive and innovative ways of doing business, and we believe the companies that will come out on top will be the ones that find ways to leverage it as a key point of differentiation in driving business value,” Berman said. “Whether they choose to tap cloud to optimize, innovate or even disrupt their business models, they need to start working on it now.”
Visit here to download and learn more about the study.
Welcome to the Day Two Pulse Keynote summary, whereby I try to consolidate a gazillion thoughts, stories, and case studies into a coherent narrative.
First, know we had to turn off all our digital gadgets so that “iLuminate” could come onstage and dance with their lighted costumes. Their performance was amazing, but I don’t have any pictures to share so you’ll just have to trust me or go watch them on YouTube here:
Tivoli veep Scott Hebner came back onstage after the dancing was over to explain that today we were going to share our client’s success stories and that “we must achievee sharper insight into a seemingly endless infrastructure.”
Today was moving day, as it were, where we start to learn all about implementation and roadmaps to success, Hebner promised.
Really? I thought it was the day of the night that Maroon 5 took the stage!
Hebner went on to assure the Pulse audience that “we spend as much time as we can how to support our customers, as we do actually building the technologies.”
He then explained the critical importance, capabilities, and skills of our business partners through a pretty standard but relevant BP interview video, before going on to congratulate all the IBM Tivoli Business Partner award winners for 2012.
Before Hebner turned the stage over, he mentioned one last key point, that IBM has long been committed to open standards, a commitment that continues with cloud computing and IBM’s co-founding of the “Cloud Standards Customer Council (see www.cloud-council.org), which already has over 300 active members in the form of companies like Boeing, Kroger, and others.
Customer-driven cloud standards, not vendor driven.
Hebner then introduced IBM senior VP and group executive, software and systems, Steve Mills, who “has three decades of helping our clients solve their business problems.”
Mill’s keynote today was impassioned, as much didactic lecture as informative overview. Mills explained he was going to give a perspective on information technology that “centered on economics,” clearly perturbed at the continuing politics in many IT organizations that lead to bad decisions driven by turf rather than data.
To prove his point, Mills used the IBM story as one that he could relate “the art of the possible,” one of consolidation and efficiency that focused on best outcomes and achievements, not internal politics.
He put up a slide (see sidebar below) that explained how smarter planet solutions are increasing the demands placed on IT. For example, data centers have doubled their energy use in the past five years, and there’s an 18% increase in data center energy costs projected. The costs of the IT assets themselves, Mills pointed out, are only a small and marginal component of IT’s overall costs. Labor, energy, and other costs are a much more substantial component of the costs, so IT has to work much smarter, and in a much more automated fashion, to keep the costs reasonable.
Sprawl drives costs, Mills explained. “We know this from IBM, talking to thousands of businesses around the world.”
But, he went on, “we eat our own cooking,” and that IBM consolidation efforts to date had saved over $100M and counting, and that the TCO comparison for distributed workloads versus those on z Systems is a substantial savings on virtualized Linux via z.
“Linux runs like a scalded dog on the mainframe,” Mills asserted, the quote of Pulse 2012 thus far. Mills elaborated on IBM’s investments in System z: “If the work can be consolidated onto Z, we do it. System z plays a critical role in IBM’s journey. Migrations to System z have delivered almost 60% of the project’s total cumulative savings to date.”
But too many organizations don’t look at putting the right workloads in the right places and systems.
With much of IBM’s own IT workload consolidation, “We can give better service faster in IBM relative to the applications they run” Mills detailed. For example, IBM reduced server provisioning from 5 days to 1 hour. Configuration, operations, management, and monitoring labor was reduced by 50%.
In the collaboration realm, IBM now has more than 300M meeting minutes in the cloud per day and supports >85% of IBM’s overall web conferencing needs (which are, trust me, extensive. We IBMers mostly don’t live in offices anymore — we live in emeetings from our home and mobile offices!)
His message was clear: Focus your IT investments based on the reality of your business, not territory or political alignments.
As always, Steve concluded with some key customer examples. Nationwide Insurance saved $15M cost savings over three years using Linux on Systems z. Now, they have 85-90% server utilization and an 80% reduction in environmental costs.
Technische Unviersitat Munchen replaced 150+ servers with two IBM Power servers, saving 85%, and energy consumption reduced by 80%.
Carter’s Inc., a leading children’s apparel company in the U.S., now accelerates data backup by 83% and achieves a 23:1 data compression ratio when it virtualizes its data storage environment. This has reduced data backup time from 12 hours to 2 hours.
Then, Steve Mills did something he doesn’t often, and that was to open the kimono.
In fact, yesterday during our interview with Steve, I asked him what, if anything, had changed since he had taken helm of the IBM Systems group (along with his existing Software responsibilities).
His response was revealing: Nothing had changed. Work integrating our systems and software for optimizing workload would continue as it had, if not accelerate.
The following slide reveals some of the details. Based on these comments, I would expect more news on this front very soon. : )
Earlier today at IBM Pulse 2012, Scott and I had a far-ranging interview on the mobile ecosystem with IBM Mobile Platform vice president, Bob Sutor.
Our discussion ranged from the mobile “lifecycle,” which Bob recently presented to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, to privacy and security in the mobile realm, to Android v. iOS v. some stalking horse mobile OS being written in some kid’s garage nobody yet knows about.
It was one of our favorites of the event, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed doing the interview. We could have spoken with Bob for another half hour and not covered everything we would have liked.
Check it out here.