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Tech & Tools Watch, April 18: Riverbed, BMC, Netwrix

With so many tools released for IT pros every week, many of them often go under the radar. Looking to address that, I thought it would be a good idea to offer regular roundups with the latest bits of product and technology news. Here in the Schwartz Report, we'll call it "Tech and Tools Watch." Without further ado, here's our first installment:

Riverbed Improves Branch Office Converged Infrastructure
Riverbed has turned granite into steel. The company this week relaunched its Granite Solution, a converged infrastructure appliance it introduced two years ago, with the new name SteelFusion. But the change is more than cosmetic. The new SteelFusion 3.0 offers a six-fold improvement in performance and a three-fold improvement in capacity -- up to 100 terabytes, the company said.

Long known for its branch office WAN optimization hardware, Riverbed's SteelFusion brings the same concept in the form of converged appliances for remote locations. The SteelFusion branch office appliance provides converged compute, storage, networking and virtualization features different from typical converged appliances from the likes of Cisco, Dell and HP. The Riverbed offering stores data centrally at the datacenter or headquarters location and streams it to the branch office rather than storing data at each remote location.

"Data belongs in the datacenter, which is why it's called a datacenter," said Riverbed Director of Technology Rob Whitely. "When putting these in the branch, now I can run my services locally at the branch but I don't want data residing at the branch where it's subject to theft, corruption or downtime."

Riverbed said the new release also offers improved integration with EMC and NetApp SANs with support for NetApp cluster mode and EMC VNX2 snapshots. It also has an improved backup and recovery support with a new recovery agent, an enhanced scaled-out architecture and is better suited for VDI and CAD/CAM-type implementations.

BMC Software's CLM Tool Targets Microsoft Azure
BMC Software's Cloud Lifecycle Management (CLM) software now supports migration to Microsoft Azure. The company said its new 4.0 release, due for GA in early June, makes it simple to migrate from VMware-based clouds to the Microsoft Azure infrastructure-as-a-service platform (IaaS). BMC said the new release of its CLM tool will let IT manage services delivery, operations, planning and compliance via different public cloud service providers' infrastructures from a single management platform and interface.

Workloads designed to run in VMware environments can be easily redirected to Microsoft Azure, according to Steven Anderson, BMC's principal product manager. "You can specify the application stacks, the networking necessities, storage necessities and all those various aspects," he said. "Those parts go into the blueprints and can remain essentially the same. So all you have to do is change the blueprint and point to a different OS image, whatever the image ID is for the platform you're interested in and you can deploy the new instances of those workloads on the new platform in very little time at all."

The CLM tool can integrate through Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Anderson said that while Amazon is by far the most widely deployed cloud, the company is seeing increased usage of Microsoft Azure as well.

Netwrix Survey: IT Pros Admit Undocumented Changes
Netwrix this week released the results of a survey it commissioned which found that more than half (57 percent) of all IT pros surveyed admit they have made undocumented changes that no one else is aware of. These changes put organizations at risk for downtime and security breaches, according to Netwrix, which supplies the Netwrix Auditor for tracking and managing changes.

The company surveyed 577 IT pros for its "2014 State of IT Changes" report. The study shows these changes caused services to stop for 65 percent of those surveyed. It also found these undocumented changes led to daily or weekly downtime (52 percent), were the root cause of security breaches (39 percent) and 62 percent of the changes were unauditable. Only 23 percent said they have an auditing or change management solution in place.

That's good news for Netwrix, which last month made its auditing solutions available as specific modules. It now include specific standalone offerings under the Auditor brand for Active Directory, file servers, Exchange, SQL Server, Windows Server  and VMware.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/18/2014 at 1:02 PM


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