Tag Archives: application

Threat Stack Application Security Monitoring adds Python support

Threat Stack has announced Python support for its Threat Stack Application Security Monitoring product. The update comes with no additional cost as part of the Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform.

With Python support for Application Security Monitoring, Threat Stack customers who use Python with Django and Flask frameworks can ensure security in the software development lifecycle with risk identification of both third-party and native code, according to Tim Buntel, vice president of application security products at Threat Stack.

In addition, the platform also provides built-in capabilities to help developers learn secure coding practices and real-time attack blocking, according to the company.

“Today’s cloud-native applications are comprised of disparate components, including containers, virtual machines and scripts, including those written in Python, that serve as the connective tissue between these elements,” said Doug Cahill, senior analyst and group Practice Director, Cybersecurity at Enterprise Strategy Group. Hence, the lack of support for any one layer of a stack means a lack of visibility and a vulnerability an attacker could exploit.

Application Security Monitoring is a recent addition to Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform. Introduced last June, the platform is aimed at bringing visibility and protection to cloud-based architecture and applications. Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform touts the ability to identify and block attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection by putting the application in context with the rest of the stack. It also allows users to move from the application to the container or the host, where it is deployed with one click when an attack happens, according to the company.

“[Application Security Monitoring] … provides customers with full stack security observability by correlating security telemetry from the cloud management console, host, containers and applications in a single, unified platform,” Buntel said.

To achieve full stack security and insights from the cloud management console, host, containers, orchestration and applications, customers can combine Threat Stack Application Security Monitoring with the rest of the Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform, according to the company.

Cahill said customers should look for coverage of the technology stack as well as the lifecycle when looking to secure cloud-native applications, because such full stack and lifecycle support allows for threat detection and prevention capabilities “from the code level down to the virtual machine or container to be implemented in both pre-deployment stages and runtime.”

“Cloud security platforms, which integrate runtime application self-protection functionality with cloud workload protection platforms to provide full-stack and full lifecycle visibility and control, are just now being offered by a handful of cybersecurity vendors, including Threat Stack,” he added.

Threat Stack Application Security Monitoring for Python is available as of Wednesday.

Threat Stack competitors include CloudPassage, Dome9 and Sophos. CloudPassage Halo is a security automation platform delivering visibility, protection and compliance monitoring for cybersecurity risks; the platform also covers risks in Amazon Web Services and Azure deployments, according to the company. CloudGuard Dome9 is a software platform for public cloud security and compliance orchestration; the platform helps customers assess their security posture, detect misconfigurations and enforce security best practices to prevent data loss, according to the company. Sophos Intercept X enables organizations to detect blended threats that merge automation and human hacking skills, according to the company.

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ServiceNow adds mobile app to ‘New York’ Now Platform

ServiceNow rolled out the latest version of its flagship Now Platform highlighted by a mobile application that allows remote users to access core capabilities of the enterprise workflow product.

The Now Platform New York release, which works with Apple and Android devices, was motivated by the company’s own users, who increasingly demand mobile-optimized tools to make a wide range of tasks easier for remote users, from ordering computers to approving purchase orders to making travel request.

While ServiceNow users wanted these remote capabilities, they didn’t want a slew of new applications to accomplish these tasks.

“We see enterprises bogged down by app overload meaning there are just too many applications each helping with separate workloads,” said CJ Desai, Service Now’s chief product officer. “We are trying to remove the friction associated with that as it relates to everyday work-related task.”

One analyst believes the timing of the New York Now Platform is fortuitous given the needs of not just the corporate world, but consumers’ growing need to use a number of mobile technologies.

“We are a mobile society in general, but with corporate customers’ increased focus on IT operations and LOBs, there are a lot of intersection points where it makes sense to drive more automated workloads from a mobile environment,” said Stephen Elliot, analyst at IDC.

Desai added that one of the goals of the new release is to create “consumer-like” mobile experiences for corporate users to make them more productive inside the office.

The New York release also includes a built-in onboarding application that works in concert with the mobile application, and that also taps into all the core capabilities of the Now Platform. The new offering combines all the necessary tasks that span multiple departments including IT, human resources, facilities, finance and legal as part of the process for bringing on new employees.

Business processes like onboarding employees is a big hassle to every company out there. The easier you make it to implement processes like can only increase the value of the platform.
Stephen ElliotVice president of management software and DevOps, IDC

Elliot said the addition of mobile technology to the Now Platform is an essential step in the maturity of the offering for both users and ServiceNow as a company, especially as the company continues to expand into new areas such IT operations, finance and human resources — markets where you need a stronger mobile component.

“Different business processes like onboarding employees is a big hassle to almost every company out there,” Elliot said. “The easier you make it to implement processes like that increases the value of the platform.”

ServiceNow focusing on HR, finance workflows

Earlier this year ServiceNow redoubled its efforts around customer workflows focusing more on specific vertical markets as a way to expand the opportunities for its Now Platform.

“Most people know us for our IT workflows,” said Farrell Hough, senior vice president of customer workflow products at ServiceNow. “But we are segmenting that business out and leveraging the strengths we have in the human resources, financial and telco markets.”

ServiceNow has made improvements to the platform’s natural language understanding (NLU) by integrating it tightly with its Virtual Agent. Through NLU, workers can interact with the Virtual Agent by using simple terms to find the answers to problems themselves, rather than using the IT help desk.

Company officials said this capability works in tandem with ServiceNow’s existing Predictive Intelligence technology to improve the delivery of products and services to employees.

PayPal plans to use the new offering as a technology backbone to connect its engineers to all of its internal operations and create a centralized hub for resources including a number of self-service tools.

PayPal engineers use a number of applications to manage infrastructure, but the new version of Now Platform provides an opportunity to have just one platform that connects all of its digital workflows across all their systems of record and applications, according to a statement attributed to Dan Torunian, PayPal’s VP or employee technology.

The New York release is available now, with the ServiceNow Mobile and Onboarding applications also available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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Satellite connectivity expands reach of Azure ExpressRoute across the globe

Staying connected to access and ingest data in today’s highly distributed application environments is paramount for any enterprise. Many businesses need to operate in and across highly unpredictable and challenging conditions. For example, energy, farming, mining, and shipping often need to operate in remote, rural, or other isolated locations with poor network connectivity.

With the cloud now the de facto and primary target for the bulk of application and infrastructure migrations, access from remote and rural locations becomes even more important. The path to realizing the value of the cloud starts with a hybrid environment access resources with dedicated and private connectivity.

Network performance for these hybrid scenarios from rural and remote sites becomes increasingly critical. With globally connected organizations, the explosive number of connected devices and data in the Cloud, as well as emerging areas such as autonomous driving and traditional remote locations such as cruise ships are directly affected by connectivity performance.  Other examples requiring highly available, fast, and predictable network service include managing supply chain systems from remote farms or transferring data to optimize equipment maintenance in aerospace.

Today, I want to share the progress we have made to help customers address and solve these issues. Satellite connectivity addresses challenges of operating in remote locations.

Microsoft cloud services can be accessed with Azure ExpressRoute using satellite connectivity. With commercial satellite constellations becoming widely available, new solutions architectures offer improved and affordable performance to access Microsoft.

Infographic of High level architecture of ExpressRoute and satellite integration

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, with one of the largest networking ecosystems in the public Cloud now includes satellite connectivity partners bringing new options and coverage.

 8095 1SES will provide dedicated, private network connectivity from any vessel, airplane, enterprise, energy or government site in the world to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform via its unique multi-orbit satellite systems. As an ExpressRoute partner, SES will provide global reach and fibre-like high-performance to Azure customers via its complete portfolio of Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites, Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) O3b constellation, global gateway network, and core terrestrial network infrastructure around the world.

 8095 2Intelsat’s customers are the global telecommunications service providers and multinational enterprises that rely on our services to power businesses and communities wherever their needs take them. Now they have a powerful new tool in their solutions toolkit. With the ability to rapidly expand the reach of cloud-based enterprises, accelerate customer adoption of cloud services, and deliver additional resiliency to existing cloud-connected networks, the benefits of cloud services are no longer limited to only a subset of users and geographies. Intelsat is excited to bring our global reach and reliability to this partnership with Microsoft, providing the connectivity that is essential to delivering on the expectations and promises of the cloud.

8095 3 Viasat, a provider of high-speed, high-quality satellite broadband solutions to businesses and commercial entities around the world, is introducing Direct Cloud Connect service to give customers expanded options for accessing enterprise-grade cloud services. Azure ExpressRoute will be the first cloud service offered to enable customers to optimize their network infrastructure and cloud investments through a secure, dedicated network connection to Azure’s intelligent cloud services.

Microsoft wants to help accelerate scenarios by optimizing the connectivity through Microsoft’s global network, one of the largest and most innovative in the world.

ExpressRoute for satellites directly connects our partners’ ground stations to our global network using a dedicated private link. But what does it more specifically mean to our customers?

  • Using satellite connectivity with ExpressRoute provides dedicated and highly available, private access directly to Azure and Azure Government clouds.
  • ExpressRoute provides predictable latency through well-connected ground stations, and, as always, maintains all traffic privately on our network – no traversing of the Internet.
  • Customers and partners can harness Microsoft’s global network to rapidly deliver data to where it’s needed or augment routing to best optimize for their specific need.
  • Satellite and a wide selection of service providers will enable rich solution portfolios for cloud and hybrid networking solutions centered around Azure networking services.
  • With some of the world’s leading broadband satellite providers as partners, customers can select the best solution based on their needs. Each of the partners brings different strengths, for example, choices between Geostationary (GEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and in the future Low Earth Orbit(LEO) satellites, geographical presence, pricing, technology differentiation, bandwidth, and others.
  • ExpressRoute over satellite creates new channels and reach for satellite broadband providers, through a growing base of enterprises, organizations and public sector customers.

With this addition to the ExpressRoute partner ecosystem, Azure customers in industries like aviation, oil and gas, government, peacekeeping, and remote manufacturing can deploy new use cases and projects that increase the value of their cloud investments and strategy.

As always, we are very interested in your feedback and suggestions as we continue to enhance our networking services, so I encourage you to share your experiences and suggestions with us.

You can follow these links to learn more about our partners Intelsat, SES, and Viasat, and learn more about Azure ExpressRoute from our website and our detailed documentation.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Low-code goes mainstream to ease app dev woes

Low-code/no-code application development has gone mainstream as demand grows for enterprises to turn out increasingly more applications with not enough skilled developers.

A recent Forrester Research study showed that 23% of the 3,200 developers surveyed said their firms have adopted low-code development platforms, and another 22% said their organizations plan to adopt low-code platforms in the next year. That data was gathered in late 2018, so by the end of this year, those numbers should combine to be close to 50% of developers whose organizations have adopted low-code platforms, said John Rymer, an analyst at Forrester.

“That seems like mainstream to me,” he said, adding that low-code/no-code comes up routinely with his clients nowadays. In fact, low-code development could possibly be as impactful on the computing industry as the creation of the internet or IBM’s invention of the PC, he said.

The industry is on the cusp of a huge change to incorporate business people into the way software is built and delivered, Rymer said.

If you look ahead five years or so, we can see maybe 100 million people — business people — engaged in producing software.
John RymerAnalyst, Forrester Research

“If you believe that there are six million developers in the world and we believe there are probably a billion business people in the world, if you look ahead five years or so, we can see maybe 100 million people –business people — engaged in producing software,” he said. “‘And I think that is the change we’re all starting to witness.”

Meanwhile, Forrester said there are eight key reasons for enterprises to adopt low-code platforms:

  • Support product or service innovation.
  • Empower departmental IT to deliver apps.
  • Empower employees outside of IT to deliver apps.
  • Make the app development processes more efficient.
  • Develop apps more quickly.
  • Reduce costs of app development.
  • Increase the number of people who develop applications.
  • Develop unique apps for specific business needs.

The top three types of apps built with low-code tools are complete customer-facing apps — web or mobile, business process and workflow apps, and web or mobile front ends, Rymer said. Meanwhile, the top three departments using low-code are IT, customer service or call center, and digital business or e-commerce, he added.

Low-code landscape shaped by business users

Surging interest in low-code/no-code adoption comes not just to help increase developers’ productivity, but also to empower enterprise business users.

A Gartner report on the low-code space, released in August 2019, predicted that by 2024, 75% of large enterprises will use at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development, and over 65% of applications will be developed with low-code technology. Upwork, the web platform for matching freelance workers with jobs, recently identified low-code development skills as rapidly gaining in popularity, particularly for developers familiar with Salesforce’s Lightning low-code tools to build web apps.

Low-code analyses from Gartner and Forrester in 2018 did not rank Microsoft as a leader, but the software giant shot up in the rankings with the latest release of its Power Platform and PowerApps low-code environment that broadly supports both citizen developers and professional developers. This helps bring the vast community of Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code developers into the fold, said Charles Lamanna, general manager of application platform at Microsoft.

Other low-code platform vendors have shifted focus to business users. A study commissioned by low-code platform vendor OutSystems showed results quite similar to the Gartner and Forrester analyses. Out of 3,300 developers surveyed, 41% of respondents said their organization already uses a low-code platform, and another 10% said they were about to start using one, according to the study.

Mendix now offers a part of their product that’s aimed at business people as well. With the Mendix platform, eXp Realty, a Bellingham, Wash., cloud-based real estate brokerage, cut its onboarding process for new agents from 18 steps down to nine, said Steve Ledwith, the company’s vice president of engineering.

Gartner’s latest low-code report includes OutSystems and Salesforce Mendix, Microsoft and Appian. The most recent Forrester Wave report on the low-code space, in March 2019, saw the same four core leaders but swapped out Appian for Kony.

The rising popularity of low-code/no-code platforms also means the marketplace itself is active. “Low-code platform leaders are growing fast and the smaller companies are finding a niche,” said Mike Hughes, principal platform evangelist at OutSystems.

Last year, Siemens acquired Mendix for $730 million. And just this week, Temenos, a Geneva, Switzerland-based banking software company, acquired Kony for $559 million plus another $21 million if they meet unspecified goals. Both Temenos and Siemens said they acquired the low-code platforms to speed up their own internal application development, as well as to advance and sell the platforms to customers.

“We wanted to shore up our banking software with Kony’s low-code platform and particularly their own banking application built with their product,” said Mark Gunning, global business solutions director at Temenos. Kony also will help advance Temenos’ presence in the U.S., he added.

As enterprises rely more on these platforms to develop their applications, look for consolidation ahead in the low-code/no-code space. Gartner now tracks over 200-plus companies that claim to serve the low-code market. Acquisitions such as these are another strong indicator that the market is maturing.

Salvation Army recruits low-code

Like many not-for-profits, the Salvation Army was slow to move off of its old Lotus Notes platform. Yet, when they decided to move to Office 365 in 2016, there was no Power Platform or PowerApps, so the organization turned to low-code platform maker AgilePoint, based in Mountain View, Calif., said David Brown, director of applications at the Salvation Army USA West, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. (Gartner ranks AgilePoint as a high-level niche player; the company doesn’t appear on Forrester’s rankings.)

The AgilePoint platform enabled the charitable organization to build more apps and be more responsive to the organization’s demands for new applications. The Salvation Army started to build apps with AgilePoint in 2017 and put 10 new apps into production that year. In 2018, they delivered 20 apps, and the goal for 2019 is 30 new apps, Brown said. The Salvation Army also is considering a training program for citizen developers, Brown said.

“We built an app that replaced a paper process that cost us $10,000 a month,” he said. “When I can invest in a new technology and in the first year save $120,000 using something that I am not spending anywhere that much for, that’s a huge return on investment.”

Low-code, no-code lines begin to blur

No-code typically means the platform is basic and requires no coding, while low-code platforms enable pro developers to go under the hood and hard-code portions if they choose to. However, the distinction between low-code and no-code is not absolute.

Jeffrey Hammond, ForresterJeffrey Hammond

“I don’t think you are either low-code or you are no code,” said Jeffrey Hammond, another Forrester analyst. “I think you might be less code or more code. I think the no-code vendors aspire to have you do less raw text entry.”

As a developer, there are times when you can only visually model so much before it’s just more efficient to drop into text and write something. It is the quickest, easiest way to express what you want to do.

“And if you’re typing text, to me you’re coding,” Hammond said.

Michael Beckley, CTO of Appian, based in Tysons, Va., said many of Appian’s developers would agree.

“A lot of our developers believe low-code exists to help developers write less code upfront,” he said. “And when the platform stops [when finished execution of its instructions] they should just start writing code all over the place.”

Next low-code hurdles are AI, serverless

The addition of artificial intelligence to the platforms to help developers build smart apps is one next hurdle for the low-code space. Another is to provide DevOps natively on the platforms, and that is already happening now with platforms from OutSystems and Mendix, among others.

However, there is a potential future connection point between the serverless and low-code spaces, Hammond said.

“They are looking to solve a similar problem, which is extracting developers from a lot of the lower-level grunt work so they can focus on building business logic,” he said.

The serverless side relies on network infrastructure and managed services, not so much with tools. The low-code space does it with tools and frameworks, but not necessarily as part of an open, standards-based approach.

With some standardization in the serverless space around Kubernetes and CloudEvents, there could be some intersections between the tools and the low-code space and the high-scale infrastructure in the cloud-native space.

“If you have a common event model, you can start to build events and you can string them together and you can start to build business rules around them,” Forrester’s Hammond said. “You can go into the editors to write the business logic for them. To me, that’s an extension of low-code — and I think it can open up the floodgates to an intersection of these two different technologies.”

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Cohesity CyberScan scans backup copies for security risks

The latest application added to Cohesity Marketplace is designed to trawl through backups to look for security vulnerabilities.

Cohesity CyberScan is a free application available on the Cohesity Marketplace. Using Tenable.io, it compares applications in a backup environment against the public Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database to detect possible security flaws. The admin can then address these flaws, whether it’s an out-of-date patch, software bugs or vulnerabilities around open ports.

Cohesity CyberScan doesn’t affect the production environment when it performs its scan. The application boots up a backup snapshot and performs an API call to Tenable.io in order to find vulnerabilities. This process has the added benefit of confirming whether a particular snapshot is recoverable in the first place.

Raj Dutt, director of product marketing at Cohesity, said because the vulnerability scan happens in Cohesity’s runtime environment and not the live environment, many customers may be prompted to perform these scans. Citing a recent study performed by independent IT research firm Ponemon Institute, Dutt said 37% of respondents who suffered a security breach did not scan their environments for vulnerabilities.

“They work in an environment where the organization is expected to run 24/7/365, so essentially, there is no downtime to run these scans or make the patches,” Dutt said.

Dutt said even organizations that do perform vulnerability scans don’t do them often enough. Vulnerabilities and exposures published on the CVE database are known to bad actors, so weekly or monthly scans still leave organizations with a wide window in which they can be attacked. Dutt said since Cohesity CyberScan doesn’t interfere with the production environment, customers are free to run scans more frequently.

screenshot of Cohesity CyberScan dashboard
The Security Dashboard houses the vulnerability scan and anti-ransomware capabilities.

Phil Goodwin, a research director at IT analyst firm IDC, said there are applications that scan backup copies or secondary data but scan mostly to detect out-of-date drivers or other roadblocks to a successful restore or failover. Running it against a CVE database to look for potential security problems is unique.

End users are talking about data protection and security in the same sentence. It really is two sides of the same coin.
Phil GoodwinResearch director, IDC

Goodwin said Cohesity CyberScan is the latest example of backup vendors adding security capabilities. Security and data protection are different IT disciplines that call for different technology, but Goodwin said he has encountered customers conflating the two.

“End users are talking about data protection and security in the same sentence,” Goodwin said. “It really is two sides of the same coin.”

Security is the proactive approach of preventing data loss, while data protection and backup are reactive. Goodwin said organizations should ideally have both, and backup vendors are starting to provide proactive features such as data masking, air gapping and immutability. But Goodwin said he has noticed many vendors stop shy of malware detection.

Indeed, Cohesity CyberScan does not have malware detection. Dutt stressed that the application’s use cases are focused on detecting cyberattack exposures and ensuring recoverability of snapshots. He pointed out that Cohesity DataPlatform does have anti-ransomware capabilities, and they can be accessed from the same dashboard as CyberScan’s vulnerability scan.

Cohesity CyberScan is generally available now to customers who have upgraded to the latest Cohesity Pegasus 6.4 software. The application itself is free, but customers are required to have their own Tenable license.

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No-code and low-code tools seek ways to stand out in a crowd

As market demand for enterprise application developers continues to surge, no-code and low-code vendors seek ways to stand out from one another in an effort to lure professional and citizen developers.

For instance, last week’s Spark release of Skuid’s eponymous drag-and-drop application creation system adds on-premises, private data integration, a new Design System Studio, and new core components for tasks such as creation of buttons, forms, charts and tables.

A suite of prebuilt application templates aim to help users build and customize a bespoke application, such as salesforce automation, recruitment and applicant tracking, HR management and online learning.

And a native mobile capability enables developers to take the apps they’ve built with Skuid and deploy them on mobile devices with native functionality for iOS and Android.

Ray Wang, Constellation ResearchRay Wang

“We’re seeing a lot of folks who started in other low-code/no-code platforms move toward Skuid because of the flexibility and the ability to use it in more than one type of platform,” said Ray Wang, an analyst at Constellation Research in San Francisco.

Skuid CTO Mike DuensingMike Duensing

“People want to be able to get to templates, reuse templates and modify templates to enable them to move very quickly.”

Skuid — named for an acronym, Scalable Kit for User Interface Design — was originally an education software provider, but users’ requests to customize the software for individual workflows led to a drag-and-drop interface to configure applications. That became the Skuid platform and the company pivoted to no-code, said Mike Duensing, CTO of Skuid in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Quick Base adds Kanban reports

Quick Base Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., recently added support for Kanban reports to its no-code platform. Kanban is a scheduling system for lean and just-in-time manufacturing. The system also provides a framework for Agile development practices, so software teams can visually track and balance project demands with available capacity and ease system-level bottlenecks.

The Quick Base Kanban reports enable development teams to see where work is in process. It also lets end users interact with their work and update their status, said Mark Field, Quick Base director of products.

Users drag and drop progress cards between columns to indicate how much work has been completed on software delivery tasks to date. This lets them track project tasks through stages or priority, opportunities through sales stages, application features through development stages, team members and their task assignments and more, Field said.

Datatrend Technologies, an IT services provider in Minnetonka, Minn., uses Quick Base to build the apps that manage technology rollouts for its customers, and finds the Kanban reports handy.

A lot of low-code/no-code platforms allow you to get on and build an app but then if you want to take it further, you’ll see users wanting to move to something else.
Ray Wanganalyst, Constellation Research

“Quick Base manages that whole process from intake to invoicing, where we interface with our ERP system,” said Darla Nutter, senior solutions architect at Datatrend.

Previously, we kept data of work in progress through four stages (plan, execute, complete and invoice) in a table report with no visual representation, but with these reports users can see what they have to do at any given stage and prioritize work accordingly, she said.

“You can drag and drop tasks to different columns and it automatically updates the stage for you,” she said.

Like the Quick Base no-code platform, the Kanban reports require no coding or programming experience. Datatrend’s typical Quick Base users are project managers and business analysts, Nutter said.

For most companies, however, the issue with no-code and low-code systems is how fast users can learn and then expand upon it, Constellation Research’s Wang said.

“A lot of low-code/no-code platforms allow you to get on and build an app but then if you want to take it further, you’ll see users wanting to move to something else,” Wang said.

OutSystems sees AI as the future

OutSystems said it plans to add advanced artificial intelligence features into its products to increase developer productivity, said Mike Hughes, director of product marketing at OutSystems in Boston.

“We think AI can help us by suggesting next steps and anticipating what developers will be doing next as they build applications,” Hughes said.

OutSystems uses AI in its own tool set, as well as links to publicly available AI services to help organizations build AI-based products. To facilitate this, the company launched Project Turing and opened an AI Center of Excellence in Lisbon, Portugal, named after Alan Turing, who is considered the father of AI.

The company also will commit 20% of its R&D budget to AI research and partner with industry leaders and universities for research in AI and machine learning.

New Cohesity backup adds Helios SaaS management

Cohesity Inc. today released Helios, a SaaS application that works in conjunction with Cohesity DataPlatform to give IT administrators greater control over their consolidated secondary data.

Helios allows Cohesity backup customers to manage data under control of DataPlatform software, whether it is on premises or in public clouds. Helios enables customers to view and search secondary data, make global policy changes and perform upgrades through a single dashboard.

Helios requires an extra license separate from DataPlatform, based on the amount of data under management. Positioned as an add-on for DataPlatform users, it’s designed to enhance secondary data management with a slew of features, including some that utilize predictive analytics and machine learning.

With Helios, Cohesity is following the lead of rival Rubrik Inc., which launched its Polaris SaaS-based management last April. Cohesity and Rubrik sell scale-out, node-based secondary storage platforms that manage data on premises and in the cloud.

Raj Dutt, product marketing director at Cohesity, said one of Helios’ core goals is to simplify multicluster administration. The Cohesity backup SmartAssist feature suggests resource allocations across the environment based on service-level agreements set by the administrator. Using machine learning, Helios examines how an infrastructure is being used and suggests when to add resources or make adjustments. Helios will also allow its users to make peer comparisons by sharing anonymized metadata from other Cohesity customers.

Other features include global hardware health monitoring, pattern and password detection, video compression and machine learning to analyze how changes will impact clusters before they are rolled out.

Cohesity Helios screenshot
Helios brings multicluster management under one dashboard.

Dutt said the difference between Helios and competitors, such as Dell EMC CloudIQ analytics and Rubrik Polaris, is “almost none of the [others] offer active management on a global scale.”

Although Helios is generally available today, Dutt said not all of its features will be ready to go right out of the gate. They will be rolled out as part of monthly releases of the core Cohesity backup software, with the expectation that all of the planned capabilities will be available by the end of 2018.

Cohesity backup checks the SaaS boxes

Edwin Yuen, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said Helios fills the major requirements for SaaS-based management across clusters and clouds.

They’re experts in their storage and they’re adding a management layer on top of it.
Edwin Yuensenior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

“Within systems management, you need to have three things,” he said. “One is inventory — you need to be able to know what you have out there and go and find it. No. 2, you need to have status — you need to know what’s going on with them. And three, you need to have actions — you need to actually be able to do something about them. A lot of tools don’t actually do that. … Helios does.”

Yuen also pointed out that many vendors are moving from simply selling their software licenses to SaaS-based, subscription models. “It’s often consumption-based, it’s a living service, you’ll get data updates so you’re not always waiting for another version,” Yuen said. “If you are going to manage across multiple destinations, that model does make a lot of sense.”

As more products offering assisted integration and optimization like the Cohesity backup software emerge in the multi-cloud management space, Yuen speculates there will be a growing demand for cross-platform, vendor-agnostic products. Helios can see and manage the metadata hosted on Microsoft Azure, Google and Amazon Web Services public clouds — as long as you’re running Cohesity DataPlatform.

“They’re experts in their storage and they’re adding a management layer on top of it,” Yuen said. “The question is are you going to be an expert in the management layer so that it doesn’t matter what storage you have? I think there’s going to be demand for this type of solution across the board for managing data.”

HYCU moves beyond Nutanix backup with Google Cloud support

HYCU is now well-versed in the Google cloud.

HYCU, which began with a backup application built specifically for hyper-converged vendor Nutanix, today launched a service to back up data stored on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

HYCU sprung up in June 2017 as an application sold by Comtrade that offered native support for Nutanix AHV and Nutanix customers using VMware ESX hypervisors. The Comtrade Group spun off HYCU into a separate company in March 2018, with both the new company and the product under the HYCU brand.

Today, HYCU for Google became available through the GCP Marketplace. It is an independent product from HYCU for Nutanix, but there is a Nutanix angle to the Google backup: GCP is Nutanix’s partner for the hyper-converged vendor’s Xi public cloud services. HYCU CEO Simon Taylor said his team began working on Google backup around the time Nutanix revealed plans for Xi in mid-2017. HYCU beat Nutanix out of the gate, launching its Google service before any Nutanix Xi Cloud Services have become generally available.

“We believe Nutanix is the future of the data center, and we place our bets on them,” Taylor said. “Everyone’s been asking us, ‘Beyond Nutanix, where do you go from here?’ We started thinking of the concept of multi-cloud. We see people running fixed workloads on-prem, and if it’s dynamic, they’ll probably put it on a public cloud. And Google is the public cloud that’s near and dear to Nutanix’s heart.”

HYCU backup for GCP is integrated into Google Cloud Identity and Access Management, installs without agents and backs up data to Google Buckets. The HYCU service uses native GCP snapshots for backup and recovery.

Subbiah Sundaram, vice president of products at HYCU, based in Boston, said HYCU provides application- and clone-consistent backups, and it allows single-file recovery. Sundaram said because HYCU takes control of the snapshot, data transfers do not affect product systems.

Sundaram said HYCU for GCP was built for Google admins, rather than typical backup admins.

“When customers use the cloud, they think of it as buying a service, not running software. And that’s the experience we want them to have,” Sundaram said. “It’s completely managed by us. We create and provision the backup targets on Google and manage it for you.”

HYCU for GCP uses only GCP to stage backups, backing up data in different Google Cloud zones. Sundaram said HYCU may back up to clouds or on-premises targets in future releases, but the most common request from customers so far is to back up to other GCP zones.

HYCU charges for data protected, rather than total storage allocated for backup. For example, a customer allocating 100 GB to a virtual machine with 20 GB of data protected is charged for the 20 GB. List price for 100 GB of consumed virtual machine capacity starts at $12 per month, or 12 cents per gigabyte, for data backed up every 24 hours. The cost increases for more frequent backups. Customers are billed through the GCP Marketplace.

Industry analysts pointed out HYCU is a brand-new company in name only. Its Comtrade legacy gives HYCU 20-plus years of experience in data protection and monitoring, over 1,000 customers and hundreds of engineers. That can allow it to move faster than typical startups.

“They’re a startup that already has a ton of experience,” said Christophe Bertrand, senior data protection analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass. “When you’re a small organization, you have to make strategic calls on what to do next. So, now, they’re getting into Google Cloud, which is evolving to be more enterprise-friendly. Clearly, backup and recovery is one of the functions you need to get right for the enterprise. Combined with the way Nutanix supports Google, it’s a smart move for HYCU.”

Steven Hill, senior storage analyst for 451 Research, agreed that GCP support was a logical step for Nutanix-friendly HYCU.

We believe Nutanix is the future of the data center, and we place our bets on them.
Simon TaylorCEO, HYCU

“Nutanix partnering with Google is a good hybrid cloud play. So, theoretically, what you’re running on-prem runs exactly the same once it’s on Google Cloud,” he said. “HYCU comes in and says, ‘We can do data protection and backup and workload protection that just fits seamlessly in with all of this. Whether you’re on Google Cloud or whether you’re on Nutanix via AHV or Nutanix via ESX, it’s all the same to us.'”

Taylor said HYCU is positioned well for when Nutanix makes Xi available. Nutanix has said its first Xi Cloud Service will be disaster recovery. “We will be delivering for Xi,” Taylor said. “You can imagine that will require a much closer bridge between these two different products. Once Xi is available, we’ll be fast on their heels with a product that will support both purpose-built backup for Nutanix and purpose-built recovery for Xi in a highly integrated fashion.”

Although HYCU for GCP can protect data for non-Nutanix users, Taylor said HYCU remains as dedicated to building a business around Nutanix as ever. He emphasized that HYCU develops its software independently from Nutanix and Google, although he is determined to have a good working relationship with both.

“We believe data protection should be an extension of the platform it serves, not a stand-alone platform,” he said.

Still, Taylor flatly denied his goal is for HYCU to become part of Nutanix.

“Right now, we want to build a brand,” he said. “This is about building a business that matters, not about a quick exit.”

Data integration tools: SnapLogic update rewards solution selling

SnapLogic, a provider of application and data integration tools, has revamped its channel partner program, with an emphasis on solution selling.

The Partner Connect Program now features free sales and technical training, new deal referrals and reseller discounts, and a partner portal. SnapLogic said it will also offer incentives for creating and delivering offerings that combine SnapLogic with its technology partners. SnapLogic technology partners include Workday, Snowflake, Salesforce and Reltio.

“One of the big, overarching goals of [the SnapLogic partner program] refresh is … to focus much more on a solutions approach where we have our go-to-market partners building repeatable solutions based on SnapLogic and our technology partners,” said Rich Link, vice president of global channel sales and strategic alliances at SnapLogic, based in San Mateo, Calif.

SnapLogic described the application and data integration market as a $12 billion opportunity. Link added it is “a much different market than it has ever been before.”

“The interesting thing about our space is that, inherently, we are involved in multivendor projects,” Link said.

He also noted that integration, because of its role in digital transformation, is now receiving more attention. Partners can tap SnapLogic’s app and data integration tools to target customer projects involving data warehousing, data lakes, master data management, human capital management and customer relationship management.

SnapLogic currently works with about 40 channel partners, with about 10 to 15 that are “very active,” Link said. The company has been expanding the Partner Connect Program across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it recently added about 11 partners in that market.

SnapLogic partners can expect to see a more formalized market development funds (MDF) program this year. “Today, we are doing [MDF] a little more ad hoc, and we want to formalize that by the end of the year,” Link said.

AllCloud enters North American market

AllCloud, a cloud solutions provider that launched in Israel in 2014, has entered the North American market with the acquisition of Figur8 Cloud Solutions.

Figur8 is a Salesforce partner, with operations in San Francisco, Toronto, New York City and Vancouver, B.C. AllCloud delivers its cloud solutions in the Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and NetSuite environments.

Eran Gil, CEO at AllCloud, said consolidation has “created a big void in the market for global boutique cloud solutions providers.”

Gil has firsthand consolidation experience. He co-founded Cloud Sherpas, a cloud consulting services provider that was acquired by Accenture in 2015. Gil pointed to IBM’s purchase of Bluewolf and Wipro’s acquisition of Appirio as other examples of cloud solutions and SaaS consulting shakeout.

“Having seen that [consolidation] and also having seen the significant growth rate coming from the public cloud space, from the vendors we are very close to, we believe there is an even bigger opportunity than in the past,” Gil said.

Gil’s latest cloud consulting venture differs in some ways from the Cloud Sherpas experience. While that company focused on the SaaS layer, AllCloud focuses on IaaS and PaaS, in addition to SaaS, he noted.

“The big opportunity … is providing clients a more holistic solutions approach,” Gil said.

Other news

  • HYCU bolstered its partner program for selling its Data Protection for Nutanix The program now features a simplified deal registration program, co-branded marketing tools and campaign support, and a new partner portal, the vendor said.
  • FileCloud, an enterprise file sync-and-share (EFSS) vendor, unveiled a channel program for managed services providers and resellers. The program provides support, such as special partner pricing, for offering the vendor’s EFSS product, FileCloud Online.
  • Oblong Industries, a collaboration technology vendor, inked a distribution deal with ScanSource. Under the agreement, ScanSource will distribute Oblong’s immersive collaboration platform, Mezzanine, bundled with LG Electronics’ commercial displays and Cisco Webex Room Kit Series.
  • JetStream Software said its cloud migration tool, JetStream Migrate, is now generally available. Jetstream Migrate is designed for cloud and managed services providers that target large enterprises, the company said.
  • OneLogin, an identity and access management vendor, named Matt Hurley as its vice president of global channels, strategic alliances and professional services. Hurley joins OneLogin from Juniper Networks, where he held numerous channel-related roles.