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ESG Report: Verifying Network Intent with Forward Enterprise
This ESG Technical Review documents hands-on validation of Forward Enterprise, a solution developed by Forward Networks to help organizations save time and resources when verifying that their IT networks can deliver application traffic consistently in line with network and security policies. The review examines how Forward Enterprise can reduce network downtime, ensure compliance with policies, and minimize adverse impact of configuration changes on network behavior.
ESG research recently uncovered that 66% of organizations view their IT environments as more or significantly more complex than they were two years ago. The complexity will most likely increase, since 46% of organizations anticipate their network infrastructure spending to exceed that of 2018 as they upgrade and expand their networks.

Large enterprise and service provider networks consist of multiple device types—routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers—with proprietary operating systems (OS) and different configuration rules. As organizations support more applications and users, their networks will grow and become more complex, making it more difficult to verify and manage correctly implemented policies across the entire network. Organizations have also begun to integrate public cloud services with their on-premises networks, adding further network complexity to manage end-to-end policies.

With increasing network complexity, organizations cannot easily confirm that their networks are operating as intended when they implement network and security policies. Moreover, when considering a fix to a service-impact issue or a network update, determining how it may impact other applications negatively or introduce service-affecting issues becomes difficult. To assess adherence to policies or the impact of any network change, organizations have typically relied on disparate tools and material—network topology diagrams, device inventories, vendor-dependent management systems, command line (CLI) commands, and utilities such as “ping” and “traceroute.” The combination of these tools cannot provide a reliable and holistic assessment of network behavior efficiently.

Organizations need a vendor-agnostic solution that enables network operations to automate the verification of network implementations against intended policies and requirements, regardless of the number and types of devices, operating systems, traffic rules, and policies that exist. The solution must represent the topology of the entire network or subsets of devices (e.g., in a region) quickly and efficiently. It should verify network implementations from prior points in time, as well as proposed network changes prior to implementation. Finally, the solution must also enable organizations to quickly detect issues that affect application delivery or violate compliance requirements.
ESG - DataCore vFilO: Visibility and Control of Unstructured Data for the Modern, Digital Business
Organizations that want to succeed in the digital economy must contend with the cost and complexity introduced by the conventional segregation of multiple file system silos and separate object storage repositories. Fortunately, they can look to DataCore vFilO software for help. DataCore employs innovative techniques to combine diverse unstructured data resources to achieve unprecedented visibility, control, and flexibility.
DataCore’s new vFilO software shares important traits with its existing SANsymphony software-defined block storage platform. Both technologies are certainly enterprise class (highly agile, available, and performant). But each solution exhibits those traits in its own manner, taking the varying requirements for block, file, and object data into account. That’s important at a time when a lot of companies are maintaining hundreds to thousands of terabytes of unstructured data spread across many file servers, other NAS devices, and object storage repositories both onsite and in the cloud. The addition of vFilO to its product portfolio will allow DataCore to position itself in a different, even more compelling way now. DataCore is able to offer a “one-two punch”—namely, one of the best block storage SDS solutions in SANsymphony, and now one of the best next-generation SDS solutions for file and object data in vFilO. Together, vFilO and SANsymphony will put DataCore in a really strong position to support any IT organization looking for better ways to overcome end-users’ file-sharing/access difficulties, keep hardware costs low … and maximize the value of corporate data to achieve success in a digital age.
ESG Showcase - DataCore vFilO: NAS Consolidation Means Freedom from Data Silos
File and object data are valuable tools that help organizations gain market insights, improve operations, and fuel revenue growth. However, success in utilizing all of that data depends on consolidating data silos. Replacing an existing infrastructure is often expensive and impractical, but DataCore vFilO software offers an intelligent, powerful option—an alternative, economically appealing way to consolidate and abstract existing storage into a single, efficient, capable ecosystem of readily-se

Companies have NAS systems all over the place—hardware-centric devices that make data difficult to migrate and leverage to support the business. It’s natural that companies would desire to consolidate those systems, and vFilO is a technology that could prove to be quite useful as an assimilation tool. Best of all, there’s no need to replace everything. A business can modernize its IT environment and finally achieve a unified view, plus gain more control and efficiency via the new “data layer” sitting on top of the hardware. When those old silos finally disappear, employees will discover they can find whatever information they need by examining and searching what appears to be one big catalog for a large pool of resources.

And for IT, the capacity-balancing capability should have especially strong appeal. With it, file and object data can shuffle around and be balanced for efficiency without IT or anyone needing to deal with silos. Today, too many organizations still perform capacity balancing work manually—putting some files on a different NAS system because the first one started running out of room. It’s time for those days to end. DataCore, with its 20-year history offering SANsymphony, is a vendor in a great position to deliver this new type of solution, one that essentially virtualizes NAS and object systems and even includes keyword search capabilities to help companies use their data to become stronger, more competitive, and more profitable.

ESG Showcase - Time to Better Leverage Your File and Object Data
The need to handle unstructured data according to business relevance is becoming urgent. Modern datarelated demands have begun surpassing what traditional file and object storage architectures can achieve. Businesses today need an unstructured data storage environment that lets end-users easily and flexibly access the benefits of the file- and object-based information they need to do their jobs.
It’s time for a “Nirvana” between file and object: The marketplace has long been debating which of the two unstructured data type models is the “right one.” But data is data. If you remove the traditional constraints and challenges associated with those two particular technologies, it becomes possible to imagine a type of data service that supports both. That kind of solution would give an organization the benefits of a global multi-site namespace (i.e., object style), including the ability to address a piece of data regardless of where it is in a folder hierarchy, or what device it’s stored on. And it would offer the rich metadata that object storage is known for. This new kind of solution would also deliver the performance and ease of use that file systems are known for. DataCore says it is providing such a solution, called vFilO. To vFilO, data is just data, where metadata is decoupled but tightly aligned with the data, and data’s location is independent of data access needs or metadata location. It bridges both worlds by providing a system that has all the benefits of file and object—without any of the limitations. It is a next-generation system built on a different paradigm, promising to bridge the world of file and object. It just might be the answer IT departments need. No longer required to pick between two separate systems, IT organizations can find great value in a consolidated, global, unified storage system that can deliver on the business’s needs for unstructured data.
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