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Dec 30, 2015

News roundup: 2016 technology predictions

Ansley Kilgore

2016 technology predictionsWhat are the top technology trends for 2016? From new gadgets to industry disruptions, here are a few predictions to keep in mind when planning for next year.

The Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2016

Science fiction could become science fact this year when you take virtual-reality vacations and your dishwasher reorders its own soap. Two themes have emerged as we look ahead. One is liberation: We’re increasingly less shackled, be it to a phone charger or a cable subscription. The other is intelligence: As processing power and bandwidth increase, our machines, services and even messaging apps become more capable. Get ready for advancements in virtual reality, messaging apps, safer drones and new USB ports poised to untangle your cord management issues. Learn more about what’s coming, and what you can do to be ready for it. Read entire article here.

Forrester’s top 10 predictions for business in 2016 — and what they mean for tech

In 2016, the companies that thrive will be those advancing down the customer obsession path.
According to Forrester, those that downplay their customers’ needs will start to wither away. Technology will play a critical role in helping – and in some cases, leading – your organization in adapting and thriving in the age of the customer. Here are the top trends Forrester sees shaping your business in 2016, and what you can do to advance them. Read entire article here.

Tech predictions 2016: 4 business trends to watch

The relentless innovation machine never stops turning in the tech industry, and ZDNet editors are here to help filter out the noise so you can focus on four important themes for 2016. How will AI affect the employment landscape? What does the future hold for Apple? Will the next storage giant be Chinese? And can virtual reality be adapted for broader uses outside of entertainment? As you think about your tech strategy, here are four themes to watch, as compiled by ZDNet editors Larry Dignan, Steve Ranger, Chris Duckett, and Jason Hiner. Read entire article here.

IDG Enterprise editors predict IT trends for 2016

In this video, watch top editors from the IDG enterprise brands (Computerworld, Network World,, CSO) discuss predictions around cloud computing, security, the Internet of Things, wireless, big data/analytics and mobile devices. 2016 will see an increase in hybrid cloud deployments for enterprise IT, and CIOs will need to take the lead on innovation to avoid being marginalized. Read entire article here.

Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2016

Gartner’s 2016 technology predictions focus on strategic technologies with the potential for significant business impact. This can include disruption to end users, IT, or the risk of being late to adopt. Gartner refers to the merging of the physical and virtual worlds as the “digital mesh,” and while organizations are focusing on digital business today, algorithmic business is emerging. A new IT reality must also emerge to support the new architecture and platform trends required for digital and algorithmic business. Read entire article here.

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Ansley Kilgore

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Dec 18, 2015

Customer spotlight: Yext delivers global location management

Ansley Kilgore

yext_logo_glassIf you’ve ever searched on a map for a business location or searched for store hours, you know how irritating it can be when the directions lead you to the wrong destination or you find that the business has already closed even though the store hours said “open.” This is a huge problem in today’s hyper-connected world, with mobile search surpassing desktop search for the first time in 2015. And while ecommerce has grown exponentially, brick-and-mortar still dominates the market with over 90% of retail sales occurring in-store. As more and more consumers are searching on mobile devices for information about their local environment, Yext’s mission is to help businesses ensure location information is always accurate, rich, and engaging in order to reach these local consumers and drive more foot traffic through the front door.

As a comprehensive data management platform, Yext enables its customers to update and manage global location information about their physical store locations in real time from one centralized interface. More than 500,000 businesses worldwide, ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to small mom-and-pop shops, rely on Yext services to control their listings across more than 100 map, app, search engine, directory, and social media partners, including Apple, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo. As a result, consumers get reliable and rich information about local businesses, such as store hours, photos, special deals, product lists and more, helping them find exactly what they’re looking for and make easier purchasing decisions.

Reliability and uptime

To meet the needs of its customers, Yext’s digital location management services must be highly available and always on. Yext uses colocation and Performance IPTM service from Internap as the foundation of its infrastructure to ensure reliability and uptime.

Based in New York, Yext maintains its environment in Internap’s Secaucus, NJ, data center with a disaster recovery site in Dallas. Yext is able to synchronize data between the two environments using Internap’s unique data center interconnection service.

Yext runs its core customer-facing platform from the Internap environment, including the portal dashboard where businesses manage their locations. When a business changes the location information from the dashboard, the Yext service then pushes the changes out to the publishers in real time.

Internap’s Secaucus, NJ facility is designed to be concurrently maintainable, which means any component of the system can be shut down for maintenance or upgrades without affecting uptime. This minimizes risk of service disruptions and provides a reliable infrastructure to ensure dependable service for Yext’s customers.

High-density colocation

Yext is building out its environment with the highest density blade servers available. This allows the company to gain value by achieving higher performance levels in a smaller footprint without buying more network gear.

The high power density offered in the Secaucus data center allows Yext to get the best performance in a small space for maximum cost efficiency. With access to additional circuits, Yext can grow in place without having to expand its footprint when it needs more power.

Security standards

As Yext enters into relationships with new publishers to expand its service reach, Internap’s SOC 2 type 2 data centers are particularly important. SOC 2 type 2 reports provide information about operational controls and include auditor insight into how well those controls work. Sharing these reports gives prospective publishers transparency into the capabilities of Internap data centers and is often a critical part of negotiations.

With a reliable infrastructure in place, Yext can focus on innovative new solutions including its latest product, Xone, which leverages Bluetooth beacon technology to help businesses engage their mobile audience in unprecedented new ways, both in-store and post-visit.

As a result of using Internap’s reliable colocation and Performance IP service, Yext can provide an always-on solution for businesses around the world. Yext’s data management platform ensures its customers always have complete control of their digital information and can update at scale and in real time. As a result, local searching consumers always find consistent, accurate and engaging information that helps drive them to the doorstep of their favorite businesses.

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Dec 15, 2015

IST Research: The human side of big data

Ansley Kilgore

IST ResearchBig data is used for many purposes, usually to streamline business operations or increase competitive advantage. But it can also help make the world a better place. To this end, IST Research is using big data to combat illicit behaviors and improve humanitarian response efforts around the world.

Typically, data is generated by people who use technologies such as mobile apps, online ads, social media and the Internet generally. But not all parts of the world have access to smartphones or reliable Internet connectivity. IST Research specializes in finding ways to generate and collect data in challenging environments with populations that are outside the reach of these technologies, ensuring that the voice of marginalized people is reflected in the ‘big data’ that is used to inform resource allocation and policy making.

Human trafficking and big data

As one of its many initiatives, IST Research creates innovative technologies to fight human trafficking.

Search engines can only index a small percentage of sites on the surface web, while much of the deep web – such as dynamically generated or temporary sites – remains unsearchable. Even more inaccessible is the dark web, where anonymous sites with untraceable IP addresses are sometimes used for criminal activity. Specialized browsers allow access to these ‘dark web’ sites that can’t be indexed by typical commercial search engines.

IST Research collects and stores data from all parts of the web, including the surface web, deep web and the dark web, and provides data and analytics to anti-trafficking actors – including law enforcement, public prosecutors, and NGOs – to help them investigate and prosecute these hidden crimes more efficiently and effectively.

Data collection and analysis

IST Research uses multiple approaches to collect data and then aggregates it to get a broader view of activity within a geographic region. (See “Combining Actively and Passively Collected Data to Create Meaningful Results” to learn more.)

After collection, IST Research uses Internap infrastructure for data storage and processing. For efficient analysis, the company requires a highly configurable infrastructure with high IOPS and network performance for fast data transfer.

Bare metal

The company uses Internap’s bare-metal AgileSERVER based in the Secaucus, NJ data center. Bare metal was the clear choice for IST Research to achieve high performance in a cost-effective manner. The performance benefits of bare metal allow the company to provide more relevant and accurate intelligence in near real-time to aid counter-trafficking programs.

Prior to Internap, IST Research used Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their infrastructure needs, but after evaluating multiple vendors including AWS and Rackspace, none could match the same level of performance as Internap.


IST Research requires rapid data transfer throughout its infrastructure to conduct efficient analysis. Internap’s bare-metal AgileSERVER and Managed Internet Route OptimizerTM (MIRO) technology allows IST Research to meet its IOPS requirements and ultimately reduce data transfer time by more than 30%.

Configuration management tools & support

Unlike larger commodity cloud solutions, Internap allows IST Research to change configurations within hours. Dedicated account and support teams work in conjunction with the IST Research team to ensure optimal infrastructure configurations at all times.

“The Edge”

The Edge is the term IST Research uses to refer to places without reliable Internet connectivity, power or other support resources. Those who live and work at the edge have traditionally been outside the reach of big data, but sometimes these are the places that need the most help. By creating new ways to engage with populations that live at the Edge, IST Research may indeed change the world through technology.

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Ansley Kilgore

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Dec 9, 2015

The latest in colocation services: Top 5 trends for 2016


Data centers and colocation providers are challenged with meeting the demands of the digital age. Rapid growth, increased storage needs and high-performance hardware are driving advancements in data center technologies to keep up with the changing colocation landscape. Understanding the latest in colocation services and the trends on the horizon can help determine the best provider for your organization.

Below are five trends of data center colocation services that organizations need to consider when planning infrastructure for 2016.

1. Specialization

Certain industries have unique infrastructure requirements, and specialized data centers are purpose-built to accommodate the needs of specific verticals.
In the video below, Michael Frank, Internap’s VP, Data Center Services, discusses the drivers behind data center specialization.


2. Hybrid infrastructure

Hybridization allows you to host applications or workloads using different types of environments, such as colocation, managed hosting or cloud.

A hybrid infrastructure provides multiple options to accommodate your applications, allowing you to create the optimal environment for your workloads.

Data centers with hybrid capabilities are beneficial to your business throughout your application’s lifecycle because as the needs of your application change, you can seamlessly shift workloads from one environment to the next without the risk of data loss, increased latency or downtime. Ultimately, a hybrid approach allows you to create the best-fit environment for your applications.

3. Future-proof colocation services

A middle ground is beginning to form between retail colocation and wholesale colocation. Traditionally, these colocation services were divided, but now, there is an increased need for colocation providers to accommodate both markets.


A flexible colo facility can provide multiple options, allowing customers to grow from a small, single-retail colocation cabinet to a multi-thousand square foot wholesale space.


4. Security & compliance

Protecting personal information will become increasingly important, which is why more and more regulations and security measures are being mandated to data center colocation providers.

While data centers already have standard security measures, certain verticals must adhere to specific federally issued compliance rules. For companies that process cardholder information, new PCI DSS v3.1 standards were recently issued to ensure increased safety of customer data. In order to protect personal information, expect more strict security and compliance regulations for data centers.

5. High power density

As the power demands increase within a colocation footprint, many organizations are forced to relocate or invest in additional space to access additional power. High power density data centers are designed to provide access to more circuits, allowing companies to add equipment within an existing footprint and scale up in a cost-efficient manner.

Learn more: Powerful trends: Scalable density is on the rise

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Dec 4, 2015

Future of cloud: 5 predictions for 2016


future of cloudIn the coming year, cloud adoption trends will be driven by the need for increased performance and speed. Here are a few predictions for the future of cloud that we think will materialize in 2016.

1. Hybrid cloud adoption

One of the main cloud trends for 2016 will be the accelerated shift to hybrid cloud. Enterprises want the ability to deploy workloads in their own private environments as well as in service provider environments to achieve the best possible cost efficiency and performance.

Until recently, cloud platforms haven’t delivered the feature parity and technical maturity required by enterprises to make the hybrid cloud dream a reality. But recent advancements are changing this, namely:

The maturing of OpenStack and feature parityOpenStack has matured and is becoming the cloud platform of choice, making hybrid cloud more accessible to enterprises. While older versions of OpenStack couldn’t match the features and functionalities of other cloud platforms, it now enables on-demand provisioning of bare-metal and virtual instances from the same management interface. The improved feature parity and hybrid capabilities of OpenStack have given enterprise IT the flexibility and control they need to successfully deploy and manage cloud infrastructure. The increased demand for hybrid cloud is one of the main drivers of OpenStack’s continued success.

Technology maturity of cloud – The cloud itself has evolved to become more fluid, stable and interoperable. Today, the interface between the applications and the cloud enables easier migration and movement. Previously, moving workloads was difficult or impossible because many clouds employed proprietary technologies, which caused vendor lock-in. More standardized cloud technologies allow enterprises to move workloads more easily between public and private cloud and even other environments such as those in a data center or third party.

Learn more: The road to hybrid cloud

2. The application lifecycle moves to the cloud

As enterprises recognize the need for faster, more agile development, the entire application lifecycle will move to the cloud. The days of a monolithic architecture with a large development team dedicated to the entire application are over. Instead, organizations are recognizing the agility offered by easily configurable infrastructure platforms, where everything from dev to QA to launch takes place in the cloud.

Using this approach, some companies with cloud-native apps are adding hundreds of new features and functionality every day. The increased speed and agility offered by a configurable infrastructure platform applies to legacy applications as well; shortening the lifecycle by two-thirds or more than 60% can have a significant business impact.

The underlying infrastructure must also evolve to support this new approach. Developers need the ability to provision infrastructure on demand in a more fluid and cloud-like way. The days of complex approval and procurement processes will be replaced with an API-driven approach.

3. Cloud performance matters

Driven largely by the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud performance will become more critical in the coming year. As IoT gains momentum, it will require high-performance cloud infrastructure to enable efficient data processing and decision making in real time. Without a doubt, IoT technologies will be disruptive across a variety of industries, and businesses large and small will need to have a plan in place to handle this disruption to their ecosystem. IoT will require a highly responsive, scalable infrastructure to successfully derive value from such massive amounts of data. Cloud will become central to IoT infrastructure to enable instant calculations and analysis that will influence supply chain decisions.

4. Big data evolves

Enterprises will continue to embrace the value of big data and use it to drive innovation in their business. Instead of deciphering which big data tools will best fit the needs of the business, enterprises will look to service providers to handle the complexities of the underlying big data tools and infrastructure. Big data-as-a-service (BDaaS) will shift the burden off the enterprise and onto the service provider to create the infrastructure to best support it. Not only will this approach reduce complexity for the enterprise, it will offer better performance and allow enterprises to focus on developing powerful, reliable big data insights.

5. DevOps meets the enterprise

Enterprises are beginning to understand the value of software at the speed of DevOps. In recent years, software-based services have disrupted long-standing industries by creating applications that are easily adopted and consumed by users. The way Uber has transformed the transportation industry is a prime example.

At its core, DevOps relies on agile processes and a fast development lifecycle. Ideally, there is very little lag time between writing the code and making the functionality available on a web page or app, which results in a near-continuous deployment process. Traditional software development processes can’t match this level of speed and time to market.

Enterprises will undergo a philosophical and organizational change as they begin to adopt DevOps-style processes and become more agile. This shift will also drive the need for frictionless processes and increased infrastructure agility. Without access to server provisioning on demand and other cloud automation tools, the dream of implementing DevOps-style processes will not become a reality. Ultimately, the ability of enterprises to compete with disruptive software-based services depends on a foundation of flexible, agile infrastructure.

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