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Best of TechBeacon 2018: Enterprises rethink their IT operations

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Jaikumar Vijayan, Freelance writer

The growing adoption of cloud computing, container-based applications, DevOps, SaaS, and other application deployment and delivery models has completely transformed traditional IT operations and service management. Operations teams are under increasing pressure to adapt, to adopt, and to evolve in different ways.

TechBeacon's top 12 enterprise IT stories for 2018 focus on the biggest trends in this space, their implications for operations teams, and the strategies and best practices for staying on top of them. These articles cover the best open-source tools for Docker security, the best practices for container deployments, the importance of rethinking ITSM service design, data management in hybrid clouds, and other key topics.

How to Achieve Consistent Data Security Across Hybrid IT

Best practices and anti-patterns for containerized deployments

Kubernetes provides many of the features that enterprises need to deploy and run cloud-native applications. A growing number of organizations are using Kubernetes to develop brand-new cloud-native applications or to modernize their legacy apps for cloud infrastructures. However, to get it right, you need to follow a process for architecting, designing, developing, packaging, delivering, and managing cloud-native apps, says Platform9 chief strategist Vamsi Chemitiganti. Here the former CTO at RiskCounts and chief architect at Red Hat outlines best practices for containerized app deployments.

10+ top open-source tools for Docker security

A broad array of open-source tools is available for container security. The tools enable a range of capabilities, most importantly auditing and tracking CVE databases for disclosed vulnerabilities and then scanning container images to ensure that the vulnerabilities are not present in them. The choice in tools can make it hard for organizations to figure out which ones to add to their arsenal. Bill Doerrfeld, consultant at Doerrfeld.io and editor in chief at Nordic APIs, lists 10 of the top tools for securing your Docker environment.

[ Report: The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Service Management 2018 ]

How to rethink your ITSM service design process

The way you approach service design can have a big impact on how smoothly your IT service management (ITSM) organization operates. For your service to shine, it's important to take a people-oriented approach to service delivery rather than just focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs). Service management expert and TOPdesk USA president Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord explains the importance of rethinking ITSM service design and how to get it right.

5 ways site reliability engineering transforms IT Ops

The speed of modern cloud-native software delivery has exposed limitations in traditional approaches to IT operations. That's the reason site reliability engineering (SRE), a method that Google pioneered in response to the radically different IT operations demands of the cloud, is gaining traction in a lot of enterprises. Matthew Skelton, head of consulting at Conflux, draws on his recent experience rearchitecting IT operations at three organizations to explain the impact of SRE and how to take advantage of it without getting overwhelmed by the changes.

The 8 IT service management metrics that matter most

IT service managers have a lot of information at their fingertips, yet most are often hard-pressed to answer how their support organization is performing. While many IT service managers measure KPI, few are aware how to use them to track and trend performance, identify and mitigate problems, and demonstrate the ROI of the support function. MetricNet LLC co-founder and managing partner Jeff Rumburg, a recognized industry leader in technical support and service management, highlights eight of the most important IS service and support metrics.

Blockchain for data security: A resource guide for IT Ops teams

Blockchain is a lot more than just being the technology underlying bitcoin. Its potential to store any information securely in the cloud or on premises makes it suitable for a variety of purposes, from protecting insurance claims, records, titles, and other data to implementing secure access control measures. Matthew Heusser, managing consultant at Excelon Development and former board member of the Association for Software Testing, presents a list of resources for cutting through the hype around the technology and getting the lowdown on what blockchain is really all about.

A hacker's guide to Kubernetes security

Kubernetes has quickly emerged as the go-to standard for orchestrating and scaling container-based workloads. But the growing popularity of the technology has also attracted increasing attention from cyber attackers. The trend has highlighted the need for organizations to know how best to secure their Kubernetes deployments. Rory McCune, managing consultant of NCC Group PLC and a container security expert, explains how to think like a hacker when it comes to protecting your systems.

How to take on data management in hybrid clouds

Data federation is just one of several challenges organizations have to deal with when managing databases in hybrid cloud environments. As more enterprise workloads move to hybrid environments, most of the practices pertaining to on-premises databases are becoming obsolete, says Deloitte Consulting's chief cloud strategy officer David Linthicum. Here Linthicum, previously cloud computing thought leader and CTO at five different companies, highlights the data management challenge in hybrid cloud environments and best practices for overcoming them.

Essential guide to AIOps: Top tools and implementation tips

Artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) platforms promise to dramatically transform and enhance several core IT operations processes. Analyst firms such as Gartner expect a growing number of organizations to deploy AIOps in the next few years. But the range of available choices can easily overwhelm organizations and complicate the tool selection and implementation process. Veteran technology journalist Christopher Null speaks to technology experts from Splunk, Micro Focus, and other companies to present this guide to the top AIOps tools and best practices for implementing them.

4 ways to marry ITSM and DevOps

Organizations that are ditching ITSM practices altogether when implementing newer practices such as DevOps are making a mistake. While ITSM can be old school and covered in red tape and bureaucracy, getting rid of it altogether can hinder a service organization's ability to scale people and processes. So it is better to try to resolve clogs in the system rather than ditch it. Award-winning freelance reporter Ericka Chickowski offers four ways to successfully marry ITSM and DevOps based on conversations with experts at the ITSM Academy, Mantra Labs, Pink Elephant, and CloudBees.

7 tools that ease serverless adoption

Serverless computing is transformational in more ways than one. While it promises effortless scalability and dramatic cost reductions, it also means rethinking pretty much everything you have done in the traditional server-based computing stack and software delivery model, says Rafal Gancarz, an IT consultant at Starbucks. Here Gancarz, an expert at architecting and delivering highly scalable distributed systems, explains how choosing the right tools can ease some of the hassles involved in moving to and adopting a serverless model.

​​7 arguments against NoOps

Traditional IT operations groups are under tremendous strain from business groups that ignore them and sign up directly for SaaS services, and from DevOps teams that deploy directly to the public cloud. There is a growing interest among many in No Operations (NoOps), the notion that there is no need for a separate IT operations team anymore because core IT operations processes can be automated. Micro Focus strategist Travis Greene, a certified ITIL expert and former naval officer, offers up seven reasons why NoOps is a lousy idea.

[ Webinar: IT Infrastructure in the Containers Era ]