Fears that computer hackers could compromise industrial as well as military and commercial systems have been confrmed.
A report by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said that a large German steel mill was shut down after hackers stole logins allowing them to compromise the industrial infrastructure.
The BSI did not name the company but said the hackers were sophisticated technically and hacked into software that administered the plant.
They forced the plant to shut down and also compromised a blast furnace.
The news underlines concerns of the extent to which key parts of a country’s infrastructure is open to compromise by hackers.
Over the weekend, hackers compromised some South Korean nuclear installations and published diagrams showing the layout of some installations. The hackers have threatened to damage the nuclear installations themselves if the reactors are not shut down before December 25th.
It’s not known if control systems are vulnerable to such attacks.
Compared with the rest of the IT market, the worldwide integrated infrastructure market grew by a healthy 28.1 percent during the third quarter of this year.
That’s according to IDC, which said reveues increased to $2.3 billion, generating over 898 petabytes of storage capacity shipments, up by 46.6 percent compared to Q3 2013.
IDC research director Jed Scaramella said that over the past year IT vendors invested heavily in product portfolio and that’s resulted in more adopting in customers’ IT.
IDC defines integrated platforms as those sold with pre-integrated packaged software and customised system engineering for software development, databases, testing and integration tools. Integrated infrastructure are for general purpose workloads.
In the first category, Oracle was the leader in the pack, followed by IBM, and HP. Oracle showed revenue growth of 7.1 percent, IBM’s revenue growth fell by 18 percent, while HP showed a massive revenue growth of 285 percent.
In the second category, VCE saw a 45.7 percent growth in the quarter, Cico/Netapp showed a 32.2 percent growth while HP surprised with a 273.3 percent revenue growth in the third quarter of 2014.
Sales of worldwide integrated infrastructure and platforms rose by a third in the second quarter of this year with a net worth of $2.4 billion, compared to the same quarter a year back.
IDC defines integrated infrastructure and platforms as pre-integrated certified systems containin server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment and systems management software.
IDC said over 833 petabytes of storage capacity shipped, up 63.4 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013. All in all, the first half of 2014 showed the market grew by 35.9 percent compared to the first half of 2013 and was worth $4.3 billion.
IDC believes that integrated systems are considered critical by business. Jed Scaramella, research director of enterprise servers at IDC said enterprise customers were “bullish” in adopting integrated systems and many more consider these when making IT procurement choices.
The top vendors in integrated platforms, were Oracle, IBM, HP, Hitachi and the usual “others”. But an examination of the revenue growth delivered by these companies showed that HP managed to grow revenues by 92.1 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013, while IBM was in stasis and Oracle grew by 18.3 percent.
In the field of worldwide integrated infrastructure, the top three spots were occupied by VCE, Cicsco/Netapp and EMC.
Another survey on the growth of big data technology and services underlines the growth in this sector of the IT market.
Market research company IDC predicts that the western Eurpean big data market will grow between now and 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 24.6 percent.
IDC said that western European organisations are catching up with the USA rapidly because of a combination of smaller datasets, challenging economies and privacy concerns.
The market sector is segmented into infrastructure, such as servers, storage and networking; software; and services. Storage was worth $536 million in 2013, while the server market is worth $314 million. But the largest segment is software, worth an estimated $698 million last year, followed by services which was worth $593 million.
IDC said the UK, Benelux and the Nordic countries are showing higher initial adoption, but Germany and France are fast catching up.
But Alys Woodward, research director at IDC, warned that getting value from investments in big data is far from guaranteed. Vendors need to clearly demonstrate to their customers how their organisations can benefit from adoption.
Revenues for Big Data technology and services will be worth $41.5 billion by 2018 and is growing now at a 26.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
That’s an estimate by market research company IDC. Ashish Nadkarni, research director at the company, said the hype was simmering down. “This is a sign that the technologies are maturing and making their way into the fabric of how organisations operate and firms conduct their business,” he said.
This year, infrastructure has a large share of the entire market, with a 48.2 percent slice of the Big Data pie.
While America leads the way in Big Data investment, it isn’t going to stay that way. EMEA and Asia Pacific have nearly 45 percent market share in infrastructure, software, and services.
IDC predicts there will be a mergers and acquisitions boom in the sphere.
UK IT infrastructure services company Phoenix has been picked by HP as a converged infrastructure partner in the UK.
HP converged systems is the company’s line of system based products that combine components like servers, storage, networking, software and services for specific workloads, Phoenix says.
Phoenix is now a preferred supplier, and will be providing services such as helping customers build their cloud networks.
Vendor director at Phoenix, Stuart Dickinson, said IT infrastructure is often complex, and can slow company progress because of costs and limitations, but converged infrastructure services lets businesses tackle it more easily.
Phoenix also nabbed other accreditations, including Advanced Storage Specialist, Professional Networking, PC Specialist, and Advanced Computing Specialist, in addition to being a break fix partner of HP’s, offering consultancy, implementation and support.
Although the economic landscape out there is not exactly encouraging, a Cisco report has found that, while CIOs are coming to terms with reducing IT complexity and managing investments while making cuts, overall they are optimistic about tackling typical challenges.
Because of the economic difficulties, companies are trying to find a way to bolster infrastructure and networks using IT. Cisco UK&Ireland’s CTO, Ian FOddering, said in a statement that for 2013, we can expect to see “IT get back to basics”.
In its TechWatch 2013 report, Cisco believes that cost cutting is a clear aim across the board, but so is creating a useful environment where IT can support or drive innovations within business.
“Three key pillars emerge,” Foddering said. These are “Simplify,” “Protect,” and “Change & Grow,” although on our count that’s four. Getting the first two right, Foddering said, is necessary for the rest.
Cisco found that network performance and increased security threats are the major challenges businesses believe they face over the next year. Major priorities are cutting costs, improving security, and keeping the lights on or improving the IT infrastructure. Of the companies Cisco reached out to, over two thirds believe that operations will be based on the most efficient use of skillsets and resources, no matter where they’re located, and for one in seven this trend is already happening.
This too signals a trend in buying, with most companies already having deployed collaborative software and network performance management. Enterprises and SMEs are still putting cash into remote access technology first and foremost.
“Simplifying and protecting an organisation’s infrastructure can only take you so far,” Foddering said. “In order for businesses to prepare themselves for the future, they must be willing to embrace change and use it to drive, rather than inhibit, growth”.