Emerging Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

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By Liz Young, Marketing Coordinator

I recently hit up one of our visionaries here at Evolving Solutions, our CTO, Michael Downs, to get his take on the technological trends we can expect to see in the coming year.  Michael evaluates emerging and disruptive technologies.  He brings together the real-world experience our team possesses to help our clients implement solutions that are agile, offering as much longevity as technology allows.

He offered some really great insight on some pretty cool emerging technologies and I had to share three of them because I think they are something to look forward to.


IT Automation is the trend that keeps coming back. We’ve been talking about IT automation for decades, but it has taken on increasing relevance with most infrastructure now able to be treated as code for deployment and changes. This has allowed developers to integrate the development automation they already created with deployment automation for infrastructure.

The rise of both containers and “server-less” application development models have made automation required. Managing a container that might only run for less than 30 seconds before it’s deleted simply can’t be managed with more traditional manual processes.


After several years of crypto currency hype and over-promise for solving every enterprise problem, some practical and realistic implementations are starting to emerge.

In spite of the reputation for Blockchain supporting interactions between completely untrusting, anonymous parties, the “permissioned Blockchain” model, where the participants are known is showing significant promise for enterprise use cases.

Deriving value from enterprise Blockchain implementations usually necessitates a consortium. We recommend you identify others in your industry or value chain who would also benefit from a shared ledger and work with them on use cases.

Quantum Computing

Undoubtedly the most futuristic and uncertain area of emerging technology. Tremendous energy and time is being spent on Quantum Computing research by companies with the resources, capabilities and interests to achieve breakthroughs. IBM (https://quantumexperience.ng.bluemix.net/qx/experience)  and Google (https://ai.google/research/teams/applied-science/quantum-ai/) both have significant efforts and are  enlisting developers to experiment with algorithms and programming models through their respective portals and cloud based offerings.

In addition to the technical challenges related to making a commercially viable Quantum Computer, use cases that truly take advantage of the unique computational paradigm of Quantum Computing are still being developed. Physical Chemistry, cryptography and certain artificial intelligence use cases seem the most promising, but until more people outside of research laboratories begin to understand the true nature of Quantum Computing, it’s potential will remain limited.

Automation, Blockchain and Quantum Computing are just a few of the technologies that should make 2019 interesting.   I know Evolving Solutions will be watching these technologies for their potential in helping our clients solve their organizational challenges so stay tuned to our blog and social media for more!

Liz Young - Evolving Solutions

Liz is the Marketing Coordinator and is responsible for the digital/social strategy, content creation and campaign execution for Evolving Solutions. She handles all online platforms including the Evolving Solutions website, blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Liz works with the incredibly talented sales, consultant, and architect teams to ensure we offer the best support to our clients. From creating collateral, to planning world-class events, Liz works to ensure our best foot is always forward.

With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Liz is also pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Minnesota.

Like what you read? Follow Liz on LinkedIn.

Michael joined Evolving Solutions in 2014 to develop solutions for our clients across hardware and software, both on and off premise. He brings over 18 years of creating architectures to solve complex business problems including big data, high performance computing, integration, automation and end user computing.

His broad technology, business and industry experience provides valuable perspective to our clients working to implement innovative technologies to support their success.

Like what you read? Follow Michael on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mldowns/

IBM z14 Pervasive Encryption Strength vs Prior Platforms

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Evolving Solutions Perspective – IBM z14 pervasive encryption strength versus the IBM z13 server platform and prior platforms.

Pervasive Encryption is an approach where the enterprise implements encryption for their Application Data (Sequential Datasets, VSAM), their Database Data (DB2, IMS/DB) and all network traffic entering or exiting their Large Systems server. As a reminder, clients consider this capability given the ever increasing threat of a platform breach followed by compliance centered primarily on the EU GDPR and penalty avoidance planned to go live January of 2018.

Dataset level encryption is made possible by updating the DFSMSdfp component of the operating system with service that allows extended format data sets to be tagged for encryption at the time they are created. Once “tagged”, the access method leverages the cryptographic primitives to both encrypt and decrypt the data set. Clearly, a bulk unload-reload of the file is required for existing data sets.

A high level summary of required support is found in the table below:

IBM z14 Pervasive Encryption Comparison












To create an encrypted data set, you assign a key label to the data set when it is created. A key label can be specified through the use of data set profiles, JCL, or the SMS data class ACS routine. This key label points to an AES-256 bit encryption key within the Integrated Cryptographic Service Facility (ICSF) key store known as the Cryptographic Key Data Set (CKDS). The keys that reside within the CKDS are enciphered with a symmetric AES master key that resides within a hardware protected boundary found within the CryptoExpress-5S or 6S, an optional but highly desirable feature. Especially when considering the EU GDPR 4% penalty and the value this secure key store offers your enterprise.

Reading between the lines, it is clear that ICSF will take a very active role on protecting your most important assets.  ICSF provides API access to the cryptographic primitives that will provide high performance hashing, SSL handshake offload and encryption/decryption support. Prior to this Pervasive Encryption capability, clients were required to code to these API’s in support of data set encryption. That is no longer necessary.

Clients have the option to implement data set level encryption by policy. IBM’s Resource Access Control Facility (RACF®) is used to define that policy; data set profiles are used. RACF controls data set access by identifying and verifying authorized users and by preventing unauthorized users from accessing data. This is accomplished using these profiles.

When you study the above table and focus on the minimum hardware platform, you might ask, “Why would I ever consider investing in IBM’s latest server technology?”  After all, IBM clearly states that pervasive encryption will run on older server technology, the z196 platform and it’s follow-on, the z13 class server. There is a very good reason to consider investing in the IBM z14 platform, consider the following.

One of the unique capabilities of IBM’s Large System platform is its ability to measure usage. Armed with this usage information, it is possible to estimate the additional processing power required to encrypt all of your data, estimate the incremental software cost, and then develop a corresponding Return on Security Investment (RoSI) model given the significantly improved risk posture you will deliver to the data that resides on the Large Systems platform. Evolving Solutions performs that service at no charge for clients interested in understanding the cost of full site encryption to improve their breach risk posture for their Large Systems platform. One such study for a client revealed the following:

IBM z14 Pervasive Encryption Graph














Graph Purpose
The above graph represents an estimation of the additional MSUs required to implement data set encryption on 75% of the I/Os from this CPC.

Note how much lower the green MSU burn rate is.

  • This rate represents the incremental MSUs required to support encrypt/decrypt for that same workload running on an IBM z14 Server during that same peak period.
  • Versus, its z13 counterpart; granted a very capable alternative with a strong cryptographic primitive stack – just not as efficient as its follow-on.

Clearly, Pervasive Encryption significantly reduces the time and effort required to demonstrate GDPR compliance. Pervasive Encryption significantly reduces the compliance scope as so much data is now Off the Compliance Table – it is covered. Real-time self-service audit verification is now possible given extensions to the IBM zSecure offering. In addition, a QRadar APP is available that takes the zSecure Audit results and exposes them on a dashboard.

From an Evolving Solutions perspective, as you consider the costs – benefits on implementing Pervasive Encryption, strongly consider investing in server technology that will both improve your risk posture and provide a positive return on security investment. The IBM z14 platform makes for a smart investment. If you are interested in a complimentary study for your organization, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn or send me an email at jim.f@evolvingsol.com.

Learn more about Evolving Solutions enterprise server solutions.

Evolving Solutions next article will center on Machine Learning on the IBM z14 platform.

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New Server Solution Provides Better Data Security

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As data grows, today’s enterprise-class server solutions must work faster and provide new levels of data security and protection in the data center.  Data breaches impact not only the company’s bottom line but erode consumer trust.  Did you know that of the 9 billion records stolen since 2013 only 4% were encrypted (IBM)?  Also, a new IBM report found that the number of records compromised grew by 566% in 2016 from 600 million to more than 4 billion.  The risk of a breach is now at the doorstep of every data center.

Most server solutions allow for only selective data encryption

80% of data on personal mobile phones is encrypted but the rate of data encryption in most enterprise data centers is much less and sometimes even zero. Traditional enterprise-class server solutions have not been able to encrypt data at high levels.  Typically, encryption has taken a lot of compute power which slows applications leading to a less than ideal user experience.  Because encryption is expensive and eats up compute power, most companies have practiced only selective encryption, leaving part of their data centers vulnerable.

What if your company could practice pervasive data encryption?

IT leaders from high transaction volume industries such as banking, retail and healthcare have been looking for a solution to encrypt everything to improve data security and protection.  IBM’s z14 server solution is the answer.  As IBM calls it “pervasive encryption” is now an option. Its z14 server solution provides the ability to encrypt everything while not hurting compute power or breaking the bank.  The system’s advanced cryptographic capability extends across any data, networks, external devices or entire applications, and IBM z14 allows data security personnel to centrally manage millions of encryption keys – more keys equals safer data.  In fact, IBM z14 server solutions encrypt at a rate of 18x faster than the x86.

An enterprise-class server solution that delivers more data security and protection is now here.  Contact us to learn more about the new IBM z14 and how it can better protect your data center.