Articles by 'Ken Phelan'

Blog Author - Ken Phelan

Ken is one of Gotham’s founders and its Chief Technology Officer, responsible for all internal and external technology and consulting operations for the firm. A recognized authority on technology and operations, Ken has been widely quoted in the technical press, and is a frequent presenter at various technology conferences. Ken is the Chairman of the Wall Street Thin Client Advisory Council.

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Infrastructure

Subscription-based pricing is all the rage and I think there are some gaps regarding expectations all around. Let’s start with the math and we’ll end on philosophy. Traditionally, you might buy a piece of software for say, $100K. You would generally pay about 20% a year in maintenance, $20K. If you were amortizing this expense over five years this would be like a $40K a year budget impact ($20K amortization plus $20K maintenance). Easy enough, if the subscription price of this software is less... read more.

  • June 20, 2019

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Security

I’m fresh back from RSA this week, which means that in the last 10 days I’ve seen approximately one billion new cyber security applications. Many of them make claims regarding AI and its value to their platform. It’s my job to make some judgement about the reality of that claim. Here’s what’s going on in the back of my head when someone tells me about their great AI. First of all, when people talk about AI in this context, what they generally mean is machine learning. Machine... read more.

  • March 20, 2019

By Ken Phelan, Posted in AppDev, Infrastructure, Security, Storage, Virtualization

Recently back from AWS:ReInvent, I’m still processing all the data. AWS is Amazon’s Web Services. Amazon is currently hosting 3 times more cloud services than their closest competitor (Azure), making them the 800 pound gorilla of cloud computing. AWS:ReInvent is the trade event they recently held in Las Vegas. Writing a blog helps me process, so here’s my blog about the show. Thanks for helping me process. First of all, ReInvent is huge. Content was being delivered in three different hote... read more.

  • December 05, 2017

By Ken Phelan, Posted in

Come join the murderCome fly with blackWe’ll give you freedomFrom the human track “Come Join the Murder”, The Forest Rangers & The White Buffalo My youngest daughter is going to college next year and is interested in engineering. We’re doing college visits so she can check out possible schools and as an engineer myself this leads to a certain amount of introspection. Engineers have many options in terms of the type of companies they work for and the type of work they do. I&rsqu... read more.

  • October 30, 2017

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Infrastructure, Virtualization

Commercial software developers work hard to create a product that offers significant value to their customers. They know that the value they deliver in terms of hard savings, increased efficiencies, or lower risk will ultimately drive the price of their software. Optimally, a licensing scheme should effectively capture some portion of the customer value as an equitable payment for that value delivered. I think that is only fair. If we follow this to its natural conclusion, we might conclude that the best l... read more.

  • September 15, 2017

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Infrastructure, Security, Virtualization

2016 was a tough year for celebrities and not an altogether great year for IT. I’m going to break from my normal annual predictions format and cover two things as we start 2017. I’m going to talk about lessons we need to learn from 2016 and things we should look forward to in 2017. 2016’s Tough Love Weak IT = Weak Cyber. For a number of years, IT budgets have been shrinking on the whole while cyber budgets increase. This is not working. Cyber is too dependent on solid IT operations to be... read more.

  • January 05, 2017

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Security

As a consultant, I give a lot of advice. There’s one piece of advice that I never give. I’ll never tell you to quit your job, not to your face anyway. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, your company is paying for the advice, not you, so professionally I need to act in their best interests. Secondly, it’s generally precluded by the contracts I have with my customers. Thirdly, it’s just kind of a jerk move. But frankly, it’s one of the things I’m often thinkin... read more.

  • December 13, 2016

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Security

77% of internet traffic is now encrypted. That number has been increasing steadily over time and it appears that it will continue to increase. What does it mean to us as security professionals when we’re dealing with an increasingly dark internet? Traditional network products are ineffective at examining encrypted traffic. That means we’ll have to decrypt it for them. We have a limited number of precious places to look at traffic in its unencrypted state. Notably, proxies and end-points. End... read more.

  • November 21, 2016

By Ken Phelan, Posted in Security

Computers beating humans in chess isn’t news. What may be news to some people is that the best chess player isn’t a computer or a human. It’s a human using a computer. In chess circles, they call this human-computer team strategy a centaur. We have some man-versus-machine problems in Cyber Security as well. We use computers effectively to record and process large numbers of incidents. There are so many incidents that no human can possibly look at them all, so we ask the computers to find... read more.

  • September 19, 2016

By Ken Phelan, Posted in

Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Mathew 5:37 At Gotham, we sell a lot of products and consulting to a lot of customers (thankfully). We get to see many of them succeed and we’ve unfortunately seen some fail. We try to share that experience to make our customers as successful as possible. Sometimes we even write blogs so that random strangers can potentially be more successful. That&rsqu... read more.

  • June 22, 2016