Now that the concept of cloud computing has become tech the topic du jour, the latest round of debate has centered on whether cloud computing can be extended into the enterprise in the form of private clouds to meet the unique requirements of individual organizations. Cloud computing zealots are vehemently opposed to this idea. They believe that the fundamental value proposition of cloud computing is the greater efficiencies and better economies that are derived from shared services. They are also suspicious that proponents of private clouds are either in-house IT people who are afraid of relinquishing their operations and responsibilities to third parties, or legacy software and system vendors who are threatened by today's new wave of more cost-effective solutions and services. While I think both of these concerns are well-founded and valid reasons to question the motives of today's private cloud advocates, I also think there is plenty of room for useful private clouds to prosper. … [Read more...] about Do Private Clouds Make Sense?
Storage spawns where it’s needed, from sensibly architected SANs serving transaction-intensive systems to storage appliances bought impulsively to fill a departmental need. That leaves IT to manage many islands of storage strewn across the enterprise at a time when the need for centralized storage management has never been greater. Compliance requirements, multimedia-rich applications, and a proliferation of databases are pushing IT departments to increase the size and complexity of storage networks across the enterprise. “I tell our senior management that we grow our storage at a rate of 40 to 50 percent per year and they can’t believe it,” says Lev Katz, datacenter operations manager for EMC storage customer MidAmerica Bank. “But then, if our business grew 30 percent last year, it makes sense for storage to grow the same amount, if not more. You have that many more people, you have that much more e-mail, you have that many more files.” Point … [Read more...] about Making sense of storage management
Microsoft's reorganization makes sense for the world's largest software company, which was getting too big and unwieldy under its former structure to continue to be managed efficiently, industry analysts said Tuesday. Microsoft Tuesday consolidated six divisions into three, each one with its own president: the Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division, led by Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin as co-presidents until Allchin retires at the end of 2006; the Microsoft Business Division, with Jeff Raikes as president; and the Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division, with Robbie Bach as president. The new Platform Products & Services Group will comprise the current Windows Client, Server and Tools and the MSN online services division. The business group will consist of the current Microsoft Information Worker group, including Microsoft Office, and the Business Solutions group, which includes CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource management) … [Read more...] about Microsoft reorganization makes sense for giant
Hewlett-Packard's deal to acquire Mercury Interactive is winning praise from HP software customers and analysts as a smart combination of system and application management tools. HP announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Mercury in a deal worth about $4.5 billion. The buyout had been rumored for at least a year. After the announcement, HP CEO Mark Hurd said the move will double his company's software revenue to more than $2 billion annually, adding that the combination of the companies' product lines will make HP "an end-to-end leader in IT management." That sentiment was echoed today by several HP OpenView (OV) customers. [ Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we’ll send you a $50 American Express gift card — and keep you anonymous. Send it to [email protected] | We've all been there: 7 hardware horror stories from the help desk. | Follow Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]Mercury products will "enhance or … [Read more...] about Users: HP buy of Mercury Interactive makes sense
Here’s a paradox for you: The latest government stats indicate that the IT job market is positively sizzling right now. Unemployment hovers at a nearly imperceptible 3 percent, and employers everywhere report difficulties finding qualified workers to fill open spots. Yet every week I receive e-mails from frustrated, even angry, IT folks whose jobs were either eliminated or shipped overseas. Although they keep plugging away, they simply cannot find work. And these folks are not just a bunch of cranks; they’re IT pros with real skills and experience to match. Are the rosy employment numbers a lie? Should I stop relying so heavily on my e-mail volume to gauge the job market? I think the answer to both questions is no. Both data sets make sense when you recognize that the skills required for the most sought-after jobs are unevenly distributed across the IT talent pool. Ace project managers and developers versed in cutting-edge technologies can write their own tickets; … [Read more...] about Making sense of the IT job market
Microsoft is nothing if not consistent. The company - despite its feints and dodges with the Linux Lab and what-not - has been highly focused on feeding its anti-open source fetish. Today, that fetish reared its ugly head again. I've been waiting for some time for this Fortune article to hit (I was interviewed as part of Roger's due diligence). Roger Parloff does a good job of wading through the muck and getting to the heart of Microsoft's derision for all things open source. Microsoft must be scared to death by open source. [ Also on InfoWorld: 19 open source GitHub projects for security pros. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security Report newsletter. ]Whatever Bill Hilf and his team may say (including staging an "open source kumbayah" event at the Open Source Business Conference), it is painfully clear that Microsoft is so dysfunctional when it comes to open source that it is determined to gnaw off the hand that could feed it for the next decade. Microsoft … [Read more...] about Making sense of Microsoft’s open source fetish
With some of the most recognized names in the high-tech industry -- Intel, Arm, Microsoft, Linux, Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and many more -- hyping netbooks as the next big thing, InfoWorld decided to take a look at a category whose exact definition is still in flux to see how and where they fit into business usage. When it comes to deciding if your IT department should support netbooks, IT must answer two critical questions. [ Considering a netbook? See which netbooks InfoWorld Test Center rates as the best. | Looking for netbook productivity software? Check out these Office alternatives. ] [ The InfoWorld review: The best 13-inch laptops for Windows 10 | Survive and thrive with a new OS: The ultimate Windows 10 survivor kit. | Stay up to date on the industry with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. ]First, can netbooks play a unique role better than any other device you have? In other words, are they a category distinct from laptops at the high-performance and usability end, … [Read more...] about Netbooks in the business: Do they make sense?
Dear Bob ... Our CIO doesn't seem to agree with you. His mantra is that we in IT are running a business, and we should think of the rest of the company as our internal customers. He has instituted a system of charge-backs for our services as well ... very much the situation you advise against in "Keep the Joint Running." [ Bob Lewis thinks right now is a good time to reorganize IT and has suggestions for how to approach the task | Get sage advice on IT careers and management from Bob Lewis in InfoWorld's Advice Line newsletter. ] [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's career trends reports. GET A 15% DISCOUNT through Jan. 15, 2017: Use code 8TIISZ4Z. ]As you predicted in the book, relationships are becoming increasingly strained, the silo walls are getting higher, and those of us with friends elsewhere in the company are hearing more and more complaints about how bureaucratic we're becoming. The company was … [Read more...] about When does running IT as a business make sense?
There's a reason the BlackBerry is the corporate standard smartphone and why no other device comes close. And it's not the keyboard (though that helps). It's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), the tool that lets IT manage BlackBerry users' access and security settings to the standards that most regulated companies and government agencies must meet. But as employees continue to put pressure on IT to support the iPhone and other devices, such as the new breed of Android devices, lots of companies are coming out of the woodwork offering mobile management products. Should you bite? [ Stay up on tech news and reviews from your smartphone at infoworldmobile.com. | Get the best iPhone apps for pros with our business iPhone apps finder. | See which smartphone is right for you in our mobile "deathmatch" calculator. ] [ Android is now ready for real usage in the enterprise. Read InfoWorld's in-depth guide on how to make Android a serious part of your business. | Get the best office suite and … [Read more...] about Making sense of mobile management
Sometimes you have to step outside application development to gain insights into how best to manage your projects. A recent article in the New Yorker provided a spark for me on the subject of outsourcing. [ For more insights as to when and what you should outsource, read "Painful lessons from IT outsourcing gone bad" and "4 tasks you fear to outsource but should try" ] [ Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we’ll send you a $50 American Express gift card — and keep you anonymous. Send it to [email protected] | We've all been there: 7 hardware horror stories from the help desk. | Follow Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]The article, "Water Music" by John Seabrook, was about the new Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center. In it, Seabrook talks to Mark Fuller, co-founder of Wet Design, the fountain designers. (Wet also created the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.) The new Revson Fountain was constructed entirely on site at Wet, as … [Read more...] about When does outsourcing make sense?
Dear Bob ... Once again, the time for my annual performance review has come and gone without my receiving a performance review. [ Also on InfoWorld: Bob reveals there might be an upside to having an absentee manager in "Can't get hold of your boss? Take advantage of the situation" | Get sage advice on IT careers and management from Bob Lewis in InfoWorld's Advice Line newsletter. ] [ Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we’ll send you a $50 American Express gift card — and keep you anonymous. Send it to [email protected] | We've all been there: 7 hardware horror stories from the help desk. | Follow Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]Oh, I got my raise and a written document that made a few very brief statements about how well I did. But there was no face-to-face conversation, no in-depth exploration of what I can do to advance my career, and most important (to me), no discussion of the training I think I need to continue to … [Read more...] about Making sense of a feedback-free performance review
Last week Jason Bloomberg of ZapThink wrote a funny, cutting piece that was meant to rip the notion of the private cloud to shreds. I actually found myself agreeing with some of it -- but not with the blanket conclusion that "private clouds suck." [ In the data center today, the action is in the private cloud. InfoWorld's experts take you through what you need to know to do it right in our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Also check out our "Cloud Security Deep Dive," our "Cloud Storage Deep Dive," and our "Cloud Services Deep Dive." ] [ Download InfoWorld's quick guide and get started with Azure Mobile Services for building apps today. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter. ]Let's take Bloomberg's points one at a time. His first is that people associate "the cloud" with public cloud services, where customers pay as they go for the resources they use rather than investing in infrastructure. With a private cloud, the customer necessarily owns … [Read more...] about Does the ‘private cloud’ make sense?
These days, many enterprises have processes or data they want to share with the world -- and they want to do it with cloud computing. At least, that's what I find in my travels. [ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ] The reasons vary, but some emerging patterns are pushing enterprises to become, in essence, small public cloud providers. The patterns include: [ Download InfoWorld's quick guide and get started with Azure Mobile Services for building apps today. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter. ] The need to provide information to outside parties using well-defined and secure interfaces. For example, the company wants to allow its partners or customers to see the status of an inventory item, or perhaps the company wants to provide complex data … [Read more...] about When it makes sense to become a cloud provider
The notion that it's a good idea to move data and applications to public cloud providers, or even private clouds, is not always true. In the majority of cases, using public clouds adds a great deal of value. However, in certain instances, cloud computing doesn't make sense. No technology is a good fit for everything. Yet both people and companies like to treat new technologies as a universal silver bullet, using it where it does not make sense -- a mistake they're repeating now with cloud computing. [ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ] [ Download InfoWorld's quick guide and get started with Azure Mobile Services for building apps today. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter. ]There've been many cases in the last few years where systems were pushed … [Read more...] about Where it makes sense to avoid the cloud
Linux has long lingered in the single digits in terms of desktop market share. But some recent comments by Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon have brought renewed hope that someday Linux might achieve a more dominant position. eWeek looks at what Linus had to say about about the desktop and a range of topics at LinuxCon. According to eWeek: Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere. He asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next. "I still want the desktop," Torvalds said as the audience erupted into boisterous applause. The challenge on the desktop is not a kernel problem, Torvalds said. "It's a whole infrastructure problem. I think we'll get there one day." More at eWeek I can sympathize with Linus' desire for Linux to have a larger share of the desktop market. It would be wonderful if we all woke up one day to find that Linux had 30% or more of the desktop market. There would be many celebrations among Linux … [Read more...] about Does it still make sense for Linus to want the desktop for Linux?
In a fairly listless Consumer Electronics Show this year, one announcement stood out: Jide's Remix Android version will be made available for all Intel-based PCs, not merely delivered through the $70 Remix plug-in device. But why would anyone want Android as their PC's OS? For no good reason I can think of. [ Also InfoWorld: Find out which is the best browser for Android smartphones. | Get a digest of the day's top tech stories in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. ] In my annual geek gadget gift guide, I recommended the $70 Remix box as a way to get Android on your PC's screen for when a small screen was too constrained. Giving presentations and playing games were uses that came to mind. Basically, the Remix box made sense for use as an occasional adjunct to an Android tablet or smartphone. But making an Android variant that is meant to run as your full-time desktop OS? That I can't buy. There are very few apps in the Google Play Store that are not already available for Windows or … [Read more...] about Android simply doesn’t make sense on the desktop
In 2017, we may find out if a universal basic income is a good idea. The concept is simple enough: Governments pay people for doing nothing. In place of state benefits, people would receive income regardless of their situation. Proponents say that such a system could alleviate poverty, and help provide people who are just about managing with a little freedom to escape low quality jobs and access education. As more jobs are lost to automation, the argument goes, a universal income will become even more important. Problem is, we don’t yet know whether free money makes people happy, healthy, creative, and productive, or encourages them to watch TV and drink beer. But answers are on the way. The New York Times explains that early next year the Finnish government will randomly choose 2,000 unemployed people and pay them a regular wage for doing nothing, no strings attached. The selection will include the whole gamut of society, from professionals to manual laborers, and they will be … [Read more...] about In 2017, We Will Find Out If a Basic Income Makes Sense
A few years ago, a breakthrough in machine learning suddenly enabled computers to recognize objects shown in photographs with unprecedented—almost spooky—accuracy. The question now is whether machines can make another leap, by learning to make sense of what’s actually going on in such images. A new image database, called Visual Genome, could push computers toward this goal, and help gauge the progress of computers attempting to better understand the real world. Teaching computers to parse visual scenes is fundamentally important for artificial intelligence. It might not only spawn more useful vision algorithms, but also help train computers how to communicate more effectively, because language is so intimately tied to representation of the physical world. Visual Genome was developed by Fei-Fei Li, a professor who specializes in computer vision and who directs the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, together with several colleagues. “We are focusing very much … [Read more...] about Next Big Test for AI: Making Sense of the World
Lithium-ion batteries are just about everywhere—they power almost all smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Yet Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, says he intends to build a factory in the United States three years from now that will more than double the world’s total lithium-ion battery production. The plan is still in its early stages, but already four states are negotiating with Tesla in the hope of becoming the factory’s home. People have come to expect bold plans from Musk. In addition to founding Tesla, he started his own rocket company, SpaceX, which now delivers supplies to the International Space Station. But even for him, the “gigafactory,” as he calls it, seems audacious. First, Tesla sold 23,000 cars last year. The gigafactory, which would start production in 2017, would by 2020 make enough batteries for 500,000 electric cars. (It would produce enough batteries annually to store 35 gigawatt hours of electricity, hence the name). Second, battery … [Read more...] about Does Musk’s Gigafactory Make Sense?
GM is defending its design for the Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle after a study out of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) slammed the design, saying that it’s not economical. (Plug-ins are hybrids with batteries that can be recharged by plugging them in.) We’ve previously reported on the CMU study. It says that hybrids with large batteries designed to provide 40 miles of electric range before an onboard generator kicks on to recharge them–that is, vehicles like the Volt–cost too much for the gas savings to compensate. On the other hand, hybrids with smaller batteries with short electric-only ranges make economic sense, provided they’re recharged frequently. The finding could have policy implications. The recent stimulus bill includes tax credits for plug-in hybrids. The study could suggest what kind of hybrids the government would be wisest to support. Not surprisingly, GM disagrees with the study. In a blog this week, Jon Lauckner, GM’s vice president … [Read more...] about Does GM’s Volt Make Sense?