The OpenPOWER Initiative May Actually Chart a Smarter Path for 64-Bit Computing

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • The truly open development environment offered by the OpenPOWER Foundation makes the high-performance POWER platform much more accessible and will benefit from the input of participants from all facets of the system design community.
  • The high cost of midrange systems have always restricted them to high-performance, high availability tasks; but IBM’s program opening up the POWER processor platform to the world could usher in the next generation of affordable 64-bit computing options.

Open is an extremely overused word these days. In the world of cloud in which we live, the primary buzzword is always “open” with everyone falling over one and another to prove just how open they are. But there’s open and then there’s OPEN, as evidenced by IBM’s creation and ongoing support of the OpenPOWER Foundation. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve become wary of vendor claims to “openness”, it usually means “we’ll expose our API’s so YOU can work with US”, but in the case of the POWER processor platform IBM has pulled out all the stops. As a member of OpenPOWER, you can get access to everything—blueprints, code—anything you want going back as far as you want, plus participation in a completely collaborative environment designed to inspire and embrace outside participation. Too good to be true? Not at all, and over 60 companies have signed on as partners so far, with hopefully more to follow. Read more of this post

VMware Doesn’t Make Many Mistakes, but It Is with Respect to Physical Networking

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • VMware dismisses physical networking as a mere forwarding plane, ignoring the benefits of integration.
  • If that observation is inaccurate, then VMware needs to address its messaging on the importance of physical networking.

Fresh off VMworld 2014, I came away with the very distinct impression that the company – not any specific individuals – is quite dismissive of physical networking, to the point where it is detrimental to its own success. While I continue to be impressed at how well the company develops new products, maintains a practical engineering focus, and seems to handle partner co-opetition with aplomb, it is also making a rather big mistake with ignoring the importance of integration with the physical network. Read more of this post

Demystifying IoT – What It Means to You

Harish Taori

Harish Taori

Summary Bullets:

  • IoT expands the meaning and value of the Internet as more physical objects (i.e., sensors, actuators, devices, modules and new age systems) will be connected to the internet and accessible through Internet protocols or web services. It will enable humans/software programs to analyze data, evaluate patterns and take predictive or preventive actions based on the derived intelligence.
  • In addition to consumers, utilities, energy, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and retail were early adopters of M2M and may start piloting IoT applications as supply side economics make sense. The IoT ecosystem is getting ready for enterprises to innovate business models and improve operational efficiency.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data were among the key ICT themes that dominated the majority of panel discussions and presentations at CommunicAsia 2014. Both buzzwords, in addition to cloud and social, are often the current topic of discussions in IT circles. I chaired a panel discussion on IoT and will be using that session in this blog in an attempt to demystify IoT.
IoT is a natural evolution of Internet and machine to machine (M2M), which find its roots in industrial automation. It not only further integrates the physical world with the digital world, but also enables machines to learn from the events and become smarter by gaining predictive and cognitive capabilities. Machine learning will play important role in gaining these capabilities through data mining, statistical modeling and artificial intelligence. The IoT ecosystem will enable companies and consumers to create and enjoy new services that are founded on web-based business models. Read more of this post

Cisco Live 2014: It’s the End of the Collaborative World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco has a lot of explaining to do at this year’s Cisco Live, stemming from its recent, apparent abandonment of Cisco WebEx Social.
  •  With a careful focus on programmability for the network, the data center and its own applications, however, Cisco can use this opportunity to leap forward rather than justify the past.

Once again, it is time for IT professionals and service providers from around the world to convene and converge upon a city of Cisco’s choosing for the company’s annual über-user conference, Cisco Live. This time around, the venue is San Francisco, a stark contrast in terms of weather and populous to last year’s somewhat warmer and more rural destination of Orlando, Florida. Still, I’m sure the heat, symbolically anyway, will remain in full effect for Cisco as the networking giant faces its customer constituency for the first time since Cisco announced its surprising joint venture with enterprise social networking (ESN) darling Jive Software. Read more of this post

In Search of the Rare and Elusive DevOps Beastie

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

• Assuming that you can simply combine two important job functions into a single entity isn’t necessarily the best or smartest way of managing IT resources.
• Your environment may need a lot of work before you can effectively cross that line.
As IT professionals we’re constantly challenged to do more with less, and no one can argue that all of the wonderful flexibility offered by virtualization hasn’t fundamentally changed the nature of the data center in a remarkably short period of time. But simplifying the physical concerns of standing up servers and applications doesn’t necessarily mean that you can simply merge developer and operations functions into a single entity with a unified purpose. This is an evolutionary process, and — because bean counters are always looking for things like this to thin head counts — smart IT managers might want to head this off until they’ve taken an honest look at their environment. Read more of this post

Something for Everyone at Interop Las Vegas 2014

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • The upcoming Interop event in Las Vegas will offer lots of sessions and workshops from fellow IT professionals and experts to attend and get current on your interests.
  • Take part in the social gathering to meet old friends and make new ones. Personal networking is as important as anything in your career.

Interop is next week and I am looking forward to catching up with old friends, peers, and colleagues and making new acquaintances. Still, the draw for me is meeting with vendors and attending a few of the presentations over the course of the event. The content this year is very solid and there’s something for everyone.

Read more of this post

For Indian Telcos, Adapt or Perish!

Hugh Ujhazy

Hugh Ujhazy

Summary Bullets:

  • Foreign ownership limits on telcos in India have been removed, paving the way for global and regional players to invest heavily in the Indian market.
  • The road ahead is not without risk, as Indian growth slows and substantial regulatory barriers remain for all market players.

In July 2013, the Indian government lifted the limit of 74% foreign ownership for telcos.  Foreign carriers such as Maxis, Sistema, Uninor and Vodafone currently operate with local partners and constantly walk a tightrope to manage their investments at the government-mandated level. Read more of this post

Vendor Upheaval Overrated

Jerry Caron

Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • It is questionable whether vendor difficulties or management upheaval should be a major concern when making an IT buying decision.
  • Due diligence is important, but history suggests that fear-mongering is overrated.

It is debatable how much the financial or managerial state of a potential supplier should weigh on the minds of IT buyers as they consider various solutions.  Sure, on the one hand, no buyer wants to get caught out with an investment in products from a company that may not be able to support it for long.  On the other hand, how often does that actually happen? Read more of this post

Look for Operators to Lead Cloud Ecosystems

Jerry Caron

Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Network operators are trusted sources in the consumer world; can this translate into the business world?
  • There is an opportunity for operators to be leaders in the cloud services ecosystem given their technological position.

A recent, exhaustive, global study by Ericsson’s ConsumerLab research group indicates that – perhaps somewhat surprisingly – network operators are tops when it comes to trust.  The context is information privacy and data security, and the issue is what online companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and all the others should be allowed to do with the information shared by the consumer in their application environments. Read more of this post

Networks Do Matter – Really!

Jerry Caron

Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:              

  • Networks and networking suffer from a lack of respect that defies logic.
  • Innovation continues apace, however, the industry often fails to give these advances the attention they deserve.

Networks and the stuff that make them work are suffering from a dearth of respect to which even Rodney Dangerfield would have to defer. Sure, we all know that it is lunacy to dismiss the value of both private and public networks because the quality of experience is utterly dependent on the quality of the network connections. This is a stone-cold fact, whether we are talking about a teenager looking at YouTube videos on a smartphone, or a business running mission-critical applications.

Yet while networks and networking have never been truly glamorous, there is a perceptible downward trend in love for the stuff of connectivity. It has long been the case, for example, that the hottest, most admired Internet businesses take public and private networks for granted and ride roughshod over them with something approaching complete disdain. If Facebook is sluggish, you don’t blame Facebook, do you?. Read more of this post