Archive for October 12th, 2009
My Dallas Cowboys looked pretty shaky there in Kansas City yesterday. All I can say is God Bless the emergence of Miles Austin!
I had to watch the game on my Time Warner DVR in fast forward mode, because I was too firmly ensconced in my viewing of the President’s Cup to watch the game live (just so you know how my sports priorities ranked yesterday).
When I did finally turn on the Cowboys/Chiefs game, I thought I’d gone into another universe when I saw the Chief’s “Dallas Texans” uniform.
I was a very wee lad when the Dallas Texans were sold off and the team moved to Kansas City in 1962 to become the Kansas City Chiefs (and the very same year the Dallas Cowboys franchise was started), something I had to go hunt down and learn via Wikipedia.
You learn something new every day!
On the topic of football, earlier today IBM announced a renewed marketing and services partnership with the NFL.
IBM has been a sponsor since 2003, and with this new agreement, IBM will continue to provide consulting expertise and IT solutions to the NFL to help them more efficiently manage their IT infrastructure and data storage.
The NFL is working to improve upon its current data center, and so IBM will help to reduce costs and energy consumption as it helps the NFL increase their power and cooling capacity.
Specifically, the first phase of this new agreement will include an initiative to shift the NFL’s IT Shared Services environment to a dynamic infrastructure by delivering a number of operational improvements.
IBM will provide design and construction services for an upgraded data center facility located in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, the services for which will allow the NFL to improve scalability and capacity while reducing their daily operating costs and improving their overall energy efficiency.
“With IBM’s help, our IT infrastructure can become more energy efficient, cost effective and adaptive with how we manage our IT services and data,” said Nancy Galietti, Vice President of Information Technology from the NFL. “IBM understands our needs from a business and IT perspective and we look forward to working together on this journey to deliver a dynamic infrastructure.”
As part of the initiative, the upgraded data center facility will create efficiencies and allow the NFL to take advantage of newer, faster and less expensive technologies. The upgraded facility will:
- Improve resiliency by minimizing single points of failure
- Add the capability to install high density computing and offer more computing power in less space.
IBM Vice President, Client Executive Marketing, Rick Singer said of the agreement, “The NFL is a great partner, and we believe that this initiative will enable their business growth. Our goal is to provide the NFL with opportunities to offer premium services to its business divisions and clients.”
In addition, IBM will deliver a plan to optimize the NFL’s storage environment that can reduce the overall cost of storage hardware through virtualized storage provisioning.
Are you ready for some football?
My power went out this morning.
I had barely finished my first blog post and was starting to attack my email and, KABOOM, a transformer across the street popped like a Black Cat bottle rocket, only much louder.
So, I went off in search of wifi, first stopping at the nice AT&T store down the street to see if they could help me with my Blackberry Bold.
I’ve been having trouble with the battery since I had the unit replaced while in San Jose for SES. Literally, I put the thing down wrong and the power shuts off.
I want to say thanks to the nice AT&T people on the 5th Street location in Austin.
The counter rep provided me a free battery swap, and reminded me I had 3 months left in my annual warranty if I needed to do another swap on the device itself (and I reminded her I had bought their insurance).
So, fingers crossed.
I then set out for Starbucks to grab a coffee and some free wifi for a bit, first putting in my power outage report on austinenergy.com
I have a feeling it could be hours because very few of us in the complex are at home during the day, and I’m concerned one report may not do the trick. We’ll see.
Ah, the joys of working at home.
Speaking of outage, IBM customer Air New Zealand had an IT outage that began Friday morning and lasted for several hours, impacting the company’s check-in services, online booking system and call center, and affecting more than 10,000 passengers and leaving airports in disarray.
The CEO of Air New Zealand is blaming IBM, to whom ANZ had outsourced much of its computing operations, and according to a Good Morning Silicon Valley blog post over the weekend IBM “expressed its regrets” and said the likely cause was a failed oil pressure sensor on a backup generator during a scheduled maintenance session.
Unfortunately, the incident occurred during a very busy holiday travel time for New Zealand travellers.
TV New Zealand reported late Monday that IBM had issued a statement and explained that “IBM’s primary focus was to rapidly restore services to our clients, and in particular to Air New Zealand.”
The report went on to indicate that IBM had immediately engaged a team of 32 local IT professionals, supported by global colleagues and management, to restore impacted client systems and that services to most clients were restored within an hour of the outage.
If I know my colleagues, I’m sure they’re doing everything they can to make sure not only that the Air New Zealand operations are back in working order but also to ensure this type of outage doesn’t occur again.
If you’re a real golf fan, then, like me, you didn’t really have much of a weekend.
The President’s Cup, a bi-annual men’s golf match between U.S. players and the world (save Europe, for which we reserve the also bi-annual Ryder Cup), was on for a good 16 hours over the weekend, and I spent much of my time glued to the tube.
In the end, it was the U.S. who retained the cup, 19 1/2 to 14 1/2, and fittingly, it was Woods’ who scored the final point that tipped the balance to keep the cup in U.S. hands.
In terms of the weekend performance, Saturday was owned by Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, but it was Stricker who carried Woods much of the day. Stricker simply couldn’t hardly miss a putt at Harding Park in San Francisco.
But it was Woods who dropped a breathtaking putt on 17 (reminscent of that putt in the 2005 Masters, the one for which Nike should, and I’m sure still is, paying Woods as the Nike logo turned so slowly to drop into the cup) to bring the match to even.
Then, Woods hit a precision 4-iron on the par 5 18th which once again made amateur golfers jaws drop around the world. Woods and Stricker won a match they’d been trailing for most of the day.
On the International team, Tim Clark proved a standout, particularly on Sunday, when he whooped Zach Johnson 4 and 3 featuring 8 birdies, even as Johnson played extremely well and birdied 5 of 6 starting on the back nine — Clark was simply playing that much better.
Japan’s 18 year-old phenom Ryo Ishikawa (trailed by 80+ Japanese photographers) also played outstanding golf, and was the youngest player ever to start in a President’s Cup. His young age defied his performance, and in the Sunday singles match, he ended up taking 49 year-old Kenny Perry.
Perry, as the announcers reminded us, had three children (including his caddying son, Justin) older than Ishikawa. To which I shouted at the TV, “Yes, but can he play golf like him??” Perry lost 2-1 to Ishikawa.
よりよい運次の時間。(That’s Babel Fish’s Japanese translation of “Better luck next time”)
On the American side, aside from Woods (who delivered the goods consistently by going 5-o for his 2009 President’s Cup matches) and Stricker, it was second-ranked Phil Mickelson who tore up the course, particularly in his always stellar chipping and now back-to-par putting. Mickelson’s putting had been haunting him for some time, but he was definitely in the zone for much of the weekend.
But probably the best of the event was the spirit and purpose. None of the players or captains are compensated for the event. Instead, they contribute the net revenues to their favorite charities and, since its inception in 1994, the Presidents Cup has generated more than $17M for charities worldwide.
The cameraderie on and off the course, and even between the teams and captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples, was also self-evident, and allegedly the U.S. men’s team also got into some pretty heated ping pong matches off the course during the evenings.
To all the players — from the U.S., Fiji, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Columbia, and Argentina — I offer up a personal thanks for a dramatic weekend of extraordinary golf.
Go enjoy your families and your respite from the course, and we rabid golf fans will wind down our own season and go into our winter hibernation and golf depression, and do our level best to pass the time playing Tiger Woods on the X-Box 360 and watching reruns of “The Big Break.”
Me, I can’t wait for the SBS Championship the first week of January in Kapalua, Maui!