Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘storage

Me, Frank, Dean, Sammy and Tiger

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Turbo was caught unawares at the TechTarget Online ROI Summit in downtown Austin yesterday. Among the devices identified there on the table: A Verizon Mi-Fi hotspot, Turbo's Verizon LG feature phone, a 5th gen iPod Touch, a "Blu" phone (quadband, works on GSM networks around the world, and serves as the Turbo "bat" phone), an HTC Wildfire Android tablet, and Turbo's newfangled Samsung Chromebook, which is looking like a bargain at the price ($216) compared to the new Google Chromebook Pixel ($1,300!)

Turbo was caught unawares at the TechTarget Online ROI Summit in downtown Austin yesterday as colleagues took a photo of him in “mobile warrior” mode. Among his electronic devices identified on the table: A Verizon Mi-Fi hotspot, Turbo’s Verizon LG feature phone, a 5th gen Apple iPod Touch, a “Blu” phone (quadband, works on GSM networks around the world, serves as the Turbo “bat” phone and FM radio), a Plantronics Pro HD bluetooth headset, an HTC Wildfire Android tablet, and Turbo’s newfangled Samsung Chromebook, which is looking like a bargain at the price ($216) compared to the new Google Chromebook Pixel ($1,300!)

All these people in Barcelona attending Mobile World Congress, and seemingly so little news coming out of there.

For me, the key headline was the Nokia 105 which, while yawned at by most westerners, has the potential to be the downmarket phone king as Nokia moves more aggressively into emerging markets.

It’s a $20 phone that offers the basics, including phone calls, SMS, an FM-radio and a flashlight. And, 35 days of standby with 12.5 hours of talk time.

If it were a quad band GSM phone, I’d have it on my short list for second phones.

The other big news was IBM’s MobileFirst strategy, which, while not nearly as sexy as yet another yawnifying tablet device, does provide some grown-up guidance and direction for companies actually trying to pull together something resembling a unified mobile strategy.

Here’s what IBM’s Robert Leblanc, IBM vice president, middleware, had to say about the IBM MobileFirst initiative:

“To date, mobile computing has been dominated by discussions of new smartphones, operating systems, games and apps. But enterprises have yet to tap into the potential of mobile business. Just as the Internet transformed the way we bank, book vacations and manage our healthcare, mobile computing is also transforming industries. As these devices become ingrained in everything that we do, businesses are now in the palms of their customers’ hands. IBM MobileFirst is designed to make the transformation to becoming a mobile enterprise a reality.”

Visit here to learn more about IBM’s MobileFirst initiative, and go here to watch the IBM Mobile webcast that took place in Barcelona yesterday.

As for me, I’m packing up my mobile devices and taking them on the road.

In fact, I packed them up and took them to the TechTarget Online ROI Summit here in downtown Austin yesterday, and my colleagues thought it was worthy of a Facebook photo.

To which I explained, “I was traveling light!” (See the photo caption for an explanation of what’s what.)

Where am I off to, you ask? To Vegas, of course. My second home! IBM Pulse 2013 kicks off on Sunday, and I’m heading out early manana to take in a little golf history lesson.

That is to say, I have a 2:30 tee time at Las Vegas National, the very same course where Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour event back in 1996, and where Dean and Frank and Sammy and the rest of the Rat Pack used to hang out and swill martinis after a long hard-fought 18 holes.

I’d like to tell you I’m playing there because of all this history and Tiger lore, but the fact is the old Scotsman from GolfNow gave me a very aggressively priced tee time, which no other courses were offering!

After that, however, it’s all work, and I’m looking forward to interviewing a number of IBM Tivoli luminaries for the IBM Pulse Livestream channel, including some of our business partners, analysts, and the man himself, Deepak Advani, the general manager of IBM Tivoli.

I want to also remind you of Pulse on Vivastream, where you can go do some preliminary social networking. Also check out the killer feature there in the right hand column of the main page, the “DIY Videos” where you can get some early previews of Pulse session speakers. Kil-ler.

In fact, let me do this: Below is my list of “Everything You Ever Needed To Know About IBM Pulse 2013 But Were Afraid to Ask Turbo”:

  • Hashtag: #ibmpulse — all roads lead back to Twitter. Twitter is all-seeing and all-knowing at Pulse 2013.
  • Vivastream at Pulse — How you can maintain your crazy Pulse schedule, find your long, lost systems admin buddy…orrr, that really cute girl whose lip you accidentally bused in that crazy, countrified Carrie Underwood mosh pit.
  • IBM Pulse 2013 Conference Site — If you’re lost at IBM Pulse…or even if you’re not…this is always a good place to start. You can also use this page to find the video interviews I’ll start conducting on Monday.
  • IBM Pulse Smart Site (Registered attendees only) — The official keeper of your IBM Pulse calendar.
  • IBM Pulse On Facebook — Because we recognize there are people like me who spend way too much time on Facebook, and if you want to get their attention…

And now I want to pass you on to my good friend Rebecca’s Top Things You Shouldn’t Miss at Pulse 2013 — it does not include a round with Turbo at Las Vegas National, but other than that, it’s a great list.

Meanwhile, keep an eye for me on Saturday.  I’ll be the one driving down the Las Vegas Strip looking for errant drives.

The SMB IT Spending Zeitgeist

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In Spiceworks' "State of SMB IT 2H 2012" survey, mobile is moving on up. Tablets continue to grow in SMBs and in the last 6 months, adoption has tipped to over half (53%) of SMBs supporting tablets on their networks.  The number of companies supporting tablets (53%) is on the verge of reaching the 59% of companies who manage smartphones on their networks.  Larger organizations are driving this trend towards more tablets in the workplace.

Click to enlarge. In Spiceworks’ “State of SMB IT 2H 2012″ survey, mobile is moving on up. Tablets continue to grow in SMBs and in the last 6 months, adoption has tipped to over half (53%) of SMBs supporting tablets on their networks. The number of companies supporting tablets (53%) is on the verge of reaching the 59% of
companies who manage smartphones on their networks. Larger organizations are driving this trend towards more tablets in the workplace.

It’s that time of year.  Google has released its 2012 Zeitgeist, telling us what’s on the minds of the world’s searchers.

Facebook, not to be out done, has released the Facebook Year In Review, “a look back at the people, moments and things that created the most buzz in 2012 among the billion people around the world on Facebook.”

Now, go and ask folks what they think about Facebook’s everchanging privacy controls, and we’ll see if the Facebook Year In Review gets soon revised.

But I’m actually more interested in a big report from a small, but growing networking software and social business upstart located right here in Austin, Texas.

Spiceworks connects 2.2 million IT professionals with more than 1,300 technology brands, and offers its IT management software through a novel ad-supported model. In turn, it claims to “help businesses to discover, buy and manage $405 billion worth of technology products and services each year.”

Spiceworks just released its semi-annual “State of SMB IT Report,” a collection of statistics, trends and opinions from small and medium business technology professionals from amongst their community.

This December’s study is the seventh edition, and claims to “keep the pulse on the happenings of small and medium business IT professionals and IT departments.”

First, I’m just happy to discover they still have a pulse.

The National Federation of Independent Business’ “Small Business Optimism Index,” which is reported monthly, indicated in its November report one of the steepest declines in its history. In fact, it has reported a lower index value only seven times since it first conducted its monthly surveys in 1986.

The Index dropped a full 5.6 points in November, bottoming out at 87.5 (In 2000, by juxtaposition, it was well above 100), indicating something was rotten in November. The Index’s own Web statement suggested “it is very clear that a stunning number of [small business] owners…expect worse business conditions in six months,” and that nearly half are certain things will be worse next year than they are now, with a head nod to the looming fiscal cliff talks, the promise of higher healthcare costs, and the “endless onslaught of new regulations.”

Chicken Little, the SMB sky is falling!

Clouds, Virtualization, And Tablets Are Driving The SMB IT Spending Bus

But fear not, the SMB adoption of new technology is riding to the small business rescue, or so suggests the Spiceworks SMB IT study.

The headlines? Though IT budgets are on the rise in the SMB, hiring new staff is at a standstill. But for those still standing, in the last six months, SMBs adopted tablets and cloud services in fast-growing numbers.

Here are the four key findings:

  • Tablet adoption keeps its momentum and nears smartphone levels. Hardware maintains the lion’s share of IT spend in the SMB.
  • Adoption of cloud services spikes; desktop virtualization shows strong potential. (Can you say “Go long on VMWare??”)
  • IT budgets reached their highest point in the last three years, while hiring freezes are up.
  • BYOD is still a hot topic, though IT pros are split on the issue.

Diving down a bit, on the subject of tablets, 53 percent of SMBs now support tablets on their network, making them almost as popular as smartphones at 59 percent.

Cloud services are now used by 62 percent of SMBs, up from 48 percent in the first half of 2012.

With respect to IT budgets, they’re on the rise, averaging $162K, up from $152K in 1H 2012. But only 26 percent plan on hiring IT staff in the second half.

And on BYOD, whlie 14 percent fully embrace the trend, 32 percent say it works well for some devices, but not for others. Digging deeper, I discovered that smartphones led with 81 percent BYOD support, while tablets only garnered 62 percent.

And somewhat ironically, there’s more support for BYOD in much smaller organizations (defined here as less than 20 employees) than larger ones (50 percent in those above 250 employees).

I would encourage you to go here and register to download the full report, but the top line is this: If you’re an IT vendor looking for budget flush at the end of 2012, desktops, laptops, and servers are certainly low-hanging fruit, with tablets bringing on the most growth.

And on the software front, be on the lookout for disaster recovery and storage solutions (an IT mainstay through downturns), cloud-based solutions, and virtualization software.

Whatever you do make, just make sure you make those new purchases with “Gangnam Style” — and if you have no idea of what I’m referring to, see above with regards to the 2012 Google Zeitgeist!

New And Smarter Systems

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Among its many features, the new POWER7+ microprocessor offers an expanded 2.5x L3 cache memory, greater security with faster file encryption for the IBM AIX operating system, and memory compression that results in no increased energy usage over previous generation POWER7 chips.

While President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were out in the desert eating burritos, visiting dams, and doing debate prep, we at Big Blue were preparing for our own significant announcement, one that just by happenstance emerged on the big debate day.

But it’s one to pay attention to, as it bolsters IBM’s smarter computing initiative and paves the way for companies to establish a more aggressive posture in what we call “cognitive computing.”

First, the broad headline: We’ve bolstered our smarter computing initiative by introducing new Power systems, storage, and mainframe technologies.

Specifically, we’ve infused the Power systems family with the new POWER 7+ processor (see the process in the image to the left), which provides greater security and fast business analytics, capacity on demand, and significantly improved performance.

We’ve introduced massive new storage devices through the new high-end DS8870 storage systems that are three times faster than the previous models.

And recognizing the need for organizations to be more “data ready,” we’ve introduced the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator V3, which provides lightning fast analytics capabilities running on the recently introduced IBM zEnterprise EC12 mainframe.

The smarter computing initiative is aimed at solving the varied and intensifying challenges organizations are facing, from security vulnerabilities to managing ballooning data volumes that are expanding through social and mobile technologies.

You can learn more about IBM’s smarter computing initiative and these newly introduced technologies here. 

Solid State, Solid Storage

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Solid state has evolved way beyond simply replacing vacuum tubes.

IBM today released the findings of a customer survey that demonstrates pent-up demand for solid state disk technology as a successor to flash and hard disk drives.

Customers are embracing high-performance solid-state disks to support growing data storage demands driven by cloud computing and analytics technologies.

More than half of the customer surveyed (57%) responded that their organization needs to develop a new storage approach to manage future growth. The survey of 250 U.S. IT professionals in decision-making positions was conducted by Zogby International in August 2011 on behalf of IBM.

The survey demonstrates a need for a new class of storage that can expand the market for solid-state drives (SSDs) by combining increased data delivery with lower costs and other benefits.

Nearly half (43 percent) of IT decision makers say they have plans to use SSD technology in the future or are already using it. Speeding delivery of data was the motivation behind 75 percent of respondents who plan to use or already use SSD technology. Those survey respondents who are not currently using SSD said cost was the reason (71 percent).

Anticipating these challenges years ago, IBM Research has been exploring storage-class memory, a new category of data storage and memory devices that can access data significantly faster than hard disk drives — at the same low cost.

Racetrack memory, a solid-state breakthrough technology, is a potential replacement for hard drives and successor to flash in handheld devices. A storage device with no moving parts, it uses the spin of electrons to access and move data to atomically precise locations on nanowires 1,000 times finer than a human hair.

This technique combines the high performance and reliability of flash with the low cost and high capacity of the hard-disk drive. It could allow electronic manufacturers to develop devices that store much more information — as much as a factor of 100 times greater — while using less energy than today’s designs. Racetrack memory is featured as one of IBM’s top 100 achievements as the company celebrates its Centennial this year.

These new storage technologies could also alleviate critical budget, power and space limitations facing IT administrators. Today, an average transaction-driven datacenter uses approximately 1,250 racks of storage, taking up 13,996 square feet and 16,343 kilowatts (kw) of power. By 2020, storage-class memory could enable the same amount of data to fit in one rack that takes up 11 square feet and 5.8 kws of power.

Following are further details from the survey:

  • Nearly half (43 percent) say they are concerned about managing Big Data;
  • About a third of all respondents (32 percent) say they either plan to switch to more cloud storage in the future or currently use cloud storage;
  • Nearly half (48 percent) say they plan on increasing storage investments in the area of virtualization, cloud (26 percent) and flash memory/solid state (24 percent) and analytics (22 percent); and
  • More than a third (38 percent) say their organization’s storage needs are growing primarily to drive business value from data. Adhering to government compliance and regulations that require organizations to store more data for longer — sometimes up to a decade — was also a leading factor (29 percent).

You can learn more about IBM Storage technologies here.  Also visit the blog from IBM storage expert and Master Inventor, Tony Pearson, who’s a longtime storage consultant and who writes on storage and storage networking hardware, software and services.

Written by turbotodd

September 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

IBM To Acquire Real-Time Data Compression Provider Storwize

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IBM announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Storwize, a privately held company based in Marlborough, MA.

Storwize provides real-time data compression technology to help clients reduce physical storage requirements by up to 80%, which improves efficiency and lowers the cost of making data available for analytics and other applications.

Storwize has over one hundred customers such as Mobileye, Polycom Israel, Shopzilla, Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction across a wide range of industries including energy, manufacturing, finance, insurance, telecommunications and cloud services.

With Storwize, IBM is acquiring storage technology that is unique in the industry in that it can compress primary data, or data that clients are actively using, of multiple types — from files to virtualization images to databases — in real-time while maintaining performance.

This is in contrast to other storage compression technologies that only compress secondary or backup data. By compressing primary data, Storwize users can store up to five times more data using the same amount of storage, preventing storage sprawl and lowering power and cooling costs.

This is important now more than ever as the world’s data already vastly exceeds available storage space and enterprise demand for storage capacity worldwide is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 43% from 2008 to 2013, according to IDC.

With Storwize, analytics applications can improve decision making by scanning many more years of historical data from multiple sources without the need to add additional storage equipment. Compressing data in real-time can also help make data available up to four times faster for transaction workloads.

Running Storwize data compression does not affect business and IT processes or other applications and does not require special skills to maintain. Product installation can be completed in as little as four hours, with little or no downtime.

This acquisition continues IBM’s investment in real-time compression, which has been proven for DB2 and Informix to reduce the overall total cost of information ownership by up to 80%.

The acquisition is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2010, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Written by turbotodd

July 29, 2010 at 2:53 pm

IBM and NFL

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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.

Huh?

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?

Written by turbotodd

October 12, 2009 at 11:03 pm

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