Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘windows

Mac v. PC Shopping Guy

leave a comment »

Welcome to Austin, Texas, where it’s expected to reach a balmy 106 degrees today.

I would retire to the pool and use my newfangled Verizon Jetpack Internet everywhere device to let me do a few emails while sipping virgin Pina Coladas, but I’m afraid my skin might start burning and smoking like some bad horror movie. Yes, it’s going to be THAT hot outside (and it’s only June 26).

In the summer, I tend to get up really early to do all my grocery shopping and things, so that I can then come home and never leave the house until the sun goes back down.

And on the subject of shopping, while flipping through the news on my iPad this morning, I discover this whopper of a story in The Wall Street Journal online.

Travel company Orbitz recently discovered that people who use Apple’s Mac computers spend as much as 30% or more a night on hotels. So, in turn, Orbitz is starting to give them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than what Windows visitors see.

You mean, I have to go back to using Windows in order to get the best deals on Orbitz? Not necessarily, but it’s quite evident that you’ll be given different promotions, many of which will cost more because you’re part of the cool, Apple fanboy set.

Now if we could just see what Orbitz would offer up to Ubuntu Linux users…a cardboard shack out back?!

I’ve been writing about IBM’s smarter commerce initiative for several months now, and this is a perfectly good example of how companies are using all that great information they’re garnering in their web browsing and sales activities, then using that information to market differently to different folks.

Before you Mac users pull your long dormant Windows7 machine out of hibernation, first, remember you can always opt to rank all your results on Orbitz (and other travel sites) by price, and you’re obviously not limited to the promotions you are offered.

But Orbitz did find that Mac users spend an average of $20-$30 a night more on hotels than their PC counterparts, according to the WSJ story, which is a substantial difference considering that the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100.

I sense a whole new wave of Mac v. PC commercials coming on:

PC Guy: Dude, I stayed at the Four Seasons for $30 less than you did last night because I run Windows!

Mac Guy: Yes, but you didn’t look nearly as cool as me hanging out at the hotel bar with all the hipsters. And when I turn my computer on it just works!

The data also revealed that Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms than the Windows crowd.

So, this is the part where I go back outside, grab my Pina Colada and multiple cans of 60 SPS Walgreen tanning spray, and hand you off to the IBM Smarter Commerce Website so you can read more about how you can utilize such predictive analytics for business advantage.

And don’t forget about my last post, where I mentioned some recent announcements IBM made in the predictive analytics space.

Don’t Do Windows…Yet

leave a comment »

More Christmas analytics tidings to share.

Apps metrics provider Localytics shared a lengthy blog post earlier which suggested that plenty of good boys and girls around the globe got Apple iOS and Android devices in their stockings.

Their first hint? The number of new devices that appeared on Localytics dashboard was 12 times higher than previous weekends.

They also reported that there was some interesting geographical diversity, although the two platforms were mostly tied.

Apple took the top growth spurt for the U.S., Germany and the UK, while the ‘Droid grew the most in South Korea, Sweden, and Spain.

Source: Localytics. Among the top 20 countries for mobile devices, Localytics saw a huge increase in both Apple iOS and Android devices over the December 23 – 26 weekend compared to previous weekends since November 25. The US and Germany registered the highest growth rates for iOS, while South Korea and Sweden had the highest growth rates for Android.

I’ve believed (and even expressed) for some time this will be a largely two-horse horse race, and that Android will inevitably take victory.

But, the i-Juggernaut lingers on, both with the iPad and iPhone, and Google’s victory may not be as inevitable as it once seemed.

Of course, these are still early days, and if you’re looking for a deeper analysis of the mobile market, and also wondering why Windows Phone 7 isn’t one of those lead horses, check out Charlie Kindel’s analysis.

Having been at the scene of the Windows and OS/2 operating systems war crime, I would suggest you ought never rule Redmond out of the equation.  All About Windows Phone just posted that the new Windows Phone Marketplace has now passed the 50,000 app mark, and is generating some 256 items per day.

That means the Windows Phone App pace has picked up some serious steam in recent weeks, and I suspect many of those Windows Phone Apps could fit elegantly into the Windows Azure and overall Microsoft cloud/desktop landscape, particularly with respect to a lot of business applications.

So, the net of it all is, the iPlatform enjoys continued momentum with some nice Christmas pick-up, but Android enjoys a device diversity that should keep it gaining mobile share for some time to come.

And Windows?  Well, a lot of folks don’t do them yet on mobile devices…the key word being “yet.”

New Big Iron: Introducing The zEnterprise 114

leave a comment »

IBM introduced some new big iron earlier today.

The new server is the IBM zEnterprise 114 mainframe server and is geared towards mid-sized organizations looking to enjoy the benefits of a mainframe as the foundation for their data centers.

This box costs 25% less and offers up to 25% more performance than its predecessor, the System z10 BC server.

Clients utilizing this new server can consolidate workloads from 40 x86 processors running Oracle on to a new z114 with just three processors running Linux…that’s 40 down to 3.

Over a three year period, total costs for hardware, software, and support on the new z114 as compared to consolidated servers can be up to 80% less with similar savings on floor space and energy.

Workload Optimized, Scalable And Secure By Design

The z114 was also built with scalability in mind.  Clients can start with smaller configurations and access additional capacity built into the server as needed without increasing the data center footprint or systems management complexity and cost.

The z114 is powered by up to 14 of the industry’s most sophisticated microprocessors, of which up to 10 can be configured as specialty engines.  These specialty engines, the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), are designed to integrate new Java, XML, and Linux applications and technologies with existing workloads, as well to optimize system resources and reduce costs on the mainframe.

By way of example, using a fully configured machine running Linux for System z, clients can create and maintain a Linux virtual server in the z114 for as little as $500 per year.

The z114 also offers up to an 18% performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over its predecessor the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25% improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements.

The z114 runs all the latest zEnterprise operating systems including the new z/OS V 1.13  announced today.  This new version adds new software deployment and disk management capabilities.

It also offers enhanced autonomics and early error detection features as well as the latest encryption and compliance features extending the mainframe’s industry leading security capabilities.

Additional compliance and encryption features, the result of a multi-year effort from IBM Research, further enhance security with cryptography built into the DNA of System z, by designing hardware with processor and coprocessor based encryption capabilities.

Where It Fits

At a starting price of under $75,000 — IBM’s lowest ever price for a mainframe server — the zEnterprise 114 is an especially attractive option for emerging markets experiencing rapid growth in new services for banking, retail, mobile devices, government services and other areas.

These organizations are faced with ever-increasing torrents of data and want smarter computing systems that help them operate efficiently, better understand customer behavior and needs, optimize decisions in real time and reduce risk.  

IBM also introduced new features that allow the zEnterprise System to integrate and manage workloads on additional platforms.  New today is support for select System x blades within the zEnterprise System.   These select System x blades can run Linux x86 applications unchanged, and in the future will be able to run Windows applications.

New Financing Options

IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing options for existing IBM clients looking to upgrade to a z114 as well as clients currently using select HP and Oracle servers.

For current System z clients, IBM Global Financing (IGF) can buy back older systems for cash and upgrade customers to the z114 on a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease, which offers a predictable monthly payment.

IGF will remove and recycle these older systems in compliance with environmental laws and regulations and pay clients the fair market value of  HP and Oracle-Sun servers.   IGF is also offering a 6 month deferral of any hardware, software, services or any combination for clients who wish to upgrade now, but pay later.

IGF is also offering a 0% financing for 12 months on any IBM Software, including IBM middleware for the z114 such as Tivoli, WebSphere, Rational, Lotus and Analytics products.

For additional information please check out this video or visit the IBM Systems website.

Enhanced IBM Cloud Test Environment

with one comment

Clouds moved into the Austin area overnight.  Just in time for my flight to Las Vegas tomorrow.

What happens can’t stay in Vegas if I can’t even get there.

But clouds also continue to permeate the IBM milieu, this time with an announcement around cloud testing.

According to a recent IBM survey of 2,000 IT pros worldwide, cloud computing and mobile have emerged as the most in-demand platform for software application development and IT delivery over the next five years.

With yesterday’s announcements, IBM is extending its environment to allow more enterprise developers to take advantage of the cloud for development and testing.

Specifically, IBM expanded its Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud with support for Windows and with new enhancements to better serve teams of developers.

IBM also introduced an integrated development and test environment, along with new software and services, to allow developers to improve quality and speed across the application life cycle.

Announced earlier this year, the IBM Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud allows enterprise clients to expand and enhance internal development and test processes with instant access to resources through IBM’s secure, scalable cloud delivery model.

The multi-tenant open cloud now includes support for Microsoft Windows 2003 and 2008 Data Center Editions. The enhanced environment also includes additional performance and resiliency and features, allowing developers to:

  • Rapidly configure environments and easily share them across development teams for more consistent application deployment
  • Assign multiple internet protocol (IP) addresses to a single virtual instance, so they can implement security zones and enhance availability in the IBM Cloud
  • Attach combinations of storage sizes to a virtual instance at the time of provisioning, ensuring higher performance and resiliency.

New Integrated Development and Test Environment for Cloud

IBM also introduced an Integrated Development and Test Environment, an end-to-end solution approach that integrates tools, processes and cloud infrastructure to enable clients to conduct more robust and complex testing earlier in the application development life cycle, while also reducing the cost of identifying and fixing software defects.

The following software and services are now available in North America and Europe on the IBM Cloud:

  • IBM Testing Services for Cloud – application virtualization: Clients rapidly create multiple virtual test environments customized for each development and testing team.  By providing testing teams with 24/7 availability without dependencies on back-end systems and data stores, the service gives testing teams the ability to test more thoroughly throughout the life cycle without worrying about data or service availability. A North American company using this service experienced a 22 percent reduction in the Function and System Test cycle and a 100 percent return in ROI within 90 days.
  • IBM Testing Services for Cloud – performance testing: Brings together automation and performance testing tools to significantly reduce time by as much as 50 percent, the service provides flexible, utility-based testing that delivers on-demand performance testing, and offers robust, large-scale performance testing services to enterprises, via Cloud hosting.  This service identifies defects earlier in the cycle where they are less expensive to fix and eliminates performance-related bottlenecks.
  • IBM Rational Load Testing on the IBM Cloud: Helping to address issues with infrastructure acquisition, maintenance and configuration for large scale performance testing by leveraging the IBM Cloud, IBM is announcing a technical preview of IBM Rational Load Testing on the IBM Cloud. The solution allows testers using IBM Rational Performance Tester to automatically provision virtual test agents and generate virtual users on IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud on a pay-as-you-go basis, significantly reducing infrastructure, software and test set up costs.
  • IBM Deployment Planning and Automation: Taking advantage of existing IBM Rational and IBM Tivoli software tools, the new solution manages the automation and planning of software deployments into the cloud and other environments. Designed for organizations that need to deploy applications in a consistent manner, the suite of software supports the entire deployment lifecycle from environment discovery through deployment planning, to deployment automation and governance.

New Partners and Developer Resources

IBM is continuing to build an ecosystem of partners to deliver the most complete and comprehensive cloud computing solutions to clients. This ecosystem comprises existing and new cloud partners: Cohesive Flexible Technologies Corp (Cohesive FT) allows customer controlled networking in a cloud, Servoy provides a rapid application development and deployment environment for creating and building high-end enterprise applications on the cloud.

“Cloud users have been waiting for an enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure from a recognizable and trusted vendor.  IBM is clearly the answer.  Now customers can take advantage of application layer network control and security with VPN-Cubed inside the IBM’s Smart Business Development and Test Cloud,” said Patrick Kerpan, CTO of CohesiveFT.

IBM has also added online workshops, skills tutorials, cloud computing technical resources and social networking tools that enable users to build online relationships, share content, and grow a worldwide network of peers to drive innovation.  Visit here to learn more.

Details and availability

Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud allows clients to work with their own images as well as images from across IBM Software Group including exciting offerings from the Rational, Information Management, WebSphere, Lotus and Tivoli brands, available in a variety of flexible licensing models.

Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud is now available in North America and Europe with the Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and Ehningen, Germany data centers supporting the IBM clouds.

Visit here for more information on IBM’s cloud services.

Visit here to get more information on Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud.

Written by turbotodd

October 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm

%d bloggers like this: