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Opinion

I have had my head down at work trying to fix a four-year backlog of software development requests and bug-fixes. It was plain to me that carrying on as before was just not going to work and we needed to do something fundamentally different.  The resource management process just wasn’t working and backlog prioritisation was […]

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I read my predictions for 2013 again today and feel that I did a pretty reasonable job of highlighting the key trends that actually did impact IT in the last 12 months.  I spent some time over the holiday period thinking deeply about what 2014 has in store for us and the new trends that […]

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IBM’s strategy of integrating application orchestration into their converged infrastructure offer, PureFlex appears to be starting to pay off handsomely with a significant 6,100 system order from the European Union.  IBM have been focussing for some time on the quality end of the market maintaining a revenue leading position (number one by sales value) with […]

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I received a very interesting press release from IBM about a new PureSystems installation in South America that is worthy of comment because it emphasises one of the key value propositions of converged platforms, agility. Converged, integrated systems can be configured and delivered extremely quickly and in point of fact the IBM platform is particularly […]

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Sometimes it is a single gradual and insidious technology that creeps up on us, more often it is the intersection of multiple innovations that (unnoticed) creates a tipping point and then everything is changed. The data center will never be the same again. Here are the colliding technologies that come together and change everything forever: […]

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In an attempt to reduce cost or improve performance at scale, some organizations are introducing low functionality, shared or cloned desktop operating systems within their virtual desktop environment. This article sets out to show that this approach is flawed, is simultaneously limiting and unnecessary and that it increases operational risk and reduces agility. New developments […]

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Why do many small businesses spend more money on coffee and tea than on their information technology systems?  Working with Dell Computers, I recently moderated an expert Think Tank in Amsterdam covering how small and medium businesses invest in technology for growth. This was an incredibly insightful discussion from owners and managers in all types […]

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  Every year I spend time thinking about what changes we will see in technology during the next year. It’s always a tough call as most changes only gain a foothold slowly and gradually over time. They creep upon us so that they become the new normal, stuff that we can’t imagine not having or […]

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Not all business applications are equal. Some are high profile, visible and customer experience affecting. For a bank, the ATM systems, card processing platforms and Internet banking applications generally fall into this category. In my book “What Every CIO Wants“, I call these Invest category applications. Behind the scenes there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of […]

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Since IBM launched the Smarter Planet initiative in November 2008, we have seen a consistent linkage of data analytics and analysis driving better and smarted business and societal behaviours. A new IBM global study of midmarket Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) indicates that nearly twice as many midmarket CEOs see creating a more collaborative work environment […]

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IT resellers operate in two key market segments left to them by the large IT vendors: The mid-market (firms of up to 1000 staff) for general IT systems and platforms Tight vertical markets where the reseller has a great deal of skill and capability often supported by intellectual property In both these areas customers and […]

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There are three generalised approaches to using flash memory in storage architectures, categorised in the diagram below: Three Categories of Solution Design The Performance Optimised category takes a no-compromise-on-cost approach to designing for performance. A centralised storage controller that leverages flash memory characteristics to dramatically reduce IO latency and improve IOPS. Significant new engineering work […]

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I interviewed Ron Bianchini CEO of Avere Systems about their new third generation FXT appliance. (Ron was the CEO of Spinnaker Networks acquired by NetApp in November 2003 for $300M). We started the conversation by looking at the key values of Spinnaker, it’s ability to scale and cluster NAS filers, a technology long since incorporated […]

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I just finished reading EMC company blogger, Chuck Hollis article about EMC VFCache, a server side flash storage technology that competes with the Fusion-io, ioDrive head on.  Most interestingly, the product name is chosen carefully to ensure customers don’t get confused that VFCache might be designed to replace the normal disk based EMC storage array controller products.  […]

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Around this time, I usually pull together a ten point list of predictions for the coming year. I am interested in the Data Center (around power, cooling, reliability and economics), IT Security (particularly Database and Mobile), Big Data and Storage (Particularly Solid State). So what’s different this year from prior years? Strengthening fundamental drivers are likely to […]

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Last night a few friends (IT Operations Geeks like me) and I had a great “Brains Trust” event at the OXO Tower in London. The topic was a continuation of the last Hot Aisle blog entry Why do we try to solve backup when restore is the problem?  Apart from the food, view and wine […]

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Google has the most amazingly clear terms of service for their cloud products.  The terms are take it or leave it, no promises, no commitments and no come-back. I love the statement that there is no warrant that the quality of services will meet your expectations. It’s a gem.   Thanks to Harqs Singh for […]

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Worldwide, there has been a lot of focus in recent years on reducing the environmental impact of Data Centers. Green always comes at a cost, but once it is viewed as a long-term investment rather than as a quick return on investment (ROI), it can be a viable cost cutting option. Data center investments are […]

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I don’t normally plug press releases straight from vendors but today I received an email from Emily Wood at Google with a message that I agree 100% with. Cooling data centers is not just about refrigeration – there are lots of options – many of which we have written about here on The Hot Aisle […]

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I have spent the last 12 months working with some of the smartest and best funded marketing people on the planet, I have been working with the the really big, household name, IT Infrastructure vendors. I learned lots, lots about marketing, lots about honest analysis and lots about human nature. I learned that marketing isn’t […]

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The problem with computing is everyone wants to make it uniform – fit it into a neat box, categorise it as ‘all the same’, make it autonomic, self-managing and move on. In fact, IT is anything but uniform, so these simplistic approaches fall at the first hurdle. Smart CIOs understand applications need to be treated […]

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A while back I met Kathrin Winkler, Chief Sustainability Officer at EMC. She was delivering a briefing about EMC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to a group of industry analysts. Most CSR briefings are as dull as ditchwater and devoid of anything remotely innovative or challenging. CSR is for some just going through the motions […]

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Most people who read this won’t have a clue what a Hollerith punched card is. I only just caught the end of the era at University where I learned to program in FORTRAN coding one punched card at a time.  Once the stack of cards was complete, I delivered it to the computer operator for […]

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If you have been following the storage business for a while, you will have noticed a few changes: Introduction of Flash Memory components as Solid State Disks Serial ATA (SATA) disks becoming popular and growing in capacity (2TB soon) There are lots of other disk technologies around like Fibre Channel and SAS but SSD and […]

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My old CIO at BT, Al-noor Ramji had a most delightful and endearing way of describing just how unimportant and disconnected IT Infrastructure is from reality by describing us as “The toilet cleaner’s toilet cleaners”. Like other successful CIOs Al-noor had the ability to cut through the noise and explain things as they are. In […]

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