infoTECH Magazine Columns

CHANNELS

Subscribe to the InfoTech eNewsletter
infoTECH Magazine

Columns

From Hype to Reality: Testing the Cloud
October 1, 2011 - 9:27 PM
Managing IT networks requires a broad set of competencies in a growing number of technologies and products. It therefore makes sense that these competencies are centralized in larger data centers providing cloud services to a number of smaller enterprises for which IT is not a core competency.

Embracing Next Generation Enterprise Mobility
October 1, 2011 - 8:46 PM
Technology is rewriting the playbook for the modern enterprise. To intelligently evolve and thrive in the new marketplace, retail enterprises must change to serve smarter customers. CIOs need insight into the next generation of enterprise mobility to enable that change and empower their workforce to provide excellence to customers, drive demand for products and services and impact the bottom line.

Freedom vs. Security
October 1, 2011 - 8:39 PM
There is no doubt that the Internet has been the most revolutionary invention of the 20th century. Never before has a human invention given so much freedom to so many people: digital access to information of all kind everywhere in the world. Today, more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers; young people are watching more online video than broadcast TV; everyone can develop their own blogs and let the world know about their lives, thoughts and opinions.

6 New Rules in a Post-Jobs World
October 1, 2011 - 8:30 PM
Speaking of laptops, I am personally getting embarrassed pulling out a Dell laptop, which makes other CEOs snicker as they pull out lighter-than-air Apple laptops. By the way, it isn't because I am a self-conscious person - these CEOs actually tease me in meetings. Just how many more years does the ugly Microsoft-based laptop have left?

Exploiting New Opportunities, Facing New Problems
October 1, 2011 - 8:29 PM
With the alignment of business and IT becoming increasingly more relevant and critical in what continues to be an uncertain economy brings greater pressure for CIOs to reinvent their IT mission to compete and succeed. With new opportunities come new challenges posed as problems, and the CIO must navigate a new sea of choices.

The Cloud is Serious Business
October 1, 2011 - 7:55 PM
Those were the lines in a comic one of my TMC colleagues recently sent me. Comedy finds its roots in truth; this instance is no exception. Among the chief obstacles to new technology adoption is a lack of understanding of its benefits, including ease of use. In any organization, you're likely to find a group that understands and has begun leveraging the latest technologies, and another that finds comfort in the status quo.

Why Virtualization Has Stalled and How to Restart It
October 1, 2011 - 6:48 PM
In many data centers, virtualization has stalled. The culprit: complexity. Look to automated data center management tools to keep forward progress. The benefits of virtualization are well known. Virtualization has proven that it can achieve key IT objectives:

The Era of the Application
October 1, 2011 - 9:31 AM
Individual networking components are managed as isolated, single-point devices. A networking router, for example, is managed as though it does nothing more than route IP traffic in a void, yet applications are 100 percent dependent on that router working as expected. Organizational and data center networks are currently viewed as a series of individual objects to be managed by individual groups, but there is no overarching view of how those components relate to each other and the rest of the infrastructure, or how those components all function together to deliver applications to users.

Web 2.0 Provides Unique Opportunity for Specialized PaaS
October 1, 2011 - 6:39 AM
As more and more cloud vendors enter the market, providers will have to differentiate themselves by focusing on specific customers, geographies, applications, or service models. Application-optimized, cloud-based solutions make sense for enterprise customers looking for high performance, highly available infrastructures.

Enterprise Social Media: It's Here, It's Now
August 1, 2011 - 9:35 AM
Having spent a day at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, I can say without reservation that enterprise social media is on its way into the mainstream - the big question is whether to mirror Facebook's look or not. Indeed, social media is a definitive part of business culture already and, whether in the form of standalone applications or integrated into other communications capabilities, many of the companies at the show are on the right track.

The New Social Enterprise Boom: Expectation, Valuation and Reality
August 1, 2011 - 9:23 AM
Priced initially at $45 a share, the stock skyrocketed to $122.70 in the first day of trading, which caused opposing camps to raise concerns about a possible dot-com era redux, while others began reorganizing their portfolios to prepare for a string of social media company public offerings. But regardless of whether you yelled "bubble" or later pointed out that LinkedIn may have been undervalued, the amount of uncertainty among investors should bring up red flags.

Consolidating Network Appliances with Virtualization
August 1, 2011 - 9:22 AM
Virtualization has transformed the economics of running data centers. Indeed one could say that without virtualization, data centers would have faced a serious power consumption dilemma. With virtualization, it is now possible to make more efficient use of physical resources and thereby space and power consumption, which lead to cost savings.

How Virtualization Changes Your Disaster Recovery Plan
August 1, 2011 - 9:17 AM
The adoption of cloud computing and virtualization is increasing quickly. According to Symantec's "Enterprise IT Journey to the Cloud" survey, more than 75 percent of enterprises are at least discussing virtualization, and a significant number have already implemented some form of virtualization in their infrastructure. But the adoption of these new technologies raises concerns regarding the reliability of data and applications accessed through the cloud. In particular, organizations are concerned about high availability and disaster recovery.

HP Itanium Feud with Oracle Hurts Customers Most
August 1, 2011 - 9:15 AM
But now with so much software concentrated in a single company, Oracle has incredible power. They have the ability to raise prices on maintenance contracts and customers have limited options. This brings to mind an article from Bob Evans in InformationWeek last year talking about how at the time Oracle's maintenance business had an operating margin of 92 percent on more than $3 billion in a quarter.

The Great Mobile Slowdown
August 1, 2011 - 9:10 AM
Legacy Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) can't solve this problem because they choke on mobile content that is, by definition, dynamic, personalized and impossible to cache. Delivering content to a diverse array of devices is also hard. Processing power and display capabilities of handsets and tablets vary widely as do connection speeds. Here in lies the "real" problem. Latency equals loss of user engagement, which translates into loss of revenues especially for ecommerce mobile websites. Let's walk through some of the more detailed causes of the mobile bottleneck and ways to remedy those situations.

Let's All Try to Work Together, Shall We?
August 1, 2011 - 9:02 AM
That's according to a joint study between Financial Executives International (FEI) and Gartner, which found only about a quarter of the CFOs had confidence that their own IT organization "has the organizational and technical flexibility to respond to changing business priorities."

Five Tips to Secure Your Data Center
August 1, 2011 - 9:01 AM
Since the dawn of the computing age, hackers and network security professionals have been in a constant tug of war between advancements and innovation, success and failure. Today, numerous surveys of IT decision makers cite the issue of security and availability as the major impediment to the adoption of cloud computing.

Seven Habits for Highly Effective and Usable Cloud Deployments
July 1, 2011 - 9:55 AM
Cloud computing is presenting great promise, along with a tough dilemma, for IT architects. The cloud promises to be a powerful business enabler that delivers on-demand scalability, high availability, rapid deployment and lower cost benefits to users. However, it also creates a rogue IT phenomenon by allowing users to buy cloud services with a swipe of a credit card and easily move sensitive applications and data with little to no security or governance.

The Data Center and IT Infrastructure
April 1, 2011 - 6:25 PM
Energy and eco-efficiency issues have been growing in important in data centers for at least three years, increasingly driving decisions about infrastructure design, cooling and location. In 2010, operators unveiled a series of innovations as they pushed hard to reduce both capital and operating costs associated with energy.

App Stores Go Enterprise
April 1, 2011 - 6:23 PM
The future of communications lies in applications and services. If you don't believe it yet, consider the sheer number of apps available (and the number of apps that have been downloaded) at Apple's App Store and the Android Market. Whether you are an iPhone user or have one of the latest Android-based devices in hand, one thing is certain: you have more than likely taken advantage of the exhausting list of apps available at Apple's App Store or the Android Market. For that matter, even BlackBerry users have a selection of useful apps available.

Mobile Cyber Security: A New Challenge for IT
April 1, 2011 - 6:22 PM
If you open up almost any newspaper or read the latest headlines online, cyber security threats are everywhere. And with the growing proliferation of smartphones, security threats are now moving from computers to mobile devices.

Automated Switching Completes Data Center Virtualization
April 1, 2011 - 5:10 PM
Most IT organizations have implemented server and storage virtualization to some degree, but to fully realize the benefits of virtualization, IT organizations need to consider virtualizing the network. Automated switching is a big step toward creating a dynamic network that improves server and storage virtualization efficiency while reducing the staff resources required to manage data center operations.

Safeguarding Against a Denial of Service Attack: What's your Plan?
April 1, 2011 - 5:09 PM
The motivations of cyber-criminals vary from politics to extortion, and all attacks are made with the intent to cause disruption to governments or businesses and cause severe financial as well as reputation harm. Organizations need to be aware of the very real threat of today's sophisticated DDoS attacks and understand the implications that such an attack would have on their network.

Portable Cellular to Mobile Computer
April 1, 2011 - 5:07 PM
Who would have imagined back in 1973 when Martin Cooper made the first cellular phone call, that one day we'd be booking airline tickets, paying bills, taking pictures, watching movies, getting directions and accomplishing real work on a device the size of a deck of cards?

Facebook Gunning for Your Market Share
April 1, 2011 - 5:06 PM
With a sky-high valuation over $70 billion, Facebook has to be super-aggressive to ensure it can support a valuation that seems to grow by tens of billions every few months. With the ability to hire some of the best and brightest engineers, it is obvious the company should be exploring a range of new ways to justify its lofty valuation, which is worth about 75% of Cisco Systems.

Social Media Policies Minimize Risk of Leaks
April 1, 2011 - 5:05 PM
From a security perspective, companies are affected by the same problems as individual users connecting to social media sites, but with potentially more devastating results. The main security concerns include:

Securing the Cloud
April 1, 2011 - 5:00 PM
Managed cloud services have emerged as excellent alternatives to procuring, building and maintaining new infrastructure for medium and large enterprises. However, it seems as though the adoption rate for cloud is significantly higher for non-core, non-production applications than it is for applications deemed critical for the day to day functions of these same medium and large enterprises. A customer recently pointed out that the reasons for the slower adoption include:

MangoSpring MangoApps for Better Corporate Collaboration
January 1, 2011 - 12:02 PM
Months back you may recall I covered Cisco Quad, a corporate social networking solution for truly massive companies. While many organizations use Microsoft SharePoint as a social solution, another option is to turn to MangSpring's MangoApps, a solution which takes the best elements of Facebook, Yammer, Quad and others and combines them into an easy-to-use app that the company proclaims is a powerful open communication and project execution solution for Fortune five-million companies.

Electronic Discovery Outlook for 2011
January 1, 2011 - 11:37 AM
In the past several years, electronic discovery (e-discovery) has become the equivalent of a four-letter word for large enterprise IT and legal departments, which have struggled to deal with the cost and complications of this relatively new discipline. The process of manually collecting, processing, analyzing and reviewing email and electronic documents in response to investigations, litigation and regulatory inquiries has in fact become so costly - and fraught with risk - that many organizations have taken steps to automate and take control over the process.

The Forecast for 2011: Still Cloudy
January 1, 2011 - 11:37 AM
As we head into the 2011, the most significant trend from 2011 is likely to hold that spot for the foreseeable future - Cloud Computing.

The Ghost in the Machine: Calculating Virtualization's Hidden Costs
January 1, 2011 - 11:31 AM
. In the past five years, enterprises have embraced virtualization with gusto to reduce their data center footprint and optimize their IT infrastructure. Most of these new virtualization initiatives began innocently enough, starting within the closed sandboxes of testing and development. Now, as virtualization has proven its value, it has begun to creep into enterprise production environments with the pace and momentum of Japan's bullet trains.

Creating the Enterprise-Ready Cloud with Identity and Access Management
January 1, 2011 - 11:25 AM
Cloud computing adoption is alive and well among organizations despite concerns around security. A recent study conducted by Management Insight and sponsored by CA Technologies showed that 80 percent of mid-sized and large enterprise organizations have implemented at least one cloud service, with nearly half saying they have implemented more than six cloud services. This adoption is happening even though 68 percent of respondents cite security as a barrier to cloud adoption.

Leading Online Automotive Parts Retailer Quickly Revs Up its Network
January 1, 2011 - 11:23 AM
As a leading online provider of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc. became somewhat of a victim of its own success. Established in 1995, the company provides consumers a wide variety of automotive-related products through its network of Web sites that are mapped by a proprietary product database to product applications based on vehicle makes, models and years.

Smartphone Quickly Becoming the New Key to Shopping Paradise
January 1, 2011 - 11:21 AM
One thing has always been true: Customers love a good bargain. But in an iPhone/Android application world, customers are no longer interested in looking so far and wide in order to have a satisfactory shopping experience. They want their experience across store, mobile and online landscapes to be seamless. And beyond that, customers crave a single point of impact that provides instant knowledge of the retail information universe.

Why You Don't Need a Cloud Strategy
January 1, 2011 - 11:20 AM
While this new saying is good news for large vendors who quickly rebrand existing and/or legacy technologies to go along with the momentum, it can also cause a number of challenges. The main one is that it can introduce risks and new costs with minimal ROI for companies building out cloud strategies outside of their normal IT practice. So, to get it right the first time, rather than looking at the cloud as a separate replacement strategy, companies need to look at it from the bigger picture as a complete IT strategy.

Integration of Disruptive Technologies Distinguishes Year Ahead
January 1, 2011 - 12:02 AM
By a 3-2 vote on Dec. 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission paved the way to protect net neutrality on broadband networks. Under its plan, Internet service providers such as AT&T or Verizon will be prevented from blocking access to lawful websites and content; the divisive plan also affects wired broadband providers.

IT Hybridization: Why You Need a Hybrid Backbone
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
The question is no longer about whether your organization will adopt the cloud, it's about when, how fast and how deep.

Mid-Sized Companies on the Cutting Edge of Technology
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Mid-sized companies are more likely than large enterprises or small firms to adopt the latest technologies, such as cloud computing and virtualization. At least those are the findings from Symantec's 2010 State of the Data Center report.

Social Networking Channels Embrace Location Awareness
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Over the past few years, social networking has become a phenomenon that's nearly impossible to ignore. Twitter has exploded since 2006 and now boasts more than 100 million active users. The rise of social media networking platforms like Twitter has resulted in greater transparency into participants' lives. On a daily basis, many of us are sharing more information about ourselves and our activities with a growing audience. Even more traditional networking sites like LinkedIn are now enabling users to provide status updates similar to Twitter and Facebook.

The Overlooked Foundation for Network Security
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
A major airport was recently shut down due to a security violation. A man rushed into the terminal through an exit-only passage and blended into the crowd before the security guard could stop him. Worse still, the security guard did not get a good look at the man to find him among all the other people.

Cloud Services Cures Data Challenges for Healthcare Document Manager
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Last year at this time, Florida-based Automated Document Solutions (ADS) had a new business opportunity with a large hospital group that needed back-file scanning, storage and 24/7 access to 7 terabytes (TB) worth of medical records. The job required a more robust infrastructure than ADS' existing colocated setup, including a hardened in-house data center with a Storage Area Network (SAN).

Starting Up, Looking Ahead
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Here's something we at InfoTech Spotlight learned early during the labor of love that gave birth to the magazine you're reading: Part of what's daunting about an inaugural issue that focuses on topics such as cloud computing, security and virtualization is the sheer scope of those technologies.

Bringing Fairness and Accountability to Technology Journalism to Serve You Better
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
The technology market has shown itself to be a vibrant force in a struggling global economy. For example, companies looking to reduce travel costs now use collaboration and telepresence as a lower-cost alternative to airplane travel. Moreover, the cloud reduces data center costs, mobile computing has increased worker productivity, ERP helps streamline operations and boost efficiency while CRM systems have boosted customer loyalty.

A Crazy Little Thing Called Cloud
October 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM
As Erin Harrison pointed out in her Editor's Letter, the somewhat ambiguous "cloud" can help level the playing field, allowing smaller companies to compete with larger, financially more secure, and often more established entities.

Subscribe to infoTECH Spotlight for Free