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Showing posts from August, 2008

Persystent introduces Dekstop Virtualization solution!

Persystent Technologies, a leading provider of automated PC repair and high-speed imaging software, today introduces Persystent Virtualization. Persystent Virtualization is a powerful new solution that eases deployment, maintenance and control over virtual desktop environments, while providing end users with greater personalization of their virtual desktops. Persystent Virtualization automatically protects and enforces the desired state of every virtual desktop in an organization, eliminating the need for IT to continually reconfigure desktops. End users can customize their virtual desktop within enforced corporate configuration standards. This gives them the look and feel of having their own personal computer, a first for virtual desktop users. By enabling personalized virtual desktops, including address books, desktop short cuts, wallpaper and other custom settings, Persystent eases the transition from traditional to virtualized computing.��������…

Cloud Acquisitions: Salesforce swallows inStranet

SAN FRANCISCO - August 20, 2008 - Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), today announced the acquisition of InStranet, the leading provider of knowledge management technology for business to consumer (B2C) call centers. The acquisition brings powerful knowledge base Dimensions technology to Salesforce CRM Customer Service & Support, enabling customers and call center agents around the world to quickly find the answer they need, the first time. The addition of this game-changing technology and approximately 350,000 global call center agents aggressively accelerates the momentum of Salesforce CRM Customer Service & Support in the growing customer service and support market, which is currently estimated at $3.4 billion by Gartner (Gartner, Market Trends: CRM Software, Worldwide, 2007-2012, March 31, 2008).

"I'd like to welcome the InStranet team to salesforce.com," said Marc Be…

Cloud Computing India: Sify and Google tie up Global App

Sify Technologies Limited (Nasdaq National market: SIFY), a leader in enterprise data services and consumer Internet with global delivery capabilities, announced today its agreement with Google Inc. to bring the Google Apps suite of communication and collaboration tools, including email, chat and online documents, to Indian Internet users. Google Apps will now power Sifymail and chat, as well as other applications using the Google Apps platform, which would be leveraged across Sify’s fast expanding Network Infrastructure, reaching out to over a million users across India and abroad.

Raju Vegesna, Chairman & CEO, Sify Technologies Limited, said, “There is a perfect confluence of the mission of our companies in enhancing the quality of life of individuals and businesses by empowering them with the Internet. Our agreement with Google makes superior applications available for communications and collaboration, coupled with our understanding of the needs of Indians, on our popular porta…

Asian Markets: Dell unleashes Vostro laptops; chases 72 Million SMB businesses

Bangalore, India, Aug. 27, 2008 - Dell today unveiled two new Vostro laptops and two desktops designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses, governments and educational institutions operating on limited budgets in India and the world's emerging economies.The new Vostro laptops and desktops will be available through authorized channel partners, as well as direct from Dell in India and more than 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. More information is available at www.Dell.com/newvostropresskit."Within the world's emerging economies, such as India, millions of new businesses are demanding just the technology they need, at the prices they can afford, from a vendor they can trust. Today we answer that need by introducing new products that join our existing Vostro product line," said Steve Felice, president, Dell Asia-Pacific/Japan. "Together with our partners, Dell will play an important role in bringing more technology to more peopl…

Cloud Computing: Who are the providers

3Tera Inc.: Appliance-driven virtual servers3Tera's AppLogic is a grid engine that has evolved over time into a full-fledged cloud computing environment. The company said its offering is designed to enable data centers to replace expensive and hard-to-integrate IT infrastructure -- such as firewalls, load balancers, servers and storage-area networks -- with virtual appliances. Each appliance runs in its own virtual environment. AppLogic combines servers into a scalable grid that's managed as a single system via a browser or secure shell. According to 3Tera, data centers can add or remove servers on the fly, monitor hardware, manage user credentials, reboot servers, install software, build virtual appliances, back up the system, repair damaged storage volumes, inspect logs and perform every other management task from a single point of control, all while the system is running. Amazon.com: As-you-need-them basic IT resourcesAmazon was an early cloud computing proponent, and the c…

Bill Gates on Cloud Computing

M: Everybody now is talking about software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, and those sorts of things. How does the move towards those kinds of models impact desktop computing, which is clearly Microsoft's legacy, the thing Microsoft is best known for? B: There's always been this question of "Where is computing being done, right next to you or far away?" And the more bandwidth and lower latency you have, the more flexibility you have about how you split that computer task. Time sharing had terminals where almost nothing was happening locally. Whether it was a character-based display, a 3270 or X protocol, everything but presentation was happening centrally. Then the PC swung it, before the Internet shows up, to where you're doing everything on that local device and only the file store and in some cases, the database store, are done remotely, but you have most of the business logic as well as presentation, editing, and interactions done on that device. The be…

VMware continues to be expensive despite 55% stock plunge and competition

First lets do a Real-Time Market Analysis

While all those estimates, tempered and then with a correction of $1Bn, are only mentioning about a market of just 1% servers that are virtualized!

In Europe and in APAC there is not just growing interest in existing Citrix and Microsoft customers but also several "neutral" customers to go ahead and adopt Citrix and Microsoft virtualization.

Many customers are looking for heterogeneous answers and want a complete answer to their TCO and not an inflated story about "doing it all with VMware". The customers are keen on all solutions but are still maintaining the sentiment of: "Just do the right thing for us".

That leaves a lot of consulting and implementers with bigger responsibility. You cannot afford to sell a "one-vendor fit all" package to customers anymore.

Technological advances such as Cloud Computing

While price correction (read = reduction) may not be the only answer to VMware's woes, it certainly …

Cloud Ramp-up: Cisco acquires PostPath for $215 Million

San Jose, California-based Cisco has bought its way into a number of application software-dominated markets, including cloud computing, social networking, collaboration, and now email.

With cloud computing and social networking blurring the lines between networking hardware, application software, and services, a number of traditional IT gear companies led by Cisco have moved into the software application business.

And for good reason: The emergence of cloud computing is changing the economics of networking hardware and software markets, according to analysts.

Cloud computing is corporate computing that does not reside at users' premises. Instead the computing resources are owned and managed by a service provider and businesses access the resources via the Internet.

Customers pay only for the level of service they need so they can dial up or dial down the service level based on the current needs of their businesses. So where companies once bought hardware devices, they are now paying j…

VMware acquisition: Cisco's data center dream might just come true

As firms check their bank balances and continue to pursue their data center dream, VMware remains a very interesting acquisition for firms who have a larger dream. The larger dream is the stake in the $100 Bn Cloud Computing market.

Stock-market site theflyonthewall.com says the spike in VMware (VMW) shares today reflects speculation that Cisco (CSCO) might want to increase its stake in the company. Cisco currently owns 6.9% of VMW’s Class A shares, or about 1.5% of the company’s stock overall. Cisco acquired its stake prior to VMW’s IPO. Intel (INTC) also bought a pre-IPO stake in the company that it continues to hold.VMW today is up $1.14, or 3.1%, to $38.12.

Barron's Reporting

NETIQ survery: Virtualization initiative lack Application Management Basics!

This is like telling someone politely to "use their imagination". Virtualization may be a great to consolidate your assets and pack them up in lesser space but no oen can save you from the lack of certain critical skills.

Comprised of feedback from over 1,000 respondents within more than 800 different government, enterprise and small-to-medium organizations worldwide, only 21 percent of 759 respondents currently deploying virtualization have any kind of systems management solution for their virtual infrastructure. Overall, survey responses demonstrate that:

* Approximately 27 percent are managing the performance and availability of their virtual systems with the same tools they utilize on their physical servers;
* Just 17 percent are simply monitoring the virtual hardware or the operating system; and
* Only 10 percent are proactively gauging end-user response time while 15 percent are simply considering it.

The survey also revealed that 40 percent of respondents are not …

M&A : Euro weakens, Will Asian firms go after European companies?

With Infosys buying in UK (although that may not have anything directly to do with the euro weakening, it was the pound that took the pounding that prompted Infosys to go strike).

Will the increasingly euro lead to Asia companies going after SI and other Consulting firms within the Euro such as CapGemini etc?

The Ifo index had been expected to fall this month, but recent falls in oil prices and the euro – which has dropped about 8 per cent since its mid-July peak against the dollar – had been expected to boost optimism about the future.

The latest weak data sent warning signals to the European Central Bank, said Julian Callow at Barclays Capital. “Even Europe's biggest economy, which had in recent quarters been supporting overall euro area growth, is stalling - providing further evidence that the euro area will require an easing in monetary conditions,” he said.

The ECB publishes revised eurozone forecasts next week but with inflation in the 15-country region still double its target o…

Solidcore Unveils Change Audit Solution for VMware Environments

CUPERTINO, Calif., Aug. 26, 2008 — Solidcore® Systems, Inc., the leader in change audit and configuration control, today announced its S3 Control™ software detects and validates change events to VMware environments in real time. Unlike previous methods that relied on multiple scan-based tools to manage change, the S3 Control software reconciles change events in real time from both virtual and physical infrastructures with an enterprise change management process. The Solidcore capabilities help customers define more comprehensive change policies and streamline the validation of changes throughout the IT environment to avoid costly downtime.

Enterprise IT organizations are under increasing pressure to maintain the integrity of virtual systems in production environments. They want to apply the same processes to virtual infrastructures that are in place for the physical infrastructures, which can also include best practices such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL…

INX to showcase Virtualization book at VMworld

NX Inc. (Nasdaq:INXI) today announced the release of "Deploying the VMware Infrastructure” at VM World 2008. With the recent acquisition of the California based AccessFlow in June, INX has made an aggressive move into the data center virtualization space by acquiring some of the most expert minds in the business. Those minds belong to Steve Kaplan and Gary Lamb, INX’s VP of Datacenter Virtualization and Senior Director of Data Center Virtualization Practice, respectively. Steve and Gary have collaboratively written a book titled "Deploying the VMware Infrastructure” and will be releasing the book at this year’s VMware World trade show, September 15 through the 18th in Las Vegas. The book is being published by USENIX Association and will be sold at VMWorld through their bookstore and can be preordered at digitalguru.com.

Source

AMD sets new record on VMware platform!

"AMD has an extensive track record of helping enterprises face demanding challenges by enabling flexible, virtualized systems that address major issues including server consolidation, business continuity and disaster recovery," said Patrick Patla, general manager, Server and Workstation Business, AMD. "AMD's latest benchmark result underscores the fact that Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors are more than just four cores and provide innovations such as AMD Virtualization with Rapid Virtualization Indexing to help deliver an ideal platform for addressing real-world data center needs." Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) technology is designed to offer near-native performance of virtualized applications while enabling fast switching between virtual machines (VMs.) The VMmark 1.1 consolidation benchmark, released by VMware in May 2008, includes seve…

IntApp announces integration builder 4.1 for ESX

PALO ALTO, Calif.--August 25, 2008--IntApp, Inc., the leading provider of risk management, time capture and integration software for the legal industry, and VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program member, today announced the availability of Integration Builder 4.1. VMware provides TAP program members with tools to develop products that are complementary to VMware virtualization software and help deliver high-value solutions to our joint customers.

Integration Builder allows organizations to move information among software applications in real time and to automate a wide range of business processes. With this release, IntApp makes this product available both as a hardware appliance and as a software-only solution.

Additionally, the 4.1 release includes expanded support for communicating international characters across integrated systems, added controls for managing remote Windows file systems, including the ability to create and set access rights for file shares, and improved ad…

VMware hires exec for China

VMware Inc., (NYSE:VMW) the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, announced today the appointment of Mr. David Sung (Song Jiayu) as president of VMware’s Greater China region. Sung is responsible for strategic planning, business operations and management of key functions, including sales, channels, services and marketing, for the Greater China region. The Greater China region covers mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau and Taiwan. “David’s extensive experience in IT and business management puts him in a strong position to lead VMware’s business and support customer requirements across Greater China,” said Carl Eschenbach, executive vice president of worldwide field operations, VMware. “VMware offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of virtualization solutions, VMware is in a unique position to help organizations in Greater China fast-t…

VMware ESX: Enhanced VMotion Compatibility

The classic VMotion problem of recent times is the customer who buys tin from a vendor, only to find out that the processor number e.g. 53xx and 54xx, is actually quite significant. The principle difference which will prevent VMotion is the addition of SSE4.1 to the 54xx range of Intel processors (if you previously only had 53xx Intel processors).

An application using the SSE4.1 feature (or is aware of this feature) when VMotioned to a non-SSE4.1 host would likely blue screen trying to make use of this feature on the older host.

People then recalled the CPU mask feature in VMware - we’ll just mask it out they thought. Unfortunately VMware declared this was an unsupported mask with KB1993 and KB1991.

Note that for production environments, VMware neither supports nor recommends modifying VMotion masks for SSE3, SSE3, or SSE4.1 because of the risk of failure of the application or guest operating system after migration.

The reason soon became clear:

* SSE features can be used by user…

Texas district virtualizes with VMware and Dell

Tyler Independent School District in Texas said it has recently moved its servers to a virtualized infrastructure, consolidating 114 older servers onto seven new ones. The district is running VMware ESX Server software on Dell PowerEdge 2950 servers.

Virtualization is a growing trend in IT departments across all sectors. Virtualization technologies allow the work of multiple machines to be carried out by a single computer, making more efficient use of power and helping to cut costs and reduce the carbon footprint of data centers. Back in April, research firm Gartner cited virtualization as the "highest-impact" technology looking ahead over the next four years.

In the case of Tyler ISD, the district is also using virtualization technology to expand the services available to teachers and students remotely.

Source

Stonesoft to support VMsafe technology

Stonesoft, an innovative provider of integrated network security and resilient connectivity solutions, today announced that it will support VMware VMsafe technology. By using VMsafe technology, Stonesoft's virtual StoneGate appliances can provide an even deeper level of visibility and manageability to ensure the security of virtual environments.

VMware VMsafe technology provides application program interfaces (APIs) into the hypervisor so that select VMware partners can deliver solutions with fine-grained visibility into virtual machine resources. This technology makes it possible to monitor every aspect of the execution of the system and stop previously undetectable worms, rootkits and malware before they can infect a system.

Press

We lied to you: Virtualization defeats the Green OS initiative

This is bound to spark of a huge discussion. Does that also makes hypervisors inefficient for CloudApps?

The hypervisors we tested from VMware (ESX 3.X), XenSource (Xen) and Microsoft's Virtual Server (not Hyper-V, which wasn't yet released) all prohibit the ability for the CPU/chip sets to reduce speed or go into "green mode" as long as there's a virtual machine guest running atop the hypervisor -- regardless of operating system flavor.

Hypervisors allocate system resources as specified by administrative constraints imposed on virtual machine guest operating systems and applications. The action of actively monitoring and allocating specified resources generates a lot of work for the CPU. Hypervisor system clock ticks and resource controls, combined with host VM guest operating system ticks, simply prevent CPUs from resting and therefore saving power.

Source

Citrix XenApp5 is here!

"When it's streamed down to me I don't have to worry about installing it or anything. I always have the latest, greatest version of it," he says. "Not only does it start up quickly, but should anything go wrong with the application, I can just re-stream it."

XenApp places applications on centralized servers, allowing users to connect to them from remote devices. To the user, it appears as if the application had been installed on the desktop. Essentially, the presentation layer or user interface is virtualized, says Barb Goldworm, founder and chief analyst for FOCUS Consulting. "Rather than run it on your own desktop, you're running it on a server, virtualizing the presentation layer and distributing it over the network," she says.

Citrix has gone further than any other vendor in terms of virtualizing both desktops and applications, Goldworm says.

Server virtualization giant VMware got into the application virtualization market this year by purcha…

Infosys acquires SAP consulting firm Axon Group for £470 Million!

And so it begins…An acquisition of this kind, whereby one of the Indian IT giants acquires a sizeable Western IT services provider, has long been predicted.Factors such as currency fluctuation, employee churn and the rise of alternate offshore destinations are threatening to curtail the phenomenal success of the Indian IT outsourcing industry.Companies such as Infosys, Wipro and TCS are therefore eager to increase the value of the contracts they can offer their Western clients, moving from application development donkey-work to the kind of consultative partnership that the likes of Accenture and IBM have with their clients.To do this, however, requires local presence and a caliber of consultant that their vast software campuses are not yet geared to producing. And while they have cash in reserves and the rupee is strong, now is an ideal time for Indian IT providers to buy those in.Analysts predict that Infosys’ Axon deal will be the first of many ‘outbound’ acquisitions by Indian IT c…

HP : 5 Trends to watch; XaaS the path to ideation age!

XaaS = Everything as a Service and this is when the Virtualization 4.0 eventually hands over the reigns to the new age of UMCC or Unified Modular Cloud Computing. Having done that we will be doing things in variety of ways. (Reading my blog and searching for "ideation", "globalization", "strategy" etc will lead you to more articles I've written about the coming of the Ideation Age)

According to HP (Shane, the CSO's blog), the five trends to watch are:

As we move from the desktop model to the cloud and a world where everything will be delivered as a service, there are five trends that we at HP believe are worth paying close attention to: The digital world will converge with the physical world: Back in 1995, the mantra was, “Everything is virtual. Geography is irrelevant.” But from now on, factors such as your physical location mean a lot. Cloud services will be increasingly aware of the context you’re in, right down to details such as the time, the …

Cloud Computing : The New Model for coming 20 years, says IDC

If anything, the trend will shower more revenue on the industry as this new method of accessing computing power enlarges the overall market. And if ICT analyst IDC is right, no breeze is about to get up and blow the cloud away - this will be the prevailing form of ICT service delivery for a couple of decades."This is about the IT industry's new model for the next 20 years," says IDC's Vernon Turner, the firm's Boston-based head of enterprise infrastructure, consumer and telecoms research.Many of the industry's hardware, software and services heavyweights are readying cloud computing offerings and, last month, one of them, Google, announced a deal with the University of Auckland to provide access to applications via the internet to 50,000 students, staff and alumni.Google is the youngest of the companies Turner names as cloud computing front-runners, but is generally said to be making the running.Whether that's actually so isn't yet known. IDC is just …

M&A Analysis: How sound is VMware's acquisition strategy?

With all the talk about VMware going after Redhat, sometime back VMware for BEA and what not, got me wondering about the products and acquisitions VMware has done in the past.

If you listen to the valleywag, it seemed like Diane was getting rather restless and was talking to lots of folks, Intel, Cisco, Redhat (apparently from the latest rumors). Obviously a lot is also speculation. I still stand by my advice smetime back that VMware should have gone for BEA, anyways.

The point of this whole analysis/open discussion is to understand what may be the real problem with VMware's growth in the near future. ESxi got free so the focus comes on the tools that they have. What if they don't sell as promised? Is there a plan to do something with the tools? What has been told to the shareholders/investors? My investor friends in the valley are telling me that this is soon going to be a huge problem within the board.

Excerpt from the LinkedIn discussion:

VMware has made several acquisitions i…

MetaRAM: Upcoming Intel servers to have 288 Gb Memory!

MetaSDRAM™ on Future Intel-based Systems MetaSDRAM is the only technology that allows dual-rank 8GB or 16GB R-DIMMs to be built with mainstream, cost-effective, 1Gbit SDRAM, enabling up to 144GB or 288GB of memory on Intel’s future server systems (using 8GB R-DIMMs or 16GB R-DIMMs). Intel is currently validating MetaRAM’s DDR3 MetaSDRAM for use with its upcoming future server systems.

Hynix Semiconductor R-DIMMs Featuring MetaSDRAM Hynix is currently sampling DDR3 2-rank 8GB R-DIMMs running at 1066 MT/s. For more information, please visit www.hynix.com.

Target Markets

MetaRAM’s DDR3 MetaSDRAM is ideal for high performance rack-mount servers and
workstations that run compute-intensive applications such as 3-D CAD simulation, databasePress Release

P.S: More and more reasons to belive that a super intensified, high-density, GDM-data center is eventually where your apps belong.

Security & Compliance: Accountability a big issues in Virtual Infrastructure

No you don't have to panic here. you have all the staff in place to take over these replacing responsibilities (note, I didn't say additional since they will eventually have to let go of a lot of old habits and practices, it that offers some relief).

Your Security staff, SOX team or whatever you have in place and/or other folks are the ones who must define standards and frameworks that are compliant to the typical security audit scenarios. Obviously this can also be a means to bring a lot of folks from other domains to participate in the whole "virtualization party" (as it is often, sarcastically mentioned by the guys who have no idea who these "virtualization team" is) actively.

Security is undoubtedly a very improtant arena, in the older world, it just didn't take off. I still remember when I was pushing , that was 7 years back, some auditing practices that could give us more granular control on operational FGAC on the databases, people just looked at m…

IBM virtualizes Aussie school's desktops and servers!

While analysts are all fretting over the VMware vs Microsoft , which in my opinion is oh-so-boring by now, IBM stealthily penetrates the SMB market globally with its pre-cloud offerings.

The Missing Link installed 42 IBM HC10 blade workstations, coupled with the IBM BladeCenter E Chassis and Cool Blue technology.

Students can now access applications running from any one of the blade workstations across the campus, saving time and resources.

The school runs the blades in a 1:1 set-up, with one blade for each user. Normally, one blade caters for multiple users.

Patrick Skagerfalt, IGS facilities manager said the school needed the hardware power to run Photoshop, PremierPro (movie editing), SolidEdge and VectorWorks (3D design) software applications.

Source

Indian Private firms outperform their public-listed MNCs!

Indian private sector firms have outperformed their public-listed multinational counterparts over the last five years.

An ETIG analysis of financial performance of listed subsidiaries of MNCs in India vis-a-vis that of privately-managed local firms show that it is the Indian companies who have grown faster both in revenues and profits. This implies desi firms have been ahead in taking advantage of the turbo-charged growth in the Indian economy.

Over FY03-08 period, while Indian companies have recorded more than 22.5% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue, the group of MNCs could manage only 17.4%. The study shows that the difference in the growth rate of bottom line is even greater with Indian firms recording 43% growth compared to just 26% for the MNC arms.

Source

Indian Markets: Traning house Aptech ties with Italian firm

NEW DELHI: Learning solutions provider Aptech Ltd said on Thursday it had entered into a strategic tie-up with Italian training firm Seven Rings International to impart soft skills and corporate computing skill development among graduates.

Under the agreement, Aptech will be the exclusive training delivery partner in India for Seven Rings, which offers self development and professional empowerment courses.

"Organisations today are looking at recruiting people, who besides having the requisite technical skills, have the necessary soft skills to adapt to their work culture. Under this agreement, Aptech will share its expertise in corporate computing and soft skills development," said its chief executive and managing director Pramod Khera.

Source

Indian Markets: HCL expands to Australia

IT services provider HCL Technologies Ltd (HCL) has set up a new global development centre named Sydney which will help to accommodate over 500 members across the region.

The Sydney centre is part of HCL’s global delivery strategy to offer customers support from various locations across the globe. The centre currently employs 50 people in support, maintenance and some custom product development roles. At present HCL has its delivery centres in India, China, Poland, Singapore and Ireland and has recently announced its plans to open the US delivery centre in North Carolina, a company release said.

Source

Corel up for acquisition amidst Cloud Computing ramp up?

Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CREL)(TSX:CRE), a leading developer of
graphics, productivity and digital media software ("Corel"), today
responding to previous reports, and consistent with its press release
issued Monday, August 18th, which indicated that its Special Committee
had "identified" strategic alternatives, stated that it is in
discussions with a third party regarding a potential sale of Corel. No
agreement has been reached regarding a sale of Corel and there can be
no assurance that such an agreement will be reached. In addition,
there can be no assurance that any transaction will be completed or,
if completed, of its terms, price or timing. For a discussion of many
of the risks and uncertainties pertaining to ownership of Corel
shares, please refer to Corel's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the
year ended November 30, 2007, on file with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.


Source

Yahoo! bags top award for Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery

"ACM SIGKDD is pleased to present Dr. Raghu Ramakrishnan with its 2008 Innovation Award for his important contributions to the advancement of the data mining and knowledge discovery," said Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, chair of ACM SIGKDD. "Dr. Ramakrishnan's visionary research on techniques for scaling data mining algorithms to large datasets, and on mining ordered and streaming data has significantly influenced ongoing developments in the industry." The award is given to one individual or one group of collaborators who has made significant technical innovations in the field of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery that have been transferred to practice in significant ways, or that have significantly influenced direction of research and development in the field. The previous ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award winners include Rakesh Agrawal (IBM), Jerome Friedman (Stanford University), Heikki Mannila (Helsinki University of Technology), J…

Data Security breaches at both US and UK government installations!

This only goes to show that stuff has leaked all the time. It's time to secure those phreaking data theft and breaches!

Dear CIO, please read my lips:

Get a physical on your data security, get a barking dog like Gordon Ramsey in your shop and do the audit! Your trusted partner could have deployed some sub-contractors or its own incompetent staff, who have no idea what security is all about.

PLEASE GET A PHYSICAL ON YOUR DATA!

This story is about a data theft of entire prison population in U.K:

Another month, another high profile government data breach. This time the blame lies with a contractor, PA Consulting, which mislaid a USB storage device containing unencrypted data on the entire population of the UK’s prisons.
According to a Home Office spokesperson, amongst the data were the home addresses of 30,000 repeat offenders and 10,000 “prolific and priority offenders.”
The data came from the government’s JTrack system, which allows police to monitor the whereabouts of convicted crimina…

Global Economy: Cloud Computing to fill the "Ceiling Gap"?

So what the heck is a Ceiling Gap?

As an executive on my day job and a part-time consultant for JP Morgan, I have a lot of questions thrown at me from time to time. I see challenges rise and I see people fall. I see technologies rise and I see trends evaporate. I see subtle transitions and I see loads of promiscuity. Anyways I get enough "data" in my head and I have this sense of urgency, the insatiable urge to find a way to solve the loss of the untold. That could ... save the planet. Help the world reshape the global economy and watch the innovation which is deeply embedded within the layers of the the inclined ceiling from where all the ideas drop into baskets and creative destruction (Joseph Schumpeter was nutty enough to have seen it happen 70 years ago when the world was in a much more turmoil than today) takes place.

So anyways I have been toying with the idea of the middle, the place that needs a solid filling and it is that space that is the gap. We all talk about th…

What is privacy in a Cloud: Syncplicity CEO interviewed

Viral: For instance, why do you use the word “irrevocable”? Perpetual essentially means the same thing but irrevocable takes it one step further. It has such a negative connotation. At Microsoft, I’ve only seen the word “irrevocable” used on intellectual property that we give to the community. For example, all the technologies outlined in our Open Specifications Promise are irrevocably given to the community as outlined in those terms and conditions. But in your case, it’s like you’re taking other peoples’ stuff and giving away rights. Isn’t “perpetual” good enough?

Leonard: I’m not a lawyer so I’m unsure if there’s a reason “irrevocable” was used instead of “perpetual”. I’ll take this back to legal and get back to you.

Viral: What about “exploit” ? It’s kinda negative too and nefarious sounding in a way.

Leonard: I already took that bit of feedback back to legal. Basically lawyers don’t speak the same English as you and I. While “exploit” is a well-defined shorthand word used i…

GMail Hacking Tool: Your Cloud could be hacked!

The attack works something like this: As Perry explained at DEFCON, a Gmail user might login to Gmail using the ostensibly secure URL https://mail.google.com. If subsequently surfing CNN.com, for example, via an open wireless connection, an attacker could inject a Gmail image URL and prompt the user's browser to transmit an unprotected Gmail 'GX' cookie in conjunction with the image fetch operation. The attacker could then 'sniff' the unprotected cookie and later use that file to access the victim's Gmail account.

Perry is planning to release a tool that makes HTTPS cookie hijacking easy. And he defends his plan to do so.

Revealing security flaws isn't popular among those that have to patch affected systems. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, for example, recently obtained a temporary gag order -- lifted on Tuesday -- that prevented three MIT students from presenting information about security problems in the transit agency's fare card system.

But P…

Cisco secretly planning to buy Brocade?

LightReading covering this:

The move would make some tactical sense. It would boost Cisco's standing in storage networking and would also keep Foundry out of Brocade's hands. Brocade is hoping its $3 billion purchase of Foundry will make it an Ethernet/storage powerhouse to rival Cisco, or at least Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR - message board). (See Brocade Takes Aim at Cisco (& Juniper).)

Moreover, Brocade would come at a discounted price. Shares are still down about 12 percent since the company announced the 40 percent premium it would pay for Foundry, and its stock is down 25 percent from a 52-week high of $9.61 set on Halloween.

Then again, maybe it's just a sign that Cisco acquisition rumors are back in season. Talk of a deal with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC - message board) was making the rounds just weeks ago.

That talk might be fueled by a relative slump in orders that, come October, will have dogged Cisco for a full year. The company is still growing, but in singl…

Amazon pushes Cloud to new level with EBC

Amazon's new Elastic Block Computing initiative raises the bar for what will be possible with cloud computing. And when you think about how much more efficient this technology is compared to that in use by traditional data centers, it's obvious that companies like Amazon and Google have a huge advantage compared to incumbents like AT&T.

Amazon's EBC is a very cool way of achieving storage in the network cloud: it preserves the "instance" when data is retrieved or a transaction executed, so that the instance can be re-used without the database being queried again. I'm thinking of it as a sort of cache-in-the-cloud. NYT

Cloud Computing and Privacy: You're being watched!

Although this text applies to U.S, I've heard that the German Govt too is tightening it's grip on all activities.

On July 11, 2008, Steven Warshak, the president of a nutrition supplement company, learned the hard way (pdf) about the dangers of using web-based email. On May 6, 2005, the government got such an order for the contents of his emails.

Generally, the internet service provider (ISP) is required to give the subscriber notice of the subpoena, but the statute allows a delay of up to 90 days if the government just asks for the data and the court finds that "there is reason to believe that notification of the existence of the court order may have an adverse result", like endangering the life or physical safety of an individual, flight from prosecution, destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, or otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or unduly delaying a trial. Using this provision the government got an order allow…

Why Cisco, EMC and VMware need to get Cloud-relevant?

Because they are not there yet despite the fact that they may be in most of those data centers.

Just look at the Wikipedia definition of cloud:

Cloud computing means Internet ('Cloud') based development and use of computer technology ('Computing'). It is a style of computing where IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service”[1], allowing users to access technology-enabled services "in the cloud"[2] without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them[3]. It is a general concept that incorporates software as a service, Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, where the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users. For example, Google Apps provides common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data is stored on the servers.

And then go ahead and do a search for EMC, Cisco or VMware. They aren't l…

Cloud Computing and ITIL: Do it right this time!

And take a training before you do the standardization.

Workshop program:DAY 1:Cloud Language: The Taxonomy of On-Demand Computing
Clouds.
Grids. PaaS. There are dozens of names to describe on-demand computing, and lots of confusion. This block brings some order to the chaos, offering a comparison of different on-demand computing models including hardware-as-a-service, custom platforms, and large-scale compute infrastructures..Cloud SLAs
How reliable is the cloud?
Enterprises demand predictable service levels, reliable delivery, and committed availability. This block will look at what level of service we should demand - and can expect - from cloud computing infrastructure, as well as tools and best practices for measuring it.Running Clouds: What the Big Guys Know
A very small number of companies generate the vast majority of today's web pages, from Facebook applications to hosted sites. With compelling economics, they may be running most of the world's computing in a short while. Thi…

CEO guide to Cloud Computing

A Sea Change in Computing

Some analysts say cloud computing represents a sea change in the way computing is done in corporations. Merrill Lynch (MER) estimates that within the next five years, the annual global market for cloud computing will surge to $95 billion. In a May 2008 report, Merrill Lynch estimated that 12% of the worldwide software market would go to the cloud in that period.

Those vendors that can adjust their product lines to meet the needs of large cloud computing providers stand to profit. Companies like IBM, Dell (DELL), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), for instance, are moving aggressively in this direction. On Aug. 1, IBM said it would spend $360 million to build a cloud computing data center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., bringing to nine its total of cloud computing centers worldwide. Dell is also targeting this market. The computer marker supplies products to some of the largest cloud computing providers and Web 2.0 companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and…

Hyperic monitors Google App Engine

Open source web infrastructure management provider Hyperic Inc. today announced the newest cloud provider to be supported by its groundbreaking CloudStatus service-Google App Engine. Google App Engine is the second significant cloud service to be monitored by CloudStatus, which launched in June with support for Amazon Web Services. Support for additional cloud providers is planned for the coming months. Hyperic's free CloudStatus service delivers real-time, independent insight into the health and performance of the App Engine, giving users a greater level of confidence in the reliability, availability and scalability of web applications running on Google's infrastructure."Monitoring helps maintain the health and performance of any application, including those powered by App Engine," said Paul McDonald, an App Engine product manager at Google. "We are excited to work with Hyperic to provide additional transparency to our service's real-time performance."…

NOL CEO hints at keeping Hapag-Lloyd brand

NOL and the German group – known as the Hamburg Solution – are the only two bidders left in the running to buy Hapag-Lloyd, operator of the world’s fifth largest container shipping fleet. Tui, the Hannover-based shipping and tourism group, is selling the line after coming under pressure from shareholders to separate the two arms of its business.Hapag-Lloyd could fetch as much as $6bn and a merged company would operate the world’s third largest container fleet, after those of Denmark’s Maersk Line and Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company.A German backlash against losing control of Hapag-Lloyd could seriously hamper NOL’s plans.Mr Widdows – who was partially gagged by a confidentiality agreement – pointed to NOL’s handling of the takeover of California-based APL in 1997 to show how a Hapag-Lloyd deal might be handled. NOL’s ships still trade under the APL brand name after NOL decided APL’s brand was stronger.

Source

P.S: I have worked for NOL/AEL back in 1996.

American Airlines launches WiFi service delivered by Cloud

Are you suffering from a sort of empty-nest syndrome now that you’ve moved all your data to the cloud? Now you can book a trip to visit it aboard American Airlines. The carrier is the first in the U.S. to offer full in-flight broadband (minus telephony), initially on the Boeing 767-200 aircraft making nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami. The service, Gogo from Aircell, costs a flat $12.95 for flights over three hours ($9.95 for shorter trips, once the service expands), and speeds should be about what you get from earthbound mobile wireless. Cruchgear’s Peter Ha is blogging aboard the JFK to LAX flight, and reports things are working pretty well (except for the cabin attendant spilling water on his laptop).

Source

Disaster Recovery in the Cloud: IBM investing $300 Million in Global Data Centers

IBM (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to spend $300 million this year to build 13 "cloud computing" data centers where businesses can store information for quick retrieval in case their computer systems are destroyed in a disaster.

Cloud computing refers to services accessed via the Web that seem to exist in a cloud over the Internet.

The computing giant, which will unveil the plan on Wednesday, is building the sites in 10 countries, including China, Japan, Turkey, Poland, France and the United States.

Source

Gartner: 2008 IT spending to surpass $ 3.4 Trillion; Cloud Computing to be a highly disruptive innovation!

So Gartner, the largest technology adviser to corporations, is saying the corporate shift to cloud computing is underway and destined to be a highly disruptive force in the industry. That struck me as intriguing, since a rapid advance of cloud computing into the corporate world is not a given, despite the consumer success of cloud-based services like Google, Facebook and others.

On Tuesday, I caught up with Mr. Tully, who is based in London, and asked him to elaborate on his cloud computing comments. “On one level,” he said, “this whole cloud thing is about shifting assets away from enterprises and to service providers.”

That, Mr. Tully added, should mean strong growth for corporate service providers. So far, there have been a few cloud-model corporate service suppliers, like Salesforce.com, and announced plans and investments by big corporate technology vendors like I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and EMC. Internet giants like Google and Amazon.com are are offering some corpo…

Global Sourcing: TCS to snatch Citigroup BPO under IBM's nose!

CGSL is mostly into transaction processing and call centre processing which suits TCS. The Tata group company pulled out of Intelenet, a third party BPO backed by Blackstone, as it wanted to exit from the voice-based BPO sector. Its MD S. Ramadorai had earlier said that Intelenet’s focus did not fit into TCS’ BPO strategy which was focussed on transaction processing, e-mail processing and call centre processing.

Both Citigroup and TCS declined to comment on the development. “At Citi, we follow the policy of not commenting on market rumours and speculation. Accordingly, we are unable to respond to your request.” said a Citi spokesperson in an e-mailed response. A TCS spokesperson said “As a policy, TCS does not comment on market speculation.”

IBM was the other contender for the captive BPO unit, said another source. IBM was also believed to be keen on acquiring Citos, the technology and infrastructure outsourcing arm of Citigroup. “ But Citi intends to sell CGSL first. And IBM found the …

LinkedIn Discussion: With Cloud Computing/CloudApps, why would one invest in Desktop Virtualization?

VDI solutions, however attrative they may seem and the amount of energy they may save ar, still remains a rather conversational issue to tackle within organizations. When it comes to loads of these applications, no one has a clear answer or gusrantee that those big and fat applications will run smoothly like ever before.

VDI seems to focus too much of its attention on the OS and most organizations choose nothing to be altered, all they care is the promise that was made by the party that won the bid, to do everything in its might to "make it happen!"

The consulting team is finding all the ways, software, tools etc to just make it happen. Who are we kidding? Why can't we just do things easier and simpler. If CloudApps or hosting Apps on Clouds is the best solution, then why not adopt it? Why go after bundling the whole OS+App (+ another 50 odd irrelevent apps*) and put them up on loads of servers.

* Every VDI project or even Server project I've come across I've only f…

Platform Computing announces VM Orchestrator 4

Platform Computing, the global leader in High Performance Computing (HPC) management software, has announced the next version of its virtual environment management product for the enterprise data center, Platform VM Orchestrator (VMO) 4. Platform VMO 4 provides faster delivery of virtual computer environments to end users while optimizing resource utilization, availability, and power consumption, to improve an enterprise’s return on investment from its virtualization environment. The solution offers a cost-effective enterprise virtualization management solution for Citrix® XenServer™, with support for virtualization platforms from other vendors to be delivered in the coming months.

Effectively managing virtualization environments can be a challenge facing IT organizations today. Subsequently administrators need tools specifically built for managing virtualization deployments, optimizing computer resources, and removing performance bottlenecks in order to meet escalating business dema…