I’ve been talking quite a bit about the Mobile Operations role lately, that sub role within the organization that Forrester defines as:
“A single coordinator for managing mobile networks internal
and external to the organization, managing device choice within the
organization, and ensuring those devices are secured and
Well, it seems that there’s some thinking around creating core competency around mobile infrastructure going on at the IEEE as well. The Standards body announced earlier this month the formation of its Wireless Communication Engineering Technologies Certification Program.
of a partnership between Dell and Egenera has
done something unique in the business development world -- increased the
credibility of both players who were lagging in overall market presence in a
key technology area -- server virtualization.
smaller server vendor, popular in financial services, public sector and service
providers, was the first to bring Unix-class virtualization capabilities to x86
systems but did so only within its unique blade server frame design. As such,
Egenera simply hasn’t been able to make much headway in the general enterprise
market. A 2005 hardware OEM partnership with Fujitsu-Siemens was a step in the
right direction but one only felt in Europe.
A shift is
taking place in the server market that is starting to look very much like a
throw back to simpler times. As enterprises gain comfort with x86 server
virtualization, they are starting to push for higher and higher consolidation
ratios, which are driving a return to scale up server purchases. Where a
single-socket server with 8GBs of RAM was the most popular choice a few years
back when scaling out was all the rage, we are starting to see beefier
configurations become the norm to accommodate server
A Forrester survey from just last year showed that while adoption of x86 virtualization was ramping
quickly among enterprise infrastructure & operations (I&O) leaders, the
ratios of servers consolidated were low, averaging 4:1. But this may have been
as much a byproduct of the new technology comfort curve as it was server buying
The IT industry has made huge strides in software for change & configuration management, business service management, and IT process automation. Yet your data center facilities are probably living in the dark ages. For years, IT has been mapping out business services and mapping the underlying applications to the infrastructure it depends on. But the details never seem to go any further than the server level. I’m fairly certain that no one can tell you the racks, power circuits, or generators that a particular application depends on. And you can forget about managing applications’ power consumption – there’s no control past the UPS or PDU level.
The recent acquisition of Aperture by Emerson is noteworthy because it shows that the power and cooling giants are finally stirring in their lairs. Likewise, Emerson’s competitor Schneider Electric (through the better-known APC) has been building its own software portfolio focused on data center management for some time. Until recently, power and cooling vendors have been focused their limited software offerings on controlling their own infrastructure. But that’s changing -- now they’re shipping tools that can tell you the best location for that next rack of servers, or if you’ve already over-committed your physical infrastructure. There’s little competition from systems vendors like IBM and HP today, but it remains to be seen if Emerson and Schneider’s will become middleware providers or a direct competitors.
An interesting development is happening in the hosting market that is a blend of
technology innovation and business model proliferation. It has been well established in the Internet services market that the delivery of free services, or “freeconomics” is a viable model so long as either advertisers pay to participate or that the 1% of the customers paying for premium services generate enough income to fund the free version for the remaining 99%. This shift has started hollowing out the classified advertising, encyclopedia and newspaper markets. E-mail, storage and collaboration hosting markets are also feeling the pinch.
Apple yesterday summoned press and analysts alike to its Cupertino headquarters to discuss the upcoming software development kit (SDK) for its iPhone smartphone. Rumors and speculation abounded; would Apple only offer consumer applications? What about the enterprise features IT departments were yearning for?
While the announcement of the software development kit had goodies for consumers and gamers alike — accelerometer-based games, consumer apps pushed wirelessly to the device — some of the biggest news were the list of enterprise features which went beyond what most observers were expecting: