802.11n Taking Enterprises By Storm? Not So Fast...

Readers of this blog know that I'm quick to extol the virtues of 802.11n as a means to un-wire client devices and allow users to roam free. The technology has the potential to provide these users a parity of experience on wireless with the wired networks they may leave behind while leaving them unencumbered to explore new modes of work. Enterprises are making the move to more flexible work environments seriously, take Cisco's Workplace Of The Future, for example

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This week in history - volcanos, hurricanes, and the risk of Black Swans

Chris McClean

Pouring over endless details of risks, regulations, taxonomies, and technologies can sometimes give us a narrow view of the world, so it seems worthwhile to take a minute to mark the 125th anniversary of the cataclysmic eruption of Krakatoa this week. For those of us that want to think big but can’t remember that far back, this week is also the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating sweep across a wide stretch of the US Gulf Coast.

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PC Power Management Heats Up


As the PC power management space is heats up, it’s quite fitting that today is “Power IT Down Day” – a participatory event put on by Hewlett-Packard, Citrix Systems, and Intel to encourage governments and businesses alike to reduce their IT-related energy consumption by powering down computers, monitors, and printers at the end of the day. Other recent examples also highlight the attention directed to the reducing energy consumption across PCs:

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The Dark Horse Moves Forward In The SaaS Collaboration Race

RobkoplowitzBy Rob Koplowitz

Today, Cisco announced its intent to acquire PostPath, a provider of email solutions. Interesting news. As parts of the collaboration stack become increasingly commoditized, the lure of moving the functionality up to the cloud and letting someone else take on the day to day responsibility becomes increasingly attractive. Cisco is at the center of this trend with its WebEx brand. Web conferencing has yet to gain widespread adoption in the corporate data center. It's almost as if the market just decided that as cool as web conferencing may be, I don't want to bother with installing servers and running them. Let someone else do that.

Is broad based collaboration the next big app to move to the cloud? Could be. Microsoft thinks so. They have moved quickly and decisively into cloud based collaboration, first with the acquisition of WebEx's chief competitor, PlaceWare (now LiveMeeting), and more recently with their announcement of Microsoft On-line Services. Google thinks so, too. They have been morphing their consumer collaboration offerings like G-Mail and Google Apps into business ready offerings for the last couple of years. IBM, too, with their evolving vision for Project Bluehouse and its focus on enterprise ready social computing in the cloud.

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Trip Report On iPhone Vs. BlackBerry: Part 1, Typing

TedschadlerBy Ted Schadler

Let me begin by saying that I believe it's time for Information & Knowledge Management (I&KM) professionals to get into the enterprise smartphone debate. After all, the killer application for smartphones is email, calendars, and contacts -- all collaboration apps. And the future of collaboration is pervasive -- anytime, anywhere, any device. Your information workers need them. You should help define the strategy.

So here we go with Part 1 of a multipart blog post on my experience with these two devices.

I recently took a two-week family vacation to Oregon and funky Northern California. Nothing like eating Humboldt Fog cheese on the beach in the Humboldt fog. The four of us camped some and stayed in some lovely B&Bs. As badly as I wanted to be off the grid, I decided that it was best to have a cell phone to take care of essentials.

So it was a prime opportunity to compare a two-year old BlackBerry Pearl against an iPhone 3G to see which one best handled the common collaboration issues that come up on a vacation: email, directions, schedule, contacts, and "rapid research." Oh yeah, both devices use AT&T's network.

I have some particular attitudes towards my cell phone.

  • First, it has to fit into my pocket.
  • Second, I don't suffer lousy interfaces; if it doesn't work the first time, I usually give up.
  • Third, it's a phone first.
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IBM Raises The Stakes In Business and IT Continuity Services

Stephanie Balaouras

IBM announced today that it was spending US$300 million to build out 13 data centers in 10 countries in 2008 - IBM refers to these sites as "Business Resilience service delivery centers". These centers will certainly help IBM deliver more of its traditional IT recovery services but they will also support the next generation of IT continuity services - repeatable, scalable, productize services such as online backup and virtual recovery.  These types of services don't require massive capital investment in an inventory of heterogeneous server and storage platforms, instead the service provider can focus its efforts on building a scalable pool of virtualized servers and shared storage built with industry standard components.

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Database Virtualization Could Induce I&KM Vertigo

JameskobielusBy James Kobielus

Databases are evolving faster than ever. Long regarded as an essential but slightly boring centerpiece of the enterprise information management infrastructure, the database is becoming more fluid and adaptive in architecture in order to keep pace with an online world that's becoming virtualized at every level.

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Getting What You Pay For: The Importance of Facilities-Based Service Provider Diversity

LisaForrester has consistently advised clients that they should ensure their own WAN survivability and not rely
on a single provider to ensure a consistently high level of availability.  Two
very recent examples with US providers illustrate

- In one case, the service provider
proactively notified us of a 30 minute availability problem in a section of its
nationwide MPLS network.  The cause was internal — the provider’s process to
upgrade router software was not followed.  This case is not unique — we know of
other, similar instances.

- In the second case, several
clients reported that another provider’s MPLS network wasn’t living up to SLAs
for several hours — this due to a security breach.  The provider in question confirmed this problem with us today.  The
irony: amongst its peers, this provider has some of the toughest network security
technology and processes in place.

Both these instances occurred within
the last 10 days.

Our advice to clients is as

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What The Olympic Games Are Teaching Me About Maturity

Beijing_olympics_logo_4Like many around the globe, I've been watching the summer Olympics. And I’ve been struck by two realizations.

The first is obvious, but interesting. Olympic athletes vary greatly in culture, size, and sport, but also in age. A fourteen-year old British athlete partnered in a synchronized diving competition with a man 12 years his senior. And the oldest female gymnast in the Olympics performed - quite competently - next to athletes less than half her age of 33.

The second realization? We see these individual athletes age – and mature – in four year increments. Witness Michael Phelps. Four years ago he was a lanky American, who won a bunch of races. This summer, in Beijing, he displays a maturity brought on by four years, a champion’s focus, and the support of coaches, family, and teammates. The result? An Olympic legend.

So what constitutes “maturity”? Is it age? Experience? Or are those measures irrelevant? And how do you know that you're "mature"? How do you know that you're doing things the "right" way?

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JDA Announces Intention To Acquire i2

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