IBM Gets Into The Data Center-In-A-Box Business -- Better Late Than Never!

James Staten

James_2IBM announced Wednesday
that like Sun and Rackable before them, they will now be offering a Portable
Modular Data Center (PMDC) similar to Verari’s FOREST,
Sun’s
Blackbox, and Rackable’s ICE Cube and Concentro.
IBM also rolled out their
new Enterprise
Modular Data Center (EMDC) and Modular High Density Zone (MHDZ).
 

This data center-in-a-box is portable, stackable, and can be
deployed in as little at 12 to 14 weeks, says IBM. It supports an open architecture and
equipment from non-IBM vendors. IBM states that if you need to expand your data
center fast, but don’t have the space, the PMDC is worth considering.

Huh? A data center in the trailer of an 18-wheeler? What do
you do, park it outside next to your data center? How does this make sense? And
for whom?

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Cisco's Path In Entitlement Management

Andras Cser

Andras Cser

While waiting for the pan-out of the Cisco System's acquisition of Securent, I can't help but wonder how Cisco is going to develop the Securent technology in its future products. Will the Securent policy engine (PDP) be used 1) as a main point for policy management and enforcement for network equipment, OR 2) will they continue using the product along the 'Securent-intended' path: enforcing fine grained application level policies by integrating policy enforcement points into applications, OR  3) managing fine grained authorizations on the network layer (without the need to open up applications), similarly to BayShore Networks, Autonomic Networks, and Rohati Systems? Without a comprehensive identity and access management offering (IAM), Cisco will probably be fit best to do 1) and 3) described above. This seems most consistent with Cisco's background and culture.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Notes From IBM’s Global Services 2008 Annual Analyst Summit

I’ve recently returned from IBM Global Services Annual Analyst Event held May 1-2, 2008 in New York City. At this event, IBM leadership revealed an extensive study titled “The Enterprise of The Future”. IBM conducted detailed interviews with over 1,100 CEOs, general managers, and senior public sector and business leaders, across 40 countries and 32 industries. Their discussions revealed a clear correlation between organizations’ ability to execute within constant change and their financial performance. The study also identified five key elements in the corporate DNA of companies who successfully navigating the constant sea of business change:

Hungry for change. Firms not only survive it, but accept it as a constant, seek it out and thrive on it.

Innovative beyond customer imagination. Firms constantly delight their customers and constantly raise their own bar, and thus their customers (and thus outpace their competition).

Globally integrated*. Firms actively work their global network, establishing and leveraging global Centers of Excellence and applying their resources seamlessly across their value chain.

Disruptive by nature. Firms constantly reinvent themselves and position their business and process models to quickly shift (and anticipate) market demands.

Genuine, not just generous. Firms engage stakeholders—NGOs, customers, their own employees—to “do well by doing good”.

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Alterian Goes Into The WCM Business

Stephen Powers

Stevepowers_2By Stephen Powers

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WCM: The Real Differentiator

Stephen Powers

StevepowersBy Stephen Powers

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VMware Advances DR Preparedness

Stephanie Balaouras

Stephanie

On May 12th, 2008 VMware announced that nine storage replication vendors have tested and certified their technology with VMware’s long awaited Site Recovery Manager (SRM) offering. SRM is an important step forward in DR (DR) preparedness because it automates the process of restarting virtual machines (VM) at an alternate data center. Of course, your data and your VM configuration files must be present at the alternate site, hence the necessary integration with replication vendors. SRM not only automates the restart of VMs at an alternate data center, it can automate other aspects of DR. For example, it can shutdown other VMs before it recovers others. You can also integrate scripts for other tasks and insert checkpoints where a manual procedure is required. This is useful if you are using the redundant infrastructure at the alternate data center for other workloads such as application development and testing (a very common scenario). When you recover an application to an alternate site, especially if your redundant infrastructure supports other workloads, you have to think about how you will repurpose between secondary and production workloads.  You also have to think about the entire ecosystem, such as network and storage settings, not just simply recovering a VM.

Essentially, VMware wants you to replace manual DR runbook with the automated recovery plans in SRM. It might not completely replace your DR runbook but it can automate enough of it. So much so that DR service providers such as SunGard are productizing new service offerings based on SRM.

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Help Set Energy Star Standards?

James Staten

James_2Everyone wants to make their data centers more efficient and
gain recognition for their efforts but we’re lacking the benchmarks to shoot
for. Well, here’s your chance to help change that. On March 20th the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) kicked off a data collection process to help create Energy
Star™ ratings for data centers. Energy Star, the best known energy efficiency
identifier, is respected as a mark of credibility for products and services
that deliver superior energy efficiency. While mainly a consumer mark, the EPA
recently published a draft standard for servers ,
its first serious foray into providing enterprise product and service guidance.
While extending Energy Star to your corporate data center, consumed only by
your own company, may not have customer impact, it has corporate brand value that
matters to the C-level executives. It will also have differentiating value when
choosing outsourced service providers.

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Tips From A Successful Virtual Conference

EricadriverBy Erica Driver

Last week, I delivered a presentation about the recent report Web3D: The Next Major Internet Wave at the vBusiness Expo in Second Life. I'll share some of my experiences and observations, as I'm sure that during the coming year many of you will be invited to present at or attend virtual conferences and meetings -- if you haven't already. These tips may prove helpful.

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What Is More Important: Resources or Talent?

Mike Gualtieri

Mikegualtieri Picture this. You, the application developer, are in a big conference room. On your left is your boss. On your right are enterprise architects. Across from you are the business analysts and project managers. In the hallway is the businessperson on his "crackberry".  Why is everyone gathered here?  To discuss the next important application development initiative that the business needs to drive revenue, stay competitive, and be more efficient.

The meeting starts.

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Hitachi acquires M-Tech Information Technology

Andras Cser

Andras Cser

The number of pure-play vendors in user account provisioning decreased on April 7, 2008 when Hitachi announced that it acquired M-Tech Information Technology, and changed the name to Hitachi ID. Although Hitachi has been lacking an identity and access management (IAM) pedigree, this move can prove important due to the following reasons:
1) Using IAM for provisioning of physical resources and hardware resources.
2) Extending enterprise role definitions to previously uncharted verticals and cultures.
3) Evangelizing user account provisioning and IAM in Japan and other APAC regions.
4) Hitachi becoming a major player in Japanese SOX (JSOX) implementation.

Needless to say, the above will hinge on Hitachi's ability to retain and grow the existing customer base of M-Tech IT in North  America and Europe, and also on  Hitachi's ability to compete against EMC's selling of  Courion and RSA products. How Hitachi will create an access and adaptive access management (Web and desktop) portfolio to complement its identity management and provisioning portfolio also remains to be seen.