Commentary
Content posted in October 2009
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How To Scale Apps The Facebook Way (Video)
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
As critical and operational applications drive today's business, one of the biggest challenges most organizations face is how to scale those applications (especially as they become distributed) and their data. Facebook is a great example of one of the most distributed, massive applications around. At Web 2.0, Facebook's VP of Engineering, Mike Schroepfer, talked about how they tackle this challenge.
Alternative IT
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
Cloud Computing. SaaS. They're such over-used marketing words that they've become the butt of jokes (Larry Ellison on YouTube, anyone?). But hopefully the hype machine hasn't generated too much noise to drown out the fact that there have been some significant, permanent changes in how CIOs view software. At InformationWeek, we call it Alternative IT.
Sun Plans To Cut 3,000 Jobs Over the Next 12 Months
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
Sun disclosed Tuesday in regulatory filings that it plans to cut 3,000 jobs from its workforce, as it awaits the go-ahead on its takeover by Oracle. It's cut 7,600 workers in three rounds of layoffs over three years, according to SEC filings. Will this mark the end of the downsizing?
Latest TrueCrypt Release Adds Windows 7 Support
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
Every small business needs good desktop encryption software. The latest version of my favorite product, TrueCrypt, makes it a better choice than ever.
Commercial and Community Open Source and Pentaho BI
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
Last week, I offered the opinion that BI software publisher Pentaho has moved beyond a commercial open source business model. While what counts most is great, affordable software, an understanding of market trends helps everyone concerned make strategic choices. In this spirit, I'll present perspectives that complement mine, from Pentaho and from the Pentaho community...
Network Neutrality Forces: Rules Good For Business
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
The network neutrality forces are trying to make the case that regulations will be good for business -- even for the likes of AT&T and Verizon, which are quite frankly the targets of the Federal Communications Commission's rulemaking proposals.
Nokia Dampens Apple's Big Week With iPhone Lawsuit
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
If you hadn't noticed, Apple has been having a heck of a week. On top of its record quarterly performance, it introduced a range of new products and its stock hit an all time high. Alas, it wasn't to last. Today, Nokia smacked Apple upside the head with a huge iPhon
IBM Rolls Out New Dynamic Infrastructure Offerings For Midsize Companies
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
IBM Rational AppScan OnDemand, Tivoli Foundations Application Manager, Tivoli Foundations Service Manager, IBM Software Services-Enhanced Technical Support Gateway, and IBM System Storage DS3950 Express are designed to "help midsize businesses reduce cost, improve service and manage risk."
Web 2.0 Summit: HP's MagCloud Unveiled (Video)
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
HP unveiled its MagCloud offering at Web 2.0 Summit this week. It's an impressive service that gives would-be publishers a cost-effective and cost-predictable way to easily publish content, all on-demand. We got a hands-on demonstration.
Verizon Wireless Pulling Out The Stops For 'Droid'
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
If Verizon Wireless' current "Droid Does" ad campaign isn't enough to convince you that the company is excited about its first Android handset, here's a few more clues: It mailed R2D2 "droids" to the media, and has set October 28th for a big Droid event.
Global CIO: New Tech Firm Hiring Hundreds In U.S. To Take On The World
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
Two offshore-services execs and a prominent American CIO plan to open IT-services centers across the U.S. as low-risk and and price-competitive alternatives to offshore providers.
Why Windows 7 Comes In So Many Versions
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
As Windows 7 hits stores today, there's still one question left: Which version is right for me and my company? Windows 7 comes in so many different versions -- many of them with new names -- that it's all to easy for business and consumer users to get confused. I asked Microsoft VP Margo Day why the company needed so many versions.
Nook eBook Reader Ups Ante
Commentary  |  10/22/2009  | 
Barnes & Noble just announced their Nook eBook reader, which should be available next month in time for Christmas. Priced at $259 just like the Amazon Kindle it adds a few features. It also could be a sign of things to come in the smartphone world.
The Day That XP Died
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Bye, bye, to the XP supply And Vista, what a nightmare, it was quite a black eye Windows 7 now will be the rallying cry Thinking this will make my new PC fly This will make my new PC fly
Avoid Trap Of Proprietary Cloud Tooling: Use Simple API
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
What's the first thing you should do if you're thinking of developing software for cloud computing? At ZendCon, Zend Technologies user group yesterday, three members of a five member panel answered the same way: adopt Simple Cloud API, the open source cloud services interface.
Enterprise IT Is Not Ready For Private Cloud Storage
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Our esteemed Director of InformationWeek Analytics, Art Wittmann, has a theory that I'm secretly working as a cheerleader for underdog technologies. And our esteemed Executive Editor of InformationWeek Analytics, Lorna Garey, often asks if my favorite drink is Koolade. To my dismay, they have proven themselves right once again. 18 months ago, I predicted that private cloud storage would take off for the Tier-2 storage needs of enterprises. You won't hear me say this often, I WAS WRONG.
SAP Salvages Maintenance Contract With Siemens
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
When software vendors issue a press release on a deal, it's usually for a new customer win. But after some scuttlebutt last month about souring negotiations between SAP and marquee customer Siemens, SAP decided to put out a different type of release Wednesday: Siemens has renewed its maintenance contract with SAP.
Should Your Enterprise Network Be An Internet Hot Spot?
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Thursday's Windows 7 consumer launch finds me wondering about a seemingly radical idea suggested by a chief technology officer. Namely, enterprises should open up their networks, effectively turning them, as far as users are concerned, into Internet hot spots. The emergence of both cloud computing and Windows 7 could push this forward, though one will be able to argue that this is simply conventional networks in hot-spot clothing.
What's This Google Music Nonsense All About?
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Google is going to launch a music service? Really? That's what reports suggest today, with informed sources confirming that Google is set to bow the service with partners LaLa and iLike -- complete with blessings from the four major record labels. Does Google really expect to be able to make money with this venture?
A 'Bill Of Rights' For SaaS Customers
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Analyst R "Ray" Wang is a tireless and well-respected customer advocate in the world of enterprise software. Now Wang is bringing his advocacy over to the SaaS side with his recently published "Customer Bill of Rights" for SaaS. I share with you some of the highlights.
First Impressions Of BlackBerry Storm2
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
I was able to spend a few moments with the BlackBerry Storm2 today. My initial take-away is that it is better in almost all respects than its predecessor, but weaknesses remain.
Lenovo Debuts New ThinkPad Laptops For SMBs
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
As the launch of Windows 7 augers in a deluge of new PCs from just about every vendor around the world, Lenovo joins a much smaller group aiming new machines at small and midsize businesses.
5 Ways to Cut Costs with Predictive Analytics
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
I was already in Washington DC for this week's Teradata event, so I figured I'd stop in at Predictive Analytics World in nearby Arlington, Virginia. Tuesday morning's keynote by event chairman and founder Eric Siegel offered a nice primer on "Five Ways to Lower Costs with Predictive Analytics." Here's the list...
Government Technologist: Energy's $32 Million Cloud Experiment
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
The Department of Energy has embarked on an ambitious project to see how cloud computing can be used by scientists at its national labs. Is it taking on too much, too soon?
More on Teradata's SSD Speedster and (Cautious) Public-Cloud Offering
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Coming into this week's Teradata Partners user group conference in Washington D.C., I wanted to know more about the Teradata Extreme Performance Appliance 4555. This speedster is worth crowing about... but the announcement had all the power of a dim bulb compared to the bright spotlights cast in recent weeks by Oracle and IBM...
Web 2.0 Summit: WOWD -- New Way To Search
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
WOWD is a new search engine that made its debut at Web 2.0 Summit this week. Mark Drummond, WOWD's CEO provided an explanation and demonstration on stage. (Video included.)
ReviewCam: LendingClub's Online Financing
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
LendingClub offers an online service that lets borrowers borrow, and lets investors invest in that borrowing. We sat down with LendingClub CEO Renaud Laplanche to get a demonstration of this fascinating model.
Web 2.0 Summit: Twitter CEO Zips Beak On Revenue Model
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
At the Web 2.0 Summit this week, Evan Williams, CEO of the ever-popular Twitter, danced lithely around the question of his company's future revenue model -- a question that continues to dog the industry, but doesn't seem to faze Williams much at all. (Video clip included.)
Comcast CEO on Fancast and Net Neutrality
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts got the Web 2.0 Summit started this week talking about everything from its beta Fancast service to net neutrality and bandwidth capping to social networking. The only thing he couldn't talk about was its rumored work on acquiring NBC, but he did discuss the company's broader push into the content business.
IBM's Ubuntu, Ubuntu's IBM
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Most of the comments about IBM's release of a Linux desktop package have been about timing it to compete with Windows 7's release. Let's look at a slightly broader picture.

PayPal Opens Its Platform
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
PayPal President Scott Thompson announced at Web 2.0 this week that his company will be opening up its platform to developers, which should be good news, especially to startups.
Quick Demo of Nokia N900
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Nokia had a variety of devices on display at the Web 2.0 Summit this week, none more compelling than the N900, which is the first phone in its portfolio to run the Maemo Operating System. We got a quick demo in the Ovi Lounge.
Are E-Books Chasing Imaginary Customers?
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Barnes & Noble has unveiled "Nook," its own proprietary electronic reader, and the headlines breathlessly wonder if it's a Kindle killer or whether Apple is about to announce its own. I'm still wondering if anybody wants an e-reader to begin with.
The Top 8 Outsourcing Cities In The World
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
While there's been a lot of talk recently about fundamental upheavals in the global outsourcing industry, this year's list of the top 8 outsourcing cities in the world remains the same as last year's, according to a joint study by experts Tholons and Global Services.
AT&T And T-Mobile Announce BlackBerry Bold 9700
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Both AT&T and T-Mobile announced that they'll be offering the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone from Research In Motion in time for the holidays. The good news for both carriers is that the 9700 will run on their 3G networks.
Windows Mobile 6.5.1 Spotted
Commentary  |  10/21/2009  | 
Windows Mobile 6.5 isn't even a month old yet and already an update has been spotted. No, not WinMo 7. Just a minor update that mobile platform watchers have started calling 6.5.1. What updates has Microsoft included in this build?
Global CIO: Can Oracle's Larry Ellison Keep MySQL From EU Whiners?
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Want to know the real cost of the drawn-out dithering of the EU and its fawning groupies? Sun has to lay off 3,000 employees because its acquisition by Oracle is still under review.
Gartner's Tepid IT Spending Forecast
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Gartner predicts a 3.3% increase in IT spending next year, after plunging in 2009. And more than half of CIOs likely will see no increase, or a cut.
Google Should Not Make Android Phones
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
You've probably seen the reports that say Google is planning to release its own unlocked smartphone with the Android operating system. I don't buy it, and I also think it's foolish for Google to get into the handset business.
Motorola's Third Android Handset Spotted
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
If you were wondering what Motorola's third Android handset will look like, wonder no longer. New images have appeared that show a simpler handset that won't match the CLIQ or DROID when it comes to specs.
Worlds Collide
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
How Much Identity Management Do We Want?
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Identity management, from both national security and personal security standpoints, could well be the next big policy debate we have in the United States.
Google Phone To Be A Reality: Analyst
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Here we go again. Long thought dead due to the presence of nearly a dozen Android handset models in the market, the Google phone rumor has reappeared. The Google-branded hardware will come with Android 2.0 and use Qualcomm's chips.
Apple Upgrades iMacs
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
This morning Apple announced new iMacs with larger screens and faster processors and a slightly rejuggled pricing structure. The company also introduced a multitouch mouse and tweaked the low-end MacBook.
Why A Linux Live CD Could Save Your Small Business
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Could Linux really protect your business against an online banking disaster? Absolutely -- and the major arguments against this approach simply don't hold water.
FCC Gets Net Neutrality Boost
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Prominent tech companies and individuals associated with the creation of the Internet (although not Al Gore) are filling new Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski's inbox with letters in support of his proposed network neutrality rules.
Web 2.0 Summit - Time To Imagine
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
As we launch into another exciting week of Web happenings, I had a chance to conduct a video interview with the Web 2.0 Summit Chair, John Battelle about what we could expect to see this year. You can see the interview at our Live Web 2 Summit TV site. We'll stream selected content live, and on demand, throughout the conference on that site. The lineup is pretty impressive, but after talking to Battelle, I'm even more excited. Here's why.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital CIO On Inclusion
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
One of our top five InformationWeek 500 award winners was Cincinnati Children's Hospital. In our video interview with CIO Marianne James, it was clear that her focus is being a part of the hospital's business, and making the hospital's business leaders a part of hers. This is a story of inclusion, which has bred extraordinary growth for this community hospital.
This Week at the Teradata Partners User Conference
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Here are some highlights of what's going on, although names, dates, and details will have to await conversations and press releases this week... Teradata hopes to leapfrog Greenplum in its "Enterprise Data Cloud" strategy. This is only fair, in that Greenplum lifted the idea from Teradata and eBay in the first place...
NYC Taxi Commish: No More Cell Phones
Commentary  |  10/20/2009  | 
Did you know that taxi and limousine drivers in New York City aren't supposed to be using cell phones when driving? Problem is, they ignore the rules and do anyway. Now, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is out for blood.
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