Roger Smith - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Roger Smith

Profile of Roger Smith

News & Commentary Posts: 79
Articles by Roger Smith

A Merger That Makes Sense

Overshadowed by Monday's ginormous $41 billion merger of pharmaceutical companies Merck and Schering-Plough, two companies in the small and often overlooked field of complex event processing (CEP) software announced that they have joined forces with the twin goals of expanding the reach and increasing the speed of innovation of real-time event processing technology.

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RightScale Offers Schools Freebie Cloud Management Tools

RightScale, a company that supplies tools, expertise, and automated technology to help companies run scalable applications across numerous public and private clouds -- including Amazon, Go Grid, and the open-source Eucalyptus cloud -- this week launched a new program that provides qualified educational institutions copies of the company's Cloud Management Platform free of charge.

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The Data Center Hot/Cold Aisle Containment Debate

Optimizing air flow in your data center has several key benefits, including reductions in energy cost and carbon footprint. Most server equipment manufactured today is designed to draw in air through the front and exhaust it out the rear. This allows equipment racks to be arranged to create hot aisles and cold aisles. This 'hot/cold aisle containment' approach positions racks so that rows of racks face each other, with the front of each opposing row of racks drawing cold air from the same aisle

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Parasoft CEO Sees Possibility Of Huge IT Productivity Gains

There's a huge opportunity to improve productivity inside IT, which can then be leveraged into huge leaps in productivity at every level of your enterprise, an opinionated Adam Kolawa recently told InformationWeek in an exclusive interview. CEO of software tools vendor Parasoft, Kolawa holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Caltech and has written three books on software development, including his most recent one, Post a Comment

Security, Privacy And Compliance In The Cloud

One of the more interesting panel discussions at the IDC Cloud Computing Forum on Feb 18th in San Francisco was about managing the complexities of security, privacy and compliance in the Cloud. The simple answer according to panelists Carolyn Lawson, CIO of California Public Utilities Commission, and Michael Mucha, CISO of Stanford Hospital and Clinics is "it ain't easy!"

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Write Your Opinion About Rewriting Requirements

According to Microsoft's Encarta Dictionary (not my reference of choice, but that's what came up on Google) the word "survey" has two alternate meanings. One is to make a detailed map of an area of land, including its boundaries, area, and elevation, using geometry and trigonometry to measure angles and distances, and the second is to question people in a poll: to do a statistical study of a sample population by asking questions about age, income, opinions, buying preferences, and other aspects

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Using Analytics And CEP Tools To Navigate The Economic Downturn

The day after the new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner roiled the financial markets with an uninspiring explanation of how the U.S. government plans to end the financial crisis, InformationWeek caught up with Dr. John Bates, a complex event processing (CEP) industry pioneer and founder of market leader Progress Apama, for a lively conversation about how organizations are using CEP as a tool to mitigate risk and keep volatility under control.

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Draft "LEED For Datacenters" Now Available

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program sponsored by the non-profit U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) that is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) yesterday posted a draft "LEED for Datacenters" on its website that the lab developed in partnership with a who's who of datacenter industr

Post a Comment A 100% Solar-Powered Data Center

While many data centers and hosting providers tout their environmental concern by the dubious practice of trading carbon credits and purchasing green energy certificates,, a solar-powered data center in Romoland, Calif., is one of only a small number of facilities powered by renewable energy that's generated on-site.

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Behind The Music: Animoto And RightScale Ramp Up To Render Facebook Videos In The Cloud

If you build a better Web 2.0 mousetrap, you have to be careful when everyone beats a path to your door. Remember Cuil, the over-hyped search engine that launched last year, which is currently nursing a market share around 0.01%, thanks to an initial server crash and complaints about the accuracy of Cuil's search results? On the other hand, there's Animoto, a 2-year-old New York-based s

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Sun Cloud CTO: 'Your Data Center Is Your Computer'

Lew Tucker has contributed to several waves of technology innovation over the last 20 years. Currently VP and CTO of cloud computing at Sun Microsystems, Tucker started work on distributed computing in the mid-'80s as a research scientist and director of advanced development at Thinking Machines, working on machine vision and system architecture to create the massively parallel Connection Machine.

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Panelists Say Legacy Apps In The Cloud Are A Roll Of The Dice

The premise of the Thursday morning panel discussion at the Cloud Connect event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., was that it's possible to have the best of both worlds: your legacy applications and the cloud. By the end of the hour-long discussion, many of the 200 or so attendees seemed to have come to the conclusion that enterprise and Web-scale development were worlds apart and moving further away from each other at something approaching the speed of light.

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The Cloud/Electric Generator Analogy

One of the key slides in Adam Selipsky's presentation in the Evening in the Cloud panel on Jan. 20 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., was a picture of Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos in front of a vintage 1890s electric generator in a Belgium beer factory.

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Cloud Connect: Evening Panel Woos IT Managers

"Much of what happened today, such as the Obama inauguration, happened in the cloud," panel moderator David Berlind said in his introduction to the Evening in the Cloud event on Jan. 20 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

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Crash Kills SOA On New Year's Day

On her blog, Burton Group analyst Anne Thomas Manes declared SOA dead on Jan. 1, saying it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession. Luckily for me, I have an alibi and I was nowhere near the accident scene when it happened.

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Beating Swords Into Data Centers

Since my previous post about Canadian startup Bastionhost's hosting plan for an underground bunker in Nova Scotia, I've been investigating a number of former nuclear fallout shelters that have been converted into data centers.

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Cloud Maturity Models Don't Make Sense

An issue that's been roiling the cloud computing blogosphere the past few months is the notion of a maturity model for cloud computing, which I oppose. Multiple maturity models (say that three times fast!) already have been defined for a variety of IT subjects, including business processes and at least five or six different ones for SOA, alone.

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The Economics Of Cloud Computing

A special report on Cloud Computing in a recent Economist says that the current economic malaise should speed up the adoption of cloud computing since it will increase the pressure on companies to become more efficient.

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Start-ups In A Down Economy

Six months ago I mentioned during my pre-employment interview with Rob Preston, InformationWeek's editor in chief, that I belonged to a Toastmasters club devoted to improving public speaking skills, and Rob told me a story about how in college his roommate got so carried away during a Toastmasters speech that he climbed on a desk for emphasis, only to hit his head on a ceiling fan and knock himself senseless.

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Does MapReduce Signal The End Of The Relational Era?

Companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft that operate Internet-scale cloud services need to store and process massive data sets, such as search logs, Web content collected by crawlers, and click-streams collected from a variety of Web services. Each of these companies has developed its own strategy to support parallel computations over multiple petabyte data sets on large clusters of computers.

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IBM Demos Reuse Of Data Center Waste Heat

The energy consumption of data centers is enormous. According to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report to Congress, the peak load on the power grid from data centers and servers is currently estimated to be approximately 7 gigawatts, equivalent to the output of about 15 typical power plants of 1,000 megawatts each.

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EMC's New Global Cloud Storage Offering

Storage giant EMC today debuted its first cloud-optimized storage offering, called Atmos, that promises to help huge content distribution services, such as video and photo sharing sites, store petabytes of data across cloud storage environments around the world.

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The Cloud Computing Monopoly Debate

I've been following with interest a cloud computing debate that's been going on the past week or so between O'Reilly Media founder Tim O'Reilly and technology writer Nicholas Carr about the potential for a single company to achieve monopoly control of the world of cloud computing.

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Green Data Storage With MAID

Data centers use staggering amounts of energy, so it's not surprising nonstandard ways of cutting power consumption are quickly gaining the attention of data center managers. One of these is MAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks) storage technology that employs a large group of disk drives in which only those drives in active use are spinning at any given time.

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Measuring Data Center Power Efficiency

Data centers consume massive amounts of energy. In a Forbes commentary in August, Kenneth Brill, executive director of the Uptime Institute (which monitors data center uptime), said the number of servers in data centers in the United States has grown from 5 million in 2000, to 10 million in 2005, to a projected 15 million in 2010.

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IBM's New OpusUna Web-Conferencing Platform

At IBM's Market Street offices in San Francisco this week, I saw a first-hand demo of OpusUna, a unique Web-conferencing platform that incorporates widgets, audio, and video cameras so that multiple users can collaborate and communicate from within the same browser.

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CEP Moves From Wall Street To Main Street

Amid the economic turmoil that's gripped Wall Street the past few months, Adam Honoré, a senior analyst at Aite Group who specializes in brokerage and financial services technology, declares that "human factors such as poor risk management, not computerized trading," are primarily responsible for the market's current volatility.

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Internet2's High-Def LHC Teleconference

My first impression is that it's an odd place to try to unlock the mystery of the Big Bang theory: 300 feet below a bucolic French village in an unpresupposing conference room, next to a 10-foot-high tunnel stuffed with catwalks, cables, and a thousand cylindrical, supercooled magnets, linked like sausages in an underground ring 17 miles in circumference.

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Oracle's New Exadata Architecture

A day after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced Oracle's first-ever hardware product, the HP Oracle Database Machine, which he touted as the world's fastest database machine, I sat through an OpenWorld session that promised to revolutionize query processing.

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Using Oracle Database In The Cloud

Two of the biggest announcements from the Oracle OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco this week were that customers could run some Oracle products within's AWS cloud computing environment, and that the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software giant would be supporting other cloud environments in the future.

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Using FlexFrame For Oracle To Implement A Virtualized Service Oriented Infrastructure

An overflow crowd of 400-plus people at an Oracle OpenWorld Executive Solution session at Moscone Center in San Francisco today heard Jörg Tettenborn, director of the Oracle Strategic Alliance for Fujitsu Siemens Computers, describe how to create a lean and agile IT infrastructure by virtualizing and consolidating Oracle Application Server and Database applications with FlexFrame for Oracle (FF4O).

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Y2K, CEP, And The Mess On Wall Street

In December 1999, I remember trying to reassure a friend's brother -- who had just bought a pair of new shotguns from the local sporting goods store that he was planning to use for self-protection for himself and his teenage son -- that "the Y2K bug" was not likely to cripple the daily functioning of our society.

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Tame That VM Sprawl

The Distributed Management Task Force's VMAN Initiative is aimed at making it easier and less expensive to keep rapidly expanding virtualized infrastructures under control.

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The New Open Virtualization Format 1.0

At VMworld 2008, VMware's user conference held this week in Las Vegas, the Distributed Management Task Force announced a new virtual-management initiative VMAN, aimed at making it easier and cheaper to manage virtual environments.

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Get Virtual And Go Green

During the free "Get Virtual Now" event last Monday, September 8th that attracted over 1000 attendees, Microsoft made several key System Center and virtualization software announcements, highlighted customer success stories, and outlined a new Microsoft "vision statement" that will be supported by $8 billion in annual software research and development spending that will be spread across entertainment software, Vista-enabled desktop computing, and clo

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Cloudbursting Handles Overflow Processing

Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr coined a new term last week for an old concept. Provisioning data center resources to handle sudden and extreme spikes in demand is nothing new, but Barr's hybrid application hosting model, which he calls "cloudbursting," goes a step further in combining both private data center resources and remote cloud resources such as Amazon Ec2, which provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

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Micosoft's SQL Strategy For Massive Data Sets

Cloud computing service providers like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo are all hard at work on a new generation of parallel data processing tools that will make it easier for each company to store and analyze enormous data sets such as search logs and click streams.

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Peek-A-Boo Look At Intel's Atom Processor

In an Intel Developer Forum session titled "Splitting The Atom: A Peek Into The Intel Atom Processor" on Wednesday in San Francisco, Intel Fellow Dr. Shreekant (Ticky) Thakkar and Belliappa Kuttanna, the chief architect of Intel's Atom processor, discussed the technological hurdles Intel overcame in the Atom.

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Intel Nehalem Processors--The Next Generation

Before a standing-room-only session at the Intel Developer Forum on Tuesday in San Francisco, soft-spoken Intel Fellow Rajesh Kumar did a high-level walk-through of Intel's next-generation core microarchitecture (Nehalem) processors in a presentation titled "Screaming Performance, Efficient Power."

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Energy-Efficient Ethernet In The Data Center

In much the same way that hot-rod idling wreaks havoc with your car's fuel economy, running your Ethernet links at full throttle can ruin your data center's energy efficiency -- that's the simple idea behind the Energy Efficient Ethernet initiative.

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Reducing Data Center Energy Consumption

For many years, energy efficiency has had a low priority in many IT shops, Jack Pouchet, director of energy initiatives at Emerson Network Power, told a crowded LinuxWorld Expo session titled "A Road Map for Reducing Energy Consumption in the Data Center." The top priority in most IT shops is delivering on service-level agreements, following by issues like performance (providing adequate compute capacity), reliability (redundancy at all steps), and security.

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Cloud Computing And The Data Center Of The Future

"Cloud computing is the evolution and convergence of many seemingly independent computing trends," Sam Charrington, VP of product management and marketing at Appistry, told a standing-room only LinuxWorld Expo session today. A laundry list of these trends includes commoditization, Internet delivery, virtualization, grid computing, SOA, data center automation, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, DaaS, utility computing, distributed computing, Web 2.0, IT outsourcing, and storage.

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If You Pay Them, They May Come

Microsoft, long stuck in third place behind Google and Yahoo, seems to have found a strategy able to help it make some headway in the search engine wars with the newly launched Live Search cashback site that gives advertisers and users of its search engine cash-back savings on online purchases.

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Movies In The Cloud

The news yesterday that is launching a new streaming video service is sure to get a big thumbs up from tech-savvy film buffs.

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