Latest News and Announcements

The following are links to published articles or just my observations on the technology news of the day.

InformationWeek Column: Unified Computing Stack Wars

posted May 26, 2011, 11:13 PM by Kurt Marko

Server vendors are now armed with formidable network and storage offerings, and software vendors have acquired hardware companies. But should you tie your data center's future to an integrated vision? A highlight from my InformationWeek cover story

Interop Interview: Vyatta Explains Their Virtual Security Appliance

posted May 26, 2011, 11:03 PM by Kurt Marko

Security software vendor, Vyatta explains their virtual security appliance, what makes it a perfect fit for virtualized workloads and discusses how it can now be provisioned and managed via Cloud.com's CloudStack. I talked to Vyatta's VP of Marketing at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas.

Interop Interview: Broadcom's 10 GbE NIC Optimized For Storage I/O

posted May 26, 2011, 11:01 PM by Kurt Marko

Broadcom shows off their latest dual-port, 10 gigabit Ethernet adapter with TCP/IP and iSCSI offload acceleration in a single-chip, low-profile, PCI Express package. Here's my interview with their VP of Servers and Storage at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas.

Interop Interview: Extreme Networks Shows Off 40-Gig Core Switch

posted May 26, 2011, 10:56 PM by Kurt Marko   [ updated May 26, 2011, 11:00 PM ]

Large, flat, fast network fabrics are a theme of Interop this year. Extreme Networks shows off their entry, the BlackDiamond X8 core switch chassis with up to 192 non-blocking 40 GbE ports and the Summit X670 ToR edge switch with 40 GbE uplinks. I talked with Extreme Networks at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas about their latest offering.

Feature Article: Cloud Printing Services

posted May 6, 2010, 4:25 PM by Kurt Marko

Printing is the latest IT service moving to the cloud, with several business models emerging to provide on-demand location-independent printing and usage-based pricing. The services currently focus in two main areas:  print processing for smartphones and other mobile devices (think iPads and tablets) and high-end printing of four-color material using a 'distribute and print' distribution model. See my complete overview in Processor Magazine.

Book Review: Fatal System Error

posted May 6, 2010, 4:16 PM by Kurt Marko

Fatal System Error provides one of the most detailed insider's accounts into the hunt for cyber criminals yet published. Written in the mold of a spy thriller, it begins with a description of some of the earliest botnet-enabled DDoS attacks on online businesses, including the criminal elements behind them and the countermeasures deployed by some businesses unwilling to submit to extortion. The author documents the lengthy criminal investigation that tracks these attacks back to Russia and one of the first successful investigations and prosecutions of Russian-based cyber criminals. See my full review in Processor Magazine.

Feature Article: Chargeback Accounting for Virtualized Services

posted Apr 26, 2010, 3:36 PM by Kurt Marko

IT chargeback accounting, which unlike traditional allocation models more closely ties an organization's IT bill to actual service use, is quite popular with large enterprises, however implementing it on virtualized infrastructure adds some new wrinkles. My latest Processor Magazine feature takes a look at some tools and techniques for making IT's billing processes more cloud-like. The most common scenario is charging for virtual servers and here, a simple approach entails standardizing on three or four 't-shirt sized' VMs, doing a TCO calculation for the infrastructure needed for each size and dividing this by the number of VMs each server in a server farm can support. See the article for details.

Feature Article: Using Workforce Personas toTailor IT Services

posted Apr 26, 2010, 3:27 PM by Kurt Marko

In this week's Processor Magazine I examine the use of so-called workforce personas as a mechanism for IT to discover user needs and develop a service portfolio customized to different work styles and job requirements. Although personas have historically been used by marketing departments for product development or targeted advertising campaigns, they can be a powerful tool for IT. An analyst at Forrester Research surveyed their clients and found that the most important segmentation parameters for information workers are the number of applications each uses and the number of locations they typically work from on a PC or smartphone -- essentially dividing IT's user base into four segments.

Feature Article: Enterprise Ethernet WANs

posted Apr 19, 2010, 2:45 PM by Kurt Marko

My recent feature in Processor Magazine provides an overview of Ethernet WAN circuits. Thanks to increasing availability of fiber connections to many business locations and some new standards and technologies sponsored by the Metro Ethernet Forum, Carrier Ethernet is starting to displace legacy WANs for private, branch office circuits and Internet service. Carrier Ethernet offers the scalability, reliability, and SLAs (service-level guarantees) enterprises expect from carrier-class circuits; however, it can provide much higher throughput (up to 1Gbps) for lower cost per bit than legacy WANs. The primary drawback of Carrier Ethernet is limited availability (it generally requires a fiber POP at each office location) and immaturity (the service is relatively new, rapidly evolving, and growing)

Book Review: Analytics at Work

posted Oct 2, 2009, 2:21 PM by Kurt Marko   [ updated Apr 19, 2010, 2:45 PM ]

My Processor book review for April is Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results and provides a great overview of how executives can use business intelligence and the reams of data at their disposal to make more informed decisions.

 Analytics is simply the application of rational, scientific, and statistical methods to business decisions using relevant data and analytic models. Analytics at Work outlines a five-element framework for bringing an analytical methodology and mindset to the enterprise, providing managers a roadmap for transforming their firms from analytical neophytes to masters, where business analytics become a strategic competitive advantage. To engrain analytics into an enterprise, organizations must overcome technical challenges, such as the need for data quality and model integrity, and cultural, organizational issues, such as the importance of specially trained analysts and executive leadership.

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