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2014 Looks Bright for Cloud Services
December 13, 2013
Despite recent revelations regarding the NSA's extensive surveillance of email messages, Internet traffic and mobile communications, no one expects people or businesses to discard these essential habits and tools. In fact, I believe cloud-based alternatives to traditional, on-premises software and systems will continue to expand in 2014, as providers offer more deployment choices.
Red Hat Makes Virtualization Play With RHEL 7 Beta
December 12, 2013
Red Hat on Wednesday launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 into beta. RHEL 7 incorporates several changes, including a move from Oracle's MySQL to the open source MariaDB, the adoption of the XFS file system, and improvements in various areas, including storage and file size. The changes seem to indicate the company is ramping up its efforts to compete in the virtualization market.
LexisNexis' Flavio Villanustre: Insurance and the Big Data Bonanza
December 10, 2013
Insurance companies have always been adamant about spotting and controlling risks. That, after all, is the basis for accepting policyholders and placing them into rate categories. Before the Big Data explosion, insurance companies crunched numbers like everybody else. Today, however, the insurance industry is fast becoming one of the biggest consumers of Big Data services.
SMBs Hop on Virtualization Gravy Train
December 06, 2013
Mentioning virtualization technology to typical computer users in a work environment will get you a puzzled look. Despite the apparent obscurity of this IT trend, virtualization is making an increasingly large impact on SMBs. Some type of virtualization was reported in place by 77 percent of firms with 500 or fewer employees who responded to a recent survey.
Google Joins Enterprise Cloud Slugfest in Earnest
December 03, 2013
The Google Compute Engine became generally available on Tuesday, almost 18 months after its introduction at last year's Google I/O. "We have been taking time and doing careful work to ensure that as we open Compute Engine to developers, they have a great experience with things like billing and support, tools, and our operating system support," said Google spokesperson Elizabeth Markman.
Pivotal Delivers on Promises
November 22, 2013
A bit more than six months ago, EMC and VMware celebrated the launch of Pivotal, a new company led by former VMware CEO Paul Maritz. Pivotal's team included IP and personnel from EMC's Greenplum and Pivotal Labs organizations, and VMware's vFabric, Cloud Foundry and Cetas organizations. A considerable surprise was the support from General Electric, including $105 million for a 10 percent stake.
Big Data Spurs Big Collaborations
November 20, 2013
The U.S. government's Big Data initiative is sparking more investments in data management projects, especially those involving joint efforts between business and government. Under the sponsorship of the Obama administration initiative, the White House showcased more than 30 Big Data projects Nov. 12 at an event hosted by the federal Office of Science and Technology.
Global Cyberheist Reels In $45M
November 19, 2013
Six people have been arrested for their involvement in a worldwide ATM heist that resulted in the theft of $45 million from two Middle East banks. Five men and one woman, all from the suburbs of New York City, were charged with being members of a cybercrime outfit that lifted debit card information from MasterCard. The six people were accused of being "cashers" in the crime ring.
Salesforce1 Takes Flight
November 19, 2013
Salesforce.com on Monday unveiled Salesforce1, as it kicked off its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The Salesforce1 platform allows software vendors, developers and customers to integrate third-party services using application programming interfaces and sensors. Salesforce1 reportedly will be equipped with a far larger number of APIs than previous versions of Salesforce software.
How Amazon - Not IBM - Will Kill AWS
November 18, 2013
I went public last week with my opinion that IBM eventually will beat Amazon Web Services, even though Amazon won the first skirmish. I was referring only to the federal government, not the largely user-based market Amazon currently serves, but I wasn't clear. One of the tweets taking me to task said something like "you did what lazy stock analysts do and used the past to predict the future."
Cloud Efficiency: Different Paths, Same Destination
November 18, 2013
Aggressive use of cloud-computing strategies can significantly improve delivery of applications to end users. Healthcare patient-experience improvement provider Press Ganey and project and portfolio management provider Planview are both exploiting cloud efficiencies and agility. Their paths have been different, but the outcomes speak volumes for how cloud transforms businesses.
9 Ways to Stay Up and Running on Cyber Monday
November 16, 2013
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, and that means e-commerce companies are now in the midst of the great run-up to the holidays -- an all-out sprint to get every possible new feature, bug fix and version tested and released in time for the big crush. This year, the stakes have been raised even higher with one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Devs Will Get to Put IBM's Watson Through Its Paces
November 14, 2013
IBM plans to open up its Watson cognitive platform, allowing developers to access it in the cloud starting next year. The technology is based on its Watson supercomputer. Participants will build apps incorporating Watson's cognitive computing intelligence. A cognitive computing system is "capable of continually learning and refining itself through human/computer interaction," said IBM's Rob High.
Dropbox Drops In on the Enterprise
November 14, 2013
Dropbox began courting enterprise users with Wednesday's unveiling of Dropbox for Business. It's a paid cloud storage service that offers enterprise users the same features that have made Dropbox a popular file-hosting company among consumers, along with several security and efficiency-focused features tailored for businesses, such as sharing audit logs and efficiently transferring files.
How to Avoid Cloud Vendor Lock-In
November 13, 2013
Vendor lock-in has been such a standard part of enterprise IT over the years that it often goes unnoticed and unquestioned. Recently, however, that lock-in mentality has followed enterprises to the clouds. One might not think that vendor lock-in would exist for those who use open source software or open cloud solutions. Think again.
Metacloud's Steve Curry: We Need a Better Cloud Storage Model
November 12, 2013
The popularity of cloud storage is growing rapidly, and few would deny that open source technology is driving individual and business users to the clouds in droves. Yet enterprise adoption decisions are often hindered by competing technologies for public and private clouds. Often, it is less a question of open or closed source and more an issue of service and cost.
Boom Time for Corporate Cloud Marketplaces
November 11, 2013
The growing adoption of Bring Your Own Device policies by organizations of all sizes, across nearly every industry, has enabled corporate end-users and business units to more easily acquire apps tailored to their specific work requirements. This Bring Your Own Apps phenomenon, often referred to as the "consumerization of IT," has sparked a new round of debate among CIOs and other corporate executives.
The Latest Big Blue Sea Change
November 05, 2013
IBM's recent Enterprise 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., was the Systems and Technology Group's inaugural event focusing on high-end business solutions. So it was no surprise that the CIOs, partners and IT practitioners -- data center admins and managers -- who work with IBM's System z mainframe and Power Systems platforms were thick on the ground.
HGST's New Hard-Drive Isn't Full of Hot Air
November 04, 2013
Western Digital subsidiary HGST has found a novel way of packing more storage capacity into a standard 3.5-inch hard disc drive: filling it with helium instead of air. The 6-TB Ultrastar He6 HDD is the highest-capacity drive in the world, according to the company. HGST has achieved this by packing seven disk platters into the drive instead of the standard five.
Discharged Female Cadet Sues Aussie Gov't for Sexual Harassment
November 04, 2013
An Australian woman formerly in the Australian Defense Force said that she plans to sue the nation's federal government for grievances stemming from a sordid saga in which a fellow cadet filmed the two of them having sex and then streamed it via Skype. The woman, known in the media as "Kate," said she will file suit against the defense department in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

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