Wednesday, December 30, 2009
What criteria made the list?
1.You should decide whether you want an IP KVM switch or not.
Advantage: The freedom to work from anywhere.
Possible deterrents: Increased potential for security breach; higher price.
2. You should determine your ideal number of concurrent users.
Paul Mah posits:
“However, I would advocate support for at least one remote and one concurrent local user in instances where more than a dozen servers are connected via a KVM.”
This is a logical recommendation, given the number of servers being accessed. Minicom’s Smart 232 IP, for example, enables one local and two remote users access and control of up to 32 servers, as well as the capability for two remote users to operate serial sessions for controlling serial devices such as routers, managed network switches or PDUs.
3. Do you want CAT 5 cabling, which reduce cable clutter and are relatively inexpensive, or shorter, pricier cables (Duh!)?
4. If you are thinking about expanding the number of servers your SMB has, make sure you get a KVM switch which supports cascading. The author points out, “Note that the connectors for these KVMs are typically proprietary and support cascading only with the same models or devices within the same product family.”
Still have questions? Check out our KVM library or contact us.
Monday, December 28, 2009
There has also been a recent spate of “How-to” advice for 2010.
Take a look at the slideshow Seven Ways to Make Your Security Budget Pay Off in 2010. Nice visual presentation which reinforces the messages on the slides.
Slide 4 talks about single-sign on as an important security measure – read about how Minicom has implemented single-sign on in our remote access management products with great results.
Who could not use some direction about How to Improve Your IT Planning in 2010? Despite the vagueness of the title, this CIO.com article offers practical and specific suggestions.
Facebook now has 30,000 servers
Google’s Belgian data center spurns chillers in favor of free cooling
Amazon Web Services’ December outage
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
“Global IT spending will increase by 3.2 percent in 2010, attaining the 2008 spending level of about US$1.5 trillion, IDC said Thursday [December 3rd]. The research company said it based its prediction on a fairly conservative forecast -- an increase of 2.6 percent -- for global GDP growth... ‘High tech should lead us out of the Great Recession in 2010,’ said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC, on a conference call Thursday. The main themes for IT in 2010 will be recovery and transformation, he said. “
The article continues on a less upbeat note, with warnings not to get too comfortable, but the potential for good news is there.
eWeek’s article, Technology Hiring Expected to Increase in 2010, echoes this generally positive sentiment. In the words of Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics:
"Based on our 20 years of tracking IT budgets, all signs point to a recovery year. IT executives are prepared to make midyear adjustments, up or down, based on the strength of the recovery, but right now it appears we see a year of stabilization in IT spending and staffing."
TechNewsWorld seconds that emotion in Pragmatism, Persistence Fuel 2010 IT Budget and Hiring Trends, which strikes the same note of cautious hope.
What is the feeling out in the field? More of the same, or light at the end of the tunnel?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Michael Jackson’s influence remained strong posthumous, as the Web strained under the weight of his June 25th death. Storm clouds made a brief appearance, as the loss of data for T-Mobile Sidekick cast a shadow on much hyped cloud computing.
Interesting information about different ways of handling the sheer volume of Twitter.
Will 2010 boast outages as colorful as this year’s? Watch this space…
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Lots on environmental monitoring – ASHRAE’s raise of recommended inlet air temperature for servers made the list, as did the growing popularity of hot-aisle/cold aisle containment. Some business deals like Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, and some related economic news such as reduced budgets for data centers. Chock full of links so you can find out more about whatever catches your fancy.
Monday, December 14, 2009
According to the article:
“The trend highlights the importance of keeping the data centers powering e-commerce sites and online traffic running smoothly, says Dan Blum, principal analyst for the Burton Group.
‘Availability is crucial,’ he says. ‘Without availability, you are going to lose traffic; you are going to lose business.’ "
Good point, as every crash translates directly into lost business opportunities. The article goes on to mention a number of ways businesses can prepare for the holiday onslaught. Surprisingly, remote access did not make an appearance – given that it is a fast way to access servers at the BIOS level from any place at any time, you would think it would be offered as one way of keeping data centers up and running 24/7.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
OK OK we get it – there are tough times ahead for IT leaders. Statistics like the projected 650 percent growth in enterprise data over the next five years do cause one to pause (full article here).
The ten key issues that David Cappuccio, Gartner analyst, identified as necessary for IT managers to examine are:
The data deluge
Energy and green IT
Complex resource tracking
Consumerization of IT and social software
Mobile and wireless
Mashups and portals
Why does social networking get such a bad rap? The article states:
“Social networks are coming into the enterprise whether CIOs want them to or not, Cappuccio said. Twitter use grew an amazing 1,382 percent in 2008 and the majority of new users were between the ages of 39 and 51, he said.
‘It is a growing phenomenon which we can't shut down,’ he said. Employees and customers are using wikis, blogs, Facebook and Twitter and ‘it's affecting you now whether you know it or not.’ Businesses need to examine Web-based social software platforms because they are transforming interactions with both customers and employees, he said.”
Seems more negative than the situation warrants – how can you explain the concern about social networking, a potentially positive development?
Monday, December 07, 2009
Minicom has had a lot of success in China to date, with projects in industries such as government, banks, telecomm, electrical, and finance. Established OEM customers are already using Minicom’s solutions. Looking forward, Minicom hopes to invest considerably in additional sales and marketing activities.
Read the rest of the Official Press Release>> "Minicom Celebrates the Opening of Shanghai Office"
Take a look, we also updated our Minicom China Website!
This post on Energy & Capital: Practical Investment Analysis in the New Energy Economy confirms conventional wisdom that energy use is on the rise, then proceeds to make a case for cutting data center costs.
The logic is as follows:
“Intel executives have said publicly that 2010 will be the year that lifetime electricity costs (about 4 years) for a single server outweigh the sticker price of the hardware. That'd be like buying a $25,000 car that used more than $6,000 per year in gas.
You'd be in the market for a more efficient car, right?
That's exactly what internet executives are thinking. At the recent Emerging Technologies conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one executive was quoted saying that ‘profits will deteriorate dramatically if data center costs don't get contained.’ "
The author, Nick Hodge, equates smart grid development with profits for investors, without any whiff of idealism.
Is his theory correct? Are energy efficient innovations going to line the pockets of those who get there first?
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Thought you had put school behind you forever? Not so fast.
If you embrace the challenge of testing your IT knowledge, these quizzes are for you.
Have no fear – results will not be published online, making you the laughingstock of the industry. Use these quizzes as an indication of your areas of expertise and of where you could use some help.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
No mention was made of any green initiatives in this article.
Worth reading to see what all the findings are.
Would you also say that providing better products and services to employees and customers is one of the main business goals driving your IT strategy, which was true for close to 40 percent of those surveyed?
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
“Excess heat from hundreds of computer servers to be located in the bedrock beneath Uspenski Cathedral, one of Helsinki's most popular tourist sites, will be captured and channeled into the district heating network, a system of water-heated pipes used to warm homes in the Finnish capital.”
In addition to heating homes, the data center will use 50% less energy than a standard data center.
Lower energy bills sweeten the pot as well.
Yet another benefit is the security the cathedral will be getting as a result of having people in the basement.
Watch this space – it will be great to see this project in action.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Do not lose hope – there are some essential questions you can ask in order to meet the challenges of rising costs. For example:
“Do you have any pragmatic tips for helping me to cut my data center costs?
R: Gartner has several suggestions:
- Rationalize the Hardware. This involves taking out those systems that are underutilized or old, or where the workload can be run on more efficient hardware. Gartner clients have reported that rationalization and consolidation programs have resulted in 5 per cent to 20 per cent fewer servers being deployed.
- Consolidate Data-Center Sites. Consolidating multiple sites into a smaller number of larger sites will often result in financial savings.
- Manage Energy and Facilities Costs. Tools and techniques for managing the energy cost curve include: raising the temperature of the data center to around 24 degrees Celsius, which reduces the level of cooling required; using outside air as an alternative to air conditioning where possible; using hot aisle/cold aisle configurations, blanking and economizers; and using server based energy management software tools to run workloads in the most energy efficient way.
- Manage the People Costs. People costs still form the single largest cost element for most data centers, sometimes as much as 40 per cent of overall costs.
- Sweat the Assets. Delaying the procurement of new assets is a necessary step for all data center managers, especially as a server's useful life often exceeds its amortized life.”
Good to at least have the realistic heads-up on what the upcoming year holds, without illusions.