Facebook’s New Open Compute Project to Compete with Cisco

Facebook, along with Intel, Broadcom and others, revealed the first steps toward developing an open switch that will rival Cisco’s network hardware. The social networking site’s Open Compute Project (OCP) was announced six months ago, and now it’s making progress toward its goal by receiving switch specifications from its consortium members. The OCP plans to release a specification and reference box for an “open, OS-agnostic top-of-rack switch.” Continue reading Facebook’s New Open Compute Project to Compete with Cisco

LA Plans Fiber Network to Deliver Free Broadband and Wi-Fi

Los Angeles is poised to unleash an ambitious city-led broadband project with plans to deliver fiber to all of its businesses and 3.5 million residents. The new fiber network, expected to cost $3 billion to $5 billion, would offer free Internet access of 2Mbps to 5Mbps, likely subsidized by advertising. Paid tiers would offer access up to a gigabit, and the network would power Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas. Phone service and television is not a requirement for bidders, but package offerings would not be a surprise. Continue reading LA Plans Fiber Network to Deliver Free Broadband and Wi-Fi

Gartner Outlines the Top Ten Strategic Tech Trends for 2014

During the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 in Orlando, Florida, the IT leaders at Gartner identified the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends expected for 2014: mobile device diversity and management, mobile apps and applications, the Internet of Everything, hybrid cloud and IT as service broker, cloud/client architecture, the era of the personal cloud, software-defined anything (SDx), Web-scale IT, smart machines, and 3D printing. Continue reading Gartner Outlines the Top Ten Strategic Tech Trends for 2014

Search Engine Exposes Vulnerability of Connected Devices

Rather than crawl websites like a traditional search engine, Shodan navigates back channels tracking servers, webcams, printers, routers and other devices connected to the Internet. Each month, it gathers information on roughly 500 million connected devices and services. CNNMoney calls Shodan “the scariest search engine on the Internet.” As we move closer to the Internet of Things, it raises questions about how easy it may be to hack anything that is connected to the Internet. Continue reading Search Engine Exposes Vulnerability of Connected Devices

NAB 2013: Conference Notes – The State of Disruption

A surprisingly large number of people, at times as many as 100, stayed at NAB through Thursday afternoon to attend the 2-day Disruptive Media Conference produced by Ned Sherman and Digital Media Wire. Executives from companies such as Sony, Adobe, Rentrak, Scripps, StumbleUpon, nScreenMedia and others discussed the current impact of disruptive media and what they anticipate for the future. Continue reading NAB 2013: Conference Notes – The State of Disruption

NAB 2013: Dell Announces Solution for Media Workflows

Dell announced at NAB “Dell Create,” a professional consulting service and IT solution provider designed to help content creators — including large broadcast companies and entertainment studios — improve their content workflows with a centralized IT environment. With comprehensive management, implementation and support, Dell is positioning Dell Create as a multi-vendor cloud for content creators that allows customers to worry less about IT and spend more time being creative. Continue reading NAB 2013: Dell Announces Solution for Media Workflows

Strategic News: Mark Anderson Delivers 10 Predictions for 2013

Forbes provides an overview of the latest computing and telecommunications predictions for 2013 from tech guru Mark Anderson, as published in his Strategic News Service newsletter.

1) Tablets or “CarryAlongs” will become the dominant segment of computing devices.

2) Intel will fade into obscurity as Qualcomm and ARM take over computing, dominating the production of mobile chips.

3) Most U.S. homes will have Internet-enabled TVs, and other developed nations will follow suit as bandwidth improves.

4) The LTE vs. fiber battle will determine carriers’ business model for the years to come. “Customers choosing broadband LTE in DSL-served regions will be paying more and getting more; but those choosing LTE in fiber-served regions will be paying more for wireless broadband but getting less.”

5) Google will become the next Apple. “Google’s efforts in email, video, smartphones, maps, and driverless cars open up new long-term expansion paths, with more to follow.”

6) The driverless car will work toward ubiquity as countries pass laws to allow it and major brands work on developing new features.

7) e-Books will substantially outpace paperback sales in 2013 and will eventually dominate the market.

8) “Enterprise IT struggles to achieve very modest gains, with executive purchase decisions captured between large cash holdings, increased Asian competition, and their own poorly performing customers.”

9) “‘Hacktivist’ efforts acquire an important and permanent role in political transparency.”

10) Supply chain security will determine global technology purchases. “Recognition that today’s supply chains are virtually all compromised will lead to plant relocations and a new set of business opportunities for onshore component makers.”

CEO Bans Email: Encourages Social Tools such as Facebook and Texting

  • Is emailing a thing of the past? Thierry Breton, CEO of the French firm Atos (one of the largest IT companies in the world), believes email is a time-killer and plans to get rid of the practice within his company.
  • Breton’s 80,000 employees will be asked to make the transition from email to using social media tools, phone calls and face-to-face communication as alternatives.
  • “If people want to talk to me, call or send me a text message,” said Breton. “Emails cannot replace the spoken word.”
  • Breton himself has not used email at work for three years, claiming that it’s inefficient and a “burden to the workflow,” according to Engadget.
  • Forbes adds that Breton cites specific examples of how email wastes time: 1) “The ‘deluge’ of information that plagues organizations,” 2) “The need to review ‘useless’ emails and the time it takes to get focused again on important tasks,” 3) “The ‘pile’ of email that employees end up sorting through after hours and the associated drain on employees’ personal time.”
  • According to The Daily Mail, Breton quotes a recent study by business watchdog ORSE: “Reading useless messages is terrible for concentration, as it takes 64 seconds to get back on the ball after doing so. Poorly controlled, the e-mail can become a devastating tool.”

Big Data Predictions for 2015: Are We Ready to Manage 8 Zettabytes?

  • CenturyLink has released an infographic illustrating that 1.8 zettabytes of data will be created this year — and by 2015, that number will be 7.9 (equal to 18 million times the digital assets in the Library of Congress).
  • By the end of 2012, 50 percent of consumer Internet traffic will be devoted to video, making the largest contribution to the data boom. However, in 2015, most of the traffic will come from wireless devices.
  • Much of the data produced by consumers is “shadow data,” things like search history.
  • The infographic also details resource growth and notes “even as IT costs are dropping, capital expenditures are rising.”
  • “Naturally, enterprises hold most of the data, whether it’s created by consumers or by knowledge workers on company time,” reports ReadWriteWeb. “That’s a lot of responsibility for managing data: What’s your company’s data strategy to handle the incoming deluge of data?”

Putting Rumors to Rest: HP Announces it will Keep its PC Division

  • HP announced this week that it is keeping its PC division, despite recent rumors to the contrary.
  • The company’s Personal System Group was the world’s leading manufacturer of personal computers for fiscal year 2010.
  • “HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG. It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees,” explained Meg Whitman, HP president and CEO, in a press release.
  • The decision followed a data-driven evaluation that indicated PSG’s deep integration across the supply chain, IT and procurement. “It also detailed the significant extent to which PSG contributes to HP’s solutions portfolio and overall brand value,” suggests the release. “Finally, it also showed that the cost to recreate these in a standalone company outweighed any benefits of separation.”
  • Forbes contributor John Furrier has been railing against HP getting rid of its PC division, citing its strong potential to “morph into smartphones, tablets, future laptops, etc.”

Forty-One Percent of Enterprises Block Access for Employee-Owned Macs

  • Ars Technica reports: “Forty-one percent of enterprises do not allow employee-owned Macs access to any company resources, even Web-based e-mail, according to the results of a new Forrester survey of IT executives at North American and European companies.”
  • Some companies will offer a stipend to employees to buy Macs if they prefer, but the enterprise seems to stay away because of higher prices and ingrained IT Microsoft traditions.
  • Forrester suggests that productivity is linked with the freedom to choose personal computers. Many employees prefer the “uncluttered Macs — especially those with solid-state drives, which are more responsive and boot in seconds,” according to Forrester analyst David Johnson.
  • Problems arise with the need for Mac-specific management software and file sharing, but Johnson points out tech departments that stand in the way “will eventually get run over.”

Could Facebook become the Next Enterprise Software Vendor?

  • “It might sound crazy, but I think there’s an argument that Facebook could become a leading enterprise software vendor for the webscale world if the social-networking kingpin is so inclined,” writes Derrick Harris for GigaOM.
  • “As we continue to consume web applications and cloud services and webscale data centers become more common,” he adds, “Facebook’s tools and expertise could be a cash cow.”
  • The article details a few examples of new tools and systems Facebook has integrated to manage its massive infrastructure.
  • “Facebook could stand to make a lot of money by consulting with customers on how to build their data centers and architect their applications, and then selling them the software tools to keep those apps up and running,” writes Harris, also noting there is no indication that Facebook will ever pursue selling webscale software.

Carriers May Help Close the Gap for Android Enterprise Adoption

  • While Android has so far trailed Apple in enterprise adoption, GigaOM reports that Motorola’s subsidiary 3LM, “has finally launched its security, management, and remote access platform for Android devices” that will enable:
  • “Device encryption of full memory and SD card data; selective encryption of corporate applications; remote wipe capabilities and whitelist/blacklist of applications; and control applications’ access to corporate resources.”
  • “Enhanced security and control of device, OS, and applications; remote installs of critical enterprise application; device tracking.”
  • “Secure remote access to enterprise resources and device health and status checking.”
  • The post also indicates that AT&T has announced “Toggle,” which allows Android users to separate professional and personal use by creating two different modes. This will help keep personal data private from IT managers.
  • Apple has made gains in the enterprise with iPad and iPhone integration, but this news suggests that “with better management tools that augment what already exists on Android, it may help boost Android’s acceptance in the enterprise…”

Will Big Data Help Shape the Next Market Winners and Losers?

  • Forrester Research defines big data as “techniques and technologies that make handling data at extreme scale affordable.” The research firm estimates that companies effectively utilize less than 5 percent of available data, and further suggests that big data will help companies use information to dominate the competition in their market.
  • “It seems that every week another vendor slaps ‘big data’ into its marketing material – and it’s going to get worse,” writes Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins for Forbes. “Should you look beyond the vendor hype and pay attention? Absolutely yes! Why? Because big data has the potential to shape your market’s next winners and losers.”
  • Big data is not only concerned with the volume of information but also in velocity, variety and variability of data, since “data is usually generated so fast that you need to constantly capture more of it to be valuable for some decisions.”
  • The write-up in Forbes is promoting Forrester’s new report, “Expand Your Digital Horizon With Big Data.” From the executive summary: “At extreme scale, traditional data management and business intelligence (BI) become impractical, and your business does not get what it demands — more insight to drive greater business performance. Big data helps firms work with extremes to deliver value from data cost-effectively.
  • However CIOs must understand that this is not business as usual. In fact, big data will disrupt the data management landscape by changing fundamental notions about data governance and IT delivery. Take the time to understand big data as well as its implications and begin a balanced approach that considers more than just the technology hype.”

Disruptive TV Trends: What is the Future of the Business of Television?

  • Amsterdam’s annual IBC event offered a number of potential TV game-changers earlier this month, suggests TVNewsCheck. These include cloud-based or service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications for capturing, producing, processing and distributing digital video and audio; IT-based playout (channel in a box) tools that could potentially make broadcast playout more affordable; and 3D technology likely to be deployed for the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Also on display were technologies “aimed at making 3D production more affordable and compatible with standard 2D operations.”
  • Cloud services were at the forefront since broadcasters are now challenged by having to support an increasing number of distribution platforms.
  • Vendors discussed the fundamental concerns about cloud-based architectures, “notably content security, access to content, collaboration, bandwidth and workflow continuity,” reports TVNewsCheck.
  • In a related article from GigaOM that analyzes shifts in traditional television, venture capitalist Habib Kairouz writes that the TV industry is poised for some significant changes due to a number of upcoming trends: TV anywhere and anytime will catch on; the rise of the Internet-connected TV and interactive programming; and personalized advertising.
  • The article suggests that content owners will benefit as MSOs, IPTV providers, and others compete with one another. MSO’s are hedging their bets by purchasing both traditional and interactive content, while TV manufacturers are looking to build Internet services into their low margin businesses. We should watch for new entrants to increase the disruption in this space.

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