5 MINUTE BRIEFING DATA CENTER

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Five Minute Briefing - Data Center
March 21, 2011

Five Minute Briefing - Data Center: March 21, 2011. Published in conjunction with SHARE Inc., a bi-weekly report geared to the needs of data center professionals.


News Flashes

CiRBA Inc. says it is shipping a new release of its data center intelligence software, designed to provide IT organizations with "fully-loaded utilization," a new metric for measuring the infrastructure efficiency. CiRBA Version 6.1's fully-loaded utilization feature provides a precise and simultaneous measurement of server infrastructure requirements that factors in utilization patterns, technical constraints and business and operational policies. Leveraging this measure, organizations can identify exactly how much infrastructure is required to safely service workloads, allowing excess capacity to be accurately measured and reclaimed for other purposes, according to the vendor. According to Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO of CiRBA, data centers can face challenges in understanding how efficiently and how well utilized their IT and virtualized environments are running. This is because they tend to rely solely on traditional measurements such as CPU utilization, I/O rates and other measurements. But these can be misleading, he says.

Embarcadero has introduced DB PowerStudio for DB2 to provide DB2 developers and DBAs with a toolset that brings greater functionality and efficiency to their development, database administration and performance tuning tasks. According to Embarcadero, the new DB PowerStudio for DB2 combines several essential database tools into an aggressively priced suite that extends beyond the capabilities of IBM's database utilities. Following recent introductions of similar toolsets aimed at Oracle, SQL Server and Sybase ASE users, DB PowerStudio for DB2 meets the needs of both DB2 database developers and administrators, helping both improve the performance and availability of their databases.

On the heels of the IBM Jeopardy! Challenge, in which the IBM Watson system demonstrated the capability to understand natural language, IBM launched a global skills initiative to educate clients, business partners, and college students on how to use IBM business analytics and information management software, and many of the underlying technologies of the Watson computing system, to capture information from new sources and use it to create business opportunities.

Revolution Analytics, a commercial provider of software and services based on the open source R project for statistical computing, and IBM Netezza announced they are teaming up to integrate Revolution R Enterprise and the IBM Netezza TwinFin Data Warehouse Appliance. According to the vendors, this will enable customers to directly leverage the capabilities of the open source R statistics language as they run high-performance predictive analytics from within data warehouse platforms.

IBM has announced new software and the creation a new consulting practice dedicated to the emerging category of "Smarter Commerce," focused on helping companies adapt to rising customer demands in today's digitally transformed marketplace. The new software and services offerings, supported by global sales and marketing resources, will address the spectrum of enterprise commerce activities - new ways to buy, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of mobile and social networks. "It's a buyer's world now," says Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM Industry Solutions. "Businesses require a tighter and highly responsive network of suppliers and partners to ensure they deliver the right product or service at the right price, time and place. The key to business success in this unfolding environment is predicting trends and automating market responses in advance to eliminate the gaps between buy and sell, supply and demand."

Cloud.com announced the latest version of an open source cloud computing platform intended to help manage highly-scalable public and private infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds. The new release, CloudStack 2.2, is a foundation designed to enable data center operators to build on-demand, elastic cloud services within their existing IT infrastructures.


Think About It

As reported in this week's issue of 5 Minute Briefing, IBM is stepping up efforts to train professionals to manage and build insightful analytics from Big Data. Watson, with its Jeopardy-smashing brain of 200 million pages of natural language content and in-memory capacity, may seem limited and underpowered in a few years' time. But the Watson-like systems that will be commonplace in every company will almost be useless unless there are new applications that can take advantage of this new level of computing. Companies need skilled and visionary professionals who can build these new applications.

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