Shelter Mutual Insurance Co., an insurance company with a presence in 14 states, was facing out of control server sprawl and difficulties with air flow and rack space, writes Jim Utsler in the August issue of IBM Systems Magazine. To deal with the problem, Shelter opted to move many of its applications to IFL processors running on its mainframe, slowing the growth rate of the existing Intel technology-based boxes. As an added bonus, the company's applications are now running faster on its zEnterprise 114 (z114) platform than they had in the past, notes Utsler.
Posted August 24, 2012
Oracle has announced Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 2.0. According to Oracle, customers in 43 countries across 22 industries have already adopted Oracle Exalogic, and it is the fastest growing Oracle engineered system with 3x Y/Y sales bookings based on the last two quarters of FY 2012. The second generation of Exalogic is raising the bar even further, with a single integrated system that addresses the key business goals of application owners - to seize market opportunities, lower business risk and reduce cost and complexity, noted Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president for product development at Oracle, who spoke during a webcast presentation to launch the new release.
Posted August 23, 2012
Seriously chronic geeks like me usually were raised on a strong diet of science fiction that shaped our expectations of the future. Reading Heinlein and Asimov as a boy led me to expect flying cars and robot servants. Reading William Gibson and other "cyberpunk" authors as a young man led me to expect heads-up virtual reality glasses and neural interfaces. Flying cars and robot companions don't seem to be coming anytime soon, but we are definitely approaching a world in which virtual - or at least augmented - reality headsets and brain control interfaces become mainstream.
Posted August 22, 2012
Quest Software has announced that vRanger 6.0, the latest version of its virtual data protection solution which provides backup, replication, and recovery for VMware, now also enables customers to back up and restore physical Windows servers. Providing a single source of protection for both virtual and physical environments, vRanger 6.0 is VMware Ready certified for vSphere 5, provides OS support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008, and also will support Windows Server 2012 upon its release to market. "We feel that we can reduce the complexity and reduce the number of tools used in a Windows environment that is using VMware," Greg Davoll, senior director, product marketing, data protection business, at Quest, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
Posted August 21, 2012
VMware, Inc., a provider of virtualization and cloud infrastructure, says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nicira, Inc., a network virtualization vendor. VMware will acquire Nicira for approximately $1.05 billion in cash plus approximately $210 million of assumed unvested equity awards. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect the acquisition to close during the second half of 2012, according to VMware. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both VMware and Nicira and the stockholders of Nicira.
Posted August 20, 2012
Symantec has introduced Veritas Operations Manager 5.0 and Veritas Operations Manager Advanced 5.0. Veritas Operations Manager provides a centralized management console that bridges the gap across servers and storage and enables organizations to get end to end visibility not just from the application to the storage spindles themselves but also in a heterogeneous environment, Don Angspatt, vice president of product management, Storage and Availability Management Group, Symantec Corp., tells 5 Minute Briefing. The Advanced version is an add-on offering that provides additional capabilities for reporting, enables an enterprise-wide multi-site view, and also allows users to verify utilization for network attached storage as well.
Posted August 20, 2012
Certes Networks, a developer of network and cloud encryption solutions, has announced that its Virtual Certes Enforcement Point (vCEP) for cloud security has achieved VMware Ready status. This designation indicates that the vCEP has undergone detailed test procedures and is supported on VMware vSphere 5 for production environments.
Posted August 07, 2012
Oracle has entered into an agreement to acquire Xsigo Systems, a provider of network virtualization technology, whose products have been deployed at enterprise customers including British Telecom, eBay, Softbank, and Verizon. Xsigo's software-defined networking technology simplifies cloud infrastructure and operations by allowing customers to connect any server to any network and storage, enabling increased asset utilization and application performance while reducing cost.
Posted July 31, 2012
Data virtualization vendor Composite Software and Armanta, Inc., a provider of an integrated BI and analytics platform, have formed a partnership to deliver end-to-end enterprise risk management solutions to the financial services industry. The recent financial crisis points to a need for better enterprise level risk management, Robert Eve, executive vice president of marketing at Composite Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing. However, he notes, the challenge with traditional risk management is that it does not include enough factors for the analysis or may not be capable of handling the volume of information that should be considered for analysis. "If you can't access all the information, or the information is at a volume level that is too great to analyze, then you are really not able to manage risk, and do what-if analysis to avoid problems."
Posted July 11, 2012
Dell and Quest Software announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Dell to acquire Quest, an IT management software provider offering a broad selection of solutions that solve the most common and most challenging IT problems. Under terms of the agreement, approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Dell will pay $28 per share in cash for each share of Quest for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.4 billion, net of Quest's cash and debt. The transaction is expected to close in Dell's third fiscal quarter, subject to approval by Quest's shareholders and customary conditions.
Posted July 02, 2012
Companies are scrambling to learn all the various ways they can slice, dice, and mine big data coming in from across the enterprise and across the web. But with the rise of big data — hundreds of terabytes or petabytes of data — comes the challenge of where and how all of this information will be stored. For many organizations, current storage systems — disks, tapes, virtual tapes, clouds, inmemory systems — are not ready for the onslaught, industry experts say. There are new methodologies and technologies coming on the scene that may help address this challenge. But one thing is certain: Whether organizations manage their data in their internal data centers, or in the cloud, a lot more storage is going to be needed. As Jared Rosoff, director of customer engagement with 10gen, puts it: "Big data means we need ‘big storage.'"
Posted June 13, 2012
Oracle has introduced new desktop virtualization software, including new releases of three products. The new product versions are Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.4, Sun Ray Software 5.3 and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client 3.1.The desktop virtualization solutions enable organizations to provision access for employees to personal desktop computing environments, enterprise applications, and data without being tied to a particular physical client device. The benefits of this approach include user mobility, data security, and enhanced centralized administration - key issues for organizations involved in the public sector, healthcare field, financial sector, and call center operations, where centralized control is important for compliance and security reasons, Monika Kumar, senior director, product marketing at Oracle, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
Posted May 23, 2012
Today, at Informatica World in Las Vegas, Informatica, a provider of data integration software, unveiled Informatica 9.5. This new release addresses the big data challenges customers are facing as a result of the explosion of data volumes in the enterprise, fueled by social media, cloud computing, and mobile computing data, Ivan Chong, executive vice president and general manager of Data Quality product division at Informatica, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Describing it as a major release of the Informatica Platform, Chong says Informatica 9.5 includes a wide range of new features to help customers extract more value from their big data assets.
Posted May 15, 2012
In the beginning, information was unknown. Eventually, the growing populace absorbed information as it was passed on by each generation person to person, but only the elite had access to that knowledge base. King James and Guttenberg made that information more accessible to the general public but still, access to information was very limited. Galileo, the famous Italian physicist, mathematician and astronomer, originally published his finding in Latin that proved the world was in reality round not flat. Even though this science contradicted church doctrine, the population remained apathetic. When Galileo then published those same findings in Italian, he was excommunicated. By sharing this knowledge outside the "inner circle" he became an outcast. The world was not quite ready to share the "knowledge base" with the common man. As time passed, the ability of the privileged to keep the knowledge base contained to a privileged few waned.
Posted May 09, 2012
SAP unveiled its roadmap for the database and mobile markets. At a press conference in San Francisco that was also made available online, Dr. Vishal Sikka, a member of the SAP executive Board, Technology & Innovation, said the company's vision for the SAP real-time data platform includes the SAP HANA platform, Sybase data management offerings, and SAP solutions for enterprise information management (EIM). "In our minds, and in our customers' minds there is now absolutely no doubt that HANA represents the database architecture for the future, for OLTP and OLAP, for analyzing structured and unstructured data, for legacy applications and for new applications," Sikka told the audience.
Posted April 25, 2012
Quest Software, Inc. has announced the availability of vFundamentals, a new product suite that delivers backup, capacity planning and resource optimization for VMware virtual environments. vFundamentals is intended to enable virtualization administrators to grow their virtual environments knowing that critical assets are properly utilized and protected. The new bundle includes Quest vRanger Pro, a VMware backup, replication and recovery solution, as well as capacity management and optimization technology from VKernel's vOps Server Standard Edition. VKernel was acquired in November 2011 by Quest.
Posted April 10, 2012
Symantec Corp. plans to announce, on Tuesday, a new solution intended to help organizations improve storage I/O performance and availability for VMware vSphere implementations. The product, Veritas Dynamic Multi-Pathing for VMware, is designed to help companies increase I/O performance, increase visibility and improve management of underlying storage, as well as enhance the availability of the virtual machine and applications. "Organizations are moving mission-critical applications to VMware, but when they do that, they add certain SLAs or performance requirements that they have to meet," Dan Lamorena, director of product marketing for Symantec's Storage and Availability Management Group, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
Posted April 02, 2012
There's no question that cloud computing is a hot commodity these days. Companies of all types and sizes are embracing cloud computing-both internally and from external service providers - as a way to cost-effectively build new capabilities. With the rapid growth of cloud comes new questions about responsibility within organizations, in terms of how services will be paid for, who has ultimate say over cloud decisions, and how cloud fits into the overall strategic direction of the business.
Posted March 28, 2012
All the major extensions to the Spring Framework are now compatible with Spring 3.1, the latest version of the open source Java development framework, according to VMware. Spring Integration, Spring Security, Spring Batch, Spring Data, Spring Mobile and Spring for Android all now support Spring 3.1, making it easier and faster for enterprise developers to build the next generation of enterprise applications. "The latest release of the Spring Framework and its major extensions continue the tradition of taking care of the infrastructure so developers can focus on building applications that address today's business requirements," Adrian Colyer, CTO Cloud and Application Services, VMware.
Posted March 20, 2012
As IT departments strive to lower costs while operating more efficiently organizations are seeking efficient ways to ensure that data in their VMware environments is properly protected, according to Quest Software and ExaGrid Systems, which are marketing a joint virtual data protection solution. Using Quest vRanger in tandem with ExaGrid's disk backup appliance, the vendors say, provides customers with an efficient, disk-based backup solution tailored to meet the specific needs of VMware virtual environments.
Posted March 20, 2012
Quest Software said it has entered into definitive agreements with affiliates of Insight Venture Partners to become a private company. In the deal, stockholders would receive $23 per share in cash, valuing the company at approximately $2.0 billion. Upon closing, Quest will be a privately held company and will continue to be led by chairman and CEO Vinny Smith and the existing senior management team. "As a private company, we will have increased flexibility to drive innovation across our product lines and execute our long-term strategy," said Smith in a statement released by the company.
Posted March 09, 2012
Composite Software has introduced version 6.1 of its Composite Data Virtualization Platform. The new release offers improved caching performance, expanded caching targets, data ship join for Teradata, and Hadoop MapReduce connectivity. Composite 6.1 also provides improvements to the data services development environment with an enhanced data services editor and new publishing options for Representational State Transfer (REST) and Open Data Protocol (OData) data services.
Posted February 17, 2012
Ntirety, Inc. announced that it has been successfully audited and certified under the MSPAlliance's (MSPA) Unified Certification Standard for Cloud and Managed Service Providers (UCS). The certification is specifically designed to provide business consumers of cloud and managed services with the assurance that the service provider they hire will meet or exceed the highest principles of quality in areas such as financial stability, facilities, managed services practices, and customer satisfaction.
Posted February 07, 2012
CiRBA Inc., a provider of data center intelligence software, announced support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 in its latest release of CiRBA Version 7.0. CiRBA's new Control Console is designed to provide IT organizations with greater control within virtual and cloud infrastructures. "CiRBA 7.0 gives unprecedented control over efficiency and risk to organizations deploying Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. In a single glance at the console, users can see where attention is required at the VM, host, and cluster level, and CiRBA's new action system provides explicit instructions on what allocations need to change, which workloads need to move and to where, and where new capacity is required," Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO of CiRBA, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
Posted February 06, 2012
Along with thousands of IT professionals, I was in the San Francisco Moscone Center main hall last October listening to Larry Ellison's 2011 Oracle Open world keynote. Larry can always be relied upon to give an entertaining presentation, a unique blend of both technology insights and amusingly disparaging remarks about competitors.
Posted January 11, 2012
IBM has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Green Hat, a provider of software quality and testing solutions for the cloud and other environments. Financial terms were not disclosed. Founded in 1996, Green Hat is jointly headquartered in London, England and Wilmington, Delaware. Upon the acquisition close, Green Hat will join IBM's Rational Software business.
Posted January 04, 2012
The first calendar year following SAP's acquisition of Sybase is coming to a close. David Jonker, director, product marketing - Data Management & Analytics, Sybase, discusses key product integrations, IT trends that loom large in Sybase's data management strategies, and the emergence of what Sybase describes as DW 2.0. 2011 has been "a foundational year," with effort focused on making Sybase technologies work with SAP and setting the stage for 2012, says Jonker. "We believe 2012 is going to be a big year for us on the database side."
Posted December 21, 2011
Aternity Inc., a provider of end user experience management solutions, has announced that Aternity and Unisys Corporation have taken a further step in the collaboration that enables Unisys to integrate Aternity's Frontline Performance Intelligence (FPI) Platform into its managed end-user services solutions. The expanded agreement will enable Unisys to provide tailored options for managed-service solutions based on Aternity's FPI Platform. Through these solutions Unisys can manage performance of applications used by clients' employees.
Posted December 11, 2011
Three columns ago, I started a series of articles pointing out that tough times are a-comin' for the DBA profession due to major disruptive changes in the wider IT world (see "2012 Might Really Be the End of the World as We Know It"). In previous columns, I have told you about how our lives will change due to major technological changes caused by things such as Solid State Disks (SSD) and massively multicore CPUs.
Posted December 06, 2011
UC4, a provider of IT process automation solutions, announced its is shipping a new version of its Application Release Automation (ARA) solution, intended to provide greater visibility into the end-to-end release processes through cross-functional planning, tracking and reporting. The solution is designed to automate the deployment of complex applications from development through production.
Posted October 26, 2011
At OpenWorld, Oracle's annual week-long conference in San Francisco for customers and partners, Andy Flower, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, spoke with 5 Minute Briefing about the emerging challenges facing IOUG members, the group's plans for the year ahead, including additional training and certification around Exadata, and how Oracle's engineered systems approach is being received. "The overall need for analytics, the growth of data, and the managing and processing of more and more data - those areas are the central themes for us," Flower noted.
Posted October 19, 2011
Cloud computing has taken the enterprise IT world by force. IT managers and CIOs are evaluating private, public and hybrid cloud infrastructures for running corporate applications and services. Many are doing pilots and evaluating large-scale migrations to the cloud, with the hope of not only saving money but increasing services for users.
Posted October 19, 2011
Red Hat, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Gluster, Inc., a provider of open source unstructured data storage solutions, for approximately $136 million in cash. With this acquisition, Red Hat says it will improve how enterprise IT manages the explosion of big data, whether on-premise or spanning into the public cloud; and expand into a critical part of enterprise infrastructure, delivering open storage solutions that protect customer investments as they approach the new era of computing.
Posted October 17, 2011
ParAccel, a provider of a high performance analytic database, and MicroStrategy, a provider of business intelligence software, have announced that they have extended their strategic partnership. The alliance builds upon a recent announcement that ParAccel's analytic acceleration technology will be a core component of MicroStrategy's social media analytics applications as well as a high performance option for MicroStrategy Cloud customers. To support these applications, ParAccel has invested dedicated resources, provided comprehensive access to its software, and committed to delivering specific product enhancements that will optimize the integration of ParAccel's analytic engine with MicroStrategy's products and offerings.
Posted October 04, 2011
Virtualization is such a broad term and a hot topic among IT professionals. However, just because your organization has conquered server virtualization, or is well underway with confidence, if you proceed with the same desktop virtualization practices, you will be setting yourself up for failure.
Posted September 14, 2011
For many organizations, data is not only crossing into the hundreds of terabytes, but into the near-petabyte (PB) and multi-petabyte range. In a new survey sponsored by Oracle and conducted by Unisphere Research among members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), "The Petabyte Challenge: 2011 IOUG Database Growth Survey," close to one out of 10 respondents report that the total amount of online (disk-resident) data they manage today - taking into account all clones, snapshots, replicas and backups - tops a petabyte.
Posted September 07, 2011
At an event for customers, partners and industry experts in Redwood Shores that was also presented live online, Oracle announced Oracle VM 3.0, the latest release of its server virtualization and management solution. According to the company, Oracle VM 3.0 is suitable for all data center workloads and features new policy-based management capabilities, advanced storage management via the Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-in API; centralized network configuration management, improved ease-of-use and Open Virtualization Format (OVF) support.
Posted September 07, 2011
At the recent VMworld conference, Symantec Corp. announced new enhancements to Backup Exec 2010 designed to provide greater visibility into physical and virtual environments with a single backup solution.
Posted September 06, 2011
NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a provider and integrator of advanced communications, networking and IT solutions, announced that its NEC Express5800/R320b fault-tolerant servers, which are powered by the six-core Intel Xeon processor 5600 series, now support VMware vSphere for virtualization.
Posted September 06, 2011
At VMworld 2011 yesterday, VMware, Inc. announced a new database provisioning and operations solution designed to deliver a database as a service model for the enterprise. Described as an extension of VMware's Cloud Application Platform strategy, VMware vFabric Data Director aims to give IT the ability to control and manage a growing set of heterogeneous databases through policy-based automation, while streamlining application development via a self-service provisioning model for developers to rapidly access the database services needed for modern applications. Built on VMware vSphere, vFabric Data Director will also extend the benefits of virtualized infrastructures to the database tier, optimizing resource utilization for increased operational efficiency and cost savings.
Posted August 30, 2011