Stories by Paul Desmond

A prescription for lower costs

Open source technologies help McKesson deliver lower-cost IT solutions to its healthcare customers by trimming the tab for hardware and software.

Flying high with open source

To say Sabre Holdings is a believer in open source technology is an understatement. Its IT department supports the Travelocity Web site, the Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions, and the company has been using open source tools for some 10 years, according to CTO Robert Wiseman. Cost certainly factors into the reason, but it's Sabre's ability to control its own destiny by making whatever changes it deems necessary that's the real motivation. Along with Kevin Bomar, Sabre's senior principal of middleware services, Wiseman explains how open source software and the community that supports it help Sabre deliver solutions that meet its demanding uptime requirements.

Publisher squeezing IT energy costs via smart data center design

EBSCOhost is a fee-based research service that provides libraries in North America with access to more than 20 million articles from 20,000-plus journals and magazines, all driven from two data centers in the coastal town of Ipswich, Massachusetts. The data centers are owned and operated by EBSCO Publishing, the second-largest business unit of EBSCO Industries, which is one of the largest privately held firms in the Fortune 500. Michael Gorrell, senior vice president and CIO for EBSCO Publishing, explained that green IT principles are fundamental to helping the company keep up with sales growth averaging 26 percent per year for the last three years and storage growth of 200 percent annually, without equivalent growth in computing and data center infrastructure.

How Deloitte's IT team has gone green

Saving on energy costs is obviously a good thing, but to Larry Quinlan, CIO at the consulting firm Deloitte, green IT simply makes good business sense. "If you run green IT right, you will end up with a vastly superior IT organization," Quinlan said during his keynote address at the recent <i>Network World IT Roadmap</i> event in the US, in which he described green IT as one of five technologies that will change IT. From reducing demand for IT resources to thin laptops, Quinlan has no shortage of ideas on how to make green IT deliver on multiple fronts.

Identity management for the masses

Imagine having to provide authentication and authorization services for some 1,000 departments within your organization, while giving about 360,000 administrators control over which individuals get access to what resources. Now imagine that the vast majority of those groups and administrators work for companies other than your own.

NAC is about more than security at UNC

When the University of North Carolina in the US implemented network access control campus-wide last year, it was as much a natural progression of the school's network management strategy as it was a security project.

Disaster recovery tips and lessons learned

In his keynote address at the recent Network World IT Roadmap event in the US, Marshall Lancaster, vice president of IT, Enterprise Infrastructure Services for United Stationers, offered up lots of tips and lessons learned that can help companies implement effective -- and cost-effective -- disaster recovery plans (Read our main story on his experiences here.)

Hurricane Katrina disaster recovery lessons still popping up

For at least three days prior to when Hurricane Katrina struck, Marshall Lancaster and his IT team at Lagasse were closely tracking the storm, hoping it would spare his company's New Orleans-based headquarters and data center but preparing for the worst. By the time Katrina made landfall early on a Monday morning in August 2005, Lancaster and his team were in Chicago at the company's backup data center, having already declared a disaster.

A virtual hit for MLB Advanced Media

December is a relatively slow time of year at MLB Advanced Media, the company that brings you the official Major League Baseball Web sites. From pitch-by-pitch accounts of games to streaming audio and video -- plus news, schedules, statistics and more -- it has baseball covered. Doing so requires serious horsepower, so much so that the company's Manhattan data center is pretty much tapped out in terms of space and power, according to Ryan Nelson, director of operations for the firm. Strategic use of virtualization technology enabled him nevertheless to forge ahead with implementing new products during the 2007 season, and promises to smooth a shift to a new data center in Chicago in time for the 2008 season.

IT optimization the Lucasfilm way

Lucasfilm is the creative force behind a host of special-effects-laden motion pictures, including the "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. The firm has six divisions in addition to the parent company: Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects group; Lucas Arts and Entertainment, the gaming division; Lucasfilm Animation; Skywalker Sound; Lucas Licensing; and Lucas Online. The company operates from three locations in the San Francisco area and the Lucasfilm Animation facility in Singapore.

Intel IT takes layered approach to security

In an era when more and more intruders are coming after corporate data for profit, not just for fun, a layered approach to security is more important than ever. The approach must be built on sound policies that are effectively communicated throughout the organization and backed up with spending on the right controls, but not too much spending in any one area.

Living with Google Apps -- at Google

If Google executives sound confident that companies will take to the Google Apps Premier Edition package announced this week, it may be because they have been using the applications themselves since at least last October.

New players in the New Data Center

As companies migrate to New Data Center architectures, it stands to reason that they'll look at a wide range of vendors with new tools to help. Here are seven promising products.

IT's identity crisis

Don Dargel has been working in IT since he was a teenager and now, at age 37, he wants out so badly he's willing to join the National Guard to get extra money so he can go back to college. And yes, he's aware there's a war on.