Stories by Kevin Fogarty

How many virtual machines fit on your server?

Choosing just enough virtual machines, but not too many, for a given server has always been a challenge. Running a set of virtual servers and the applications that they support on one physical server running just one operating system seems easy enough - at first.

Virtualisation speed traps: ways to drag apps down

What has driven the market for virtual servers more than the potential to squeeze several servers worth of performance out of just one physical server? It's the relative ease with which most applications can move from a physical infrastructure to a virtual one.

VMware, ISVs Square Off on Fault Tolerance

Among the consequences of VMware's battery of vSphere 4 announcements Tuesday about its new virtualization infrastructure and add-on components, third-party software vendors specializing in fault-tolerance and high-availability are feeling new pressure now that VMware has added basic versions of those functions to its core product.<br/>

Moving a Data Center Into the Cloud

A year in which the economics of the travel and hotel industries are so bad that business analysts keep making comparisons to the months immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York is not generally the time most IT people would be comfortable putting together a disaster recovery plan for the first time. Most would be in their offices, sweating over spreadsheets, looking for ways to trim spending a bit more, or push a project to drive down operational costs.

Eye on 802.11i

Vendors will tell you that upgrading from the interim security standard Wi-Fi Protected Access to the fully baked 802.11i protocol will be fairly simple, straightforward and worth the effort. But analysts and end users warn that there are lots of wrinkles to an 802.11i upgrade, including the fact that you might have to buy new hardware. After analyzing costs and other issues, some users have decided that WPA is good enough for now.

E-future lies in the back office

For the past few weeks, I've been searching for an image, a nuance, a breakthrough, anything that would give me an indication of what the next generation of e-business is really going to look like.

Financial manager speeds up transactions

Wall Street trading systems may seem high tech, but the back-end processes required to complete a trade are a lot murkier and a lot lower tech than you might think. Many traders rely on service providers like State Street to do the accounting and settlement and financial transfers required to actually complete a sale. But they frequently notify those providers of a trade with a fax often with critical information missing.

Learn to manage data, not crises

Yes, it was probably insensitive of me to tell a friend who was recovering from heart surgery that operating on a major organ is not only inconvenient and painful, but it's also the crudest, most temporary, most incomplete treatment for any systemic problem.

Job Market Elixir

Scientists lead the effort to squeeze medical solutions from the human genome, but mainstream IT pros provide the skills needed to make it happen.

Slow and steady can win CRM race

Information technology managers are caught in a bind. Their budgets are shrinking faster than a snowman in a rainstorm, but that doesn't mean that their colleagues will stop asking for IT to help improve the business. IT became strategic during the '90s, putting CIOs in the boardroom. Now, CIOs are on the spot to demonstrate that IT is as valuable in the thin times as it was during the fat ones.

Don't plunge into VoIP

In the IT world the argument - buy now or the pace of change will leave you behind - is applied to whatever technology is hot at the moment.

Glory days are gone

It's September 2012. The end of another long, hot, miserable summer for those of us who still call ourselves high-tech vendors. Remember the way it used to be? When technology was changing everything and all you had to do to get rich was save the world? Remember when you could spin a grand vision of the future one day and be swamped with customers the next?

Promise of disaster

It shouldn't really surprise anyone that Microsoft Corp.'s grand architectural scheme to pull together all of the Internet and enterprise applications under its .Net umbrella is gaining adherents - even among users who are normally skeptical of grand schemes.