On November 6, Sam Palmisano, chairman, president & CEO of IBM, made an important speech entitled "The Smart Planet: The Next Leadership Agenda" at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York City. That speech is only now getting public press attention.
Stories by Frank Dzubeck
It seems that every decade or so I get the opportunity to write an article on IT deja vu. This time around, the topic is cloud computing, which is the latest IT buzz word.
For the past six months, our offices have been part of the brave new world of virtualization. Not of servers, storage or networks but of the next-generation desktop. The rationale for the original decision to virtualize the desktop was to offer the staff operating-system and application flexibility while maintaining governance, manageability and control of the corporate environment.
All of a sudden "green" is the "in" color. In 2007 the IT industry embraced the green data center concept. What followed was an avalanche of PR from vendor after vendor claiming that they were greener than their competitors.
What is the "L" word? It's latency.
With all the fanfare for Al Gore, receiving an Oscar, Emmy and the Nobel Peace Prize all in 2007, one would think that global environmental concerns rank No. 1 on the list of "corporate social responsibility."
It is often said that the weakest link in the IT security chain is the human being. In our technological age it is inconceivable to travel without network tethers such as a laptop PC, mobile telephone or e-mail PDA. The road warrior is connected 24/7 to his home, corporate office/clients/partners and the Internet. What has occurred in the 21st century is that all of this technology is taken for granted, and security is never a primary issue or concern.
As the rapid adoption of service-oriented architecture continues within the corporate environment, companies are realizing that implementation is not instantaneous but evolutionary. To accommodate this process, a simplified SOA reference architecture has evolved that seems to embrace all corporate industry and vendor variants. Fundamental to this reference model are the logical partitioning and separation of all corporate/IT functionality into a set of common services, logically interconnected for shared use by a common enterprise service bus (ESB).
The service provider business segment is in the process of morphing into multiple parallel lines of business. YouTube.com, Google.com and MySpace.com consider themselves next generation or alternate service providers.
The service-oriented-architecture hype of the past year seems to have made believers of the most vocal skeptics. SOA has had an almost mystical aura as the savior of IT and most stagnant business operations.
Upon reading Cisco CEO John Chambers' comments -- about decoupling IOS software and maintenance from network hardware I realized again how far out of sync the network and IT industries are. Talking to numerous other network infrastructure vendors, I found they all view and support this new industry tactic as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a means to increase revenue and profits for Cisco and any vendor following Cisco's lead. On the other hand, it will let the industry aggressively market and sell competitive alternatives to Cisco products. My discussions with Cisco customers and their reactions were another story.
Having seen many vendor presentations announcing new products and strategies recently, I've noticed a common thread. The IT world has embraced the concept of total multi vendorism based upon agreed industry standards. Corporate IT chooses vendors based not on incumbency but the age-old metric of price/performance combined with ROI and total cost of ownership. Integration, legacy application encapsulation and database federation have become software mantras. Data centre consolidation has become a business issue, not an IT nightmare. Evolving a corporation into the world of service oriented architectures (SOA) requires corporate commitment to business process and organizational changes that may have a far greater impact than IT technology changes.
Bandwidth management is broadly defined as the control of traffic in a network. It can encompass numerous techniques, including WAN optimization; WAN, SSL, XML and application acceleration; bandwidth allocation; bandwidth shaping; QoS; and network caches. Almost all these techniques have become niche business opportunities for vendors. Today, there are more than 25 bandwidth management vendors.
In the past year we've seen increased demand for VoIP, most notably in the consumer peer-to-peer market. With Skype leading the way, peer-to-peer VoIP using the Internet has attracted major industry players such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and AOL. EBay's purchase of Skype and Microsoft's pushing instant messaging voice and the next-generation Windows Vista operating system will no doubt elevate peer-to-peer VoIP to a mainstream Internet application.
Peer-to-peer networking has caused a dramatic increase in Internet traffic. Depending on the analysis methodology, P2P networking accounts for 60 to 89 percent of all Internet traffic.
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