It's probably not a wholly accurate description, but to call Mix '08 the conference for "the new Microsoft" doesn't seem that far off. Perhaps even more apt would be to think of it as the show for Microsoft as it aspires to be. Other possibilities? Well, if one were cynical, maybe "the conference for Microsoft as it wishes others to see it." Or if one were sympathetic to the travails of companies with large, and fundamentally conservative, installed bases how about this for a tag line: "If only change were easy as giving … Read more
With the ProLiant DL785 G5 Server, Hewlett-Packard has re-entered the 8-socket x86 server space. This system has twice the computing headroom of the quad-processor servers that are generally considered at the top end of the volume or so-called commodity server space.
HP isn't new to this market segment. In 1997, Intel bought a company by the name of Corollary that was in the process of developing a chipset that effectively "glued together" two standard quad-processor x86 busses into a single 8-way symmetrical multiprocessor (SMP). Intel not only completed development, it also gave the chipset legitimacy by giving … Read more
When photo site SmugMug initially contacted me, it was in the context of some of the pieces that I had written about competitor Flickr and some of the issues associated with protecting photographers' works online.
In a nutshell, relative to Flickr, SmugMug has opted for less of a open-community orientation than for ways to store and display photos with a rather granular set of access controls. (See some discussion by CEO and "Chief Geek" Don MacAskill.)
These are important topics that I'll be discussing further in due course, but today, I'm going to focus on SmugMug'… Read more
What does running software in the network mean exactly?
This is one of the questions that users are exploring as they start to increasingly poke at what "cloud computing" means for them.
On the one hand, cloud computing can refer specifically to running some sort of fixed software service--frequently through a browser's user interface--over the network. This is cloud computing in the Web 2.0 sense. We don't necessarily even think of Flickr, Facebook, or Google as "applications" as such. At the other end of the scale, services such as Amazon's EC2 and … Read more
Sun's not the only vendor busily acquiring this morning.
Dell has signed a definitive agreement to acquire MessageOne, Inc., an industry leader in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) enabled enterprise-class e-mail business continuity, compliance, archiving and disaster recovery services. The acquisition, for approximately $155 million in cash, has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
One angle here is that Dell is a very changed company. They're no longer just about selling the cheapest boxes. They've expanded their processor portfolio, they've dipped a toe into retail, … Read more
x86 servers with a single processor (as in single socket) are hardly unusual. They anchor the entry point for most vendors' product lines. Furthermore, beyond those systems that are sold specifically to be used as servers, an untold number of PCs sit under desks or in closets functioning as impromptu file or print servers.
However, pretty much since the advent of mass-market multiprocessing--in the Windows NT 3.51 era or thereabouts--uniprocessor servers have been very much the penny-pinching server option. Yes, they have fewer processors than their dual-socket brethren; that much is obvious. However, uniprocessor boxes have also typically jettisoned … Read more
As technology observers, it often seems most natural to view the strengths or weaknesses of some online service through an infrastructure lens. For example, the virtualization layer underlying Amazon's EC2 very much shapes the nature of the offering. On the one hand, virtual appliances of a sort let you quickly fire up a virtual machine (VM) instance. At the same time, VMs are, in a sense, ephemeral--which has implication for the way you store data permanently within the Amazon framework.
Other examples simply involve trading off service levels against costs. Want double-redundancy? You get what you pay for.
However, … Read more
When my posting frequency drops a bit, the usual reason is that I'm flying here and yon and otherwise occupied with goings-on at some conference, meeting, or client engagement. The situation in January was a bit different. For the first time in a while, I had some decent blocks of uncommitted time. And I put those to use fleshing out and writing some longer research notes that had been sitting on the to-do list for way too long.
Two of these deal with so-called "cloud computing"--the idea that software will increasingly run in the network. These … Read more
Sometime around 1990, Data General (who I worked for at the time) came out with a portable terminal called the Walkabout. The idea was that it would let people check their e-mail from the road using the built-in modem and terminal emulator, while being lighter and cheaper than the portable computers of the day. It wasn't as silly an idea as it might seem today--lots of people still used terminals rather than PCs at the time--but, like the DG/One, it was ahead of the hardware curve, and pricey.
On the heels of yesterday's Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld, Apple may be the tech company that's top of mind for many readers. However, from an enterprise computing perspective, Sun Microsystem's announcement that it is acquiring MySQL is far more pertinent. News.com's Martin LaMonica summarizes the announcement thusly:
Sun Microsystems will pay $1 billion to buy MySQL, the provider of a popular open-source database.
Sun said Wednesday that it will pay about $800 million in cash for MySQL's stock and take on about $200 million worth of options. MySQL CEO Marten Mickos will join … Read more