Aligning Your Policies, Processes and Tools to the Business Value of Your Information

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For most organizations application releases are analogous to extremely tense and pressurized situations where risk mitigation and tight time deadlines are key. This is made worse with the complication of internal silos and the consequent lack of cohesion that exists not just within the microcosm of IT infrastructure teams but also amongst the broader departments of development, QA and operations. Now with the increasing demand on IT from application and business unit stakeholders for new releases to be deployed quickly and successfully, the interdependence of software development and IT operations are being seen as an integral part to the successful delivery of IT services. Consequently businesses are recognizing that this can't be achieved unless the traditional methodologies and silos are readdressed or changed. Cue the emergence of a new methodology that's simply... (more)

M/C Venture Partners Announces Closing of NuVox Acquisition

M/C Venture Partners today announced the closing of the sale of the firm’s portfolio company, NuVox, Inc., a privately-held competitive local exchange carrier based in Greenville, S.C., to Windstream Corporation (NYSE: WIN) in a transaction valued at approximately $643 million. “NuVox’s strong track record of increasing margins and growing revenues has yielded an excellent liquidity event for its shareholders, even in the face of challenging economic conditions,” said Jim Wade, Managing General Partner at M/C. “We believe that, based on their mutual strong performance and the synergies between the two companies, Windstream’s acquisition of NuVox is the logical next chapter for the company and an important milestone in the CLEC industry.” The story of NuVox, a provider of integrated communications and information technology solutions, illustrates M/C Venture Partners... (more)

Cloud Economics – Amazon, Microsoft, Google Compared

Any new technology adoption happens because of one of the three reasons: Capability: It allows us to do something which was not feasible earlier Convenience: It simplifies Cost: It significantly reduces cost of doing something What is our expectation from cloud computing? As I had stated earlier, it is all about cost saving … (1) through elastic capacity and (2) through economy of scale. So, for any CIO who is interested in moving to cloud, it is very important to understand what the cost elements are for different cloud solutions. I am going to look at 3 platforms: Amazon EC2, Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure. They are sufficiently different from each other and each of these companies is following a different cloud strategy – so we need to understand their pricing model. (A word of caution: this analysis is as per the published data on 20th January, 2010 and ... (more)

Commentary: Sun’s Oracle Merger

Mergers & Acquisitions on Ulitzer With only the ‘you may now kiss the bride’ custom to follow, the Oracle/Sun marriage (or dare I say Sun/Oracle) is now finally complete. After months of legal wrangling which has caused nothing but embarrassment and dwindled Sun’s stature within the market sphere, reports also came out that half of Sun's 27,000 staff will be made redundant. Thus initial indications are clear that Oracle, known for its past agnosticism to open source has an eye for the merger being based on maximizing profit. In the meantime Sun’s competitors are probably smiling wryly as the delay of the merger played into their immediate interests but what threats and challenges does this partnership now pose to the once great open source vendor which did so much for developing the tech and e-commerce industry. One thing which Oracle will most probably do is addres... (more)

Map GDrive (Google Docs) as a Local Drive

Google on Ulitzer Gladinet Cloud Desktop provides a mapped network drive interface to Google Docs making GDrive accessible through a local drive letter, like G: or any other one that is available. This enables users to access and manage files in Google Storage exactly as they would on their desktop. And with Google Docs new any file type support, any file can be easily transferred (or backed up) to Google Docs. To mount Google Docs, first launch the mounting wizard from the systray menu for Gladinet Cloud Desktop: This launches the wizard. Select Google Docs from the drop down listbox on the first page: Choose a name for the virtual directory. This is the name for the folder that will appear under “My Gladinet Drive (Z:)” on your desktop. Click next and enter your credentials: Click next, verify the information and click Finish: Now Google Docs storage is attac... (more)

The People's Republic of Cloud Computing

I just got back from an action-packed week of meetings in Shanghai, China. Shanghai is one of the more exciting cities I've visited recently as they prepare for the World Expo in May as well as the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities. As a city Shanghai is a bustling modern metropolis. A city that in a little over thirty years has gone from a small village to mega city of more then 30 million people. In talking with the people I met in Shanghai I quickly came to realize that like myself, most people in Shanghai were not originally from there, most had recently moved there from other areas of China for "economic opportunities" the city now offers. Looking around the city you'll notice a level of wealth on par or better than most western cities. In a nutshell the reason I found myself in Shanghai was for the very reason the Chinese are now pouring into the the city, ... (more)

iPad on Ulitzer - I’ll Buy iPad. But What For?

iPad on Ulitzer I’m proud to consider myself an upper middle class American . Why am I so proud about it? Because I haven’t been born in an upper middle class American family. I came to the USA 18 years ago with $200 in my pocket on a visitor’s visa. Don’t rush reporting on me to the Immigration authorities. I was legal in this country each and every day since. Then came the work visa (H1B), after that the green card, and back in 2001, I became an American citizen. Our family consists of me (silver 15” MacBook Pro), two sons (black 13” MacBook and a silver 13” MacBook) and my wife (post World War II Windows PC own by her employer, a filthy rich international bank). I also have an iPhone. To complete the picture, I need to mention, that occasionally I’m getting separated with my MacBook Pro. For example, last week I’ve been skiing in French Alps and didn’t get it wi... (more)

The Cloud Storage Wars: Windows Azure vs. Google

Azure Sessions at Cloud Expo So much happened in January 2010 for the cloud storage world. First was the Windows Azure Platform went from public preview to full production. Second was Google Docs opened up  for any file type upload/download, effectively making it a GDrive in the cloud. How would these affect you? This article will compare the two cloud storage offerings from price, speed, usability, service level agreement and to developer support. 1. Price Google’s storage cost = 25c / Gigabyte / year = 2c / Gigabyte / month. There is no additional transfer cost. Windows Azure’s storage cost is at 15c / Gigabyte / month. There is additional cost for transfer data in and out. Note: Google storage is clearly cheaper, about 10 times cheaper. 2. Speed We will use Gladinet Cloud Desktop to map both in a virtual drive in Windows Explorer and compare the time it takes to... (more)

The Essential Cloud Considerations

Cloud Computing Expo on Ulitzer Thinking about jumping on the cloud? True, I’ve had no qualms in showing my skepticism towards the marketing of ‘cloud computing’ and it being the mere repackaging of solutions which have existed for years, but the fact is it still addresses a concept and reality that exists and one which holds numerous benefits. Indeed abandoning an existing on-site IT infrastructure for a cloud provider that most often or not can’t offer the same level of security, control or performance is not an easy decision but one which CIOs and IT executives are seriously considering when weighing up the economic benefits. As with any change though, a move towards the cloud necessitates a sound and comprehensive assessment to avoid the trap of a short term benefit turning into a long term nightmare. Integration Considerations Firstly your company should assess... (more)

Manage Azure Blob Storage With Ease

After the Gladinet Cloud Desktop 1.4.232 release, it is fairly easy to manage Azure Blob Storage from your Windows Explorer directly. Feature Highlight: (1) Map a Network Drive Letter to the Azure Blob Storage You can map multiple Azure Blob Storage Account as side-by-side virtual folders in the same network drive. You can do drag-and-drop between local drive and the Azure drive. (2) Schedule Automatic Backup of Files-by-Type. You can backup documents, pictures, music or videos to Azure Blob Storage. (3) Schedule Automatic Backup of Local Folders You can pick local folders to backup to Azure Blob Storage or multiple Azure Blob Storage accounts. You can even backup to Azure Blob Storage + Amazon S3 + AT&T Synaptic Storage + Nirvanix Storage + EMC Atmos Online Storage all at the same time. (4) Cloud-to-Cloud Backup You can backup Google Docs to Microsoft Azure Blob ... (more)

Ulitzer - iPad for Business?

iPad For Business In case you did not hear, Apple announced the iTouch on steroids aka iPad last week. Apple iPad via www.apple.com Is it a phone? No, its not an iPhone Is it a PC? Well, not in the context of the traditional PC or Mac book What is the iPad or more importantly, what is the possible business angle? First as to what is it, it might be easier to describe what it is not. As mentioned above, it is not an iPhone, granted you can get an iPad with 3G or WiFi for data access (similar to how iTouch has WiFi). Likewise, the iPad is not a PC in the context of running applications traditionally found on Windows PCs or Mac devices. What is it? As far as what is the iPad, here is a link to its specifications, some of which have resulted in confusion. For example, I have seen many comments about how the iPad does not have a camera. Well, not built in however there i... (more)