Enterprise IT Watch Blog

August 25, 2011  8:29 AM

5 Things Your System Documentation Should Be – Part 1

Guest Author Profile: Guest Author

We’re always striving to find new ways for community members to share knowledge with one another. In Parts 1 & 2 of Mike Malesevich’s posts on system documentation, he has compiled lists of what your system documentation should include, and what the process should look like. That’s where you come in: We want to hear from you about your own processes of system documentation. Share with us what it looks like, what your obstacles are, and what you’ve found works for you. Leave this information in the comments section so we can soon compile it into a living wiki for everyone to access. Have questions? Let me know at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

Get in on the discussion in our Open IT Forum.

While documentation doesn’t necessarily make the world go ’round, it certainly keeps it spinning neatly on its axis when trouble arises. If you’re providing a product or service, you should be providing your customers with accurate information that allows them to effectively use and maintain that product, which translates into accurate and thorough documentation.

When an IT project begins, there is normally time allocated for documentation purposes, however, as development issues crop up, time is often siphoned out of the documentation components and allocated elsewhere.

Continued »

August 23, 2011  10:34 AM

Arrington’s Awful HP Advice: Leave commodity PC market for a worse one

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

Just after writing about HP’s successes in the enterprise services market, I came across Michael Arrington’s plea for HP to continue making the TouchPad. He really, really wanted his own foray into the tablet market, the ill-fated CrunchPad, to work, and he sees this as an opportunity to promote some sort of spiritual successor. He even modified the headline from “Dear HP: Please Keep Making Those TouchPads” to “Dear HP: Please Keep Making Those CrunchPads! Er…TouchPads” (see the URL). Continued »

August 23, 2011  8:07 AM

Old HP’s one bright spot: Eating Cisco’s Lunch

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

HP ditching a low-margin business to focus on new software initiatives? Sure sounded a lot like the recent headlines could have applied to HP’s inroads in the networking business, which have come largely at the cost of undercutting Cisco’s networking, storage and server markets in a brutal price war. And while the real (first) victims were HP’s market-dominating consumer PC division and its nascent attempts at mobile greatness, WebOS, my curiosity was piqued: What will happen to HP’s corporate hardware, now that it’s becoming a corporate software company? Continued »

August 22, 2011  1:34 PM

Read up on virtualization: Titles for your plane ride to VMworld 2011

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Photo via Sky Mall

Next week is the much-anticipated VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. IT Knowledge Exchange is gearing up to bring you live coverage from the conference – with you in mind, of course – and part of that is outlining some great virtualization books you should take with you to read on the plane. So put down that Sky Mall magazine, and dive into one of these great virtualization reads.

Continued »

August 18, 2011  11:41 AM

Chrome Extensions: The next spear phishing vector?

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

The other day, a Chrome extension I’ve used from time to time, Awesome Screenshot, prompted me to “enable it” again because the mini-application needed increased permissions. It’s been the perfect solution for the simple, no-fuss screenshots I need to take from time to time for my job as a technology blogger, but I didn’t need it now and I didn’t have the time to figure out why on earth it needed its permissions increased. I clicked ignore and decided to take a look at it later, or more likely, just enable it when I needed it again.

Turns out, I had good reason to be wary. Continued »

August 17, 2011  12:45 PM

Can RIM survive when their own execs say “Nothing has changed”?

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

Al Sacco, an open BlackBerry optimist, has a great interview with Mike Kirkup, RIM’s Director of Developer Relations. Kirkup goes through all the great advances RIM’s made with its platform, particularly going forward: A simplified development platform; a more responsive, beautifully designed UI; and tight integration with BBM, RIM’s highly addictive messaging service.

Sacco’s article closes on what is supposed to be a positive note:

“Nothing has changed” for RIM and BlackBerry, [Kirkup] says.

The company still has a very solid foundation, Kirkup says, built on more than a decade of mobile-device-specific work in the technology industry. RIM is still the security de facto for many governments and other security-conscious organizations. It still has many, many loyal users. And RIM is currently producing and shipping the best products it’s ever offered, according to Kirkup.

For RIM, “Nothing has changed.” Unfortunately, the rest of the world has. IT no longer calls the shots on technology the way it once did. As HP will sadly tell you, a slick, next generation OS doesn’t necessarily cut it, and RIM’s updates haven’t received the critical plaudits that WebOS has. Continued »

August 16, 2011  10:00 AM

Guide to VMWorld 2011

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

We’re packing up our bags and once more hitting the sands of Las Vegas to bring you the latest news, tips and IT strategies straight from VMWorld 2011. Get real-time updates from Michael by following @ITKE on Twitter.

Up-to-date Coverage:

September 1, 2011

VMware Day 3
Denny Cherry, SQL Server with Mr. Denny

Today was day 3 of VMworld. All the sessions that I attended today were pretty much recaps of the things which I covered earlier in the week. I went to these more in depth sessions because the information learned today will help me with my day to day deployments of VMware as well as helping me learn more about the specific items within VMware that I need to look at to ensure that VMware is running smoothly day to day….CONTINUED

August 31, 2011

Like Superman/Clark Kent for your phone: VMware’s Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP)
Michael Morisy, IT Watch Blog

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/6OTn_qapKaw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I had a chance to sit down with Srinivas Krishnamurti, VMware’s senior director of mobile products, and check out the Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP). MVP is an interesting concept that blends both personal and professional phone usage by actually installing a separate virtual instance of Android on select handsets…CONTINUED

VMworld Day 2 – Lots of product announcements today
Denny Cherry, SQL Server with Mr. Denny

So today was day 2 of VMworld 2011 and today was a great day at the conference. We had a great keynote with some demos which were pretty funny (I really hope that they were supposed to be funny). Granted I was a little late to the keynote so I missed the first few minutes, but I over slept breakfast is the most important meal of the day….CONTINUED

August 30, 2011

Microsoft wedges its way into VMworld 2011 with anti-VMware video
Melanie Yarbrough, IT Watch Blog

Not to be left out, Microsoft has asserted its opinion of host of this week’s big conference in Las Vegas, VMworld 2011, by way of a YouTube video touting its private cloud services. The video pokes fun at VMware’s longstanding decision to stay out of multi-hypervisor management (since, according to VMware, no one is demanding Hyper-V management anyway) and appeals to the ultimate nightmare in technology: getting left behind….SEE THE VIDEO HERE

VMworld, Day 1
Denny Cherry, SQL Server with Mr. Denny

Today was day 1 of VMware and I had a blast, even though I was only able to attend for part of the day. I flew in Vegas this morning instead of spending the night last night. I didn’t hit any sessions today, but I did catch the keynote which was given by Paul Maritz, the CEO of VMware…CONTINUED

Far from VMworld, virtualization contender Red Hat starts lobbing stones
Michael Morisy, IT Watch Blog

How do you know you’re successful? You start finding more enemies. A recent article by Steven Vaughn-Nichols should bring a smile to fans of VMware: Red Hat, the enterprise Linux giant, sees itself facing off not against enterprise mainstays like Oracle in the future but virtualization and cloud companies. Specifically, VMWare…CONTINUED

August 29, 2011

VMworld, come hell or high water
Michael Morisy, IT Watch Blog

This year’s attendees might be facing a little of both as they make their way to VMware’s annual conference: Even as Hurricane-cum-Tropical Storm Irene was wreaking H20 havoc across the Northeast and canceling Sunday, Monday and even Tuesday flights, conference host Las Vegas was flirting with temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit…CONTINUED

The Essentials:

VMWorld Know before you Go:

Still have unanswered questions? See what others are asking about cloud computing or ask your own IT question in our forums!

For a deeper dive, take a look at some of these excellent cloud computing book recommendations we’ve pulled together, or suggest your own:

Books on Enterprise Cloud Computing:

Have another suggestion for this list? E-mail me at Michael@ITKnowledgeExchange.com or leave it in the comments.

Want to connect directly with experts? Read their blogs to hear straight from the horse’s mouth: The pioneers, chearleaders and critics of cloud computing are often just a click away, and we’ve helped to organize the best of the best.

Top VMWorld Bloggers:

The list is a work in progress, so leave a message in the comments if you know of a blog to add.

What else would make this guide useful to you? Let me know in the comments or e-mail me directly at Michael@ITKnowledgeExchange.com with any additions, corrections or suggestions.

August 11, 2011  11:41 AM

Gartner vs. IBM

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

Of the many IT analyst firms out there, few cast as wide and long a shadow as Gartner, in particular the firm’s infamous magic quadrant: By neatly dividing the world’s vendors into four categories (from the best-of-the-best Leaders down to the also-ran Niches), the company has made it easy for IT professionals to sort through marketing hype while narrowing down their list of companies to consider for their mission critical infrastructure. And each year, on cue, when vendors don’t end up in the quadrant they want, new claims of bias, kickbacks and flawed methodology are lodged.

Most of that criticism pales in comparison, however, to the bad blood that apparently flowed between Gartner and IBM in the 80s, as recounted by now-departed Gartner founder Gideon Gartner.

Continued »

August 10, 2011  10:01 AM

Would you join the data center Mod Squad?

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

We’ve explored data-centers-in-a-box, but it seems the concept of modular data centers is gaining a bit of ground. Whether you’re not sure what you’ll need in the future or you’re simply looking for a quick expansion, modular data centers could be what you’re looking for. The most cited benefits of this method are cut costs and quick deployment. Sound familiar?
Continued »

August 5, 2011  8:59 AM

Is 15 years of Microsoft enough preparation to fix government IT?

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Amid the government overhaul of its data centers and restructuring move to the cloud, the White House has announced that Steven VanRoekel is Vivek Kundra’s successor. VanRoekel, a former Microsoft executive, has been a part of the Obama administration since 2009, serving as the managing director of the Federal Communications Commission.

Despite Microsoft’s many stumbles along the way, VanRoekel has a much bigger job ahead of him than behind. With the private sector shaming the public sector with almost three times the productivity growth at 1.5 percent a year, it will most likely take more drastic decisions such as the ones Kundra has made in his two years in Washington.

VanRoekel is inheriting the progress that Kundra has made so far, such as the IT Dashboard, a public website that tracks federal technology projects’ spending. The data from IT Dashboard was implemented into reviews of the government’s most unwieldy technology projects called TechStat sessions, resulting in an estimated $3 billion in savings from cutbacks to these projects. As outlined by the New York Times, Kundra’s time in Washington also led to increased efficiency with an accelerated pace of tech projects: “The government estimates that the average time needed to deliver a software application or component has been trimmed to eight months, from 24 months.” With close to 390,000 data sets online and programmers creating over 230 applications with that data, the government has taken steps in the right direction, though an analyst at IDC told the Times, “probably not as much as Vivek Kundra had wanted.”

VanRoekel has a high order ahead of him, and critics worry that the shift in mindset necessary for significant cloud service adoption doesn’t come as naturally to the federal government. Kundra is moving on to a joint appointment at the Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

What do you hope to see from the new CIO?

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

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