The movement to green facilities is nothing new. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has been working on bringing environmental awareness to the forefront of business consciousness for some time now. Through smart building design and power usage, companies — more specifically the buildings they inhabit — are certified as green friendly.
That means the company who is certified gets to hang a plaque in the lobby of the building. While that may not sound like much, the small environmental footprint is noble goal to have. Oh, and the company running the building will save a wheelbarrow full of money each year by taking advantage of lower energy costs and other green-back saving strategies which are inherent to certification.
Now it looks like the IT community is jumping on the same bandwagon and noticing that there actually is money in doing the right thing. (I’m sure the idea of wheelbarrows full of money had something to do with the move to eco-conservatism.) The “IT titans,” as CNET so eloquently puts it, include Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, VWware and American Power Conversion. They are all member of the GreenGrid board, whose goal is to “lower the overall consumption of power in data centers around the globe.”
It’s a good idea for these companies to make this move, but I have to wonder if it is a little late in the game. Data center managers and VARs have, I’m sure, been trying to figure out ways to lower energy consumption in server rooms and data centers for a long time. Different cooling techniques, rack configuration — I bet they’d even hang garland and sing Christmas carols year round if they thought their servers would eat less energy — aren’t exactly breaking news.
But better late than never, and I do see channel benefits in the long run. Once the bureaucracy of forming a group like this is finished and these companies do start putting out green products — products that consume less energy and have a smaller footprint, for example — VARs may be able to take the garland down.
As part of our relentless search for market-trend indicators (it was the No. 1 item in a Google on “linux market prediction”), we ran across this eruditely argued analysis of the tenuous market position of Windows and the need of the industry to move beyond its dependence on Microsoft:
Are you a Microsoft investor? Be afraid. Be very afraid. By 2010 Windows will be as dead as CP/M, and every Windows-based software vendor will be either supporting Linux or out of business.
The process is in fact 80% complete:
The end result is already obvious to bright CEOs,
Why haven’t we noticed yet?
and will shortly be obvious even to bright mainstream press columnists.
Oh. Maybe they’ll tell us.
subhed: How do you extrapolate an exponential?
Now we’re ready to believe. That subheading makes the whole thing sound like one of those papers the smart kid turned in during Advanced Physics – the ones you wanted to refute, but couldn’t figure out how.
Then we noticed the publication date: Jan 10, 1999.
Back to covering Vista.
Dell computers get Linux pre-installed After all the speculation, Dell has announced it will start selling computers with pre-installed Linux distributions instead of Microsoft Windows. [TechTree]
Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 gets a due dateMicrosoft’s Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack (SP) 1 now has an official due date: Same time as Longhorn Server in the latter half of 2007.
[All About Microsoft]
Intel pushes denser data centres Intel has kicked off a campaign to make data centres more efficient and less environmentally damaging. Paradoxically, one of its key messages seems to be that companies need to refresh their servers – ie. buy new ones – more often. [TheReg]
IBM not ready to say Oracle’s Linux compatibleIBM is not ready to guarantee that its computer programs are compatible with Oracle Corp.’s recently launched version of the Linux operating system, an IBM spokesman said on Friday. [Reuters]
Our sister site SearchSecurity.com perused the blogosphere to see what people are talking about on the wire. Today’s word is that Microsoft’s pride and joy, Vista, is getting a beating over security issues.
I decided to see how people felt about Vista in general. On Microsoft’s blog newschannel, I discovered Vista’s “Wow” ad, which compares encountering Vista with seeing Apollo 11 launch, a suburban jogger encountering elk on his manicured lawn, and a panoramic view of mountainous terrain; in each scenario someone says, “Wow!” (sometimes repeatedly). Does Vista make you say, “Wow!”
Jethro Carr a systems engineer employed by Prophecy Networks is not saying “Wow!” He calls Vista a “Faustian bargain.” He airs a number of criticisms including that Vista doesn’t support HDCP — so those who want high resolution screens will have to wait for the Vista compatible hardware to come out. He also said Vista hardware requires a unique fingerprint, which will make getting specs for open-source drivers challenging. He claims that the SMB owners he’s spoken to will avoid Vista as long as possible because of the expense of upgrading all their computers.
But — despite the criticism — according to The NPD Group’s vice president of industry analysis, Stephen Baker, PC retail sales have increased significantly since Vista’s release. In a podcast interview with eWEEK’s Microsoft Watch, Baker said overall PC retail sales were up about 67% from the previous year: notebooks sales saw a 119% increase and desktop sales increased 20%. By the way, Baker recommends SMBs go with Vista Business. What do you think?
FBI shifts to watch-everyone, record-everything wiretaps After retiring “Carnivore” the FBI appear to have shifted to broad-based surveillance strategy that involves compiling massive databases of information on thousands of users at a time. [CNET]
FBI loses Iomega drive with personal info on 500K people The FBI is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to the return of a missing “Iomega hard drive.” Apparently, the drive, used to backup data on medical research, contains personal information on “at least a half-million people.” [Engadget]
Microsoft hit with $1.52 billion patent suit damages A U.S. federal jury found that Microsoft Corp. infringed audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent and should pay $1.52 billion in damages. [Reuters]
Customers are demanding better application performance across wide-area networks and they’re willing to pay for it, according to research from Infonetics Research.
The WAN optimization market –one of the stronger networking segments – grew 23% during the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the previous quarter. It grew 37% during 2006 overal, compared to 2005.
Revenue for enterprise-class routers grew 6% during the last quarter of 2006, and demand will continue strong, growing 13% to $4.8 billion between 2006 and 2009, the report predicts.
Just under half the total revenue for routers worldwide came from enterprise-class units; 46% came from the midrange and 6% from the low.
Cisco is still the monster in the market, with 75% of worldwide revenue; Huawei ranked second and Juniper third among router vendors.
Ethernet switch revenues grew 3% during the fourth quarter of 2006, and will grow 20% between now and 2009, the report predicts. The mix of protocols is changing, however. Shipments of 10Gbit/sec ports almost doubled, power-over-Ethernet ports and 1Gbit/sec Ethernet ports both increased about 50%.
Market share in the rankings for managed Layer 2 switches put Cisco in front with 54%, Huawei in second wth 13%; in Layer 3, however, Cisco is at 24% and Hewlett-Packard’s ProCurve Networking is at 21%.
The full version of this story appeared on TechTarget sister site SearchNetworking.com.
RSA today announced that it would make the log-management software it bought along with the acquisition of Network Intelligence in September available to channel partners, through its SecurWorld Partner Program.
The platform, which has been renamed RSA enVision, automatically collects, analyzes and manages security event and operational data from customers’ network environments and then archives the data.
The decision by RSA, which is the security division of EMC Corp. means existing Network Intelligence and RSA channel partners will be able to purchase the RSA enVision technology through authorized RSA distributors worldwide.
Previously, Network Intelligence had operated a one-tier channel model in which all resellers held direct contracts with Network Intelligence. Network Intelligence partner categories will now merge into the corresponding RSA SecurWorld category – which depend upon current levels of training and accreditation. For instnace, channel partners who had achieved Platinum status with Network Intelligence won’t have to re-certify as part of the integration, but will have to fulfill requirements of the RSA SecurWorld program to maintain their status moving forward.
Network Intelligence partners who join the RSA SecurWorld program will enjoy benefits from deal regsitration, access to the RSA SecurWorld Partner Portal, instant rebates and other rewards and incentives offered to RSA channel partners.
Network Intelligence partners can also attain the accrditations to sell RSA’s portfolio of other security offerings. For RSA SecurWorld partners they can earn sales and technical authorizations for Network Intelligence solutions.
Google unveiled today its long-anticipated jump into enterprise office suite market with the launch of the Premier Edition of Google Apps. For $50 a year per user, companies can now use Google’s suite of word processor, spreadsheet, calendar, instant messenger, voice-over-IP and email programs — including extensions for the BlackBerry and other mobile devices — tech support, the promise of 99.9% uptime and online storage space of 10GB per user. The suite also includes a set of application programming interfaces to allow either IT or ISVs to create customized extensions.
Both versions require an individual domain name for the users’ e-mail addresses and the Start page. Google will help users sign up for a separate domain for $10 per year through partnerships with GoDaddy.com and eNom.
Google Docs and Spreadsheets — which had been a separate service but are now included in the suite — have group access and version control that allow several users to work on a document simultaneously, while the application keeps track of revisions. The suite also includes controls on each application that allow administrators to define who can use what applications, and how.
A standard edition of Google Apps is also available free. The company is offering the premier edition for free until April 30.
Google Apps are delivered as software as a service (SaaS), meaning that end-users and administrators can use them from the comfort of whatever Web browser they happen to be sitting in front of. SaaS applications also relieve IT departments from the headache of upgrading, since new versions are installed at the vendor’s servers, a process which is hopefully transparent to its customers.
SaaS has made headway in some business functions, most notably customer relationship management (CRM), where Salesforce.com has in the minds of many been the poster child for successful enterprise SaaS applications. Microsoft has also gotten behind the movement to some degree, with Microsoft Office Live offering email and document management over the Internet. The next version of Microsoft CRM will also be offered as hosted SaaS, although higher-end customers will probably still opt for the on-site edition.
TJX says theft of data may go back to 2005 TJX Cos. yesterday said computer hackers may have gained access to its consumer data in 2005, a year earlier than it had previously thought, potentially exposing millions more customers of stores such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls to identity theft. [Boston.com]
Mass. bill would make retailers pay for data leaks Massachusetts lawmakers are about to consider a bill that would require retailers to pay for losses when hackers and thieves breach their security systems to steal consumers’ credit card and other financial information, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. [Boston.com]
Cisco IP phone flaws discovered Hackers could get unauthorized access to some speaker phones, IP desktop phones, says company. [CNET]
Google offers business software via subscription Web search leader Google Inc. has begun delivering a set of essential business software tools to paying subscribers, in a move to widen its appeal to corporate customers, the company said on Wednesday. $50/year. 10GB storage; 99.9% uptime.
Microsoft walks tightrope with business services The company has good reason to expand into services and hosted software, but it must be careful not to alienate partners. [CNET]
It seems like somebody is a little cranky about the slow pace of sales for Microsoft’s Windows Vista. CEO Steve Ballmer, as Kevin Fogarty noted in today’s headline scan, has tried to place at least part of the blame for Vista’s slow start on software piracy, and is threatening to “dial up” Microsoft’s anti-piracy measures. At the same time, as the threat of losing some potential buyers to Linux desktops continues to rear its head, Ballmer once again is threatening legal action against Linux distributions that infringe on Microsoft’s intellectual property claims.
Sure, Vista is out there in Bitstream . Sure, Windows Genuine advantage is so hosed, you can install an upgrade copy onto a bare machine just by rebooting at the right time during install. But there’s a reason why Vista sales are so slack that has nothing to do with piracy, and that Linux has little to do with: people don’t trust it yet.