ARLINGTON, VA.–If there’s a potential bright spot for IT VARs now, it’s the soon-to-be-flush government sector. Nothing puts the spring in a VAR’s step like the prospect of big bags o’ loot, and the government stimulus is providing at least the prospect of such. Tech Data’ s headline is that it will help VARs capitalize on $135 billion in government sector spending. You know what they say: A billion here and a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.
The goodly researchers at McKinsey & Co. have released an analysis of the business benefits of cloud computing and have found the concept wanting for larger companies. Its findings, in a report called “Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing,” were presented at the Uptime Institute’s Lean, Clean & Green IT Symposium held in New York.
McKinsey had several recommendations for CIOs and IT executives who are puzzling about what to do with cloud computing. More than anything else, the report suggests, that instead of being distracted by building out internal clouds, IT leaders should focus on virtualizing server storage, network operations and other components of their existing IT infrastructure.
There are four big hurdles that will make it tough for enterprises to move to cloud computing, according to McKinsey.
- Cloud computing as currently expressed is not as cost-effective as existing data center strategies.
- Security and reliability concerns need to be addressed and applications will have to be re-architected to take advantage of the cloud model
- Quality of service expectations need to be managed.
- Organizations will need to adapt to a different concept of project priorities.
You can download the presentation about the report at this link and ponder some of the data for yourself, but it will definitely make a great briefing document if you’re trying to figure out how to position cloud services within your business.
McAfee is putting its mark on Secure Computing’s products. And by that I mean ALL over them.
So, say goodbye to IronMail and hello to McAfee Email Gateway.
So long Webwasher; hey to McAfee Web Gateway.
We’ve all heard about the nightmare mishaps in hospital surgeries — doctors look at the wrong charts and you come out of what was supposed to be routine surgery with missing limbs. What would happen if you presented them with a complex electronic system of health records?
Whether Sun and IBM ever actually do tie the knot, the M&A craziness will continue. It’s interesting to parse reactions to this possible deal. For IT shops, there’s angst because some Sun partisans hate IBM and people with religious devotion to IBM won’t touch Sun. If those two data center giants converge, the fear is less competition and higher prices.
VARs are acutely interested in this because a vendor they may have been selling against may soon magically morph into their vendor. This raises interesting channel conflict issues. Despite its well-documented troubles, Sun has gotten good reviews for its channel management by a handful of its elite partners. They’re not eager to be thrown into the IBM pot.
We in the high-tech industry (and media) love the word convergence. You’ve heard seemingly forever about the convergence of voice and data networks. More recently, the buzz has shifted over to how the physical infrastructure concerns of companies are merging with their technology infrastructure concerns.
One great example is expressed in the recently formalized partnership between 1NService (a group of regional integrators and services companies that collaborates to help extend their members’ scale) and PSA Security Network (a cooperative of security systems integrators with expertise in access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other environmental safety systems).
The two organizations have been flirting with collaboration for some time, based on the notion that the IP network is a great place to consolidate both cyber-security and physical security concerns. The new arrangement allows for members of either organization to get involved with the other one at reduced expense. PSA Security and 1NService are seeking to encourage cross-enrollment and are putting together a unified advisory board to focus on matters of security concerns of all types.
A great example of how a network integrator might benefit from this sort of relationship is Data Systems Worldwide, a 1NService member that has become heavily involved in video surveillance solutions over the past year. This focus has helped the integrator (which began life as a classic Cisco Systems VAR) penetrate dynamic verticals such as gaming and hospitality, which are somewhat more recession-proof then traditionl industry segments. Here’s some more information.
If you’re exploring whether or not to add physical security solutions (think door control systems or surveillance), you should check out the PSA Security Network organization.
You’re feeling it full force — the impact of the economic downturn — and so are your customers. For the last two quarters, conversations have turned from “How do I expand?” to “How do I contract and cut costs?” Resellers, in the race to find projects and products that can help their customers reduce costs, also need to find solutions that will increase efficiency.
Most cost savings storage solutions — inline compression, data deduplication and even archiving — all involve putting more data in the same or less space. But even with these tools in place, your customers still have to manage an ever-increasing volume of data. Continued »
Twitter is down today. As it was last week.
This is only mentionable because there are a lot of people at TechTarget (and everywhere) who are tweet addicts (tweetaholics?). They tweet therefore they are, i guess. Anyway, it’s relevant because there are a good number of VARs and integrators who likewise use Twitter to prospect for business, converse on problems of the day etc., find relevant partners or even prospective employees.
Just as with IM, which started with the kiddies and then spread to fogies ( like me), Twitter’s gotta get with the program. If it’s a business application, it has to act like one and (gasp) maybe even charge for interruption-free service. But there’s another problem: Too many tweeters seem to tweet instead of actually do anything worth tweeting about. Oh well. Here’s an illustration.
Before you howl, at least i didn’t say what Steven Colbert said.
Update: Minutes after this posted, Twitter came back online. You can breathe again twit-tards!
What is Scott McNealy’s take on the much-reported IBM/Sun combo under discussion? According to Alex Barrett, pretty much what you’d expect. As in:
“I can’t comment, but if we were to buy IBM, I can tell you that we would open source AIX, DB2 and all that proprietary mainframe stuff…..But we only have $3 billion in the bank, and I’d want to keep at least $1 billion, so I don’t know about the ROI.”
Barrett attended an executive breakfast in Boston Wednesday featuring the recently elusive Sun chairman. You can bet when Sun planned this little lovefest, it didn’t expect to be facing the IBM tsunami. The subject, after all, was supposed to be Sun’s big bet on open source technologies and solutions blah blah blah. But of course what everyone wanted to know was all about IBM. And Scooter didn’t disappoint.
Spreading your technical knowledge too thin is a very common mistake that resellers (and manufacturers) make. A great example is the issue of what VMware storage protocol to use. There are three choices: iSCSI, Fibre Channel or NFS. Many solutions support all three.
But whether you represent a solution that can support all three protocols is really not the point. The point is: Are you equally comfortable with all three? Continued »