ITKE Community Blog

October 12, 2012  3:54 PM

Book giveaway: SOA with REST

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Image of SOA

SOA image via Shutterstock

It seems that more and more organizations are using lightweight protocols such as REST (representational state transfer) to best leverage their SOA infrastructure. If you’re one of them, you’re going to need to know what REST offers as compared to the more traditional SOAP. SOA with REST: Principles, Patterns & Constraints for Building Enterprise Solutions with REST, a new book from Pearson/Prentice Hall Professional, could be a good first step. We’ve got an excerpt of the book up on the IT Bookworm blog.

Want the whole thing? Just tell us in the comments why you’re considering REST and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the e-book. For more on improving your SOA, visit the SOA Talk blog.

October 9, 2012  3:52 PM

Tech or Treat! Show us your best tech-y Halloween costumes.

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Image of geeky Halloween costume

Halloween is fast approaching – do you have a costume yet? Though the holiday gives you a chance to be someone (or something) that you’re not, we’re betting that many of you will put your IT knowledge to good use as you plan your outfit. We want to see the results and reward your creativity!

Send us a photo of your favorite tech-y Halloween costume (from this year or years past) anytime through October 31. Our favorite submission will get our undying respect — plus a $50 Amazon gift card AND a copy of Douglas Alger’s new book, The Art of the Data Center, which is filled with lots of pretty pictures of the world’s most creative server spaces.

You can submit your photo in any of the following ways:

Email: (Subject line: Tech or Treat)

Twitter: @ITKE (hashtag: #techortreat)



October 5, 2012  8:30 PM

Live webcast on tips and tricks for successful cloud deployment and management w/ Dell (October 11)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Webcast image via Shutterstock

Dell will be hosting a live webcast on October 11 at 12:30 p.m. ET to discuss different ways your company can deploy and manage the cloud.

Many organizations think that the cloud is a destination, and because of this are hesitant to adopt the platform. Rather than being a destination, the cloud is really a transformation that places IT at the center of the enterprise. Join us to discover a practical blueprint to help senior leadership teams make sense out of adopting the cloud and how it can greatly benefit your business.

See you there next week!

October 5, 2012  12:52 PM

An update from the ITKE team: Spam protection, Answer Wiki improvements and more

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Happy fall, all. Hard to believe it’s already October! We’ve been busy here at ITKE over the last month or so, and I wanted to share a few updates we’ve made to the site. There are some interesting and exciting developments that I think will really improve the experience for everyone.

First up, spam. A number of our more active members have brought up the issue of spam posts on the site, and it’s something we’ve noticed, too. We are taking this problem very seriously, and are happy to announce that we’ve instituted a new spam filter on the site that should help us catch those extraneous and/or unintelligible posts that sometimes appear. As with any automated solution, there are going to be some hiccups, and we expect that a few legitimate posts may get caught up in the net from time to time as the system learns what is and isn’t spam. We will be checking regularly to make sure the good stuff gets published to the site quickly. If your post is mistakenly flagged and you don’t see it within a day or so, let us know and we’ll push it through. And if you see spam that does make it through the filter, continue to ‘Vote to Delete’ as necessary.

We’ve made a number of other changes to the site over the past six weeks or so, but the most important one for your experience is an update to the ‘Answer Wiki’ that appears on each question posted to the site. You’ll now see a new avatar next to that box – instead of showing a single answerer, we’re now showing a ‘crowd’ to reflect the multiple contributors to that answer (in true wiki style). Rest assured that if you add or improve an answer, your contributions will still be reflected, both in your points and in the list of contributors below the box. We’re just changing the way the top of the box displays to avoid confusion.

Image of answer wiki change

Looking for some reading material? Our IT Bookworm blog has been re-loaded with excerpts from a few new IT books, including titles on SOA, the requirements process and C++. Take a look through, and stay tuned for a chance to win copies of these and other books.

One final note: As you may have noticed, we’re keeping track of major IT events on our Enterprise IT Watch blog. I imagine at least some of you are attending at least some of these shows; if you are, and want to share your experiences, let me know! We’d love to get some inside perspective from the ITKE army (or whatever you’d like to be called).

As always, drop me a line with any questions or concerns.


October 2, 2012  8:12 PM

Join the #ISDChicago2012 TweetChat on Friday, October 5

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Please join us for the #ISDCHICAGO2012 TweetChat on Friday, October 5 from 3:00-3:45 p.m. EST! As our annual Information Security Decisions Conference approaches, we’re excited to get the conservations started.

Senior Site Editor for, Eric Parizo (@EricParizo) and Greta Lindberg (@TT_Edit_Events) will moderate a lively discussion with Mike Arpaia (@mikearpaia), Security Consultant with iSEC Partners and Diana Kelley (@securitycurve), Founder of research and consulting firm SecurityCurve, covering topics including:

  • Security and the economy
  • Cloud security
  • PCI update
  • Mobile security

Reminder: #ISDCHICAGO2012 TweetChats are a marketing-free environment! Join the chat to connect, learn and get excited for our upcoming show on October 23rd – please no product-specific postings.

It’s easy to join the Twitter conservation by logging into the #ISDCHICAGO2012 TweetChat Room, which automatically keeps you in the conversation by tagging all tweets with the #ISDCHICAGO2012 hash tag. If you are unable to access the TweetChat room, simply search in Twitter for #ISDCHICAGO2012 and tag your tweets with #ISDCHICAGO2012 so they can be seen by everyone else.

If you have any questions, please contact Greta Lindberg of TechTarget Editorial Events at


September 27, 2012  6:44 PM

Teacher, ITKE ate my homework!

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Image of question and non-answer

Question image via Shutterstock

“Why won’t anybody answer my question?”

That’s something a number of you may have asked yourselves at one time or another – and it’s one question I can help answer.

There are many types of questions on ITKE: “what’s wrong with this code” questions, “have you ever seen this problem before” questions, “what program do I use” questions, and more abstract questions and discussions (I ask a lot of these) that don’t have a “right” answer.

Then, there are what some call “homework” questions. These tend to come from newer members who don’t (yet) work in the IT field, asking for help solving a particular problem that sounds, well, a little too contrived. That’s because it’s not a real-world problem, but one that comes from a book or from a professor’s assignment.

If you’ve asked or come across one of these questions before, you know that they’re unlikely to get answered. In some cases, ITKE members will even vote to delete them from the site. Here’s why: They feel like they’re being taken advantage of, simply used for their expertise and then forgotten about until the next tough assignment comes along (I call it a “drive-by”). No one likes that.

That’s not to say beginners are unwelcome here – or at least, they shouldn’t be. We’re all still learning in one way or another, and ITKE should be a place where everyone can build knowledge and skills at every level. It’s just important to remember that this is a community, not simply a place to get a quick answer. So do some research beforehand, and show that you put some thought into your question (describe why you’re asking the question, what you don’t understand, and what work you’ve done so far), and you’ll likely get a much better response than if you just cut-and-paste your question from an assignment into the submission form.

And hey, non-beginners: If you come across a thoughtful question like this, perhaps you can help out by providing your insight, or by directing the asker to a resource (a book, a website, etc.) that you’ve found particularly helpful. If you don’t feel up to doing this, feel free to pass on by and let someone else try.

What should you do if you encounter a question that doesn’t meet these guidelines? Don’t just delete it. If you can, politely direct the user to this post, or to our FAQ, or to me. That way, we can turn it into a question that adds some value to the community – and gets an answer, of course.

September 24, 2012  4:20 PM

IT pop quiz: What do you know about Microsoft Outlook?

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Email image via Shutterstock

As the school year begins, ITKE wants to test our members by giving a pop quiz on Microsoft Outlook. Below, you’ll find links to 10 user questions that no one’s been able to crack so far. See if you can help with any (or all) of them; we’ll give out 100 Knowledge Points for each approved answer. Good luck!

  1. How can you create additional mailboxes in Microsoft Outlook 2007?
  2. How can you set receiving time in Outlook 2007?
  3. What would cause a user’s appointments not to show up in his inbox? How can this be fixed?
  4. How can you change your settings so you can send and receive messages?
  5. Is there a limit for external invites that can be included in a meeting request?
  6. How can a user show a person’s busy/free information but not the the details of a meeting under calendar options?
  7. What do you need to do to synchronize their information from a Microsoft Exchange Server to Outlook?
  8. Can you encrypt a BlackBerry email with the same certificate used in Outlook?
  9. After synchronizing a Microsoft Outlook calendar on a BlackBerry Curve, how do you activate the reminders on the BlackBerry?
  10. When the copy and paste function doesn’t work, is there a secondary solution to put external information into an email?


September 19, 2012  6:29 PM

Live webcast on optimizing your disaster recover dollars to address real risks w/ SunGard (September 27)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Webcast image via Shutterstock

SunGard will be hosting a live webcast on September 27 at 2 p.m. ET to talk about why it’s important to re-evaluate your DR strategy and spending dollars and determine whether or not they’re optimized to mitigate the real risks to the business.

Companies face many hurdles when trying to implement and manage a successful disaster recovery program, including lack of available resources and budget; unrealistic testing scenarios; interdependencies between applications; and backups.  In addition to these challenges, today’s manual or semi-manual processes don’t scale to meet the potential risks businesses face today. Learn how to optimize and manage your company’s DR program to make sure these hurdles are corrected.

See you there next week!

September 12, 2012  6:15 PM

Live webcast on integrating BI and data warehousing architecture w/ Teradata (September 19)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Webcast image via Shutterstock

SearchDataManagement will be hosting a live webcast with experts from Teradata and industry analyst Lyndsay Wise on September 19 at 1 p.m. ET on creating an integrated BI and data warehousing architecture for effective management of analytical workloads.

As companies deal with rapidly-growing amounts of data, relying on traditional business intelligence (BI) tools alone to manage their critical information is no longer an option. Although there is still a place for general purpose BI platforms to manage small workloads and perform basic analyzing tasks, the growing complexity of workloads and  data requests are forcing companies to integrate purpose-built analytical platforms with their existing BI infrastructures.

Purpose-built analytical platforms offer companies superior data warehousing (DW) capabilities and advanced functionality to more easily and effectively perform data analysis. In her keynote presentation, industry analyst Lyndsay Wise will discuss the challenges companies are facing today by relying on traditional BI tools and systems alone and will highlight the benefits of adopting an integrated BI and DW architecture to meet the increasingly-complex demands of business today.

Hope to see you there next week!

September 12, 2012  4:46 PM

You’re invited: Storage Decisions New York conference to host live #SDNY2012 TweetChat series

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Please join us for our #SDNY2012 TweetChats series! As our annual Storage Decisions New York Conference approaches, we’re excited to get the conversations started!

Rich Castagna (@RichCastagnaTT), Editorial Director of the Storage Media Group along with our Editorial Events team (@TT_Edit_Events), will be hosting this #SDNY2012 TweetChat 3 part series, kicking off this Friday, September from 11:00-11:30 EST in the #SDNY2012 TweetChat Room.

We’re thrilled to have conference speakers participate in the conversation! Here are planned topics and some potential discussion questions:

September 14th, from 11:00-11:30 EST

Speakers Participating

– Ben Woo (@BenWooNY)

– Dennis Martin (@Demartek)

– Brien Posey (@BrienPosey)

T1: Networking:

  • In terms of Ethernet for storage networking, how much share does 10 Gigabit Ethernet have at this point, compared to Gigabit Ethernet? [this is if Dennis is comfortable addressing a market share question]
  • How is that impacting adoption of FCoE?
  • InfiniBand has been getting more press recently among the storage-centric tech press. What’s happening there?
  • What about Fibre Channel: Carol Sliwa did a story a few months ago citing research from Dell Oro group that found that’s predicting that 77% of FC switch shipments will go to 8 Gbps FC this year and that in 2013, 8 Gbps and 16 Gbps should split the FC switch market about evenly. What type of company really needs 16 Gbps FC?

T2: Cloud Backup

  • Is cloud backup being used in larger enterprises today or is it still mainly a SMB or small business play?
  • Now that many backup software products offer a disk to disk to cloud option, do you suspect more organizations will deploy cloud backup?
  • Is it getting easier to integrate on-site backup with cloud backup? Or do challenges remain?
  • How are cloud gateways being used today – do they offer backup-specific functionality?
  • How do you typically see cloud backup being used today? Similar to tape? Or are organizations using more sophisticated functionality that some cloud providers offer like the ability to run a backup of virtual machine in the cloud?

September 18th, from 3:00-3:30 EST

Speaker Participating

-Brian Madden (@brianmadden)


  • We know that storage has a lot to do with the success or failure of a VDI project. But it seems to be a bigger impediment than people expected five or so years ago when we first started hearing about VDI. Why is that?
  • What are the companies with successful VDI projects doing right around storage? Or, what are the others doing wrong?
  • In your session at Storage Decisions, you’ll be talking about why SSD (typically used to prevent boot storms) doesn’t fix the VDI storage problem. Is the issue that SSD isn’t sufficient to address boot storms? Or that other problems exist that SSD can’t fix?

September 20th, from  3:00-3:30 EST

Speakers Participating

-Randy Kerns (@rgkerns)

-Jon Toigo (@JonToigo),

T1: Infrastruggle:

  • Storage metrics:  When designing storage systems, I’ve always considered performance metrics, like IOPs and RPOs. Should I be adding energy-centric metrics to the mix?
  • Going green: I’m trying to evaluate vendor pitches from companies saying they are “green”—what’s a good rule of thumb? Should I be looking strictly at power costs?
  • Vendors and capacity: Along those lines, I’m focused on IOPs but my vendor is focused on capacity, it seems. Why is that?
  • Thin provisioning: My vendor keeps talking about “thin provisioning”—is this really important? Do I need this automated?

T2: Big Data:

  • My CIO and me: My CIO keeps hearing about big data technologies and wants to know if they apply to us. Should I be basing my response on whether I’ve got a certain number of terabytes? Or a longer list of criteria?
  • The BI side: Do you see storage decision makers having to involve the application folks, or work with them, on big data decisions.
  • I don’t see big data as anything different from what I’ve always done—build infrastructure for limitless data-what’ changed?
  • Will my Big Data initiative inevitably involve Hadoop?

Reminder: #SDNY2012 TweetChats are a marketing-free environment! Join the chat to connect, learn and get excited for our upcoming Storage Decisions Conference Sept. 24-25, but please do not post product-specific information.

It’s easy to join the Twitter conversation by logging in to the #SDNY2012 TweetChat Room, which automatically keeps you in the conversation by tagging all tweets with the #SDNY2012 hash tag. If you are unable to access the TweetChat room, simply search in Twitter for #SDNY2012 and tag your tweets with #SDNY2012 so they can be seen by everyone else.

If you have any questions, please contact Greta Lindberg, Editorial Events Associate at TechTarget, at

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