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Forget That Flash Is Fast: The Real Business Benefit Is Yet To Come

Flash memory is massively disruptive technology. Surely, the companies that make 35mm film for cameras know this. In fact, enterprise storage vendors that are still reliant today on hard disks for performance storage are in a position eerily similar to that of Kodak a decade ago: confronted with a new technology that can dramatically improve what they bring to the market. Flash provides greater scalability and application consistency while consuming fewer data centre resources than anything possible with disk-based storage. But it’s not as simple as a new broom sweeping older technologies out of the way in an instant. In the case of enterprise flash, cost has been the barrier to broad market adoption. Flash is expensive and thus most vendors implement it in small quantities alongside disk ...

The Impact Of Consumerisation On Network Capacity

IT consumerisation is not a new phrase. The tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread to business and government organisations has been a trend for years. Business applications continue to mimic the social and mobile traits that define the consumer technology market. While IT consumerisation continues to evolve the way workers engage with applications and each other in the business world, it has also increased the demand for reliable and efficient network performance. Here are three examples of how IT consumerisation has impacted the network world: 1. Increased Collaboration = More Traffic I first heard the term “systems of engagement” while working on a presentation with Geoffrey Moore, technology consultant and best-selling author of &...

Getting Data Recovery Off The Sidelines

Results from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness 2014 Annual Report show almost three quarters of organisations worldwide have relegated their disaster recovery initiatives to the sidelines by not taking adequate steps to protect their data and IT systems. According to participants, poor planning, testing and technological deficiencies have led to instances in which more than $5M worth of critical applications failure, data centre outages and data loss have occurred. At a time when application outages such as those experienced in the financial sector by the likes of HSBC and RBS are grabbing front page headlines, it’s very surprising that this many organisations haven’t gotten themselves enough into the game to sort out their disaster recovery strategies. The study polled more than 1,...

Reducing IT Costs With Flash Memory

It’s no secret that flash memory is changing data centre architectures today. In less than a decade, flash has gone from being viewed as a new, unproven technology, to being used in nearly every consumer electronic device as well as numerous data centres. Flash is now accepted by most IT professionals as an ideal way to add application acceleration to the data centre, but some organisations still view adding flash to their architectures as a costly endeavour. If you view flash from a cost-per-operation perspective, it is actually far more cost effective than disk drive storage. In fact, in a recent survey, 33 percent of my company’s customers reported that they saved close to £60,000 by adding flash to their data centres whilst 14 percent saved close to £150,000, which showcases the ...

The Advantages Of Embedded Computing In Industry

Embedded computing is the use of a dedicated computer system within a larger system to perform specific functions; these are used very widely in electronic applications everywhere from home electronics all the way up to large industrial applications where each part of a plant may have its own embedded systems to keep processes in check. Embedded solutions are very well suited to industrial applications since they’re typically easier to seal against the elements (and whatever else may be present), which can be key in industrial applications. Industrial workplaces can often be harsh environments for any equipment, with the potential for corrosive or damaging chemicals, large volumes of dust, excessive heat and moisture, each of which could cause big problems for electrical equipment or...

Social Media In The Workplace: Are We Nearly There Yet?

Since Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook a decade ago it has attracted a billion users worldwide. Twitter now reports 200 million users who send 400 million tweets every day. Compounded by record IPO valuations well into the $billions, there is little doubt that the social media way of life is here for the duration. But while it may seem like social media is still relatively new, it has moved through a number of stages in its 10 year evolution so far. Only a few years ago when its popularity amongst consumers was soaring, its role in a business environment was at best confused, and at worst extremely negative. Reports of Facebook being banned as it was viewed as a distraction, and instances of employees being dismissed because Facebook had revealed to managers that employee absences were no...

Unify Communications With These 6 Helpful Applications

When it comes to managing a business, one of the most unpredictable and difficult to manage aspects of operations is building a brand. Ideally, you would like to have a unified message as well as a concerted, coordinated effort to build your brand, its image and message, on all fronts. Unfortunately, when we are faced with the realities of the day to day and the need to rely on other people to disseminate the brand message, sometimes things get lost in translation. So how do we as the stewards of our brand ensure that it maintains the integrity, and achieves the success we have envisioned in it. And if we achieve that, how do we make sure that our company communication maintains the consistency and unity that will maximise its Impact and drive consumer purchase and brand loyalty? I believe...

BYOD Is Here To Stay: Manage The Risk And Optimise It

With growth statistics suggesting that 40% of workers are using their personal devices to access business applications and resources, BYOD is a trend businesses can’t ignore. Although there is growing pressure on IT to manage the risk posed by BYOD, there is a real opportunity to turn BYOD to a business advantage by driving improvements in employee productivity, performance and adding extra support for the growing numbers of remote and mobile workers. Businesses benefit from employee expectations as they no longer see “work time” and “personal time” as separate categories. This is because a growing number of employees prefer to use a single tablet for work and personal use – with access to corporate email and other business applications, outside business hours...

IT Operations Analytics Confronts Chronic IT Challenges

It is well known that visibility is a foundation of control. The same applies to IT operations. However, in today’s continuously expanding data centers, dynamic IT environments produce far too much data for IT operations to keep track of. Billions of machine events, environment and application changes, performance and availability metrics, and vast amounts of other structured and unstructured IT operations data from a wide variety of sources go mostly unprocessed, requiring greater visibility into IT’s Big Data problem. With little time available and too many tools already in place, the IT industry needs to shift to a new approach. Now IT Operations Analytics tools can automatically offer real actionable insights, rather than just slicing and dicing overwhelming amounts of data, allo...

Communications From The Data Centre

It’s well documented that communications technology has evolved significantly in the last decade. IP telephony and unified communications now provide a cost-effective and far more efficient alternative to traditional PBX phone systems, which often require high maintenance and do not support advanced communication channels such as video and web-conferencing. Indeed, a report from Transparency Market Research forecast continued growth for unified communications at a CAGR of 15.7% for 2012 to 2018 – demonstrating the demand for such solutions. To fully take advantage of VoIP and unified communications, most businesses look to work with partners to manage the installation, implementation, deployment and maintenance – drawing on their technical expertise and familiarity with the solutions they ...

On Time With Real-Time Fast Data

Big Data is very much at the top of the IT agenda at present. In fact, mobile computing aside, it’s hard to think of another area of IT creating as much hype. Not least because of how quickly the market for applications to collect, process and analyse Big Data stores is growing – with analyst firm IDC, for example, predicting global revenues of $32.4 billion by 2017. Put another way, analysts like IDC are predicting a compound annual growth rate of over 25% – roughly six times that expected for IT in general. But it’s not all about industry hype and projections. Customer demand is what’s really driving growth in this market, as companies strive to make better use of data collected and held by their organisations – to more effectively target sales and marketing efforts; improve ...

Can The UK Public Sector Become Better, Faster, Stronger?

When it’s claimed that the UK government could be wasting money that’s equivalent to current spending on state pensions – and considerably more than what’s spent by the Department for Education – you know that action is needed. The Policy Exchange recently issued a report – ‘Smaller, Better, Faster, Stronger – which estimated the public sector could save tax payers as much as £70 billion by 2020 if services were available online rather than being paper-based. In times of austerity, ongoing government cuts and pinched purses, that’s a significant sum which could be fed back into the country to help find efficiencies and improve services. A ‘Digital Whitehall’ has been on the horizon for some time now. However, despite a big push on the ‘Digital by Default’ initiative, championed by Francis ...