Computer trends for 2014

Here is my collection of trends and predictions for year 2014:

It seems that PC market is not recovering in 2014. IDC is forecasting that the technology channel will buy in around 34 million fewer PCs this year than last. It seem that things aren’t going to improve any time soon (down, down, down until 2017?). There will be no let-up on any front, with desktops and portables predicted to decline in both the mature and emerging markets. Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system: PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespan continue to increase. Death of the Desktop article says that sadly for the traditional desktop, this is only a matter of time before its purpose expires and that it would be inevitable it will happen within this decade. (I expect that it will not completely disappear).

When the PC business is slowly decreasing, smartphone and table business will increase quickly. Some time in the next six months, the number of smartphones on earth will pass the number of PCs. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone: the mobile business is much bigger than the computer industry. There are now perhaps 3.5-4 billion mobile phones, replaced every two years, versus 1.7-1.8 billion PCs replaced every 5 years. Smartphones broke down that wall between those industries few years ago – suddenly tech companies could sell to an industry with $1.2 trillion annual revenue. Now you can sell more phones in a quarter than the PC industry sells in a year.

After some years we will end up with somewhere over 3bn smartphones in use on earth, almost double the number of PCs. There are perhaps 900m consumer PCs on earth, and maybe 800m corporate PCs. The consumer PCs are mostly shared and the corporate PCs locked down, and neither are really mobile. Those 3 billion smartphones will all be personal, and all mobile. Mobile browsing is set to overtake traditional desktop browsing in 2015. The smartphone revolution is changing how consumers use the Internet. This will influence web design.


The only PC sector that seems to have some growth is server side. Microservers & Cloud Computing to Drive Server Growth article says that increased demand for cloud computing and high-density microserver systems has brought the server market back from a state of decline. We’re seeing fairly significant change in the server market. According to the 2014 IC Market Drivers report, server unit shipment growth will increase in the next several years, thanks to purchases of new, cheaper microservers. The total server IC market is projected to rise by 3% in 2014 to $14.4 billion: multicore MPU segment for microservers and NAND flash memories for solid state drives are expected to see better numbers.

Spinning rust and tape are DEAD. The future’s flash, cache and cloud article tells that the flash is the tier for primary data; the stuff christened tier 0. Data that needs to be written out to a slower response store goes across a local network link to a cloud storage gateway and that holds the tier 1 nearline data in its cache. Never mind software-defined HYPE, 2014 will be the year of storage FRANKENPLIANCES article tells that more hype around Software-Defined-Everything will keep the marketeers and the marchitecture specialists well employed for the next twelve months but don’t expect anything radical. The only innovation is going to be around pricing and consumption models as vendors try to maintain margins. FCoE will continue to be a side-show and FC, like tape, will soldier on happily. NAS will continue to eat away at the block storage market and perhaps 2014 will be the year that object storage finally takes off.

IT managers are increasingly replacing servers with SaaS article says that cloud providers take on a bigger share of the servers as overall market starts declining. An in-house system is no longer the default for many companies. IT managers want to cut the number of servers they manage, or at least slow the growth, and they may be succeeding. IDC expects that anywhere from 25% to 30% of all the servers shipped next year will be delivered to cloud services providers. In three years, 2017, nearly 45% of all the servers leaving manufacturers will be bought by cloud providers. The shift will slow the purchase of server sales to enterprise IT. Big cloud providers are more and more using their own designs instead of servers from big manufacturers. Data center consolidations are eliminating servers as well. For sure, IT managers are going to be managing physical servers for years to come. But, the number will be declining.

I hope that the IT business will start to grow this year as predicted. Information technology spends to increase next financial year according to N Chandrasekaran, chief executive and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest information technology (IT) services company. IDC predicts that IT consumption will increase next year to 5 per cent worldwide to $ 2.14 trillion. It is expected that the biggest opportunity will lie in the digital space: social, mobility, cloud and analytics. The gradual recovery of the economy in Europe will restore faith in business. Companies are re-imaging their business, keeping in mind changing digital trends.

The death of Windows XP will be on the new many times on the spring. There will be companies try to cash in with death of Windows XP: Microsoft’s plan for Windows XP support to end next spring, has received IT services providers as well as competitors to invest in their own services marketing. HP is peddling their customers Connected Backup 8.8 service to prevent data loss during migration. VMware is selling cloud desktop service. Google is wooing users to switch to ChromeOS system by making Chrome’s user interface familiar to wider audiences. The most effective way XP exploiting is the European defense giant EADS subsidiary of Arkoon, which promises support for XP users who do not want to or can not upgrade their systems.

There will be talk on what will be coming from Microsoft next year. Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a series of updates in 2015 that could see major revisions for the Windows, Xbox, and Windows RT platforms. Microsoft’s wave of spring 2015 updates to its various Windows-based platforms has a codename: Threshold. If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone).


Amateur programmers are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the IT landscape. A new IDC study has found that of the 18.5 million software developers in the world, about 7.5 million (roughly 40 percent) are “hobbyist developers,” which is what IDC calls people who write code even though it is not their primary occupation. The boom in hobbyist programmers should cheer computer literacy advocates.IDC estimates there are almost 29 million ICT-skilled workers in the world as we enter 2014, including 11 million professional developers.

The Challenge of Cross-language Interoperability will be more and more talked. Interfacing between languages will be increasingly important. You can no longer expect a nontrivial application to be written in a single language. With software becoming ever more complex and hardware less homogeneous, the likelihood of a single language being the correct tool for an entire program is lower than ever. The trend toward increased complexity in software shows no sign of abating, and modern hardware creates new challenges. Now, mobile phones are starting to appear with eight cores with the same ISA (instruction set architecture) but different speeds, some other streaming processors optimized for different workloads (DSPs, GPUs), and other specialized cores.

Just another new USB connector type will be pushed to market. Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen ‘type C’ jacks will be reversible article tells that USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible. Designed to support both USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, the new connector, dubbed “Type C”, will be the same size as an existing micro USB 2.0 plug.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Gartner, IDC report PC decline not as bad as expected

    The two major PC market analyst groups, Gartner and IDC — who have both run afoul of skeptics for inconsistent numbers — have released their respective assessments of the third quarter of worldwide PC shipments. Both companies have excluded “tablets” from their estimates, but the definition is fluid

    As is usually the case with the two firms, few of their figures match up exactly. Both, however, do show that the top five name-brand PC manufacturers all saw significant growth from last year, sometimes reaching into the double-digits, but at the expense of smaller firms and “no-name” PC vendors.

    IDC believes shipments worldwide are down 1.7 percent from the year-ago quarter; Gartner has it as down by 0.5 percent.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    AMD Falls 6%: Operating Chief Su Named CEO; OpCo Questions Timing

    Shares of chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are up two cents at $3.30, in late trading, after the company this afternoon announced it named chief operating officer Lisa Su as its CEO, replacing Rory Read, effective immediately.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    IBM leaps aboard the software-defined stuff bandwagon
    Big Blue banishes storage bleakness with blinding announcement blizzard

    IBM storage is getting software-defined, with IBM seeing that concept as a way of better integrating its storage hardware and software assets.

    Big Blue’s Storage and Software-defined Systems general manager Jamie Thomas outlined a new storage deal at IBM’s Enterprise event in Las Vegas, claiming the “new model will provide greater flexibility around how customers can receive, consume and explore different options for data storage.”

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Inside the Secret Clash of CIOs and CMOs

    Publicly, CIOs and CMOs say they get along, but in the dark recesses of the enterprise, tensions abound. Here’s why (warning: the ‘why’ comes from a decidedly CMO perspective).

    CIOs and CMOs like to proclaim to the world that they’ve become best buddies. They’re the Dynamic Duo, Wonder Twins, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid of the digital frontier making rivals look foolish as they fill company coffers with social and mobile marketing-led sales. That’s the public-facing story, anyway.

    Behind the scenes, it’s a relationship under fire.

    “CIOs have to show marketing that they’re aligned to what they do, but we don’t see that bridge being built very often,” says Matt Mobley, CMTO at Merkle, a customer relationship marketing agency. “I don’t think anyone has cracked the nut on how to solve the CMO-CIO contention that exists today.”

    There’s a fundamental problem in the way CMOs and CIOs look at technology projects. CIOs don’t like loose ends. That is, they want to see projects that have a clear beginning and end — a clear-cut return on investment. CMOs, however, can’t afford to wait for this kind of clarity before embarking on projects.

    CMOs call this open-ended approach as being “agile,” which is very different from what CIOs hear. For CIOs, “agile” means a software development methodology, according to The CIO-CMO Omnichannel study. For CMOs, “agile” is a desired state of operations, where a company can change directions and move rapidly as market conditions change.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Data is more valuable to individuals than to the cloud
    Corporations wasting data on “queasy” targeted advertising tech

    SIR TIM BERNERS-LEE has declared that data ownership will be core to the future of the web, saying it is of more value in the hands of individuals than it is to the cloud.

    Speaking at the 2014 IP Expo in London, Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web, said that data is more valuable to people than it is to companies.

    “The data that [businesses] have about you isn’t as valuable to them as it is to you,” he said. “What are these people going to do with that data? They’re going to target you with an ad which makes you feel a bit queasy. Targeted adverts are not the future.”

    Instead, Berners-Lee believes that data is more useful under the ownership of individuals, who can use it to gain insights about their lives and activity.

    “In general, if you put together all that data, from my wearable, my house, from other companies like the credit card company and the banks, from all the social networks, I can give my computer a good view of my life, and I can use that. That information is more valuable to me than it is to the cloud.”

    “If you give [people] the ability to see how [data is] used and you ban its misuse then people are much more happy to open up to their data being used,” he concluded.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

    Yahoo announced [Tuesday] it would be laying off at least 400 workers in its Indian office, and back in February, IBM cut roughly 2,000 jobs there. Meanwhile, tech companies are beginning to see that many of the jobs it has outsourced can be automated, instead.

    Outsourced Jobs Are No Longer Cheap, So They’re Being Automated

    Remember when a majority of new tech jobs were going to India and China? Well, increasingly, those jobs are going away altogether. Outsourcing, it turns out, is in the early stages of being automated.

    “The traditional low cost arbitrage markets have been India, China and other parts of Asia,” Justice wrote in a paper he called “The Death of Outsourcing.” “However, the success of outsourcing and global manufacturing has spawned a rapidly growing middle class in these regions, which is both increasing the cost of labor and broadening the potential customer base for many companies.”

    That discussion of automation is becoming much more common in the tech industry, with tech jobs in Asia having at least the potential to be on the chopping block, said Mark Muro, an economist at Brookings.

    “The labor costs are becoming significant enough in China and India that there are very real discussions about automating jobs there now,” Muro said. “The next generation of robots, the next generation of computer learning, is going to be much better than they were at handling things like customer service.”

    “There’s a broad trend to reexamine the idea that anybody can work anywhere in their underwear at any time and it works,” he said. “I think there’s a new appreciation for working in tight ecosystems—that could be part of Yahoo’s layoffs here.”

    “Cheap labor isn’t as cheap as it was, and companies are seeing that automated replacements are getting to be ‘good enough.’”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Q&A: Ashton Kutcher, Lenovo ‘Product Engineer,’ Doesn’t Fear the iPad

    Ashton Kutcher helped design the latest Lenovo Yoga laptops and tablets.

    Ashton Kutcher plays the role of Lenovo product engineer well. Really well, almost like Michael Kelso well.

    Like most product managers or engineers I speak to about their new devices, he hits the key points: how the new Android-powered Yoga Tablet 2 has been improved, why it meets consumer demands and, of course, why it’s so much better than the competition. He even deflects corporate questions, deferring to higher-up executives.

    The 36-year-old actor was “hired” by Lenovo about a year ago, and at the time, he promised that the role would go beyond the typical celebrity spokesperson arrangement.

    Now he’s making good on that promise with the Yoga rollout. I chatted with Kutcher this week and I think you’ll agree: This is a breakthrough role for him.

    You’ve been a product engineer at Lenovo for about a year now. How did you contribute to the creation of these new Yoga tablets?

    From the get-go, having not built anything like this before, I had a lot more questions than answers. The first thing I did was go to China to sit down with the team and brainstorm. We felt it was really important with the product to build something that consumers want. We found out that consumers were primarily using it in the home and primarily for entertainment to watch TV and movies.

    I think a lot of people think this process is, “What you can put in the box?” But a lot of times it is about what you don’t put in the box.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Lenovo Puts Projector in Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, Refreshes Rest of Yoga Line

    Lenovo updated its Yoga lineup Thursday with tablets for Android and for Windows, as well as Windows laptops known for their twisting screens and multiple positions—as their name is meant to imply. And yes, the names all run together, so try to keep up.

    Android Tablets
    Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 2 devices, running Android, will come in three display sizes: 8 inches for $249, 10 inches for $299, and a 13-inch “Pro” edition for $499. The two smaller Yoga Android tablets will feature improved 1,920 x 1,080 pixel HD displays, and a larger kickstand and better speakers than last year’s Yoga tablets. The 13-inch Yoga Tablet 2 Pro will have a QHD display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, up from “full” 1080p HD. All three of the new tablets will run Intel Atom processors.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Apple still world’s top brand, as Huawei enters rankings

    Apple and Google have held their top spots as the planet’s most valuable brands, according to ranking firm Interbrand.

    Apple and Google are the world’s most valuable brands, according to fresh rankings from brand evaluation firm Interbrand.

    The iPhone-maker held its grip on the top spot, having last year nudged Coca-Cola from number one. Google similarly held steady with a second-place ranking. Both firms have an estimated brand value of over 100 million dollars.

    Six of the top ten brands are tech firms, with IBM taking fourth place, Microsoft taking fifth and Samsung claiming the number six spot. Amazon and Facebook, which placed 15th and 29th respectively, were both deemed “top risers” by Interbrand.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:
    SUSE, MariaDB and IBM team up to tame Big Data

    SUSE and MariaDB (the company formerly known as SkySQL!) officially teamed up today, joining forces with IBM Power Systems, in a partnership that promises to expand the Linux application ecosystem. According to sources at SUSE, customers will now be able to run a wider variety of applications on Power8, increasing both flexibility and choice while working within existing IT infrastructure. More options is ALWAYS a good thing!

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Intel ‘underestimates error bounds by 1.3 QUINTILLION’
    Not enough Pi makes FSIN instruction unreliable

    Sharp-eyed and mathematically-savvy coder and blogger Bruce Dawson has spotted something interesting: the fsin instruction in x86/x64 chippery can produce a “worst-case error [of] 1.37 quintillion units in the last place”. That’s not helpful because Intel’s documentation suggests far smaller errors are the norm. And because a quintillion is a very big number.

    Intel has acknowledged the issue and says “the documentation could explain more clearly the limitations inherent to the FSIN instruction, and we intend to do that in the next update of the manual. The same applies to other instructions: FCOS, FSINCOS, and FPTAN.”

    Intel isn’t saying this is a bug and Dawson agrees. His take on the situation is that “Intel’s implementation of fsinis clearly weak, but for compatibility reasons it probably can’t be changed so it can’t really be considered a bug at this point.”

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:
    EU, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft: We’ll fight terrorists… with WORKSHOPS
    EU has dinner with Big Tech before debating data protection

    The EU, and several of the world’s biggest and most powerful tech companies, made little progress in finding ways to combat terrorists’ use of online media, following a meeting and dinner on Wednesday night.

    EU government ministers met Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft representatives.

    Although terrorist groups (most notably IS/Isis) have increasingly used social media tools to spread their message, there was no formal agreement on any concrete steps to limit their internet activities.

    However, it was agreed to organise “joint training and awareness raising workshops for the representatives of the law enforcement authorities, internet industry, and civil society,”

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Software gurus: Only developers can defeat mass surveillance
    Fowler, Dörnenburg urge devs to stick up for the users

    Software developers should not be content with writing code that works, they have a responsibility not to harm their users, say Agile development experts Martin Fowler and Agile Erik Dörnenburg, speaking at the Goto Aarhus conference in Denmark last week.

    Fowler was among the signatories of the 2001 Agile Manifesto, part of the movement to promote incremental and collaborative software development rather than setting a specification in stone and then throwing it over to programmers for coding.

    Agile has been influential, to the extent that most software projects today claim to adopt it, but Fowler says that his biggest disappointment is that software is still mostly designed by analysts rather than being truly collaborative. A key Agile concept is that all stakeholders participate in the process, including the users.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Chief Analytics Officer: The Ultimate Big Data Job?

    As organizations seek to not simply corral data, but apply it strategically across the business, analytics experts are making their way into the C-suite.

    The C-suite may need a bigger boardroom. As organizations expand their executive teams with new C-level titles that underscore their digital transformations in-progress, the role of chief analytics officer is gaining traction.

    Driven by organizations’ desire to turn big data into a strategic asset, the CAO is finding a home in data-rich industries such as financial services and healthcare. Although still not as prevalent as two other newish C-suite roles — the chief digital officer and chief data officer — the CAO may represent an inflection point in an organization’s digital journey, signaling a move from managing data to applying it more strategically across the business.

    The CAO role “is certainly not in the mainstream yet, but momentum is building,” s

    “The pioneers see the power in data and the power in harnessing that data for competitive advantage.”

    “When you start thinking about how to organize your analytics better and how to get more bang for the buck, you’d better be thinking about hiring a chief analytics officer,”

    In a recent study by management consultancy EY, for example, 69% of companies said customer experience was vital to their growth strategies, but just 12% said they take full advantage of analytics to extract customer insights and deliver better customer service.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Iron out the kinks and all-flash servers just might have a future
    Nutanix leading way to disk-free serving

    Nutanix’s NX-9000 is an all-flash, scale-out, hyperconverged server/storage/networking system, with a single logical pool of SAN storage aggregated from the NX nodes in a cluster. In other words, it’s a clustered, disk-less server.

    It’s disk-less, and so less prone to mechanical and electro-mechanical errors and needs less power to run. It is also fabulously faster at random data accesses than a disk-based system.

    The NX-9000 has limited capacity; 9.6TB using 1.6TB SSDs. Six terabyte disks are appearing and soon enough we should see 8TB and 10TB versions in 3.5-inch form factors, and 2TB and 4TB ones in the 2.5-inch form factor. Disks are cheaper per terabyte than SSDs, so if you don’t need and can’t afford all-flash performance a disk-based server will be cheaper and hold more data…except that a flash server can deduplicate and compress data inline and so increase its effective capacity.

    Also, SSDs, as well as PCIe flash, are increasing their capacity, with 3D NAND technologies promising to double or triple SSD capacities.

    Disks are an ineffective method of storing random data and getting it fast to users.

    A flash server can run an entire working set of data in DRAM and flash, if the working set fits in the available space.

    Secondly, a hyper-converged system is a single box. You need more performance and networking bandwidth and storage capacity? Great. Get another box.

    Storage arrays need to evolve in a hyper-converged, clustered, all-flash server world and become capable of joining the server-side SAN as a transparent and seamless, albeit slow, partner. Secondly, they need to adopt faster networking to reduce network latency. Thirdly, they need to be able to stream server-focussed working set data into servers, avoiding or mitigating random IO wherever possible. And lastly, they need to be the backing or nearline tier in a multi-tier, clustered server, server-side and networked SAN construct, with automated data movement.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Microsoft Promises Its Surface Project Is Here To Stay

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the pitch this morning that his company’s Surface project is here to stay, hoping to convince potential business customers that investing in the tablet-hybrids won’t leave them in the lurch.

    Out this morning from Microsoft’s chief is a quote calling the Surface Pro 3 an “enterprise-class device,” saying that the company is “putting its full and sustained support behind the ongoing Surface program.”

    As part of that announcement, the company promised that peripherals that shipped to support the Surface Pro 3 will work for the next Pro device.

    Microsoft went on to indicate that the Surface Pro 3 will be upgradable to Windows 10. That operating system is widely expected to be made free to Windows 8.1 users.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Toshiba: We’ll STAY in PCs! We’ll just axe a few bods
    ‘Deadly serious about PCs but will NOT lose money’ – exec

    Toshiba is the latest vendor to sound the warning alarm that all is not well in its PC business across Europe after scaling back regional offices and axing swathes of the workforce – just as the green shoots emerge.

    “Toshiba is deadly serious about remaining in the B2C and B2B markets but it will not lose money doing it,” said Alan Thompson, a former president at the firm, who retired at the start of this month, but is providing consultancy to the company via his newly incorporated firm Athos Associates.

    “People have been forecasting the death of Toshiba’s PC business for the last 10 years and I don’t think they are any more correct now,” he added.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Gartner mages throw deduping backup appliance bones, claim EMC’s in lead
    Dell and IBM – niche players?

    Gartner has released its first deduplication target backup appliance Magic Quadrant, confirming EMC’s Data Domain in the lead but placing HP in a distinct second place, Quantum as a challenger and Exagrid as a visionary – surprise all round.

    The MQ is a (the) classic 4-box diagram, placing suppliers in a 2D space defined by “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision” axes.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The Future of Flash (Pro)

    Today, the Flash Pro team is releasing an update that should be a fairly major milestone in the tool’s history.

    Note that this post is about Flash-the-animation-tool. The runtimes (Flash Player and AIR) are a separate topic, but suffice to say that today’s update doesn’t affect them.

    Observant Flash users will have noticed that, starting a year or two ago, there began to be more than one kind of FLA. Rather than having a single project that could be exported as SWF or AIR or HTML, Flash began to natively distinguish between AS3 projects and HTML projects.

    Then a bit later, Flash gained a WebGL file type (currently in tech preview). Along with other new features to publish SVG and sprite sheets, Flash Pro was becoming more and more a multi-purpose tool.

    today’s Flash update introduces a mechanism whereby anyone can extend Flash to natively support any library or format, just as it supports SWF and CreateJS.

    Let’s say you’re an animator and you want to create an animation to play back in Unity or Starling. You might decide to use the GAF format.

    I believe that custom platform support is the feature that will determine whether Flash Pro is still around 5-10 years from now.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:
    IBM’s Watson Going Global
    Jeopardy champion branching out

    On Wednesday, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty cut the ribbon that officially opened the Watson Global Headquarters in New York City’s “Silicon Alley.” From there the decisions on how to spend IBM’s promised billion-dollar investment in advancing cognitive computing will be made — with Watson leading the way.

    The Watson Client Experience Center will allow innovators and entrepreneurs to get expert advice from Watson-savvy research and design teams on how to harness lightning-fast data scanning with learning algorithms in their applications. While waiting for its global headquarters to be built, IBM has amassed a global network of innovators, partners, clients, developers, academics, and venture capitalists to lead the charge into what IBM’s Rometty calls the coming “era of cognitive computing” — the third era in the history of information technology.

    The first era was the tabulating era circa 1890, marked by the manual calculator, and the second era started in the 1940s and continues today using the traditional von Neumann architecture based on manual programming. But the third era of cognitive computing will be based on self-learning machines that can ingest unstructured big data, then narrow it down to what people need in particular situations, thereby transforming our professions, our industries, and our day-to-day lives, according to IBM.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown

    Netcraft’s October survey of web servers will be welcomed by open source aficionados, as the firm has found Apache is once again the planet’s most-used web server.

    The server-counter’s previous surveys found that Microsoft’s internet information server (IIS) had overtaken Apache, thanks largely to Chinese link farms preferring Redmond’s HTTP-slinger. But many of those domains have recently expired, “… were acquired and the sites are now hosted on Apache servers at Confluence-Networks, which display Network Solutions parking notices.”

    Nginx also did well in Netcraft’s measure of active web sites, the metric it uses to rank web sites that are up and running rather than just present online. Here’s the firm’s data in that category.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Nutanix goes all-flash, will rescue dying data from imploding cities
    But only if they’re reasonably close together, natch

    Converged system startup Nutanix has topped out its range with an all-flash appliance, and added protection at inter-city distances.

    Its clusterable appliances combine servers, storage and networking to provide a single converged data centre that, it says, replaces racks of disparate servers, storage arrays and network gear. Nutanix claims it’s far simpler to order, deploy, operate and manage than conventional separately-sourced IT gear.

    Synchronous mirroring is the means whereby Nutanix offers protection through Metro Availability, meaning data centres up to 400km away. The functionality needed is built into Nutanix’s software and Nutanix says: “Virtualisation teams can now non-disruptively migrate virtual machines between sites during planned maintenance events, providing continuous data protection with zero recovery point objective (RPO) and a near zero recovery time objective (RTO).”

    One-to-many and many-to-one topologies are supported and individual virtual machines can be mirrored.

    The NX-9000 starts from $110,000/node

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:
    VMware’s new VDI play is self-destructing virtual desktops
    Forget BootCamp, set policies to let temps – and Macs – in and then boot them out

    VMware has announced a new end-user computing product at its VMworld Europe gabfest.

    Horizon Flex allows admins to define virtual machines (VMs) and deploy them to Macs or PCs, where they run in desktop hypervisors. VMware would prefer you use its own Player on PCs rather than desktop Hyper-V. Mac users get to run Fusion. VMs can be controlled with policies so they can, among other things, self-destruct after a time or access only certain resources.

    The thinking behind the product is that contractors and temporary workers might be best-served with a temporary VM drop, rather than a more elaborate set-up. Self-destructing VMs mean fewer residual security worries at the end of an engagement, as there’s nothing of note installed on the client device and the VM will become useless once the policy engine repels the VM’s future connections to resources behind the firewall.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Windows XP refresh will DO NOTHING for lame PC market next year
    Gartner warns consumer will need to help out

    The XP refresh provided the boon that computer makers and their respective channel suppliers clung to following a period of lean sales, but the majority of replacement have now taken place.

    This is according to market beanie Gartner, which estimates 70 per cent of the 30 million installed based of machines across Western Europe that ran on the 13-year old OS, have now been swapped out
    More Reading
    Toshiba: We’ll STAY in PCs! We’ll just axe a few bodsShoppers shun slabs to give Gartner’s Q3 PC numbers a rosy glow’Conscious uncoupling’ of HP ‘Ink’, HP Enterprise: It’s the shareholders, stupidLook out: The Far Eastern white-box boys are coming for EVERYONEWindows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

    “When the market was weaker, XP certainly provided a much needed uptick,” research director Ranjit Atwal to El Chan.

    “But we are starting to see a slowing down of the replacement cycle,” he added, “as XP disappears there needs to be a bigger pick-up in consumer [to counter a general slowdown].”

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Where new European Commission leaders stand on open source

    The short answer is that it’s too early to tell. Neither of the key Commissioners with ICT portfolios named by Juncker have a track record in this space. Nonetheless, a review of the background of these leaders and their performance in the recently completed Parliamentary hearings give some indication that there is reason for optimism, yet a need for outreach and education.

    Many policy makers at senior levels—particularly those without experience in ICT—are not expected to have a firm grasp of issues surrounding open source and open standards.

    Again, with the caveat that it’s too early to draw any major conclusions, there is reason for optimism that the new Commission will design and implement policies that will enable the further growth of open source and open standards. But, there is also much to be done in terms of engagement and education.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:
    HP hops aboard hyperconverged infrastructure bandwagon
    The usual 2U storage and compute rig with zero to VMs running in 15 minutes caper

    HP has become the latest vendor to hop aboard the hyperconverged infrastructure bandwagon, announcing the attractively-named “ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual” appliances as its entry to the field.

    The product will look familiar to anyone who’s considered offerings from Nutanix, Simplivity, Scale Computing or VMware’s EVO offerings, as it’s a 2U beast packing storage, compute, hypervisor and control freakery tuned to deliver a mere 15 minutes elapsed time between hitting the ON switch and enjoying all the fun of functioning virtual machines running on four physical servers.

    HP’s packed its effort full of its own goodies: you’ll find OneView InstantOn, OneView for VMware vCenter and the StoreVirtual virtual storage away inside.

    The boxes scale: it’s possible to assemble them into clusters of up to 32 nodes, and when you add new boxen it’s said that the management console used for the first one will be able to handle the new additions too.
    The HP ConvergedSystem

    Looks like servers, racks like servers, is actually hyperconverged

    In other words, pretty much what the rest of the emerging hypervconverged world is offering. But with ProLiant servers instead of Qaunta and/or white box beasts, and HP’s virtual storage and management goodies.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:
    H.264 support arrives in Firefox, thanks to Cisco — but H.264 web videos still won’t play

    Firefox is now supporting H.264 for web-based video chat, thanks to a binary component provided by Cisco — but H.264 web video streams still can’t be played natively in the browser.

    Cisco and Firefox first announced their collaboration on H.264 a year ago in an attempt to solve a stalemate around the future of browser-based video. The problem: Everyone in the industry is agreeing that the future of voice and video communication is based on WebRTC, an emerging standard that will allow browser and app makers to offer native video chat without the need for any third-party plugins.

    However, browser and teleconferencing vendors are split on which video format to use for next-generation video chat services. Google has been pushing the industry to adopt VP8, the video format it open sourced back in 2010. Cisco and others instead have been favoring H.264, which is supported by legacy video conferencing hardware, but could require companies to pay licensing fees, and is covered by a number of patents — usually a big no-no for open source projects.

    Mozilla has traditionally been in the open source and open codec camp, but changed course last year

    Gaal also noted that Mozilla is continuing to support open codecs, and is in fact developing a next generation video codec right now.

    The binary component provided by Cisco doesn’t actually support all flavors of H.264, if you will, but only a more basic set of features used for real-time video applications

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Humble Bundle, Mozilla team up to make full PC games playable in your web browser

    Humble and Mozilla have partnered up to make these games (and more unveiled next week) available to run right in your browser using asm.js and WebGL web technology. No need to download Steam, no need to download plugins. If you’re running a modern build of Firefox or Chrome you can run all eight games just by hitting the Play button on the Humble page. If you’re running Firefox you can even check out a demo of the tech by heading to the Firefox Start Page.

    Humble’s not the first to explore running full-fledged (read: not Flash) games in a browser. Chrome’s Native Client technology, for instance, allows you to run Bastion, and earlier this year I checked out the full-fledged first-person shooter Ballistic.

    The difference, as far as I’m concerned, is that people use Humble. The company’s game bundles have become a formidable force in the industry, and they’ve already been a huge influence in bolstering Linux gaming.

    It is incredibly convenient though, and could help woo PC users who are ambivalent about installing a separate storefront such as Steam.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Datafiniti re-architects its web-crawler engine and moves to the cloud

    With 70,000 machines available in the cloud and on volunteer computers around the globe, Datafiniti claims that its customers are scanning 648 million URLs each month.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Exclusive: Tech firms HP, EMC call off merger talks – sources

    Hewlett-Packard Co has ended merger talks with EMC Corp and may announce this development as soon as Wednesday, deciding to walk away after months of fruitless negotiations, people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Don’t wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
    Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event

    Google is planning to steal some of the thunder from Apple’s October 16 event by quietly unveiling a new tablet running the next generation of its Android OS the day before, a report claims.

    Cupertino is widely expected to take wraps off its latest iPad on Thursday – which may or may not be a 12.9-inch “maxi” model that may or may not be branded the iPad Air 2.

    But according to a report by Forbes, Google is planning to beat Apple to the punch by launching its own latest mid-form-factor fondleslab on Wednesday. The new tablet is reportedly built by HTC and is codenamed the “Volantis,” but Google will market it as the Nexus 9.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:
    This year, sold 229 million tablet computer. According to Gartner, the number is only 11 percent higher than the previous year. The strong growth in time tablets are clearly over.

    All ICT devices – PCs, tablets, ultra portables and smartphones – sold this year to 2.4 billion shares. Smart phones which accounted for 71 per cent. Tablet share is 9.5 per cent.

    For tablets the change is evident: According to Gartner, many people buy next a hybrid device that acts as both a tablet and laptop.


  33. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Chrome 38′s new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
    First browser to protect networks’ bandwith using official spec

    Google has recently pushed out Chrome 38, for desktop and mobile devices.

    Google updates its browser every six weeks – so often, in fact, that much of the time there isn’t much in the way of new or worthwhile features.

    Not so with this release.

    Among the changes Chrome 38 has support for new features in JavaScript, as part of the support for the ECMAScript 6 draft specification.

    But the big news is Chrome 38 is the first browser to support the brand new HTML Picture element.

    The Picture element is one of several new tools for web developers that lets websites serve different images based on the screen size of the device you’re using. Though Picture gets all of the attention, much of the time developers won’t even need the new element, just the new attributes for the element.

    What’s the big deal? You’ve probably noticed it’s increasingly common for websites to adapt their layout to fit your device.

    These flexible layouts are part of what’s known as responsive web design. When done properly it means a single website, with all the same content, works well on every device.

    Yet while developers have tools to handle changing the layout, there isn’t much they can do about the size of images these layouts contain. While an image might be scaled down to fit your phone, behind the scenes your browser still downloads a large file. That’s a waste of bandwidth

    As Google puts it in the Chrome 38 announcement, these new responsive image tools “bake an elegant solution right into the web platform”.

    For now, Chrome 38 is the only browser with support for responsive images, though Opera 25 will have support when it emerges from Opera’s beta channel. Firefox will also support responsive images in a release later this year, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team has indicated that responsive images support is on their roadmap as well.

    The responsive images community group at the W3C, led by developer Mat Marquis, developed the specification for the new Picture element and the new attributes on the element.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:
    AWS takes desktop-as-a-service out of the PC
    Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops

    Amazon Web Services has made a significant enhancement to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, by allowing support for Teradici’s PC-over-IP protocol and “zero clients” that run it.

    Workspaces is a US$35 a month service that offers Windows Server 2008 re-skinned with the Windows 7 UI. Until today, consuming the service required player software running on a Mac, PC, iPad, Kindle Fire or Android tablet. But AWS has now announced that Workspaces will run in zero clients, Teradici’s term for devices that pack almost no computing power other than than needed to stream software into a monitor and handle a mouse and keyboard input.

    The likes of HP and Dell make zero clients, and it’s also possible to buy a zero client monitor.

    Again anecdotally, The Reg’s virtualisation desk hears whispers that Workspaces aren’t setting the world on fire. A quick spot of Googling reveals that zero client monitors can be had for about US$460, rather cheaper than many new business PCs. At the peak Workspaces price of US$75 a month – which buys you twin vCPUs, 7.5GB of memory, 100GB of storage, AV software and Microsoft Office Professional 2010 – you’re looking at US$900 a year for a PC, plus network costs and the cost of the zero client.

    If Workspaces are as hands-off as promised, and therefore require less tending by sysadmins, the move to support PCoIP could make for an attractive and well-priced desktop option.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Cloud skills certification can add zeros to your pay cheque
    Grab some letters to put after your name

    As IT recruiters collectively bemoan the dearth of cloud professionals, the doom-and-gloom predictions that cloud services would result in the death of the IT department now seem nothing short of laughable.

    The most recent research from industry body the Cloud Industry Forum suggests that cloud computing has achieved mainstream deployment in the UK, with 78 per cent of organisations adopting at least one cloud-based service.

    Large private enterprises show the highest rates of adoption at just over 80 per cent.

    the excitement over the flexibility of cloud services is being tempered by concerns over the security of cloud data storage.

    When it comes to recruiting, there is nothing like an inherent fear to drive demand for people with the requisite know-how. The result is a thriving market for certifications

    “Cloud computing is becoming very much the norm,”

    “Demand for cloud skills over the last couple of years has grown by about 20 per cent as companies look to embrace a cloud computing strategy.”

    Rumblings about a massive shortage of cloud professionals are certainly not new.

    There is no denying the proliferation of cloud certifications, and the number seems to grow exponentially as the market matures. For IT managers looking to recruit the crème de la crème, understanding the relative benefits of one certification over another can be something of a minefield.

    A company looking to spin up test and development servers will have a very different check list to one looking at alternative ways to deploy core critical applications.

    Individuals struggling to decide which certification will fill the cloud-shaped hole in their CV may take some solace from an analysis of jobs posted on the Technojobs site.

    It shows that the proportion of jobs for which cloud certifications are a prerequisite verges on the insignificant, largely due to supply and demand economics.

    “I would expect this to evolve as demand and interest in cloud computing continues to grow and employers look for greater differentiation and skill sets in candidates,”

    Employers are aggressively pursuing multi-talented workers with a mix of technology, domain, business, process and people skills.

    It can also be a unique combination of pure tech skills: for example, cloud administrators who are adept at automating the configuration and operations in a cloud environment by combining a variety of different skill sets around systems administration, virtualization, storage and network administration. It’s not about just configuring and running a server. Or cloud developers who have mastered new sets of APIs, new frameworks, and non-relational databases like NoSQL to develop elastic and scalable apps in the cloud.

    “The focus is on recent qualifications and consistent hands-on experience,”

    However, Erdle is not alone in criticising some technical cloud certifications for failing to bridge the gap between business and IT departments.

    He also believes vendor-specific certifications on their own are not enough to allow people to work across the range of different cloud environments.

    Developed in collaboration with cloud rivals such as Google, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft, Cloud Essentials sets out to demonstrate that an individual knows what cloud computing means from a business and technical perspective, as well as what is involved in moving to the cloud.

    “With cloud computing, users are getting closer to buying the business functionality they need without having to call the CIO,” Erdle adds.

    Ultimately, a solid strategic overview of cloud capabilities and in-depth technical knowledge of specific products is a killer combination, with the potential to command huge salaries.

    For individuals looking to enhance their CVs with the most sought-after skills, having a clear view of your career objectives is an obvious starting point.

    Regardless of the specifics, most experts agree that there are certain boxes that any certification should tick. In particular an element of continuing professional development recognises that technology never stands still.

    “If people take lifelong learning seriously, they are definitely the sort of people you want in your organisation,” says Thilthorpe.

    “IT professionals need to gain cloud experience in the workplace to enhance their career opportunities,”

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:
    CIO of children’s charity: Data re-org will change the giving game
    Centralised, digitised, organised – gee, thanks, IT

    There’s nothing charitable about working in the third sector. In fact, it’s extremely unforgiving, as children’s charity Merlin discovered in 2013.

    “Years ago, child sponsorship involved taking a picture of a child, writing it down and the photo was stapled to a piece of paper and posted to the sponsor,” Banbury said.

    “Now that’s all digital – we capture the data. It’s loaded onto a central server and sent as a PDF or to a central website.”

    Banbury reckons it takes an IT person to successfully deliver a giant piece of software like SAP.

    “IT people tend to run projects of scale on a regular basis, we are working with project managers who are certified, they sit there with numbers and are holding people accountable to deliverables.”

    “Financial teams in general don’t have the experience in a project like that and knowing the importance of changes that get made that could have an IT impact.”

    Also, coming from an IT background meant he could monitor the project full time rather than rely on somebody in finance who already has their day job.

    A solid foundation in finance and HR are vital for Plan.

    SuccessFactors is now Plan’s central repository for all of the data about the people in its operations. Before, that data that lived in Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and third-party payroll systems around the world.

    That was a problem. Plan has 10,499 staff but until June, when SuccessFactors was finished, it didn’t know that for sure – or what skills they possessed.

    Some will question Plan’s choice to spend millions of dollars on SAP – software common in the private sector. NFPSynergy, a consultant working with charities The Reg also spoke to, reckoned on a creaking IT structure inside most charities. Systems have grown up on an ad-hoc basic and IT has suffered as money has been allocated to charities’ core work.

    Data management – especially databases – are charities’ single biggest issue as that’s where so much of their intelligence resides.

    “Charities have started updating and have technology built into how they do business, but for the majority that’s not the case,”

    IT has to keep pace with charities’ changing approach to fundraising. “There’s been a move towards giving and living,” Madden said.

    “Charities are always trying to be innovative in fundraising because they know if they can’t bring the money in, the work stops. Charities learn from each other just like in the commercial world,” Madden said.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:
    HP Makes Real-Time Processing Real With Help From TI

    Recently, Hewlett-Packard (HP) hit a milestone by becoming the first major vendor to add a 64-bit ARM server to their portfolio. They announced two servers — one has a 64-bit ARM chip option and the other features a 32-bit ARM option. The 32-bit version includes an integrated DSP chip from Texas Instruments, and this is the option we will discuss in more detail here.

    The system, based on an integrated DSP, is designed for processing complex data in real-time. This system is ideal for applications such as big data, video, and voice analytics.

    TI’s C66x DSP core is ideal for performing real-time data analytics due to its ability to process interrupts in nanosecond time intervals, its VLIW architecture, and its C programmability. The C66x’s proven ability to process data is evident in the fact that PayPal has achieved real-time data analysis capability for its system intelligence using this DSP architecture.

    HP is using four of TI’s 66AK2Hx SoCs on the m800 server. Each 66AK2Hx processor integrates eight C66x DSP cores and four ARM Cortex-A15 cores, along with integrated accelerators, 1G/10G NIC, and Serial RapidIO (sRIO). The sRIO is connected with HP’s Moonshot’s 2D torus, while the 1G enables use of Moonshot’s star network topology.

    sRIO provides predictable low latency I/O that is 5x faster and 10x lower latency than a 1G Ethernet interface.

    At this point, the questions most likely to come up are: “What about the software?” “How do I take my scripts and run them on this machine?” And “Do I need to learn DSP programming?” Well, you may rest assured that TI and HP have worked in collaboration with Canonical to enable a software environment that is powered by Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu is enhanced with TI’s standard programming tools to enable seamless usage of 66AK2Hx SoC resources so that you can use familiar open source packages and scripts. By means of tools such as pyopencl, opencl, and openmp, you can seamlessly bridge to use DSP compute without being obliged to learn DSP programming. Also, you can use OpenMPI to take advantage of sRIO’s low latency and high speed fabric, and you can perform all of this migration while working with a familiar Ubuntu environment.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored: Things Are Improving

    For the past few years, Intel has promised that its various low-power Atom-based processors would usher in a wave of low-cost Android and Windows mobile products that could compete with ARM-based solutions. And for years, we’ve seen no more than a trickle of hardware, often with limited availability. Now, that’s finally beginning to change. Intel’s Bay Trail and Merrifield SoCs are starting to show up more in full-featured, sub-$200 devices from major brands.

    Android On Intel x86 Tablet Performance Explored

    The Acer Iconia Tab 8 we’re featuring in this article, is built around Bay Trail, which means it uses Intel’s latest 22nm Atom CPU combined with Intel’s own integrated GPU.

    What’s the experience of using a tablet running Android on x86? Pretty much like using an ARM-based Android tablet currently, and surprisingly good for any tablet in the $199 bracket or less.

    Intel has managed to push its way into the tablet market and has created a thoroughly reasonable platform. Everything I wanted to run on this device runs on it. The games I actually personally play run well. Netflix? No problem either. The 1900×1200 screen on an 8-inch device is crisp and clear. Load times and frame rates may not keep up with the highest of the high end, but they certainly do justice to a $199 device, to say nothing of Dell’s Venue 8, which starts at $179. Intel’s low-cost Android solution has definitely come of age.

    he question is whether or not Intel can build a business out of Android (and Windows) tablet solutions given that it’s currently losing over a billion dollars a quarter in “contra-revenue” tablet shipments.

    The only way for Intel to fix that problem is to ship devices that are unquestionably the best-in-class Android devices money can buy, at price points that lets the company turn even a tiny profit. Whether it can do that will be one of the great challenges of 2015. For now, it’s enough to know that devices like the Acer Iconia Tab 8 and Dell’s new Venue 8 are capable tablets at a good price and worthy competitors for the ARM-based alternatives they face in this aggressive price bracket.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Microsoft’s JavaScript Engine Gets Two-Tiered Compilation

    The Internet Explorer team at Microsoft recently detailed changes to the JavaScript engine coming in Windows 10. A significant change is the addition of a new tier in the Just-in-Time (JIT) compiler. In Windows 10, the Chakra JS engine now includes a second JIT compiler that bridges the gap between slow, interpreted code and fast, optimized code. It uses this middle-tier compiler, called Simple JIT, as a “good enough” layer that can move execution away from the interpreter quicker than the Full JIT can.

    Announcing key advances to JavaScript performance in Windows 10 Technical Preview

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Juno what’s just been released? OpenStack 10, that’s what
    1,419 contributors at 133 companies deliver 342 new features and fix 3,219 bugs

    The tenth version of OpenStack is upon us, and thanks to 1,419 contributors from 133 companies offers 342 new features and 3,219 bug fixes.

    Juno, as the new release is known, is the latest emission in the project’s planned six-monthly release cycle. The headline feature this time around is a new automated service for provisioning and managing Hadoop and Spark clusters, a tool that surely backs the many whispers reaching The Reg’s ears saying that OpenStack is being used a lot in-house, rather than by service providers.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:
    iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, eye-watering 5K iMac: Apple’s all set for Xmas!
    Crack open those wallets now, fanbois while waiting for OS X 10.10 to install

    Confirming what we had already pretty much sussed out, Apple today unveiled two new iPad models and laid out plans for a third early next year.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

    In a Q&A at LinuxCon Europe, Linux creator Linus Torvalds — no stranger to strong language and blunt opinions — acknowledged a “metric sh*#load” of interpersonal mistakes that unnecessarily antagonized others within the Linux community.

    “From a technical standpoint, no single decision has ever been that important… The problems tend to be around alienating users or developers and I’m pretty good at that. I use strong language. But again there’s not a single instance I’d like to fix. There’s a metric sh*#load of those.”

    Linus Torvalds: I Made A “Metric S—load” Of Community-Building Mistakes
    The Linux creator on the open-source environment.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:
    SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
    This time we play for ALL the marbles

    The Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) war is coming, and it will reshape the information technology landscape like nothing has since the invention of the PC itself.

    It consists of sub-wars, each important in their own right, but the game is bigger than any of them.

    We have just been through the worst of the storage wars. The networking wars are almost in full swing. The orchestration and automation wars are just beginning and the predictive analytics wars can be seen on the horizon.

    Each of these wars would be major events unto themselves. Billions upon billions of dollars will change hands. Empires will rise and startups will fall. Yet despite all of that, each of those wars is a tactical skirmish compared to the strategic – and tactical – war that is only just beginning.

    The SDI war is to be the net result of all of the sub-wars listed above, as well as several other smaller ones that are mostly irrelevant. The SDI war is the final commoditisation of servers – and entire datacenters – in one last gasp to counter the ease of use of public cloud computing and the inflated expectations brought about by the proliferation of walled garden smartphone and tablet technology.

    The SDI wars will not focus on storage, networking or compute, but on radically changing the atomic element of computing consumed. Instead of buying “a server” or “an array”, loading it with a hypervisor, then backups, monitoring, WAN acceleration and so forth, we will buy an “omni-converged” compute unit. I shall dub this an SDI block until someone comes up with better a marketing buzzword.

    The ultimate goal is that of true stateless provisioning. This would be similar to the “golden master” concept so familiar to those employing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) brought to all workloads.

    So you want a MySQL database tuned for the SDI block you are running? It will deploy a golden master from the orchestration software pre-configured and pre-tested to run optimally on that hardware. Your data and customizations are separate from the OS and the application itself. When the OS and app are updated, the image will be altered by the vendor; you simply restart the VM and you’re good to go.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Marc Andreessen: ALL Of The Biggest, Oldest Tech Companies Will Be Forced To Break Up

    Three huge tech companies have decided to split apart: first eBay, then Hewlett-Packard and Symantec.

    And this is only the beginning, predicts super investor Marc Andreessen, who was involved in two of these. He sits on the boards of eBay and HP.

    Andreessen thinks every enormous older tech company will follow suit, he told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang at the Salesforce Dreamforce Conference on Wednesday.

    “If they’re more than 20 years old, then they’ll probably benefit from being broken up, and many of them will probably be forced to break up if they don’t do it voluntarily,” he said.

    Splitting up means “having smaller, more-independent companies” that are “able to get more aggressive.”

    But there’s a second reason why so many activist investors are circling the waters. These huge companies are “all supercheap. And this is something that’s widely misunderstood, there’s a conventional view that there’s this little tech bubble,” he says, but the big companies are trading at what he says is a low price/earnings ratio.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:
    How Expensive Is Your IT Downtime? How About $1M/Hour?

    How expensive is your downtime? $1,000 an hour? $10,000 an hour? Maybe $100,000 an hour?

    In my line of work, our costs can run to $1 million per hour. That’s expensive, if you’re waiting to make the next decision by analyzing the right piece of data.

    Experience Is No Longer Enough
    The oil and gas industry has come a long way from its early image of wildcat oilmen finding new untapped oil fields on a hunch and a feeling. Those days are long gone.

    Every drop is precious, and every piece of data ever collected holds the possibilities of new discoveries. Data, big data—really big data—is the lifeblood of the energy industry.

    Data must be collected from primary sources or purchased—at times, it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to collect. But that data can tell you where the next strike will be.

    Having reliable, fast access to data—and the ability to grow the storage as we need—allows our geoscientists to make highly accurate decisions on where we can drill for oil and gas resources.

    Our Data Has No Shelf Life
    As new exploration techniques and new data analysis tools come online, old data now becomes a strategic resource.

    The Bottom Line
    To wait for data is no casual thing. At up to $1 million an hour in operational costs, a single minute of downtime waiting can cost more than $16,000.

    You have to make the right decisions on a long-term partner. Downtime and lost data are just too costly.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:
    JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

    Alex Liu is a senior UI engineer at Netflix and part of the core team leading the migration of to Node.js. He has an article at ACM’s Queue in which he describes how JavaScript is used at Netflix.

    JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface
    Conditional dependency resolution

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Apple Debuts Next-Gen Tablets, PC
    iMac, iPads are faster with sharper images

    As had been expected, Apple released updates to its iPad, PC, and operating systems during a live event today. The iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iMac, and Apple Mini may look the same, but they are powered by faster chips and with much better graphics.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook called the latest lineup the strongest the company has ever had and “something only Apple can create.” Powering the tablet lineup is Apple’s A8X silicon, its second-generation 64-bit architecture built with 3 billion transistors. True to “X” form, Apple officials say the SoC has 40% faster CPU and 2.5 time GPU performance than previous versions.

    Perhaps the most exciting features on the 6.1mm-thick iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini are improved cameras and displays.

    Apple is also catering to creative artists with a massive update to its Yosemite OS-based iMac, now with a 27-inch “Retina 5k display” featuring 5,120 x 2,880 resolution and 14.7 million pixels — seven times that of a HD television. Bajarin expects the iMac to be extremely successful, with many new games taking advantage of the graphics improvements on the A8X. The iMac runs a 3.5GHz quad-core i7, upgradeable to 4GHz i7, and a Radion R9 M290X graphics card that is upgradeable to M295X.

    Additionally, Apple rolled out a Mini Mac with a fourth-generation Intel Core, Iris and HD Graphics 5000, 802.11ac, and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Google’s Biggest Competitor… is Amazon

    Two competitors, seemingly in different businesses, now determine the future of retail.


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