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Manek Dubash

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Volvo/Ricardo Project Sartre public test

Honk if the car in front is connected

Feature Connecting cars to the internet and to each other seems to be inevitable, whether or not you approve - and plenty don’t. Let’s face it, though, everything else is connecting to the internet, so why not your favourite drive? By 2017, according to ABI Research, a market watcher, some 50 million connected cars will be sold every …
Manek Dubash, 06 Mar 2013
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Windows security begins at the desktop

The risks of desktop computing are now well known. They stem from the growth in financially motivated malware, which aims to steal from the user or from the user's employer. Malware does this through viruses, worms and Trojans carried by emails, infected websites and so on. However, the tools to combat such attacks are now …
Manek Dubash, 07 Jul 2011
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Virtualised desktops: provisioning done the MS way

A virtualised desktop offers huge advantages, both to the user and to the IT department. For anyone using a laptop at home or on the move, the experience is the same and everything is exactly as when they left it. What they see is the image of a desktop running in a virtual machine on a server in the data centre. Users log onto …
Manek Dubash, 06 Jul 2011
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Burnish your blacklists to patrol internet access

Desktop What makes PCs so popular is the range of software you can run on them. But, as always, with great power comes great responsibility. And one of the first decisions you need to make about your desktop estate is who you give the power to. Some users may well benefit from full admin privileges, given the range of "revolutionary" …
Manek Dubash, 05 Jul 2011
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Virtualisation lets the applications roll

Desktop Virtualisation can ease desktop application deployment in a variety of ways. It separates the application not just from the underlying hardware but also from the operating system. It means, for example, that you can run applications – or several copies of the same application – side by side in separate virtualised spaces without …
Manek Dubash, 01 Jul 2011

Brush up your virtualisation skills

Virtualisation has expanded its remit since back in the 1960s, when only the white-coated acolytes tending the IBM mainframe in an air-conditioned hall needed to know anything about it. Today, it is everywhere, and it would be a blinkered IT staffer who failed to recognise the importance of the technology to his or her role. …
Manek Dubash, 01 Jul 2011
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Tablets for work: time for a clean slate?

There's a revolution going on in the enterprise, driven - usually - by the Apple iPad. Tablets are becoming increasingly visible at work but are they business tools or toys? Can they bring benefits to the business or are they just a security hole? Before tablets, we saw laptops with rotating screens that could be converted into …
Manek Dubash, 28 Jun 2011
SGI logo hardware close-up

Wiltshire Council on its Windows 7 roll-out

Case study Amalgamation of four separate authorities, 270 offices that needed to be reduced into four hubs and 70 outlying offices, and many constraints including a host of governmental regulations, were among the challenges facing Wiltshire Council as it planned to roll out Microsoft Windows 7, which was at the core of its workplace …
Manek Dubash, 27 Jun 2011

Unlock the secrets of data encryption

Encrypting your backup data always sounds like a good idea. It protects data and appears to be cost-free. So what's not to like? In practice, it isn't always a good idea, it doesn't always protect your data and it is not free. There is a time and a place to deploy encryption, but it needs planning and thought. The walls have …
Manek Dubash, 23 Jun 2011

Blade servers 101

How are blade servers different from their rack-mounted counterparts? The blade server trend started about ten years ago when RLX launched its system of servers built into a chassis that slotted into standard 19-inch racks. The idea is that you can install a blade server or any other type of device that would fit into a server …
Manek Dubash, 22 Jun 2011
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Easing the pain of applications delivery

Desktop Application virtualisation separates the application not just from the underlying hardware but also from the operating system. That means, for example, that you can run applications side by side in separate virtualised spaces without fear of clashes between them or with the operating system. Application virtualisation is …
Manek Dubash, 30 May 2011
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A bit about Bitlocker

Encryption is the staple weapon of the security business. As old as war itself, it scrambles data to conceal it from those not meant to see it. It sounds simple but nothing is simple about encryption, as the mathematical geniuses at Bletchley Park knew. That said, a modern, well-managed encryption system can protect desktop …
Manek Dubash, 27 May 2011
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Is the IT Dept failing users?

Desktop The number of tools the enterprise can deploy to enhance productivity is huge. And even if the tools are generally simple to use, they are also mind-bogglingly complex under the skin. Balls in the air Each tool, including the desktop PC, has to interact with all the others securely, quickly and seamlessly. It is such a a …
Manek Dubash, 25 May 2011
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Herding cats: mobile device management for sales teams

Desktop Connectivity and security are the keys to maintaining an efficient mobile sales force - while managing an explosion in the diversity of devices in use. The biggest productivity killer is when the sales person needs access - only to find that the link is broken somewhere along the line. Yet connectivity is not entirely in the …
Manek Dubash, 23 May 2011
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So many users, so many devices, so many problems

Mobile users are different to the home worker and they're all different to a branch worker, so how do you find out what they need and give it to them effectively. Finding out what end users want from their desktop and comparing it to what you think they need can be a sobering experience. Performance, fast access to data and the …
Manek Dubash, 17 May 2011

What’s with WAN optimisation?

The data centre is no longer alone. It's not a facility that occasionally releases data sporadically, on special occasions for particular jobs. As IT functions become increasingly centralised within the data centre, it's hammered constantly for both input and output by all parts of the business. This has huge ramifications for …
Manek Dubash, 11 May 2011
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Mother of all Win 7 rollouts: Microsoft eats own dog food

Desktop Globally, 190,000 Microsoft users received an OS upgrade recently from Microsoft Vista to Windows 7. It was a large and complex roll-out - but it certainly wasn't the logistical nightmare you might imagine, nor was it a heavily locked down, centrally managed operation. This is the story of how it happened for Microsoft's users …
Manek Dubash, 19 Apr 2011
Cat 5 cable

Servers, networks and storage sold as monoblocs

Building a data centre has traditionally been a long process, with one of the major tasks being to equip it with computing devices. Specifying these, testing the various configurations and ensuring that they meet the specifications and perform the required tasks is time-consuming. It was a lot easier in the days of the mainframe …
Manek Dubash, 16 Apr 2011
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Wading through the software licensing minefield

Desktop Efficient licence management is crucial for a number of reasons, but they boil down to two: cost containment and legality. According to an IDC survey on software pricing and licensing, conducted in 2010, almost all the respondents believed that some of their software licence expenditure went on either under-used or unused …
Manek Dubash, 15 Apr 2011
Cat 5 cable

Best practices in virtualisation

Getting IT aligned with the business's needs and strategies is probably one of the toughest elements of any IT manager's job - yet remains among the most essential, right up there with keeping the lights on. It's about ensuring that IT delivers a return on investment, demonstrates its business value, provides continuous …
Manek Dubash, 14 Apr 2011

Air cooled data centres are hot!

Air cooling in the automotive world has practically disappeared, with the last major hold-out - Porsche - having moved to water-cooling its cars' engines more than 10 years ago in order to reduce emissions. Data centres are moving in the opposite direction but for precisely the same reason: they're big carbon emitters, with …
Manek Dubash, 12 Apr 2011
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Desktop options today

Dtop Strategy Tomorrow's desktop is mobile. It's a phone, a smart device of some sort, a laptop - and there will of course be some fixed PCs in there too. But enterprises already need to cater for an increasing proportion of mobile workers, and that proportion is set to grow. The challenge is not just how to deliver enterprise-level services …
Manek Dubash, 22 Mar 2011

Power and cooling in the data centre

Power and cooling are the critical services demanded of a data centre facility, yet diagnosing problems and fixing them while keeping the infrastructure running can be surprisingly difficult. Yet they've never been more important as virtualisation increases the concentration of critical resources in the data centre. For example …
Manek Dubash, 16 Mar 2011
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Network mapping: you know it makes sense

Workshop Keeping track of your network infrastructure is crucial to maintaining control, because you can’t expect to manage it without an understanding of what you have And since a picture is worth a thousand words, keeping a live map of the network makes it easier to see what’s going on when faults are detected or when change planning …
Manek Dubash, 15 Mar 2011
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The 64-bit question

Desktop Strategy There's no question: 64-bit computing is here to stay - and it seems set to be the future of computing. But is it an essential element of your next desktop refresh cycle? Chances are it will be. The struggle to reach a stable 32-bit platform may have escaped you but it took many years before we were finally rid of slow 16- …
Manek Dubash, 15 Mar 2011

How do you find the skills needed in the virtualised data centre?

Datacentre Staffing the constantly churning world of the data centre is becoming increasingly tricky. Not only is the technology moving fast, but many key IT workers are reaching retirement age. When they leave, decades of experience leaves with them, a problem that looms large among the concerns of many CIOs, according to Symantec’s …
Manek Dubash, 11 Mar 2011
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The desktop lifecycle: How long is it anyway?

Desktop Strategy It's a recession so do you look to squeeze an extra year out of the desktop. How and is it wise to do this? How long is the lifecycle anyway? Once the desktop PC had successfully colonised the office, it became clear that they would need replacing regularly to keep up software and hardware developments. Hardware has become more …
Manek Dubash, 10 Mar 2011

The job of a server is...

Workshop At its most basic, the job of a server is to process incoming data and turn it into something more useful, thereby adding value. For example, a web server will accept a request for a web page when you click on a link, search for the page and, if found, bundle up the text and images, and squirt them back the to the requester. …
Manek Dubash, 01 Mar 2011

Are you crying out for virtualised storage tiering?

You can virtualise pretty much any technology these days, so the thinking goes, and that includes storage. This means hiding what's going on behind a virtualisation layer - including tiering. But why tier? Remember the old equation that you can have any two out of faster-cheaper-better but not all three? It's no secret that the …
Manek Dubash, 15 Feb 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Why is virtualisation important?

Datacentre Lower costs are the basic attraction of all enterprise technologies, and virtualisation promises that in spades. In particular, it reduces hardware maintenance costs via what is now a fairly simple process of packaging physical servers up and hosting several of them on one large server. The technology can also lower energy bills …
Manek Dubash, 09 Feb 2011

Getting your virtual hands dirty with virtual networking

We're all familiar with the concept of a virtual server. However, when planning and implementing a virtualisation project, it's not just the servers that can be and should be virtualised – it's the network too. Among the first differences that you'll notice when setting up a virtual machine (VM) is the network setup. Naturally, …
Manek Dubash, 07 Feb 2011

SAN vs NAS: Spelling out the differences

The names almost give away the difference between network attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SANs): you would expect a NAS to consist just of storage and a SAN to be a network, and that is true – up to a point. Designed to be easy to manage, a NAS is fundamentally a bunch of disks, usually arranged in a Raid and …
Manek Dubash, 03 Feb 2011
DVD it in many colours

And here's how a datacentre network works...

The job of a datacentre network is to connect the equipment inside to the outside world, and to connect the internal systems to each other. It needs to be secure, high performance and operate with an eye on energy consumption, with a guiding principle of minimising device numbers and costs, so you end up with a system that can …
Manek Dubash, 12 Jan 2011

What's in your datacentre?

At the fifty-thousand foot level, a datacentre is nothing more than a box in which IT assets are stored. While it gets more complicated, if you want a quick overview of what's in a datacentre, this is the place to look. Broadly speaking, the job of the IT equipment in a datacentre is to accept incoming data, such as a request …
Manek Dubash, 10 Jan 2011

The optimised datacentre

If you're a datacentre manager then you know just how tough it gets. Whether the customer is a small business down the road or a large enterprise halfway across the globe, whether you work for a service provider or in an in-house datacentre, it all amounts to one thing: an unsquareable circle. On the one hand, everybody wants …
Manek Dubash, 07 Jan 2011
For Sale sign detail

Stratus makes $50,000 zero downtime promise

Fault-tolerant server company Stratus is betting real money that its latest range of servers running VMware will never fail - for at least six months. The company is backing its words with action: it has issued a promise that new and existing Stratus users will experience no unplanned downtime with its new top-of-the-range 2.93 …
Manek Dubash, 30 Jun 2010
Apple Maiden data center server

Is running a datacentre just like running a kitchen?

Analysis Cooling a datacentre the wrong way is like cooling a hot kitchen by opening the fridge door: it makes more sense to open a window and pump fresh air in. That's the view of Bladeroom boss Paul Rogers, whose CV includes designing industrial kitchens. He and engineering partner Red Engineering Design ended up building what's …
Manek Dubash, 17 Jun 2010
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Guy Kewney: Integrity in socks and sandals

Obituary Guy Kewney was the UK's first technology journalist and remained the doyen of the trade until the end. Born in South Africa in 1946, in the 1960s Guy quit the apartheid regime for the UK. After rattling around in a number of jobs, including programming and writing advertising copy, in the 1970s he eventually found his permanent …
Manek Dubash, 12 Apr 2010