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Tony Lock

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Security in the clouds - or clouds in security?

‘Cloud Computing’ is the marketing term of the moment, despite lacking a formal definition (this is what we came up with), Undoubtedly, many organisations are looking to source certain IT services from across the internet. While such capabilities may be initiated as standalone, they frequently move on to be used in combination …
Tony Lock, 25 Mar 2009
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The eroding enterprise boundary

Businesses today function effectively only when the organisation supports effective collaboration between its staff and external parties, wherever they may be situated. Such is the nature of routine operations that they depend on complex interactions between people and their supporting IT systems that spread far beyond the IT …
Tony Lock, 12 Mar 2009
graph up

What are the security threats?

"Security", as the first article in this series points out, can always be found near the top of the list of concerns of every IT manager and IT director. Unfortunately the same subject can also manage to not quite make it onto the more important list of things to do something about now. Over the years, a diverse array of …
Tony Lock, 25 Feb 2009

Taking note of notebooks

Few organisations today have exempted themselves from the rapid increase in the use of mobile computing tools, be they laptops, netbooks or handheld devices. There is no doubt that their use can deliver tangible business benefits. Equally, they can help employees better tailor their work-life balance, which is to their benefit …
Tony Lock, 17 Feb 2009
DVD it in many colours

You did what? The trials of supporting remote users

Reg Reader Workshop IT support, as we know, is that job function in the technical ecosystem that takes the flack for any problem affecting a user. These can range from the straightforward if annoying forgotten password requests and slightly cryptic ‘my-laptop-isn't-working-anymore’ complaints, through to the more serious ‘accidentally deleted’ …
Tony Lock, 10 Feb 2009
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Is IT stuck with cloud busting budget structures?

Comment Freeform Dynamics A lot of noise is currently being generated around Cloud Computing and flexible IT infrastructures based on virtualised platforms. There is no doubt that the technologies to be found at the heart of these types of solutions have matured considerably over the course of the last couple of years. However, both …
Tony Lock, 18 Sep 2008

Got a supercomputer in the closet?

When we think of supercomputing we think of water-cooled Crays and Deep Thought, but features that once used to be reserved for lab-coated researchers are today often found in the most unexpected of places. However, such compute-intensive systems can be elusive, disguised as rendering engines or batch processing servers hidden …
Tony Lock, 10 Dec 2007
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Why do we think virtualization is new?

Opinion There are very many different communities involved in IT, ranging from those on the sharp-end user side of things to the many more engaged in the vendor and channel. Plus, of course, several different groups, including analysts like myself, that sit somewhere between the two. As with life everywhere else, all of these different …
Tony Lock, 08 Nov 2007
For Sale sign detail

Is the mainstream ready for SaaS?

Comment In the world of IT, we are constantly debating the latest trends and developments. Usually, although granted unsurprisingly, these deliberations revolve almost exclusively around the features of a particular technology, more often than not taking the form of "is technology/solution XYZ ready for adoption by mainstream customers …
Tony Lock, 26 Apr 2007
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Vendors oversell Business Intelligence (now there's a surprise)

Reg Reader Workshop The BI jargon mini-poll results are in and they make interesting reading, with lessons in there for both vendors and IT departments. Over eighty per cent of those who gave us their feedback believe that vendor marketing material is often too idealistic and generating unrealistic expectations amongst business users (Figure 1 …
Tony Lock, 13 Apr 2007
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Are BI vendors creating unrealistic expectations?

Reg reader workshop Earlier this week on the current Reg Workshop discussion it was posited that all too often marketing people appear to be in control of the vocabulary used in relation to Business Intelligence (BI). We went on to say that much of the language seems to be targeted at motivating senior managers and "business decision makers" on …
Tony Lock, 11 Apr 2007
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Arming techies with business nous

My colleague Joyce Becknell and I recently had a very interesting conversation with Martin Griss, dean of education at Carnegie Mellon College in Silicon Valley. Over the last few years the school has launched a number of programmes designed to develop new management skills in experienced IT professionals, including a Masters …
Tony Lock, 20 Mar 2007

Oracle pays $3.3bn for Hyperion

Comment Last week, Oracle, one of the industry giants, announced that it has agreed to buy Hyperion Solutions Corporation, by no means a small ISV, for $52 per share - thereby valuing the acquisition at approximately $3.3bn. Hyperion is a supplier of specialist performance management software solutions, a space that is growing in …
Tony Lock, 07 Mar 2007

IBM snaps up Consul

IBM recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Consul Risk Management Inc, a privately held software company headquartered in the Netherlands and with a US base in Virginia. Consul was founded in 1989 and currently has 89 staff in Europe and the US. The company specialises in supplying compliance and …
Tony Lock, 18 Dec 2006

Vendors support VMware consolidated backup

Earlier this year VMware announced the release of VMware Infrastructure 3 Enterprise Edition, the company's flagship virtualization software for x86 architecture platforms. Among the new features in the release, perhaps the most interesting is VMware Consolidated Backup. This week VMware announced that many of the leading …
Tony Lock, 09 Oct 2006
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Proofpoint and VMware team up for messaging security

Comment Recently, Proofpoint Inc released the Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway Virtual Edition, an enterprise-scale virtual appliance that provides messaging security. The new solution utilises VMware's virtual appliance technology to allow simple deployment to provision new Proofpoint Virtual appliances very quickly in response …
Tony Lock, 03 Oct 2006
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IBM beefs up storage portfolio

IBM recently released details of enhancements covering a huge swath of its storage platforms, including enhanced disk solutions for organisations ranging from SMBs to large enterprises, as well as a data retention system, and a new warranty offering for the IBM System Storage DS6000 series. Two new top-of-line models, the IBM …
Tony Lock, 11 Sep 2006
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IBM buys MRO Software

Comment IBM has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire MRO Software Inc. The all-cash deal will see IBM pay $25.80 per share, valuing the acquisition at approximately $740m. As is ever the case in such circumstances, the acquisition is subject to the usual raft of shareholder and regulatory approval and closing …
Tony Lock, 21 Aug 2006
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IBM acquires BuildForge

IBM has announced it has acquired BuildForge Inc, a privately held software company based in Texas. As is now the rule for such acquisitions, no financial details of the deal were revealed. BuildForge specialises in software tools that help automate the build-and-release processes associated with application development and …
Tony Lock, 09 Jun 2006
Cat 5 cable

z9 BC: A mainframe for the mid tier

IBM recently announced details of the IBM System z9 BC. The new platform is designed with all of the key characteristics with which the mainframe is deservedly associated: namely reliability, security, availability, and flexible virtualisation. In addition, it provides a new entry point and greatly increased upwards growth …
Tony Lock, 26 May 2006
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Is VoIP ready for business?

Voice communications delivered using IP (VoIP) networks is currently something of a phenomenon. The use of VoIP is rapidly becoming almost as common an occurrence as accessing the internet. This trend, which originally started with individuals employing the technology to communicate without incurring telephone charges, is now …
Tony Lock, 07 Apr 2006
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Giving birth to a new breed of SLA

There has been much discussion over the last few years in IT concerning service management and service level management. Much of the dialogue has centred on creating SLAs (Service Level Agreements). In organisations large and small, a multitude of SLAs have been introduced between IT and its customers. It is fair to say that …
Tony Lock, 31 Mar 2006
SGI logo hardware close-up

Altiris releases desktop software virtualisation

Comment As companies go, Altiris has managed to garner huge recognition over the course of the last few years as a supplier of the management tools that today are essential to administer much of the distributed IT infrastructure. Perhaps best known for its Asset, Change Management and Software Deployment solutions the company has …
Tony Lock, 27 Mar 2006

Mainframe system z9 zIIP to launch this year

When the mainframe first began to be used in business it quickly became the platform on which many business applications were run. It has managed to maintain its place at the heart of mission critical systems and last week's announcement of new developments by IBM will ensure that not only will the System z9 platform maintain …
Tony Lock, 01 Feb 2006
For Sale sign detail launches software financing market

Comment Traditionally organisations have "bought" the software they use, although the range of licensing options available can be enough to confuse anyone. However, on both sides of the IT world (vendor and customer), surprisingly little attention has been given to acquiring the right to use software on a "subscription" basis rather …
Tony Lock, 30 Jan 2006

CA lights up storage with iLumin capture

Analysis This week Computer Associates strengthened its already robust storage management offerings with the acquisition of iLumin, a privately held supplier of enterprise message management and archiving tools. The move will add extra functionality to CA's existing line of storage management offerings, particularly in the rapidly …
Tony Lock, 20 Oct 2005
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Project Gizmo challenges Skype

IP Telephony is on the brink of becoming mainstream in both the business sector and for "personal" communications. Indeed, when it comes to "personal" usage — by which I mean a small number of people talking together using relatively simple systems rather than corporate solutions — IP telephony has already made an impressive …
Tony Lock, 05 Jul 2005

EMC Invista provokes technology race

There is rarely a dull day in the wild and madly exciting world of storage and storage management. Those bygone days, when talking (or writing) about storage systems would fill most people’s minds with dread and thoughts of sleep, are well and truly behind us. Well, almost. Last week witnessed EMC, one of the industry’s giants, …
Tony Lock, 25 May 2005
fingers pointing at man

Multi-tier 'virtual' development is go

Comment There has been a lot of interest in virtual desktop systems over the last couple of years. It is worth recognising that, until recently, usage of such virtual workstation software has usually been limited to those with relatively well-developed IT skills. However, recent developments are opening up the potential use of such …
Tony Lock, 10 May 2005
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Licence models: time for change

Comment IT systems have developed with nearly unbelievable speed over the last twenty years - at least at a technological level. However, some factors have not kept pace and need to change. The way in which software is licensed demands root and branch alterations. The majority of the licensing models in use today date back two decades …
Tony Lock, 04 May 2005

Fujitsu Siemens unveils PRIMEQUEST

Some companies have a knack for generating headlines, whilst others go about their business with an astonishing lack of noise but with an abundance of quality. Over the years, Fujitsu Siemens has quietly managed to build itself a reputation for constructing excellent Enterprise servers, particularly with the PRIMEPOWER Sparc64 …
Tony Lock, 19 Apr 2005

On Novell and Tally

Comment In recent years Novell has quietly built up its ZENworks systems management capabilities. Last week, the company made public another significant advance in ZENworks when it announced that a definitive agreement to acquire Tally Systems Corp. The significance of this moVe should not be underestimated. Tally Systems is one of …
Tony Lock, 30 Mar 2005

EMC: making storage simple for

Opinion Over the last few years, storage has risen through the fog that has traditionally obscured much data centre activity. Indeed, today, storage management has such prominence and visibility that it is now seen to be a major focus of corporate attention. In fact, there are few organisations where storage management is not seen to be …
Tony Lock, 23 Mar 2005
SGI logo hardware close-up

Business goes mad for storage

On the whole, surveys do not often provide "scientific data" but sometimes they can throw up some interesting observations on differing trends and how ready the world is to follow up on new developments. With this in mind, it is worthwhile taking a look at the results of a small survey performed by Nemertes Research at the …
Tony Lock, 18 Feb 2005
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Is Linux security a myth?

Comment There are rare occasions in IT when a particular architecture reaches a point where it stops being purely IT driven and takes on a life of its own. The last year has seen the open source movement reach such a cult status; and at the vanguard of open source fashion can be found the Linux operating system. While the platform …
Tony Lock, 16 Feb 2005

NetApp's storage virtualisation evolves

Product development in the storage management market shows no signs of slowing down. Within this large domain, storage virtualisation continues to hold its position at the leading edge of advancement. Last month saw one of the leading suppliers of storage solutions, Network Appliance (NetApp), give details of its vision of the …
Tony Lock, 07 Dec 2004
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MOM grows up as DSI takes off

It is fair to say that for the first decade or more of its existence, Microsoft paid comparatively little attention to the manageability of its increasingly diverse range of offerings. Indeed, as the company's products grew in their capabilities they became ever more widely deployed in almost every area of business. However, …
Tony Lock, 01 Dec 2004
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People want to pay by phone

In a very short space of time mobile phones have become nearly ubiquitous in many societies around the globe. As the ratio of the number of cell phones per head of population moves towards one, the network operators are keen to uncover new methods of extracting money from their subscribers, in both the contract and prepay …
Tony Lock, 18 Nov 2004
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Novell rolls out Linux Desktop 9

Novell Inc. has just announced details of its latest Linux offering for desktop computers. The software is to be known as the Novell Linux Desktop 9, hopefully to be shortened to NLD 9, and will be the first "Novell branded" Linux desktop offering supplied by the company following its acquisitions last year of open source …
Tony Lock, 10 Nov 2004
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Business frets over wireless security

There is no question that a number of the new mobile solutions that are being developed could help many business processes function more efficiently. The results of a recent survey, carried out at an executive briefing held by IT consulting services and solutions provider C&C Technology, sheds some light onto the perceived …
Tony Lock, 01 Nov 2004

IBM advances in storage arms race

If there is one certainty today in the wonderful world of Information Technology it is that competition between vendors in almost all areas is still fierce. This is especially so in the area of storage platforms where a relatively small number of vendors dominate, at least in a marketing sense, the market. Last week witnessed …
Tony Lock, 22 Oct 2004

StorageTek seizes Storability

A week or two ago witnessed yet another consolidation in the storage sector when StorageTek bought Storability to further strengthen its information lifecycle management (ILM) offerings. In a transaction for which the financial details were not revealed, StorageTek purchased the assets of Storability Software. StorageTek has …
Tony Lock, 11 Oct 2004

CA intros usage pricing for mainframes

It has been a busy few days at Computer Associates (CA) as the company first announced the acquisition of Netegrity and has now released details of a new licensing schema for its large portfolio of mainframe software. CA has actively promoted its FlexSelect licensing scheme for nearly two years. FlexSelect is designed to supply …
Tony Lock, 08 Oct 2004
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Cisco snaffles P-Cube

Summer used to be the time of year when business slowed down from its usual frenetic pace and a degree of calm settled over organisations. This year has been somewhat different and a few days ago Cisco, one of the most widely recognised IT suppliers, agreed to splash out some $200m to acquire P-Cube. P-Cube Inc. is a privately …
Tony Lock, 27 Aug 2004

IBM SVC - real-world storage virtualisation

Storage is an area that has been the subject of much attention over the last few years with the areas of storage management and virtualisation grabbing much of the attention. However, within the sweeping torrents of hype and exaggeration there are to be found some genuine nuggets of potential value. One such pearl could well …
Tony Lock, 09 Aug 2004

Help the Aged Data

ILM, or Information Lifecycle Management as it likes to be known formally, is employed in the areas of storage and storage management. At heart ILM is the management of tiered storage to provide cost effective, robust management of data as it ages. And it is becoming an increasingly popular TLA (three letter acronym). Why? As …
Tony Lock, 13 Jul 2004
Cat 5 cable

Rumours of Tape's death exaggerated

Despite long running rumours of the death of tape, solutions of various formats are employed, almost universally, somewhere in the routine, but vitally important, task of the backup or archiving of data. Tape systems continue to evolve; while their position in the data protection chain may be altering, tape technology still has …
Tony Lock, 08 Jul 2004

In the chair: VMware's Ed Bugnion

Interview The following is an interview with Ed Bugnion, CTO and Co-founder of VMware, conducted by It offers an insight into VMware past, present and future: IT-Director.Com: What did you do prior to joining VMware? Ed Bugnion: "Before I started with VMware I was a Ph.D student at Stanford University working on a …
Tony Lock, 07 Jul 2004

Dunes manages the heterogeneous virtual machine

In the largest server sector of all, namely those operating on Intel and AMD based processors, the virtualisation of computers has become something of a fashion tidal wave with vendors such as VMware, the major server suppliers and even Microsoft all actively promoting the benefits of this approach to computing. Into this heady …
Tony Lock, 05 Jul 2004

Sun sparks server tie up with Fujitsu

Last week Sun Microsystems released details of more than 30 technology innovations at its Network Computer 04 event in Shanghai. These included a second release of the Sun Java Desktop System, and a preview of the new Solaris 10 Operating System. In addition, the company announced details of new storage software, systems and …
Tony Lock, 11 Jun 2004