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Intergence all about expertise in IT optimization!

October 23, 2013 Comments off

Intergence is a consulting organisation specialising in network, application, and process optimisation. It provides consulting services to align IT to your business strategy; resourcing to provide highly skilled expertise and managed services to deliver challenging IT projects on time and to budget.

Peter Job

Peter Job

Utilising a unique combination of world class expertise, industry-leading methodology and unique tools, Intergence has a clear and common purpose – to allow clients to extract more value from their existing assets, whilst delivering a first-class service.

Peter Job, CEO, Intergence, said that Intergence is all about expertise in IT optimization. This is about extracting more value. “One key challenges we found was that we were on the second or third generation structure. It is about of our expertise. We operate on three areas – IT optimization, managed sourcing and managed services around managing applications.

“One of the challenges we are addressing are addressng the end user themselves. They have fast and quicker access to applications. We have launced two new products at Gitex – AppFire – allows you to look at the LAN and WAN and the application itself.

“The AppFlare – gives the ability to monitor applications running across the Internet. We place software agents and they report how apps are running.

“We also do lots of managed sourcing – building infrastructure. We are able to mobilise and get a team of experts to come and build the IT team and build the infrastructure. The third is infrastructure. We are looking at cloud, security, etc.

“We are from the UK, and our business is growing at 35 percent. We moved to Dubai in 2008.This is our fifth Gitex. It can be any medium- or large-enterprise, public sector organization.

“The geography is UK and Europe, as well as the GCC countries. We have plans to go to Africa in the future.

The expertise of Intergence is IT optimization. Enterprises can use the AppFlare to make their infrastructure run more efficiently.

This year’s show is the best according to Intergence. You are always going to see security issues. More people are offering cloud services.

Some trends in 2014 include:
* BYoD will become mainstream.
* IT departments will have to become business centers.
* As for the cloud market, by 2016, 60-70 percent of businesses will have hybrid cloud. Lot of companies are looking at software-defined networks.
* Cloud analytics will go up by two to three years. People can actually see their data, and take informed decisions.

Gitex 2013: All about Big Data and cloud

October 20, 2013 Comments off

Its been warm and sunny in Dubai, UAE, host to the Gitex Technology Week 2013, at the Dubai World Trade Center. Opening today, the show is literally the live wire for the Middle East technology roadmap.

Well, it seems that this show is all about the Big Data and cloud. On Oct. 21st, there is the Cloud Confex, where enterprises can learn how they can achieve the benefits of transformation. Are the CIOs and the businesses really prepared for Big Data? You can find that out by attending the session on Big Data on Oct. 22nd. There is the digital strategies day as well, on Oct. 23rd, where enterprises can find out more about how to integrate mobile and social media into their business models. This session should help you understand what customers or users do online, and more importantly, why they do that!

There are said to be 1,500 or so exhibitors at Gitex 2013. My attention was drawn to the gsmExchange, said to be the global trading platform for mobile phone wholesale since 2000. You can buy or sell mobiles phones as well as refurbished mobile phones at this portal. You can also buy and sell mobile phone accessories as well. Kaspersky Lab has a large booth, catering to the Internet security and mobile security products. Cisco is showcasing its intelligent network  products portfolio.

Elsewhere, there’s news about Datawind, and its low-cost phablet for the Indian market at Rs. 6,999 (taxes extra). Cyberoam is showcasing the next generation firewall (NGFW) and its enterprise security offerings. TP-LINK has launched its flagship 802.11ac wireless router, which is providing up to 1750Mbps of wireless bandwidth and set to change the way we look at home networking.

Olivetti is presenting innovative solutions and products whose features will be of particular interest to banks and post offices, such as the revolutionary MB-2 ADF, an all-in-one product for bank front offices that combines specialised printer functions with those of an A4 scanner, a cheque reader and allows the automatic multi-page documents feed thanks to the ADF. It is also displaying the Oliscan A600, a duplex colour scanner, the M206 and M210 multiservice terminals, and so on.

I saw a booth from Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), which is showcasing the park’s hi-tech ecosystem. Five years ago, when I was in Dubai, the director had informed me that the DSOA was large enough to fit in eight wafer fabs! Where are those fabs, dear sirs? Does it seem that the focus has shifted from fabs to providing incentives and state-of-the-art infrastructure to technology companies looking to set up shop in Dubai? We will try and find out, time permitting.

There is a strong presence of the local government, with large booths showcasing their wares. The Dubai Smart Government has introduced several new applications, such as the mobile gateway app – mDubai, mPay app, HR self-service app, MyID and iProc mobile app, and the suggestions and complaints app. Great work!

There are large booths mostly, especially from Etisalat, the Middle East’s leading telecommunications operator and one of the largest corporations in the six Arab countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council, Intel, which is showcasing its enterprise solutions, and Huawei, which is targeting the data centers, as well as enterprises.

There will be more updates tomorrow, as I’ve to rush for a meeting.

WhipTail’s SSD addresses bottlenecks beyond HDD capabilities!

January 30, 2012 Comments off

Recently, WhipTail, maker of high-performance, cost-effective solid-state storage arrays, landed AMD as a customer, as well as a Series B round of funding.  It announced that AMD’s System Optimization Engineering Department has replaced 480 15K spinning drives with WhipTail’s solid-state storage arrays. The move will help eliminate slow response times associated with traditional storage arrays.

Problem WhipTail solves!
The key question is: How are flash storage arrays changing enterprises?WhipTail addresses this question from the angle, “what problem does WhipTail’s technology solve?” According to Dan Crain, CEO of WhipTail, there is a unique problem in the storage industry right now. Hard disk drives (HDDs) are completely overprovisioned and have outlived their practicality for high performance applications.

Rather than fix the real problem (need for better performance), CIOs keep throwing money into hard disks, which have reached their capacity and cannot compete with the performance levels of solid state drives (SDDs). WhipTail has found a unique way to address the bottlenecks that have evolved beyond HDD capabilities.

WhipTail’s XLR8r (Note: this name will be changing in Q1) is comprised of an array ofSSDs, which are considered the next generation of data storage.  Unlike traditional HDDs, the SSDs do not include spinning disks and are built fromfewer parts. Compared to an HDD, the SSD promises incredible increases in performance (nearly 30x faster), a dramatically lower total cost of ownership and an increased durability.

The XLR8r is the world’s first and most widely deployed all-flash enterprise class storage array.  It leverages the advantages of SSD to solve three critical issues that face WhipTail’s customer base: performance, endurance and price.

Performance: The XLR8r delivers a read performance of 200,000 I/O per second and a write performance of 250,000 I/O per second, with 0.1 ms latency.

Endurance: Characteristic to SSDs, the XLR8r is inherently more reliable than an HDD because it has no moving parts. To increase the operational longevity of the device, the XLR8r uses wear-leveling technologies that are embedded on the drivers. These technologies evenly distribute data across all of the available storage space during write operations, eliminating the constant re-use of cells in your storage device. The XLR8r has a lifetime greater than seven years.

Price: WhipTail’s product has one of the most attainable prices in terms of investment for IT purchasers. The key to this price is that WhipTail uses multi-level cell (MLC), which is traditionally less expensive than single-level cell (SLC). While less expensive, MLC has historically also been less durable, but WhipTail found a way to extend the life of their MLC, allowing them to sell their product at an extremely attainable price. Read more…

Categories: CIOs, Enterprises, SSDs, WhipTail

CIOs unfurl newer efficiencies out of IT operations

January 25, 2012 Comments off

How can today’s CIOs be able to unfurl newer efficiencies out of their respective IT operations? At the same time, how can they, present solutions that can also empower their businesses even as the businesses work toward achieving their organizational goals? The answer, perhaps, lies in infrastructure optimization!

IT spends are said to be increasing and in line with the overall aim of accelerating a company’s business performance. Balance between innovation and maintenance is said to be critical for the effective functioning of IT.

According to Greg Crider, senior director of technology product marketing at Oracle, IT leaders need to embrace an alternative model for optimizing data center performance that eliminates much of the time and cost associated with integrating, tuning, and maintaining complex multi-tiered environments.

“IT leaders need to know that they have choices other than integrating these pieces themselves or paying a service partner to do some of the integration. Oracle, for instance, has thousands of examples of how to squeeze cost and complexity out of IT infrastructures by doing optimization projects at each layer,” he says.

There is typically said to be a huge difference between one, installing a system and, two, having it production ready. Why? Ask any IT manager at any company, in case you do not believe this!

Crider says: “Many organizations just don’t have expertise in every dimension of a complex architecture. So, they have to rely on outside resources or make do with default configurations that don’t take into account everything else that is going on.

“Fortunately, many important business processes are now available as optimized end-to-end solutions based on open standards.  Enterprises are beginning to realize that they can deploy customized, secure, high performance applications without taking on all the cost of integration, tuning and maintenance.”

IT leaders also need to embrace an alternative model for optimizing data center performance that eliminates much of the time and cost associated with integrating, tuning, and maintaining complex multi-tiered environments.

Driving a sustainable, future-focused transformation across an IT infrastructure is a layered process that requires the IT leaders to optimize the entire spectrum of their data center hardware and software operations. This includes servers, databases, middleware and business process management software, and so on.

Standardization, virtualization, consolidation, and rock solid cloud orchestration (management) capabilities are necessary steps organizations work on to improve the application lifecycle management process, as per Mike Palmeter, director of product management with Oracle.

“Many companies have started down the virtualization path, and have even consolidated some of the tier 2 and 3 workloads, but many still have yet to best determine how to standardize, what to standardize upon, and how to best manage all these disparate applications and workloads,” he says.

“These are key considerations especially as companies start moving mission critical workloads to a shared infrastructure. Furthermore, availability, data and app mobility, as well as performance become paramount as applications are moved from dedicated silos to a shared infrastructure.”

With the automation components that are inherently part of a properly deployed private cloud, IT administrators can install complex applications, without going through all of the traditional configuration steps. As IT leaders look to get out from under the complexities, the benefits of highly integrated and engineered solutions get strikingly clear.

IT optimization and database consolidation!

December 12, 2011 Comments off

How does an organization kick-start its transformation and achieve an optimized data center ready for the future? Does an organization adopt a futuristic, focused program to achieve immediate wins?

There is a need for CIOs to formulate a winning, if not, a workable strategy! In a white paper titled: “Planning for Tomorrow’s Data Center through Strategic Infrastructure Optimization”, Greg Crider, senior director of technology product marketing at Oracle, recommends companies to take a look at their existing IT infrastructure and explore the strongest business needs. The companies can also find out where where its possible to realize immediate business benefits.

For instance, a shared database platform allows IT to get the elasticity they need so they can move resources where the demand is greatest. Standard configurations mean fewer moving parts, which means faster provisioning, notes Willie Hardie VP of database product marketing, Oracle, in the same white paper.

A quick poll on challenges of database consolidation within an organization, done in the same white paper, is interesting. At least 55 percent feel that IT resources are focused on managing the existing systems. However, 41 percent say there is no IT budget to embark on the consolidation project.

According to Crider, IT leaders need to embrace an alternative model, optimized from end-to-end by taking advantage of collective expertise and experiences throughout deployment.

Organizations also face a number of challenges, such as IT resources focused on managing existing systems, limited IT budgets to embark on consolidation projects, and running the risk of compromising enterprise information security. Hence, there is a need for database consolidation.

Benefits of database consolidation
The benefits of database consolidation are huge. According to a survey, 74 percent say it reduces IT costs, while 67 percent say it reduces complexity in the data center. It was found that 29 percent had already consolidated some or all of the databases, and 22 percent had started the process.

Private cloud computing is about consolidation, standardization and rationalization of the hardware, storage and software portfolio,” explains Hardie. As IT leaders move toward transforming data centers, a well-planned database consolidation strategy can help drive toward sustainable success. Similarly, application consolidation also plays a key role in helping IT leaders establish and support manageable environments capable of transforming data centers better prepared for an uncertain future.

Considering the potential benefits associated with application consolidation and optimization, it’s easy to understand why IT leaders are serious about embracing well-crafted plans as a key component of their data center transformation. Of course, IT leaders need to arm themselves with the right tools to overcome the potential obstacles head-on.

Specifically, it’s crucial to start by gaining an understanding of the potential challenges, developing a strategic plan, establishing a well defined end goal, securing senior support early in the process and staying determined throughout the process. That’s the surest route to an optimized infrastructure and a data center designed for the future.

Standardization, virtualization, consolidation, and cloud orchestration capabilities are necessary steps for organizations as they work to improve the application lifecycle management process, explains Mike Palmeter, director of product management with Oracle. IT leaders are starting to realize that even though they could create a list and build a system with the best-of-breed components, there is still a need to account for system efficiency.

LogMeIn resolving IT challenges due to enterprise mobility!

November 29, 2011 2 comments

Anil Sharma, sales director, LogMeIn, India.

Anil Sharma, sales director, LogMeIn, India.

LogMeIn Inc., a provider of cloud services for data and devices, recently opened an office in Bangalore, India. Thanks to Mamata Sampath, I had a brief discussion with Anil Sharma, sales director, LogMeIn, India. LogMeIn provides cloud-based remote access, support and collaboration solutions to quickly, simply and securely connect millions of Internet-enabled devices across the globe — computers, smartphones, iPad and Android tablets, and digital displays. For instance, LogMeIn is working to resolve several IT challenges due to enterprise mobility.

First, I asked him about the challenges before enterprises due to the increasing mobile workforce. He said that mobility has become more complex for enterprises, and particularly for multinationals that need to manage the mobility of their staff across many countries. It has been observed that enterprise mobility is the biggest single trend across the tech industry investment, even outpacing the cloud computing trend. The increasing importance of the space is reflected in robust market traction predictions for India as well.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the enterprise mobility market in India was worth about Rs. 346 crore in FY2008-09 and is estimated to reach Rs 1,880 crore by FY 2015-16. Growth rates for the enterprise mobility market in India are estimated to be among the highest in the Asia region. There are simply more users with more devices using more applications.

In addition there has been a blurring of the boundaries between business and personal usage, and many IT managers struggle to enforce company policies while employees demand more consumer-like devices and applications. Their need for support in managing this complexity and cost has never been greater.

Some of the IT challenges faced due to enterprise mobility are: Securing information systems, integrating technologies, supporting devices, containing costs , controlling personal use, training users, justifying investments and limiting use.

When it comes to managing enterprise mobility, it has been noticed that the devices like tablets and smartphones are becoming “access” devices and enterprises are still figuring out how to best ensure data is neither lost nor accessed by unauthorized persons. Enforcing password policies and employing capabilities that allow IT helpdesk to remotely lock a lost or stolen device are musts.

Further, keeping data behind a firewall on the network (where it can be backed up regularly) helps ensure its integrity.  Software like LogMeIn’s remote access solution, Ignition, enables users maintain the high level of mobility that they have become accustom to and get access to the data on the corporate network via their tablet or smartphone, without actually downloading or storing that data on the device itself. Read more…

Cisco’s borderless networks architecture help enterprises overcome security challenges

November 15, 2011 1 comment

Thanks to Riyanka Khanna at Text100, New Delhi, I managed to get into conversation with Bipin Kumar Amin, principle consultant, Borderless Networks – Security, Cisco. I started by asking him about the security challenges currently faced by enterprises.

Bipin Kumar Amin, principle Consultant, Borderless Networks – Security, Cisco.

Bipin Kumar Amin, Cisco.

Security challenges faced by enterprises
He said: “Indian network security market is growing consistently as organizations increasingly realize the importance of securing their data against external and internal threats. The advent of 3G in India has opened up new roads for technologies and applications owing to the greater bandwidth available, as well as faster data transfer. As data becomes more pervasive, privacy and security becomes the important concerns for the enterprises. Consequently, there has been no let-down in IT security spending because CIOs realize that without ensuring the security of their vital data, it’s not possible to expand business.

“The traditional network and physical perimeter is no longer the only border where information must be defended. Collaboration, IT consumerization, mobility, and new computing technologies are increasing productivity while presenting new security requirements.

“BYOD is a new phenomenon, which every enterprise is witnessing and has to deal with the management and security the data on mobile devices, whether they are owned by an enterprise or user. There is greater pressure on IT to meet the demands of a dynamic workforce-both in terms of service delivery and security challenges. New solutions are needed to protect borderless networks and to help further improve business efficiencies in the mean time.”

As for the trends in security, he added: “There are three major trends sweeping through the enterprise: rapid rise of the consumerized endpoint, onset of virtualization and cloud computing, and c) growing use of high-definition video conferencing. Each one of these critical technologies is transforming business—and forcing a fundamental shift in how security is developed and deployed.”

Borderless network architecture
So, the obvious question: what is borderless network architecture?  How is Cisco’s borderless networks architecture enabling enterprises to overcome security challenges?

Amin said: “The challenges CIOs face today, from a business or technology perspective, is very different from what their predecessors have faced.  Technologies such as collaboration, cloud computing, and web applications promote productivity for an increasingly distributed workforce. These technologies need to be employed within an organization to provide employees with the flexibility that they have come to expect. However they pose new security challenges for CIOs. Cisco Secure Borderless Networks promote workforce-enabling technologies while protecting company data, resources, and staff.” Read more…

Categories: CIOs, Cisco, Enterprises, Security
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