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IBM’s Mainframe Costs Bring Third Party Companies Out Of The Woodwork

ibmsWith processors, where there is typically only one unit to several dozen DASD devices, the ‘spare’ unit approach was not practical so IBM did not need to provide three years warranty to exclude competition. Instead it just made its processors less able to be ‘cannibalized’ by including many processors and items such as memory and channels on a single board that cannot be dismantled (although taken to extremes as with the zSeries, this has hurt IBM itself as noted in previous articles).

As a result the third party maintainer disappeared, leaving IBM able to increase maintenance charges almost at will. And surprise surprise, the IBM mainframe processor maintenance cost did increase in this era. Over the years the maintenance price of a processor has varied in line with market influences and processor design. For example, in the era of the ECL processor a third party maintainer …

Smoothing Helpdesk Issues Is A Tough Task

helpdeskThe whole idea of your personal data not being on a local machine also allows companies to facilitate hot-desking. It’s your PC image that is familiar to you, not your own PC, he argues. Not that all his clients agree.


“When people think of helpdesk products they think of call handling systems like Remedy’s Action Request System. I’m sure it’s a good call handler, and I’m sure it’s easy to install and use and everything, but in the end it just logs your calls. It doesn’t fix the problem.

That’s why Chadwick insists he’s in a different business and calls what he does IT service management. “We try to automate all the low grade operating tasks that use up the help desk operative’s time.

“In lots of systems we’ve built there is a call center 150 miles away from the desk that calls in. …

Looking For PowerEdge Help

dell-svrI have a computer. In fact, in my house alone, I have two desktops and two laptops. I also have three tablets in my home and two smartphones. I no longer use the camera I was given as a gift five years ago and I also don’t use the camcorder I was given three years ago. All the pictures I take are done through my smartphone and I generally share them with friends and family across the country instantly. I back up my files through an external hard drive or I store my pictures on the cloud. My laptop is four years old and I need to replace it. My smartphone is two years old and is showing signs of needing replacement. It’s fair to say that most technological devices don’t age very well. Science is always advancing and the world is moving so quickly that most devices are obsolete six months after they’re made available on the market.

This is a point of concern at all levels. If we talk about computers alone for a moment it’s very rare to have a desktop that doesn’t need replacing last for more than four-five years. In order to keep up with the demand of employees and clients many businesses have servers that allow information to be easily accessible from almost any location and allow multiple people to access and change the same document at the same time. I could create a document and upload it to my server where a co-worker on the other side of the world could access and edit it in seconds. Servers make that possible so when they fail, it can be detrimental to business everywhere.

Many employers will use the Dell PowerEdge servers in their businesses. PowerEdge drives can work with Windows and Linux programming which is really beneficial. Dell is a very well-known company and many businesses exclusively use Dell computers. It only makes sense that people will use the Dell PowerEdge hard drives to make up their servers. Most servers exist as a RAID configuration which involves mirroring and striping information from one hard drive to several others. There are a lot of different options out there for RAID but the RAID 5 or RAID 10 tends to be the most common. The problem comes when one of the hard drives suffers a physical or logistical failure. This can impact the entire server set up and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

When looking for a company to help you with your recovery you want to make sure you are using a data recovery company that has experience with Dell PowerEdge servers. There are scads of recovery companies out there and while they claim they are familiar with all set ups not everyone is familiar with these servers. Read more »

Bristol Myers Squibb Struggled With Early Server Adoption

bristolmyersThe collection of servers owned by BMS has grown almost too quickly to think about how best to support it, with about 80% of these servers driving applications on the intranet.

“We’ve been managing our W2K servers manually ourselves, standalone, with no specialist tools. That means our administrators are connecting to every server separately to make entry updates. An admin might have as many as 200 servers that he’s involved in managing,” explains McGlinchey.

There’s probably a sense of pride coming through his voice as he points out that Garmer Group suggests a ratio of between 50 and 75 servers per administrator, while he claims he’s operating more in the 100 to 150 range. “Every server has primary and secondary support, so it works out that each admin might be making changes to up to 200 servers.”

Each unique internal customer had permissions through a separate

Outsourcing Continues To Be An Imperfect Solution

ocsEven when there was breathing space to work on a new project, as in all companies, there were the constraints of the skills available in a small pool of people–SMEs consultantly have to prioritize their requirements according to the skills available since they cannot usually hire additional people for one specialist skill or one project. This is where services that offer flexibility of resources, delivered as required by the business rather than at a constant and often wasted level, are increasingly appealing to smaller companies as well as large ones.

The attraction of the OCS approach for Argyll was this flexibility. Under the terms of OCS outsourcing, resources can be spread between short term support services and more strategic developments, and these can be reallocated frequently as business needs change and to cope with peaks and troughs in IT requirement. Group CEO of OCS, Maurice Aroesti, …

Sprint Still Struggles With CDMA Conversion

cdmacSprint believes companies that currently use leased lines or microwave for back-up and redundancy will be attracted by a low cost CDMA-based alternative.

“We have applied wired processes to our CDMA network to provide a local access alternative,” said Gavin Throckmorton, group manager of product marketing for Sprint’s business solution division.

Devices to support direct or back-up backhaul data transmission will be priced between $250 and $400 and will also work on the slower CDMA 1x network. There are two back-up plans beginning at $19 per month for 5Mb of data transmission and a $1 per megabyte overage charge, or $40 for 40Mb, which is similar to what Sprint charges for access to its 1x and EV-DO networks. The primary plans tier up to 1Gb of data transmission for $240 per month.

Both primary and back-up plans include 90-day trials that customers can use to monitor …

HIPAA And Identity Management Offers Learning Opportunities

hipaaAs standards such as those from the Liberty Alliance mature, it will become increasingly easy to exchange data among different organizations and systems, using different products–vital for efficient monitoring and referral of patients among different healthcare providers, and support for cost effective and streamlined treatment programs.

The main challenges for a healthcare provider in terms of identity management are:

* Ensuring that every user is strongly authenticated, and is granted access to only those resources and information that they are authorized to access.

* Protecting the confidentiality of patient information, and ensuring that it is kept private.

* Auditing access policies, to determine who has been granted access to specific applications or information.

* Creating workflow processes so that appropriate management approval is required whenever a user requests access to confidential information.

* Ensuring that access to confidential information is terminated immediately when an employee leaves …

SAP And PeopleSoft – A Strange Meeting

sapOne of the biggest moments of the recent Oracle-Department of Justice trial, surrounding the database giant’s proposed hostile bid for PeopleSoft, was the revelation that all even bigger merger in the world of enterprise software had been–albeit briefly–on the cards: that of Microsoft and SAP. The news that the two companies had been in talks was used to indicate the consolidatory trend in the ERP sector and to argue that only very large groups would have a chance of long term competitiveness–hence a justification for Oracle’s bid. However, it also threw into the limelight the market leader, the German company that had, until then, remained relatively quiet on the whole Oracle-PeopleSoft saga, but looked set to be the main short term beneficiary, whichever way the courts and shareholders decided.

Assuming that uncertainty over the future of their product and supplier would deter current or would-be PeopleSoft …

End User Issues Can Seem Hopeless, But Winners Never Quit

windowsxpYour better team players are desperate to get to the bottom of an end user problem, but it becomes like a scene from the latest Hercule Poirot novel, trying to detect just which part of your infrastructure or application suite is the problem. A lot of companies are going through this right now in their upgrades to Microsoft’s XP Service Pack 2 and application complexity is going up in a web services world.

That’s when Oren Modai, VP operations for Identify, says that everyone wishes they had his product, which he describes as a “black box”, like a flight recorder for .Net and J2EE applications.

“At the moment finding out what caused a software problem is an unstructured process, which usually involves someone coming out to the end user department and saying, ‘Can I have your server,’ and taking the entire application, along with its hardware, …

RedHat Continues To Fight The Good Fight

redhatThe arrival of Charles Peters as CFO of RedHat, just four weeks before the end of the quarter address, ended up being huge. Peters hails from Burlington Industries, an international fabrics company that was sold last year just as it came out of Chapter XI. He is described as a seasoned professional with experience in international finance and had stints at Price Waterhouse, GenRad and Boston Edison.

With the cash and the advisors in place, CEO Szulik has been fast to move, and has followed up Red Hat’s December acquisition of Sistina Software by buying some of the key assets from the corpse of Netscape this week, which were held by the AOL segment of Time Warner.

Red Hat has agreed to pay $20.5m in cash to buy effectively two pieces of software that came out of Netscape’s Enterprise Solutions business, its Directory Server and its …