Love it or hate it, Microsoft is a company that brings out strong emotions in just about every IT professional. With 2011 about to end, it is time for our picks of some of smartest moves this powerful software company made this year - and some of the moves we'd say were not so bright.
Stories by Julie Bort
Pirated software saves its users in developing countries more than US$2.9 billion annually. So finds a study of manufacturers in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific commissioned by Microsoft.
As computational power rises exponentially, not linearly, so does the rate of change -- and that means the next 10 years should pack in far more technological change than the last 10.
Most people in the IT industry are sure that enterprise <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/supp/2009/ndc3/051809-cloud-faq.html">cloud computing</a> usage will double in the next two years. But they also feel that IT professionals will not be displaced from their enterprise jobs because of the cloud.
RFID use is growing along with the analytics that makes sense of all the data. But there are still questions about the cost of tags with some users keeping them for high-ticket items only.
As grid computing enters more enterprise environments, the buzz over the technology's potential never ceases. Once grids are installed, network executives find them useful for a far wider variety of applications than just computationally heavy ones. They also work well for applications that have high transactional volumes or are data intensive. And after sending those apps to the grid, it dawns on these early adopters that what they have is a giant, powerful -- and comparatively inexpensive -- next-generation generic application server.
"We have more than 700 nodes on our grid. Grid is our virtual application server that includes Windows, Linux and Solaris/Sun applications. We do have [dedicated] application servers, but our basic plan is to use the grid to provide a very viable alternative to expensive Sun platform boxes," says Robert Ortega, vice president of architecture and engineering for Wachovia, in Charlotte, N.C.
One of Oracle's crown jewels -- a state-of-the-art data center in Austin, Texas -- recently earned recognition as Data Center of the Year in an award program cosponsored by AFCOM, a group of data center professionals, and Network World. And no wonder. The 3-year-old facility houses an impressive array of new data center technologies, protected by James Bond-like security systems. The Austin data center, which originated as part of a worldwide effort to consolidate internal IT infrastructure and shave operational expenses, has become the heart of Oracle's On Demand software-as-a-service outsourcing initiative. The data center also supports a variety of internal business applications. Signature Series Executive Editor Julie Bort recently spoke with David Thompson, CIO of global IT, and Mitchell McGovern, vice president of global data center operations, to discuss the data center.
Why did Oracle build the Austin data center?
FRAMINGHAM (09/22/2003) - Spam, the four-letter word of the virtual world, seems to be on everyone's lips these days, from rank-and-file workers to Congress and the British Parliament. The buzz occurs with good reason: Spam has leapt from a minor, annoying byproduct of e-mail to an epic business problem. Unsolicited e-mails are growing at a rate of 5 percent per month, according to a Kessler International survey. That means thousands of unwanted e-mails per week,often totaling 75 percent of the messages an enterprise e-mail gateway must process - while clogging downstream wires and servers, users say.
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