IBM Does the Monster Mash(up)
At its yearly Lotusphere conference this week, IBM showed off its Web 2.0 chops
by demonstrating an early version of a tool
called Lotus Mashups
. The upcoming tool is designed so that average business
people, as opposed to corporate and third-party developers, can quickly cobble
together Web-based applications. Mashups will let users smoothly stitch together
data contained in enterprise applications and the Web. The product makes use
of a browser-based tool along with a set of pre-built widgets in order to display
As an example, IBM said company executives could piece together a mashup that
could combine weather information with a retail management system that could
then adjust inventories based on project weather patterns.
While the resulting Web applications are low-end and may not have a long lifespan,
IBM executives believe the tool represents a major business opportunity for
the Lotus collaboration software division. IBM plans to use the QEDWiki technology
-- created two years ago by its Emerging Technology group -- with Lotus Mashups,
although it will be a separate commercial offering. According to company officials
at the conference, the finished version of Lotus Mashups should be available
by the middle of this year.
Startup's Clustered File System Works with Citrix
Sanbolic Inc., a startup
developer of software that helps simplify SAN storage, has announced that its
Melio 2008 and LaScala 2008 products have been certified for use with Citrix's
line of Provisioning Server products. While this announcement might not sound
like a big deal, it's interesting that Sanbolic possesses a clustered file system
that both Microsoft and Citrix don't have and might be very interested in taking
a look at. Even more interesting is that archrival VMware does possess such
Clustered file systems are central to enabling live migration, which is the
ability to move an active virtual server from one physical server to another
without interrupting the application running on it. This is not easy work; it
took VMware seven years to build its own. But with this certification, now Citrix
has one. The Sanbolic technology already works with Microsoft's servers.
In a Citrix PVS installation, a company official explained, Sanbolic's software
would allow the configuration database, the virtualized images -- called vDisks
-- and target device write caches to be stored on a shared volume on SAN storage.
This would enable I/O requests to be load-balanced, as well as permit servers
and desktops provisioned using PVS to operate normally even if a physical server
running PVS were to fail.
Essentially, Sanbolic's products support Windows applications which benefit
from the central administration of a large virtual storage pool accessed by
multiple physical or virtual servers. It can offer concurrent shared read and
write access to a shared file system from multiple servers.
Sanbolic officials said they will be showing off a number of solutions involving
its products working with those of Citrix at the Citrix Summit in Orlando on
Jan. 28 to 30.
Vista Finally Shows Signs of Life
Results from CDW's third and final Windows
Vista Tracking Poll show the beleaguered operating system finally gaining
some traction among business users.
After one year on the market, poll results show that 48 percent of respondents
say their organization is using or evaluating Windows Vista. That's up from
the 29 percent reported last February, and dramatically up from the 12 percent
reported in the first poll on October 2006.
More importantly, actual Windows Vista adoption has also substantially increased.
Among those who said they're evaluating or using it, some 35 percent said they're
in some stage of migrating to Vista. That's up from last year's from 12 percent.
According to the poll, 13 percent of the implementations are complete, with
another 33 percent scheduled for completion by May of this year.
Surprisingly, almost 50 percent of those evaluating and implementing Vista
rate its performance against the promise of important features and benefits
as "above expectations." The highest ratings were given to the improvements
Microsoft has made in security, performance, productivity and search/organization.
Respondents also said they were less concerned about Vista's hardware requirements,
compared to the results in the February 2007 survey; only 27 percent said that
hardware requirements were "excessive," down from 37 percent.
There was still more good news for Redmond. The poll also showed a significant
increase in Office 2007 adoption, with 24 percent of respondents saying they've
upgraded to the latest version. That's up from just 6 percent in the 2007 poll.
Another 23 percent said they plan to upgrade to Office 2007, and the vast majority
of these say they'll do so by the end of 2008.
The survey can be obtained here.
Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.