Category Archives for "Network World Data Center"

Minus 8 degrees is pretty nippy for these parts

I took the above picture after dropping the kids off at school this morning.Now I understand that in places where some of you folks live a temperature reading of eight degrees below zero is called Tuesday. I do get that.However, I am also certain that this is the coldest outdoor temperature that I have ever experienced personally in my 50-plus years of living here in Massachusetts.In fact, I don’t recall anything close.The good news? It took my mind off all the snow for a few minutes. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Avaya extends SDN offerings

Avaya this week extended its SDN arsenal with an architecture and supporting products designed to simplify enterprise connectivity and application provisioning.Avaya’s SDN Fx architecture is comprised of new and existing products intended to ease the onboarding of users and devices to the network. The Fx architecture is built on Avaya’s existing Shortest Path Bridging-based fabric networking technology but also includes new offerings to extend SDN from the data center to the network edge.Those new products and features include an Open Networking Adapter, which is designed to provide a plug-n-play network connection for any device with an Ethernet port, including medical devices, manufacturing machines and branch office switches. The ONA is a card deck-sized appliance that Avaya says provisions a QoS-customized virtual path across the network and manages thousands of devices.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How to turn your old phone into a basic PC for cheap

Your old smartphone has a greater destiny than your junk drawer. Believe it or not, you can turn it into, say, a mini-PC or media streamer. Assuming it packs both USB On The Go support (OTG) and a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) compatible port, there’s a ton of additional functionality lurking under that its hood. Heck, you can even use a smartphone with a broken screen for this.Without further ado, here’s how to transform your old smartphone into the brains of an Android-powered PC.It starts with MHL ports and USB OTG support Many smartphones from companies like Google, Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony—among others—ship with MHL ports and have built-in compatibility for USB OTG as well.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IoT sensors can run at lower power with MIT chip design

As more sensors get added to the Internet of Things, power consumption can pose a problem, but researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a way to reduce the energy that such components require.The researchers have created a new circuit design that could lead to more power-efficient sensors, which are driving growth in the Internet of Things (IOT). About 1.2 billion IOT devices receive or transmit data wirelessly for alerts or analysis, and the number could grow to 5.4 billion by 2020, according to a study by Verizon.Many sensors remain idle most of the time and become active when they send or receive data. The researchers have designed a circuit for a transmitter that could reduce energy leakage by up to 100 times when a sensor is in that idle state. That could extend the battery life of sensors by many months.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Twitter speaks up for FCC net neutrality plan

With the Federal Communications Commission set to vote in three days on reclassifying broadband as public regulated utility, Twitter made its support for stronger net-neutrality rules official Monday.In a blog post laying out its case, Twitter struck the theme of free speech, but also said that an Internet that supports Web businesses without barriers imposed by ISPs is critical for the economic competitiveness of the U.S.“We need clear, enforceable, legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet remains open and continues to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. This is the heart of Twitter,” the post said. Net neutrality rules would prevent ISP from determining what content, services and applications get used and shared on the Web, it said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How Target can beat Amazon’s free shipping

Some headlines practically require a click, such as this one from Mashable: “Target undercuts Amazon on free shipping.” How do you undercut free? Is Target going to pay me for the privilege of shipping a package to my house? No, silly, you do it like this: The retail chain announced Monday that customers can qualify for free shipping on all orders of $25 or more placed through Target's website "with virtually no exclusions," down from a $50 minimum previously.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

HP deal marks milestone for open source networking hardware

If you still harbored any doubts that the web is now driving the future of IT, last week's announcement that HP will offer disaggregated products for web-scale data centers via deals with Cumulus and Accton should be enough to convince you.See also: HP latest to unbundle switch hardware, software The deal itself is hardly monumental. HP inked a pair of "partnerships that will produce a branded white box switch capable of running multiple network operating systems." And it comes on the heels of HP's deal with Foxconn last year to build inexpensive cloud computing servers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple plans two European data centers running on renewable energy

Apple plans to open two European data centers running on renewable energy in 2017, following similar moves by Google and Facebook in the region.The new data centers will host a number of Apple services for European customers, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage text messaging service, Apple Maps and Siri, its voice-controlled personal assistant. By hosting the data within the European Union, Apple could avoid the need to export EU users’ data to the U.S. or other data protection regimes, a sensitive issue as EU legislators discuss renewing the bloc’s data protection regime.Apple plans to spend a total of €1.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) on the two data centers, which will each cover around 166,000 square meters.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Startup Flex Logix aims to score big in a niche chip market

In Silicon Valley, where software startups are the rage, it’s unusual to see a new hardware company set up shop. But venture capital-backed chip design company Flex Logix has some big ideas about how to speed up a whole range of software applications and hardware.Flex Logix is establishing a business around FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), which are reconfigurable chips that can help hardware run specific applications faster. A notable FPGA user is Microsoft, which has implemented the chips in data centers to quickly deliver more relevant Bing search results.PCs and servers today run on general-purpose processors like CPUs, but FPGAs are different, with functionality defined mainly through software on the chip. Flex Logix claims it has designed a new type of FPGA, which it hopes will be used in networking, telecommunications, servers, military equipment and other hardware.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

When backup Is a disaster

Shortly after Branndon Kelley joined American Municipal Power (AMP) as CIO, the company's financial system went down.It took four days to restore the system and Kelley, who had previously consulted with state governments on business continuity issues, immediately started exploring AMP's backup and recovery strategy.He quickly discovered that there was none. No coherent plan. "We had a whole bag of tricks," Kelley says, including more than 10 different backup systems and processes. There were outdated off-the-shelf packages and hand-coded scripts--none of them documented or interconnected. There were backups of backups, and fewer than half of the backups succeeded on the first try.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Facebook, other tech firms face pressure from drivers over work conditions

Facebook and other tech companies in Silicon Valley are facing increasing pressure from its shuttle drivers to improve working conditions, amid concern about growing inequality in the area.Loop Transportation drivers, who transfer Facebook employees to and from the company’s Menlo Park, California campus, have reached an agreement with the contractor that, among other benefits, will increase their average pay to US$24.50 an hour from the current $18 an hour, International Brotherhood of Teamsters said Sunday.The agreement will have to first be submitted to Facebook for approval as the paying client. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Lenovo hit with lawsuit over Superfish snafu

Lenovo admitted to pre-loading the Superfish adware on some consumer PCs, and unhappy customers are now dragging the company to court on the matter.A proposed class-action suit was filed late last week against Lenovo and Superfish, which charges both companies with “fraudulent” business practices and of making Lenovo PCs vulnerable to malware and malicious attacks by pre-loading the adware.Plaintiff Jessica Bennett said her laptop was damaged as a result of Superfish, which was called “spyware” in court documents. She also accused Lenovo and Superfish of invading her privacy and making money by studying her Internet browsing habits.The lawsuit was filed after Lenovo admitted to pre-loading Superfish on some consumer PCs. The laptops affected by Superfish include non-ThinkPad models such as G Series, U Series, Y Series, Z Series, S Series, Flex, Miix, Yoga and E Series.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Box buys Airpost, a startup that keeps tabs on cloud app use

Box has acquired Airpost, a startup that helps enterprises detect and manage the use of cloud applications by their employees.Airpost, a two-year-old startup based in Toronto, announced the acquisition in a blog post on Friday. Box confirmed it has bought the company. Terms were not disclosed.Airpost will close operations on March 1. After that, customers won’t be able to use its product, founder and CEO Navid Nathoo said in an email message.But the concept seems sound: Airpost tells IT departments when employees start using cloud-based apps on their own and provides access controls and protections against potential vulnerabilities in those apps. The idea is to let employees keep using the apps they found and get the productivity they want, while keeping the enterprise secure.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple reportedly exposing iOS to first public open beta

wikipedia The Apple community is buzzing today over a report from 9-to-5 Mac that the iPhone and iPad maker will be holding its first public open beta for iOS next month. This would be Apple's latest effort to do away with buggy releases for its mobile operating system. Early adopters of iOS 8 ran into various troubles, as did those early to download the first updates to that OS.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Sensors and lasers will help Volvo’s self-driving cars stay on the road

A complex network of sensors, lasers and a cloud-based positioning system are part of a plan from Volvo Cars to have 100 self-driving cars on the road by 2017.Volvo’s project to put self-driving cars on the streets of Gothenburg is entering its second year. It aims to let ordinary people drive a car with an autopilot in normal traffic on public roads. On Thursday, Volvo gave some insights into the technology it will use to integrate self-driving cars into real traffic.“The key to success is combining sensors, computers and a chassis system in a clever way,” said Erik Coelingh, a technical specialist at Volvo.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple, Japan Display said to discuss new iPhone screen plant

Apple is in talks with iPhone screen maker Japan Display that could result in the construction of a new screen factory in Japan, Japanese media reported Friday.Apple would take on most of the ¥200 billion (US$1.6 billion) investment for the factory in Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan, according to reports in Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun and Jiji Press, which did not name any sources.The plant in Hakusan City could begin operations in 2016, producing LCD panels for Apple and other manufacturers. But Apple is also in talks with other suppliers including Foxconn, and the situation is fluid, the reports said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

You broke the network. Do you confess?

Today we’re taking a deep look into mindset of the network professional – his or her soul -- when it comes to breaking something and owning up to the mistake … or not.Posted to Reddit’s section that is devoted to networking: “Have you ever accidentally broken something then fixed it immediately to find your colleagues praising your skills even though it (was) your lack of skills? How do you react?”The inquisitor answers his own question: “Generally speaking I've always let the peasants (end users) think I'm a wizard while I tell my boss what actually happened. What have you guys done in similar situations?”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How to remove the dangerous Superfish adware preinstalled on Lenovo PCs

Lenovo’s been caught going a bit too far in its quest for bloatware money, and the results have put its users at risk. The company has been preloading Superfish, a "visual search" tool that includes adware that fakes the encryption certificates for every HTTPS-protected site you visit, on its PCs since at least the middle of 2014. Essentially, the software conducts a man-in-the-middle attack to fill the websites you visit with ads, and leaves you vulnerable to hackers in its wake.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Free security tools you should try You can read all the sordid details here. This article is dedicated to helping you discover whether your Lenovo PC is infected with Superfish, and how to eradicate it if you are.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

9 futuristic display technologies

9 far-out future display technologiesImage by Pawel GaulFor decades, there was exactly one way to look at electronically displayed text and images: the cathode ray tube. This hardworking, stalwart technology was the display of choice for everything, from radar systems in the 1940s all the way to desktop PCs in the 1990s, with millions of heavy, fragile cabinet TVs in between.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How machine learning ate Microsoft

At the Strata big data conference yesterday, Microsoft let the world know its Azure Machine Learning offering was generally available to developers. This may come as a surprise. Microsoft? Isn't machine learning the province of Google or Facebook or innumerable hot startups?In truth, Microsoft has quietly built up its machine learning expertise over decades, transforming academic discoveries into product functionality along the way. Not many businesses can match Microsoft's deep bench of talent.[ See what hardware, software, development tools, and cloud services came out on top in the InfoWorld 2015 Technology of the Year Awards. | Download the entire list of winners in the handy Technology of the Year PDF. | Stay up on key Microsoft technologies with InfoWorld's Microsoft newsletter. ] Machine learning -- getting a system to teach itself from lots of data rather than simply following preset rules -- actually powers the Microsoft software you use everyday. Machine learning has infiltrated Microsoft products from Bing to Office to Windows 8 to Xbox games. Its flashiest vehicle may be the futuristic Skype Translator, which handles two-way voice conversations in different languages.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here