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Category Archives for "Network World Data Center"

Google, Aopen’s new Chrome desktops targeted at digital signage

Google’s Chromebooks are popular in educational institutions, but the company is now looking at digital signage as the next big market for Chrome OS computers.The company has partnered with Aopen to develop a rugged Chromebox mini-desktop and two Chromebase all-in-ones designed to dynamically display information and advertisements.Google has been targeting the commercial market for a while. Chrome desktops are being tuned for videoconferencing and for use in classrooms. However, Google’s Chromeboxes haven’t found much adoption as desktops, and Chromebases have largely failed as all-in-ones. They could get a new lease of life in the digital signage market.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Facebook’s Open Compute Project starts to crack networking

The Open Compute Project says it has broken tight bonds between hardware and software that have kept networking closed for decades—and it took less than two years.Switches and routers traditionally have been “black boxes” with hardware and software from the same vendor and no way for others with new ideas to modify them. Networking is like Unix servers 15 years ago, with proprietary hardware and OSes ruling the day, said Omar Baldonado, Facebook’s manager of infrastructure software engineering. An OCP effort that began in May 2013 has now opened that world up a little bit, he told the OCP Summit in San Jose on Tuesday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

New Chrome app puts Act-On’s marketing automation tools front and center for SMBs

Few would dispute marketing automation’s potential to benefit corporate marketing efforts, but with all the many and varied tools out there, keeping campaigns coordinated and cohesive can be difficult.With such challenges in mind, Act-On Software on Wednesday launched Act-On Anywhere, an application that makes the engagement data, assets and functionality of the company’s SaaS platform available from anywhere within the browser.An explosion of stand-alone tools has created a marketing climate in which fragmentation is a major problem, said Act-On, which targets SMBs with its platform. In fact, a full 83 percent of marketers cite fragmented systems as one of their most troublesome challenges, according to a study the company recently conducted with Gleanster Research.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Google picks London for its first shop-within-a-shop

Google has opened its first shop-within-a-shop in London, yet another retail experiment by the company, which already has counters in third-party stores.The London shop is located inside the Currys PC World store on Tottenham Court Road, and it features Google’s Nexus devices, Chromebooks and other products. Currys PC World is the biggest consumer electronics retailer in the UK.Google’s shop is not a full blown retail outlet like Apple’s huge and sophisticated stores, but more of a modest test balloon for the search giant. It builds on dedicated areas Google has already in big electronics stores.Although not very big, the shop is prominently located by the entrance of the Currys store, so it’s impossible to miss. Shoppers can test and buy Google’s Android phones and tablets as well as Android Wear smartwatches and Chromebook laptops from partners such as LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, HP and Asus.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple stores redefining mall economics

If you’ve visited an Apple store at your local mall the chances are good that you’ve visited a crowded Apple store at your local mall.And, not surprisingly, those crowds don’t necessarily get right back into their cars after buying their iWhatevers. They do more shopping. In fact, an Apple store alone can boost overall mall sales by 10%, says one research firm, and Apple is using that clout to its advantage.From a Wall Street Journal report: In the past, malls typically operated according to a straightforward bargain. Department stores that anchored the ends of the malls either owned their own stores or paid almost nothing aside from fees to maintain common spaces in exchange for drawing much of the traffic, while specialty retailers in the smaller spaces between the anchors typically paid the bulk of a mall’s rent.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Opening up at OCP Summit

Lots of networking activity at this week’s Open Compute Project Summit as vendors develop specifications designed to further abstract the dependencies of hardware and software.Dell submitted to OCP a Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) designed to enable a common language between vendor network operating systems and switch silicon. The submission is currently under review and Dell expects acceptance.SAI is an API to express switch abstractions. With it, third-party developers can build applications to help customers tailor their network equipment to meet certain infrastructure requirements, Dell says.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Facebook’s ‘Wedge’ network switch will soon be on sale to all

A network switch that Facebook designed for its own data centers will soon be on sale from Taiwanese manufacturer Accton Technologies, the latest sign of progress from the community hardware effort known as the Open Compute Project.Facebook set up the OCP about four years ago as a way for data center operators to collaborate on new hardware designs that they can then ask low-cost manufacturers to produce. Part of the goal is to get cheaper, more standardized hardware than what’s normally supplied by top-tier vendors like Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.Facebook is already using the top-of-rack switch, known as Wedge, in its own data centers, and it will be available to others in the first half from Accton and its OEM partners, said Jay Parikh, head of Facebook’s infrastructure division. Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks will provide software for it, and Facebook has put some of its own network software on Github for companies that want to “roll their own.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Google CFO Patrick Pichette to retire

Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer, is retiring, the company said Tuesday.The exact date of his retirement is not yet known nor is his replacement, though Google expects to have a new CFO within the next six months, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Pichette, who has worked as Google’s finance chief for nearly seven years, informed the company of his decision last week, the filing said.He cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the reason behind his decision, in a Google+ post on Tuesday. Specifically, leaving Google will give him more time to travel with his wife, he said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Six things to know about the USB 3.1 port in the new MacBook

Apple is challenging laptop users to adapt to fewer ports with the bold design of its new 12-inch MacBook, which has just one USB 3.1 port and a headphone jack. Apple laid out a similar challenge with its first MacBook Air in early 2008, which had just one USB 2.0 port to connect peripherals and a micro-DVI port to connect monitors.But the faster USB 3.1 port is significant because it will also be used to recharge the MacBook, as well as to connect to a wider variety of peripherals such as monitors, external storage drives, printers and cameras. The MacBook is one of just a few devices to carry the new USB port.USB 3.1 can technically transfer data between the host computers and peripherals at maximum speeds of up to 10Gbps (bits per second), which is two times faster than the current USB 3.0. The USB 3.1 port in the new MacBook will initially transfer data at 5Gbps, but expect that number to go up as the technology develops. There’s also excitement around the MacBook’s USB Type-C cable, which is the same on both ends so users can flip cables and not Continue reading

Top distributed computing projects still hard at work fighting the world’s worst health issues

This past fall saw the worst Ebola outbreak ever ravage western Africa, and while medical researchers are trying to find a drug to treat or prevent the disease, the process is long and complicated. That's because you don't just snap your fingers and produce a drug with a virus like Ebola. What's needed is a massive amount of trial and error to find chemical compounds that can bind with the proteins in the virus and inhibit replication. In labs, it can take years or decades.Thanks to thousands of strangers, Ebola researchers are getting the help and computing power they need to shave off the time needed to find new drugs by a few years.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: 26 crazy and scary things the TSA has found on travelers Distributed computing is not a new concept, but as it is constituted today, it's an idea born of the Internet. Contributors download a small app that runs in the background and uses spare PC compute cycles to perform a certain process.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

HP creates new server line for cloud computing

As more computing moves to cloud-based data centers, Hewlett-Packard is moving there, too.HP said today that it is creating a server family aimed specifically at building systems for cloud providers.This is being done as part of a joint venture with Foxconn, a partnership announced last year to create cloud-optimized servers. HP has been building servers with the Taipei-based electronics maker over the last year, but is now giving a name to its server line: Cloudline. It has also announced several server products.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

HP embraces open hardware designs with Cloudline servers

Hewlett-Packard is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Microsoft in embracing open hardware designs with its new low-cost Cloudline servers.Cloudline servers are no-frills cloud servers that break away from proprietary technology HP uses in its popular Proliant servers. The servers are HP’s first based on industry standard specifications defined by the Open Compute Project, which was founded by Facebook in 2012, and Open Networking Foundation, which was formed in 2011.The use of low-cost, bare-bones servers is growing among Internet service providers like Google and Facebook, which are looking for a cheap and efficient ways to upgrade hardware in data centers. Cloudline gives HP a chance to pursue that customer base, said John Gromala, senior director of hyperscale product management.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple to raise drivers’ wages, after demands to share its wealth

Apple has decided to increase hourly wages by about 25 percent and offer other perks for its contract drivers in the Bay Area, in response to demands from workers in the area for better terms.The move comes ahead of the company’s shareholder meeting on Tuesday, which civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson is attending, according to his Rainbow Push Coalition.Jackson, who has backed the demands of contract workers, is also likely to press Apple to outline its plans to employ more women, blacks and Latinos in its tech and general staff. This has been a long standing demand of the leader who has previously attended shareholder meetings of other tech companies including Hewlett-Packard.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Adobe extends its Marketing Cloud to IoT and beyond

Adobe’s Marketing Cloud has offered enterprises a tool for integrated online marketing and Web analytics for several years already, but on Tuesday the company announced numerous new extensions to the technology.Among the products unveiled at the Adobe Summit going on in Salt Lake City this week are new marketing tools designed with the Internet of Things in mind.A feature called Adobe Experience Manager Screens, for example, aims to help brands extend interactive content including images, 3D interactive models, video and more to physical locations such as retail stores, hotels and even devices like vending machines.A new IoT software development kit, meanwhile, lets brands measure and analyze consumer engagement across connected devices, while new Intelligent Location capabilities allow companies to tap GPS and iBeacon data to optimize their physical brand presence.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

US Census online by 2020? Not so fast

The US Census Bureau has designs on bringing the 2020 census online but while that might sound like a good idea, there are many challenges that need to be addressed.That’s according to the Government Accountability Office which in a report out today said that to successfully offer the Internet as public response option the Census Bureau needs to, among other things, design and develop an Internet response application, develop and acquire the IT infrastructure to support the large volume of data processing and storage.The idea is a good one. The GAO stated that the Census Bureau has determined an Internet response option offers several benefits for the 2020 census, including the added convenience for households in an increasingly Internet-enabled population to respond to the survey; better quality data, which could reduce the amount of follow-up that is needed for surveys with incomplete or inconsistent data; and less printing, postage, and processing of paper questionnaires.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

13 weird and wonderful sights at PAX East 2015

PAX East 2015! I mean, right?!For a festival set up by a couple guys who have a popular gaming-focused webcomic, PAX (the Penny Arcade Expo) sure has grown fast. Started in 2004 in Seattle, PAX is now a group of four annual festivals of nerd culture, held in Boston (PAX East), Seattle (PAX Prime), San Antonio (PAX South) and Melbourne (PAX Australia.) Here’s a look at the expo floor from PAX East 2015.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple’s radical 12-inch MacBook Air is the slimmest, lightest MacBook ever

There’s a reason Apple hasn’t changed the MacBook Air’s core design for years now: It’s basically perfect—the epitome of a thin-and-light laptop, from its luxurious, razor-thin exterior to its majestic glass trackpad. But even perfection can’t coax Apple into sitting on its heels. On Monday, Apple revealed a new 12-inch MacBook Air, a radical revamp that shakes up the winning MBA design by dumping virtually every conventional port—Thunderbolt, the SD card slot, a power connector, everything—in favor of a pair a single USB Type-C connection and an audio jack. That, paired with numerous other advances, helped the 12-inch MacBook Air become the slimmest, lightest MacBook ever—and it's silent, too.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Robots to get more processing muscle with Intel’s Xeon D chips

Intel’s Xeon server chips dominate hardware in data centers, and now they could also end up powering robots on factory floors.The new line of Xeon D chips, announced Monday, are designed primarily for servers and network appliances, but as industrial automation grows, Intel believes the chips can all add processing muscle to robots that handle complex manufacturing tasks.Simple robots that do mundane work can run on basic, low-power processors, but faster chips are being plugged into advanced robots for more sophisticated tasks.Xeon D is the first server chip from Intel based on the Broadwell architecture. It’s already being used in PC chips, but it’s graduating to servers, appliances, and now perhaps robots.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Tired of drones? Build a satellite

An amateur-radio satellite called $50SAT/MO-76 marked its 15-month earth-orbiting anniversary last month.Now, you might not think that's a particularly big deal. Satellites stay up longer than that (or don't) all the time.Well, the big deal about $50SAT is that it's a self-built kit. And it's still up there—although possibly only just. Unfortunately, it is now experiencing some premature battery deteriorating caused orbit decay, says Michael Kirkart, a member of the team that built the bird.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Can tech help teachers teach and students learn?

It's spring break, and high school students are eager to put away their books, binders, pencils and... iPads?High school classrooms, teaching techniques and the very way students learn may receive a tech infusion in the near future. Already some schools across the country, most notably the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), are bringing in tablets and other technology."Technology is becoming pervasive in the classroom and playing a strategic role," says Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis at CompTIA.CompTIA surveyed teachers, admins and students late last year and found that idea of technology in the classroom is exciting for everyone. All tallied, 58 percent of schools with 1,000 or more students use some education technology, compared to 45 percent of smaller schools.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here