Stories by John Webster

  • In Pictures: Essential Mac management tools

    Managing a fleet of Macs in a predominately Windows-centric enterprise requires third-party tools that can deliver a variety of features, such as the ability to run Windows apps on Mac hardware, synch with Active Directory and Microsoft System Center, deliver software updates and generally give IT the same degree of visibility and control over Macs that they’re accustomed to in the Windows world.

  • yARN: Big Data deserves IT's attention

    Big data promises of a style of computing that more closely mimics the functioning of the human mind. For IT, that means moving from provisioning of services to making a big impact on business results.

  • Did VMware sell out to EMC too soon?

    Did VMware sell out to EMC too soon? I try not to mix personalities with analysis because when I do, I sometimes get into trouble. But as I try to rationalize Diane Greene's abrupt departure from VMware, and EMC CEO Joe's Tucci's role in her demise, personalities keep getting in the way. While I've met both these powerful players, I can't say that I know them. All I really have to go on is my sense of their public personas. Diane has built a huge following, is perceptive -- even visionary -- and opinionated. Joe has taken control of a franchise that was head-strong to begin with and transformed it. In my view he's even handed, but a man who is very capable of pushing back when pushed. And no doubt about it, with VMware he acquired an equally head-strong organization.

  • FCoE's 10Gbit/sec should be in your future

    It's highly likely that, if you follow the comings and goings of storage networking technology, then by now you've at least heard of the emerging Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) standard working its way through the INCITS process. To level-set, FCoE is a method of encapsulating the packets that would normally flow across a Fibre Channel storage network (SAN) for transmission over Ethernet link. Think 10 Gbps Ethernet for practical purposes. However, unlike other FC-to-Ethernet encapsulation methods like FCIP and iFCP, FCoE lives within the same OSI layer as IP, enabling enhanced performance, lossless frame transmission, and some other goodies.

  • IGF - IBM's unseen competitive weapon

    I started life in IT decades ago as a sales guy for a mainframe leasing firm attached to Greyhound --yes, the bus company. Greyhound Leasing and Financial actually wrote the first lease on an IBM mainframe, thereby creating a niche industry that included the lease and resale of new and used IBM mainframe hardware.

  • How Dell got to write a check for US$1.4B

    My office is in downtown Nashua, N.H. To my west is the Nashua River, and beyond that most of the rest of Nashua and a company called EqualLogic. I came to work Tuesday morning thinking I could hear the sound of a party coming from somewhere on the west side of the river. It was 8:30 a.m., and I dismissed the thought. Then I read the news: Dell buys EqualLogic for $1.4B. I had to read the note more than twice. One point four billion dollars. One billion, four hundred million dollars. I let the number sink in, and then went outside to see if the party was still going on. It was.

  • Legacy system upgrades keep users up at night

    We tend to think of interoperability in product terms: Product A from vendor X works or doesn't work with product B from vendor Y. However, a survey conducted by the Storage Networking Industry Association's End User Council (SNIA's EUC) show that interoperability has just as significant a vendor support component.

  • Storage vendors, users forced to be energy-conscious

    News item in local paper: Big New England electric utility seeks rate increase of 13.1 percent. The reasons, unfortunately, are many, according to the report. They include rate increases from outside suppliers, wholesale price increases for natural gas and federal government policy that somehow encourages investment in new power plants.