Telecommunication /IT

Tech savvy Sri Lanka could switch to cloud computing:Expert

Regional Manager of VMware Software India (Pvt) Ltd., Vinod Krishnan was recently on a business visit to Sri Lanka and he spoke to The Bottom Line about the next most important biggest wave of modern Information Communication Technology which is the capital expenditure saving and energy saving in the cloud computing industry and how VMware is making Fortune 100 companies ‘Go Green’ using their IT resources more effectively and efficiently with maximum utilisation through virtualisation

By Jithendra Antonio
Q: If you could tell us about VMware and where it stands in the global cloud computing industry?
VMware is a USD 2 Billion subsidiary of EMC2 of USA and we are the leading provider of cloud infrastructure to both businesses and service providers. Gartner, December 2009 report alone quoted that 84% of all virtualised applications in the world are running on VMware vSphere platform providing them an evolutionary path to cloud computing. At present we are the 5th largest infrastructure software company in the world.
Next wave of doing IT would not be to have your own infrastructure for corporate but rather to switch to a cloud computing service provider. As in our mission ‘Do more with less’ our focus is to provide software that enables the cloud computing service providers and companies to virtualise their IT infrastructure and maximise its utilisation. We have about 70 different products which enable from desktop virtualisation to data centre virtualisation. Our product vSphere which was launched 10 years ago is the cloud computing industry’s first operating system and now vSphere is in its fourth generation.
As the global leader in cloud infrastructure our softwares are up to the industry’s standards. Now open standards have come in to the cloud computing industry and you should be able to transfer your software to the standard software with the same set of connections. Rather than running our own cloud we help multiple cloud operators to set up their clouds and run them smoothly minimising capital expenditure (CapEx). We have a network of about 25,000 partners and hardware vendors such as IBM,HP,DELL and Netab.

Q :How does VMware help companies to save their costs in IT resources?
So far our customers have experienced unmatched results with our software products and expertise. We focus on enhancing the saving ability in 3 broad areas, one is the cost savings on capital expenditure (CapEx) and the other is on human resources and finally on energy utilisation and management.
Simply in an average server not even more than 10% is utilised so with our software service providers and users could increase the utilisation of a server by 90% capability. Basically with software such as vSphere, you could do the job of 100 servers with 10 servers while running multiple applications in the same hardware. So VMware virtualisation is the single biggest bang buck for green IT. For every virtualised server the annual savings are approximately USD 700 or 7000 kWh which is equivalent to eliminating 4 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions. That is similar to taking 1.5 cars off the road or planting 20 trees. It’s about 50%-60% savings on CapEx per server. On average a company could benefit from 33% cumulative time savings from day-to-day administrative activities human wise. Also, our software enables up to 80% leveraging consolidation and distributed power management. As an example, rather than running all the servers all the time our software could aggregate to run the systems on a minimised number of servers if there’s low load or no load at particular time period such as weekends.

Q : What is Virtualisation?
Virtualisation is a proven software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT Landscape and fundamentally changing the way that people compute. Today’s powerful x86 computer hardware was designed to run a single operating system and a single application. This leaves most machines vastly underutilised. Virtualisation lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine, sharing the resources of that single computer across multiple environments. Different virtual machines can run different operating systems and multiple applications on the same physical computer. While others are leaping aboard the virtualisation bandwagon now, VMware is the market leader in virtualisation. Our technology is production proven and used by more than 170,000 customers, including 100% of the Fortune 100 companies.

Q : How does Virtualisation Work?
The VMware Virtualisation platform is built on a business ready architecture. Use software such as VM Ware Vsphere and VMware ESXi (a free downloadable one) to transform or ‘virtualise’ the hardware resources of an x86 based computer- including the CPU,RAM, hard disk and network controller to create a fully functional virtual machine that can run its own operating system and applications just like a ‘real’ computer. Each virtual machine contains a complete system, eliminating potential conflicts. VMware virtualisation works by inserting a thin layer of software directly on the computer hardware or on a host operating system. This contains a virtual machine monitor or ‘hypervisor’ that allocates hardware resources dynamically and transparently. Multiple operating systems run concurrently on a single physical computer and share hardware resources with each other. By encapsulating an entire machine, including CPU,memory, operating system and network devices, a virtual machine is completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications, and device drivers. You can safely run several operating systems and applications at the same time on a single computer, with each having access to the resources it needs when it needs them.

Q : What is the potential you see in Sri Lanka’s cloud computing industry?
Sri Lankans are tech savvy and Sri Lanka is a market where there is a higher growth in Information Technology sector, as this country is also an offshore destination for BPO industry. Therefore, all these tools and knowledge could be moved into a better cloud computing virtual infrastructure saving CapEx costs and bringing up companies’ profitability. At present we have 6 trained, certified and accredited partners who have signed up since last year to take VMware’s cost benefits to local IT industry giants and cloud computing service providers.


HP delivers first mission-critical converged infrastructure in one platform

By Azhar Razak
Hewlett Packard Company, or commonly referred to as HP this week announced the launch of its integrity solutions which it said could improve customers’ service-level agreement performance, provide up to 100 percent application availability and simplify mission-critical computing for the most demanding application workloads. Built on a new HP Blade Scale Architecture that spans servers, storage and networking, the Integrity solutions deliver the industry’s first mission-critical Converged Infrastructure.
“This represents the first major architectural upgrade for Integrity Superdome in a decade. The architecture allows clients to deploy, automate and manage a complete range of applications side by side, within the same enclosure, and using the same components, tools and processes,” Marketing Manager (Business Critical Systems) at HP India, Anant Sharma told reporters at the launch.
He said that with a single management environment, clients can maintain consistent control of the entire IT infrastructure.
According to him, HP is presently the only vendor delivering a unified Blade System platform that spans x86 to HP Superdome 2. As a result, HP clients can create data centres that allow them to spend less time on operations, and instead focus their resources on driving innovation to address business needs.
“The new Integrity portfolio includes servers, software and services that provide clients up to 450 percent improvement in infrastructure reliability over previous generations with the new HP Integrity Superdome 2,” Sharma said adding that its unique Crossbar Fabric increases system resiliency by intelligently routing data between blades and input/output ports with complete redundancy.
Also speaking at the launch, HP’s Country General Manager for emerging markets K. Sudarshan said that the new HP product will result in improved performance and lower total cost of ownership for the consumer.
“Integrity server blades, which expand from two sockets to the industry’s first eight-socket UNIX scale-up server blade. HP Blade Link technology easily scales and reconfigures systems by combining multiple blades to create two-, four- and eight-socket systems. This delivers up to nine times the performance in half the footprint. Clients also can mix and match HP Integrity, HP ProLiant and HP StorageWorks blades in the same enclosure for maximum flexibility,” Sudarshan said.
He said that top companies like Chevron has achieved world-class data centre performance by consolidating its enterprise resource planning infrastructure on HP Integrity platforms.
As the world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. HP specialises in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. HP markets its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises directly as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors.


Bharti to invest $100 mn in Malawi

LILONGWE: India’s Bharti Airtel will spend $100 million in the next three years on network expansion in Malawi, after sealing a deal that puts the Indian wireless phone operator in 15 African countries. 
Bharti this month completed its $9 billion acquisition of African operations from Kuwait’s Zain, making it the world’s fifth-largest mobile phone operator by subscribers. 
“We plan to invest US$ 100 million in Malawi in the next three years to improve coverage and reach out to Malawi’s rural farmers ... and help the country’s economy grow,” Manoj Kohli the chief executive officer of Bharti Africa told a news conference. 
Bharti is the leading mobile phone operator in Malawi with 2.5 million subscribers and Kohli said the company plans to increase that to 7 million. 
The company competes with Telekoms Networks Malawi (TNM), a wholly Malawian-owned company and Gmobile.

Smart phone zone

Anyone can place an order with a factory in Taiwan, China or Vietnam and ‘manufacture’ a cell phone these days. The difference between the truly ‘smart’ phones and the rest is all in the software platform, in particular the operating system on which the phone runs.
The high-end phone industry seems to be in the same place that the PC industry was in the 80s with a multitude of operating systems competing for market share. 2010 was touted to be the year of consolidation where a number of players would wind up their smartphone plans and the race would whittle down to two or three players. Instead we’re seeing a buoyant market with a number of companies overhauling their software with major upgrades and preparing to launch new devices. Here’s a “state of the smartphone nation” report to help you place your bets on the platform of the future:

What’s new
The latest 2.2 version of the Google-backed Operating System is dubbed Froyo and a number of existing Android handsets are slated to get a free upgrade to this latest edition. The most anticipated features of Froyo are support for Adobe Flash and the ability to use the phone as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. Lots of new goodies for developers in the software kit will ensure that the flow of apps for the Android Marketplace will be thick and fast.
Why you should buy
If your life runs of the “Google Cloud” ie. you’re a certified Gmail addict who syncs calendars, contacts and even corporate mail using the big G’s web based software, Android is the ideal platform for you. While Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs may like you to believe that pornographic apps are the only thing Android has to offer over the iPhone, the truth is that the open source OS if far more hackable and tweakable . A geek’s delight and yet user friendly enough for the average guy, it’s little wonder that Android is the fastest growing smartphone OS and mobile app platform.
Handset to watch out for
Rumoured to be launching in August, the Droid 2 (will probably be called Milestone 2 outside the US) is expected to be the marquee sliding-keyboard equipped ‘superphone’ , leading Motorola’s charge back into the limelight.

Nokia Maemo
What’s new
Nokia seemed to have lost the smart phone plot with its ageing S60 operating system but Maemo, which started as an in-house open source hobby project some years ago, has offered a glimmer of hope to the Finnish giant. In fact, Intel has decided to merge its ‘Moblin’ platform with Maemo to create a new platform called MeeGo though details of the rollout are still sketchy.
Why you should buy
If you’re a hardcore Nokia loyalist and love the user friendliness and intuitiveness of the original S60 platform, you won’t have to face a steep learning curve. Skype integration into the N900 is superb with seamless switching between the popular internet telephony software and the GSM phone. The browser is fantastic and possibly the most powerful and versatile on any phone.
Handset to watch out for
The N900, that’s just been launched is the only device currently running Maemo (version 5) and although it’s a little rough around the edges, it’s a brilliant pocket internet device that can also make phone calls.

Windows phone
What’s new
When Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the new Windows Phone 7 Series in February, it seemed like MS was serious about smartphones once again. A completely revamped OS that looks nothing like its cousin on the PC is impressive, save for boo-boos like the inability to cut-copy-paste text. Integration with MS Office, the Zune music store and Xbox Live gaming are the aces up the Windows Phone sleeve apart from an enhanced touch screen experience.
Why you should buy
Familiarity with other Microsoft staples like Office and Outlook is usually the reason why some folks have remained Windows Phone loyalists even through an uninspiring period these past few years. An aggressive push into ‘cloud services’ as a whole has suddenly made Windows a serious competitor in the smartphone era. While its app ecosystem called Windows Marketplace is not the best, the company’s strategy of partnering with operators to build their app stores, could lead to more adoption.
Handset to watch out for
While every major manufacturer including HTC, Samsung, Acer, Asus etc. is likely to build a Windows handset, an LG phone rumoured to be the “Panther” is likely to be amongst the first to launch in the “holiday” season as MS puts it.

Apple OS
What’s new
The latest version of the OS that runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad finally includes features like multitasking, digital zoom, folder creation for apps and a number of other tweaks as well as new features like an advertising platform and an ebook store.
Why you should buy
The world’s most popular smart phone is strengthening the fortifications as rivals begin an assault on its supremacy. The seamless hardware software integration and a touch screen that still can’t be matched by rivals are the clinchers for Apple. Oddities like a stubborn refusal to implement Flash persist but are likely to become irrelevant with the advent of the HTML 5 standard. And of course, the sheer variety and depth of applications available continue to ensure its dominance, at least for the forseeable future.
Handset to watch out for
The iPhone 4, scheduled for launch this month in the US and possibly by September in India.

Blackberry OS
What’s new
Research in Motion showcased the new version 6 of its Blackberry operating system, due for a Q3 release in the US and it seemed to be playing catch-up with the iPhone on most counts. New features include ‘swipe and flick’ touch functionality, a universal search bar and a better browser.
Why you should buy
For starters, your company’s IT dept trusts the platform and won’t be hassled about security, access control, remote data wipe and other issues dear to the heart of corporate tech. If you can’t do without the tactile feel of a keyboard and are in love with the cult Blackberry Messenger, then the new OS 6 is an obvious upgrade. The app store may not be great but its getting better all the time and Google services work nearly as well with the berry as on Android.
Handset to watch out for
There’s a strong rumour that a touch screen berry with a sliding keyboard is due to be released by the end of the year - think of it as the touch screen “Storm” mashed up with the classic “Bold”.
(Courtesy ET)