But Wait, There's More
Microsoft Partners with Palm for Blackberry Killer
A week after it was disclosed that Microsoft is considering taking a stake in competitor America Online (ostensibly to make life more difficult for its Internet competitor du jour, Google), we are now getting word that the software giant is partnering with another one-time competitor, Palm, to unleash innovation that's above and beyond what has been innovated thus far by a successful competitor to them both: Research In Motion (RIM) and its super hip Blackberry mobile e-mail devices. As part of the new alliance, Palm has licensed Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system for a new line of Treo Smartphones that will offer access to e-mail (via a connection to Exchange Server 2003), instant messaging, Web access, and organizational software. The Treo Smartphone will be available from Verizon Wireless (the third partner involved in the deal) in the U.S. market in early 2006, the companies say. Users will also be able to hook up the Treo Smartphones to Lotus Domino e-mail servers through new software the English software company CommonTime yesterday committed to delivering. In addition to e-mail, the port of CommonTime's mSuite to Windows Mobile will bring PIM, instant messaging, device management, encryption, and remote kill functionality to the platform.
iWay Partners with Google for Enterprise Search
iWay Software (which, of course, is an Information Builders company) may have sold eight of its connectors to Microsoft recently, but it never signed any type of agreement preventing it from partnering with Microsoft menace Google to develop new ways to find and access corporate data. Last week iWay announced the iWay Enterprise Index, which blends iWay's expertise in tapping enterprise data streams with a Google Search Appliance. iWay says its new offering will put a common, XML-based face on a range of data types often found in back-office environments, including EDI messages, XML documents, flat files, ERP systems (by way of J2EE Connector Architecture [JCA] connectors), and Web services.
"Using any browser and the iWay Enterprise Index, users will not only be able to use Google to access Web pages--they will also be able to use Google to access all of the information that has gone to any information system iWay touches," says John Senor, president of iWay Software. iWay says its new index will also bolster security. For example, if a search term returns 15 items, but the user is only allowed to see 10, iWay Enterprise Index will only allow the user to see the appropriate 10 on the screen, the company says. As part of the deal, iWay also joined Google's Enterprise Professional program.
New Windows Management Tools Available from New Boundary
New Boundary Technologies recently unveiled Prism Suite version 7.0, an updated collection of products that provide software deployment, patch management, and, with this release, asset management functionality for Windows servers and desktops. Prism Asset Manager, the newest member of the suite, helps administrators by automating the task of identifying and tracking computers and their configurations, which has become an important issue in this age of regulatory compliance. The software, which can identify upwards of 10,000 applications and provides real-time monitoring of changes to hardware or software, is administered through the new Prism Console. This console is customizable by customers, and also becomes the primary interface for the other two members of the Prism Suite, including Prism Deploy 7.0 and Prism Patch Manager 6.3. New Boundary, which is based in Minneapolis, supports Windows with Prism Deploy, Windows and Citrix environments with Asset Manager, and Windows, Solaris, and Red Hat Linux with Patch Manager.
IBS Renames ERP Suite, Begins Roll-Out of New Version
Swedish software developer International Business Systems last week re-christened its ERP software suite with the introduction of IBS Enterprise 6.0. In addition to the new name, the new release of supply-chain focused ERP software, which was formerly called ASW, features a number of enhancements, including new workflow routines for the CRM module, new planning and forecasting modules, a new integration tool for connecting IBS Enterprise processes with external systems, new business intelligence capabilities, and a new customizable Web-based user interface that spans the entire product suite. The new version will start to roll out during the fourth quarter of 2005, with worldwide availability complete by mid-2006, the company says. The product suite will initially be offered in an RPG version for i5/OS, and will be followed by Java versions later in 2006 for Windows, Linux, and Unix operating systems. If IBS' expansion from RPG and OS/400 to Java and distributed systems is a shock to you, go back and read "IBS to Port OS/400 Apps to Unix, Windows, and Linux" from a May issue of The Four Hundred.
IDC Says U.S. Companies Will Double Up on Offshoring by 2009
If you think that offshoring is just a passing fad, the analysts at IDC and Gartner sure do not think it is. According to a report (that costs a stunning $8,000, mind you) from IDC, companies in the United States are expected to double their spending on offshored IT services contracts between 2004 and 2009, reaching $14.7 billion. That's a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent. Financial services companies are expected to account for 28.9 percent of the services offshoring spending by U.S.-based companies, with discrete manufacturers accounting for 17 percent. Retail and communications companies are also expected to be big spenders for offshoring of services. These projections are based on a survey that IDC did with 1,000 companies in the States.
Gartner also released its own offshoring report last week, and said that it expects that total worldwide offshoring from the developed economies in North America, Western Europe, and Japan will reach a combined $50 billion by 2007. Gartner says that India is the current dominant force in the offshoring business, with China coming in a distant second. That said, Gartner is recommending that customers give other offshoring locations a second thought, such as Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Russia. Language requirements are also driving nearshore IT services projects, says Gartner, and with Ireland, Canada, Mexico, and parts of Africa expected to see growth.
Linux Starts Showing Up in Big Databases, Says Winter
Every couple of years, IT consultancy Winter makes headlines as it ranks the top 10 data warehouses in the world. The largest data warehouses in the world have unique requirements for the scaling of performance and data, and knowing who chooses what is an interesting study in server architectures. Winter says Yahoo has the largest database in the world, a hefty 100 terabyte behemoth that is three times as large as the biggest production database in Winter's 2003 survey. This Oracle database runs on Sun Microsystems's Solaris Unix on a cluster Fujitsu-Siemens PrimePower Sparc64 servers. Sun also hosts the second largest data warehouse, the "Daytona" call detail data store running at AT&T Research Labs and comprising 93.5 TB of data in the database and handling a table with more than 743 billion rows. According to AT&T, the Daytona platform can handle as much as 312 TB of data, with a single table of more than 1.9 trillion rows, and could handle even more but AT&T ran out of data to put into the system.
The largest OLTP database surveyed by Winter is a parallel sysplex cluster of zSeries 990 mainframes from IBM that runs at the Land Registry for England in Wales in the United Kingdom; this setup has a relatively modest amount of storage at 23.1 TB, which is provided by disk arrays from EMC and Hitachi. The highest throughput OLTP system is also a zSeries 990 mainframe cluster using IBM storage that is installed at United Postal Service. This UPS mainframe cluster runs IBM's DB2 database on the z/OS operating system and that is capable of cranking through 1.1 billion SQL statements per hour. By comparison, the largest OLTP system running on Unix (in this case Solaris) copes with 8.6 million SQL statements per hour. The mainframes at UPS have a factor of 128 more SQL scalability than the largest Unix OLTP system (which was not named).
The largest Windows-based database in the world is now a 19.5 TB database (double the size from two years ago). Linux is also getting into big databases, according to Winter, and the three largest Linux-based databases in the world are at bookseller Amazon, which has built 7.8 TB, 18.5 TB, and 24.7 TB databases on Linux.