Aruba succeeded where other Wi-Fi companies failed: A talk with the founder about the acquisition by HP, the future of Wi-Fi
Wireless LAN stalwart Aruba was acquired by HP last March for $3 billion, so Network World Editor in Chief John Dix visited Aruba co-founder Keerti Melkote to see how the integration is going and for his keen insights on the evolution of Wi-Fi. Melkote has seen it all, growing Aruba from a startup in 2002 to the largest independent Wi-Fi company with 1,800 employees. After Aruba was pulled into HP he was named CTO of the combined network business, which employs roughly 5,000. In this far ranging interview Melkote talks about product integration and rationalization, the promise of location services and IoT, the competition, the arrival of gigabit Wi-Fi and what comes next.
Why sell to HP?
Aruba was doing really well as a company. We gained market share through every technology transition — from 802.11a to “b” to “g” and “n” and now “ac” — and today we’re sitting at roughly 15% global share and have a lot more than that in segments like higher education and the federal market. But we were at a point where we could win more if we had an audience at the CIO level, and increasingly we were getting exposed to global projects that required us to have a large partner in tow to give us the people onsite to execute on a worldwide basis.
So we began looking for what internally we called a big brother to help us scale to that next level. We talked to the usual suspects in terms of professional services, consulting companies, etc., but then HP approached us and said they were interested in partnering with us to go after the campus market, which is changing from wired to wireless.
HP has a good history on the wired side, so we felt this was an opportune moment to bring the sides together, but go to market with a mobile-first story. After all, as customers re-architect their infrastructure they’re not going with four cable drops to every desk, they’re looking at where the traffic is, which is all on the wireless networks these days. HP agreed with that and basically said, “Why don’t you guys come in and not only grow Aruba, but take all of networking within HP and make it a part of the whole ecosystem.”
So HP Networking and Aruba have come together in one organization and Dominic Orr [formerly CEO of Aruba] is the leader for that and I am Chief Technology Officer. We are focusing on integrating the Aruba products with the HP network products to create a mobile-first campus architecture.
Does the Aruba name go away and does everyone move to an HP campus?
No, and there is some exciting news there. The go-forward branding for networking products in the campus is going to be Aruba, including the wire line products. Over time you will start to see a shift in this mobile-first architecture with Aruba switching also coming to market.
Think Big. Scale Fast. TRANSFORM. Enter Blue Planet.nagement…
Will that include the HP Networking operations in the area?
No, we have a global development model, so we have development sites here in Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Roseville. And we have sites in India, China, Canada and in Costa Rica. There won’t be any changes to any of the development sites. As the business grows we’re going to have to grow most of those sites.
HP has bought other wireless players along the way, including Colubris and 3Com, so how does it all fit together?
Colubris was a pretty focused wireless acquisition back in 2008 and those products have done well for HP, but that customer base is ready for upgrades to 11ac and as they upgrade they will migrate to Aruba. The former product line will be end-of-lifed over time, but we’re not going to end support for it. There is a small team supporting it and will continue to do so until customers are ready to migrate.
3Com was a much broader acquisition, involving data center campus products, routing, etc. Most of the R&D for 3Com is in China with H3C [the joint venture 3Com formed with Huawei Technologies before 3Com was acquired by HP in 2010]. There is a two-prong go-to-market approach for those products. There is a China go-to-market, which has done really well. In fact, they are number one, even ahead of Cisco, from an overall network market share perspective in China. For the rest of the world we were using the products to go after the enterprise.
As you probably heard recently, we are going to sell 51% of our share in H3C to a Chinese owned entity because there needs to be Chinese ownership for them to further grow share. H3C will be an independent entity on the Chinese stock market and will sell networking gear in China and HP servers and storage as well.
So that becomes our way to attack the China market while we will continue to sell the other network products to the rest of the world. Those products are doing very well, especially in the data center. They run some of the largest data centers in the world, names that are less familiar here in the U.S., but very large data centers for the likes of Alibaba, Tencent and other companies that are basically the Amazons and Facebooks of China.
3Com has a wireless portfolio called Unified Wireless. That product line will also be end-of-lifed but still supported, and as we migrate to next-generation architectures we will position Aruba for those buyers. The definitive statement we’ve made is Aruba will be the wireless LAN and mobility portfolio in general and Hewlett-Packard’s network products will be the go-forward switching products.
Two products that are really helping to integrate our product lines are: ClearPass, which is our unified policy management platform, which is going to be the first point where access management is integrated between wired and wireless; and AirWave, which is the network management product which will become the single console for the customer to manage the entire campus network. For the data center we will have a different strategy because data center management is about integrating with servers and storage and everything else, but for the campus the AirWave product will be the management product.
3Com has a product called IMC Intelligent Management Console that will continue if customers need deep wired management, but if you need to manage a mobile-first campus, AirWave will do the complete job for you.
Given your longevity and perspective in the wireless LAN business, are we where you thought we would be in terms of Wi-Fi usage when you first started on this path 13 years ago?
It’s taken longer than I thought it would, but it has certainly far surpassed my expectations. Back in 2002 there was no iPhone or iPad. Wireless was for mobile users on laptops and we believed it would become the primary means of connecting to the network and you would no longer need to cable them in. That was the basic bet we made when we started Aruba. My hope was we would get there in five to seven years and it took 15, but things always take a little bit longer than you think.
The seminal moment in our business was the introduction of the iPad. Even though the iPhone was around most people were still connecting to the cellular network and not Wi-Fi because of the convenience. Laptop-centric networking was still prominent, but when the iPad arrived there was no way to connect it to the wire and there were all sorts of challenges. How do you provide pervasive wireless connectivity, because the executives that brought them in were taking them along wherever they went. Security was a big challenge because they were all personal devices.
We had developed and perfected answers for those questions over the years so it was all sort of right there for us. And the last five years has seen dramatic changes in terms of all-wireless offices, open office space architectures, etc. Microsoft Lync was also a big inflection point as well.
Why is that?
Whenever I talk to customers about pulling the cable out they always point to the phone and say, “I still need to pull a cable for that, which means I need power over Ethernet, I need an Ethernet switch in the closet, I need a PBX.” But when Lync was introduced in 2013 you could get your unified communications on your smart phone. Today, if you were to ask what is the most important device on the network, I’d say it’s the smart phone because it’s converging the computing and messaging and everything else on one device. Now you can provide a rich experience on a mobile device and do it anywhere, anytime.
Where do we stand on location-based services?
We’ve been talking about location services for a very long time. What happened was Wi-Fi based location alone wasn’t actually solving the problem. It was giving you a sense of where people were in a facility, but getting the technology to allow you to engage with somebody in physical space was not working, mostly because the operating systems on those mobile devices weren’t supporting Wi-Fi for location, just connectivity.
We have now integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) into our portfolio so you have two ways of connecting with the user; the Wi-Fi side gives you presence and Bluetooth Low Energy gives you the ability to engage on the user side so you can send notifications about where they are. That technology lets us provide tools for marketers, for retailers to send coupons, invite people into a store, and so on.
So it is finally picking up some?
It is. Actually Asia is doing well. There is a lot of construction in Asia and this is one of the demands. But the U.S. is picking up. We just implemented a large network at the Levi’s Stadium right down the street here [which recently replaced Candlestick Park as home of the San Franciso 49ers].
One of the things the CEO imagined was that, as you drive from home to the game, their app would guide your experience. So they’ll take you to the right parking lot, then provide you directions to your seat, and once you are in the seat enjoying the game they wanted to provide amenities — so food and beverage ordering and the ability to watch instant replays and the like. All these things are available for a fee of course. In the first season of operation this app generated $2 million of additional sales for Levi’s Stadium.
That was a big win for us, not just for demonstrating high density Wi-Fi where we have seen regularly 3-4 gig of traffic going to the Internet, but also showing the revenue generating potential of location-based technology.
Speaking of networking a lot of things, what do you make of the Internet of Things movement?
Eventually where it all goes is integrating the Internet of Things. Every day I interact with customers there are new use cases coming up around the intersection of location-based technology and the Internet of Things. And that’s squarely in the purview of what we are doing. It’s not today. Today is still about this all-wireless workplace, but in the next five years I think you’ll see a lot more of this. There is a lot of innovation still to come.
There’s a hodgepodge of stuff used to connect sensors today, but you see Wi-Fi playing a prominent role?
Wi-Fi will definitely be an integral component, but Bluetooth Low Energy will also be important because some sensors will be battery operated. There may be a role for the evolution of ZigBee as well. That’s super low energy. ZigBee is not yet in the mainstream enterprise but I can see some successor of that happening. But sensors will look to wireless for connectivity because they need to go anywhere. You can’t have cable follow them. So the wireless fabric is becoming super-critical for that.
Switching gears a bit, how is competition changing?
We look at three key market segments: large and medium enterprises; small/medium businesses, which have completely different characteristics; and service providers. Aruba has done really well in the large and medium enterprise segment. We have done reasonably well in the small/medium segment, but there is more competition there. Ruckus has done well there. And service provider is the emerging battleground.
As a standalone company Aruba couldn’t afford to invest, frankly, in all three segments. We were focused on the large and medium enterprise and we built a good franchise. Clearly Cisco is the primary competitor there, but now as part of HP we have another go-to-market capability and investment to take on all three segments in a meaningful way, so that’s another big reason why we came together.
We just recently announced a partnership with Ericsson to go after the service provider Wi-Fi segment, and that will help us gain share. And HP has been a strong player in the small/medium business so we’re going to take Aruba down-market. We’re going to play in all three segments. I feel if we just keep executing, market share gains are possible.
Ruckus talks about optimizing the airwaves as being their key differentiator. How do you differentiate Aruba?
The four key things I talk about are the emergence of the all-wireless workplace, inflight communications and voice, the need for deep security within your own device, and the need for location based services and training towards IoT.
We talked about the all-wireless workplace and location services. Regarding voice traffic, we have invested quite a bit of energy ensuring optimal utilization. Ruckus focused on the antenna technology, while we are focused on the software that goes on top of the antenna. The analogy I’ll give you is, as you walk away from an access point I can boost my antenna power to give you a better signal, and that problem is a good problem to solve if you’re in a home because you only have one access point. But in the enterprise there is a collection of access points and the problem isn’t about holding onto a client for as long as possible, but to move the client to the best access point. So the trick is to enable the client to roam from one access point to another in a very efficient way. We call this technology ClientMatch. That is the core differentiator for us over the air, and we’ve specifically optimized it for voice by working with the Microsoft team to enable Lync and Skype for Business.
Security is a place we cannot be touched. We’ve had deep security expertise for a very long time. The DoD, three of the armed forces, most of the federal market actually, uses Aruba. I can’t get into all the details, but we have significant penetration because of our security depth. For enterprises that is a big deal. They really want to make sure the security side is well covered.
What’s the hot button in wireless security today?
We know how to encrypt. We know how to authenticate. Basically it is the threat of an unmanaged device coming into the network. We’re looking at solving that problem as a mobile security problem and we solved one part of it with access management, but we have this Adaptive Trust architecture which integrates with mobile device management tools — VMware’s AirWatch, MobileIron, Microsoft’s Intune. We partner with those companies and the likes of Palo Alto Networks, and HP now brings its security and management platform ArcSight to the table. The idea is to secure the mobile edge so no matter where you are you have a secure connection back to the enterprise.
Let’s shift to the adoption of Gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac. How is that transition going?
The campus access network from your desktop to the closet has stagnated for a long time. That’s because there was really nothing driving the need for more than a gigabit’s worth of bandwidth to the desktop. Now with Gigabit Wi-Fi technologies the over the air rates are greater than if you were to connect to the wired LAN. So if you deploy Gigabit Wi-Fi and have signals going at 2G, let’s say, the wired line becomes a bottleneck. There is a technology called Smart Rate that HP Networking introduced for its switches which allows you to raise the data rates to 2.5Gbps and even 5Gbps. At that point your access points don’t have to contend with the bottleneck and can pick up the bits over the air and put them on the wire without dropping them.
So you need will need wired ports faster than a gigabit as you transition to this mobile workplace, but you won’t need as many ports as before. That is a transition, I think, that will happen over the next 2-3 years.
Did many people buy into Wave 1 of Gigabit Wi-Fi or did they hold off?
We’ve had tremendous success with Wave 1. The need for bandwidth is truly insatiable. And there is a ton of demand still yet to be put on the network. Video is a significant driver of bandwidth and most companies are throttling it video. So the more you open the pipe, the more capacity I think people will consume. Wave 1 has done very well. I think Wave 2 will continue to do well and then there’s .11ax which will take capacity even higher.
So people bought into Wave 1 even though Wave 2 requires them to replace hardware?
I tell customers, if you’re going to wait for the next best thing you’re going to wait forever, because there’s always going to be the next best thing on the horizon. So it’s really a question of where you are in your lifecycle for an investment. If the customer is at a point where they’ve had five years of investment and they’re hurting, it’s a good time. Wave 1 can actually solve a lot of problems. There’s no need to wait another 18 months for Wave 2 technology. You know you’re going to refresh that too in five years and there will be new technology at that point in time.
Will anybody buy anything but Wave 2 at this point?
It depends. Wave 1 technology you can buy today at multiple price points in the industry. Wave 2 is still at the very top end of the range. So if you’re looking for, let’s say, lighting up a retail store and you don’t need all the capacity of Wave 2, then Wave 1 will do just fine. That’s typical of most technologies, to start at the top and eventually work its way down. We’re right in the beginning of the Wave 2 transition.
How about in carpeted office space? Would you just drop Wave 2 into key points to satisfy demand?
Wi-Fi has always basically been single user. Only one user could speak on a wireless LAN at a time. With Wave 2 you can have multiple conversations at the same time; each access point can serve four streams. So that boosts capacity in a significant way and can also improve spectrum efficiency. For that reason alone, I think Wave 2 should be used pretty much anywhere you go. You could start with a high density zone and then work your way up. That’s typically how people do it, but I would encourage most customers to take advantage of this technology.
In the industry we’ve always used speed as a measure of the next generation of technology. Never have we given attention to efficiency. This is the first time where we’re saying efficiency gains are pretty significant.
And Wave 2 ultimately will be able to support up to eight streams, right?
Yes, the technology allows you to do eight streams, although it is not possible to pack eight antennas into the form factor at this point. But it will come.
I think the targets are up to 10 gig. Let’s see how far they get. At that point, the Gigabit Ethernet backhaul will become an even more interesting problem. You’ll need 10 gig of backhaul from the access point.
In terms of the coming year, what should people look for?
They should expect a streamlined roadmap with unified management for wired and wireless, and unified security for wired and wireless in the campus. And they should expect changes in wiring closet switches to support Wave 2.
The other piece cooking in the labs is the next-generation controller technology. We invented the controller back in 2002 and that has gone through multiple generations of upgrades. The first controller had something like a 2Gig back plane that could support 1,000 users, and now we have a 40G controller that supports 32,000 users. So how do you get from there to 500G? That will require us to rethink architecture because these campuses are getting there.
We used to talk about tens of thousands of devices on a campus. Today campuses have hundreds of thousands of devices. How do you support them in a single architecture? Right now you add more controllers, but that creates a management problem. We are working on a unified solution for very large campuses and taking it to the next level for service providers as well.
Technology is advancing day by day in fact the new technology is no killing the old technology in reality it is advancing the previous versions, peoples are more and more easy and secure way to in technology usage, Microsoft is always been a very fast detector how to reshape the new technology is all software’s like Microsoft Office, Operating systems like windows XP to Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8 IE8, and more,
Most of the bricks organizations are now becoming bricks and clicks organization, the requirement to advance these organizations required certified peoples to work with them and. A professional person holding Microsoft certifications in his hand is often valued over other workforce all around the planet. Among all on hand Microsoft certifications, one of the most accepted one is MCTS Training, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist focus on emerging technological prospective and employing these concerns for progressing in Information Technology industry. If you have certain required abilities for this exam you can pass it quite effortlessly. These abilities take in the following:
Intro on MCTS Certification
The MCTS certification is the one, which helps the candidate to step into the IT industry. MCTS also helps the professional who are already in the IT industry to get into a good position in the field. The candidates who are applying for the MCTS Certification should have experience about the network connectivity, desktop operating system, security, and applications. Those who are very good in these areas can have the MCTS certification without any problem and they may be experienced in a particular filed. The future of the certification will be very good and more demand will be there for MCTS certified professional. There are lots and lots of products that are developed with Microsoft Technology. Microsoft develops products which is very helpful for the users.
What expertise and skills MCTS certification demands?
Though you can acquire a reputable status by obtaining this certification, but it obviously demands a few expertises’s that you must have. For this reason, you must be able in:
* Computer network literacy
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MCTS certification will enhance your
MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
Microsoft SQL Server technologies
Microsoft Exchange Server technology
To get this certification, you will require an experience of at least two years in implementing, troubleshooting, and debugging a given technology. One can say that this certification is the foundation for all the different Microsoft Certifications that are meant to validate your expertise in the functionality and features of Microsoft key technologies. As an IT professional, either you can demonstrate your in-depth knowledge in a given technical application or choose to earn as many MCTS training as you want to endorse your capabilities across a number of Microsoft products. However, it is all the more essential to constantly update your certification to enhance your competency under today’s robust IT scenario.
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Thought I would make this post to give people the feedback about my first IT certification MCSE 2003. As this is rather a large subject covering a variety of areas, I have attempted to break these down Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 2003 preparation into different segments with timelines.
What is Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE 2003)
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 2003 (or MCSE 2008) is the best-known and premiere Microsoft certification. It qualifies an individual as being able to analyze the business requirements for information systems solutions, and design and implement the infrastructure required. As of 2008, the MCSE is available for two different product lines; Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003, each of which requires a different set of exams.
For the MCSE 2003 certification, candidates must pass six core design exams (Four networking exams, one client operating system and one design exam) and one elective exam, for a total of seven exams. For the MCSE 2000, a candidate needs to pass five Core Exams (Four operating system exams, one design exam) and two electives. For the MCSE NT 4.0 (retired), a candidate needed to pass four Core Exams (Networking Essentials, Windows NT Workstation, Windows NT Server and Windows NT Server in theEnterprise) and two electives.
Core Exams for mcse 2003 certification
70-290 Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
70-291 Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-293 Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-294 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 AD Infrastructure
The topic of these exams include network security, computer networking infrastructure, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and other topics of both general networking interest as well as specific Microsoft products.
The following is MCSE specialization, Upgrade paths
MCSE on Windows Server 2003
• MCSE on Windows Server 2000
• MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
• MCSA on Windows Server 2003
• MCSE: Messaging on Windows Server 2003
• MCSE: Security on Windows Server 2003
MCSE on Windows 2000
• MCSE: Messaging on Windows 2000
• MCSE: Security on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Train for your MCSA or MCSE 2003 Training on Windows Server 2003 and get closer to Windows Server 2008. The strength of Windows Server 2003 in the market today indicates that demand for related IT expertise will continue for years to come. The best way to demonstrate you have those skills—and to inspire confidence in a hiring manager, your team, and yourself on Windows Server 2003—is with the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credentials. These credentials will not retire.
The most efficient way for Microsoft 2003 exams training.
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When I started in the first line role, one of my initial questions was ‘what do I need to learn to get the best online mcse 2003 training at my home?’ I was given feedback from my friends whom boiled down to IT skills, MCSE 2003 would be preferential, but more importantly are your willingness to learn, attitude and aptitude.
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I also vetted all of my calls as if I was second line (even though I wasn’t). This did ruffle a few feathers, but I cleared it with my friend first and also made sure that a second line person approved my comments, before it went to third line. The feedback from my Team Leaders was it showed initiative and willingness to learn.
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Technology Series (MCTS)
Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007
- Exam 70-632: Microsoft Office Project 2007, Managing Projects
- Exam 70-633: Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, Managing Projects
- Exam 70-557: Microsoft Forefront Client and Server, Configuration
- Exam 70-630: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring
- Exam 70-542: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Application Development
- Exam 70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
.NET Framework specializations
- Exam 70-528: .NET Framework 2.0 – Web-Based Client Development
- Exam 70-536: .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-526: .NET Framework 2.0 – Windows-Based Client Development
- Exam 70-536: .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-529: .NET Framework 2.0 – Distributed Application Development
- Exam 70-536: .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-536: .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-562: .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development
- Exam 70-536: TS: .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-502: TS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation Application Development
- Exam 70-536: TS: .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-503: TS: .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation Application Development
- Exam 70-536: TS: .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-504: TS: .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Workflow Foundation Application Development
- Exam 70-536: TS: .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-505: TS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development
- Exam 70-536: TS: .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
- Exam 70-561: TS: .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Application Development
- Exam 70-511: TS: .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
- Exam 70-515: TS: .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
- Exam 70-513: TS: .NET Framework 4, Service Communications Applications
- Exam 70-516: TS: .NET Framework 4, Data Access
Greatest Tech Battles Ever Told
In honor of the patent war heating up between Apple and Samsung, we’re looking back at epic tech battles. The one thing they all have in common: the future of the universe hung in the balance. (Okay, not the universe but a really big market.)
Oracle. Apple. Google. Facebook. Microsoft. SAP. We’ve seen some of the biggest names in some of the nastiest battles over the years. The balance of power shifts, markets move, and there’s a disturbance in the Force. Call it Tech Wars.
iOS vs. Android
It’s iOS vs. Android with the future of mobile as the prize. Want more drama? Throw in the fiery words of the most admired CEO in history, the late Steve Jobs: “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty.”
PC vs. Mac
This is the greatest tech battle ever, played out on the small screen pitting the geeks against the cool kids. It is the battle from which all other battles have been judged. The words “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” have become part of our culture. So who has won? Like Star Wars Jedi vs. Sith, the tide turns with every generation.
Oracle vs. SAP
Quick, what software can cost millions of dollars and take years to integrate? Hint: This complex software has derailed many CIO careers. There can be only one, of course, and it’s enterprise resource planning, or ERP. Oracle and SAP have gone head-to-head for years at this high-stakes poker table.
Facebook vs. MySpace
In the super-hot social networking space, Facebook rules the empire. But it wasn’t always that way. MySpace used to be the most visited social networking site in the world, riding pop culture, music and teenyboppers to lofty heights. Then came Facebook. It appealed to the young, college-educated professional and ushered social networking into the mainstream.
VHS vs. Beta
VHS and Beta are pretty much gone now, but the two technologies sparked the first battle for the living room — specifically, home movies. VHS, of course, won. It was the machine that launched a thousand rental stores across the country.
But nothing lasts forever, and VHS itself became victim to the DVD, which, in turn, is succumbing to streaming movies. Meanwhile, rental stores are getting torn down as quickly as a bad VHS machine chewed up the edges of a tape.
Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator
If you were following the tech scene in the 1990s, you’d remember the browser war between Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator — one that drew in the Department of Justice and put Microsoft in the crosshairs of a precedent-setting antitrust case. It led to the surreal sight of Bill Gates testifying and saying over and over, “I don’t recall.” That’s right, the same guy with the brilliant mind.
Only techie publications cared much about the great decade-long Database War between Oracle, Sybase, Informix, IBM and others. According to tech writer Eric Lai, the war started a fixation on performance measured by artificially enhanced benchmarks, which has “led to a distrust of benchmarks that lingers to this day.” Oh, Oracle won.
Bookstores vs. Amazon
Pity the humble, independent bookstore and even the mega bookstore. Book readers saunter in, explore different titles, gaze through books and then… whip out their iPhone and order it on Amazon. The massive online bookstore took a wrecking ball to the brick-and-mortar bookstore and upended an industry. The mayhem continues to this day. Heck, Amazon brought the phrase “brick-and-mortar” into modern-day vernacular.
Google vs. Yahoo
Remember when “search” was a neat little Web tool from companies with cute sounding names? It didn’t take long for search to become a powerful market driven by search engines with complex algorithms that generate tons of dollars of online advertising. Google stomped on Yahoo and became one of the biggest, baddest tech companies on the planet. Struggling Yahoo has had five CEOs in five years and now hopes ex-Googler Marissa Mayer can lead a comeback.
War Games (Nintendo, Xbox and Playstation)
Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation have been battling it out in the gaming industry for years, from home video consoles to mobile platforms. It’s been fun to watch and play, and if you’ve got kids, you’ve probably paid for them all. The intense competition has led to grand advancements in gaming, including epic online adventures, awesome first-person shooting campaigns and the Wii. Gaming now is one of the biggest markets for consumer tech.
Google Apps vs. Microsoft Office
When Google Apps first appeared on the Web to go head-to-head with the venerable Microsoft Office suite, it didn’t look like a fair fight. Google Apps were quirky to use and didn’t feel ready for prime time. But tech wars can turn on a dime. Google Apps has since cut a swath out of Microsoft’s market share, although Office is likely to continue to dominate the all-important productivity market for the foreseeable future.
Jedi Yoda vs. Darth Sidious
Epic tech battles have the feeling of the universe hanging in the balance, kinda like when Jedi Master Yoda took on the Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith. In some tech battles, good did not always triumph over evil. In Star Wars, Yoda got his butt kicked, narrowly escaped, and slumped off into exile telling us what we already knew. “Failed, I have.”
I am currently engaged with mentoring some young technology start-up businesses. What strikes me about these companies is that they spend the majority of their time utilising their skills to deliver their product. They are agile, knowledgeable and very hungry to succeed and to create.
When do they find time to “learn” new emerging technologies? They seem to have learnt it “on the fly” as they go along – such is the pace of technology at the moment. With cloud computing, mobile computing and social media now becoming the current “bubble”, I realised just how easy it is for anyone in IT to become out of date quite rapidly.
There is an old saying which says “use it or lose it” and I will add “use it, grow it and keep your eyes open to what is happening around you, always”. In this process we must keep learning.
Stopping learning, even for a few months or a whole year can make a huge difference. It is like being having a motor car – use it regularly and it works fine (sure it may need a little maintenance), but leave it parked outside for a year unused and the battery will be flat, tires a bit softer, oil a bit tired, the gas will have lost its vitality etc. (Of course it does depend on where you park it – it may not even be there when you return!)
Learning is the same, especially in IT (and most other professions – like medicine, law, tax etc) we need to keep up to date, and even a few months “out of the game” will render us less sharp, and left with an uphill battle if we want to regain our status.
If “IT” is our career, then we need to learn on a regular basis, via personal learning, e-learning, books, attending classes, or as I am realising, by working with very sharp entrepreneurs who are leveraging the three technology areas listed above without even breaking into a sweat.
What are your experiences of keeping yourself in the best shape you can?
What is a Continuous Access EVA copy set?
A. a set of DR groups selected for the purpose of managing the groups
B. a group ofVdisks that transition to the same state simultaneously
C. a bound set of twoVdisks used for long distance replication
D. a set of two or more cluster nodes created as part of a stretch cluster
How should Vdisks for Continuous Access be preferred?
A. split theVdisk in the DR group between the controllers for load balancing
B. allVdisks in the DR group to the same controller
C. split theVdisk in the EVA between the controllers for load balancing
D. allVdisks in the same disk group to the same controller
The log disk collects host writes for _____.
A. managed sets
C. entire copy set
Which two can be failed over during a Continuous Access EVA planned or unplanned event?
A. a single HSV controller
B. copy set
C. managed set
D. DR group
Which two inputs does the Continuous Access EVA Replication Performance Estimator require?
A. one-wayintersite latency
B. throughput per second
C. two-wayintersite latency
D. size of a read data packet
E. size of the write data packet
F. number of IO’s per second
A customer has a high availability Continuous Access EVA environment. All DR groups are set to
failsafe mode enabled. The source site array has a hardware failure and all DR groups are failed
over to the destination site. The hardware failure is then fixed.
Which two commands need to be set to restore normal operations at the source site? (Choose
C. failsafe mode enable
Where is the Business Copy (BC) server component installed in the diagram?
A. Storage Management Appliance (Node 1)
B. storage array
C. host (Node 2)
D. desktop with web browser
In Continuous Access EVA, which statement is true?
A. Synchronous mode allows for more data loss than asynchronous mode.
B. A copy set’s mode is set to synchronous/asynchronous mode.
C. All copy sets within a DR group are either synchronous or asynchronous.
D. Asynchronous mode means an I/O acknowledgement is sent to the host after data is written to
the sourceVdisk and destination Vdisk.
You are creating a DR group for a database.
Which disk group is used for the write history log for the database DR group?
A. 3 TB database disk group with 1 TB of free space
B. an empty disk group with 2 TB of space
C. a new disk group will get created for the log disk
D. 5 TB windows disk group with 2 TB of occupied space
Which icon denotes a failed-over DR group?
It’s difficult to imagine a world more technologically advanced than the one we live in today. Until we remember saying the same thing ten—even five—years ago. Up until recently, limited bandwidth prevented most people from enjoying streaming videos, but today a system that can’t handle streaming content is considered obsolete. Technology can and does change that quickly.
The technology we might see in the next ten years is mostly speculation, so for now we’ll focus on what to expect in 2012.
Mobile solutions for the mobile worker
We’ve been able to access documents on-the-go for a while, but printing those documents while out of the office has often been a challenge—until now.
“HP’s history of innovation runs deep, and we continue to leverage 1110_SMB_spurl_2012_lazymanchairs601171712352.9254that legacy and build on it for future growth,” said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “While printing in the traditional sense will continue to be integral to what we bring to the world, we are disrupting the market with leading innovations beyond the page as well.”
HP ePrint allows you to email office documents, presentations, and photos directly to HP ePrint-enabled printers—like the HP Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One Printer—using any device with email capabilities.  All HP ePrint-enabled printers have their own email address, so you, your coworkers, or even your clients can email print jobs directly to the printer without installing any drivers or software from across the room to across the country.
Having the ability to work while you’re on the move is a luxury. Having the power to complete that work shouldn’t be. Products like HP’s line of EliteBook Notebook PCs are designed for powerful computing, as well as demanding workstation applications and essential security. You’ll work confidently—and fast—with a mobile workstation that enables your business to work more efficiently.
Store and print—in the cloud
One of the hot topics in the computing world these days is cloud storage. Quite simply, cloud storage allows data to be stored on multiple virtual servers—freeing up the need to have physical storage devices either on- or off-site.
The choice to implement a cloud computing solution is different for every organization. Some important things to consider:
Security measures whether corporate and customer data is secure in the cloud.
Open infrastructure provides a choice in cloud delivery models without adding complexity.
Automation improves the speed and efficiency of your cloud services.1110_SMB_spurl_2012_googlecloudprint777306327656.4817
Resilient technologies meet defined service levels for cloud availability, quality and performance.
Seamless integration combines public and private clouds with traditional delivery to create a unified IT service portfolio.
Cost considerations must be met in order to provide the best return on investment.
With HP ePrint-enabled printers and Google Cloud Print, all you need is the cloud to print—no drivers, no PC connection and no software.  Cloud Print is part of HP’s ePrint mobile-printing portfolio, enabling you to print where life and business happen.
Scan more than just flat objects
The HP TopShot LaserJet Pro Multifunction Printer M275 is 1110_SMB_spurl_2012_topshot17557713128.632412HP’s first web-connected color laser multi-function printer with the power to scan 3D objects. These objects can be scanned and used to create unique artwork and presentations. Click here to learn more.
In addition to 3D objects, converting your paper documents into electronic form allows you to store, share, and use them more effectively. Considering document management with
scanners like the HP Scanjet 5590 is just smart business.
Less clutter and higher efficiency
Improvements in technology aren’t all about processor speed and the amount of memory. Computers and peripherals now need fewer cables than ever before, freeing your desktop from clutter so you can get back to business.
Other benefits of an All-in-One (AIO) solution are:
Less packaging = lower shipping costs. With the rise in shipping costs, one of the easiest ways for businesses to save is to ship less. HP AIO PCs ship in a single box, enabling significant cost and time savings. Fewer boxes and cables make it easier for businesses to manage their IT investment.
Higher efficiency = lower energy bills. A typical PC and monitor can use up to 250 watts per day. HP AIO PCs use as little as 34 watts. HP AIO PCs won’t eat up your energy budget like typical PCs, leaving more resources for the things that really matter.
Just one cord to plug in. Traditional PCs require a nest of cables just to get started. Simplify your life with the HP AIO PC’s elegant out-of-the-box experience.
While we couldn’t imagine some of this technology a few years ago, we can certainly understand how to apply it to our daily work lives. Whether it’s printing on-the-go, scanning 3D objects, or implementing an AIO solution, it’s hard to argue that technology is heading in the right direction.
Don’t forget about HP’s newest Tablet PC. Ideal for people with jobs that frequently take them away from traditional desks, yet need to remove productive in a familiar Windows environment. Optimized for Windows® 7 Professional, the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC is also intended for those who use custom applications that must operate in a Windows® environment.
Although it may be hard to believe, life support software that allows customers and browsers to chat to each other over the web has actually been around for almost 15 years now. The main difference is the fact that now more companies are using it which has helped raise the profile of live support chat software a great deal as business people are realizing that it is still one of the top tools for communicating with consumers and offering them instant support as well as the satisfaction of knowing they are working with a real agent.
In fact, live support software is so popular that the US Army even uses a live support chat software device in order to help answer potential recruits’ questions as well as military families that are looking for help with reassignment, deployment, and assistance questions. With this much success backing live support chat software, it should come as little surprise then that there is now a new generation of live support chat software that is slowly rolling out helping to make the software much easier to utilise from a business point of view and much more pleasing to use from a customer’s point of view.
The major problems with live support software right now is that in some instances it still lacks the human touch despite the fact that humans are actually the one’s doing the chatting. This is due to the fact that most companies want to optimise the agents that they hire to staff their live support chat software, therefore they have agents that handle five or more conversations at a time which can lead to inaccuracies in grammar and delayed responses. This can leave some more picky browsers disgruntled with live support software and the entire experience.
However, the new generation of live support chat software aims to solve this by cutting out live agents altogether thereby somewhat making the name ironic, but getting the job done in a much more efficient manner. In the place of live agents on the other side of the live support software is a virtual employer that relies on virtual intelligence to answer questions and get the job done with the programming to make sure that the customer gets perfect grammar every time along with a rapid fast response. Surprisingly enough, this software seems to be catching on as those who use live support chat software with this option seem quite pleased with the results.
From a business point of view, the use of a virtual agent that is able to be programmed to respond like a live human agent is obvious. The average chat over a live support software service will last 18 minutes, out of which five minutes are spent by the customer waiting for the next available representative. However, a virtual agent can respond right away eliminating the need for any wait and allowing the live support chat software to live up to its rep as an instant form of customer service.
Next, continuing the business point of view, bear in mind that you do not have to pay the virtual agent anything for its time, reducing the costs of actual hiring agents to staff your live support software or attempting to man it on your own. For those who receive a high volume of chat requests, this is an excellent choice given the average cost of a chat is considered to be five dollars per session all things considered. Plus, as always, if the virtual agent gets stuck the live chat can be turned over to a real human so that you do have to worry about losing a customer but can easily streamline the live support software service in most cases on your website cheaply and effectively.
HP Tablet PCs are a great way of being able to save and work on your projects. They are able to do more than just one type of input. They have the ability to be two kinds of computers at the same time. This is good for someone who needs to do more than one type of work.
How one inputs their data into an instrument depends on what they are doing. They may be performing a specific job that requires the use of this type of computer because of its ability to take in data by touch or pen control. Another may need to use a laptop to finish what they are doing. The best option is to have both combined into one object.
The computer can also turn into a laptop. HP Tablet PCs are able to make their screens bend in a way that turns them back to become a platform that you can write on. When the job is done with using the tablet, the user can turn it back into a laptop. Some jobs need a laptop and others need a surface that you can draw or write on. It is nice to have options when using a computer.
The use of the flat drawing board is a function that suits well for art. The artist can use the pen to draw in detail. It also allows them to edit the image as well. This ensures that the project will be at its best when completed. The artwork is then saved on the machine digitally where it can be used for later.
HP Tablet PCs are also light weight. The advantage of having a device that can do more than one thing is having a device that doesn’t weigh like more than one thing. The ability to have two computers in one instrument is a good thing for those who have to carry the item around. A good example of this is a doctor who must walk around the hospital with the computer.
The computer can turn into a laptop with a keyboard and the regular instruments that are used. HP Tablet PCs can also be tablets with the ability to use touch and pen input to manipulate information. The device can adapt to any type of project that it needs to perform. This is good for someone who needs this type of duality in their computer.
The real nice point to being able to have two types of computers is that they are in one device. This helps to reduce the weight and cumbersome problems of having more than one item to deal with. With a computer that can do two things in one also reduces the issue of having too much to carry. Weight can be a very serious issue when you have to carry the item around with you all day like a doctor.
When you look at the computers that you can buy, you have to look at the HP Tablet PCs. They are light weight and very useful with their multiple ways of input. They can be two machines in one. You are able to have two computers in one at the same time. The trick is to be able to have an instrument that can do more than one task.