AUGUST 2010 / RS.

100 VOLUME 01 / ISSUE 08

INSIGHT: Should

you lose sleep over cloud engulfing internal IT?

28

INTERVIEW: Jim

Whitehurst on consumers driving IT agenda

38

IT STRAT: Why it’s important to take a strategic approach to social media

45 THE BIG Q
How to stem social media leaks? Pg 51

MULTIPLIED The spread of BI across
the enterprise is turning employees into
knowledge workers.
Here is an update on
how the revolution
is shaping up
Pg.14
A 9.9 Media Publication

INTELLIGENCE

EDITORIAL

More than just intelligence
In many recent surveys of IT heads, business intelligence (BI) has often come close to the top of the list of things to get done. The reasons for this are not hard to discern. The rapid fluctuations in the global economy
have made planning more difficult, and compelled managers
in all organizations to focus on optimizing resources, cutting costs
and capturing new revenue opportunities. Many of these activities are possible only if people have access to timely and accurate information—and presented in a manner that can be easily understood and actioned. The big challenge for IT managers is to get information into the hands of the people who need it most, while ensuring data security and accuracy. But, retrieving, collating and presenting data from a variety of enterprise systems and making it available across different platforms and networks is formidable task, especially if the BI system has to be delivered across divisions and offices to support operational decision-making. Ensuring the performance and reliability of such distributed BI systems, becomes an enormous undertaking once usage within the organization grows. It puts a lot of pressure on the IT department to keep up with burgeoning user needs. BI is often perceived to be expensive to buy, implement and run. While this was often true for solutions targeted at big enterprises, BI has become cheaper and easier in past few years. Continuous technical developments and refinements in both BI solutions and backend systems (like CRM, ERP, SCM, data warehouses, etc.) have made it simpler to retrieve, store and process data from multiple systems. Hardware performance improvements have also helped—storage is much cheaper now, and server virtualization helps minimize hardware costs and reduce the overall BI project cost. In fact, you even have cloud and SaaS-based BI options. However, the real issues with spreading BI within the organization are that the initiative is often driven by the IT department, not business units. The unfortunate outcome of this state of affairs is that BI is not perceived as a system that is critical to run the business—and needs continuous justification. To resolve this conundrum, it is necessary for IT managers to educate and evangelize the benefits of BI to business unit heads. They will need to assimilate key business issues and demonstrate to decision makers how BI can help them do their jobs better. Write in and let us know how BI is making a difference in your organization.

“The real challenge is to get information into the hands of people who need it most”
R GIRIDHAR

Sites To Watch!
The Datawarehousing Institute: http://www.tdwi.org B Eye Network : http://www.beye-network.com Your views and opinion matter to us. Send your feedback on stories and the magazine at r.giridhar@9dot9.in or SMS us at 567678 (type ITNEXT<space>your feedback)

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

1

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Edu TEch December 2009

CONTENT
FOR THE L ATEST TECHNOLOGY UPDATES GO TO ITNEXT.IN
AUGUST 2010 V O L U M E 0 1 | I S S U E 0 8

Facebook: http://www.facebook. com/home.php# / gr oup. php?gid=19567 5 03 05 82 Twitter: http://t witter.com/ itnext LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ groups?gid=22617 7 0& trk=myg_ ugrp_ovr

Democratisation of BI
From being a tool for the head honchos, to providing insight to the line managers, BI is undergoing a metamorphosis and with it the way the companies conduct business is changing as well

Page

14

INSIGHTS

BOSS TALK

INTERVIEW

24 Is it Rain or a Drizzle?
Will cloud computing decimate internal IT? Is it worth losing your sleep over its rise?

32 Do More with less

28 Cloud? Yes with riders involved
There are clear benefits to using the cloud model to facilitate the rapid availability of IT resources, but it’s not for every enterprise

05 Craft a multi-faceted persona| Arun Gupta , Group CTO, K.Raheja Corp

38 Consumers will drive the Tech Agenda| Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat

2

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C OVER DESI GN AND IL LUSTRATI ON : ANIL T

Data de-duplication is not just about saving capacity; it’s also about improving the performance of storage systems

ITNEXT.IN

MANAGEMENT
Managing Director: Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Printer & Publisher: Vikas Gupta

EDITORIAL

Page

42

SECURING THE AIRWAVES | A Wi-Fi plan
should be robust enough to address security concerns and clean enough to keep legal risks at bay
49 Training Calendar | A list

Group Editor: R Giridhar Associate Editor: Shashwat DC Sr Correspondent: Jatinder Singh

DESIGN
Sr Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Associate Art Director: Anil VK Manager Design: Chander Shekhar Sr Visualisers: Anoop PC, Santosh Kushwaha Sr Graphic Designer: Suresh Kumar Sr Designers: Prasanth TR & Anil T Designer: Sristi Maurya Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul

OPINION

11 Money Wise: Journey to the Top ! |By Chinar Deshpande, CEO, Creative IT India 12 Tech Talk: IT’s better with governance | by Srinivas Anapu,VP (Enterprise Information Systems) Mahindra Satyam

of career booster courses

THE BIG Q
51 How to stem social media leaks? | Engage ur employees

and enforce an IS policy

CUBE CHAT
56 Taking up Challenges | “I

SALES & MARKETING
VP Sales & Marketing: Naveen Chand Singh (09971794688) Brand Manager: Siddhant Raizada (09990388390) National Manager-Events & Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi (09880436623) GM South: Vinodh Kaliappan(09740714817) GM North: Pranav Saran(09312685289) GM West: Sachin N Mhashilkar(09920348755) Assistant Brand Manager: Arpita Ganguli Ad co-ordination/Scheduling: Kishan Singh

15-MINUTE MANAGER
45 IT Strat Social only? |

aspire to raise the standard of my work,” says Bhoodev Tyagi, Leader–IT, Dun & Bradstreet, India

Taking a strategic approach to social media is essential to reaping real benefits
46 Healthy Living | Coping with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 47 Golf Basics | Dummies

OFF THE SHELF
60 Ericsson intros LTE based solution | Faster mobile

broadband apps on demand LED-based digital light source

PRODUCTION & LOGISTICS
Sr. GM Operations: Shivshankar M Hiremath Production Executive: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh, Mohamed Ansari, Shashi Shekhar Singh

guide to golfing
48 Manage IT| Sweat your IT

assets page

REGULARS
Editorial _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 01 Industry Update _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 06 Tech Indulge _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 60 Open Debate _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 61 My Log _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _62

OFFICE ADDRESS
Nine Dot Nine Mediaworx Pvt Ltd A-262 Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024, India Certain content in this publication is copyright Ziff Davis Enterprise Inc, and has been reprinted under license. eWEEK, Baseline and CIO Insight are registered trademarks of Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine Mediaworx Private Ltd. Published and printed on their behalf by Vikas Gupta. Published at A-262 Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024, India. Printed at Silver Point Press Pvt Ltd, D-107, TTC Industrial Area, Shirvane, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706. Editor: Vikas Gupta
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM NINE DOT NINE MEDIAWORX PV T LTD IS PROHIBITED.

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INBOX
is much lesser than a typical PC. Thin clients used in conjunction with desktop virtualisation are a big hit these days, as they allow simpler provisioning of new desktops, reduced downtime and lower cost of deploying new applications.
SAURYA BHAUMIK Independent Consultant IT NEXT THANKS ITS READERS FOR THE WARM RESPONSE www.linkedin.com/ groups?gid= 2261770&trk= myg_ugrp_ovr 396 members

JULY 2010

IT NEXT VALUES YOUR FEEDBACK

We want to know what you think about the magazine, and how we can make it a better read. Your comments will go a long way in making IT NEXT the preferred publication for the community. Send your comments, compliments, complaints or questions about the magazine to editor@itnext.in.

I liked the story “De-lighting with a difference” published in the July issue of IT NEXT. In today’s scenario everyone is becoming very conscious about rising energy costs and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. Building automation is very effective in reducing both the energy costs and environmental costs of a building. Because of this, most systems start by automating the heating, cooling, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems’ operations.
GAURAV KOHLI IT Consultant, Xebia

READ THIS ISSUE ONLINE http://www.itnext. in/resources/ magazine

Multimodal Qualdplay story published in March issue of IT Next is a good read. I want to congratulate you and your entire team for simplifying technology at such a great extent. While many organisations have already embarked on this journey, and are at various stages of UC matyurity curve, several others are actively considering its deployment. the real challenge, for me, in the BIO space comes in conso0lidating voice voice, video and data onto single network. In this context, it’s important to first analyse if the existing corporate network is ready to deal with the proposed deployment
RANJAN JUNEJA, Technical Manager, Persistent

I am really impressed with the way, IT Next is going. The July issue was really rich in both content and design. I really liked the cover story on best practices. With every passing day, the intimacy between technology and business is evolving. And businesses therefore are looking at various options which could aid them the best possible results. Thanks for the broader picture. I am eagerly waiting for the next issue.
SUKHVINDER SINGH MD, Makkar Travels

The Bluffer’s guide to world cup soccer was a good read. This is the only IT magazine , I’ve seen in recent times which is an exciting blend of IT and IT related non IT stories. I am a big fn of your training calender as well. I usually tear it from the magazine and put on my notice board for my IT managers and other administrators for a ready information.
TANU KAUR, HR Associate, Gear

The magazine is impressive, however I think it is too loud in its overall appeal. Perhaps that is why it has named IT NEXT.
SHWETA SHAW Assistant Manager, TCS

I found the green issue of IT NEXT is noteworthy. The information related to desktop virtualisation is appreciable. In today’s scenerio, thin clients are also a great solution to the power issue, as they consume much lesser power than conventional PCs and are much easier to manage as well. Thin clients consume around 15W of power, which

ITNEXT<space> <your feedback> and send it to

Thanks for throwing light on the SOA in the July issue of IT NEXT. I am completely agreed with the author that the adoption of SOA is going to be really huge amongst enterprises, in coming years.
ANSHU MUNJAL, System Admin, Clarity India

56 78 76
*Special rates apply

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BOSS TALK | ARUN GUPTA

PEOPLE MANAGEMENT

E

Craft a multi-faceted persona

ver so often, a debate starts on what it takes to become a CIO—technical or business skill, or something else? The answer is not clear—look around and you will find CIOs from different backgrounds who have tasted success. Let’s first assess what is the role of a CIO. Some 70% of the IT budget comprises sustenance of technology that runs a business—referred to as “business as usual (BAU)”, or keeping the lights on (KTLO). Then, there is the incremental improvement of systems and processes driven by technology, (customisations, new development, changes to existing packages and reports that keep developers both internal or outsourced busy. New projects form a critical part of a portfolio, each requiring a business case, budgetary support, change management, and sustenance upon institutionalisation. Lastly, it’s about thought leadership, alignment and contribution. A CIO oversees all of the above—impacting the front office, sales, marketing and customers, while ensuring support for functions such as finance, accounting, human resources, legal and administration. Depending upon an organisation’s business, a process-related understanding of manufacturing, distribution and logistics, supply chain, or loyalty is required, too. A jack-of-all-trade’s-CIO is expected to have a meaningful discussion with business heads and CXOs on their functions and understand how technology enables those. This helps a CIO identify new capabilities that IT can create with the new innovations, that keep pouring into the marketplace. Operationally, the CIO is expected to manage the IT team, mentor them, keep attrition low, manage operational and capital budgets, review outsourced vendor performance, negotiate deals for the lowest cost

“Tech skills are needed but not to the level of how to configure a router or write a code—that’s for the next layer”
of services or products, and generate periodic reports for management reviews. He is also expected to be on the top of a situation, in case of exigencies created by the failure of a server, the network, or even the PC—at a critical moment. Think now, what kind of qualifications would be required to be a successful CIO. Do you need to be a major in technology, or business? Will cross-functional experience offer value? What about soft skills. A dash of people management? Look around you—and you will find successful IT leaders from all walks of life juggling all of the se tasks. Technology skills are essential. They are needed, but not to the level of how to configure a router or write a code—that’s for the next layer, even for vendors to address. On the other hand, business and soft skills cannot be substituted. Those need to be developed to a level where communication with any CXO is meaningful. If you are challenged in this faculty, then business IT alignment will be a debated subject. And you may find yourself at the receiving end.
The author is Group CTO for K.Rahega Corp

SUGGESTION BOX

The book talks about why Mastering the Art and Practice of Online Learning and Corporate Collaboration is important
WRITER: ROBERT UBELL P UBLISHER: JOHN WILLY & SONS P RICE: INR 1800

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

5

UPDATE
I N D U S T R Y

TRENDS DEALS PRODUCTS SERVICES PEOPLE

MAIN FEATURES n 1500+ user-installable applications n Allows users to access Indian content in just one click n Indic language transliteration to help users write in mother tongue
The browser boasts of over 1500 Indian themes and wallpapers, and supports over twelve Indian languages on any webpage, or in write ,by using Epic’s free built-in word processor. The company claims that this is the only browser in the world which offers anti-virus protection. Free antivirus scanning and healing is built into Epic and enables users to save money by performing regular virus scans on Epic for free, and every file they download in Epic is automatically scanned. Another unique security measure warns users when they’re about to visit potentially dangerous websites. It also have feature like Indic language transliteration that enables users to write emails and documents in their mother tongue simply and instantly using a regular English keyboard. This allows users to access India content by just one click in various languages. Epic claims that it has over 1500 apps that include a word processor, file backup, my computer, video picture-inpicture, e-mail, chat, games and more. A user can store all these applications which are free and install in seconds.

Hidden unveils browser for India
EXCLUSIVE | Hidden Reflex, a Bangalore–based software start-up has

launched the first browser targeted at Indian audiences. The browser called Epic has been created by a team of Indian engineers on the open–source Mozilla platform. The browser sidebar supports Indian content by providing users access to the latest national and regional news from popular publications, live television channels, videos, stock quotes, live cricket scores, top music albums, and information about local events.

Epic has been created by a team of Indian engineers and is based on the open–source Mozilla platform

M TELECO
Mobile subscribers in India reached 58.43 crore as on March 31, 2010

Teledensity in India The number of telephone subscribers in India has reached 621.28 mn at the end of Mar 2010
(NUMBERS IN PERCENTAGE) 60 50 40 30

.5 17
MAR 2009

%
SEP 2009

43.5

8.2

%
DEC 2009

11.

8%
MAR 2010

52.7

20 10 0

37.0

47.1

S O UR CE: TR AI

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STORE IN AN ARTISTIC WAY
Transcend has launched the 16 GB JetFlash V90C keychain USB flash drive. This artistic device carries lifetime warranty

FOR A SLEEK VIEW
Inspan has launched Mercury 1660TWG LED Monitor – the monitor that comes with inbuilt speakers. It is priced at Rs. 7,499 and carries a 3 year warranty

COOL YOUR SERVERS
GlacialTech launches new series of server cooler under the Polaris range. The products are environment friendly and specifically designed for Intel LGA771 server CPUs

SAP sharpens its sustainability focus
TECH TRENDS | Sustainability, in the past couple of years, has attracted increasing interest among businesses across verticles. In principle, the basic idea is as simple as it is compelling: resources may only be used at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally. Realising the need, SAP has sharpened its focus on proving sustainable solutions to customers which can help them gain long term profitability. The company is driving its sustainability initiatives by managing its internal operations and enabling its customers to increase their

The company is working to provide new sustainability solutions

sustainable performance through compliance, resource productivity, competitive differentiation, and business longevity needs, with a constant monitoring in place.

The company is working with stakeholders and partners to understand the sustianibility needs, and making efforts to build software programmes and reports to meet the same. “SAP’s Sustainability Report is an important step towards the company’s ongoing dialogue with stakeholders regarding how SAP can best perform as a company, build software solutions that promote sustainable operations for customers, and play a leading role in the public policy debate,” says Rajamani Srinivasan, Vice President, Solutions Engineering, SAP India. It claims that its Webbased report has achieved an A+ rating from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and allows readers to drill into sustainability performance.

AROUND THE WORLD

QUICK BYTE

Facebook reaches 500 mn users. Mobile phones aid the spread
Facebook has crossed 500 mn users around the world, informs the company. “This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world,” says Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook. The company has also announced that it has surpassed 12 million users in India as people continue to share their lives on Facebook.

AMAZON.COM CEO JEFF BEZOS ON KINDLE E-BOOKS OUTSELLING HARDCOVERS

“THE KINDLE HAS NOW OVERTAKEN THE HARDCOVER, EVEN THOUGH WE’VE BEEN SELLING HARDCOVER BOOKS FOR 15 YEARS AND KINDLE BOOKS FOR 33 MONTHS”

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

7

UPDATE

Sify, VMware partner to offer cloud solutions
TECH TIDINGS | Sify Technolo-

gies and VMware have entered into a partnership to expand the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) in India to offer Ondemand hosting (Cloud) services Sify has joined the global VMware service provider program (VSPP), designed for service-providers who offer On-demand cloud services giving them the option to “rent” VMware software licenses on a monthly “pay as you go” basis. According to the official statement, this model will help Indian companies, both large and small, to safely tap computing capacity inside and outside their firewalls – how they want, when they want, and to the extent they want – to help

INTERVIEW MANISH MEHTA Vice President, Global Online, Dell Online

Security chiefs need to lay out a roadmap for enabling the new era of choice computing

ensure quality of service for any application they want to run, internally or as a service. This partnership helps Sify address the demand for on-demand computing in India, one of the fastest growing cloud computing markets in the Asia Pacific region.

IT NEXT: How is Dell utilising the benefits of collaboration tools to increase business efficiencies? Dell was an early adopter of crowdsourced innovation with the launch of ideastorm; we use a similar tool internally, called “employeestorm.” We see social media tools as an element of our overall internal communications and collaboration. Which are the key business priorities that should not be compromised when deploying these tools? Employees should agree to protect confidential information. The organisation should provide adequate training and annual compliance and ethics training around protecting private customer information. Collaborative environments can be fostered without compromising on security and confidentiality by incorporating adequate checks and balances at the design stage. Could you highlight the key precautions that an IT administrator must take while deploying any collaboration tool? I suppose it depends on the service you are considering internally. For us, several of the platforms are different. However, employees share links across the platforms and inside the firewall, so while tighter integration might be ideal, I am not sure there is any such single vendor, or service, that would necessarily address all the specific needs for any single organisation.
By Jatinder Singh
PHOTO GRAPHY: JAYAN K NARAYANAN

User driven IT taking hold amongst enterprises
IT, this dynamic shifts when it comes to newer consumer technologies adoption of consumer technologies More than 60% of respondents like the iPhone and iPad within the report that users have some input enterprise is compelling organisation regarding the types of smartphones to lay out a security roadmap in this purchased, with 20 percent reporting era of fast changing security environthat they let users decide ment, suggests a latest research report 52 % of organisations allow some from EMC. users to provide input on This report offers concrete or make decisions about recommendations for how netbooks while 50% security leaders can get out involve users in some tablet in front of user-driven IT and decisions. And 23% of manage risks to create new the largest organisations business value. ORGANISATIONS ALLOW USERS TO surveyed have experienced While the majority PROVIDE INPUT a serious breach or incident of decisions about older DECISIONS ABOUT because of a personal device technologies such as desktops NETBOOKS and laptops are still made by on the corporate network.
TECH TRENDS | The rapid use and

52

%

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UPDATE

NSN to acquire part of Motorola’s wireless biz
THE COMPANIES EXPECT TO COMPLETE THE ACQUISITION BY THE END OF 2010.

TECH TRENDS

US extends its lead as a top spammer
IT security and control firm Sophos has published its latest report that identifies the top 12 spam relaying countries, covering the second quarter of 2010. According to the report, the USA continues to be the number one spam polluter, piping out 15.2% of all global spam messages, an increase from 13.1% in the first quarter of 2010. The UK, a nation that last year fell out of the spam hall of shame, - also saw a significant rise in the proportion of spam it relayed. The top spam relaying countries for April to June, 2010, are as follows—
India 7.7% S Korea 4.2% Brazil 5.5%

M&A | Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) has announced plans to acquire Motorola’s GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, LTE, and WiMAX wireless assets for $1.2 billion. NSN will acquire several R&D centres as a part of the deal. Also, approximately 7,500 Motorola employees are expected to be transferred to NSN. The companies expect to complete the acquisition by the end of 2010, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval. “Having historically been out of the CDMA business, NSN had a weak position in the US market despite some deals in the mobile core segment (such as an IMS deal with Verizon Wireless for its LTE project) and in the optical

area,” explained Julien Grivolas, Principal analyst, Ovum. “After its failed attempt to acquire Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets, Motorola was NSN’s last potential target to achieve this goal. Huawei and ZTE were also in the mix, but would have struggled to close such an acquisition for political reasons,” Grivolas adds. Globally, this deal is mostly about scale and reach. The deal also marks NSN’s entry into the CDMA business, as well as its comeback in the WiMAX infrastructure market. Adding Motorola’s wireless RAN assets – which represented a turnover of $3.7 billion in 2009 – will make NSN better positioned to compete against Ericsson, Huawei, and Alcatel-Lucent.

According to the findings, the best way for users and administrators to reduce the risk of being compromised is to run anti-spam and anti-malware protections, behave sensibly while online, and ensure that their systems are upto-date with security patches.

NEWS @ BLOG

ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE IS SEXY AGAIN

WITH PROHIBITIVE PRICING, long product cycles and user interfaces only a mother could love, the enterprise offerings of Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and other big vendors, are about as appealing as Steve Ballmer in a bikini | Aaron Levie, CEO and co-founder of Box.net in his blog post at <http://www.TechCrunch.com>

The guest post further quotes him as saying that the latest crop of enterprise software companies are approaching business problems with the agility, speed and mindset of consumer start-ups, bringing explosive innovation to a traditionally stagnant, slow-moving market. To retain customers in this incredibly competitive landscape, you’re forced to build better technology.
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ILLUSTRATIO N: ANO O P PC

USA (15.2%)

UK 4.6%

OPINION

MONEY WISE
CHINAR DESHPANDE CEO, Creative IT India

Journey to the top! The new IT Leader

B

usiness environment is becoming so competitive, and market dynamics are changing so fast, that it has become imperative for an organisation to be flexible and incorporate easy-to-change process architecture. It’s possible to adopt fluidity, only if organisations have strong technology backbones supporting business operations. As technology becomes the core business driver, IT leadership has to evolve to suit demands of the business and stakeholders’ expectations. Traditionally, IT functions of an enduser organisation are divided into two pillars of IT delivery; infrastructure and business applications. This leads to a situation wherein a IT personnel with high-growth potential ends up focusing on either infrastructure, or business. By the time, he/she reaches the number two spot in the IT function, all versatility is lost. And an individual settles into a role of a senior-most subject matter expert. It is therefore imperative for senior IT managers, aspiring to be the next CIOs, to stop being specialists, and be sensitive to the business. The journey to the top can start by taking a few measures: Becoming one with business: It is critical for an IT leader to become a part of the mainstream business, to be recognised as a key influence. When you understand challenges of business teams, you are able to relate to their true needs for solutions. In order to achieve this one has to: n Establish a rapport with key business users across departments nUnderstand business processes n Participate in informal chats on

“It is critical for an IT leader to become part of the mainstream business to be recognized as the key influencer in the business”
business performance, challenges in dayto-day operations, and external factors influencing the company’s progress n Become aware of business targets set for key people in departments n short, speak the same language as In your internal customer Measuring business benefits of IT: Any technology initiative has to have business needs. Its implementation success has to be measurable in the form of tangible business benefits. In order to adopt this practice one can follow a few steps such as:

n Capturing the business scenario in quantifiable parameters before starting an IT project. Ensuring that the outcome of a project is measured in terms of improvement in these numbers n Associate each IT project to goals of key business leaders, which may have to clear financial measures. This allows one to assess the true return n Establish a balanced scorecard for IT function in order to judge the impact of IT on all four dimensions of organisational improvement—viz. a. Financial growth b. Customer satisfaction c. Internal process improvements d. Learning of the organisation Aspiring to be a game changer for the business: IT function is no longer a support function, but a business enabler. But, one cannot stop at this. To be a successful IT leader, it’s important to identify opportunities where technology can introduce a new business model and offer a competitive edge to the firm. Any technology initiative that empowers your organisation to create markets, addresses customers differently, or opens up new avenues of revenues and/ or profit-making, would automatically put you in the leadership role. Developing a friendly ecosystem: Leadership in any field needs support of friends, followers and alliances. Hence, it is critical to establish a professional (or personal) relationship with IT vendors, implementation partners, consulting companies and technology companies. A senior IT professional has to get as close to the business as possible and establish a connect between technology and business. One has to show sensitivity towards the fact that money is spent on each IT project. Hence, treat it as an investment and show tangible returns that catch the fancy of business leaders. Ensure that you build a support system that facilitates your career, both internally as well as externally. Finally, make a business impact through technology-driven innovation—and the crown is yours.

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

PHOTO GRAPHY: MEX Y ZAV IER

11

TECH TALK OPINION
SRINIVAS ANAPU, VP (Enterprise Information Systems) Mahindra Satyam

IT’s better with governance

R

esearch conducted by MIT has found that companies with better than average IT governance earn at least 20% higher return on assets than organisations with weaker governance. Government regulations require companies to assess IT risks impacting financial disclosure at stages of a company’s lifespan, and to maintain the effectiveness of the control environment when information systems are changed, updated, or expanded. In other words, IT compliance is a continuous process—compliance cost cannot be looked at as a onetime cost. IT governance is a framework which ensures that technology decisions are made in support of business goals and objectives. It provides the critical checks and balances to better manage and mitigate risk, standardise practices, streamline procedures, and strengthen returns on assets. Companies should look at IT compliance initiatives not like a duty to accomplish, but like an opportunity to exploit—to improve awareness of accounting information systems, to reduce IT risks, to enhance value of financial information, and to gain the trust of investors and financial markets. Companies should transform IT compliance from a cost driver to a value driver—aligning IT compliance initiatives with their strategic IT goals and investments. The roadmap for a well-conceived IT compliance framework starts with defining the scope of IT compliance and

“When aligned with strategic IT goals and investments, IT compliance transforms from a cost driver to a value driver”
mapping all operations comprising the processes related to financial data. This should be documented too. Design a control against each of the existing risks and threats for data integrity. Evaluate each of these controls and verify if they are able to remediate the systems failure, unauthorised accesses or human mistakes in accounting. Finally document and report all the IT compliance activities so that this

requires a complete traceability of each of the finance-related transactions. The IT compliance activity is really complex, especially for large companies that have subsidiaries in different countries and are listed on different stock exchanges. To support IT compliance, standards like COSO and COBIT are available to drive companies in the right direction. While it may sound expensive, you can reduce the IT compliance cost by encapsulating the compliance processes into an automated system. Besides, create a structured, controlled software development processes and apply best-practice methodologies. Finally, ensure that you develop specific compliance reports and templates. While the IT compliance framework is complex in nature, there are fundamentally two types of controls that this framework encapsulates. They are the IT general controls and the IT application controls. The IT general controls should reduce the risk of systems failure and unauthorised access to programs and data, thereby assuring the system’s integrity after operations such as acquisition, implementation, configuration and maintenance of operating systems, database management systems, middleware, communication software and utilities that run the system and allow financial applications to function. The IT applications controls aim to verify the correct functioning of the financial applications and of each of the other process software producing accounting entries. These controls assure completeness, accuracy, authorisation and affordable disclosure for each financial transaction. Finally we all have to understand that while the CIO is the sponsor and completely accountable for the data governance in an organisation, the responsibility lies with the respective process owners and everyone directly related to data governance.

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DEMOCRA

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | COVER STORY

TISATION

ILLUSTRATIO N: ANI L T

From being a tool for the head honchos, to providing insight to the line managers, BI is undergoing a metamorphosis and with it the way the companies conduct business is changing as well

BI
BY S H AS H WAT D C
“Have I bitten more than I could possibly chew?”was a thought that flashed across Suresh Shanmugham’s head as he got down to the deliverables that he had committed upon. As head of IT at Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd (MMFSL), Suresh had in the operations committee meeting promised to deliver growth in figures that were pointing northwards in comparison to current numbers. The specific product sales were not looking too optimistic either, but Shanmugham had confidence in his team and on technology and was confident on delivering the stiff targets. Among the many technologies in his armoury, Shanmugham was banking heavily on Business Intelligence or BI to deliver the goods. He knew that if MMFSL had to make headway as a rural NBFC, the only way he could do the same was by
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COVER STORY | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
empowering his workforce and making strategic information readily available. Over the next few years, MMFSL agents in far-flung areas across the nation were empowered with a hand-held device that not only helped them record financial transaction, but also gave them insights on customer behaviour and market trends. With the MF Connect (the handheld device) in their hands, each agent was a decision maker. And with this decentralisation of information, intelligence was effectively multiplied. The result: In a decade, MMFSL has grown to be one of the largest rural NBFC in India, having over 450 branches across the length and breadth of India. The credit for success according to Shanmugham lies as much with technology as it does for people. “One of the distinguishing factors, was that we were able to empower our agents through the right tools and technology. This helped us to be agile and realign ourselves to the shifting market dynamics,” he states confidently. The reason behind MMFSL’s success is not all that hard to guess. In today’s dynamic environment, the only companies that will succed is the ones that will be most agile and responsive to the changing scenario. BI,. as a tool, aids and abets this agility. Like it is often said that the proof of the pudding is eating it, the success of BI can too be measured in two simple ways, how much revenue was added or how much revenue was saved. BI is particularly effective in these times, where the problem is not the lack of information but information overload. With data flowing in from different points within the organisation, it becomes particularly cumbersome and almost impossible for someone to collate all the data and then make much sense from it. BI in conjunction with business analytics (BA) helps do this data crunching, to find trends, to bring insight from the information and open new vistas. While, more often the terms BI and BA are used inter-changeably, the essential difference is that while BI tools are typically more focused on measuring business performance using assigned metrics, BA takes a predictive approach to business performance, using insights gained from a relatively vast set of data. Both, of course, serve as decision making tools.

TOP 5 METHODS OF MONITORING PERFORMANCE
BI is still fairly in the infancy as far as performace monitoring is concerned as only 10% of respondents were using it
ERP Reports/ Dashboards MS Excel and Spreadsheets

Reports from Financial Applications

30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Database Reports

(Base 207 respondents)

BI

26%

26%

19.1%

16.9%

10.4%

1.1%

TOP 5 CHALLENGES IN BUSINESS PERFORMANCE MONITORING
The biggest concern with performance monitoring is still around the issue of data integrity and security

Lack of integrated data from multiple applications

Time taken to obtain relevant data

People who need information do not have access

(Base 207 respondents)
Difficult to control control access to sensitive data

Other

25 20 15 10 5 0

Reports too complex and difficult to understand

Other

Traditional BI
Previously, BI was touted as a magic wand–it could change business fortunes. Coming at a premium, these standalone solutions–namely Cognos, Hyperion, etc.–promised the moon; agility, productivity and profitability. Though, many did deliver, the crux lay in how the application was integrated

23.4%

21.1%

13.2%

11.6%

11.2%

19.2%

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | COVER STORY
with the existing infrastructure. The system was dependent on the information being supplied by other enterprise applications. The focus was on reporting, especially for the honcho, on assessing the success (or failure) of the business processes and marketing initiatives. BI was considered an additional functionality, something that came on top of other business applications, like the cherry on top. Considering the costs and issues with integration, only big or aggressive players went in for BI–after all it the magic wand for revenue growth. Little wonder then that the verticals that were the biggest users of BI were also the ones that were gunning for maximum was as important, (or probably more important), than earning the buck– scope and focus of BI was turned inward. So, while BI was a telescope that could look at new horizons outside, it could also play a diagnostic role within the enterprise. It was also around this time that another important change took place. Companies realised that limiting the access to BI reports to only the top managers was not the best way to function. Instead, if the whole platform was more democratised, and reports (specific to job profiles) were made available to even line managers, the enterprise’s agility would increased by leaps and bounds. So, if market intelligence, or customer insight, was provided to even sales manager trying to sell a product or service, it greatly helped in closing a deal. Again, banks and telecoms were at the forefront of this change– providing customer details to even the customer-relationship officers and sales representatives to help them make an informed decision. Suddenly, from being an ancillary tool, BI became pervasive. It was no longer an additional factor, but a must-have for firms that wished to cut their loses and grow. There was a shift– BI was no longer focusing on data generation, but on enabling efficient and smart resource utilisation.

“A business intelligence solution focused on vertical needs shortens the execution cycle and adds business value for the customer”
—MANEESH SHARMA, HEAD-BUSINESS USER & PLATFORM, SAP INDIA

“The secret to BI’s success is team work. Participation from all side of business is not only crucial but critical”
—KRISHNAKUMAR AVANOOR, CUSTOMER CARE ASSOCIATE & DGM, SOLUTIONS AND TECHNOLOGY TEAM, SHOPPER’S STOP

growth. Speaking from the Indian context, BFSI and telecom were at the forefront of economic growth.

Verticalised Solution
One factors that enabled this shift was the emergence of “verticalised BI solutions”. Larger enterprises such as software companies acquired BI vendors–IBM acquired Cognos, SAP acquired Business Objects, and Oracle acquired Hyperion–looked at ways to integrate features into their existing offerings such as ERP and CRM. The result was appreciated by all. A reason why IT managers were skeptical about BI was because of the implementation issues. Integrating BI suite with other existing enterprise applications was a tough call– it involved a lot of customised coding work at the clients’ end. This customisation

Democratisation of BI
All that changed in the past decade. The growth bubble burst and recession clouds appeared. Organisations that were gunning for growth suddenly were grappling with sustenance. In that competitive landscape, which had evolved over the years, caught several enterprises unawares. The result was mayhem– as companies were unprepared for both. Big ticket companies, also using highend analytics software, were not able to duck the trend, either. With the realisation hitting the management that saving the buck

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COVER STORY | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
not only took a lot of time, but also money. Result; people were never satisfied with the output, as it was not commensurate to efforts. But, with enterprise vendors offering an integrated suite with BI capabilities that was specifically aligned on a vertical basis, companies were able to adopt BI into their operations without quickly and without hassle. Also the fact that now BI had specific features based on a space that a company operated in greatly aided the adoption. Companies are moving beyond the traditional reporting and analysis tools. They are increasingly banking on capabilities that could assist them with targeted data mining, dashboarding, collaboration, statistical analysis and dimensional analysis. Moreover, there has been a growing uptake of customised analytical and intelligence tools. Some enterprises have felt that standardised models are too complex and inadequate to meet their needs effectively. Maneesh Sharma, Head-Business User & Platform, SAP India, reaffirms his faith in verticalised solution. “The reason behind the evolution of verticalised BI solutions is the specific requirement in any industry. Each industry vertical has an unique speciality segment, with specific BI needs and pain points–unique data structures, process patterns and standards, job roles with industryspecific responsibilities and KPI’s. A business intelligence solution focused on vertical needs shorten the execution cycle and adds business value for the customer.” Concurs Nitin Singhal, Country Manager, Information ManagementSoftware Group, IBM India (South Asia). “As industry adoption of IT matures and competitive differentiation of IT reduces between similar organisations, companies are looking for faster implementation of key initiatives and are leaning towards preconfigure vertical solutions. Apart from this, lack of standard business definitions is continuing to inhibit business transformation. Customers want to spend time in bringing out the potential from the information available within the transactional and non-transactional systems; rather than spend time defining the basic framework for the applicable BI”

Challenges remain
Even as BI adoption continues to grow, there are two challenges that continue to haunt decision revolving BI–data quality and cost of solution. Take for instance the example of Bank of India, one of the premier banks in India. It has completed its first phase of modernisation. Now, its looking at implementing BI within enterprise. But, because of its past legacy, it has huge amount of records that are stored in silos and in an unstructured manner, getting them in a

TOP REASONS FOR CHOOSING BI

BI is now considered to be more pervasive and inward looking, as it is being used to increase operational efficiencies

TOP REASONS FOR NOT USING BI

Over 25% of respondents still mentioned costs as the main reason for not opting for BI solution

Improve business planning Control Costs Improve operational efficiencies & cut waste Manage vendors and suppliers Manage inventories Explore new business opportunities Cut revenue leaks and prevent fraud Comply with regulations

Cost & budget Satisfied with current system Unclear about business benefits Unaware of solutions available Haven’t thought about it in detail Lack of IT resources

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE | COVER STORY
central repository is a challenge. “We are currently working on ways to collate all data and records into a central location. To ensure that it is clean and error free. Once we have laid the foundation, we can move to the next level, using business analytics for growth and productivity,” explains P.A. Kalyanasundar, GM-IT, Bank of India. Problems faced by BoI is a common one. It is said that a BI, or BA, solution can be only as good as the quality of data. If the data is a suspect, it can lead to an implementation failure, which can prove to be catastrophic for any organisation. Ensuring data integrity across systems can be a nightmare sometimes. This is ab area that can be challenging for an IT manager entrusted with the task.

Going forward
The next big leap for BI would be a movement towards hand-held devices. In days to come BI systems will not only reside on a server, but will also port on to mobile devices. They will have access to data and capability to perform analytics themselves, potentially enabling use of optimisation and simulation everywhere. Bhavish Sood, Principal Analyst–BI, Gartner (Asia Pacific), captures the shift when he says, “Another way to view this is as a ‘shift in timing’. Business intelligence has provided us historical analysis; powerful ways of analysing what has already happened. We can increase the scope of the information that is analysed. We can reduce delays between data creation and analysis. In the future the step would be predicting what can, or will, happen.” Another development is BI on a SaaS model, delivered over the cloud seamlessly. As the cloud computing market expands, the on-demand business analytics model has been getting much attention by the IT managers. In fact, according to IDC, the BI SaaS market is set to grow three times faster than the overall business analytics market with a CAGR of 22.4% through 2013, though the base is indeed much smaller now. In the days to come, as the market dynamics become more complex and enterprises drown under TBs and PBs of data, making sense of it all will become extremely critical. And BI will become more pervasive. And credible information will be readily available to the man of the ground. This will help even the smaller companies to compete with the behemoths. Or even open up new markets or business opportunities, like Shanmugham was able to do for MMFSL. Through the spread of relevant information across the organisation, not only are people empowered but companies become profitable. And whats good for the balance sheet, needs to be good for all. So, let’s hail the new avatar of BI, a refurbished democratic one.

When IT managers approach BI with business buy-in, there are benefits that can be seen immediately”
—NITIN SINGHAL, COUNTRY MANAGER, INFORMATION MANAGEMENT-SOFTWARE GROUP, IBM INDIA (SOUTH ASIA)

“Heterogeneous systems pose a challenge, as the application aims to integrate and analyse information from all areas of business.”
—BINU LAKSHMAN, MANAGER - IT, HONDA SIEL CARS INDIA

The other tangle is to justify the cost of implementation. Most of IT managers often debate if it is really worth the effort–considering the costs and results. Singhal attempts to answer the dilemma. “Previously the issue was that an IT manager looked at the BI only from a pure play-reporting perspective. The first leg of implementation on reporting business now demands more capabilities from a platform. And When IT managers approach BI with business buy-in, there are benefits that can be seen immediately.” In fact, he goes on talk about how a customer using IBM solution was able to show a whopping 403% ROI and a payback period of 3 month for a predictive analytics implementation.

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COVER STORY | BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

INTERVIEW

MAIA Intelligence is a provider of BI and BA solutions that are customised to the needs of users. In a conversation with Shashwat DC, Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MAIA Intelligence, charts out the evolution of BI and maps how the change is affecting all the employees in an organisation.
BY S H AS H WAT D C
How has the shift in BI been from a tool of revenue growth to that of productivity gain? We have saved average daily time for our customers by over 20 minutes in productivity on reports for a normal user and over 90 minutes for a power user. Besides productivity gains, they got excellent insight on their own data and different perspectives to analyse the same with actionable information.
to heavy M&A activity and a stricter regulatory environment, all branches, subsidiaries and sister concerns of these organisations have to have some common financial binding. And that is where BI is capturing the screen space. The big question is which industry can be verticalised. Those industries that are regulated and follow some standard procedures are easier to verticalise. Going by that, BFSI, pharmaceuticals and telcos obviously look like hot segments. However, others like retail, manufacturing, broking are not being left out. Economics is another key factor. Not all solutions can be viable from a cost perspective. There is a cost challenge attached to verticalisation. New fields, new reports, new laws, all need constant up-gradation and we have to understand how it can be technically deployed.

How do you view the evolution and efficacy of verticalised BI solutions? There are two types of verticalizations that are happening in the BI space. One is in terms of function, like balance sheet consolidation, and the other by industry segments like healthcare and logistics. We could sense the requirements for balance sheet consolidation from our customers for quick closure of books through an error-free analytics. So, financial consolidation is an area that is seeing a lot of knitted BI solutions. Due

What are the steps that an IT manager needs to undertake before selecting a BI solution?

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COVER STORY
Are the gains that accrue from BI match up to the costs and pain of implementation? Budget cuts have been limiting longrange thinking, requiring that new projects provide extremely shortterm value. Yet, organisations can’t lose sight of driving value over time. Customers are opting for lightweight BI solutions that are easy to install, easy to use and which leverage existing IT investments and data sources. Also, they do not want to leave anybody out – ensuring everyone has the metrics they need to make competent, factbased decisions.

Keep in mind: the goal is not to find the “best tool” but to find the “best fit.” Every BI tool has its sweet spot. If you deploy the tool outside its sweet spot, you will see its weaknesses. A BI solution must integrate and align to deliver maximum business value. Most BI projects and applications are motivated by a desire to derive more value from existing IT infrastructure and applications. The selection of data integration and BI tools should complement and leverage these investments as much as possible. It is therefore necessary to define a BI architecture and vision to complement the existing IT infrastructure. This means considering the issues of scalability, usability, security and metadata from an overall system perspective and not just from a standalone tool perspective. Likewise, it’s important to have an

overall BI applications roadmap that specifies the type of BI applications to be built and when. The architecture (both infrastructure and information) needs to be able to evolve over time to meet the new applications and changing business requirements. The tools need to be able to support and adapt to that evolution.

How big is the issue of integrating the BI solution with other apps? We have seen customers asking for real-time reporting rather than waiting for big bang data warehouse modelling where this issue of data integration was a concern. As the business is changing very quickly, near-enough is good enough for business users. They expect quick reporting and analytics rather than wait for large data warehouse to get ready and then use the same.

What are the top three challenges in BI implementation and how they can be addressed? Cross organizational collaboration: Data integration with multiple source systems is still one of the biggest challenges. BI is has the potential to deliver enormous payback, but demands unprecedented collaboration. Where BI is concerned, collaboration is not limited to departments within the organisation; it requires integration of knowledge about customers, competition, market conditions, vendors, partners, products and employees at all levels. Implementation time-lines: Customers no longer like to wait for a complete BI implementation to be rolled out and see its benefits after a year or so. They want instant access to the reporting analysis from their data within few days of the signup. Foreseeing the real RoI: BI implementations fail because they are sold to IT departments and not to the business users.

What are biggest trends that you see in BI at the moment? We see embedding of BI within application as one of the biggest growth areas. We are also looking forward to new technology wave of Rich Internet Applications (RIA) based BI. This kind of intuitive GUI was never experienced before by business users.

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INSIGHT | CLOUD COMPUTING

CLO
As cloud computing continues to roll over the landscape, many enterprise IT organisations still struggle to resolve questions about its security, reliability and resiliency. These questions come up regardless of whether companies are considering a public or private cloud. Enterprise IT leaders are examining the risks, benefits and issues of this approach, but many feel their judgment is still too cloudy to make the leap. Discussions at the industry group SHARE, IT professionals voice concerns about performance, availability, security, resiliency and usage accounting. Cloud computing is a way of delivering IT services and resources over the web, using rapid, self-service provisioning, while insulating the user of the services or resources from the management of the underlying IT infrastructure. In other words, as a consumer of IT resources, you can focus on using the resources, rather than managing them. So, you don’t have to

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PHOTO GRAPHY: JAYAN K NARAYANAN

I MAGING : SANTO SH KUSHWAHA

CLOUD COMPUTING | INSIGHT

UD? YES WITH RIDERS
INVOLVED
Underlying the cloud computing model is the notion of automation, which enables self-service provisioning, high scalability, elasticity and ease of “return” when no longer needed. This model has been associated with virtualisation, since virtualisation is typically required to dynamically provision IT services or resources. However, cloud computing adds the capabilities of user self-service request of services and automatic fulfillment based on those requests. Potential uses range from short-term development, or test projects, to dynamic incremental capacity for mission-critical, customer-facing web sites.

There are clear benefits to using the cloud model to facilitate the rapid availability of IT resources, but it’s not for every enterprise
BY R AY M O N D J. S UN

go through the hassles of procuring and implementing hardware and software to use IT resources. The benefits of cloud computing for enterprise IT are pretty straightforward and well-documented. One of many benefits is that the cloud greatly reduces the time to market for developing new software applications. That results from the significant reduction in IT resource acquisition time—in many cases, from weeks to minutes. In addition, if enterprise IT organisations are using a public cloud approach, they have to pay only for what they use, without committing to a long-term relationship. When a project is completed, the IT resources are returned to the pool for reuse or reallocation. That means companies don’t have to make capital expenditures to purchase their own IT resources, which would have to be repurposed once the initial project was completed in order to continue justifying that capital expenditure.

PHOTO GRAPHY: JAYAN K NARAYANAN

Public or Private?
The two primary types of cloud deployment have been called “public” and “private.” A public cloud refers to shared IT services or resources (a multi-tenant environment) obtained from a thirdparty service provider, while a private cloud is usually owned and managed inhouse. In some cases, a third party pro-

vides a private cloud specifically for one company. Examples of a public cloud include Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), Google AppEngine, IBM’s Blue Cloud and Microsoft Azure. A public cloud allows customers to create their own images, and they pay only for their hourly use, including data storage and transfers. While a public cloud offers the ultimate in convenience, a private cloud seems to provide better control and assurance of security and privacy. Regardless of which approach an IT organisation takes, enterprises t h at de p l oy m i s s i o n- c r i t i c a l applications want assurances of reasonable system responsiveness through service-level agreements. They also want protection through data isolation in a multi-tenant environment, fail over protection to minimise service outages and predictable recharge rates. Portability is also an issue. For example, public cloud users want to know if they can easily change providers.

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INSIGHT | CLOUD COMPUTING
What about software licences? Can they be moved from one cloud provider to another? Another area of concern: When an enterprise IT organisation is done with its public cloud environment, what assurance does it have that all the private data that was used has been removed? Data privacy is a critical concern that requires tight standards. since IT organisations pay only for what they use. There aren’t any facility or energy costs. But that still leaves concerns about public cloud security, resilience and service. The public cloud does offer security, but it’s still not clear to many enterprise IT organisations whether the level of security offered will meet the needs of corporations that are The public cloud offers pay per use, which can provide low-cost options for short-term projects. Still, for longterm use, enterprise IT organisations may be better off making a capital investment to purchase additional hardware and software. Enterprises need to conduct a breakeven analysis to determine whether a public or private cloud would be more cost-effective for them. The public cloud offers benefits for application development resulting from rapid acquisition time and reduced capital expenditures. But for high-availability, data security and privacy reasons, enterprise IT organisations remain skeptical about turning to the public cloud for missioncritical applications, and for sensitive or confidential data. the private cloud is to provide test and development environments for enterprise applications. Developers are able to request resources and almost immediately get access to an environment on which to build and test their applications. When the development is complete, the resources can be returned for use by others. While cloud computing insulates the IT user from the management of the infrastructure, someone still has to manage the IT resources. Private clouds clearly have a major impact on IT departments, since these organisations will need to provide clouds with additional capabilities to handle dynamic provisioning and automated request processes. Those requests for service will be handled automatically without the IT organisation’s intervention. Thus, monitoring and balancing workloads will need to be an ongoing focus.

ENTERPRISES NEED TO CONDUCT A BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CLOUD WOULD BE MORE COST-EFFECTIVE
notoriously protective of their data, including credit card numbers and medical records. Convincing corporate security management that data stored with a third party is safe remains a significant challenge, and there is also the question of liability if any data is compromised. Reliability is another major issue. Public cloud providers offer reliable environments in which replacement instances can be created, but is that good enough? What about data and transactions in flight? Do partially completed transactions get backed out? Enterprise IT typically has disasterrecovery sites to take over operations if there is an event at their primary site, and significant effort is expended to ensure the integrity of transactions. And, of course, the price of cloud computing is a key issue.

Head in the cloud
Cloud computing is still an emerging capability, and many enterprise IT organisations are just starting to poke their heads in the cloud. For many, there are more questions than answers. That’s why we continue to examine some of the early cloud implementations and look to develop much-needed requirements for IT providers, as well as best practices for managing cloud environments. The enterprise IT community is evaluating emerging cloud computing concerns regarding service levels, the best workloads, disaster recovery, help desks, change-control issues, approval and audit issues, and the management of rapidly changing environments. There are some very down-to-earth benefits to using the cloud model to facilitate rapid availability of IT resources, whether public or private. What is necessary now is a way to document the needs of enterprise IT managers to make both public and private cloud computing more secure, reliable, resilient and suitable for mission-critical uses. Create that, and they will be nothing but blue skies ahead.

Going Private
Many corporations are looking to benefit from cloud computing. However, since a number of them are concerned about availability and security issues, they are looking to private clouds, which provide an ideal situation for enterprise servers and mainframes. These environments are known for flexibility, scalability, security and high utilisation, as well as for optimising delivery of IT resources to mixed workloads. These companies have enterprise IT expertise and experience that can create dynamic virtualised environments that are ideally situated for success in the private cloud model. The combination of skilled staff and attractive software pricing models for virtual systems on enterprise servers provides an appealing setting that serves as an inexpensive, value-added host for private cloud offerings. The most common initial use for

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Edu TEch December 2009

INSIGHT | CLOUD COMPUTING

DRIZZLE?
Will cloud computing decimate internal IT? Is it worth losing your sleep over its rise?
BY P R AT I M A H A R I G U N A N I
 The thing about underdogs is, well, they  are still dogs, and everyone likes them to win. From the pages of The Godfather to the  blind alleys of politics; from the vuvuzeladrowned battles to a corporate tug-of-war;  you will find them everywhere. Crawling  upwards  silently,  tip-toeing  in  the  stranglehold  of  their  prey,  and  shadowing  its  might  while  it  snoozes  unaware; the underdog usurps it all. May be that’s why the wise men know  that one should never underestimate small,  seemingly petite things. Anyone who does  so has yet not been bitten by a mosquito. There’s  more  than  just  a  mosquito  somewhere  disturbing  the  sleep  of  some  men  nowadays.  And  this  is  a  breed  of  men  who  won’t  let  an  underdog  shadow  their  power,  or  shall we say, ‘cloud’ their power? Ever  since,  the  ‘IT  Doesn’t  Matter’  author  Nicholas  Carr,  made  another  new,  big  stir  that  needs  absolutely  no  introduction  in  CIO  bastions  today; 
I LLUSTRATIO N: SANTOS H KUSHWAHA

RAIN

IS IT

OR A

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CLOUD COMPUTING | INSIGHT
insomnia  has  become  more  than  Enrique’s copyright. And why not? Hardly a few budgets old, the ‘cloud’  phenomenon has made more noise and  more  impact  than  any  other  new  kid  who  ever  arrived.  What  is  more,  this  kid has all the power and prognosis to  elbow out the boys who have always run  the show, so far. So far! Now that’s the operative word. The argument that cloud’s advent can  hurt or challenge the very existence of  internal  IT  departments  has  naturally  started ‘hurting some brains.’ It’s  not  just  applications  any  more.  The wave is touching networks, server  provisioning, infrastructure monitoring  and  management,  and  what  not.  The  interesting part is that there is no sign  of it sucking back. The  way  it  has  arrived  and  announced  itself  –  cloud  computing,  certainly  signifies  a  fundamental  shift  in  the  role  of  IT  in  the  way  it  removes  from IT much of its mundane chores. Ok! But why the heck were we talking  about insomnia? Here’s why. The  worry  mercury  was  initiated  dramatically  by  Nicholas  Carr,  who  augured the rise of utility computing in  his second book, ‘The Big Switch.’ His  argument  that  stirred  many  a  media  pages,  is,  “IT  would  abandon  running their own IT infrastructures.” What does that mean? Simple—one may no longer need the  IT firemen or plumbers to keep things  up  and  running  because  someone  ‘on-call’ is going to do to it much easily,  much cheaper and much faster. IT aka  your  pizza  delivery  boy,  could  capsize  the traditional hulks, if the hypothesis  is interpreted right.  Now  on  that,  Carr’s  theories  have  some  intellectual  company.  Another  maverick  thinker,  who  has  been  vocal  against  the  likes  of  Google,  takes  the  same  drift  when  it  comes  to  cloud  computing  power  as  a  nemesis,  albeit  in his own ways and arguments. “Of course, to a guy like me, that just  means an opportunity to start another  niche service.” He quips first. But ask Bob Massa, and there is more  the  industry  is  driven  by  supply  and  demand as it should be in a free market.  But,  as  Massa  would  underline  here,  while it is true the cost of bandwidth and  storage is dropping, the resources required  to handle the amount of data we’re talking  about is still a huge barrier to entry of all but  those with the deepest of pockets.  “There  is  no  question  that  in  the  coming  months  there  are  going  to  be  mergers,  acquisitions,  takeovers  and 

HARDLY A FEW BUDGETS OLD, ‘CLOUD’ HAS MADE MORE NOISE AND IMPACT THAN ANY OTHER NEW KID THAT EVER ARRIVED
to the argument, as you discover. Massa is a mind and a voice that will  go  into  the  annals  of  history  for  more  than  his  coup  d’etat  of  suing  Google  some years back. His polemic, bold and  candid  wisdom  continues  to  challenge  perceptions  again,  when  the  word  ‘cloud’ pops up. “As for Mr. Carr, as much as I like to  think of myself as an optimist, I’m afraid  I  tend  to  agree  with  his  rather  dark  vision of IT and how it is going to affect  business,” he opines. “Once  computing  becomes  a  utility  and the collective sum of ‘data’ is stored  within the cloud and becomes available  to all but controlled by a few, then I can  certainly see where Carr may have a very  valid point. I know from experience that  technological advances run far ahead of  the ability of any country’s legal system  to keep up,” explains Massa. Now  that  raises  the  quintessential  question again. Can  cloud  computing  have  enough  potential  (or  promise)  to  sideline  erstwhile  IT  functions  handled  internally?  When  and  where  will  internal  IT  be  indispensable,  cloud  or  no cloud? At  the  moment,  there  are  several  companies jumping into the cloud game  and there is choice and competition as  buyouts.” In his incisive glance into the  future, Bob Massa, opens another volley  of questions. “What  effect  is  cloud  computing  going  to  have  on  privacy,  intellectual  property  rights,  open  source  agreements,  software  licensing,  and  so on?” There could be more to be alarmed  about  if  what  he  prognosticates  comes true. With everything on the cloud, there  is  no  guarantee  that  your  competitor  won’t  have  your  source  code  in  his  back  pocket  tomorrow.  There  may  be  many  a  cost  associated  with  all  that  cheap  bandwidth,  storage  and  access  to everything.  “Where’s your competitive advantage  when ‘everyone’ has access to the same  everything too?” He serves you a ‘too big  to chew’ question here. 

Teddy bear or bug bear?
So,  while  almost  every  vendor  and  lighthouse  customer  is  giving  it  the  bear  hug,  is  cloud  computing  strong  enough  to  arrogate  the  power  and  functions  of  traditional  IT?  Does  it  not raise worries on new redundancy  spots,  and  thus  a  threat  to  internal   IT teams?

Scared yet?
As is clear by now, cloud computing is  influencing a lot of intelligent debate. At the same time, it has also started  impacting IT budgets and decisions in  a significant way. Yet, is there a negative  fine-print in this ballyhoo? How should  internal  IT  engines  of  an  enterprise  interpret  it?  Cause  for  worry  for  IT  managers already? 

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INSIGHT | CLOUD COMPUTING
Bhavin  Patel,  Head  IT,  Fortis  Emergency Services feels that cloud will  certainly have a big edge for smaller firms.  “You  have  to  understand  that  they  clearly  lack  the  basic  expertise  of  handling all the processes related to IT,  for  instance,  administrative  services.  Even  today,  over  80%  of  Indian  SME  firms  do  not  have  any  IT  department  and that’s a large number.” What,  however,  does  matter  for  any  organisation  is  to  plan  things  in  advance  and  have  a  clear  roadmap  of  the  core  requirement  and  scalability,  he  advises.  “Since  it’s  just  the  starting  phase  of  commercial  deployment  of  cloud  computing,  we  need  to  explore  many options to get the picture right.” organisations that are actively engaging  external cloud services are using them  for  non-business  critical  applications,  particularly  as  a  means  to  better  accommodate workloads that are highly  variable in nature.  For  instance,  a  suitable  area  is  R&D  testing,  where  needs  are  periodic  and  dedicated  infrastructure  often  sits  idle  a  significant  majority  of  the  time,  while  continuing  to  require  the  same  level  of  upkeep and administration as more fully  utilised infrastructure. Smaller companies  are looking to external cloud providers for  such services, while many larger companies  are using R&D as a pilot for testing internal  private cloud approaches.

80
%
of Indian SME firms do not have any IT department in India
towards  service-oriented  practices,  plus  much  greater  leverage  for  smaller organisations seeking access  to  the  same  enabling  technologies  that could otherwise only be reached  by larger organisations.” Agreed.  Writing  an  obit  could  be  blowing  the  argument  out  of  proportions,  especially  when  IT  men  have a logical defence. “In  my  opinion  what  is  critical  is  security—prevention  of  data  and  information  leakage.  Everything  what  your  company  is  doing,  all  that  data  resides  with  the  other  party.  IT  team  is more relevant if one is relying on an  internal cloud,” Patel points out. It is tempting to ask if cloud will be  big enough in  the  near future to  make  in-house IT management a history, but  there  may  not  be  much  of  an  actual  apprehension.  Cloud  will  not  find  it  easy to sideline and muscle in, when it  comes to ‘roots’ of IT—the core. What the cloud blitzkrieg will likely  do is to raise the bar a little up. For those  who  don’t  re-orient  and  re-align  their  ‘indispensability,’  a  dark  horse  is  not  always a pleasant surprise.  Forget  horses,  underdogs  and  mosquitoes,  it’s  always  handy  to  remember  that…no  one  suspects  a butterfly.  

Over-stated threat
It  could  yet  be  too  insignificant  or  too  early a threat to worry about.  The  advent  of  cloud  computing  represents  neither  threat  nor  boon  to  IT  as  a  whole  –  it  is  merely  a  natural evolutionary step in  the IT industry, argues a  research eye.   As  with  any  change, there will be 

Before you pack up
If  data  and  trends  from  the  likes  of  Gartner  show  it  right,  cloud  computing  is  slated  to  grab  more  adoption  horsepower  ahead.  Amongst the  latest  reports, worldwide software as a service  (SaaS)  revenue  within  the  enterprise  application  software  market  is  forecast to surpass $8.5 billion in 2010, up  14.1% from 2009 revenue of $7.5 billion,  according to Gartner. Enterprises  are  loving  the 

ACCORDING TO EXPERTS THE ADVENT OF CLOUD COMPUTING REPRESENTS NEITHER THREAT NOR BOON TO IT AS A WHOLE – IT IS MERELY A NATURAL EVOLUTIONARY STEP IN THE IT INDUSTRY
some  ‘losers’–either  a  reclassification  of  personnel  and  internal  IT  assets  or  administrative  staff  reduction  as  cloud  services  replace  traditional  infrastructure,  as  Jim  Frey,  Research  Director,  Enterprise  Management  Associates. (EMA) sees it.   “In  my  view,  this  will  be  much  less  disruptive to personnel than the large-scale  outsourcing wave of the past,” he says.  EMA’s  research  indicates  that  transition to the utility-model, at least  some  of  them,  strongly  enough.  And  maybe  there’s  some  silver  lining  we  are missing yet. So, will cloud computing just disrupt  IT or decimate it? Could it be a blessing  in  disguise  in  any  way,  say  a  strategic  reorientation? There is indeed a plus side, as EMA’s  Frey illustrates. “It  represents  positive  movement 

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4

Edu TEch December 2009

doing more
with
BY JATI N D E R S I N G H
In the age of shrinking IT budgets, and rising data volumes, finding an ideal way to manage data in an organisation is seen as a challenging task for many IT managers. Data redundancy makes it worse. While the issues related to storage efficiencies are continuously discussed and debated, not much attention is paid to address the issues surrounding to data redundancy.

INSIGHT | DATA DEDUPLICATION

less

Data de-duplication is not just about saving capacity; it’s also about improving the performance of storage systems
PHOTO GRAPHY: JAYAN K NARAYANAN

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DATA DEDUPLICATION | INSIGHT
Driven by the rising use of rich media and e-mail applications and given that policies favour storage at more than one place, unstructured data in organisations is witnessing an astounding growth today. According to a recent report released by IDC, unstructured data in traditional data centres will eclipse the growth of transaction-based data that has so far accounted for the bulk of enterprise storage needs. The report further projects that the transactional data will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8%, while unstructured data will grow at 61.7% at data centres. Moreover, the critical data is estimated to see 52% growth annually. This situation has eventually asked for an increased effort from IT departments of the organisation to minimise the total amount of storage and network bandwidth required, and to improve availability and lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) in terms of hardware, administration, and environmental costs. And that’s where tools like data de-duplication comes to the rescue. Often referred to as a cost-effective information management tool, the technology helps enterprises to address the pressing IT challenges related to effective usage of storage. enterprise storage and backup systems, the same file may get copied in 10 locations, occupying a 10MB space, a redundancy that is of no use. Now by allowing the run of deduplication process, the duplicate data is deleted, leaving only one copy of the data to be stored, leaving more storage space more for you. It essentially does three things-redundancy identification, fingerprinting and redundancy elimination. “Data de-duplication helps IT managers to utilise disk archiving platforms, which means increased storage capacity at any given time,” says Gaurav Kohli, Consultant, Xebia IT Services. For optimum usage, De-duplication hash calculations are created on the target device as the data enters the device, in real time. If the device spots a block that it already stored on the system it does not store the new block and instead just references to the existing block. "Regardless of the operating system, applications, or the file system, all data is written to storage by using data reference pointers. After that, the catalogue and indices of all data objects are maintained using hash and a comparison between the two data objects is made.” explains Suresh Kakkar, Practice Manager, Wipro. “Moreover, if you are still using tape as an alternate backup medium, the technology will help you to make smaller backup windows, which means relatively lesser tapes. This not only saves costs, but also eases manageability,” Kohli notes.

“YOUR DATA IS OF NO USE, IF ITS QUALITY IS HAMPERED. DATA QUALITY IS A PROCESS RATHER THAN AN EVENT”
—Ashit Panjwani, Executive Director- Sales, Marketing and Alliances, SAS India

Smart storage
In simple terms, data de-duplication, also called intelligent compression, refers to the elimination of redundant data. It plays a role of a catalyst in controlling storage costs and helping enterprises to simplify operations and better manage workloads at remote offices, virtual machines, and data centres. By elminating the need for additional hardware, it brings with it economic benefits as well. Let's understand how de-dup can solve the puzzle of umpteen amount of growing data that gets stored in an organisation. Consider this: a marketing manager sends out a 1MB presentation to each member of his sales team, thereby making the same presentation available to 5-10 different mailboxes. Now, on the

61.7 %
CAGR is the growth of unstructured data in data centres
Source: IDC

80%
Up to of the data within an organisation is unstructured
Source: Global Data Deduplication Market 2009-2013

Quality of data
Apart from storage costs, duplication of data also causes issues such as higher bandwidth requirement for data recovery (DR) implementation and delayed backups. It also impacts manageability of data. “Management of data is perhaps the most intimidating challenge that IT organisations face. They must keep important information available and protected, even as the amount of

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INSIGHT | DATA DEDUPLICATION
data grows at rapid pace,” says Vijay Mhaskar, Vice President, Information Management Group, Symantec India. According to Shailesh Joshi, Head IT, Godrej Properties, “With increasing importance of compliance, digitisation of corporate assets has gained tremendous importance. Moreover, given the kind of market dynamics we have, high availability of data is of prime importance.” More importantly, while most of us will agree that the benefits of information as an asset are huge, one should not forget that, if misrepresented, the same information could easily transform into a serious liability for an organisation. To understand this, let’s consider a situation where a telecom operator sends promos pertaining to the new value added services (VAS) services it has launched, via text messages or e-mail to its premium customers. However, due to some transmission errors it ends up sending out the same information twice to some of its consumers. Worse, some of those consumers had opted for a do-not-disturb (DND) service a few months ago. Expectedly, a series of consumer complaints follow, and some subscribers even threaten to switch to another operator. The key reason which resulted in the given problem was the duplication of data, which prompted the automatic systems to send the mailers twice, or thrice, to the same address. Similarly, let’s take another example of a household where every member of the family takes the banking services from a single bank. In this case, where the bank has a household account, sending the same marketing mailer or a call to each family member separately does not entail a good logic. Therefore it is extremely important to put filters which should resist marketers to send repetitive messages, thereby wasting of time of consumer. Says Ashit Panjwani, Executive Director-Sales, Marketing and Alliances, SAS India, “Your data is absolutely of no use, if its quality is hampered. Data quality is a process rather than an event. Both organisations

NEED
n Relentless data growth n High management cost involved in storage n Huge backup and missed backups n Growing virtualisation demands n Statuary requirements like high data retention period

“WITH INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF COMPLIANCE, DIGITISATION OF CORPORATE ASSETS HAS GAINED TREMENDOUS IMPORTANCE”
—Shailesh Joshi, Head IT, Godrej Properties

“BY LOOKING AT THE AREAS WHERE ONE CAN BENEFIT FROM DE-DUPLICATION, IT MANAGERS CAN TAKE THE RIGHT DECISION”
—Vijay Mhaskar, Vice President, Information Management Group, Symantec India

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DATA DEDUPLICATION | INSIGHT

BENEFITS
n

Reduces administrative costs and lower disk costs Provides backup optimisation Helps to achieve green efficiencies by reducing power, space and cooling needs Improves RTO and reliability, hence optimise for recovery Enables and expands remote replication option Eliminates 80% of tape costs and fends off the need to invest in virtual tape libraries

n n

n

OUTCOME
Improves the percentage of data being backed up Storage that could be redeployed for backup deduplication Savings that would be realised if, say 50%, of tapes were eliminated Removes any major discrepancy in the quality of data

n

n

n

n

n

n

and the IT managers need to generate intelligent strategies for maintaining its productivity in a consistent manner. Over 70% of data is still unstructured and data duplication is a major concern area for organisations.”

Strategy De-duplication
For any IT manager who want to carry out data de-duplication, the first step is to be aware of what exactly can a deduplication solution do for the organisation? The next step is to identify what the solution can do beyond just eliminating the redundant data? And finally, what can be the additional benefits that might bring the strategic value for the organisation? So the strategic value lies in understanding the other benefits being accrued. This includes benefits such as bandwidth savings, faster backups, backup consolidation, and easier disaster recovery, depending on where and how it is used. “By looking at all the ways and areas where one can benefit from de-duplication, IT managers can take the right decision on where to begin using this powerful technology,” says Mhaskar of Symantec India.

Before implementing, however, one should try to measure the overall requirement. For example, one could estimate the percentage of data being backed up currently and the savings that would be achieved if 50% of tapes were eliminated. Today, there are solutions offering a combination of both source and target de-duplication to achieve even greater storage savings and ROI. For instance, a scalable data reduction (SDR) based de-duplication solution would offer fast and efficient data snapshot capabilities. The snapshots can later be used to access information that may have been inadvertently deleted from an active volume. These snapshots can be used for versioning, for compliance purposes (to prove the state of data at a specific point in time), and as a fast and efficient data restoration mechanism for recovering any inadvertently deleted information. The heavier-duty solutions can de-duplicate data globally and at the source for fast, secure backup and recovery across the enterprise including remote environments. Having said that, there are also a few downsides to de-duplication that one

should watch out for. It is important to note that de-duplication, as it changes the data layout on the disk, can affect the performance of sequential read applications. Another critical factor is to identify the location where the software agent need to put the controls which deduplicate the process? While in few cases, it is advisable to put the agents at the source, thereby allowing each and every server to take the backup, many other instances demand real backup appliance. The methods can be workout depending upon the IT policies and server inside the business entity. While many vendors like CA offer backup solution that work in both the locations, many others are incapable to provide such solutions.Also, selecting the way that a deduplication apliance appear to the backup software application is very critical. The selection should be hence based on the backup software which an organisation is already having. Nevertheless, make sure to look for vendors who have specialised skills to understand your business and its specialised storage requirements in the long run.

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INSIGHT | VIRTUALISATION

LEADS THE PACK
W REVIE

VMware vSphere 4.1

IT managers should ensure that the new memory management, storage and network control features of vSphere 4.1 lead to improved host utilisation and automated scale from the VM systems.
BY C A M E R O N ST U R D E VA N T

A vNetwork Distributed Switch can now assign priority to a variety of traffic types.

VMware vSphere 4.1 continues to lead the enterprise virtual machine platform pack. New memory management, storage and network control features enable resource pool creation that improves scale while reducing performance drags. Virtual machine management gains increased importance in the vSphere 4.1 platform, and IT managers should plan to have their virtualisation experts devote themselves full time to studying these new features to ensure that they lead to improved host utilisation and automated scale from the VM systems. During tests at eWEEK Labs, I learned that vCenter 4.1—the command and control module of the VMware virtual infrastructure world—is now 64-bit only. As part of the move to vSphere 4.1, IT managers should build in extra planning and migration time to move any vCenter 4.0 or older servers to systems that are running a 64-bit operating system.

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VIRTUALISATION | INSIGHT
controls, the implementation of the feature is quite simple. Entering the parameter changes to enable the feature and set the specific physical network adapter shares is simply a matter of walking through a couple of configuration screens that are easily accessed from the vSphere client. I was able to assign a low, medium, normal, high or custom setting that designated the number of network on an iSCSI-connected storage array. It also works on Fibre Channel-connected storage, but not on NFS or Raw Device Mapping storage. Virtual machines can be limited based on IOPS (I/O operations per second) or MB per second. In either case, I used storage I/O controls to limit some virtual machines in order to give others priority. I found that the large number of considerations—for example, each virtual disk associated with each VM must be placed under control for the limit to be enforced—meant that I spent a great deal of time figuring policy to get a modest amount of benefit when my systems were running.

vSphere 4.1 now adds a method to compress memory pages to reduce swapping and improve performance.

The payoff for the vCenter transition is a substantial increase in the number of VMs per cluster and the number of physical hosts that each vCenter can handle. I was not able to test the posted limits due to hardware constraints. However, VMware states that the latest version of vCenter can handle 3,000 VMs in a cluster and up to 1,000 hosts per vCenter server. Both of these large numbers are a threefold increase over the stated capacity of VMware vSphere 4.0. Aside from the sizable scale increase enabled in this version of vSphere 4.1, the main advances in the platform are evolutionary extensions of capabilities that improve how the platform handles VM resource contention. During tests, I used the new I/O controls in networking and storage to govern resource use. IT managers who are already accustomed to using resource controls in VM CPU settings will have a leg up when it comes to using I/O controls in both network and storage areas. Even with the CPU control heritage, my use of network and storage control features revealed a fair number of “version 1” limitations. Network I/O control prioritises network traffic by type when using network resource pools and the native VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch. Network I/O control works only with the 4.1 version of the vNetwork Distributed Switch—not with the Cisco Nexus V1000 or the standard switch from VMware.

3, 00 0
and up to 1,000 hosts per vCenter server can be handled by the latest version of v Center

Memory innovation
VMware included a handy memory innovation in vSphere 4.1 called “memory compression.” IT managers should become familiar with the feature as it is enabled by default. In my tests, I saw improvements in virtual machine performance after I artificially constrained the amount of physical host memory. As my virtual machine systems started to access memory to handle test workloads, my EXS 4.1 system started to compress virtual memory pages and stored them in a compressed memory cache. Since accessing this memory is significantly faster than swapping memory pages to disk, the virtual machines ran much faster with this feature than they did when it was disabled and the same workloads were started. IT managers should expect to devote at least several weeks of expert analysis to determine the most effective memory compression configuration for each workload. VMware did some housekeeping in the incremental release of vSphere. The vSphere client is still available in the vCenter 4.1 installation bits, but it is no longer included in the ESX and ESXi code. There also were some minor changes made to various interface screens, but there was nothing that would puzzle an experienced IT administrator.
Cameron Sturdevant is technical director for eweek labs, and can be reached at csturdevant@eweek.com. ©eWeek

VMs

Implementation is simple
While it takes advanced network expertise to design and tune the policy that runs network I/O

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INTERVIEW | JIM WHITEHURST

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JIM WHITEHURST | INTERVIEW

“CONSUMERS WILL DRIVE THE TECH AGENDA”
Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat, in a conversation with Geetaj Channana, says that technology vendors must listen to customers and not only sell products
Have the platform wars, like the ones between Windows and Linux, turned into service oriented wars? I think that platform wars are moving more towards a stack war. People are now looking for holistic environments to build and run applications. For most companies it is not about choosing between Unix or Linux, or Windows — it’s all about the platform on which developers will be developing — that’s changing. With Red Hat we have always been operating system centric, but now we have to think about reasonable well-integrated infrastructure components. Would you agree that vendors like you, Microsoft, Amazon and Google, are trying to oversimplify the cloud in some manner?
Yes, because I do not think cloud is a product that a vendor brings to the table. My view of cloud, the way customers say cloud, and what they really mean, is a modern layered architecture, where you have a choice of those various layers and application development capabilities that delivers rich quick application development. By definition, you cannot have cloud in a box. So, I do think there is a bit of an over-simplification. 1. They want to pay for what they use, and when they use it – they don’t like the model where they buy all the software, and the hardware, and take risks. 2. They want a layered modular architecture which allows them to move their applications and run it where it is best. 3. Richer, better and faster application development experience. People hear the hype and they think that it is cloud – which does not necessarily mean cloud. And cloud done wrong actually makes these problems worse. I think that is where the disconnect is, because when people say ‘cloud’ we literally take it as an off-premise solution to run functionality. I think that’s a mistake, and is not really what the customer is asking for.

Is there a disconnect between what people are asking for and what is being delivered? Absolutely. Most IT heads are not ready to move their applications outside of their data centre. There is so much hype around cloud; people are saying different things. But, when I go to IT heads, I hear three things –

PHOTO GRAPHY: JITE N GAND HI

You have said in your past interviews that PCs would die

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INTERVIEW | JIM WHITEHURST
in the future – why and how? PCs will exist, but they will be a minority among devices because of the explosion of the mobile. By ‘mobile’ I refer to mobile devices and mobile broadband that have changed radically the way we interact with technology. The iPhone, iPad, Android, the experiences are getting richer. The way we see the PC, may exist on some desktops, but in terms of computing devices, it’s going to have a smaller share everyday. Earlier the enterprise drove consumer technology – now, do you think the consumer is affecting the enterprise more? Oh yes! When I talk to IT heads around the world, I hear over and over again that they are being forced to support consumerist things like software as a service or devices. And, they have to do it, because everybody is demanding it. People are going to blog and they are going to tweet, whether you like it or not. So, CIOs have had to set policies to help people connect their personal devices. I do think that it is a very different world where innovation is being led by certain Web 2.0 type companies and they are setting the pace for IT. And, it really puts a lot of pressure on the CIO, not only to support these devices and applications, but also puts a lot of pressure on the expectation levels of what they should deliver. I would also like to talk about the death of version 2.0. There is no Google Docs 2.0 or 3.0, there is just rapid innovation that is adding feature and functionality. The whole programming model that is being used inside of large corporations has to change. And, that is as much behaviour as it is underlying technology. The usual way was to plan a new

implementation and spend years spec-ing it and coding it - then many years later you introduce a new product.

Would you say the role of an IT head in an organisation has changed from being a guardian of technology to an enabler of business? I think that the role of the IT head needs to change really to be an enabler of the business, but, I’ll be frank - half of them are still struggling to keep the lights on, keeping close to the budget, and just surviving - that they are not playing the role that they need to play. When 80% of your costs are lights on, then you are always concerned about how you can keep those costs down. Most IT heads need and want to be strategic, but are completely hampered by their IT infrastructure. They have no time left whatsoever

“THE PROGRAMMING MODEL BEING USED INSIDE LARGE CORPORATIONS HAS TO CHANGE. IT IS AS MUCH BEHAVIOURS AS IT IS UNDERLYING TECHNOLOGY”
from keeping the lights on to focus on strategic parts of the business. But IT drives business – it is a core of operation for many businesses, and presents new opportunities, but in a day-today operation, the IT head is more concerned about how to keep their e-mail server running, or how to keep their ERP going things like that. That is why we see an interest in the cloud because of the frustration with what they have, and what they have to maintain. They think that “if I could source it from somewhere else, from this

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JIM WHITEHURST | INTERVIEW
miracle light shining on top of that hill, it would make life so much easier. – this is why there is going to be a valley of discontent. prise Linux (REL) and they support REL on Windows. It’s an interesting set of relationships, and it is really important. The key to the next generation data centres is that they have to be layered. So, we are adamant that we will neither lock layers, nor provide the alternatives that our customers want at each layer. We have something called ‘cloud foundation’ for that. It is important for us because we cannot come out with a cloud in a box. Thus, it is about giving your customers choice, at the hypervisor level, at the operating system level, at the messaging layer, application layer, all the way up the stack. We call it cloud foundation because it is foundational elements that you can take and set up together. They would help you build and manage cloud. That does not mean that it all has to be on the cloud – it could be on ESX or on Windows. Quite frankly, you cannot run ESX without buying their management suite. You are tied to the layer and stack together. The problem is that as soon as you tie them together, it is very difficult to move things around because you have to hardcode the links. On the other hand, if you have a nice clean layered model, you do not face these problems. However, this creates a problem for vendors, as it is difficult to make money in these models because they are unable to lock-in their customers. A lot of these spaghetti architectures keep the cash registers ringing.

But are people really doing that; shoving the old things out of the window and investing in the cloud; or are they just talking about it? Oh, they are just talking about it. There are a lot of companies that are investing in development and testing on Amazon EC2 cloud, or the IBM cloud. But, these are all development and tests, lots of playing around. We also have some companies pooling in and trying to set up private clouds, but I would say that these things are in the advanced R&D stage now. And, most of it is because the CIO’s boss, the CEO, or the CFO, is asking them about it. Whenever I talk to the IT heads they are sick of listening to the cloud! This is because it is so far away from really being able to deliver on the components and the pain points like flexible modular architecture, newer, faster ways to develop functionality and paying on what you use and when you use it. We think that it is the cloud – but what is really happening is that the technology industry does not listen to the customer – we just take the technology that we have, and shove it down the customer’s throat. So, cloud, from an IT industry perspective has turned out to be a hammer, while everything else is the nail, when actually, there are screws out there. We in the IT industry need a different tool. That’s what I say in Red Hat’s marketing too, if you want to pay by the drink, we do that already with our subscription model; you want a layered modular architecture, we do that already. What we have to be careful about is what we understand from customers on what they think the cloud is, and so we are delivering off-premise computing. Off premise could be an option in the long term, but what customers are demanding now is a solution. This is where the disconnect is, and this is where I refer to the Gartner hype cycle

You entered pretty late into virtualisation space. How do you see yourself placed in the market within the next three to five years? We see ourselves as one of the major players. This is because going forward, architecturally, virtualisation will be a part of the operating system. This is similar to the way 25 years ago you used to buy the TCP/IP stack for networking. Virtualisation is now a feature in the operating system, it is not a standalone layer. VMware was the first to find the market as a standalone hypervisor, but there are so many architectural constraints to that. I think our model is superior. We made the switch in November 2009, before that we were offering our version of Xen. And it was painful for us to explain to our large base of customers why we were making the change. But, it is really the next generation of virtualisation that is built into the operating system. You can get the benefit of reusing the code and security. Secondly, you get the power of open source and Linux for hardware management. This is what we announced with KVM. In the Fall when Red Hat 6 comes out, it will blow away ESX, whether it is in terms of performance, the number of cores supported, server density and other things. And I wish I could take credit for that, but that credit goes to Intel. In five years, our virtualisation share will be roughly the same as our operating systems share. It will be difficult to say the same for VMware though, when Microsoft and Red Hat both integrate virtualisation, in our underlying operating system. This is a very interesting relationship that you share with VMware – you compete with them, yet you support the same too. Yes, it’s the same with Microsoft. We support HyperV on Red Hat Enter-

Finally, how do you see Red Hat evolving over the next five years? We are focused on defining the 21st century enterprise architecture. We may not deliver that architecture; but we will deliver com[ponents of it, if not the whole. We are working hard to ensure that this architecture is defined by open layers that give, customers a choice at each and every layer. This is a hypervisor that is open and inclusive, an operating system that can run on any hypervisor, and application server that can run on any operating system.

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INSIGHT | Wi- fi

SECURING the AIRWAVES
A Wi-Fi plan should be robust enough to address security concerns and clean enough to keep legal risks at bay
BY B E R J ES E R I C SH R O F F
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Wi- fi | INSIGHT
Aren’t we all at some stage disgusted to see the mesh of those wires connected to our computers? Don’t we wish we could make it clutterfree by getting rid of at least some of the wires? Don’t we wish we could connect to the Internet or access the printer without those wires, securely? Well, Wi-Fi lets users access the Internet and other network resources, without the hassles of plugging in the Ethernet cable. It offers them convenience of moving their machines around the office, without losing connection to the Internet or other network resources. Installing a Wi-Fi LAN in the office initially helps you set up the network for a fraction of the cost, especially if your office does not have structured cabling. Wireless access to the Internet at airports, restaurants and coffee shops is all courtesy Wi-Fi. However, like most good things in life, Wi-Fi comes with its share of drawbacks. These negatives appear in the form of security risks, which can be of various types. These could compromise your confidential data, lead to theft of bandwidth resources, amount to a legal action against your organisation and in some extreme cases even land you behind bars! Considering all these risks, is the convenience of Wi-Fi worth it? Alternatively, can we protect ourselves and the organisation against these risks, and at the same time take advantage of the benefits Wi-Fi has to offer? While there cannot be complete security, there are ways to mitigate, and to an extent, circumvent some of these risks. So how should an organisation go about taking advantage of the technology and at the same time, protect itself from the risks identified above?
IMAGI NG: SANTO SH KUS HWAH A

tors), and the security levels of Wi-Fi such as authentication or encryption are all very important prior to even procuring the infrastructure. Aspects such as thickness and material of the outer walls and ceilings, and those of the different cabins inside also play an important part in the planning process.

Why is all this so important?
Well, let’s say that you have installed an access point near a window, or maybe close by, which causes the signal to leak outside the office. A person with a laptop in the opposite building or maybe even a floor above or below your office is able to access the Inter-

advisable to rename the default administrator user name. Disabling the SSID broadcast i.e. your network’s ‘name’ is a good idea and mitigates the risk of an attack. Restricting access through MAC address filtering will not deter a hardcore hacker, as MAC address spoofing is not that great a deal, but a combination of disabling the SSID broadcast and restricting access through MAC address filtering, will deter most novice hackers or script kiddies from compromising your Wi-Fi facility. Although it’s not always possible to do so, especially in large organisations, it’s a good idea to switch off a Wi-Fi network when not in use. Personally, I am very uncomfortable with DHCP and prefer using static IP

STRONG PASSWORDS RESIST BEING COMPROMISED THROUGH BRUTE FORCE ATTACKS. DISABLING SSID BROADCAST FURTHER MITIGATES RISKS
net using your facility. He is now going to ‘steal’ your bandwidth resource to access the Internet. Not much harm done here, but what if this person now uses your Internet facility through Wi-Fi, to hack into another organisation? How would you ever be able to trace this person? Like it or not, legally, it’s your organisation that is going to get penalised. Of course, this intruder can also hack into your own network, thus compromising your organisation’s confidential data. And once again, how are you ever going to be able to trace him or her? addresses, as this definitely helps as an added layer of security, in spite of its slight inconvenience. Ensure that your router’s firewall is not disabled while on the other hand, firewall on all desktops and laptops is enabled. Encryption scrambles messages sent over the air. Deploying encryption technologies such as WPA2 with EAP authentication, TKIP/RC4 or AESCCMP encryption technology, is a must for large organisations and depending on the nature of the business, this is applicable to SMBs too. WEP encryption is outdated and should be avoided at all costs, as it can be compromised in a matter of minutes. Also, there is nothing stopping you from deploying a second layer of encryption, for added security. Deploying a Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) server for authentication, authorisation and accountability should definitely not be overlooked by medium and large

It all starts with planning
Planning the strategic location to install the access points, the strength of these strategically placed access points, who in the organisation can and cannot use the Wi-Fi technology (including visi-

Securing the installation
Let us address some technical aspects of securing a Wi-Fi installation in your organisation. Start by using strong passwords, to prevent the likelihood of this being compromised through brute force attacks. Also, it’s strongly

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INSIGHT | Wi- fi

1 2 3

Prepare a detailed plan for Wi-Fi installation Ensure strong passwords are used and the default administrator username is changed Deploy encryption technologies such as WPA2 with EAP authentication, TKIP/RC4 or AES-CCMP, but avoid WEP which is outdated

7

4 5 6 7

Disable SSID broadcast and restrict access through MAC filtering Ensure firewalls are enabled on all devices, including laptops Educate your users for safe usage of Wi-Fi Conduct periodic IT audits

EDUCATING USERS ON SAFE USAGE OF WI-FI WILL HELP CONTROL COSTS FOR DEPLOYMENT OF EXPENSIVE TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS JAMMERS
organisations. This will ensure that the user is authenticated before being authorised to access the network and at the same time, a track is kept of usage in terms of time and data transferred. The IT manager of an organisation must be aware that there exists a plethora of free downloadable software on the Internet for detecting presence of Wi-Fi devices and hacking Wi-Fi facilities or capturing and deciphering packets. The IT manager must also be aware of the laws relating to Wi-Fi and the consequences of a Wi-Fi system being compromised. it is more important that they are aware of the risks when they are in office, even when your organisation has decided against deploying Wi-Fi technology and your LAN is a wired network. How? Well, your laptop users may access Wi-Fi at home or at airports and when they return to office, most of the time, Wi-Fi on their laptops is still enabled. As a result of this, they will be prompted of the presence of any external Wi-Fi signals leaking into your building / office. Either intentionally or unintentionally, a user may clicks ‘yes,’ to connect to this external network, which could very well be from a rogue access point. In this case, without the user’s knowledge, the hacker can compromise not only the user’s laptop, but your entire LAN security with firewalls and IDS and IPS. All your security precautions could go for a toss. If you are able to detect, or an audit reveals presence of rogue signals in your office building, then a solution might be to install jammers to prevent those signals from entering your organisation’s premise. However, this

POINTS TO REMEMBER

Education is key
Educating users is a very important aspect, which sadly gets neglected by the best of organisations. Even in the absence of a Wi-Fi facility in your organisation, educating laptop users regarding Wi-Fi security is absolutely essential. There are multiple dimension of educating them. It is important that they know about the risks involved when using Wi-Fi in public places like coffee shops and airports and how these risks can be mitigated, but

could be an expensive proposition, and educating users on a regular basis is the cheapest and best alternative. Also, software to ensure that at any given point in time, only one network connection can be present on a laptop is available. This solution too, can address the risk. The IT manager should, even in the absence of Wi-Fi deployment in the organisation, have the network audited for rogue signals, for reasons mentioned above. If Wi-Fi is deployed, then apart from the security measures such as encryption and authentication methods used, the audit must also include rogue signals leaking into the office. At the same time, audit for signals leaking outside the organisation from your own network should also be carried out. There are even phones under development that would help organisations to switch seamlessly from cellular networks to wifi networks without a call drop. Be it a wireless or a wired network, educating users and scheduling periodic audits is extremely important. Educating users on safe usage of Wi-Fi could help you control costs for deployment of expensive technologies such as jammers, while periodic audits will enable you to identify the loopholes and plug those. Many organisations ignore these two activities and as a result, end up spending more on technologies while also increasing the risk of their organisation’s data being compromised.
The author is Manager–Information Technology, Tata Services Limited

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TRAINING EDUCATION WORKPLACE COMPENSATION WORKFORCE TRENDS SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

15MINUTE
MANAGER

COPING WITH CTS
PAGE 48

IT Strat Social only? No More THIS PAGE Golf Basics Dummies guide to golfing PAGE 50 Manage IT Sweat your IT assets PAGE 51 Training Calendar Career booster courses PAGE 5 2

BY P R AV I N SAVA N T

E

veryone seems to agree and predict that social media is the next thing to watch out for. The numbers and analysis seem to agree as well. Some findings suggest that social media is growing by 100% in India, and that the country is the fastest growing country on LinkedIn. Social media is definitely a buzz word today, and every now and then, one comes across a reference or an article on it in business magazines and IT journals.

The rise and the spread
As everybody knows, social media first gained acceptance and prominence among individuals, particularly the youngsters. Be it Orkut or Facebook, social media was first embraced by individuals who recognised its power as a platform to connect and reconnect with their friends and families. Later benefits included knowledge sharing, recruitment referrals and of course, fun and entertainment. Very soon, it became a way of life. A vast population of young individuals became very comfortable using social media. These early adopters carried the experience and expectations into their

IT STRAT

I LLUSTRATIO N: ANO OP PC

SOCIAL ONL Y? NO MORE
To leverage benefits of social media for your organisation, the approach has to be strategic and not just social
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15-MINUTE MANAGER
workplaces. They wished and expected that the ease and comfort with which they connected with their friends on social networking sites should be replicated when they connected with their peers at offices. Their main point of argument was that why should it take more time to search for any info on the intranet for official work. Before long, corporates started recognising the huge user base and growth of this media and the buzz started to get around on the social media and the opportunities it presented. What are those opportunities? The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as setting up an email account or creating a Blackberry interface for it. Each social media site has to be seen as a different channel.

HEALTHY LIVING

COPING WITH CTS
CTS FACTSHEET
C TS IS THE #1 REP ORTED MEDICAL P ROBLEM, ACCOUNTI NG FOR ABOUT 50% OF ALL WORK-REL ATED I NJURIES P RESENTLY, 25% OF ALL C OMPUTER OPERATORS HAVE CTS WOMEN ARE T WICE AS LI K ELY TO DEVELOP CTS AS OPPOSED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS T HE FAIL RATE FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SURGERY I S OVER 50%

Opportunities at a glance
Media and advertising necessarily follow consumer attention, which is shifting towards social media in a big way. Internationally, most media companies, large and small, have mounted some sort of response to the phenomena of social media: they’ve launched their own blogs, added consumer commentary and Web 2.0 features to their sites, built or bought online communities, and promoted or distributed media products in online social environments. The biggest advantage that this platform brings to the table is that it cuts across the entire value chain. Your stakeholders, competitors, customers, suppliers, agencies, employees, future prospects--all are on a common platform. It can cut both ways, as BP recently found out with negative PR. Therefore, it is all the more important that one approaches it with some thought rather than taking an “I too need to have something” approach. In this context, answering some simple questions will be useful: n  How does this impact my organisation and specifically my function or my team? n  How does it affect my customers? n  Does it throw open some opportunities in the recruitment area?

Are you experiencing excessive pain in the fingers of your hands, or a strange tingling sensation? Are you also a heavy user of technology, spending many hours on a computer or a smart-phone? If your answer to both these queries are in the affirmative, then you might be afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS. This common ailment usually afflicts the fingers of the hand, but one may experience pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the arm, which may extend to the shoulder and neck area. Here are some tips on how to reduce CTS pain: Stretch and Clench: There are various stretching exercises of the wrist that are known to relieve the pressure that gets built up. One of the most basic and effective exercise is to rotate your wrists clockwise and counter-clockwise, and clench and unclench your wrists. Immobilizing braces: A rigid splint can keep the wrist straight. A wrist splint helps limit numbness by limiting wrist flexion. Night splinting helps patients sleep. Localized corticosteroid injections: Corticosteroid injections can be quite effective for temporary relief from symptoms of CTS for a short time frame while a patient develops a longterm strategy that fits with his/her lifestyle. Medications: In special circumstances, various drugs can ease the pain and swelling associated with CTS. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time or have been caused by strenuous activity.

Blackberry thumb is a neologism that posits a form of repetitive strain injury caused by the frequent use of the thumb(s) to press buttons on PDAs, smart phones, or other mobile devices.

PHOTO GRAPHY: JAYAN K NARAYANAN

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PHOTO GRAPHY: PHOTOS .CO M

n  What is the impact for my alliance partners, distributors and suppliers? n  How does this change the technology landscape? The idea is to first decide the needs and the corresponding approach and then look around for the platform that is best suited. You probably cannot have a Twitter strategy or a Facebook strategy.

Taking a closer look
Each social media needs to be leveraged differently, based on its specialties. LinkedIn: Most of us know that LinkedIn is an online network useful for sharing our professional updates with people with whom we like to be linked. Additionally: n  Most of the Fortune 500 companies are represented at LinkedIn and many of them are represented by directorlevel and above employees. n  More than 70 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries are on LinkedIn. n  People with more than twenty

connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five. n  There are also about 130,000 recruiters listed. n  Importantly, LinkedIn has over 6 million members in India. n  One new member was reportedly added every 7 seconds in India over the past few months. Here are some of the ways in which LinkedIn can be used at your organisation: n  Check references for potential hires. n  Get advice using LinkedIn Answers. n  research and get to know a Do company. n  Discuss a topic on a forum and get feedback. Recently, as part of an evaluation around feasibility to have employeeowned assets, I started a discussion at the CIO Club group forum. Within a short period of time, there were a number of comments and feedback,

which helped in the formulation of the strategy. Facebook: Facebook has over 500 million users, out of which about 9 million people are in India, as of June 2010, and that number continues to grow steadily. It is the third-most trafficked website in the world (behind Google and Yahoo) and the most trafficked social media site in the world. As early as July 2007, Facebook started calling itself one of the leading people and social search engines on the web, though some disagree with that. Here are some business goals for using Facebook: n  Reach to people who are searching for your products or services. n  Connect and engage with current and potential customers. n  Create a community around your business. n  Promote content that your organisation creates, including webinars, blog articles, or other resources. Some of the good examples of Facebook are: Amul Butter’s Facebook

HANDLING SOCIAL MEDIA: THE CHALLENGES
While everyone seems to agree that social media important, not many have a clear strategy or action plan to explore and exploit it. There is often a dilemma when attempting to answer the following:
What about the privacy of content? Do we allow all sites to be accessed by all employees? Do we encourage greater usage of internal sources like the intranet or allow creation of sub-sites at popular forums?

What guidelines are to be given on publishing corporate content and even personal views and personal information?

Do we only focus on customer feedback or complaints?

Do we have the right to monitor and the means to measure its impact?

Should we explore and rather focus on CSR initiatives at these sites?

How much do we invest in terms of time or money in this area?

Do we engage someone else to do it for us?

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15-MINUTE MANAGER

DUMMIES GUIDE TO GOLFING

GOLF BASICS

Without an iota of doubt, golf is one of the most popular sports on the planet, especially with the rich and famous. In fact, it is often said that some of the biggest deals are not worked out in boardrooms, but on the golf course. So, before you pick up the club to swing in the tee, here is a basic guide on what you need to know:

page is a repository of all the Amul Butter print ads and a way for the company to share its platform with its customers. Likewise, Vodafone zoo zoo is a good example of usage of this platform which over 6 lakh people claim to like. Twitter: While Twitter gives us a space to express “what are you doing right now” in a quick 140 words, it has some far-reaching impacts, which have been used well by some organisations and some business leaders in India. Anand Mahindra is one of those few who have been on Twitter and it’s been simply amazing to observe the impact. He has more than 86,000 followers. Dell has found a way to use Twitter to generate sales and says it surpassed $3 million in sales attributed to Twitter. Dell has now taken its Twitter campaign to a new level by offering discounts exclusively to people who follow @ DellOutlet.

Start with the gear: The biggest issue for a beginner is to decide on which club to use for which shot. The best thing to do when you are starting out is to stick to just a few clubs, using only those. After you practice a little, you will get the feel of what is required, understanding the differences between each club.

1

Summing it up
Social media offers structured ways to track the relevant feedbacks and inputs for your organisation, and the benefits this brings to the business can be critical and valuable. However, it is important to note that leveraging the social media is a continuous and gradual process. It is easy to start, but it takes quite an effort to sustain the drive and consequently the interest of an interactive audience. It is therefore necessary to keep the following considerations in view when building a social media presence: n  requires a long-term strategic It thought process n  not about getting lost in a sea It’s of Internet, but more about addressing a focused, targeted audience that matters n  The objective should be clear and the benefits need to be visualised in advance, so that the activities are aligned to the goals n  not technology, but a business It’s initiative As for the outcome, it may be complex enough for even Paul the octopus to predict!
The author is CTO, Lowe Lintas (IPG)

Gripping it right: How to grip the club is another bewildering thing for most beginners. Well, here is one. Both your hands should work like a single unit, each palm facing the other, as if joining your hands to pray. In order to check this out, get into the starting position, standing with your feet apart with your knees slightly bent, and then just bend your wrists and lift the club-head up. If you find that you can swing the shaft up straight, to the middle of your head, without the angle of the face changing, that means you have a good grip.

2

Pre-shot routine: Before every shot, most, if not all golfers, have a specific routine for getting ready. They may move a certain way, practice visualization of a successful shot, or concentrate on something motivating. This would be defined as a pre-shot routine. Every player has a unique prep ritual.

3

Tips for putting: Putting is probably one of the most important skills you will need to develop. You need to master the pace, first of all. You can do this by practicing acquiring a smooth rhythm of putting. There are no particular rules about addressing the ball; just keep practicing until you get a reliable and smooth stroke.

4

Matchplay: This term refers to the original way that golf was played hole-to-hole. Whoever scores lowest on the first hole is the winner of that hole, and then goes “one up”. Then, the winner on the second hole goes “two up”. This score pattern continues for each hole thereafter. If you lose a hole, then you go “down one”. If a hole is tied, you then “halve” the hole. The final outcome is decided by how many holes you are either up or down by, compared to the number of holes left. For example, if you are 4 up with only 4 holes left in the game, you are the winner of the match.

PH OTOGRAPHY: PHOTOS .CO M

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MANAGE IT

SWEAT YOUR IT ASSETS
An asset management system will help you draw maximum leverage from IT investments in your organisation
BY SAT Y E N D R A P T R I PAT HI

ILLUSTRATIO N: ANO O P PC

I

T asset management is very important for any organisation. It refers not only to managing the IT assets but also amounts to their effective utilisation, optimisation or virtualisation. Asset management starts from the organisation’s business requirement. It is the prime responsibility of IT managers to assess and ensure that the right kinds of assets are bought into the

organisation. Once the procurement process starts, it ends with the asset’s complete life cycle management. Here, assets are not only hardware but also include software in the business environment. A typical asset management process goes through the following life cycle: n New business requirement n Request and approval process n Procurement management

n Life cycle management n Redeployment and disposal management IT asset management practices are process-driven and matured through iterative and continual improvement process. Asset management data is very important and is required in an organisation at various levels such as end users, budget managers, IT service departments (for providing information on warranties), and finance (for invoice reconciliation and updates for fixed asset inventories). IT asset management is a very challenging task for IT managers since many organisations normally outsource the whole asset management part and don’t have a single integrated asset management application to manage IT assets. In addition, due to high attrition rates, assets are re-allocated to different employees at different locations as per the business needs normally, but that doesn’t get automatically updated. Manual verification of asset data is also not fool proof due to human errors; so, the sanctity of asset data is in question most of the time. IT asset inventory is very critical for many management decisions like opting for some newer technology for business benefits, asset upgrade decision, and asset optimisation or virtualisation decision. IT managers struggle to maintain accurate asset details in large organisations in the absence of an integrated asset management system. IT assets data requires best business practices to be in place to manage it properly. It is advisable that IT managers adopt a process-driven approach and follow best business practices. A good IT asset management system must have linkage with helpdesk management. It will be even better if it is also integrated with HR, procurement and finance systems. One way of adopting best business practices is to drive an ISO 20000 or Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification in the organisation. This will really help a lot in building and adopting the best business practices across the organisation. This

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15-MINUTE MANAGER

ASSET MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES

TRAINING CALENDAR

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The basic objectives of IT asset management primarily include the following: l Fulfilment of business needs l Standardization of IT assets and risk reduction l Complete control over asset inventory and transparency of asset data l Optimum utilization of IT assets l Virtualization of IT assets l Uncover savings through upgrade/redeployment and support for strategic decision making l For good IT governance and to ensure compliance l Enhance performance of assets and the life cycle management

ISB

Aug 1-5, 2010
will not only help in organising the assets, but also lead to many business benefits like virtualisation and optimum utilisation of assets. Today, there are many freeware asset management applications that are available on the Internet. These applications can be downloaded and further customised as per the organisation’s needs. If the organisation is ready to go for a standard asset management application, then one may opt for an ITIL/ISO 20000 compliant system. These applications will automate the whole activity, starting from the asset’s requisition till its disposal. There are tools available which can automate the capturing of asset data and populate the same in Configuration Management Database (CMDB). The automatic capturing of asset data in real time ensures that all asset movements are recorded in the system and asset data is always updated. By using advanced tools, we can find out the actual usage details of each asset like who has used the system, through which application and for what duration. This information helps a lot in ensuring that each IT asset is optimally used in an organisation.
The author is Head – IT, JSL Limited

ISB

Aug 11-13, 2010

XLRI Jamshedpur

Aug 13-16, 2010

ISB

Aug 24-27, 2010

ISB

August 27-31, 2010

IIM Calcutta

Aug-29-30, 2010

IIM Bangalore IIM Shilong

Aug 30- Sep 3, 2010 Sep 02-03, 2010

IIM Calcutta

Sep 13-16, 2010

Development Projects

IIM Shilong

Sep 20-23, 2010

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SOCIAL NETWORKING

THE BIG
THE SITUATION...

HOW TO STEM SOCIAL MEDIA LEAKS?
EXPERT PANEL
RATNAKAR NEMANI, CIO AND HEAD OF IT PROJECTS WING, VST INDUSTRIES B MURALI NAIR, CTO, L AXMI VIL AS BANK ALOK KUMAR, HEAD, SEARS IT AND MANAGE MENT SERVICES (INDIA)

Harsha looked at the “friend” request she had just received from a colleague. She remembered Vikas well, with whom she had shared the table for an extended lunch at the company cafeteria. Harsha had joined IT solutions company, Saensem India, a day ago as a senior member of the Information Security Team. Vikas came across to her as a friendly and open person, who seemed to have something to say on any subject under the sun. She clicked on the link in her mailbox, which took her to the social networking site. She clicked on the “accept” tab and Vikas quickly appeared on her friends list. Harsha leisurely went to Vikas’ page and looked at the posts around. As she started reading, her expression changed. Suddenly, she sat very upright and started browsing through Vikas’ friends list. She went through the posts, many of those being from fellow colleagues at Saensem. After some time, she sank into her chair, visibly
C UT I T FROM HE RE

disturbed by what she had just seen: the messages posted by Vikas and some other colleagues seemed to give out critical information regarding an ongoing project that it amounted to a serious information security breach. It seemed that all witnessed by information security measures, taken so far at Saensem India had gone to the dogs due to unmindful messages posted on a public domain, Harsha said to herself. No doubt, they appeared to be very loyal to the company and there was no deliberate intent of leaking information. Harsha wanted to pick up the phone and warn Vikas how irresponsible he and his friends had been, but she hesitated. She was not sure how Vikas would respond to remarks from a newly joined employee. Harsha was confused. She feared being seen by Vikas and his colleagues as someone who is trying to bully them. Her caution could also make her unpopular, which in turn will affect her day-to-day functioning. Yet, if she remains quiet, that can do irreparable harm to the company.

PHOTOGRAPHY: XXXX XXX

Your responses count. Log on to www.itnext.in/bigQ to submit your replies. The best entry will be published in the next print edition.

NEXT

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

51

THE BIG Q

VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY, WITHOUT BECOMING UNPOPULAR AMONG FELLOW EMPLOYEES?

THE SHOULD HARSHA DO TO STOP POSTING OF MESSAGES THAT CONTAIN BIG QUESTIONS... WHAT

? ?

WHAT INITIATIVES SHE CAN DRIVE AS A SENIOR MEMBER OF THE IS TEAM TO COUNTER THE INFORMATION SECURITY BREACHES POSED BY SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND OTHER SUCH WEB-BASED MEDIA?

HERE ARE THE ANSWERS...
‘INVOLVE ALL EMPLOYEES’
FIRST ANSWER
To start off, there are two aspects to Harsha’s dilemma, one pertains to ethics and other to the business angle. First up, from a legal and ethical perspective, one should not mix personal, professional and social activities. In this case, it is the clash between personal–vs-organisation entirely, that means if it is the security breach for customer, the organisation can be closed down. Now from a business perspective, even if Harsha doesn’t want to raise an alarm, someone else may do it. So, she can alert the authorities, without really revealing her identity. Looking at the situation, impact and risks associated, it can be handled sensibly. Usually, these kinds of issues occur at the workplace out of sheer ignorance on part of the employees. People do not necessarily understand the true implications of their actions. Hence, it is incumbent upon the organisation to educate its workforce on what is acceptable and what is not. It also needs to clearly spell out the consequences of such acts. For instance, in this particular case, Vikas could be counselled and, if need be, helped to find another job, etc. The action taken by the organisation is completely dependent on the motives of the perpetrator, if it is found that the act was a deliberate one, the punishment will be dour and if on the contrary, it was done out of ignorance, it could be light. Interestingly, such issues are quite common in IT /BFSI sector where spouse or roomates work together. Harsha should not ponder too much over the issue, and bring it to the notice of the management. Else, she could be aiding in compromising the security.

RATNAKAR NEMANI
CIO and Head of IT Projects Wing, VST Industries Ltd About me: A finance executive by choice and an IT executive by chance, he is an industry veteran with over 18 years of experience in the current organisation. A recipient of multiple awards, he is renowned for his ability of bringing in business insights on technology issues

SECOND ANSWER
There are quite a few steps that can be taken by the Information Security team to counter the threats posed by social media sites. Here is what they can do: 1. Immediately cut off Vikas’s Internet access at office 2. Check background from HR, both discrete and otherwise, to ensure that he is not working for competition 3. Filter all data pertaining to the ongoing project through the proxy 4. Issue a circular to all from Head HR about gravity of exchanging data on public domain 5. Separate the public domain collaboration from the internal collaboration unit 6. Conduct classes on security related issues for all employees 7. Counsel Vikas privately, informing him that such activities are not entertained One thing is certain here, she should not be really worried about her image with the colleagues, as she is bound to be at loggerheads with employees on one issue or another. And that will be her mark of success as an IS professional.

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THE BIG Q ‘FRAME AND ENFORCE AN IS POLICY’
FIRST ANSWER
As a corporate policy, we do not allow social networking sites on the corporate network. This is a given policy in most corporate offices where IS policies are in place and where customer information is vital. Presently, the defamation and libel laws in the country are not very stringent, but going forward I am sure the so called “disclaimer” clause we put everywhere will not be of any consequence. In the present case, I think Harsha should post a newsletter bringing out clearly the security loopholes in social networking sites and how the vital information can be compromised by using the site for official, or semi-official, work. If indeed the information leak seems to be unintentional, she would be best advised to bring it to the notice of the senior team members and also counsel Vikas in person about what could be the possible consequences of the indiscrete postings. IS policies work best when the employees are well-informed about them, otherwise, these issues keep cropping up.

B MURALI NAIR
CTO, Laxmi Vilas Bank About me: A multifaceted banking veteran, he is renowned in the tech circles for his business acumen and ability to resolve technology issues in a short span of time. Currently he is overlooking the complete technology roadmap at LVB and prior to that he was associated with Union Bank of India

SECOND ANSWER
Harsha and the team should also put in place an Information Security Policy duly approved by the top management/board and implement the same across the management. This is a tough job since it will require a number of sessions for creating awareness, conditioning and bringing in certain inevitable changes in the work culture and practices. But the matter requires firm handling and in spite of initial resistance, when the objective is well understood, the resistance will give way to acceptance. Like much else in life, prevention is always better cure, but in case of security prevention , its more critical than cure. And not only should such a policy be framed, it should be prominently displayed at all vital locations, so that the same is reinforced time and again.

NEXT

MEDIA

SOCIA

L

Top Security Concerns of using Social Media Network by Organisations
Most social network users fail to perform basic security measures on a regular basis

26% 20%
co n fed en tia

47%

55%

the ft

Att a

Identity

Phishing

Sharing

Malwar eI

nfe cti on s

ma for In l

tion

ck s

SOUR CE: AVG AND CM O COUNCIL

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

53

THE BIG Q

‘HIGHLIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA THREATS’
FIRST ANSWER
Whatever might be her concerns regarding her image, etc., Harsha is required to take an action. There are no two ways about it. But she should not take any unilateral decision. In all such cases, it is important for any employee to give detailed information to the concerned superior and follow up to see the action gets completed in the interest of the company. On the other hand, it is also necessary for her to immediately talk to the concerned person on the hazards of such information leaks. Ascertain if the same was unintentional and work in tandem with the employee to ensure that such leaks do not take place in the future.

SECOND ANSWER

ALOK KUMAR
Head, Sears IT and Management Services (India) About me: Is a tech evangelist, who has a distinguished career spanning multiple companies, like Hutchinson and Reliance Infosolutions

She should immediately formulate and circulate a “Social Media Policy” which should be applicable to all employees. Now a days, all large companies understand the power and threat of the social media have come out with such policies to which each employee is bound. In such a policy there are clear do’s & dont’s mentioned making easy for an employee to restrict his blogging & messaging on things which are neutral or not part of the policy. Training and awareness are also important, so training sessions and consequences in case of a breach should be clearly spelt out. Security policy and social media policy in general should be hyped up through sessions, posters, screen savers and like.

NOTES NOTES

MORE RESOURCES

Social Networking, The “Third Place,” And The Evolution Of Communication: http://jobfunctions. bnet.com/abstract.aspx?kw=social+media&docid=328488 Social Media: Risk and Policies: http://www.socialfish.org/whitepaper#policies

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4

Edu TEch December 2009

CUBE CHAT | BHOODEV TYAGI

TAKING UP
CHALLENGES
“I aspire to raise the standard of my work,” says Bhoodev Tyagi, Leader–IT, Dun & Bradstreet, India
BY JATIN D E R S I N G H

C
MY SUCESS
Work hard, keep a positive attitude, and concentrate on your goal

MANTRA

hallenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what makes the instrument stretch—what makes you go beyond the norm.” This statement made by Cicely Tyson, a successful stage actress of 19th century, seems to go with the work philosophy of Bhoodev Tyagi, Leader–IT, Dun & Bradstreet, India. An admirer of M.S. Dhoni for his leadership skills, Tyagi believes that no problem ever comes without a solution. And, one just needs to think differently to overcome it. “This belief helps me to achieve my goals as an IT leader in my organisation,” he explains. Presently, he is handling the critical project of server consolidation in a live environment to achieve a zero downtime for his organisation.

The process is based on virtualisation and maneges to reduce hardware and operating costs—including energy costs. “The project helps reduce the time taken to provision new servers,” he explains further. The mark of a true leader, Tyagi pays a great deal of attention on learning and teamwork. He is dedicated and passionate about any project that he is involved in. For him, the definition of a successful IT manager lies in the way he collaborates with a client or stakeholders in order to understand them properly. If knowledge is a critical to achieving goals, it’s the vision of the future and the ability to create a good working team that, he believes, make a project successful. “Nowadays, IT is dynamic. Therefore, an IT manager should be able to keep pace with

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W
CUBE CHAT

FACT FILE
NAME BHOODEV T YAGI CURRENT DESIGN AT I O N LEADER–IT FOR D U N & BRADSTREET, IND I A CURRENT ROLE RESPONSIBLE FO R T HE MANAGEMENT OF T HE DATA CENTRE, US E R SL A COMMITMENTS , PERFORMANCE, AVAIL ABILIT Y, RESPONSE TIME AN D PROBLEM RESOLU T I ON . RESPONSIBLE FO R EFFECTIVE RESOU R C E MANAGEMENT, AND SYSTEM AND RES OU R C E PL ANNING BASED ON BUSINESS FOREC AST EXPERTISE SOFT WARE DEVELOP M E N T STRATEGIC PL AN N I N G INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT WORK EXPERIENC E 2002 – PRESENT LEADER – IT DUN & BRADSTRE E T (D&B), MUMBAI, I N D I A 2001-2002 TEAM LEADER NIVA ONLINE, MU M BAI , INDIA 2000 -2001 PROGRAMMER-CU M ANALYST GEBBS SOFT WAR E INTERNATIONAL , N J , U SA 1999 -2000 CONSULTANT DUN & BRADSTRE E T, MUMBAI, INDIA 1993 -1999 PROGRAMMER-CU M ANALYST CAPITAL MARKET PUBLISHERS IND I A, MUMBAI

“KNOWLEDGE IS CRITICAL. BUT, IT IS THE VISION AND THE ABILITY TO CREATE A TEAM, WHICH MAKES A PROJECT SUCCESSFUL”
technological advancements. One should be able to deliver innovative and timely solutions,” he stresses. “An IT manager should be capable enough to understand the pain of his clients and learn how IT can help solve the problem,” he adds. Tyagi is a strong believer in God. His faith is unshakeble, despite the fact that the man has faced several hiccups during various stages of his life. “Every morning I thank God for the life that he has given me. Many a times I have been desperate, but I have always managed to keep a situation under control. And, I’ve let a bad time pass,” he says. Despite the hard work at office and his commitment to work, he never forgets to spend quality time with his family. He is very particular about balancing his personal and professional lives. “I always try to live life to the fullest. Spending time with the family, listening to old Hindi film songs and watching cricket are some of my favourite pastimes,” he reveals. There is a scripture in the Bible that says without a vision, people perish. Without something to live for, we die, before we begin to live truly. So, does this IT manager aspire for a new (and bigger) role—perhaps that of a CIO? “My ambition is that I will continue to raise the standard of the work that I do. I am always ready to take on new challenges and responsibilities. But, I’m not after any tag, even that of a CIO,” Tyagi concludes.

PHOTO GRAPHY: JITE N GAND HI

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

57

UPDATE

OFF THE SHELF

A sneak preview of enterprise products, solutions and services

Ericsson introduces LTE based solution
Faster mobile broadband applications on offer , along with video on offer and video on demand

ADATA intros 3.5” external hard drive
ADATA technology has introduced NH03, the 3.5” external hard drive with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface. SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface on the sleek-looking NH03 3.5” external hard drive is designed to deliver faster data-transfer rates— never seen on hard drives. With the addition of built-in TurboHDD USB software, the transfer performance is further accelerated, reaching up to 140 MBs, based on realworld results. Company claims that the product will aid users to experience a significant performance upgrade of 400% in terms of transfer speed compared to devices with conventional USB 2.0 interface. The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is backward compatible with previous versions for greater flexibility and convenience in daily computing use.

Swedish networking firm Ericsson has KEY FEATURES * 256-bit AES encryption to keep unveiled its TD-LTE solution at a recent personal data safe China event. The solution will help run faster * Stylishly designed and innovative mobile broadband applications, such as heat vents video on demand (VOD) and video stream* Blazing-fast backup solution ing, using a live camera. * Backed by 3 year product warranty LTE, the next generation of mobile broadband technology, includes two versions: one for paired spectrum, frequency division duplex (FDD); and one for unpaired spectrum, time division duplex (TDD). The global deployment of LTEbased solutions is expected in the coming years. The company has also introduced a new base station as a part of its TD-LTE offering. RBS 6000, the TD-LTE base station, offers an integrated solution with minimal dimensions and low-energy consumption, fit for every implementation. “The demonstration reflects not only Ericsson’s undisputed technology leadership in the LTE domain, but our unwavering commitment to the development of TD-LTE in the world,” said Mats H. Olsson, President, Ericsson (China & North East Asia). The solutio has the capability to achieve a single-user peak rate of 110Mbps in the downlink.

Other than speed, NH03 includes 256-bit AES encryption to keep personal data safe and confidential while protecting against any unauthorized intrusion. The company is also providing 60 day trial version of Norton Internet Security 2010 with the product.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
Interface: USB 3.0 Special Feature: one-touch auto backup button, AES encryption Data Transfer Rates: Transfer rates reaching up to 140 MB/s

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PHOTO GRAPHY: JAYAN K NARAYANAN

UPDATE

ZyXEL launches N Gigabit Router
Price Rs 13,500/-

VMware intros economical Solutions
VMware, the global player in virtualisation solutions right from the desktop, through the datacentre, to the cloud, has introduced new VMware vSphere 4.1 solutions for small and midsize businesses with prices starting at US$83 Price per processor and aims to $495 for six processors help businesses improve infrastructure-efficiency and business continuity According to an independent survey of North American and European SMB x86 server virtualisation decision-makers, conducted by Forrester Research, 60% of SMBs rated standardising on virtualisation for server deployment, disaster recovery, business continuity capabilities, and infrastructure consolidation, as a high, or critical, priority. The company is focussing heavily on small and medium size businesses in India and has tripled the number of customers in this space in two years.

ZyXEL Communications has unveiled a new KEY ADVANTAGES NBG 460N wireless and Gigabit router in India. * 8 times faster than the normal This wireless N gigabit router delivers speed speed and 5 times more in and coverage, and is compliant with the latest terms of coverage 802.11n technology . * Ensure safe and secure data The product is aimed at helping enterprises transfer manage the limited bandwidth for multimedia * Enhanced wireless scheduler applications. save the power It has an inbuilt feature, which enables * New build-in MBM v2 the device to save power and reduce wireless technology shape traffic radiation by configuring to fit in the needs. According to ZyXEL, the router also supports IPSec VPN (Virtual Private Network), which ensures secure transmission between two sites, eliminating the necessity for expensive leased-lines, enabling interconnectivity at minimal expense. It is priced at Rs. 13,500

Telesoft unveils interactive VAS platform
Telesoft Technologies has introduced the ARNE IVR platform in India. Aimed at VAS and enterprise players in India and Asia, this product offers voice and video platform, on which VAS developers can build innovative new revenue streams. According to the company, the solution can easily connect to mobile and fixed networks, and provides services such as caller ringback tones (CRBT), customer self-care—bill payment systems—as well as information and entertainment applications; news, timetables, horoscopes and cricket scores. It has built-in SS7/ISUP signaling protocol software for call control, an MRCP interface for text-to-speech (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) and built-in in video streaming capability.

KEY ADVANTAGES
* Features up to 240 media channels * Easily connects to mobile and fixed networks * Uses open standard XML * Six-level output power control capability * 64/128-bit WEP

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

59

UPDATE

INDULGE

The hottest, the coolest and the funkiest next generation gadgets and devices for you

Presenting a range of must haves that will cast an impressive spell on those around you
HOT
DELL STUDIO ONE 1909
19 inch touch-screen monitor, Core2 Duo Processor, Nvidia GeForce 9400
PRICE: R S 34,000

P3110 3G READY LIFEBOOK SAMSUNG C9000
Collector’s edition, swiss durability, improved mechanical grounding, HDMI 1.3 Video and Audio digital output
PRI C E: US$5,999 AND ABOVE

Ultra-low-voltage processor, 3G ready, size 11.6 inch, weighs 1.6 kg, perfect for video conferencing and Internet telephony (VoIP)
PRICE: RS 63,500

NEW

PANASONIC HD 3D CAM
3D camera, convenient replacement for their 2 camera and mirror, can record 3D HD content on 2X32 GB SD cards
P RI CE: US$2 1,0 00

ZENITH XTREME TOURBILLION ZEROG Watch that can operate in Zero gravity, mounted with a free moving gyroscope, water proof up to 1,000 ft.
PRICE: US$ 500,000

Like something? Want to share your objects of desire? Send us your wish-list or feedback to editor@itnext.in

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UPDATE

OPEN DEBATE

BOOK FOR YOU
A platform to air your views on latest developments and issues that impact you

Gandhi CEO
14 principles to guide and Inspire modern leaders
PUBLISHER : STERLING PRICE : RS 499

Can iPhone replace the Blackberry?

DHIRAJ SINHA LEADER (TECH), DELL PEROT SYSTEM
One should not forget that the iPhone has long been seen as the phone, which simplifies the smartphone functionality. It is certainly simpler, efficient and easy to use device compared to the Blackberry. On the other hand, RIM has not been able to come with any new cutting-edge technology to outsmart the popularity of the iPhone. For me, the first thing which is critical while selecting the smartphone is its high-end security features like data encryption, wireless access to business applications, remote IT security controls, etc., which both these devices have.

DEEPAK KUMAR MANAGER IT, TRIVENI INFRASTRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
I have been extremely loyal to my Blackberry so far. Can you name even a single organisation which has completely rolled out the iPhone. Not possible. From an IT perspective, BlackBerry provides features such as native VPN, native Mobile Device Management (MDM), private onpremise secure OTA app push etc that the iPhone does not have. In addition, the IT department of most organisations are not compatible with the Android platform. It lacks the acceptance when it comes to enterprise usage.

RAKESH MOHAN PROJECT MANAGER, FLYTXT
Well, I will put it in this way. Blackberry is a very trusted enterprise device. iPhone4 is a good attempt, but its still an underdog when you see its level of expertise and sophistication which an enterprise will be seeking. The style and look is certainly tempting, but when it comes to reliability, Blackberry wins the race, hands down. There are different people who have different needs. The usability of both the devices is pretty different and I strongly feel that at least in the forseeable future Blackberry will continue to be a widely popular enterprise device, meanwhile iPhone, a consumer one.

The latest novel by Alan Axelrod looks at Gandhi in modern light, focusing on his leadership style to serve as a guide to help existing and aspiring CEOs. It aims to relate Gandhi’s thoughts to modern day complex business environment and identifies truth, non violence, do or die, sacrifice, and its co-relation, exemplary miracles as the critical traits which a CEO should focus upon. Born in 1869, Gandhi’s struggle and circumstances, according to the author, make his life a true example relevant to the multinational business environment of the 21st century. It discusses the leadership scenerios, that lie beyond the complacency of the everyday and the ordinary. Written in a conversational style, the book holds a distinct potential to mentor young leaders in parts. However, it fails to match the practical approach that drives the leaders in the highly complex period such as recession. For instance, the lesson “be an open book,” cannot be of much value to CEOs today. IT NEXT VERDICT
Recommended for second generation of entrepreneurs and leaders trying to make their presence felt in any given industry. Written in a simple language, the book is handy for people who aspire to become people’s leader .

Your views and opinion matter to us. Send us your feedback on stories and the magazine to the Editor at editor@itnext.in

STAR VALUE:

A U G U S T 2 0 1 0 | IT NEXT

61

MY LOG

SUBHOJIT PAUL
Chief Photographer, 9.9 Mediaworx

Saying it in 1000 Words
Honestly speaking, I had never planned on becoming a photographer. It just happened. It began as an infatuation of a 12-year-old, and inadvertently grew into a passion. And the love affair is on. The relationship, however, began after school, when yours truly laid hands on a 35mm single-reflex camera–Vivitar V3800. Back then, Agfa, Nova and ILFORD, were the preferred monochrome films. Around 40 per cent of the process was about clicking the picture, the rest took place in the darkroom in trying to develop and print a picture. Photography was more about the process back then. Geometry, textures, patterns, hues and flora were few of my favourite subjects. After a shoot, the long wait for the final product would be excruciating. Processing films and printing them was like giving birth (if I can use that term). Today, the development of technology is providing every person a chance to experience the magic of photography. Having said that, I don’t believe everyone becomes a photographer–unless, there is that special something in the blood that makes the process into an addiction . Earlier, the art of photography entailed that a photographer would give considerable thought to the “frame” before shooting. Now, with the process becoming simpler and, to some extent, cheaper, the thought comes after a picture has been clicked (perhaps through the simpler auto mode). If this trend continues, soon there will be newspapers and magazines carrying photo credits for the camera company, and not the person clicking it. As time went on, I found myself graduating to storytelling through the lens–I began to shoot musicians and models for magazines. The intent was to capture motion. Like a chapter of a story. As a photojournalist I have been fortunate to meet people from different walks of life. Celebrities, artists, students, actors, leaders, professors, business heads, IT managers, models and designers. And I have discovered that a simple picture is sometimes the hardest to shoot. Or that, clicking a baby’s picture is more challenging than shooting a supermodel. Shooting IT managers is really unique, as most of them are camera shy. If there is no control over that moment, it might not just happen. And then there are logistics of the moment–deadlines, opportunities, locations, props, lights, number of people, etc., involved in a shoot. Not to forget that a picture plays a critical role in every story–thus, you have to be sure of what you are doing in that moment when you click! Obviously, the art needs constant innovation to simplify the meaning of thousand words with a single click.
ILLUST
RA
TI

ON

3 ESSENTIAL

READS
REVIEW

INSIGHT | VIRTUALISATION

LEADS THE PACK
IT managers should ensure that the new memory management, storage and network control features of vSphere 4.1 lead to improved host utilisation and automated scale from the VM systems.
BY CAMERON STURDEVANT
VMware vSphere 4.1 continues to lead the enterprise virtual machine platform pack. New memory management, storage and network control features enable resource pool creation that improves scale while reducing performance drags. Virtual machine management gains increased importance in the vSphere 4.1 platform, and IT managers should plan to have their virtualisation experts devote themselves full time to studying these new features to ensure that they lead to improved host utilisation and automated scale from the VM systems. During tests at eWEEK Labs, I learned that vCenter 4.1—the command and control module of the VMware virtual infrastructure world—is now 64-bit only. As part of the move to vSphere 4.1, IT managers should build in extra planning and migration time to move any vCenter 4.0 or older servers to systems that are running a 64-bit operating system.

VMware vSphere 4.1

vSphere 4.1 now adds a method to compress memory pages to reduce swapping and improve performance.

The payoff for the vCenter transition is a substantial increase in the number of VMs per cluster and the number of physical hosts that each vCenter can handle. I was not able to test the posted limits due to hardware constraints. However, VMware states that the latest version of vCenter can handle 3,000 VMs in a cluster and up to 1,000 hosts per vCenter server. Both of these large numbers are a threefold increase over the stated capacity of VMware vSphere 4.0. Aside from the sizable scale increase enabled in this version of vSphere 4.1, the main advances in the platform are evolutionary extensions of capabilities that improve how the platform handles VM resource contention. During tests, I used the new I/O controls in networking and storage to govern resource use. IT managers who are already accustomed to using resource controls in VM CPU settings will have a leg up when it comes to using I/O controls in both network and storage areas. Even with the CPU control heritage, my use of network and storage control features revealed a fair number of “version 1” limitations. Network I/O control prioritises network traffic by type when using network resource pools and the native VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch. Network I/O control works only with the 4.1 version of the vNetwork Distributed Switch—not with the Cisco Nexus V1000 or the standard switch from VMware.

3,000
and up to 1,000 hosts per vCenter server can be handled by the latest version of v Center

VMs

Implementation is simple
While it takes advanced network expertise to design and tune the policy that runs network I/O

A vNetwork Distributed Switch can now assign priority to a variety of traffic types.

Find similar stories online on the website www.itnext.in/ Insight

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PH
:
VIRTUALISATION | INSIGHT
controls, the implementation of the feature is quite simple. Entering the parameter changes to enable the feature and set the specific physical network adapter shares is simply a matter of walking through a couple of configuration screens that are easily accessed from the vSphere client. I was able to assign a low, medium, normal, high or custom setting that designated the number of network on an iSCSI-connected storage array. It also works on Fibre Channel-connected storage, but not on NFS or Raw Device Mapping storage. Virtual machines can be limited based on IOPS (I/O operations per second) or MB per second. In either case, I used storage I/O controls to limit some virtual machines in order to give others priority. I found that the large number of considerations—for example, each virtual disk associated with each VM must be placed under control for the limit to be enforced—meant that I spent a great deal of time figuring policy to get a modest amount of benefit when my systems were running.

Memory innovation
VMware included a handy memory innovation in vSphere 4.1 called “memory compression.” IT managers should become familiar with the feature as it is enabled by default. In my tests, I saw improvements in virtual machine performance after I artificially constrained the amount of physical host memory. As my virtual machine systems started to access memory to handle test workloads, my EXS 4.1 system started to compress virtual memory pages and stored them in a compressed memory cache. Since accessing this memory is significantly faster than swapping memory pages to disk, the virtual machines ran much faster with this feature than they did when it was disabled and the same workloads were started. IT managers should expect to devote at least several weeks of expert analysis to determine the most effective memory compression configuration for each workload. VMware did some housekeeping in the incremental release of vSphere. The vSphere client is still available in the vCenter 4.1 installation bits, but it is no longer included in the ESX and ESXi code. There also were some minor changes made to various interface screens, but there was nothing that would puzzle an experienced IT administrator.
Cameron Sturdevant is technical director for eweek labs, and can be reached at csturdevant@eweek.com. ©eWeek

OT
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You have to be sure of what you are doing in that moment when you click

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INSIGHT | Wi- fi
Aren’t we all at some stage disgusted to see the mesh of those wires connected to our computers? Don’t we wish we could make it clutterfree by getting rid of at least some of the wires? Don’t we wish we could connect to the Internet or access the printer without those wires, securely? Well, Wi-Fi lets users access the Internet and other network resources, without the hassles of plugging in the Ethernet cable. It offers them convenience of moving their machines around the office, without losing connection to the Internet or other network resources. Installing a Wi-Fi LAN in the office initially helps you set up the network for a fraction of the cost, especially if your office does not have structured cabling. Wireless access to the Internet at airports, restaurants and coffee shops is all courtesy Wi-Fi. However, like most good things in life, Wi-Fi comes with its share of drawbacks. These negatives appear in the form of security risks, which can be of various types. These could compromise your confidential data, lead to theft of bandwidth resources, amount to a legal action against your organisation and in some extreme cases even land you behind bars! Considering all these risks, is the convenience of Wi-Fi worth it? Alternatively, can we protect ourselves and the organisation against these risks, and at the same time take advantage of the benefits Wi-Fi has to offer? While there cannot be complete security, there are ways to mitigate, and to an extent, circumvent some of these risks. So how should an organisation go about taking advantage of the technology and at the same time, protect itself from the risks identified above?
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tors), and the security levels of Wi-Fi such as authentication or encryption are all very important prior to even procuring the infrastructure. Aspects such as thickness and material of the outer walls and ceilings, and those of the different cabins inside also play an important part in the planning process.

Why is all this so important?
Well, let’s say that you have installed an access point near a window, or maybe close by, which causes the signal to leak outside the office. A person with a laptop in the opposite building or maybe even a floor above or below your office is able to access the Inter-

advisable to rename the default administrator user name. Disabling the SSID broadcast i.e. your network’s ‘name’ is a good idea and mitigates the risk of an attack. Restricting access through MAC address filtering will not deter a hardcore hacker, as MAC address spoofing is not that great a deal, but a combination of disabling the SSID broadcast and restricting access through MAC address filtering, will deter most novice hackers or script kiddies from compromising your Wi-Fi facility. Although it’s not always possible to do so, especially in large organisations, it’s a good idea to switch off a Wi-Fi network when not in use. Personally, I am very uncomfortable with DHCP and prefer using static IP

STRONG PASSWORDS RESIST BEING COMPROMISED THROUGH BRUTE FORCE ATTACKS. DISABLING SSID BROADCAST FURTHER MITIGATES RISKS
net using your facility. He is now going to ‘steal’ your bandwidth resource to access the Internet. Not much harm done here, but what if this person now uses your Internet facility through Wi-Fi, to hack into another organisation? How would you ever be able to trace this person? Like it or not, legally, it’s your organisation that is going to get penalised. Of course, this intruder can also hack into your own network, thus compromising your organisation’s confidential data. And once again, how are you ever going to be able to trace him or her? addresses, as this definitely helps as an added layer of security, in spite of its slight inconvenience. Ensure that your router’s firewall is not disabled while on the other hand, firewall on all desktops and laptops is enabled. Encryption scrambles messages sent over the air. Deploying encryption technologies such as WPA2 with EAP authentication, TKIP/RC4 or AESCCMP encryption technology, is a must for large organisations and depending on the nature of the business, this is applicable to SMBs too. WEP encryption is outdated and should be avoided at all costs, as it can be compromised in a matter of minutes. Also, there is nothing stopping you from deploying a second layer of encryption, for added security. Deploying a Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) server for authentication, authorisation and accountability should definitely not be overlooked by medium and large

SECURING the AIRWAVES
A Wi-Fi plan should be robust enough to address security concerns and clean enough to keep legal risks at bay
BY BERJES ERIC SHROFF
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It all starts with planning
Planning the strategic location to install the access points, the strength of these strategically placed access points, who in the organisation can and cannot use the Wi-Fi technology (including visi-

Securing the installation
Let us address some technical aspects of securing a Wi-Fi installation in your organisation. Start by using strong passwords, to prevent the likelihood of this being compromised through brute force attacks. Also, it’s strongly

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Wi- fi | INSIGHT
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INSIGHT | CLOUD COMPUTING
insomnia has become more than Enrique’s copyright. And why not? Hardly a few budgets old, the ‘cloud’ phenomenon has made more noise and more impact than any other new kid who ever arrived. What is more, this kid has all the power and prognosis to elbow out the boys who have always run the show, so far. So far! Now that’s the operative word. The argument that cloud’s advent can hurt or challenge the very existence of internal IT departments has naturally started ‘hurting some brains.’ It’s not just applications any more. The wave is touching networks, server provisioning, infrastructure monitoring and management, and what not. The interesting part is that there is no sign of it sucking back. The way it has arrived and announced itself – cloud computing, certainly signifies a fundamental shift in the role of IT in the way it removes from IT much of its mundane chores. Ok! But why the heck were we talking about insomnia? Here’s why. The worry mercury was initiated dramatically by Nicholas Carr, who augured the rise of utility computing in his second book, ‘The Big Switch.’ His argument that stirred many a media pages, is, “IT would abandon running their own IT infrastructures.” What does that mean? Simple—one may no longer need the IT firemen or plumbers to keep things up and running because someone ‘on-call’ is going to do to it much easily, much cheaper and much faster. IT aka your pizza delivery boy, could capsize the traditional hulks, if the hypothesis is interpreted right.
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CLOUD COMPUTING | INSIGHT
Now on that, Carr’s theories have some intellectual company. Another maverick thinker, who has been vocal against the likes of Google, takes the same drift when it comes to cloud computing power as a nemesis, albeit in his own ways and arguments. “Of course, to a guy like me, that just means an opportunity to start another niche service.” He quips first. But ask Bob Massa, and there is more the industry is driven by supply and demand as it should be in a free market. But, as Massa would underline here, while it is true the cost of bandwidth and storage is dropping, the resources required to handle the amount of data we’re talking about is still a huge barrier to entry of all but those with the deepest of pockets. “There is no question that in the coming months there are going to be mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and

DRIZZLE?
Will cloud computing decimate internal IT? Is it worth losing your sleep over its rise?
BY PRATIMA HARIGUNANI
The thing about underdogs is, well, they are still dogs, and everyone likes them to win. From the pages of The Godfather to the blind alleys of politics; from the vuvuzeladrowned battles to a corporate tug-of-war; you will find them everywhere. Crawling upwards silently, tip-toeing in the stranglehold of their prey, and shadowing its might while it snoozes unaware; the underdog usurps it all. May be that’s why the wise men know that one should never underestimate small, seemingly petite things. Anyone who does so has yet not been bitten by a mosquito. There’s more than just a mosquito somewhere disturbing the sleep of some men nowadays. And this is a breed of men who won’t let an underdog shadow their power, or shall we say, ‘cloud’ their power? Ever since, the ‘IT Doesn’t Matter’ author Nicholas Carr, made another new, big stir that needs absolutely no introduction in CIO bastions today;

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HARDLY A FEW BUDGETS OLD, ‘CLOUD’ HAS MADE MORE NOISE AND IMPACT THAN ANY OTHER NEW KID THAT EVER ARRIVED
to the argument, as you discover. Massa is a mind and a voice that will go into the annals of history for more than his coup d’etat of suing Google some years back. His polemic, bold and candid wisdom continues to challenge perceptions again, when the word ‘cloud’ pops up. “As for Mr. Carr, as much as I like to think of myself as an optimist, I’m afraid I tend to agree with his rather dark vision of IT and how it is going to affect business,” he opines. “Once computing becomes a utility and the collective sum of ‘data’ is stored within the cloud and becomes available to all but controlled by a few, then I can certainly see where Carr may have a very valid point. I know from experience that technological advances run far ahead of the ability of any country’s legal system to keep up,” explains Massa. Now that raises the quintessential question again. Can cloud computing have enough potential (or promise) to sideline erstwhile IT functions handled internally? When and where will internal IT be indispensable, cloud or no cloud? At the moment, there are several companies jumping into the cloud game and there is choice and competition as buyouts.” In his incisive glance into the future, Bob Massa, opens another volley of questions. “What effect is cloud computing going to have on privacy, intellectual property rights, open source agreements, software licensing, and so on?” There could be more to be alarmed about if what he prognosticates comes true. With everything on the cloud, there is no guarantee that your competitor won’t have your source code in his back pocket tomorrow. There may be many a cost associated with all that cheap bandwidth, storage and access to everything. “Where’s your competitive advantage when ‘everyone’ has access to the same everything too?” He serves you a ‘too big to chew’ question here.

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Teddy bear or bug bear?
So, while almost every vendor and lighthouse customer is giving it the bear hug, is cloud computing strong enough to arrogate the power and functions of traditional IT? Does it not raise worries on new redundancy spots, and thus a threat to internal IT teams?

Scared yet?
As is clear by now, cloud computing is influencing a lot of intelligent debate. At the same time, it has also started impacting IT budgets and decisions in a significant way. Yet, is there a negative fine-print in this ballyhoo? How should internal IT engines of an enterprise interpret it? Cause for worry for IT managers already?

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