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Through a new set of APIs, Intuit has found a way to offer up any SaaS application.

chris_smithWritten by Chris Smith

It's interesting that certain software companies like Oracle are trying to get into the hardware business, while companies such as IBM,  already in the hardware and software business, are now introducing a series of "appliances" that allow them to sell both hardware and software. There are companies, however, that are simply focusing on what their customers need, which is a more efficient way to run their businesses.

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Cloud computing is becoming wildly popular. But is it right for your company?

vineet_jainWritten by Vineet Jain

"Cloud computing" has become the latest new "buzz" in the IT world. Old technology is being positioned as "cloud-enabled," and new solutions are popping up as the vanguards of cloud computing. A cloud has been used as a metaphor for the Internet for as long as anyone can remember. However, when the word "computing" is added to "cloud," it takes on a whole new meaning.

 

In a very broad sense, cloud computing refers to the complete access of resources or computing outside of the local firewall. In a more narrow interpretation, however, cloud computing is the distribution of specific applications and services from dedicated Internet-based virtual servers.

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Applications and other computer services for in-house users consume plenty of resources. Virtualization enables outsourcing many of those expenses, but does it make sense for IBM i?

john_gristWritten by John Ghrist

Outsourcing application and other computer services is far from an original idea for trimming IT budgets. What holds many enterprises back from taking this step are largely control issues, but it doesn't help that the many terms surrounding this kind of service remain murky. Virtualization, Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud computing, application streaming, and application virtualization all seem to be overlapping terms. Adding to the confusion is that vendors offering such services refer to themselves variously as application service providers, hosted service providers, and service bureaus. Finally, there's the problem that vendors providing such services essentially break down into three main types. It can be perplexing.

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VMware vSphere 4 promises a far faster and more robust virtual platform with editions for businesses of all sizes.

chris_smith.jpgBy Chris Smith

VMware has introduced a groundbreaking upgrade to its operating system and suite of tools that increases performance to such an extent that there is now little downside to operating in a virtual environment, given all the reliability, management, and cost benefits to running VMware on x86 servers.

 

VMware vSphere 4, which has been in beta and operating in test environments at a number of companies, was formally announced this week by VMware and is expected to be released for general availability before the end of June. 

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In a major announcement that follows years of developers' taunting requests to deploy IBM middleware on Amazon's EC2 cloud infrastructure, the companies finally get it done.

chris_smith.jpgBy Chris Smith

In a move intended to make it easier for developers and ISVs to develop SaaS solutions, IBM announced this week that it has agreed to let Amazon Web Services host several major IBM middleware packages in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2.

 

Developers initially will have access to development instances of IBM DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, WebSphere Portal Server, Lotus Web Content Management, and WebSphere sMash. Also available will be Novell's SUSE Linux operating system. The best part is it's free!

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Tech companies make cloud computing announcements underneath cloudy economic skies.

ron_exler.gifBy Ron Exler

It's been a tough month for the economy in general and the technology sector in particular. Even Microsoft, which had not previously laid off employees, resorted to job cuts. So did AMD, EMC, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Philips, Seagate, Sprint Nextel, Sun, Texas Instruments, and Yahoo. Yet the news was not all about poor earnings and job cuts. Several of the big vendors rolled out cloud computing enhancements or new offerings. The pace of these announcements suggests a demand for cloud computing alternatives in this tough economy.

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Does the hype around cloud computing hold water?

ron_exler.gifBy Ron Exler

There is a storm of hype around enterprise cloud computing these days; one only need to look at recent news from Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft touting the extensive benefits of moving enterprise computing to "the cloud." But what is this nebulous cloud, anyway, and why should an SMB care?

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Are you aware of the broad range of SaaS solutions, including enterprise solultions, available for SMBs?

ron_exler.gifby Ron Exler

Of all Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, collaboration is perhaps the most used yet least realized in enterprises of all sizes. Most organizations use online conferencing, such as Cisco WebEx or Citrix GoToMeeting. Many use instant messaging, such as AOL Instant Messenger. There is also growing use of online document collaboration tools, such as Microsoft SharePoint and Google Apps.

 

Gartner Group recently reported that it expects SaaS sales in enterprise application markets to surpass $6.4 billion in 2008. For collaboration SaaS, Gartner reported that it believes sales will exceed $2.1 billion in 2008 and $4.7 billion in 2012.

Read more ...
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    FortraIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

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  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

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