Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fujitsu ascends to new cloud offerings, expands data center to cover enterprises and ISVs

Many companies are intrigued by the potential cost savings and agility promised by cloud computing, but a lot of those are unsure about how to get in and when, as well as how. Fujitsu is rising to the occasion with end-to-end cloud services designed to help both enterprises and independent software vendors (ISVs).

Fujitsu says its new solution will allow companies migrate existing multi-platform and multi-vendor mission-critical systems to enterprise clouds. The benefit of this is that it will remove capital-intensive investments in technology and replace them with a pay-as-you-go strategy.

Scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2010, the Fujitsu services have already attracted several ISVs, who plan to offer their own services to clients, using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. To accommodate the move, Fujitsu has upgraded its Sunnyvale, Calif. data center to the Tier III level and will support the cloud application programming interface (API).

Designed for enterprises in manufacturing, finance, healthcare, retail and other compute- and data-intensive industries, Fujitsu's cloud solutions include system construction, operations, maintenance services and full-featured vertical applications. In order to comply with vertical industry standards and regulations, retail transactional applications will be hosted in a payment-card industry (PCI) compliant data center and health care applications will be hosted in a health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA) compliant environment.

Going green

In addition, the multi-million dollar data-center upgrade and expansion will more than double available raised floor space, reduce carbon emissions by 21 percent, and increase available power and cooling capabilities that will dramatically expand the data center’s effective capacity by over 800 percent.

The redesign leverages technology from Fujitsu, including its PalmSecure palm vein recognition technology for physical access control, Fujitsu 10-gigabit switch technology for core backbone fabric, and Fujitsu PRIMERGY server and ETERNUS storage technologies. Sunnyvale will join other premier Fujitsu Tier-III+ and Tier IV facilities in the Americas, including Dallas, Montreal and Trinidad, in delivering high-availability IT solutions.

. . . Upgrade and expansion will . . . reduce carbon emissions by 21 percent, and increase available power and cooling capabilities that will dramatically expand the data center’s effective capacity by over 800 percent.

Fujitsu recently announced enhancements to its Interstage Cloud business process management (BPM) service, which will be migrated to the new secure cloud platform as soon as it is available.

The goal of the cloud API submitted by Fujitsu to the Open Cloud Standards Incubator of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) is to maintain interoperability among various cloud computing environments, so clients don't need to worry about vendor lock-in when adopting a particular cloud computing platform. Fujitsu plans to actively participate in the standardization process of the DMTF and aims to implement the API as part of its next-generation infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform.

Among the first ISVs to take advantage of the new cloud services offerings are CoolRock Software, an ISV specializing in email management software for archiving, ediscovery and collaboration, and Intershop Communications, a leading ecommerce solutions ISV.

You may also be interested in:

Monday, December 7, 2009

TIBCO borrows a Twitter page to bring better information to enterprise workers

TIBCO Software will release in 2010 software that lets people search for and then track corporate information by subject matter in a similar way to how they might follow people on Twitter.

This is a clear sign that the enterprise software and social software worlds are munging. Get ready to see a lot more.

The idea behind the tibbr – the name an obvious play on “Twitter” -- helps people find information related to their particular tasks and jobs quickly and easily by searching for information based on its subject matter, and then subscribing to relevant feeds on those topics, the company said. [Disclosure: TIBCO is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Lack of information isn’t the main problem for enterprise systems these days, what's really needed is a useful interface and method for getting to the precise needed information quickly and easily to help business workers do their jobs more efficiently. By taking a page out of the social networking playbook, TIBCO aims to let people access corporate information via a Twitter-like "update." The result: workers can find the information they need faster, so, in theory, they perform with far higher productivity.

In an interview with All Things D’s Ben Worthen, TIBCO CEO Vivek Ranadive said he got the idea for tibbr when reading -- what else? –Twitter. More specifically, he said the inspiration came while he read updates to the micro-blogging service made by NBA basketball player Shaquille O’Neal.

With people spending – or arguably wasting -- so much time on social-networking applications outside of their everyday work tasks, companies have been looking for ways to apply social-networking technologies like real-time collaboration, status updates and Web presence information inside the firewall. TIBCO obviously sees tibbr as one way to do it.

I expect we'll see more ways that the social wall interface makes it's way into the business IT domain. This interface could easily replace the email in-box as the place workers tend to "live" during their jobs. Google Wave clearly also sees this as a good fit.

And, of course, no one "wall" will do. We should also expect an aggregation of walls that will follow us, and also adapt in terms of what takes priority on the personalized wall -- automated via policies -- based on what we are doing. Or where we are doing it. Or both.

As TIBCO describes tibbr, it will let people set “subjects” that represent a user, an application or a process relevant to what tasks or functions someone performs in an organization. Through tibbr, they can subscribe to feeds by category – for example, Finance or Accounts Payable -- for specific information they think will be relevant to their jobs.

Tibbr is based on Silver, TIBCO’s own cloud-computing infrastructure platform. TIBCO unveiled Silver earlier this year as a rapid-application development and delivery system for companies that want to deploy cloud computing but are unsure how to get started.

The company also is pushing tibbr’s foundation on open standards as an advantage for companies that want to integrate it with other applications so it can become a part of someone’s daily workflow.

TIBCO plans to test tibbr out on its own employees beginning on Dec. 14 before rolling it out to customers in early 2010.

BriefingsDirect contributor Elizabeth Montalbano provided editorial assistance and research on this post.