April 25, 2014

The background on Apple's '103-degree data center'
What wasn't explained is that Jackson and the reporter were walking down a hot aisle, and feeling the fan exhaust. The experience might have been different if they had walked down the cold aisle, where the rack fronts face the aisle. Apple isn't disclosing details about its Maiden data center operations, except at the 30,000 foot level, so it's unknown exactly what temperatures it's operating at. But it is possible to estimate a range.

Mobile data collection platform ices Blue Bell's transaction drops
"We have around 1,500 different vehicles running out on the road each and every day," Jim Kruse, Blue Bell's board secretary and controller, said during a presentation at the Collaborate 14 conference in Las Vegas. "No one else touches our product except for us." Prior to 2012, the company's mobile data collection software was Gemini from ClearOrbit -- now called Take Supply Chain. But Blue Bell was having problems. Kruse said transactions would sometimes go kaput if an employee in the ice cream production facility or distribution center lost mobile connectivity in the middle of a transaction.

So Long IT Specialist, Hello Full-Stack Engineer
An engineer by training, Reed saw an opportunity to apply the new product introduction (NPI) process developed at GE a couple of decades ago to the world of IT development. Years ago, a GE engineer might split his or her time between supporting a plant, providing customer service, and developing a new product. With NPI, we turned that on its ear and said you're going to focus only on this new product," explains Reed. "You take people with different areas of expertise and you give them one focus." That's what Reed did with IT. "We take folks that might do five different things in the course of the day and focus them on one task -- with the added twist being that you can't be someone who just writes code," says Reed.

Shadow IT: Far Bigger, Less Manageable And More Important Than You Think
Even when lines of business initiate technology purchases, it is increasingly including IT. So for the CIO worried about Shadow IT and the developers that foster it, don't. Even with the rise of DevOps, those developers more often than not are happy to collaborate with IT in the ongoing maintenance of applications; they simply don't want to be blocked from starting on such projects.  CIOs that encourage developers to use open source and the cloud position themselves to assume control as soon as developers move onto the next business-changing application. It may not be the kind of control they want, but it's the reality of the modern enterprise.

Thoughts on SDN Consumability
The OpenDaylight Project recently found that 76% of network engineers want “open source SDN” (the, um, open definition of “open source SDN” may account for some of that exuberance)…from commercial suppliers. That doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, that incumbent networking suppliers should necessarily assume they automatically get to keep most of their business if and when the networking world goes all-SDN-all-the-time. The market is open for anyone—or combinations of interests—who can meet the following “Open SDN” requirements, according to the ODP survey:

ArchiMate® Q&A with Phil Beauvoir
Well, firstly Archi is a tool for modeling Enterprise Architecture using the ArchiMate language and notation, but what really makes it stand out from the other tools is its accessibility and the fact that it is free, open source and cross-platform. It can do a lot of, if not all of, the things that the bigger tools provide without any financial or other commitment. However, free is not much use if there’s no quality. One thing I’ve always strived for in developing Archi is to ensure that even if it only does a few things compared with the bigger tools, it does those things well.

Treating Enterprise Software like Game Design
The “MDA” acronym stands for “Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics”. Mechanics refers to the algorithms and data structures that drive the game, such as how running characters animate or the arc of a character’s jump. Dynamics refers to the run-time interaction between the mechanics and the player, such as the pressing this button to jump or showing the character’s health as a bar at the top left of the screen. Aesthetics refers to how the player enjoys the game and what the player gets out of the game. Aesthetics is often the hardest to describe to non-gamers. Some games may offer multiplayer where players enjoy the social and competitive aspects, like the an online game of “Call of Duty” or “Doom”.

Showing empathy in your leadership
“Empathy isn’t a weakness, but fundamental to good management,” said Kristen Leverone, senior vice president for Lee Hecht Harrison’s Global Talent Development Practice. “It means being able to understand and relate to others’ feelings. After all, if a supervisor or manager can’t tune into the feelings of employees, it’s going to be very difficult to motivate or engage them. The survey seems to have struck a chord, and the findings should raise concerns for management.” What is empathy? It’s an understanding of someone else’s world, and showing the person that you understand.

The Hidden Business Benefits of Regulation
In Friedman’s free-market world, there would be no upper limit to the amount courts could award injured parties, and no restrictions on class-action suits or on lawyers working on contingency. Since the prospect of costly litigation is as unpalatable to most corporate leaders today as regulation, they want to have it both ways: deregulation and limits on litigation. But that implies that all businesses will self-regulate, which is a lofty goal. In fact, until greed and sin vanish from this earth, businesses might just as well curse the darkness as to demand such total self-regulation.

Project portfolio management best practices in the SOA landscape
One of the project portfolio management best practices is to get control and definition of work categorization, said Tim Madewell, senior VP of professional services at San Francisco-based PPM tool vendor Innotas. This involves organizing information about projects and ongoing SOA infrastructure into categories -- including large, capital-intensive projects -- and budgeting support and maintenance to keep the lights on. A well-defined portfolio management process can also include other risks, like compliance, regulatory issues, and anything that will require IT.

Quote for the day:

Morale is the core of any team's unity. If you don't believe in each other it's harder to believe in where you are going. -- +Shawn Upchurch

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