hpcqSun Microsystems’ recently announced Ultra Enterprise 450 Work Group server is a stiff competitor for Compaq’s ProLiant servers. The Enterprise 450 levels the cost-of-ownership issue against Windows NT/Intel (Wintel) servers, offers better performance, supports PC-client environments, and offers the resiliency of Solaris and scalability across Sun’s Enterprise server product line (which supports up to 64 processors in a symmetric multiprocessor/server configuration). Compaq’s ProLiant 7000 (see article, next page) is strategically positioned against the 450, but Sun’s 450 announcement is a bold strike against Wintel.

The Enterprise 450 is a robust midrange server. It …

iteskAn ITE is an on-line marketplace that brings together buyers and suppliers within a common vertical. But a truly integrated fully-functional ITE has yet to be created.

Just about every manufacturer, distributor and retailer has been hearing about the emergence of independent trading exchanges (ITEs) as a critical means to conduct day to day business operations. As a J.D. Edwards and Company report, entitled “B2B Collaborative Commerce: The Key Enabler of B2B Marketplace Success” states, “The emergence of trading exchanges across all vertical and horizontal industry sectors marks the beginning of a new digital economy …

arflThorny engineering problem got you down? Just put Dr. Frankenstein on the case. He’s not the only one creating New Life Forms

Some programmers die and go to heaven. Others go to hell. Bruce Damer went to purgatory — voluntarily.

Until recently, the 33-year-old Canadian worked for a California software company whose claim to fame was an application that printed much of the world’s junk mail. He quit a few months ago to develop software that will sort a user’s E-mail and toss out the crap.

Egad, he’s got a lot to atone for, you …

sdspThe computer industry continually rushes toward tomorrow’s great technological advance, leaving a wake strewn with yesterday’s hardware. Yet unlike operating-system developers, hardware vendors focus little on making their products backward-compatible.

The result: Chief financial officers wind up amortizing equipment over five years, even though it’s likely rendered extinct in two.

Bucking this trend toward accelerated obsolescence, Storage Dimensions Inc. released a high-capacity RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks) subsystem with a twist. Not only does the LANStor SuperFlex system combine high reliability via dual-redundant power supplies, triple fans, and a sophisticated cableless SCSI backplane, it …

tecquipA telecommuter used to be defined as someone who was associated with an office but not “part” of it. But the growth of computer and communications power has meant that telecommuters can be nearly the same as office dwellers.

Although the technology is still in the early stages of evolution, telecommuting now offers users a range of choices in making their connections with colleagues, customers, and other business contacts.

The basic choice faced by telecommuters is how thoroughly they wish to be connected to the office. Are simple data communications enough? Does the telecommuter need …

olmWith everyone roaring onto the Internet lately, there’s increasing pressure on corporate network administrators to bring their companies’ services on-line as well.

Now there’s help for managers facing those demands but who are unfamiliar with the Internet: Citrix Systems Inc.’s newly released TCP/IP for WinView, an option for use with the firm’s WinView for Networks 2.3 applications server software.

The TCP/IP for WinView option enables administrators to provide customized Internet applications or services directly, instead of relying on traditional technologies such as World-Wide Web, WAIS, or Gopher servers.

Because the TCP/IP for WinView option works …

inttepyComputer-telephony integration is a major step toward blending all of your company’s office equipment into an integrated computing environment. Although efforts like Microsoft At Work will soon enable applications to control office equipment such as facsimile and copy machines, CTI is coming from a wide range of vendors from both the computer and telecommunications industries.

CTI automatically connects a company’s telephone traffic with its databases and makes it easier for employees to access advanced features found in modern telephones. CTI can also streamline the way many work with their telephones by integrating voice, fax, and …

consraAlthough conferencing systems such as Lotus Development Corp.’s Notes or Collabra Software Inc.’s Collabra Share can enhance group productivity by providing a mechanism for group brainstorming and decision-making, such programs are tricky to manage.

Administering a conferencing system can be complex and time-consuming; it requires many of the same tasks found in maintaining conventional database-transaction systems. For instance, managers must make sure that discussion information is stored properly, is archived as part of a routine backup process, and is distributed to remote offices and workgroups.

As with other groupware applications, conferencing systems are still …

Teaching Old IT Admins New Tricks

oitaThese new systems would be perfect, if it weren’t for those damn users.”

The statement made me wince. But Jerry is a frustrated glass-house IT guy. As the VP of IT, he must incorporate current technology offerings to maximize competitiveness. It’s not only the users giving Jerry fits, though, it’s the flexibility of the client/server approach.

In the past, corporate approval came with a cost/benefit analysis. Jerry often backed into a series of cost-saving numbers to win support. Once signed off, he gathered information from the planned users and then, without their meddling, built …

csvrClient/server deployment requires one piece of hardware you probably won’t find in the computer store: a new hat rack.

The challenges of setting strategic directions and policies, establishing standard platforms, and rolling out applications that share data have caused many companies to redeploy their information technology staffs.

What has emerged in the largest companies is a collaborative environment with some centralized control. Think of it not as a glass house, but a glass condominium. Corporate IT can’t afford to be an isolated tower of power.

At Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, for example, CIO …

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