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Jul 30, 2010

If federated identity protocols can’t agree upon a uniform token format, or even standardized processes to arrive upon such a format, then perhaps they could agree upon a set of fundamental terms and concepts they all share. This may be the only key to resolving a major roadblock for enterprises.

Of all the problems with making the twenty or more user identity federation protocols in active use today work together, the most prominent is this: The standards upon which all those protocols are based are themselves moving targets. Thus a fixed solution one month may fail to work next month.

“In order for us to build interconnected systems, we need to have some agreement between all of the people who are going to be using this software and the vendors, on what the standards are for interconnecting identities,” said Stuart Kwan, Identity and Access Group Program Manager for Microsoft. “I don’t know if I would characterize it as any one vendor who is leading here. We all have to work together to make things happen, and Microsoft has been involved with a lot of the standards bodies in this area, in OASIS, in the IETF, and increasingly, other places where these standards have been advancing. . . We’ve been making a pretty major investment in engaging in these conversations, both in the industry and in standards bodies, to help move the ball forward with everyone else.” READ MORE

Jul 30, 2010

The Apache Software Foundation, best known for the self-named popular open source  Web server, has a variety of other technology that can help enterprises with databases, search, development, and more. Here’s an overview of the best. READ MORE

Jul 30, 2010

Much of performance improvement, security, and troubleshooting work is reactive. While there’s no avoiding this fact, implementing a Daily Log Review policy puts IT staff in a more pro-active position, using each day to build a set of rules that alert you to potential problems before they become serious.

How often does your team find, while troubleshooting an issue, that were small warning signs leading up to the incident but no one had noticed, or there had been no context to make it clear that they were seeing a real problem? Hopefully you don’t encounter such situations very often, but it happens. A daily log review policy can help to catch some of these issues earlier before they bog down or, worse, break your servers.

One advantage to allocating time for daily log review into your staff’s routines is that they become more familiar with the day to day workings of your systems. This knowledge in turn makes unusual occurrences stand out even more than they would have before. READ MORE

By Pam Baker -
Jul 30, 2010

A political tempest swirls around an ambitious national broadband plan, muddying implications for all concerned. Most analysis has considered the effect on consumers. Here, we look at the possible repercussions on large enterprise computing. READ MORE

Jul 29, 2010

Yes, it really is possible to have high-quality Business Intelligence (BI) software without denting the corporate pocketbook too badly, or at all. Open source BI suites can provide all the services most organizations need without high costs. Two suites stand out today in the open source BI arena: Pentaho and JasperSoft. And, according to Gartner, companies should be looking strongly at open source BI in the next few years.

It’s not always possible to replace critical software with open source, but whenever possible it’s a good practice to invest in open source services to avoid vendor licensing and lock-in. Companies often look to open source offerings like Linux and Apache for infrastructure services, but overlook the availability of open source alternatives for applications higher up the stack.

Only a few years ago, it would have been difficult to find mature open source BI software, but Pentaho and JasperSoft are now established organizations and have become attractive alternatives to proprietary software. READ MORE

Jul 29, 2010

Vendors including Microsoft, Google and Cisco are rolling out social networking offerings with the added security and IT control needed for the enterprise. But will enterprises use the technology? Read on for an overview of available and coming products and services. READ MORE

Jul 29, 2010

How can you keep your corporate programmers on target? Try these suggestions from well-known PHP developer Luke Welling. READ MORE

Jul 29, 2010

Ubuntu Linux is best known as the most popular desktop Linux distribution, but it’s developing a reputation as the easiest Linux for enterprises to deploy on the cloud.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has always had many enthusiastic user and developer fans. It’s a different story within the enterprise. Canonical has been trying to improve its business reputation though in both the server and cloud spaces. In particular, according to Neil Levine, Canonical’s VP of Commercial Services, Canonical has been working hard to bring Ubuntu’s well-known ease of use on the desktop to cloud deployments. READ MORE

Jul 28, 2010

VMware Studio is a great tool for building fast, stable and enterprise-level virtual appliances with local resources. Here’s how. READ MORE

By Ed Tittel -
Jul 28, 2010

KVM stands for “keyboard, video, and monitor” and describes hardware devices that enable IT professionals to interact with and operate remote devices (servers, mostly) that may lack all of these items. A virtual KVM extends the concept further and uses remote network access so a desktop or notebook PC provides the keyboard, video, and monitor inputs and outputs for network attached devices.

Real KVMs cost money, sometimes substantial sums; virtual KVMs are cheaper, if not free. Savvy CIOs and IT professionals find them useful, functional, and affordable. READ MORE

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