Cord Cutting (Cable TV)

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A little over 3 weeks ago I received my latest Comcast bill.  I was shocked that the price had gone up yet again.  This was the last straw for my wife who is a diehard cable user.  She gave me the OK to cut the cord.  I wasted no time in calling Comcast and scaling back to Internet only.  I brought a Roku box, an Apple TV for my wife and subscribed to Netflix and Hulu Plus.  My daughter is already a rabid streamer.

I was a little worried about Comcast and their data caps.  I never bothered to check my previous usage.  I finally logged in to the website and was a little shocked.  I had been using an average of 100GB prior to cutting the cord and had a whopping 350 GB of usage last month.  I’m already 100GB into my cap 10 days in. 

So, what is a cable cutter to do?  I’m going to switch from Comcast Internet to Comcast Internet.  It seems Comcast doesn’t have the same caps or any caps for that matter on business class service.  I can get the same 20Mbps speed for $99.00 (still much cheaper than TV) or 12Mpbs for $59.00 which is what I pay now.  12Mbps is still plenty fast and no cap.  I’m a bandwidth snob and will more than likely go for the $99.00 service.  

I’ll let you know how it goes. 

 

Why you should have comments, even when they are bad

So, I’ve debated this myself. I often read and recently started commenting on posts. I find that the experience varies from site to site. I only visit ZDNET now because of the comments section.

I’m often put off when a site closes the comment sections. I don’t personally have a large Twitter following or even care to use it and 140 characters is just not enough. I thing MG might be a little out of touch (and I like MG).

I do like GigaOM’s approach to comments. The full integration with wordpress.com gives me the ability to know more about my fellow commenters and I have the option of re-blogging or just commenting. I’m finding the overall experience pretty rich.

Gigaom

If you spend long enough reading blogs — or even newspapers, for that matter — you will eventually come across an essay about how a site is struggling with the question of whether to allow comments, or has decided to shut them down. The latest example of this genre comes from former Gawker Media and Wired staffer Joel Johnson, now managing editor of an arts and culture site called Animal New York, who says comments are worthless because they are filled with garbage and hardly anyone reads them anyway. As tempting as this conclusion may be, I still believe it is wrong for a number of reasons, as I have tried to point out in the past.

In his post, Johnson says he is revamping the Animal New York website and thinking hard about whether to have comments. He argues that comments used to be a worthwhile thing…

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This reminds me when Google brought Youtube and migrated it’s services from Rackspace. Wondering how this will affect smaller cloud providers outside of AWS. I believe Amazon will find plenty of companies to utilize the space given up by Instagram but I don’t know how smaller cloud players plan on competing with Amazon in the long run. Specifically Rackspace, as OpenStack stutters with the loss of Citrix does Rackspace have enough runway to get to critical size. Can it remain a standalone company?

Gigaom

Social photo-sharing service Instagram is pretty proud of the infrastructure it built atop the Amazon Web Services (s amzn) cloud, but I have to wonder whether the startup’s acquisition by Facebook today means all that effort was for nothing. Well, it wasn’t for nothing, obviously — Instagram was able to scale to handle tens of millions of users without developing a reputation for being slow or unavailable — but Facebook is pretty adamant about running its services in its own custom-built data centers. And for good reason.

AWS is great for startups with lean budgets, but it’s not unheard for them to leave it behind when they strike it rich. There are plenty of reasons not to remain in the cloud, ranging from the cost to availability to the complexity of building scalable, high-performance web applications on virtual infrastructure. As Facebook explained in its S-1 filing earlier this year

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Why Citrix Dumped OpenStack Support

I haven’t had time to review or weigh in on Citrix’s announcement on dropping support for OpenStack and embracing CloudStack.  I know since the announcement OpenStack has had a couple of major wins but I don’t think they come close to offsetting the loss of Citrix in the camp.

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Citrix really wants to compete in the datacenter with VMware.  At the same time VMware is making a compelling argument for their Cloud ecosystem.  If you are looking at rolling a private cloud and you already have a vSphere infrastructure it’s difficult to weed through all the commercial options and the basically non-existent open source options for a VMWare environment.  vCloud becomes the defacto option when you don’t have months to research alternatives.  This puts Citrix at a handicap when it comes to competing in the data center and the private cloud.

I believe the Citrix move is positioned to help those who haven’t already invested heavily into VMware and are considering both a virtualization and cloud strategy a compelling option.  I commented earlier on the progress of the OpenStack platform and how far they have to go.  Citrix can’t afford to wait on the platform to mature.

If Citrix executes well they will have a great story to tell customers about potential seamless integration with AWS.  I think Citrix looks at Amazon more of a partner than VMware does.  The ability to provide surge capability of your XenServer based private cloud to AWS is enticing.

BYOD is unstoppable

I talked about this a couple months ago on virtualizedgeek.com. The above comment talked about Citrix which is a good start but ultimately organizations need to focus on cloud type services. This doesn’t mean public cloud solutions such as Salesforce but the idea is the same. The applications need to be web based and support multiple browsers. Users will bring their own devices if they are approved or not by IT.

This will soon become an issue for retaining top talent. Top talent will want to utilize their own technology in the way that they want or leave. This may sound like an over reaction but, I don’t believe that’s the case. Top talent finds a way to be more productive and being able to seamlessly combine their personal productivity with your work productivity is a big factor for these contributors. IT needs to understand how to service these customers while keeping the data within the boundaries of their control. VDI is a start but again if all this talent wanted to use Windows then Mac OS X/iOS and Android wouldn’t be doing so well.

See my earlier post on why I believe BYOD is failing.

Gigaom

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has gained unstoppable momentum. And thanks to the burgeoning mobile app market, employees have high expectations for these tools. They want an attractive user experience tailored to their devices. In other words, companies need to invest in building apps, period.

During my two decades of working in enterprise IT, I’ve observed the client-server revolution, the internet explosion and the service-oriented architecture (SOA) boom. Despite all the buzz around cloud and big data, I believe mobile will dominate enterprise IT transformation over the next decade and help to shape those other two trends. Our company, Layer 7 Technologies, and competitors such as Apigee and Mashery, are providing API management solutions to support mobile integration for the consumer app market. I believe that BYOD will spark an ever greater demand for API management to address enterprise mobile apps.

I’ve seen some companies try…

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Tim Armstrong may have saved AOL, but at what cost?

I really like Tim Armstrong as a visionary. Imagine if he were successful in keeping AT&T the cable company together with the phone and wireless business. AT&T would be unstoppable. I wonder if the Patch vision is the same. Will the remains of the network he built come back to haunt him like Comcast has after it cobbled up AT&T cable?

Gigaom

Updated: As AOL continues its battle to replace a declining business model — much of which still involves charging people for dial-up Internet access — with something more robust, there are growing signs that Arianna Huffington is increasing her power base at the company. Among other things, a report in the New York Times notes that much of the integration between the Huffington Post and AOL that occurred (s aol) after last year’s $315 million acquisition is being unwound, and control over those elements is reverting to Ms. Huffington. AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong may have just signed a handsome new employment contract with the company, but insiders say he should probably still be watching his back.

According to the NYT story, control over the technology and business development segments of the Huffington Post — in other words, the parts of the operation that matter the most — are…

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Google Docs vs. Office 365

So MS announced a 20% reduction in the base price of Office 365.  I’m not a user of either Google Docs or Office 365.  I do use both gMail and Microsoft’s legacy hosted Exchange.  But as for office productivity I’ve stuck with my bloated desktop apps and I’m pretty happy.

I received an advertisement from Microsoft highlighting the superiority of Office 365 to Google Docs.  They provided a link to the same documented hosted on both platforms to provide a comparison of the formatting differences.

Office Web Apps:
https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx/Website%20Demo%20Files/Demo-Hayden-Management.docx?cid=9fbe63963526eb25&sc=documents

Google Docs:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1woLz_vYkV7_YUz1kMU5OyqvD7y9TANJ3BJ6_5KyQPYk/preview?hl=en&ndplr=1&pli=1&sle=true#

This is a great document but obviously formatted to benefit the 365 argument.  I’m skeptical but would like to know what your experience has been with either product.

Introduction to Cloud Computing – Virtualization vs Cloud

I’ve been wanting to start posting training video’s and this is a first for the blog.  This is an introduction to cloud computing which helps to differentiate Cloud Computing vs Virtualization.  Feedback here or on youtube is appreciated.

Hyper-V 3 vs. vSphere 5 Debate on ZDNet

Zdnet has an interesting debate about Hyper-V 3 on Windows Server 8 vs. vSphere 5.0.  Hyper-V to this point has been a great value play for organizations that didn’t have huge management requirements for their virtualized environment.  It’s support for Linux has actually improved a lot as well.

But I think it’s unreasonable to think the Windows 8 will have an sizable impact on VMware’s market share in the short term (next 1 or so).  I don’t see the argument for a OS that’s not scheduled to be released this year.  Microsoft has a poor track record of delivering all the features shipped in beta as part of the production release.  I just can’t see myself making a decision based on the promises of a not yet shipped product.

With that said, I look forward to the release of Windows 8 (client and server) and the push it will give VMware on both innovation and price.  It’s time someone shook up the market and brought real competition to this space.

Corporate Usage Policy – End User initiated encryption and e-discovery

So, if you work for a publically traded company, health care organization, financial services company or government  you may have had to deal with some type of encryption strategy for your mobile devices or removable devices.  There are plenty of enterprise encryption products on the market that can assist with this basic security need. Image

Also, more than likely you’ve also had to deal with some type of e-discovery.  When your corporation controls the keys then it’s not too much of a big deal.  You can comply with court mandated discovery requests since you have the keys (at least you should).  But what happens when an employee encrypts the data themselves using pretty powerful technology such as trucrypt?

What happens if your organization is sued and your employee or ex-employee refuses to give up the key? Worst yet what happens if you sue the ex-employee?  Does your organization have a policy when it comes to data encryption and key rights?  Also, what technical solutions can you put in place to ensure data is not encrypted via unsupported methods in your environment.

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