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5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 12/2/11


5 12 2 11It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our other post this week, Your Company Needs a Coherent Mobile App Plan, please have a look now. It covers the importance of a well-defined mobile strategy. You can't just throw out apps will-nilly and expect success, and you certainly can't  make it an advertisement.

If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

And here we go with this week's links:

Company plans to eliminate email - FierceCIO
It's a bold move for sure, but without a coherent strategy for replacing it, employees will more than likely work around it using private emails, creating a security and governance risk most companies wouldn't consider a reasonable trade-off.

7 Stupid Security Tricks - Input Output

They may be obvious depending on your perspective, but that may be why they slipped through the cracks and you missed them. Definitely worth reading and making sure you have these holes plugged.

Serious Games Drive Agile Strategic Planning  - Agile Blog

One consultant found playing planning games with executives could prove the value of moving from a Waterfall to Scrum environment.

7 Reasons that Rexx Still Matters - Software Quality Connection

If You know what Rexx is, then you know it's probably fallen out of favor at your development shop. This writer offers some arguments why it still matters and should still be in your programming aresnal.

In Search of Reliable Virtualization Providers - Tom's IT Pro

If you've decided to virtualize your IT shop, the next step is finding a reliable provider and this post tries to give you some practical advice on how to find providers that match well with your organizational requirements.

Photo by Tomma Henckel. Used under Creative Commons License.

Interview with Rackspace CTO John Engates on Cloud Computing


Armed with cell phone video camera, Ness' AVP for market development, travel technologies Glenn Gruber, caught up with Rackspace CTO John Engates at the HI-TEC conference in Austin, TX last June and asked him some hard-hitting questions about implementing cloud solutions.

Among the topics Gruber covered were:

  • Comparing and contrasting Cloud v. Virtualization strategies
  • Advice for customers struggling with how to justify ROI for the cloud when they have existing infrastructure investments
  • Security in the cloud
  • OpenStack for private and hybrid clouds
This video was originally posted on the Software Industry Insights blog.

VMware on iPad Could Change Everything

4532962327 c5a219d992 mThe success of the iPad remains indisuputable, yet there are still some who don't take it seriously as a business device. This in spite of the fact, Apple sold 15 million units for the first generation device and might have sold another million of the second generation the first weekend it went on sale.

But the pure numbers haven't convinced the naysayers out there that the iPad has any real business utility. Sure there are some Apps with business potential, but how safe is a device that gives its users access to App Store with hundreds of thousands of Apps, many of which are just time wasters with no business value whatsoever?

But VMware is hoping to change that perception and bring the iPad under the firm control of IT Pros with several iPad apps in the works that could enable IT to control virtual machines from the iPad and let end users access their virutal machines from anywhere using the iPad. The latter would enable IT to set up a VM with the tools an individual user needs and give them safe access to the enterprise environment.

The virtual machine management app was released last week and is targeted directly at IT pros, letting you manage the virtual machines you are responsible for using a native iPad application and all that goes with that including easy manipulation and a clear visual overview of your enviornment. 

When the end user virtual machine access app is ready, it has the potential to give IT that control many have been looking for. Maybe you can't prevent users from downloading Angry Birds, but you could at least provide protected access to the enterprise environment, letting users bring their beloved iPads to work and giving IT the sense of control they want and often need.

It's no secret that we are seeing a trend where users want to use the same devices with the same ease of use at work that they are used to using at home. This trend has been labeled "The Consumerization of IT."

Developers and IT pros are looking for ways to incorporate these devices into the enterprise ecosystem without serious disruption, while protecting the machines from a governance and oversight perspective.

Tools like VMware's which provide protected access to the enterprise from the iPad give consumers the ease of use they crave and IT the level of protection they require.

These are the kinds of tools that could change everything, even for those iPad naysayers and bring the iPad into enterprise IT mainstream.

Photo by Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

Five Chief Technology Officer Blogs (for Friday)


As a follow-on to my post about CTOs on Twitter, I thought I'd compile a list of CTO blogs. My primary bias was that the blogs had to be regularly maintained and written by actual CTOs. I looked at blogs by large companies and blogs by start-ups and settled on these five.

  1. Steve Herrod, CTO, VMware - Steve's posts are periodic—once a month or so—but in-depth and provide clear insight into VMware's technology strategy. The most recent post, which goes into great detail on VMWare's vision for technology partnerships, is a good example of Steve's overall approach. Plus, I like that his blog is just one of VMware's many community blogs.
  2. Ron Tolido, VP and CTO Global Application Lifecycle Services, Capgemini - I wasn't sure whether to link to Mr. Tolido's personal blog, which is mainly a compendium of articles he's written (sometimes in Dutch) for various publications, or to Capgemini's CTO Blog, which is co-authored by Capgemini's Global CTO Andy Mulholland, so I decided to do both! If nothing else, you should check out Mr. Tolido's post on application retirement, especially if you are thinking of adding any new applications to your IT portfolio.
  3. Bill Annibell, Director of Technology and CTO of Sapient Government Services - What I like most about this blog is its "bloginess." First of all, it's on Tumblr. Second of all, it reads like a collection of personal thoughts, experiences, and things Bill's found on the web, which is what it is. Also, while he does write about technology, his focus is just as often on nuts and bolts issues (uninstalling the Internet Explorer 9 Beta, for example) as it is on "big" issues like innovation or the evolution of technology consumption.
  4. McAfee's CTO Blog - I have a soft spot for security issues which is one reason I included this blog in here. Also, McAfee has at least three CTOs from various divisions and they all contribute to the blog. If you are interested in short link spam sites, advanced persistent threats, or Operation Aurora, this the CTO blog for you.
  5. K. Scott Morrison, CTO (and Chief Architect) at Layer 7 Technologies - Mr. Morrison and his co-authors (Adam Vincent, CTO—Public Sector, and Francois Lascelle, Technical Director, Europe) write pragmatic posts on things like SOA, the open data protocol, information security and the cloud, among other things. Of the five blogs listed here, this is probably the most intensely technical.

So, what CTO blogs do you read? Which would you recommend?

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