Wednesday, 14 January 2009


OK, so after abandoning my blog mid way through 2008 to focus on other things I made a new year’s resolution to get back into it again in 2009… and a promise to myself that I would continue to regularly update it… so I’ve stripped off the old posts and given myself a fresh start.

There’s no doubt that everybody loves a good Top 10 list. David Letterman has been getting laughs out of his for years. Being a lover of all things musical (and cool) I fell in love with the movie High Fidelity (based on the killer book of the same name by Nick Hornby) when it was released back in 2000. SIDE NOTE - If you haven’t already seen\read it then do yourself a favour. As always, the movie doesn’t do the book justice but Hornby’s music obsession definitely still shines though. Plus it’s got a pretty cool cast including John Cusack, Tim Robbins and Jack Black.

Anyway, one of the recurring topics throughout the movie is something very close to my heart… the classic Top 10 list. You know the ones... Top 10 best albums of all time, Top 10 best songs to make out too, Top 10 worst musical fashion disasters etc. Go on, make your own! Hours and hours of entertaining discussion and sometimes heated debate amongst friends I’m sure. Let’s face it; we all love a good Top 10 list… especially if it makes us smile.

So every year I look forward with great anticipation to the swag of technology analysts putting together their top 10 lists containing predictions about technologies to watch. It’s not really that hard to predict is it? In reality it appears to be an excercise in prioritising the Top 10 Buzz Words or Hype Technologies for the year... errrrmmm, after many hundreds of hour’s intense market research and business leader surveys that is.

Given the current economic climate (crisis), and all the belt-tightening going on, I’d be VERY surprised if executives are reading their top 10 lists right now, rubbing their hands together at the thought of all the sparkling new systems they’re going to deploy this year. Mind you, that doesn’t stop companies like Microsoft trying to convince us that there has never been a better time than right now to spend uber-bucks on their awesome value products... but that’s another story.

Anyway, back in October, Gartner published their list of Top 10 Strategic Technologies for business in 2009.

1. Virtualization

2. Cloud computing

3. Servers (beyond blades)

4. Web oriented architectures

5. Enterprise mashups

6. Specialized systems

7. Social software / networking

8. Unified communications

9. Business intelligence

10. Green IT

The most interesting point of difference between the 2009 Gartner Top 10 and their 2008 Top 10 is that Green IT, pushed to number one on last year's list by massive hype, has this year languished at the bottom of the list. There are all sorts of remarks I could make here about technology managers everywhere being dumfounded by the lack of standards/benchmarks and all the bombastic vendor lip-service regarding their own products environmental credibility... but I won’t... I’ll save it for the next post.

Right now only one thing IS for certain – In 2009 we’ll be expected to do far more with much less.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

After months of discussion the Executive has given us a green light to move forward with a pilot of Microsoft’s Softgrid product.

Microsoft scored the very cool Softgrid package (now rebranded as MS App-V) when they acquired Boston based company Softricity back in 2006. In a nutshell Softgrid will enable us to stream virtualized applications in real-time from an application server to any computer with the Softgrid client installed. No more need to have IT Support staff sitting in front of computers installing apps locally. The applications are isolated in a virtual ‘bubble’ which is cached to the client machine and doesn’t leave any local registry residue.

We’re not going to use it for everything mind you. Being a Design firm most of the line of business applications we use are resource hungry monsters which will remain locally installed. But Softgrid presents the opportunity for us to be more agile in reallocating applications which are only used intermittently by users based on their current project requirements.

Tinkering around setting up a Softgrid server and sequencing a few flyweight apps isn’t going to cut the mustard. The project brief calls for us to successfully sequence the Adobe CS3 Design Standard package.

Oh, and we’re going to run the pilot on VMServer. Virtualized virtualization. Nice.

If you’re keen to get more information about Softgrid you can check out the MS website here:

And the official TechNet blog here:

Stay tuned.