Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
From games-on-demand company Extent, there comes a new distribution platform called GameTanium, the first unlimited subscription gaming offering on Android. With GameTanium, users can play all the games from participating developers for just $4.99 per month. By year-end, Extent says that there will be over 200 games on its network.
At launch, some of the most notable of the initial 75 titles include Farm Frenzy, Speedx 3D and The Secret of Grisly Manor. All are available as a free trial from www.gametanium.com/mobile for those who want to sign up directly.
For Operators, Too
The service was designed with the needs of operators in mind, too, says Extent, which already has relationships with mobile carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile, for example. With GameTanium, carriers can customize certain elements of the service, including its branding, UI and packaging. They can even adjusting the pricing, if desired.
For game developers, Extent offers a new way to monetize their applications. With its Netflix-like service for mobile gamers, the company offers integrated billing options and discovery tools for helping users find new games via things like Editor's Picks and the like. In addition, Extent plans to host only quality content from the looks of it, which will help end users avoid the "demos, spam, broken apps" as well as the "boring games" �which comprise "close to 99%" of the games currently offered on Android...or so says Extent. Ouch!
Whether or not gamers will pay for games on demand like this has yet to be proven, of course, but it's certainly an interesting experiment to watch.Discuss
The iPad isn't just a hot new consumer device, it's also an increasingly popular tool for business. Each week we take a look at the new or updated business apps for the iPad, and highlight trends in how tablets are being used in the enterprise.
This week we take a look at how the Veterans Administration is planning to roll out iPads, the Khan Academy's open source iPad app and more.
Veterans Administration Set to Approve Use of iPads
We've seen a few instances of federal agencies - notably the NSA - using iPads. And health care has always been cited as a good vertical for iPads. So we're not surprised to read that the the Veterans Administration is set to approve the use of iPads. The VA will extend its device policy to include iPhones and Android devices as well.
Most Important Elements of a Mobile Enterprise Strategy
This week we took a look at a Forrester report on enterprise mobility strategies. Forrester laid out the eight most important types of enterprise collaboration software, and suggested that the future is in native mobile apps that connect to cloud services.
Box announced an enterprise mobile development contest called Box Mobile Dev Challenge. The prizes include up to $25,000 in cash and the chance to pitch your idea to the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. I will be one of the judges.
Khan Academy iPad App Open-Sourced
Though it's not really a business app, I thought this was worth noting here: the Khan Academy has open-sourced its iPad app. The app isn't available from the iTunes store yet, but the organization has made its jQuery-based source code available on GitHub. The Khan Academy offers free video lectures on a variety of academic topics.Discuss
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Every good company does backups. (But not all -- see Are Your Files Backed Up? March 31 is World Backup Day.) This is where online backup comes in handy.
Online backup to an off-site service has a lot to recommend it. You don't have to buy, provision or manage hardware. You only pay for the capacity you use. And if something happens to your computer or premises, you can still get to your data (assuming the online backup hasn't been impacted by the event).
On the other hand, local backups can save files faster, and let you retrieve large amounts of data faster.
So many companies are doing, or contemplating doing, both types of backups. This makes sense; each provides recovery for different types of events. Plus, even if you prefer local backups, your industry's regulations may require off-site, online backups.
But many companies, especially SMBs, and enterprise remote and branch offices, don't have the IT time or resources to manage two separate backup solutions. So many are turning to, or looking at, the new "hybrid" local-and-online backup services.
"There are companies looking to replace onsite backup and move to the cloud, and others looking to double up," says Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst of the StorageIO Group. "And some are looking to improve on what they've been doing."
A hybrid backup solution offers simplicity and makes sense -- if, cautions Schulz, "that provider can do it all without compromising any of the functions. For example, how well do the local and online components work with each other? They may have different tools that still have to be integrated."
There's already no shortage of local backup offerings, which range from software-only you-add-storage to appliances -- and online backup services. Many of the online services are MSPs or VARs who in turn are using somebody else's online storage, e.g., Microsoft, Amazon, or another cloud vendor. Now many of local backup vendors are adding online backup, and vice versa.
How to chose? In addition to checking for the features you want in each piece based on your backup objectives, e.g., CDP (Continuous Data Protection) versus scheduled backups, versioning, retention of files deleted from the primary storage; can open files be saved; agented versus agentless, you need to determine how the local and online components work together. For example, if the local backup fails, will the online portion continue working? Can online backup uploads be scheduled separately to off-prime shifts only?
"What you pick depends on your needs," says Laura Dubois, Research Vice President, Storage, IDC. "First, it has to be easy to use, because most SMBs have little IT on staff, or even outsource it all. Decide what you want from your backups, e.g., do you want 'application consistent recovery' or 'crash consistent recovery'?" For a small office with just a few PCs and a few GB of data, says Dubois, "You don't really need to do hybrid, pure online is fine. When you get to larger databases, more servers on site, and multiple terabytes of data, you want a hybrid solution."
"Be careful," StorageIO's Schulz cautions, "For example: whose cloud are they using?"
Sample Hybrid Providers
Companies now offering local/online backup include vendors of hard drives, NAS/SAN appliances, and backup software, along with established online backup providers, along with the bazillions of MSPs, VARs and others reselling these systems and services.
Here's a quick sampling of hybrid offerings suitable for SMBs (and possibly also for consumers, SOHO, and/or SME RO/BO and enterprises):
- Asigra has partnered with Intel to offer Intel Hybrid Cloud backup as part of Intel's AppUp Small Business Service, allowing small companies to rent rather than buy the local appliance portion.
- CA's new ARCserve D2D On Demand (scheduled for availability in the second half of 2011), will be providing online backup via the Microsoft Azure Cloud. "You install the software on Windows desktops and servers, and first select a local storage target, as the local image will provide fast bare metal recovery, granular application or file level recovery," says Steve Fairbanks, Vice President of Product Management for the CA Technologies Data Management business. "You then configure critical files and folders to be protected in the Azure Cloud to guard against complete site disaster or theft."
- KineticD, thanks to its recent acquisition of Robobak, now also supports local backup. (Disclosure: I've been using KineticD for my online backups for several years now. They comp'd my account -- small potatoes -- but I wouldn't be using them if they didn't have the feature mix I wanted and I wasn't happy with the service. And I don't think I'll be able to use their local solution.)
- EMC's Mozy MozyHome and MozyPro online backup services now also include the 2xProtect (pronounced "double-protect") free feature, which does backup to a local drive (which you have to buy, of course).
- Netgear's ReadyNAS systems include the ReadyNAS Vault online backup option, which, via a partnership with Elephant Drive, save to Amazon's S3 cloud.
- Seagate i365 uses agents, so if there's a problem with the local backup device, backups can go directly to the cloud, and then be resynched downwards when the local device is available again. Also, notes George Hoenig, vice president of products and services, Seagate i365, "We make sure that the data center we backup to is in a different 'geographic risk zone' from where you are."
Again, this is only a selective short list of providers. For example, Barracuda and Symantec also offer hybrid local/online backup solutions. Feel free to share your own recommendations in our comments. Discuss
W dniach 25 lipca 2011 oraz 1 sierpnia 2011 b?d? mia? okazje poprowadzi? sesje Live Meeting na Portalu WSS.pl po?wi?cone licencjonowaniu produkt�w Microsoft. Poni?e opis planowanych sesji.
O programach licencyjnych s?�w kilka
Sebastian Wilczewski | 25.07.2011 19:30
Podczas tego spotkania przedstawione zostan? informacje na temat r�?nic pomi?dzy najwa?niejszymi programami licencyjnymi Microsoft. Dowiedz si? mi?dzy innymi kiedy warto kupi? Microsoft Office jako zestaw MLK kiedy w umowie OPEN, a kiedy w OPEN Value Company Wide. Przedstawione zostan? dodatkowe korzy?ci p?yn?ce z wyboru danego programu licencyjnego.
B?d? gotowy ? czyli jak zarz?dza? licencjami i przygotowa? si? samodzielnie do audytu legalno?ci oprogramowania
Sebastian Wilczewski | 1.08.2011 19:30
Podczas spotkania tego przedstawione zostan? najlepsze praktyki w obszarze Software Asset Management (w tym norma ISO/IEC 19770-1:2006 oraz ITIL Best Practices: Software Asset Management). Nast?pnie przedstawione zostan? wskaz�wki, jak przygotowa? si? do samodzielnego audytu, w tym r�wnie? gdzie szuka? pomocy zwi?zanej z zawi?o?ciami licencyjnymi.
Opracowano na podstawie wss.pl
Horace Dediu of asymco posted this chart (below) to his Apple trend-tracking blog this week, showing that, finally, app downloads have overtaken downloads of songs on iTunes.
A few weeks ago, at WWDC, Apple announced it reached 15 billion song downloads and last week, iTunes hit 15 billion app downloads. Because the milestones were less than a month apart, Dediu says that it's a safe assumption that, by now, apps have overtaken songs.
Dediu had originally guessed that the cross-over would take place at the 13 billion milestone at the end of 2010, but as it turns out, it took a bit longer. This was due to an unexpected jump in song downloads, app download rates that were more volatile than expected and other factors, Dediu says.
Also of interest: the 15 billion app threshold took 3 years to reach, while the 15 billion song download took 6 years, 10 months. This equates to rates of 31 million app downloads per month and 12 million song downloads per month.
Including books, but excluding video, that means the App Store now sees at least 44 million new content downloads per month.Discuss