Displaying articles for: 04-15-2012 - 04-21-2012
Having installed its fourth 'Lab-in-Box' (a self-sustainable computer lab in a shipping container) at Ahmedabad, India, Hewlett-Packard (HP) India is now in talks with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for installing more education focused labs.
Each HP Lab-in-Box comprises a shipping container that has 15 HP multi-seat thin client workstations, a multifunctional printer, wireless connectivity, electricity, furniture, fans and air conditioning. This approach allows multiple users (students in many cases) to be connected to one machine, which maximizes space and resource utilization while reducing cost and complexity. The same techniques that allow for containerized data centers have other applications as well.
While HP India is in talks with central and state governments for installing these labs across public schools in India, it has received demands from other countries as well. "Even Indonesia, Afghanistan and other African countries have also been demanding this lab but we are waiting for the pilot projects to get stabilized," said Jaijit Bhattacharya director, Government Affairs, HP India.
The HP labs organization in India has been researching ways to impact education through computing. We’ll likely see a number of products and approaches in the coming years that continue this wave forward.
Even though there has been a great deal of talk about the Kahn Academy and various on-line efforts to shift how education is performed, some foundational infrastructure is still required.
I just saw a post on SiliconANGLE that asks: Are We Too Concerned with Vendor Lock-In? The focus of the article is taking the “high ground” – looking for what actually provides the value the business needs, stating that we need to “keep in mind the real value of software: performance, agility, stability”.
I think everyone but the most purist open source zealot would agree that businesses need to keep their eye on the value ball. It is software that provides that value. On the other hand, numerous times in my career I was dragged off in directions I didn’t really want to go by a vendors change in direction for their product (or when they were snapped up by someone where the relationship was already on-the-rocks). These issues are also important for businesses too. If you rely on too many “features” you can limit your flexibility down the line.
Although being open and standard shouldn’t be the only factor, it may be a decisive one when the open source solution is “good enough”. This dilemma between open and standard is why HP is trying support both open and heterogeneous environments with converged cloud.
I was in a discussion yesterday with someone who asked me “What is cloud lifecycle management?”
I thought for a moment and decided to talk about this from the public cloud consumer’s point of view. The concept of lifecycle management is right at the core of why cloud computing is attractive. The whole concept is to add flexibility. Once you are done using the public cloud capabilities, your commitment and expenses should be over.
In -> Work -> Out -> Done and do it all fast.
With today’s business trends that can place inconsistent computing demands, this flexibility can provide a great deal of productivity and value. That is not the end of the story though, once you reach a level where you know you will generally need a certain amount of computing, it may be better to keep that in house – through a private cloud.
Many people talk about cloud computing like it is a utility, but I have to disagree. I’d say the issue is similar to housing. Once you know you are going to stay in an area and understand the level of floor space you require…, it is usually better to buy than to rent. Some people may live in an apartment all their lives, but there are reasons to own property as well. There is part of the lifecycle that is stable for a relatively long time.
One of the key skills that an organization will require is 3rd party management. They need to develop good partners to work with. I’ve mentioned in the past that things will be changing over the next few years. When we have 10s of cores and petabytes of low power storage in our vast array of mobile devices, it will shift how and why we use computing once again. Software architectures need to shift to take advantage of the parallel processing both in the cloud, in the distributed environment and hybrids of the two. That will shift what we think of as cloud today and how it will be used. Even though cloud computing looks like a powerful hammer not all the problems today or in the future can be nailed down.
So understanding the business needs, architecting for flexibility, having good partner relationships and using solutions that support open standards while flexible enough to support current and future needs are all part of a lifecycle management strategy. This is all part of HP’s strategy with Converged Cloud.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the leveraging of existing inkjet technology into a new industry. The Hewlett-Packard (HP) D300 Digital Dispenser uses the same very precise fluid injection techniques used in inkjet heads for the creation of drug compounds. This tedious, time consuming and manual process can now automated and performed more precisely.
This is an example that even technologies that organizations have been using for decades can be applied in new ways in other fields to generate value. Innovation can come from many places in many forms.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic. It also marks the first time the distress code "SOS" was used. I’ve read a number of accounts this year about the radio operaters and the communications traffic that took place to facilitate the rescue, as well as the effect the disaster had on radio communications globally..
Today we take it for granted that if our car breaks down or some other personal “disaster” takes place that we have instantaneous communications. It makes me wonder what people 100 years from now will look back on that we think is novel today.