Category Archives: Technology

T-Mobile Just Launched A Smartphone Revolution. Did You Notice?

by Asif Khan

I love T-Mobile. For years, they have been my MOST favorite wireless carrier. Besides being the least expensive and having a great pre-paid plan, they were the only US carrier to deploy a feature called GSM UMA which allows you to make calls over WiFi when no GSM reception was available. If you live in a hilly area like I do with spotty cell reception or if you travel overseas and need to make calls in a pinch, UMA rocks!
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Cloud Computing, Milkshakes and the Future of IT

by Asif Khan

Last summer, the CIO of a large law firm I had once worked with wanted to meet for lunch to discuss cloud computing. He was worried that the increasing use of “shadow IT” at his firm could lead to a serious security breach. He figured that if the IT organization could develop and demonstrate a cloud computing proof of concept, that could buy him some time to transition to a Service-Based IT model over the long term in order to mitigate the threat of his firm’s intellectual property being exposed.

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2013 Must-Have Device: Smartphone? Tablet? Or Both?

By Asif Khan

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places. I took the family to Thailand on holiday in December. I noticed one of our tour guides had a 7 inch Android tablet and a Nokia feature phone. I asked him why he didn’t have a smartphone. He said he has the tablet, which is better. Then I noticed that there were smartphone ads everywhere but smartphone users were few and far between in Thailand. But I saw lots of tourists with a tablet-plus-feature-phone combo like our tour guide had. It turns out you can get really nice Nokia feature phones for $50 or less throughout Asia and buy SIM cards in every country for next to nothing.

This got me thinking that this combination was so much smarter than having an expensive smartphone, as we tend to have in the US. Here’s why.

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Has Apple Finally Jumped the Shark? Um. No.

by Asif Khan

We’ve all read the doom and gloom articles on the fate of Apple since the passing of Steve Jobs. This article anointed Jobs the Ronald Reagan of Technology. Several others started asking “WWJD” (“what would Jobs do?”) every time the post-Jobs Apple had a misstep (like Apple Maps). And one can convincingly make the argument that Apple is not the same scrappy underdog we all used to root for.

Continue reading Has Apple Finally Jumped the Shark? Um. No.

Data Tiering: Been There, Done That, What’s Next? Part 3: What’s Next?

by Asif Khan

To recap what we covered in the Data Tiering series so far, in Part 1, we discussed the history and evolution of data tiering for moving data BETWEEN  storage arrays. In Part 2, we discussed how data tiering is being applied today to move data WITHIN storage arrays. In this, the third and final installment of the Data Tiering series, we will discuss what the future holds for Data Tiering (HINT:  we will transition to moving data ACROSS the data center). As always, these are just my semi-informed opinions and if I’m proven wrong in the future, I will deny everything :-).
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Data Tiering: Been There, Done That, What’s Next? Part 2: Done That!

by Asif Khan

About 10 years ago, I had decided that I needed a major career change. I felt that I had sucked the marrow out of my marketing job and wanted to try something new. I wanted to get more technical and focus my career on data center infrastructure technologies. I thought this track would train me better to take advantage of a trend I was starting to see forming. At the time, they called it Web 2.0 or utility computing. It eventually came to be called Cloud Computing.

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Data Tiering: Been There, Done That, What’s Next? Part 1: Been There!

by Asif Khan

Data tiering is not new. It was first introduced by IBM in the 1960s not long after magnetic disks allowed real-time access to stored data. Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) and its successor, Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), enacted fixed rules to move data from one storage array to another (ie “after 90 days, move all inactive data to a cheaper storage platform”).
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What Will the Data Center of 2020 Look Like? Pg3

by Asif Khan

What About Converged Infrastructure?

Last year, converged infrastructure (ie EMC’s Vblock, NetApp’s FlexPod, IBM’s CloudBurst, HP’s CloudSystem) made a big splash. The premise is to deliver a self-contained rack with a single SKU and single phone number to call for support whether it be a compute, storage, network or hypervisor issue. Though the concept is powerful for smaller IT shops or for specific applications (like VDI or ERP) within large IT shops, this concept is not likely to catch on in the near future with large enterprises for two BIG reasons: process and people.

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What Will the Data Center of 2020 Look Like? Pg2

by Asif Khan

The Coming Decade

Diane Greene, co-founder and former CEO of VMware, once said “VMware is the most non-disruptive disruptive technology.” In other words, in the past decade, many customers were virtualizing their physical servers and continuing to run things pretty much the same way they ran it before virtualizing (aka “paving cow paths”). Now, the emerging popularity of IT-as-a-Service (OK, cloud computing) will force IT departments to rethink business-as-usual and start automating manual tasks if they don’t want to lose their customers (and by extension, their jobs) to more nimble providers of these services. The center of gravity has definitely shifted to the end user and that trend will continue to accelerate this coming decade.

Continue reading What Will the Data Center of 2020 Look Like? Pg2

What Will The Datacenter of 2020 Look Like? pg1

by Asif Khan

The Interview

I was recently asked by one of my clients to interview potential candidates for the position of Executive Director of IT Infrastructure Engineering. The ED would be responsible for managing four large engineering teams that span physical infrastructure, virtual infrastructure, data analytics and emerging technologies.

Continue reading What Will The Datacenter of 2020 Look Like? pg1