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Information Management News & Analysis

Rackspace CEO: We Screwed Up During Cloud Reboot

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Rackspace's CEO didn't mince words in an email to customers yesterday. He admitted the company made communication mistakes as it worked this week to patch a security vulnerability affecting certain versions of XenServer, a popular open-source hypervisor.

Taylor Rhodes, CEO and president of the San Antonio, Texas-based public and private cloud hosting provider, said the problem ultimately forced a reboot for about a quarter of Rackspace's 200,000 customers.

"In the course of it, we dropped a few balls," Rhodes said. "Some of our reboots, for example, took much longer than they should. And some of our notifications were not as clear as they should have been. We are making changes to address those mistakes. And we welcome your feedback on how we can better serve you." 

Q4 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (01-Oct-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

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How Many Layers in Oracle's Cloud? #OOW14

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The tech pundits here are happy to focus on the soap opera of management shifts including new roles for Oracle founder and chairman — former CEO and current CTO — Larry Ellison and Oracle co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.

But the real story at Oracle OpenWorld here this week is much deeper. Beneath the surface, Oracle has orchestrated a broad and complicated integration of dozens of cloud, web and customer experience technologies.

Ellison Does His Own Demos, Loves His New Job #OOW14

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It was classic Larry Ellison on stage, part brilliant computer scientist, part hammy comedian, always entertaining.

Oracle OpenWorld, his company's mammoth annual convention that virtually shuts down the heart of San Francisco's SoMa district, will continue through tomorrow.

But Ellison's keynote presentation yesterday pretty much solidified the intended message for the capacity crowd: Oracle, which trailed its rivals to the cloud, now wants to be king of the cumulous.

Gartner MQ for ECM: Why the Leaders Stand Out

It’s not unusual for an analyst to describe Enterprise Content Management as a mature technology. Or even to go so far as to call it “boring,” as analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe did a few years ago when he was employed by the Real Story Group.

And he meant it in a good way. For many years ECM systems were huge headaches that seldom delivered as promised and now, for the most part, they do. The basic requirements, as you’ll see as you read on, are practically a given.

But as new technologies emerge and the way people work changes, so must the solutions that ECM vendors deliver. While Social was brought into the mix a few years ago, the direction now is toward “content in context” which means that user experiences will be personalized according to individual needs. Gartner said that by 2017 as much half of all business content will be nontextual, which will necessitate that analytics be part of content management.

In addition Gartner sees the requirements of an ECM solution evolving from “the right information, to the right person, in the right format, at the right time, on the right devices" to include the context of a particular business process.

It’s worth noting too that the ECM market grew 8.6 percent in 2013 meaning that it is continuing to bring new value and win interest from new customers.

Forget 9! Microsoft Goes With Version 10 for Windows

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Maybe it was the fear of the single digits. Maybe nine just had a bad vibe.

Where everyone -- including us -- predicted the release of Windows 9 today in a press briefing by Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash. giant pulled a fast one and skipped up a version to Windows 10.

Of course, there's little shock in the announcement because it is, in fact, an announcement regarding Windows. Speculation pretty much included nothing by Windows talk. Although we did ponder the idea of an Office update.

But Microsoft even told us last week, "On September 30, we will be providing an update on what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.”

Quantifying the Value of Your Data

Whether it’s the amount of risk in a particular decision or the reason for a problem that impacts the bottom line, the unknown is a scary concept. As businesses continue to generate vast amounts of data, the business value of this information is palpable. However, determining whether or not this data has any economic value is difficult. Armed with advanced tools that produce incredibly huge amounts of data, storage, retrieval and analysis, businesses have taken on a new method to minimize this unknown.

Connecticut Judge Gives Gartner More Time to Answer Lawsuit

Don't expect a quick resolution of the lawsuit that pits NetScout Systems against the Gartner Group. Just yesterday, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Charles T. Lee approved the request of Gartner attorneys to extend the deadline to respond.

The decision pushes the deadline for Gartner to respond to Oct. 20 — and pushes the deadline for Netscout to respond to Dec. 22.

In a motion for extension of time to plead, Gartner attorneys Frederick Gold, Andrew Zeitlin and Diane Polletta explain they need additional time to respond to "undertake appropriate factual and legal analysis" and prepare an appropriate response. Netscout attorneys Michael Blanchard and Jason Frank did not object, as long as their client received a reciprocal extension.

Oracle has Finally Figured Out the Cloud #OOW14

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It was just six years ago that Larry Ellison famously dissed cloud computing at an analyst conference. But this year's Oracle Open World is all about the cloud and Oracle today made sure all 60,000 attendees knew it.

Ellison himself, now executive chairman and CTO of the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company, said last night Oracle reached an "inflection point" in the cloud during 2014. Never mind that others reached that point years ago.

With characteristic bravado, he still mocked competitors and proclaimed Oracle as the only company that now offers platforms, software and infrastructure as services. 

Oops! Is Rackspace Rethinking its 99.99% Uptime Boast?

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Eleven hours and counting. 

It's been a long haul of public-cloud downtime for David Björkevik and his team at Schemagi, a Linköping, Sweden-based company that makes schedules for nurses and other healthcare personnel using advanced optimization techniques.

Schemagi is one of the Rackspace public cloud customers experiencing downtime because of a maintenance reboot scheduled by the San Antonio, Texas-based managed hosting provider that offers public and private cloud hosting services.

Rackspace posted an "urgent notice" early Saturday morning ET on its website notifying customers of cloud server reboots in light of a potential problem with its public cloud environment.

The news comes around the same time the company 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee for its new release of its private cloud software on its cloud computing open source OpenStack creation. 

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Worthy $8.3 Billion Investment?
Inside SAP's move to acquire business travel management software provider Concur.

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Is Box Too Distracted to Care About Deal with Oracle?

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You’d think that Aaron Levie would find it significant that Oracle has announced the integration of its Marketing Cloud with Box. But we haven’t heard a peep about it from Levie or anyone else at his Los Altos, Calif.-based Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) start-up.

Box didn’t put out a press release about the “expanded” relationship, which it did in the past with other big deals like Samsung and AT&T.

Box responded to our request for comment late today by stressing how excited everyone was about the deal, despite the notable lack of publicity about it.

The company’s communications team added that Niall Wall, senior vice president of business development at Box, had included a supporting quote in Oracle’s press release — which noted that he, too, was "excited to extend our partnership with Oracle.”

Dark Data as a Company Asset

2014-26-September-Darth-Data.jpgWe've seen an influx of compliance and data security related stories flood news outlets over the past year. With data breaches at Experian and Home Depot, companies around the globe are facing a heightened demand for data privacy and compliance regulation.

Many of these companies have now invested in data loss prevention and governance, risk and compliance programs to help them identify data that may put them at risk. This is data that often exists across enterprise systems (file shares, SharePoint, social systems, and other enterprise collaboration systems and networks) and is referred to as “dark data” -- or data that is not properly understood.  

Just How Badly Does Microsoft Want Your OneDrive Biz?

While you were out last Friday night -- having drinks, watching your local high school team play football under the lights, dancing or enjoying a quiet dinner with that special someone -- Douglas Pearce was in his office at Microsoft penning a blog post.

Even the he knew the timing was weird.

“While it might seem strange to announce new features on a Friday evening,” Pearce, the group program manager for OneDrive, wrote in the company’s blog, “we’ve been listening to the commentary about storage on the new iPhones released today and we wanted to get you more storage right away.”

Rackspace Guarantees 99.99% Uptime on Private Cloud

Rackspace is so confident with the new release of its private cloud software on its cloud computing open source OpenStack creation, it's guaranteeing success for enterprise workload production.

The San Antonio, Texas-based managed hosting provider debuted its private cloud in the summer of 2013, and now beefed up its offering with a 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee, increased scalability to hundreds of nodes and DevOps automation services for application lifecycle management.

"Arguably the most exciting thing about this is we're backing it with an industry-leading OpenStack API uptime at 99.99 percent," Christian Foster, Rackspace Private Cloud director of marketing, told CMSWire. "OpenStack is four years old and is maturing with the technology. The market is looking for a provider to stand behind its product in a big way, and that's what we're doing here. If we don't meet this uptime monthly, our customers will be receiving credit from us missing that number."

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