Issue No. 01 - January/February (2006 vol. 8)
pp: 50-51, 53-56
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MITP.2006.26
Data Center Management
Administering Data Centers: Servers, Storage, and Voice over IP, Kailash Jayaswal. This book explores implementing and managing a modern data center. The author believes that to create a well-designed data center (including storage and network architecture, VoIP implementation, and server consolidation), a designer must understand key concepts such as: Learning how to measure high availability and achieve maximum levels; designing a data center using optimum physical, environmental, and technological elements; and exploring a modular design for cabling, Points of Distribution, and WAN connections from ISPs. This book develops these concepts and serves as a refresher course for IT managers and data center personnel.
The author helps the reader understand the common causes and high costs of service outages, learn how to measure high availability and achieve maximum levels, design a data center using optimum physical, environmental, and technological elements, and explore a modular design for cabling, Points of Distribution, and WAN connections from ISPs.
Finally, the book also explores consolidating data center resources, how to create a data center environment that is user- and manager-friendly, and how high availability, clustering, and disaster recovery solutions can be deployed to protect critical information.
Wiley; ISBN 047177183X; 632 pp.; $50.00.
Mac OS X Panther
Essential Mac OS X Panther Server Administration, Michael Bartosh and Ryan Faas. From the command line to Apple's graphical tools, this book helps readers understand servers on the Mac side. The authors also provide troubleshooting tips and security information, and show system administrators how to use the software's capabilities and features. Some of the topics the book covers include installation, deployment, server management, and directory services.
The book also explores Web application services, system interaction, data gathering, and stress planning, while highlighting the differences between Mac OS X and the other server platforms. Whether you're a seasoned Unix or Windows administrator or a long-time Mac professional, this book aims to help you maximize Mac OS X Panther Server.
O'Reilly; ISBN 0596006357; 846 pp.; $49.95.
LinuxWorld Conference and Expo
4-6 April 2006
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
LinuxWorld provides networking opportunities for workers involved with Linux and open source. Attendees can take advantage of interactive activities such as the "Birds-of-a-Feather" meetings, conference networking lounge, and other events.
The week will begin with half-day tutorials that provide training on issues and technologies for final decision-makers in IT solutions. Hands-on labs provide computer training on key applications and tools. The conference will also offer free Linux certification testing from the Linux Professional Institute. This offer is available to all paid conference attendees.
Also included, an ".org Session," where attendees can meet non-profit organizations in the Linux community and find out how to become a part of their effort to maintain a free and easy way to use an operating system.
Novell BrainShare 2006
19-24 March 2006
Salt Lake City
At BrainShare attendees can expect to gain knowledge on topics such as the data center, security and identity, workgroups, and resource management.
Attendees will learn to leverage Linux, which allows freedom from proprietary solutions and expensive vendor "lock-in." This, in turn, can enable deployment on less expensive hardware platforms, increase system uptime, and optimize investments in people and IT resources.
The conference will also feature new Novell technology products and services for the open enterprise.
In the Linux Security Session, attendees will learn about the value of security certifications, as well as different confinement technologies.
VMware ESX Server
VMware ESX Server: Advanced Technical Design Guide, Ron Oglesby and Scot Herold. VMware ESX allows for the "virtualization" of Intel-based servers. Detailing the design and deployment of a VMware ESX Server environment, and written from the practical experience of proven VMware engineers, this book provides IT architects with the insight needed to tackle tough design issues such as ESX Server security, network and SAN design, host hardware selection, guest selection and configuration, management tool selection, ESX performance optimizations, and automated installs and provisioning.
A linear progression is provided, starting with the basic architecture of an ESX server and then moving on to server configurations, design alternatives for hardware, SAN configuration and management tools, the creation of guest operating systems, and strategy development for implementing this technology into a specific environment.
Advanced topics such as unattended installs, integration with network management software, configuration options for high availability, and disaster recovery scenarios are also addressed.
Brianmadden.com Publishing Group; ISBN 0971151067; 448 pp.; $49.95.
Directory Experts Conference
26-29 March 2006
The Fifth Annual Directory Experts Conference (DEC) 2006 focuses on advancing the skills of active directory users. Sponsored in part by Microsoft, DEC 2006 will provide advanced education on Microsoft Identity and Access Management (IAM) technologies, including Active Directory, Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS), and Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS). The conference will also include a dedicated "Masters" track for Microsoft's Active Directory and MIIS MVP community and other experienced users.
"So You're a Directory Architect - What Now?" is a talk that will examine what's going on across the current landscape and predict what the coming years will demand from those standing in the deep end of the directory pool.
The "Solving Linux and Windows Authentication Headaches" session will describe and demonstrate how to centralize logins, using UNIX or AD as the focal point. The presenter will share tips on how to configure Linux clients and highlight how SAMBA fits into the picture.
TechWeb's Server Pipeline
Operating under the Tech Web umbrella, this site is one of the information "pipelines" maintained by the business technology information site.
A main links bar will redirect visitors to news, trends, blogs, product finders, and technology areas.
The "hands on" link takes visitors to a section on real-world applications of servers and server-related technology, as well as product reviews. One of the main stories in this section examines how Hurricane Wilma affected server installations and networks in south Florida, and how readers can prepare for a natural disaster.
The main bar also contains links to server topics organized according to levels of sophistication: high-end, mid-range, and entry-level. The high-end page contains hotlinks to topics such as server consolidation, mainframe rehosting, high-perfblade servers, and rack-mount x86 processors.
The mid-range server page contains links to topics such as data warehousing, data mining, server consolidation, and multi-processor servers.
And the entry-level server page contains links to topics such as file servers, print servers, Xeon processors, x86 servers, server appliances, and Web servers.
Builder.com: Beyond the Code
Part of CNET Networks' collection of sites, this Web site collects information, news, white papers, links to trialware, and an online book library with topics such as development (including Web development, databases, Java, C, and C++), platforms (including Windows and Unix/Linux), business (including project management, IT/business management, and careers), and systems (including systems administration and systems design and integration).
One of the white papers on the main page provides instructions on securing an Apache server with a VeriSign SSL certificate.
Each separate topical link provides visitors with resources on ongoing thread discussions, news, and technology updates.
O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference(ETech, 2006)
14-17 March 2006
This year's edition of the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference explores the applications and services, interface overhauls and algorithmic underpinnings, technological hacks and etiquette tweaks of what's known as the Attention Economy.
You'll find these themes reflected in ETech's tutorials, meaty and to-the-point plenary presentations, and real world focused breakout sessions.
ETech focuses on the innovations coming from non-traditional sources in an effort to get them on to everybody's radar. While the initial impact of these innovations may seem small, their ripple effects can have a huge impact in the larger computing arena.
Technologies for creating, aggregating, and distributing data abound and the next important breakthroughs will be those that serve as the gatekeepers of our attention. As InfoWorld columnist Jon Udell puts it, "Devices are on or off. Channels are open or closed. The vast middle ground between those two states remains largely unexplored." It's this middle ground that will be the focus of this year's ETech.
TDWI World Conference(Winter, 2006)
19-24 February 2006
The TDWI World Conference in will feature tracks on business intelligence fundamentals, predictive analytics, and high-level business strategy. Attendees will learn the tools and techniques needed to develop a world-class business intelligence program for their company, university, or department.
The conference will also offer a business intelligence certification program, CBIP, which is fast becoming the industry standard for the certification of BI professionals.
In addition, this year's conference will feature the TDWI Executive Summit, which will bring together BI executives and sponsors from various industries.
Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, Shadan Malik. Enterprise dashboards have become the vehicle of choice for executing the hottest industry trends, including Balanced Scorecard, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), and Six Sigma, as well as such regulatory compliances as Sarbanes-Oxley. Now, enterprise dashboards are the fastest-growing segment within the business intelligence community.
The first book of its kind, Enterprise Dashboards is a one-stop resource of methodology and best practices for this dynamic and relevant information platform, packed with charts, reports, visual indicators, and alert mechanisms, all consolidated in a rich computer interface. This book serves both as: A guide to help business leaders sort out the good and bad of dashboarding; and a handbook outlining a tested and proven, step-by-step implementation framework for IT managers, analysts, and consultants.
Wiley; ISBN 0471738069; 240 pp.; $45.00.
Analyzing Balanced Scorecard
Balanced Scorecard Diagnostics: Maintaining Maximum Performance, Paul R. Niven. The complete guide to analyzing and maximizing a company's Balanced Scorecard (BSC), this book provides a step-by-step methodology for analyzing the effectiveness of a company's balanced scorecard and the tools to reevaluate balanced scorecard measures to drive maximum performance.
CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, vice presidents, department managers, and business consultants will find all the essential tools for analyzing a balanced scorecard methodology to determine if it's running at maximum performance and for seamlessly implementing changes into the scorecard.
Wiley; ISBN 0471681237; 224 pp.; $45.00.
Customer Relationship Management
Microsoft CRM Community
Visitors to this site can find blog posts, live chats, Webcasts, newsgroup threads, and RSS feeds. The community helps provide personalized resources for users, and visitors can participate in the community by joining the Microsoft Business Solutions public newsgroups, participating in live chats, visiting related Microsoft Business Solutions communities, attending an event, watching interactive Webcasts, visiting related Web communities, getting the Microsoft Business Insight newsletter, and providing feedback on Microsoft products.
In May 2001, CRM Today got its start as a business community and resource center for CRM and customer economy. The site claims to have more than 18,000 professionals as associate members in 84 different countries all over the world.
CRM Today focuses on business functions, including marketing, sales, human resources, and technology, and the business sectors of finance, retail, health, insurance, IT, telecoms, Internet, and call centers. It provides members with information and knowledge for the business environment and is a meeting place for professionals and companies that provide CRM-related products and services or implement CRM strategies and applications.
The site's main page has a direction bar across the top of the page that visitors can click to reach news, events, careers, library (with topical reviews and highlights of CRM-related books), topics, members directories, and search sections of the site.
The rest of the main page is devoted to recent highlights from each of the main sections.
Handbook of CRM: Achieving Excellence through Customer Relationship, Adrian Payne. Are you perplexed about the proper role of CRM in your business? Disappointed with the results of piece-meal initiatives? This book offers a roadmap to help focus resources, information, and processes on strengthening relationships with customers.
In Handbook of CRM, the author presents his plan for managing customer relationships to increase shareholder value. The book offers explanations, concepts in the field, vignettes, full cases from international businesses, references and notes to further sources of information on different CRM aspects, and templates and audit advice for assessing CRM needs and targets.
The author based this book on Cranfield Business School's leadership in the field.
Butterworth-Heinemann; ISBN 0750664371; 299 pp.; $45.00.
Best Practices in CRM Conference 2006
15-17 February 2006
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This conference highlights approaches, strategies, and techniques for the blueprint of CRM deployments from companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Citibank in Malaysia. It also features two interactive half-day workshops on "Building Customer Intelligence That Drives Value" and "Measuring and Maximizing Return on CRM" that will outline how using customer intelligence can boost revenue.
This conference features practices of companies such as American International Assurance Company Limited, Bumiputra Commerce Bank, Cisco Systems, and Datacraft.
The conference will also explore recent developments in CRM and resulting challenges to the CRM industry in Asia. A specific discussion will be held on Hewlett-Packard's struggle to make adjustments to workflow and work processes that complemented its CRM program and how these changes ultimately increased sales volume and customer satisfaction.
Attendees will also see how changes made to Datacraft's work processes and communication flow within and between all departments improved the flow of information on its customers.
Insight on Intelligence
Customer Intelligence: From Data to Dialogue, Sean Kelly. The author, a lecturer, software engineer, and international business consultant, was formerly head of the European business intelligence division at Sybase Inc. and founder of the Data Warehouse network.
As a result of working with various firms who were seeking to build better business intelligence, the author is primarily concerned with how to develop the best skills and capabilities for exploiting a competitive advantage.
The book outlines how and why ubiquitous information will change the world of marketing, while also exploring how information helps create customer profiles and how these profiles, in turn, may be employed in marketing campaigns.
Kelly is also the author of Data Warehousing: The Route to Mass Customization, published in the early 1990s.
Wiley; ISBN 0470018585; 276 pp.; $60.00.
Converting Customer Value: From Retention to Profit, John J. Murphy. This book explores two business topics—CRM and corporate value—and is based on a study undertaken by the Customer Management Leadership Group.
The author links customer management directly to company profitability through this study. He believes that by implementing the Customer Management Integration Framework, a company can see cash flows for each customer relationship, and use that information to manage key customers for higher and more resilient levels of profitability.
The study upon which the book is based was a customer profitability benchmarking survey conducted by the author. It finds explicit links between customer and corporate value.
The book also discusses opportunities for bringing less profitable customers into the top group.
A final section is devoted to case studies of customer-centric change initiatives at Alfred McAlpine Business Services, Centrica, Eversheds, and the National Blood Service Shell.
Wiley; ISBN 0470016345; 410 pp.; $60.00.
Linking Customer Feedback to Business Results
27 February-1 March 2006
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The 10th annual Linking Customer Feedback to Business Results conference aims to provide attendees with resources to help them take action on customer data and find ideas to improve business profit.
The conference will provide information on how to link customer, financial, process, employee and partner data; figure out what to do with research results; use real-time analytics to allow immediate response to customer concerns and opportunities; identify drivers of loyalty from customer satisfaction and customer relationship data sets.
Also provided will be information on detailed marketing metrics for customer satisfaction, an explanation on the importance of making changes (even when a company is successful) to stay ahead of competitors, and how to avoid the pitfalls of draining profit from both the manufacturer and retailer. Attendees will also learn how to navigate a marketing transformation, grow a customer base on a global scale, transition from phone to Web-based loyalty surveys, and build a research data mart.
Gartner Business Intelligence Summit 2006
4-6 March 2006
At the Business Intelligence Summit 2006, Gartner analysts and industry leaders will reveal how to foster performance and growth by detailing a business intelligence program that spans the IT and business side of an organization. The conference will focus on BI areas such as governance, metrics, BI competencies, analytics, and marketplace developments covering the BI spectrum.
The event will offer sessions around topics such as health care, retail, and financial services.
This conference is recommended for CIOs, CEOs, CFOs; business intelligence and data warehousing specialists; sales and marketing professionals, business strategists, knowledge workers, finance personnel, program managers, and information architects.
G rid Computing: The Savvy Manager's Guide, Pawel Plaszczak Jr. and Richard Wellner. A decade ago, the corporate world viewed grid computing as a curiosity. Today, it views it as an opportunity—a chance to reduce costs, improve performance, fund new projects, and take advantage of under-utilized capacity. The engineering behind this transformation has been amply documented. Until now, however, little has been written to prepare managers, executives, and other decision-makers to implement grid computing in a sensible and effective way.
This book examines the technology from a rigorous business perspective, equipping readers with the practical knowledge they need to assess their options and determine what grid computing approach is right for the enterprise.
Grid Computing is also heavy on real-world experience, distilled from a rich assortment of case studies and best practices currently at work in a variety of industries. Always attentive to grid computings' many competitive advantages, the book is also realistic about the challenges of selling the idea to staff and making it a part of your company's culture.
An online companion is also available at http://www.savvygrid.com with contents, details, a community forum, and the latest updates for the material.
Morgan Kauffman; ISBN 0127425039; 288 pp.; $34.95.
Interop Las Vegas 2006
30 April-5 May 2006
Attendees to Interop Las Vegas 2006 can choose from more than 200 tracks and gain insight into the full range of IT solutions from 400 exhibitors and industry leaders. The Interop conference will provide IT professionals with the relevant knowledge to integrate the latest innovations for maximum business impact.
Interop's educational programs, special events, and exhibitions bring together the IT elements that today's organizations need to succeed such as: Application Networks, Data Center Infrastructure, Open Source, Security Storage, VoIP and Collaboration, and Wireless and Mobility.
The conference will provide in-depth training and detailed information for every part of your infrastructure, as well as the big picture insight to deliver concrete business results and rapid return on investment.
Business Intelligence Network
The Business Intelligence Network delivers industry-based content hosted by domain experts and industry leaders. The network includes horizontal technology coverage from the most respected leaders in Business Intelligence, Business Performance Management, Data Warehousing, and Data Quality. The site also serves these communities with industry coverage, resources, interviews, blogs, and white papers.
The BI Toolbox
ITtoolbox is an online community of professionals who share knowledge and gain IT information from peers. The network powering this community provides anyone with access to the collective knowledge of a large, worldwide audience of professionals. In doing so, ITtoolbox satisfies the need for practical and timely information for an infinite number of possible challenges in the complex and rapidly changing field of information technology.
The business intelligence ITtoolbox platform integrates the following collaboration and community publishing tools: More than 700 targeted discussion communities allowing peers to ask and answer questions among each other; a community publishing service where professionals post business intelligence news and knowledge from the front line and community members comment on the entries; an in-depth business intelligence reference guide and instruction manual created by the community, including definitions, source code samples, FAQs, and HOWTOs; and targeted Web sites that allow members of the IT community to interact with peers through the tools listed above based on topics of interest.
The site also contains content from third parties, including vendor white papers, media news, job postings, and more.