Tag Archives: large

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

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Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Zoom audio feature could reduce PSTN costs for large enterprises

Zoom enhanced the SIP audio service it offers for large enterprises this week, while also rolling out two smaller audio features that should benefit all users of the web conferencing platform.

Zoom’s Session Initiation Protocol audio feature lets businesses establish an SIP connection between their IP telephony network and the Zoom cloud. That way, Zoom users can conduct Zoom audio conferencing over the SIP trunk rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Zoom said the SIP connection helps enterprises save money by reducing spending on PSTN services. The vendor is targeting the feature at companies that conduct more than 1 million minutes of audio conferencing every month and have significant deployments of IP telephony.

Zoom already has several customers using the service. Now, the vendor is giving companies more control over which calls get directed to the SIP trunk and which are handled by Zoom’s standard PSTN dial-in and call-out service.

This flexibility could benefit companies with multiple offices that rely on a mix of telephony endpoints. For example, a company could use the SIP trunk for calls at its headquarters in the United States, while directing calls from a remote office in Bulgaria to the PSTN.

“I think this helps Zoom in its quest to win in the larger enterprise market,” said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. “It certainly helps them compete with the likes of Cisco and Microsoft that offer this kind of integration between their meeting apps and their on-premises phone platforms.”

The SIP audio connection is available to businesses subscribed to Zoom’s premium audio plan. Those customers commonly get billed per minute for the use of Zoom’s call-out, toll-free dial-in and premium toll dial-in services.

“SIP Connected Audio provides opportunity to avoid or minimize those fees in exchange for the costs of establishing and maintaining the SIP trunk plus a small flat-rate, per-user fee that Zoom charges for this service,” said Walt Anderson, senior product manager with Zoom.

Zoom highlights additional audio enhancements

Zoom announced two other new audio features this week for all customers. The vendor has both freemium and premium offerings.

Users can now join and start Zoom audio conferences using only phones. That is, a host no longer needs to open the Zoom desktop client or web application to start the meeting.

Zoom also updated its cloud infrastructure to avoid voicemail recordings being added to a meeting when a participant doesn’t answer the phone. Now, Zoom will require users to press 1 to join the meeting if Zoom’s technology detects that the phone seemed to ring for too long or too short of a time.

Founded in 2011, Zoom is facing increasing competition in the web conferencing market from Microsoft and Cisco, as well as other pure cloud startups, such as BlueJeans.

Wanted – HP Microserver

Okay, just checked and my N40L has 8GB RAM, it’s also fitted with a DVD writer.
HDD wise it’s got a 250GB drive and 3 x 3TB drives (although I know you’re not interested in them).

Only other thing is I don’t have the key for the door.

How about £40 for the N40L including the RAM and I’ll throw in the DVD writer (I don’t have a blanking plate if you didn’t want the drive).

New Dell EMC 100 GbE switch tailored for east-west traffic

Dell EMC has introduced a high-density 100 Gigabit Ethernet switch aimed at service providers and large enterprises that need more powerful hardware to support a growing number of cloud applications and digital business initiatives.

Dell EMC launched the Z9264F open networking switch this week, listing its target customers as hyperscale data center operators, tier-one  and -two service providers and enterprises. The Dell EMC 100 GbE switch is designed for leaf-spine switching architectures.

“Dell’s new, high-performance, low-latency 100 GbE switch is ideally suited for large enterprises and service providers,” said Rohit Mehra, analyst at IDC. “The continued growth of cloud applications that require high-performance, east-west traffic-handling capabilities will likely be one of the key drivers for this class of switches to see increased traction.”

Indeed, Dell EMC, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Juniper Networks are counting on an increase in data center traffic to sell their 100 GbE switches. So far, demand for the hardware has been robust. In the first quarter, revenue from 100 GbE gear grew nearly 84% year over year to $742.5 million, according to IDC. Port shipments increased almost 118%.

The Dell EMC 100 GbE switch is 2RU hardware available with 64, 128 or 64 ports of 100 GbE, 25 GbE or 50 GbE, respectively. Options for 10 GbE and 40 GbE ports are also available. Broadcom’s 6.4 Tbps StrataXGS Tomahawk II chip powers the switch.

Dell EMC, along with rival HPE, is marketing its support for third-party network operating systems as a differentiator for its switches. Dell EMC is selling the Z9246F with the enterprise edition of its network operating system (NOS), called OS10, or with operating systems from Big Switch Networks, Cumulus Networks, IP Infusion or Pluribus Networks.

Other options for the Dell 100 GbE switch include the open source edition of OS10 and either the Metaswitch network protocol stack or the Quagga suite of open source applications for managing routing protocols. Finally, Dell EMC will sell just the hardware with several open source applications, including Quagga and the OpenSwitch or SONiC NOS.

The starting price for the Z9264F, without an operating system or optics, is $45,000.

Trends in the 100 GbE market

While open networking is not mainstream yet in the enterprise, providing choice in terms of the complete hardware and software stack is something that large enterprises and service providers have started to look at favorably.
Rohit Mehraanalyst at IDC

Several trends are driving the 100 GbE market. Service providers are redesigning their data centers to support software-based network services, including 5G and IoT. Also, financial institutions are providing services to customers over a growing number of mobile devices.

Meanwhile, cloud companies that provide infrastructure or platform as a service are buying more hardware to accommodate a significant increase in companies moving application workloads to the cloud. In 2017, public cloud data centers accounted for the majority of the $46.5 billion spent on IT infrastructure products — server, storage and switches — for cloud environments, according to IDC.

In the first quarter, original design manufacturers accounted for almost 30% of all infrastructure hardware and software sold to public cloud providers, according to Synergy Research Group, based in Reno, Nev. Dell EMC had a 5% to 10% share, which was the same size share as Cisco and HPE.

As a switch supplier, Dell EMC is a smaller player. The company is not one of the top five vendors in the market, according to IDC. Nevertheless, Dell EMC is a major supplier of open networking to the small number of IT shops buying the technology.

“While open networking is not mainstream yet in the enterprise, providing choice in terms of the complete hardware and software stack is something that large enterprises and service providers have started to look at favorably,” Mehra said.

Facebook targets WhatsApp business messaging at large enterprises

Facebook’s WhatsApp is giving large enterprises tools for communicating with its more than 1 billion users. It’s the latest social messaging channel to enter the contact center, but analysts say most businesses don’t need to rush to adopt such platforms just yet.

Large businesses can use the WhatsApp Business API to integrate a WhatsApp messaging channel with contact center and customer relationship management software. Companies will then be able to create WhatsApp profiles and add WhatsApp click-to-chat buttons to websites or mobile apps.

WhatsApp plans to charge businesses for sending notifications to customers through the app, such as order receipts, shipping updates and boarding passes. The vendor will also make companies pay if they fail to respond to a customer inquiry within 24 hours.

The beta release of the API this month is the Facebook-owned platform’s latest initiative to connect customers and businesses. Earlier this year, the company launched WhatsApp Business, a separate app within which small businesses can create profiles and message with customers. 

WhatsApp is also deepening ties to the social platform of its parent company, Facebook. Businesses using the new API will be able to create Facebook ads that invite customers to message them through WhatsApp.

Facebook would be wise to consider integrating WhatsApp business messaging with its enterprise intranet and collaboration platform, Workplace by Facebook, said Phil Edholm, president of PKE Consulting LLC. That would make the offering more unique, he said.

“From just a pure channel perspective, having WhatsApp as a channel from [consumer] to [business] is interesting, but it’s just another channel,” Edholm said.

WhatsApp business messaging vs. Apple Business Chat

WhatsApp business messaging will rival Apple Business Chat, which lets customers and business interact through iMessages. WhatsApp is particularly popular among Android users.

However, WhatsApp’s offering doesn’t seem to have as many capabilities as Apple’s, nor does WhatsApp seem to have as clear a vision as Apple, said Michael Finneran, president of the advisory firm DBrn Associates Inc. in Hewlett Neck, N.Y.

Unlike WhatsApp, which must be downloaded from an app store, Apple Business Chat is available natively to all iOS users and lets customers remain anonymous when contacting a business. The iMessaging interface also has more productive and more interactive features than WhatsApp business messaging, such as the ability to place orders.

Still, businesses have some time before they need to adopt either platform, Finneran said. Use of Apple Business Chat has so far been limited to a handful of well-known banks, retailers, hotels and internet businesses.

“Unless digital engagement is a key attribute of your business, you can probably wait on Apple Business Chat,” Finneran said. “Everyone can wait on WhatsApp.”

When businesses do decide to adopt additional social messaging channels, they should seek help from communications platform as a service (CPaaS) vendors such as Twilio, Nexmo and Smooch, said Tsahi Levent-Levi, an independent analyst.  

Businesses shouldn’t attempt to juggle too many communications channels on their own, mainly because the APIs for many of these platforms are new and could change, Levent-Levi said.

“You can’t rely on a single channel because the APIs might change, and the way you interact with customers might change,” Levent-Levi said. That necessitates an omnichannel approach, he said. “And you can’t do it on your own, even if you’re big.”

Enterprise IT struggles with DevOps for mainframe

The mainframe is like an elephant in many large enterprise data centers: It never forgets data, but it’s a large obstacle to DevOps velocity that can’t be ignored.

For a while, though, enterprises tried to leave mainframes — often the back-end nerve center for data-driven businesses, such as financial institutions — out of the DevOps equation. But DevOps for mainframe environments has become an unavoidable problem.

“At companies with core back-end mainframe systems, there are monolithic apps — sometimes 30 to 40 years old — operated with tribal knowledge,” said Ramesh Ganapathy, assistant vice president of DevOps for Mphasis, a consulting firm in New York whose clients include large banks. “Distributed systems, where new developers work in an Agile manner, consume data from the mainframe. And, ultimately, these companies aren’t able to reduce their time to market with new applications.”

Velocity, flexibility and ephemeral apps have become the norm in distributed systems, while mainframe environments remain their polar opposite: stalwart platforms with unmatched reliability, but not designed for rapid change. The obvious answer would be a migration off the mainframe, but it’s not quite so simple.

“It depends on the client appetite for risk, and affordability also matters,” Ganapathy said. “Not all apps can be modernized — at least, not quickly; any legacy mainframe modernization will go on for years.”

Mainframes are not going away. In fact, enterprises plan to increase their spending on mainframe systems. Nearly half of enterprises with mainframes expect to see their usage increase over the next two years — an 18% increase from the previous year, according to a Forrester Research Global Business Technographics Infrastructure Survey in late 2017. Only 14% expected mainframe usage to decrease, compared to 24% in the previous survey.

Whatever their long-term decision about mainframes, large enterprises now compete with nimble, disruptive startups in every industry, and that means they must find an immediate way for mainframes to address DevOps.

Bridging DevOps for mainframe gaps

Credit bureau Experian is one enterprise company that’s stuck in limbo with DevOps for mainframe environments. Its IBM z13 mainframes play a crucial role in a process called pinning, which associates credit data to individuals as part of the company’s data ingestion operations. This generates an identifier that’s more unique and reliable than Social Security numbers, and the mainframe handles the compute-intensive workload with high performance and solid reliability — the company hasn’t had a mainframe outage on any of its six mainframe instances in more than three years.

However, Experian has also embarked on a series of Agile and DevOps initiatives, and the mainframe now impedes developers that have grown accustomed to self-service and infrastructure automation in production distributed systems.

“IBM has recognized what’s happening and is making changes to [its] z/OS and z Systems,” said Barry Libenson, global CIO for Experian, based in Costa Mesa, Calif. IBM’s UrbanCode Deploy CI/CD tool, for example, supports application deployment automation on the mainframe. “But our concern is there aren’t really tools yet that allow developers to provision their own [production infrastructure], or native Chef- or Puppet-like configuration management capabilities for z/OS.”

Chef supports z Systems mainframes through integration with LinuxONE, but Experian’s most senior mainframe expert frowns on Linux in favor of z/OS, Libenson said. Puppet also offers z/OS support, but Libenson said he would prefer to get those features from native z/OS management tools.

IBM’s z Systems Development and Test Environment V11 offers some self-service capabilities for application deployment in lower environments, but Experian developers have created their own homegrown tools for production services, such as z Systems logical partitions (LPARs). The homegrown tools also monitor the utilization of LPARs, containers and VMs on the mainframe, and tools either automatically shut them off once they’re idle for a certain amount of time or alert mainframe administrators to shut them off manually.

“That’s not the way these systems are designed to behave, and it’s expensive. In commodity hardware, I have lots of options, but if I run out of horsepower on the mainframe, buying additional engines from IBM is my only choice,” Libenson said. “It’s also increasingly difficult for us to find people that understand that hardware.”

Experian is fortunate to employ a mainframe expert who doesn’t fit the stereotype of a parochial back-end admin resistant to change, Libenson said. But he’s not an infinite resource and won’t be around forever.

“I tell him, ‘If you try to retire before I do, I will kill you,'” Libenson said.

Ultimately, Experian plans to migrate away from the mainframe and has ceased product development on mainframe applications, Libenson said. He estimated the mainframe migration process will take three to five years.

DevOps for mainframe methods evolve

For some companies with larger, older mainframes, even a multiyear mainframe migration is expensive.

If you don’t have a good reason to get off the mainframe platform, there are ways to do a lot of DevOps-specific features.
Christopher Gardneranalyst, Forrester Research

“One insurance firm client told me it would cost his company $30 million,” said Christopher Gardner, an analyst at Forrester Research. “If you don’t have a good reason to get off the mainframe platform, there are ways to do a lot of DevOps-specific features.”

Mainframe vendors, such as CA, IBM and Compuware, have tools that push DevOps for mainframe closer to an everyday reality. IBM’s UrbanCode Deploy agents offer application deployment automation and orchestration workflows for DevOps teams that work with mainframes. The company also recently added support for code deployments to z Systems from Git repositories and offers a z/OS connector for Jenkins CI/CD, as well. In addition to Jenkins, CI/CD tools from Electric Cloud and XebiaLabs support mainframe application deployments.

CA offers mainframe AIOps support in its Mainframe Operational Intelligence tool. And in June 2018, it introduced a SaaS tool, Mainframe Resource Intelligence, which scans mainframe environments and offers optimization recommendations. Compuware has tools for faster updates and provisioning on mainframes and hopes to lead customers to mainframe modernization by example; it underwent its own DevOps transformation over the last four years.

Vendors and experts in the field agree the biggest hurdle to DevOps for mainframe environments is cultural — a replay of cultural clashes between developers and IT operations, on steroids.

Participation from mainframe experts in software development strategy is crucial, Ganapathy said. His clients have cross-functional teams that decide how to standardize DevOps practices across infrastructure platforms, from public cloud to back-end mainframe.

“That’s where mainframe knowledge has the greatest value and can play a role at the enterprise level,” Ganapathy said. “It’s important to give mainframe experts a better say than being confined to a specific business unit.”

Mainframes may never operate with the speed and agility of distributed systems, but velocity is only one metric to measure DevOps efficiency, Forrester’s Gardner said.

“Quality and culture are also part of DevOps, as are continuous feedback loops,” he said. “If you’re releasing bugs faster, or you’re overworking your team and experiencing a lot of employee turnover, you’re still not doing your job in DevOps.”