Wednesday, December 31, 2008

poem Cork


Don't let the year end
with joyous remembrance. That
might bring us to tears.

Don't let the same thought
cycle endlessly. That would
seal eternity.

Don't resolve it at
all. Let events wear on. Let
the year be gone. Yet.

Monday, December 29, 2008

poem Air


Television was
simply always there airing
and available.

Television was
simple numbers to click and
point the aerial.

Television was
once tube and tuner a box

Monday, December 22, 2008

imho New Year Fast Approaching, and So Is the Next-Generation Enterprise Data Warehouse

New Year Fast Approaching, and So Is the Next-Generation Enterprise Data Warehouse

This has been one of the most pivotal years in the evolution of the enterprise data warehousing (EDW) market. Every EDW vendor of note has firmly repositioned its go-to-market strategy around the appliance approach, with some also taking tentative steps into what is sure to be a key theme in 2009 and beyond: EDW in the “cloud.”

Yes, much of the recent “cloud” buzz has been bleeding-edge IT trade-paper fodder. It’s all interesting, to be sure, and there’s plenty of innovation going on. But much of the discussion seems to be a renaming, repackaging, and mashing up--with subtle twists and tweaks--of such well-established themes as service-oriented architecture (SOA), software as a service (SaaS), virtualization, and Web 2.0. And much of the trendy attention to cloud services obscures that fact that public cloud offerings from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others are still primarily a work in progress.

Forrester clients have only recently begun to inquire about cloud topics in earnest. But still, it’s hard to stay cynical about cloud computing for long. This solution delivery approach is coming almost certainly, inexorably, to all IT solution segments, including to EDW and business intelligence (BI). Sure, I&KM pros can safely ignore much of the cloud buzz for now, but, a year ago, they said the same about EDW appliances, and look how quickly appliances have become a dominant deployment approach in this market.

In the EDW-related inquiries I take from Forrester I&KM customers, a great many concern the appliance market. CIOs, CTOs, DBAs, and other professionals are actively considering various vendors’ appliances to replace, or at least to supplement and extend, their traditional “roll-your-own” EDWs. Typically, the I&KM pro wants me to help them select the best EDW appliance for their needs from any of several vendors, both venerable blue-chip and sexy start-up.

What validated appliances for I&KM pros this year was the fact that big-name EDW vendors--including Teradata, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and Sybase--have gone this route in earnest. The inflection point for the whole industry was this fall when Teradata--who effectively established the EDW appliance space years ago but had long resisted going to market under that label--embraced the approach and significantly expanded their appliance solution portfolio.

EDW cloud services are still a few years away from a similar inflection point. The leading EDW vendors have taken only the most tentative steps into the still-embryonic cloud services market. But they are all beginning to explore the cloud/SaaS channel with greater interest. They simply have to. Customers’ capital budgets are under severe pressure, and a multi-million dollar EDW solution--be it a premises-based appliance or what have you--is a tough sell. In a soft economy, any on-demand pay-as-you-go offering becomes more attractive across all customer segments. Just as important, the increasing scalability, performance, flexibility, and availability demands on the EDW and BI infrastructure are spurring many users to consider managed, hosted, outsourced offerings with fresh interest.

We’re starting to see the next-generation cloud EDW emerge. One noteworthy development this year was Oracle’s partnership with Amazon. Under that agreement, Oracle customers can license Oracle’s core EDW software stack to run in Amazon Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) environment. They can also use their existing software licenses on Amazon EC2 with no additional license fees.

Another important development was Microsoft’s announcement of its Windows Azure cloud initiative, of which one key component is the (still in beta) SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) subscription offering. When Microsoft SSDS goes into production in 2009, it will offer some basic DW/BI features in addition to transactional database support. Though SSDS will not initially be at a functional par with they licensed SQL Server offerings, it is clear that Microsoft plans to evolve it rapidly toward becoming a feature-competitive DW cloud offering over the next several years.

Microsoft also made a key EDW-related acquisition this year, appliance pure-play DATAllegro. Forrester expects this acquisition to figure centrally into Microsoft’s evolution of SSDS into a massively scalable cloud DW service. Though DATAllegro did not achieve much market adoption as a DW appliance pure-play, it provides Microsoft with a robust scale-out technology called “shared-nothing massively parallel processing” (MPP). By the way, Microsoft is playing catch-up in this regard, since most of its closest competitors implement shared-nothing MPP in their EDW premises-oriented solutions, and such DW appliance pure plays as Netezza, Greenplum, and Vertica also implement it to varying degrees.

When Microsoft ultimately ships a DATAllegro-powered SQL Server EDW appliance under its “Project Madison” in a year or two, we would not be surprised to see it adopted first in SSDS. The cloud EDW offering would benefit immensely from shared-nothing MPP’s ability to manage petabytes of analytic data and parallelize queries and other transactions seamlessly across a grid of hundreds or thousands of nodes.

Indeed, the industry consensus is largely in favor of shared-nothing MPP across the storage and compute tiers, coupled with flexible information-as a-service (IaaS) and server virtualization, as the principal platform for cloud computing. In the next-generation EDW, shared-nothing MPP allows the infrastructure to become more fluid, flexible, and virtualized, while managing ever more massive data sets and providing the agility to handle more complex mixed workloads of reporting, query, OLAP, data mining, data cleansing, transformations, and other functions.

As 2009 approaches, we’ll see pure-play DW cloud vendors come to the fore, appealing both to the early adopters among I&KM pros as well as to those under severe budgetary, headcount, and data center constraints. The established EDW vendors will not come to the cloud in a big way till 2010 at the earliest, it appears. But they will come, and with all guns blazing.

In 2-3 years’ time, the established vendors will own the EDW cloud space just as they’re starting to own the rapidly maturing appliance segment--in part, by acquiring the most promising cloud startups. The longer the economy stays drab and dreary, the faster the cloud EDW segment will expand, mature, and consolidate.

As that happens, commercial EDW cloud offerings will become as diverse and feature-rich as appliances have become, and I&KM pros will almost certainly ramp up their cloud EDW inquiries.

Forrester’s EDW analyst stands ready to serve.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

poem Nucleic


The savior’s siblings
Procreated, spread Mary’s
Blood matriarchy.

The prophets peopled:
Brethren of Buddha, sisters
Of Zoroaster.

Crossed. Cohabited
Christ with cousins Adamic

Friday, December 12, 2008



Pet a very large
Number. Let it purr its stream
Of murmuring ohs.

Hmm. A one at one
Of the ends. Chasing, it slinks
Past time’s curvature.

Lost the count. Are we
Mounting the powers or gone
Deeply decimal?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

imho Cloud computing in a bubble economy

This story appeared on Network World at

Cloud computing in a bubble economy
By James Kobielus , Network World , 12/09/2008

Cloud computing is the IT world's latest hot topic, and it's no secret why. In tough times, when capital expenditure budgets are under severe pressure, any pay-per-use solution looks like a winner.

If you give enterprises a credible outsourced alternative to their internal platforms and applications -- one that requires no capital outlays, long-term contracts, data-center infrastructure or internal IT staff -- users can scale that service up or down as their needs and fortunes expand or contract.

Clearly, cloud computing -- as a purely on-demand service-delivery model -- is tailor-made for a bubble economy, such as the world in which we live. In a bubble economy, volatility rules, prices fluctuate wildly, and acute uncertainty and risk permeate everything. Even more distressing, this dynamic new order can destroy established industries, vendors, business models and investment portfolios with sudden, sickening speed.

As we've seen in the financial and automotive industries, valuations can collapse overnight, thereby dislocating lives, careers and communities without much warning. As the economic outlook deteriorates, survival strategies and last-ditch tactics -- such as shotgun mergers -- quickly preempt sound business planning.

Does anybody truly believe that established IT market segments are immune from the brutality of the bubble economy? Hey, let's admit that the IT industry was in fact the proving ground and remains one of the chief enablers of this new economic order. If we learned anything from the dotcom bubble, it was that the frictionless business formation of an on-demand economy can prove disruptive in both the good and bad senses of that word.

Yes, on-demand services contribute to innovation, efficiency and agility throughout the IT world. But fast-bubbling start-ups can also, in the same bold burst, mortally wound established IT vendors before they know what hit them. And this same process can just as rapidly doom the disruptors themselves -- whenever the next cloud of fresh bubbles emerges to suck away their oxygen.

Excessive business risk is the thunderclap inside the world of cloud computing, and it can zap IT suppliers and users with equal devastation. If you've invested in a traditional IT solution that now confronts a significantly more cost-effective cloud-based rival, you'll be hard-pressed to survive if one of your competitors has leveraged that alternative to pare its cost structure to the bone.

And if you're counting on your established IT vendor to migrate you gracefully into its own emerging cloud-based environment, think again. Focusing on short-term financial results, its shareholders are demanding that it leverage the traditional cash cow of software license fees and maintenance revenue to the hilt. To the extent that your traditional IT supplier encourages you to adopt its new cloud-based offering, it will often be just a grudging nudge, a last-ditch effort to hold onto your business.

When looking at the cloud-computing horizon, no two IT industry observers agree on which solution vendors will ultimately prevail -- just as analysts in the financial and automotive sectors have no idea whether Citibank or General Motors will survive this period in anything resembling their current forms. How will Oracle, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, EMC, SAP, and other blue-chips weather this chaotic cloud front of tornadic start-ups?

Yes, the big guys all have their cloud initiatives, to varying degrees of maturity. But they all tremble before the possibility that such cloud-based pure-plays as Google,,, or Akamai Technologies will lure away customers with more flexible, lower-cost offerings.

Established IT vendors are trying a bit of everything to keep their core businesses from slipping away. Fundamentally, they're all approaching cloud computing as a sort of Venn-style conceptual bubble diagram, one that converges software-as-a-service, service-oriented architecture, virtualization, utility computing, outsourcing, open source, Web 2.0, social networking and pretty much every other IT trend of the past 10 years. What the incumbents hope is that some magic synthesis of these approaches will help them hang on through this turbulence and prevail into the next era.

Let's be honest with ourselves. We all know the IT industry is in the throes of a major shakeout and some familiar names may not survive much longer. We may have to endure our fair share of shotgun mergers among veteran IT providers before we see the rainbow that signals the end of today's perfect storm. Silver linings are there in today's increasingly cloud-oriented environment, but they're hard to glimpse through the layers of macroeconomic gloom.

All contents copyright 1995-2008 Network World, Inc.

Above the Cloud: September 1987 to December 2008

Thanks, John G., John D., Neal W., Susan C., Adam G., Beth S., Julie B., Paul D., Charlie B., Barb W., Kyle, Alison C., Jim B., Paul S., Bruce G., Anne R., and Steve M.--and, of course, Cheryl C., and all the fine upstanding virtuous virtual citizens in their Speen Street finery

"Everything must run its course." --MGMT

poem Portraiture


People somehow were.
Show me the photograph of
Thomas Jefferson.

Lives were recorded.
Lincoln's voice was more James Dean
than Jimmy Stewart.

Living thought was caught.
Woodrow Wilson's magnetic
resonance. On file.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

poem Enya


Upon this Earth few
mortals have experienced
such exaltation.

Enya's been here. She
and her mighty massed choir of
echoing Enyas.

Hark the herald cloud
of choral bliss. All those sweet
Enyas in Heaven!

Monday, December 08, 2008

personal Yeah, I too use a Zune....What of it?


Re these stories:

--Take that, iPod: Obama uses a Zune
--Obama's Zune Prompts Screams of Betrayal From Apple Fanboy Nation

Get over it, iPodders. We need our music. Microsoft makes a great portable media player. So does Apple. But iPod is not as great as you all like to believe. Nor is the Mac.

Also, I listen to KEXP. So should you.

Furthermore, Seattle's cooler than Silicon Valley. Better music. Better gloom. Anybody who follows my poetry can see that I'm more grunge than hippie, and more geek than nature boy. Though, being of the same age as Madonna and Prince, we fall directly between those generations, belonging to neither. All of which reminds me to re-publish the following poem, written several years ago (I spontaneously recited it for Linda Tucci this afternoon):



In the essential
Seattle users

caffeine directly

from whatever drops
of liquid sunshine

are vouchsafed their way
or, failing that, fix

off the glints of glare
that glance in off the

gray and grace their green
eye-stained monitors.


I have tea and cola poems too.

We're the Obama generation, literally. Our next president will be our first younger than me (by three years--I met JFK in 1960, as a toddler at my Mom's side, as did highschooler Bill Clinton a few years later--Obama, clearly, never did).

If Barack Obama seems way too weirdly self-contained and driven for your tastes, he seems exactly right to me. He is me (he's also Madonna and Prince).


Sunday, December 07, 2008

poem Old Lime Sing


Should old tequila
stay locked up, far too hard for
celebration times?

Will Jose Cuervo
grace this cup, kindly chase our
singing spirits up?

Gaily waste this eve
on a new one's cusp, gamely
rim our rhymes with crust?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

poem Approaching Solstice


Air was there, was bare
and shimmering, around the
spot where bells should be.

Night was there, was spare
and sparkling, a strand of lights
suggesting a tree.

Some snow, a song, a
kid. These ticklesome trances
of holiday glee.