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    Thursday
    Feb042010

    Symbian Mobile OS goes open source, is data center design the next open source opportunity?

    Symbian OS went open source today.

    Symbian Is Open

    As of now, the Symbian platform is completely open source.  And it is Symbian^3, the latest version of the platform, which will be soon be feature complete.

    Open sourcing a market-leading product in a dynamic, growing business sector is unprecedented.  Over 330 million Symbian devices have been shipped worldwide, and it is likely that a further 100 million will ship in 2010 with more than 200 million expected to ship annually from 2011 onwards.


    Now the platform is free for anyone to use and to contribute to.  It is not only a sophisticated software platform, It is also the focal point of a community. And a lot of the foundation’s effort going forward will be to ensure the community grows and is supported in bringing great innovations to the platform and future devices.

    PCWorld write on the 5 benefits of open sourcing Symbian.

    Five Benefits of an Open Source Symbian

    By Tony Bradley

    The Symbian mobile operating system is getting a second life as the Symbian Foundation makes the smartphone platform open source. The lifeline will revitalize the platform, and has benefits for Nokia, smartphone developers, Symbian handsets, and smartphone users.

    With open source hitting all aspects of IT including mobile, when will data center designs go open source?  Don’t hold your breath as few of the data center designers are software people, so open source is still a foreign concept for many as designs are protected and transparency of what goes on is heresy to their thinking and business models.

    But, maybe as Cloud Computing goes open source with companies like Eucalyptus, people will not see the value in much of how data centers have been built in the past.

    Eucalyptus open-sources the cloud (Q&A)

    It's reasonably clear that open source is the heart of cloud computing, with open-source components adding up to equal cloud services like Amazon Web Services. What's not yet clear is how much the cloud will wear that open source on its sleeve, as it were.

    Eucalyptus, an open-source platform that implements "infrastructure as a service" (IaaS) style cloud computing, aims to take open source front and center in the cloud-computing craze. The project, founded by academics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, is now a Benchmark-funded company with an ambitious goal: become the universal cloud platform that everyone from Amazon to Microsoft to Red Hat to VMware ties into.

    Or, rather, that customers stitch together their various cloud assets within Eucalyptus.

    Is open source a threat to data center design?  For some maybe, for others it is an opportunity.

    For compliance and regulatory issues, eventually cloud computing providers will need to provide some level of transparency on their data center infrastructure.  Enough to meet the needs of governments and other regulatory agencies.  Will this be a driving issue for opening more details on data center infrastructure?

    There are those who argue for security reasons, we are not transparent to reduce our risks.  But, open source software believers say the systems are more secure by being transparent and allowing peer review.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Feb042010

    What can you do with an ARM Server, Demo of a Lego Rubik’s Solver

    One of my highest Google search traffic hits is to Marvell’s plug computer 3.0.

    Some may be thinking what would I do with an ARM based server in the home?

    To get you thinking watch this video of a Nokia ARM powered mobile connected to a LEGO built Rubik’s cube solver.

    Nokia’s Symbian has just gone open source, so maybe it’s not too far out to think your mobile and home server having the same code base.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Feb022010

    Who will win Emerging Market Mobile Opportunity? Nokia’s strategy is questioned

    Gigaom has a post on Nokia’s Ovi Store and the emerging market.

    Are Emerging Markets Enough to Fuel Nokia’s Ovi Store?

    By Colin Gibbs Feb. 2, 2010, 12:27pm PST No Comments

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    Nokia’s Ovi Store, after stumbling out of the gate last year, appears to have found its rhythm, becoming the storefront of choice for mobile developers in emerging markets. But whether it can turn that success into big money is unclear.

    Deemed “a complete disaster” in the wake of its launch last May, the Ovi Store has gained remarkable traction in recent weeks. Nokia last week said the storefront had begun delivering a million downloads a day, and Greystripe — which recently scored another $2 million in funding –  today said it had extended support for its mobile gaming ad network to the Ovi Store. Research In Markets has confirmed the momentum, proclaiming that the Ovi Store has overtaken Apple’s App Store in “crucial high-growth emerging markets” in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America.

    The success in Emerging Markets is questioned.

    That success is getting lost in translation, though, in Western Europe and North America. An executive from the mobile app analytics firm Flurry told me this morning that over the last year building for the iPhone has accounted for roughly 80 percent of developers’ time, while Java — the feature phone platform that Nokia dominates — accounts for only 1 percent. And Flurry has some experience in emerging markets, as it built and distributed email apps for feature phones in developing economies before shifting its focus to higher-end gadgets in more mature markets.

    The Economist makes a good point on what are the mobile services for emerging markets.

    The third trend is the development of new phone-based services, beyond voice calls and basic text messages, which are now becoming feasible because mobile phones are relatively widely available. In rich countries most such services have revolved around trivial things like music downloads and mobile gaming. In poor countries data services such as mobile-phone-based agricultural advice, health care and money transfer could provide enormous economic and developmental benefits. Beyond that, mobile networks and low-cost computing devices are poised to offer the benefits of full internet access to people in the developing world in the coming years.

    Here is another example of how mobile phones in emerging markets are used for entrepreneurs and finance.

    In 2005, the Grameen Foundation set the stage for emerging market cell phone adoption and launched the the “Village Phone” business in rural Bangladesh, publishing a how-to manual and setting up micro-finance loans to villagers in towns that had no access to telecommunications.   Four years later, entrepreneurs have finally caught on and despite the downturn, the last 6 months has shed light on a few innovative initiatives that have been announced in a variety of sectors around the world.

    In February, the Gates Foundation in partnership with a worldwide consortium of mobile industries teamed up to announce the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) initiative.  With a goal of supplying 20 million people with mobile financial services by 2012, this program will enable those in developing countries to carry out mobile banking from their phones in order to protect and grow their money.

    How many iPhone users use their phone as their primary banking device?

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Feb022010

    Most Wired Place on Earth, South Korea an indicator of where we are heading

    I am watching the PBS Frontline special Digital_Nation, and previously blogged on dangers of multi-tasking.

    The show is now discussing South Korea as an example of the most wired place on the earth.  I haven’t been to South Korea for over 15 years, ironically the start (1994) of the broadband growth in South Korea.  I worked with Samsung when I was at Apple and acquired & managed the Korean fonts for Win3.1.

    Here are some of the facts from the Frontline website.

    WIRED KOREA

    Population: 48.4 million(July 2008 est.)

    Median age: 36.7 years

    GDP (PPP): $1.312 trillion (2008 est.), 14th largest in the world

    Korean gaming industry (including game centers): $7.8 billion (2006)

    Internet usage rate: 76.5 percent (2008)

    Percentage of Internet users age 3 to 5: 2.3 percent (2008)

    Wireless Internet usage rate (ages 12 to 59): 52.5 percent (2008)

    Household broadband penetration:: 97 percent (2008)

    Landlines: 23.02 million (2008)

    Cell phones: 44.98 million (2008)

    Other facts:
    • The Korean government began investing in a nationwide broadband network in 1994
    • South Korea has over 20,000 Internet cafes called "PC Bangs"
    • 43 percent of Koreans maintain a blog
    • 20 million people belong to Cyworld, an online "parallel universe"/social networking site
    • In early 2009 the Korean Communications Commission (KCC) announced a plan to invest $837 million -- in addition to $21.1 billion in private funds -- to provide 1-Gbps average broadband speeds to major cities by 2012 (meaning a 120-minute feature film will take 12 seconds to download). The average U.S. broadband speed is 4.8 Mbps -- 200 times slower.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Feb022010

    HP’s 20’ POD Container, $600K for 291kW of data center space, IT equipment not included

    HP just announced their 20 foot Performance-optimized Data Center POD.

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    HP POD is ideal for any enterprise customer requiring rapid white space growth

    • Quickly create data center space and deploy IT using HP Factory Express rack integration
    • Designed to support requirements for N+N power redundancy
    • Pay as you grow to minimize up front capital outlay - add additional HP PODs as you need more data center space
    • Decrease operating expenses through better energy efficiency with PUEs as low as 1.25

    More technical specs are here.

    Is this the future of cloud computing data centers?  At numbers that are $2 million per MW of physical data center space before power and chiller plant, it will be interesting to see who buys the HP POD.  

    It makes sense to consider a hybrid site that could hook up power, water and network to containers, then another space that is the traditional data center space for equipment.

    Maybe on my next trip to the bay area (next week), I should try and stop by HP.  I know the PR team has offered to set up a meeting with the HP container design engineers.  The total costs for a 2 MW data center build out would be interesting to discuss.

    Click to read more ...