Did you know… CIOs spend less than a fifth of their time on IT and business strategy?

Maple have launched a new initiative to map your whole IT environment, enabling you to determine a route to the cloud that is more cost-effective and promises higher efficiency and greater performance.

Our mapping service requires just half a day of your time to produce a map of your IT, similar to the below. We will spend an hour with you, and then gain deeper insight into your current systems, software and licensing from the wider IT team. Once we’ve plotted your IT map, we can present a critical path of where you are now, areas you need to take action, what’s possible for the future through strategic action and upgrades, and a preview of what lies just beyond your horizon.

Click here to find out more and let Maple Map your IT.
Maple Map IT

We are pleased to announce that Maple Computing has recently earned the Power Systems Specialty Award from IBM, one of only eleven IBM business partners in the UK to receive this award.

The IBM Power Systems Specialty recognizes and rewards IBM Business Partners who make a significant investment in skills and certifications, have acquired and completed client references, and have achieved market differentiation by successfully selling and deploying solutions based on IBM Power Systems.

To find out more about Maple’s enterprise solutions and services based on IBM technologies, please visit www.maplecom.co.uk.

power_special

With IBM’s POWER8 now well and truly launched, Big Blue’s sights seem firmly fixed on the x86 market and winning share with what seems to be quite a compelling offering.

However, where does this leave our traditional customers?

In our opinion, whatever the answer is with POWER8, it cannot be bad.  While IBM brings the fight to the crowded end of the datacentre, our customers with Power I or AIX systems in place will see the benefit by moving to POWER8 with vastly reduced TCO costs and a big leap in the number of bangs for your buck, and also in utilising the performance gains in processor and memory throughput built into the Power 8 systems and aimed at competing in today’s demanding cloud environments can share in the gains.

This article at IT Jungle talks a little about the announcement and how it is targeted, as well as some stats which makes for interesting reading.

A Google server motherboard built to use IBM's Power8 processor

A Google server motherboard built to use IBM’s Power8 processor (Gordon MacKean)

IBM’s new POWER8 chip took three years and $2.4 billion to design and IBM launched its own servers using the processor as a push to answer the spread of scale-out servers based on Intel’s Xeon chips.

This article from cnet discusses how Google are looking to implement POWER8 technology on their new servers, proving that the new chip is a viable alternative to x86 in the large scale-out server landscape.

Google acquires a taste for Power — IBM’s processors, that is

Contact us now to discuss IBM POWER8 in your infrastructure!

POWER8 – The next big innovation

In August 2013 IBM revealed details of the 12-core POWER8 chip, which is twice as fast as the POWER7 chip used in the Watson supercomputer.  In May 2014 it arrived.

POWER8 is designed to be a massively multithreaded chip, capable of handling 96 hardware threads simultaneously. The chip makes use of very large amounts of on- and off-chip eDRAM caches, and on-chip memory controllers enable very high bandwidth to memory and system I/O. For most workloads, the chip is said to perform two to three times as fast as its predecessor, the POWER7.

Are you ready for POWER8?

·         Are you prepared for the release of POWER8?

·         Do you want to analyse your applications portability to the new POWER8 technology?

·         Do you want to know why you should invest in new POWER8 hardware?

There are a lot of questions to be answered, but you should know that Maple is prepared and that we can help you – starting today!

Contact us right away to learn more about how we can help you.

IBM has maintained its market leading position in the server market thanks to growing demand for high end systems, according to IDC.

The analyst said IBM had been buoyed by a favourable product refresh cycle which had seen overall spending on high end systems increase 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012. This boost in demand helped IBM, which controls 36.5% of the server market, deliver its highest quarterly revenues for System z mainframes in more than a decade.

IDC claimed volume systems had also experienced a 4.2% growth in revenues due to increased investments in efficiency technologies such as virtualisation. “Large and small enterprises continued to invest heavily in new server capacity to drive additional consolidation and virtualisation initiatives,” said Matt Eastwood, general manager of enterprise platforms at IDC.

Overall worldwide server shipments have, however, decreased 3.9% – although there are some specific areas of year on year growth. Blade servers, which are highly leveraged in enterprises’ virtualised environments, grew 3.3%. Blades now account for 16.3% of total server revenue.

Density optimised servers, utilised by large data centres, also saw shipments increase 44.2%. “Both types of modular form factors outperformed the overall server market, indicating customers are increasingly favouring specialisation in their server designs,” said Jed Scaramella, research manager at IDC.

Most chief innovation officers will upgrade the backup and recovery tools within their virtualised environments within the next two years, research by Vanson Bourne has found.

The study found that two thirds (66%) believe their current backup and recovery tools will become less effective as the amount of data and servers in their infrastructure grows. The study estimates that just under half (49.9%) of servers are now virtualised in the UK, however, this figure is likely to grow to two thirds (66.8%) within two years.

The research found 58% of organisations across the US, UK, France and Germany want to upgrade their current backup tools. However, there is a much greater appetite in the US where 43% plan to upgrade within six months, compared to just 24% in the UK.

The study said that total cost of ownership was the main driver for change, although it said complexity and capability related challenges were also motivating factors. The report said many organisations did not currently have the right tools to take full advantage of the faster data protection capabilities in virtualised environments. Although it said the average time to recover data from virtual servers in the UK (3.97 hours) was still much faster than from physical servers (7.62 hours).

Security software is now the top priority infrastructure software investment, according to Gartner. The analyst said changing working practices, combined with an ever evolving threat landscape, had made security an essential consideration in any infrastructure spending plans.

As businesses seek competitive advantages by enabling mobile working, more employee and company-owned devices are seeking access to company networks. Gartner said companies need to have software in place that can handle the increased security demands. It added that with more businesses also looking to outsource to third parties, companies need to provide connectivity without leaving themselves vulnerable.

Security has now moved ahead of virtualisation as the top priority in Europe, according to the report. Gartner attributed this partly to the high level of virtualisation adoption which already exists in the region. However, it said virtualisation infrastructure software remained a top three priority worldwide as most organisations, especially in North America, move toward 70% virtualisation.

The study, which examined enterprise IT budgets, also found organisations were planning to increase spending on both on and off premise software throughout 2013 and 2014.

Hai Hong Swineheart, research analyst at Gartner, said: “Results from the survey indicate that software spending will increase modestly worldwide through the 2014 budget year, with new software sales (on-premises) and software-as-a-service driving this increased spending.”

Three quarters of UK companies expect to move toward ‘next generation’ IT infrastructures within three years, according to a Cisco study. The TechWatch 2013 report claimed technology trends, such as bring your own device (BYOD), big data and cloud computing, were creating challenges for businesses’ infrastructures. It said IT departments were also coming under pressure from more demanding end users. However, it added there was a need to manage investments alongside cost cutting.

The networking firm said reducing overall IT costs and improving the IT infrastructure were both ranked as a primary focus by 56% of SMEs for the next 12 months – closely followed by improving IT security (55%).

Ian Foddering, CTO Cisco UK, said: “The research shows us that whilst cost-cutting and reducing complexity is important, creating an environment where IT can support – or indeed drive – innovation within the business is paramount. The IT department is more crucial now to future development than ever before.

“Three key pillars emerge: ‘Simplify’, ‘Protect’ and ‘Change & Grow’. Get the first two right, and you pave the way for innovation, greater connectivity, next generation workspaces and ultimately a shift towards the ‘Internet of Everything’.”

The report added that organisations are likely to have already reviewed, or are planning to review, operational simplicity (89%) and operational savings (87%) this year.

UK data centres are unprepared for the huge increase in data volume likely to be generated by Big Data applications, according to Research Now. The market research firm found half of organisations (55%) were expecting data centre capacity to increase over the next two years – with a little over a third (34%) expecting it to stay the same. Its report claimed, however, organisations are failing to factor the rise in demand for Big Data applications. It said those companies which have begun to deploy Big Data applications, are expecting increased data volumes of between 40-50%.

The report also claimed as Big Data applications begin to take their toll on data centres, energy costs could spiral. It said around two thirds of a data centres’ operating budget was taken up by energy costs – yet only one fifth of organisations know how much their energy charges are and only 14% review this monthly.

“More and more businesses are trying to personalise customer services, content and advertising for their customers with the help of Big Data applications,” said Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, managing director of hosting at report sponsor Cable&Wireless Worldwide.

“However, without an understanding of the impact of these emerging trends on infrastructure requirements and with little grasp of how much their data centre is costing them in power, organisations run a real risk of losing control of operational costs as they try to keep up with business objectives.”