Lotus what? Nah mate, the world has moved on.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Sunway Group Moves to the IBM Cloud in Five-year IT Modernisation Plan

Well done to Mat! I miss Malaysia and I miss Mat, a lot. Not so much IBM (think Borat) but definitely Mat.

Of course this says nothing about Lotus Notes and Domino Mail in Sunway that will still be stuck in the dark ages after trying very hard to get them to upgrade. There is simply no real upgrade path available for Lotus Notes anymore. Version 9.0.1 will go down in history as the longest standing version ever that never received a single feature upgrade. It is the last version actually, ever.

Time to introduce Sunway to Binary Tree products. Apparently Connections plays nicely with Outlook and Exchange. Better than with Lotus Notes some may say.

Not withstanding my spurious comments above, well done Mat and the few Lotus people left in IBM Malaysia. Awesome work team!

Sunway Group Moves to the IBM Cloud in Five-year IT Modernisation Plan

Mat Newman  March 5 2015 22:00:00
Today was an exciting day as Sunway Group announced their plans to modernise their IT environment and expand their IBM Collaboration Solutions investment throughout the group. 

For the IBM Collaboration Solutions team here in Malaysia and across the region, the official announcement is a culmination of over a years work to successfully demonstrate the value of IBM's Collaboration platform in an extremely competitive evaluation of Sunway's existing systems and future requirements. Needless to say, the usual suspects were heavily involved in their attempts to lure away one of IBM Malaysia's marquee customers. The IBM team triumphed by showing IBM's superior vision, capabilities and deployment flexibility. 

Figure 1: Sunway Group President Dato Chew Chee Kin 

Figure 2:  Cheah Kok Hoong, Group CEO & Director of Hitachi Sunway

Below is the joint press release issued by Sunway and IBM: 
"Kuala Lumpur, 5 March 2015 —
 The Sunway Group (listed as “Sunway Berhad” on Bursa Malaysia) today announced that it is working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to deploy IBM Connections Cloud to transform its IT and business infrastructure. 

IBM Connections Cloud provides an intuitive set of cloud-delivered online technologies for businesses that combine social networking and online collaboration, messaging, and web conference tools to support Sunway Group’s 12 business divisions across 50 locations worldwide.

Sunway Group’s President, Dato' Chew Chee Kin said that the key driver for the Group’s multi-million ringgit investment decision is to support its 13,000 employees via an ICT business transformation endeavour.

“In order to single-mindedly drive continual high level of satisfaction amongst our customers, suppliers and partners in the ecosystem, we made a deliberate decision to invest in Cloud-based solutions to immediately facilitate greater work efficiencies and collaborations across our businesses in Property, Construction, Hospitality, Retail, Leisure, Commercial, Trading & Manufacturing, Building Materials, Quarrying, Healthcare, Education and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).”

Sunway’s deployment of IBM Connections Cloud will be implemented by Hitachi Sunway Information Systems Sdn. Bhd (“Hitachi Sunway”), a joint venture (JV) company of Hitachi Systems, Ltd. and Sunway Technology Sdn Bhd. Hitachi Sunway is a leading IT services and solutions provider in Southeast Asia.

Sunway Group will enjoy greater innovationwith IBM Connections Cloud as it is designed to give companies the ability to collaborate and easily work with others inside and outside the firewall. Furthermore, IBM collaboration solutions combine social networking, messaging and web conference tools that help simplify sharing of content in daily business interactions among its employees worldwide.

“As our employees and customers become more mobile- and social-driven, this major ICT upgrade will ensure that Sunway is at par with technology advancements for rapid business growth support, and to transform Sunway to be a social-savvy digital enterprise.” said Dato' Chew Chee Kin.

Cheah Kok Hoong, Group CEO & Director of Hitachi Sunway said: “Excellence in customer experience is a crucial component for the continued success of Sunway, and Hitachi Sunway looks forward to playing a key role to help Sunway achieve its IT business transformation, which among others, include turning it (the Group) into a truly ‘social enterprise’.”

“The IBM Connections Cloud facilitates the conglomerate with an extensive productivity platform to be more ‘in-tune’ with business dynamism, as well as social requirements in the daily interactions with customers, partners and colleagues,” he said.

“In short, this Cloud investment by Sunway will enable it to more seamlessly integrate ICT to effectively support and expedite Big Data interactions with its thousands of connections within its large business ecosystem,” said Cheah.

“Enterprises see the value of cloud but face a unique set of challenges around reliability, standards, security, and control in truly extending the use of cloud beyond IT. IBM Connections Cloud, with its enterprise grade security and control; deepens customer relationships, increases effectiveness, and optimize workforces. We are excited to work with the Sunway Group and help them achieve their business goals and aspirations,” said Paul Moung, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia.

About Sunway Group
Since its inception in 1974, Sunway Group has grown exponentially from a tiny tin-mining company to become one of Malaysia’s largest and most respected conglomerates with the establishment of 12 businesses in 50 locations worldwide. Community building, enriching lives, and entrepreneurship remain Sunway’s principal tenets as the group continues to transform lives through its core businesses of Property, Construction, and synergistic businesses of Hospitality, Retail, Leisure, Commercial, Trading & Manufacturing, Building Materials, Quarrying, Healthcare, Education and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Underscoring its deep commitment to sustain the communities it builds, Sunway Group supports its communities with its social responsibility endeavours of far-reaching impact championed by Education, Healthcare and Community Aid, Reach-out and Enrichment (C.A.R.E.) programmes.

About Hitachi Sunway Information Systems Sdn Bhd
Established in April 2013, Hitachi Sunway Information Systems is a joint venture (JV) company of Hitachi Systems, Ltd. and Sunway Technology - to provide IT services in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.  Its core offerings include applications (ERP, Supply Chain Optimization), engineering solutions (PLM) and infrastructure & managed services (Systems & Storage, End-to-End Virtualization Solutions, Data Management/Storage, High Availability/Disaster Recovery, ITO Managed Services, Infra/Data/Cloud Security, Wireless Network Infra, Data Center Outsourcing & Cloud Services).  The company has established partnerships with leading global technologies provider such as Siemens, Autodesk, Spring Technologies, Oracle, Ariba, Netsuite, VMware, Trend Micro, NetApp, Symantec, Dell, Commvault, Citrix, Hitachi Data Systems, e-Lock, HP and IBM.  Our list of clientele come from various industries, namely Insurance & Financial Services, Automotive, Manufacturing & Distribution, and Construction & Engineering.  Headquarter in Malaysia, we also have offices in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines & Vietnam. For more information, visit 

Some of the media reaction to the event can be found HERE and HERE 

I am extremely grateful that the Sunway team tasked with evaluating in detail their current and future requirements looked beyond the check-boxes in the competing specification sheets and exhaustively compared the actual form and function of the solutions on offer. When an organisation goes to the lengths that Sunway did in comparing the possible, it becomes clear that IBM is the leader in providing a totally integrated and flexible solution. 

If your organisation is in a similar situation, we would love to discuss the possibilities with you. 

On days like today ... I really LOVE my job. 

Proud to be an IBMer! 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What you need to know about HTTP/2

What you need to know about HTTP/2:

'via Blog this'

What you need to know about HTTP/2
Look at the address bar in your browser. See those letters at the front, "HTTP"? That stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the mechanism a browser uses to request information from a server and display webpages on your screen. A new version of the reliable and ubiquitous HTTP protocol was recently published as a draft by the organization in charge of creating standards for the internet, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This means that the old version, HTTP/1.1, in use since 1999, will eventually be replaced by a new one, dubbed HTTP/2. This update improves the way browsers and servers communicate, allowing for faster transfer of information while reducing the amount of raw horsepower needed.

Why is this important?

HTTP/1.1 has been in use since 1999, and while it's performed admirably over the years, it's starting to show its age. Websites nowadays include many different components besides your standard HTML, like design elements (CSS), client-side scripting (JavaScript), images, video and Flash animations. To transfer that information, the browser has to create several connections, and each one has details about the source, destination and contents of the communication package or protocol. That puts a huge load on both the server delivering the content and your browser.
All those connections and the processing power they require can lead to slowdowns as more and more elements are added to a site. And if we know nothing else, it's that people can be quite impatient. We've come to expect blazing-fast internet and even the slightest of delays can lead to hair pulling and mumbled swears. For companies, a slow website can translate directly into lost money, especially for online services where long load times mean a bad user experience.
People have been searching for ways to speed up the internet since the days when dial-up and AIM were ubiquitous. One of the more common techniques is caching, where certain information is stored locally as opposed to transferring everything anew each time it's requested. But others have resorted to tricks like lowering the resolution of images and videos; still others have spent countless hours tweaking and optimizing code to cut just milliseconds from their load times. These options are useful, but are really just Band-Aids. So Google decided to dramatically overhaul HTTP/1.1 and create SPDY; the results have been impressive. In general, communication between a server and a browser using SPDY is much faster, even when encryption is applied. At a minimum, the transfer speed with SPDY can improve by about 10 percent and, in some cases, can reach numbers closer to 40 percent. Such has been the success of SPDY that in 2012 the group of Google engineers behind the project decided to create a new protocol based on the technology, and that started the story that leads us to the current HTTP/2 draft.

What is a protocol?

You can think of a protocol as a collection of rules that govern how information is transferred from one computer to another. Each protocol is a little different, but usually they include a header, payload and footer. The header contains the source and destination addresses and some information about the payload (type of data, size of data, etc.). The payload contains the actual information, and the footer holds some form of error detection. Some protocols also support a feature called "encapsulation," which lets them include other protocols inside of their payload section.
You can think of it like sending a letter using snail mail. Our protocol in this case would be defined by the USPS. The letter would require a destination address in a specific format, a return address and postage. The "payload" would be the letter itself and the error detection is the seal on the envelope. If it arrives ripped and without a letter, you'd know there was a problem.

Why is HTTP/2 better?

In a few words: HTTP/2 loads webpages much faster, saving everyone time that otherwise would go to waste. It's as simple as that.
The example below, published by the folks over at HttpWatch, shows transfer speeds increasing more than 20 percent, and this is just one test with web servers not yet fully optimized (the technology will need some time to mature for that). In fact, improvements of around 30 percent seem to be common.
Example of HTTP page load speed (above) against HTTP/2 (below)
HTTP/2 improves speed mainly by creating one constant connection between the browser and the server, as opposed to a connection every time a piece of information is needed. This significantly reduces the amount of data being transferred. Plus, it transfers data in binary, a computer's native language, rather than in text. This means your computer doesn't have to waste time translating information into a format it understands. Other features of HTTP/2 include "multiplexing" (sending and receiving multiple messages at the same time), the use of prioritization (more important data is transferred first), compression (squeezing information into smaller chunks) and "server push," where a server makes an educated guess about what your next request will be and sends that data ahead of time.

So when will we get to enjoy the benefits of HTTP/2?

There's no real start date for the use of HTTP/2, and many people may already be using it unknowingly. The draft submitted on February 11th will expire in six months (August 15th, to be precise). Before expiring, it has to be confirmed and become a finished document, called an "RFC," or a new draft with changes has to be published.
As a side note, we should mention that the term "RFC" comes from "Request For Comments," but it's really a name for a finalized document used by the IETF. Also, an RFC is not a requirement, but more of a suggestion of how things should be designed. (Confusing right?) However, for a protocol to work properly, everyone has to follow the same rules.
The HTTP/2 technology is already baked into many web servers and browsers, even if it's still just a draft. For example, Microsoft supports HTTP/2 on Internet Explorer under the Windows 10 Technical Preview; Chrome also supports it (while it's disabled by default, you can easily enable it); and Mozilla has had it available since Firefox Beta 36.
If we talk about web servers, you should know that IIS (the Windows web server) already supports HTTP/2 under Windows 10 and it's expected that Apache and Nginx will offer support very soon (SPDY is already supported through extensions). This means that sooner, rather than later, we will all be using HTTP/2. And chances are you won't even realize it when the switch is made unless you're in the habit of timing load times for your favorite sites. Plus, you'll still just see "http" or "https" in the address bar, so, life will continue as usual, but a bit faster.

Friday, 6 February 2015

IBM Connections Cloud wiki : Troubleshooting Administration : Cheat Sheet: Firewall Settings for IBM Connections Cloud S1

IBM Connections Cloud wiki : Troubleshooting Administration : Cheat Sheet: Firewall Settings for IBM Connections Cloud S1:

'via Blog this'

Really good cheat sheet for IBM connections cloud services.

IBM Connections Cloud (Connections Cloud) is a cloud based messaging and collaboration suite of services, located outside of your company's network, on the internet.  You must work with your network team to update your firewall settings according to the table below, in order to allow users in your company to use the Connections Cloud S1 applications: Collaboration tools, Notes mail, Document editors, web Meetings and mobile apps. PDF of this artlce available in Attachments below.

Table - configure Firewall settings for Connections Cloud S1

Top level domains to allow
 Port 443 /HTTPS
North America:

Asia Pacific:

File sharing, communities, instant messaging, meetings, email and calendar, administration, document editors and mobile apps accessing the service over the internt.

Traveler domains required only for Traveler subscription.

Note: *.akamaiedge.net required for the Akamai accelerated network.

Port 80
same as Port 443 above
Same as Port 443 above.

You can allow connections over TCP/IP port 80 (HTTP). If clients connect over HTTP, they are redirected to HTTPS.
Port 1533/Virtual Places (VP)
North America:

Asia Pacific:

Instant messaging community in the service.

North America:

Asia Pacific:

Allow IBM Notes clients and Domino servers to connect to the service 

Passthru server host names (Inbound only)
for example:

Note:  IBM SmartCloud Notes will leverage the Akamai accelerated network at a future date.
Port 1352 NRPC
North America, Asia and Europe:
Passthru server host names
for example:

Only applies to Hybrid
allow Passthru servers connect to on-premisesdirectory synchronization servers and mail hub servers. 

for example:
North America

Asia Pacific:

allow SMTP servers to route internet mail to Connections Cloud service users.
(optional) Port 25 inbound to allow company SMTP servers to route mail from service users to the internet.

North America:

Asia Pacific:

IMAP clients send mail. This setting is only required if IMAP clients are used.
North America:

Asia Pacific:

IMAP clients receive mail. This setting is only required if IMAP clients are used.
990 (60000 - 61000)/

North America:

Asia Pacific:

  • Temporary requirement for clients thattransfer mail files to the service over FTP - SmartCloud Notes Hybrid environments only
  • Client that downloads journal filesconnects to the service over FTP
  • Client that uses the integration server for provisioning connects to the service over FTP

Note:  The host name *.lotuslive.com has been transitioned to *.collabserv.com  Connections to the service through *.lotuslive.com are redirected to *.collabserv.com Add the new domain *.collabserv.com or  to your firewall configuration, but keep the lotuslive.com configuration, if you currently use it. 

IBM Connections Cloud is a multi-tenant service.  Most of the Connections Cloud S1 services, use an accelerated network technology, with over 75,000 edge servers in order to provide high availability to the service for its users worldwide (SmartCloud Notes and IBM Notes connecting to instant messaging in the service will leverage the accelerated network in the future, tbd).  In order to benefit from the accelerated network, using DNS names is recommended.  An IP address range may be used, however the range will be very large and is subject to change.  Contact support@collabserv.com if an IP range must be used.

Additional Cheat Sheets and Resources:

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

CP Retires its Mainframe | Marcel Bailly | LinkedIn

CP Retires its Mainframe | Marcel Bailly | LinkedIn:

'via Blog this'

I would like to say how proud I am of my many colleagues at Canadian Pacific as we wrap up our mainframe re-hosting project, and unplugged the mainframe after 50 years of faithful service. Many said it couldn’t be done. IBM ignored us for a long time and then realized we were serious. We migrated 75 apps to a Linux platform with Dell's Unikix, after de-scoping over 200 apps (can you say application lifecycle management?). CP tried this many times before but this time we stuck with it to the end. Special thanks to Gary Stedman who lured me out of retirement to research and design the solution, and who inspired me to keep going when I said "this is too hard - let's do something else". To Program Manager Eileen Voszler - thank you for the great debates about why a project manager can never be an architect and why an architect can never be a project manager. To Project Manager Brad Tyler – thank you for reminding me constantly of the need for specificity in schedules. I guess “I’ll do it soon” just doesn’t cut it. To my new friends at Dell, especially Matteo Minotti, Barry Tait and Santino Spagnoli, thanks for being patient with me and showing me how rehosting is done and just how easy it is. To the CP Security Team – really? You just make things harder. Just kidding. And to the CP mainframe developers over those last 50 years – what were you thinking? If I had a dollar for every time I said “they did what?”, I’d be rich. I would work with any of the project team members again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Looks like those IBM layoffs have started — Tech News and Analysis


Reports of big layoffs to come this week at IBM were correct, at least with regard to timing. Starting Wednesday, the message board at Alliance@IBM, a site manned by former IBM employees, was full of posts from people saying (anonymously) that they had been laid off. More accurately, most said they had been “RA’d,” which is IBM parlance for Resource Action, but which means — you got it — laid off.
On Tuesday the site posted this:
The Alliance@IBM is receiving information from employees that a “resource action” or mass job cut will start Wednesday, January 28 in the US and Canada. A resource action is already taking place in Australia. We do not know how many will be cut in the US but it could be thousands.
And sure enough, Wednesday morning saw the start of a series of posts from people claiming to be affected employees. One example:
14 year IBMer resourced today. Last day Feb 27. Age 58. C&N/Legal group. Outstanding performer downgraded to strong performer (i.e.2)for last PBC. Directly closed over $100M in contracts past QTR. Standard package. Lump sum payment equivalent to one week of pay for each fully completed six months of service based on most recent date of hire, with a minimum of two weeks and up to a maximum of 26 weeks. 6 months transition for medical. -Ex-C&N-IBMer.
IBM, like HP and other traditional IT companies have struggled to adapt to a changing world of IT implementation. In this era, as more companies are putting more applications and data on shared cloud infrastructure there is a whole new sales, more incremental sales model. Gone are the days when thousands of big companies upgraded thousands of servers every few years. The reliance on outside SaaS and cloud providers meant smaller hardware and softwares sales into those shops. Adding insult to injury, most of these big cloud server farms don’t run high-end, name-brand hardware of the type that paid the bills for IBM and the others.
HP has been lopping big numbers of jobs for years now –the last I recall came in May when HP said it would  nix up to 16,000 jobs, bringing total HP layoffs since Meg Whitman took the reins in September 2011 to 50,000. IBM has been making smaller cuts but also relying on attrition and other tactics to slim down. One insider told me late last year, that if the fourth quarter numbers didn’t add up, big “HP style cuts” would come to IBM.
Looks like that may be happening.
In a follow up to his original post predicting a massive 26 percent headcount cut, Robert Cringely (aka Mark Stephens) noted that he never said IBM would “lay off 110,000″ people but would do whatever it took to get rid of that number of employees.
Reached for comment, an IBM spokesman repeated what the company has said in the past: That it is…
aggressively positioning itself for continued leadership in cloud, analytics, mobile, security, social and cognitive computing, and… investing in and staffing these priority areas. This is not new news. IBM announced a $600 million workforce rebalancing charge in 4Q, 2014 … and this means realigning our client teams to provide an optimal mix of skills, so that we can continue to improve service levels, enhance productivity and keep our clients well positioned for the future.
There was one high-profile departure from IBM that was likely not part of this culling: Lance Crosby, former CEO of SoftLayer who became the top IBM cloud guy after Big Blue bought SoftLayer in July 2013, has left the company.

Monday, 26 January 2015

IBM ConnectED 2015 Live will be launched! | IdoNotes (and sleep)

Who is still buying anything from IBM? They are not even broadcasting the Lotusphere 2015 OGS. WTF?

IBM ConnectED 2015 Live will be launched!

Tags :   

IBM has confirmed (so far) there is no livestream of the IBM Connect 2015 Opening General Session (OGS) so Carl Tyler and myself need to launch IBM ConnectED 2015 Live again.
IBM Connect Live

This is our seventh year of providing you our commentary on everything going on in the OGS along with live pictures as we find them. 

You can access the live commentary for 2015 right here and even on your mobile devices 

Carl Tyler and myself are backat 8am EST to live blogging opinions of the OGS at IBM ConnectED 2015 and Lotusphere.  We include live Twitter streams based on the hashtag as well as Flick and YouTube integration 

Why not join the thousands of unique visitors we get each and every year that join us for watching the Opening General Session? You may also utilize the iPhone interface here

Also make sure you visit Carl Tyler's blog and Epilio as a way to say thanks for all the work over the years on this database 

Also subscribe to InstagramFlickr and YouTube for all my pictures and videos. - See more at: http://www.idonotes.com/IdoNotes/idonotes.nsf/dx/ibm-connected-2015-live-will-be-launched.htm#sthash.EvXOWAVT.dpuf

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