Author: Charles King

Charles King, Pund-IT’s president and principal analyst, has deep communications expertise that makes him a valuable and trusted asset for clients. In addition, Charles regularly speaks with the mainstream and technical media on topics from emerging IT products to continuing market trends.

That continual technology evolution is typically considered in engineering terms is hardly a surprise. However, doing so obscures or ignores the practical benefits that the process delivers to consumers and businesses. For this latter group, substantial increases in performance and capabilities, combined with ever-lower costs highlight the driving force behind new system refresh plans and purchases. That’s obviously true for large and mid-sized enterprises, but small to medium businesses (SMBs) also stand to gain. In fact, while deep-pocketed enterprises are typically the first-movers in adopting new technologies, smaller companies also make the most of computing products that, not so long…

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IBM

Rapid fire changes are to be expected in the tech industry, along with rising/falling fortunes, unusual market developments and sudden turns in conventional wisdom. That said, it’s difficult to think of an area where radical shifts occur more frequently than top-end supercomputing and high-performance computing (HPC) installations. Such shifts are clear in the recently released Top500.org list of the world’s currently fastest supercomputers, which also celebrated the Top500 group’s 25th anniversary. Since the last Top500 report (November 2017) appeared barely half a year ago, some remarkable changes have taken occurred. Those include an all new #1 supercomputer, the emergence of…

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In PC’s, form tends to dominate function with pedestrian features dressed in progressively stylish wrappers to attract specific customers and audiences. It’s a longstanding, conventional approach and, in fact, the model has been in practice in consumer PC and electronics markets for decades. But it also differs considerably from thin clients where function leads or even dominates form. Why is that important? First and foremost, though many people regard general purpose PCs as ideal for productivity tasks and applications, there are critical differences separating “ideal” and “best” when it comes to the needs of businesses and other organizations. That point…

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The tech industry’s brightest spotlights tend to be fickle which is hardly surprising since marketing and self-promotion are often part of the game. But that doesn’t mean that real work and progress aren’t being accomplished on stage. That’s surely true in the case of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, especially those focusing on vertical-specific scenarios and use cases. Often called industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, these offerings are designed to simplify and streamline common functions in workplaces, like factories and manufacturing facilities and processes unique to specific verticals and sectors, including agriculture, automotive, oil/gas and pharmaceuticals. Industrial IoT and…

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The past year or so has delivered multiple lessons on IT security with a single conclusion: that whatever people, including individual consumers to business organizations to the IT vendors who serve them, have done or are doing, it isn’t enough. However challenging or even hopeless he situation may appear, it sets the scene for the new “silicon-level” security technologies and initiatives that Intel discussed last week at RSA 2018. The problem(s) with security Security solutions face two essential problems. First, computing endpoints, systems and networks have become so complex that the decades-old approach of deploying specialty perimeter solutions, from anti-virus…

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Laws mean different things to different people. For most, they are immutable structures demanding to be followed or strictures begging to be tested. For others, laws define the line separating conventional and unconventional behavior. For me, the most important (and, usually, the least discussed) aspect of law is predictability. In other words, laws clearly delineate expectable outcomes following certain events or behaviors. You “can’t drive ‘55”? Better start saving for a hefty fine and bail bond. Feel like selling strangers, neighbors or family members on a hot new pyramid scheme? Maybe a change of scenery for the next 5-10 years…

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“You can’t go home again” is an old truism whose veracity is more often absent than evident. Think of the Prodigal Son (or daughter). Not to mention the tens of thousands of kids still living with their folks due to clashes between their employment expectations and real-world costs. This isn’t to say that homeplace returnees won’t be subject to questioning: What did you learn when you were away? What are you bringing back with you? What do you expect your reception will be? And perhaps most importantly, how did things change while you were gone? These are valid points to…

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Over the past decade, the role of developers as agents of business and technological change qualifies as one of the tech industry’s biggest evolutionary shifts. It started with developers driving cloud computing and bring your own device (BYOD) adoption, then accelerated rapidly as organizations moved from massive, monolithic business applications to quickly created, continually evolving apps and mobile services. Not surprisingly, how and how well businesses support their developers can impact a company’s market position and its ability to compete. While there’s no single, unchanging approach to successfully facilitating developers, it’s important to track leading edge efforts. The latest evolution…

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The qualities required for business leadership, or leadership of any sort, aren’t exactly hard to come by. Forthrightness, taking responsibility for your own and your organization’s actions, respect for fellow workers, partners and customers, recognizing others’ contributions and bringing out the best in them—are all values one learns early on. If not, there are virtual mountains of books, slide decks and Ted Talks extolling and offering various takes on these well-worn issues. But in high tech today, these qualities are all too often recognized by their absence. The industry lionizes entrepreneurs and “innovators” even when they veer off the rails…

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Energy efficiency hasn’t always been a big deal for high performance computing (HPC) and supercomputing customers. In fact, for the first four decades (beginning in the early 1960s) that supercomputers were commercially produced, HPC owners were far more concerned with systems’ computational capabilities than the electrical energy they consumed. That was partly due to the unique value of those calculations when custom-built systems like the Cray CDC 6600 (delivered in 1964) took on highly complex jobs and performed them faster than ever before. In addition, the price of supercomputers limited interest in the systems to any but the deepest-pocketed large…

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