Archives for September 2010
Donut – supposed food consisting of high fat and sugar content dough, deep fried in unhealthy corn oil, rolled in crystallised sugar or some other sugar-derived coating. Often filled with additional fat, sugar and colourings known as “jam” or “custard” (when they aren’t anything of the sort).
Typically known as either “food of the gods” for its ability to create irresistible desire to eat as many as possible or,
The most correct definition “heart attack in a bun” because of it’s massively high saturated fat content and contribution to your constantly increasing weight problem. Because it comes without a wrapper, it has no health warning to remind you that you are an idiot to eat it.
Cisco Press does sell PDF versions of the Cisco Press textbooks from their website at ciscopress.com but they are all protected with Adobe DRM.
Cisco Press is published by Pearson Corporation who is one of the big five publishers who believe that all their customers are potential criminals and should not be allowed to use their product without preventing access to it. And we are rewarded with books in PDF format that are “protected” by Adobe DRM.
Adobe DRM is crap
It’s not that DRM is crap, its that the software which unlocks the DRM is crap. Anyone who has used the IP Expert study materials or any version of the Adobe Reader with the DRM enabled, can tell you how absolutely crap the software is.
- On Windows the software crashes regularly.
- On MAC OSX it runs slow and crashes even more often.
- It requires online access for various parts of the licensing
- It uses a lot of memory and causes your computer to run slowly
- You can’t read many files it on MAC OSX or Linux
- You can’t use the files on iPad, iPhone, Android or any other device. Period
So, the DRM solution is crap, and comes from Adobe who is a company with a reputation for poor quality software such as Flash and Acrobat Reader – need I say more. So my recommendation is NEVER buy anything that has Adobe DRM on it because you will be unhappy from day one. Therefore, don’t buy Cisco Press textbooks from the Cisco Press website.
The Good News – There is a Better Way.
If you are a Safari user for O’Reilly you can buy any Cisco Press text book in PDF format that is DRM free. Note: although it is DRM free, it is clearly watermarked on every page like this:
And the occasional page is marked with a gray watermark in the back.
This means that I can use Preview on my MAC, and Good Reader or iBooks on my iPad to read the textbooks.
Note that this PDF version can be used on ANY computer, and any device that you might use in the future (the iPad might not be here forever) since the PDF format is just about universal format for reading fixed format.
Here how you buy one from within Safari Online:
Not available from O’Reilly
You should note that this is not available from OReilly website. You must be a Safari subscriber to get access to this.
IBM buys Blade Networks
IBM has “run for the stack” as customers ask for end to end guarantees for servers and networking in the data center. With Cisco and HP playing the FUD card and telling customers that only a single vendor solution can guarantee the next generation of blade servers and networks, IBM has been forced into delivering their own switch.
Why note Brocade ?
Hard to tell, but some guesses:
- Brocade bought Foundry two years ago, and still no new products of note. Ergo, their ethernet products aren’t up to much.
- Brocade’s share price is falling most of the time. Thus everyone else thinks they haven’t got much
- Brocade continue to think they are market titans and didn’t want a reasonable deal.
IBM isn’t returning to Networking, yet
What seems clear is that IBM does NOT want to build a networking division. By purchasing the smallest switch vendor that is focussed on just one tiny market segment for a rumoured $400 million, IBM aren’t taking on HP and Cisco. So Uncle John gets his wish to keep selling Cisco gear to IBM customers, but with a little bit of fear that IBM could change their mind anytime.
That’s a good way to keep the business relationship level, don’t you think ?
Blade Networks makes switches that live inside the blade server backplane, and some top of rack, but not so much the backbone. Although, it wouldn’t take much to make a simple Layer2 switch with lots of ports, it’s all the rage with the VMware kids right now ( until they find out it doesn’t work quite the way they expect ). Oh, and HP has been kicking Blade Networks out of bed since buying 3Com and thus half (?) their revenue was going away. So, IBM will continue its love in with Cisco, selling Cisco WAN and Security gear, and packaging up juicy profitable services on all of Cisco’s satellite product divisions such as IP Video Surveillance, Smart Grid, Teleconference etc.
What does it mean ?
I think Cisco’s Nexus 7000 switches become further niched into the VCE stack and have less relevance in the open market. Without HP and IBM using them to connect 10GbE ports from servers, sales volumes are going to be low. And the Nexus 7K is not ready for 40GB / 100GB due to silicon problems (possibly both manufacture and design issues due to slow corporate process). This means that innovation on Nexus7K will slow down as product investment will match sales volumes. Impact ? The NX7K will get even further behind the innovation curve.
Since they haven’t upset Cisco, IBM will continue to sell professional services as their primary focus and hardware sales remains as loss leader. Hur, what else is new.
And we will wait a few more weeks to see the next consolidation move in Networking Industry. HP needs a firewall / security product of some sort, and maybe will buy a wireless company to own the technology. DELL needs an entire networking stack – at least a data centre partner such as Force10 Networks.
The EtherealMind View
Cisco has been vulnerable to this sort of attack for some time. Making large profit margins meant that other companies were going to attack them and their customers eventually. What isn’t clear yet is what the new Cisco will look like ? Will Cisco look like IBM with a full stack of sales and professional services (and limited resellers partnerships) in lots of vertical markets ? Or more like HP with a “we’ll sell you anything at a good price” ( with lots of reseller partners ) in any market ?
And what happens to resellers and customers who are caught in the market transition ?
Interesting times perhaps but still not as interesting as the last Networking consolidation in 1998. This is just the same thing over again, with bigger numbers.