By unixman on Jun 10, 2009
This week I am attending an annual insurance industry event, IASA 2009, in Orlando, Florida. On behalf of Sun Microsystems, I had teamed up with Paul Dolbec, along with our colleagues from CSC, to represent the joint partnership between Sun and CSC at this important business conference. The event ran from Sunday through Wednesday, and like many other events of this type had a few components: educational sessions, CIO/CFO roundtable and an exhibit hall. While the exhibit hall was bustling with vendors, various interesting sessions added to the true flavor of the event. Keynotes included great speakers such as Michael Eisner, Joe Theismann and Steve Gilliland. The conference was interesting in that, for me, it offered an opportunity to further understand the insurance industry, the challenges of regulations that touch various aspects of accounting and taxation, as well as the ever-growing impact of IT. At the CSC booth that we put together, we were showcasing Sun's ultra-thin client technologies, demonstrating mobility with security through the use of smart-card technologies across the Sun Ray devices that we had installed at the booth. The setup, for the event's purposes, involved utilising a laptop pre-loaded with VMware ESX, running 2 virtual machines - one running Microsoft Windows XP and the other VM running Solaris 10. We had a number of simple demos setup that demonstrated the ability to rotate through individual desktop experiences serving either a Windows or a Solaris desktop. (I am obliged to acknowledge Keith Cantrel for his assistance (during, what I imagine would've been a quiet Sunday afternoon for him otherwise) remotely hacking through a directory corruption issue that helped get us back up online). Thank you, Keith!!
The impact of having to reduce costs on the desktop as desktop refresh cycles come about can be tremendous, particularly when paying attention to the fact that these devices draw only about ~7 watts of power, do not have an OS that has to be managed on them and in the process appeal to use-cases such as being used in call-centers, for disaster recovery purposes, pandemic planning and remote/on-boarding process.
As an example, CSC had been deploying Sun Ray's through their Desktop Anywhere program for quite some time now. For details, take a look here
So how does this relate to the concept of new era in computing? (Ah, the plot begins to emerge!) Just as technology continues on its path of evolution, the ultra-thin computing continues to be identified as a viable and mature opportunity for cost savings on the desktop. If this is music to your ears, as it is to many of our existing customers, then I'd like to invite you to take a listen to Nova Era - a group of professional musicians I had met last evening after the conference, while strolling along at Downtown Disney. Turns out they've been performing with Disney since the late 90's. I was amazed at the sound quality and their live performance - had an opportunity to meet and talk with them in-person during a break in their performance, and was just pleased to realize that classical music lives on! Very, very cool!