Stories by Robert L. Mitchell

Intel's Barrett warns IT execs on brain drain

In a wide-ranging keynote at Gartner's IT Expo, Intel chief executive officer, Craig Barrett, cautioned the audience of corporate IT professionals that their companies risked falling behind global competitors if they didn't ramp up IT spending.

Converging comms raises tricky issues

Most IT professionals are used to the idea of wearing many hats, as tight budgets and lean staffing have forced them to take on more than one role within their departments. Now, technology changes are blurring the roles between IT and external groups as well.

Analysis: Task-centric storage takes the stage

Network Appliance's NearStore ushered in the era of using inexpensive, Advanced Technology Attached (ATA) disk arrays for disk-to-disk backup or secondary, near-line storage. The product, launched in March 2002, offers faster backup and recovery times at a cost per megabyte that's competitive with tape backup systems. Now vendors are rushing to add application-specific intelligence to ATA-based storage appliances that reduces application server workloads while offering more efficient ways to store and retrieve data.

Interview: The intentional programmer

Microsoft's former chief architect has started his own company and wants to transform the way software is designed. Charles Simonyi, Microsoft's former chief architect, recently left the software giant to co-found Intentional Software Corp. in Bellevue, Wash. The company is developing a notation editor that supports "intentional programming," an approach that embeds the program designer's intent with the code, making it understandable to programmers and nonprogrammers alike.

Metro Ethernet redux

Remember the metro-area Ethernet hype of a few years ago? Like most great ideas, it was based on a simple notion: Since nearly all data begins and ends its life in Ethernet frames, why not run Ethernet across the metro network rather than using services based on ATM and Sonet?

A template for Win 2K security

It's a bright Indian summer day in Manchester, N.H., but I won't need my sunglasses. On this day, I'm cloistered away with 21 IT professionals in a dark, windowless room at the local Holiday Inn for a hands-on tour of the Windows 2000 Professional Gold Standard security benchmark.

Innovation is the object

Innovation is a concept in danger of being permanently devalued by overuse and relegated to the realm of marketingspeak. As our Innovative Technologies special report in the following pages shows, what IT managers see as innovation has nothing to do with hype. It's all about making their companies run more effectively and efficiently.

Driving storage convergence

As senior vice president of engineering and chief technology officer at Network Appliance in Sunnyvale, Calif., Steven Kleiman is the visionary behind the vendor's storage technology agenda. Computerworld's Robert L. Mitchell talked with him about merging the worlds of storage-area networks (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS).

Preserving Web history

With 60 Web sites, 20,000 Web pages and approximately 100 page changes per month to manage, you would think that Chris Strout wouldn't dwell on the past. But Strout, Web site manager at Chicago-based insurance brokerage Aon Corp., says that preserving historical Web site information is critical to meeting his company's regulatory obligations.

GM caches out

Economic times may be uncertain, but that hasn't held back Tony Scott. As chief technology officer at General Motors Corp. and head of the company's Information Systems & Services group, he is pursuing IT infrastructure initiatives ranging from wireless LANs to content caching. Scott spoke with Computerworld's Robert L. Mitchell about GM's current and planned IT initiatives.

Backing up disk to disk

"My Access file is corrupt. Can you restore it for me?" Such common user requests can send administrators on a merry chase that includes digging through archived tapes, inserting the correct cartridge into the tape loader and then sequentially searching through it to restore the user's data. The process can easily take a half hour or more of an administrator's time.

NAS finds its niche

No longer seen as SAN's poor relative, today's network storage appliances are robust and capable. Network-attached storage (NAS) is quietly transitioning from an ad hoc, departmental storage add-on to a serious top-down enterprise storage resource.

Windows 2000 at one year

A year ago, a survey of Computerworld readers found that the No. 1 thing they wanted from Windows 2000 was stability - no more blue screens of death. Now, on the operating system's first anniversary, IT managers agree that Microsoft has delivered on its long-overdue promise of reliability.

Not Your Father's E-mail Server

Exchange 2000 Server, the successor to Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange Server 5.5, offers new bells and whistles that take the application well beyond its e-mail roots. It also offers many meat-and-potatoes improvements that administrators have been requesting. But Exchange 2000 is also not your typical upgrade.