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IT Channel News Briefs, Sept. 18

Today's headlines: Nortel plummets; IBM slashes virtual desktop storage requirements; Microsoft axes Jerry.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008.

In a slumping market, Nortel falls more than most

Nortel's shares outskidded the skidding markets Wednesday, plummeting 50% to $2.76, down $2.96 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. That left Nortel's market capitalization at $1.4 billion. During the dot-com boom, Nortel was valued at $375 billion, according to the Toronto Star.

For the past few years, Nortel has tried to recoup its power status, even taking on networking powerhouse Cisco while also trying put an accounting scandal behind it. It has slashed 4,000 jobs in two years. Now it expects sales to fall about 4% for the year. The company is looking into selling its Metro Ethernet Networks business.

IBM guts the virtual desktop data hog

New IBM software will cut the storage space eaten by virtual desktops by up to 80%, regardless of underlying storage system, IBM said at VMworld this week.

IBM's Virtual Storage Optimizer (VSO) is delivered on a virtual machine that sits between ESX and the Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) and redirects a user if a server becomes unavailable, reported VSO intercepts requests for new virtual machines, which normally would cause the underlying storage system to spawn another full clone of the virtual desktop template.

VSO applies an IBM-developed data deduplication algorithm to separate the virtual desktop template data from data unique to the particular instance of the desktop, such as temporary files, log files and Windows cache, said IBM researcher Andrzej Kochut. The template data is then removed and replaced with pointers to the original virtual desktop system image.

Microsoft: No more Seinfeld for you!

Well, that didn't last long. The promised "series" of Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates ads has come to a quick end, according to Valleywag and other media outlets. Microsoft's official stance is that this was the plan all along, but skeptics find it hard to believe that Microsoft paid $10 million to Seinfeld for what turned out to be two (or was it three?) commercials. One thing is agreed: Ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky got more ink out of this plan than its client. Is that how this is supposed to work?

RightScale promises to manage multiple 'clouds'

RightScale technology already manages Amazon EC2 cloud infrastructures and works with Rackspace's Mosso and CloudFS technology. Now it is adding support for cloud infrastructure from FlexiScale and GoGrid as well. FlexiScale is a British cloud computing provider that offers every customer its own virtual disk to ensure data segregation. GoGrid's hosted infrastructure lets VARs and other IT professionals create and deploy load-balanced cloud-based servers. RightScale announced this news at Interop New York this week.

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