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How Do Web Performance Issues Impact Your Life Online?Case Details

 

Closed: 24 Dec 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

We've all seen the digital panic that ensues when a massive service like Gmail or Facebook goes down for even a small portion of users. Smaller versions of the same thing take place every day with services that are less widely adopted but just as important to the people who rely on them. It doesn't even take an outage to cause problems — frequent slowdowns and interruptions can quickly cause a massive productivity traffic jam. With the degree to which we live our lives and do our work online, service problems are much more than a minor inconvenience, and at the wrong moment can be a disaster.

So we want to know: how does this impact the way you use the web? Are you prepared for interruptions in the online apps and services you use most? Have you ever abandoned an app for spotty performance, or adopted one specifically for its reliability? We're looking for everything in the way of insights, anecdotes and ideas about performance issues online.

You can share your responses on the Insight Community. Remember, if you have a Techdirt account, then you're already a member and can head on over to the case page to submit your insights.

One best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

0 Insights

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How Do You Manage The Performance And Reliability Of Web Apps And Services?Case Details

 

Closed: 27 Nov 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

For providers of online apps and services, great success equals great responsibility. As users come to rely on something, the consequences of it failing become dire, and the importance of maintenance and performance monitoring grows.

So Techdirt and our sponsor New Relic have a question for all the developers, entrepreneurs, technicians and others out there: how do you tackle this challenge? Not only does a growing user base make it more important to closely track the performance of a web app, it makes it more difficult too. How do you make sure your service is running smoothly? How do you identify major failures or performance issues as they happen? What are the biggest challenges therein, and what tools do you use to overcome them? We're also interested in any feedback you have on New Relic's own performance monitoring tools.

In exchange for your insights, we're offering some perks. Firstly, anyone who signs up for New Relic and installs the service will receive a free Nerd Life t-shirt. The basic account is free and comes with a 14 day trial of the pro service, and there's no commitment or credit card required.

Additionally, one best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

1 Insight

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Performance Matters: Share Your Insights On Web & Mobile App Hosting For A Chance To WinCase Details

 

Closed: 13 Oct 2013, 11:59PM PT

The top insight will receive a one-year Watercooler Subscription on Techdirt

No matter how useful, unique or fun and online application is, nobody's going to use it if it doesn't perform well. But as these applications scale, it gets harder and harder for developers to keep track of their performance and identify bottlenecks before they become critical. On today's web, noticing a problem only after users have reported it is too late.

New Relic, a powerful application performance monitoring tool, aims to make this challenge easier, and is seeking input from developers and startups involved in the design and operation of web and mobile services. In a series of Insight Community cases, we'll be gathering insights from Techdirt readers, with prizes for the best responses.

This month, we're starting with an open question: what are your experiences with app hosting online? We're interested to know where, how and why various apps for web and mobile are hosted, what works and what doesn't, and what the biggest ongoing challenges are when it comes to deploying a reliable, high-performance app or service. If you try out the New Relic service and share specific insights based on what you discover, even better!

In exchange for your insights, we're offering some perks. Firstly, anyone who signs up for New Relic and installs the service will receive a free Nerd Life t-shirt. The basic account is free and comes with a 14 day trial of the pro service, and there's no commitment or credit card required.

Additionally, one best response chosen by New Relic and the Techdirt editorial team will receive a free one-year Watercooler subscription on Techdirt (regular price $50). The subscription includes access to the Crystal Ball and the Insider Chat, plus five monthly First Word/Last Word credits, and can be applied to your own Techdirt account or gifted to someone else.

The case will be open for four weeks, with the best response announced shortly afterwards. We look forward to your insights!

2 Insights

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Everyone Offers Collaboration Software, But Who Really Needs It?Case Details

 

Closed: 30 Sep 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Enterprise 2.0 has been a catch-all description for the shift towards better collaborative software tools that help groups communicate in real time to increase employee productivity.  As part of this movement, IBM sees a progression away from a world centered on emails using Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Supporting this idea, IBM has a whitepaper entitled: "Collaboration 2.0 -- Taking Collaboration to the Next Level: From the E-mail and Document-centric World of 'Enterprise 1.0' to the People-centric World of Enterprise 2.0".  Register to read it, and IBM would like your feedback on it.

Download the whitepaper here.

Interesting critiques of this whitepaper include, but are not limited to, questions such as:

  • How can this whitepaper target its audience better?
  • What specific business communities would benefit most from employing Collaboration 2.0 tools?
  • How could this whitepaper be improved?  What points could be added? 
  • Given the recent demise of Google Wave, what lessons can be learned for collaboration software providers?

The type of insights we're looking for will generate useful discussions regarding the capabilities of collaboration tools.  You can also tell us about your experiences using collaboration tools (what you like or don't like about them).  Additionally, you can help us out by sharing this whitepaper with others and aggregating feedback on it.  Ultimately, we're interested in creating an interesting collection of opinions (and factoids) for folks who might be evaluating various online collaboration apps.  We may re-print your submissions as blog posts on other websites, and your insightful aphorisms may be quoted in future publications.    

The topic of this Insight Community case is sponsored by IBM. Of course, the content of this case consists entirely of the thoughts and opinions of the author(s) and not of IBM.

14 Insights

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Looking For Feedback On IT Innovation ResourcesCase Details

 

Closed: 30 May 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

As you know, we've been running the ITInnovation.com tab within Techdirt since last year, sponsored by Sun (now Oracle) and Intel.  We've had a series of fascinating discussions within blog posts and webinars during that time.  We've also continued to regularly refresh the IT Innovation Resource Center, which includes a rotating list of useful tools and white papers provided either by us or the sponsors of IT Innovation.

We'd like to get some feedback and insight into the quality of these resources and how they might be improved upon.  Listed below are six currently available white papers in the Resource Center.  If you are familiar with these topics (i.e., you work in IT), please review the white papers and write up your insights and comments on the whitepapers: what's good about them, what could be improved, what would make them more useful, etc.  You are free to provide insights on as many of the white papers as you would like, but we ask that you submit insights on each white paper as a separate insight, rather than combining them into a single response.

  • Best Practices for Managing Datacenter Costs via Application and Server Consolidation

    Server sprawl, software licensing fees, and facilities costs are sending datacenter operational expenses through the roof at a time when every penny is being scrutinized. As a result, low utilization rates and wasted power/cooling resources are no longer acceptable, and smart companies are looking to consolidation and virtualization to trim expenses and increase operating efficiency.

  • Why Solid-State Drives Usage Scenarios Are Expanding for the Datacenter

    To accomplish the objectives of making more-efficient use of IT resources, lowering power consumption, and reducing operating expenses, many companies are turning to server consolidation and virtualization efforts—endeavors that increase server CPU utilization and reduce the number of discrete servers in a datacenter.

  • The New Economics of Midsize Enterprise Computing: Oracle’s Sun Systems Based on the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series

    Midsize companies often face the same competitive pressures as large-scale enterprises. However, they may not possess the resources and staff to invest heavily in complex computing systems. Yet it’s critical for IT organizations within these companies to ensure that they have the strongest, most expandable systems in place, so that their companies have the requisite flexibility to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, roll out new products and services in shorter cycles, and become more effective competitors.

  • New Blades and Networking Solutions Ensure Solid Return on Investment

    Traditionally, when companies need more computing power to deal with expanding amounts of data, they increase the number of servers, the number of compute cores per server, and the memory capacity of each server. Today’s high-powered blade servers save space and help enable significant gains in computing performance, especially when workloads are consolidated efficiently and datacenter resources are utilized most effectively. To accommodate this increase in capacity, however, the network infrastructure carrying the data must also be upgraded.

  • Reassessing Server Costs for Midsize Companies

    Most companies keep their servers for three to five years—a time frame that seems reasonable given current economic conditions. Despite the savings this would seem to imply, however, extending server life in the datacenter in this way may not be the best strategy, even in the toughest economic times.

  • Oracle Solaris Operating System — Optimized for the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 and 7500 series

    This document is intended as a technical guide for developers and system administrators that want to understand the precise details of how Oracle® Solaris and the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 and 7500 series can improve your application solution environment.

     

     

20 Insights

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Propose a Webinar On Building A Business Case For IT InvestmentsCase Details

 

Closed: 3 Feb 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $500 for Insights on this case.

Sun and Intel are interested in holding a webinar around the topic of building a business case for IT investments -- specifically for server datacenters. They are looking for experts to be featured in a 1-hour online webinar that will be broadcast live in mid-February (exact time to be determined). A 1-hour practice run will also be required prior to the broadcast date.

We are looking for you to submit proposals that would describe a webinar topic that you would be willing to discuss. If your topic is chosen, then you will then need to be available to participate in the online webinar, hosted by Techdirt's Mike Masnick.

The potential topics that we are interested in are:

  1. An overview of the major factors behind IT investment decisions
  2. Justifications that can turn a "nice to have" project into a "need to have" datacenter project
  3. Success stories about long-term datacenter development strategies
  4. Lessons learned from previous datacenter investment decisions
  5. Mistakes to avoid for major IT investments

Your proposal does not have to deal with all of these topics; these are suggestions meant to serve as a guide.

In your proposal, please include:

  • The headline of your proposed webinar.
  • A description for the webinar that you would run.
  • A description of how a Sun or Intel representative might interact with you during your presentation.

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

1 Insight

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Submit A Webinar Proposal On IT Productivity MetricsCase Details

 

Closed: 13 Jan 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $500 for Insights on this case.

Sun and Intel are interested in holding a webinar around the topic of IT productivity metrics. They are looking for experts to be featured in a 1-hour online webinar that will be broadcast live on January 19th (01/19/2010). A 1-hour practice run will also be required prior to the broadcast date.

We are looking for you to submit proposals that would describe a webinar topic that you would be willing to discuss. If your topic is chosen, then you will then need to be available to participate in the online webinar, hosted by Techdirt's Mike Masnick.  For examples of past proposals, the previous webinar topic available here.

The potential topics that we are interested in are:

  1. An overview of best practices for improving datacenter productivity.
  2. What metrics are most valuable to your organization for monitoring datacenter productivity?
  3. How do you measure lost productivity from your datacenter hardware?
  4. Describe how your organization benefitted from adopting a metric of productivity that you had not monitored before.
  5. How can an organization prioritize its datacenter resources for increasing productivity?

Your proposal does not have to deal with all of these topics; these are suggestions meant to serve as a guide.

In your proposal, please include:

  • The headline of your proposed webinar.
  • A description for the webinar that you would run.
  • A description of how a Sun or Intel representative might interact with you during your presentation.

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

1 Insight

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IT Predictions for 2010 And BeyondCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

As 2010 looms, we're continuing our series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations. We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

For this case, we're looking for your predictions for the upcoming year for data centers or IT management.  What changes do you anticipate for 2010?  What are you most looking forward to?  What trends from 2009 will really pick up in 2010?  What events are you planning for in 2010?  These are just a few of the questions we'd like to see answered.  It's hard to look into the crystal ball and predict the future with certainty, so if you want to evaluate past predictions and correct the predictions of popular IT pundits, feel free to do that, too.  Our main goal is to try to offer an insightful and practical outlook for the year ahead. 

This case isn't necessarily restricted to just 2010, either.  If you have predictions for the distant future, please share your thoughts on what you think will happen in the next decade and beyond as well.

7 Insights

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A Look Back At 2009 For ITCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

We're continuing our series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations. We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

As the end of the year approaches, we're looking for your views regarding significant trends or events that happened in 2009 that will affect (or have already affected) data centers or IT management.  If you have a list of the "top 10" IT milestones for 2009, that would be great.  But if you only think there was *one* major event, and you'd like to delve into that topic -- we're open to that discussion, too.

If you're really ambitious, an overview of the past decade could be interesting as well.  Looking back at the past can help everyone plan for the future, so recent lessons from the past year (or even the last few years) could be enlightening.  How has the financial crisis affected the IT landscape?  How does the current environment compare to the dot-com bust?  What were the most game-changing products/services/concepts that were introduced in the recent past?  These are just a few of the topics we'd love to hear your opinions on....

4 Insights

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Picking The Right Spot For A Data CenterCase Details

 

Closed: 16 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

If you haven't noticed, we're starting an ongoing series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations.  We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

So for this case's topic, we'd like to delve into the subject of picking a data center location. We're not too interested in lengthy narratives about horror stories in selecting a server farm back in 1998.  But that's not to say we don't want to hear your personal experiences.  We're just aiming more for concise, non-generic advice that might help your fellow IT gurus (or gurus in training).  A few hundred words should suffice.

If you're not exactly a writer, you could submit something like a mashed-up map for where data center locations are optimally located -- just as long as your contribution is relevant and useful.  A picture can be worth a thousand words -- and is sometimes more illustrative of a point.  

And this topic isn't restricted only to geographic factors.  There are likely a multitude of reasons for choosing a data center, and we'd like to hear what you think are some of the most important.  

 

7 Insights

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Navigating The New Business World After This RecessionCase Details

 

Closed: 16 Sep 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

The usual economic indicators suggest things aren't getting worse as fast as before, and the more cautious forecasters are offering some less-than-optimistic predictions of a long road ahead for recovery. Several analysts (in reports from McKinsey Quarterly, Harvard Business Review and the like) point out that business has fundamentally changed and that the current downturn is not simply part of a regular business cycle. On the upside, though, the preceding decades have developed an incredible collection of enabling technologies that businesses may have only scratched the surface of -- which have laid the foundations for future long-term economic growth.

In this environment, employees look for real leadership and direction from their corporate executives. So this case sponsor, HP, is looking to inspire forward-looking discussions with essays aimed at executive level managers. We're looking for insightful articles that may help guide executives towards success during uncertain times. What does an executive need to do or need to know to be more effective nowadays? What does the future of business look like? How can an organization thrive under pressure? What innovative technologies or services will help companies stay competitive? What techniques can be used to motivate and promote innovation? How can workflows be optimized to be smarter, more efficient and productive? These are just some example starting topics to give you a general sense of what we're looking for -- we're not expecting point-by-point answers. We encourage unique (and even entertaining) submissions on related topics.

The best insights will be used as posts on an HP website that will be announced later. Please submit essays that are at least 500 words in length.

UPDATE: The sponsor is more accurately "HP Enterprise" -- so the target audience is specifically executives and decision makers (CEOs, CFOs, COOs, etc) at large companies.

13 Insights

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Propose a Webinar for Enterprise Knowledge ManagementCase Details

 

Closed: 2 Jul 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $500 for Insights on this case.

Sun and Intel are interested in holding a webinar around the topic of Enterprise Knowledge Management for their site, MidMarket Innovators.  They are looking for experts to be featured in this online webinar, so this case is a little different in that sense. 

We are looking for you to submit proposals that would describe a webinar topic that you would be willing to discuss.  If your topic is chosen, then you will then need to be available to participate in the 1-hour online webinar, hosted by Techdirt's Mike Masnick.  You can see the previous webinars here to get a sense of what has been done before.

The potential topics that they are interested in are:

  1. What does “enterprise knowledge management” mean to you?
  2. How is this strategy/approach evolving?  10 years ago?  10 years from now?
    • How have advances in technology over the last 3-5 years made it easier for organizations to implement Knowledge Management?
  3. How does technology supplement the business strategy?  How does IT support/contribute?  What is the role of technology?
  4. How are the solutions that Sun & Intel are bringing to market contribute to “enterprise knowledge management”?
    • New Sun Servers based on Xeon 5500?  Performance, Energy Efficiency & Virtualization Capabilities.  These new servers allow IT to replace 9 old single core x86 servers with one new Sun/Xeon 5500 server.  IT can see a payback in less than one year.
    • Software – How does software & software usage models factor into these solutions?  For Sun Software – Sun & Intel have been working together to optimize Java, MySQL & Solaris for Intel processors.
  5. What are the metrics and business benefits that organizations should expect from Knowledge Management?

Your proposal does not have to deal with all of these topics, these are merely suggestions.

In your proposal, please include:

  • The headline of your proposed webinar.
  • A description for the webinar that you would run.

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

11 Insights

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Rethinking Print In A Technological EraCase Details

 

Closed: 27 May 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

 

The business of print has always been a risky one. While the printing press made it much cheaper to print, there were still significant fixed costs involved. In order to make it economically feasible to print something, you had to make sure there were enough buyers, which involved significant forecasting. There were also significant costs associated with setting up each print run, such that it wasn't economically reasonable to do really custom work. Thankfully, in the past few decades advances in various technologies have made it cheaper and cheaper -- even as the rise of the internet has led many to write off the opportunities for print publishing, and even suggest that paper was dying.

Yet, what if that same trends, of ever decreasing technology costs combined with increasing quality and internet connectivity, enable a new era of print? These trends have the ability to enable things that simply couldn't be done before. We're seeing the beginnings of this with print-on-demand and self-publishing services, but where does it go from here? How far will these technology trends take us in creating totally new opportunities for print? When it's easy and cost effective to not just self-publish, but *micro-publish* suddenly the entire stream of possibilities becomes different. A photographer can publish a special magazine for every attendee at a wedding (even with the attendee's photo customized to be on the front). Or a novelist can let fans buy each chapter to be delivered fresh each month (or week!) as she finishes it. A textbook maker can create a totally customizable textbook, listing out a series of chapters online, allowing professors/teachers/students to create their own combination based on what works best for them.

And those are just a few starter ideas. HP is sponsoring this conversation (with more info at futureofprint.com) about how these trends will enable all sorts of new possibilities and business models. What new opportunities will be enabled thanks to ever cheaper print-on-demand offerings that combine customization, high quality and the connectivity of the internet? What new businesses may spring out of this convergence? What new hobbies, side projects, cultural artifacts? We're looking for creative thinking on where these trends will take us and what they'll enable.

28 Insights

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