News from the North …

ClearPath Forward4 minutes readDec 17th, 2013
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Christmas is nearly here again so it’s time to catch up with what’s going on at SantaPrise and its IT division, SantaSystems. I met the CIO Elf Tietokone recently and, after a sauna and a glass or two of glögg, he told me what has been going on during the year – and a very busy time it has been.

Loyal readers of this column will recall that we had conducted two Advisory Services last year: an Appraisal and a TCO assessment. Elf brought me up to date with some of the developments resulting from our recommendations and experiences during the year.

The recommendation to automate DR more fully had already been completed before Christmas last year. There were no system problems but one DR was invoked when a reindeer chewed through a communications cable, causing a temporary outage. There was no noticeable service interruption so the enhanced automation worked perfectly. The combination of reliable systems and high levels of automation continue to deliver world-class availability.

Our other major suggestions were concerned with development processes. We had made recommendations for proof-of-concept projects for Eclipse, Java and AB Suite. Elf said that the projects had been carried out during the quiet period after Christmas and had been very useful.

As a result, ABSuite is being used for new developments in the Libra-based factory and warehouse management systems. Java has been selected for Dorado-based developments, with JProcessors installed in the test and development platforms. Production use is expected next year. Eclipse is now the IDE for all development apart from ABSuite. The results so far have been very encouraging, with higher programmer productivity. The exciting scale of SantaPrise’s IT environment and the innovation it demonstrates has attracted some recent elf graduates from the nearby University of Oulu.

Pausing only to pass me another ginger biscuit, Elf then told me about experiences during the past year and what he is planning to do as a result of them

The record sales of mobile devices have, as anticipated, led to a number of attacks on the systems. There have been no security breaches of any consequence as the public-facing Dorado systems are rock-solid, as are the factory systems. But Elf is concerned about the other platforms.

As a result, he is now planning to consolidate a number of the more critical Windows and Linux systems onto a Forward! by UnisysTM platform. He says that the fabric architecture and the security features, including s-Par® and Unisys StealthTM, will greatly ease his security concerns.

He wants to enhance data analytics. The systems collect a vast amount of data, which he believes could make a considerable difference to planning manufacturing and client relationships. As an example of the latter, he would like to know which of the naughty children are getting better and therefore deserve presents.

Route planning has been a problem, in spite of the super computer that has been used. Last year, Santa’s route was not as well planned as it should have been. He therefore had to go very fast to get round all the houses. Although he succeeded because time slowed down, there were unfortunate consequences. His already considerable mass increased uncomfortably and he suffered a nasty attack of the Fitzgerald Contraction, putting him in bed for a few days on his return. This was no Ho! Ho! Ho! matter, as he told Elf in the post-Christmas what-did-we-learn meeting.

Elf is now planning to investigate a number of alternative data analysis tools and is considering how they could be deployed in a Forward! fabric, and ways to access all the relevant data. The engineers have also suggested fitting streaming telemetry devices into the reindeers’ red noses.

That’s about it for this year!

Hyvää Joulua ja Onnelista Uutta Vuotta from Santa, Elf Tietokone and all at SantaPrise!

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