By all evidence, we are not yet dealing with maturing technologies that, after having sparkled for a half-decade, are now in the process of fizzling out." Larry Ellison? Marc Andreessen? Bill himself? No. That quote is from Fed chief Alan Greenspan speaking before economists in New York last month. Greenspan was talking about the use of technology to drive productivity increases, which, in turn, can drive or revive a staggering economy. If he was looking for some concrete examples of technologies that are continuing to be propelled forward, maybe he should spend some time with the analysts at eWeek Labs.
This weeks issue has our first independent review of the Tux 2.0 Web server from Red Hat. While you can read the details, the final result is a true performance breakthrough. Describing something as having revolutionary performance can sound as trite as chasm crossing or paradigm shifting, but Tux 2.0 does set a new standard. How fast is it? On the test server, the analysts had to downgrade the server from four processors to two because Tux went so fast on the four-way that analysts were unable to push it to the limit.
In the Web server business, you can never be fast enough, secure enough or sufficiently scalable. While much of the news of the week might focus on Oracles introduction of its 9i database or the upcoming TechEd conference from Microsoft, it is often the performance gains made by smaller companies that lead the technology parade. And there is still a long way to go before companies fully exploit the technologies just now developing.
Speaking at an industry conference last week, IBMs Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president of technology and strategy for the companys Server Group, noted that, in an IBM-sponsored study, 93 percent of the companies have started using the Internet in part of their business, but only 20 percent have moved past the early stages of implementing it into their infrastructures.
"E-business helps businesses do what they do better," Wladawsky-Berger said. "It helps them save money, it helps them better serve their customers, and it helps them to better integrate their organizations."
While it is good to provide studies on technology implementation, it is even more important to help companies with the return-on-investment analysis needed to justify equipment expenditure in these tight times. For an example of a vendor providing just that type of help, take a look at Paula Musichs article on Concord Communications eROI calculator software.
Maybe we can combine a really scaled-up version of the Concord product running on the Tux server to run an eROI for the entire economy and provide Chairman Greenspan with the numbers he needs to prove that the technology spark does indeed hold the promise of a revived economy.