Monday, April 11, 2011

Time for Assembled Servers ?

In India , most of the desktops other than used by corporates are not branded but configured and assembled by small companies or users themselves. As in many cases, Indian Market is unique and western business models may not suit for India.

For the past 3-4 years, there is shift from Desktops to Laptops for home/personal use due to reasons like- cost of laptops going down, easy portability and obviously more people joining in the middle class club. I have been thinking about a concept of assembled Laptops for some time, but that seems to be a distant reality due to practical challenges viz size and specific designs of internal hardware for each model.

But another big market in India which is growing and untapped in servers market. Following west, most of the big corporates go for branded servers and storage. Also DELL , Lenovo , HP are compete well in the Indian market with competitive pricing. Most of these branded servers are used by corporates serving foreign customers and Indian Biggies.

But when we take small and medium businesses which operate in Indian business model of less investment , low margin and a safer business, say spending INR 10 Lakhs for computer servers is a hard decision to make. Unless their customer forces or we see a immediate business benefit, we will not be ready to invest money in new technology. Even small software/web development firms with few dozen employees serving Foreign customers may go for 1 or 2 servers and try to utilize 90-100% to get most out of it.

After the recent initiative of opencompute, I believe this would be a Game changer for India. Though the cloud services market is big (amazon elastic cloud, Racksapce, microsfot azure etc) in US, AIRTEL , SIFY , TATA are also in the business of cloud in India. Recently TCS introduced TCSION as IT-As-A-Service for small and medium businesses. The one challenge I believe for Indian companies for cloud is internet speed. Broadband for home is still in 512 Kbps range and are lot expensive for very high speed and business use. All these cloud based offerings are good for medium and big companies with multiple branches, saving several overheads and costs. But still there is market where we need small servers to manage say a network of a dozen computers in a 3 floor super store , jewellery shop , a web development firm. In these cases a powerful desktop can manage this but when we consider additional applications (eg: web server with live updates on stock/price) business continuity, availability and more importantly security, the complexity begins. Most of small companies are privately owned and they do not want their sales info to be in a cloud which could be accessed by others. Also take a small datacenter in each small town serving dozen small shops/companies in the town (any fancy name like meta-cloud ?). This will create a new business model , many small businesses and more jobs (and not consolidation / big cloud/less jobs) which is needed for India. Even small businesses will give it a try as the data is stored in their vicinity and they can get into datacenter any time if they want.

If those small computer shops selling assembled desktop computers started assembling small servers, it will open up a big market and attract small companies to computerise when they see the cost of setting up a small server would be of 2-3 times the cost of a desktop. Since they provided even CAD designs of all racks and mounts, I believe its already in protype/production in coimbatore:) which is known for reverse engineering. My dream is to see businesses using complete open source based softwares. Now I dream a open compute businesses using open hardware and software with a freedom from licensing/restrictions.

Your thoughts on this and any further info on this ?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Two Successfull weeks @ Guadalajara, Mexico

I moved to Guadalajara, Mexico last Sunday after 18 months of life as a New yorker. Just felt like home with many similarities in infrastructure (just homes... ) , people, outskirts areas, except the language. English not gonna help anymore :( and I am learning a bit of Spanish through my pal Oswaldo. Here people are good and helping ! He took me to downtown yesterday and it just reminds me out Chennai!! A view from a parking garage in downtown.

A big mall in downtown. Similar to Burma bazaar !! home of all electronics , media and games. Nothing original !

All road side shops as we seen in bus stands of India !

North Mexican style dance @ a Mexican restaurant.

A music party in street !!

Public protest against privatisation of Govt. Oil company PEMEX.

This weekend, caught up in computer as usual!! And heavy rain and thunderstorm is not allowing me to go out!! But not to worry of cyclones. City is safe distance from hurricanes !

Wanna learn more about photography with my D40!! :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why not IT companies sponsor athelets ?

I was just watching 2008 Olympics live yesterday. China and US compete each other in every category. Why not we ?

We cannot expect a like Chinese dedicated sports schools or a huge funding, purchasing power and infrastructure like US. We need support from private/public companies to encourage sports. We do have banks and other public sector companies like Indian Railways encourage sports by providing honour jobs. Why not money rich Indian IT companies sponsor some athelets ?

I think the main reason would be no direct Return on Investment as other Corporate Social Responsibility activities which helps to project as a socially responsible company to get projects and awards like Golden peacock from president.

But when the IT companies saving hundreds of crores in name of SEZs, they can contribute some amount of it for sports by sponsoring some athletes. We should give back to the country and community from which all the money came from. Dont expect immediate return for each investment. Let us sow the seeds and water it. The future genaration will enjoy the shadow (Dialogue from the great movie Thevar magan)

Thoughts ?

Monday, July 02, 2007

What if u upgraded Girlfriend 5.0 to Wife 1.0

A fwd ;) just for time pass ..

Dear Tech Support Team:

Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 5.0 to Wife 1.0.I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child-processes that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activities.Applications such as BachelorNights 10.3, Cricket 5.0 , BeerWithBuddies 7.5 , and Outings 3.6 no longer runs, crashing the system whenever selected.

I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 5.0 , but the 'uninstall ' doesn't work on Wife 1.0.Please help!

Thanks,"A Troubled User "

REPLY: Dear Troubled User:This is a very common problem that people complain about.

Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 5.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING !!!

It is also impossible to delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 5.0.It is impossible to uninstall, or purge the program files from the system once installed. You cannot go back to Girlfriend 5.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed not to allow this. (Look in your Wife 1.0 Manual under Warnings-Alimony- Child Support) ..

I recommend that you keep Wife1.0 and work on improving the environment.I suggest installing the background application " Yes Dear" to alleviate software augmentation. The best course of action is to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway. Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean 2.5, Sweep 3.0, Cook 1.5 and DoLaundry 4.2. However, be very careful how you use these programs.

Improper use will cause the system to launch the program NagNag 9.5 . Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommendSarees 2.1 and Jewellery 5.0

STATUTORY WARNING : DO NOT, under any circumstances, install SecretaryWith Short Skirt 3.3. This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

Best of luck,
Tech Support ....

Friday, February 16, 2007

Go Kiss the World

I ve been reader of Bachi's 'Arbor Mentis' in business world... As a founder of an admiring company Mindtree.. his words are highly motivational... I am reading his first and recent book "The High Performance Entrepreneur". He explained the real entrepreneurship in simple words. I would suggest every one to read... One of his inspiring speech in IIM B for 2006 batch.. Let me start my dairy with his speech.

Go Kiss the World

by Subroto Bagchi, Chief Operating Officer, MindTree Consulting, India
Welcome Address by Subroto Bagchi, Chief Operating Officer, MindTree Consulting to the Class of 2006 on July 2, 2004 at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India on defining success.

I was the last child of a small-time government servant, in a family of five brothers. My earliest memory of my father is as that of a District Employment Officer in Koraput, Orissa. It was and remains as back of beyond as you can imagine. There was no electricity; no primary school nearby and water did not flow out of a tap. As a result, I did not go to school until the age of eight; I was home-schooled. My father used to get transferred every year. The family belongings fit into the back of a jeep - so the family moved from place to place and, without any trouble, my Mother would set up an establishment and get us going. Raised by a widow who had come as a refugee from the then East Bengal, she was a matriculate when she married my Father. My parents set the foundation of my life and the value system which makes me what I am today and largely defines what success means to me today.

As District Employment Officer, my father was given a jeep by the government. There was no garage in the Office, so the jeep was parked in our house. My father refused to use it to commute to the office. He told us that the jeep is an expensive resource given by the government - he reiterated to us that it was not 'his jeep' but the government's jeep. Insisting that he would use it only to tour the interiors, he would walk to his office on normal days. He also made sure that we never sat in the government jeep - we could sit in it only when it was stationary. That was our early childhood lesson in governance - a lesson that corporate managers learn the hard way, some never do.

The driver of the jeep was treated with respect due to any other member of my Father's office. As small children, we were taught not to call him by his name. We had to use the suffix 'dada' whenever we were to refer to him in public or private. When I grew up to own a car and a driver by the name of Raju was appointed - I repeated the lesson to my two small daughters. They have, as a result, grown up to call Raju, 'Raju Uncle' - very different from many of their friends who refer to their family drivers as 'my driver'. When I hear that term from a school- or college-going person, I cringe. To me, the lesson was significant - you treat small people with more respect than how you treat big people. It is more important to respect your subordinates than your superiors.

Our day used to start with the family huddling around my Mother's chulha - an earthen fire place she would build at each place of posting where she would cook for the family. There was no gas, nor electrical stoves. The morning routine started with tea. As the brew was served, Father would ask us to read aloud the editorial page of The Statesman's 'muffosil' edition - delivered one day late. We did not understand much of what we were reading. But the ritual was meant for us to know that the world was larger than Koraput district and the English I speak today, despite having studied in an Oriya medium school, has to do with that routine. After reading the newspaper aloud, we were told to fold it neatly. Father taught us a simple lesson. He used to say, "You should leave your newspaper and your toilet, the way you expect to find it".
That lesson was about showing consideration to others. Business begins and ends with that simple precept.

Being small children, we were always enamored with advertisements in the newspaper for transistor radios - we did not have one. We saw other people having radios in their homes and each time there was an advertisement of Philips, Murphy or Bush radios, we would ask Father when we could get one. Each time, my Father would reply that we did not need one because he already had five radios - alluding to his five sons. We also did not have a house of our own and would occasionally ask Father as to when, like others, we would live in our own house. He would give a similar reply, "We do not need a house of our own. I already own five houses". His replies did not gladden our hearts in that instant. Nonetheless, we learnt that it is important not to measure personal success and sense of well being through material possessions.
Government houses seldom came with fences. Mother and I collected twigs and built a small fence. After lunch, my Mother would never sleep. She would take her kitchen utensils and with those she and I would dig the rocky, white ant infested surrounding. We planted flowering bushes. The white ants destroyed them. My mother brought ash from her chulha and mixed it in the earth and we planted the seedlings all over again. This time, they bloomed. At that time, my father's transfer order came. A few neighbors told my mother why she was taking so much pain to beautify a government house, why she was planting seeds that would only benefit the next occupant. My mother replied that it did not matter to her that she would not see the flowers in full bloom. She said, "I have to create a bloom in a desert and whenever I am given a new place, I must leave it more beautiful than what I had inherited". That was my first lesson in success. It is not about what you create for yourself, it is what you leave behind that defines success.

My mother began developing a cataract in her eyes when I was very small. At that time, the eldest among my brothers got a teaching job at the University in Bhubaneswar and had to prepare for the civil services examination. So, it was decided that my Mother would move to cook for him and, as her appendage, I had to move too. For the first time in my life, I saw electricity in homes and water coming out of a tap. It was around 1965 and the country was going to war with Pakistan. My mother was having problems reading and in any case, being Bengali, she did not know the Oriya script. So, in addition to my daily chores, my job was to read her the local newspaper - end to end. That created in me a sense of connectedness with a larger world. I began taking interest in many different things. While reading out news about the war, I felt that I was fighting the war myself. She and I discussed the daily news and built a bond with the larger universe. In it, we became part of a larger reality. Till date, I measure my success in terms of that sense of larger connectedness.

Meanwhile, the war raged and India was fighting on both fronts. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then Prime Minster, coined the term "Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan" and galvanized the nation in to patriotic fervor. Other than reading out the newspaper to my mother, I had no clue about how I could be part of the action. So, after reading her the newspaper, every day I would land up near the University's water tank, which served the community. I would spend hours under it, imagining that there could be spies who would come to poison the water and I had to watch for them. I would daydream about catching one and how the next day, I would be featured in the newspaper. Unfortunately for me, the spies at war ignored the sleepy town of Bhubaneswar and I never got a chance to catch one in action. Yet, that act unlocked my imagination. Imagination is everything. If we can imagine a future, we can create it, if we can create that future, others will live in it. That is the essence of success.

Over the next few years, my mother's eyesight dimmed but in me she created a larger vision, a vision with which I continue to see the world and, I sense, through my eyes, she was seeing too. As the next few years unfolded, her vision deteriorated and she was operated for cataract. I remember, when she returned after her operation and she saw my face clearly for the first time, she was astonished. She said, "Oh my God, I did not know you were so fair". I remain mighty pleased with that adulation even till date. Within weeks of getting her sight back, she developed a corneal ulcer and, overnight, became blind in both eyes.

That was 1969. She died in 2002. In all those 32 years of living with blindness, she never complained about her fate even once. Curious to know what she saw with blind eyes, I asked her once if she sees darkness. She replied, "No, I do not see darkness. I only see light even with my eyes closed". Until she was eighty years of age, she did her morning yoga everyday, swept her own room and washed her own clothes. To me, success is about the sense of independence; it is about not seeing the world but seeing the light.

Over the many intervening years, I grew up, studied, joined the industry and began to carve my life's own journey. I began my life as a clerk in a government office, went on to become a Management Trainee with the DCM group and eventually found my life's calling with the IT industry when fourth generation computers came to India in 1981. Life took me places - I worked with outstanding people, challenging assignments and traveled all over the world. In 1992, while I was posted in the US, I learnt that my father, living a retired life with my eldest brother, had suffered a third degree burn injury and was admitted in the Safderjung Hospital in Delhi. I flew back to attend to him - he remained for a few days in critical stage, bandaged from neck to toe. The Safderjung Hospital is a cockroach infested, dirty, inhuman place. The overworked, under-resourced sisters in the burn ward are both victims and perpetrators of dehumanized life at its worst. One morning, while attending to my Father, I realized that the blood bottle was empty and fearing that air would go into his vein, I asked the attending nurse to change it. She bluntly told me to do it myself. In that horrible theater of death, I was in pain and frustration and anger. Finally when she relented and came, my Father opened his eyes and murmured to her, "Why have you not gone home yet?" Here was a man on his deathbed but more concerned about the overworked nurse than his own state. I was stunned at his stoic self. There I learnt that there is no limit to how concerned you can be for another human being and what is the limit of inclusion you can create. My father died the next day.

He was a man whose success was defined by his principles, his frugality, his universalism and his sense of inclusion. Above all, he taught me that success is your ability to rise above your discomfort, whatever may be your current state. You can, if you want, raise your consciousness above your immediate surroundings. Success is not about building material comforts - the transistor that he never could buy or the house that he never owned. His success was about the legacy he left, the mimetic continuity of his ideals that grew beyond the smallness of a ill-paid, unrecognized government servant's world.

My father was a fervent believer in the British Raj. He sincerely doubted the capability of the post-independence Indian political parties to govern the country. To him, the lowering of the Union Jack was a sad event. My Mother was the exact opposite. When Subhash Bose quit the Indian National Congress and came to Dacca, my mother, then a schoolgirl, garlanded him. She learnt to spin khadi and joined an underground movement that trained her in using daggers and swords. Consequently, our household saw diversity in the political outlook of the two. On major issues concerning the world, the Old Man and the Old Lady had differing opinions. In them, we learnt the power of disagreements, of dialogue and the essence of living with diversity in thinking. Success is not about the ability to create a definitive dogmatic end state; it is about the unfolding of thought processes, of dialogue and continuum.

Two years back, at the age of eighty-two, Mother had a paralytic stroke and was lying in a government hospital in Bhubaneswar. I flew down from the US where I was serving my second stint, to see her. I spent two weeks with her in the hospital as she remained in a paralytic state. She was neither getting better nor moving on. Eventually I had to return to work. While leaving her behind, I kissed her face. In that paralytic state and a garbled voice, she said, "Why are you kissing me, go kiss the world." Her river was nearing its journey, at the confluence of life and death, this woman who came to India as a refugee, raised by a widowed Mother, no more educated than high school, married to an anonymous government servant whose last salary was Rupees Three Hundred, robbed of her eyesight by fate and crowned by adversity - was telling me to go and kiss the world!

Success to me is about Vision. It is the ability to rise above the immediacy of pain. It is about imagination. It is about sensitivity to small people. It is about building inclusion. It is about connectedness to a larger world existence. It is about personal tenacity. It is about giving back more to life than you take out of it. It is about creating extra-ordinary success with ordinary lives.

Thank you very much; I wish you good luck and Godspeed. Go, kiss the world.

I'm Back

I tried to write some posts of my own,, but my lazines.. didnt..

SO decided to keep this blog as my Diary .. to record good .. contents,,,

SO I'm back ;)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

TNPCEE again !!! Nosecut to Politics ....

The High court order on CET for Engineering admissions finally proved that the state goverment should not interfere in Education . Even though there is lot of Discussion going on still as its too late as students missed out the Preparation time. I will say, even though the court came up with the 0rder so late this is a lesson for all poltical people. Atleast hereafter they should not play with the students life and the Education bodies like AICTE . Nobody can deny that our Engineering and Management education is one of the important key factors which made INDIA TOP and still its fuelling the growth of our ECONOMY.

Here a lot of my collegemates are debating the on standard of the TNPCEE , +2 Exam Questions and how its tough for RURAL students to get good marks in TNPCEE in Mayil's blog. I think the standard of +2 syllabus and public exam question have been improved a lot by increasing one mark questions and compulsory problems in long answers section. So I hope this pattern will decrease the number of centumn scorers and certainly a student with good analytical knowledge/Problematic knowledge gets good marks instead of guys with good power eating and vomiting of the book ( By heart - a good name those ppl give ). This is also a primary reason why so many TN students are not able to crack national level entrance exams like AIEEE and IITJEE.

Even the the politicians saying that rural students missing out because of TNPCEE , today's Hindu says

"Analyst Jayaprakash Gandhi noted that the urban-rural divide that the State Government sought to address by abolishing the CET ran deeper. Even going by the Plus Two marks, students from the rural areas and "educationally backward districts" could not match their counterparts from the urban and semi-urban centres. Taking the case of the medical stream, he said 1,370 students secured 199 out of 200 in 2005. Among them were 377 students who had got it through "improvement." The remaining 993 were the regular students. A study of these students showed that none of them came from eight of the `education districts' considered backward, such as Gudalur, Aranthangi, Ariyalur, Musiri, Lalgudi and Karaikal (Pondicherry.) In another 17 educational districts in rural areas, only 15 students figured in that list. About 900 of these students came from 32 education districts in urban and semi-urban areas. "This only shows that even if admissions are only by Plus Two marks, the objective of favouring the rural students cannot be achieved,"

So instead of lowering the standard the goverment should do something to make students aware of all sought of entrance exams and can give coaching for them. But I will say there is still a lot of gap between rural and city students in terms of exposure. I felt that when i entered into college from my village. I really felt I'm in very last position in the race. I really amazed to see guys reading big English novels like Sidney Shelton .. etc. You may think that I'm from tamil medium. But Im from english medium passed my tenth in matric syllabus and finished my 12th in state board syllabus. What I mean to say is there is a big gap between a rural student and city student in terms of exposure immaterial of the education system.