Reducing the costs of IT in oil and gas

The ways that oil and gas companies address IT, outside core disciplines such as geology and geophysics, are marked by an unrelenting enthusiasm for cost cutting. However, it’s often the case that the methods employed, including outsourcing or offshoring, end up forcing a difficult choice between quality of service and cost. In the short term it’s easy to cut costs, but when you discover the things that don’t work because they’re outside scope or ill-defined, and the costs of putting them right, some options can be less appealing.


Oracle and Sun Strategy: Forecast Accuracy

Okay, one of the most important things that I failed to consider and forecast was the time before the first sighting in the wild of a Borg picture and reference to assimilation. Too late now.

Clearly, even blogging policies can be a source of pain and evidence of malevolence when things are so confused and the feelings of loss are strong. However, when I look at what is being saved at Sun I have to feel positive about the idea that a company is going to take great technology and make money out of it. Even the switch in manufacturing, from build-to-stock to build-to-order, and simplification of the supply chain, reflects a refreshing willingness to take fundamental parts of the business and re-engineer them to improve performance.


Sun and Oracle

There’s a lot (perhaps too much) in the blogosphere about Oracle’s acquisition of Sun and the failures of the pony-tailed one. As a result I’ve avoided any comment, despite the fact that the content to date seems to have been dominated by the views of those whose involvement is restricted to the ownership of shares.


It’s nice when things just work… particularly when they don’t

We own a Sun StorageTek 6140 Array that’s fully populated with 4 Gbps fibre channel drives and I must say that I consider it a thing of beauty. It’s fast and has been incredibly reliable. The advances in storage technology represented by JBODs combined with ZFS as embodied in Sun Open Storage mean we’d probably evaluate other options if we were buying today, but we’ve never regretted our choice.


Solaris 10 SMF manifest for starting Tomcat as a non-root user

Following a server reboot I found our web sites were down because I’d forgotten to set up Tomcat to restart on boot. Given that we’re using Solaris 10 I wanted to run it using the Service Management Facility (SMF). I found the blog here to be an extremely useful starting point, but it didn’t include the manifest that the author used. While a comment on the blog did provide a sample, it did not address the issue of running Tomcat as a user other than root when you want the server to listen on port 80. Further, I also set my CATALINA_BASE and CATALINA_HOME and again this wasn’t addressed.


Where in the world is Digital Steps?

Were you looking for Digital Steps and got redirected to the EnergySys site? Have you heard the names of both companies and you’re simply curious about the relationship between the two? Maybe you don’t care about either company, but you need to kill time and this blog is providing a momentary distraction?…..

For those looking at the evolution of small businesses I think the history is interesting, and potentially instructive, although I wouldn’t like to oversell the message on either of those counts.