September 19, 2016

Building the data foundations for smart cities

Emergency services will need to be alerted and receive information as quickly as possible in order to help people affected and deal with any potential escalation. In addition, traffic will need to be intelligently redirected to avoid the affected area; communications networks will need to be flexible enough to direct capacity to where it’s needed; and information will need to be collated to inform citizens about the incident. So it’s essential that smart cities make use of cutting edge data processing and analytics capabilities, and in particular, in-memory latency for external storage. Typically in-memory processing is expensive and limited by the amount of data that can processed.

Cyber-security VCs are holding onto their cash – but that’s OK

“VCs are holding out for companies that are merging to offer more unified-security platforms.” Furthermore, he continues that early-stage companies that were funded in 2015 have since slipped below expectations, with their products quickly shown to be copies, obsolete or simply with revenues that “were not up to expectations.” Jack Gold, principal analyst and founder at J. Gold Associates, agrees that VCs may have got swept away with market hype. “Here’s the problem…if I as a VC find a nice cool company with a new twist on security and I invest in them, there’s a chance I will find six other companies doing the same thing in the same marketplace. “There is an over-abundance of companies trying to get a different bite of the same security meal.”

How ITSM laid the foundation for a cultural transformation

Solving the service management conundrum has allowed Oshkosh to turn its attention to other pressing matters. Schecklman is currently trying to consolidate 15 disparate general ledger systems, including some 20-year-old Mapics and J.D. Edwards ERP software, and operate them under a financial shared services model. Oshkosh is also improving cybersecurity to protect the company's intellectual property, including details about such new machines as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which the Army is using to replace its Humvees. Creating a layered strategy for defending data is crucial because interest in hacking Oshkosh broadens after it wins contracts in foreign countries worldwide, Schecklman says.

CIO Insights: Bring data out of the dark

In this episode of CIO Insights, Martin describes how businesses can use a hybrid analytics architecture to compete effectively, and we discuss how doing data analytics on the cloud is a much safer bet today than ever before. Also, tune in to hear Martin outline the things that CIOs should keep in mind during their transition to the cloud. Don’t miss other episodes in this series of C-level interviews. Also, be sure to set aside time to hear IBM CEO Ginny Rometti, journalist and author Thomas Friedman, IBM Chief Data Officer Inderpal Bhandari and other engaging speakers live at IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016. Martin has a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Tufts University and a B.S. cum laude in mathematics from University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The Cloud Is in for Bubble Trouble

Tech companies are beginning to position themselves in the IoT space, but the smart ones are doing so cautiously for one very important reason: the trend is extremely broad and Wall Street has yet to figure out who the winners will be. But that hasn’t stopped everyone from GE and IBM to Cisco and Intel from jumping on the bandwagon. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich recently made a big splash about the chip giant’s evolution from a PC company to one that “powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices,” meaning IoT. Unfortunately, the chip giant is not nearly as evolved as its PR would seem to indicate. For one thing, Intel’s cloud computing platform is little more Xenon processors for servers. Nothing new there. And those billions of smart devices are powered mostly by ARM, which Softbank is acquiring for $32 billion, ...

Why augmented reality means augmented risk to networks

Three important factors to consider are your mobile device management (MDM) solution, since AR apps like Pok√©mon GO are focused on the smartphone market. Employee training and awareness is also crucial, since human error and carelessness is often a key vulnerability for cybercriminals to target. The third key factor in an AR risk mitigation strategy should be visibility of app traffic on your network. To protect against sensitive data being exposed, or malicious data being introduced, you need to ensure that you have comprehensive, real-time visibility into all your network traffic, all the time. A variety of tools and solutions exist that purport to offer such network visibility; what you are looking for is intelligent filtering and distribution, including across Layer 7 application flows and encrypted traffic, at line rate with zero loss of packets.

Why your next storage solution may depend on blockchain

Blockchain has become an increasingly hot topic in recent months due to its ability to deliver distributed security. Its impact, however, has mostly evaded storage. The developers at Storj, an open source object store similar to AWS S3 or Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, aim to change that. Storj (pronounced like "storage") hopes to make object storage easier to use through intuitive tooling and documentation, a modern API, and an open source, try-before-you-buy approach. But really, much of the magic derives from blockchain. Think of Storj as a distributed cloud storage network, suitable for static content today but with aims to expand far beyond this in the future. This blockchain-based decentralization allows developers to store data in a secure, performant, and inexpensive way, spreading it across many nodes.

Architecture Is About Tradeoffs

First, any time you adopt a framework for building an application, you are inevitably going to spend time debugging and becoming expert in the framework. So while it is true that our team was able to focus primarily on just writing our business logic in the form of session beans and message-driven beans, it was also true that any time we had an edge case (long running processing, need for a sequence of events to occur in a certain order, complex data updates) we would run into issues with the way we were using the frameworks. This puts a strain on the subset of the team that is expert. Second, migrating to the new version of a Java Enterprise application server is made more complicated by the number of moving parts.

Unix tips: Making troubleshooting with lsof easier

Since lsof has such a huge collection of options, remembering which option to use for what sometimes makes the command hard to use as often or as effectively as you might like. So what we're doing today is looking at several ways to make the use of this very helpful tool a bit easier. We do that by creating useful aliases, by providing something of a "cheat sheet," and by deploying a number of lsof options in a script that makes educated guesses about what you're going after. Both of the aliases below will list whatever files are open on your behalf when you are logged in. I suspect that few sysadmins will want to type “showmyopenfiles.” It might be less of a problem to remember the lsof option or print out a cheat sheet. On the other hand, “showmine” would be somewhat ambiguous – my open files or my processes?

Master data management gains ground in UK public sector

“Where we had blockages in getting data out of old legacy systems that were a bit clunky, we just concentrated on another dataset,” says Farina. He adds that if users had tried the system with just some of the data, they might have dismissed it: “I’ve worked on projects before where it’s been done in that phased approach, and users can just lose interest in it.” Camden has found many uses for the system, with more than 300 approved staff in 35 teams having access. The first type of work was data intelligence, which allows the council to produce reports from multiple parts of the organisation with greater ease, such as a government social care return that includes information on education.

Quote for the day:

"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it." -- Andrew Carnegie