Daily Tech Digest - March 11, 2017

Demystifying Advanced Data Visualization

Advanced Data Visualization gives a new meaning on how pictures can simplify information needed to comprehend complex questions. Angela Hausman states that Big Data does not mean much if the people who control change can’t understand or have to spend too much time deciphering the Great Data that is presented. In addition, Big Data speeds across the Internet, captured from people and the Internet of Things (IoT) including items such as appliances, GPS, and building maintenance. This Big Data constantly updates, second by second, providing not a static picture, but a dynamic movie. Organizations, need to find ways in keeping up with this Big Data in order to understand their customers better and to move much more quickly, smoothly, and efficiently.

Four perspectives on data lakes

Governance is a practice that you apply to “something.” Just like James Watt’s fly-ball governor for the steam engine, a governance program seeks to keep a engine in balance so it works effectively. This engine may be a process, organization, or flow of information. The important point is that the target of what you are governing is clearly defined. Approaches to governance, particularly around a data lake, vary widely due to the different choices that organizations make in their definition of the engine being managed. For example, the IT department may see the data lake engine as a collection of technology working together. The business may see the data lake as part of an innovation engine helping them to create new value from data. So which is the right engine to govern? It depends on the objective for data lake.

AWS Outage and High Availability

Your HA strategy should be also tied to your monitoring, alerting, remediation but also to your customer support strategy. Monitoring and alerting is clear – you want to know if your site or parts of it are down and take the appropriate actions as described in your remediation plan. But why, your customer support strategy? Well, if you haven’t noticed – AWS Service Dashboard was also down yesterday. The question comes up, how do you notify your customers of issues with your service if your standard channel is also down? I know that a lot of IT guys don’t think of it but Twitter turns out to be a pretty good communication tool – maybe you should think of it next time your site is down. Developing solid HA strategy doesn’t need to be a big bang approach.

Quantum technology is beginning to come into its own

Everything in the natural world can be described by quantum mechanics. Born a century ago, this theory is the rule book for what happens at atomic scales, providing explanations for everything from the layout of the periodic table to the zoo of particles spraying out of atom-smashers. It has guided the development of everyday technologies from lasers to MRI machines and put a solid foundation under astrophysicists’ musings about unknowables such as the interiors of black holes and the dawn of the universe. Revealed by a few surprising discoveries, such as that atoms absorb and emit energy only in packets of discrete sizes (quanta), and that light and matter can act as both waves and particles, it is modern physics’ greatest triumph.

Protecting the enterprise against mobile threats

As it is with securing the traditional network, mobile security is also about building policies. "Security resources are scarce," said Simkin, "so, organization needs to think about how they safely enable those mobile devices to access corporate resources. They need to take the time now to consider what technology they are going to put into place to keep the company safe." Even the White House is changing the paradigm a little bit. The President's now infamous use of an Android phone has helped bring to light the need for better mobile security, said Paul Innella, CEO at TDI.  "If organizations don't start treating mobile devices, which includes IoT, as corporate assets, they are going to see this wide scale disruption and infiltration. So, they have to be thinking about how they evaluate the risk of one of these mobile devices coming into their environment," Innella said.

Google offers new 'Always Free' cloud tier to attract users

The free offerings are meant to help attract users to Google Cloud Platform at a time when the company is competing against Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other public cloud providers for developers’ time and attention. Google’s Always Free tier is somewhat similar to what AWS offers its customers. For example, both platforms allow users to run workloads using their respective event-driven compute services, AWS Lambda and Google Functions. One thing that sets Google apart is its willingness to hand out a free virtual machine. Google previously offered a 60-day free trial with $300 in credits. An extended trial was one of the cloud provider’s most-requested features, since the short time limit often wasn’t enough for a full proof-of-concept test.

Pablo Brenner talks reverse psychology in IT collaboration

The aim is to use automation to help create an environment similar to Stack Overflow inside a company. This could be as simple as offering pop ups on a library telling individuals to avoid this particular site (“programmers spend a lot of time using the wrong library”) and also help to attach skills to a developer. “We’re building life CVs on people,” says Brenner. This may seem a little worryingly intrusive, but Brenner doesn’t think so. He stresses that the system is only looking at technology skills not what people are generally reading online at work. “Like any tool, it could be used in a bad way,” he concedes, but he does not feel there should be any concern that employees will be categorised within an organisation based on the number of skills they have because this is too hard to define. Some people have broader knowledge some people have deeper knowledge.

Banking Industry Still Taking Small Steps with Big Data

Financial organizations also must use data and advanced analytics for fraud and risk mitigation and achieving regulatory and compliance objectives. With cybersecurity more important than ever, falling behind in the use of data for security purposes is not an option. While the majority of institutions might have much of the infrastructure in place to manage the increasing flow of data, significantly fewer have their data integrated across silos. This continues to be a challenge as customer expect their financial organization to understand their entire relationship when working with their bank or credit union. This challenge is obviously exacerbated with smaller organizations who may not even have a CRM system in place.

Facebook rolls out Bryce Canyon, its next-gen storage platform

Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a new storage platform, Bryce Canyon, that offers the efficiency and performance necessary to support the social media company's "video first" strategy. The design specification for the platform is available via the Open Compute Project. It'll be used primarily for high-density storage, including videos and photos. Bryce Canyon supports 72 hard disk drives (HDDs) in four Open Rack units. That's a 20-percent higher density than Open Vault, the first storage enclosure that Facebook in 2013 contributed to the Open Compute Project. Bryce Canyon is also Facebook's first major storage chassis designed from the ground up since Open Vault. Meanwhile, Bryce Canyon also offers a 4x increase in compute capability over the Honey Badger storage server designed in 2015.

Troubleshooting Memory Issues in Java Applications

For a Java process, there are several memory pools or spaces - Java heap, Metaspace, PermGen (in versions prior to Java 8) and native heap. Each of these memory pools might encounter its own set of memory problems, for example– abnormal memory growth, slowness in the application or memory leaks, all of which can eventually manifest in the form of an OutOfMemoryError for these spaces. In this article we will try to understand what these OutOfMemoryError error messages mean, which diagnostic data we should collect to diagnose and troubleshoot these issues, and will investigate some tooling to collect that data and analyze it for resolving these memory problems. This article focuses on how these memory issues can be handled and prevented in the production environments. The OutOfMemoryError message reported by the Java HotSpot VM gives a clear indication as to which memory space is depleting.

Quote for the day:

"It is a leader's job to challenge the status quo. And when you do, you make enemies." -- @CarlyFiorina