February 13, 2014

Review: 4 NAS appliances deliver big storage cheap
The four contenders in this roundup -- the LenovoEMC PX12-450r, the Infortrend EonNAS 1510, the Netgear ReadyNAS 4200, and the QNAP TS-1279U-RP -- are all 12-bay rack-mount systems that provide as much as 48TB of SATA storage. They can serve as iSCSI SAN targets, handle light server and database workloads, and support file sharing among Windows (SMB/CIFS), Apple (AFP), and Linux (NFS) clients. Naturally, they're also ideal targets for network backups, and they can easily replicate those backups off-site.

Agile Retrospectives: Why They Matter
Working with external entities and their different operating models can often prove challenging for organizations. Thus, "Customer collaboration over contract negotiation" (Agile Manifesto) proves to be an integral principle in the region of Influence, as it encourages organizations and individuals to involve the end-user/customer/external entities earlier in the process of strategy and implementation to avoid surprises down the road, minimize technical debt and sunk costs over time, and deliver on a consistent cadence.

What Ever Happened to the 'FIDO Alliance' That Was Going to Revolutionize Authentication?
The Fast IDentity Online Alliance, as it's officially known started with six founding members, including PayPal chief information security officer Michael Barrett and the start-up Nok Nok Labs, founded by Ramesh Kesanupalli, as a core technology provider. Nok Nok Labs is building prototype code to support the new authentication specification called the Online Security Transaction Protocol (OSTP).

Answering Common Cloud Security Questions from CIOs
With the news stories of possible data breaches at enterprises like Target, and the current trend of companies migrating to cloud environments for the flexibility, scalability, agility, and cost-effectiveness they offer, CIOs have been asking hard questions about cloud security. As CIO, protecting your data (and your users) is one of your key responsibilities. Whether you already have some cloud projects running or are starting your first cloud project, these questions and answers may provide you with solutions and introduce some new techniques.

The Business Technology Challenge of 2014: Information Optimization
Information optimization is a new focus in the enterprise software market. It builds on existing investments in business applications, business intelligence and information management and also benefits from recent advances in business analytics and big data, lifting information to higher levels of use and greater value in organizations. Information optimization also builds on information management and information applications, areas Ventana Research has previously researched. For more on the background and definition of information optimization, please see my colleague Mark Smith’s foundational analysis.

Brace yourself for a virtual sea change in storage
IT pros usually feel passionate about storage and have specific interests in the topic. In many cases, storage constitutes one of the largest investments (if not the largest investment) in the data center. That said, it's very much our responsibility to give a serious look at all of the new storage technologies that are available. There has been quite a lot of noise made about one upcoming technology: VMware Virtual SAN. It will soon exit beta and is quite popular with many virtualization professionals in the industry.

3 Ways To Steady Your Leadership in a Changing World
Why, we often wonder, does someone fall away in their leadership role? What happened within these individuals that allowed them to drift from promise to demise? And how do we not only spot the signs, but keep ourselves from meeting the same fate? Like a taproot that anchors a tree in order to weather the storms it’s exposed to, we as leaders need to keep ourselves steady. It’s a slow fade from having character to having no credibility, so we must put certain practices into our daily lives if we’re to remain relevant and continue to make a positive impact in our worlds.

Big data on wheels
The bottom line: data automatically generated by cars provides a fantastic “fuel source” for big data and analytics. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the automotive industry will be the second largest generator of data by 2015. This estimate is not surprising, since some plug-in hybrid vehicles generate as much 25 GB of data in just one hour. Fun fact: the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the leader in machine data is the utilities industry, with its bevy of smart meters, usage trackers, geographic sensors and other monitoring technologies.

Microsoft Loses a Number to Try to Gain a Future
Power BI offers ways to move all kinds of data into and out of Excel’s rows and columns, both from corporate databases and from other data sources that Microsoft has gathered by crawling the web, and ways to clean it up so the numbers can work reliably. Public data is stored in Azure, which also serves as a link to proprietary data that corporate customers can look up from the field. The “BI” stands for “business intelligence,” the kind of comparative data analysis that is done both by stalwarts like SAP and by younger companies like Tableau Software.

Banks push for tokenization standard to secure credit card payments
Debit and credit cards based on the EMV technology use an embedded microchip, instead of a magnetic stripe, to store data and are considered almost impossible to clone for fraudulent purposes. Though the rest of the world moved to the technology years ago, the U.S. has lagged behind for a variety of reasons. However, after the recent Target breach that exposed data on 40 million debit and credit cards, calls to adopt the standard in the U.S. have become more strident. MasterCard and Visa have said they want merchants and banks to be ready to start accepting EMV cards by October 2015.

Quote for the day:

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” -- Harvey S. Firestone

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