March 13, 2014

Lambda Architecture: Design Simpler, Resilient, Maintainable and Scalable Big Data Solutions
Lambda Architecture proposes a simpler, elegant paradigm that is designed to tame complexity while being able to store and effectively process large amounts of data. The Lambda Architecture was originally presented by Nathan Marz, who is well known in the big data community for his work on the Storm project. In this article, we will present the motivation behind the Lambda Architecture, review its structure, and end with a working sample. For further details on the Lambda Architecture, readers are advised to refer to Nathan Marz’s upcoming book Big Data.

Want secure software? Listen to Marge Simpson
When it comes to sourcing our security software, the great analyst Marge Simpson was right: "We can't afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy" — whether that philosophy is about being designed by Apple in California, or many eyes, or freedom, or whatever hand-waving feelpinions people might proffer. No, we don't need a philosophy so much as need need science — or, more accurately, engineering.

IT partnership investment: Measuring ROI of the vendor-partner relationship
PartnerPath predicts that someday the tables will turn completely, and it will be the solution providers -- rather than the vendors -- that set the requirements to qualify vendors as gold- or platinum-level partners, for example. On the topic of profitability, Lowe said it involves more than just front-end margins. In fact, he described it as a complicated formula. The equation: Opportunity divided by investment equals profitability return. Opportunity breaks down into three buckets: market demand, financial reward and program support. Investment also breaks down into three buckets: enablement, relationship and ease of doing business.

Will Microsoft's new activist board member force it to clean up its Windows act?
The new board member is G. Mason Morfit, president of ValueAct Capital, and he essentially pushed his way into Microsoft's board room. ValueAct, an investment firm with over $14 billion in assets, had been accumulating Microsoft stock, and had gathered 0.8 percent. That's a lot more sizable number than it seems, given that it is held by a single company -- especially an activist one like ValueAct.

Can anti-virus technology morph into breach detection systems?
"The premise of breach detection is things will get through all your defenses and you need to contain it as soon as possible," says Randy Abrams, research director at NSS Labs, which has begun testing what it calls BDS products that can identify evidence of stealthy cyberattacks, track down what corporate computers and networks were hit and quickly mitigate against any malware dropped in that attack which would be used to spy and exfiltrate sensitive data. BDS products, however they do it -- through sandboxing, an endpoint agent or other approach -- should be able to at least catch the breach within 48 hours, he says.

Entrepreneurs’ tips for managing employees with different worldviews
The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

Q&A with Microsoft's channel chief Phil Sorgen
If we take cloud, one of the biggest transformations going on right now, of the successful cloud companies growing the fastest what they sell looks different from what it did previously as they are doing more managed services and more IP related services and they are getting into repeatable methodologies and repeatable IP. They are finding they can expand their footprint geographically more readily than in the past so customer acquisition in the cloud can be faster.

NSA: Our zero days put you at risk, but we do what we like with them
While the NSA is known to build and use exploits for zero day flaws in its foreign intelligence missions, little is known about what rules, if any, it follows for disclosing flaws to vendors so that organisations in the US and allied countries can mitigate the risk of attacks that are being used in the wild. NSA chief nominee US Navy vice admiral Michael S Rogers on Tuesday gave a vague outline of rules the spy agency has for handling such flaws, which includes an internal "adjudication process" for determining whether to let the vendor of an affected product know about it; or just keep it under wraps for spying.

Sustaining Kanban in the Enterprise
The key here not to use pre-cooked solutions (e.g. use a standard visualization board and standard policies). These canned solutions will probably help in the (very) short term - the team starts with “something” - but it will very quickly fail the team by not mapping to the team’s reality and challenges. The biggest problem with pre-cooked solutions is that they let the team members believe that they do not need to think, as someone else (in an totally different context) has already done the thinking for them.

Cisco on mission to outfit all office rooms with video conferencing systems
Cisco isn't the only company focusing on this. Microsoft is also making a strong push with its Lync unified communications server, which can be deployed on customer premises and, with a subset of the functionality, accessed via the Office 365 public cloud suite. Other competing providers of UC and video conferencing systems in particular include IBM, Avaya, Siemens' Unify, Alcatel-Lucent, Mitel and ShoreTel. Of course, Cisco has been a big player in video conferencing for years, catering to the low-end of the market with its WebEx line of products and to the high-end with its whole-room Tandberg systems.

Quote for the day:

“Nothing gives so much direction to a person's life as a sound set of principles.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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