April 02, 2015

Is an SDN Switch A New Form of a Firewall?
So, how do modern SDN products implement security and could they behave like a traditional firewall? When it comes to Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), the Nexus 9000 switches operate in a stateless manner. The Application Network Profiles (ANPs) configured in the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) are deployed to the switches in the ACI fabric in a stateless fashion. Therefore, an ACI system would not be able to operate with the same level of security as a standard stateful firewall. This is why ACI allows for Layer-4-to-7 Service Graphs to be configured and integrated into the ACI fabric.

How to Radically Change the Way Team Building Happens at Your Company
The problem is that teams are still being built on the same principles that were present when the teamwork movement started. We have teams still largely built on departmental functions to serve specific purposes. Many teams are still made up of very similar workers with very similar mindsets and experience levels. But the workplace is a much different place now. In order to work in this kind of economy, teams need to have greater diversity and more effective and meaningful communication. And, they need to be more efficient in the way they work. Teams are put together for a reason...and that is to have a maximizing effect.

Microsoft to kick off Skype for Business rollout on April 14
The new Skype for Business Server will be available for download from Microsoft's Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) on May 1, 2015, the spokesperson confirmed. As Microsoft officials noted in March, the public Office 16 preview currently includes the Skype for Business client preview. While rebranding is a big piece of change from Lync to Skype for Business, there are some new features that Lync client users will see, too, as part of the transition. The new UI will make Skype for Business look and feel more like the consumer version of Skype. The contacts list, presence indicators, buttons, icons and app sounds will be consistent. But many of the Lync-specific features, like the Quick Actions button, allowing users to IM or call a contact with a single click, will still be there, too.

Modern CIO: The Cloud Is Your Ticket To Full Business Engagement
CIOs have to take the necessary steps to ensure company and customer data are as secure as possible. This requires a multipronged strategy, from ensuring that code developed internally has security baked in from the get-go, to working with business owners and other executives to ensure that the applications they want pass rigorous security testing. This is one area where CIOs need to work closely with other executives to help the business strike the right balance between security and functionality. Businesspeople are principally “focused on the functionality [of an application] and less on the domain of security. For a CIO, however, security is paramount.

Data science still woefully short on science
As Gartner analyst Svetlana Sicular highlights, "That's a hint to the glorified business analysts in California who say in a mystifying voice, 'Data will tell you.' Yes, it will -- if you know what to ask." Asking good questions is the heart of data science and, indeed, all science. But the problem is that the very questions we ask bias the answers--or rather, the data behind those answers. ... But Beyer and Silver aren't arguing that we should throw up our hands in despair. Silver, for example, suggests that bias is primarily a problem when we attempt to ignore it: "Data-driven predictions can succeed--and they can fail. It is when we deny our role in the process that the odds of failure rise." Beyer goes a bit further, offering a mechanism for combating bias. It's called science:

PredictionIO (Open Source Version) vs Microsoft Azure Machine Learning
Most of today’s applied machine learning tasks can be dealt with: classification, regression, recommendation, clustering and anomaly detection. With both tools you can easily interchange machine learning algorithms until settling on what works best on your problem. On Azure, Microsoft’s algorithms will be used by default (supposedly the same as those used in Xbox, Bing, Cortana...), whereas PredictionIO comes with Spark’s MLlib library, deep learning library and other JVM-based algorithm libraries. You can still use other libraries or your own custom algorithms. Microsoft recently added support for Python, which now makes it possible to copy existing code based on scikit-learn and Pandas for instance, and to have it run on Azure.

AWS drops prices -- and barriers -- to cloud adoption
Enterprises are looking for the same two items. Enterprises approach public cloud computing for two core reasons: cost savings and agility. We don't want to build any more data centers, we don't want to buy new hardware and software, and we don't want to toss huge amounts of money at the enterprise software providers. Also, we don't want to take a year or more to get new applications or infrastructure into production, and we want to change them as needed, with no latency. When I select public cloud providers for enterprise clients, the winner is the one that provides the best price and the best performance. Winning public cloud providers understand that prices are dropping, but quality of service must remain above expectations.

Cloud computing's second movement
Even if you believe the hype about security, speciality needs sometimes exceed even the fancy ISO badges the majors spruik. "It's a huge mistake to believe all content is created equal," Jeetu Patel, general manager of network share provider Syncplicity, said. "The question isn't whether the solution is working in the cloud; it's how you implement a cloud that meets the security and compliance needs of your organization. Enterprise file sync and share needs a hybrid approach that gives IT choice in how and where content is stored." Putting data and applications in the cloud also exposes the company to risks that more departments have a stake in, and Max Dufour, a partner at Harmeda technology and strategy consulting, is seeing more people coming to the table to influence the decision.

A Fast Story Point Estimation Process
Several Agile teams (internal and external) were part of the effort and we needed to know if we could make the launch. We had to determine if we could accomplish the remaining work in the time available – or if we would have to cut scope to get to the date. We pulled together the team as well as key managers (15 people in total) to figure out as quickly as possible if we could commit. We had groomed over 125 stories in advance and were able to estimate the story points in about 15 minutes. At the end of our session, we could definitely say that we needed to pare scope to make the launch – and the business could decide what to cut so the date could be preserved.

Facebook Releases React Native for Building Native Mobile Apps in JavaScript
React Native allows for the mixing of logic and presentation -- long considered a no-no in modern development. React is based on components -- units of code that act somewhat like classes -- that take in data and produce HTML based on that data. Individual components can provide certain specific functionality and be chained together for projects, encouraging reuse and simplifying the reasoning of program logic. "Since React components are just pure, side-effect-free functions that return what our views look like at any point in time, we never need to read from our underlying rendered view implementation in order to write to it," said project leader Tom Occhino in a blog post today.

Quote for the day:

“No great manager or leader ever fell from heaven, its learned not inherited.” -- Tom Northup

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