September 17, 2015

How to use big data to transform IT operations

Generally it’s more efficient and cost-effective to perform processing near where the data resides. We’ve seen large companies use cloud-based services for IT operations data. If the data itself originates in the same cloud, this approach is fine. Even data generated on-premises can be stored and analyzed in the cloud if it’s small enough. For large amounts of data generated outside the cloud, however, problems arise. For example, one organization had to purchase dedicated bandwidth just to upload the telemetry. Even then, there was so much data at times, the local forwarders would fall behind, and it would be hours before the data was available. In cases such as this one, it’s important to understand data gravity and process the data near where it’s generated.

It’s time to patch our human firewall

A recent security survey revealed that 31% of all information security incidents were employee–related. This statistic includes the nefarious actor, as well as the reckless and duped. Regardless, the fact remains that employees are a juicy attack vector for the miscreant, and, if the weakness comes in human form, it can render the technical controls in place moot. ... We need employees to have their awareness heightened to the threat environment so that an automatic ‘gut check’ kicks in whenever they’re talking about the business online. Sadly, it is far beyond the remit of this short piece to explore the best way to achieve this, but I will leave you with this final thought that I have again lifted from the survey, which nicely sums up where I wanted to go with this: “Another worrisome finding is a diminished commitment to employee training and awareness programmes.”

Taking the Long-view: The VR Future Starts in 2016

The development of this market, which is a parallel track to the development of this technology, will depend upon a clear narrative for consumers to understand. This is about more then the killer apps, or the best field of view. This is about grasping ahold of this incredible open hardware development phenomenon we’ve had the chance to experience these past few years and turning that into just the prologue for the immersive revolution to come. And I’m not just concerned about moms and dads making purchasing decisions for their families, I’m also concerned with tech savvy skeptics who think that VR is just the latest version of 3-D TVs. If we apply Hollywood blockbuster mentality to the product launches of the Rift or the Vive—really of any of the HMD’s—we’re almost guaranteeing a wave of negative press.

Who needs Windows 10 Pro: 5 reasons to upgrade

Windows 10 Professional doesn’t take anything away from Home users; it simply adds more sophisticated features. It’s a costly choice, though: $99 for a Windows 10 Pro Pack that takes you from a licensed copy of Windows 10 Home to the Professional version. This applies to Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, or Windows 8.1 users, who are only eligible for Windows 10 Home. ... All of them have some relevance for power users and more traditional businesses alike. While there are dozens of differences (check our review of Windows 10 for the details), five key aspects of Windows 10 Professional will help you decide whether the upgrade is worth it for you.

Android Wear Now Works With Apple’s iOS

Android Wear is compatible with most iPhones (iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+)Google’s decision is not surprising considering the ongoing “war” between iOS and Android, not to mention the potential value of user-generated data, but the move ultimately hurts iPhone owners who prefer Android Wear devices over Apple Watch. Reluctance to concede data is not something new especially in the digital health landscape. Fitbit, for example, has long refused to support HealthKit. Full HealthKit integration is at a level seen with third-party fitness devices and Apple’s own Watch product allows for cross-app data sharing, a feature important to information aggregation and a streamlined user experience.

Apple's secret NoSQL sauce includes a hefty dose of Cassandra

It's telling, as Sandeep Parikh hints, that Apple ran into enough limitations with traditional relational databases, including the likelihood that they "cost way too much to scale out," such that it actively uses Cassandra, MongoDB, and other NoSQL technologies. Heck, Apple even went so far as to buy the company behind FoundationDB, a NoSQL database. As my former MongoDB colleague (and Wall Street analyst) Peter Goldmacher stressed to me in an interview, "It is reasonable to wonder if Apple's software products would have even been possible without NoSQL technologies." Central among those, at perhaps double the adoption (very roughly extrapolating from job listings), is Cassandra. Most companies don't have Apple's scale, but for those that aspire to them,

Defining the ‘A’ in Agile Enterprise Architecture

Don’t be frightened by the word “chaos,” cautions Diginomica’s Charlie Bess. A more accurate description would be dynamic or agile architecture, akin to the more flexible side of Gartner’s “bimodal” approach that has traditional applications and services on a more clearly defined stack while emerging functions define their own requirements. In this scenario, the most important element is a single, overriding view of the entire system that allows the enterprise to leverage all resources for the benefit of decision-makers, not IT admins. An agile architecture is not to be confused with the Agile movement within the Enterprise Architecture field, says tech blogger Charles Betz on The Data Administration Newsletter. The movement consists of a number of software methodologies that have been devised under the precepts of the Agile Manifesto,

Skills Framework for TOGAF & SCOR Part 1 – TOGAF Framework Overview

TOGAF provides a skills framework that can assist in preparing role definitions and planning training. However, there are several ways that it could be expanded, and in this post I examine what they are. The TOGAF skills framework appears in chapter 52, the final chapter of TOGAF (this may be why so many people forget its existence). It defines roughly 75 skills, grouped into the headings of Generic Skills, Business Skills & Methods, Enterprise Architecture Skills, Program or Project Management Skills, IT General Knowledge Skills, Technical IT Skills, Legal Environment. These skills are then plotted against 9 specific roles

Leadership, Mentoring and Team Chemistry

What we cannot have is the same pace of change and chaos that is common in the work we do reflected in the teams themselves. High turnover, micromanaging, and a high tempo of change in the daily or weekly goals are each things that will kill a team. To counter this the leaders in each team who step-up to take on different roles need to provide stability. This include the official (tech leads, managers, and directors) and the unofficial (experienced engineers who’ve earned the respect of their peers) leaders. Teams only succeed in chaos when they’re founded on stability. Otherwise they’ve either just been lucky or they’re heading towards burn out.

Contractors Say Proposed Hack Reporting Rules Aren't Strict Enough

"We view the current draft version of the guidance as being too little, too late and too flexible," council president Stan Soloway said in comments dated Sept. 10. "This is exactly the interpretive, decentralized behavior that has produced the current state of network security vulnerabilities." Contractors in recent years have been hit by hacks that compromised federal employee retirement plan data, background check investigations and U.S. Transportation Command documents, to name a few.  Soloway said the new Office of Management and Budget draft guidance offers too little in the way of uniform terms and conditions, offering "only generalized statements with explicit authority for agencies to deviate from it almost at will.”

Quote for the day:

"The signs of outstanding leadership are found among the followers." -- Max DePree

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