February 05, 2016

Container networking offers opportunity to simplify networks

In bare-metal and physical environments, container networking is similar to VMware networking -- with two deviations, according to Brandon Philips, CTO of CoreOS Inc., a container platform vendor. First, explains Philips, containers come and go more rapidly than VMs, so the network needs to be designed around this reality. Second, people are going to run many more containers than they would VMs, so the amount of address space that a container environment may consume is likely to be larger. ... By not needing its own operating system as part of an application image, a container application image can be smaller; meanwhile, the corresponding density of a container deployment can be higher than an environment based on VMs.

Automating Access Solves Many of Life’s Business Problems

You may not think much about when your employees need their password reset, but this is actually the single most common call that employees make to the helpdesk. Though this is an easy task, it is time consuming for both the helpdesk and the end user. In addition, this is a major problem for employees who work outside the times of the help desk. If an end user works nights, weekends or even in a different time zone and is locked out of an account, he is unable to contact the helpdesk to reset the password. This leaves the employee unable to access applications or system until the helpdesk receives and processes the request, leaving the employee unproductive.

Testing: Mind the DevOps Gap

DevOps projects tend to start in one part of the continuum from development to operations. There is nothing wrong with taking this approach. However, it is also important to “Mind the Gap” and work to expand automation across the continuum continuously. One way to ensure that automation can expand easily is to deploy sandbox technology across the continuum, beginning with development and continuing through configuration and release management. The sandbox ensures that at each step, the production configuration and workload is being replicated. Sandboxing technology has been used in development in the past, but is relatively new to the entire DevOps process. As more companies move to continuous integration and continuous deployment, however, the need for sandboxes is growing.

Digital Transformation Requires Total Organizational Commitment

By injecting new thinking into a company, employees can start to see that there are different ways to handle those standard business practices and can begin to incorporate that type of creative thinking into their organizational philosophy. When you consider that 88 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are now gone, it’s not hard to see that change has always been with us, but the rate of change is accelerating dramatically due in large part to the disruption brought about by digital transformation. “The cool thing is that incumbents recognize that the same assets that can hold them back, can also be used to compete in a different guise,” Levie said. That means it’s not all gloom and doom, companies just have to start thinking much more creatively about their digital future and the effect that will have across the organization.

Cisco Bets Big On IoT With $1.4 B Jasper Buy

Jasper's focus has been on managing devices connected by cellular radios, which explains the company's relationships with mobile operators around the world. "We see cellular as an important, and increasingly more important, transport in IoT," said Trollope, noting that cellular connectivity has not previously been a focus for Cisco. Businesses, he said, tend to rely on cellular connectivity when tracking high-value assets like vehicle fleets. Similarly, security applications tend to include cellular connectivity because WiFi often isn't as reliable or available. Gillett sees Jasper's focus on cellular as a boon for security, because cellular networks are more controlled than the open Internet. "Jasper is not a security solution but security is part of its value proposition," he said.

Microsoft SDN stack to challenge Cisco, VMware

Even without a fully baked SDN stack, Microsoft is already on enterprises' radar. A global survey of companies and public cloud providers found that a "significant number" identified Microsoft as an SDN vendor, said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC.  ... "Microsoft will still need hardware partners for the network underlay, just as VMware has underlay partners for [SDN product] NSX," Casemore said. "But Microsoft will indeed be increasingly perceived as an SDN vendor within its installed base of customers." To date, industry experts have said Cisco and VMware are in the best position to bring SDN to many enterprises. Both vendors are leveraging successful product lines to sell their SDN frameworks. In Cisco's case, it's network switches, while VMware is tapping the many companies using its data center virtualization platform.

The Agility Challenge

When we talk about ‘Agile change’, many organisations could be said to be “Agile by accident”. In those places, Agile mindset, principles and practices have emerged at the team or the programme level, typically within IT. If it is the IT that continues to drive the Agile initiative on its own, then it will remain the only place where Agile will be in evidence. This will usually lead to a “clash of cultures” between the emerging collaboration culture within the delivery teams, and thecontrol culture dominant in the rest of the organisation. ... So, how do we get the ‘Business’ and ‘Management’ on-board and get them to recognise the opportunity of Agile? To start with, we should stop talking to them about Agile. Instead, we should discuss business outcomes and impacts. And we should explore delivery capability and the fact that there is always more of the stuff that we want to do than we can actually do.

SDN in Enterprise Moving Past the Hype, Survey Finds

SDN and NFV decouple the control plane and various networking tasks—including routing, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and load balancing—from the underlying hardware and put them into software that can run on low-cost commodity systems, including switches and servers. The goal is to enable businesses to build networks that are easier to program, scale and manage, that are more agile and flexible, and that cost less than traditional infrastructures. Cost savings is a key driver, according to the survey. Fifty-three percent of respondents said it was a top benefit, followed by 47 percent who cited improved network performance, 46 percent who said increased productivity and 45 percent who said improved security.

How To Fix a Broken CRM Pipeline

a CRM’s contact and account information are valuable to management — but those pale in comparison to the value of deals that will (or won’t) make the quarter. If a CRM system helps win just one more deal every quarter, it more than pays for itself. Unfortunately, too many sales pipelines are just baloney: wishful thinking about deals that will never close (or, worse, that don’t exist at all). There’s also the opposite problem: Big deals that may well close, but don’t show up in the system at all until they do. These “miracle” deals are never harmless surprises, and can be downright dangerous if you have a long supply chain. The good news is that there are several metrics you can use to validate the pipeline health. But simple numbers need to be supplemented by policies, automation, and business processes that provide incentives for good behavior.

Android Marshmallow: The smart person's guide

Finally, Google has seen to it to allow end users to manage app permissions (without a third-party software). With this feature you can disable permissions for each app by feature such as Body sensors, Calendar, Camera, and Contacts ... Google Now On Tap takes this to a whole new level. When you're in an app screen and you long press the Home button, Google Now On Tap will present cards related to whatever you are viewing on the screen. This is an incredible breakthrough for those that want instant information about specific subjects. ... Device security is at a prime now. If you purchase a new device running Android Marshmallow, full disk encryption will be enabled by default. Devices upgraded to Marshmallow will have encryption disabled by default.

Quote for the day:

"Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world." -- Eckhart Tolle

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