September 23, 2016

Infrastructure as code: What does it mean and why does it matter?

Code forms the backbone of this approach, giving rise to the term infrastructure as code (IaC), which, in simple terms, means code that helps in provisioning systems out onto an IT platform.  Today, IaC has grown to be full-function and highly flexible, and there are several variants to consider, including declarative, imperative and intelligent IaC. The declarative approach creates a required state and adapts the target infrastructure to meet those conditions, while the imperative version creates a target environment based on hard definitions set out within the script. The intelligent state, meanwhile, takes into account other pre-existing workloads within the target environment, and reports back to a system administrator about any problems it encounters.

Open source technology gains steam in data center, but challenges loom

When deploying or running open source technology, the lack of professional support can leave IT scrambling. Even after combing through search engine results and discussion boards, admins still might not have an answer for an urgent question. Professional support is lacking with open source tools, and although some vendors offer support services, they often comes at a cost. When a primary driver to switch to open source is the financial aspect, spending money on the necessary support can create a dilemma. Some larger companies have the resources -- both from a financial and staffing standpoint -- to support open source hardware and software in the data center, but smaller organizations often struggle to do so.

Can Armies Of Interns Close The Cybersecurity Skills Gap?

Since cybersecurity is a relatively new field, professionals in the sector tend to pick up expertise on the job. It's only more recently that universities have started seriously ramping up programs. But BullGuard finds that's been happening internationally, not just in the U.S., so it's making moves to tap into those talent pipelines pretty much as soon as they're constructed. With its new Romania-based internship program, Lipman explains, "We took computer science students with cyberexperience in their college studies, and put them into our more innovative projects over the summer. It’s been a real win-win. We get access to new blood [and] fresh thinking, the interns get valuable real-world experience, and we build a relationship with the university." Establishing this ability to "hire straight out of college,"

CQRS for Enterprise Web Development: What's in it for Business?

The CQRS pattern is widely acclaimed by advocates of Domain Driven Design. The approach emphasizes solving business problems in the first place during the implementation of an application. It centers on thorough elaboration of a business domain and the context within which it will function. The possibility to focus on the business first rather than on the technical issues and work out all the nuances pertinent to a specific domain is achieved through the use of the Ubiquitous language – a single language understood by an implementation team, business analysts, domain experts and other parties involved. The language helps to share the effort among all team members – business and technical – who define and agree on the use of common business objects to describe the solution’s domain model and a certain context within such a model.

The changing data protection paradigm

The amount of new data available is staggering. As the Harvard Business Review aptly put it, "More data cross the internet every second than were stored in the entire internet just 20 years ago." This data has varying degrees of value and sensitivity, and resides on a variety of systems, including endpoints, removable media, local servers, cloud servers, and cloud-based services like Box and Dropbox. This growth and spread of data has quickly exceeded the ability of most companies to keep track of it, let alone protect it. This massive influx of data, spread out among various locations, has naturally brought with it increasing security exposures, leading to an almost daily data breach crisis.

NIST launches self-assessment tool for cybersecurity

It's designed to walk organizations through the process of figuring out "how to integrate cybersecurity risk management ... into larger enterprise business practices and processes," Matthew Barrett explained to FedScoop. Barrett is the program manager for the NIST Cybersecurity Framework — a document that catalogues the five areas of cybersecurity every company needs to know: identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. ... "The self-assessment criteria are basic enough that they could apply to organizations of any size," said Barrett. But critics aren't so sure. Larry Clinton, founder and CEO of the alliance, called the excellence builder "a pretty sophisticated tool," but added that meant it was really most useful to larger enterprises.

Ideas for Filling the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Studies over the years show the struggle in building an IT security staff. For example, a GAO survey earlier this year of federal agencies' CISOs reveals their difficulties in recruiting, hiring and retaining security personnel. Wilshusen says the problem of maintaining a sufficient security staff makes it more challenging for agencies to effectively carry out their responsibilities. In building the federal government's cybersecurity workforce, Pritzker suggests the commission consider recommending a centralized system to recruit, train and place federal cybersecurity personnel as well as creating specialized pay scales to compete with the private sector. "We need to rethink recruitment with bold ideas like debt forgiveness for graduates of certified programs, tuition-free community college in return for federal service and cybersecurity apprenticeships within civilian agencies," the Commerce secretary says.

This Is how you stop ignoring the employee voice

In case you forgot, your employees are human. They are all living, breathing, feeling beings who deserve a bit of human interaction. Take the time to meet regularly and face-to-face with your employees. This not only gives you and your team members a chance to catch up on their performance, but also allows employees to share opinions or issues they are facing. Airing those grievances face-to-face lets employees see their manager’s reaction, as well as have an immediate discussion about what can and will be done. Now you might be thinking, “But an email thread is sooo much easier!” It’s also lazier. And might be negatively affecting employee engagement.

Serverless Architectures: The Evolution of Cloud Computing

Serverless architectures are a natural extension of microservices. Similar to microservices, serverless architecture applications are broken down into specific core components. While microservices may group similar functionality into one service, serverless applications delineate functionality into finer grained components. Custom code is developed and executed as isolated, autonomous, granular functions that run in a stateless compute service. ... For a serverless architecture, the “User” service would be separated into more granular functions. In Figure 2, each API endpoint corresponds to a specific function and file. When a “create user” request is initiated by the client, the entire codebase of the “User” service does not have to run; instead only create_user.js will execute.

Why Red Hat is misunderstood amid public cloud worries

Any customer that bets on a cloud stack and uses proprietary APIs is going to have some form of lock-in. That's why OpenStack is such a popular movement. Now let's take those nuances back to Red Hat. "What we're seeing is that large customers see value in running everywhere," said Whitehurst. "These customers want a standard operating environment and want to take Linux with them as they go cloud." Worrywarts about Red Hat will argue that a move to the public cloud means that AWS will get the Linux business. Not necessarily. "As more goes to the public cloud the more relevant we get," Whitehurst argued. "If you are moving to Amazon you have to architect it so you're not locked in. Large enterprises feel burned out about being locked in."

Quote for the day:

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." -- Mother Teresa

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