Daily Tech Digest - September 24, 2019

Two AMD Epyc processors crush four Intel Xeons in tests

Two AMD Epyc processors crush four Intel Xeons in tests
Tests by the evaluation and testing site ServeTheHome found a server with two AMD Epyc processors can outperform a four-socket Intel system that costs considerably more. If you don’t read ServeTheHome, you should. It’s cut from the same cloth as Tom’s Hardware Guide and AnandTech but with a focus on server hardware, mostly the low end but they throw in some enterprise stuff, as well. ServeTheHome ran tests comparing the AMD Epyc 7742, which has 64 cores and 128 threads, and the Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M with its 28 cores and 56 threads. The dollars, though, show a real difference. Each Epyc 7742 costs $6,950, while each Xeon Platinum 8180M goes for $13,011. So, two Epyc 7742 processors cost you $13,900, and four Xeon Platinum 8180M processors cost $52,044, four times as much as the AMD chips. And that’s just the chips. The actual servers will also set you back a pretty penny, especially since four-socket servers cost much more than two-socket servers regardless of the processor you use.

Build cloud economics expertise in-house

Organizations think the cloud is more expensive than an on-premises data center because they don't capture costs effectively throughout the entire process. That starts during the architecture and design phases, where expenditures often go unnoticed. Put the tools in place to communicate -- at a high level -- all features and services that power your applications and environments. For example, it could take the form of a reference architecture that lays out all the services you have in production. Enterprises are better positioned to spot potential money pits when there's cost transparency, and managers, IT staff and back-office staff understand their roles in keeping costs in check. As you put together plans for your cloud initiative, remember to factor in the costs of such training. Organizations deploy a variety of cloud storage techniques, such as archival, reduced redundancy and backup -- each of which carries its own impacts on performance and cost.

Putting blockchain technology to good use

Richard Hunt, founder of Turnkey Consulting, believes that once an individual has been through the process to prove their identity, this proof can be reused in other situations where ID is required. “A digital identity would enable citizens to take back control of their data and their identity, choosing who to share this information with and, perhaps more importantly, who not to,” he says. “It would also allow individuals to both fully understand and capitalise on the value of their personal data.” Gartner distinguished vice-president David Furlonger says governments are looking at ways blockchain can be deployed to improve efficiency. Efficiency-based initiatives are founded on the idea that decentralised, multiparty transactions can be streamlined using blockchain to solve transactions. Government interests are mostly driven by their need to decrease friction in disconnected processes, interactions or transactions between a variety of government organisations or involving the broader public/private ecosystems.

Microsoft delivers emergency security update for antiquated IE

secure encrypted internet web browser address bar
IE was demoted to second-citizen status with the introduction of Windows 10, but Microsoft has been adamant that it will continue to support the browser. IE, particularly IE11, remains necessary in many enterprises and organizations for running aged web apps and internal websites. The browser may retreat to a "mode" within a vastly reworked Microsoft Edge - and the stand-alone abandoned - but IE will live on in some form. Still, it's no longer the most popular kid on the block: According to the latest data from web analytics vendor Net Applications, IE accounted for just 9% of all Windows-based browsing activity. For comparison, Edge's share of all Windows was around 7%. According to information in the description of the update package, the emergency IE fix is available only through the Microsoft Update Catalog. Users would have to steer a browser to that website, then download and install the update. The easiest way to locate the IE update is by using the link in the OS-appropriate KB (for knowledge base) gleaned from the security bulletin. (No one said Microsoft makes it easy.)

Managers Lack Confidence To Develop Skills Employees Need Today: Gartner

Managers lack confidence to develop skills employees need today: Gartner - CIO&Leader
“Today’s organizations are undergoing a digital transformation that directly impacts how they do business, and they are finding a significant skills gap within their workforces,” said Jaime Roca, senior vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “Our research found that 70% of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their jobs today, let alone the skills needed for their future roles.” Organizations that are most successful at developing their employees have focused on cultivating Connector managers, who are able to connect employees to the right people and resources at the right time. In fact, Connector managers boost employee performance by up to 26% and more than triple the likelihood that their employees will be high performers. “Connector managers give targeted coaching and feedback in their areas of expertise, but they recognize that there are skills best taught by people other than themselves,” said Sari Wilde, managing vice president in the Gartner HR practice.

Contemporary Front-end Architectures

Web applications have evolved from simple static websites (two-tiered architecture) into complex multi-layered SPA and SSR driven API first systems. CMS systems have grown into Headless content-first systems. Front-end community has changed rapidly in recent times. It started with DOM infused algorithms introduced by jQuery, which was quickly succeeded by MVC based Backbone.js. And, in no time, we found ourselves in the jungle of bidirectional and unidirectional data flow architecture. Somewhere, we lost the track of how we got here. How did the world that was so drenched in MVC suddenly got into React pioneered unidirectional data flow? What is the correlation? As we progress, we will attempt to unlock this puzzle. Though aimed at front-end engineers, the article should help any web developer seeking a general understanding of modern web application architecture. Software Architecture underpins large number of activities — process, requirement gathering, deployment topology, technology stack, etc. However, that is outside the scope of this article.

Top 5 nontechnical skills for cloud computing success

Legal implications in cloud computing aren't just about compliance and regulation like HIPAA or GDPR. Rules on how to handle data are important, but there's also value in hiring employees who can provide general legal advice around cloud computing. Questions can arise outside the purview of compliance, such as what the tax regulations are around cloud providers. For instance, in some situations, it does not make sense to displace existing hardware with cloud services. If that hardware hasn't fully deprecated, the associated tax benefit has not been fully realized. This can lead to a net loss that's much higher than any savings that might come from switching to the cloud. Other legal issues include how software licenses are transferable and adherences to service-level agreements. Most people who advise on cloud law are lawyers, although some are converted project managers.

Why CIOs should take extra precautions when buying IT support

“It is important to carefully evaluate primary support capabilities, such as the breadth and depth of the support team in each global region, the comprehensiveness of the service offering, and experience and scope in delivering vital tax, legal and regulatory updates, as well as strategic capabilities like modernisation and cloud services, hybrid IT, business-driven roadmap planning and application management services,” she said. “The right partner will help you to maximise the value of your existing applications and create the capacity to fund your modernisation, as well as free up resources to focus on transforming your IT systems,” Phelan added. “As such, another consideration for enterprises evaluating third-party support is how providers are investing in their proposition. The expertise and talent they bring into the organisation, and the innovative new services they offer, are key to helping companies transform.”

Six Degrees of Application Architecture

With application architecture, there is often a high-level approach or cycle that flows through the process of design and early development/prototyping. As time passes, we get better by leveraging frameworks and patterns that help reduce boilerplate or duplicate efforts in the design process. Think about it, since ORM frameworks have been introduced, few are spending time writing code that provides what Hibernate (as an example) provides. Even improvements to languages like Java cut down on the repetitive code which used to be required to process a list of objects. ... It is rare for work to be put into place to update those existing applications to take advantage of the new service. Even if the existing applications are not RESTful based, adding the functionality to make a call over HTTP is typically not that involved — especially if the value gained by the legacy application is significant. Most of the time the reason I encounter for such tasks not getting completed is tied to budgeting costs for the updates, validation/testing, and deployment.

Quote for the day:

"A leadership disposition guides you to take the path of most resistance and turn it into the path of least resistance." -- Dov Seidman

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