Daily Tech Digest - January 23, 2022

Blockchain As A Service

Businesses need to find ways in order to get ahead; by taking on new technology, they can gain an edge. Blockchain can be a very complicated technology, but with the right Blockchain as a service solution, it should not get in the way of your business goals and objectives. If you are looking to get started quickly without having to know too much about Blockchain or how Blockchain works, then make sure that your Blockchain platform is easy for you to use. Blockchain as a service should be easy to understand and use so that you can get up and running right away. Blockchain is easy enough for everyone, including business owners who may not have much experience working with blockchain technology. However, if you want your Blockchain platform to provide the possible functionality, ease of use is important. The Blockchain wants your business will run on may not be compatible with the Blockchain platform that you want to work on. Make sure that the Blockchain platform you choose is compatible with the technologies that your business uses.

Why Data Operations Platforms Can't Survive without Governance

Data operations (DataOps) is a data management methodology that improves an organization's efficiency and profitability by applying agile techniques to the workflows that derive business value from data. It leverages a combination of processes and technologies to reduce data friction, improve business agility, and increase security, integrity, and reliability throughout the data pipeline. However, to achieve increased productivity, a DataOps system has to ensure that the data is governed throughout its life cycle as it moves through increasingly complex pipelines and analytics workflows. Data governance is another data management concept that focuses on the necessary people, processes, and technologies to ensure the availability, usability, integrity, and security of enterprise data, based on internal data standards and policies. Effective data governance ensures that data is consistent, trustworthy, and appropriately used by data consumers. Data governance focuses on the organizational strategies, roles, and policies that define who can take what action on what data, in which situations, using what methods. 

5 considerations for saving more and wasting less on cloud services

Data on the historical usage of resources for a product or project is key to getting an understanding of the basic needs for your engineering and developer teams to plan and select commitments. However, it is often overlooked that past resource utilization will not always reflect future usage. Changes in business strategy, right-sizing or migration plans, and other external factors can lead to a drastic deviation from historical usage patterns. The net result is either over committing to resources and wasting money, or under-committing and missing savings opportunities. To anticipate potential deviations from historical usage, consider modeling the impact of different scenarios on usage and costs. Scenario planning is a nuanced activity that takes place between engineering, finance, and operations teams. Inputs such as right-sizing, migration, re-architecting, new projects, business growth, and financial best practices need to supplement historical data in estimating future costs and cloud service savings and usage to avoid over or under-commitment to services.

Vast Data Eyes A Role In The Data Center Beyond Storage

Vast Data views itself as a data company, he says. Looking at spectrum of storage systems available, some are more intelligent and evolved than others. “File systems are more evolved then than block storage systems are or J-Bots and what you have are essentially data management systems,” Denworth says. “We realized that we could take that far beyond the classic definitions of a file system, but the realization was that the architecture that has the most intimate understanding of data can make the best decisions about what to do with that data. First by determining what’s inside of it. Second of all, by either moving the data to where the compute is or the compute to where the data is, depending upon what the most optimized decision is at any given time.” There is a “classic IT stack that infrastructure teams have been running for forever, products like VMware and Oracle and EMC,” he says. 

The opportunities and challenges of data center industry in 2022

The data center industry is gearing up for broader adoption of liquid cooling tech in 2022. The demand from powerful new hardware for AI workloads, pressure to eliminate water use in cooling servers, and also the progress of liquid cooling tech are prompting an overhaul of the current systems. Microsoft has already started using immersion-cooled servers in production on its campus in Quincy, Washington. The company had been testing cooling technology used in bitcoin mining facilities. Here, servers are dunked in tanks of cooling fluid to manage rising heat. “We are the first cloud provider that is running two-phase immersion cooling in a production environment,” said Husam Alissa, principal hardware engineer, Microsoft’s data center team. In November, Digital Realty also started offering liquid-cooled servers in Digital Loyang 1 (SIN11) facility, Singapore and slashed the power consumption to up to 29 per cent compared with the conventional air-cooled servers. Advancements like Metaverse calls for dense compute, varying latencies, and massive storage requirements.

McAfee Bug Can Be Exploited to Gain Windows SYSTEM Privileges

According to the advisory, McAfee Agent “contains a privileged service that uses this OpenSSL component. A user who can place a specially crafted openssl.cnf file at an appropriate path may be able to achieve arbitrary code execution with SYSTEM privileges.” Dormann found that an unprivileged user could exploit the bug to place a specially crafted openssl.cnf in a location used by McAfee Agent and thus potentially be able to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges on a Windows system that has the vulnerable McAfee Agent software installed. When Dormann referred to an openssl.cnf, he was talking about an OpenSSL configuration file: a file that provides SSL defaults for items such as certificate files locations, and site details such as those entered during installation. The second bug in the Agent – tracked as CVE-2021-31854 and given a CVSS criticality rating of 7.7 – can be exploited by a local user to inject arbitrary shell code into a file, McAfee said in its advisory.

Cisco chases quantum tech

Of particular interest to Cisco is future development of quantum-based networks, data centers, and internet technologies. “Quantum networking could enable a new type of secure connection between digital devices, making them impenetrable to hacks,” Centoni stated. “As this type of foolproof security becomes achievable with quantum networking, it could lead to better fraud protection for transactions. In addition, this higher quality of secure connectivity may also be able to protect voice and data communications from any interference or snooping. All of these possibilities would re-shape the internet we know and use today.” Looking closer, Cisco’s vision is twofold--to build quantum data centers that could use classic local area network concepts to tie together quantum computers to communicate to solve big problems or a quantum-based network that transmitsquantum bits [qubits] from quantum servers at high-speeds to handle commercial-grade applications, said Ramana Kompella a Distinguished Engineer and the head of research in the Emerging Tech and Incubation group at Cisco.

Should we stop trying to make Open Banking happen when it’s not going to happen?

While Boden’s views dominated headlines at the end of last year, what hasn’t been covered in as much depth is what was said by others present, particularly those in the CMA9 – the group of nine banks that were the first to be involved in the UK’s Open Banking experiment. John Collins, chief legal and regulatory officer at Santander UK, commented on Open Banking and stated that, “Open banking has been slow, but it is a good example of banks and fintechs getting together and working out where the opportunity is for the consumer in the future. We need to focus on doubling down, with the infrastructure now in place, and proving the use case, not pursuing all the connoisseurs’ points and the smaller scenarios right now.” Collins here is saying that we can still use utilise the Open Banking initiatives, perhaps not for what was originally planned. Rather than focusing on making a concept that has been mandated happen, banks should be looking at how to use that technology effectively and ensure progress.

Bluprint Teaches Kids to Code JavaScript in the Metaverse

The Bluprint metaverse comes pre-populated with objects and characters, which have code that can quickly be viewed and altered. It gives users a different way to interact with and learn code, one that can be layered from one level of difficulty to the next. “We can actually scaffold the learning by saying: step one, look at the code and change something little about it (a string, a number) and then see what effect that has on its behavior. Or maybe add a new behavior by adding a couple of methods, or just activating them in some way, and see if that can work,” said Chopra. “It’s about changing something you see, it’s about adding something, and then, eventually, it’s about authoring things from scratch.” The Bluprint metaverse is built with security and privacy in mind for its users (seeing as they’re often below the age of 12), and the worlds that they build are invite-only, with parental controls built-in. In terms of coding safety, Bitsbox and Bluprint co-founder Scott Lininger explained that “Kids can write any JavaScript they like.

All in the Data: Ways to Improve Your Data

Data by itself has no meaning or context. If you are provided a piece of data – let’s say “01229” is that data – you have no knowledge of what that data represents without any description or information about that data. Is it a quantity, an amount, an address, a calculated field, or something completely different? The data, your data, has no meaning unless context is provided. That context, in the field of data management, is metadata. Now put yourself if the position of a corporate executive that is viewing their daily production dashboard, or a manager that is needs to make a decision based on data they receive in a report. These people must trust and have confidence in the data they use. That confidence comes from their knowledge about the data, or in other words, the metadata that helps the organization to improve its data. Organizations that strive to become data-centric or data-driven are introducing policies that spell out that data is an asset and how it will be governed. Organizations are concentrating on changing their cultures when it comes to data, and there is a push for organizations to become more data literate.

Quote for the day:

"Each day you are leading by example. Whether you realize it or not or whether it's positive or negative, you are influencing those around you." -- Rob Liano

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