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Don't be quick to build or migrate to cloud

Don't be quick to build or migrate to cloud | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
A cloud executive and engineer that I highly respect wrote a blog post detailing why he believes CIO’s should avoid building private clouds. Subbu Allamaraju comes from Yahoo and Ebay. He knows private clouds extremely well. He’s now the VP of Cloud at Expedia. So, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to building and managing private clouds. I don’t doubt any of his advice. I found the advice well thought from his lens.

As he mentioned in his blog post, he has debated his thoughts with his peers. So, smart people don’t agree. I wanted to capture some additional points when considering private cloud.
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Rackspace SharePoint Pro Shares Insights from Ignite 2016

Rackspace SharePoint Pro Shares Insights from Ignite 2016 | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
There were a bunch of big announcements at Ignite, almost too many to mention. I think the biggest message was that the rumors of on-prem SharePoint Server’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Jeff Teper made it very clear in his keynote that Microsoft is putting a lot of love into SharePoint Server and has big plans for it. They’re going to release the first Feature Pack in November, which will help it keep parity with the functionality its online sibling SharePoint Online has.

Microsoft has embraced the hybrid idea. They recognize it’s going to be the reality for many customers and Microsoft is improving the hybrid experience. The hybrid theme was loud and proud at Ignite.
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Think (about ITSM) before undertaking IT automation

Think (about ITSM) before undertaking IT automation | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Automation isn’t a silver bullet. Before undertaking automation, an organization must look at their service management maturity level. 

I’ve been in vendor sessions listening to the value of abstracting your application from the hardware layer. Reduction of total cost of ownership (TCO) is the primary business driver. Reducing friction in provisioning IT services reduces overall cost. Automation is a great way to reduce friction. However, one critical prerequisite in the drive for automation is proper service management. 
High TCO is sometimes a symptom of an overly complex or non-existent IT service management practice.

Everything’s a snowflake

The IT service catalog is a good place to start. If a request for a new system requires a bunch of analog inputs, then there’s opportunity for unknown challenges in the deployment process. An example is a server build. If application owners have to define all the file systems, middleware configuration and security settings then the build team has to craft each server build. 

For most organizations, there’s no business driver for such customization. I don’t look to AWS as an example for best practices for enterprise IT operations. However, standard sizing of instances is an example of a practice an organization should borrow from AWS. Offering too much choice can slow implementation. Crafted deployments don’t scale across a wide range of customers and add an unnecessary level of complexity. Offering a static set of options is commonly referred to t-shirt sizes. 
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10 AWS security blunders and how to avoid them

10 AWS security blunders and how to avoid them | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Amazon Web Services is easy to work with -- but can easily compromise your environment with a single mistake
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Speed to drive CIO agenda in 2017

Speed to drive CIO agenda in 2017 | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Think fast, CIOs.

It’s time for organizations to move past the “false promise” of a bimodal approach to IT, which results in a divided tech department operating at two different speeds, according to research and advisory firm Forrester. Instead, CIOs need to push for enterprise-wide acceleration – and a comprehensive business technology strategy – to keep up with customers’ appetites for new products and services.

“Gone are the days of stability and predictability. The business environment you operate in will change faster than ever in 2017. Many of these changes will be outside of your control, but your ability to anticipate and respond will make or break your success,” Forrester writes in a research document focused on the evolving role of the CIO in 2017.

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Is your IT staff ready for IoT?

Is your IT staff ready for IoT? | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
The city of Kansas City, Mo., blazed a new technology trail in May when it launched its first streetcar line with public Wi-Fi that spreads across two square miles, covering more than 50 square blocks. It also marked the debut of the city's first-generation smart city corridor for new technologies, many of which will run wirelessly over one of the largest free public Wi-Fi zones in the country.

For chief innovation officer Bob Bennett, finding the right tech talent to get the project moving was relatively easy, thanks to partnerships with networking giant Cisco, wireless carrier Sprint and a dozen other providers.

However, as the city moves forward with its plan to collect data from thousands of sensors and use predictive analytics to measure the effectiveness of city services, the 30 people in the IT department will have to learn new skills associated with the internet of things (IoT).

The challenge for some IT staffers "is the willingness to embrace what's next," Bennett says. For starters, he's lobbying for a move to cloud-based software with the city's next Oracle upgrade, and he hopes IT staffers will embrace cloud storage.

He's also looking for IT professionals with "a freakish allegiance" to data protection standards and cybersecurity, and for people who can develop connections between multiple systems and create access to data.

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Take a look inside Microsoft’s Quincy, Wash. data center

Take a look inside Microsoft’s Quincy, Wash. data center | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
For some IT people, looking into one data center is like looking into a thousand different data centers: They all look, feel and even smell the same. Rows and rows of racks, raised floors, cables everywhere, and millions of blinking lights make up the typical data center experience, and you might think the art of data center design had been baked down to a fine science by now.

For the cloud giants, however -- Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and the like -- data centers are not set in stone. Rather, they evolve in generations as servers get more powerful, power becomes cheaper and computers less hungry for it, and scale becomes hyper. Data centers that contain millions of servers operate on a different level, and their operation is closely guarded, as each of these giants thinks that the way it runs its millions of servers is a competitive advantage.

I was invited to peek behind the scenes, however, as part of a group touring Microsoft's growing Quincy, Wash. data center last month to see some of what Microsoft calls its data center evolution. Our group was not permitted to take photos, but Microsoft provided images that exactly match what I saw on the tour. Follow along as we look at how cloud and hyperscale changes the way data centers are put together.
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VMware embraces containers with latest vSphere, Virtual SAN updates

New versions of vSphere, Virtual SAN and vRealize Suite extend support for application containers and managing public clouds
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Why REST APIs are Not Enough

Why REST APIs are Not Enough | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Automation is a very hot topic these days.  Actually, that’s probably one of the understatements of the current state of IT.  Everywhere you turn, you get some sort of message about how important automation is.  Unfortunately, due to the sad state of IT up until “right now”, very few people have been able to devote the cycles necessary to understand automation and the processes automation is supposed to represent.

Back at VMworld US 2016, I was privileged to be a panelist for an Opening Acts panel that had automation and DevOps (although we didn’t even touch DevOps, much to my dismay) as the topics.  One of the opening questions was about barriers to automation and I piped up about the fact that many Operations folk are just not versed in programming/scripting skills.  I was quickly drown out by others bringing up that process was the biggest barrier to automation within existing IT shops.

I’m going to wholeheartedly disagree with some of my panelists.  Even in my current day job, many of our Operations personnel have the processes defined, as per specific industry certifications.  Documentation is constantly being updated about these processes and kept relatively up to date.  What my Operations team lacks is the programming specific knowledge to interface with all these disparate systems.
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VMware Cloud on AWS – A Closer Look - VMware vSphere Blog

VMware Cloud on AWS – A Closer Look - VMware vSphere Blog | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it

Today, VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are announcing a strategic partnership providing the ability to run a full VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) as a cloud service on AWS. This service will include all the enterprise tools you’re familiar with including vSphere, ESXi, VSAN and NSX. This article provides a technical preview of the new service VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC), allowing me to give you a sneak peak of the incredibly cool stuff that is coming.

This architecture is a match made in heaven if you ask me. It allows administrators and architects that are used to vSphere to leverage the agility of AWS without re-architecting applications and reconstructing operational procedures. One great advantage is that vCenter will be the main platform of operations, therefore all tools that you currently run against vCenter in your on-premises vSphere deployment will work with the in-cloud SDDC environment. All these tools and functionalities that have been developed over the years are now coming together and provide an environment that allows workload mobility between clouds while pushing data center agility to new levels.

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Can’t Decide between Cloud & On-Premises Virtual Desktops & Apps? Go Hybrid! - VMware End-User Computing Blog

Can’t Decide between Cloud & On-Premises Virtual Desktops & Apps? Go Hybrid! - VMware End-User Computing Blog | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
New VMware Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode features announced at VMworld Europe 2016 help your business embrace a simpler, more cost-effective approach to desktop and app virtualization.

Last quarter, we introduced VMware Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode. This innovative new hybrid cloud software service enables virtual desktops and application delivery from on-premises infrastructure, while centrally managing it all from the cloud.

Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode offers a simpler and more cost-effective approach to desktop and application virtualization. With Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode, you leverage:

Hyper-converged infrastructure for on-premises capacity; and
The cloud for maintenance-free experience of a software-as-a-service.

The service combines the best of the cloud and on-premises models, making it ideal for organizations looking for a bridge to move to the cloud or those with workloads split between cloud and on-premises infrastructures.
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Hybrid Cloud is Fools Gold - CTO044

Hybrid Cloud is Fools Gold - CTO044 | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Tyler Britten and we discuss the fallacy of the Hybrid Cloud concept. We discuss the idea of hybrid cloud and how it differs from hybrid-infrastructure. What exactly should infrastructure team focus their efforts if hybrid cloud isn't a thing? 
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VMware's cloud comes to Amazon AWS in new SDDC push - TechRepublic

VMware's cloud comes to Amazon AWS in new SDDC push - TechRepublic | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Long time rivals VMware and AWS recently partnered to offer VMware's SDDC platform within the AWS data center, but questions remain.
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The New Stack

The New Stack | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
For developers and engineers building and managing new stacks around the world that are built on open source technologies and distributed infrastructures.
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Big Data Programming Languages: What Are The Differences Between Python, R, and Julia?

Big Data Programming Languages: What Are The Differences Between Python, R, and Julia? | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
When it comes to coding Big Data and analytical applications, a select group of programming languages have become the default choices.

This is because their feature sets make them well suited to handling large and complicated datasets. Not only were they originally designed with statistical purposes in mind, but a broad developer ecosystem has also evolved around them. This means there are extensions, libraries, and tools out there for performing just about any analytics functions you might need.

R, Python, and the relative newcomer Julia are currently three of the most popular programming languages chosen for Big Data projects in industry today. They have a lot in common, but there are important differences that have to be considered when deciding which one will get the job done for you. Here’s a brief introduction to each of them, as well as some ideas about applications where one may be more suitable than the others.
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OpenStack Newton: An Unstoppable Force in Enterprise IT

OpenStack Newton: An Unstoppable Force in Enterprise IT | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it

OpenStack is moving steadily into the enterprise and is now the de facto standard for private cloud platforms. With Newton, the most recent release, OpenStack is focusing on three key functions necessary for it to become the single platform for enterprise IT: scalability, resiliency and user experience.

At Rackspace, we see the rise of this community-built open source platform as the force behind a continuing wave of innovation, as more users and enterprises reap the benefits of OpenStack and cloud computing.

With every new community release, that promise takes firmer shape, as OpenStack has focused on becoming the single platform for integrating and managing all types of cloud resources, including virtual machines, bare metal servers and containers.

In doing so, OpenStack is becoming a suitable cloud platform for any customer workload, in recognition of the diversity that exists in enterprise data centers.

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App abandoment is on the rise as consumers stick to the apps they know

App abandoment is on the rise as consumers stick to the apps they know | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
It’s getting harder to get people to try new mobile applications, according to a new state of the industry report out now from Adobe, as consumers are sticking to what they know when it comes to the apps on their smartphones. App abandonment is also climbing, and app installs are only up 6 percent year-over-year, the report states. Meanwhile, launches of existing apps are much higher, with 24 percent year-over-year growth.

That trend is even more pronounced for the top mobile applications (the top 20 percentile), where app launches are growing at a massive 62 percent year-over-year.
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The future of Drupal could be cooking in this lab

The future of Drupal could be cooking in this lab | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Acquia Labs prepping open source Drupal to support conversational UIs like Amazon Echo's Alexa & Apple Siri, among other browserless interfaces
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Why don't developers have a 'spellchecker' for security'?

Why don't developers have a 'spellchecker' for security'? | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it

Despite all the news coverage about successful cyberattacks, developers are still writing code full of security vulnerabilities.

Of course, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, and as software projects get more and more complex, it can be easy to mix potential problems.

According to a report released this month by Veracode, 61 percent of all internally-developed applications failed a basic test of compliance with the OWASP Top 10 list on their first pass. And commercially developed software did even worse, with a 75 percent failure rate.

These are basic, well-known problems, like SQL injections and cross-site scripting.

Or take hard-coded passwords. Who still does that? According to Veracode, 35 percent of all applications they tested.

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Platforms in the cloud take heavy lifting out of architecture tasks

Platforms in the cloud take heavy lifting out of architecture tasks | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
As tech giants battle for cloud dominance, businesses looking to offload heavy-duty infrastructure tasks are reaping hefty rewards from platform-as-a-service offerings. Here’s how three IT leaders mixed and matched their powerful yet flexible PaaS packages.
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Gartner: Dell EMC is top choice for distributed file systems and object storage

Gartner: Dell EMC is top choice for distributed file systems and object storage | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it

Gartner Inc. has published its first ever “Magic Quadrant” for distributed file systems and object storage, the software and hardware that’s intended to enable companies to deal with the rapid growth of unstructured data. 


The analyst firm reckons that tech behemoth Dell EMC is leading the way in the newly defined segment, and is some distance ahead of other “leaders” IBM Corp. and Scality. The only “challenger” in the ranking is data storage provider Hitachi Data Systems Corp., while Red Hat Inc. and SwiftStack Inc. landed in the “visionaries” box. There are, however, no less than seven “challengers” bringing up the rear in the shape of NetApp Inc., Cloudian Inc., DataDirect Networks (DDN), SUSE, Caringo Inc., Panasas Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 


In its report, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each company’s offering, Gartner says that Dell EMC’s position at the top of the tree is thanks to the strength of its popular Isilon and Elastic Cloud Storage line of products. The analyst firm says they have a proven track record of large production deployments across a variety of enterprises. It also points to Dell EMC’s broad product portfolio, deployment and consumption models, and aggressive pricing as key reasons for its No. 1 ranking.

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The Dyn DDoS Attack: Two Key Lessons for Cyber Security

The Dyn DDoS Attack: Two Key Lessons for Cyber Security | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Organizations can end up spending significant amounts on cyber security and on ensuring that customers are able to access their on-line services reliably. But what happens when your organization is dependent on a third party to ensure that the connection to your customers works? It means that no matter how much you spend on your security, a key potential area of vulnerability will remain out of your control. This DDoS attack was targeted at Dyn, not at any of the organizations that suffered an outage as a result of the attack. When we look at our cyber security posture and vulnerabilities, are we considering the impact from third parties outside our control that play a critical role in connecting us with our customers? Any provider which we are dependent on to provide a reliable service needs to be part of our cyber security considerations.
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Exclusive: Blockchain platform developed by banks to be open-source

Exclusive: Blockchain platform developed by banks to be open-source | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
A blockchain platform developed by a group that includes more than 70 of the world's biggest financial institutions is making its code publicly available, in what could become the industry standard for the nascent technology.

The Corda platform has been developed by a consortium brought together by New-York-based financial technology company R3. It represents the biggest shared effort among banks, insurers, fund managers and other players to work on using blockchain technology in the financial markets.

Blockchain, which originated in the digital currency bitcoin, works as a web-based transaction-processing and settlement system. It creates a "golden record" of any given set of data that is automatically replicated for all parties in a secure network, eliminating any need for third-party verification.
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How blockchain will disrupt your business

How blockchain will disrupt your business | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Like mobile and cloud, blockchain — first implemented in the original source code of bitcoin in 2009 — stands poised to profoundly disrupt business. If it lives up to its promise, it won't just be financial institutions that are disrupted.

"If you can transfer money or something of value through the internet just like another form of data, what else can you do with it? It provides a way to establish trust in the digital world," says Angus Champion de Crespigny, Financial Services Blockchain and Distributed Infrastructure Strategy Leader, Ernst & Young. "How do you ensure something is the original copy of something on the internet? Prior to blockchain technology, you couldn't."
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First Principles for Network Defenders: A Unified Theory for Security Practitioners - Palo Alto Networks Blog

First Principles for Network Defenders: A Unified Theory for Security Practitioners - Palo Alto Networks Blog | Current issues in information technology | Scoop.it
Great thinkers like Aristotle, Descartes and Elon Musk have said that, in order to solve really hard problems, you have to get back to first principles. First principles in a designated problem space are so fundamental as to be self-evident; so true that no expert in the field can argue against them. They are atomic. Experts use them like building blocks to derive everything else that is worth knowing in the problem domain. In this paper, I propose that “the” first principle for all network defenders is to prevent high risk material impact to the organization.

In our day-to-day activities, if we are spending resources that are not designed to prevent material impact to our organization, we are wasting them. The three essential tasks that support the first principle are: threat prevention, threat detection, and threat eradication. These comprise the network defender’s trinity; they are atomic and cannot be separated. If you do one and not the other, you will fail the first principle. Additionally, in order to accomplish the three essential tasks of the network defender’s trinity, you need to establish your own intelligence function in order to build adversary group dossiers for those potential adversary groups that pose the largest threat in terms of material impact. Once you have developed them, you need to share them with all the network defenders who have the capability to consume them.
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