Blog Posts for Tuesday – 11 June, 2013

Here are some of the popular #webhostnews blog updates for the day

Top 5 OGO Employee Virtual Desktop Features
We talk about Hosted Virtual Desktop features all the time, but are you wondering what OGO Staffers find to be the most useful? This post is for you. This may seem obvious, and there are certainly other ways to provide this, but when I am in Philadelphia, and Dayvia is in Southern California, and we want to work on the same document the ability to both go into our “S:” (Shared) drive and grab the file like we were sitting in the same office is awesome. We are about 80% remote staff. Features like hosted storage make all OGOers feel a little closer, geographically at least. Some could call this feature trivial, but we all love getting the latest applications as soon as (or before!) they come out. OGO has to test their functionality on someone! The OGOers have been running MS Office 2013 for a few months now. By the way, if you are interested, it is pretty good! On the road and have your laptop stolen? That is no longer an issue for our traveling staff. The Virtual Destkop leaves no trace on your machine (All OGO Laptops are encrypted anyway) and you can just make your way to another computer and continue to operate like nothing happened.

Collaborative tools reach for the clouds
Enterprises are leveraging managed cloud hosting services for a number of reasons beyond the ability to simply reduce costs in today’s unpredictable economy. This is especially true as mobile devices become more common in the workplace, providing employees with the ability to access mission-critical applications from virtually anywhere. Because of this, businesses are beginning to migrate collaborative tools to the cloud to improve overall performance. A recent report by Strategy Analytics highlighted the growing use of cloud-based collaboration services, noting that that market generated $7.4 billion in revenue in 2012, which was 12 percent higher than the year before. While the advent of Platform as a Service (PaaS) has encouraged a larger percentage of companies to use cloud-enabled applications, hosted collaboration is really expected to take off in two years, when Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are used more frequently than traditional on-premise applications. As the enterprise continues to evolve, experts believe that cloud collaboration will eventually become the norm, as cloud application performance often exceeds that of conventional premise-based technologies.

Would Your Data Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?
It’s something that will have no doubt crossed most IT staffs mind at some point. If the powers that be drop the bomb on us all, or if there is a killer virus that wipes out most of us, or even if the Zombies take over…… will your data be recoverable when we rebuild society from the ruins? However catastrophe strikes you will need a backup and you will need to be able to ensure that you can restore everything. Your infrastructure could very well have the last copy of Led Zepplin’s Houses of the Holy on it …. or it may have on it your yearly tax return! Don’t think that just because there is an apocalypse on the IRS won’t try and catch up with you! So the zombies have risen to wipe us all out. Sure it’s bad news, but not all bad for you because you have PHD Backup combo’d with PHD ReliableDR! ReliableDR for VMware from PHD Virtual automates the Disaster Recovery process and enables you to certify your VMs will recover as planned, and within corresponding SLAs. PHD Virtual Backup with CloudHook is the first virtual data protection solution to offer a seamless and painless link to cloud storage for backup

Making Applied Research More Sensible
Technology has been defined as “the application of practical sciences to industry or commerce.” In its best form, it’s a synthesis: the convergence of what’s feasible in theory with what’s viable in practice. Deborah Estrin, Verisign Labs’ most recent distinguished speaker, recounted the point in her career as an accomplished networking researcher at UCLA where she recognized that her contributions to theory had extended much further than to practice. At that point, she decided to increase her efforts to make her ideas real — even if, as she noted, research papers on applications were much harder to publish in academic conferences than papers on theory. That change in approach would ultimately lead Deborah to pioneering work on networked sensing technology, the use of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze data about people and the physical world they interact with. Networked sensing has many potential applications, depending on what one wants to measure. Is it something about the environment? About a data center? Perhaps about a person’s health?

Enabling On-Demand BCP
You and I could probably trade soundbites (wordstrings?) all day long on the benefits of cloud computing — everything from cost containment — things like buying fewer servers — to optimizing human, as well as capital resources. Still, no matter how many reasons we would come up, I’m confident the theme of business continuity would permeate the resulting discussion. In fact, enabling BCP/DR (Business Continuity Planning/Disaster Recovery) by leveraging the cloud’s on-demand attributes is simply the best way to ensure your business stays up and running regardless of natural or man-made (e.g. unplanned downtime) events. There are two sides to this discussion, technical as well as business. Due to space limitations I recommend to you Tom Olzak’s excellent post on Tech Republic. His detailed descriptions of some of the more technical concepts behind business continuity, including MTPOD (Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption); MTTR (Mean Time To Repair) and RTO (Recovery Time Objectives) adeptly illuminates both their interdependencies as well as their impact for most ecosystems.

What Is a Drupal Distribution? Should I Use One?
The latest rage in the Drupal community these days is distributions. If you’re interested in upgrading from a previous version of Drupal or looking to convert over to it, distributions have probably been mentioned to you. A simple Google search will help you learn from exactly what a Drupal Distribution is however for those non-technical individuals I think there is a greater value to breaking it down into plain English. A Drupal Distribution is a full installation of Drupal specialized for an industry or particular purpose, such as presenting magazines online or managing a non-profit organization. The Drupalista’s would have my head for that definition but that’s exactly what a Drupal Distribution is. They are typically made by Drupal development companies, such as Unleashed Technologies, and allow for faster development cycles since the modules, themes, and core installation is pre-configured to better target a particular purpose. It seems to make quite a bit of sense. Why wouldn’t everyone use a Drupal Distribution to help grow their business or non-profit

Amazon RDS Price Reduction
I’m happy to announce that we are lowering the price of Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) database instances, both On-Demand and Reserved. On-Demand prices have been reduced as much as 18% for MySQL and Oracle BYOL (Bring Your Own License) and 28% for SQL Server BYOL. All of your On-Demand usage will automatically be charged at the new and lower rates effective June 1, 2013. Reserved Instance prices have been reduced as much as 27% for MySQL and Oracle BYOL. The new prices apply to Reserved Instance purchases made on or after June 11, 2013. Although Reserved Instance purchases are non-refundable, we are making a special exception for 1-year RI’s purchased in the last 30 days and 3-year RI’s purchased in the last 90 days. For a limited time, you can exchange recently purchased RI’s for new ones. You’ll receive a pro-rata refund of the upfront fees that you paid at purchase time. If you would like to exchange an RDS Reserved Instance for a new one, simply contact us. As you may know from my recent blog post, we have made a lot of progress since releasing Amazon RDS just 3.5 years ago.

How Does Social Media Impact Cybersecurity?
As we become more social in an increasingly connected world, companies must find new ways to protect personal information. Virtually all personal information is shared today, from credit card numbers to home addresses, and even social security numbers. It is the onus of companies dealing with personal information to prevent identity theft, hacks into their systems, or accidental exposure of such information. With identity fraud increasing 13% from 2010 to 2011 in the U.S., cybersecurity and compliance are more pressing than ever. With all of our information spread on social media and mobile apps spreading to personal banking, hackers no longer have to be creative to get people’s information. Thankfully, there are rules and regulations that organizations must comply with in order to protect themselves and us from ourselves. In a world where we’re quick to give up our personal information, companies have to ensure they’re just as quick in identifying threats, responding in real time, and avoiding a breach of any kind.

NSA Whistleblower Article Redirects to Malware
Hackers have latched on to the NSA surveillance story—literally. A news story on the outing of whistleblower Edward Snowden posted to the Washington Free Beacon is serving malware redirecting visitors to a malicious site where more malware awaits. The Free Beacon site remains infected, according to Invincea researchers, who said they have contacted the news organization about the attack. The story is being linked to by the popular Drudge Report and it’s likely to have snared a pretty good number of victims so far. The attack on the Free Beacon is similar to a previous watering hole attack carried out against a number of other Washington, D.C.-based media outlets, including radio station WTOP, Federal News Radio and the site of technology blogger John Dvorak. Invincea researcher Eddie Mitchell wrote on the company’s blog that several other Free Beacon pages are also serving javascript, including the site’s main index page. The javascript drops an iframe that sends traffic offsite to a page hosting the Fiesta Exploit Kit. “This exploit appears to be the same as used against other media sites to infect readers of these websites and part of a concerted campaign against media sites to infect their visitors by exploiting vulnerabilities in Java,” Mitchell wrote. “

Dragon Boat Festival: Now Driving Away Spam Too
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Duanwu Festival, is an important traditional holiday that has been celebrated by Chinese people as well as other people in East Asian societies for nearly 2,000 years. It is a day for people to drive away epidemics and evil spirits in summer by holding a series of symbolic activities because in ancient times, summer was considered to be a season of bugs, snakes, and fleas that could cause serious diseases. There are several traditions followed on this day, such as holding a dragon boat race, eating sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo (Zong zi), drinking realgar wine (Xionghuangjiu), and wearing perfumed medicine bags. Many of these activities involve some sort of commercial component—and spammers will never miss a good opportunity to make a profit. This year, the Dragon Boat Festival is going to be celebrated on June 12, 2013. In the lead-up to this festival, Symantec has blocked a large amount of spam associated with it.

Network World’s Fave Raves Hat Trick
Thanks to all of your votes and submissions we’ve made Network World’s Fave Raves list for the third year in a row! This year Shane Fender was the featured SpiceHead. Here’s what he wrote that garnered the nomination: “Spiceworks has helped me and saved my skin more times than I care to mention. The app is solid, works well and fits my needs. But the real value is the fact that they have the best online community in the entire universe. This coupled with all the amazing folks at Spiceworks (both support and outreach) means there is no equal. I love the high level of customization potential in the app, while at the same time being very easy to setup. This has allowed for a quick deployment at my company and flexibility as we grow and our needs change.” Congrats to Shane and all of you for making Spiceworks and the community so awesome.

Back to the Future
The following is an excerpt from the recently published SolidFire whitepaper, Beyond Test & Development: What virtualization can teach us about the next phase of cloud computing. This is the first in a six part series that will be published every Monday. The whitepaper in its entirety can be found here. The current cloud revolution shares a number of parallels with the virtualization movement that empowered the enterprise datacenter in the last decade. At the core of both tectonic shifts are clear platform disruptions spurred by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware, respectively. Similar to VMware’s early lead in x86 virtualization market, AWS has shown early dominance in the public cloud market. At the heart of both of these movements, the predominant early adopter use-case has been test and development environments. Recognizing the similarities in the initial adoption profile across these two markets caused us to take a closer look at the evolution of the server virtualization market to see what else we might learn.

Big Security for Small Businesses
In the world of information security, small businesses and the security needs of small businesses are often overlooked, particularly in the realm of application security. When looking at the investment required to build a robust application security program, it really doesn’t make sense financially. For example, an “enterprise” scanning tool, combined with the required hosting infrastructure, salary for a security specialist, and for the sake of argument, tack on static analysis, the total cost will easily exceed $120,000/year which is decidedly cost prohibitive for a lot of smaller companies. This presents a significant problem due to the fact that as an attacker, well, hacking the little guys is easy. Simply put, when it comes to handling attacks and incidents, small companies are at a significant disadvantage as they frequently lack a dedicated security team, let alone one security specialist. So what’s the best way to maintain a secure infrastructure without breaking the bank? As companies grow, scaling up becomes a big challenge from a lot of different angles.

Deploying Silver Peak on Cisco SRE
The Cisco Service Ready Engine (SRE) modules are high-performance router blades for Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR). Each module has its own processors, storage, network interfaces and memory that operate independently of the host router resources. These modules are great for running virtual WAN optimization software. Running the Silver Peak WAN optimization software on an SRE module is a great fit for those customers with an ISR G2 supported environment who need to optimize links between geographically disperse locations without expanding the physical footprint in each location. The growing popularity of Silver Peak’s high performance, highly-flexible software-based WAN optimization is leading to more deployments on Cisco SRE modules. The basic workflow for deploying Silver Peak software on a Cisco SRE module involves 1) installing the Cisco SRE Service Module into the ISR, 2) using the Cisco IOS commands to configure the Cisco SRE module interfaces, 3) if working with a blank Cisco SRE module, installing the Cisco SRE-V software and activating the license, 4)

IRC Botnet Leveraging Unpatched Plesk Vulnerability
Researchers have found a botnet exploiting a vulnerability in the Plesk hosting control panel, ramping up calls from experts to upgrade to current versions of the product. A notice on the Plesk command injection vulnerability as well as exploit code was posted last week to the Full Disclosure list by a hacker called kingcope. The researchers who reported the botnet said they were seeing up to 40 infections per hour. Some Apache server configurations are also vulnerable, experts said. Plesk is popular hosting software used to manage website configurations for any number of domains. Plesk is a Parallels product; the company is headquartered in Seattle and sells virtualization software in addition to products for web hosts. The vulnerability enables remote code execution affecting PGP-CGI software. A Parallels advisory said the flaw affects Parallels Plesk Panel 9.2 and 9.0 for Linux/UNIX. Later versions are not vulnerable and users are urged to upgrade as soon as possible. However, Trend Micro vulnerability researcher Sooraj KS said this vulnerability differs from the one the company issued an advisory about because the exploit calls the PHP interpreter directly.

Beware of Fake Gift Offers for Father’s Day
A lot of people are counting down the days until they can express their appreciation and love towards their dads by giving them gifts for Father’s Day, which is celebrated on June 16. Last month we published a blog called Spammers Continue to Exploit Mother’s Day, now it’s the turn of Father’s Day, as spam messages have started flowing into the Symantec Probe Network. Most of the spam emails attempt to encourage users to take advantage of product offers, fake surveys, and replica watches. Clicking the URL contained in the spam message automatically redirects the user to a website containing a bogus offer. Spammers will always try to take advantage of unsuspecting users by asking them to input personal information to avail of bogus offers for purchasing products. Symantec recently blogged about the rise of .pw URLs in spam messages and we are currently observing an increase in spam messages containing the .pw top-level domain (TLD) URLs in and around the times of major events, festivals, and holidays.

IT as a Service Broker: My 4 Talking Points
From recent conversations with customers and prospects, I picked up 4 themes everybody is focusing on when it comes to Enterprise Service Management and Automation. Join me online or offline to understand the impact of Enterprise SaaS and PaaS for your business and IT department. The best way to pick up new customer insights is to go out and just talk to the people. That’s why I turned May and June into an online/offline road trip of sorts. Last month, we hosted almost 4,000 attendees at our customer conference Knowledge13 in Las Vegas. Watch this recording of ServiceNow’s founder and CPO Fred Luddy describing the Future of Now – it’s an experience. Last week, I spoke at Gartner’s Infrastructure & Operations Summit in Berlin, and joined a panel discussion on the future of I&O. Then today and tomorrow, I am in London at Forrester’s I&O Forum, and in two weeks, you can join me live for a webcast with my buddies David and Andy on keeping your CMDB in shape. Then in between things, I traveled to our key prospects and customers across EMEA, to sit down with their teams

Five Critical Ways to Improve Security Posture Across Clouds
Survey after survey continues to find that security is chief among the challenges with cloud computing. In fact, fewer than half of security and compliance officers feel that they have the technology they need to secure their cloud deployments! Cloud management platforms can play a pivotal role in cloud security by centralizing the orchestration, governance and deployment of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure across hybrid clouds. However, the Agility Platform stands alone in its ability to offer a policy-based governance and security model that directly and specifically helps Global 2000 enterprises effectively manage cloud workload security. Here’s how: Policy-based application and data governance is achieved through Agility Platform policies that can dictate which application workload may be placed in which cloud. These governance policies can extend to include user access controls and provisioning constraints. Agility Platform can automate installation and configuration of security technologies including industry standards such as host intrusion-detection systems (HIDS), anti-virus, firewalls, vulnerability assessment and patch management.

Priceless Knowledge: Data Center Energy and Operational Trends
Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a series of industry events with two of our partner companies RF Code and Nlyte with some industry perspective provide by a Senior Analyst from 451 Research. The events were titled ‘Data Center Energy & Operational Efficiency 2013: Let Us SHOW You!” and some of the thoughts and discussion items from these events are discussed within this blog. Globally data center budgets are increasing. Though in North America some organizations are seeing their IT budgets get cut. Budgets for third party data centers seems to be growing much faster than budgets for enterprise data centers. Public cloud adoption is rising steadily. Many customers are turning to power, environmental and asset monitoring solutions combined with software tools including DCIM solutions to help solve some of these challenges.

Shared and Dedicated IPs: Which Should You Choose?
Trying to determine whether you should be on either a shared or a dedicated IP? Before you make any decisions, let’s start with the basics. All email is delivered over an IP address. It’s basically the pony express for email, but a lot faster! ISPs use the IP address to determine whether or not to deliver your email to the inbox based on your sending reputation. If you have a good reputation, your email is more likely to get delivered. If not, then you might not have much luck getting inboxed. Have you ever had a virtual mailing address where you could receive mail at a shared location or perhaps you are reading this in your shared office space? This is pretty much how a shared IP works. You are co-locating your mail streams with several other senders. Here are some things to consider with a shared IP. No reputation control. With a shared IP, you are at the mercy of your sending cohorts. If they are following email best practices, then you can reap the benefits of an IP address with a high reputation, but if not, there is little you can do to ensure high delivery rates.

Cloudscapes — Rising Demand for the Cloud
There have been a number of predictions on how Cloud technology will take the world by the storm and how it will cause a paradigm shift in computing concepts. The last two decades have proved the accuracy or otherwise of the predictions. Cloud computing has matured and has shifted perspectives on computing. Today, the demand for online data centers for private Cloud constructs far exceeds available supply! This trend is partly fueled by what the growing popularity of the Cloud and its offerings, and partly by the fact that organizations are quickly arriving at the realization that optimal, economic use of on-premise infrastructure may be a distant dream. GigaOMreported on a survey* conducted by research firm Campos Research and Analysis (commissioned by Digital Reality Trust) that a desire for internal private Clouds is driving the growth in data center technology. 300 IT firms across North America participated in the survey. 98% of the firms stated that they had plans to expand data centers to the Cloud in 2013-14.

Learn How a Modular Data Center May Lower Your Tax Bill
Regular readers of this blog know we’ve covered many times the benefits of modular, scalable data center infrastructure, including speed of deployment, ease of scalability and lower overall costs. Now we can add another benefit to the list: lower taxes. That’s the gist of a free course now being offered at Schneider Electric’s Energy University titled “Financial Planning for Physical Infrastructure Assets in US Data Centers.” The course gives data center owners and operators the background required to have fruitful conversations with their accounting teams to determine how best to account for new data center infrastructure, and potentially save money in the process. The advent of scalable, modular UPS systems, power distribution systems and, in some cases, air conditioning systems has given rise to a new physical infrastructure asset management opportunity. In many cases, for accounting purposes companies can treat these modular systems as “business equipment,” rather than as part of the building in which the equipment is installed. This new classification is the direct result of scalable, modular and factory tested systems that require little or no field wiring other than the power connection.

7 Customer Service Lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
The latest results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals as the reining and undisputed champ in both Internet retailing and across the entire department in overall customer satisfaction. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos perhaps more than any business leader has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer and ushered it into the digital era. Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company. As part of a training session each year, Jeff Bezos asks thousands of Amazon managers, including himself, to ­attend two days of call-center training. Most likely this was a doctrine borrowed from the U.S. Marines as all marines, regardless of rank, are trained to be a rifleman first. Nonetheless, the incentive here is for managers to immediately be placed in the mindset that Amazon’s philosophy is about listening, and most importantly, understanding the customer.

Dynamics AX 2012 – Unable to view reports
A customer called in with this issue today where their IT had deployed all their SSRS Reports, but none of their users could access them. I mean aren’t IT people around to run reports for accounting?! When navigating in AX ..for example —> Accounts Receivables —-> Reports —-> Customers.. Users would receive an error such as the one below.. Error while setting server report parameters. This was easily be solved by using active directory group permissions. Open the Report Manager website for the Reporting Services instance. So now IT can go back to doing IT.. and accounting can go back to doing accounting. To partner with a hosting company that allows you to keep doing your job,

Why Hybrid Cloud Is A Must Have For The Enterprise
With all of the recent buzz around hybrid cloud, I sat down recently with Rackspace CTO John Engates and James Staten, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester, for a recorded webinar discussing public, private and hybrid cloud – the definitions, how to get started and what both of these industry leaders are hearing from CIOs. Staten has a strikingly basic definition of hybrid cloud – “a cloud service connected to anything.” For Rackspace, our portfolio of services has become hybrid cloud, meaning that it is a seamless combination of dedicated bare metal servers, private cloud and/or public cloud, working together to deliver the best performance and cost, Engates explained. “For our customers, the benefit is they don’t have to go all or nothing on a particular technology, “ Engates said. “They can move some pieces of their workload in the cloud, they can continue to have some pieces of their workload in a physically-dedicated environment for performance or security reasons and they can allow themselves to make that transition on a pace that makes sense for them.”

Scammers Take Advantage of Dance Grand Prix Europe 2013
The International Dance Competition “Dance Grand Prix Europe” is set to begin June 12 and will be hosted in Spain. The purpose of the competition is to showcase all the top dancers from various dance schools and this major event attracts choreographic talent from around the world. Spammers also don’t want to miss this event and the opportunity to circulate a scam. To grab the reader’s attention, the spam email reveals some appealing facts about the event along with “only a little fee” required but no additional charges for participation in the event. Clicking the URL will automatically redirect the user to a website containing a bogus offer. Interestingly, to trick users into trusting the fake website, spammers also added a widget at the bottom left of the page that monitors online visitors and displays a random number of users online. The main motive of these spam campaigns is to lure recipients and acquire their personal and financial information. Users should be careful and avoid clicking the links.

ServiceNow Educational Resources and Tools for YOU
As the community moderator and your personal tour guide of our fabulous town of information, I often receive questions regarding the best way to “get my hands dirty” with the our service. Little do people know that ServiceNow offers a ton of free and interactive resources. ServiceNow and its partners have created webinars, videos and specific instances to help you improve your process and broaden your knowledge.

The Top 8 Questions to Ask Prospects to Sell More Effectively
There are plenty of sales questions we need to ask throughout the buying/selling process to help uncover need, create urgency and gain commitment. Here are some I think are important and the reasons why: What are the details of the decision making process and who is involved? Or, 2. How have decisions like this been made in the past? This might seem obvious but you’d be amazed at how many sales reps I see don’t ask this question or don’t get the details they need to really understand the process. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the decision making process and exactly who is involved then you shouldn’t be surprised at the end when all of a sudden you have to go talk to procurement, legal, other stake holders, or extend the trial or do a bake-off, etc. When someone gives a vague answer to this question you should push back and explain by you understanding the details you can help them make their buying process as efficient as possible by ensuring you have the right resources lined up on your end. If someone is unwilling to share the details I’d be worried about the quality of the opportunity and the likelihood of it closing in the first place.

Qualys Announces Availability of QualysGuard Private Cloud Platform on VCE Vblock Systems
At Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit today, Qualys announced that the QualysGuard® Private Cloud Platform has been integrated with VCE™ Vblock™ Systems to be delivered to customers worldwide, helping them secure their networks from cyber attacks and automate compliance. With this partnership, the fully virtualized QualysGuard software stack comes pre-installed, pre-configured and pre-qualified on the VCE Vblock System as a fully integrated turnkey solution, making it more scalable, cost effective and much faster to deploy within customers’ datacenters. “VCE Vblock Systems have led the industry transition to converged infrastructure, delivering unprecedented customer value by speeding deployments, increasing business agility and lowering TCO,” said Praveen Akkiraju, CEO of VCE. “We are very excited to provide an innovative foundation based on best-of-breed technologies to help Qualys bring their powerful cloud security and compliance platform to new markets.” “The virtualized QualysGuard Private Cloud Platform allows us to extend our security and compliance solutions to IT environments that require a private cloud instance on premise

Cut Your IT Budget by Moving to the Cloud
Four years ago Precise, developer of application performance management systems, moved away from licensed software and large capital investments to the cloud. The move to cloud solutions, SaaS and virtualization reduced the tech company’s IT budget by 70%, or almost $2 million. Consider how lessons from Precise’s transition to the cloud can help your mid-sized business. Precise was originally part of the security giant, Symantec. When the company became independent, they discovered they had a daunting commitment to support over 1,000 customers with a staff of less than 200 and a limited IT department. The company quickly realized they needed scaled-down applications that were easier to support. Precise began with their number one priority: customer support. They choose Salesforce and NetSuite for their front-and back-office solutions, which took less than 5 hours to migrate their former SAP data to. For support and marketing, Precise choose Drupal and Marketo, respectively, which were integrated using WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration.

Pocket App’s Media Trust App Enhances the Experience for GoMobile Attendees
One of the best things about working at Parse is getting to see all of the interesting apps and app concepts that our developers come up with all around the world. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Paul Swaddle, the CEO of Pocket App, a mobile marketing and development company based in the UK. We spoke with Paul about the Parse-Powered Media Trust app for the GoMobile Conference. You’re the CEO of Pocket App; tell us about the work you do there. Pocket App is a cross platform mobile solutions company. The company has worked with a wide range of major agencies and brands such as BBH, The Conservative Party, Etisalat and Oracle. We also provide relevant mobile solutions to clients from varied sectors like health, enterprise, travel and charities. With dedicated developers and designers working on all major platforms, we help our clients achieve their goals and maximize ROI. You built the Media Trust App for GoMobile; what was the purpose of the app? The Media Trust App was a digital brochure for the attendees of the Go Mobile Conference.

Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2013
This week, I’m visiting the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2013 in National Harbor, Maryland. It’s early June weather here, and outdoors there’s been cycles of warm rain with major storm warnings mixed in. Here inside the conference, there’s a storm of a different sort brewing, as the Gartner analysts dive into the details about the serious IT issues that enterprises face. I’ve been following the security track, and today’s agenda’s been packed with content on the nature of cyberwarfare/terrorism/crime. Analysts Richard Hunter and Avivah Litan noted how cybercrime evolved over time, because in the past, criminals used to go after targets of opportunity (namely they would go after the tactical, easy money). Today, the criminals are much more strategic, using methods that are straight out of a heist movie, using plenty of research on their potential victim, creating distractions to mask their true intentions of their activities, and performing coordinated exfiltration to get their wares.

Unifying communications for the changing world of work
Unified Communications is one of those great technological advances that comes at just about the perfect time. Right now, we’re seeing dramatic changes in the needs of the modern workforce, which is both globally distributed, yet highly interdependent. Even the work that people do is becoming more complex and fragmented. So, what is the solution to enable distributed employees to collaborate with one another and increase productivity and quality, while satisfying these tech savvy Gen-Yer’s who have grown up in a world where every application they desire is just a few clicks away? Unified Communications of course. And not just UC, but UC from the cloud, so those download-craving, mobile-device-loving new employees stick around long enough to make a serious contribution. So, think about how you will use it yourself, or give it to your employees so they can get their job done!

Five essential tips for successful planning
Planning can be a big part of any project or venture. Planning meticulously down to every last detail is one way to approach your project. But sometimes, too much planning can bog you down, leaving you paralyzed to take action. Your plan should essentially take you from point A to point B in order to reach your objective. A lot of the time, we can jump the gun with our enthusiasm to start the project. Before diving in head first, you need to figure out the basics of how you’ll go about it. Follow these five tips to plan for success. Part of the reason projects hit roadblocks is because you don’t have the right information or equipment to take action. During you planning stage and while you’re putting together you main plan, try and get things ready to go. It could be things like email templates and spreadsheets for accounting. Get preparing so that when you’re ready to go, actions can be mobilized quickly. In order to reach your final goal, you’ll have a number of important milestones to reach along the way. These milestones will be critical events to the success of your project.

Santander Leverages the ServiceNow iPhone Interface for Better Asset Management
Steve Bell, team lead for share services development at Santander Consumer USA, described his company’s implementation of the ServiceNow Mobile Interface during his presentation at the ServiceNow Knowledge13 user conference. The heart of good asset management is being able to examine a hardware asset at its installed site and verify that it matches its CMDB configuration item (CI) record. The IT team at Santander Consumer USA, a multi-billion dollar financial services company, manages several hundred physical servers and a few thousand PCs. The core IT team was pleased with its implementation of ServiceNow Asset Management, but the shared services team still faced a bevy of manual verification work done mostly from laptops. Requirements for improvement were the abilities to: Physically scan and find a record of the asset in ServiceNow using a handheld scanner (Wasp) Allow easy modifications directly into ServiceNow

5 Ways to Improve Outbound Sales Performance
Outbound sales performance has changed as the business world evolves to a more qualitative, relationship-focus world. Kerri Jankelow, Regional Sales Manager, Sales Solutions at LinkedIn shared compelling solutions to this business shift in the webinar with our own Shannon Duffy, VP Marketing, and Tom McCleary, VP Business Development and Strategy. Having built successful field and inside sales teams at several top companies, Kerri was a welcome guest for the team’s discussion on moving from a traditional outbound sales approach, where success is a numbers game measured quantitatively, to a more modern approach with a focus on the qualitative, where relationships are more carefully built and your sales rep truly takes on the role of a trusted advisor. Here’s a quick look at five things you can do today to improve your outbound sales performance in today’s business world. Finding the right prospects is more important than ever before. With an average of as many as four people involved in B2B purchase decisions, it’s important to understand the dynamics of the evaluation committee you’re dealing with.

Payables EFT with Dynamics GP
Payables EFT with Dynamics GP allows you to easily create an EFT file from the normal check writing process in GP. You can than send the EFT file to your bank for processing through the ACH system. The most important thing and maybe the most difficult, is to define your bank’s EFT file format in Dynamics GP. There are a variety of file formats that are provided with GP. If you’re lucky, one of these formats will work for you. If you need to create a file format from scratch or modify an existing one, there is an easy to use configurator that comes with the system. Once you have the EFT file format defined, the recurring process in payables is easy. These are the things that happen: Identify routing codes and account numbers for each vendor that wants to be paid via EFT. Create a check batch and indicate that it includes invoices that are to be paid via EFT.

You just put the code in. Chef takes care of it. – Chef + Berkshelf @Riot Games
For the third installment of our new #ChefTalks customer video series, we interviewed Jamie Winsor, a newly minted Awesome Chef, the author of Berkshelf, and Software Engineer at Riot Games. You all know Riot and its League of Legends game, but did you know Riot uses Private Chef to power a DevOps culture, including automating configuration and app updates in its massive infrastructure? Please visit this link, or click the screen shot below, to watch a two-minute video of Jamie discussing how Riot uses Chef to automate a range of IT operations, his philosophy on automation, and what exactly Berkshelf, the open source cookbook management tool, is all about. For a deep dive into Riot’s infrastructure, use of Berkshelf and Chef, and a good look at why Jamie was honored at our inaugural Awesome Chef awards, check out Jamie’s keynote, “The Berkshelf Way,” from #ChefConf 2013 here. Stay tuned for more videos next week of some pretty cool people talking about how they’ve turned their companies into coded businesses with Chef. And don’t forget about our webinar with Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell, our CTO Christopher Brown, and Rob Cummings of Nordstrom on Thur., June 27, at 11 am PT, entitled, “Building a Coded Business: Culture, Tools, and the Need for Speed.”

OpenStack at EuroPython 2013 among Reinassance masterpieces
If you ever wanted the chance to learn about OpenStack and see the masterpieces by Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Leonardo, Ghiberti and so many others your best chance is to join us at Europython 2013. Hosted in Firenze July 1-7, Europython 2013 will see a massive OpenStack-related presence, including one half day training session to get started. The OpenStack Foundation will have a booth there and most likely a Help Desk session, where people interested can reserve time to talk to OpenStack experts in real life, under the Tuscan sun. The OpenStack tracks are concentrated on Tuesday morning and the training session in the afternoon. If you don’t have your ticket yet, please hurry up and get one register. If you think you can help, please yourself to the list of volunteers for the event.

Online Tech Hosts Motor City ISSA (Information Systems Security Assocation) Open Meeting
We’re hosting the Motor City Chapter of the ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) June meeting at our Ann Arbor 2 data center on Thursday, June 20 at 6PM ET. ISSA, the global voice of information security, is a community for cybersecurity professionals dedicated to managing technology risk and protecting critical information and infrastructure. Charles Herring, a Senior Systems Engineer from Lancope, will be presenting on Incident Response and Forensics with Netflow. Online Tech will also give a presentation on encryption technology on the software and hardware level. Tours of Online Tech’s secure hosting data center will be ongoing. The event is open to non-members and we invite those in Michigan concerned about information security to attend.

Webcast: 5 Things you need to know about DCIM for Capacity, Power, Space and Cooling
Managing today’s data centers requires a myriad of management tools and techniques that span a wide array of activities and systems: Power and cooling, asset management, capacity planning, facilities and IT convergence, and more. The challenge for data center and facility professionals is to understand what’s real today and what can DCIM technology deliver tomorrow? In a recent survey, IDC found that 84% of datacenters had issues with power, space and cooling capacity, assets and uptime that negatively impacted business operations. This study also found that 92% of data center managers preferred an integrated DCIM approach. But, how do you make the business case to justify the investment in a DCIM solution? CA Technologies, along with IDC and Dell, are hosting a 1-hour webcast on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 1p ET to discuss the benefits of DCIM. In this webcast, you’ll get the answers to: What challenges exist in using different tools to manage different areas of the data center across IT & Facilities

Jim McGeever’s SuiteWorld 2013 Keynote: Tuxedos and ERP from the Inside Out
Why was NetSuite COO Jim McGeever wearing a tuxedo at SuiteWorld 2013? In this recording of NetSuite Chief Operating Officer Jim Mcgeever’s keynote from SuiteWorld 2013, he explains his attire, what NetSuite and James Bond have in common and “ERP from the inside out.” Watch as McGeever describes the benefit of NetSuite as a company’s central data hub, unified billing and the power of OneWorld at multinational companies like Land O’ Lakes and how it can be combined with SuiteCommerce. McGeever also hands out the NetSuite HERO awards to customers and the 2013 NetSuite partners of the year award.

Breaking through new retail frontiers
Consumers have changed their buying behaviours. Enabled by new technologies shoppers are now using mobile devices to comparison shop, access in-the moment promotions and consult friends or family before buying anything. Today, winning market share requires retailers to leverage technology shifts to their advantage and turn business intelligence and data into actionable insights for growth. Insights into technology, art, fashion and entertainment are inspiring retailers to create the best showcases of product online and newly identified demand chains are being actioned into amazing omni-channel operations, allowing customers to interface through any device of their preference and shop without boundaries 24/7 anywhere at any time. Embodying these factors for success, retailers and suppliers are revolutionising the user experience by creating the retail models of tomorrow making for one of the most retail regeneration times in history for those skilful enough to grasp the opportunity. This collision of the virtual and physical worlds is fundamentally changing consumers’ purchasing behaviours.

ICANN predicts first new gTLD launch date
ICANN has published a tentative timeline outlining key steps until the launch of the first new gTLD. If all goes to plan, ICANN predicts that the first of the new generation web suffixes would be delegated on 28 August of this year. Delegation means the TLD is technically live on the Internet. It then becomes up to the TLD’s operator, its registry, to launch it. Basing the time estimates on the assumption that the registry would initiate the first launch phase (the Sunrise) as soon as delegation occurs, ICANN sees a Sunrise notice period span from 29 August to 27 September, and the actual Sunrise phase from 28 September to 27 October. This could potentially pave the way for a full go-live date before the end of the year. But what does ICANN’s timeline really tell us? As the absolute shortest possible path to a new gTLD launch, this timeline is highly unlikely to turn from theory into fact. There are still numerous possible pitfalls which may create additional delays. The aftermath of recent government advice is one, with the ICANN Board still thinking exactly how to deal with the wide-ranging marching orders it received from governments last April.

At some point you have to deal with reality.
As most of you in the Community already know, Facebook uses Opscode Private Chef to automate configuration management for its ‘Carl Sagan big’ infrastructure. That’s very cool, but also pretty widely known. Today, we published a new angle to the story. If you follow this link (or click the video below), you’ll see a two-minute video of Phil Dibowitz, Production Engineer at Facebook, digging into Facebook’s IT philosophy, his thoughts on why automation makes so much sense (whether you have three servers, or three million), and why Facebook chose Chef in the first place. As Phil says, “At some point you have to deal with reality. You can postpone automation for a long time and make your life really, really difficult. But at some point your life goes from difficult to impossible.” For a deep dive into Facebook’s infrastructure, IT philosophy, and work with Chef, check out Phil’s keynote, “Scaling Systems Configuration at Facebook,” from #ChefConf 2013 here. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll have many more videos of some pretty awesome Chefs discussing the shift to the coded business from a number of unique perspectives.

What Does PRISM Mean to YOUR Clients and Potential Customers?
MSPAlliance has been getting some feedback from members on this issue as well as some thought provoking questions from members of the media, end-user associations and business consumers. To address this, MSPAlliance Advisory Board Members are readying a public statement and speaking to members of the press. In the meantime, we’d like to hear from you, the members, on this issue. Does this news worry your customers? Are they looking for you for answers on how to protect their data, emails, phone calls, etc? If you’d like to weigh-in, give your feedback or simply express yourself, now’s the time and this is the place! We’re 20,000 strong- let’s make an impact!

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week
Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a massive online food delivery service, Google Maps upgrades, and a phone that gives off scents. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking. While smart phones today are pretty good at appealing to most of your senses, they haven’t yet been able to satisfy your sense of smell–until now. Jesse Emspak of Mashable reports that the Japanese company ChatPerf has created a smartphone add-on that releases a scent when the user presses a “puff” button on their screen. Just the size of a USB stick, the device will enable users to send scents to each other, which could go along with photos, videos, and other media. Brain Dominance Can Be Determined By the Way You Hold Your Phone. Are you left-brain or right-brain dominant? It’s not as easy to answer as it is to tell if you’re left-handed or right-handed, but a new study shows that most people who hold their cell phones to their left ear are right-hemisphere dominant and vice versa

This Week in Website Performance
Page bloat is not exactly breaking news. Payloads are increasing — 50% larger since 2010 — and users are more demanding than ever. With increasing quality and resolution of displays, images need to be increasingly detailed. Increased bandwidth does not solve the problem, and this article is a good reminder that best practices need to be diligently followed. Included are some specific tips on addressing image size, which accounts for the lion’s share of site data. WordPress is a very popular website or blogging tool these days. There are a plethora of plugins to customise your site. Each one of these will make a small — or not so small(!) — performance hit on your site. The problem of underperforming plugins can be handled by plugins. How meta! This article rounds up 10 such plugins and provides a review of the function of each along with a screen shot of it’s options. Sluggish websites do no one any good, except perhaps the competition. Considering the high rate of shopping cart abandonment due to slow sites, it behooves you to do all you can to maximise the speed of delivery of your site.

IRCE 2013 Recap: The 3 Issues Everyone Was Talking About
We’re just back from a very happening Internet Retailer Conference and Expo (IRCE) in beautiful Chicago, where we noticed some familiar and recurring themes… It’s no surprise that a main topic of discussion at IRCE was personalization. In a survey Monetate conducted with Econsultancy earlier this year, 94% of all respondents indicated that personalization is “critical to the future success” of their brands. Yet three out of four admitted that they were not effectively personalizing. These findings were further supported by the prevalence of, and frustration around, the “P word” at IRCE in the hundreds of discussions the Monetate team had with retailers and ecommerce marketers from across the globe (companies from Finland, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, and Canada stopped by, to name a few). And yep, big data is still a big deal. Brands are still challenged when it comes to making heads or tails of the data they collect about their customers, and even those that are able to glean insights are not always able to act on the data efficiently or even in an impactful way.

We have Unix engineers now happily automating Windows
Today we launched a new series of Chef testimonial videos offering varied and unique perspectives on the journey to becoming a coded business. The first of these #ChefTalks videos features Rob Cummings, infrastructure engineer at Nordstrom, discussing how to level-up change in your organization. You can click this link, or the screen shot below, to spend two minutes watching Rob discuss how Nordstrom used Opscode Private Chef to turn a heterogeneous architecture that mixed legacy and new technology into a streamlined DevOps machine. Rob covers recommendations for changing both tooling and culture in traditional organizations, as well as the benefits Nordstrom is beginning to see as part of its ongoing IT transformation. As Rob comments, “We have hardcore Unix engineers now happily automating Windows infrastructure because they can do it through code.” For more on up-leveling change in your organization, check out Rob’s keynote, “Level Up Change in Your Enterprise,” from #ChefConf 2013 here and stay tuned for more interesting perspectives from Chef users later this week.

Data Security Specialist Aims to Minimize Encryption ‘Fear and Confusion’ in Upcoming Webinar
When Chris Heuman started his career in healthcare IT as a computer operator more than 23 years ago, HIPAA privacy laws were not yet a consideration. As the understanding of the value of protecting patients’ sensitive data grew, Heuman’s career focus narrowed. He earned certifications as a Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP), Certified Security Compliance Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) to assist healthcare and financial organizations understand and meet the myriad compliance and security regulations and requirements they now face. “Protecting data was important enough to me that I pushed my career that way and focused on implementing privacy and security controls on the infrastructure side,” Heuman says. “I founded RISC Management to help healthcare organizations with the privacy and security of regulated and sensitive information for compliance mandates.” Heuman will bring that expertise to Online Tech’s free webinar series when he presents “Encryption – Perspective on Privacy, Security & Compliance” at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

SAP Shows up Late to Omnichannel Commerce Party
SAP made its move into ecommerce last week, acquiring hybris for what some have estimated at $1.2 to $1.5 billion. While the move came just a day after plopped down $2.5 billion for ExactTarget, SAP officials denied this was a reactionary move to’s email marketing efforts. Rather, they insist there are new opportunities in ecommerce as mobile and social customers become ever more connected with, and informed about, the companies with which they’re doing business. Those customers are beginning to demand a consistent experience across all the channels — from brick and mortar stores, webstore, to mobile to call center. That means a unified system that brings together back office orders and transactions with physical stores, front-end webstores and call center systems is increasingly a strategic imperative. That’s a message NetSuite has been preaching for more than a year with its SuiteCommerce initiative (as has Oracle with its acquisition of ATG). Whether hybris will indeed be the transformative acquisition that brings true omnichannel capabilities to SAP’s customers or, as with the cloud, SAP will struggle to adapt and keep up with fast-moving market dynamics remains to be seen.

10 Free SEO Tools for Optimizing your Store
We have compiled some of our favorite free SEO tools for you to recapture lost links, find new links, uncover how your competitor is getting links, research link quality, build a solid keyword framework, and discover the secrets of optimizing your store. Of course, Google Analytics is one of the best resources out there to optimize your website. You can use Google Analytics to do just about anything, from discovering how customers are currently finding your site to measuring the success of your social media efforts. Google Adwords data will help you research relative search volume, competitiveness and related keywords. It is also beneficial for generating like terms and short tail keywords. The Keyword Tool will crawl your site to offer you keyword suggestions based on the content in your site. This tool will also provide you with valuable insight for creating content tailored around the keywords you are aiming for.

New MailChimp: Collaboration by Design
Design is a byproduct of many things: training, experience, objectives, audience, and more. It’s also influenced by where we work and those we encounter. We’re susceptible to influence—it’s how we continue to grow, how our rough experiments gain shape, and how our talents mature. As 2012 drew to a close, we started to build a new design studio for MailChimp’s user experience, marketing, and DesignLab teams. Each group has a well defined domain: UX works on apps; marketing works on; and DesignLab is the avant-garde, exploring new ways to push the boundaries of design. Though each team has a unique mandate and team leader, the lines between us have always been fuzzy. Our skills are complementary, and we’ve found we do our best work when we’re working together, saying “we” instead of “me.” These are truths we’ve always known, but it wasn’t until we created a unified design studio that we realized just how dependent we are on one another. It turns out, redesigning our studio directly influenced our work on New MailChimp. A collaborative space helped us create more collaborative tools for our customers.

Cloud Killing the Desktop? Not So Fast
Cloud computing has been changing the way businesses achieve greater innovation and agility, but it has also been impacting the way that actual employees interact with business tools and are able to do their work. 20 years ago, employees would typically have very powerful work stations, in the sense that the local, personal computer was where all the heavy processing and apps resided. Today, moderately powerful workstations are the launching point for a broader mix of workloads, some local, some web enabled. Upwards of 75% of workloads employees are handling are now web-based, whether we are talking about email, CRM, analytics, etc. Some apps (I’m looking at you Quickbooks and Excel) are still local, but that’s changing, too. The near term trend points to a range of processes and applications moving to the browser as the primary point of user interaction, establishing the browser as an operating system unto itself (HTML 5 is accelerating this trend, as is the advancements Chrome and Safari are achieving through Webkit).

Catch us at HostingCon 2013!
The LogicBoxes team will be attending HostingCon 2013 to be held in Austin, Texas from June 17 to 19, 2013. Attracting over 1,900 attendees from across the world, HostingCon has been a premier event for all professionals from the Web Hosting Industry! If you haven’t registered for the event yet, register now by using the coupon code ‘LogicBoxes2013’ and save up on the registration fees. At the event, Siddharth Taliyan, Senior Manager – Sales at LogicBoxes will be speaking on “Demystifying ICANN Accreditation” on Monday, June 17th at 9:00am. The session will shed light on the following areas: What is ICANN Accreditation? The Need of getting ICANN Accredited – especially with New gTLDs around the corner. The Advantages of ICANN Accreditation. Other details regarding ICANN Accreditation. Siddharth and Aastha will also be available to help with on-the-spot ICANN Accreditation Consultations at Booth #512. They can assist you with any queries that you might have about becoming your own ICANN Accredited Registrar. So if you are attending HostingCon, do come by and say Hi! You can also schedule a meeting with us in advance here.

LeaseWeb launches the next generation of CDN
Due to the exponential increase of traffic in current web industries?for example, video on demand, live video, and online gaming?today’s Internet user requires an advanced technology to deliver this content as fast as possible, in the most reliable way. That’s where a Content Delivery Network (CDN) comes into play. Content delivery networks use a system of globally distributed servers to stream web content to the end-user from the closest geographical server. Basically, when a request is made, the content is pulled from its original location, stored on a cache server, and then served to the end-user from the nearest location. Using the right mix of hard- and software, such as SSDs and Nginx, a CDN can deliver a seamless end-user experience. This is the reason why CDNs have become a key technology in the race to advance the Internet; did you know that over 80% of the top 100 largest companies in the world now serve your data through a CDN? After 2 years of hard work by our dedicated team of CDN engineers, I am pleased to announce the beta launch of the LeaseWeb CDN.

KCS in Action
I have worked within support teams for half my life, and I’ve experienced many changes over the years. In essence support remains the same: helping someone who needs technical assistance. However, the way we go about it has become both easier and more challenging in equal measures. Expectations have gone up, (unfortunately I no longer receive a bunch of flowers just for helping someone to clear up their hard disk!), but technology improvements have also enabled us to use our time much more efficiently. In the past, I have worked for support organizations where it has felt so busy that we had no time for anything other than working through “the backlog.” I now realize that we were so focused on reactive support that we didn’t realize quite how much we could benefit from stepping away from this to put some of our efforts into proactively creating a knowledge repository. At LANDesk, we make sure that our support organization looks at success as being not just fixing issues or answering questions once, but also effectively making use of what we’ve learnt during that process.

How to Deploy Joget Cluster into the Cloud
Joget Workflow is an open source platform that allows you to build enterprise web applications easily, due to its rich set of tools. It is also a rapid application development platform that provides complete agile development capabilities, including consisting of processes, forms, lists, CRUD and UI; not just back-end EAI/orchestration/integration or the task-based interface. Due to the Joget plugin architecture, developers can easily extend the platform and integrate it with other systems. Pick your application server (Tomcat 6 or 7), select the database you want to use (MySQL in our case). Then specify the number of cloudlets for each node and switch on HA to provide high reliability, scalability and perfect fail-over capabilities for your environment. After that type your environment name, for example, joget-cluster, and click Create.

Network Monitoring Doesn’t Have to be So Hard
The proverb “the shoemaker’s children go barefoot” is often true in real life. For example, IT departments spend time trying to make life simpler and easier for business people and users of technology, by installing and supporting simple, powerful applications. But meanwhile, some of their own tools are stuck in the past and are far from simple. In network monitoring, many professionals are still using 1980s command-line-interface technology. Many of their fellow employees have never even heard of a command-line-interface. And that’s just the point: consumer and business applications are in a new era of simplicity. Users expect to navigate and use applications intuitively, to retrieve information with a few clicks, and have it displayed in simple graphics form. In this new era of simplicity, there’s no reason why network monitoring has to be as hard as it is. It should be at least approaching the simplicity with which you use Google, desktop apps, or your smartphone. Fortunately, things are changing. One solution, the network monitoring switch, is in the vanguard of the new simplicity.

Marketplace Fairness Act: What Businesses Need to Know
As the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (MFA) makes its way through Congress, it’s no surprise that businesses across the country are trying to figure out what it means to them. If passed, this legislation would grant states the authority to require certain non-exempt remote sellers to collect sales tax, if states adopt specific measures to simplify sales and use tax administration. The MFA would not override current state and local statutes surrounding product and service taxability, tax holidays, exemptions, or related rates, boundaries and rules. Existing nexus laws would not change due to this legislation. The stated purpose of the MFA is “To restore the States’ sovereign rights to enforce State and local sales and use tax laws…” The bill, as currently written,1 would authorize states to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax in accordance with state and local laws, as long as those states are in full compliance with the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement, or a member of the Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) organization, or implement a minimum set of simplification measures.

A Brief Overview of Sustainability at IO
There are tangible and intangible value drivers for sustainability. The biggest argument in favor of increased corporate sustainability is that it broadens the scope of strategy and analysis. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, business “best” practices depend on context. A choice that seems optimal in the near term can compromise long-term outcomes, and an elegant solution to a narrow problem may wreak havoc on the broader enterprise. As an extreme example, who wins if you negotiate a price with your supplier so successfully that product quality suffers and hurts data center uptime? Under the lens of sustainability, “best” decisions are measured to include all the complexities of the business context as well as the environmental and social systems that it affects. Sustainable business practice means seeing the forest, not just the trees. This broad thinking helps to insure that we are not optimizing a sub-set of what should be considered, like reinventing the jet engines instead of simply inventing winglets.

How Cloud Financials Enable Growth without Hiring
Your company’s growing quickly and you’re having trouble scaling internal processes with the demand. The logical next step is to hire additional staff. But is that the smartest step? While it’s not politically correct to say so in this economy, hiring employees can sometimes be counterproductive to enabling innovation and rapid success in your small or midsize business. More people means more overhead, including the incremental cost of benefits and annual raises. Larger staffs also create more complexity, more layers, and more people to manage. That can detract from serving customers and expanding in ways that will benefit your company for the long term. Intacct’s CFO, Marc Linden, recently conducted a webinar with Proformative focused on how moving to cloud financial applications can help companies adapt to increased complexity (such as a new product offering) and/or business growth, without adding accounting and finance staff. One of the key take-aways from talking to our customers is that the planned addition of a talented analyst or finance manager can be a strategic move, while adding staff to combat task overload usually isn’t.

Make Us Your IT Hero
Remember the good old days? You’d come home from school and break out your new copy of Superman: The Secret Years. You knew that you always had a Super Hero you could depend on. Unfortunately now, bound with the ties of life, you no longer have time to spend reminiscing on the heroes of your youth. We may not have a cool tool belt or costume, but we do have the neat gadgets and Help Desk “Batphone” that you can call. In this way we can become your Managed IT Service Super Hero! Think of us as the personal protectors of all of your company information technology. Anytime you’re in need, all you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call at 916-626-4000, and we’ll come to your rescue. One thing we know from any Super Hero vs. Villain scenario is that the Super Hero always faces some sort of situation where the Super Villain exposes a weakness in the Super Hero that he or she eventually overcomes. The next thing you know, they’re battling through the city destroying vehicles and buildings until eventually the Villain is defeated and justice is served.

A Role for Role-Based Monitoring in the Virtualization, Cloud Space
With the advent of virtualization and the move towards software-defined clouds, the way we perform IT and how we measure its success has changed. As a result many of the ways we traditionally secure infrastructure no longer apply or plainly come up short. Great article by our own Alan LeFort outlining what cloud and virtualization have done to traditional security controls – from IT systems of thousands of servers and hundreds of routers and switches that were managed in many separate places by many separate people – to virtualized systems with limited or broken separation of duties, collapsed configurations of servers, switches, networks and storage into one or a few systems. This has concentrated all of the risk into one platform, creating a system that is “too big to fail”. These are the production workloads or systems that organizations rely on as the repository for critical business processes, workflows and data, ie email, financials, supply chain, and if these systems fail, the company fails.

Lawful Intercept and the PRISM Scandal
The news that a widespread and full-scale data mining operation, dubbed PRISM, has been in effect for almost a decade came as something of a shock last week when a whistleblower divulged the NSA program. Many people expressed outrage and dismay that data was being collected and stored by the NSA. However, such efforts have been in effect since the beginning of the media-age. From the earliest telecommunication to more modern data networks, lawful intercept of data and media has been part of the justice system. The concept of using Internet data for criminal investigation is known as lawful intercept. Organizations tasked with monitoring criminal communications rely heavily on the performance and accuracy of lawful intercept (LI) systems to analyze the flow of digital messages across networks. Missing a single stream of data could prevent prosecuting a crime, stopping a terrorist attack, or complying with government regulations. How do we as a society balance privacy, with need-to-know criminal information, with the obvious advantages and convenience of a communication network we’ve grown to depend on as much as water and power.

Cisco Partner Summit 2013
Cisco Partner Summit 2013 is officially in the books! Now that we’ve had some time to reflect on our 3 days in Boston, we thought we’d share some final thoughts about the Summit. We’ve uploaded YouTube videos from five of our executives sharing their takeaways, and a few other points below. First, we’re honored to be a part of the Cisco partner network. It was made clear to us throughout the conference that Cisco is absolutely committed to the growth of its partners, and we’re excited for what this means for the future. Several of the speakers emphasized the speed at which technology is changing today, which is simply amazing. At Logicalis, we’re constantly challenged to not just keep up with these changes, but to keep ahead of them. After hearing from so many leaders and innovators last week, we’re energized and excited to get to work, delivering cutting-edge technology solutions for this ever-changing environment. Hearing from Mark Thompson of Virgin Unite Mentors was a truly transformational experience for our team–his thoughts on innovation will stick with us for a long time.

Maximize Revenue from your Existing Customers
Smart web hosting companies are always looking for new opportunities to grow. Being successful in the web hosting industry requires perpetual motion, a constant increase in revenue and, in turn, profit. Most businesses look outside of themselves for growth, equating success with finding new customers. Focusing on marketing, budgets gradually increase in an attempt to attract new prospects and convert them into customers. However, this is an expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable process. Fortunately, there is an easier way. By focusing your attention on getting more from your existing customers, you can achieve the growth you desire while making your customers more loyal than ever. At HostingCon 2013, you can take part in “Building Value On Top of Your Hosting,” a session that looks at techniques for increasing the average spend per customer. Discussing the benefits of extending product ranges and selling to existing customers, the session offers a practical guide to creating growth from the customers you already have.

Don’t Mess with Google!
The new movie, “The Internship,” which some say is the Wedding Crashers look for a new job and they land at the mega-corporation, Google, made me nauseous from a huge anxiety attack. Through no fault of my own, I seem to have gotten on Google’s sh!t list and there’s no coming back. I enjoy the films of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and hope the movie kisses up to Google because if it doesn’t, Mr. Owen and Mr. Vaughn may be sleeping in the cardboard boxes next to me in the alley behind the QuickTrip. They’ll make very nice neighbors, I’m sure. Google was the startup everybody wanted to work for. There were stories about gourmet meals in the cafeteria, rock climbing walls, ping pong tables and a whole host of creative refreshing diversions for a young, probably low-paid staff that still put in 12 hours a day of hard work that made Google the giant it has become. Apparently, the staff has no complaints, either. Even the complaints are not bad. In an anonymous post on Quora, a former employee rants on

Freelance Web Designers: 5 ways to go the extra mile for your customers
The freelance web designer market is highly competitive at the moment. In 2012, we conducted a survey of 500 web designers in which 79% thought prices were being forced down due to increased competition and 4/5 believed that work was either more difficult or just as difficult to find compared to the last 12 months (we turned this into an infographic here). With this level of competition, it’s really important for freelance web designers to find ways to differentiate themselves from others. A great way to achieve this is to provide customer service that consistently exceeds expectations. Being known for excellent service is a hugely valuable way to make yourself stand out because people will be far more likely to return for future work and there’s a good chance that they will let others know how impressive their experience with you was. This can be a big help when trying to get new clients as the 2012 Freelance Industry Report confirms by stating that the most effective ways to find and land new clients accord
ng to freelancers were referrals (chosen by 27.4% of those surveyed) and word of mouth.

Hitachi Data Systems Introduction
This is my first blog since recently joining Hitachi Data Systems as senior product marketing manager for data protection, and I’d like to share why I decided to make this career move, and why I’m really excited to be blogging for HDS. Many technology marketers like to draw an analogy between data in the IT world and blood in the human body. It makes sense because, if you lose your data / blood, or if it stops flowing, the organization / body will likely die. This analogy, however, fails to recognize one important difference between IT and nature: the human body has a fantastic ability to regulate the amount of blood it contains; as new blood cells are created, old ones die. The alternative would be reminiscent of several horror and sci-fi movies you may have seen. It doesn’t work that way in IT, though; new data is created much faster than older data is expired, deleted or destroyed. Consider this: storage capacity in personal computers of the 1980s was expressed in kilobytes; in the 1990s we were talking about megabytes; then gigabytes in the 2000s; and now many of us have at least a terabyte on our desks, and we’re not even half way into the 2010s.

IBM has a win in China City Tongliao with PureSystems
If you told me that a China City was buying IBM gear for its city infrastructure I would think you were talking about 20 years ago when China did not have the expertise in IT equipment. But now, go down the list of servers, network, and storage and China makes all the parts to build IT infrastructure, so you would expect China to be powered by all China gear. IBM has a press announcement on its PureSystems being used in the China city Tongliao. Jason and I discussed many interesting points. One that Jason shared that I found good insight is how the PureSystems supports an environment for teams to work together. I would expect China IT departments are no different than one in the US where the various silos create friction making it difficult to integrate systems well. When you have a well designed IT system where parts all the parts are integrated, flaws in operations and development can be seen more easily and addressed. Why? In poorly designed hardware systems it is hard to pinpoint whether the performance issues are hardware or software.

A Brand New Look – GlobalSign Reveals Improved Usability for GCC
It’s no big secret that in order to build a successful website, platform or application you have to design it with the end user in mind. Key attributes that are more likely to satisfy user experience, include things such as appearance, layout, navigation, language, personalization, search functions and many more and these are always evolving as time goes on. While always aiming to put our customers first and based on valuable customer feedback we have gained over the past few months, we are excited to announce that we have launched an update to our GlobalSign Certificate Center (GCC) with enhancements to both its appearance and usability. With a new simple look and efficient feel, we have endeavored to improve usability, allowing our customers to easily and quickly access the most commonly used certificate management features at their fingertips. If you want a quick tour, view our short tutorial video.

TekSouth Targets Datacenter Sprawl for USAF Using ioMemory
TekSouth is a privately-owned systems integration and professional services company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama that services both commercial and government sectors. The US Air Force (USAF) Commanders’ Resource Integration System (CRIS) is the Authoritative Data Source (ADS) for financial management of unclassified appropriated historical data, and uses TekSouth’s end-to-end decision support architecture. It requires near real-time ad-hoc query processing, ETL jobs that don’t interfere with live queries, and very high availability. Anticipating a routine technical refresh process, TekSouth VP of Operations Mike Rhodes and his team also wanted to address increasing pressure to reduce datacenter space and energy consumption. Moving data off hard disks and onto ioMemory enabled TekSouth to accomplish all objectives. “We tested the system against real-world historical query workloads rather than synthetic benchmarks, which allowed us to see how the ioDrives would perform in actual deployment,” Rhodes said.

NSA Has Large Disks
One of the hottest buzz of the moment certainly is the breaking news about NSA collecting phone records of Verizon subscribers. According to court order, Verizon has been asked to provide NSA daily information for all its phone records between April 25th and July 19th. According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T and Sprint would have received the same order and it would make much sense if T-Mobile hadn’t too. Many journalists have been reacting on the obvious infringement on our privacy, especially also with the recent disclosure of the PRISM program where major Internet firms – namely Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple – have been asked to provide data regarding their end-users. As background reading, Richard Stallman’s refusal to own a mobile phone is enlightening, so are EFF’s statements on privacy issues with mobile phones. As a security researcher, I will not comment more on this, but would rather like to dig in some technical facts.

Four Simple Social Media Marketing Tips for SMBs
Some small businesses are afraid of online marketing. Instead, they turn to tried and true methods: Newspapers, local magazines, fliers in mailboxes and maybe an occasional email. But, guess what? Most of our lives are now online. If your business isn’t online, you probably aren’t going to reach your customers (or you’re much less likely to). There’s been a lot of discussion about why small businesses don’t use online marketing. It often comes down to this: It’s confusing and it’s expensive. The good news is that there are a lot of simple and free ways – yes, I said free! – to market your company online. You’ve hopefully already heard about social media. I’ve talked before about how powerful it can be, but I don’t think people can overemphasize that point, especially for SMBs. Plus, with a limited marketing budget, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The only expense is time. So, go online, set up an account on Facebook and Twitter – that will be enough to get started. If you already have social media accounts, then you’re ahead of the curve.

Why I Joined Flexiant
Marco Meinardi, seasoned cloud computing expert, emerging technologies enthusiast and technology evangelist recently joined Flexiant. Read some of his thoughts on why he joined: Dear all, I am really happy and proud to announce that I am joining the Flexiant team starting this week. In the last few years, Flexiant has been building a stunning Cloud Management Platform with the goal of enabling service providers to join cloud space in few easy steps, and with the possibility to still highly differentiate their service. The cloud infrastructure market landscape is but in its final configuration and I have the ambition to actively contribute to how it will look like in the next few years. I am joining Flexiant in a moment when the cloud industry is facing a terrific growth, with just a bunch of players out there, still immature technologies, vendors struggling to adapt their business model and a general misperception around cloud services. There is plenty of work to do! But let me give you a little bit more of insights about why I have picked Flexiant and what great things I think we can do together.

7 Foods to Dramatically Improve Staff Productivity, Diet, and Concentration
When you start a new business, or a new job, a lot of time is expended making sense of your work environment, impressing your supervisors, and easing yourself into a new employment experience. Because of the schedule and perhaps lifestyle changes that occur when people start new employment, many employees experience what is called the “Startup 15,” which is similar to the Freshman 15. As weight and unhealthy eating can affect the quality of an employee’s work, it is important to be aware of desk job weight gain and to try to prevent it. As a business owner or manager, there are some ways that you can help yourself and your employees to stay healthy and successful. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom described his experience gaining weight as he was building up the company: he gained 25 pounds between Instagram’s start in October 2010 and its 10 million user milestone. This is relatively easy to do when you are constantly on-the-go with no time to prepare healthy meals. You have to rely on convenient, fast food just to survive

Your Single Connection to Global Financial Markets
We’ve been busy building out our Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure network across an increasing number of Equinix data centers to offer customers secure connectivity into the financial community from anywhere in the world. There are now eight SFTI-enabled Equinix facilities in key markets around the world, allowing customers in these facilities to tap into top trading hubs across the Americas, Asia and Europe. What does the mean for you? Well, simply put, you can cross-connect into our fully redundant multi-market network infrastructure from your existing Equinix space in New York (NY1, NY5), Chicago (CH1), London (LD4), Frankfurt (FR2), Singapore (SG1), Hong Kong (HK2) and Tokyo (TY3). We have invested in a resilient global trading backbone so you don’t have to. You can access the full range of SFTI services including low latency connectivity to matching engines for NYSE Euronext Equities and Derivatives markets housed in our Mahwah and Basildon Liquidity Centers, with the option to connect to 850 buyside and 650 sellside institutions on our global FIX Marketplace.

EdgeWave Launches Next-Generation Email Security Suite ePrism v9.0
Recent high profile attacks have shown that email continues to be a top vector for online criminals to wreak havoc across an organization. Today, we are proud to announce the launch of ePrism v9.0, our latest high performance, cloud-based email security suite designed to empower companies to block these attacks and secure their organization’s network. ePrism 9.0 not only provides the highest level of email security, but also makes email protection amazingly simple and intuitive to manage in order to reduce the burden on the already overworked IT manager. ePrism 9.0 is unique among email security solutions in that it provides unbeatable Enterprise-class email security at up to half the price of other email security providers due to its flexible and scalable cloud-based infrastructure. With the new ePrism 9.0 update, managing email security is now faster and easier for even the largest companies. Designed for organizations of all sizes and infinite in scalability, the ePrism Email Security Suite delivers next-generation cloud-based email security that defends against emerging threats, protects against data loss and helps fulfill regulatory compliance.

New SUP for the family, full set of 4
I often get the question at data center conferences “what do I do?” I get up in the morning and think what am I going to do today. I am my own boss, and have a variety of clients I’ll do a variety of work for. Today the weather was nice so after the kids go to school time to work out with stand up paddle on Lake Samm. We have 4 SUPs from Perfect Wave. The owner of Perfect Wave Bobby works for Casne which has done some data center work. So there is a data center connection to SUP. Another one of our wonderful customers, Hillary Ohara from Lake Sammamish, shopping a little early for a Fathers Day Gift for her husband Dave. No worries, Dave already knows he’s getting it, as Hillary kept sending him pics of different boards in the shop. They are now a 3 PW SUP Board family & soon to be 4, as there daughter will be getting a Ruby Red Slice next week.

E3 2013 set the stage for Alienware
E3 2013 set the stage for Alienware to launch its new line up of powerful gaming laptops. The new designs mark a departure from the previous generation and take on a bold new form. All three of the laptops share similar design characteristics, such as an anodized aluminum shell and magnesium alloy body. This makes for one tough exterior. They also have smooth, angular lines that will catch all the attention in the room. They also feature a new lighting design that highlights the base of each laptop and streaks of color on the back panels as well. All of the lighting zones are adjustable, including the alien head, based on customer feedback. One unique addition is the touch pad that lights up brightly and has its own timing system. First off, we will take a look at the new Alienware 14 laptop. One of the key tech callouts on this model is the customer inspired LCD. The idea was generated from our customer suggestion site Idea Storm. It features an anti-glare, Full HD panel with IPS. What this means for you is the ability to view the screen without glare in nearly any lighting condition.

Famigo – Customer Love
Famigo, a family fun loving startup, uses CopperEgg to provide a high performance technology environment designed for kids. If you have ever handed your phone or tablet to a child and worried about ads, content, and social media outlets that are not kid-safe, Famigo can help. The Famigo app, Sandbox, automatically gathers and sorts family friendly content and applications. Once using Sandbox, children will not be able to make calls, text, view clickable ads, or exit the Sandbox (without a password). Parents also have the ability to limit in-app purchases and social gaming networks. In addition to a safe environment, Famigo provides parents with app and content reviews so that families can quickly find quality content. With the growing popularity of smartphone and tablet use among children, it is essential for parents to have a product like Famigo. CopperEgg is proud to support safe technology and family fun.

Data Center Inbreeding
Remember that movie Deliverance, where four regular guys go canoeing and run into some hard times with a few in-bred locals? Although that one guy could really play the banjo, it was pretty obvious that the natives had formed what one might euphemistically describe as a “close-knit community”, and they weren’t to keen on the idea of any outsiders joining the party. As Twain once said, “familiarity breeds contempt and children”, and in the movie it obviously bred both. Although unconsciously, the movie actually pointed out the dangers of what can happen when societies, industries and organizations become too insular. I was reminded of this the other day while I was speaking with an industry “insider” about patterns of behavior in the data center business. While we spoke on a variety of topics I was struck by his incessant need to push back against any data that contrasted with his “world view”. Maybe it’s just me, but I see more and more of this lately. If any alternatives to beliefs such as “the cloud is a transformative technology

The Statistics and Physics of Reliability
This is the seventh installment for our “Meet the RF Experts” series in which contributors to the Understanding the RF Path e-book elaborate on subjects in their areas of expertise. Reliability is often defined as the probability that a product or service will work as needed for a certain time and under certain operating conditions. Like other performance features, reliability is “designed-in” to products to meet needs. But unlike other features, reliability describes future performance and how it changes over time and varies with use conditions. What is often not understood is that only past reliability can be measured. Future reliability must be predicted by considering issues like: Does a product or service work where and how it will be used? How often will it fail and, when it does, will it be repaired or replaced? How does it fail and what happens when it does? How long can it last until it has to be replaced? The first of these questions can be answered with validation tests to show that specifications are met and 100% reliability is possible—at least at the start of operating life.

Datacenter Dynamics 2013 industry census donates to global non profit
Are you a seasoned veteran of the data center industry? If so, Datacenter dynamics (DCD) is inviting you to take part in its third annual industry census. Your unique views translate into the vital statistics used to identify and track key trends within our industry. Engineers Without Borders. Participation is for a good cause; for every survey completed DCD will contribute $5 to Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK), a global nonprofit dedicated to removing economic barriers through engineering development. EWB-UK programs educate our youth about technology and how it can be leveraged to tackle poverty. This years census will also focus on energy efficiency projects as well projected growth rates for specific markets. DCD welcomes input from professionals working in the colocation, commercial, enterprise and government data center markets. This year, DCD hopes to survey at least 10,000 participants who are willing to donate just a few minutes of their time to this worthy cause. Thanks to participants of last years survey, DCD was able to donate $40,000 to UNICEF, an international children’s charity.

Marketing Effectiveness: Answers By The Numbers
The best way to solve any business challenge begins by asking the right questions. So, what are the top 10 questions that the best CRM consultants ask when they meet with you to improve your marketing program? Delivering marketing messages quickly is essential for maximizing campaign relevance. But taking time to first test and refine marketing campaigns, using small groups of users, also makes them more relevant. For example, Cloud Sherpas worked with a division of global credit information group Experian to help it more quickly test campaigns (on thousands of people) before fully unveiling them (to millions). The result has been more relevant campaigns, leading to stronger customer uptake and higher revenues. In other words, the best marketing groups can quickly test, hone, and then execute campaigns — all before the message grows stale. Today, only about half of our customers can connect the dots between each and every marketing campaign — and the leads it generates — through to sales. All businesses want to do this, but it can be a challenge.

A Hybrid Approach for Migrating IAM to the Cloud
We continue to hear about how cloud, mobility and the consumerization of IT has the potential to transform business. However, the ongoing hype around these trends may lead some to believe that these trends require an “all or none” approach. This can create conflicts as organizations may have significant investments in on-premise IT and cannot simply pull the plug on these environments and immediately go to the cloud. As a result, they are seeking ways to utilize cloud-based applications and infrastructure while maintaining certain applications on-premise. The resulting architecture is referred to as a hybrid environment because it features both on-premise and cloud-based resources. Hybrid approaches can provide organizations with flexibility to slowly move to cloud based services while still maintaining select on-premise resources. For organizations in this situation, one of their major challenges is providing users with the flexibility to seamlessly move around the environment while still maintaining appropriate security levels—or more specifically, ensuring consistent control and security policy between on-premise applications and cloud services.

LionelatDell’s Farewell Post on Direct2Dell
This is my last post on Direct2Dell. After almost 700 blog posts, and thousands of other comments and status updates, I’ve decided to say goodbye to Dell so I can start the next phase of my career— to rejoin Bob Pearson and a great team of folks at W2O Group down the road in Austin. I’ve been a Dell employee for almost 18 years. It’s been one heck of a ride—especially the last seven years when social media became my full time gig. I’ve been fortunate enough to sit at the helm of Direct2Dell since it went live on July 10, 2006. The original goal for Direct2Dell was to educate and serve. Through the ups and downs over the years, I’ve put a lot of time and energy into supporting that original goal. I’ve strived to put a lot of myself into so many of the posts I’ve written, not because it’s part of the job, but because it matters to me. To this day, I care about telling Dell’s story as transparently as possible, and I care how Dell treats its customers. To me, that passion is the single most important reason for success.

Configuring Twitter DMs for Alert Notifications
As a best practice, everyone should configure more than one method for alert notifications from CopperEgg cloud monitoring. Each day this week we will be featuring an integration method for CopperEgg alert notifications. Today, let’s talk about Twitter direct messages. This feature was introduced last year, and has seen a lot of growth since. As the social media manager for CopperEgg, I always have Twitter or Tweetdeck displayed so I can easily see CopperEgg’s messages, mentions, etc. With social media changing with way we interact and communicate, being alerted on social media channels can be very beneficial. Setting up an alert is easily accomplished. First, make sure you are following @CopperEggAlerts. This is the only way you will be able to receive the DMs. Following CopperEgg alerts is also beneficial if problems arise in the app. Next, login to your CopperEgg account. When you are in the app, click on Alerts -> Notification Profiles. Here, you can set up your Twitter handle to receive direct messages. Under your user profile, select “Twitter” from the dropdown menu

Configuring Impala and MapReduce for Multi-tenant Performance
Cloudera Impala has many exciting features, but one of the most impressive is the ability to analyze data in multiple formats, with no ETL needed, in HDFS and Apache HBase. Furthermore, you can use multiple frameworks, such as MapReduce and Impala, to analyze that same data. Consequently, Impala will often run side-by-side with MapReduce on the same physical hardware, with both supporting business-critical workloads. For such multi-tenant clusters, Impala and MapReduce both need to perform well despite potentially conflicting demands for cluster resources. In this post, we’ll share our experiences configuring Impala and MapReduce for optimal multi-tenant performance. Our goal is to help users understand how to tune their multi-tenant clusters to meet production service level objectives (SLOs), and to contribute to the community some test methods and performance models that can be helpful beyond Cloudera. Cloudera’s broad and diverse customer base makes it a top concern to do testing for real-world scenarios. Realistic tests based on common use cases offer meaningful guidance, whereas guidance based on contrived, unrealistic testing often fails to translate to real-life deployments.

Here’s What’s Driving Collaborative Consumption and Where the Market May Head Next
I spoke this past week at the LeWeb conference in London, which was a superbly well run event with a very quality production team. Kudos. The 20-minute video of my presentation is here if you’re interested. And it was convenient for me because we also held our annual London board meeting of DataSift, who helps companies processes and analyze large volumes of social plus enterprise data in realtime. The topic of the conference was “The Sharing Economy” and as I read many of the session title descriptions I realized that people would be talking more about “collaborative consumption” (think airbnb, taskrabbit, uber) than about why people are sharing more on Instragram & Snapchat. As I outlined in my talk, I believe the greatest Internet companies created over the past 15 years have been “deflationary” meaning they are driving down the prices or goods & services. They are also driving down the margins they make and are offering products that are initially lower functionality than their competitors.

Cloud Summit 2013 ROI, Can You Afford NOT to Go?
Your business and clients are busy, and your competition is growing …. Cloud Summit 2013 won’t just help you keep up, but will give you the tools and training to be more efficient, productive and secure! In fact, 97% of attendees surveyed said they would recommend attending Cloud Summit 2013 to their colleagues and friends, and 94% said their business improvements outweighed the cost of attending 3-fold. Look how easy it is for your team to justify a trip to Cloud Summit 2013… Its a no brainer! Remember, the sooner you buy your tickets, the sooner you can lock in low airfare fees!

How Can the Travel Industry Benefit from Cloud Computing?
The travel industry is one of high demand and constant change. Because of this, it is no wonder why the industry is leading the way in terms of Cloud adoption. The travel industry, like so many others, including the financial services industry and accounting industry, has quickly realized the many benefits cloud computing has to offer. Scalability: The travel industry is very seasonal. Because of this, the high demands of certain seasons – such as Christmas and summer – can sometimes be too much for on-site servers to handle. Fortunately, the Cloud offers users scalable solutions to help deal with the seasonal rush. Travel agencies and tourism companies can increase or decrease their storage needs in the Cloud according to this seasonal demand. Companies in the travel industry handle credit card and other personal information on a daily basis. This is why security is such a major concern. This is also why many companies within the industry are turning to Cloud Computing. Cloud providers help keep critical data safe through secure and encrypted solutions, firewalls, backup recovery, and redundancy. Of course, the level of security differs from provider to provider.

Cloud services aid small firms in driving IT innovation
Innovation is the key to gaining an edge over competitors, and technology is often the major enabler for realizing this capability more rapidly and dramatically. Innovation is the key to gaining an edge over competitors, and technology is often the major enabler for realizing this capability more rapidly and dramatically. However, many smaller companies may struggle to achieve this, particularly due to their budgetary constraints and smaller staff. Fortunately, cloud solutions empower these firms to deploy the latest technologies more easily and at affordable rates, driving innovation without putting a strain on funds. In an interview with Forbes, Thomas Erl, co-author of the book “Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture,” explained that there has been a drastic shift in IT demands and roles as a result of the cloud. “Opinions we have and decisions we have to make about whether we want to incorporate cloud technologies or platform or third-party services to what extent, and the implications of that, are just going to become a natural part of how we approach IT,” he told the source.

Introducing ‘Blue Jeans 2.0′
Today we’re really excited to announce the arrival of Blue Jeans 2.0. With a redesigned UI, easy, one-click meeting access, enhanced content sharing, and new admin controls, users are equipped with features to empower greater face-to-face video collaboration for the business user and IT administrator. To celebrate Blue Jeans 2.0 and our second year of record growth, visit us at Infocomm Booth 2087 from 3-5pm Wednesday and Thursday for our champagne and cupcake party and see these features in action. We’ll be sure to save you a glass of bubbly. Blue Jeans 2.0 features are available now to all Blue Jeans customers and free trial users. Read more about Blue Jeans 2.0 here.

Tapjoy to Speak on Riak at Red Hat Summit
The Red Hat Summit will be taking place this week in Boston from June 11-14. This conference focuses on open source technology that showcases the latest and greatest in cloud computing, platform, virtualization, middleware, storage, and systems management technologies. On June 12th at 6pm, Weston Jossey will be presenting, “Taming the Leviathan: Using Riak to Harden Your Data Infrastructure.” Weston Jossey is a software engineer at Tapjoy, a leading mobile advertising company. Jossey has led the initiative to move terabytes of high volume data into Riak from a relational system. His talk will discuss why he chose Riak and his experiences migrating this data. Basho is also a proud sponsor of Red Hat Summit. If you are interested in learning more (or just want a free t-shirt), you can visit us at Booth #902 to discuss all things Riak.

How Proves Gamification’s Effectiveness for Loyalty
After our Power Proactive Loyalty with Gamification webinar (watch the recording), we featured answers to some questions on our blog that we couldn’t get to during the event itself. Here’s the answer another to another question from the webinar. Here, VP of Customer Retention Brent Carter discusses the metrics they use to prove that gamification has been effective in engaging their loyal users. We have a couple main metrics we focus on: active loyalty users and monthly loyalty repeat visits. The businesses who participate in our programs care deeply about the quality of the audience, how active they are and how often they come back. If diners have a positive experience with our site and with our business partners they are inherently more attractive to both parties. For example, we offer access to an online portal for our restaurant partners and they can review feedback from our diners on their specific dining experience at their restaurant. This is valuable insight for the restaurants to continually improve their experience.

7 Gmail Efficiency Tips to Start Using Now
Email is a fact of life and while it helps us get our work done, it can also unfortunately cause productivity issues – if you let it. More businesses (as well as schools and governments) are migrating to Google Apps which includes gmail. Though the basics of Gmail are fairly simple, there are plenty of features to help improve overall efficiency. The key to productivity is managing your time well. Google Tasks provide a simple way of keeping track of pesky to-dos. Just click on the “Mail” drop down menu on the upper left hand side and select Tasks. After writing up your list, you can even email it to friends, coworkers, and family, giving them a little nudge in the right direction. Advanced users of Gmail may find themselves approaching their storage limit. To help with this problem, Backupify developed FreeSpace which lets users delete large attachments. You can also search in Gmail for attachments by size. Just type in size:10m to find attachments larger than 10 MB.

HIPAA at the edge, mobile and cloud compliance strategies
I recently contributed an article to Health IT Exchange. Please take a look and share your thoughts! What exactly are we talking about when we talk about HIPAA at the edge of the enterprise? The enterprise, its IT network, and its data center have long comprised a digital fortress — a bastion that’s both fully accessible to on-site personnel and semi-accessible to off-site personnel — and its edge has always been well defined. But today, this edge is no longer well defined as CIOs look to reduce costs by turning to the cloud, satisfy employees who want to access the network with iPads, notebooks, and other mobile devices, and give patients access per meaningful use stage 2. It’s now a porous boundary, one through which users — some of whom may access the network only once, on any device, and from any location — can come and go as they please.

M2M in the Wild: Real World Examples
A recent article in Wired magazine talking about the Internet of Things prompted me to think of some of the Axeda customers, and how they use connected devices. Machine-to-Machine or M2M is seen by some as new and emerging, but it has been around in some form or other for a long time, one of the earliest being during World War 2 as Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) sensors to identify aircraft, or other vehicles as friendly (or not) and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. But things have on a bit since the 1940’s, so what are people doing with M2M applications now? I’m fairly new to this whole industry, so you pundits and gurus who have been in the industry for many years (we have a lot of them here at Axeda!) may want to walk away now, and just get a cup of coffee instead… because I just want to step back for a minute before we get to a use-case, and discuss exactly what (I think) M2M means, and how it may impact your organization. The first thing you need is of course… a thing… yep, the thing you actually want to talk to… as an example

Don’t let a disaster leave your data out in the cold
When we see images from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy of flooded neighborhoods, downed power lines and destroyed homes the first concern, of course, is for the safety of the people. But as a chief security officer I also think about how disasters affect companies and the vital assets of their business – the data. Natural disasters are unpredictable. They happen out of the blue and leave no time to prepare. So now – while things are calm — would be a good time to make sure your data isn’t left to the mercy of the forces of nature. Being prepared means creating information management policies and procedures so that sensitive information remains protected regardless of what happens. This process includes four steps: identifying data that needs to be kept confidential, classifying the sensitivity of it, deciding how it can be best protected and how data left on discarded computer systemscan be kept away from prying eyes. All data management programs shouldstart with identifying important information resources, which should be tracked throughout their lifecycle.

Cloud services impacting big data, other corporate IT strategies
One of the most commonly cited advantages of cloud services has been the technology’s ability to facilitate the implementation of a variety of new corporate IT functions. One of the most commonly cited benefits of cloud services has been the technology’s ability to facilitate the implementation of a variety of new corporate IT functions. For example, cloud computing enables the more efficient, productive and affordable launch of enterprise mobility plans, including the wildly popular bring your own device movement. Additionally, small business owners have been able to take advantage of one of the more transformative trends in corporate computing – big data – through the use of cloud storage, hosting and software technology. Big data has been seen as one of the best methods of boosting operational efficiencies through the identification and eradication of waste, all while better informing decision-making.

Help Software Grow Up Big and Strong with Parallel Automated Testing
What sort of person would you have become if your education and your tests had all only started when you were 18? Imagine all the things that could have gone awry, all the wrong turnings you could have taken if nobody had been there to help, to test, to correct, to guide… Maybe software projects don’t last quite as long as 18 years, but the same principle applies. Your software baby needs to be tested regularly from birth to maturity, to make sure all the vital parts are functioning properly and that everything is developing as it should. Why then do some software project teams shove testing to the back of the queue? ‘We’ll do it later’, ‘We’ll check it when it’s finished’, or simply ‘According to the time we have left’ are testing policies that are all too common. The results are what you’d expect: software that doesn’t work or that malfunctions, sometimes with the direst consequences.

Covering the NonStop Buzz at HP Discover 2013
There’s no more fulfilling an event for IT professionals than a vendor’s “main tent” marketing event. Through the years I have made it a goal to participate in as many as I have had the good fortune to find time for, and this year will be no exception. As a full time blogger and commentator within the HP NonStop community, I will be enjoying, once again, HP’s hospitality as the official NonStop blogger within the blogging community supporting HP. Last year we were all able to get our first look at new HP CEO, Meg Whitman, and she didn’t disappoint! The new message – Make it Matter! Key focus areas – Mobility, Security, Clouds and Big Data. I do seem to recall Social Media was in there as well but apparently, it’s being accommodated within the other focus areas. However, what cannot be overlooked is that NonStop continues to maintain a high profile with the highest levels within HP. For the NonStop community, it goes without saying that what interests us most will be what we will hear from the HP leadership! Will there be surprises, disappointments or will there be further confusion among the participants as the event winds down?

Improving Server Performance with nginx and PHPapc
Sometimes you need a bigger boat, and sometimes you need to make the boat you have better. While this isn’t exactly the take-away lesson from Jaws, it’s good advice for someone who wants to get the most out of their web hosting services. If you have a Cloud VPS plan or dedicated server with A Small Orange, we can help you get the most out of your server. When you optimize a server, you generally want to maximize your use of your server’s faster components such as memory versus slower components such as hard drives. Here’s a brief guide to two of the most popular ways to maximize your server’s potential. The open source web server software nginx helps you optimize server performance by taking commonly-requested static files like images, static html, js, and css, and putting them into memory to serve them more quickly. By incorporating nginx into your server software, you can reduce the need to access your server’s file system, taking a load off your disk I/O as well as saving CPU resources. In this configuration, the risk of running into problems is relatively low and is usually related to DNS issues where a domain isn’t resolving properly. If your domain isn’t pointed to the server, such as a pre-production setup where you’re using a local hosts file modification to preview the site, nginx will break everything, so wait until your site is live before setting it up.

The Friendly (Fee) Skies
Currently, I am in seat 20C of the Economy (Plus) cabin on a United Airlines Flight. I’m heading back home to San Francisco after a short (18 hours) in the city of Denver. I was outside for 5 minutes, caught an Uber, saw the airport, the hotel room, the conference room, two Starbucks and then finally the Rocky Mountains, but only from 25,000 feet or so. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the configuration on a United un-reconfigured B757-200, let me explain: Seat 20C is an aisle seat in the exit row, with about 5 feet of legroom. It’s on the right-handed aisle side of the aircraft wherein I am free to play Sudoku in the Hemispheres Magazine or write this blog post. It’s a great seat and one that I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten today (and yesterday)! As with most business travelers, I can attest to the sometimes less-than-joyful experience of flying these days; flights are full and good seats are scarce. Luckily for me, I have status with United, but what if I didn’t? What about the unlucky leisure traveler? You know the ones who come out every month or so to visit the less-than-friendly skies and whose lives are undeniably harder up at 30,000 ft: boarding last, sitting in the middle seat and facing the non-economy plus lifestyle.

Restricting who you can receive Email from
Email authentication is of course crucially important to a users email account. It’s the keystone in what keeps unauthorized users from accessing your email. Another piece that is often looked over is the access set for who can even send to that email account. For an average end user, there may be no restrictions you would want placed on your account (not including spam or virus protection). After all, you may not know who you will be getting an email from in the future, so you would want any valid email through. But there are other services or mail features you may want to make sure you have locked down in more ways than just spam and virus filtering. In the case of email groups, you may not want everyone in the world to be able to email that group regardless of the messages content. If you were to have a group in your company’s email that contained all your users, an unwanted email sent to that group could cause some major headaches. Most email systems (including our Hosted Exchange) will allow you to lock down and specify who can send to that group, allowing you to not have to worry about any unwelcome emails being sent to those members.

What’s Next for HBase? Big Data Applications Using Frameworks Like Kiji
Apache Hadoop and HBase have quickly become industry standards for storage and analysis of Big Data in the enterprise, yet as adoption spreads, new challenges and opportunities have emerged. Today, there is a large gap — a chasm, a gorge — between the nice application model your Big Data Application builder designed and the raw, byte-based APIs provided by HBase and Hadoop. Many Big Data players have invested a lot of time and energy in bridging this gap. Cloudera, where I work, is developing the Cloudera Development Kit (CDK). Kiji, an open source framework for building Big Data Applications, is another such thriving option. A lot of thought has gone into its design. More importantly, long experience building Big Data Applications on top of Hadoop and HBase has been baked into how it all works. Kiji provides a model and a set of libraries that allow developers to get up and running quickly. Intuitive Java APIs and Kiji’s rich data model allow developers to build business logic and machine learning algorithms without having to worry about bytes, serialization, schema evolution

Knowing the fact about cloud services for better performances
Cloud computing continues to become a more transformative technology, as organizations in virtually every sector and industrialized nation have started to use the services for a variety of operational functions. Cloud computing continues to become a more transformative technology, as organizations in virtually every sector and industrialized nation have started to use these services for a variety of operational functions. However, despite the increasing popularity and prevalence of cloud services, some entrepreneurs continue to subscribe to myths that surround the solutions. Some of these myths can cause small business owners to avoid cloud services, while others will hinder the drive toward optimization. Regardless of what type of company an entrepreneur is either launching or expanding, cloud services remain among the best methods to drive corporate IT spend efficiency, business continuity and employee productivity. Expert David Linthicum, writing for InfoWorld, recently listed several myths that continue to circumvent the enterprise and IT communities, explaining that he heard these fallacies while presenting at conferences across the nation.

Let Me Tell You Some Akamai Security Stories
Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Bill Brenner, Akamai’s newly-minted security storyteller (my title is actually senior program manager, but my role here will be quite different from that of other people with similar titles). I’m a journalist by trade, with two decades of newspaper reporting and editing behind me. I’ve spent the last decade writing about information security, a path that brought me here. I’m not a security technician. But I do know how to get the real technicians to help me understand what they’re working on. I remember how lost I felt the first time I read a security advisory about a buffer flow vulnerability in a long-since-forgotten piece of software. Within a month or two, I was able to look at advisories and make instant sense of them. Because I asked the people in the trenches to explain it to me like I was a toddler — and they happily obliged. A decade later, I’m experienced in the art of seeing the bigger infosec picture and how all the smaller puzzle pieces fit in. I know how to get practitioners to explain threats and defenses in a way that’s accessible to the public. And that’s what I’m here to do for Akamai.

Most Extreme Wi-Fi: AP-equipped drone takes flight
Aerohive BR100 Wi-Fi Router with a 4G module attached to a custom drone made by Aerohive Vice President of Product Management, Adam Conway. Whoa, that’s extreme! The BR100 soared a few hundred feet and successfully beamed down Wi-Fi that was accessed by an iPhone (see screenshot below). How did this come to pass? Adam loves robots. He loves robots so much that it has been mentioned in most descriptions about him – including two separate speeches at his wedding. He also spent much of his time in grad school building robots. When the Ardupilot open source autopilot came to market a few years ago, it was only a matter of time before Adam built his own drone. After a late-night brainstorming session with Aerohive’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Dean Hickman-Smith, an idea was born: Use an AP-equipped drone to provide Wi-Fi over areas that don’t, or cannot, have Wi-Fi coverage.

PRISM Exposes Enterprise Risks
An article in the Guardian last week revealed the U.S. government’s PRISM program. The article outlined the government’s alleged monitoring of communications at the largest Internet providers (seemingly with the help of these providers). This list of Internet providers includes Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple. Now, I want to point out that these are all allegations and that none of this has been verified yet. However, it certainly raises a lot of questions. I wanted to hone in one of the areas that I took note of. There was a mention in this report of other providers the government wanted to monitor, including Dropbox. This again exposes some of the risks that are faced not only by consumers using Dropbox (and similar services) but also the exposure that enterprises and enterprise users face when using these types of services. Many enterprises turn a blind eye towards a lot of this use but it represents a serious risk and raises many questions: Do you know what the security is at these providers? I mean, do you REALLY know?

Chunking Content for Task-centric Mobility
Mobile apps should empower me to solve problems and take action. How does this happen? And when it comes to powering mobile apps, how does Drupal make a difference? Let me continue the conversation that I started in my recent blog post, “Making Mobile Know About Me,” and identify some next steps for making content smart and useful. Grocery Shopping. Let’s begin with an example about one of those familiar chores of everyday life: grocery shopping. Here in the Boston area, Whole Foods is my local grocer I’ve downloaded the branded mobile app to my smartphone. The app includes a store locator, a menu planner, and a shopping list where I can type in what I need. (It’s likely your favorite supermarket may have its own mobile app with many of these same features.) But finding the nearest Whole Foods and saving a shopping list on my smartphone are only a few steps related to my real task – knowing what to buy in the first place. When it comes to my overall experience, I still have to remember what items I have in the house and find where the products are located in the store.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Might Need a Call Center in the Cloud
But we don’t need a call center yet. We’re too small! That’s a common reaction lots of business owners have when they think they’re too early in their growth path to need a call center. Most likely, they’re missing out on five crucial business-building opportunities, and the real shame is that a virtual call center could provide them far more cheaply and easily than they imagine. A call center can be one of the most important parts of a business, providing a critical point of contact for your customers. Some firms use call centers early in the buying cycle, to collect and nurture leads, and to make sales. Others use them to build and retain loyalty by providing the kind of excellent service that keeps customers coming back. Cloud Call Centers Slash Costs and Create New Opportunities The cost of both sales and support-related call centers has dropped dramatically with virtual call centers, which use hosted VoIP technology—the same voice-over-Internet-protocol technology that many people use for business or residential phone service—to efficiently route, manage, record, monitor and queue calls to or from a business.

Five Trends Contributing to Network Complexity
IP networks and what it takes to manage them have become much more complex during the past several years, and this process continues to gather speed. Here are five business and technology trends that will drive still greater levels of complexity over the next few years: Greater commercial dependence on the network continues to raise the bar on network performance, as any type of outage or unplanned downtime can result in a significant hit to the business. Research by the Gartner Group estimates that the average cost of network downtime for a small or mid-sized business is approximately $42,000 an hour and over six figures for larger companies. Another study sponsored by CA Technologies suggests that network downtime can reduce the average company’s earning power by as much as 29 percent. With so much money at stake, the expectations for service levels continue to soar. For network administrators, five nines has become the new performance standard and they are under constant pressure to shrink their recovery time objectives to zero.

5nine Software European office opening
We are excited to announce the launch of our European office aimed at providing you with the best of the following services: Consultation on 5nine Software product line and respective integration with Microsoft Windows Servers 2008/2012 and Hyper-V. Online training with companies’ IT experts on best practices for utilizing 5nine Software Security and Management solutions with Microsoft virtual environments. Design, installation and support services of 5nine Software Security and Management solutions for companies virtual infrastructure. If you have any questions, please contact 5nine Software Europe

How Google+ is Gaining Relevancy and Why Facebook Should Follow Suit
In social media strategy meetings I constantly find myself wondering if Google+ will ever gain enough traction to be truly useful. With the addition of Google Authorship rankings, it is starting to become more relevant, and Google is definitely the place to be for search engine optimization rankings, but is Google+ all that? Some social media experts are predicting that it is going to make it big in the next couple of months, especially now that it is beating Facebook to hashtag functionality and has a brand new layout. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been lamenting the use of the hashtag on Facebook because it doesn’t create a link like it does on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram. However, with rumors that Facebook will be adding hashtag functionality in the near future, Google+ has gone and done it already. Now, when you post on Google+, Google+ will automatically add a hashtag to your post, allowing it to be mined with hashtag search tools like Tagboard, and of course allowing you to search for other related posts on Google+.

Inspiring Business to Startup
The 123-reg team were kept busy at The Business Startup Show on Thursday and Friday last week with a variety of enquiries from both existing and potential new customers. A lively couple of days at London’s Excel brought together a wealth of ideas and talent all looking for the best way to make their business idea happen and there were plenty of top speakers too offering their advice on how they made it happen and others offering guidance on how to maximise your potential. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing much of the insight we gained from attending, as well as bringing you some opinions and top tips from some of the top experts. One of the most exciting rewards from the show was meeting so many existing customers with positive comments and feedback on our products and services. Big thanks, especially go to those who took time to give us their customer testimonials on camera and we will be showing more of those again in the coming weeks. What is always refreshing from attending these events is the passion and commitment that people have for online.

4 Approaches to Profitable Domain Investing
Investing in a domain name can be a big decision. Since the value of a particular domain is often subjective to both the buyer and the seller, it is important that both sides are considered. The time spent understanding the value will help you become confident in your domaining knowledge, and give a stronger ability to make the right investments at the right time. Whether you are a domain expert or novice, familiarizing yourself with the domain industry can be extremely beneficial when it comes to domain investing. Being up to date on relevant blogs, upcoming conferences, and current industry events will help to keep you informed about popular domaining trends, as well as provide the assurance you need to choose between a strong domain investment and a weak one. In addition to industry news, you’ll want to keep an eye out for other general news trends. When a particular topic or happening becomes popular in the news people are always interested in learning more information. News trends often result in spikes in search results and offer instant traffic potential for domain investments on related domains.

Going wireless without being tied down by security
Most workers would agree that access to wireless networks is great for flexibility. However, increasing the reach of the network presents new challenges. Balancing user needs against security isn’t easy but it is essential. There’s a whole load of catch phrases I could use here: ‘prevention is better than cure’, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Yes, these are security clichés but ask yourself the following question. Would you rather face a huge cleanup operation after a security breach or invest time and money on a regular basis to avoid this? Users are one of the biggest risks to the security of any wireless network. Most of the time, this is out of naivety rather than any malice towards the organisation. Make sure that there are watertight security policies in place around wireless network usage that cover any type of device that might be accessing them. This doesn’t have to be composed out of thin air; resellers can help with defining what needs to be on there. Don’t just create policy documents and then email them round the office if you want staff members to act on them.

The WADL is Not Enough – Why API Documentation Matters
As I’ve talked about before, in our API documentation tutorial, documenting your API effectively is critical if you care at all about getting the maximum return from your design investment. It doesn’t matter if you are building a private API for a few selected partners or trying to build a company around a public API – poor documentation is going to sink your endeavor every time. The challenge is that it’s really difficult to find people who are as great at documenting systems as they are at designing them. As a convenient shortcut, many API designers use tooling to auto-generate documentation. This often means exporting machine-readable interface description files like WSDLs and WADLs based on some type of configuration data entered into a development or testing tool. Assets like these are great for driving programmatic components on both the client and server side but they have limited value otherwise. WSDL files, in particular, are popular in the SOA space because they allow client developers to auto-build proxy classes that can be invoked in the RPC style that is prevalent for SOAP-based integration.

Hosted SharePoint 2010 Sharing Success with Businesses
There are very few job positions that don’t require a person to collaborate with coworkers at some point. Companies thrive off of the various ideas and opinions that employees have to offer, and when you combine all of them into one project, the results are bound to be both creative and successful. While collaboration can produce some pretty spectacular visions, it can be hard to herd everyone into the same room and expect them to have the exact same schedules. This is where Hosted SharePoint 2010 comes in. The technology allows teams to stay connected at just the click of your mouse. Coworkers will be able to collaborate more effectively with Hosted SharePoint 2010. As time goes on, offices are becoming less traditional and more technological. Collaboration and communication through the means of technology is becoming a popular trend, and can thank ever-growing software hosting programs for its success. Hosted SharePoint 2010 allows team members to have easy access to documents, people and information that is crucial for project completion

American Retailer, Sears Holdings Corp, Sues over Power Failures
Sears Holdings Corp., one of America’s top 10 retailers by volume, recently filed a lawsuit against multiple vendors they allege were responsible for multimillion-dollar losses earlier this year. The losses occurred when two power failures shut down the company’s data centre and website for hours on end. According to the lawsuit, filed May 24 (2013), the first of the two power failure events occurred just after the Christmas holiday. On January 3, one of the company’s uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) failed, leading to the eventual failure of all the remaining power supplies and a bypass power set-up. All of Sears’s computer systems were completely shut down for five hours. Once back online, keeping the systems running required running auxiliary generators for eight days. The lawsuit contends the power failure cost the company nearly $200,000 in fuel costs and more than $1.5 million in lost profits. During Q4 2012, the company lost a total of $489 million – just to make things worse. Sears alleges a second power failure occurred on January 24 due to improper settings established when the system was brought back up.

Are You Satisfied with Your Disaster Recovery Plans?
Mother Nature can wreak havoc at any time. Unfortunately for business owners, weather systems don’t care about bottom lines. While it might get temporarily crippled, in order to make sure your business doesn’t get completely crushed in the wake of a natural disaster, establishing thorough and comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plans are of the utmost importance. According to Forrester Research, businesses will spend seven percent of their IT budgets on such plans this year. And that’s money well spent, considering it as an insurance policy against being forced offline for an indeterminate amount of time. Your company being offline means you’re losing money. And it’s important to do everything you can to prevent that from happening. Of those companies recently surveyed, 13 percent said their downtime costs were greater than $500,000 over the past three years, while 36 percent incurred costs less substantial. In any case, that’s money left on the table. Forty-four percent of the same companies said reducing their unplanned downtime during the next two years was a goal, while 48 percent of those companies planned on meeting that goal within a year.

HD and SSD upgrades for your MacBook Pro
If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro (not the Retina display version), you have lots of hard drive upgrade options. These are: 5400 RPM hard drive. Comparatively slow, but Toshiba now has one (the catchily named MQ01ABD150) that is a whopping 1.5 TB. (If you have a pre-Unibody MacBook or MacBook Pro, then you can’t use this drive, because it’s physically too tall.) 7200 RPM hard drive. This is the same speed as a typical desktop computer’s hard drive and what we almost always recommend over 5400 RPM drives unless space is the main concern. Hitachi’s 7K1000 model is an impressive 1 TB. “Hybrid” drive. These drives, such as the Seagate Momentus XT, have a small-capacity SSD component designed to make them a bit faster. They are available up to 750 GB. (This is not to be confused with the optional “Fusion Drive” for current iMacs, which sounds the same, but is fairly different. They’re also not to be confused with a hybrid car, which is entirely different.) Solid-state drive (SSD). These drives are much faster, and much more reliable, but cost much more (though much less than they used to).

Big Data at Forecast 2013
What is Big Data? Big data refers to the large collection of both unstructured and structured data that cannot be processed by traditional database systems or software. In 2012, Gartner defined big data as “high volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets”. Analysis of big data provides us with the ability to gain insights and answer questions that require processing huge volumes of data very quickly. IDC research indicates that the volume of data doubles every 18 months. Now, more data leads to deeper insights and more sophisticated analytics. However, as the amount of data grows, there are some significant challenges that come with it. Intel Corporation surveyed 200 IT professionals about big data analytics and the results revealed 3 key areas where they need help to better utilize the power of big data: Software built for big data frameworks, Data visualization methods for business users and services to manage data coming in from sensors and devices at the edge of networks. The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) Data Services (DS) working group published a big data consumer guide in 2012.

Numerous Cloud Hosting Services Options At
The use of cloud technology is not only proliferating across the globe, but is rapidly becoming one of the most important tools in the access and security of IT services. With the myriad of options as to how one might utilize the cloud, and in what capacity, the flexibility of usage is palpable. Any small or large business, corporation, international organization or governmental body can benefit from the flexibility, security, and scalability offered by cloud hosting services. It is quickly becoming one aspect of the technological realm that demands a proper understanding, as it looks to be the future of communication and information storage. There are multiple options for how one can utilize cloud hosting services, and the benefits lie with the unique needs of a client. A business might want to hand over much of the basic infrastructure operation to outside services while retaining their management of applications. With this option, a service provides the basic computing resources needed to store data run needed software, with the client able to transfer all existing information to the new cloud service.

Open Source Server Monitoring: What Are Your Options?
System monitoring is one of the most important duties of system administrators. Monitoring is crucial for maintaining acceptable levels of performance and uptime. As infrastructure increases in complexity and scale, having the right monitoring setup becomes increasingly crucial. Data from server monitoring software should be used at every level of system administration, from network topology, scaling decisions, investments in hardware, and troubleshooting. Without both aggregate data and real time information as to server status, we’d be working blind. Fortunately, there’s a huge range of monitoring software available to choose from, including both paid-for and free open source solutions that run the gamut from simple single server monitoring tools to full enterprise-level application suites that will provide more data than the average sysadmin could possibly need. Today we’re going to give a brief survey of the available open source options. All of these monitoring suites are freely available, although some of them have paid-for add-ons or operate a freemium model where the core functionality is free and support and additional capabilities come at a price.

Interview with Avant Photographic – Customer Spotlight
My name is Phil Burrowes LMPA & my company is Avant photographic. I am a well established and highly regarded photographer specializing in portraits and commercial photography. I provide hand crafted wall art, unique and powerful family portraiture as commercial images with Pow! I am based in the South East England. My customers want portraits of their families that evoke emotive reactions. Something different, exciting, certainly not ‘run-of-the-mill’! Most arrive with the feeling of not being particularly special and leave amazed that their family looked so great in their portraits. For me? Ha! It affords me a living doing a job I enjoy! My customers benefit from unique and exciting portraiture of their families, whilst commercial clients receive images which will boost their business by giving visitors to their websites a more visually exciting and stimulating experience.

SADA Systems Founder Hovig Safoian Named 2013 CIO of the Year
SADA Systems today announced founder Hovig Safoian received the 2013 Los Angeles Business Journal’s CIO of the Year Award for Emerging Business category. The award was officially presented at a ceremony held June 5, 2013 in Los Angeles. Safoian founded SADA Systems in 2000 and has served as CTO for 13 years, overseeing SADA’s technology development and Managed Services practices, as well as all of SADA’s internal IT practices. Safoian was recognized by the LABJ for his demonstrated technology leadership and innovation, as well as his commitment to implementing exceptional cloud technology strategies for businesses. “Hovig Safoian’s vision and execution with strategic cloud technologies has been instrumental in SADA’s overall growth and helping clients across all industries meet new levels of success,” said Tony Safoian, CEO and President of SADA Systems. Under Safoian’s guidance, SADA Systems began as an application development company, adding managed IT services expertise to its repertoire shortly after. With Safoian acting as CTO, SADA Systems began integrating additional services as technology changed and evolved

Gladinet iOS App Update
With the latest Gladinet iOS app update, The iOS app greatly increased the interaction between a cloud-bound file and applications native to the iOS device. From the iOS App, you can use the disclosure button to click into the file details view. In the view, there is an “Open In …” button. When click on this button, the file will be downloaded and sent to locally installed application. In the picture, applications that are capable of opening PDF files will be presented to the user to open this document. From other iOS Applications, you can also do “Open In” if the application has an “Open In” option. For most of the file types, the Gladinet Cloud option is available. After clicked the “open in” option, the Gladinet Cloud application will be open, and a “Upload to Current Folder” button will show, allowing upload the document back into Gladinet Cloud. For the iOS applications that support WebDav protocol, you can also mount Gladinet Cloud account as Webdav, allowing those applications to work with the cloud-bound files directly.

What is the best way to do Email DR?
So you are wondering what the best way to handle your Email Disaster Recovery and have looked at some options, but don’t know what to do? This post is for you. Outsourcing Email Disaster Recovery. That is a solution that solves more than just the one you originally started out looking for. Imagine this scenario…You hit the open market looking for the latest and greatest Exchange appliance/software/peripheral/service that will help you be prepared in a disaster. What you end up bringing back to your organization actually eliminates all need for disaster recovery on your end, improves your email service/features, saves you money, prevents future headaches, and allows all of your IT staff to work on actual business processes not the updating of finicky Windows Servers. What is this magical solution to all of your email problems? Hosted Microsoft Exchange is what makes all of these things a reality. With regard to how we originally started this conversation, outsourcing email disaster recovery, going hosted and the cloud have disaster recovery built in by definition.

Colibri Tool Review – Measure Trends & Analyze Conversions
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a SEO tool tool for businesses and Internet marketers that allows you to track inbound links to your sites as well as your competitors, track SEO performance, analyze keyword positions in search engines, and pinpoint under-served niches in your industry? Colibri Tool gives businesses and individual marketers a decided edge over their competition because it shares inside information about all the top keywords on your sites as well as competitor sites. Many people new to marketing on the Internet, as well as a few seasoned old pros, have a hard time measuring the success of certain keywords to see which ones are really converting for them and which ones aren’t really making the grade. Colibri Tool spells that out for you so that there is no room for doubt. Colibri Tool is the first of its kind that provides accurate measurements for things such as keyword positions, traffic trends, and even conversion rates for certain keywords that isn’t search engine specific. This means that it isn’t isolated to Google results, or even Bing results.