Blog Posts for Friday – 7 June, 2013

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

Triggered Emails for Nonprofits
According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2011 email benchmark report, triggered email campaigns improved email message relevancy. Triggered emails are a series of emails sent in response to a specific action, or trigger. Brand marketers have been using this tactic successfully for years, and nonprofits should consider trigger-based campaigns for more relevant member communications. An Experian Marketing Services report, shows that welcome emails have higher transaction rates and revenue than bulk emails, as well as more opens and click-throughs. While these brand-specific statistics may not translate directly to nonprofits, it stands to reason that nonprofits could see more member engagement with more relevant, targeted email messages. Some trigger-based email campaigns nonprofits should consider include: New donor welcome series, triggered when a new donation is recieved, that welcomes donors to the nonprofit. New subscriber welcome series that moves new email subscribers along the engagement process. Event registrant welcome series that shares information for enjoying the event and previewing event activities.

Goodbye Badge Scanner, Hello Leads
Remember the last time you were on booth duty at a trade show, scanning attendees’ badges with the badge scanner provided by the event organizer? If your experience was anything like ours, it looked like this: With just one scanner in the booth, a line often formed as everybody waited to use the same device. To supplement the basic information provided by their badges, you frequently wrote notes on the backs of attendees’ business cards. At the end of the show, you handed the badge scanner back to the event organizer. And waited. A week later, the event organizer sent you an Excel file with the attendees’ badge information. You took that Excel file and imported the leads into your CRM system. Finally, after seven days or more, you sent out your follow-up emails saying, “Thanks for visiting our booth.” By that time, of course, the attendees have likely forgotten who you are and what you do. And you’ve likely lost all the business card notes because, let’s face it, nobody wants to key in information collected from the hundreds of people and coordinate it with the records in their CRM system.

Take your business to unprecedented heights with your own business logo
A logo represents the gist of a company effectively. Remember the famous Murphy kid? Murphy was a company that sold radio and transistors in India in the early 80s. The company used a kid’s photograph for its brand promotion. The brand became a huge hit and the kid became synonymous with the brand. Using a logo for a particular brand is not a novel concept but its designing has witnessed a major transformation over the years. The Apple logo underwent a complete makeover from being a graphical image of Newton sitting under a tree, eating an apple, to a rainbow colored apple and then to the present day, sophisticated monochrome logo.Believe it or not! In 1970s, Jobs thought that the complex Newton logo is responsible for Apple’s slow sales. He was mindful of the relationship between company’s sale and logo at that time!! Mozilla Firefox’s first logo titled Phoenix was changed to Firebird to overcome some trademark issues. It again encountered some problems and finally got lucky third time, when it was renamed Mozilla Firefox. A professional interface designer quoted that Mozilla browser and its software are poorly branded. So, Mozilla asked him to develop a new identity for itself and the result is what we are all familiar with.

4 Reasons Why You Should Back Up Information from Your Social Media Accounts
Social media has become the de facto marketing channel for businesses of all sizes. Because it offers wide reach and direct interaction with customers, there’s no better way to sell your services or build your brand. With that in mind, it’s worth considering how to protect your social media data. After all, you don’t sign an SLA when you open an account with a social network, and they don’t guarantee their systems won’t fail. If you don’t back up your social media data, you could incur unforeseen costs, miss out on crucial business opportunities, and put your business at legal risk. Here are four reasons you should care about backing up your social media and some ways to do it. Social media campaigns succeed or fail based on the quality of their content. Businesses invest thousands of dollars in YouTube videos, infographics, landing pages, and other rich media. If even a fraction of your content was lost because a social network went dark, re-creating that content would be prohibitively expensive, and in some cases impossible.

ThinkBroadband Survey 2013
In March 2013 Thinkbroadband published their results from their ‘Big Broadband’ Survey which was carried out between June and December 2012 analysing over 10,000 responses. We thought we would pull together some of the highlights for you. The survey found that 46% of respondents use their broadband for business use, with 51% using it for personal use only. There is a marginal willingness to pay more by users using their broadband for work use. There is a significant difference between business use between UK regions with London having the highest rate (95%) followed by the South East (53%), The North East 36%) and Northern Ireland (32%) had the lowest levels. The vast majority (71%) of users buy broadband with at least one other service, the most common being broadband and home phone. In September 2012 we introduced our Broadband and Phone package, allowing customers to consolidate their broadband and phone line supplier with packages starting from as little as £24.50 per month. In April 2013 our packages were recognised by Which? with us receiving the Which? Recommended Broadband and Phone Provider status, topping the table with 86%.

Benefits of leveraging a managed cloud hosting provider
As the cloud revolution has unfolded, many in-house IT professionals have tried to resist the movement for a number of reasons. Some of them had legitimate concerns about the security of mission-critical information and applications stored offsite. Other IT workers had wondered whether vendors would respond to situations like downtime in a timely a manner. And still others were probably worried that leveraging the services of a managed cloud hosting provider would render their jobs obsolete. The fact of the matter is that none of the above scenarios are really prevalent. The corporate infrastructure will not be less secure if it becomes cloud-based, and in-house IT departments won’t be disappearing anytime soon. Instead of trying to hold off the inevitable, internal tech workers should be embracing what managed cloud hosting has to offer. In a recent blog post for ZDNet, information technology trend researcher Joe McKendrick dispelled the notion that IT is a “competitor” to outside cloud services. Rather the two sides should work closely together to find “the best path for the business,”

5 Tips to Help EDU Prepare for the BYOD Invasion of 2014
In September, students will return to school for the fall semester. The next few months are the perfect time to prepare for the onslaught of personal devices on campus–the now-familiar BYOD tsunami. In last week’s blog post we talked about the benefits of enabling students to register their devices remotely before they even leave home for school. In this post we have created a checklist that will help you prepare for BYOD while balancing the between securing the network and enabling productivity: How much visibility do you currently have into who and what is connecting to the network? Can you identify the types of endpoint devices that are connecting, as well as who is using those devices to connect to the network? Decide which devices you will support (iPads, smartphones, PlayStations, Xbox, IPTV etc.) Determine which operating systems you will support, and which AV software you will require (and their versions). Allow at least one “free” antivirus option whenever possible.

Celebrating The 1-Year Anniversary Of World IPv6 Launch
One year ago today, thousands of people around the world came together to permanently enable IPv6 on their websites, access networks and in their devices. As we’ve noted this week through our news release and then infographic, the world has changed greatly in this past year. The percentage of users using IPv6 has doubled and in fact more than doubled for many of the networks we are now measuring. Articles, blog posts and other media are popping up all across the Internet today as so many people join in the celebration – we’re seeing them in the #v6launch and #IPv6 hashtags on Twitter, we’re seeing them on Google+, on Facebook, in LinkedIn groups… and everywhere. THANK YOU for all you have done over this past year to help move IPv6 forward! Together we have made IPv6 an integral part of the global Internet and a regular aspect of mainstream network planning and deployment – and we look forward to continuing to work with all of you over the months and years ahead.

Customer Spotlight: Largest Sensor Company in the U.S. Implements Z-CRM
Over the last few years, Banner Engineering has been growing at a rapid rate. With over 3000 employees, 7 corporate offices, and 147 products, Banner began realizing the challenge of tracking sales quotes from several sales representatives over a wide array of products. Their system of tracking via MS Excel was actually causing more confusion and extra work. Six months ago, Banner decided it was time to find a solution to these tracking difficulties and contacted Rivet Solutions, an IT and business solutions consultancy. Rivet was tasked with finding a CRM solution that matched Banner Engineering’s extensive needs and implementing this solution as quickly and painlessly as possible. Banner is the global leader in process and industrial automation, helping customers increase efficiency, reduce costs, ensure quality, monitor and control processes, and safeguard employees. Banner focuses on delivering industry-leading photo eyes, sensors, vision sensors, wireless sensors, machine safety, e-stop devices, vision lighting, and a wide assortment of indicator lights, tower lights, stack lights, and pick to lights.

Continuing the Innovation Conversation
A few months back we attended an Innovations Showcase event in Seattle where we met with prospective customers and talked about trends in data security. We were at it again yesterday in Detroit and once again, engaged in good dialogue with organizations seeking to strengthen their data security solutions. At the last event a lot of the discussion and interest centered on Self Encrypting Drives (SEDs) and the value they offer. At the event this week, the key areas that really resonated with attendees were Removable Media Encryption (RME) and our approach to pre-boot authentication – PBConnex, which offers network-based pre-boot authentication. With the number of issues happening in market today revolving around the loss of data due to device theft or loss of things such as USB keys, RME was a very significant subject for many of the attendees. While we typically talk about the benefits of Full Disk Encryption (FDE), that was more or less a foregone conclusion with most attendees leveraging a solution to secure their data.

Myth or Fact: Dedicated Hosting is 3x Cheaper Than AWS
Amazon is a trustworthy company and they have a robust cloud–but is AWS right for everyone? Is it right for you? Looking closely at our customers, nearly 100% of enterprise workloads are better off going with dedicated servers (about 90% of them are, anyway). Not only do some of these applications run better on dedicated hardware, dedicated servers can be up to 3x less than running a comparative workload on AWS. To give you some perspective on specs and price, let’s take a look at our most in-demand dedicated server solutions, the E3-1230 v2: This chart comparing a dedicated server to Amazon AWS shows a 3x difference in monthly pricing. The question is: Why would you pay up to 3x more for EC2 pricing from AWS? Despite its costs, AWS does have some flexibility, scale and other elastic features that can be attractive to some users. The following instances may lead to the acquisition of the EC2 AWS cloud platform: If you are a company that anticipates fluctuating scenarios of traffic levels consistently, than a cloud platform can indeed be a good fit for you.

A Quick List: 11 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Website
Optimized for handheld devices, Mobile websites have a streamlined navigation and improved download speed, both of which significantly enhance the user experience. Mobile-specific features like mapping functions are especially beneficial for you if you’ve a local business as visitors in your geographic proximity can easily find your website with location-aware technology. Mobile website = Higher rankings on mobile-friendly search engines like Google and Yahoo. You can place your business/website in a growing number of mobile and local directories. Mobile websites are ‘in.’ They help you stand out as a contemporary brand. Mobile websites can be accessed on-the-run; anywhere, anytime. One doesn’t need access to a PC/laptop to get in touch with you. Mobile website = mobile purchases. Mobile websites add more value to your offline promotional material with the help of QR codes. QR codes can be displayed in print on your pamphlets, brochures, posters, billboards etc. When scanned with a Smartphone, they automatically translate into your website URL or any other landing pages of your choice that contain additional information.

Why Privileged User Controls are Central to Thwarting APTs
Let’s face it: perimeter security is failing, and failing fast. Every week it seems, we’re reading about yet another major corporation, defense contractor or government agency that has become the latest victim of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). Today’s APTs are both sophisticated and patient, getting inside the target’s network and sitting there for weeks, months or even years, accessing and ultimately stealing valuable data. Now, it’s clear that servers are the primary targets and the best way to get at the data on those servers is by compromising the accounts of privileged users in the organization. Many people mistakenly assume that privileged users are the C-level executives, like the CEO and CFO. While those users do see sensitive data on a regular basis, the best targets for cyber criminals lie further down the food chain; it’s folks like network administrators, database administrators, sys admins and root users that represent the biggest potential gain for cyber criminals. And, for organizations wanting to embrace cloud technologies, cloud administrators represent yet another attack vector.

Cloud Buddy Takes a Look at ReliableDR!
vExpert Bilal Hasmi took a look at ReliableDR this week, it’s functionality, how it measures up against VMwares SRM and also checked out what makes it a cut above the rest! It makes sense for PHD virtual to invest their simplistic approach to the DR solutions. They have done a great job in the enhancements they have made to their backup solution over the years and ReliableDR seems to be the next logical step. I was scared that I would find complex settings and installation procedures before getting the product going. But I was pleasantly surprised. Here are some webinars that would help one understand the product in more detail. Imagine if we had a slider that we adjusted to dictate the amount of money we want to spend on our power bill every month and our homes adjusted to that number and aligned the utilization accordingly. That’s the level of simplicity that’s needed in the DR solutions for today. And I believe ReliableDR is definitely on its way there.

Office 365 vs. Google Apps Showdown: Organization Size
Ever since Microsoft released Office 2013 for 365 this February, they have seen a massive rush of users converting to the latest-and-greatest cloud-based productivity suite. May was a busy month for the corporate marketing team in Redmond, with Office 365 making news headlines when the software reached a million subscribers. Google has yet to respond to Microsoft’s recent push, including claims by a Microsoft director that Google doesn’t understand enterprise web apps, but is still currently in the lead as we can see from our latest data analysis. Although Google Apps is leading with a comfortable margin at the moment, Office 365 has been consistently pulling away chunks of market share every month. May exhibited somewhat slower adoption of the two cloud services; out of 2.4 million companies we observed, 2,000 made the switch from other platforms to either Google or Office. In our March and April Showdown posts, we reported significant gains for Redmond. This month’s progress has been less drastic, but 365 has still managed to pull off a healthy 0.9% of market share in their favor among organizations with 50-200 employees.

Amazon RDS: 3.5 years, 3 Engines, 9 Regions, 50+ Features and Tens of Thousands of Customers
The Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) was designed to simplify one of the most complex of all common IT activities: managing and scaling a relational database while providing fast, predictable performance and high availability. In the 3.5 years since we launched Amazon RDS, a lot has happened. Amazon RDS is now being used in mission-critical deployments by tens of thousands of businesses of all sizes. We now process trillions of I/O requests each month for these customers. We’re seeing strong adoption in enterprises such as Samsung and Unilever, web-scale applications like Flipboard and Airbnb, and large-scale organizations like NASA JPL and Obama for America. We have added support for three major database engines (MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server), expanded support to all nine of the AWS Regions, and added more than 50 highly requested features. Here is a timeline to give you a better idea of how many additions we have made to RDS since we launched it. This feature enables you to create highly available database deployments with synchronous replication across Availability Zones, automatic failure detection and failover using just a few clicks on the AWS Management Console.

Five Bulletins, One Critical in Microsoft’s June Patch
Microsoft announced today in an advanced patch Tuesday notification that it will ship just five bulletins in the June edition of patch Tuesday. Only one bulletin received the software giant’s most sever ‘critical’ rating: it will fix a vulnerability in Windows and Internet Explorer that could allow an attacker to execute code remotely. The remaining four bulletins received the next most severe ‘important’ ratings and will fix information disclosure, denial of service, and elevation of privilege bugs in windows as well as a remote code execution flaw in Internet Explorer. Ross Barrett, senior manager of security engineering at Rapid7, told Threatpost via email that he would be interested to see whether or not Microsoft fixes the kernel vulnerability that Google’s Tavis Ormandy recently disclosed publicly on the Full Disclosure mailing list. Ormandy’s decision to disclose the bug in this way stirred up controversy late last month, but the information security engineer from Google claimed that he only released the exploit code after the code had already been made available by another group.

Is Big Data Too Big For Any One CIO to Manage?
Two years ago, the TIBCO Spotfire “Trends and Outliers” blog recapped the role of the CIO and BI. We think it’s a good time to look at how far we’ve come and expand upon some lessons we’ve learned along the way. Back then, IBM’s study on CIOs and BI said that 83% of information officers see BI and analytics as “top priorities for the businesses and they seek ways to act upon the growing amounts of data now at their disposal.” The survey also indicated that analytics would be considered a competitive differentiator within the next three to five years. Big data is a big deal and we’re seeing companies use it to their advantage. But we’ve also seen the challenges it presents – scalability and security. Barb Darrow, a senior writer for GigaOM, recently blogged about this. In her recap of the 2013 MIT CIO Symposium, she wrote, “…a common mistake is to confuse correlation with causation. Without the right background knowledge and statistical analysis tools, you can still leap to the wrong conclusions about your data.”

Citadel’s Defenses Breached
On June 5, Microsoft announced that they had worked together with members of the financial services industry and the FBI to disrupt the operations of a banking Trojan horse program called Citadel. The takedown operation resulted in over 1,000 Citadel botnets being taken offline. Citadel is a banking Trojan that has been in existence since 2011. As with most banking Trojans, Citadel is a full crimeware kit, providing the attackers with payload builders, a command and control (C&C) server infrastructure, and configuration scripts to target various banks. Citadel is a descendant of that other behemoth of the financial Trojan world, Trojan.Zbot (Zeus). It came into existence after the Zeus source code was leaked in 2011, with criminal groups taking that code and enhancing it. Citadel is aimed at a more “exclusive” attacker market than its more widespread predecessor, Zeus. The Citadel kit is sold through underground Russian forums and typically costs around $3,000, compared to $100 for the SpyEye and leaked Zeus kits.

The Spiceworks 7 Help Desk: SpiceWars to the Rescue
As Nic shared a few months ago, Spiceworks has a week-long hackathon every year called SpiceWars. This event serves as both the genesis of many great ideas and the opportunity to bring many a requested feature to life. About half of the projects built eventually find their way into production. We’re expecting the Spiceworks 7 beta to go flying off the shelves, and one of the reasons for that is the crazy-fast new help desk. Known internally as “Help Desk 2.0,” this feature was the 2013 SpiceWars project of Spiceworks developer Cina Saffary. I recently talked to Cina to find out what it was like to be on his one-man team. It was actually my idea for last year’s project, but I didn’t know Backbone at the time, so I tabled it. Backbone is a JavaScript library that’s really nice for building quick and responsive apps inside of a browser. When I first heard about it, the first thing I thought of was, “This would be perfect for implementing the Help Desk.” The App team had some designs laying around that they’d been working on, but nobody had time to develop them, so I just took those and ran with them.

Government email archives take to the cloud
There’s an increasing push in federal and state legislatures to move public records management tools to the cloud. Email archiving assets are among the most highly talked-about services at the moment, with some calling previous administrations into question regarding personal email accounts, while other federal offices move to make their operations even more open and searchable. With the vast amount of correspondence that federal agencies engage in on a daily basis, having an online database for managing and securing these resources is essential. Government Technology wrote that this was a major impetus for moving the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to cloud email archiving. The source stated that all of NARA’s 5,300 email accounts have been moved to a cloud service, allowing messages to be automatically logged, stored and recalled later. These users represent the active employees at NARA, meaning that all of their transmissions will be saved for future review and recordkeeping. Apart from serving as a substantial addition to compliance adherence, this service also allows for more government transparency, something that other offices at that level of authority are trying to establish as well.

Dynamic Network Management
The cloud has enabled developers and testers to deploy complex computing environments quickly and, perhaps most importantly, without the need to ask IT to set up new servers, switches, and routers. But, while the self-service aspect of cloud computing simplifies resource acquisition it also introduces new challenges. The explosion of information technology has led to the need to specialize. As a result, a rock-star Linux application developer may know nothing beyond the basics of networking or systems administration. Similarly, network admins may know very little about compiled languages and software development. Yet, when a developer or tester makes use of the cloud they often must play the part of network, systems, and storage administrator. One of the primary challenges facing developers and testers is networking. Configuring DNS, proxies, routing, etc., are time consuming and complex tasks. As a result, it can be frustrating for a developer who wants to perform a quick operation if she must change network routes, virtual machine (VM) IP addresses, and other network-related tasks in order for the virtual environment itself to just work.

High Availability for Drupal Part 2 – The Contenders
When looking at high availability for any CMS, and particularly for Drupal, the list of contenders for part or all of the solution is growing and can be daunting. We’ll take a look at the various parts of a solution and what options we have. We need to get this up front. There have been high profile failures of cloud providers that have left people relying on their services in the lurch. It isn’t all bad news, but it does highlight that just moving your infrastructure into the cloud doesn’t guarantee availability. What it also demonstrates is the need to build with failure in mind. What the cloud does give you are the essential components of a flexible, scalable solution. Probably the most attractive benefit is the low barrier to entry. Unlike a traditional hardware based solution that requires an expediture for the components even before you start building your system, cloud systems tend to have no initial deployment costs, only usage charges. In our previous post we have already discussed the difference between Apache and Nginx and the potential benefits of moving to Nginx. What wasn’t covered was how they interact with PHP

A Flash in the Pan, Or the Cyberman in the Data Center?
There have been suggestions recently that while enterprise flash storage will undoubtedly have its place, it will not become dominant, as others have predicted. However, past and future lessons alike suggest that we shouldn’t be too skeptical about the rise of all-flash Solid State Disks (SSDs) in the enterprise. It is natural for most of us to resist change — or what we see as excessive change. We worked hard to get where we are today, and “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” remains a useful motto in enterprise IT. The problem is that we cannot stop or control change, no matter how scary it may be. That is part of what makes Doctor Who’s silver foes the Cybermen — and their Star Trek cousins the Borg — so frightening: with their hyper-evolutionary ability to adapt to defeat weapons used against them, they are about the fearsome speed of technological change, as well as the more obvious fears of losing your identity and emotions, and being forcibly subsumed into “the machine”. It is the same fears and lack of understanding that leads old industries to discount the new, assuming that although they too were once hot young innovators

The Best Online Backup For Mac Users
We all know that small and medium sized businesses can’t afford to be lax when it comes to safeguarding their data. Because of the potential unreliability of physical disks to adequately safeguard data—and their poor track record regarding data recovery, more and more businesses are turning to online backup solutions. And now that more and more SMBs have already moved to the cloud for other business processes such as email and team collaboration, they have already seen how migrating can help them combine scarce resources and reduce IT infrastructure costs. For many businesses, online backup solutions are simply a smarter, more cost-effective and user-friendly solution for safeguarding critical business data. SkyNox’s Workstation application gives Mac users all the benefits and bank-grade security of the SkyNox online backup and recovery solution. And that’s important, because not all backup solutions are designed with Macs in mind. You can save and restore up to 64 versions of any file. That way, if you accidentally delete a file or want to revert to an older version of a file, you can do so in just a few clicks.

What is the Best Language to Learn Programming?
For non-programmers, picking a language to learn seems like a daunting task. Sometimes it may be one of the things stopping you from doing the work to get started. But it might be the most important step. “Pick a language with a strong community and don’t switch,” said Zack Shapiro, one of the experts I consulted for this post. See what Zack and others said about some of the web’s most popular languages: Ruby, Python, PHP and JavaScript. “Ruby is optimized for programmer happiness and productivity. Sure, Ruby isn’t the fastest or most performant language for a variety of common programming tasks, but its syntax is clear, intuitive, and fun, which makes it easier and faster for programmers to learn and use. “Ruby abstracts a lot of the pain out of programming. Ruby makes it unnecessary for first-time programmers to have to deal with things like manual memory management, pointers, or type safety, which I think is a huge win. “Ruby has a great community that’s especially friendly to beginners. The Ruby community sometimes gets a bit of flak for its ‘fanboy’ vibe, but it’s full of smart, earnest people who love programming, Ruby, and teaching people who are new to both.

Enterprise City, Continued: At MetroPCS, Custom ServiceNow Apps Deliver Shared Benefits to Shared Services
Another element common to well-run cities and well-run enterprises: they both rely upon effective, efficiently delivered shared services. In cities, these include things such as power, water, and roads and streets. In enterprises, shared services include departments and functions such as human resources, legal, finance, and engineering (for technology-centric businesses). Enterprise shared services often represent a significant early opportunity to leverage and demonstrate the business value of custom applications built upon the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform. Moreover, shared services decision makers are often the initiators and instigators of the pursuit of such opportunities. Frequently, IT rolls out ServiceNow for IT service management (ITSM) and service automation. IT then hosts a demo of ServiceNow and invites decision makers from across the enterprise. And then someone in, say, HR or Finance sees the functionality and customization ServiceNow has made possible for IT, and quickly decides that similar features could deliver significant benefits for their shared service as well.

Why Do you need Cloud Computing?
You may ask “Why do you need Cloud Computing?”, and you may be answered with another question “Why not?” The Cloud is just another kind of computing architecture. It just uses the Internet as the network and brings the power of virtualization to your doorstep. It shifts attention from the physical to the virtual; and accounting heads from CAPEX to OPEX. It simplifies disaster recovery and business continuity – this is at the heart of why organizations (be it big enterprises or small mom-and-dad businesses) are drawn to the Cloud. The Cloud abstracts hardware to a remote location and takes the data offsite, even as it is generated. Disgruntled employees (as in the Frost and Sullivan case) will not be able to sprinkle the computing systems with Cillit Bang cleaning fluid – details are found here. The computing resource is just not physically present for sabotage! Extreme weather damage cannot paralyze the business and any number of planes crashing into any number of towers will not put the organization out of business if it has stored its resources in the Cloud and has the facility of anywhere, anytime bare metal recovery access.

Cool Smart, Save Smarter: Schneider Electric Cooling Infographic on Containment Strategies and More.
The growth of big data and the ever-evolving technology industry are causing overall data center demand to skyrocket – there are over 509,147 data centers worldwide today. This increasing use has, in turn, led to an enormous boom in energy needs (and escalating scrutiny of data center efficiency). But while data centers are a necessary part of today’s technologically-dependent society, they also consume roughly 1.3 percent of all electricity in the world.* There have been great energy efficiency gains in recent years with regards to data center facility operation, but continued emphasis on efficient practices should be a priority for data center managers. One significant, yet manageable, source of energy and cost consumption in data centers is cooling. As reported by the Green Grid, long-accepted restrictions on data center operating temperatures are now being reconsidered, with new guidelines allowing for temperatures well in excess of 80.6 degrees. No longer needing to adhere to strict thermal ranges, data center mangers now have greater flexibility in choosing more efficient and money-saving cooling solutions. Although old habits are hard to break, putting real savings numbers behind thermostat flexibility can help push managers toward more energy efficient habits.

Migrating a High-Risk Exchange Server to the Cloud
Exchange email servers are the sine qua non of modern business. Downtimes can result in thousands of dollars in losses in productivity, sales, or just reputation. Hardware failure is inevitable at some point in all physical servers regardless of warranty. Aging equipment – we define this as equipment 3 or more years old – requires more maintenance and also is at an increased risk of failure. The benefits of hosted Exchange are tangible and immediate within this context. Read why many business are proactively migrating their Exchange email servers to the cloud. On premise servers require big recurring investments. Whether it’s the latest server OS, Exchange version, new hardware, or new virtualization system, keeping up with the costs is painful. Newer Exchange features sets have not always been compelling enough to justify investment in upgrades. Many businesses have chosen to simply delay the investments and try to make do with what they have for as long as possible, believing this maximizes their return on any initial investments they made. Trying to keep equipment running for 7+ years and staying on older versions of Exchange is not uncommon. This has placed many internally run Exchange servers at high-risk for failure.

The Case of the Disappearing Sales Pipeline
Financial metrics (and in particular Revenue) are the lifeblood of any company. If ample revenue is not coming in the door to squeeze out some profit, then the door will eventually slam shut. And if the revenue coming in is sufficient to keep it open but insufficient to meet the company’s expectations, then that very same door becomes an exit for the company’s senior executives. For that reason, executives cannot wait until revenue is actually in the door before they begin to watch it—they want it on the war room wall as soon as it appears on the horizon. It has therefore become incumbent on sales management to report anticipated revenue from in-process sales opportunities. They do so in an assortment of hypothetical financial statements known collectively as forecasts. Forecasts allow executives to gaze in the future, predict how much revenue will be coming in the door, and manage their stakeholders’ expectations appropriately. This keeps the doors open, but only as an entrance. Without question, management’s favorite mechanism for real-time forecasting is the sales pipeline.1 Like Revenue, the sales pipeline really needs no introduction—every war room wall has some pipeline numbers on it.

Tips on Using the Cloud for Mobile, Social, and Games
“IaaS is the most appropriate infrastructure solution for social games, web-based games, mobile applications — any applications or products that can have a short lifespan — because you don’t need to worry about the upfront infrastructure costs of hosting applications or back-end infrastructure. You’re able to use what’s appropriate for you at the time, iterate quickly, and if your game isn’t a success, you can easily scrap what’s been done.” So says Ronnie Regev, an enterprise product manager at RightScale. Before he joined RightScale, Regev spent nine years at Ubisoft, where he was senior manager of online game operations and architecture at the prominent gaming company. He shared some of the lessons he learned about using the cloud for mobile, social, and games at the recent RightScale Compute conference. Regev stressed the importance of focusing on business objectives. The finance team can be your best friend, he said. You need to know what both your financial objectives are and your costs are. Regev said he spent a lot of time with people in finance trying to understand what they were looking for and teaching them about cloud costs and how they differ from

Web App Hosting On the Cloud
Web apps can require extra disk space, which is why the cloud is perfect to host your app. Our at-a-glance infographic illustrates how your architecture for a web app can look on the Rackspace open cloud, a platform that ensures you only ever pay for what you use whilst remaining agile enough to scale up and down where required.

New Cloud Servers SLA…And Why It Matters
Today we are pleased to introduce a new and improved SLA for our Next Generation Cloud Servers service, powered by OpenStack. To appreciate what has changed, it’s important to understand how cloud services are built. The vast majority of cloud services have two major components: 1) a “control plane” which is comprised of the API, provisioning system, database, etc; and 2) a “data plane” which is the actual resources that get provisioned via the control plane – in this case, cloud servers. (If you have a networking background, control and data planes may sound familiar.) These components have different availability characteristics. It’s quite possible for the control plane to be down while the data plane is up (e.g. you can’t add servers because the API is down but your hosted web site is still up) as well as the data plane be down and the control plane up (e.g. the host running your web server crashes but you can create a replacement cloud server via the API). Historically we have only guaranteed the Cloud Servers data plane and the new SLA adds control plane guarantee as well.

June 2013 Patch Tuesday Preview
Microsoft has published its June Advance Notification, giving us insight into what to expect next Tuesday. This release looks relatively small with only one critical and four important security bulletins making it the smallest of 2013 yet. But it does patch some of the more widely used and important windows components. Bulletin 1 is rated as critical and affects all versions of Internet Explorer on all Windows platforms. If left unpatched, this vulnerability can cause RCE (remote code execution) which implies that an attacker can take control of the victim computer if the victim browses to a malformed website using Internet Explorer(IE). Since the browser is a window to the internet, IE users should apply this RCE patch as soon as it is released. Bulletin 5 affects Microsoft Office 2003 SP3 as well as Office for Mac 2011. As we have discussed earlier, Office has a widely deployed customer base and usually the attack is carried out by sending malicious files via e-mail or hosting them on a compromised website. This vulnerability also allows an attacker to take full control of the victim machine and is classified as an RCE.

Mark Cuban and Poverty Reduction
Editor’s Note: Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit organization,that helps the world’s poorest people—especially women—lift themselves out of poverty by providing appropriate financial services, life-changing information and unique business opportunities. With this in mind, Grameen Foundation collaborates with Qualcomm Wireless Reach on projects that aim to bring entrepreneurs out of poverty by harnessing the economic benefits of wireless connectivity. After the Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA Championship, a Twitter exchange erupted between Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks; and Skip Bayless, sports journalist, TV personality and ESPN commentator. This led to a heated episode of ESPN’s First Take that went viral. Cuban contested that Bayless and other sportswriters only spoke in generalities. Whether Bayless was speaking of Lebron James’ “biggest collapse of a superstar that we’ve ever witnessed” or praising the Miami Heat by saying “Miami wanted it more than Oklahoma,” Bayless’ comme nts, in Cuban’s view, were too vague for anyone to question. Unfortunately, the issue of using vague generalities to describe a situation reaches far beyond the basketball court.

90 New Salesforce Features for the Summer ’13 Release
Dust off your sunscreen and flip flops – summer is upon us! What better way to celebrate than with the new Salesforce product features in the Summer ’13 release? Summer ’13 includes 90 new features that help companies connect to their customers in a whole new way. We are proud to announce that nearly half of the Summer ’13 features were suggested and voted on by Salesforce customers and members of the IdeaExchange community. Be sure to visit to learn when the Summer ’13 release will go live on your instance of Salesforce. And in the meantime, check out the release preview on our website or on Facebook, where you can view feature demos and screenshots, and access release related resources like the Release Notes and Release Preview. And don’t forget to “Like,” comment on, share, and tweet about your favorite new features.

CIS Series. Stephen Wilson: Messing with identity memes
At the Cloud Identity Summit, Stephen Wilson is going to turn you on your head. Wilson, the founder and managing director at Lockstep Consulting in Australia, likes to STEPHEN WILSON 110316 [IMG_0967].jpgflip things around and look at all sides. A self-proclaimed contrarian, his job is to check your thinking. At CIS, he’ll be flipping over popular tenets around federation, identity providers (IdP), relying parties, claims, attributes and risk management, and wrapping it in an ecology metaphor. “We have ensembles of claims, technologies and business rules that are all bundled together as our various digital identities,” says Wilson. “And the digital identities we possess have all evolved to fit different ecological niches in business systems.” Wilson says identities are built from memes, social genes passed on from one generation to the next. “Identity is memetic,” he said. This evolution has resulted in identity that is locked into one context and not relevant in other contexts. “You can’t take a fresh water fish and drop it in salt water.”

You Asked, and We Delivered!
With the launch of our IdeaScale community, we’ve been able to receive direct feedback, requests and suggestions from our clients, further opening up the lines of communication to ultimately better meet your needs. The no. 1 request on our community boards has been the addition of new servers and we are pleased to be able to successfully fulfill this and many more in the future! Recently, Phoenix NAP launched two new server lines that are now available in both Phoenix, AZ and Ashburn, VA for customers to take advantage of. After receiving an immense amount of customer feedback regarding adding the new servers, we are ready and excited for everyone to try them out! The launch of the Dual Intel Xeon E5-2609 servers kicked off last week and features many benefits including highly competitive pricing, tremendous benchmarks, increased HDD capacity and the option for larger SSDs with all new pricing. Additionally exciting is our latest server launch which occurred on Monday; the day after Intel officially released new E3-1200 v3 processors, with the unveiling of the Intel E3-1240 v3 and 1270 v3 server lines.

“Meet” Your Favorite Celebrities with Parse-Powered Hang W/
In today’s increasingly media-centric society, everyone from celebrities to politicians are searching for ways to keep in touch with their fan base. Mobile app Hang w/ is the latest, and one of the most popular, social media platforms available to both the famous as well as the not-so-well-known. We spoke with Andrew Maltin to discuss the hit app that his company, MEDL Mobile, released in March of this year. Your company, MEDL Mobile, has a lot going on. What can you tell us about it and the role you play there? MEDL Mobile was created in 2008 when my partner and I joined forces to build something that neither of us could find in the market. Previously, I had built software and web-based companies in the nineties, and the growth curve of mobile reminded me of early web. I was looking for a development partner that could help me move fast to take advantage of the rapidly evolving ecosystem. My partner was a former advertising agency creative director who had spent 20 years working on powerhouse brands. He was looking for a development partner who could guide an app he was crafting for a client. He needed help understanding timing, pricing, marketing, monetization and the process for getting it done properly.

The OpenDNS Forums and IdeaBank now live in our new Support Portal
Community has always been essential to OpenDNS, so as we continue to evolve our services, making it easier and safer for the community to participate is a top priority. That’s why we’re moving to a new system with improved functionality and security. Some of you may have already noticed that we now ask for ratings on our support tickets, and give you the ability to update and view your tickets online at That’s just the start. As of today we’ve transitioned the OpenDNS Forums and IdeaBank to be run on our new Support Portal as well. The incredible knowledge and participation of the OpenDNS community has enabled the forums to become a rich and useful resource for answering even the toughest technical questions about OpenDNS services. But as many of our community members pointed out, the old system was tough to maintain and we were having a bit of trouble fighting off spam. Running forums on our new Support Portal is a game changer, as it allows for deeper engagement with the community and gives us the ability to seamlessly integrate the Dashboard and Support experiences. The new forums will provide us with actionable insight into areas where our users need more help, ultimately enabling us to provide more clear and sophisticated support to our users.

Building a Complete Digital Platform with Mobile, E-Commerce & Individuality
Online Tech is exhibiting PCI hosting solutions at booth #108 at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibit (IRCE) 2013 in Chicago, IL. Hosted at the McCormick Place West, the event runs from June 4-7, and is the world’s largest e-commerce event. The event draws 9,500 e-retailing executives from more than 40 countries. Eighty percent of the blood drives the Red Cross puts on are completely mobile. They can set-up and tear down an entire hospital room setup in an ordinary conference room in one day. With 13 million volunteers in a 187 countries, their mission is really about people and not the organization (90% of the workers within the organization are volunteers. This also has the added benefit of having 90 cents for every dollar going straight to the cause…instead of to the organization). The Red Cross engaged people across the country that were fans on their Facebook page asking them to share their stories and experiences with the Red Cross. The 300+ video stories thanked the individual volunteers, blood donors and the organization as a whole.

App Performance, Executive Dashboards, and … Beekeeping?
We’re all well versed in the New Normal of IT dealing with more user demand with fewer resources (budget and people). This is particularly true of non-profit organizations like Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, where every dollar that comes in or goes out is watched carefully. But, with 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, 800 health care providers, and 500,000 members in its insurance division, Intermountain’s IT group must deliver services and applications that run well and support the organizations mission to provide cost-effective healthcare to its customers. If doctors can’t get access to medical records and x-rays because the system is down, care can suffer. I caught up with Lin Richardson, senior middle-tier admin at Intermountain, to discuss his role, the applications his team supports and how CA Service Assurance solutions – particularly CA Application Performance Management and CA Executive Insight for Service Assurance – help ensure problems are found and fixed quickly as well as how executives can keep tabs on how IT performance impacts business performance.

The White House Storms Into The Fight Against Patent Trolls
For months, we’ve written about our opposition of patent trolls and their attempts to extort hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of dollars from companies that actually create value. These patent-powered parasites kill innovation, drain the economy and strip away capital from businesses both large and small. This week we’re one step closer to seeing true change enacted: on Tuesday the White House laid out a slate of proposals, including five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations, “to protect innovators from frivolous litigation” by patent trolls. While patent trolling isn’t illegal, we believe that it is an unethical and shameful business. As President Obama said in February, patent trolls “don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea to see if they can extort some money out of them.” Most of President Obama’s recommendations target abusive patent litigation, supporting penalties for litigants who file abusive lawsuits; boosting transparency in the patent system to help curb frivolous suits; and protecting consumers and businesses who buy technology products from being sued by trolls.

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson’s SuiteWorld 2013 Address: Operations Transformed, Visions Realized
NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson opened the annual SuiteWorld event, NetSuite’s customer and partner conference, with a keynote explaining how NetSuite is helping businesses transform their operations and realize their business vision. Watch below as he describes NetSuite’s new manufacturing capabilities and its game-changing partnership with AutoDesk; how NetSuite is leaving its competitors behind; and how enterprise customers like Williams Sonoma and Qualcomm are running NetSuite to power their entrepreneurial efforts. Nelson also outlines the growth and power of NetSuite’s partner channel with partners like Accenture, Deloitte, Wipro, Capgemini and others. Learn how companies are transacting business in the world of cloud computing.

Scalable Technology for the Retail Industry
Wednesday was a big day for the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), featuring such speakers as Hiroshi Mikitani, the Chairman & CEO of Rakuten, Craig Oldham, the VP of Digital Engagement for the American Red Cross, and Director of Apple Inc. as well as Senior Advisor for Google, Al Gore. I’ve been following the “Retail Chains” track, and there have been lots of insights into how using a brand’s online presence can be incredibly helpful for businesses with many brick-and-mortar stores. Greg Petro, President and CEO of First Insight explained that while the impression by the masses might be that the internet is cold and isolating, the application of tech can effectively enable customer intimacy. Namely, it gives the business owner the ability to interact and understand the customer while they’re researching and shopping online. This can allow the owner the ability to more specifically target their message to a consumer based on the consumer’s specific wants/needs/interests. He also noted that while potential buyers are always looking for a deal, they are willing to pay more to get products they care about.

Great Customer, Great Location
Working at a small company, we spend plenty of time in the office brainstorming new marketing ideas, discussing potential product features and debating the validity of emerging technologies. Oh, and there is lots of cranking away on just plain work too. But, for everyone on the team, it’s always the time away from the office talking to customers and industry folks outside of the company that fuels our work engines and re-energizes us for the next task ahead. My colleague, Louis, and I recently had a great trip out to Calabasas, CA to partner with one our top customers, Ixia, on a case study project (coming soon to Armed with computers, video equipment and recommendations of places to grab some food and drink, we traveled to the other coast and arrived in time for Happy Hour at The Library in Santa Monica. The next day, we visited Ixia headquarters and after a quick tour of their new space, we got down to the real work. I use the term work somewhat loosely here, because we were meeting with Mazi Fayazfar, Senior Director of Information Technology, to discuss his views on the role of IT, challenges with data storage and use of Nasuni at Ixia.

5 valuable Windows 8 tips
Windows 8 has been slowly gaining traction with businesses, and numerous companies have already upgraded, while others are seriously considering it. Those upgrading from older versions of Windows will find a drastically different operating system (OS), that may take a while to get used to. Because it’s such a big change, new users may not know how to get the most out of the latest version. Here are five tips that can help you get the more out of Windows 8. Enable GodMode In older video games, GodMode was a cheat or code you could enter to get access to every power, giving you unlimited lives or even making you invincible. Windows 8 has a GodMode as well, only it won’t make you all powerful. Instead it puts hundreds of settings into one central folder. As soon as you click anywhere outside of the folder, it should change icons. Opening the folder will bring up a list of close to a dozen settings options. You will notice numbers beside each entry, indicating how many settings are inside that specific category. Bring back the Start button The Start button is, to many Windows users, the most important button. Pressing it gives you easy access to installed programs, search, settings and many documents.

Is your cloud backup enterprise-ready?
A new IDC White Paper, sponsored by Mozy, highlights the risks and challenges that enterprises face if they fail to carefully evaluate vendors before selecting a partner for cloud backup and access. “There has been an explosion in the number of vendors offering backup services and, while some of these have been designed to meet the needs of large businesses, others are designed with SMBs, consumers or individuals in mind,” said Laura DuBois, Program Vice President, Storage at IDC. “Enterprises that fail to dig beneath the surface with a given solution could find themselves risking their data in unsuitable environments or having the rug pulled out from under them by a provider that doesn’t stay the distance.” The new IDC White Paper, entitled “Entitled Key Criteria in Selecting a Cloud Backup Provider Built to Last”, offers a checklist for business to use in their selection processes. The document also offers an overview of industry trends and information. As more enterprises begin investing in a cloud backup provider, the trust placed in that provider to offer a solution that’s truly enterprise-ready becomes all the more critical,”

Top 5 Most Read SharePoint White Papers
One of the best ways we have to gauge community interest is through our white paper downloads. These free white papers cover SharePoint topics ranging from SharePoint storage to SharePoint migration to relevant SharePoint market data. So let’s revisit the most popular SharePoint white papers since SharePoint Conference 2012: Changing the SharePoint Backup Game: How to Backup Multi-Terabyte SharePoint Farms in Minutes SharePoint content is growing rapidly, at a rate of roughly 75% each year. One of the biggest challenges with this growth is backing up SharePoint content. Where it was once acceptable to back up content periodically, the sheer volume of documents and files within SharePoint makes this impractical. In this white paper, Metalogix CTO Trevor Hellebuyck takes a look at a better way for backing up content and slashing backup times from days down to minutes. The secret is in the BLOBs – the Binary Large Objects that are the documents and other types of unstructured data that are stored within Microsoft SQL Server. Trevor explains how you can reduce backup times with native SharePoint backup tools to automatically and continuously backup content and achieve item-level recovery.

We Just Can’t Get Enough Of The Red Carpet
Remember that time we got geeky with the stars? As it turns out, Hollywood loves Virb and has invited us back to the red carpet for the 3rd annual Critics Choice Television Awards! The (mt) and Virb team will be bringing you updates via liveblog, where you can learn all about your favorite TV stars nerdy habits. In the mean time, you can vote for your favorite TV moment from the past season. SPOILER ALERT for those who have not seen the entire recent season of: American Horor Story: Asylum, Downtown Abbey, The Office, The Walking Dead, How I Met Your Mother, Homeland, and Game of Thrones.

Magento Passion Pervades Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago
IRCE 2013 kicked-off Tuesday night in Chicago, and Magento helped everyone celebrate by hosting an incredible party. More than 800 people joined the Magento team at Public House, Chicago’s most-famous gastropub, for a great evening of networking and fun. Buzz about the Magento party spread quickly, and there was soon a line around the block to get inside. A big “Thank You” to all of the merchants, Magento partners, developers and friends for joining us on Tuesday. Wednesday was an incredible day at IRCE for the Magento team. Everywhere you looked inside the vast expo hall you could see a Magento customer, logo or partner badge. The Magento booth was teaming with energy, as a non-stop train of merchants visited the booth to meet the Magento team and see demonstrations of the new Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13.

Basics of Responsive Design: Using Media Queries
Responsive design is a method of designing websites so that they scale across a wide range of devices and viewport sizes. The idea behind using responsive techniques is “Build once, work everywhere”. Responsive design doesn’t mean you create separate designs for different devices. Instead, you create a single design that works well across multiple devices. Utilizing this approach will enable your site to be viewed on mobile, tablets and desktop browsers, while only requiring you to update and manage one site, instead of multiple iterations. Media queries are used to write css for specific situations. Fluid grids and flexible images are both based on using relative units for widths, instead of using pixels. This is the first in a series on responsive design, and in this post we will concentrate on the basics of media queries, what they are and how we can use media queries to detect if a user is browsing from a mobile device vs a desktop, and set specific styles to accommodate the smaller screen size.

Big Data in the Non-Virtualized Cloud: Myth or Reality?
Cloud is typically approached as a combination of virtualized or bare metal infrastructure. At this stage of the game, to think about cloud is to think at some level about virtualization. Businesses are also looking at some form of orchestration. And the underlying hardware – CPU, RAM, and disk – is becoming commodity for the cloud. Nobody cares what the underlying processor on a server is that’s running in the cloud. They just care about the things that come after: performance, chiefly. We assume in the cloud that there some basic level of automation occurring. Whether that’s template deployment, or utilizing some form of configuration management tool like Puppet or Chef, or a DCIM model (using OpsWare or BMC). This is what we call the cloud today. But there is a niche that can exist for companies seeking a different kind of cloud performance by putting layered orchestration over just bare metal. For the intersection of what we call High Performance Computing and cloud, the bare metal cloud has the potential to become a viable pathway either as a hosted or “run it in your data center” model.

Mobile Payments and Security
Vantiv and Mercator Advisory Group recently collaborated to produce: Top 10 payment trends to watch in 2013. We had the opportunity to talk with Lorena Harris, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Vantiv, who headed the research. In a series of blog posts, Lorena will answer some of our questions on what brands and retailers need to be aware of when it comes to payments in the evolving multichannel landscape. Previously, we discussed mobile payments and the emergence of omni-commerce. In the minds of consumers a barrier to entry for the adoption of mobile payments is security. We asked Lorena about the perception of security and mobile payments. Consumers still have a number of security concerns with traditional card-based payments and they transfer those perceptions to mobile payments. More than 15% of the population has had direct experience with fraud, and 46% of those consumers indicated that they now think about security with every transaction.

Four Rules for B2B Social Media
Beyond Bandwidth is celebrating its second anniversary. What began as an experiment has turned into a central component of our communication with our customers and the public in general. Some of you might be saying, “Duh, what did you expect?” But the decision to take the plunge into social was made carefully. And for many businesses, the decision around engaging in social media is still up in the air. Unlike the late 1990s, when everyone was rushing to launch a web site, the reward for creating a blog or having a Twitter handle for a company insocial-media-icons the B2B space isn’t exactly obvious. A few years ago, the risk/reward equation for Level 3 had a lot of unknown variables. Being in the B2B space, one thing we knew from the start was that participating in social media was going to take a very different approach than our B2C brethren, so we started cautiously and learned. So, in celebration of our social anniversary, I thought I’d share some of what we’ve learned in hopes that more B2B companies will join us and that those of you that are already out here with us in the social media ocean might find a way to improve your social communication skills.

Liferay Cluster in the Cloud
Liferay Portal is one of the most popular Java CMSs in the world due to its impressive ease-of-use. Since we published the tutorial on Liferay deployment to the cloud we have seen an extremely positive reaction from its community. Also we have received multiple requests from Liferay fans asking about clustering, replication and fail-over capabilities in the cloud. Hopefully, this post will provide the answer. Today I’ll focus on how to create high available cluster for Liferay, which can easily cope with huge traffic, improve performance and provide full fail-over. I want to underline that Liferay is quite applicable to Jelastic from a scaling perspective: this CMS works perfect in horizontal as well as in vertical clusters and even in their mix. You can see the more detailed description of Liferay cluster architecture in Jelastic. By the above configuration you can see that we’ll install Liferay in two app servers (Tomcat in our case) and select one load balancer (NGINX), which handles all requests, in front of them. NGINX balancer distributes the requests to various servers according to availability and server load. Also we’ll define two replicated data sources (MySQL).

Making Big Data Useful for SMBs
Big Data is one of the most over-used and over-hyped terms these days, and it’s getting to a point where people seem to replace “data” with “Big Data” altogether. With so much hype and interest in Big Data, it’s hard to ignore it. And yet, when we speak to small-to-mid-sized online retailers, they struggle to understand what Big Data is and whether it can really help a business that isn’t quite so big. Gartner defines Big Data as, “High volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization.” Forrester on the other hand, uses a more business-friendly definition: “Big Data is the frontier of a firm’s ability to store, process, and access (SPA) all the data it needs to operate effectively, make decisions, reduce risks, and serve customers.” Take the “Big” out of it, and it comes down to understanding how to use all data to meet customer needs and grow your business. Results Oriented Execution: This means that you are looking to drive a business outcome, such as growing your revenues by 10%. Before you launch any strategy, you should know what results you want.

Forbes Names Ixia One of 2013’s Fastest Growing Tech Companies
Forbes is a trusted name, one that people look to for sound business advice and economic guidance. Being recognized by Forbes is a definite feather in a company’s cap. Each year, Forbes publishes a list of that year’s 25 fastest-growing tech companies in order to highlight organizations that show they are leaping ahead of the competition in capturing a large share of the market. This year, Ixia is pleased to learn we have been added to the 2013 list. From Forbes’ website: “We sift through more than 2,100 publicly traded tech firms, selecting only profitable outfits with a minimum revenue of $150 million and a market cap of at least $500 million. List membership requires sales growth of at least 10% for each of the past three fiscal years and over the last 12 months, as well as estimated earnings growth above 10% over the next three to five years. We then rank the list by three-year average sales growth rate.” Ixia’s commitment to not just solving, but anticipating, customers’ needs is what keeps us ahead of our competition.

IID Named to Online Trust Honor Roll
It’s always nice to take a step back and reflect on the fruits of your labor when those outside your company recognize your achievements. And that’s exactly what we are doing today after the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) named IID an Online Trust Honor Roll recipient. Why are we so honored? We are being named alongside such trusted brands as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Twitter, AND in order to make the list, we had to pass a rigorous audit that unfortunately only about a third of all companies evaluated passed. OTA’s annual list reveals the top online businesses for demonstrating excellence in privacy, security and data practices in an effort to better protect their customers and brand from the increased threats of cybercriminals. To choose the Online Trust Honor Roll recipients OTA reviewed more than 750 domains and privacy policies, 10,000+ web pages and over 500 million emails associated with the Internet Retailer 500, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Top 50 Social and Federal Government sites. OTA evaluated companies based on attributes in three main areas: domain, brand and consumer protection; site, server and infrastructure security; and data protection and privacy.

Bango delivers seamless mobile payments with MIRO and colocation
The mobile payment industry is positioned for rapid growth within the next few years as consumers increasingly use their smartphones and other devices to make payment transactions. From digital goods to mass transit, and even traditional brick and mortar stores, merchants who accept mobile payments have an opportunity to capitalize on this trend. But how can mobile payment providers achieve the level of security and efficiency that end users demand? Consumers expect mobile transactions to take place quickly, which means mobile payment providers must ensure low latency and high availability across their networks. Bango, a UK-based mobile technology company that provides global mobile payment and analytics solutions, requires rapid payment transaction times to ensure the best end-user experience. With active connections in more than 47 countries, Bango delivers more than three billion mobile subscriber events each month. To achieve this, Bango uses Internap’s Performance IPTM and colocation services. Managed Internet Route OptimizationTM (MIRO) – As part of Internap’s Performance IP solution, MIRO makes routing decisions based on latency, packet loss and route stability.

Switching to the Cloud: TCO Calculations
In my last blog entry, I covered the cost benefits of moving to the cloud – the time and effort saved from eliminating hardware and the gains from using world-class IT services in the cloud. But the best way to quantify the cloud versus on-premises total cost of ownership benefits for yourself is to use a total cost of ownership (TCO) calculator. Here are two excellent online tools that you can use to do exactly this: Both calculators offer a nice way to organize your thoughts and help you make an informed comparison between cloud and premises-based financials. The Software Advice tool offers many factors to consider in your TCO calculation and explains why you incur such costs, then shows the sum of these costs over ten years. The Nucleus Research tool is a rapid TCO comparison so it takes fewer TCO factors into consideration. However, it takes into account depreciation and taxes to show TCO as your cumulative cash flow over 6 years. Take a look at both calculators to determine which one you prefer. After using the calculators you will see that in most cases cloud costs less today as well as over time.

Data Security in the Cloud: a Q&A
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the federal government’s rights and abilities to access data stored in the cloud. For more insight, we took the matter to Philip Lieberman as the topic of our latest Q&A post. For those of you who may not know, in addition to his role as Identity Week’s Editor-in-Chief, Phil is also President and CEO of privileged identity management vendor Lieberman Software, which recently unveiled its new security-as-a-service platform for large cloud providers. Is it for governments, including the US federal government, to be able to trawl corporate data stored in the cloud? The reality of the post 9/11 world is that governments are extending their sovereign powers to control entities such as law enforcement, citizens and corporations to comply with their mandates. Whether this is “right” is immaterial – these are now lawful actions protected under power of law. Can anything be done to prevent authorities from spying in this way? Why or why not? Sure, don’t use any cloud-based services and run your own personal data centers inside nations that protect your rights appropriately.

New Organizational Changes
It is with great pleasure that I share with you some exciting new organizational changes that will be taking place at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, and which are part of my desire to increase ICANN’s focus on management at all levels. To handle the tremendous increase in scale resulting from the New gTLD Program, and to ensure ICANN’s operational excellence, I am creating a new division that will be called the Generic Domains Division (GDD). Akram Atallah, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO), will become divisional President of the GDD that will include gTLD Operations, DNS Industry Engagement, and Online Community Services. Given Akram’s transition, I’m delighted to announce that Susanna Bennett, an accomplished financial and operational executive in technology services, will be joining us as the new COO. Susanna will help to deliver on ICANN’s agility, accountability and visibility that I discussed at ICANN 46 in Beijing. To provide coherence and leadership of our technical resources, I am also creating a new position to manage Technical & Security Operations that will report directly to me.

Cisco Partner Summit 2013
Hello from Boston! We’re sad to be wrapping up the last day of Cisco Partner Summit 2013 today, but we’re thankful for the experiences we’ve shared and the insights we’ve gained over the past few days. For those of you not able to attend, we put together a short summary of yesterday’s activities: Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, discussed how Cisco is developing business strategies around their concept of the Internet of Everything. Whereas past stages of the Internet have been focused on e-commerce and social experiences, this new era looks to be connecting people with many diverse forms of data, processes and things. This means that partnerships will be even more important than in the past, as success in the technology sector will require having a role in each of these different ecosystems. Besides the speakers, we also were able to attend a few Business Transformation Sessions on Cisco’s different focus areas, like cloud and SDN. We also took part in the American region party, and had an opportunity to network with the Cisco team !

Going to HostingCon? Win a Quadcopter
Dave here, better known as Benton. I’m the VP of Sales and the unfortunate one who is trying to organise our schedule for HostingCon. It will be my first time at the event and am looking forward to meeting (face to face!) some of our lovely clients. This week my credit card took a hammering by purchasing our prize HostingCon giveaway – a quadcopter. Check out the video of our new hire Andrew (pre sales tech) taking it (her?) for its maiden flight….and failing. Please also note the look of fear on Dave G’s face as he is sat nearest the launching site. Brave man. Anyway – I need to get back to my day job otherwise that credit card bill will never be paid

Top 5 Myths About Credit Card Processors
It’s no secret that credit card processing is not a favorite topic of my business owners. Yet in the current economy consumers are trending toward more of a “cashless” society. Even more, most credit cards now offer some sort of incentive, such as rewards or points, so more consumers are using cards even for minor transactions. So it is important for merchants to be able to separate the facts about the industry versus myths that have been created. This knowledge can help the overwhelmed business owner really have an impact on the bottom line. The following are some of the most infamous myths that many merchants believe to be fact. Back in the dark ages of credit card processing, there existed just three rates. Whether taking a Visa, MasterCard, or AMEX each had their own set rate. It was a simpler time but many businesses were left wondering if the system could be improved. The truth is that with the current interchange system there are something around 400 rates depending on the card. While this may seem backwards, it actually benefits the business because it assigns each card a respective rate dependent on risk and benefits to the cardholder.

How To Outsell Your Largest Competitors
In the past few years, the web hosting industry has continued a trend of mergers and acquisitions. Today, there are several major names that dominate the marketplace and have marketing budgets that seem impossible to match. However, the success of large enterprises does not mean there is no room for smaller businesses and new companies entering the web hosting market. In fact, with an intelligent marketing strategy, even the smallest companies can compete with larger organizations. At HostingCon 2013, you can discover the benefits of developing a “big strategy” for your business in a session designed to help you win more business. “The Big Strategy Advantage: How to Outcompete and Out Earn Your Largest Rivals,” is a marketing session that will help you create and implement a marketing strategy that focuses on the core of what your business does and, most importantly, what you do differently from your largest competitors. In an attempt to connect with more customers and attract them to your company, you could spend hundreds of hours experimenting with many different types of marketing.

Object Stores and HCP: An Interview with Bob Primmer
I have read a number of my colleague Bob Primmer’s publications on object storage and our Hitachi Content Platform. I thought he would be the best person to help us understand how object storage and HCP help us address the explosion of data. I’ve worked in software my whole career, both as a developer and also within product management. In 2002, I began by working at EMC on Centera, the first commercial instantiation of an object store. I then worked on Atmos in the early stages and subsequently came to HDS in 2009 as an architect in the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) engineering team. I worked with a team that set about transforming HCP from an archive product to more of a general-purpose object store that would be suitable for cloud applications. I then took over the product management teams for HCP, Hitachi Data Ingestor (HDI), and HCP Anywhere. Our strategy for addressing the explosion of data is based upon virtualization. We virtualize block and file infrastructure through our VSP, HUS VM and HNAS platforms to help customers reduce operational costs and leverage their capital assets.

Software Training Labs
Software Training Labs are changing the world. The world of information technology has brought to us many new and exciting ways to go about our daily lives. There are many different ways to learn these days. Now, we have software training labs that will enable us to get to know all the things we need to know in order to ensure we are on the top of the IT game. Software training labs make use of many different tools. These tools allow users to learn with an instructor or at their own pace online at any time. Software training labs are considered a necessity these days because you can get IT software training anywhere in the world at any time. You can easily search for software training labs online and search engines will be able to show you what is available. Software training labs are available for most IT subjects including VMware, Microsoft and Citrix training. Software training labs are provided by Hatsize clients such as New Horizons and AFI Expertise. Regardless of the topics you want to learn about, software training labs will give you all the information you need as well as some hands-on lab experience with the software products themselves.

Deep in thought or asleep? Mike listening to Joe
7×24 Exchange is a lot of fun and great to get people together. And, part of the fun is joking with others. Yesterday a bunch of us were hanging out and there were some one liners that got us all laughing. To get more laughs I am sharing these photos by Convention Photography courtesy of Professional Images Photography Joe Rodriguez 2013. And from a different angle Joe is talking again with Mike’s eyes closed again. He is turned to Joe, so he must be listening, but eyes closed? Mike did tell us the story how he can get on the treadmill at 5a in the morning and he is asleep for the first 30 minutes of his 60 minutes of the work out. Is Mike deep in thought? Or is Mike catching a bit of sleep? These pictures are just more fuel to add to more laughs we can have the next time we all see each other which will probably be at 7×24 Exchange San Antonio. One more picture. Joe is deep in thought. But Mike is not nearly as interested when Todd is talking. Pictures do capture interesting expressions that can create funny moments.

The Other Data Center Tiers: Not Facilities, but Performance
The word “tier” is used frequently in the context of data centers. As we explained in a previous blog post, data center facilities are ranked by Tier depending on their infrastructure and redundancy. But tiers are also used to describe the resources and infrastructure of a virtual machine or server, and are often mentioned in billing or deployment. This post aims to clear up any remaining confusion over the two types of tiers. When deploying a new virtual machine or application, developers often use “tiers”, each geared for different performance or storage types depending on the expected audience and usage. In the case of Green House Data, Tier 1 is connected to Fibre Channel SAN, Tier 2 is SATA SAN, and Tier 3 is Isilon NAS. All storage tiers are RAID 5 configured. These tiers allow IT deployments based on performance needs. For example, development and test environments can be built on Tier 3 NAS infrastructure, while client-facing production environments can be deployed on Tier 1 Fibre Channel SAN. In combination with a pay for use billing cycle, this strategy can considerably lower the cost of infrastructure deployment cycles.

Fusion-io Lights up HP Cloud Solution for Microsoft: MMS 2013 Wrap-up
In case you missed all the excitement last month at Microsoft Management Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, here is a summary of some of the astonishing performance results achieved with a real Private Cloud in action, the HP Cloud Solution for Microsoft, showcased live in the HP Serverquarium on the main event floor. Our sincere thanks go to our collaboration partners for the event, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Xtreme Consulting for making this a great success. In our last update here, we noted that HP configured the system with 32 Fusion-Powered HP ioDrive2 IO Accelerator mezzanine cards, one per blade server, as a 32 node Microsoft Hyper-V cluster. This enabled the sustained level of performance, responsiveness, and scalability required to provision and run up to 2250 simultaneous virtual machines supporting the enterprise-class workloads for the event labs—in less than seven minutes, every 90 minutes, without any degradation, every day for five days. That is something every enterprise organization would love to have.

Transitioning from VPS Services to IaaS
Attempting to grow a service provider business by providing VPS will not offer the future-proofing and revenue opportunities available with the cloud. Instead, service providers must look to deliver a cloud platform that is more beneficial and flexible than existing VPS technologies. Moving to an IaaS type model is a key technical, commercial and cultural step from the traditional world of selling VPS type services. It isn’t about selling services on a pay as you go (PAYG) basis, rather than a monthly basis. It is actually about moving to a mindset of delivering flexibility to customers to help them solve genuine business problems that offers distinct value, rather than just becoming a sunken IT cost. This approach opens possibilities of delivering additional value added services to those customers and continuing to move up the value chain. Delivering IaaS is only a start, it is the enablement engine to deliver IT as a service. Users today want a whole range of IT delivered as a service not just infrastructure.

Microsoft SQL Server Tips Series: Database Ownership
Here is a very unique error that customers might encounter when restoring their database: “The database principal owns a schema in the database, and cannot be dropped.” And so far, this error can only be created when the customer creates a database login with the same name on their local SQL Server Instance that matches the primary login of their database here at DiscountASP.NET and makes it the db_owner of the database schema. How to Create the Problem As always, I’ll begin by attaching a copy of the AdventureWorks database to my local SQL Server instance. Next, I will create a SQL Server and database login with the same name as the primary login of the database here at DiscountASP.NET. The fix for this is really simple. You just need to go back to your local SQL Server instance and right click on the dbo database user and select Properties. Change the context to Owned Schemas, check db_owner and select OK.

Fulfilling the Promise of Analytics
One of the best aspects of my job as GM of Dell Software’s Information Management group is talking with customers, industry analysts, peers and colleagues. Lately, it seems that no matter where these conversations start, they inevitably gravitate toward the promise of analytics. It’s clear we’re on the precipice of a tectonic shift in the way organizations do business, and analytics are poised to be the driving force behind that shift. It could be said that 2013 is the Year of Analytics. According to Gartner, by 2016, 70 percent of the most profitable companies will manage their business processes with real-time predictive analytics. The question now becomes how do companies position themselves to benefit from the power of analytics? During a keynote I delivered at this year’s PASS Business Analytics conference, I addressed this topic by looking at the significant yet sometimes unexpected behavioral shifts taking place around us all the time—and how they’re changing everything we thought to be true. For example, according to Edison Research-Arbitron, the average user of social networking is not a 15-year-old high school student, but rather a 31-year-old professional.

OfferUp – Customer Love Week
OfferUp was inspired by the desire to sell the large amount of items required to get ready and care for a new baby, many of which are quickly outgrown. Two new fathers (co-founders, CEO and CTO) were motivated to build an easy solution to safely sell items to trusted, verified buyers. With OfferUp, selling items is as fast and as easy as taking a picture. To sell an item, users simply snap a picture and post it to OfferUp. Sellers can then take bids and offers directly from other users through the app. In addition to simplicity, OfferUp is armed with safety features to verify user identities. Multiple identity checkpoints ensure that buyers and sellers are reliable, highly rated, and the type of people you feel comfortable meeting with. CopperEgg has helped us provide the details needed to monitor and optimize our AWS infrastructure and did this at a price point that is more comfortable for a young startup, like OfferUp, than other tools like New Relic. We were simply looking for a way to keep an eye on the infrastructure with better alerting and more details than CloudWatch could provide (like individual processes). With the easy integration, our systems pop up automatically in CopperEgg when added in AWS.

Data, your biggest asset – is it protected?
Carmen Carey, CEO, ControlCircle highlights some of the challenges currently facing CIOs of large global businesses and provides examples of how technology can help manage business risk. For any size company, technology risks can be introduced through poor standards and controls or inconsistent application of these standards and controls. However, for larger businesses these issues potentially create more of a threat as the scale of the employee population and corresponding technology footprint means that maintaining consistency and auditing accurately is difficult –possibly even more so in global businesses where controls can be even further diluted or subject to inconsistencies. Global businesses also have the additional challenge of differing regional regulatory compliance needs which, in turn, drive inconsistency in standards and controls. The logical downside to this is that security will fall to the lowest common denominator. In addition, with the ever growing prominence of big data and the analytics to mine vast data sets, more data is being retained with less knowledge and control over it.

CCAP—A Journey to the Center of Convergence
Today, cable operators face an uphill battle meeting the demands of converging streams of video, both in an MPEG and data format. Market forces that require operators to combine and deliver multiple formats, multiple platforms, and personal and interactive videos to subscribers are driving these changes. For example, by the end of this year video is expected to be almost 90 percent of consumer Internet traffic, which will drive data QAMs (quadrature amplitude modulation). Current networks are made up of an asymmetry of QAM ports to CMTS ports and large racks of units that gobble a lot of power. Today, operators typically have switched digital video QAMs, video on-demand QAM, DOCSIS® QAMs, and broadcast QAMs coupled with DTI servers and combiners on racks. With this comes pressure on real estate space, rack space, power and heat. Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) is meant to provide 50 percent savings on power and rack space with almost six times more CMTS density. Furthermore, the ability to roll out an IP-based solution will further add demands to the current infrastructure in the already crowded head end.

NSA builds Maryland data center to spy on millions
The NSA is building a new data center in Maryland to bolster homeland security by collecting millions of phone records from Verizon. The news spurred controversy as lawmakers argue whether or not such surveillance is constitutional. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee say phone surveillance programs have been going on for decades and are critical to National Security efforts. This isn’t exactly good press considering the NSA is opening a new data center in Utah and breaking ground on another facility in Maryland. Presumably to spy on us? Likely so. It’s a slippery slope. On the one hand you have the lawmakers that say phone surveillance is justified because it protects millions of Americans from potential terrorist attacks. National security, although very important, also seems to infringe upon basic constitutional rights, namely our right to privacy. With two additional data center locations located in Utah and Maryland, the NSA is surely tightening its grip on surveillance efforts. The 600,000 sq. ft. Fort Mead facility will feature 70,000 sq. ft. of raised floor space to house rows and rows of servers dedicated to storing and analyzing important data

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise Webcast CohesiveFT – Need to control and secure your applications on the Cloud?
The webinar will feature how CohesiveFT VNS3 and IBM SmartCloud can help your enterprise cloud deployments. Learn more about VNS3 and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise at 10:00 GMT / 11:00 CET. Register now. CohesiveFT’s VNS3 is an overlay network which allows you to extend your data centers into any cloud and federate your deployments between multiple clouds. Join the webinar for technical overviews and customer case studies. Sam Mitchell, Senior Solutions Architect, Chris Purrington, Global Sales Director, will present along with IBM SmartCloud experts. Sam and Chris will talk about VNS3′s capabilities and how you can use overlay networks to federate clouds, extend networks to the cloud, and create cloud WAN for partners and customer networks.

Get Out of the Closet!
I talk to so many Start-ups, as well as Small and Medium Businesses, that are still running servers in their closets. Really? Why would anyone need to run servers on-premise anymore and worse – in the server closet? Sound crazy? Well it really is! It’s time to get the word out to everyone. Outsourced Hosting services – dedicated, managed, cloud or hybrid are much better options in every case for small, medium, and start-up businesses. For businesses that are running an on-premise “data center” (sometimes quite literally in a closet), look at all the things that go with owning and operating your infrastructure. There’s a lot going on behind that closet door, a lot of work, a lot of costs, and a lot of worry. That infrastructure means you’re stuck in a 3-5 year refresh cycle, with little flexibility to upgrade, and you have to do all kinds of gyrations to keep the “show” running. You have multiple contracts to manage and negotiate. Which means several points of contact – that include things like your internet service provider, hardware and software vendors; all different for the variety of devices and software that go into running your operation.

Clustrix at the 12th International Cloud Expo 2013 in New York
Clustrix is excited to be presenting at the Cloud Computing Expo in New York from June 10 – 13, 2013. Cloud Expo New York is the place where the cloud and Big Data industries converge. The Expo will feature 175+ sessions from a top-notch conference faculty who represent leading industry players in the cloud computing and Big Data industries. Presentation: Fast and Scalable Real-Time Analytics with Clustrix Database On June 11 at 2:10 pm, Sergei Tsarev, our CTO and Founder, will deliver a presentation on “Fast and Scalable Real-Time Analytics with the Clustrix Database.” In this session he will discuss: How to scale your application and business as you get more users, data, and transactions. The innovations behind the real-time analytics capabilities. How you can be up and running on a scale-out SQL database in minutes on AWS. Also, don’t forget to visit Clustrix at booth #346 to learn how we can help you achieve high-scale transactions, speed up real-time analytics, and simplify operations. Representatives from every layer of the cloud ecosystem will be present at this year’s expo

Affordable Care Act: How Health Insurers Must Compete
In the United States, under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, health insurance marketplaces are due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Previously known as health insurance exchanges, these marketplaces will offer standardized, government-regulated healthcare plans. The exchanges are designed to strengthen consumer protections while reducing risks for insurers — any insurer who offers plans via the marketplaces isn’t allowed to turn down anyone based on preexisting conditions — by ensuring that no one gets to cherry-pick customers. To date, the majority of health insurance has been sold to businesses. But with the introduction of health insurance marketplaces, as well as the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all U.S. residents purchase health insurance, the market for individual health policies is set to spike. Selling health insurance directly to consumers is common in the United Kingdom. Even though all residents have free access to the National Health Service (NHS), people can purchase supplemental or private insurance from the country’s big four health insurers — Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva and PruHealth — or smaller niche players.

SpareFoot – Customer Love Week
It’s Wednesday of Customer Love Week! Today we are featuring Sparefoot, a neighboring startup here in Austin. SpareFoot specializes in self-storage and has the largest inventory of storage units on the web. You can search for storage via location, price, unit size or amenities. Sparefoot will then produce the best deals that match your storage needs. Along with offering awesome storage options, Sparefoot’s blog is filled with storage tips and tricks, as well as a glance into the company’s culture and startup life. When asked how CopperEgg has helped improve the company’s performance, Erik Hlavaty, development/operations engineer, stated: “Overall, CopperEgg is a great solution for monitoring systems in the cloud. There is no management console to constantly re-configure, as server instances are constantly brought up and taken down, the agent code is lightweight and very easy to install, and all metrics are available in real time rather than via a scheduled task such as Munin. Since Sparefoot makes heavy use of Amazon EC2, it’s great to have a monitoring solution that basically requires only an agent install.”

Happy IPv6 Day: Usage On the Rise, Attacks Too
June 6th is known as World IPv6 Day so we thought it was a good time to look at the trends in IPv6 usage across CloudFlare’s network. Two big themes we’ve seen: 1) IPv6 usage is growing steadily, but at the current pace we’re still going to be living with IPv4 for many years to come; and 2) while the majority of IPv6 traffic comes from legitimate users on mobile networks, attackers too are beginning to launch attacks over the protocol. CloudFlare has supported IPv6 on our network for the last year and a half. We have become one of the largest providers of the IPv6 web because we offer a free IPv6 gateway that allows any website to be available over IPv6 even if a site’s origin network doesn’t yet support the protocol. For the last year, we’ve enabled IPv6 for customers on CloudFlare by default. Today, IPv6 is enabled for more than 1 million of our customers’ websites. Since the beginning of 2013, IPv6 connections as a percentage of CloudFlare’s total traffic fluctuate daily with the minimum 0.849% on January 5 to a maximum of 1.645% on June 3, 2013. If look at the overall trend, IPv6 connections to our network have grown 26.5% since the start of the year.

CDH 4.3: Now Shipping with More Apache HBase Improvements
As you may know, Apache HBase has a vibrant community and gets a lot of contributions from developers worldwide. The collaborative development effort is so active, in fact, that a new point-release comes out about every six weeks (with the current stable branch being 0.94). At Cloudera, we’re committed to ensuring that CDH, our open source distribution of Apache Hadoop and related projects (including HBase), ships with the results of this steady progress. Thus, CDH 4.2 was rebased on 0.94.2, as compared to its predecessor CDH 4.1, which was based on 0.92.1. CDH 4.3 has moved one step further and is rebased on Apart from the rebase, CDH 4.3 also has some important bug fixes backported from later versions of 0.94 and trunk. Following are some of the important features and improvements that now ship in CDH 4.2/CDH 4.3: Snapshots/Metrics: As explained in “Introduction to Apache HBase Snapshots”, a user can take a snapshot of a table and restore its data/schema later. This sorely missed feature in HBase was added in CDH 4.2.

Truth about the SAP HCM Customer Connection Program
In February of 2012, SAP announced that it was replacing the defunct Development Request (DRQ) process, which had long been ineffective, with a new ASUG support Customer Connection Program. The programs goal was to allow customers to submit smaller improvements, and assuming they got the minimum support of five other customers, that SAP would review, approve or reject, and deliver the accepted ones six to seven months later. While I was initially skeptical given my previous experiences with the old DRQ program and the fact that I knew SAP had some major work efforts coming in 2012 and 2013 with the integration of SuccessFactors, building out of Employee Central and HR Renewal project but thought I would give SAP the benefit of the doubt. In total, customers submitted 152 ideas many of which addressed minor and sometime major pain points I have seen first-hand at other customers. SAP announced this morning that it had delivered the first six via a customer notes. It is always important that customers listen and stay informed as to not only what their vendors are saying and announcing but the follow through and what they are delivering.

The Programmable Network: Advanced Flow Control
The increasing diversity and complexity of traffic traversing the Internet of Everything­ today can be imagined as a three-dimensional collection of intersecting highways of different kinds (e.g., corporate WAN, Internet, mobile, Wi-Fi, cellular, cable, cloud), with a wide array of vehicles (e.g., PCs, tablets, smartphones) carrying various types of passengers (e.g., data, voice, video, email, SMS, Web). Emerging traffic from the new category of machine-to-machine communications is scaling exponentially and introducing new policy triggers. In this new environment network operators must become master traffic controllers to deal with all of the volume, diversity, and complexity. The most innovative and forward-looking experts are aggressively looking into providing more open programmatic access to their network functions and services. The goal is easier and faster control, in order to make them more agile, flexible and application interactive while at the same time optimally aligning costs with potential new revenues.

Small business outgrown itself? If so, managed colocation can help
Small businesses and tech startups are a vital part of our economy. They stimulate growth by creating jobs and tax revenue. Yet companies in this segment almost always struggle to remain profitable while keeping costs down. Additionally, many retailers depend heavily upon the revenue they generate through eCommerce simply because they can eliminate the need for a physical store. Of course, the successful startups can quickly outgrow themselves, at least to the point where they will quickly find themselves struggling to maintain their network. But the extra cash generated doesn’t have to go towards hiring additional staff just to maintain servers on a network. This is where managed colocation can help. Managed Colocation Sooner or later, that tech startup or eCommerce company is going to need a server, that is, a computer dedicated to running any hardware, software and applications needed to provide services across a vast network. It’s not uncommon for companies to invest in multiple servers just to keep up with processing requests.

Have you ever been scared of… charging your iPhone?! think twice.
A way to hack into an iPhone only through charging the phone! Georgia Institute of Technology researchers figured out how to attack iPhone with malicious software through a charging cord. The proof of concept will be presented by the institute at Black Hat USA 2013- giving you another good reason to come to the conference (visiting the Checkmarx booth). Although Apple iOS devices are considered to be extremely secured, this experiment proved that it is easy to threat the security of one’s phone. This article introduces a detailed explanation of how to hack a phone with a charger and more importantly, how Apple can prevent this from happening.

Taking the next step in cloud services adoption
As more companies begin to understand the benefits of cloud computing, experts believe that the technology is rapidly becoming the status quo for enterprise IT. As more companies begin to understand the benefits of cloud computing, experts believe that the technology is rapidly becoming the status quo for enterprise IT. Small businesses often have the most to gain from cloud services, especially as the technology can be quickly and easily implemented, and provide financial benefits from the outset of the initiative. After the decision has been made to begin a cloud computing strategy, entrepreneurs need to ensure that all systems are configured properly to integrate the services. Even at a startup-level, this can include a variety of components related to the overall corporate IT infrastructure, and is not difficult so long as managers understand cloud technology. Cloud services are best used when the small business owner is looking to leverage the technology to create an optimized working environment for staff members and customers. ITProPortal recently explained some of the first steps entrepreneurs should be taking toward cloud integration, as this action is critical to the overall success.

Obvious things you should know about Web Hosting.
Looking for some advice about Web Hosting you must have some across many articles suggesting the kind of hosting you need like shared or VPS or even cloud hosting. You also must have read about uptime and the support you should get. However, there are many other things you should know beyond the essential ones when seeking a web hosting service. The best way to begin looking for a web hosting service is by analyzing your requirements first and searching for providers that would best meet those needs. There are lots and lots of providers and each provider has different plans to offer. When you know what you want then you can make a budget for it accordingly and get the best service at the prices affordable to you. One thing that goes without saying in the web hosting industry is that you never get your domain and hosting from the same provider. It is always advised to get your hosting and domain form separate service provider so if you are not happy with the hosting provider and want to move to another host you do not risk losing your domain name which is your identity online.

The Enterprise App Economy and Box $rev
If you follow Box at all, you know that we care a lot about our platform and what it can deliver to developers. That is, we spend a lot of time and effort on our APIs, our ever-growing base of third party developers and Box OneCloud, our ecosystem of mobile apps integrated with Box. I’m pleased to report that we’ve recently reached some new platform milestones. We’ve issued more than 25,000 API keys to Box developers, with more than half coming in the past year. On the OneCloud front, we recently surpassed 500 apps in the ecosystem – amazing when you think that we launched OneCloud in March of last year with just 30 apps. As our platform efforts intensify, we constantly think about new ways to drive value to our third party developer community. Today, we push hundreds of thousands of dollars in referral revenue to third party app providers from our iOS, Android and web app marketplaces. We also continuously introduce our partners’ products to our enterprise admins and end users, resulting in direct purchases of third party apps by our customers.

Bluelock Joins the Switch CLOUD CITY Ecosystem
When Bluelock expanded its datacenter presence to the Switch SUPERNAP facility in Las Vegas, it gained more than a west coast location. Bluelock and its clients gained the benefits of membership in the Switch C.U.B.E inside the Switch CLOUD CITY. The Switch C.U.B.E. stands for the Cloud Ubiquitous Business Exchange. It’s an ecosystem of cloud providers who have co-located their infrastructure in the Switch SUPERNAP to provide customers multi-tenancy and the option to use services across providers at the lowest latency possible. Bluelock’s IaaS and RaaS solutions join a long list of sought-after providers with a presence in the CLOUD CITY environment. “Bluelock needed a strong West Coast datacenter presence and The Switch SUPERNAP Las Vegas facility is one of the safest, most powerful datacenter facilities with the strongest connectivity,” said Pat O’Day, chief technology officer at Bluelock. “The SUPERNAP represents innovation, security and reliability for more than 600 global customers. Switch is a clear leader in the datacenter market and we are excited about this partnership and our involvement in Switch CLOUD CITY.”

GAVI Alliance Uses Blue Jeans to Collaborate Internationally
GAVI Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase access to immunization in the world’s poorest countries through cutting-edge medical technology. Through GAVI’s efforts, the organization has contributed to averting an additional four million future deaths through 2015. To keep in continuous contact with its international team and partners, GAVI utilizes Blue Jeans to easily connect people around the globe, no matter where they are, or what device they are using to facilitate its communications. Blue Jeans’ video and content sharing gives GAVI the flexibility to connect and the ability to collaborate and enact faster decision-making.

Resources for Gaming Platforms and Applications
For gaming platforms and applications, Riak can be the ideal data solution. Its scalability allows for rapid growth of player data, the low-latency design allows for a fast and reliable experience for players all over the world, and its flexible data model means there are no restrictions on content type and no need to change the underlying schema. To see if Riak is a fit for your gaming use case, we have put together a number of resources that showcase how Riak is solving gaming data challenges across multiple companies. Below are some highlights: For a general overview of how Riak can be used for gaming companies, download our whitepaper, “Gaming on Riak.” For Hibernum, a social gaming developer, we have a case study on how they’re using Riak to store user game information. Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, has a video that discusses how Riak supports their new mobile gaming platform. Kiip, a mobile app rewards network, has a talk about their process of choosing Riak and their experience scaling it. They also go into more detail on their blog.

Hey, You, Get Off of my Cloud”
Mick Jagger always wanted his own cloud. Keith Richards was always hanging out on the couch at the end of his cloud, scaring away all the ladies. Finally, the web hosting world has a cloud available for Jagger. So… What exactly is the private cloud, and why might it be a good thing for the Rolling Stones and everyone else? Basically, private cloud is a melding of dedicated technology with cloud computing. The cloud understandably raises various questions regarding security and privacy. In certain cases, legal or industry compliance can only be attained in certain types of environments as well. The private cloud gives you the positive features of a cloud environment – its highly adaptive, scalable attributes – in a scenario where you can have full control, rather than having to go along with the parameters of a shared system. This article will explore what the private cloud has to offer and 3 advantages of using it for your company, per VMware’s solutions. Also, we will get into an exclusive transcript from the moment when Jagger let Richards know that he’d gotten his own private cloud.

What To Expect From Twitter’s New API
If you have integrated social media into your web site, you’ve probably added your Twitter feed. Not only do a few short tweets add live, new, accessible content to your static web site, the Twitter API has famously been one of the most accessible APIs out there, making it easy for people to use it to meet their specific needs. On June 11, version 1 of Twitter’s API—the only API we have ever known—will be retired and replaced with version 1.1. Many of the functions that you used in the old Twitter API will no longer work, and, depending on quickly your Twitter applications are updated, you may even receive HTTP 410 errors that notify you that the requested service is no longer available. Here are a few big changes to watch out for when the Twitter API version 1.1 goes live: In order for an application to access the API, you will need to use OAuth to confirm its identity. The days of accessing Twitter’s API anonymously are over. The new API also limits access to certain number of requests per hour, to stop spammers and other abuse of the system, though certain apps may be able to make more authenticated requests than was possible before.

How to Use the Cloud: Preparing your Marketing Plan
Preparing a marketing plan for your new cloud solutions will be the essence of your campaign for selling. Creating a comprehensive campaign that outlines the benefits of your solution for your customers will help facilitate understanding of your product and, eventually simplify and encourage adoption. A marketing plan outlines how your corporate team will position and present its cloud offering. Its main components are: creating buyer personas, drafting a benefit statement, outlining your approach and measuring your results. Keeping these elements in mind, you can create an effective marketing plan for your whole team. The first and most important step in creating any marketing plan is to determining who your target audience is and learning about them. Outlining a buyer persona is a fictional character of a typical buyer. Consider their role within the organization, whom they report to and their daily activities. Once you know whom you are speaking to, you can create a message that has been written specifically for them and their unique interests.

Fear and Inertia Grasp at Security
Ah fear and inertia, the bane of me an all my sales-and-marketing brothers and sisters out there. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, and prospective customers’ reluctance to try something other beyond the devil that we know. And because perception is reality (for many), this is a real issue that must be overcome. For cloud services, the perceived issue is security — but this too shall pass. UK web hosting provider PEER 1 Hosting announced on Tuesday it has released the results of its latest survey which found that the fear of security threats is preventing 92 percent of IT decision makers from adopting the cloud. The move comes a month after PEER 1 Hosting unveiled its new eco-friendly EMEA headquarters in Southampton, UK, which is part of the company’s regeneration project across its European offices in the UK and France. The findings are represented in an infographic, (located here) which are based on the results of a survey of 120 IT professionals. The security risks presented by the cloud are the same as those associated with using Gmail

GreenTouch: Energy consumption in communication networks can be reduced by up to 90% by the year 2020
Recently, the GreenTouch consortium I am chairing, made headlines in the press based on its latest research study which shows that energy consumption in communication networks can be reduced by up to 90% by the year 2020, and this despite traffic growth (read the GreenTouch press release). Yes, even with tremendous traffic growth we can still dramatically reduce energy consumption. Before digging some further into this phenomenal news, let me go back three years. Early 2010 Bell Labs proposed to launch a collaborative research consortium to tackle the problem of energy efficiency in communication networks. Why? Because there is this ever getting bigger energy gap between the exponential traffic growth and the poor energy efficiency gains in communication networks. Since this is a broad and hard challenge, Bell Labs had to take a truly open innovation approach to get things moving. First, assemble stakeholders of the ICT industry to get insights from every aspect of the value chain (vendor, supplier, operator). Second, set a bold and ambitious challenge to rally partners towards a common goal.

Wanna Be Our Product Wizard?
In one of our previous posts, we were introducing the VoipNow Team as one of the most complex teams at 4PSA. It handles marketing, sales, customer support, and product development for a product that has been on a continuous ascending curve. Since VoipNow has grown to be a very popular “child”, our team is in need of more people. We are now looking for Product Wizards, i.e. Clouders for whom VoipNow will hold no secrets and who will be able to decode any misunderstanding and solve any issue customers might experience while using it. Our support guys have specialized in solving complex technical problems, while the sales team is at its best when handling business inquiries. We are now looking for Clouders who fit right in the middle – enthusiastic Product Wizards who will provide Level 1 assistance to our customers. If you’re wondering how you will be able to know everything and anything about it, no worries. You will have the best support at hand. In no time, :) you will impress our customers with your prompt and useful replies by phone, e-mail, and via the ticketing system.

How much do you share on the Internet?
The Internet has become its own online world which we all share. Habits like browsing through Facebook or Instagram have become almost second nature to us all. Everyone has heard about the dangers of the online world and how to be careful as to what we share. For example, I am aware of all the dangers myself.. but I haven’t actually thought about what I actually put online. Have you? One of the problems with living in both the digital realm and reality is sometimes we end up sharing way more than we are aware. I decided to forget about the privacy part, and think – How much do I actually share to my friends? Do they want to know this information? Apparently so, as I witness many of my friend’s uploads and updates that receive numerous likes and comments. I decided to do a little experiment to see how far I could take it. I took a photo of a white wall and filtered it through Instagram. I posted the photo onto Facebook with no caption to see how much attention I would receive in a week.