Blog Posts for Saturday – 8 June, 2013

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

CopperEgg Customer Love Week Wrap-up
Today wraps up a great week of blogs focusing on some of our favorite customers. Batting leadoff this week was and some of the great work they are doing helping customers enable their mobile iOS apps to play directly inside the browser and instantly engage with million of customers on Facebook. Next up, CBT Nuggets and their innovative online training services on IT, project management, and office productivity topics including courses close to my heart on Cisco certifications like CCNA, CCNP and CCIE. Austin-based Sparefoot batted third and they are killing it now with the largest selection of storage units providing real-time pricing online. It’s amazing that their network of storage providers is now larger than all other online storage directories combined – add to that the suite of web marketing tools for storage operators and you’ve got the market leader right here in ATX. Batting cleanup was OfferUp, an amazing story and awesome service that’s created a whole new buy/sell experience where you instantly connect to friends, followers, people nearby, people of similar interests, and local groups for buying and selling household goods, electronics, clothes, and anything else you can imagine.

Why Tags Go ‘Rogue’ and How to Tame Them
Let’s face it, technology isn’t perfect. After all, behind the million lines of code, server racks and bright monitors, are people – issues can and will arise. Luckily, having a tag management solution (TMS) in place can mean the difference between a catastrophic website outage and business continuity. Today, digital marketing solutions are critical to the success of most businesses in acquiring, converting and retaining customers. Furthermore, without properly functioning marketing tags (also known as tracking pixels / beacons or JavaScript snippets), your marketing solutions wouldn’t even be able to operate. Making sure that these solutions don’t impact the online customer experience, or worse, revenue generation, is more important than ever. There are a variety of reasons that can cause tags to malfunction, or ‘go rogue’ as I like to call it. Let’s explore a few common scenarios. This has happened to everyone at one point in time. A few years ago I worked at an organization in which an employee mistakenly turned off the power switch to the entire rack, effectively taking down 2,000+ websites in a matter of seconds.

blog-zetta Wins Red Herring Top 100 North America Award
Zetta is proud to announce that it has been named a winner of the Red Herring 2013 Top 100 North America award! The award recognizes the most promising privately held companies in North America based on their innovations, technologies, and business models. “In 2013, selecting the Top 100 achievers was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “In fact, we had the toughest time in years because so many entrepreneurs have crossed significant milestones so early. But after much thought, rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across North America to the Top 100 Winners. We believe embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. should be proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was very strong.” “Winning the Red Herring Top 100 is a testament to the significant traction that our cloud backup and disaster recovery solution is gaining with small and medium enterprises, distributed organizations and managed service providers,” said Ali Jenab, CEO of Zetta.

Cutting costs, bolstering disaster recovery through cloud
Enterprises around the world are embracing secure cloud hosting services with new enthusiasm because of the many opportunities the innovative technology provides. Meanwhile, the proliferation of advanced integration solutions is making it easier than ever for businesses to move applications to the cloud, though decision-makers are often pursuing doing so for various reasons. Smart Business Online Network recently highlighted several of the main reasons organizations implement the cloud, namely the ability to reduce costs, improve the availability of mission-critical resources and bolster continuity initiatives. “Cloud computing is a key component of any company’s infrastructure these days, whether you’re Fortune 500 or a sole proprietorship,” managed cloud hosting expert Eric Folkman told SBN Online. “There’s a piece of it now that can fit pretty much any company. It wasn’t that way a few years ago, but the technology has progressed and the costs have come down so far that there’s something there for everybody.”

Upcoming changes to Xen Project websites
Tomorrow morning GMT, we will be archiving This means that the content on is moved to The site will be archived: in other words there will be no more. We will be monitoring Apache web server logs for pages that are not found and deal with issues as we find them. If you notice any issues please mail a description of the issue to community.manager @ If you have bookmarks to pages on If you are a company or individual that is listed in the ecosystem pages and you have not yet created an entry in the Xen project Ecosystem pages, please do so now. The new website provides a sel-service mechanism: you can add yourself by going to Add your listing here which is accessible from the Xen project Ecosystem pages. You do need to have an account on to do this. You may already have noticed some changes to the look and feel of the archives on (e.g. xen-devel). Mailing lists archives are now integrated into the global menu structure of

Boost vs Varnish: Which is better for Drupal 7?
Drupal’s content management system powers 951,034 people in 228 countries speaking 181 languages. This free open-source platform powers millions of websites and applications, from personal to corporate blogs, featuring custom themes and add-on modules and designs for better website performance and user experience. Similar to WordPress and other CMS systems, Drupal also supports modules for performance improvements such as caching. Two examples that support the latest version of Drupal are Varnish and Boost. Experienced Drupal administrators can often (through advanced configuration) get these two modules to work together to dramatically speed up the website’s performance. A review of Drupal forums demonstrates some of the creative ways admins are exploring redundancy issues on this popular content management system. Boost provides static page caching for Drupal sites, providing a significant increase in performance and scalability for sites receiving large amounts of anonymous traffic. On shared hosting platforms many would argue that Boost is the best option.

Henry Ford’s Cloud
What little I know about manufacturing could fit on the surface of a thimble. For example, I know it was Henry Ford who incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903, proclaiming, “I will build a car for the great multitude.” In October 1908, he did so, offering the Model T for $950. In the Model T’s nineteen years of production, its price dipped as low as $280. Nearly 15,500,000 were sold in the United States alone. The Model T heralds the beginning of the Motor Age; the car evolved from luxury item for the well-to-do to essential transportation for the ordinary man. Ford revolutionized manufacturing. By 1914, his Highland Park, Michigan plant, using innovative production techniques, could turn out a complete chassis every 93 minutes. This was a stunning improvement over the earlier production time of 728 minutes. Using a constantly-moving assembly line, subdivision of labor, and careful coordination of operations, Ford realized huge gains in productivity. So imagine my surprise (my delight, really), to learn (as found on, the “10 ways cloud computing is revolutionizing manufacturing.”

UK2 Partner with Google to Offer New Customers £75 Free Advertising
We’ve partnered with Google to give our customers £75 worth of free advertising to use on their newly setup Google Adwords PPC account! The ‘Spend £25 and get £75 free advertising’ incentives are available on selected packages* and are only available to new Google Adwords customers. Google’s Pay Per Click, or PPC, advertising is a great marketing channel for new businesses who are looking to get relevant traffic to their websites. It gives them the chance to compete for clicks on important and business-relevant search terms and keywords when prospective customers are searching for products and services online. SMEs do not need huge budgets to compete for space with bigger organisations and it’s an ideal platform to get instant results when you need to get your name out there. To activate your £75 Google Incentive, login to your control panel, select My Account and click on the ‘Google Adwords’ link in the navigation and simply the instructions.

Progress is progress!
How long has it been? It feels like it has been a few years. I was actually supposed to write to you guys and ladies last week, but I wasn’t feeling inspired. I didn’t want to just write any ol’ thing for you, and have it not be the top-notch blogging that you’ve come to expect from me. Was that last one a little too much? Sorry, I’m still working out the blogging jitters. So, as I already mentioned, I was having a bit of a hard time coming up with something to write about for you. Co-workers have made suggestions, with FTP being one of them, but sadly, none of this got me riled up to chat with ya for a bit. Well, the other night as I was about to fall asleep, the idea hit me: the environment and Parkour. You may be saying to yourself, “Huh? How does that have anything to do with TurnKey Internet?” Well my friends, I will explain it to you. You see, about two and a half years ago, I started this EPIC journey called Parkour. Now, you may not be familiar with the word Parkour, as some refer to it as “freerunning”, “tricking”, or even just “jumping around”.

Trends in Cloud
Cloud computing is about to get personal. Gartner predicts that personal cloud services will be built into 90% of consumer devices by the end of 2013 as the technology becomes more useful, efficient and less expensive. via Network World Ernst & Young: Social cloud, big data analytics transforming companies. A new report by Ernst & Young shows cloud technologies were at the core of almost every deal related to social, mobile and big data during Q1 2013. How the cloud is empowering developing nations Efficiency, flexibility and cost savings are among the typical benefits of the cloud, but in developing nations cloud technologies also offer the chance to quickly take advantage of the latest technologies without the burden of developing independent IT infrastructures. Cloud computing driving data center automation The drive towards greater agility in the cloud is leading administrators and cloud architects to create more intelligent, automated systems from the hardware to the software layers.

TRUSTe Named a Top Trusted Website in OTA’s 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll
TRUSTe is pleased to have made the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll for the third year. The honor roll distinguishes companies that have demonstrated exceptional data protection, privacy and security in an effort to better protect their customers and brand. OTA, a nonprofit organization that works collaboratively with industry leaders to enhance online trust, completed comprehensive audits analyzing more than 750 domains and privacy policies, approximately 10,000 web pages and more than 500 million emails for this report. In addition to the in-depth analysis of their web sites, Domain Name Systems (DNS), outbound emails, and public records were analyzed for recent data breach incidents and FTC settlements. Key sectors audited include the Internet Retailer 500, FDIC 100, Top 50 Social Sites as well as OTA members. “Consumers are trading billions of pieces of personal data in exchange for desired services. They rely on the integrity of the businesses collecting and storing this information to protect them,” said Craig Spiezle, president and executive director of the Online Trust Alliance.

DNI Clapper Says NSA Programs Fully Authorized and Necessary
The top U.S. intelligence official addressed the recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s covert cell-phone and email data collection surveillance programs on Thursday, saying that the programs have been ongoing for years, are fully authorized under U.S. law and that the leaks regarding the programs are “reprehensible” and could endanger the country’s national security. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, issued two separate statements on Thursday in response to media reports on the classified order giving the NSA access to all of Verizon’s call metadata, saying that not only is the program lawful, but that’s it’s vital to protecting the country’s security and ferreting out potential terrorist activity. The data collection program is authorized under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and Clapper said that it specifically prohibits the NSA from targeting U.S. citizens. “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States,” Clapper said in his statement.

How Can Your Enterprise Survive the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming a reality in the modern workplace. Everything within our communities, personal lives, and workforce is becoming connected to the internet. When your phone works as a credit card, parking meter talks to your computer, and home thermostat programs itself, how can you match enterprise data to consumer demand? The world expects all of your data to be available at any location, at any time, and on any device—this includes your workforce and your customers. In the 20th century, an SOA strategy was sufficient if it was only an EAI strategy. Servers could talk to other servers and the speed of business was dramatically slower. Many applications and business processes could survive in batch process mode. This is no longer possible in the Internet of Things world. An enterprise service bus used to be adequately described as a messaging layer combined with a transformation layer—this is the traditional definition espoused by many analysts and consultants. This definition is no longer accurate for the speed of business in the 21st-century.

News to Know
New research surfaces on cloud adoption, Verizon Terremark’s Jim Anthony shares new features of the Enterprise Cloud and mobile banking experts gather to discuss security in the mobile age. Verizon Terremark’s VP of Sales Engineering, Jim Anthony, discusses the history of the Enterprise Cloud (eCloud) along with its new capabilities: “The latest update includes IPv6 support, distributed access points that make the environment more reliable, and an improved API that enables developers to make use of every management function built into the primary console. The patch also includes a number of security enhancements.” In a panel moderated by Sean Sposito, mobile banking experts gathered to discuss the need of financial institutions to improve security features and protection initiatives around their mobile applications and platforms. Panelists agreed that multi-factor authentication is a must while passwords are no longer a reliable option: “Many users have the same passwords across devices and they’re too simple. Password management is a huge pain,” said Shahid Shoaib, principal consultant, mobility and M2M, Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Tranwos Abuses EFS to Prevent Forensic Analysis
Recently, we discovered a threat that abuses the Encrypting File System (EFS), which Symantec detects as Backdoor.Tranwos. Not only is it trivial for program code to use EFS, it’s also very effective at preventing forensic analysis from accessing the contents of the file. The threat creates the folder %Temp%\s[RANDOM ASCII CHARACTERS] and then calls the EncryptFileW API in order to encrypt the folder and all files and folders subsequently created in the encrypted folder will be encrypted automatically by Windows. The threat also copies itself as the file name wow.dll in the folder and then modifies the Characteristic attribute of the PE header in order to change to a DLL file. In some cases, security researchers may use another operating system, such as a version of Linux bootable from a removable drive, in order to retrieve malicious files from a compromised computer. This method is useful when retrieving files from a computer compromised by a rootkit. However, it’s impossible to get the file wow.dll by this method because the DLL file is encrypted on the EFS.

The CLI for Drupal – Drush is now preinstalled on SiteGround servers!
Lately, we have added some fancy new features for Joomla and WordPress users and you might be wondering what’s next in our queue. We intend to add such features for other popular applications on our servers as well. So the good news this week is that our Drupal users can enjoy Drush 6.0 preinstalled on our servers! Drush is a command line interface that allows you to manage your Drupal website directly from a SSH console. You can use Drush to accomplish almost every task you usually perform from your Drupal admin panel and even more. For example, you can update your Drupal application, install & uninstall plugins, clear your cache and more. Usually, you need to install Drush and configure it to work with your account, which is often a cumbersome process. That’s not the case if you’re a SiteGround customer – we have installed Drush on server level! We have also prepared an easy Drush tutorial with more information on the available commands to help you get started.

Wicked Smart Paid Search Strategies
This is the part where the training wheels come off and I impart a little bit of higher level paid search strategy that you can try to use on your own campaigns. If you’re not quite here, then perhaps go back and check out my previous two blog posts in this series. However, moving forward, this post will provide you with some good strategies you can try if you’re looking to optimize your paid search account and maximize performance. Organizing your campaign can be tough. However, if you’re looking to be slightly more targeted in your efforts, I’d recommend using a combination of exact match and BMM. To do this you just simply create two different campaigns – one that has only exact match keywords in it and one that only has BMM keywords in it. This two prong approach enables you to examine your campaign performance in more detail than you’d normally get if you combined everything into one campaign. It requires a bit more work, as well as keyword research and management, but having your broad and exact keywords separate will give you more insight into how the campaign and their respective keywords are performing.

The Ultimate “Venn”dor Choice Guide
A little while back, I wrote a blog entry that used a Venn diagram to look at how the employee, the IT department, and the business needed to be in sync in order for BYOD to work in an organization. The use of the Venn diagram seemed to go down well, so I thought I’d use it again to demonstrate a different area of concern to an organization — how it chooses its IT suppliers. I’ve just returned from a trip to listen to a major IT vendor discussing how its research had shown that organizations were now looking for no more than five vendors on any IT procurement list. This can be a problem — particularly where an organization wants to make sure that all bases are covered and that best-of-breed is still an option. However, to avoid finger-pointing between vendors when something does go wrong and the costs associated with managing many multiple different contracts, it is important to minimize the number of vendors used in any IT platform. For example, if we look at procurement in data center, we now have four major trends in how software may impact hardware purchase decisions: software-defined computing, storage, and networks, leading to a software defined data center (SDDC).

A New Approach to Employee Appreciation
At ShoreTel, “Actively Help” is a core corporate value and teamwork is our foundation. When looking for a way to recognize employees for putting the “we” before the “I,” our Director of Customer Service, Sally Loughry, came across a video by Corey Cormier of Legal Monkeys. In the video Corey explains the very simple, yet powerful approach Legal Monkeys has taken toward employee recognition. The Appreciation Board is a simple 8×10 picture frame. A note about why an individual is appreciated is written in dry erase marker on the glass. When someone receives the board, the person who wrote the note looks them in the eye and reads it. The recipient is then free to keep the board on their desk until they are ready to erase it and appreciate someone else. Each time the board is passed on; a photo is taken and posted to Facebook so that friends and family can see it and the appreciation can live on from there. There are no rules and no timeframe, just sincere, heartfelt gratitude for the work and camaraderie of a peer.

Happy CMAD! Are You One of Our Top Contributors?
Okay, so my poetry abilities aren’t as sharp as my community moderating abilities..but I have been watching you all and my oh my what a kick-butt two weeks it has been. Our last Community Maven Appreciation Day saw our friend from the Netherlands rise to the top of the pack. Who will make the ranks for the top community contributors this time around? Will Laurens.Brand hold their position? Will Mark. Stanger or CapaJC inch ahead? Or will another newcomer steam pass all three and steal the title of Community Maven? To be considered for Community Maven Appreciation Day, you would have to be one of the members that have had their answer marked as “Answered” since last Friday. I look over EVERY answered question from the Friday I post the last CMAD blog post to the Thursday before I draft the latest one. Marking a question as “answered” allows other members to find answers to their questions with ease, rather than sifting through unanswered questions and posting a question that has already been asked. That is it for today folks! Next week is another week, get on the community and dig up the questions that have been collecting dust and get them answered.

3 metrics for evaluating cloud application potential
As businesses around the world strive to stay competitive with rival organizations, they are implementing virtual cloud hosting services more frequently. While many decision-makers were at first unsure of cloud computing’s potential, executives are becoming more familiar and comfortable with using the technology, encouraging them to migrate applications to the cloud. Now, decision-makers need to establish which solutions will operate the most efficiently in the virtual environment. A recent TechTarget report highlighted several factors that need to be considered when moving applications to the cloud. While many solutions have the opportunity to improve employee efficiency, thereby reducing costs and justifying investments, cloud application performance also relies on how much effort is needed to maintain those tools, TechTarget noted. In many cases, the most effective cloud technologies will be the ones that dramatically improve operations without putting too much additional strain on the IT department. If cloud applications require significant attention, their return on investment will be lower and management costs will be higher.

Share and Share Alike? Not Quite
DENVER – When it comes to information sharing, are companies too scared or too selfish to trade attack data? A number of information security officers from high-profile companies debated the topic this week at the NG Security Summit and came to the conclusion that it’s a little bit of both. Sharing of threat intelligence and real-world attack data has been the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for this industry for more than a decade. Companies, however, are often reticent to share information because it’s either not scrubbed, can give away a competitive advantage or they’re gagged by general counsel on anything sensitive. The result is an industry spinning its wheels on a topic that needs some traction. To give credit where credit is due, some organizations have publicly tried to lead the way. Google, The New York Times and a few others have been stung by targeted attacks and have gone the extra step to put information about indicators of compromise and potential attack sources out there for public consumption.

Sender ID Email Authentication: What You Need to Know
Sender ID Framework is an email authentication protocol designed to keep spammers out of the inbox. It’s pretty similar to Sender Policy Framework (SPF), but with one main difference; Sender ID verifies sender identity based on the Purported Responsible Address (PRA) domain using the From: or Sender: header fields. For those a little less technical, it’s simply a different way to identify the legitimacy of a sender. Sender ID was developed by Microsoft to help prevent spammers from duping unsuspecting customers into downloading malware or giving away their personally identifiable information. By authenticating your email streams with Sender ID, you are helping mail receivers sort through the barrage of spam they receive on a daily basis. There had been some talk that Sender ID was dead, but Sender ID continues to provide important benefits to both senders and receivers. Sender ID verifies the origin of the email address based on IP address and domain, and then uses the validation results to determine email delivery.

Capacity Management for the New Age Computing
Cloud computing has not reduced the importance of capacity planning. This statement runs contrary to the wide spread belief that capacity requirements will be taken care of when virtual infrastructures are harnessed or sizing will take care of balancing. The truth is that the beliefs are untrue. Capacity planning is still one of the most important activities of the IT manager. Virtualization does not determine how much capacity you need now or in the future and it does not predict how much the IT density will increase over a period of time. Without capacity planning, organizations will end up making unnecessary purchases of IT infrastructure. IT managers still need to ensure that their organizations have sufficient capacity; and skilled IT managers must avoid over-provisioning of capacity, and accurately predict required capacity for their company. It is obvious that there are a number of misconceptions about capacity planning in the Cloud computing era. In fact, organizations have taken a step backwards in believing that Cloud computing does not require capacity planning and management skills in that direction.

Another Cruise Ship Catches Fire and Carnival Sees the Light on Backup Power
This week’s news of yet another cruise ship fire, with images of a blackened ship sitting in port, prompted me to revisit my post of a few months ago about a similar incident that, it turns out, wasn’t all that similar. In the process, however, I learned that Carnival Cruise Lines has apparently learned its lesson, albeit the hard way. Let’s start with the most recent event, a fire that broke out in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, May 27, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. As photos clearly show, the stern of the ship was badly damaged, yet its 2,200 passengers experienced nothing like what those on the Carnival cruise did. As Time reports: The ship, which left Baltimore on Friday for a seven-night cruise, was headed originally to CocoCay, Bahamas. Royal Caribbean said the ship never lost power and was able to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, Monday afternoon. It appears Royal Caribbean handled this about as well as it could. It had emergency preparations in place and followed them well, kept passengers informed of what was going on and ultimately chartered flights for all passengers.

25 Content Marketing Stats to Jumpstart Your Efforts
Search “start content marketing” and 369,000,000 queries will stare back at you. Marketers understand that content is the engine of social media: it’s what gives brands something to talk about with their communities of customers and prospects. But they’re looking to do it and do it well. After all, if you produce and share fantastically useful content, your audience will be more likely to become customers, remain customers, and send you more customers.

Dynamics on Azure – Running GP 2013 – A Microsoft Hosting Partner’s Perspective
Dynamics on Azure – With the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 there has been a lot a noise around the product working on Window Azure. Honestly, not a lot of people truly understand what that means. So as a long-standing hosting provider of Microsoft ERP and CRM solutions, here is our perspective, on what hosting Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Windows Azure really means: It is important to know that working with a partner who understands the product is essential. Unlike Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-line which comes pre-installed (you do the tailoring and customizing only), Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 is NOT pre-installed by Microsoft. All Microsoft is providing is the infrastructure to host this application. A certified Dynamics Partner should still be involved in the installation and configuration of the product. Someone needs to continue to monitor and apply service packs as needed. There is not a 24/7/365 team managing your servers. You still need to do that. Also, previous knowledge and experience with deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP on-premise or as a hosted service will be beneficial (if not key) when deploying on Dynamics on Azure.

I will get my apologies in early for my mentioning that I am the proud father of a wonderful daughter, Rose. I just didn’t want you to think this blog was a thinly veiled attempt to boast about this most exciting news. Being a ‘first timer’ (parent) I am on cloud nine…. yes, even through the blur of no sleep, dirty nappies and crying, so I do seem to be mentioning it quite a bit. I had actually been looking for the perfect entry point into the world of blogging for a while. Being a ‘first timer’ (blogging) imagine my delight when I found myself in the maternity suite (see above, I will spare the detail) feeling like I was playing a useful part in the birth of my child (did I mention I was a new father?) with my ‘contraction app’. As hapless men across the land will know, ‘feeling’ like you are doing your bit during labour is important (as well as having lots of snacks, but that’s another matter). When asked, and sometimes when not asked, I proudly presented the latest updates on the number of contractions; duration, interval and averages.

Generate More Revenue and Listeners with Mobile Apps
Did you know that you can earn even more revenue by the ads running on your mobile streaming apps? Our Ad Delivery Network is not just limited to the desktop player; our iOS and Android apps are also part of the mix. You should be promoting your mobile apps just like you are promoting your desktop player. The more you promote, the more listeners you’ll gain on other mediums, and the more ad revenue you can earn for your station(s). One listener can spend hours on your desktop player or mobile apps, which equates to a nice earning… just multiply that by hundreds or thousands of listener sessions and you can be raking in some good money. The ads on the mobile apps are displayed at the top on every screen, so they are always in sight and never hidden. According to Arbitron’s ‘The Infinite Dial 2013,’ one in five Americans have used their cell phone to listen to online radio in their car via a stream from a cell phone connected to their car stereo. You can see the year-to-year jump.

Boost Your Marketing with Testimonials
Gaining a good reputation and building a loyal following are two essential components of successful marketing. According to independent findings form Econsultancy and Socialnomics respectively, 90% of online customers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust recommendations from people theydon’t know. Highlighting your customer testimonials can help your brand marketing, your reputation and customer loyalty. While testimonials in general can be a positive marketing tool, it does depend on the source of the testimonial. The more credibility the person offering the recommendation has, the more their testimonial is trusted. Beyond sharing testimonials from your satisfied customers, also consider testimonials from industry experts or celebrity endorsements. For every testimonial you share, be sure to provide the first and last name of the person, as well as their city and state. Make sure their testimonials sound natural and authentic. And if you are using text-based testimonials, try to include a photo of the person. These approaches to presenting your testimonials indicate transparency, which can build trust and credibility.

Google Jacks Up Bug Bounties For Serious Vulnerabilities
Google has one of the older bug bounty programs in existence, and the company often makes changes to its rules in an effort to stay current with the security landscape. The latest change is another increase in the rewards that the company will pay to researchers who report certain bugs, including cross-site scripting in sensitive Web properties, to $7,500. The changes to the top rewards are fairly significant, more than doubling the highest bounty available for certain bugs from $3,133.70 to $7,500. Specifically, Google is now offering the higher amount to researchers who find XSS vulnerabilities in That’s obviously a high-value target for attackers and Google is hoping that the increased reward will draw more attention to it from researchers, as well. IN addition to the higher reward for the XSS vulnerabilities in the accounts page, Google also now is offering $5,000, up from $1,337, for the same type of flaws in Gmail and Google Wallet. Researchers who report what Google deems significant authentication bypasses or information leaks in the company’s Web properties also will receive $7,500.

What to Wear
Many high-tech companies are researching wearable technologies, i.e. things that you can wear and help to make your life easier. Probably causing the biggest stir in the technology community recently are smart glasses, with Google Glass being the primary example. Giving you visual aid with augmented reality is a fascinating thought for me. But it also sparked the discussion on what should be allowed regarding the respect of privacy. Do you need to inform your friends whenever you are filming them? Maybe a red LED in your glasses should turn on whenever you are recording, taking the term “evil eye” to a whole new level. If you search the Web for people who are planning on extending the built-in functionality of the Google Glass, you will come across all kinds of interesting integration ideas, including the controversial face-recognition feature. But there are quite a few other wearable devices worth discussing. From smart bracelets and intelligent shoes to watches that can interact with other objects— all devices that are available to purchase. Recently at the D: All things Digital conference (D11), a few more prototypes were revealed to the public.

Mimic oAuth using HTTPClient
Why are we talking about oAuth today? Most of the services these days, are moving away from Basic Authentication for various reasons into oAuth. Twitter, Citrix Goto Meeting etc.. Service Now doesn’t exactly “support” oAuth. But Service Now is so extensible with HTTP Client, that you can mimic oAuth and its 3 – legged dance. For demonstrating this, I will do an oAuth authentication with Twitter. To make it more readable, I will do this in two posts. I chose twitter ‘coz most of us use it, and there is a lot of help around. Obtaining a request token – You will use this token to re-direct your user to a page where he can gives access to your application. You must have seen this page often, where when you try to sign in using twitter, you will be redirected to a page which asks you if you grant permission. Once the user grants permission, collecting the token – Which says – the user Approved your application. Now this is the final step – In this step, we convert the token into a access token( remember the work “access” ) we, store this access token and we use it to make calls to Twitter API, on behalf of user.

SendGrid and matchist Deliver Seamless Event API Integration
The following is a guest post from Bill Reader, Corporate Marketing Director at NTH Consultants, Ltd. Bill is a SendGrid customer who utilized matchist to help him hire a freelance developer to implement SendGrid’s Event API. Matchist is a valued SendGrid partner that focuses on matching entrepreneurs to the right freelance developers to complete projects like API integrations. NTH Consultants, Ltd. is a consulting company based in Detroit specializing in geotechnical, environmental, and facilities engineering. Over the past two years, I’ve been putting together technical webinars for our company to help demonstrate our staff’s expertise and industry knowledge. I usually engage two of our engineers to present their best material, and we’re very cognizant not to do a “hard sell” of our services. I began recruiting for these events using one of the popular email marketing web-based services, but was quickly disappointed at the low number of people registering for our events. Figuring our clients and prospects might be tired of seeing professionally designed HTML e-blasts filling their email inboxes

4 Smart Steps to Restart Your Business Today
There’s never been a better time to stop, pause, and ask: are we creating something substantial with our businesses and our lives, or are we just trying to mitigate mistakes and risk? That was the message in discussing how to restart your business delivered by author and Twist Image President Mitch Joel yesterday during this Salesforce Marketing Cloud webinar, CTRL ALT Delete – Reboot your Business. During the hour-long conversation, Joel discussed ways you can reassess and restart both your marketing strategy and your career path. Here are some of the suggestions he presented. The prevailing thought in business is that every day, you have to beat down the competition for a customer. Joel says there is a war taking place within your business and business partners. He gave the following example: “Imagine buying a pair of headphones. I buy them at Target, and after the purchase, everyone is telling me to like them at Facebook. They want me to like the headphones and like Target on Facebook. A lot of people are pushing for a direct relationships with Mitch Joel.

Integrate POS Data to Dynamics GP
You can integrate POS data to Dynamics GP easily with Integration Manager.Depending on how you design the integration, you can have a simple integration that just creates general ledger transactions in GP, or you can use an integration to support purchasing and inventory control. Create an integration to increase inventory from the POS for items and ingredients purchased. Create a sales invoice to show items that have been sold. This will show the sales price and the inventory items sold. Create BOM’s in GP to represent recipes and menu items that include multiple items. Create payables transactions for checks or cash items recorder in the POS system. Use Purchase Orders to control purchases and provide the receipt information for GP Inventory. Include cash receipts on sales invoice transactions to break down receipts by tender type and day. This will allow you to use the Bank Reconciliation function within GP. A typical integration to integrate POS data to GP usually just creates general ledger transactions. And this certainly can enhance financial reporting; especially if you have a lot of stores.

Printing from Citrix and Driver Management
PrinterOn can help solve your printing problems and make print driver management a thing of the past. PrinterOn not only provides you with a way to print from Citrix, but our solution also solves many of the other issues you face such as: Driver management. Centralized printer configuration, Support for manufacturer native drivers and device-specific features, Integration with third party print management. Capability to extend the Citrix printing experience to mobile devices. PrinterOn PrintWhere is Citrix Ready certified and can be quickly installed on your XenApp server. Mobile users can then print from their sessions using the standard Windows File>Print method.

Nurturing Britain’s Talent – are you satisfied with your job?
Businesses in the UK spend billions on recruiting talent each year. Once an employee walks through the door, how is that talent then nurtured, developed and rewarded? What would it take to nurture Britain’s talent so it was optimised to its full potential? And how much more productive might UK businesses be if this potential was unleashed? As part of its own commitment to unlocking the human potential of the internet, we commissioned a study to help answer these questions. “We carried out this study to acquire a deeper sense of what is needed to help our colleagues realise their own full potential” said Dom Monkhouse. “Like many businesses in Britain, one of the key factors in our own success is the ability to attract and retain talent, but our responsibility doesn’t end there. As an employer it is also vital that we nurture individuals and help them realise their own ambitions to be at their absolute best once they are in the business. “This becomes a virtuous circle – unlocking potential and productivity whilst also making the working environment one that staff value.”

Build Great App Experiences with Parse & Xamarin
Thanks to everyone who joined James Clancey of Xamarin and David Poll of Parse yesterday for a Xamarin hosted webinar on using Parse and Xamarin to build apps. For those of you that missed it, or if you’d like to watch it again, the recording is available below.

Variation of previously reported vulnerability in older versions of Parallels Plesk Panel
A variation is being reported of a previously-reported zero-day vulnerability in older versions of Parallels Plesk Panel. Since the original vulnerability was first reported, the majority of Parallels Plesk Panel customers took the necessary steps to upgrade to a non-vulnerable version of the product. Today only 4% of servers running Parallels Plesk Panel are potentially impacted. This means 96% of Parallels Plesk Panel servers have been updated to a non-vulnerable version of Parallels Plesk Panel. If you are still running Parallels Plesk Panel 9.0 to 9.2, please take the action to upgrade today. There are multiple version options to upgrade to in order to help you secure and protect your customers. The best version to upgrade to is Parallels Plesk Panel 11.0. It has been available for over a year and is the version with the highest deployment rate, lowest support cost, best performance and, of course, highest security. This vulnerability is not new. It is a variation of the long-known CVE-2012-1823 vulnerability related to the CGI mode of PHP in selected older and end-of-life versions of Parallels Plesk Panel.

That’s right, we’re hiring again
ownCloud is growing like crazy, giving businesses a secure, on-premises alternative to consumer-grade file sync and share like Dropbox. It’s a hot space, important work and a fun work environment. We currently have positions open in both Nuremberg, Germany and Boston, Mass. When was the last time you had fun at work, working hard, doing something important? ownCloud is a small company with the potential to make a huge impact in a red hot market. In just over 18 months ownCloud has made a name for itself (BusinessWeek called us “hip”) as the enterprise alternative to Dropbox. But as a small company, you have the opportunity to make a huge impact and grow with the company.

Red Hat Roadmap, E-Commerce Booming
Need some weekend reading? We recommend checking out SearchDataCenter‘s interview with Red Hat’s director of software engineering Denise Dumas, detailing roadmap plans for RHEL. Meanwhile InfoWorld looks at Red Hat’s new Software Collections 1.0, featuring new versions of Ruby and Python for RHEL. Also in InfoWorld, Ted Samson takes a look at IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer and how it stacks up competitively against AWS. For more coverage on the SoftLayer acquisition, check out an interesting counterpoint argument from The Register here. Finally, All Things D reports that Walmart expects global e-commerce revenue to top $10B this year. Yes, $10B online alone. Looking for Opscode’s perspective on relevant trends and news, as well as broader lessons for becoming a coded business? Then please stay tuned as our own Christopher Brown will soon be offering a series of editorials on this blog in the coming weeks.

The next steps for OpenStack Activity Board
The interest around OpenStack Activity Board launched only two months ago is rapidly becoming the self-service place to find details about the activity of OpenStack development. There are still some known bugs to fix and while those are solved it’s time to start thinking about the future. Today the Activity Board is capable of answering quantitative questions on the Dash like: how fast are we committing code to OpenStack? How many people are involved in fixing bugs and adding features to projects, like OpenStack Compute or Ceilometer? How much traffic and how many voices are active on the mailing lists? It can also give Insights on the context of any action of the community: who (people or company) is fixing bugs or committing code related to OpenStack Block Storage? Who’s contributed something (code or bug reports) for the first time or who’s doing ‘stuff’ in the past 30 days? The insights can be useful for new members of the community to identify, for example, the most knowledgeable people in a particular area of the code.

Open Source Software Awareness Is Important for Everyone In the Enterprise
Open source software is widely adopted and exists practically everywhere in most corporations and enterprises today. Business departments like marketing and human resources even have a need for and use for many open source tools and free software; and of course developers in corporations are using open source code. This is why many in business today need to be aware of and have a basic understanding of what open source is and what the legal ramifications of its use are. It’s important to understand open source adoption from a developer’s perspective and as well as a non-technical side or a business user’s perspective. From a developer’s perspective, projects are extensible, freely available, and often supported by a vast network of programmers. Given stringent project deadlines, developers don’t waste time to re-create code they know has been previously developed. They pull snippets from proven projects and incorporate into their code. This is why most enterprises have some open source contained somewhere within their code base.

Endless Adaptability: The Key to E-Commerce Success
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. Niraj has had a successful career as an entrepreneur, business executive, board director and most recently co-funded Wayfair, an online home furniture store. Niraj helped Wayfair consolidated over 200 websites into one main website and navigate through the pains of losing website traffic and rerouting. By holding to a long-term vision for the company and focusing directly on where they wanted to go, Wayfair was able to maintain an entrepreneurial culture and go out of their way to stay remain agile and find new opportunities. In an effort to consolidate and carry out their long-term goals, Wayfair closed industry channels that were making $15-20 million worth of revenue, simply because they couldn’t serve in those industries as a leader. It may not have made sense in the short-term, but it made sense for the long-term vision Niraj held for Wayfair.

Neverfail Bulletin: The Challenges and Benefits of Virtualization
As we’ve mentioned before, virtualization provides tremendous benefits for both disaster recovery and business continuity. The agile nature of virtualization makes it much easier to quickly recover virtual machines and has significantly reduced infrastructure complexity. However, as our new research reveals, virtualization also threatens to create its own gaps in business continuity. In order to realize the true benefits of virtualization, a business must be careful not to implement it at the expense of availability and the continuity of its physical servers. In this week’s Bulletin, we highlight articles that reference both the challenges and benefits of virtualization. This first article by Nathan Eddy of eWEEK features Neverfail’s recent research and specifically analyzes the lack of disaster preparedness small businesses have for virtual servers. Worryingly, 70 percent of businesses only update their DR plan every one to five years, and one-third of businesses only test their DR plan once every 12 months, while 17 percent admit they never test their plans.

Evan Goldberg’s SuiteWorld 2013 Keynote: Future Technology for Transforming Your Business
At SuiteWorld 2013, NetSuite’s own Dark Knight and CTO, Evan Goldberg, described how NetSuite is helping businesses transform and realize their vision. In the video from the event, Goldberg explains the enhancements NetSuite is making to the product, including new mobile capabilities, NetSuite StickEase, drag-and-drop importing of records to NetSuite files tabs, and what’s coming in the new user experience overhaul. He outlines coming billing, global financials and multi book accounting functionality, plus a new SuiteCloud IDE with debugger. Goldberg also highlights recent partnerships with TribeHR and other HR software vendors, a travel and expense partner tool, and SuiteCommerce Advanced Storefront. He shows how easy it is managing NetSuite Ecommerce sites with LightCMS and outlines NetSuite’s vision for supply chain collaboration and improvements to the OpenAir PSA software. Finally, he shows off a new VinSuite app made with eWinery and gets a special delivery.

Exclusive results of the Trademark Clearinghouse
NetNames have been given exclusive access to the latest market research to be publish on awareness of the new gTLD program. Deliotte, the operator of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), commissioned Vanson Bourne, a global market research company for technology brands, to conduct an independent survey of 200 consumer facing businesses with 3,000 – 10,000+ employees to gain insights into general awareness of the new gTLD program, and actions taken up by those businesses to operate in the new gTLD space. The research focuses on five key areas: The level of business awareness regarding the launch of the new domains this year Whether businesses have adequately assessed the impact that the new TLD program might have on their intellectual property. The number of businesses that plan to submit their trademarks into the Trademark Clearinghouse. The perceived level of threat the new domains present to trademark /IP holder. Where the responsibility lies within an organization when it comes to protecting brands/trademarks online. The research has been conducted in the US and UK markets and shows that awareness of the new gTLD program is improving significantly with over 75% of the UK businesses surveyed having good to full awareness of the program.

Meet (mt) at WordCamp Seattle 2013
Seattle is one of those towns with awesome natural beauty, coffee, beer and a highly talented web community. We’re excited to be sponsors of 2013 WordCamp Seattle at beautiful Washington University. We’re most excited about connecting with WordPress developers and newbie bloggers alike. If you’re in Seattle and want to chat about WordPress, hosting, or the merits of having established bike lanes, catch our Outreach Team at WordCamp, the After Party or the Dev Day. If you want to set up a meeting to discuss a project, or need some deeper advice on hosting your WordPress site, drop a line here and we’ll schedule some time during any of the aforementioned events. If you’re at WordCamp Seattle, be sure to catch Suzette Franck’s talk, Leveraging CSS3 in WordPress. Suzette will cover the best ways to include CSS in your WordPress theme and dive into some of the best features of CSS3.

Interact With a Magento Expert at the Instructor-Led Fundamentals of Magento Development Course
Magento U’s On-Demand course “Fundamentals of Magento Development” is a great way to learn development and implementation best-practices on your own schedule. But should you also take the instructor-led version? Absolutely! But…why? What are the benefits of taking the course in person? To answer that question, we went out and spoke to to some Magento U graduates. Adam Ring, Technical Project Manager at Temple & Webster says, “The Magento U Fundamentals instructor-led course was ideal for Temple & Webster because it allowed us to interact directly with an expert Magento Evangelist. They were able to answer our most complex Magento questions. The Fundamentals course is appropriately in-depth which has helped us enormously by providing us with much greater context to our understanding of the Magento platform. Highly recommended for those serious about the getting the best out of Magento.” Ben Marks, an experienced Magento U instructor, also gave us his perspective in this new video–check it out!

OpenStack Project Infrastructure Sees Rapid Growth
The OpenStack project infrastructure has grown tremendously over the past year, and now is a great time to get involved in helping to run one of the largest and fastest-growing open source projects! The project infrastructure encompasses all of the systems that are used in the day to day operation of the OpenStack project as a whole. This includes development, testing, and collaboration tools. All of the software that we run is open source, and its configuration is public. In fact, the whole of the project infrastructure is run in exactly the same manner as the rest of the OpenStack project: anyone may contribute a configuration change via code review, and then a team of core reviewers provides feedback and may eventually approve the change for merging. As the OpenStack project has grown, so have the services provided by the infrastructure team. The code review system, Gerrit, now houses 134 source code repositories. The scope of the project infrastructure is so broad that it comprises 24 of those repositories, including software in languages such as Java, Python, shell, Ruby, and Puppet.

Who’s Who in Cloud
Friday is here! And what a week it’s been, from IBM’s acquisition of Softlayer, to Microsoft’s increased presence in the public cloud fight, to AWS and the government, and much more. If we missed anything good this week, please send it our way on Twitter @CloudGathering. Also, Logicworks will be at next week’s CloudExpo in NYC. Gathering Clouds will also be present talking to some cool cloud folks about what’s most exciting at the event. Stop by the Logicworks booth and say hi! Simon Sharwood details OpenStack’s bravado in the face of shifting sands via Dell and IBM. John Humphreys asks if Microsfot is winning the public cloud wars. John Rath details how cloud storage is the new hot investment area in cloud with the recent $25 million infusion to Panzura. Barb Darrow sees mini AWS instances for government work. Bill Kleyman reports on how cloud computing is driving data center automation. Christian Verstraete shares 5 use cases to think through your journey to cloud. Patrick Lo thinks cloud computing is about to get way personal. David Linthicum also thinks cloud is shrinking the data center.

LiteSpeed Web Server as Reverse Proxy Template
We’re rolling out a whole new line of virtual hosts for different set ups and functions. Two days ago we announced the release of a template for setting up Enterprise or OpenLiteSpeed with WP Super Cache. Today we have a template for setting up LiteSpeed Web Server as a reverse proxy to a backend server. My first time using the template (I don’t create the templates, I do the documentation), I set it up in a grand total of 6:37.8. That’s what I call quick and easy. The tutorial has 10 steps. Many of the steps are as easy as running a chown command. In addition to the basic reverse proxy setup, the end of the tutorial has a couples extra rules you can add for additional functionality. Many people do not set up a reverse proxy just to have a reverse proxy. So here we have rewrite rules that allow you to only proxy dynamic content to the backend server (and leave LSWS serving static content) or proxy traffic to a different domain name on the backend server. Adding these functions is as simple as substituting in your external application and domain names and pasting the rule into your WebAdmin console. If you request other functionalities, we’ll try to add them.

Scott Moerman Discusses 5th High-Density Data Center Expansion in Chicago
Latisys DC05 in Chicago is fifth local data center expansion in the last four years, delivering an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of high-density colocation space to the market. Scott Moerman, Regional Sales Director for Latisys-Chicago, discusses the customer demand that lead to the expansion, and what it means to customers.

New Article on CodeProject: Reading Barcodes from an Image in a Web App
Because of its accuracy and its ease of use, Barcodes have become more and more popular as a part of daily document management workflow. You can use barcodes to identify documents, separate batch scanning, or even get reliable metadata as a document identifier. This article will show you how to decode barcodes from an image captured or scanned in a web application with the help of ImageCapture Suite. Dynamsoft’s Image Capture Suite is an online image acquisition and processing toolkit designed for web applications. It allows you to capture images from scanners, webcams and other TWAIN/UVC/WIA compatible devices from all mainstream browsers – Internet Explorer (32-bit/64-bit), Firefox, Chrome and Safari – on Windows and Mac. The toolkit also comes with a Barcode Reader SDK which allows you to decode both 1D and 2D barcode symbols online.

How to Install WordPress through cPanel
While cPanel is one of the most popular and easy to use control panel solutions available online, WordPress enjoys a similar level of fame as a content management system. What started as a platform for bloggers – it still is, of course – quickly became one of the most popular interfaces for managing a website, to the point where it is estimated 10-12% of all websites are powered by WordPress today. One characteristic that has driven the popularity of WordPress has been the ease of use and installation that it shares with cPanel. Webmasters and site owners are increasingly using both in conjunction with each other. The great thing for these groups is that they lose nothing in the way of ease of use or convenience when doing so; installing WordPress into a cPanel is easy. While cPanel is able to take care of the installation for you, you can always do it yourself in a very short space of time – typically around five minutes. The first step is to ensure that your hosting company and your server plan actually supports WordPress.

Ixia’s IxNetwork 7.0 Wins Search Networking May Innovation Award
Ixia’s IxNetwork 7.0 network topology and testing assessment platform is the winner of the May Search Networking Network Innovation Award. The product, released last year, permits administrators to emulate how various applications and their respective protocols might affect network performance prior to their introduction. High-capacity network devices are required to route and switch huge amounts of traffic. Network equipment manufacturers producing devices for such environments must be sure that their equipment can not only handle the infrastructure needs of a complex network, but also expand easily – often to massive scales. Network infrastructures must be stressed to see if they can handle the traffic volumes common in today’s landscape. IxNetwork is designed to test network infrastructure, capacity, scalability, and convergence using its scaled protocol emulation and ViperCore technology. IxNetwork provides rapid isolation of network issues, service modeling at Internet scale, carrier-class scaling, and accurate convergence measurement.

OpenStack Community Weekly Newsletter
The OpenStack Stable Maintenance team is happy to announce the release of the 2013.1.2 stable Grizzly release. We have been busy reviewing and accepting backported bugfixes to the stable/grizzly branches. A total of 80 bugs have been fixed across all core projects. The next release cycle for OpenStack, starting in November 2013 after we conclude the current release cycle (“Havana”) will be called Icehouse. The OpenStack Infrastructure team is constantly evolving its documentation to make it easier for new contributors to join the team. Last week documentation for the OpenStack Project Infrastructure was reorganised “to re-orient the documentation as an introduction for new contributors and a reference for all contributors.” All of the CI tools are open source, the puppet and other configurations are all hosted in public revision control and any changes submitted are made by the same process all other changes in OpenStack are made. They go through automated tests in Jenkins to test applicable syntax and other formatting and the code changes submitted are reviewed by peers and approved by members of the infrastructure team.

Data center disaster preparedness: the right people
In our previous video, we discussed the importance of communication best practices during a data center emergency. In this final episode of our Data Center Disaster Preparedness series, we’ll focus on the importance of having the right people in place. The skills and experience of the data center personnel, including the leadership, are important factors to consider when evaluating colocation providers. Does the leadership have a background in facilities? Do they have a deep understanding of the equipment infrastructure of the site? In the event of an emergency, the staff on-site and in the Network Operations Center (NOC) will be your first point of contact. Internap maintains a robust training and certification program to help our staff update their skills regularly and stay on top of new technology trends. With knowledgeable resources and experienced leadership, our data center facilities are well-prepared to handle unexpected failures or outages, while making sure these events do not disrupt business continuity.

Are Smartphones Dumbing Down Your Office?
According to a recent survey by Experian Marketing Services, the average American spends approximately 58 minutes per day on their smartphone. Those of us who are gadget lovers may respond by saying, “One hour, is that all?” A device taking up one hour per day has huge implications with how we both live and do business. This same survey found that, out of the 58 minutes of smartphone use, the average user will spend 26% of their time making phone calls and 20% spent texting. The next two biggest categories are social media and web browsing, coming in at 16 and 14 percent. Considering that a person will be awake roughly 16 hours each day, and smartphone usage eats up one of those hours, if you spread these numbers out over the span of one year, then you are looking at 15 days out of the 243 conscious days of the year (6.25%) a person is devoted to their gadget. Surely this figure will increase as the smartphone’s popularity continues to skyrocket. One big impact from smartphones is the rise of multitasking. In fact, there is a high probability that you have not gotten this far into this article without having received some kind of notification from your smartphone or other communications technology.

Cisco Partner Summit 2013
Day 3 of Cisco Partner Summit was certainly an eventful one! We heard from many business leaders and visionaries, both from within Cisco and from other cutting-edge organizations around the world, and gained some valuable insights to take home with us. One of our main speakers was Mark C. Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Virgin Unite Mentors, who shared with us the 3 key traits he sees in successful companies. These are: Their ability to redefine winning, and set goals that accomplish strategic objectives. Their openness to innovate–“The big winners take a huge number of small bets”. Their desire to work in partnership with other companies who have similar goals. Chuck Robbins, SVP of Cisco’s Worldwide Field Operations, reemphasized Cisco’s commitment to partnerships. “You prove commitment based on where you spend your money,” he said, noting Cisco’s $2 billion spend in partner incentive payouts. Bruce Klein, SVP of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, closed the conference by introducing a performance by the Boston Children’s Chorus, a local music program for underprivileged youth, and announced Cisco’s donation to the chorus.

The 15 Best Encryption Programs to Protect Your Internet Privacy
Paranoia has become reality. Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian have broken two big stories this week that are both shocking and unsurprising: “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily” and “NSA taps in to user data of Facebook, Google and others.” According to the article, The FBI and NSA are directly accessing the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and “soon Dropbox”, to extract ALL audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs, possibly in real time. You must assume that every electronic communication you create is being stored and analyzed in real time. Therefore encryption and cryptography are essential for liberty in this new world. Don’t ask your government for less surveillance; take control of your internet privacy with the best encryption software available. Encryption is used to send sensitive information over the Internet. Encyption uses math to make information unreadable to anyone except those with a “key”. If done correctly, only you and the people that receive the key can view the data.

Step by Step Web Design: Wireframing and Color Commentary
In the first installment of this series we looked at the very beginning stages of the design process, as far as getting things going after the client hands you the specs. In this new installment, we are going a few steps further into dissecting the design process for our readers. Only this time, we are getting our hands dirty, so to speak. Below we dive into the next phase of research, the wireframing portion of the puzzle, and picking the palettes that suit the website design and brand. Just like before, we are packing the post with resources that will help readers finish connecting these dots and make the next steps go that much smoother for your project. So let’s get started. The first stage of research was to help us get our preliminary feel for the brand and how they interact with their audience. It also dealt with the expectations. This second bout of research gets much more technical as we seek to complete the picture we began putting together when the project was just getting on its feet. Now we want to guide it along to its fullest potential, but in order to do that, we have to research the best solutions for all that the client and users expect of the site to come.

Coming soon overall observations of Google’s “How Green is the Internet?” Event
Here is a full list of the speakers at the event. I got ample time with some of the people who are familiar to the data center industry. Presentations and videos will be posted most likely next week. I specifically didn’t write anything about the event as I spent my time observing and networking with people there. One of the thing I decided to do was observe the other media attending.

To Deliver a Great Presentation, Set Action Objectives
Business leaders are constantly in presentation mode, whether we are communicating with employees internally or with clients and investors externally. And with the expansion of tools such as videoconferencing and screen share, which offer new avenues for presenting information, there’s always a need for leaders to re-evaluate their approach to delivering a presentation. I recently wrote about communicating simply; a good presentation requires clear communication, but it also involves a more thorough consideration of intent. A recent Fast Company blog post offered some interesting tips taken from public speaking coach Achim Nowak’s book, Infectious. Nowak explained that public speakers can draw on the techniques of actors, who are trained to approach each part of a scene with an objective for their characters. An objective should be an action verb, it should have a strong effect on the actor (or presenter) and it should describe the impact that the actor (or presenter) hopes to have on the audience. “Action verbs matter because they unleash forward-moving velocity,” Nowak wrote.

Landmark Visit to Flexiant by European and UK Politicians
Last week we welcomed Catherine Stihler, MEP and Graeme Morrice, MP to the Flexiant offices. A timely visit as only two days prior cloud was on the agenda at the European Parliament. The politicians were interested to find out more about the international recognition that Flexiant has achieved and the role that Flexiant plays in advanced European cloud research through our involvement in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Flexiant is one of the few European headquartered companies recognized as a thought leader in the international cloud industry. Not only did we launch the first public cloud services in Europe, but we have participated in European funded cloud research projects for many years with a dedicated team focused on this activity. As part of Flexiant’s commitment to the cloud industry and to participation in FP7 projects, this meeting with deeply engaged politicians created the opportunity to share knowledge. It explored how the European Parliament can continue to address the opportunities and challenges of a tectonic movement towards a cloud centric model of IT provisioning.

Turn Instagram Into A Traffic Engine with “Photos of You”
Even if you haven’t started your own Instagram account, you are no doubt familiar with the picture sharing website. While many businesses’ social media efforts focus on Facebook and Twitter, as a platform that focuses on visual sharing, Instagram can be incredibly useful for increasing online interaction, especially since Instagram “Photos of You” has been rolled out. Much like Facebook, Instagram now allows users to tag photos of themselves and other users, and because Instagram photos can be geotagged with Foursquare this makes Instagram particularly useful for businesses. I have been to local businesses that actively involve Instagram in their social media marketing strategy. Encore Thrift Shop, a new thrift store on Center Street in Provo, offers a 10% discount for customers that take a photo inside the store and mention them on Instagram. The reason they do this is because people use Instagram to find inspiration for places to go in the local community. Encore Thrift Shop receives business because of Instagram photos, mentions, and geotags, so they incentivize people to continue sharing and snapping pictures with a discount offer.

SDN – It’s All About Open Standards
A core promise of SDN is open standards lead to increased efficiencies. Ideally the opening of the network and ecosystem should result in a situation where applications, DevOps, virtualization systems, etc, can directly program network elements or retrieve stats, counters, or state from the network. As we all know, customer deployments are vast and varied with many moving parts that require seamless interplay achieved either through vendor specific, proprietary, features or open standards that the vendor community agrees to support. Open is the way Extreme Networks has chosen to best enable customer choices in the market place, from converged edge to data center and cloud with OpenStack. And as a result, today we fully support an Open Standards approach to SDN with our Open SDN Framework. We currently ship OpenFlow and OpenStack on our Data Center Summit fixed switches, from 1 to 40 GE support with over 100,000 flows per switch and 100G support shortly. Continuing on the theme of customer choice, our platforms support both traditional Ethernet forwarding as well as OpenFlow, configurable based on your need.

Retail Round-up: Supply Chain Magic
When contemplating a purchase, customers now have more options than ever. Mobile phones and tablets are revolutionizing the way we buy, and the tremors are being felt all through the traditional retail supply chain. And while retailers ramp up to adapt to this challenge, traditional online retailers like Amazon are moving in on their turf to put even more pressure on the retail business model and processes. The retail revolution is customer-led, and no one knows where it is heading, says the Telegraph. In the UK, many retailers are ditching their high street locations in favor of investment in mobile apps and websites. While there is a broad consensus that a “revolution” is happening, nobody knows what the future of retail looks like. In response to this revolution, some retailers are trying to use their existing locations as fulfillments hubs for their online/mobile businesses. In response to this, Tim Steiner, the boss of Ocado, to the British Retail Consortium has an awesome quote. He contends that the most efficient way to operate an online business is a giant warehouse, not a series of large Supermarkets.

Bind DNS + OpenLDAP MDB == Dynamic Domain/Sub-Domain Configuration of DNS
This blog post was driven by the need to make it easier to test Eucalyptus DNS in a lab environment. The goal was to have a scriptable way to add/delete zones without having to reload/restart DNS when Eucalyptus clouds were being deployed/destroyed. This was tested on an CentOS 6 instance running in a Eucalyptus 3.3 HA Cloud. This entry will not cover setting up Eucalyptus HA, creating a Eucalyptus user, using eustore to register the image, and/or opening up ports in security groups. Its assumed the reader understands these concepts. The focus will be configuring and deploying Bind9 and OpenLDAP. There are a series of packages needed to install OpenLDAP (since we are building from source), and Bind9. Once the instance is launched and running, SSH into the instance, All the packages except for bind-dyndb-ldap are needed to build OpenLDAP from source. The reason we are building OpenLDAP from source is to take advantage of their powerful backend – MDB. Check out my previous blogs on this topic from this listing.

A journey through 10 data center conferences
I frequently get asked what data center conference to go to. That is a tough question, because it depends on the person’s objective. Are they an end user looking on how to get up to speed? Are they a vendor looking for customers? Are they looking to add to their knowledge by learning new things? I am going to share a journey through 10 data center conference that may give you some insight, but keep in mind my objective is different than most. My goal is to hang with friends who are the A team players and learn as much as I can from attending. Also, I get media passes for most of the events so my assessments are based on attending as media, not as a vendor or end user. Saying I want to hang with the A team players can come off as arrogant and elitist, but I am used to hanging with really smart people when I was at HP, Apple, and Microsoft so it is a habit that is hard to break. If you want to improve your game you want to be around the top players. As an example, I was chatting with Jonathan Koomey yesterday and I was asking if he has gotten back into his Aikido training.

It’s A Beautiful Day In PDX
In Portland today, it’s sunny, the trees are green and the tech scene is thriving. Elemental is always actively hiring for a number of positions and looking for ways to get the word out about available opportunities and the benefits of living in Portland, Oregon. What started as a simple idea to create a video showcasing career opportunities in the region’s growing tech cluster was immediately embraced by the local startup community. The result: a collaborative effort and glossy look inside eleven Portland tech firms that communicates not only what they do, but captures the unique attraction and culture of each workplace. Enjoy a fly-through of some of the Rose City’s coolest tech offices. The growing companies highlighted in the video are (in order of appearance): Viewpoint, Jama Software, Simple, Thetus, Urban Airship, Acquia, Elemental, Act-On, Puppet Labs, The Clymb and Jive. Support from Business Oregon, the Portland Development Commission and the Technology Association of Oregon made this project both possible and successful.

The Gateway guardian – a day in the life of an Egress Technical Engineer
One of my favourite jobs as Technical Engineer is visiting our customers, providing pre-sales and technical support, as well as deploying our file and encryption solutions – such as Egress Switch Gateway. Deployment is a particularly exciting point, as by that time, we’ve worked closely with our customers to understand their individual needs. So it’s really nice to be able to see them as they’re just about to use the software for the first time. When I arrive at a customer’s office to deploy Switch Gateway, I normally have a quick briefing meeting with those involved – as well as a very welcome cup of coffee! Then I settle down to the business of deployment. Firstly, I help to configure the mail filtering/scanning product. Customers never want all of their emails to go through Switch Gateway – there’s simply no need, as not every email requires encryption. I set up the system so that, for outbound emails, those tagged for encryption or those that policy indicates need encrypting are sent to Switch Gateway. Similarly for inbound emails, only the ones that are encrypted need to be routed through Switch Gateway for decryption.

If Mobile Devices are Onion Rings, Your “Stuff” is the Ranch
One of my favorite snacks involves dunking onion rings into ranch dressing. Aside from being deliciously sinful, it reminds me of recent buzz surrounding BYOD and predictions around the death of the PC. What do onion rings and ranch dressing have in common with the rise of mobile? Quite a lot, actually. Mobile devices are like onion rings – they get you to what you really want…your “stuff” (files, apps, etc.) AKA the “ranch dressing.” There are instrumental changes afoot in the enterprise, which are shining a spotlight on mobile and BYOD in a big way. For example, PCs represented nearly two thirds of all computing devices in early 2009 – by 2012, that number had dwindled to one quarter. And employees are increasingly using their mobile devices as a work device and to get to their “stuff” in –and out – of the office. Cisco* issued a report predicting there will be more mobile devices than people on earth by the end of this year. Simply put, mobile devices are poised to take over the world and enterprises are quickly learning they need to adopt a BYOD policy in order to stay ahead of the curve. The goal is to provision devices with the tools employees need to be productive as well as to secure the work “stuff” in case a device is lost or stolen.

EdgeWave Featured in Business News Daily, Providing Guidance on New Data Security Threats to Small Business
In the rapidly changing world of technology, data security should be a top concern for small business owners. EdgeWave’s Steve Brunetto was featured prominently in a recent article in Business News Daily exploring ’3 New Data Security Threats to Small Business.’ Highlighting BYOD malware, account takeovers, and security holes, Brunetto discussed how today’s BYOD trend poses many threats to data security and how hackers are using new techniques to exploit the vulnerabilities of mobile devices and users. One emerging trend is a twist on phishing called SMiShing. According to the article, “In SMiShing, cybercriminals use Short Message Service (SMS) to contact users and ask them to click on a malicious link. Once clicked, a malicious app download is triggered, taking the user to an infected website. This website then enables attackers to collect login information, passwords and other confidential data. Hackers can also get into employee-owned devices using another tactic known as app repackaging. App repackaging involves cybercriminals injecting malicious code into a legitimate app and then reloading it to a third-party site.

WWhat’s Happening at WWDC 2013?
Monday is the kickoff for the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. It’s no secret that new versions of iOS and OS X will be on-tap for developers. Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of Marketing says, “Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we’re excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps.” This year, everyone seems to be buzzing about flat design. After years of rounded corners, dimensionality, reflective surfaces, and fugly skeuomorphism (Find My Friends, Game Center & Calendar, I’m talking about you—and so is everyone else) it seems clear that Apple design guru Jony Ive is going in a different direction. There’s even a cool interactive iOS7 concept design you can play with online. Is this the future of iOS? In a couple of days, we’ll find out. Like any Apple event, WWDC also keeps the rumor mill spinning, and just about everyone has opinions on what else they’d like to see. Over at CNET, there’s a pretty extensive list of possibilities, including a MacBook refresh and the long-rumored music streaming service.

The Dell ZeroIMPACT #Migration Day is back June 13th: now with expert video chats and two live webcasts!
Join us for the next ZeroIMPACT Migration Day, a FREE virtual event where you’ll get unlimited access to the industry’s top migration experts – attend two LIVE webcasts or chat directly with our experts throughout the day. This unique virtual event will take place on Thursday, June 13th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Eastern Time. Why attend this one-of-a-kind virtual event? Visit the Auditorium: Watch one of our LIVE migration webcasts about Exchange 2013 and Windows XP/7/8. Visit the Communications Lounge: Chat live with Dell migration experts and network with your peers. Visit the Exhibition Hall: Win prizes, access resources, and “pick the brains” of industry migration leaders from Dell, Microsoft, Avanade, InfraScience, Insight, Slalom, and Sycom Tech. Visit the Resource Center: Access white papers, webcasts and helpful tips to ensure that your migration is on time and under budget, with ZeroIMPACT. Win Prizes: Don’t forget about the great prizes awarded throughout the entire day! We know your time is limited, so scan the agenda below to find the discussion topics that matter to you most. The event format is informal, so spend the entire day with us or stop in at your convenience.

Tags Now Included On Invoices
A little while ago, we added the useful feature of being able to add Tags to your servers. Tags were displayed in the Resource Pool list view, and provided an easy way to identify multiple resource pools or multiple locations. Today we’ve extended that functionality, adding the Tags to invoices – so you can easily identify the line items in your invoice and tag them with client name, project ID or any data you require! Once you have the machine tagged in your control panel, these tags will now appear on your invoice under your resource pools specs.

Amazon’s Cloud coming to a country near you, mini-me AWS instances is inevitable
A friend asked me a month or so what is the next thing Amazon Web Services is going to do. I spent a bit of time researching ideas, then it hit me AWS will eventually be in major markets within the countries borders. A couple of months ago I was chatting with a journalist from Spain and we discussed the cloud, hosting, and AWS. Here is a post that ail give you an idea of the protectionist practices in Spain. Hedge funds and private equity groups have raised concerns about the risk of creeping protectionism in proposals made by Spanish diplomats to re-write European Union legislation to regulate their industries for the first time. He believed that a threat to IT jobs by moving to a public cloud outside the country would be met with protectionist enthusiasm to keep jobs in the high paying IT industry. The cloud is a disruptive force that will challenge current IT operations, bringing automated standardized environments that require a small fraction of IT hardware and staff. Requiring nationalized citizens to operate the IT environment is an easy impediment for moving to a cloud in another country in the USA or other places that are the cloud hubs. This still leaves opportunities for the hosting companies in the country to provide IT services within the borders.

Danish tunnel builder Femern opts for DataCore storage virtualisation
The organisation overseeing construction of the 18km €5.5bn Fehmarnbelt tunnel between Denmark and Germany has deployed DataCore storage virtualisation software in place of its existing Dell EqualLogic array, cutting disk costs by around 75%. Danish state-owned Femern’s IT systems will be used by up to 150 engineering staff directly, as well as numerous consultants and contractors who need access via VMware ESX to CAD drawings, specifications and workflow systems for the project, which will complete in 2021. In preparation for commencement of construction work on the underwater tunnel and an expected expansion of data, Femern examined its systems and found its existing EqualLogic iSCSI SAN prone to I/Obottlenecks and reaching end of life. Tim Olsson, IT manager at Femern, said the organisation did not consider upgrading the EqualLogic array because of its complexity and the cost of buying disk. “The EqualLogic array was at the end of its life and coming with an increased high price tag,” he said. “We didn’t buy another one because it was too complex for our needs, with features we did not use, and that it locked us into buying only disks from EqualLogic.”

Can a Colocation Provider take a Modular Data Center Approach?
When building a data center, colocation providers try to balance a lot of variables to arrive at the best end result. For example, they want the most innovative design, but at the lowest cost. And, they want the quickest building schedule without sacrificing any desired capabilities. Taking a modular approach to data center halls addresses several pertinent issues and makes it easier to find the right balance among conflicting drivers.

ZTE Sets New Record for Data Transmission
In an effort to grow global bandwidth speeds for faster communication over long distances, telecom company ZTE has set a new record for data transmission. ZTE successfully achieved signaling speeds of 400 Gbps over 5,000 km, a new record for the optical communications industry. ZTE used a unique algorithm to overcome signal degradation. Special nodes were an instrumental component used to push the signal into 400 Gbps territory. Higher speed means better bandwidth and more data per second over long distances. High bandwidth transmissions are a new standard that will continue to improve high-speed network communications in the coming years. In an effort to keep up with technology, ZTE has been leading R&D on 100G and beyond transmissions. In June of 2012, ZTE released a prototype device capable of performing several network application requests across multiple sub-carrier routes. Network traffic has since increased at a rate of 2dB per year; likely a result of cloud computing and media streaming. 100 Gbps is currently the standard for most commercial network providers but in a few years 400 Gbps will be possible. Giving the rate of growth for data traffic, 400 Gbps sounds like a breath of fresh of air. Here’s to the future.

Image management – installation stages
In the previous post in this series I looked at closing the installation gap, and the tools that can be used to create a fully functioning virtual appliance. In this post I’m going to look in a little more detail at where installation can happen within a virtual appliance factory like Server3. The main feedstock for a virtual appliance factory is an image. A ‘base’ image will usually be nothing more than a minimal installation of an operating system in order to minimise resource use and security vulnerability surface area. Stuff that isn’t there doesn’t take up disk space, doesn’t consume network bandwidth (and time) on deployment, and can’t be hacked. There’s no need to stick to base images though, and images may be imported that already contain additional functionality such as middleware or an application. This can be particularly useful when moving functionality from one place to another, whether that’s a different virtualisation platform or cloud type, or simply different regions or accounts in the same cloud.