Blog Posts for Sunday – 9 June, 2013

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

PaaSLane to be Unveiled at Cloud Expo
With Cloud Expo only two days away, Cloud Technology Partners is excited to announce the first public demonstrations of PaaSLaneTM, a solution to accelerate application migration. PaaSLane profiles source code in minutes, identifying cloud migration issues and estimating the level of effort required to correct them. David Linthicum, SVP, will also be joining the team in New York, leading a session on calculating the true value of industry-specific clouds. PaaSLane substantially reduces the time and effort required to migrate applications to the cloud. Traditionally, cloud migration assessments are a manual process that can take months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. PaaSLane automates the process by evaluating application source code against a customizable rules engine to identify cloud compliance and compatibility issues. Industry-specific clouds are those SaaS, IaaS and PaaS services that are tailored for a specific vertical, such as transportation, retail, finance and healthcare. Prevailing research predicts a $65 billion market in these industry solutions for 2013, rising to $100 billion in 2016.

Watching TV in the Cloud
The Internet has revolutionized the way we experience entertainment, from music to video games to reading books, so it was only a matter of time before television found its way into the Cloud. Of course, TV viewing had changed a lot over the years thanks to DVR, but Cloud services are taking television to a whole new level. DVR is still widely used, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon, but it still requires viewers to be at home in front of their televisions. This is why TV can benefit so much from Cloud services. The Cloud allows people to access a database of their favorite shows at any time from any mobile device or computer providing they have the right products and services that allow it. Take a look at just a few options available for those who want to watch TV in the Cloud. Aereo is a new service that gives subscribers instant access to 30 different broadcast HD channels for $1 a day, $8 to $12 a month or $80 a year. Programming can be accessed and viewed anywhere a subscriber has an Internet connection, and shows can be recorded and stored via a Cloud service.

Operation PRISM will have effect on cloud industry – for good or bad
The revelations about the US security services snooping will have a profound impact on the cloud industry. One of the most-quoted fears about moving to cloud is that the data is not secure. For many companies, the idea that vital customer data is held in an unspecified place, available for access by unknown people is a big inhibitor to the idea of cloud computing. Cloud service providers have always been aware of that fear and have made reassuring noises about the safety of their data and that no unwelcome visitors could help themselves to their customers’ own data. What they didn’t say is that when it came to the US government, they’d roll out a welcome mat and make them a cuppa while the spooks sifted through what they wanted. That’s the shocking implication of the Washington Post and Guardian reports regarding Operation PRISM, in other words, the US security services’ access of data from nine IT companies. The denial of the nine companies is almost irrelevant and has been the subject to much speculation. Does Google’s talk of ‘no back door’ mean the NSA is coming through the front door instead?

Meet the Engineer: Mark Miller
I’m a software engineer on the Search team. I’ve been involved in the Apache Lucene community since 2006 and Apache Solr since around 2009. I spend a lot of time adding features to Solr and fixing bugs, as well as working on improving Solr integration with the rest of the Hadoop ecosystem. I kind of think of myself as a “distributed search guy” at the moment. I really enjoy working on open source software, working at early stage companies, and building things. Cloudera has a great company culture, and is a great fit for those interests. It’s hard not to enjoy doing what you love doing. The community. Some of the most interesting and enjoyable people I know are part of the Lucene/Solr community. After that, I like the code. What is your advice for someone who is interested in participating in any open source project for the first time? Just start pitching in. Take a little time to watch how the community works, who the people with the most merit are, the range of acceptable parameters. Then emulate what you see. Learn the rules before you start breaking them. Pitch in on things that you can. Even if it’s small. Small regular contributions have a habit of becoming larger contributions.

Accelerate Sales Growth with PaaS – Q&A from Cloud Training Webinars
Over the last two weeks, we conducted a pair of training webinars to help our Systems Integrator partners better understand and use the CloudBees platform. There were some great questions during the webinar Q&A and I wanted to give you more detailed answers than we had time to address on the webinar. Our recommended approach is to create a new account dedicated to your project and to associate the members of your team to this “Project Account.” You will then have all your project resources, source code repositories, Jenkins builds, and RUN@cloud servers instances grouped together. There is no limit to the number of concurrent builds that can run on Jenkins instances with the Pro and Enterprise DEV@cloud subscriptions. Thanks to this, your build will not have to wait for the build of one of your colleagues to finish. We do not yet have plans to support Windows environments on both DEV@cloud and RUN@cloud. However, we are working on allowing customers to attach their own Jenkins executors to their DEV@cloud Jenkins Master. Thanks to this, a customer could attach a Windows or a MacOS Jenkins Executor.

Three foolproof ways to price your startup’s product
One of the big questions entrepreneurs ask me about is how to price their product. 99% of the time, I tell them that their product is underpriced. But this begs the question, how should I price my product? The advice I tends to be very specific to the product and industry. For example, I urge entrepreneurs (who are very smart and creative) to resist the urge to get smart and creative when it comes to pricing. Prices are the way they are for a reason, and it’s usually a good one. Pricing “on the nines” (e.g. $19.99 instead of $20) seemed like an arbitrary, transparent, probably ineffectual practice…until scholarly research showed that it worked. The meta-advice I give is to price the way that customers are used to. For SaaS, it’s per month or per user per month. For mobile apps, it’s a single up front charge. For hardware, it’s a simple purchase price. So assuming you’ve figured out the shape of the price, how do you figure out the quantity? Even people who claim they don’t know how to price can pinpoint a power of 10 that represents the ballpark price.

CORS and reverse proxies in Node.js / Express
CORS is a security measure that prevents making client-side HTTP requests to any server besides the one that served the executing JavaScript. If localhost serves up app.js, then app.js can’t make HTTP requests of any server except localhost. Some servers whitelist domains, allowing them to make such cross-origin requests, but many don’t. One way of dealing with this involves a “reverse proxy” — that is, forwarding requests through your backend to the database, where you hit a particular endpoint for your backend, and the backend just passes the same request along to the database. Here’s how to do it in Express. Given a regex pattern and a string indicating our forward host, we take any requests matching the regex, forward it to the given host, and pipe the response back to the client.

Should Pandora Fear Apple’s New iRadio Streaming Service?
Apple’s streaming service (nicknamed iRadio by journalists) is rumored to be free, ad-supported, internet radio in the vein of Pandora, rather than a subscription based service like Spotify or Google Play Music All Access. Users will not be able to search for and play specific songs, but they will have access to various music stations tailored to their tastes. How is it different than Pandora? To be honest, Apple’s service doesn’t sound very different from Pandora. The most significant advantage of iRadio will be the ease with which users can buy those songs they like. While Pandora songs have links to iTunes and the Amazon Music store, iRadio will presumably allow for more seamless music purchasing, as both the streaming and downloading functions will be offered by iTunes. Furthermore, iRadio will be integrated with iTunes Match, a yearly subscription based service, which allows users to store their songs in the iCloud and access them from any Apple device. The key to Apple’s streaming service is securing music licensing rights from the three major labels. Apple has already signed a deal with the Universal Music Group, and it reached aagreement with Warner Music Group over the weekend of June 1st.

Customer Spotlight: Embracing Big Data Innovations at The Cloudera Forum
Earlier this week, we hosted The Cloudera Forum to reveal Cloudera’s “Unaccept the Status Quo” vision and to announce the public beta launch of Cloudera Search. The event featured a panel discussion between representatives from four companies that are embracing the latest big data innovations, moderated by our own CEO Mike Olson. Those are the companies I’d like to highlight in this week’s spotlight, for obvious reasons. The panelists were… (drumroll, please): Chris Poulin, managing partner at Patterns and Predictions. Patterns and Predictions is a predictive analytics company that is building a data fabric to identify risk factors for suicide among veterans as part of a government-funded Big Data observational study. The technology that Chris and his team are building has the potential to make a huge, positive impact on our society. Patterns and Predictions has participated in the Cloudera Search private beta program and plans to deploy Cloudera Impala next. The value that these technologies deliver to Patterns and Predictions: a more simplified Big Data environment where key functionality is embedded within the core Hadoop system.

Drumroll please…top 10 Synergy sessions…watch them today!
Citrix Synergy in Los Angeles offered a wide choice of breakout sessions, from overviews to deep dives, architecture to toolkits and mobile device management to data sharing. I always enjoy looking back at the conference and identifying the most popular breakouts. These presentations captured the interest of many attendees because of their timeliness, helpful insights and practical value. Even more important, they opened people’s eyes about the power and benefits of mobile workstyle solutions. However, nothing surpassed Geek Speak Tonight! in terms of audience involvement. Beer, hotdogs and pretzels aside, Geek Speak Tonight! provided old fashioned, in-person give and take between the panel members and the attendees, creating a lively, funny and informative program. As one person noted in the event survey, “Geek Speak is the #1 session. In no other forum is there a better exchange of information, ideas, concepts, and opinions. If you don’t leave Geek Speak wondering about how to tweak your own environment, then you must have been asleep.”

Driving Success for Midsize Businesses with New Website
I’m happy to announce a new resource for companies with 100-1,000 employees: the Cisco Midsize Business Solutions website. Built for midsize IT and business leaders, it discusses current market influences and top challenges with insights on how to address them. With solutions, case studies, videos, and tools, it provides these leaders with the information they need to grow their business. One of the top focus areas on the website is the infrastructure. A strong IT infrastructure is important to the success of any business. The infrastructure is how we get the applications we need to do our jobs. It’s how we collaborate with our co-workers, partners, and customers. It’s how we access the data we need when and where we need it. When it comes to midsized businesses, it’s the key to growth. With this new resource, midsized companies will be able to take a deeper look at how to build a strong infrastructure. Business leaders can explore key topics like growth, customer experiences, workforce productivity, and cost reduction. IT teams can find guidance for today’s IT challenges like mobility, BYOD, clouds, and security.

Experts say encryption is fundamental to cloud security
Despite concerns, advances in cloud technologies have made it possible to adequately protect data in virtual environments, even in the face of expanding threats and tightening compliance regulations. One of the most important tools for maintaining security and compliance in migration is encryption, which experts say requires a detailed assessment before deploying any cloud services. USA Today contributor and co-founder and CEO of HighCloud Security Bill Hackenberger asserted that encryption provides a strong method for safeguarding sensitive data from unauthorized access or use. These technologies turn data into unintelligible characters, meaning that it is unreadable to anyone without the encryption keys for unlocking the content. Therefore, Hackenberger was adamant that who owns the encryption keys, where they are stored and how they are protected are all critical aspects of maintaining data security. There are still a multitude of myths that exist regarding cloud encryption and overall security, according to a recent Wired Magazine report.

Caspio Offers Online Database Training for Investigative Reporters at IRE 2013
In conjunction with the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), Caspio will offer free training sessions at the 2013 IRE annual conference on June 20 in San Antonio, Texas. Several training classes will be presented at the event for attendees to gain hands-on experience about rapid data publishing and the new Caspio map mashup wizard. Plus, IRE conference goers will get a sneak peek at Caspio 8.0, our upcoming major product release. We understand the importance of data to investigative reporters, and we have designed the sessions to be packed with useful information that best facilitates database journalism. Some of the topics covered in these hands-on training classes include: Build interactive and searchable web apps with public data set such as U.S. Census, crime reports, health inspections, etc. and embed to your news web site or blog; Integrate a searchable database with Google maps and add custom icons and filters; Capture geo-location data from web and mobile devices to simplify mapping. Seats are filling fast! We encourage you to register now to reserve your space.

6 Hot Cloud Apps to Boost Your IT Department’s Efficiency and Productivity
One of the exciting things about being the CTO of OneLogin is that I’m constantly learning about fantastic cloud applications to boost IT performance and security. There are now cloud applications for IT teams of every size and focus. For example, in the world of software development, there are now cloud-based apps to help build security into your app from day one. Take SD Elements, which is kind of like tax planning software for application security: you describe the technology stack, features and compliance requirements of your system and SD Elements presents you with a series of tailored, prescriptive requirements. Like many software companies, we rely on the Agile Project Management methodology. Agile is great, but sometimes there are challenges stemming from ‘islands of activities’ and that’s where a cloud-based work and project management solution like Clarizen helps get everyone on the same page. Clarizen centralizes all of your release backlog data, task updates, bugs, documents and communications into a single system.

Improving Employee Engagement With Gamification
It goes like this: satisfied customers begin with satisfied employees. We’ve known that for decades. What we didn’t always know was that game design techniques — when properly integrated into a reward and recognition program — could lead to increased employee satisfaction. If you think about the concept of reward and recognition programs, they’re already gamified to a degree. Employees perform behaviors, those behaviors are reinforced by members of a community, and points can be earned for achievements. The truth is, it’s not just about rewarding behaviors. It’s about connecting employees to a purpose and creating a clear path to success. Success not only for the business, but for the individual as well. To successfully motivate and drive behavior, programs need to offer unique goals and objectives to individuals and provide feedback to increase the effectiveness of each one. Equally important is an attention strategy that is capable of onboarding and sustaining participation throughout the life of the program. As a provider of reward and recognition programs to Fortune 500 companies, Maritz Motivation Solutions has always offered opportunities for recognition to our employees.

The Beginning of Microsoft vs. Google – How They Weighed-In
The rivalry between Microsoft and Google has really heated up lately, but this wasn’t always the case. Let’s take a quick look at how the two companies originally weighed-in, how they came to compete with each other, and where the fight has gone. When Google first came to the market, it didn’t seem to be a competitor of Microsoft. Its internet search engine and ad-based revenue model were entirely different from Microsoft’s operating system, office productivity suite, and other software. The market really didn’t consider the two as opponents. Then in 2009, Microsoft launched Bing, a direct competitor to Google’s search engine, although it already had Live Search and MSN. In 2010, however, Google boasted 65% of the market, whereas all three of Microsoft’s search engines shared only 12.5% of online searches (and Yahoo had 14%). Around the same time, Microsoft took a blow when Google took Google Docs out of beta and soon supported most file types. This put Google on the map as a real competitor to Microsoft. Then Microsoft fought back with Office Live Workspace (OLW) which allowed versions of its Microsoft Office product to be shared online.

5 Steps for Embracing the Mobile Healthcare Revolution
As smartphones and tablets become our primary interfaces to the Internet of Things (e.g., connected equipment like cars, home security systems, smart meters, and health-and-wellness devices), advances in mobile sensors (e.g., smell sensors, image analyzers, etc.) are ushering in an era of unprecedented demand for mobile healthcare. To successfully embrace this revolution, strive to achieve the following five steps: Step 1: Update your identity infrastructure to enable web and mobile access. Use a Security Token Service (STS) to establish a solid identity management foundation for your mobile healthcare program that: Supports the now-de-facto, mobile-friendly OAuth 2.0 standard. Ensures early encryption of identities and credentials. Prevents unnecessary exposure of plain-text user credentials to on-premise, mobile, and cloud technologies. Keeps healthcare organizations abreast of emerging security standards beyond OAuth 2.0, such as OpenID Connect. Gives mobile users access and single sign-on via their social login credentials.

How SMART Modular Technologies Achieves Success with Real-Time BI & Analytics
Business intelligence (BI) is, by this point, a relatively familiar resource for most organizations. With BI, businesses in every industry are able to glean invaluable insight from available data, allowing them to make better informed, more strategic decisions in all of their operations. Those firms that are best able to leverage BI resources will have a major advantage over competitors in their markets, making BI a critical tool. Yet making the most of BI can be challenging, for several reasons. Of these, perhaps the most significant is the need make raw data available to BI systems for analytics be performed. Without sufficient and high-quality data, even the most advanced BI systems cannot produce useful insight. Fortunately, strategies and tools exist which can allow organizations to overcome this major hurdle. Anyone eager to learn more about these processes should consider signing up to attend an upcoming webinar: Customer Success Story – Delivering Data for BI.

From Texhoma, with Barbecue
“I got started with the volunteering after a tornado thing last year,” said Crystal Bollinger, one of A Small Orange’s tech support ninjas who recently returned from feeding families who lost their homes after an EF5 tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma last month. In April of 2012, a tornado hit Woodward, one of several towns in the Panhandle Bollinger lived in as a child. She wanted to help, but didn’t know how. “By the time the tornado hit last April, my family had all moved out of the area, but I still felt connected to it,” she said. “I found this guy randomly on Facebook who was going down there to feed the volunteers, and went along.” Bollinger went to Woodward with Jim Kirkland, who owns Duke’s BBQ and Catering in Texhoma, Oklahoma, the Panhandle town where she currently lives. Kirkland had previously traveled to Joplin, Missouri in 2011, to help feed people through a new non-profit called Operation BBQ Relief. OBR, as it’s commonly called, relies on volunteer efforts to cook and serve BBQ meals to people in need. As soon as the tornado struck Moore, Bollinger got in touch with Jim.

Why are Government emails being deleted?
In and around our government offices recently, there have been two high profile stories in which officials have allegedly deleted emails. Our initial reaction here at Asigra, has been one of slight bewilderment as to how such data can go missing. Being experts in the data backup and recovery field for more than 25 years, we are unclear as to how the current backup and recovery systems in place at our provincial and local governments inadequately protect such sensitive and critical information. Our own EVP Eran Farajun saw the recent story and questioned what security measures were in place at our government offices. reports that Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, details in a scathing report top Liberal staffers illegally deleting emails related to the controversial closing of two gas plants in 2011. Under the Archives and Recordkeeping Act, it is illegal for government officials to delete emails and these actions undermine freedom-of-information legislation. In particular, numerous officials have argued in their own defense that their preference for an ‘empty inbox’ or their inability to understand how to archive emails, were primary reasons that data went missing.

Prince Philippe of Belgium Visits Cisco
We have had a royal visit here at Cisco today. His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium, next in line to the Belgian throne, regularly leads economic missions throughout the world. This month, he is presiding over a Belgian delegation in Silicon Valley. The objective of this economic mission is to put Belgian executives in contact with leading companies in the Valley so that they can exchange ideas, build business relationships and find new opportunities for economic development. Together with Edzard Overbeek, senior vice president, Cisco Services, and Guido Jouret, VP/GM and CTO of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group, we provided an update on Cisco’s vision and strategy, and the key economic and technology trends we see, both worldwide and in Belgium. Cisco has always been very much committed to our country. Not only because it is the European Union’s beating heart, but Belgium also houses our technical assistance centre for the region and is now home to one of our many R&D centers, the Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG) R&D center, through the acquisition of Scientific Atlanta near Kortrijk. We have 700 sales and services staff on those two sites.

Enterprises Spend HOW MUCH on Storage?
Most companies allocate 25 percent of their IT budget to data storage, according to a survey released on Wednesday by web hosting provider NaviSite. NaviSite surveyed more than 560 IT executives and professionals from organizations with more than 200 employees to understand the biggest IT trends impacting their business strategy, and according to the results, the top three trends facing enterprise IT departments are budget constraints, cloud and data explosion. Close to 40 percent of respondents store 1-500TB across their entire network, and 77 percent of respondents said major databases including Oracle, SQL and MySQL are the types of storage they require for their data. Nearly half of respondents said it is crucial to know where their data lies in the cloud, and 80 percent are storing data in two or more locations. Security in the cloud is a challenge confronting 64 percent of respondents. A recent study by RightScale found that SMBs are ahead of enterprises in terms of cloud use, with only 17 percent of enterprises reporting heavy use of cloud computing in their organizations. The survey found that enterprises were likely to have a multi-cloud strategy, which suggests that they had data stored in several locations.

Aerohive Employee Pet(s) of the Month: Gamble, Jackpot & Teddy!
Gamble is a Las Vegas Show Girl, coming from the famous Puppy Patch on Sahara. She was acquired with the winnings from a great night of cards at Bellagio. She is the Alpha female in every situation and rules with an iron paw, but makes sure everybody is treated well. Jackpot was a rescue from a very bad situation. He had 4 homes in his first three years, but has now been in his “forever” home for 5 years. He is faster than lightning, and leads visitors to where his orange ball has gotten stuck, and demands they free it for him. It’s fun to see guests crawling on the floor looking for toys under beds, couches, and the coffee table. Teddy Bear is the snuggle lump of the family. He’s allergic to almost everything. He grumbles when he’s not happy, and goes into a trance when you rub his tummy. He loves to piss-off Gamble. You would think he would learn. Teddy is NOT the sharpest tool in the box, and has STILL not figured out how to pick up a Frisbee while standing on it. Together, they guard the neighborhood from the rogue giraffe, and keep all the elephants off the lawn with the help of their good buddy Domino, who is the doorbell extender of the house

Getting Order Management Right
Time is money. And that’s especially true for businesses who need to process and ship orders as fast as possible to get paid. How do you know if your order management process is good enough? Whenever you process a sales order, you need to ask yourself these three things: Where are the items located in my warehouse? Do I need to prioritize one location over another? Will the item fit in a bag, or a box? What size? What shipping company do you use that is cost efficient and ships on time? Can I keep my shipping company tracking number with my shipment information for future reference? To make sure you get these requirements when you buy an ERP software. I’ve worked with hundreds of our customers and I know what needs to be done to dramatically improve the order management process flow. By automating these processes with Acumatica, customers have been able to cut cost, improve processing time, and increase overall satisfaction of their customers. Here’s how Acumatica works for you: Acumatica is fully integrated with UPS, Fedex and USPS, allowing users to shop for shipping rates before finalizing the order.

Difficult Made Simple: Virtualization
In this modern computing world with multitudes of various trends and innovations, we sometimes find ourselves lost in between new technologies, terminologies and words. Why do we tend to make things more difficult than they have to be? That was my thought when I started a set of blog posts describing the new computing trends in a simple way. Here is another trend that I would like to simplify – virtualization. Virtualized environments continue to grow in popularity with real implications when it comes to data protection and disaster recovery, but many IT organizations still think that only physical data is important to protect. Let’s start with the quick analogy to simplify the virtualization concept: Consider the subway trains that bring you to work every day. These rapid transit systems around the world serve millions of people on daily basis. Each of the busiest transport systems, be it Tokyo, Moscow, Shanghai, New York, etc. transports around 2 billion passengers every single year. What if public transportation has never been invented and we all had to drive our own cars to work? Our roads would be much wider, we would have to build multitudes of new lanes, produce more cars, extract more gas, etc.

How to Pull Readers in With a Distinctive Brand Voice
Branding is a crucial part of building a successful business, and because the brands around us are so successful they have become part of the fabric of our lives. When you see a yellow “M” as you drive down the freeway, you think about McDonalds; if you cut yourself, you get a BandAid; and if you have a cold, you blow your nose on a Kleenex. Some of these brands are so popular that they have become the default name for the items they stand for (see BandAid and Kleenex), and making your brand as essential and substantive as these should be your ultimate goal. Obviously these brands have years of experience and money behind them, but distinguishing yourself from your industry competitors is crucial to expanding your business and dominating your market. Obviously, the first step is to develop an adequate business model and plan that includes a marketing strategy. Online marketing is essential for modern day businesses, and since online media gives you more opportunities to interact with customers, developing a voice that they want to communicate with is essential.

Under Armour Powers their Apparel Business on MongoDB
You cannot go to a lacrosse or football game without seeing Under Armour, the leading brand in sports apparel. Their innovative compression technology completely changed the environment for athletic gear, and in 2011, they realized their online shop needed to play as hard as their clothing in time for the holiday shopping season, a mere eight months away. They chose MongoDB as their database of choice for their new custom-built ecommerce system. Under Armour’s online store needed a significant update to better represent their innovative brand. But their legacy system, built in SQL Server, was difficult to scale and add new features. The team needed a solution that was agile and could accommodate their short time frame. After considering a range of NoSQL systems, Under Armour chose MongoDB as the underlying database. MongoDB’s inherent ability to support multi-data center replication and sharding addressed Under Armour’s disaster recovery and scalability needs. The dynamic schema of MongoDB was particularly attractive to the development team. And MongoDB’s high performance on both reads and writes was the final piece of the puzzle.

Integrate your Facebook feed in the Drupal website without any custom coding
Want to access live stream of your Facebook posts on your Drupal instance? Our newly contributed “Facebook Wall” module enables you to display your most recent activities on your Drupal site without any hassle of custom coding. Since this module fetches the content hosted on Facebook, it doesn’t matter whether your users are logged in their Facebook account or not. It simply interacts with FB API and extracts the data to display it on your website, eliminating the process of log-in. The activity feed displays the wall posts on your website with information such as how many people have liked, commented, shared or performed any other custom action on the post. If FB is blocked in your network, your user will still able to see the feed on your website. To embed your Facebook wall posts in your Drupal website, you first have to enter your APP key and App secret key to get a valid Access token of Facebook API as shown in the below screen shot

Ding dong! The Combell ice cream car is around!
On Monday, the Combell ice cream car was out for a first ride and, luckily enough, the weather was on our side. Since then, we have already visited several companies and we have also received over 250 requests for a visit by the Combell ice cream car. Check out the first pictures now on the Combell Island website or sign your company up without further ado. Who knows, maybe one of these days the Combell ice cream car will stop by your company and treat you and your colleagues with some delicious and refreshing ice cream? At the end of this month, we will also pick the lucky company that will have the privilege to welcome the Combell Cocktail car.

Are we seeing the demise of datacenter cooling?
When I was at APC I fined any member of my team who used the word “cooling” in a datacenter context. Blowing cold air under a floor and up (possibly) into a server showed a complete absence of understanding of the underlying problem. Which was excess heat removal . If the required operating temperature in a datacenter was, say 25°C (77°F) then only the heat above this, normally caused by the technology deployed, needed to be removed. Not easy when hot spots moved around in times of heavy server utilisation. Hence the growth of in-row cooling, containment and management software. But essentially the problem was heat generated by the technology and the challenge of keeping temperatures within required tolerances. But relatively recently ASHRAE pushed recommended upper ambient to 27°C and Dell confirmed that their servers can operate at 35°C, meaning effectively that the amount of heat needed to be removed could be dramatically reduced. And this week Intel launched its new generation of Haswell processors. One version of these new chips uses just six watts of scenario design power.

Weekly product update: Increased character limit for link rewriting and account management improvements
This week, we’ve worked on a few features that customers had been requesting. Specifically, we increased the character limit for link rewriting and added a new account management feature to make it easier to downgrade to a free plan. One of our awesome customers recently came to us with a problem. We want Mailgun to rewrite our links so we can use open & click tracking, but the limit of 255 characters is way too short, they said. The issue is that they were using a lot of tracking parameters in their URLs and so were sometimes going over the 255 character limit. We love data so understood where the customer was coming from. It was also something that we could easily implement so we added support for URLs that are up to 1000 characters. You can still send urls that are longer than 1000 characters, Mailgun just won’t rewrite them. In case you don’t know, here’s how link tracking works. First, you need to set up a CNAME DNS record in your Mailgun control panel. A CNAME is an alias for a domain. To understand why that is needed, its helpful to understand what happens when Mailgun tracks clicks and opens for your emails.

Friday Five: Best Web Design Blogs
Whether you’re a long time web designer or just starting out, these blogs will help inspire and create. Our top five web design blogs follow a variety of designers and their take on the world of design. Find information on how to find creativity and how to enhance your relationships with clients. If your favorite didn’t make the list, comment below! We’d love to see the websites inspring you. Not only do they write their own content, but they also have an array of content written by guest authors. From typography, to icons the site is filled with advice and tips for making your website. It goes beyond just the tools to how to design website and use things such as Photoshop, but it helps designers learn to pitch their ideas, market their ideas, and take their abilities from their computer to on line. Design Modo keeps you up to date with the latest trends and uses sites already on the internet as examples. These examples help you see how the designs translate on to sites. They also focus on tutorials, coding, and WordPress. Check out their interviews with big designers and see into the world of other designers. If you’re looking for kits, icons, and graphics to help move your web design forward you can buy them on their site.

Disaster Wake-up Call: Can Moving DR to the Cloud Really Safeguard Your Business?
Last week I covered some very compelling information about why a business needs a comprehensive DR plan. Remember the statistic of “9 3% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy; 43% never reopen”? Today we will discuss three ways moving to the cloud with the right cloud provider helps to sure-up your business: Environmental Protection: If a company’s on-site data center loses power or employees cannot access the physical building for any reason, the business may stop or significantly slow down. Applications that are run in the cloud and off-site, and properly backed-up in various locations, on the other hand…enable an “always-on” environment. In other words, your business applications are always accessible from anywhere, any time so if your company’s power goes out or your employees can’t get there because of road conditions, then they can simply work from home or other safe location. Network Protection – If power is out, network is generally out. But networks can still be down when power is restored.

Cloud Server Management System | Cloud Management Software
When we first introduced our cloud orchestration and management platform, we received a great reception. This resulted in us pursuing a patent on its capabilities. Most notably, dinManage ’s patent application includes a design for automation of Microsoft Active Directory. The idea behind this capability is to make the management of users much easier on a company and to reduce the time it takes to on-board to the cloud. After all, moving to the cloud should not be a major ordeal. Rapid migration of your IT infrastructure, which we call business provisioning, should be about flexibility and speed. dinCloud ensures that the software we developed as dinManage helps automate as many processes and streamline the migration and management of a virtual private data center. Meanwhile, our partners and internal team of engineers are available to hand hold customers through the on-boarding. System management requirements continue to evolve with the software defined data center, and it is with this constant innovation that we look to simplify the interface to our cloud server management tool, dinManage.

A dev’s guide to safely escaping and encoding URLs
A lot of the support work that we do here at Anchor involves looking at websites. You could say that we’ve seen a few websites in our time. Something we come across pretty frequently is inadequate protection when it comes to handling user-submitted form data and URLs. This might not seem like a big deal, but it has some pretty big security implications, mostly relating to cross-site scripting. These problems can enable malicious activity like leaking of private data. The short version is that user-supplied data can never be trusted, and you need to carefully escape and format the data to make it safe for the intended use, such as printing it on a webpage. Let’s say you run a site that accepts news tips from readers, something like Hackernews or Slashdot. Visitors can submit a URL and a comment, which other visitors will see. Normal people submit URLs like “”, which you drop into the HTML and all is well. Clearly that supposed-URL shouldn’t have been used without being escaped. It wouldn’t be valid, but the page will behave as expected. This is a broad issue that appears across a number of realms such as SQL, JSON and XML to name a few, but today we’re just focusing on URLs.

Cloud Server Performance: A Comparative Analysis of 5 Large Cloud IaaS Providers
With a lack of standardization in the IaaS industry, providers freely use unique terminology to describe their VM resource allocations. How do you compare an ECU to an HPCCU to a vCPU? This report examines the performance and pricing of 5 of the world’s largest IaaS providers over a 5-day period, and provides a process to clearly determine the price-performance value of a cloud provider, addressing the issue of standardization in the marketplace. As the market quickly saturates with IaaS providers, the decision-making complexity of choosing the right provider evolves as well. Cloud Spectator monitors IaaS performance of over 20 of the world’s most well-known cloud providers to guide businesses in the selection process to maximize performance efficiency and minimize cost. This report highlights and analyzes the performance of 5 of the largest cloud providers in the market today: Amazon EC2, Rackspace OpenStack Cloud, HP Cloud, SoftLayer CloudLayer Compute, and Windows Azure. Results from the 5-day experiment prominently display the performance differences in providers, with Windows Azure, the highest-performing provider, scoring 3 times better than Amazon EC2, the lowest-performing provider, on average.

IoT Tech Talk Follow-Up
Last week, I had the opportunity to answer questions about the Internet of Things (IoT) when I took part in Layer 7’s monthly API Tech Talk. We had a tremendous response, with lots of questions and a very active online discussion. You can find a replay of the Tech Talk here. I’d like to take this opportunity to answer a few of the questions we received during the webcast but didn’t have time to answer on the day. IoT is an opportunity for CA and Layer 7 to bring together identity, access and API Management. To paraphrase a comment on a recent Gigaom article: Everything with an identity will have an API and everything with an API will have an identity. With so many “things” potentially accessing APIs, what are some strategies for securing these APIs across such a breadth of consumers? Identify, authenticate and authorize using standards. API for IoT means managing identity for many devices at Internet scale. I reached out to my colleague Ronnie Mitra for this answer. Ronnie pointed out that, in the past, standards like UDDI and WSRR promised to provide service registries but that didn’t really work out.

Utilizing CRM Outlook integration
The most widely used email client among businesses, both domestically and internationally, is Microsoft Outlook. Outlook provides easy-to-use and sophisticated email and calendar functionality, which has subsequently been proliferated widely among the business community. However, when a business implements CRM to better connect to their consumers, integration with Outlook is necessary to streamline information and usage. With CRM Outlook integration, a business stands to glean all the benefits associated with providing better customer service and technical support. Business owners and entrepreneurs thrive on the consumer base that they must attract through the quality of product offered and level of customer service, of which a readily navigated and sophisticated online interface is essential. Customer relationship management (CRM) allows businesses to synchronize and automate company interactions with consumers using software to provide an organized and efficient way of managing sales and marketing. Sales automation allows for the efficient tracking of sales performance and management of sales prospects and client profiles, so that executives are intimately informed as to how their business is performing.

Google Goes Green in Finland
According to sources, the deal is a 10-year agreement allowing Google to purchase the energy for all its power and cooling needs while still providing access electrical generation that can be sold on the European grid. While this is not Google’s first green energy project, it is their first in Europe. Google has already entered into three other agreements to meet power and cooling demand using green energy. Google’s latest data centre will be located in Hamina, Finland — on the country’s southern shore. When the Swedish wind farm is fully operational in 2015, its 24 turbines will have a maximum capacity of 73 MW. That’s more than enough to power the data centre, with some to spare. German insurance giant Allianz has already guaranteed financing for the project. Now it’s a matter of getting together all the permits and planning approvals. Construction is slated to get under way within the next several months. It should be noted that Google’s contract with 02 indicates it will be purchasing the entire output of the wind farm for the next 10 years. It is that commitment from Google that made it possible for Allianz to provide the financing.

Weekly Wrap: Salesforce’s Big Buy & Google’s Arresting Ads
Everyone’s talking about their $2.34B acquisition of ExactTarget this week. As investors focus on the rise (and I mean rise) of their shares in the aftermath of the purchase I’m honing in on the reactions from the other heavy hitters in the industry, in particular the response from Marketo. “We believe that marketing is undergoing a deep transformation driven by large-scale trends such as the rise of self-directed consumers and broad and instant availability of information online.” – Phil Fernandez, President & CEO. If platform integration hasn’t been on your mind, it’s about to be. This announcement shines an enormous spotlight on the importance of marketing automation and the future of the industry. The main man behind Volacci and creator of Automatr, commented on the acquisition earlier this week. Less than 30% of the Fortune 500 are running any kind of Marketing Automation. Most small to medium-sized businesses have yet to realize the potential that more advanced digital marketing systems bring – much less how an integrated approach can add synergy and scale to their operations. That was yesterday.

Reinforced Security: Interview with Jean-François
The Funio staff, for the most part accomplished geeks and passionate about technologies, keep track of the latests developments in web hosting. More quickly than others, they inform themselves through their passions and interests what could make the Funio experience even more unique. In the past few weeks, Jean-François Chevrette, our Tech Lead, has been working on reinforcing the security of your web services. Whether it be the recent addition of the CageFS module, the update of the ModSecurity application or the server kernels, there are numerous reasons why Jean-François could take some of his time to share with us the reasons behind these recent updates offered to our Funio community. Within the Funio team, I make sure that our customer’s infrastructures remain functional, secure and on the “avant-garde”. Therefore I manage our technologies and put into application over 10 years of experience in IT and internet server hosting. When it comes to website hosting, security must always be on the forefront. Everyday, new software vulnerabilities are discovered, whether they are open source or commercial. A website usually does not resist very long to hackers.

Why Telecommuting is a Winner for the Environment and the Wallet
In a world of finite resources, it has become more and more important that we as a society make an effort to conserve those resources and maintain a healthy planet for future generations. This notion should apply to both our personal and our professional lives. Making a conscious shift toward improved corporate sustainability will have a positive impact not only on the environment, but also on a business budget. According to a recently conducted survey of businesses by Ernst & Young, 74 percent of respondents indicated an interest in shifting towards greener business practices in order to reduce costs. Some of those practices include the adoption of web conferencing and unified communications in order to promote telecommuting. Telecommuting allows businesses to cut down on energy wasted on power at the office and heating and air conditioning systems strained in order to keep temperatures just right for employees. Thus, reducing associated costs and even your carbon footprint. Web conferencing gives managers the capability to share materials electronically, which also eliminates the need for documents to be printed on paper.

Use your old iPhone as an iPod touch
We regularly get asked whether an old iPhone (even an iPhone 3) can be used as an iPod touch. The answer is usually yes. What you want to do is turn off the phone radio so it’s not continuously looking for service, running down your battery. The way to do this (if your phone isn’t jailbroken) is to turn on airplane mode from the settings. But this also turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so then you can just go turn those back on (though the iPhone will still show the airplane mode icon). But if the iPhone has been completely wiped, you may have trouble getting past the “activation” phase. Basically, you just need a SIM card from the carrier the phone was sold for, even one that’s no longer active, or a friend’s, and then it should work fine.

New gTLD/TMCH Webinar
The release of more than 1,000 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) by ICANN is causing quite a stir and is expected to significantly change the way we do business on the web. It is essential for brand owners, attorneys, marketing professionals and others to understand what has changed and what will change in the coming years. Please join EBG Partner Jeff Kobulnick, Professor Mary W.S. Wong and Anthony M. Beltran, COO/CFO of, as they discuss the impact of these new gLTDs on brand owners, how we got to this point, where ICANN is heading, available options for trademark owners going forward, logistics and other considerations for protecting and developing brands online under the new gTLD regime. Your $100 minimum charitable contribution to CLE for a Cure benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (“LLS”). The University of New Hampshire will assist with applying for CLE credit for certain states. Please inquire for specific availability for your state. Please note that participants must log in to both the teleconference and online portions on the date of the event; credit may not be obtained by viewing and/or listening to a program recording after the event.

Join the Software Defined Data Centers Panel at Forecast 2013
What are Software Designed Data Centers (SDDCs)? SDDCs abstract various components of a data center and provide IT managers the ability to reconfigure all those components, including compute power, storage, networks and security, through software automation within a matter of minutes. SDDCs come with the promise of enhanced flexibility, scalability and reliability. Chris Swan, CTO at CohesiveFT, in his blog post on SDDC explains how software APIs today provide a simple mechanism to easily alter network and storage to accommodate rapidly changing business needs. Though SDDCs are in very early stages of adoption in the enterprise arena, IDC estimates that SDDCs are slated to grow to a $3.7 billion market by 2016. What is involved in the move to SDDC? The shift involves rethinking and re-implementing traditional IT processes around service delivery, billing, automation, licensing, auditing and building relevant skill sets in-house. The effort involved is definitely non-trivial. The SDDC panel on June 17th at Forecast 2013 will bring together industry experts to throw some light on how business models and IT architectures need to morph to fully utilize the power of SDDC. The discussion will be moderated by Jo Maitland who is the Research Director for Infrastructure/Cloud at GigaOM Research.

Behind every great device is a great network
According to new research commissioned by BT and Cisco, exponential growth in the use of smart devices has led to significant and increased demand for bandwidth across 84% of organisations surveyed globally. More than half (56%) of IT manag. According to new research commissioned by BT and Cisco, exponential growth in the use of smart devices has led to significant and increased demand for bandwidth across 84% of organisations surveyed globally. More than half (56%) of IT managers have also noticed a resulting performance decline in some applications, which impacts negatively the productivity gains promised by smart devices. Almost half (46%) of workers with Wi-Fi access in their office have experienced delays logging on or accessing an application, while 39% have noticed they are running more slowly now than before. Next Connex offers faster connections to the internet and between Data Centres and offices to remove bottlenecks in network capacity. With network bandwidth growing at 50% per annum you need to plan for the future because it will be here more quickly than you think.

Silly things developers do when instrumenting their code
Developers are sometimes too helpful when they instrument their systems. For example, when asked to add a metric that will report the response time of a request – there are several ways that it can be done. One way that seems to make sense is to just keep a variable with the total number of requests, and another with the total processing time. Then the developer just creates a variable showing total processing time divided by total requests, and a way to expose it (an MBean to report it via JMX, or a status page via HTTP, etc). This will be a nice neat object that reports the response time in milliseconds, all pre-calculated for the user. The problem with this? It is indeed going to report the average response time – but it’s going to be the average of all response times since the server started. So… if the server has been running with an average response time of 1 ms, and it’s been up for 1000 hours, then it starts exhibiting a response time of 100 ms per request – after an hour of this slow behavior, the pre-calculated average response time will be 1.01 milliseconds
Open Letter to Canberra: a cyber security policy briefing paper
I just heard that Australia’s top cyber security tsar hadn’t heard of Tor, the privacy protecting software used by human rights activists and the privacy aware. Well Sachi Wimmer, this blog post is for you! Here’s a few things you should know—because common sense often isn’t all that common. The Internet has a lot of people on it. Approximately 39% of the 7.1 billion people in the world are on the Internet. About 27 per cent of those speak English. You have the ability to annoy perhaps 3/4 of a billion people. Don’t annoy the Internet! There are millions of smart, bored and irritable people on the Internet. They will make fun of you, they may humiliate you or maybe even attack your systems, just for lulz. Many people in other countries see attempts to militarise or nationalise the Internet by a particular nation as a call to arms. If you think you are smart, there is always someone out there on the Internet smarter than you. There are criminals on the Internet, there are spies on the Internet, there are terrorists on the Internet. There are also businesses, mums and dads, kids, grandmothers, the disabled, and so on. Don’t make life hard for the legitimate users of the Internet or remove their privacy.

IDrive and IDriveSync – Privacy and You
In the wake of revelations of the top-secret program PRISM, as reported late Thursday by some of the largest news organizations, it appears several major online companies may be releasing data to government agencies – without their users’ consent. We at IDrive and IDriveSync, however, are as secure and private as every. With our 256-bit encryption along with the additional Private Key encryption, nobody, not even the government, can see your data. When users select our private key option, they prevent anyone – even us – from accessing their data.” explains our CEO, Raghu Kulkarni, “This private key is not stored anywhere on our end, so no one – not us, not even the government, can access the files. Even if the government could access our customers’ data, it would be completely unreadable.” This places IDriveSync apart from competing products, “Other online storage providers . . . do not offer this level of privacy and security, offering only a default method which could be accessed by the provider.” So even if it isn’t standard for their employees to see the data, those providers have access to the customers’ key.

More Information About the Pagoda Box App URL Change
On Monday, June 10, we will begin the process of changing Pagoda Box app URLs from “” to “” We’ve outlined the transition process below to help allay concerns about possible affects on application uptime and ease any transition pains. This transition will only affect apps that are not using a custom domain AND have a baseURL dependency hard-coded into the application. View our previous blog post for more information. All existing apps will be given a second publicly accessible app URL — “” There will be a 10 day transition period where apps will be accessible through both “” and “,” allowing you to comfortably test and transition your app to the new URL.

Planning Inventory around Demand: What You May Be Doing Wrong
For retailers, it can be very difficult to plan around consumer demand. In other instances it is quite easy. People always want more turkeys during Thanksgiving, for instance. Not all consumer demand is so easy to predict, however, and the business needs to be quick on its feet to adapt to changing demands. The first thing that a business needs to be able to do to respond to consumer demand is to understand its own sales patterns. Posterita’s report features allow you to produce sophisticated reports that provide you valuable business intelligence into your customer’s purchasing habits. When you can see that during a given point in the year demand for one of your products tends to go up, you can accommodate that by ordering more of those products. This allows you to go beyond the obvious in accommodating customer demand. You may know that, at certain times of year, some products fly off the shelves. With Posterita, you can be sure that you’re ready for this seasonal product demand. If you own more than one store, you may find that one of those stores experiences a great demand for a given product at certain times of the year.

SADA Systems named among top finalists for the 2013 Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year Award
SADA Systems today announced it has been selected as a finalist for the Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year Award. “SADA is honored to be recognized for aligning our business efforts with Microsoft’s vision of the Cloud,” said Hovig Safoian, CTO of SADA Systems. “We’re dedicated to helping our clients achieve their business goals while providing exceptional deployment services utilizing Microsoft cloud solutions.” Awards were presented in 44 categories, with winners chosen from a set of more than 3,000 entrants from 106 different countries worldwide. The Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year Award recognizes organizations that have seen substantial growth in customer base and/or revenue in a sustainable way, while driving customer impact and satisfaction in a meaningful way. As a Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year finalist, SADA Systems has built a successful managed services practice, and deployed IP around Cloud solutions, while demonstrating innovation in showcasing the benefits of using Microsoft Cloud services.

After Months of Speculation, IBM Acquires Softlayer
IBM announced this week their intent to acquire Softlayer, one of the world’s largest cloud infrastructure providers. This acquisition unifies IBM’s cloud strategy, which seems to have needed an injector boost and SoftLayer’s 21,000 or so customers who are comfortable with public cloud combined with highly automated dedicated hosting and 13 global locations. Alongside the rumors was the possibility that IBM would’ve looked to purchase Rackspace itself – but the price tag may not have been justified. Quora User and Linux Sys-Admin Joseph Marhee had this to say about the deal on Quora, “By investing in Softlayer, rather than Rackspace (IBM Eyeing A $2 Billion Acquisition?), from a business standpoint, the significance is that IBM is building up a competing platform, rather than acquiring a similarly established one that is already publicly traded.” The acquisition, which will close in Q3 2013, will form part of a new IBM segment called IBM Cloud Services.

Four Layers of Marketing Measurements
There are days when all the advice about the metrics marketing should use feels overwhelming. I’m reminded of a quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – “If you set to work to believe everything, you will tire out the believing muscles of your mind, and then you’ll be so weak you won’t be able to believe the simplest true things.” Much has been written about how to measure the effectiveness of marketing, but most of the current literature and research focus on measuring the success of tactical marketing activities or of individual marketing groups. Literally hundreds of measurements are available, but categorizing them in a way that’s meaningful to different stakeholders – that’s the hard part. The metrics that are most often leveraged by marketing managers to track the health of their programs or campaigns will appear irrelevant to the CEO and executive management. That may not be fair, but it is realistic. You won’t get as much help as you’d like from your agency or technology partners. Marketing automation software has become big business, with many providers offering tools that often measure only tactical activities, with few ties to strategic objectives.

Automating Security in SharePoint
In case you missed it, Alan Pelz-Sharpe (Research Director, Content Management and Collaboration at 451 Research) and our own Antonio Maio (Senior Product Manager, TITUS) hosted a great webcast titled: Key Strategies to Effectively Govern and Secure Sensitive Data in SharePoint 2013. There were a lot of great tips in the webcast, but there is one item that captured most of the participant’s attention: automating security and policies. Since managing security in SharePoint is a manual process, it is very difficult to consistently enforce the ever-changing security and policy requirements across all content. Our participants had a lot of great questions about how TITUS can help to enable automation. Before we get into the participants’ specific questions, let me quickly review what Titus SharePoint Security can do to help automate SharePoint Security enforcement. Fully integrated with SharePoint, administrators can set fine-grained policies that use metadata to authorize or deny a user’s access privileges to specific information.

SharePoint Site Usability and Design Tips for Non Designers
So you’ve been given a SharePoint site to administer for your team or project, but now what? How do you configure it? What types of content should you store there? How do you change the boring standard interface to something with a little more zing without involving a designer? How should your navigation be structured and what exactly do you put on the home page to draw traffic to your site? In this recording, SharePoint expert , Wendy Neal will walk you through the basic steps of constructing a website (regardless of platform), what you should take into consideration and how these concepts fit into the SharePoint world. Basic usability concepts will be introduced, along with some quick and easy branding tips that will make a big difference in the look and feel of your site, and you don’t need to have any design or coding skills to implement them. Whether you’ve been given a blank slate or inherited a site from someone else, you’ll come away with several ideas you can apply right away to improve the layout and design of your site, thus helping to increase user adoption. Many of the concepts in this session apply to any version of SharePoint, however all demos will be done in SharePoint 2010.

Better Mobile Performance with the HTTP Vary Header
When you sign up with a content delivery network (CDN), chances are you’re looking for better performance. Speed is one of the most common reasons companies use CDNs. But a recent article at Search Engine Watch, “How Google’s Mobile Best Practices Can Slow Your Site Down,” suggests that CDNs don’t vary their caching to maximize performance. In particular, it’s hard on Google, which is ultimately most concerned with delivering an appropriate end-user experience on many different platforms. CDNs, in general, sometimes get a bad rap because we have to work with legacy systems and technologies. In the past, CDNs did indeed have problems handling varying content caching (due to I/O limitations on disk and configuration inflexibility), but those days are over now. Today, CDNs can effectively leverage SSDs – as we long have – to open up the world of I/O-intensive operations such as caching based on user-agent, accept-language, or whatever else customers need. CDNs that want to move into mobile without sacrificing performance (or SEO) must execute a strategy to allow extremely flexible “cache-key” generation functionality.

Switch Expands World’s Largest and Most Advanced Data Center Ecosystem with Introduction of SUPERNAP 8
Switch, the developer of the largest, best-designed technology ecosystems in the world, today unveiled its new SUPERNAP 8 data center facility in Las Vegas. The new SUPERNAP 8 presents Switch’s most innovative data center design yet and expands the industry’s largest and most advanced data center ecosystems to unparalleled capacity and density levels. The SUPERNAPS provide unrivaled colocation, connectivity, cloud and content environments, and represent innovation, security and reliability for more than 600 global clients, from passionate startups to Fortune 100 powerhouses. The SUPERNAP 8 builds on technology advances achieved in SUPERNAP 7, while adding new features unmatched in the industry. The SUPERNAPS, at over a 1000 feet in length, offer future growth with an industry-leading 200 MVA of mission critical power and 16 million CFM of cooling. This will allow Switch to efficiently operate more than 20,000 cabinets for the world’s leading companies at usage levels equivalent to an average raised floor data center consuming nearly 100,000 cabinets of space.

Go Ahead and Supersize Your Data Center – With a Side of DCIM
Here’s a number to ponder – 700 million. It’s probably one of the most important figures defining today’s data center marketplace. That’s the expected square footage of data centers by 2016 and also underscores the trend towards larger data centers worldwide. To borrow a phrase from McDonalds, data centers are being “Supersized.” According to a recent article in eWeek, while the number of data centers is declining – space and capacity is on the rise: “Despite the slight decline in total data centers, total data center space will actually significantly increase, growing from 611.4 million square feet in 2012 to more than 700 million square feet in 2016.” The need to process ever-increasing amounts of data is causing companies to ramp up servers, networking equipment and storage to handle this volume. This means more power consumption, greater inefficiencies, and an IT infrastructure more difficult to manage. A plausible solution to this dilemma is Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions. Gartner forecasts that by 2014 DCIM market will grow by 60%.

IET Initiatives Around Cyber
The growth of the Internet has brought about massive social and technological change, affecting virtually every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, along with the beneficial changes it has already delivered, our increasing dependence on Internet technologies has created new risks. We regularly see headlines about systems being hacked, sensitive personal or commercial data being compromised, money being stolen through online fraud and attacks on financial and commercial systems. In addition to these threats that the public can readily understand, there are malware developments such as Stuxnet, which targeted a specific industrial control systems, and Shamoon which attacked Saudi Aramco’s computers. In this rapidly changing environment critical computer systems are under attack daily. With increasing threats to systems and new vulnerabilities emerging daily, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is working to raise awareness amongst the UK engineering and technology community of the need to improve the cyber security of both our critical national infrastructure and all the technology we use.

Guest Post: Benefits of BYOD and Cloud Computing
Adding mobility to enterprise applications has become a top priority for businesses in all areas of the world. People want reliable, secure access to their work-related data on any device they bring into or use outside of the work environment. Whether it’s an iPad, iPhone, Droid, Kindle, HP laptop or even a smart TV, people expect to be able to work anywhere and on any device they choose. A recent article posted by CIO online reported that 77 percent of 1,300 companies surveyed about mobile cloud strategies thought that businesses with mobile apps and services will soon become the standard means through which employees access IT systems for work. That’s a huge number! OK – so we all understand the importance of mobility. But, how do we get there? The problem for many IT managers is how to add mobility quickly and cost effectively, while ensuring these applications will be built in such as way that they won’t compromise secure company data. Many people are familiar with a native app, which is downloaded onto a device from the AppStore and can be accessed quickly on your device’s home screen.

gTLD vs ccTLD – The Best of Both Worlds
When initially planning an online presence, many organizations wonder, “Should we use a generic domain extension (gTLD) like .com, .net, .org, etc. or a country code extension (ccTLD) like .us, .ca, .de, etc. to let visitors know where we’re from?” It’s an important question and one that should be carefully considered, since it will have an effect on how your brand is positioned and perceived by the market you’re targeting. Is your target market primarily located in your own country? ccTLDs serve as national identifiers, and consumers generally report that they prefer to do business and connect with companies located in their country. Other factors that would support choosing a ccTLD include the native language used for the content on the website, the currency used for your online transactions, and whether the main business address and phone numbers published on your site are local to a specific country. Do your products and services have a broader global appeal? If that’s the case, it may be a better choice to use a generic extension for your main website.

12 ways to Segment your Audience
Let’s imagine you own a sporting goods store. A 32-year old man named Scott is in the market for new Nike running shoes, so he uses a search engine and comes to your website. Within minutes of hitting the site, he sees his new Nikes and exclaims, “Awesome, this is exactly what I was looking for!”. However, Scott’s brother Brian is a completely different sporting goods customer than Scott. Whereas Scott loves running, skiing and snowboarding, Brian is a team athlete who watches football and coaches soccer at the local school. Now, when Brian visits your website, are you going to make him scream, “Awesome!” as well? Many websites focus on their products. However, the problem with this approach is that often the website treats all visitors in the same, uniform way. Though Scott and Brian both fit the same demographic, their personalities, attitudes, beliefs, friends, lifestyles and spending habits are vastly different. Because of this, Scott will purchase different products than Brian. What can you do to ensure that your website converts both Scott and Brian

Internet Domain Name Index (IDNX): -2.5% in May
After a strong price upswing in April, Domain re-sale prices dropped by 2.5 percent in May, sending the Internet Domain Name Index IDNX back to March levels. May featured a pretty interesting transaction with closing at $252,000 at For the three applicants (including Google) competing for the right to issue new .MOM domain names, this sale offers a rare opportunity of market feedback: How much could a new gTLD be worth given that the corresponding .COM domain sold for a quarter million dollars?

Project Server 2013 Free 7-Day Tours Now Available
Today at Microsoft’s TechEd Conference in New Orleans, we announced the official availability of Microsoft Project Server 2013 free online tours. These PPM Tours enable Partners, PMO’s, Project Leaders, Project Teams, and Consultants to experience a fully-functional, cloud-based Microsoft Project Server 2013 or 2010 environment for 7 days with self-guided scripts. Registering for PPM Tours can done. The Project Server 2013 Tours include 9 specific “tour-sessions” that are organized into five distinct categories: Overview, Initiate, Plan, Manage and Administration. Users can select whichever tour interests them the most, and experience the Project Server 2013 solution in a manner that is most relevant to them. Specific Tour-Sessions include: Project Web Access Orientation – overview of main PWA functionality. Project Creation – how to create a project from a SharePoint task list. These Tours give users basic insight into how Microsoft PPM 2013 can help their organization gain visibility, insight, and control across all work.

Hosted Virtual Desktop – Who says its bleeding edge?
I was having a minor debate this week with a colleague on why the move to hosted virtual desktop is so scary for today’s IT managers My colleague insisted it was because it was too new, untested and let’s not forget … it’s in the “cloud” (ominous music playing). My stance however was that it was more of a lack of knowledge vs. fear. About an hour and a few cups of coffee later, my colleague was ready to convert! Interested in the points I made to change her perspective? If so, this post is for you. It wasn’t so long ago that end users were connected to their computer via a dumb terminal and an RS-232 cables. Visualize that – just a nice clunky monitor sitting on your desk with a cable that disappeared into the wall and miraculously connected you to a mysterious computer that was located “somewhere behind locked doors.” Fast forward about 30 years … in many ways, hosted virtual desktops sort of parallels the old dumb-terminal connected to computer scenario, only on steroids. The concept was to have a device that allowed you to connect to a machine. With VDI, the “machine” is your desktop.

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Own Disease
I can’t claim credit for the full title. It was actually taken from a Tech Republic article about viruses and other nasties that personal portable devices can bring. In fact, if you Google “Bring Your Own Disease”, you’ll find many other related articles. The joy of BYOD is that you can reduce capital expenses for devices like phones, laptops, and tablets. And training employees on the platform is reduced because they are already familiar with the device. Finally, with the right policies, development plan, and virtualization, the IT department can allow for most personal devices to access the work network to increase productivity. Sounds great! What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one, unless the IT staff members are clones of the Odd Couple’s Felix Unger with his ever ubiquitous can of disinfectant, there are some viruses that IT cannot clean. One thing about personal devices is that they are really personal. We carry them everywhere and one occasion share them with people, in sickness and in health.

Addressing IT Security Concerns with BYOD Programs
BYOD “Bring Your Own Device” programs are gaining popularity in the workforce. They offer many advantages, such as empowering employees to use the devices that they prefer and reducing technology costs for an organization. However, they also present a few challenges – it security concerns being a significant hurdle to address. With employees using their own personal devices as part of a new IT reality, there are a number of concerns for businesses: Spreading viruses through the company network. Company-sensitive data could be compromised. Personal files or applications may not comply with the company policy. These issues can all pose privacy, compliance and risk management challenges, and therefore, it is important to develop a BYOD program that has the proper safeguards in place to protect again IT security concerns. With desktop virtualization you can set up a BYOD environment where the device that is used does not matter. All data and applications are accessed over an encrypted VPN connection and a secure file sync and sharing service is used allowing employees to use the devices they prefer and providing the organization with the confidence that all work-related files and software are protected as they are maintained in a secure data center, not on individual devices.

IBM Makes Bid to Compete With
IBM, the world’s largest seller of computer services, has to reached an agreement to buy SoftLayer Technologies Inc., a cloud-computing storage provider in a bid to compete with In a story on by Sarah Frier, IBM is paying almost $2 billion for Dallas-based SoftLayer, according to a source that is familiar with the deal. SoftLayer had $335 million in revenue in 2012, according to Chief Executive Officer Lance Crosby. IBM plans to combine Dallas-based SoftLayer Technologies Inc. with its SmartCloud unit to create a new Cloud Services division, helping capitalize on the market’s growth, IBM said in a statement. IBM plans to add SoftLayer to its SmartCloud unit to create a new Cloud Services division to capitalize on a market that researcher IDC estimates may more than double to $105 billion by 2016 from last year. SoftLayer specializes in public clouds — data-center networks that manage computing and software for businesses remotely — where Amazon dominates. IBM is pairing those capabilities with private-cloud operations, building dedicated systems for individual customers.

Big Brain targets SMB customers with high availability cloud hosting built on OnApp
OnApp today announced that Virginia-based hosting provider Big Brain Global has launched a new range of cloud services built on the OnApp Cloud platform. Big Brain chose OnApp to create cloud services for its small and midsize business (SMB) customers, who need affordable but very high availability hosting for database-driven applications. The new Big Brain cloud joins the company’s existing range of virtual private server (VPS), dedicated server and colocation hosting services. Big Brain chose OnApp after narrowing its options to OnApp and VMware. OnApp’s built-in autoscaling, automatic failover and flexible support for different billing models played a major role in the company’s decision, enabling Big Brain to give its customers enterprise-class features and performance while only paying for the cloud resources they use. OnApp’s ability to manage VMware workloads was also significant in Big Brain’s decision, since it gives its customers greater choice of hypervisors and enables the company to target larger business customers with its cloud services.

Deputy Review – Streamline Workplace Communication
The goal of every business owner should be to work smarter, not harder. Deputy is a platform that aids in that process, streamlining basic business management tasks like scheduling, timesheets, payroll, and employee communication. Business owners can spend less time worrying about what their staff is doing, and more time focusing on growing their companies from the ground up. In this Deputy review, I will test out the people management platform, keeping factors like ease of use and reliability in mind. I will look at the platform from the perspective of both a business owner and an employee to find out if this is a tool that could actually benefit small to mid-size companies. Deputy is a people management platform meant to help business owners and managers keep track of their employees. Employee management is a multifaceted issue, which is why Deputy offers advanced features that go far beyond most basic communication and scheduling systems. Business owners and managers can use the web-based platform to track timesheets, store staff records, assign tasks, and share important messages with selected employees.