Quality Assurance and Project Management

September 30, 2018  9:32 PM

Cloud-to-Local Backup Puts You in Control of Your Cloud Data – 2

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
Cloud Backup, Cloud data storage

This post is second in series – Cloud-to-Local Backup Puts You in Control of Your Cloud Data – An interview with Linus Chang, Co-Founder and CEO of BackupAssist.

Q: What’s different about this new solution that addresses the types of problems that you’ve mentioned?

LC: The biggest differentiator from competitive solutions is that BackupAssist 365 offers cloud-to-local backup, as opposed to the cloud-to-cloud model. This allows our solution to result in significant cost savings—up to 75 percent. It also makes long-term retention easy, and since the data is in hand, protection and rapid recovery provide a layer of assurance for clients. The second distinction is that BackupAssist 365 helps SME customers know exactly where the data is located, which is so important for compliance. With this solution, you can choose where your own data resides, without having to entrust these important decisions to an outside provider. Third, when you use BackupAssist 365, it doesn’t store your data in a proprietary format like many other backup products. So you truly regain the control over your own data.

Q: What kind of organizations are the target audience for this solution?

LC: Small and medium enterprises can really benefit from this cloud-to-local solution, and it’s also invaluable for companies in highly regulated industries with strict compliance requirements. It’s a great choice for MSPs to cost-effectively store large volumes of data, and it works with Windows 7 desktop or later, and Windows Server 2012 or later.

Q: How does this solution handle the types of problems you mentioned, such as when an organization’s data is lost by something as commonplace as an accidental deletion, or more sinister like a ransomware attack?

September 29, 2018  6:51 PM

Cloud-to-Local Backup Puts You in Control of Your Cloud Data – 1

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
Cloud Backup, SMB

An Interview with Linus Chang, Co-Founder and CEO of BackupAssist

Q: What are the most common data protection and availability challenges that organizations face?

LC: Data storage and management today often involves the cloud, which while convenient, does have its challenges when it comes to keeping data secure and ensuring that it’s easily accessible from the archive—for example when you need it for e-discovery or regulations compliance. When you’re storing data in the cloud, that generally means that you’re relying on a third party cloud server. This goes hand-in-hand with quite a few risks, which include unintentional or intentional data deletion, ransomware or phishing attacks, and account hijacking or deletion. In addition, a large majority of cloud providers only store historical data (deleted or old versions) for a short period of time putting their clients at risk when the need to store data for years due to regulatory requirements.

Q: How important is it for SMBs to have a sound backup policy? What percentage of SMBs have or adhere to an effective backup policy today?

LC: To answer the first part of your question, it’s absolutely critical for organizations of all sizes to have a proper backup strategy in place, which includes backing up cloud data to an on-premise location. A common misperception is thinking that if your data is already in the cloud, simply using that storage provider takes care of your backup needs, but that’s absolutely false. When you’re storing your data on someone else’s server, you as the customer still ultimately have responsibility for safeguarding your own data. In terms of how many businesses are doing the right thing with their data protection and backup currently, my general answer is: not enough. One recent study on SMBs found that over half—58 percent—don’t have a solid backup plan in place.

We shall carry on with the rest of this interesting conversation in my next 3 posts. Continued »

September 29, 2018  4:54 PM

Browser Security Plus from ManageEngine For Enterprise Security

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
Browser security, Endpoint security, manageengine

ManageEngine adds a new paradigm in enterprise security with the launch of Browser Security Plus. In fact, this was a missing component in the enterprise security ecosystem. As we all know ManageEngine is the real-time IT management division of Zoho Corp. This new security solution intends to help enterprises add a new security level to their corporate data whether lying in the cloud or is residing on-premise. The sole aim is to safeguard enterprise networks from any kind of web-based cyberattacks by mitigating all such threats, vulnerabilities, and risks. Thus this launch adds a greater value to Endpoint Security. In turn, it helps enterprises tackle all browser-based cyberattacks like the unanticipated surge in browsers. In fact, the solution becomes more important to deploy for all organizations in wake of increasing cloud adoption that opens many unwanted doors for intruders, spammers, and hackers.

Browser Security Plus

Mind you, Browser Security Plus is the only solution available for mitigating threats borne out of browser-based surges. As a universal policy of Zoho Corp., like any of their other products, Browser Security Plus Free edition is fully functional product for small businesses to manage up to 25 computers which is quite reasonable to taste the power of the product and leverage its features to add an important component to their endpoint security. It is always better to have an additional and missing layer for browsers to make their enterprise security ecosystem more robust. This add-on that resides on their existing layer of network security improves overall network health by means of ensuring prevention, detection, and fixing of all kinds of browser vulnerabilities. Actually, browsers have become silent gateways for external monsters to attack corporate network and data. Sometimes a minute infiltrator can destroy the whole empire.

Browser Security Plus Is A New Power For Endpoint Security

ManageEngine’s Browser Security Plus is a complete browser management solution having multi-browser handling capabilities. The browsers that it can control currently are Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Internet Explorer. More than 92% of users work on any of these 4 browsers. Mathivanan Venkatachalam, Vice President of ManageEngine says, “For the longest time, browsers have been considered just another application. With cloud applications pivoting the way business is done, browsers have become endpoints in and of themselves, capable of achieving functionalities of a number of native applications put together. By managing browsers the same way they manage endpoints like desktops and mobile devices, enterprises can seal their network from possible attacks at its most used threshold.”

Browser Security Plus adheres to many critical cyber hygiene practices like Compliance (with STIG and CIS Frameworks), Policy Deployment, Browsers add-on Management, Browser Isolation etc. The next immediate developments are happening at ManageEngine office to release Browser Security Plus for macOS.

A license of Browser Security Plus costs $12 a year. That is quite reasonable and affordable. A 30-day fully functional trial version is there. And a free edition for 25 users is always there.

For more information, please visit www.manageengine.com/secure-browser.

For more information, please visit buzz.manageengine.com; follow the company blog at blogs.manageengine.com/ and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/manageengine-, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ManageEngine and Twitter @ManageEngine.

September 29, 2018  1:13 PM

Dell Technologies Forum provided a new outlook to Cybersecurity

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

The term ‘Cybersecurity’ is quite scary for most of the people, as they fear something dangerous. And when it comes to organizations, this fear is increased thousand times. Decades ago, digitalization drive was mainly restricted to the internal network and emails. So, the fear of information—more specifically data stolen—was confined to a company’s firewall. And almost all organizations did their best to control with supreme authority. Fast forward to the present time, the situation changed completely. With the going prevalence of the concept like ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD), employees are using their personal devices across different networks, including those of their organizations. Moreover, all boundaries on the digital highway were broken, thereby making organizations more vulnerable to threats, risks, and cyber-attacks.

Although organizations are deploying various security solutions in almost every single node of their networks, they aren’t fully confident of their organizations’ security. With the network evolving at a rapid pace, organizations are getting more concerned about security. And most of these threats, ransomware attacks are coming from various consumer devices, the firewall has now little role to play in addressing such attacks. According to the RSA 2018 Cybersecurity and Business Risk Survey, 70% of respondents accepted that their organizations had faced security breach over the past 2 years, while 85% of them indicated two or more breaches during the same timeframe. So, how grave the situation is? How should organizations prepare themselves to address the security issue?

Cybersecurity Requires A Continuous Evolution

The recently held security workshop at Dell Technologies Forum in Delhi provided me with great insights into all these factors. Conducted by Vikas Arora, VP-Global IT& Security, Toluna, this exclusive workshop on security transformation revolved around various aspects of the data breaches and how organizations should build an advanced security operations center (SOC) to keep all types of threats, vulnerabilities, and risks at bay. The best part of the workshop, for me, was the live demo of how easily AD can be hacked.

To put it in a nutshell, my key takeaways from the workshop are as follows:

  • For any organization, it can take days or even months to realize that somebody has broken into their security operations
  • A step-by-step insight into how hackers get domain access after messing up the system
  • Security Operations Centre (SOC) plays an important to reduce the risks of cyber-attacks, however, organizations should find out the right people for their SOC.
  • Legacy and redundant technology and infrastructure are inappropriate to identify all security loopholes, paving the way for hackers to attack
  • An updated infrastructure is a business necessity in the digital world not only to support modern application but also to prevent cyber-attacks.
  • Organizations should take stock of their digital portfolio constantly. By constantly taking care of their digital systems, organizations can rapidly deter a cyber-attack and address it before things get out of control
  • Another good part of the workshop was the interactive session with the audience, which helped me clear many of my doubts around security infrastructure and cyber-attacks

Cyberserucity Is All About Detering Cyber Attacks

Apart from this workshop, I also attended a few sessions on security transformation, including RSA’s Enabling Business-Driven Security, Cyber-Recovery: Protecting Business from a Destructive Ransomware, to name a few. These sessions, without any doubt, provided me with in-depth information about the security landscape. Besides, I got a good exposure to Dell family in combining its capabilities to stay ahead of fast-evolving threats and cyber risks.

No doubt, the time has come for organizations to devise an appropriate security strategy that caters to new IT trends, drives security transformation without any possibility of new threats and risks, and ultimately, accelerates the organization to keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape. I am quite upbeat that Dell Technologies, with its whole new range of security solutions, will play a critical role in initiating security transformation of organizations across industries.

Indeed, my first experience at the Dell Technologies Forum was extremely insightful and knowledge-driven. And it is definitely a great platform to know the changing technology landscape, which helps in staying abreast of new-age technologies.

September 29, 2018  12:05 PM

Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes By Keysight Set A New Benchmark

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
Measurement, Testing

Keysight Technologies always bring key insights when it comes to technology, testing, and measurement. It is important to lead from the front when you a testing & measurement top global company. The launch of their latest Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes with Industry Leading Signal Integrity sets a new benchmark in the industry. Not only this, in fact, it opens thousands of new avenues of development and enhancements. It is like giving life to so many ideas to transform to reality. This launch will help businesses boost time-to-market their high-speed serial and optical designs. In fact, it creates a new spectrum of innovation for different enterprises, governments, and service providers to connect and secure the world. This new Infiniium UXR-Series of oscilloscope ensures industry-leading signal integrity, investment protection, with models that range from 13 to 110 GigaHertz (GHz) of true analog bandwidth.

Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes

Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes aim to cater to the requirements of technology developments not only of today but tomorrow. It is going to help high-speed serial and optical designers to generate newer designs with higher margins. They will have a now wider selection of bandwidth options to achieve unbeatable performance levels. The technologies it covers are DDR, PCIe, USB, or any other serial technologies including 5G, Radar, PAM4, Optical Designs, and Satellite Communications.

Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes Bring A Lot Of New Development Scope

Jessy Cavazos, Industry Director, Test & Measurement, Frost & Sullivan says, “Today’s electronic and communications systems have become more complex requiring next-generation test and measurement. Keysight’s deep heritage and extensive expertise in test and measurement are clearly reflected in the new UXR series of oscilloscopes, which deliver next-generation innovations to address the rapidly evolving measurement and compliance needs in the high-speed digital, terabit and optical research, 5G, RF, and aerospace and defense markets.”

As a matter of fact, the Infiniium UXR-Series promises to offer a low noise floor thereby a high vertical resolution thus ensuring measurements that no longer will be impacted by oscilloscope noise. What it does in return is it represents signals accurately and more realistically. This, in turn, results in eye diagrams becoming significantly more open thereby resulting in true margins and exponentially better performance. Imagine getting now 10-bit vertical resolution with industry-leading signal integrity thus resulting in a superior effective number of bits (ENOB). This would easily result in a faster compliance testing with higher margins. In fact, with the reconstruction of high-speed signals of high precision is easily possible now with Keysight’s Infiniium UXR-Series. As a matter of fact, now sampling rates of 128 GSa/s per channel on 13 to 33 GHz devices is conveniently achievable.

Infiniium UXR-Series Offer a Low Noise Floor

The same is true for 40 to 110 GHz models to attain sampling rates of 256 GSa/s per channel. How about getting the highly accurate timing and skew measurements? Less than 35 fs (rms) of intrinsic jitter is now a reality to achieve in up to four full-bandwidth channels. The bonus is a scalable full factory standard self-calibration module. Of course, it is optional but very useful. It ensures not only ongoing measurement accuracy but also reduces the headache of taking the unit out of premise for servicing. All this is possible to attain with the help of a chipset that is based on Keysight’s proprietary Indium Phosphide (InP) process. It actually ensures unimaginable wide bandwidth and substantially low noise floor. There are a couple of more interesting announcements along with this launch.

Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes

The two solutions that come along with Infiniium UXR-Series Oscilloscopes offering a complete end-to-end covering stimulus to analysis for PAM4 and 400G, 600G, and also terabit coherent optical interconnect designs. Thus N4391B OMA (Optical Modulation Analyzer) is a comprehensive and real-time oscilloscope that takes care of any kind of complex optical data transmission. It also addresses terabit measurement limitations. Keysight brings their fastest AWG (Arbitrary Waveform Generator) that ensures a greater level of stimulus-response to create challenging formats such as 64 GBaud 64 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) or any other wideband modulations. This is M8194A AWG.

Expandded Infiniium UXR-Series

Dave Cipriani, Keysight Vice President, Digital and Photonics Center of Excellence says, “High-speed serial and optical technologies are continually pushing speed and performance boundaries as the development of terabit and 5th generation serial technologies accelerate. The expanded UXR oscilloscope series, the UXR-based OMA, and Keysight’s fastest AWG, collectively offer high-speed designers an unprecedented end-to-end solution to rapidly advance their technology development today, while providing investment protection into the future.”

Useful Links:
more information www.keysight.com/find/UXR
Images are available at www.keysight.com/find/UXR-images
More information about the Keysight N4391B OMA is available at www.keysight.com/find/N4391B
More information about the Keysight M8194A AWG is available at www.keysight.com/find/M8194A

September 23, 2018  11:13 PM

DellTechForum Dell Technologies Forum 2018 #IndiaMakeItReal

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
Dell, Dell EMC

At DellTechForum, people attending Workforce Transformation in Studio 1 had sessions like Workforce Transformation, Right-size technology for the modern workforce, and CIO Debate on “Digital will end the avatar of office spaces as we know it”. Probably the 3 CIOs talking in favor were completely missing the crux of the topic and thus presenting baseless theories like completely virtual offices which are practically not at all possible. The funniest part is all these three CIOs are regularly and physically going to their respective offices and running 90% of their meetings in person. The 3 CIOs talking against it were more on the ground and talking reality rather than fluke talks.

A similar kind of agenda at DellTechForum was at Security Transformation sessions with topics like RSA Overview: Enabling Business-Driven Security, Cyber-recovery: Protecting your Business From A Destructive Ransomware, Creating A Unified Endpoint Management Strategy, and GDPR: What is it? On a parallel note, the Hands-on Lab Zone in Studio 2 was having sessions like IDPA 2.2 Management, Isilon, OpenManage Enterprise, Dell EMC Networking OS10, and vSAN 6.6.1. The post-lunch sessions in IT Transformation – Data Platforms include Unlocking the Power of Digitisation, Unlocking your Data Capital, Multi-Cloud Strategy, VxRack SDCC & VMware Cloud Foundation, and Data Protection. In parallel in Computer Platforms hall, the sessions were The Power of Connectivity, The Dawn of New Era, Accelerate your IT Transformation, and Emergence of Multi-cloud.

DellTechForum Had Multiple Parallel Sessions

In Workforce Transformation hall of DellTechForum, we had interesting sessions like Applying Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, Simplify your VDI solution planning, Modern Management of Windows 10, and Unity for Industrial. Finally, in Security Transformation section the sessions were Data Protection for Private & Public Cloud, Embrace Cloud Networking – Building the Business Fabric of the Digital Enterprise, Empowering Digital Workforce, and Security Workshop on “How to Build an Advanced Security Operations Centre (SOC)”. I am sure all those who attended the Dell Technologies Forum had got enough fuel and recharge to drive their respective organizations in the right direction to progress hand in hand with technology.

September 23, 2018  11:02 PM

Dell Technologies Forum 2018 #DellTechForum #IndiaMakeItReal

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
Dell, Dell EMC

Dell Technologies Forum this year was more like a technology festival with a perfect mix of fun and technology. We had forums, panel discussions, talks, presentations, workshops, and hands-on lab zones. In addition, there was a Dell Technologies Expo Zone. There were two interesting keynote addresses after which the huge gathering of CIOs and CTOs was scattered in 4 halls. So it was, in fact, our choice to attend the session of our choice. The opening keynote session was by David Webster, President, Asia Pacific, and Japan, Dell EMC. The topic was Innovating for the Future. Interestingly the second keynote address was Innovating Today. Obviously what we innovate today will give a better shape to the future. It was by Alex Lei, Vice President of Data Protection Solutions, Asia Pacific and Japan, Dell EMC. Then the participants had some time to explore the expo.

Rest of the Dell Technologies Forum sessions were in 4 different halls with 4 different agendas. First was on IT Transformation and Compute Platforms. The second was on Security Transformation. The third was on IT Transformation Data Platforms. The fourth was on Workforce Transformation. One can easily see a clear overlap in all these separate spectrums of technology. Clearly distinct but closely knit. One spectrum can’t progress without the help of others. Besides these 4 halls, there was a Hands-on Lab Zone Powered by Dell EMC Demo Center. This was no less than any global technology event.

Dell Technologies Forum Was About Technology All Around

In IT Transformation – Data Platforms the important sessions were The Power of Modern: Dell EMC Storage & Data Protection Solutions, Dell IT Journey: Adopting a Multi-cloud Strategy, Dell EMC Unity & SC Series: Midrange Storage Portfolio Overview, and Dell EMC High End Storage: What’s new in PowerMax & Xterme IO X2. Similarly, in IT Transformation – Compute Platforms the sessions were The Power of Convergence: The DELL EMC Converged and Hyper-Converged Portfolio, The Power of the Compute Portfolio: DELL EMC PowerEdge, Moving to a Disaggregated Data Center with the New PowerEdge MX Kinetic infrastructure, and Developing & Running Ready Cloud Native Applications at Scale.

We will continue Dell Technologies Forum Walkthrough in the next post.

September 6, 2018  8:16 PM

HA Applications Ensure Business Operations – An Interview

Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
High Availability, SIOS

We are in conversation with Jerry Melnick, President & CEO, SIOS Technology Corp. Jerry is responsible for directing the overall corporate strategy for SIOS Technology Corp. and leading the company’s ongoing growth and expansion. He has more than 25 years of experience in the enterprise and high availability software markets. Before joining SIOS, he was CTO at Marathon Technologies where he led business and product strategy for the company’s fault tolerant solutions. His experience also includes executive positions at PPGx, Inc. and Belmont Research, where he was responsible for building a leading-edge software product and consulting business focused on supplying data warehouse and analytical tools.

Jerry began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation where he led an entrepreneurial business unit that delivered highly scalable, mission-critical database platforms to support enterprise-computing environments in the medical, financial and telecommunication markets. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Beloit College with graduate work in Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Boston University.

What is the SIOS Technology survey and what is the objective of the survey?

SIOS Technology Corp. with ActualTech Media conducted a survey of IT staff to understand current trends and challenges related to the general state of HA (highly available) applications in organizations of all sizes. An organization’s HA applications are generally the ones that ensure that a business remains in operation. Such systems can range from order taking systems to CRM databases to anything that keeps employees, customers, and partners working together.

We’ve learned that the news is mixed when it comes to how well HA applications are supported.

Who responded to the survey?

For this survey, we gathered responses from 390 IT professionals and decision makers from a broad range of company sizes in the US. Respondents consisted of people that manage databases, infrastructure, architecture, systems, and software development as well as those in IT management roles.

What were some of the key findings uncovered in the survey results?

The following are key findings based on the survey results:

  • Most (86%), but not all, organizations are operating their HA applications with some kind of clustering or high availability mechanism in place.
  • A full 95% of respondents report that they have an occasional failure in the underlying HA services that support their applications.
  • Ninety-eight (98%) of respondents to our survey indicated that they see either regular or occasional application performance issues.
  • When such issues occur, for most organizations, it takes between three and five hours to identify the cause and correct the issue and it takes using between two and four tools to do so.
  • Small companies are leading the way by going all-in on operating their HA applications in the cloud and more than half (54%) of small companies intend to be running 50% or more of their HA applications in the cloud by the end of 2018.
  • For companies of all sizes, control of the application environment remains a key reason why workloads remain on premises, with 60% of respondents indicating that this has played a factor in retaining one or more HA application on-premises rather than moving it into the cloud.
  • Tell us about the Enterprise Application Landscape. Which applications are in use most; and which might we be surprised about?

    We focused on tier 1 mission critical applications, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP/HANA. For most organizations operating these kinds of services, they are the lifeblood. They hold the data that enables the organization to achieve its goals.

    56% of respondents to our survey are operating Oracle workloads while 49% are running Microsoft SQL Server. Rounding out the survey, 28% have SAP/HANA in production. These are all clearly critical workloads in most organizations, but there are others. For this survey, we provided respondents an opportunity to tell us what, beyond these three big applications, they are operating that can be considered mission critical. Respondents that availed themselves of this response option indicate that they’re also operating various web databases, primarily from Amazon, as well as MySQL and PostgresQL databases. To a lesser extent, organizations are also operating some NoSQL services that are considered mission critical.

    How often does an application performance issue affect end users?

    Application performance issues are critical for organizations with 98% of respondents indicating these issues impact end users in some way ranging from daily (experienced by 18% of respondents) to just one time per year (experience by 8% of respondents) and everywhere in between. Application performance issues lead to customer dissatisfaction and can lead to lost revenue and increased expenses. But, there appears to be some disagreement around such issues depending on your perspective in the organization. Respondents holding decision maker roles have a more positive view of the performance situation than others. Only 11% of decision makers report daily performance challenges compared to around 20% of other respondents.

    Is it easier to resolve cloud-based application performance issues?

    As much as most IT pros would like to fully eliminate the potential for application performance issues that operate in a cloud environment, the fact is that such situations can and will happen. There is a variety of tools available in the market to help IT understand and address application performance issues and IT departments have, over the years, cobbled together troubleshooting toolkits. In general, the fewer tools you need to work with to resolve a problem, the more quickly you can bring services back into full operation. That’s why it’s particularly disheartening to learn that only 19% of responses turn to a single tool to identify cloud application performance issues. This leaves 81% of respondents having to use two or more tools. But, it gets worse; 11% of respondents need to turn to five or more tools in order to identify performance issues with the cloud applications

    So now we know cloud-based application performance issues can’t be totally avoided, how long until we can expect a fix?

    The real test of an organization’s ability to handle such issues comes when measuring the time it takes to recover when something does go awry. 23% of respondents can typically recover in less than an hour. Fifty-six percent (56%) of respondents take somewhere between one and three hours to recover. After that 23% take 3 or more hours. This isn’t to say that these people are recovering from a complete failure somewhere; they are reacting to a performance fault somewhere in the application and it’s one that’s serious enough to warrant attention. A goal for most organizations is to reduce the amount of time that it takes to troubleshoot problems, which will reduce the amount of time it takes to correct them.

    Do future plans about moving HA applications to the cloud show stronger migration?

    We requested information from respondents around their future plans as they pertain to moving additional high availability applications to the cloud. Nine percent (9%) of respondents indicate that all of their most important applications are already in the cloud. By the end of 2018, one-half of respondents expect to have more than 50% of their HA applications migrated to the cloud, while 29% say that they will have less than half of the HA applications in such locations. Finally, 12% of respondents say that they will not be moving any more HA applications to the cloud in 2018.

    How would you sum up the SIOS Technology survey results?

    Although this survey and report represent people’s thinking at a single point in time, there are some potentially important trends that emerge: first, it’s clear that organizations value their mission-critical applications, as they’re protecting them via clustering or other high availability technology. A second takeaway is that even with those safeguards in place, there’s more work to be done, as those apps can still suffer failures and performance issues. Companies need to look at the data and ask themselves, therefore, if they’re doing everything they can to protect their crucial assets. You can download the report here.

    September 4, 2018  11:30 PM

    MediaTek Introduces Technology Diaries In An Innovative Style

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    5G, ai, Artifical Intelligence, IIoT, Internet of Things, iot, MediaTek, Narrowband

    Technology has endless ways to help mankind. Mankind has endless reasons to leverage technology in its favor. These reasons include challenge, business, prosperity, and charity. One single factor out of these is good enough to lead in this world of competition. When all the four factors collaborate by chance in a single venture, it creates a big difference. Competition in today’s world is of production, delivery, and quality. When all tools like Kaizen, Agile, TQM, etc. reach to a saturation in helping a business to excel and stay ahead against competitors, then only one thing comes to rescue to get an edge over others. And that is nothing but innovation. MediaTek comes out with an innovative idea by introducing ‘Technology Diaries’. It is an interactive discussion series to happen in multiple cities with an aim to demystify next-generation technologies in common man’s life.


    These next-generation technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, and Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT). The event was very lively and interactive thus becoming more informative. The format of this event was entirely different to the regular ones that are dull, one-sided, mechanical, and non interactive. Technology Diaries by MediaTek was launched in Delhi by inviting two celebrities from diverse fields of media and technology. It was one of the most popular Radio Jockeys (RJ) Naved interacting as a common man with two technical persons. The first tech guy on his right was the famous TechGuru Rajiv Makhni. The other was Kuldeep Malik, Director – Corporate Sales, MediaTek India. The company has a credit of being the world’s 4th largest global fabless semiconductor company. Fabless denotes or relates to a company that designs microchips but doesn’t manufactures it under their umbrella. Rather it contracts out or outsources its production.

    MediaTek is World’s 4th Largest Global Fabless Semiconductor Company

    MediaTek powers around 1.5 billion devices every year. It aims to make technology more accessible. That can happen only by means of making it more understandable for every common person of the country. Probably Technology Diaries series is the best way to achieve it. Because it is not only interactive and informative, it engages everyone equally making it a completely making it a fun and knowledge series. In fact, it is demystifying of newer technologies that can transform our daily lives. This was the inaugural session of Technology Diaries. While Naved was presenting a common man’s perspective on newer and upcoming technologies, it was done in a very light mode without using any technical jargons yet making it understandable for everyone. The whole concept gels well with MediTek’s philosophy of making all relevant technology available to everyone so as to empower them to connect easily to it.


    The philosophy says if a person understand the technology behind a concept easily, then it becomes easier to adopt it to use in everyday life. This will definitely enhance and enrich life by making everyone smarter and healthier. As a matter of fact, this commitment of MediaTek to deliver the latest technologies to most of the diversified products and solutions. Their solutions impact almost every industry. That includes mobile industry, automobile, health, entertainment, next-gen wearables, and so on. The sole purpose is to meet their consumers and businesses’ expectations and deliver more than that to them. In fact, you name the technology and you find MediaTek in it. For instance, in mobile segment, their Helio series chips are highly in demand by all mobile manufacturing companies. Those include Vivo, OPPO, Nokia, and so on. MediaTek is equally strong in digital television, optical storage, and DVD/Blu-ray segments.

    You won’t find a segment in technology without MediTek in it

    Kuldeep Malik, Director- Corporate Sales, MediaTek India, says, “Consumers may not know it, but our chips and technology are an integral part of daily lives. You will find us in 20 percent of homes globally and nearly 1 of every 3 mobile phones is powered by MediaTek. MediaTek chips power next-generation smartphones, tablets, TVs and voice assistants and all kinds of intelligent devices to transform how people interact with each other and the world around them. A new category of devices is driving features and consumer expectations forward with advancements in power, performance, AI, and connectivity. With the Technology Diaries we want to help the less savvy consumers understand and be comfortable using these technologies to their advantage.”

    Some of the prominent projects of MediaTek include Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT), NeuroPilot, Edge-AI technology, Edge-AI hardware processing, MiraVision, Self-Driving technology, Autus, and so on.

    September 4, 2018  12:02 AM

    Vizag Fintech Festival – Pre Event Info

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Fintech, India

    Vizag Fintech Festival is a five-day festival (22-26 Oct), focusing majorly on the Fintech Conference (which will happen from 23-24 Oct). Major themes for the Conference are BankTech (Future Of Banking, Investments And Payments), InsurTech (Technology Enablers In Insurance), GovTech (Technological Advances Fostering Invisible Government, Visible Governance), Financial Inclusion (Increased Access To Financial Services For The Underserved), EmergeTech (Emerging Technologies Including AI, Cyber Security, Blockchain, IoT And Big Data). Fintech Valley Vizag previously conducted Blockchain Business Conference in October 2017 and Fintech Spring Conference in March 2017.

    What are the objectives of this event?

    To position Andhra Pradesh & Vizag as a leading Fintech hub. Through the Innovation and Startup Policy, the Government intends to create an ecosystem that produces an entrepreneur in every family. The event intends to bring together industry, academia, and investors to innovate, co-create, and build the Fintech ecosystem, with the intent of making Visakhapatnam the Fintech Epicenter of the world.

    What top messages this event wants to spread?

    The event will be a hub for:

    Networking amongst the Hon’ble Chief Minister of AP, CXOs of the top Fintech & IT companies & other global stakeholders (CXO RoundTable)
    Exposure to industry trends & hot topics (Fintech Conference)
    75+ National & International Speakers (https://www.vizagfintechfestival.com/the-first-experts.php )
    Investor Connect
    Million Dollar Challenge
    – to enable startups to showcase their solutions and get a chance to win upto $1Mn in funding and set up their office in Vizag (https://www.vizagfintechfestival.com/million-dollar-challenge.php )

    Who are the target audiences?

    Global Corporates in Fintech ecosystem, Global Startups, Academia (Fintech), Financial Institutions, Investors, CXOs from Top Indian & International banks

    Who should attend this 5-day event and why?

    Investors – To interact with Startups (the fresh talent)

    Financial Institutions – For knowledge exchange, networking, collaboration, to grab business opportunities, to gauge market reaction.

    Government Agencies

    Startups – To learn from the experts of the industry, showcase their solutions. They stand a chance to win upto $1Mn in funding and set up their office in Vizag (On the Demo Day of the Million Dollar Challenge – 25th Oct)

    Fintech Professionals/ Experts – To lead the industry forward

    For more information, feel free to browse through our website, www.vizagfintechfestival.com

    August 30, 2018  11:06 PM

    IoT in Education – What Are the Possible Business Use Cases?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    business case, Education, Internet of Things, iot, Use case

    Technology is an integral part of every business. In fact, it has become an integral part of everybody’s life on personal and professional fronts. When it comes to education, there is a huge amount of data in this vertical. With the help of new technologies, it is important to relook into the way of teaching. In fact, leveraging new technologies is important to create new ways. IoT is a promising factor for educators in terms of collaboration, communication, and operation. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of ways an education institute can adopt IoT and bring a transformation in the campus and the way education is imparted. IoT in education or teaching, in fact, has a number of meaningful use cases. A simple use case is connecting academia all over the world with the help of IoT.

    This can result in a stronger and deeper learning experience for students. This way they can gain knowledge in a more meaningful format. Not only this. As a matter of fact, it also becomes a strong collaborative and learning means for educators across the globe. When we talk about IoT in education, it becomes important to create a simple learning model for students where they can easily relate theory to practical applications. There are a number of resources and aggregators from where important information can come in a real-time environment. A lot can happen with the help of sensors which are very cost effective. Every student can get an education in a very personalized manner. In fact, each student can move at their own pace. Also, student-teacher communication can become highly structured and result oriented. Things can move beyond textbooks. There is a huge scope of IoT in education.

    IoT in Education Can Create A New Benchmark

    Obviously, if IoT in education is used in a right manner, it can result in better communication, stronger development, and a tremendous increase in creativity at both the ends.

    August 30, 2018  10:39 PM

    Quality control And Enterprise Should Be Synonym To Each Other

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Enterprise, Quality control

    Quality control and enterprise should be a synonym to each other. No enterprise can survive without quality control. In fact, quality control should be a habit that happens automatically. It should not be for other’s sake. It should be there in the blood of an enterprise.

    “Quality control is applicable to any kind of enterprise; in fact, it must be applied to every enterprise.”

    Kaoru Ishikawa

    “The biggest challenge in maintaining a quality management system is ensuring consistency in established practice, in a consistently changing business environment.”

    Sng Yang Seng, senior manager, quality assurance, LSG ST Electronics

    “Unless the problem is prevented from happening again, the root cause is just a theory.”

    Govind Ramu, Program Manager, Google, Mountain View, Calif.

    “Quality is when customer satisfaction goes far north and when scrap and rework rates go way south.”

    Paul Tang, quality and project manager

    “Preaching quality won’t help.”

    Hammer and Champy

    “Our reputation for quality is only as good as our last machine or our last customer call.”

    Frank Cary

    “Organizational excellence is not about the management of quality. It is about the quality of management.”

    Haim Berman

    “The price for ignoring the impact of design on service can be staggering.”

    Davidow and Uttal

    “The team concept conveys the message that PQI (Productivity and Quality Improvement) is everybody’s business.”

    John Hradesky

    “Despite what the textbooks say, most important decisions in corporate life are made by individuals, not by committees.”

    Lee Iacocca

    “High-quality companies treat their human resource as a resource, not a commodity.”

    Steven George

    “Compliance is an intended consequence of quality.”

    Paula Burdick Parsons, CMQ/OE

    “Quality is when the customer returns and the product does not.”

    Tim Robertson

    “We only get one chance to do it right the first time.”

    Jeffrey S. Schiopota, Aspire Brands

    Quality Control and Enterprise go hand in hand

    “Develop a healthy disrespect for the impossible.”

    Gene Hoffman, SuperValu Inc.

    August 30, 2018  10:21 PM

    Do You Set Customer As A Reference Point To Set Your Priorities?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

    Any business that has set its customer as a reference point to set its priorities never fails. Any other priorities will lead to a disaster. The best way is to assess each activity that is done in the organization. If it is adding a value to the customer, it makes sense. Otherwise, it is a waste of effort and energy.

    “With the customer as a reference point, priorities become easier to set.”

    Mary Walton

    That means if you every business priority has the customer as a reference point in it, it leads to more customers, more business, and more profits.

    “‘What is our business?’ is not determined by the producer but by the customer.”

    Peter Drucker

    You keep on making a product that nobody wants in the market is of no sense. The real sense is to create the value of that product so that it attracts customers. The other way is to understand what your customer wants and then deliver the same to him. Apply your mind only if you are sure to add a certain value to a customer that he acknowledges.

    “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    In fact, in real life, people stop learning from their own mistakes. If you are at that stage, then move a step ahead and start learning from other’s mistakes.

    “Customer needs and satisfaction are constantly changing targets.”

    Juran Institute, Inc.

    Most important for any business is to understand customer needs. In fact, if you are able to understand customer needs, and you have capabilities to develop according to his needs, you will definitely be able to satisfy him. Another important point is to keep an eye on customer and set your targets according to that.

    Setting customer as a reference point is important for a business

    Above all, it is the customer that matters most. That is why setting a customer as a reference point is very important for any business.

    August 30, 2018  8:20 PM

    Some More Quotes on Quality To Enhance Business Results

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

    In my previous post, I listed a few quotes on quality. These quotes carry a lot of weightage in today’s business and professional life. In fact, these quotes are rather more relevant in today’s more competitive and stressful environment. I will continue with a few more in the same context in this post. Here we go.

    “The first job in decision making is to find the real problem and define it.”

    Peter Drucker

    Most of the times we are not aware of the real problem we are trying to address. That means the solution you are heading to is not leading to the resolution of the actual problem. As a result, all the efforts are a waste. On the other hand, this actual problem will keep widening. This, in return, will lead to a chaos.

    “Quality improvement is a fragile process. All major processes are.”

    Edward Sallis

    What it means is that quality improvement needs utmost importance. Logically, it should be the top agenda of every organization.

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


    It takes a lot of practice and a lot of effort to follow good practices. Once they become a habit, you don’t need to remember them. They automatically start happening.

    “Quality isn’t expensive; it’s priceless.”


    Of course. You can’t buy quality. You need to inculcate it. It has to be in the blood of every individual of an organization. Only then the whole organization excels. Otherwise, it remains limited to a few individuals and departments in the organization.

    “The market is never saturated with a good product but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.”

    Henry Ford

    Quotes on Quality

    How trues it is in the context of an organization, a product, or an individual. As long as you are delivering the best, you are in high demand. The moment you degrade, there is a steep fall in demand. Hope you like these quotes on quality.

    August 30, 2018  7:40 PM

    Some Important Quality Quotes That Apply Well In Today’s World

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    quality, Quality assurance, Quality control, Quotes

    The source of these beautiful quality quotes is ASQ. In fact, there are a plenty of quotes there. I am picking those I find relevant to today’s work life.

    “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

    Theodore Levitt

    “Quality improvement at a revolutionary pace is now becoming simply good management.”

    A. Blanton Godfrey

    “Error is always in haste.”

    Thomas Fuller

    “We can be creative in our approach but never compromising in our quality.”

    Jim Nelson (Lonza)

    “Failure is simply a reason to strengthen resolve.”

    John W. Gardner

    “The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.”

    Thomas Carlyle

    “Great things are not done by impulse…but by a series of small things brought together.”

    Vincent Van Gogh

    “The best way to understand your customer is to become your customer and walk a mile in his shoes.”

    Ian D. Littman

    “Effective statistical process control is 10% statistics and 90% management action.”

    John Hradesky

    “If there is one consistent lesson from those who have led this effort [toward continuous improvement], it is that there is no universal strategy for success.”

    V. Daniel Hunt

    “Changing the culture of an institution is a slow process, and one that is best not rushed. If the effects of TQM are to be lasting, people have to want to be on board.”

    Edward Sallis

    “The key is to get into the stores and listen.”

    Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

    “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.”

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “A ‘problem’ is the distance between where you are now and where you could be, no matter how good you are now.”

    Townsend and Gebhardt

    “If you cannot solve the real problem, change it into one you can solve.”

    Mark Kac, mathematician

    Hope you agree that these quotes make a lot of sense in today’s world of high competition.

    August 30, 2018  7:23 PM

    IoT and IIoT Have A Lot To Do For Mass Adoption in Real Life

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    IIoT, Internet of Things, iot

    IoT and IIoT are yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Especially when we talk about adoption among masses or availability for them. For the last few years, a lot is happening on IoT. But mostly it is limited to trial, pilot, proof of concept, or conceptualization. A lot of solution companies claim to have multiple solutions in this regard but most of these are far from acceptability by industries. These are based on just few use cases without any assessment whether there is any return value. In fact, solution providers create solutions according to their visibility and thought process. Without even understanding the real needs of industry and their relevant pain areas to address. Definitely, such efforts are only limited to presentations and discussions in forums. Nothing beyond that. In fact, if these solutions are really meaningful, they should have a quick adoption rate.

    Any solution has to be feasible, acceptable, and commercially viable. There are many IoT and IIoT projects that talk too much but when it comes to these three scales, they vanish. On top of it, security is a big concern rising at an exponential rate worldwide. The more sockets you open, the more is the risk and vulnerabilities. IoT solution providers are either not aware of it or have not enough capabilities to handle it. Again, it comes to the involvement of multiple patch providers in such cases. Now, these patch providers are strong only in their respective areas. They are not having a business or practical knowledge of other areas. None of these are having their exclusive research division to carry out viability, security, vulnerability, and feasibility assessment facilities. Without these, it makes no sense to go for a big investment.

    IoT and IIoT projects are becoming a rate race

    Actually, if you see, there are many investors ready for real worthy solutions in the field of IoT and IIoT. It all depends on what all parameters these solutions will qualify to have a mass acceptance.

    August 12, 2018  5:37 PM

    Zoho One Customers Talk Abouts Its Power, Versatiity, and Integrity

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Business management, Data centres, Project management, Startup

    About Zoho Backstage, Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho Corp. says, “Planning and running an event is a complex operation that has traditionally required different tools for each stage of the process—a website builder, a mass emailing solution, scanners for checking in attendees, and a stand-alone app for audience engagement. Backstage embraces event management from start to finish by offering a unified online platform that allows organizers to market the event, fill seats, and engage audience all from within one product. Rather than getting bogged down in the complexities of the tools being used, this holistic event management system lets organizers focus on what matters: putting on a great event.”

    Ramesh C Pathak – PMP, VP Technology. PMI Bangalore, India says, “With Backstage, we were able to save time and money planning our annual conference which was attended by 700+ delegates. All it took was a few clicks to get our event website up and running. We were also able to provide our attendees with an engaging and memorable event experience through a custom branded mobile app. Backstage will surely be part of our future events.”

    Jay Krishnan, CEO, T-Hub says, “For an ecosystem player like us, managing tens of projects for hundreds of business requirements to meet the expectations of our stakeholders runs into thousands of requirements that could potentially take as many hours of operating bandwidth and spend. An integrated product suite like Zoho One has truly helped ease our ever-changing requirement list. It has been an enterprise-class product from a world-class player. A big thank you on behalf of the 300+ startups that make up our community.”

    Shayak Mazumder, CEO, Eunimart says, “When we started Eunimart, just like any other early stage business, we searched the entire market for any software that could help tie all my different customer-facing and internal functions into one seamless flow. Unfortunately, all the different solutions we came across either did not have the breadth of solutions needed for a complex business model like Eunimart or were built for large businesses and were too expensive for us. Zoho was a lifesaver as our business processes were becoming unmanageable with the growing number of customers. The easily manageable workflows, the ability to build custom models and create custom solutions was exactly what we needed. Our internal team, with the help of a Zoho partner, has managed to automate almost all of our business, enabling us to achieve a 30% increase in productivity and largely increased customer satisfaction.”

    “I am grateful to Zoho One for the large suite of solutions that are built just for startups such as ours. I have recommended a lot of different startups on how to implement Zoho and scale their businesses in a more efficient manner,” concludes Shayak.

    Zoho Data Centers in Mumbai and Chennai will be operational from August 2018. All Indian users who are running their apps on zoho.in will be catered through these data centers. Rest of the worldwide customers will run as it is from www.zoho.com/

    August 12, 2018  5:29 PM

    Zoho Celebrates First Anniversary of Zoho One with 12000 Customers

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

    By the first anniversary of Zoho One, the organization has now more than 12,000 customers worldwide. Out of this, around 36% of users are from India. There has been a tremendous increase in the average number of Zoho One applications that a customer uses for its business. It has increased to 16 from 9. In fact, with so many features Zoho One offers to a business, they don’t need to buy different products from different vendors. The whole business can depend on Zoho One from a single cloud platform. In the last one, year, as a matter of fact, five new apps have been added to Zoho One.


    The new apps in Zoho One are Zoho Sprints, Cliq, Zoho PageSense, Zoho Backstage, and Zoho Flow. Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho Corp. says, “The adoption of Zoho One has exceeded our expectations, and we hope to continue this momentum into its second year. The stats clearly show that customers will use multiple apps from a single suite if those apps work together more deeply than a patchwork of products from different vendors. We see customers combining data from different Zoho and third-party apps—like email campaigns, CRM, customer support, and accounting—to generate new insights and make better decisions. Zoho One has already replaced more than 650 different products, and that number will only grow as we release even more new apps.” As a matter of fact, all new features and applications come to the existing customers as a bonus without spending an additional single penny.

    Zoho Adds Around 5 New Apps To Zoho One Every Year

    Vembu adds, “Zia for Zoho One, the new Dashboard, and Zia Search are organization-wide tools designed to give our customers deeper understanding of their businesses. This kind of unified data ecosystem is only possible because all of Zoho’s 40+ applications have been built from scratch, over the last two decades, on the same technology base.”

    August 12, 2018  5:19 PM

    Zoho Backstage – A Strong Event Management Application

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Event management

    Generally, organizations have to buy additional third-party products on top of their mainstream business apps to cater to such needs. Thus Zoho One becomes one of the most economical and strong product in that regard. In addition, Zoho is about to launch its own data centers. Zoho Backstage is another boon in the form of an event management software application for the event management industry segment. The beauty of this product is its capability of having a feature of multi-lingual. That makes it one of the most versatile product in this category. Also, there is a mobile app to enhance audience engagement. All these features are embedded in Zoho One which is the flagship suite of applications by Zoho. The whole bunch of applications runs completely in the cloud.

    Zoho Backstage

    In fact, with the addition of these new features in Zoho One (including Zoho Backstage), the product brings a complete synchronization between different departments and roles within an organization thus leaving no void or gap. Like, Zia, which is Zoho’s new AI companion communicates internally to all Zoho applications to gather enough information to respond quickly to user queries with the right combination of information and intelligence. That empowers key users to get the information without writing any queries and thus getting the information much faster and more reliable. Similarly, Zoho One’s Analytics gets a perfect blend of business operations information thereby resulting in more contextual outcomes.

    In addition, the new unified Search capability can quickly access data from multiple applications and bring back useful information in lesser time and with lesser efforts or technical skills. The suite becomes a right weapon for potential business users without requiring technical know-how or support.

    Zoho Backstage Empowers Event Organizers, Enterprises

    Zoho Backstage is a complete end-to-end solution for event management. It empowers organizers, enterprises, and non-profit organizations in many ways. They can plan, promote, and execute enterprise events of any kind. Such as large-scale meetings, conferences, and large-sized trade shows.

    August 12, 2018  5:01 PM

    Zoho One Becomes More Powerful With AI, Analytics, and Search

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    ai, Analytics, Artificial intelligence, Search

    Zoho One has become more powerful with the induction of AI, Analytics, and Search. In fact, it is now a complete enterprise solution with a beauty that it fits in any business vertical. On top of it, it is not carrying a hefty pricing model. The pricing is as simple as the product. In fact, it can deliver more than what a business can expect. In addition, there is a regular and substantial value addition in terms of updates and upgrades on a regular basis. That comes to the customers free of cost. Best thing is, now Zoho One has become a 360 Degree product. That means it is capable of catering to every business need. In an integrated manner, if the business needs. Or in a modular form, if the business wants to integrate it with any third party application in use.

    Zoho One

    As I repeat, Zoho One is an international level product with very competitive costing model. In fact, it is a big disruption for all big business/ERP brands because of its flat and very low-cost model for any size of users. On top of it, it fits all business sizes. So whether you are a startup, a one-man company, or a multi-trillion turnover organization, it is strong and capable enough to cater to all segments with the same perfection, precision, and speed. Otherwise, why world-class organizations like Hyatt, KPMG, L’Oreal, Mahindra, Tata Projects, Sodexo, Bata, Renault, Facebook, Edureka, Times Internet, HDFC Life, Royal Sundaram, and Apollo Hospitals will run their business on Zoho One. That, in fact, is alarming for the organizations using hefty white elephant business applications spending a huge amount on their purchase, deployment, upkeep, and training. It is a high time for all.

    Zoho One becomes enterprise operating system

    The already powerful Zoho One becomes more powerful with added features like AI, Analytics, and Search.

    August 8, 2018  10:05 PM

    Category leaders partner to offer data management, HA and DR solutions

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Data Management, Disaster Recovery

    Category Leaders Partner to Offer End-to-End Data Management, High Availability and Disaster Recovery Solutions

    You need not be in tech to recognize that the answer for achieving all of an organization’s goals will likely not be found in one box. What is required is a comprehensive plan, supported by individual solutions that when united, meet each user’s unique IT, business and budgetary requirements. Today, I speak with Connor Cox, Director of Business Development for DH2i on this important topic, as well as about DH2i’s existing and newly announced partnerships, and the value they deliver to end users and the channel.

    Q: What types of challenges are you most commonly seeing around data management, availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) in Windows, Linux, Oracle and Docker environments Do these differ from environment to environment, or are the challenges consistent regardless of the underlying platform?

    A: While some of the specifics and idiosyncrasies vary, I keep seeing many of the same general challenges regarding data management, high availability and DR across the different OS, database and container environments that organizations manage. Although there are many data management and HA/DR approaches available in the marketplace, IT professionals I speak with still find it challenging to maintain reliable high availability and disaster recovery for their systems. Traditional HA/DR solutions are typically cumbersome and brittle to configure and maintain, and almost always cost more than the value they provide. These HA/DR challenges grow exponentially with each different platform under management, as each platform requires different solutions. I have also seen a growing trend of IT departments moving more workloads to the cloud, further complicating the HA/DR story. Across all different platforms, it all really comes down to cost and complexity as the biggest hurdles I see customers face for data management and HA/DR.

    Q: DH2i recently announced it had extended its Partnership Program to include additional technology collaborations. Could you talk about the benefits of DH2i’s Partnership Program for its vendor partners, and how the partnerships help end users to address the above-mentioned challenges?

    A: Absolutely. DH2i’s Technology Partner Program is all about creating alliances with the industry’s key players for product certifications and resources. By partnering with DH2i, our Technology Partners are able to offer their customers a more straightforward and cost-effective solution for the HA and DR needs that they have. Rather than running into the issues we just spoke about—whereby customers have disparate, expensive and complex HA/DR solutions for each environment—they can use DH2i solutions to unify these environments under a single optimized framework. Even though our software is infrastructure agnostic, these relationships also help end-users have the confidence to use the infrastructure, cloud, and/or software vendor of their choice in conjunction with DH2i, without having to worry about compatibility.

    Q: In the announcement, you advise you are working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware – could you describe how you are working with each partner – and the benefits to end users of the partnerships?

    A: That’s right, our latest round of Technology Partnerships we’ve added include AWS, Docker, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware. We just joined with AWS to become an APN Technology Partner, which means we are now collaborating with AWS because our solution runs on their cloud servers (or any on-premises or cloud server, for that matter). This gives us access to trainings, technical enablement content, and the ability to work towards the next tiers of partnership which will bring even further collaboration such as technical validations and case studies.

    Our Docker alliance sets us up as a member of the Docker Technology Partner Program. This gives us access to the Docker technical alliances team to ensure we have support identifying opportunities and Docker best practices as well as certification support. DH2i software can manage Docker containers for stateful HA, making this a critical relationship.

    With Microsoft, DH2i has certified our software on a variety of their platforms and software including Windows Server, SQL Server, Azure, and Hyper-V. This gives customers the confidence that we have Microsoft-certified solutions for their datacenter. Additionally, we are listed on the SQL Server high availability and disaster recovery partners on Microsoft Docs. This gives visibility of DH2i to Microsoft customers who need industry-leading solutions for their SQL Server high availability challenges.

    We also recently joined the Red Hat Connect for Technology Partners Program, which gives DH2i access to NFR licenses to ensure compatibility as well other technical and marketing resources from Red Hat to ensure end users get the most comprehensive HA/DR solutions for their Red Hat systems. We have also certified that DH2i solutions run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

    Finally, with VMware we have validated our solutions as being VMware Ready, which ensures reliable operation under fully loaded conditions and confirms the solutions are optimized for VMware vSphere. Additionally, DH2i is a VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP). The VMware TAP program works with technology partners to deliver enhanced value to joint customers.

    Where can readers go to learn more about partnering with DH2i?

    Information about all of the DH2i partnership programs and information about how to join can be found here.

    August 7, 2018  12:22 AM

    NAKIVO v7.5 Supports vSphere 6.7, Cross-Platform Recovery, And More

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Backup, Backup and Recovery, Cloud Backup, Cross Platform, Data virtualization, Dell EMC, Nakivo, ReadyNAS, VMware vSphere, vSphere, vsphere vmware

    NAKIVO v7.5 is released with many new features in virtualization and cloud backup space. With the launch of NAKIVO Backup & Replication c7.5, NAKIO creates a new landmark in this domain. The new version includes support for vSphere 6.7, NETGEAR ReadyNAS Support, EMC Data Domain Boost Support, and other features. The product becomes a necessary tool for any kind of heterogeneous as well as homogeneous environments. The new version comes with several amazing features. Those include Cross-Platform Recovery, Support for the latest version of vSphere, Advanced Bandwidth Throttling, and a lot more. NAKIVO Inc. has been gaining a tremendous momentum in virtualization and cloud backup software field. It comes up fast with any new technology, hardware, or software that emerges in the market to bring out a solution that aims to make enterprise technology usage more meaningful, safe, secure, and useful.

    NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5 or as we call it NAKIVO v7.5 not only supports vSphere 6.7 but also integrates with key storage vendors like DELL EMC Data Domain and NETGEAR ReadyNAS. Let us look at it in a little more detail below.

    VMware vSphere 6.7 Support: NAKIVO v7.5 Backup & Replication now officially supports the latest version of VMware that is vSphere 6.7. This enables users to use NAKIVO Backup & Replication to seamlessly manage their latest VMware setups and get the full leverage of new features and thus enhance their backup and recovery mechanisms.

    Advanced Bandwidth Throttling: This allows presetting of speed limits for data protection processes in order to avoid choking of the network during peak hours. The manageability becomes easier using NAKIVO v7.5. Since it is completely customizable depending on your needs and adjustment with business hours, etc.

    Cross-Platform Recovery: NAKIVO Backup & Recovery v7.5 has come out with new features to manage VM data recovery across various platforms. Cross-Platform Recovery feature, in fact, enables users to export VM Data from VMware and Hyper-V backups into various formats like VMDK, VHDX, and VHD. These exported files can be used for recovery across various hypervisors, longterm archival, sandbox testing, or cross-platform VM data migration.

    Support for EMC Data Domain Boost: The latest version NAKIVO v7.5 is now officially able to integrate with the BoostFS plugin. This helps in combining features of the VM backup software with the source-side deduplication feature of Dell EMC Data Domain Boost or Dell EMC DD Boost. This integration, in fact, reduces VM backup size by up to 17X while the speed enhances by as much as 50%.

    NAKIVO v7.5 can directly integrate with NETGEAR ReadyNAS devices thus creating a NETGEAR ReadyNAS-based VM Backup appliance environment. This, in fact, results in a cost-effective VM backup appliance. As a matter of fact, the ReadyNAS-based appliance is a 5-in-1 solution that includes backup hardware, storage, software, data deduplication, and backup-to-cloud feature.

    Launching NAKIVO Backup & Recovery v7.5 Bruce Talley, CEO of NAKIVO Inc. said, “Here at NAKIVO, we are looking to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations while staying on top of developments in the industry,” said “We are continuously working on new versions of the product, adding new features and enhancing the existing ones according to customer feedback and the ever-evolving technological landscape.”

    A fully-functional free trial of NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5 is available at www.nakivo.com.
    Trial Download: /resources/download/trial-
    Success Stories: /customers/success-stories/
    Datasheet: nakivo-vm-backup-datasheet.pdf

    July 29, 2018  1:56 PM

    Some Interesting Project Management and Quality Assurance Quotes

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Project management, quality, Quality assurance

    Project management and quality assurance go hand in hand. Without quality, a project has no sanity. without sanity, a product or service has no value for the customer. Here are few interesting project management and quality assurance quotes from the masters of the respective fields.

    “As test documentation goes, test plans have the briefest actual lifespan of any test artifact. Early in a project, there is a push to write a test plan […]. Indeed, there is often an insistence among project managers that a test plan must exist and that writing it is a milestone of some importance. But, once such a plan is written, it is often hard to get any of those same managers to take reviewing and updating it seriously. The test plan becomes a beloved stuffed animal in the hands of a distracted child. We want it to be there at all times. We drag it around from place to place without ever giving it any real attention. We only scream when it gets taken away.”
    ― James A. Whittaker, How Google Tests Software

    “Recommended Reading The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Budget Approved by Johannes Ritter and Frank Röttgers provides a systematic guide for creating a financial business case. The book includes examples as well as the methods for using Monte Carlo simulation and sensitivity analysis to create the business case. The methods described in the book can also be used for quantifying risks and project costs. Mary and Tom Poppendieck in their book Lean Software Development: describe the lean principles and the types of waste in software projects.”
    ― Gloria J. Miller, Going Agile Project Management Practices

    Liking Project Management and Quality Assurance Quotes?

    Project Management and Quality Assurance Quotes

    “There was no escape: The entire Elliott 503 Mark II software project had to be abandoned, and with it, over thirty man-years of programming effort, equivalent to nearly one man’s active working life, and I was responsible, both as a designer and as manager, for wasting it. …

    How did we recover from the catastrophe? First, we classified our 503 customers into groups, according to the nature and size of the hardware configurations which they had bought … We assigned to each group of customers a small team of programmers and told the team leader to visit the customers to find out what they wanted; to select the easiest request to fulfill, and to make plans (but no promises) to implement it. In no case would we consider a request for a feature that would take more than three months to implement and deliver. The project leader would then have to convince me that the customers’ request was reasonable, that the design of the new feature was appropriate, and that the plans and schedules for implementation were realistic.

    Above all, I did not allow anything to be done which I did not myself understand. It worked! The software requested began to be delivered on the promised dates. With an increase in our confidence and that of our customers, we were able to undertake to fulfill slightly more ambitious requests. Within a year we had recovered from the disaster. Within two years, we even had some moderately satisfied customers.”
    C.A.R. Hoare

    July 29, 2018  1:43 PM

    Some Excellent Project Management Quotes

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Project management

    Following is a very old and well-known quote on the project management lifecycle. We sometimes forget and try to deliver something in so less time that calls for a lot of compromises. Any product that has to compromise with its quality for whatever reason is no less than a crime. In fact, it is a forgery against the customer. Someone who trusts you and places an order for a delivery doesn’t expect a breach in trust. Keeping that in mind, here are some fabulous project management quotes.

    “The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.”
    Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

    “The conclusion is simple: if a 200-man project has 25 managers who are the most competent and experienced programmers,
    fire the 175 troops and put the managers back to programming.”
    ― Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

    There is a lot of learning from these Project Management Quotes

    Project Management Quotes

    “The key is to take a larger project or goal and break it down into smaller problems to be solved, constraining the scope of work to solving a key problem, and then another key problem.
    This strategy, of breaking a project down into discrete, relatively small problems to be resolved, is what Bing Gordon, a cofounder and the former chief creative officer of the video game company Electronic Arts, calls smallifying. Now a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, Gordon has deep experience leading and working with software development teams. He’s also currently on the board of directors of Amazon and Zynga. At Electronic Arts, Gordon found that when software teams worked on longer-term projects, they were inefficient and took unnecessary paths. However, when job tasks were broken down into particular problems to be solved, which were manageable and could be tackled within one or two weeks, developers were more creative and effective.”
    ― Peter Sims, Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

    July 29, 2018  1:30 PM

    Some Excellent Quality Control Quotes

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    quality, Quality control

    Life without quality has no meaning. The same applies to a product or service. Enterprises that keep quality on top strive to deliver best to their customers. That always helps in growing fast and gaining a sustainable environment. Here are some excellent quality control quotes to refer to.

    “No marshmallows. “I don’t believe this! I’m going to write the president of General Mills! Don’t they have any quality control?”
    “I’m sure it’s just a fluke”
    “Doesn’t make any difference whether it’s a fluke or not. It shouldn’t have happened. When a person buys a box of lucky charms he’s got expectations”
    ― Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nobody’s Baby But Mine

    “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
    H. James Harrington

    “If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in your life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve. You need to set and live by these standards no matter what happens in your life.”
    ― Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

    I hope you are enjoying reading these quality control quotes.

    “I worry whoever thought up the term ‘quality control’ thought if we didn’t control it, it would get out of hand.”
    ― Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

    A collection of some fabulous software quality control quotes

    “I’m a Marketer, I don’t believe in Brands, but I believe in Quality and quality has different definitions” ― ياسمين يوسف

    Quality Control Quotes

    “The idea that schedules can be shortened in order to reduce cost or speed up delivery is a very common misconception. You‘ll commonly see attempts to require overtime or sacrifice ―less important scheduled tasks (like unit-testing) as a way to reduce delivery dates or increase functionality while keeping the delivery dates as is. Avoid this scenario at all costs. Remind those requesting the changes of the following facts:

    – A rushed design schedule leads to poor design, bad documentation and probable Quality Assurance or User Acceptance problems.
    – A rushed coding or delivery schedule has a direct relationship to the number of bugs delivered to the users.
    – A rushed test schedule leads to poorly tested code and has a direct relationship to the number of testing issues encountered.
    – All of the above lead to Production issues which are much more expensive to fix.”
    ― Richard Monson-Haefel, 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts

    July 29, 2018  9:16 AM

    Some Remarkable Quality Assurance Quotes

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    quality, Quality assurance

    When I tried to search quality assurance quotes on Google, I found some very excellent ones that I thought, I should share with my readers here. In fact, in a way, I am doing a compilation of these quotes for some reference later on requirements. The same you can also do. Comments and remarks welcome. Let’s start:

    “Judge us on the quality of our products, and not the quantity of our paperwork.”
    Michel Van Mellaerts

    This makes a lot of sense. Fools are the people who judge a company by the amount of paperwork they do. Rather, the focus should be on the quality of the product. Because at the end of the day, the customer needs quality in the product. He has nothing to do with what all kind of bulky paperwork you perform at the cost of the quality.

    “I write them to improve my productivity as a programmer. Making the quality assurance department happy is just a side effect. Unit tests are highly localized. Each test class works within a single package. It tests the interfaces to other packages, but beyond that, it assumes the rest just works.

    Functional tests are a different animal. They are written to ensure the software, as a whole, works. They provide quality assurance to the customer and don’t care about programmer productivity. Rather, they should be developed by a different team, one who delights in finding bugs.”
    ― Martin Fowler, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

    I think this is the only way to improve the design and quality of the existing code. In fact, the focus has to shift completely on the wholesome approach rather than having a piecemeal approach.

    Some Thoughtful and Mindful Quality Assurance Quotes

    “Quality takes time and reduces quantity, so it makes you, in a sense, less efficient. The efficiency-optimized organization recognizes quality as its enemy. That’s why many corporate Quality Programs are really Quality Reduction Programs in disguise.”
    ― Tom DeMarco, Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency

    That is a huge thing for corporates to digest it.

    Another set of quality assurance quotes:

    “To have a man whose name is on the label showing such interest, commitment, and determination for the best is a wonderful thing. This is someone who will throw money at the quality, who believes in being the best. Never knock it. Would you prefer to have a bean counter in corporate headquarters, someone who never comes near the brewery, making decisions solely on the basis of the bottom line and profit margins?”
    ― Charles W. Bamforth, Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: The Craft, Culture, and Ethos of Brewing, Portable Documents

    “Software testing is a sport like hunting. It’s bughunting.”
    Amit Kalantri

    And finally the best of Quality Assurance Quotes:

    Quality Assurance Quotes

    Photo credit: IsaacMao on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

    “What’s measured improves”
    Peter F. Drucker

    Hope you enjoyed these quotes.

    July 28, 2018  10:47 PM

    Is Cloud An Important Part Of Your Enterprise IT Strategy?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    cloud, DataCenter

    If the cloud is not an important part of your enterprise IT strategy this year, there is something wrong. Actually, not necessarily. It might be a decision taken by the think tank of the organization after a thorough assessment and evaluation. Cloud or no cloud is another point. The technology has already raised a big question mark on large datacenters on premise. And a large number of experts managing these datacenters. Plus, a very high-cost infrastructure in place to cater to the needs. Enterprises are thinking whether investing so much and keeping a white elephant on-premise is a wise decision or going public is better? Whether data security is more on-premise or on the cloud?

    Slightly less than 50% of enterprises participating in a recent survey acknowledged using public cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). While 35% are using hosted private clouds, a little lesser than that (32%) are using PaaS (Platform as a Service). Less than 10% of the IT heads agree that cloud is not critical. More than 90% IT Managers acknowledging that cloud is an important part of their IT strategy for 2018 means something significant. The key benefits that everybody thinks, the cloud brings are Smooth migration, Speedy deployment, cutting down of running and one time expenses, increase in IT agility, security enhancement, and a significant rise in workload performance. To a large extent, this is absolutely right. Actually, cloud and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are purely a hardware game. It includes storage, networking, and compute. All this deployment takes place in an automated manner.

    More than 90% IT Managers agree on Cloud A Part of Their Enterprise IT Strategy

    In fact, in most of the cases, Enterprise IT Strategy includes Cloud, Security, Mobility, Automation, AI, etc. It is interesting to note the key differentiators between IaaS and PaaS. PaaS, in fact, has become a little fluid in nature these days.

    July 28, 2018  10:18 PM

    Global Digital Infrastructure Trends And Blockchain Technology

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum

    Global digital infrastructure trends mainly include blockchain technology with a key focus on energy consumption and performance. On the other hand, enterprise networking is taking a new shift with the evolution of intent-based networking. This is a step ahead from software-defined networking. Cloud is impacting enterprises in a big way. To go for it or not to go, hyperconvergence, or stay with what you have as it is are the mind-boggling points for enterprises to take a firm decision. Obviously, any decision taken in this regard will have a long-term impact on the overall growth of the organization. The blockchain is currently in its nascent state. But it has already become a worry point for datacenter operators and vendors. IT professionals and datacenter operators can’t ignore the impact of blockchain technology in datacenters. It is interesting to see how this technology addresses the two important factors energy and performance.

    In fact, it is high time to leverage blockchain technology by deploying it and extracting juice out of it. An important issue to analyze is its sustainability. And of course scalability. Power consumption is directly proportional to the size of the network. But to control the waste there is something known as consensus protocol. In fact, it is a set of distributed protocols that intelligently decide which transaction to execute and which not to. But that doesn’t compromise with the consistency and integrity of the blockchain irrespective of whatsoever is the number of distributed nodes. Another protocol that is related is proof of work or PoW protocol. Many blockchains like Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc. are already using it. This protocol is very intensely compute and energy-centric. For these properties of PoW, cryptocurrency mining is preferred to be a part of datacenter operations.

    Blockchain technology will take some time to acquire maturity

    A recent study about blockchain technology states more than 55% of Bitcoin nodes are in datacenters. The study was conducted was IC3, Cornell University, and Technion. It also reveals that around 30% of Ethereum nodes also are part of datacenters.

    July 28, 2018  9:21 PM

    What Are The Top IT Priorities For Enterprises in 2018 and beyond?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

    IT in enterprises always oscillates between keeping the lights on and finding new sources and ways. Where the focus stays more on keeping the lights on indicates not many innovations happening. That means the environment is more of firefighting and handholding than introducing and deploying new technologies. Between all this, digital economy and digital transformation is something that is taking place in every organization. After all growth and development are more important than managing the day to day operations. As a matter of fact, keeping lights is important to ensure smooth operations but it should not happen at the cost of high-level resources being wasted in mundane jobs. The IT budget of any organization can clearly indicate the overall health of technology in the organization. No focus on R&D, new technologies, and innovations clearly indicate lack of growth of technology in the organization.

    Transformation should always be a leap ahead of maintenance. If there is a need for automation of key business processes, it should not stop because of unavailability of the budget. Mobility is another area that needs attention. There is no point in letting your technical debt increase on a regular basis. Rather the focus should be towards decreasing it as much as possible. If legacy systems are taking more and delivering less in comparison, it is high time to discard those systems. It is not wise to spend on 10 legacy applications performing different business tasks in piecemeal. And in turn consuming a large chunk of resources, time, effort, and money. The overall equation remains negative in that case raising an alarming situation for the health of the organization. The same is true for legacy infrastructure. After all their upkeep means recurring investment.

    Top IT priorities for 2018 Has Security on the Top

    Other top IT priorities include hyperconvergence, security, big data, analytics, Artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. Obviously, one size doesn’t fit all. The priorities will shuffle according to the nature of the business and other key parameters.

    July 28, 2018  7:54 PM

    How Hyperconverged Infrastructure Brings Simplicity and Acceleration

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    HCI, hyperconverged

    On-premise datacenters differ from a public cloud in a big way. While the on-premise infrastructure environment is usually complex with slow hardware provisioning. The public cloud, on the other hand, is simple with rapid hardware provisioning. That is where Hyperconverged Infrastructure or HCI comes into the picture. Because the efficiency that one brings in is difficult to attain with the other model. Many enterprises who understand this gap in the two models is trying to speed up the IT transformation of their on-premise datacenters with the help of automation. Implementation of these automated management platforms definitely requires a different kind of infrastructure setup that supports it well. This, in fact, creates an environment that is similar to a cloud model.

    The purpose of Hpyerconverged Infrastructure is to create an on-premise IT environment that is as good as a public cloud in terms of freedom, agility, and speed. The overall IT transformation process not only needs a different set of tools but also a large number of automation initiatives. An important factor to take care of is policy-driven automation that should be the ultimate goal of this whole exercise. The best way is to set HCI as the base that drives environment-wide automation. As a matter of fact, if you notice closely, automation has already become a regular phenomenon in many organizations for their IT environments. In fact, discovery and orchestration tools are becoming an integral part of a datacenter management system. These tools function on the policy-based resource allocation and management. That is why automated management tools like Puppet, Chef, SaltStack, and Ansible are becoming popular.

    Hyperconverged Infrastructure needs a strong IT transformation strategy

    While having automation tools is the prime requirement for Hyperconverged Infrastructure. There has to be a suitable It transformation strategy in place before anything else in this regard. Because the overall goal is to bring simple and accelerated environment.

    July 25, 2018  10:34 PM

    Industrial IoT to Surpass Consumer IoT in India by 2020

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Deloitte, IIoT, Industrial IoT, Internet of Things, iot, Smart cities

    The two industry segments that will witness maximum utilization of Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) as per the latest report IAMAI-Deloitte report released today during ‘IoT for Smart India’ summit held in New Delhi. The title of the report is ‘Demystifying IoT for Digital Transformation’. Another key outcome of this report is about Industrial IoT surpassing the consumer IoT spectrum in India by 2020. A significant target set by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeiTY) in their draft IoT policy is to take the IoT industry in India to $15 bn by the year 2020. If India is able to achieve it, it would be having around 6% share of the global IoT industry. IAMAI stands for Internet and Mobile Association of India. There is a significant adoption of IoT in India because of some of the new initiatives like Digital India and Smart Cities Mission.

    Industrial IoT

    Deloitte IAMAI – Demystifying IoT for digital transformation

    Industries across all segments are doing their best to take the maximum leverage of technology for growth. That, in turn, shows a steep rise in adoption of Industrial IoT projects. Most of these projects are taking place in Energy and Utilities, Transport, Logistics, Industrial Manufacturing, and Agriculture verticals. One of the major drawbacks is these projects are taking place in isolation thereby increasing the risk of repetition of efforts and energies, and wastage of money at the same time. A universal collaboration of vendors putting staggered efforts in these projects will not only ensure a tremendous decrease in the above risks but also help in gaining higher success and fast results.

    Industrial IoT needs a high-level of collaboration among vendors and projects

    Bikram Bedi, Head of India and SAARC, Amazon Internet Services says,

    “Internet of Things (IoT) as a technology is receiving tremendous attention for the transformative potential it presents. By connecting the physical and digital worlds, IoT vastly expands the reach of information technology and throws up a myriad of possibilities given the ability to monitor and control things in the physical world electronically, and the availability of previously inaccessible data. IoT applications are being deployed across a wide range of use cases including utilities, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, connected vehicles, connected homes and many more. Given the transformative potential and the significant economic impact IoT can drive for a country like India, IAMAI together with the industry, has launched a concerted effort towards catalyzing the IoT ecosystem in the country.”

    Harmeen Mehta, Co-Chair, IoT Committee, IAMAI and Global CIO, Bharti Airtel adds,

    “IoT is all set to truly transform and enrich our lives with its digital solutions and innumerous possibilities. India is well positioned to leverage the power of IoT to create massive growth opportunities in the country. At IAMAI, we are fully committed to contributing to this journey and are working closely with the Govt and relevant industry stakeholders to build a vibrant ecosystem that demystifies IoT and works towards developing policy, standards & best practices for IoT connectivity, device protocols, security, mass scale production and cost-effectiveness.”

    July 23, 2018  10:52 PM

    Digital Transformation and Skill Shortages – How To Cope Up?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Digital transformation

    Digital transformation and skill shortages go hand in hand. Digital transformation involves high engagement of digital technology. IT needs to be an innovative partner in adopting and streamlining these technologies for the organization. Innovations must impact all business verticals with an overall goal of enhancing the customer experience. To improve customer experience, you need to improve overall operational efficiencies. For this, it is important to learn how to find the inefficiencies in the complete ecosystem. Once you are able to achieve that, it will definitely help in improving business agility. The overall impact is a better management of business risk. That is the sole purpose of digital transformation in any organization. First and foremost is to keep it ahead of the competition. This demands a number of mindful strategic alliances. These alliances need to happen both internally and externally. It is not wise to keep all expertise in-house.

    Digital Transformation and Skill Shortages

    Photo on Visual hunt

    Progressive organizations face more heat for having perfect staffing. More so digital transformation and skill shortages are a common phenomenon. On the other hand, progressive businesses have the skill to learn and unlearn things faster than others. For instance, cloud adoption across an enterprise calls for a number of disruptions. Staffing is one of the biggest challenges. It happens because, with the changing scenarios, the organization needs new skillsets. Retraining is one option but that is a time-consuming exercise. Usually, this kind of projects happens on a fast track. Organizations want to see the immediate results. But they fail to understand any transformation comes along with a certain set of pain points. The speed of deployment is directly proportional to the appetite to bear the pain. Contrarily, organizations not serious about digital transformation don’t have such kind of IT skill crunch.

    Digital transformation and skill shortages create a lot of opportunities

    Organizations having a strategic mindset know about the pain of digital transformation and skill shortages. They, in fact, try to find out innovative ways to manage this situation before the pain turns severe.

    July 23, 2018  10:22 PM

    Digital Transformation Involves Internal Strategic Alliances

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Digital transformation

    Even today the majority of the organization’s IT department is busy handling day-to-day operations and upkeep tasks. On the other hand, enterprises are craving for digitalization and thus seeking more strategic alliances with their IT cells. So basically, the change in demand for IT is from tactical to strategic. This is, in fact, becoming a necessity for IT of any enterprise. As a matter of fact, enterprises are changing their strategy towards the kind of people to hire in IT. Earlier it was more of generalists and less of specialists. Now, the new paradigm is to hire more specialists and outsource all generic kind of jobs that require generalists. This, in turn, is helping the organizations to shift to opex model from capex model. This is helping organizations to create a more flexible and adaptable environment. This transformation is helping in reducing the risk of getting left behind.

    strategic alliances

    Photo credit: kurmanstaff on Visual Hunt / CC BY

    Strategic Alliances is the top key for Digital Transformation

    Usually, larger and older organizations are carrying bigger technical debt. This technical debt is not only in terms of hardware and software but manpower too. A huge pool of legacy systems, about which I discussed in detail in my previous post doesn’t let them easily integrate with their modern systems. Organizations that are understanding this need for greater strategic alliances not only with IT but all other departments who are the key stakeholders for carrying out the digital transformation. Happily or painfully, organizations have to adopt this methodology. As I say often, the first and foremost task is to transform from a tactical to a strategic alliance model. Scrutiny of legacy softwares and infrastructure is very important to sort out the level of burden they are impacting on the overall mechanism. If businesses have to survive in the current scenario, digital transformation is a must.

    No digital transformation is possible without forming strategic alliances with IT. For that, IT needs to be an equal strategic partner in the business.

    July 23, 2018  4:53 PM

    How Do You Measure Technical Debt Of Your Enterprise?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja

    Working in an enterprise as CIO/CTO never goes without buying a software application for one or the other purpose. On the same grounds, a lot of in-house coding keeps happening through the coders and developers onboard. It is quite interesting to know how unknowingly and swiftly many of these become technical debt for an enterprise. Let us see how. Over a period of time, these applications become a pool of legacy for the organization. Many out of these go out of use or are left with a partial use. Despite all that the upkeep of all these bouquet of codes remains the responsibility of IT department of the organization. What is means is that there comes an invisible elephant eating a big chunk of energy and efforts without getting some significant return. There are many reasons for this technical debt piling up silently and effortlessly.

    Let me give you an example. Around 23 years back I created a payroll application in one of my early organizations. This was having a lot of complications and obviously it took a lot of time to develop and establish. after working there for 10 years, I joined another organization and then another. While working in this third organization, I get a request from my first organization that there is some issue in the code of the application that I developed and they need my help to fix it. By this time the application was almost a decade old but still in use. In fact, during this period, the home-grown ERP that we had during my tenure was replaced with an international brand ERP. But for payroll, they were still banking on the same application. That, in fact, was quite surprising for me too.

    Technical Debt Appears Silently and Without Any Alarm

    On enquiring, the CFO tells that the mainstream ERP of international brand was not able to cater to their needs for their payroll requirements. The cost to develop the whole thing again in-house was not possible for them. Getting a new piece of code from a vendor was incurring a huge cost. That is why they decided to carry on with the same age-old legacy payroll application. In my opinion, it was now a sleeping volcano that could erupt any moment thus creating a huge technical debt for them.

    June 30, 2018  10:55 PM

    Serverless Monitoring Startups In Experimenting Mode

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Serverless computing, Startups

    If enterprises find a suitable, stable, and reliable monitoring tool for their production applications, they would not mind shifting to serverless architecture at a faster pace. The adoption would become easier and quicker, in that case. The biggest challenge of visibility in serverless environments is monitoring. There are a number of vendors offering serverless monitoring services and capabilities. These include SignalFX, Datadog, New Relic, etc. It was, in fact, AWS Lambda creating a new concept of serverless architecture. The concept was new though but quite interesting offering function as a service (FaaS). As a matter of fact, serverless means the organization doesn’t need a provision of servers. That doesn’t mean servers are not there in the picture. They are, in fact. But the organization doesn’t need to manage servers. This is quite interesting. Isn’t it? Then who handles server management? Who ensures scaling at the right juncture?

    Serverless Architecture, in fact, involves a metering mechanism thereby charging users on the basis of certain parameters. These parameters could be the time of code execution and the number of times a code triggers. That makes serverless monitoring quite interesting. Is it costly? Let’s see. Many organizations are already moving from onsite data centers to serverless architecture. That avoids them bothering about containers or even virtual machines. While AWS was the pioneer in creating serverless technology, there are other players now like Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. Serverless model comes with certain benefits. These include an improvement in code quality, improvement in developer productivity, cost saving, scalability, to name a few. One of the biggest complaint that comes from this technology’s users is lack of visibility into their servers. Serverless environment demands a different monitoring mechanism. Normal APM (application performance monitoring) and IM (infrastructure monitoring) systems don’t suffice the purpose.

    Serverless Monitoring Doesn’t Gel With Traditional Systems

    In the nutshell, we can say that serverless computing is currently in a nascent stage and undergoing various experimenting from vendors to attain a substantial reduction in overhead. Some more startups in this field are IOpipe in Seattle, Dashbird in Estonia/San Francisco, OpenGenie (Thundra) in Falls Church, Epsagon in Tel Aviv, and Stackery in Portland. In fact, it will be interesting to watch biggies like Amazon’s next moves in the field of serverless monitoring.

    June 30, 2018  9:17 PM

    Is Public Cloud Gaining Momentum Among Enterprises?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Cloud migration, DataCenter, Public Cloud

    What are the enterprise datacenter preferences worldwide? Is public cloud gaining momentum among enterprises? Well, a number of studies and statistics say the shift is happening but at a slower pace. While the centralized datacenter and core business apps still remain within the boundaries, the local datacenters are reducing. One of the key reasons for this could be a shift towards hosted solutions by the organizations. Obviously, embracing public cloud cuts down your investments especially the capital investments. Organizations are moving to public cloud platforms rather than investing in IT Infrastructure. As a matter of fact, any addition in existing infrastructure not only eats a major chunk of your annual budget but also increases your recurring expenses in terms of their upkeep and maintenance. Organizations are preferring to reduce these costs and enhance their operational performance. Of course, the amount of effort largely depends on certain factors.

    Public Cloud Gaining Momentum

    Photo on Visualhunt

    For larger organizations, it becomes more challenging to migrate to the public cloud. On the other hand, smaller organizations can migrate their workloads easily. Basically, it depends on the volume of data and the complexity of databases and applications. The simple applications and databases are easier to move. Despite such hurdles, it is interesting to see public cloud gaining momentum among larger enterprises. It is interesting for organizations to study how this shift impacts their IT environment usage and workload. Existing IT infrastructure and assets become a worry point for organizations while taking a call to move to public cloud. An increase in cloud service providers clearly states the mood and trends. In many small organizations, in fact, server rooms and local datacenters have vanished. Noticing this trend and success, even larger organizations are now thinking of moving more workloads to the public cloud.

    Public Cloud Gaining Momentum But Slowly

    Traditional on-premise deployments are decreasing at the cost of public cloud gaining momentum. Colocation is also becoming a favorite choice, especially for mid-level organizations. That way they are able to consolidate their infrastructure and datacenters. Overall, in-house IT footprints are decreasing across the organizations of all sizes and geographies.

    June 28, 2018  5:11 PM

    Machine Learning Use Cases for Enterprises

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    CRM, Data Analytics, Deep learning, Enterprise, HCM, Information security, iot, Machine learning, Marketing automation, Scm, Supply Chain analysis, use cases

    This post is in continuation of my previous two posts. The agenda of these posts is to highlight how enterprises can leverage machine learning in various segments thus enhancing their business decisions. In my first post, we discussed How Machine Learning Transforms Customer Experience in CRM? Similarly, in the next post, we talked about How To Use Machine Learning In Supply Chain Analytics? In this post, we will discuss few more important use cases that are applicable in most of the enterprises. So, let us start with few more machine learning use cases for enterprises. Next use case that comes to my mind is Data Analytics. In fact, it is the first use case I think that originated as soon as machine learning came into existence. The good point here is that it can easily handle unstructured data thus making analytics more meaningful with wider coverage of relevant data.

    Machine Learning Use Cases For Enterprises

    Photo credit: b_d_solis on Visualhunt / CC BY

    When we talk about machine learning use cases for enterprises, it is analytics that becomes a foremost priority. The reason for that is coverage of wider datasets and capability of having predictive models while embracing unstructured data. It can, in fact, result in prescriptive analytics. The real beauty is letting it used by those who are not data scientists. Thus the real power comes into the hands of business people who need to take in-time decisions that are business critical. Next use case that we can discuss here is HCM i.e. Human Capital Management. Machine learning is already impacting or rather empowering HR specialists with recruitment, development, training, growth, measurement, and retention of employees. There has been, in fact, a radical shift in recruitment in terms of the way job-finding sites function as well as recruiters and organizations identifying most suitable candidates.

    Machine Learning Use Cases for Enterprises Are Helping Them In A Big Way

    The next class of machine learning use cases for enterprises comprises of Information Security. Through the application of analytics, machine learning is enhancing information security for various issues, detection, alerts, correction, and so on. With the increasing size of end users especially in large organizations, it is impossible for IT department to check security even logs manually. That is where this technology becomes handy. Machine learning is helping a lot in understanding user behavior, identifying risks and vulnerabilities, mitigating risks without manual intervention, and proactively taking appropriate action against external threats.

    June 27, 2018  9:03 PM

    How To Use Machine Learning In Supply Chain Analytics

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Machine learning, Supply chain, Supply Chain analysis, Supply Chain Management

    When we think about using machine learning in supply chain analytics a lot of ideas would come to your mind. There is an important thing to keep in mind before heading towards any conclusion in this regard. As we all know some components of supply chain management talk in analog terms. More so, there are certain things that you would still be performing with pens and clipboards. But there is a brighter side to it. The other parts of it like autonomous trucks, drones, analytics, driverless cars, etc. are using the latest technology. Let us keep our focus on analytics part for now. Some of the prominent issues that we use in supply chain management are common in B2C and B2B segments. Like, delivering same-day. Be it service or product. The world is becoming more and more demanding day by day. The boundaries between B2B and B2C are fading.

    Supply Chain Analytics

    Photo credit: CIMMYT on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

    Every business and customer expect 24×7 which means businesses need to be ‘always on’. Customers prefer to get personalized information. It is already on the verge of on-demand and real-time. There are amazing outcomes possible while using machine learning in supply chain analytics. It works more efficiently in case of organizations having trouble in handling scales. Like, when it comes to managing a huge number of stocking locations. Forecasting is another area where businesses require a high level of accuracy and the information should come in real-time. Gone are the times of weekly or monthly forecasts. It is now daily or intra-daily forecasting that is in demand looking at the changing scenarios of businesses. To keep getting the data in real time, point-of-sale (POS) systems need to be in place and integrated well with the centralized system. Security is a big concern.

    Machine Learning in Supply Chain Analytics Can Create Wonders

    There needs to be a mechanism for identifying and alerting against fraud and theft. Another important area is anticipating unusual events in advance. There comes the need of integrating with big data sources like the weather system. All this is not possible without encashing the benefits of latest technologies. You need to use machine learning in supply chain analytics to achieve all these goals. One of the best business use in this regard is UPS’s ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) system. The system is working well for more than a decade now. It helps UPS drivers find the best possible route with the aid of GPS systems. There are many other things that only machine learning can handle like dynamic pricing, online customer handling on social media, fraud detection, and defect detection. That is not all. These are just a few of the pointers.

    In today’s environment to take the complete leverage of machine learning in supply chain analytics, it is important to use technologies and tools like image recognition, social media analytics, video analytics, and integrating with relevant information aggregators. Ultimately the goal is to gain the advantage with the help of technology to take your business to next level of competition.

    June 26, 2018  5:52 PM

    How Machine Learning Transforms Customer Experience in CRM?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    CRM, Customer experience management, Machine learning

    Every success in any business has only one factor behind it. That is Customer Experience. Let us see how it impacts in CRM. The foremost goal of any CRM is to provide a 360-degree view of a customer. And thus create a great customer experience in CRM. That is the one factor the whole CRM vertical is striving for. Whether it is customer side or the vendor side. The 360-degree customer view was lacking until the early 2000s. Why it was not possible or thought of because the primary focus at that time was on transactional data. That data that was residing in various formats in databases.

    At that time it was touching only the structured data. All unstructured data was being ignored or was treated as useless. This unstructured data used to have most of the valuable customer transactions like communications, phone calls, emails, and social media posts. Though social media posts at that time were too less. It was more or less a partial analysis of customer experience in CRM.

    Customer Experience in CRM

    Photo credit: Marc_Smith on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

    Discarding all this data could result in only partial customer experience in CRM. Because such kind of data was not at all analyzed because of the drawback of the technology in use at that time. Machine Learning is now able to give a major thrust to 360-degree customer view because of its ability to analyze huge sizes of disparate data routing from various sources. In fact, it does not matter if it is structured or not. Basically, with the evolution in experience, the experts have been able to define four prominent stages in customer analytics. These are Acquire, Serve, Nurture, and Grow. Let’s see how machine learning is playing a major role in each of these stages. When we talk about the ‘Acquire’ stage, machine learning based use cases would include micro-segment activities on the prospects thereby improving the level of accuracy.

    Customer Experience in CRM Is A Constant Evolving Journey

    Similarly, during ‘Serve’ stage, machine learning has an ability to create an intelligent chatbot or virtual assistant for customer self-service. That itself simplifies many complex processes and makes things simpler for customers. Customers, in fact, find a lot of value in it. Optimizing average hold time, taking standard requests without the involvement of customer service representative, and delivering faster are some of the gains for the customer. Machine learning helps a lot in the ‘Nurture’ stage thus transforming customer experience in CRM in a big way. it manages the process of customer interactions in such a way that the annoyance factor goes off and satisfaction level goes high. As a matter of fact, it removes all the customer friction points. Finally, in ‘Grow’ stage, machine learning optimizes and customizes by providing best suitable offers. It enhances conversion rate and profitability.

    June 25, 2018  11:31 PM

    Do Enterprises Fear The Public Cloud?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    IaaS, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, SaaS

    Nearly 50% of businesses currently use IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Around 12-15% of growth is estimated for the next 12 months. Doesn’t it clearly indicate a majority of businesses will have moved to public clouds in the next year? Do enterprises fear the public cloud? Or they have a valid reason and a high amount of clarity to resist it? Are they really resisting it? Cloud services include SaaS, IaaS, and private cloud. Most of the organizations are using it in one or the other form at least for one of their business applications catering to at least one of their critical functions. Also, a study says the majority of investment in hosted infrastructure is happening to public clouds (IaaS). Still, it is far from popularity or wider acceptance. What could be the reason for this? There is a hidden war going on between vendors and enterprises.

    There are in fact different kind of scenarios. There are more than 40% of organizations that are not using the public cloud. They neither intend to in the near future. On the other hand, there are organizations that intend to adopt it but are slow to adapt to the cloud. The third segment is of organizations that rely completely on the private cloud which could be hosted or in-house. Cost and security are the two key glitches that businesses have in mind when it comes to adoption of public clouds. Also, it asks for a huge transformation for which it seems they are not ready mentally. It could be because of attributes of their organizations or their IT setups. Still, some prominent features have emerged. For instance, there is a straight connection between the size of the organization and its IaaS adaptability.

    Public Cloud adoption is far from expectations

    On the other hand, this trait takes a reverse sweep when it comes to the age of the business. The companies that are under five years of existence have highest rates of IaaS adoption. While the older businesses are late and slow adopters. These could all lead to public cloud resistance from various perspectives.

    June 24, 2018  11:13 PM

    Are You Using Data Storytelling In Your Organization?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    ai, Artificial intelligence, Data storytelling, data visualization, Visualization

    Smart Visualization is not the only way of making AI transform BI in a big way. There are other ways too. Before coming to those, let us discuss smart visualization a little more. As we understand from my previous post, it helps in eliminating the gap between experts and non-experts. That means it helps in getting better business results by actually involving and engaging business experts who are not too tech savvy and don’t use any query languages. Therefore, they henceforth don’t need any tech assistants in boardrooms and other top-level meetings to run some critical analytics that helps them in making crucial business decisions in time. It, in fact, makes machine learning to suggest the selection of right graphic for the right query thus making AI much easier. Another important tool is embedding AI into Data Storytelling. It happens with the help of NLG technology.

    AI is able to make data storytelling a powerful tool through the integration of NLG technology. NLG, in fact, makes storytelling more narrative-driven. It happens through telling narratives employing data in preparing visualizations and business dashboards. NLG, as a matter of fact, generates words and sentences from data using NLP. It is definitely quite an interesting part to understand how it happens. There are a number of recent business case studies having integration of NLG into dashboards thus enhancing data storytelling. This, in fact, provides critical business insights that are not easily understandable in numbers and graphics. It involves usage of sentences in natural language thus making it more meaningful by providing additional context and understanding. That altogether gives a different meaning to visualizations, reports, and metrics in dashboards. The whole purpose is to make them easier to comprehend.

    Data Storytelling Is Evolving At A Faster Pace

    That is one of the reasons for the fast growth of integration of NLG into dashboards. This integration of NLG into dashboards not only makes data storytelling easier but it also makes it easier to query the data with the help of NLP algorithms in order to tell the story in a comprehensive and impressive manner.

    June 24, 2018  10:39 PM

    AI Transforming Business Intelligence In A Big Way

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Artificial intelligence, Business Intelligence, data visualization, Machine learning, NLP

    AI is transforming business intelligence in a big way. The era of pilots and POCs is over. It is the action time now. The things are happening in production now. As we all know Artificial Intelligence i.e. AI is a combination of a number of technologies like Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Natural Language Generation (NLG). In fact, this integration of AI with BI is creating wonders. What it does is it makes analytics more crisp and user-friendly. This will lead to BI becoming accessible to masses (or the non-experts) thus speeding up the process of its adoption. As a matter of fact, organizations are becoming data-driven that can help greatly in decision-making. The real catch is to make BI so friendly for business users who are not data analytics or BI professionals that they get the real benefit out of it.

    There is something called Smart Visualization. It is visualizing the data smartly. It works with the help of Visual Query Technology. This technology helps in the visual analysis by means of graphically answering BI queries in charts, graphs, and other visual forms. That, in turn, makes analytics faster to perform and easier to operate. This, definitely, removes the hurdles to adoption by removing the requirement of writing queries in code. That was one of the reasons that BI despite being a powerful tool was out of reach of users having no SQL or other programming skills. The same kind of skill of introducing machine learning into smart visualization is emerging as a smart move to apply AI to BI thus removing the wide knowledge gap between experts and non-experts. This is how AI is Transforming Business Intelligence In A Big Way.

    AI is Transforming Business Intelligence through Smart Visualization

    Smart Visualization, in fact, is enabling users to create powerful dashboards with impressive infographics. The users in case need not necessarily be having deep data analytical skills. That is a wonderful way of AI transforming Business Intelligence and making it accessible easily and effectively.

    June 24, 2018  9:56 PM

    On-Premise vs Off-Premise – Where is Your Enterprise?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    On-premise to Cloud, On-premises

    With the changing trends of Converged Infrastructure and Server Trends, it is interesting to see the shuffle taking place across the globe in terms of on-premise vs off-premise. IT infrastructure is transforming in a big way. So are the perceptions of today’s IT managers. In fact, for many organizations, the decisions between the on-prem and off-prem are far away from clarity. On the other hand, there are many who are changing their IT strategies to make more room for going in favor of off-prem thus reaping benefits out of it. Organizations are still facing troubles for moving ahead in the direction of complete orchestration and automation. It is happening either due to lack of in-house knowledge, business direction, or finding a right vendor to achieve it. And this is happening at the organizations having the most skilled IT teams with no shortage of funds.

    One thing is true when it comes to On-Premise vs Off-Premise decision. A small progress in favor of the latter promises to return tangible infrastructure-provisioning profits. The role of servers and converged infrastructure is changing drastically. The key factors impacting it are hyper-convergence, workload balancing, and containerization. Basically, it is all about right-sizing for the sake of future. While many organizations are sure that the existing infrastructure in place is more than enough to cater to their future needs. All it will need is a little expansion and tweaking but no major replacements. On the other hand, there are very large sized enterprises that are worried about a wide gap between what they have currently and their future needs. Hyperconverged, in fact, is becoming a core need of an organization that earlier was having a minor role to play. This is creating major changes in data centers.

    Things are Clearer for On-Premise vs Off-Premise

    Similarly, a large number of organizations are having or talking about containers. They believe that container technology has an inherent ability to fasten application provisioning times. These are my thoughts on the current trends of On-Premise vs Off-Premise.

    June 16, 2018  5:59 PM

    Endpoint Security Means Complete Lifecycle Security On A Single Platform

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Azure, Endpoint security, Microsoft

    This is my concluding post on Top Security Concerns For 2018-2019, a 3-posts series. As we see Encryption, SOC and Mobility remain the top concerns in this regard. In my last post, we were talking about the increasing trends of mobility of employees of an organization. Thus, automatically, a new demand arises from tackling staff mobility between various network environments. The users need to access a number of applications and services lying in a heterogeneous environment. Some of these lie on-premise while the other are residing on the cloud. With a tremendous increase in encrypted tunnels, it is becoming difficult to manage the whole ecosystem. Thus, the new equation is to have a complete visibility and control of the endpoints. The strategies and points of importance are changing shape at a faster pace. Endpoint Security Functionality is, in fact, is a vast area of work.

    As a matter of fact, endpoint security begins with telemetry collection for the purpose of analysis. And it goes up to complete lifecycle security, inspection, detection, and real-time response. The toughest task is to integrate all this on a single platform. This brings in a new layer of vendors with a complete focus on endpoint security. These include CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, Carbon Black, ESET, Endgame, Cybereason, and Cylance. IoT security and connected devices are the next big thing when we talk about major security concerns. More sockets, more endpoints, more devices, and more coding automatically pitches in more scope of vulnerabilities and threats to any enterprise. In this context, in the recently concluded RSA Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft launches Azure Sphere. Azure Sphere is a new security platform that focuses on protecting any kind of embedded devices in a smart manner. This is the need of the hour.

    The scope of Endpoint Security Has Increased Tremendously

    Azure Sphere is a combination of hardware and software. It consists of secure microcontrollers providing hardware-based Root of Trust to ensure a secure boot. In fact, it also includes cryptographic authentication and a complete protection of device communications. Surprisingly, this is the first non-Window OS from Microsoft. The OS is a custom Linux Kernel. This is because of two reasons – speed and security. Another surprising move by Microsoft is enabling Azure Sphere to run on any cloud. Not limiting it to just Azure. Azure Sphere aims to secure the whole IoT ecosystem right from the component level to the cloud. In fact, there will be more to see from other vendors soon. But all vendors realize the need for endpoint security and other security concerns that we discussed in these three posts.

    June 16, 2018  5:19 PM

    Top Security Concerns Include Encryption, SOC, and Mobility

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    cybersecurity, Encryption, Mobility, SoC

    This post is in continuation to my previous post on Top Security Concerns for 2018-2019. The key security concerns include Encryption, SOC, and Mobility. In this new concept of ‘encryption-in-use’, vendors use a number of techniques to tackle the encryption issue. These techniques include homomorphic encryption, secure multi-party compute, and secure enclaves. With the help of these techniques, vendors allow access to data for various purposes without the need for decryption. In fact, these same technologies are now used in cryptographic key management. With this, it enables the security of hardware-based key management with the help of software thus providing a higher level of flexibility and adaptability and lowering of cost. The same kind of transformation in technology is taking place in SOC. There is a severe need for the SOC of the future. There are distinct guidelines for this.

    Encryption, SOC, and Mobility

    Photo credit: brewbooks on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

    While the traditional SOC works in SIEM model. It stores event logs and alerts. These events logs and alerts from the traditional SOC aim to feed analytics engines, guide investigation teams, drive SAO processes, satisfy search requests, and interface with custom scripts. But that is not enough to tackle the current situations and security risks. The new methods include using traces in network communications in order to identify attacks that are happening in real time. The focus now is more on incident detection, exceptions reporting, and response activity. This new array of vendors include FireEye, Awake Security, Palo Alto Networks, ExtraHop, Gigamon, Darktrace, Corelight, and Vectra Networks. These newer technology vendors are becoming an integral part of SIEM deployments. Next comes Endpoint Security. This was, in fact, one of the most discussed topic at the RSA Conference.

    Encryption, SOC, and Mobility remain on top of the security concerns

    As we all know employee mobility is an increasing trend worldwide. And it is a point of concern from a security point of view. Almost 60% of employees in any organization demand mobility between network environments. Because they need to access a number of on-premise and cloud services through one or the other secured or encrypted tunnels. As a matter of fact, all this is becoming difficult to manage and inspect. As we see Encryption, SOC, and Mobility are changing the whole concept of security.

    Finally, we shall be concluding Top Security Concerns For 2018-2019 in the next post.

    Continued »

    June 16, 2018  10:48 AM

    Top Security Concerns For 2018-2019

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Cyber security, Encryption, enterprise cyber security, HSM, RSA, RSA Conference

    There were more than 600 exhibitors in April at this year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco. The attendance was almost touching 50,000. There are some very prominent key cybersecurity concerns that will keep IT managers on toes for next couple of years, at least. Those in the Asia Pacific and Japan can register for the upcoming RSA Conference 2018 Asia Pacific & Japan. The location is Marina Bay Sands, Singapore and the dates are 25 Jul 2018 – 27 Jul 2018. More than 65 speakers will be enlightening the attendees on different aspects of cyber security including the top security concerns for 2018-2019. The zero-trust philosophy is strengthening its roots in this field. It is about discarding your orthodox concepts like earlier security model. The legacy model says trust anybody inside the premise and untrust everybody that is outside your perimeter. The whole architecture is faulty and risk-prone.

    Top Security Concerns for 2018

    Photo credit: U.S. GAO on VisualHunt.com

    Hence, the new concept is to trust no one. That is probably the right approach to tackle Top Security Concerns For 2018-2019. In fact, zero-trust is based on a new framework that we call as reference framework or reference architecture. It is, as a matter of fact, independent of technology in place. There is no logic in granting access to resources like servers, applications, networks, and devices to everyone inside the perimeter. Rather the enterprises need to change their perception about security policies. On the other hand, zero trust concept includes all vendors including MFA, IDaaS, Network Security, SSD-WAN, and CDN service providers. In fact, Encryption is also becoming a challenge for security experts. You can keep the whole path secure that is carrying the encrypted data. What about the security at the point of decryption? That itself is highly vulnerable to attack from inside as well as outside.

    Top Security Concerns For 2018 Calls To Trust No One

    The point of encryption to decryption and decryption to encryption is open for attackers possessing compromised credentials. The same is also open for attackers with malicious intentions sitting inside. To counter this risk there is a new concept ‘encryption-in-use’ and virtual HSMs (VHSMs). VHM is a software suite that stores secret data outside the virtualized application environment. The key vendors for this new technology include Baffle, Enveil, Fortanix, Unbound, Inpher, and PreVeil.

    We shall continue about Top Security Concerns For 2018-2019 in my next post.

    Continued »

    May 31, 2018  4:22 PM

    Machine Learning Use Cases in Enterprise World

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Enterprise, Machine learning, use cases

    Machine Learning has been in Practice now quite some time. Enterprises are adopting it fast to leverage its power. It definitely helps in excelling in business and stay ahead in the competition. Machine Learning, as we all know, has a tremendous power to automate and optimize any simple or complex business process. There are a number of machine learning use cases that we can pick from enterprise world. Enterprises either are already working on it or have immediate plans to deploy it. And those who are still away from it will feel the brunt sooner or later. It is always better to identify a critical business issue and then work towards addressing it through machine learning. Machine learning deployment can enhance business in many ways. It can create an artificial intelligence spectrum to help in critical business decisions. It also helps in automation of business processes, analytics, and operations.

    As a matter of fact, machine learning use cases can derive out from many areas of the business. Like, any business task that is repetitive and/or mundane in nature in one such prominent area. Another area to look at is the activities that involve a high amount of risk or danger. In fact, it also helps a lot in quality improvements and tackling operational issues. Obviously, machine-learning software is to help humans and not replace them in the job. That is why it is wise to automate most of your low-level tasks so that human mind can concentrate on more complex tasks. Finally, it is going to be a man-machine combination to manage any kind of business. There are three valuable components of the business that play a major role in machine learning developments. These are data (both input and output), model, and algorithm.

    Machine Learning Use Cases Rely On Data, Algorithm, and Model

    Data, in fact, is the most valuable asset of any business. And that is the backbone of all machine learning use cases. Data is the real driver of business and business decisions.

    May 31, 2018  12:14 PM

    What Is Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN)?

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    adversarial, Network

    The Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) is, in fact, never a single network. It is a set of networks, at least two, operating at the same place but working against each other. Each of the networks brings its own unique set of results. For instance, in GAN approach, the first network creates realistic images, while the second one identifies whether those are real or not. It is like the first network is synthesizing something and the second one is monitoring its operations and controls what it creates. As the time passes, the second network trains the first one how to create unreal images in such a perfect manner that nobody is able to make out those are fake or unreal.

    Generative Adversarial Networks

    Photo on Visual Hunt

    That means the fake images now the first network produces are as good as the real ones. In fact, you won’t be able to distinguish the fake ones. It is, rather impossible to differentiate between the two. That is the purpose of the Generative Adversarial Networks. Now, think about its applicability and usage. Which business or industry would need such kind of technology and for what purpose? For that, let us think about a few use cases. As a matter of fact, there are a plenty of use cases and many are already in production and operation. The first use case could be creating fake but realistic healthcare data. The purpose of such records is to train various models of machine-learning using different algorithms. But in this case, since you are not using real data, there is no infringement of patient’s privacy.

    There are various use cases of Generative Adversarial Networks

    In fact, Generative Adversarial Networks is a classical approach that we use in machine learning technology. Another use case you can think of is creating fake malware in order to test an anti-malware application. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of projects that are operational in the field of fake news videos and fake images of celebrities and famous personalities. If you look at the approach it follows, it simply matches with the unsupervised machine learning. But from another point of view, we also find adult supervision in it. Hence, would you call it an advanced version of unsupervised machine learning or a mix of supervised and unsupervised machine learning?

    May 30, 2018  10:55 PM

    What is Reinforcement Learning And Its Relation With Machine Learning

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    algorithmic, Machine learning, Reinforcement

    Reinforcement Learning is an important category of machine learning algorithms. It has a very classical connection with theories of behavioral psychology. There we learn about a reinforcement learning environment. The whole game here is of this environment training algorithms along with a deep sight on their performance. And on the basis of performance, it rewards or punishes. Before going further, let us go a few posts back and understand the background of Machine Learning better. In one of my previous posts, we understand how important it is in the current cutting edge environment for enterprises to adopt Machine Learning. On one hand, the businesses are having tougher conditions. On the other hand, technology is leveraging a lot of scopes to enhance and excel against tough competitions. This is an era where every disruption is an opportunity.

    We also learned in one of the previous posts a straight connection between Deep Learning, Machine Learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Along with, we learned Supportive and Unsupportive Machine Learning Types, the difference between training and inference, and the relationship between datasets, algorithms, inputs, and outputs. Hence, before going further it is important to read those two posts and the previous one on Unsupportive Machine Learning and its examples. Now, coming back to Reinforcement Learning. As we see that it works on the philosophy of rewards and punishments. What happens is that during each step of the training process, the learning algorithm selects one of the observations and a suitable reward from a pool of possible actions. The model then keeps on accumulating positive or negative feedbacks by running the same process repeatedly. In fact, all this happens in a very dynamic environment.

    Reinforcement Learning Works On Rewards and Punishments

    Since the algorithm of Reinforcement Learning aims to collect the maximum possible rewards to enhance its next decision. In fact, it works quite intelligently. It can sacrifice short-term gains if it perceives long-term gains in lieu of them. This technology works best in gaming, robotics, and telecommunications.

    May 30, 2018  9:32 PM

    What Is Unsupervised Machine Learning And Its Examples

    Jaideep Khanduja Jaideep Khanduja Profile: Jaideep Khanduja
    Machine learning

    In my previous post, we learned about Machine Learning and Supervised Machine Learning. Carrying it further, in this post, we will learn about Unsupervised Machine Learning and its uses. Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. Supervised Machine Learning has two important steps – Training and Inference. Inference happens after the completion of Training. The whole mechanism works on some algorithm and data sets. In supervised machine learning has an altogether algorithm and datasets. Its main use is for future predictions on the basis of future data. While it works on an imaginary situation that is yet to take a real shape, the prediction process works in a near-to-perfect state. That is the beauty of Machine Learning and its various applications.

    Unsupervised Machine Learning is applicable in the absence or lack of training sets. In such a situation you don’t have any idea what will be the shape of the output. unlike Supervised Machine Learning, here all the input data is unlabelled or unstructured. The soul of the goal lies somewhere inherent in the data. While in previous category of machine learning we are trying to predict future with future data. In this case, we are trying to predict present but without any labeled or structured data. The algorithm, again, has to play an important role to draw out a meaningful result and output.

    Unsupervised Machine Learning Works With Unlabeled Input Data

    Unsupervised Machine Learning algorithms fall into two main categories. First one is Clustering. Its use is to find out hidden patterns or grouping in data. The second one is Association. Its application is to find out rules that explain parts of the data. Like, people like to go to this place also that place. Example of unsupervised machine learning algorithm would be K-means clustering. Another example you can state is Apriori. While the former is for Clustering type, latter is for Association. The best use of these two different categories of machine learning is to use them together. So when you use unsupervised and supervised machine learning techniques together, you can easily and effectively use the output of unsupervised machine learning as the training set for supervised machine learning.

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