Author Archives: Mary Elizabeth

Pinup: Dash Connects Car, Phone To Improve Driving Experience

Pinup: Dash Connects Car, Phone To Improve Driving Experience

Dash Connects Car, Phone to Improve Driving Experience, Safety

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The founders of Dash a, a unique automotive industry mobile cloud application that sends instant on-board diagnostics information from a driver’s vehicle to his or her smart phone or other device, are working on enhancements that would alert users to such engine factors as revolutions per minute, speed, and fluid temperatures.

The application, launched in 2012 by Jamyn Edis and Brian Langel, has received favorable reviews from such sources as Forbes and Mashable. Dash connects with on-board diagnostics ports installed by most manufacturers in the automotive industry to inform drivers about their engine performance as well as their own driving. The mobile cloud device employs algorithms that monitor driving efficiency and safety as well as the performance of the vehicle’s engine; drivers receive regular scores that outline this data, enabling them to modify driving habits, alter routes, or change oil, gas, or even tires to garner such advantages as better mileage per gallon and reduced emissions.

Touted as a means of making roads safer, smarter, and greener, Dash also clarifies the reasons that a vehicle’s “check engine” light appears. In addition, the mobile cloud device also recommends gas stations and mechanics to users. Although the application currently works only for drivers in the United States, the company is planning a beta-test of a product that would work with automotive industry products in other countries.

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Every car manufactured by the automotive industry in the United States since 1996 is equipped with on-board diagnostics, version 2 – or OBD-II – port. As such, while Dash will not work for classic cars or older model vehicles, most drivers will be able to use it. The company warns, however, that, at this time, all features might not be available for electric, hybrid, or diesel vehicles; its team is scrutinizing differences in the way information can be disseminated by those cars and trucks to provide a complete user experience.

Dash is currently available at the Google Play Store for Android 4 devices, but an iOS application for Apple iPhones and other mobile cloud devices is expected to be launched in coming months. Dash works with any car that has an on-board diagnostics port, an automotive industry innovation that allows mechanics to download information about a car’s performance to a computer for instant clarity about engine problems and maintenance or repair requirements. Currently, the company recommends that users purchase a Bluetooth OBD-II scanner device such as those manufactured by ScanTool or YoungTek; hardware requirements are delineated in the instructions for the application. Although Dash’s website notes a preference for the ScanTool OBDLink LX, the mobile cloud device application will work with any on-board diagnostics tool.

While Dash is optimized for use with Bluetooth, the company announced recently that it is beginning to support wi-fi OBD interfaces.

By Mary Elizabeth

Pinup: Datadog Offers Monitoring Service For Cloud Solutions

Pinup: Datadog Offers Monitoring Service For Cloud Solutions

Datadog Offers Monitoring Service for Cloud Solutions

Datadog_ScreenBoard

A monitoring service designed initially to promote oversight of cloud solutions, Datadog offers users real-time metrics and analytics via a subscription-based software-as-a-service product.

Developed by Olivier Pomel and Alexis Lê-Quôc, Datadog provides a unified picture of the infrastructure of cloud-based and physical servers, tools, applications, databases, and other services. The partners conceived the idea for Datadog while working at Wireless Generation; Pomel led the education technology firm’s engineering department and Lê-Quôc ran its operations unit. Because each of their teams employed different systems, they experienced considerable difficulties when attempting to cooperatively troubleshoot issues related to technology infrastructure and performance. Moreover, these endeavors became increasingly difficult to accomplish when the company opted to migrate infrastructure to the cloud.

Although Datadog was initially conceived as a monitoring platform for cloud servers, the solution is equally adept at overseeing on-premise servers. In fact, many of the company’s clients use a combination of physical and cloud servers. The Datadog product enables development and operations staff to collaborate on maintenance and upgrade efforts while helping them avoid downtime, correct inefficiencies and redundancies, and improve deployment and development projects.

Although the product is proficient at meeting monitoring requirements for on-premise servers, Datadog was designed specifically to address issues unique to infrastructure based in the cloud. Cloud servers are automatically deployed or removed according to demand for computing and data resources. Because these shifts occur spontaneously, information technology and other dedicated staff often find it difficult to monitor all servers. To prevent this problem, Datadog includes all auto-deployed servers in its monitoring system, ensuring that these resources constantly appear on its dashboard and alert systems. Moreover, the product compiles data from all servers into a unified key performance indicator report, making it easier to identify issues.

Datadog_Integrations

In addition, companies often fail to effectively monitor cloud-based and open source services because of diverse performance data metrics. Datadog circumvents problems created by a proliferation of infrastructure components with more than 50 integrations that standardize metrics for each service, allowing them to be monitored and tracked more efficiently. The product also meets challenges caused by acceleration in release cycles for applications that may occur spontaneously or without adequate forewarning with automatic tracking and tagging or each event related to applications and other services.

Released from Beta testing in June of 2012, Datadog currently serves hundreds of customers ranging from tech startups to fortune 500 companies. Today, Datadog monitors approximately 20,000 cloud servers and about 20,000 on-premise servers. On a daily basis, the platform absorbs nearly 30 billion records per day; each record is deposited, graphed, and scrutinized in real-time. The capabilities of Datadog reduce monitoring time while improving monitoring function, allowing information technology staff to focus on forward-looking projects and programs.

Delivered to clients via subscription, Datadog boasts rates as low as $15 per month for each monitored server. In addition to this service, the company will monitor clients’ temporary servers for an hourly fee. The company, which has offices in Boston and New York City, expects to continue its growth to meet the demands of businesses that exclusively utilize cloud servers as well as those that use a combination of cloud and on-premise servers.

By Mary Elizabeth

George Washington University Considers Moving To The Cloud

George Washington University Considers Moving To The Cloud

George Washington University Considers Moving To The Cloud

The George Washington University Board of Trustees will vote in coming weeks on a proposal to move some data and services from overloaded on-premise servers to cloud-based servers.

According to university information officers, moving data and applications to the cloud will liberate considerable space on existing traditional servers. Currently, the university must move data between servers located at its Virginia and Foggy Bottom campuses. Shifting programs and functions to the cloud will simplify the process and could enhance end-user experience, university officials noted.

George-Washington-University

Like many institutions, George Washington University is investigating the potential of the cloud as an alternative to investing in physical servers. Applications and solutions deployed for administrative, educational, and other university purposes require considerable storage and space requirements. Migrating many of these functions to the cloud offers magnified storage capacity and increased agility without the need for expanded data centers; it also gives the university the chance to free up space currently designated for on-premise servers.

In recent weeks, George Washington University was compelled to take several non-essential functions offline because of cooling system malfunctions at the Foggy Bottom campus data center. Additional failures caused outages at the Gelman Library, the main library on the Foggy Bottom campus.

Moreover, university officials note that migrating some functions to the cloud could result in savings of approximately $1 million per year. Georgetown University recently migrated several functions to cloud servers, reducing information technology costs by about $700,000; St. Leo University in Florida saved nearly $500,000 by moving some student applications to the cloud and Duke University also reported considerable savings after deployment of cloud solutions.

In most cases, universities and university systems that have shifted functions to the cloud retain a number of on-premise servers. While many of the schools want to get optimal benefit from investments in existing infrastructure, information technology officers also express concerns about security and confidentiality. Nonetheless, they note that the cloud offers significant upside for institutions seeking cost-savings and flexibility.

By Mary Elizabeth

CompTIA: Cloud Services Gaining Traction For Unified Communications

CompTIA: Cloud Services Gaining Traction For Unified Communications

CompTIA: Cloud Services Gaining Traction for Unified Communications

The proliferation of cloud solutions has motivated many companies to integrate cloud-based unified communications into their technology suites; in addition to rapid update capabilities, cloud solutions for unified communications offer simplified scalability options while reducing overall information technology redundancies.

comptia

According to a new study from CompTIA entitled “Trends in Workflow Automation and Communications,” real-time cloud-computing video and voice systems are gaining considerable traction among organizations in the United States. Although experts attribute the change to such factors as cost and vast improvements in cloud services, they also note that companies appreciate the availability of such solutions for mobile devices. CompTIA points out that the anywhere, anytime capabilities offered by mobile devices makes them invaluable for managing all functions of business, including unified communications.

The study queried 500 firms about their overall communications objectives and strategies. More than 60 percent of participants listed cost reduction as their major priority, but nearly the same number of firms also seek improved staff productivity and enhanced customer engagement as critical goals. Approximately 50 percent of firms hope to achieve better collaborative capabilities and superior business metrics. While cloud-based solutions offer all of these benefits, they only deliver these advantages if employees can be convinced to utilize them.

Among the 500 firms surveyed by CompTIA, here are the top priorities:

• Reduce costs (61 percent of companies)
• Improvement engagement with customers (59 percent)
• Improve employee productivity (57 percent)
• Improve collaboration ability (49 percent)
• Improve business metrics (48 percent)

Seth Robinson, the director of technology analysis at CompTIA, recommends that cloud providers consider offering education to entire workforces rather than just technology and implementation team members.

Descriptions of capabilities and features should be tailored to specific job roles and specific devices, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet,” he said, adding that employees often revert to more familiar means of communication because they feel uncomfortable with newer, less familiar options.

Without utilization of unified communications tools available via the cloud, companies that make investments in such solutions fail to realize the full potential of this technology. By focusing on education, cloud vendors and providers gain a valuable opportunity to win over a much larger number of a company’s employees. This type of buy-in could lead the way for the adoption of additional cloud and infrastructure services.

By Mary Elizabeth

Pinup: Fortscale – Leader In Cyber Security Analytics

Pinup: Fortscale – Leader In Cyber Security Analytics

Pinup: Fortscale – Leader In Cyber Security Analytics

A leader in the field of cyber security, Fortscale offers organizations of all sizes the opportunity to implement enterprise-class cyber analytics to protect valuable corporate data and intellectual property from potential threats.

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Founded in 2012 by a group of Israeli high-technology professionals with expertise in cyber security, Fortscale developed an innovative, scalable analytics solution that enables credentialed users to identify even the most surreptitious patterns that could lead to hidden attacks. The company’s proprietary tools protect user organizations from targeted threats via hijacked credentials as well as insider attacks. Moreover, the Fortscale model delivers intelligent, automated protection against the threat or corruption of data, financial assets, and intellectual property without the need for additional information technology personnel or specialized training.

Fortscale’s management and research and development teams possess critical experience in cyber security; many of the company’s team members preciously served in the Israeli Intelligence Corps. Their specialized training promoted the development of cutting-edge software solutions that optimize an organization’s ability to isolate unusual patterns, locate the source of threats, and investigate activity that could lead to an attack or theft. Because targeted attack campaigns endure over an average of 356 days, organizations without the most advanced cyber security solutions often miss many chances to thwart these criminals in their tracks.

The vast availability of data from technology sources, as well as its value in terms of information and assets, make cyber attacks an increasingly lucrative option for criminals, competitors, and even governments. These hackers garner information about an organization over a period of time. In many cases, they compromise authorized users and systems to gradually infiltrate the company’s structure and appropriate information slowly but steadily. Traditional security measures fail to provide adequate protection, big data security analytics such as that developed by Fortscale offers the best defense against cyber threats.

With its Fortscale 1.0 solution scheduled for release this year and several private deployments in the works, the company recently earned recognition from CRN as one of the Top 10 Coolest Big Data Startups. Backed by a knowledgeable advisory board and pioneering investors, the organization, which has offices in New York City and Tel Aviv, provides strong protection with a low rate of false positives and keen analytic capabilities.

By Mary Elizabeth

Are you a hot new startup looking for more exposure? CloudTweaks has introduced a new series called – CloudTweaks Pinup.  In 2014, we will be providing profiles and reviews of qualifying startups. In order to be considered, please contact us regarding.

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Pinup: Shodogg Technology Allows Universal Data Access

Pinup: Shodogg Technology Allows Universal Data Access

Shodogg Technology Allows Universal Data Access

showdogg

A technology startup with a demonstrated track record of performance and innovation, Shodogg offers businesses, government, and other end users the opportunity to access data from any mobile device and display the information on smart screens anywhere else in the world.

Founded in 2011, the company, which operates from offices in New York City and Sydney, Australia, recently earned recognition as a 2013 Top 50 Companies to Watch by AlwaysOn. In addition, the company garnered considerable attention when actor and director Seth Green, an investor in the organization, and AOL featured its patented products in the Acting Disruptive series. Shodogg also made headlines in January when the company partnered with Australia-based Tripleplay Services on a specialized BYOD/BYOC (Bring Your Own Device/Bring Your Own Computer) for the hospitality industry.

The buzz surrounding Shodogg revolves primarily around the ease of use and ready accessibility offered by its products. The company’s technology enables users to access any data stored on the cloud or a server and transmit that information to targeted phones, computers, tablets, and other smart screen devices. Moreover, Shodogg’s groundbreaking products facilitate accessibility and transmission without jeopardizing security even in public settings or broad geographic regions.

In addition, Shodogg’s Swappable Media Player promotes the display or demonstration of a wide variety of files and locations; the product allows users to pull different types of files from any number of clouds or media players. This capability optimizes a user’s ability to disseminate information in the most effective or interesting manner possible while enhancing the experience of those watching and listening to the demonstration or program. Shodogg clients also benefit from holistics analytics that promote evaluation by businesses, sales teams, and other users.

Shodogg products require no specialized hardware and work on every type of smart screen and operating system. Security is augmented with customized synchronization codes and device and user authentication. The company’s products are scalable, allowing users to expand their target audience to any number of customers or colleagues.

In addition to Seth Green, investors in Shodogg include William G. McGorry, the Chairman of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame; Gregg Spiridellis, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officedr at JibJab Media; and Jonathon Carson, the Chief Revenue Officer at Vevo. For more information about the company and its products, visit shodogg.com

By Mary Elizabeth

Are you a hot new startup looking for more exposure? CloudTweaks has introduced a new series called – CloudTweaks Pinup.  In 2014, we will be providing profiles and reviews of qualifying startups. In order to be considered, please contact us regarding.

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