Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Dream Team

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Dream Team

Big Data Dream Team

Stock in Big Data businesses continue to rise which means more opportunities and job growth.

An IDC forecast shows that the Big Data technology and services market will grow at a 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $32.4 billion through 2017 – or at about six times the growth rate of the overall information and communication technology (ICT) market. This is going to create tremendous opportunities for many.

CIO.com has a nice thorough list of “The 8 Most In-Demand Big Data Roles” providing remuneration details along with job role titles. The infographic below was discovered on Dell Techpage One.

In the meantime, good luck landing that job!

Dream Team

Cloud Pinup: Fellow Robots – The Next Explosive Technology

Cloud Pinup: Fellow Robots – The Next Explosive Technology

Robots: The Next Explosive Technology

When you look around at the world of 2015, you’ll see many technologies that once belonged purely to science fiction: video phones, tiny handheld computers with incredible processing power, private space flights, and electric cars. There’s only one thing missing. Wasn’t the future supposed to bring us ubiquitous robots? So far, the robotics industry has not lived up to the dreams of science fiction.

That is, until now. As the prices for computing power and sensors drop, robots are starting to become more and more cost-effective. They are already hard at work in the manufacturing sector, but still we see very few robots in our day-to-day life.

Fellow Robots aims to change that fact. This startup, based in Silicon Valley, specializes in creating customer service robots for the retail industry, and their five-foot-tall OSHbot recently debuted at a Lowe’s store in San Jose. The robot, which costs only $50,000, is programmed to approach customers when they enter the store, answer questions, and lead the customer toward whatever item they request. The robot can even account for changes in inventory by accessing an internal database and doing continual scans of which items are on the shelves, and where.

OSHbots have remarkable capabilities in sensing, speech recognition, and obstacle avoidance, but the real benefit is their capacity for data analytics. Unlike human sales associates, OSHbot can store detailed data on customers’ use patterns, which can be incredibly valuable to the store. By tracking which items customers are looking for, OSHbots can provide invaluable data to the store’s managers. Similarly, the robot can compare the customer’s stated needs on entry with the item that they actually end up purchasing. This allows robots (and human associates) to make better recommendations and streamline the store’s layout to maximize purchases and satisfaction.

The OSHbot is an impressive piece of innovation, but the real innovations will come when such robots can tap into the Internet of Things, Cloud computing and Big Data landscape. Today, the items purchased in the store go out on their own, and once they leave the store the robot can no longer access information about them. But as more and more products incorporate online technology (e.g. wearable tech, self-analyzing home devices, etc.), the robots will have an even greater supply of data to draw on in their interactions with customers.

A customer wearing a FitBit could, in theory, walk into a sporting goods store and enable the service robot to know, instantaneously, what kind of products might be relevant to that customer’s interests. The wearable technology would store data on the customer’s habits and, through wireless communication, enable the robot to lead the customer right to the most relevant items. Once the big data capacity of the Internet of Things becomes a reality, the value of robots is likely to skyrocket, and within a few years we could be surrounded with sleek, helpful robots designed by innovative companies like Fellow Robots.

By Gustav Steinhardt

Property Crime Down — If You Don’t Count Cyber Crime, Identity Theft

Property Crime Down — If You Don’t Count Cyber Crime, Identity Theft

If You Don’t Count Cyber Crime, Identity Theft

WEST HAVEN, CONN. – The U.S. crime rate continues to fall, according to the latest FBI’s release based on Uniform Crime Reporting from police departments, but researchers say those numbers, which have been on a downward slide since the 1990s, don’t tell the whole story.

That’s because the federal report does not track online property crime, credit card fraud or identity theft, all of which are increasing, according to researchers at the University of New Haven and the State University of New York at Albany.

UNH

The researchers, Maria Tcherni, an assistant professor of criminal justice at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at UNH, the lead researcher, and Andrew Davies, Giza Lopes and Alan Lizotte, all of University at Albany School of Criminal Justice, contend that it is extremely difficult to estimate the cost of online theft and that in some cases, for example, when intellectual property is stolen, the direct cost may not even be in dollars.

Yet, although counting cybercrime can be complex, it is clearly a growing problem and “whether it is incorporated into the crime index or not, criminologists would be wise to be circumspect before declaring that crime has dropped as radically as traditional measures appear to reflect,” the researchers said.

The researchers suggest counting online property crimes not only because they seem to be increasing, but also because they have great potential for harm.

Internet usage has increased dramatically in the U.S. in recent decades with 81 percent of American adults and 95 percent of American teens accessing the Internet,” they said in their paper, “The Dark Figure of Online Property Crime: Is Cyberspace Hiding a Crime Wave?”  recently published in Justice Quarterly. “The potential harm from this type of crime is unknown but it clearly affects millions,” Tcherni said.

In fact, each of the 12 largest domestic incidents of security breaches against major corporations included hacking into the records of tens of millions of users. Sadly, the paper says, more than half of the victims of these crimes don’t even know that their data has been compromised.

Losses from cyber crime are not recorded by the FBI and, in fact, may not even be reported to police, the paper says. Often, the crime is handled by private corporations rather than police, and so it does not make its way into official crime statistics. Moreover, a lot of the organizations affected by cyber attacks and online theft (financial institutions and other corporations) are reluctant to report their losses for fear of compromising their reputations and losing customers.

But the financial losses attributable to identity theft appear far in excess of the damage inflicted by traditional property crime,” the researchers say.

There is a glaring gap in crime reporting,” Tcherni said.  “Yet even though we were able to demonstrate that online and identity theft is costing thousands of dollars, we are not able to obtain reliable data to quantify the size of the losses.”

Crime reporting has to be updated for the cyber-era, said Lizotta, dean of the UAlbany School of Criminal Justice. “Property crime that remains underreported because it’s online crime shapes our response to it, particularly the response of law enforcement — what’s hidden stays hidden, yet continues to be a real, growing threat.

The paper is available at tandfonline.com

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.

Cloud Infographic – Hacking: The Scale of Cyber Threats

Cloud Infographic – Hacking: The Scale of Cyber Threats

Hacking: The Scale of Cyber Threats

42.8 million. That’s the number of cyber attacks that occurred worldwide in 2013, and it works out to an average of 117,339 every day. There’s no denying that this represents a huge problem for organizations of all sizes, and the total cost to the world economy is estimated to be about $400 billion annually.

The attacks include “black-hat” attacks aimed at damaging the organization or obtaining personal gain for the hacker, but there are also plenty of “white-hat” hackers who attempt to breach the security of a system so that they can reveal its flaws and help the organization improve security. There are also politically-motivated hacker groups such as Anonymous, who attack websites to promote an anti-authoritarian and anti-racist political ideology. Anonymous famously shut down the official websites of the Tunisian government in 2011 during the first stages of that country’s Arab Spring. They have also attacked organizations that oppose WikiLeaks and illegal file-sharing sites such as BitTorrent.

Perhaps the most frightening form of cyber attack is digital bank robbery and mass credit fraud. Hackers like Albert Gonzalez have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars by accessing sensitive credit card and ATM information and clearing out customers’ accounts. In addition to the catastrophic loss of savings (which banks and the FDIC generally reimburse), there is also collateral damage to customers’ credit rating, which is often much more difficult to rectify.

But it’s not just the attacks themselves that can cost money to a firm. Regulators can also exact additional penalties for a firm’s lax security policy. In 2011, Sony Entertainment suffered a devastating attack that compromised the sensitive bank information of over 10,000 users in Europe. Sony was forced to shut down its PlayStation Network for over a week, costing an estimated $171 million dollars. But on top of that, the UK’s information commissioner levied a fine of £250,000 (at the time, equivalent to about $400,000 dollars) for failing to provide adequate security to fend off a “preventable” attack.

Below is an excellent visual provided courtesy of Imprima (VDR providers).

Hacking -Headlines

 

By Gustav Steinhardt

The Global Impact of the USA Freedom Act on Cloud Adoption

The Global Impact of the USA Freedom Act on Cloud Adoption

The Global Impact On Cloud Adoption

It’s hard to believe it has been a little over 18 months since Edward Snowden first revealed information about the NSA’s secret surveillance programs to the world. Since that day in June 2013 data privacy and security, specifically in the cloud, have taken on a whole new level of criticality. Organizations all over the world have had to adjust accordingly – creating advanced security features, adhering to more compliance protocols, hiring dedicated security/privacy officers, and even launching PRISM-proof products.

The US government has taken a notable action of putting together a new bill called the USA Freedom Act. Few people realize the act is a backronym, which is a specially constructed acronym created to fit an existing word, that stands for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring Act”, was brought into Congress just months after the leak, in October of 2013. Led by Senators Jim Sensenbrenner and Patrick Leahy, the bill was ultimately meant to end mass collection of Americans’ data and create a much higher level of transparency between the government and the public regarding how data is being collected.

cyber-threats

While many of the major tech companies in the US, such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook were in favor of the bill, their combined market cap of over $1 trillion and overall clout was not enough to get the bill passed by Congress. The bill was halted in the Senate after falling just two votes shy of the required 60. The main opposition to the bill was that it would tie the government’s hands in defending our country against terrorism.

National Security

While national security is a vital and valid concern, it is widely agreed that the current programs in place are overstepping boundaries and are in violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. One step further, I see the violation as the single ‘drop of water’ causing a very negative ripple effect all over the world. Businesses are suffering and so are the cloud providers who are servicing them. If the cloud companies are unable to protect their customers’ data efficiently, they will have a serious churn problem on their hands.

Let’s take a look at some of the effects felt by businesses in the US and overseas as a result of the failed USA Freedom act:

  1. Europe is learning from our mistakes

As far as security, regulation, and compliance goes, Europe was already miles ahead of the United States. As we suffer breaches like Target, or the most recent Sony disaster, the European government is able to see holes in the US system and address them accordingly. While it has been in discussion for some time, the European Commission continues to make progressive adjustments to their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new set of regulations would protect the privacy of their citizens much more thoroughly than anything we have in place in the US. As a result, American businesses will have to comply to any and all EU regulations before they can even begin to think about doing business overseas.

  1. Businesses are losing money

GaryThe fastest way for a business to lose money is to lose customers. If customers cannot trust that their private information will be protected by cloud companies, they tend to stop doing business with them – and possibly in the cloud all together. As a direct result of a lack of trust in American security protocols, the slippery slope looks to be getting worse, putting millions (if not billions) of dollars in jeopardy.

Gary Shapiro, the CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, expressed his concerns for business, both domestically and internationally, in an open letter supporting the USA Freedom Act, saying “Several companies, including members of CEA, have already lost contracts with foreign governments worth millions of dollars.”

  1. Innovation is taking a back seat

By rejecting the USA Freedom Act last month, the Senate created even more FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) between businesses and their customers. Without realizing the ramifications of their actions, the government forced businesses into reacting to the fallout. It has now become the job of US companies to spend valuable resources on gaining trust back from their customers and creating ways to protect them from government spying. Considering a lot of companies are not built or designed for this kind of development, there is a major shift in focus towards “fire-fighting” and unfortunately innovation suffers as a consequence.

As many still consider the US to be in the middle of a “tech bubble 2.0, the bubble could soon pop if we can’t find a way to address these data privacy issues. If we can’t come to a consensus on a bill like the USA Freedom Act, which was a progressive step forward the US may be facing its toughest global competitor yet: itself.

By Vineet Jain / CEO, Egnyte

From C:\Prompt To CYOD – The Timely Shift To Desktop as a Service

From C:\Prompt To CYOD – The Timely Shift To Desktop as a Service

The Timely Shift to Desktop as a Service

floppy-disk

There may be some colleagues lurking within any given workforce who remember what a C:\> prompt meant. Much like the ring from Middle Earth, it had the power to make things happen. Desktop computers at that time were large grey beasts, with their only wired connection being the electric power cord. All software was loaded through floppy disk drives, and in the era before Windows, this was done by issuing commands from the DOS prompt, C:\> (the C represented the internal hard drive, which was called C because the floppy drives were called A and B. What programmers lacked in marketing flair, they generally made up for in pragmatism.) All of this was still in existence in 1990, only 25 years ago.

Flash forward to today, where the wireless device rules, and employees often demand the right to use their own personal computer rather than the company issued machine. The established trend is now increasing mobility, and centralized activity. More and more companies are discovering the benefits of collaborative environments, replacing cumbersome tools such as email with centralized conversational zones, and they are expecting the same degree of agility from their office software solutions.

The Rise Of The DaaS

This has given rise to a concept of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) a virtual solution in which day-to-day applications such as word processing, PDF readers, presentation software and email clients are managed offsite, in the cloud, and are delivered to each user as a virtual desktop experience.

DaaS has many benefits to offer to an organization of any size, the most important generally being cost. Software has always been an expensive proposition, given the personnel required to maintain it, the licenses, upgrades and training required, and the related costs of hardware – memory and storage space for example. Added to this is the regular occurrence of major software manufacturers terminating their support of older systems, such as Windows XP, forcing change through planned obsolescence?

This is one of the many ways in which cloud technology has delivered major solutions. Many people still think of the cloud as merely a storage platform, but in truth it represents an entirely new way to get things done, by stripping all of the dead weight from a company’s infrastructure and replacing it with a virtual, externally managed deliverer of vital products and services, including those applications that many employees reach for on their computers.

desktop-saas

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

It is not merely employee comfort that is involved with this transition. There is also the time and expertise required to validate applications that are to run on new operating systems, there is data transfer, and there is the personalization factor – some employees maybe frequent users of memory-heavy applications such as media and graphic design, while others are light users of just one or two office apps. The advantage to using a cloud-based supplier is that the burden of maintenance and customization is placed in the hands of the DaaS providers themselves, resulting in lower overhead, and guaranteed relevance as well as:

  • Centralized Management – all desktops managed from a single console with 100% availability
  • Rapid Desktop Deployment – scale up and down as needed, desktops and apps on-demand
  • Increased Security – data remains in the datacenter, not on the endpoint
  • Higher Availability Service – using a world-class service provider
  • Better Desktop Experience – superior end-user experience from distributed data centers
  • Endpoint and Support Cost Savings – repurpose existing hardware, or utilize cost-effective thin clients
  • Client Platform Independence – iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, virtual machine, Android, Chromebook, Kindle, etc.

End users can access their virtual desktop from a variety of client types and from almost any device, so that no matter where they are or which type of computer or mobile device they carry, they can access their desktop, work with their applications, communicate with coworkers, and enjoy full global mobility.

Cloud-based DaaS represents another step forward in offloading the encumbrances that come from the nuts and bolts of business activity, allowing companies to focus instead on core competencies. As the expression goes, “If you aren’t in the IT business, why be in the IT business?

By Steve Prentice

This post is brought to you by the VMware vCloud Air Network.

IoT (Internet of Things) – Don’t Forget The Milk

IoT (Internet of Things) – Don’t Forget The Milk

Don’t Forget The Milk

More on the Internet of Bling and some thoughts on the IoT of tomorrow…

Last month I talked about the wearable IoT concept of the Internet of Bling. So what is more fashionable than an LED that blinks different colors based on the ambient temperature of the room? Blue when the wearer is cold. Red when the wearer is warm and so on. Or perhaps different LED’s blinking depending upon the type of message you’ve just received. For text messages, your LED blinks blue. For voicemails, it blinks red. Finally, it blinks yellow for emails. You could customize it, so no one knew the colors that may just that your bling was sparkling and effervescent.

The Movies

theatre

Movie theaters would change from silence your cellular device to silence everything you are wearing. Yes even those brand new LED hair extensions that let the world know you’ve got mail. Or is the movie theater of the future less and auditorium and more a series of boxes. Boxes with one seat, two, three, four and even five seats with a screen and a door. No longer a large screen room but rather now your living room somewhere else. If your bling blinks no one else would care.

It is an interesting consideration as the IoT expands. Personally, I think that the biggest win for IoT sensor vendors is creating a management platform that can be quickly replaced. Low-cost sensors I can mount in my data center and have them watch and learn about the internal surroundings. Learning specific tolerances and ranges so that I am only notified when a range has been violated.

Cold Front

blizzard

The simple act of pulling in outside air in the winter alone would be a value add for data centers. If you aren’t having to cool the air and you can take the moisture out of the air on the way in, you effectively don’t have to cool data centers in the winter (unless you are in Brazil or near the equator then you need to cool year round). Smart sensors will also be able to report on the noise coming from racks. What’s the quickest way to tell when disks are going bad? It is still audibly. The Internet of IT sensors presents many interesting potentials. You could as a CSP sell the sensor data to your customer’s in a package. Cheap easily replaced sensors are great ways to free the IT staff from doing boring, mundane tasks and let them focus on being proactive.

In the end, this builds nicely into the as a service world. What is a service today will be expanded. Sensors will provide a number of services we aren’t even considering as needs yet. For example, when running to the store you forget to check your refrigerator, the sensor can tell you everything that is in your refrigerator remotely. Some sensors in your home will be required 24/7 (CO, CO2, Fire and Security). While others, you may only require once a week. Utility priced sensors will allow you to pick and choose the data you receive and only pay for what you use.

All of this managed by a single device connected to the Internet of Bling. On that note, I have to go my LED is blinking purple, and I have to go look up what that means.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Scott Anderson

China Growing Dominance In The Tech Industry

China Growing Dominance In The Tech Industry

The Tech Industry Boom In China

The pace of development and growth in China has stunned observers over the last couple of decades. Within a single generation, China has emerged as one of the world’s most formidable economies, and as the Chinese people become more affluent and better educated, the opportunities for expansion in the tech sector are myriad. Currently, the average Chinese citizens disposable income has tripled in the last 10 years and continuing to rise, and the demand for tech products is huge.

But the Chinese are not simply consumers of tech products – they’re also among the world’s leading manufacturers. Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi are doing in China what Apple and Google have done in the United States, and the size of the Chinese market means their sales numbers are far larger. The IDC estimates that 500 million smartphones will be sold to Chinese customers in 2015, as against roughly 163 million in the US. Of those 500 million Chinese sales, 85% will be made by domestic producers like Xiaomi.

China’s role in manufacturing and hardware is already legend, but they are quickly catching up to a similar level in software and web services. Its leading social network, QZone, is the second-most popular social networking site behind Facebook, and it has 600 million monthly active users – a number that is rapidly increasing. Alipay, the Chinese equivalent of Paypal, processed over $150 billion in online transactions last year, a number that is nearly six times higher than that reported by PayPal.

Above all, China is growing rapidly. Although the rapid growth produced by industrialization cannot last forever, China continues to experience incredible rates of growth in high tech sectors. Spending on information and communications technology will grow by roughly 11% in 2015 and account for 43% of global growth in these sectors. So all the Chinese data that proved so impressive in 2014 will be even more so in 2015 – even better days are ahead for China’s technology and communication industry.

Provided is an infographic by Irishapps highlighting this tremendous surge.

Why-China-Will-Dominate-the-Tech-Industry-in-2015

 

By Gustav Steinhardt

CloudTweaks Comics
The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

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What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

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Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

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5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

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Fintech Investments Are Seeing Consistent Growth

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Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

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Business Analytics Vs Data Science

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5 Predictions For Education Technology

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Cloud Infographic: IoT For Automotive Deconstructed

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Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

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