IDG Contributor Network: How to handle risks of hypervisor hacking

Global cloud computing and digital systems today would not exist without virtualization and hypervisors. Virtualization and hypervisors are basic tools for implementing digital systems that respond from moment to moment to varying demands without slow and expensive physical reconfiguration of hardware and rebuilding of software execution stacks and heavy investment in hardware that is only used during peak loads.Last blog, I described the dangers of a hypervisor attack. How can such an attack occur? There are a number of ways.Resource simulations A hypervisor provides software simulations of basic computing resources — like CPUs, memory, storage and network connections — that isolate VMs from one another. But the isolation may have soft spots. For example, freed simulated memory for one VM might be the same physical memory the hypervisor allocates to another VM. If the hypervisor does not blank out the reallocated physical memory, the second VM has access to data from the first VM and a data breach ensues. All resource simulations are subject to dangerous implementation errors. Simulated CPU registers, storage buffers and network buffers, all present opportunities for coding mistakes that permit data or control breaches.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 2:00 pm

IDG Contributor Network: What Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods means for enterprise IT operations

Amazon has announced that it is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The implications of this upon the grocery business have been widely written about in a variety of publications including Forbes, and Business Insider. The point of this post is not to rehash what Amazon will or will not do to the grocery business but rather to focus upon the lessons of this acquisition for Enterprise IT Operations.Every business is a digital business At the recent IT Operations Strategies Summit, Gartner released the results of a survey that it had done with the CEO’s of its clients. The results were that by 2020 these CEO’s expected the following:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 1:40 pm

The inextricable link between IoT and machine learning

I met with a team of Microsoft AI researchers recently to discuss original adaptations of Resnet 50, a version of the convolutional network Microsoft used to win the Imagenet 2015 image recognition competition. The discussion about the scientists work caused me to reconsider the inextricable link between IoT and machine learning.Control loops are a fundamental principal of the internet of things (IoT.) If then, then that (ITTT) has a long history in conditionally controlling things dating to the invention of the electric relay in the 1830s. Over time, single relays were combined into state machines, and later, relays became transistors. During the glamorous growth of computers in IT, consumer and mobile sectors, less glamorous ITTT computers have been applied to many use cases such as controlling machines in factories and performing lab experiments.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 12:59 pm

What is intent-based networking?

Cisco this week jumped head first into the intent-based networking market, saying the technology that uses machine learning and advanced automation to control networks could be a major shift in how networks are managed.But what exactly is intent-based networking?+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Why Cisco’s new intent-based networking could be a big deal +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 11:14 am

Echo Show Ships on Wednesday, Buy 2 and Get a $100 Discount Right Now - Deal Alert

The newly-announced Echo Show is available for pre-order in black or white and the shipping date is finally right around the corner: Wednesday, June 28. If you're interested, there are two things you need to know. Right now if you buy two of them and enter the code SHOW2PACK at checkout, you'll activate a $100 discount. So you'll get two new Echo Shows for the price of two standard Echos. Go in on this deal with a friend, or buy a few for yourself (they work very well in multiple rooms). The other thing you should know is that by selecting Prime 2-day shipping, Amazon will actually have the Echo Show on your doorstep the very day it's released. Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Amazon has announced an integration with some of the big names in wireless security cams, so you can simply say "Alexa, show me the front door camera". Echo Show should make a good kitchen assistant as well -- just ask for a recipe. You can watch news briefings, YouTube videos, ask for a weather forecast, video chat with family and friends (if they have Echos as well), see music lyrics, photos, to-do and shopping lists, and more.  All hands-free—just ask. New skills and features are added all the time.  See this deal now on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 8:18 am

Apcela advises how to build a hybrid IT platform for better performance and stronger security

This column is available in a weekly newsletter called IT Best Practices. Click here to subscribe. To state the obvious, enterprises are moving their applications to the cloud, and this movement is happening at an accelerating pace. Many technology chiefs are working under a “cloud-first policy,” which means that if an application can be deployed as a service, then that should be the first choice for the way to go.While the applications themselves are moving to the cloud, the application delivery infrastructure is still stuck in the enterprise data center. Under the existing network architecture that most enterprises still have today, all traffic comes back to the enterprise data center before going out to the cloud. The on-premises data center is where the switching and routing, security, and application delivery controllers reside. This infrastructure is architected for a bygone era when applications were all in the data center.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 8:07 am

It's time to upgrade to TLS 1.3 already, says CDN engineer

Businesses dragging their heels over rolling out TLS 1.2 on their website might have an excuse to delay a little longer: Version 1.3 of the TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption protocol will be finalized later this year, and early deployments of it are already under way.TLS, the successor to SSL, is used to negotiate secure connections to web or mail servers, encrypting data on the move.Six years in the making, TLS 1.2 added new, stronger encryption options -- but retained all the older, weaker encryption schemes that had gone before in the name of backward compatibility. Unfortunately, this meant that someone able to perform a man-in-the-middle attack could often downgrade connections to a weaker encryption system without the user being aware.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 23 June 2017 | 6:03 am

Trend: Colocation facilities provide tools to manage data center infrastructure

Enterprises understand the advantages of colocation, but they also know that entrusting mission-critical infrastructure to third-party data centers means giving up some control over their servers.Data center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools can provide colocation customers with transparency into their data center's operations, to verify that providers are fulfilling the terms of their Service Level Agreements. A DCIM platform gives customers a "single pane of glass" to view the status of their IT infrastructure."Today, more colocation providers are offering their customers access to DCIM portals," explains Rhonda Ascierto, Research Director for Data centers and Critical Infrastructure at 451 Research. "Customers want to see how well a colocation facility is operating, not just rely on the SLA. A DCIM tool gives the customer visibility into data center operations, and assurance that the colocation provider is meeting their obligations."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 3:58 pm

6 things you need to know about virtual private networks

A virtual private network is a secure tunnel between two or more computers on the internet, allowing them to access each other as if on a local network. In the past, VPNs were mainly used by companies to securely link remote branches together or connect roaming employees to the office network, but today they're an important service for consumers too, protecting them from attacks when they connect to public wireless networks. Given their importance, here's what you need to know about VPNs:VPNs are good for your privacy and securityOpen wireless networks pose a serious risk to users, because attackers sitting on the same networks can use various techniques to sniff web traffic and even hijack accounts on websites that don't use the HTTPS security protocol. In addition, some Wi-Fi network operators intentionally inject ads into web traffic, and these could lead to unwanted tracking.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 3:35 pm

Data center startup offers compute colo at cell towers

Vapor IO, an Austin-based data center technology startup, is launching a rather interesting collocation business by offering leased data center capacity at cellular network towers. The company’s argument is that it should offer compute and network capabilities together for maximum edge computing.The service, called Project Volutus, includes everything from site selection to rack space, power, connectivity, infrastructure management software, and remote hands. The company believes that the need for edge computing capacity will increase as things like IoT, connected and autonomous cars, augmented and virtual reality, and 5G wireless come to market and start scaling.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 10:23 am

Viewing Linux output in columns

The Linux column command makes it easy to display data in a columnar format -- often making it easier to view, digest, or incorporate into a report. While column is a command that's simple to use, it has some very useful options that are worth considering. In the examples in this post, you will get a feel for how the command works and how you can get it to format data in the most useful ways.By default, the column command will ignore blanks lines in the input data. When displaying data in multiple columns, it will organize the content by filling the left column first and then moving to the right. For example, a file containing numbers 1 to 12 might be displayed in this order:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 10:13 am

IDG Contributor Network: The fight to defend the Internet of Things

The Internet has entered a new chapter called the Internet of Things (IoT). It follows the fixed-Internet era characterized by connected PCs and laptops through the 1990s, and builds on the mobile-Internet era spearheaded by the proliferation of smartphones during the first two decades of this century. This new chapter has a new set of challenges and opportunities because it involves a broader diversity of devices — ranging from connected light bulbs, smart gas meters and smart speakers, to IP monitoring cameras, smart watches, drones, and robots. And while the connectivity and compute requirements of these IoT devices vary widely, they all have a common need: strong security.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 10:00 am

Amazon Prime Gets You 50% off Razer Wildcat Controller for Xbox One, Windows 10 PC - Deal Alert

The Razer Wildcat controller is compatible with both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. An elite level controller developed for tournament play with feedback from the best eSports athletes, it features four additional fully-programmable buttons for a personalized layout, a well thought out ergonomic shape and weight, reduced trigger travel distance for rapid fire, and much more. If you're an Amazon Prime member, the typical list price has been reduced generously to just $74.99. If you're not a Prime member but still want this deal, Amazon's 30 day Prime free trial (signup page here) is quick to activate and gets you all of the same benefits with no financial commitment required (unless you decide to keep it). See this deal now on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 8:20 am

IDG Contributor Network: The future is not the cloud or the fog: it is actually the SEA!

A casual reflection on the last few years in the evolution of the wireless network provides us all the insights necessary to reason that there is at least one final frontier coming down the road. Who can deny that the last few years have been owned by the cloud, virtualization and softwarization (if that is even a word!). Edge Computing too, which is really nothing more than the pushing of all of these concepts deep into places in the network where they have never been before. Fog computing is another term (created by Cisco) for something similar but driven in its genesis more bottom up from the many Internet of Things use cases. The bigger trend is obvious; network intelligence is distributing but where will it, can it go, beyond this?To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 22 June 2017 | 6:00 am

Lenovo's new workstation is indeed 'Tiny' but packs a punch

Windows users who work in tight spaces and need a small form factor workstation with multiple display ports and solid processing power have a new contender to check out: the new ThinkStation P320 Tiny.The workstation lives up to its name: At 1.4 x 7.1 by 7.2 inches, it's the smallest workstation on the market that is ISV (independent software vendor) certified, according to Rob Herman, the general manager of Lenovo's workstation business unit.The ISV certification is important. "We don't consider a machine to be a workstation unless it has ISV certification," according to Lloyd Cohen, an analyst with IDC.The U.S. government uses the same definition for workstations and for non-government users, software certifications mean that you can run CAD and CAM programs, for example, without worrying about crashing, Cohen noted. That's important if you're working on a complex design.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 4:45 pm

IoT devices or humans?

A Swedish rail line can now collect fares by scanning its customers for embedded biometric chips. The primary benefit is the elimination of a physical ticket -- plus it’s harder to lose. It sounds futuristic, but my dogs have been sporting embedded chips for over a decade.If you think about it, physical tickets are kind of a silly. They are a surrogate for the person. The practice of scanning a ticket, instead of a person, was likely established when there just weren’t many viable alternatives. Technology now offers a more direct approach.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 3:26 pm

Cavium makes its ARM for data centers push with new servers

The initial efforts to bring ARM-based processors in the data center were not terribly successful. Calxeda crashed and burned spectacularly after it bet on a 32-bit processor when the rest of the world had moved on to 64-bits. And HPE initially wanted to base its Project Moonshot servers on ARM but now uses Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron.That’s because the initial uses for ARM processors were low-performance applications, like basic LAMP stacks, file and print, and storage. Instead, one company has been quietly building momentum for high performance ARM processors, and it’s not Qualcomm.Cavium, a company steeped in MIPS-based embedded processors, is bringing its considerable experience and IP to the ARM processor with its ThunderX server ecosystem. ThunderX is the whole shootin’ match, an ARMv8-A 64-bit SoC plus motherboards, both single and dual socket. In addition to hardware, Cavium offers operating systems, development environments, tools, and applications.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 12:32 pm

Reducing data among proposed techniques to speed-up computers

Future computer systems need to be significantly faster than the supercomputers around today, scientists believe. One reason is because analyzing complex problems properly, such as climate modeling, takes increasing work. Massive quantities of calculations, performed at high speed, and delivered in mistake-free data analysis is needed for the fresh insights and discoveries expected down the road.Limitations, though, exist in current storage, processing and software, among other components.The U.S. Department of Energy’s four year $48 million Exascale Computing Project (ECP), started at the end of last year for science and national security purposes, plans to overcome those challenges. It explains some of the potential hiccups it will be running into on its Argonne National Laboratory website. Part of the project is being studied at the lab.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 12:23 pm

IDG Contributor Network: New day or déjà vu

In July of last year, I believe that I became the first to publicly suggest that Avaya should divest of the company’s data networking business. The one-year anniversary of my ”Cajun redux?” post is approaching and in a coincidence, around this same time Avaya will complete the sale of that part of the company to Extreme Networks. With this confluence of milestones, this post will ask, does this signify a new day for Avaya or will, at some point down the road, we again be struck with that strange feeling of déjà vu?To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 11:45 am

Why Cisco’s new intent-based networking could be a big deal

Scentsy, a $500 million manufacturer and seller of wickless candles, got an early look at what Cisco and some analysts are saying could be the next big thing in the network industry: Intent-based networking.“I think this could be a pretty big shift in terms of the paradigm of network management,” says Kevin Tompkins, network architect at the company. “We’re getting away from managing individual devices and into having a central, globally managed policy, all controlled from one place that pervades through the network.”+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Cisco brings intent based networking to the end-to-end network +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 10:48 am

60% off iClever Travel Power Strip with Surge Protector and 4 USB Ports - Deal Alert

iClever's BoostStrip IC-BS01 travel power strip turns one solitary outlet in the airport, hotel, train or plane into 2 surge protected AC outlets and 4 USB ports. Equipped with iClever’s SmartID technology, this power strip offers a max 24W/4.8A USB output while it recognizes your device and safely optimizes max output. The typical list price of the BoostStrip is $49.99, but right now it's currently discounted 60% to just $19.99 on Amazon, where it's averaging 4.5 stars from over 100 reviewers. See this deal on Amazon. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 9:15 am

Banks and Fed sites score as least trustworthy in OTA 2017 security and privacy audit

We frequently hear that we can’t have privacy and security; sadly, that is often still the case as an audit of over 1,000 top websites analyzed for security and privacy practices showed an alarming trend for the third year in a row. The Online Trust Alliance said, “Sites either qualify for the Honor Roll or fail the Audit. In other words, sites increasingly either take privacy and security seriously and do well in the Audit, or lag the industry significantly in one or more critical areas.”There is good news and bad news coming out of the audit (pdf). The good news is that 52 percent of websites, the highest percent in nine years of the annual analysis, qualified for the OTA’s Honor Roll. The flipside is that 46 percent of the websites failed the audit; of those, bank did the worst.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 8:35 am

23% off Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Comfort Fit Earbuds - Deal Alert

If you believe the reviewers on Amazon, you may not find a better sounding pair of earbuds at this price point, which at the current 23% discount is just $7.68. The ErgoFit earbuds from Panasonic are designed to fit comfortably and securely in your ear, isolating outside noise while delivering great sound with a wider frequency range than most comparable buds. The earbuds come in various colors and features a generous 3.6 ft. cord that easily fits through or around your clothes, coats and bags. The ErgoFit earbuds average 4.5 stars from over 48,000 people on Amazon (read reviews) which lends some credibility to Panasonic's claim that the earbuds deliver dynamic, crystal clear sound while successfully blocking ambient noise. Its typical list price has been reduced 23% to just $7.68.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 8:31 am

OwnBackup wants to broaden the backup footprint

OwnBackup is a cloud-to-cloud backup and restore vendor that aims to provide secure, automated, daily backups of SaaS and PaaS data. Founded by well-regarded recovery, data protection and security experts, OwnBackup is a Salesforce partner and ranks highly on the Salesforce AppExchange.As well as the usual backup and recovery options, OwnBackup has a broader take on what backup really means and offers data comparison and restoration tools to offer more granular control in the broader backup and recovery space.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 8:00 am

Fog computing may be IoT’s computational model

Fog computing and fog networking could fill the latency and range gap in the internet of things (IoT.) For the last couple of years, researchers have been reporting on developments in fog’s role in completing IoT’s ubiquitous connectivity. It is similar to cloud computing architectures but it brings the cloud to the edge to meet the different demands of IoT.The underlying concept is the cloud for some real-time IoT services could be too slow because the quality of service (QoS) specifications for the IoT application exceeds the cloud’s QoS. The solution is to move the cloud out into the network.RELATED: IoT catches on in New England fishing town Low latency and QoS is important in IoT use cases like self-driving vehicles and controlling robots and other control applications that require minimum latency to synchronize, supervise, control and initiate machine actions. Range is important when connecting devices over long distances where hubs and gateways are not locally available.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 21 June 2017 | 7:39 am