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Dec 3rd, 2012 — Dec 9th, 2012 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Interactive One Meets High-Traffic Demands with Oracle Database Appliance to
Achieves Savings Through Server Consolidation, Reduced Power and Cooling Costs
Interactive One, the digital link to millions of Black and Latino urban audiences with more than 60 unique brands on both a national and local level, deployed Oracle Database Appliance with Oracle Real Application Clusters. The Oracle implementation replaced a legacy system that consisted of a full rack of storage, servers and switches, including components from 3PAR and SGI that ran six database instances of a custom-built application running approximately 20 million OLTP queries per day. Replacing a full rack of servers and storage hardware that ran six database instances with just two Oracle Database Appliances running two database instances, enabled Interactive One to significantly increase performance with ample capacity to grow while reducing its rack footprint by 80 percent, and its power and cooling costs as well.
Understanding Oracle Strategy, the Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems
Three Brief Video Introductions to the Subjects
Three brief videos are gathered in a compendium by Eric Bezille on Oracle Strategy, the Oracle Cloud, and Oracle Engineered Systems. All told, the three animated presentations take less than 15 minutes and constitute a useful introduction to the subjects mentioned above.
Video Interview: How Oracle Engineers Make SPARC Chips Fast
Comprehensive Approach to System Design and Integration Pays Off
Rick Ramsey of OTN interviewed Brad Carlile, Senior Director of Performance Engineering, Oracle, at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 on the subject of designing the SPARC T4 Processor. Carlile clarified the nature of several recent benchmarking results, noting that it is not the chip alone that is under scrutiny but an three-tier stack. He further assured Ramsey that, in benchmarking virtualized environments, security measures were solidly in place. Security encryption on the Oracle Database, he said, is very easy on the SPARC T4. Carlile also stressed the comprehensive approach to integrated systems within Oracle that helps ensure customers of no overheads in virtualization operations.
Software Enhancements Enhance Capabilities for Oracle SPARC SuperCluster
Consolidation, Cloud Deployment Are Accelerated
New software enhancements to SPARC SuperCluster allows it to deliver 10x application consolidation ratios using the new layered, zero-overhead virtualization combined with the database offload functions of Oracle Exadata Storage Servers. SPARC SuperCluster customers can now deploy mission-critical, multi-tenant applications faster, using Oracle Solaris Zone workload isolation capabilities; virtualize Oracle Databases running on Oracle Exadata X3 Storage Servers within Oracle Solaris Zones; deploy multiple Oracle Database and enterprise application domains on each SPARC SuperCluster compute node; and re-allocate CPU and memory resources across existing SPARC SuperCluster domains and zones.
Second Generation Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Released
Delivers 60x Increase in Application Deployment Density
Oracle has released Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X3-2, which builds on the recent release of Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 2.0. Oracle Exalogic X3-2 supports up to a 60x increase in application deployment density through the combination of hardware-assisted Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), server virtualization and increased physical RAM. By fully leveraging the latest Intel Core (Sandy Bridge) Xeon processors, Oracle Exalogic X3-2 delivers 3.5x better application performance than the original Oracle Exalogic X2-2 and incorporates 33 percent more CPU cores per configuration, increasing from 360 to 480 in an Oracle Exalogic Full Rack.
OS-Level Virtualization with Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers
Requires No Additional Software Layer
In the third article of a series on Oracle VM Server for SPARC and Oracle VM Server for x86 Detlef Drewanz posts about the operating system level of virtualization. Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers offer a lightweight virtualized runtime environment for applications. Unlike hypervisor-based virtualization, they do not add an additional software layer. With Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers, there is one OS kernel that is shared by many zones or containers. Oracle Solaris Zones technology has existed since Oracle Solaris 10, and Linux Containers technology is available as a Beta version for Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.
Linux Journal Readers Name Oracle VM VirtualBox Best Virtualization Solution Readers' Choice 2012
Download the Solution Now
Readers of the December 2012 issue of Linux Journal have named Oracle VM VirtualBox the "Best Virtualization Solution for 2012. Chris Kawalek points out these attributes of Oracle VM VirtualBox:

  • Free for personal use and open source
  • You can download it in minutes and start running multiple operating systems on your Windows PC, Mac, Oracle Solaris system, or Linux PC.
  • It's fast and powerful, and easy to install and use.
  • It has in-depth support for client technologies like USB, virtual CD/DVD, virtual display adapters with various flavors of 2D and 3D acceleration, and much more.
IT - Storage
Data Management Is All About Enhancing Customer Expectations
InformationWeek December 5, 2012
'Data management is all about enhancing customer expectations'

"Data management is a science to manage customers; harness technology to be competitive, increase customer retention, and respond better to regulations, says Ravikiran Mankikar, GM - IT Department at Shamrao Vithal Co-op Bank (SVCB), in an interview with InformationWeek.."

IT - Technology
DOE Wants 5X Battery Power Boost In 5 Years
ComputerWorld November 30, 2012
"The U.S. Dept. of Energy has set a goal to develop battery and energy storage technologies that are five times more powerful and five times cheaper than today's within five years.

To accomplish this, U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu is taking some lesson from U.S. history.

The DOE is creating a new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, at a cost of $120 million over five years, that's intended to reproduce development environments that were successfully used by Bell Laboratories in the World War II Manhattan Project that produced an atomic bomb..."

    Network World's 15 Hottest Tech Arguments
    NetworkWorld December 4, 2012
    • Apple iOS vs. Google Android
    • iPad vs. Surface RT in the enterprise
    • Cisco, VMware and OpenFlow fragment SDNs
    • AT&T vs. Verizon 4G-LTE coverage
    • Promote within vs. hire an outsider
    • InfiniBand vs. Gigabit Ethernet
    • Chromevs. Firefox vs. IE vs. Opera
    • Amazon vs. Rackspace vs. Microsoft vs. Google
    • Apple vs.Samsung
    • IETF vs. ITU
    • Cisco Catalyst 6500 vs.Cisco Nexus 7000
    • Hybrids vs. tablets
    • Tech pros getting MBAs: Necessary or not?
    • ERP: Oracle vs. SAP vs. The Upstarts
    • Hackintosh vs. Macintosh

    You can also revisit last years top arguments.

    Three MySQL December Webinars
    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, December 12, 13 and 14
    There are three MySQL webinars on tap during the week of December 10-14 Bertrand Matthelie announces. They include:

    • MySQL Replication: Simplifying Scaling and HA with GTIDs on Wednesday, December 12 at 1500 CST

    How GTIDs enable users to simplify MySQL scaling and HA.

    • MySQL 5.6: Building the Next Generation of Web/Cloud/SaaS/Embedded Applications and Services on Thursday, December 13 at 0900 PST

    A focus on the improvements in MySQL 5.6 performance, scalability, and availability

    • Getting the Best MySQL Performance in Your Products: Part IV, Partitioning

    Increasing the performance of queries, managing very large tables

    'MySQL and Hadoop: Guide to Big Data Integration'
    New Publication Deals with Big Data Acquisition, Analysis and More
    "MySQL and Hadoop: Guide to Big Data Integration" is a new publication announced by Mat Keep, who explains the powerful combination of the two solutions as a tool for big data analysis. The guide covers three aspects of the subject, explaining how users can unlock the value of big data with technologies that enable seamless, high performance integration between MySQL and the Hadoop platform, discussing:
    • The lifecycle of Big Data, from acquisition through loading, analysis and delivering operational insight - Tools and technologies to integrate MySQL with Hadoop
    • Best practices in data analysis
    Cloud Computing
    'Oracle Practitioner Guide: A Pragmatic Approach to Cloud Adoption'
    Directions on the Creation of a Roadmap to Cloud Architecture
    Oracle has published version 3.0 of its "Practitioner Guide: A Pragmatic Approach to Cloud Adoption," whose contents cover the subject in the following aspects:

    • A Pragmatic Process for Cloud Adoption
    • Forces for Cloud Adoption
    • Key Architectural Decisions
    • Roadmap Essentials
    • Cloud Maturity Model (Appendix A)
    • Cloud Candidate Selection Tool (Appendix B)

    The guide is not a step-by-step process for the creation of cloud architecture. Instead, it presents steps essential to the creation of a tailored roadmap to cloud including an assessment of cloud capabilities and the identification of key transformations to the operations and management of the IT environment.

    IT - Cloud
    Large IT Departments Lose Cloud Control
    NetworkWorld November 3, 2012
    "Large IT departments are losing control of cloud strategies as cloud services become more mature in the market, according to research from Capgemini.

    Capgemini questioned 460 IT leaders and senior business managers at large companies worldwide who employed over 10,000 staff, and found that almost half (45%) of organisations now had individual business units with responsibility for cloud strategies.

    "The initiative for driving cloud solutions is shifting from the IT department to the business unit as companies focus more on tangible business value," said Ron Tolido.

      Business Starting To Trust Cloud
      IT Web Business November 29, 2012
      "The single biggest use-case for public cloud hosting is deploying external applications, and all indications are that this trend will continue in 2013.

      These were the findings of a survey of more than 200 IT professionals, released recently by cloud server security provider, CloudPassage. The survey revealed that 41% of respondents in the public cloud use cloud servers for their external applications, suggesting there is less trepidation about moving business-critical applications to the cloud..."

      Data Security Concerns Impact Cloud Deployments
      eWeek November 28, 2012
      "While organizations continue to adopt cloud computing solutions, data security remains an issue, according to a survey of enterprises commissioned by Asigra and performed by customer metrics and research organization TechValidate.

      The survey found 21 percent of respondents cited data security as the biggest concern while the location of where the data was stored came in at 7 percent. Backup-related costs, user-related data loss and service provider stability all ranked at 3 percent. Overall, 59 percent said that all of these were concerns with respect to storing data in the cloud..."

      Don't Jump Into the Cloud Before You Know the Facts
      Business 2 Community December 6, 2012
      "Switching to the cloud from traditional hardware-based storage solutions is never a decision that should be taken lightly, especially for small to medium sized businesses. Even beyond major considerations like pricing, security and the advantages and disadvantages of Storage as Service concepts, there are a number of key things that people typically don’t initially consider. As these things can greatly affect the way a business operates, they should be closely examined before any major change is decided on or implemented..."
      Gartner: Amazon, HP Cloud SLAs Are "Practically Useless"
      NetworkWorld December 6, 2012
      "Amazon Web Services, which Gartner recently named a market-leader in infrastructure as a service cloud computing, has the "dubious status of 'worst SLA (service level agreement) of any major cloud provider'" analyst Lydia Leong blogged today, but HP's newly available public cloud service could be even worse..

      HP launched the general availability of its HP Compute Cloud on Wednesday along with an SLA. Both AWS and HP impose strict guidelines in how users must architect their cloud systems for the SLAs to apply in the case of service disruptions, leading to increased costs for users."

      IT Less Stressed About Cloud Security
      Dark Reading December 4, 2012
      "You know all of that anxiety over the security of cloud services that experts say has dogged widespread adoption of cloud? Well, new research shows that enterprises are becoming a bit less worried than they used to be.

      Only 23 percent of 200 IT professionals in a new survey said they are concerned about a lack of perimeter security and network controls in public cloud services, and some 36 percent already use public cloud services for sensitive applications, like human resources, CRM, and ERP. More than 30 percent use cloud for internal testing and development, and 29 percent for hosting e-commerce applications..."

      Legal Concerns Curb Corporate Cloud Adoption
      ComputerWorld December 3, 2012
      "Inside the enterprise, the biggest obstacle to cloud computing is often the company's own corporate counsel. Here's how IT is getting to yes with legal...

      The first time a client brought intellectual property lawyer Janine Anthony Bowen a cloud computing contract to look over, her reaction was, essentially, 'These people must be nuts.'"

      Mobile and Cloud Developments Will Dominate 2013
      HelpNet Security November 30, 2012
      "For the past several years, the IT industry's transition to the 3rd Platform, built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies, has dominated the annual Predictions from IDC.

      For 2013, IDC predicts the transition to the 3rd Platform will shift into high gear as the industry accelerates past the exploration phase and into full-blown, high stakes competition."

      SaaS Adoption Continues to Grow: Gartner
      eWeek November 28, 2012
      "Interest in the software as a service, or SaaS, deployment model remains strong and continues to expand with late adopters, according to a Gartner survey of 556 organizations across 10 countries.

      Results showed 71 percent of organizations have been using SaaS for less than three years and adoption of SaaS has grown dramatically among users of enterprise software solutions, but it varies widely within markets: Brazil had the largest number of new users, with 27 percent of respondents using SaaS for less than one year. Implementing net new solutions or replacing existing solutions is the primary driver for using SaaS, according to the survey."

      Ten Ways to Induce Management to Adopt the Cloud
      Baseline December 5, 2012
      "Is your company still on the fence when it comes to launching a cloud computing strategy? If so, you know that the cloud is a technology model that practically guarantees greater ease-of-tech deployment, while greatly reducing costs. And those once-prevalent concerns about security appear to be fading. Then there are the numbers: The overall cloud computing market will grow to $160 billion by 2013, according to Merrill Lynch."
      IT - CxO
      10 Trends Sure to Impact CIOs in 2013
      CIO Insight November 15, 2012
      "The IT world is changing. From new products to an increasing reliance on mobile devices to big data, CIOs are finding that many things in the office aren't the way they used to be. Some CIOs are fine with that and believe that change is a good thing, while others think that change is at the center of many of the productivity and security issues companies are facing. But if anything is certain, it's that change will continue to affect the corporate world, so it's time to stop looking back and peer into the future. 2013 is going to be a huge year for the enterprise..."
      CIO Succession: Promote From Within vs. Hire an Outsider
      NetworkWorld December 3, 2012
      "Choosing a CIO is an important and potentially divisive decision. Many companies prefer to promote an internal IT candidate, but it's not always possible. Tapping an outsider can bring fresh perspective and experience to the CIO's office, but it also can have a negative effect on companies' efforts to develop IT management talent internally.

      'You couldn't find a more polarizing topic,' says Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing specialist Modis, of the insider/outsider hiring debate..."

      Don't Forget The Field
      ComputerWorld December 3, 2012
      "Too frequently, IT systems are designed at headquarters, by headquarters and for headquarters. When the perspective is that narrow, the systems that result probably won't fit the needs of most of the organization.

      Headquarters staffers often belittle the importance of functions located elsewhere, and they just as often have things backwards. Sure, headquarters usually provides critical direction and structure, but without the field, very few businesses could deliver products and services to customers. That's true of retailers, oil refiners, manufacturers, and even companies like Google and nonprofits..."

      How to Work With External Strategic Partners
      CIO Insight November 30, 2012
      "Most IT departments of a certain size engage external strategic partners or vendors for a variety of tasks. Too often, however, CIOs view external partners as fulfillers of work instead of as sources of innovation and strategic advantage. Worse still, these CIOs do not share their plans with the external strategic partners upon whom they rely most heavily. The CIOs tend to think that if too much information is offered, it may fall into the wrong hands."
        Seven Things CIOs Need to Know
        CIO Insight December 3, 2012
        "Today's rapidly evolving business and IT environment often turns conventional wisdom upside down. Here are seven things that CIOs often overlook:

        How IT systems work in the real world. Too many CIOs never step out of their office and actually use their IT systems the way customers and partners do--placing orders, requesting information and submitting service tickets. Seriously, unless you know how these IT systems work you cannot design them for real-world use..."

          The Neglected Art of User Training, And How To Eliminate It
          ComputerWorld December 4, 2012
          "The most important part of any IT project is properly training the people who will be using it. In many ways the quality of the training and the number of help desk calls it drives is the most important measurement of a successful project. Yet all too often, IT teams treat training as an afterthought and don’t properly staff or fund it. "
            The Strategic CIO: Building a Successful IT Team
            Accelerating IT Success November 29, 2012
            "Does your IT organization work well in teams? Are you hiring the right people? How do you prevent employee attrition? Do you have the right leadership style to drive employee success? Why is this important?

            In today’s complex business environment, IT organizations work more closely with the business than ever before. The pace of change is increasing at a rapid rate. As a result, IT personnel must respond to the demands of the business more quickly than ever before. This is especially true for a business experiencing explosive growth. So how does the CIO of a startup build a winning team of IT personnel who support and enable a business forecasted to double in size every few years?"

            Risk Study Identifies Top Pain Points In 2013
            HelpNet Security December 4, 2012
            "The state of endpoint risk is not improving according to the fourth annual report researched by the Ponemon Institute. IT professionals reported the flood of mobile devices entering their corporate networks, advanced persistent threats and third-party application vulnerabilities are their primary pain points moving into 2013. A few short years ago, these concerns barely made the list.

            One of the top concerns cited was the proliferation of personally-owned mobile devices in the workplace such as smartphones and tablets. 80 percent of those surveyed said that laptops and other mobile data-bearing devices pose a significant security risk to their organization’s networks."

            The Top 10 Priorities for CIOs in 2013
            NetworkWorld November 30, 2012
            "As we approach the new year, I share 10 of my all-time favorite quotes paired with some questions to spark your thinking about CIO priorities for 2013.

            10. "The medium is the message." Philosopher Marshall McLuhan's phrase still resonates in our four-screen world of TV, desktop, tablet and smartphone. How can you optimize the user medium to enhance the business message?

            9. "All software is going to look like Facebook." Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff's remark predicts a world in which software is self-explanatory. How does that change the CIO role? ..."

            Why CIO Success Comes Down To Just Three Things
            ZDNet November 12, 2012
            "Of the many CIOs I have either met or for whom I have had the pleasure of working, all share the common concern of job longevity. When average time in post for a CIO is between only four and five years — and with trends showing that figure is likely to fall — it's no surprise that the role of a CIO requires instant success in minimal time and typically with minimal budget. Nearly every CEO's mandate for a CIO is for IT to be better, faster and cheaper..."
            Managing IT Contractors Presents Unique Challenges
            ComputerWorld December 3, 2012
            "As companies ramp up projects postponed by the recession and attend to delayed maintenance, they're beginning to fill in the IT ranks -- with full-time staffers, to be sure, but also with a breed of worker that once lurked at the edges of the organization: the IT contractor.

            Proponents say hiring contract IT workers -- those engaged on a temporary basis for either in-house or remote work -- allows companies large and small to access skills that current staffers don't have, quickly round out project teams without an onerous hiring process, and offload routine tasks to low-cost labor."

              IT - DR
              Evaluate Your Disaster Recovery Plan
              Processor November 30, 2012
              "If you want to understand the importance of having a solid disaster recovery plan, look no further than Hurricane Sandy. 'With Hurricane Sandy, there were a lot of data centers in lower Manhattan that were flooded,' says Roberta Witty, research vice president at Gartner, noting that there’s a lot that companies have to plan for before something happens..."
              IT - Networks
              A Ruckus over WLAN Testing
              NetworkComputing November 30, 2012
              "When it comes to WLAN performance, you might assume all access points are created equal because all the vendors are "doing" 802.11n. But a recent competitive test of five vendors conducted at Syracuse University, where I run the wireless network, shows that performance can vary greatly..."
              What is SDN? (You Tube Video)
              NetworkWorld November 30, 3023
              "Network World Editor-in-Chief John Dix chats with IDG Enterprise's John Gallant about software-defined networking (SDN) and the upcoming Open Network Exchange tour sponsored by Network World..."
                IT - Operations
                Data Centers: Get 'Em Hotter and Wetter
                NetworkComputing November 28, 2012
                "Heat and humidity are bad for data centers, right? Maybe not as much as we thought. A recent white paper from the Green Grid, the same non-profit organization that first put forward the Power Use Efficiency (PUE) metric, explains the benefits of allowing data centers to run hotter and with more humidity than is common.

                You don't just have to take the Green Grid's word for it: The white paper brings together and summarizes work by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and other researchers. The report provides clear explanations of why hotter and wetter is something you should consider..."

                  Data Centres Under Pressure
                  IT Web Business December 5, 2012
                  "Data centre infrastructures are under increasing pressure because of the evolution of technologies like mobility and cloud computing.

                  So said Fred Giron, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, during a data centre infrastructure and management event hosted by Emerson yesterday, in Johannesburg.

                  'A significant shift is occurring in the technology marketplace that is impacting all of us,' said Giron. 'The enterprise world is working feverishly to respond to and capitalise on opportunities in cloud computing, big data and mobile communications."

                  IT - Security
                  10 Reasons Enterprises Should Rethink Endpoint Security
                  eWeek November 30, 2012
                  "Each day enterprises around the world are confronted with a growing number of sophisticated attacks on information systems and infrastructure that can evade firewalls, network protection devices and antivirus software. Known as advanced persistent threats (APTs), these attacks prey on unsuspecting users by appearing as legitimate Websites, emails and documents that trick those users into clicking on them and compromising corporate desktops, networks and data. The burgeoning trend of employees bringing their own smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs to work is causing new headaches for security professionals. Information security teams do all they can to detect and block these attacks, but they are not always successful."
                  10 Security Mistakes That Are Easy To Avoid
                  TechRepublic December 3, 2012
                  "What's worse than getting hit with a security breach? Getting hit with an easily preventable one.

                  No matter how much we try, users — and sometimes even IT departments — overlook some security mistakes that are relatively easy to correct. In this article, I'll discuss 10 avoidable security mistakes and describe what you can do to correct the oversight..."

                  Catching Attacks from the Inside Means Crunching More Data
                  Dark Reading December 3, 2012
                  "Whether by mandate or mission, companies have increasingly focused on creating better systems for managing the identities and access rights of their employees. Such systems can be a goldmine of information on security events that may indicate that an attack is underway.

                  But it's not easy. Luck and a sharp eye caught the malicious code left behind by Rajendrasinh Makwana, the contractor convicted of attempting to delete data at Fannie Mae in 2008, after the company fired him. Yet, both technology and processes failed to catch Societe Generale's Jerome Kerviel, who used other traders' accounts to evade the safety measures put in place by the trading house, resulting in a $7 billion loss..."

                  Civil Litigation: A Better Way to Improve Cybersecurity?
                  NetworkWorld December 4, 2012
                  "A precedent-setting case in the world of electronic banking points to a better method for securing the nation's critical infrastructure from cyberattack, according to a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official.

                  Paul Rosenzweig, former assistant secretary for policy at DHS and founder of Red Branch Law & Consulting, said the recent settlement in Patco Construction v. People's United Bank shows how civil litigation can force banks to improve their online security practices. And if that can happen in the financial industry, it can also happen with a critical infrastructure operator..."

                  How the Eurograbber Attack Stole 36 Million Euros
                  HelpNet Security December 12, 2012
                  "Check Point has revealed how a sophisticated malware attack was used to steal an estimated €36 million from over 30,000 customers of over 30 banks in Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland over summer this year.

                  The theft used malware to target the PCs and mobile devices of banking customers. The attack also took advantage of SMS messages used by banks as part of customers’ secure login and authentication process..."

                    Nationwide Security Breach Raises Priority of IT Security
                    Insurance Technology December 5, 2012
                    "Nearly a million Nationwide customers' personal information was compromised, but the fact that businesses report that cyber risk is their biggest concern shows that hackers present both threat and opportunity to the industry...

                    Cyber security seems likely to jump up the list of insurance CIOs' priorities in the wake of recent incidents affecting financial services companies and one of the country's largest insurers. During September, several of the nation's largest banks were targeted by a group called the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, and during the following month Nationwide suffered a security breach that affected about a million people, some policyholders, some individuals seeking quotes..."

                    Security Manager's Journal: Tracking Down Rogue IT
                    ComputerWorld December 3, 2012
                    "Some call it 'shadow IT,' but I am among those who call it 'rogue IT.' Both terms refer to information technology that has made its way into an organization without proper approval.

                    Rogue IT can crop up very easily these days. Just about anyone with a valid credit card can spin up applications and infrastructure under the radar. If there's no need to integrate with existing infrastructure, no contract review and no requirement for a purchase order generated by accounting, users can arrange to receive software as a service or even infrastructure as a service with no one in IT being the wiser..."

                    Staying Safe If Your IT Security Budget Gets Cut
                    HelpNet Security December 5, 2012
                    "As companies continue to struggle in today’s difficult economy, cutbacks affect all sectors of organizations. Unfortunately, IT security solutions are often not spared form the chopping block – a risky and shortsighted decision if you ask me, but perhaps that’s fodder for a future piece.

                    For now I’d like to focus on how IT groups – especially in small and mid-sized organizations – can remain secure with limited budgets.

                    This cheap and “low hanging fruit” of IT security includes:..."

                    The Top Ten Financial Services Cyber Risk Trends For 2013
                    Continuity Central December 6, 2012
                    "Booz Allen Hamilton works with financial services firms to identify and benchmark best practices and challenges for long-term cybersecurity prevention and protection. This process is part of Booz Allen’s Cyber M3 (Measure, Manage, Mature) capability, which evaluates the maturity of a firm’s cybersecurity programs. This work gives Booz Allen a good insight into upcoming trends and as a result it has produced the following list of the Top 10 Financial Services Cybersecurity Trends for 2013 ..."
                    Security Experts Debate Moving Critical Infrastructure Online
                    HelpNet Security December 3, 2012
                    "Paul Simmonds, Co-Founder of The Jericho Forum, has suggested that companies attempting to reduce costs by moving critical systems online could be opening themselves up to cyber attacks. Speaking at the Cybergeddon 2012 event, Mr Simmonds’ comments were echoed by other security experts – citing the discovery of highly advanced malware this year as a reason for greater caution.

                    This comes shortly after a researcher at security firm Exodus Intelligence discovered 23 vulnerabilities in industrial control systems from a variety of manufacturers, and the identification of further SCADA application vulnerabilities by Italian security company ReVuln last week..."

                    IT - Careers
                    A Q&A about Holiday Gift-Giving in the Office
                    Baseline November 29, 2012
                    "Office gift-giving is a fine way to spread cheer during the holiday season, but it can also lead to showboating on the part of lavish spenders; hurt feelings among those who feel left out; and anxiety for professionals who have no idea who deserves what—or how much to spend. If you find yourself facing these challenges, we've connected with a special Santa's helper just for you. Workplace expert Vicky Oliver ... has authored five books on personal branding, etiquette and career development ... In light of the perplexing gift-giving dilemmas of the holiday season, Oliver has come up with the common tough questions on the topic, along with her answers."
                      Being Right vs. Not Being Wrong
                      ComputerWorld December 3, 2012
                      "We geeks have a reputation that we neither want nor entirely deserve. To a lot of people, it seems as if we always have to be right -- to prove that, no matter the circumstance, we know best.

                      I believe that's a false impression, but it's easy to see how it came to be. Some of the most common complaints about technical people are that they interrupt with condescending corrections, become impatient when they have to explain things, qualify every statement so that it is precisely correct and dismiss unsupported opinions as invalid..."

                        Ten Ways to Disarm Angry Customers
                        Baseline December 12, 2012
                        "In this age in which so many people post virtually everything about their experiences on social media, good customer service matters more than ever. After all, research indicates that customers are five times more likely to share a bad experience than a good one. That's why you and your colleagues—regardless of your job description— should keep the following tips in mind when dealing with unhappy customers—whether internal or external..."
                          IT - Social Media
                          Best Practices to Close the Door to Spear-Phishing Attacks
                          NetworkWorld December 6, 2012
                          "In a recent report, Trend Micro summarized its findings from a detailed analysis of attack vectors for the dissemination of advanced persistent threats (APTs). The security vendor found that 91% of targeted attacks involve spear-phishing email. This confirms the school of thought that attackers often target a specific person in order to gain access to a specific network and coveted confidential information on that network..."
                          Is Blocking Employee Access to Social Media Solving Anything?
                          Information Management December 3, 2012
                          "As I traveled during this autumn conference season, listening and speaking on social media in the insurance industry, I often heard from companies that block social media. But is this a good idea?

                          'Staff will spend all day on Facebook' was one reason given—but if this is true, it is more likely that these staff members are just poor or unmotivated employees; this is a management, not social media, problem. Besides, they probably have Facebook on the smartphone in their pocket, so blocking has no real effect..."

                          IT - Email
                          How the Word "Spam" Came to Mean "Junk Message"
                          Today I Found Out September 10, 2010
                          "Today I found out how the word “spam” came to mean “junk message” or “junk mail”.

                          While some have suggested that this was because SPAM (as in the Hormel meat product) is sometimes satirized as “fake meat”, thus spam messages are 'fake messages', this potential origin, while plausible enough on the surface, turns out to be not correct at all.

                          The real origin of the term comes from a 1970 Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit..."

                            Infuriated By Internet Shutdown, Anonymous Declares War on Syrian Government Websites Worldwide
                            NetworkWorld November 30, 2012
                            "The hactivist group Anonymous reacted angrily to the Internet shutdown yesterday in Syria, an act attributed to the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the civil war there. Anonymous basically declared war on the Syrian regime, saying it intends to obliterate "all Web assets belonging to the Assad regime that are NOT hosted in Syria," starting today."
                              'Spear Phishing' the Main Email Attachment Threat
                              NetworkWorld November 29, 2012
                              "Some 91% of cyber attacks begin with a 'spear phishing' email, according to research from security software firm Trend Micro.

                              Spear phishing is an increasingly common form of phishing that makes use of information about a target to make attacks more specific and "personal".

                              These attacks may, for instance, refer to their targets by their specific name or job position, instead of using generic titles like in broader phishing campaigns.

                              The goal of a spear phishing attack is to trick the victim into either opening a malicious file attachment or clicking a link to a malware- or an exploit-laden website, which could compromise the victim's network..."

                              Why What Happened To the Internet in Syria Couldn't Happen Here
                              ComputerWorld November 30, 2012
                              "The Internet shutdown in Syria likely took very little to accomplish considering the country's limited Internet infrastructure and international connectivity, network analysts said Friday.

                              Such a move would be much harder, if not impossible, to achieve at least from a technology standpoint, in the U.S. or other democracies with mature Internet infrastructures, they said..."

                              IT - Database
                              5 Steps For Good Database Hygiene
                              Dark Reading December 5, 2012
                              "Some of the most important ways to reduce risk boil down to the fundamentals of security. Keep systems well-patched, prevent data from spreading around, make sure systems are properly segmented, and watch where you store valuable log-in data. Much like flossing, these good habits require day-to-day maintenance that will reap long-term benefits. Here are what the experts say about the kinds of actions necessary to keep up on good database hygiene..."
                              Six Free/Open Source Databases with Commercial-Quality Features
                              NetworkWorld December 3, 2012
                              "We tested six popular free or open source relational database management systems (RDBMS): Microsoft SQL Server Express, PostgreSQL, Oracle’s MySQL, MariaDB, Apache Derby, and Firebird SQL. We tested each product on ease of installation, documentation, features, management tools and performance using a log file containing more than 1 million records. Here are the individual results..."
                              Semantic Databases: Destiny or Distraction?
                              InformationWeek December 5, 2012
                              "Don't buy into the idea that semantic database technologies are just for consumer-facing services such as BBC Online or the semantic Web initiatives embraced by the likes of Best Buy and Cisco. In much the same way that consumerization drives innovation in end user computing, semantic database technologies deliver benefits that businesses of all stripes should be exploiting..."
                              IT - Backup
                              Managing the Multi-Vendor Backup
                              InformationWeek November 29, 2012
                              "In recent columns I have covered the challenges of consolidating to a single backup application for the enterprise. In short, no single application can do it all, and the capabilities of application-specific backups are still too compelling. I've also discussed consolidating to the backup appliance, but this leaves gaps in monitoring and managing the mixed environment. There is software available to provide this management overview. In this column I'll discuss what to expect -- and what not to expect -- from these products."
                              Troubleshoot Backup Problems
                              Processor November 30, 2012
                              "The first step in protecting an enterprise’s data is to consistently back it up. The next step is realizing that at some point, something will go wrong with those backups, and you’re going to need to troubleshoot the snafu.

                              "If you don’t have a good backup and recovery procedure in place, along with the right technology to support it, the likelihood is strong that one day, you will experience data loss and downtime," says Florin Dejeu, director of product management for Sepaton.

                              You need the right backup systems and troubleshooting tools, processes, and policies."

                              IT - Big Data
                              Empowering Retailers: 9 Tactics for Leveraging Big Data
                              Business 2 Community December 3, 2012
                              "Like the Universe, the Web is continuously expanding. Online users are not simply engaging each other more easily, they have become data generators. In this role, they are transforming the global economy. Today, we can find and purchase every kind of item – from the exotic to the mundane – we could ever want, in the color and size we need. No matter where it is now stored. And we can often acquire it for an amount more attractive than the prices changed by local distributors..."
                                Big Data And Analytics Expertise: Beg, Borrow Or Steal?
                                InformationWeek December 5, 2012
                                "It's a good time to be a big data and analytics expert -- 18% of big data-focused companies in our InformationWeek 2012 State of IT Staffing Survey want to increase staff in this area by more than 30% in the next two years, but 53% say it'll be hard to find people with the required skills...

                                People with experience in both areas are "going for crazy prices," says Brian Courtney, general manager of industrial data intelligence at GE Intelligent Platforms. "We have a lot of analytics talent on staff already, but getting high-end analysts with big data experience is that much harder."

                                Use Big Data Analytics, Don't Punt
                                Business 2 Community November 30, 2012
                                "Mention the word 'football,' and most people think of tackling, touchdowns and stadiums full of cheering fans. It may not come as a big surprise to those of you who know me well, but this season, I’m thinking of all those things, plus one more: big data.

                                Honestly, it's not too much of a stretch. Over the past few years, big data analytics have begun to infiltrate virtually all college and professional sports. From the strategic methodology Billy Beane used to catapult the Oakland Athletics to three American League West Division titles (celebrated in the film Moneyball) to the detailed expense analyses colleges and universities are now required to report annually, big data calculations are now part of the conversation in the owner's box, in the locker room and on the field."

                                IT - Mobile
                                Mobile Devices Will Drive IT Spending In 2013, IDC Says
                                ComputerWorld November 30, 2012
                                "More than half of next year's expected 5.7% increase in global IT spending will be driven by sales of smartphones, tablets and e-readers, IDC said in a forecast published Friday.

                                IDC projects that mobile device sales will make up "an incredible" 57% of overall IT spending growth expected in 2013.

                                Without the mobile spending, the IT business would grow by 2.9%, about the rate of GDP growth worldwide, IDC noted.

                                Mobile devices were also the biggest segment of IT spending growth in 2012, IDC said."

                                When In China, Don't Leave Your Laptop Alone
                                ComputerWorld December 4, 2012
                                "You're traveling in China on business, and after checking into your hotel room you decide to grab a bite at a local restaurant. You're not planning to work, so you leave your laptop on the dresser, lock the door, and exit, feeling confident that your possessions are safe..."
                                  IT - BYOD
                                  For Midsize Businesses, There Is a New Way To Spell Risk: BYOD
                                  IT World December 4, 2012
                                  "Online and offline, in IT departments and across organizations, the bring your own device (BYOD) debate is raging.

                                  Bring your own device, the business policy of allowing employees to use personal mobile devices for work purposes -- accessing privileged, private and proprietary company information and resources -- is gaining increasing traction and adoption. For smaller businesses without the resources to purchase company devices, it is probably a necessity. Enterprise-size companies generally have the staff and bandwidth to manage the challenges it presents..."

                                  The Approaching BYOD Wave
                                  NetworkWorld December 3, 2012
                                  "This holiday shopping season is being powered in part by demand for electronics, including boatloads of new tablets and smartphones, most of which will wash into enterprises in early January in a veritable bring-your-own-device (BYOD) tsunami.

                                  Besides the latest and greatest smartphones, such as the sleek Samsung Galaxy S III, the Apple iPhone 5 and devices powered by Windows Phone 8, a raft of sexy new tablets will appear in the office, everything from the Apple iPad Mini to Google's Nexus 10, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Microsoft's Surface and the Kindle Fire from Amazon..."

                                  Three Major Impacts When Moving To A BYOD Policy
                                  HelpNet Security December 3, 2012
                                  "Seventy percent of respondents in a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. said that they have or are planning to have BYOD policies within the next 12 months to allow employees to use personal mobile devices to connect to enterprise applications.

                                  Thirty-three percent of all organizations surveyed currently have BYOD policies in place for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets..."

                                  What China Can Teach Us about BYOD
                                  Business 2 Community December 6, 2012
                                  "With more and more employees balking at the idea of carrying a clunky company phone alongside that sleek new iPhone, companies need to reconsider their BYOD (bring your own device) policies. Although it’s been slow to catch on in the United States, companies in China have been much more flexible with BYOD, allowing employees to use their personal phones for work for years now. Before changing the rules at your company, consider several factors to make the most of your policy..."
                                  Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                                  Vol 177 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 176 Issues 2, 3, 4 and 5
                                  We track how frequently each article is viewed on the web site to determine which the readers consider the most important. For last week, the top 10 articles were:

                                  • List of Free and OpenSource Software in Oracle Solaris 10, 11.1 at OTN
                                  • TCO Comparison: Oracle Exadata vs IBM P-Series
                                  • Oracle Solaris 11.1 Blog Post Roundup
                                  • ILOM: Oracle's Solution to Fault Management
                                  • Oracle Takes Its Cloud Services Portfolio on the Road
                                  • Would You Leave the Keys in Your Parked Car's Ignition?
                                  • Using Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center to Update Solaris via Live Upgrade
                                  • Technical Whitepaper 'Exadata Database Machine X3'
                                  • Webcast on Using Live Upgrade to Update Solaris by Leon Shaner
                                  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and Utilization Management

                                  The longer version of this article has list of top ten articles for the last 8 weeks.

                                    IT - Server
                                    14 of the Most Useful Linux Websites
                                    NetworkWorld November 28, 2012
                                    "There's no getting around it -- the world of open-source/free software is pretty Balkanized. So much so, in fact, that many leading lights can't even agree on what to call the sprawling ecosystem of non-proprietary software. This means it can be far from obvious where to go for the best possible information on the topic, whether you're trying to learn some Linux basics or keep up with the latest developments. Here's a brief overview of the most useful open source websites.."
                                    How to Prevent Admin Rights Abuse
                                    Continuity Central December 6, 2012
                                    "It has become axiomatic that financial sector organizations sit at the top end of the scale for security and reputational risk. Banks and finance firms are built on customer data and criminals are drawn to that as surely as are regulators tasked with ensuring companies safeguard it to the required legal standards.

                                    Unfortunately, networks are necessarily built from a number of insecure elements, starting with desktop and laptop PCs. A growing theme in this area has been the use of administrator rights to enable not only common everyday software but the legacy applications that are now a fundamental part of modern banking and finance."

                                    IT - Encryption
                                    The Do's and Don'ts of Safeguarding Cloud-Based Data with Encryption
                                    NetworkWorld December 5, 2012
                                    "One of the biggest stumbling blocks for companies contemplating entrusting a cloud-computing vendor with their data is the risk of unintended data exposure. A lot of data is sensitive. It might contain employees' financial information, patients' statutorily protected health information, other regulated information or proprietary intellectual property. Quite often, companies feel more control when they keep that sort of data in-house. But the risk that a cloud vendor might not handle your information as securely as you'd like can be mitigated..."
                                    VA Still Lags On Encryption
                                    NetworkWorld November 30, 2012
                                    "More than six years after the Veterans Administration (VA) suffered one of the worst data breaches in history, it is still a long way from closing off the vulnerability that made the breach possible: lack of encryption.

                                    It was on May 3, 2006, that a laptop and external hard drive containing an unencrypted national database with names, Social Security numbers, dates of births, and some disability ratings for 26.5 million veterans, active-duty military personnel and spouses was stolen from a VA analyst's Maryland home..."

                                    Triumph and disaster: Two migrations to OpenOffice
                                    Simon Phipps Sorts Out the Experiences of Munich vs. Freiburg RE: Microsoft to LibreOffice
                                    Simon Phipps analyzed a tale of two migrations -- Microsoft to LibreOffice. One resulted in a successful, cost-effective move; the other in a costly reversion to Word 2000. Freiburg, Germany was the site of the unhappy outcome; Munich the locale where things went right. Phipps speculates that Freiburg had one thing in mind: cost cutting -- an invitation to failure. Munich invested in training and securing freedom from proprietary constraints. Moreover, Munich's migration was categorical. Freiburg's was piecemeal, with some users opting out of the migration altogether. Phipps cautions against relying too heavily on the possibility of "interoperability" in productivity migrations.
                                    The Document Foundation Announces 6-Day Marathon Testing of LibreOffice 4.0
                                    December 14 - December 19, 2012

                                    The Document Foundation announces the LibreOffice 4.0 Test Marathon, running for six days from December 14 to 19. Users and supporters around the world will be testing the first beta of the upcoming LibreOffice 4.0, which is scheduled for release in February 2013. The LibreOffice community has organized various bug hunt sessions before, during which the many people involved found bugs and performed tests. This has contributed considerably to the overall quality of the product. By organizing this big Test Marathon early, the developers will be able to fix many bugs before the release candidates and the final version are made available.

                                    Oracle, LexisNexis Combine to Provide Powerful Defense Against Fraud and Identity Abuse
                                    Oracle Identity Management and LexisNexis Instant Authenticate Create a Bulwark
                                    LexisNexis Risk Solutions has announced the Oracle Validated Integration of its Instant Authenticate product with Oracle Identity Management, Mark Karlstrand reports. Oracle provides the most complete Identity and Access Management platform, Karlstrand writes, emphasizing that it is the only provider to offer advanced capabilities including device fingerprinting, location intelligence, real-time risk analysis, context-aware authentication and authorization. LexisNexis Risk Solutions' Instant Authenticate dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) service offers customers a secure and cost effective means to authenticate new users or prove authentication for password resets, lockouts and such scenarios. Together, they now offer an integrated solution that can stop identity fraud in its tracks.
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