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IT - CxO
x
5 Coaching Skills That Every Manager Needs to Have
TLNT, June 24th, 2013
"Whether you're a manager trying to develop your people or trying develop yourself and build a career, you need to know that one of the key ways you can have a positive impact on the business is by operating more as a 'Coach' than a 'Manager.'

A study conducted by Bersin & Associates showed that organizations with senior leaders who coach effectively and frequently improve their business results by 21 percent as compared to those who never coach.

Many people are unsure about what is different about a coaching approach, so let me outline some key descriptors:..."

    5 Reasons Leaders Become Followers
    Forbes, June 11th, 2012
    "It's hard to distinguish the leaders from the followers these days. So many leaders are playing it safe, holding themselves, their teams and their organizations back because they choose to follow instead of lead. Leadership is about taking risks, seeing opportunities others don't see, unleashing your passion, being entrepreneurial, working with a generous purpose and strengthening the promise of a better workplace culture. It is concerning when leaders focus more on their titles and positions of authority - rather than acting upon the responsibilities and duties they get paid for and doing what their employees expect and need from them..."
      10 Things Really Amazing Employees Do
      Inc., June 24th, 2013
      "As a longtime employer of dozens, I was always grateful to have good employees. It takes a lot to recruit and maintain top talent. Every once in a while special employees come along that just really seem to get it. They drive the entire company forward in ways that were unimaginable. Advancement and reward is never an issue for these rock stars because they understand the power of cause and effect, and only a worthy company can retain them and afford them.

      Here are 10 things amazing employees seem to do effortlessly. Here's how to help your great employees be even more amazing..."

      • Enthusiastically Learn All Aspects of Business
      • Steward the Company
      • Generate Viable Opportunities
      • Resolve Issues Before They Are Issues
      • Tell It Like It Is
      • Demonstrate High Standards, With Low Maintenance
      • Grow Themselves, and Others
      • Research, Apply, and Refine
      • Stimulate Happiness
      • Facilitate Amazing Bosses

      Read on for details.

      Big Data Is an Opportunity for the CIO to Grab a Seat at the Board: Five Ways IT Can Increase Customer Engagement
      InfoWorld, June 24th, 2013
      "In a discussion with InformationWeek, Tony Young, CIO, Informatica discusses the strategic importance of Big Data for CIOs today and explains how Big Data helps businesses in gaining a competitive advantage...

      Information is undoubtedly the new currency in the new millennium, and hence the ability to derive optimum value out of this information has a direct impact on the growth of a company. In this context, Big Data is now being viewed by many CIOs as the next frontier for innovation.

      According to a global Big Data adoption survey conducted by Informatica, by a greater than two-to-one margin, Indian organizations view Big Data primarily as a business opportunity. However, most organizations don't fully understand or take advantage of their data. Whether Big Data becomes an organization's greatest asset or one of its gravest liabilities depends on the strategies and solutions in place to deal with the epic data growth..."

      How to Close the IT Talent Gap
      CIO, June 24th, 2013
      "How do you build your future workforce? Experts agree that there is a talent shortage of specialized technology workers who are core to IT and the business. But where is that gap at your company? Learning how to do a skills analysis of your IT teams can put you ahead of the talent curve.

      There is an old business adage attributed to Peter Drucker that says: 'You can't manage what you don't measure.' This means if you don't have real metrics in place and you aren't measuring performance, you'll never know whether you're doing better or worse. This adage is relative to many of things we do in IT and careers, because if you don't know where you are going, then you won't know the skills necessary to get you there..."

      IT Succession Management Plans Are MIA
      CIO Insight, June 20th, 2013
      "The majority of organizations are failing to implement and maintain effective IT succession management plans, according to a new survey.

      In June, TEKsystems released a report highlighting the fact that organizations are facing significant shortcomings related to IT succession management plans. The findings are based on a survey of more than 1,500 IT leaders and more than 2,000 IT professionals.

      TEKsystems is a provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise, and IT services. The report is part of the company's 'IT Talent Management Survey' series..."

      The Five Words That Can Swing a Meeting in Your Favour
      IT Business Edge, June 24th, 2013
      "If you're ever wondering what your CEO is thinking, here's a tip: It's probably about your customers. In a global survey of more than 1,500 CEOs, nearly 90 percent listed 'getting closer to customers' as part of their five-year strategy. It was the most popular answer by a wide margin..."

      • Smash down silos
      • Enhance collaboration, embrace chaos
      • Get personal
      • Invest in your team
      • Know what your customers want before they do - and act on it

      Read on for details.

        The Art (and Basics) of Performance Management
        TLNT, June 24th, 2013
        "Effective performance management is the avenue for achieving organizational goals that impact the bottom line of the business.

        Master the skill and you will be able to create a greater alignment of the organization's interests and those of the individual employees. A process for managing the performance and development of your direct reports equips you to carry out your primary responsibility of getting work done through others.

        Any performance management system is supported by critical skills that are necessary for both you and your direct reports to be successful. So, regardless of what particular system your organization relies on, the skills and tools described in this section will support your efforts to implement it. Simply overlay what you learn here with the system you use in your organization.

        To start, let's get specific about what performance management is and is not..."

        Oracle
        x
        Oracle Database 12c is Generally Available
        Generally available as of 25 June 2013
        "Oracle Database 12c introduces a breakthrough, new multitenant architecture enabling customers to create multiple, pluggable databases for database consolidation and cloud deployments.

        Customers will realize greater efficiency and flexibility through innovations such as Oracle Multitenant option and Automatic Data Optimization with Heat Map, for compressing and tiering data at a higher density. These unique advancements, combined with major enhancements in availability, security, and big data support, make Oracle Database 12c the ideal platform for private and public cloud deployments.

        As of 25/06/2013, the product is available for download on Linux x86-64, Solaris Sparc64 and Solaris (x86-64) via Oracle Technology Network..."

        Features
        x
        How to Set Up a MongoDB NoSQL Cluster Using Oracle Solaris Zones
        On an x86-Based System; Solaris Zones; SMF; DTrace; 3-node cluster
        Orgad Kimchi has written a brief overview of MongoDB and follows with an example of setting up a MongoDB three nodes cluster using Oracle Solaris Zones.

        He says, "The following are benefits of using Oracle Solaris for a MongoDB cluster:

        • You can add new MongoDB hosts to the cluster in minutes instead of hours using the zone cloning feature. Using Oracle Solaris Zones, you can easily scale out your MongoDB cluster.

        • In case there is a user error or software error, the Service Management Facility ensures the high availability of each cluster member and ensures that MongoDB replication failover will occur only as a last resort.

        • You can discover performance issues in minutes versus days by using DTrace, which provides increased operating system observability. DTrace provides a holistic performance overview of the operating system and allows deep performance analysis through cooperation with the built-in MongoDB tools.

        • ZFS built-in compression provides optimized disk I/O utilization for better I/O performance. In the example presented in this article, all the MongoDB cluster building blocks will be installed using the Oracle Solaris Zones, Service Management Facility, ZFS, and network virtualization technologies..."

        Read on for details.

        Exadata
        x
        SuperCluster T5-8
        Oracle's Fastest Engineered System
        Oracle SuperCluster Delivers 10x Better Price Performance than a Comparable IBM Solution with No Single Point of Failure, Helps Customers Achieve Lower TCO and Higher Availability for Databases and Applications

        Oracle extends its lead in hardware and software engineered together with the new Oracle SuperCluster T5-8, Oracle's fastest engineered system. Based on the world's fastest database server, ultra-fast database storage, and the world's fastest microprocessor, it delivers extreme performance and 10x better price performance than a comparable IBM Power7+-based solution.

        "Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 runs Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic up to 10x faster than systems pieced together by costly integration projects,” said John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems, Oracle.

        Virtualization
        x
        Oracle Virtualization Newsletter
        June 2013 Edition
        Chris Kawalek writes, "The June Edition of the Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now available! In this issue, you'll learn about:

        • Announcing Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.0
        • Dell Announces New Infrastructure Offering with Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager, Optimized to Run on Dell x86 Systems
        • Oracle VM Continues to Expand Partner Ecosystem with Cisco and NetApp
        • Get Ready for Oracle OpenWorld 2013

        And much more!

        Head on over and read the newsletter.

        IT - Storage
        x
        How NVDIMM Can Protect Flash SSD Appliances
        Storage Switzerland, June 27th, 2013
        "As Storage Switzerland discussed in two articles recently flash based appliances are particularly vulnerable to power failures. This vulnerability is related to the way these appliances use DRAM to buffer writes and to store meta data tables. DRAM is volatile, meaning that if it's not protected or if protection fails during a power loss data can also be lost or appliance downtime can result. In this article Storage Switzerland will discuss how appliance vendors attempt to protect their systems from power faults and present a new alternative that those vendors should consider..."
        Ferromagnetics Breakthrough Could Change Storage As We Know It
        Network World, June 24th, 2013
        "MIT prof says new method of writing to magnetic media should cut power consumption by a factor of 10,000.

        A previously misunderstood magnetic phenomenon has been apparently explained by a paper published on Sunday in Nature Materials – and the explanation could lead to wholesale transformation in magnetic storage. Essentially, according to MIT professor Geoffrey Beach's team, the positive or negative 'poles' of a very thin ferromagnet behave in a predictable way when placed next to specific types of materials..."

          10 Cloud Storage Options That Are the Right Fit for Corporate Users
          eWeek, June 24th, 2013
          "Cloud storage is all the rage in the enterprise right now. Companies are finding that cloud storage services can be a convenient and relatively secure way for employees to access data files and documents when they are away from the office. That enables employees to go far beyond the simple offline storage solutions that so many companies are investing in to instead have a way to access and work on certain files with a select group of colleagues..."

          • Box
          • Amazon Glacier
          • LiveDrive
          • CrashPlan
          • Carbonite
          • Google Drive
          • Microsoft SkyDrive
          • SugarSync
          • Mozy
          • SpiderOak

          Read on for details.

          Profiling Unstructured Data to Streamline Storage Management
          Network World, June 24th, 2013
          "New data profiling technology makes it possible for organizations to reclaim storage capacity, archive data with business value, delete aged and abandoned data with no business value, tier content to other classes of storage and even manage storage charge backs with reliable statistics.

          Data profiling takes all forms of unstructured data and provides a searchable "map" of the metadata, including the type of information that exists, where it is located, who owns it, if it's duplicate and when it was last accessed. Optionally data profiling can look beyond metadata for full-text searches and locate specific files, uncovering sensitive content such as Social Security or credit card numbers..."

          How to Make Reliable SSDs - Reliable NAND Flash
          Storage Switzerland, June 25th, 2013
          "'Reliability' in a storage context means that the storage infrastructure can be counted on to keep data safe and to produce that data in a reasonable timeframe when called upon. While it's true that storage systems have redundancies built in and mechanisms to maintain operations when a subsystem fails, reliable systems don't rely on these mechanisms. Instead, they focus on making components more reliable, which in the case of flash storage is the NAND flash itself.

          Unlike magnetic media (hard disk drives), the flash media wears after prolonged use, a situation that manufacturers ameliorate in a number of ways. With the prevalence of lower cost flash technologies such as MLC (multi-level cell) in more demanding enterprise applications, understanding flash media reliability is essential for these solid state drive (SSD) vendors. But it's also important for end users who are considering which SSD to implement..."

          Java Technology
          x
          Java Spotlight Episode 138: Paul Perrone on Life Saving Embedded Java
          JDK 8 is Feature Complete; Java SE 7 Update 25 Released; ...
          Roger Brinkley writes about this week's podcast, "Paul J. Perrone is founder/CEO of Perrone Robotics. Paul architected the Java-based general-purpose robotics and automation software platform known as "MAX". Paul has overseen MAX's application to rapidly field self-driving robotic cars, unmanned air vehicles, factory and road-side automation applications, and a wide range of advanced robots and automaton applications..."

          Show Notes

          • JDK 8 is Feature Complete
          • Java SE 7 Update 25 Released
          • What should the JCP be doing?
          • 2013 Duke's Choice Award Nominations
          • Another Quick update to Code Signing Article on OTN

          Read on for details.

          IT - Technology
          x
          COBOL: 10 Reasons the Old Language Is Still Kicking
          eWeek, June 24th, 2013
          "COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages, primarily designed by Grace Hopper, who is commonly referred to as 'the mother of the COBOL language.' Created in 1959, its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance and administrative systems for companies and governments. The language continues to evolve, as the COBOL 2002 standard includes support for object-oriented programming and other modern language features..."

          • COBOL Is Easy
          • COBOL Runs Everywhere
          • Here Today, Here Tomorrow
          • COBOL Gets the Numbers Right
          • COBOL Supports Popular IDEs
          • COBOL Systems Process Data Quickly
          • COBOL Is Self-Documenting
          • COBOL Integrates With Everything
          • COBOL Is Fast
          • COBOL Is Everywhere

          Read on for details.

            Quick Look: 10 Cool Analog Computers
            Network World, June 25th, 2013
            "Analog computers had their heyday from about 1940 to the late 1960s but their important legacy lives on. According to a Wikipedia definition, 'An analog computer is a form of computer that uses the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved. In contrast, digital computers represent varying quantities symbolically, as their numerical values change.' Most were designed for very specific applications, like heavy-duty math or flight component simulation. Here's a look at just a few..."

            • IBM System/7 introduced in 1970
            • Systron-Donner Series 80
            • Ford Instrument Mark Fire Control Computer
            • Goodyear Electronic Differential Analyzer
            • Professor H. G. Jerie of the International Training Centre for Aerial Survey (ITC
            • Hitachi (model 303E)
            • General Electric differential analyzer
            • differential analyzer
            • 1960 Newmark analogue computer
            • Beckman Instruments EASE analog computer
            • Norden bombsight

            Read on for details.

            Tiny 3D Printed Battery Could Power Devices of the Future
            GCN, June 24th, 2013
            "A team of university researchers have taken 3D printing to the nanoscale, printing a lithium ion battery the size of a grain of sand and opening up new possibilities for tiny medical, communications and other devices.

            Based at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the researchers were able to print interlocked stacks of hair-thin 'inks' with the chemical and electrical properties needed for the batteries, according to a report by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences..."

            Master Data Management or Data Governance? Yes, Please
            Information Management, June 24th, 2013
            "The marriage of master data management and data governance was probably not what singer/songwriter Jack Johnson had in mind when he composed 'Better Together.' But MDM and data governance are indeed a power couple whose union is equal to more than the sum of its parts.

            As data sources and volumes continue to mushroom, so does the mandate to understand and implement strategic practices to extract the full value of the data, not just manage it. Making business data consistent and accessible across the enterprise is a critical first step in taming and putting big data to use..."

            The Great Debate: Whether to Insource or Outsource Data Destruction
            Business 2 Community, June 21st, 2013
            "Once you recognize the value of a proper IT asset disposal program at your company, your next step is to determine who is actually going to do the work. For data destruction, you have a couple of options: assign members of your internal team to the task, partner with an IT asset disposal vendor to do all data destruction, or a combination of the two. If you choose to partner with a vendor, you have another choice to make: whether to allow the vendor to take your IT assets out of your facility to perform any necessary data destruction at one of its facilities, or require data destruction to be performed on-site..."
              MySQL
              x
              MySQL Enterprise Backup (MEB) 3.8.2
              Overview
              Priya Jayakuma writes, "MySQL Enterprise Backup (MEB) is the ideal solution for backing up MySQL databases. MEB 3.8.2 is released in June 2013.

              MySQL Enterprise Backup 3.8.2 release's main goal is to improve usability. With this release, users can know the progress of backup completed both in terms of size and as a percentage of the total. This release also offers options to be able to manage the behavior of MEB in case the space on the secondary storage is completely exhausted during backup.

              The progress indicator is a (short) string that indicates how far the execution of a time-consuming MEB command has progressed. It consists of one or more "meters" that measures the progress of the command. There are two options introduced to control the progress reporting function of mysqlbackup command (1) show-progress (2) progress-interval..."

              Linux
              x
              Linux-Containers - Part 1: Overview
              Similar to Containers (or Zones) on Oracle Solaris or FreeBSD jails
              Lenz Grimmer writes, "Linux Containers (LXC) provide a means to isolate individual services or applications as well as of a complete Linux operating system from other services running on the same host. To accomplish this, each container gets its own directory structure, network devices, IP addresses and process table. The processes running in other containers or the host system are not visible from inside a container. Additionally, Linux Containers allow for fine granular control of resources like RAM, CPU or disk I/O.

              Generally speaking, Linux Containers use a completely different approach than "classicial" virtualization technologies like KVM or Xen (on which Oracle VM Server for x86 is based on). An application running inside a container will be executed directly on the operating system kernel of the host system, shielded from all other running processes in a sandbox-like environment. This allows a very direct and fair distribution of CPU and I/O-resources. Linux containers can offer the best possible performance and several possibilities for managing and sharing the resources available..."

              IT - Cloud
              x
              A Dozen Clever Cloud Tools for Devs and Ops
              InfoWorld, June 24th, 2013
              "Was it only a few years ago when deploying a single server was a big occasion? First we needed to unpack it, mount it, test it, and install the software. Then we could put it to work.

              Today, we're asked to spin up 200 servers before lunch, configure them, crunch some numbers, and return them before the 1 p.m. staff meeting. Time is money, and servers are bought by the hour now.

              That explains the explosion of interest in tools that let us manage hundreds of machines with a few quick clicks. Here's a list of some of the most intriguing new tools for making our server farms jump to attention in less time than it took to slice open the tape on a server box..."

              • Ganglia
              • Graphite
              • Tattle
              • Logstash
              • Kibana
              • CloudVelocity
              • Ravello Systems
              • Vagrant
              • SaltStack
              • Ubuntu Juju
              • Chef
              • Puppet

              Read on for details.

              Cloud Adoption Immature, Shows Security Survey
              ComputerWeekly, June 24th, 2013
              "Adoption of cloud-based services is still immature in terms of security and privacy, a global survey of more than 4,000 organisations in seven countries by the Ponemon Institute has revealed.

              More than half of all respondents (53%) say their organisation currently transfers sensitive or confidential data to the cloud, yet only 30% say they know how their cloud provider protects their data.

              'The results are indicative of an immature state, and immaturity gives rise to wishful thinking,' said Richard Moulds, vice president strategy at Thales e-Security, which commissioned the survey..."

              Creating a Cloud Security Policy
              Help Net Security, June 24th, 2013
              "Building a cloud security policy is a crucial step to take before diving into the cloud to ensure maximum benefits are achieved and data is secure. But some organizations, in the rush to adopt, forgo this crucial task.

              In fact, a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute showed 36 percent of businesses do not have a centralized cloud security policy in place and 45% do not enforce employees' use of private clouds. This can lead to rogue cloud usage and potentially catastrophic data failures..."

              How Do I Know If My Data Is Safe In the Cloud?
              Business 2 Community, June 27th, 2013
              "Whether you're talking with a doctor, a lawyer or a landlord, when it comes to cloud computing, many business people ask the same question: 'How safe is it to store my data in the cloud?' They want a simple answer, but the question is entirely relative. To evaluate the safety of cloud computing in a meaningful way, it's important to consider the kind of protection you require, and assess how vulnerable your data currently is compared to storing it in the cloud..."

              • Define your security needs
              • Evaluate your current data security
              • Evaluate the security of cloud storage providers
              • Consider a two-part solution

              Read on for details.

              Steelie Neelie: One Cloud Contract Model to Rule Them All
              Channel Register, June 24th, 2013
              "The European Commission is seeking leading lights in the arena of cloud services to help sketch out a contract framework so that customers don't get tied into murky deals.

              At least, this is the principle that Steelie Neelie Kroes, vice president of the EC outlined in a blog today, ahead of the European Cloud Partnership Steering board in Estonia next month..."

                IT - DR
                x
                A Data Center Story for the Ages: The Fuel Bucket Brigade
                ComputerWorld, June 24th, 2013
                "The improbable story of a New York City data center saved by a fuel bucket brigade is not told with fondness, even if there is a sense of pride and humor in its retelling.

                Those involved recall the stink of diesel fuel in dark stairwells illuminated by flashlights. There was the sheer physical exhaustion of carrying buckets of diesel up 17 floors to deposit them into a rooftop generator's fuel tank. There was the sleeping on floors and the lack of showers, and the unrelenting stress of knowing that their efforts could suddenly unravel and the data center could fail..."

                  How Automated Disaster Recovery Can Literally Save Your Business
                  eWeek, June 20th, 2013
                  "In restoring an IT system after an outage due to any cause, the margin between hours and days offline can often mean all the difference in whether or not a business survives as a going concern.

                  In the wake of recent natural disasters such as the East Coast's Hurricane Sandy, disaster recovery has become a particularly hot topic among IT administrators and managers. DR has always been crucial in defending against natural disasters, human error and equipment failure-the latter two of which are far more prevalent. Whatever the cause, after a disaster strikes, IT staff can spend hours or days following complex steps packed with reboots to get their organizations back up and running..."

                  IT - PM
                  x
                  Balance of Power
                  AITS, June 24th, 2013
                  Take-Aways:

                  • Project managers are guardians and advocates for a project. If a functional manager assigned a development role to the same person who acts as the project manager, the project will no longer have a project manager.

                  • To avoid this situation, the proposed project manager can negotiate a split of the role's duties with the functional manager and act as project lead rather than project manager.

                  • A natural division of work is for the functional manager to manage the phases for project initiation and for monitoring and controlling the project. The project lead is responsible for executing and closing the project. Planning the project is performed jointly.

                  • A functional manager who takes on these responsibilities may eventually realize that projects require an individual who only acts as project manager and is an arm's length from the project work.

                  Read on for details.

                  Four Reasons Why Too Many IT Projects Fail
                  AITS, June 2th, 2013
                  "Overthinking a problem can become a problem in itself. Project failure stems from many sources, and Myriam Robin writes in an article that corporate strategy alone is not enough to curtail it. With input from Stephen Coates, technology risk partner at BDO, she arrives at four reasons why so many IT projects fail:

                  • Reinventing the wheel
                  • Letting the limits define the goal
                  • Project governance
                  • Finishing too early

                  ..."

                    IT - Networks
                    x
                    Facebook Designing Network Fabric to Meet Massive Performance Needs
                    ComputerWorld, June 19th, 2013
                    "With more than a billion monthly active users, it's easy to imagine that most of the data travelling over Facebook's networks is delivering photos, status updates and "likes" to its end users, but that's far from the case.

                    The social network moves about 1,000 times as much data between the servers inside its data centers as it does from its servers out to end users, company executives said Wednesday. They talked about the challenges that this creates for Facebook and the network technologies it's developing to overcome them..."

                    How Will Cloud, Virtualization and SDN Complicate Future Firewall Security?
                    Network World, June 27th, 2013
                    "The firewall in decades past was mainly the port-based guardian of the Internet. Now vendors are vying to build so-called 'next-generation firewalls' that are 'application-aware' because they can monitor and control access based on application use.

                    In addition, more and more features have been packed into many firewalls that include intrusion-prevention systems (IPS), web filtering, VPN, data-loss prevention, malware filtering, even a threat-detection sandbox to try and uncover zero-day attacks. When it comes to the standalone IPS, it might be called 'next-generation IPS' as well due to its application controls..."

                    Wi-Fi Tweaks for Speed Freaks: 2013 Edition
                    IT World, June 24th, 2013
                    "The emerging IEEE 802.11ac wireless LAN standard will be able to deliver faster connections wherever it's used, but the biggest benefit may come at public hotspots -- eventually.

                    On Wednesday, the Wi-Fi Alliance started certifying pre-standard 802.11ac products for interoperability with other Wi-Fi gear. Assuming nothing unexpected happens in the standards process, that means all products the Alliance approves as 11ac gear will work with each other and with older versions of Wi-Fi..."

                      IT - Operations
                      x
                      10 Important Lessons I've Learned as a Remote Engineer
                      TechRepublic, June 24th, 2013
                      "It takes a special kind of person to handle the remote support role. But for the right tech, the work can be enormously satisfying. I've been doing remote support for quite a while now, and the journey has certainly been an enlightening one. At any given point, it has been an exercise in frustration, satisfaction, and humor. The biggest challenge to the remote engineer is that you have one added element between you and success - the end user. For many IT pros, that's just not acceptable. Fortunately, those support personnel aren't doing remote support..."

                      • The lack of computer literacy is astonishing
                      • People want to get their jobs done
                      • Patience is the only answer
                      • Occam's razor almost always applies
                      • There are times when you have to step away
                      • Smartphone issues require special attention
                      • The more details you get, the better your chances
                      • It's important to take notes (because the problem will return)
                      • Not all remote tools are created equal
                      • You have to know when to call in the cavalry

                      Read on for details.

                        Data Center Outage Takes French State Financial System Offline for Four Days
                        Network World, June 24th, 2013
                        "The French government's accounts payable system, Chorus, is back online after a four-day outage, the French State Financial Computing Agency (AIFE) announced Monday.

                        An accident at a data center operated by French servers and services company Bull on Wednesday affected Chorus's storage systems hosted there. That incident took the core of Chorus, an SAP system with 25,000 users, offline, although another application, Chorus forms, continued to serve its 30,000 users..."

                        Guide Can Help European Governments Avoid Vendor Lock-In
                        ComputerWorld, June 25th, 2013
                        "A new European guide aimed at avoiding IT vendor lock-in could save the public sector more than $1.3 billion a year.

                        The policy, announced by the European Commission Tuesday, involves using open standards rather than vendor-specific tools, systems or products. The Commission believes that open tendering procedures will attract increased numbers of bidders with better value bids.

                        "Open standards create competition, lead to innovation and save money. The guide issued today is here to help national authorities grab every opportunity for innovation and efficiency," said European Union Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes..."

                          How Important Is The Concept Of "Five Nines" To Your Business?
                          Business 2 Community, June 26th, 2013
                          "A seeming innocuous phrase that sounds as if it could be the name given to a downtown district of a sprawling metropolis or a local sports team, 'Five Nines' actually refers to a desired level of system availability. Ever since man began to create and use more complex machines and tools he has been locked in an eternal battle to keep them working and to improve their performance.

                          But the emergence of cloud computing has freed many companies from the daily tussle between hardware, software, random events and erratic connectivity. The idea of Five Nines is a classic case of an essentially contested concept, and the debates that whirl across the internet over its validity as a concern of modern businesses demonstrate that it cuts to the very heart of the direction that cloud services are heading in. But can such a contentious subject be of any use to you and your business?..."

                          IT Operations Is King: How to Find the Best People
                          TechRepublic, June 24th, 2013
                          "Operation pros are not easy to find. They must possess strong technical skills with a host of communications and collaborations skills to boot. Here's what IT managers should look for when hiring (or grooming) operations professionals..."

                          • Highly refined problem-solving skills with business orientation
                          • Ability to take on a holistic viewpoint
                          • Frequent and effective communications
                          • A respect for flexibility

                          Read on for details.

                            IT - Security
                            x
                            7 Essentials for Defending Against DDoS Attacks
                            CSO Online, June 24th, 2013
                            "You don't have to be a bank to be worried about being hit by a Distributed-Denial-of-Service attack these days. With hackers who pull off these costly take downs getting stealthier and more vicious, security leaders across all industries need heed these tips to be prepared

                            Go ahead and ask CSOs from the nation's largest banks about the myriad distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks they've experienced in recent months. They're not going to tell you anything.

                            Security execs have never been comfortable talking about these attacks because they don't want to draw more attention to their companies. They worry that offering even the basic details of their defensive strategy will inspire attackers to find the holes..."

                            Five Essential Security Measures to Protect Your Business--No Matter Its Size
                            PCWorld, June 20th, 2013
                            "Paranoia-in small doses-is an excellent preventive medicine. If you think your business is too small to be a target for hackers, identity thieves, and similarly unsavory characters, you're dangerously underestimating the value of your business.

                            IT security might seem to be a daunting prospect for a small business without an expert staff, a large budget, or expensive consultants, but you can take a number of easily implemented measures to lock down the personal computers your business relies on. Here are five simple security tips you should implement today...

                            • Encrypt your hard drives
                            • Limit access
                            • Use secure portable storage
                            • Use a password manager
                            • Don't ignore security updates

                            Read on for details.

                            Is It Time To Replace Passwords With Stronger Authentication?
                            Business 2 Community, June 23rd, 2013
                            "Small business owners manage a growing number of logins for email, social media networks and cloud accounts. As a result, users tend to pick weak passwords and use them everywhere. This makes all your account vulnerable because a hacker could access it on a site with weak security and then use that password on other, more secure sites.

                            As PayPal's chief security officer, Michael Barrett, said in a recent keynote address, 'Passwords are starting to fail us.'

                            To meet this challenge, businesses are exploring a variety of new data security concepts. For example, with a token system, users must provide a physical password such as a USB keychain. And with two-factor passwords, a user may need to use their cellphone to unlock the password using SMS..."

                            The Slippery Slope of Security Invisibility
                            Dark Reading, June 23rd, 2013
                            "'I really liked my partner Rich Mogull's recent Dark Reading blog on "Security Needs More Designers, Not Architects.' He makes the point that user experience is key to the success of security controls, and that companies like Apple and others have been working hard to design security under the hood of their general consumer offerings to make security invisible.

                            I believe that in the long run, security isn't a standalone offering. It must be included in the fabric of the technological ecosystem and that no one should really have to think about how to secure something..."

                            Too Many CSOs Ignore the Reality of Today's Threats
                            CSO Online, June 21st, 2013
                            "George Viegas argues that recent research, like Mandiant's APT1 report, finds too many security managers suffer from 'ain't gonna happen to me' syndrome and fail to protect their business because of it. Do you have it?

                            Richard Ramirez is remembered all across southern California for the terror he invoked during the early 80's. The serial killer, who died in prison earlier this month, was nicknamed the 'Night Stalker' and was known for the ease with which he entered his victim's homes. He did not break and enter, he didn't shatter windows or climb down the chimneys. For the most part, Richard 'walked' into homes either through screen doors left unlocked or windows left open. Many of his crimes I've been told, were committed close to freeway ramps to facilitate a fast getaway..."

                            Effective DLP Products Need Data Discovery and Data Fingerprinting
                            Search Security, June 24th, 2013
                            "Data loss prevention (DLP) products are only as good as their ability to accurately identify and monitor sensitive data, and this begins with the data discovery process. Most organizations store sensitive data in a wide variety of formats and locations. Those include spreadsheets and test documents on network file shares; individual desktop and laptop systems; and databases, application-specific storage and storage areas networks (SANs)..."
                              IT - Careers
                              x
                              Too Many Applicants? 5 Innovative Ways to Screen Out The Masses
                              Recruiter.com, June 11th, 2013
                              "How much time does your company or recruiting team spend sifting through resumes? Is the amount of time and cost justifiable/acceptable?

                              Could the time spent on resume sifting (often inappropriate applications) be better used in other areas of the hiring process to improve quality and job satisfaction?

                              If you do believe that you have an overly laborious resume sifting process, you might be interested in the five techniques that I have outlined below that you can use to more efficiently screen out the masses and free up time to focus on more value-added work..."

                              • Include a 'deal breaker skills' section at the top of the job advert
                              • Include hidden instructions that enable you to identify more genuine applicants
                              • Have candidates submit a unique document as part of the application
                              • Video Interviewing
                              • Pre-screening tests

                              Read on for details.

                              5 Surprising Facts About How Google Hires
                              Inc., June 20th, 2013
                              "With thousands of job applications pouring in everyday, it's no wonder Google has hiring down to a science. True to form, the search giant has scoured its data over the years in hopes of determining what attributes successful employees share and which hiring strategies actually expose those attributes. In a new interview with The New York Times, Google's senior vice president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, shared what he's learned from this research about how to hire effectively.

                              Here are some highlights:..."

                              • Brainteasers are useless
                              • No one is good at hiring
                              • In leaders, the most important quality is consistency
                              • Employees score their managers
                              • GPAs and test scores don't matter

                              Read on for details.

                              20 People Who Changed Tech: Bill Gates
                              Information Week, June 24th, 2013
                              "Long before Larry Lucchino of the Boston Red Sox called George Steinbrenner Darth Vader, Bill Gates was in the computer industry's crosshairs and maybe the most hated man in technology. I never could quite figure out why. Was it because Microsoft had 97% of the PC operating system market? Or because he strong-armed every PC company into taking his "offer"? Or because Microsoft so dominated the application and office suite markets? Or because he picked on Steve Jobs? Or because his wealth was so staggering?..."
                              The No. 1 Thing That Job Seekers Really Do Wrong
                              TLNT, June 27th, 2013
                              "I was asked recently by a job seeker: 'How do I zero in positions that I'm qualified for and, those that I will be challenged by?' (and a shout out to Michael Kubica, MBA for the question).

                              After going back and forth with Mike, I think the question is really: 'How do I get a job that will use my skills and that I will actually find interesting?'

                              Most people don't really want to be 'challenged' - they use the word 'challenged' or 'challenging,' but when push comes to shove, what most people want is a job where they feel like their contributions are valuable to the organization, and, they're using the skills they are best at..."

                                We Can See You Now: 8 Skype Interview No-Nos
                                IT World, June 26th, 2013
                                "Recruiters, Human Resources directors, executives and hiring managers are racking up more hours interviewing candidates via videoconferencing these days. As they do so, they are stumbling upon some not-so-attractive qualities in their candidates. Heed their sage advice and save yourself some serious interview embarrassment..."

                                • Have you met my boy Danny?
                                • You have something on your chin. No, right there.
                                • Location, location, location
                                • Does this meeting come with barf bags?
                                • No texting while interviewing
                                • Yes, this thing is still on
                                • The wall of shame
                                • So, what's the weather like where you are? The same.

                                Read on for details.

                                  IT - Backup
                                  x
                                  Any-to-Any Hypervisor Image Recovery - Acronis
                                  Storage Switzerland, June 26th, 2013
                                  "Hypervisor server diversification is becoming a key initiative for many businesses. In an effort to lower licensing costs by introducing competition for their hypervisor footprint, many organizations may be unwittingly taking on the potential burden of added infrastructure management, higher costs and increased backup complexity of their virtualized environment. On the other hand, if data centers had the ability to transparently migrate data from one hypervisor to another, many of these issues would be eliminated. As a result, Any-to-Any Hypervisor recovery is becoming a critical requirement for data centers looking to drive down costs and increase flexibility..."
                                  Breaking with Your Back-Up Supplier Is a Sticky Business
                                  The Register, June 24th, 2013
                                  "Backup is like software superglue with three sticking points: the backup software installation; its operation; and the longevity of the stored backup data vault, which can be needed for years after the last piece of data has been written to it.

                                  Let's take an imaginary product, BackNetVaultExec Pro. It is a typical enterprise backup product which utilises a media server and has agents in all the servers with data to be backed up.

                                  The servers run different operating systems and exist in both physical and virtual forms. The data is stored on a target disk array and restored from it too. The idea is to protect files and virtual machines.

                                  Let's think of the backup software as a lens through which we can see the data. It knows the format the data is stored in and understands the metadata – the data about the stored data..."

                                    Failed Backups in SMBs Leading to Loss of Revenue - GFI Software/Opinion Matters
                                    Storage Newsletter, June 24th, 2013
                                    "According to a recent survey by GFI Software, SMB businesses are losing critical business information as a result of failed backups, and have suffered significant impacts as a result.

                                    Many IT administrators surveyed revealed that a failed backup has led to a loss of revenue and important company documents, including financial records, employee emails and confidential information such as social security numbers. As a result, respondents indicated that failed backups have affected customer relations, business operations and brand reputation.

                                    The independent, blind survey of 200 IT administrators who work at U.S. organizations with fewer than 150 employees was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software. The survey results highlight the backup behaviors of IT administrators, including methods of managing data backup, the frequency and speed of data backup and the impacts of a failed backup..."

                                    The TCO of Meeting a Backup Window
                                    Storage Switzerland, June 25th, 2013
                                    "Backup is a budget area that's considered an expense, one for which investment is typically minimized. When money is spent it often goes to short-term fixes for the most essential parts of the process, like meeting the backup window. This Band-Aid approach often results in a 'sprawl' of data protection hardware that collectively must meet each day's backup requirements. While these Band-Aids usually do accomplish the goal they can create hidden costs and a high degree of data risk. In this article Storage Switzerland will explore the total cost of meeting the backup window and look at ways to reduce it..."
                                      IT - Mobile
                                      x
                                      Wi-Fi's Fast 802.11ac Standard May Pay Off Big In Mobile
                                      IT World, June 24th, 2013
                                      "The emerging IEEE 802.11ac wireless LAN standard will be able to deliver faster connections wherever it's used, but the biggest benefit may come at public hotspots -- eventually.

                                      On Wednesday, the Wi-Fi Alliance started certifying pre-standard 802.11ac products for interoperability with other Wi-Fi gear. Assuming nothing unexpected happens in the standards process, that means all products the Alliance approves as 11ac gear will work with each other and with older versions of Wi-Fi.

                                      The Wi-Fi Alliance claims 802.11ac can offer two or three times the speed users get on most of today's networks.."

                                        IT - Big Data
                                        x
                                        Big Data Analytics Requires Breakdown of Operational Silos
                                        TechRepublic, June 24th, 2013
                                        "From the data and computing sides, we already know it is absolutely essential to break down IT infrastructure silos between platforms, networks and staff-but have we gotten this silo-breaking concept across to the end business?

                                        As IT infrastructure architects furrow their brows over how to integrate big data into the enterprise and as DBAs do the same-it's easy to lose track of the real driver behind big data-great and timely business analytics that derive from an end to end picture of business situations decision-makers are trying to understand and respond to..."

                                        Big Data: New Opportunities and New Challenges
                                        IEEE, June 24th, 2013
                                        "We can live with many of the uncertainties of big data for now, with the hope that its benefits will outweigh its harms, but we shouldn't blind ourselves to the possible irreversibility of changes-whether good or bad - to society.

                                        It's no secret that both private enterprise and government seek greater insights into people's behaviors and sentiments. Organizations use various analytical techniques-from crowdsourcing to genetic algorithms to neural networks to sentiment analysis - to study both structured and unstructured forms of data that can aid product and process discovery, productivity, and policy-making. This data is collected from numerous sources including sensor networks, government data holdings, company market lead databases, and public profiles on social networking sites..."

                                        Getting the Most From Your Big Data Stores: 10 Best Practices
                                        eWeek, June 24th, 2013
                                        "We all know that organizations are generating a huge amount of data. Some bold researchers have estimated that somewhere around 2.7 zettabytes of data exist in the digital universe today. How that is calculated is anyone's guess. But suffice it to say that data of all kinds is rapidly filling storage coffers, and enterprises generally struggle to keep up with this. From the boardroom to the break room, big data is top-of-mind for most everyone in IT..."

                                        • Tap Your Network Data
                                        • Don't Assume You Know Your Customers' Wants or Needs
                                        • Capture Everything to Avoid Blind Spots
                                        • Focus on Quality of Your Data Rather Than Quantity
                                        • Be Agile
                                        • Your Business Operates in Real Time-So Should Your Analytics
                                        • Analytics Should Never Impose Risk on Your Production Systems
                                        • Look at the Full Picture
                                        • The Data is Yours, Use Every Bit of It
                                        • Keep Your IT System Neutral

                                        Read on for details.

                                        How to Run Your Own NSA Spy Program
                                        IT World, June 24th, 2013
                                        "The U.S. government takes a big data approach to intelligence gathering. And so can you!

                                        Everybody's talking about PRISM, the U.S. government's electronic surveillance program.

                                        We don't know all the details about PRISM (also called US-984XN). But we learned enough from a badly designed PowerPoint presentation leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden to feel outraged by its reach and audacity.

                                        In a nutshell, PRISM (and related telephone surveillance programs) take a big data approach to spying on foreign terrorists using American servers..."

                                        IT - BYOD
                                        x
                                        BYOD: The Why and the How
                                        Help Net Security, June 21st, 2013
                                        "Brad Keller and Robin Slade are Senior Vice Presidents at The Santa Fe Group.

                                        In this interview they talk in detail about the challenges involved in evaluating, deploying and maintaining BYOD programs in large organizations.

                                        Today's organizations struggle with providing employees with access to the latest technologies. It's common practice for employees to use their own devices at work for a number of reasons. Some believe BYOD is the answer to a lot of problems, others see it as a complex security issue that introduces a variety of difficulties. What are the pros and cons of BYOD in a large organization?..."

                                        BYOD Blues: What to Do When Employees Leave
                                        InfoWorld, June 25th, 2013
                                        "Layoffs, terminations, resignations -- here's how not to get burned when employees leave with their devices

                                        The bring your own device (BYOD) trend is gaining steam, thanks to the cost benefits and increased productivity that can come from allowing employees to provision their own technology. Mobile workers are more likely to put in more hours, so if your employees want to buy their own equipment and do more work on their own time, it's a win for the company..."

                                        CIO Takes Action to Solve BYOD's Privacy Problem
                                        CIO, June 24th, 2013
                                        "The BYOD policy at a California law firm earned the CIO the nickname of Big Brother. However, the sarcasm stopped when he sprang into action and saved the day when an attorney's smartphone was swiped. The case represents the love-hate relationship workers and IT management have with BYOD.

                                        In California's central valley, attorneys at employment law firm Dowling Aaron came up with a nickname for CIO Darin Adcock, who had just crafted a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) user policy. They called him 'Big Brother,' referring to the oppressive party leader in George Orwell's dystopian novel '1984.'..."

                                        'Containerization' Is No BYOD Panacea: Gartner
                                        Network World, June 24th, 2013
                                        "Companies adopting BYOD policies are struggling with the thorny problem of how they might separate corporate and personal data on an employee's device.

                                        One technology approach to this challenge involves separating out the corporate mobile apps and the data associated with these into 'containers' on the mobile device, creating a clear division as to what is subject to corporate security policies such as wiping. But one Gartner analyst delving into the “containerization” subject recently noted the current array of technology choices each have advantages and disadvantages..."

                                        Top10
                                        x
                                        Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                                        Vol 184 Issues 1, 2 and 3; Vol 183 Issues 1, 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:

                                        • Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition
                                        • Oracle SuperCluster T5-8: Web Launch Event
                                        • Java Spotlight Episode 137: Rory O'Donnell on the Java Test Fest
                                        • How the OS Makes the Database Fast
                                        • Sun QFS Software
                                        • Oracle Q4 Revenues: $10.9 billion
                                        • Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.2.14
                                        • A closer look at the new T5 TPC-H result
                                        • Tuning and Performance for Oracle SOA Suite 11g on SPARC T4 Servers
                                        • Maxxton Cuts Page-Load Time by 90%, Completes Searches 20x Faster

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

                                          IT - Encryption
                                          x
                                          Encrypting Enterprises Miss Out On Cloud Benefits
                                          ComputerWeekly, June 24th, 2013
                                          "Enterprises that are sending data to the cloud already encrypted are missing out on some of the greatest benefits of cloud computing, according to Thales e-Security.

                                          The latest global survey on cloud security by the Ponemon Institute has revealed that to overcome mistrust of the cloud, encryption before the cloud exceeds the use of encryption within the cloud..."

                                          Steelie Neelie Eyeballs Encryption Plan for Telco Data Breaches
                                          Channel Register, June 25th, 2013
                                          "Telcos in Europe are being asked to consider encrypting their subscribers' personal information as Brussels confirmed new rules on Monday about the industry's obligation to notify customers about data breaches.

                                          The European Union's unelected digital czar, 'Steelie' Neelie Kroes, said that if ISPs agreed to shield the data with difficult-to-crack code then companies would not be required to tell the subscriber when a breach of their data has occurred..."

                                            IT - Server
                                            x
                                            Neatly Naming Network Nodes
                                            Network World, June 24th, 2013
                                            "On one of my favorite lists we just had an amusing discussion about naming computers. It seems that unless someone is running a server farm or hosting facility where logical organization is de rigeur and computers are numbered according to some strict plan, then anyone with any poetry in their soul feels they must find "good" names with some kind of consistency for their hardware..."
                                              LibreOffice
                                              x
                                              LibreOffice 4.0.4
                                              Many improvements in the area of interoperability with proprietary document formats
                                              The Document Foundation (TDF) announced LibreOffice 4.0.4, for Windows, OS X and Linux, the fourth minor release of LibreOffice 4.0 family and the last before the announcement of LibreOffice 4.1 in late July.

                                              LibreOffice 4.0.4 features many improvements in the area of interoperability with proprietary document formats. This ongoing activity has been instrumental for the choice of LibreOffice by all major migration projects to free software since early 2012, including several central and local governments in Europe and South America.

                                              Developer
                                              x
                                              Java EE 7 support in Eclipse 4.3
                                              Main themes of this release
                                              Arun Gupta writes, "Eclipse Kepler (4.3) features 71 different open source projects and over 58 million LOC. One of the main themes of the release is the support for Java EE 7. Kepler specifically added support for the features mentioned below:

                                              • Create Java EE 7 Eclipse projects or using Maven
                                              • New facets for JPA 2.1, JSF 2.2, Servlet 3.1, JAX-RS 2.0, EJB 3.2
                                              • Schemas and descriptors updated for Java EE 7 standards (web.xml, application.xml, ejb-jar.xml, etc)
                                              • Tolerance for JPA 2.1 such as features can be used without causing invalidation and content assist for UI (JPA 2.1)
                                              • Support for NamedStoredProcedureQuery (JPA 2.1)
                                              • Schema generation configuration in persistence.xml (JPA 2.1)
                                              • Updates to persistence.xml editor with the new JPA 2.1 properties
                                              • Existing features support EE7 (Web Page Editor, Palette, EL content assist, annotations, JSF tags, Facelets, etc)
                                              • Code generation wizards tolerant of EE7 (New EJB, Servlet, JSP, etc.)

                                              A comprehensive list of features added in this release is available in Web Tools Platform 3.5 - New and Noteworthy.

                                              Download Eclipse 4.3 and Java EE 7 SDK and start playing with Java EE 7! ..."

                                              Sysadmin
                                              x
                                              Boot Environments for Solaris 10 Branded Zones
                                              Now add and patch packages to boot environments of a Solaris 10 Branded Zone
                                              Jeff Victor writes, "Until recently, Solaris 10 Branded Zones on Solaris 11 suffered one notable regression: Live Upgrade did not work. The individual packaging and patching tools work correctly, but the ability to upgrade Solaris while the production workload continued running did not exist. A recent Solaris 11 SRU (Solaris 11.1 SRU 6.4) restored most of that functionality, although with a slightly different concept, different commands, and without all of the feature details. This new method gives you the ability to create and manage multiple boot environments (BEs) for a Solaris 10 Branded Zone, and modify the active or any inactive BE, and to do so while the production workload continues to run..."
                                              Security
                                              x
                                              Security Inside Out Newsletter
                                              June Edition
                                              Troy Kitch writes, "The latest edition of Security Inside Out newsletter is now available. If you don't get this bi-monthly security newsletter in your inbox, then subscribe to get the latest database security news. This bi-monthly edition includes:

                                              • Q&A: Oracle CSO Mary Ann Davidson on Meeting Tomorrow's Security Threats

                                              • Oracle Chief Security Officer Mary Ann Davidson shares her thoughts on next-generation security threats. Read More

                                              • New Study: Increased Security Spending Still Not Protecting Right Assets

                                              Despite widespread belief that database breaches represent the greatest security risk to their business, organizations continue to devote a far greater share of their security resources to network assets rather than database assets, according to a new report issued by CSO and sponsored by Oracle. Newsletter us here.

                                              Trending in
                                              Vol 231, Issue 3
                                              Trending IT Articles