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Cybersecurity threats can cost large organizations US$10.3 million and a mid-sized organization $11K annually, on an average

The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal of early 2018, saw a breach of 87 million user records. An app scraped millions of people’s data, and the Cambridge Analytica Company was able to gain access to personal data of Facebook users.

Similarly, Quora, the popular question-answer website and Marriot also reported of data breaches involving information compromise, affecting about 100 million users and 500 million hotel guests, respectively.

Numerous data breaches occurred in 2018 and the rate of occurrence is getting higher each year.

The cyberthreat landscape continues to become more dangerous in the world that is highly connected by technology today. Cybercriminals of digital world are more organized, smart, and potent. Thus, cyberattacks have become a major industry worldwide, worth trillions of dollars.

Nevertheless, forewarned is forearmed. To fortify a business, the best solution is to essentially understand the tendencies and trends that malefactors have been following and adopt best practices of cybersecurity.

The recent Microsoft commissioned Frost & Sullivan study revealed that “potential economic loss across Asia Pacific due to cybersecurity breaches can hit a staggering US$1.745 trillion — more than 7% of the region’s total GDP of US$24.33 trillion”.

Focused on the state of cybersecurity in Asia Pacific, this study reveals some alarming facts about cybersecurity threat landscape in India too.

It states that in India, cybersecurity threats can cost large organizations an average of US$10.3 million and a mid-sized organization an average of $11,000 annually.

The new commissioned study further reveals that more than three in five organizations (62%) surveyed in India have either experienced a cybersecurity incident (30%) or are not sure if they had one as they have not performed proper forensics or data breach assessment (32%).

Large number of organizations do not conduct routine cybersecurity assessments or reviews to find out whether they have been victims of cyber security breaches.

So, if IT departments are not routinely checking whether their systems have been infiltrated or not, then they are putting their companies at a great risk. Knowing your system breaches can allow you to assess and exploit the weaknesses, fix them and evaluate the damages.

Key takeaways from Microsoft commissioned Frost & Sullivan study

1. Cybersecurity concerns delay Digital Transformation plans

59% enterprises have put off their digital transformation efforts due to the fear of cyber-risks.

In this digital transformation era, securing corporate data and managing risks is the top most priority for the business decision makers and IT leaders, while taking advantage of the opportunities presented by today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Report states that cyber security breaches result in significant losses like financial loss, damage to customer satisfaction and market reputation, for organizations. Thus, these incidents undermine the ability of Indian businesses to capture opportunities of digital economy.

Keshav Dhakad, Group Head & Assistant General Counsel, Corporate, External & Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft India said “As companies embrace the opportunities presented by cloud and mobile computing to connect with customers and optimize operations, they take on new risks. With traditional IT boundaries disappearing the adversaries now have many new targets to attack. Companies face the risk of significant financial loss, damage to customer satisfaction and market reputation—as is evident from high-profile breaches this year.”

2. Remote code execution, data exfiltration, multiple security tools and complex environment are the key concerns of organizations witnessing cybersecurity incidents

The study also reveals the key cyberthreats and gaps in Indian organizations’ cybersecurity strategies. It states that organizations in India which encounter cybersecurity incidents, face threats with slowest recovery time like remote code execution and data exfiltration.

A large number of cybersecurity tools and a complex environment also add to the turnaround time. So, organizations should avoid deploying a large portfolio of cybersecurity solutions to render stronger protection.

Survey revealed “24% of respondents with more than 26 to 50 cybersecurity solutions could recover from cyberattacks within an hour. In contrast, 32% of respondents with fewer than 10 cybersecurity solutions responded that they can recover from cyberattacks within an hour”

3. Cybersecurity is an afterthought for most of the organizations

37% businesses don’t consider cybersecurity strategy as a strategic business enabler rather they consider it as a “safeguard” against cyberattacks. Only 18% see cybersecurity as a digital transformation enabler.

Only few organizations consider cybersecurity while initiating any digital transformation project, rest either think about it only after they start on or do not consider it at all. This leads to insecure products going out into the market.

Three kinds of losses that could result from a cybersecurity breach

  • Direct Losses include financial losses associated with the incident such as loss of productivity, fines, remediation cost etc.
  • Indirectlosses include opportunity costs such as loss of customers and reputation.
  • Induced losses include impacts on the broader ecosystem and economy, such as loss of jobs, the decrease in consumer and enterprise spending. As per study 64% organizations have suffered job losses due to Cybersecurity attacks, over the last year.

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will act as a key equalizing factor in cybersecurity defense

92% of Indian organizations who were surveyed are looking to leverage Artificial Intelligence to boost their cybersecurity strategy.

Study also reveals that 22% of Indian organizations have already witnessed benefits of using AI to achieve faster and more accurate detection of threats.

AI’s ability to detect and act on attack vectors is based on data insights, so organizations using AI are equipped with predictive abilities that will help them to rapidly analyze and respond to unprecedented quantities of data and match the speed of cyberattacks’ frequency, scale and sophistication. They will be able to fix or strengthen their security posture prior to problems emerge. Also, they will be able to identify cyberattacks, remove persistent threats and fix bugs.

5 best practices to improve defense against cybersecurity threats

It is always better to find a problem early and address it quickly.

The ever-changing threat environment is challenging, but there are ways to be more effective using the right blend of modern technology, strategy, and expertise. Microsoft is empowering businesses in India to take advantage of digital transformation by enabling them to embrace the technology that’s available to them, through its secure platform of products and services, combined with unique intelligence and broad industry partnerships.”  – Mr. Dhakad

The Frost & Sullivan report recommends a set of key practices for organizations to improve their cyber threats defense.

  • Consider cybersecurity as a digital transformation enabler:Establish a connection between digital transformation efforts and your cybersecurity practices as cybersecurity is a necessary to keep the company safe through its digital transformation journey, whereas digital transformation provides an opportunity for cybersecurity practices to embrace new methods of addressing digital risks.
  • Invest in strengthening your security fundamentals – toolsets, training and policies: Maintain strong passwords, best YouTube channel for competitive exam preparation, like REET, Delhi Police Constable Classes, keep device operating systems and software and anti-malware protection updated and use multi-factor authentication conditionally against suspicious authentications.

Over 90% of cyber incidents can be averted by maintaining the most basic best practices.

  • Leverage well- integrated best-of-suite tools instead of using maximum: Prioritize your best suite of tools, reduce their number and make your security operations simple to help your employees do their best with the available tools.
  • Assess and review compliance continuously:Maintain continuous state of compliance. Conduct assessments and reviews regularly to test for potential gaps that may occur during the transformation of organization and address these gaps. Keep tab on compliance to industry regulations and progress of organization against security best practices.
  • Leverage AI and automation to increase capabilities and capacity: Organizations should look to automation and AI to improve the capabilities and capacity of their security operations. It will help them to –
    • Raise detections that would otherwise be missed.
    • Interpret the various data signals with the recommended actions.
    • Free up cybersecurity talents to focus on higher-level activities.

So, it’s time for your IT checkup – follow the trends like cybercriminals do, conduct regular cybersecurity assessments, focus on cyber hygiene and ensure strong security fundamentals. Either take cybersecurity action yourself or leave it to somebody else to do it for you.

Do remember, it is you who leave open your devices or systems to vulnerabilities. These threats are manageable, but it is up to you to do your part.

Feel free to share your feedback in comments.

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Doing cloud is not important, doing it right is important : 6 key takeaways from State of DevOps 2018 Report

DevOps industry continues to evolve and better itself, as adopting DevOps is not a choice for the organizations anymore, rather it is a competency that’s required to perform better. This and many other important assessments have been made by DORA (DevOps Research & Assessment) in its report, Accelerate: State of DevOps 2018: Strategies for a New Economy.

The 2018 state of DevOps report has linked software delivery and operational performance i.e. SDO performance with the organizational performance. It has been observed that strong software development (Dev) and software operations (Ops) along with cloud are the key drivers of successful software delivery, which is an important component in driving the performance up in every kind of organization, planning digital transformation. 

The report has unlocked many new findings that will help businesses judge their software delivery strategies, improve quality of their IT teams, resource management and gain better productivity.

What differentiates elite teams from low performing ones?

Deployment and delivery of software in complex systems is a bit difficult. Teams who have the ability to develop and deliver software quickly are considered elite as they are better able to build ways of increased customer adoption and satisfaction, while keeping up with the regulatory demands and compliance too.

Thus, software delivery speed and operational performance act as the key differentiators for the teams because they enable organizations to utilize software to deliver improved outcomes.

Elite teams have more frequent code deployments, faster lead time from commit to deploy for the primary application, lower change failure rate and are fast to recover from incidents.

Elite teams have more likely superior and strong availability practices like:

  • They keep promises and assertions about the software product or service, they are operating on.
  • They ensure easy access of a product or service to the end users.

Not only this, elite teams also adopt best practices, while transforming their businesses digitally – adopt DevOps practices, implement cloud infrastructure, use open source software and adopt high-performance driving technical practices.

Let’s delve into these practices in detail.

6 key takeaways : best practices for an organization’s digital transformation journey

1. Implement DevOps practices and capabilities to drive organizational performance and quality outcomes 

Organizations and teams who aim to embark on technology transformation journey have two important goals -organizational performance and quality outcomes. DORA research finds that software delivery performance and availability unlock competitive advantages like improved productivity, increased profitability, and market share as well as customer satisfaction while increasing the abilities that assist in organizational goals achievement.

Report states that those who implement DevOps practices do more value – added work. With more automation, DevOps using companies do less manual work, spend less time in fixing problems, reworking, remediations, and customer support. Above all this, they free their technical staff to do proactive or new work, in which they are able to design, build, and work on features, tests, and infrastructure, in a structured and productive way to create value for their organizations. Thus, they are able to develop, deliver and increase customer adoption and satisfaction.

2. Focus on the implementation of Cloud infrastructure, adopt essential patterns that matter

As per DORA survey, 67 % of the respondents were using some kind of cloud platform to host their primary application or service.

DevOps 2018
Source : DORA DevOps Report 2018

But, despite the huge amount of time and money spent by the organizations in cloud technologies’ implementation, they fail to leverage the capabilities provided by different cloud computing platforms.

Thus, doing cloud is not important, doing it right is important.

  • Adopt essential characteristics of cloud computing

Report findings state that teams that adopt essential cloud characteristics are 23 times more likely to be elite performers.

On demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service are five essential characteristics of cloud computing that impacts software delivery performance.

devOps 2018
Source : DORA DevOps Report 2018
  • Implement PaaS (Platform as a Service) and use infrastructure as code

Organizations that use PaaS are 1.5 times more likely to be in the elite performance group.

DORA report states that libraries and infrastructure defined by PaaS can be used by the teams for application deployment into the on – demand cloud using a single step. They can perform self-service changes on-demand for databases and other services, as and when required by their applications.

Also, using infrastructure as code paradigm, helps to reproduce and change the state of environments in an automated fashion from information in version control and eliminates manual infrastructure configuration.

  • Adopt cloud native design practices and use containers

Cloud native applications are designed around the constraints inherent to cloud systems, so cloud native applications must be resilient, elastic, easy to deploy and manage on-demand.

devops 2018
Source : DORA DevOps Report 2018

 So, implement cloud native architectures, as those who implement cloud native architectures are 1.8 times more likely to be elite performers.

3. Avoid outsourcing as it hurts performance

There is no doubt that outsourcing by function provides flexibility and saves money, still it is rarely adopted by elite performers.

As per DevOps report, low-performing teams are 3.9 times more likely to use functional outsourcing (overall) than their elite performance counterparts, and 3.2 times more likely to use outsourcing for application development, IT operations work, or testing and QA.

 4. Adopt best technical practices

Key practices that elite and high performers use essentially for successful technology transformations and in achieving SDO include monitoring, observability, continuous testing, database change management, and integrating security.

Other technical practices organizations should adopt include use of version control, deployment automation, continuous integration, trunk-based development, and a loosely coupled architecture.

devops 2018
Source : DORA DevOps Report 2018

5. Focus and adopt Lean and agile practices

Lean product management positively affects availability. Lean product management approaches help businesses get fast customer validation, which in turn enable them to respond quickly and integrate feedback timely. Below figure gives a glimpse of lean product management practices:

devops 2018
Source : DORA DevOps Report 2018

6. Influence organizational culture through autonomy, leadership and learning

 Organizations should not ignore the importance of their people and culture during digital transformation. They should clearly communicate outcomes and goals to their teams and give them autonomy in their work as it leads to feelings of trust and understanding.

 Also create climate for learning. Elite performers are 1.5 times more likely to consistently hold retrospectives and use them to improve their work. DORA report states that teams that leverage findings from retrospectives to implement changes to tooling, processes, or procedures see the strongest impacts.

So, build your business with autonomy, trust, learning, and information flow, this will help accelerate and improve profitability, productivity, and customer satisfaction.

Thus, CIOs should help their companies invest in smart software delivery processes and strategies to boost their digital transformation journey.

Source: https://cloudplatformonline.com/2018-state-of-devops.html

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Think like a hacker to protect your organization from security breaches – Key takeaways from Nuix Black Market Report 2018

Second annual report in the row, Nuix Black Report 2018 is a unique work on cybersecurity landscape. It gets into the hackers’ minds and the insights it draws can help enterprises anticipate, detect and be forearmed against cybersecurity threats.

It concentrates on what happens before the breach – the difference maker being professional hackers’ opinions and observations, regardless of the color hat they typically wear.

A report framed from the attacker’s perspective, it has hackers or professional penetration testers as respondents, who filled in the surveys anonymously online or in person during the week of Black Hat, besides Vegas, and DEFCON, the hacker summer camp.

Chris Pogue, Head of Services, Security and Partner Integration, Nuix, wrote in his post, “The Black Report gives you security “awareness in depth” by cutting through all of the noise and misperceptions about cybersecurity that come from only looking at breaches and incidents in the proverbial rear-view mirror”.

The report provides information on:

  • What attackers target within breached organizations?
  • How long it takes them to breach a network?
  • Which industries are easiest to hack?
  • Which defense mechanisms are challenging to attackers?

It provides the much- needed insights on hackers of current attacks, their opinion of organizational security posture, and the data types at risk.

Some key questions answered for deeper understanding of the nexus between attacker methodology and defensive posture. Let’s dive deep:

What is penetration testing? How pentesters are different from hackers?

Black market report defines a hacker as someone who accesses computer systems or applications without permission, and executes nefarious activities for destruction or personal gain, whereas penetration testers are those professional hackers who operate within a boundary of a legal statement of work that grants them permission to attack their target.

This piece of paper is referred to as a “get out of jail free card” and is the primary difference between a skilled penetration tester and a malicious hacker. In the absence of this document, pentesters are supposed to be engaged in criminal activity.

However, tools and techniques used by both of them are almost same. But, becoming an effective pentester requires a deep understanding of many technical disciplines including web applications, networking protocols, programming languages, and server operating systems.

How long it takes hackers to breach an organization’s perimeter?

When surveyed, majority of respondents said they can breach most of their target organizations, locate critical value data, and exfiltrate that data within 15 hours. They said that food and beverage, hospitality, retail, hospitals and healthcare providers, law firms, sports and entertainment companies are the easiest to attack.

Nuix Black report 2018
Source – Nuix

28% said that network-based attacks were their favorite to execute, closely followed by social engineering (27%) and phishing attacks (22%). Nearly a quarter of hackers surveyed (22%) were complacent, using same techniques for a year or more.

What are the common security issues that continually reappear?

Nuix investigators noticed that the following themes and practices will be the most concerning future threats.

Nuix Black report 2018-future threats
Source-Nuix

Single-factor authentication; unpatched servers and applications; weak or default passwords; antiquated or end-of-life operating systems; overprivileged users; non-work-related activities on critical systems; no network segmentation; and lack of information about crucial aspects are among the reasons that make organizations vulnerable to such attacks.

Who are the hackers targeting you?

The Black Report also shatters another common perception of cybersecurity, that of a teenage hacker living in the basement. The majority of hackers (57%) worked for medium-sized, large, or enterprise businesses. Three-quarters of respondents were college graduates and nearly one-third (32%) had postgraduate degrees.

According to the 2018 Black Report, 34% of the respondents had been hacking for more than 10 years and 78% did not believe that technical certifications were a good indicator of technical ability.

Almost all the hackers surveyed were motivated by curiosity—86% said they liked the challenge and hacked to learn.

What do organizations need to do differently to protect themselves from hackers?

Breaches are often the result of lack of cybersecurity readiness, early detection, or timely response. So, a holistic approach to cybersecurity is required, that means addressing the before, during and after stages of a potential compromise to prevent it from becoming a full-fledged breach.

Here are some quick picks form Nuix report 2018, to help you address the challenges of cyber – attacks:

1. Build a cyber security incident plan with a hacker

Harlan Carvey, Director of Intelligence Integration, Nuix explains, “Whenever organizations sit down to develop their CSIRP (Computer Security Incident Response Plan), one person isn’t at the table: the hacker. As such, the organization evaluates what data to protect and how to go about protecting it from the position of an insider or a business executive. Might it change things if you understood how someone would attack the organization or compromise its infrastructure?

While developing and implementing a CSIRP, it can be insightful to get an attacker’s view of what constitutes success when breaching an organization. To beat the hackers, you have to think like them.

2. Understand the behavior of hackers and why people commit crimes

Criminological theories explain the behavior of hackers and why they commit crime. You can use these theories to determine the bio-psychosocial aspects of these offenses and develop a clearer understanding of the elements motivating these types of offenses.

Some of them mentioned in the report are:

  • Rational choice theory which states that people are rational actors who make individual decisions after carrying out a cost–benefit analysis.
  • Routine activities theory highlights the importance of the opportunity to commit a crime.
  • Hirschi’s social control theory states that the strength of a person’s bonds with conventional society—much more than the potential punishment if they are caught—dictate whether they are likely to violate laws.
  • Strain theory is useful for explaining illegal hacking motivated by money, ego, status, or malice.

3. Create effective security defenses corresponding to the environment

Organizations of all sizes—private and public, can take hackers’ advice and create meaningful, effective defenses that correspond well with their environment.

Security programs that prevent cyberattacks:

Source – Nuix

Report also suggests security countermeasures that pose a challenge to hackers:

Nuix Black report 2018-countermeasures
Source – Nuix

When asked, over one-third of respondents (34%) said, host system hardening yielded the best results. It was followed by intrusion detection and prevention systems, and endpoint security. The lowest percentages were firewalls and Microsoft’s User Account Control security framework.

53% hackers also suggested that goal-oriented penetration testing was very impactful or absolutely critical (26%) to an organization’s security posture.

 Conclusion

The key takeaway from the 2018 Nuix Black Report is that no industry is safe and secure. So, if you want to protect your organization or your personal devices from joining the next botnet, learn and implement the important lessons from the report to fortify your defense strategy.

Source: https://www.nuix.com/black-report/black-report-2018

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4 key takeaways from 451 Research’s Report on economics of cloud computing for enterprise IT

451 Research has recently published its report on cloud economics. This report examines the state of price cuts worldwide and points us to some interesting insights from the cloud market- private cloud and public cloud.

According to 451 Research, private cloud providers are adopting flexible approaches and public cloud providers are introducing new models and beneficiary features for their buyers.

Greg DeMichillie, the head of product for Google’s cloud aptly remarked “The secret to cloud economics is utilization — every minute unsold is money you don’t get back,” said. “There are very few of us who can work at this scale.”

We know that cloud computing helps save money, but cloud service providers (CSPs) are not sure how to maximize these savings. So, the key is in understanding how the applications you place in the cloud align with the economics of various cloud services, like, understanding when to use a public versus private cloud.

Check out the key insights on the direction of economics of cloud computing, where it is heading, today and tomorrow and turn it to your advantage.

Key takeaways for Cloud Service Providers from 451 research report

 1. Cloud optimization market is the new opportunity

The cloud optimization market is growing rapidly with tools like cost, governance and control. No doubt, cloud’s usage is growing, yet companies lack cloud optimization processes and face challenges in managing cloud costs and performance, resulting in significant waste in cloud spend. CIOs and enterprise IT organizations need to develop new approaches and processes to manage and optimize cloud costs. They are yet not ready to handle cloud.

For Cloud Service Providers, “cloud cost optimization is a new market opportunity”. They can add value to customer deployments via it.

economics of cloud computing in IT architetcure 1

2. Private cloud market is becoming more flexible

451 Research reports that the public cloud providers are now offering commitment discounts, while private cloud providers are offering pay-as-you go consumption. Report says that there is a rise in interest in pay-as-you-go private clouds, including AzureStack, HPE, Nutanix and a host of others, plus build-operate-transfer models.

Private cloud providers are offering great flexibility to their buyers with different approaches – pay-as-you-go and build-transfer-operate, allowing them to consume, be metered and billed in the manner they prescribe.

Today enterprises want a choice of best execution venue, driving a need for different variations of public and private cloud, thus leaving a room for opportunity for optimization across these multiple venues.

It reports that there are no signs of existential crisis for the private cloud.

3. No more price cuts, companies are introducing new models and economically beneficial features to boost profitability and trust

Despite the falling cloud prices, cloud service providers are responding with improved reporting capabilities for their own services and are differentiating in procurement and product choices.

Public cloud providers are adopting portfolio expansion to meet their customers’ needs including, committed pricing models, better reporting, smaller time increments, additional instance sizes, and improved regional price competitiveness.

They are introducing new models and economically beneficial features saying, Use us and we’ll always try to give you the best value, to win customers’ trust and increase their wallet share.

Top cloud service providers introduced new features, namely:

  • AWS and Google – Per-second
  • Microsoft – Cancelable reserved instances.
  • AWS, Microsoft and Google– Spot
  • Google and Oracle– Serverless computing.
  • Microsoft through Cloudyn acquisition– Commitment discounts and improved reporting.

4. Big Price cuts are inevitable

Virtual machines and storage will continue to become cheaper but price cuts on higher-stack services like AI, big data, IOT and serverless computing will drive greater volume and more stickiness for cloud providers as these higher-stack services derive greater margins than the basics.

It is also expected that hyperscalers will resolve their complexities on their own and third parties will start optimizing across multiple clouds, both public and private.

Thus, enterprises will want the right mix of public and private clouds to address different workload requirements.

So, CSPs in order to avoid price erosion, should build more value-added services and integrate them to their commodity services and price their offerings sensibly.

If you have any doubt regarding this write-up, feel free to share via comments.

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5 key DevOps principles and practices for successful business outcomes: Takeaways from 2017 State of DevOps Report

As per a recent forecast by Gartner, Global IT Spending will reach $3.7 trillion in 2018 with main drivers of growth being projects in digital business, blockchain, Internet of Things(IoT), and progression from big data to algorithms to machine learning to artificial intelligence (AI).

Today, software has become critical for almost every organization. They rely heavily on software, nearly for every function of their business. Alignment of IT to business, increased competition and eternally shifting digital landscape are the important reasons for this dependency.

Given the increasing importance of software for every digital business, IT enterprises are doing more application development and are looking for best DevOps practices to deliver software faster, continuous delivery workflow with improved reliability and with minimum errors.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is about quick and better delivery of software or IT services with the adoption of agile technologies and lean practices.

DevOps teams utilize automation tools, preferably to leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle and to optimize and automate their entire software production system, while maintaining high quality and security.

Why DevOps is important for digital transformation?

One of the key findings of 2017 State of the DevOps Report  say that “DevOps practices are the foundation of every company’s digital transformation, and digital transformation impacts a company’s performance“.

Living in the age of digital transformation, businesses require more revolutionary method to get work done, tools that manage business, cross functional teams performance, and user data all from one platform.

DevOps is a methodology which brings  development and operations together and facilitate improved collaboration and information sharing between two cornerstones of an organization. This empowered collaboration helps in the rapid production of qualitative products and services and also in improving the products. Use of DevOps also ensures the quality of application updates and infrastructure changes.

With DevOps, organizations get the ability to release new features and fix bugs at faster pace, thus respond and serve their customers better and compete more effectively in the market.

Organizations are using Cloud DevOps for flexibility, ease of use and speed.

DevOps environment best YouTube channel for competitive exam preparation, like REET, Delhi Police Constable Classes

helps an IT/ digital organization to deliver more value and of higher quality, provide its users with an exceptional experience, recover faster from production and infrastructure outages and prevent failures.

Organizations utilize software for different aspects, like providing better customer experience or engaging with them. Sometimes DevOps adoption enables delivering software that customers touch, like customize your shoes ability on Nike.com or making a direct claim facility on Travelers mobile app. Sometimes it means delivering software which the customer has never seen or a software that empowers both company’s employees and the partners with better experience.

2017 State of DevOps Report reveals strong evidence that best DevOps best practices lead to higher IT performance and companies which have adopted DevOps tools and DevOps principles, have reported to achieve –

  • 46 times more frequent software deployments than their competitors.
  • 96 times faster recovery from failures.
  • 440 times faster lead time for changes.
  • 5 times lower change failure rate.
  • Operational efficiency and improved levels of customer satisfaction.

Thus, with agile DevOps, all digital organizations – profit and non – profit, are able to achieve their goals, no matter what their mission is.

What affects an organization’s ability to develop and deliver software?

  • Leadership effect on technical practices, and process improvement changes.
  • Application’s architecture, and the structure of the teams that build it.
  • Automation and management practices.

Thus, an organization needs to practice some principles, essential to DevOps success and business outcomes, simultaneously.

5 key DevOps principles and practices for successful business outcomes

1. Cultivate and develop high performing teams

By 2020, 50 % of the CIOs who have not transformed their team’s capabilities will be displaced from their organizations’ digital leadership teamsGartner

So, for successful DevOps transformation, DevOps companies need to have high performing leaders with transformational characteristics, on board.

What does it mean to be a transformational leader?

Transformational leader is an engaged leader who enables those practices which correlate with high performance.

He supports team experimentation and innovation for faster and better creation and implementation of products. He works across organizational silos for strategic alignment and supports effective communication and collaboration between team members in pursuit of organizational goals.

He is an engaged leader who implements technologies and processes that enable developer productivity, reduces code deployment lead times and supports more reliable infrastructures.

Characteristics of a transformational leader that are correlated to high IT performance:

devops practices and principles

Thus, digital organizations should aspire to build high performing teams.

2. Achieve faster throughput without ignoring stability, build quality into the process

Presence of leaders with transformational characteristics is not enough to achieve high DevOps outcome and high IT performance.

IT performance is measured along two dimensions, throughput of code i.e. deployment frequency and change lead time and stability of systems i.e. mean time to recover and change failure rate.

High performing DevOps teams ideally have increased deployment frequency, faster change lead times, reduced mean time to recover(MTTR) and low change failure rates.

They invest in building quality into the process and this gives them an advantage of high customer satisfaction. They have many more chances to deliver new value.

devops practices and principles

The outcome is faster time to market, better customer experience, and higher responsiveness to market changes.

3. Automate your DevOps process for faster feedback cycle and innovation

Automate your manual tasks, particularly configuration management, testing, deployment, and change approval.  This DevOps automation is likely to free your technical staff for more innovations and will quicken feedback cycle simultaneously, thus adding more value to the organization.

4. Shift to loosely coupled services for higher throughput, quality and stability

DevOps success of an organization also depends on a suitable architecture and good technical practices.

Another DevOps practice essential to achieve higher IT performance and continuous delivery is to allow practitioner tool choice, based on the way of working and the tasks to be performed.

Shift to those services which can be developed and released independently. Build such architecture and teams which are loosely coupled –  free of dependency. Design architecture of your delivery teams such that teams can test, deploy and change their systems without depending on other teams for additional work, resources, or approvals, and without back-and-forth communication.

5. Practice lean product management and lower deployment pain

Work in small batches, set your development teams free. Entrust them with authority to create and change specifications without requiring approval, of course as part of development process and seek users’ feedback as an input, actively.

This will improve and quicken your software delivery pipeline and will help you in continuous and speedy delivery of what your customers want.

Closing Note

One needs to acknowledge how an organization gets its work done, how it is structured, how its processes and teams work for the success and failure of DevOps in an organization.

Source: https://puppet.com/resources/whitepaper/state-of-devops-report

 

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How can I buy bitcoin? Can I buy bitcoin with cash?

At the time of writing this blog, bitcoin prices tend to show an upward trend. The world’s leading cryptocurrency by market cap was in freefall after December. But now, bitcoin has moved closer to $10,000.

buy bitcoin

Fran Strajnar, CEO of Brave New Coin, a data and research company focused on the blockchain and cryptographic assets market, thinks that this upward shift in bitcoin pricing is due to the improvement in the fundamentals of bitcoin- tech upgrades and big investors.

Big investors like George Soros and Rockefellers are showing interest to move into this crypto-currency ecosystem, while with many other finance, blockchain firms are ready to enter the digital currency market.

Many barriers also appear to have been lifted. “The U.S. is stepping in to regulate security tokens instead of commodity assets (utility) and we are seeing major value investors stepping into buy as a result,” Fran says.

So, is bitcoin worth investing in?

An asset is considered as a good investment if it leads to capital appreciation and an expected future cash flow.

May be having one bitcoin today does not enable you to buy more bitcoins or get rich immediately tomorrow, but in the long-term, these two things may happen, looking at the past trends.

It’s true that bitcoin hasn’t gained enough trust yet, people both celebrate and bemoan the state of bitcoin market. Due to the explosive rise and fall in its prices, people have termed it as a bubble and many proclaim that this bubble will burst and cease to exist in near future.

Despite its growing popularity, most businesses still do not accept it and its usefulness as an investment is both highly questionable and potentially risky.

So, this article tries to answer some of your questions like should I invest in bitcoin, why bitcoin is worth investing in? Should I buy bitcoin? Is this a right time to buy Bitcoin and most importantly where can I get bitcoins from?

buy bitcoin

But if you have patience and you adopt buy and hold bitcoin strategy, it is worth investing in.

Total number of Bitcoins in circulation from first quarter of 2011 to first quarter of 2018. The number of Bitcoins has been growing since the creation of this virtual currency in 2009 and reached approximately 16.95 million in March 2018.- Statista

What can I buy with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is used both as an investment and as a method of payment for goods and services, and is touted to do so without needing to involve any third parties. You can buy presents/gifts via digital gift card platforms like Gyft or eGifter.

Get everything from laptops and television sets to pillows with payment in bitcoins via online retailer Overstock.com or pay for hotel bookings via Expedia.

Shopify, an ecommerce platform, and its stores also accept bitcoins.

You can also satisfy your hunger by paying for Pizza in digital currency at PizzaForCoins. If you wish to purchase games, movies and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores, Microsoft also accepts Bitcoin payments.

How do I buy Bitcoins and from where? Which is the easiest method of buying bitcoins?

Bitcoins can be bought from exchanges or directly from other people via marketplaces or bitcoin ATMs. You can buy bitcoins with bank account, pay for them in a variety of ways, ranging from hard cash to credit and debit cards to wire transfers, or buy bitcoins with PayPal, depending on who you are buying them from and where do you live.

Step 1. Create a place to store your bitcoins

The first step in the row of buying bitcoins is to set up a digital wallet to hold your bitcoins until you spend them or exchange them for another currency. It is a bank account for your bitcoins that holds private keys or passwords to your bitcoins. If you lose them, you lose access to the bitcoins stored there.

Every wallet address is unique and you can transfer bitcoins from your wallet to someone else by sending it to their wallet address. You can either enter the wallet address manually (risky) or you could copy paste and send it, but the best way is using QR code to scan and send.

Picking a wallet is a matter of your choice. There are various types of bitcoin wallets available – software wallets- Coinbase (online or exchange wallet), Exodus ( offline wallet), Mycelium (mobile wallet), hardware wallets (paper wallets) and hard wire wallet ( small and compact like USB).

Download your chosen bitcoin wallet depending upon your iOS or Android operating system.

Some exchanges like Coinbase offer bitcoin buying app which acts both as an exchange and a wallet.

Step 2. Choose the bitcoin trader- online or direct

a. Buy bitcoins online through exchange

Bitcoin exchange is one of the best places to buy bitcoins and sell as well. Select a bitcoin exchange of your choice and depending on your geographical area. There are multiple exchanges operating, each with different degree of security and liquidity. Famous ones being- Coinbase, Circle, Xapo and more.

For your account set-up, exchanges require your verified identification details, which you need to provide them with, while signing up for the service.

Next, choose the payment option to buy bitcoins – bank transfer, credit card or PayPal transfer. Different exchanges have different procedures for transactions.

Link your exchange account to your existing bank account so that arrangements can be made to move funds between it and your new Bitcoin bank account.

While choosing the best place to buy bitcoin online, remember to look for fees charged for buying bitcoins and payment methods offered.

b. Buying bitcoins through peer to peer bitcoin trading platforms

You can buy Bitcoins by opting for direct route – P2P i.e. peer to peer service. To name, LocalBitcoin and BitQuick are the best peer to peer bitcoin exchanges.

These P2P bitcoin exchanges help you make face-to-face trades with a local seller. You just need to match your seller, schedule a meet up with the seller and negotiate the bitcoin exchange prices.

For bitcoin trade, you get two options —

  • Over the Counter (OTC) transactions: Here, trade is conducted face to face i.e. buyers and sellers exchange bitcoins and money, face-to-face.
  • Complete bitcoin trade is conducted online.

They also offer a wider array of payment options and let you purchase bitcoins directly from a seller without any exchange middle man.

Step 3. Buy bitcoins and store them in your bitcoin wallet

Go to the buy section of the chosen exchange. Select the bitcoin amount you want to buy and start your trading.

Can I buy less than one Bitcoin? Is it possible to buy half a Bitcoin?

Yes, you can buy any amount of bitcoin. It is divisible up to eight decimal places and you can buy/send/receive even a fraction of a full bitcoin and transfer it as well.

Step 4. Plan how to use bitcoins

Since bitcoin prices are volatile in nature, you need to plan whether to hold them or sell a fraction of them or exchange them to purchase something. Prepare yourself to do so at a moment’s notice.

Set up a seller account now or figure out how to sell bitcoins so that you can take decisions instantly when the time comes.

Can I buy bitcoins with cash?

Yes, you can buy bitcoins with cash. You can buy bitcoins by using bitcoin ATMs – machines that will send bitcoin to your wallet in exchange for cash.

You can also buy bitcoins with cash by using peer to peer exchange platforms via cash trade in-person or with cash deposit. Just find your seller around and fix the exchange rate and buy with cash.

Tip– Do not invest more than you are willing to lose. Bitcoin is a very risky investment and you should remember this fact at all times.

Important – Depending upon your place of residence, find whether bitcoins transactions are valid in your country or not. Read more here.

Disclaimer: This blog is entirely for general informational purpose. This does not intend to provide any legal advice or business advice from the site owners.

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How can I sell bitcoin? Can bitcoin be converted to cash?

What will the future price of Bitcoin be? What is the expected price of Bitcoin in 2018? What is the bitcoin price prediction for 2018, 2019 and 2020?

It’s true that Bitcoin value fluctuates frequently, substantially, day and night. So, due to this volatile nature of Bitcoin, almost all Bitcoin holders remain curious about bitcoin price forecast as they find it tough to decide whether to sell some of the bitcoins or let all of them remain invested.

American Venture capitalist Tim Draper predicts bitcoin will multiply by 30 times within four years. He tweeted “This is bigger than the internet. It’s bigger than the Iron Age, the Renaissance. This affects the entire world and it’s going to be affected in a faster and more prevalent way than you ever imagined.”

In another tweet, this tech investor predicted that bitcoin will reach $250,000 by 2022.

Is it time to sell my bitcoin?

It’s difficult to create wealth overnight. When you invest today, it grows tomorrow.

sell bitcoin

It is an agonizing dilemma for a bitcoin investor, with thousands of dollars in his virtual wallet: should I sell bitcoin now or leave it untouched, potentially earning more money.

If we go by top experts’ bitcoin price predictions for 2018, 2020, 2022, bitcoin will go higher and higher.

sell bitcoin

Thus, it is recommended that bitcoin holders should hold their bitcoins now.

But, if there are some pressing needs like you need to pay the bills, you are risk averse or have some urgent financial requirements, then instead of cashing out bitcoins completely, you should sell a percentage/portion may be 20, 30 or 40% of them, keeping rest invested.

So, it’s time to take a deep breath and decide wisely.

What, you have no idea of how to convert bitcoins into real money or how to sell some of your bitcoins. Walk through this post, I am sure it will prove to be a good help.

Refresh your knowledgeWhat Are Bitcoins? How Do Bitcoins Work? 

What are the basic things that you need to consider before investing in any cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a high risk / high reward investment. You have to be prepared to accept the risk. There is no governing body, so it can be difficult to resolve issues if bitcoins get stolen or lost. Learn to trade!

Since bitcoin is relatively new, there are still many unknowns and its value being volatile can change daily, significantly.  So, invest the money after much understanding and don’t invest the money which you need in short run.

Bitcoin appeals to criminals due to its anonymity and lack of regulation. So, consider the risks involved and nature of the bitcoin market.

Stay up to date with the crypto scene, the news and the technology. For trading platforms, just try them after comparing their fees and the terms and conditions of use.

Can bitcoin be converted to cash? How can I convert bitcoins to real money?

Yes, you can convert your bitcoins into cash. There are different ways to convert them into real money. You can either use ATMs, debit cards for this purpose or sell bitcoins for cash. There are different ways to sell bitcoins which we have discussed later in this post.

Bitcoin ATMs are the fastest way to convert bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies into cash. They are located worldwide. These Bitcoin kiosks dispense cash for bitcoins.

Some Bitcoin ATMs offer bi-directional functionality, which means they enable customers to buy bitcoins for cash as well as get cash for bitcoins. They connect the customer directly to the digital currency exchange and charge high transaction fees.

Next are Bitcoin debit cards. You can load your bitcoins onto a debit card and use them to spend or withdraw at any bitcoin debit card accepting company.

Some of the popular cryptocurrency debit cards are BitPay, Bitwala, Coinbase, Xapo and more.

Online services are other mediums to covert bitcoins into real money. Services like LocalBitcoins and BitQuick can help you accept cash payments for bitcoins online.

Also Read: What is bitcoin? Should I invest in bitcoin?

How to sell Bitcoin?

As there are different ways to earn bitcoins, there are different ways to sell bitcoins also. You can either do it via an exchange, direct trading websites or carry out a peer-to-peer transaction.

Which exchange site you choose or which broker you trade with will depend largely on where you live or work, as funds will need to be transferred easily and locally, without the need for expensive currency conversions and international telegraphic transfer fees.

A. Selling bitcoins through exchanges

1. Find an exchange of your choice.

The first step is to find the best place to sell bitcoins online i.e. a digital marketplace, which allows traders to buy and sell bitcoins using different currencies or altcoins.

While selecting best bitcoin exchange, you can consider country and geographical location to select the exchange which is closest to your location.

The type of exchange you choose to sell your bitcoin(s) will depend on the type of trader you are i.e. small investor, institutional holder or trader.

Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Coinbase, Kraken are some of the best cryptocurrency exchanges that offer not only bitcoin, but multiple other cryptocurrencies as well like Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Iota, Zcash and more.

Which is the best bitcoin exchange?

Consider a couple of things while making the selection. Check out:

  • The fee you’ll need to pay in order to use the exchange.
  • The limit on the amount of money you’re allowed to store.
  • Security and reliability of the exchange.
  • Bitcoin exchange rate.
  • Market capitalization and volume.
  • Enquire for bitcoin payment methods like – Is wire transfer possible? Can you use your PayPal account?
  • Geographical restrictions.

 2. Register with the bitcoin exchange and confirm required levels of verification.

To transact in bitcoins in an exchange, you need to create an account on the chosen exchange and go through a series of verification processes to authenticate your identity.

Almost all exchanges require you to submit your personal details in order to comply with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) policies and regulations.

3. Get a bitcoin wallet set up and link your bank account with the cryptocurrency exchange.

Once the verification is successful, an account is opened for you, in which funds will be transferred.

It is advisable that you should set up a bitcoin wallet to transfer and store the bitcoins purchased, yet. As it is always safer to take control of your bitcoins than leaving them at the risk of exchange. Send your bitcoins to the wallet, take your deposit address from the exchange wallet and send the bitcoins you want to sell to it.

Now, you must be thinking, what is bitcoin wallet.

Well, it’s the way to store, keep track of and spend your digital currency. Every bitcoin wallet comes with minimum two keys -public and private. Bitcoin wallet facilitates sending and receiving of bitcoins and gives ownership of the bitcoin balance to the user.

Now link your bank account with the bitcoin exchange to deposit and withdraw funds.

You are ready to sell bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

4. Make an offer to sell bitcoin.

State the amount of currency you want to trade, set a rate for it, choose a payment method- a bank transfer, PayPal transfer, cash delivery, bank wire, or credit card transfer. Set a time limit for buyers to pay and fill out your offer terms clearly.

Some exchanges allow you to set a limit on your sale i.e. if bitcoin’s price drops below a certain point, the sale would not proceed.

5. Click ‘Sell’ on the exchange.

Once someone matches your offer, the exchange will automatically complete the transaction.

Once the sale is complete, the funds will be transferred directly to your linked bank account, or to your exchange currency account, at which point you can withdraw it as and when you like.

B. Selling bitcoins through direct trading websites

You need to register as a seller with the peer to peer bitcoin trading platforms. Direct trading websites like LocalBitcoins, Bitsquare, Paxful act as a bridge between buyers and sellers. They connect them directly, without the help of any third parties. Transactions are generally conducted via wires or deposits to your bank account.

Once the buyer likes your price, and deposits money into your bank account, you can send bitcoins from your digital wallet to the specified address of buyer, on showing the proof of deposit.

Some direct trading sites offer different payment methods or methods of accepting money, including gift cards, PayPal and Venmo, or cash in person.

You can also sell directly to your knowns.

So, what is the best platform for bitcoin trading?

It all depends on your preferences when it comes to selling, so you’ll likely find a way that suits what you want.

Tip– Make sure to check how bitcoin is doing before you make the sale. It is volatile and thus, you never know where it’ll be on any given minute, hour or a day.

Who Accepts Bitcoin?

A lot of brands nowadays accept Bitcoins as a payment method, allowing customers to buy products and services. Scroll down and go through the infographic below to know who accepts bitcoin.

Who accepts bitcoin

DisclaimerThis blog is entirely for general informational purpose. This does not intend to provide any legal advice or business advice from the site owners.

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How to safeguard yourself from getting hacked due to a flaw in Microsoft Outlook?

CVE 2018-0950 is the name given to the information disclosure vulnerability of Outlook for which Microsoft released a vulnerability patch this month. This release came almost after 18 months of receiving the report disclosing the bug.

It was Will Dormann who discovered this vulnerability in 2016. He is a software vulnerability analyst with Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute’s CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) since 2004.

This vulnerability can result in the disclosure of sensitive information to a malicious site. Thus, Microsoft Outlook users need to be aware of this vulnerability and its safeguards.

Microsoft Outlook vulnerability

Threat Analysis of ‘important’ leak bug and its impact

 As discovered by Dormann, the CVE2018-0950 flaw affects Microsoft Outlook software, when it renders Rich Text Format (RTF) email messages containing remotely hosted OLE objects hosted on SMB (Server Message Block) server (under the control of attackers).

However, other Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint when encounter remotely hosted OLE objects, notify the user before rendering them, as a security precaution. But as found by Dormann, Outlook did not do so, thus, allowing attackers with an easy access to the user’s system on opening or previewing such mails.

Hackers can easily use this vulnerability to steal sensitive information, including users’ Windows login credentials or hashed passwords, just by sending an RTF-formatted email to a victim and convincing him/her to preview or open that email with Microsoft Outlook, without the need of any further interaction.

It automatically initiates a connection to a remote, malicious SMB server which leaks the victim’s IP address, user name, domain name, host name, and the NTLM Over Server Message Block (SMB) password.

“By convincing a user to preview an RTF email message with Microsoft Outlook, a remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to obtain the victim’s IP address, domain name, user name, host name, and password hash. This password hash may be cracked offline. This vulnerability may be combined with other vulnerabilities to modify the impact. For example, when combined with VU#867968, an attacker could cause a Windows system to blue-screen crash (BSOD) when a specially-crafted email is previewed with Microsoft Outlook”.- CERT

Microsoft Security update for CVE 2018-0950- a partial fix

In an attempt to patch the issue, Microsoft released a fix in its Microsoft Patch Tuesday update April 2018, which however prevents Outlook from automatically initiating SMB connections while previewing RTF emails, but fails to prevent all SMB attacks.

So, Windows users are advised to adopt some safeguards to mitigate this vulnerability.

 Recommended Safeguards

  • Install Microsoft patch update and apply for vulnerability CVE-2018-0950.
  • Block specific ports like 445/tcp, 137/tcp, 139/tcp, along with 137/udp and 139/udp which are used for SMB sessions, both incoming and outgoing.
  • Block NT LAN Manager (NTLM) Single Sign-on (SSO) authentication.
  • Prefer using complex and long passwords that cannot be cracked easily.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links added in the emails.

Also read:McAfee Cloud Workload Security with container support to aid enterprises accelerate cloud business with compliance and security.

Please add comments in the section below.

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Why immersion cooling is imminent to power the next generation datacenters?

Real-time video streaming, online gaming as well as mobile devices already account for 60% of all data traffic, and it is predicted that this will rise to 80% by 2020 – ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

In our always on life style- whether we like something on Facebook, stream the latest movie or post on Instagram, we generate huge amount of data. Every online activity involves massive amounts of data that’s stored in different datacenters, ranging from small closets to large server rooms to mammoth like cloud datacenters.

Datacenters power our connected devices and store billions of gigabytes of data which we and business organizations use, to meet our daily transaction processing needs, across the globe. These datacenters house IT equipment – servers, networking and storage equipment, and consume massive energy to run them and to cool the heat which dissipates from the IT equipment.

“Cooling is by far the biggest user of electrical power in the data center,” says Steve Carlini, global director of data center solution marketing at Schneider Electric, a vendor of data center power and cooling products. “That area may take up to 40 or 50 percent of all the power going into your data center.”

Global datacenter energy consumption is increasing as data centers usually run round the clock, throughout the year and consume roughly 3% of all the globally generated power. They generate approximately 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, and this places ICT industry at par with the airline industry. Global CO2 emissions of data centers are estimated to have the fastest growing carbon footprint from across the whole ICT sector.

The intense power requirements needed to run and cool data centers now account for almost a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions from ICT, according to analyst firm Gartner.

How much energy does a server farm/ data center consume?

According to a report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, data centers are on track to use 73 billion kwh by 2020. If not for increase in efficiency since 2010, data centers would likely be using 200 billion kwh by 2020. They predict that data center energy use will grow by 4% between 2014 and 2020.

The power draw for data centers range according to their sizes. For a rack of servers in a closet, power draw is few kilowatts and it is several tens of Megawatt for large data centers. They consume electricity equivalent to be used by a small town. This growing energy consumption is one of the biggest data center power problems.

As stated above, it can not only be attributed primarily to the IT demands and cooling equipment, but to lighting, power distribution and other requirements as well. The cooling system accounts for up to 40% in average of the energy, with the most efficient systems using 24% of the total energy and the least efficient 61%.

The datacenter power is distributed to chillers, cooling towers and water pumps.

Water chillers are the most energy-consuming since they supply chilled water to the cooling coil in order to keep the indoor temperature low enough to remove the heat emitted by the servers and other equipment.

Datacenters, Cooling and Technological Advances

Over the last few years, the demand for data centers among cloud service providers, enterprises, government agencies, colocation providers and telecommunication organizations has increased exponentially due to the adoption of advanced technologies such as cloud-based services for their operational business needs.

Also, there has been a rapid growth of new technological trends like big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence/machine learning, cryptocurrencies and Internet of Things.

This rapid growth of machine learning and AI applications is contributing to the building up of new services, enhanced products and is also boosting demand for powerful high – performance computing hardware. This rising popularity in turn is driving demand for more data centre space and have design implications for high-density racks to be powered and cooled.

Bitcoin mining also burns huge amount of electricity. Below screengrab shows the rising index of Bitcoin energy consumption.

Thus, the trends of increasing data center capacity and power use by information technology equipment, re-emphasize the need to reduce cooling load and data centre PUE to form green data centers/green IT.

What is PUE? Power usage effectiveness(PUE) is the metric used to determine data centre energy efficiency. An ideal PUE is 1.0. which indicates the maximum attainable efficiency with no overhead energy.

Datacenter cooling solutions – Traditional (Air Cooling) vs Liquid immersion cooling

Cooling solutions are an integral part of data centers and they can be classified into two types namely, air-based and liquid-based cooling.

Air based cooling Liquid immersion cooling
Hard to reduce PUE under 2 PUE of less than 2
Air circulation is uneven Coolant is evenly pumped through the pod
Installation costs are large 25% less implementation costs as compared to air solution
Raised flooring requirements No raised floorings
Large server rooms require extra air fans No need to move any air
Hardware requires fans Does not require fans
Air pushes hazardous particles Sealed and clean environment
Noisy environment – Fans and Indoor units generate more than 80db noise Silent operation environment

Why immersion cooling is imminent to power the next generation datacenters?

With air based datacenter cooling methods, cooling high-density racks is very difficult, and a complete server room is full of high-density racks.

Liquid immersion cooling deployed datacenters are more compact, modular, green and highly efficient. They save up to 99 percent electricity than traditional data center cooling which uses chillers, heat pump and HVAC.

Server immersion cooling allows companies to drastically reduce their data center energy load, irrespective of their PUE. Hardware or servers are kept submerged in a liquid (generally oil based) which is dielectric and thermally conductive.

This liquid submersion cooling technology allows data centers to use evaporative or adiabatic cooling towers instead of chiller-based air cooling.

Use cases: Current commercial applications for immersion cooling range from data center oriented solutions for commodity server cooling, bitcoin mining, server clusters, HPCC applications, cloud-based and web hosting architectures.

Thus, demand for these oil-based data center solutions is on the rise and offerings too have become more professionalized.

Barcelona based Immersion cooling solution startup, Submer Technologies need a special mention here for their oil-based data center product.

Submer- A way to socially responsible data centers

Submer has developed a cooling solution for data centers based on immersion cooling, keeping in mind the pains of operating hardware in data centers. Submer’s immersion cooling solution uses coolant fluid which is 100% biodegradable dielectric fluid and ensures best PUE of 1.03.

This server cooling system by Submer helps its users to achieve >45% savings on traditional electricity bill and hyper scaler efficiency.

It allows datacenters to extract 5o KW heat capacity in 22u format.

Product helps in increasing computing density per sqm. It can be put next to racks. Thus, users can save 75% of the space by placing more units one by the other. Each device has 50 KW heat dissipating capacity.

You can scale it to any volume in a very small space as it is 1mx 120.

Use cases: Any infrastructure or hardware. Built for hosters, cloud providers, regular datacenters, edge computing, cryptocurrency mining, blockchain and research datacenters.

“It’s mainly the mindset that needs to be changed, everyone is used to air- based cooling systems and its kind from 6os we have been working from the same way, but working with a fluid is just as comfortable as we have designed it in a way that extracting a server placing it or maintenance rails being able to switch some hardware and dipping it back in takes you exactly the same time that it would be in an air basis.so it’s easy to use and integrate. You can retrofit existing hardware running in base tracks very easily into existing data center infrastructure or deployed as stand-alone”.- Daniel Pope, Co-founder & CEO, Submer.

SmartPod and Crypto pod: Two solutions in two sizes

  • SmartPod: This datacenter immersion cooling solution is optimized for variable workloads. It comes in a 22u and 45u configuration to dissipate 25kW – 50kW plus. SmartPod 45u is for medium density servers and Smart Pod 22u for HPC / high density computing.
  • CryptoPod: This product is built specifically for crypto blockchain and is optimized for always-on workloads like bitcoin BTC / cryptocurrency mining, blockchain.

Many data center operators struggle with data centre management with increased OPEX year-over-year due to increased power consumption by cooling systems but Submer promises ROI in less than a year.

Thus, with immersion cooling deployment, the green revolution technology, data center operators can build data center facilities to deliver high efficiency and reduce power consumption.

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Top 10 Modern Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms 2018: Birst vs Domo vs Salesforce vs Sisense vs MicroStrategy (Part -2)

You know there is one characteristic which differentiates best in class business leaders from the rest- it is their ability to find growth opportunities and trends before their competitors do. They focus on what’s upcoming in technology and how it can help their business now and in the future and so, they get the early-mover advantage.

Organizations today, generate and have an incredible amount of data at their fingertips, but getting insights from it and making those insights actionable is pretty much difficult with traditional Business Intelligence (BI) solutions that cannot aggregate and handle the huge data from disparate sources.

Smart organizations use data to quickly assess market conditions and outperform their competitors and for this, they use modern business intelligence and analytics tools. The best BI tools implemented following proper requirement evaluation, help an organization discover opportunities, predict and curb issues in the tracks.

BI tools that provide critical capabilities in below three categories can be counted among the best business intelligence tools:

  • Analysis – Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Information delivery – Reports and interactive dashboards
  • Platform integration – BI metadata management and development environment.

Today, businesses need BI platforms which are more user-driven, offer visual and interactive dashboards, are characterized by easy-to-use tools, cloud-based deployment and provide support for all analytic workflow capabilities.

Top Business Intelligence tools 2018 comparison: Birst vs Domo vs Salesforce vs Sisense vs MicroStrategy

We had compared five analytics and business intelligence platforms in the first part of this two-post series blog. This is second and concluding part of the series where we have discussed other five business intelligence software vendors.

Read the first post here: Top 10 Modern Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms 2018: Microsoft vs Tableau vs Qlik vs IBM vs Oracle (Part-1)

Based upon Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms 2018, we discuss 5 more Business Intelligence and analytics platforms per their customer ratings and positions.

Magic Quadrant - Analytics and business intelligence platforms

6. Birst

Positioned in the Niche Players quadrant, Birst is an enterprise business intelligence platform that is focused on ‘networked analytics’. It connects both centralized and decentralized groups through a network of virtual BI instances. Birst, the end to end cloud business intelligence platform delivers fast data discovery, self- service and agility, security and control at low TCO via public or private cloud deployment.

It supports everything from data preparation to dashboards to scheduled, formatted report distribution. Being a multitenant cloud-provider, Birst allows customers to access and merge multiple data sources while still providing governance.

  1. Domo

Placed in the top quartile of magic quadrant, the BI and analytics platform – Domo, is designed for those businesses who need intuitive business-facing dashboards and either less or no support from IT.

This is mostly used in decentralized use cases. Businesses prefer using it for ease-of-use capabilities, data access and integration, and its cloud deployment model. It has the ability to connect to enterprise applications and maintains the connectors in the form of API-like connectors that are capable of responding to the changes in source-side schemas.

8. Salesforce

Salesforce analytics portfolio includes basic operational reports and dashboards for Salesforce data, the Einstein Analytics Platform (which was formerly known as Wave), Einstein Analytics-based packaged applications and Einstein Discovery.

With the Einstein Analytics Platform, users can create interactive visualizations, dashboards and perform analysis for Salesforce and non-Salesforce data.

Whereas, Einstein Discovery is an augmented analytics platform which uses machine learning to generate insights and prepare data.

Thus, with Salesforce business analytics platform, businesses can easily find sales opportunities and take action on the customer data, without any need of building mathematical models, writing algorithms or seeking expert help.

Placed in the quadrant of visionaries, Salesforce is the leading vendor in augmented analytics, and is visually appealing and easy to use.

9. Sisense

Sisense provides agile business intelligence for everyone which includes data collection and data preparation, storage, visual data exploration, interactive dashboards and embedded advanced analytics features along with discovery of insights. This BI technology supports enhanced data ingestion, machine learning and mashup capabilities.

Sisense 7 is a browser-based BI Single-Stack™ Platform which provides easier-to-use, intuitive and centralized ElastiCube manager to help its users to navigate and manage data faster. With Sisense, users get unified, cloud-ready BI experience via a single interface.

According to Gartner, nearly 53% of Sisense’s reference customers leverage the product for the OEM and embedded use case which is highest of all vendors evaluated here.

  1. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy business intelligence platform was shifted to the Challengers quadrant from Visionaries, due to its strong integrated product BI administration, architecture and security; data source connectivity; scalability and model complexity; metadata management; mobile and ease of use, visual appeal; and platform workflow integration.

It is preferred for its mobile BI capabilities and governed data discovery, interactive visual exploration and best-in-class enterprise reporting.

MicroStrategy 10 delivers agile yet governed enterprise deployment.

The tabular comparison of critical capabilities for Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms based on ratings from Gartner Peer Insights review

Critical capabilities Birst Domo Salesforce Sisense MicroStrategy
Product capabilities 3.9 4.5 4.2 4.5 4.1
Collaboration & Social BI 3.1 4.5 4.3 3.9 3.6
Analytics Dashboards 4.2 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.2
Self-Contained Extraction, Transformation & Loading (ETL) & Data Storage 3.9 4.5 4 4.4 3.7
Ease of use to deploy and administer 3.6 4.5 4 4.4 3.9
Cloud BI 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.4 3.8
Interactive Visual Exploration 4.2 4.5 4.6 4.6 3.9
Governance and Metadata Management 3.5 4 3.8 4.1 3.9
Embedding Analytic Content 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.3 4
Pricing Flexibility 3.7 4.2 3.7 4.3 3.6
Security and Use Administration 3.6 4.4 4 4.4 4.1
Self-Service Data Preparation 3.5 4.4 3.8 4.3 3.8

Let us know your feedback in the comments section.

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