Simple Networking Tools Ease IT Pains

Forget the bells and whistles of powerful networking tools. When overseeing clients’ networks, some IT pros insist that simpler is better.
InformationWeek: Cloud

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Dropbox prompts certain users to change their passwords

Dropbox is asking users who signed up before mid-2012 to change their passwords if they haven’t done so since then.

The cloud storage service said it was asking users to change their passwords as a preventive measure, and not because there is any indication that their accounts were improperly accessed.

Dropbox said it was taking the measure because its security teams learned about an old set of Dropbox user credentials, consisting of email addresses and hashed and salted passwords, which it believes were obtained in 2012 and could be linked to an incident the company reported around the time.

In July 2012, Dropbox said its investigation found that usernames and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of of Dropbox accounts. It said it had contacted the users affected to help them protect their accounts.

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CIO Cloud Computing

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Informatica CEO: ‘Data security is an unsolved problem’

Companies today are awash in data, but current tools and processes are not enabling them to keep it secure.

That’s according to Informatica CEO Anil Chakravarthy, whose says his company — which has traditionally focused on data management and integration — is embarking on a major push to go further into data security.

“You hear about breaches all the time — just imagine all the ones you’re not hearing about,” Chakravarthy said in a recent interview. “Data security today is an unsolved problem for customers.”

Last year, Informatica launched a product called Secure@Source that promises a data-centric approach to information security by helping organizations identify and visualize sensitive data wherever it resides.

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Network World Cloud Computing

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9 top tools for corporate cloud collaboration

The nature of work has evolved rapidly during the last few years. Modern coworkers often have very different roles and responsibilities, and many work from multiple locations. Email is no longer an efficient tool for many of the tasks today’s professionals perform, and face-to-face meetings are increasingly a rarity.

Fortunately, a new generation of cloud-based collaboration tools are now available to help tackle some of these challenges. Here’s a look at nine of the best options.

1. Toggl for time tracking

If you’ve been turned off by the complexity of past time-tracking solutions, Toggl may be a better fit. The great-looking time tracker works in a web browser, and it’s an intuitive tool that helps monitor your productivity. Toggl works offline, too, and it automatically syncs time tracked offline the next time it connects to the web.

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Network World Cloud Computing

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MIT is dragging hard-wired network chips into the agile era

Cloud computing is changing the demands on networks more quickly than ever. Now researchers say it’s possible to program routers all the way down to their packet-forwarding chips in the quest to keep up.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and five other organizations have found a way to make data-center routers more programmable without making them slower. This could allow enterprises to take advantage of new traffic and congestion management algorithms without replacing their routers.

The project takes SDN (software-defined networking) beyond the control plane, where things like configuration are handled, and into the data plane that actually forwards packets. Now programmers can change how the network decides which packets to send and which to keep in a buffer, for example. Eventually, that might mean deploying networks with fewer routers.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

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High technology: How IT is fueling the budding cannabis industry

The cannabis industry is growing up, and it would be tough to imagine more convincing proof than Microsoft’s recent announcement that it’s getting involved.

Though the software giant will stay very much in the background — its role will focus primarily on providing Azure cloud services for a compliance-focused software push — the move is still widely viewed as a telling sign.

“Having them come out and say, ‘we’re willing to have our name in the same sentence as the word cannabis,’ adds to the legitimacy of our industry,” said Kyle Sherman, cofounder and CEO of software maker Flowhub.

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CIO Cloud Computing

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These are the lessons Trulia learned from building a chatbot

It’s a competitive real-estate rental market out there, and Trulia wanted to capitalize on the interest with a new Facebook Messenger bot it launched earlier this month.

The bot lets users search for rental properties and keep up to date on new properties when they become available. 

Trulia’s bot came out of a quarterly hackathon project hosted by at real estate tech firm this past May, and the company learned a lot about bot-building. The experience showed that businesses should give bot-making a shot, even if they’re not tech companies, said Yardley Ip, general manager for Trulia Rentals.

“Given that the tools are so easy to use, and it’s so lightweight to develop [a bot], I think businesses should try it,” Ip said. “At least, at minimum, from the customer service angle. Because there are frequently asked questions that users and customers have, and why not use a bot as a way to respond to your users quickly?”

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CIO Cloud Computing

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The second cloud wave is upon us, ready or not

I often get asked about the next generation of cloud technology — and most people are disappointed with my answer. The next wave of cloud computing tech is not about a cloud at all; it’s about cloud governance and management.

We’ve spent the last 10 years building clouds and moving applications to them. In the United States, about 5 percent of IT workloads now run in the cloud, but that figure will double to 10 percent quickly — by 2018.

That means we’re approaching a tipping point for moving to cloud, where traditional management and governance approaches won’t work with the number of applications and data stores in the cloud. I think that tipping point is at about 10 percent.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

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These are the lessons Trulia learned from building a chatbot

It’s a competitive real-estate rental market out there, and Trulia wanted to capitalize on the interest with a new Facebook Messenger bot it launched earlier this month.

The bot lets users search for rental properties and keep up to date on new properties when they become available. 

Trulia’s bot came out of a quarterly hackathon project hosted by at real estate tech firm this past May, and the company learned a lot about bot-building. The experience showed that businesses should give bot-making a shot, even if they’re not tech companies, said Yardley Ip, general manager for Trulia Rentals.

“Given that the tools are so easy to use, and it’s so lightweight to develop [a bot], I think businesses should try it,” Ip said. “At least, at minimum, from the customer service angle. Because there are frequently asked questions that users and customers have, and why not use a bot as a way to respond to your users quickly?”

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Network World Cloud Computing

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Chinese approval clears way for Dell’s $67B EMC buy

Dell’s massive acquisition of EMC reportedly has passed legal muster in China, clearing what is expected to be its last hurdle.

The acquisition, announced last October with an estimated value of US$ 67 billion, has been approved by Chinese regulators, according to the New York Post. That’s expected to be the last step toward closing the deal, though the companies may not announce its completion formally until next week. The combined company will be called Dell Technologies, while its PC business will keep the pure Dell name.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

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IDG Contributor Network: Why Microsoft open sourced PowerShell and ported it to Linux

Microsoft has open sourced PowerShell, it’s automation tool and command line shell. That’s not all, PowerShell is also coming to Linux. The alpha release of PowerShell for Linux is available on the GitHub page; you can test it on Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS. The source of PowerShell is also available on GitHub.

Surviving in the multi-cloud world

Microsoft has been kind of behind the UNIX (Linux) world when it comes to feature rich command line interfaces and tools. PowerShell was Microsoft’s answer to those developers who wanted such capabilities. Thanks to its .NET Framework base PowerShell has some great scripting capabilities….but it doesn’t have everything. It can’t cater to everyone.

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CIO Cloud Computing

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Blockchain Builder Brings Protocol To CryptoCurrency Initiative

Chain, a San Francisco blockchain company, has joined the Initiative for CryptoCurrency & Contracts. With its membership, the firm brings a blockchain protocol to the party.
InformationWeek: Cloud

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Review: Chef 12 fires up devops

Two of the most important tasks in a data center are server provisioning and configuration management. At one time, administrators spent a significant amount of time physically deploying servers and network infrastructure, followed by even more minutes and hours manually configuring hundreds or even thousands of nodes. Then they spent an additional chunk of the day troubleshooting and fixing the errors they introduced by configuring all of these systems with their fat fingers.

Chef clients are generally installed on Windows machines using the MSI package. Today, a number of resources specific to Windows come with Chef out-of-the-box. For example:

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(Insider Story)
CIO Cloud Computing

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