?Kubernetes takes a big step forward with version 1.8

If you want to manage containers in the cloud, Kubernetes is the program for you. Its latest release, Kubernetes 1.8, is better than ever.

Why is this important? Containers are moving quickly into becoming the way to run server-level applications both in data-centers and the cloud. According to a recent report from research house Redmonk, 54 percent of Fortune 100 companies are already running Kubernetes. Some of these are truly massive jobs.

For example, Ancestry.com has 20 billion historical records and 90 million family trees. This makes it the largest consumer genomics DNA network in the world. With Kubernetes, its deployment time for its Shaky Leaf icon service was cut down from 50 minutes to two or five minutes. Paul MacKay, an Ancestry software engineer and architect, wrote, “We’re very close to having everything that should be or could be in a Linux-friendly world in Kubernetes by the end of the year.”

Perhaps the most significant feature in this new release is role based access control (RBAC). This enables cluster administrators to dynamically define roles to enforce access policies through the Kubernetes application programing interface (API).

RBAC also includes beta support for filtering outbound traffic through Kubernetes network policies augments existing support for filtering inbound traffic to a pod. Pods are Kubernetes’ smallest deployable units. They are made up of one or more containers with shared storage, network, and a specification on how to run the containers. Together, RBAC and network policies are two powerful tools for enforcing Kubernetes organizational and regulatory security requirements.

This edition also brings the core Workload APIs to beta. This contains the most recent versions of Deployment, DaemonSet, ReplicaSet, and StatefulSet. The Workloads APIs is now stable. It can be used to migrate existing workloads to Kubernetes and for developing cloud native applications. The Workloads API also helps big data users by enabling native Kubernetes support for Apache Spark.

Another beta feature, Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs), provides a mechanism to extend Kubernetes with user-defined API objects. Why would you use this? One way is to use CRDs to automate complex stateful applications such as key-value stores, databases, and storage engines through the Operator Pattern. CRDs don’t currently have validation, but that’s expected in the next release.

With a nod to old-style computing, CronJobs is now in beta. This will enable administrators to run batch container workloads, such as nightly extract, transform, and (ETL) data warehousing jobs.

Diving deeper, Mike Barrett, Red Hat OpenShift project manager and Joe Brockmeier, Red Hat Linux container evangelist, wrote that their customers are looking forward to batch jobs, we believe that Resource Management Working Group “alpha code will enable the next wave in cloud computing.”

This gives developers access to hardware via Device Manager for access to hardware devices such as NICs, GPUs, FPGA, Infiniband and so on; CPU Manager: so users can request static CPU assignment via the guaranteed Quality of Service (QOS) tier, and HugePages so users can consume huge memory pages of any size supported by the underlying hardware.

A feature CoreOS, a container and Kubernetes power, is particularly excited about is Kubernetes advanced auditing going beta. This, said Eric Chiang, a CoreOS engineer “introduces formatted audit logs, policies to control what’s audited, and a webhook to send events to external services. Audit events can now be configured to include entire request payloads, aggregated in a central location. … The audit event format will only make backward compatible changes. This creates an opportunity for the community to start experimenting with ways of consuming, displaying, and acting on events from the audit log webhook. An early example of this is the audit2rbac tool, which consumes audit events and to automatically create RBAC profiles.”

Put it all together and you have a major step forward in making Kubernetes the do-it-all cloud container orchestration program.


Mirantis enters the Kubernetes game and ups its OpenStack play

Besides managing OpenStack clouds, Mirantis is adding cloud container management to its skillset with Kubernetes.

How to get the Kubernetes help you need

As Kubernetes cloud container orchestration grows ever more important, so does the need for qualified Kubernetes administrators.

Enterprise container DevOps steps up its game with Kubernetes 1.6

The popular enterprise container DevOps program, Kubernetes, is now ready to handle up to 5,000 nodes in a single cluster.


Google Offers Cheaper Version of Cloud Services to Run Low Priority Jobs

Google Cloud 300x267 Google Offers Cheaper Version of Cloud Services to Run Low Priority JobsSome departments in your company do not need cloud computing resources to carry high-performance tasks, right? Because Google has just formatted a service plan for such demands. Google launched Preemptible Virtual Machine, a new cloud service that allows to use computing resources at low costs. The offer is suitable for workloads with low priority and can, therefore, be interrupted.

The search giant introduced a new cloud platform that cost 70% less than the same default setting in Compute Engine. The Preemptible Virtual Machine can do well cheap, about $ 0.01 per instance/hour. The most affordable VM charges per hour can range anywhere between $ 0.03 per hour, up to $ 0.11 per hour or more. The problem is that the VMs may stop working when you need it or face peak periods.

The company argues, however, that the offer (in beta) serves very well the various computational tasks. The company cites, for example, some critical workflows that can be distributed among multiple virtual machines. However, it would be a bad idea to adopt the approach to process analysis, modeling, and simulations that require high computing power and instant answers.

To provide the service, Google will use the free capacity in its data center. At times when there is a peak in demand and Google needs more resources, virtual machines involved in Preemptible Compute Engine VMs are recalled and interrupts the current processing. Users receive a notice period of 30 seconds, which should be enough to save your work. Google said No Preemptible VM can run for more than 24 hours straight.

According to the Google post, “all machine types are charged a minimum of 10 minutes. For example, if you run your instance for 2 minutes, you will be billed for 10 minutes of usage. After 10 minutes, instances are charged in 1 minute increments, rounded up to the nearest minute. For example, an instance that lives for 11.25 minutes will be charged for 12 minutes of usage.”

According to Google, there are many that utilize cloud scalability and pricing model to calculate relatively intensive, but short-term assignments. It includes the coding of video, reproduction of visual effects and calculations based on large amounts of information, such as in data analysis, simulation, and genomics.

The solution is quite similar to that of Spot Instances offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The model of AWS differs in price. Google has a fixed cost while the competitor price varies according to demand.

The market leader AWS routinely cuts their cloud pricing. The company is facing tough competition with Google and Microsoft to maintain its lead in cloud computing and tries to woo more developers to come to its solutions with lower prices, more hardware offerings and more advanced technologies. Microsoft, on the other hand, progressed enough to be a serious threat to Amazon’s dominance in the market.


Microsoft levels up web version of Outlook for business customers

Enterprise users who rely on the web interface for Microsoft Outlook email will be getting an upgrade thanks to new features Microsoft announced Tuesday.

The user interface for Outlook on the web (previously known as the Outlook Web App) has been redesigned with a cleaner look and easier access to key features like archiving and moving messages through a new action toolbar. In addition, Microsoft improved the single line view, so users who prefer browsing a condensed version of their inbox will get a streamlined preview of incoming messages. When they click on a message in single line view, it will be displayed in the same window, without spawning a pop-up.

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CIO Cloud Computing

BiblioBoard Announces Version 6.0: Raising the Bar for the Library Patron Digital Experience

BiblioBoard initially launched in 2013 and immediately won several publishing and library industry awards for design excellence. Today, in advance of this year’s American Library Association conference, the company announced the first major upgrade to the BiblioBoard shared cloud service. In addition to an upgrade and modernization of all the technology to support robust scalability, performance and security, the BiblioBoard 6.0 release represents a complete redesign of the patron user experience, offering libraries a digital service similar to consumer media products. The release also offers numerous personalization features for both librarians and patrons.

Andrew Roskill, BiblioBoard founder and CEO, believes this is the next logical step for the company as they push the library digital experience closer to the mainstream. “We have always articulated a goal of making the digital experience from the public library every bit as good as that of the consumer media companies that dominate our digital attention. Usage and needs drives funding, and a world-class digital experience is no longer optional for libraries. We are happy to have so many innovative libraries working with us on creating that experience.” The company uses a “shared software” approach that lets their customers contribute ideas on the development of features with the entire user community sharing in those enhancements.

Notably, some of the new BiblioBoard 6.0 features are:

Enhanced Branding: The interface is fully branded for the library—insuring libraries do not lose patrons to outside systems
1-Click Reading: One-click reading of all books (over 100,000 today) from the homepage (no checkout systems)
A Single User Experience for All Media: All library electronic resources (books, videos, images, historical databases, audio) can be discovered and consumed in a single user experience with no bounce out to other “silos” or other third party products
Patron Privacy & Security: New enhancements to let patrons have anonymous sessions and increased security features to protect patron data
Patron Engagement Tools: Libraries control the homepage and publish their own media bundles to patrons in a manner very similar to social networks to increase patron engagement
Patron Boards: Patrons can create their own “boards” to increase digital engagement and ease of use
World Class eReader: Newly upgraded readers for ePubs and PDFs with improved reader tools
World Class Media Players: Newly upgraded video players, audio players and image viewers
Accessibility: Lays the groundworks for a new level of ADA accessibility by creating new browsing and visual frameworks for more rapid development around ADA guidelines
“We listened to libraries on what we were doing right and what we could do better. This new release incorporates two years of that feedback and sets a new bar for what library patrons should expect in a digital library experience,” added Roskill. “We are not another library ebook lending platform; we hold ourselves to a higher standard. It’s beautiful, intuitive, simple and engaging. It’s everything the library digital experience should represent.”

The company will be demonstrating BiblioBoard 6.0 at ALA at booth 1146.

About BiblioBoard

BiblioBoard is the PatronsFirst™ mobile library. The folks behind BiblioBoard are a powerful team based in Charleston, S.C. They aim to transform access to information by providing a world-class user experience that thrills library patrons and is profitable for publishers. BiblioBoard is moving library content delivery into the future in a sustainable way. BiblioBoard, used by nearly 2,700 libraries and in three statewide eBook projects, reaches 30 million patrons. BiblioBoard has won numerous design and product awards including the 2014 Modern Library Award.


Hunter Horton

PR & Marketing Coordinator



Star Storage to Take Forward Enterprise Information Archiving Domain with a New Version of SEAL

SEAL Advanced Search

SEAL is an Enterprise Information Archiving software that leverages Hitachi Content Platform as an intelligent distributed object storage system to deliver the best functionalities for managing your electronic archive. Top companies across the Globe are using SEAL to store unstructured contend and related metadata in a single, consolidated repository and to unify their valuable documents records from paper, computer-generated outputs or legacy systems.

Organizations using SEAL achieve immediate bennefits from increased flexibility and permanent and secured access to electronic archived information. Using and advanced system to enforce compliance rules and regulations companies can reduce exposure to outside environments and mitigate risks. All of these benefits come at a fraction of what enterprise content management platforms cost.

“With a scalable architecture based on a state-of-the-art storage platform, HCP (Hitachi Content Platform), SEAL is a business value solution matching DMS (Document Management System) based document archiving needs like storing and retrieving, classification, flexible metadata, navigation and security and the requirements of a ERMS (Electronic Records Management System) such as retention management, file plan, controlled disposal/updates and advanced audit,” said Catalin Paunescu, CEO, Star Storage. “With SEAL you can archive anything, anytime without losing governance control over the content”.

Star Storage specialists are continuously take into consideration and act on customer feedback, permanently adding new features that enable companies to build and manage their electronic archives. Among the features included in this release there are:

Improved user experience

    The new version of the product comes with a new graphical interface, with a flat design that aims to improve the user experience, offering a simpler, clearer and more effective interface.
    The interface design allows easy application of different themes so that the product can quickly adapt to any corporate identity.
    SEAL now includes a number of predefined data model templates, focused on various business areas and activities, so no additional configurations are needed once the electronic archive was defined.
    This release was also focused on the help section, so any user who wish to learn more about certain SEAL features can access a user guide and a series of video tutorials that will initiate the knowledge worker in the use of electronic archive, directly from the product interface.

Advanced sharing features

    SEAL includes important new features that allows information sharing within an organization, even easier than its previous versions. Users can now group documents related to a particular issue in a document collection that you can be shared with other members of the organization.
    Sharing can be accomplished for a limited period or permanently and it can always be cancelled.
    Accessing shared information is done in a new dedicated section, so that the content can be viewed in a quick and efficient manner.
    All sharing operations are governed by security permissions and continuously monitored using audit reports.


    New possibility to configure individual permission levels for archived document creators. This mechanism offers organizations greater flexibility in terms of access rights configuration.


    An improved version of the REST API interface is included within this release, allowing other software applications to communicate with SEAL, besides the CMIS (Content Management Interoperability System) interface which is the standard based alternative in terms of integration with other systems.

With SEAL, every company can now access a complete solution for enterprise information archiving. Below a quick overview of SEAL unique functionalities and usage scenarios.

SEAL unique functionalities:

    Revolutionary flexibility: archive anything, anytime without losing governance control over the content.
    Hybrid record management, by exposing consolidated information related to digital content and its physical support, within the same interface.
    Retention rules, holds, file plan management and controlled disposition for advanced compliance.
    Quick deployment: start to archive documents immediately after deploying the cloud service or in 1 day for an on-premises solution.
    Flexible security definition, using a rules engine and confidentiality levels.
    Built-in Web viewer for PDF, PDF/A, images and other common files (e.g.: Microsoft® Word).
    Integration with systems such as BPM/ERP/CRM/Portal using CMIS open standard.
    Ingest emails from PST files and make them available securely for audit, research or other business activities.

SEAL usage scenarios:

    Scanning and archiving documents. Using the included StarCapture application, users can create an archive directly from paper documents. Scan and index either in a single location or in a distributed work environment, while providing secured access to authorized personnel.
    Archiving electronic documents. Archive documents generated in electronic format (by systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management or mail messages) in order to maintain a clear evidence of records and support future retrievals.
    Mergers and acquisitions integration. Easily adopt and use data and documents from recently acquired companies.
    Decommissioning old systems. Move passive content from old Document Management Systems / Enterprise Content Management systems or from unused databases and transform it into usable content, eliminating the legacy maintenance costs.

More information and other interesting news are available on the SEAL product website: http://www.seal-online.com

About Star Storage

Star Storage is an IT company focused on information protection and management and serving its customers in the private and public sectors with its complete portfolio of ready-made, innovative software products, solutions and services. The company plays a key role in the transformation process of organizations’ IT infrastructure into cloud-based architectures with improved control over the content. With more than 14 years of experience, the Company has expanded its global presence through strategic alliances with reputable international players and relationships with enterprise customers worldwide. For more information, contact us by email at products(at)star-storage(dot)ro or visit our web page at http://www.star-storage.eu.