MileIQ Team Launches New Microsoft Garage Project to Simplify Expense Management – Microsoft Garage

In the fall of 2015, a startup team committed to making mileage logging easier joined Microsoft to expand their ability to empower the self-directed worker. Today, the team that created MileIQ now announces an iOS app to simplify expense management. Spend, a Microsoft Garage project, is now available for download in the US App Store.

The Microsoft Garage has released dozens of projects in the four years following the October 2014 launch of its Garage project program. Several projects have gone on to become features of flagship Microsoft products or new, branded products in their own right. Both self-organized, grassroots teams and arms of Microsoft product groups have leveraged the program to collect user feedback, add new features, and refine their approach.

Spend joins a host of Garage projects that have narrowed in on a specific target customer to understand their needs and build scenarios that tackle acute problems. Sports Performance Platform worked with the Seattle Seahawks, Benfica, Cricket Australia, and Real Madrid among other major sports teams and organizations. Video Indexer—the once-titled Video Breakdown and Garage project alum—synthesized multiple Microsoft Cognitive Services into an improved experience and is now offered as a standalone Azure Media Service. Microsoft Kaizala began its journey focusing on mobile collaboration scenarios, getting its big break working with the Indian state government to organize a massive holiday event attended by over 20 million people.

Hassle-Free, On-the-go Expense Management

Spend is mobile-first and built with the user in mind, making it simple to track expenses for reimbursements or taxes

• Quickly manage all your purchases for your expense reports with automatically tracked expenses from a connected credit card, debit card or bank account
• See purchases in a feed and easily classify expenses as business or personal with a single swipe
• Edit purchases or bulk classify expenses through the web dashboard
• Create accurate reports with only a few clicks for the week, month, or another customer period
• Fully customize reports which are available in either spreadsheet or PDF, commonly-used formats compatible with leading accounting and expense management software
• Snap pictures of receipts and attached to purchase with additional features for easy cash purchase management
• Track confidently: Spend uses 256-bit encryption, bank-level security, with Microsoft certifications

Spend, a Microsoft Garage project

The team has long focused on creating solutions that simplify work and empower self-directed workers, and built its first product MileIQ to enhance the mileage logging experience. When you’re on the road a lot, it can be time-consuming and chaotic to organize mileage and gas information for reimbursements or tax deductions. Now, the team is also turning its attention to another pain point for this audience: expense management.

“Keeping, sorting, and tracking paper receipts is annoying and inefficient. Spend uses intelligent features to bring receipt and expense tracking to the modern era,” says Heman Chawda, Product Manager for Spend. Built for mobile and designed around those always on the go, Spend takes a fresh approach to expense management. “It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to explore this space,” shared Nat Robinson, General Manager of MileIQ. “We are a growing team at Microsoft working on a number of experiences that empower small and medium businesses. The Microsoft Garage gives us the chance to offer a simplified expense management experience and really hone the value we provide. This is an important area of investment for us—we’re really excited to take this first step.”

Arista CloudVision gets campus Wi-Fi management

Arista has brought Wi-Fi management to CloudVision, adding a wireless component to the software console that administers a network fabric stretching across the data center, campus and public cloud.

The company said this week it had rolled into Arista CloudVision the cloud-based management features that came with the recent acquisition of Wi-Fi infrastructure vendor Mojo Networks. The purchase brought the access-layer infrastructure Arista needed to compete with Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Aruba for the growing number of companies accessing the internet through wireless networks.

Besides wrapping Mojo into Arista CloudVision, the vendor also added device analytics for wired and wireless networks. The latest component, called Device Analyzer, identifies mobile and IoT devices connected to the network and lists their operating systems and the applications running on top. Device Analyzer does not record the version of the software.

Device Analyzer also has a security component, said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, based in Boulder, Colo. “It inventories and baselines the activity of all devices connected to the network, then alerts on anomalies that could be a security event.”

Arista falls short in campus networking

Many analysts agreed Mojo’s analytics and cloud-based management features provide Arista with a competitive Wi-Fi offering. However, Arista will need more in campus networking to lure customers away from established enterprise vendors, such as Cisco and HPE Aruba.

“It seems like the bulk of Arista’s value proposition can be implemented using either Cisco or HPE Aruba, as well,” said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner. “This [Mojo acquisition] does not pose a significant threat to Cisco or HPE Aruba, but existing Arista clients may take a closer look.”

Even with Mojo, Arista’s campus networking portfolio has holes when compared with that of Cisco or HPE. The company does not have edge access switches or a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) product. A growing number of enterprises are deploying SD-WAN to manage and route traffic from the WAN’s edge to the internet.

“To become a contender for taking market share away from some of the other competitors, they will need to have a complete portfolio at the edge,” said Rohit Mehra, an analyst at IDC.

To date, Arista has focused on spreading the Extensible Operating System (EOS) that powers the company’s switches into as many computing environments as possible.

Last year, Arista launched a virtualized version of EOS for AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. At the same time, the company upgraded Arista CloudVision to manage Arista switching from the data center to the cloud.

In May, Arista introduced two campus LAN switches equipped with telemetry and analytics to help IT administrators diagnose problems in the wired network. The spline switches simplified campus networking by collapsing the commonly used three-tier leaf-spine architecture into a single tier.

Mojo cloud-managed Wi-Fi

With Mojo, Arista adds cloud-managed Wi-Fi for large enterprise networks, as well as college campuses and K-12 schools. Mojo’s strengths lie in its cloud-based machine learning and big data platform that tracks over 300 key performance indicators for its Wi-Fi network, according to Gartner.

Mojo bases its machine learning technology on cognitive computing techniques that sort through device and network packet data to identify patterns and establish relationships to help engineers troubleshoot problems, said Rick Wilmer, who joined Arista after serving as CEO at Mojo.

Another strength in Mojo technology is its ability to create a copy of a customer’s network in the cloud to test configuration changes and code revisions in an isolated computing environment, called a sandbox, Gartner said.

Wanted – iMac 27″ 5k, preferably i7 and SSD

Im thinking of selling my 2017 27″ iMac 5k. Its the base model i5 (3.4GHz) but I specced the factory fit 256GB SSD. It has 16GB RAM (came with 8GB, I fitted 2x4GB myself) and it runs very nicely. It also has transferrable Applecare warranty until into August 2020. Currently running macOS Mojave.

No issues other than a couple of scuffs – one on the chin bezel (about 1mmx1mm) and similar at the rear. There is also a dead bug inside the screen! Its almost dried out now and I suspect it may fall away (not tried tapping the screen yet!!) but it is visible – about 2 inches down from the top, 1/2 inch in from the left. I registered this with Apple when I first noticed the bug moving (took a video!) and am thinking to get the screen replaced under warranty – I believe it would be done as its supposed to be a sealed until, although it’s a trek into town to do so, hence why Ive left it for now as its not that obvious and not in my direct line of vision..

Comes with PSU, Magic Keyboard 2 but no mouse as sold that on here a while ago in favour of a Logitech. Original box and outer box with all the protective bits. Shipping would be expensive though – around £60 or so fully insured.

RPP over £2k with the Applecare – I suppose id be looking at £1650 plus shipping…

MileIQ Team Launches New Microsoft Garage Project to Simplify Expense Management – Microsoft Garage

In the fall of 2015, a startup team committed to making mileage logging easier joined Microsoft to expand their ability to empower the self-directed worker. Today, the team that created MileIQ now announces an iOS app to simplify expense management. Spend, a Microsoft Garage project, is now available for download in the US App Store.

The Microsoft Garage has released dozens of projects in the four years following the October 2014 launch of its Garage project program. Several projects have gone on to become features of flagship Microsoft products or new, branded products in their own right. Both self-organized, grassroots teams and arms of Microsoft product groups have leveraged the program to collect user feedback, add new features, and refine their approach.

Spend joins a host of Garage projects that have narrowed in on a specific target customer to understand their needs and build scenarios that tackle acute problems. Sports Performance Platform worked with the Seattle Seahawks, Benfica, Cricket Australia, and Real Madrid among other major sports teams and organizations. Video Indexer—the once-titled Video Breakdown and Garage project alum—synthesized multiple Microsoft Cognitive Services into an improved experience and is now offered as a standalone Azure Media Service. Microsoft Kaizala began its journey focusing on mobile collaboration scenarios, getting its big break working with the Indian state government to organize a massive holiday event attended by over 20 million people.

Hassle-Free, On-the-go Expense Management

Spend is mobile-first and built with the user in mind, making it simple to track expenses for reimbursements or taxes

• Quickly manage all your purchases for your expense reports with automatically tracked expenses from a connected credit card, debit card or bank account
• See purchases in a feed and easily classify expenses as business or personal with a single swipe
• Edit purchases or bulk classify expenses through the web dashboard
• Create accurate reports with only a few clicks for the week, month, or another customer period
• Fully customize reports which are available in either spreadsheet or PDF, commonly-used formats compatible with leading accounting and expense management software
• Snap pictures of receipts and attached to purchase with additional features for easy cash purchase management
• Track confidently: Spend uses 256-bit encryption, bank-level security, with Microsoft certifications

Spend, a Microsoft Garage project

The team has long focused on creating solutions that simplify work and empower self-directed workers, and built its first product MileIQ to enhance the mileage logging experience. When you’re on the road a lot, it can be time-consuming and chaotic to organize mileage and gas information for reimbursements or tax deductions. Now, the team is also turning its attention to another pain point for this audience: expense management.

“Keeping, sorting, and tracking paper receipts is annoying and inefficient. Spend uses intelligent features to bring receipt and expense tracking to the modern era,” says Heman Chawda, Product Manager for Spend. Built for mobile and designed around those always on the go, Spend takes a fresh approach to expense management. “It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to explore this space,” shared Nat Robinson, General Manager of MileIQ. “We are a growing team at Microsoft working on a number of experiences that empower small and medium businesses. The Microsoft Garage gives us the chance to offer a simplified expense management experience and really hone the value we provide. This is an important area of investment for us—we’re really excited to take this first step.”

Elastifile adds automated tiering to cloud object storage

Cloud file system startup Elastifile Ltd. added new capabilities to automatically tier file data to low-cost cloud object storage.

The new ClearTier functionality in Elastifile 3.0 enables customers to set policies to shift data from file storage to less expensive object storage without having to change the application code. Elastifile supports automated tiering to bare-metal servers located on premises and to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform, with plans to support Microsoft Azure in the future.

Jerome McFarland, Elastifile vice president of marketing, said the vendor has SAP users who want to migrate their data to cloud storage and don’t necessarily need blazing-fast performance. He said the new ClearTier tool could also help enterprises shift data center workloads to the cloud for temporary access to the GPU or CPU resources they lack on premises.

“The point of all this is to enable enterprises to keep their cloud infrastructure costs in alignment with the performance requirements of the application,” McFarland said. “We want to make sure they have the flexibility to meet the need of the application and not have to overpay.”

On-demand cloud bursting

Elastifile customer eSilicon Corp. bursts its semiconductor design workflows to Google Cloud when it needs additional compute and storage capacity on demand, McFarland said. He said eSilicon pays for the cloud resources only during peak times and tears down the cloud infrastructure when the work is done.

Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, said Elastifile’s pricing model is a key differentiator. Other vendors with distributed cloud file systems, such as WekaIO and Microsoft Avere, don’t offer on-demand licensing.

“If you look at the way file systems are charged in the cloud, it’s very expensive. It’s not very expensive with Elastifile,” Staimer said. “They’re designed for the hybrid cloud more than anybody I’ve seen as far as the way they license. They really focus on seamlessly utilizing the cloud in the way it was designed to be used — on demand while you’re in a hybrid mode.”

Enterprise-grade file storage

Elastifile focuses on enterprise-grade file storage. Its distributed Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) was designed to pool flash storage in commodity servers located in private and public clouds and present it to applications using a single global namespace.

This year, Elastifile added support for standard HDDs that are directly attached to cloud-based VMs or supplied as pooled block storage in AWS or Google. The company continues to require flash-based SSDs for on-premises deployments of ECFS on bare-metal servers.

Elastifile CloudConnect capabilities can translate file data from on-premise NAS systems into the object formats of popular cloud storage providers, such as Amazon’s Simple Storage Service and Google Cloud Storage. CloudConnect software also encodes the file system’s structural information, including hierarchies and attributes, into the objects.

Before Elastifile 3.0, customers could send file data to and from object storage manually. McFarland said applications could see and access data physically stored in the Elastifile file system. But any data in object storage had to be manually checked out into the file system to make it visible to the applications.

Elastifile version 3.0 with ClearTier architectural diagram
Architectural diagram of Elastifile version 3.0 with ClearTier

New ClearTier capability

McFarland said Elastifile 3.0 and ClearTier allow applications to see and process all the file data, even when it resides on object storage. ClearTier gives the file system access to the metadata of the object-based data and provides a unified namespace between the file and object.

ClearTier operates in the background, serving up data to applications using ECFS in an automated fashion based on the customer’s set policies. The applications don’t need to know where the data is stored because they only interact with ECFS using standard NFS.

“Traditional enterprise apps — especially high-performance apps — still want to talk to a file system,” said Scott Sinclair, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Elastifile’s scale-out file system can serve the traditional apps that need to talk to NFS. Then, with ClearTier, they provide access to this lower cost, massively scalable object store that could be on the public cloud or on premises.”

Customers can specify their desired capacity ratio between file and object storage and set policies to demote data to object storage based on factors such as frequency of access. McFarland said Elastifile plans to give customers more granular control over automated data tiering in the future.

Another new capability in Elastifile 3.0 is the ability to store snapshots in object storage. Customers can choose which data they want to include in the snapshots and specify the schedule for snapshot creation.

One potential limitation for Elastifile customers is the inability to use cloud-based services, such as analytics, on the object data they store in the public cloud. Users would first need to rehydrate the data using the Elastifile software, McFarland said. However, Elastifile has worked internally to enable external applications to directly consume its objects.

“For us, it’s just a mapping from our encoded object format to the standard object format that other applications would use,” McFarland said. “Today, we’re not exposing that because, in all honesty, we haven’t seen that much pull for that yet. But it’s something that I think we may expose moving forward.”

Elastifile competition

McFarland said Elastifile’s competition includes in-house offerings from cloud service providers, including AWS Elastic File System (EFS) and Microsoft Azure Files, and products from traditional on-premises, hardware-centric vendors that are trying to integrate cloud capabilities, such as NetApp Cloud Volumes.

One key advantage for Elastifile is the price. Amazon charges 30 cents per GB, per month for EFS, but Elastifile with ClearTier could potentially lower costs to three cents per GB, per month after data compression, McFarland said.

Henry Baltazar, a research vice president at 451 Research, said Elastifile’s multi-cloud capability is another key differentiator. He pointed out that hyperscalers such as AWS and Google “have little interest in moving data out of their cloud to a rival service provider.” Baltazar believes that Elastifile’s decision to focus on high-performance use cases is a good strategy because “they will face less competition there and can differentiate on performance.”

George Crump, founder and president of Storage Switzerland, said few cloud file system vendors offer the ability to tier data intelligently between different classes of cloud storage. In addition to cloud service providers, Crump sees SoftNAS as another key competitor for Elastifile.

Wanted – Late 2014 Mac Mini

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by rid1, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. rid1

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    As above, looking for a late 2014 Mac Mini with 8GB RAM as a minimum. Let me know if you’re looking to offload one. Will consider bundles with Magic Mouse/Keyboard. Thanks in advance

    Location: Coventry/Birmingham

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