Tag Archives: several

Infinidat embeds SAN, NAS replication in InfiniBox R4

Infinidat has checked off several roadmap items for its high-end InfiniBox storage system, including “near-zero impact” SAN synchronous replication and the ability to define quality of service for individual applications, tenants and subtenants.

The InfiniBox R4 upgrade also added asynchronous NAS replication and NAS directory quota management to combat file system sprawl. Those features are among more than 150 enhancements to the R4 operating system.

Infinidat claims InfiniBox unified arrays are faster than all-flash, although they store all data on hard disk drives. The modular design includes three controllers in an active-active-active configuration for high availability. InfiniBox is geared to enterprises with petabyte-scale storage, competing with high-end storage arrays from Dell EMC, NetApp, Hitachi Vantara, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

InfiniBox serves most I/O traffic from dynamic RAM (DRAM), and includes a small dose of flash as an acceleration tier. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools orchestrate data tiering. The InfiniFlash system learns over time the best media placement to generate high hit rates out of DRAM.

Adding synchronous replication makes Infinidat a better play with hyper-scale enterprises and managed service providers, IDC storage analyst Eric Burgener said.

“Infinidat targets InfiniBox for dense workload consolidation,” Burgener said. “It was somewhat limited in that it only offered asynchronous replication, which does not give a zero [recovery point objective]. This was a gap in the product line that they needed to fill. Their customers are now going to be more comfortable taking most of their mission-critical applications and putting it on this platform.”

Infinidat custom IP protocol drives synchronous replication

Rather than SCSI-based replication, Infinidat wrote a custom IP-optimized protocol that requires fewer network hops to acknowledge writes. Replication occurs directly on the remote node that manages the data.

Infinidat also reduced metadata processing by carrying only 180 bytes for each 64K of data. The replication occurs close to the silicon using an approach similar to Remote Direct Memory Access.

Infinidat said its asynchronous replication delivers target write latency in the sub-400-millisecond range on nearby systems, and scales linearly to keep performance consistent as replicas are added.

The system is designed to prevent data loss as volumes are synchronized. Users can configure it to transparently fall back to asynchronous replication to handle failure scenarios for mission-critical applications.

Infinidat took its time to develop its own replication technique, rather than rush to add the feature, the company’s CMO Randy Arseneau said.

“This was a very complicated computer science and mathematics problem to solve,” Arseneau said. “It would have been easy for us to implement replication as a ‘me too’ feature using a legacy approach, but that would violate our prime directive. We will not implement features using a traditional bolt-on technique just to get something to market faster. We architect features to embed them in our core OS as a way to mitigate processing and resource consumption.”

Infinidat added NAS support in 2015. New asynchronous NAS replication in R4 enables a recovery point objective of 4 seconds. Infinidat uses a CPU-accelerated process called InfiniSnap that supports billions of snapshots per replicated file system. Replication mostly occurs in DRAM to avoid stalling I/O requests.

Infinidat quality of service takes cues from all-flash arrays

Infinidat also added NAS TreeQ as a tool for managing NAS directory quotas. It allows administrators to apply hard quotas across multiple file systems. Resources can be allocated for a specific application or project with reporting in InfiniMetrics.

Most all-flash arrays offer quality of service (QoS), although the feature usually isn’t a deal-breaker for most customers. All-flash systems typically have sufficient overhead for bursting workloads. QoS becomes critical as array takes on more workloads.

Infinidat QoS allows resources to be partitioned by tenant or volume within an InfiniBox system. Tenants can allocate resources to multiple nested subtenants for more granular control of storage resources. Having it built into InfiniBox is another must-have capability, Burgener said.

“Infinidat’s QoS capability allows them to set the service level at low, medium or high and quantitatively guarantee it can deliver the performance where it’s needed. This is an issue for service providers and for on-premises clouds as well,” Burgener said.

For Sale – HP Microserver N36L + Hard Disks

I am doing a clear-out of my server – HP Microserver N36L + several Hard disks as per below –

HP Microserver N36L – (added a generic pic) – SOLD
Upgrades – Nvidia Geforce 210
RAM – upgraded to 4gb
OS- Windows 10 on 60GB Samsung SSD and hence extremely fast to boot.

Looking for – £70 (happy to take reasonable offers) – Can collect from Ilford, Moorgate or London Liverpool street

Also looking to sell following Hard disks – All in perfect working condition with no bad sectors. All out of warranty

Samsung Spinpoint F2 1.5TB – £30 (internal)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1.5TB – £30 (Internal)
WD My Book Essential Edition 1 TB 7200RPM – £40(External)

I have no idea what these are selling at second hand so happy to take offers on the on-going rate.

Price and currency: 70
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

This month on Bing: holiday shopping, photo contest, new sports and weather experiences

This month at Bing we shipped several new experiences that help you quickly find what you’re looking for.
 

Holiday Shopping

With the holidays upon us, we have new tools to make it easy for you to search and discover the best deals on gifts.

blackfridaycountdown

Bing Shopping helps you save time by bringing together products from multiple sellers across the Web in to one search experience. Be it televisions, clothing and shoes, toys for your little ones, or gift baskets for your loved ones, you can compare across a wide range of products, filter your choices, compare prices, and visit the seller’s website where you can complete the purchase.

The Black Friday flyers page is a one stop shop to help you find Black Friday ads from across major stores in the US, saving you time mapping out your Black Friday strategy. So whether you are deal hunting or browsing specific stores, bookmark this page and visit it often to discover the latest deals as they are available.

Also in time for the holidays, we’ve increased the number of delivery services we support for package tracking, expanding our coverage from USPS, UPS, and Fedex in the US to coverage of several markets outside the US including myHermes in Great Britain and Purolator in Canada. Simply put your tracking ID in the search box, and Bing will present the latest tracking status right in the search result.

purolator
 

#AmplifyIngenuity Photo Contest

We also launched a #AmplifyIngenuity photo contest on 11/10 to help our users find inspiration in the ways humanity has used its intelligence to make a better future.

Users can

 

Historical weather and sports information

Bing has already got current weather and football information, but now you can check historical statistics for these topics. 

For example, if you’re hoping to travel these holidays or even just plan what to do at home, you can find historical weather patterns to know what to better expect.

historicalweather

Similarly, you can now go beyond searching current NFL results, and can brush up on your pro football knowledge by checking results of historical games.

historicalfootball

We hope you’re as excited by these releases as we are; we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback at User Voice!

– The Bing Team
 

For Sale – HP Microserver N36L + Hard Disks

I am doing a clear-out of my server – HP Microserver N36L + several Hard disks as per below –

HP Microserver N36L – (added a generic pic) – SOLD
Upgrades – Nvidia Geforce 210
RAM – upgraded to 4gb
OS- Windows 10 on 60GB Samsung SSD and hence extremely fast to boot.

Looking for – £70 (happy to take reasonable offers) – Can collect from Ilford, Moorgate or London Liverpool street

Also looking to sell following Hard disks – All in perfect working condition with no bad sectors. All out of warranty

Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green – £45 (Internal)
Samsung 2TB Spinpoint F4 – £45 (internal)
Samsung Spinpoint F2 1.5TB – £35 (internal)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1.5TB – £35 (Internal)
WD My Book Essential Edition 1 TB 7200RPM – £45(External)

I have no idea what these are selling at second hand so happy to take offers on the on-going rate.

Price and currency: 70
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Salesforce-Google integration bolsters CRM, analytics functionality

SAN FRANCISCO — Salesforce and Google cozied up a little more closely on several new product integrations: One offers a cloud alternative to Amazon Web Services, and another pushes Salesforce deeper into G Suite, Google’s subscription business applications cloud, which may send shock waves through the thriving ecosystem of partners that already provide small-business CRM to those apps.

The Salesforce-Google integration includes the naming of Google Cloud as Salesforce’s latest preferred public cloud for international customers, joining AWS, with which Salesforce partnered earlier this year.

The Salesforce-Google integration, announced earlier this month at Salesforce’s Dreamforce user conference, also includes Salesforce Lightning for Gmail and Google Sheets, as well as Quip Live Apps for Google Drive and Google Calendar. Salesforce’s Sales and Marketing Clouds will both have Google Analytics 360 embedded.

As part of the partnership, Google will also be offering existing Salesforce customers a one-year free trial of G Suite.

Salesforce is no stranger to partnering with other enterprise tech companies — even if some products compete — to offer its customers an enhanced experience, and that appears to be the reason behind the Salesforce-Google integration.

“In the past, [Salesforce] has announced some pretty big partnerships that turned out to maybe be not so big, but this is from a different angle,” said Michael Fauscette, chief research officer for G2 Crowd, based in Chicago. “They have a go-to-market strategy together.”

Integration to help SMBs

In the past, [Salesforce] has announced some pretty big partnerships that turned out to maybe be not so big, but this is from a different angle.
Michael Fauscettechief research officer, G2 Crowd

Small- and medium-sized businesses will benefit from the Salesforce-Google integration, because many of them already use Gmail and G Suite, according to analysts, and the Salesforce tie-in could make the San Francisco-based company attractive as a CRM option.

“I have a client, and the No. 1 challenge is adoption: They have these great tools and insights, but if people aren’t in there and feeding the engine and taking action, it doesn’t matter,” said Lisa Hager, global head of Salesforce practices for Mumbai-based Tata Consulting Services. “But if I go in to get my mail and the Salesforce platform prepopulates my email and spreadsheets, I’m more likely to go into that tool.”

Voices.com, which works with brands to find voice actors for campaigns and is based in London, Ont., has been a Salesforce customer for 12 years, and its CEO, David Ciccarelli, was enthusiastic about some of the Salesforce-Google integrations.

“Salesforce is a great system of record, but where it can improve upon is mass editing,” he said. “So, being able to one-click export from Salesforce into something manipulative like Google Sheets, make changes and one-click import back — that’s where you’ll see huge time savings.”

Marketing is where the data is

Salesforce has made a concerted effort to increase market share for its Marketing Cloud to match that of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, and it looks to do that through data.

Just weeks after releasing B2B Lead Analytics for Facebook, Salesforce is embedding Google Analytics 360 into Marketing Cloud, giving marketers insights at the two leading data points on the internet.

“If you’re not in a separate data silo and you can ingest the Google Analytics 360 data on website visitors and keyword ad buys, with that integrated, you don’t have to take that data out and manually process it,” said Cindy Zhou, principal analyst for Constellation Research. “And there’s always data lost when you have to move it from one place to another. So, having it embedded natively will help you get deeper insights, and you can still apply Einstein on top to do audience segmentation and analysis.”

Ciccarelli of Voices.com said, as a smaller business, a license for Google Analytics 360 was always too much to budget for, but with it integrated into Salesforce at no additional cost, smaller companies will be able to receive enterprise-level insights.

Salesforce adds another storage cloud

The news of Salesforce adding another preferred public cloud for international expansion comes just months after Salesforce formed a similar partnership with AWS. The addition of Google Cloud is to address customer needs, according to Ryan Aytay, executive vice president for business development and strategic accounts for Salesforce.

“AWS continues to be an important part of our infrastructure, so nothing’s changing there,” Aytay said. “We’re just adding another preferred cloud and moving forward to address customer needs.”

Google and AWS are two of the three leaders in the cloud space, with the other being Microsoft’s Azure. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been outspoken about his abhorrence toward former partner Microsoft, so it’s unlikely Salesforce will be partnering with the Seattle-based company anytime soon.

The move toward Google could have been a response to customers’ demands, according to Hager, as AWS is costly when it comes to cloud storage.

“Just being able to have that option of Google storage instead of AWS is important; I had three clients this morning complaining about the cost of AWS,” Hager said. “If you’re storing a lot of documents on Salesforce, it can get expensive. So, integrating with Google is a nice option.”

There’s some potential overlap with the integrated products, especially between Salesforce’s Quip and Google’s G Suite, but Salesforce executives aren’t worried about the overlap, with Aytay saying internally at Salesforce the company has used both products.

Zhou can see the products coexisting, but there’s also some “friendly competition” between G Suite and Quip, with the Salesforce product being a good alternative for companies creating contracts or requests for proposal.

Several of the Salesforce-Google integrations are already in market, including Lightning for Gmail and integrations with Calendar and Google Drive, with deeper integrations rolling out in 2018, according to the press release. Quip Live Apps integration with Google Drive is expected to be generally available in the first half of 2018 for $25 per user, per month with any Quip Enterprise License. And the integrations between Salesforce and Google Analytics 360 are expected in the first half of 2018 at no additional cost to licensed customers.

For Sale – HP Microserver N36L + Hard Disks

I am doing a clear-out of my server – HP Microserver N36L + several Hard disks as per below –

HP Microserver N36L – (added a generic pic)

Base Hardware N40L

Upgrades – Nvidia Geforce 210
RAM – upgraded to 4gb
OS- Windows 10 on 60GB Samsung SSD and hence extremely fast to boot.

Looking for – £70 (happy to take reasonable offers) – Can collect from Ilford, Moorgate or London Liverpool street

Also looking to sell following Hard disks – All in perfect working condition with no bad sectors. All out of warranty

Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green – £50
Samsung 2TB Spinpoint F4 Ecogreen – £50
Samsung 1.5TB Spinpoint F3 – £40
Samsung 1.5TB Spinpoint F2 – £35

I have no idea what these are selling at second hand so happy to take offers on the on-going rate.

Price and currency: 70
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – HP Microserver N40L + Hard Disks

I am doing a clear-out of my server – HP Microserver N40L + several Hard disks as per below –

HP Microserver N40L – (added a generic pic)

Base Hardware N40L

Upgrades – Nvidia Display hard with HDMI output (can find out what card this is if interested)
RAM – upgraded to 4gb
OS- Windows 10 on 60GB SSD and hence extremely fast to boot.

Looking for – £70 (happy to take reasonable offers) – Can collect from Ilford, Moorgate or London Liverpool street

Also looking to sell following Hard disks – All in perfect working condition with no bad sectors. All out of warranty

Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green – £50
Samsung 2TB Spinpoint F4 Ecogreen – £50
Samsung 1.5TB Spinpoint F3 – £40
Samsung 1.5TB Spinpoint F2 – £35

I have no idea what these are selling at second hand so happy to take offers on the on-going rate.

Price and currency: 70
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Understand Azure VM boot diagnostics

There are several tools you can use to troubleshoot and get to the root cause of VM issues in on-premises Hyper-V…

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/**
* remove unnecessary class from ul
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$(“#inlineregform”).find( “ul” ).removeClass(“default-list”);

/**
* Replace “errorMessageInput” class with “sign-up-error-msg” class
*/
function renameErrorMsgClass() {
$(“.errorMessageInput”).each(function() {
if ($(this).hasClass(“hidden”)) {
$(this).removeClass(“errorMessageInput hidden”).addClass(“sign-up-error-msg hidden”);
} else {
$(this).removeClass(“errorMessageInput”).addClass(“sign-up-error-msg”);
}
});
}

/**
* when validation function is called, replace “errorMessageInput” with “sign-up-error-msg”
* before return
*/
function validateThis(v, form) {
var validateReturn = urValidation.validate(v, form);
renameErrorMsgClass();
return validateReturn;
}

/**
* DoC pop-up window js – included in moScripts.js which is not included in responsive page
*/
$(“#inlineRegistration”).on(“click”,”a.consentWindow”, function(e) {
window.open(this.href, “Consent”, “width=500,height=600,scrollbars=1”);
e.preventDefault();
});

hosts. When it comes to troubleshooting issues for VMs deployed in a cloud environment, such as Microsoft Azure public cloud, you need to rely on the troubleshooting mechanisms provided by the cloud vendor. For example, you might not be able to see the boot output of an Azure VM, as the VM is operating in a cloud. If any of the Azure VMs fail to boot, you might want to see what’s going on during the boot process that’s causing the failure. Similarly, you might want to capture screenshots to see the current state of the Azure VM.

Microsoft added support for the VM boot diagnostics extension, which enables debugging to troubleshoot VM boot-related issues and also help in capturing screenshots of the current state of the VM. There are two features provided as part of the VM boot diagnostics extension: console output and screenshots. Both features are available for Windows, as well as Linux Azure VMs.

By default, Azure VM boot diagnostics isn’t enabled for VMs. There are two ways to enable the VM boot diagnostics extension: Azure Portal and PowerShell. You might want to use the PowerShell method if you need to enable the diagnostics extension for multiple VMs.

Enable boot diagnostics for Azure VMs using Azure Portal

To enable diagnostics extension using Azure Portal and when creating a new Azure VM, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. When creating a new Azure VM, select Azure Resource Manager from the deployment model. Note that the Azure classic model won’t have the VM boot diagnostics option. VM boot diagnostics can only be enabled for an existing VM deployed using the Resource Manager model.
  2. After entering the VM’s basic settings, enable Diagnostics in the Monitoring section as shown below:
    Enable Azure VM boot diagnostics
    Enable VM boot diagnostics for a new Azure VM.


  3. Once Diagnostics is enabled, Azure will capture boot logging data and provide screenshots.

Enable boot diagnostics for Azure VMs using PowerShell

Microsoft also provides necessary PowerShell support to manage Azure resources, including enabling VM boot diagnostics for Azure VMs. To enable or disable VM boot diagnostics using PowerShell, use the Set-AzureRMVMBootDiagnostics PowerShell cmdlet. Execute the PowerShell commands below to enable VM boot diagnostics for a VM:

$ThisVM = Get-AzureRMVM –ResourceGroupName “ResourceGroup1” –Name “SQLVM”

Set-AzureRMVMBootDiagnostics –VM $ThisVM –Enable –ResourceGroupName “ResourceGroup1” –StorageAccountName “StorageAccountName”

If you need to enable diagnostics for all Azure VMs, here is the PowerShell script that can help:

$TheseVMs = Get-AzureRMVM *

ForEach ($ThisVMNow in $TheseVMs)

{

Set-AzureRMVMBootDiagnostics –VM $ThisVMNow –Enable

}

Check and download boot diagnostics data for Azure VMs

Once the Diagnostics extension is enabled, Azure will capture boot logs and provide screenshots. From Azure Portal, navigate to the VM for which you want to see the console output, click on All Settings, and then click on Boot Diagnostics. Clicking on Boot Diagnostics will show the current console output of the VM. From here, you can download the log file to the local machine.

To download diagnostics log files to your local machine using PowerShell, execute the Get-AzureRMVMBootDiagnosticsData PowerShell cmdlet as shown below:

Get-AzureRMVMBootDiagnosticsData –ResourceGroupName “RSGroup1” –Name “SQLVM” –Windows –LocalPath “C:VMBootDataSQLVM”

Note that when using the PowerShell cmdlet to download diagnostics log files, you need to specify the type of VM you’re running the command against. If the target Azure VM is running Linux, you need to specify -Linux, and if it’s a Windows VM, you need to specify -Windows.

There are a few other things you need to know about the VM boot diagnostics feature. For example, VM boot diagnostics is only available to Azure VMs deployed in Resource Manager. In other words, the Azure classic model doesn’t support the VM boot diagnostics extension. Also, it might take up to 10 minutes before screenshots are available for viewing.

Next Steps

Use Azure to set up performance load tests

Better manage your Azure costs

Take advantage of Azure Container Service

Accelerating the adoption of enterprise blockchain

Over the past year, we have had the pleasure of working with several customers on their business initiatives related to blockchain’s technology. During this time, we have been helping them to envision business scenarios, choose the right blockchain protocols and distributed ledgers, and most importantly, develop pilots focused on validating the technology capabilities to provide real value to their organizations.

When to use blockchain?

From the technical perspective, we could apply blockchain to many scenarios. However, not every situation requires blockchain, but there are some scenarios where it creates significant value compared to alternative technologies. Usually, these are shared business processes, with the organization in different industries such as financial services, manufacturing, or retail.

The recommendation to recognize blockchain scenarios is to make sure you are using the core capabilities of blockchain. You should respond positively to four key questions (see below), and there should be a real business case with measurable outcomes. If this is not the case, please consider using other more mature technologies.

Blockchain capabilities

The blockchain is one of the top emerging technologies revolutionizing today’s business models. Fundamentally, blockchain enables participants to exchange value without the need for intermediaries.

Blockchain capabilities

But what is blockchain exactly? And what capabilities make it so attractive for enterprises? The blockchain is a disruptive technology trend that enables a shared, authentic, decentralized ledger:

  • SECURE: Blockchain uses strong cryptography to create transactions that are impervious to fraud and establishes a shared truth. Also, all the transactions are signed with the digital certificate.
  • SHARED: The real benefits of blockchain, over conventional technology, are achieved when we use it to link organizations to share information on a distributed ledger.
  • DISTRIBUTED: A blockchain can be distributed across multiple organizations and becomes more secure as replicas are added.
  • LEDGER: Every transaction is written into the ledger once and cannot be changed after the fact.

Questions to be answered before developing a blockchain solution

Answering the following four questions can determine if blockchain is appropriate for the identified business scenario.

  • Do multiple parties share data?
  • Do multiple parties update data?
  • Is there a requirement for verification?
  • Can intermediaries be removed and reduce cost and complexity?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you have a potential scenario to apply blockchain.

Public blockchain vs. enterprise blockchain

A public blockchain (i.e., Bitcoin or Ethereum) is an Internet protocol managing the distribution of potential unique data with the following characteristics:

  • Many, anonymous, or pseudonymous participants
  • Open read and write by all participants
  • Consensus by proof of work

Too often organizations fail with blockchain because they try to use public blockchain networks, or their rules, for their enterprise solutions. Instead, the organization should consider the use of Enterprise Blockchain.

What do we mean with enterprise blockchain? An enterprise blockchain (i.e., Hyperlegder, Ethereum Enterprise, Ripple, Quorum, etc.) is a distributed ledger with the following characteristics:

  • All the participants, and their digital identities, are known from one or many trusted organizations
  • Writes and read permissions are roles-based and usually requires consensus of several participants
  • Multiple algorithms are used for consensus

You should know that we have two types of enterprise blockchain:

  • Private: Usually managed by a single organization. Typically, the network participants are internal business units or divisions. 
  • Consortium: In this case, the blockchain network is managed by multiple trusted organizations. New participants require a consensus of several participants.

Industries using blockchain

The potential impact of blockchain is significant across all sectors and industries—from banking to government to healthcare and beyond:

  • Eliminates intermediaries increasing efficiency and speed.
  • Simplifies operations by reducing cost and time related to reconciliations and disputes.
  • Potentially enables new business models increasing revenue and savings.

According to top market analysts and leading consulting firms, the top five industries that blockchain will likely disrupt by 2020 are financial services, government, real estate, supply chain management, and media distribution.

Reviewing our historical data, we also see that close to 80% of the customers using blockchain in Microsoft Azure are also financial services institutions, including insurance companies. However, as you can see in the following figure, the trend is changing if we just consider the existing engagement and pipeline.

Industries

On the other hand, double checking the solutions related to banking & capital markets, we had discovered that 60% of the blockchain implementations involved at least one participant from a second industry such as manufacturing, government, or retail. 

Common business patterns 

Just in the last 12 months, we were able to count 76 scenarios across seven industries. The good news is that based on our engagements with customers and partners, we also were able to reduce them in the following eight business patterns.

Common business patterns

By exploring business patterns, our customers can now learn how blockchain can promote operational simplification, reduce the role of intermediaries, and potentially enable new business models. For each pattern, we provide an overview of our common needs and challenges, the potential benefits from applying blockchain, key near-term milestones for initial blockchain applications, and an use case sequence diagram. Using this approach is helping us to define reference architectures, and developing IP to reduce the time-to-market of blockchain solutions.

As an illustrated example, below I’m sharing current blockchain applications and some public references:

Recommended engagement model

Based on our previous engagements, our experience delivering innovative projects and using our agile approach, we are now ready to help customers understand the potential impact of blockchain technology on their industries, as well as determine whether it is capable of delivering both cost efficiencies and competitive advantage for them.

Microsoft Services provides offers to help our customers have an improved understanding of blockchain, explore the potential of this technology through business scenarios and implement a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) based on Microsoft Azure.

Engagement model

Supported protocols

To finish, let us share our answer to the most frequently asked questions by our customers. Does Microsoft have its own blockchain ledger? The answer is NO.

Microsoft has been working on blockchain since November 2015 when we were the first major cloud provider to announce a Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). Our vision is to be the worldwide cloud platform leader powering the blockchain-based applications.

Microsoft is working with customers, partners, and the developer community to accelerate blockchain’s enterprise readiness. Our mission is to help companies thrive in this new era of secure multi-party collaboration by delivering open, scalable platforms and services that any company can use to improve shared business processes. Our roadmap is based on the following principles:

  • Blockchain on your terms: No one-size-fits-all approach — Microsoft’s platform and ecosystem partners make it easy to get started and iterate quickly with the blockchain of your choice, both on-premises and in the cloud.
  • Integrated with your business: Merge blockchain with the IT assets you already have. Azure lets you integrate blockchain with the cloud services your organization uses to power shared processes.
  • Ready for the enterprise: With the Coco Framework, Cryptlets, and our Azure services integrations, Microsoft is addressing existing technology gaps with blockchain and helps organizations build durable enterprise-grade applications.

Our active participation in industry consortiums such as R3, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and IC3, also help us to understand core industry scenarios, and to continue learning to meet the needs of our customers.

Currently, Microsoft supports the most widely used blockchain and distributed ledger protocols on Azure, including HyperLedger Fabric, R3 Corda, Quorum, Chain Core, and BlockApps

For more information, please contact your Microsoft Services representative and ask for the BLOCKCHAIN ESSENTIALS Offer. You can also visit www.microsoft.com/services.

Google Buganizer flaw reveals unpatched vulnerability details

A security researcher uncovered several flaws in Google’s Issue Tracker thatexposed data regarding unpatched vulnerabilities listed in the database.

Google describes the Issue Tracker, more commonly known as the Buganizer, as a tool used internally to track bugs and feature requests in Google products. However, Alex Birsan, software developer and researcher, found three flaws in the Buganizer, the most severe of which allowed an elevation of privileges and exposed data on unpatched vulnerabilities.

The less critical issues Birsan found allowed him to essentially use a Buganizer issue ID as an official @Google.com email address — although he could not use this email to login to Google systems — and to get notifications for internal tickets to which he shouldn’t have had access. Those two flaws alone took Birsan about 16 hours of work and netted him a little more than $8,000 in bug bounty rewards, but then came the major issue.

Revealing Buganizer data

“When you visit the Issue Tracker as an external user, most of its functionality is stripped away, leaving you with extremely limited privileges,” Birsan wrote in a blog post. “If you want to see all the cool stuff Google employees can do, you can look for API endpoints in the JavaScript files. Some of these functions are disabled completely, others are simply hidden in the interface.”

Birsan found that Google’s Buganizer had a few issues in handling POST requests through the API.

“There was no explicit check that the current user actually had access to the issues specified in issueIds before attempting to perform the given action,” Birsan wrote. “If no errors occurred during the action, another part of the system assumed that the user had proper permissions. Thus, every single detail about the given issue ID would be returned in the HTTP response body.”

Birsan claimed he checked the issue a few times and “could see details about vulnerability reports, along with everything else hosted on the Buganizer. Even worse, I could exfiltrate data about multiple tickets in a single request, so monitoring all the internal activity in real time probably wouldn’t have triggered any rate limiters.”

Finding this flaw only took Birsan one hour, but it netted him $7,500 in reward. Birsan said he initially expected more because he thought the Buganizer issue was more severe, but he said the “impact would be minimized, because all the dangerous vulnerabilities get neutralized within the hour anyway.”