Tag Archives: Start

SDS, HCI and CDP are key to dream enterprise storage system

What better way to start a new year than to plan and build something brand new? My pet project would be an enterprise storage system. (OK, I really had my eye on that do-it-yourself Ferrari Portofino kit, but this is a storage column after all.)

Unfortunately, my extremely limited engineering abilities and all-thumbs hands mean I won’t be able to cobble my dream enterprise storage system together myself. My imagination doesn’t have those limitations, however, so I’ll describe it here. I want my new storage system to do everything and to do it well.

Some of the newer storage techs that have gotten a foot in the data center door over the past few years share a common theme: Storage has been too hard — hard to buy, hard to set up and configure, hard to use and hard to maintain. Easy, the new industry byword, might be a difficult concept for some storage pros to wrap their heads around. However, today, LUNs are shunned and provisioning is no longer a three-day turnaround, but rather a menu pick for end users.

HCI to the max

Nowadays, if you can’t call your storage hyper-converged or software-defined, it’s probably not really storage — at least not in the 21st-century sense. Given that, my custom-built enterprise storage system would be built around a hyper-converged infrastructure architecture, but with a couple of variations on the HCI theme.

My system would integrate the key components that make HCI, well, HCI — storage, servers and networking. But it would have such closely integrated software-defined storage management with software-defined networking and software-defined servers, everything could be throttled up and down and configured and reconfigured on the fly, so storage performance and capacity could be rejiggered as needed. Every component — CPU, memory, network interface card, network, whatever — can be manipulated. That kind of endless flexibility would allow my system to morph into whatever was necessary at any given moment — to make sophisticated decisions like what data to tier, when to tier it and what to tier it to. It will be one big whole software-defined enchilada.

My HCI system will also let servers outside the architecture access its storage resources. That way legacy gear can be part of the new world order as well. And the enterprise storage system will allow you to carve out storage regions that provide custom media configurations based on need. This means the system would accommodate all kinds of media: really fast flash; fairly fast flash; and pokey, cheap and commodious hard drives.

Cloud access would be built in — of course! — to allow access to multiple cloud providers for live, backup or archive data. This would be enabled by a file system that works like an automatic transmission, shifting transparently among protocols — block, NFS, SMB or object — as required by the apps accessing data. Seriously, users shouldn’t have to go under the hood of the storage machine to get that kind of protocol flexibility. It should just happen.

Built-in backup

If you can’t call your storage hyper-converged or software-defined, it’s probably not really storage — at least not in the 21st-century sense.

I’d also add continuous data protection-based backup, which has been languishing too long on the storage sidelines. It’s time for ongoing data protection that backs up data automatically to other storage systems or the cloud or Venus. Wherever it makes the most sense and recovery is easiest, just as long as you don’t have to do anything but point the system in the right direction. While it really doesn’t matter how it gets done, whether it’s via native software or third-party apps, we definitely want to do away with proprietary formats. So we can recover data with other tools or simple copy commands.

Encryption — in flight and at rest — will be the default. And if I can’t incorporate full-fledged security tools, the system will at least alert users when anything doesn’t quite look kosher, such as off-hours access, sudden activity or unexpected access to secondary data.

Storage, manage thyself

This dream enterprise storage system would also support mega-metadata. It’s an amped-up level of metadata that enables data to be smarter than us, or at least more on the ball than we typically are. So the data knows what to do with itself, what level of protection it needs based on its sensitivity or usefulness, how and when it should be tiered, who can read it and copy it, and when it should self-destruct by pressing its own delete button.

And, of course, all of this should have endless scalability to grow to those elusive n numbers of nodes or whatever — storage, servers, network, you name it. Your starter kit might be the size of a Cracker Jack box, but it should be able to expand to Google-ish dimensions using easy, in-place upgrades to ensure you’re always running on the latest technology.

Truth or fiction?

A lot of the stuff described here is actually available, so it’s not all pipe dream stuff. The problem is you’d be hard pressed to find a single product that has it all. The first vendor that gets there will corner the storage market for sure. OK, maybe not the whole market; maybe just me.

Mixed reality and medicine: Surgery with no surprises – Asia News Center

Let’s start at the beginning. The internal workings of the body have fascinated us since before the time of Leonardo da Vinci. And up until today, most medical schools have relied on books, models and, just like Leonardo, the dissection of cadavers to teach anatomy and surgical procedures to tomorrow’s doctors. But that has suddenly changed.

“Our way of visualizing the body in medicine has historically been as a two-dimensional abstraction. Now through mixed reality, we can view it in three dimensions and that is pretty transformative,” Dr. Kos says. Mixed reality is so transformative that clinicians – who are normally conservative in the uptake of new technologies – are “leaping at it”.

Institutions like Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in the United States and the University of Sydney in Australia are using Microsoft HoloLens to instruct their students. Donning headsets, they can “see” and study the anatomical complexities as if from the inside of the body. Three-dimensional tutorials, projected across a visor, graphically show how the heart pumps, how the nervous system functions, how bones and muscles interact, as well as the layout of vital organs. Students can walk around and even through the projected images to get intimately acquainted with the subject.

Similarly, global training and education company, CAE Healthcare, is aiming to improve patient safety by getting its students to use HoloLens to simulate and practice medical procedures. Its President Dr. Robert Amyot says healthcare providers are at their “most dangerous” when they are still on a “learning curve”. But now that has completely changed due to HoloLens. Through repeated and 3-D simulations, students can practice varied scenarios, make mistakes, and try things before treating real patients.

Meanwhile, the Hololens – which is an advanced computer in its own right – has also become an unrivaled tool for surgeons planning intricate operations, which have little or no room for error. This is how it works: A patient is scanned by a CT or MRI machine. The resulting two-dimensional images are then presented in 3-D within a HoloLens headset. With these a doctor can determine exactly what needs to be done and how.

This is happening right now in Norway’s capital, Oslo, by a team of specialists renowned for correcting congenital defects in the tiny hearts of infants. Until recently, they had their own hi-tech way of planning such intricate surgeries: They used scans and a 3-D printer to create physical models of each heart. But now, the precise interactive 3-D imagery within the Hololens has made that once cutting-edge solution redundant after just a few short years.

Dr. Kos believes mixed reality will revolutionize how surgeons tackle a wide range of delicate operations, resulting in better success rates and speedier patient recovery times. “Using HoloLens means you can do surgery with no surprises. You can plan carefully ahead of time. No one’s anatomy is the same as another’s. So, you have got to know what you are in for.”

Wanted – 3770k, mobo, ram, psu

Looking to start a new build and I’m after the above components, ideally around £100 for cpu, £50ish for the others.

Cheers,
Patrick

Location: St Andrews, Fife

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Democratizing technology, according to Nate – Microsoft Life

To understand Nate Yohannes’s journey, you must start in Eritrea.

In the Horn of Africa, the country’s evolving political climate fueled a struggle for democracy in the 30-year Eritrean War for Independence. Taking up arms to break down social injustice, a young peasant herder named Tes Yohannes, Yohannes’s father, became a freedom fighter in 1978. As he walked alongside compatriots with similar fates, Tes Yohannes stepped on one of the region’s innumerable landmines and was blinded in one eye as a result. Despite this life-changing injury, Tes Yohannes held strong to his belief in democracy, equality, and self-autonomy. He passed these values to his son, who would grow up to put them to work lessening disparities between the haves and the have-nots.

Born and raised in the United States during the 1980s, Yohannes wanted to be Ronald Reagan or a lawyer when he grew up. In that order. “I would hold a broom and give these speeches as if I was Reagan, and my parents knew that their son was (a) a dork and (b) a little too ambitious for his age,” he said.

Yohannes’s lawyerly ambitions were more grounded in reality, as his family’s entry to the United States was sponsored by a lawyer named Peter Oddleifson. Upon arriving, the Yohanneses lived with Oddleifson for weeks and remained close for years to come.

“He became a second dad to me. He’s our family superhero. He’s the one that led the legal agreements and helped us establish life here in the United States,” Yohannes said.

Early in youth, the guidance of mentors began to shape Yohannes’s conscience. What he didn’t know is where that guidance would one day lead him.

Yohannes’s childhood held the imprints of a fellow human’s generosity, a gift that followed him to the University at Buffalo School of Law in New York, where he studied human rights and immigration. During his studies, he received the Barbara and Thomas Wolfe Human Rights Fellowship to clerk at the Monroe County, New York, Public Defender’s office. Later, he went on to clerk for the chief justice of the New York Supreme Court, Eighth District. His public service was underway.

Near the end of his post-graduate work, he received some interesting advice from a Buffalo law alumnus—a former advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter. The advisor told Yohannes that although his aspirations to support the disenfranchised were well founded, Yohannes might make more of an impact by taking a different route to advocacy. The advisor saw in Yohannes the potential for big success equaled by a propensity for deep compassion—a combination that could position him well for a career in the private sector. Through that career, he could lift up individuals into opportunity.

It’s a rare person who can champion others with the same fervor as they do themselves, but Yohannes knows no other way.

“Help others—professionally and personally. The ability to learn and perform will eventually cap you, [so] you have to be able to work with other people. That will enable you to rise professionally,” he said. “We are in a people business. Life is personal.”

After he graduated law school, Yohannes set off for Washington, DC, where he became the assistant general counsel of the Money Management Institute, a trade group that represents the financial industry. There, Yohannes reestablished a nonprofit called Gateway to Leadership, designed to recruit the best and brightest undergraduate women and minorities to take internships at big investment banks.

“Although we were working in the securities space representing the Goldman Sachs of the world, that compassion of continuing to help was through a different route, by economic empowerment—by bringing those who are not at the table to lucrative industries and uplift folks,” he said.

In the coming years, Yohannes took opportunities that led him to some of the bedrock names in finance, industry, and entrepreneurial ventures. Always searching for ways to outsmart systematic barriers to social equality, in 2016 Yohannes found himself in a chance Uber ride that proved providential.

At the time, Yohannes was working for former US President Barack Obama’s administration as senior advisor to the head of the Office of Investments and Innovation. A work trip took him to San Francisco, where he was tasked with promoting women venture capital opportunities at the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center. He used a rideshare app to carpool to an engagement and met Ana White, general manager of Human Resources at Microsoft.

What followed was an unexpected conversation between the Uber driver, White, and Yohannes—an organic connection that turned out to be Yohannes’s gateway to a job at Microsoft. White wasn’t the first leader to recognize Yohannes’s singular depth of character and his ability to adapt and grow. Yohannes, too, was intrigued by conversations with Sarah Richmond, senior director of Business Development, and Priya Priyadarshini, director of Human Resources, and was drawn to the cultural shift that was occurring at Microsoft.

Employee Nate Yohannes

Even when he didn’t come to work at Microsoft right away, Nate Yohannes said people he met at the company stayed interested in what he was doing and continued show him what Microsoft’s culture was like.

After those interactions, Yohannes went through a series of Microsoft interviews where he met like-minded people who, Yohannes says, “advocate for economic equality through the use of technology.”

It wasn’t an immediate life change, though. Even as Yohannes decided to pursue other work, he kept thinking about the energizing meetings he had and couldn’t get Microsoft out of his mind. Meanwhile, the people he had met at Microsoft stayed connected with him and were interested in what he was up to. It was clear to him that Microsoft believed in Yohannes and his value, shaped by all the experiences he had and the drive to effect change that kept him moving forward.

Finally, inspired by the thought leadership and impressed by how Microsoft had engaged and followed up with him, Yohannes joined the company nine months later as director of business development on the Office and Artificial Intelligence team. In part because of Microsoft’s unique culture and the ways that he says employees evangelized for the company and the opportunities he could pursue there, Yohannes found his calling in the world’s next platform for freedom: technology.

Democratizing technology, according to Yohannes, originated in Microsoft when it brought computing to the individual level, not just the enterprise level. Today, it has evolved into a pivotal tool for the marginalized. In this new era of digital redlining, there are blockers to connectivity around the globe. In some parts of the United States, students who rely on technology to complete homework assignments sit outside of fast food restaurants that offer internet connection. In response, Microsoft just launched its Rural Broadband Initiative, offering rural connectivity at affordable prices. Freedom comes in the form of access to knowledge and access to technology, something Yohannes never loses sight of.

Yohannes champions transparency for every citizen—through shared media, language translation, medical technology, educational resources, and communication. Democratizing technology, says Yohannes, means “empowering human beings from the human rights level to the e-commerce level. It’s allowing tech to hit every corner of Earth to uplift society.”

He knows personally the roadblocks that language barriers can bring; he says his parents’ potential wasn’t unleashed until they could speak English in their new country. Currently, he’s delivering services to an AI product called MS Language Translator, which allows people to speak in their native language and have it immediately translated in real time. This is the type of work in tech that amplifies human ingenuity and improves livelihoods.

Connectivity, education, and diverse representation in the digital world are now the focus of the industry’s humanitarian goals. However, in a relatively short time, there will be a different kind of disparity in society—a gap between those who are trained in tech and the demand for those workers. Yohannes sees this deficit as another opportunity to level the playing field. Through a connection from his White House days, Yohannes’s office just hosted a nonprofit called Code2040, which empowers women and minorities to code with the goal of narrowing the gap by 2040.

What started as a concrete battle in Eritrea has paved the way for an abstract, yet equally relevant, defense of the have-nots. In Yohannes’s vocational coming-of-age, he discovered his responsibility in the new world order. With a profession built upon the foundation of his parents’ ethos, he says “I am most proud of having them as my parents.” For a family that radiates this ethos of equity for all, it’s hard to believe that they are banned from returning to their homeland because of his father’s vocal stance against the dictator in power—a former comrade. Yohannes hadn’t met his extended family, trapped in Eritrea, until adulthood, when technology reunited them through Facebook and Skype. Ultimately, there is justice in knowing that individuals will connect and opportunity will increasingly arise from the cloud.

Yohannes nurtures this hope, his family’s hope, for “moral integrity, humility, that passion to make everything human.”

Google Play bug bounty hunts RCE vulnerabilities

Google and HackerOne have partnered to start a new Google Play bug bounty program that incentivizes testers to find critical vulnerabilities in popular Android apps.

The Google Play Security Reward Program is designed to be complementary to Android bug bounty programs run by developers themselves. The Google Play bug bounty is $1,000 for any qualifying vulnerability, paid as a bonus to any other bounties offered.

To be eligible for the Google Play bug bounty, researchers will need to first submit the vulnerability to the original developer of an app. After the vulnerability has been patched, the researcher can request the reward from the Google Play bug bounty program, which is officially named the Google Play Security Reward Program.

At the start of the program, Google will only pay the bonus for remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities and proof of concept exploits running on Android version 4.4 KitKat and newer. And, the Google Play bug bounty will only be paid for flaws found in apps from just nine developers, including Dropbox, Line, Snapchat and Google, but more developers are expected to be added over time.

Qualifying RCE flaws must be exploitable through a singular app and cannot depend on vulnerabilities in other apps, and will have had to be patched in the 90 days prior to applying for Google Play Security Reward Program’s reward.

“As the Android ecosystem evolves, we continue to invest in leading-edge ideas to strengthen security,” Vineet Buch, director of product management for Google Play, said in the HackerOne announcement. “Our goal is continue to make Android a safe computing platform by encouraging our app developers and hackers to work together to resolve unknown vulnerabilities, we are one step closer to that goal.”

Symphony collaboration takes on Teams, Slack team messaging

Symphony Communication Services, which got its start through investments from Wall Street banks, says it’s ready to take on Microsoft and Slack in the team messaging market where Symphony is a relatively minor player.

The company introduced last week features that could make it a stronger competitor against its larger rivals. The new capabilities let companies distribute a custom instance of the Symphony collaboration software to establish a private channel with customers and partners. Cisco, Microsoft and Slack recently introduced similar capabilities in their respective cloud-based collaboration products.

Also, Symphony released a module for embedding the service into websites and third-party applications. The capability could be used, for example, to provide real-time customer service.

“The Customer Engagement Platform and Embeddable Chat Module open the door for Symphony in entirely new markets — extending our platform with new solutions that allow for secure collaboration with high-value clients and counterparties,” Symphony CEO David Gurlé said in a statement.

Gurlé has big ambitions for the company he founded in 2014. In a memo obtained by Business Insider, Gurlé told employees that the company was “kicking Slack, [Microsoft] Skype for Business and Teams out of every account where we compete with them.”

Symphony collaboration software playing catch up

Gurlé’s boast, however, isn’t reflected in the latest research. “I haven’t seen anything in our data that shows that kind of momentum,” said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill.

In an April survey of 700 companies, Nemertes found 27% using team collaboration applications or planning to use them this year. Of that number, 35% used Microsoft Teams, 22% Cisco Spark and 16% Slack. Only 4% used the Symphony collaboration platform.

Symphony claims to have 235,000 licensed users across 200 companies. Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, is part of Office 365, the vendor’s cloud-based business productivity suite with 100 million monthly active commercial users. Slack claims to have 2 million paid users.

Nevertheless, Symphony has raised $233 million, bringing its valuation to more than $1 billion. Its backers include Google, venture capital firms and financial institutions, such as Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

Symphony’s strength is in its security, which stems from the company’s work with the banking industry. “I think Symphony can do well in organizations that have not yet moved to Office 365, or who do not yet feel that Teams offers acceptable security,” Lazar said.

For example, companies using Teams or Slack do not have the option of holding the encryption keys for the respective platforms — a feature that Symphony and Cisco offer. The feature is important to highly regulated businesses that do not want vendors to have the ability to decrypt message traffic.

Symphony’s and Cisco’s security advantage, however, is likely temporary. Microsoft and Slack are expected to offer on-premises encryption keys eventually.

For Sale – Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8GB with Xbox One controller and adapter

I am selling my GTX 1080 bought at the start of Dec 2016 as I haven’t used it in months – it just sits in my tower not even being used.

The graphics card comes with the box and an Xbox One Wireless Controller and adapter that is compatible with Windows 10.

All items are still within warranty.

I would prefer a pickup and can shave some off the listed price as a result of this.

IMG_6269.JPG

IMG_6271.JPG

IMG_6272.JPG

IMG_6273.JPG

Price and currency: £490 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Goodmayes, Essex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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[/S][/S]

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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 – Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8GB with Xbox One controller and adapter

I am selling my GTX 1080 bought at the start of Dec 2016 as I haven’t used it in months – it just sits in my tower not even being used.

The graphics card comes with the box and an Xbox One Wireless Controller and adapter that is compatible with Windows 10.

All items are still within warranty.

I would prefer a pickup and can shave some off the listed price as a result of this.

IMG_6269.JPG

IMG_6271.JPG

IMG_6272.JPG

IMG_6273.JPG

Price and currency: £490 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Goodmayes, Essex
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:

[/S][/S]

    • 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 – Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8GB with Xbox One controller and adapter

I am selling my GTX 1080 bought at the start of Dec 2016 as I haven’t used it in months – it just sits in my tower not even being used.

The graphics card comes with the box and an Xbox One Wireless Controller and adapter that is compatible with Windows 10.

All items are still within warranty.

I would prefer a pickup and can shave some off the listed price as a result of this.

IMG_6269.JPG

IMG_6271.JPG

IMG_6272.JPG

IMG_6273.JPG

Price and currency: £490 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Goodmayes, Essex
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:

[/S][/S]

    • 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 – Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8GB with Xbox One controller and adapter

I am selling my GTX 1080 bought at the start of Dec 2016 as I haven’t used it in months – it just sits in my tower not even being used.

The graphics card comes with the box and an Xbox One Wireless Controller and adapter that is compatible with Windows 10.

All items are still within warranty.

I would prefer a pickup and can shave some off the listed price as a result of this.

IMG_6269.JPG

IMG_6271.JPG

IMG_6272.JPG

IMG_6273.JPG

Price and currency: £490 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Goodmayes, Essex
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:

[/S][/S]

    • 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.