Tag Archives: technology

Are You Using The Term ‘Server’ Correctly? (Spoiler: You Probably Aren’t)

It may well be the most misused term in technology – find out what the word ‘server’ means as opposed to the most common usage and why this is important.

Read the post here: Are You Using The Term ‘Server’ Correctly? (Spoiler: You Probably Aren’t)

Arcserve Unified Data Protection cuts downtime for cloud DR

Arcserve has turned technology acquired from Zetta into what it calls “near-zero downtime” cloud disaster recovery.

More specifically, Arcserve claims it can deliver a five-minute recovery time objective and 15-minute recovery point objective for data, systems and applications protected with the Arcserve Unified Data Protection Cloud Direct.

Arcserve acquired cloud DR vendor Zetta in July 2017, giving it direct-to-cloud disaster recovery and backup technology.

Arcserve Unified Data Protection Cloud Direct is designed for medium and enterprise-level companies looking for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) or backup as a service (BaaS) with stringent service-level agreements.

“The midmarket has the same requirements as the enterprise — the need to get data back in a matter of minutes,” said Christophe Bertrand, Arcserve’s vice president of product marketing. “What is new is the ability to synchronize data every 15 minutes. No one else can do this directly to the cloud.”

Arcserve Unified Data Protection Cloud Direct provides orchestration and failback by initiating recovery by using a sequence of predetermined events with incremental failback, allowing users to continue to run systems in the cloud while managing the sequential failback in the background.

Arcserve, which spun out of CA Technologies in 2014, acquired Zetta to integrate the technology into its flagship Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) platform. The Zetta technology provides BaaS and DRaaS for virtual and physical environments. Arcserve has phased out the Zetta brand.

The midmarket has the same requirements as the enterprise — the need to get data back in a matter of minutes.
Christophe Bertrandvice president of product marketing, Arcserve

“We did this in five months,” Bertrand said of the Zetta integration. “Now we provide the ability to significantly mitigate the impact of an event. And we are going to add capabilities that will make the gap shorter and shorter. This is designed for the midmarket and decentralized enterprise.”

Phil Goodwin, research director for IDC’s storage systems and software practice, said his research shows that the data protection market is growing at 5.4% a year and the DRaaS market is growing by more than 20% per year.

Goodwin said Arcserve “is targeting the fastest area of the data protection market. But this is a fast-growing and extremely competitive market. To the extent that Arcserve can attract partners like cloud service providers, that will be the key to success.”

Edwin Yuen, cloud systems analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said Arcserve is targeting medium-sized businesses and enterprises with remote locations that need a quick cloud on-ramp without on-premises hardware.

“They really understand that market,” Yuen said of Arcserve.

In 2018, legal tech trends attest to power of data

Refocus technology contracts. Reassess tech provider selection. Ponder possible action against trade secrets theft.

That may seem like a wonky list of New Year’s resolutions. Maybe so, but it’s also a necessary one, said attorneys at international law firm Mayer Brown. Legal tech trends in 2018 to watch for include rewriting tech contracts to account for software that learns — think artificial intelligence; privacy and security taking on new significance in tech transactions; and the effects of an ever-increasing use of big data on litigation.

Lawyers in the Chicago-based firm’s technology transactions group gave a rundown of legal tech trends in a recent teleconference. Here’s what CIOs and business chieftains should be ruminating on this year.

Data becoming a core asset

Treating data as a core asset is not just for organizations in data-driven fields like digital marketing, stock trading and pharmaceutical manufacturing; it’s also for “companies that are not centered on data,” said Mayer Brown partner Brad Peterson. Encouraged by falling prices of storage, data processing and innovations in analytics engines, companies of all stripes are using connected devices that gather reams of data.

Brad Peterson, partner at Mayer BrownBrad Peterson

“Companies face an expanding number of digital connections and an absolute explosion of data. As a result, value has shifted to how companies integrate, orchestrate and curate those connections and how they gather, store and exploit data to achieve their missions,” Peterson said.

Companies are using advanced analytics tools that incorporate machine learning and AI to unlock value in data, he said — and a “critical fact” for tech transactions is these tools aren’t programmed; they learn.

“It is often difficult or even impossible to limit how they use data, or to explain why they deliver the insights that they deliver,” Peterson said. “The insights that these tools produce may not be protected by intellectual property laws at all and thus must be protected in different ways than traditional outputs.”

Such tools need to be “restricted to the rights that the contracting parties have in the input data,” and transactions need to center on what insights might be arrived at, not a promise of meeting requirements.

Data protection and security dominate

Rebecca Eisner, attorney at Mayer BrownRebecca Eisner

It’s likely no surprise that IT security is on a list of legal tech trends for 2018, given the recent rise in cyberattacks. In fact, said Mayer Brown attorney Rebecca Eisner, cybersecurity and also privacy are the “most hotly contested area” in technology contract negotiations, including cloud agreements, outsourcing arrangements and software development licensing. Businesses will have to adjust to new privacy and cybersecurity regulation in 2018, developing “reasonable contract terms and allocations of risk,” Eisner said.

Companies already are complying with state and federal privacy and security laws, including laws in 48 states and Washington, D.C., that mandate reporting of data breaches. Changes in 2018 include state and federal privacy and security laws — for example, financial institutions will have to satisfy new requirements from regulatory agencies such as the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

For U.S. companies that do business with EU citizens, and process personal data on those citizens, the recently enacted EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement “continues to be an effective means of EU-to-U.S. data transfer,” Eisner said. But any company with ties to European customers will be subject to a new EU data protection directive, the General Data Protection Regulation, which will take effect in May. The directive will require companies to make technical and operational changes, and violations could cost them big — up to 4% of revenue.

Companies should have started preparing for such changes in 2017 — restrictions on profiling, for example, and accommodating the European “right to be forgotten” — with 2018 being the time for making “final touches for compliance.”

Companies with business operations in China will also have to reassess compliance obligations, Eisner said. China’s new cybersecurity law, which went live in June, requires that any data collected or generated in China be stored in China unless it can be proven that cross-border transfer of data is necessary to business. Most companies qualify for a grace period, which ends Dec. 31, to comply with the law.

No matter where in the world companies do business in 2018, Eisner said, “This is a good year to re-evaluate existing technology provider selection and due diligence practices, to check to ensure that security and privacy clauses are up to date and to refine the process for ongoing monitoring of third parties.”

Demand for digital services ushers in big changes

Mark Prinsley, attorney at Mayer BrownMark Prinsley

Companies are turning to avant-garde technologies to craft wholly new types of business, said Mayer Brown attorney Mark Prinsley, who works in the firm’s London office. One area that is rapidly growing in popularity is blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that forms the basis of digital currency bitcoin. The financial services industry has embraced blockchain for areas like trade finance, “where numerous people need to access the same information,” Prinsley said, adding that, “at the moment, this processing is done by quite antiquated methods.”  

But it’s not just finance that’s embracing blockchain, he said. Kodak, for example, announced it would use blockchain technology to track the use of stock photos and help photographers earn income for use of their material. Indeed, the possibilities for the technology seem “limitless,” Prinsley said, and regulators in different industries will be looking to develop international standards for deploying it.

Data interoperability — “the rights and obligations of parties to share digital data effectively between competitors,” Prinsley said — will likely gain prominence in 2018. For example, under a U.K. finance platform regulation, if a bank turns down a small-business applicant for a loan, the bank is required to pass information about the applicant to designated financial platforms, which other lenders can access.

“The aim is to increase competition and availability of finance to small businesses in the U.K.,” Prinsley said. “A takeaway for business is to consider how new digital technologies might be adopted in a way which means data can be available, probably to competitors, in a rapid and open way.”

Prepare for anti-antitrust efforts, trade secrets litigation

Antitrust agencies will show more interest in companies using big data in 2018. Prinsley cited the EU commissioner on competition, Margrethe Vestager, who is looking into whether tech companies that control — and later sell — the data consumers hand over when they search and shop online are shutting out competitors.

“It may be that we will see antitrust authorities around the world taking different views on this issue,” Prinsley said.

The digital era may have made it easier for people to steal trade secrets and turn them over to competitors, as the lawsuit that Waymo, Google’s driverless car company, filed against ride-sharing company Uber in February 2017. The suit alleges that ex-Google employees stole secret information and then launched its own autonomous auto company.

“The fact that the action was launched in the first place shows how vulnerable businesses are in an age of digitization,” Prinsley said, pointing to an EU directive that aims to standardize laws in EU countries against trade secrets theft. The directive will come into force in June and “may well be a straw in the wind for more trade secrets litigation in Europe.”

Technology is changing the world ‘and schools must change too’

Governments and schools need to change the way children are taught as technology creates more learning opportunities outside the classroom, the Vice-President of Education at Microsoft has said.

Anthony Salcito (above), who oversees the worldwide execution of the company’s vision for education, added that the world will need “amazing teachers” who can guide students’ learning inside and outside schools, as more content and information becomes easier to access and share online.

Salcito was speaking on the first day of Bett, the London education conference that also featured speeches from Anne Milton MP, the Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships, and Ian Fordham, Director of Education at Microsoft, as well as chief executives of edtech companies and teachers.

“The way we think of students and the way they see themselves and their place in the world is fundamentally different,” Salcito said. “We often describe these students as ‘phygital’ – they don’t see the difference between the physical world and the digital world. They want to create, make and use digital tools in new ways

The Microsoft stand at Bett
Microsoft had a large stand at Bett

“The way students learn, share ideas, get access to content, create and collaborate is fundamentally different. Their mindsets are different, and the workplaces we are preparing them for are different, so we have to recognise there has been a lot of change. What we’ve now got to do at a system level, the institution level, is not only embrace that change but use it in a purposeful way to drive a different dynamic in classrooms.”

Speaking about new ways of working, Salcito pointed to Microsoft’s recent announcement of a cutting-edge mixed-reality partnership with British education company Pearson, which will see pupils and nurses learn by interacting with holograms.

In her speech opening Bett at the ExCeL, Milton pointed out that while the UK is at the “forefront” of edtech, many of the “best and brightest” companies were struggling to recruit the digital talent they needed. Technology can be used to make education more accessible and inclusive, she said, including using cloud services to allow teachers and students to share work.

“We need to make sure the enthusiasm that students have for digital skills and learning continues into the workplace,” Milton added.

Anthony Salcito on stage at Bett
Anthony Salcito on stage at Bett

Last year Microsoft launched a UK-wide digital skills programme that aims to ensure the country remains one of the global leaders in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other next-generation technologies.

Milton’s view was later echoed by Salcito, who believed technology can “extend learning beyond the classroom” and will shake up the traditional educational model of a teacher standing in front of a class. Pupils will be able to work more closely together, on more projects and occasionally be in control of their own learning while at school.

“Technology is an amazing tool, and one of things it can do, which we have to harness, is the extension of learning beyond the classroom,” Salcito said. “Teachers can spend less time going through content chapter by chapter – chapter one, chapter two, test, chapter three, chapter four, test – and leverage this world of digital content and learning from others, learning by connecting students to work on projects outside the classroom. What does that mean for how people work inside the classroom? It means they can connect students, who can work on problem solving and new projects. They can have flip classrooms where students are in the driving seat.

“The size of the learning world for teachers has got bigger. They can influence a school student in the classroom but really guide their learning journey outside it, so we need amazing teachers now more than ever before.”

Learn more about Microsoft’s Digital Skills Programme

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