Tag Archives: that

For Sale – Lenovo Miix 520 – Windows 10 Pro / i5 / 8GB DDR4 Ram / 256GB PCIE SSD / 4G / Active Pen 2

Exchanged this for my laptop with a friend to have a tablet laptop but find that I don’t hardly use it. It has a fresh latest install of Windows 10 Pro (digitally activated) and is in great condition.

It basically like a surface pro but Lenovo version of it.

Bios has been also updated to the latest one.

Please note this is the more expensive model than the one in the link as it has the optional LTE and comes with Active Pen 2.

Miix 520 | Versatile 2-in-1 Laptop | Lenovo UK
Discover the flexibility of the Lenovo Miix 520, the powerful 2-in-1 with 12″ detachable tablet that lets you be as as productive or creative as you wish, anywhere.
www.lenovo.com www.lenovo.com

It has 12.2inch IPS screen and there is a HDR option in setting which you can enable for playback of HDR content in YouTube etc.

Processor
Intel Core i5-8250U Processor ( 1.60GHz 6MB )

Operating System
Windows 10 Pro 64

Display Type
12.2″IPS 1920×1200

Memory
8.0GB PC4-17000 DDR4 Soldered 2133MHz

Storage
256GB SSD PCIe

AC Adapter
45W

Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics 620

Battery
2 Cell Li-Polymer

Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version 4.1

Security Features
Fingerprint Reader

Wireless
Lenovo AC Wireless (2×2)

4G LTE modem

Tablet/Laptop
Keyboard
Charger
Sleeve
Lenovo Active Pen 2

£515 Delivered via RMSD

Go to Original Article
Author:

For Sale – Toshiba Ultrabook Z40

Hi i have for sale a toshiba z40 that i bought from here a little over a year ago, screen size is 14 inches.
I bought it with the sole purpose to use with a meter to calibrate my tv’s. It’s been sat there since so i might aswell sell it.
There’s a few marks around the vga port mainly, its like the silver coating has rubbed away, it was like this when i bought it, other than that I’d say it’s in pretty decent condition.
Specification of the laptop is as below:

* Intel Core i5-4210 Processor up to 2.7Ghz
* 12GB DDR3 RAM
* 128GB Original Toshiba SSD Drive
* Windows 7 Professional 64Bit(upgraded to Windows 10 by previous owner)
* Built-In Bluetooth
* HDMI Port
* VGA Port
* 3x USB 3.0 Ports
* 3.5mm Headphone jack
* Ethernet Port
* SD Card Reader
* Original Toshiba Battery and charger

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Startup Uplevel targets software engineering efficiency

Featuring a business plan that aims to increase software engineering efficiency and armed with $7.5 million in venture capital funding, Uplevel emerged from stealth Wednesday.

Based in Seattle and founded in 2018, Uplevel uses machine learning and organizational science to compile data about the daily activity of engineers in order to ultimately help them become more effective.

One of the main issues engineers face is a lack of time to do their job. They may be assigned a handful of tasks to carry out, but instead of being allowed to focus their attention on those tasks they’re instead being bombarded by messages, or mired in an overabundance of meetings.

Uplevel aims to improve software engineering efficiency by monitoring messaging platforms such as Slack, collaboration software like Jira, calendar tools, and code repository software such as GitHub. It then compiles the data and is able to show how engineers are truly spending their time — whether they’re being allowed to do their jobs or instead being prevented from it by no fault of their own.

“I kept seeing pain around engineering effectiveness,” said Joe Levy, co-founder and CEO of Uplevel. “Engineers are often seen as artists, but what they’re trying to manage from a business perspective can be tough. If we can help engineers be more effective, organizations can be more effective without having to throw more bodies at the problem.”

Beyond arming the engineers themselves with data to show how they can be more effective, Uplevel attempts to provide the leaders of engineering teams the kind of information they previously lacked.

If we can help engineers be more effective, organizations can be more effective without having to throw more bodies at the problem.
Joe LevyCEO and co-founder, Uplevel

While sales and marketing teams have reams of data to drive the decision-making process — and present when asked for reports — engineering teams haven’t had the same kind of solid information.

“Sales, marketing, they have super detailed data that leads to understanding, but the head of engineering doesn’t have that same level of data,” Levy said. “There are no metrics of the same caliber [for engineers], but they’re still asked to produce the same kind of detailed projections.”

As Uplevel emerges from stealth, as with all startups one of its challenges will be to demonstrate how it’s providing something different than what’s already on the market.

Without differentiation, its likelihood of success is diminished.

But according to Vanessa Larco, a partner at venture capital investment firm New Enterprise Associates with an extensive background in computer science, what Uplevel provides is something that indeed is unique.

“This is really interesting,” she said. “I haven’t seen anything doing this exact thing. The value proposition of Uplevel is compelling if it helps quantify some of the challenges faced by R&D teams to enable them to restructure their workload and processes to better enable them to reach their goals. I haven’t seen or used the product, but I can understand the need they are fulfilling.”

Similarly, Mike Leone, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, believes Uplevel is on to something new.

“There are numerous time-based tracking solutions for software engineering teams available today, but they lack a comprehensive view of the entire engineering ecosystem, including messaging apps, collaboration tools, code repository tools and calendars,” he said. “The level of intelligence Uplevel can provide based on analyzing all of the collected data will serve as a major differentiator for them.”

Uplevel developed from a combination of research done by organizational psychologist David Youssefnia and a winning hackathon concept from Dave Matthews, who previously worked at Microsoft and Hulu. The two began collaborating at Madrona Venture Labs in Seattle to hone their idea of how to improve software engineering efficiency before Levy, also formerly of Microsoft, and Ravs Kaur, whose previous experience includes time at Tableau and Microsoft, joined to help Uplevel go to market.

Youssefnia serves as chief strategy officer, Matthews as director product management, and Kaur as CTO.

Startup vendor Uplevel aims to improve the efficiency of software engineers by offering a look into how many distractions engineers face as they work.
A sample chart from Uplevel displays the distractions faced by an organization’s software engineering team.

Uplevel officially formed in June 2018, attracted its first round of funding in September of that year and its second in April 2019. Leading investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Voyager Capital.

“Their fundamental philosophy was different from what we’d heard,” said Jonathan Parramore, senior data scientist at Avalara, a provider of automated tax compliance software and an Uplevel customer for about a year. “Engineering efficiency is difficult to measure, and they took a behavioral approach and looked holistically at multiple sources of data, then had the data science to meld it together. I’d say that everything they promised they would do, they have delivered.”

Still, Avalara would eventually like to see more capabilities as Uplevel matures.

“They have amazing reports they generate by looking at the data they have access to, but we’d like them to be able to create reports that are more in real time,” said Danny Fields, Avalara’s CTO and executive vice president of engineering. “That’s coming.”

Moving forward, while Uplevel doesn’t plan to branch out and offer a wide array of products, it is aiming to become an essential platform for all organizations looking to improve software engineering efficiency.

As it builds up its own cache of information about improving software engineering efficiency it will be able to share that data — masking the identity of individual organizations — with customers so that they can compare the efficiency of their engineers versus those of other organizations.

“The goal we’re focused on is to be the de facto platform that is helping engineers do their job,” Levy said. “We want to be a platform they can’t live without, that every big organization is reliant on.”

Go to Original Article
Author:

For Sale – Toshiba Ultrabook Z40

Hi i have for sale a toshiba z40 that i bought from here a little over a year ago, screen size is 14 inches.
I bought it with the sole purpose to use with a meter to calibrate my tv’s. It’s been sat there since so i might aswell sell it.
There’s a few marks around the vga port mainly, its like the silver coating has rubbed away, it was like this when i bought it, other than that I’d say it’s in pretty decent condition.
Specification of the laptop is as below:

* Intel Core i5-4210 Processor up to 2.7Ghz
* 12GB DDR3 RAM
* 128GB Original Toshiba SSD Drive
* Windows 7 Professional 64Bit(upgraded to Windows 10 by previous owner)
* Built-In Bluetooth
* HDMI Port
* VGA Port
* 3x USB 3.0 Ports
* 3.5mm Headphone jack
* Ethernet Port
* SD Card Reader
* Original Toshiba Battery and charger

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Power BI platform remains a vibrant, respected suite

With a rapid release schedule that enables it to keep up with emerging trends, Microsoft’s Power BI platform remains a powerful and respected business intelligence suite.

While many vendors issue quarterly updates, Microsoft rolls out minor updates to Power BI on a weekly basis and more comprehensive updates each month. And that flexibility and attention to detail has helped the Power BI platform stay current while some other longtime BI vendors battle the perception that their platforms have fallen behind the times.

Most recently, in December, Microsoft added to Power BI an updated connector to its Azure data lake, a new connector to the Power Platform application platform and new data visualization formats.

“I think they’re leading the pack, and they’re putting a lot of pressure on Tableau,” said Wayne Eckerson, president of Eckerson Group, referring to the Microsoft Power BI competitor, which was acquired last year by Salesforce. “The philosophy of a new release every week in itself puts a lot of pressure on Tableau.”

In addition, Eckerson noted, the Power BI platform’s built-in ability to integrate with other Microsoft platforms — as evidenced by the new connectors — gives it a significant advantage over BI platforms offered by some independent vendors.

I think they’re leading the pack, and they’re putting a lot of pressure on Tableau. The philosophy of a new release every week in itself puts a lot of pressure on Tableau.
Wayne EckersonPresident, Eckerson Group

“It’s part of the Azure platform and tightly integrated with SQL Server Integration Service, Data Factory, and SQL Server Reporting Services,” Eckerson said. “Most importantly, it has a data model behind it — or semantic layer as we have called it.”

Beyond the updates, a recent focus of the Power BI platform has been data protection.

Arun Ulagaratchagan, general manager of Power BI, said that all vendors have some level of data protection, but as users export data outside of their BI products and across their organizations, the BI system can no longer secure the data.

Microsoft is trying to change that with Power BI, he said.

“We’re adding data protection to Power BI, integrating it with Microsoft Data Protection,” Ulagaratchagan said. “It secures the data when it’s exported out of Power BI so that only people who have been given prior authority can access it.”

Despite Microsoft’s ability to update the Power BI platform on an almost constant basis, its capabilities aren’t viewed as the most innovative on the market.

Those capabilities are in line with the features other vendors are offering, but with Power BI, Microsoft is not necessarily introducing revolutionary technology that the rest of the market needs to react to or get left behind, analysts said.

Instead, Power BI is seen as quickly reactive to trends within the analytics space and to new features first released by other vendors.

“All of their recent updates have been incremental – there hasn’t been anything particularly exciting,” said Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy. “It’s good work, but it’s incremental, which is as it should be.”

Similarly, Eckerson noted that while the updates are important, they don’t feature much that will force other vendors to respond.

“There’s all kinds of small stuff, which is important if you’re using the tool,” he said.

Where Microsoft is moving the market forward, and appears to be forcing competitors to respond, is Azure Synapse Analytics, which launched in preview November.

Synapse attempts to joins data warehousing and data analytics in a single cloud service and integrates with both Power BI and Azure Machine Learning. Essentially, Synapse is the next step in the evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

“Synapse is where Microsoft has been innovative and made a big bet,” Farmer said.

Beyond placing an emphasis — from the perspective of innovation — on Synapse rather than the Power BI platform, Farmer noted that Power BI simply doesn’t need to be the most spectacular BI suite on the market.

Users of the Power BI platform often don’t seek it out the same way as they do other BI tools. Instead, many simply use Power BI because they’re Windows users and Power BI comes with Windows.

“It’s essentially a default option, but it’s a good default option,” Farmer said. “Tableau, for example, is a tool of choice. … [Microsoft] is not setting the world alight with innovation. Instead, their efforts are on integration with other Microsoft applications, and that’s where they’re interesting.”

While Microsoft doesn’t publicly disclose its product roadmap, Ulagaratchagan said BI for mobile devices, the ability to handle larger and larger data sets, and embedded analytics are important trends as BI advances, as is the idea of openness and trust with data.

Also, AI for BI will continue to advance.

“That’s an area where we have an advantage,” Ulagaratchagan asserted. “We can steal from the Azure team and take that and make it easy to use for our end users and citizen data scientists. We want to get data in the hands of everyone.”

Go to Original Article
Author:

Cradlepoint NetCloud update avoids unnecessary data usage

Cradlepoint has introduced technology that helps customers control costs by flagging unusual increases in data use across the wireless links managed by the vendor’s software-defined WAN.

The vendor unveiled this week the latest analytics in its cloud-based Cradlepoint NetCloud management platform. Cradlepoint is aiming the technology at retailers, government agencies and enterprises that have widely distributed operations. Those organizations typically have a WAN dependent on 4G and other wireless links.

The latest algorithms determine patterns of data usage based on historical data gathered over time across a company’s wireless links, the vendor said. Cradlepoint NetCloud will notify network managers when data usage deviates from past patterns.

The feature provides early notification of surges in usage that might be unrelated to normal business operations, such as video streaming by employees or misconfigured networking gear.

Cradlepoint pitches itself as particularly useful to retailers. The company claims that 75% of the top retailers globally uses its technology. Customers include David’s Bridal, which sells wedding dresses through 330 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. Another sizable retail customer is the jewelry manufacturer Pandora, which distributes its products through stores in more than 100 countries.

Companies outside of retail also use Cradlepoint technology. DSC Dredge LLC uses Cradlepoint for managing 4G LTE, 4G and 3G connectivity across its fleet of dredging machines. The company supplies the equipment in more than 40 countries for use in constructing dams and improving waterway drainage and navigability.

DSC has equipped each of its dredges with a Cradelpoint router and oversees the technology through the NetCloud management software.

Cradlepoint sells subscription-based packages that converge multiple network services on a single edge router. The bundle, for example, could include a router with Ethernet ports, and support for Wi-Fi with a guest portal and LTE integration.

Cradlepoint sells subscriptions on a one-, three- or five-year basis.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Microsoft shares new technique to address online grooming of children for sexual purposes – Microsoft on the Issues

Online child exploitation is a horrific crime that requires a whole-of-society approach. Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, we have a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. We leverage technology across our services to detect, disrupt and report illegal content, including child sexual exploitation. And we innovate and invest in tools, technology and partnerships to support the global fight needed to address online child sexual exploitation.

In furtherance of those commitments, today Microsoft is sharing a grooming detection technique, code name “Project Artemis,” by which online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes can be detected, addressed and reported. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn, this technique builds off Microsoft patented technology and will be made freely available via Thorn to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function. Thorn is a technology nonprofit that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse.

The development of this new technique began in November 2018 at a Microsoft “360 Cross-Industry Hackathon,” which was co-sponsored by the WePROTECT Global Alliance in conjunction with the Child Dignity Alliance. These “360” hackathons are multifaceted, focusing not just on technology and engineering but also on legal and policy aspects as well as operations and policy implementation. Today’s announcement marks the technical and engineering progress over the last 14 months by a cross-industry v-team from Microsoft, The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik, Thorn and others to help identify potential instances of child online grooming for sexual purposes and to operationalize an effective response. The teams were led by Dr. Hany Farid, a leading academic who, in 2009, partnered with Microsoft and Dartmouth College on the development of PhotoDNA, a free tool that has assisted in the detection, disruption and reporting of millions of child sexual exploitation images and is used by more than 150 companies and organizations around the world.

Building off the Microsoft patent, the technique is applied to historical text-based chat conversations. It evaluates and “rates” conversation characteristics and assigns an overall probability rating. This rating can then be used as a determiner, set by individual companies implementing the technique, as to when a flagged conversation should be sent to human moderators for review. Human moderators would then be capable of identifying imminent threats for referral to law enforcement, as well as incidents of suspected child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC, along with ECPAT International, INHOPE and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), provided valuable feedback throughout the collaborative process.

Beginning on January 10, 2020, licensing and adoption of the technique will be handled by Thorn. Companies and services wanting to test and adopt the technique can contact Thorn directly at [email protected] Microsoft has been leveraging the technique in programs on our Xbox platform for several years and is exploring its use in chat services, including Skype.

“Project Artemis” is a significant step forward, but it is by no means a panacea. Child sexual exploitation and abuse online and the detection of online child grooming are weighty problems. But we are not deterred by the complexity and intricacy of such issues. On the contrary, we are making the tool available at this point in time to invite further contributions and engagement from other technology companies and organizations with the goal of continuous improvement and refinement.

At Microsoft, we embrace a multi-stakeholder model to combat online child exploitation that includes survivors and their advocates, government, tech companies and civil society working together. Combating online child exploitation should and must be a universal call to action.

Learn how to detect, remove and report child sexual abuse materials at PhotoDNA or contact [email protected]. Follow @MSFTissues on Twitter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Go to Original Article
Author: Microsoft News Center

AWS Outposts vs. Azure Stack vs. HCI

Giants Amazon and Microsoft offer cloud products and services that compete in areas usually reserved for the strengths that traditional hyper-converged infrastructure platforms bring to the enterprise IT table. These include hybrid cloud offerings AWS Outposts, which Amazon made generally available late last year, and Azure Stack from Microsoft.

An integrated hardware and software offering, Azure Stack is designed to deliver Microsoft Azure public cloud services to enable enterprises to construct hybrid clouds in a local data center. It delivers IaaS and PaaS for organizations developing web apps. By sharing its code, APIs and management portal with Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack provides a common platform to address hybrid cloud issues, such as maintaining consistency between cloud and on-premises environments. Stack is for those who want the benefits of a cloud-like platform but must keep certain data private due to regulations or some other constraint.

AWS Outposts is Amazon’s on-premises version of its IaaS offering. Amazon targets AWS Outposts at those who want to run workloads on Amazon Web Services, but instead of in the cloud, do so inside their own data centers to better meet regulatory requirements and, for example, to reduce latency.

Let’s delve deeper into AWS Outposts vs. Azure Stack to better see how they compete with each other and your typical hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) deployment.

hybrid cloud storage use cases

What is AWS Outposts?

AWS Outposts is Amazon’s acknowledgment that most enterprise class organizations prefer hybrid cloud to a public cloud-only model. Amazon generally has acted solely as a hyperscale public cloud provider, leaving its customers’ data center hardware needs for other vendors to handle. With AWS Outposts, however, Amazon is — for the first time — making its own appliances available for on-premises use.

AWS Outposts customers can run AWS on premises. They can also extend their AWS virtual private clouds into their on-premises environments, so a single virtual private cloud can contain both cloud and data center resources. That way, workloads with low-latency or geographical requirements can remain on premises while other workloads run in the Amazon cloud. Because Outposts is essentially an on-premises extension of the Amazon cloud, it also aims to ease the migration of workloads between the data center and the cloud.

What is Microsoft Azure Stack?

Although initially marketed as simply a way to host Azure services on premises, Azure Stack has evolved into a portfolio of products. The three products that make up the Azure Stack portfolio include Azure Stack Edge, Azure Stack Hub and Azure Stack HCI.

Azure Stack Edge is a cloud-managed appliance that enables you to run managed virtual machine (VM) and container workloads on premises. While this can also be done with Windows Server, the benefit to using Azure Stack Edge is workloads can be managed with a common tool set, whether they’re running on premises or in the cloud.

Azure Stack Hub is used for running cloud applications on premises. It’s mostly for situations in which data sovereignty is required or where connectivity isn’t available.

As its name implies, Azure Stack HCI is a version of Azure Stack that runs on HCI hardware.

AWS Outposts vs. Azure Stack vs. HCI

To appreciate how AWS Outposts competes with traditional HCI, consider common HCI use cases. HCI is often used as a virtualization platform. While AWS Outposts will presumably be able to host Elastic Compute Cloud virtual machine instances, the bigger news is that Amazon is preparing to release a VMware-specific version of Outposts in 2020. The VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts will allow a managed VMware software-defined data center to run on the Outposts infrastructure.

Organizations are also increasingly using HCI as a disaster recovery platform. While Amazon isn’t marketing Outposts as a DR tool, the fact that Outposts acts as a gateway between on-premises services and services running in the Amazon cloud means the platform will likely be well positioned as a DR enabler.

Many organizations have adopted hyper-converged systems as a platform for running VMs and containers. Azure Stack Edge may end up displacing some of those HCIs if an organization is already hosting VMs and containers in the Azure cloud. As for Azure Stack Hub, it seems unlikely that it will directly compete with HCI, except possibly in some specific branch office scenarios.

The member of the Azure Stack portfolio that’s most likely to compete with traditional hyper-convergence is Azure Stack HCI. It’s designed to run scalable VMs and provide those VMs with connectivity to Azure cloud services. These systems are being marketed for use in branch offices and with high-performance workloads.

Unlike first-generation HCI systems, Azure Stack HCI will provide scalability for both compute and storage. This could make it a viable replacement for traditional HCI platforms.

In summary, when it comes to AWS Outposts vs. Azure Stack or standard hyper-convergence, all three platforms have their merits, without any one being clearly superior to the others. If an organization is trying to choose between the three, then my advice would be to choose the platform that does the best job of meshing with the existing infrastructure and the organization’s operational requirements. If the organization already has a significant AWS or Azure footprint, then Outposts or Azure Stack would probably be a better fit, respectively. Otherwise, traditional HCI is probably going to entail less of a learning curve and may also end up being less expensive.

Go to Original Article
Author:

AIOps meaning to expand throughout DevOps chain

It seems that every year there’s a new record for the pace of change in IT, from the move from mainframe to client/server computing, to embracing the web and interorganizational data movements. The current moves that affect organizations are fundamental, and IT operations had better pay attention.

Cloud providers are taking over ownership of the IT platform from organizations. Organizations are moving to a multi-cloud hybrid platform to gain flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to market needs. Applications have started to transition from monolithic entities to composite architectures built on the fly in real time from collections of functional services. DevOps has affected how IT organizations write, test and deliver code, with continuous development and delivery relatively mainstream approaches.

These fundamental changes mean that IT operations managers have to approach the application environment in a new way. Infrastructure health dashboards don’t meet their needs. Without deep contextual knowledge of how the platform looks at an instant, and what that means for performance, administrators will struggle to address issues raised.

Enter AIOps platforms

AIOps means IT teams use artificial intelligence to monitor the operational environment and rapidly and automatically remediate any problems that arise — and, more to the point, prevent any issues in the first place.

True AIOps-based management is not easy to accomplish. It’s nearly impossible to model an environment that continuously changes and then also plot all the dependencies between hardware, virtual systems, functional services and composite apps.

AIOPs use cases

However, AIOps does meet a need. It is, as yet, a nascent approach. Many AIOps systems do not really use that much artificial intelligence; many instead rely on advanced rules and policy engines to automatically remediate commonly known and expected issues. AIOps vendors collect information on operations issues from across their respective customer bases to make the tools more useful.

Today’s prospective AIOps buyers must beware of portfolio repackaging — AIOps on the product branding doesn’t mean they use true artificial intelligence. Question the vendor carefully about how its system learns on the go, deals with unexpected changes and manages idempotency. 2020 might be the year of AIOps’ rise, but it might also be littered with the corpses of AIOps vendors that get things wrong.

AIOps’ path for the future

As we move through 2020 and beyond, AIOps’ meaning will evolve. Tools will better adopt learning systems to model the whole environment and will start to use advanced methods to bring idempotency — the capability to define an end result and then ensure that it is achieved — to the fore. AIOps tools must be able to either take input from the operations team or from the platform itself and create the scripts, VMs, containers, provisioning templates and other details to meet the applications’ requirements. The system must monitor the end result from these hosting decisions and ensure that not only is it as-expected, but that it remains so, no matter how the underlying platform changes. Over time, AIOps tools should extend so that business stakeholders also have insights into the operations environment.

Such capabilities will mean that AIOps platforms move from just operations environment tool kits to part and parcel of the overall BizDevOps workflows. AIOps will mean an overarching orchestration system for the application hosting environment, a platform that manages all updates and patches, and provides feedback loops through the upstream environment.

The new generation of AIOps tools and platforms will focus on how to avoid manual intervention in the operations environment. Indeed, manual interventions are likely to be where AIOps could fail. For example, an administrator who puts wrong information into the flow or works outside of the AIOps system to make any configuration changes could start a firestorm of problems. When the AIOps system tries to fix them, it will find that it does not have the required data available to effectively model the change the administrator has made.

2020 will see AIOps’ first baby steps to becoming a major tool for the systems administrator. Those who embrace the idea of AIOps must ensure that they have the right mindset: AIOps has to be the center of everything. Only in extreme circumstances should any action be taken outside of the AIOps environment.

The operations team must reach out to the development teams to see how their feeds can integrate into an AIOps platform. If DevOps tools vendors realize AIOps’ benefits, they might provide direct integrations for downstream workflows or include AIOps capabilities into their own platform. This trend could expand the meaning of AIOps to include business capabilities and security as well.

As organizations move to highly complex, highly dynamic platforms, any dependency on a person’s manual oversight dooms the deployment to failure. Simple automation will not be a workable way forward — artificial intelligence is a must.

Go to Original Article
Author:

Will Microsoft’s Edge start a new browser war?

This year may see the rekindling of the browser wars, conflicts that once roiled the landscape and birthed — and felled — titans.

On January 15, Microsoft is set to release a new, Chromium-based Edge browser, an offering the company claims will bolster compatibility with web-based applications and enhance privacy. Experts said the browser might appeal to IT professionals through its integrated management tools and focus on enterprise software.

Chromium is an open source browser project by Google; the current version of Edge was developed using Microsoft’s own tech. With the change, the two leading browsers will be based on the same engine.

Eric KleinEric Klein

Eric Klein, an analyst at VDC Research Group Inc., said it was strange, decades after the Netscape-Internet Explorer or Internet Explorer-Firefox clashes, to once again have a relevant browser war.

“It’s interesting to me that what’s old is new again,” he said.

Klein noted that, despite its OS supremacy, Microsoft’s success with its browsers has been mixed. In today’s market, he said, Google Chrome and Firefox have a greater mindshare than Microsoft’s offering.

“Previous versions of Internet Explorer [Microsoft’s older browser] were inferior, in terms of speed and ease of use, compared to browsers like Chrome,” he said.

Forrester Research analyst Andrew Hewitt said Chrome looked to be the staunchest competition for the new Edge browser.

“In the consumer market, Chrome is very much the dominant browser,” he said. “We do see some differences like, in Germany, there’s more Firefox use.”

Through Chrome, said Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Mark Bowker, organizations could accomplish several things: They could hedge their bets on Microsoft, provide an improved user experience for web applications and offer a secure browser experience.

How will Microsoft convert Chrome users?

Analysts said the company’s focus appears to be on the enterprise, providing interoperability with enterprise-centric software. Microsoft has made it easier for developers to port such software to Edge, making the browser friendlier to web-based applications, according to Klein.

Hewitt said Microsoft had an interest in refining the experience of using its tools, making its services available across its product portfolio.

Andrew HewittAndrew Hewitt

“I also think this is a doubling-down on their Microsoft 365 strategy,” he said. “It’s about providing a better experience using Office tools — like being able to see OneDrive files as you use Edge.”

To lure businesses, Bowker said, Edge must deliver the best possible experience with web applications and provide IT professionals the tools they need to manage users. Companies using Chrome must have a separate console for such management, while Edge may appeal to IT pros because they can use existing Microsoft tools to do the job.

Yet luring users is about more than making a case to businesses; Microsoft will have to convince users as well. Companies today tend to let employees choose which browser they’d like to use. That makes the consumer market and personal preference a big factor in who will win the browser war, according to Hewitt.

“I think it’s a two-fold strategy,” he said. “[Microsoft wants] to build good confidence on the consumer side, so it trickles over to businesses. With businesses, it will not necessarily be about who’s more secure, but more about, ‘Look at all the cool integrations you can get if you’re using Edge.’ It’s a productivity benefit.”

Mark BowkerMark Bowker

For Microsoft, that could be an uphill battle given that younger workers likely grew up without using Microsoft browsers, Bowker said.

Browsers will gain prominence

The timing of Microsoft’s campaign for the business browser market is not accidental. Analysts pointed to the increased prevalence of web-based applications as the answer.

“The browser [will become] more and more important,” Hewitt said. “It will be where you go to work every day.”

Klein said Google has a clear stake in winning the battle.

“From Google’s perspective, it’s all about telemetry — taking a look at every move a user makes, similar to the way phones track every move we make,” he said. “[That information] is becoming more and more important for tech companies. It’s all about trying to capture as much of user interactions and workflow as possible.”

“It’s not only the browser wars that are part of this; the office suite wars are part of this, too,” he added, noting that Microsoft and Google, via its G Suite of productivity applications, were warring in that arena, too.

Yet that focus on user data, Hewitt said, might be a point in Microsoft’s favor, especially among privacy-minded companies. As Google’s substantial advertising business is dependent on such data, companies may fear their browsing habits might be compromised. Microsoft, he said, doesn’t rely on advertising in the way Google does.

“That’s one area where Microsoft could differentiate itself,” he said.

Who will win the browser war?

Analysts said it was too early to call the fight.

“It’s always really hard to say,” Hewitt said. “It’s going to take years to see the benefits of any type of shift. It’s still early, from Microsoft’s perspective.”

Bowker said the new Edge browser may prompt several businesses that have chosen Chrome as their standard option to rethink their approach.

Holger MuellerHolger Mueller

“The first experience, when Edge is available mid-month, is going to be important,” he said.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research, said he saw the development not as a war, but as a point of convergence. With both of the leading enterprise browsers based on the same engine, he expects accelerated progress for mobile sites, as developers can devote their resources in a more concentrated way. But he expressed skepticism that Edge would overtake Chrome in the workplace.

“It’s a great move by Microsoft: If you can’t beat them, join them,” he said, adding that this was a development that differentiated CEO Satya Nadella’s Microsoft from that of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer.

Go to Original Article
Author: