Insights For Success

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IT

Check if your accounts have been hacked

ITEdward KiledjianComment
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Another day, another hack. It seems there is another media story every week talking about a site getting hacked and thousands (or millions) of account being compromised.  Companies have Information Security teams that track these breaches to protect their users, but how does an average user protect himself?

As an average user, you are on your own but there are sites that can help. One of these sites is called haveibeenpwned.com (link)

You enter your address and the site will check if it was included in any of the breach leaks they track. I used 1 known clean email and 1 email that was part of the Adobe brach and the site identified each properly. When an email is found in their database, they tell you when it was breach and what breach it was part of.

 

Pwndlist (link) is another site that offers a free similar service but provides almost no additional information. 

I built an IFTTT script that emails me once a month to remind me to check my credentials against these services.

What is Metal As A Service (MaaS)

ITEdward KiledjianComment

Just when you thought companies could create another blah blah as a service acronym, Canonical has thrown a couple of new letters at us: MaaS. MaaS stand for Metal As A Service and is a metal to server management service created by Canonical (the team behind Ubuntu).

In the old days (aka last couple of years) companies went crazy buying the biggest meanest servers they could buy to do all they number crunching and big data analysis. The bigger the company the bigger and more expensive the servers they bought. The cloud paradigm forced a shift in approach, since it meant your work got chunked and processed by dozens or hundreds of servers (not one monster monolithic beast in a special room). Cloud meant you no longer cared about processor speed, bus speed, computational capacity of one node, etc. In the cloud, your work can be handled by thousands of smaller, cheaper commodity servers.

Canonical believes MaaS is the secret sauce that allows you to think of your servers as commodity devices that offer services and not as big expensive electronics (what it can do not what it is).

In the world of Ubuntu, MaaS will manage your hardware and Juju will manage your apps and workload. As you read this, you would be forgiven if thoughts of self-deploying OpenStack servers come to mind. This is the market Canonical is targeting.

Metal As A Service is new in Ubuntu 12.04 and you can expect a quick bump is features over the next 12-18 months. Canonical wants to add BIOS and RAID firmware updating capabilities, authentication integration and various self-managed pre-built testing schemes.

Not surprisingly, tech reporters are divided about the usefulness of this new technology (and other competitors in this space). Some believes it is a solution to an age old problem while others believe it is a solution looking for a problem.

I think MaaS is an  much needed product in its infancy and it will be important to see how it competes against the likes of Nebula One (which to me seems like a much more refined and enterprise ready solution).

Desktop As A Service is cheaper and easier to implement

ITEdward KiledjianComment

Having worked in the IT field for close to 20 years now, I am constantly surprised that the biggest pain points for most organizations are still the most basic IT components. One such pain point for companies large and small is desktop management. What should be a commodity easy to manage system is still proving to be a big challenge for most organization.

I believe over the next 3-5 years, we will see a huge uptake in Desktop As A Service (DAAS). DAAS is and will continue to be a cost effective solution to tame the unruly desktop management monster in a secure way.

We are seeing demand for DaaS growth quickly and the trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. What is fueling the demand for Desktop as a Service? Companies are being challenged to deliver a secure computing environment is the face of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), a large mobile remote workforce, migration issues to Windows 7/8 and complex regulatory requirements.

Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) was touted as the tech messiah that would deliver IT organizations from all of the above issues but VDI simply hasn’t caught on. It is complex to implement, costly and difficult to manage. In my unofficial poll, 65-80% of VDI projects fail to get implemented or fail to deliver the promised value.

DaaS seems to address all of the above issues by providing a cost effective, quick to deploy and easy to manage desktop for your users (regardless of their device, location or connection speed).