IDG Contributor Network: 6 steps to engage and manage a vendor who isn’t meeting your standards

During the sales process, every vendor sounds great. They have case studies, they have great-looking material, they talk like experts and everything is good. But nothing is as simple as it looks in the beginning.There are always additional challenges. The true test of a service provider, or any vendor, is how they respond to those changes and challenges. Do they put you, the customer, first or do they get slow and unresponsive? If you have a vendor who isn’t meeting your needs, but you’re locked into a contract that makes it cost-prohibitive to leave, these steps will help you reduce some of the friction in the relationship, while providing a better outcome for your company.To read this article in full, please click here

AT&T’s Rupesh Chokshi on NFV/SDN-enabled Business Networking

Rupesh Chokshi AT&T has been aggressively transforming its core network with software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV), gaining the ability to offer on-site infrastructure to enterprises in an innovative, simplified, and easy to consume model. The resulting platform, AT&T FlexWareSM, provides best-in-class, virtualized network functions to businesses across the entire spectrum of the market. From... Read more →

Samsung Puts the Crunch on Emerging HBM2 Market

The memory market can be a volatile one, swinging from tight availability and high prices one year to plenty of inventory and falling prices a couple of years later. The fortunes of vendors can similarly swing with the market changes, with Samsung recently displacing Intel at the top of the semiconductor space as a shortage in the market drove up prices and, with it, the company’s revenues.

High performance and high-speed memory is only going to grow in demand in the HPC and supercomputing arena with the rise of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and graphics processing, and

Samsung Puts the Crunch on Emerging HBM2 Market was written by Jeffrey Burt at The Next Platform.

MP on Vertitech IT’s “Best IT Blogs 2018”

This is a quick post to say thanks to the folks at Vertitech IT for listing movingpackets.net among their Best IT Blogs for 2018 (“Must-Read Resources for CIOs, IT & Security Pros”). MP was on the Best IP Blogs of 2017 as well, and it’s an honor to be on the list for a second year.

Vertitech IT Best Blogs of 2018

Vertitech explain the creation of this list thus:

Information Technology.  Sometimes we get so focused on the bits and bytes side of the equation we forget about the information part.  When it comes right down to it, IT is all about using technology to inform, to communicate, to make the business of doing business easier and more understandable.

That’s why we compiled this list. Originally created last year with 50 top IT blogs, we’ve expanded this year’s update to include 70 leading resources for IT professionals, including blogs, discussion forums, niche industry publications, and the best resources for CIOs and CTOs.  VertitechIT’s top 70 IT blogs, forums, and resources were selected because they are among the most current, frequently updated, credible, and informative sources of information related to IT on the web today. From musings of industry leaders, to the Continue reading

Configuration errors in Intel workstations being labeled a security hole

Security researchers at an antivirus company have documented another potentially serious security hole in an Intel product, this time in the mechanism for performing system updates. The good news, however, is that it is limited to desktops, is a configuration error, and does not appear to impact servers.Last June, researchers at F-Secure found a flaw in Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT), a feature used to perform remote updates to advanced desktops using Intel vPro or workstation platforms using Core desktop chips and certain Xeon CPUs. Xeon is primarily a server processor but there are some low-end chips used in high-performance workstations, such as those used in a CAD environment.To read this article in full, please click here

Configuration errors in Intel workstations being labeled a security hole

Security researchers at an antivirus company have documented another potentially serious security hole in an Intel product, this time in the mechanism for performing system updates. The good news, however, is that it is limited to desktops, is a configuration error, and does not appear to impact servers.Last June, researchers at F-Secure found a flaw in Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT), a feature used to perform remote updates to advanced desktops using Intel vPro or workstation platforms using Core desktop chips and certain Xeon CPUs. Xeon is primarily a server processor but there are some low-end chips used in high-performance workstations, such as those used in a CAD environment.To read this article in full, please click here

Experimenting with Azure

I’ve been experimenting with Microsoft Azure recently, and I thought it might be useful to share a quick post on using some of my favorite tools with Azure. I’ve found it useful to try to leverage existing tools whenever I can, and so as I’ve been experimenting with Azure I’ve been leveraging familiar tools like Docker Machine and Vagrant.

The information here isn’t revolutionary or unique, but hopefully it will still be useful to others, even if only as a “quick reference”-type of post.

Launching an Instance on Azure Using Docker Machine

To launch an instance on Azure and provision it with Docker using docker-machine:

docker-machine create -d azure \
--azure-subscription-id $(az account show --query "id" -o tsv) \
--azure-ssh-user azureuser \
--azure-size "Standard_B1ms" azure-test

The first time you run this you’ll probably need to allow Docker Machine access to your Azure subscription (you’ll get prompted to log in via a browser and allow access). This will create a service principal that is visible via az ad sp list. Note that you may be prompted for authentication for future uses, although it will re-use the existing service principal once it is created.

Launching an Instance Using the Azure Provider Continue reading

Event-Driven Automation on Building Network Automation Solutions Online Course

Most engineers talking about network automation focus on configuration management: keeping track of configuration changes, generating device configurations from data models and templates, and deploying configuration changes.

There’s another extremely important aspect of network automation that’s oft forgotten: automatic response to internal or external events. You could wait for self-driving networks to see it implemented, or learn how to do it yourself.

On March 20th live session of Building Network Automation Solutions online course David Gee will dive deeper into event-driven network automation. As he explains the challenge:

When it comes to running infrastructure and infrastructure services, a lot of the decision making is human based. Someone reads a ticket, someone decides what to do. Someone gets alerted to an event and that someone does something about it. This involvement causes friction in the smooth-running nature of automated processes. Fear not! Something can be done about it.

We all know the stories of ITIL and rigid process management and David will show you how event-driven automation could be made reality even with strict and rigid controls, resulting in an environment that reacts automatically to stimuli from your services and infrastructure. We will discuss what events are, when they're important, how Continue reading

The Overoptimization Meltdown

In simple terms Meltdown and Spectre are simple vulnerabilities to understand. Imagine a gang of thieves waiting for a stage coach carrying a month’s worth of payroll.

There are two roads the coach could take, and a fork, or a branch, where the driver decides which one to take. The driver could take either one. What is the solution? Station robbers along both sides of the branch, and wait to see which one the driver chooses. When you know, pull the resources from one branch to the other, so you can effectively rob the stage. This is much the same as a modern processor handling a branch—the user could have put anything into some field, or retreived anything from a database, that might cause the software to run one of two sets of instructions. There is no way for the processor to know, so it runs both of them.

To run both sets of instructions, the processor will pull in the contents of specific memory locations, and begin exexuting code across these memory locations. Some of these memory locations might not be pieces of memory the currently running software is supposed to be able to access, but this is not Continue reading