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Microsoft Azure Sphere chip for end-to-end IoT security from the Cloud to Network Edge

“MediaTek is a good partner [for Microsoft] to have for its Azure Sphere secure IoT chip,” said Laura DiDio, principal analyst with ITIC. “They will provide a Wi-Fi controller, the processor will run Microsoft’s Linux-based IoT OS and you’ve now got a highly secure, connected device at a decent price point.”

Channel Futures, April 17, 2018

Microsoft Reorganization:

“Microsoft has actually been moving away from Windows and more towards the cloud, analytics and AI for the past ten years,” explained Laura DiDio, an analyst at ITIC. “This did not happen overnight.” DiDio pointed out that Nadella has made major changes quickly during his tenure. “That’s the way you have to move,” to stay relevant, she said. “You’ve got to be agile to stay ahead of the game.”

The changes don’t mean that Microsoft is totally giving up on Windows, DiDio said. But they do mean that Nadella is focusing the company’s energies around stronger assets.

“They’re de-emphasizing Windows,” she said, in order to become a stronger “player in cloud and artificial intelligence, because that’s where the money is.”

CNN Money, March 29, 2018

Failure to deliver reliability and uptime:

“Time is money,” DiDio says. “Systems, networks and connectivity devices are subject to failure. If the downtime persists for any significant length of time, it can be expensive in terms of monetary losses. It can disrupt operations, decrease worker productivity and negatively impact the organization’s business partners, customers and suppliers.

“A security outage of any significant duration can also be a PR nightmare and damage the company’s reputation, causing lost business,” DiDio says. “Reliability and uptime go hand in hand with a comprehensive, detailed backup and disaster recovery plan that also includes an internal operational level agreement that designates a chain of command in the event of any type of service disruption.”

Every organization should have a disaster recovery plan that includes an itemized list of who to contact at vendor organizations, cloud and third-party service providers, DiDio says. “The CISO should also know what the company’s contracts stipulate as the response time from vendors, cloud, and third-party service providers to respond to and thwart security incidents and track down the hackers,” she says.

CSO Online, November 21, 2017

Cal State University and Hartnell College Launching Cohort Program:

“Since 2013, the two institutions have promoted this program as a way to attract minorities, women and students who are the first in their families to attend college to Computer Science and STEM subjects. The Cohort program nurtures these students by having them take their CS classes as a group.” DiDio says. It also helps them adjust more quickly to college life by providing them with group study and life skills classes to help them stick with CS as a major and graduate.

“So far, so good. A 75% majority of students enrolled in the CSUMB/Hartnell CS Cohort program graduate. This is well above the national average of about 30%,” DiDio notes.

ITIC Corp, November 17, 2017

Burger King Ad Creates Whopper of a Mess:

“In the Internet of Things environment, where you can have “an ecosystem or ecosystems of ecosystems interconnected, the attack vector universe is potentially limitless,” noted Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

The risks are “everywhere, and what you can do is mitigate risk to an acceptable level,” she told the E-Commerce Times — but that requires vendors to make secure products.

E-Commerce Times, April 13, 2017

United Airlines Customer Service Snafus:

United’s behavior was “cavalier and callous,” said Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

“The deck is stacked against passengers these days,” she told CRM Buyer.

However, this situation “is a PR nightmare for United Airlines,” DiDio added, “and it’s not going away.”

CRMBuyer, April 11, 2017

Big Blue Hardware is Rock Solid

IBM hardware retains its status as being best in class in terms of reliability, stability and performance and customer satisfaction. IBM’s System z mainframes recorded the least amount of downtime of any hardware platform. In the server hardware category systems with relatively small market shares, including Stratus Technologies ftServer 6300 and 4500 series and Fujitsu’s Primequest and Primergy Servers continue to score very high reliability.

Stratus Technologies of Maynard, MA offers Intel Xeon-based systems with mainframe-like fault tolerance and reliability with 99.999 % reliability. The Fujitsu Primergy and Fujitsu SPARC systems similarly deliver a high level of reliability and fault tolerance with 48% of reporting 99.999% or just over five minutes of per server/ per annum downtime due to unplanned outages.

The length and severity of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 unplanned outages and the patching actions related to each correspond to specific line item capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) costs for the business. Reliability, measured by downtime, can positively or negatively impact TCO and accelerate or delay ROI.

Improvements or declines in reliability also mitigate or increase technical and business risks to the organization’s end users and its external customers. The ability to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) hinges on server reliability, uptime and manageability. These are key indicators that enable organizations to determine which server operating system platform or combination thereof best suits the business needs.

Overall, these survey responses provide crucial, comparative reliability metrics to enable customers to make informed choices on which server hardware and server operating system or combination thereof, best suits their specific business and budgets needs.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In summary the ITIC 2012-2013 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey findings indicates that all of the server operating system platforms have achieved a high degree of reliability. However, the IBM AIX 7.1 operating system, followed closely by Windows Server 2008 R2, HP UX 11i v3 and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 11 are the top four most reliable server OS distributions.

Server hardware reliability shows similar year-over-year improvements. Among the “work horse” mainstream systems, the IBM Power Systems i and p servers, HP Integrity, Fujitsu Primergy and SPARC and the Stratus ftServer 4500 have the highest levels of inherent reliability.

Organizations must have confidence in the reliability and stability of their server hardware and server OS platforms. The advances in technology suggested by the ITIC 2013 Global Server Hardware and OS Reliability Survey results are encouraging. Now companies must tackle other equally important and challenging issues to ensure the highest levels of uptime and reliability.

It is the responsibility of the vendors to deliver reliable products and top notch technical service and support. Corporations also bear responsibility for keeping their IT departments well staffed and providing the necessary training and certification to IT administrators. Achieving optimum uptime means upgrading refreshing server hardware as necessary in order to support more data intensive workloads and physical, virtual and cloud environments. Close attention must be paid to system integration and interoperability, patch management and documentation. Business performance will almost certainly suffer if server configurations are inadequate for current tasks and requirements.

The ITIC survey results show that even the most bulletproof hardware and software platforms can be undone by human error or lack of adequate manpower in the IT department. Companies should monitor their service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure that they meet the desired reliability levels. If they do not, corporations should ascertain the cause and make the necessary improvements.

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