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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

Direct Edge Stock Exchange Uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Parallel Data Warehouse to Scale Trading

Business Profile: Direct Edge Stock Exchange

“Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse is a real win for us. The combination of SQL Server 2008 R2 and the PDW appliance is extraordinarily powerful. Our stock exchange needs very high reliability, very high processing speeds, excellent security and ease of use. SQL Server 2008 R2 and PDW delivers. The deployment was as smooth and seamless as Microsoft promised. We’re purchasing something that scales into the hundreds of terabytes range.”

– Richard Hochron, Chief Technology Officer at
Direct Edge Stock Exchange in Jersey City, N.J.

Quick Facts

Company:
Direct Edge, Jersey City, NJ Stock Exchange

Products Used:
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW)

Services:
Trades 1 to 2 billion stock shares daily; generates 2 terabytes of new data monthly

Benefits:
Scalability to hundreds of terabytes of data
Integration/interoperability
High Reliability
Fast load times
Seamless deployment
Ease of use
Ease of management

Direct Edge is a Jersey City, NJ based stock exchange operating two separate platforms: the EDGA Exchange and the EDGX Exchange. Direct Edge trades all listed U.S. equities… On any given trading day, Direct Edge is ranked as the third or fourth largest stock market in the United States. With a market share in the 10%-12% range, Direct Edge regularly trades 1 billion to 2 billion shares per day, fluctuating with the overall market volume. Time is literally money for Direct Edge and its customers. The stock exchange requires extremely high reliability, exceptional performance and latency and bulletproof security. Direct Edge is also known for its technical innovation and that includes deploying a database capable of massively scaling. Direct Edge is a longtime Microsoft user, but before settling on SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), the stock exchange did its due diligence and put Microsoft and the product through rigorous tests. ITIC Principal Laura DiDio interviewed Direct Edge Chief Technology Officer Richard Hochron about the reasons it chose SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW and its deployment and usage experiences with the data warehouse platform.

***

ITIC: What convinced Direct Edge to choose SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW over more established high end data warehouse platforms?

Richard Hochron: We’re a very Microsoft-centric shop. We use .Net and SQL Server running on Hewlett-Packard hardware. .Net and SQL Server are both are extraordinarily powerful. One of the big selling points was performance; the Business Intelligence (BI) Tools helped us evaluate and test the PDW platform. Direct Edge has its own SMB SAN and front end device. We needed a scalable, highly reliable and manageable platform. We like the administrative aspects of PDW; it’s very easy to manage and maintain even though it’s massively powerful. This is crucial because we have only a handful of DB administrators. It’s important for us to be able to efficiently troubleshoot our database environment. Microsoft shared all product details with us during a series of educational/training meetings. PDW is very well engineered.

ITIC: Did Direct Edge have any hesitancy about deploying PDW because it’s a new product?

RH: No. Microsoft worked with us and they put their “A” team behind it and pulled out all the stops to illustrate that PDW delivers the necessary performance and reliability. Microsoft’s service and support has also been outstanding. Direct Edge has access to all the SQL technical service and support teams. Microsoft also has a clearly defined PDW roadmap and that’s important to us. The few missing pieces of product functionality will be delivered and augmented in the not too distant future. We also take advantage of the extras provided in licensing deals for training and tech support.

ITIC: What were the most important technical and business considerations/criteria that factored into Direct Edge’s decision to deploy SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW?

RH: Number one was performance followed by cost, maintainability/manageability, scalability and security. SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW was a logical choice for us. Load times were another crucial criteria: Microsoft says PDW can load up to 1 TB [of data] per hour; and we sell 990 MBs per hour. One thing we did in our proof of concept (POC) testing was use actual data and inflate it to prove that PDW could get the job done. On the business side, we wanted to see the whole BI stack at work. It’s important for our end users, like the accounting staff to be able to easily use PDW’s features. We have existing DB warehouses and we want to leverage the entire Microsoft application stack (e.g., SharePoint). Direct Edge’s accounting staff has customized data they keep in their own individual spreadsheets. But our subject matter experts (SMEs) are not technically savvy. They require integration and interoperability between PDW and specialized apps like Power Pivot. SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW incorporates a Web-based interface for monitoring. We can see how queries are performed and if hash functions are set up correctly. PDW gives us the tools to let our business folks do the analytics and reporting, while providing ease of use. It’s powerful and empowering.

ITIC: Is Direct Edge satisfied with SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW security?

RH: Yes. Solid security is a must both externally and internally and PDW delivers. SQL Server has been the most secure database platform with the fewest number of security alerts since 2003. This is very reassuring. Active Directory (AD) lets us set policies at a global level which is very powerful.

ITIC: What’s your assessment of PDW? Does it live up to expectations?

RH: SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW is a real win. Microsoft advertises that it ships in a rack and that you hook it up and deploy it easily. PDW’s installation has proved as smooth and seamless as Microsoft promised. We’re also very pleased with PDW’s performance and scalability into the hundreds of terabytes. PDW has performed phenomenally well in our POC evaluation and pilot and it’s priced very competitively.



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