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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cisco CCNP® Service Provider certification

Cisco announced the availability of its Cisco CCNP® Service Provider certification developed to validate the skills and knowledge of network engineers to deploy and optimize a next-generation carrier-grade network capable of rapid expansion to support new managed services.

With rapidly evolving service provider network infrastructures and increasing customer requirements, it is imperative for service providers to have highly skilled personnel in the latest core, transport, and edge technologies relevant in the industry today. The CCNP Service Provider certification coupled with the recent release of the CCNA Service Provider and current CCIE Service Provider certification provides networking engineers with a complete training and certification portfolio in IP next-generation networks (IP NGN).

Key Facts:
  • Professional-level CCNP Service Provider courses and exams deliver a deep understanding of major components of service provider networks and IP NGN infrastructure for delivering managed services.
  • The training enables candidates to gain extensive hands-on experience in configuring and troubleshooting Cisco carrier-grade networking devices using native Cisco IOS® and IOS XR operating systems.
  • The certification validates an individual's ability to implement, validate end-to-end and optimize technologies including carrier routing (BGP, IS-IS, OSPF, Multicast), SP core network services (QoS, MPLS, MPLS-TE) and SP edge network services (Layer 2 VPNs, MPLSLayer 3 VPNs, Carrier Ethernet).
  • The certification is composed of the following courses and exams:
    • SPROUTE (642-883): Deploying Cisco Service Provider Network Routing
    • SPADVROUTE (642-885): Deploying Cisco Service Provider Advanced Network Routing
    • SPCORE (642-887) Implementing Cisco Service Provider Next-Generation Core Network Services
    • SPEDGE (642-889) Implementing Cisco SP NGN Edge Network Services

The Official Genting iPhone App

To download the app, go to download iTunes from Apple. Install it and then search for 'genting'.


It is available for free.

There is though another similar competiting app known as 'Travel Genting' which is created by another party outside Genting which offers download for $0.99.

You can try both, but today we will take a look at the official app provided by Genting itself.

The app is like your personal assistant to Genting Highlands where you can plan your trip and find out happenings. Notable features include:

  • Information - highlights, hotels, dining
  • Social media interaction
  • Members login for points checking
  • Trip planner
  • Reservations
Existing version of the app is compatible with iPhone,iPod Touch and iPad which is iOS 4.1 or later.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Seven Tips for Protecting Information on Mac and Windows

For years users of Mac computers have been like the small-town citizen, confident in their safety because cybercriminals paid so little attention to them. Partly because of this vaunted security, many small business owners depend on Macs to run their businesses. Small businesses born of the recession in particular, and led by tech-savvy owners, loaded up on Macs as their personal and professional worlds converged, with less emphasis on enabling security measures to keep sensitive information safe. But recent events have shown that even Mac users can no longer turn a blind eye to cyber threats.

According to Apple, nearly one in four computers sold in the United States is a Mac. The Flashback virus, which targets a Java vulnerability in Mac OS for which Apple has since issued a security update, spread quickly and more viruses are sure to follow. Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) that use Macs to fuel their businesses need to take the appropriate steps to protect their information.

The Mac community has grown enormously in the last decade – and now cybercriminals are taking notice, as evidenced by the recent Flashback outbreak. This Trojan has infected upwards of half a million Mac machines according to security researchers, most of them in North America, creating a large botnet that transfers information back to the cybercriminals. While Apple responded quickly with a security update to address this issue, Flashback should be a wake-up call for SMBs – malware authors now consider Mac computers a viable battleground along with the Windows platform. In fact, Symantec has identified new Java Applet malware that targets this same Mac vulnerability and Windows at once – it checks which OS the machine is running on and downloads a suitable malware for the operating system.

When business information is on the line, the entire organisation is at risk, particularly in a small business. Organisations can’t afford to let complacency be the hallmark of their security strategy, and they can’t think they are invisible to the bad guys.

Complete Information Protection for SMBs

What should small business owners be doing to protect their information from the latest threats to Mac and Windows machines? The answer is a combination of technology and policy.
  • Deploy a reliable security solution throughout the organisation – on Mac and Windows endpoints. Today's security solutions do more than just prevent viruses. They scan files regularly for unusual changes in file size, programs that match the software's database of known malware, suspicious e-mail attachments and other warning signs. It's the most important step small businesses can take toward keeping computers clean of malware.
  • Keep security software current and operating systems and third-party applications updated with the latest patches. New viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malware are born daily, and variations of them can slip by software that is not current.
  • Develop security policies and educate employees about Internet safety, security and the latest threats. Train employees to be wary of email attachments, links from unknown sources, and unusual software update requests. Most infections can be prevented by adhering to organisational policy and exercising caution.
  • Enforce strong password policies. Maintaining strong passwords will help you protect the data stored on a laptop if a device is lost or hacked. Strong passwords have eight characters or more and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (e.g., # $ % ! ?). Have employees change their passwords on a regular basis, at least every 90 days.
  • Implement encryption technologies on desktops, laptops and removable media. With encryption, confidential information is protected from unauthorized access, providing strong security for intellectual property, customer and partner data.
  • Protecting information is more than implementing an antivirus solution. Backup and recovery is a critical component of complete information protection to keep small business desktops, servers and applications running smoothly in case of disruption – whether it’s a flood, an earthquake, a virus or a system failure.
  • Regularly check the defences to be sure everything is working properly.

Just as the Internet is shrinking the world of business, allowing small organisations to connect with customers everywhere, it is bringing security risks to SMBs. Regardless of the situation, the size of business, or whether an organisation is on Mac or Windows systems, it’s time to start locking your doors.

If an organisation is concerned that they may be infected with Flashback, Symantec has provided a free detection and removal tool for download at this link.

By: Nigel Tan (陈善龙),Principal Consultant for Asia South Region, Symantec.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why Organization Should Implement Big Data Analytics ?

First of all, it is big data and it is getting bigger each day. When talking about big data, those analytics guys means that you can now combine everything into anything for analytics. Before big data, it was business analytics where structured business propriety data are being combined together to yield insightful results, with big data, it involves social data analytics with business data analytics.

Secondly, technology for storage and cloud computing become cheaper.

Thirdly, it is time to make use of automation to deal with big data. Why shouldn't you read all data instead of trying to figure out which data is important to take note ? To do that is not easy, the tools must be generic enough to support multiple scenarios.

Many Benefits

There are many benefits which can be achieved out of big data analytics, these include.
  • Strategy derivation
  • Personalization
  • Real time
  • Automation
  • Predictive
  • Fast
  • Accurate
  • Data variety

Wait-and-See

In my opinion, enterprises are on the wait-and-see approach (refer to Malaysia Technology News). They wouldn't want to rush into buying something which can only last for a short period of time because the dynamism of big data is quite significant. One way to mitigate this is to cater for trial software.

Hadoop

The other big word besides big data is Hadoop now known as Apache Hadoop.

A software framework to support large data computation in a distributed environment. What this implies is that using the framework, one gets to run computing processes at different computers and different location as if it is running in the same machine.

This is in many ways, cloud computing enabler technology.

It supports petabytes of data.

It is written in Java and maintained by Apache Softare Foundation and distributed under the license of Apache License 2.0.

The core features of Hadoop include 1.) a higher level file system module which sits on top of cross platform operation systems, 2.) scheduler, 3.) fail-over, 4.) load balancing and 5.) clustering.

Hadoop was originally created by Doug Cutting who is an advocate and creator of open-source search technology. Much of its core technology was derived from Google's MapReduce and Google File System (GFS) papers.

More on Apache Hadoop.

Consumerization of IT

The other thing to take note is consumerization of IT trend in which we are seeing the merging of consumer IT and enterprise IT. This is actually not a bad thing overall, because end users will then have more choices for choosing the technology to solve their problems, such as sentimental analysis. I would think that this can potentially become the biggest driver for big data analytics.

Round Table Forum 10th May 2012

Enterprise IT News is organizing an upcoming round table forum on 'Advanced Analytics: Creative Deployment for Business Competitiveness'. Be the first 10 people to be chosen to attend this by invitation only event!

More on trends.

Avaya Ethernet Switches For SMB and Remote Branches

Avaya has introduced the Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch (ERS) 3500, a new series of compact Ethernet switches designed exclusively for small and midsize enterprises (SME), remote branches, and open environments such as classrooms and hospitality suites.

The Avaya ERS 3500 provides enterprise-class functionality and features while simplifying network operations for small locations:
  • True plug and play functionality for IP phones—operational in under a minute when connected to the Avaya ERS 3500
  • Automated set up with Avaya IP Office—one simple command will automatically provision the switch and enable all IP phones on an Avaya IP Office system
  • Intuitive tools for managing, troubleshooting and operating devices—including web-based GUI management, comprehensive centralized management, and configuration tools for large branch office deployments

The plug and play and automation capabilities of the ERS 3500 will simplify deployments for Avaya customers and channel partners by reducing the potential for error during set up, delivering consistency across multiple locations and helping ensure that best practices are followed during installation.

The ERS 3500 Series consists of six Fast and Gigabit Ethernet switches available in 10 and 24-port configurations. Customers can choose models with enhanced Power over Ethernet (PoE+) to future-proof their networks and power advanced IP phones, wireless access points and video surveillance cameras. Fanless switches are also available for noise sensitive environments, such as classrooms or hospitality suites, where silent operation is required.

Customers can purchase the 24-port models of the Avaya ERS 3500 with an eye to the future, starting small and investing in additional capacity as their business grows. Avaya's Stackable Chassis Architecture will be enabled on these models in a future software release, offering customers the ability to stack up to eight ERS 3500 units for enhanced network availability, simplified management and up to 80Gbps of virtual backplane capacity. Stackable Chassis will provide functionality equivalent to a modular chassis without the associated costs.

This announcement highlights Avaya's commitment to bringing The Power of We™ to every Avaya customer to help drive faster collaboration, smarter decisions and better business results.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

LHDNM And Symantec Offer Best Practices On E-Filing and M-Filing

With less than one week to meet the e-Filing and payment (non-business income) deadline of 30 April 2012, Symantec is joining force with Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDNM) to ensure Malaysian taxpayers adopt best practices when filing taxes (tax return forms) and making payments online and through mobile devices. This collaboration is an ongoing initiative of Symantec and LHDNM to build awareness among consumers and businesses to secure and manage their personal and confidential information during the busy tax season.

With the increased broadband, mobile penetration plus the availability of e-Filing, m-Filing and e-Bayaran services in Malaysia, LHDNM is expecting an increasing number of taxpayers to file their taxes online this year. Last year, 2.5 million Malaysian taxpayers filed their taxes online (1.7 million are from e-BE/non-business income individual taxpayers and the balance are from e-B/ business income individual taxpayers).

This year, LHDNM has also made available the new and innovative Mobile Filing or m-Filing service that provides the convenience of filing taxes through selected mobile devices for Individual taxpayers without business income. LHDNM is expecting a good response to this new service with the increasing adoption of mobile devices.

“As mobile penetration increases in Malaysia, it made sense to introduce an additional platform to ease accessibility and convenience of filing taxes online,” said Dato’ Dr. Mohd. Shukor bin Haji Mahfar, CEO of LHDNM. “While the Internet and mobility pave the way for greater flexibility, we encourage every taxpayer to exercise precaution through the practice of safe online habits whether on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone device.”

He added, “The online safety of taxpayers is our utmost priority and we are working closely with Symantec and other related organisations to ensure greater awareness of best practices for assured e-Filing, m-Filing, and e-Bayaran experiences.”

Alex Ong, Senior Country Manager of Symantec Malaysia, said, “Taxpayers need to be extra cautious when filing their taxes online, whether through their computers or mobile devices, to ensure the protection of their confidential information such as personal identification number, address, salary, financial and contact details. Symantec encourages Malaysian taxpayers to adopt online security best practices and ensure that their mobile devices are secured prior to transacting online.”

Online Best Practices for e-Filing and m-Filing

To promote safe online behaviour, Symantec has outlined the following best practices for consumers and businesses to keep their identity and confidential information secure when filing taxes and making payments online:
  • Protect PCs, financial files on computers, smart phones, tablets and Internet connection with strong passwords. Choose hard-to-guess passwords for e-Filing and m-Filing, change them regularly and keep them safe.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links in e-mail or instant messages as these may be links to fake or phishing websites. Type web addresses directly into the browser rather than clicking on links from email or instant message.
  • Never reply to requests for personal information in SMS and email messages that ask for personal or financial information or passwords. When in doubt, contact LHDNM directly for verification (Hotline: 1300-88-3010, Email: aduan@hasil.gov.my).
  • When using a wireless connection, ensure that the wireless router is security enabled and password protected. Use secure wireless connections and avoid using a public wireless hotspot. If you can’t find one, save the transmissions until you can connect to a secure environment.
  • Install good Internet security software and be sure to run a thorough scan of your machine and mobile devices using this software before you begin your tax preparation. Keep the software turned on and up-to-date with latest threat definitions.
  • Educate yourself and stay informed on the latest security trends in the market.
  • Ensure important information is backed up regularly and copies are stored in a media separate from your computer.
  • Perform regular backups. Set up a regular backup schedule for the information on your laptop or mobile devices.
  • Log-out every time you have finished.
  • Have all your documents ready before starting so you do not leave the e-Filing webpage open for too long.
  • Do not wait till the last minute to file your taxes. File your taxes online as early as possible.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Norton Secured Seal is the Most Recognised Trust Mark on the Internet

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) announced that it is combining the power of the VeriSign checkmark with the industry-leading Norton brand, to create the most recognised trust mark on the Internet – the Norton™ Secured Seal. It will be displayed more than half a billion times per day in 170 countries on websites and in search results on enabled browsers. The Norton Secured Seal provides consumers and businesses with the assurance that the website is highly-trusted and secure.

“As content web choices explode and threats increase, customers increasingly need confirmation that a web site is genuine and safe,” said Christian Christiansen, program vice president for Security Products and Services at IDC. “To answer this customer requirement, companies need to present customers with assurances of reliability. Therefore, the Norton Secured Seal, backed by Symantec authentication and security, is an important and recognisable trust mark for online consumers.”

Together with the combined brand equity strengths, Symantec and Norton have created the most trusted global brand for protecting information and identities online. Since the acquisition of the VeriSign Authentication Services business, Symantec has expanded its authentication business, integrating rigorous website security and anti-malware technologies, to develop market-leading solutions. The company builds on its leadership, as the world's largest and most trusted provider of Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, into offering comprehensive website security solutions.

“Since acquiring the VeriSign Authentication business, Symantec extends the core foundation of SSL to offer the most comprehensive security portfolio in the market,” said Fran Rosch, vice president, Identity and Authentication, Symantec. “Our shift to delivering Website Security Solutions further strengthens the protection of data and information in transit. The Norton Secured Seal represents a major step in helping companies establish higher levels of website trust and confidence with their customers.”

“Symantec and Norton’s combined brand equity have created the most trusted global brand for protecting information and identities online. Norton is committed to helping consumers stay protected, across all aspects of their digital lives,” said Sally Jenkins, vice president, Consumer Worldwide Marketing, Symantec. “The Norton Secured Seal is backed by the trusted Norton brand and empowers consumers to browse, shop, and socialize online with full confidence that their personal information is secure.”

Trust Seal Helps Improve a Company’s Website Business, Reputation and Customer Relationships

Business customers will value the Norton Secured Seal, for its proven ability to enable a secure online experience while increasing visibility and transactions. The seal can attract new visitors and potential customers that are crucial to a website’s success. This may result in increased traffic, more click throughs and higher rankings in search results. A U.S. online consumer study1 found that recognition of the Norton Secured seal is high.

94 percent of consumers are likely to continue an online purchase when they view the Norton™ Secured Seal during the checkout process, more than other seals or when no seal was displayed.

  • 77 percent of consumers recognised the Norton™ Secured Seal, more than competitors' trust seals.
  • 65 percent of consumers agree that a website displaying the Norton™ Secured Seal is “safe to browse and won’t give me a virus,” more than any other online trust mark.
  • 90 percent of respondents indicated they would not continue a transaction if they saw a browser warning page indicating the absence of a secure connection.


Protecting consumers’ information and preserving their trust is central to Symantec’s business. And the Norton Secured Seal provides further assurance to businesses that their customers’ online information and transactions are protected at all stages of their engagement online.

Norton Helps Consumers Stay Safe Online

  • Symantec’s consumer products are used by more than 150 million people worldwide and Norton products ship on more than 60 percent of Windows-based consumer PCs.
  • The Norton Secured Seal is already familiar to consumers who use Norton Safe Web, a site ratings service that makes it easy for consumers to differentiate between a safe and risky site. In addition, Norton Safe Search leverages Safe Web technology to provide users visual site ratings within search results before they visit a site.
  • For consumers, seeing the Norton Secured Seal lets them know it is safe to communicate, transact and exchange information on that site.


Availability

To provide users a visual representation of the two most trusted names in online security, Symantec began automatically updating all VeriSign seals with the Norton™ Secured Seal to websites worldwide starting April 17, 2012 which will continue for two weeks. The completely seamless transition will require no action by current customers. Other companies that self-host the seal will need to manually update the Norton Secured Seal.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hyper Build - Visual Build Automation Tool

Hyper Build is a build automation software which enables companies, software developers and build masters to automate their software build, testing, deployment and release process.

Hyper Build allows you to visually design your build process via an easy-to-use UI using the hundreds of built-in actions for the most commonly used tasks and tools.

To automate software build, testing, deployment and release process only.
  • Checking out files from version control
  • Incrementing version numbers
  • Copying files
  • Building source code
  • Building documentation
  • Running some batch files
  • Performing automated tests
  • Created setup/installer program
  • Uploading the setup/installer to a web site or ftp site

This build process can get quite extensive and complicated, and so, having a efficient and automated build process is very important for any software developer and build master.

Hyper Build is a software for automating your build, testing, deployment and release process. Hyper Build comes with hundreds of built-in actions for most commonly used tasks related to files, folders, compilation, build, flow control, archiving, zipping, source control, testing, FTP, registry, system, text, and more! You use these built-in actions to visually create and design your build process. You can then run the designed build project from within Hyper Build or using the Hyper Build command-line utility.

The value that I see from this is that it helps to manage and document all build processes in a single platform. Having such capability, one would be able to trace easily which version of software comes with which modules and having which features ?

It support MS Visual Studio whereby it is able to compile source code via "Build Visual Studio" or "MS Build" action where the .sln/proj file has been specified. The version of the Visual Studio must also be specified from a dropdown in the UI.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sourcefire's Next Gen IPS 99% Secured

Sourcefire Inc. (Nasdaq: FIRE), a leader in intelligent cybersecurity solutions, today shares that latest NSS Labs independent IPS tests confirmed that Sourcefire’s Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) solutions are protected against 99 percent of all attacks.

The current result is exceeding Sourcefire’s previous industry record of 98 percent set in 2011.

NSS Labs tested three models of Sourcefire’s FirePOWER™ appliances – the 8260, 8250 and 8120 – demonstrating consistency in security effectiveness, exceptional performance and scalability.

According to Chief Technology Officer of NSS Labs, Vikram Phatak, “For the past four years, Sourcefire has consistently achieved excellent results in security effectiveness based on the real-world evaluations of exploit evasions, threat block rate and protection capabilities.”

Security Effectiveness and Performance

According to Ivan Wen, the country manager of Sourcefire Malaysia, “ The FirePOWER acceleration technology built on IPS enabled the device to provide highest performance with lower power consumption. Thus allows the local enterprises to benefit from better threat detection and protection while maintaining a proven total cost of ownership (TCO).”

“The FirePOWER appliances’ is also specially targeted for enterprise customers who need to scale their network security deployments with larger throughput models.”

Summary on NSS Labs Analysis:-

Sourcefire 8260
  • 34 Gbps of inspected throughput when measured against a real world mix of traffic
  • Over 60M concurrent connections
  • TCO less than USD15 per Mbps protected
Sourcefire 8250
  • 17 Gbps of inspected throughput when measured against a real world mix of traffic
  • Over 30M concurrent connections
  • TCO less than USD19 per Mbps protected
Sourcefire 8120
  • 3.4 Gbps of inspected throughput when measured against a real world mix of traffic
  • Over 15M concurrent connections
  • TCO USD34 per Mbps protected
Sourcefire Individual Test Reports from NSS Labs on the 8260, 8250 and 8120 can be downloaded at http://www.sourcefire.com/NSSLabs

Netgear is World Leader in NAS/Unified Storage

NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQGM: NTGR), a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, today announced that Gartner, Inc., has ranked it as the world’s No.1 vendor in NAS (network attached storage)/unified storage system units – according to the most number of units sold under RM 15,000.

Gartner Inc, a leading information technology research and advisory company, recently published their Market Share: Network-Attached Storage/Unified Storage Worldwide 2011 report, which placed NETGEAR alongside the largest traditional enterprise storage vendors in the world.

"Last year alone over 100,000 businesses selected NETGEAR storage solutions, choosing NETGEAR more often than any other NAS vendor in the world," said Mr. Soo Kean Thai, Regional Director ASEAN at NETGEAR.

NETGEAR also moved up Two Spots to become the 6th largest overall NAS vendor in terms of worldwide revenue.

In addition, Gartner reports that NETGEAR’s revenue growth rate was more than double the market average in the less than RM 76,000 unified storage segment and nearly twice the overall iSCSI market average.

“We are very pleased to have Gartner’s confirmation of our market leadership as it shows that NETGEAR is aligned with the needs of customers and channel partners evaluating solutions at the entry-level unified storage segment,” end Soo.

To learn more about NETGEAR ReadyNAS storage, please visit http://www.netgear.com/business/products/storage/ and http://www.readynas.com/.

Brocade Extends Cloud-Optimized SAN Leadership

Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), the leader in fabric-based data center networking solutions, is continuing to innovate and gain market leadership for its award-winning family of Fibre Channel SAN fabric solutions based on the new 16 Gbps Fibre Channel standard. The company today announced a new entry-level Fibre Channel SAN switch, the Brocade® 6505 Switch, to broaden its full suite of next-generation SAN switches and backbones. This new addition further increases customer choice and flexibility for data center consolidation, expansion and refresh projects. In addition, Brocade has added new, industry-first virtualization functionality between Brocade adapters and switches to simplify server deployment and management.

Brocade also announced IBM as its first OEM partner to offer 16 Gbps Fibre Channel embedded switches and adapters, as well as stand-alone network adapters, for IBM servers. Specifically, IBM is making available a new Brocade custom embedded 16 Gbps SAN switch and mezzanine card for its recently announced IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node, a key component of the new IBM PureSystems. In addition, Brocade stand-up 16 Gbps HBAs are now available for integration with IBM System x in rack and tower form factors.

Fabric-based networks are a fundamental requirement in supporting highly virtualized data centers and private cloud environments, and are a critical element of the Brocade One™ strategy for providing low-latency, non-stop and easy-to-operate networks. Today, Fibre Channel is the de-facto standard for storage networking in the data center and Brocade is leading the industry’s transition to the next wave of storage architectures based on the 16 Gbps Fibre Channel standard.

Introducing the Brocade 6505 SAN Switch

Further extending its time-to-market lead over competitors, the company introduced the entry-level Brocade 6505 Switch, which provides exceptional price/performance value and enterprise-class functionality. It is configurable in 12 or 24 ports and supports 2, 4, 8 or 16 Gbps speeds in an efficiently designed 1U package. The Brocade 6505 joins other members of the Brocade SAN family, which includes the Brocade 6510 Switch, configurable between 24 and 48 ports, and the Brocade DCX® 8510 Backbone, available in 4- and 8-slot configurations.

Because of unprecedented storage needs, more enterprises are now deploying cloud and virtualization in their data centers. As a result, demand for Fibre Channel storage technology is increasing, along with acceleration in the adoption of 16 Gbps-based SAN products. Unique features of Brocade SAN solutions that customers are realizing immediate value from include second-generation inter-chassis links that enable flatter, faster, and simpler fabrics with fewer cables that increase consolidation, while reducing network complexity and costs. In addition, a new port type, Diagnostic Ports (D_Ports), enables administrators to quickly identify and isolate optics and cable problems, significantly reducing fabric deployment and diagnostic times.

According to the Dell’Oro Group1, “Both FC switch revenue and port shipments reached record levels in 4Q11. FC switch revenue increased 13% Q/Q to $509 M on 1.8 M ports shipped. Looking closer at FC switch revenue, we see that growth was broad-based, and came from both modular and fixed switches. Brocade saw a 15% Q/Q increase in FC switch revenue, as it continued to ramp its 16 Gbps switches.”

Extending Cloud-Optimized SAN Functionality to IBM Servers

Brocade is also extending the benefits of its Fibre Channel backbone and switch products to its adapter family, which provides unique benefits to organizations deploying an all-Brocade SAN fabric. New enhancements to Brocade adapters include dynamic fabric provisioning, which virtualizes connections between the Brocade adapters and switches to simplify server deployment and reconfiguration.

Simplified deployments are achieved by automating time-intensive processes and dependencies between storage and server administrators when installing new or replacement equipment or moving devices within a switch. Brocade adapters now also feature the Brocade Diagnostic Ports capability, previously offered only on switches, so administrators can quickly identify and isolate problems for optics and cables.

In addition, IBM is now offering OEM versions of Brocade embedded switches and mezzanine HBAs based on the 16 Gbps Fibre Channel standard for integration with the new IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node, a high-performance server that offers outstanding performance for virtualization with new levels of CPU performance, memory capacity, and flexible configuration options. IBM also recently launched single- and dual-port Brocade 16 Gbps stand-up HBAs for IBM System x rack and tower servers.

The Brocade embedded switch and mezzanine HBA improve performance by eliminating over-subscription and lowering costs by reducing the number of required external ports, optics, cables and power. They also provide investment protection by supporting increased virtual machine densities and next-generation technologies such as solid state storage arrays.

The Brocade embedded switches offer up to 48 ports and support 4, 8 or 16 Gbps performance. They easily connect IBM Flex System blade servers to the SAN fabric to allow unmatched reliability, flexibility and optimized performance for cloud applications. The mezzanine adapter (dual-port) support 8 or 16 Gbps speeds and the stand-up adapters (single- and dual-port) support 2, 4, 8 or 16 Gbps speeds, with each port capable of 500,000 IOPS.

Availability and Pricing

The new Brocade 6505 Switch and upgraded capabilities for extending SAN fabric benefits to servers are available now through Brocade channel and OEM partners, including EMC, Fujitsu, HP, HDS, and NetApp. For pricing information, please contact these Brocade partners. Brocade embedded switches and mezzanine adapters for integration into IBM Flex System blade servers will be available in May and Fibre Channel HBAs for IBM System x rack and tower servers are available now. For pricing information, please contact IBM at www.ibm.com

Thursday, April 19, 2012

AsiaRooms.com Launches ‘The Right Room for You’ in Malaysia

On the back of a local survey that showed more than 50 percent of Malaysians booked their travels online, AsiaRooms.com, one of the world’s leading online travel agencies (OTA), today announced the launch of “The Right Room for You”, a campaign aimed at providing Malaysians with localised deals catered to the different needs of every unique Malaysian traveller.

Starting this April, Malaysians can log onto www.AsiaRooms.com/MY to browse for booking discounts of up to 76 percent across AsiaRooms.com’s network comprising more than 55,000 hotels. From budget hostels to five-star luxury resorts, travelers can now easily choose, compare, and book accommodation from the comfort of their own homes.

This latest campaign was conceptualised based on insights from a local survey conducted by Blackbox Research among 150 online-savvy Malaysians late last year. The other countries involved in the survey were Australia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan.
Some key findings include:

  • 50% of Malaysians booked their travel trips online; slightly lower than the Asian region average of 61%.
  • 71% of Malaysians preferred booking first and paying later
  • Only 31% of Malaysians online prefer booking with a travel package, a low statistic compared to the Asia-Pacific average at 48%.
  • Top three essential hotel services include breakfast at hotel (45%); Internet in room (30%); and the use of swimming pool (21%).
  • 27% of Malaysians believe that the hotel can make or break the entire trip.
  • 45% believe that a good deal is the right room for the right price, not necessarily the lowest price
  • When choosing a hotel, 52% of Malaysians regarded online reviews as the top influence in their decision-making process.
AsiaRooms.com offers a 24-hour online booking portal, in six different languages. With all-inclusive rates, customers can book now and pay later for bookings up to a year in advance; or right up until the date of travel. Customers of AsiaRooms.com receive an instant confirmation of their booking whether they book online or by phone. Social media enthusiasts can now also check out deals and contests on the newly launched Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AsiaRoomsMalaysia.

Since its inception in March, the page has quickly amassed a base of 2,000 fans in just over a month. Underlining its investment into the Malaysian market, AsiaRooms.com is also one of the leading partners for Radio Television Malaysia’s (RTM) Sorakan Emas campaign, the prelude to the world’s largest sporting event taking place in London this year. As part of the partnership, AsiaRooms.com will be offering special deals for accommodation in London during the Games period. More information is available at http://www.rtm.gov.my/sorakanemas.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Symantec: Flashback Infections Update

OSX.Flashback is a Trojan horse that gathers information from the compromised computer.

It was started in late 2011.

It has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a social-engineering scam trying to pass off as a fake Flash update using digital certificates purporting to come from Apple. Flashback is now leveraging the latest Java vulnerability (BID 52161 - Oracle Java SE Remote Java Runtime Environment Denial Of Service Vulnerability ) in order to deliver its payload.

It works on the basis of generating dynamic URLs as a form of reporting-back-to-the -HQ. These URLs are known as C& C (command and control) server addresses.

Analysis is ongoing; however, one of the new features of the Trojan is that it can now retrieve updated C&C locations through Twitter posts by searching for specific hashtags generated by the OSX.Flashback.K hashtag algorithm.

The statistics from our sinkhole are showing declining numbers on a daily basis. However, we had originally believed that we would have seen a greater decline in infections at this point in time, but this has proven not to be the case. Currently, it appears that the number of infected computers has tapered off, but remains around the 140,000 mark.



Command-and-control (C&C) servers

Further analysis on the domain name generator (DNG) algorithm has revealed that Flashback does not limit itself to using “.com” as the top level domain (TLD).

It chooses from the following five TLDs:
  • .com
  • .in
  • .info
  • .kz
  • .net
Vulnerability

The recent Oracle Java SE Remote Java Runtime Environment Denial Of Service Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0507, BID 52161) used to distribute the Flashback Trojan has now also been seen to be distributing another Mac threat: OSX.Sabpab.

OSX.Sabpab has also been seen in targeted attacks distributed with malicious Word documents exploiting the Microsoft Word Record Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (CVE-2009-0565, BID 35190).  

Removal tool

Please visit our website for more information about this threat and how to protect your computers from harm at www.symantec.com.

A free detection and removal tool for the OSX.Flashback.K issue, “Norton Flashback Detection and Removal Tool”, is freely available for download. For more information, refer to Flashback Cleanup Still Underway—Approximately 140,000 Infections

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MyIS 2012 AGM Elects New Committee to Push Further Dev Plan

Malaysia’s sole neutral Internet Exchange operator, MyIX – also known as ‘Persatuan Pengendali Internet Malaysia’, held its Annual General Meet recently at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

The first session saw a keynote speech by the existing Chairman of MyIX, Mr. Chiew Kok Hin, who thanked all the members of MyIX for their continued support and praised committee for carrying out their duties with commitment and enthusiasm.

Chiew shared on the importance of MyIX’s role in supporting the development and competitiveness of local ISPs in offering their services more competitively within the country and around the region; as well as highlighted some key MyIX milestones over the past year that included the extension of new nodes for better peering of the traffic exchanged.

Present at the AGM were all the ordinary members and associate members of MyIX and SKMM representatives to scrutinize the AGM elections proceedings to elect the new committee for the next two years.

Current Chairman Sustains Position; New Committee Formed.

Mr. Chiew Kok Hin, Group CEO of AIMS Data Centre Sdn Bhd was declared as the new Chairman of the Persatuan until 2014, with En. Mohd Rosli Abdul Manaf, General Manager of Sales & Marketing of JARING Communications Sdn Bhd announced as the Deputy Chairman of the Persatuan.

The nomination committee of MyIX proposed that the Chairman shall be elected from the committee which comprises three permanent committee members (from the founding members) and six elected committee members at the annual general meeting every year.

The three Permanent Committee Members of the Persatuan are JARING Communications Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Berhad and AIMS Data Centre Sdn Bhd.

The voting for the elections of the six committee members at the 4th AGM of the Persatuan were conducted by ballot and the following members were elected as the committee; Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, REDtone – CNX Broadband Sdn Bhd, Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd, Celcom Axiata Berhad, MyKris Asia Sdn Bhd and DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd for the year 2012.

Some Key 2011 Highlights

Last year 2011 saw tremendous growth for MyIX, paving way for more in 2012. Among them were its securing of contracts with service providers like Fiberail Sdn Bhd, Aims Data Centre Bhd and Diversified Gateway Bhd to maintain and manage the MyIX network.

Apart from that, MyIX’s phase 2 consisted of the additional 5 new nodes in installed in 2011 at Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuantan. MyIX is also working closely with SKMM to promote the Regional nodes by giving briefing to various organizations in respective regions.

Route Server is being used by the Persatuan to ease the peering process especially for new members. The route server was rolled out at the end of December 2011 and to date some of the members have established peering with it.

MyIX today is also seen as a strategic initiative partner and good alternative for the ISPs market players to reduce their connectivity backhaul cost to and within Peninsular Malaysia.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Brocade and EMC Accelerate Cloud Computing With EMC VSPEX

Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) announced its participation in a new EMC initiative to deliver Proven Infrastructure solutions for customers looking to make the transition to virtualization and cloud. The new EMC® VSPEX™ Proven Infrastructure, available only through the EMC's Velocity™ Program channel partners, can combine Brocade cloud-optimized networking technologies with EMC unified storage and next generation backup architecture, while enabling customers to leverage their server and hypervisor of choice.

Increasing numbers of small organizations are making the transition toward virtualization and cloud, but many are grappling with the challenge of managing IT infrastructures and ensuring application availability. Further, many do not have the in-house technical expertise or resources available to larger enterprises to smoothly make this transition. To address this need, EMC VSPEX offers customers a simple efficient and flexible means of deploying virtualization and cloud technologies, without added layers of IT complexity or risk. In addition, EMC VSPEX is built upon best-in-class technologies that provide customers with an unprecedented level of flexibility and investment protection.

In any virtualization or cloud deployment, the network plays a critical foundational role in the delivery and migration of data between virtual machines (VMs). Brocade cloud-optimized networking technologies are designed to seamlessly integrate and extend virtual compute in multi-vendor environments to help enable increased network performance, utilization and resiliency in virtualized architectures. Pre-validated by EMC for interoperability and featured in EMC's new VSPEX Labs, EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure solutions provide customers with the ability to choose from the following Brocade networking products:

  • Brocade ICX Switches: Available for deployment in VSPEX solution bundles for up to 100 VMs, Brocade ICX switches deliver enterprise-class stackable switching at an entry-level price. Two models are included in VSPEX configurations, the ICX 6450 and the ICX 6610, providing up to 48 ports of 1 Gpbs and 10 Gbps Ethernet connectivity.
  • Brocade VDX Switches: For integration with VSPEX virtualization and VDI solutions that scale up to 250 VMs and up to 2,000 virtual desktops, the award-winning Brocade VDX switch family enables businesses to build data center Ethernet fabrics, which provide an intelligent foundation for cloud-optimized architectures. The Brocade VDX 6720 is available in 1U and 2U models with up to 60 10 Gbps Ethernet ports. The Brocade VDX 6710 switch features 48 1 Gbps Ethernet ports and six 10 Gbps Ethernet ports in a 1 U design.
  • Brocade 6510 Fibre Channel Switches: Providing customers with a choice to utilize high-performance Fibre Channel connectivity for VSPEX-based virtualization and VDI applications (also up to 250 VMs and up to 2,000 virtual desktops), the Brocade 6510 delivers maximum reliability and flexibility. It is configurable up to 48 ports and supports 2, 4, 8, 10, or 16 Gbps speeds in an efficiently designed 1U package.
The open approach of EMC VSPEX brings together best-in-class technologies from leading vendors to create a set of highly flexible IT solutions. Taking into account the range of variability among IT environments, VSPEX's modular design enables customers to specify their choice of server, network and virtualization technologies within a pre-validated framework.

Brocade has long subscribed to this open ecosystem philosophy, and has therefore established partnerships with a number of vendors within the VSPEX ecosystem. This deeper level of collaboration affords the customer with an additional level of assurance of interoperability between components of the EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure.

The Channel as the First Mile to the Cloud 

The continual maturation of cloud technologies, coupled with customers' growing interest in integrating virtualization and cloud solutions into their IT environments, presents an opportunity for channel partners. The channel's unique position within the IT marketplace and proximity to the customer makes them a natural fit as the "go-to" party for consulting and deployment of advanced technologies. To leverage the channel's valuable expertise and technical know-how, VSPEX solutions will be integrated and available via authorized Brocade Alliance Partner Network (APN) and EMC's network of Velocity partners.

As part of its ongoing commitment to drive integrated solutions via the channel, Brocade has announced the availability of programs designed to assist and reward resellers in the selling of VSPEX solutions, specifically:
  • Significant discounts on demonstration units to assist partners in populating proof-of-concept labs and increase trial deployments
  • Extra percentage points for deal registration to protect partner opportunities
  • Specialized Brocade Rewards bonuses to further incentivize VAR sales representatives

These programs, in conjunction with EMC's efforts to drive end-to-end enablement through the channel, provide partners with an opportunity to both capitalize on these current industry trends, while establishing themselves as the trusted advisor to the end customer.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Building Intelligent Systems With Windows

Over the past year, Microsoft has been discussing the vast possibilities offered by the emergence of a new category within the traditional embedded market — intelligent systems.

A critical component of Microsoft’s enterprise strategy, intelligent systems enable an unprecedented flow of data with the power to transform industries such as retail, manufacturing and medicine, by connecting devices where data is generated through employees and customers to back-end systems and services where it is translated into strategic insight to inform business decisions.

Last November, Microsoft outlined a product road map for its intelligent systems vision. As part of that plan, today Microsoft is making the Windows Embedded Standard 8 community technology preview (CTP) available on the x86 architecture.

With Windows Embedded, developers can use the same trusted tools used in building applications for Windows 8 to build specialized devices within line-of-business applications — extending the power of Windows 8 and the cloud to intelligent systems. Using the Windows Embedded platform, retailers can build smart digital signage and intelligent kiosks. Manufacturers can connect shop floor devices to back-end IT. In medicine, equipment for ultrasounds, x-rays and MRIs can deliver results directly to doctors at the bedside.

The Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP is an important step in giving developers and enterprises an opportunity to evaluate Windows 8 technologies for connecting specialized devices to powerful back-end software.

About Windows Embedded Standard 8

Windows Embedded Standard 8 is a componentized version of Windows 8 that includes features designed to meet the needs of specialized devices within intelligent systems, such as these:

  • Advanced device lockdown through flexible keyboard filters and a new unified write filter that combines previous write filters into a single, streamlined solution for better management and enhanced uptime.
  • Support for customized experiences and branding from boot to shut down, so apps can take advantage of Windows with a customized look and feel from the first press of the power button.
  • Componentization of the OS to scale the system up or down depending on the device, including a set of modules that have been preconfigured and tested to enable device-specific scenarios.
  • IT pro management tools, including the Universal Configuration Tool (UCT) that provides for local and remote management, integrated into the security infrastructure.
  • OS development tools, including the new Module Designer that allows developers to easily integrate third-party software into the OS, including the ability to copy files, execute commands, install drivers and modify the registry.
With the release of this CTP, developers for specialized devices and intelligent systems now have access to all the key functionality of Windows 8. Windows Embedded Standard 8 targets the specialized device world with all the native security improvements to the stack and core operating system components as Windows 8. Also, since it aligns with the new Metro app model, Windows Embedded Standard 8 will also allow developers to scale apps across types of specialized devices, customizing the interface for each type of device while maintaining their own proprietary branding and experience.  

How to Get the CTP

Interested? Head over to the Windows Embedded Standard 8 download center and get started today. It is free, and the only limit is your imagination.

The mobile phone can eat our lunch!

After the success of iPod by year 2005, Steve Jobs declared during one board meeting that "the device that can eat our lunch is the cell phone."

Jobs was thinking about the future of iPod and for the company and it was decided that Apple will have to make a mobile phone which can also play music similar to what iPod does.

Thus, the ROKR (ancestor of iPhone) was born. It was more of like a prototype; a creation Motorola and Apple and the wireless carrier Cingular. ROKR was actually made out of Motorola RAZR.


The ROKR wasn't considered to be anything successful, at least to Apple's standard and Jobs' taste. It was ugly and not user-friendly and Jobs labelled Motorola as stupid company.

So, Jobs decided to do the mobile phone all by themselves.

Given the success of iPod which Apple has a reason to protect the business, and with more than 825 million mobile phones were sold in 2005, it was a huge market and business potential for Apple to carry on this strategy.

The knee-jerk reaction to accomplish Jobs' vision was to modify the iPod. The trackwheel was considered as the main instrument to scroll phone menus and without keyboard, entering number wasn't a natural fit and makes it a lousy option.

However, the idea of using iPod trackwheel wasn't scrapped immediately, it went on into further development.

What most of us do not know is that by year 2005, Apple was already having a secret project to build a tablet computer. In other words, the idea of iPad actually came before iPhone.

One of the biggest challenges of creating iPhone was the multi-touch which took them 6 months just to come up with a workable prototype. 6 months!

At the same time, Apple had acquired FingerWorks , all of its patents, and the services of its two founders; John Elias and Wayne Westerman of University of Delaware.

So, by then Apple went on two development paths for iPhone. 1.) to base on iPod trackwheel and 2.) to base on multi-touch.

This direction took them another 6 months until a decision was made to scrap the iPod trackwheel idea and just to focus on multi-touch.

The other big challenge was the decision on keyboard. Without a keyboard, it makes it hard to implement the features of phone locking. Nevertheless, it was decided that iPhone will be a software phone with no keyboard and that the solution for the phone locking is to 'swipe to open'. This is a remarkable invention of Apple.

The third major challenge was the glass for the touch screen which also took 6 months to produce.

The company known as Corning Glass had earlier developed a product called "gorilla glass" which was incredibly strong but had no market potential during that time. Jobs liked the idea immediately and signed up with them.

After 9 months of R & D and redesigning on the iPhone which was nearing completion, Steve Jobs suddenly ordered major revision. The problem was the initial design had the glass screen set into an aluminum case and during one Monday morning, Jobs realized that he just didn't like it. His reason was that the iPhone should focus on the display and not to have the case being too revealing. Thus, it was redesigned again and ended up with just a thin stainless steel bezel that allowed the gorilla glass display to look like it is without a frame.

This decision resulted in the circuit boards, antenna, and almost everything to be redone. Jobs offered the team to kill him right away for his craziness or to embrace the challenge and they backed him up instead;the team had to work nights and weekends.

iPhone was unveiled Jan 2007 at Macworld and went on sales 5 months later. By the end of 2010, Apple sold ninety million iPhones.

Conclusion:

Even big companies struggle with strategies and invested resources into bad options. There was no God in iPhone's creation, it was great vision, risk taking, tenacity and a lot of passion for success. Nobody (including Jobs) knew what would come out of it.

With all their intelligence, know-how and hard works, it still took Apple 6 months to create a working prototype of multi-touch screen.

The biggest revelation that I had with iPhone was that it feels like iPhone was created by Apple within a few days. This tells me that we have most often taken things for granted more often than we know. And for those people who never ever going to have the opportunity read this blog or the biography, that the iPhone was created out of day dreaming or fell from the sky.

Officially, the iPhone was developed in around 9 months of aggressive R & D and with many overlaps of schedules by many different teams simultaneously. I would think that from idea inception to the first sales, it took them around 2 years of effort. 2 years!

It involves tremendous amount of resources, hard work and determination coupled with world class talents. So don't come and tell me you want to create a world class product all by yourself within 2 years.

Finally, I feel that there are many people with determination and passion similar to Steve Jobs even in Malaysia, the only problem is that the employees do not feel like they are part of anything great as in what Apple was experiencing. Therefore, in many situations outside Apple, employees would have chose to go for the kill than to embrace the challenge.

SolarWinds Adds Robust Mobile Toolset for IT Administrators

SolarWinds® (NYSE: SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, announced the release of SolarWinds Mobile Admin software v.7. SolarWinds acquired the new mobile IT management product from Rove. SolarWinds Mobile Admin software is designed specifically for mobile devices, with native applications for the most common mobile operating systems, and an extensive list of remote fix capabilities.

“As everyone knows, the new business reality is one of mobility. The same holds for the modern IT guy. Whether they are managing a server on another floor, or a user halfway around the world, IT pros need to be available to evaluate and respond anytime, from anywhere,” said Kevin Thompson, president and CEO, SolarWinds. “We are excited to offer a mobile IT admin solution that is platform agnostic, IT management solution agnostic, and truly gets to the heart of solving real-world problems for our customers.”

Mobile Admin is used by thousands of customers to monitor and manage their corporate IT infrastructure from their iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook (OS2), and Kindle Fire. In addition to dozens of third party systems and services, the latest version of Mobile Admin now adds support for Amazon EC2, Microsoft Active Sync, and SolarWinds network and server management products.

SolarWinds Mobile Admin 7.0 includes the following new features:
  • Support for Amazon EC2, Microsoft Active Sync, and SolarWinds Orion
  • Improved dashboard and notifications system with a new user interface
  • Instant notifications from Active Directory when a user is locked out for fast resolution
  • Better device integration including the ability to share Mobile Admin information
More Highlights of SolarWinds Mobile Admin 7.0 include:
  • Native applications for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry devices
  • Remote Desktop, SSH, Telnet, VNC, Proxy via Mobile Admin Server or Direct Connect capabilities
  • Access to over 500 distinct functions across servers, platforms, and systems
  • Ability to create a personalized dashboard, as well as real-time personalized status and alerts
  • Comprehensive support for over 40 key IT technologies, including Active Directory, VMware or Hyper-V hosts, Windows servers and desktops, Oracle or SQL server databases, Backup Exec, Exchange, and more
  • Integrates with SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor, Microsoft Systems Center Operations, Remedy Service Desk, BMC Performance Manager, and Nagios

SolarWinds Mobile Admin is the newest addition to SolarWinds’ IT management product portfolio that includes network management, server & application management, log & event management, virtualization management, and storage management software, as well as dozens of free IT management tools.  

Pricing and Availability
 
Pricing for SolarWinds Mobile Admin software starts at US$695 and includes the first year of maintenance. For more information, including a downloadable, free 30-day evaluation trial is available online, or by calling 65.6593.7600.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tech Tips That Are Good to Know

http://www.google.com/goodtoknow/

Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific Ltd, Malaysia Gets a New Country Manager

Japan’s leading information and communication technology company, Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific Ltd (FPCA) today announced the appointment of Ms. Yap Hui Hui as country manager for Malaysia with a remit to further develop and expand the business in the region.

“I look forward to bring my experience to lead the FPCA team in Malaysia. Having been in the industry for almost a decade I have seen how the consumer trends change; and keeping up with them is important. My goal here is to reach out to consumers with leading Japanese technology infused in Fujitsu’s PC’s.” stated Ms. Hui Hui

She further added, “My focus for this year is to deliver FPCA’s high definition products to the masses, as they are coming out with a range of different and interesting new products this year. I am ready to focus on developing FPCA Malaysia’s PC segment business through 2012 and personally look forward to delivering the company as one of the leading brands in the Malaysian industry.”

Hui Hui, has over 10 years of experience specializing in the PC segment, and will spearhead sales and channel development for Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific Ltd across Malaysia.

Prior to joining FPCA, Hui Hui served as Business Manager for Lenovo, Malaysia focusing on the development of consumer and commercial PC businesses for six years.

Oracle Announces New MySQL 5.6 Development Milestone Release

Oracle announced a new Development Milestone Release (DMR) for MySQL 5.6, the world’s most popular open source database

Available for download in the MySQL Developer Zone, this MySQL 5.6 DMR delivers new replication features enhancing availability with self-healing recovery, increased performance, and improved manageability.

In addition to the new DMR, Oracle is providing early access to significant features under development for community testing and feedback through http://labs.mysql.com. The features include online operations for ADD index and NoSQL access to InnoDB via the Memcached protocol.

MySQL 5.6 DMR Focuses on Enhanced Availability, Increased Performance and Improved Manageability

The new MySQL 5.6 DMR delivers:

  • Enhanced high availability with new replication features, including: Global Transactions Identifiers (GTIDs), enabling replication progress to be tracked through a replication topology, providing a foundation for self-healing recovery, and the ability to deploy more complex replication topologies without administrative overhead. Coupled with the new MySQL replication utilities to provide monitoring with automatic failover and switchover, GTIDs alleviate the need for additional third party High-Availability solutions, protecting web and cloud-based services against both planned and unplanned downtime.
  • New optimizer features for better throughput of complex queries, such as: Subquery optimizations: included in the optimizer path, allow developers to simplify application code by consolidating multiple queries or result sets into a single unit of work. CURRENT_TIMESTAMP: now part of the optimizer and used as the default for DATETIME columns, eliminates the need for the application to assign this value when blank by default. Faster range based queries: by using ready statistics vs. index based scans, improves the speed of queries with multiple range values. Faster filesort and ORDER BY queries: by selecting the best query execution method at optimization vs. parsing stage. Quick and easy readability: with EXPLAIN output delivered in JSON format.
  • An improved PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA enables better in-depth optimization of application performance and analysis of the MySQL environment with new query statement summaries and a new host_cache diagnostics table.
The following key features are also available through http://labs.mysql.com, for early testing and feedback from the MySQL community:
  • Online Operations for ADD Index: improve InnoDB’s availability and performance by enabling true online, non-blocking ADD index operations, and enable faster and simpler schema evolution to support rapidly evolving Web services.
  • High performance NoSQL access to InnoDB from Memcached: provides the flexibility of using NoSQL techniques to access InnoDB data alongside the existing SQL query model.
  • Additional performance improvements on modern hardware: increasing InnoDB query performance by better handling frequently updated hot data regions in multi-core CPUs.

Microsoft Spotlights Opportunity Divide for Youth

Microsoft Corp. announced a commissioned report from the International Youth Foundation, Opportunity for Action, which documents the growing economic and social challenges facing youth around the world and the urgent need to provide the education, skills and employment opportunities required for them to succeed in today’s rapidly changing global economy.

The report underlines the emergence of an opportunity divide among young people worldwide. On a global basis, the unemployment rate for youth is currently 12.7 percent, or more than double the six percent global average for unemployment as a whole. While some youth are prospering, many others who lack access to education, skills and opportunities face growing challenges. As the global youth population of 1.2 billion — the largest in history — grows over time, the gap risks widening even further between those with opportunity and those without.

The Opportunity for Action report documents the nearly 75 million young people, globally, who are unemployed and the varying causes for rising youth unemployment in different parts of the world. As the report shows, currently only 44 percent of youth worldwide pursue education as far as the equivalent of the high school level in the United States, and even fewer complete secondary education. This is especially concerning given the increase in jobs globally requiring higher levels of skill and education. In the United States, for example, it is estimated that by 2018, 62 percent of the workforce will require some college education, yet today 16 percent of American youth ages 18-24 fail even to complete high school.

There are varying causes for the opportunity divide around the world. Latin American youth have greater access to education than ever before, but there are low education completion rates across the region. In contrast, there are a growing number of youth in the Middle East and Africa with university degrees who find there are no jobs to match their advanced skills. And in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 23 percent of children are not even enrolled in primary school, young people are grossly underemployed in low-skill, low-quality jobs and 72 percent earn less than $2 (U.S.) per day simply to survive.

For the past decade, Microsoft programs and partnerships have helped millions of young people worldwide create a better future for themselves through investments in education, skills training and programs that provide access to job opportunities. The International Youth Foundation report indicates that there is more work to be done.

Microsoft is working with governments, nonprofits, industry colleagues, educators and youth themselves to close the opportunity divide. A first step is shining a light on the problem through the IYF report and learning more directly from young people — through a series of upcoming conferences and events in different regions of the world — about the best ways to help. The company is incorporating the insights gained from these discussions into its work to develop new plans to improve youth access to education, skills training, and communities where they can create and seize real-world opportunities.

More information about Microsoft’s commitment to helping create more opportunity for youth can be found at Microsoft.com/citizenship.

The full Opportunity for Action report can be found here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Global IT Companies Support IBM Intelligent System

More than 600 companies around the world today announced support for IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) new family of expert integrated computing systems designed to radically simplify enterprise computing by making it easier, more secure and less expensive to own and maintain.

IBM PureSystems, the result of $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions by IBM over four years, combines decades of technology know-how with innovations in the core components of enterprise technology including compute, networking, storage and software to simplify and modernize IT operations.

For IBM Business Partners, PureSystems creates a new opportunity to help clients solve the complexity of enterprise IT, reduce costs and encourage innovation. To find out more about the Distributors, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Resellers, Managed Service Providers and Systems Integrators working with IBM PureSystems.

Unique to IBM PureSystems is a new software capability called Patterns of Expertise. Patterns combine operational know-how and industry expertise directly into the system to automate a variety of common IT and industry tasks and can cut the time and resources needed for basic and complex tasks. For example, a customer relationship management program that used to take three days to deploy can now be deployed in under one hour. These develop-once-run-anywhere repeatable software patterns are based on insights from thousands of client engagements by IBM and its Business Partners.

More than 150 Patterns of Expertise have been developed and optimized for IBM PureSystems by more than 125 of the world’s leading ISVs. With technical and validation resources from IBM, these companies have the flexibility to optimize their industry leading applications to run on either the IBM PureFlex or IBM PureApplications systems. For clients this means that after a simple download of the ISV Pattern of Expertise, they can quickly be up and running with a new software or industry-specific solution.

For example, a PureSystems-optimized retail application can be downloaded and deployed either at the client site, hosted by a Business Partner, or run in a public cloud environment on the IBM SmartCloud. The application can move from on premise at the client site to the cloud if the company needs to quickly respond to a spike in sales, while at the same time saving time and development costs for Business Partners. Prior to IBM PureSystems, multiple versions of the same application would have been developed for the different environments. The setup and deployment of the application would have been more complex, costing the client and Business Partner additional time and money.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

'Collaborative Innovation' Key to Growth for Intel and Chinese Markets

During Intel Corporation’s developer forum, Intel emphasized the importance of collaborating with China’s government and industry to help create new business and innovation opportunities for Intel and its 14 million developers worldwide. The management team detailed its vision of how such collaborations could potentially spawn the next-generation of advances in business, consumer electronics and many more industries around the globe.

For example, China became the largest PC market in the world last year, growing a remarkable 13 percent in 2011 and now represents 20 percent of all PC demand, according to IDC, a global industry analyst firm. In addition, IDC shows servers in China are growing at more than eight times the rate of the worldwide average over the past 5 years, making the country the second-largest data center market segment in the world. With more than 1 billion subscribers**, China is also the world’s largest segment for mobile phones.

To address these and other opportunities, Intel executives speaking in Beijing highlighted several technology advancements and local collaborations designed to bring richer, more connected computing experiences from the cloud to computing devices of all types.

The announcements included the introduction of Intel® Small Business Advantage (SBA) designed to help maintain and protect PCs automatically and improved visual experience with built-in visuals on Intel’s forthcoming 3rd generation Intel Core products with Intel® HD Graphics 2500/4000. The company also revealed that Intel Labs China will work closely with leading Chinese OEMs, operators and municipalities for ongoing technology research and development in China.

Collaborating for Datacenter and Cloud Success

With more than 15 billion connected devices expected by 20153 – and the data center and cloud computing opportunities that support this level of connected devices – Bryant will say the key is open, standards-based solutions such as those defined by the Intel® Cloud Builders Program.

The Intel® Cloud Builders program enables ecosystem leaders to build and optimize the cloud infrastructure using open-standard solutions optimized for Intel architecture. Intel Cloud Builders brings together tools and best practices, including more than 70 reference architectures from a range of industry-leading cloud infrastructure systems and solutions providers, to address key challenges facing data center and cloud deployments such as security, manageability, and energy efficiency.

Intel Labs China: Aligning Research Collaboration and Innovation

Emphasizing the importance of ongoing research with local partners in China, Intel Labs announced new joint research collaboration efforts with Lenovo* and China Mobile*. Intel and Lenovo’s new lab-to-lab collaborative research efforts will address challenges in the mobile Internet area, such as security, context aware computing, cross screen experience and energy efficiency.

The China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) is applying Intel architecture to wireless base stations to power next-generation mobile network infrastructure. As part of CMRI’s Cooperative Radio Access Architecture (CRAN) vision, Intel Labs China and CMRI are engaging in research and ecosystem development to increase the speed and efficiency telecommunications networks through greater processing power and general computing capabilities. With CMRI and other ecosystem partners, Intel has produced a reference design prototype that demonstrates considerable improvements for lowering total cost of ownership. For example, IA signal processing-enabled CRAN technology can save telecommunications operators up to 15 percent in capital expenditures and reduce operations costs up to 50 percent, largely through power savings.

The Computer Games That We Played In 1980s

These are the computer games that me and my brother and our cousins played during the 1980s.

I had found all these user manuals and I realized that these are antics of the computer industry!

We had played these games using the 5.5 inch floppy disk on IBM compatible Windows PC throughout our childhood. Out of these games, our favorite ones were Gunship, Airbone Ranger, Test Drive III, F15 Strike Eagle, Operation Wolf, Rambo III and Indiana Jones. The no.1 favorite was Gunship.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Geojit BNP Paribas Gears Up for Expansion with Brocade Switching Infrastructure

Geojit BNP Paribas, one of India's leading financial services providers has deployed a new networking infrastructure supplied by Brocade at its Kochi headquarters. The new network provides the firm with more than 1,100 wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet access ports, more carrying power, and a low-latency core that is both scalable and resilient, providing a strong foundation for business expansion and new service offerings.

An affiliate of the one of the world's largest financial groups, Geojit BNP Paribas pioneered on-line securities trading in India. Today, it is the country's third largest retail stockbroker with more than 633,000 clients, USD2 billion worth of assets under management and a national network of over 540 offices.

Since Geojit BNP Paribas first offered its Internet trading system in 2000, India's major stock markets have grown enormously, fueled by the country's economic growth and the government's privatisation program. The Indian middle class has also developed a significant share-holding culture, with more than three million individual shareholders in the country – the world's third largest retail investor base after the US and Japan¹.

“The network is obviously the operational backbone of our business and after several years of strong growth, we were beginning to experience constraints in our existing infrastructure,” said A. Balakrishnan, CTO of Geojit BNP Paribas. “Brocade was able to offer us a very compelling value proposition with its campus and data center networking solutions. It provided a scalable foundation, with low-latency performance for our continued development of services delivered through Internet, mobile, call center and branch office channels.”

Geojit BNP Paribas selected Brocade's BigIron RX-8 Ethernet switch, designed for non-stop operation, as the heart of its new network. The RX-8 provides up to 384 non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or 128 10-GbE ports in a compact chassis with 1.92 Tbps of total switching capacity. This high capacity and port-density enables Geojit BNP Paribas to connect all access switches directly to the network core, reducing its total cost-of-ownership and eliminating latency caused by having an aggregation layer.

Brocade 48-port FastIron Workgroup switches have been deployed to provide network access and power-over-Ethernet within Geojit BNP Paribas' head office and call center while 48-port Brocade FastIron LS switches are used for server connectivity within the data center. Both these platforms provide wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet performance, with FastIron LS switches to the core upgradeable to 10-GbE.

“Geojit BNP Paribas has established itself as a leader among the thousands of stockbrokers operating in India,” said Rajesh Kaul, regional sales director for Brocade India. “With the implementation of the new Brocade switching infrastructure, it now has a superior networking foundation with which to drive quality-based competitive advantage and scale its operations while maintaining a low network management overhead.”

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Fujitsu Launches Global Supercomputer Campaign

Fujitsu, Asia’s No. 1 leading IT services and solution provider, kicks off a global campaign based on the supercomputing question of “What would you do with the world’s most powerful computer?”

The campaign commences globally via social media and conventional interactive channels; with the objective of engaging the mass public in an empowering, singular focus on the potential impact of supercomputerson human society.

This global campaign also shares Fujitsu’s milestones and contribution to the advancement of supercomputing capabilities which are available to various industries, and highlights how the power of technology can address various human issues for a better future.

Michele Lum, Marketing Director of Fujitsu Malaysia, says that this campaign exemplifies Fujitsu putting its ‘Shaping Tomorrow with You’ brand promise into practice.

“Supercomputing is set to make a profound difference to the world we live in, as we face increasingly complex social and business challenges. The target applications of computer simulations are widening and are becoming more compelling for commercial purposes as well.”

“High-performance computing will also be able to make real-time sense of the huge streams of data flowing through the business world to extract new insights into consumer behaviour and needs.”

“Fujitsu's ownership and access to this kind of supercomputing power can help translate a whole, new level of innovation to be available for the unique requirements of local markets and societies. By tapping on our global expertise and research, Fujitsu Malaysia can continue to provide technology solutions to local organisations and businesses for the long term.”

She also shares, “We joined forces with Japan’s leading research institute RIKEN to develop the world’s fastest supercomputer – the K computer. It will be used to find new sources of energy and tackle a whole range of climate change, sustainability, healthcare and industrial challenges. “This same supercomputer achieved the No. 1 position in the TOP500 ranking of supercomputers in June 2011.”

“Fujitsu is able to bring the power of supercomputers to the world and the possibilities are there for us to explore, in stepping towards our vision of a ‘Human-centric Intelligent Society’.”

Under this global campaign, Fujitsu Malaysia is running a “Redefine Impossible” contest that is open to the public on the Fujitsu Malaysia Facebook Page; with up to RM10,000 worth of prizes to be won – including the latest Fujitsu products.

The gist of contest is that the participant is required to answer the question “How would you Redefine Impossible and reshape the future?” and submit the entry through the Facebook page.

The contest is only eligible for Malaysians or residents of Malaysia aged 18-years old and above. Its closing deadline is 30th April 2012. The six best entries will be determined via public votes on Facebook, out from the pool of twenty shortlisted entries by Fujitsu. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/FujitsuMalaysia

“Through this local contest, we want to gather Malaysians’ best ideas on what the power of computers can achieve in the future,” says Lum.

Throughout the global campaign, Fujitsu will share educational information about supercomputing via its website, social media channels, Google, Facebook and Linked-in to collate public feedback on supercomputing development.

“It will be interesting to know what the public thinks of supercomputers as a tool to help mankind to solve problems around the world,” ends Lum.

To find out more about supercomputing and its vast, rapidly growing research and commercial potential, go to http://www.fujitsu.com/global/services/solutions/tc/most-powerful-computer/.