Cloud Native Computing Foundation adopts Kubernetes-friendly container runtime

Zdnet | April 26, 2019

Red Hat's Container Runtime Interface Orchestrator CRI-O is now a CNCF incubation level project. As such, it may soon challenge Docker as the top container runtime.

Spotlight

Microsoft Azure was launched in 2010 as a cloud-computing service enabling businesses and developers to build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. While Amazon AWS’s significant head start in the market has translated into a substantial advantage in market share, Azure’s growth now outpaces both AWS and Google. In their Q4 FY 2018 earnings statement, Microsoft reported that revenue generated from Azure had grown by 89% compared to Q1 FY 2017. This growth is similar to that which they reported the previous year and nearly double that of AWS for the same time period.


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VIRTUAL DESKTOP TOOLS

DTEX Systems Unveils New Privacy-First ‘PULSE’ Workforce Cyber Intelligence Product to Enable the Workforce of the Future

DTEX | August 22, 2022

DTEX Systems, the leader in Workforce Cyber Intelligence & Security, has announced the general availability of PULSE Workforce Cyber Intelligence. The first-of-its-kind workforce engagement and intelligence solution, designed with privacy as a first priority, will support digital transformation initiatives and related human capital management programs by enabling IT, HR, and Finance teams to learn from employee engagement with organizational assets and identify opportunities for improved work-life balance and operational efficiency. The Working World Has Changed and So Must Technology Outdated Employee Monitoring solutions that rely on intrusive surveillance techniques breach employee privacy and erode trust. While the intent may be to track activity and productivity towards a goal of professional development and operational efficiency, the net result is often a culture of skepticism, caution, and distrust amongst the workforce. With the Work-from-Anywhere movement here to stay, how can management learn from the workforce in the same way they did when they were able to ‘manage by physical proximity' via meaningful, interpersonal, face-to-face communications? Employee Surveillance is the WRONG answer. “Employees are not meant to be spied on, watched, and monitored. They are meant to be trusted, relied upon, and to help inform us as leaders about what we can do better to improve personal, professional, and financial outcomes for them and the organization as a whole,” said Bahman Mahbod, President & CEO at DTEX Systems. “Invasive, intrusive, surveillance-motivated technologies that monitor keystrokes, scan email, and record screens are archaic and unnecessary. They accomplish nothing and instead breed a culture of mistrust and skepticism. It is time for a new approach that embraces employees as informed, intelligence-gathering business partners.” According to Gartner, “Employees who are kept informed about why and how their organizations gather data about them exhibit higher discretionary effort and higher levels of trust relative to peers. In turn, companies with high levels of trust between employees and managers beat average annualized returns for the S&P 500 by a factor of three.”1 Legacy technologies have failed to answer the most important questions raised by progressive CEOs, and their HR, IT, and Finance leadership, including: What applications do we have? Are they being utilized? By whom? How often? Are there cost savings and efficiencies to be found in our application stack and licensing agreements? How is a hybrid work model performing for our organization as a whole? Are we meeting key performance indicators? Are we meeting objectives from a time and deliverables perspective? Do our employees feel engaged, motivated, protected, and respected? What unsanctioned SaaS applications are being utilized by top performers? What opportunities are there to learn from BYOA and adopting new SaaS apps that could accelerate innovation and efficiency? DTEX PULSE enables organizations to learn from their workforce by anonymizing an employee’s physical interactions with organizational assets (data, machines, applications, and people), aggregating these interactions across the entire business, and then performing analysis to understand engagement levels without compromising privacy. DTEX PULSE is NOT an employee surveillance tool. DTEX PULSE’s patented pseudonymization technology and unique data minimization techniques ensure employee privacy is maintained, while innovative behavioral machine-learning models help HR, IT, Finance, and Cybersecurity teams deliver better day-to-day experiences and foster better outcomes for employees and the organization. “The future of work is defined by a digitally-enabled, highly intelligent, hybrid workforce who is motivated by respect, privacy, a passion to make meaningful contributions, and innovation, The post-COVID workforce is a factor driving the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives, yet corporate visibility is regressing as operations and employees become decentralized. The goal in developing PULSE was to properly align the digital enterprise with the requirement for employee privacy, while making the workforce a source of operational intelligence and not the subject of surveillance.” Mohan Koo, CTO and Co-founder of DTEX Systems The most common use cases for DTEX PULSE include: Remote Workforce Analytics to help quantify the impact of employees and teams working remotely by analyzing application usage and access to data, both on and off the corporate VPN. Software License Optimization to help answer why, how, when and for how long employees use enterprise assets by providing contextual intelligence related to actual software utilization. This helps IT and procurement teams analyze the human habits that drive and disrupt workflows, and helps them understand what’s working, what’s not, and how they can adapt their strategies to support a more efficient workforce. Bring Your Own Application Awareness analyzes SaaS application usage data by top performers to discover authorized and unauthorized SaaS applications which support technology, efficiency, and innovation goals, without compromising a strong security posture. About DTEX Systems DTEX Systems helps hundreds of organizations worldwide better understand their workforce, protect their data, and make human-centric operational investments. Its Workforce Cyber Intelligence & Security platform brings together next-generation DLP, UEBA, digital forensics, user activity monitoring and insider threat management in one scalable, cloud-native platform. Through its patented and privacy-compliant meta-data collection and analytics engine, the DTEX platform surfaces abnormal behavioral ‘indicators of intent’ to mitigate risk of data and IP loss, enabling SOC enrichment with human sensors and empowering enterprises to make smarter business decisions quickly.

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VIRTUAL DESKTOP TOOLS

Exoprise Customers Achieve Significant ROI With SaaS and Digital Experience Monitoring

Exoprise | September 12, 2022

Exoprise, a leader in Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) solutions, announced that its customers continue to realize significant Return on Investment (ROI) with Exoprise solutions and achieve positive ROI within six months of implementation. Troubleshooting remote worker issues using traditional tools creates visibility challenges, severely impacting business continuity and productivity. According to the latest Forrester future of work survey, 20% of employees contact the service desk support team weekly, and 10% contact them daily – far too often to remain consistently productive. In current economic conditions, companies have the potential to save thousands to millions in IT costs using features and capabilities offered by Exoprise DEM solutions. As one of the Exoprise customers, a global CRM head at a financial services company, told us, "Upon returning from a weekend, our employees could not access their Salesforce app in the morning. As a result, IT and several other teams spent at least half a day trying to find the root cause, which cost the company about $500K. With Exoprise synthetics, we would have immediately narrowed the problem to a change made by the network team and saved a huge loss to the company." Exoprise customers achieve superior ROI with their DEM investment by: Recovering Service Level Agreement (SLA) credit – IT teams receive Service Level Agreement (SLA) violation credits when Microsoft 365 has downtime. For example, Microsoft services such as Azure, Teams, OneDrive, etc. may not be available due to an outage or technical issue. Service availability less than the SLA of 99.9% requires Microsoft to reward credits to the customer. Exoprise provides actionable availability reports that act as evidence of true downtime, outage length, events, errors, and corresponding service health. Customers quickly verify and claim their credits to recoup the cost of the Exoprise system. Saving Costs on Device Refresh and Upgrades – IT departments often need to upgrade their infrastructure with new hardware or software, so employees remain productive and job satisfaction remains high. However, with a shrinking economy and flat expense budget, businesses struggle to keep up with that mandate. Utilizing Exoprise Service Watch Real User Monitoring (RUM), operation teams are driving upgrade decisions based on hard network and device telemetry data, segmenting different user groups, and auditing remote endpoint devices. The result is an optimized device refresh schedule and cost-effective companywide upgrades. Another Exoprise user, a Microsoft Teams administrator at a manufacturing services company, "We had frequent complaints from users about poor Teams meetings/calls. Initially, we would upgrade the hardware to the latest to fix the problem and spend thousands doing that, but the problems persisted. So, when we started using Service Watch, we could see exactly where the problem was for each user - and avoid upgrading when the problems were due to corporate network or weak Wi-Fi access points." Preventing Network Upgrade Surprises and Downtime – Future proofing the business means frequent network optimization. Enterprises rely on mission-critical services such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, AWS, and SAP. Delivering these services via ISPs, MPLS, SDWAN, and VPN providers becomes susceptible to performance fluctuations. Exoprise provides end-to-end baseline views of the network for mission-critical applications before, during, and after any network transformation takes place. As a result, network administrators can ensure that the end-user experience is improved and access is more reliable. Delivering Better Digital Experiences Anywhere and reducing MTTR – The Modern Workplace demands remote flexibility along with the freedom to work anywhere. ITOps teams require end-to-end visibility into apps, the network, and system performance for these Digital Nomads, and the Exoprise platform delivers. Once deployed, Exoprise helps customers safely transition to a hybrid work model. Proactive synthetics provide early outage detection while crowdsourced analytics reduce the troubleshooting time in half. Improving Productivity with Less Dropped Calls for Teams, Zoom, and Webex – Today, knowledge workers collaborate using Unified Communication (UC), VoIP, and streaming applications such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WebEx. Customers use Exoprise to proactively test and tune their networks for the collaboration platforms and offer complete coverage with Service Watch RUM. As a result, there is a significant ROI in reduced dropped calls and smoother call quality. "Due to Covid, our IT model has shifted from primarily supporting call center operations to supporting a significantly larger virtual environment. That was when we became interested in better measuring digital experiences from the end user's perspective. Synthetic sensors in our central data centers collect performance data on Microsoft 365, but we wanted an even more complete picture. Together with a real user monitoring on-demand solution, we can better understand the issues of our users at any geographic location," said Kevin Santos, Senior Director of IT, Network Operation Center, BCD Travel. "Exoprise has always been at the forefront of supporting our customers with innovative digital solutions and addressing hybrid workforce challenges with a complete view into the end-user experience, Our Service Watch product rapidly isolates call quality problems with VoIP and streaming apps such as Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Zoom in real-time and ensures smooth collaboration from anywhere. In addition, our technical ability to deliver synthetics and real-user behavior insights in one platform differentiates us in the market." Exoprise CEO Jason Lieblich Read more about the combination of RUM and synthetics in our latest whitepaper and ensure the best digital employee experience for streaming, collaboration, and VoIP apps such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. Better Together: Combine Real User Monitoring with Synthetics About Exoprise Exoprise enables IT teams to effectively deploy and manage its monitoring solution and mission-critical, cloud-based applications and services. CloudReady provides real-time performance visibility from behind the firewall to the cloud and back with synthetic monitoring. Service Watch provides location-independent end-user experience insights for SaaS and third-party web applications with real user monitoring. By leveraging proactive network path diagnostics, real user experience metrics, actual app usage data, and crowd-sourcing data analytics, organizations now have visibility, speed, and agility to easily assure the best cloud service performance.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Leading Danish Service Provider Nuuday Selects Netcracker as a Strategic Partner for Major IT Transformation Program

Netcracker Technology | June 29, 2022

Netcracker Technology and Nuuday announced today that Nuuday, the largest telecom service provider in Denmark, has selected Netcracker as its strategic partner for the largest IT transformation program in the Nordic region. Netcracker’s cloud-native, microservices-based Digital BSS/OSS portfolio and Professional Services will serve as the cornerstone of the project to help the service provider eliminate legacy solutions, quickly launch new services and create superior digital customer journeys. The transformation program will support all of Nuuday’s lines of business, including broadband, TV, mobile and B2B services. Nuuday will also leverage Netcracker Managed Services for the solution, which will be hosted in the public cloud. “We are now making the largest IT investment in our company history with the purpose of replacing complex systems and re-engineering our commercial and operational processes to make life easier for our customers,” said Jon James, CEO of Nuuday. “We want to accelerate our pace of innovation and transform Nuuday into one of the most digital and advanced telcos in Europe.” “Netcracker is thrilled to partner with Nuuday through this strategic initiative to modernize its BSS and OSS systems,” said Benedetto Spaziani, GM at Netcracker. “Netcracker is making its mark in the Nordics, and we are excited for the opportunity to help realize Nuuday’s vision to become best in class.” “In Netcracker, we have found the perfect partner with a solid delivery record and previous success with large IT transformation projects, Together with Netcracker, we will apply a best-of-suite approach and build a new modern IT stack that will allow Nuuday to concentrate on customers, channel management and product innovation.” Monika Gullin, CTO of Nuuday About Netcracker Technology Netcracker Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, offers mission-critical digital transformation solutions to service providers around the globe. Our comprehensive portfolio of software solutions and professional services enables large-scale digital transformations, unlocking the opportunities of the cloud, virtualization and the changing mobile ecosystem. With an unbroken service delivery track record of more than 25 years, our unique combination of technology, people and expertise helps companies transform their networks and enable better experiences for their customers. About Nuuday Nuuday is a united family of strong and well-known brands with the shared purpose of making sense with technology. Our family consists of YouSee, Telmore, Hiper, Blockbuster, TDC Erhverv, NetDesign, YouTV, eesy and Relatel, and together we represent the TV, broadband, network, telephony and entertainment of the future. We deliver innovative digital services to most Danish households and businesses across cross-functional teams, 33 nationalities and more than 3,800 unique colleagues. As Denmark’s leading digital service provider, we aspire to use technology to create a more meaningful future for our customers and society.

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VPN

Banyan Security Research Uncovers Primary Considerations Influencing Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) Adoption

Banyan Security | June 28, 2022

Banyan Security, a leading provider of Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions, today revealed new research highlighting organizations’ preferences and hesitations for adopting modern remote access solutions. The independent survey was conducted by Sapio Research and engaged over 400 senior decision makers from mid- to large-sized companies in the U.S. and Canada, who are responsible for IT security and are aware of both virtual private networks (VPN) and ZTNA. The key findings from this study include: Over half (54%) of VPN owners stated that secure remote access is a priority at this time. VPN usage is still prevalent among a majority (90%) of security teams who have highlighted cost, time, and difficulty as reasons to not move forward with ZTNA adoption. Almost all organizations (97%) say that adopting a zero trust model is a priority, with 93% of organizations having committed a budget to enhance their VPN or move toward ZTNA within the next year or two. More than half (53%) of respondents have already started rolling out zero trust solutions. Personal Devices and VPNs Do Not Mix The last two years have shifted how we work, producing a new remote workforce that was essentially created overnight. As highlighted in this study, this has resulted in most workers – in this case 51% of respondents – using a combination of corporate and personal devices to connect to business applications and resources. Personal devices often used by less security-conscious family members. This creates a very risky environment as personal devices are easy targets for threat actors especially since IT teams cannot fully monitor activity on these devices. Additionally, personal devices are often used by other family members – particularly children – which make them even more susceptible to malware and other viruses. Despite known security issues, VPN usage continues to thrive, with 90% of respondents currently using a VPN in some capacity for secure remote access. When access is permitted on a personal device, it creates a risky situation for not only the user, but the entire organization. VPNs lack many of the application-level access controls and integrated security that are common in ZTNA solutions. As a result, cybercriminals will often target VPNs because a single set of compromised credentials can provide all of the access needed to carry out a data breach, ransomware incident, or other attacks. “As this study shows, VPN usage continues to be prevalent, often viewed as ‘good enough’ for remote access among organizations simply because that is what they have always used, What this doesn’t account for is the poor administrative and end user experience, not to mention that on-premises access must be handled with separate, siloed tools. We have plenty of evidence to show that legacy VPNs no longer adequately protect nor provide consistent and easy access to corporate resources for today’s ‘work from anywhere’ workforce.” Jayanth Gummaraju, CEO & Co-Founder of Banyan Security Key Drivers for ZTNA A majority of the respondents (97%) stated that adopting a zero trust model is a priority for their organization, where 44% said they have plans to roll out zero trust but are in the early stages, while 53% said they have already begun to roll out zero trust solutions. For organizations who have begun to roll out ZTNA solutions, the survey revealed that secure remote access (48%), improving the end user experience (34%) and eliminating exposure to VPN vulnerabilities (34%) were the top three drivers in their decision to choose ZTNA. Unlike VPNs, ZTNA provides access on a case-by-case basis, which is decided based on user, device, and application-level access and security controls. What’s Holding VPN Users Back from Making the Switch? Over two thirds of organizations (69%) believe implementing a ZTNA strategy would require a large undertaking. Aside from the general familiarity and comfortable usage of their traditional VPN solution, organizations stated that cost/budget constraints are the biggest barriers (62%) for VPN users to adopt ZTNA. Thirty percent of VPN owners said that it would be difficult to implement ZTNA infrastructure in their current security environment; however, 82% of respondents stated they would likely implement ZTNA if there was an easily deployable, inexpensive option. Apathy also appears to be one of the biggest barriers preventing VPN owners from adopting ZTNA solutions with 46% of respondents stating that modern, secure remote access is not a priority at this time. “While it is good to see that awareness of ZTNA solutions amongst IT security professionals continues to grow, the actual implementation of a ZTNA architecture is still considerably low, with just over 17% of respondents having truly begun to roll out a ZTNA strategy,” continued Gummaraju. “As we look toward a future where remote and hybrid work are the standard for most organizations, it’s encouraging to see that IT teams are looking beyond VPNs at more comprehensive zero trust network access solutions.” Research Methodology The survey was conducted among 410 Senior Decision Makers from mid- to large-sized companies in the U.S. and Canada, who are responsible for IT security and are aware of both VPN and ZTNA. The interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in April 2022 using an email invitation and an online survey, with results accurate to ± 4.8% at 95% confidence limits. About Banyan Security Banyan Security provides secure, zero trust “work from anywhere” access to infrastructure and applications for employees, developers, and third parties without relying on network-centric legacy VPNs. Deep visibility provides actionable insight while continuous authorization with device trust scoring and least privilege access deliver the highest level of protection with a great end user experience. Banyan Security protects tens of thousands of employees across multiple industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.

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Spotlight

Microsoft Azure was launched in 2010 as a cloud-computing service enabling businesses and developers to build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. While Amazon AWS’s significant head start in the market has translated into a substantial advantage in market share, Azure’s growth now outpaces both AWS and Google. In their Q4 FY 2018 earnings statement, Microsoft reported that revenue generated from Azure had grown by 89% compared to Q1 FY 2017. This growth is similar to that which they reported the previous year and nearly double that of AWS for the same time period.

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