Jun 10 2011

Big Data, Microsoft's Mango and More - BizTech Quick Take

BizTech Quick Take is our weekly digital tour of the web, serving up news and notes on IT and business that you need to know — and some things you’ll simply be glad to know. This week: Microsoft's Mango.

Big Data Talks Loudly and Carries a Big Stick

It’s no secret that technology has a profound effect on the way societies and civilizations work, live and play. Everything from the printing press to the Internet can be considered a game-changer.

But Chuck Hollis, vice president and global marketing chief technology officer for EMC, thinks big data also has the potential to shake things up in a really big way.

In a June 3 blog post titled “Can Big Data Change the World?” Hollis offered a brief history of technology and society and explained why big data could very well fuel technology’s next revolution.

Whether it’s national security, terrorism, cybercrime, fraud or ordinary street-crime, you’ll find an explosive growth of big data approaches to understand and effectively respond to threats: both traditional and newer varieties.

From video to analytics — protecting ourselves from bad things and bad people is now clearly moving to the big data domain.

We are intensely curious about the world around us.

From exploring the structure of our universe from the smallest scale to the very largest — there’s a bottomless demand for big data to record and analyze even the faintest traces of underlying structures.

Indeed, many branches of scientific research [are] now built on the assumption that vast amounts of data will need to be captured, stored and analyzed. More disciplines are moving in that direction as we speak.

Read the full post on Chuck’s Blog.

Microsoft’s Fruit: Meet Mango, the Latest Windows Phone OS

The Windows Phone operating system has gone tropical. Microsoft lifted the veil on the next version of the OS, codenamed “Mango,” at the end of May. When the updated Windows Phone OS debuts this fall, it will sport hundreds of new features and improvements.

According to Michael Stroh, a writer for the Windows Blog, the team developing the new OS was focused on delivering easier communications, smarter applications and the Internet. Mango also will have more reach, as the Windows Phone Marketplace will be open for business in 35 countries.

For more on Mango, check out the Windows Phone Blog.

What Do You Need to Run Mac OS X 10.7 Lion?

Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, where it unveiled an array of new software technologies across its product lines.

Steve Jobs and other company executives left quite an impression when they announced the next version of the Mac OS X operating system, which releases in July. Codenamed Lion, the OS boasts enhanced multi-touch gestures on the trackpad and mouse, full-screen applications and Versions, an automatic feature that intermittently saves the files that users are working on, thereby improving backup and recovery.

So what kind of hardware will users need to run Lion? OS X Daily has the specs:

In order to install Mac OS X 10.7, you will need:

  • An Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 or Xeon processor
  • 2 gigabytes of RAM
  • Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later with the Mac App Store installed
  • At least 4GB of additional disk space to accommodate the download (but more is recommended)

Read the full story at OS X Daily.

Still Mulling the Meaning of Cloud

As the cloud computing revolution chugs along, many IT professionals are still trying to determine what this shift means for their day-to-day operations.

Biz-Tech 3.0’s Tony Kontzer says his “aha” moment about the cloud happened recently, over dinner with two other IT professionals. As he wrote in a May 23 blog post, cloud computing:

… isn’t as grandiose as it sounds. It’s a nebulous term used to describe a very general concept, namely the idea of tapping into a utility IT model so that a company can focus on what it makes and sells, rather than investing oodles of time and energy creating its own IT environment.

Read Kontzer’s full post at Biz-Tech 3.0.

Don’t Be Tempted By E-Mail Announcing the iPhone 5

Although Apple has announced iOS 5, the latest version of its mobile operating system, there’s been no mention of the next version of its wildly popular iPhone.

But anticipation for the product is high, which is why malware operators are targeting iPhone enthusiasts with fake e-mail messages “announcing” the iPhone 5.

The e-mail, which appears to come from noreply@apple.com, is full of links to malware that will infect the PC if clicked. Ironically, the malware only affects Windows-based PCs, not Macs or iPhones.

Read the full story on the Sophos Naked Security blog.

The Intersection Between Virtualization and Security

When IT professionals talk about virtualization, they’re typically referring to server virtualization, storage virtualization or client virtualization. But what about security virtualization?

Neil MacDonald, a vice president and fellow at Gartner, explored its possibilities in a June 6 blog post titled “Is Single-Instance Security the Future?”

Today, there are many offerings coming to market that use virtualization to make the security protection of multiple virtual machines more efficient and effective. One example is Trend Micro’s agentless AV solution (Deep Security), which uses VMware’s vShield Endpoint set of hypervisor-level APIs to offload AV scanning from multiple VMs to a single “security VM” — or, in other words, single-instance security.

Single-instance security in a virtualized environment provides the best of both worlds: the insight and context of a host-based agent combined with the single-instance ease of management of a network-based approach.

Read the full post on the Gartner blog.

The New York Stock Exchange Moves to the Cloud

On June 1, NYSE Technologies announced, to much fanfare, its “community platform” cloud, which runs on VMware’s vSphere and vCloud Director.

This shift to the cloud will allow customers, such as hedge funds and trading departments of banks, to run their capital market applications without having to worry about building their infrastructure to support the high-capacity demands that trading brings.

Read the full story on VMware’s Rethink IT blog.

Remote Access Keeps SMBs Up When Things Go Down

Remote access is invaluable to employees needing or wanting to work outside of the office. Beyond the convenience it offers, remote access is handy when the office literally isn’t accessible.

Olé Mexican Foods recently experienced this benefit firsthand when a blizzard and ice storm of historic proportions brought the Atlanta region to a standstill. Many businesses had to close, but not Olé. Thanks to the company’s virtual private network, employees just kept on rolling.

Learn more about the advantages of remote access in this story from BizTech.

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