IT News and Events
Jul 27th, 2020 — Aug 2nd, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 268, Issue 5 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
Cisco News
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Bringing The Power Of Cisco's Unified Computing System To A Global Crisis
Andrew McArthur and his graduate students were in the middle of designing a new type of lab test that could have detected any known respiratory virus on the planet - and then SARS-CoV-2, better known as COVID-19 hit
McArthur is an associate professor of biochemistry and biomedical science at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, and was working together alongside researchers including teams from Ontario's Vector Institute and Sunnybrook Health Sciences in Toronto. As the pandemic hit, McArthur and his team of computational biology researchers rapidly adjusted to focus on COVID-19. They joined a team led by Bo Wang at the Vector Institute in building a new app as the front end of a sophisticated compute-intensive system that now benefits from a Cisco donation of UCS systems to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Cisco News, July 30th, 2020
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Digitalization Of SMBs Could Add As Much As US$3.1 Trillion To Asia Pacific's GDP By 2024 Accelerating Economic Recovery
94 percent of SMBs in Asia Pacific say they have become more reliant on technology to ensure business continuity during COVID-19
"The digitalization of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Asia Pacific could add US$2.6 to 3.1 trillion to Asia Pacific's GDP by 2024 and contribute to the region's economic recovery post COVID-19, according to the 2020 Asia Pacific SMB Digital Maturity Study.

Asia Pacific could add between US$10.6 to 14.6 trillion to its GDP by 2024, according to forecasts by International Data Corporation (IDC). Digitalization of SMBs could account for as much as 25 percent of that growth..."

Cisco News, July 28th, 2020
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OTEGLOBE Strengthens Its Network Backbone with Cisco 400G IP Infrastructure to Meet European Demands for More Bandwidth
OTEGLOBE enhances its IP backbone network with Cisco ASR 9900 5th Generation Line Cards to meet increasing internet traffic demand and prepare for expected growth with 5G
"Cisco announced that OTEGLOBE has improved its network backbone with Cisco ASR 9900 5th Generation Line Cards ready to respond to its customers' needs for a 400G-powered network.

The Cisco ASR 9900 high-performance router allows OTEGLOBE's already robust, resilient, and secure network to tackle increased demand at the network edge with economic scale, and the ability to support application performance needed for 400G services.

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, OTEGLOBE is a network backbone operator delivering transport, peering, and interconnect services throughout South-eastern Europe. It is also the wholesale carrier that reaches Western Europe through Greece over a fully mesh optical backbone network. As the OTEGLOBE network infrastructure grows, the ASR 9900 helps to provide the network control and performance necessary to take quick actions that result in an optimal experience for subscribers..."

Cisco News, July 29th, 2020
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IT News - CxO
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The Constant Threat Of Social Engineering Attacks
Social engineering attacks aren't anything new, but they continue to evolve and be a big problem for many organizations. Here are the various phishing attacks CIOs should expect, from tabnabbing to whale phishing.
"When ISACA recently released part 2 of its State of Cybersecurity 2020 report," writes Pam Nigro in SearchCIO, "it was noted that the largest reported attack type was social engineering. While social engineering is not new to the threat landscape, it is an attack type that has had staying power, and attackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach. Let's explore several different types of social engineering, so that you don't take the bait -- hook, line and sinker..."
SearchCIO, July 24th, 2020
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Driving Digital Transformation Success
Digital transformation remains a top concern for business leaders - and with good reason
"On top of the financial investment required, 78% of digital transformation efforts fail to meet business objectives and 73% fail to provide business value.

With 70% of companies following a digital transformation agenda or in the process of developing one, what separates success from failure?

In the case of one company, a unified vision and agile approach was the answer. Let's take a look at how this Fortune 500 financial services firm successfully implemented cutting-edge automation technology to meet their goals and drive business value..."

CIODIVE, July 20th, 2020
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How CIOs Can Elevate The Case For A Digital Government Strategy
Every state and local government CIO quickly comes to appreciate, once they accept the job, that the opportunity to make an impact on government services is huge; but the time they have to execute can be maddingly short
Chris Montgomery writes in statescoop, "Inevitably, that calls for making some tough decisions on how best to balance the immediate priorities of their current administrations with the longer term needs of the public - while also meeting the internal demands of the organizations CIOs must also support.

Perhaps the best way I've seen CIOs try to navigate those competing priorities is to stake out higher ground: as the champions for a digital government strategy for their organizations - and ideally, as the architects of a digital strategy that can be sustained across multiple budget cycles and political administrations..."

statescoop, July 21st, 2020
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The Top Cybersecurity Challenges Post-Lockdown
This 'new normal' brings with it many challenges, not least for cybersecurity teams
"According to current government guidelines, everyone who cannot do their job from home should now go to work, provided their workplace is open," writes Gidi Cohen in ITProPortal. "As people start to trickle back into the workplace over the next few months, we're going to see the emergence of a very different workplace. More people are going to continue to work remotely, whether full-time or part-time, and businesses are going to have to deal with the impact of the predicted recession.

This 'new normal' brings with it many challenges, not least for cybersecurity teams who will have to develop new short- and long-term plans to ensure resiliency..."

ITProPortal, July 23rd, 2020
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Leadership Profiles: New CIOs Take The Reins In 12 States
Get to know the country's newest state chief information officers. Our profiles detail their adaptability in the face of the pandemic and the other most pressing technology issues on their agendas
"While the first few months of 2020 were notable to be sure, they were perhaps especially daunting for the new permanent state chief information officers who stepped up to their posts amid the turmoil of the novel coronavirus. But the business of government IT pressed on, and while these CIOs were tasked with challenges like quickly transitioning to telework, shoring up cybersecurity and tracking COVID-19 data, the nuts and bolts of gov tech remained: modernizing legacy systems, expanding broadband and coordinating with state leadership on long-term priorities..."
Government Technology, July 22nd, 2020
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IT News - Storage
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Best Cloud Storage Of 2020
Our choice of the top cloud providers for both consumers and businesses
"Getting the best cloud storage continues to be paramount as both consumers and businesses continued the historical trend of ongoing digital transformation," writes Desire Athow in ITProPortal.

"This trend looks set to continue throughout 2020 with more and more reliance on online backing up of data in the cloud and less focus on local storage hardware and infrastructure.

With plenty of different options for cloud storage, it's vital to pick a provider that will supply you with the optimal amount of storage and bandwidth, as well as keep your data safe and sound..."

ITProPortal, July 22nd, 2020
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Persistent Memory Can Change The Way Enterprises Navigate Advanced Analytics
175 zettabytes. That is IDC's prediction for how much data will exist in the world by 2025
Alper Ilkbahar writes datanami, "This data is generated by millions of devices - everything from the cell phone in my pocket and PC in my home office, to the factory down the road leveraging IoT and automation. While many enterprises are unlocking the value of their data by leveraging advanced analytics, others struggle to create value in a cost-effective way..."
datanami, July 22nd, 2020
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Screaming Fast Nvme Controllers Blur Line Between Storage And Memory
Architectural spin the bottleneck: Every time the storage device and/or the interconnect gets faster we find the protocol and architecture need tuning. As change accelerates, that gets costly. Here's a solution
"Much of what we call hardware is really software - firmware - that uses the underlying hardware for speed and - this is important - a stable operating environment," writes Robin Harris in ZDNet.

"The engineering dilemma is a juggling act: can we build a faster product by a) running easily updated software on a merchant processor; b) faster booting software as firmware on a merchant processor; or c) do we build a hardware engine to run the protocol on bare metal for maximum speed?..."

ZDNet, July 23rd, 2020
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IT News - AI
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How To Trick Deep Learning Algorithms Into Doing New Things
Two things often mentioned with deep learning are 'data' and 'compute resources.' You need a lot of both when developing, training, and testing deep learning models
"When developers don't have a lot of training samples or access to very powerful servers, they use transfer learning to finetune a pre-trained deep learning model for a new task." writes Ben Dickson in TechTalks.

"At this year's ICML conference, scientists at IBM Research and Taiwan's National Tsing Hua University Research introduced 'black-box adversarial reprogramming' (BAR), an alternative repurposing technique that turns a supposed weakness of deep neural networks into a strength..."

TechTalks, July 20th, 2020
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Why The Future Of AI Is Open Source
Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is on the way, and open source is key to achieving its benefits and controlling its risks
Charles Simon writes in opensouce.com, "Artificial general intelligence (AGI), which is the next phase of artificial intelligence, where computers meet and exceed human intelligence, will almost certainly be open source.

AGI seeks to solve the broad spectrum of problems that intelligent human beings can solve. This is in direct contrast with narrow AI (encompassing most of today's AI), which seeks to exceed human abilities at a specific problem. Put simply, AGI is all the expectations of AI come true..."

opensouce.com, July 24th, 2020
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Push Is On For More Artificial Intelligence In Supply Chain
The recent Covid crisis and other calamities exposed a lack of nimbleness in supply chain networks. Can artificial intelligence make things right?
Joe McKendrick writes in ZDNet, "The word on the street is that artificial intelligence efforts have not been delivering the impressive results everyone has been hoping for. The payoff, however, is likely to be found in well-targeted placements in which AI is handling, in real-time, complicated tasks that would take humans days or weeks to unravel. Managing the flow of telecom traffic is one example, or keeping IT networks up and running is another. Still another, with enormous tangible business value, is the ability to keep supply chains flowing..."
ZDNet, July 23rd, 2020
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The InfoSec Barrier To AI
Information security challenges are proving to be a huge barrier for the artificial intelligence ecosystem. Conversely, AI is causing headaches for CISOs. Here's why
Praful Krishna writes in Dark Reading, "Information security is all about keeping an organization's information secure and maintaining its integrity. Some time ago, all this meant was good locks on the doors, physical as well as virtual.

The first challenge to this philosophy started in the 2000s with software-as-a-service (SaaS), when vendors asked that companies volunteer data to shared servers. The information security industry responded with stronger encryptions and contracts. Enterprises added another layer by simply refusing to let the data outside their firewalls. They asked for on-premises deployments and private clouds instead. This was the origin of the debate that has not settled for decades . and counting!..."

Dark Reading, July 22nd, 2020
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IT News - Technology
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18 More Projects For Your Raspberry Pi 4
It's been a year since the super-powered Raspberry Pi 4 officially landed on store shelves. And whether you have a Pi 4 hidden in a drawer or stuffed in your Amazon Wish List, you're in serious need of some project inspiration. Here are 18 killer projects for the Pi 4.
Andrew Heinzman writes in reviewgeek, "In July 2019, I wrote 16 Cool Projects for Your New Raspberry Pi. It's a straightforward list of (mostly) entry-level Pi projects, like building a Plex server, a BitTorrent Box, or a custom smart speaker. Now that the Pi 4 is a year old, I want to focus on weird, more ambitious projects, like reviving vintage electronics or crafting social media bots. I wouldn't call any of these projects 'difficult,' but some of them require soldering skills or electronics experience..."
reviewgeek, July 25th, 2020
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IT News - Blockchain
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Blockchain Use Cases Within Transport And Logistics
With blockchain technology now being implemented within various industries, we look at the use cases it has within transport and logistics
Aaron Hurst writes in Information Age, "The transport and logistics sector is becoming increasingly digitised as supply chain management and visibility remain as important as ever, and both are key areas that can be improved by blockchain.

This feature will explore in detail the various use cases that blockchain brings to transport and logistics..."

Information Age, July 24th, 2020
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IT News - Humor
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Memory-Lane Monday: It's In The Cards
But is the deck rigged?
This IT pilot fish takes a job working for a company owned by a wealthy financial trader, who has some quirks. 'One,' says fish, 'was that he wouldn't pay for business cards. But it was OK if we bought card stock and printed our own, so I did that for everyone in the company, including myself.'

Fish's job title, as of the day he's hired: manager of Unix operations. But the first time the boss introduces him to a big client, he calls him 'director of software development.'

ComputerWorld, July 20th, 2020
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Wayback Wednesday: Survival Of The Fittest, Hardware Division
I can haz all the bits?
Vice president calls this support pilot fish several times, complaining that his PC is being hacked. 'His mouse kept moving and clicking on odd things,' says fish.

So fish remotely controls his computer, uninstalls a few programs and tells the VP that there are no programs on his computer that would allow that strange behavior.

ComputerWorld, July 22nd, 2020
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Now Let's Guess What Fish's New Password Is
Or maybe we shouldn't go there.
It's COVID-19 days, and everyone at this tech company is practicing social distancing by working from home. All is fine for weeks for this pilot fish, but then his password expires.

An expired password cannot be replaced remotely, so he's going to have to go in to the office. Fish's boss says that the building is open, and once fish arrives, he finds it deserted and, he realizes, safer than the supermarket - no one has been inside there for weeks.

ComputerWorld, July 21st, 2020
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IT News - HR
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How To Effectively Manage Your IT Team Working From Home
For IT staff to be able to work and provide support for other employees in a remote setting, organizations must first ensure they have the proper setup and infrastructure in place
Robin Gareiss writes in SearchCIO, "When the COVID-19 pandemic caused work-from-home orders around the world, IT leaders and their teams acquired mounting responsibility to ensure millions of home workers have the hardware, apps and secure, high-performance connectivity they need to do their jobs.

But in order to do that effectively, CIOs and other IT leaders must make sure their IT team working from home has the right infrastructure to manage all the other new home offices. They must consider the four following key areas: connectivity, security, hardware and applications, and training and management..."

SearchCIO, July 21st, 2020
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7 AI Transformation Channels In Recruitment
Once Rabindranath Tagore said, 'Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark'
Lovepreet Dhaliwal writes in Business 2 Community, "The darkness here is all over the world with the pandemic COVID-19, while the bird of human freedom has caged itself under the lockdown and is unable to fly. With the ray of hope, humans will soon pick up the scattered pieces and restart their lives at the same pace.

In the past few years, the technology that had till now been strolling will now start sprinting. Due to COVID-19, you can easily see the accelerated adoption of artificial intelligence technology in different modes.

Let's explore how technology facilitates the shift towards virtual hiring, introducing AI tools for screening, etc. in the hiring process..."

Business 2 Community, July 21st, 2020
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People Work More While At Home, But Worry About Data Security
A global research report by Lenovo highlights the triumphs, challenges and the consequences of the sudden shift to work-from-home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic and how companies and their IT departments can power the new era of working remotely that will follow
"The study looks at how employees worldwide are responding to the 'new normal' after 72 percent of those surveyed confirmed a shift in their daily work dynamic in the last three months. Employees feel more connected and more productive than ever before as they WFH, but the data shows financial, physical and emotional downsides for the global workforce.

'This data gave us valuable insights on the complex relationship employees have with technology as work and personal are becoming more intertwined with the increase in working from home,' commented Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of Global User and Customer Experience at Lenovo..."

HelpNet Security, July 20th, 2020
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At Ease! Why Casual Interviews Work Better
Job interviews are the latest thing moving towards a more casual feel. Gone are the days of a structured, awkward interview in a conference room with the management team
"The traditional formal interview makes everyone nervous and don't really work well," writes Syed Balkhi in Business 2 Community. "Candidates are stiff and guarded in their responses, while dressed up interviewers don't give a true perspective on what it's like to work there.

Today's job interviews tend to be more of a low-key, informal conversation between colleagues. But that doesn't mean you're not assessing each other, you're just doing it in a different way. You need to figure out if candidates are a good fit for you and they want legitimate insight into your company culture.

An informal chat can work best for both sides, putting candidates at ease and making it easier to get to know each other. To power up your hiring process, keep your interviews casual and unstructured with these tips..."

Business 2 Community, July 22nd, 2020
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IT News - Operations
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How To Plan Today For Tomorrow's Lights-Out Data Center
A data center managed entirely by automated systems sounds like the setting for a science fiction movie. Yet human-less data centers are making their mark
"Darkness is gradually descending on data centers worldwide, and it has nothing to do with power failures or solar eclipses," warns John Edwards in InformationWeek. "The situation does, however, have everything to do with remote management and efficient data center operation.

The feasibility of a "lights out" data center model has been debated within the IT community for over a decade. Now, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced data centers worldwide to function with skeleton crews or even no on-site personnel at all, the concept is gaining greater attention, helped along by the growing availability of sophisticated monitoring and management tools.

"Innovation in this space is rapidly evolving, and a future filled with autonomous data centers optimized for machines and 100% lights-out may not be as far out as we think," observed Nicholas Merizzi, a principal at Deloitte Consulting..."

InformationWeek, July 20th, 2020
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IT News - Security
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The 10 Biggest Data Breaches Of All Time
We expect websites, online stores, payment companies, and especially banks to look after the personal data we submit. After all, we've given them their custom, used their online service - it's the least they can do
"And yet, on an almost monthly basis, we learn about new security breaches, where hackers have somehow infiltrated the security precautions of large organizations and stolen a large proportion (if not all) of the customer data.

If you've been hit by ID fraud, cybercriminals might have used leaked records. Wondering if your records have been leaked? Here are the 10 biggest data breaches to date (compiled by Purdue University).

  • We've compiled a list of the best secure VPN providers
  • Stay safe in the cloud with the best cloud antivirus
  • Also check out our roundup of the best identity theft protection

1. Heartland Payment Systems

Affecting at least 100 million people, this hack wasn't detected for 8 months. Hackers stole enough data to create new physical cards. Heartland Payment Systems was forced to pay $140 million in fines and penalties..."

Techradar.pro, July 23rd, 2020
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Automating It Security
IT security's battle with the hacking community has always been a game of cat and mouse, but it's becoming increasingly automated
"A study from Forrester recently warned that IT security professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the rise in cyber crime powered by artificial intelligence (AI)," writes Cliff Saran in ComputerWeekly.

"The study, commissioned by Darktrace, reported that close to 80% of cyber security decision-makers anticipate offensive artificial intelligence (AI) to increase the scale and speed of attacks.

In addition to their quickness, 66% also expect offensive AI to conduct attacks that no human could conceive of. The study warned that these attacks will be stealthy and unpredictable in a way that enables them to evade traditional security approaches that rely on rules and signatures and only reference historical attacks..."

ComputerWeekly, July 20th, 2020
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Organizations With Poor Privacy Practices 80% More Likely To Suffer Data Breach
There's a predictive relationship between responsible privacy practices and security outcomes, according to Osano
Companies with inadequate data privacy practices are 80 percent more likely to suffer a data breach than those with the highest-ranked privacy practices and will face fines seven times larger than companies with the best scores in the event of a data breach.

Privacy issues

  • Companies with the lowest privacy scores lost 600% more records than high-scoring companies.

  • The worst privacy actors are the least likely to be able to retrospectively identify the root cause of a breach.

  • Of the entities that get breached, governments have the worst scores.

  • Educational and government websites are 15x more likely to experience a breach than commercial sites.

'In the face of nonstop breaches and increased data security awareness, consumer and shareholder confidence in businesses is slowly eroding. Businesses that fail to protect sensitive data will face serious negative consequences, and the report proves just how these phenomena move hand-in-hand.' said Osano CEO, Arlo Gilbert..."

HelpNet Security, July 23rd, 2020
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Cybersecurity Lessons From The Pandemic
How does cybersecurity support business and society? The pandemic shows us
"There is absolutely no absolute security," opines Monica Verma in Dark Reading. "Nature is designed in a way that things can and eventually will go wrong. This is true both for pandemics and cybersecurity incidents. The world wasn't fully prepared for a pandemic like COVID-19. We didn't know COVID-19 would strike the way it did or the extent to which it would affect the world and our society.

That's also true for security incidents and cyberattacks. There are cyber threats out there that we know exist. We prepare for those and implement security controls to protect our business and society from these known inevitable threats..."

Dark Reading, July 20th, 2020
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IT News - Linux
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10 Best Linux Server Distributions Of 2020
Linux is free and open-source, this has emanated into the low total cost of ownership of a Linux system, compared to other operating systems
"Although Linux operating systems (distributions) are not entirely doing well on desktop computers, they are commanding the stats when it comes to powering servers, mainframe computers as well as supercomputers in data centers around the world," writes Aaron Kili in TecMint.

"There are several factors attributed to this: the first and most important that you might have thought of, is the general freedom associated with it, stability, and security among others.

n this article, we will list the top 10 Linux server distributions of 2020 based on the following considerations: data center capabilities and reliability in relation to supported functionalities and hardware, ease of installation and use, cost of ownership in terms of licensing and maintenance, and accessibility of commercial support..."

TecMint, July 22nd, 2020
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Top 5 Enterprise Linux Distributions To Consider Adopting
While Linux distributions all serve a similar purpose in the enterprise, organizations should still familiarize themselves with the different distributions to find the best fit
"Most enterprise desktops run Windows or, to a lesser extent, macOS, but certain use cases require a Linux desktop OS," notes Robert Sheldon in SearchEnterpriseDesktop.

"The Linux operating system install base has shown growth over the years, in part because Linux-based servers are so widely implemented in the cloud. Development teams, for example, might prefer to build their applications on Linux desktops so they're working in a consistent environment. Server administrators and programmers could also find Linux's flexible approach to be suitable for their work. Linux desktops are also becoming more user-friendly, increasing their overall appeal..."

SearchEnterpriseDesktop, July 22nd, 2020
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IT News - Networks
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Comparing VPN, VDI, And Teleworker Gateways For Remote Workforces
With the disruption caused by COVID, now may be the right time for network administrators to reevaluate their remote access connectivity architecture
"Despite easing of shelter-in-place ordinances in the United States, it's looking increasingly likely that employees that can work from home will continue to do so for the foreseeable future," warns Andrew Froehlich in Network Computing.

"In fact, this may end up being a long-term business strategy for many more months. If this is indeed the case, now may be the right time for network administrators to reevaluate their remote access connectivity architecture. In this article, we'll compare three popular remote access technologies. Those are traditional VPN, VDI, and teleworker gateways. We will point out the benefits of each and situations where one may be a better fit over the others..."

Network Computing, July 23rd, 2020
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One Network Operating System To Rule Them All
Networks may not be the most expensive thing in the datacenter - they typically comprise about 10 percent to 15 percent of the cost of a distributed system, including cables, transceivers, switches, and routers - but they are without a doubt the most complex part of distributed systems
Timothy Prickett Morgan writes in TheNextPlatform, "And anything that can cut down on both complexity and cost at the same time should have a fairly easy time selling in the datacenter.

This is, after all, how chip makers like Broadcom (eaten by Avago, which took its name), Fulcrum Microsystems (eaten by Intel and then largely ignored), and Mellanox Technologies (eaten by Nvidia and now the cornerstone of its datacenter-as-computer strategy) paved the way for merchant silicon for datacenter switching more than a decade ago, and this is how newer merchant silicon suppliers such as Innovium (not acquired yet) and Barefoot Networks (eaten by Intel last year) have been able to carve their niches as well..."

TheNextPlatform, July 22nd, 2020
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