Posted by: psilva | December 16, 2014

Blog Roll 2014


It’s that time of year when we gift and re-gift, just like this text from last year. And the perfect opportunity to re-post, re-purpose and re-use all my 2014 blog entries. If you missed any of the 96 attempts including 57 videos, here they are wrapped in one simple entry. I read somewhere that lists in blogs are good. I broke it out by month to see what was happening at the time and let’s be honest, pure self promotion. 

Thanks for reading and watching throughout 2014.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year.

 

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

And a couple special holiday themed entries from years past.

 

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Posted by: psilva | December 9, 2014

The Top 10, Top 10 Predictions for 2015


The time of year that crystal balls get a viewing and many pundits put out their annual predictions for the coming year. Rather than thinking up my own, I figured I’d regurgitate what many others are expecting to happen.

IDC Reveals Worldwide Internet of Things Predictions for 2015 – So 2014, according to last year’s proclamations, was the break out year for the Internet of Things (Iot) and it didn’t disappoint. IoT is everywhere and IDC offers their take for 2015. Cloud, security & network capacity all come into play when wearables, embedded systems and smart cities overrun our society.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – Gartner announced their technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in October with IoT, Everywhere Computing and 3D Printing topping the list. They also include the rise of Smart Machines, Software defined systems and the recognition that it is not possible to provide a 100 percent secured environment. Once organizations acknowledge that, they can begin to apply more-sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools.

Seven Cloud Security Predictions for 2015 – OK, not 10 but 7 interesting cloud security predictions from Perspecsys. With more breaches and surveillance it is important to secure sensitive data while maintaining application functionality. True that. They talk about how Private Clouds will continue growth, the rise of Intellectual data in the cloud, mobile-first development, breach insurance and how the cloud is redrawing the IT security line.

More Cloud Data Breaches ‘Inevitable’ in 2015, Forrester SaysRobert Graham reviews Forrester’s Predictions 2015: The Days of Fighting the Cloud are Over which talks about how cloud breaches are inevitable but it will probably happen through some typical business process or lack of training rather than a direct cloud hit. Forrester also says that Docker containers will become a slam dunk, that there will be a surge in industry-specific, software-as-a-service product (IoT?) and Software-as-a-service vendors will creep toward hybrid rollouts.

Top 10 Tech Predictions for 2015 – Over on LinkedIn Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, Chairman and CEO at CyberFlow Analytic, offers his 2015 take. He notes that that Applications must be the center (of the universe), that Data Intensive Applications Will Rule Wireless IP and that Cloud Computing Will Plateau among his futures.

Security Predictions for 2015 and Beyond – Trend Micro has their annual report out called The Invisible Become Visible on how more cybercriminals with use darknets to share attack tools, stage attacks and sell the ill-gotten gains.We’ll be sharing more data, our passwords will still be a target and an exploit kit specifically targeting Android will appear.

Top cybersecurity predictions of 2015 – ZDNet offers a slideshow (with text) with their perception. While our healthcare info is always at risk, there will be new players and vulnerabilities geared toward stealing that plus a whole lotta other stuff since Information is a digital goldmine. Also, as more IoT devices connect, there will be attacks targeting your thermostat, car or coffee machine. I called it over a year ago but there you have it.

IDC: Top 10 Technology Predictions For 2015 – Yea, I had IDC at the top for IoT but this is their overall report. Forbes goes over this report where new technologies (cloud, mobile, big data, and the Internet of Things — and an exploding number of solutions built on them) will see 100% growth. Worldwide IT and telecommunications spending will grow 3.8% in 2015 to more than $3.8 trillion. Wireless data will grow, innovative partnerships will form, cloud is the new data center and China will have huge influence. Interesting read here.

2015 Timeline – FutureTimeLine.net has an interesting list of upcoming 2015 events. While technology driven, many look at achievements and plans rather than wishes and guesses. For instance, in 2015 The first solar aircraft to circumnavigate the globe will make an attempt, there will be The first self-regulating artificial heart, that Electric car ownership reaches 1 million worldwide and The New Horizons probe arrives at Pluto. It just woke up from the 9 year trip yesterday!

26 Hilariously Inaccurate Predictions About the Future – And for some fun, nostalgia and history here are some predictions that just never came true. From personal helicopters to rocket belts to homes made of steel, many come with the original story.

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Posted by: psilva | December 7, 2014

Pearl Harbor, Punchbowl and My Grandparents


(Originally posted December 07, 2009)

In honor of Pearl Harbor day, I want to share a bit of history you might not know about.  This has nothing to do with technology, security or our awesome BIG-IP solutions but felt compelled to honor both my grandparents and service men/women everywhere today.  I am Hawaiian (1/8th, direct from Kekaulike line), was born there and most of my ancestors lived there while it was still a Monarchy.  My great(s) and present grandparents all were born and raised and some witnessed the destruction that day.  A shell even landed in my grandmother’s backyard while they were at church that Sunday!  Both my grandfathers played a significant role in the days and weeks following the bombing.  One of my grandfathers was a carpenter and lived in Pauoa Valley (O’ahu) which is situated right next to Punchbowl, National Cemetery of the Pacific.  While many equate Honolulu with Diamond Head (or Leahi – Brow of the Tuna – to Hawaiians), Punchbowl is also an old volcano crater that helped create the island.  When my grandfather was a kid they used to play there and he spoke of many fun times running around inside Punchbowl as a youngster. 

600_full_punchbowl1

When Pearl Harbor was hit, many locals were called (and wanted) to help, as you can imagine.  As my grandfather tells it, they needed a place to temporarily put those who had died and Punchbowl was both the closest (about 15 miles), had the space and was known as the ‘Hill of Sacrifice’ to the ancient Hawaiians so it had historical significance.  Being a carpenter and living less than a mile from Punchbowl, he was part of the team that built the wooden caskets for the fallen.  As the days went on and suitable re-locations were not available, they decided to start properly laying to rest those who had perished – right there at Punchbowl, including an uncle of mine.  The Pearl Harbor victims were among the first to be buried there, 776 of them.  About 8 years later, they officially dedicated it as the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – it’s the Arlington for the Pacific Fleet.  Those who have served in the Pacific Fleet actually have their choice of Virginia or Hawaii as their final resting place, as I understand.

My other grandfather, who happened to be a Honolulu Detective at the time, was born in Yokohama (although not Japanese) and had learned Japanese while attending school there.  He moved to the Hawaiian Islands with his parents when he was still a teenager and grew up on the Big Island.  Since he understood Japanese, the US Government had him guard the Japanese consulate when the US declared war.  He really didn’t like the assignment since he had become friends with staff due to being a local police officer and had fond memories of being Japan.  After the attack, there were curfews and blackouts, and my grandfather had to make sure there was still a little illumination but nothing too bright at the consulate.  One evening as he was coving an exposed light bulb with a mimeograph carbon copy he pulled from the garbage, he noticed the backwards Japanese characters of a letter.  As he looked closer, it contained information of about the locations of ships and other munitions stationed at Pearl Harbor, which became a key piece of evidence as they started to piece together what happened.

As the years roll on and those who witnessed the Pearl Harbor attack become memories themselves, I offer these few short stories to the great Internet to file, store and recall whenever someone wonders about all the little back stories of this significant event in our history.

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Posted by: psilva | December 4, 2014

GartnerDC 2014 – That’s a Wrap!


For the 300th time, ALOHA! For my 300th F5 video, I wrap it up from Gartner Data Center 2014 with a special surprise clip from the first ever F5 trade show video and a closing song for 2014. Thanks to Robert Haynes (Hybrid is the New Normal) along with Erin and Michael. And a very special thanks to all of you who have watched over the years! Truly grateful and appreciative!

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I explain the idea behind Application Availability Between Hybrid Data Centers reference architecture. Driven by applications and workloads, a hybrid data center is really a technology strategy of the entire infrastructure mix of on-premises and off-premises data compute resources. IT workloads reside in conventional enterprise IT (legacy systems), an on-premises private cloud (mission critical apps), at a third-party off-premises location (managed, hosting, or cloud provider), or a combination of all three. Today’s F5-powered hybrid data centers enable organizations to minimize downtime, scale on demand, and increase the ability to reliably deliver new applications and functionality.

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Robert Haynes, F5 Marketing Solutions Architect, digs in about hybrid infrastructures. We got hybrid cars, hybrid corn, hybrid clouds and hybrid data centers and Robert discusses the state of today’s data center deployments and how organizations, based on business needs, are using various application delivery platforms, including cloud, to provide reliable, resilient & available applications. Really, how does IT work with departments to deliver a standard set of services? Find out here.

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Posted by: psilva | December 2, 2014

Gartner Data Center 2014 – Find F5


Like an application delivery oasis popping out of the ground, follow along and watch as I almost trip showing you how to find F5 Booth 253 at Gartner Data Center 2014. #GartnerDC is all about IT Infrastructure and Operations Management and BIG-IP sits in the strategic point of control in the data center. He also previews some of the F5 storylines this week including a new F5 reference architecture ‘Application Availability Between Hybrid Data Centers’. Reporting from Vegas!

 

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Posted by: psilva | November 19, 2014

Collaborate in the Cloud


Employee collaboration and access to communication tools are essential for workplace productivity. Organizations are increasing their use of Microsoft Office 365, a subscription-based service that provides hosted versions of familiar Microsoft applications. Most businesses choose Exchange Online as the first app in Office 365 they adopt.

The challenge with any SaaS application such as Office 365 is that user authentication is usually handled by the application itself, so user credentials are typically stored and managed in the cloud by the provider. The challenge for IT is to properly authenticate the employee (whether located inside or outside the corporate network) to a highly available identity provider (such as Active Directory).

Authentication without complexity

DIAG-PMAP-AVAIL-24708-app-avail-between-hybrid-data-centers

Even though Office 365 runs in a Microsoft-hosted cloud environment, user authentication and authorization are often accomplished by federating on premises Active Directory with Office 365. Organizations subscribing to Office 365 may deploy Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) on premises, which then authenticates users against Active Directory.

Deploying ADFS typically required organizations to deploy, manage, and maintain additional servers onsite, which can complicate or further clutter the infrastructure with more hardware. SAML (security assertion markup language) is often the enabler to identify and authenticate the user. It then directs the user to the appropriate Office 365 service location to access resources. SAML-enabled applications work by accepting user authentication from a trusted third party—an identity provider. In the case of Office 365, the BIG-IP platform acts as the identity provider.

For example, when a user requests his or her OWA email URL via a browser using Office 365, that user is redirected to a BIG-IP logon page to validate the request. The BIG-IP system authenticates the user on behalf of Office 365 and then grants access. The Office 365 environment will recognize the individual and provide their unique Office 365 OWA email environment. The BIG-IP platform provides a seamless experience for Office 365 users and with the federated identity that the BIG-IP platform enables, the IT team is able to extend SSO capabilities to other applications.

The benefit of using the BIG-IP platform to support Office 365 with SAML is that organizations can reduce the complexity and requirements of deploying ADFS. By default, when enabling Office 365, administrators need to authenticate those users in the cloud. If an IT administrator wants to use the corporate authentication mechanism, ADFS must be put into the corporate infrastructure. With the BIG-IP platform, organizations can support authentication to Office 365 and the ADFS requirement disappears, resulting in centralized access control with improved security.

Secure collaboration

Because email is a mission-critical application for most organizations, it is typically deployed on premises. Organizations using BIG-IP-enhanced Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook can make it easier for people to collaborate regardless of their location. For example, if a company wanted to launch a product in Europe that had been successfully launched in the United States, it needs workers and contractors in both locations to be able to communicate and share information.

In the past, employees may have emailed plain-text files to each other as attachments or posted them online using a web-based file hosting service. This can create security concerns since potentially confidential information is leaving the organization and being stored on the Internet without any protection or encryption. There are also concerns about ease of use for employees and how the lack of an efficient collaboration tool negatively impacts productivity.

Internal and external availability 24/7

To solve these issues, many organizations move from the locally managed Exchange Server deployment to Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 makes it easier for employees to work together no matter where they are in the world. Employees connect to Office 365 using only a browser, and they don’t have to remember multiple usernames and passwords to access email, SharePoint, or other internal-only applications and file shares.

In this scenario, an organization would deploy the BIG-IP platform in both the primary and secondary data centers. BIG-IP LTM intelligently manages all traffic across the servers. One pair of BIG-IP devices sits in front of the servers in the core network; another pair sits in front of the directory servers in the perimeter network. By managing traffic to and from both the primary and directory servers, the F5 devices ensure availability of Office 365—for both internal and external (federated) users.

Ensuring global access

To provide for global application performance and disaster recovery, organizations should also deploy BIG-IP GTM devices in the perimeter network at each data center. BIG-IP GTM scales and secures the DNS infrastructure, provides high-speed DNS query responses, and also reroutes traffic when necessary to the most available application server. Should an organization’s primary data center ever fail, BIG-IP GTM would automatically reroute all traffic to the backup data center. BIG-IP GTM can also load balance the directory servers across data centers to provide cross-site resiliency.

The BIG-IP platform provides the federated identity services and application availability to allow organizations to make a quick migration to Office 365, ensuring users worldwide will always have reliable access to email, corporate applications, and data.

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Posted by: psilva | November 13, 2014

AWS re:Invent 2014: That’s a Wrap!


I wrap up a great week from AWS re:Invent. We really appreciate you taking the time to view these and hope they are helpful as you journey to the cloud. Plus, we have a lot of fun producing them. Special thanks to Jeff Stathatos, Cyrus Rafii and Alex Rublowsky for guest spots along with Courtney, Natasha, Jeanette and Cyrus for holding the lens. Reporting from the SANS Convention Center in Las Vegas, thanks!

 

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Alex Rublowsky, Dir. Licensing Business Models, gives a full overview of F5’s licensing models for the cloud, particularly AWS Marketplace. He details our new Utility Licensing offering by the hour service (30 Day Free Trial Available), our Bring your Own License (BYOL) model which is available for customers with current licenses purchased via other channels and the Volume License program for those with large environments. Alex does a great job explaining each and the benefits for customers.

 

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