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Odyssey offers ClearSkies SaaS cloud-based integrated security services

October 21, 2013 Comments off

Odyssey Consultants is a PCI QSA, ISO 27001 certified infosecurity, infrastructure and risk management solutions integrator, and a managed security and outsourcing services provider. Founded 2002, it has since evolved into a regional leader in managed security and outsourcing services.

ClearSkiesOdyssey’s range of solutions and services lie within a four-phase information security continuum, such as test and access, design and implement, monitor and respond, and outsourcing. According to the company, information security management involves the development, deployment, and ongoing monitoring and review of a combination of preventive, detective, and response processes and controls.

Odyssey is offering the ClearSkies security-as-a-service (SaaS) line of cloud-based integrated security services. ClearSkies platform has the necessary tools that enable the organizations reap benefits of the cloud without compromising on infosecurity.

The first of the ClearSkies series of services offered by Odyssey is the security information and event management (SIEM). SIEM provides organizations an adequate infrastructure in-house, with the opportunity to gain such capability in the cloud. ClearSkies is enriched with the vast know-how, expertise and intelligence of the latest threats and vulnerabilities that come right out of Odyssey’s Ithaca Labs. It transforms the service into a powerful information security tool for the client.

Odyssey also offers managed security and outsourcing (MSOS) services. Key benefits include:
* Enhanced 24/7/365 protection and monitoring of network, systems and security components.
* Continuous log analysis and correlation of events with real-time incident escalation.
* Focus internal resources on core organizational competencies.
* Threat analysis and access to security advisories issued by Ithaca Labs team.
* Minimized mean time to restore/recovery (MTTR) capability by proactive indentification of Internet threats.
* Retention of logs collected in a secure environment, helping clients meet regulatory compliance without needing to deploy costly and complex reporting tools and processes.
* Low TCO by eliminating the need to recruit, train and retain an in-house security capability.
* Notification of in-scope devices outage that impacts log collection.
* Access to MSOS secure portal for reviewing real-time alerts, published incidents and generate reports.

Odyssey has offices in Cyprus and Greece, and is exhibiting at the Gitex 2013 show in Dubai.

IT in smaller companies need help too!

April 21, 2012 Comments off

According to Steve Bailey from CommVault, IT managers are said to be walking on a tightrope between resources and data growth! Conversely, the resources for CIOs are much lesser, compared to the data growth, which is explosive!! Find all of this hard to believe? Well, ask around!

IT storage professionals are actually considered to be somewhat of ‘tightrope walkers’, given the fact that they have to perform tremendous balancing acts while driving projects — all along with the budget allocated to them.

As per a survey conducted by CommVault, the IT organizations are prioritizing managing data growth (i.e., data reduction) first, followed by network and equipment, disaster recovery, applications/software, data backup and recovery and backup of virtual server environments. Managing data growth remains a major budgetary priority for the IT managers. Besides, all of the data has to be managed by organizations without the benefit of adding IT staff!

There’s hardly anything that anyone, let alone the IT staff, can do to curtail the data growth. And now, the advent of mobile devices, virtual servers and the increasing use of social media have added to the creation of even newer and massive data!

By the way, have you visited media houses, small IT shops or companies, small retail stores, and so on? IT protection is, most of the times, way of the mark. Why, there are even media houses that have poor IT infrastructure! In fact, some of the offices even had their web site spammed quite often in the past. I have little idea right now, but I do hope they have improved their IT defence. Some commentators have even expressed the need for next-generation firewalls as the need of the hour!

Apparently, managing the IT side of things or the IT infrastructure is considered not so important by many of the small organizations. Don’t you think that it is necessary that they too protect their organizations? Forget about the absence of IT storage professionals in such organizations!

If one may add, vendors either seem to charge these companies exorbitantly, or, they are least bothered if such companies get into ‘IT trouble’. The fact is: such companies are small in nature, and do not have that much money to spend on IT. Or, at least, that’s not their main game! It takes a great deal of convincing on part of vendors, I am sure, to get such companies to protect their IT infrastructures.

So, how do the CIOs and the IT managers manage all of this exploding data (and devices, of course)? Certainly, this calls for a seamless process — from backup to recovery to archiving data. There is a need to develop and have a single platform to manage and protect data. This needs to be done across heterogenous applications, hypervisors. operating systems and infrastructure — from a single console.

Well, how do you help the smaller companies, especially those located in smaller and sometimes, remote areas and cities? The answer is simple: vendors really need to take upon themselves the trouble of going down to such places, meet companies, and at least, sound them out on the IT solutions on offer. That will be a start!

CIOs unfurl newer efficiencies out of IT operations

January 25, 2012 Comments off

How can today’s CIOs be able to unfurl newer efficiencies out of their respective IT operations? At the same time, how can they, present solutions that can also empower their businesses even as the businesses work toward achieving their organizational goals? The answer, perhaps, lies in infrastructure optimization!

IT spends are said to be increasing and in line with the overall aim of accelerating a company’s business performance. Balance between innovation and maintenance is said to be critical for the effective functioning of IT.

According to Greg Crider, senior director of technology product marketing at Oracle, IT leaders need to embrace an alternative model for optimizing data center performance that eliminates much of the time and cost associated with integrating, tuning, and maintaining complex multi-tiered environments.

“IT leaders need to know that they have choices other than integrating these pieces themselves or paying a service partner to do some of the integration. Oracle, for instance, has thousands of examples of how to squeeze cost and complexity out of IT infrastructures by doing optimization projects at each layer,” he says.

There is typically said to be a huge difference between one, installing a system and, two, having it production ready. Why? Ask any IT manager at any company, in case you do not believe this!

Crider says: “Many organizations just don’t have expertise in every dimension of a complex architecture. So, they have to rely on outside resources or make do with default configurations that don’t take into account everything else that is going on.

“Fortunately, many important business processes are now available as optimized end-to-end solutions based on open standards.  Enterprises are beginning to realize that they can deploy customized, secure, high performance applications without taking on all the cost of integration, tuning and maintenance.”

IT leaders also need to embrace an alternative model for optimizing data center performance that eliminates much of the time and cost associated with integrating, tuning, and maintaining complex multi-tiered environments.

Driving a sustainable, future-focused transformation across an IT infrastructure is a layered process that requires the IT leaders to optimize the entire spectrum of their data center hardware and software operations. This includes servers, databases, middleware and business process management software, and so on.

Standardization, virtualization, consolidation, and rock solid cloud orchestration (management) capabilities are necessary steps organizations work on to improve the application lifecycle management process, as per Mike Palmeter, director of product management with Oracle.

“Many companies have started down the virtualization path, and have even consolidated some of the tier 2 and 3 workloads, but many still have yet to best determine how to standardize, what to standardize upon, and how to best manage all these disparate applications and workloads,” he says.

“These are key considerations especially as companies start moving mission critical workloads to a shared infrastructure. Furthermore, availability, data and app mobility, as well as performance become paramount as applications are moved from dedicated silos to a shared infrastructure.”

With the automation components that are inherently part of a properly deployed private cloud, IT administrators can install complex applications, without going through all of the traditional configuration steps. As IT leaders look to get out from under the complexities, the benefits of highly integrated and engineered solutions get strikingly clear.

NComputing bets big on desktop virtualization

September 29, 2010 1 comment

NComputing, the virtual desktop company, has 2.5 million virtual desktops deployed, and boasts over 100,000 customers across 140+ countries.

Jim McHugh, senior VP, Global Marketing, NComputing, said that the desktop is now evolving with applications. Also, software applications are evolving away from the PC. Server virtualization had taken off a few years ago. Now, it is the time for desktop virtualization. Time for the CIOs to become rock stars all over again!

So, what is NComputing’s desktop strategy? Well, the first is to replace full PCs at each desk with simple access devices that connect to virtual desktops running on central PCs or servers.

NComputing’s vSpace desktop virtualization software divides a computer’s resources into independent virtual workspaces that give each user his or her own rich PC experience. vSpace handles the desktop display and remote activities from the user’s keyboard and mouse (through the access device). Multiple users simultaneous access a single operating system, either Windows or Linux.

“Our vSpace software creates multiple user workspaces in the OS. We provide heterogenous platform support — Windows and Linux,” McHugh added. There are three virtualization infrastructure options — VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix.

NComputing provides three ways to connect by way of access devices. These are:

L-series (Ethernet): The NComputing solution separates a desktop PC environment from a physical machine to create a client-server computing model. That is, a user’s desktop is hosted remotely and accessed via a access device over the network. A user no longer has a physical PC. It can connect up to 30 users on a single computer!

U-series (USB): The revolutionary new U-series are the simplest of all to connect, because they simply plug into standard USB ports. There are no network switches to buy and no PCI cards to install. For smaller installations, the NComputing U-series are simplest and quickest to install. I think that 2-5 users can connect using this.

X-series (PCI card): The NComputing X-series connects through a PCI card installed into the shared PC. This direct connection doesn’t use a network, so multimedia performance is superb. Ideal when the users are in the same room as the shared computer. Eleven people can share a single system.

The software and devices are easy to set up and secure. They help cut PC acquisition costs. These work with standard software and peripherals. Also, they save space/resources >90 percent.

As for the vSpace software itself, no specialized hardware is required. It virtualizes only the core components required. It dynamically detects, compresses and accelerates multimedia. Finally, it is hardware agnostic.

Seems these are good solutions for enterprises, SMEs, branch offices, education, emerging markets and tough environments — such as factories, call centers, healthcare, etc. NComputing typically looks at four types of enterprise deployments — express VDI, enhanced VDI, VDI with connection brokering and integration with published applications (Citrix).

In India, NComputing has a great success story in ESIC (Employee State Insurance Co.). NComputing has done 31,000 stations in over 2,000 locations along with Wipro. Some other success stories include Macedonia — the world’s largest deployment of access devices — 200,000 student seats, and the Obama 2008 campaign.

Can we expect exciting times in 2008?

January 1, 2008 Comments off

Welcome 2008! May I wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous 2008. Another year’s gone past. We have a habit of looking back to see at what happened and what could have been.

A lot has been written already about 2007 and what to expect in 2008. So let’s just touch upon some of the events from 2007 and some expectations from 2008.

For India, 2007 was a great year for the semiconductor industry — first, the Indian government announced the semiconductor policy, followed some months later by the fab policy. Both were tremendous firsts in India’s science and technology, and not IT, history. Everyone hopes that the Indian semiconductor industry will take off this year. Eyes are focused on the embedded segment, what with the global semiconductor industry reportedly facing ‘an embedded dilemma.’

An issue hitting the EDA industry is that, the cost of designing or developing the embededded software for an SoC actually passed the cost of desgining the SoC itself in 2007. The world needs to avoid this software crisis, and India is well placed to take full advantage and play a major role, given its strength in embedded.

In IT, it’s been a mixed sort of a year for Apple, which hit big time with the iPhone, seemed not to make waves with either the Safari browser or the Leopard OS. Microsoft had the Vista OS, but then, Vista didn’t exactly warm the hearts of users or those who wished to upgrade their OS, including yours truly. Maybe, 2008 would ring in better times for Vista.

While on browsers, Firefox has gained lot of ground. However, by the end of 2007 came the news that the Netscape Web browser — which started it all — would soon be confined to history.

Netscape Navigator was the world’s first commercial Web browser and launch pad of the Internet boom. It will be taken off on February 1, 2008, after a 13-year run. Time Warner’s AOL, its current owner, has reportedly decided to kill further development and technical support to focus on growing the company as an advertising business. The first version of Netscape had come out in late 1994.

In gaming, there are admirers of Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360, and will remain the same. Which one of these gaming consoles will reign supreme, eventually, is difficult to predict.

In consumer electronics, lines are surely blurring between portable media players (PMPs) and portable navigation devices. Also, it would be interesting to see how digital photo frames survive 2008. A reported tight supply, especially for seven-inch models, has led to some makers in Asia either postponing mass production or extending lead times. Surely, makers cannot add more entertainment functions in smaller screen models, to keep costs down.

In the security products market, IP cameras and video servers should have a better year, with more emphasis now on video surveillance. In fact, some friends have been querying me as well regarding their potential.

On components, we can hope to see more growth for solid polymer capacitors in 2008, and among PCBs some fabricators should start manufacturing high-density interconnect (HDI) PCBs this year.

In wireless, we should witness TD-SCDMA in operation prior to the Beijing Olympic Games. Backers would like to see TD-SCDMA succeed, given the effort Datang-Siemens has made on the technology, as also the Chinese government, which issued spectrum for TD-SCDMA nearly five years ago!

Let’s all welcome 2008 and look forward to more exciting things happening.

Sixty years of India’s scientific and IT might

August 14, 2007 Comments off

On the eve of India’s 60th Independence Day, let’s us raise a toast and pay tribute to those scientific greats who are responsible for making India what it is today — an IT powerhouse, a nation that boasts of great scientific heritage. These are just a few. There have been so many, many more.

It all started with the late Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, said to be the father of India’s space program. Establishing the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is among his achievements. Then there’s late Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the famous Indian nuclear physicist, who was responsible for establishing the Atomic Energy Commission. The Atomic Energy Establishment was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in his honor, after his untimely death.

We have all the love and respect for Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s 12th president, a notable scientist and engineer. Often referred to as the Missile Man of India, he is considered an innovator and a visionary.

We have R.A. Mashelkar, a leader in science and technology, and former director general, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). We salute Dr. R. Chidambaram, one of India’s distinguished experimental physicists. Some of the research groups established by him in BARC in high-pressure physics and neutron crystallography are regarded among the best in the world.

There is Dr Sam Pitroda, the inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker. Besides founding the Center for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), he is the man responsible for bringing about the telecom revolution. Under his leadership, India developed the rural automatic exchange (RAX), and the public call offices (PCO) also came into being. Let’s also salute N. Vittal, former chairman, Telecom Commission and former secretary, Department of Telecommunication (DoT).

Salute to the late Dhirubhai Ambani, who’s grand vision of the mobile phones reaching the lower classes of the society revolutionized the mobile phone services industry. Salute to the late Dewang Mehta, who lobbied strongly for India, via, NASSCOM, and under whose leadership India developed into a software powerhouse. We salute F.C. Kohli, considered as the ‘Father of Indian IT’ and former leader of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

We also have Vinod Dham, often referred to as the father of the Intel Pentium processor, is now a venture capitalist and co-founder of New Path Ventures. Then, there is Shiv Nadar, who transformed HCL into the powerhouse that it is today.

We salute N.R. Narayan Murthy, who made Infosys what it is today, as well as Azim Hasham Premji, CEO and chiarman of Wipro. Of course, there’s Sridhar Mitta too, the internationally recognized expert in the management of R& D in IT.

Lest we forget, there are several giants in the Indian telecom industry as well, such as P.K. Sandell, Y.K. Agarwal, Mahendra Nahata, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala (the inventor or the brain behind CorDECT), and so many more.

In the semicon space, we have visionaries such as Rajendra Khare, Srini Rajam, S. Uma Mahesh, Dr. Ananda, Dr. Bobby Mitra, Pratul Shroff, S. Janakiraman, Dr. Satya Gupta, Dr. Madhu Atre, and many others. One of India’s celebrated sons, Prof Krishna Saraswat, was recently bestowed the TechnoVisionary Award by ISA-VSI to recognize his contribution in semiconductors. Salute to all the wonderful teachers at the IITs, especially those who won the ISA-VSI Technovation awards! What a glorious lot!

Salute to all of these giants, and many, many others who have contributed toward making India a scientific and IT powerhouse! Proud to be an Indian!!

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