dnssec news

SaaS Keeps SMBs and Solopreneurs from Falling Behind in Cloud

By Derek Handova

Brought to You by Talkin’ Cloud

While large enterprises and high-tech startups instigated the SaaS infrastructure revolution and primarily benefited from it, many mainstream small-and-medium-size businesses (SMBs), sole proprietors and “mom-and-pop” retailers may feel like they got left behind by cloud computing. However, the story remains more complicated. Strategic-thinking SMBs from Main Street have also harnessed Web 2.0 to leverage their narrower HR power to appear virtually as large as the big boys.

With the rise of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and other public customer cloud platforms as well as B2B SaaS applications and more, even the solopreneurs among us can tap on-demand, online software.

“Now that SMBs and mom-and-pop shops don’t have to have their websites hosted on GoDaddy and can go live in the AWS Cloud, they have taken a giant leap forward,” says Shawn Moore, CTO, Solodev, a web experience platform. “But someone still needs to build, manage and optimize their websites. Enter the DIY CMSes like SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix and WordPress. Now your local pizzeria can build its site in WordPress, host it free on AWS cloud computing and compete with Papa John’s and Pizza Hut.”

The missing puzzle piece? Moore believes whoever identifies how to scale technological and marketing personnel as a commodity will win in SMB software.

SMB Software and Services Largest Segment by 2020

Analysts forecast SMB purchases of software products and services will become the largest IT segment by 2020. That sector will reach 38 percent of the market according to International Data Corporation. But even with that buying prowess behind them options for implementing cloud software have limited existence and maybe not the highest quality, according to certain consultants. Logically, this could lead management at innovation SMBs to take a cautious stance on business expansion.

But with President Donald Trump a small business champion, according to his spokesperson, small-business confidence has hit a high not seen since 2004, a recent survey reveals. And that confidence has spread to plans for launching cloud solutions to build commercial relationships, with help of outsource IT professionals, according to those consultants.

For example, Diener Precision Pumps, an SMB manufacturer of precision piston pumps, found Salesforce the right cloud platform to get closer to customers and achieve its goals, according to Bluewolf, a strategic Salesforce consulting partner.

“We greatly needed a system of record for quick insight and reporting of our global sales, and with the right partner we were able to transform sales operations immediately,” says Mike Gann, IT engineer, Diener Precision Pumps, referring to Bluewolf Go. “In just one month, they delivered a fast Salesforce implementation. We now have the transparency to make the most of every customer moment and achieve our business goals.”

How SMBs Should Decide to Move to Cloud Computing

When implementing software, the question of SaaS versus on-premises remains fundamental. The decision usually depends on importance of cost, performance, control and data ownership, according to IT professionals. This strongly varies per the size of the mom-and-pop business, in their opinions.

If applications have basis in the web browser, it may not matter whether they feed data from the cloud or a local network, according to Vadim Vladimirskiy, CEO of Adar, provider of Nerdio IT-as-a-Service for SMB IT staff and their MSPs. However, with some SaaS subscriptions, the cost efficiency equation may change with scale, getting more expensive with more users, according to Vladimirskiy.

“But SaaS options typically have a very low barrier to entry,” Vladimirskiy says. “They don’t require hardware infrastructure to be set up, software to be installed and configured or ongoing updates to be tested and deployed. It’s typical for a small SaaS deployment to be very cost effective.”

One of the biggest considerations SMBs need to make for SaaS regards the common platform a cloud computing solution provides to the customers running in the same instance, according to Vladimirskiy. An advantage remains that any upgrade made to the application simultaneously benefits everyone on the same servers and databases. But also the fact the same environment gets shared by many creates a limitation on any feature customization for individual customers. Basically, SMBs have to take what they can get from a SaaS solution.

SMBs Leveraging Cloud Computing to Serve Enterprises

Not only do MSPs that offer SaaS platforms provide SMBs the opportunity to compete with larger, more resource-laden companies but also enable them to make some of these big enterprises their customers. For example, a 10-person IT company, Agrei Consulting, worked with BitTitan, a Microsoft MSP platform enablement provider, to migrate a worldwide company with multi-workload Google apps to a virtualized Microsoft productivity suite. Specifically, Agrei Consulting used BitTitan MSPComplete to automate many of the tasks for migrating 40,000 Gmail accounts, successfully accelerating timelines, according to them.

“We won the business of a global conglomerate in the media space,” says Israel Heskel, founder and CEO, Agrei Consulting. “We took on and completed the project moving a company of more than 30,000 employees across the globe to Office 365 in under four weekends—a task normally only possible for an IT service provider of 5,000 employees. This thrilled executives and delighted users with a smooth transition to Office 365. BitTitan can migrate just about anything to Office 365—whether a project for 12 or more than 150,000.”

Virtual Assistants Help SMB Execs Delegate, Stay Up-to-Date

In the modern workplace dissent does not often occur when it comes to virtualization—not only virtualization of Microsoft technology but also task delegation. As many SMB executives constantly work from the road, a lot of them could use virtual assistants (VAs) to take care of mundane meeting arrangements, travel schedules, memo writing and so on. A VA not only gets delegated the work to oversee projects and tasks but also keep the executive current on her market trends and options.

“An SMB executive doing all her own work will not stay competitive,” says Melissa Smith, founder, The Personal Virtual Assistant, and author, Hire the Right Virtual Assistant. “One reason large companies are so effective and successful is because they know how to use resources. They don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to pay executives to send emails, make calls or track payroll and billing. SMBs can take advantage of the same type of services by hiring virtual assistants.”

Smith recommends SMBs hire VAs who communicate the same their executives do, starting the search on platforms already in use. Whether by phone, email, text or video chat, if you do not enjoy communicating the same way the working relationship cannot survive, according to Smith.

“Communication is so important when working with a VA—whether to communicate tasks, projects or updates. VAs are essential to collaboration,” Smith says. “Tools like Asana, Trello and Slack are great for multiple updates per day and several people collaborating. It cuts emails received, status updates and helps automatically coordinate different time zones.”

Using Cloud-based Software at Charitable NGOs

You might think that cloud computing platforms only have uses in the for-profit world—if only at SMBs. Wrong. Small charitable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also utilize the latest in corporate innovation, such as HR software. For example, Furniture Bank, a registered charity and social enterprise NGO that provides gently used furniture to former homeless and others getting back on their feet, utilizes TINYpulse HR software for unvarnished feedback about employee engagement.

“Since 2014, we’ve used TINYpulse to gauge employee happiness and keep transparency and communication high,” says Dan Kershaw, executive director, Furniture Bank. “Since we have such an important mission, keeping our workforce happy not only helps with productivity but also in recruiting, retention and employee recognition.”

Moreover, the tool helps leaders at Furniture Bank keep everyone on the same page and minimize miscommunications, according to TINYpulse. Companies like Furniture Bank embrace the relationship between employee engagement and customer engagement as a strategic priority, according to TINYpulse.

Making Cloud Computing Secure for Mom-and-Pops

With all the options available to mom-and-pop shops to get on the SaaS bandwagon, once there they need to stay secure. But lacking the security staff and expertise that larger enterprises can afford, what should they do?

“The cloud brings big advantages to mom-and-pop shops including cost savings, efficiency and agility,” says Ofer Amitai, CEO and co-founder, Portnox, provider of network access control, visibility, management and policy compliance. “However, it also brings big challenges, especially when it comes to network security, and they don’t want to spend time monitoring the network.”

According to Amitai, these SMBs should look for a cloud-based security platform that enables continuous risk monitoring of all individual devices, responds in real-time and protects against BYOD and IoT risks.

This article originally appeared on Talkin’ Cloud.

Read more here:: datacenterknowledge.com/feed/

SaaS Keeps SMBs and Solopreneurs from Falling Behind in Cloud

By News Aggregator

By Derek Handova

Brought to You by Talkin’ Cloud

While large enterprises and high-tech startups instigated the SaaS infrastructure revolution and primarily benefited from it, many mainstream small-and-medium-size businesses (SMBs), sole proprietors and “mom-and-pop” retailers may feel like they got left behind by cloud computing. However, the story remains more complicated. Strategic-thinking SMBs from Main Street have also harnessed Web 2.0 to leverage their narrower HR power to appear virtually as large as the big boys.

With the rise of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and other public customer cloud platforms as well as B2B SaaS applications and more, even the solopreneurs among us can tap on-demand, online software.

“Now that SMBs and mom-and-pop shops don’t have to have their websites hosted on GoDaddy and can go live in the AWS Cloud, they have taken a giant leap forward,” says Shawn Moore, CTO, Solodev, a web experience platform. “But someone still needs to build, manage and optimize their websites. Enter the DIY CMSes like SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix and WordPress. Now your local pizzeria can build its site in WordPress, host it free on AWS cloud computing and compete with Papa John’s and Pizza Hut.”

The missing puzzle piece? Moore believes whoever identifies how to scale technological and marketing personnel as a commodity will win in SMB software.

SMB Software and Services Largest Segment by 2020

Analysts forecast SMB purchases of software products and services will become the largest IT segment by 2020. That sector will reach 38 percent of the market according to International Data Corporation. But even with that buying prowess behind them options for implementing cloud software have limited existence and maybe not the highest quality, according to certain consultants. Logically, this could lead management at innovation SMBs to take a cautious stance on business expansion.

But with President Donald Trump a small business champion, according to his spokesperson, small-business confidence has hit a high not seen since 2004, a recent survey reveals. And that confidence has spread to plans for launching cloud solutions to build commercial relationships, with help of outsource IT professionals, according to those consultants.

For example, Diener Precision Pumps, an SMB manufacturer of precision piston pumps, found Salesforce the right cloud platform to get closer to customers and achieve its goals, according to Bluewolf, a strategic Salesforce consulting partner.

“We greatly needed a system of record for quick insight and reporting of our global sales, and with the right partner we were able to transform sales operations immediately,” says Mike Gann, IT engineer, Diener Precision Pumps, referring to Bluewolf Go. “In just one month, they delivered a fast Salesforce implementation. We now have the transparency to make the most of every customer moment and achieve our business goals.”

How SMBs Should Decide to Move to Cloud Computing

When implementing software, the question of SaaS versus on-premises remains fundamental. The decision usually depends on importance of cost, performance, control and data ownership, according to IT professionals. This strongly varies per the size of the mom-and-pop business, in their opinions.

If applications have basis in the web browser, it may not matter whether they feed data from the cloud or a local network, according to Vadim Vladimirskiy, CEO of Adar, provider of Nerdio IT-as-a-Service for SMB IT staff and their MSPs. However, with some SaaS subscriptions, the cost efficiency equation may change with scale, getting more expensive with more users, according to Vladimirskiy.

“But SaaS options typically have a very low barrier to entry,” Vladimirskiy says. “They don’t require hardware infrastructure to be set up, software to be installed and configured or ongoing updates to be tested and deployed. It’s typical for a small SaaS deployment to be very cost effective.”

One of the biggest considerations SMBs need to make for SaaS regards the common platform a cloud computing solution provides to the customers running in the same instance, according to Vladimirskiy. An advantage remains that any upgrade made to the application simultaneously benefits everyone on the same servers and databases. But also the fact the same environment gets shared by many creates a limitation on any feature customization for individual customers. Basically, SMBs have to take what they can get from a SaaS solution.

SMBs Leveraging Cloud Computing to Serve Enterprises

Not only do MSPs that offer SaaS platforms provide SMBs the opportunity to compete with larger, more resource-laden companies but also enable them to make some of these big enterprises their customers. For example, a 10-person IT company, Agrei Consulting, worked with BitTitan, a Microsoft MSP platform enablement provider, to migrate a worldwide company with multi-workload Google apps to a virtualized Microsoft productivity suite. Specifically, Agrei Consulting used BitTitan MSPComplete to automate many of the tasks for migrating 40,000 Gmail accounts, successfully accelerating timelines, according to them.

“We won the business of a global conglomerate in the media space,” says Israel Heskel, founder and CEO, Agrei Consulting. “We took on and completed the project moving a company of more than 30,000 employees across the globe to Office 365 in under four weekends—a task normally only possible for an IT service provider of 5,000 employees. This thrilled executives and delighted users with a smooth transition to Office 365. BitTitan can migrate just about anything to Office 365—whether a project for 12 or more than 150,000.”

Virtual Assistants Help SMB Execs Delegate, Stay Up-to-Date

In the modern workplace dissent does not often occur when it comes to virtualization—not only virtualization of Microsoft technology but also task delegation. As many SMB executives constantly work from the road, a lot of them could use virtual assistants (VAs) to take care of mundane meeting arrangements, travel schedules, memo writing and so on. A VA not only gets delegated the work to oversee projects and tasks but also keep the executive current on her market trends and options.

“An SMB executive doing all her own work will not stay competitive,” says Melissa Smith, founder, The Personal Virtual Assistant, and author, Hire the Right Virtual Assistant. “One reason large companies are so effective and successful is because they know how to use resources. They don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to pay executives to send emails, make calls or track payroll and billing. SMBs can take advantage of the same type of services by hiring virtual assistants.”

Smith recommends SMBs hire VAs who communicate the same their executives do, starting the search on platforms already in use. Whether by phone, email, text or video chat, if you do not enjoy communicating the same way the working relationship cannot survive, according to Smith.

“Communication is so important when working with a VA—whether to communicate tasks, projects or updates. VAs are essential to collaboration,” Smith says. “Tools like Asana, Trello and Slack are great for multiple updates per day and several people collaborating. It cuts emails received, status updates and helps automatically coordinate different time zones.”

Using Cloud-based Software at Charitable NGOs

You might think that cloud computing platforms only have uses in the for-profit world—if only at SMBs. Wrong. Small charitable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also utilize the latest in corporate innovation, such as HR software. For example, Furniture Bank, a registered charity and social enterprise NGO that provides gently used furniture to former homeless and others getting back on their feet, utilizes TINYpulse HR software for unvarnished feedback about employee engagement.

“Since 2014, we’ve used TINYpulse to gauge employee happiness and keep transparency and communication high,” says Dan Kershaw, executive director, Furniture Bank. “Since we have such an important mission, keeping our workforce happy not only helps with productivity but also in recruiting, retention and employee recognition.”

Moreover, the tool helps leaders at Furniture Bank keep everyone on the same page and minimize miscommunications, according to TINYpulse. Companies like Furniture Bank embrace the relationship between employee engagement and customer engagement as a strategic priority, according to TINYpulse.

Making Cloud Computing Secure for Mom-and-Pops

With all the options available to mom-and-pop shops to get on the SaaS bandwagon, once there they need to stay secure. But lacking the security staff and expertise that larger enterprises can afford, what should they do?

“The cloud brings big advantages to mom-and-pop shops including cost savings, efficiency and agility,” says Ofer Amitai, CEO and co-founder, Portnox, provider of network access control, visibility, management and policy compliance. “However, it also brings big challenges, especially when it comes to network security, and they don’t want to spend time monitoring the network.”

According to Amitai, these SMBs should look for a cloud-based security platform that enables continuous risk monitoring of all individual devices, responds in real-time and protects against BYOD and IoT risks.

This article originally appeared on Talkin’ Cloud.

Read more here:: datacenterknowledge.com/feed/

The post SaaS Keeps SMBs and Solopreneurs from Falling Behind in Cloud appeared on IPv6.net.

Read more here:: IPv6 News Aggregator

Homeland Security Invests $1M in five IoT Security Startups

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced their $1M investment in five IoT-security startups. The startups being funded are Factom, Whitescope, M2Mi, Ionic Security, and Pulzze Systems.

DHS aims to improve situational awareness of security within the Internet of Things by funding these startups. The announcement was made on Jan 21, 2017.

The five IoT security startups, selected through its ‘Securing the Internet of Things and Silicon Valley Innovation Program’, will produce and demonstrate a pilot-ready prototype to qualify for the third phase of the program.

Major focus of each of funded startup is as follows:

Atlanta-based Ionic Security received approximately $200K to develop a distributed data protection model. It will solve authentication, detection and confidentiality challenges that impact distributed IoT devices. Inonic’s total total equity funding stands at $122.44M in 7 Rounds from 22 Investors. Amazon also participated in Ionic’s Series D $45M funding.

Factom Harmony

Austin-TX based Factom received $199K by DHS to deliver solutions related to quality control, due diligence, and auditing by leveraging the blockchain. It will help prevent spoofing and ensure data integrity. The Austin-based startup has also secured $6.49M in 5 Rounds from 4 Investors.

California-based M2Mi received $200K to deploy open source version of the SPECK cryptographic protocol. It will help run a light weight crypto package on IoT devices.

Another California-based startup Whitescope LLC received $200K to build a working prototype of a secure wireless communications gateway for IoT devices.

California-based Pulzze Systems will improve infrastructure visibility problem by providing dynamic detection as components connect or disconnect from a networked system. It also received $200K in funding by DHS.

Read more here:: feeds.feedburner.com/iot

Tech Deal: IoT Marketplace Provider Scriptr.io Closes $5 million Series A

The platform enables users to access a marketplace of more than a 100 connectors to IoT and enterprise platforms.

Read more here:: www.eweek.com/rss.xml

Tech Deal: IoT Marketplace Provider Scriptr.io Closes $5 million Series A

By News Aggregator

The platform enables users to access a marketplace of more than a 100 connectors to IoT and enterprise platforms.

Read more here:: www.eweek.com/rss.xml

The post Tech Deal: IoT Marketplace Provider Scriptr.io Closes $5 million Series A appeared on IPv6.net.

Read more here:: IPv6 News Aggregator

Jio joins ranks of World #IPv6 Launch

By Mat Ford

IPv6 deployment watchers have been aware of strong growth in India (15.5% according to Akamai, 17.77% according to Google) for some time. One of the main reasons for that growth has been deployment on the mobile network of Jio (Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.) and we are delighted that they have registered to join the ranks of World IPv6 Launch network operators.

Jio is an LTE mobile network operator in India. Jio’s deployment has been growing over the past year or so, and they are currently ranked fourth by our methodology with an IPv6 deployment percentage of 77.23%.

You can view the full listing of IPv6 network operator measurements for this month.

If you’re a network operator deploying IPv6 and would like to join Jio and the other networks that make up the ranks of World IPv6 Launch participants, please register your network for measurement.

Read more here:: www.worldipv6launch.org/feed/

Jio joins ranks of World #IPv6 Launch

By News Aggregator

By Mat Ford

IPv6 deployment watchers have been aware of strong growth in India (15.5% according to Akamai, 17.77% according to Google) for some time. One of the main reasons for that growth has been deployment on the mobile network of Jio (Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.) and we are delighted that they have registered to join the ranks of World IPv6 Launch network operators.

Jio is an LTE mobile network operator in India. Jio’s deployment has been growing over the past year or so, and they are currently ranked fourth by our methodology with an IPv6 deployment percentage of 77.23%.

You can view the full listing of IPv6 network operator measurements for this month.

If you’re a network operator deploying IPv6 and would like to join Jio and the other networks that make up the ranks of World IPv6 Launch participants, please register your network for measurement.

Read more here:: www.worldipv6launch.org/feed/

The post Jio joins ranks of World #IPv6 Launch appeared on IPv6.net.

Read more here:: IPv6 News Aggregator

MapR Extends Its Platform to the Edge

By Alex Woodie

MapR Technologies today unveiled MapR Edge, an extension of its converged data platform that lets customers install MapR nodes practically anywhere they want.

The new offering runs on small portable PCs like the Intel NUC (pictured above), and delivers the full breadth of MapR’s capabilities–including Hadoop, NoSQL, and data streaming functionality—anywhere customers want, from autonomous cars driving rural highways to wellheads in the oil field.

“Things are getting more distributed, not less distributed,” says Jack Norris, MapR‘s senior vice president of data and applications. “The benefits of having processing closer and closer to the data and being able to act faster where the action is happening, is a big driver.”

MapR Edge pushes data collection and processing capabilities further away from the big centralized clusters that so far have largely defined big data platforms like Hadoop, NoSQL databases, and streaming data platforms Kafka. But instead of creating a separate system that must be configured and managed, MapR decided to make it all part of the family.

“This is not a separate standalone product that just has data collection,” Norris tells Datanami. “It’s actually a full extension of the cluster, so [it’s providing] centralized management, centralized security. [It has] the ability to replicate, the ability mirror, the ability to handle occasional connected devices with streams. It’s all built into the MapR Edge.”

The new offering fits into MapR’s strategy to help customers build Internet of Things (IoT) applications. To that end, it serves several functions.

First, it serves as the first waypoint for data right after it’s generated. As raw flows off wellheads or MRI machines, MapR Edge collects it and performs the first round of processing. The customer then has the choice to upload only the aggregated cluster to the core MapR clusters for further analysis or archiving. This can help alleviate both bandwidth and data privacy and security concerns.

But MapR Edge goes beyond that and pushes machine intelligence out into the field. For example, an oil exploration company with thousands of wellheads may have used machine learning algorithms to predict when equipment is about to fail. That signature of equipment failure can be pushed out to the MapR Edge to score streams of live data in real time.

“This whole concept of act locally, learn globally is really what’s driving some of the closed loop processes,” Norris says. “Each individual unit is only seeing the data from that particular wellhead. But when you’ve got thousands of those throughout world and you have data that’s been collected over a period of time, the ability to detect infrequently occurring events — the ability to detect anomalies – is much better understood on global basis.”

As a full-fledged member of the MapR clusters, MapR Edge can run any big data processing engine supported by the Hadoop distributor, including Spark, Drill, Hive, MapReduce, and others. The software can also function as a node of MapR’s NoSQL database, called MapRDB, and also be a node in MapR’s Kafka-compatible stream processing system, called MapR Streams.

MapR Edge can run on the Intel NUC, a miniature PC that’s only 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches in size. The minimum configuration calls for a cluster of three Intel NUCs, each configured with 16GB of RAM and 64GB of solid-state storage. The maximum configuration is a cluster of five MapR Edges, and total of 50 TB of storage.

Related Items:

MapR Embraces Microservices in Big Data Platform

MapR Delivers Bi-Directional Replication with Distro Refresh

The post MapR Extends Its Platform to the Edge appeared first on Datanami.

Read more here:: www.datanami.com/feed/

MapR Extends Its Platform to the Edge

By News Aggregator

By Alex Woodie

MapR Technologies today unveiled MapR Edge, an extension of its converged data platform that lets customers install MapR nodes practically anywhere they want.

The new offering runs on small portable PCs like the Intel NUC (pictured above), and delivers the full breadth of MapR’s capabilities–including Hadoop, NoSQL, and data streaming functionality—anywhere customers want, from autonomous cars driving rural highways to wellheads in the oil field.

“Things are getting more distributed, not less distributed,” says Jack Norris, MapR‘s senior vice president of data and applications. “The benefits of having processing closer and closer to the data and being able to act faster where the action is happening, is a big driver.”

MapR Edge pushes data collection and processing capabilities further away from the big centralized clusters that so far have largely defined big data platforms like Hadoop, NoSQL databases, and streaming data platforms Kafka. But instead of creating a separate system that must be configured and managed, MapR decided to make it all part of the family.

“This is not a separate standalone product that just has data collection,” Norris tells Datanami. “It’s actually a full extension of the cluster, so [it’s providing] centralized management, centralized security. [It has] the ability to replicate, the ability mirror, the ability to handle occasional connected devices with streams. It’s all built into the MapR Edge.”

The new offering fits into MapR’s strategy to help customers build Internet of Things (IoT) applications. To that end, it serves several functions.

First, it serves as the first waypoint for data right after it’s generated. As raw flows off wellheads or MRI machines, MapR Edge collects it and performs the first round of processing. The customer then has the choice to upload only the aggregated cluster to the core MapR clusters for further analysis or archiving. This can help alleviate both bandwidth and data privacy and security concerns.

But MapR Edge goes beyond that and pushes machine intelligence out into the field. For example, an oil exploration company with thousands of wellheads may have used machine learning algorithms to predict when equipment is about to fail. That signature of equipment failure can be pushed out to the MapR Edge to score streams of live data in real time.

“This whole concept of act locally, learn globally is really what’s driving some of the closed loop processes,” Norris says. “Each individual unit is only seeing the data from that particular wellhead. But when you’ve got thousands of those throughout world and you have data that’s been collected over a period of time, the ability to detect infrequently occurring events — the ability to detect anomalies – is much better understood on global basis.”

As a full-fledged member of the MapR clusters, MapR Edge can run any big data processing engine supported by the Hadoop distributor, including Spark, Drill, Hive, MapReduce, and others. The software can also function as a node of MapR’s NoSQL database, called MapRDB, and also be a node in MapR’s Kafka-compatible stream processing system, called MapR Streams.

MapR Edge can run on the Intel NUC, a miniature PC that’s only 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches in size. The minimum configuration calls for a cluster of three Intel NUCs, each configured with 16GB of RAM and 64GB of solid-state storage. The maximum configuration is a cluster of five MapR Edges, and total of 50 TB of storage.

Related Items:

MapR Embraces Microservices in Big Data Platform

MapR Delivers Bi-Directional Replication with Distro Refresh

The post MapR Extends Its Platform to the Edge appeared first on Datanami.

Read more here:: www.datanami.com/feed/

The post MapR Extends Its Platform to the Edge appeared on IPv6.net.

Read more here:: IPv6 News Aggregator

Not Everyone Wants to Talk to Their Smart Home Assistant

By News Aggregator

By Reuters

In today’s so-called smart home, you can dim the lights, order more toothpaste or tell the kids to go to bed simply by talking to a small WiFi-connected speaker, such as Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home.

This voice-first market–combining voice with artificial intelligence (AI)–barely existed in 2014. This year, Voice Labs, a consultancy, expects 24.5 million appliances to be shipped.

Other big tech firms have their own plans: Apple is taking its Siri voice assistant beyond its mobile devices to PCs, cars, and the home; Baidu last month bought Raven, billed as China’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa intelligent personal assistant; and Samsung Electronics plans to incorporate Viv, its newly acquired virtual assistant, into its phones and home appliances.

But not everyone thinks the future of communicating with the Internet of Things needs to be vocal.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example, was working on Jarvis, his own voice-powered AI home automation, and found he preferred communicating by text because, he wrote, “mostly it feels less disturbing to people around me.”

And several major appliance makers have turned to a small Singapore firm, Unified Inbox, which offers a service that can handle ordinary text messages and pass them on to appliances.

With your home added to the contacts list on, say, WhatsApp, a quick text message can “start the coffee machine”; “turn on the vacuum cleaner at 5 p.m.”; or “preheat the oven to 200 degrees at 6.30 p.m.”

“Think of it as a universal translator between the languages that machines speak … and us humans,” said Toby Ruckert, a German former concert pianist and now Unified Inbox’s CEO.

The company is just a small player, funded by private investors, but Ruckert says its technology is patent-backed, has been several years in the making, and has customers that include half of the world’s smart appliance makers, such as Bosch.

Unified Inbox connects the devices on behalf of the manufacturer, while the consumer can add their appliance by messaging its serial number to a special user account or phone number. It so far supports more than 20 of the most popular messaging apps, as well SMS and Twitter, and controls appliances from ovens to kettles. Other home appliances being tested include locks, garage openers, window blinds, toasters and garden sprinklers, says Ruckert.

“People aren’t going to want a different interface for all the different appliances in their home,” says Jason Jameson, of IBM, which is pairing its Watson AI supercomputer with Unified Inbox to better understand user messages. They will this week demonstrate the service working with a Samsung Robot Cleaner.

“The common denominator is the smartphone, and even more common is the messaging app,” Jameson notes.

“TROJAN HORSE”

There’s another reason, Ruckert says, why more than half of the world’s smart appliance manufacturers have signed up.

They’re worried the big tech companies’ one-appliance-controls-all approach will relegate them to commodity players, connecting to Alexa or another dominant platform, or being cast aside if Amazon moves into making its own household appliances.

“Our customers are quite afraid of the likes of Amazon,” Ruckert said. “Having a Trojan horse in a customer’s home, like Echo, that they must integrate with to stay competitive is a nightmare for them.”

An Amazon spokesperson said the company was “excited by the early response by smart home device manufacturers and even more excited by the customer response,” but declined to speculate about future plans.

A spokesperson for Bosch said no single company can knit the Internet of Things together, so “there is a need to collaborate and establish ecosystems,” such as working with Unified Inbox.

Our favorite smart home technology from CES 2017.

Already the race is on to incorporate other services into these home hubs.

Amazon allows third parties to develop apps, or “skills,” for Alexa. It has more than 10,000 of these, with many added in just the past three months. Most are developed by firms using Amazon’s software toolkit, and range from telling jokes to ordering food.

And Amazon makes it easy for other hardware makers to incorporate Alexa into their appliances, increasing its reach.

Chinese device maker Lenovo has embedded Alexa in its speakers, while General Electric has it in a lamp– meaning users can control these devices by voice, and use them to order products from Amazon. LG Electronics and Huawei are also working on Alexa-enabled devices, Amazon said.

Text messaging, though, may yet break down those walls.

As Zuckerberg noted, the volume of text messages is growing much faster than the number of voice calls. “This suggests that future AI products cannot be solely focused on voice, and will need a private messaging interface as well,” he says.

EVEN SMARTER

Some companies are already looking further ahead, and doing away with the need for any human instruction–whether by voice or text–by making machines smarter at learning our habits and anticipating them.

LG, for example, is using deep learning to make its appliances understand and avoid objects in a room, or fill an ice tray based on a user’s cold drink habits.

At Unified Inbox, Ruckert looks ahead to being able to communicate not only with one’s own appliances but with machines elsewhere. Bosch executives in Singapore, for example, have demonstrated how a user could ask a smart CCTV camera how many people were in a particular room.

Ruckert is also working with Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic to send updates to family members or staff direct from hospital equipment attached to patients.

And smart appliance entrepreneur James Dyson said in a recent interview that the future lies in what he calls “highly intelligent automation.”

“For me, the future is making everything happen for you without you being particularly involved in it.”

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