Archive for ‘Misc’


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5 hidden iOS 8 features that all Apple users should know

Learn about the hidden features in iOS 8 that you’ll have a hard time living without… once you find out about them.

Hidden features in iOS 8

With each iteration, Apple adds new features to iOS to make it even better. With iOS 8, Apple started with a great foundation in iOS 7 and added quite a few new features that integrate more deeply with the Mac. You’ve probably already heard about a lot of the big features introduced in iOS 8, but there are plenty other unannounced features that to uncover. Once you learn about these features, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

1. Find My iPhone: Send last location before battery dies

Find my iPhone is a great feature, but if your battery dies, you’ll be unable to track it, and your chances of seeing your device again diminishes significantly. Fortunately, a new feature in iOS 8 can help save your day (and perhaps your device).

With iOS 8, Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch can now send the last known device location to iCloud before your battery dies. This can really be helpful to track down your device.

To enable this feature, perform these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap iCloud | Find my [device type]
  3. Turn on the option for Send Last Location
  4. Send the last known location of your device to iCloud so that you can track it down if the battery dies.

Once you’ve enabled this feature, whenever the device battery becomes critically low, it will make it a priority to send the device’s current location to iCloud. Of course, this will work perfectly if your device has a cellular connection but not so well if your device connects to Wi-Fi and is away from a known access point.

2. Load a desktop webpage instead of mobile in Safari

Sometimes, websites load in a stripped-down mode called “mobile site” or “mobile versions.” Most of these mobile-based sites don’t offer the same features as their desktop counterparts, leaving users unable to perform some tasks. Fortunately, iOS 8 makes loading the desktop site a bit easier.

Simply follow these steps to load a desktop page (Figure B) on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Navigate to a website that loads a mobile site instead of a desktop version
  3. Tap in the address field, then swipe down on the screen (as if refreshing the screen)
  4. Tap the Request Desktop Site button that appears
  5. Allowing users to request a desktop site in mobile Safari has long been a requested feature.

When you tap this button, Safari will refresh the webpage and will ask the site to use the desktop assets instead of the mobile version, giving you full access to the site and all of its resources.

3. Scan your credit cards in Safari when paying for purchases

Online purchases can be a pain. You’ve have to pull out your credit cards and manually enter in all of the required information. However, mobile purchases are on the rise, and the possibility that you’ll enter the wrong digits in the first go is pretty much a given when typing on such a small keyboard.

Apple Pay will most likely change this experience, but until then, you can use Safari’s credit card reading ability today in iOS 8.

To scan your credit card information and place it into the web page automatically using this Safari feature, do the following:

  1. Open a website and perform the checkout process
  2. When you get to the payment method screen of the checkout process, place the cursor inside of the card number field
  3. Tap the Scan Credit Card button that appears in the toolbar above the keyboard
  4. Position your card in the frame
  5. Once you do this, your credit card information will be scanned, processed, and entered into the appropriate fields in Safari. No need to hunt-and-peck for the keys during the payment process.

4. Find battery-hogging apps

iOS battery life is continually getting better, and you can get all- day battery life from most modern iOS devices. With iOS 8, Apple lets you now see how much battery life iOS apps are using.

To find those battery-draining apps that reside on your device, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate to General | Usage | Battery Usage
  3. After a few minutes, the Battery Usage section will be generated, and it will display the apps that are using the most energy. The statistics provided here are a proportion of the battery used by each listed application when the iPad is not charging.

When viewing battery usage, you’ll now get a listing of the apps that are responsible for the energy loss since the last charge.

5. Make your photos invisible instead of deleting them

Sometimes, you may not want to display all of your photos in the Photos app (perhaps you’ve got private photos that you don’t wish to share when giving a presentation, for instance). For those photos, iOS 8 can now hide them from view, allowing you to still keep them around.

To hide one of your photos, navigate to the photo that you’d like to have hidden, and tap and hold on it until a menu appears. Tap the Hide button in the menu that appears above the photo

Hiding photos can help when giving a presentation or when sharing a photo album with your friends via AirPlay.

When hiding a photo from your library, the photo will be hidden from the Moments, Collections, and Years sections, but it will still be visible in the Albums tab. You can unhide it by navigating to one of the Albums containing it, then tapping and holding on the photo, and selecting Unhide.


Green storage is dead. Long live green storage

Green storage may no longer be centre stage, as it was at the height of its hype a few years ago, but the need to reduce datacentre energy usage ensures that green storage is still a pressing concern. That is because storage is gobbling up an ever-larger portion of datacentre energy.

Global datacentre energy use is growing at about 7% a year, with storage consuming between 10% and 40% of all energy in any particular datacentre, according to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).


The SNIA estimates that servers consume 60% of a datacentre’s energy, leaving networking and storage with 20% each. However, the servers’ share is falling because virtualisation reduces energy consumption, leaving storage with a larger proportion of the whole.

This clearly affects enterprises’ bottom lines directly, but there are other impacts, too. Analyst Clive Longbottom, service director atQuocirca, says: “Those in the high-energy usage markets will be caught up in theCarbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) tax system, so anything they can do to lower energy usage will be useful.

“Those who aren’t caught in the CRC web can still do with saving energy. It costs money, after all, and with the lack of efficiency there is in IT equipment, every extra watt of energy going in will create a significant percentage of heat that needs to be cooled. So, each watt needed for storage could end up as 2.5W or more of actual energy consumed, assuming apower usage effectiveness [PUE] ratio of 2.5.”

Cutting the storage energy bill

Longbottom’s advice for businesses that want to reduce their storage energy bill is as follows: “First, de-clutter by getting rid of unwanted and/or unneeded data. Then work on cleansing data – make sure what you have is what you should have. Apply data deduplication to reduce the amount of data under storage by as much as 80%. Virtualise, so you can pool storage and make more efficient use of it. Minimise the number of arrays being used. Turn off, put in off-site storage or sell redundant arrays.”

Longbottom adds: “Where possible, move to flash storage. It is a much lower energy user and gives out a lot less heat. If not moving to flash, make sure you have variable-speed disks that can go into a low switch-down mode when not being used, to minimise energy usage. Use off-site storage systems where they make sense. Energy costs are then included in the data subscription price and can be guaranteed across a longer period of time.

“Also, look at how server-side storage can be used. The age of the SAN is coming to an end; every converged computing system has its own direct attached storage; every blade, every tower, every pizza-box server has a hard disk drive in there.”

SNIA board member SW Worth offers advice as part of the organisation’s green storage initiative. He says data reduction techniques are key to the type of de-cluttering suggested by Longbottom, and the most effective combination uses RAID 6 with snapshots, data deduplication and thin provisioning.

But not all energy-saving technologies have succeeded. One example is MAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks), for which Nexsan is now the standard-bearer. As Storage Switzerlandanalyst Eric Slack points out, the technology has not proved very attractive because the number of use cases is limited.

He says: “Too many applications couldn’t tolerate the wait of up to a couple of minutes to access data as drives spun up and IT wasn’t willing to take the chance that this data would be recalled.”

No single solution can reduce storage power consumption, says Steve Watt, CIO at the University of St Andrews. “Any future reductions will be achieved through a combination of efforts and by dealing with the issue from all angles, such as looking at the whole datacentre ecosystem,” he says.

How to reduce storage power usage

The biggest savings can be achieved by reducing the number of spinning disks in the datacentre. However, in a highly efficient storage system, most disks will be needed most of the time, says Longbottom, which reduces potential savings here.

Flash storage costs more, but can help resolve this dilemma. An Intel-sponsored report from J Gold Associates calculates that payback can be achieved within days, given the reduction in energy use, maintenance and hardware failures possible with flash storage.

As a consequence, Longbottom predicts much greater usage of flash at reasonable prices as EMC productises more of its XtremIO and DSSD IP, and IBM does likewise with its TMS acquisition, while the pure plays – Pure Storage, Violin, Nimble, and so on – also make progress.

But purchasing patterns and deployment details are not the only means of reducing energy consumption.

Storage suppliers can help by cutting their products’ energy use and SNIA has developed a set of criteria that help suppliers test and label the energy usage of their products. ItsEmerald Program aims to provide a uniform format to report storage system power requirements, power usage and efficiency under various workloads.

A user’s green storage perspective

Customers have also responded to the need to reduce energy.

A survey of European storage professionals by SearchStorage in 2010 found that green storage considerations are important when buying storage hardware and that many users would pay extra for more energy-efficient hardware. Testimony to the importance of “green friendliness” is that 66% of those questioned would pay more for a green product.

Watt has taken steps to reduce energy use in line with his university’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2016, such as consolidating storage from 400 servers spread across 50 sites into a Dell Compellent SAN.

He says: “This has resulted in a significant reduction in power usage, especially as it was combined with an aggressive virtualisation of application servers and the locating of these in a highly efficient campus datacentre.

“Reducing energy use entails utilising the inbuilt features and functionality of the Dell Compellent SAN. This has allowed us to use thin provisioning of storage, which provides efficiency gains in utilisation, requiring fewer disks, while hierarchical storage management has also allowed far more effective resource utilisation. This SAN also delivers file deduplication, which further optimises our use of storage.”


Apple Isn’t Interested in Big Data

Apple Tim Cook

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, says consumers aren’t its product

Big Data is big business nowadays and any company with any sense is making the most of user information that they hold. So, when Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company – which has well over 800 million users – isn’t interested in the Big Data opportunities that its customers provide, it came as quite the shock.

While Google and Amazon offer cheaper hardware in exchange for being able to target adverts and products at you from your usage data, Apple charges a premium and then does little to nothing with the information you send their way.

“We’re not reading your email,” said Tim Cook during an interview with Charlie Rose, “we’re not reading your iMessage. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have the key.”

“Our business is not based on having information about you”, continued Cook. “You’re not our product. Our product are these [iPhones] and this watch [Apple Watch], and Macs, and so forth. And so we run a very different company.

“I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data, and the companies – I think – should be very transparent.”

Obviously, that’s not the case for every company out there that’s taking customer data. In a lot of cases customers don’t really know where their data is going and for what purpose it is used. Obviously customers will only give data away if they think it’s of a worthy value exchange, but how many companies actually go out there and be transparent with what they’re using customer data for?

It’s interesting that Apple feel this way too, as it clearly shows that – for a business with an incredibly strong set of products and delivery platforms – there’s no need to use and sell customer data and target third-party apps at them. Customers may pay more for the privilege of not being hassled in such a manner, but it seems to be working. And it’s statements like that from Tim Cook that will only strengthen brand loyalty – more so during this turbulent time around data collection thanks to GCHQ and the NSA scandals of the last year.

“We have hundreds and millions of customers,” said Cook in reference to NSA requests for data. “So it’s a very rare instance that there’s been any data asked. And one of the reasons is, we don’t keep a lot. We’re not the treasure trove of places to come to.”


Etisalat upgrades broadband speeds for free

Salvador Anglada, chief business officer at Etisalat.

Etisalat has doubled the broadband speeds for its business customers in the UAE at no extra cost.

The speeds have boosted the broadband speed by 2.5 times – a business customer with 4MBps speed will be automatically upgraded, free of charge, to 10MBps broadband speed.

New business customers will also enjoy the benefits of higher speeds at lower rates.

Salvador Anglada, chief business officer at Etisalat said the free upgrade is aimed at helping businesses grow.

“The double speed upgrade is our promise and commitment to make our technology work for you and grow your business, allow you to do more and stand out from your competition,” said Anglada.

“Among other benefits, Etisalat’s speed upgrades on its fixed-line network will provide faster and extremely reliable fixed-line Internet connection, ensuring increased efficiencies, better global connectivity, reduced costs and improved customer service, resulting in increased profitability,” he added.


Windows 9 video leaks: Virtual desktops and Notification Center in action


10 key technology items for your 2015 budget

heroImage: It’s that time of year again — time for IT to lay out plans for next year and prepare for budget discussions. Here are 10 items that are likely to top enterprise IT shopping lists for 2015.

1: WAN optimization

With the rush of new web-enabled applications for customers and employees doing business in the field, corporate IT must concern itself with internal network health — as well as the quality of the end-user experience on the internet itself. New IT investments will be made in network end devices that measure “outside traffic” and in cloud-based solutions that can patrol internet traffic throughout the world, rerouting traffic when necessary.

2: Big data

Investment will continue in big data solutions in the data center and in the hiring of business analysts and data analysts with big data skills. This investment will be characterized with more movement toward using real time big data streams and implementing automation that can take advantage of the Internet of Things.

3: Cloud

Enterprises will continue migration to a hybrid cloud environment that mixes on premises, private cloud, and public cloud solutions. The use of cloud, especially to address external business processes and other gritty issues that have eluded internal enterprise systems for years, will be used by IT to speed solutions to market for the competitive benefit of the business.

4: DevOps

As more IT shops work to increase collaboration and co-development between application developers and system software specialists, vendors will answer with toolsets that can automatically set up and deploy underlying systems infrastructure. This will allow developers to focus more on top-level business coding. Investments will be made because of the potential to speed applications to market and to hedge against shortfalls in deeper level systems skills that many IT staffs are starting to experience.

5: Mobility

Enterprises will continue to invest in mobile devices and in the development of mobile business applications for internal employee use and for external use by customers. They are also likely to look for new hires with mobile application development skills.

6: Virtualization

Virtualization of hardware has been a stalwart in data centers for more than a decade. In 2015, there will be an equivalent effort in virtualizing infrastructure software as well. The goal in virtualizing software is to further ratchet down licensing costs. Any software virtualization tool that can facilitate this is likely to find budget dollars.

7: Digital assets

Enterprises will be looking to value and to monetize their digital assets, whether they come in the form of a website, a social media presence, content development and management, or new applications that perform in the digital universe. Many companies will formalize this process by hiring digital managers who can focus on a digital asset approach that combines IT and technology investment with marketing and sales channels, revenue, and brand development.

8: Data center facilities

A major contributor to corporate sustainability initiatives is the data center. Cooling and heating systems and facility construction improvements will be funded to facilitate joint facilities and IT projects that are focused on reducing data center energy consumption.

9: Audits

Rapid deployment of web-facing and mobile applications and the establishment of BYOD (bring your own device) policies will prompt many businesses to set aside extra budget dollars for security and IT policy and governance audits.

10: Data center automation

IT will continue to fund and implement automation in the data center that controls energy consumption and enables the running of “lights out” operations in nightly batch job runs, data archiving and storage, backups and system synchronization for purposes of business continuation and rapid failover.


Citrix Cloud Platform offers the most functionality for the price – Info-Tech Value Award

Info-Tech evaluated nine competitors in the Cloud Management market, including the following notable performers:


• Citrix CloudPlatform offers flexible hypervisor and hardware deployment options with the support of a mature vendor and a strong open source community.

• Abiquo’s capabilities to integrate with existing systems, in combination with its stand out self service functionality make it a great solution for enterprises needing a private or hybrid cloud.

• VMware. A virtualization force with a solid foundation for private cloud deployments, offering standout performance monitoring and drill down capabilities.

Value Award:

• Citrix. A hardened open source solution with a simple price per socket annual subscription model, Cloud Platform offers the most functionality for the price.

Trend Setter Award:

• Flexiant’s unique customization and whitelabeling, integrated billing, and it’s ability to support multiple hypervisors, make it a standout solution that’s ahead of the curve in advanced features.

Info-Tech Insight

1. Match features to use case. Solutions targeting service providers often have broader hypervisor support and chargeback functionality, but tend not to integrate with VMware vSphere.

2. Evaluate hypervisor support. Most solutions support both VMware ESX and KVM, but few support Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer. As hybrid cloud scenarios become more commonplace, it will be important for service providers to select a solution that supports the install base of its clients. Enterprises should look to solutions that can be layered on existing hardware, whether commodity servers, blade systems or virtualized infrastructures with storage.

3. Consider Amazon hook-ins for bursting scenarios. If there is a strong use case for public cloud integration for seasonal or project-based variation in requirements for
resources, capability to integrate with Amazon using its APIs is a plus.

Citrix offers includes the hypervisor layer with XenServer, the cloud orchestration layer with CloudPlatform and the user portal with CloudPortal Business Manager.

• Citrix CloudPlatform is a commercially available and fully supported version of the open source Apache CloudStack project. Citrix contributed acquired (2011) CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation in April of 2012.


• CloudPlatform has proven to be a mature solution with over 150 paid customers deployed in large production environments, including service providers (NTT, GoDaddy), enterprises (Nokia, BechTel) and Web 2.0 companies (Zynga, NetFlix, Samsung).

• Citrix has a strong cloud portfolio spanning servers, networking, and desktops, but also offers flexibility by supporting multiple hypervisors (XenServer, ESX, OVS, and KVM).

• Single management console is accessible via command line interface, web-GUI, or orchestrated using APIs, and includes a guided configuration as a simple launch option for new users.

• Supports Amazon APIs for hybrid cloud deployments.


• CloudPlatform requires purchase of CloudPortal Business Manager to enable visibility to end users around costs.

• There is a perception that Open Stack is currently getting more developer support. That said, over 100 companies have contributed CloudPlatform code, and many are active in both communities, including Cisco, IBM, Red Hat, and SUSE.

Below please find some relevant information:

CloudPortal Business Manager:


Open Platform 3.0™ (What is Platform 3?)


The Need for a Platform

The UNIX® operating system provided a standard platform for applications on a single computer.

Servers, PCs, and the Internet provided a second platform for web applications and services. We need a third platform to support applications and services that use cloud, social, and mobile computing, big data, and the Internet of things.

We need a standard third platform, rather than a mish-mash of products that are intended for specific situations and do not work together. Innovation adds value. Unnecessary differentiation blocks take-up and kills growth.

With any new technology, a point is reached where the innovation is done. At that point, standardization is needed to allow full exploitation. That point will be reached in the next few years for the new technologies that are driving business innovation. A standard platform will enable users to use the combination of these technologies effectively and at low cost, and will give vendors a worthwhile market.

It is, however, not clear what form that platform should take. The world has moved on since the days of the UNIX system, and even since the more recent days when the Internet and the World-Wide Web became established. It is the purpose of this Business Scenario to develop an understanding of today’s business and technical environment, and describe the fundamental requirements of the new platform.

The platform – whatever form it may take – is referred to here as Open Platform 3.0.

Platform 3.0 need not provide new digitization capabilities in and by itself. It should make strategic digitization capabilities like big data analysis, social networking, mobility, the Internet of things, and Cloud Computing more integrated and especially much more accessible by firms, their clients, and their customers.

The Open Group Platform 3.0 standardization effort should promote interoperability standards that protect the investments made by firms and consumers in the technologies and therefore be a vital cornerstone in the uptake of and sustained benefit realization from them.

The final sections of this Business Scenario describe a set of requirements for Open Platform 3.0 and identify the next steps towards its development. As a starting point, we look in this section at the problems that end users, IT departments, solution creators, and product and service suppliers are encountering with the new, disruptive technologies.

Business Scenario Problem Description

Technical developments such as mobile computing, social computing, big data analytics, the Internet of things, and cognitive computing give enterprises opportunities for business innovation, and a combination of two or more of these technologies offers powerful capabilities that can potentially transform or disrupt the business operating model.

Enterprise business departments want to be able to use these technologies, together with information processing, storage, and communication technologies, easily, as and when needed, but they do not want to devote substantial time and effort to understanding and operating the technologies.

Specialist technology providers and integrators, and enterprise IT departments, want to support the business departments by providing solutions. The cloud service paradigm is now accepted as the best way to do this, but there are many different ways in which it can be used.

Business departments want solutions that follow common practice and conform to standards.

Common practice and standards for the new technical developments are still emerging, and there is no standard platform on which they can be deployed and used.

Lack of common practice and standards, and of a standard platform, is limiting the ability of enterprises to gain business advantage from the technical developments.

This is restricting take-up of the technologies, giving product and service suppliers, and integrators, a small market.

What the Analysts Say

Industry analysts agree on the importance of the new technical phenomena. Gartner uses the term “Nexus of Forces” to describe the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobility, cloud, and information patterns that drive new business scenarios [Gartner].

Gartner says that, although these forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, together they are revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders. Gartner sees the Nexus as the basis of the technology platform of the future.

IDC predicts that worldwide IT spending will exceed $2.1 trillion in 2013, up 5.7% from 2012.

Smart mobile devices will generate more than 50% of this growth. From 2013 through 2020, a combination of social cloud, mobile, and big data technologies will drive around 90% of all the growth in the IT market. IDC uses the term “third platform” to describe this combination [IDC].

IDC predicts that:

  • In 2013, there will be much greater urgency as the market moves way past the “exploration” stage to full-blown large-stakes competition.
  • By 2020, 40% of industry revenue and 98% of its growth will be driven by third platform technology.



CIO Top 10 Predictions – IDC


Prediction 1:

In the Next Two Years, Over 70% of CIOs Will Change Their Primary Role from Directly Managing IT to Become Innovation Partners Who Deliver Information Insights and Value-Added Services to the Enterprise

Prediction 2:

Before 2017, Only 40% of CIOs Will Rise to the Challenge from CXOs to Partner in Strategic Planning by Producing Business-Enhancing Insights from Big Data and Analytics

Prediction 3:

70% of CIOs Will Increase Enterprise Exposure to Risk to Dramatically Reduce IT Costs and Accelerate Business Agility Through Increased Cloud Adoption

Prediction 4:

Enterprise Business Mobility Will Require 60% of CIOs by 2017 to Support an Agile Architecture with a Diverse Mix of Cloud-Based Interfaces for Legacy and Next-Generation Mobile Applications

Prediction 5:

The Demographic Shift to Young and Mobile Customers Will Require 80% of CIOs in Consumer-Facing Businesses to Integrate IT with Public Social Networks by 2015

Prediction 6:

By 2015, 3rd Platform Requirements Will Drive 60% of CIOs to Use Enterprise Architecture as a Required IT Tool to Support Continuous Change and Business Innovation, But Only 40% Will Deploy EA Effectively

Prediction 7:

By 2015, 60% of CIO Security Budgets for Increasingly Vulnerable Legacy Systems Will Be 30–40% Too Small to Fund Enterprise Threat Assessments While Maintaining Existing Reactive Security Investments

Prediction 8:

By 2017, the Transfer of 3rd Platform Investments from IT to Line-of-Business Budgets Will Require 60% of CIOs to Reduce the Cost of Infrastructure and Operations to Focus on Business Innovation and Value

Prediction 9:

By 2016, 80% of the IT Budget Will Be Based on Providing Service Integration for a Broad Portfolio of Internally and Externally Sourced IT and Business Services

Prediction 10:

By 2018, Adoption of 3rd Platform IT Technologies Will Redefine 90% of IT Roles. Effective IT Talent Management Will Be Key to Realizing 3rd Platform Business Value.

Drivers for the CIO Top 10 Predictions

· Intense Competition for Analytics-Based Information Intelligence

· Inversion of the Make-Sell to Sense-and-Respond Business Model

· Borderless Anytime-Anywhere Business

· In Mature Economies, an Aging Population and High Joblessness Among the Young

· Migration of Skilled IT Workers to Cities and Global Business Hubs

· Ubiquitous Mobile and Socially Connected Lifestyle

· Increasing Workforce Displacement Due to IT Automation

· Rapid Emergence of Cloud-Based Sourcing and Services

· Logarithmic Jump in the Number of IT Devices and Interfaces

· Explosion of Data and Insights from Smart Analytics


إطلاق آيفون ٦ وأبل ووتش

These graphics is published with the permission of GRAPHIC NEWS

September 9, 2014 — Apple has announced two new phones with larger, higher resolution screens, plus a smartwatch that acts as a health and fitness tracker. The technology firm also announced a new service called Apple Pay, which chief executive Tim Cook said he hoped would “replace the wallet” in shops.


Hebrew lessons by eTeacherHebrew



how to soft reset the nokia lumia 920

Unfortunately Windows Phone 8 is turning out not to be half as stable as Windows Phone 7.5. Spontaneous soft resets (which seems to affect about 20% of our readers) are one thing, but when my new Nokia Lumia 920 ended up frozen and unresponsive on the boot-up screen I got a bit scared, especially due to all the stories of bricked phones. The issue seems pretty common also, with all three WMPU editors who have Nokia Lumia 920s having their phones freeze. Of course without a removable battery a quick battery pull will not save you. If this should happen to you (which anecdotally seems likely) to soft reset the Nokia Lumia 920 press and hold the power buttonand volume down button for about 10 seconds will do the trick; the phone should vibrate and reboot your phone. If this fails a hard reset is the next step, but be warned that this is where the reports of bricking have come from. To hard reset hold the volume down, power button and camera button until the phone vibrates, then release the power button and keep the volume down and camera button down for another 5 seconds. Your phone should then reset to factory state. If your phone does get bricked here is a procedure that may salvage it, but it may be much more reliable and better to simply return the handset. Have our readers been disappointed by the early stability of Windows Phone 8, especially after the hard-won reputation of stability Windows Phone 7 built up? Let us know below. Sent from my iPadmc


Critical Capabilities for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure

What You Need to Know

The vendors included in this research can be categorized into three general groups, identified below:

  • Those that provide their own wired and wireless infrastructure connectivity, network service applications, and services, such as Cisco, HP Networking, Extreme Networks and Huawei
  • Those more focused on a specific connectivity option and/or that address a specific set of market requirements, such as Aerohive, Aruba Networks, Motorola Solutions or Xirrus
  • Those that use a strategic partner to provide a portion of the access solution, such as Dell, Juniper Networks or Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Nearly all vendors in this research meet the basic functional requirements across the various use cases. In addition, most organizations are pleased with their wired/WLAN access vendors.1 Overall, there is limited differentiation between vendor offerings, which led to a clustering of scores within several use cases. Vendors that scored highest within a use case were able to demonstrate product differentiation in specific areas, including:

  • Simplified and consistent management of products from a “single pane of glass” that can be delivered in multiple ways (such as on-premises or software as a service [SaaS]), as well as the ability to support management of third-party products
  • Lower total cost of ownership, including hardware, software, licensing, maintenance and ongoing operating expenditure (opex) to manage the environment
  • Feature depth and breadth and the usability of network service applications (onboarding, guest access, policy enforcement and so forth), as well as the consistency of these applications across both wired and WLAN portfolios
  • Availability of form factors and port densities to meet specific wired switching requirements, such as fixed form factors, port extensions and chassis-based switches

Gartner observes that most end-user clients consider wired/WLAN access networking from the same vendor, but only about half actually deploy wired/WLAN solutions from the same vendor.2This is often due to mismatched refresh cycles, pre-existing relationships, and preference toward best-of-breed approaches and/or cost ramifications.

However, we believe that more organizations would benefit from a long-term strategy toward a unified wired/WLAN access layer to leverage, for example, improved provisioning, orchestration and management; reduced opex; improved onboarding; faster provisioning; and consistent policy enforcement.

Critical Capabilities Definition

Wired Access

This accounts for the vendor’s wired switching solution, which includes hardware (port extensions, fixed form factor or modular switches, Power Over Ethernet, supported interfaces, and so forth) and integrated software.

Key components of this capability include performance, availability, scalability, interoperability, cost and the overall portfolio architecture.

WLAN Access

This accounts for the vendor’s wireless access solution in traditional carpeted enterprise environments, which includes hardware (access points, antennas, wall jacks and controllers) and integrated software.

Key components of this capability include performance, availability, scalability, interoperability, cost and the overall portfolio architecture.

High-Density WLAN Access

This accounts for the vendor’s wireless access solution in areas with a very high density of users and/or devices, such as stadiums, concert halls and conferences venues.

These venues often have user densities that are at least an order of magnitude higher than traditional carpeted office space, with spiky and unpredictable traffic patterns from a heterogeneous mix of client devices.

This capability includes hardware (access points, antennas and controllers) and integrated software. Key components of this capability include capacity, performance, availability, scalability, interoperability and cost.

Inclusion Criteria

This document is meant to be used in conjunction with Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for the Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure.” Thus, the same inclusion criteria will be utilized (see below). As the market evolves, Gartner may re-evaluate the inclusion criteria separately between the Critical Capabilities and the Magic Quadrant as there are compelling wired-only and WLAN-only vendors in the space, such as Brocade, Meru Networks and Ruckus Wireless.

Vendors must be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of enterprise access layer networking requirements. They must have a minimum of $100 million in 2013 revenue in enterprise-class product revenue for wired and wireless access layer hardware and software solutions, of which a minimum of $40 million is derived from enterprise wireless LAN solutions. All hardware and software components must be available on the vendor’s published price list. A minimum of 80% of access layer product revenue must be generated from vendor-manufactured or OEM components. Product revenue must be from enterprise office environments, which may include in-store retail, healthcare, and grade school, high school and university education. Product revenue may not include convention centers, hotels or cellular offloading for outdoor environments or public venues, including stadiums and train or bus stations. Vendors must provide factual details on how they meet these criteria.

Vendor solutions must be able to address the following criteria:

  • Vendor must minimally sell and support a 24- or 48-port Power Over Ethernet, chassis or stackable switch
  • Vendor must minimally sell and support 802.11n and have a road map for 802.11ac.
  • Vendor must support a guest access application, with the ability to minimally support:
    • Ability to provide Web authentication credentials via SMS, email or printout for Windows, iOS and Android clients
    • More than one captive portal
  • Vendor must be able to minimally support the following security functionality:
    • Device authentication for Windows, Android and iOS devices via 802.1X, as well as an authentication method for supporting devices that cannot support a supplicant
    • Ability to detect wired or wireless intrusion
  • Vendor must be able to minimally support the following policy enforcement functionality:
    • Ability to create access policies that minimally include device and user for wired and wireless connectivity
    • Ability to traffic shape/rate limit and content filter trusted clients, as well as for guest access connected clients; the solution may be internally developed or a strategic alliance
  • Vendor must be able to minimally support network management:
    • Must be able to minimally discover and manage wired and wireless access layer infrastructure, including supported switches and access points

Companies included in study:

  • Aruba Networks

  • Aruba focuses primarily on enterprise wireless and derives only 3% to 5% of revenue from wired switching. The vendor supports both pay-as-you-grow pricing and mixing/matching of components across product lines. Aruba’s networking equipment can be provisioned via its SaaS-based management offering (Aruba Central) or traditional network management software (AirWave), while network service applications are delivered via Aruba’s ClearPass software. Aruba’s architecture, product portfolio and pricing make the vendor ideally suited for all wireless deployments, ranging from SMB to large-enterprise and high-density venues.
  • Avaya

  • Avaya has a strong product offering across wireless and wired access, with an emphasis on the education, healthcare, hospitality and local/state government verticals. However, while the vendor continues to invest in its access networking portfolio, we see a decline in its enterprise data/access layer sales relative to the market. Network service applications (such as onboarding and guest access) and network multivendor management are delivered via the vendor’s Identify Engines software. Avaya’s unified communications presence provides a large installed base, which is complementary to its wired/WLAN network products. Organizations in Avaya’s target markets, including education, healthcare, hospitality and local/state government, or an existing Avaya unified communications deployment (regardless of the target market), should consider Avaya for wired/wireless use cases.
  • Cisco

  • Cisco has a broad product portfolio in the wired and wireless access market and is the leading vendor by a substantial margin, when measured by revenue. Cisco can meet all access networking requirements but has multiple access layer architectures that lack a consistent management interface between them. For larger enterprises, Cisco delivers wired/WLAN network service applications via its Identity Services Engine, with network management via Prime. For midmarket customers seeking SaaS-based management, Cisco Meraki is a strong solution. Cisco should be considered for all wired and wireless access layer opportunities, including SMB, midmarket, large-enterprise and high-density venues.
  • Dell

  • Dell focuses on midmarket and larger enterprises, including higher education and public institutions. The vendor recently overhauled its campus wired switching portfolio, releasing N-Series fixed form factor and C-Series modular switches. The company delivers wireless via an OEM relationship with Aruba (rebranded as W-Series access points), but it does not support Aruba’s SaaS-based management. Based on customer feedback, Dell is typically less expensive than leading competitors and has a history of providing strong support. Organizations should consider Dell for all access layer opportunities, particularly in the midmarket.
  • HP Networking

  • HP is the No. 2 wired switching vendor in terms of both revenue and port shipments, and its FlexCampus and FlexBranch architectures provide a comprehensive unified wired and wireless solution. The vendor provides integrated network and BYOD management, enabling device onboarding, provisioning, monitoring, policy enforcement and security. HP is developing a location-aware application to provide deterministic real-time location of wireless devices and assets on the network. Gartner typically observes HP’s access layer solutions to be aggressively priced versus leading competitors. Large enterprises and SMBs globally should consider HP for access layer networking opportunities.
  • Huawei

  • Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group (EBG) wired/WLAN access products can meet the needs of all enterprise use cases identified in this research. Huawei’s solution has made good strides to offer a complete end-to-end campus networking solution. As with many vendors in the market, Huawei is able to meet the fundamental needs of the enterprise, but it struggles with differentiation. The vendor has a strong presence in Russia and the Asia/Pacific region, including Japan and India, as well as in China, where 72% of its access layer revenue was generated. Huawei’s EBG targets healthcare, education, financial services and the public sector/government. Huawei should be considered for enterprise access layer opportunities where it has a geographical presence.

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