Much Ado About Cloud Computing

Written on March 26, 2015 by Jerson


Cloud computing is the buzzword nowadays, and a lot of major players in the tech scene are jumping into this bandwagon. What is cloud computing really, anyway? Why is it such a big deal?

If you want to get a grasp of what cloud computing is in the simplest way possible, I suggest that you check out Google’s newly released book, 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web. It does cover 19 other topics aside from cloud computing, but the way it presents the concept is simple enough for practically anyone to understand.

To paraphrase, cloud computing is tapping into the power afforded by the plethora of computers connected to each other all over the world. Data is stored in these computers located in various areas, and the same data is accessed by people from the four corners of the globe. Simple but powerful, isn’t it?

What are the advantages of cloud computing?

One, it is more cost effective for small to medium sized enterprises. There is an enormous amount of power afforded by the infrastructure, and since this is shared by many, the cost is spread out.

Two, cloud computing is supposed to be “greener,” again by virtue of less resources being used by more people.

Three, cloud computing offers data safety. A simple example: if your data is stored in the “cloud,” then your hard drive can crash, you can lose your computer, or whatever, and still your data can be easily retrieved.

One element that is critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of cloud computing is the role that data center services play. Entities offering these services have various set ups, but there is no doubt that they play a central role in storing data and managing access to it.

Whether it is for business or personal purposes, cloud computing certainly will be changing the landscape more in the years to come.

Photo via Brian Keith May

Internet Security Technologies : Firewall

Written on March 26, 2015 by Jerson

Internet Security Technologies : Firewall

A firewall is an application that allows the user to control and filter packets flowing in and out of the network. Firewalls effectively block probes like ping, operating system fingerprinting, port scans and other types of intrusions. Many companies offer free firewall for personal use only.

A firewall may be software or hardware. A firewall is at the entry point of the network it protects. The most basic firewall performs packet filtering. In packet filtering, the firewall is the first program that receives and handles incoming network traffic and the last to handle outgoing traffic. The policy of filtering the packets may be based on allowing or disallowing packets based on:

  • source IP address
  • destination port
  • protocol

Circuit Relay or Circuit Level Gateway provides additional security. This operates on the Transport Layer. This firewall also determines whether the connection between both ends is valid according to a set of configurable rules. It then opens a session and permits traffic from the allowed source for a limited time period.

Application level gateway acts as a proxy for applications. It performs all data exchanges with the remote system on behalf of the applications. It also allows or disallows network traffic according to specific rules. This is the most secure type of firewall.


Source

Measurements used for Internet Speed Tests

Written on March 19, 2015 by Jerson

QOS

Represents the level of consistent download capacity provided by your Broadband or DSL providor. The higher QOS percentage, the higher the overall quality of the internet connection. High quality plus internet speed provides better connections for VoIP (voice over IP), Citrix and other high traffic applications.

This figure should come in around 80 or higher yet. This does not mean that you won’t find success at lower speeds, but on average, the speed test should report >= 80.

RTT

The Round Trip Time (RTT) reports the total time in milliseconds (ms) to send a small data packet in our internet speed test and obtain a reply back. The faster (smaller) the RTT, the better broadband speed you’ll have.

For Voice over IP, round trip delays can occur when results exceed 250 mSec or 150 mSec one way which is also considered the maximum desired one-way latency to achieve high-quality voice.

Max Pause

Max Pause is the longest pause recorded during the Broadband Speed Test data download. This should be a very small number. If not, it could indicate Internet speed congestion or a bad broadband connection.

What is an IDS?

Written on March 12, 2015 by editor

An IDS or Intrusion Detection System is a system that detects the misuse of network or computer resources. It uses a number of sensors to detect intrusions. Some of these may be the following: a sensor to monitor TCP connection requests, log file monitors, or file integrity checkers.

The IDS system collects data from its sensors and analyzes this data to alert the administrator if there is malicious activity on the network. It is commonly divided into NIDS (Network Intrusion Detection Systems) and HIDS (Host Intrusion Detection Systems). Newer NIDS also attempt to act as NIPS (Network Intrusion Prevention Systems). An example of an excellent open source Network Intrusion Detection System is SNORT

SharePoint Logging Database

Written on March 5, 2015 by Jerson

SharePoint Server 2010, without doubt, is a bunch of exciting features and options, some of which were not available in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007. And one of the features that really enthuses me in SharePoint 2010 is the Logging Database feature. Logging Database, named as WSS_Logging, helps aggregate logging data or information from the server farm into one central location. SharePoint aggregates all of the raw logging data accumulated in the text files under the 14 hive and imports it into this wonderful logging database. This is the only database in SharePoint that Microsoft will be happy to let the developers directly read, query and build reports against it. For someone who spends time in front of customers helping them to maintain a healthy and stable farm, logging database will be a constructive app in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Foundation.

The logging database by default contains the following information from all servers within the farm and it is fully supported to query this database directly.

• ULS Logs
• Event Logs
• Selected Performance Monitor Counters:
o % Processor Time
o Memory Available Megabytes
o Avg. Disk Queue Length
o Process Private Bytes (OWSTIMER and all instances of w3wp)
• Blocking SQL Queries
• SQL DMV Queries
• Feature Usage
• A host of information on search crawling and querying
• Inventory of all site collections
• Timer job usage

The Logging Database in SharePoint Server is one of the many new concepts that will make the life of many SharePoint administrators quite a bit more enjoyable. So catch up on this soon! There is a lot of juice in the SharePoint family of products including Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server 2007, and associated free SharePoint templates!

Authorization (The AAA Protocol Part 2)

Written on February 26, 2015 by editor

Authorization is the granting of specific types of privileges or barring privileges to an device or a user based on their previous authentication, what privileges they are requesting, and the current system state. This may be based on restrictions, for example time-of-day restrictions, or physical location restrictions, or restrictions against multiple logins by the same user. Most of the time the granting of a privilege constitutes the ability to use a certain type of service. Examples of types of service include, but are not limited to: IP address filtering, address assignment, route assignment, QoS/differential services, bandwidth control/traffic management, compulsory tunneling to a specific endpoint, and encryption.

Web Security Info

Written on February 19, 2015 by Jerson

YOUR IP ADDRESS IS PUBLIC

Accessing the Internet is a security risk.

When you are connected to the Internet, an IP address is used to identify your PC. If you don’t protect yourself, this IP address can be used to access your computer from the outside world.

A fixed IP address is a larger security risk.

If you’re using a modem with a dial-up connection, you will get a new IP address every time you connect to Internet, but if you have a fixed Internet connection (cable, ADSL, fixed line), your IP address will never change.

If you have a fixed IP address, you give potential Internet crackers all the time they need to search for entrances to your computer, and to store and share (with other crackers) information they might find about your unprotected private data.

Your Network Shares

Personal computers are often connected to a shared network. Personal computers in large companies are connected to large corporate networks. Personal computers in small companies are connected to a small local network, and computers in private homes often share a network between family members.

Most often networks are used to share resources like printers, files and disk storage.

When you are connected to the Internet, your shared resources can be accessed by the rest of the world.

Source

Three ways to take down your competitors

Written on February 12, 2015 by Jerson

Online business markets are fiercely competitive and site owners are becoming increasingly aware that they have to outperform their rivals in order to succeed. There are many ways to help your business to stand out from the crowd and be noticed and some of these methods are ethical and some of these are not.

If you are currently tempted by unethical techniques which may help you to do better than your online competitors, stop and think about it carefully. Unethical and even illegal techniques are not beneficial for online businesses in the long run. You may think you can use them, achieve results quickly and get away with it without any repercussions but this is highly unlikely. Whatever search engine optimization services you opt for, they reflect on your business reputation and brand too. Please tell me more! »

Secure and Stop Straining Your Eyes

Written on February 5, 2015 by Mish Asia

The web is a platform for a lot of things. It is one of the most used platforms, not only when it started or introduced, but it is well known in the present day. The moment you wake up, it is one of the first things you do, you open your gadget or personal computer and check on your emails, notifications from social networking accounts or simply check on what’s hot or not in the news section. That is how important the web is. There are a wide array of advantages you can get from the web. However, these benefits you get from various web applications can be somewhat hazardous to your health, when it comes to browsing. Besides web security issues, you may be compromising your health when you open your eyes or greet your morning with your screen. Your eyes can be strained from this habitual act of staying on the screen so much. This is why it is wise to greet the morning with a breather by going outside and by relaxing your eyes with nature. If you work in front of the computer, it is wise to look at something green (grass, wall, paper) every once in a while to ease tension.

Photo Credits

How to Prevent Intrusions

Written on January 29, 2015 by Jerson

There are many pieces to intrusion prevention and like a puzzle, you must put them all together before you start surfing the net; miss just one piece and you’ve left yourself wide open to attack!

This is what you need to help prevent intrusions including the web security services you should use on a regular schedule.

For those of you that don’t want to read all the details and are ready to jump right into the web security audit, then follow the five steps below.