Volume LIII, Issue 1

In This Issue

AOL Is Now Officially Part of Verizon

Excerpted from The Verge Report by Chris Welch

Verizon has successfully completed its acquisition of AOL. It’s been a little over one month since Verizon announced its $4.4 billion purchase of the company, but the deal has apparently sailed right along and is already closed.

In May, Verizon said that buying AOL would mark “a significant step in building digital and video platforms to drive future growth.”

AOL’s fast-growing advertising business is widely viewed as the thing that hooked Verizon on the big acquisition. But the deal has also stirred uncertainty.

Verizon’s long-term plans for popular AOL media brands like The Huffington Post, Engadget, and TechCrunch remain unclear. It’s been rumored that the company could spin off or sell the media business and focus AOL’s ad technology on its own mobile and Internet video ambitions.

In a letter to employees announcing the deal last month, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong sold the acquisition as crucial to his company’s future. “This deal is aimed at the stars, and we are going to pursue the joint vision of building the most significant media platform in the world,” he wrote. “There is nothing more meaningful than watching our team turn around this great company and restoring it to growth… Read More

Tech Changes Feed Verizon’s Move Beyond Tradition

Excerpted from Washington Technology Report by Matthew Weigelt

As technology needs change, so must the companies delivering those technologies. Verizon Enterprise Solutions, one of the largest government contractors, is no exception.

Our Top 100 coverage contains more analysis and profiles of the leading companies as well as access to a sortable database of the top companies in the market.

In the last several years, the company has expanded beyond a traditional network provider, said Michael Maiorana, who became Senior Vice President of Public Sector Markets at Verizon Enterprise Solutions in 2013.

“We’re no longer simply a network company providing connections. We have a plethora of services that we’ve developed internally or through acquisition and brought into the Verizon portfolio,” said Maiorana, who has worked at Verizon since 1990.

Throughout 2014, the company saw growth as agencies adopted Verizon’s wireless service, LTE phones and laptops, and connectivity.

Verizon is providing the government with advanced communications and more hosted unified collaboration solutions… Read More

Tech Companies Line-Up Behind Cloud Containers

Excerpted from NY Times Report by Quentin Hardy

An unusual combination of big and small tech companies are working on ways to accelerate the development of cloud computing technologies.

On Tuesday, an organization called Docker announced that its commercial software, used to create and maintain other software applications easily for millions of computers and mobile phones, would become generally available.

The commercial product follows an initial open source release of Docker, and it includes among other things a way that companies can securely store and share their software. In an unusually broad partnership, the product would be available not just from Docker, but from Amazon’s cloud computing business, AWS, IBM, and Microsoft.

Several other companies, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google and start-ups that had been perceived as Docker competitors, announced Monday that they were forming a group that would create common operational standards for containers, as Docker-type software is called.

That means that software built specifically for mobile and cloud computing deployment will most likely move around even more easily across the networked world. This is likely to create even more demand for that kind of computing… Read More

Report from DCIA CEO Marty Lafferty

Click Here for Video

The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) is pleased to serve as an organizational sponsor of the ninth annual Creative Storage Conference (CSC 2015) taking place this Tuesday June 30th in Culver City, CA.

Hosted by Coughlin Associates and the Entertainment Storage Alliance (ESA), CSC 2015 has as its Platinum Sponsor DCIA Member Company Data Direct Networks (DDN) and as a Gold Sponsor DCIA Member Aspera, an IBM company.

DDN is a supplier of advanced digital storage products supporting high-performance as well as cloud-based-object storage.

Aspera provides software solutions that move the world’s data at maximum speed, regardless of file size, transfer distance, or network conditions.

The one-day conference will bring together influential digital storage providers, equipment manufacturers and software developers, as well as professional media and entertainment end-users to explore this year’s theme “Exabytes for Video.”

David Fellinger, Chief Scientist at DDN will keynote on “Selecting and Deploying an Efficient Media Management Hardware and Software Architecture.”

In high-performance media workflows, the largest challenges today relate to data growth.

The increase of high-definition and large-scale multi-dimensional media-sets has created the need for innovation in the areas of high-speed ingestion, processing, storage, and distribution.

Traditional storage solutions, file systems, and software tools no longer scale to the needs of large media-centric environments.

Advanced media solutions are needed to deliver dedicated control devices, which can accommodate scaling to the levels required to enable an uninterrupted workflow, even in distributed environments.

Learn how users are gaining better control and more benefits from their data — from ingest, to edit, to active archive — without having to manage several isolated storage silos or content repositories.

Please click here for the full agenda, which includes three keynote addresses and six panel discussions.

CSC 2015 will provide a unique venue for content creators and distributors to gather firsthand knowledge and engage in lively discussion with companies offering the latest solutions to challenging workflow and cloud-based storage issues.

Please click here to register. Share wisely, and take care.

DDN Helps Manage Video Surveillance Data

Excerpted from Executive Biz Report by Jay Clemenson

DataDirect Networks has been selected to store video surveillance data generated by the Public Transport Authority’s (PTA) network of surveillance cameras in Perth, Australia.

DDN’s video surveillance and storage archive system is designed to store up to 20 petabytes of data, the company said Monday.

PTA intends for the centralized video surveillance storage to help detect and prevent criminal activities in the metropolitan area’s rail, bus, and ferry services.

The customer will be able to ingest video data from 1,800 live and recorded cameras, DDN says.

PTA also seeks to stop graffiti vandalism using its video surveillance and storage platform that is virtualized using VMware’s service.

As a leading public transport agency in Australia, PTA has deployed an integrated, state-of-the-art video surveillance and storage archive system with more than 3 PBs of DDN SFA high-performance storage, which can scale economically to 20 PBs of data… Read More

Hughes Hubbard Adds Antitrust Partner

Excerpted from Law360 Report by Kelly Knaub

Hughes Hubbard & Reed said Monday that it has bolstered its antitrust and competition practice in its Washington, DC office with the addition of a former partner at Kaye Scholer, where he co-chaired the firm’s antitrust practice group.

Robert B. Bell, who joined the firm as a partner Monday, has extensive experience representing parties in obtaining antitrust clearance for mergers and acquisitions from the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and representing individuals and companies in criminal and civil antitrust matters.

In addition, he regularly advises clients on matters that range from vertical distribution arrangements to competitor collaborations. His clients come from a broad range of industries, including defense, entertainment, communications, manufacturing, chemicals, mining, transportation, and imaging.

William Kolasky, Co-Chairman of Hughes Hubbard’s Antitrust and Competition Practice, said that Bell has a strong reputation and a practice that touches all major areas of antitrust, including criminal cartel investigations, civil merger and non-merger investigations, and private litigation. “Our clients also will benefit from Robert’s deep experience in all other aspects of antitrust law, especially as it relates to clearance for mergers and acquisitions before Department of Justice and the FTC,” Kolasky said… Read More

App Developers Fight Digital Piracy

Excerpted from Computer Weekly Report by Peter Allison

With the rise of the smartphone, so too has there been a rise in digital piracy. While some organizations claim piracy is rampant across all platforms, design product studio Ustwo announced earlier in 2015 via Twitter that only 5% of its Monument Valley installations on Android were paid for, compared with 40% on iOS.

So how can developers protect themselves from piracy?

One tactic developers can employ is to install digital rights management (DRM) in an application. However, although DRM can be successful, it is also a notoriously unpopular method. Author and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow believes DRM removes ownership from the user as they can be locked out of their own purchases due to registration problems, for example.

Nonetheless, installing DRM does offer some protection against attempts to reverse engineer the code and acquire the developer’s intellectual property (IP). These tools are run after the coding is finished to inject protection software that changes the code (using control flow obfuscation) and detect any attempts to change it.

Harnessing the update cycle of smartphone applications improves app security, says Winston Bond, the European Technical Director at Arxan TechnologiesRead More

IBM & Box Transform Work in the Cloud

Excerpted from CloudTech Report by James Bourne

Tech giant IBM and enterprise cloud storage provider Box have announced a wide-ranging partnership, aimed at content management and social collaboration to improve the enterprise cloud and digital push.

The two companies aim to integrate their existing products and services to develop new solutions across multiple verticals, from medicine, to engineering and academia.

Among the developments proposed, Box will integrate with IBM’s enterprise content management solution, as well as collaborating to integrate Box into IBM’s business email and social collaboration platforms, IBM Verse, and IBM Connections. IBM will leverage Box’s platform and APIs in its iOS applications, while Box will for the first time enable customers to choose a partner’s cloud platform for data storage.

“This partnership represents the work of hundreds of individuals over the past nine months, bringing together the strengths of two very different but similarly-motivated companies,” Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, wrote in a blog post. “IBM was founded more than 100 years ago to push business technology forward, and continues to be the longest lasting and most durable company in the tech industry. We couldn’t be prouder to be able to work with them as we work toward creating the digital enterprise… Read More

Comcast’s thePlatform Shoots for Video Unification

Excerpted from Multichannel News Report by Jeff Baumgartner

thePlatform, the Comcast-owned online video publishing firm, aims to simplify the world of multiscreen video-on-demand (VoD) with a service that unifies the management of how video and its associated metadata is ingested and managed for a wide range of device types.

Looking to breakdown silos that have traditionally hindered such efforts, thePlatform claims that its new cloud-based Unified Ingest Service can handle the job across devices — from older set-tops that use QAM/MPEG-2 transport to newer IP-capable tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, and streaming players.

Typically, a pay TV operator’s ingest systems manage linear, VoD, and online video and the associated metadata via distinct systems. VoD content, for example, usually has its own metadata package with its own descriptions and box art, as does OTT.

The goal now, said thePlatform co-CEO Marty Roberts, is to stitch all of that together under one standard specification, noting that companies such as Netflix and Amazon already standardize around one high quality mezzanine video file that can be used to deliver to a variety of devices, bit rates, and resolutions… Read More

Best Practices for Mobile Device Data Security

Excerpted from The Legal Intelligencer Report by Abraham Rein & Carolyn Kendall

In 2014, it became official: there now are more active mobile devices in the world than people, according to data compiled by GSMA Intelligence and the US Census Bureau.

The rise in mobile devices is not confined to personal use; mobile devices increasingly play an integral role in many business operations. We rely on mobile devices to communicate with clients, frequently using them to exchange sensitive data.

Healthcare professionals use mobile technology when interacting with and treating patients. Countless workplaces expect employees to be available on-demand via mobile devices.

Mobile devices transmit, receive, and store a treasure trove of valuable data, which, if compromised, can be used by bad actors to steal identities, access bank accounts, file false tax returns, misappropriate trade secrets and more. Safeguarding this sensitive data is important to all businesses, both to ensure client confidence and to comply with a complex patchwork of legal obligations.

Therefore, businesses, including law firms and attorneys, must be cognizant of the risks involved in using mobile devices and vigilant about following best practices for mobile data security… Read More

Has Software Defined Networking Come of Age?

Excerpted from CloudTech Report by David Auslander

The first time I heard the acronym SDN was more than 10 years ago. At that time SDN was the cool way of saying, “Once the networking guys have racked, stacked, and wired the switching and routing components, we can install tools on a server and configure them through those tools from the comfort of the NOC.”

This was much more than just standard monitoring and management; we could setup whole networks and change them around, in software. But alas, this wasn’t really what we were hoping for and we would have to wait a number of years for the next advance.

The next evolutionary step was realized when VMware came out with the ability to create a virtual switch on top on their ESX hypervisor (Virtual Distributed Switching or VDS). Now we were talking slick.

The ability to hang a switch without having to roll-out physical hardware — amazing! Just provide some basic networking hardware at the perimeter, enough CPU to support your networking needs and start building networks. Great, but not quite good enough. Some of the questions left unanswered were:

Modern networks consist of much more than basic switches and routers: what happened to the other components… Read More

Microsoft Courts Law Enforcement to its Cloud

Excerpted from Fortune Report by Jonathan Vanian

The next time an armed robbery takes place in Los Angeles, CA and surveillance cameras happen to record the break-in, that video footage may be heading to the cloud.

Microsoft said today that a number of law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Oakland Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina are all using the company’s cloud data centers to store law enforcement information.

Agencies are using Microsoft Azure, the name of its cloud computing platform, to store surveillance video, criminal records, fingerprint data, and even the footage from police body cameras.

“Once we get our video onto the Azure platform we can aggregate it, we can learn from it, we can make the database proactive to tell us things,” Oakland Police Department Officer Dave Burke said.

Burke described how the Oakland police can search for specific keywords in the cloud database and retrieve the appropriate audio or video “where certain things were said.” It’s unclear if Burke was referring to the department being able to sift through the actual audio for keywords or through transcripts… Read More

Hybrid Cloud: Sooner the Better for the CIO

Excerpted from CloudTech Report by James Butler

Adopting cloud can often raise as many questions as it answers. The business questions focus on how cloud will deliver increased agility, efficiency, and productivity; but predicting the answers to these questions in an ever-changing landscape is no easy task.

As a result, many CIOs are grappling with complex 10-year roadmaps, and missing out on the ‘quick wins’ a hybrid approach could deliver in the interim. Through an incremental approach, small shifts to cloud can be taken that will deliver immediate benefits and a much more manageable roadmap.

The future of how businesses operate will be immeasurably impacted by the introduction of SaaS, as it creates a long-tail of services that will realize the consumerization of the enterprise. The biggest change will be in the IT department; its role will change from that of a builder of systems to a broker of services that empowers the rest of the business. This disruption will usher in a new model of IT, the full impact of which will be felt within the next five years.

The only real certainty is the architecture of the future will look very different to how it appears today.

In the meantime, the best and first step an organization can take is to prepare for this change… Read More

Oracle Extends Cloud, Takes Aim at Amazon

Excerpted from Re/Code Report by Bill Rigby

Oracle Founder and Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said Monday his database company is expanding its cloud-computing offerings, bringing Oracle into more direct competition with Amazon.

“We’re prepared to compete with Amazon.com on price,” said Ellison in a webcast presentation, after announcing that Oracle would offer online storage and capability for customers to run their applications entirely in Oracle’s cloud.

The expansion is a major new step for Oracle, which is shifting its traditional database and customer relationship management businesses to the cloud.

“This is a really big deal,” said Ellison, who stepped aside in 2014 as chief executive of the company.

Amazon Web Services is the market leader in providing cloud computing capability to customers, followed by Microsoft’s Azure service and IBM.

Oracle, which calls its cloud offering the Oracle Cloud Platform, will provide a cost-effective alternative to Amazon, said Ellison. “Our new archive storage service goes head-to-head with Amazon Glacier and it’s one-tenth their price,” said Ellison… Read More

Global Cloud Computing: 2015-2020

Excerpted from PR Newswire Report

Cloud is an enabler of business process change as it facilitates enterprise to realize key benefits including expenditure reduction (CapEx and OpEx), service development and delivery efficiencies, and greater flexibility to meet evolving business needs.

Cloud technologies and solutions are also becoming more important to telecommunications service providers as they begin to implement virtualization of network functions. Global Cloud Computing: Infrastructure, Platforms, and Services 2015 – 2020 evaluates the global and regional markets for Cloud Services including IaaS, PaaS, and PaaS by solution type (Private and Public).

The report provides analysis of specific challenges and opportunities from both the customer and the Cloud Services Provider (CSP) perspective. It evaluates the general cloud service market as well as specific market opportunities within the Healthcare, Energy, Insurance, Entertainment, and Financial Services sectors. The report also evaluates the emerging growth drivers for Cloud services including Wearable Technologies.

It also includes specific recommendations for CSPs and their customers… Read More

Senators Urge GAO to Study IoT

Excerpted from NextGov Report by Mohana Ravindranath

A bipartisan group of senators that has been urging lawmakers to pay more attention to the Internet of Things (IoT) is now pushing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the phenomenon.

Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NB), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), this week co-signed a letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, requesting a GAO study on the IoT — a term for a network of mobile devices, sensors and other technology.

In their letter, the senators ask GAO to assess how the government could benefit from greater connectivity, as well as the associated challenges. Their questions include, among others:

What is the federal government’s experience using the IoT? Do agencies have a strategy to enable the use of the IoT? Are federal agencies coordinating on IoT oversight? What are the implications for consumer privacy and security? What are the implications for spectrum availability? How are foreign governments using and regulating the IoT?

“”Given the growth in the IoT as well as the way new technologies are being embedded in millions of everyday products, a more robust analysis of the challenges and opportunities associated with the IoT is needed,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter… Read More

Coming Events of Interest

Creative Storage Conference 2015 — June 30th in Culver City, CA. A unique venue for content creators and distributors to gather firsthand knowledge and engage in lively discussion with companies offering the latest solutions to challenging workflow and cloud-based storage issues.

Cloud Computing Boot Camp — July 30th in Washington, DC. Designed for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and their counterparts in government agencies and healthcare organizations whose responsibilities include evaluating, purchasing, and implementing cloud-based solutions.

The Internet of Things (IoT) Show — September 2nd-23rd in Singapore. The IoT Show will facilitate new collaborations and partnerships as well as generate new ideas and thinking. The IoT Show is about getting the prototypes out of the lab and into the market.

Digital Hollywood Fall — October 19th-22nd in Marina Del Rey, CA. The future of the entertainment industry. Digital Hollywood debuted in 1990 and has from its start been among the leading trade conferences in its field.

2015 US Cyber Crime Conference — November 18th-20th in National Harbor, MD. This is the only event of its kind that provides both hands-on digital forensics training and an interactive forum for cyber professionals to network.

Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) — December 6th-8th in Dubai, . IoTWF is an exclusive event that brings together the best and brightest thinkers, practitioners, and innovators from business, government, and academia to accelerate the market adoption of the Internet of Things.

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