Tuesday, September 24, 2013

iOS7 implementation of Multi-path TCP promises seamless mobility and perhaps more

Here is a really fascinating article and I picked up today on the implementation of Multipath TCP in the new Apple iOS 7.

What on Earth is Multipath TCP? Put simply it's the future of a smarter Internet. Yes, if you can believe it the Internet is about to get just that bit cleverer and being an old TCP/IP hack I think this is the most exciting thing in the protocols development since Path MTU discovery :-)

So what's the big news?   It means that you will be able to switch a stream of data on your phone. mobile device or wearable tech' and switch the data stream seamlessly from 4G to 3G to the wireless in your office and back again without losing the connection. so, you could be talking on your phone on 3G walk in to your office and have the call switch seamlessly to the nearest wireless hub same thing for video streams, location-based services or anything else that will stream over the Internet.

While for many this may all seem rather 'low level'  Multipath TCP  play a large part in the future  development of the Internet heralding a whole new era of 'smart' Internet and I foresee that it will have a massive impact on the structure, function & performance of the global infrastructure including in  delivering seamless load balancing.

More modest alternative to Oracles New 32Tb Database Appliance

I was following Oracles OpenWorld event this week and one of the things that caught my eye/ear was the launch of the new Oracle Database Appliance that is reckoned to run a 100x faster than anything seen before; delivering what Larry Ellison called  'ungodly speeds,' processing 'billions of columns per second.' though with prices ranging between $3.8 and $9.6m you had better have some deep, deep  pockets.

This resonated with me because here at BackChannel we use MySQL and recently we got to the point where our 'Big Data' needs got so big that we were just not able to process reports at an acceptable speed - you can only go off and make a coffee so many times in the day before you need blood pressure medication.

So with health insurance premiums in mind we approached our sister companies HPC team to design a "Big Data" platform and whilst it doesn;t have the multi-terrabyte capabilities of the new Oracle M5, the staggering performance we are getting from the VMCo designed system with 64 cores, Gbyte SSDs and 512Gb of RAM specifically designed and tuned for our application has delivered what appears to us to be pretty ungodly performance for less than $50k...

So, if you'd be interested in something similar for your business let me know and I'll put you in contact with their design team.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Webroot Migration - where their customers went

In 2012 a pretty successful hosted email security company called Webroot did the unthinkable they dumped their core product effectively saying it was "... no longer necessary".  Brave move or madness we're not really here to judge but we did decide to follow up with Webroot's customers and see if their customers shared the view that they no longer required a Cloud based mail security service 18 months later.
As you can see of the 3,810 Webroot customers we tracked 68% of them moved to a competing product.  Amongst Enterprise customers that figure was over 75%.  Webroot themselves now direct their mail via MS Outlook 365.  
Footnote - I've used the Webroot desktop product and it works fine, this exercise was undertaken purely to demonstrate the ability of our big-data engines to haul interesting and useful data.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New report highlights Mimecast South African sector growth

As those of you who follow us will know BackChannel produces a bi-annual Hosted Email Security report, a report that has been a must read for anybody working in the e-mail security market for over 5 years. The period January 2012 - 2013 has been one of the most dynamic have been some of the most interesting of recent years.
The data reported are a survey of over one million  'Live' email services" around the globe.  Data from this survey identifies the key vendors, their local & international coverage, market positions, customer profile and performance over time.  
The reports provide measured data blended with relevant demographic & geographic data enabling the reader to gain the clearest view of the worldwide market for these technologies.
One of the most dynamic of the developed markets has been South Africa where one company has grown to not only dominate its home market, but to take a seat at the top table of international vendors along with Microsoft, Google and Symantec, that company is Mimecast.
Mimecasts install base in South Africa grew significantly since we reported on their progress in 2012 growing their overall market share to 34% with this figure rising to 41% amongst larger Enterprise customers.  

Sales performance in certain sectors has seen as many as 52% of the companies in a sector choosing a service choosing Mimecast; you can see a breakdown of sector performance on their site  
Some comment on Mimecast and our research:

IT WEB South Africa article.
BlueChip Journal ICT
Financial Mail

Look out for more news from BackChannel on Cloud, PaaS & IaaS coming over the next few months.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Evernote Hack: A well a handled Cloud service hack

Being completely up front we love Evernote here at BackChannel, almost everyone uses it.

So it was a bit of a disappointment that a company that relies so heavily on its web infrastructure should fail to learn the lessons about 'crown jewels' security like  Microsoft, RSA, Twitter etc, etc...

As an old security guy I think they did exactly the right thing in in notifying their customers and forcing the password reset and I'm not alone in that opinion.  But as you would expect with 50,000,000 users needing to change their password; there have been numerous gotcha's for people who signed up with now defunct mail addresses, especially those who have recently upgraded and couldn't access their 'local' data as a result.  Checking out the community posts on the relevant Blog posting Evernote seem to be handling it fairly well and hopefully in future they will take more care.

As my Dad said 'Son the most valuable lessons learned are also the most expensive'
Anyhow final thought- If you're moving anything to a Cloud Service make sure you understand what you're buying into; make sure you can get to mission critical data in any circumstances, make sure your provider has a clear and documented policy on service denial, ensure they have a documented process for recovery and proper insurance against service failure & data loss - after all its not their data they're looking after it's yours.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interactive Submarine Cable Map 2013

Those fine folks at Telegeography have published their Submarine Cable Map for 2013 and its jolly colourful

They also publish an interactive version which is a must have link for anyone involved or interested in the global telecommunications business.