Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Best Practices for Managing Cloud Applications

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The Various Problems of Cloud Computing

Even before the cloud came in, companies already had IT infrastructure in place. Cloud systems don't just integrate seamlessly with existing systems. In order to manage them, IT needs to get to know the cloud platforms. The good news is that most services usually offer tools that make Managing Cloud applications much easier.

Managing Cloud


That can make dealing with the problems that come with cloud computing a little easier, too. The main problems associated with various cloud computing applications and platforms include:

  1. Reliability
    What happens when a cloud computing service provider suddenly goes out of business? Or what if its system crashes? Both of these scenarios can leave its clients with limited access to their own data.

  2. Ownership
    Who gets to own the data in the cloud? Is it the client or the service provider? Companies can lose ownership of part or all of the data they transfer to the cloud. This could create problems in terms of protecting customer data and privacy.

  3. Security
    This is the top concern for most IT professionals because with cloud storage, there are so many access points involved. The weakest link is the vulnerability of data stored in the cloud, which may be exposed to hacking, theft or be stolen by unhappy or lax employees.

  4. Data Backup
    With the use of redundant servers, cloud service providers have multiple copies of a company's data available. That's a good thing, but it also poses some additional risk in terms of security.

  5. Data Portability
    Even if the cloud provider does not go out of business, a company may still change providers for a variety of reasons. Would you be able to do so and easily transfer your data from one provider to another?

  6. Multi-Platform Support
    With different operating systems such as Linux, OS X and Windows, companies must consider just how seamlessly the cloud platforms would integrate into existing systems. This will help IT to better manage the new cloud system rather than looking for custom adaption.

  7. Intellectual Property
    If you need to develop a new system that uses a part of your cloud infrastructure, will you still be able to patent it? Will the service provider claim any rights on your own invention? Those are questions companies must ask before they proceed.

Cloud computing systems suffer from the many of same problems that plague proprietary and in-house systems, plus a few of its own. The problem is that these problems are often out of IT's control, at least compared to the amount of control that can be exerted over in-house solutions. 


Cloud Networking Solutions

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

iMac 2017 Release Date

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Say what you will about the iMac, but none can deny its impact on the technology world. It’s a veritable icon, worthy of being the object of desire in films and TV on legacy and design alone – and the 2017 version of the iMac is no different.

With upgraded internals and a 4K screen employing an impressive color gamut, not to mention high-quality, comfortable input devices, the 2017 iMac is well worth your consideration if shopping for an all-in-one computer.



That said, discerning buyers and those up-to-date with current computing design trends may not have to work hard to poke a few holes in Apple’s MacBook longstanding – and, perhaps, long-in-the-tooth – desktop design ideology.

Specifications iMac Apple Macbook 2017

Here is the 21.5-inch Apple iMac configuration for review:

  • CPU: 3.0GHz Intel Core i5-7400 (quad-core, 6MB cache, up to 3.5GHz)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555 (2GB VRAM)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 (2,400MHz)
  • Screen: 21.5-inch 4K (4,096 x 2,304) Retina display (P3 wide color)
  • Storage: 1TB HDD (5,400 rpm)
  • Ports: 2 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 4 x USB 3.0, SDXC card reader, RJ-45 Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Operating system: macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • Camera: FaceTime HD (720p) webcam 

Price iMac 2017 and Availability

If there’s one thing we absolutely admire about the new 2017 iMac models, it’s their pricing – especially on the low-end.

Just $1,099 (£1,049, AU$1,599) to start gets you a totally gorgeous all-in-one computing device with a wireless mouse and keyboard included. Of course, that’s the 21.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display model with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 graphics chip integrated into the processor.

Regardless, that’s more than enough for the average user both at home and in the office.

As you can see from the spec sheet, the unit we were sent for review is basically a step up in every regard – save for the hard drive – from the entry-level model, and only for another 200 bucks at $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899).

From there, you can upgrade almost everything about the 21.5-inch iMac, from the graphics inside to the RAM capacity and even the hard drive type to Apple’s proprietary Fusion Drive.

Then, the 27-inch model starts at a much higher premium of $1,799 (£1,749, AU$2,699), offering 5K (5,120 x 2,880) displays and Fusion Drives across the board – not to mention far more powerful AMD Radeon Pro graphics than are available in the 21.5-inch models. These models cap out at a rough $2,299 (£2,249, AU$3,449) before further configuring.

These prices are rather competitive with most premium all-in-one PCs out there, namely the iMac’s newest high-end rival in the $2,999 (£2,999, AU$4,699) Surface Studio (especially the 27-incher). Naturally, you’ll find plenty of options cheaper than this, but chances are they won’t house as powerful components or as high-quality accessories.

You can pick up any of the 2017 iMac models now directly through Apple’s website or other online retailers, like Amazon.

Design iMac New 2017

Not much, if anything, has changed about the iMac’s look and feel these past few years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as this brushed aluminum all-in-one is simply sublime to behold. However, a few persisting design choices – not to mention its overall design in the face of new rivals – give us a bit of pause.

That said, there’s something still wholly iconic about the iMac silhouette that’s made it a staple of offices, home and otherwise, in movies and TV for years. Its simple yet elegant appearance manages to be both striking and avoid getting in the way while you’re working.

Then, of course, there’s the seemingly impossible thinness of the device, considering exactly how much is packed into the display portion of the computer (i.e. literally everything).

However, with Microsoft's Surface Studio now on the block, it’s tough to ignore just how much thinner and more impressive the iMac could be if Apple just leveraged its learnings from developing Mac mini computers toward crafting a different kind of iMac base. You know, one that holds all of the computer’s guts and ports?


Looking at the Surface Studio in the back at the latest iMac, it’s frankly baffling that Apple didn't beat Microsoft to that punch years ago.

Despite this, Apple managed to cram all the ports you could ever want or need from an all-in-one computer into the back of this iMac, so kudos.

Further to the point, Apple pursuit of absolute thinness despite cramming all of the iMac’s innards behind the display has only led to suffering audio. A total of two stereo speakers rest within both sides of the iMac’s bottom-most edge and, while they deliver impressive volume, as a result the narrow chambers deliver highs and mids no better than your average Ultrabook can.

That’s not cool for a device that takes up as much space as an all-in-one does – no matter how impossibly thin it is.

Finally, that Magic Mouse 2 simply needs a revamp. It tracks and clicks amazingly, which is wholly unsurprising for the company that inspired everyone else to up their input game years ago. However, the fact that you can’t charge this mouse while using it, because of where the Lightning charging port is located, is simply bananas.

Luckily, the included keyboard is just a delight to type on, and the days-long battery life of both input devices are a major plus – considering that you have no other choice but to buy older wired models, if wireless isn’t your thing.

Benchmarks

That said, it’s clear in the tests that this iMac Macbook benefits quite a bit from its 7th-generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i5 processor over the Surface Studio’s quickly-aging, 6th-generation chip.

To wit, the iMac showed far stronger single-core performance over the Surface Studio as well as moderately better multi-core power in the Geekbench 4 benchmark. However, the fact that Microsoft’s all-in-one offers up twice as much graphics VRAM as the iMac shows in the numbers, with the former’s Cinebench results 20 frames per second (fps) faster than the latter’s, despite its older chip.

At any rate, we find the latest iMac to be a strong performer regardless. It handles our normal workloads of dozens of Google Chrome tabs and the Slack chat client – both RAM and processor-hungry apps – with ease, and could likely take on a bit more. While we did bear witness to the spinning beachball more times than we’d like from a newly-opened Mac, it didn’t appear frequently enough to the point of it outright being a detraction. (No matter how new your computer is, it’s not immune to the spinning wheel regardless of color or shape.)

Our biggest takeaway from using the latest iMac is its simply stunning display. Seriously, if you can swing it, spring for the mid-range 21.5-inch model, because that 4x jump in pixel density – and the better graphics tech behind it – is well worth it.

Photos look incredible on the panel and are expertly colored, thanks to its P3 color gamut. That’s an important point, because that improved color reproduction affects all ends of the system regardless of the resolution of the content you’re viewing. Even videos at 1080p look markedly better because of P3. Sadly, this has made going back to our normal 1080p screens with RGB color a sobering experience.

Verdict

All in all, the 2017 iMac is a fine update to Apple’s all-in-one computing platform. For the money, at least for the 12.5-inch model, you’re getting a beautiful machine that’s more than capable of handling every task you throw at it – from web browsing to photo editing.

At any rate, those seeking a 4K-ready – or even a 1080p – all-in-one that’s as powerful as it is stylish will find what they’re looking for in the 2017 iMac. Despite a few bugbears and an arguably dated design, the average Mac fan (or would-be fan) will find plenty to love about yet another iconic Apple computer.

That said, nothing exists (for long) in a vacuum. We can’t ignore that the iMac seems to have fallen behind the trends of modern all-in-one computers, namely those spearheaded by Microsoft’s Surface Studio. Plus, we’re not fans of the audio performance and, while the Magic Mouse 2 is a wonderful mouse to use, the fact that it can’t be used while charging is an oversight.

Business Plan For Startup

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A business plan (also known as business project or business plan) is a document which describes and explains a business that is going to perform as well as different aspects of it, such as its objectives, strategies they will use to achieve those objectives, the production process, the required investment and expected return. 

What is a business plan and what is its use

They often think that developing a business plan is a complex task for which you need to gather a wealth of information and do thorough research; but the truth is that it is a task that anyone who has very clear goals you want to achieve with the plan and know their structure, can perform.

What Is A Business Plan?

To develop a business plan there is no defined structure, but we can take the best fit according to the objectives we want to achieve with the plan, but always making sure you order it and make it easily understandable for anyone read it.

A common structure that includes all parties should have a business plan is as follows:

  1. Executive Summary : The executive summary is a summary of the other parts of the business plan, which includes a brief description of the business, the reasons for its implementation, the team, the required investment and the profitability of the project.
  2. Business Definition : the definition of business the business and the products or services that will be offered, business objectives and strategies for achieving those objectives described, and core business data indicated, such as the name and location.
  3. Market research : the study of market describes the main characteristics of the target audience and future competition, and demand forecasting and marketing plan is developed.
  4. Technical study on a technical study the physical requirements needed to run the business, the production process, infrastructure and the size of local production capacity and plant layout are described.
  5. Organization : to organize the legal and organizational structure of the business described, areas or departments, positions and functions, the personnel requirements, personnel costs and information systems.
  6. Study of investment and financing : in this part of the investment will be required to start and run the business in the first production cycle, and external financing to be searched if any notes.
  7. Study of income and expenses : in this part projections of revenues and expenditures of the business are developed, including the budget of sales, intended to cash or projected cash flow and the operating budget or profit and loss projected.
  8. Project Evaluation : Finally, in this part of the future financial evaluation business is developed, which includes the calculation of the period of payback and results of the profitability indicators used.

They regularly suppose that a business plan is best made when starting a brand new business; but the fact is that it's also often develop when there may be already a going subject and, as an example, is launching a brand new product to marketplace, venture into a brand new marketplace, or input a new line of enterprise.

It is frequently additionally suppose that a marketing strategy is some thing that only is responsible to massive groups; however the truth is that no matter whether or not it is a huge or small enterprise, developing a marketing strategy is a degree that every entrepreneur should spend the time to start it, specifically these days, where due to the excessive competition, the risk to push thru a brand new enterprise are not very favorable.

The reasons why it is important to always prepare a business plan, are basically three:

Reasons Administration

A marketing strategy serves as a guide to beginning and jogging a commercial enterprise then, to serve as an device for making plans, business enterprise, coordination and tracking and assessment.

It serves basically as a making plans device because it allows us to devise the use of assets, techniques and courses of motion or steps, and be more green inside the implementation and next control of the business, reduce uncertainty and decrease threat .

But additionally serves as an organizing tool because it permits us, among different things, decide who will be liable for wearing out the activities required for the implementation and administration of the commercial enterprise, as a coordination tool as it enables us coordinate those activities, and as an device monitoring and evaluation because it permits us to evaluate the consequences with those deliberate.

Feasibility Reasons

A marketing strategy additionally permits you to test the viability or feasibility of a commercial enterprise; ie whether or not it may be finished or is vital to locate new ideas.

For instance, via market studies, it helps us decide whether the services or products to be able to be presented will or no longer well widely wide-spread through customers, or whether or not we have the resources and ability to cope with opposition existing.

Also, via the calculation of the investment and the projection of sales and expenditures, permits us to recognise the profitability of future enterprise, and accordingly recognize also whether or not the business isn't viable, if sufficiently attractive in phrases of profitability as to be finished or is better to are seeking for other alternatives.

Reasons of Financing

Finally, a good business plan can prove to others the viability of a business and the attractiveness of this and, therefore, helps to get financing.

For example, in case you want to get a loan, it allows us to prove to a bank or financial institution or lender (including family and friends who hesitate to lend money) that our business will be profitable and that we will be able to pay the debt on time, and so you can convince them that we grant.

Or, if seeking an investor or partner for our business, allows us to demonstrate the attractiveness of our idea, the seriousness of our project and the profitability of future business, and be able to convince them to invest and partner with us.

To learn how to develop a business plan, we invite you to read our guide: how to develop a business plan step by step .

Monday, August 14, 2017

Is it better to seek investors for your start up or start with your own resources?

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Is it better to seek investors for your start up or start with your own resources?

It seems that nowadays success for a startup is to get investors first (what is known as "lift a round") and then sell the company in a short time for a good amount of millions and a lot of people get into this way without understanding very well what options you have and especially its implications.

I wanted to share my views and experience on the subject, and try to compare the two extremes that exist in terms of funding a startup (although actually there are many intermediate options as we speak Where, when and how to find investment for my startup?, and even combinations thereof). I have done business in other bootstrapping , but on this occasion and given how ambitious we are with Startupxplore, have sought foreign investment (soon I'll introduce our investors !).

In any case, you must first remove complexes up and be honest with the reasons that lead you to create your company as for the decision to be successful it is important to know where you get and above all, be clear about what you want to be "higher". In simplified terms could include one of the following two options:

LIVING WELL
If what calls you is to mount what is called a business lifestyle, where you are your own boss, you earn good money and can dedicate yourself to what you like, surely you should seek investors for the reasons see below. Less risk, less reward potential

BE RICH
If you are ambitious and want to build a great company that leaves a big footprint, growing fast and where you can end up winning a lot of pasta, or become the next Mark Zuckerberg surely need much capital to grow fast. Risk, reward higher potential

In any case note that one thing does not exclude the other, and that many companies begin funding their own business model (either by themselves or funds boostrapping) until they get validate the business model and demonstrate drive, and then seek investors (and let's face it, going to be complicated: according to the Kauffman Foundation less than 1% of the startups get VC financing fund)

And that a company has failed investment does not mean at all that it can finish growing a lot or being bought by Google (the wet dream of many entrepreneurs). Just think about companies like GitHub, Behance, TechCrunch, Envato, Blogger (sold to Google) to remove many resorts.

The idea is to fund the company with our own resources (either own funds, the money we earn in other activities) until we are able to revenue from startup make it self-sustaining.

PROS

  • Absolute control over all decisions without external intervention
  • Growing pressure and internal and controllable by the founding dates
  • It can be compatible with a job (at least initially while the business is explored)
  • Shortage of funds makes us focus on what we important
  • Great to validate the business model at first
  • There is no requirement that the end is to sell the company or make it grow very fast for outputting investors
  • Suitable for businesses where there is a barrier to entry for competitors

CONS

  • Slower (potentially) by the lack of sufficient capital growth
  • Difficulty run models that are not profitable from the outset
  • There is an outside group of people who help us gain perspective and we add value
  • There is a lot of pressure to bill as soon as possible, which often means we can not act in the longer term
  • The shortage of capital complicates virtually all the team recruiting, marketing activities ... etc
  • Capital marks the speed at which we can go, which means that competition may forward us.

STARTUPS SUPPORTED BY INVESTORS

It is to seek investment that allows us to accelerate the growth of the company and involve the same ( has stock speaking) to investment funds venture capital or business angels to support us with their capital, network, experience ... etc.

PROS
Availability of capital to grow faster and expand.
Having the support and expertise of a group of investors who often know better than you the sector and have made the same way (or have supported those who have)
Access to a network of investors large and high quality ( not only important for get new investors, but customers, employees, partners)
Ability to run business models where, although there is some profitability from the beginning, be certain scale necessary for great returns or where the necessary investments are high.
Ability to mount larger teams and check out new markets, creating barriers to entry for new competitors

CONS
Partial loss of control of the company at shareholder level and in making "important" decisions.
High sense of urgency in that a group of people have entrusted their assets to grow your business fast
If things go well in the end instead of owning 100% of the cake you will have a lower percentage
If you mess investors or are not comfortable with them you'll have to "put up with them" for a long time.
Pressure to change course if investors do not share your vision on the future of the company.
Loss of focus and from time to raise investment rounds and not to seek customers.

CONCLUSIONS

Maybe some people call attention not mention things like better wages for the founder, but is that no investor will make money for you to pay better (although you should collect what you need to live). Remember that your goal is to make money doing increasingly valuable your business and not paying you a good salary. But in any case, whether you're going to look for investors or not, remember that investing is not a goal in itself but a tool that you must achieve your goals (in line with your expectations). The goal of a startup is not to convince investors how great your company but persuade customers how great your product.