5 Common Ops Mistakes You Should Catch Early

In Devops, change is imminent but when poorly managed it can lead to these five common mistakes and further performance issues.

Because DevOps centers around change, and consistent change at that, it’s easy to encounter instability during a project. No one wants that, but avoiding it entirely is not possible.

You see, in Ops we are constantly evolving, changing, and adapting to meet not just the market trends and client expectations but internal requirements as well. For the most part this can be beneficial. However, there are two sides to “change” or flexibility. The good or positive side leads to growth, innovation, and ultimately success. The opposite leads to downtime, performance hiccups, and poor results at the worst.

So, even though change is both good and necessary, it can be a hindrance when not properly managed. Ask any software engineer what they think is the most common reason for system downtime, most will agree it’s due to software, network, or configuration changes.

The best — and only way really — to deal with growing instability is to catch and solve mistakes as early as possible. It’s all about preparation and preventative maintenance.

In light of that, we’re going to explore some of the most common ops mistakes, and how you can correctly deal with them. If you learn to identify the issues now, you’ll be better off when you encounter them later.

1. Ineffective test environments

Want to experience some real setbacks? Mix up your test and production environments. Or, you can make the poor decision of running all your tests on a local machine. The latter will cause some serious issues when you realize that applications run differently on different machines.

You’re not the only one in the field to experience difficulties choosing the appropriate test environments. According to the World Quality Report 2016-17 from Capgemini, here’s the average breakdown of the most common environments used.

What makes an environment is not the application or database, it’s the configuration. It’s the use of a controlled setting to conduct activities and monitor accuracy. So choosing the appropriate configuration should always be a priority, be it cloud based, virtualized or something else entirely.

Right from the start, keep your test environments separate. Furthermore, establish a proper testing protocol by using virtual machines. You’ll find that not only is it easier, but also it will save you lots of time. You can also better simulate platforms that your clients might have access to but you don’t.

Notice in the figure above, temporary and virtual testing collectively makes up the most usage? That’s because it’s so effective and much safer than deploying via live platforms.

2. Poor deployments

Each piece of code — during its entire lifecycle of development — must be deployed consistently. Otherwise, you risk experiencing configuration drift in which changes are made ad hoc or not recorded and the infrastructure becomes more and more different, or drifts. This is often exacerbated by rapid release schedules. This also means that time and resources are wasted when moving environments, because you’ll likely be trying to identify why things aren’t working the way they should.

To ensure a more reliable process, stick with the same deployment steps from the beginning of the project to the end of it. This especially helps when you are moving from lower environments with more frequent deployments to those with fewer deployments.

3. Risk or incident management faults

You must develop and comprehensively document your incident management process. Failure to do so will result in severe inefficiencies.

This means building an incident response plan, defining roles and responsibilities within your team, and keeping your clients in the loop. The latter is only possible with proper documentation, which further highlights the need to have a good system in place.

Don’t neglect the generated incident reports either. Review them regularly to ensure that the operation is running smoothly and that issues are being handled in a timely manner.

4. No real-time monitoring or alerts

The tool itself, of which there are many, doesn’t matter. But monitoring in real-time is absolutely vital to a successful DevOps strategy.

You can select from open-source and premium tools, the choice is up to you. Just make sure you have something prepped and ready to go, and that it’s accurately sending the alerts and information you need.

https://www.pslcorp.com/outsource-web-development/

5. Not maintaining backups

The question of whether or not you should make regular data backups is non-negotiable.

In fact, if you use S3 or rely on similar platforms, conducting regular backups should be familiar to you. It’s an industry practice that’s really become something of a standard, and for good reason.

Pro Tip: If you really want to be safe, you can even open your production datasets and backups in a virtual test environment to make sure everything is working correctly. That may save you some time later, especially if something fishy is up with your backup process or tools.

Bonus: Common security traps

Just to touch on a few more common mistakes, you may also want to avoid doing the following:

Not using or assigning individual user accounts
Failing to select or enable encryption as part of the development cycle
Relying solely on SSH instead of gateway boxes for your database servers
Ignoring internal IT requests and demands
Deploying tools without performing extensive research
Neglecting physical and local security within your office

Provided you avoid the basic mistakes here and continue to develop and manage your risk management strategy, you should be well-prepared for anything encountered during your next deployment. Catch those bottlenecks and failures early, and you can curb growing instability before it gets out of hand. https://www.pslcorp.com/outsource-web-development/

How IoT Infrastructure Factors into Data Security and What That Means For You

What can you truly do to prevent and deal with cyber attacks? The answer is right here in these primary IoT principles.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is transforming traditional industries and providing unprecedented amounts of data to provide world-altering information to all users and adopters. However, the IoT is also vulnerable to security breaches and the ensuing storm. This is especially true in business and enterprise, where a data breach could mean exposing not just your organization’s data but also sensitive data related to your customers and clientele.

Inherently, connected and publicly accessible devices come with a series of vulnerability risks. But the real issues are an inadequate series of regulations for data security and privacy in the field and a lack of preparedness on the part of users. What happens, for example, when a device is compromised and the data contained within is absconded? Who is to blame? What should be done to protect those affected, and how can we make sure it doesn’t happen again?


Furthermore, who owns the data being collected and processed? When consumers are involved, is it the person for whom the data is about? Is it the company collecting the data? Is it the manufacturer of the IoT device or equipment in use?

You can see that the matter of security and privacy is about more than just locking down the technology and preventing unauthorized access. It’s about how the devices are used, as well as what’s being done with the data they create. And more importantly, how we — as a society — secure that data.

Prepare for an event

The more obvious security concern relates to a data breach or cyber attack. At this point, it’s better to look at them as inevitable. Not only should you never be lax with your security and preventative measures, but also understand that, at some point, you will most likely experience an attack. Which means, dealing with the aftermath of a breach and developing a proper risk assessment plan — that covers before, during and after an attack — are equally necessary.

Too many of us focus on just the preventative side of the equation, which does nothing during and after an event.

Instead, a more robust security plan is in order. This means establishing monitoring tools to see who’s on your network and what they’re doing at all times. You must also have a way to prevent or block both unauthorized and legitimate users. Sometimes a trusted user’s account or device is being leveraged by hackers.

Additionally, measures must be deployed to secure the sensitive data involved, eliminate access to it during a breach, and understand what content — and why — is being targeted.

https://www.pslcorp.com/it-outsourcing-services-companies/

Securing your network: Mind IoT data principles

While dealing with IoT data and information, there are several questions you must ask before deploying any equipment on your network.

Should data remain private and be securely stored?
Does this data need to be accurate and trustworthy — free from tampering or outside influence?
Is the timely arrival of the data vital to operations?
Should the device(s) or hardware be restricted to select personnel?
Should the firmware or device software be kept up-to-date?
Is device ownership dynamic and will there need to be complex permissions?
Is it necessary to audit the data and systems in use regularly?
Answering these questions will determine exactly what kind of security measures and protocols you put in place. If devices are restricted to select users, you will need to deploy an authentication system that can both identify and provide access based on a series of explicit permissions.

It’s also worth mentioning that many of these principles are related to one another. Restricting user access, for instance, would call for dynamic ownership, complex permissions, and data encryption to prevent unauthorized data viewing or manipulation.

All too often, we take it for granted that the data is flowing freely and securely between systems or devices and that it’s being housed in a protected way. The sad truth is that proper security is an exception more than it is a rule, as evidenced by so many recent and historic data breaches.

Minimizing damage during an event

As with any conventional business it outsourcing services infrastructure, an IoT network must undergo routine maintenance and monitoring to ensure that issues are handled swiftly. Any and all network devices must be kept up-to-date with the latest security patches. Only authorized users must be allowed to access highly-sensitive data, and they must be knowledgeable and aware of basic security protocols. Finally, the proper security monitoring tools must be deployed to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Future proofing the technology means adopting innovative security strategies where they are applicable. AI and machine learning tools can help devices identify and understand when something isn’t right, and then ultimately empowering them to take action. Whether that be blocking out a users access, notifying an administrator, or shutting-down completely to prevent further damage.

New threats and opportunities will always be present, as the market and field of cybersecurity is ever-evolving. However, acting now and deploying appropriate measures as soon as possible will help prevent the more damaging events from occurring on your network and devices. https://www.pslcorp.com/it-outsourcing-services-companies/

Higher Learning Institution Leveraging Fusionex Data Technology

Singapore, 28 June 2018 – Fusionex, a multi-award-winning data technology provider specializing in Big Data Analytics (BDA), the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Deep Learning has rolled out a data analytics solution for an institute of higher learning of high repute in Asia to elevate its market intelligence by accurately determining market demand.

An institution of higher learning that has educated students for over 30 years, the client currently has a student enrollment of more than 11,000 strong and offers courses in Accounting, Communications, Computer Science, Early Childhood Education, Economics, Engineering, Hospitality and Tourism, Law, and Psychology.

Ivan Teh

The data management solution involves capturing information from online interactions on the client’s web portal and other domains for analysis to accurately discern student interest, course relevance, potential roadblocks against enrolment, and other such acumen.

Fusionex revamped the client’s web portal, transforming it into an intelligent data gathering platform capable of tracking user data. Specifically the web portal could measure how each user uniquely interacts with it and produces insights from this data to form a true 360-degree view of each customer. It can also determine which pages failed to capture user interest, causing them to drop off from the web portal. Such insights paint a more comprehensive and precise picture regarding the fluctuating levels of interest throughout a customer’s journey as they browse through the client’s web portal.

By leveraging on such comprehensive data collection and cognitive computing capabilities, the client could also monitor patterns of visit to their web portal via social media platforms such as Facebook as well as from online ads, giving the client a better understanding of their sales conversion rates and return on advertising investment.

Furthermore, the data management solution allows for the monitoring of popular online job portals and peer web portals, granting a holistic overview of the market; enlightening the client concerning popular jobs, courses peer web portals are offering, and the shifting tides of supply and demand in the industry. Such insights can play a vital role in cluing the client as to what strategies and plans to adopt to attract prospective students.

Fusionex will be advancing the client’s online visibility and presence via Search Engine Optimization, Machine Learning, AI, and Search Engine Marketing techniques while simultaneously running the client’s solution on Fusionex Cloud, leveraging the storage flexibility and cost savings it provides.

Ivan Teh, Fusionex Founder & Group CEO, commented: “We are delighted to deploy this robust data management solution as we look forward to it generating powerful insights for the client. This will enable the client to create relevant targeted offerings for prospective students and for students to find the most suitable courses that match with their individual talents and interests.” https://www.digitalnewsasia.com/business/fusionex-launches-giant-2017-comes-nlp-capability