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Updated: 16 hours 25 min ago

Health care an open target for hackers [VIDEO]

Fri, 2014-10-03 13:31


Think hackers are only after you credit card numbers? Think again.

Hi, welcome to RDX. While the U.S. health care industry is required by law to secure patient information, many organizations are only taking basic protective measures.

According to Reuters, the FBI stated Chinese cybercriminals had broken into a health care organization's database and stole personal information on about 4.5 million patients. Names, birth dates, policy numbers, billing information and other data can be easily accessed by persistent hackers.

Databases holding this information need to employ active monitoring and automated surveillance tools to ensure unrestricted access isn't allowed. In addition, encrypting patient files is a critical next step.

Thanks for watching. For more security tips, be sure to check in frequently.  

The post Health care an open target for hackers [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

What do businesses need to prepare for cloud migration?

Thu, 2014-10-02 13:47

Whether to host applications or increase storage, migrating workloads to cloud environments is a consistent trend. However, many database support services are discovering that businesses unfamiliar with the technology often don't know where to begin. 

It appears more enterprises will need guidance in the near future. Business Cloud News conducted a survey of 312 IT professionals across the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, finding 40 percent of participants believe 30 to 70 percent of their IT assets will be hosted in the cloud in the next two years. 

So, what are some pain points interested parties should be cognizant of? 

1. A lack of in-house capabilities 
It's a point organizations have made in the past, but still deserves acknowledgement. Although in-house IT staff members are capable of sanctioning the transition from on-premise systems to a cloud environment, many require extensive instruction before they can do so. Even after training is completed, their lack of experience will likely cause interruptions. 

In this regard, outsourcing is a safe choice. Hiring remote DBA experts to work with existing teams to migrate all applications and storage to a cloud infrastructure will expedite the process while also ensuring long-term issues don't persist. 

2. Look at what applications are connected to 
Hybrid cloud deployments are quite common among organizations that want to host a portion of their it assets in the cloud, but retain full back-end control over critical applications. 

Suppose a company leverages that leverages a hybrid environment wants to transition its enterprise resource management solution to a hosted atmosphere. However, the ERP's file stores reside in on-premise servers. In order for the ERP solution to undergo migration, the file stores it depends on to operate must be relocated beforehand. 

3. Observe indirect connections
Some on-premise deployments may seem alienated from other implementations but encounter hindrances when operating in the cloud. TechTarget noted one example detailed by Robert Green, principal cloud strategist at IT consultancy Enfinitum, who stated one of the firm's clients migrated an application to a public cloud environment without conducting a thorough assessment prior to initiation. 

What the company failed to recognize was that on-premise firewalls that assessed and filtered Internet traffic would directly impact its employees' ability to access the cloud-hosted application. When 400 users attempted to use the software, the firewalls became overloaded. In the end, the Enfinitum client lost $10 million because its workers were unable to use the application. 

If these three points are carefully considered, enterprises will be successful in all their cloud migration endeavors. 

The post What do businesses need to prepare for cloud migration? appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

What to expect at this year’s Gartner Symposium [VIDEO]

Tue, 2014-09-30 15:01


Unsure of how IT will impact enterprises in the near future?

Hi, welcome back to RDX! CIOs will probably encounter a number of challenges in the years ahead. The Gartner Symposium will feature presentations on strategic IT procurement, critical industry trends and how businesses can gain value from the latest technologies.

The conference will be held at the Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Florida from October 5th to the 9th. Notable speakers will be Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Lyft Inc. President and Co-Founder John Zimmer.

As you can imagine, we'll be informing attendees about our database monitoring and optimization services. If you want to find us, we'll be located at Booth 206 during show floor hours.

Thanks for watching! Can't wait to see you in Florida!

The post What to expect at this year’s Gartner Symposium [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

RDX IT Process Automation

Tue, 2014-09-30 14:11

RDX’s IT Process Automation Strategy

Remote DBA Experts (RDX) is the largest pure-play provider of remote data infrastructure services. We have been providing remote services for over 20 years, which also makes us one of the pioneers in this space. We currently support hundreds of customers and thousands of database implementations.

Remote data infrastructure services is an extremely competitive market arena. Our competitors range from “2 guys in a garage” to major outsourcing providers like IBM and Oracle. Improving and enhancing our support architecture isn’t something beneficial to RDX; it is critical to our competitive survival.

One of our primary responsibilities at RDX is to research, and evaluate, leading-edge OS, database and application support technologies. The goal of these efforts is to ensure that RDX customers continue to receive the highest level of value from RDX’s support services. RDX’s strategy is to continue to be pioneers in the remote services space – just as we were 20 years ago. One of the key technologies that RDX is implementing to ensure our continued leadership as a remote services provider is IT Process Automation.

What is IT Process Automation?

Process automation, because of its wide range of application, takes many forms. Manufacturing companies have been using industrial robots to replace activities traditionally performed by humans for some time. Business process automation shares the same goal: to replace business functions performed by humans with software applications. Work activities that are repetitive in nature and require little intelligent analysis and decision making to complete are prime candidates for process automation.

Business software applications, by their essence, are designed to automate processes. Software programmers create intelligent decision trees to evaluate and refine stored data elements and display that processed data for human interaction or automate the decision making process entirely.

Automation products are designed to act upon stored data or capture it for processing. The data is analyzed using workflows (decision trees) and embedded rules. The automation product then performs a prescribed set of actions. The automation product can continue processing by executing additional workflows, prompt for human intervention or complete the process by performing an activity.

For the context of this article, IT Process automation is the implementation of software to programmatically automate routine (little decision making required), repetitive workflows and tasks performed by IT knowledge workers.

The Automation Tool Marketplace

A highly competitive market forces all automation vendors to accelerate the release of new products as well as enhancements to existing offerings. Automation vendors know that new features and functionalities are not a requirement for competitive advantage; they are a requirement for competitive survival. The more competitive the space, the greater the benefit to the consumer. Vendor competition will ensure that automation products become more intelligent, more cost effective and easier to implement and administer.

As the number of features provided by automation products grows, so does the importance of taking advantage of those new features. Automation product licensing and vendor maintenance contracts command a premium price in the marketplace. To gain the most return on their investment, companies must ensure that they are completely leveraging the benefits of the particular automation product being used. Understanding all of the inherent features is important, but selecting the features that bring each individual implementation the most benefit is the key to success.

The endless array of automation offerings add complexity to product selection. IT automation product features and functionality range the spectrum from niche offerings that focus on automating a very well-defined, specific set of tasks to products that provide a complete framework and set of tools designed to generate more global efficiencies by automating a wide range of activities. More traditional software vendors including database and monitoring tool providers realize that automation features provide their offerings with an advantage over competitors’ products.

RDX’s Automation Strategy

Process automation products have been on RDX’s technological radar for years. Various products provided bits and pieces of the functionality we required, but we were unable to identify an offering that provided a total automation solution.

Like many shops, RDX inter-weaved various scripts, programs and third-party products to automate repetitive tasks. Automation was done in an AD-HOC, opportunistic manner as the tasks were identified. RDX’s challenge was to select and implement a product that would provide a framework, architecture and set of tools that RDX could utilize to implement a company-wide automation architecture. The goal was to transform RDX’s automation activities from opportunistic and AD-HOC to a strategic initiative with a well-defined mission statement, clear set of achievable goals and detailed project plans with deliverables to obtain them.

RDX’s Process Automation Goals

RDX has two primary sources of repetitive tasks:

  • Customer event data collection, diagnosis and resolution
  • Internal support activities

Our goals for our automation strategy can be summarized into the following main points:

  • Improve the quality and speed of problem event analysis and resolution. Faster and higher quality problem resolution equals happy RDX customers.
  • Increase staff productivity by reducing the number of mundane, repetitive tasks the RDX staff is required to perform
  • Reduce operating costs through automation

Our environment is not entirely unique. Our service architecture can be compared to any IT shop that supports a large number of disparate environments. The resulting challenges we face are fairly common to any IT service provider:

  • RDX‘s desire to provide immediate resolutions to all performance and availability issues (reduce Mean Time to Resolution)
  • RDX looking to respond to client events with more accuracy
  • Implement a software solution that allows RDX to capture and record pockets of tribal knowledge and leverage that subject matter expertise by transforming it into automated processes to foster a culture of continuous process improvement
  • Reduce the amount of time RDX spends on both customer-facing and internal repetitive tasks to allow our support professionals to focus on higher ROI support activities
  • Provide the ability to quickly prove audit and compliance standards through report logs capturing the results of each automation task
  • RDX’s rapid growth requires us to process an exponentially increasing number of event alerts and administrative activities. The continuous hiring of additional resources to manage processes and data is not a scalable or cost-effective solution

RDX’s Automation Product Selection

RDX performed a traditional vendor analysis using a standardized evaluation methodology. A methodology can be loosely defined as a body of best practices, processes and rules used to accomplish a given task. The task in this case is to evaluate and select an automation product provider.

A needs analysis was performed to generate a weighted set of functional and technical requirements. The focus of the analysis was on selecting a product that would help us achieve our goal of implementing a strategic automation solution, as opposed to just buying a product. If we were unable to identify a solution that met our requirements, we were willing to delay the vendor selection process until we found one that did.

RDX selected GEN-E Resolve as our automation tool provider. GEN-E Resolve was able to provide the “end-to-end” architecture we required to automate both customer event resolution and RDX internal processes. GEN-E Resolve’s primary focus is on the automation of complex incident resolution and is a popular product with large telecommunication providers that support thousands of remote devices. What RDX found most beneficial was that the product did not require the installation of any software on our customers’ servers. All processing is performed on RDX’s Resolve servers running at our data center.

RDX’s First Step – Automatic Event Data Collection

The primary service we provide to our customers is ensuring their database systems are available at all times and performing as expected. Database administrators, by the very essence of our job descriptions, are the protectors of the organization’s core data assets. We are tasked with ensuring key data stores are continuously available. However, ensuring that data is available on a 24 x 7 basis is a wonderfully complex task.

When a mission-critical database application becomes unavailable, it can threaten the survivability of the organization. The financial impact of downtime is not the only issue that faces companies that have critical applications that are offline. Loss of customer goodwill, bad press, idle employees and legal penalties (lawsuits, fines, etc.) must also be considered.

It is up to the database administrator to recommend and implement technical solutions that deal with these unforeseen “technology disruptions.” When they do occur, it is our responsibility as DBAs to restore the operational functionality of the failed systems as quickly as possible.

RDX’s initial goal was to automate the collection of information required to perform problem analysis. The key to faster problem resolution is to reduce the amount of time collecting diagnostic data and spend that time analyzing it.

RDX prioritized customer events using the following criteria:

  • Frequency the event occurs
  • Severity of customer impact
  • Amount of time required to manually collect diagnostic data (reduce Mean Time to Resolution)
  • Complexity of the diagnostic data collection process (increase resolution accuracy)
  • Amount of human interaction required to collect diagnostic data (cost reduction)

RDX deployed a team of in-house automation specialists to collect the operational knowledge required to create the decision trees, workflows and data collection activities traditionally performed by RDX personnel. Our implementation, although still in its infancy, has met our initial expectations.

RDX has automated the diagnostic data collection process for several events and has proven that the automation tool can perform the tasks quickly, consistently and with high quality. RDX has also successfully implemented automatic problem resolution tasks for simple events. Subsequent enhancements to our automation capabilities are to leverage RDX’s collective operational knowledge to quickly resolve more complex issues.

Although our initial goal was to improve the speed and quality of our problem resolution process, our intent is to also move forward with the automation of our internal support processes. One of the key facets of the project’s success was to keep RDX personnel informed about the automation project and the benefits the implementation would provide to both RDX customers and internal support technicians. Promoting the product was crucial, as we found that it led to the generation of a veritable groundswell of internal process automation recommendations. Our intent is to formalize the internal process automation project by appointing RDX personnel as project owners and soliciting recommendations through company surveys (as opposed to an AD-HOC manner). Once the recommendations are collected, RDX will perform the same type of prioritization as we did during the initial stages of product implementation.

The Future of Automation

Although we will continue to see the greatest advances in automation in the traditional manufacturing spaces, IT process automation will continue to grow and mature until it becomes integrated into the fabric of most IT organizations. Larger shops will be the early adopters of IT automation, as they will be able to more quickly realize the benefits the solution provides than their smaller counterparts. As stated previously, a very competitive market arena will continue to accelerate the features and functionality provided by vendor products. As the offerings mature, they will become more robust, more intelligent and more cost effective. As a result, the adoption rate will continue to grow, as it would with any technology possessing these traits.

In the remote services space, it is how RDX intends to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Outsourcing providers that manage large numbers of remote targets will be required to automate, or they will quickly lose market share to those competitors that do. It is RDX’s intention to be an innovator and not a “close follower” of automation technologies.

The post RDX IT Process Automation appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

SQLSaturday Pittsburgh Script [VIDEO]

Mon, 2014-09-29 09:55


Database administrators are responsible for keeping data safe and available, and continuing their education is vital for them to stay current on the best practices and features of the database platforms they support.

Hi, welcome back to RDX. One way SQL Server DBAs can learn new skills is by registering for a SQLSaturday, an all-day SQL Server training event, near them.

RDX is a proud supporter of Pittsburgh’s SQLSaturday on October 4 at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute. Register to hear six RDX speakers share their knowledge about code tuning, new features in SQL 2014, and Business Intelligence. More details about all speaking sessions and registration can be found on Pittsburgh’s SQL Saturday website.

Make sure you stop by RDX’s booth for your chance to win a $100 gift card.
Hope to see you there! Thanks for watching.

The post SQLSaturday Pittsburgh Script [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

What to Expect at Oracle OpenWorld this Year [VIDEO]

Mon, 2014-09-29 04:28


Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is just around the corner, but what can IT professionals gain from attending?

Hi – welcome back to RDX. From September 28 to October 2, representatives from across the globe will travel to the Moscone Center in San Francisco to learn more about Oracle products and current IT trends.

Moscone North will feature presentations by Intel President Renee James, Oracle President Mark Hurd and Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, among others. Discussions will focus on the implications of cloud computing, business transformations and streamlining data-intensive processes.

RDX is excited to participate. We’ll have DBAs present attending training sessions, and you’ll also find us at Booth 3455 in Moscone West, where we'll be discussing our services and offering attendees a chance to win a GoPro camera.

Thanks for watching! We hope to see you in San Francisco!

The post What to Expect at Oracle OpenWorld this Year [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Database administrators may be the last line of defense

Wed, 2014-09-24 08:00

Database active monitoring may be the only way to truly secure enterprise IT assets, because many of the software deployments professionals are using aren't up to par. 

The more sophisticated and complex solutions become – essentially, the more we as consumers and workers ask of them – the greater the number of vulnerabilities. Even the most assiduous programmers armed with an arsenal of fault-finding tools are bound to let unnoticed defects fall through the cracks. 

Popular solutions rating high on risk scale 
Beta News acknowledged a review conducted by Heimdal Security, which assessed Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Oracle Java Runtime and Apple QuickTime's security capabilities based on the computer vulnerability severity system. The CVSS rates software on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being assigned to the most dangerous faults. 

While Java Runtime received a 7.8, Adobe's two products were given an alarming 9.2. The latter two solutions, Acrobat Reader and Flash Player, are quite common among business professionals and consumer users alike. While the latter allows computers to play videos and other such media content, the former is a free PDF reader. These two programs are ubiquitous, arguably leaving many enterprises open to incredibly damaging attacks. 

Why database surveillance is necessary 
Heimdal Security CEO Morten Kjaersgaard told Beta News the makers of the aforementioned solutions (Oracle, Apple and Adobe) aren't taking the necessary steps to patch the discovered vulnerabilities as quickly as possible. 

This obligates business professionals to take matters into their own hands. The faults noted in Flash Player, Acrobat Reader, Java Runtime and QuickTime could be exploited by hackers to gain access to mission-critical databases. If the resources and personnel needed to reinforce protection and conduct audits on a daily basis don't exist, then outsourcing to remote DBA services is imperative. 

Only a "matter of time" 
The Telegraph spoke with New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, who warned the source that a catastrophic cyberattack on the global financial system is imminent. He advised enterprises to take extensive measures to secure their environments, which may involve redefining how they set up defenses. 

"[Cybercriminals] are breaking into everything," Lawsky told the Telegraph. "It is only a matter of time before something happens that is more systematic and problematic. I worry that we are going to have some sort of major cyber-event in the financial system that's going to cause us all to shudder."

Whether or not companies decide to take Lawsky's warning into consideration, that doesn't make securing all IT assets any less of a priority. In fact, it should be at the top of the list. 

The post Database administrators may be the last line of defense appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

How to transition government databases to the cloud

Thu, 2014-09-18 10:37

Public authorities are regarding the benefits of moving operations to the cloud with a grain of salt. 

While security will be a concern no matter what the technology, the primary reason why officials are so apprehensive of cloud computing is a perceived lack of control. A number of organizations already outsource to remote database administration services to secure environments and keep critical solutions operable, but putting an entire infrastructure in the hands of a private company is quite jarring. 

Hesitating to advance 
InformationWeek contributor Elena Malykhina noted a survey of 153 government IT executives conducted by MeriTalk, which discovered 43 percent of respondents compared transitioning processes to the cloud to giving his or her son keys to a new convertible. The research also acknowledged the following findings:

  • Out of nine in 10 agencies, 42 percent are keeping security responsibilities on-remise while 41 percent are obligating cloud vendors to obtain cloud defense certifications.
  • Exactly half of respondents are incapable of identifying which departments own certain data.
  • More than half (55 percent) believe cloud technology will make it easier for authorities to organize digital information

As one can see, the general sentiment among many federal IT managers is that they lack the expertise and assistance needed to manage their databases and transition those implementations to cloud environments. 

The rules of the trade 
It's possible for remote DBAs to help allay these concerns. Replicating databases before migration and monitoring environments post-transition are both possible when outside assistance is received. With this in mind, there are several rules Government Computer News advised authorities to keep in mind in regard to cloud technology:

  1. Employ virtualization beforehand: In short, virtualization optimizes servers by allowing them to run more applications than is conventionally possible. The technology provides the basis of cloud computing.
  2. It doesn't have to be public: Surrendering all operations to a cloud provider isn't necessary. Private and hybrid environments are both valid options, as they allow organizations to exercise more control over their architectures. 
  3. Look for compliance: One thing many government entities are already doing quite well is searching for cloud providers that satisfy standards defined by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. 
  4. Start with applications: Use Software-as-a-Service deployments before transitioning all IT assets over to the cloud. This will get users and administrators used to the technology. 

Cloud computing isn't anything to be fearful of, but that doesn't mean cautionary steps shouldn't be taken. Consulting specialists to diagnose a provider's capabilities will give agencies a clear idea of whether a particular hosting company is the right fit for them. 

The post How to transition government databases to the cloud appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Mozilla Working to Enhance its Security Process [VIDEO]

Tue, 2014-09-16 12:44


Welcome back to RDX. A proper test environment should be a regular part of your business' Change Management Process. However, if Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is not removed from the test data, sensitive information could be exposed.

According to eWEEK, Mozilla accidentally exposed critical information in two separate incidents. The most recent was first reported August 27, and left 97,000 developers’ information exposed for approximately 3 months. The development system exposed information including email and encrypted passwords. Initial disclosure is thought to have occurred during a database migration with a database dump including user data. Users of this system have been advised to change their passwords.

Mozilla is now revising their test plan to not include database dumps. An additional step businesses can take to protect their PII is to use two-factor authentication for access.

Thanks for watching! 

The post Mozilla Working to Enhance its Security Process [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Industrial-grade cyberattacks plague utilities

Mon, 2014-09-15 08:57

While the retail sector has received much attention lately due to the prevalence of cyberattacks, utilities are also in grave danger of sustaining Web-based aggression.

Database administration services are acknowledging the persistence of Dragonfly, an organization of cybercriminals that focuses on infiltrating the industrial sector. Securing Web-based assets, as well as on-premise architectures, is imperative, as these carefully orchestrated hacks could leave denizens without power indefinitely 

A grievous situation
Warwick Ashford, a contributor to Computer Weekly, noted an instance in which he and his team participated in the Kaspersky Industrial Protection Simulation role-playing game. The scenario presented a situation in which a regional water purification plant was infiltrated, leaving thousands of people without drinking water. In addition, the company sustained incredible losses within a five-week period. 

The culprit? Dragonfly, a co-op based out of Eastern Europe that security firm Symantec has blamed for hacking more than 1,000 North American and European energy enterprises. Dragonfly specializes in disengaging industrial control systems, which manage electrical, water, gas and oil systems. 

Why it's so dangerous
Ashford noted the water treatment company intended to train its IT staff in cybersecurity protocols, but apparently never got around to doing so. After a number of network audits were performed, the company recognized two unidentified Internet connections to the industrial control system. The IT department responded by setting up a number of firewalls. 

However, after the security solutions were implemented, Ashford's team still received notifications of unhealthy chlorine levels in its firm's drinking water. Through phishing scams, the perpetrators were able to manipulate the industrial control system's output and filtration of chlorine. 

While the aforementioned situation was simply a simulation, that doesn't change the fact that Dragonfly is capable of inflicting such damage. Imagine the harm such a terrorist group could cause in this scenario.

Real-world situations 
FierceSmartGrid noted one instance in 2011 in which Dragonfly initiated "Energetic Bear," a kind of attack that leveraged two remote access Trojans. These creations form a kind of bridge between cybercriminals and targeted architectures. Basically, they allowed Dragonfly to insert malware into a U.S. utility's databases. 

The source noted a statement by Symantec, which maintained Dragonfly's initiatives are focused on "extracting and uploading stolen data, installing further malware onto systems and running executable files on infected computers."

It's this particular breed of cybercriminal that has instigated the need for database active monitoring. Maintaining a high level of thorough surveillance at all times is a must, especially for utilities distributing essential resources to consumers.

The post Industrial-grade cyberattacks plague utilities appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Database manufacturers include JSON in latest provisions

Tue, 2014-09-09 10:13

JavaScript Object Notation has been lauded as one of the most easy-to-understand programming languages available, and has been a boon to professionals managing Web-based data. 

Database administration services and Web developers alike favor the language when handling complex information, because it's easy for people to read and write, noted. Programmers are often fans of its affiliations with conventions found in C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python and other code versions. JSON is constructed on two foundations:

  • A list of name/value pairs, which is known in other languages as an object
  • An organized list of values, also called an array

Why add JSON support to databases? 
Unstructured data, a type of information that is ubiquitous in the current Digital Age, needs to be stored in documents, which is exactly how JSON manages data. Many NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, Couchbase and Hadoop abide by this protocol, which has made it a favorite among Web developers, InfoWorld noted. 

In order to compete with such architectures, software giant Oracle added a JSON support to the company's Oracle 12c databases, which were outlined at the NoSQL Now conference in San Jose, California last month. This is a break from the conventional relational database management system architecture, but it's presented as an alternative to PostgreSQL, which has been regarded as the open source alternative to Oracle. 

Is it a valid option? 
Still, DBA services may advise their clients to keep using Oracle 12c for tabular data and conventional NoSQL solutions for semi-structured information. InfoWorld acknowledged how the latter contingency abides by a "scale out" protocol as opposed to a "scale up" approach. 

Scaling out enables NoSQL solutions to leverage commodity servers as a way to enhance performance as opposed to bulking up a massive database server. In addition, the way a document-based database allocates information makes companies highly resistant to failure because the data is distributed across multiple servers. 

When will the day come? 
InfoWorld classified modern databases into three types: 

  • RDBMS, which handle structured data
  • NoSQL, which manage semi-structured information
  • Hadoop, which organizes unstructured data

The source proposed an interesting situation, that all three systems be synchronized into a single solution. JSON could potentially provide a structure for just such a database, but it's unknown whether Oracle, IBM or another tech company would be able to successfully develop it (the profits for said enterprise would be huge).

Yet, it's more likely those in the open source community would manufacture a database capable of seamlessly handling structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. Just look at how monumental Hadoop has been. 

The post Database manufacturers include JSON in latest provisions appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Getting the Whole DB2 package, Additional Services Series Pt. 8 [VIDEO]

Mon, 2014-09-08 14:09


Need to give your databases a boost?

Hi, welcome back to RDX! If your organization's handling large, data-intensive workloads, IBM's DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows is an attractive alternative.

RDX has worked with DB2 since the beginning, and our DB2 solutions are architected to provide a superior level of DB2 database support. From day-to-day operations to strategic decision making, our DB2 solutions arm customers with the experience, skillsets and best practices required to maximize their critical DB2 environments.

RDX also provides support for IBM’s IMS product set which offers the availability, protection, performance and scalability companies need to process online transactions.

Thanks for watching, and be sure to refer to our company resume for more information on our DB2 and IMS services!

The post Getting the Whole DB2 package, Additional Services Series Pt. 8 [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

How REST marries unstructured and structured data

Fri, 2014-09-05 10:19

In regard to big data, the majority of the information produced by enterprises and consumers alike is unstructured, meaning architectures such as MongoDB and Hadoop must be utilized.

This has created a schism between structured and unstructured data. Combining the two requires database administration professionals to query relational and non-relational architectures disparately so that analysis tools can consider the information simultaneously.

Representational state transfer application programming interfaces offer somewhat of a solution to this problem. For those who are unfamiliar with the technology, REST and API are two separate infrastructures. According to TechTarget, the former operates over HTTP to read specific websites containing Extensible Markup Language (XML) files. In turn, APIs provide a set of protocols and tools for building software applications.

Therefore, it can be deduced that REST APIs are utilized to develop programs capable of reading information on Web pages, but how does this impact a DBA’s ability to combine and process both unstructured and structured data?

First, it’s important to scrutinize what REST is typically used for. TechTarget noted the architecture is used to provide functionality to social networking channels, mobile applications and business process automation. On the surface level, it would appear skillful database experts would program REST APIs to segregate information the same way Hadoop does and organize them into relational databases, but given the availability of the open source project, doing so isn’t necessarily practical.

A shot of Espresso 
One startup in Silicon Valley claims to have found a solution to this conundrum. Database Trends and Applications noted Espresso Logic created a new program that combines big data and SQL information into one cohesive REST API for fabricating the backbone of Web and mobile software.

The REST API provides professionals with real-time access to MongoDB and SQL databases and eliminates the need to replicate data across sources. Security and business logic, two essentials in today’s IT economy, are included as a part of the package.

“This is our attempt to allow companies to join this data together in a common API. People can do that manually but it takes a very long time. This is basically point and click in most cases, and in some cases writing just a few lines of JavaScript code is all it takes,” said Espresso Logic CEO R. Paul Singh, as quoted by the source.

For analysis’s sake, developers could use Espresso Logic’s solution to aggregate and process information much faster than they could before.

The post How REST marries unstructured and structured data appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Throw Away Out-of-the-Box Monitoring Solutions, Additional Services Series Pt. 7 [VIDEO]

Fri, 2014-09-05 08:24


Welcome to RDX. Today, we're going to talk about how we deploy our non-database server monitoring program. What's a non-DB server? The machines that run your enterprise applications, handle network connections and perform other critical functions.

When customizing server monitoring solutions, we follow a five-step process:

One: Understand each customer’s unique monitoring needs
Two: Identify critical monitoring parameters
Three: Develop thresholds, goals and objectives
Four: Develop and document monitoring, remediation and escalation procedures
Five: Monitor and adjust the strategy as necessary

RDX dedicates an entire team who are responsible for creating, implementing and enhancing a strategic blueprint for the proactive monitoring and trouble-shooting methods required to prevent availability and performance problems before they occur.

Companies employing RDX to support their environments do not have to spend the additional monies required to create a proactive monitoring environment.

Thanks for watching!

The post Throw Away Out-of-the-Box Monitoring Solutions, Additional Services Series Pt. 7 [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Access Your Data Sources by Opening the GoldenGate: Additional Services Series Pt. 6 [VIDEO]

Wed, 2014-09-03 12:01


In order to analyze your data in real-time, you need an architecture that operates at the same pace.

Hi and welcome to RDX! If you're using multiple database systems to store your information, you know how much of a pain it is to combine all that data.

For this reason, RDX offers expertise and support for GoldenGate. GoldenGate provides data capture, replication, transformations and authorization between heterogeneous sources.

This means information stored in PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, and several other systems can be seamlessly aggregated in a single instance. Capturing and delivering data has never been easier!

Thanks for watching! Be sure to join us next time.

The post Access Your Data Sources by Opening the GoldenGate: Additional Services Series Pt. 6 [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Remote Support for Windows/UNIX/LINUX: Additional Services Series Pt. 5 [VIDEO]

Fri, 2014-08-29 06:17


When outsourcing your operating system support, you want to know that you have expert professionals with knowledge of all your platforms handling your data. At RDX, that’s something you don’t have to worry about.

Welcome back to our Additional Services series!

Whether you use Windows, UNIX or LINUX systems, we support anything and everything an admin does onsite remotely. Our Windows OS tech support includes hardware selection, monitoring and tuning, among many others. We assume total ownership of everything: your server’s security, performance, availability and improvement, and we understand the mutually dependent OS/DB relationship that affects all these things. The same things goes with UNIX and LINUX.

Financially, you pay a single bill for both database and OS support services, and you only pay for the services you need, when you need them.

For more details on our extensive operating system support services, follow the link below. We’ll see you next time!

The post Remote Support for Windows/UNIX/LINUX: Additional Services Series Pt. 5 [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Part Two

Fri, 2014-08-29 01:34

Part One outlined the histories and basic foundations of PostgreSQL and MySQL, respectively.

In Part Two, we'll focus on the benefits of using both of these structures and how remote DBA professionals use them to perform mission-critical functions for enterprises.

What is a relational database management system?
Before going into further detail on PostgreSQL and MySQL, it's important to define what RDMS is, as both of these systems subscribe to this model. According to DigitalOcean, RDMS stores information by identifying related pieces of data to form comprehensive sets, or schemas. The tables are easily queried by data analysts, applications and other entities because they are made of columns defined by attributes held in rows.

MySQL: Support, advantages and drawbacks

As Carla Schroder of OpenLogic noted, MySQL is a solid choice for IT professionals working with Web architectures. It's capable of organizing unstructured information, such as the kind of data found on Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia (all of which are powered by MySQL). DigitalOcean asserted the platform possesses sound security functions for data access and tasks that are easy to perform.

As for the disadvantages, the latter source acknowledged MySQL can sanction read tasks really well but falls somewhat short when it comes to read-write. In addition, the platform lacks a full-text search component.

PostgreSQL: Support, advantages and drawbacks
DigitalOcean maintained PostgreSQL can handle a large variety of responsibilities

quite efficiently due to its high programmability and ACID compliance. Users can implement custom procedures, a few of which can be developed to simplify intricate, common database administration operations. Because it works objectively, it can support nesting and other powerful features. Complex, customized tasks can be easily implemented and deployed.

What are its shortcomings? For one thing, it's difficult for people to find hosting services for PostgreSQL because of the sheer amount of variations. Also, its read-heavy operations can be "overkill" as DigitalOcean described it.

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Oracle EBS Techno Functional Support: Additional Services Series Pt. 4 [VIDEO]

Thu, 2014-08-28 13:37


Welcome back to our Additional Services series. Today we’re highlighting our Oracle EBS Techno Functional Support, a feature we offer to help customers to make sure their Oracle applications are running properly.

At RDX we offer full Oracle EBS support from

a team of experts, ensuring your mission-critical environments are available 24×7. Our team helps you customize your applications to meet business needs, and even provides advice about the best features to use so you can take advantage of advanced functionality. When problems do occur, RDX assigns experts to work Severity 1 issues around the clock.

Our dedicated EBS experts have cross-functional experience and adhere to industry best practices. We’ll also assign project managers to ensure we are on time and on budget with projects.

For more information on the full breadth of our Oracle EBS techno functional support, follow the link below! We’ll see you next time.

The post Oracle EBS Techno Functional Support: Additional Services Series Pt. 4 [VIDEO] appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Part One

Thu, 2014-08-28 11:50

PostgreSQL and MySQL are both recognized as the world's most popular open source database architectures, but there are some key differences between the two.

Database administration professionals often favor both environments for their raw, customizable formats. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, open source means the code used to create these architectures is divulged to the public, allowing IT experts of every ilk to reconstruct the program to fit specific needs. While MySQL and PostgreSQL are similar in this respect, there are some key differences.

A quick history: PostgreSQL

Carla Schroder, a contributor to OpenLogic, acknowledged PostgreSQL as the older solution, having been developed at the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. Thousands of enthusiasts from around the world have participated in the development and support of this architecture. DigitalOcean labeled the solution an objective relational database management system capable of handling mission-critical applications and high-frequency transactions. Here are some other notable traits:

  • Fully complaint with atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability
  • Uses Keberos and OpenSSL for robust protection features
  • Point-in-time recovery enables users to implement warm standby servers for quick failover

A quick history: MySQL
As for MySQL, Schroder noted this particular system is about nine years younger than its predecessor

– having been created by MySQL AB in 1994. It provides a solid foundation for Web developers, as it's part of a software bundle comprised of Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL and PHP. MySQL was first blueprinted to be a reliable Web server backend because it used an expedited indexed sequential access method. Over the years, experts have revised MySQL to support a variety of other storage engines, such as the MEMORY architecture that provides temporary tables.

Although open sourced, because it isn't community-based some versions (all of which are now owned and distributed by Oracle) cost a small amount of capital.

Part Two will dig deeper into these two architectures, describing use cases, their respective capabilities and more.

The post PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Part One appeared first on Remote DBA Experts.

Taking a proactive approach to database security

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:09

The three V's of big data – volume, variety and velocity – are causing vexing issues for database security teams. 

Administrators are responsible for carrying out a number of essential tasks, such as:

  • Improving the performance of Hadoop, MySQL, NoSQL and other complex architectures
  • Allowing data analysts to access these environments to scrutinize information 
  • Assigning access permission and privileges 
  • Monitoring interactions and instances in real time 

The era of big data requires professionals to carry out these responsibilities proactively, devoid of hazard. Conducting surveillance is arguably the most essential task DBAs need to perform.

ESecurity Planet contributor Jeff Goldman noted many security breaches are caused by a lack of availability. Employing tools that actively seek inconsistencies and infiltration attempts is a strong approach, but if a company doesn't have the professionals on deck to assess such issues, information could be lost or stolen. 

Goldman noted Target's experts received numerous warnings before the headline-making breach occurred, but they didn't have the resources or time required to mitigate any problems. The amount of data they were required to manage hindered them from acknowledging a critical issue. 

Relieving stress 

It's this kind of situation that prompts businesses to outsource to companies that provide database active monitoring. As opposed to leaving a team of two dozen administrators to struggle with information management, enterprises can benefit from the resources of an entire organization. 

Remote database support groups dedicate not only software, but entire teams of professionals that proactively search for problems residing in complex architectures. Such experts have the resources to take the following measures:

  • Program and develop customized surveillance tools designed to cater to specific customer needs
  • Consult a comprehensive library of complex problems and solutions that can be applied to resolve them
  • Implement surveillance programs that abide by standards defined by HIPAA, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Payment Card Industry regulations
  • Network internally to resolve intricate issues as a team

Collecting external data
The Guardian referenced a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which surveyed 10,000 employees to figure out how businesses were collecting social data. The research discovered younger people were more than happy to share such information, meaning enterprises are going to be aggregating more unstructured information, such as:

  • Comments on Facebook
  • Photo shares on Instagram
  • Videos through YouTube

Enterprises will likely want to process the intelligence in real-time, putting pressure on in-house

teams to sanction protected communications and effectively organize data in environments such as Hadoop and NoSQL. 

If businesses want to benefit from scrutinizing social information, they need the attention outsourced DBAs can provide. For more information on database active monitoring, read this white paper. 

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