Category Archives: Hardware

Bring Your Own Disgruntlement: the New Meaning of BYOD

BYOD

This article will cover the following:

  • Introduction – BYOD vs. BYOB
  • Bring Your Own Platform
  • Bring Your Own Disgruntlement
  • Atmosphere of Honesty
  • Welcome to On-Call Nation
  • Conclusion – Plug BYOD Leakage

Introduction – BYOD vs. BYOB

Bring your own device sounds innocuous enough. Typically shortened to BYOD, it’s the computing version of BYOB. Sure, in many cases you have to foot the cost of the phone yourself, and no one likes that. However, you have the freedom to choose whatever phone you want, just like you can bring whatever beverages you want to a BYOB party.

That’s typically where the analogy ends. After all, we aren’t talking about beer here. We’re talking about mobile devices that collect big data based off our use. More than that, we’re talking about a blurring of the line between business and personal. Workers have had enough.

Bring Your Own Platform

I have referenced the rise of the third platform – especially as it’s expressed via Mark Neistat for the computing professional association Technology First – repeatedly in this blog. The report describes the third platform, considered to be the next major computing environment following a 20-year reign by personal computing, which was in turn preceded by mainframe computing.

As Neistat stresses, although there are three other core components of the third platform – cloud systems, social media, and data analytics – mobile computing is the centerpiece. Cell phones and tablets are the tools often used to access the other three technologies. The nature of the device is often based on the individual preference of the worker through a BYOD policy.

In other words, BYOD is a debate that’s pivotal to a changing web. How big is mobile? Many experts have forecast that by 2015, more people will get online via mobile than via a PC.

Bring Your Own Disgruntlement

Ostensibly, BYOD is about freedom. At least that’s part of how a “bring your own” policy is often framed. However, stories from both of the coasts suggests that these policies can damage careers and leave employees feeling like they are being watched by the all-seeing Eye of Providence. Two Manhattan financial professionals were sacked for failing to notify IT immediately of mobile device theft. In California, a GPS tracking app enabled a law firm’s CIO to monitor the movements of attorneys 24/7, revealing that one associate was running off to hit the links frequently during the business day.

Tom Kaneshige discusses BYOD backlash in a November 7 report for CIO. Tom mentions that although we don’t have information on how many people have been hurt, “there’s simply no denying a slowdown of companies adopting formal BYOD policies.”

Tom notes that central to the BYOD debate is concern with personal privacy. Although the issue is valid, sometimes industry thought leaders become either excessively paranoid about purported threats. Tom gave the example of Yaacov Cohen, the chief executive of collaborative software-as-a-service firm Harmon.ie. Cohen said that Apple Pay and other virtual wallet applications thwart the “bring your own” movement because no one wants their business’s IT staff to see all their purchases. However, that type of software has protections in place that would disallow IT access.

Atmosphere of Honesty

The fact that your coworkers can’t access your transactional data may sound comforting, but BYOD isn’t about technical specifications, says Cohen. Instead, it’s about honesty.

Essentially, employees don’t want to be told their employer has initiated BYOD to make their lives easier, then misuse GPS or usage information – such as apps downloaded or browser history. No one wants to be accosted by a manager with kind words about their fight against cancer when the source of information is a cancer-themed app kept on a phone.

Developers are figuring out ways to create demarcation between company and personal environments on mobile. However, these efforts don’t resolve employee fears. After all, writes Tom, “We live in an age of conspiracy where our private information is bartered with.” The computing professionals at any organization first and foremost represent the enterprise, not their coworkers. In some cases, their advice can (and should) be difficult to believe.

Welcome to On-Call Nation

Another reason people hate the BYOD movement is that they don’t want to be accessible at all hours, which accelerates stress – as evidenced by a poll of hundreds of tech pros by TEKsystems.

Usability is also a concern. It can become clunkier to operate on mobile when enterprise safeguards and administrative capabilities are involved. Developers are at work on solutions that would push hassle and sophistication to the server side.

To make matters even dicier in the BYOD arena, though, a California Court of Appeals decision dictates that cell phone work calls must be paid by the employer. As Tom reports, “The US justice system has just waded into BYOD’s already murky waters.”

Conclusion – Plug BYOD Leakage

Another growing trend is “shadow BYOD,” in which workers use mobile even though it’s not allowed. A shadow environment represents vulnerability for leakage.

Protecting all your devices can be tricky, but we have you covered on the backend with cloud servers run in our SSAE 16 certified data centers. Mike Belton comments on our support: “I’ve been with Superb for a long time, and I have never been disappointed by the technical services staff.”

By Kent Roberts

Open Compute – The Future of Server Design?

In the tech industry, everybody likes to talk about the future. It’s been happening for a long, long time, at least since the 1960s. It was then that, after looking at historical computer processor data, Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore created Moore’s Law, which predicted that the number of transistors hardware manufacturers could squeeze onto a CPU would double roughly every two years. Though it may be partly due to the fact that semiconductor producers like Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm have used it in their long-term planning and R&D targeting, Moore’s Law has largely held true for the roughly $250 billion semiconductor industry.

And then there’s cloud computing.

The concept of storing information in what we today refer to as cloud servers has actually been around for decades. It wasn’t until around 2008 that cloud services began gaining in popularity, though. If you can recall what things were like waaaaay back in the latter half of the two thousand-aughts, then you probably remember every tech expert under the sun predicting that the cloud (we swear that is not a weather pun) was poised to take off in a big way. Well, they were right. Individuals, businesses and other entities use the cloud for a multitude of services these days. In fact, it’s become so ubiquitous that some consumers don’t even stop to realize that they’re taking advantage of cloud resources. All the while, here at Superb Internet, we’ve been strengthening our high-tech, fully HVAC-controlled cloud network that allows our customers to get affordable, reliable and scalable cloud instances all of their own.

It’s safe to say then, that the cloudy forecast (we swear that is a weather-related pun) for the future of the tech world has come to fruition. Finding itself in 2014, the IT industry is, as usual, again talking about the future. Specifically, there have been a lot of conversations among experts about the potential future of server hardware design thanks to a little project some guys working for Mark Zuckerberg came up with between 2009 and 2011 – right around when the cloud was hitting its stride!

Continue reading Open Compute – The Future of Server Design?

Why Your Company’s Mobile Device Management Strategy Should Focus on Data First and Devices Second

We talk a lot about data around here, and for good reason. We’re a data hosting company. Data storage, management, monitoring and fast and reliable access is what we do. If you want your data stored in a colocation facility with state-of-the-art hardware and HVAC controls that’s staffed by highly qualified data operators, you know to turn to Superb. If you need your website hosted in the cloud where it’ll be safe, available and scalable whenever you need it to be, you know to turn to Superb. Basically if you need a data solution, you need us.

Point being, we’re almost always thinking about data first at Superb – but not everyone does. What are we talking about? Let’s go back to a long time ago in an office setting far, far away. Well, actually, let’s not go back that long or search that far, at all. Let’s think about how things used to be in your office just several years back. As Tech Target alludes, it was then and there that users had a somewhat different workspace setup than they likely have today. Heck, the whole office was probably different, and so was out-of-office work and communications. Things were just…different back then, remember?

Everybody probably had a desktop computer at their workstation, for starters. On top of that, maybe some key personnel had a bulky laptop that they would lug around to sales calls, conventions and maybe even a meeting or two here and there. And if you were really on top of your game you even had a BlackBerry to help you check your email on the road or at home. How novel!

Continue reading Why Your Company’s Mobile Device Management Strategy Should Focus on Data First and Devices Second

Xen vs. OpenVZ & Shoelaces vs. Velcro

OpenVZ

One of the types of hosting we offer is the virtualized private server, or VPS. This three-part series will look at how two different virtualization systems, OpenVZ and Xen, compare. Note that we use OpenVZ for a number of different reasons, which we will cover briefly in the conclusion to the series, but our general assessment will look at the two platforms from various angles.

We will draw primarily from discussion by Scott Yang of HostingFu, VPS6.net via HostingDiscussion.com, and Steven from The Linux Fix. Citing general advice sources will allow us to talk openly about the subject so you can determine what virtual environment makes the most sense for you.

Shoelaces and Velcro create a similar conundrum for business people, so I’ll also cover that debate. Shoelaces, as we all know, are a terrible idea. They are constantly coming untied. Tying your shoe involves making these two loops and twisting them around each other, whether they want to be twisted or not. It’s aggressive, forceful, and complicated – very similar to punk square dancing. Velcro, though, is seen by many key influencers as a more efficient and sophisticated way to tighten your shoes.
Continue reading Xen vs. OpenVZ & Shoelaces vs. Velcro

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 3

 

Virtual Private Network site to site and from ...

As we learned in the first two parts of this miniseries comparing colocation to dedicated server leasing, the difference between the two is owning versus renting. You can’t always lease or rent a product. For instance, ice cream cones can only be rented in Arkansas, South Dakota, and Hawaii. Larger items such as cars or homes can be rented worldwide, though; the same is true of dedicated servers (colocation versus leasing).

We are assessing ideas pertaining to the debate between the two options from several advice sites, primarily Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. We started with a general rundown of the differences between the two, then moved into stronger arguments. Both of the arguments, from the latter two sources above, side with colocation – which notably gives you more control but has additional upfront expense.

Our main concern is with web servers, but we also wanted to provide pluses and minuses related to home ownership and rental. Let’s explore the subject of pets with regards to housing. Pet owners love renting especially because it is an opportunity to prove to themselves how much they love their animals. If you can find the right landlord, you may be able to pay upwards of $1000 for security deposits for your two Irish setter-bloodhound-chihuahua-St. Bernard mutts. Your dogs don’t understand money, but that doesn’t mean they won’t chew through one of the walls or attack your appliances.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 3

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 2

 

¿Qué es el Web Hosting?

As discussed in the first part of this series, choosing whether to own or rent is sometimes a challenge to determine. With some products, you have to buy. For instance, underwear only comes as a rental in Belgium, South Korea, and Nauru. More sizable and sophisticated products, though, are available to lease or own worldwide. Dedicated servers are one example of the latter, with the options to use colocation (at a datacenter or web host) or to lease with a hosting service.

This series looks at colocation versus leasing, using thoughts from Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. The first installment focused on the basics. This part and the next one get a little more opinionated, with both of the perspectives I’m citing arguing for colocation (which is an easy argument because you get to build the server, but the investment and expertise required to do so may not be for you).

Beyond dedicated server leasing and colocation, we are also assessing different ways to approach housing: renting versus owning. One great thing about owning a house is that you get to do the yardwork. Yardwork is fun, no matter what your immediate instincts might tell you. For example, you might think, “I have better things to do than pick up sticks and leaves all day,” or “I am horribly allergic to my yard.” You know what, though? Being active by walking around with a rake in the hot sun is healthy.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 2