Christmas in July

Monday, 25 July, 2016

 

Christmas in July

 

Christmas in JULY is HERE!

Get 90 Days of Training for $49.95That’s right – 90 Day Access to over 150 Courses for ONLY $49.95!

Are you ready to master new skills and take on new challenges? Its Simple, Easy and AMAZING. Learn Linux, Perl, Python, C, Java, Android, iOS, Oracle, SAP BusinessObjects, ITIL, ISO 20000, COBIT 5, Data Center Infrastructure Management and much more.

To View the Entire Catalog Here

To Purchase this AMAZING Deal Click HERE!

Grab this deal before July 31, 2016!

 

What do you get?

When you purchase 90 Days of Training for only $49.95 (List Price $4,425) you will receive a Deluxe Site Pass that gives you access to every deluxe course on the site.  This includes over 150 courses (CSAM, CMAM and CHAMP not included).  With each course you will receive all instructor-led recorded videos.  Instructors are top experts who work and teach in their area of expertise.  You will receive course materials, exercise guides, lab guides, sample exams, quiz modules, course transcripts to track your progress and Certificates of Completion to show off your accomplishments!  To Purchase this AMAZING Deal Click HERE!

 

How the 90 Days of Training Pass Works?

When you Click Here and Purchase a GogoTraining Customer Service Representative will place your 90 Day Access Pass in your account within 24 hours.

The Pass comes with every course in the GogoTraining library except CSAM, CMAM and CHAMP.  View Full GogoTraining Course library.

When you Click Here and Purchase, you will have 90 days of unlimited access to every deluxe course on the site.

When you are ready to start a course, go to the site, login and then select the course you would like to take from the GogoTraining Course library.

 

Courses Include: 

Course Videos, Course Materials, Exercise Guides, Lab Guides, Sample Exams, Quiz Modules, Course Transcripts and Certificates of Completion.

This offer is valid through July 31, 2016.  This offer may not be combined with other offers.  Get Your 90 Day Access Pass Today!

If you have any questions or we can help in any way, email GogoTraining at,customerservice@gogotraining.com or call us at 877.546.4446.

 

 

How to get certified in IT Asset Management for just $2/day?

Thursday, 7 July, 2016

IT Asset Management

What is IT Asset Management and why is it important

“An Investment in Knowledge pays the best interest”

Information Technology industry is the epitome of this famous quote by Benjamin Franklin.

Highly accomplished individuals in IT industry consider “Investment in knowledge and skill sets” the most critical factors that differentiate them from the rest of hard working IT professionals.

Investing in knowledge and getting certified in a specific domain helps you achieve the next career break. It sets the pace for career growth and enhances earning capability. One such Certification that is setting people apart these days and helping to grow their professional careers is IT Asset Management.

IT Asset Management certifications are among those that help you get more out of your professional career. Created by IAITAM and Certified by APMG, these certifications help you gain professional credence and recognition in the field of IT Asset management.

Before proceeding to various aspects of IT Asset Management certifications, let us first understand what IT Asset management is and why it is important for organizations:

Consider three examples of usage and management of IT assets in an organization:

  1. A company bought “free” seats of software from a database and application vendor in anticipation of using them for future requirements. The company never installed the software, but it pays 22% as maintenance fee to the vendor.
  2. A Company X had purchased a single license of desktop productivity software but installed it on every employee’s PC.
  3. Production platform of a company was distributed across hundreds of servers. The company had purchased only one license of software driver, however the new IT manager realized that the single license was being used across all servers.

These are handful of examples of mismanagement of IT assets. The legal and the financial implications of such instances are huge for any organization. Centrix Software has stated that 75% of the purchased enterprise software remains unutilized. According to another survey, the US-UK server market wasted around $15 billion per year, and that is a three-year-old data. Most of customers buy Visio and Publisher as part of Microsoft Office 365, but never used them.

This is where the role of IT Asset managers comes into picture. IT Asset management ensures that all valuable items or assets are both used and accounted for. If a company owns or leases IT Assets, they should know where it is, whether it is being used, and if it maintained appropriately. According to Gartner, organizations have achieved 30% cost savings in the first year of ITAM implementation and around 5% cost saving in each subsequent year. This is a huge saving for organizations of any size.

You may think “What is the need of IT Asset Management? Can’t I instead use spreadsheet to store and access this information?”

True! If you are a sole proprietor or a micro business you may consider using excel sheet to manage your IT assets. But, as you grow and scale your business, you can ignore asset management only if you like crisis and litigations. For larger organizations with hundreds of thousands of machines, software, servers, and other assets, spreadsheet is not viable. Such companies must use sophisticated IT Asset management software and hire skilled and certified IT Asset management professionals to meet emerging challenges in a dynamic IT environment.

In a nut shell, the IT Asset management can help you determine the following:

  • The number of Systems & Equipment that exist in an organization
  • Their components
  • Where are they
  • When they were purchased/leased
  • How much they cost
  • Their expiry date, if applicable
  • What is the impact they have on overall IT services

In addition to this, IT Asset managers also deal with contract management, finance, software licenses, and negotiations with various parties as and when required.

IT Asset Management (ITAM) Certification

The practice of IT Asset management has been adopted by most of the companies across the world.

Following factors have led to steep demand of highly skilled and specialized IT Asset managers:

  • Ever increasing growth in IT expenditure
  • Growing availability of IT functions as a service
  • Increase in licensing pressure around the globe and
  • Strict regulatory requirements

Growing complexity of IT asset management field requires that IT asset managers constantly upgrade their strategic planning skills and become more specialized.

ITAM Certification courses prepare individuals to meet the emerging challenges in IT Asset Management field. Based on the nature of assets, there are three type of certifications provided by IAITAM, namely CSAM (Certified Software Asset Manager), CHAMP (Certified Hardware Management Professionals) and CMAM (Certified Mobile Asset Managers). In the next section we will discuss each of these certifications in detail.  (Note: IAITAM offers more certification courses like CAMP, CITAD, CITAM, and Recertification, however, the three most popular certifications are discussed here).

 Who should get certified in IT Asset Management?

Anyone who works on any of the following business areas can be certified:

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Procurement/Sourcing/Acquisition
  • Legal, Audit or Negotiating Teams, etc.

What are the benefits of IT Asset management certifications for individuals?

Investment in ITAM training and certification can pay you rich dividends over a period of time. This could be one of the best decisions that you would make for your career. Let us see why:

IAITAM certified asset managers are recognized worldwide. There are several roles that require IAITAM certifications for candidates who are willing to apply, and without asset management certifications, you will not be eligible to apply.  Demand for individuals with IT Asset Management Certification grows daily, and job openings in large IT firms reveals that almost all big IT companies have made IAITAM certification mandatory. The salary of IAITAM certified individuals are 30% higher than noncertified professionals working in the same role.

According to an “Indeed” survey, IAITAM certified individuals earned an average salary of $130,000 in 2014. And, this is expected to increase further in 2016 given the high demand and relatively fewer supply of IAITAM certified professionals. Professionals with IT Asset Management certifications also have the option to become IAITAM members and take advantage of a global network of skilled individuals and IT leaders.

What are the benefits of ITAM certifications for Organizations?

Investment in IT Assets is the second largest expenditure for most of the organizations. Apart from a significant monetary investment, there are critical risks associated with the usage of IT assets. IAITAM certified professionals can benefit organizations in the following ways:

  • Better management and significant cost savings on IT Assets – It directly impacts the bottom line
  • Reducing the compliance and regulatory risks
  • Significant Saving on penalties due to software audits
  • BYOD (Bring your own device) is rising across the world. There is a huge inherent risk associated with this trend. ITAM can reduce such risks drastically.
  • Better management and disposal of retired IT assets
  • Establishing software license agreements, optimum level of maintenance agreements and negotiating better terms and price.

The IT Asset Management certifications include

CSAM Certification

IAITAM Certified Software Asset Management (CSAM) deals with the management of software assets in an organization. Companies that manage their software assets efficiently can avoid unpleasant audit and budgetary surprises. The pricing model of software is getting increasingly complex. For example, a well-known software company uses “a nuclear option” in its license agreement to generate more sales and revenue from their cloud products. “Nuclear option” refers to a “breach notice”. The company sells software licenses under complex legal conditions. Variety of metrics such as the number of users and various features of the software that are being used, determine the final price of the software. The company makes it extremely easier for admins to turn on new features or add new users and then pay for increased usage. This happens through software audits. In this particular case, if a customer is not using software asset management then they can end up paying much higher than what they had planned for the software. The same is true for other software vendors as well.

The CSAM course prepares candidates to manage such situations effectively. It includes software licensing, finance, contract management, resource budgeting, strategic planning, and negotiation. This course also incorporates the knowledge of ever changing and dynamic variables that occur frequently in this field. You don’t need to have any work experience in software asset management to attend this course.

Training Cost

The training cost of CSAM course varies with CSAM certification training providers. While Classroom courses can cost you several thousands of dollars, online CSAM certification training provides more flexibility and is highly affordable. The cost of CSAM training online is only $2 per day.

GogoTraining is the only training organization accredited by APMG that offers online CSAM training. At a cost of $2 a day, and expert and efficient trainers with years of domain experience, GogoTraining is the perfect choice for those who want a cost efficient and flexible training program.

Exam fee

The cost of CSAM exam is $350, which is negligible when it comes to the career opportunities the course offers.

Exam Criteria and Rules

  • 100 Multiple Choice Questions per paper – Each question carries 1 mark
  • 85 Marks required to pass
  • Duration – 3 hours
  • Open Book exam
  • The result will be available immediately after the exam
  • Those who fail to get pass status in the first attempt will be allowed to retake the test for free – The retest must be completed during 28 days’ period

CHAMP Certification

Course

The IAITAM certified CHAMP (Hardware Asset Management Professional) course deals with the management of IT hardware assets. The scope of this course goes beyond the ‘cradle to grave’ analogy. That means it doesn’t only teach the best use of hardware assets until their disposal, but also discusses the best practices that can be adopted to manage those assets efficiently and cost effectively.

Like CSAM course, you don’t need to have any prior experience in Hardware asset management to participate this course. The course includes licensing, contract management, finance, resource planning, and strategic planning.

Training Cost

You can do CHAMP certification course online at just $2 per day with GogoTraining. It is that cost effective! The best feature of our course is that you get to learn it from the best in the industry, from those who have decades of hands on experience in IT asset management and have trained thousands of professionals who have not only cleared their certifications but also got jobs with top multinational companies.

It is one of the useful courses that provides you the opportunity to learn from the best and a cost that cannot be offered by anyone else except for GogoTraining.

For more details visit https://gogotraining.com/training/courses/266/certified-hardware-asset-management-professional-champ/

Exam fee

The cost of CHAMP Certification exam is $350.

Exam Criteria and Rules

  • 100 Multiple Choice Questions per paper – Each question carries 1 mark
  • 85 Marks required to pass
  • Duration – 3 hours
  • Open Book exam
  • The result will be available immediately after the exam
  • Those who fail to get pass status in the first attempt will be allowed to retake the test for free – The retest must be completed during the 28 days’ period

CMAM Certification

Course

The CMAM (Certified Mobility Asset Management) course deals with the management of mobile devices in an organization. Any organization has two type of mobile devices – corporate owned and BYOD-based (Bring your own device). Recently, proliferation of both type of devices has created a high degree of complexity in the IT asset management. Organizations have to consistently deal with inherent risks associated with their mobile devices whether they are BYOD-based or corporate owned.

CMAM Course consists of modules related to policies, personnel and processes – Key elements of an IT environment. The course is designed for professionals who have responsibility of managing mobile devices in an organization. It teaches the skills and knowledge required to reduce the risk associated with mobility. It also prepares students for using the mobile assets efficiently and effectively, which will ultimately impact the bottom line of an organization positively. This will also help you in creating implementation approaches where mobile devices play a significant role.

You can take the online exam within 28 days of the completion of the course. Once you secure pass marks, you will be awarded Certified Asset Management Professional status.

Training Cost

The cost of CMAM certification training course, if completed through GogoTraining, is a mere $2 per day. It is an online course where you have the flexibility of studying at any time and from anywhere. GogoTraining employs IAITAM Certified Instructors and its platform allows students to ask direct questions to the instructors.  Even though it is online, students get to communicate with the instructors directly using the online Question and Answer forum.  Also, GogoTraining is the only accredited training institute that offers online course for this IT Asset certification, which means you will be trained at the only official certification partner, by trainers with high credibility, and at a cost that is very low.

Exam fee

The cost of CMAM exam fee is $350. This fee amount is negligible if you compare it with the high salaries that CMAM certified professionals get.

Exam Criteria and Rules

  • 100 Multiple Choice Questions per paper – Each question carries 1 mark
  • 85 Marks required to pass
  • Duration – 3 hours
  • Open Book exam
  • The result will be available immediately after the exam
  • Those who fail to get pass status in the first attempt will be allowed to retake the test for free – The retest must be completed during the 28 days’ period

Why Enroll to Online Training Program

GogoTraining is the only APMG accredited training provider with online course content. Our online training exceeds the quality of any classroom programs. It offers you the flexibility to learn at your pace, from the most efficient and experienced trainers, and complete the course for the lowest fee offered by any of the authorized training institutes.  And, you also get to ask direct questions to the instructors.

How to get IT Asset Management exams Coupon Code

The total cost of an online course and exam is $1080. But, if you enroll for both together, you have to pay only $975 instead of $1080. Also, enrolling for a classroom course and exam costs around $1900. Instead, with GogoTraining, your cost would be just $975! If you have made up your mind, contact us at customerservice@gogotraining.com and we will send you the link to enroll for the course and exam at $975.

It’s Time to Kick Start Your Career!

Wednesday, 15 June, 2016
Summer-Background-Wallpapers

 

Kick Off your Summer by taking courses designed to teach you new skills and help you achieve key certifications at HUGE Summer Savings.

 

The Summer Savings Package gives you the option of selecting a 3 Course Deal for $295 (saving you up to $1,490) or a 6 Course Deal for $495 (which saves you up to $3,075).

 

How It Works?

When you purchase the 3 Course Deal you receive 3 course vouchers.  When you purchase the 6 Course Deal you receive 6 course vouchers.  With these vouchers you have total flexibility.  Select the courses you need, when you need them.  Vouchers never expire.  Are you ready to kick start your career and…

 

Select Either a  3 Course Package for  $295 or a 6 Course Package for $495

 

Get all the training you need to add key credentials to your resume and get yourself positioned for your next career move.  To get started click on the 3 Course Package or the 6 Course Package. Once purchased you can select the courses you need to kick start your career!

 

How This Promotion Works?

  • You have the option of selecting a 3 course pass or a 6 course pass.
  • The 3 Course package will place 3 Course Vouchers in your account.
  • The 6 Course package will place 6 Course Vouchers in your account.
  • Vouchers never expire.
  • Once a voucher is used to purchase a course, the course is available for viewing for 1 year.
  • CSAM, CMAM and CHAMP courses are not included in this offer.
  • Course access if for 1 year and the 1 year starts on the day the voucher is used.
  • This promotion cannot be combined with other promotional offers.

 

Have a Question?  Contact customerservice@gogotraining.com Today!

 

 

ITIL Certification: A comprehensive Guide for Individuals and Organizations

Monday, 9 May, 2016

 

The best performing professionals in the IT industry are passionate about learning. Technology is changing rapidly and it is difficult to keep up with the pace of that change. Also, the rapid changes in environment necessitate change in people. Continuous education is imperative to bring the necessary change.  Top performers understand the need for consistent learning and this is what enables them to have a successful career in IT industry.

Satya Nadella, in his first email to employees after becoming the CEO at Microsoft, wrote,“Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.” This powerful statement summarizes the usefulness of acquiring new skills and certifications.

ITIL certification is one such certification.  IT professionals who want to advance their career must pursue ITIL certification.  Being ITIL certified results inhigher salaries and career advancement.   In this article we will take you through various aspects of ITIL certifications to help you better understand the opportunities that lie ahead once you get ITIL certified.

What is ITIL?

A few decades ago, Information Technology was complex and expensive and only skilled professionals understood it. People with great technical expertise used to be part of IT departments and they were the ones who consulted businesses on the IT system and components. Unfortunately, very few of them had a sound understanding of what businesses really needed. This wasn’t the only problem. Large IT organizations were merely managing technology rather than providing services.

The development of the ITIL framework led to the standardization of IT processes. This was the time when IT companies shifted their focus on providing services to their customers rather than just managing technology. ITIL laid a strong emphasis on standardization of processes which helped IT companies in two ways:

  1. Improving the quality of services
  2. Reducing the cost of service delivery

It also reduced the dependencies of the advice of the IT professionals in the business and commercial matters and it bridged the gap between technology and business considerably. IT companies became more efficient and effective whenever they adopted ITIL processes. For example

  • Implementing incident management helped in resolving incidents quickly at low costs (they needed fewer resources to resolve incidents)
  • Introducing capacity management that meant that the IT infrastructure was less expensive and more responsive to business demand

A brief History of ITIL

Before explaining details of ITIL certifications, let us have a look at a brief history of ITIL:

                           Year                                                Activity
                          1980s CCTA developed a practical framework for “identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services to the business.” ITIL was a library of books – Information Technology Infrastructure Library – that discussed specific IT service management (ITSM) best practices, based on recommendations from the CCTA.
                      1986-96 Initial publication of Version 1 of ITIL consisted of 30 plus volumes
                      1/1/2000 ITIL Version 2 had eight sets of books that grouped related process guidelines for the various aspects of IT, namely services, applications, and management.
                         2007 ITIL Version 3 (ITIL V3 also known as ITIL 2007)consisted of 26 functions and processes that were contained in five core publications namely, Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operations, and Continual Service Improvement.
                         2011 ITIL 2011 edition defined the formal processes that were not defined earlier and rectified various errors and inconsistencies that had crept in over the years.ITIL 2011 continues to be in use today.

ITIL Certifications Overview and Credit System

ITIL credit system follows a modular system where you receive credits on completion of each module. The credits earned become qualifying criteria for next module.

ITIL

 

ITIL Foundation – ITIL foundation deals with key concepts, elements and terminology of ITIL services lifecycle management. The first level of ITIL certification with 40 multiple choice question. There is no prerequisite to undertake this certification. It awards 2 credits to successful candidates. No prerequisites are required to take this examination.

ITIL Practitioner – ITIL Practitioner comes after Foundation and is designed to help people implement what they learned in Foundation.  ITIL Practitioner training classes are full on workshops that help students implement what they learned in Foundation. It awards 3 credits to successful candidates however it is not a prerequisite to take ITIL Intermediate or other advance level exams.

ITIL Intermediate – The eligibility criteriafor ITILintermediate level requires candidates to have passed ITIL Foundation and complete an accredited training course.Candidates are awarded 15 or 16 credits upon successful completion of ITIL Intermediate exams. There are two elements in intermediate level, Service Lifecycle examinations and Service Capability examinations.

Service Lifecycle examinations includes

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operations
  • Continual Service Improvement

Service capability examinations include

  • Planning Protection & Optimization
  • Release Control & Validation
  • Operational Support & Analysis and
  • Service Offerings and Agreements

ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle – You must pass ITIL Foundation and ITIL intermediate level exam and earn a total of 17 credits to be eligible for ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam. You will earn5 credits on successful completion of MALC exam.

ITIL Expert Level – You should have earned 22 credits from ITIL Foundation exam, ITIL intermediate level exam and MALC exam to be eligible for ITIL expert level exam.

ITIL Master Qualification – You must be ITIL expert level qualified to appear for ITIL master qualification. To achieve this qualification, you must “explain and justify how you selected and individually applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from ITIL and supporting management techniques, to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments. (Source: www.exin.com)”

Benefits of ITIL certifications for Individuals

ITIL certifications will definitely boost your career and salary prospects. According to various surveys, ITIL certification is one of the top 20 most sought after certifications (in IT industry) in the world. According to an “Indeed” survey, professionals with ITIL certifications earn 38% higher salary as compared to their non-certified peers. Here is a trend of salaries of ITIL certified individuals over past few years:

ITIL benefits

(Source: Indeed.com)

Job Titles For ITIL Professionals

The job titles or designations entirely depend on level of ITIL certifications as well as years of experience in IT industry. After completing ITIL Foundation exam successfully you may enter industry as a Business Analyst or Solution Engineer. At middle and senior level you may become Change Management Manager, Service Delivery Manager, Program Manager – IT, Director – Information Technology, etc.

Advantages of ITIL implementation for Organizations

Continual Service Improvemet

Most of the major IT companies have implemented ITIL. An ITIL implementation report from Gartner says, “clients have identified improved customer satisfaction with IT services, better communications and information flows between IT staff and customers, and reduced costs in developing procedures and practices within an enterprise”. According to a Forrester survey, more than 80% of businesses thought that “ITIL had improved their organizational productivity and service quality significantly”.

If implemented correctly, organizations can derive the following benefits in the medium to long term

  • Improved quality of the services
  • Reduction in cost of delivery IT services
  • Creating values for their customers and meeting business requirements
  • Achieving excellence in whatever they do – Continuously improving the processes
  • Improved coordination with clients and partners
  • Easy to scale the business
  • Focus on SLAs (Service Level Agreements)

Cost of ITIL Certification

Here is a list of pricing for EXIN ITIL Exam cost and passing criteria

                            Course     Pricing (USD)      No of Questions   Pass marks
                   ITIL Foundation            233              40       65%
                   ITIL Intermediate            275
                   ITIL Managing Across                                       Lifecycle            275                  10        70%
                    ITIL Practitioner            319   40 based on a scenario         70%

You can save some bucks on your ITIL examination fee. Contact us on customerservice@gogotraining.com and we will arrange a coupon code for you.

Cost of ITIL Training Program

The cost of ITIL certification courses differs from institute to institute. It depends on the experience of the instructors, their competencies and track record. While selecting a training institute, you mustn’t focus entirely on the cost. It is necessary that you strike the right balance between the cost and other above mentioned factors. GogoTraining offers an excellent combination when it comes to cost and the experiences and skills of the trainers.

You can check out the cost of training program here: https://gogotraining.com/training/libraries/17/itil/

If you want to know more details or have any queries, just send an email at customerservice@gogotraining.com for current discount and offers on ITIL training programs.

Advantages of our Online ITIL Training Courses

  • Instructor Led Training Program
  • Experienced Instructors with 20+ years industry experience
  • Access to Instructors for support and queries
  • Self-paced learning – You can learn at any time as per your convenience
  • Cost effective as compared to classroom programs.

You can take advantage of these benefits and much more from the online courses at GogoTraining. We ensure that our students get the necessary support and incubation that will allow them to not just complete the certification courses in a convenient manner but groom them as efficient ITIL professionals with the required competencies and skills.

How to choose right training provider for ITIL Certification?

The first thing is to ensure that you enroll only to an Accredited Training Service Provider and Examination Institute.

There are a number of Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs)those that have been fully accredited by an approved Examination Institute and provide ITIL certification courses, both online and in person.

  • Check their track record
  • Instructor’s experience
  • Course Details
  • Pass Percentage

GogoTraining is an Accredited ITIL Training Organization. Accredited by Axelos and EXIN in ITIL Foundation through MALC and will be releasing the ITIL Practitioner course Summer 2016.  Course authors have been working in teaching in the field for over 20 years and are considered top in their field.  GogoTraining has the necessary accreditation and we have helped numerous ITIL aspirants to realize their potential of becoming successful ITIL professionals.

Still have a query? We are here to help.  If you want to know more details,  have any questions, or would like to find out about current discount offers on ITIL Training Programs contact customerservice@gogotraining.com.

April 2016 Special Offer!

Monday, 25 April, 2016

Special Offer

So What is this Open Source Stuff?

Thursday, 21 April, 2016

open source software training

As most people know by now, the Linux operating system has been developed under the philosophy of Open Source software originally pioneered by the Free Software Foundation as “free software”. Nevertheless, many people don’t truly appreciate just what Open Source really is. In this blog post, I’ll offer my perceptions.

Quite simply, Open Source is based on the notion that software should be freely available: to use, to modify, to copy.  The idea has been around for some twenty years in the technical culture that built the Internet and the World Wide Web and in recent years has spread to the commercial world.

There are a number of misconceptions about the nature of Open Source software.  Perhaps the best way to explain what it is, is to start by talking about what it isn’t.

  • Open Source is not shareware.  A precondition for the use of shareware is that you pay the copyright holder a fee.  Open source code is freely available and there is no obligation to pay for it.
  • Open Source is not Public Domain.  Public domain code, by definition, is not copyrighted.  Open Source code is copyrighted by its author who has released it under the terms of an Open Source software license.  The copyright owner thus gives you the right to use the code provided you adhere to the terms of the license.
  • Open Source is not necessarily free of charge.  Having said that there’s no obligation to pay for Open Source software doesn’t preclude you from charging a fee to package and distribute it.  A number of companies are in the specific business of selling packaged “distributions” of Linux.

Why would you pay someone for something you can get for free?  Presumably because everything is in one place and you can get some support from the vendor.  Of course the quality of support greatly depends on the vendor.

So “free” refers to freedom to use the code and not necessarily zero cost.  As someone said a number of years ago, “Think ‘free speech’, not ‘free beer’”.

Open Source code is:

  • Subject to the terms of an Open Source license, in many cases the GNU Public License (see below).
  • Subject to critical peer review.  As an Open Source programmer, your code is out there for everyone to see and the Open Source community tends to be a very critical group.  Open Source code is subject to extensive testing and peer review.  It’s a Darwinian process in which only the best code survives.  “Best” of course is a subjective term.  It may be the best technical solution but it may also be completely unreadable.
  • Highly subversive.  The Open Source movement subverts the dominant paradigm, which says that intellectual property such as software must be jealously guarded so you can make a lot of money off of it.  In contrast, the Open Source philosophy is that software should be freely available to everyone for the maximum benefit of society.  Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, is particularly vocal in advocating that software should not have owners (see Appendix C).

In the early years of the Open Source movement, Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors saw it as a serious threat to their business model.  Microsoft representatives went so far as to characterize Open Source as “un-American”.  A Microsoft executive publicly stated in 2001 that “open source is an intellectual property destroyer. I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business.”

In recent years however, leading software vendors, including Microsoft, have embraced the Open Source movement. Many even give their programmers and engineers company time to contribute to the Open Source community.  And it’s not just charity, it’s good business!

So what is an Open Source license? Most End User License Agreements (EULA) for software are specifically designed to restrict what you are allowed to do with the software covered by the license.  Typical restrictions prevent you from making copies or otherwise redistributing it.  You are often admonished not to attempt to “reverse-engineer” the software.

By contrast, an Open Source license is intended to guarantee your rights to use, modify and copy the subject software as much as you’d like.  Along with the rights comes an obligation.  If you modify and subsequently distribute software covered by an Open Source license, you are obligated to make available the modified source code under the same terms.  The changes become a “derivative work” which is also subject to the terms of the license.  This allows other users to understand the software better and to make further changes if they wish.

Arguably the best-known, and most widely used, Open Source license is the GNU General Public License (GPL) first released by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in 1989.  The Linux kernel is licensed under the GPL.  But the GPL has a problem that makes it unworkable in many commercial situations.  Software that does nothing more than link to a library released under the GPL is considered a derivative work and is therefore subject to the terms of the GPL and must be made available in source code form. Software vendors who wish to maintain their applications as proprietary have a problem with that.

To get around this, and thus promote the development of Open Source libraries, the Free Software Foundation came up with the “Library GPL”.  The distinction is that a program linked to a library covered by the LGPL is not considered a derivative work and so there’s no requirement to distribute the source, although you must still make available the source to the library itself.

Subsequently, the LGPL became known as the “Lesser GPL” because it offers less freedom to the user.  So while the LGPL makes it possible to develop proprietary products using Open Source software, the FSF encourages developers to place their libraries under the GPL in the interest of maximizing openness.

At the other end of the scale is the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license, which predates the GPL by some 12 years.  It “suggests”, but does not require, that source code modifications be returned to the developer community and it specifically allows derived products to use other licenses, including proprietary ones.

Other licenses—and there are quite a few—fall somewhere between these two poles. The Mozilla Public License (MPL) for example, developed in 1998 when Netscape made its browser open-source, contains more requirements for derivative works than the BSD license, but fewer than the GPL or LGPL.  The Eclipse Public License (EPL) specifically allows “plug-ins” to remain proprietary, but still requires that modifications to Eclipse itself be Open Source. The Open Source Initiative (OSI), a non-profit group that certifies licenses meeting its definition of Open Source, currently lists 79 certified licenses on its website.

You may tempted to think that the GPL is just an academic exercise. Nobody takes it seriously, right? Wrong! There are people, the “GPL police” if you will, some of whom have way too much time on their hands, and they take the GPL very seriously. They will “out” anyone who doesn’t play by the rules and there are examples of vendors who have been taken to court as a result.

Bottom line; if you’re concerned about keeping your code proprietary, be very careful about where your models come from.  Don’t blindly copy large chunks of code that is identified as GPL Use the code as a model and write your own. If your product is going to incorporate Open Source code, you  may want to consult an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law related to Open Source.

Well, this has been a brief personal tour through the world of Open Source software. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of other resources out there on the web. Just google “open source software”.

This article by Doug Abbott is on Open Source Software.

Developing Critical Systems — Is Testing Enough?

Monday, 28 March, 2016

Introduction

Software is everywhere. A lot of it works well all day long. Some of it is terrible. Some of it can kill you.

This article is about critical software, the stuff that really needs to work, and that can have significant consequences if it doesn’t.

devices

There are three trends I have noticed in software organizations:

  1. The desire to get software into more critical systems (e.g., medical, automotive, transportation, finance and aviation).
  2. Software organizations are either serious about quality or hopeful. There isn’t much in between.
  3. For the latter, there is only a vague consideration that current engineering practices should improve when risk increases. It is almost assumed that if software is called “critical,” then it will work, and if it doesn’t, a few more weeks of testing will fix it.

The “just test more” approach works fine until someone is hurt, a contract is lost, or there is serious legal action.

Doing it

Writing software is hard, and writing critical software is harder because there are numerous scenarios that the software has to react to. The increase in risk should cause an increase in better development practices to mitigate the new risk.

The typical (and not so great) approach to improve quality is to:

  • Test more and longer.
  • Assume that if the system passes the tests then it must work.
  • Downplay upfront practices such as requirements, design, good coding practices and peer reviews since they are not coding.

The trouble with the “test more and longer” approach is that if some of the upfront practices were not done, then testing is just a poke in the dark. That is, the testers have no clear picture of what conditions to test for, or when they should be done.

But the tests pass, so it must be OK?

It is wonderful that the (limited) test cases passed (in the limited schedule-crunched time you had for testing). However, let us dig deeper:

  • Do the test cases cover all of the likely functions, system scenarios and user scenarios?
  • Do the test cases cover every line of code so that you know for sure that some untested conditional loop doesn’t cause a system failure.
  • Did anyone look at the code to see that, although it passed the (limited) test cases, the call to “calculate-stuff(input)” will crash the system if the input is zero (when the year is an even number).
  • Is the code a huge spaghetti mess that no one actually understands what it does? If a large plate of critical spaghetti code doesn’t make you or your management nervous, you might be dead!

A slightly different approach

In a previous blog I listed some standard quality activities for any type of organization that can be applied selectively to high-risk areas. Those were:

  • Peer reviews of requirements, design information and interfaces
  • Peer reviews of code and interface definitions
  • Peer reviews of test cases and test procedures
  • Prototypes and simulation
  • Component testing
  • Code coverage checks to determine the code has been tested
  • Process audits to maintain the adoption of the organization’s best practices
  • Integration testing
  • Analysis of defect statistics to determine product state and areas for further investigation
  • System and acceptance testing using the intended environment, user-oriented requirements and exception conditions

quality-hazards-risks
Here are some additional ones if you are in the “This-critical-system-really-must-work” business.

  • Definition of requirement quality attributes to define hard quality expectations (e.g., reliability, performance, accuracy, fault tolerance).
  • Tracing requirements to test cases to know for sure that the system actually does what it is defined to do.
  • Peer review and test of new code, reused code, and “cool code we found on the internet.” Do you really know what you have? If no one has looked, then you don’t know.
  • Design for reliability to add characteristics ensuring that defined run periods are met (e.g., a fail-safe recovery vs. a blue screen after 1,000 hours).
  • Test coverage analysis to know what has been tested.
  • Defect density analysis to understand quality trends and hot spots.
  • Hazard and risk analysis of critical functions.

For software organizations that have no design, few requirements, no peer reviews, no traceability and no code coverage analysis, all bets are off.

What you can do

Writing reliable critical code is not easy, and applying the quality practices listed above can be overwhelming. To start, identify between 5 percent and 20 percent of the system to investigate. Here are some example criteria to identify initial system areas to focus on:

  • The most critical to the program’s operation
  • The most used (and therefore visible) section in the product
  • The most costly if defects were to exist
  • The most error-prone section based on current defect data
  • The least well-known section
  • The most frequently changed (and therefore high-risk) section

Not moved yet? Keep reading

Here are two short articles that provide some examples to ponder:

This article by Neil Potter is on Developing Critical Systems.

The Future of an Oracle Certified Professional

Monday, 29 February, 2016

Planning to get Oracle® certified? Well done! You have made the right decision – it will make you stand out in the highly competitive market. Apart from getting broader access to the industry’s most challenging opportunities, certifications provided by Oracle® Corporation demonstrates your knowledge and skills required to support core products available in Oracle®. With the increasing competition, employers are practicing the cherry picking policy where they are selecting the best cherry from the lot.

When you become a Certified Professional recognized by Oracle®, you demonstrate understanding of the skills that are required by professionals to get fit in the chosen role. IT professionals who are accredited with OCA have a competitive and distinct advantage over other IT aspirants.

With each and every step that you make towards gaining knowledge and a set of skills, you are entitled to a certification that:

  • Accelerates your professional development
  • Improvises your level of productivity
  • Enhances your credibility

In addition, certification enables the companies to hire proven performers that justify the company’s investment in the Oracle® technology. Scenario-based tests included in certification of Oracle® give an effective assessment analysis of problem-solving ability and hands-on expertise. The certification will enable the employers to recognize your skills, knowledge to install & configure, and maintain the database; thereby, adding value to your career growth.

Oracle offers different certification tracks including Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and Oracle Certified Associate (OCA). Each of these certifications hold a distinct advantage, highlights your achievements and identifies you as a valuable asset to the company. Survey reviews and statistical analysis conducted by WordPress and Payscale for professionals certified by Oracle® shows that:

  • 82% of OCP’s realized a major acceleration in their earning capability.
  • 42% of OCP’s elaborated that if their employer would pay for their accreditation, they would get it.
  • 90% of OCP’s agreed that they have been able to improve their job prospects.
  • 89% of OCP’s gave a consent that they consider themselves better qualified in managing and tend to stay with that company executing complex issues and projects.

Below are some of the major benefits credited with the OCA DBA 11g/12c certification provided by Oracle®:

  • Proven skills and expertise of an IT Professional
  • Ability to handle massive and continually expanding necessities of modern organizations
  • Complete knowledge of database backup & recovery, creating & maintaining data and preparing the database environment

Top Practices Used for Data Center Cooling

Monday, 22 February, 2016

Top practices used for Data Center Cooling

Data Center Cooling is the practice of maintaining ideal operating temperature at the data center facility by using collective equipments, tools, techniques and processes. Temperature alarms are set at Data Center facilities which can alert the concerned people about abrupt rise in temperature. For proper functioning of the data center facility, certain practices are recommended for cooling maintenance and dealing with changes in temperature.

Data Center Cooling System

The system for Data Center Cooling basically consists of three components namely Infrastructure such as air conditioners, air ducts, cooling towers etc, Cooling Management Software and temperature monitoring equipments and processes.

Best Practices

Detection

Detect the IT load in Kilowatts and measure the intake temperature across the center. Detect the hot spots which show a considerable temperature increase. After detection, measure the airflow volume for each cooling unit and record the supply and return temperatures for each unit for determining the sensible cooling load.

Comparison

Compare the cooling load with the IT load detected in the previous step. By using the airflow return and air temperature measured, determine the sensible capacity of each unit in Kilowatts. Determine the maximum allowable intake temperature for the operating environment after the through comparison.

Actions to be taken

Cable management

Seal the vertical fronts, cable holes and air leakage to manage airflow in the operating center. Also ensure that the cable holes in the raised floors are sealed so that airflow leakage is minimized.

Aisle Management

Hot and cold aisle management is to be ensured to manage airflow. Relocate all perforated floor tiles to the cold aisle. Also ensure the alignment in the placement of ceiling return grilles with the hot aisles.

Reduce number of cooling units

Estimate the number of required cooling units. This can be done by dividing the IT load with the smallest sensible cooling unit capacity. After estimation, reduce the number of cooling units by turning off the not required ones. The cooling units with the lowest sensible load should be identified and turned off.

This process is done to ensure that cooling standards are maintained along with optimum power efficiency.

Maintain the desired temperature

The best practice is to keep the temperature in the data center regulated so that too high or low temperatures don’t prevail. By comparing and monitoring the temperature, the desired level temperature can be ensured. Also temperature alarms prove to be a very useful tool in alerting and ensuring temperature maintenance.

Top 10 Best Practices used for Energy Efficiency

Thursday, 18 February, 2016

Top 10 Best Practices used for Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is the basic requirement to ensure optimum functionality of a Data Center. Certain practices to monitor energy consumption and avoiding energy wastage are the secrets of running a successful data center facility. The top ten have been discussed as follows.

  • Supplemental Load Reduction

The secondary load contributors in a data center are supplemental load resources. The supplemental load can be reduced by following methods like reducing the energy use of equipments and upgrading the building’s roofing and insulation.

  • Lighting

Maintain the lighting to the level required in the center. Upgrade the center’s system with energy efficient light sources which consume less power.

  • Industrial Refrigeration

The industrial refrigeration system if used in data centers can be beneficial as it won’t allow the systems to overheat. Along with ensuring data safety, this system reduces energy and operation costs.

  • Restructure the Air Distribution System

It has been found that oversized fans consume a least 10 percent more power. The center’s air distribution system should be equipped the right sized fans that consume lesser power.

  • Supply Air Control

The supply air control system requires additional supply air temperature sensors as the air conditioners don’t come equipped with these. This system thus regulates and monitors the temperature of the air being supplied. This implementation is much faster and efficient than other traditional systems. 

  • Variable Speed Fan Drives

Power consumption by a fan is high and is a function of a cube of the fan’s speed. Retrofitting any constant speed cooling fan to variable speeds or by replacing legacy units with new units with built in variable speed capability can reduce power consumption and increase efficiency.

  • Retro Commissioning

Commissioning ensures that computer systems are designed, installed and their functionalities and capabilities are tested in accordance to the data center’s operational needs. Retro commissioning is a similar process of system reviewing alignment and optimization but this process takes place at a later point of the center’s life cycle. It ensures recalibrating the systems to perform more efficiently, thus saving power.

  • Heating and Cooling Equipment Upgrades

Certain heating and cooling systems consume more power than required. It is always wise to choose the right kind of equipments which are not oversized, are energy efficient and do not consume more power than required.

  • Increase Chilled Water Temperature

One of the largest power consumers in a data center is a chilled water system. Increasing the temperature of the chilled water system by raising the air handler temperature set point can help to reduce energy consumption.

  • Pumping Systems

Pumping actions like replacing throttling valves with speed controls, reducing speed for fixed load, installing a parallel system for high variable loads and replacing motor or a pump with a more efficient model all come with energy savings from 10 to 60 percent.