What is cloud computing? 

Cloud Computing Diagram
Cloud Computing Diagram

Cloud computing is a service driven model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal administrative effort or service provider interaction.

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Success – Good Reasons To Start Your Work Day Early

business woman starting working from  home
business woman starting working from home

Whether you work from home or commute to an office, there are good reasons to start the day early.  There are some obvious ones like you are rested, you can get work done before other have an opportunity to interrupt or derail your day, or my all-time favorite, you are more creative because the emotions of the day’s office politics haven’t had time to get in the way.

Most mornings, hitting the snooze button a time or 10 feels a lot more enticing than catching the worm and getting to work early. However, the benefits of doing so far outweigh the drawbacks. Even if you aren’t a morning person, it might be worth considering an earlier start.

Here are a few reasons to consider getting to work early:

You get so much done

Where there are co-workers and clients, there are distractions. You have a full page to-do list for the day, but the digressions abound, (especially in the form of others derailing you), and suddenly it’s lunchtime, and you haven’t settled a single item. Before the official workday starts though, the office is quiet and calm, and the rapid fire emails have not begun, you are free to attend to some of your most pressing agenda items in peace.

You’re ready when the official day starts.

By the time the workday proper begins, you’ll be more than ready to roll. You’ll feel awake, grounded, settled-in, caffeinated. While most are still dragging, you’ll be firing on all cylinders. You’ll get more done, (and feel happier doing it), during those morning hours than usual. Otherwise, those first few appointments or meetings can feel like a bit too much, too fast.

It gives you a feeling of control.

There’s something about feeling like you’re ahead of the day that can really improve your sense of autonomy and control. Instead of trying to keep up, you’re setting the pace. Getting to work early helps you feel more in control of your day — and this boost can go a long way.

It gives you a chance to map out your day

Because the morning is a relatively quiet time, and because at this point of the day you have so many hours ahead of you, mornings are the best time of day to make plans. Taking this opportunity to map out your day, and your priorities can help you accomplish more in a more intentional way.

People will notice.

If you regularly get to work a little early, it’s almost certain that someone will notice. Most likely, it’s someone else who likes to arrive ahead of the standard work day — maybe a manager or even your supervisor. Seeing that you make a point to beat the rush will make an impression for sure. And, there’s no harm in that.


Early to bed and early to rise makes and [person] healthy, wealthy and wise

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Consulting – Managing your earning power in the gig economy

Managing your earning power
Managing your earning power

Consulting and gig engagements are known more for their flexibility than for their consistency. The gig economy thrives on companies and individuals choosing to work with freelancers, part-time contractors, and consultants who will only hang around for weeks or months at a time. The upside is that you get to dip your hand in a lot of professions and can benefit from the promise of higher incomes at a time. However, since you never know when one gig is going to end and how long the ‘layover’ between that and the next is going to be, you need to learn to manage your earning power and stay relevant at all times. To that end, let’s explore a few pointers;

Choose your skills wisely

There are fields out there that have become so saturated with talent that it is hopeless to expect them to keep growing in away that favors the workforce. These fields have a next-to-zero probability of raising their rates, so chances are that you will get stuck in a rut. Go for emerging gigs that require specialized, hands-on skills and esoteric knowledge.For instance, there are is a lot more need for cryptographers, translators, and 3D graphic design specialists than there is for, say, freelance writers or plumbers.

Keep tabs on the hours you work

The general rule here, is not to give away you work.. 


Do not dabble in any professional work where every single hour is not billed. This is because, at the end of the day, your earnings are going to be spread over the course of your work hours, which stretches your per hour earnings thin and puts you in a bind. Overtime is not a good idea either, because you end up with less money for longer work hours (especially if there is no binding overtime agreement), and don’t even let me get started on the very real potential for a burnout.

Diversify your work streams

A lot of freelancers out there choose to focus on a single revenue stream. That is a dangerous way to live because then, you have nowhere to turn to when work in your niche starts to thin out. Even if you essentially work in one profession, make sure that your sources of income are well distributed in that network. You can also identify your strengths and spread them across a number of manageable income streams. If You have piled up a good amount of money over time, think about investing a little in something that won’t take too much of your time but will earn you an income on the side.

Have a plan in place to manage risk

The gig economy exposes you to both legal and income risks. Legal issues such as the provisions in the contracts you sign could put you in a position where there is little, if any, wriggle room. This Limits your chances of getting a few gigs with client B even when still attached to client A. Since you don’t want legal exposure that eats further into your time and money, you need to always have a clear understanding of what you are setting yourself up for before you ink that contract. As for income risks, just have a budget with a saving plan in place and always tuck away about 6 months’ worth of rent and utilities just in case you fall through the cracks

Manage your brand.

Branding is all about perception. You want to keep the outlook of a savvy, modern professional who knows all the nuances in your niche. Focus on developing yourself professionally. Never shy away from any opportunities to learn, and find a way to front yourself as a source of authority in your area of expertise. Keep your brand visible by using the internet in the right way-think blogs, websites and social media.

Conclusion

Building income in the gig economy is easy, but staying afloat even during lean times is tricky. By Adopting freelance work best practices, you get to diversify your streams while at the same time stashing some financial resources away for when work might become hard to find. Whatever you do, just make sure you stay relevant and flexible enough to cope with the changing tides in the freelancing space.

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How the IBM Common SQL Engine (CSE) Improves DB2

Common SQL Engine (CSE)
Common SQL Engine (CSE)

Today, newfound efficiencies and innovation are key to any business success – small, medium or large. In the rapidly evolving field of data analytics, innovative approaches to handling data are particularly important since data is the most valuable resource any business can have. IBM common SQL Engine is delivering application and query compatibility that is allowing companies to turn their data into actionable insights. This is allowing businesses to unleash the power of their databases without constraints.

But, is this really important?

Yes. Many businesses have accumulated tons of data over the years. This data resides in higher volumes, more locations throughout an enterprise – on-premise and on-cloud –, and in greater variety. Typically, this data should be a huge advantage, providing enterprises with actionable insights. But, often, this doesn’t happen.

IBM Hybrid Data Management.

With such a massive barrel of complex legacy data, many organizations find it confusing to decide what to do with it. Or where to start. The process of migrating all that data into new systems is simply a non-starter. As a solution, enterprises are turning to IBM Db2 – a hybrid, intuitive data approach that marries data and analytics seamlessly. IBM Db2 hybrid data management allows flexible cloud and on-premises deployment of data.

However, such levels of flexibility typically require organizations to rewrite or restructure their queries, and applications that will use the diverse, ever-changing data. These changes may even require you to license new software. This is costly and unfeasible. To bridge this gap, the Common SQL Engine (CSE) comes into play.

How IBM Common SQL Engine is Positioning Db2 for the Future?

The IBM Common SQL Engine inserts a single layer of data abstraction at the very data source. This means that, instead of migrating the data all at once, you can now apply data analytics wherever the data resides – whether on private, public or hybrid cloud – by using the Common SQL Engine as a bridge.

The IBM’s Common SQL Engine provides portability and consistency of SQL commands, meaning that the SQL is functionally portable across multiple implementations. It allows seamless movement of workloads to the cloud and allows for multiplatform integration and configurations regardless of their programming language.

Ideally, the Common SQL Engine is supposed to be the heart of the query and the foundation of application compatibility. But it does so much more!

Its compatibility extends beyond data analytic applications to include security, management, governance, data management, and other functionalities as well.

How does this improve the quality, flexibility, and portability of Db2?

By allowing for integration across multiple platforms, workloads and programming languages, the Common SQL Engine, ultimately, leads to a “data without limits” environment for Db2 hybrid data management family through:

  1. Query and application compatibility

The Common SQL engine (CSE) ensures that users can write a query, and be confident that it will work across the Db2 hybrid data management family of offerings. With the CSE, you can change your data infrastructure and location – on-cloud or on-premises – without having to worry about license costs and application compatibility.

  1. Data virtualization and Integration

The common SQL engine has a built-in data virtualization service that ensures that you can access your data from all your sources. These services position Db2 family of offerings including, IBM Db2 warehouse, IBM Db2, IBM Db2 BigSQL amongst others.

This services also applies to IBM Integrated Analytics System, Teradata, Oracle, Puredata and Microsoft SQL server. Besides, you can work seamlessly with open-source solutions such as HIVE; and cloud sources such as Amazon Redshift. Such levels of integration are unprecedented!

By allowing users to effectively pull data from Db2 data stores and integrate it with data from non-IBM stores using a single query, the common SQL engine places Db2 at an authoritative position as compared to other data stores.

  1. Flexible Licensing

Licensing is one of the hardest nuts to crack, especially for smart organizations who rely on technologies such as the cloud to deliver their services. While application compatibility and data integration will save you time, flexible licensing saves you money, on the spot.

IBM’s common SQL engine allows flexible licensing, meaning that you can purchase one license model and deploy it whenever needed, or as your data architecture evolves. Using IBM’s FlexPoint licensing, you can purchase FlexPoints and use them across all Db2 data management offerings. This is a convenience in one place.

The flexible licensing will not only simplify the adoption and exchange of platform capabilities, but it also positions your business strategically by making it more agile. Your data managers will be able to access the tools needed on the fly, without going through a lethargic and tedious procurement process.

IBM Db2 Data Management Family Is Supported by Common SQL Engine (CSE) .

IBM Db2 is a family of custom, deployable database that allows enterprises to leverage existing investments. IBM Db2 allows businesses to use any type of data from an either structured or unstructured database (or data warehouse). It provides the right data foundation/environment with industry-leading data compression, on-premise and cloud deployment options, modern data security, robust performance for mixed loads and the ability to adjust and scale without redesigning.

The IBM Db2 family enable businesses to adapt, scale quickly and remain competitive without compromising security, risk levels or privacy. It features:

  • Always-on availability
  • Deployment and flexibility: On-premises, scale-on demand, and private or cloud deployments• Compression and performance
  • Embedded IoT technology is allowing businesses to act fast on the fly.

Some of these Db2 family offerings that are supported by the common SQL engine include:

  • Db2 Database
  • Db2 Hosted
  • Db2 Big SQL
  • Db2 on Cloud
  • Db2 Warehouse
  • Db2 Warehouse on Cloud
  • IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS)

Db2 Family Offerings and Beyond

Since the common SQL engine mainly focuses on data federation and propensity, other non-IBM databases can as well plug into the engine for SQL processing. These other 3rd party offerings include:

  • Watson Data Platform
  • Oracle
  • Hadoop
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Teradata
  • Hive

Conclusion

IBM Common SQL engine is allowing organizations to fully use data analytics to future-proof their business, and as well remain agile and competitive. In fact, besides the benefits of having robust tools woven into CSE, this SQL engine offers superior analytics and machine-learning positioning. Data processing can now happen at the speed of light –- 2X to 5X faster. The IBM Common SQL engine adds important capabilities to Db2, including freedom of location, freedom of use, and freedom of assembly.

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An Overview of DB2 Federation

DB2 Federation
DB2 Federation

Data analytics has changed where data is no longer manageable in relational databases only. Data is flowing from various sources which are not of the same format. This means it is not possible to store all data in the same repository. Some are best suited for storing in relational databases, others for Apache Hadoop while others are best suited for NoSQL databases.

During data analyzing, so much time is taken in trying to bring the distributed data together instead of obtaining insights. Db2 Federation has come to the rescue of data analysts. Federation concept in db2 eliminates the need for storing data in different repositories and reduces the hassle of getting insights.

What is DB2 Federation?

DB2 federation is a data integration technology that permits remote database objects to be accessed as local DB2 database objects. This technology connects multiple databases and makes them appear like one database.

How does DB2 federation work?

Federation allows you to access all of your data that is on multiple distributed databases using a single query. When implemented in an organization, this technology can be used to access data that is on any of the organization’s Db2, whether local or in the cloud.

Why use DB2 federation?

So, why should you use the federation? This concept brings data of all formats into one virtual source. With data being retrieved from one virtual source, analyzing it becomes cost-effective and efficient.

What are its primary use cases for DB2 federation?

Merging of various sources of data

DB2 federation facilitates consolidating of data from sources data local and cloud to form one virtual data source. This eliminates the process of migrating data which can be expensive and troublesome.

Increase the capacity of a repository beyond the fixed limits

Physical storage capacity is bound to have a limit which is one reason you may find an organization has distributed its data in various repositories. With federation, the storage is virtual and therefore doesn’t have any limit. This technology can greatly help you if your physical dataset is running low on space.

Linking up to Db2 Warehouse on Cloud

People who use Db2 products can federate data from Db2 on Cloud and Db2 Warehouse on the Cloud. This will give them a joint interface where they can access, add, query, and analyze data without encountering the complex ETL processes. Better still, no additional code will be required to execute all these processes. This makes it easy for people with the low technical know-how to use these products smoothly.

Split data across different servers

At times, you might choose to partition your data. With federation integration technology, partitioned data can be queried with a unified interface. Federation allows you to better balance your workloads, scale precise parts of an app, and create micro-services that work harmoniously.

Generally, db2 federation makes it access data by bringing it together into a single virtual source. This brings about cost and time-saving benefits. When you want to analyze data, you can get insights immediately instead of spending a lot of time querying through repositories.

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A Road Map For Migrating To A Public Cloud

Cloud Migration
Cloud Migration

A Road Map for Migrating to A Public Cloud Environment

Today, most organizations are looking for ways to cut down their sprawling IT budgets and define efficient paths for new developments. Making the move to the cloud is being seen as a more strategic and an economically viable idea, that is primarily allowing organizations to gain quick access to new platforms, services, and toolsets. But the migration of applications to the cloud environment needs a clear, and well-thought-out cloud migration strategy.

We are past the year of confusion and fear on matters cloud environment. In fact, almost everyone now agrees that the cloud is a key element of any company’s IT investment. What is not yet clear is what to move, how to move, and industry best practices to protect your investment in a public cloud environment. Therefore, a solid migration plan is an essential part of any cloud migration process.

Here are a few things you should pay close attention to when preparing a cloud migration planning template:

  • Data Protection

When planning to migrate to the cloud, it is paramount to remember that it is not a good idea to migrate every application. As you learn the baby steps, keep your legacy apps and other sensitive data such as private banking info off the cloud. This will ensure that, in case of a breach on your public cloud, your sensitive data and legacy systems will not fall into the hands of unsavory individuals.

  • Security

Security of the data being migrated to the cloud should be just as important as on the cloud. Any temporary storage locations used during the cloud migration process should be secure from unauthorized intrusions.

Although security can be hard to quantify, it is one of the key components and considerations of any cloud service. The very basic security responsibility includes getting it right around your password security. Remember that, while you can massively increase the security around your applications, it is practically very different to deal with on-cloud threats and breaches since you technically don’t own any of the cloud software.

Some of the security concerns that you’ll need to look into include:

  • Is your data securely transferred and stored in the cloud?
  • Besides the passwords, does your cloud provider offer some type of 2-factor authentication?
  • How else are the users authenticated?
  • Does your provider meet the industry’s regulatory requirements?
  • Backup and Disaster recovery strategies

A backup and disaster strategy ensure that your data will be protected in case of a disaster. These strategies are unique to every organization depending on its application needs and the relevance of those applications to their organization.

To devise a foolproof DR strategy, it is important to identify and prioritize applications and determine the downtime acceptable for each application, services, and data.

Some of the things to consider when engineering your backup and disaster recovery blueprint include:

  • Availability of sufficient bandwidth and network capacity to redirect all users in case of a disaster.
  • Amount of data that may require backup.
  • Type of data to be protected
  • How long can it take to restore your systems from the cloud?
  • Communications Capacity enablement

Migrating to a cloud environment should make your business more agile and responsive to the market. Therefore, a robust communications enablement should be provided. Ideally, your cloud provider should be able to provide you with a contact center, unified messaging, mobility, presence, and integration with other business applications.

While the level of sophistication and efficiency of on-premise communications platforms depends on the capabilities of the company IT’s staff, cloud environments should offer communication tools with higher customizations to increase productivity.

A highly customized remote communications enablement will allow your company to refocus its IT resources to new innovation, spur agility, cut down on hardware costs and allow for more engagements with partners and customers.

Simply put, cloud communications:

  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Enables reimagined experience
  • Are designed for a seamless interaction.
  • legal liability and protection

Other important considerations when developing your cloud migration planning template are compliance with regulatory requirements and software licensing. For many businesses, data protection and regulatory compliance with HIPPA and GDPR is a constant concern, especially when dealing with identifiable data. Getting this right, the first time will allow you to move past the compliance issue blissfully.

When migrating, look for a cloud provider with comprehensive security assurance programs and governance-focused features. This will help your business operate more secure and in line with industry standards.

Ready to migrate your processes to a public cloud environment? Follow these pointers develop a comprehensive cloud migration planning template.

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