IDG Contributor Network: Displaying impressive growth, Pantheon slurps up heavy Series B

At first blush, Pantheon does something pretty mundane — it is in the business of helping companies host their websites.

In a world awash with cheap cloud computing platforms, and a myriad of cheap (and often free) website hosting solutions, you’d have though Pantheon was in a business with few prospects.

But the reality of Pantheon’s growth has been impressive. Founded only a few short years ago, the company has parlayed its singular focus (OK, it’s actually a dual focus) on hosting WordPress and Drupal websites into an impressive business that powers 150,000 websites globally including some high profile, and high traffic, sites. As an aside, that 150,000 figure is up from 65,000 in 2014.

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IDG Contributor Network: CIO Masters Series: David Wilde, CIO of Essex County Council

If you’re a CIO and would like to be interviewed for our special U.K. vs. U.S. CIO Master series, please get in touch.

It’s a hot day, one of the rare few in London, when I meet David Wilde, the Essex County Council’s CIO, for a round of coffees and a chat to discuss how he and his team are making a difference to the people of Essex and helping the county government get through turbulent times.

The global recession changed the world, and the Essex County Council felt one of the hammer blows in October 2010, when the U.K. government announced its austerity program. The ECC’s budget, like every county council’s budget, was decimated, threatening the viability of almost every service, from policing to welfare, that the county council delivered to the county’s 1.4 million residents.

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IDG Contributor Network: HP’s OpenSwitch becomes a Linux Foundation Project

HP’s open source networking operating system, OpenSwitch, is now a Linux Foundation project.

Many industry players are joining the project, including Broadcom, Cavium, Extreme Networks, LinkedIn, Mellanox, Nephos Inc., P4.org, Quattro Networks, SnapRoute and, of course, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

OpenSwitch is full-featured, Linux-based modular and modern network operating system that provides support for traditional and cloud networking environments.

Commenting on the arrival of OpenSwicth Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation said, “OpenSwitch brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation. We’re looking forward to working with this community to advance networking across the enterprise.”

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IDG Contributor Network: JFrog Xray provides application transparency

Applications today look different from how they looked only a few short years ago. Instead of generally monolithic architecture, modern applications take on a far more modular approach leveraging component third-party services, new ways to deploy and interactions with an increasing number of third-party systems and tools. All of this complexity makes it hard for developers, operations teams or a combination thereof to really see what is going on.

For that reason, vendors are increasingly looking to offer visibility as a specific product. That is the case for JFrog, which today announced Xray, a tool that aims to deliver transparency across applications. JFrog offers software management and distribution tools. Given that it already helps organizations deploy applications and manage those applications, it is a natural progression to offer visibility across those apps.

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IDG Contributor Network: No IPO, debt funding instead. Intacct gets some fuel

Cloud ERP vendor Intacct last week announced that it has secured debt funding by way of a $ 40 million facility from Silicon Valley Bank. This comes at the same time as Intacct announced year-on-year new bookings increasing by some 34 percent.

Intacct has an interesting job in front of it — it is a mid-market vendor and therefore fills the space between tools designed for small and mid-sized businesses (QuickBooks and Xero, for example) and more enterprise-focused tools such as NetSuite, SAP, and Oracle. The mid-market space is a difficult one — customers have a plethora of different requirements and often the complexity, if not the budgets, are similar to those of larger enterprise organizations.

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IDG Contributor Network: OVH—The biggest cloud vendor no one has heard of

At the OpenStack Summit in Austin recently, one of the companies invited to keynote on the first day was a cloud, hosting and services vendor from France, OVH. Like most of the people in the room, the name OVH raised my eyebrows. I’ve been covering the cloud world since it existed, and I’d never come across the company. Maybe they were a new startup or something?

It turns out that, far from being a new startup, OVH is a mature and expansive vendor. It’s just that they’re primarily involved in Europe in general, and France in particular. That looks set to change, however, and I took the opportunity to sit down with Pascal Jaillon from OVH to hear what the company is up to. The OVH product line spans traditional hosting, hosted Microsoft Exchange, domain name provisioning, and, of course, cloud.

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IDG Contributor Network: Game of stacks: Mirantis vs. Red Hat

Mirantis and Red Hat were once very close partners. But the affair didn’t last long, and while Mirantis continued its journey as a pure play OpenStack vendor, Red Hat continued to strengthen its enterprise offerings by building their own stack.

Mirantis has made some significant progress recently that positions it as an influential OpenStack player. Is the company making a dent in Red Hat’s empire?

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IDG Contributor Network: QuickBooks rushes out Self-Employed updates, because the war is on

Earlier this month, accounting software vendor Xero introduced a mobile solution designed for self-employed workers in the U.S. The solution was specifically targeted at those working in the “gig economy” — all those ridesharing drivers, food deliverers and pet-walkers. As I mentioned at the time, Xero’s archrival, Intuit, had an existing solution for self-employed workers as well.

Not wanting to hang around, Intuit is upping the ante in this game and announcing some updates for the QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE) version. New partnerships and new features all aimed at making life easier for self-employed workers and staying one step ahead of Xero. So, what is the news?

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Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: IoT security will soon be common in the enterprise, Gartner says

A fifth of all businesses will have deployed IoT-related security by the end of 2017, analyst Gartner thinks.

Dedicated digital security services that are committed to “protecting business initiatives using devices and services in the Internet of Things” will be in place by then, the research and advisory company says.

Gartner made the statement in a press release on its website in relation to a security and risk management summit earlier this month in Mumbai.

‘Reshape IT’

“The IoT redefines security,” Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research vice president at Gartner, said in the press release.

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IDG Contributor Network: 5 myths about data encryption

It’s a heartache, nothing but a heartache. Hits you when it’s too late, hits you when you’re down. It’s a fools’ game, nothing but a fool’s game. Standing in the cold rain, feeling like a clown.

When singer Bonnie Tyler recorded in her distinctive raspy voice “It’s A Heartache” in 1978, you’d think she was an oracle of sorts, predicting the rocky road that encryption would have to travel.

Just a year earlier in 1977 the Encryption Standard (DES) became the federal standard for block symmetric encryption (FIPS 46). But, oh, what a disappointment encryption DES would become. In less than 20 years since its inception, DES would be declared DOA (dead on arrival), impenetrable NOT.

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IDG Contributor Network: Tidemark goes verticals, machine learning and benchmarking

Tidemark delivers enterprise performance management (EPM) software. What that esoteric acronym means is that Tidemark helps organizations take internal data they already have and use it to plan the future steps they will take, but also to assess the historical performance of their organization. Tidemark was founded only a few short years ago (in 2009, to be precise) but has already raised close to $ 120 million from a host of investors over multiple rounds. Tidemark is a good example of a new breed of cloud vendor, those that were born into a world already comfortable with cloud-based enterprise tools such as Salesforce and NetSuite. Because of this fact, Tidemark hasn’t had to invent a category; rather it has the somewhat easier job of delivering an existing product category but in new and beneficial ways.

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IDG Contributor Network: Tidemark goes verticals, machine learning and benchmarking

Tidemark delivers enterprise performance management (EPM) software. What that esoteric acronym means is that Tidemark helps organizations take internal data they already have and use it to plan the future steps they will take, but also to assess the historical performance of their organization. Tidemark was founded only a few short years ago (in 2009, to be precise) but has already raised close to $ 120 million from a host of investors over multiple rounds. Tidemark is a good example of a new breed of cloud vendor, those that were born into a world already comfortable with cloud-based enterprise tools such as Salesforce and NetSuite. Because of this fact, Tidemark hasn’t had to invent a category; rather it has the somewhat easier job of delivering an existing product category but in new and beneficial ways.

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IDG Contributor Network: Is Your DNS Set Up for Success? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

Have you ever really thought about the importance of DNS to your business?

DNS, the Domain Name System, is sometimes called the “phonebook of the Internet.” Just as the phonebook allows you to look up names, addresses, and phone numbers of people and businesses to be categorized and referenced, DNS allows for domain names and their corresponding IP addresses to be organized and easily accessed. For example, a quick DNS query shows that the IPv4 address for networkworld.com is 70.42.185.102 (and there is apparently no IPv6 address!).

But DNS stores much more than just IP addresses. Email protocols rely on DNS extensively to store information about message routing (MX records), policy (SPF records) and digital signatures (DKIM). DNS also houses cryptographic keys for not only its own security uses, but also for email and now even websites (TLSA records). The extensibility, versatility, and ubiquity of DNS makes it an ideal choice for storing all kinds of information. Because so much depends on DNS, it is a critically important service; every time you use the Internet, you’re relying on DNS.  

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