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Killexams : HP Virtualization learner - BingNews Search results Killexams : HP Virtualization learner - BingNews Killexams : Hacking A Thin Client To Gain Root Access

[Roberto] recently discovered a clever way to gain root access to an HP t520 thin client computer. These computers run HP’s ThinPro operating system. The OS is based on Linux and is basically just a lightweight system designed to boot into a virtual desktop image loaded from a server. [Roberto’s] discovery works on systems that are running in “kiosk mode”.

The setup for the attack is incredibly simple. The attacker first stops the virtual desktop image from loading. Then, the connection settings are edited. The host field is filled with garbage, which will prevent the connection from actually working properly. The real trick is in the “command line arguments” field. The attacker simply needs to add the argument “&& xterm”. When the connection is launched, it will first fail and then launch the xterm program. This gives the attacker a command shell running under the context of whichever user the original software is running as.

The next step is to escalate privileges to root. [Roberto] discovered a special command that the default user can run as root using sudo. The “”hpobl” command launches the HP Easy Setup Wizard. Once the wizard is opened, the attacker clicks on the “Thank You” link, which will then load up the HP website in a version of Firefox. The final step is to edit Firefox’s default email program association to xterm. Now when the attacker visits an address like “”, Firefox (running as root) launches xterm with full root privileges. These types of attacks are nothing new, but it’s interesting to see that they still persist even in newer software.

Sun, 31 Jul 2022 12:01:00 -0500 Rick Osgood en-US text/html
Killexams : The Popularity of Cloud-Computing Campuses

Colleges reap rewards from stepping up to cloud computing.

California Southern University and North Carolina State University would at first glance seem to have little in common.

One is on the West Coast in Irvine, Calif.; the other in the East, in Raleigh, N.C. One has its students take all their courses online; the other's students mainly attend class in lecture halls and classrooms that span 10 colleges. One is 30 years old; the other is 120 years old.

But both have one essential thing in common: They have adopted and adapted cloud-computing environments – the delivery of scalable IT applications, services and infrastructure over the Internet – to serve the day-to-day processing and system demands of their students and faculty. In both instances, technologists at the two universities also embrace a new vision of the IT-user relationship that cloud computing engenders: Ultimate control over the processing environment lies in the hands of the end users.

From CalSouthern's perspective, “it's not just about whether you can create a school on the web,” says Kevin Mack, senior network engineer for the online university. “You have to be able to capture the sense of that student on the web and determine what you can give them to make them successful.”

That same notion of success is at play at NC State, which for the past five years has hosted a cloud that serves increasingly more users, both on campus and off. The cloud, known as the Virtual Computing Laboratory, (an open-source Apache project), gives its users the flexibility to pick the system components they want versus the components that a traditional IT infrastructure previously would have dictated to them, points out Mladen Vouk, head of the university's Computer Science Department and its associate vice provost for IT. The VCL can support all types of user setups, from desktops and groups of classroom or lab computers to server collections and high-performance computing clusters.

Expanding Horizon

Although California Southern and NC State may be ahead of their time in higher education's adoption of cloud computing — the delivery of scalable IT (applications, services and infrastructure) over the Internet — they will likely have plenty of company in the not-too-distant future, based on Gartner's research. Gartner foresees broad use of cloud computing taking hold in higher education over the next two to five years, even though fewer than 1 percent of colleges are using computing-as-a-service (CaaS) now and about 20 percent are using cloud e-mail. Why? In part because education's use of consortium and shared-services models will make the acceptance hurdle low.

That's definitely a view held by Indiana University CIO Brad Wheeler, who prefers the phrase “above-campus services” to describe cloud computing. “I am also confident that the long-standing trust and shared values among higher education gives us an opportunity for consortium sourcing that may provide superior, long-term economics over generic commercial offerings,” says Wheeler, whose university leads a group of 10 schools participating in the FutureGrid effort to develop the next generation of grid and cloud computing for researchers.

Jan-Martin Lowendahl, a Gartner research director, identifies cloud computing in general as an important technology and cloud high-performance computing specifically as a transformational technology for colleges and universities. One contributing factor is cost. In the NC state program, for instance, a CPU hour cost of 27 cents dropped to 10 to 15 cents based on the university's 2008 numbers. Given the tight budgets for most institutions and the continuing demands on IT, cost incentives will be a major driver, he says. “This has the potential to be a great equalizer for many small and medium-size universities when it comes to serving their students and staff with computing power.”

But economic factors alone won't dictate a move to the cloud. Other motivators include the ease of serving distance learning; the perfect-storm possibilities when blending cloud, virtualization and blade technologies; and the need-it-now computing demands of users.

At a Distance

California Southern began as a correspondence school and made the transition to an online distance-learning environment.

Built around an HP ProLiant cluster running Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer virtual machines, the CalSouthern data center is home to about 35 virtual machines housed on 15 servers that host SQL Server, web and infrastructure services. The platform, while stable and served by a decent network connection, lacked failover in case of disaster and had limited on-the-fly expansion capability.

“We had to be able to plan for growth,” Mack says. “If we double the number of students, could we support that growth and could we support it fairly quickly – both from a data storage and a bandwidth perspective? We wanted the answer to be ‘yes.'”

The ultimate goal was high availability to support round-the-clock learners and the faculty that teach and mentor them. The IT team looked at collocation options for establishing a secondary site. Then, last year, as CalSouthern prepared to move from Santa Ana to Irvine, it began considering cloud computing, based on the recommendations of its chief IT supplier, CDW•G. “They were really hands-on in helping us” evaluate possible cloud services that fit the existing infrastructure and connected CalSouthern with the Terre­mark platform, says Mack.

The university signed service level agreements for guaranteed bandwidth and resources (storage, memory and processing power) over a 30-day period. As to storage capacity, “we're at about 1 terabyte locally and about a half T in the cloud. It's relatively inexpensive to move to the next level,” Mack says.

Being among a small vanguard of education cloud users is OK with Mack: “It's fun to be Daniel Boone sometimes.”

More than 90% of reservations for use of NC State cloud resources are immediate. The Virtual Computing Laboratory provisions most of these services (more than 80%) within 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Less common requests might take 5 to 30 minutes.

Source: NC State VCL,

Technology Trifecta

The return on investment is fairly straightforward, Mack says. “If you buy a new server, I don't care who you are – you need a week to set it up and rack it and stack it.” Plus, there are other infrastructure expenses, migration costs and monthly recurring expenses.

Take that thinking and ramp it up several notches. “Nowadays, with one chassis of blades with 12 to 14 blades, you can support 200 users. That is very cost effective,” says NC State's Vouk. That's the dynamic at play in North Carolina, where the NC State cloud serves education users statewide. There are several institutions beyond the state's borders – George Mason University; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Old Dominion University; Southern University, Baton Rouge; and California State University, East Bay – that have or are implementing VCL-based clouds.

NC State runs a massive IBM Blade Center environment of 2,000 blades to support its dynamic cloud services, which rely on a reservation front end for users to acquire cloud resources, referred to as images. Vouk notes that although the VCL mainly uses IBM blades, any type of blade can plug into the environment.

When the team began this effort, a chief hurdle was showing management that it could provide services efficiently. “We maintain these 2,000 boxes on a staff of less than half a dozen – very conservative in terms of resources,” he says.

Although virtualization was not fully mature when the VCL was launched in 2004, it now takes full advantage of virtual machines, and through its dynamic load-balancing capabilities, it reconstructs and repurposes blade resources to get maximum utilization from the installed base and to optimize provisioning.

Users In Charge

Whether in an institution- or consortium-run environment or a commercial cloud, users are in charge of their processing destiny.

True cloud computing “has to put the users in control. For the users, that's a real breakthrough. They can now customize the hardware structure, operating systems and application stacks as needed to actually get their work done, and then save these configurations as images capable of being shared with other users in the cloud,” says Patrick Dreher, an adjunct professor in NC State's Department of Computer Science and chief domain scientist for cloud computing for the Renaissance Computing Institute. RENCI is a University of North Carolina research institute with ties to Duke University, NC State and other UNC campuses. It applies technologies to problems identified by the state of North Carolina and to university research initiatives.

Cloud computing is “as much a business paradigm shift as a technology shift,” says Dreher. “It's at the level of a transformational change in IT that only happens once or twice every decade.”

What became abundantly clear early on for NC State was that users want most services on the fly and from wherever they are working. Physical computer labs have become more about collaboration and academic socializing and less about delivering processing capabilities, says Vouk.

Meeting the cloud users' needs requires more back-end boot-strapping by IT than in traditional computing infrastructures, Vouk says, but its automated. The VCL uses simple and composite image instances assigned to each user who places a reservation. An image instance (a copy of the master image), locked to a specific user's IP address, is a stack that includes an OS, application software and possibly a hypervisor that only one authenticated user can reserve and modify.

“This is effective in conserving central IT resources and staff,” he says. “Plus, it empowers the end users. It's a one-click system.”

In a commercial scenario, a similar approach prevails, explains Mack. CalSouthern's IT staff can control every aspect of its cloud service: the OS, the firewall and the applications.

Both Vouk and Mack point out that this shift to user-driven computing does not absolve IT from its systems administration and management duties.

“You have to maintain service and provide adequate bandwidth,” Mack says. “It helps you work better with the resources that you have.”

Solving the Research Data Question

As universities and colleges continue to roll day-to-day computational services into the cloud, they will also push ahead on a major cloud issue crucial to academic users: managing voluminous data sets necessary for research.

Both the Renaissance Computing Institute in North Carolina and the Pervasive Technologies Institute at Indiana University have this processing conundrum in their sights.

The IU-led FutureGrid is not aimed at daily computational work, IU CIO Brad Wheeler says. “Rather, it is an experiment factory where cloud and grid computing environments can be simulated and tested on a massive scale.”

The driving questions address where data needs to reside and how to provide computational access for geographically distributed researchers. Today, the data sets for many projects are so large that it is impossible to transport them to different sites for computational processing and analysis.

It is more practical to build and test cloud computing images locally and then install the image near the location of the data set for analysis and modeling calculations, says Patrick Dreher, RENCI's chief domain scientist for cloud computing. Researchers can then stop re-creating data sets or settling for computational operating systems and application stack environments at the remote site that are not customized to their requirements.

Again, it's a question of scale: being able to flex infrastructure components dynamically and with immediacy, says Wheeler. “The software and systems will have to be developed that can immediately ‘manufacture' a computation cloud that consists of X number of Intel cores at Y number of sites using OS and software configurations of Z for time period Q.”

Recipe for a Cloud Architecture

RENCI's Patrick Dreher says seven main ingredients must be on hand for a successful environment:

  1. A friendly end-user access interface (web-based and API-based)
  2. Some form of authentication service
  3. Some type of server for managing user requests, resource scheduling, authorization, security (multisite coordination), performance monitoring and virtual network management
  4. A database with detailed cloud cluster node information and software license information
  5. A management node supervising local installation resources and OS, plus application images
  6. An OS and/or application image repository
  7. Computational, storage and networking resources
Sun, 26 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Vanessa Jo Roberts en text/html
Killexams : HP Victus 15

It's been half a year since HP debuted its Victus brand of affordable gaming laptops, positioned below the Omen line and replacing its Pavilion Gaming series. First up was the 16.1-inch Victus 16, on the high end of the budget spectrum at $1,249.99. The 15.6-inch Victus 15 reviewed here is a true economy model with a list price of $799.99 at Best Buy, but the retailer frequently discounts it—it was on sale for just $549.99 at press time. Despite the low price, it offers a few perks, like Intel's latest 12th Generation Core i5 processors and a 144Hz screen refresh rate. It's a decent deal, but its three-year-old Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics keep it from challenging GeForce RTX rivals like the MSI Katana GF66 and Acer Nitro 5.

AMD and Intel CPU Options: Something for Everyone 

HP offers Victus 15 systems with both Intel and AMD silicon. Our $799.99 review unit combines Intel's new Core i5-12450H (four Performance cores, four Efficient cores, 12 threads) with a far-from-new GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, along with 8GB of memory, a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive, and a 144Hz full HD display with a dim 250 nits of brightness.

HP Victus 15 rear view

The company plans two step-up models with 16GB of RAM, one at with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H chip and Radeon RX 6500M and one at Best Buy with a Core i7-12650H and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. At this writing, however, HP had only Ryzen 5 systems for sale, though Best Buy did offer the Core i7 config for $1,099.99. 

Whatever the variant, the Victus 15 has a 15.6-inch non-touch screen with 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution. (A 300-nit low-blue-light panel is optional.) On our review unit, the screen's viewing angles are fairly wide; fine details are sharp; contrast is pretty good; and white backgrounds aren't too dingy. But colors are bland and lifeless rather than vivid, sorely lacking in brightness. If it didn't boast a 144Hz instead of generic 60Hz refresh rate, we'd call it a totally forgettable economy-class panel.

The Victus 15's plastic chassis—available in our dark grayish Mica Silver or $10 extra for Performance Blue or Ceramic White—measures 0.93 by 14.1 by 10 inches and weighs 5.06 pounds. That's trimmer than the Nitro 5 (1.06 by 14.1 by 10.7 inches, 5.51 pounds) and a match for the Katana GF66 (0.98 by 14.1 by 10.2 inches, 4.96 pounds).

HP Victus 15 right angle

HP claims an 82.2% screen-to-body ratio for the Victus 15, with skinny side bezels but larger ones at the top (holding a webcam with no privacy shutter) and bottom. There's a lot of flex if you grasp the display corners, though not much if you press the keyboard deck. As with many gaming laptops, you'll find neither a fingerprint reader nor face recognition webcam to speed Windows Hello logins.

HP Victus 15 left ports

You won't find a Thunderbolt 4 port, either, though we don't consider that a deal-breaker in an under-$1,000 laptop. The left edge holds a USB 3.2 Type-A port, an audio jack, an SD card slot, and the power connector. Another USB-A port joins a USB Type-C port, an Ethernet jack, and an HDMI video output on the right. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth handle wireless communications.

HP Victus 15 right ports

A Puzzling Keyboard Layout, With No RGB

The keyboard has a comfortably responsive typing feel and—almost unheard-of for an HP laptop—cursor arrow keys arranged in the correct inverted T instead of a clumsy row. There are also top-row system controls and a numeric keypad. The buttonless touchpad is good-sized and glides and taps smoothly, though it has a somewhat stiff, dull click. 

On the minus side, while the keyboard is brightly backlit, it's in plain white with no multiple zones or per-key RGB color choices, so don't bother trying the supplied Omen Light Studio software. The Fn key doesn't team with the cursor arrows for Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down navigation, so you must perform those moves from the keypad, which is marred by the Num Lock key not having an indicator LED as the volume mute and touchpad toggle keys do.

HP Victus 15 keyboard

Believe us when we say we've seen plenty of laptops with cheap, low-res 720p webcams, but the Victus' is poor even by the usual standards—it captures blurred, blotchy images with some noise or static. A speaker grille above the keyboard pumps out flat, tinny sound. There's no bass, you can barely make out overlapping tracks, and I couldn't find any of the audio software we usually see to select music, movie, or gaming modes or tinker with an equalizer. 

HP Victus 15 front view

HP bolsters the Windows 11 Home system with the Omen Gaming Hub app, which combines status info with options to optimize network traffic and disable Windows services and processes to boost game performance. HP QuickDrop transfers files to or from your smartphone. You also get McAfee LiveSafe, Dropbox, ExpressVPN, and LastPass trials.

Performance Testing: Battle of the Gaming Bargains 

For our benchmark charts, we compared the Victus 15 to four other wallet-friendly gaming laptops, led by the MSI Katana GF66 and two Acers, the Nitro 5 and Predator Helios 300. The Dell G3 15 is the cheapest in the field.

Productivity Tests 

The main benchmark of UL's PCMark 10 simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows to measure overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing. We also run PCMark 10's Full System Drive test to assess the load time and throughput of a laptop's storage. 

Three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC's suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon's Cinebench R23 uses that company's Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Primate Labs' Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better). 

Our final productivity test is Puget Systems' PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe's famous image editor to rate a PC's performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It's an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters.

We don't expect even a 12th Generation Core i5 to hang with Core i7 CPUs, and the Victus 15's Core i5 mostly doesn't (though the Nitro 5 and Katana are over- and underachievers respectively). So while it's not meant for workstation tasks such as video editing, the HP nevertheless performs nicely for a budget laptop, most importantly posting more than half again the 4,000 points in PCMark 10 that indicate excellent productivity for everyday apps like Microsoft Office. 

Graphics and Gaming Tests 

We test Windows PCs' graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL's 3DMark, Night Raid (more modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). 

We also run two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions, exercise graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the better. 

Our next three tests involve real games—specifically, the built-in 1080p benchmarks from an AAA title (Assassin's Creed Valhalla), a fast-paced esports shooter (Rainbow Six Siege), and a sports racing sim (F1 2021). We run each benchmark twice, using different image quality presets for Valhalla and Rainbow and trying F1 with and without Nvidia's DLSS anti-aliasing technology, although in the Victus 15's case, the GTX 1650 is unable to run F1 with DLSS turned on.

Officially, the GeForce GTX 1650 is still Nvidia's entry-level mobile gaming GPU, but realistically its day has passed and we're living in a GeForce RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti world now. The Victus 15 delivers playable frame rates at low to medium image quality settings ("playable" defined as the minimal 30 frames per second rather than the 60fps that even budget gamers seek nowadays), and it justifies its 144Hz display in esports titles like Rainbow Six Siege. But it's in the bottom three or four of all gaming laptops in our benchmark database. 

Battery and Display Tests 

We test laptops' battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open-source Blender movie Tears of SteelTears of Steel) with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off. 

We also use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and software to measure a laptop screen's color saturation—what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can show—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).

The HP's battery life is fine for a gaming notebook, and its color fidelity is adequate for an economy model, albeit far short of suitable for image editing or content creation. But its 250-nit brightness would be disappointing in even in a bare bones Chromebook—we expect 300 and hope for 400 nits from all but the cheapest laptop panels.

Verdict: Only for the Tightest Budgets

The base-model HP Victus 15 has a temptingly low price (especially if Best Buy keeps its discount), but to be blunt, there's no need to settle for GeForce GTX 1650 graphics when so many affordable gaming rigs today offer RTX 3050 or 3060 GPUs. Unless your budget just can't stretch beyond $600 or $650, look for a higher-end configuration of the Victus 15, or look elsewhere to better-equipped rivals like the MSI Katana GF66 or Acer Nitro 5.

Tue, 12 Jul 2022 12:27:00 -0500 en-au text/html
Killexams : Technology Brings Real-World Learning To College Campuses

Tech-focused labs enhance the educational experience and prepare students for their careers.

When Mark Holder of Kent State University in Ohio developed a new financial engineering program for the college, he polled executives at investment firms and learned that their leading complaint about recent graduates was that they didn't know how to trade in the financial markets. To address this issue, he built an authentic trading floor to give his students the trading experience they needed.

Holder, a former manager of research and product development at the Chicago Board of Trade, wanted to build a facility that simulates trading in the derivatives market and lets students practice risk management with the same hardware and software used on real-life trading floors. He purchased 25 high-end PCs with dual monitors and acquired five trading-floor applications that offer access to real-time price quotes, news and statistical analysis from exchanges worldwide.

To give it a genuine trading-floor feel, the university equipped the room with electronic tickers that flash prices of derivatives, flat-screen digital displays that are tuned to cable business news channels, and six clocks that show the times of cities with exchanges, from Chicago to Tokyo. The school standardized on a dozen high-powered HP servers and Cisco networking equipment to run the trading lab.

“Everything about the trading floor is accurate, from the workstations to the Herman Miller Aeron chairs,” says Holder, director for Kent State's Master of Science in Financial Engineering program.

“It's an approach that is extremely helpful for students,” Holder says. “They learn the math and implement models in real trading situations. They feel the pressure and understand how it works. It's hands-on experience and prepares them for their careers.”

At peak times, Nasdaq can handle 64,000 transactions per second with a less than 1 millisecond response time.

Source: NASDAQ

Dozens of universities have created trading rooms to enhance their reputation and attract more students. These types of facilities offer students practical training, and they become a showcase for business schools and help their universities drive fundraising.

But creating technology-focused labs to offer students real-world experiences isn't just the purview of business schools. For many years now, journalism schools such as the one at the University of Missouri have built newsrooms full of computers and other technology, where students publish their own newspapers and produce news shows that air on school-owned radio and TV stations.

Drake University recently renovated a regular science lab and turned it into a replica of eight pharmacies – with genuine prescription drugs – so students can practice their chosen craft. Each pharmacy setting features two computers, barcode scanners and printers so students can go through the step-by-step process of filling prescriptions, from sticking labels on prescription containers to counseling patients.

Competitive Edge

Kent State's business school spent $2.5 million in 2003 to build its 25-seat trading floor. About three-fourths of the funding came from donations, and the rest came from the university.

Holder made the investment to give his students a competitive edge. Financial engineers use mathematical models for risk management problems; after graduation, students might be employed in investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies and regulatory agencies. When Holder talked to investment firm executives, they said recent financial engineering graduates are great with their quantitative skills, but they could use more hands-on experience.

The majority of the $2.5 million was spent on room renovations, but a significant amount was used for technology. Holder spent about $150,000 on PCs, $100,000 on servers, $40,000 on networking equipment and another $100,000 on audio-visual equipment, including a projector and screen, so professors could lecture to their classes. Much of the software and data feeds are donated or discounted, but it's still a considerable expense to maintain the hardware and provide the data feeds – about $350,000 a year, Holder says.

“It's more than just a glorified computer lab,” he explains. “You have to be prepared to spend some real dollars to give the students as realistic an experience as possible.”

As the trading floor aged, the university had to replace its hardware. Last year, the school spent $100,000 on a dozen new HP DL380 servers to replace its six-year-old servers, and it also upgraded its core Cisco switch to support Gigabit Ethernet speeds to the desktop. The trading floor relies on the university's Internet connection, but it also uses a separate DS3 line for its high-bandwidth data feed, which delivers market news and real-time quotes from the commodities, currencies and equities markets.

The financial engineering program runs all its applications in its own server room, including the domain controller and Exchange e-mail. Holder hired YJT Solutions, a Chicago IT consulting firm that specializes in the financial industry, to offer the university's trading room the same 24x7 network monitoring and technical support that professional trading firms receive.

The IT firm's service desk resolves most problems through remote administration tools but visits the campus on occasion. When the consultants recently upgraded the servers, they focused on improving performance, reliability and uptime. The new high-powered servers feature redundant components, such as dual-power supplies. Data is protected using RAID arrays and nightly backups.

Drake University built a lab for its students that's a replica of a neighborhood pharmacy, says Joseph Scavo.

Photo Credit: Scott Sinklier

Real Experience

Kent State's trading floor gets plenty of use. During trading exercises, professors ask students to develop a trading strategy. The students execute their plan and then write up the outcome, such as whether they made financial gains or losses, Holder says. The faculty grades students on how well they perform in those exercises.

While most universities with trading rooms run only simulations, some colleges such as Texas State University-San Marcos let students manage a real investment fund.

Students can't actually conduct real trades in Texas State's securities trading room, but they can do research there. And when they do decide what to invest in, their professors call brokers to make the trades, says William Chittenden, chair of Texas State's finance and economics department.

The university opened its 1,500-square-foot trading lab in 2006 at the same time it launched a $100,000 student management investment fund. It features 30 computers with dual monitors and access to financial software that offers real-time market data; news and research reports; and a spreadsheet application used for predictive modeling, forecasting and simulations.

The investment fund was created four years ago when Emmett and Miriam McCoy, founders of a chain of building supply stores, donated $20 million to the business school. The fund is managed by 20 undergraduates who conduct research over two semesters to determine which securities to purchase. At the end of each semester, the students pitch their favorite investments, and the class votes on which securities to keep and which to sell.

“Before, we could teach them how to manage a portfolio or compete in online portfolio competitions, but when it's real money, students act much differently,” Chittenden says. “If it's

play money, they can take risks. But they can't do that with someone's real money, and that enhances the experience.”
Since the fund started, the students' portfolio has increased in value. They've done so well that the fund's foundation board will increase the student investment fund to $250,000 next fall, and to $300,000 in fall 2011. The experience helps the students when they seek jobs after graduation, Chittenden says.

Ready for Life

At Drake University, the goal of its pharmacy practice lab is to give students a realistic pharmacy setting so they can practice the workflow process of filling prescriptions and become comfortable with using pharmacy technology and counseling patients. That way, when they are involved in their first pharmacy rotation as students, they can hit the ground running, says Joseph Scavo, systems administrator at Drake University's pharmacy college.

The new lab, which opened in spring 2009 and was largely funded by donations, features eight pharmacy stations with the latest technology. The gear includes iMac computers, a biometric system that reads students' fingerprints so they can log in to the system, and a robotic pill-dispensing machine that can fill some (but not all) prescriptions.

“This is as close to a real-world simulation as we could give them. When you walk in, it's almost like your neighborhood pharmacy with over-the-counter drugs on display on shelves,” Scavo says.

Scavo uses VMware Fusion desktop virtualization software so each iMac can also run Windows. Students toggle back and forth between the two operating systems – Windows to access a pharmacy application and the Mac to record video of student interactions with patients, which professors will later view and critique.

Three students at a time work in each station, where they share two computers. Each computer has several USB peripherals attached, including a Fujitsu duplex scanner used to scan in prescriptions, Dymo thermal printers to print out barcodes, and point-of-sale signature pads.

When a patient comes in with a prescription – typically, a professor or another student who is role-playing – the student pharmacist sticks a barcode label on the paper prescription to identify the patient. Barcode labels are also printed on the prescription bottle to identify the drugs. When the prescription is filled, the student uses a barcode scanner to scan the barcodes to verify that the right drugs are going to the right patient.

When it's time to explain the medicine to the patient, the pharmacy student turns the monitor of the computer around to face the patient and records the interaction with the built-in webcam and microphone, so faculty members can later review it and grade the student's performance.

The patient reads from a script prepared by a professor. It can be ornery and full of questions, providing the student pharmacists with experience about how to deal with touchy situations. “It could be tense situations with combative patients, but the faculty want to see how students deal with it,” Scavo says.

Once recorded, the sessions are uploaded to a password-protected portion of Drake University's iTunes University server, which faculty members can access.

Besides learning workflow at the lab, students learn to perform patient assessments, such as practicing blood pressure measurements. They also examine patient histories, consult with electronic databases and determine whether a combination of medications could result in bad side effects.

Overall, college officials say high-tech labs not only prepare students for their careers, but also give universities a boost. Kent State's trading floor helped the school's financial engineering program build a solid reputation. Today, top firms such as Goldman Sachs and exchanges such as Europe's Eurex recruit its students, Holder says.

“It's helped us establish a good reputation with the top firms, and it's added prestige to the college of business and the university as a whole,” he says.

Journalists Train for the Future

Five years ago, the journalism school at the University of Missouri launched a convergence track to give its students the multimedia and technology skills they need to thrive in an industry where print publications are dying and broadcast radio and TV audiences are dwindling.

Graduate and undergraduate students studying convergence become jacks-of-all-trades. They take turns working for the school's community newspaper and the school-run radio and TV stations, as well as websites that the university partners with. As part of their coursework, the students learn web design with tech tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop. They learn to record podcasts with digital recorders and microphones, and take photos with digital cameras. They also shoot video, edit the footage with Apple's Final Cut Pro and post it online.

The goal is to give them multiple career options when they graduate, from traditional newspaper, TV and radio jobs to new media jobs, such as blogging or producing a website, says convergence chair Lynda Kraxberger.

“We train them to work across the media platforms. But we also constantly push them to think critically about the traditional media and explore how the Internet changes what people want and how they want it,” she says. “And involved in that is marketing – social networking, blogging, and creating their own brand and online identity.”

Each student is required to purchase their own notebook computer, so they can do all their work in any location. But they can also work out of the school's TV, radio, newspaper and convergence newsrooms, each of which has its own computer lab, Kraxberger says.

Tips for Setting Up a Lab

1. Let faculty take the lead on technology. Faculty members know the tech tools and applications that are widely used in their field. Let them decide what to standardize on, but make sure IT managers chime in on important issues, such as infrastructure and hardware compatibility.

2. Tech labs must double as classrooms, so don't forget the tech tools that let professors lecture. Drake University's pharmacy lab is equipped with a document camera, faculty computer, DVD player and four flat-screen displays. Faculty can project their computer screen or PowerPoint presentations onto the displays.

3. Purchase high-end PCs. Schools with trading floors must purchase computers with multiple processor cores and plenty of memory that can support multiple applications running simultaneously. Dual monitors are also important because they're standard in real-life trading rooms and allow students to multitask.

4. Fill the lab's daily schedule with classes. You invested a lot of money to build the lab, so use it. Besides trading-room activities, fill it with classes.

5. Focus on physical security. Graduate assistants at Texas State University-San Marcos supervise the room during open lab hours. Video cameras record all exits to the building. At Kent State, the room has a security system with fingerprint access.

6. Invest in training so students know how to use the technology. Each year at Kent State, the school's software vendors come on campus to teach new students how to use the applications.

Sun, 26 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Wylie Wong en text/html
Killexams : HP is not ending sales of the Elite x3 until at least 2019

Earlier today, WindowsUnited reported that HP will discontinue sales of the Elite x3 this November. The report has been making the usual rounds on the internet, and frankly, the news wouldn't be surprising given the state of Windows 10 Mobile and the lack of hardware.

But fortunately for Windows phone fans, it's not true, as HP has confirmed to Neowin that it plans to sell the Elite x3 'through 2019'. A spokesperson for the company has offered the following statement:

HP is always responding to customer feedback to deliver the best product experiences. We remain committed to our mobility strategy and vision and will sell the Elite x3 through 2019 while continuing to enhance our portfolio delivering multi-OS devices, accessories and workflow transformation solutions. Mobility is an exciting and rapidly evolving area, and HP will continue to explore ways to address our customers’ mobile computing needs.

HP's Windows 10 Mobile solution is a unique one, using virtualization for Win32 support through its Workspace service, and a heavy focus on Continuum, which allows customers to use their phone like they would a desktop PC, or even a laptop. The bundle with the Desk Dock is still available from the Microsoft Store.

But for the foreseeable future, HP will continue to sell its '3-in-1 PC', along with a variety of other devices from the Elite lineup.

Wed, 20 Jul 2022 05:00:00 -0500 Rich Woods en text/html
Killexams : Microsoft recognizes Nett Assist with Best Learning Solutions Partner Award 2010-11

At a colorful ceremony at Hotel Galadari, Microsoft recognized NETASSIST International with "Best Learning Solutions Partner award" for the year 2010-11. Since 2006, for the fifth time, NETASSIST International has been selected as Microsoft's Best Learning Solutions Partner.

This year has been another successful year for NETASSIST International with Microsoft reiterating NETASSIST with "Gold partner for Learning solutions" status.- a status level awarded by measuring six quality parameters and customer feedback.

In contrast to the Universities, "Technical Training & Certification" exposes the students to higher level of technical mastery provided by vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, HP etc., Therefore those who have completed technical certifications are more industry ready than their counterparts from the University. (A similar correlation could be drawn from Management & Accounting Graduates who aggressively follow certification programs such as CIMA and ACCA which make them more industry ready. ) This has led to many university undergraduates following technical certification courses while in the university to enhance their ability to face the competitive interviews with Technology companies.

NETASSIST specializes in high end training in Information technology encompassing Programming skills which includes .Net, SharePoint Sever, SQL which leads to MCTS -Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. Network Infrastructure track includes Windows Server 2008 , Windows7, Virtualization etc., which leads to MCTS - Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist MCITP -Server Administrator, MCITP -Enterprise Administrator. Office Productivity tools such as Microsoft Office 2007: Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint which leads to MCAS : Microsoft Certified Application Certification. Trainings and certifications are available for specialized Servers such as BizTalk, Exchange 2010, SCCM Server.
NetAssist is authorized testing centre for Prometric, Pearson Vue, offering testing facilities at prime location. Convenient hours of operation allows for flexible exam scheduling on Weekdays and Weekends. And Training classes are conducted on flexible times for corporate and fresher's.

All the trainers at NetAssist are Certified Trainers for the principals that NetAssist represents and are highly qualified with Real-World Experience. They have been professionally and technically qualified to deliver the Official Curriculum. Also being practicing engineers, trainers add value to their classes by sharing their real-world experience. It is no wonder that NetAssist was awarded the prestige Microsoft Training Excellence for consecutive Years 2006 -2011.

Well-equipped with state of art training equipment, high-end PCs (capable of delivering Hyper-V, Virtualized servers, Cloud computing), Multimedia with delivery in air-conditioned environment, NETASSIST provides an environment in par with Western standards. The training material (MOCs) and lab material provided with Virtual PCs and Virtual servers are not available with Non Microsoft training institutes and makes a major difference in the practical training.

Training courses are conducted based on Microsoft's official curriculum, which are developed by experts in their respective fields and are revised by Microsoft every 3-6 months or in line with the release of the newer products , versions and service packs.

NetAssist frequently joins hand with Education Ministry , ICTA , DEMP, SEMP in National capacity building programmes to enhance the IT literacy rate among Professionals, Teachers and general public.

In addition, NETASSIST also partners with Oracle, who have acquired Sun Microsystem, JAVA, MYSQL, Open Office etc., Over the last two years, Oracle too has recognized NETASSIST with Gold Partner level.
Prometric too awarded the Gold Partner status award in view of the excellent quality levels and customer service provided at the online exam center.

Fri, 25 Jun 2021 17:48:00 -0500 text/html
Killexams : HP Furloughs Dozens At Oregon Factory As Print Demand Falls: Report

Components peripherals News

Shane Snider

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT giant posted a solid second quarter, but print revenue was down. Company says action needed to ‘position the business for long-term sustainable growth.’


HP Inc. has furloughed dozens of contract employees at its printer supply factory in Corvallis, Oregon for the last two weeks of July with another furlough planned for September, according to The Oregonian.

The newspaper quoted sources with direct knowledge of the tech firm’s plans. Furlough notices were sent to workers for July 18 through July 29. The next two-week furlough begins September 12 and ends September 23, according to the newspaper.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP did not provide specifics on the furloughs, but in a statement to CRN said, “Our consistent and rigorous financial discipline is what allows us to maximize investments in our strategic priorities and position the business for long-term sustainable growth. As part of this, we regularly evaluate and optimize contractor spending to support business objectives.”

Last month, HP reported a 7 percent drop in printer revenue for the second quarter compared to the previous year and supplies sales were also down 6 percent year-over-year. The Corvallis campus houses both research and manufacturing. HP employs more than 51,000 people globally.

In May, HP CEO Enrique Lores told CRN the company was feeling impacts from the COVID-19 lockdowns plaguing China’s major tech manufacturing regions in and around Shanghai. “We’ve already had some impacts this quarter,” Lores said during a press briefing.

Shane Snider

Shane Snider is a senior associate editor covering personal computing, mobile devices, semiconductor news, hardware reviews, breaking news and live events. Shane is a veteran journalist, having worked for newspapers in upstate New York and North Carolina. He can be reached at

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 08:42:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Best Of Breed: CRN's BoB Conference Coverage

5 Questions On How To Build A Social Media Strategy, Answered

There's more to a social media strategy than just having a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. At the BoB conference, Wendi Garrison, director of marketing and partner relations at Business Communications Inc., and Ruth White-Cabbell, marketing programs manager, U.S. channel marketing at Cisco Systems, offered a look at some best practices to help solution providers boost their social media strategies.

Cloud VARs Relishing Role In Defogging Cloud For Customers

Cloud computing is a widely used term in the IT industry vernacular, but what cloud computing actually means depends on who you're talking to. During the Cloud Integrators Forum panel held at the BoB conference, solution providers in various stages of transitioning to the cloud offered a glimpse of the business impact cloud computing is having on their discussions with customers.

New IBM CEO Rometty Faces Treacherous Cloud Computing Services Transformation

Ginni Rometty will take over as the new IBM CEO effective January 1. While Rometty has 30 years under her belt at Big Blue, the assessment of top solution provider executives at the BoB conference is that transitioning IBM's $100 billion business into the cloud services era will be anything but easy.

HP's Rauch To Partners: Time To Take Cloud To Next Level

HP has been actively engaging in discussions with customers who are interested in learning how the cloud can help transform the way they do business. And while HP is pleased with these discussions, Frank Rauch, vice president of channel sales for HP's ESSN division, believes it's time to transform these discussions into genuine cloud business. During his presentation at the BoB conference, Rauch discussed how the channel will play a critical in converting these cloud conversations into genuine sales of HP cloud products.

UBM Channel CEO: Changing Business Models Is Key To Success In Cloud Computing Services Era

According to UBM Channel research, progressive solution providers that are investing in new business models and are actually winning cloud customers is in stark contrast to solution providers who have not changed in the last decade. While adoption is soaring with approximately $2 billion in cloud services expected to be sold in 2012, 25 percent of those vintage solution providers claimed to see no demand. That was one of the big takeaways in a keynote presentation by UBM Channel CEO Robert Faletra at the BoB conference.


VARs Tackle Common Misconceptions About Desktop Virtualization

Virtual desktop infrastructure adoption is not taking off like server virtualization did. And while it's a much trickier technology to deploy from a cost and business model perspective, solution providers are still bullish on the long-term benefits VDI can bring to customers. During a panel discussion at the BoB conference, solution providers discussed why the VDI adoption rate is still in the single digits while providing optimism for the future impact of the technology.

Three Types Of Business Relationships: Which Should You Nurture?

Product conversion is all fine and well, but getting to know the person you're doing business with is critical to actually growing your business. This is according to David Nour, best-selling author of "Relationship Economics," who spoke to solution provider executives at the BoB conference. Nour stressed the importance of strategic relationships for solution providers, and noted that focusing on solving the genuine business problem a customer is facing will lead to a greater ROI than transactional sales.

Gansky: In Web Startup World, Sharing Is The New Ownership

Lisa Gansky, entrepreneur and author of "The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing," kicked off the BoB Conference with a look at how the most innovative companies on the Web are leveraging shared access to goods and talent. Gansky highlights services such as Spotify and Zipcar as early examples of businesses who are tapping into the advantages that can be derived from the sharing resulting from social networking and the near-ubiquitous ownership of mobile devices.

BOB Conference Attendees Set Channel Survival Course

For solution provider executives gathering at the BoB Conference, collaborating on a path to success in the midst of fast-paced technology and business model changes is top of mind. DLT Solutions President and CEO Rick Marcotte, GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler and other solution provider thought leaders view collaboration as a key to forging a new path that will allow the channel to prosper in the cloud computing era.

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 19:29:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Top 10 data lake solution vendors in 2022

Were you unable to attend Transform 2022? Check out all of the summit sessions in our on-demand library now! Watch here.

As the world becomes increasingly data-driven, businesses must find suitable solutions to help them achieve their desired outcomes. Data lake storage has garnered the attention of many organizations that need to store large amounts of unstructured, raw information until it can be used in analytics applications.

The data lake solution market is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years and is driven by vendors that offer cost-effective, scalable solutions for their customers.

Learn more about data lake solutions, what key features they should have and some of the top vendors to consider this year. 

What is a data lake solution?

A data lake is defined as a single, centralized repository that can store massive amounts of unstructured and semi-structured information in its native, raw form. 

It’s common for an organization to store unstructured data in a data lake if it hasn’t decided how that information will be used. Some examples of unstructured data include images, documents, videos and audio. These data types are useful in today’s advanced machine learning (ML) and advanced analytics applications.

Data lakes differ from data warehouses, which store structured, filtered information for specific purposes in files or folders. Data lakes were created in response to some of the limitations of data warehouses. For example, data warehouses are expensive and proprietary, cannot handle certain business use cases an organization must address, and may lead to unwanted information homogeneity.

On-premise data lake solutions were commonly used before the widespread adoption of the cloud. Now, it’s understood that some of the best hosts for data lakes are cloud-based platforms on the edge because of their inherent scalability and considerably modular services. 

A 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights several business benefits of using the cloud, including better customer service and the acquisition of cost-effective options for IT management services.

Cloud data lakes and on-premise data lakes have pros and cons. Businesses should consider cost, scale and available technical resources to decide which type is best.

Read more about data lakes: What is a data lake? Definition, benefits, architecture and best practices

5 must-have features of a data lake solution

It’s critical to understand what features a data lake offers. Most solutions come with the same core components, but each vendor may have specific offerings or unique selling points (USPs) that could influence a business’s decision.

Below are five key features every data lake should have:

1. Various interfaces, APIs and endpoints

Data lakes that offer diverse interfaces, APIs and endpoints can make it much easier to upload, access and move information. These capabilities are important for a data lake because it allows unstructured data for a wide range of use cases, depending on a business’s desired outcome.

2. Support for or connection to processing and analytics layers

ML engineers, data scientists, decision-makers and analysts benefit most from a centralized data lake solution that stores information for easy access and availability. This characteristic can help data professionals and IT managers work with data more seamlessly and efficiently, thus improving productivity and helping companies reach their goals.

3. Robust search and cataloging features

Imagine a data lake with large amounts of information but no sense of organization. A viable data lake solution must incorporate generic organizational methods and search capabilities, which provide the most value for its users. Other features might include key-value storage, tagging, metadata, or tools to classify and collect subsets of information.

4. Security and access control

Security and access control are two must-have features with any digital tool. The current cybersecurity landscape is expanding, making it easier for threat actors to exploit a company’s data and cause irreparable damage. Only certain users should have access to a data lake, and the solution must have strong security to protect sensitive information.

5. Flexibility and scalability

More organizations are growing larger and operating at a much faster rate. Data lake solutions must be flexible and scalable to meet the ever-changing needs of modern businesses working with information.

Also read: Unlocking analytics with data lake and graph analysis

Top 10 data lake solution vendors in 2022

Some data lake solutions are best suited for businesses in certain industries. In contrast, others may work well for a company of a particular size or with a specific number of employees or customers. This can make choosing a potential data lake solution vendor challenging. 

Companies considering investing in a data lake solution this year should check out some of the vendors below.

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The AWS Cloud provides many essential tools and services that allow companies to build a data lake that meets their needs. The AWS data lake solution is widely used, cost-effective and user-friendly. It leverages the security, durability, flexibility and scalability that Amazon S3 object storage offers to its users. 

The data lake also features Amazon DynamoDB to handle and manage metadata. AWS data lake offers an intuitive, web-based console user interface (UI) to manage the data lake easily. It also forms data lake policies, removes or adds data packages, creates manifests of datasets for analytics purposes, and features search data packages.

2. Cloudera

Cloudera is another top data lake vendor that will create and maintain safe, secure storage for all data types. Some of Cloudera SDX’s Data Lake Service capabilities include:

  • Data schema/metadata information
  • Metadata management and governance
  • Compliance-ready access auditing
  • Data access authorization and authentication for improved security

Other benefits of Cloudera’s data lake include product support, downloads, community and documentation. GSK and Toyota leveraged Cloudera’s data lake to garner critical business intelligence (BI) insights and manage data analytics processes.

3. Databricks 

Databricks is another viable vendor, and it also offers a handful of data lake alternatives. The Databricks Lakehouse Platform combines the best elements of data lakes and warehouses to provide reliability, governance, security and performance.

Databricks’ platform helps break down silos that normally separate and complicate data, which frustrates data scientists, ML engineers and other IT professionals. Aside from the platform, Databricks also offers its Delta Lake solution, an open-format storage layer that can Improve data lake management processes. 

4. Domo

Domo is a cloud-based software company that can provide big data solutions to all companies. Users have the freedom to choose a cloud architecture that works for their business. Domo is an open platform that can augment existing data lakes, whether it’s in the cloud or on-premise. Users can use combined cloud options, including:

  • Choosing Domo’s cloud
  • Connecting to any cloud data
  • Selecting a cloud data platform

Domo offers advanced security features, such as BYOK (bring your own key) encryption, control data access and governance capabilities. Well-known corporations such as Nestle, DHL, Cisco and Comcast leverage the Domo Cloud to better manage their needs.

5. Google Cloud

Google is another big tech player offering customers data lake solutions. Companies can use Google Cloud’s data lake to analyze any data securely and cost-effectively. It can handle large volumes of information and IT professionals’ various processing tasks. Companies that don’t want to rebuild their on-premise data lakes in the cloud can easily lift and shift their information to Google Cloud. 

Some key features of Google’s data lakes include Apache Spark and Hadoop migration, which are fully managed services, integrated data science and analytics, and cost management tools. Major companies like Twitter, Vodafone, Pandora and Metro have benefited from Google Cloud’s data lakes.

6. HP Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is another data lake solution vendor that can help businesses harness the power of their big data. HPE’s solution is called GreenLake — it offers organizations a truly scalable, cloud-based solution that simplifies their Hadoop experiences. 

HPE GreenLake is an end-to-end solution that includes software, hardware and HPE Pointnext Services. These services can help businesses overcome IT challenges and spend more time on meaningful tasks. 

7. IBM

Business technology leader IBM also offers data lake solutions for companies. IBM is well-known for its cloud computing and data analytics solutions. It’s a great choice if an operation is looking for a suitable data lake solution. IBM’s cloud-based approach operates on three key principles: embedded governance, automated integration and virtualization.

These are some data lake solutions from IBM: 

  • IBM Db2
  • IBM Db2 BigSQL
  • IBM Netezza
  • IBM Watson Query
  • IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Data

With so many data lakes available, there’s surely one to fit a company’s unique needs. Financial services, healthcare and communications businesses often use IBM data lakes for various purposes.

8. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft offers its Azure Data Lake solution, which features easy storage methods, processing, and analytics using various languages and platforms. Azure Data Lake also works with a company’s existing IT investments and infrastructure to make IT management seamless.

The Azure Data Lake solution is affordable, comprehensive, secure and supported by Microsoft. Companies benefit from 24/7 support and expertise to help them overcome any big data challenges they may face. Microsoft is a leader in business analytics and tech solutions, making it a popular choice for many organizations.

9. Oracle

Companies can use Oracle’s Big Data Service to build data lakes to manage the influx of information needed to power their business decisions. The Big Data Service is automated and will provide users with an affordable and comprehensive Hadoop data lake platform based on Cloudera Enterprise. 

This solution can be used as a data lake or an ML platform. Another important feature of Oracle is it is one of the best open-source data lakes available. It also comes with Oracle-based tools to add even more value. Oracle’s Big Data Service is scalable, flexible, secure and will meet data storage requirements at a low cost.

10. Snowflake

Snowflake’s data lake solution is secure, reliable and accessible and helps businesses break down silos to Improve their strategies. The top features of Snowflake’s data lake include a central platform for all information, fast querying and secure collaboration.

Siemens and Devon Energy are two companies that provide testimonials regarding Snowflake’s data lake solutions and offer positive feedback. Another benefit of Snowflake is its extensive partner ecosystem, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Accenture, Deloitte and Google Cloud.

The importance of choosing the right data lake solution vendor 

Companies that spend extra time researching which vendors will offer the best enterprise data lake solutions for them can manage their information better. Rather than choose any vendor, it’s best to consider all options available and determine which solutions will meet the specific needs of an organization.

Every business uses information, some more than others. However, the world is becoming highly data-driven — therefore, leveraging the right data solutions will only grow more important in the coming years. This list will help companies decide which data lake solution vendor is right for their operations.

Read next: Get the most value from your data with data lakehouse architecture

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 07:14:00 -0500 Shannon Flynn en-US text/html
Killexams : HP Pavilion Plus 14

HP's Pavilions—the company's bread-and-butter laptops—have lately been earning looks from sophisticated shoppers who might once have gazed up to the more premium Envy and Spectre series. Last summer's Pavilion Aero was fast, well-equipped, and a featherweight 2.2 pounds, and the new Pavilion Plus 14 (starts A$2,699) is a sleek aluminum ultraportable laptop available with a snazzy OLED display. The Plus earns an Editors' Choice nod as a midrange ultraportable, replacing the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon, which also offers OLED and is lighter, but has a higher price and fewer ports.

Plenty of Configurations to Choose From

American buyers are limited to Natural Silver instead of the several colors offered to overseas shoppers, but otherwise the Pavilion Plus 14 is a dream for people who like to pore over configuration details. It can be ordered with either Intel integrated or Nvidia discrete graphics, and 12th Generation processors from Intel's 15-watt U, 28-watt P, or 45-watt H series. That's extraordinary flexibility; which one you choose will depend on your lust for performance versus battery life.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 rear view

The $2,699 model steps features a Core i7-12700H (six Performance cores, eight Efficient cores, 20 threads) with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics and a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel OLED panel, 1TB SSD and Windows 11 Home.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 left angle

The Pavilion Plus 14 measures 0.72 by 12.3 by 8.8 inches (HWD), just a bit bulkier than the Slim 7 Carbon (0.59 by 12.3 by 8.5 inches). The Acer Swift 3, a 14-inch ultraportable with a conventional 16:9 screen aspect ratio, is 0.63 by 12.7 by 8.4 inches. Though it's no burden in a briefcase, the HP is the heaviest of the three at 3.09 pounds to the Lenovo's 2.42 pounds and the Acer's 2.71 pounds.

HP boasts that the Plus features a recycled aluminum lid, keyboard deck, and bottom, as well as recycled plastic keycaps. There's some flex if you grasp the screen corners or mash the keyboard, but the laptop feels fairly sturdy overall. The screen bezels are thin (the company says the screen-to-body ratio is 87%) and there's a fingerprint reader in the palm rest for password-free logins.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 left ports

We like to see Thunderbolt 4 ports on $2,000-and-up laptops; the Pavilion Plus has none. There are two 10Gbps USB 3.2 Type-C ports on the right side (either accommodating the AC adapter for charging the laptop's battery), along with a 5Gbps USB Type-A port and an HDMI video output. Another USB-A port, a microSD card slot, and an audio jack are on the left.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 right ports

A Few Luxury Features

Since you can sign into Windows Hello with a fingerprint, we don't mind that the webcam lacks face recognition tech, though we're disappointed it has no privacy shutter. On the plus side, it blows away the usual 720p junk with sharp 5-megapixel resolution (capturing 2,592-by-1,944-pixel 4:3 images or 2,560-by-1,440 16:9 shots or videos) and delivers well-lit and colorful pics with no noise or static.

The backlit keyboard wins points for having real Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys instead of making you pair the Fn key and cursor arrows for those functions. It loses points for HP's trademark arrangement of said cursor keys in an inept row instead of the proper inverted T, with half-sized, hard-to-hit up and down arrows stacked between full-sized left and right. (And, I'm tempted to say, it loses more points for the inclusion of an emoji key alongside the brightness and volume controls on the top row.)

HP Pavilion Plus 14 keyboard

The Escape and Delete keys are puny, but the keyboard's typing feel is pretty good. It's a bit shallow and plasticky, but still snappy and responsive. The large, buttonless touchpad glides and taps smoothly but has a vague, loose-feeling click.

Most of the kudos the Pavilion Plus 14 earns come from offering a vivid OLED display at an affordable price. It's not a touch screen, but what HP calls a 2.8K display is exceptionally sharp and colorful, with gorgeous hues and sky-high contrast. White backgrounds are pristine and blacks look like India ink. The panel also offers a choice of the usual 60Hz refresh rate, or a 90Hz one for slightly smoother scrolling and videos. (This is not a fast-twitch gaming rig, as you'll see in the performance benchmarks below.)

HP Pavilion Plus 14 front view

Bottom-mounted speakers produce relatively loud and crisp sound. There's no bass to speak of, but audio isn't tinny or hollow even at top volume, and you can make out overlapping tracks. B&O Audio Control software provides an equalizer with music, movie, and voice presets plus noise cancellation for conferences. Other software includes HP Enhanced Lighting to simulate a ring light on screen, HP QuickDrop to transfer files to or from your smartphone, and McAfee, LastPass, and ExpressVPN trials.

Testing the Pavilion Plus 14: An Ultralight Ultra-Faceoff

For our benchmark tests, we challenged the HP Pavilion Plus 14 with four other 14-inch consumer slimlines led by the OLED-screened, AMD-powered Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and its Intel sibling the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro. The other two are the Acer Swift 3 and XPG Xenia 14, which come in just at and just over $1,000, respectively.

Productivity Tests

The main benchmark of UL's PCMark 10 simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows to measure overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing. We also run PCMark 10's Full System Drive test to assess the load time and throughput of a laptop's storage.

Three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC's suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon's Cinebench R23 uses that company's Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Primate Labs' Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better).

Our final productivity test is Puget Systems' PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe's famous image editor to rate a PC's performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It's an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The Pavilion Plus landed solidly in the upper middle of the pack, leading the way in our CPU tests and clearing the 4,000 points in PCMark that indicate excellent productivity for everyday apps like Microsoft Office or Google Workspace.

Graphics Tests

We test Windows PCs' graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL's 3DMark, Night Raid (more modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We also run two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions, exercise graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the better.

For the ten thousandth time, we see Intel's Iris Xe integrated graphics falling far short of the discrete GPUs of gaming laptops. The HP and its peers are fine for casual gaming and streaming entertainment, not the latest simulations and shoot-'em-ups.

Battery and Display Tests

We test laptops' battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open-source Blender movie Tears of Steel) with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off.

We also use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software to measure a laptop screen's color saturation—what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can show—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).

Nine and a half hours of unplugged life is perfectly fine—three years ago, we would have thought it miraculous—but it's shy of the 12 or more hours we regularly see from ultraportables these days. Still, the Plus should get you through a full day of work or school with a bit of YouTube, if not a whole Netflix movie, left over. More important, the HP's dazzling display is rivaled only by the OLED Slim 7 Carbon, with spectacular brightness and gorgeous color coverage.

The $1,000 Model Looks Even Better

Some of our favorite laptops have IPS displays, but once you've seen an OLED panel it's hard to settle for less. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is a capable ultraportable in its IPS guise, but its OLED version is a major value even with the surcharge of our review unit's 1TB SSD. Losing a few ounces and gaining a few hours of battery life would make it awesome, but it still deserves Editors' Choice honors and a spot on your shopping list.

Mon, 25 Jul 2022 09:53:00 -0500 en-au text/html
HP2-H32 exam dump and training guide direct download
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