How Often Should You Perform Database Backups?

Backing up critical data is an extremely important aspect of any business’ infrastructure, and technological advancements have made it easier to do so, thereby restoring your company to its normal status after data loss. However, many companies aren’t sure how often to back up their data, or what data to back up. We’ll answer those questions.

First, a database backup is essentially a direct copy of the data – a backup is used to recreate lost information or files within the database when the originals have been lost or corrupted. In many databases, as explained by Oracle, “this copy includes important parts of your database, such as the control file, archive logs and datafile-structures”; database backup is imperative in recovering your data.

Consider this: the second quarter of 2015 saw more than 4M samples of ransomware attacks, over 1M of which were new in comparison to 2014, and those numbers are only expected to increase drastically. A threat to both public and private sectors, hackers will hold your data hostage until they are paid in exchange for a key that frees your information. If you have these files backed up on a separate drive, they immediately become less important to you, making it less likely that you are willing to pay anything to the hackers in question. Even a few minutes of downtime can be detrimental to a large company or organization, so it is important that you can recover and restore the data as quickly as possible.

Ok, so you now know that backing up your data is a critical part of running a successful business. But how often is necessary when backing up your data? Another great question, of course, but the answer is not so simple. The frequency of backups should be tailored around your business requirements. If you’re unsure how often your organization needs to backup, you should rely on professional engineers to create a data recovery plan and perform daily data backups. Having backup management services in place not only protects the virtual investments you’ve work so hard to build, but also helps eliminate daily management risks while increasing productivity. Partners like Neovera can ensure your business runs smoothly and help you avoid the technology headaches.

How Open Source is Changing the Development Landscape for the Better

Remember that teacher in elementary school that always talked about sharing, and made you share your toys with the other kids in class? That teacher provided a valuable lesson to many in that sharing really is caring. Ok, so enough with the nostalgia – currently, sharing is spoken about in different terms, especially when it comes to software and applications. In the past we used terms like “shareware” or “freeware” to promote free software to a large group of people. Today we often use the term “open source,” referring to software that is made available to anyone, and can be contributed to, or altered by, anyone.

Open source is nothing new, except when it comes to enterprise.

Much of enterprise software is provided by one vendor for a given price, calculated by number of users or licenses, or a monthly or yearly fee. The constant is that the vendor is responsible for updating, maintaining, and improving the software over time. The problem is that the vendor only has so much bandwidth to be able to develop improvements that are equal parts timely and meaningful.

This is where open source software comes in: there are a great number being used for big data, project management, web development, and other projects. Two examples are Hadoop (big data) and WordPress (web development). Both are open source software, having become more popular than they would have had they been created and maintained by only one vendor or company.

Open source allows for collaboration, with software developers from all walks of life contributing to its functionality in order to make it better.

You don’t have to hire this person or seek them out; all you have to do is lay out guidelines to follow and sit back. It creates a chain reaction that helps improve the software more rapidly than if it were only being developed by a few people.

In the realm of open source software like WordPress, this type of collaboration results in a number of improvements to the core of the CMS, as well as thousands of plugins and themes, or skins. When working with a program like Hadoop, it allows businesses to form that utilize Hadoop to build big data infrastructure, and planning and do so much faster.

Open source is a realm of endless possibilities due to platform creators allowing the users develop improvements rather than just selling it to anyone. And while software development is a business (giving away free software won’t pay the bills), there are plenty of ways to create a business out of “freeware” or open source software.

In the end we should all be thankful that these developers cared enough to share their work with others, and allowed other developers to add to their work. What it does is make things better and easier for the rest of us faster than we could have imagined; and that really is a great thing.

Three Data Trends to Keep An Eye On In 2016

These days business is all about data. There’s big data, metadata, qualitative and quantitative data, and more. Data is everywhere, and is used to make everyday business decisions based on data analysis. Often times qualifying data quickly can mean the difference between big business, and going out of business.

With the importance of data growing every day, here are three trends in data to keep an eye on for 2016.

Predictive Analysis

“I see profits in your future…” is what the fortuneteller might say, and in this case if they were using predictive analysis they might be right. Using data to predict the future is not a magic trick. Identifying trends and using them to predict future behavior is becoming an integral part of not only everyday data analytics but the applications and tools developed to assist in the effort.

Social Analytics & Rich Media

Images and videos are becoming the norm in the technological world. No longer do audiences want to read the written word, but want to see rich media in its place. The difficulty here lies in being able to gather data about rich media in order to better understand the audience.

The tools needed to analyze rich media are becoming more sophisticated, allowing deeper understanding of how videos and images effect the user. Social media is also used heavily in this area and considering many, many people get their information from these platforms it’s the perfect place to mine for data. We’ll continue to see a rise in social analytics in the next year and beyond.

Big Data Will Rise Again

Big Data has taken a backseat to other topics such as cyber security in 2015. Of course, with there being so many high-profile cyber attacks in the last couple years you can understand why companies are focusing more on security than on data analytics.

Let’s also understand that Big Data isn’t going anywhere, and isn’t dead by a long shot. Many believe Big Data will once again rise up the ladder when it comes to IT spending in 2016 and for the next four to five years.

Moreover, it is believed that cloud-based Big Data will become the norm. Businesses will begin moving or provisioning Big Data applications in the cloud, allowing them to cost-effectively manage and analyze the large amounts of data they collect on a daily basis.

Today’s business is data driven, and that isn’t likely to change in the upcoming calendar year. We’ll be introduced to new technologies that assist with data collection and analysis, and we will better understand the future of data as time wears on. Data is a huge part of our future – whether it’s enhancements to your smartphone experience or a solution to cleaner energy, data lives within the heart of innovation and will continue to do so in 2016 and beyond.

Which Database Management System is Right for Your Business?

When trying to more easily configure your business to design complex data storage and retrieval systems, you will most likely turn to a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). This is a database management system that uses a relational model to create groups of data put into tables. These tables are known as relations. This type of database is the most widely used database solution for companies and organizations in a number of different fields and industries.

When it comes to choosing the right RDBMS for your organization, it usually narrows down to the most popular three:

1. Oracle:  Arguably the most popular RDBMS, due to its consistent upgrades and ability to scale along with technological advancements. Oracle was also the first company to release its RDBMS for commercial use and to release a commercial version of SQL that promoted use of queries. The most recent version of Oracle is known as “12c” and has a number of new features that increase security, enhance performance, a new Advanced Analytics platform, and improvements to Oracle Application Express – Oracle’s rapid development tool. Oracle databases are mainly used in large enterprise systems and highly configured to cloud computing.

License : Proprietary
Languages Supported : C, C#, C++, Objective C, Java, Ruby
Operating System : Windows, OS X, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX,z/OS, AIX

2. Microsoft SQL Server: Since its initial release as Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft has consistently kept up with the latest technology by releasing frequent updates to SQL Server. SQL Server began supporting XML with the 2005 release, and included native support for OLE with the 2012 release. SQL Server 2016 will be releasing soon within the next year and is said to be packed with great new features.

License : Proprietary
Languages Supported : PHP, Java, Ruby, VB, .Net, Python
Operating System : Windows

3. MySQL:  This is an open source database, which makes it a bit different than Oracle and SQL Server. As the Internet has become a major tool for business, MySQL has become the main database for managing databases associated with websites. The latest release of MySQL has several features including customized partitioning, improvements to support for SMP, and semi-synchronous replication.

License : Open Source
Languages Supported : C, C#, C++, Objective C, D, Ruby, Jav
Operating System : Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, OS X

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.30.39 AM

Screen shot of an SQL database query.

While these may be the top three SQL databases, this is most certainly not a comprehensive list. This is instead a top three guide to point you to the most popular SQL database management systems available. There are other options available for your business, like NoSql, which we will discuss in a later blog post.

When it comes to choosing the right RDBMS, it generally comes down to how your organization is going to use it and the data associated with your business. Also a consideration is the knowledge of those in your IT department that will be using this database management system. The most important thing to consider is that the database system that your choose aligns with your business needs and projected growth. If these two don’t coincide then you will have wasted time, money, and resources on the wrong fit for your business.

If you’re unsure about which database management system is right for you it may also be beneficial to contact a third party or consultant in order to learn more and have an analysis done. It is never a bad idea to have a second look at your database needs to find the best fit for your company. You can never be too prepared when making an important business decision.

UPCOMING WEBINAR: Big Data and NoSQL for Oracle DBAs – What You Need to Know

Big data and NoSQL allows us to scale to volumes that are not possible with traditional relational database systems at lower cost and in less time. The cost and size of storage has kept pace with our data requirements; however, transfer rates have not. Big data and NoSQL are architecture to solve this problem by bringing the compute to the data and not the other way around. During this presentation, you will learn what Big Data toolsets are and how they are different from relational database systems, including the Oracle In-Memory Database Option. 

PANELISTS:
Michael Schrader is an Oracle Certified Professional and Certified Business Intelligence Professional from TDWI. He has been an Oracle DBA since V5, and produced the whitepaper “Understanding an OLAP Solution from Oracle for Oracle Corporation. Michael coauthored “Oracle Database Warehousing Unleashed,” and is the lead author for “Oracle Essbase & Oracle OLAP: The Guide to Oracle’s Multidimensional Solutions.”

Arman Rawls is an Oracle Certified Professional and Neovera’s Senior Oracle Architect. He is the co-inventor for Healthcare Predictive Analysis Software. Arman specializes in RAC, disaster recovery architecture, data warehouse design, data integration and migration. He is a frequent speaker at Oracle Users Groups, Training Days, and instructor for PL/SQL and DBA courses.

Watch Now!

 

IT Managed Services: Do I Need Them?

Managed services: What are they exactly? Can my company use managed services? Do we need managed services?

In a very exact sense, managed services are defined as “the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses.” This essentially means outsourcing all or just a portion of your IT department for various things after pros and cons of doing so are weighed.

A company that provides managed services has a number of IT experts at their disposal who can help manage a company’s IT infrastructure. These managed service providers are responsible for making sure that their IT specialists are the most up-to-date in their certifications and knowledge. Their employees specialize in specific areas of IT and because all these experts are consolidated into one place, every client that the provider has will benefit from that knowledge. There is safety in knowing that you are being handled by the best in the field.

One of the other primary benefits of managed services is cost. Many companies provision these services for the benefits associated with not needing an IT department – or, in most cases, not having to purchase, own, and maintain their own hardware and applications.

A managed services provider can use their own hardware to provide services for a number of clients, thus cutting the cost for all the clients as a whole. The client can then focus on running their business effectively without having to worry about IT issues holding them back.managed-services-graphic-2

Any organization can benefit from managed services. This includes enterprises all the way down to small and local businesses.  Even small businesses can use a provider as a payment gateway to take credit card payments, use inventory software to keep track of store items, or keep a database of transactions for accounting purposes.

Major enterprises need additional help as well in the storing and maintaing the mass amounts of data need at any given time. They use this data to make real time decisions about advertising or pricing as well as running their online stores or physical storefronts, therefore this data is essential to business operations. Provisioning some form of managed services can ensure that in the case of technology failure, the loss of data will not be as excruciatingly costly.

As businesses rely more and more on technology, managed services will become a bigger need, and will continue to provide businesses with expertise that can be hard to come by elsewhere. While we hope that you choose Neovera as your managed service provider, we really cannot recommend heartily enough how important it is to seek out extra help in your company’s IT needs wherever that may be.

New Oracle Enterprise Manager Offers More Hybrid Cloud Flexibility

The Oracle Cloud Platform is one of the most robust tools for managing your cloud-based software and computing needs. Most businesses however, have not moved their entire infrastructure to the cloud. Many businesses are now using a hybrid cloud approach that includes using the cloud for certain software or computing while continuing to use their in-house infrastructure and management systems.

The newest release by Oracle, the Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Release 5, offers simpler ways to manage both your in-house environment as well as your cloud environment. The best part is that you can do it all from the Oracle Cloud Platform.

The Oracle Cloud Platform allows administrators to manage the jobs of both the in-house infrastructure and the cloud in order to gain better insights into an enterprise’s complete workloads. The Oracle Enterprise Manager also highlights software performance because of its enabled real-time data and operational information. This data can then be grouped and customized to showcase certain user-groups or clusters of software for a more in-depth examination of the overall system performance. This feature is beneficial as it can show you how to better organize and distribute your system workload for greater working efficiency.

Perhaps the most valuable feature of the new Oracle Enterprise Manager and Cloud Platform is the new ability to move or “copy” applications from the in-house infrastructure over to the cloud, or vice-versa. This user-friendly copying ability allows for easy migration to the cloud.

The migration process has continued to be one of the biggest concerns for those who are considering adopting a cloud solution. The high costs and possible technical difficulties that businesses anticipate when considering a cloud migration often deter them from adopting better long-term streamlining options for their business growth. The release of Oracle’s Enterprise Manager eliminates these fears and ensures end-user satisfaction.

Each year cloud adoption continues to grow exponentially and this is a growth that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Many experts agree that in the next five years, cloud migration, along with an increase in cyber security, will remain a top investment for companies. Cloud adoption continues to grow each year and has done so exponentially. This growth does not appear to be slowing down as many experts agree that cloud adoption will continue to be a prime investment for companies in the next five years along with cyber security.

Companies everywhere will soon be able to streamline in-house and cloud usage with the click of a button by utilizing products like Oracle Enterprise Manager and the Oracle Cloud Platform. Cloud technologies are creating a limitless future for business opportunities around the world.

Neovera Announces Secure Oracle Hosting & Cloud Solutions

RESTON, Va. (PRWEB) – Neovera, Inc., a leading provider of managed cyber security services, has unveiled its latest offering, Secure Oracle Hosting & Cloud Solutions.

Scott Weinberg, CEO and Founder of Neovera, described the new service as the Gold Standard in providing enterprise-class managed hosting to the Oracle community.

“Secure Oracle Hosting by Neovera provides integrated, cost-effective hosting solutions to ensure the security and compliance of your Oracle deployments in the cloud,” said Mr. Weinberg. “Our goal is to make it easy for your organization to get maximum value from your Oracle applications. We apply our in-depth knowledge of existing security policies, procedures, controls and mechanisms, ensuring industry best-practices and compliance standards, helping you prioritize your security issues and address your most urgent needs.”

Neovera offers multiple cloud platforms that are SSAE16, HIPAA, and PCI compliant, using the latest enterprise-class technologies and secure cloud architectures to provide an essential layer of protection to safeguard data. Neovera security engineers and DBAs work 24×7 to mitigate common threats, and quickly identify and assess vulnerabilities, ensuring client Oracle applications and data are highly available and secure.

For more information about this service, please contact Neovera at (866) 636-8372 or info@neovera.com.

About Neovera, Inc.
Neovera is a trusted provider of complex hosting solutions, leveraging over a decade of unmatched technical expertise in IT consulting and infrastructure managed services. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Neovera’s clients range from start-up and non-profit organizations, to global media, healthcare, education, and financial institutions. Our goal? To help our clients achieve superior return on investment with the optimization and management of high-availability IT infrastructure solutions. Learn more at http://www.neovera.com.

Five IT Skills That Will Stand The Test of Time

Today, it seems like innovation in technology and computing moves at a speed unlike we’ve ever seen. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up. Underneath it all lies a particular set of skills and acumen that help drive this innovation into the future. These skills aren’t fly by night tricks, they are staples of an industry that will be valuable for years to come.

Information Security Expertise

Security is becoming the highest concern for IT departments in the United States and globally. With so much data being collected and stored including private customer data, it’s imperative to keep things as secure as possible. Having the skills to navigate the complicated yet utterly important world of IT security will be a sure necessity for any organization.

Cloud Management Skills

Nine of out ten companies in the United States use the cloud in some way. Adoption has been swift due to the realized cost and security benefits. As companies move more and more applications to the cloud it will be required that they have someone with knowledge of the process and management of cloud infrastructure including hybrid environments.

Programming

Programming has always been one of the most important aspects of technology innovation. Programmers use dozens of different languages to create applications for business, social interaction, weather, or accounting. Good programming skills are a must for any IT department. Expertise in one or a number of languages is even better allowing for a more advanced knowledge of a company’s technology. Simply put, programming skills will always be coveted.

Data/Big Data Analytics

Big Data is the big buzzword around companies these days. Big Data has been a big success for many organizations, while some others continue to struggle with how to collect, store, manage, and realize the data they’re obtaining. Experts in this area, including data engineers or data architects, will continue to be a prime area of need for new and established businesses.

IT Managers

Someone needs to manage all of the programmers, data architects, and so on. Having strong IT management skills and tying everything into the overall business is a struggle for many businesses. Their managers don’t realize or communicate needs from IT to business and vice versa. This results in poor IT plans, failed implementations, and a slowing of business processes. IT should be a driver of business not a speed bump, and good IT managers know how to communicate needs and understand the whole process – a skill that is well in demand now and will be for the foreseeable future.

It’s always a good idea to take a look at the landscape and determine what skills you believe will be valuable for years to come. This can help you decide which areas to focus on in education or skill improvement. These are just a few of the many areas in IT that will be increasingly needed the next several years. As IT continues to drive businesses to new and exciting heights the next wave of IT experts will be leading the way.

New Oracle Products Aim To Ease Big Data Strain

Big Data is no longer just a big buzzword. In fact, it’s becoming so common, and useful, that the term is now a staple in most businesses. Taking information from several different areas, combining them, and making sense of that data is what Big Data is all about. However, the main problem for most is not the collecting of data, it’s how to store it in a way that it can be analyzed congruently thus making it easier for businesses to take action based on that data, and ultimately benefit from those actions. Furthermore, this type of analytics used to be something only large enterprises could do, much less afford to do. New Oracle products hope to cure many of the Big Data headaches.

Oracle recently announced four new products that hope to combine, or integrate Hadoop, NoSQL, and SQL databases. The new products are also aimed at a wider scope of users and businesses. One of those new products is called Oracle Big Data Discovery. OBDD is a visual tool for Hadoop. It’s designed to provide a more user friendly and familiar interface. In short, it essentially allows users to comb through data from multiple sources, analyze and visualize that data, then share it with others all using the same interface.

Another new product announced was GoldenGate for Big Data. GoldenGate for Big Data is a Hadoop-like tool that allows for live streaming or unstructured data from “heterogenous transactional systems” into systems like Apache Hadoop, Apache Flume, and Apache HBase. Essentially, the tool allows for the replication of data in real time from one system to another in whichever form you want it delivered.

The main idea behind these new products is not only enhanced user-ship, but also decreased time in visualizing big data. Oracle hopes that with easier and more friendly interfaces that users won’t be afraid of taking on a big data project because they’re not familiar with the look, feel, or what data is being brought in from where. Furthermore, Oracle believes it will also take much less time to report on collected data. Currently they estimate that many big data projects take several months, or even years to complete. Newer, more robust, and user-friendly tools like Oracle Big Data Discovery and GoldenGate for Big Data want to bring this time down to several days or weeks.

The two other products that were announced are newer versions of existing Oracle big data offerings including Oracle Big Data SQL 1.1 and Oracle NoSQL Database 3.2.5. The former offers enhanced query performance over previous versions while the latter has been updated with several new APIs.

The VP of Big Data at Oracle, Mr. Neil Mendelson, was candid in a press release about what data, and big data, means to the future of business, “Data is a new kind of capital and enterprises must invest their data capital strategically to create the best return. Oracle gives customers an integrated platform that helps simplify access to all their data, discover new insights, predict outcomes in real time, and keep all their data governed and secure.”

As the world of big data continues to change business and the world we live in companies like Oracle will continue to provide the tools needed to reach the highest of business goals. Business isn’t easy, but it’s a little simpler with tools like these.