Virtualization for Fast-Growing IT Requirements

The actual need for virtualization basically requires the prior understanding of three things: Why Virtualize? What is Virtualization? And When to Virtualize?

The virtualization technology evolution dates back to the times of main frame computers, where the operators had to utilise huge power resource to run processes. Operating Virtualization addressed this issue by allowing the hardware resource to run multiple operation system images using a single software tool, thus managing the power utilisation in running processes.

Server virtualization is the key aspect of virtualization technology, where the main server is virtualised to create a guest system that exactly works as a main system. A software layer called hypervisor makes this happen by emulating underlying hardware. Here the guest operating system uses the software emulation of the underlying hardware, i.e., virtualized hardware and not the true hardware.

The performance of the virtual system is not exactly the same as that of the true system. Even then the virtualization holds significance as the most applications and guest systems may not demand for full utilization of the underlying hardware.

Thus, the dependence on hardware is alleviated, allowing greater flexibility and isolation of the processes from the main system, whenever needed. Here is where the companies working on multiple applications on multiple platforms can have an advantage of minimization of extra resource utilization.

Virtualization, which was initially confined to server systems, has evolved over the years to suit for networks, desktops, data and applications, among others.

Wings of Virtualization:

Virtualization has spread its wings across six key areas of significance in the IT industry:

Network Virtualization: This reduced the complexity across networks by grouping the available resources in a network, connecting them with independent channels formed as a result of the splitting of available bandwidths. These channels can be linked to devices later, depending on the requirement.
Storage Virtualization: Here, various storage devices are grouped into a single large virtualized storage unit, which is controlled from a central console.
Server Virtualization: This involves the masking of servers so as to limit the server users from accessing server’s complex information, such as physical address, among others, while also ensuring the resource sharing. The software that is used to virtualize the underlying hardware is ‘hypervisor’
Data Virtualization: Here the broader data access is provided to meet the business requirements, while abstracting the very important basic information like storage location, performance, and format.
Desktop Virtualization: Here the main intention is to share the workstation. Instead of server, the workstation load is shared via virtualization, in the name of remote desktop access. As the workstation works in data centre server environment, security and portability are also ensured.
Application Virtualization: Here the application is abstracted from the operating system, and encapsulated. The encapsulated form of the application is used across platforms without having need fo depend on the operating system every time during implementation.

Is Data Recovery Important?

Ask the big IT giants a common question – “In this world of free-flowing data and information, what is THE most singular and important thing that matters the most?” and they will give you a faint smile and tell you that the answer lies in the question itself. If you were not able to guess, it’s DATA. Every bit of it you send over the Net matters equally and secured over their servers for “future reference”.

So imagine the power of data. If data of totally unknown people is so imperative for them, what value can you put on your own data? Priceless probably right! Depending on how sensitive the content of your data is of course.

Reasons for data loss

There are n number of reasons that can lead to your data on the verge of being lost forever because let’s face it all of it is mechanical and electronic. They also have a life, limited durability and are of course susceptible to wear and tear. The most common reasons for data loss are crashing of your hard disk, error in the partitioning, hacking etc. Other reasons include theft of your device, a malware attack, a corrupted OS etc. all of which exposes your data to vulnerability. Data which could be an important presentation for a multi-million dollar deal or years of your memories captured and stored as photographs or anything.

What is data recovery?

As the name suggests naïvely, it is the procedure of attempting to recover all or some of the data present on the hard disk. It may not look or sound like much, but it is a really volatile process. One small mistake and poof! Your data is gone forever.

As soon as you realize you have a failed hard drive, rush it as soon as you can to an expert. Because as days pass, the more complicated, difficult and risky it becomes to attempt a data recovery. This attempt at recovering data recovery is done through various sophisticated methods depending on the situation and the cause of the failed hardware. All these methods ultimately have one and one goal only – to recover all your existing files such as documents, spreadsheets, photos, codes or whatever as well as their backups if you had created any.

What not to do?

Probably the first and the only rule. Don’t try and act smart and start messing around with things that you have no idea about. Instead of solving your problem you will only increase it tenfold.

Second of all, while taking your hard drive for recovery, do not go to an un-trusted place. Either go to the service center or a proper shop which guarantee the safety of ALL your data and who can be trusted when it would come to confidentiality. Basically, a professional workspace because they will actually tell the truth to your face, whether the data is recoverable or not. If yes, how much can be recovered depending on the damage.

What to do

The first course of action is to calm yourself down and ask yourself whether going for a data recovery is actually needed or not. Maybe it is possible you may have kept a backup of it online or someplace else. If that is not the situation, again introspect whether a recovery is of utmost need or not. Because however the sophisticated technology may get, there is always that 1% chance of losing all the data instead.

Your data, however trivial it may seem to you is precious in ways you can’t even imagine. Keep it safe more than you keep yourself. Make and keep backups to get you out of a jam in the event you are on the verge of losing it. However, if it’s not your thing or a habit and find yourself in a situation where recovering your hard drive data is of utmost importance, try out data recovery – they are genuinely the Michelangelo of the art of recovering lost data even when all hope is lost.

Brief Introduction About High Performance Computing

By definition, supercomputers are the fastest and most powerful computers available, and at present, the term refers to machines with hundreds of thousands of processors. They are the superstars of the high-performance class of computers. Personal computers (PCs) small enough in size and cost to be used by an individual, yet powerful enough for advanced scientific and engineering applications, can also be high-performance computers. We define HPC as machines with a good balance among the following major elements:

Multi-staged (pipelined) functional units.
Multiple central processing units (CPUs) (parallel machines).
Multiple cores.
Fast central registers.
Very large, fast memories.
Very fast communication among functional units.
Vector, video, or array processors.
Software that integrates the above effectively.

As a simple example, it makes little sense to have a CPU of incredibly high speed coupled with a memory system and software that cannot keep up with it.

High computing and supercomputers are often associated with large, government-funded agencies or with academic institutions. However, most High-Performance Computing today is in the commercial sector, in fields such as aerospace, automotive, semiconductor design, large equipment design and manufacturing, energy exploration, and financial computing.

HPC is used in other domains in which very large computations such as fluid dynamics, electromagnetic simulations, and complex materials analysis must be performed to ensure a high level of accuracy and predictability, resulting in higher quality, and safer, more efficient products. For example, HPC is used to model the aerodynamics, thermal characteristics, and mechanical properties of an automotive sub-assembly or components to find exactly the right design that balances efficiency, reliability, cost, and safety, before spending millions of dollars prototyping a real product.

Over time, the growing use of High-Performance Computing in research and in the commercial sector, particularly in manufacturing, finance, and energy exploration, coupled with a growing catalog of Computing applications, created a trend toward HPC platforms built to handle a wider variety of workloads, and these platforms are constructed using more widely available components. This use of commodity hardware components characterizes the cluster and grid era of High Performance Computing. Clusters and grids continue to be the dominant methods of deploying High Computing in both the commercial and research/academic sectors. Economies of scale, and the need to centrally manage computing resources across large organizations with diverse requirements have resulted in the practical reality that widely divergent applications are often run on the same, shared HPC infrastructure.

High performance computing can happen on:

workstation, desktop, laptop, smartphone!
supercomputer
Linux/MacOS/Windows/… cluster
A grid or a cloud
Cyber Infrastructure = any combination of the above

Afterlife Bots – A Dead Man’s Petition

No, neither am I a Ted-famous Tech geek spiritual guru nor am I in contact with the afterlife. I am just fascinated by the buzzwords “Machine Learning” and “AI” and a little overwhelmed by the number of articles mentioning those words on my news feed.

I remember reading a line in a news article that “Bots are getting better at imitating humans”. Why not hire one and decrease workload by 50%. Well, I suppose we are working towards it.

Google recently announced that their AI-enabled assistant (with 6 voices) can book a hair-cut appointment seamlessly (Well I want a shave as well, and I want it to go and do grocery shopping handpicking the freshest tomatoes from the lot).

Jokes apart: kudos to the team of brilliant scientists, engineers, and others who are working day and night to make this happen.

Coming back to my original story.

Let’s start with Human life (and relationships) – Data Gathering

“Quite a digital world”. We are capturing and storing our personal life events as much as we can digitally (Thanks to social media, external hard disks, and pen-drives). Why not store our entire life in a 1000 Petabyte storage device. Capture every second – actions, events, habits, decisions, etc. Imagine if we can see and experience our parents’ childhood or see “What all Mahatma Gandhi did in his entire life”. Interesting right?

We all know how quickly robotics, machine learning, and AI are evolving.

What if we combine robotics, machine learning, and human life data? Can we create a human replica bot which would respond similarly, make decisions similarly, have similar habits basis the 1000 Petabyte data fed. All in all, can that bot be my replacement after my death?. Can it be my AFTER-LIFE BOT?

Literally, nothing can replace a dead human being. I was not fortunate to see my grandfather or meet him. But will my great grand/grandkids know about me? The answer is I do not know. We all are striving hard to leave a legacy behind us. Why not use robots and machine intelligence to duplicate ourselves. We do have ample amount of data to feed ~79 years (average age of human being) or ~2 Billion moments. Don’t you want your great grandkids to remember you after you are gone?

The Perfect Shot

Using a drone for photography and film is becoming very popular. Many professionals use them for things like making movies, shooting sports events, or taking breathtaking photos. With a drone you are able to move almost anywhere and at a fast speed. This helps with sports events because they can use drones to catch up with the action and see more than normal. For movies, they are able to get those high shots or shots through obstacles that used to be difficult to do. Lastly, for photography, the possibilities are endless.

You can get to mostly any spot you want with a great camera to take that amazing photo. Different cameras can be equipped depending on the photo you want. Some cameras do better in low light or high lights, some can zoom in further, and others have cool features such as night or heat vision. A lot of features and abilities you couldn’t do with your phone. You can buy a generic or customized drone to fit to whatever activity you might be doing.

Many news channels use them to capture things like traffic jams, aerial shots of events, and even to track weather. These are all creative ways they have implemented drones into their organizations and improved the quality content they deliver to the viewers. People go as far as even using drones for selling real estate. Taking images of the inside and outside with a phone won’t cut it anymore. Drones can be used to take incredible shots of the house. They can even help with creating 3D walk through interiors. This can be the difference between selling a place or not because obviously how a place looks will impact most of a buyer’s decision. You don’t want a deal ruined because of a sloppy image from a phone. As you can see, these are all problems different people might face. A drone can help each of these people in their own area for what needs to be done.

Most drones can hover with pretty good stability. This allows for their great shots up in the air and also because of their great cameras. When all of the great abilities and features that a drone has comes together, you end up with amazing results. Many businesses, or even individuals, should consider a drone and what it could possibly do for them. It is going to be a really fun journey to watch and see how people will use drones to capture footage/images.