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DBTA E-EDITION
December 2012

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Trends and Applications

In the never-ending battle for enterprise data security, industry experts say there has been progress on several fronts, but there is still much work that needs to be done. There is an enormous amount of data that tends to leak out of the secure confines of data centers, creating a range of security issues. "There are many copies of data which have less security and scrutiny than production environments," Joseph Santangelo, principal consultant with Axis Technology, tells DBTA. "The increased reliance on outsourcers and internal contractors leave sensitive data within corporate walls open to misuse or mistakes." Or, as another industry expert describes it, the supply chain often proves to be the greatest vulnerability for data security. "A typical organization has a direct relationship with only 10% of the organizations in its supply chain — the other 90% are suppliers to suppliers," Steve Durbin, global vice president of the Information Security Forum, tells DBTA.

Protecting databases using encryption is a basic data security best practice and a regulatory compliance requirement in many industries. Databases represent the hub of an information supply chain. However, only securing the hub by encrypting the database leaves security gaps because sensitive data also exists alongside the database in temporary files, Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) data, debug files, log files, and other secondary sources. According to the "Verizon 2011 Payment Card Industry Compliance Report," unencrypted data that resides outside databases is commonly stolen by hackers because it is easier to access

Are organizations' systems and data environments ready for the big data surge? Far from it, a new survey shows. The survey of 298 members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), conducted by Unisphere Research and sponsored by Oracle Corp., finds fewer than one out of five data managers and executives are confident that their IT infrastructure will be capable of handling the surge of big data. And big data is already here — more than one out of 10 survey respondents report having in excess of a petabyte of data within their organizations, and a majority report their levels of unstructured data are growing. Since big data incorporates so many different data types in varying volumes and from many different sources, it would make both data managers and end users' lives easier if it all could be brought into a single comprehensive framework that can be easily managed and accessed. This, in fact, has long been the holy grail of the IT and database industries — a vision that, unfortunately, has yet to be realized.

While no one can dispute the importance of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to organizational performance and competitiveness, executives in charge of these systems are under intense pressure to stay within or trim budgets. Close to half of the executives in a new survey say they have held off on new upgrades for at least a few years. In the meantime, at least one out of four enterprises either are scaling back or have had to scale back their recent ERP projects due to budget constraints.


Columns - Notes on NoSQL

As the undisputed pioneer of big data, Google established most of the key technologies underlying Hadoop and many of the NoSQL databases. The Google File System (GFS) allowed clusters of commodity servers to present their internal disk storage as a unified file system and inspired the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Google's column-oriented key value store BigTable influenced many NoSQL systems such as Apache HBase, Cassandra and HyperTable. And, of course, the Google Map-Reduce algorithm became the foundation computing model for Hadoop and was widely implemented in other NoSQL systems such as MongoDB.


Columns - Database Elaborations

Within the information technology sector, the term architect gets thrown around quite a lot. There are software architects, infrastructure architects, application architects, business intelligence architects, data architects, information architects, and more. It seems as if any area may include someone with an "architect"status. Certainly when laying out plans for a physical building, an architect has a specific meaning and role. But within IT "architect" is used in a much fuzzier manner.


Columns - DBA Corner

A proper database design cannot be thrown together quickly by novices. A practiced and formal approach to gathering data requirements and modeling data is mandatory. This modeling effort requires a formal approach to the discovery and identification of entities and data elements. Data normalization is a big part of data modeling and database design. A normalized data model reduces data redundancy and inconsistencies by ensuring that the data elements are designed appropriately.


Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

Not long in the past, SQL Server licensing was an easy and straightforward process. You used to take one of a few paths to get your SQL Server licenses. The first and easiest path was to buy your SQL Server license with your hardware. Want to buy a HP Proliant DL380 for a SQL Server application? Why not get your SQL Server Enterprise Edition license with it at the same time? Just pay the hardware vendor for the whole stack, from the bare metal all the way through to the Microsoft OS and SQL Server.


MV Community

jBASE International, a member of the Mpower1 group of MultiValue companies, has announced full support for Windows 8 in the latest release of its 64-bit, multi-dimensional database - jBASE 5.2. "Windows 8 represents a fundamental shift in the way Windows works," says Pete Loveless, CEO of jBASE International. "It not only provides the traditional Windows desktop environment, but also a new user interface which is there primarily to support Windows applications running on mobile tablet devices. This dual environment bridges the gap between personal computers and fast-growing mobile devices and is already starting to have a major impact on the adoption of tablets within business."

Kore Technologies has announced KommerceServer Mobile Edition, providing the capabilities of KommerceServer webStoreFront and webPortal in a compact mobile package. The new mobile edition is intended to be a complement to Kore customers' corporate websites. The mobile edition enables end users to browse a company web catalog, make online purchases, and access their account histories using a streamlined interface designed for the requirements and workflow of the mobile user.

In response to growing demand for MultiValue data in the cloud, Pick Cloud, Inc. has been launched by Mark Pick. Pick Cloud aims to provide its clients with a safe, secure hosted environment that guarantees 99.999% uptime, automatic file-saves, backups, and 24x7 support. In addition, Pick Cloud offers database-as-a-service (DBaaS) as an option.

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