IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on March 09, 2021

HTTPWTF | HTTP Toolkit. This is the kind of knowledge that got me my first job in the real world. This stuff is relatively static (for tech standards), so once you know it, you know it. But, I read this and learned a few things too.

Knowledge of terms to know

What is Dogecoin?

Dogecoin is a dog-themed cryptocurrency pioneered in 2013, an alternative to more famous choices like bitcoin. Although the value of an individual Dogecoin is very small (often a portion of a cent) the massive number of Dogecoins in circulation correlates to a market capitalization of over $1 billion.

The Dogecoin currency is based on an internet meme featuring a picture of a Shiba Inu, a popular Japanese dog breed. The currency’s faceplate features the Shiba Inu’s head with the letter “D” superimposed.

Like some other cryptocurrencies, the Dogecoin has seen large changes in value and prolific mining. Unlike some of the other cryptocurrencies that get more attention in national media, Dogecoin was created as a “fun” and less controversial type of digital money. Part of its popularity is based on its innocuous origins, since users and miners do not have to deal with the continuous forking and community controversy that has been associated with bitcoin over the years.

What is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a cloud architecture that delivers network and security-as-a-service functions together as a single cloud service. The acronym SASE is pronounced “sassy.”

SASE software allows organizations to view their network and security tools in a single management console, without needing to know where network components, endpoints or end users are physically located. To keep the data secure, SASE uses a zero-trust security model. Instead of sending traffic back to the data center to be inspected, SASE clients send traffic to a point of presence (PoP) for inspection before traffic can be forwarded to the internet or to other SASE clients.

With the number of remote workers increasing, and organizations increasingly using cloud services to run applications, SASE offers a convenient, agile, cost-effective and scalable SaaS product for networking and security.

“By combining SD-WAN capabilities with network security functions, including firewall-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, endpoint security, secure web gateway and zero-trust network access, SASE allows IT teams to easily connect and secure all of their organization’s networks and users in an agile, cost-effective and scalable manner.” – Amit Bareket

Related Terms You Should Know: distributed computing, cloud computing, wide area network, SD-WAN, virtual firewall, software as a service, gateway

What is Digital Wallet?

A digital wallet is a software-based system for making e-commerce transactions. By using a digital wallet, online purchases can be done easily through computers, tablets or smartphones. In general, bank accounts of individual users are linked with their digital wallet. In a digital wallet system, user credentials are securely stored and verified during transactions. Digital wallets are not only used for online purchases but also for authentication of the user. A digital wallet can store complete user information including credentials, transaction history and personal details. Digital wallets can also be used in combination with other mobile payment systems.

A digital wallet has two major components: one is the software application and the other is the information storage. The software part is responsible for security, encryption and the actual transaction. This software application is the main component which provides user interface as well as safe and secure transactional capabilities. The software part resides on the client side and is compatible with most e-commerce websites. The other component, which stores the information, is actually a database containing user input information. The user information includes items such as billing address, shipping address and payment methods.

There is another type of digital wallet available, which is known as a server-side digital wallet. It is generally created by the organizations for users. These types of wallets are gaining popularity as they are more secure, efficient and provide added functionalities.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a contract management platform created by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit group. It uses the digital financial ledger technology blockchain to create contracts that the foundation calls “smart contracts” that utilize blockchain to provide a static and consistent ledger record.

By allowing the customization of secure cryptocurrency, Ethereum helps provide much more versatile financial systems that manage to achieve key transparency goals. Users can rely on Ethereum to craft contracts, customer loyalty systems, specific kinds of financial transactions, and crowdsource financial support. The Ethereum foundation documents many different kinds of projects underway at its website. Ethereum works with programs created in languages like C++, Python and Java. An open source developer can unity helps to support the use and implementation of Ethereum.

What is Telemetry?

Telemetry is the automatic measurement and wireless transmission of data from remote sources to a central location. In general, telemetry works in the following way:

  • Sensors at the source measure either electrical data (such as voltage or current) or physical data (such as temperature or pressure).
  • Measurements are converted to specific electrical voltages.
  • A multiplexer combines the voltages, along with timing data, into a single data stream for transmission to a remote receiver.
  • Upon reception, the data stream is separated into its original components and the data is displayed and processed according to user specifications.

Because the telemetry systems were originally designed to transmit operational data from one location to another, they were often referred to as supervisory systems. It wasn’t until the 1960s when the interrogation-reply principle was developed, that select data could be transmitted upon request. Today, telemetry use cases include measuring and transmitting data from sensors in the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Cloud storage applications use AI, machine learning and other advanced techniques to continuously collect and analyze telemetry data from flash arrays in the storage stack.” – Stacey Peterson

Related Terms: Internet of Things, sensor data, multiplexing, MQTT, data streaming, SNMP

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is the process of creating, or rather discovering, bitcoin currency. Unlike real-world money that is printed when more is needed, bitcoin cannot simply be willed into existence, but has to be mined through mathematical processes. Bitcoin maintains a public ledger that contains past transactions, and mining is the process of adding new transactions to this ledger.

Bitcoin mining is essentially the acquisition and creation of bitcoins as a way to introduce more coins into the system, as rewards for doing computational work. The bitcoin network contains a public ledger of all transactions called the block chain, which serves to confirm all past transactions to the rest of the network that these were all legitimate, so that already spent coins have been transferred accordingly.

The primary role of mining is to allow bitcoin nodes to become secure and tamper-resistant, and it is designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks discovered by miners each day are kept steady, in order to avoid rapid inflation. Each block in the public ledger block chain must have a proof of work in order to be considered as valid. This proof of work is then verified by all other bitcoin nodes in the network each time they receive a block, and this is called the hashcash proof-of-work-function. Miners are awarded with a number of bitcoins, which is agreed upon by everyone in the network. It started with 25 coins and then halves after every 210,000 blocks are discovered. Sometimes, individual miners can link in a network farm that shares the computing power of all participants, who then get a share of for each discovered block depending on the resource contribution.

Bitcoin mining is called that because it largely resembles the actual mining of other material resources; it requires great effort, and as that effort is accumulated, it slowly creates new currency available at rates that are comparable to mining resources such as gold and silver from the ground.

What is Mobile application development?

Mobile application development is the set of processes and procedures involved in writing software for small, wireless computing devices.

Like Web application development, mobile application development has its roots in more traditional software development. One critical difference, however, is that mobile applications (apps) are often written specifically to take advantage of the unique features a particular mobile device offers. For instance, a gaming app might be written to take advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer or a mobile health app might be written to take advantage of a smartwatch’s temperature sensor.

In the early years of mobile apps, the only way to ensure an app had optimum performance on any given device was to develop the app natively for a particular device. If an app needed to be cross-platform and run on multiple operating systems, there was little — if any — code that could be re-used from the initial development project. Modern cross-platform tools use common languages such as C# and JavaScript to share code across projects; more importantly, they integrate well with application lifecycle management tools, such as Jenkins. This allows developers to use a single code base for Apple iOS, Google Android and progressive web apps.

“Mobile app development is constantly changing as user needs shift and new technologies crop up, so IT should be aware of each mobile app development trend.” – Erica Mixon

Related Terms: native code, mobile app development platform, progressive web app, mobile app vetting, cross-platform mobile development, rapid mobile app development, mobile enterprise application platform

Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge Fundamentals Training Day Sessions offers a limited chance to get a free MS certification. Beginning today, you can earn your certification from among a list of 9 options as long as you complete the challenge by Mar. 30. Also check out their training day sessions, they’re offering free certification exams.

Altaro VM Backup is a reliable, easy-to-use backup solution for Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware. The award-winning free version allows you to back up 2 virtual machines per host, so smaller businesses can enjoy robust, streamlined, enterprise-level functionality.

JavaScript Cheatsheet is a highly useful, 9-page cheatsheet full of illustrative examples. It is highly readable, easily understood and available in a printable pdf version.

NANOG Tutorials is the video channel of the North American Network Operators’ Group, which offers a good selection of highly useful tutorials on networking engineering, operations and architecture. Content is intended for both students and those working in the field, with a goal of sharing industry best practices, tools and resources.

Network Diagram 101 explains how you can employ 17 specific strategies to create vastly improved network diagrams. You’ll learn how to leverage both your creative and analytical skill sets to produce diagrams that are visually stimulating and technically informative.

Inject is a Perl program that enables you to generate and inject BGP routes, which the author has mostly envisioned as useful in network testing.

Knowledge of terms to know

What is Bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency made up of processed data blocks used for online and brick-and-mortar purchases. Because bitcoins are limited and their value is determined by market forces, bitcoins are also traded like stocks on various exchanges.

Relatively new and experimental, bitcoin is described as “the first decentralized digital currency.”

Bitcoins are generated after a block of data is processed, creating a block of transactional data in the bitcoin network. This is accomplished through a bitcoin mining client, although this function is no longer adequately performed via a regular central processing unit (CPU). The forecasted number of produced bitcoins is 21 million with an expected completion date of 2040.

Bitcoins may be purchased or sold over the bitcoin network and are considered secure because during each transfer, each bitcoin must be cryptographically signed. A bitcoin user is required to employ a public key, private key and bitcoin address for each transaction that occurs as a peer-to-peer transfer.

The bitcoin concept was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, although virtually nothing is known about him. In 2010, Nakamoto withdrew from the Bitcoin Project.

What is State Machine?

A state machine is any physical or logical entity that (1) stores the status of something at a given time and (2) can operate on input to change the status. When a state machine switches between states, it is called a state transition.

The makeup of a state machine consists of the following:

  • A set of potential input events.
  • A set of probable output events that correspond to the potential input events.
  • A set of expected states the system can exhibit.

In programming, state machines are used to define and control execution flow. When state machines can be modeled and executed logically in software, they are especially useful for analyzing system behavior and identifying undesirable outcomes.

State machines can be documented with finite state diagrams. This type of diagram shows all possible states that a state machine can have.

“To implement controller services, you can essentially create an event handler for an event-driven application, or introduce a finite state machine that simulates sequential logic.” – Matt Heusser

Related Terms: state diagram, flowchart, algorithmic transparency, algorithmic accountability, Unified Modeling Language, stateless

What is Inbox Zero?

Inbox Zero is a rigorous approach to email management aimed at keeping the inbox empty — or almost empty — at all times.

Inbox Zero was developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann. According to Mann, the zero is not a reference to the number of messages in an inbox; it is “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox.” Mann’s point is that time and attention are finite and when an inbox is confused with a “to do” list, productivity suffers.

Mann identifies five possible actions to take for each message: delete, delegate, respond, defer and do.

Here are some of Mann’s tips for effective email management:

  • Don’t leave the email client open.
  • Process email periodically throughout the day, perhaps at the top of each hour.
  • First delete or archive as many new messages as possible.
  • Then forward what can be best answered by someone else.
  • Immediately respond to any new messages that can be answered in two minutes or less.
  • Move new messages that require more than two minutes to answer — and messages that can be answered later — to a separate “requires response” folder.
  • Set aside time each day to respond to email in the “requires response” folder or chip away at mail in this folder throughout the day.

“Many consumers have multiple email accounts for different purposes — such as for shopping or for friends and family — and studies expect the average number of email accounts per user will continue to grow.” – Fancy Mills

Related Terms: employee productivity, OODA loop, Microsoft MyAnalytics, productivity software, 70 percent rule, 80/20 rule, 96 minute rule

What is Initial Coin Offering (ICO)?

An initial coin offering (ICO) in the world of cryptocurrency defines an event by which a community raises funds for a new cryptocurrency project. It is like the cryptocurrency version of an IPO without much of the regulation and process that accompanies similar efforts within the regulated financial world.

In an initial coin offering, the process starts with design. Startups may circulate white papers and other resources to show potential investors project details. Founders sort out what amount of a currency’s virtual value will be doled out to investors.

An ICO involves a threshold of funding by which it succeeds or fails. If it fails, money is returned to its original owners.

Like other kinds of early investing, an ICO is essentially risky. ICOs, which are sometimes referred to as “crowdsales,” are notorious for illustrating the principle that “ideas are cheap” and that building a successful cryptocurrency is easier said than done. Critics talk about the legality of tokens and challenges for these types of financial ventures.