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AWS Kubernetes Service Now Supports Windows Containers

Amazon Web Services now offers Kubernetes, or Amazon EKS, which supports container development on Windows servers.
Developer teams can now create Windows containers and deploy them on Kubernetes with Linux applications.
After a preview that began last March, support for Windows worker nodes in the AWS cloud’s Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service is now generally available.
In an Oct. 8 announcement, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service stated that it simplifies the process for building, securing and operating Kubernetes clusters and allows organizations to concentrate on building applications rather than operating Kubernetes. AWS claimed to have become the first cloud platform to support Windows containers using Kubernetes.
All clusters running Kubernetes 1.14 or higher have support for Windows nodes via Amazon EKS. This is because Kubernetes 1.14 includes production-level support for scheduling Windows containers and adding Windows nodes to worker nodes.
This site contains documentation, including pre-deployment considerations and enabling Windows support. You can also download a Windows sample app.

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Global Knowledge

It can be difficult to find the right job. There are steps that IT and cybersecurity professionals can take to improve their job opportunities. These tips can help you improve your job or move up in your company.

1. Never stop learning
Companies may not always be able to keep up with IT’s ever-changing pace, but they do need to learn new skills and gain the market share. You want to play a role in these leaps. Your employer will value your ability to share knowledge, skills, and abilities. Rather than hiring a new person or bringing in a consultant, you want to be able do so. It’s never been easier to learn at your own pace.
Online text and video resources offer a wealth knowledge that is available to everyone. You might also want to check out your local library, college career centre, or employer’s HR services. You may find free access and discounted benefits for continuing education, as well as commercial books and education services.

2. You are irreplaceable
Too many workers are satisfied with doing just enough to get the job done and then head home at 4:59. They view work as a way to do what they want. It is time to change your mindset and purpose. You must go beyond the job duties. Learn everything you can about the company’s operations. Develop relationships with other employees, not just those from your department. Offer to do more work, take over special projects, be a team player, consider the company when you are working on each project.

3. Know your employer’s goals
Every organization exists for reasons. These reasons are often expressed in the form of mottos, goals, or policies. Once you have a clear understanding of your employer’s goals and responsibilities, you can determine how your job and responsibilities fit with them. Next, determine your priorities to ensure that you are contributing to the organization’s goals. Ask for guidance if you are unsure how to help the company achieve its goals. You can present your supervisor with a list of your tasks and projects, and ask for guidance regarding priorities and criticality. This will let them know you are aware of the company’s goals.

4. Even if not required, provide updates and reports
It is important to keep your boss, manager, or supervisor informed about your work progress and any impediments. This information should be relevant to your work as well the company’s overall goals. Don’t make it a burden or become annoying. Focus on short, to-the-point updates via email or other preferred internal communication medium on a weekly or monthly basis. You might include two to five points on your work tasks and two or five points on organization-wide issues. If you are pointing out problems then you might consider offering some suggestions, especially if you can be the main provider of the solution. This will show your employer that you are more than a head-down employee. It also shows that you care about the organization’s success and how you fit in.

5. Recognize when you don’t know something, and be open to learning it.
Be humble. Avoid being proud and insisting that you are right. If you are unsure or have a problem, be quick to admit it. You can then either offer a solution or ask for help. Flexibility is key. Be mature. Accept responsibility. Take responsibility for your mistakes, oversights, and areas of ignorance.

6. Try to exceed your expectations
Find ways to improve the company or to help the organization achieve its goals faster.

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Google Cloud Platform Big Data Tools – Improve Data Analytics

This is the second part of a series on Google Cloud Platform. Part II will discuss GCP data analytics.
Google is a long-standing leader in data analytics. They continue to improve their data analytics offerings. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) allows you to store, process, store and analyze all your data in one location. This allows you to shift your focus from infrastructure to business analytics that informs business decisions. You can use GCP Big Data tools with other cloud-native or open-source solutions to suit your needs. Here is a brief overview of GCP Big Data Tools, and how you can use them to improve your analytics.
BigQuery
BigQuery is one of the most powerful Big Data tools available to companies of any size. It is a managed, serverless enterprise data warehouse that uses SQL. You can use it to analyze data in real-time, but you can also bring in data from spreadsheets or object storage. According to Nicholas Harteau (VP of engineering at Spotify), companies like Spotify have chosen BigQuery over other GCP products, as Google’s products are more advanced that other cloud providers’ tools.
BigQuery allows you and your employees to focus on providing insights that will improve your bottom line. Motorola, for example, increased their data collection capabilities after switching to BigQuery/App Engine. This allowed them to provide more information to their customers to help with product troubleshooting.
BigQuery is affordable, which is a great thing for the bottom line. You don’t have to pay extra for resources you don’t use. To further reduce costs, Google gives you 1TB of analyzed information and 10GB of storage each month for free. Your data is protected by BigQuery, which encrypts your data at rest and in transit. It also has granular access controls that ensure your data remains secure. BigQuery can also be used with StackDriver to monitor and log.
Google’s BigQuery Data Transfer Service makes it easy for you to move your data into BigQuery. This managed service allows you to move data from YouTube, AdWords and DoubleClick, as well as other SaaS applications.
Cloud DataProc
Cloud DataProc may be a better choice for you if you are using Hadoop/Spark/Beam. Cloud DataProc makes it easy to set up and configure Apache Hadoop services with Spark, Hive and Pig in less than two minutes. It is a managed service that simplifies the initial setup and allows you to get to work immediately. It is fully managed and highly automated. However, you can still use manual controls. It is easy to scale, highly available, and offers multiple methods to manage your cluster, including an interface on the Web and a REST API. It keeps costs low by allowing pre-emptible virtual machines instances to be used. These instances can be up to 80% cheaper than traditional virtual machines. You can also pay per-second for the resources that you use, so that you only pay what you need.
It can be difficult to transfer data between different data formats or services. This sort of work is often handled by Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) services that extract data from one data source, parse it and transform it in the manner required, and then finally load it into another data structure. Cloud DataFlow, a fully managed, serverless ETL-like ETL service, can not only work on data in real-time but also can handle large quantities of data. Cloud DataFlow is a serverless ETL-like service. Resource management and allocation are easy.
Cloud DataFlow works by using a series of user-supplied cloud functions (referred to as transformations). Cloud DataFlow can be used to create and manage cloud.

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Global Knowledge

IT security leaders understand the importance of following corporate policies to protect your assets and systems. Your security team works hard to keep up with the latest threats and prepare for intrusions. Despite your best efforts, there are still many holes until the rest of your workforce realizes that security is everyone’s business.
Why? According to a Wall Street Journal survey, employees are the biggest cybersecurity threat to organizations[1]. Employees can gain access to your system by sharing passwords, using insecure networks, or falling for scams.

This risk has been exacerbated by the increasing dependence on remote workers. There are more ways to attack the system by adding devices and personal networks. Your company could be in a difficult spot if you don’t have the ability to monitor what is happening.
It is crucial that employees are trained on how to avoid putting your organization at risk. It is your responsibility as an IT leader to prepare them. You will need to instruct staff on how to behave and make it clear what to do (and not do) and how to enforce these behaviors.
How can you make sure policies are adhered to? Establish a security culture.
Employees should be made aware of the issues and how to respond. They should also prioritize security in their daily behavior. We will discuss the most important steps you can take to prepare your employees and protect your company.

Each employee team should share the risks
You should first identify potential risks and inform everyone about them. Many employees don’t understand or know what they are doing to make the company vulnerable.
In plain language, explain to them why it is important for them to follow the policies. Include the company’s impact as well as theirs and that of their colleagues. A message like “The costs of dealing with these kinds of breaches can lead to layoffs” may be more effective than “We all need to keep our company safe.”

Help employees identify threats
Your employees might not be able to spot a scam or detect a network that isn’t secure. Give your employees examples of malicious behavior and how to respond to it if they notice it. Although employees may not be familiar with phishing emails, they should be able identify common pitfalls such as misspellings, basic grammar errors, strange-looking hyperlinks, low-resolution logo images and other signs of these types.
You wouldn’t think of using a flash drive you found in a parking lot to insert it into a company computer. However, CompTIA conducted a study and found that nearly 20% of people did this. They even followed this pattern by clicking on unknown text files and following links to unknown websites.

Educate employees on Password Best Practices
A connected device that isn’t properly secured could fall into the wrong hands. Employees are now carrying more devices than ever before, which can access sensitive company data, files, and systems. This is due to the growing popularity of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). A single tablet left at an airport or coffee shop could expose your company to many dangers.
Employees should not be able to decide whether to use passwords to protect their laptops, tablets, and phones. This will help to mitigate the risk. To make it more difficult to crack, require that all devices are password protected.

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Implementing lessons learnt

My main concern with post-implementation reviews, I believe, is the difficulty in sharing the results with others: making sure that others don’t make the same mistakes as you and allowing them to benefit from the things that went well.
What is a post-implementation evaluation?
A meeting to discuss the project’s successes, challenges, and record any lessons for future projects. It is also a way to share corporate knowledge.
A review like this has the following objectives:
To bring everyone together at closing of the project;
To summarize the key lessons learned during the project and to document them in writing
To keep track of this knowledge so that other projects can use it to avoid making the same mistakes as yours or to benefit from what worked well.

Many companies skip the review because it is too short-sighted. The risk there is that best practice for your company is not the same as the professionally-received wisdom about best practice.
You may be able to tell me one way to manage assumptions, but you know your company better than I do. This gives you the opportunity to adapt my advice (or ignore it) and manage assumptions in your organization much better. Learnings from post-implementation reviews are crucial to create a database about how projects work in your organization – literal or figurative.
Two examples of this working well have come to my attention recently. NASA has a huge database of key project lessons, but they are not applicable to most projects in the real world because not many people build rockets. Many of the feedback is technical. However, the US Coast Guard has created a database that has been extremely useful after Hurricane Katrina. They were recently audited and the results can be found in this report: Coast Guard: Observations On the Preparation, Response, and Recover Missions Related To Hurricane Katrina. (GAO-06-903 July 31.
A good sample document is available from Queensland University, Australia (.doc). A second Australian document (.pdf) is also available from the Government Chief Information Office. It’s a comprehensive document (perhaps too detailed to some companies), and the checklist in Appendix C to put together your report is very useful.
* These links were not available when I checked them on 17/4/2011.

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Fail Fast if You’re Going to Fail

An average large company that manages 150 projects per year loses PS13 millions a year because it fails to stop failing projects. It is not always the responsibility of management to cancel projects. If you are working on something that doesn’t deliver the expected benefits, you should speak up. Quickly.
Keith Richards, one the UK’s Agile experts said, “If your goal is to fail fast, then fail fast.” Things go wrong. It is how you handle it that matters. Project managers who admit to making mistakes early on will be able to find others willing to help them get back on track. These projects are often late in the beginning, but they tend to recover later.
If a project manager hides her mistakes and waits until the deadline, she will soon find that people will rally around to help get the project back on track. This is because there is no other choice than to keep pressing ahead.
These projects may seem to be on track until the end, but it takes twice as long overall. Recognize your mistakes and make amends as soon as possible.
Give an objective position
If you are unable to do so, the role of the project manager is to guide the work and to give an objective view on how it is done. This means that they can suggest stopping all work and starting again if necessary. Recommending the end of a project can be a positive step.
Professional failure can be felt when you are late on projects or close to the deadline. You can help yourself to cope with situations that seem to be going wrong at work by having something outside of work that you are passionate about.
Murray’s Deathbed Test (named for a former colleague who had a very practical outlook on life): Consider what you will do when you’re old and dead. What will you do to complete the sentence “I wish I had spent more …”?”? I doubt that the answer will be “completing issue logs” or updating my Gantt charts. Be professional and hardworking, but keep the big picture in mind.
Keep in mind the bigger picture and you won’t be afraid to challenge senior people. Not all projects start with a good idea. If you are certain that the project will fail, tell your sponsor. Then, it is up to your sponsor to decide whether to stop it.

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Find a handbag

This post is for Gents about Earned Value Analysis*.
My trusted handbag for work is ending its useful life. It was purchased in Brussels by me while visiting a friend. I was excited to see that there were still C&A shops in Brussels, even though the chain had been closed for many years in the UK. So we went in and I spent 7EUR on a green bag. It has been used almost daily since then, and it has seen a lot of abuse from being stuffed in my desk drawer at office. It can hold a novel or A5 notebook. There are pockets for keys, phone accessories, Oyster card, and keys. The adjustable strap allows me to wear it over my shoulder or across my body. It has been my perfect office bag for more than two years.
The other day, a tube of lipgloss got soiled in it and that was the trigger for a clean out. Recently, I went on a training course and packed my own teabags. I never unpacked them. They were a little shabby at the bottom. I also realized that I hadn’t kept track of my expenses for around two months, and that the receipts were looking a bit ragged.
Since a while, I have been searching for a new bag. I visited New York City in March and went to the department stores thinking that I could benefit from the great exchange rate. But I didn’t buy anything. I then went to London half-heartedly to search for a replacement. The lipgloss incident was the final straw. Saturday was the last straw. I brought another friend to the Radley shop on King’s Road, Chelsea and promised not to leave until I had spent an exorbitant amount on a practical, functional bag for work.
We actually left before I had spent any money. After narrowing down the choices to three, we went for lunch across the street and returned for a final look. Radley handbags are an investment, not something to be bought in a hurry.
When I was younger, I didn’t care much about labels and brands. Paris’s French trends were difficult to follow, and many of the designers were people I hadn’t heard of or didn’t rate. It seems that some of the London scene is starting to show signs of life, and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing. I can spot Radley Scottie dogs at 100 yards. I can see the difference between Cath Kidston’s Rambling Rose fabric prints and Washed Roses fabric prints by just one glance as I pass someone on an escalator. These are skills I never thought I would have and I’m embarrassed to admit that I do have them. I will take great pleasure in transferring all my office paraphernalia from my green fake leather C&A7EUR bag to a Radley bag. I will then put it in my office drawer as I do every day. The true test of quality will be how it holds up to daily abuse.
* No. It’s all about handbags. Let me know if you have any questions about how to calculate the Cost Performance Index for a handbag over its four-year lifespan, taking into consideration five days per week of planned use.

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Mini Course: Master Project Proposals for The Digital Project Manager

You will be asked to contribute to or write a proposal as a PM. What are the steps?

Galen will show you how to create an impactful proposal that has a strong foundation. He will use win themes, make thoughtful decisions about format, structure, creating tension, and involve your team of SMEs, all while keeping one voice.

You’ll feel confident and ready to write a strong proposal for your project after this mini-course.

What you’ll learn

How to create and effectively use win themes
How to structure your proposal to maximize impact
How to use tension to motivate your audience
How to include contributing SMEs without sacrificing consistency
How and when to disrupt the selection process to your benefit

Resources

Opportunity Qualification Scorecard (.xlsx).
Proposal Coverage Checklist (.xlsx).
Win Themes and SWOT Canvas (.pptx).
Example of a Short-form Proposal (.pdf).

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Mini Course: Master Plan – The Digital Project Manager

Let me tell you something about project planning. You don’t have to know everything in order to start. Iterations are a great way to build a high-fidelity project plan.

This mini-course will show you how to create a project plan that is both practical, based on real information, realistic, and that is within your team’s capabilities.

The best part? The best part? You can manage your project in manageable stages with less stress and more chaos.

This mini-course will leave you feeling confident and ready to plan your next project.

What you’ll learn

How to quickly sketch a project timeline
How to create a timeline for a high-fidelity project
How to optimize your project plans
How to save time with your project plan
How to manage project planning challenges
Walkthroughs of project plans for agile and waterfall projects

Resources

Project Plan Checklist (.pdf)
Timeline for Landing Page Project Agile (.mpp).
Timeline for Landing Page Project Agile (.xml).
Landing Page Project Timeline Waterfall (.mpp)
Landing Page Project Timeline Waterfall (.xml)
Timeline for Website Redesign (.mpp).
Timeline for Website Redesign (.xml).

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Mini Course: Master Project Kickoffs in 30 Minutes – Digital Project Manager

This mini-course will help you get started on your new projects.

With Ben Aston, The DPM founder, you’ll learn how plan and lead great kickoffs. He will also give you time-saving tips to launch projects like a pro over the next year.

Resources

Master Project Kickoffs Workshop Handbook (.pdf).
Project Kickoff Preparation Checklist Handout.pdf
Email Invitation Handout for Kickoff Meeting (.pdf).
Rules of Client Engagement Handbook (.pdf).
Handout for Kickoff Meeting Exercises (.pdf).

Internal Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template (.docx)
Internal Kickoff Meeting Agenda Sample (.docx)
Client Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template (.docx)
Client Kickoff Meeting Agenda Sample (.docx)

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