Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Best Practices for DevOps in the Cloud

DevOps Best Practices

 

Despite being the latest buzzword in IT, the term DevOps still raises a lot of question marks any time it’s brought up. Simply put, DevOps is the combination of tasks performed by an organization’s systems operations, development and QA engineering teams in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support. However, DevOps is considered by many as more of a belief or cultural approach that aims to foster improved communication between development and operations teams as more elements of operations become programmable. DevOps has strong similitude with Lean and agile approaches. The need to break down the barrier between operations and development has been accelerated by cloud computing. DevOps and cloud computing are mutually reinforcing strategies for delivering business value through technology.

At the turn the century, enterprises began shifting their focus from efficiency and stability towards innovation and agility. In order to adapt to the changing face of the business market and increase delivery frequency, application delivery teams have to adopt concepts like experimentation, rapid iteration, collaboration, and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) deployment. DevOps successfully bridges this gap. A DevOps approach applies lean and agile thinking principles to all the stake holders who develop, operate or simply benefit from a company’s software systems, this includes partners, suppliers and customers. Cloud computing, whether on –premise or purchased as a service combines infrastructure, services and software to help organizations develop and deliver quality software at a much faster rate. The elastic properties of the cloud expedite scalability while DevOps streamlines and accelerates application releases; this is why the marriage of The Cloud and DevOps is the perfect partnership.

Best Practices for DevOps in the Cloud

DevOps practices and principles form the foundation that enables enterprises to fully utilize cloud-based computing and to address and mitigate the inherent risks associated with the cloud. Companies that are capable of reliably building their infrastructure, provision servers and deploy apps are in a better position to handle any challenge the cloud throws at them. However, IT professionals who practice DevOps in the cloud typically make mistakes due to a rudimentary understanding of the best practices and various deployment technologies.

A survey of 600 IT professionals conducted by Forrester on DevOps practices,  and where enterprises are in terms of the maturity of DevOps practices adoption revealed that roughly 33 percent of teams consistently deliver at cycles of one to three weeks and that the fastest teams generated higher business satisfaction than slower teams; a clear indication that quality is not sacrificed for fast delivery if the proper practices are implemented.

DevOps Team Assemble!

DevOps places a strong emphasis on the collaboration between development and operations. Assembling a team of developers who have more interpersonal, operational and communication skills than a regular head down developer is the best way to break down organizational silos and build a more agile approach to application development and deployment. Developers are responsible for selecting and implementing new technologies and features, and they should be able to quickly respond to, and address any issues that arise within existing systems. The operations team contributes the important expertise of how the technology behaves under live production conditions. If development and operation functions are separated, active collaboration is limited, leading to applications problems that subsequently delay deployment.

The DevOps scope is much larger than the operations and development teams. It also has to include other stakeholders from the organization and the service provider. In order to realize the success of the enterprise through DevOps, the key stakeholders within the organization need to participate in cloud and DevOps training.

Automated Performance Testing

In cloud deployments, application performance issues are typically a result of flawed application design. Most of these performance issues are missed and end up going into production where users eventually find them, which isn’t good. Performance testing is a crucial aspect that should never be overlooked by the DevOps stream. The development team should adopt automated regression testing as a common practice, and ideally extend it to test-first approaches like behavior-driven development (BDD) and test-driven development (TDD). This guarantees that the operations team receives a solution of sufficient quality before it’s approved for release into production. Shifting away from manual testing improves quality, delivery speed, and testing accuracy, thus dramatically reducing cost. Automated testing should combine existing accuracy and stability testing, as well as with existing testing for user interfaces and APIs.

Incorporate Containers into the Cloud Strategy

The easily manageable and portable nature of containers makes their integration one of the best practices for DevOps in the cloud. Containers provide a way to ‘componentize’ applications, simplifying every step from development to deployment. However, it is prudent to consider cluster management, governance, security and orchestration tools for applications that leverage containers.

Continuous Integration and Deployment

Continuous deployment and integration are effective techniques used in DevOps to eliminate unnecessary steps, delays and friction between steps to increase work flow. Cloud-based development can greatly benefit from automating deployments and frequently integrating changes. Continuous integration allows developers to safely create high-quality solutions in small, regular steps by providing immediate feedback on code defects; while continuous deployment allows them to minimize the time between a new feature being identified and being deployed into production. Continuous deployment and integration may increase operational risk if the development teams are not properly disciplined. For a continuous app delivery model to succeed, a strong management system must be put in place.

For the Cloud, by the Cloud

In order to take full advantage of the cloud, including platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as service (IaaS), the applications have to be designed in a way that they are decoupled from physical resources. This is where the term ‘Infrastructure as code’ or ‘programmable infrastructure’ comes in play. DevOps places a strong emphasis on the ability to build and maintain essential infrastructure components with automated, programmatic features. So from a DevOps perspective, infrastructure as code (IAC) includes the ability to build middleware, provision servers, and install application code that makes up the core components of the system architecture. The use of loose architectural coupling within and between applications greatly reduces complexity and enables delivery in small increments. Considering the decoupled architecture in your design improves the overall utilization and efficiency of the cloud resources by up to 70 percent. Cloud computing subsequently helps in saving money and you only end up paying for the resources you use.

 

Author: Gabriel Lando

Simple Rules for Customer Driven Software Development

Customer driven software development

Understanding customer problems is the most difficult aspect of creating new products and services. Traditional ways of gaining this understanding include talking to a focus customer group or doing market research. But the downside to these one-time research methods is that they fail to account for evolving customer needs within changing business contexts. Being aware of these changing contexts is one of the most crucial factors of product design. This principle is more relevant in software development than the development of physical products.

At Codelathe, we follow a unique software development methodology that exposes the developers to customer problems throughout the software development process. This helps the developers empathize with the customers and create the right solutions. It also helps us to select the right set of features and keeps the product relevant in an evolving market.

We religiously follow this rule, and we don’t hire anybody who doesn’t believe in this process. We have this printed and posted in heavily trafficked places in our office. This method has worked very well for us, so we thought these simple rules would benefit other software companies as well.

Here are the rules we follow to create phenomenal products in Enterprise Information Management.

5 SIMPLE RULES FOR CUSTOMER DRIVEN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

  1. Every developer needs to do customer support at least 2 days a month. This applies to the leadership team as well.

  2. Every customer request needs to be recorded, discussed, assigned priority and tracked ASAP. We do this weekly.

  3. Product roadmap meetings require a customer success representatives to be present. They have the final say.

  4. Features/functionality that create the most impact for the most customers get higher priority.

  5. Every new feature has to pass the following litmus test – “Will this feature help create customer success?”

You can also download this 5 rules of customer driven software development as a pdf document .
Want to be part of something bigger than yourself? We are hiring.

Software test metrics how it helps?

“We can’t control things which we can’t measure”

Software Test Metrics are used to,

  • Take the decision for next phase of activities such as, estimate the cost & schedule of future projects.
  • Understand the kind of improvement required to success the project
  • Take decision on process or technology to be modified etc

Software Test Metrics

Software Metrics are used to measure the quality of the project. Simply, Metric is a unit used for describing an attribute. Metric is a scale for measurement.

Test metrics example:

  • How many defects are existed within the module?
  • How many test cases are executed per person?
  • What is the Test coverage %?

Why Test Metrics?

Generation of Software Test Metrics is the most important responsibility of the Software Test Lead/Manager.

Test Metrics are used to,

  1. Take the decision for next phase of activities such as, estimate the cost & schedule of future projects.
  2. Understand the kind of improvement required to success the project
  3. Take decision on process or technology to be modified etc.

 

Type of metrics
Base Metrics (Direct Measure)

Base metrics constitute the raw data gathered by a Test Analyst throughout the testing effort. These metrics are used to provide project status reports to the Test Lead and Project Manager; they also feed into the formulas used to derive Calculated Metrics.
Ex: # of Test Cases, # of Test Cases Executed

Calculated Metrics (Indirect Measure)

Calculated Metrics convert the Base Metrics data into more useful information. These types of metrics are generally the responsibility of the Test Lead and can be tracked at many different levels (by module, tester, or project).
Ex: % Complete, % Test Coverage

 

Definitions and Formulas for Calculating Metrics:

#1) %ge Test cases Executed: This metric is used to obtain the execution status of the test cases in terms of %ge.

%ge Test cases Executed = (No. of Test cases executed / Total no. of Test cases written) * 100.

So, from the above data,
%ge Test cases Executed = (65 / 100) * 100 = 65%

 

#2) %ge Test cases not executed: This metric is used to obtain the pending execution status of the test cases in terms of %ge.

%ge Test cases not executed = (No. of Test cases not executed / Total no. of Test cases written) * 100.

So, from the above data,
%ge Test cases Blocked = (35 / 100) * 100 = 35%

 

#3) %ge Test cases Passed: This metric is used to obtain the Pass %ge of the executed test cases.

%ge Test cases Passed = (No. of Test cases Passed / Total no. of Test cases Executed) * 100.

So, from the above data,
%ge Test cases Passed = (30 / 65) * 100 = 46%

 

#4) %ge Test cases Failed: This metric is used to obtain the Fail %ge of the executed test cases.

%ge Test cases Failed = (No. of Test cases Failed / Total no. of Test cases Executed) * 100.

So, from the above data,
%ge Test cases Passed = (26 / 65) * 100 = 40%

 

#5) %ge Test cases Blocked: This metric is used to obtain the blocked %ge of the executed test cases. A detailed report can be submitted by specifying the actual reason of blocking the test cases.

%ge Test cases Blocked = (No. of Test cases Blocked / Total no. of Test cases Executed) * 100.

So, from the above data,
%ge Test cases Blocked = (9 / 65) * 100 = 14%

Software Metrics1

 

 

 

#6) Defect Density = No. of Defects identified / size

(Here “Size” is considered as requirement. Hence here the Defect Density is calculated as number of defects identified per requirement. Similarly, Defect Density can be calculated as number of Defects identified per 100 lines of code [OR] No. of defects identified per module etc.)

So, from the above data,
Defect Density = (30 / 5) = 6

 

#7) Defect Removal Efficiency (DRE) = (No. of Defects found during QA testing / (No. of Defects found during QA testing +No. of Defects found by End user)) * 100

DRE is used to identify the test effectiveness of the system.
Suppose, During Development & QA testing, we have identified 100 defects.
After the QA testing, during Alpha & Beta testing, end user / client identified 40 defects, which could have been identified during QA testing phase.

Now, The DRE will be calculated as,
DRE = [100 / (100 + 40)] * 100 = [100 /140] * 100 = 71%

$8) Defect Leakage: Defect Leakage is the Metric which is used to identify the efficiency of the QA testing i.e., how many defects are missed / slipped during the QA testing.

Defect Leakage = (No. of Defects found in UAT / No. of Defects found in QA testing.) * 100

Suppose, During Development & QA testing, we have identified 100 defects.
After the QA testing, during Alpha & Beta testing, end user / client identified 40 defects, which could have been identified during QA testing phase.

Defect Leakage = (40 /100) * 100 = 40%

#9) Defects by Priority: This metric is used to identify the no. of defects identified based on the Severity / Priority of the defect which is used to decide the quality of the software.

%ge Critical Defects = No. of Critical Defects identified / Total no. of Defects identified * 100
From the data available in the above table,
%ge Critical Defects = 6/ 30 * 100 = 20%

%ge High Defects = No. of High Defects identified / Total no. of Defects identified * 100
From the data available in the above table,
%ge High Defects = 10/ 30 * 100 = 33.33%

%ge Medium Defects = No. of Medium Defects identified / Total no. of Defects identified * 100
From the data available in the above table,
%ge Medium Defects = 6/ 30 * 100 = 20%

%ge Low Defects = No. of Low Defects identified / Total no. of Defects identified * 100
From the data available in the above table,
%ge Low Defects = 8/ 30 * 100 = 27%

 

Software Metrics 2

 

Software Metrics 3

 

 

Improvements that can be taken in order to increase the quality of testing.

  • Test data should be readily available in the testcase
  • New Features should to be always tested first , to allow enough time for the developers to fix the bug
  • Prioritizing test case while execution.
  • Sanity test after bug fixes.

 

Top 5 Open Source Code Editors

For most web developers, the choice of picking out the right source code editor is a critical decision. Your code editing software is where most of your development time is spent, and where you can gain productivity on a massive scale. Since most developers work differently and are solving vastly different problems, a variety of editors have emerged to accommodate various needs.

With a number of professional editors such as Coda, Textmate and Dreamweaver in the market, it’s no surprise that many developer don’t consider simpler editors such as Window’s notepad. Of course, it’s worth noting that the simpler option isn’t always the best option, but if you’re looking for the ideal tool, you need to take all the factors into account. Here are some simple yet professional open source code editors, one of these tools could just be the tool that you need.

1. Notepad ++
Notepad ++ is an open source replacement version of the original notepad that comes with Windows and supports a wide range of different languages. Though it was originally build for Microsoft windows, Notepad ++ is capable of running on Unix, Linux and Mac OS X. Notepad++ comes with a lot of additional features including tabbed editing, plugin support, split screen editing, spell checker, drag and drop, and synchronized scrolling. It  also supports syntax folding and highlighting for 48 different scripting, programming and markup languages.
Pros:

  • Quick and lightweight
  • Tabbed interface for editing
  • Plugin macros and support
  • Full screen mode
  • Auto indentation
  • Compiler integration
  • Spell checker and collaborative editing

Cons

  • No SSH, HTTP or WebDay for remote file editing
  • Need additional work to run on OS X
  • No support for large files

2. ATPad
ATPad is another rendition of notepad with a couple of upgrades thrown in. Although it is available in English, you can also get ATPad in eleven other languages. With ATPad, you get customization options, tabbed editing, word wrapping, line numbering, customizable snippets, bookmarks, sending through e-mail and more. Because ATPad does not require installation, it can be opened from just about any drive without installing the software and doesn’t leave any traces. In order to remove it, the ATPad directory simply needs to be deleted.
Pros:

  • Tabbed interface editing
  • Text snippets and line numbering
  • Tilting and cascading for windows
  • Documents can be sent through email
  • Bookmarks can be added
  • No installation is required
  • Unlimited opportunities to undo and redo, or find and replace

Cons:

  • Does not include a spell checker

3. JEdit
JEdit is a program that can be installed on Linux, Unix, BSD, OS/2, Mac OS X and Windows. Written using Java, JEdit is an open source option for editing that supports hundreds of different macros and plugins. The main window can be vertically or horizontally split, and also comes with an option for syntax highlighting and auto indent for over 130 languages. There are also a number of customization options for this program that allow you to make the status bar, tool bar, dock and everything else, look exactly how you want it to. It is even possible to copy and paste on an unlimited number of clipboards.
Pros:

  • Customization options and Syntax highlighting
  • Auto completion and auto indentation
  • Power-packed search engine
  • Text and code folding
  • Compiler integration
  • Tabbed editing interface
  • Plugin and macros support
  • FTP browser integrated
  • FTP support
  • Spell checker
  • WebDay and HTTP support for remote editing

Cons

  • Quite heavy in weight and slow to start up
  • Can be quite buggy when used on Macs
  • Inconsistent spell checking
  • No support for large files, and no collaborative editing options
  • No SSH support for editing on a remote basis

4. Komodo Edit
Komodo is an impressive and speedy open source program that can be used on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It supports a number of programming languages, including the following: Python, PHP, Ruby, XML, CSS 3 and HTML 5. It also comes packed with customizable syntax folding, coloring, background syntax checking, and a wide range of call tips and auto-complete options. Alongside all of that, you get a tool box, macros, file editing on a remote basis, snippets and more. For those who are really looking for advanced features, there is also a premium option.
Pros

  • Support for macros and extensions
  • Automatic indentation
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Automatic completion
  • Code and text folding
  • Snippets for code

Cons

  • No integration for compiler
  • No spell checker included
  • No support for larger files
  • No support for collaboration editing
  • To access the advanced features that are provided in the premium version you will have to upgrade for a significant fee. Without any upgrades and support, you’re looking at around $295, or $382 with the added extras.

5. KompoZer
Powered by the well-known and popular brand “Mozilla”, KompoZer is a complete system for web authoring that combines easily accessible web page editing capabilities and web file management. This simple program can be used on Linux, Mac OS X and windows, and it is geared specifically towards less technical users who aren’t as advanced as some when it comes to web coding and HTML. Available in 21 languages, it comes with a number of great features including tabbed editing, integrated file management through FTP, templates, tables, and support for forms.
Pros

  • Integrated file tree and site manager for organization
  • Portable versions available
  • WYSIWYG editing available
  • Support through FTP
  • Similar in many ways to Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Supports various templates
  • Offers page preview options

Cons

  • No support for any server-side scripting
  • No support for shared editing projects
  • No support from WebDAV for remote editing of files

Author: Rahul Sharma

Alternative to Microsoft OneDrive – Why FileCloud is better for Business File Sharing?

FileCloudvsOneDrive

FileCloud competes with Microsoft OneDrive for business in the Enterprise File Sync and Share space(EFSS). Before we get into the details, I believe an ideal EFSS system should work across all the popular desktop OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux) and offer native mobile applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. In addition, the system should offer all the basics expected out of EFSS: Unlimited File Versioning, Remote Wipe, Audit Logs, Desktop Sync Client, Desktop Map Drive and User Management.

The feature comparisons are as follows:

Features OneDrive
On Premise
File Sharing
Access and Monitoring Controls
Secure Access
Document Preview
Document Edit
Outlook Integration
Role Based Administration
Data Loss Prevention
Web DAV
Endpoint Backup
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Public File Sharing
Customization, Branding
SAML Integration Under Development
Anti-Virus
NTFS Support
Active Directory/LDAP Support
Multi-Tenancy
API Support
Application Integration via API
Large File Support
Network Share Support
Mobile Device Management
Desktop Sync Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux
Mobile OS Compatibility iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Pricing for 100 users/ year $4199 $6000

From outside looking-in, the offerings all look similar. However, the approach to the solution is completely different in satisfying enterprises primary need of easy access to their files without compromising privacy, security and control. The fundamental areas of difference are as follows:

Feature benefits of FileCloud over Microsoft OneDrive

On Premise: FileCloud is a pure private EFSS solution that will run inside enterprise’s own infrastructure. And, enterprises can have complete control over their data.

Embedded File Upload Website Form – FileCloud’s Embedded File Upload Website Form enables users to embed a small FileCloud interface onto any website, blog, social networking service, intranet, or any public URL that supports HTML embed code. Using the Embedded File Upload Website Form, you can easily allow file uploads to a specific folder within your account. This feature is similar to File Drop Box that allows your customers or associates to send any type of file without requiring them to log in or to create an account.

Unified Device Management Console – FileCloud’s unified device management console provides simplified access to managing mobile devices enabled to access enterprise data, irrespective of whether the device is enterprise owned, employee owned, mobile platform or device type. Manage and control of thousands of iOS and Android, devices in FileCloud’s secure, browser-based dashboard. FileCloud’s administrator console is intuitive and requires no training or dedicated staff. FileCloud’s MDM works on any vendor’s network — even if the managed devices are on the road, at a café, or used at home.

Device Commands and Messaging – Ability to send on-demand messages to any device connecting to FileCloud, provides administrators a powerful tool to interact with the enterprise workforce. Any information on security threats or access violations can be easily conveyed to the mobile users. And, above all messages are without any SMS cost.

NTFS Shares Support – Many organizations use the NTFS permissions to manage and control the access permissions for internal file shares. It is very hard to duplicate the access permissions to other systems and keep it sync. FileCloud enables access to internal file shares via web and mobile while honoring the existing NTFS file permissions. This functionality is a great time saver for system administrators and provides a single point of management.

Network Shares Support – FileCloud’s network share feature satisfies enterprise requirement of user/group specific access to folders. And, as files are already shared via network shares, no need for additional setup or products to buy. Moreover, FileCloud provides Active Directory & LDAP support along with NTFS permission support restricting access to network folders to just authorized users.

Multi-Tenancy Support – The multi-tenancy feature allows Managed Service Providers(MSP) serve multiple customers using single instance of FileCloud. The key value proposition of FileCloud multi-tenant architecture is that while providing multi-tenancy the data separation among different tenants is also maintained . Moreover, every tenant has the flexibility for customized branding. MSPs who are interested in becoming FileCloud partners click here

Pricing

Microsoft OneDrive:

Enterprises need to buy add-on or upgrade to satisfy basic requirements of an EFSS solution. For a 100 user package, the cost adds up to around $6000.

FileCloud:

Enterprises get one simple solution with all features bundled. For the same 100 user package, with more features the cost is $2999/year, better value than Microsoft OneDrive.

Conclusion

Microsoft OneDrive is another public cloud based EFSS solution. If enterprises need complete control and host all enterprise data on-premise, they should go with FileCloud. With FileCloud, enterprises not only get a true on-premise private cloud EFSS solution, but also get a rich feature set product at a great value.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison that shows why FileCloud stands out as the best EFSS solution.

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

Learn more about FileCloud

Alternative to PowerFolder – Why FileCloud is better for Business File Sharing?

FileCloudVsPowerFolder

FileCloud competes with PowerFolder for business in the Enterprise File Sync and Share space(EFSS). Before we get into the details, I believe an ideal EFSS system should work across all the popular desktop OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux) and offer native mobile applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. In addition, the system should offer all the basics expected out of EFSS: Unlimited File Versioning, Remote Wipe, Audit Logs, Desktop Sync Client, Desktop Map Drive and User Management.

The feature comparisons are as follows:

Features sharefile
On Premise
File Sharing
Access and Monitoring Controls
Secure Access
Document Preview
Document Edit
Outlook Integration Beta Release
Role Based Administration
Data Loss Prevention
Web DAV
Endpoint Backup
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Public File Sharing
Customization, Branding Optional
SAML Integration Under Development Additional Integration
Anti-Virus
NTFS Support
Active Directory/LDAP Support
Multi-Tenancy Upgrade – Pay More
API Support
Application Integration via API
Large File Support
Existing Network Share Support
Mobile Device Management Limited
Desktop Sync Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux
Mobile OS Compatibility iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android
Pricing for 50 users/ year $2199 $1950

From outside looking-in, the offerings all look similar. However, the approach to the solution is completely different in satisfying enterprises primary need of easy access to their files without compromising privacy, security and control. The fundamental areas of difference are as follows:

Feature benefits of FileCloud over PowerFolder

Embedded File Upload Website Form – FileCloud’s Embedded File Upload Website Form enables users to embed a small FileCloud interface onto any website, blog, social networking service, intranet, or any public URL that supports HTML embed code. Using the Embedded File Upload Website Form, you can easily allow file uploads to a specific folder within your account. This feature is similar to File Drop Box that allows your customers or associates to send any type of file without requiring them to log in or to create an account.

Document Quick Edit – FileCloud’s Quick Edit feature supports extensive edits of files such as Microsoft® Word, Excel®, Publisher®, Project® and PowerPoint® — right from your Desktop. It’s as simple as selecting a document to edit from FileCloud Web UI, edit the document using Microsoft Office, save and let FileCloud take care of other uninteresting details in the background such as uploading the new version to FileCloud, sync, send notifications, share updates etc.

Unified Device Management Console – FileCloud’s unified device management console provides simplified access to managing mobile devices enabled to access enterprise data, irrespective of whether the device is enterprise owned, employee owned, mobile platform or device type. Manage and control of thousands of iOS and Android, devices in FileCloud’s secure, browser-based dashboard. FileCloud’s administrator console is intuitive and requires no training or dedicated staff. FileCloud’s MDM works on any vendor’s network — even if the managed devices are on the road, at a café, or used at home.

Device Commands and Messaging – Ability to send on-demand messages to any device connecting to FileCloud, provides administrators a powerful tool to interact with the enterprise workforce. Any information on security threats or access violations can be easily conveyed to the mobile users. And, above all messages are without any SMS cost.

NTFS Shares Support – Many organizations use the NTFS permissions to manage and control the access permissions for internal file shares. It is very hard to duplicate the access permissions to other systems and keep it sync. FileCloud enables access to internal file shares via web and mobile while honoring the existing NTFS file permissions. This functionality is a great time saver for system administrators and provides a single point of management.

Network Shares Support – FileCloud’s network share feature satisfies enterprise requirement of user/group specific access to folders. And, as files are already shared via network shares, no need for additional setup or products to buy. Moreover, FileCloud provides Active Directory & LDAP support along with NTFS permission support restricting access to network folders to just authorized users.

Multi-Tenancy Support – The multi-tenancy feature allows Managed Service Providers(MSP) serve multiple customers using single instance of FileCloud. The key value proposition of FileCloud multi-tenant architecture is that while providing multi-tenancy the data separation among different tenants is also maintained . Moreover, every tenant has the flexibility for customized branding. MSPs who are interested in becoming FileCloud partners click here

Pricing

PowerFolder:

Enterprises need to buy add-on or upgrade to satisfy basic requirements of an EFSS solution. For a 50 user package, the cost adds up to around $1950.

FileCloud:

Enterprises get one simple solution with all features bundled. For the same 50 user package, with an all-inclusive rich feature set, the cost is $1799/year, better value than PowerFolder.

Conclusion

The reality is that every business out there small, medium or large has network shares already setup for their users. And, they have employees using their personal mobile devices to access enterprise data and network shares. Hence, it would be best for businesses to choose a solution that provides support for network share integration and mobile device management.

PowerFolder provides very limited network share integration and mobile device management. Moreover, some of the key features such as over the web document edit & branding needs an upgrade. On the other hand, FileCloud not only provides the ability to integrate into existing network shares, but also has a robust mobile device management solution built-in that will provide administrators tighter control on user access. Plus, all features are included in one simple price.

FileCloud is the least disruptive solution for any business that is looking for an on-premise EFSS solution.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison that shows why FileCloud stands out as the best EFSS solution.

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

5 Great Project Management Tools for System Admins

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From the time we started our schooling till today, we have always been involved in some sort of project. Be it an art and craft project when we were young, to advanced science and marketing projects as we grew older. The moment one steps into the work sphere of life, the projects that come our way start to look a lot more complex and data inundated than ever. And more often than not, they involve not just a few individuals, but several groups across globe.

Our ability to manage projects is a true litmus test of our management skills and is the most important contributing factor to our career growth. In an era where people have to deal with mountains of digitized data and collaborate with hundreds of team members, cloud-based services have emerged as the saviors that help us not just retain workflow efficiency standards, but take them to a whole new level.

As a system administrator, you can pick and choose from a ton of free and paid project management tools out there that can prevent your big projects from getting out of control and draining your precious time and money.

For your consideration, here are 5 free project management tools that guarantee a seamless, smooth-sailing project workflow experience in your organization:

1. Bitrix24
While this project management tool has the option of an upgrade for $99 per month, it is completely free for up to 12 users. Its features give a tough competition to BaseCamp, PM’s current go-to software.

The benefits of using Bitrix24 include having an option to go for cloud or use the company’s own server. Its features include Gantt charts, layered task options, time tracking and management, and even employee workload planning.

Apart from this, it makes real-time communication a breeze with group chat, videoconferencing, and instant messenger. It also acts as a DropBox alternative—the free version offers 5GB of cloud storage for easy document sharing—and, for just 25¢ a month, businesses can add an additional gigabyte. However, a couple of cons in Bitrix24 are its limitation of the user profile and the huge jump to $99 for an upgrade, so small businesses might not want to go for it.

bitrix

2. Trello

This free project management tool uses a method called Kanban, developed by Taiichi Ohno, a former vice president of Toyota. This method allows users to move cards that represent tasks to create a visual representation of where a project is in development.

Why one should opt for Trello is precisely because of the above mentioned card system. While the front of the card has little more than a task label, the back can be filled with all kinds of information – for instance, updates on who’s working on a particular task, when is it due, and what parts of the task have already been completed with a simple checklist.

Even though its beauty lies in its simplicity, it is this very reason why Trello lacks a few key features; for example, it does not offer an option to see task lists broken down by user or due date.
trello

3. Asana

This is one of the most popular project management tools, with upwards of 400,000 customers. It is free for upto 15 users and it has been designed by none other than Dustin Moskovitz, the co-founder of Facebook.

Asana offers an intuitive task-management system that works best for teams seeking real-time interaction as it allows its users to visualize their goals, track their time, assign priority to their tasks, and get updates on the project right in the program.

However, Asana lacks features such as progress tracking and offline usage due to its simplicity.
Asana

4. Producteev

The biggest selling point for Producteev so far is the fact that it supports unlimited number of users and projects for free, and the only difference between the free and the Pro version is Outlook integration, personalized support, and visual customization.

Its features include permitting users to create tasks that belong in multiple task lists, offering real-time communication between users, featuring results measurement and progress tracking, and letting users turn e-mails into tasks with a few simple clicks.

Even though its benefits significantly outweigh its drawbacks, it could still be less attractive for enterprise managers due to the absence of time tracking and integrated billing software.

Producteev
5. Google Drive

Perhaps the best option for a project management tool in the market, its popularity is owed to its simplicity, scalability, and the fact that it contains most of the features in all of the above mentioned project management tools in some form or the other. In addition to that, it does not eliminate status e-mails, and provides a project homepage that shows automatically updated summaries on the progress of the project.

It becomes easier to share calendars, documents, spreadsheets and maps through Google Drive as a lot of people are registered on it. Importantly, the facility to assimilate numerous project management applications with the overall Google Apps suite gives a significant edge to administrators who can mix and match tools as per their organizational requirements to enhance their project management capabilities. Therefore, it proves to be the ultimate project management tool.

An idea is as good as the way it is completed through a project; hence, smooth completion is critical to your success, and these project management tools will make sure that everything goes according to the plan.

Google drive

Author: Prashant Bajpai
Image Courtesy: iosphere, freedigitalphotos.net

Top 5 open source version control tools for system admins

As a system admin, the chances are you collaborate with multiple people across the company, therefore you will probably know the stress of constantly transferring files and version controlling the changes. Version control tools are a great way to enable collaboration, maintain versions, and track changes across the team.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of using version control tools is that you have the capacity to deal with an unlimited number of people, working on the same code base, without having to make sure that files are delivered back and forth. Below are some of the most popular and most preferred open-source version control systems and tools available for making your setup easier.

1. CVS

CVS may very well be where version control systems started. Released initially in 1986, Google still hosts the original Usenet post that announced CVS. CVS is basically the standard here, and is used just about everywhere – however the base for codes is not as feature rich as other solutions such as SVN.
One good thing about CVS is that it is not too difficult to learn. It comes with a simple system that ensures revisions and files are kept updated. Given the other options, CVS may be regarded as an older form of technology, as it has been around for some time, it is still incredibly useful for system admins who want to backup and share files.

2. SVN

SVN, or Subversion as it is sometimes called, is generally the version control system that has the widest adoption. Most forms of open-source projects will use Subversion because many other large products such as Ruby, Python Apache, and more use it too. Google Code even uses SVN as a way of exclusively distributing code.
Because it is so popular, many different clients for Subversion are available. If you use Windows, then Tortoise SVN may be a great browser for editing, viewing and modifying Subversion code bases. If you’re using a MAC, however, then Versions could be your ideal client.

3. GIT

Git is considered to be a newer, and faster emerging star when it comes to version control systems. First developed by the creator of Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds, Git has begun to take the community for web development and system administration by storm, offering a largely different form of control. Here, there is no singular centralized code base that the code can be pulled from, and different branches are responsible for hosting different areas of the code. Other version control systems, such as CVS and SVN, use a centralized control, so that only one master copy of software is used.
As a fast and efficient system, many system administrators and open-source projects use Git to power their repositories. However it is worth noting that Git is not as easy to learn as SVN or CVS is, which means that beginners may need to steer clear if they’re not willing to invest time to learn the tool.

4. Mercurial

This is yet another form of version control system, similar to Git. It was designed initially as a source for larger development programs, often outside of the scope of most system admins, independent web developers and designers. However, this doesn’t mean that smaller teams and individuals can’t use it. Mercurial is a very fast and efficient application. The creators designed the software with performance as the core feature.
Aside from being very scalable, and incredibly fast, Mercurial is a far simpler system to use than things such as Git, which one of the reasons why certain system admins and developers use it. There aren’t quite many things to learn, and the functions are less complicated, and more comparable to other CVS systems. Mercurial also comes alongside a web-interface and various extensive documentation that can help you to understand it better.

5. Bazaar

Similar to Git and Mercurial, Bazaar is distributed version control system, which also provides a great, friendly user experience. Bazaar is unique that it can be deployed either with a central code base or as a distributed code base. It is the most versatile version control system that supports various different forms of workflow, from centralized to decentralized, and with a number of different variations acknowledged throughout. . One of the greatest features of Bazaar is that you can access a very detailed level of control in its setup. Bazaar can be used to fit in with almost any scenario and this is incredibly useful for most projects and admins because it is so easy to adapt and deal with. It can also be easily embedded into projects that already exist. At the same time, Bazaar boasts a large community that helps with the maintenance of third-party tools and plugins.

Author: Rahul Sharma


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Top 10 Troubleshooting Tools for System Admins

sys admin tools

Some of the biggest and the most prominent fire-drills that arise for system admins are the issues associated with troubleshooting system. Without the right tools, it can be practically impossible to track down the origin of faults,  fix the problem and prevent problems in the future. Fortunately, there are some troubleshooting tools available that should help system admins to identify the cause and fix problems as quickly as possible. As admins, you can either use the tools yourselves or provide them to users who are experiencing an issue, so that they can gather the right data and triage the problems.

  1. Microsoft Solution Center (Fix It)

The solution center for Microsoft, Fix it, is an online tool that helps users to quickly identify and assess the most common issues in a system. You simply enter in symptoms, then you will be given the option to download an executable which will automatically fix the issue, or go to a relevant article that explains what the recommended workaround could be. To use the fix it center, simply open the tool in a web browser, and select your problem area from step one, choose the problem you’re trying to fix in step two, and the solution you want to implement in step three.

  1. Problem Steps Recorder

Hidden in Window7 (and above) is an amazing utility known as the Problem steps recorder, or PSR.exe. This tool can record the interactions that occur, step by step, while the user involved replicates a problem, taking screen shots of each action. After this, it simply bundles the information into a detailed report alongside error logs. This tool is incredibly useful if you have been experiencing issues that you would like to learn more about, or if you intend to make a report that you can send to a third-party vendor for your support case. To launch the recorder, all you need to do is type psr.exe into the start menu and then click “start record”.

  1. Monitor for Reliability

Windows  (Vista and above) come with a tool known as the Reliability Monitor, which allows for a complete overview of a system’s stability, and offers details about the events taking place that can have an impact on reliability. The idea is to pinpoint any challenging areas, and improve reliability based on what is learned.

To run the reliability monitor, simply type “reliability” into your start menu, which will provide you with an option to view the reliability history. Selecting this shortcut  launches the monitor directly. You can start by deciding whether you would like to view the information by weeks or days, then select a particular area in the graph where you can view information on the lower pane. The information that you have viewed can be saved to a file.

  1. Nirsoft NirLauncher

This application works by combining over one hundred and seventy different utilities into one package. The tools that are available here include various recovery tools for passwords, programming tools, internet tools and system tools. All of the different aspects of this application can be used to help improve information gathering and troubleshooting processes.

  1. Windows Error Lookup Tool

When you are troubleshooting certain problems, you might come across STOP, NTSTATUS, HRESULT, or Win32 error codes that could mean absolutely nothing to you at first. By using W-E-L-T you will be able to determine what that code means in Standard English, and the error that it refers to. To launch this program, all you need to do is execute the lookup tool from the folder where W-E-L-T has been extracted. Then, enter your error code into the textbox, and the details will start to appear automatically.

  1. PowerShell Packs for Troubleshooting

The PowerShell pack for troubleshooting that is bundled with Windows 7 and above can be great for helping you to diagnose and troubleshoot errors in a system. They consist of a number of PowerShell scripts that can help you to diagnose the various aspects of your clients, servers or network. It is possible to access different packages for use on networks, printers, power and performance.

  1. WinAudit

As key step in troubleshooting a system, you are likely to collect as much detail about the machine as possible since it provides valuable on programs installed, and recent activities, which could give some indication on where the problem may be taking place, so that you can find a solution faster. WinAudit can be used to scan the entirety of your computer and gather a wide range of information about the software that is installed, including error logs, drives, TCP/IP settings and more. To start an audit for your machine, just execute Win-Audit.exe and click on the “Audit” icon.

  1. Microsoft SysInternals Suite

The Microsoft SysInternals suite consists of over sixty different light-weight tools for troubleshooting tools that have all been combined and connected into a single package for downloading. Regardless of the issue that you may be attempting to deal with, you should be able to find a tool somewhere in this package that can help you to diagnose, manage and troubleshoot your applications and system.

  1. Joeware Utilities

Joeware utilities provide a free list of system information utilities and troubleshooting systems that are designed with the aim of making system administrator’s lives easier. These tools were created by a system admin out of his own experience struggling to find a tool that was currently available to do the job for what he was trying to solve. The tools include programs that dump user information out of active directory, perform IP/TCP port testing, and modify a user’s account.

  1. Windows System Control Center

The WSCC tool isn’t specially for troubleshooting, but it can facilitate problem troubleshooting by providing an inventory for a number of different tool suites, such as those from NirSoft and SysInternals. It gives you the tools that you need to update, install, execute and categorize all of your tools in a certain location. Once you launch WSCC for the first time, you will be given the opportunity to download the latest updates for nearly 300 different tools.

 Author: Rahul Sharma

 image courtesy: vectorolie/ freedigitalphotos.net