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NetNow Apps – data integration software

How to integrate your data with NetNow?

NetNow Apps
We are just about to release the first collection of our new NetNow Apps for data integration. Our promise here at NetNow is to make managing your data a pleasure not a chore.

A key part of this process is making it easy for you to hook up to your data to the NetNow service. Our data integration software is designed to make this process as simply as possible.

To integrate your data you just need to download or activate the NetNow App for the platform, application or data source you want to integrate, configure it’s connection settings and away you go!

About data integration

Depending on the source of the data the integration App may be able to connect to it directly using a web service API for example. Other data sources or applications may require a component to be downloaded as placed near the data source. In these cases we use a highly secure connection back to the NetNow service and all data is encrypted at the source end as it would be better to first encrypt the content before storing into the Cloud (and automatically decrypt it upon retrieval).

In addition, NetNow data integration Apps will provide useful secondary functions such as compression and support for splitting/merging files that may be larger than a given threshold. Strong security algorithms and providers are be used, and this tool supports a variety of encryption key types.

Versions

We are about to release three new NetNow data integration Apps and 50+ to follow. v1.0 – Initial release.

  • nnApp for files
  • nnApp for mySQL
  • nnApp for Amazon CloudWatch

Functionality

The cryptographic operations performed by these tools are enabled by OpenSSL. By default, OpenSSL is used as it enables the greatest level of portability. Configuration via the NetNow service is provided using a simple, easy to use interface.

Grant Glading

How to videos on YouTube

About

YouTube Channel PageI’m pleased to report that the first in our ongoing series of short how to videos on YouTube are now available.

These videos are featuring members of the NetNow team running through the key elements of the service and how to configure and exploit its functionality. By providing a short overview the how to videos will appeal to people wanting to learn more about the NetNow service and how it can be configured to meet your own individual or organisational needs.

Videos will range from the basics right up to the most advanced level topics and are accompanied with a written instruction set conatining code snippets and additional tips, tricks and ideas.  Enjoy!

Accessing the Video Resources

You can find the new video resources located at https://www.youtube.com/user/NetNowLtd.  Links and instructions sets to accompany the video resources can be found in the tutorials section under the support menus at the NetNow.co website.

Colin Rutland

Bullet Graphs and Sparklines

Get your message across in a small space with Bullet Graphs

The NetNow dashboard builder provides a wide variety of graphical components (or “widgets”) that allow users to present their data in intuitive and visually rich ways. In this article I’m going to introduce you to a couple of lesser-known widgets that are particularly handy for packing information into a tight space on a screen or other display medium.

Although many NetNow widgets will be familiar to the user, being essentially electronic versions of traditional paper-based or mechanical indicators such as pie charts, thermometers and angular gauges, a few have been designed specifically for modern media. Of these, perhaps the most generally useful are the Bullet Graph and the Sparkline.

Bullet Graph

The Bullet Graph was designed by Stephen Few, a specialist in data visualization technology. Few describes the Bullet Graph as “a rich display of data in a small space” that “tells you not only how far along you are on the path to the future target, but also how well you’re doing today in relation to that target”.

As well as being a very efficient means of visualizing information, Bullet Graphs are also more accessible to users affected by colour blindness than traditional “red, amber, green” type displays. A full description of the attributes of the Bullet Graph can be found on Few’s web site.

Sparkline

Sparklines were invented by author and lecturer Edward Tufte, who describes them as “data-intense, design-simple, word-sized graphics”. The following example demonstrates how a Sparkline can allow the essential attributes of a set of data to be visualized at a single glance, without confusing the reader with unnecessary detail:

More information on Sparklines can be found on Tufte’s web site. Edward Tufte is a prolific author on the subject of data visualization and I can highly recommend his best-known book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which was named as one of the 100 best books of the 20th century by amazon.com.

The Bullet Graph and the Sparkline are just two of the many graphical components available in the NetNow user interface builder, but I hope that this article has demonstrated how useful they can be in getting your message across while making the best use of valuable screen real estate.

Grant Glading

Single-pane-of-glass

View infrastructure and application performance & usage

NetNow is teaming up with SecurActive (www.securactive.net) a leading vendor in the Network & Application performance monitoring space to deliver a single-pane-of-glass view of infrastructure and application performance & usage. The combined solution will allow you to listen to flows on strategic points of your network in order to measure the end-user Quality of Experience (QoE), as well as all network traffic and transactions undertaken. Our R&D team have just completed the integration effort and we’re in the package and test phase at the moment, keep an eye out for a demonstration dashboard at https://www.netnow.co/demo-centre/#all.

 

Grant Glading

NetNow’s SaaS business model has legs in the risk averse financial services sector after all

I must admit I was more than a little taken aback following two meetings in quick succession with senior IT managers at major financial services organisations, both meetings went along the lines of “based on previous conversations with you and your team I’m aware that SaaS is not seen as a strategic model for your organisation as you prefer to have complete control over the IT environment for data protection and security reasons…”, on both occasions it turned out that these companies have identified cost saving and time-to-market benefits associated with the uptake of SaaS offerings in the test and development areas.  As long as no sensitive information is propagated to the hosted SaaS environments it seems that SaaS could be the way for these organisations to quickly commission test, development and even certain standby environments quickly and cost effectively moving forwards.  I’m pleased to report NetNow is increasingly being seen as applicable to individual private users all the way up to global corporations and everything in between.  This really has the feeling of something remarkable happening in corporate IT with regards to SaaS and PaaS uptake.

Grant Glading

Money Saving Applications at NetNow: Power Monitoring Software

We’re really excited about one of the initial NetNow applications; Power Monitoring and Management. This is a unique and innovative, comprehensive power management system, measuring server and application-level power consumption in continuous time without the requirement of any additional hardware. It operates in any common operating system, installs in hours, and delivers energy savings of up to 40%.

Sample power monitoring dashboard:

Sample Dashboard Image

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  • Measures server down to application power consumption
  • No additional hardware required
  • Real-time, historical and predictive data

Case studies show up to 40% energy savings in data centre environments

News

NetNow progressing well through alpha and beta delivery

There is a lot of excitement in and around R&D as we begin to plan and allocate some final pieces of the Jigsaw that will enable the first BETA delivery of NetNow. Roles and Responsibilities are being fine tuned, licensing attributes configured and a few other minor tasks are working their merry way through the agile development machine. On going extensive application testing, coupled with code reviews and code test coverage are all catalysts for the delivery of a robust industry strength application.

Grant Glading

itSMF conference 2012 – Forum at the City of Manchester Stadium, 29th May 2012

‘Making ITSM work for your Organisation’, the first presentation of the day helped set the scene at this new itSMF event, designed for those seeking the right ITSM tools to support their service management operation.  I found the day useful, gathering some understanding of the latest (mostly SaaS based) service desk/management tools available.  As it was a free event, I’d say it was definitely worth the long drive down from Scotland.  Having visited Old Trafford several times it was good to take a look at rivals Man City’s stadium, I can imagine match day is pretty atmospheric to say the least, the place is huge!

There were some familiar faces at the event including Alan Thompson from VocaLink and ex-Sheffield Hallam Uni consultant Vanessa Morgan (now a director at ASM Global).  Both Alan and Vanessa were really interested in the power consumption monitoring for servers we can now offer from NetNow and Interlink Software.

Keeping abreast of the latest software developments is becoming increasingly difficult as users have less and less time available to explore the options, this event was quite well attended and highlighted to me that companies are still willing to send people out to these events rather than just research on the web.