Blackberry for Work – Upcoming Book Release

Books are written and published by the hundreds every day. Topics ranging from technology to philosophy throng the literary market. So what is it that gave this book the courage to reach out to you? It isn’t the content of it, neither is it the style. It is the soul of the book that eternally hopes for many such repeats in the future.
Shikha Gupta, my co-author (really – she did all the work!) of the book “BlackBerry for Work”, which is being published by Apress, has decided to direct all proceeds (author’s share) of our book to a charity in India. The Mitr Foundation is a Trust founded in the city of Hyderabad, with the objective of contributing its might towards the empowerment of the girl child through education. Somewhere between the elite and the underprivileged lies the core essence of our endeavor. She has pledged to undertake the responsibility of educating 3 children.

Shikha Gupta and Kunal Mittal

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Cloud Computing Providers

The classification of cloud providers continues to expand. Gartner and InfoWorld (amongst others) have created diagrams trying to explain the different categories of Cloud providers and services. My view below encompasses both their views as well as tries to rationalize the categories in a slightly different way than those papers.

Types of Cloud Services

Types of Cloud Services

I will not explain each box – the names are relatively self explanatory + you probably have read enough material that explains each box in more detail than I can on a blog.

This view of the categorization should help clarify that IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) is typically a collection of multiple cloud services – which can be consumed from one or multiple vendors to put together a comprehensive solution for a customer. Security is an emerging area of focus amongst Cloud Providers. As Cloud Computing emerged, enough noise was raised about security of data. This was addressed typically using encryption mechanisms for data at rest and data in motion. As more and more companies starting leveraging the cloud (either in SaaS models or as extensions to their data centers), it is important to see how security requirements are evolving.

It is interesting to see companies want Single Sign On and User Provisioning between their on-premise applications and their SaaS applications. Several startups are emerging in this space that focus on seamlessly integration “User Identity” information for SaaS.

In many of the categories; there are very mature providers offering products and services. However, some of the areas are still emerging. Specifically, Security, Governance, Testing, Management and Integration are probably the most nascent of these areas. I might explore some of these areas in future blog postings.

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US Citizenship

I got my US citizenship yesterday. I must say this was the least painful immigration process that I have been through in the last 13 years of being in the US.

1. Started with a Student Visa in 1996
2. EAD in 1999
3. H1-B in 2000
4. Green card application in 2002 and subsequent EAD’s till 2004
5. Green card in 2004
6. US Citizenship in 2009

I applied on 5/11, a day after I crossed the 5 year mark on the green card. Within 3 weeks, I was called for the fingerprinting. Another 5 weeks later the interview and yesterday was the Oath ceremony.

The Oath Ceremony is a fairly elaborate deal. 2312 people took the oath with me in the LA Sports Arena. The area was designated a district court with a US judge presiding over the session.

The Oath process is as follows
1. Reach the arena and park 20 bucks to park
2. Stand in a short line to register – basically turn in your green card and review the N-445
3. Take the oath – this includes actually taking the oath, hear a coiuple short speeches, a couple videos (incl. one from President Obama) and then the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem (no you don’t have to sing it)
4. If you want to get your passport made the same day, you take that oath right there

Once you are done with this, you form lines again to pick up your Certificate of Naturalization. They had also setup a passport office so you could apply for your passport right there – they do take your ORIGINAL certificate. They did offer photo services too.

Overall a really well organized and good event to welcome you to US Citizenship….

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Gmail outage today

I am reading way too many articles and blogs really dinging Google for its Gmail outage today. Don’t get me wrong – I was as impacted by this as anybody else – I use Gmail and Google Accounts for personal as well as multiple businesses.

However, the last Gmail outage that I can recall Michael Manis was in Feb for 2.5 hours. Before that sometime in August of 2008 – if memory serves me.

Overall, for the type of service that is being provided, the volume, the # of customers and the fact that it is “FREE” .. I beg to argue that the outage can be forgiven. Hey.. any other email service I have used in the past or still use (I will not take names) tend to have more issues then Gmail has ever had!! But no one seems to make a big deal of that….

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What the &*&( is Social Media

I recently saw these presentations on Social Media and wanted to share it… Enjoy.

It is interesting to compare this to the second presentation along the same lines done 1 year later…

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