MDM Solutions

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is fast becoming a somewhat competitive game and finding the right solution is a minefield. Who’s best at what and which of the excellent options are right for your company?

A breakdown of just some of the best MDM solutions and their vendors is an important tool and will arm companies in their search for the right solution for their needs.

• Absolute Manage: Absolute Manage is available as a stand-alone package or as a component with AM. It includes some excellent functions such as device geotracking, deployment of in house apps and detection of jailbroken devices.

• Airwatch: Airwatch is without a doubt one of the strongest MDM suites out there. Reviews for Airwatch are so far strong and their iOS support is extremely comprehensive.

• IBM: Highly recommended in general, IBM offer strong support and high security… perhaps the highest out there.

• MobileIron: MobileIron supports all phone devices but not desktops. A relatively new company but forging ahead in the popularity stakes.

• Symantec: Not newbies to the business of device security but certainly doing an excellent job of providing all that’s needed and more. For a trusted name, Symantec are an excellent choice in terms of MDM solutions.

• FancyFon: Supporting all mobile devices and relatively new, FancyFon is fast making a name for itself in MDM and is well worth checking out especially as it supports Apple’s 1OS 5.

There are of course many MDM solutions out there and vendors are offering features which are in some cases vastly different to one another. The main points to take into consideration with regards to security are that no MDM solution is infallible and that there are weak spots still to be ironed out with some contenders.

It is important to note that MDM providers (all of them!) use exactly the same system for managing iOS devices… that is an XML doc. And the spec for this is defined by Apple.

As a result, the features of each MDM solution are more or less the same. Some features may be erased or compromised by the user, including root configuration profiles which are removable.

iTunes may also make devices vulnerable to being wiped completely… ensure that you are fully informed of the pitfalls of each before you decide which MDM solution to go for.

There are so many MDM vendors currently cropping up that it’s a slightly overwhelming process to decide which to choose; it is worth remembering that now it is the task of the various MDM providers to work out how to make themselves stand out.

When one vendor rises head and shoulders above the other, this may not be a permanent situation though… in a world where MDM is developing at a breakneck speed it is sensible to retain an open mind.

Read the reviews and consider the weaknesses if any of the solutions which interest you; your company is an individual and no two organisations can hope to benefit from the same features.

It makes sense to remember that BYOD is bringing both convenience and speed to many workplaces in terms of access to data but the issue of security will be ever present and dropping the ball at this early stage is not a good idea. Keep up to date with new developments and ask questions as they occur. Your MDM provider should be at the ready with the answers!

The author has many years’ experience in IT within blue-chip organisations and writes professionally on a wide range of topics including Software Development, Project Management and Mobile Device Management (MDM), including the growing trend of Bring-Your-Own-Device ( BYOD ).

Fiber Optic Connectors And The Complete Guide

The network cabling industry’s fiber optic manufacturers over the last few decades have been on a constant mission to develop the better fiber connector. This means lower cost, lower dB losses, easier to terminate out in the field. There have been over 100 connectors developed over the years but a select few have stood the test of time and beat out their competition. Below we will talk about the most common.

A fiber optic connector terminates at the end of a fiber optic cable and is used when you need a means to connect and disconnect the fiber cable quickly. A fiber splice would be used in a more permanent application. The connectors provide a mechanical connection for the two fiber cables and align both cores precisely so the light can pass through with little loss. There are many different types of connectors but many share similar characteristics. Many connectors are spring loaded. This will push the fiber ends very close to each other so as to eliminate airspace between them, which would result in higher dB losses.

There are generally five main components to a fiber connector: the ferrule, the body, the coupling structure, the boot and the dust cap.

Ferrule-the ferrule is the small round cylinder that actually makes contact with the glass and holds it in place. These are commonly made of ceramic today but also are made of metal and plastic.

Body-This sub assembly holds the ferrule in place. It then fits into the connector housing.

Connector Housing-This holds all sub assembly parts in place and has the coupling that will connect to the customer’s equipment. The securing mechanism is usually bayonet, snap-in or a screw on type.

Boot-This will cover the transition from the connector to the fiber optic cable. Provides stress relief.

Dust Cap-Just as it implies will protect the connector from accumulating dust.

There are many types of connectors on the market. The major differences are the dimensions and the method of connection to equipment. Most companies will settle on one type of connector and keep that as a standard across the board. It makes sense because all equipment has to be ordered with that specific connector type and to have 2 or 3 different connector types can get messy. For typical network cabling projects today LC is fast becoming the shining star of fiber connectors. LC is a small form factor connector which means it requires a much smaller footprint in your IT closet. Thus you can fit many more LC connectors into you fiber panels then say ST or SC connectors.

  • ST Connector

The ST connector (or Straight Tip) was the first popular connector type to be used as a standard for many organizations in their fiber network applications. It was first developed by AT&T. Often called the “round connector” it has a spring loaded twist bayonet mount with a 2.5mm round ferrule and a round body. The ST connector is fast being replaced with the smaller, denser SFF connectors.

  • SC Connector

The SC connector is a push-in/pull-out type connector that also has a 2.5 mm ferrule. It is very popular for its excellent performance record. The SC connector was standardized in TIA-568-A, and has been very popular for the last 15 years or so. It took a while to surpass the ST because of price and the fact that users were comfortable with the ST. Now it’s much more competitive with pricing and it is a very easy install, only requiring a push in and pull out connection. This is very helpful in tight spaces. Simplex and duplex SC connectors are available. The SC was developed by the Japanese and some say stands for Standard Connector.

  • FDDI/ ESCON Connectors

You may see FDDI and ESCON(IBM) duplex fiber connectors in older installations. These connectors will mate to their own networks and usually will be seen at the wall outlet locations. These connectors use a squeeze tab coupling mechanism. The closet side of the fiber will usually have a standard ST or SC connector. The FDDI/ESCON connectors can be mated to SC or ST connectors since they both have a 2.5mm ferrule. An adaptor would be required in this case. The FDDI stands for Fiber Distributed Data Interface.

  • LC Connector

The LC connector was developed by Lucent Technologies, hence the LC. It is a Single Form Factor Connector that has a 1.25mm ferrule. The attaching mechanism is similar to an RJ-45 connector with the retaining clip. It is a smaller square connector, similar to the SC. LC connectors are often held together with a duplex plastic retainer. They are also very common in single mode fiber applications.

  • MT-RJ Connector

MTRJ stands for Mechanical-Transfer Registered Jack and was developed by Amp/Tyco and Corning. MTRJ is very similar to an RJ type modular plug. The connector is always found in duplex form. The body assembly of the connector is usually made from plastic and clips and locks into place. There are small pins present that guide the fiber for correct alignment. MTRJ’s also are available in male or female orientation. They are only used for multi-mode applications. They can also be difficult to test because many testers on the market do not accept a direct connection. You usually need to rig up a patch cord adaptor kit to make testing possible.

  • FC Connector

The FC connector you may find in older single mode installations. It was a popular choice that has been replaced by mostly ST or SC type connectors. It also has a 2.5mm ferrule. They have a screw on retaining mechanism but you need to be sure the key and slot on the connector are aligned correctly. FC connectors can also be mated to ST & SC’s through the use of an adaptor.

Panduit Opti-Jack Connector

The Panduit Opti-Jack is a clean, tough duplex connector cleverly designed around two ST-type ferrules in a package the size of a RJ-45. It has male and female (plug and jack) versions.

  • Volition Connector

3M’s Volition is a slick, inexpensive duplex connector that uses no ferrule at all. It aligns fibers in a V-groove like a splice. Plug and jack versions, but field terminate jacks only.

  • LX-5 Connector

LX-5 is like a LC but with a shutter over the end of the fiber.

  • MU Connector

MU looks a miniature SC with a 1.25 mm ferrule. It’s more popular in Japan.

  • MT Connector

MT is a 12 fiber connector for ribbon cable. It’s main use is for preterminated cable assemblies and cabling systems. Here is a 12 fiber MT broken out into 12 STs.

This connector is sometimes called a MTP or MPO which are commercial names.

Hopefully this guide may help you get an idea of what options are out there for your fiber optic connector needs.

With over 15 years in the cabling business as a technician, project manager and operations director, Michael Stones has had extensive hands on training with a wide variety of tools and test equipment. Please visit us before you purchase fiber connectors or any other telecommunications or electrical testing equipment or tools.

How Tablets/Mobile Apps Are Changing the Gaming Industry

Since the introduction of computing devices, gaming has been an integral part of the systems. From Steven Russel’s “Spacewar!” of 1961 to today’s “Temple Run” developed by Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova, the scenario of gaming has seen a dramatic change in all these years. Computer and video games themselves have emerged as a major part in the software development industry.

Now is the time of mobile and tablet-based games which allow a user to enjoy their favorite ones at any place, whenever they have spare time. The popularity of tablet based gaming is increasing at a rapid pace and is outshining the popularity of popular consoles like PS3 & Xbox. A number of popular gaming applications have been introduced with the dedicated efforts of game development companies and third party application developers. This allows users to choose from a wide variety of game apps and select their favorite ones.

With ample availability of applications, the gaming industry has been injected with a sense of competition to popularize their tablet or smartphone applications. Apart from developing an interesting game itself, companies often introduce other techniques to improve the selection rate of their games. Once described for its fun and enjoyment element, game development is now considered more serious business than ever.

  • Marketing models like “Freemium” apps brings in an extended advantage to developers to demonstrate the interestingness of their game and then asking the users to purchase the full version.
  • Integration of social media platforms for sharing their top scores and beating other top scorers contributes to the popularity of a game.
  • With advanced wireless technologies like 3G, 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi, multi-player gaming is also gaining a huge popularity and has become a crucial element for most of the games.
  • Another reason of changing game development practices is advancing data processing capabilities of smartphones and tablets that can process the data input for heavy games and engage a user. Life-like game visuals engage more users and make an app more interactive and interesting.

Travis Boatman, Senior Vice President of a game development company, Zynga, during his service period at EA Mobile, stated that most of the “mobile” gaming is in fact done at home which is quite ironic because of the availability of high performance gaming consoles at home. According to EA mobile statistics, 47% of the mobile gaming is done while users are located inside their home which explains why tablet or mobile-based gaming is over-shadowing the popularity of gaming consoles and home entertainment systems rapidly.

The revenue generation practice of the gaming industry has also shifted with the change in marketing models. For earning profits, companies used to sell their games but now, free-to-play features of mobile games inhibit this practice. Mobile ads is the another monetization option for companies or developers nowadays in order to popularize a game. By lowering the cost of their games, they get the advantage of reaching maximum users and to earn their revenue, gaming apps are embedded with mobile ads during the loading time.

Christa Joe is a keen blogger and enjoys reading and writing about the recent technology. Software development, mobile software development and mobile applications are some of her key area of interests. She’s also a freelance writer and write for various Windows Mobile Application development companies like Q3 technologies.

Photoshop CS6 Tips and Tricks

Students and professionals from all over the world are using Adobe’s Photoshop each and every day, and they all simply love this software application which is most commonly used for editing images and photographs of any kind. However, not all of these people are aware of the fact that Photoshop CS6 is the absolute best version of Photoshop so far, and that there are many different tips and tricks they can use in order to make their use of Photoshop more effective and more fluent. Aside from Photoshop CS6 tutorials and online training, there are many videos that can be found online and that can help you use Photoshop CS6 with ease.

This is a great and new tool that is featured in Photoshop CS6, and it can help you do wonders with your images – both literally and figuratively speaking. Namely, scaling images to larger and smaller sizes is very useful in many instances, and Photoshop CS6 lets you do this with superb results. For example, if you have a photograph of a large plane with just grass, a beautiful sunset and red skies, and a majestic tree in one corner of the photo, you can turn this photo into a masterpiece with the Content Aware Scaling tool and the Area Protection feature. You firstly mark the area you do not want to scale, for example the tree and the sunset, and scale the rest of the image to a size that best suits your wishes. The scaling process takes seconds, and the results are, as mentioned above, magnificent.

The Content Aware Move Tool

Another great trick you can do with Photoshop CS6 is moving content within your image, or cropping it if you like, without loss of any features in the photo. This is a great thing to do if you do not like something in the photo, and if you want it moved or even completely removed from the photo. After you move or remove the area you have selected, the background of this area will be filled with pixels according to the surrounding parts of the photograph. Although this tool is best used with photographs that have simple backgrounds, it can also work with images that have more complex backgrounds – but you will probably have to do some manual corrections afterwards.

Tricks that Will Help You Speed Up Your Photoshop CS6

There are a few things that you can do in order to quicken up your Photoshop CS6, and here are some of them:

• Purge Photoshop CS6 history – Even though it is sometimes useful to have the history saved in your Photoshop CS6, the fact is that purging it frees up resources and speeds up your Photoshop CS6.

• Image resolution – Reducing the resolution of the photos you are working with makes a lot of sense, especially if you will be saving a low-quality version in the end anyway.

Aside from this, you can also draw in basic mode, turn off animated zoom, image previews, flick panning, and some other features. All of this will free up resources and make using Photoshop CS6 more effective.