General news and events

News about products, events and general information we like to share

Status of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities

It is undeniable that Open Source isn't just delivering the building blocks of our digital world but, thanks to the growing number of involved professionals, is helping in making our infrastructures more secure.
Thanks to the efforts of developers and researchers several software and hardware vulnerabilities are being constantly discovered and fixed.

One of the latest discoveries made by independent researchers, probably tipped by a presentation made by Anders Fogh at the BlackHat Conference in 2016, is that serious security flaws have been baked into computer chips for decades. It may be surprising that serious flaws may remain undiscovered for such a long time but most processors manufacturers aren't very open regarding the design of their products so it may take a lot of time and patience to tests and confirm those vulnerabilities by, nearly, blindly testing any formulated hypothesis.

Much has been and can be said about it but most of you may wonder "Should I start panicking?"

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When the UK Public Sector gets it right

 Local and Central Governments institutions have been purveyors of fine examples of catastrophic IT failures which kept IT journalist quite busy in the past few years.

 But Public Sector IT projects do not always fail and it's quite unfortunate that when there are teams that make things work as they should they don't get the due recognition.

 I’m one of those that often (very often) complains about the way the Public Sector manages projects, is unwilling to take risks and to embrace new and more efficient technologies and I heard too many times the old style CIO mantra “Nobody has ever been fired for buying ‘usual vendors’”.


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Lowering your energy costs with innovation

I've spotted an article published and recently updated by Jisc about ICT energy costs reduction which stated that universities and colleges spend about £147 million a year just in ICT related energy costs.

The article rightly recommended various methods to save energy but there is a limit to what it can be saved if organisations keep using the same tools. While I agree with many of the recommendations present in the article I think that Jisc forgot mention an important one before promoting its own Cloud services.

Changes needs to be made in the education sector, like many other sectors, and probably we can find the solutions where efficiency matters the most.

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Getting the best out of Open Source & Cloud on GCloud 6

Omnis Systems Ltd is very pleased to be part of a very promising Public Sector framework like GCloud, in its sixth iteration, as it allows us and our channel partners to help Local and Central Government organisations in combining the efficiency and cost saving of Cloud and Open Source together.

We decided to participate with complementary solutions which are just two of the many building blocks of a comprehensive strategy of modernisation which will help organisations in reducing their costs while increasing efficiency and agility thanks to Open Source and Open Standards:

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The Open Source, the Cloud and your Business Conference held in Brighton the 18th of November 2014 has surely been an exciting and satisfying experience for both the organisers and the delegates.

The event had the objective of presenting some of the opportunities presented by Cloud services, but also the risks and the costs involved, and the Open Source alternatives available to "legacy" solutions that may help in reducing costs and complexity of in-house deployments. The point was to provide show participants that there are valid alternatives to what "mainstream" IT providers are offering and allow them to ask the right questions when offered IT products and services.

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Univention Logo180x45Avoid Cloud Service Lock-in and Encourage Long-Term Innovation

Amazon web servicesLast month Amazon launched it’s Active Directory Service for Amazon Web Services, the word’s leading cloud offering from Amazon. This new service is based on the well-known and industry-proven open source software, Samba 4, which is not new and which we at Univention have used for years to provide our customers with Active Directory service compatible to Microsoft and Microsoft Windows clients. Amazon also launched a connector to existing Active Directories that corporate customers typically run on premises to manage their identities, roles and rights. Together these two new services will enable enterprises to use the same identities and associated rights with all services and applications they run in the Amazon cloud and in their classical on premises IT infrastructure. At a first glance this news sounds like it will be easier to use, with less administrative effort from users and far better security.

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The Internet: a dark, cold Cloudomnissystemslogo114x50

 It's since the news about the leaked document showing that Verizon handed over telephone data that there has been a crescendo of noise about it. Then the PRISM scandal came out shortly after just to reinforce the message: your data is not yours any more.

We are very pleased that finally the media covers an issue that affects all of us both in private life and in our business as we don't know how, the data collected, will be used in future against us even if we've never done anything wrong. As we know information can be read and interpreted in different ways.

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Breaking vendor lock-in, bit by bitomnissystemslogo114x50

The Open Source Conference 2013 has been an excellent opportunity for Omnis Systems, its partners and the Public Sector delegates to exchange ideas about the future of Open Source in local and central Government institutions.

Many delegates had great experience in using Open Source based solutions while others came to learn more about it but at the end they all found that Open Source is the way forward. By removing proprietary software a large amount of resources will be available to the Public Sector: therefore enabling them to lower their costs while concentrating on providing better services.

Delegates had the opportunity, during the event, to gain a better understanding of the time and investment required to take an Open Source “Free” product and make it “Enterprise Ready”, supportable and usable in commerce and industry.  This insight included further detail on how those deploying these solutions of the future can save time and money, but retain or even improve the features and performance for their users.

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