Delivery management – it’s my baby, quite literally!

The recently gained motherhood has taught me heaps of management lessons that I think any course or certification wouldn’t provide. I also happened to read a post by Jennifer (Zankan) Berson where she explains why moms make kick-ass entrepreneurs & employees. I thought these ‘mom-skills’ would help a lot and can be adopted for better outcomes while delivering IT projects.

Topics: Team Outsourced Product Engineering Technology

Google makes all the right moves at the Nexus event

The Nexus event has excited all the Android fan boys (including me) for the right reasons. While the two new Nexus phones – Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P - were the highlight of the event, the event was the real coming of age of the Android ecosystem. More than ever before, the slew of Android devices – phones, tablets, TV and even speakers gel together wonderfully creating the ‘ultimate Android experience’. The company will hope that this pushes the sales of all the other Android devices along with their premium phones.

Topics: Nexus event Nexus phone Mobile Development Technology

Evolving role of a marketer

Marketers have existed right since the days of barter trade exchange. This was a period when you didn’t have to promote your goods or services or prepare a marketing strategy and plan like we do today. The objective was simple - to exchange what you had with what you wanted i.e. to sell.

Topics: marketing digital transformation Social media Technology

Technology news making the rounds - Week 39, 2015

Technology news from cloud, big data, mobile and collaboration

One year of ISO 27018 - The cloud computing privacy standard

The International Standards Organization (ISO) along with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) had published ISO 27018, the first privacy-specific international standard for cloud services, last year. The standard specifies roles of data controller and processor with regard to security and privacy of personally identifiable information (PII) which is stored in a public cloud. In addition to existing information standards, ISO 27018 is built for cloud computing services.

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How Big Data helps manufacturers to think big?

Big Data is transforming the manufacturing industry. In a recent report, 31% of people from this sector said that they are considering Big Data opportunities or will do so in the coming year. 35% of the respondents think that data analysis will be a critical skillset for the next generation of employees. Manufacturing organizations already have access to huge amounts of data from construction and testing. Big Data will help them eliminate statistical process control from their quality control process. Manufacturing companies will use sensors to access real-time data from the assembly line. They will be able to generate better accuracy with less human intervention.

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Which one should you pick – Android or iOS?

Android currently dominates the smartphone market and is offered by a variety of phone makers. Apple maintains a healthy market share despite having fewer devices than Android. For the past few years, September has been the month where Apple reveals its new line of iPhones whereas Google typically introduces one Nexus phone in October. Both platforms come with their fair share of advantages for users. While Android has become more polished with time, iOS has become more flexible.

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Increasing the value of Social Collaboration

The digital era is helping organizations to engage with customers, partners and employees. They are all working together from their cloud-enabled mobile devices. There are even social networks designed just for enterprises. However, there are tons of options available which can confuse organizations. Businesses have to keep three things in mind before adopting an enterprise social network.

Read more:

Topics: social collaboration Mobile Mobility analytics Big data Collaboration cloud computing Technology

Elasticsearch vs Graph Database

Recently, I worked on a project which involved building a genealogy portal to gather information about individuals and their genealogical/family links. Through the portal, the users could access and collaborate on comprehensive family trees. Target users were curious amateurs, genealogists, researchers, and professionals related to this space. In order to build this for different users, we needed flexibility to build different search interfaces.

Topics: Graph Database analytics Elasticsearch Technology

Why DevOps?

Building software is a team game. It requires collaboration of various stakeholders from business and technology functions. Even when the software is getting developed, the process of building software is not immune to misunderstanding among various stakeholders in the system. Rather, it is one of the top reasons for software project failures.

Topics: DevOps Digital Tranformation Software Development Agile Software Development Technology

Aurora RDS vs MySQL RDS

Aurora RDS vs MySQL RDS

Amazon Aurora is a relational database engine that delivers the speed and reliability of commercial databases with the benefits of open source databases. Amazon RDS, on the other hand, is very easy to set up, operate and scale MySQL deployments in the cloud. If you are planning to use one of the two, I have listed some comparisons in the table below:

Features Amazon RDS for Aurora Amazon RDS for MySQL
Performance According to Amazon, Aurora offers five times the performance of a standard deployment of a MySQL instance. The performance of RDS is good.
Compatibility The Amazon Aurora database engine is designed to be compatible with MySQL 5.6 Supports MySQL versions 5.1, 5.5, and 5.6.
Storage Engine Supports only InnoDB. Tables from other storage engines are automatically converted to InnoDB. Supports InnoDB, MyISAM and many others
Availability according to region Amazon Aurora is currently available in the US West (Oregon), US East (N. Virginia), and EU (Ireland) AWS regions. Available in all AWS regions
Simulation for crash testing Simulation of node, disk, or read replica failure for testing/HA using queries No support for simulating crashes for testing purpose using queries
Workload Supports highly concurrent workloads. Supports normal workloads.
Storage AutoScaling Amazon Aurora storage is fault-tolerant, self-healing, transparently handling the loss of up to two copies of data without affecting database write availability and up to three copies without affecting read availability. Amazon Aurora automatically maintains 6 copies of your data across 3 Availability Zones and will automatically attempt to recover your database in a healthy AZ with no data loss. The minimum storage is 10GB. Based on your database usage, your Amazon Aurora storage will automatically grow, up to 64 TB, in 10GB increments with no impact to database performance. There is no automatic growth of storage.
Encryption Amazon Aurora uses SSL (AES-256) to secure data in transit. Encryption for data at rest will be available in a future release. Amazon RDS encryption uses AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to let you create and manage the keys used to encrypt your data.
Replica Amazon Aurora supports two kinds of replicas.
1. Amazon Aurora Replicas share the same underlying volume as the primary instance. There can be maximum of 15 Aurora replicas.
2. MySQL Read Replicas based on MySQL’s binlog-based replication engine. In MySQL Read Replicas, data from your primary instance is replayed on your replica as transactions.
It support only read replica. There can be maximum of 5 read replica
Cost The minimum instance of Aurora start from db.r3.large. Hence, it is costlier than RDS for MySQL. With Amazon Aurora you pay only for the storage that you use. RDS MySQL is cost effective, especially as it is currently available on lower-spec VMs. With MySQL RDS, you pay for the storage that is attached to your VMs whether you are using it or not.
Backup and its impact on DB performance Amazon Aurora backups are automatic, incremental and continuous and have no impact on database performance. Amazon RDS automatically performs a full daily snapshot of your data (during your preferred backup window) and captures transaction logs (as updates to your DB Instance are made). During the backup window, storage I/O may be suspended while your data is being backed up and you may experience elevated latency. This I/O suspension typically lasts for the duration of the snapshot.
Failure Detection and Correction/Resilience Aurora can detect a database failure and recover in less than a minute, without the need to rebuild (or “warm”) the database caches that are needed to speed response times. In the case of a permanent failure, Aurora can automatically failover to a replica without losing any data. Failovers, as defined by the interval between the detection of the failure on the primary and the resumption of transactions on the standby, typically complete within one to two minutes.
Crash Recovery Crash recovery is very fast as compared to RDS for MySQL. Amazon Aurora does not need to replay the redo log from the last database checkpoint (typically 5 minutes) and confirm that all changes have been applied, before making the database available for operations. Crash recovery is slow as compared to Aurora. It has to replay the redo log since last check point, which is single threaded in MySQL.
Replication/Multi AZ Failover Unplanned failover takes place within minutes. Failover to a replica, if you maintain multiple instances, is almost immediate and automatic, since all replicas use the same logging and storage layers. Unplanned failover typically completes within one or two minutes and is not automatic in case of read replica.
Incremental backup Aurora supports incremental backups. No support for incremental backups
Cache/Buffer Aurora also isolates the database buffer cache from the database process, allowing the cache to survive a database restart. The buffer cache and database share the same process so cache will not be flushed to disk if you restart the instance.
Replication Lag There is negligible lag between updating the primary instance and reading the data back from a read replica since they are sharing same storage. Almost 400x TIMES lowered read replica lag over MySQL. Replication lag will be high as compared to Aurora replica.
Read Replicas with a different storage engine than the master instance MySQL (non-RDS) read replicas that replicate with an Aurora DB cluster can only use InnoDB. Read replicas can use both MyISAM and InnoDB.
Database engine parameters Some parameters apply to the entire Aurora DB cluster and are managed by DB cluster parameter groups. Other parameters apply to each individual DB instance in a DB cluster and are managed by DB parameter groups. Parameters apply to each individual DB instance or Read Replica and are managed by DB parameter groups.


In my opinion, Aurora RDS is better than MySQL in most cases and is highly recommended. However, there are some scenarios when you cannot use Aurora RDS:

  • When your application is a heavy read only, the application will be more benefitted by MyISAM storage engine instead of Aurora RDS.
  • If the resource (CPU, memory) requirement of the DB is less, you cannot opt for Aurora RDS.
  • If there is a specific requirement for MySQL version earlier than 5.6, you cannot use Aurora.


Topics: Aurora MySQL MySQL RDS Aurora RDS RDS cloud computing Technology

Technology News from Around the Globe - Week 38, 2015

Tech digest week 38 2015

Public cloud generates $20 billion revenues for IT firms

Topics: mobile applications social collaboration analytics Big data cloud computing Technology

So, what is cloud computing?

I was first introduced to the concept of cloud back in the fourth grade. For most of us, the word cloud meant those little balls of cotton that exist in the sky. Little did I know that there would be a cloud in the virtual world as well! Come to think about it, there is even a little similarity in both these types of clouds. While the first one is used to save our thoughts and dreams (excuse me for being poetic!), the second one is being used to secure data.

Topics: Cloud Computing Services cloud computing Technology

Technology in the News- Week 37, 2015

technology trends of week 37

Microsoft acquires cyber security startup Adallom

Topics: business intelligence release of iOS 9 dropbox Mobility cloud computing Technology Enterprise Collaboration cyber security

Suitable engagement model to ride high growth

I have often observed, if you are bidding on a large project and if the client asks for a fixed fee pricing model, the development team would like to have a detailed breakdown of work items or requirement document to avoid any ambiguity further.

Topics: Technology

Thinking Solutions

Most IT service providers talk about offering holistic solutions instead of pure play technology services to their customers. However, from my previous experiences, I have realized that it is easier said than done. How does one really approach a prospect and offer a unique solution? Unless we truly engage with the prospect, it is hard to understand their immediate, medium and long-term priorities. Vice-versa if we do not offer something that interests them, the prospect is unlikely to give us time.

Topics: Team Enterprise Technology Business Analysis

Mobile Apps for Medical Device Companies

Means of selling have evolved radically over the years. From the traditional barter system to door-to-door selling to commercials, social media and now mobile apps. Mobile apps are great because they offer an interactive interface to users. Interactive sales tools facilitates sales teams to display features and benefits and differentiate their product against the competition.

Topics: Mobile Development Companies Medical Device Companies Mobile app development Mobile Development mobile apps Technology

Stories from the World of Technology - Week 36, 2015

Tech digest week 35

Why Hybrid Cloud is important?

Topics: Technology

Offline Avenues for the Energy Sector

Last time around we looked at offline avenues turning the tides in favor of charitable organizations. In this blog, I am back with the argument that the magic of offline will work for larger, commercial sectors as well. The energy sector, for instance, has tremendous learning and training needs. The sector employs thousands of skilled and unskilled workforce all around the globe. When we start widening our reach to be more inclusive of geographies and start breaking down our walls, the carrier erects a few walls of its own.

Topics: Mobile Development Innovation Technology

To create remote Azure VM with PowerShell (automation)

Create the VM with pre-configuration such as installed windows features and roles.

Topics: Windows Azure Microsoft Azure Azure cloud computing Technology

Automating Your App Build Processes with Autobuilder

Sometime ago, I had written about Offline Avenues and making your SCORM Offline. That’s pretty powerful in itself. The benefits that are reaped from these offline technologies cannot be overstated.

Topics: Autobuilder e-learning Technology

e-Zest Solutions is digital experience engineering company with facilities in the United States (Detroit & San Jose), Germany (Hannover), United Kingdom (London UK) and India (Pune) with global clientele. Our services include custom software development, offshore software development, UX consulting, BigData, Managed cloud Services (Azure & AWS), SharePoint consulting/Migration, Enterprise Java application development, Automated software testing services.