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“Protection consists of being able to raise the environments practically in real time in the event of any type of incident”

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Protecting data in whatever environment it is stored in is crucial for many businesses. That is why it is vital that they have increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous protection systems. Not only for the data they have on premises, but also for the data they store in the different clouds with which they work. Above all, in a scenario in which attacks such as ransomware are becoming more frequent and damaging. About all this, and about the plans they have in the company for the future, we have spoken with Santiago Campuzano, Countru Manager of Veeam Spain and Portugal.

[MCPRO] Data Protection in hybrid cloud environments implies offering solutions on premises, but also in the public cloud, and Veeam, in fact, currently offers protection for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, which are 3 of the main providers. What is the protection it offers in these environments and how does it work?

[Santiago Campuzano]: One of the aspects of the evolution of virtualization is the transformation that is taking place towards the hybrid cloud, an area in which hyperscalars are a fundamental element. In this regard, the vision that we have is that we are totally agnostic to the different cloud solutions or our own infrastructure that clients have. In this way, in the end we can offer a backup solution. Or as we call it, more than backup, modern data protection, because we really go one step further.

Our vision is that we are the last line of defense. Protection consists of being able to raise the environments practically in real time in the event of any type of incident. Whether on premise or in the cloud. Veeam, like virtually the entire data recovery industry, has the 3,2,1 philosophy. But we add an additional 1 and a zero to it.

In short, this philosophy consists of having 3 backup copies in different environments. One in the cloud, another immutable, and with zero they return to recovery. As ransomware attacks progress, becoming more frequent, data recovery is no longer just part of the information that the company has. This has to address a full recovery.

So, what we have to look for are solutions that allow the recovery of everything without any type of error, to recover the Business continuity of the organization as soon as possible. What we are doing is a proposition, whether in cloud environments or in hybrid or on-premise environments, which bases the solution on protecting the data thanks to its recovery in the shortest possible time, maintaining Business continuity by the customer.

[MCPRO] What role does the already classic backup that has evolved in Data Protection play in the hybrid cloud? And what has been the evolution of backup for Veeam?

[Santiago Campuzano] To protect cloud environments, and to protect virtualized environments, you have to be a native player with native solutions. This is the great advantage that Veeam has over the rest of the market. We were born in the virtualization area, practically directly in the cloud area, and the evolution has been very, very simple.

It is true that there are many environments that are still on premise that have a traditional backup environment, the classic one. But the reality is that companies now need one more point. It is not a question of recovering a part of an environment, it is a question of recovering the whole in case of an attack. I would tell you that the classic backup is not prepared for a business continuity solution, nor is it oriented as such. Because of the recovery time and the partial recovery capacity, rather than total, that it has.

We play with replica functions, and with backup functions according to the client’s interests. According to the user looking for the technological solution. What we are looking for is a solution that is quite disruptive with respect to the classic backup from the conceptual point of view, because in base technology it is radically different in terms of the environment.

[MCPRO] Businesses continue to suffer from ransomware attacks, what steps can they take to protect themselves, and what can Veeam do to help?

[Santiago Campuzano] Unfortunately, most of the attacks on the market right now are ransomware. In fact, they are ransomware that attacks the backup directly. We have carried out a study in which practically more than 70% of organizations have suffered some type of attack or are at risk of suffering some type of attack. Approximately 52% paid for it.

You have to look for immutable solutions for ransomware, and have exact control of when these attacks occur, because many times the ransomware attack occurs, but it is not when it causes the impact. It’s like COVID when it’s asymptomatic, until it starts and you’re symptomatic. But you were already contagious.

Ransomware works in a similar way. What it does is stay resident within the backup copies of the clients, and at a given moment it activates and blocks everything. But you do not know since when it is activated, so it is not a question of recovering until the day before. You have to find a copy that is really clean at a point in time where the attack has not been suffered to start recovering from that moment.

In Spain, more than 60% of organizations are not capable of recovering data. The data they lose, in many cases, is critical, and this directly affects business productivity. Even to the survival of some organizations. Hence, the number of payments made is very high in ransomware attacks.

The number of companies that do not pay and can recover the data is quite small, on the order of 19% or 20%. In other words, one in 5, according to a study carried out by Veeam at a European level, the Veeam Ransomware Report 2022. Which explains what is happening in EMEA, at a European level, but especially I think it is a trend that can be extrapolated to Spain.

The vision of backup is different, and the vision of modern data protection is different depending on the new types of ransomware attacks. Also, organizationally this is a conflict. Actually, modern data protection solutions did not depend on security teams. Now they are on the edge, they are the last line of defense. ANDThere are the recovery processes, but they are right at a point where the security people lose control and the systems people take over. We are at the critical information exchange point to be able to recover a system to be able to achieve that Business continuity that we mentioned previously.

[MCPRO]What is the future, in your opinion, of Data Protection in the cloud?

[Santiago Campuzano] Well, I think you have to follow certain axioms. The “3,2,1,1,0” is critical, and there goes our vision. We offer SaaS services through our partners. We have a program called VCSP (Veeam Cloud Service Provider), with which partners define the service they want to give to customers. Hyperscalars have ready-made solutions. Some of them managed. There are companies looking for solutions mounted on a superscalar, which to a certain extent even goes against, we could say, a certain sense. Because looking to make the backup in the same place where you have the original information does not seem very sensible.

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We believe that there has to be a multicloud environment, and that on-premise environments are still critical. We see that there are many companies that have data centers, or servers, on premise and that a good solution is to cover part of the cloud and complement it with on premise. In other words, go to the hybrid cloud. But I would approximate it to where the digital transformation is going. It is critical to understand that there are many solutions that are going to stay on premise, and that there are others that are going to go to the cloud then.

The key is how to approach hybrid cloud, not just cloud. Here you have to be agnostic. You have to have multicloud solutions, and you have to have cloud and on-premise solutions to cross-protect in both areas. Companies have to be aware that SaaS solutions also have some limitations, even if they believe that they are buying a whole, very large service. That is, they do not protect your data in perpetuity. They do not have permanent data protection, and complementary solutions from specialists are needed that allow data backup to be made in a longer period than indicated, which in many cases is 30 or 60 days.

So it depends on what kind of cloud solution you want to go for, the solution has to be fully customizable for the type of customer. There is a fact that for us is very relevant. In 2022, it is estimated that 52% of workloads are still in the data center and only 48% are in the cloud. Hence, most of the core production environments are still many of them on premise. In that 52% believe that we are talking about core environments.

Furthermore, what solutions are not migrated to the cloud? Precisely the most core because they are the center of the business. In many cases, they are inherited, more traditional applications that are not easy to migrate to the cloud. I could tell you that a very, very important factor is that 39% of IaaS and SaaS solutions have to be complemented with specific modern data protection solutions beyond the native solutions that can provide a scalar IP or that can provide a SaaS or any type of solution.

[MCPRO] What are Veeam’s plans for the short and medium term future?

[Santiago Campuzano] There are two fundamental points. The first is a transition to the more enterprise part. We already have many corporate accounts. Veeam comes from a very relevant experience in the medium account. And we want to transfer that relevant experience to large accounts. It allows us to have the greatest penetration in the market without any doubt.

Right now we are market leaders. We have a lot of experience and we know best what is going on from the experiences our clients are facing. The solutions that we now have within the company are fully Enterprise ready. It is essential for us to have solutions that help the security part. We have the experience that tells us about it and the vision of the market.

These are the two fundamental points from the point of view of company strategy right now. If we talk about technological strategy, I would obviously tell you to address ransomware, cloud hybridization and the transformation of companies.

There are many organizations that are transitioning to the cloud and require new Technologys to efficiently protect their backup environments. All the part of SaaS that we mentioned is also essential. And there is another important point for us: the development of new applications, especially in the kubernetes environment. Veeam bought two years ago a technology from a company called Kasten and that it is a subsidiary of Veeamwhich is a market leader in backup on kubernetes and provides solutions to these environments.

These are the fundamental points for Veeam in the future. Also, obviously, complementing the security part, which we consider to be critical due to the situation we are in. I think that right now no one can feel safe, totally independent of the environment they are in, whether it is because they are in a cloud solution or at home with very advanced proactive security solutions.

The world is partially in a cyber war, and so you have a lot of hits. And there will be more. The tendency is that there are even countries that are very aggressive in this line. With which there are great solutions and systems could be affected by attacks sooner or later and backup solutions are critical to complement that proactive security that has historically been had.

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OpenAI announces ChatGPT Plus, a paid version of its AI chatbot, for $20 per month

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Just a few days ago OpenAI announced that it was preparing a paid version of ChatGPT. And it’s ready: ChatGPT Plus. with her, for 20 dollars a monthits users will have priority access to this chatbot, even during peak hours of use of this Artificial Intelligence text generation system.

Users who do not pay to access ChatGPT Plus will therefore have to wait for paid users to let it go. The plan also promises to offer faster response times, as well as priority access to new features and improvements that OpenAI releases for the chatbot in the future.

For now, OpenAI will send messages to start subscriptions to ChatGPT Plus to users who are in the United States and are signed up to the waiting list of those who want to subscribe to the ChatGPT payment plan in the coming weeks. For now there are no deadlines or dates for the expansion of the service to other countries, and OpenAI has limited itself to saying in this regard that it will open the plan to other countries and regions in the future.

Just a few days ago there was speculation about the price that the monthly subscription to ChatGPT Plus would have. According to various rumors it was going to be much higher, and that it was going to cost up to 42 dollars a month, which would make it difficult for small companies and research groups and organizations to access it. At $20 a month, it will be accessible to more people and entities that need reliable access to texts generated by Artificial Intelligence.

Furthermore, this price, and its features, could set the stage for a standard in the capabilities and cost of other Artificial Intelligence chatbots appearing on the market. Of course, from OpenAI they have been quick to make it clear that ChatGPT is not going to become a tool without free options. Its managers have ensured that there will continue to be free access to the chatbot, thanks to the fact that paying users will contribute to it with their monthly payments. For now, they continue to advance in their development, for which they are going to hire new specialized personnel.

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OpenAI invests in ChatGPT coding and programming with new hires

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OpenAI invierte en la codificacion y programacion de ChatGPT con la contratacion de nuevos profesionales

Despite the massive layoffs taking place in the technology sector, Open AI commitment to the recruitment of personnel for the creation of new artificial intelligence models that allow them to improve their products, among them, ChatGPT. The objective of the company co-founded by Elon Musk would be incorporate 1,000 new workers in different countries around the world to work on creating improved code in their AI tools.

Of those thousand new employees, about 600 (40%) are programmers whose work will focus on AI performing software engineering tasks. The remaining 60% will focus on the ‘data labeling’, that is, in the creation of raw data (text, audio, images and videos) that will then be labeled to specify the context in which the AI ​​is developed. The profile currently most in demand by OpenAI would be that of python developera highly qualified programming language.

This study, included in a Semafor report, shows that new hires will have to create training data that will encompass from lines of code to explanations of it in natural language. OpenAI has a tool with these characteristics launched in 2021, OpenAI Codexwhich received training on data pulled from GitHub (Microsoft’s code repository). Similarly, Codex is used by Microsoft to power GitHub Copilot, a service that will help programmers write code.

Open AI Codex masters more than a dozen programming languages and is capable of interpreting simple commands in natural language and creating an interface for existing applications. Regardless, coding could improve ChatGPT’s ability to converse with humans and thus overcome barriers such as those of the Stack Overflow website, which accuses the OpenAI AI tool of not offering reliable answers.

The key to being able to establish improvements in a coding assistant will be to build a system capable of anticipating the effect of its own actions and set up an internal system. Meta’s chief artificial intelligence scientist, Yann LeCunclaimed that there was a great similarity between cruise control systems in cars and coding assistants like Copilot. And it is that if the human does not establish a constant supervision on Copilot, it will end up making almost negligible code errors. The problem resides when we are dealing with a code model that is sometimes executed and sometimes not.

The OpenAI Selection Process

For the election of qualified personnel regarding the programming and control of ChatGPT, OpenAI subjected the candidates to a five hour unpaid coding test having to undertake different tasks. One of them was to explain in writing how they would solve a coding problem and, in the event of detecting errors in the process, explain what they were and how they should be corrected. In the end, the objective is to feed the tool with very specific training data that the human himself marks for it.

The objective of Elon Musk’s company is that these workers can make AI capable of write code for a more precise method, replacing entry-level programmers in the future. Only then will it be possible to strengthen the power of its AI tools, such as ChatGPT, adapting more quickly and intelligently to changes and being able to face the main competing companies in the sector.

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from February 9 you have to pay to use it

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Twitter continue with him trickle of measures aimed at raising their incomeeven if they are deeply unpopular. This is the case of the last one that he has announced: the end of free use of your API. As of February 9, all the services and tools that currently use this API free of charge and that want or need to continue using it will have to pay for it, or simply stop providing the service they provide thanks to it. This was communicated by the company through a thread published on the Twitter Developer account:

From within just a week, therefore, the company will block non-paying developers from accessing version 1.1 of its APIalready considered legacy, and the current one, the V2. For now there is no more information about the amount that the network will charge for using its APIs. It is only known that there will be a basic payment plan, but it is unknown what type of access it will offer. All when there is barely a week left for the change to take place.

This step follows the abrupt changes in the terms of use of said API in recent weeks, after the company suspended access to such popular and relevant apps in its history as Tweetbot and Twitterrific. As a result, many third-party Twitter apps have stopped working and have removed their mobile apps from the iOS and Android app stores. In some cases, as has happened with the creators of Tweetbot, the companies that developed those apps have changed their focus to launch apps for Mastodon and other networks, or are considering doing so in the future.

Meanwhile, confusion and uncertainty is growing among developers using the Twitter API in numerous projects. Also among its users. At present there are thousands of developers who use the Twitter API for, for example, the development of informative bots that publish information in other networks, and in systems related to weather information and other types of data.

In many cases, the free Twitter API has served for the development of projects created as a hobby, which will probably end up not working. It is more than likely that the same will happen with bots that automatically post tweets on other networks, such as the aforementioned Mastodon.

On the other hand, the academic sector, and that dedicated to research, will be greatly affected by this measure. For now, Twitter has not specified whether the announcement to end the free use of its API, on which hundreds of thousands of projects in both sectors depend, also affects researchers and education.

Among the ongoing investigations there are many in sectors such as the study of hate speech and online abuse. In addition, universities often use Twitter to study human behavior in different parts of the world based on what its inhabitants say and share on social networks. Not having free access to the Twitter API will also raise many complications for companies and organizations working to detect the spread of fake news and misinformation.

Twitter’s relationship with developers building products off of its API has always been a complicated one. But for better or worse, that relationship worked, and there have been numerous services and tools that have been born from the Twitter API since its arrival.

Despite several initial rebuffs, on the other hand, Twitter had been working for years to improve the relationship with developers by launching various programs and actions, which has meant that the developer ecosystem around its API was still alive.

This has all been blown up ever since Musk bought the company, and API pay-as-you-go may be the last nail in the community’s coffin. Meanwhile, Twitter continues to increase control over how Twitter users access the network and trying to increase their revenue. And developers will probably change the social network with which to work and create their tools.

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