InfoWorld https://www.infoworld.com en-us Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:57:18 -0800 Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:57:18 -0800 https://idge.staticworld.net/ifw/infoworld510x510.png InfoWorld www.infoworld.com 510 510 https://idge.staticworld.net/ifw/infoworld798x288.png InfoWorld www.infoworld.com 796 288 Coding bootcamps are too expensive. Take these online courses instead Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Andrew C. Oliver Andrew C. Oliver

I used to think those coder bootcamps were a good idea. I’d met several motivated students and got lucky with some talent. However, most of the people I met didn’t exclusively use the bootcamp but were motivated self-learners as well. I wonder if they would have done just as well without the bootcamp.

I later learned how much these bootcamps charge. It seems to have risen dramatically in recent years to between $13,000 and $15,000. I also learned that they operate on the same commission as corporate recruiters: 20 percent of first year’s salary.

Given that high cost, I think a motivated self-learner can do a lot better on the online Coursera service, which has improved in recent years and has courses from many universities.

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What’s new in Kotlin 1.2? Code reuse, for starters Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:00:00 -0800 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Version 1.2 of the statically typed Kotlin language, a version of Java endorsed by Google for Android app development, offers an experimental feature enabling reuse of code across platforms, as well as compatibility with the Java 9 module system.

With the 1.2.20 update released January 17, Kotlin adds a number of capabilities in areas ranging from use of the Gradle build system to building Android mobile applications. Described as a bug fix and tool update, version 1.2.20 includes:

  • Gradle build cache support.
  • Support for the development mode in the JavaScript DCE (dead code elimination) Gradle task.
  • Performance improvements as well as new inspections and bug fixes in the IntelliJ IDEA plugin for Kotlin.
  • Improvements to incremental compilation for Android and mixed Java/Kotlin projects.
  • IDE backing for the new Kotlin style guide, which covers formatting of code and idiomatic use of language and library capabilities.

This update is compatible with IntelliJ IDEA IDE from 2017.1 to 2017.3. It also works with the Android Studio IDE versions 3.0 and 3.1.

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IDG Contributor Network: Production system troubleshooting 101: it’s not always about technical knowledge Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:07:00 -0800 Scott S. Nelson Scott S. Nelson

One of the biggest misconceptions about troubleshooting systems is that it requires deep, specific technical knowledge to locate and solve production issues. This assumption can often result in extending the time between the discovery and resolution of a problem. At first this may seem counterintuitive, so let’s look at some common scenarios to see which concept is makes the most sense.

To start with, most assumptions about broad concepts are generally wrong because they are based on the expectation that there is a single, best way of doing things every time. There are certainly times when the developer of a particular solution can look at a problem a production application is having and instantly say, “I know why that is happening.” This happens not because the developer deliberately left an issue but because most solutions have multiple, valid approaches. Some of them can have flaws that may not be immediately obvious. In some cases, all options have flaws, and it is a matter of choosing the path with the weakness that is least likely to be found in the wild. The experienced developer will unconsciously be aware of these potential problems and, when presented with the issue in production, will instantly recognize it. In most cases, these things will surface and be addressed in QA before they reach production. By the nature of production systems (where users are always more inventive than the best QA analyst), the application will encounter something that was not anticipated.

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What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:30:00 -0800 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Microsoft’s open source development tool is an important piece of the developer’s toolkit. Built using GitHub’s cross-platform Electron framework, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured development editor that supports a wide selection of languages and platforms, from the familiar C and C# to modern environments and languages like Go and Node.js, with parity between Windows, MacOS, and Linux releases.

Microsoft regularly updates Visual Studio Code. Keep track of the updates’ key features in this changelog.

Where to download Visual Studio Code

To download the editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, go to Microsoft’s Visual Code Studio website

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Shift your Java applications into containers with Jelastic PaaS Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Ruslan Synytsky Ruslan Synytsky

Hardware virtualization was a great step forward in application hosting compared to the days of bare metal. Hypervisors allowed us to isolate multiple applications within one hardware platform, freeing us to use hardware resources more efficiently by hosting heterogeneous workloads on the same infrastructure. Still, virtual machines have massive overhead in terms of resource consumption, because each VM runs a fully dedicated operating system.

Containerization advances the benefits of virtualization much further by allowing containers to share the OS kernel, networking stack, file system, and other system resources of the host machine, all while using less memory and CPU overhead.

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Docker tutorial: Get started with Docker Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Serdar Yegulalp Serdar Yegulalp Containers provide a lightweight way to take application workloads portable, like a virtual machine but without the overhead and bulk typically associated with VMs. With containers, apps and services can be packaged up and moved freely between physical, virtual, or cloud environments.

To read this article in full, please click here

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BrandPost: The Complex State of Hybrid IT: How to Make It Simple Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:22:00 -0800 Brand Post Brand Post
By Chris Purcell, Analyst Relations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Usually in January, the President of the United States delivers the annual State of the Union address – a speech mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Other countries have similar addresses, such as the UK’s Speech from the Throne. The purpose of all such speeches is to give an account of past accomplishments and detail future goals.

During HPE Discover Madrid at the end of November 2017, Ric Lewis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Software-Defined and Cloud Group addressed the audience. As he gave his thoughts on the HPE landscape, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison. The format of the content he presented was strikingly similar to that of a State of the Union address. He presented the accomplishments of the previous months, then followed it with a bold vision for the future.

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What’s new in AWS Lambda: Go and .Net Core support Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Amazon Web Services has added Google’s Go language (Golang) to the roster of supported language on its AWS Lamdba serverless computing platform. Also added is support for Microsoft’s .Net Core 2.0 when developing in the C# language.

How to get started with Go and .Net Core on AWS Lambda

To help Go developers ramp up on AWS Lambda, AWS is offering libraries, samples and tools for developing AWS Lambda functions at GitHub.

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BrandPost: Programming FPGAs the Old-Fashioned Way Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:07:00 -0800 Brand Post Brand Post

With all the hoopla over programming Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) using OpenCL, you might think that HDL programming (Verilog or VHDL) for FPGAs was dead. The reality is that OpenCL opens new ways to program FPGAs, but it doesn’t replace the old tried and true HDL programming methods. It’s another case of using the right tool for the right job.

Why do we need HDLs when we have OpenCL?

FPGAs are essentially a bunch of circuits, wires, and pins ready to be wired. When we think of them that way, then Verilog or VHDL is the way to go.  A newer view of FPGAs has them function as application accelerators. (I discussed this recently in “FPGAs and OpenCL: What’s Up?”) When thinking of FPGAs as accelerators for computation, OpenCL is the way to go. OpenCL handles many details, such as memory usage and I/O, in a standard way that allows us to focus on acceleration of computation.

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IDG Contributor Network: 3 tips for getting started with cloud-of-things analytics Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:37:00 -0800 Chris Menier Chris Menier

Cloud-of-things analytics has a simple, powerful appeal. It offers the opportunity to know more about your business, faster. For industries ranging from retail to manufacturing, that means better operational visibility, more responsive customer service, more automated reaction to problems, and improved preventative maintenance. That’s not to mention the potential to increase revenue by launching innovative services based on new insights or event-triggered actions.

But there are challenges to moving analytics into the cloud and building a meaningful framework. Each company has different skills, capabilities, experiences, and needs when it comes to analytics. Some are highly proficient and looking to operationalize their deep learning models, while others are still introducing more contextual data sources. Here are some tips that can help companies at any stage move to the next analytics level.

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https://www.infoworld.com/article/3247831/cloud-computing/3-tips-for-getting-started-with-cloud-of-things-analytics.html#tk.rss_all Cloud Computing Internet of Things Analytics
How to get your own apps into the Azure Marketplace Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Simon Bisson Simon Bisson

Azure is now very much at the heart of Microsoft’s enterprise strategy, providing a place to build the next generation of applications and services. It’s easy to focus on it as a platform and as a host for virtual infrastructures, forgetting one if its other roles: a host for software as a service (SaaS).

Over the last few months, I’ve been talking to a lot of companies that you’d think of as traditional infrastructure or software providers. They’re the type of company you’d talk to about adding storage hardware, security platforms, or hefty pieces of enterprise software. But now, as well as hardware and software for your datacenter, they’re also providing software implementations in the Azure Marketplace. So can you.

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Why you should not worry about cross-tenant cloud attacks Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 David Linthicum David Linthicum

We’ve all heard the concerns: While public clouds do a good job protecting our cloud-based systems from outside attackers, what about attacks that may come from other public cloud users? These are known as cross-tenant attacks (sometimes called side-channel attacks), where other tenants on the same public cloud somehow access your data. Should you pay more attention to this fear?

No, you should not pay more attention to cross-tenant attack fears. Here’s why.

First, there are much easier attack vectors to exploit when it comes to public clouds, such as human error. The cloud breaches that I hear about are caused almost 100 percent by human error. Often, people misconfigured their cloud machine instances and thus exposed data that was not meant to be exposed. If enterprises focus on dealing with cloud security, they should be focused there.

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AWS cloud services guide: The right tools for the job Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Andy Patrizio Andy Patrizio Cloud services are moving from the initial “we’re doing it because everyone else is” state to a more cautious, planned migration, one where IT departments have done a careful assessment of their needs and determined what to move to the cloud and what will stay on-premises.

To read this article in full, please click here

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How to build custom middleware in ASP.Net Core Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Joydip Kanjilal Joydip Kanjilal ASP.Net Core is an open source, cross-platform, lean, and modular framework for building high-performance web applications. It is also extensible. When building an ASP.Net Core application, you can draw on various middleware components to customize the handling of requests and responses, and even inspect, route, or modify the request and response messages that flow through the pipeline. This article presents a discussion of ASP.Net Core middleware and how it can be used, with relevant code examples in C#.

To read this article in full, please click here

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SQL unleashed: 17 ways to speed your SQL queries Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Sean McCown Sean McCown SQL developers on every platform are struggling, seemingly stuck in a DO WHILE loop that makes them repeat the same mistakes again and again. That’s because the database field is still relatively immature. Sure, vendors are making some strides, but they continue to grapple with the bigger issues. Concurrency, resource management, space management, and speed still plague SQL developers whether they’re coding on SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Sybase, MySQL, or any other relational platform.

To read this article in full, please click here

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IDG Contributor Network: Dawn of intelligent applications Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:54:00 -0800 Gary Orenstein Gary Orenstein

Data remains a foundational element of computing. Recently, Hadoop and big data have been a central part of data progression, allowing you to capture data at scale. But companies now look to the expanding use of cloud computing and machine learning to create more intelligent applications.

This new generation of applications use all the data they can, including incoming real-time data, to respond in the moment to changing circumstances and formulate advantageous outcomes. This includes delivering on the digital transformation promise sought by companies to deliver rich customer experiences.

Intelligent applications can converge database and data warehouse workloads, allowing companies to respond and react to changing conditions in real time.

To read this article in full, please click here

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What’s new in Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2017 Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:45:00 -0800 Paul Krill Paul Krill

The second beta of the Version 15.6 update to Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2017 IDE is now available.

Visual Studio 2017 15.6 beta’s features

Microsoft on January 10 released a second beta of Visual Studio 2017 15.6. Its features include:

To read this article in full, please click here

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What’s new in the Erlang VM-based Elixir language Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:20:00 -0800 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Version 1.6 of Elixir, a dynamic functional language that uses Erlang VM, will have improvements for code formatting and compiler diagnostics. The production version should be avaliable in late January.

Intended for the development of easily scalable and maintainable applications, the open source Erlang code runs in lightweight execution threads that are isolated; information is exchanged among these threads through messaging.

Where to download Elixir

You can install Elixir from GitHub. The Elixir source code is on GitHub as well.

To read this article in full, please click here

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Don’t fall for the ‘pluggable cloud’ siren call Fri, 12 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 David Linthicum David Linthicum

People once made requests for hybrid cloud because of the perception of flexibility. Now they make multicloud requests, for the same reasons. Multicloud is just part of a cloud architecture that uses more than two clouds, private and/or public. However, most multicloud deployments involve more than two public clouds, typically AWS, Microsoft, and sometimes one other, such as Google.

Although the concept of having “pluggable clouds” is not at all new, I get more and more inquiries about multicloud patterns that promote the notion of pluggable clouds.

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20 years on, open source hasn’t changed the world as promised Fri, 12 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Matt Asay Matt Asay

Open source has officially been a thing for 20 years now. Did anyone notice?

No, really. For something as revolutionary as open source, you’d think it would have changed the way all software is developed, sold, and distributed. Unfortunately for those party planners looking to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of open source, it hasn’t—changed software, that is. For most developers, most of the time, software remains stubbornly proprietary.

What has changed in 20 years is the narrative about software. We’re now comfortable with the idea that software can, and maybe should, be open source without the world ending. The actual opening of that source, however, is something to tackle in the next 20 years.

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Get 33% Off H&R Block's Federal & State Tax Software, Plus a 5% Amazon Bonus Thu, 11 Jan 2018 06:37:00 -0800 DealPost Team DealPost Team

If you're a tax time do-it-yourselfer, this is a deal that will save you money, and potentially make you some money as well.

H&R Block's popular tax software is fully updated for 2018 and designed to make your 2017 tax prep easier and more convenient. Step-by-step interviews guide you through a customized experience relevant to your tax situation, so you know everything is accounted for. This version contains everything you need to prepare your federal and state taxes in one complete program, and everything can be handled electronically (including the PC or Mac software download). Right now the tax software's price is reduced 33% on Amazon to $29.99.

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An intro to Studio 3T, a MongoDB IDE Thu, 11 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Andrew C. Oliver Andrew C. Oliver

A good indication of whether a technology is in the plateau of productivity in Gartner’s hype cycle is when someone asks ”Is MongoDB dead?” on that bastion of, um, sane discussion, Quora. A second good indication is when there are productivity tools and at least a nascent third-party market around your technology. A third indication is when a third party creates an IDE for it: The growing third-party market is a key indication that MongoDB has moved from mere maturity to one of the dominant players in this market.

Enter Studio 3T, a small European firm with its own sea mammal mascot and a reputation for being “the MongoDB GUI.” Its eponymous product is the successor to its MongoDB Chef. According to Studio 3T marketing chief Richard Collins, the company direction is as a full-fledged IDE for MongoDB.

To read this article in full, please click here

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9 chatbot-building tools Thu, 11 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Mark Gibbs Mark Gibbs
Chatbots can smooth customer queries, if you build them
chatbot tools

Image by Thinkstock

Customer service is expensive. The more complex the product, the more it costs to deliver a great customer experience. Yet it is increasingly customer service—more than any other single factor—that creates loyal customers. So how do you provide instant service where and when people want it without going broke? Get robots to do the heavy lifting.

To read this article in full, please click here

]]> https://www.infoworld.com/article/3244546/development-tools/9-chatbot-building-tools.html#tk.rss_all Development Tools Software Development IDG Contributor Network: Why we’re still talking about TCO, but for the cloud Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:14:00 -0800 Tim Lebel Tim Lebel

In the late 1980s, Gartner popularized the term “total cost of ownership” (TCO) to define the long-term cost of maintenance in addition to the upfront price of an enterprise technology. Microsoft began using TCO as a key metric to show that although an open-source alternative, Linux, was free to adopt, it could lead to higher costs as more deeply skilled teams would need to manage and troubleshoot Linux over the long term.

Fast forward 30 years—our technology is more advanced and accessible, but TCO remains frustrating and unclear, even as software has largely moved from complex licenses to metered cloud services. The dollar amounts provided by mainstream cloud vendors for compute, storage, and other cloud-based services rarely provide customers with clarity about the full cost of running business applications in the cloud.

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https://www.infoworld.com/article/3246458/cloud-computing/why-we-are-still-talking-about-tco-but-for-the-cloud.html#tk.rss_all Cloud Computing
React JavaScript library on the rise in NPM registry Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:55:00 -0800 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Judging by downloads from the NPM registry, React, Facebook’s popular JavaScript UI library, has seen good fortunes lately as a front-end JavaScript framework while the Backbone framework has slipped. On the back end, Express dominates.

In a study of 28-day download cycles for front-end JavaScript frameworks, NPM, which oversees the popular JavaScript package registry, found that React has been on a steady upward trajectory; it now accounts for about 0.05 percent of the registry’s 13 billion downloads per month as of the fourth quarter of 2017. Web developers as well as desktop and mobile developers are adopting the library and it has spawned an ecosystem of related packages.

To read this article in full, please click here

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IDG Contributor Network: Data democratization: finally living up to the name Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:02:00 -0800 Harald Smith Harald Smith

Data democratization is the idea that digital information should be accessible and understandable to the average end user as a basis for decision-making. Data democratization has been promoted as a competitive advantage in the global economy and a desirable, egalitarian end-state where all decisions are data-driven. But has this been the reality?

In practice, I’ve found this goal of broad access has been isolated to corporations and corporate data. Most articles on data democratization quickly move from statements about accessibility to a narrower focus on organizational initiatives making data available to employees. That implies a restricted scope for data democratization, specifically not within the public domain, but limited to private sector organizations. Mostly, data “democratization” has been a buzzword for “data accessibility” with no public involvement or collaborative data use.

To read this article in full, please click here

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https://www.infoworld.com/article/3246632/database/data-democratization-finally-living-up-to-the-name.html#tk.rss_all Database Data Science Analytics
BrandPost: When Disaster Strikes Too Close to Home, IT Needs Data Protection Wed, 10 Jan 2018 09:37:00 -0800 Brand Post Brand Post
By Jesse St. Laurent, HPE Chief Technologist, Hyperconverged & SimpliVity

From hurricanes to flooding, earthquakes to wildfires, 2017 saw some widespread natural disasters. Yet when you ask some IT professionals about a disaster recovery plan for their companies, many seem unconcerned or woefully unprepared. Studies show that unless the odds of a natural disaster are high and are forecast to happen in the very near future, many people defer on taking the necessary action to protect themselves.

Many IT leaders believe a disaster recovery plan is a nice thing to have but not necessary. They are doing little to build a disaster site or do recovery planning and testing because they have become accustomed to a status quo. After all, nothing happened in the past, so why should they be concerned now? Everything seems OK -- until it’s not. Suddenly, when disaster strikes, they’re not ready. 

Why Disasters are Disastrous

IT teams may be surprised to learn that tackling a big project such as disaster recovery is much easier and less expensive than they might have imagined. All it takes is a series of small steps – carefully planned and implemented.

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https://www.infoworld.com/article/3247248/data-center/when-disaster-strikes-too-close-to-home-it-needs-data-protection.html#tk.rss_all Data Center
IDG Contributor Network: Dataops: agile infrastructure for data-driven organizations Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:45:00 -0800 Crystal Valentine Crystal Valentine

About a decade ago, the software engineering industry reinvented itself with the development and codification of so-called devops practices. Devops, a compound of “development” and “operations,” refers to a set of core practices and processes that aim to decrease time to market by thoughtfully orchestrating the tight integration between software developers and IT operations, emphasizing reuse, monitoring, and automation. In the years since its introduction, devops has taken the enterprise software community by storm garnering respect and almost-religious-like reverence from practitioners and devotees.

Today, at the dawn of 2018, we are seeing a subtle but profound shift that warrants a reexamination of established software development practices. In particular, there is a growing emphasis on leveraging data for digital transformation and the creation of disruptive business models concomitant with the growth of data science and machine learning practices in the enterprise. As adoption of big data computing platforms and commodity storage becomes more widespread, the ability to leverage large data sets for enterprise applications is becoming economically feasible. We’re seeing massive growth in investments in the development of data science applications—including deep learning, machine learning, and artificial intelligence—that involve large volumes of raw training data. The insights and efficiencies gained through data science are some of the most disruptive of enterprise applications.

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https://www.infoworld.com/article/3246199/big-data/dataops-agile-infrastructure-for-data-driven-organizations.html#tk.rss_all Big Data Devops IT Leadership
Anker's Twin USB High Speed Car Phone Charger Is Just $8.99 Right Now Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:58:00 -0800 DealPost Team DealPost Team

The PowerDrive 2 Elite from Anker is super compact, and can simultaneously charge 2 devices with the fastest possible charge of up to 2.4 amps per port. A soft blue LED light makes it easier to navigate in the dark. 10 safety mechanisms are built in to protect your devices from surge and temperature fluctuations, and an 18-month warranty is included for additional peace of mind.

We haven't personally reviewed this model, but our PCWorld team recently test drove the beefier PowerDrive Speed 2 model and found that it delivered on its promises (See: "Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 car charger review: Anker lights the way").

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Better cloud management through cloud resource tagging Wed, 10 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Kim Weins Kim Weins

Enterprises are now, more than ever, managing multi-cloud environments, trying to come to grips with highly complex pricing structures and an onslaught of new cloud services. The key to success is implementing enterprise-grade governance platforms that enable you to efficiently optimize costs across all cloud providers and ensure that you have access to any and all of the cloud services that your company requires.

Tagging of cloud resources is a critical foundation for your cloud governance initiatives. You will need a consistent set of tags specifically for governance and will apply globally across all of your resources. These global tags will add metadata specific to your organization that helps you better categorize each of your cloud resources for cost allocation, reporting, chargeback and showback, cost optimization, compliance, and security.

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