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Docker vs. Vagrant: Which is Better for Development?

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Docker vs. Vagrant? This is a question that many developers and IT professionals have asked themselves when deciding whether to set up a virtual machine or virtual environment.

If you’re just a solo developer, then you usually won’t have to worry about this. You’ll be using the same machine every day. You’ll be using code that works with your specific development environment, and you’ll be pushing it to the same location.

However, if you’re working with other developers on a project, you can run into some serious problems. It’s highly unlikely that each developer on the team is using the same machine. Some will be using Mac, some Windows, and some Linux. This can create a lot of small inconsistencies in the code that’s pushed.

The Need For a Virtual Development Box

Developers needed a way to create a stable virtual box that their whole team could access. This virtual box would maintain consistency. It’s set up to run on a single operating system, with pre-set features and functionality. When developers are finished coding for the day, they can push their code to the virtual box, integrate it with the other code, and ensure that it’s working smoothly.

Docker and Vagrant are two solutions that operate on the principle of virtual development environments. They offer very different solutions that are proven to work very well. In a minute, we’ll go into the specific differences between the two, but first, we need to understand their methods of operation. Docker uses what’s called a virtual environment, and Vagrant is a virtual machine manager.

Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is essentially a cloud server that runs on your machine. It uses the resources provided by your machine to define its limitations (storage, memory, processing power), but it operates as a completely separate virtual machine. Think of it as a computer within your computer. This virtual machine has its own BIOS, network adaptor capabilities, and has allocated processing power and memory. You can install any operating system and software that you like onto your virtual machine and can log into it and use it with a few simple lines from your command line.

Hypervisors

All virtual machines run on something called a hypervisor. These hypervisors act as digital supervisors for the virtual machine to ensure that it’s running properly and that no significant problems are being encountered. Some popular hypervisors used today are:

  • VM Ware
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Xen Server
  • KVM

These hypervisors are the software, firmware, and hardware responsible for the creation and maintenance of your virtual box. They are the layer between your native computer and your virtual machines and are vital for their continued functionality. Hypervisors provide data and reporting and inform you whenever an update needs to be made, or resource allocation is getting scarce.

Virtual Environment

A virtual environment is similar to a virtual machine in principle. However, it has one very large key difference. The virtual environment container runs on a single kernel based on the host computers operating system and hardware limitation. This allows you to do away with all of the extra layers required by a virtual machine. You create one environment that operates on your device as an image. You can then create, develop, and deploy your code within this environment.

What is Docker?

Now that you have an idea of how the principles work let’s look at how they are applied in Docker. Docker is an open-source container technology that is based on LXC. It operates on the principles of a virtual environment. Once your download Docker onto your computer you set up a virtual container for each specific development project.

After you set up your first container, you will be able to push your code to a site such as DockerHub, which is essentially GitHub for Docker. The best part about Docker containers is that they only use the computing power that they need. There is no need for a hypervisor to manage them, as you aren’t managing several different separate operating systems.

Also, with Docker, you don’t have to preset the limitations of your container, as you would with Vagrant. In Vagrant, you would have to preset the storage, memory, and all of the other properties before launching your virtual machine. It takes up this amount of resources whether you need it or not. Since Docker runs on the same kernel as the host device, it only uses what it needs and nothing more, so you aren’t wasting overhead on unused resources and hypervisor management.

Docker gives users a far more bare-bones approach to virtual box development environments. However, there can be a lack of security. Because the Docker containers aren’t completely separate as they are in Vagrant, they are more vulnerable to hackers. If a hacker were to get access to your device, then they could easily move into your Docker containers and steal vital information about your code. However, this is a far-fetched scenario and is only an important consideration if your team is working on a state-of-the-art project.

Benefits of Docker

  • Fewer resources allocated
  • Lightweight footprint
  • Faster speeds
  • Runs on your existing kernel
  • No need for a hypervisor

What is Vagrant

Vagrant is a virtual machine manager. It allows you to create multiple virtual machines each with their own allocated resources and operating systems to allow you to develop, test, and deploy your applications on. Vagrant is the software that talks to your hypervisor and manages the creation and access to each of your virtual machines.

The drawback of Vagrant when compared to Docker is that it takes up more resources. As the operating system and hardware requirements of each virtual machine must be present, they will use this up no matter what. However, virtual machines do have the benefit of security.

Because each virtual machine is technically separate from your device and operates on a different kernel, they aren’t prone to indirect hacking attacks. For a hacker to gain access to your Vagrant virtual machines, they would first have to direct a cyber attack on your device, and then they would have to perform a new attack on each individual virtual machine. The average hacker has a very small window of time to operate, and if they have to hack two separate machines, they’re out of luck.

Benefits of Vagrant

  • Allows you to test on different operating systems
  • Separated boxes make environments more isolated
  • Increased security

Docker Vs. Vagrant For Development

Docker uses fewer resources than Vagrant and is more bare-bones which makes it a little bit faster. However, Vagrant excels in security, as each virtual machine is completely separate from the rest. Here’s a quick Vagrant vs. Docker table to put things into perspective.

 

Software Security Speed Resource Management
Docker + +
Vagrant +

 

Using Docker With Vagrant

Although many people consider Docker and Vagrant to be competitors, the two services can actually compliment each other. In fact, the Vagrant documentation encourages you to use Docker with Vagrant.

Vagrant Docker Provider

In cases like this, Docker can take over the functionality of a service such as Virtual Box. Developers can create a virtual machine using Vagrant. Later on, they may need to make small changes and use a different configuration with the same properties as the base virtual machine. Docker can be used to create these lightweight, minified versions without the developer needing to create an entirely new virtual machine.

Final Thoughts

Docker and Vagrant are both great services. For most software developers, Docker will be a quicker and more lightweight service. However, if you’re developing high-end programs that need extra security and extensive, in-depth testing environments, then Vagrant’s isolated virtual machines can be incredibly useful.

Steven Hansen is a founder of Techeries. He is a specialist in digital security solution business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction. He also loves writing about data management and cyber security.

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How The IoT Takes E-commerce To The Next Level

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Before landing your spaceship at IoT enabled e-commerce land, first, understand what is IoT. IoT or Internet of things is a technology which allows data sharing between connected devices over the internet. When this concept is used for the transaction, it is known as E-commerce.

The first thing comes to mind, Is online shopping is a type of E-commerce? Yes, it is. But how its all started. Let’s have a look….

Back in time: Invention, Innovation or mistake

We are talking about history, how the existence of IoT marked into the real life. A person named Phil Brandenberger of Philadelphia was the first human to use a credit card for shopping. It was about 25 years ago when he wants to buy Sting’s “Ten Summoners’ Tales” which cost him around $12.48.

During that time, the moment was known as “true” E-commerce.

After that time, the technology has grown rapidly and now, if we figure out the statistics of retails, it is rising around 23% per year. The lifestyle of today’s generation depends on online shopping, online friendship through social media, e-business, online games etc. It shows the buzz of online internet things, where converting these connected gadgets into a profitable business is the primary concern of an organization. So, IoT with E-commerce has provided a connected platform to the retailers.

Let’s come to the main agenda of this article, How IoT has brought evolution in the field of E-commerce marketing.

Surveillance:

IoT helps e-commerce vendors to maintain the inventory record with the use of IoT enabled sensors. It assists in real-time data gathering and analysis while setting up the new goal to accomplish a task. It captures every critical detail of the product without any human hindrance. IoT reduced those factors which may dissatisfy the consumer such as product availability, product expiry dates, batch Id and many more related aspects by generating a prior notification related to the product. In case of product shortage, IoT informs the administration before stock becomes empty by automatically creating an order.

Optimization:

IoT helps to optimize the overall productivity of e-commerce business. It also reduces the probability for over-stock in the warehouses. IoT sensors monitor numerous factors which may affect the quality of product such as temperature, heat etc. It covers a number of the question as well which are arising in your mind right now such as how the order will reach into the warehouse, what are the inventory levels, pick -up timing etcetera. For instance, if we take an example of Amazon, which is the biggest giant in the e-commerce market, uses IoT installed robots which take care of picking, packing and many other jobs which ensure the effectiveness of the product. Amazon in their warehouses uses drones facility to pick up and deliver products.

Tracking:

The primary concern while buying a product online is its condition which means it shouldn’t be broken, delivery timing and quality. This problem is sorted by the IoT sensors which track the product from the very beginning until it is delivered. In Between the process, through GPS(global positioning system) and RFID(Radio Frequency Identification) tag, it ensures the quality of the product, the shortest route such that package arrives on time, misplacement and many more.

Dash button:

This term Dash button may be new for some of us. It is a device which is an IoT enabled operated on the battery and is used for a domestic purpose to acknowledge the order management. Amazon invented dash buttons, it is full of creativeness and innovation. Only by pressing the button it informs the supplier about the shortage of product and gets it delivered.

Customer Coordination:

IoT helps the retailer to make a different identity in front of your consumer. Through this technology, a retailer enables the consumer to present their views regarding the product. It helps them to improve their product quality which ultimately makes them well-known among customers.

IoT targets your specific customers for personalized advertisement. It recognizes the shopping pattern through online browsing which in result help the business retailer to sell their product to the targeted customer. IoT is used by Walmart to track the popular product on social media.

More to go….

IoT has brought a revolution in the field of digital marketing. In this journey, IoT carries E-commerce to the next level as a partner. There are many success stories available which represent the bonding of IoT and e-commerce. We all have heard about Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, eBay and many more. The next big question which arises is why they are so much successful? The answer is simple, They use IoT and other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data etc., in such a way as no one thought before. Continuous improvement, creativeness, and customer-centric (3C’s) will be the key factors behind a huge revenue. An enormous amount of data is generated through these platforms every day. These companies leverage the use of machine learning and big data analytics to analyze the collected data for pattern recognition, decision making, prediction and many more useful operations to attract more qualified leads and maintain a prosperous relationship among customers. Hadoop is one such big data analytics framework used for analyzing this information. To become the part of this flow, you can join the Hadoop Training program available over the internet.

IoT had made a significant impact on E-commerce businesses. Its smart gadgets such as sensors, actuators etc., make the businesses to go at the peak concerning capitalization and revenues.

IoT improves the quality management, data hierarchy, tracking, planning, analysis and many other critical factors which play an essential role in organizational success. There are other countless factors as well which help the business retailers and other sectors to grow and earn. IoT will help around 70% of the retailer from all over the world to improve their customer relations which will enhance their image in the market and make them stand and spread globally. It shows that the businesses related to E-commerce will be the future of the digital market.

Now, it depends on us how we use IoT and make best possible profits from the market. Possibilities of innovation with technology is countless. So, use it precisely and efficiently. This article may have given you at least some insight about IoT and E-commerce and how they are related. If not, then read it twice.

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How to Generate Leads More Effectively with CRM Software

Emma James

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CRM software or customer relationship management software refers to the suite of applications that helps organizations in managing all their CRM efforts and channeling them in the right direction. The software helps organizations generate leads faster and more effectively and help them nurture these leads through the different steps in the sales funnel. It comes with a variety of modules and add-on applications designed to make CRM streamlined and efficient. As this post states, the software helps organizations target more accurately and generate leads through social channels; but that is not all it could do. In this post, we will discuss more about the solution and how it can be useful for organizations.

Funnel/Pipeline Management

The other major task that CRM software helps with is the sales funnel/pipeline management. The sales funnel is the series of steps that a potential customer is put through till he or she becomes a paying customer. Sales funnels are particularly useful when the sales cycles are long, and the prospects need to be serviced differently at different points in time. Some of the usual levels that prospects go through in the funnel are a prospect, lead, qualified lead, opportunity, and customer.

At each step of the funnel, different kind of actions are needed – the prospects might need to be given a certain amount of information, the lead should be given a chance to offer his or her contact details, the lead should be qualified according to some parameters, the opportunity be offered proposals and discounts, and so on. As such, different people will be managing different parts of the process, and all of them should collaborate with one another for the steps to move on without any hitches.

With the CRM software, you can closely monitor the process across its various steps, and remedy any situation to ensure that the funnel is being implemented smoothly.

Social Media Promotions

Social media promotions or campaigns are one of the most important drivers of leads for businesses. If your social media efforts were good before, CRM software will make them better. You can integrate all your social channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on with your CRM system and monitor your work. You can track all your efforts easily from one place, which saves a lot of time and allows users to generate insights more effectively. Often, the results of social media campaigns can be difficult to understand – the CRM solution will help quantify and operationally them. As more and more companies look to step up their Social CRM efforts, an online CRM tool is a must to get the best results from them.

Also integrated can be the survey application, which allows marketers and customer service reps to gather better insights into customer behavior and understand customer satisfaction levels. Surveys can be launched, and results collected and analyzed from within the software itself.

Email Campaigns & Newsletters

Email campaigns and newsletters are an important part of marketing plans in organizations around the world. When you don’t have a CRM solution, running an email campaign would require you to use multiple tools and systems. You need the email addresses from the contact management application, a mass mailing application, and analytics to analyze the responses. However, the CRM software is all of that rolled into one. From the same place, you can manage all your contacts, run email and newsletter campaigns, and analyze the responses to see how effective your campaigns have been, and which aspects are to be changed to make it better. Also, the software will automatically handle subscriptions and allow respondents to unsubscribe if they feel like it.

You can run these campaigns in multiple ways – you can use a coded HTML page or build the campaigns from the scratch in the application.

Analytics

CRM is one process where lots of decisions need to be taken. Some of the routine questions which demand answers are – what is that segment that I should target, what are the discounts, if any, that I should offer, how should I qualify my leads, which kind of marketing medium gives me the best results, and so on. In the absence of effective data management and analysis techniques, these questions are answered, and decisions are taken, based on gut feelings and trial and error mechanisms.

However, with CRM software, this need not be the case anymore. The software equips CRM specialists with the tools they need to be able to answer these questions after a thorough analysis of the data so that their decisions will be data-driven, and more effective. Since data is already collected and made available for any kind of analysis, all your CRM specialists need to do is click a few buttons to become information experts. Also, sharing these insights and analyses with peers becomes much easier with the CRM solution – reports can be automatically compiled and shared in a matter of minutes.

Say you want to segment your customers based on a parameter like location or the average lifetime value they bring to you. You simply use the analytics tool to query the software to provide you with a list of all those who come under that particular segment. You can then save this segment and tailor strategies for them going forward.

Mobility

One of the greatest advantages that CRM software offers is mobility. A mobile app gives users the flexibility to organize themselves anywhere, anytime. In preparing themselves to pitch to a customer or in figuring out information that a prospective client wants, mobility is of great help.

Collaboration

Ideally, the different departments involved in CRM must work together and collaborate closely. Each department has different parts of the puzzle, and unless they all share, they will not be able to come up with the complete picture. This kind of close collaboration is very rare in organizations. What is more common is territorial warfare and blame game. Each team blames the others for not doing enough – the sales reps say that they do not have enough leads to work with, and the marketers say that the sales reps are not able to close the leads they generated for them. In the end, the organization suffers.

This also happens due to different teams using different systems to manage their operations without pooling their efforts. This is where the CRM solution is very helpful. It brings all these different departments onto a single platform and allows them to work closely. Since data is collected and stored centrally, it can be called on demand. If marketers collected any data that can help salespeople close deals more easily, they will now automatically have access to this data.

The same way, if salespeople come up with some unique insights, they can automatically share these with the marketers and customer service reps so that they can target and serve customers better. Using in-built communication tools, users can communicate with one another easily. There is also the scope to create groups and workspaces for better teamwork. A CRM solution offers unmatched collaboration opportunities for all the CRM specialists.

Integrations

Online CRM solutions are not closed systems – they offer integration capabilities that make organizations’ operations seamless and well-coordinated. Also, integrated solutions allow for an automated transfer of data, which saves a lot of time. And since the systems are integrated, there is no problem of incompatibility among systems, which is a big concern when multiple systems are used to manage different parts of the process.

There are many add-on solutions that are good candidates for integration with such as the single sign-on application, which allows people to log into multiple solutions at once and analytics tools for advanced analysis. If you need any capability from your CRM solution that is not already present – you can always integrate a solution and get it.

Data management

In CRM, data plays a huge role and is often the line that separates successful and unsuccessful transactions. Data allows CRM specialists to prepare themselves better, and when they are prepared, their efforts will be that much more effective. CRM software helps organizations store and manage all their CRM data from a central interface. With an online CRM solution, employees can access this data from anywhere, equipping them with the capability to work from anywhere, and complete their tasks anytime.

Salespeople, marketers, and customer service reps – all of them will find the software very helpful in managing the data. Since data is digitized and stored on the cloud, it can be accessed on demand. Also, there is a great need for collaboration among these divisions – after all, they all will be working with the customer at different points of time, and if they are to make these interactions more fruitful, they should be aware, and this happens through sharing.

The software offers a centralized secure database and makes data entry easier. There is a lot of automation built into the software – from data entry to storage and retrieval of documents, automation is present everywhere. All in all, you can get rid of all your data management woes if you use CRM software.

Automation

Another feature of the software that makes life much easier for CRM specialists is automation. Automation is present in almost all of the tasks in CRM. From data entry to analysis to lead qualification to pipeline management, many tasks can be automated using the software. Say you want to qualify your leads. From the data you collect from your prospects, you can automatically sort them based on their requirements. You can also assign leads automatically – the software can be programmed to route certain kinds of leads to certain people.

This automation makes it very convenient for CRM specialists – they need not worry anymore about the mundane tasks taking up most of their time. They can focus their energies on the tasks that matter most such as closing deals and coming up with better ways to target prospects and turning them into leads.

CRM solutions are a big help to all the stakeholders involved. While the benefits to CRM specialists are obvious, the software also helps senior management keep a close on happenings. Senior management can be automatically kept apprised of all the developments – as soon as a lead is generated or a deal is closed, reports can be sent regarding the same to the pertinent stakeholders.

Online solutions have made business productivity software available to organizations of all sizes – no more does one need huge initial investments or the resources to maintain the software. Online solutions can be deployed in minutes, and organizations can start using them immediately. There are numerous options available in the market today, and all kinds of organizations can get a solution with the exact specifications they need.

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Simple Steps To Understand Cloud-Based Badging

Dennis Rukosuev

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Whether it’s being a member of a workplace or another organization, having a badge does not only give a sense of professionalism but also efficiency. Although it may just seem like a more professional name tag, with a badging system such as cloud-based badging, you can make things like attendance and timekeeping much easier. If you’re not sure how you can upgrade your organization with an effective badging system, here is a quick overview of how our system works.

Choosing a Design:

With something that your members are going to carry every single day, there’s no question that you want your badges to be a good representation of your company or organization. With our custom design templates, you can easily choose a premade template that we will customize using your logos and colors. If you have your own layout that you want us to experiment with, we can curate a whole new custom design just for you. With physical and virtual proofs available for verification, you can ensure that your badges are looking sharp before committing to thousands of them.

Importing the Data:

One of the hardest parts of managing things such as badges is the fact that everyone needs to have one. We know it can be hard to input badge information for each and every person, and it can end up being hundreds or even thousands at a time. However, with this in mind, we’ve made it easy for you to import data to your secure cloud-based account. This way, you can simply transfer data such as names, addresses, phone numbers, titles and more in a faster, more efficient way.

Uploading & Editing Photos:

When it comes to the issuance of any type of identification, one of the worst parts is trying to get the perfect picture to represent yourself on the badge you’re going to wear every single day. Even if it’s not perfect, no one likes being stuck with a mid-sneeze photo. Let’s be honest – some photographers are not the most sympathetic when it comes to retaking photos. However, with the CELLfie tool, you’re given the freedom to upload your own photo or snap one right then and there. With the ability to enroll, capture, approve and submit photos from the comfort of your own mobile device, you’re given complete control of your personal badge.

Not only is it easy to upload the actual photo, but it also makes editing easier for authorized users to crop and adjust photos to ensure the perfect fit. With possibly thousands of badges to tend to, there’s no time to do every photo manually. This is why we offer an automatic cropping tool to ensure uniform cropping for all the photos without having to do them one by one.

Getting the Virtual ID:

No matter how good the end product is, nobody likes to wait. One of the coolest things about the Veonics Portal IDaas system is that it allows you to have an instant virtual copy of your ID. This virtual copy not only gives you 24/7 access to your ID when you don’t have your physical copy on hand, but it also allows for a complete set of tools for attendance and tracking.

Able to perform almost all the functions of a physical ID, this innovative technology includes status and authorization by barcodes or other tokenized technologies. This will instantly provide information on the current status of the member with a simple scan. The virtual copy is automatically brought up to the Veonics vID viewer when any mobile barcode scanner is used to scan the physical badge. This system provides a highly secure process for identifying active and inactive members.

Ordering the Physical ID:

Although some may prefer to keep it 100 percent virtual, we understand that sometimes having a physical ID badge can be useful. Our technology integrates all the data that is imported into the cloud-based database to make ordering physical IDs that much easier. With a simple press of a button, the badges will be made & delivered to you within two business days. Now that’s what we call express! However, with a constantly changing workforce, it can be a hassle to try to create new orders every single time there’s a new member. That is why our technology offers prepaid badging credits to manage your on-going badging requests. This way, you can easily add new badge orders to your database.

Although many may see badges as just a way to identify a worker, this simple piece of plastic can be used to monitor activities such as attendance, timekeeping, tracking and other valuable information. Not only is it a nametag, but it’s also a way to verify the identity of each member of your organization. There’s no question that an effective badging system can work wonders for your workplace.

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