What We’re Reading: SDNs and Data Masking

Welcome back to What We’re Reading. In this post, we look at how and why SDN will be used by mobile operators, a new group out of Boston that is advocating for closer ties between software testers and the C-suite and the growth of tech spending in the U.S.

Make Way for Mobile SDN

Software defined networks, or SDN, is viewed as a transformative technology by mobile operators, according to a study by Informa Telecoms and Media. Half of such operators surveyed by the company expect to deploy SDNs within two years to reduce operating costs (via Cloud Times). There are three areas in particular where SDN will be used: the separation between the control plans and data; virtualization of network components, and exhibition services via API.

Costs will be the motivating factor behind this first way of deployments, the study notes. Later, as the lessons of early adopters become clear, the study predicts more operators will deploy SDN for revenue-creating opportunities. 

New Group Focuses on Software Testing and Quality

SearchSoftwareQuality tells of a new group devoted to software quality testing in the Boston area that has launched with an eye to connecting its activities to the C-Suite. “Software testing provides the service of information to stakeholders,” says group organizer Jean Ann Harrison, a software testing and services consultant at Project Realms Inc. The Greater Boston Software Testing Interest Group has held its inaugural meeting, featuring guest speaker Keith Klain, head of the global test center for Barclays (“the testers should be thinking about Joe the CEO”) and plans to hold its second monthly meeting on July 22. 

To Mask or Not?

The question of whether or not to mask data for testing and application design is not easily resolved, yet still remains controversial. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, for example, has been debating internally (a debate shared with the public via The News & Observer) whether to mask the personal and health information of its clients with a third-party company that designs its software. So far, they haven’t but have put in place a number of safeguards. Critics point to weaknesses in this system, including the possibility of a rogue employee.

As we’ve pointed out, the use of Service Virtualization tools is a great solution to this problem. In SV, data elements that are captured from live transactions or logs can be carefully obscured while remaining 100-percent relevant to testing. The result: Improved overall delivered quality to more thorough and stable data scenarios, fewer delivery delays and better security. 

U.S. to Lead Global IT Growth

U.S. technology spending will grow 5.9 percent for the remainder of 2013, according to Forrester Research. While Canadian, Japanese, Australian and Indian tech markets will also grow, only smaller markets in Latin America and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa will surpass the U.S. (via Information Week).

Industry News

Oracle has ceased development on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray Software and Hardware, and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client product lines. Read Zdnet’s take here – and the reaction of some clients to the news.

Developers with their eye on the forthcoming Firefox OS should be pleased with the newly released Firefox Simulator 4.0—it is test environment for the Linux-based OS. Designed for mobile devices, it also features open web standards such as HTML5, according to an InfoWorld blog, Developer_World.