Meet Dr Seema Verma, the associate professor and the pillar of strength at Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Dr Seema is the key driver of change and has lent her guidance to many new, interesting and developmental programs at Banasthali like the Gliding & Flying Club.She manages being a professor, an author, a wife,a mother and many more roles without any compromises!
Please read her take on a life well balanced in her interview with developerette.
Welcome Dr Seema and thank you for sharing your achievements and success formula with the students and professional women at developerette. Your initiatives, time management skills and keen interest in technology would certainly motivate every member of the group.
1. An introduction: Professional background, family and interests
Myself, Dr. Seema Verma, is working as Associate Professor in Electronics at Banasthali University. In addition, I am Accountable Manager in Banasthali Vidyapith Gliding & Flying Club. I did my Masters in Electronics from Banasthali in 1999 and then awarded with Doctoral Degree in Electronics in 2003. Currently, I am guiding couple of researchers in the areas of wireless sensor networks, security in cloud computing, Cryptography and VLSI design. I have authored 4 books and out of them, one has been published from Lap Lambert Publication, Germany. I have been into programme committees of various IEEE international conferences and m into editorial board of various Journals.
Family: I am from an educated family. My dad was District Engineer in BSNL and mom is currently Principal in Govt. Secondary School, Rajasthan. My husband is a Banker in SBI. I am proud mom of a very cute son, DAKSH who is 7 years old.
Interests: I am always interested in learning new things, technologies and always love challenges in life. I like reading and travelling a lot. I love meeting people.2. What made you choose a career in IT education? Can you explain how you guided your career to be where you are today?
From my school days, I started thinking of being a technocrate…well, I did my master in electronics and thought of doing research in technology. Later, when I became a research guide I took up the latest problem/challenge areas in technology and started doing research on them. Passion for learning was the driving fire behind where I am today.3. How have you balanced your professional and personal demands simultaneously?
I never mix my two aspects of life and I never go for one on the cost of other….well, it’s more of one’s passion for work and personal life which makes things smooth. 4. What are some of the challenges you face in your role and how do you deal with stressful days?
There is challenges everyday in every role a woman has. Well, when it comes to stress, the best way to get out of it is to spend time with young brains, i.e. my students…..I am having a unique asset in the form of my students….And after a long hectic schedules, I usually take a break and go for a break with my family, especially my son….as he is the best medicine I have for any stress I come across…..5. The girls in your college are aspiring women in technology. What is your advice to students to stay focussed?
I always nurture and encourage them to learn technology, participate and give maximum in the development in technology…..I ask them to just choose the goal first n then learn the ingredients and focus…that’s it…..
Jaskiran Bhatia has been in SWG ever since the Cognos acquisition in 2008. She was leading IM in Tech Sales and has recently moved to lead the Brand. In this short interview, she tells us about her passion for technology and which of the 2 roles she enjoyed more. With a young daughter, her take is...it only takes to prioritize to be successful in whatever you do.
1) You have been in technology for most part of your
career. What about it makes you tick ?
I have been a Technologist all my work life. Solving complex
algebraic equations used to excite me as a child and even now complex business
problems that can be made so simple
through technology is what drives me
...keeps me happy. For me it’s something that keeps me going and is not just a
2) You recently moved from tech sales to sales. How has that change been in
terms of the role and its challenges?
All job roles (support or line) exist to achieve
business objectives and while every member of the team has to understand their respective roles and how it
impacts the overall goals it is
equally important to acknowledge and appreciate
the role of other team members. While in a support role many a times I missed
the complete picture and didn't understand the apprehension
that a seller may
have, this transition has helped me bridge the gap. I have been able to align
the entire IM team to the brand objective and give them a sense of common goal.
There are challenges and that’s what makes work fun. I
love what I do, so its not just a job for me.
3) which of the roles did you prefer and why?
I have been a hands-on techie all along. I never thought
that I'll ever do sales but trust me, last 6 months have been most rewarding with
a steep learning curve. In a sales role the end results
are beyond us, the
uncertainty is much higher but then so is the excitement.
I have enjoyed the earlier role as much as I do the current.
4) You have led a team with many women. Any advice to
women who wish to make a career in technology?
I would want to tell any / all women who are really
serious about careers that marriage, motherhood can’t slow them down..... all
that's required is to think and prioritize....
we might have to juggle , accept
and acknowledge facts and be prepared to make choices, ask for help and give in
/ lie low when required ....
5) In your current leadership role as Brand leader of
IM - how do you balance your personal and professional demands?
For me only two things matter, my child and my
work.....nothing else is important and hence can wait. My weekdays and even
weekends are planned to meet both sets of
commitments without any compromise on
these two, any thing else doesn't matter.
3 most important things:
- 1. Prioritize - Chose what's important when and learn
to say No
- 2. Lead a disciplined life - I follow a very strict
timetable that allows me to have more hours in a day...
- 3. Nurture a strong support system - I do have a
support system that I have consciously built and take special care to maintain
, the immense source of inspiration at IBM India Software Lab. Kalpana has a rich pool of experience and has a calm demeanor, even on her busiest days! Director at IBM ISL and a mother to her 24 year old son, Kalpana integrates work and family beautifully while ensuring she gets out for a walk and enjoy mystery novels to de-stress.
Kalpana is passionate about contributing to women's growth in technical field and she extended her warm support to talk to us and provide encouragement to be positive, brave and above all..happy! Read her interview to know more.
Thank you Kalpana for opening the group with your valuable words.You are certainly our pillar of strength!
An introduction: Professional background, family, interests
I have 29+ years of industry experience and have been with IBM for last 19 years. I have been with India Software Lab(ISL) since its inception in 2001 and have played key leadership roles across functions in growing the lab to its current level.
Born and brought up in Bangalore, I have completed my Masters Degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1982, after which I embarked on an 11-year career with PSI Data Systems.
Family - I am married to a Chartered Accountant, have a son who is 24 years old and stay with my extended family which includes my mother-in-law.
I like listening to old hindi music and read a lot and mostly fiction.What made you choose a career in technology? Can you explain how you guided your career to be where you are today?
When I was in doing my undergraduate degree, I had a friend who was always talking about a post-graduate degree course in Engineering in the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at Bangalore and that she was applying for it. So I just went along, took the entrance test, got through it and joined the Bachelor’s course in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I also went on to do my Masters in Engineering from IISc itself. Thereby, a chance discussion and a lot of encouragement and support from my parents, my father in particular, took me along this path and here I am enjoying a career in technology!How have you balanced your professional and personal demands simultaneously?
I like the current term a lot better - "Work Life Integration"
than the work life balance. It has been a challenge given that we work in a global company. I try to keep the week-ends for my family and be there for important events or testing times. I ensure I am there when I am most needed. The flexibility work options provided by IBM are useful. I also built a good team with the team members having a strong mutual trust - this team contributes to each one managing work and life.Our health tends to take a back seat due to work and personal commitments. What are your suggestions for nutrition and fitness?
I believe that if the woman in the house stays fit and healthy, she can then ensure the others are healthy too. Health is one area where we must lead by example. Personally, I try and make time for walking, and I try to walk a lot! Also, have been interested in Yoga and have picked it up in the last couple of years.Any advice on women who choose to pursue a career in technology?
Given our education and experience we have the skills to take up a career and be successful. But the challenge has been on who we think is responsible for our career. Personally I feel we are equally responsible as our manager and the organization. But first and foremost we have to decide “to want a career” and learn to look at work as not a physical place but a state of being, of integration with our regular flow of daily life. Career in technology is great place to be today - given the changes that are happening and how much technology is influencing our daily lives and also the various business. Opportunities are many. Go for it.
In addition, Focus on Personal Excellence, never be satisfied with what you know, Integrity, Positive Attitude are important; try to maintain good relationship with people you work with; Never hesitate to ask someone to teach you what you want to learn and keep continuously learning.
Meet Ms Madhuri Rao, the enthusiastic and versatile assistant professor at Institute of Technical Education & Research, Bhubneswar.
Prof. Madhuri has a unique way of telling her stories, making them interesting and inspiring at the same time. She is a proud professional, daughter, book lover and a guide to her students. She's always ready to try something new and find motivation in the simplest of sources. Her career as a professor is a conscience choice to nurture and interact with young talented minds. Needless to say, her connection with her students is invincible!
Thank you Ma'am, for taking the time to share a part of your life with developerette. We hope to read more from you in the coming days.
Read about Prof Madhuri's unique style and her advice to follow your heart and keep a clear conscience while choosing your different roles as career women, wives and daughters. 1. Please share some details about your professional background, family and interests
I am from a family of five daughters. I being the 2nd eldest ,always had a very responsible role to play . However I also play football during my school days. I always enjoyed shouldering responsibilities , be it in school , home or in the football field.
With all five of us going to the same school and seeing the same teachers and knowing the same rules , made our growing up an experience unique in every way.
Dad and Mom could not have given us a brighter childhood and upbringing than in the way they have nurtured us.
We also made a record at Scared Heart Convent School, Jamshedpur , as the 2nd and the last family to have 5 daughters schooled in the same place and for us as a family with an association of over 2 decades.
Well, details of each of my family member may be shared only in a special request in order to not bore away the other majority of readers!! :)
Reading is my passion. Now a days programs on History Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel also fascinate me....
After having finished Engineering at B.I.E.T , Odisha , I pursued my Masters in technology from Bharath University , Chennai .
Economics is a subject that always fascinated me , and I therefore studied a second postgraduate course on M.A(Economics) from University of Madras in Distance mode.
I am now pursuing Ph.D from Biju Pattnaik University of Technology , here at Bhubaneswar .
I started my career at Slash Support as an Application Engineer in the year 2005 and then moved on with higher education. 2. What made you choose a career in IT education? Can you explain how you guided your career to be where you are today?
I always wanted to teach. I have been doing it since childhood. Helping my younger sisters with their studies was something I always enjoyed. Being close to books always made me happy and reading and exploring new things gives me tremendous pleasure. I wanted a career where I could read something new all the time and I slowly managed to walk into imparting IT education. Most of my friends and classmates are big shots in IT companies, etc... but I never desired it that way. I want to see myself as a Ph.D and I do desire to work further towards a PDF as well. I am quite an orator and find delivering lectures and interacting with youthful minds and souls very satisfactory. 3. How did you guide your career to be where you are today?
By listening to my heart and conscience, and being sound and awake with realization of what choices I am making in life!4. How have you balanced your professional and personal demands simultaneously?
Well,my upbringing is as such that I was always taught to give a patient listening to my very conscience and that little things always fails to demarcate between things. It sees no boundaries. I guess its all about doing right and wrong things. Its not about Personal and Professional things. As a teacher you can never say that you have Professional hours. You go home and you prepare for you next lecture. You cannot be annoyed even if you want when a concerned parent reaches you at hours other than 10 to 5. I stay balanced by being happy and I do things that make me happy. My parents guide me through my strenuous hours. Staying only 500 Km away from them also gives me an opportunity to meet them as often as I desire. I also have a wonderful group of friends and especially Vinod Sir & Laxmishree mam,who share their moments of research , lecture , family stuff with me and so do I. My HOD , Dr Pattnaik , and Associate Dean Dr Alok are very motivating people who themselves practice punctuality , righteousness and simplicity . Our School of Computer Science celebrates all festivals, organizes picnics and other cultural events as well. I must say that I am blessed with a competitive yet caring and enthusiastic work environment. Well on another note, I also try other things like swimming & yoga. 5. What are some of the challenges you face in your role and how do you deal with stressful days?
The major challenge that I see is the acceptance of responsibility of one as a Teacher . There are some moral guidelines and that differs from teacher to teacher. You cannot have those moral values engraved literally. Teaching to undergraduate students who would soon be a tax payer in the society , means a lot. We have the responsibility of making an upright citizen, but how far we succeed cannot be measured always. We measure the success of the Institute by the number of placements it seeks. Well, Teaching cannot be standardized. Newer technology , new methods , new concepts and a generation already ahead of us is what we have to face. Sometimes I also have to watch Cricket matches which I dislike, just to be well informed to face these kids.
Moments of stress come in everyone's life . When I am forced to do what I don't like, I find myself irritated and stressed. I sometimes reason it out,and mostly I share it with my Dad and Mom , depending on the kind of concern I have. Sometimes I share it with my sisters,and well when I realize that nobody could help... I leave it to GOD. 6. The girls in your college are aspiring women in technology. What is your advice to students to stay focused?
The Life's a stage that these young ladies are about to step onto ,its about making decisions and choices. Choices and decisions that stay for the rest of your life. While making these decisions you should realize of what is involved. Can you make a living out of this choice for the next 20 years. A career of 20 years is what you should be looking at. As women,we have responsibilities towards parents ,sisters , in-laws and that very special person. While at the same time we also have another world of professional entities. There is no common mantra or strategy of being able to excel in both of these dimensions. Each one of us have a different story to narrate and each one of us is great in our own way.I believe in what Shakespeare said - " Some people are born great. Some work hard to achieve greatness while others have greatness thrust upon them ".
My advice to you young ladies is to follow your heart and make the right choices. You have a story to talk about in future.
Meet Sargam Singh, the star at IBM Software Labs who's grown and succeeded by plugging away challenging situations at work and home. Sargam talks about her role at IBM as a Development Manager and at home as a mother and wife in an interview with us.
Thank you Sargam for sharing your mantra with the developerette group. We are certain that your experience will encourage new mothers to not only build careers in IT but also confidently take positions in leadership.
Please tell us about your work: the role you have at IBM, your responsibilities and your team.
I have 14+ years of industry experience and have been with IBM for last 7 years. I joined IBM as a Project Lead on WebSphere Application Server Test team. Currently, I am a Development Manager with IBM India Software Labs and am responsible for development and delivery of WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) product out of India. Besides this, I lead the Asia Pacific Tech Sales Support for WSRR and am a member of the World Wide Agile Leadership Team.
I manage a team of 11 people, out of which close to 50% are women. It is a very high potential team and I see a good diversity in the top performers. In my opinion, women can bring in a different kind of perspective, and are often able to capture softer aspects of people capabilities which makes them great team player and leaders. Tell us about your family and how you integrate your work and family?
My husband works with an IT multinational as a Program Manager. Besides us, I have a daughter who is 12 now and my mom-in-law who is with us. Both me and my spouse are in a high pressure jobs but it is the strong family support system which makes managing everything so simple. Coupled with this, IBM's work-life integration culture makes it possible to deliver the best both at work as well as for my family. I make sure that I am available for every important occasion and at any time when my family needs me the most. However, there are challenges at times, when work demands more time and my family has been amazingly supporting, including my little daughter who is growing up to be a responsible teenager.
What are some of the challenges you have had to face to keep both aspects balanced?
There have been times in my career when taking some great opportunities called for a decision which impacted my family. Soon after I joined IBM, I had to leave for US for an extended period of 6 months. I made that decision after a lot of deliberation as it meant leaving my daughter behind for that long. My husband was a big support and stood by me all through. That period was very tough for me but I emerged out of it as a winner, both at personal and professional front. My husband and daughter joined me in US for 2 weeks after my assignment ended and time and distance had in no way impacted my bonding with my daughter. In fact, she looked much more confident and independent. On the professional front, those 6 months provided a boost to my career by opening up newer opportunities.
So this is one such instance, and there are times when we have to make such tough choices. We need to understand this delicate balance and take a call depending on what is more important at that point in time. Opportunities have to be grabbed, and if you want to excel professionally, you need to have your goals defined. Family interest must come first, but women often live in a self created notion that things will break if they are not around. So create a strong support structure and when faced with a challenge which calls for a decision, talk about it to your family and they will be your biggest strength to take it head-on. Now that you have overcome the initial challenges, what is your advice to young mothers who wish to succeed in their carers?
I feel that single thing which can guarantee success is the "right attitude". I would say two things here -
Firstly, create a strong support structure, both at work and at home. At home, you need to have the confidence that things can go on even when you are away. At work, you have to build a strong team and backup which can stand by you in case of any emergency. Both these are easy to do if you have the right attitude which naturally wins love and support from people around you, be it your family, or colleagues or even a household help.
Secondly, keep your high level goals clear, both on personal and professional front. There will be times when your family needs you more and you cannot let your professional life impact that, and there will be occasions when you will have to sacrifice family time for tackling challenges on work front. The key to success is being able to successfully maintain this delicate balance. Risk Taking choices come every day in everything we do, personal or business, in many forms. It is a matter of having the confidence in your judgements and stand up for what you believe in.
Would you suggest development as a good career for women?
Certainly yes. Women often shy away from technical path for different reasons. However, women have an innate quality of dwelling deep into details of things without loosing sight of the bigger picture. This can play an important role in ensuring a very successful technical career for women. Excellence is a state of mind and it comes naturally to them. Making excellence critical in the small steps can lead to great results for the larger agenda in your personal and work lives.
Meet Sugandha, the lively and compassionate Program Director at Websphere, IBM.
Sugandha is a free spirit who takes life in her stride and plugs away at situations, good or bad, one at a time. Her successful career, her devotion to her family, her initiatives towards the development of women at IBM and colleges across the country are all components of the contributive and fulfilling life she leads.
She is an inspiration and role model to many as she leads her team and her family life seamlessly.
In her interview with developerette, Sugandha talks about setting priorities, building on one's strenghts and support system and balancing that perfect balance we all strive to achieve!
Thank you Sugandha for your time and sharing your philosophy! We look forward to many more interactions with you on the developerette forum.
Please tell us about your current role and responsibilities, your family and personal interests.
I lead development and support for Connectors in WebSphere and focus on client growth for Connectivity & Integration and Messaging in ISA . My responsibilities include defining the product(Connectors) roadmap with architect and Product Line management, delivering it to market on time and ensuring customers are happy using it. Responsibilities also extend to interactions and interlocks with sales, tech-sales for supporting product growth in market. I am also responsible to work with my team on their career path and development. In addition, I engage in IBM's wonderful give back model of serving the community by delivering technical talks at colleges or grooming students in colleges through group mentoring.
I have a small family. My husband is also in the software industry and I have a 3 year old daughter Meera who keeps me pleasantly occupied.
Whenever I’m free, I like to read or cook something fancy. I love to travel and that it makes a more “aware” person.
What is your way of dealing with stress? How do you integrate work and personal/family life?
I believe am able to sense the onset of stress. When I see there’s a situation which can turn stressful, I sit back and think about the reasons: Is it because of too little time? Too many variables? Because of people? Or something personal? Once I figure that out, I try to prioritize and start plugging away at the problem at hand.
A good way of dealing with stress is talking. I usually call up a friend for advice, take a deep breath or just read to my daughter to take time off and start afresh.
A secret and quick way to overcome stress is by keeping an optimistic view! Positive attitude keeps me going.
Both family and work are important. At any given time, one of the two will require more time and attention. You need to smartly address what needs to be addressed first and modify your approach. My evenings are dedicated to Meera post which I align a couple of hours to work. Having a schedule really helps me stay on track.
When I’m on a holiday, I ensure there is no interruption in my family time unless there is an emergency at work. For this seamless integration, help and support from colleagues and family is critical.
A lot of girls are faced with a choice between family and career. What is your advice to them?
There isn’t a choice between Family and career. They go hand in hand and simply choosing one isn’t fulfilling. They are each other's motivation factors. Priorities can be switched but my advice is never to make a choice and compromise.
Family, friends and career should all move along together.
Please tell us about the diversity network that you have led and how it has helped women at IBM.
A bunch of women across ISL at IBM got together to discuss what would aid their development. Surprisingly, everyone spoke about professional development. In the past, women were focused on “How can I manage my family despite my job” And now, we have moved on to “How can I grow professionally despite my family demands”
That was the inspiration behind the charter for the last two year for ISL diversity group ‘Shakti’. It was recognized in Winspiration 2011 as an agent for Gender Diversity Change
There are various aspects to Shakti (much like developerette) where we a) provide mentoring, b) focus on products, codes and sales c) focus on business communication conducted by leaders and d) provide selective job shadowing
The charter is designed to provide holistic learning for the participating women.
What are some interesting career options in IT for women?
IT is a vast field with various career options. From the conventional roles in programming, testing and developing to the unconventional roles in sales, tech sales, and strategy, there is a lot of versatility.
The decision must be based on your aptitude and not the general trend. A product management role with people responsibility, hardcore development or technical evangelism are all equally fulfilling and challenging. Also remember that Management won’t take you away from technical arena and technical development won’t take you away from people centric roles. In a nutshell, , there is no shortcut to promotions or success. Believing and enjoying what you do, challenging yourself out of your comfort zone will take you on a fulfilling career journey.
The choice is based on your interest and there are literally scores of choices!
While Portal offers interactive business capabilities vs. a static web site..there is also a need to provide social collaboration capabilities within the portal environment for an effective business. As with a business portal, users can interact with the enterprise, such as to obtain valuable information, assistance, or download documents... with a social portal they can ask questions, discuss various subjects, make suggestions/recommendations, find people in their network with similar interests and much more.
While IBM Connections brings in these social collaboraton capablities for any enterprise.. when integrated with portal helps develop a social portal solution. This integration is achieved by developing a set of portlets for various IBM Connections services such as profiles (Directory of colleagues you can use to build a network
and locate expertise), bookmarks (Social bookmarking tool that you can use to save,
organize, and share Internet and intranet bookmarks), blogs (Online journals you can use to deliver timely information
with a personal touch), activities (Collaboration tool for collecting, organizing, sharing,
and reusing work related to a project goal), wikis (Repository for sharing and collaborating on pages of interest
to your group) and forums (View and contribute to discussion topics). These portlets offer personalized social content to the user and allow read/write capabilities. They offer similar user experience as the native IBM Connections application. These portlets offer various configurations and customization capabilities to suit various customer requirements. Existing customers for Portal and Connections benefit with this solution and have the business portal to be social by bringing in social content from social repository like IBM Connections into portal.
Download these portlets from catalog
More information about these portlet is available on this wiki
This is Harika, a pre-final student from Information Technology, Vishnu Institute
of Technology (VIT), Andhrapradesh .Like all people, I too have a lot of enthusiasm
at learning new trends in technology, and is more interested to be aware of everything.
Recently, in the month of February we went to a country
level technical symposium conducted in SVECW, Andhrapradesh. There, I along
with my co-partner Santhoshi Swapna gave a paper presentation on the topic “HADOOP”.
Hadoop is a flexible
infrastructure for large scale computation and data processing on a network of
commodity hardware. The
industry is trending towards distributed systems, and Hadoop is a major player.
Luckily, we are recognized by Chief guest, Mr. Lawrence
Mohanraj , Regional Manager, South-west .He asked us to send abstract to
him. We submitted a research paper on Hadoop. He encouraged us to do research
and analysis on this particular topic.
such an encouragement, even a novice can anticipate amendment in the latest
technologies. We came to know that IBM is using the Hadoop tool. An also “The
Forrester Research Company” appreciated IBM Company for using HADOOP Tool.
is vivid that IBM is encouraging the students to explore their knowledge. We
are the best example.
am thankful to IBM Academic Initiative Mr. Lawrence Mohanrai, Regional Manager,
South-west and also to developerette for
supporting me in sharing my experience and gratitude.
am Tulika Garg and I joined IBM India Software Labs in Jan 2011. I
completed my Bachelors of Computers Sc. & Engg in 2009 . It was
during my schooldays when the "IT" bug caught me and I was
determined to become a software engineer. I have worked with a
telecommunications based company for an year ,before joining IBM.
When I joined IBM, with just an year's experience I realized there
was so much more to learn. Its altogether a different feeling of
working in a firm like that of IBM,and when you are referred to as an
“IBMer”. I am a part of The Information Management group and I
closely work with DB2-CLP and DB2-LDAP components .I am a part of the L3
continuing engineering(CE) and new development team(ND).I have
presented a poster in the internal conferences like WIT(Women in
Technology) that was conducted by IBM last year. I don't have any
list of achievements as such in my name,but then I marvel each
working day of mine with a sense of devotion,commitment,and my
we are fresh out of college,we have a mixed bag of feelings. We have
zeal to do whatever task is assigned to us,we have new hopes but yes
along with that , some apprehension does exist. Performing in the
corporate world,competition ,work pressures and various other things
start creating a tornado of professional chaos in our minds. I think
it is important to just maintain the momentum with which we start
and learn from our experiences which we gain with time.After all women possess the innate
qualities of patience and perseverance ,and we being the 'women in
technology' just need to make use of it.
work here is related to supporting the customers that use our
products,along with improving and enhancing the efficiency of our
existing components. Resolving the customer issues,providing them
solutions in a timely manner ,fixing defects ,enhancing the code to
meet the new requirements comes as a part of my job. Sometimes people
don't see support jobs in a very good light but nevertheless they
are very crucial and important. Ultimately it is the
customer experience of a product that speaks for a company. And I
trust my acumen and feel good at the end of the day having done my
job and feel pride in it.
job I do is action-packed. Its never monotonous. If there is anything
typical about a working day here, it is nothing short of
exciting,rewarding and at times even challenging when we have to meet
a work/life balance is equally important and it is so good to read
how my fellow bloggers , the 'women in technology',take out time from
their strenuous routine and pursue their passions. They are
definitely a source of inspiration for all the budding engineers as well
as those who are still struggling to achieve this balance. With all
my work underway,my distress routine includes spending time with my
family and friends,taking out time for myself and indulging in my
hobby activities like dancing and cooking. Just trying to remain calm
and composed ,not getting bewildered with the veritable storm of work
related questions going on in our minds is the key I guess. The answers to these can be
found only with a peaceful state of mind,which can be achieved by
maintain a proper balance. So don't get swayed with the hurling wind
but stand strong and just be yourself!!!
An Indian way to say Hello with dignity, respect and love to everyone.
This is my first post here at developerette and I am quite excited about it. I really hope that typing here is completely a unique experience and more exposure to learn more. So am here.. doing some shadow postings here & there as well as writing something unique here & there.
Hope to have a good learning experience here :)
I don't know from where shall i begin ,OK let me begin right from the day 1 ,Initially i got the mail stating "Present your ideas for the superstar idea contest",for the first few days i ignored the mail thinking that it would be a spam or bogus mail then i thought ,"OK,let me reply to this mail "and just sent my idea after proper registration in the mentioned website of IBM ,even after registration i did not have the belief that this is the real contest and i ll get a response for the registration .To my surprise after a couple of months i got many calls from the representatives of the company stating that "My idea submission has been accepted and i need to give the details of the project in the form of presentation and it should be like a real presentation for which of course i can send it thru mail within the stipulated date .i have been given ample of time for submitting my presentation because of which i was able to submit it .i never thought that the process of evaluation will be transparent and all the people who presented their ideas will be organised in to virtual groups in which they will be given opportunity to learn new technologies thru webinars and they can also share their opinion about various concepts .
After some months i again got a call from the team stating that my idea has been selected for the next round of evaluation for which i have to prepare the prototype and they even gave me the freedom of choosing the location and time for the prototype presentation to the panel of their executives .i opted chennai and went to the mentioned branch in chennai on time ,i got good hospitality from the team because of which i was able to do the prototype presentation in a satisfiable manner in spite of fever i had on that day. Unfortunately my idea was not selected for the final presentation but i am happy about the opportunity given to me and the time ,resources and technology the company spared for me .
IBM Developer Superstar contest 2011, Participant
Every database management system must be able to protect data against unauthorized access and modification. This also holds true for IBM DB2 Database for Linux, UNIX, and Windows® (DB2). DB2 uses several mechanisms, such as authentications, authorizations, and privileges, to meet this need. However, to protect its resources (such as processes, containers, system files), DB2 mostly relies on the native operating system.
Tivoli Access Manager for Operating System (TAMOS) is an IBM solution that uses a centralized policy management approach to protect resources on UNIX or Linux operating systems. Therefore, you can use it to provide an extra layer of security in addition to that provided by the native operating system.
Following is an overview of the topics covered by the article:
- Introduction of TAMOS along with an overview of how to install and configure
- How to use authorization policies to protect DB2 resources
- Real-world scenarios that throw light on potential security loopholes of the database management system as well as the native operating system on which it is installed, and how you can use TAMOS to close those loopholes
- How to track and monitor the operations against DB2 processes
What is TAMOS?
The UNIX and Linux operating systems pose several security concerns from an enterprise perspective. TAMOS addresses these concerns by providing operating system-level access control for UNIX and Linux operating systems. The TAMOS centralized policy management technique prevents unauthorized access, and monitors accesses to sensitive data and resources.
TAMOS is implemented as a series of daemons, kernel extensions, and control files for either the UNIX or Linux operating system. The TAMOS kernel extensions intercept all the system calls. The centralized authorization daemon named
pdosd then participates in all authorization decisions when a system call is made.
The flow chart in Figure 1 demonstrates how TAMOS implements the security layer by intercepting the system calls at the kernel level.Figure 1. Sample flowchart to illustrate TAMOS kernel interception
There are several prerequisite system requirements that must be met before you can begin to install and configure IBM TAMOS. However, a detailed description of these prerequisites is beyond the scope of this article.
You can install TAMOS in one of four ways:
- Multiplatform GUI-mode installation
- Multiplatform console-mode installation
- Multiplatform silent mode installation
- Native installation
The example in this section describes the first type of installation — how to perform a GUI mode installation of TAMOS, and specifically on a Linux server. The examples in later sections of the article also assume use of the Linux operating system.
To begin an interactive GUI-mode installation, locate your TAMOS CD and run the program with the name:
platform represents the name of your operating system. This program begins the installation process by launching the installation wizard. For the example installation on a Linux system described in this article, the install program is
Figures 2 and 3 show sample screenshots from the TAMOS installation wizard.Figure 2. Tamos Installation screen Figure 3. Recommended System Settings
As you proceed through the wizard, it guides you through the installation and configuration of TAM Runtime, using the appropriate LDAP server.
The silent mode of installation uses response files to install silently. The native installation uses the native software installation utility provided by the operating system.
This section explains how to configure TAMOS on a UNIX or Linux operating system after you perform a native installation. When you use Installshield multiplatform to install, TAMOS is already configured as part of the installation process. However, if you perform a native installation, you still need to configure TAMOS after the installation.
The command you use to configure TAMOS after a native installation is
pdoscfg. Following are the required configuration options that you must specify with your initial configuration:
Listing 1. Sample command for configuration of TAMOS
branch — policy branch to which this system subscribes
suffix — user registry suffix under which users associated with TAMOS are created
registry_ssl_cacert — certificate of TAM user registry server
admin_name — the name of the Tivoli Access Manager administrator
admin_pwd — the password for the Tivoli Access Manager administrator
[root@Server~]#pdoscfg -registry_ssl_cacert /ldapcert.arm -branch Server.in.ibm.com \
-suffix o=ibm,c=in -admin_name administrator -admin_pwd password
The term DB2 resources refers to DB2 processes, containers, system files, etc. that are present on the operating system where DB2 is installed. TAMOS uses various access controls such as Access Control Lists (ACLs) and Protected Object Policies (POPs) to protect these resources. It uses the static mode of creating objects in a policy database to protect them. Every DB2 resource that has to be protected must be explicitly created as an object in the policy database and must have an ACL/POP attached to it.
The following example demonstrates how you can use TAMOS access controls to protect against fraudulent behavior:
A root user who has all permissions on a UNIX or Linux machine tries to switch his identity to a DB2 instance user (for example, db2ins95) and tamper with some DB2 processes. This is where TAMOS would step in to provide protection. TAMOS provides a way you can protect surrogate operations by using surrogate resources. You start by creating an object.
Following is the syntax to create an object:
Object create /OSSEAL/<Server name>/Resource "Description" <object type> ispolicyattachable yes|no
So, for example, in the case described above, you could use a command like the one in Listing 2 to create an object for the surrogate resource.
Listing 2. Sample command for creating an object
pdadmin sec_master> object create /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/Surrogate/User/db2ins95 \
"SurrogateUser" 0 ispolicyattachable yes
You could then use a command like the one in Listing 3 to create a policy to prohibit root from switching user identity to db2ins95.Listing 3. Sample command for creating an ACL
pdadmin sec_master> acl show surr-acl
ACL Name: surr-acl
User sec_master TcmdbsvaBRl
User root T
The above ACL shows the root user is not given the surrogate permission bit "G". Now you can use a command like the one in Listing 4 to attach the policy to the object for enforcement.Listing 4. Sample command for attaching a policy to an object for enforcement
pdadmin sec_master> acl attach /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/Surrogate/User/db2ins95 surr-acl
Now, as shown in Listing 5, if the root user tries to change identity to a DB2 instance user, he is not allowed to do so.Listing 5. Identity change to DB2 instance user not allowed
[root@Server ~]# whoami
[root@Server ~]# su - db2ins95
su: cannot set user id: Operation not permitted
The example in this section has shown you how to create objects and apply policies to them. Specifically, it showed you how to protect DB2 resources by controlling whether a root user can switch to a DB2 instance user. This ability to control root account use is one of the key features of TAMOS.
This section demonstrates how TAMOS can help you deal with two real-world issues faced by DB2 customers.
Some DB2 customers have reported experiencing an instance crash due to a
SIGKILL (kill -9) signal being sent to the
db2sysc process. When a
kill -9 signal is sent to
db2sysc, a DB2 instance crash is the expected behavior. However, the instance crash of a production system can have a significant business impact. The example described in this section illustrates this type of scenario.
Assume that you have a DB2 instance named Listing 6. List DB2 instance processes
db2ins95. To begin the scenario, issue a
ps command, as shown in Listing 6, to list the DB2 processes for your
[db2ins95@Server ~]$ ps -ef | grep db2
root 7970 7929 0 12:32 pts/2 00:00:00 su - db2ins95
db2ins95 7971 7970 0 12:32 pts/2 00:00:00 -bash
db2ins95 8380 1 0 12:39 pts/2 00:00:00 /home/db2ins95/sqllib/bin/db2bp
7971A2077 5 A
root 8587 1 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2wdog 0
db2ins95 8588 8587 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2sysc 0
root 8589 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 8590 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 8591 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 8592 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2pmd 0
db2ins95 8593 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2gds 0
db2ins95 8594 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2licc 0
db2ins95 8595 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2ipccm 0
db2ins95 8596 8588 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2resync 0
db2ins95 8598 8588 1 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 db2acd 0 ,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,897d44
db2ins95 8617 7971 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 ps -ef
db2ins95 8618 7971 0 12:45 pts/2 00:00:00 grep db2
root 14366 1 0 Mar19 ? 00:00:25 /opt/ibm/db2/V9.1/bin/db2fmcd
Next, connect users to SAMPLE database, as shown in Listing 7.Listing 7. Connect users to SAMPLE database
[db2ins95@Server ~]$ db2 "connect to sample"
Database Connection Information
Database server = DB2/LINUX 9.1.5
SQL authorization ID = DB2INS95
Local database alias = SAMPLE
[db2ins95@Server ~]$ db2 list tables
Table/View Schema Type Creation time
------------------------------- --------------- ----- --------------------------
ACT DB2INS95 T 2010-03-22-12.37.09.890866
ADEFUSR DB2INS95 S 2010-03-22-126.96.36.1998864
CL_SCHED DB2INS95 T 2010-03-22-12.37.09.641766
DEPARTMENT DB2INS95 T 2010-03-22-12.37.09.654181
DEPT DB2INS95 A 2010-03-22-12.37.09.716163
EMP DB2INS95 A 2010-03-22-12.37.09.749817
EMPACT DB2INS95 A 2010-03-22-12.37.09.887997
EMPLOYEE DB2INS95 T 2010-03-22-12.37.09.717494
EMPMDC DB2INS95 T 2010-03-22-12.37.15.079208
EMPPROJACT DB2INS95 T 2010-03-22-12.37.09.876485
Listing 8 shows Listing 8.
kill -9 being issued against the
db2sysc process and the DB2 instance crashing.
kill -9 against
db2sysc causes instance crash
[db2ins95@Server ~]$ kill -9 8588
[db2ins95@Server ~]$ db2 list tables
SQL1224N The database manager is not able to accept new requests, has
terminated all requests in progress, or has terminated your particular request
due to a problem with your request. SQLSTATE=55032
[db2ins95@Server ~]$ db2 connect to SAMPLE
SQL1032N No start database manager command was issued. SQLSTATE=57019
Listing 9 is an example of the resulting entries in the db2diag.log file after the instance crash. These entries indicate that the instance crash occurred due to Listing 9. Sample db2diag.log entries
SIGKILL being issued by a user or application.
2010-03-22-188.8.131.523973-300 I39299G722 LEVEL: Error
PID : 8587 TID : 3086112448 PROC : db2wdog 0 0
INSTANCE: db2ins95 NODE : 000
FUNCTION: DB2 UDB, oper system services, sqlossig, probe:10
MESSAGE : Sending SIGKILL to the following process id
DATA #1 : signed integer, 4 bytes
 0x0276568D sqlossig + 0x117
 0x0132313A sqloWatchDogMain + 0x20E
 0x0132192A sqloRunInstance + 0xCE
 0x0804D450 DB2main + 0x6DC
 0x0804CD6C main + 0x24
 0x04938DF3 __libc_start_main + 0xD3
 0x0804CCB1 _Z21sqlePdbProcessRequestP11sqkfChannelPv + 0x1C1
 0x00000000 ?unknown + 0x0
 0x00000000 ?unknown + 0x0
 0x00000000 ?unknown + 0x0
TAMOS steps in!
Now you will see how TAMOS can help you prevent the scenario described above.
First, create an object for the Listing 10. Create object
db2sysc process as a file resource in the TAMOS object space, as shown in Listing 10.
pdadmin sec_master> object create /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/File/home/db2ins95\
/sqllib/adm/db2sysc "Db2 process" 3 ispolicyattachable yes
Next, as shown in Listing 11, create a policy that does not give DB2 instance user db2ins95 and root user permission to kill the process.Listing 11. Create policy
pdadmin sec_master> acl create db2-acl
pdadmin sec_master> acl modify db2-acl set user root T[OSSEAL]
pdadmin sec_master> acl modify db2-acl set user db2ins95 T[OSSEAL]
Now the ACL is defined not to give DB2 instance user db2ins95 and root user the kill (that is, the "k") permission bit. The last step is to enforce the policy on the object, as shown in Listing 12.Listing 12. Enforce the policy on the object
pdadmin sec_master> acl attach /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/File/home/db2ins95\
Issue the Listing 13. List DB2 instance processes
ps command again to list the DB2 processes that are running. Compare the sample output in Listing 13 to that in Listing 6.
[db2ins95@Server root]$ ps -ef | grep db2
root 14366 1 0 Mar19 ? 00:00:29 /opt/ibm/db2/V9.1/bin/db2fmcd
root 28330 28278 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 su db2ins95
db2ins95 28331 28330 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 bash
root 28426 1 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2wdog 0
db2ins95 28427 28426 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2sysc 0
root 28428 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 28429 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 28430 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 28431 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2pmd 0
db2ins95 28432 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2gds 0
db2ins95 28433 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2licc 0
db2ins95 28434 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2ipccm 0
db2ins95 28435 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2resync 0
db2ins95 28437 28427 0 23:42 pts/1 00:00:00 db2acd 0 ,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,897d44
db2ins95 28629 28434 0 23:47 pts/1 00:00:00 db2agent (idle) 0
db2ins95 28951 28331 0 23:52 pts/1 00:00:00 ps -ef
db2ins95 28952 28331 0 23:52 pts/1 00:00:00 grep db2
Now, as shown in Listing 14, when the db2ins95 or root user tries to kill the Listing 14. kill -9 not permitted
db2sysc process, he is not allowed to do so because you have used TAMOS to put the proper controls and policies in place.
[db2ins95@Server root]$ kill -9 28427
bash: kill: (28427) - Operation not permitted
TAMOS can also help you track who actually issued the kill command, which can lead to you identifying the real culprit. This tracking functionality is discussed later in the article.
DB2 support has also documented several problem reports where a customer has accidentally deleted tablespace containers while performing operating system maintenance activities. In some cases, this has resulted in the loss of a significant amount of data. This type of scenario also results in the tablespace becoming inaccessible. The example described in this section illustrates this type of scenario.
As in Case 1, for this example assume that you have a DB2 instance named Listing 15. Connect users to SAMPLE database
db2ins95. To begin the scenario, connect users to SAMPLE database, as shown in Listing 15.
[db2ins95@Server root]$ db2 "connect to sample"
Database Connection Information
As shown in Listing 16, create a tablespace with one container named Listing 16. Create a tablespace
[db2ins95@Server root]$ db2 "create tablespace tbsp1 managed by database \
using (file '/test/cont1' 1000)"
DB20000I The SQL command completed successfully.
Create a table named Listing 17. Create tables
table1 in the
cont1 tablespace, as shown in Listing 17.
[db2ins95@Server root]$ db2 "create table table1(id int, name varchar(10)) in tbsp1"
DB20000I The SQL command completed successfully.
Then, as shown in Listing 18, insert some sample data into the table.Listing 18. Insert sample data
db2ins95@Server root]$ db2 "insert into table1 values(1,'a'),(2,'b'),(3,'c')"
DB20000I The SQL command completed successfully.
[db2ins95@Server root]$ db2 "select * from table1"
3 record(s) selected.
[db2ins95@Server test]$ db2 connect reset
DB20000I The SQL command completed successfully.
To simulate what would happen if the tablespace were accidentally deleted, issue an Listing 19. Delete the tablespace container
rm command, as shown in Listing 19.
[root@Server ~]# rm -rf /test/cont1
Now, as shown in Listing 20, when users reconnect to the database and try to access the table, they receive an error.Listing 20. Access attempt returns error
[db2ins95@Server test]$ db2 connect to sample
Database Connection Information
Database server = DB2/LINUX 9.1.5
SQL authorization ID = DB2INS95
Local database alias = SAMPLE
[db2ins95@Server test]$ db2 "select * from table1"
SQL0290N Table space access is not allowed. SQLSTATE=55039
The tablespace has become inaccessible because its container was deleted, and all the data you inserted in the table is lost!
TAMOS steps in!
Now you will see how TAMOS can help you in the type of situation outlined above by preventing users from removing the containers, and thereby securing your system against potential data loss.
In this example, the container, which is simply a file resource on the operating system, is in the /test directory. As shown in Listing 21, create an object for /test/cont1 under the file resource.Listing 21. Create an object
pdadmin sec_master> object create /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/File/test/cont1 \
"Containers" 2 ispolicyattachable yes
Next, create a policy to protect against users being able to remove this object, as shown in Listing 22.Listing 22. Create a policy
pdadmin sec_master> acl create cont-acl
pdadmin sec_master> acl modify cont-acl set user root T[OSSEAL]rwx
pdadmin sec_master> acl show cont-acl
ACL Name: cont-acl
User sec_master TcmdbsvaBRl
User root T[OSSEAL]rwx
Now, the ACL is defined to give the root user read, write, and execute permissions, but not the deletion (that is, the "d") permission bit. The last step is to enforce the policy on the object, as shown in Listing 23.Listing 23. Enforce the policy on the object
pdadmin sec_master> acl attach /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/File/test/cont1 cont-acl
Now, as shown in Listing 24, when the root user tries to remove the container, he is not allowed to do so. TAMOS has just prevented accidental data loss due to deletion of the container.Listing 24. Container deletion not permitted
[root@Server ~]# rm -rf /test/cont1
rm: cannot remove `/test/cont1': Permission denied
Auditing and tracing
This section describes how you can use TAMOS to monitor or track operations performed against DB2 processes and resources.
For example, in the scenario described in Case 1 above, a
kill -9 was issued against the
db2sysc process. If such a situation were to actually occur, you would likely want to know who was responsible for the action. The fine and granular level of auditing provided by TAMOS can help you do so.
TAMOS provides three levels of auditing:
The following example illustrates resource level auditing. Assume that as described in Case 1, the policies shown in Listing 25 are in place for your system.Listing 25. Case 1 policies
pdadmin sec_master> object show /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/File/home/db2ins95\
Type: 3 (Executable)
Is Policy Attachable: Yes
Attached ACL: db2-acl
Effective Extended Attributes:
Effective ACL: db2-acl
With the above policies, the ACL
db2-acl protects the
db2sysc from being killed.
Now, as shown in Listing 26, create a POP with a specification that all actions on the protected object will be audited. This tells TAMOS to track when a Listing 26. Create a POP to audit all actions
SIGKILL is issued against the resource regardless of whether or not the user is allowed to kill the
pdadmin sec_master> pop create track-user
pdadmin sec_master> pop modify track-user set audit-level all
Enforce the policy on the object by attaching the POP to the object, as shown in Listing 27.Listing 27. Enforce the policy on the object
pdadmin sec_master> pop attach /OSSEAL/Server.in.ibm.com/File/home/db2ins95\
Issue the Listing 28. List DB2 instance processes
ps command to list the DB2 processes that are running, as shown in Listing 28.
[db2ins95@Server root]$ ps -ef | grep db2
root 14366 1 0 Mar19 ? 00:00:33 /opt/ibm/db2/V9.1/bin/db2fmcd
root 19969 18669 0 11:59 pts/2 00:00:00 su db2ins95
db2ins95 19970 19969 0 11:59 pts/2 00:00:00 bash
db2ins95 20051 19970 0 11:59 pts/2 00:00:00 ps -ef
db2ins95 20052 19970 0 11:59 pts/2 00:00:00 grep db2
db2ins95 29476 1 0 00:05 ? 00:00:00 /home/db2ins95/sqllib/bin/db2bp 29389A2077
root 30183 1 0 00:14 ? 00:00:00 db2wdog 0
db2ins95 30184 30183 0 00:14 ? 00:00:00 db2sysc 0
root 30185 30184 0 00:14 ? 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 30186 30184 0 00:14 ? 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
root 30187 30184 0 00:14 ? 00:00:00 db2ckpwd 0
Now, as shown in Listing 29, a user attempts to kill the Listing 29.
db2sysc process, but the operation is not permitted.
kill -9 not permitted
[db2ins95@Server root]$ kill -9 30184
bash: kill: (30184) - Operation not permitted
Listing 30 is an example of the resulting entries in the audit.log file after the attempt to issue the Listing 30. Snapshot from the audit.log
kill -9. Although the user was not allowed to kill the process, the action is tracked and does not go unnoticed. You could also use the
pdosaudview utility provided by TAMOS to view the audit report.
*** START OF NEW RECORD ***
Timestamp Tue 23 Mar 2010 11:59:25 AM EST
Audit Event An authorization decision was made.
Audit View Deny
Audit Reason Resource Audit
Audit Resource Type File
Accessor Name root
Accessor Effective Name db2ins95
Audit Action Check Access
Audit Permissions kill
Audit Qualifier Checking resource access control policy.
Policy Branch Name Server.in.ibm.com
Protected Object Name File/home/db2ins95/sqllib/adm/db2sysc
System Resource Name /home/db2ins95/sqllib/adm/db2sysc
Accessor Process ID 19970
Running Program System Resource Name /bin/bash
Audit Outcome Success
Audit Uniqifier 0
The above record shows that a
kill was issued against the system resource, /home/db2ins95/sqllib/adm/db2sysc. The Accessor Effective field shows that the user who issued the
kill was db2ins95.
This article introduced you to the IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Operating Systems (TAMOS) solution. It provided an overview of how you can install and configure TAMOS, and showed how it can be used to protect DB2 processes and resources on UNIX and Linux operating systems. Once you understand the concepts of TAMOS, you will be in a better position to provide security to your system resources on top of that provided by the native operating system.
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Mr.Tejasvi Bishnoi, Asst. Vice President, Information Technology(IDEA),
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