2020 turned out to be a complicated year in many ways. Covid-19 has hit the whole world hard, with significant repercussions on companies which, as far as possible, have found themselves having to set up suitable infrastructures for remote work. Many social initiatives were born during the year and our field, IT and cyber security, is no different.
In this article, we want to communicate what are the initiatives we support to cope with the emergency. We remember how important it is for the whole community to respect the DPCM, social distancing and the use of masks.
ownCloud for companies: SOD’s social initiative
One of the main problems encountered is due to a lack of funds to support the remote work of its employees. In fact, it is not as simple as you might think to set up a consistent and secure system for sharing files and data for your employees. Through the use of insecure services, corporate data is placed in a dangerous situation.
We therefore decided to offer the professional version of our ownCloud service for free to help small businesses cope with this complicated period of teleworking. The social initiative is configured as a concrete help for the implementation of innovative solutions for companies.
How to access the offer
To access the professional version of ownCloud for free, just follow the steps below:
– Access the product page via the following link: https://cloud.secure-od.com/?cmd=cart&action=add&id=310
– Click on “Promotional Code” on the right
– Use the promotional code: “COVID-19“
More information on the offer
The offer is aimed at companies wishing to use it through the COVID-19 promotional code. No payment is required and for two months the service is available in the professional version. Following the promotional period, it is possible to decide in full freedom whether to subscribe to the service or discontinue it.
The social initiative also appears among those listed in the Smart Working section on the institutional portal of Digital Solidarity.
The [email protected] social initiative is a distributed computing project aimed at simulating the dynamics of proteins, in particular the folding process. Through the use of a particular software, it is possible to offer the computing power of a computer as an active resource for research.
The project is based on the concept of distributed computing. Basically, numerous computers interact / communicate with each other over the network in order to achieve a common goal. With this type of technology it is possible to achieve the objectives set in a relatively short time. Thanks to the subdivision of the main task into simpler sub-tasks that are distributed to the machines that are part of the project.
How does it work
Folding @ home is a project focused on disease research. The problems they solve while searching require a lot of computer calculations and need a lot of power to proceed. With the dedicated software it is possible to share with them the unused computing power, so that the project can proceed to seek potential cures.
Diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis, BSE (mad cow disease), an inherited form of emphysema, and many cancers are also believed to be the result of poor protein absorption. When proteins unfold incorrectly, they can clump together to form lumps. These can often gather in the brain, where they are thought to cause mad cow disease or Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. The software simulates the unfolding of proteins to study the consequences.
In the video presented here, an example of a protein deployment simulation.
Initiative for COVID-19
Folding @ Home, therefore, using a distributed computing model, has been working for research for some time. In this 2020, in which it is seriously important to speed up the time of research on Covid-19, they have decided to focus all available resources on that research. Their homepage reads:
“Together we have created the most powerful supercomputer on the planet and are using it to help understand SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 and develop new therapies. We need your help to continue promoting a powerful and license-free drug. Use your computer to help in the fight against Covid-19 “.
The aim is to discover and develop a free medicine (not bound by private patents) and effective in the fight against the disease. We at SOD promote this social initiative and want to give you a couple of tips on how to support research.
Using a VPS
To do your part with Folding @ Home, you need to install dedicated software on the machine you intend to use. Obviously it is also possible to do this through a virtual machine that you can set up with the SOD VPS service. By following the instructions you find on this page, you can set up the machine in a few minutes to use the dedicated software to share its computing power. The software is available as a template for all customers of the Cloud Server service.
By following the instructions you will contribute as part of our team, you can see the progress made by the team at this link: https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/259355
Installation on other machines
The software is available for any type of OS, downloadable from the main project page. We would also like to let you know that it is possible to join this social initiative with any computer, even the one you use daily.
The convenience of using a virtual machine is that it always remains on and does not require computing power to the machine you use to work, we think it is the best solution to support the project. For example you may want to assign free resources of your Cloud Server or Super Cloud service.
The launch video of the Folding @ Home campaign for COVID-19
Our support for territorial realities
Secure Online Desktop, however, was not limited to national initiatives. We care about the territorial realities and for this reason we have been offering some services free of charge to the Civil Protection of Albinea for years, for example:
– Web hosting
– SEO services
We also offer them specific services that can be used in certain circumstances: communication campaign, technical assistance, file exchange system, etc. We would like to give our practical contribution to such important services in the area, to maintain an active link with local associations.
AGiReCoN is the Young Reggiani Association Against Neoplasms and we support them for what concerns the technical IT part, but not only. Together with them, some projects are planned that have the aim of developing a web app to facilitate communication between doctors and patients.
We believe that small non-profit organizations like this one deserve to be supported, especially by local companies. Associations such as AGiReCoN sensitize the area in a concrete way. They are able to communicate effectively with a good number of people thanks to their nature of small associations, typically welcomed more warmly than international ones.
We are honored to be able to give our small contribution to AGiReCoN and to the Civil Protection of Albinea.
This year has brought many personal and professional challenges. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises have been hit and have had to run for cover to try not to close. We hope that the ownCloud promotional offer can help some small businesses manage their work remotely and we are sure that the [email protected] initiative is the best way to actively intervene in research, donating some computing power.
We also invite, as far as possible, the support of the realities present in your territory. Much can be done just by offering concrete and practical rather than economic help.
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