Category: Products

VMware partners rub paws as the outfit buys Wavefront

vmware-partner-link-bg-w-logoIn what is being seen as good news for VMware’s partners, the outfit has decided to buy Wavefront.

For those who came in late Wavefront, makes multi-cloud monitoring and management technology on the application level.

This is seen as good news for VMware partners who can now offer a live-streaming look at all of the data from the cloud and from the applications in the cloud including user behaviour.

It can also handle a multi-cloud strategy to turn VMware into a cross-cloud management platform.

It should reassure customers about the risk of their cloud based strategy. VMware is effectively claiming to be able to monitor that entire cloud application delivery experience right down to the end-user behaviour.

VMware revealed its plan to acquire the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup Wednesday. Wavefront, named to CRN’s 10 Coolest Big Data Startups of 2016, develops a cloud-hosted, real-time analytics platform that monitors and manages cloud applications. It provides monitoring to optimise clouds and modern applications by delivering insight using millions of data points per second in real time.

Wavefront’s metric monitoring for applications complements VMware’s vRealize Operations platform for monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning across virtual environments, according to VMware. Wavefront also will complement VMware’s vRealize Network Insight and vRealize Log Insight products.

Ajay Singh, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Cloud Management Business Unit claimed that VMware set the standard for monitoring virtual environments with VMware vRealize Operations platform, and will set the standard for cross-cloud and modern application monitoring with Wavefront.

Huawei goes after public cloud market

huawei-liveChinese smartphone maker Huawei has announced that it will compete with Amazon and Alibaba as a global provider of public cloud services.

The Shenzhen-based outfit said it will expand in cloud computing with a dedicated division that will recruit 2,000 more people this year.

President of the new unit, Zheng Yelai, said that Huawei used to focus on private cloud and did well.

“Now the purpose is to strengthen our public cloud offering.”

Consultancy Gartner expects the market for public cloud services to reach $383 billion by 2020 from $247 billion in this year.

Huawei hopes to continue developing software-based revenue at a time of slowing growth in smartphone sales and reduced spending on telecommunication infrastructure.

In China, its biggest rival is Alibaba Cloud, while the latest market entrant is conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd in partnership with Big Blue.

Huawei deputy chairman Eric Xu said the company’s global network of telecoms clients give the firm a unique advantage.

“I believe we can build upon our advantages accumulated over the years,” Xu said, referring to carrier partnerships in Europe and a strong presence in developing countries. Compete and coexist with AWS and Microsoft, I believe that is the trend we are going to see.” Xu said.

Xu also said Huawei would not compete for market share by offering services at extremely low prices.

“Our strategic focus will be on our telecom partners’ cloud transformation”,  Xu said.

Hammer takes StarWind’s gear

thor-hammer-hdValue-added distributor Hammer has taken on StarWind’s simplified software-defined storage stack, hyperconverged and storage appliances to its portfolio.

The distribution agreement is tailored for the SMB, remote office/branch office (ROBO), and low- to mid-tier of the enterprise market.

Hammer is the exclusive StarWind distributor in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Benelux, Nordics and Italy so the deal is expected to be at least Europe-wide.

StarWind is a full-stack virtualisation infrastructure, providing all the solutions required for a software-defined datacentre for primary and backup purposes.

Optimised for Microsoft Hyper-V, StarWind appliances are also VMware compatible and offer an effective way to enable customers to seamlessly move away from traditional architecture to a hyperconverged system.

SMBs have the advantage of pre-integrated Veeam licences for a clearer asynchronous backup and replication. There is a cloud-out option to give customers the ability to offload ‘cold’ data to the public cloud with ease by utilising service providers such as Amazon S3; and a free-of-charge migration service.

Gerard Marlow, General Manager for OEM & Whitebox Storage at Hammer, said: “This relationship will allow us to provide additional, complementary products to our existing customers, but will also give us the ability to engage with new resellers in the SMB and ROBO hyperconverged space that our portfolio has not enabled us to reach in the past.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with StarWind, and look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership – one which allows Hammer to make its name as a leader in delivering hyperconvergence to the SMB / ROBO segment of the market.”

Artem Berman, COO and co-founder of StarWind, said: “StarWind and Hammer stood together at the origins of virtualisation and possess necessary resources for anticipating and forming market demand.

IBM launches blockchain service

redstoneblock1Biggish Blue has launched a service that will allow businesses to build applications on its cloud using the Hyperledger Project’s blockchain code.

Developers designed IBM Blockchain for building enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code released by the open source group.

The Fabric blockchain can process more than 1,000 transactions per second and has the necessary features for large enterprises to build their applications, IBM said.

It added it was working with technology company SecureKey Technologies and a group of Canadian banks to build a digital identity network using its new blockchain services.

The network, set for launch later this year, is aimed at making it easier for consumers to prove their identities when accessing services such as new bank accounts, driver’s licenses or utilities. Banks involved include Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Blockchain is a digital shared record of transactions that is kept by a network of computers on the internet, without the need of a centralised authority.

Big businesses, including many of the world’s largest banks, have been increasing their investment in the technology in hopes it can help them reduce the complexity and costs of some of their most difficult processes, such as the settlement of securities or international payments.

Technology companies and professional services firms have also been ramping up their investment in blockchain, as they race to capture the nascent market.

IBM is big on blockchain and has several large clients developing applications with the technology, including Northern Trust, Wal-Mart, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

IBM said it had also tested a blockchain-based asset management platform for carbon assets with Chinese company Energy-Blockchain Labs. The companies aim to release the platform, built using the new IBM Blockchain, later this year.

Oracle dumps Solaris 12 for a cloudy future

oracle_sparc_solaris_roadmapIt would appear that Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump’s favourite database maker has dumped Solaris 12 from its roadmap as part of its cloud initiatives.

Oracle published a new roadmap and Solaris 12 is absent. A new blueprint dated January 13, 2017 expunges any mention Solaris 12 in the places where Oracle had included it in the 2014 edition. There is a mention of “Solaris 11.next” as due to debut during this year or the next complete with “Cloud Deployment & Integration Enhancements”.

You can’t find any mention of “Solaris 11.next” anywhere on the worldwide wibble.

Oracle does mention SPARC Next appearing this year in 2020 SPARC Next+. It also hints of plans to launch SPARC infrastructure-as-a-service, probably under the brand “@Customer” with services in “Dedicated Metered & Non-Metered” form.

It appears that there will not be a full new version of SPARC but the existing flavour will be enhanced and will be supported for many years to come.

While it is not the end of Solaris which some have predicted, it does seem to indicate that Oracle has not much will to push through a full version.

Symantec buys Lifelock for extra security

securityAnti-virus outfit Symantec is writing a $2.3 billion cheque for US identity theft protection company LifeLock.

The hope is the tech outfit can breathe new life into its Norton cybersecurity unit which has been suffering from the downturn in PC sales. Symantec’s security software often comes bundled with personal computers and while Norton remains profitable, its sales have been falling.

Symantec Chief Executive Greg Clark said that the acquisition will bring $660 million in revenue to the consumer business and returns it to longer sustainable growth.

Symantec recently bought Blue Coat Inc, which helps firms maintain security over the internet, in a $4.65 billion deal. Clark previously held the top job at Blue Coat, and made the switch after the deal closed.

LifeLock offers services such as monitoring new account openings and credit-related applications to alert consumers about unauthorised use of their identity. It also works with government agencies, merchants and creditors to remediate the impact of identity theft.

Fran Rosch, executive vice president of Norton Business Unit, said that Symantec had dabbled in identity security but had nowhere near Lifelock’s 4.4 million members.

Symantec expects to finance the transaction with cash on balance sheet and $750 million of new debt.

Microsoft demos Dynamics 365

Microsoft campusMicrosoft has been hyping its Dynamics 365 platform for months and now is finally showing it off to its channel partners.

For those who came in late, Dynamics 365  is an integrated CRM and ERP. Vole talks up the software’s machine learning skills, business intelligence and advanced data integration features.

Vole announced that Dynamics 365 will be released next month, giving customers a cloud-based customer relationship and business management solution that delivers predictive insights by using artificial intelligence.

Microsoft thinks the software will create opportunities for partners to drive business transformations.

Dynamics 365 is fully integrated with Office 365 and the Cortana Intelligence Suite, and works with Microsoft’s productivity tools, email and business intelligence solutions.

The product, accessible through a mobile app, leverages machine learning algorithms to help sales, service, and marketing agents gain insights into their professional relationships.

CRM rival Salesforce has a similar product which it calls Einstein, an artificial intelligence technology infused into its sales, service and marketing apps.

 

 

HPE unveils new channel scheme

HPE The former maker of expensive printer ink, HPE has taken the covers off its new channel programme.

The outfit’s new Flexible Capacity model for Microsoft Azure allows partners to bridge private and public cloud with a single pay-as-you-go unified billing consumption model.

HPE unveiled the Flexible Capacity option as part of the launch of a new HPE Microsoft Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) stack for HPE’s DL380 hyperconverged system.

The HPE Microsoft Azure stack should be ready to go in mid-2017 and HPE Consulting for Azure Hybrid Cloud services are available now.

The stack provides customers with Flexible Capacity single pay-as-you-go bill for both on-premise HPE private cloud and Microsoft Azure public cloud.

HPE said the DL380 Azure stack, which will sit in the customer’s data center, can be deployed with HPE SecureData software – protecting data in both public and private clouds and HPE Operations Bridge analytics software.

Kaspersky ends reseller contract with Quadsys

40153923-1-kaspersky1Russian security outfit Kaspersky Lab has told security reseller Quadsys to go forth and multiply after its company bosses admitted hacking rivals.

Quadsys owner Paul Streeter, MD Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davis and security consultant Jon Townsend pleaded guilty to securing unauthorised access to computer material, contrary to section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

The five were charged in summer 2015 with hacking into a rival’s database to plunder customer information and pricing details. Sentencing is set for 9 September.

Quadsys, which was accredited as a Kaspersky Gold partner, the vendor’s top tier certification has moved to distance itself from the troubled outfit and has ended its business relationship with the company.

Others are expected to follow, but still have not gone on record.  Sophos had actually promoted Quadsys to its platinum certification on 1 August, just nine days after the Quadsys Five pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court.

Ingram Micro goes very very quiet

ingram-mico-hqIngram Micro UK & Ireland has signed up to be the newest distributor for Quiet’s power supplies, PC cases and cooling solutions.

Ingram said the addition of Quiet’s products to its portfolio will allow resellers to offer customers a wider range of peripherals, while developing their own new and innovative product ranges promote growth.

Taj Pandya, head of commercial management at Ingram Micro, UK and Ireland said:“We are extremely excited to be able to deliver new technologies and opportunities to our channel partners and we are thrilled that be quiet! has trusted us with the distribution of their premium products that embrace an exceptional level of precision and quality.”

“We hope the inclusion of this new vendor will appeal to our customer base and will permit Ingram’s further expansion into new categories.”

Ingram Micro was one of the first to sign up for Microsoft’s Surface as a Service programme, which will allow new services and hardware to its customers based around Redmond’s Surface Tablet.

 

Ingram Micro launches Surface as a Service product

surface-pro-2Ingram Micro has signed up for Microsoft’s Surface as a service programme and launching its own version.

Under the deal, the distributor will be able to offer resellers in the UK the chance to provide Surface and the Microsoft suite along with the chance to take advantage of leasing options that should make it an easier decision for users.

Brian Windsor, senior business manager for Microsoft at Ingram Micro, said that it would be able to lean on its knowledge of the vendor’s software and hardware products.

“This offering will permit our resellers to assist their customer’s transformation to digital with ease. What’s more, we have strived to build our leasing options with recurring business in mind in order to maintain longevity of customer investment for our resellers,” he said.

Microsoft launched the programme last month.  The big idea was to expand the number of partners that would be offering the same managed services approach. It is open to Cloud Solution Providers who are authorised Surface distributors and provides a managed service offering that can be taken out through resellers to users.

At the time Vole said that the Surface was having a real impact in the business market and Surface business has grown from generating $1bn in revenue in a year to $1bn in revenue per quarter.

“With our growing portfolio, we are creating not just great devices, but breakthrough categories that open up a world of new opportunities for partners to build capabilities in new areas, and to create solutions and services for customers. This year, we are investing in programs that increase partner revenue and profitability,” he added.

VR is too pricey to sell

CeVB4bYW8AA9Kt6VR is still too pricey to make a clean sale, with more than half of consumers thinking that the technology is over priced.

A survey carried out by IT market analysts Context has found that almost four in ten consumers in the UK believe that VR is too expensive. That figure rises to 47 percent when extended to include thre rest of Europe.

When asked how much they would be willing to spend on their first VR headset, consumers showed they thought that spending that much dosh was a waste of time.

37 percent would prefer to pay nothing for the headset, whilst 21 percent would only be willing to pay under £100. Nevertheless, over a third (35 percent) would fork out £100 to £200, but when asked to consider the current cost of the headsets, almost four in ten (39 percent) believe they are too expensive.

It is not as if they are poorly informed. The survey also found that three in four consumers have heard of technology such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR.

Consumers in the UK and around Europe are most excited about VR’s applications in sport, film and TV. Half of those surveyed in the UK (51 per cent) want the chance to experience something they would never do in real life, such as sky diving.

VR’s biggest draw is currently sport, with 60 percent of consumers claiming they’re most excited about viewing a match as if they were really there. This figure rose to 65 and 66 percent in France and Germany.

The survey has found that those in the UK certainly do not see VR as a gimmick, with over half of the British public (56 percent) agreeing that VR has serious applications in fields such as medicine, science, and education. The figure rose to 68 percent with German consumers.

The tech industry has given VR a dominant focus over the past few years, and that trend looks set to continue as it becomes more widely available.

VMware increases NSX price

vmware-partner-link-bg-w-logoVMware has been having a few problems with its bottom line lately and it seems it is taking it out on its NSX prices.

The outfit has cut the product’s feature list to offer cheaper versions which do not cost as much as the full product but it has also jacked up the price of the top version of the product.

The more expensive product is aimed at companies wanting to create software defined data centres, which is a lucrative area.  NSX slips networking and security into the hypervisor and could be a good product for resellers to sell.

Now however it is getting a pricy option. A full NSX license cost US$6,000 per CPU socket although the cut down packages might be a little more viable. NSX Enterprise costs at $6,995 per CPU socket; Standard will cost $1,995 per CPU socket; and Advanced will cost $4,495 per CPU socket.

Advanced and Enterprise also get more license options. All three are available on a perpetual license; Advanced can also be licensed on a per-user basis, and Enterprise adds a per-VM licensing option.

Companies reject cloud for fog

Fog.PNGEnterprise CIOs are starting to twig that the cloud is not all it is cracked up to be and are looking at a new buzzword – the Fog –  instead.

One of the problems with the cloud is that many of the services and apps, and data used in critical decision-making are better kept on premise or in smaller enterprise data centres. Cloud goes against the demand for mobility too as the data needs to be kept closer to the machine.

Now Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, as well as researchers at Princeton University, are betting that the future of enterprise computing will be a hybrid model where information, applications and services are split between the cloud and the fog. Cisco came up with the name “fog computing” you can probably tell.

Cloud based data centres are huge and are working ok for now. But when, and if the IoT appears on the scene things are going to get messy.

When everything from cars and drones to video cameras and home appliances are transmitting enormous amounts of data from trillions of sensors, network traffic will grow exponentially. Real-time services that require split-second response times or location-awareness for accurate decision-making will need to be deployed closer to the edge to be useful, something which would cause the cloud to break.

The only thing which will save the cloud really is increased technology,  or coming up with a hybrid approach to data. That will enable distributed fog networks in enterprise data centres, around cities, in vehicles, in homes and neighbourhoods, and even on your person via wearable devices and sensors.

If this sounds like the old “distributed computing” over “Centralised computing” debate which happened as the Internet was starting to arrive, it pretty much is. What Cisco is suggesting is incredibly complex networks.

IBM announces blockchain services for cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBig Blue has  announced new services to help companies design and develop blockchain technology in a secure environment in the cloud.

Blockchain is the tech behind bitcoin and does a shedloads of functions such as recording and verifying transactions. The big idea is that the it can create cost-efficient business networks without requiring central control.

Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain at IBM, said in a statement that the only problem with blockchain is concerns about security.

“While there is a sense of urgency to pioneer blockchain for business, most organisations need help to define the ideal cloud environment that enables blockchain networks to run securely in the cloud,” he said.

IBM said it is addressing security problems in several ways, including cloud services with the highest Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) and Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL) in the industry to support the use of blockchain in government, financial services and healthcare.

The technology company also announced the opening of an IBM “Garage” in New York and London. These “garages” are similar to research labs on the blockchain created by several major financial institutions over the past year. IBM’s garages are dedicated to helping clients design and develop their blockchain networks, said Cuomo.

Garages in Tokyo, London and Singapore will also open in the coming weeks to let customers talk to IBM experts on the design and implementation of blockchain for business.