This solution seemed like it was designed with her requirements in mind. It would allow the remote office to be standardized, to not be a separate management silo — to not be snowflakes.It was clear to her the VCE VxRail Appliances were the right solution for her. However, she thought, they don’t need to know that. Let’s call VCE and a few of others and have a bakeoff.——–Today, EMC and VMware jointly announced the VCE VxRail Appliance family developed with this and other stories from VPs of Infrastructure in mind. A key design goal is to provide standardization to parts of the infrastructure that lacked them, without creating siloes of management and processes.VCE VxRail Appliances are the only integrated and jointly engineered hyper-converged infrastructure appliances for VMware environments. The VxRail Appliance family lets IT architects design standard solutions for virtualization and end-user computing that leverage and extend their existing IT tools and processes in departmental, regional and branch office deployments. VCE VxRail Appliances also provide a platform to deploy the latest VMware solutions, such as NSX and Horizon Air Hybrid Mode.If you are VP of Infrastructure or you know one, and want to learn more about VxRail Appliances read the press release here. We were thinking of you when we developed this hyper-converged infrastructure appliance family. The VP of Infrastructure was at her desk trying to make a decision. She needed to finalize the plan to refresh the company’s remote offices before the evening was through.This project had more visibility than she was used to. While very few people have the impact on the business like she does, her colleagues usually take her and her team’s work for granted. They build “systems” that are composed of information technology, processes and people. Systems that run the business enable rapid decision-making, and IT innovation. The business runs without anyone necessarily knowing who is behind the systems they’re using. Unfortunately when something breaks they suddenly remember….The good news is that for the past five years she diligently maintained a standard way to deploy systems so things don’t often break anymore. She was early to adopt virtualization and just as early to standardize her VMware infrastructure into modular building blocks her team designed and built.The remote office project was different. Too often the remote offices made people think about her and her team. Each of the company’s 50 offices was a snowflake – they were all unique – each had slightly different configurations and capacities. And as a result they each require a significant amount of upkeep and remote attention from IT staff.Vendors had lined up to pitch her the best storage, best server, best network, best converged infrastructure, best hyper converged infrastructure, best storage software, a private cloud solution, a public cloud solution, a hybrid cloud solution. Every offering was agile, transformative, innovative – one of them even called theirs invisible!It shouldn’t be this complicated. She just needed new virtual infrastructure for her remote offices. One that took the guesswork out of the remote office deployments and one that did not require unique skillsets for each location. One that didn’t require her to abandon the VMware virtualization tools and processes that had allowed her enterprise colleagues to forget about her. At the same time the solution needed to have a low entry cost, predictable non-disruptive scaling, configured exactly as needed and purchased only when required.With that in mind she started going through her options one more time, and realized that the list was shortened quickly until there was one left.“A turnkey, easily scalable appliance for the modern, innovation-focused data center or branch office”“Lets architects design standard solutions to add datacenter or remote office capacity”“Seamless integration with existing VMware tools and a platform to deploy the latest VMware solutions”
Cloud Native Apps, and DevOps, may be the most overused terms in IT today; so what is EMCs plan? Matt Cowger (@Mcowger) stops by to help clarify the mud and introduce the EMC dotNext team. Matt coordinated 42 sessions at EMC World 2016, all focused on Cloud Native Apps and DevOps. 10 sessions focused on Cloud Leadership and 32 technical code and modern operations.Matt reviews the four forces in IT– Agile Methodology, DevOps, Microservices and Containers. All influencing each other, changing how applications are being built, deployed and managed.May the Four Forces be with you! Matts Blog http:/www.exaforge.comDon’t miss “EMC The Source” app in the App Store. Be sure to subscribe to The Source Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play and visit the official blog at thesourceblog.emc.comThe Source Podcast: Episode #52: May the (4) Force(s) be with you, always! with Matt CowgerAudio Playerhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/thesource/EMC_The_Source_Episode_52_audio.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.EMC: The Source Podcast is hosted By Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)
Recently I blogged about the huge transformation underway in the financial services space and how the industry is being fueled by a wave of innovation and entrepreneurialism that mirrors that of the tech industry.Today, there are more alternative financial companies that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Whether its new forms of payment technology, emerging models for lending capital to business, or new devices that make financial transactions faster and more convenient, the fintech space is thriving.Houston, we have a branding problemSo how did these new entrants come into the fintech space to begin with? I’ll start the conversation by first stating that traditional financial services companies like banks and insurance organizations have a brand problem. To be perfectly candid, a lot of people don’t trust banks. You rarely see bankers portrayed in movies as sympathetic, likeable protagonists. I’m not saying that perception is fair, but banks are indeed struggling these days in terms of their brand and reputation.Disruptive companies are often borne out of branding problems. On-demand driving services like Lyft and Uber, for example, didn’t gain traction in the market because of their superior analytics, but rather than taxis had a brand problem. Airbnb, in another example, gained success because hotels have a brand problem with many non-business travelers.The lack of trust and feeling of disenfranchisement that many consumers feel about the banking, investment and insurance industries is at the core of this wave of innovation in fintech. As a result, the financial services market expanded to accommodate the demand from consumers looking for more flexible, convenient and easy ways to send, manage, save and invest their money.Do you not totally believe that premise? Then why have online Insurance quotes become more like one-click shopping experience on Amazon? Insurance fintech companies such as Esurance were one of the first innovators that drove change, only to be acquired by Allstate, an arguably more traditional insurance company. The effect of insurance fintech companies was not unnoticed by the industry.Redefining banks, lenders and everything in betweenAdditionally, it should be noted that at no point in time has the business relationship of companies to traditional banks ever been more disrupted.Let’s look at the historic way that businesses began. When I grew up, when you wanted to start a business, you went to the bank and you got a loan. Business owners today can launch a company without ever involving a bank, thanks to peer-to-peer platforms like Kickstarter where you can find investors within hours with a just a mouse click. I am not saying that having a bank account wouldn’t make it easier to engage in a business. The relationship has changed though.The way we pay for things has also radically evolved. With the emergence of Bitcoin, even the definition of currency has changed. These days “fintech” can encompass pretty much anything – it’s no longer limited to payment processors. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to define what makes a company a “lender” or a “bank.” For example, is Kickstarter a lending company now, if its members help to launch a business? Amazon now “lends” to small businesses anything they need based upon an algorithm.What about equipment manufacturers? Are they lending organizations? Increasingly, the answer is yes. When it comes to purchasing large equipment – say, a tractor from Caterpillar – you’re no longer tied to a traditional bank to process your loan. Many Fortune 500 companies (including Caterpillar, Allstate and State Farm) are entering the financial services space, allowing customers to bypass banks and self-finance directly through the manufacturer or insurer.Don’t lose sight of the dataAnd let’s not forget about the data security story here amid this financial services feeding frenzy. Financial organizations possess a massive, sprawling footprint of sensitive consumer and business data encompassing credit reports, credit histories, payroll information, tax information and more.The challenge comes when the industry evolves at such a rapid pace without ensuring that the protections, governance and controls associated with the traditional financial world remain in place. This presents an urgent and critical call to action for emerging fintech players to prioritize data security and governance and to educate themselves about the industry-specific regulations and requirements specific to the financial services sector. For example, Social Finance (SoFi) recently settled with authorities around their use of “soft pull” of consumer’s credit reports that were used in marketing campaigns.Many of the new entrants to the space are founded by teams that lack a formal financial or banking background – they may come from internet or tech companies, for example. As a result, they may not even know to ask the most basic, but very critical, questions about data storage and protection, as well as industry regulations and policies specific to financial organizations:Should I use encryption?Have I implemented solid security controls around storage?What regulations like GLBA, Dodd-Frank, Glass-Steagall, and FCRA impact a fintech startup and their usage and governance around consumer data? (with a small “trick” question in there)How can I avoid becoming the next security breach waiting to happen?Will banks become obsolete?Despite its rapid growth, remember that we’re still early in the game when it comes to fintech. It’s premature to say that traditional banking organizations will fade away entirely, the reality is that there has to be some bare minimum of a construct for businesses to make and sell goods and services. You might be buying supplies via some form of alternative lending versus writing an old-school paper check, but you’ll still, in some form or another, leverage a financial services organization. European banks are already starting to broker partnerships with fintech companies to better meet their customer’s needs. Insurance companies acquired most of the insurance fintech startups, so that route is possible as well. Disruption will inevitably change the current order of things a little bit, but I don’t foresee any major downfall of the industry.I’d like to close with a quote from Clayton Christiansen’s book, The Innovator’s Dilemma about the origins of disruption:“Disruptive technologies bring to a market a very different value proposition than had been available previously. Generally, disruptive technologies underperform established products in mainstream markets. But they have other features that a few fringe (and generally new) customers value. Products based on disruptive technologies are typically cheaper, simpler, smaller, and, frequently, more convenient to use”
With the speed of innovation and rate of technological change today, it’s critical that everyone in the ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) ecosystem be aware of new technology inflections, and explore new technology directions and educational opportunities that will enable them to deliver to the business imperatives that emerge.Dell Technologies recently partnered with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) to explore how some of those emerging technologies such as AI, Robotics, VR, AR and Cloud Computing will shape the future. In the recently released report, “Next Era of Human-Machine Partnerships,” one of the key findings is that people will be learning “in the moment,” as the pace of change will be so rapid that new industries will be created and new skills will be required to survive.In order to stay ahead of that rapid pace of change, companies must innovate. Innovation is the lifeblood of Dell EMC and critical to us as well as to our customers’ success and competitive differentiation.To address and meet the demands of innovation for the digital economy, our External Research and Academic Alliances (ERAA) team, as part of the Dell EMC Global Office of the CTO, explores emerging technologies (“horizon watching”) and new business opportunities/skills that will be required for the “Next ERAA”.We explore, engage and share knowledge with leading global researchers and faculties across the ecosystem to increase our speed and breadth of innovation. It’s not just a monetary investment, it’s a collaborative engagement with our Dell EMC technology thought leaders, sharing in an open and sometimes unexpected environment. For example, what’s a cranberry farm have do with IoT/sensor networks? The partnership accomplishes more than you can imagine.Sometimes, the outcome of the explorations might be “understanding what NOT to do, which can be as important as understanding what to do”.ERAA plays an active role as a community partner to share knowledge gained from these engagements to build the education and knowledge base for future innovators. By collaborating with 2700+ academic institutions in 93 countries through our Academic Alliance Education Program, we’ve closed the growing technology skills gap for over 640,000 students since the program’s inception and contributed a global in kind value of $265M in educational support for 2016.The Academic Alliance Education Program offers unique ‘open’ curriculum-based education on technology topics such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and information storage and management (such as our free foundational IT courses). We also access and share a number of other educational opportunities, which includes a close partnership with the Cloud Foundry Foundation.“What a long, strange trip it’s been. We’ve democratized information and changed the way we live, learn and communicate.” –Michael DellAre you interested in innovating with us for the Next ERAA to keep changing the way we live, learn, and communicate? Please reach out to me directly at [email protected]
Malicious cyberattacks are commonplace within our constantly transforming IT world. It should be well known by now that even with an all-encompassing strategy complete with best-in-class breach detection and prevention and data security technology, the likelihood of a successful cyberattack is still possible. The urgent question IT Directors and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are now asking their teams is, “How cyber-resilient is my organization?”.While a heavy portion of an IT team’s efforts are dedicated to instituting attack prevention technology, promoting good IT hygiene among and trying to stop bad things from happening, organizations should also plan for incident response and overall cyber-resilience.When a successful attack happens, from a people and process perspective, is everybody on the team aware of their role? What do those roles entail? Does the current infrastructure enable the team and organization for successful incident response and recovery?Another aspect to carefully consider is involving cross-functional members of the business in the planning and response, as the damage from cyberattacks are often far stretching and are just as much of a business problem as an IT problem. In fact, a custom research study conducted by ESG for RSA in June 2018 found that 69 percent of respondents agreed that the relationship between IT security and business risk can be difficult to coordinate.In this video, hear more from Dell EMC’s Product Manager for Cyber Recovery Stefan Voss about the different approaches required to effectively respond to cyber-attack incidents:Dell EMC Cyber Recovery Software Recovering data from a cyberattack requires a different approach vs. typical disaster recovery. The goal of cyber incident response is to ultimately get the organization back to an optimal, steady state as quickly as possible. Ultimately, when blindly applying already existing Disaster Recovery or Operational Recovery procedures and plans, they will quickly show their low success rate in cyber-attack situations and scenarios.Understanding this led us to announce the Dell EMC Cyber Recovery solution, an easy-to-deploy management and automation software, in October 2018. We have applied strengths in our portfolio to address this specific requirement with a unique architecture that provides true data isolation and flexibility for our customers. Customers have responded very positively to this, with one saying he can sleep better at night knowing his data is safe.See Cyber Recovery in Action at RSA ConferenceStop by the Dell Technologies booth #4535 at the RSA Conference next week to see a demo and speak with a data protection expert about how you can help your organization and business become truly cyber-resilient. Cyber Resilience and Incident Response planning will be a heavy discussion topic at the RSA Conference panel session “Ransomware Attack Protection and Recovery: Lessons from the Front Lines,” including our own Stefan Voss, senior director, product management, Dell EMC. You can reserve a seat via the link above and make sure it is part of your RSA Conference agenda.We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco at RSA Conference 2019!If you would like to learn more about Dell EMC Cyber Recovery software in the meantime, visit Dell EMC Cyber Recovery.
BEIJING (AP) — China says its military drills near Taiwan serve as a stern warning against foreign interference and independence moves in the self-governing island off its east coast. Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian made the remarks Wednesday in China’s first official comment on its flying of a dozen or more warplanes near Taiwan on two occasions last weekend. The U.S. responded to the first round of flights with a statement urging China “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan.” The Chinese government regards Taiwan as a renegade province that should be united with mainland China.
BERLIN (AP) — Swiss investigators say “high-risk flying” by the pilots of a vintage propeller plane led to a 2018 crash in the Alps that killed all 20 people on board. The 79-year-old Junkers Ju-52 operated by local airline Ju-Air crashed in southeastern Switzerland on Aug. 4, 2018. The airplane, which was carrying 17 passengers and three crew members, slammed near-vertically into a mountain. It was flying back from Locarno in southern Switzerland to its base near Zurich. The Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board said in its final report Thursday that “the pilots’ high-risk flying was a direct cause of the accident.”
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s defense minister says a joint Turkish-Russian observation center to monitor a cease-fire deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh will become operational on Saturday. Hulusi Akar said in a statement on Friday that a Turkish general and 38 personnel, would be on duty at the center which aims to monitor possible violations of the truce. He did not provide further information. Turkey and Russia agreed to form an observation center shortly after the cease-fire agreement, reached in November, ended six weeks of intense fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Russia, which brokered the cease-fire, has separately deployed nearly 2,000 peacekeepers for at least five years to monitor the agreement.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s highest court has canceled several provisions of the country’s electoral law as discriminatory small parties. The Constitutional Court dismissed those rules that it said gave big parties disproportionately high numbers of seats in Parliament after elections. The court ruled Wednesday it’s not in line with the proportional representation electoral system used at the election for the lower house of Parliament. It has also canceled parts of the law that requires coalitions to win more votes than parties to gain seats. Both chambers of Parliament need to agree on necessary changes to amend the electoral law in line with the court’s verdict ahead of general elections scheduled for October.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York judge ruled Friday that Republican Claudia Tenney defeated U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi by 109 votes in the nation’s last undecided congressional race. The ruling by Judge Scott DelConte could clear the way for Tenney to be sworn in as the representative for central New York’s 22nd Congressional District, barring emergency intervention by a state appeals court. DelConte’s ruling came after he spent three months reviewing ballot challenges and trying to fix a myriad of problems with vote tabulation. He rejected an argument by Brindisi’s lawyers that certification of the election results be delayed until an appeals court had a chance to review the case.