New VCE VxRail Appliance Family Eliminates Remote Office “Snowflakes”

first_imgThis 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”last_img read more

The biomass way

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaIf you know how to do it, you can turn a handful of wood into enough fuel to power a small car about 1.5 miles, says a University of Georgia researcher.Wood chips, sawdust or agricultural waste are examples of biomass. Hydrocarbons, such as coal and oil, and carbohydrates, found in biomass, are about the same chemically, said K.C. Das, an engineering professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The biorefinery process is similar to refining crude oil. It’s a way of turning biomass into products like fuel, char and chemicals that can be used to make a product like plastic.”What we’re doing is looking at various sorts of biomass available and how to use it in the most optimum manner,” said Das, who also coordinates the UGA Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program.Energy is all around, Das says. There’s solar, hydro and wind energy, for example. Energy is also in biomass.If you’ve ever thrown a stick onto a fire to keep it burning, you’ve seen biomass energy at work. But there’s more inside waiting to be unlocked.”By taking a biorefinery approach,” Das said, “we’re looking at making systems that are sustainable and utilizing as much of the biomass as possible.”One way to do this is through pyrolysis, which uses high heat. Simply put, if you took a handful of wood pellets and heated them to 800 degrees Fahrenheit in the absence of oxygen, you’d get oil, gas and carbon char, the remains of the wood.You could stop there. But you could go further and get more from the wood. Ratchet up the heat to the oil and gas to 1,475 degrees and throw in steam and a catalyst like nickel and you can capture hydrogen for fuel cells.The common way to make hydrogen now is to use natural gas, which isn’t renewable. The natural gas way also releases greenhouse gases, believed to cause global warming. Pyrolysis doesn’t create any new greenhouse gases.There are some hitches, Das said. The oil it produces is very reactive, making it hard to store and handle. But it can be modified to run in an engine with a few extra steps. CAES scientists are working on that, too.From recovering chicken fat from poultry plants to finding the right feedstocks for industrial use, 25 faculty and staff members are working on 15 projects under the Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program umbrella, which started about two years ago.Just as gasoline prices have spiked in recent years, so has U.S. interest in biorefining technology. But it’s not really new. “A lot of this technology has been sitting on the shelf in the United States for decades because crude oil was cheap,” he said.Countries such as Russia and South Africa have used biorefining techniques and products since the 1950s, he said. Brazilians have run their automobiles on ethanol refined from sugarcane since the 1970s.”I think the average person would be surprised at what could be available through conversion technology,” Das said. “It’s competitive today because fossil fuel prices are going up.”Last year, CAES biorefining and hydrogen-production projects received $1.8 million in federal and state grants. The same amount is expected in 2007.”What we’re doing and what we’ll continue to do is improve the technology in an effort to make it more widely available and sustainable,” Das said.It’s tough to predict when products from biomass will replace those made from crude oil.”Some of it has already begun, like bioplastics,” he said. “I think within the next five to 10 years, the technology and the products will be more widely available and accepted. … There’s a lot happening now.”last_img read more

Kane hopes to break 20-goal barrier

first_img Press Association Harry Kane believes he can fend off the challenge of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado to become Tottenham’s 20-goal striker. “The next target is 20 goals: obviously I’m on 14 now so it’s six more to go,” said Kane. “I’m just trying to do my best for the team and to get on the scoresheet. “I think I can do that, I’ve been given the chance this season and I’m moving in the right direction. “I’ve been doing the right things at the minute but there’s still a long way and a lot of games to go this season, so hopefully I can keep playing and keep scoring. “Sometimes young English players that come through the ranks don’t always get the chance at the top level, but I’ve been fortunate to get this chance. “It proves that you don’t always have to buy players, there are players that are home grown that are ready to prove themselves. “It’s good to have Ade (Adebayor) back, a top striker, he’s training well and I’m sure when called upon he’ll be ready.” Spurs fan Kane grew up idolising Teddy Sheringham, and admitted he gets goose bumps when the Tottenham supporters now sing his name. Spurs’ 21-year-old youth team product scored his 14th goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Burnley, then quickly targeted his next milestone. The Enfield-born striker hailed boss Mauricio Pochettino for handing him the chance to prove himself despite Soldado and Adebayor costing Spurs more than £30million. Tottenham are primed for a Premier League table tussle with north London rivals Arsenal heading into the new year. Spurs have not finished ahead of Arsenal in the league since 1995, and Kane conceded he cannot remember the last time Tottenham claimed the north London bragging rights. “I know how much it would mean to everyone around the club to finish above Arsenal,” said Kane. “I wouldn’t really remember the last time Spurs finished above Arsenal if I’m honest, it’s been a long time and we’re trying to put that right this season. “To hear them sing my name when I came onto the pitch, it makes me quite emotional. “I was a fan once singing Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Keane’s name. “It definitely helps, it can only spur you on, you want to do your best for the fans.” Kane’s 14 goals in all competitions have put him in contention for an England call-up, particularly as Roy Hodgson’s striking options appear increasingly limited. Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Calum Chambers all saw their international credentials enhanced under Pochettino at Southampton and the Argentine believes Kane has the right characteristics to follow suit. “Harry is a typical English player – he is a striker, a strong character, he works hard and he has quality,” Pochettino said. “We are enjoying having these young talents and maybe it is our skill that we are developing this type of young player. “We are pleased to develop players for the national team. In England we are in a difficult period – English football at the moment needs to believe in its young talent. “We can only help the young talent in England because I think this is our responsibility. “When you are a manager and you arrive in a new country, you have try to help the young talent at the club and give them the right conditions to work.” last_img read more

USC Wrigley Institute celebrates 20 year anniversary

first_imgThe USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Los Angeles Yacht Club in San Pedro last week.This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Wrigley Institute as well as the 50th anniversary of the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. The Wrigley Institute was founded in 1995 and is a forum for marine and environmental research. Robert Woolley, director of development at the Wrigley Institute, said the institute would not exist today without the Wrigley family’s generosity.“The institute itself came out of the Wrigley family’s dedication to environmental awareness and environmental issues, particularly around water issues, that needed addressing,” Woolley said. “I view myself as a steward of their gift and their involvement, and it’s a thrill for me to work for them in that capacity and what was set out 20 years ago by doing what I do.”The event, which was held on Thursday evening, featured a panel with Wrigley Institute Inaugural Director Dr. Tony Michaels as well as the fourth and current director Roberta Marinelli, who took over in July of 2011. Michaels said that the institute’s current goals are to promote environmental research.“The institute’s goal is to be a source of environmental information, which includes support of basic research both in the natural sciences but also reaching more broadly into the social sciences,” Michaels said. “To be an effective communicator of that research to both scientists, policy makers, and the broader maker so that wise decisions regarding environmental problems can be made.”The Wrigley Institute conducts extensive research to solve today’s environmental problems. For example, a few of their current projects include testing the use of bacterial metabolism in microbial fuel cells as an energy source to break down human and industrial waste without the pollution and contamination that are biproducts of most widely used energy sources.Woolley said the ability of the institute and the marine science center to study the large variety of climates in Los Angeles County sets them apart from similar organizations in other locations.“When you look at the institute itself, we have a footprint here on campus, we have a footprint down in the harbor with the Southern California Marine Institute, and then we have the marine lab on Catalina which is adjacent to preserved land stewarded by the Catalina Island Conservancy, and then the Big Fisherman’s Cove is a marine protected area,” Michaels said. “We’re the only institute that can take advantage of this dramatic change of environments within a 22-mile stretch.”Marinelli stressed that she hopes the event would help raise awareness of the interconnectivity of our actions and how the things that we do might have environmental side effects that we do not consider.“I think we all think about things like, ‘If I let my tap run water goes down the drain,’ but we don’t necessarily think about what that means for all of the other things that we think we should have in order to live,” Marinelli said. “So recognizing that interconnectivity and understanding the real imperative to reimagine how we do things is the message that we need to put forward.”Woolley said that he hopes the event helps raise the profile of the institute among students at the university.Woolley said that the Wrigley Institute has been successful in promoting interdisciplinary cooperation and that the institute actively seeks students of business and philosophy and other fields in order to objectively look at the research from multiple perspectives, not just a scientific one.“We’re still a best-kept secret of the university. We have a number of students who actually go and study on the island each spring, and that’s an opportunity that I think not many students know,” Woolley said. “It involves not just the sciences, but the people who interpret the sciences and who are going to implement the policies that are interpreted from those sciences.”last_img read more