Optimizing the Value of Virtual Client Computing with Converged Infrastructure

first_imgIDC predicts that by 2018 approximately 40B devices including those carried by 3.8B mobile users will produce about 6.75TB of data per person a day! Likewise, the entry of untrusted devices, multiple OS’s, and consumer-oriented applications into what used to be a controlled IT environment creates an onslaught of potential security holes and governance nightmares.Virtual Client Computing (VCC) has long held the promise of easing the delivery of desktops and applications to business users in an efficient and secure way, while also reducing operational costs. However, when attempting to centralize and run desktop/app workloads in the datacenter, IT often struggles with the complexity of designing, implementing, and managing the infrastructure required to operate a high-availability virtualized client environment. The inability to address these challenges can directly impact end-user experience, adoption, and ultimately the success of the implementation. Likewise, we often find that, when not properly planned and designed, VDI deployments begin to either stall or fail once they being to reach approximately 1,000+ users in production due to network and storage performance degradations.I invite you to read the IDC Analyst Connection, sponsored by VCE, where I discuss recent trends and advancements in converged infrastructure and VCC technologies that stand to enable organizations to optimize virtual client computing. Topics include:End-user computing trends IT organizations should be aware of and/or plan forKey changes in VCC softwareCommon technology challenges in planning and/or designing a virtualized end-user computing environmentOptions to efficiently and effectively scale the supporting infrastructure and reduce total cost of ownershipHow to optimize ongoing performance and quickly mitigate service degradations, particularly as scaling requirements increaseThere are several key benefits of converged infrastructure-based offerings that are making these systems increasingly become a preferred platform for VCC rollouts. For instance, converged infrastructure systems allow the supporting virtual desktop infrastructure to be easily tuned to the size appropriate for a given organization. This helps IT avoid “VDI stall” and deliver service to thousands of users across multiple device types and geographies.I find it’s key to take the entire data center architecture into account when considering VDI solutions on converged infrastructure. For instance:Consider current data center design as well as future aspirations to operate a more traditional or software-defined environment (or a hybrid mix of the two).Evaluate the full range of converged infrastructure systems (e.g., block, rackscale or appliance) to determine which flavor best aligns with datacenter requirements.Seek solutions that stand to streamline and optimize your IT environment, such as a storage-area network (SAN) that provides fast response times, remains highly responsive under heavy workloads, and scales to enterprise levels.Consider a VDI model where desktops are running in a centralized environment, as opposed to a highly distributed VDI model that relies on a WAN infrastructure, which can impact performance.When properly designed, implemented, and managed, VCC running on converged infrastructure stands to enable the highly secure, reliable, and efficient delivery of business critical desktops, applications, and data to tens of thousands of users across varying device types.last_img read more

Dell and Partners Accelerating SDS Innovation

first_imgExpanding Dell Collaboration with ScalityToday, Dell and Scality announced that we have combined engineering efforts to offer the Dell SD7000-S for Scality RING environments – the industry’s densest object storage platform with 172TB of raw capacity per rack unit.&nbsp;</p><p>The Dell SD7000-S storage server is configured, validated and tested for Scality RING software. It provides an effective solution for capacity-intensive file and object storage in content distribution, active archives, media and entertainment, and web and cloud environments. The SD7000-S with Scality RING can expand to multiple petabytes and billions of objects with near-linear performance scaling, offering joint customers a single source for acquisition, deployment and support. This ultra-dense storage server provides several benefits to customers, including:Reduced datacenter power, cooling and rack space;More efficient deployment; andLess hardware to manage and maintain for RING deploymentsThese are just a few examples of how Dell is working with customers and partners on a global level to offer the industry’s most comprehensive and tailored portfolio of SDS solutions. We are focused on the needs of our customers and will continue to accelerate the pace of innovation to offer SDS solutions that meet the unique demands of their workload requirements and deliver lasting business value. While it’s true that software-defined storage is being deployed with increasing frequency – industry analysts estimate it to be growing more than 20 percent annually with HCI growing even faster at nearly 60 percent – vendor offerings and delivery models are diverse and need to be aligned with the customer’s use case, environment and other requirements. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for SDS and successful deployment is largely dependent on picking the “right tool for the job.”That’s why over the last four years, Dell has taken a forward-looking approach to software defined storage by partnering with leading companies like Microsoft, Nexenta, Nutanix, Scality and VMware. This is the same tailored choice strategy we employ for hyper-converged infrastructure. In case you missed it, recently we made a big Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) announcement where we expanded our already industry-leading portfolio of HCI solutions with new additions including VCE VxRail appliances and VxRack systems, enhancements to our XC Series of Web-Scale Converged appliances powered by Nutanix and flexible VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes.This approach enables us to leverage our proven PowerEdge server platform, storage expertise and best-of-breed SDS software to offer workload-specific solutions that are configured, validated, and tested with a single point of support for our customers.We’ve developed a very open SDS portfolio providing tailored choice by partnering with leading storage software providers to jointly-engineer agile, open solutions that reduce capital and operating expenditures, simplify deployment and management, and maintain flexibility for future growth. Here are a few recent examples of our collaborative relationships and how our customers are deploying software-defined storage solutions in their environments.Customer MomentumOne SDS solution customers favor is the Dell XC Web-scale Converged Appliance powered by Nutanix. Dell XC Series appliances install quickly, integrate easily into any data center, and can be deployed for multiple virtualized workloads including desktop virtualization, database and private cloud projects. Dell recently became the industry’s first Nutanix-based hyper-converged infrastructure solution to incorporate the latest Intel Broadwell processors.CarePoint Health, which operates three hospitals and more than 55 medical practices in New Jersey, upgraded its outdated IT infrastructure with Dell XC Series Software-Defined Storage. Now CarePoint Health has the ability to scale systems and eliminate other infrastructure. “Our goal is to provide our medical professionals with ‘invisible IT’ that makes it easier for them to care for patients. The Dell XC Appliances give our staff a highly-available, reliable storage solution and the hyper-converged form factor reduces complexity for our IT generalists. Additionally, the XC appliances allow us to scale as our needs grow in the future.” – Joel Taylor, chief information officer at CarePoint HealthCustomers are also choosing our Dell Nexenta solutions that enable enterprise data centers to meet large-scale capacity requirements cost-effectively and to upgrade as needed, without disruption.U2 Cloud, a hosting provider in Florida, needed large-scale, affordable content solutions. U2 adopted software-defined networking (SDN) and SDS from Dell and Nexenta, including NexentaStor SDS software, as well as Dell servers and storage. “The Dell Nexenta solution gave us the performance and cost-per-user we needed. Now we can add new users quickly and efficiently.” – Pete Valentine, executive president at U2 CloudDell Storage for Microsoft Storage Spaces provides an effective storage building block and a simple, effective architecture that enables end-to-end architectures for workload-specific solutions such as private cloud deployments (using Microsoft Azure), SQL, Hyper-V or as a storage target for backup and recovery.Fasthosts, a United Kingdom-based domain web hosting service, selected a Dell Storage for Microsoft Storage Spaces solution using Dell MD series storage and PowerEdge servers, all backed by Dell ProSupport. Fasthosts needed a storage system for its SMB customers that provided an easily accessible cloud platform. As a result, Fasthosts’ customers have noticed the performance improvements for their websites and applications. “With SDS, we created a solution to rival other large, out-of-the-box cloud solutions. Microsoft and Dell demonstrated that this offers better value, meaning we can concentrate on what we do best: hosting and automating high-quality technology.”- James Brown, product manager at Fasthostslast_img read more

Future – Proofing: Technology, Society, Business

first_imgThe following is a guest post by Ari Lightman, Distinguished Service Professor, Digital Media and Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. He co-leads the Chief Information Security Officer Executive Education and Certification Program and is Commercialization Advisor for the Center for Machine Learning and Health. Ari is also Director of the CIO Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He teaches classes focused on assessing and measuring the impact of emerging technologies, including Digital Transformation. A considerable amount of time is spent thinking about the future and the promise of technology.  How will our lives change (for the better or the worse) as a result of the constant push of innovative applications, gadgets and systems?  Movies, like Terminator, Minority Report, and, one of my personal favorites, Blade Runner, provide a hypothesized glimpse.  Often times, they focus on a dystopian world overrun by technology creating a divide between those who benefit and those subservient.  It makes for good movie watching.  Personally, I don’t have a clue whether there is any truth in some of these portrayals, but I know everyone needs to prepare for digital disruption.  At the most basic level, we need to have a greater understanding of the underlying technology that will fuel these advances and the services required to move them into the mainstream.  Dell Technologies’ recent report along with the Institute For the Future (IFTF) called “The next era of human machine partnerships” asked leading experts to share their thoughts on the implications for some emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, as well as Virtual and Augmented Reality.  Not only does the report explain these nascent technologies but provides concrete examples of their application.The report goes a step further in assessing the impact of technology advances on consumers, organizations and society addressing questions we all should be thinking about: How will we interface with these emerging technologies? What are potential hurdles that need to be addressed? In the future, where human and machine interaction is seamless, does everyone benefit or are parts of society left behind? These secondary and tertiary impacts of an increasingly digitized world need to be examined and developed along with input not just from consumers and technologists but also from economists, regulators, ethicists, etc.In my role as educator at Carnegie Mellon University, I often get an opportunity to listen to futurists and visionaries share their thoughts on how we will live and work in the future. Discussion of the singularity, when robotic systems become sentient and trigger an unprecedented level of technology advances, is fascinating. The question is, what do organizations need to do today? When I look around the audience at these talks and get a chance to speak with participants, their enthusiasm often gives way to confusion and disillusionment when they try to reconcile where they currently are in this idealized future portrayed by the speaker.  I can sympathize.  When students and sponsors ask me for predictions, I tell them “I don’t even know what I will have for lunch today,” let alone how advances like VR will alter how information is consumed in 2030.  The one thing I do feel strongly about is “Disruption is coming.” (Shout out to Game of Thrones fans). I know I am not alone here. Dell EMC’s chief technology officer, John Roese, offers an interesting perspective in Luminaries – Store your data… in DNA?If we agree that these technologies will play an increasingly important and critical role in our personal and work lives, how can we take a pragmatic view on logical and reasonable steps to incrementally work toward this future without being blindsided by disruptive forces? Let’s call this practice future proofing….The first step is to develop resiliency. – Remember the old saying “You have to get back on the horse that threw you”. Shocks will occur and they will become more frequent, so how do organizations adapt and learn how to minimize these disruptive shocks – become more resilient?  Those who are complacent will become disenfranchised. The organizations my institution has worked with, and who we consider ahead of the curve, have put some of the following into place:Build a Culture around DataAt Carnegie Mellon University, courses in Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and other ways to interpret data have exploded and will continue to grow in popularity. Incidentally, CMU’s Libratus, an AI that beat the world’s best poker players, is one example in the above mentioned report. From an organization perspective, how do we operationalize data-driven discoveries; what are the appropriate governance structures; how do we prepare (understand, predict and organize) around new regulations concerning privacy (e.g. GDPR), how do we incorporate security (proactive and reactive) into the beginning of any development effort (not simply as a bolt on); how do we provide appropriate levels of education on different data types, stores, analytical methods and interpretation? John Roese provides a viewpoint on the role of technology regulation in a recent podcast. Simplify ComplexityUnfortunately the world is becoming a more complex place.  With increasing levels of data, different means of communicating, learning and working, a plethora of policies, procedures, and organizational types, thinking about all the different facets around new initiatives becomes quite dizzying.  Let’s look at data.  There is an explosion of data, coming from a multitude of different sources in a variety of forms resulting in a slew of possible interpretations.  How do we explain this to various stakeholders with different objectives and levels of expertise?  Hint: Learn how to tell effective stories. At Carnegie Mellon University, there are a number of programs and classes examining how to understand information generation, dissemination and cognition from data-driven communication.Build a Safe Place for ExperimentationIf disruptive shocks and complexity are increasing and the pace of technological innovations is accelerating; organizations will need to learn how to experiment.  Too many unknowns leading to indecisiveness can be addressed through experimentation.  However, many organizations don’t have the capacity or wherewithal to allow, understand and use experimentation.  VMware’s CTO, Ray O’Farrell, offers thoughts on nurturing a culture of innovation and trust.Embrace Uncomfortable DiscussionsThere is no covering up that disruption will lead to displacement.  An open dialogue on how technological advance will impact industries, companies and employees needs to occur to level set expectations and prepare the workforce.Understanding EmployeesWe spend an inordinate amount of time and money on understanding consumers and little on our own employees.  Effective use of technology is predicated on understand motivation and incentives, utilization requirements, and adoption patterns. We are approaching the most inter-generational workforce ever, resulting in different behavior patterns, learning modalities and preferred ways of working. Knowing your employees can help with smoother technical adoption, understanding of consumer behavior and the four other initiatives mentioned.These are simply a subset of processes at a high level that, I believe, need to be addressed to make an organization more resilient.  I’m sure there are plenty of others and it would be interesting to start a dialogue on what organizations are doing or thinking about, is it industry specific or is there commonality across different industries and how might we develop best practices that can serve as a guide to build help organizations become future-proof.Related content you might find interesting:Store your data… in DNA?Of risk and trust… in ITHello Alice! Scale your business… with AIRealizing 2030last_img read more

Iranian users of Signal messaging service say app blocked

first_imgTEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian users of the Signal messaging service say they have lost access to the app on their mobile devices. Users in several neighborhoods in the capital Tehran and at least three other major cities contacted by The Associated Press said Monday that access to the app was blocked gradually beginning in the afternoon. They said they could use the system through virtual private networks, services that shield internet users by encrypting their data traffic. Some still had access through desktop version of the app. State media did not report that the app was blocked and calls to authorities were not immediately returned Monday.last_img read more

Dutch lockdown extended as virus variants gain strongly

first_imgTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has extended almost all of his country’s tough lockdown measures for at least a month, saying that the rapid spread of the new more transmissible variant made the decision unavoidable. Rutte said Tuesday that a curfew imposed 10 days ago that triggered widespread rioting in its first days will remain in force. He said the government will weigh up the lockdown options again early next week. The premier spoke hours after the country’s public health institute said that new coronavirus infections fell 20% over the last week but more transmissible variants now account for two-thirds of Dutch infections.last_img read more

Final two defendants in Honolulu corruption case sentenced

first_imgHONOLULU (AP) — A retired Honolulu police officer and a Big Island firefighter were sentenced in connection with a corruption case involving a former Honolulu prosecutor and her retired police chief husband. Retired Honolulu officer Niall Silva was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges in 2016. Big Island firefighter Jesse Ebersole, who in 2018 pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to obstruct, was also sentenced. Former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her now estranged husband, former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, were both convicted of conspiracy, obstruction and bank fraud amid a federal investigation.last_img read more