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Dell TechCenterDell’s Hosted Private Cloud Service is Dedicated to Customer Success

According to analysts, 33 percent of enterprise companies use a private cloud solution. A third of those companies use a hosted private cloud service. These services are often custom-designed to deliver business results faster. Dell’s hosted private cloud service, Dell Cloud Dedicated, has been identified by Forrester Research as a “top performer” in their recent Forrester Wave Report in December 2014. This report details findings on how well Dell fulfills enterprise customer requirements to help infrastructure and operations (I&O) pros select the right partner for their hosted private cloud solution.

Large companies, such as General Electric are using hosted private cloud to accelerate business results and speed-to-market. Why is Dell successful in delivering these services, as Forrester Research suggests? Dell Cloud Dedicated helps customers navigate complex cloud landscapes, and is designed to serve as an extension of customers’ data center. Dell Cloud Dedicated allows customers to securely and reliably deploy traditional applications on managed cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service, either hosted in the customer’s data center, or a Dell data center—or both. With familiar management tools, customers can quickly begin using the service without having to learn new interfaces or modify processes. And customers are reporting that the Dell Cloud Dedicated team exceeds customer expectations. In a recent customer survey their Net Promoter Score was 95 percent.

How can the team boast such success? The answer is easy—focus and dedication.

The Dell Cloud Dedicated team stretches from Texas to India to Eastern Europe and is led by Ozan Talu. Ozan leads an organization of industry professionals including engineering, product management, delivery, security and compliance, and various other functions who help deliver the Dell Cloud Dedicated service. Through continuous customer interaction, Ozan also establishes the strategic direction of Dell’s managed and hosted private cloud services to ensure they meet the evolving needs of customers.

Recently, the Dell Cloud Insight team had a chance to sit down with Ozan to discuss his thoughts on IT’s role in organizations today, and how cloud can help IT transform organizational culture for better business results. Please take a few minutes to watch this candid interview.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Two minutes on cloud from Ozan Talu, Director Dell Cloud Dedicated

To hear more from Ozan regarding how Dell Cloud Dedicated Services can help IT enable this transformation through private cloud, watch the full interview here.  

To access the full Forrester Research Private Cloud Wave report and additional Dell Cloud Insight research and videos, click here.  

Visit www.dell.com/mycloud for more information on Dell Cloud Services. 

Dell TechCenterTwain Error - Scanner not found?

When an organization moves to a virtual environment, users often experience disruptions to their document scanning workflow and may be presented with this vexing error message, which indicates that the scanner is not found : Why is my scanner not...(read more)

Dell TechCenterI’ll migrate to Exchange 2013 and Office 365 — right after this movie.

What do you do on a Friday afternoon when spring is in the air and you’re on the hook to write a blog post about migrating email to Office 365? Where do you turn for inspiration? Chad Lindley and Ron Robbins busted their humps to write a white...(read more)

Dell TechCenterSee you @ Interop next week!

We are excited to return to Las Vegas for Interop 2015, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire and inform the world's IT community. Interop 2015 will held at the Mandalay Bay Convetion Center, April 27-May 1.

At Interop this year, we will discuss our new future-ready solutions for the next generation open networking datacenter. We will also participate in the following Interop keynotes and panel discussions. The Dell Networking presence at Interop 2015 will be stronger than ever this year, so make sure to add the below sessions to your Interop schedule!

Keynote: SDN First Steps

  • Brian Gillooly (UBM), Guido Appenzeller (VMware), Arpit Joshipura (Dell), Sarwar Raza (HP) on Thursday, April 30, 8:30AM - 10:15AM

Workshop: Software-Defined Networking and Network Virtualization

  • Speakers: Frank D'Agostino (Cisco), Eric Hanselman (451 Research), Ivan Pepelnjak (ipSpace.net AG), Bruce Davie (VMware), Amit Sanyal (Dell), Vinay Saxena (HP), Nand Mulchandani (Citrix) Amit Sanyal, Senior Director of Product Management and Technical Marketing, Dell on Monday, April 27, 8:30am-4:30pm

Dell Networking

This year at Interop, Dell will introduce new future-ready solutions for the next generation open networking datacenter. Dell’s Open Networking is a paradigm shift that provides open and innovative networking choices by leveraging standardized, innovative and best-or-breed solutions which serve customers unique needs.

Dell Converged Solutions

The Dell PowerEdge FX converged infrastructure is a scalable, block by block, modular architecture that can be built to optimally fit any computing environment and support legacy or modern workloads on a single platform. At Interop, Dell will showcase some of these modular building blocks, including:

  • FC630 half-width 2-socket server block with Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3 product family performance (up to four per FX2 chassis)
  • FC430 quarter-width 2-socket with Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3 product family is the ultimate in shared infrastructure density (up to eight per FX2 chassis)
  • FD332 half-width storage block with 12Gbps SAS for the ultimate dense direct attach storage with unprecedented flexibility.
  • FN IO Aggregator that is able to simplify network deployment by aggregating cabling from 8 cables to as little as a single cable; offers cost-effective 10GbE performance; and enables LAN/SAN convergence

Dell Solutions Expo Booth #1827

The Dell Expo Booth will feature several product demonstrations, including recently launched Z9100-ON switch, and a mini-theater where you can learn the latest on our products and solutions directly from Dell product development engineers and strategists.

Our expo booth will also showcase our series of Virtual Racks for Servers, Storage and Networking. These web-based demo tools provide an interactive view into our complete ESG portfolio with product videos, presentations and detailed specifications for every offering.

You can find out more about our participation at the Dell TechCenter and get real time feeds from the conference by following @DellNetworking and #Interop on Twitter.

Dell TechCenterDell Security Wows the Crowds at RSA 2015

"Better Security means Better Business.” 

That is Dell’s message at RSA Conference and Dell was at RSA to prove it. We kicked-off the week with sponsor session titled: “Embrace innovation: Security as a business enabler,” six educational breakout sessions and multiple theatre presentations by our Dell Security executives and experts panelists. We also launched the new Dell Secure Mobile Access 6200 and 7200.  

One of the most compelling issues addressed at RSA was the ever growing source and types of security threats. I had the chance to meet with press and analysts who were particularly eager to learn more about the 2015 Dell Security Annual Threat Report. According to the Threat Report, Dell’s sensors blocked 4.2 billion malware. The report identifies seven essential methods we recommend to block 2015 threats:

  • Defend the endpoint vigorously with access and device control technologies
  • Replace traditional firewalls with a Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)
  • Add a capable intrusion prevention system (IPS)
  • Ensure SSL decryption and inspection feature is turned on
  • Use Application Control and Content Filtering features to reduce the attack surface 
  • Layer the network defense with email security for secure email exchange
  • Always keep security services active and up-to-date on NGFW and IPS

In addition to threat intelligence, the conference highlighted the importance of a layered network security architecture that incorporates that intelligence to protect the enterprise. We wowed the crowds with Dell’s Massively Scalable Next-Gen Firewall Sandwich, which provides infinite, ultra high-performance deep packet inspection (DPI) and SSL inspection.

We also demoed newly released Dell Secure Mobile Access solution which increases mobile and remote worker productivity, protects data from threats, integrates with industry leading mobile management solutions and provides the most secure end-to-end mobile management and security solution for managed devices.  With the new SMA 11.2 release, the solution adds secure access to more resources using a standard HTML 5 browser, enabling intuitive access for most smartphones, tablets and laptop users. SMA also reduces reliance on troublesome Java and ActiveX components. In addition to existing support for HTML 5 browser access to RDP published applications and desktops, the release adds HTML 5 browser access to Citrix Xendesktop and Xenapps ICA support. The new SMA 6200 and 7200 appliances also offer increased scalability, with the SMA 6200 entry platform supporting up to 2,000 concurrent users, while the new SMA 7200 mid-range platform supports up to 10,000 concurrent users.

Among the Dell Security Solutions in the expo and theatre presentations for defending against today’s cyber attacks were:

  • The Ultimate Conundrum, Security and Data Analytics, John McClurg, VP and CSO, Dell
  • It is all about Scale Now, by Ixia Corporation
  • Survey Says? Have fun, win prizes and learn top Identity and Access Management challenges facing organizations today
  • Dell Endpoint Security Solutions- Securing &Protecting your Data Wherever It Goes
  • Open Firewall L3 Sandwich Demo – Network Security
  • Dell SonicWALL 2015 Annual Threat Report  - Network Security
  • Mobile Security Checklist: Get ahead of the next wave of access and security challenges
  • Dell SecureWorks

This year at RSA was the best I have attended in a decade. The highlight for me was to meet with our dedicated partners and customers who expressed their continued enthusiasm for our innovative network security, secure mobile access and email security solutions. The next-gen firewall is the heart-soul of the security architecture; we have demonstrated by combining Dell Networking switches and firewalls that we are better together. These achievements were recognized with Dell being presented with a plaque recognizing that the Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive E10800 earned a “recommended” rating from NSS Labs for the third time in their next-generation firewall category.

“Dell SonicWALL and the SuperMassive line have received ‘Recommended’ ratings in NSS tests for both NGFW and IPS over the last three years,” says Vikram Phatak, CEO, NSS Labs. “With their consistent performance in real world testing, Dell SonicWALL has proven that they offer compelling solutions that provide both consistently exceptional levels of security effectiveness and that are highly scalable to support the massive data, capacity and connectivity demands of even the largest enterprises.” 

Dell TechCenterEnabling offline productivity with a secure enterprise workspace

You’re heading to a conference out of town, and you have to finish that presentation before you land. You have your personal laptop with you on the trip, so you should be able to work on it during the flight, but there are a few challenges. First...(read more)

Dell TechCenterDell extends Open Networking to new boundaries

Today, we’re announcing the next leap forward in non-proprietary, open standards networking technology for the datacenter. Over a year ago, we launched our first open networking products – disaggregating network switching software and hardware and breaking down the monolithic, proprietary environments that have dominated networking. We’ve received very positive feedback from the analyst community and have been recognized as an innovative and disruptive data center networking vendor in today’s networking market.

Our customers have embraced this approach as well. “We run our enterprise on Linux and are excited to unlock the benefits of open source technology to improve our networking operations,” said Karl Armani, Head of Infrastructure and Operations at Medallia. “We chose Dell Networking because Dell offers unparalleled support and top notch engineering at an extremely competitive price point.”

We’re continuing our tradition of making the latest technology affordable and available to hundreds of millions of customers by introducing the Dell Networking Z9100-ON switch – offering 32 ports of 100GbE in just 1RU and multi-rate capabilities unseen in the market till now. The Z9100-ON provides 32 ports of 100GbE, 64 ports of 40GbE, 64 ports of 50GbE, 128 ports of 10GbE, or 128 ports of 25GbE all within a single RU switch for unprecedented choice and flexibility. With 32 ports of 100GbE in a single RU, the Z9100-ON provides 100GbE at 7x higher density per RU than the Cisco Nexus 9504.  We’re also introducing two additional open networking switches, the S3048-ON and the S4048-ON, providing 1/10/40GbE.

                                              Dell Networking Z9100-ON fabric switch

Additionally, we’re excited to announce a new open networking software partner, IP Infusion. In addition to Cumulus, and BigSwitch,  IP Infusion  gives customers an additional third party operating system option for Dell’s open networking switches  Customers will continue to be able to have the option of using Dell’s own operating system, the Dell Networking OS9.     

Check out the video below and follow us on Twitter @DellNetworking to learn more about these exciting new open networking products.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterSliding Into Home: Dell Technology Partner Program Wins

The primary mission of Dell’s Technology Partner program (TPP) is to build strong relationships with our partners that help them succeed in new ways.  I’m excited to share a few stories that illustrate the power of TPP in action!

Data Deposit Box and Caringo  

Data Deposit Box (DDB) is a rapidly growing cloud backup and recovery provider that provides entire business protection for small to medium sized businesses.  Since 2002, the company has amassed an impressive 60,000 customers acquired directly and through its extensive network of over 1,000 resellers and over 100 MSPs. But this growth raises the challenge of providing petabytes of rapidly scalable, easy to manage, economical storage infrastructure for tens of thousands of business customers worldwide.

The answer was a private cloud solution powered by Caringo Swarm running on Dell Servers.

Caringo and Dell integrated software defined storage attacks the cost of inflexibility at scale providing organizations across all industries with a cost-effective, massively scalable and easy to manage storage solution all on standard Dell servers and networking gear.  Click here for the detailed story.

AnesthesiaOS, Dell Software and Microsoft

AnesthesiaOS, a winner of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences and Dell Center for Entrepreneurs “Tech Innovation day,” is a cloud-based modular electronic health record (EHR) solution created by an anesthesiologist to enhance the point of care. The unique design improves the quality and accuracy of anesthesia records while still allowing providers to focus on their patients and not merely charting.

AnesthesiaOS collaborated with Dell Software and Microsoft to add real-time predictive analytics capabilities to its case management solution. The combined solution leverages Dell’s Statistica advanced analytics platform and Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning to empower anesthesiologists to better record, track and analyze patient data, to make real-time predictions about patient risk factors and to take preventative steps in a proactive manner.  Click here for the detailed story.

University of West of Scotland (UWS) and DisplayNote

The University of West of Scotland (UWS) has invested in several “pod” rooms to help make the learning experience more interactive, collaborative and flexible.

DisplayNote enables UWS to deliver anywhere, anytime education – all that’s required is an internet connection! DisplayNote is a software and app solution that allows users to work together and collaborate live on the same content at the same time. Participants can use the interactive whiteboard tools in their app to annotate, take notes and save.

“UWS chose DisplayNote as it was by far one of the easiest products in this genre to use and didn’t require any special hardware to be installed. We can teach students in different locations with comparative ease,” says Jim O’Donnell, Director of Information Services at UWS. Click here for the detailed story.

We’re proud to be part of a program that consistently delivers competitive solutions. Check out my previous blog Technology Partner Program Passes the Test  to learn how we build partnerships and certify partner solutions in our labs.

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest program and partner news and learn more about the Technology Partner Program at http://www.Dell.com/TechnologyPartner.

Dell TechCenterNew Citrix XenDesktop and XenAPP cartridge beta now open

I'm happy to announce we have an open beta for a brand new cartridge for Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition built from the ground-up for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp 7.0 and higher running on VMware. We developed this cartridge to meet...(read more)

Dell TechCenterSustainable Innovation Needs Technology Solutions and Computing at the Edge

The phrase “going off the grid” brings to my mind a cabin deep in the woods and very little contact with the outside world; but, rather than living on the edge of society it could mean “computing at the edge.”

Edge computing refers to many different possibilities, but in general it pushes applications and data analytics away from centralized physical hardware hubs to the extremes of a network. It was something several of the people I heard speak here at Dell headquarters this Earth Day mention when talking about a more sustainable future and the role technology can play.

“There are 20 million organizations around the world working to improve our planet, but they aren’t working together and sometimes even compete against each other,” Ron Garan said.

Garan has gone farther off the grid than the average person with 2,842 orbits of Earth and 178 days in space. The retired NASA astronaut is also a serial entrepreneur and started Manna Energy Foundation to focus on the development and implementation of technologies and the resulting social enterprise to power clean energy, water and telecoms. Ready to pitch in where he can, Garan also hopped on a bicycle today to help power the music at our Earth Day celebration.

But before putting in the pedal power, Garan discussed how the big data those millions of social good organizations hold around the edges of our connected world could be put to a greater use.

“We need to transform our mindset so that data sharing is viewed as a good thing. It’s the only way we’ll solve the problems,” he stressed. “Each organization has a piece of the puzzle and we need to bring them together.”

Pulling together an incredible velocity of data from smaller points is the challenge on which Pecan Street Inc CEO Brewster McCracken said they are focused. Started in 2009 with seed funding from The University of Texas, Pecan Street is advancing university research and accelerating innovation in water and energy – not just in Texas, although water use is a big topic in this big state.

Urban water use in Texas is growing nine times faster than all other uses combined, according to the Texas Water Development Board, and we’re in the midst of a severe drought. When my family recently went on a drive to view our state’s famous bluebonnets, I snapped this photo of Lake Buchanan. When full, it holds 875,588 acre-feet of water to supply the region. That white “T” you can see is a dock, the only blue surrounding it from the aforementioned flowers.

“People just don’t have good information on water,” McCracken said. His group is working to change that by creating the world’s largest research data base on energy use, but then the challenge he said is “how do you get all that data and convert it into useful information, delivered in an easy, mobile format?”

When they started the project they were in uncharted territory, but turned to Dell technology to create their initial homegrown SQL database. Two years ago, Dell joined the industry advisory council of Pecan Street to help them expand their work in energy big data and build on the Dell Smart Grid Data Management Solution.

“By this time next year, our University Municipal Water Consortium will be managing more customer water use data each month than all Texas water utilities combined,” McCraken noted. “And we will be doing it all on Dell systems!”

Pecan Street’s network of “citizen scientists” who have a low-watt sensor installed in their circuit panel, or data pulled from the cloud through their utility, are already contributing to first-of-its-kind energy use research. McCracken spoke about how it has led to an understanding of things like the optimum direction for solar panels to face, but that challenges remain in places like Hawaii where more home solar power is generated than can be put back into the grid.

That’s where the edge computing comes in and where Dell is again looking to help. By building gateways that allow sensors to parse the data at the edge of the network, partnering with customers on solutions in our Internet of Things lab, and participating in the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) that sets standards for connecting a multitude of household gadgets and appliances, we expand our Legacy of Good by helping our customers create their own.

Mark CathcartGreg Abbotts Audacity of Change

Governor Abbott, has been defending the moral and ethical freedoms of a bunch of scared, angry old white Christian men, and declared that it was time for Texas to defend the rest of America. Just in case there is any confusion about what he means, between him and Attorney General Paxton and their once every two years Texas leaders, here is a summary of what they have or are bringing you America.

If you hanker for the 1950’s, Texas is bringing them back a fast as they can. The Old Christian White guys shouldn’t be afraid of change though, they keep getting voted back in. So, that’s alright then.


Dell TechCenterHow Voya (formerly ING Financials) gains visibility into their complex distributed environment with Foglight APM

The Foglight APM team has a long-standing and productive relationship with VOYA Financial (formerly ING US Financials). VOYA Financial is massive financial corporation spun off from ING Group N.V. Foglight initially came to the group at ING who would...(read more)

Dell TechCenterFoglight APM SaaS Edition now supports PHP applications

Where are my PHP application bottlenecks coming from? Are there any performance problem patterns related to geography, browser version, or parts of my PHP code? Until now, you could ouse Foglight APM SaaS Edition's powerful differential analytics...(read more)

Dell TechCenterProactively Protecting Your PCs and Tablets

For years, Dell has been proactively managing and supporting our customers with our flagship Dell ProSupport service.  In February, we expanded our support offerings with Dell ProSupport Plus for PCs and Tablets, the industry’s first proactive and predictive automated support solution.

In a world in which there is constant budget pressure, IT executives are being asked to do more with less.  ProSupport Plus was designed to help our customers and channel partners address that constraint.  We are redefining the model of “failure first” to one of detection and prevention.  By proactively managing environments, we help enable our customers and partners to achieve a higher level of productivity with less effort.  ProSupport Plus is made possible by two key technologies:

  • TechDirect – a global self-service tool designed to help manage support cases and dispatch parts – which ensures our customers experience less downtime
  • SupportAssist – our proactive and predictive automated support technology designed to enable faster resolution, optimization, and reporting – which helps customers avoid failures

With a global team of more than 30,000 technical account experts, ProSupport Plus is available in 66 countries and 19 languages.  We are committed to providing our global customer base with top-of-the-line support and a clear focus on performance improvements and stability for their most critical systems.

Some of the additional features include:

  • In-region 24x7 priority access to ProSupport engineers with deep hardware and software expertise
  • Coverage for drops, spills and electrical surges to protect hardware investments
  • Hard drive retention after replacement to ensure data control
  • For a full product description, please see visit: www.dell.com/prosupportplus

ProSupport Plus is the only complete support service that combines priority access to expert support, accidental damage repair, and proactive monitoring for automatic issue prevention and resolution.  The introduction of this product is the next step in ensuring Dell is the most secure, most manageable, and most reliable PC provider in the market.

 

Dell TechCenterIntroducing Dell Secure Mobile Access 6200/7200 Appliances and SMA OS 11.2

IT organizations are struggling to keep up with mobile worker demand for access to more resources from more device types without compromising security. Often, mobile workers are accessing company resources from multiple devices concurrently, increasing...(read more)

Dell TechCenterKey Partners Showcase Dell Precision Workstations at NAB 2015

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) delivers another exciting year of innovation and buzz around the new era of content sweeping the industry. And Dell, for the first time in years, brought a compelling portfolio of solutions to a booth on the show floor. Traditionally we’ve packed our schedule with partner and press meetings in smaller meeting rooms in the bowels of the Las Vegas Convention Center, but this year’s booth was a key attraction in the lower south hall.

Incredible 360 degree Oculus Rift Virtual Reality demo from our friends at Reel

A variety of Dell Precision Workstations were on display driving impressive experiences from hot trend demos in Virtual Reality to a seamless post production workflow on leading 5k/4k panels. Dell was also spot on with one of the most talked about trends at the show, 4k content. Coming off the first ever 4k livestream at SXSW, we had a great opportunity to deliver insight on how 4k content the industry to the next level.

Me on camera with AOTG.com’s Gordon Burkell discussing the impact Dell Precision workstation have had on post production workflows and 4k content

From the storage side of Dell, we had the team showing off the latest Dell Storage FluidFS NAS  and new certified storage solutions around the Adobe Anywhere application. The speed and reliability of Dell storage makes collaboration and quick retrieval the ideal hardware for this innovative Adobe application. Learn more about Adobe Anywhere here.

We also hosted a variety of our key partners with Dell Precision workstations to ensure their NAB 2015 experience was an impressive and reliable one as well. Adobe, AMD, Red Digital Cinema, Sony, VizRT and Nvidia were just a few of the partners that displayed stellar examples of Dell Precision solutions in their NAB booths.

Some of the most notable interest came from Adobe’s Creative Cloud updates. New tweaks to Premiere Pro and After Effects and the forthcoming Project Candy and Character Animator had the post production community buzzing.

One of our key partners from the SXSW 4k livestream, Blackmagic, was also making waves with their new HD camera introductions. From lightweight 4k cameras that are drone mountable (drones were another talked about trend), to the new 4.6k URSA mini for cinematographers, they were a big hit.

Intel was very popular showing Thunderbolt 2 in action, and NAB always brings an audience keenly aware of how this I/O technology can make a huge impact on video workflows. It was also a nice feather in the Dell cap as the latest Precision M3800 thin and light mobile workstation touts a Thunderbolt 2.0 port.

For the video industry, and for Dell, NAB 2015 did not disappoint. So much incredible innovation is flooding the market and Dell Precision workstations are riding high. With unparalleled solutions, industry leading partners and even more great technology coming later this year, 2015 is sure to be picture perfect.

Dell TechCenter#ThinkChat- How IoT is Reshaping Healthcare

Follow #ThinkChat on Twitter Friday, May 1 at 11:00 AM PST, for a live conversation about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping healthcare!

Join Shawn Rogers (@ShawnRog), Chief Research Officer for Dell IMG, and Joanna Schloss (@JoSchloss), Dell Software's Analytics Thought Leader, for this month's ThinkChat as they discuss the challenges and opportunities central to analytic driven healthcare.

Tweet with us about how IoT, ubiquitous access to information, and personalized care are inter-related. We'll chat about new data sources, real-time streams, mobile platforms and how IoT is reshaping healthcare and creating opportunities for innovation and enhanced patient care.

Join the conversation!

The #ThinkChat agenda includes:


1. Does medical device data create a new opportunity for enhanced healthcare? 
2. How is the role of the caregiver changing as data and analytics impact patient care? 
3. Do patients have a responsibility to bring their own data (BYOD) to add value to care? 
4. How does analytics impact the evolution from Population Healthcare, to personalized to precision? 
5. Is there a down side or challenge to personalized and precision healthcare 
6. Are most healthcare facilities ready for Mobile platforms that drive patient care? 
7. Will data take over for traditional diagnosis processes? Is that good or bad? 
8. Is the future of healthcare dependent on data? Analytics? 
9. Do hospitals and healthcare facilities need a data scientist? 
10. How does the complex data environment affect patient, physician and provider care? 

Where: Live on Twitter – Follow Hashtag #ThinkChat to get your questions answered and participate in the conversation!

When: Friday, May1st 2015 at 11:00 AM PST

Dell TechCenterYou’ve deployed UC. Now what? — New tech brief

How can you tell whether your investment in unified communications (UC) is paying off or not? For a quick acid test, you can compare last month’s phone bill to this month’s. That will show you whether your adoption of products like Microsoft...(read more)

Dell TechCenterDell Precision Helps Green Toys Design Products Made From 100 Percent Recycled Materials

Robert von Goeben, co-founder and chief creative officer of Green Toys Inc. spent much of his life designing electronic toys for large companies and noticed there weren’t many considering the environmental impact of their production techniques. Robert’s wife suggested that he pioneer an effort to make environmentally friendly toys.

Soon after Green Toys Inc. was founded by von Goeben and his partner, Laurie Hyman, under the simple concept of producing not only the best quality toys, but ones that were also fun, safe and friendly to the environment. Dell shares that passion for innovation and sustainability, and is proud to driver the powerful Dell Precision workstations designed to tackle the vast complexity of that simple concept.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Today, Green Toys makes a line of classic children’s toys constructed primarily from recycled milk jugs, helping to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s US-made toys are now sold to more than 3,000 retailers in the US and close to 100 countries around the world.

Green Toys is especially passionate about is its Green Toys Train - a classic product created to inspire creativity and encourage open play. The eco-friendly train is designed without a track and is safe and versatile for both outdoor and indoor play, as Green Toys believes in teaching children there is no limit to where you can go.

“Green Toys is not just a business. It's a mission,” said Robert von Goeben of Green Toys. “We truly believe that we're making the best quality toys for kids. Technology drives our mission.  We couldn't achieve the Green Toys mission without technology.”

“The inspiration driving Green Toys to take on the complexity of environmentally conscious toy development is a perfect example of what drives us to build the world’s greatest workstations,” said Andy Rhodes, executive director of Dell workstations. “These creative designers tackle immensely intricate projects and need reliable performance to bring these iconic toys to life; the Dell Precision team is proud to meet the challenge for a true industry innovator.”

Green Toys uses recycled milk jugs, one of the cleanest, most environmentally friendly and safest types of plastic, but also one of the hardest materials to work with. According to Vince Giudice, the design manager of Green Toys Inc., one of the biggest challenges is to make something that looks deceivingly simple out of a process that is incredibly difficult. There is no glue, there are no screws and there is no paint - and that’s where good engineering comes in.

 Spring gardening toys from Green Toys Inc designed on Dell Precision workstations

The company will usually start with a 2D drawing by an in-house designer, then show the conceptual sketches to consumers to gather feedback and then move into 3D CAD design. For that, Green Toys primarily uses Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS software on a Dell Precision workstation to bring its innovative designs to life.

“At the beginning of a project, our models can be relatively simple but as the project moves forward, these models can be extremely large. Dell Precision has the processing power to push those products through to the end,” said Vince Giudice, the design manager of Green Toys Inc. “In the past, it could take 20-30 minutes for one of our engineers to pack up files and send them to us, but using Dell Precision, this process can take just 20-30 seconds, which could be the difference between on time delivery and shipping late.”

“At Green Toys, our goal is to be the next great American brand.  We want to be one of the most trusted brands out there when it comes to children's products,” added von Goeben. “At the end of the day, Green Toys doesn’t just sell toys, but makes the world a better place.”

See more creative possibilities powered by Dell Precision workstations with the Purpose Built series

Dell TechCenterDell benefits customers by accelerating adoption of Software Defined Storage (SDS)

Software Defined Storage (SDS) is currently a hot topic in the storage industry with multiple definitions. This is a result of most major and upcoming storage vendors claiming their own implementation of storage as the right definition of SDS. Popular implementations of SDS include storage operating system running on a general purpose server or a hypervisor while other variants include storage virtualization software that pools storage across heterogeneous storage arrays. Most infrastructure admins are reserving their judgment until they gain more clarity on SDS and understand how it benefits them.

However at the core all of these offerings, you will find that the storage software is abstracted from the underlying hardware, differentiating SDS from traditional appliance model. Another defining feature amongst SDS is the implementation of storage functionality and services solely through software. Irrespective of how a SDS solution is packaged, running on a physical server or a hypervisor, by separating storage software from the underlying hardware customers derive two key advantages:

  • Ability to use standard or commodity hardware
  • Early access to advanced storage features (implemented in software)

The ability to leverage commodity hardware is advantageous because newer generations of hardware are typically first available in the commodity market. For ex: currently TLC flash drives are available as commodity drives but not in storage appliances. The second advantage of SDS is access to advanced storage features much earlier than they show up in traditional storage solutions. For instance, features like scale-out, restful APIs, erasure-coding etc. were first available in software only products. Certain applications and businesses absolutely need these advanced features to remain competitive in their business and so are willing to build their own solution using storage software running on a general purpose server or a hypervisor.  The third advantage of SDS is that by separating software from hardware, storage admins get the flexibility to match the hardware configuration to meet the specific workloads demands thus avoiding over or under provisioning of storage. This DIY model is being adopted primarily by organizations with skilled storage resources who have insight into the workloads in the organization. Most often, these companies also possess the ability to build and validate a solution from storage software and hardware.

SDS at Dell
Majority of organizations neither have the skills to build a storage solution on their own, nor are they willing to take the risk of dealing with multiple vendors to manage their storage solution. Yet they would like to benefit from the rapid pace of innovation in storage software and hardware. We, at Dell, are filling this gap by offering software-based storage solutions that are fully hardened on Dell enterprise class servers. When it comes to SDS, Dell’s point of view is that there is no one-size-fit all solution. Depending the type of application and the business, customers will need different types of SDS solutions ranging from storage running on physical servers to storage running on hyper-visors, in an appliance or DIY offer. Dell has developed tight partnership with the leading vendors in the key types of SDS resulting in a broad SDS portfolio. Dell’s SDS SW stacks include NexentaStor, Storage Spaces, Nutanix, vSAN and CEPH. We leverage our leadership in the server market and collaborate with the R&D teams at our SDS partners to make sure their software can manage and monitor all of the underlying enterprise class hardware from Dell. As a result, we are able to deliver a fully validated solution that comes with global warranty and support, thus helping address the needs of organizations that would like to benefit from the latest advancements in commodity hardware or software without the risks involved in a DIY approach.

To find out more, click here to be redirected.

Dell TechCenterA Walking Tour of the RSA Conference

Here I am at my 10th RSA Conference and as much as things have changed, they always seem to stay the same. As I walk through the doors to the expo hall I see a handful of vendors with very large booths pitching their comprehensive, end-to-end security offerings. Then as I venture further to the back and sides of the floor I find hundreds of smaller vendors wanting to talk about everything from encryption to multifactor authentication, from firewalls to intrusion detection, and from identity and access management to penetration testing.

Every one of those vendors (big or small) will tell you that what they have to offer – whether it’s a semi-comprehensive suite or a very targeted point solution to a specific problem – is the end-all, be-all of security. I’m no different. At Dell we have solutions that map to the vast majority of offerings from the front-and-center and the nether-reaches of the show floor. And I’ve been on all sides as well. Today Dell is one of the “big boys” and if you stop by our booth we will happily talk about the wide range of security offerings available through Dell. But prior to Dell acquiring my previous company, Quest Software, I participated at RSA in a much smaller presence with a much narrower focus. And before that, I was one of those outliers that spent half of our annual marketing budget to shout the benefits of a highly specialized area of security. Each time my mindset has been, “this thing we’re offering is the greatest thing since sliced bread and everyone at this show should be talking to me…it’s that important!”

But I know that those of you attending RSA (not exhibiting) are here for your own reasons. And those reasons run the gamut of what’s available on the show floor. I don’t expect anyone to stop by the Dell booth and say “I’m here to buy ‘security’ can you sell me one?” But I expect hundreds of visitors asking about firewalls, data protection, provisioning, strong authentication, governance, and privileged account management. We can, of course, help with all of those (and a lot more too, by the way). Security is a lot of things. In my opinion most people “shopping” at RSA are here for one or maybe two specific subsets of security but eventually they will have to address most of what’s available…but it’s on your timeframe, not mine.

So that brings me to why I think you should at least stop by the Dell booth regardless of what area of security is your hot button right now.

  • First and foremost, if you have a security need, chances are we have a solution that will help you
  • Second, and why I’m excited to be at RSA this year, is the debut of our technology and strategy that actually ties, previously disconnected areas of security together. It’s called contextual security and is being shown in our booth through Dell’s new Security Analytics Engine.

Think about the traditional way most people do security. You find something that needs security and you go out and shop for a solution to that problem. So you end up with an awesome firewall that keeps the bad guys out. And you have a great provisioning solution that makes sure everyone has the right access. And you have a wonderful access control solution that ensures that remote users and web access are secure. And maybe you’ve even engaged a managed security services company (such as Dell SecureWorks) to watch out for the bad things that might happen. All these solutions are great at what they do, but they rarely draw upon each other’s information or enforcement capabilities to increase the overall security stance. If the firewall says “no” it’s a no, even if the IAM solution says “yes”. And if the web access management solution says “yes” but the managed security services solution says “no” access is still denied. There’s no context.

That’s where the Security Analytics Engine comes in. Think of it as a risk scoreboard, that draws information from a number of sources and can use that information to influence enforcement of policy. In this first iteration of SAE, our Cloud Access Manager (a WAM solution) is the enforcer and it uses information from Dell’s SonicWALL next-gen firewalls to contribute dynamic context – such as location, time, etc.—from which a real-time, adaptive access decision can be made and enforced. Add to that the ability for SAE to use blacklist/whitelist information from Dell SecureWorks and you quickly move security from a static immovable barrier to a dynamic, adaptive, business-enabling asset.

That’s where SAE is today, but looking out six months, a year, eighteen months, and further there is potential for so much more. We could enable a next-generation firewall to be an additional enforcement point. We could integrate with data encryption technologies. We could use the risk scoreboard concept to better control privileged access. And we could even draw upon IAM information to more granularly define policy and ensure that the right people get to the right stuff in the right way in all situations. And what if we could expose an API that would allow you to use SAE with whatever data or enforcement points you choose to integrate with. Now that would be cool.

So if you, like me, are wandering around the expo floor looking for just the right security solution for your situation right now, stop by booth #4132 (we’re right at the front) we’d love to show you what we’ve got … and how they all do and could fit together through the Security Analytics Engine.

Dell TechCenterTen Tips for Protecting POS Systems from Memory Scraping Malware

In the recently published 2015 Dell Security Threat Report , one of the observations on the evolution of attacks on POS systems is the rise in popularity of malware that uses memory scraping to steal sensitive data. No matter how many layers of encryption...(read more)

Dell TechCenterMaximize the advantages of mobility

Giving employees the flexibility to work from any place at any time can pay significant dividends for your organization. But enabling this enhanced mobility can present a number of challenges. If you are launching a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program...(read more)

Gina MinksMy prep for the “Future of Work” MOOC

I’m enrolled in 2 MOOCs (massive online open courses) this spring. This is a journaling assignment for the Future of Work MOOC. The other MOOC is about big data, I’ll post about that one when it starts. If you are wondering why I joined this MOOC, this is part of their stated objective for the course: The purpose of this course is to see the future of work through a new lens, which will help

read more here

Dell TechCenterCoast to Coast Coverage for American Red Cross with new Digital Command Center in Silicon Valley

The American Red Cross, in partnership with Dell, opened its third Digital Operations Center in San Jose, CA today. The new center joins two predecessors in using social media and social data to help solve a broad range of humanitarian issues.

Two workers in the American Red Cross Digital Operations Center in San Jose, CA, powered by Dell

Powering up this new center will provide social media monitoring and coverage from coast to coast. The first Digital Operations Center opened in Washington D.C. in 2012, the other center in Dallas, TX, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

The Red Cross supplies nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, requiring a steady supply of volunteer donors. In addition to the new Digital Operations Center, a new Dell grant includes support from Dell Digital Business Services, to help the Red Cross optimize their social presence to attract new blood donors, encourage more blood drives, and help existing blood donors to expand their relationship with the Red Cross.

“The relationship between Dell and the Red Cross has been critical in helping the Red Cross use social media to carry out its disaster response mission,” said Suzy DeFrancis, chief public affairs officer, American Red Cross. “We’re extremely grateful for the Dell grant, and support from Dell Digital Business Services. We’re excited to launch our third Digital Operations Center and expand the partnership to further support innovation in the humanitarian space.”

The new Digital Operations Center builds a center of expertise on the west coast where volunteers can work with their emergency manager partners to provide social data for regional responses. Recent disasters have shown that having a better view of the social conversation helps the Red Cross anticipate disaster needs and connect more people with resources during an emergency.

In combination with the event, Dell Services today introduced new social listening capabilities that integrate data from multiple sources and provide a 360-degree view of consumers. The technology framework combines digital data, existing business rules, and predictive analytics to empower organizations with highly actionable customer intelligence. Dell’s social media solutions help customers engage audiences to anticipate and predict decisions and help inform optimal business outcomes across multiple verticals, such as healthcare and education.

The set of solutions provide a single aggregated metric of social conversation for easy monitoring and tracking to determine sentiment and advocacy of consumers. By leveraging these capabilities, organizations can affect many areas of business—from marketing and sales, to customer service and care management.

“Connecting people quickly to aid is critical in times of disaster,” said Raman Sapra, executive director and Global Head, Dell Digital Business Services. “We’re thrilled to expand our support of the American Red Cross and optimize social data to help their organization provide real-time disaster relief and increase life-saving blood donations.”

Beyond humanitarian support, solutions from Dell’s Social Media Services have practical applications for all businesses. “Organizations can combine their data from past transactions, such as donations or purchases, along with information gained through real-time consumer engagement, including social posts about the brand, to get a well-rounded understanding of how and when to engage their audiences,” Sapra said. “Through these solutions, our customers have a complete consumer analysis in an actionable dashboard view that helps drive positive business outcomes from their social engagement efforts.”

Dell and the Red Cross have a shared vision to empower people to get involved in humanitarian efforts through social media. Over the course of 20 years, Dell has generously donated more than $1.3 million to support Red Cross disaster relief and social media efforts. To date, Dell employees have given a total combined contribution of more than $266,000 globally to disaster relief, and a recorded over 7,500 hours of volunteer time between 2010 and 2014.

The latest grant from Dell will provide the Red Cross with a new level of insight and analytics from listening and tuning, to optimization as it relates to blood donors. Dell Digital Business Services is working with the Red Cross to provide social media listening tools, engagement services, enhancements to the existing blood donor engagement process, and to create a social media care channel that provides earlier insight into potential challenges.

To learn more about the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.

To learn more about the American Red Cross Digital Operations Centers, check out the following:

Dell TechCenterContext-aware Security is an Affordable Reality – With Dell’s Security Analytics Engine

If you’ve been following the trends (or listening to the analysts) the next wave of security is centered on a concept called context-aware or adaptive security. It overcomes the static yes/no nature of traditional security with an approach that takes into account the context of an access request and adapts enforcement to perfectly suit the situation. The problem is most solutions of this type are expensive, extremely complex, and place the implementing organization on a long and difficult road before they can realize the benefits of such a solution.

But not all contextual security solutions are difficult, expensive, and complex.

Dell’s solution for context-aware security is called the Security Analytics Engine (SAE) and it is available, at no extra charge, in Dell One Identity Cloud Access Manager (CAM). SAE acts as a risk scoreboard that returns a risk score based on a number of factors, CAM enforces access decisions based on the SAE risk score.

Here’s a diagram that shows the potential of SAE in combination with a number of different security solutions:

SAE can use contextual information from a number of sources including:

  • Browser used – including historical analysis of browser use that falls outside of normal user behavior
  • Geo-location pattern – detecting if an access activity originates from an abnormal location
  • Specific geo-location – preventing access initiated from specific geographies know to foster malicious activity
  • Time – detecting access activities that occur outside of normal user patterns
  • Blacklist – a list of “forbidden” networks or network addresses, from publicly available lists or from Dell SecureWorks
  • Whitelist – a list of “approved” networks or network addresses

SAE is entirely configurable to weigh factors according to an individual organization’s needs, user populations, threats, practices, and infrastructure/application mix. CAM is configurable to enforce access controls based on the score returned by SAE including the ability to allow access, deny access, or even require step-up authentication (two-factor) prior to granting access – a concept called adaptive authentication.

Why don’t you try it out for yourself? You can always learn more by reading the white paper Context-aware Security – The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Access.  Or better yet, download and try it for yourself at: http://software.dell.com/register/61737/

Dell TechCenterConcerned About Security in Your Virtual Environment? New Research Reveals You’re Not Alone.

How secure are your VMs? We recently teamed up with a leading provider of government market research to gain a deeper understanding of the VM landscape across federal agencies , and the results underscore the need to address common challenges they’re...(read more)

Dell TechCenterEasy or custom, Dell has the right approach to VDI

After some initial skepticism and reservations about security, IT professionals are taking another look at cloud computing solutions. Recognizing that the benefits make sense and the risks can be mitigated, informed professionals are recommending private cloud and hybrid cloud architectures to their CIOs for many reasons:

  • to better safeguard data in a central location
  • to facilitate disaster recovery programs
  • to ensure uptime and reliability
  • to launch BYOD initiatives

The right cloud solution allows users to be more productive and to leverage their smart devices safely. (They’ve been using their own devices in the workplace — without the right backend safeguards in place — for many years already, and the right solution acknowledges this reality and puts those safeguards in place.)

Hybrid cloud models are going a long way toward encouraging users to stop uploading their work and company data to personal cloud-based storage services and to access assignments from sanctioned cloud providers. Rather than worry that data stored in a centralized location might be hacked or accessed by unauthorized third parties, IT professionals and CIOs are embracing real-time, thorough encryption for all corporate data using services such as Dell Data Protection and Encryption (DDPE).

But a cloud architecture is only as secure as its weakest link. Investing in centralized data center solutions without replacing traditional, legacy PCs with thin or zero clients can leave an enterprise network open to malware, data breaches or bad actors. You need a cloud client-computing solution with an edge. Fortunately cloud client-computing solutions aren’t just for huge enterprises any more. Smaller firms with as few as 100 employees can take advantage of the technology without having to invest in a significant rip-and-replace. You don’t have to outsource your data to a third-party cloud provider. All of your data and computing infrastructure can remain on-site with our newest solutions.

Desktop virtualization provides the right solution for enabling this flexibility so you can take your employees and your business to new heights. With Dell cloud client-computing, you can support a vast array of clients, enable user mobility and improve efficiency as well as your bottom line, all with complete confidence that your data is secure.

Whether you want to build your own custom solution or let Dell experts do it for you, only Dell offers end-to-end solutions with cloud and client options and software designed to work together so you can transform your data center and empower your workforce. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is simpler than ever to plan, deploy, scale and run on any budget. And custom VDI solutions help you integrate reliable data center components, endpoints and desktop virtualization software from our partners Citrix, Microsoft, VMware or Wyse vWorkspace. Add to that award-winning Wyse Zero Clients, Wyse Thin Clients and Wyse Management Software and you have an end-to-end solution that suits any budget, application or performance requirements.

Integrate a higher level of security, flexibility and manageability into your infrastructure, on your terms with Dell cloud client-computing. See how customers are benefiting from Dell cloud client-computing solutions in this brief video

Dell TechCenterFlexing Your Data Muscle with Analytics Agility

The need to be more agile comes up a lot in customer conversations, especially from frustrated executives who want to be more sure-footed and flexible in moving their businesses forward. Too often, they feel stymied by a lack of useful insight, which hampers their ability to respond quickly and effectively to changing customer, market and business demands.

Luckily, this gives me an opportunity to bring up one of my favorite topics: analytics agility. With the right mindset, tools and technologies, organizations can become much more adroit about how they use the power of analytics to improve decision making. As with most things, the toughest part is getting started.

Photo of man flexing his arm muscles to illustrate how Dell Software analytics can help businesses make the most of their big data

According to Dell’s 2014 Global Technology Adoption Index, 61 percent of companies worldwide have big data waiting to be analyzed—and yet only 39 percent of those polled felt they had a firm grasp of how to go about extracting value from that data. What it takes is a mix of intellectual curiosity and intestinal fortitude to develop an understanding of how your business works from a data perspective.

In my experience, there’s usually a group of naturally curious intellectuals in every company that are eager to drill down into business facts and figures to discover trends, triggers and roadblocks impacting business success. Thanks to our increasingly connected world, these data miners have more tools and techniques at their disposal than ever before to look at data from all angles.

Also critical is having a supportive, equally curious leadership team that encourages the use of data to figure out the business. I met recently with a large sportswear manufacturer that invests heavily in analytics to support a variety of marketing initiatives. The challenge for the analytics team is that when the data supports what the marketers want to hear, it’s all good. When the analytics reveal a different outcome, the marketers claim that the data is bad and do what they want anyway.

Unfortunately, having the right analytics tools and smart people driving the process won’t make much difference if company leaders aren’t open to learning and following what the data reveals. After all, the point of analytics agility is the opportunity to quickly and nimbly change direction completely or make a minor course direction before it’s too late. As we all know, however, sometimes it takes a few lessons learned the hard way to realize the data was good to begin with but the business decision was flawed from the start.

Another critical success factor to increasing analytics agility is having the support of an IT team that continually and consistently collects, manages and exposes data for a variety of analytics efforts. Historically, this has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks as traditional, centralized IT teams often were too overwhelmed with “break-fix” tasks to respond quickly and efficiently to analytics requests. In the past, many early analytics efforts died as soon as the financial, sales and marketing people generated data from separate silos of information and nothing matched up.

Thanks to continued IT decentralization and increased data sharing, it’s much easier now for IT to build an infrastructure that brings different types of data together and delivers a single version of the truth that everyone can get behind. When that occurs, the journey to analytics agility becomes a shared experience that produces tremendous insights and business breakthroughs.

And in some cases, even medical miracles. I’m still sharing the story about Dr. John Cromwell at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. As reported in the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal, Dr. Cromwell is using Dell Statistica to better predict which patients face surgery risks and then expedite surgery room decisions on which medications or wound treatments will be most effective. Now, that’s a prime example of the power of analytics agility.

I also recently spoke with Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark and one of the leading financial institutions in northern Europe. This Dell customer is doing some amazing things with Statistica and various credit scoring tools to produce real-time insight that enables cutting their credit risk exposure nearly in half. By taking advantage of analytics agility, the bank can make up-to-the-minute decisions about which markets to serve to gain a competitive edge while mitigating risk.

Today, we have the analytics tools to drive fast, flexible business decisions. And, each day, I hear about another customer with a strong IT and leadership team backing efforts to push the analytics envelope. I’m encouraged to see more companies getting a firmer grasp on what they can do with greater analytics drive and dexterity.

I’m looking for more examples of how companies are flexing their data muscle with analytics agility. Drop me a line at john.k.thompson@software.dell.com to share what you’re seeing. 

Dell TechCenterWhy Data Replication Rocks!

Data is a lot like music: We want it when we want it, and technology has evolved to support that demand.  

  • People embraced CDs, so they could quickly find the best songs and skip the ones they didn’t like.
  • MP3 players gave them portable access to a good-sized chunk of their music collection.
  • Today, of course, music is data — with cloud-based offerings delivering endless choices, anywhere, anytime, on demand.

Failing to use data replication technology is like struggling with a phonograph in this Spotify era. But we’re about to get you up to speed.

By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll understand why simple-to-use data replication technology is the key to becoming a DBA rock star.

Why near-real-time replication is music to the modern DBA’s ears

There are three reasons why near-real-time replication reduces the wait and increases user satisfaction:

1.  Availability

In the old days, high availability was a nice-to-have. Now that your customers and users are on your databases on internet time, high availability is a must-have.

When you plot a course for high availability, you have to take into account three big sandbars: planned outages, unplanned outages and spikes in system load. In all three cases, a specific method of near-real-time replication lessens the strain on databases while ensuring valuable data is always available.

2. Scalability

Users have come to expect rapid response from your applications. Their unlimited hunger for performance trickles down to the underlying databases, where it meets very real hardware limitations. CPU, memory, network and storage can scale only so far.

Near-real-time replication provides one or more copies of databases with no distance limitations. It helps DBAs eliminate the single point of failure, optimize for different workloads, offer geographic flexibility, consolidate databases and spread the user load across multiple databases and data centers.

3. Near-real-time data integration

Data-driven enterprises must not only collect huge amounts of data, but also integrate it from numerous sources while ensuring that it is consistent, even when stored on different systems in different places. Integration tools aggregate the data in these different silos and make it available for operations and analysis.

Reducing the wait is a matter of integrating and reconciling multiple sources of data into a single source of truth with as little delay as possible. Users (and their managers) are satisfied when they are confidently working with data on a replication target that is as close to real-time as possible to production data. This technology gives you the power to provide that.

Next steps

For those three reasons (and several others) it makes sense to replicate data from Oracle databases to other targets and have users work on it there. Instead of making your paying customers wait, replicate your data where they can analyze and report to their heart’s content. Replication is also useful for archiving, data warehousing and minimizing downtime during migrations. If a near-real-time copy of your Oracle data in a separate Oracle replica is too expensive, why not explore the idea of a SQL Server data warehouse that lets you cost-effectively offload analysis, reporting and other operations from your Oracle production databases? Our SharePlex replication solution gives you the flexibility to choose the target replica system that is appropriate for the business case and ultimately the consumers of the data.

Replicate from Oracle to a more economical and potentially easier-to-manage platform like SQL Server and experience less frustration when support is required. Offloading database activities to a SQL Server replica will leave more processing power and faster response times for your Oracle users. Users on the SQL Server target will enjoy near-real-time data on an instance that is tuned specifically for the purpose of reporting, analytics and other database activities while the Oracle production system remains tuned for online transaction processing (OLTP). 

In addition, SharePlex can be used to completely migrate an Oracle database to SQL Server without taking users offline during the migration process. A SQL Server target replica could be used to accomplish archiving or serve as a data warehouse that replication maintains in near-real time with all or a subset of data from one or multiple Oracle instances.

Strike the right chord with your users by delivering the data they want when they want it. With the right data replication technology in place, you’ll quickly find you have a lot more time to work on your digital playlists.

  • Watch our five-minute video, “How SharePlex Replicates from Oracle to SQL Server and Eight Other Targets.” I walk through several live screens showing you commands and statistics on the SharePlex queues and processes of an Oracle-to-SQL-Server replication, then I insert a row to the Oracle source database and show you how it appears immediately in the SQL Server target.
  • And be sure to check out the tech brief I wrote on SharePlex for SQL Server for more ways you can use replication in your environment.

William LearaYou SHALL NOT Skip This REQUIRED Blog Post

imageDo you read specifications?  If you’re a BIOS developer, the answer to that question is YES!

Specs often need to convey to the reader a list of requirements.  Typically in such a list, some requirements are more important than others.  In fact, some may be absolute deal-breakers—either the requirement is met, or the whole concept falls apart.  In other cases, a requirement might be purely optional.

Introducing RFC 2119!  If you’re not already familiar with them, Request for Comments (RFCs) are the method by which so many of the Internet technologies we take for granted were proposed, refined, and implemented.  Originating in 1969, RFCs are currently administered by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Mr. Scott Bradner, of Harvard University, actually created an RFC to define the following words often found in specifications:  "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL".  The idea is to eliminate any possibility of miscommunication over which requirements need to be met, which can be skipped, and which need justification as to whether or not they can be skipped.

This RFC has gotten so much traction that even official organizations such as the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) refer to it.

The heart of the RFC is short enough that I can reproduce it below.  To see the entire RFC, please see:  https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt

1. MUST This word, or the terms "REQUIRED" or "SHALL", mean that the definition is an absolute requirement of the specification.

2. MUST NOT This phrase, or the phrase "SHALL NOT", mean that the definition is an absolute prohibition of the specification.

3. SHOULD This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

4. SHOULD NOT This phrase, or the phrase "NOT RECOMMENDED" mean that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances when the particular behavior is acceptable or even useful, but the full implications should be understood and the case carefully weighed before implementing any behavior described with this label.

5. MAY   This word, or the adjective "OPTIONAL", mean that an item is truly optional.  One vendor may choose to include the item because a particular marketplace requires it or because the vendor feels that it enhances the product while another vendor may omit the same item. An implementation which does not include a particular option MUST be prepared to interoperate with another implementation which does include the option, though perhaps with reduced functionality. In the same vein an implementation which does include a particular option MUST be prepared to interoperate with another implementation which does not include the option (except, of course, for the feature the option provides.)

Hopefully this RFC will improve communication by level-setting authors and readers of specs on these oft-used words.  You SHOULD leave a comment if you like this list of definitions!

Dell TechCenterWant a more secure environment? Unified systems management can help

The third platform of computing — social, mobile, cloud and big data — is here, and it has profound implications for systems management.

Back in the days of mainframes (the first computing platform), systems management had to deal with millions of users and thousands of applications. Client/server and internet technologies (the second platform) increased those numbers to hundreds of millions of users and tens of thousands of apps.

But even those numbers pale in comparison to today’s numbers. Today, we’re well on our way to fulfilling IDC’s prediction that by 2018, we will see 3.8 billion mobile users, 40 billion devices (five per person!) and 24 zetabytes of data. How can organizations maintain security and compliance in this new reality? Yesterday’s systems management won’t cut it.

Users are already demanding that technology at work match the unrelenting innovation they experience in their personal lives, including ever more powerful laptops, dizzyingly high-speed wireless networks, ubiquitous VPNs and, especially, choice — choice about which devices to use and where, when and how to get work done. Armed primarily with manual processes and disparate point tools, IT departments are struggling to give employees the technologies and choices they require while maintaining governance and control.

You need to rethink systems management and move towards a unified approach to meet the challenges of today’s more complex and ever growing environments.  That approach must ensure security and compliance for all connected systems and devices and also deliver the flexibility and scalability needed as users become even more mobile and the internet of things (IoT) continues to expand into the enterprise.

On Tuesday, April 28, Dell will be hosting a webcast with IDC. At this webcast, you will learn what IDC research manager Robert Young has to say about improving security through more comprehensive systems management of your connected endpoints.  You will also find out more about how Dell Endpoint Systems Management (ESM), featuring Dell KACE appliances, can provide you with a unified anypoint systems management approach to manage and secure your enterprise into the future — efficiently and effectively.

I hope you’ll join us.

Mark CathcartFraccidents coming to a neighborhood near you, soon

The “Texas House Approves “Denton Fracking Bill”” aka HB40, marches closer being signed into law by Governor Abbott. All those places, like say, Austin, where fracking is something mostly invisible that happens way out west, need to wake up.

The bill at his heart, stops cities from banning fracking within the city limits. When fracking is out of sight, it’s mostly out of mind. Flying into Dallas Forth Worth airport this morning surprised me though at the scale of the problem. You can see from the following picture I took out the window of the plane, to many it’s already a reality.

Fracking 1

Which would all be fine if you are inclined to believe the industry, and that the earthquakes are coincidental, and the groundwater pollution is unrelated and the methane naturally occurring, you’d think you’ll be OK. With this State law in place, there is nothing to stop them fracking the Eagle shale in say Zilker Park or Auditorium shores. Seriously.

Of course, even if the earthquakes and methane laced water are not their problem, the frackers still have their issues, these are captured and documented on the earthjustice page. I’m left wondering though if these are all the accidents, or just those reported. If you cruise around some of the Texas County Roads it’s not unusual to find this sort of hastily laid pipe which crosses creeks on pieces of wood support, hastily strung under bridges, and generally, out of sight, out of mind, in this case County Rd 615 in Alvarado, Texas


Dell TechCenterAdvanced Targeting: Secure access to virtual desktops using granular, flexible policy-based access control

Great new article on Wyse vWorkspace Advanced Targeting by Nicholas Cuendet and Reed Martin with Dell Cloud Client Computing. http://dell.to/1yCaQ3Q Enjoy, Kelly Craig Product Management - Wyse vWorkspace(read more)

Dell TechCenterThe Future of IT Security

In a few days, thirty thousand information security professionals from all over the globe will gather in San Francisco for the RSA Conference, the world’s largest information security event.  After a year that included a number of high-profile data breaches, this conference will give the best minds in the industry a chance to share, learn and discuss some of the most important trends and topics in security today.

Security Utopia Doodle

It’s a time of great opportunity in enterprise IT, which also means a time of growth and discovery for the security pros tasked with protecting and securely enabling their respective organizations. There are a few topics in particular I’m looking forward to exploring during RSA:

  • Point of Sale breaches – In 2014, we saw a slew of POS breaches, and we now know that many of them could have been prevented with better security measures in place. For instance, one well-publicized breach came via a compromised vendor, who should have only received a minimal level of access to the client’s system. Interestingly, the Dell Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI) found that, unlike other industries, the mid-size organization in the retail industry spends more of its resources on compliance-related security concerns than on hacker-related concerns.2 It will be interesting to see if that spending shifts in response to these high-profile POS attacks.
  • Mobility - Clearly mobility is driving a good deal of the security conversation today. In fact, according to the Dell GTAI, 44 percent of mid-sized organizations still say security is their primary barrier to expanding their mobile programs.2 And they have legitimate cause for concern -- mobile malware is becoming more sophisticated and beginning to mimic desktop malware in some cases. To guard against attacks, many organizations that do have a mobile strategy put restrictions on cloud access by company-owned smartphones (41 percent) and employee-owned smartphones (43 percent).
  • Strategies for addressing data security - Just as necessity is the mother of invention, concerns about security will lead to new strategies for addressing data security. I think we’ll hear some forward thinking companies suggest ways to have data be responsible for its own security. As security evolves from reactive to predictive to prescriptive, we’ll be embedding rules and policies into the data itself so that it can sense when it has fallen into the wrong hands. We’ll see solutions move away from pure role-based security to context-aware and adaptive security…and that will of course evolve as well. In the future, we will see that access to information will not only depend on your role and your location and what kind of device, but things like the kind of OS, the current threat level, the business request context, and more.

In addition to all of the things I’ve already outlined, I think we’ll hear a lot about security’s role in the software development process, advances and revelations in cryptography, cybersecurity legislation, social media threat vectors and online identity issues. I’m looking forward to all of the sessions and discussions on these topics.

Some of these topics might even be discussed in the panel I’m participating in with two Dell Security Fellows -- Dell SecureWorks CTO Jon Ramsey and Dell Executive Director for Security Timothy Brown -- about security’s evolution from a restrictive business model to an enabling one:

Thursday, April 23, 9:10 a.m. | Moscone North, Room 130 

 

We hope to see you there.

Dell TechCenterLeveraging Virtualized Graphics to “Let Go of the Box”

CIOs want to deploy desktop virtualization to increase the security, manageability and reliability of the systems in their organizations. Despite the obvious benefits of reduced complexity, and centralized processing and storage in the data center, user objections around the quality of the experience have been difficult to overcome.

Several positive technology developments now make it possible to address traditional user opposition to (VDI) head-on. The proliferation of higher-speed bandwidth and advances in server platforms, virtual graphics processing units (vGPUs) and virtualization technology, allow the enterprise to deliver 3D and graphic-intensive applications to virtual desktop infrastructure.

The ability to deliver high-performance graphics allows organizations to increase productivity and encourage user acceptance, and provides a powerful and flexible alternative to traditional desktop platforms.

Previously, graphic designers, engineers, developers, video producers and other task and knowledge workers who use high-performance graphics required PCs that were tailored for their needs. The latest graphics enhancements allow CIOs to deliver powerful VDI tools that accomplish the same work without the cost and additional system complexity of custom units.  It also allows IT to centralize applications and storage in the data center to lock down critical data and ensure the protection of corporate assets.

The needs for enhanced graphics capabilities do not stop in the creative department. Knowledge workers throughout the enterprise now use 3D graphics to present and share information. Business analysts, marketing managers, sales people and executives utilize powerful graphics to convey in-depth information to their audiences, and customer education and employee training departments routinely use video and multimedia-rich presentations.

Using the advanced performance and capabilities of Dell, Citrix and NVIDIA GRID technology, IT can offload graphics processing from the CPU to the GPU in virtualized environments, allowing the data center manager to deliver true PC graphics-rich experiences and applications to more users.

Organizations can now implement shared GPU solutions in a VDI environment. NVIDIA GRID vGPU brings the benefit of NVIDIA hardware-accelerated graphics to virtualized solutions. GRID vGPU allows the enterprise to share GPU hardware acceleration between multiple virtual desktops without compromising the graphics experience. Application features and compatibility are exactly the same as they would be at the desk.

Using Dell PowerEdge servers with Citrix XenDesktop 7 and NVIDIA GRID vGPUs, the Wyse Datacenter for Citrix XenDesktop allows organizations to expand the reach of virtual desktop environments across a broad spectrum of users – not only designers and engineers, but power users and knowledge workers who want a more full-featured, graphically-rich experience from their Windows desktops. The enterprise can leverage virtualized graphics to “let go of the box”, and IT can better meet the needs of performance users while better protecting critical data with virtual desktops and a secure data center. 

Dell TechCenterGenerating Efficient Culture Change with the Right Cloud Strategy

Recently I had the pleasure to interview Gerald Seaman of Intel about new service delivery models for IT—private cloud in particular. This was a great discussion, the kind I particularly like, because it put cloud in context. All too frequently we talk about cloud as a given. We just assume you are deploying cloud (whether as a service hosted by a provider, or on your own premises), and take the discussion from there.

But my chat with Gerry was happily more profound than that. First, Gerry was at pains to point out that if IT didn’t have cloud, it would have to invent it: because he has never seen, in multiple decades in the industry, such challenges to the organization. Performance demands from users are very high, data is exploding, and the new generation of workers and IT professionals seek speed, social, and mobile to an extreme degree.

Cloud helps address these demands by the way it automates IT resource deployment at the hands of users. But that brings me to Gerry’s second point, which was that cloud necessitates and generates cultural change in IT. It’s a shift in the operational focus of IT, from keeping systems running to deploying their services quickly and automatically where they’re needed. And it’s a shift in the role of IT towards strategy. The new generation just assumes this, but the older generations are the ones who are making it real, with good communications, good listening, and a real drive to tangibly succeed.

So that’s a great step back we can take, out of cloud, in two directions: why we need it, and what its consequences are, not so much technologically as strategically and culturally. And, in turn, it helps us understand the main topic of my conversation with Gerry—private cloud. Because when you think about the “old guard” of IT and the new guard, and the changing demands of IT’s customers (now external to the organization as much as internal), you see how necessary the controlled and secure private infrastructure is.

This isn’t about on-premises private cloud only. We know that ultimately the IT infrastructure upon which our organizations run (and achieve their goals) will be hybrid in every sense of the word. But to maintain all the service levels we have promised, not just with respect to performance and ROI but to security and governance as well, while making ourselves more responsive, multi-platform, and efficient, we need that level of control that private cloud brings.

So when you are specifying or deploying private cloud environments—either to create yourself, or to acquire and deliver as a service—you can keep in mind Gerry’s words. He helped me remember why we’re here at all: to team up with our users and become their strategic asset and partner while still holding the torch, as essential as ever, of reliability, security, and accountability.

You can watch my full interview with Gerry (registration required).

To learn more about Dell Cloud Services, please visit www.dell.com/mycloud for more information.  

Dell TechCenterSecure access to your virtual desktops and data using flexible, granular, policy-based access control with Wyse vWorkspace

By Reed Martin and Nicolas Cuendet, Dell Coud Client-Computing

 

As user-owned devices become increasingly powerful, IT managers are having to make tough decisions about granting network access to enhance worker flexibility. Recent headlines detailing high-profile data breaches have only increased the tension between users hoping to leverage the latest smartphones and tablets and the need to protect corporate data and networks from these relatively insecure endpoints. Whether or not permission is granted on a case by case or policy basis, it has become clear that relying on what was once considered “good enough” security is no longer an option. Certainly, mobile devices can pose a risk to corporate networks and data are not going away.

While IT managers might want to let top management access corporate email or applications from personally-owned tablets connecting via their WEP secured home networks, they probably don’t want to grant nearly frictionless access to every employee hoping to connect via airport wi-fi service or coffee shop router.

Active Directory, which may seem like the easiest solution, is limited since it can only be leveraged to grant or block network access with a handful of specific parameters.

So what is the best way to protect enterprise networks and corporate data from vulnerable user devices in the short run? The Dell Cloud Client-Computing group proposes an effective and granular solution: the advanced targeting feature that comes with Dell Wyse vWorkspace, Dell’s simple, flexible and high-performance desktop virtualization software. These advanced targeting capabilities allow IT managers to set very specific user access parameters to virtual desktops and applications.

These parameters can be based on several fields that can be combined as needed to retain control of user access without having to deploy a costly third-party appliance. vWorkspace does not eliminate the need for Active Directory but works with the familiar functionality that Active Directory provides, to deliver a superior solution to your security-conscious IT department while enabling user flexibility and network access.

Based on variables such as user credentials, that user’s physical location, IP address, and time of access, vWorkspace allows authorized employees to enjoy secure, flexible access to the data and applications they need to maximize their productivity. vWorkspace also lets your IT managers combine relevant parameters and multiple layers of user classification to enforce policy-based permissions and context-aware access. The added benefit is that vWorkspace also allows you to define access to virtual desktops, applications, or individual resources such as printers, storage, drive maps, user subnets, or any other resource within a Windows environment.

For example, access can be granted based on user group and time of day combined with device name, the device’s operating system, and/or any relevant combination. Access and specified drive mapping can also be granted based on a user’s location to prevent users from logging in to certain applications or accessing sensitive data from outside the corporate network or outside an approved VPN.

 

Setting and Enforcing Flexible BYOD Policies

Deploying virtual desktops using vWorskpace allows your IT department to introduce and enforce new BYOD policies that protect your data by managing access without having to invest in a canopy of overlapping security measures. Specifically, with Advanced Targeting, IT managers can grant, deny or control access to specific virtual desktops, data sets or applications based on any or all the following criteria:

  • User’s identity and domain
  • User’s group, Organization Unit (OU)
  • Device address: the IP address of the end user’s device
  • Trusted entry point: the “last hop” IP address of the end user’s connection to the broker
  • Device name: the name of the end user’s device
  • The type or version of the vWorkspace connector used to connect
  • The browser used by the end user
  • Operating system of the end user’s device
  • Client two-factor authentication
  • Date / day of the week / time of the day
  • The vWorkspace Web Access site name

These can be combined as a set of Boolean (AND/OR) rules. vWorkspace is one of the only connection brokers on the market which includes such a feature built into the software at no extra cost.

Using these highly-configurable settings in vWorkspace to leverage Advanced Targeting, you can now implement individual or overlapping automated policies that monitor and grant access to any area of the network. This capability protects your network based on parameters you decide, providing more granularity than the traditional user identity and grouping provided by AD.

How Advanced Targeting Works

vWorkspace’s advanced targeting feature is based on identifying and approving each user’s source IP address. The IP subnet provides a trusted entry point and can be defined to enable remote logins from a remote gateway. This enables your IT department to approve access to applications and drive paths while limiting user access to others. Advanced Targeting can also allow your IT staff to block application access to anyone logging in from outside the network or limit access from users logging in from areas of the network that are not entirely secure. vWorkspace helps your IT team assign drive mapping and enforce specific policies related to resources that specific users are allowed to access.

 

Use Cases for Advanced Targeting

  • Nurses’ stations with endpoints that require secure access related to U.S. Federal HIPAA regulations for handling patient data. Hospitals typically assign applications to physical locations such as a nurse’s station rather than assigning them to specific individuals.
  • State and local police stations that are granted shared access to restricted access databases. Federal regulations limit the use of certain national criminal databases to approved individuals and only-accessed over specific, approved endpoints within secure areas of a law enforcement facility.
  • Academic environments where students can access applications using an academic license that has specific limitations. For example, students may be able to access and use otherwise cost-prohibitive design applications as long as they are accessed from on-campus computer labs and not from dorm rooms.
  • Management consultants may need access to standard business applications, the Internet, and some limited network access. Even so, IT departments of companies hiring consultants and granting them access to the network, may want to limit access to business accounting software or other sensitive applications.

 

Each of these discrete configuration choices are defined as “targets” or “target expressions” that can be combined to create specific even granular parameters for granting or restricting network or data access. vWorkspace can enable your IT department to set flexible and policy-based access parameters without having to touch user endpoints.

 

Conclusion

vWorkspace’s connection broker offers a unique form of multi-dimensional control called Advanced Targeting out of the box without the need for software scripting or specialized IT personnel. Whether your goal is to grant or limit access based on location, roll out a VDI production deployment, or launch a secure BYOD program, setting limits and establishing approved access is facilitated by vWorkspace. It also allows IT professionals to use software to enforce access policies in a world of increasingly individualized access that is constantly being upended by new devices and new demands for worker flexibility.

 

For more information, read the full version of this white paper in the attached PDF, visit www.dell.com/wyse/vWorkspace or contact us.

Dell TechCenterUsing HPC to Improve Personalized Medicine

The perceived obstacles to incorporating genomics into personalized medicine.(read more)

Dell TechCenterUsing HPC to Improve Personalized Medicine

The perceived obstacles to incorporating genomics into personalized medicine.(read more)

Dell TechCenterIoT Connecting People to Create a Better World


 Smart phones were the harbingers of the connected future as they transformed from merely portals for consuming information into sensors and location-based signaling tools. But the Internet of Things (IoT) takes that to another level where relatively inexpensive devices can be connected and managed through automation suites, then mined for new information. As I write this, my Nest thermostat is reporting my energy usage, and my Enphase Energy hub is recording my solar power generation. In April, in Northern California, it is almost ideal conditions for both, with no need for climate control and ample sunshine. Finally, my Kevo locks let me know when people come and go from the house or when a door is left open.

We expect this automation trend to accelerate, too. From water sensors to warn you when your plumbing has gone awry to smart pill bottles to help insure accurate daily dosing for an increasingly aged population, the range of information that we will soon have access to will likely become overwhelming. Indeed, just managing all of the devices, protecting privacy while allowing access, and figuring out how to merge related data streams together is already becoming a growth industry.

The latter may be the most interesting and valuable part of the technology puzzle, as well as the most challenging. Data analysis traditionally falls into several areas. The most common is alerting and descriptive statistics. The smart pill bottle needs to, at a minimum, alert the patient when the dosing is incorrect. It might also provide aggregate statistics concerning compliance. Where it becomes more challenging is when those statistics are merged together with other information sources. What is the correlation of a medication with the successful treatment of the condition or even off-label impacts and adverse effects? This has traditionally been the domain of retrospective analysis with large variations in the data sets due to incomplete and inaccurate reporting and the challenge of collecting together sufficient records. While medical privacy laws like HIPAA play a part in blocking effective access to this data, reporting is at least as great a challenge.

We can see similar patterns in terms of energy monitoring and consumption, like with my solar array. We recently used connected temperature sensors in refrigerators at Dell to monitor usage and performance of the devices. An odd spike occurred in one on Friday afternoons, showing the impact of an ice cream party on the energy consumption of the device. While a humorous outcome, opening and closing refrigerators consumes around 7% of the total energy used by the devices, and broad monitoring patterns has the potential to help reduce this waste.

These kinds of outlier patterns in the data, whether in off-label effects of medications or in energy consumption by appliances, have a broad social impact. Social psychologists have known for some time that the setting a person is in can strongly affect their choices. For instance, when people see others around them picking up litter from the ground, they are much less likely to litter themselves. We can guess that the awareness that connected monitoring will bring to our lives will have a similar effect. While we may try to avoid leaving the fridge door open, seeing the impact of such actions on the building, the company, the city, the nation, and the world creates a network of awareness and expectations that reinforce better behavior.

Dell TechCenterThe Next Frontier in Federal Government

Over the past several years, federal government agencies have made significant strides in IT reform to enable them to transform the way they operate to better serve their constituencies. Many data centers have been consolidated and standardized. Many shared services have been implemented for better collaboration and productivity. Similarly, a large number of legacy systems have been replaced with open, cloud-based IT environments for better scale and agility. Some have implemented anytime, anywhere mobile access to agency data for workers on the go. Others are adopting analytic and business intelligence capabilities to bring real-time decision-making for rapidly changing agency demands and mission requirements.

All these activities are part of the ongoing IT evolution in building a 21st century digital government ecosystem that’s interconnected, streamlined and open to the American people. Government officials realize that in order to narrow the gap between citizen expectations and government performance, they must upgrade mission-critical legacy systems with technologies and services that support integration with reliable, secure infrastructures.

The next priority in this evolution is taking digital technologies (analytics, mobile, social media and cloud) to the next level to evolve into a fully digital government. The goal of digital government is to be more accessible, more transparent, more personalized and more engaging. It opens the door for self-service channels and empowers more public engagement in helping solve problems that government may not be able to solve itself.

In a recent research analysis, Agenda Overview for Government, 2015, published January 8, 2015, Gartner captures this transformation toward digital government with three central themes: engagement, connection and resourcing.

Figure 1. Government Agenda Overview 

Gartner Figure 1

Source: Gartner (January 2015)

The agenda raises key questions:

Engaging citizens – How will government engage the public (individuals and organizations) and its workforce in more efficient, agile and trustworthy relationships?

Connecting agencies – How will government connect agencies at the technical, policy and operational layers via wide and agile networks?

Resourcing government – How will CIOs preserve or expand the financing of IT-related activities by restructuring portfolios, increasing sourcing alternatives and improving collaboration to respond to business needs?

Dell Services Federal Government is at the forefront in helping federal agencies embark on their digital journey. Through our Digital Transformation Services, we can help you rethink your agency strategy and organizational structure so you can discover how to integrate analytics, mobile, social and cloud technologies into every aspect of your agency organization – from back-end operations to citizen-facing touch points.

Let us partner with you on that journey. For more information, visit the Dell Federal Services website or contact Sanjeev_Nehra@federal.dell.com.

Dell TechCenterSolving next generation identity challenges for mobile & web applications

I'm honored to have been asked to speak on this topic at Signal Developer Conference for Communications in San Francisco. This topic is of particular interest to me since it will, in some ways, be a coming out party for some of the latest work we have done around Dell One Defender, our two-factor authentication product. We have a great history with Defender that goes back to around 2005 when we acquired the UK-based company PassGo. Before the acquisition, Defender was in market a number of years under the PassGo banner. One of the first things we did was engineer Defender to be much more tightly integrated with Active Directory. I think we were probably the first company to ship a two-factor product that was tightly integrated with Active Directory. You can manage Defender directly from the Active Directory User & Computers interface and also leverage Group Policy for deployment of tokens. With built-in integrations for firewalls, VPNs, and hardware and software-based tokens that never expire this product has been very popular. At the time, the strong integration with  Active Directory was exactly the right move as Active Directory was becoming more and more a de-facto standard within enterprises.

Over the last few years we've heard from our increasing customer base that they wanted another deployment option for Defender: the cloud. I think this demand has been driven by more and more contractors, partners and customers needing access to corporate resources within an enterprise coupled with a desire to not expose Active Directory to the wilds of a DMZ or the internet for security reasons. Plus, security has become an even bigger concern for all companies over the last few years. No one wants to be on the front page of their local newspaper or the latest victim of a hack. Disclosures, regulations, damages both real and to reputation are only increasing so we see nearly every company thinking about multiple layers of security and not just solely relying on the firewall anymore. High and thick walls are great but having a moat, a drawbridge and armed soldiers - and more - is a requirement in today's world.

At the Signal conference I'll be talking about our new Defender as a Service solution. It hasn't released yet but as soon as it does I'll be back to blog more specifically about features, functionality and costs. I'm super excited about this release and very proud of the work our development team and product managers have put into it. I've included the abstract for my session below. If you are going please be sure to attend my session. If you're not going or don't know about Signal I'd invite you to check it out. There are some great speakers like Dr. Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO; Mike Facemire an analyst with Forrester; Justin Kan of Y Combinator and Daniel Palacio the Sr. Director of Product Authentication at Twilio to name a few. It's sure to be a great 2 days!


Here's the abstract for my session:

Current authentication methods are no longer sufficient. Most of today's security infrastructure is static, enforcing policies defined in advance in environments where IT infrastructure and business relationships are relatively static. This is no longer sufficient in an environment that is highly dynamic, multi-sourced, and virtualized, and where the cloud is increasingly used in lieu of enterprise-owned and provisioned systems. Understanding the context that a user is operating in and the resources they are accessing allows for an understanding of their risk and gives the ability to make authentication choices based on this risk. In this session, Jackson Shaw will discuss what methodologies Dell will be enabling customer's to better protect enterprise and cloud-based applications and resources.

Dell TechCenterBeyond the Buzzwords—A Replay of Dell’s SAP Shop Floor Webinar

You might have heard terms such as Industry 4.0, Smart Factories, Paperless Manufacturing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) lately. For those of us who are not confronted with these terms on a daily basis it might be difficult to understand what really lies behind these buzzwords. And, although the meaning of these phrases seems obvious to many, the need for insight and details remains high among those who ask exactly what they mean.

photo of man climbing stairs of a factory to illustrate Dell Services and SAP webinar on smart factory

That’s why Dell’s Business Application & Technology Services division hosted a series of webinars together with SAP to not only clear up the confusion, but also to demonstrate the strategy behind what it takes to build a smart factory. Showcasing two of Dell’s client implementations—with the Scapa Group and Landis+Gyr—we provided an outlook on how we might help manufacturing companies take those critical next steps towards digital manufacturing.

Scapa built a fully integrated technical design for each component of the SAP MII application at the Knoxville location to fulfill both the company’s end-user functional needs and backend SAP ERP data configurations. A shared Dell and Scapa IT team evaluated the factory’s networks, servers, and applications and developed a comprehensive plan to execute the solution, including requirement priorities, an implementation roadmap and key project phases. 

“The SAP MII deployment in Knoxville was a true team effort with Dell Services, just like the previous deployments were,” says Baillie. “We really shared the workload for the project.”

Attendance rates for the webinar broadcasts were high, but we have also made the content available for video replay on the Dell Services YouTube Channel. You can check it out here:

"On the way to a Smart Factory"

About the Webinar

In the age of Internet, mobility, Big Data and in-memory analytics, it’s no longer a secret that the link between production and IT into an efficient production system has increasingly developed as a success factor for manufacturing companies.

But how can companies make the leap to the new form of value networks? And are there already practical applications and experiences of other manufacturing companies that helps developing an own strategy on the way to become a “Smart Factory”?

Dell and SAP answer these questions during a free, one-hour webinar. 

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterIncrease the control and security of mobile device management with a secure enterprise workspace

If your organization provides mobile employees with enterprise-owned smartphones or tablets, you might have implemented a mobile device management (MDM) solution to manage and secure those devices. The right MDM solution can handle a wide range of functions...(read more)

Dell TechCenter20 years young - happy birthday, PowerEdge!

Michael Dell and team members in the original factory with an early PowerEdge server

Twenty years ago, Dell entered the server business, and this month we are celebrating that milestone.

Given that we started out as a PC-selling business, it might have seemed like a risk when Dell began the daunting task of designing, building and bringing servers to market in the mid-90s. In 1995, only 5% of Dell’s revenue came from servers, we had less than 4% server market share and we ranked seventh in server unit shipments. Fast forward 20 years, and Dell’s PowerEdge portfolio is growing at more than 2 times the pace of the industry and we currently hold the No. 2 position in the global x86 server market. To put things in perspective, this market has grown by more than 600% since we first entered it – with Dell selling more PowerEdge servers in 2014 alone than the whole industry did in 1996.

In the short video below, some original Dell Server team members swap battle stories about the exciting, fast paced times and challenges they faced starting this line of business from scratch.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

From early on, we made listening to our customers a priority as we developed solutions to meet their needs and help them grow. It was customer input concerning the need for density that led us to getting into the business of building rack servers. We learned from our customers that simplifying management was one of their key priorities, and we developed our OpenManage systems management portfolio in response. Our interactions with customers also led to the design of complete end-to-end solutions instead of “just boxes.” Over time, this customer-centric point of view has evolved into our design-to-value strategy, meaning that we incorporate feedback from thousands of customer interactions when developing new solutions.

To that point, today not only marks the kick-off for our PowerEdge 20th anniversary, we’re also introducing three new modules for the PowerEdge FX portfolio which revolutionized converged infrastructure, helping organizations quickly configure  complete workloads using modular building blocks of IT resources. From Tapad, a fast growing company that was named one of Forbes’ most promising American companies for 2015 to a large e-commerce in Asia that purchased more than 10,000 FX servers, the PowerEdge FX is helping customers around the world better manage, scale and budget for infrastructure to meet the needs of the business now and into the future.

To our customers and partners over the last 20 years, my sincere thanks for your business and support. You are at the center of everything we do at Dell, and I’m excited to continue to work with all of you in the years to come. 

Dell TechCenterAre you getting what you need from native Active Directory management tools? Thought not. — New Video and White Paper

How does your organization handle Active Directory management? Did you know that not every company deals with Active Directory management in the same way or with the same Active Directory tools, and that the differences have as much to do with culture...(read more)

Mark CathcartHealthcare – Points mean Prizes!

Back on April 6th I wrote a blog called “Healthcare Stupidity“. In a work email today it contained the following:

It may surprise you, but prices for medical services can differ depending on where you go. For example, identical cholesterol tests can run between $10 and $270 and an MRI can range from $300 to $3,000. Need a minor outpatient procedure? Searching in Castlight could save you hundreds. With Castlight, you can compare costs for doctors and medical services before you make an appointment.

Earn more points! Sign up, perform a search and review your medical plan in Castlight by June 30 for a chance to win 10,000 WOWPoints on e-Deals (valued at $100)*! For rules and more details please visit Castlight Rewards Sweepstakes.

Speechless, you can’t make this stuff up. As Bruce Forsyth used to say, Points mean prizes, play your card right!

Watch the video, If you are one of my US Friends… It will dispel any notion you have of the British being intelligent and articulate, much like the US Healthcare system it seems.


Mark CathcartHello Lamp Post Austin

hello-lamp-post-banner-jan-2015[1]

I must admit when I heard about the Hello Lamp Post project at the Art Alliance Austin annual party*, I was pretty interested.

I regularly run past a number of places that have the project, but since I’m running and don’t have my phone, I’d not tried it until the other day. I found myself at Austin Bergstrom Airport, waiting for my my luggage, at #3. Right there in front of me was a Hello Lamp Post project. I tried.

Apart from the superficial novelty of txting an object, one of the Art City guitars, the “conversation” didn’t last long.

#512: Good evening [etc.] How do you like to express yourself?

Me: Quietly, with confidence

#512: I’m only just getting the hang of talking. Someone told me “playing the guitar” Another thing. Can you play any instruments?

Me: Nope

#512: I must learn to play something myself. Let me ask another question. Have you any songs stuk in your head?

Me: American Pie

#512: Simon and Garfunkel are stuck in mine. I’m going to have a think about wht you said now. Come and Find me again soon! Want to know why objects like me are waking on? Visit hellolampostaustin.com

Me: Thanks I know… I”m an Art Austin VIP

Screenshot_2015-04-15-17-22-21and that was it. I have to say, less than I was hoping for. Surely artificial intelligence can do better, not even an Austin fact of the day, or details about the project, number of objects, or anything actually engaging for me.

* I’m an Art Alliance Austin Collectors Circle member. Join me. While my experience with this project may not have met my expectations, the various Art Night events, and the upcoming Art City Austin events are well worth supporting and they’ve had both some great art, and great experience art.


Dell TechCenterWhat is a Cloud system anyway?

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Author Bio: Frank O’Connor, Enterprise Technologist, Office of the CTO, has a global outbound focus on the operational impact of Converged Infrastructure with an emphasis on solutions. Frank has a more than 25-year track record, highlighting consistent success in applying strategic vision to merge business with technology. He possesses expertise in business operations, technology integration, network engineering, business relations and overall organizational leadership.

Prior to joining Dell Frank was part of the Office of the CTO at VCE, Frank also founded a Homeland Security development company, ESP Sensors, where he built Radiation Detection Systems. ESP provided systems to military, healthcare and public facilities throughout the country. Earlier in his career, Frank served as CIO for Jenny Craig International, J&R Music World and Wickes Furniture.

What is a Cloud system anyway? And more importantly, why should I care?

First, let’s put some color to this. From a hardware perspective a “Cloud” system is nothing more than a collection of servers, storage and networking, sounds pretty familiar doesn’t it? There are good ways to do this, and not so good ways; I will come back to this in a minute.

From a software perspective things get a little more interesting. Some would say that just virtualizing your compute and storage resources using a Hypervisor and some Software defined Storage controller gives you that layer. Others speak about adding in the virtual networking layer as well; and there is control of the application platform, provisioning servers, storage, backup and load management, namely a catalogue and some self-service portal.  Lastly, there is the question of where all of this is, public, private, or hybrid.

So as you can see, the software side is very important, but let’s not forget that like your car, reliability of the components has gotten so good, and the interoperability of the discreet systems so tight, that we start to forget about all of the underlying technology that enable the 40+ MPG in a high performance package.

Many business leaders are asking the basic questions posed in the title of this report, and frankly they are correct to ask. The challenge is the broad array of answers that are proposed, and the level of authority with which so many answer with would make you think there is only one answer when nothing is further from the truth.

As IT has become a greater focus in business transformation, the speed at which new applications and new touch points to customers must be delivered is increasing

The business requirements that demand change have driven the time it takes to conceive of, design, test, and launch an application from what was months, sometimes years,  to now weeks, months and sometimes days. The demand placed on backend infrastructure by the Internet of Things (IoT) and by Mobile apps is causing a disruption in the market not unlike Uber to the Taxi Industry, or Tesla in the automotive space.

Consider two examples of how that is already taking effect. At the University of Southern California, Uber is now the dispatch engine for the Campus Cruiser afterhours shuttle. Instead of trying to create their own solution USC co-opted with Uber and Uber created a private slice within their system to accommodate this need. The speed at which this happened was remarkable, and the benefit to the USC community was immediate and easy to manage. In NYC, there are Taxi operators turning off their marquise on top of the cab and signing into Uber; boy, how far we have come. The demand on IT to allow this kind of pivot within a business from an execution perspective cannot be overstated, companies will live and die based on the success and failure of these initiatives.

The engine must also adhere to and embrace standards because, without them, we will not be able to fit into the tightly integrated delivery system that is the Cloud

So having an engine to power all of this is incredibly important. The engine must be flexible, scalable and reliable. Consider that almost all of us are already using the Cloud in some way. At home, with online banking, we may setup and manage access from our desktop computers, but we likely do more transfers and deposits using our phones. Acceptance is immediate and when done from just outside of the bank, one could see the result on the ATM, or ask a teller to confirm. That is the cloud delivering game changing service.

At work when moving from internal applications, HR, to travel (Concur), to Sales Management (SFDC), it is done without regard for where the app is hosted. In fact, users likely traversed at least four different networks without having to sign in a second time, all secured by VPN connection at a remote office location. That is the cloud delivering truly transformational services to business and enabling work, productively, from a remote location.

The speed at which change is embraced in these examples is evident by the number of times your local apps are updated on your phone. In most cases, rarely a month goes by without an update being pushed to your device, enabling a new feature or fixing a bug. Changes are small and incremental, allowing the developers to be very nimble and address needs much faster than just a few years back. 

The need for change drives the need for nimble hardware as well

A new app is launched and demand is much greater than anticipated, do your systems recognize the demand? Do you make operators aware of the change and wait? Well not so much anymore. The new systems, the Cloud, now get metrics about demand on the application, can understand the need for more compute or more storage and then make a request to the hardware layer to allocate and deploy these additional systems components, adding the needed capacity to the application to maintain the SLA committed to by the business. Sounds a little like magic, but consider that without a clear and thorough understanding about the nature and capacity of the additional hardware that is available, the add may or may not have the desired effect on performance, and now we are in trouble.

This is the root of the issue. We have all of these tools, Cisco has their InterCloud offering, VMware has VCloud Air, Amazon has AWS, Microsoft has Azure. Some of these are public only, some try to be hybrid, but all require some level of high performance hardware that is able to scale up, and scale out quickly and reliably.

Having a complete set of system offerings that address these needs, while embracing open standards, is a key imperative to the long term success of many of these initiatives

That is where the idea of convergence starts to make sense. The idea that the architecture is able to accommodate additional resources, be it storage, networking, or compute as required to meet demand, is a game changer. The execution of this convergence means that the new hardware can be discovered by a management agent, understood in terms of capacity and capability, and then incorporated into the hardware pool so that applications can consume this hardware as needed, in a reliable and predicable fashion.

Converged infrastructure is the system the enables the nimble enterprise

At Dell, we have built many of the parts to allow customers to realize this vision. We do not do it all, we embrace the standards that allow this to work using our systems together with other leaders in the space. We work well with VMWare, Microsoft, and Red Hat to name a few on the private side. And based on their tool kits, support the movement of applications from public to private environments that truly represent the Hybrid offering so many are trying to reach.

A few companies have a mature vision of what their hybrid cloud strategies are, but no other company can offer the standards based array of products that can be orchestrated into a scalable fabric like Dell can today.

And with our most recent platforms, FX2 and the SC4000, our ability to provide scale up and scale out architectures is second to none. The message is clear, we have built the products. Now we need to help drive the strategy.

So why should you care? You should care because the business demands on technology today will simply crush any IT organization that does not embrace automation within the context of a massively scalable architecture at the enterprise level. By making the correct choices today, by building a foundation based on flexible standardized converged architecture a company can ensure that choices made today will support the business for years to come. 

Dell TechCenterProtecting Active Directory from Destruction - When Recycle Bin Isn't Enough

Unless it’s simply a matter of domain node objects (users, groups, computers…) being deleted – there’s a good chance the AD Recycle Bin just isn’t going to cut it for you. In this real training for free™ event Randy...(read more)

Gina MinksThe thrill of the [job] hunt

I’ve been officially unemployed for about 7 weeks. I have a coach, and about 5 mentors (holy cow y’all I’m so lucky). After talking with my coach this afternoon, I thought I’d free-style my thoughts on what I’ve done, and where I am. I’m leaving some details out, but here’s where I am: I’ve gotten pretty deep in discussions/the interview process with a couple of companies. The roles were not right for me, and both

read more here

Dell TechCenterHave a look at the most recent Desktop Authority video on how to troubleshoot the Server Manager!

Video: Server Manager - Part 3 - How to troubleshoot Server Manager The third in a series of videos regarding the Server Manager tab in Desktop Authority. This video explains how to troubleshoot issues in the Server Manager tab.(read more)

Dell TechCenterStructured Data Still Critical Despite Big Data Hype

This morning, we announced the results of a new survey of database deployments aimed at identifying today’s most prevalent technology adoption trends driving the data platform marketplace and the evolving role of today’s database administrator (DBA). After surveying more than 300 DBA’s and others charged with managing corporate data, we were able to gain deeper insight into the so-called big data movement, including the initial real-world adoption of modern Hadoop and NoSQL technologies, as well as the current usage of traditional relational database technologies.

Two men stand in a Dell data center looking at database administration software on a Dell tablet

Before I get into what I think they mean in terms of the big picture and the future of the data and information management industry at large, let’s take a look at some of the key survey findings themselves:

The majority of data under management is structured

Although unstructured data types play an increasing role in the modern data ecosystem, structured data remains the foundation of the information infrastructure in most companies. According to the survey, while management of unstructured data will likely become more prevalent as advanced analytics initiatives continue to gain traction, structured data still makes up 75 percent of data under management for more than two-thirds of organizations, with nearly one-third of organizations not yet actively managing unstructured data at all.

Traditional relational databases remain the focal point of data management efforts

Though the survey reveals a cross-section of database platforms in use across organizations, Oracle (found in 78 percent of orgs) and Microsoft SQL Server (found in 72 percent) remain the most common platforms organizations use to support mission-critical data.

The use of Hadoop and NoSQL is still in nascent stages

While Hadoop and NoSQL are exciting new technologies, their use does not factor into many companies’ plans over the next few years. While the industry adoption of NoSQL and Hadoop (especially in larger companies) has clearly increased, nearly 57 percent of companies have no plans to adopt Hadoop within one to three years, and 56 percent of companies have no plans to adopt NoSQL within one to three years.

Analytics are driving new database implementations

The need to support new analytical use cases, which increasingly involves unstructured data and big data technologies, was cited as the most important factor driving adoption of new database management systems, with the need for greater flexibility and performance closely behind.

So what does this all mean? From my perspective, there are two key takeaways here:

#1: The answer is both

Just about every question I’m asked by customers involves the phrase “which one.” Customers want to know which one they should focus on – structured or unstructured, relational or NoSQL, transactional or social? And as Dell’s survey confirms, the answer, in each case, is very clearly both. Data management best practices in the modern era don’t revolve around one or the other. They don’t revolve around just big data or just transactional data. Data management today is about optimizing, connecting to, integrating and analyzing all of your data, regardless of how big it is or where it resides. The companies that can do that are the ones that will be best positioned for success. 

#2: The role of the DBA is evolving

Dell’s survey suggests that the increasing adoption of Hadoop and NoSQL will lead to a change in the role of the database administrator. We found that, overwhelmingly, most DBAs are responsible for managing multiple database instances. Seventy percent of the respondents said the DBAs in their organizations were responsible for managing databases from at least two vendors, and 7 percent of respondents said the DBAs at their companies were responsible for managing databases from five or more vendors. With the growth of data under management and introduction of new technologies, including cloud-based computing, we’re only expecting this trend to keep growing, with the role of the DBA evolving to become increasingly “multilingual.” Gear up, DBAs.

To learn more about the survey, or to review the results in detail, you can view the full report here. And if you have any questions, or just want to chat about information management in general, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @AlertSource

Dell TechCenterWhat Lives Inside: Real Narrative Marketing, Surreal Movie Magic

As first noted here in February, we’ve been working with Intel, two-time Oscar-winner Robert Stromberg, actor Colin Hanks, recent Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons and others to bring the “What Lives Inside” movie exclusively to hulu.

The third episode was released last week, and a recap just came out today:

(Please visit the site to view this video)

While the director and actors get a lot of the limelight, there are many other talented individuals who have been hard at work making the world of a character’s imagination come to life – or as one of them put it: making things real, but surreal.

Visual effects were produced at MPC, where CG and 2D artists contributing over 200 stunning VFX shots to create four 10-minute short films in an ambitious four and a half months.

 “A film project in a commercial time,” is how Aaron Hamman at MPC described it.

The visual effects agency says they undertook extensive R&D to inject life, emotion, and natural movements into each character, including texturing of scales, rigging of skeletal structures, and animation of interaction, movements and voice dialogue.

With high-performance computing power from Dell and Intel, MPC actually built a separate render farm fine-tuned solely for the different render engines used for this project such as V-Ray from Chaos Group which uses specific ray-tracing software with an Intel chip to speed up render times.

We’ve heard a lot of great feedback about the film online, and a similar theme tweeted here by @Anelakins is a desire for more:

But, others still have their reservations like Joey Preger:

I was fortunate enough to be part of a small audience that got to see Stromberg preview the first episode during SXSW, and he does not strike me as the type to let product placement supersede the story he wants to tell.

“He’s not a director who sits back and lets other people take over,” said Ross Denner at MPC. “He’s very full-on-hand, he gets involved and it’s fantastic to have that kind of interaction between director and post houses because this is such a post-heavy job.”

Stromberg had creative freedom and combined that post-production interaction with his attention to detail to bring the Intel tagline "It's what's inside that counts" to life. So, while yes, there is Dell technology in the film, in addition to the Dell technology helping create the film, Boing Boing says: “The animation is beautiful, the acting is top notch, and the story looks fun and mysterious.”

“The movie is free to be about Colin Hanks [sic] tries to come to terms with the great things his father created and his own relationship with him and not how to use a tablet for every conceivable situation,” says blogger Joshua P’ng who calls it “Narrative Marketing at its finest.”

Watch the first three episodes now, so you’ll be ready when the finale goes live TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Mark CathcartIn stark contrast

texasWhile a lot of todays action in the Texas Capital, as covered by social media, is about the “open carry”  bill being sent back for procedural reasons, given we still have a full 7-weeks of the Legge before they remount their horses and get out of dodge for the next 1.5 years(I know, how weird is that?), there is no doubt the bill make to it the Governors desk, where Governor Abbott has said he’ll sign it.

I’m left feeling pretty empty and hollow about Texas today though. I heard the news today on the Texas Standard about SB 204. I don’t know anything about this subject, but when I saw the justification

that the state could “no longer afford” the cost of operating all of its 13 state-supported living centers.

I was left wondering how. in what universe can Texas not afford to run these? Neither the Texas Tribune or the Texas Standard had any details on how the some 3,000 beneficiaries of these State Institutions would be cared for.

A few minutes later the Texas Standard went on to cover this story, about Sex trafficking and human slavery. The article makes a number of claims, all of which are appalling and repugnant.

the Polaris Project says 100,000 children are trafficked a year for sex in this country. The Polaris Project maintains the national human trafficking hotline. Texas ranks second in the number of calls to that hotline.

It seriously makes you ask, why are we not focusing on this as a problem, are there State programs, State hospice care, State rehab centers?

But most of all, what kinda of Men are the “buyers” and facilitate this in Texas? It’s just disgusting.

Almost as bad though is that the Legge is busy debating open carry, meaningless tax cuts, and closing State institutions because it can’t afford  them. A fine example of “you get what you vote for”.


Dell TechCenterDell Boomi is Named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for iPaaS Worldwide

In the release of the March 2015 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service, Worldwide, Gartner identified Dell Boomi as a leader in the magic quadrant—for the second year in a row—based on our ability to execute and completeness of vision.

Our positioning in the Leaders Quadrant*, in our opinion, is a testament to our commitment to continually bring innovation and strategic business value to our customers.

When I talk to customers, partners and industry analysts about why this is the perfect time for a cloud-first strategy, I emphasize the competitive advantage it offers. Aside from the faster time to value and increased speed and agility that companies gain by moving to the cloud, it is simply better for business.

Why? Because the productivity gains can’t be ignored.

Hybrid IT environments will exist well into the future and Dell Boomi integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is flexible enough to integrate anything, anywhere—at any time. Whether your data resides in legacy systems sitting on premises, at a data center halfway around the world, or in best-of-breed SaaS applications, iPaaS makes it easier to create and manage those integrations. In seconds, our patented Boomi Suggest crowdsourcing technology recommends a working integration, making it easy for you to get started. This isn’t your father’s template-based approach—these recommendations are dynamic, intelligent and adaptive, based on the worldwide collective knowledge of the Dell Boomi community right now.

With the growing number of mobile devices and expanded use of social media platforms, the number of endpoints you need to manage is increasing, too, as demand for web services accessed through APIs now comes from both inside and outside of your organization. Dell Boomi API Management lets you create, publish and manage all of your APIs, on the same platform you use for integration— dramatically simplifying the lifecycle management of all of those endpoints even as the numbers increase exponentially.

An iPaaS lets you share data effectively and efficiently through automated business processes. And if you can ensure that the data everyone shares is high quality by using master data management (MDM), you’ll enable the business to make better, more informed decisions—faster.

Dell Boomi iPaaS can help you simplify an extremely complex ecosystem, so you can spend more time focusing on delivering superior service to customers.

Cloud has allowed our customers to gain an edge through faster implementation—they can test new solutions quickly, and make decisions faster than ever. Dell Boomi minimizes the challenges and complexities associated with data and application integration, and our customers experience that every day. For example, here’s what our customer at Mozy, Inc. says:

“We selected Dell Boomi to for its powerful and easy-to-use technology that virtually dispels the challenges associated with hybrid IT,” said Mark Goetz, eServices Manager at Mozy, Inc. “With Dell Boomi, our team is more productive and agile and we are empowered to support the key business processes that help us better serve our customers.  For Dell Boomi to be named once again a leader by Gartner cements our confidence in the decision to rely on Dell Boomi’s powerful, scalable iPaaS.”

So if your organization struggles with the proliferation of integration technologies, if you wonder why integration projects take so long, if you’re tired of doing middleware software upgrades to stay current, if you wish you could train your engineers in a single skill for all types of integrations and APIs, then you need a single platform that simplifies these tasks and reduces the amount of time spent on integration. Take a look at Dell Boomi iPaaS—the one tool that can handle any type of integration, anywhere, very quickly. You will find that it not only adds value, but also changes the dynamics of integration by reducing cost and increasing productivity.

View a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service, Worldwide (registration required).

 

*Disclaimer:  This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Dell Boomi. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Dell TechCenterDell Smart Plug-in Version 4.1 for HP Operations Manager 9.0 for Microsoft Windows now available

Blog Author: Hari Sharma

Dell Smart Plug-in version 4.1 for HP Operations Manager (HPOM) 9.0 for Microsoft Windows provides end-to-end monitoring capability for the entire Dell infrastructure stack. With this plug-in, customers have a comprehensive view of Dell servers, remote access controllers, workstation, chassis, storage arrays and networking switches. They can monitor Dell infrastructure from HP Operations Manager console, the single point of management for the complete data center in customer’s environment. This brings increased ease of use and continued investment protection for HPOM customers. 

This release newly supports Dell PowerEdge 13th generation Servers (including iDRAC8), Dell Precision Rack Workstation and Dell N-Series Network switches. It also supports device specific one-to-one and one-to-many console launch for the new devices and capability to upgrade from previous version (version 3.0 and 4.0) to the new version.

Key Dell Smart Plug-in Features:

Feature

Function

Benefit

Classification and Monitoring

Classify and monitor the Dell devices in HPOM console.

Enables user to view and monitor the Dell devices in Service and Node hierarchy in HPOM console.

Dev ice Association of Modular systems

Correlate Dell Modular Servers, EQL Blade Arrays and Blade IO switch modules to Dell Chassis

 

Helps to locate blades in a Dell chassis

 

Event Monitoring and Event Auto-correlation of Dell Devices

Show SNMP traps of Dell devices and correlates related  device traps mainly

•Warning to critical alerts or vice versa

•Warning to normal and critical to normal events

Enables to monitor the health of Dell devices at a granular (component) level and helps the customer to focus on the current outstanding problem events only.

1:1 Device Specific Console Launch

Link and launch of Dell device specific element management tools from HPOM console.

Enables further troubleshooting and one-to-one configuration, update or management of Dell devices.

1:Many Dell device console launch

Link and launch of Dell OpenManage Essentials, OpenManage Network Manager, Modular Disk Storage Manager, OpenManage Power Center (OMPC), Compellent Enterprise Manager and PowerVault Modular Disk Storage Manager from HPOM console.

Enables further troubleshooting and configuration, update or management of multiple Dell devices from a single management console

Show Warranty information

Warranty Information can be launched from HPOM console.

Enables to see the warranty information of the Dell devices

Dell Smart Plug-in 4.1 for HP Operations Manager 9.0 is available as a software download offered at no charge for customers who elect monitoring PowerEdge servers (10G through 13G) through in-band (OMSA agent installed in the Operating System) method, chassis, storage and networking devices.

Customers using the Dell Smart Plug-in, who want to take advantage of agent-free, out-of-band server management via iDRAC, can purchase a license key and then use the Dell Connections License Manager (DCLM) to distribute those licenses to managed server nodes.  This out-of-band management technology allows IT administrators to effectively monitor Dell systems with increased availability from any location, and without the use of agents. It accomplishes this regardless of operating system or hypervisor presence or state. 

The product download links and product documentation are available on the Dell TechCenter Dell OpenManage Connection for HP Operations Manager Wiki page. We encourage you to continue this conversation in the OpenManage Connections for 3rd Party Console Integration Forum if you have any comments or other feedback.

Footnotes