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Dell TechCenterDell Scotland Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

Looking around our 10th Anniversary celebrations at City Park today, I am so proud at how quickly our presence has grown in Scotland. In just ten years, we’ve grown to have approximately 650 team members, with everyone dedicated in servicing over 2,000 Scottish customer businesses. We’re not stopping there - with our recent role as Official IT Hardware and Data Centre Supporter at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the renewed lease of our City Park campus in Glasgow, we’re committed to continued investment in Scotland.

Since we launched in City Park in 2005, we’ve developed areas of strength in the Scottish public sector and we’re well on our way to becoming a true end-to-end solutions provider for Scottish businesses. As a part of this multi-year strategy, we’ve been committed to expanding our presence in Scotland – helped by the acquisition of the Edinburgh-based Security-as-a-Service provider, SecureWorks, in 2011.  As we’ve gathered momentum, our team has even gone beyond the borders of Scotland. As a direct result of our business transformation, our team is becoming increasingly highly-skilled and is being asked to take on more EMEA-wide and global roles – a tremendous testament to the drive and talent of our Scottish workforce.

As I look back over the last ten years, it’s clear that the relationship we’ve formed with the local community has been paramount in our success.  We’ve been able to demonstrate thought-leadership within the Scottish business community through the acceptance of our team into groups such as Scottish Women in Technology, Scottish Enterprise, SCDI, and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce and ScotlandIS. We’ve also been lucky enough to play an active volunteer role in encouraging future generations through school outreach, such as our mentoring programmes at Alexandra Parade Primary School, and dedicate programmes to support Scottish-based charities such as The Prince’s Trust Million Makers Challenge, Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS ), Make A Wish Foundation and Byte Night. There is a tremendous sense of satisfaction derived from giving back to communities in the East End and beyond. The highlight of these efforts has to be the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year – to be involved in a world-class sporting event was a significant undertaking for the team and everyone rose to the challenge.

Today isn’t all about recognising our past achievements though – today, we look to the future with the launch of our new Employee Resource Group (ERG), PRIDE. PRIDE is the latest ERG to join the ranks on the Glasgow site and speaks to Dell’s strong and proud history of diversity and inclusiveness. With Scotland recently ranked number one by the annual Rainbow Index for respecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, *** and intersex (LGBTI) people, we wanted to make sure that Dell wasn’t left behind. As part of the ERG family, PRIDE will continue to welcome broader perspectives, contributing to a work culture which values and thrives successfully because of diversity.

As we celebrate our past and our future in Scotland today, we want to share our excitement and commitment to continued success. We want to continue to deliver technology solutions that help customers improve efficiency and productivity and subsequently help the Scottish community and economy reach its full potential in partnership as we continue to grow. 

Dell TechCenterRethinking Backups to Save Time and Money

Saving time and money... the ultimate goal. Uptime and SLAs are critical to hit. But really, bad things can happen – but if you're prepared, and can execute well when they do, you'll be fine. Where are the people whose projects or mistakes...(read more)

Dell TechCenterThe New Statistica: Datawatch Visualization, Hadoop Connectivity and Access to Even More Data

How do you empower more people with advanced analytics for greater impact on how they do their job? How do you embed analytics everywhere so you can make data-driven decisions? How can you use analytics to innovate faster? These questions keep us up...(read more)

Dell TechCenterBringing Dell Shoppers New Levels of Convenience

Every morning I go to my favorite coffee shop. I spend between 10 and 15 minutes waiting in line, ordering, paying, walking to the end of the counter and waiting again for my drink. 15 minutes a day is almost three days a year!

That’s a lot of time in an age when we increasingly expect new levels of convenience from retailers to make our lives easier. Advancements in technologies such as social, mobile and cloud have made almost anything possible. Even though these advancements and many others have increased customer loyalty by letting us engage on our terms, there still remains far too much friction in customers’ experiences.

diagram of customer journeyNow imagine if my coffee was just waiting for me? What used to take up to 15 minutes of my day now just takes 15 seconds? Continuous small tweaks and changes, not monolithic overhauls of the customer journey is all it takes to enable new levels of convenience. There are three things that we can do as retailers to bring these new levels of convenience: FIND patterns in data, MAKE technology invisible and CONNECT to the global network.

Today, I’m going to focus on the first, finding the patterns in the data, and will explore the other two in subsequent posts.

There are currently four zetabytes (four trillion gigabytes) of data on the planet, 90 percent of that data was generated in the last two years and the vast majority is connected to an IP address. Our information behavior is changing faster than the information systems, so how do we make sense of it? We need to invest in our information systems to find the patterns in the data.

Most online companies already analyze patterns from customers including past purchases, website visits, glace views and circles of personalization. But, what if that data could be integrated with a host of other data including web behavior, social media interaction and geographical locations? We could actually predict customers’ actions - their what, when, where and how.

Utilizing social media to identify patterns of customer behavior is one of the critical ways to achieve this level of personalization. Dell is a pioneer in the social media listening space and opened our Social Media Command Centre in 2010. We analyze real time data and feedback about Dell to identify trends and issues. The Social Media Command Centre has enabled us to respond to you more quickly. In fact we have a 99 percent Customer Satisfaction Resolution Rate – so we’re not only responding to you quickly, we’re getting you the answers you need. With smarter tools, we’ve been able to nearly double our reach.

And we’re not only using this tool internally. We’re also helping our enterprise customers, including companies like the Fortune 500 retailer, Staples, so they too can become more responsive to your needs. Staples wanted a better solution to sift through the over 150,000 monthly social media posts about their brand to find relevant data from their customers. Staples hired Dell Services as a managed service to oversee all of the data collection, tagging and analysis and deliver useful intelligence.  Through our social media listening we have enabled Staples to reduce the social data noise by 75 percent, amplify the customers’ voice in day-to-day decisions and improve their responsiveness and offerings.

So, as you can see finding the patterns in data, such as social media, is crucial to the future of commerce. What do you think? Are you intrigued by the new levels of convenience it will bring? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to come back for my next blog post in this series where I will focus on how making technology invisible enables new levels of convenience by enabling the consumer to focus on their commerce experience rather than the technology.

Barton GeorgeOpening Keynote – DevOps Days Austin

A couple of weeks ago I attended the fourth annual DevOps Days Austin.   The event was extremely well organize and had a great line up of speakers.  As always I brought along my trusty flipcam (cause I’m old school) and recorded a handful of interviews.  The first in this series features Damon Edwards of DTO solutions, one of the early pioneers of DevOps.

In this video Damon discusses his keynote and thoughts around DevOps in general (you can check out his slides below)

Some of the ground Damon covers

  • How he got into DevOps consulting and how Devops came to be.
  • Applying DevOps to large enterprises and the importance of visibility.
  • How financial services are particularly keen to dive in as well as interest from pharma, manufacturing, gaming etc.

Damon’s Slides

Interviews on tap:

  • Cameron Haight – Gartner
  • Michael Cote – Pivotal
  • John Willis – Docker
  • Paul Read – Release Engineering Approaches

Pau for now…


Dell TechCentervWorkspace and F5 BigIP LTM

In many vWorkspace deployments remote access to applications and data is a primary goal. This is often achieved by implementing the Remote Access role of vWorkspace within an organization's DMZ. In so doing, your employees can access the vWorkspace...(read more)

Dell TechCenterWhat Lives Inside Now Lives Outside Hulu

There’s a holiday weekend coming up in the U.S., but you won’t need the extra day off to watch all four episodes of What Lives Inside, now available on Inside Films.

Originally released exclusively on Hulu, this social movie is a joint effort of Dell and Intel, but truly the creation of Oscar-winning director Robert Stromberg. Intel has worked with other partners on similar social films, but AdAge said “this may be the most inspiring yet.”

"The story has become a very personal journey for me," said Stromberg. "As a working father in Hollywood, I can relate to the father's struggles in the movie, which made me very passionate about how the characters evolved.”

But is creating work for a brand like Dell different from other film endeavors? Stromberg discussed that with PJ Pereira.

“I approach it the same. The same creativity goes into it, and thought patterns and approach,” Stromberg said. “You’re not overtly shoving the product in the audience’s face. You’re letting them see how it interacts with somebody’s everyday life in a good way.”

(Please visit the site to view this video)

The product he used in this film is our Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet.

As you watch Colin Hanks’ character change the color of a butterfly using his tablet, you might think that is just movie magic. But, everything the tablet does in the film is real; there were no special effects used to enhance the product, meaning you have the ability to do the same things Taylor does in “What Lives Inside” if you have this tablet.

"This film provides an engaging and unique way to showcase the capabilities of the Intel RealSense technology through the Dell Venue 8 7000 series," said Doug Parker, vice president of Intel Partner Marketing.

What Lives Inside is set in a surreal world of fantastical creatures – 144 of which were selected from more than 6000 submissions – that are brought to life through the Dell Precision workstation-generated effects of MPC. In this video, they’ve broken down the VFX work to show how the collaboration between MPC LA, Pereira & O’Dell and Stromberg worked:

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Hopefully, this movie will not only entertain, but also inspire the creativity of viewers. If so, here’s some advice from Hanks on moving forward:

“You can talk yourself out of any number of great ideas because you don't think it's going to turn out well, or you're not sure how it will be interpreted or if people will like it," said Hanks. "But at the end of the day, what really matters is are you excited while you're making it, you're excited while you're doing it.”

So, I encourage you to go watch the movie – you may get a bit verklemt like I did, but you can also be inspired to go create something fantastical of your own!

Dell TechCenterDell VMware EVO:RAIL solutions: fast, easy, scalable virtual infrastructure and VDI

Last week, IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Client Device Tracker for the first quarter of 2015 once again ranked Dell in the #1 position for thin and terminal clients worldwide with 29.7 percent market share, up 2.5 percent from Q4 2014. We’re seeing a lot of momentum with companies of all sizes adopting VDI solutions. Today, we’re announcing the general availability of Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL Horizon Edition, as well as new updates to Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL. Today’s announcement is a reflection of our strong partnership with VMware and our joint commitment to providing customers with simple yet powerful cloud and virtual infrastructure solutions to help future-proof their IT environments and organizations.   

The Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL Horizon Edition (HE), available for purchase today,  is the first hyper-converged end-to-end virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) appliance for VMware EVO:RAIL. This adds an important and powerful component to our fast-growing appliance-based VDI portfolio. Our VDI appliances make it simpler than ever to plan, deploy and run virtual desktops by bundling all the necessary components for VDI from the servers, to the endpoints, to support and services. We offer various “flavors” of these appliances to ensure we’re addressing our customers’ exact needs – whether they’re an up-and-coming startup with a fast-growing workforce, an industrial engineering firm with heavy graphic and collaboration needs, or a growing multinational corporation looking for VDI that will scale with them.

We’re also announcing updates to Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL Infrastructure Edition. Version 1.2 is the first update since the Dell EVO:RAIL solution was introduced last August. It offers an enhanced user experience, as well as greater capacity for future growth. The new maximum scalability for a single cluster of these appliances is now eight, up from four in the initial version, with each appliance designed for approximately 100 general purpose virtual machines (VMs). Since each appliance contains four server nodes, the new maximum cluster size is increased from 16 to 32 nodes, supporting approximately 800 general purpose VMs. These new features allow our customers to spend their time thinking about growing their business knowing that their infrastructure will grow with them.

Earlier this month, VMware introduced the VMware EVO:RAIL vSphere Loyalty Program (VLP), which allows customers with a minimum of eight CPU vSphere licenses to apply them to the purchase of Dell Engineered Solutions for VMware EVO:RAIL, reducing the overall cost by up to 30 percent. This preserves the existing investment in VMware software while reducing the overall cost of an appliance purchase. Customers with OEM, Enterprise Licensing Agreements (ELAs) or other channel resell product are eligible for the program. VMware has a full FAQ on their site.

We believe our success stems from our commitment to listening to our customers, and tirelessly working to address their needs by continuously making our virtualization portfolio more powerful, easier to use, and tailored to the needs of our customers.

 

Dell TechCenterTaking the complexity out of data center management

With constantly changing business needs and static budgets, IT departments are being challenged to deliver IT services faster and at a lower cost. The need for flexibility and choice in adopting new technologies in order to remain relevant in today’s competitive markets is more important than ever.

When adopting new technologies, one of the biggest barriers for IT teams is figuring out how to continue to derive value from existing IT infrastructure investments, which are often heterogeneous and costly to manage.

In a recent blog post, Marius Haas, Chief Commercial Officer and president, Dell Enterprise Solutions, talked about how “organizations need a way to bridge between current infrastructure and future investments in order to connect, innovate and grow.” Unified management and automation are crucial for bridging that gap and increasing data center efficiency.

Future-Ready Automation

Dell Active System Manager (ASM) is Dell’s unified management and open automation solution that integrates with the IT of today and tomorrow. With its open, flexible and extensible architecture, and support for heterogeneous IT environments, Active System Manager empowers IT teams to unify existing IT investments and maintain the flexibility to adopt new technology to support new business initiatives in the future.

Over the past 18 months, ASM has gone through a significant transformation. It is now a critical ingredient in Dell’s private cloud solutions, provides unified management for our converged infrastructure solutions and will make our reference architectures come to life with template-based automation for rapid and repeatable deployments.

ASM’s design philosophy is centered on profound simplicity, openness and end-to-end automation enabling superior speed, efficiency and flexibility across the data center. ASM Innovations include:

  • An open and extensible architecture with published APIs that gives customers and partners flexibility to easily integrate with 3rd party hardware and virtualization platforms.
  • Superior user experience and rich feature set based on an ideal combination of Dell intellectual property and the best of open source technology
  • A long history of actively contributing innovations to the open source community

Faster than Cisco UCS, and more efficient too

The benefits of this innovation are clear in a recent study published by Principled Technologies favorably compares ASM to Cisco UCS, noting: “With its intuitive, wizard-driven automation, we found that Dell Active System Manager was easier to use than a Cisco UCS solution, and required less time and effort to deploy enterprise solutions.” 

See the Principled Technologies White Paper for more detail.

Active System Manager 8.1

Today we are announcing Active System Manager 8.1 which continues to deliver on our promise of an open extensible platform. Published REST APIs with ASM 8.1 make ASM even more open, extensible and flexible in a way that benefits all levels of the ecosystem from Dell, through partners and to customers by enabling them to:

  • Support a wider set of heterogeneous 3rd party hardware, to integrate more easily into legacy and non-Dell environments
  • Give value-added partners and systems integrators the opportunity to create unique and custom solutions, and create services revenue
  • Give customers the confidence that the system is future-safe and will not lock them in to Dell or to currently available technologies
  • Integrate ASM into established and legacy processes

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Learn more about ASM here, and be sure to join the conversation by following us on Twitter @DellConverged.

Dell TechCenterMigrate #LotusNotes Forms to #Nintex with Migrator for Notes to #SharePoint 6.5

As you may have seen in our May 14 blog post, we announced the new release of Migrator for Notes to SharePoint 6.5 . This release includes a number of features that were requested by customers and partners, and you can learn much more detail in the Migrator...(read more)

Dell TechCenterExpanding VDI Solutions for Small & Medium Businesses

Dell has been a long-term partner of Citrix – working together to develop and innovate products to serve our customers’ needs. This week, we were a platinum sponsor at Citrix Synergy 2015 to meet with customers and present our latest Citrix-based solutions. At the show, we announced the Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix, the first ever end-to-end appliance designed specifically for smaller organizations, once again making Dell the easiest way to plan, deploy and run desktop virtualization.

Dell and Citrix know that despite all the productivity, flexibility and efficiency benefits that virtual desktops offer, small businesses have been hesitant to adopt the technology due to limited budgets and lack of IT resources to properly manage and maintain the deployment. Dell Cloud Client-Computing recognized this need and developed the first ever Citrix-based, end-to-end VDI solution that’s specifically designed for small organizations. Pedro Hernandez of eWEEK recognized the void that this solution fills:

“VDI offerings aimed at small and mid-size businesses have largely stayed on the thin-client sidelines due to cost and deployment concerns,” Hernandez wrote.

This is why we also announced the Dell Appliance for Wyse – vWorkspace earlier this month, which simplifies VDI deployment and management, and enables Windows application delivery to a variety of endpoints, including Wyse thin and zero clients and Chrome OS devices, for school districts and small-to-medium organizations. The two announcements go hand-in-hand, supporting our mission to make desktop virtualization easier than ever to plan, deploy and run for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium businesses who may not have considered VDI in the past.

“Dell is giving customers real choice in VDI platforms in a way that has never been done before,” Simon Bramfitt of the Virtualization Practice noted.

Our focus on increasing adoption for VDI and making it easier for our customers to gain the benefits of thin clients was validated this week when IDC released its Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Client Device Tracker for the first quarter of 2015. Dell extends our #1 position for thin and terminal clients worldwide with 29.7 percent share, up 2.5 percent from Q4 2014. I’m enormously proud of our achievement and that we continue to lead the industry.

Check out this interview with Adam Carter of Login VSI from Citrix Synergy where I talk about cloud client-computing momentum, and how customers in industries from finance to engineering, manufacturing, education and more can reap the benefits of desktop virtualization.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterSimplify your IAM environment by finding the right approach for you: on-premise, SaaS or hybrid

Identity and access management is all about granting employees the access they need in a way that is as painless as possible (for you and them) so they can simply get on with doing their jobs. Sounds simple, right? However, it can be difficult if your...(read more)

Dell TechCenterAttacks on SCADA facilities are not always attacks on SCADA systems - But don’t relax just yet

When Dell published its 2015 Annual Threat Report , a standout statistic was the jump in attacks on SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) facilities. Telemetry data showed attacks increasing from 91,000+ in January 2012 to 675,000+ attacks...(read more)

Dell TechCenterGet Time Back in Your Day with Better Data Backup

How does better backup and recovery give you time back in your day? Well, it all stems from service level agreements (SLAs). Know your SLA, know your options . As an investor in your company, the SLA determines so many things and has a real impact...(read more)

Dell TechCenterThe Most Important Roles and Responsibilities of Today’s DBA—Can You Relate?

DBAs perform a ton of tasks, and the demands on their time have changed as database technology has evolved and new capabilities have been introduced. Sure, some tasks that were once performed manually are now automated – but regardless of eased...(read more)

Dell TechCenterThe “Internet of Things” Is Already Here

What do your smartphone and your office air conditioning system have in common? Surprise—they top the list of IoT data sources. In the May issue of the Statistica Monthly News , we shared an item about a new infographic that summarizes the results...(read more)

Dell TechCenterTuesday Tips: Database Management Alarms

Database administrators have a lot on their plates. When we talked to DBAs about the amount of data under management, almost half responded that they manage more than 25 database instances each and almost 10 percent manage more than 100 database instances...(read more)

Dell TechCenterThree Additional Ways to Address the Most Common IT Challenges faced by Education IT Professionals

In my previous blog entry, I explained three ways that Dell KACE solutions are supporting digital learning at schools and colleges by increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and improving security. Now let’s look at three more. 1. Protect school...(read more)

Dell TechCenterKeeping IoT Weird

Last week Dell went to San Francisco to participate in the self-proclaimed ‘world’s largest and most comprehensive IoT event’: IoT World. It was indeed big and covered a wide range of topics – from Consumer to Industrial and Hackathons to hard core analytics. 

It was also a little bit weird, but in a good way. It was like being part of an emerging ‘scene’ where the hopes and dreams haven’t been polished away.

In one small area of the floor we saw an antenna provider close to a telecom giant all a stone’s throw from a 100 year old industrial firm. We saw startups with flipcharts showing products stuck on with double-sided tape, near mega booths from Fortune 500 technology firms with slick demos and snack bars. People were sizing each other up like the first days of high school.

Our team loved it.  We thrive on being part of the ground floor of a very new and fragmented technology space that’s bristling with untamed energy. The people who wandered past our booth, and stopped to curiously ask, “Why is Dell here?” represented the inquisitive spirit that’s still fresh and new.

It was inside this environment that we were able to bring our experience and vision for IoT to the attendees. Andy Rhodes presented in a session called Fast and Safe: Technology Choices in IoT. The session covered the integration of OT and IT, analytics from the edge to the cloud and security in a connected world. Andy also shared some of the generalized anxiety many in IoT are experiencing in his blog post, Keep Calm and Carry On with IoT.

The upshot of our observations was that IoT will require a lot of flexibility and know how to deliver on the dreams of this diverse space. An end-to-end solution provider, like Dell, can build a cloud, or an edge solution where data decisions are often faster, cheaper and more secure. We also have the security, endpoint, storage, large scale data management and analytics capabilities needed to foster IoT success.  

Very soon, the IoT marketplace will shake out with clear dominant players and the conferences will become more predictable. Let’s hope, however, that the diversity of applications and ideas remain.  Just as our hometown of Austin, TX has grown in sophistication, it still strives to Keep Austin Weird.  

Perhaps next year we’ll  wear our hipster glasses and serve breakfast tacos.  

Dell TechCenterThe Lessor of Two Evils: A Data Breach or a Failed Audit?

The lesser of two evils principle as defined by one of my favorite resources Wikipedia is the principle that when given two bad choices, the one which is not as bad as the other should be chosen over the one that is the greater threat. But that might...(read more)

Dell TechCenterMicrosoft Hyper-V Support in Foglight for Storage Management

Foglight for Storage Management (FSM) provides visibility behind your logical datastores and into the physical storage connected to your virtual environments. Until now, that support has only applied to VMware environments. With the release of FSM v4...(read more)

Dell TechCenterUnlocking the Value of Big Data

The steps organizations must take to unlock the power of their data.(read more)

Dell TechCenterUnlocking the Value of Big Data

The steps organizations must take to unlock the power of their data.(read more)

Dell TechCenterWhy Dual-Radio Wireless Makes Sense

You’ve decided to make the move to high-speed wireless. Maybe you’re upgrading to 802.11ac or you’re building a new wireless network from scratch. Either way, you’ve got to decide whether the access points you’re going to...(read more)

Dell TechCenterAccelerating IT and Business Transformation

In the 3rd platform era, enterprise transformation challenges IT and business leaders to create an organization whose business processes are increasingly digital. The advent of social, mobile, cloud and advanced analytic technologies changes customer expectations while presenting new opportunities for large and small enterprises in virtually all industries.

The 3rd platform brings these new technologies together, while at the same time creating a perfect storm for business leaders looking to compete effectively. Most IT groups are evolving from 2nd platform IT organizations that provide cost-effective, secure, reliable operations into 3rd platform businesses that have the ability to innovate and achieve digital market leadership. As organizations leverage 3rd platform technologies to enhance customer engagement and improve business decision-making, IT executives will inevitably sit at the forefront of this digital transformation. In transforming to a business innovation platform, IT organizations are now thinking about how they can help businesses by enabling internal business processes, digital business models, and creating IT-enabled products and services.

Traditional siloed IT infrastructures will increasingly become the challenge for those who want to run a digital enterprise effectively. Many organizations will choose to deploy entirely new converged infrastructures in order to support cloud workloads such as advanced analytics, mobile enablement, cognitive computing or other dynamic application. IDC believes that the emerging digital economy empowers businesses to improve the success rate of new product introductions by a dramatic 70%. This will be accomplished in part by creating greater operational efficiencies, building deeper customer relationships and generating new revenue streams. Specifically, businesses need to unleash technologies in order to create new products and services which span the digital and physical worlds; create new experiences that blend business and customer domains; improve operational efficiencies; and improve organizational performance.

One of the top challenges facing IT leaders remains constrained technology budgets. Unfortunately IT is seen too much as a cost center focused on driving and enabling operational efficiency and not an area for strategic business investment. Clearly, making a successful transition to a digital enterprise requires technology investment. IT leaders should begin treating the enterprise technology budget as theirs – and in return IT will have significantly more capital to work with when driving the requisite data center transformation. The necessary funding likely does exist in the business, the challenge is finding it and influencing how it is spent in order to ensure costs are contained, risk is minimized and IT is effectively optimized.

When CIOs develop true partnerships with the business, the risk of innovation no longer sits on the shoulders of IT alone. The structure of the IT organization is an important component of innovation. Leading IT organizations are separating the "run" part of IT operations into a "shared services" center. This is allowing them to be focus on innovation in applications and data without the burden of a legacy infrastructure which continues to weigh on many organizations. In summary, building a business that is equipped to thrive in the digital economy requires a number of core competencies including:

  • Developing and executing on a digital transformational vision
  • Managing information effectively
  • Creating a flexible human resource model
  • Optimizing business processes for speed, agility and efficiency

In the 3rd platform era, all businesses will become increasingly digital. This will place IT at the forefront of a number of decisions aimed at transforming business processes and operational efficiencies; transforming work and employee productivity; transforming customer relationships and increasing buyer loyalty and transforming products and services revenue streams. IDC believes that IT will assume a critical role in the forthcoming digital reinvention as IT positions itself as a business innovation platform.

Matt Eastwood routinely participates in social media where he engages regularly regarding emerging technologies, the 3rd platform and business transformation. Please join Matt on Twitter @MattEastwood.

 

Dell TechCenterNew Dell Software Product Release - Migrator for Notes to SharePoint 6.5

We're excited to announce today the release of Migrator for Notes to SharePoint 6.5 . This release includes a number of features that were requested by customers and partners. We outline the new features below, but you can learn much more detail in...(read more)

Dell TechCenterTackle Your Compliance Demands with Dell’s New Hosted Email Encryption

Email security is critical to protect your email from threats including spam, phishing attacks and malware. What’s more, government regulations now hold businesses and organizations accountable for protecting confidential data, ensuring it is not leaked and ensuring the secure exchange of email containing sensitive customer data or confidential information.

Photo of a businessman walking through an office using a Dell tablet

Contech Engineering Frees up IT Resources with Dell Hosted Email Security

Contech Engineered Solutions needed a better way to control spam and viruses, which IT spent too much time managing. The company deployed a hosted Dell email security solution and now saves 10 hours per month due to reduced support call volume, freeing up IT to handle more proactive tasks.

“Maintaining Dell SonicWALL Hosted Email Security has been a dream. It basically runs itself and allows our employees lots of flexibility to determine their own level of spam filtering,” said Matt Alvord, Senior Systems Engineer, Contech Engineered Solutions.

Contech now has the ability to respond faster to customers, because the Dell SonicWALL solution blocks spam and viruses in the cloud, so only legitimate email can be delivered to the company’s email infrastructure. As a result, network bandwidth is preserved. And, Contech receives strong, unified support from a single vendor because it has multiple Dell products, including the email security solution, network monitoring tools and laptops.

Mobile-Ready Secure Email Exchange

If your email security needs are evolving to include protection of confidential information to meet email compliance demands, consider Dell SonicWALL for a powerful solution that provides advanced compliance scanning and management as well as email encryption for mobile-ready secure email exchange.

The Dell SonicWALL Hosted Email Security service offers superior cloud-based protection from inbound and outbound email threats at an affordable, predictable and flexible monthly or annual subscription price. Available now, the service adds:

  • Compliance scanning and management to prevent confidential data leaks and regulatory violations.
  • An optional, integrated email encryption service that ensures secure exchange of confidential information.

Reduce Phishing Attacks with DMARC Advanced Email Authentication

In addition to new features to protect from compliance violations, the Hosted Email Security service also adds advanced email authentication technology and reporting. Now available, the service supports SPF, DKIM and DMARC technologies that help identify spoofed mail, reduce spam and phishing attacks, DMARC also enables reporting on sources and senders of email. This empowers you to identify and shut down unauthorized senders falsifying your email address to protect your brand. And for faster, more efficient administration, the service now includes a customizable, drag and drop dashboard and reports.

Learn More about Dell Hosted Email Security and Encryption Services

The new Hosted Email Security features and optional Email Encryption service are now available to our subscribers.

For more information about Dell Hosted Email Security and our new Email Encryption service, please visit our website or contact a Dell representative at 1.888.557.6642, or email sales@sonicwall.com.

Dell TechCenterThe Recipe for IAM Success

Six ingredients that ensure you get IAM right Identity and access management (IAM) is a treacherous road that, more often than not, leads to a destination different than you originally planned. This road is littered with IAM projects gone wrong, wasted...(read more)

William LearaIntroduction to the EDKII C Coding Standards

imageYou may not be aware that Intel has made publically available on Tianocore an EDKII C Coding Standards specification.  As of this writing, the latest version is 2.0, released in November 2014.  If you’re familiar with earlier versions of this spec, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the maturity of the present version.

The goal of the coding standards is, to quote from Tianocore:

The EDK II C Coding Standards Specification establishes a set of rules intended not as a constraint, but as an enabling philosophy which will:

  • Establish uniformity of style.
  • Set minimum information content requirements.
  • Allow all programmers to easily understand the code.
  • Facilitate support tasks by establishing uniform conventions.
  • Ease documentation efforts by embedding the design documentation in the code.
  • Reduce customer and new employee learning curves by providing accurate code documentation and uniform style.

Best Parts of the Spec

The spec is well done and I recommend it whole-heartedly.  Here are some of my favorite parts.

 

The “Soft” Sections

A lot of the spec is rules:  detailed commandments describing brace style, declaration of objects, naming rules, etc.  Other parts are more informal sections of prose that anyone, even non-BIOS developers, can appreciate.  These sections are dynamite.  I’m including in my list of the “soft” sections:

§2.1 Software Design

§2.2 Software Maintenance

§5.3.1 Scoping Rules

§6.1 Documentation Concepts

An example from §2.2 Software Maintenance:

Understand the problem before you fix it. The best way to ruin a code base is to fix problems without really understanding them. If your fix is out of context, the next fix in the routine will be four times more complicated. Triangulate the error with cases that should and should not cause the error. Keep at it until you understand the error.

Love it!  It only takes ten minutes to read through these brief sections—check them out.

 

The References

Section 1.4 lists some excellent software engineering resources related to writing good code.  Of special relevance to coding standards is the reference to the Indian Hill C Style and Coding Standard, which I would call the “K&R” of C coding standards.  Like K&R, it too is a product of Bell Labs, the guys who gave us C.  Very well done.

 

Quick Reference

Section 3 is a quick reference to the entire set of coding standards.  This is a nice help, especially considering the spec clocks in at over 70 pages.

 

Doxygen

The spec advocates for use of the Doxygen documentation system.  If you’re not familiar with it, Doxygen is a parsing engine that runs through source code and automatically creates documentation based on the source code’s syntactical elements and a few markup commands.  (like Javadoc, but for C)  The genius of Doxygen is that it takes so little additional effort to create excellent, and accurate, HTML-based documentation.  The accuracy is guaranteed since the documentation is coming from the source code itself.

 

Parts of the Spec I Don’t Like

I really think Intel did a great job, but there are a couple of standards I don’t care for.

 

Tab Spot Size

The Spec insists on a tab size of only two spaces.  I think that’s too small.  The other extreme would be the GNU coding standards, which specify a massive eight spaces per tab stop!  In my experience, both in my own coding and in talking with other programmers about their preferences, four spaces per tab stop is the sweet spot between clarity and wasting space.  A tab stop of only two spaces is too small of a horizontal difference for my eye to make out the hierarchy of the code’s organization, which is the whole point of indentation, anyway.

 

Space Before Parenthesis in Function Calls

Section 5.1.1.2 specifies:

6. Always put space before an open parenthesis. The only exception is macro definitions.
if (...
while (...
EfiLibAllocateCopyPool (...

I’m completely in agreement for if, for, and while statements (etc.), but not for function calls.  Putting the space in there disconnects the function from its arguments and causes my brain trouble.  They should be treated like one unit, with no space.

 

Implementing Coding Standards on Existing Code

What can you do if your organization wants to start using these standards but has a lot of pre-existing code that is non-compliant?  See Uncrustify and Universal Indent—this application can make wholesale stylistic changes to an entire codebase.  The user supplies a configuration file and the tool does the rest.

 

Conclusion

Coding standards for UEFI are especially necessary since our industry is characterized by silicon vendors, IBVs, computer OEMs, and ODM partners all contributing to a common code base.  The standards help improve communication between these disparate partners from different companies located all over the world.

What do you think of the standards?  Leave a comment!

EDKII C Coding Standards Specification

Dell TechCenterFoglight performance monitoring for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp environment (Part 3 of 4)

When you have a limited number of Citrix licenses (actually, I don’t know anybody who has an UNlimited number of Citrix licenses — except maybe Citrix — but you get what I mean), the most important question you need to answer is “How...(read more)

Dell TechCenterYour IT Admin’s View — Consolidating Enterprise Social Networks

Hope you don’t think I’m belaboring the point about enterprise social networks (ESNs) like Jive, Yammer, Chatter, Connections and Socialcast being a double-edged sword. But I’ll bet that the ESN administrators on the front lines understand...(read more)

Dell TechCenterPinnacle for Dell Security Partners — Peak Performance EMEA Kicks off in Berlin

I always jump at the opportunity to engage with Dell’s amazing partner community, which is why I’m off to Peak Performance EMEA 2015, which takes place today through Wednesday at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin. I’m excited to join this stellar international gathering of more than 300 Dell partners that all want to help customers address emerging security risks.

Nearly every day I get to speak with a Dell customer about how they’ve turned to us for help in solving a tough security problem. Dell partners play an extremely important role from the frontline in the fight against advanced persistent threats. Our global security partners are among the best experts in the world, with decades of experience and vast domain knowledge across an ever-changing, complex environment.

Bringing our European partner ecosystem together at Peak gives us a chance to talk about our latest product and Dell PartnerDirect program updates. My Dell Software channel colleagues will share our regional channel momentum, which has grown our software business by more than 60 percent!

The channel is critical to Dell’s business, so we’re always eager to hear directly from our partners. That’s why we conducted a pre-event partner poll to get a stronger sense of what’s taking place within customer accounts. According to the survey of more than 100 partners attending Peak, advanced persistent threats continue to rank highest on the list of customer concerns. Still, budget constraints prevent many from implementing their desired security solution. And, reactive measures continue to trump proactive planning, with 40 percent of customers waiting until after they’ve had a breach to implement a security solution.

As a result, partners are changing how they approach differing customer needs and priorities, which have enabled 96 percent of those surveyed to see uplift in security sales in the last year. More than a quarter of those polled experienced sales increases ranging from 21 to 40 percent, which reaffirms our belief that security remains one of the most sought after solution areas for customers—and a top business priority for partners.

My favorite part of Peak Performance is hearing directly from partners, so I’m really looking forward to leading an informative Q&A session with three of our EMEA security partners: Stephane Gillot, manager of commercial infrastructure at Prodware France; Nicolai Landzettel, CEO of Data-Sec in Strausberg, Germany; and Durgan Cooper, director of information security and cyber risk at UK-based CETSAT.

During this interactive discussion, we’ll learn firsthand what’s driving their businesses as well as how their roles are expanding as they help customers cope with the spike in security threats over the past year. In particular, I’m curious to hear if there’s been a shift in decision making among their customers, especially as awareness grows about the importance of security and the need to mitigate risks. Are security discussions being elevated to the boardroom? If so, what’s the best way to guide higher-level interactions about proactive, strategic security planning?

As we gather over the next two days, there will be ample opportunities to share insights and swap stories. One that Nico will likely talk about involves Serviceplan Group, the largest privately owned advertising firm in Europe. With 2,000 employees and big-name customers like BMW and Lufthansa, Serviceplan takes security very seriously. The company also has to address a lot of complexity in its environment, due to the variety of big data Serviceplan creates on behalf of its clients, as well as the need for BYOD security for employees and freelancers.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

In seeking a more robust security solution, Serviceplan worked with Dell and Data-Sec to deploy Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive firewalls to increase security levels for both Internet and internal network traffic. As the video explains, Stefan Reitmeier, senior network administrator for Serviceplan, chose Data-Sec as a strategic security advisor because of the company’s expertise to help a fast-growth company stay ahead of the technology curve.

This is a great example of the power of the Dell channel community, which we plan to reinforce over the next two days at Peak with more customer stories, partner perspectives and Dell insights. I can’t wait to get started! Follow the conversation with our conference hashtag #DellPeakEMEA.

Drop me a line at Dave_Hansen@dell.com with your favorite partner story.

Dell TechCenterSupply Chain Responsibility is a Journey

At Dell, our customers are at the core of everything we do. We know it’s important to them that we drive social and environmental responsibility in our supply chain and across the industry. We’ve been working diligently to demonstrate full transparency of key issues within our supply chain and help our suppliers to mitigate risks in those areas. We’ve even made that goal one of the pillars of Dell’s 2020 Legacy of Good Plan.

As a founding member of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), driving social and environmental responsibility throughout our supply chain is a challenge we readily accept. The solutions often take time, resources, expertise and patience. We thought you would like a look into how we handle supply chain issues at Dell.

We mandate regular audits of multiple tiers of our supply chain and ensure that supplier facilities representing 95 percent of our total spend undergo an audit by an independent third party. Any allegations at a Dell supplier that are outside of our ongoing audit procedures are subjected to an immediate investigation.

How do we accomplish this? First, we verify the allegation's veracity and determine if an additional audit is necessary. In some cases, we obtain a copy of a recent third-party audit and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) through the EICC Audit Sharing process. We then hold our suppliers accountable to executing their CAPs for all noncompliance issues identified in the audit and follow open findings through to closure. More serious situations may include Dell executives contacting a supplier's CEO for further discussion, as well as an in-person investigation by Dell's procurement teams.

Every process has opportunities for improvement, and we recognize that our process for responding to supply chain issues needs to evolve as our industry evolves. In the past year, we've implemented the following:

  • Creating a Social & Environmental Responsibility (SER) Executive Review board to evaluate our responses to supplier issues
  • Using only independent third-party supplier audits
  • Launching a new Vulnerable Workers Policy that provides special protections for workers, meeting the requirements of FAR Subpart 22.17 (Combating Trafficking in Persons)
  • Updating our Master Purchase Agreement to include the right to share audit data as needed
  • Working toward better working conditions through our co-chair position on the EICC Vulnerable Worker Working Group and a co-funded student worker survey with Apple
  • Training our suppliers on the new EICC 5.0 Code of Conduct

During this time allegations of misconduct have been made at Dell facilities and our suppliers. Some of these findings were accurate, others were not. Despite this, we understand our role in surfacing and resolving root causes of these issues in our own facilities, as well as our working with suppliers to do the same in their facilities. For example, if we find a case of excessive working hours, an ongoing issue for electronics manufacturers, we work to make improvements not only in our supply chain but also at the industry and multi-industry level.

Through our Legacy of Good plan, we have made a long-term commitment to a supply chain that’s socially and environmentally responsible. We want our customers to be confident that our products are responsibly sourced and manufactured, and that the people who work on Dell products are treated with dignity and respect.

You can see our long-term sustainability goals in our Legacy of Good at www.dell.com/2020.

Gina MinksWhat enterprise tech can learn from “Mean Girls”

You may have seen me refer to a certain company on Twitter as the Mean Girls of the datacenter. It’s not my term, someone just dared me to tweet it. The sentiment of the phrase is interesting, and a repeat of a pattern I’ve seen before in my short career. I think there are valuable lessons we in enterprise tech can learn from the movie Mean Girls. Caveat: This movie is very American-centric. It resonated with many of

read more here

Gina MinksQuit forcing storytelling into an old school marketing model

I came across this post on storytelling for marketing via Twitter. It rubbed me the wrong way, but for reasons I didn’t expect understand until I started to unpack the story. I’ve written about storytelling before. In fact, I believe storytelling is a vital function of marketing and training in organizations. So I thought I’d enjoy a post about telling stories that are worth telling, but something about it just gnawed at me. Here’s how the article

read more here

Dell TechCenterPedaling for Possibilities: Heart Across America Bike Race

It’s no secret that the Dell team likes to go fast, and we like to win. But on the first weekend in May, our corporate headquarters hosted a completely different kind of race—a bike race. Michael and Dell team members from across the Central Texas area welcomed former Intel executive Sean Maloney to Dell for the Austin leg of the Heart Across America bike ride.

In 2011, Sean suffered a debilitating stroke, proving that life-changing moments can happen to even the healthiest among us. Now, instead of bringing Intel’s latest technology to people, Sean’s making it his mission to bring awareness to the issue of stroke and heart health by championing the Heart Across America bike ride from Palo Alto, California to New York City, in partnership with the American Heart Association.

Our Dell team members were joined by the Heart Across America bike team, employees of Intel’s Austin office, and officials from the American Heart Association. Before the riders left on their 45-mile journey, Michael presented a $100,000 check to the American Heart Association on behalf of Dell to go toward Sean’s $1 million goal.

Here at Dell, we take health and wellness seriously. We offer our award-winning Well at Dell program to our team members, we bring cutting-edge technology to Healthcare and Life Sciences customers around the world, and through our Powering the Possible program, we support a variety of health related causes, including the fight against children’s cancer. We’ve also come together recently to support other great causes, like Michael’s Fitbit challenge against Marc Benioff, which also benefitted the American Heart Association.

It was great to be a part of Heart Across America and to help Sean spread the word about stroke prevention. Hear about the importance of Heart Across America in Sean’s own words, then share with us how you promote health and wellness in your own life.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterAgile Software Development: Why and How We Use It

This post is a collaboration between Dell Cloud Manager Director of UX/Engineering and Distinguished Engineer Sara Cowles, and Eva Klug, Senior Analyst, Marketing & Sales Operations. The cloud market is a dynamic and unpredictable place. New platforms...(read more)

Dell TechCenterConnected Cows and the Evolution of Agriculture IoT

Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to present at The Food Leaders’ Summit in Chicago. With an audience representing some of the leading players in the food management, marketing, research, and manufacturing industries, the summit addressed important issues, ongoing transformation, and technology innovations happening in the industry.

Photo of a milk cow viewed through a circle

For Dell, this was an opportunity to discuss our point of view on the Agriculture IoT space, as well as discuss our reference architecture to enable the Agriculture IoT ecosystem. Now, IoT is not new and although it is often framed as an emerging trend, it is not a future prospect. Many companies already have sensors on their equipment that allow them to do predictive maintenance.  However, let’s take a step back. Here is our definition of IoT: it is an ecosystem where sensors, devices, and equipment are connected to a network, and can transmit and receive data for tracking, analyzing, and taking business actions. 

Agriculture industry has emerged as an early adopter of IoT and is experiencing significant success. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, food production must increase 60% to be able to feed the growing population expected to hit 9 billion in 2050. The global food challenge necessitates that farmers find new sources of productivity.

The entire agriculture supply chain – from the farm, logistics and retail – is becoming even more connected with information. Food products and ingredients can be tagged via RFIDs for tracking and tracing, and help raise the level of transparency and consumer confidence. Farmers are already investing in crop monitoring using sensors to develop crop yield maps, tracking efficiency in livestock farming, and monitor for potential signs of diseases. Some of the key use cases for Agriculture IoT are summarized in the chart below:

 Illustration of  key use cases for Agriculture IoT

Now, Agriculture IoT is not new to Dell. The Chitale Dairy case study is a perfect example of how Dell helped to improve the milk yield per animal by monitoring the feeding and breeding of animals through RFID sensors. But monitoring of cows with RFID tags and collecting the data was only the first step in realizing IoT benefits.  Analyzing the vast amount of data produced about, for example, the food consumption, health records, and milk production of 6000 head of cattle, and making that information available to farmers via mobile devices is what helped farmers make better decisions in caring for their cows that led to improved milk yields.

“We’ve transformed our dairy operations using technology, and the feeding and breeding of animals is now monitored by computers. By automating the collection of data from each farm, we have improved animal health, leading to increased milk yield per animal. We’ve also streamlined the efficiency of our distribution channels for faster delivery of our milk products to consumers,” says Vishvas Chitale, director, Chitale Dairy.

Although the benefits of Agriculture IoT sound enticing, there are a couple of architectural challenges that need to be addressed before locking on a solution.

  • Data Aggregation and Integration: Today, some equipment manufacturers are embedding connectivity into their products, such as fleet telematics solutions that allow farmers to track their machines and analyze sensor data in real-time to optimize crop yield and ultimately boost productivity.  Other agriculture solutions like smart water metering, automated pest control systems, GPS, and weather alert systems are becoming more ubiquitous. Since none of these equipment or sensors runs on a standard protocol, one significant challenge is aggregating the data and normalizing it using a real-time data integration platform.
  • Designing for analytics: Analytics-driven actions provide the real business value for the IoT solution, which is why starting any initiative with a clear understanding of how what it is you’re measuring impact your business is crucial. Once a data model has been established, and the relevant data are available for analysis, the natural next question is what useful things can be done with the data? At this point, it is important to identify specific issues or concerns that could be usefully addressed based on information and knowledge derived from the IoT data.
  • Security: Many devices work on their own secure network, and solution providers/device manufacturers need to consider what security measures must be implemented for detecting and blocking malicious activity over non-standard network protocols. A natural starting point is to consider extending the existing firewall technologies to comprehend these new devices.
  • Manageability: Many sensors won’t have the intelligence to be managed, so, in many cases, manageability can be solved using a gateway. Gateways can be used as a first aggregation point, as well as to condition the data, encrypt it, and determine what has to be sent over the network.  Of course, the overall process of managing devices, user access, and security can be achieved by extending existing datacenter systems management capabilities to these new sensors and gateways.

An example reference architecture that comprehends some of these above considerations is shown below.

Dell diagram of an example reference architecture for Agriculture IoT

To assist companies in overcoming the hurdles in setting up Industrial IoT technologies, Dell has set up the Dell Internet of Things (IoT) Lab. Companies can come to the lab  - located in the Dell Silicon Valley Solution Center in Santa Clara, CA - to receive assistance in architecting solutions to their IoT problems.

To learn more about the Dell IoT Lab, please see http://dell.com/iot . To learn more about the software solutions Dell offers in this space, please visit http://software.dell.com/

Cow image courtesy of Ian Hughes.

Dell TechCenterDeploy high-performance desktop virtualization at an affordable cost per seat with Dell Wyse Datacenter for Microsoft VDI and vWorkspace

By Reed Martin, David Hulama and Nicolas Cuendet, Dell Cloud Client-Computing

Because many IT managers and CIOs are looking for a simple and flexible approach to adopt desktop virtualization, Dell and Microsoft have joined forces to create a compelling and cost-effective solution.

 

While the benefits of desktop virtualization have long made sense to IT professionals familiar with the technology, the best-designed solutions were often out of reach of those unable to make a significant investment. Today however, those who previously adopted a “wait-and-see” approach can feel confident about launching a pilot or proof of concept. Dell has developed a range of innovative and affordable solutions that largely eliminate the most significant obstacles to adoption. Among them is the Dell Wyse Datacenter desktop virtualization offering, based on Microsoft RDS and Wyse vWorkspace, which delivers a compelling and flexible solution and one of the most cost-effective ways to deploy desktop virtualization.

 

The solution is not based on cheaper technology but on fully capable and expandable Dell hardware. Our new series of appliance-based solutions leverage compelling software that includes the features your users expect while avoiding many of the software licensing fees that have made a solution migration cost-prohibitive.

 

The cost-effectiveness is achieved in part due to the following elements: 

  • Lower software licensing costs by leveraging Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft’s built-in Hyper-V hypervisor, and Dell’s own Wyse vWorkspace Connection Broker. Because Hyper-V is included in the Windows Server 2012 R2 licenses, the cost-savings can be significant 

  • The highest user density per Dell PowerEdge R730 server: enabling up to 345 VDI users or 500 sessions users (RDSH) with vWorkspace on Hyper-V. This is a significantly higher density capacity than other traditional connection brokers can achieve 

  • Microsoft SDS technology Storage Spaces, a virtualization capability in Windows Server 2012 R2 which enables users to dramatically reduce the cost of highly available storage for virtualized or physical deployments, lowers storage costs by allowing you to leverage its built-in dedupe capability at no extra cost. This functionality replaces the need for a complex SAN with cheaper DAS storage, such as Dell’s PowerVault series of components. This allows your IT teams to implement persistent VMs at the same price per seat as non-persistent VMs, starting at $350 per seat 

  • Two features integrated in vWorkspace allow you to further optimize storage costs: HyperCache reduces the IOPS load required within the desktop deployment, allowing your IT department to leverage less-expensive DAS or local disks. HyperDeploy allows almost instant provisioning of virtual desktops including persistent desktops: VMs are created at the same time that the Golden Image is being copied on the server(s), reducing the amount of disc space used by as much as 40%. 

Summary of price per seat for different use cases and server form factors:

 

Dell VDI solution

Price per seat starts at*

Detail

Pilot on a Dell tower server

$300

Based on 100 seats

For SMB and schools on the Dell Appliance for Wyse - vWorkspace

$180

 

350 users for application virtualization

For remote branch offices on PowerEdge VRTX

$350

Based on 500 seats

For medium business

$350

Based on 600 pooled or persistent VMs and Windows Server 2012 R2 RDS

For Enterprise, including vWorkspace

$450

Based on 2000 pooled or persistent VMs and vWorkspace

 

Wyse vWorkspace

In relatively simple IT environments where administrators can deploy VDI in pools of roughly 500 seats or fewer, Microsoft RDS alone can be a suitable desktop virtualization platform. However, more complex environments may require administrators to deploy VDI in significantly larger pools. In this scenario, the Wyse vWorkspace solution is designed to streamline the deployment of virtual desktops or remote sessions on a massive scale, acting as the control center for the entire desktop virtualization infrastructure.

 

vWorkspace significantly reduces common barriers to successful VDI deployments. It does this by enabling integrated diagnostics and monitoring capabilities. It also provides a single management console that scales to tens of thousands of users or more, and includes the ability to support legacy operating systems and applications as well as virtualized Linux desktops. vWorkspace not only supports Microsoft Hyper-V, but also VMware vSphere and Odin Virtuozzo hypervisors, making it a highly flexible broker.

 

vWorkspace is currently available in two editions: a “Desktop” and a “Premier” edition. The Desktop edition supports VDI, application virtualization, and Diagnostics and Monitoring. The Premier edition has the same attributes but also supports RDSH, OS delivery and application layering (now called vWorkspace WSM). The Desktop edition retails for $67.50 per named user or per access device, while the vWorkspace Premier Edition retails at $97.50 each. Licensing discounts are available for selected industries.

 

Simple, flexible, high performance

Wyse Datacenter for vWorkspace is a scalable desktop virtualization system which can handle a full spectrum of use cases and tasks. To deliver the most compelling and innovative VDI solution, we have coupled it with the most capable Wyse thin clients powered by dual-core or quad-core processors. These endpoints run on Wyse ThinOS or Windows Embedded Standard, giving design workers and power users the ability to run complex CAD applications, multimedia, and streaming video with few limitations.

 

Dell Wyse Datacenter for Microsoft VDI and vWorkspace is best suited for enterprise environments seeking alternatives to traditional VDI offerings, as it provides more choice. For more information, read the full version of this white paper in the attached PDF, visit www.dell.com/wyse/vWorkspace or contact us.

 

*Price is indicative and subject to change at any time. It includes Dell datacenter hardware and software, licenses, support, but excludes HA, end points and associated licenses. Contact Dell for more information

Dell TechCenterDell OpenManage Network Manager Service Pack 2 is now available

Ed. Note: This blog has been authored by Jeremy Erwin, Product Marketing - Dell Networking

Software updates can be daunting. They can take our time, test our patience, and often leave us with a feeling of regret – a longing for those carefree days before you installed the update that turned your well-oiled machine into your worst enemy.

It was with those painful memories in mind that we developed the latest service pack for Dell OpenManage Network Manager (OMNM). It is an update that’s actually designed to make your existing OMNM software “play nice” with its new hardware buddies and eliminate that dreaded buyer’s remorse that comes with your typical software update.

As the critical networking-focused component in the OpenManage family, OMNM makes it easier than ever to manage your converged network infrastructure. OMNM automates the discovery of new devices, simplifies their configuration, then allows you to monitor the health and performance of your network via an intuitive web-based interface. Once you’ve taken it on a free 30-day test drive, you can purchase OMNM at an affordable one-, three- or five-year subscription.

OMNM Service Pack 2 is loaded with updates and enhancements to help you stay on top of your network management, and most importantly, provides you the ability to integrate any Dell Networking switch into your networking environment with the same ease and simplicity that you’ve come to expect from our OMNM software. This update is a true example of how we listen to our customers, anticipate your needs, and give you the tools you need to get the job done.

OMNM Service Pack 2 includes:

  • New device support for Z9500, FN410S, FN410T and FN2210S models
  • Support for Dell Networking operating systems versions 9.7 and 6.2
  • New firmware and device support for Dell wireless controllers and Instant Access Points
  • Additional enhancements to traffic flow display and installer components

For existing OMNM customers, we’ve made the process about as easy as possible: you’ll just receive an email with instructions on how to download and install the update. And if you have questions, just contact Dell Customer Care directly at download_software@Dell.com.

To learn more about OMNM 6.0, and to download the latest product sheet and install guide with updated SP2 info, visit dell.com/OMNM or the OMNM Tech Center Wiki.

To join the conversation and keep up to date on upcoming OMNM releases, follow us @DellNetworking

William LearaSyntax Highlighting for EDKII Files: .dec, .dsc, .fdf, .inf, .uni, .vfr

UEFI requires us to work with a plethora of different BIOS-specific file types.  Among them are .dec, .dsc, .fdf, .inf, .uni, and .vfr files.  I went through the exercise of configuring syntax highlighting for these six file types in my text editor.  I share my configuration below, for both my text editor and for any text editor in general.

 

What is Syntax Highlighting?

From Wikipedia:

Syntax highlighting is a feature of text editors that are used for programming, scripting, or markup languages, such as HTML. The feature displays text, especially source code, in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms. This feature facilitates writing in a structured language such as a programming language or a markup language as both structures and syntax errors are visually distinct. Highlighting does not affect the meaning of the text itself; it is intended only for human readers.

I love syntax highlighting, and can’t live without it.  Here’s an example of my configuration for the file Nt32Pkg.fdf from the EDK:

image

 

Similarly, here’s PcAtChipsetPkg.dec:

image

 

The color helps your eye to quickly pick apart the various sections and subsections of the documents.  It alerts you to possible errors before you commit the files.  You can separate the parameters from the values instantly.

 

Spec Revisions

I used the BNF from each of the file specifications to generate the syntax highlighting.  The lists of tokens were created from the following versions of the EDKII specifications:

DEC_Spec_1.24A.pdf
DSC_Spec_1.24.pdf
FDF_Spec_1.24.pdf
INF_Spec_1.24A.pdf
UNI_File_Spec_v1.2.pdf
VFR_V1.7.pdf

 

Download

Unfortunately, every text editor has its own way of handling syntax highlighting.  I’ve included a .zip file for my text editor, SlickEdit.  If you use SlickEdit, you can simply click:

Tools/Options/Export-Import Options/Import Options

… and direct the dialog to the .zip file.  This will install all six languages automatically.  If you use another text editor, you can download the text files I created to break down all the different keywords/reserved words into 4-5 different groupings.  Then, use your text editor’s facility for inputting these word tokens.

 

SlickEdit .zip of all six languages:

https://github.com/WilliamLeara/BasicInputOutput/raw/master/SyntaxHighlight/SlickEdit_EDKII_Syntax.zip

 

Token Files (Editor-Agnostic)

https://github.com/WilliamLeara/BasicInputOutput/tree/master/SyntaxHighlight/tokens

 

Did you find this helpful?  Leave a comment, thanks!

Dell TechCenterEnhance Data Security With New Encryption-At-Rest Capabilities in DR Backup Appliances

There’s no denying that the increasingly complex regulatory landscape businesses face today is introducing new challenges to IT professionals like you. Complying with such data management regulatory requirements as PCI, Gramm–Leach–Bliley...(read more)

Dell TechCenterDell Shatters All-Flash Array Performance Record: Dell Storage SC4020 Climbs to No. 1 on SPC-1 Benchmark

Ed Note: This blog has been authored by Sonya Sexton from Dell Storage

A driving priority of customers everywhere is to consolidate more of their work on less hardware, for example, more virtual machines per server, as well as bigger workloads per virtual machine. Multi-core server processors, an important enabler of workload consolidation, have been an affordable evolutionary advancement that customers have been able to pervasively embrace. On the other hand, high-performance storage, which is equally essential to workload consolidation, has remained too expensive for widespread adoption. In fact, disk performance remains one of the principle productivity inhibitors in many customer environments today.  

SPC-1 shines a light on storage performance

The SPC-1 benchmark is a good place to turn for insight on how well storage systems from various vendors can support workload consolidation and budget objectives. SPC-1 is an audited, standardized benchmark that measures block I/O performance and reports results and associated costs for all participating vendors. It is designed to significantly stress disk array systems with a mix of workload characteristics, including large and small blocks, as well as random and sequential I/O that includes writes, over-writes, read-after-writes and hotspots. It mimics a broad class of block-based business-critical applications. Storage systems that perform well on SPC-1 will usually handle the performance rigors inherent with heavily consolidated business-critical applications extremely well.

Dell SC4020:  High SPC-1 results for least investment

In a recent SPC-1 benchmark, Dell achieved 112,479.81 IOPS on an all-flash-configured Dell SC4020 storage system priced below $50K. What’s more, the SC4020 executed 100% of the benchmark workload with an average response time that is 2x faster than optimal metrics for business-critical applications such as Oracle and ~3x faster with 90% of the benchmark workload.[1] This is an unprecedented achievement in affordable high performance. It represents an evolution in storage economics that can enable customers everywhere to take game-changing steps forward in productivity. This is big news.

SPC-1 reported data for Dell SC4020, configured with 6 SSDs 

SPC-1 IOPS™

112,479.81

SPC-1 price-performance™

$0.37/SPC-1 IOPS™

Average response time (ms) all ASUs, 100% workload

4.83 ms

Average response time (ms) all ASUs, 90% workload

3.10 ms

Total system price

$41,836.40 USD



What are you paying for the performance delivered?

The SC4020 is the most affordable system listed in the active SPC-1 results published. Furthermore, the SC4020 holds an exemplary position in price/performance value, as indicated in the chart below.  Notably, the SC4020 is the only system configured as an all-inclusive SAN with network switches. If you level the field by subtracting the cost of the switches from the SC4020 total system price, Dell’s IOPS-per-price rating trumps all the contenders.

Why these results matter?

The SPC-1 results affirm the extraordinary affordability and price/performance value of the SC4020. This is consequential to all businesses, large and small, because affordable high-performance storage can contribute to business success in a multitude of ways. It can help companies reach new customers and embrace new opportunities or embark more aggressively on innovation with lower up-front investment. Storage that excels in price/performance value can help cut costs from business operations, even as data requirements continue to ramp steadily. Low acquisition costs, especially for a feature-rich system such as the SC4020, can enable small, growing companies to set higher goals and meet new growth objectives, even on a small budget.

Connect with us on Twitter @Dell Storage.  

[1] For multi-block reads(common in full table scans and Index fast full scans), Tier-1 storage should provide an average IO wait time in the range of 10-15ms: Thiru Vadivelu, Tune your Oracle Automatic Storage Management, http://www.orafaq.com/papers/tuning_asm.pdf, pg. 3.

Dell TechCenterFive Easy Ways To Turn Data Into Your Biggest Competitive Advantage

Business intelligence offers limitless potential for achieving competitive advantage. But the path from data to insights is a long one. Here are five simple ways you can get from data to intelligence faster: Heterogeneous data replication: You...(read more)

Dell TechCenterAnalytics in Healthcare: Q&A with Dr. Charlotte Hovet, Part 1

Headshot of Dr Charlotte HovetIn this two-part series, Dr. Charlotte Hovet, medical director of Global Healthcare Solutions at Dell, shares her thoughts about how healthcare informatics and predictive analytics are helping to usher in a new era of wellness and disease prevention. Part one takes a look at healthcare informatics changes happening today while part two looks ahead to what we should expect by 2020.

Q: How do you define healthcare informatics?

Last month at HIMSS’15, I spent considerable time speaking with attendees and Dell customers about health informatics. The buzzword “informatics” is often seen as the intersection between computers and medicine. But that’s not it. Informatics is a science; it’s the study and practice of creating, storing, finding, manipulating and sharing information. Informatics drives innovation, and when applied to healthcare, it enables us to effectively use information and knowledge to improve the quality, safety and cost of patient care.

I spent more than 20 years as a practicing family physician, and that clinical experience shapes how I view patient-centered, information-driven healthcare. Additionally, I’ve spent nearly a decade advising others on the transformation of healthcare and the role of information technology.

Q: What role does predictive analytics play in accelerating this healthcare transformation?

Analytics is becoming critical to healthcare. The wealth of digital data available to healthcare providers is expanding exponentially, and having the ability to share, integrate and analyze data opens the door to population health management, disease prediction and personalized medicine.

Because medical records now are digitalized, we have the ability to share data and use it to improve decision-making. Using data to impact clinical decisions is key to transforming healthcare. With analytics, we can connect disparate and different types of information to identify trends. From those trends, we gain valuable insights, and these insights should be used to change behavior. The only way we can significantly change patient-care outcomes is by changing the way care is delivered by clinicians and the way patients manage their health.

 Q: How does information-driven healthcare change the doctor-patient relationship?

With information-driven healthcare, we can move from episodic care, where patients present with a particular problem, to new models of care delivery designed to optimize the health and wellbeing of the populations we serve.

This will transform today’s fragmented, volume-based healthcare delivery model into a mobile, interconnected, value-based, collaborative care delivery model. The status quo is being disrupted by innovative digital technologies and the ability to align patient wellness with physician payment incentives. The result is the emergence of new tools and new healthcare capabilities that will lead to more personal and precise medicine.

Photo of a doctor at a patient's bedside using Dell technology

Q: What impact will new wearables technologies and smart sensors have on doctor-patient interactions?

We’re in the early stages of wearable devices; however, it’s clear that wearables and other technologies enabled by the Internet of Things will play an important role in empowering patients to use information and take greater responsibility for their health. This happens through the ability to access lab results from your smartphone or using telemedicine to expedite a diagnosis. All of this data—whether it’s directed to the patient or the provider—leads to more informed decisions.

In the future, we’ll see greater opportunities for shared decision-making as both patients and their physicians will have direct access to information that can make a difference. Wearable sensors will do more than remind you to walk more. They’ll trigger automated functions that can be incorporated into your lifestyle to increase prevention and wellbeing.

Wearable technology will be able to combine personal and social media data with sensor data to reveal useful insights into a person’s lifestyle, such as sleep patterns and exercise levels. All of this data will be fed into cloud-based solutions where a variety of predictive analytics can be performed to deliver more personalized medicine.

Q: How is Dell driving the delivery of patient-centered, information-driven healthcare?

For the past two decades, Dell has helped healthcare organizations keep pace with dramatic industry changes with end-to-end, future-ready IT platforms that drive healthcare innovation. Our leadership in the healthcare IT space was reinforced recently by Gartner, which ranked us the No. 1 IT Services Vendor in the Healthcare Providers Category for the sixth consecutive year.

This is a great accomplishment, and no coincidence, as we’ve focused on hardware, software and services to help our healthcare customers optimize their clinical information systems and be better prepared for what lies ahead. With our cloud and analytics expertise, they’re embracing more patient-engaging strategies while moving forward with clinical analytics.

In the next five years, the adoption curve will be very rapid for new healthcare IT technologies that provide sustainable benefits. Predictive analytics and informatics will still be at the epicenter, delivering the insight and knowledge required for healthcare transformation.

We’ll continue the discussion in part two of our conversation with Dr. Hovet. Till then, drop me a line at john.whittaker@software.dell.com to share your thoughts on the future of analytics in healthcare.

Dell TechCenterHigh Grades for Dell from San Bernardino County School of Superintendents

I’ve always had a soft spot for the education market — going back to when I had the opportunity to run IT for a K-12 school district early in my career. I still recall how rewarding the work was as it was clear our efforts were making a difference to students and teachers alike. I also remember the many challenges my small team faced in trying to manage technology demands with limited resources.

photo of grade school students in classroom using Dell Chromebook

When I speak to Dell education customers today, I often hear of the struggles they face trying to support new ways to teach, learn and collaborate while balancing budget and support constraints. Luckily, these customers also share examples of how Dell is enabling them to make major improvements across both K-12 and higher-education environments.

There are many instances of how Dell-powered solutions are making it possible for our customers to deliver critical education system reforms. And, we’re helping them embrace new standards for assessments and accountability while addressing budget cuts and staff reductions. Dell’s education customers around the world are transforming lives through education and it’s great to be a part of it!

In my current role as the global VP and GM of sales, marketing and services for Dell Software, I still get to roll up my sleeves and strategize with customers about how best to support their emerging requirements. Many of those discussions revolve around Dell’s portfolio of hardware, software and services that can help enhance learning and teaching experiences. For example, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) is a shining example of Dell’s ability to apply a holistic mix of end-to-end solutions across data center, network and classroom environments.

"The end-to-end Dell solutions we’ve implemented allow us to give better, more reliable and faster service to our customers, whether they’re teachers and students in the classroom, our administrative staff or other needs that this organization has on a spur-of-the-moment basis," says Ted Alejandre, superintendent, SBCSS.

As the largest county in the continental U.S., SBCSS spans more than 500 school sites across 33 elementary school districts serving more than 412,000 students and 17,000 teachers, administrators and staff. Aside from its sheer size, San Bernardino is coping with other ever-present challenges, such as rolling out a new funding model and local control accountability plans as well as implementing new Common Core standards and Smarter Balance testing assessments.

Meeting both the county’s current and future requirements is a tall order—and one that Dell fulfills with a mix of software, networking, storage and data center solutions. On the software side, SBCSS uses Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive Firewalls and Dell KACE Systems Management Appliances to take security and endpoint systems management to the next level. By deploying Dell KACE’s “anypoint management,” SBCSS has eliminated seven disparate products while slashing the time and effort required to support an array of Dell desktops, laptops and Chromebooks.

Additionally, SBCSS embraced Dell SonicWALL’s next-gen firewalls to give the countywide network an extra measure of protection from viruses, spam, spyware, intrusions and other threats. In doing so, the county replaced more than six separate products with SuperMassive E10800 firewalls—alleviating bandwidth bottlenecks and improving the detection and blocking of threats before they enter the network. The county also has deployed Dell PowerEdge blade servers, Dell PowerEdge VRTX servers, Dell networking solutions and Dell EqualLogic storage arrays.

According to Ted Alejandre, SBCSS superintendent, the decision to deploy an end-to-end Dell portfolio, let the county give better, more reliable and faster service to its customers, whether they’re teachers and students in the classroom or administrative staff in the field. We also help the county accommodate spur-of-the-moment needs, which is something every customer across every sector must be ready to address.

The common thread that connects all Dell customers is the overarching need to address rapid change while reducing IT complexity and cost. Our ability to help customers stay ahead of the technology curve –with end-to-end solutions that simplify IT and improve service—is what binds us together while enabling Dell to stand out from competitors. 

I’m always looking for stories of how companies are embracing end-to-end solutions that make a difference. Drop me a line at Dave_Hansen@dell.com with a good story to share.

Dell TechCenterHow Our Data Analytics Workbench Quickly Saved Us $2.5M ― and Increased Revenue by $5.3M

The digital revolution has changed how people shop. Consumers have a world of options at their fingertips and they know more about their products than ever. To compete, companies have had to transform sales and marketing models to support these new requirements...(read more)

Dell TechCenterDell Storage Strategy Shines, Focuses on Customer Success

While opinions these days are plentiful, I’d love to share some fact-based perspectives on our Dell Storage portfolio and strategy. These facts are backed by leading industry analyst firms, such as IDC, Gartner and ESG, and are echoed by customer feedback. You might already know about some of these. Others might surprise you.

Dell was the No. 1 vendor in total storage capacity shipped last year

As shared previously, Dell was the top vendor in total storage capacity shipped in 2014, according to IDC research data. Last year, our customers added capacity to existing technologies or acquired new ones to the tune of more than 10.8 exabytes of storage capacity. That’s No.1 in the industry, ahead of all of the other pure play storage vendors, and it includes both internal and external storage capacity.  Dell succeeds here with a winning combination of servers and storage.  With the growing trends of server-side flash, converged IT and the software-defined data center, the lines are blurring across these technologies. Dell is in a strong position to continue to take advantage this blurring trend. In fact, Dell grew more than any other single vendor Y/Y for Q4 in the Total Disk Storage Systems Market sales with 5.2% growth, according to IDC. Dell also jumped into the No. 3 position, ahead of IBM by $1M for the quarter, or for a statistical third place tie, according to the firm.

Dell Storage offers world-class TCO

Dell Storage offers some of the best TCO in the industry. Our arrays leverage advanced technologies across our SC and PS Series to offer you market-leading value. How do we provide this? Through innovative, all-inclusive and perpetual software licensing and intelligent data placement, we extend the lifecycle of our arrays, lowering costs while maintaining high performance. The analyst community tells the story better than we can. Check out more from IDC and ESG.

Dell’s breadth of portfolio combined with best-in-class technology is a win for our customers

We’re combining the best storage technology from across our portfolio with new products such as the Dell Storage SCv2000 Series. With this new, entry-class array series, we can offer a single stack architecture that spans applications from smaller to large enterprise workloads. Customers are looking to consolidate vendors and storage in their data centers. They seek to reduce both risk and OpEx, not increase it by adding new vendors. 

We stand by our affordable, customer-centric, hybrid flash approach

The market is moving to flash and quickly. We like that, and we’re winning there, too. The only challenge with flash is the fact that it still costs more than spinning drives. Customers want to put as much data on flash as makes fiscal sense, and we help them with that strategy. Selling intelligent data placement software for many years has shown that 20% of most customers’ data is actually “hot.” The most common strategy is to keep that hot data in flash, and store the rest on more cost-effective spinning media. According to IDC’s latest research on worldwide hybrid array raw SSD capacity shipments (1H2014), Dell catapulted to the No. 2 position in hybrid flash array capacity sold, just a hair behind EMC. Why such fast growth? Because, despite what other one-trick ponies might say, not all data needs to be placed in flash—just a small amount. This is where Dell excels. For those that want all flash systems, we have that covered, too, at market-leading price for performance. The SC4020 all-flash array happens to be the fastest available under $75,000, according to published SPC-1 benchmarks

We continue to invest in scale-out NAS

Dell continues to enhance our scale-out NAS, the Dell Fluid File System (or FluidFS), most recently making available our Version 4 release this April. As shared when announced, “By expanding the cluster from a single FS8600 appliance to four appliances, customers can expand performance linearly up to 494,000 max SPECsfs file OPS and 11.9 GB/sec throughput, which makes the FS8600 one of the most competitive price-per-performance scale-out NAS solutions available.” Our customers now also can manage large file sizes (up to 16TB) and increase file storage capacity on the fly, doubling our previous limit to up to 4 petabytes in a single namespace.

Our end-to-end technology combined with key partnerships and global support is unbeatable

Our industry is in a period of rapid transition. If the move to flash wasn’t disruptive enough, we also are seeing a dramatic shift to new architectures including software-defined storage and hyperconvergence. All of this is happening concurrently. About a year ago, Dell announced our Blue Thunder initiative to bring these new SSD technologies to market. We now offer the industry’s broadest portfolio based on partnerships and integrated solutions with leading vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, Nutanix, Nexenta and Red Hat. As previously stated, organizations are seeking to reduce risk in their data center through vendor consolidation. Dell is in a unique position to offer our award-winning PowerEdge server platforms in combination with storage technology to deliver these tested and validated, workload-driven solutions to the market. And we add to this value world-class, global service and support.

But don’t just take it from me

I also am happy to share examples of market success based on customer success. Their vote matters most to us. Looking at market data, here’s what customers are saying through fully independent research:

Based on these facts, we believe Dell Storage offers the best price for performance from any leading enterprise storage vendor. It’s been our mission, and, frankly, our ability, to redefine the economics of enterprise storage. We’ll continue to enhance our current offerings and announce new ones per customer demand at a fast clip. We’ll also stay focused on both traditional and new approaches to deploying storage and broader IT solutions. You can count on Dell to deliver the best solution for your workloads and unique environments. That goes for the technology we’re delivering today as well as a clear and thoughtful investment in future technologies to support your future growth.

Dell TechCenterVisit Dell @ OpenStack Summit 2015

OpenStack Summit comes to gorgeous Vancouver, B.C., May 18-22, and Dell is proud to sponsor the event! Dell has sponsored every OpenStack Summit to date, and look forward to seeing everyone in Vancouver.

If you are a Dell customer, contact your Dell Account Representative to learn about a very special invitation only activity Dell is hosting along with our strategic partners Intel and Red Hat. Hint: there is water involved!

We recently enhanced our Dell Red Hat Cloud Solutions to integrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, picking up support for our 13th generation PowerEdge servers and a bunch of additional capabilities like active-active HA. Make sure to stop by Dell Booth #S11 and we will be happy to review all the new capabilities in our joint Dell and Red Hat Cloud Solutions. We are easy to find –right next to Red Hat and their booth #H4.

We will also be showing off the latest and greatest capabilities in Dell Cloud Manager – if you have not heard of Dell Cloud Manager you NEED to learn about it. Dell Cloud Manager is a truly superior product that will help you manage your clouds, user access and cloud hosting providers in a single tool.

Can you say software defined networking? Dell is leading the charge to make your networks more open and more flexible. At OpenStack Summit we will have Dell Networking specialists on hand to outline our strategy for Open Networking and explain how you can enable business agility and avoid vendor lock-in with third-party OS and software options from Cumulus Linux and Big Switch Networks on Dell Switches. 

If you are attending OpenStack Summit, please make sure to add these sessions to your schedule.

Monday, May 18  12:05pm - 12:45pm

A Conversation with Cinder Developers with Sean McGinnis

Tuesday, May 19  12:05pm - 12:45pm

Past, Present and Future of Fibre Channel in OpenStack with Sean McGinnis

Tues May 19 2:50-3:30 pm

Verifying your OpenStack Cloud with Rally and Tempest with David Patterson

Tues May 19 3:40- 4:20 pm

Setting up a highly available storage cluster for Cinder and Glance backend using Ceph with optional Rados Gateway for Object Storage with Steve Hand, Randy Perryman 

Tues May 19 4:40- 5:20 pm

Different approaches to building and enabling scalable OpenStack networks using Dell Open Networking with Prashanth Ganapathy

Tues May 19 5:30- 6:10 pm

Dell and Red Hat – taking OpenStack to the enterprise with Steve Croce and Sean Cohen

 

See you in Vancouver – eh!

 

Dell TechCenterTaking Statistica Data Viz To A Whole New Level

You never know what you’ll find in the Statistica Monthly News email. The top item in last week’s issue was a blurb steering readers to the press release announcing Dell Software’s partnership with Datawatch that will take Statistica’s...(read more)

Dell TechCenterThree Ways to Address the Most Common IT Challenges faced by Education IT Professionals

In my previous blog , I explained some of the significant systems management challenges facing educational institutions as they adopt more digital curricula to deliver a quality learning experience for their students. Without the right tools, these systems...(read more)

Dell TechCenterDon’t Let Data Backup Steal Your Time

Most of us living in the 21 st century are leading extremely busy lives…. But have you ever stopped and thought about what’s stealing your personal time every day? It can be simple things like going to a coffee shop, standing in line waiting...(read more)

Dell TechCenterTechnology Choices: Keep Calm and Carry On at IoT World

This week the Dell team is attending IoT World in San Francisco where we will be presenting in a session titled Fast and Safe: Technology Choices in IoT.  The session will cover the integration of OT and IT, analytics from the edge to the cloud and security in a connected world.  This show comes at an important time in the development of IoT as people work to make the right choices at a number of technology cross roads. I wrote this blog for IoT World as a way to address some of the challenges at hand.


Internet of Things (IoT) mania is at its zenith, yet many among us are living lives of quiet desperation as they wonder about their next IoT steps. While I say this with a wink, it’s not far from the truth. Executives wonder if they’ll miss the timing of IoT and be overtaken by competitors. CIOs stare out the window and contemplate who will own IoT. Security teams have lots of questions and everyone wonders about standards, privacy and how to make sense of the data. And the IoT vendors? They are like zombies crawling through the windows trying to sell expensive, proprietary and limited versions of IoT. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, take heart, it’s not as bad as it seems.

In midst of uncertainty we can find peace by taking a pragmatic approach to IoT. We encourage our customers to start small with what they have in place and build on it towards measurable success.  It makes eminent sense, yet people we meet tell us of the pressures they face to go “all in” with costly, overly ambitious plans. Pragmatism allows customers to remain focused on the overall business goals of their IoT program rather than being driven by serving a system.

Success and analytics are part of the same conversation in modern business. Analytics-driven action provides the real business value and architecting for its success must be a central part of any IoT program. Considering this facet of IoT includes looking for a rich ecosystem of analytics, data management and infrastructure solutions that can work seamlessly with what you have in place and scale with your confidence and ambitions. 

Security is part of every technology related discussion today and IoT is no exception. We counsel or customers to build in security at every stage of development. We find that in the rush to IoT, many are setting aside security as a minor detail to be sorted out later. This approach is bound to cause headaches later and the worry and hand-wringing is not worth the temporary procrastination. Developers should look for partners who understand every aspect of security from the device to the cloud and can consult across every point in the security landscape.

In choosing a partner for IoT implementations, look for those who have multiple ways of bringing your project to fruition. Make sure they are able to handle analytics at the edge of the network as well as the cloud and datacenter. By choosing a well-rounded partner that can span all of these areas you ensure that the choices you have extend beyond what the vendor is selling to what the best solution is for your business.

IoT is at the height of its hype cycle and will continue to shape shift as the future comes into focus.  Dell has been here before, from the emergence of the datacenter to the explosion of the cloud. We know that while things are changing much remains remarkably familiar. And, we can help you architect your IoT plan, mapping out the ideal infrastructure that lets you start small, build fast and connect what matters.

Let’s keep the focus on what we can do today and our goals. Let’s keep calm and carry on with IoT.

Dell TechCenterStructured vs Unstructured Data? Regardless, DBAs Are Managing a Ton.

When we asked DBAs in a global survey how much data they had under management, 30 percent of the respondents said 500TB. That’s terabytes—as in equal to the printed collection of the U. S. Library of Congress times 50! What’s more, nearly...(read more)

Dell TechCenterYou’re IAM Isn’t that Bad…Everyone Else is Just as Messed Up as You Think You Are!

New IAM e-book offers real-world examples, of real-world organizations, solving real-world problems, and getting it right…finally I talk to a lot of people about identity and access management (IAM) and one common theme I see across all of them...(read more)

Dell TechCenterRe-architecting Legacy Applications Lays the Foundation for an Adaptive Enterprise

I recently participated in a webcast titled Re-architecting Legacy Applications Lays the Foundation for an Adaptive Enterprise, along with Ovum Analyst Hansa Iyengar. This insightful webcast discussed application re-architecture, its importance and benefits, and provides practical suggestions on how to overcome legacy application challenges. We also spoke about how re-architecture is becoming increasingly critical for organizations seeking to become more adaptive and agile.

man in office looking at diagrams on wall - Dell Re-Architecture method and software

Hansa shared her insight, and talked about how technology transformation is high up on the agendas of Chief Information Officers (CIOs). CIOs today want cloud-delivered, mobile-enabled platforms and applications. They are also seeking to overhaul IT delivery, using agile methodologies. It is interesting and ironic to note that modernization, which should precede the adoption of modern technologies, is generally ignored. There are many reasons for this oversight. In general companies:

  • Don’t have a clear return on investment (ROI)
  • Are wary of the risks involved
  • Are often reluctant to fix something unless it is broken
  • Are concerned about the cost involved—including up-skilling existing software engineers

Hansa then spoke about several modernization approaches, and how re-architecture is a viable long-term option, because, above all, it lays the foundation for a strong core structure, upon which organizations can build future systems. She also discussed some key components of a successful re-architecture effort, stressing how important it is to first analyze and thoroughly assess the system to be migrated; the utility of automation tools, and testing methodologies; and the importance of maintaining the system after the modernization effort, with integration initiatives.

I then spoke about Dell’s vast modernization capabilities and experience across platforms, languages, re-architecture, re-hosting, and our consolidation capabilities. I presented our legacy modernization journey, which is unique in that—apart from the strong data and application modernization capabilities—we also bring to the table a business layer. This is extremely critical in a modernization journey, since it answers key questions, such as why a company is under-taking the modernization journey and maps out dependencies and functionalities, among other key business and technology considerations. Based on this, we build a future case scenario and chart out the path for a best-fit solution that is cost-effective, low-risk, and accelerates implementation, using our time-tested IPs and patented technology.

Diagram of the three phases of Dell Re-architecture method and software

Hansa and I then discussed two Dell customers and how we helped them modernize their systems to save costs and boost performance.

Dell has also helped P2 Energy Solutions modernize their system. The specialized oil and gas software and data solutions leader wanted to modernize its functionally rich but technology-outdated application to better meet market demands. We modernized a key application to Java. The new system has simplified maintenance by reducing lines of code 80 percent; it has also created a solid platform for product and market-share growth and prepared P2 Energy Solutions to be more competitive in the market.


Click here to listen to the webcast.

Learn more about our re-architecture capabilities.

Dell TechCenterIs Agility the next Holy Grail for IT?

What do Monty Python and Indiana Jones have in common with today’s IT? All undertook a quest – a quest for a Holy Grail. IT’s new Holy Grail is called the cloud. 

The cloud promises agility, speed, dynamic and real time engagement – get to the cloud so we can become agile “like Google” is the mandate in front of IT organizations today! Cloud will enable IT to move at the speed of business, to move at the speed of the customer. IT needs to transform to become agile. This time IT is transforming to the cloud. Is agility the next Holy Grail for IT? Yes, it absolutely is.

 

This is a nice vision. But what does agility look like? What does being agile mean? How do we know when we have it? If the goal is agility - What does success look like? Here is my take. (Spoiler alert: being agile means getting your information systems - and ultimately your organization future ready.)

Being agile means:

  1. Not accepting conventional wisdom, and being ready to change the rules In this video  Malcolm Gladwell talks  about the story of David vs. Goliath to illustrate how not following convention can change the rules of the game
  2. Becoming an orchestrator of loosely coupled transactional systems (services grids) with an ecosystem of partners  to build and deliver goods and services to customers – learn more about services grids in this paper
  3. Putting interoperability  at the core of everything your organization does – interoperability is a foundational requirement to becoming an orchestrator
  4. Putting control and access for engagement directly into the hands of your customer – this requires a fluid, elastic infrastructure that can respond to the ebbs and flows of customer interactions

Ultimately, being agile means getting your organization into a position where you are able to shape and mold the future versus being a slave to forces outside of your control. At Dell we have a saying for this – we call it being “Future Ready.”

Cloud and agility are intertwined. At Dell we are delivering on our mission to accelerate our customer’s journey to cloud computing with OpenStack cloud solutions to help make their organizations future ready. If your plans include attending the upcoming OpenStack Summit event make sure to attend a Dell session or stop by the Dell Expo #S11 to learn more about becoming agile and Future Ready. 

Dell Sessions:

Monday, May 18  12:05pm - 12:45pm

A Conversation with Cinder Developers with Sean McGinnis

Tuesday, May 19  12:05pm - 12:45pm

Past, Present and Future of Fibre Channel in OpenStack with Sean McGinnis

Tues May 19 2:50-3:30 pm

Verifying your OpenStack Cloud with Rally and Tempest with David Patterson

Tues May 19 3:40- 4:20 pm

Setting up a highly available storage cluster for Cinder and Glance backend using Ceph with optional Rados Gateway for Object Storage with Steve Hand, Randy Perryman 

Tues May 19 4:40- 5:20 pm

Different approaches to building and enabling scalable OpenStack networks using Dell Open Networking with Prashanth Ganapathy

Tues May 19 5:30- 6:10 pm

Dell and Red Hat – taking OpenStack to the enterprise with Steve Croce and Sean Cohen

 

Dell TechCenterTips for Deploying Wireless in Your Small Business

As a product manager in the security industry I have the opportunity to travel all over the world. On my trips it’s been very rare that I’ll find a location that does not provide some sort of wireless access. Even the most remote locations...(read more)

Dell TechCenterOne of these things is not like the others: OMG, OMW, AFAIK, LoProCo

If you have a smartphone, a teenager or both, then acronyms like OMG (oh my gosh), OMW (on my way) and AFAIK (as far as I know) are probably pretty familiar to you. However, the last one – LoProCo - probably belongs more in a list with HIPAA than...(read more)

Dell TechCenterMitigating Against IoT Vulnerabilities by Playing Zone Defense

Today, attackers are shifting focus and attacking the more vulnerable and exposed surrounding infrastructure of a distributed enterprise. For example, how many devices do you have in your home or branch office network? I counted mine, and I have over...(read more)

Footnotes