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Barton GeorgeNutanix and Dell’s Web-scale converged appliance

Here is my final post from Dell World.  Today’s interview is with Nikita Maheshwari, product marketing manager with Nutanix.

I caught up with Nikita on the show floor in front of their booth.   I got her to give a brief overview of the company and what they announced with Dell at the show.  Check it out.

Some of the ground Nikita covers

  • Describing Nutanix’s software-based converged infrastructure platform and where their IP lies
  • Who are some of the customers they’ve been working with and what use cases they are seeing
  • Announcing the shipping of the first of five Dell XC Web-Scale Converged Appliances with Nutanix preloaded
  • What Nutanix and Dell have up their sleeves for the upcoming year

Extra-credit reading

  • Dell Set To Ship OEM Nutanix-Based Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliances – CRN
  • Dell inks OEM deal with Nutanix to build mutant server, storage, networking beasts – The Register

Pau for now…


Dell TechCenterLet Dell.com Help You Stay Home This Black Friday

There’s a disagreement in my house that has raised its ugly head again this year.

If you read my post about reaching young customers, you know I’ve got a tween girl, and for the second year in a row she’s begun lobbying me heavily to go Black Friday shopping. She seems to think staying up late or waking up early, dealing with parking, crowds, lines and the occasional violent outbreak would be fun. I do not.

No, count me among the increasing number of people who prefer to do their Black Friday shopping online on our own time. Even Canadians are getting in on this U.S. phenomenon.

So it’s nice to see that more and more of the electronic items that might be on my holiday shopping list can be purchased right on Dell.com.

Sure, there will still be virtual “doorbuster” deals that go quick. (Apologies in advance if the $99.99 tablets or $549.00 Alienware gaming PCs get snapped up before you can get one.) But, you won’t have to spend days in the cold sleeping in a tent on the sidewalk to buy TVs as low as $167.99. Instead, you can register at www.dell.com/signup to receive email notifications for early access to promotions. Want an example of what that can mean? See Kiley Attridge’s tweet:

“Dell’s holiday deals are unprecedented and the selection is vast – we’re excited to offer something for everyone,” said Phil Bryant, vice president and general manager of our Consumer and Small Business team when he announced our Holiday Product Round-Up of products for fitness fanatics, film buffs, music enthusiasts, foodies, avid gamers and gadget gurus.

Our awesome team behind Dell.com has been working to prepare for this busy shopping season by bringing new navigation and search capabilities to the site. I know how hard they work to make things easier for customers because I was part of that team for several years. That’s why I also know what a big deal it was to add the ability to purchase with Bitcoin on our site.

According to The Coin Front, Black Friday last year may have been the biggest day for Bitcoin transactions in history.

“Last year’s event saw a whopping 6,260% increase in transactions through BitPay compared to the previous year’s Bitcoin Black Friday. $6 million in sales were processed through BitPay that day,” they noted.

But if you’re still new to Bitcoin or don’t have enough in your wallet for that 3D printer someone on your shopping list wants, we’ve always got options like Dell Financial Services offering 12 months special financing on MakerBot 3D printers with Dell Preferred Account.

You can also sign up for the free Dell Advantage Loyalty Program and get an automatic five percent back in rewards as well as free second business day shipping on all purchases. It also gives you exclusive access to special offers and pre-sale events throughout the year.

So, if you already have that 3D printer and are using it to make all your gifts this season, you won’t miss out on the excitement of a great deal that my tween so craves.

 Woman opening gift of tablet from man

For additional holiday gift giving inspiration, join the Dell holiday conversation online at #GetInspired and visit the Dell YouTube channel.

Barton GeorgeLearning about Dell’s OpenStack private cloud offering

The week before last I was roaming the expo floor at Dell World and I bumped into Steve Croce.  Steve is at Dell and is the product manager and strategist for our OpenStack private cloud offering.

I got Steve to spend a few minutes with me and give me the lowdown on what we are offering and where Red Hat plays in.  Take a listen.

Some of the ground Steve covers

  • Who’s Dell targeting with our offering and how has that expanded
  • What is the stack comprised of: Hardware, Software and Services
  • Dell IT’s internal innovation lab running Red Hat’s OpenStack distro
  • What can we expect to see in the upcoming year

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now..


Dell TechCenterPenPal Schools – Connecting to Learn Together

The following is a guest post from Joe Troyen, Founder and CEO of PenPal Schools, winner of our Dell World 2014 Pitch Slam, which was the culminating event for the annual Tech Innovation Day Series, hosted by Dell for Entrepreneurs

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In today’s increasingly interconnected world, it’s more important than ever for students to be exposed to other cultures and perspectives at an early age.  However, due to growing pressures on teachers to align all instruction to academic standards, cultural exchange programs like PenPals have fallen out of fashion.

Students at the Crossover Academy in Ghana wait to write to peers in California using PenPal SchoolsWe started PenPal Schools because we believe that meaningful cultural exchange should be a part of every student’s education.  We set out to create a program where students can experience that great cultural exchange within the context of an academically rigorous curriculum that aligns to academic standards.

In addition to sharing their personal lives, students using PenPal Schools exchange perspectives on global issues and practice foreign languages through standards-aligned courses designed for students of all ages and abilities.  Courses include a World News curriculum for students to share perspectives on global issues, as well as foreign language courses for learners of Spanish, French, Chinese, and English to practice their target language with native speakers.

After starting out with a handful of students connecting through email, we’ve quickly grown to over 50,000 students in more than 50 countries.  It’s truly amazing how excited students around the world are to share their experiences and discover new cultures.

New technology has enabled us to modernize the traditional PenPal exchange through sleek apps for browsers and mobile devices that make communication fun for students and easy for teachers.  At its core, however, the value of PenPal Schools does not lie in its code or features, but in the students and teachers sharing their lives and perspectives.  PenPal Schools is not just a product or an app; it’s a global community of students, educators, and parents connecting to learn together.

Winning the Dell World Pitch Slam finals has been transformational for us.  In the days following the contest, stories from the event from EdSurge, Silicon Hills and more reached educators around the world. We have experienced a huge boost in enrollment in India, Latin America, Europe, and most of all in China, where over 20,000 students signed up within 48 hours!

But even more important than the press is the opportunity to partner with Dell to spread PenPal Schools across school districts around the world. 

By including the PenPal Schools app on Dell devices, students and teachers can instantly use their new Dell products to connect for eye-opening, highly educational experiences.  We also hope to work with Dell to provide devices to low-income schools around the world to help them connect their students to learn about the world around them and share their own unique perspectives. 

Thanks to Dell’s relationships with so many schools and technology partners in the US and abroad, we have a tremendous opportunity to grow our global community and promote cultural awareness and literacy around the world.

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Joe TroyenJoe Troyen, Founder & CEO of PenPal Schools is fueled by two passions: bringing people together to learn about different cultures and creating great products that people love to use.

Before PenPal Schools, Joe studied International Relations at Pomona College and worked for 5 years designing software products for clients in Education and Health Care.

Joe has had the opportunity to meet many of the PenPal Schools students and teachers around the world and across the USA, and their passion for learning and sharing their cultures continues to inspire him and the rest of the PenPal Schools team.

Dell TechCenterWeb Summit 2014: Making Connections, From the Booth to the Bar

Web Summit 2014, Europe’s biggest tech event, has been a memorable experience for the team. With the show having pulled in a 20,000-strong crowd featuring industry giants, high-growth startups, and everything in between, we’ve relished the opportunity to get closer to the tech entrepreneur community. In this last blog post in our Web Summit series, one of our U.K. Startups-In-Residence, David Monks, shares his key learnings and takeaways from the event. Monks’ startup, award-winning iNovar (below), is a business intelligence company enabling executives to securely access all their corporate content and applications on mobile devices.

Web Summit - iNovar

That’s all, folks: another Web Summit done and dusted. For the team at iNovar, this was our first year as an exhibitor so we’ve been taking stock of our experiences and learnings to make next year even bigger.

An event of this scale provides unparalleled opportunities to get in front of a vast, international audience to pitch your technology and expand your network. As a member of the ‘alpha’ stream for the youngest companies exhibiting, we relished the opportunity to network with like-minded businesses, but also had ample opportunity to learn from our larger counterparts — something we’ve enjoyed doing during the past six months through our partnership with Dell.

Having won a competitive pitch to secure technology, mentorship and a year’s tenancy at Dell’s U.K. headquarters, we’ve seen first-hand the value of being able to speak directly to senior management at a large corporation. Dell has enabled us to refine our offering and raise our profile with investors and the start-up tech community.

A large part of this success has hinged on our ability to work alongside Dell at major industry events such as Web Summit. Dell had a major presence at the show this year and their stand was extremely popular — not least because of the comfy seating and coffee! As always, it was useful to meet up with internal Dell staff and Dell customers — but that’s not all we got up to together.

I jumped at the opportunity to join Dell staff in helping those startups shortlisted for Web Summit’s “PITCH” competition to hone their skills via Dell’s “Pitch Perfect” sessions. No entrepreneur can get their business off the ground without the ability to pitch. After all, if you can’t get an investor, prospect customer or potential partner interested in your business idea, success is going to be hard to come by. As a seasoned pitcher and former trainer, I couldn’t resist this opportunity to help out!

Our first two days of the show were spent trawling the floors of this impressive, well-attended event. It was a hive of activity and we had useful conversations with prospective investors and potential partners from the get-go.

One of our key takeaways from Web Summit was its value for making connections through its unique blend of social and business environments. The many after-hours parties and pub crawls provided networking opportunities just as important as those at the exhibition itself, with the same sorts of conversations happening at the booth and the bar alike.

But our main learning was that you should never, never, never give up. On the final day, many companies were already starting to pack-up and we were tempted to do the same. We were so glad we didn’t give into that temptation as we secured six major leads within the last 30 minutes of the show!

Web Summit has been a great experience, offering broad international exposure in both a professional and informal environment. Here’s to next year’s event!

To find out more about Dell’s entrepreneurial focus, follow @DellCFEUK on Twitter or take a look at the Dell for Entrepreneurs programme here, and if you are an entrepreneur then we’d love to hear your story.

Kevin HoustoneHarmony Continues to Grow – Thanks to Cisco UCS

A recent article from Gigaoam.com revealed that dating site, eHarmony, is becoming more technologically innovative, thanks in part to new technologies like OpenStack, Hadoop, Spark and Docker.  In the 2nd year of a three year journey, CTO Thod Nguyen,  told Gigaoam that a big part of it is turning eHarmony’s existing virtualization-centric data center into a private cloud environment, mostly likely running the open source OpenStack cloud software.  , the company expects to cut its web server count by about half from its current 1,000 machines, he said. The company also manages about 2,000 other devices.

Read the full article at https://gigaom.com/2014/11/19/why-eharmony-is-rebuilding-itself-atop-openstack-and-hadoop/

 
Kevin Houston - Founder, BladesMadeSimple.comKevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BladesMadeSimple.com.  He has over 17 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace.  Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization.  Kevin works for Dell as a Server Sales Engineer covering the Global Enterprise market.

Dell TechCenterFive Reasons to Consider Adding a Deduplication Appliance to Your Disaster Recovery Plan

When you think of making breakfast in the morning one appliance stands out from the rest-- the coffee maker. Purpose-built, it’s clearly what you need to brew your own cup of java and get you started in the morning (other than a trip to your nearest coffee shop – which often takes more time and effort). The same is true for backup data – having a purpose built solution like a backup to disk appliance may be the best tool for the job of keeping and managing backup workloads.

When thinking through changes or ways to simplify the task of backing up data, specifically, and building a smarter backup in general, consider the following five signs that your environment would benefit from the use of a backup appliance.

One – Your tape management and costs are getting out of control. If your organization finds it’s spending more time with each month and money to manage backup tapes, it may be time to reconsider that strategy.  Backup to disk is faster, more convenient, and less prone to mechanical or human error.  Tapes can still play a part in your overall strategy as archives, since many backup software products and appliances can write older data out to tape for long-term retention.

Two - Data growth is creating a crimp in your staff’s schedules.  Imagine the possibilities of getting all the backups done and safely tucked away within the available time windows, thus allowing you and your staff more time to perform other tasks – and less stress.  Using appliances that can handle backup workloads using performance accelerators that speed ingest of data can certainly help accomplish the jobs faster. The use of deduplication may decrease the amount of storage needed to hold the data by a factor of up to 15x.

Three - Backup is getting more complex by the minute.  Managing backup streams coming from multiple servers, databases, applications and virtual machines on a constant basis can be a daunting task.  A single backup appliance solution can be the target for all these backup jobs, safely managing the network bandwidth speed used to deliver data to the appliance and taking over the task of actually placing data on the appliance without manual intervention.

Four - Budgets are tight and getting tighter. While there is an initial capital outlay for dedupe appliances, in the long run such solutions can save money by dramatically decreasing the amount of storage capacity needed to protect data and recover as needed.  Most customers see data reduction levels in the range of 10:1 or 15:1 as they store daily, incremental and full backups.  For applications such as Exchange or Oracle databases, savings can mount up considerably over time. Scalable backup to disk appliances can start small and then be added to as needs demand to house hundreds of Terabytes of deduplicated and compressed data.

Five – Your organization is happy with their backup application but is feeling the pinch of data growth when it comes to backup storage.  The good news is that most backup appliances on the market today can work with the backup application you’re using by communicating with the backup server/media server and acting as a target for the backup workloads.  The appliance takes over the task of actually performing the deduplication and accommodates the data markers established by the backup application in use.  The backup application actually controls the jobs while the appliance controls the data integrity by verifying data has been successfully ingested, deduped, and written to disk.  Most appliances on the market also have performance accelerators integrated for use with the network protocols (OST, CIFS, NFS) utilized by the backup applications so that jobs can be accomplished faster – making your life easier. 

So all in all, specialized backup to disk appliances should certainly be considered as a caffeinated way to perk up your organizations’ disaster recovery strategy (pun intended!).  Of course the issues about planning changes to your disaster recovery strategy and the risks of not doing so can seem overwhelming.  For more information about building a smarter backup read the whitepaper “Upset the Backup and Recovery Apple Cart Without Spilling the Apples.”

Dell TechCenterDell Security Wins Security Readers’ Choice Awards, Ranks Number One in Security 500 Report

November has been a great month for Dell Security! Last week, our network security, wireless network security, web security, web application firewalls and Identity and Access Management products were top winners in the recent SearchSecurity.com/Information Security Magazine 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. More than 1,700 readers voted on the top security products of the year, in 22 product categories.

SonicWALL products

These awards recognize superior companies and products working to address the growing security demands due to today’s relentless threats and cybercriminal attacks around the world. Dell is proud to win in the following categories:

For more than a decade, Dell SonicWALL Network Security Appliances (NSA) and TZ Series next-generation and unified threat management (UTM) firewalls have secured organizations around the world by combining intrusion prevention, application control, malware protection and content filtering for a comprehensive approach to network protection. Our customers and partners benefit by having top notch security that does not compromise performance and does not break the bank. Companies that host their own web servers gain an additional layer of security for their websites by deploying a Dell SonicWALL Web Application Firewall in addition to the intrusion prevention capabilities on the firewall. Dell’s Clean Wireless line of access points has provided secure wireless connectivity to hundreds of thousands locations and extended the deep security provided by the firewalls out to wireless. Our Content Filtering Service (CFS) and Content Filtering Client (CFC) web filtering technologies protect millions in schools, governments and in private organizations by providing protection and productivity policies and block inappropriate, unproductive and even illegal web content.

"We have tight control over the network nowadays and can manage bandwidth per application using the firewall. The beauty of our Dell SonicWALL solution is that we can use it to create better store environments for our customers,” said Joan Taribo, Operations and IT Manager, Benetton Spain.

As we announced at Dell World, Dell One Identity Manager, our most popular, enterprise-level identity and access management (IAM) solution, is now offered in a robust SaaS version that makes the three tenets of IAM – access control, provisioning and governance – available to companies that prefer to outsource rather than expend resources, staff or budget to deploy an on-premises IAM solution. Dell One Identity Manager enables large organizations like Radboud University to ensure that users have only the access they need.

“Identity Manager differentiated itself from other solutions due to its completeness — it allowed a single product to tackle all of the issues we face, on both a provisioning level and a governance level,” said Jos Groenewegen, senior manager, Radboud University.

Underscoring the outstanding recognition of our security products is another honor that validates our security strategy overall: for an unprecedented second consecutive year, Dell’s Security program has been rated number one in the IT Sector in Security Magazine’s annual Security 500 report. The Security 500 ranks the top 500 power players in the security industry, and we were thrilled to be at the top of this list last year. This year’s repeat ranking reinforces our belief that our offerings, and the scalable, end-to-end security solutions we provide to our customers, represents the best in the business.

The IT security industry is highly fragmented, with many products addressing just one aspect of security, which means that organizations have to cobble together a patchwork of products to meet their security needs. At Dell, our security vision is to unify these fragmented infrastructures with a comprehensive portfolio that’s built to protect, comply and enable the business. It’s based on simplicity, efficiency and connectivity that delivers a robust integrated IT security solution that shares insights and control across the organization, enables business users to manage the rules and policies, and allows end users to easily comply.

At Dell, we are focused on our customers and our goal is to continue developing security solutions that not only protect their data and users, but also drive innovation, for an increased competitive edge and success. Today’s threat landscape is only going to continue to grow and morph into an even more formidable challenge tomorrow, so we’re focused on filling the gaps in security, and enabling our customers to concentrate on driving their business goals and achieving success – both today and in the future.

The recognition of our security products by those who use them is evidence that our strategy is right, and our ranking – two years’ running – as the number one security program in the IT space is the icing on the cake. We want to thank SearchSecurity.com readers and the Security 500 report. We are thrilled, proud and inspired!

Dell TechCenterTalking unified communications adoption and usage with @Forrester @insideLync @UCCDoug @BarkingD @JLuPiba #Lync #Exchange

Today I had the opportunity to lead a discussion with Forrester Research, Inc. and Dell Software unified communications (UC) experts around using, adopting and managing unified communications. We covered a host of topics regarding the effectiveness of UC on user productivity, tracking adoption and ROI and promoting the right tools for users to be successful. We also discussed our new solution for managing, reporting and diagnosing your UC systems called Unified Communications Command Suite.

Here’s a preview of the discussion with the full video below (30 minutes).

Take a few minutes and watch the full panel chat then register for a practical demonstration of Unified Communications Command Suite on January 14th at 2 p.m. EST.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterHow 5 Industries are Using Big Data, and How You Can Too

How do big data and analytics affect your life? Let me count a few ways: You get a call from your credit card issuer, asking about unusual activity on your account. Your cell phone bill contains an offer tailored to you and aimed at keeping you...(read more)

Dell TechCenterSupport Tools surprise and delight at Dell World

Though I have been a Dell employee for three years, this year was my first year to attend Dell World. My team, Global Support & Deployment (GSD), had a kiosk in the Data Center area of the Solutions Showcase where we demonstrated our menu of Support Tools—SupportAssist, TechDirect and Support APIs—and how they contribute to the optimization of the IT lifecycle.

Foodie’s delight

 The three-day-event that draws thousands of Dell customers to the Capital City featured many things one expects from a large corporate event such as key note speeches, product expo booths, educational sessions, hands-on labs and after-hours social events. However, I was surprised and delighted by what a foodie’s paradise the event turned out to be. Attendees were treated to uniquely thoughtful bites including a Frito pie bar made up of five-feet-tall chimeneas with bags of chips in their fireboxes and vibrantly painted ceramic pots full of warm chili. Some of the event’s promotional giveaways were tasty surprises as well. Attendees ate IT-themed artisan chocolates offered in the form of s’mores while consuming the latest updates in Cloud, Big Data, Mobility and Security.  

Upon entering Tuesday’s opening event I felt like E.B White’s character Templeton from the book Charlotte’s Web when he visited the county fair. There were 12 food trucks sprinkled throughout the Austin Convention Center offering a smorgasbord of epicurean delights. I sunk my teeth into The Salt Lick’s legendary barbeque. The brisket sandwich was dripping in smoky Live Oak flavor and was accompanied by vinegar potato salad. My night was made complete with Little Lucy’s mini donuts, fresh out of the fryer and coated in cinnamon sugar. Among the last served that night, the little pink bag of donuts felt very special in my hand, though it did not stay there long!

 

SupportAssist technology entices

 The highlight of my Wednesday evening was the Global Support & Deployment Customer Experience at Textile where our VIP customers had an opportunity to meet Austin celebrity chef Paul Qui, Top Chef season 9 winner and East Side King co-owner. He and Dell customer Whole Foods catered the event. We nibbled green apple slices on sticks with caramel and Fritos (again!) atop while discussing how to streamline IT infrastructure support. This unusual salty/sweet combo surprised and delighted party goers.

I saw a similar expression of surprising delight on customers’ faces as we discussed how their support experiences can become automated with SupportAssist. Eyebrows excitedly went up as I shared how this tool reduces time to resolution by automatically alerting them and Dell Tech Support when an issue arises, thereby minimizing downtime and effort. Furthermore, the online support portal TechDirect allows self-dispatch of replacement parts making the end-to-end IT support experience easier.

 

Until next year

It was wonderful to spend time with customers at my first Dell World, which turned out to be all that and a bag of Frito chips. Here’s hoping next year is equally delightful.

Keep up with Global Support & Deployment throughout the year on Twitter @DellProSupport.

Dell TechCenterDell Cloud Marketplace now available in Public Beta!

We kicked off November with a bang by announcing the Public Beta for Dell Cloud Marketplace at Dell World. Enrollment is simple, and in fact, register now to enjoy a $500 credit for all cloud services for three months! To learn more, check out the video blog by Barton George where he interviews our Chief Architect for Marketplace Campbell McNeil.

The week after the beta launch, Dell Cloud Marketplace team was also at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent in Las Vegas. With 9,000 participants and 200 partners in attendance, it was a great opportunity for us to showcase our product to the folks who are driving the cloud ecosystem forward.

We’ve received some powerful endorsements from industry analysts and press, including:

  • “One of the most interesting announcements at the event was the beta launch of the Dell Cloud Marketplace, which distinguishes itself from many other cloud vendors by offering customers choice.” – Laurie McCabe, SMB Group
  • “Dell’s position with Cloud Marketplace is really fascinating. It’s taking a sort of broker role, it sees the future and what’s important for customers including controlling the purchasing of cloud services.” – Martin Hingley, ITCandor via Dell World Live Online
  • “Speaking to a small group of journalists at the Dell World 2014…[Don] Ferguson said that he has rarely been as proud of anything he's done as he is with the development of Dell's Cloud Marketplace, a cloud brokerage initiative in which Dell offers IT managers and developers a single place on its Website to buy, use, manage and bill for services from such public clouds as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Joyent cloud services.” – Jeff Burt, eWeek
  • “Dell Cloud Marketplace could address these concerns for companies of any size, but SMBs will be one of Dell's biggest opportunities. [James] Thomason said Cloud Marketplace's simple interface could appeal to IT generalists who don't have experience configuring and managing clouds, as well as to midsized companies trying to grapple with the complexity of multi-cloud environments.” – Michael Endler, InformationWeek

Below are some pictures from Dell World and finally don’t forget to register now and enjoy $500 credit for all cloud services for 3 months!

Dell TechCenterHow to effectively evaluate your mobile strategy

 Your organization may not own any or all of your users’ mobile devices, the wireless networks they use, or even the servers that host their applications. But you do own their mobile enterprise data and applications.

Having a mobile strategy for how you protect these on both corporate-owned and personally owned devices is vital. But how do you know if what you’re doing is really working? The ongoing question that must be answered is: "How are my mobile strategy and solutions progressing and adding value to my business?"

The best way to determine this is with relevant and accessible reporting. However, you may find there’s an abundance of data to sift through. Deciphering the important information from all the noise can be done by focusing on data that relates most specifically to that question. Here are twelve sample reports that will help you gather that relevant data so you can consider the evolution of your mobile strategy.

1. Number of registered and compliant corporate devices vs. personal devices: If your organization is paying for a device and/or user license, it is important to understand how many users are actually taking advantage of the mobile capabilities.

2. Current platform mix (e.g. Android, iOS, Windows, etc.): Understanding your users’ platform preferences help you plan for future technology investments and adjust policies as needed.

3. Current mix of mobile OS versions (e.g. iOS 7.x, 8.x, etc.): Like number two, this is critical when making support decisions for older OS versions as well as understanding early adoption trends that could impact support and proactively identify compatibility issues.

4. Enrollment history—how many new users enrolled in the past week, month, year: How successful was your mobile adoption when compared against your rollout objectives?

5. How many unenrollments have occurred in the past week, month, year: How many users have unenrolled a device and why? Do they prefer a different option? Did they leave your organization? Did they adopt a new device?

6. Remote wipes: Whether automated (compliance trigger), administrator initiated or user initiated, how many times has enterprise data been wiped from devices and who initiated it?

7. Sorting by user groups: This simple report seems obvious, but it is critical to managing your mobile user group—especially as the number of users grows over time. Being able to group users based on criteria including device types, OS versions, geography, job roles and more enables you to effectively monitor, manage and communicate with those specific groups.

8. Sorting by capabilities used: How many individuals are using core productivity and collaboration applications?

9. Most-used approved mobile applications: If your organization maintains a list of approved mobile applications, or even over-the-top services, which ones do employees actually use?

10. Most-used device types: When you know which personal devices your employees use, you can align your choice of corporate devices to those trends. This is very useful, especially if your organization provides devices only to certain users.

11. Most common policy violations: This report could uncover important opportunities to educate your users about corporate mobile policies as well as users who may need to be contacted regarding frequent violations.

12. Users with non-compliant devices: If your organization’s mobile policies include a list of device types individuals must use, this report will help you identify any non-compliant devices.

Reports like these should come standard with an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that provides management capabilities for all the endpoints and secure enterprise workspaces in your IT environment. Beyond standard reporting, you can also explore integrating a more robust business intelligence (BI) solution to provide the ability to drill down, model and analyze your data. Have this conversation with your team when planning for future capabilities.

Dell TechCenterDell World 2014

Dell hosted over 5,000 customers, partners, and influencers earlier this month (Nov. 4 – 6) at our annual Dell World event in Austin, TX. This year’s event gave attendees the opportunity to hear how we are focused on providing our customers with a better way to accelerate innovation through Dell’s technology solutions and services. 

The agenda included keynotes from Michael Dell and other industry thought leaders, breakout sessions on a number of emerging technology trends such as like cloud computing, network security, data protection, virtualization, and BYOD, as well as a Solutions Showcase that enabled customers to talk directly with experts from Dell and our partners on our solutions.  Recordings of all content can be accessed by visiting dellworld.com/liveonline.

Additionally, in conjunction with Dell World, we also announced a number of new product releases across our end-to-end solutions portfolio.  For convenience, we have provided a summary below with links to corresponding press releases for more details:

  • Future-Ready IT Solutions to help customers transform their data centers and businesses:
    • The next-generation Dell PowerEdge FX, which is Dell’s revolutionary approach to converged infrastructure with one common modular and scalable platform with servers, storage, and networking.
    • A new Dell Storage SC Series all-flash array configuration for $25,000 (USD), making it one of the industry’s lowest-priced all-flash enterprise arrays.
    • The Dell Storage PS4210 Series enterprise storage arrays that bring improved performance and advanced connectivity options for entry-level primary storage and critical workloads.
    • Worldwide availability of the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances, which is powered by Nutanix and integrates compute, storage, and hypervisor resources into a single offering.
  • Innovations across Dell’s Client Solutions business, designed to connect people to the content they need to maximize productivity, and which reaffirm Dell’s leadership in bringing customers the most secure and manageable end-to-end client solutions:
    • The Dell UltraSharp 27 Monitor, the world’s first display to offer Ultra HD 5K resolution.
    • Updates to the popular Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series Windows tablets, which can be configured with additional security features including the Dell Data Protection suite of client security software.
  • Several Security product innovations, including identity and access management-as-a-service (IAMaaS), new integrated products such as the Dell Change Auditor for Cloud Storage, and a 120 Gbps of deep packet inspection (DPI) next-generation firewall (NGFW) architecture
  • A series of solutions that help enterprises take advantage of analytics in order to improve customer relationships and transform data into actionable business insights:
    • Dell Digital Business Services (DBS), which includes Digital Transformation Consulting and Digital Technology Services, to help customers better understand their end users’ preferences and transform business processes using digital technologies.
    • The start of a collaborative effort with Microsoft aimed at delivering predictive analytics in a hybrid cloud setting. Dell Software is also upgrading its Statistica (formerly StatSoft) advanced analytics platform with enhanced big data capabilities through integration with Kitenga.
  • Finally, Dell is focused on making the cloud simpler via new programs, alliances, and products:
    • The Dell Cloud Marketplace public beta program, which gives developers and IT managers the ability to compare, purchase, use and manage public cloud services from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Joyent via a single, unified console on dell.com.
    • Alliances with Delphix, Docker, and Pertino that will enable developers to realize the full potential of the public cloud ecosystem.  These solutions will be offered via the Dell Cloud Marketplace next year, allowing users to subscribe to these solutions along with the public cloud infrastructure resources of their choice.
    • The general availability of Foglight APM SaaS Edition, which offers web and mobile applications community real-time monitoring and detailed insight into their applications.

Dell World was a great opportunity for us to showcase our solutions to our customers and partners. Since going private a year ago, Dell has accelerated investments in sales (including additional partner incentives), research and development, and the customer experience to deliver industry-leading growth and innovation.

Dell TechCenterCloud Access Manager and Dell vWorkspace Integration

Was recently poking around a "What's New" post in the Community site for Dell vWorkspace, our desktop and application virtualization solution, when I came across a small reference (that involves Dell One Identity Cloud Access Manager) that I wanted to highlight here...

vWorkspace 8.0.1521 MR1 Optional Hotfix 362760 for Web Access Roles for solution SOL127785

This is an optional hotfix to address the following issue - Web Access Roles Please refer to the Support Portal knowledgebase article 127785.

Created: July 9, 2014

If you click through to the KB article, you find that this update includes Cloud Access Manager integration with the vWorkspace Web Access. Through this integration, Cloud Access Manager can present an integrated set of links on its Application Portal for:

  • web-based applications protected by Cloud Access Manager, accessed through the reverse proxy or via identity federation
  • virtualized desktops and applications, accessed through vWorkspace sessions

What you end up with, for the end user, is an "aggregated workspace" of target links for end users, tailored only to show the applications they are entitled to per security settings in vWorkspace and Cloud Access Manager...

As for single single sign-on, the links on the Cloud Access Manager portal are related to files downloaded from the vWorkspace Web Access server, which embed credentials for accessing the vWorkspace apps. So once users log in to Cloud Access Manager, they don't see extra login events for vWorkspace applications. Cloud Access Manager does authenticate the user to the vWorkspace Web Access server, and that is either handled by a one-time password capture event, or optionally by reusing a user's corporate credentials. Basically, Cloud Access Manager treats vWorkspace Web Access as a special-case protected application.

Setup is straightforward, as seen here:

This is a good example of how we're always looking for ways to expand the value Cloud Access Manager provides customers by addressing new classes of applications. We'll be adding more functionality like this in the future - so stay tuned!

Dave

Dell TechCenterRed Hat’s OpenShift PaaS, what its about and where Dell fits in

The next interview in my series from Dell World 2014 features Julio Tapia of Red Hat. Julio is a global director for Red Hat’s platform as a service, OpenShift

I got Julio to give me a quick overview of OpenShift, where Dell plays and what they are planning going forward.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Some of the ground Julio covers

  • Who is OpenShift targeted at and how does it benefit developers
  • The three flavors: Online (Public PaaS), Enterprise (Private PaaS) and Origin (Community PaaS)
  • How Dell is working with OpenShift and the DevOps in a Box they both announced
  • The role Docker plays
  • What’s in store for next year and how their work with Google and Kubernetes will help ISVs

Extra-credit reading

Dell TechCenterModernize your data center with confidence with the Dell Storage Networking I/O Guide

Building a storage network that addresses the rapid growth in data complexity and high demand for data availability is essential.  Rather than taking a “build-as-you-go” approach, it’s far more cost effective for IT departments to design a network that meets both their current and future needs, including the demands of virtualization, cloud, big data, mobility and collaboration.

To simplify this process, we have developed a Storage Networking I/O Guide that lays out the essential components needed to deploy a storage networking topology that best fits the goals and design philosophy of your organization.  The Storage Networking I/O Guide provides direction based on the main methods of today’s data centers, including

  • LAN/SAN Converged or FC/FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet)
    This method looks to consolidate SAN and LAN traffic through a single ubiquitous medium (Ethernet), with major savings through eliminating redundant infrastructures for both the SAN and the LAN.  The cost savings are delivered by consolidating the physical links between the servers and the Top-of-rack switches while ensuring that no change is required from the storage arrays. With this approach, the savings can be substantial (see the Dell Converged I/O Calculator). The Dell Storage Networking I/O Guide lists a range of products to build out an effective LAN/SAN storage network. 
  • iSCSI and NAS
    iSCSI allows SCSI traffic to be transmitted across an IP network. With data center bridging (DCB), customers can also have a LAN and SAN consolidated architecture with improved reliability and performance for iSCSI based storage.  The Dell Storage Networking I/O Guide covers a range of products for both 1GbE and 10GbE iSCSI as well as NAS solutions. 
  • Fibre Channel
    Fibre Channel continues to be a strong presence in the data center and a common method for building a storage network.  Dell provides solutions for Fibre Channel that range from low-port count entry-level environments to very high-density Director class switches suitable for Cloud-enabled data centers. 

The guide follows up with a cross-product interoperability matrix, along with links to relevant deployment and technical guides.  Without a well-planned strategy for building a storage network — one that includes both the critical networking pieces as well as storage in its overall strategy — cost quickly becomes a limiting factor.  We hope this Storage Networking I/O Guide will reduce overspend in your IT environment and provide an invaluable resource to building a storage network that meets your price and performance demands.

We would love to hear from you, so leave us a comment. Don't forget to follow us at @DellNetworking on Twitter to stay updated.

Dell TechCenter5 Unexpected Ways Tech Has Changed Your Life

The following is a guest post from Natalie Zfat. We asked Zfat to replace her work laptop with a Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet for an entire month and tell us about her experience. She shared this in the video below, along with these five ways technology has changed all of our lives.

*******************

I’m turning 29 this month, and while my friends joke that I should savor the last drop of my twenties, I can’t help but feel excited about the new frontier. #TalkThirtyToMe

As a writer and social media entrepreneur, how will tech impact my life and business in the next year? Five years? Twenty years?

At my company The Social Co., I’ve consulted about social media, events and voice for brands like adidas Women and Levi’s, using the latest apps, wearables and more.

You see: Tech keeps me young.

The age-old question inspired me to sit down and ponder: How has tech changed our lives – potentially without us even realizing? Here are my top five game changers (for better or worse).

My mailing address is below. Send me a letter if you identify with any of these.

Just kidding.

 

1. Jobs

The running debate about whether technology creates or deletes jobs can be triumphed by this one sentence: “The computer needs someone to talk to." Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt knows that while tech can crunch numbers, it’s ultimately people who make decisions. 

 

2. Health Solutions

Whether it’s wearable tech tracking your heart rate and stress levels – or Dell’s Venue 11 Pro, which doctors are using to conduct physical exams remotely – tech is providing us with health solutions, in real-time.

 

3. Caller ID

Opportunity knocks – but so does your boss’ nephew, cable provider and ex-boyfriend. Let us pause to acknowledge the magnitude of time we’ve saved via simply tech upgrades like caller ID.

 

4. Distractions

"While technology can improve a company's output, it can also be a source of distraction, costing employers hours of lost productivity and literally billions annually," says business coach Nancy Snell. In 2014, restraint is your new best friend.

 

5. Brand Building

Most people are surprised to learn that I got hired for my first-ever job – writing for Rolling Stone – by sending a message to Managing Editor Will Dana on LinkedIn. Creating a compelling online voice – and being your boldest self – is your ultimate résumé.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

**********************

Natalie ZfatNatalie Zfat is a writer, entrepreneur and social media influencer.

Natalie and her company The Social Co. have partnered with brands like Rolling Stone, Travel and Leisure, American Express and Dell to host events, curate blog posts and implement full-scale social media management.

This month, Google named Natalie one of 60 Fun and Interesting People to Follow on Google Plus.

And, you can follow her on Twitter at: @nataliezfat.

Dell TechCenterThe Cloud and the new role of IT departments

“The Cloud” is changing business in many ways. This discussion is mostly targeting B2B and B2C applications and how cloud and SaaS offerings are affecting access control and security.

Cloud and SaaS offerings affect businesses in the reduced time it takes to implement and begin using business relevant applications compared to the traditional way of getting an application up and running. In the past business departments needed to talk to IT, going through all the processes from budget funding to software selection to purchasing and finally the implementation process with IT. Today, you can simply subscribe to software as a service offering that fits your needs and you can start working. This is the “new business agility” that results from a SaaS offering.

The role of IT departments are changing and adapting. Even if the business departments can easily use line-of-business applications in the cloud, companies are still accountable for controlling the access, the use and the security of the data of those applications.

For the IT department this means that they are not necessarily the department implementing, operating and providing the application support itself but the tools and processes on how to govern and control the overall system security. IT departments need to become a real partner of the business and an enabler of the new agility. IT departments have an opportunity to become the internal facilitator or a kind of consultant for the integration of the business relevant SaaS applications. The business and IT need to ensure that the applications are brought into the overall IAG and GRC program and its tools and solutions so the processes like:

  • Who should have access or not?

  • How to grant or revoke access and permissions?

  • How to provision or de-provision access and permissions?

  • How to attest/recertify access and permissions?

Are not broken and the new applications fits into the overall scenario.

Uncontrolled growth and use of cloud applications by business could lead to uncontrolled systems and violation of internal and external regulatory controls. IT departments are the natural partner of the business for ensuring security and compliance not just for on premise applications but for SaaS applications as well.

A company should develop a best practices IAG/GRC program as a prerequisite to have the appropriate IAG applications in place that can provide all features required for managing both on-premises and off-premises applications.

Dell TechCenterDell Storage customers are consistently happier

They say money can’t buy lasting happiness, but Dell seems to be providing precisely that service. Check out the following chart, based on data from the SearchStorage.com / Storage Magazine Quality Award survey results over the past seven years.

How satisfied are you with your storage provider?

To determine their readers’ answer to this question, Storage Magazine developed a multi-faceted, vendor-neutral survey methodology to poll customers of leading storage providers, using the results to assign each company a “satisfaction rating.” By annually scoring diverse categories including initial product quality, features, reliability, technical support and sales force competence, the Storage Magazine Quality Award has established a trusted industry metric for nearly a decade.

Although vendor rankings have fluctuated from year to year, due in part to changes in survey questions, one-time pricing moves, etc., Dell has demonstrated clear leadership, ranking #1 (or nearly/statistically tied for that honor) on 7 of the last nine occasions! And when you factor out the yearly variations to look at consistency over time, an even clearer picture emerges, providing a useful long-term view of customer satisfaction.

The following chart uses seven years of data to stack-rank surveyed midrange array vendors based on their average overall satisfaction score over a rolling 3-year time period.

Storage Magazine Quality Awards – Midrange Arrays: Overall Vendor Satisfaction
Stack-ranked by 3-year rolling average score

                        

Although other vendors understandably tout spikes for individual years, Dell has achieved the highest average rating for the past 5 years!  Why is this important? Because when it comes to happiness (for you, your users…or your boss), we think it's best to be predictably, consistently happy.

If you agree, go here to find out more about why Dell Storage customers are smiling – and don't forget to follow us at @Dell_Storage on Twitter.

* Note for the earliest years on this chart, Dell’s score includes the average of its eventual acquisitions, Compellent and EqualLogic. Recent years reflect a unified score with Compellent/ EqualLogic products under their current Dell brand.

Dell TechCenterIT Nation 2014 - The #1 Question Asked about the Dell Service Provider Program

IT Nation 2014, the largest IT solution provider event of its kind, took place November 12-14 in Orlando, Florida.  IT business owners, system administrators, network managers and software engineers (mostly users of the ConnectWise software, a professional services automation solution) attended, many of whom were Dell Partners. Hundreds of attendees visited the Dell booth and heard the Dell breakout session about the Dell Service Provider Program. Their most commonly asked question?

“How do I sign-up?”

Everyone who visited the Dell booth, without exception, engaged in an extended conversation about the Dell Service Provider Program, a program that provides subscription-based licensing for Dell Security and Software products. This program eliminates the upfront cost of our solutions, enabling IT managed service providers (MSPs) to have an immediate positive cash flow. This pay-as-you-go business model guarantees profitability for Dell MSPs from day one, causing them to ask the universal question,

“How do I sign-up?”

At the breakout, a room full of enthusiastic audience members couldn’t wait to hear more about the benefits and requirements of the program from Dan Sell, the Director of Dell Service Provider sales. The offerings span all the products in the Dell Software portfolio, highlighted by the Firewall-as-a-Service solution by Dell SonicWALL security, the backup & restore solution by Dell AppAssure data protection, the  endpoint system management solution by Dell KACE systems management, and the hosted  desktop & application solution by Dell CloudRunner. During the question and answer session, the burning question was,

“How do I sign-up?”

Finally, as the senior product manager for Dell Security, I shared the bad news concerning evolving nature of the cyberthreat landscape.  But the good news about how Dell Next-Generation Firewalls, working in conjunction with the Dell Global Response Intelligent Defense (GRID) Network, provides best-value in cybersecurity protection in the industry, delivering the same comprehensive protection from the smallest SMB to the largest datacenter/ISP.  Combined with the centralized management and reporting of the Dell GMS system and ConnectWise IT automation software, those MSPs in attendance could not wait to become Dell Service Provider partners, knowing that once they tell their clients about all what Dell Software and Security has to offer, they will be the ones to hear,

“How do I sign-up?”

Oh, by the way, the answer to the question, how do I sign-up? Contact the Dell Service Provider team at SPquestions@software.dell.comThey can start you on your way as a Dell Service Provider today and answer any questions that you have. 

Dell TechCenterThe Tipping Point of Cloud Adoption

By Jeremy Greening and Seth Feder

There’s no argument that cloud services can bring incredible business value. From agile product development to reaching new markets, cloud gives both end users and IT exactly what they require—more efficient computing infrastructure available on-demand.

Our industry has reached the tipping point of cloud adoption. No longer are we engaging in purely academic conversations around the definitions of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Nor are we debating whether or not cloud can save money. Instead, IT leaders are 100 percent focused on collaborating with their line of business counterparts to define metrics that demonstrate bottom-line value and using cloud as a tool to deliver that value. They’re shifting culture from infrastructure-centric to service-centric to win!

Whether your organization is looking to establish itself as a cloud broker, or you’re evaluating outside vendors to serve as trusted advisor, Dell is ready to help you achieve your transformation. Cloud is much more than a product, it’s an enabler to today’s digital business, and a tremendous opportunity for IT and other departmental leaders to co-invest and co-innovate.

Our ability to provide Dell-branded solutions with the world’s largest public cloud brokerage, managed together and fine-tuned for specific industries enables organizations to provide better business outcomes:

  • Empowering workers and engaging customers
  • Optimizing application delivery
  • Delivering service-centric IT

Part of our “trade secret” is value-creation cloud services that help you deliver on the promises above. An exciting example of this is our latest offering—Dell Cloud Marketplace. The Marketplace is a web-based, self-service destination to research, purchase, control and manage cloud services from select Dell partners. Dell Cloud Marketplace makes it easy for IT organizations to offer cloud services to their internal customers, consolidating the management, billing, and support of cloud services into an easy-to-use experience. It radically simplifies the cloud experience vs. buying individually, and provides you with a single control panel to compare, select, and manage cloud services and software, powered by award-winning Dell Cloud Manager.

Dell Cloud Marketplace is designed to empower software developers as well as IT users. We provide developers with the agility and functionality they expect from the cloud, with a rich set of API’s to manage your clouds. Further, Dell has partnered with Docker to bring one-click deployment of containerized apps to multiple clouds. The set of container technologies will be expanding in the future, but today you can get started with pre-defined and curated containers of popular apps such as WordPress or LAMP stack.

Finally, both IT and software developers can take advantage of free world-class support at no additional cost during the public beta. Thus, given the choice, the tools, and the support that the Cloud Marketplace delivers, there has never been a better time to leverage the cloud for your next project. Sign up now and receive a $500 credit good for three months.

For more information about Dell’s Cloud Partner Ecosystem, please visit Dell.com/Dellcloudondemand.  

Barton GeorgeRed Hat’s OpenShift PaaS, what its about and where Dell fits in

The next interview in my series from Dell World features Julio Tapia of Red Hat.  Julio is a global director for Red Hat’s platform as a service, OpenShift.

I got Julio to give me a quick overview of OpenShift, where Dell plays and what they are planning going forward.

Some of the ground Julio covers

  • Who is OpenShift targeted at and how does it benefit developers
  • The three flavors: Online (Public PaaS), Enterprise (Private PaaS) and Origin (Community PaaS)
  • How Dell is working with OpenShift and the DevOps in a Box they both announced
  • The role Docker plays
  • What’s in store for next year and how their work with Google and Kubernetes will help ISVs

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell TechCenterSee a practical demo of #UC Command Suite for #Exchange and #Lync analytics, QoE and diagnostics

Yesterday we announced the new Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS).  You learned that UCCS:

  • streamlines the complexity of managing multiple communication platforms and

  • delivers a flexible, cross-platform management, reporting and diagnostic solution on workforce activity, communication consumption and system performance

 Today, let’s explore two big ways that UCCS delivers on the management, reporting and diagnostics of your UC system:

  1. Insights into communications

  2. Improved system performance

Insights into communications

UCCS’s usage and trends insights help organizations to improve and protect the business by turning the data trapped in their communications systems into understandable, usable and engaging insights about workforce activities, business processes and UC infrastructure needs. UCCS gives IT and business users the intelligence to:

  • Delivers to IT and the business understandable, usable and engaging intelligence on their communication systems, workforce activities and business processes;

  • Increases user productivity and encourages adoption of the UC&C solution through meaningful usage, trend and quality of experience reporting;

  • Makes migrations faster, less stressful and less complex by identifying and eliminating unused assets and planning the right architecture for the new environment

  • Saves money and increases the return on their UC&C investment through effective chargeback reporting and identifying areas of needed training to decrease use of costly, traditional communication systems;

  • Improves the user experience through quality of experience pinpointing

  • Protect the business through enforced data leak prevention and communication policies.

Improved system performance

UCCS also provides diagnostics reporting to help organizations maximize the performance and availability of Microsoft Exchange and Lync environments and assist in the resolution of operational issues that arise. UCCS gives IT the ability to:

  • Provides diagnostics that help administrators detect, pinpoint and resolve problems in their UC environment before they cause downtime

  • Alert administrators of issues immediately when they arise, minimizing downtime

  • Provides Exchange and Lync monitoring to help optimize UC system’s performance, availability and statistics for on-premises, service provider and Microsoft Azure environments

  • Consolidates topology and Lync and Exchange monitoring data from heterogeneous and hybrid systems into a single, meaningful representation automating the effort-intensive task of creating accurate documentation about the UC infrastructure

Watch a Demo of UCCS on November 19th @ 2 p.m. EST

We know your time is valuable and you just want to see the solution in action. Well that is what we are going to do.  With very few slides, the vast majority of this webcast will be dedicated to demoing the solution and answering your questions.

Register here >>

 

 

Mark CathcartDMTF Announces New Vice President of Finance

Selva Subbiah from Dell joins Jon Hass, who is now Chairman of the Board of the DMTF, and Yinghua Qin from Dell Software Group who is VP of Regions. The DMTF remains a leader in industry standards, and is key in both emerging standards as well as getting engagement from the Asia Pacific region and their manufacturing and customer base.

It is an another excellent example of Dell broadening its’ horizon in both the technology industry, as well leadership in emerging and existing standards.


Dell TechCenterCybersecurity, Our Shared National Priority

October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a time to raise public awareness, discuss public policy and highlight programs to drive advancements in cybersecurity.  

On October 28th, I represented Dell at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Third Annual Cybersecurity Summit in Washington, DC.  The Summit was the culmination of The 2014 Cybersecurity Education & Framework Awareness Campaign, a series of events designed to educate, inform and inspire local organizations about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework which helps organizations of all sizes and missions assess and strengthen their state of security.  

"The framework is a healthy move toward a common discussion about cybersecurity where anyone, regardless of resources, can step onto a more level playing field," said Dell Chief Information Security Officer Alan Daines, who participated in a previous such event in July.

At the October Summit, I participated in the discussion “Cybersecurity Framework Gut Check – Are We Making Progress?” along with key government officials representing the Departments of Homeland Security, Treasury, and Commerce (pictured above).  Our conversation focused on advancements in developing, disseminating and utilizing the NIST Framework.

Dell is focused on helping our customers understand how software, hardware, and services map to the five main NIST Framework functions: Identify, Detect, Protect, Respond, and Recover. I was pleased to hear federal agencies express optimism in utilizing the NIST Framework. I was also heartened to hear the feedback from regulated sector entities.  While the Framework is a federal creation, it is just as applicable to a commercial organization as it is to government agencies.  We are making cybersecurity progress across many organizations using a common flexible and comprehensive framework to guide conversations and decisions.

“The issue is that cybersecurity is not really just a technical problem,” said White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel. “It’s far more than that because of what cyberspace has become to us. In fact, cyberscurity does have technical aspects to it, very strong technical aspects to it, but it’s more than that. It’s also an economics problem and a business problem.”

Daniel stressed the importance of our shared responsibility in the cybersecurity mission in order to achieve the best possible outcome. I agree with this approach (as did others on the panel) and look forward to collaboratively implementing proper mechanisms to help us achieve our shared objectives on cybersecurity. 

While National Cyber Security Awareness Month may have come to an end, Dell continues to champion best practices and solutions targeting cybersecurity goals. We are committed to engaging our customers using the NIST Framework.  We’ll continue to support this voluntary and evolving cybersecurity policy approach that identifies security goals and affords government and industry the flexibility to reach those goals, particularly through the use and application of Dell security solutions. We look forward to continued collaboration with our government, customers, industry partners and policy makers to strengthen the state of our nation’s cybersecurity.

Dell TechCenterOne Size Never Fits All, Compromises in an Uncompromising World

This evening, I suited up to enjoy a bicycle ride along Boston Harbor and enjoy the last vestiges of fair weather in New England before winter arrives. My well-worn ritual played out as I prepared for my ride by adding air to the tires and strapping on...(read more)

Dell TechCenterSecure mobility: Protect data at rest and in motion

Planning to implement a new mobility solution? Launch a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program? Security is probably a top concern. You want to give mobile workers access to the enterprise data they need to do their jobs. But how do you ensure no customer information, intellectual property (IP) or other sensitive data is lost, stolen or accessed by unauthorized people?

You’ll need to choose an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that gives you a full array of security capabilities so you can protect data at rest (on devices) and in motion (between devices and the enterprise network). The best solutions also help simplify administration so you can easily adjust all security policies for groups and individuals.

Dell Enterprise Mobility Management is a comprehensive mobile enablement solution for smartphones, tablets and laptops that incorporates multiple security capabilities to protect enterprise data. Dell EMM provides secure enterprise workspaces as a primary way to protect data: secure enterprise workspaces separate enterprise applications and data from personal ones.

Let’s take a look at how to implement some key security features with Dell Mobile Workspace and Dell Desktop Workspace — the two secure enterprise workspace components of Dell EMM.

Understanding policy-based management

With Dell EMM, security is applied as “policies.” Think of policies simply as rules that apply to certain groups or individuals. The concept should be familiar: You know that you have to go 25 mph on some roads, pay before you leave a store with merchandise and use a key to open the front door of your house. Applying security policies with Dell EMM is a matter of deciding which rules should apply to which people.

Identifying groups

You might begin by applying certain security policies to everyone. For example, you’ll probably decide that everyone should use a PIN or password to access secure enterprise workspaces.

The next step is to consider whether different groups of users require different policies. A group might be defined by business function, geography or some other criteria. In the best case, you’d bring together members of that group with representatives from IT, legal and human resources to understand what enterprise data the group needs to access and whether there should be any restrictions on that data access.

Within the console for Mobile Workspace or Desktop Workspace, you can easily create new users, add custom groups, add Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) groups or register existing LDAP groups. Once you have the correct groups established, you have the flexibility to apply policies at the group level or the individual level.

Applying policies

With Dell EMM, applying policies to groups or individuals is as simple as clicking buttons and using drop-down lists. Select the group or individual to which you want to apply the policies, and start choosing parameters.

Dell EMM offers a comprehensive collection of security options. Three of the primary categories of security capabilities are data-loss prevention (DLP), encryption and auto-lock/auto-kill capabilities.

DLP: DLP capabilities prevent data from being moved from the enterprise environment to the personal environment, and vice versa. With the DLP capabilities built into Dell EMM, you can prohibit a variety of activities, such as copying and pasting information from a company email to a personal document; moving corporate files to employees’ personal desktops; printing corporate emails on an unsecured printer; burning enterprise files onto DVDs; and moving files to external USB drives.

Of course, there are cases in which you might need to allow some movement of data from one environment to the other. For example, you might want to allow a salesperson to copy an address from an enterprise contact list to a map app on a smartphone. Or you might allow someone to take a photo of a whiteboard at a conference and then pull that photo into the workspace to distribute to internal groups. With Dell EMM, you can easily define which groups (and which individuals within those groups) can move data in certain ways.

Encryption: Dell EMM also provides encryption capabilities to help ensure data stays protected at all times. Mobile Workspace automatically applies AES-256–level encryption to all data within the workspace, whether a user has an Apple® iOS or Google® Android™ device. With Desktop Workspace, you can choose to apply AES-256, AES-128 or no encryption. You might select no encryption if you already have an encryption solution that you are embedding into the Windows image you distribute to users.

These capabilities encrypt data when it resides on the device, within the workspace. Use of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol keeps data protected in motion, as it travels through the wireless network between the device and the enterprise server.

Auto-lock/auto-kill: Dell EMM allows you to set policies that automatically lock a user out of a workspace or wipe the data from the workspace (“auto-kill”) after several days or weeks of inactivity. If a device is lost, stolen or even just placed in a drawer for extended period of time, auto-lock and auto-kill capabilities help make sure no unauthorized user accesses enterprise data, even if he or she somehow gets the user ID and password.

What if you lock out an authorized user? If the user has simply been on a very long vacation, you can help restore data to the device quickly.

Adopt a comprehensive approach to security

These and other Dell EMM security features are critical for protecting enterprise data at rest and in motion. But to achieve even tighter security, you should consider complementary solutions, such as next-generation firewalls, secure mobile access appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs) and identity and access management (IAM).

To learn more about security best practices for mobility, check out the white paper, “Securing the mobile enterprise environment.”

Dell TechCenterDriving Insights From Data

It’s been a couple of weeks since Dell World and one theme continues to resonate in my mind: Dell is serious about Big Data. As part of Michael Dell’s opening keynote, Dell Software’s own Dr. Thomas Hill, Executive Director, Analytics shared the stage with fellow panelists Michael Chui (Partner, McKinsey Global Institute), Shyam Sankar (President, Palantir) and Tom Reilly (CEO, Cloudera) to share their perspectives on the power and promise of the Data Economy.

 

I had the pleasure of hearing Philadelphia Youth Network also share their Big Data story at Dell World. Many industries have invested in Big Data – in fact, Gartner says that 73 percent of all organizations will by 2016 - but it’s particularly inspiring to see its adoption in the non-profit sector. Philadelphia Youth Network is one of the city’s main sources of jobs for youth — more than 126,000 of them since its founding 15 years ago. The organization serves youth in diverse communities and connects and aligns all the different organizations and funding partners that can help a young person find a job — school districts, social services and hundreds of businesses. This creates a very complex data environment for its employees to manage.

 

Using Toad Data Point, Philadelphia Youth Network has been able to improve its forecasting enrollment and recruitment, as well as financial planning and invoicing. They can pinpoint under-served areas in the city more quickly, target low-income teens and give more of them their first break in the job market. Michael Pompey, CIO notes, “This tool has been instrumental in giving our leaders, our executives, the information they need so they can see and act differently. It has helped us become a data-driven organization.”

 

In case you didn’t get a chance to attend Dell World, check out Philadelphia Youth Network’s success story here!

Dell TechCenterJoin Us at SC14! Schedule for Nov. 18 for Presentations in Our Two Theaters

Welcome to SC14! Join us in Booth #1739 on Tuesday, November 18  for these exciting presentations in our two theaters.

Chicory Theater:

  • 10:30, Niall Gaffney, Director of Data Intensive Computing, Texas Advanced Computing Center – “Wrangler: A New Generation of Data Intensive Computing”
  • 11:15, HonggaoLiu, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Center for Computation & Technology, Louisiana State University – “Accelerating Computational Science and Engineering with Dell Supercomputers in Louisiana”
  • 1:45, Chris Lynberg, R&D Computer Scientist, Centers for Disease Control – “Advancing CDC Technologies”
  • 2:30, Charlie McMahon, Ph.D., Vice President of Information Technology and CTO, Tulane University – “HPC Cluster Cypress”
  • 3:15, Kevin Hildebrand, HPC Architect for the Division of Information Technology, University of Maryland
  • 4:00, Michael Norman, Ph.D., Director, San Diego Supercomputer Center - “Comet: HPC for the 99 Percent”

Beignet Theater:

  • 10:15, Henry Neeman, Ph.D., Asst. VP, Information Technology, Oklahoma University – “The OneOklahoma Friction Free Network"
  • 11:00, John D’Ambrosia, Dell – “Ethernet – the Open Standards Approach to Supercomputing”
  • 11:30, Roger Bielfed, Ph.D., Senior Director Information Technology Services, Case Western Reserve University – “Research Computing and Big Data at Case Western Reserve University"
  • 12:00, Jimmy Pike, Senior Fellow and Chief Architect and Technologist, Dell – “The New Dell and Scalable Solutions: HPC , Big Data, and Cloud Computing”
  • 1:30, Larry Smarr, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego – “Using Dell’s HPC Cloud & Advanced Analytic Software to Discover Radical Changes in the Microbiome in Health and Disease”
  • 2:15, Walt Ligon, Ph.D., Clemson University
  • 3:00, James Lowey, Vice President of Technology, TGEN – “HPC for Genomics, the Next Generation
  • 3:45, Eldon Walker, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic

Dell TechCenterAre you an analytical producer or an analytical consumer?

In the world of big data, are you an analytical producer or an analytical consumer?

Don’t worry; one isn’t necessarily better than the other. In fact, analytical producers and consumers need each other, as we explain in our white paper, “Big Data Analytics in Action.” Analytical producers use data mining, predictive analytics, machine learning and natural language processing to produce models, which analytical consumers use to drive the business forward.

Big data is the plumbing; analytics is the business context.

Another important topic we cover in the paper is the difference between big data and analytics, a difference that sometimes gets blurred in the conversations between IT and business managers.

Big data is about the storage, speed, performance and functionality of hardware and software pulling information into your organization. Analytics is about enabling informed decisions and measuring impact on your business. Big data drives innovation in analytical technologies, and this white paper introduces you to the most prevalent of those analytical technologies, as shown in the diagram:

  • Data Preparation – As data moves faster and in higher volume from more disparate sources, both producers and consumers need it aggregated.
  • Data Exploration – With web-based tools, users can visualize and drill deep into data.
  • Search – Users can also gain insight from unstructured data with tools that allow them to mine it.
  • Advanced Analytics – Techniques like machine learning, forecasting and optimization reveal patterns in the data.
  • Deployment and monitoring – The key to making repeatable decisions in the organization is to combine predictive analytics and business rules.

Read the white paper

The white paper also contains concrete applications of analytics and big data in marketing, finance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, along with a series of tips to ensure success in your next analytics project.

Get your copy of “Big Data Analytics in Action” and keep an eye out for more content on our Information Management blog in Dell TechCenter.

Gina MinksWe create our own realities

I’ve always been the type of person whose mind just refuses to settle down. It’s always going, thinking, planning, imagining. I think that’s why I’m addicted to lists….I think of all this stuff to do and in my head it’s awesome…but if it doesn’t make it to paper it never happens because I’m always thinking and planning. Infinite loop. I started meditating a few months ago, and I’m getting better at calming my mind, about

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Dell TechCenterWin $500 and Get in the Holiday Spirit! But Hurry! Download and Win Contest Ends Next Thursday!


Reduce your Active Directory workload, strengthen security and win a $500 AMEX gift card.

With Active Administrator, you get a complete, integrated and proactive Active Directory administration solution that fills the management gaps native tools leave behind. Active Administrator makes it easier and faster than native tools to meet auditing requirements, tighten security, maintain business continuity and increase IT efficiency.

On top of that, if you download a free 30-day trial of Active Administrator by November 28, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card. See how this award-winning solution simplifies your day-to-day administration of Active Directory. Using a single console, you’ll bypass labor-intensive and complex native tools to:

  • Securely delegate administration
  • Report, audit and alert on critical Active Directory changes
  • Monitor health and availability
  • Recover objects at a granular level—without taking AD offline
  • Manage GPOs

See for yourself how much time and effort you can save with Active Administrator. Plus you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $500 AMEX Gift CardTerms and conditions apply.

Download a Free Trial and Enter to Win >

Converged InfrastructureDell Converged Infrastructure Solutions — Active Solutions

Meet and exceed demands for rapid rollout, application flexibility and always-on availability.

Dell TechCenterCelebrating Electronics Recycling Milestones

Dell is no stranger to setting and achieving ambitious goals. This is especially true when it comes to our leadership in electronics recycling.

 

We were the first company to set product recovery goals in 2004, which we achieved ahead of schedule in 2008. We decided to set a new, more aggressive goal to recover one billion pounds of used electronics by 2014. Again, we met this goal a full year earlier than anticipated in 2013. It was then we chose to raise the bar even higher by setting a goal to recover two billion pounds by 2020.

 

Our success in achieving our electronics recycling goals has only been possible through the partnerships we have cultivated over the years. Working side by side with government, industry, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, and shareholders has enabled us to offer free consumer recycling in over 78 countries with commercial take back services in more than 40 countries.

 

In 2004, Dell established a partnership with Goodwill Industries® to offer an innovative computer recycling solution across t North America called Dell Reconnect. Through this program, consumers can drop off any brand of computer equipment, in any condition, and get it recycled for free at more than 2,000 participating Goodwill locations throughout the country.

 

In other parts of the world, such as Kenya, we are about to mark the first anniversary of establishing the Mukuru Slum Development Project collection point in Nairobi. Dell funds the collection point’s operations through a microfinance loan, which is used to employ 27 women who are fully trained to safely collect e-waste from local businesses and homes. The collection points are able to resell all waste, not just select components, which creates steadier income and opens up new opportunities.

 

In the U.S., we’ve also worked closely with Keep America Beautiful who manages the America Recycles Day program and have been a proud supporter since it launched in 1997. America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to increase their recycling habits at home and work, and to buy products made with recycled materials.

 

Earlier this year, Keep America Beautiful announced it would recognize Dell for our commitment to driving positive change and lasting impact in U.S. communities by giving Michael Dell the “Vision for America” award. Dell also received a 2014 Electronics Challenge Tier Gold Award from the EPA this year for outstanding efforts to advance the responsible management of used electronics through third-party certified recycling.

 

We are proud of the work our partners do each and every day and hope you will join the Dell community in celebrating recycling in the U.S. and around the world.

Dell TechCenterHealthSpot Kiosks Powered by Dell Create New Model for Access to Healthcare

“I was working on the queue, I feel like this was the end of fall 2010. The conversation began normal, and the customer had a straightforward agenda…”

So begins the story of serendipity and listening with an ear to solve problems -- not just sell things -- that evolved into an end-to-end relationship between Dell and HealthSpot the Consumer Electronics Association’s Small Business of the Year 2014, soon to be seen in Rite Aid stores

Joyce Mullen and Karen Quintos of Dell inside a HealthSpot kioskHealthSpot was just getting started, a four-person company, when Robbie Page called Dell to order some laptops for the new venture. Aaron Shaff was a working in the sales queue and as he gathered information to open a new account he says,

“I remember thinking for a short second; what if this was my friend from college, and decided to say ‘I went to college with a friend named Robbie Page’. Apparently this caught his attention enough to ask where I went to college and I said Earlham College, and Robbie responded ‘so did I…who is this?!! I said ‘it’s Shaff’ and we had a good laugh. I mean of all the people he could have gotten and that call makes my desk? This still boggles my mind, I mean really?”

As the two caught up on the years since they’d last seen each other, Shaff listened to the goals of HealthSpot and heard the potential.

“I love solving problems using technology,” HealthSpot Founder and CEO Steve Cashman told a group of Dell employees (including Dell CMO Karen Quintos and VP/GM Dell OEM Solutions Joyce Mullen, pictured right) gathered at our headquarters earlier this year to learn more about the company.

It was a trip to an urgent care facility when his daughter had swimmer’s ear that first got him wondering how to create the highest-quality, lowest-cost healthcare.

With that seed of an idea, the company that HealthSpot has become went from napkin sketch to launch in just 36 months. That took a lot more than just a few laptops. In the early stages, there were a few servers, more laptops and peripherals, “but then the conversation really got to what would be in the kiosks, and before you knew it, I was telling Robbie everything he could purchase through Dell,” Shaff says. “It ended up we could offer every electronic device that would make up the kiosk, apart from the medical devices.”

That’s the work of Dell OEM Solutions, our team that takes a holistic approach to designing, developing and delivering Dell-powered technologies that accelerate customers’ time to market with their own intellectual property. For HealthSpot, that solution encompasses hardware, software and even sourcing third-party electronics for their kiosks.

“OEM Solutions is a microcosm of all of Dell,” noted Amanda Hodges, executive director, Global OEM Solutions Marketing. “We have to be able to listen to the customer and understand the problem they want to solve, rather than just hearing what they are asking for at the moment.”

The problem HealthSpot wants to solve is access to healthcare.

“One billion people around the world don’t have that access, and while many may walk up to two days to reach a healthcare professional in Africa, even in a developed country like the United States, Americans with insurance will have to wait an average of six days to get an appointment with their doctor,” noted Lisa Maughan, vice president of marketing at HealthSpot.

Cashman envisions HealthSpot’s private, walk-in kiosks as an extension for healthcare providers, rather than competition.

“Many doctors spend their own time each year on mission trips to provide care for those in need, but imagine if they could see those same people year-round without ever having to leave home?” he asked.

As the relationship with Dell grew, and more of our members became involved, they each caught Cashman’s excitement for that sort of opportunity and became a part of the HealthSpot vision.

“One of the best things about leading the OEM team is that we get to work with companies that are doing things with technology that we couldn’t imagine,” said Joyce Mullen, vice president and general manager, Dell OEM Solutions. “Our team is an enabler of companies’ ideas, and that means we have to understand the bigger picture of what problem they are trying to solve and how Dell OEM solutions can help them accomplish their goals.”

Everyone at Dell gets excited by that opportunity to help our customers do more of what they want to do, even if they aren’t a direct part of the OEM Solutions team.

“I felt really responsible for making a customer happy,” HealthSpot’s original Dell contact Shaff said. “I knew this might be the next technology to really impact the world, and even more so, as it was clear that healthcare was about to change in a huge way.

“The most amazing part is the luck of me getting a queue call from my old college buddy that has grown to Michael Dell recently being inside of a HealthSpot kiosk. It’s nice to know that I was a part of something that will positively impact society, and permits healthcare to deliver itself in a new way!”


Dell TechCenterAnnouncing Unified Communications Command Suite: usage, trends, QoE, diagnostics for #Exchange #Lync #DellSoftware

 Today, Dell Software announced the release of Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS), a scalable, data-driven platform for UC management.

Designed to help organizations gain better insights into their unified communications investment, remove the barriers associated with employee adoption and deliver consistent, high-quality user experiences, UCCS streamlines the complexity of managing multiple communication platforms and delivers a flexible, cross-platform management, reporting and diagnostic solution on workforce activity, communication consumption and system performance (read the press release).

What’s so great about UCCS?

By harnessing the valuable intelligence in your unified communications systems, you’ll be able to

  • Reduce the complexity and chaos of managing multiple communication platforms through a single, cross-platform UC reporting and diagnostics solution;
  • Deliver to IT and the business usable, immersive and flexible intelligence and alerts on their communication systems usage and performance;
  • Increase user productivity and encourage adoption of the UC solution through meaningful usage, trend and performance reporting;
  • Save money and increases the return on an UC investment by reducing usage hindrances related to poor performance and inadequate training;
  • Make migrations faster, less stressful and less complex by identifying and eliminating unused assets and planning the right architecture for the new environment
  • Protect the business through enforced data leak prevention and communication policies.

Explore UCCS

Learn more about Unified Communications Command Suite:

In this webcast, UC management experts will demonstrate how to gain insights into your UC environment and improve system performance with the Unified Communications Command Suite.

Join guest speaker, Forrester Research, Inc. TJ Keitt and Lync MVP, Dell Software, Curtis Johnstone, to explore usage, adoption trends and environment challenges of unified Communications. Listen as Dell Software product engineers discuss the release of Unified Communications Command Suite — a cross-platform management, reporting and diagnostics solution that offers in-depth analyses on workforce activity, communication consumption and system performance.

Dell TechCenterDell Storage for HPC with Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre

In High-Performance Computing, the efficient delivery of data to and from the compute nodes is critical and can be complicated. Researchers generate and consume data in HPC systems at speeds that can bottleneck storage components, and these demands are rapidly escalating. Increasing the throughput and scalability of storage requires a great deal of planning and configuration, and managing and monitoring such complex systems can create a burden for administrators and researchers.

Today at Supercomputing 2014 we announced the Dell Storage for HPC with Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre. This storage system utilizes Dell PowerEdge 13th generation servers and the latest generation of high density Dell storage products. With full hardware and software support from Dell and Intel, this offering delivers a superior combination of performance, reliability, density, ease of use and cost-effectiveness.

The Dell Storage for HPC with Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre helps bring the benefits of a fast HPC file system to a broad range of enterprise organizations. Dell’s enterprise-ready Lustre parallel file storage solution delivers a higher level of computing power and throughput, and makes information and insights derived from big data and compute-intensive applications (such as advanced modeling, simulation, and data analysis) available to a wider population users.  It Provides:

  • Extreme scalability without losing performance. Scale efficiently both up and down to suit your business workloads without losing performance or capacity. Start small with from a minimum of 120TB and scale to tens of thousands of clients and petabytes of data in the toughest HPC and Big Data environments.
  • High data throughput. Run larger and more complex applications faster and easier with faster throughput and capacity. The Dell Storage for HPC with Intel® Enterprise Edition for Lustre software solution delivers Sequential IO performance (1 MB stripe) of up to 6GB/s peak Write and 10.5GB/s for peak Read; and Random IO performance (4 MB stripe) of up to 10K IOPS peak Write and 65K IOPS peak Read.
  • Build flexible storage for today's demanding workloads. This fully supported, commercial-ready Lustre file system has been rigorously tested by Dell Engineering in the most demanding enterprise environments.

Build a Lustre solution that fits your enterprise environment

We’re excited about and please to enable researchers, scientists and engineers to focus on workloads rather than infrastructure. If you’re at SC14, we hope you’ll take the time to stop by the Dell booth and talk to our experts about the Lustre software storage offering. If you’re not able to join us in New Orleans this year, you can contact your Dell Sales Representative for more information on how this solution can meet your high performance storage needs, or have a Dell HPC specialist contact you.

Dell TechCenterDensity and flexibility in one box: the PowerEdge C4130

Ed. Note: This post was authored by John Hettenhaus, Marketing Director, Dell Servers

The world of high-performance computing is evolving beyond academia research and hyperscale supercomputer installations as a broader spectrum of customers are looking at ways to address machine learning, signal and image processing along with other usage models to speed analysis and ultimately   render answers faster. At Dell we remain laser-focused on innovating and developing solutions for our customers in the HPC space where compute flexibility is essential to optimize applications that can be a mix of GPU, CPU, I/O, or anything in between.

Today at SuperComputing 2014 we are delighted to announce the Dell PowerEdge C4130, featuring significant innovation and leading engineering prowess. The C4130 demonstrates our commitment to technology solutions from the demands of the data center to the complex workloads driven by HPC. Designed with the customer in mind, we spent countless hours speaking with customers and gathering input on their HPC needs around acceleration technology and increasing demands for storage capacity.

With up to four 300W GPUs in a 1U form factor, the PowerEdge C4130 delivers up to 7.2 teraflops and almost 20,000 GPU cores. In addition to this exceptional performance, the C4130 provides flexible GPU/CPU/IO configurations to optimize almost any HPC workload.

The PowerEdge C4130 offers five configuration acceleration options from Intel and NVIDIA.  With the Intel PHI family of co-processors, customers can achieve increased performance over CPUs alone.  With NVIDIA Tesla K40 and K80, customers can incorporate tools like GPU direct and GPU boost into their high performance computing environments.

The C4130 also comes loaded with the Dell OpenManage systems management portfolio, providing innovative solutions to simplify and automate essential server lifecycle management tasks — making IT operations more efficient, reliable, and cost effective. Leveraging the incomparable agent-free capabilities of the integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) with Lifecycle Controller technology, server deployment, configuration and updates are streamlined across the OpenManage portfolio and through integration with third-party management solutions.

If you’re at SC14, we’d love to have you stop by the booth for an in-person demo of what this new system can do. If you aren’t able to join us in New Orleans, please reach out to us on Twitter, or contact your Dell sales representative for more information.

Gina Minks8 big lies the history books tell about Natives (via Indian Country Today)

How is the history of the Native nations taught to us in America? I think people are more informed on the origin of their Indian sport mascots than they are on the history of this country. This is via Indian Country Today. Be sure to go to their site to get all the details to this list: Columbus NEVER landed in the Upper 48—Ever Basically Everything About Pocahontas The First Thanksgiving What is a Redskin?

read more here

Dell TechCenterAWS Lambda: Inflection Point?

I attended the Amazon Web Services Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week.  AWS has always been about scaling, but I was surprised at the scale of the conference.  13,000 attendees packed into the Venetian Sands conference center.  Just the keynotes and serving lunches were an impressive exercise in scaling. 

Everything ran smoothly though, except for overloaded escalators between sessions that would relentlessly deposit attendees into an already crowded space.  We managed to survive though and the sessions were worth the claustrophobic risk.

Amazon made several announcements during the event.  The two I found most interesting were the announcement of the Aurora service, a MySQL compatible hosted DB with enterprise level functionality at a cost-effective price point, and the Lambda service, which allows for event driven code to be executed without requiring you to run a virtual machine instance.  While event driven code may not sound like a big deal at first glance, I think it has some significant ramifications that may well make it another inflection point in the history of computing moving to the cloud when we look back on it in a few years.  Why? Because it is yet another level of abstraction that frees developers and architects from spending time on architecture and scale of “instances” and allows more focus on the business logic of the problem they are trying to solve in the first place.  Virtualization technology provided an abstraction layer for the hardware, and enabled virtual machines that we could spin up at the click of a button, and then automatically to scale when needed. The efficiency gains that resulted by not having to think about the OS, device drivers, or hardware you would actually run on and all the optimization possibilities that opened up was the primary driver of cloud adoption in the first place.  But we were still thinking and architecting in terms of “machines”, they were just virtual machines that we had a whole lot more control and flexibility with compared to physical hardware machines.  With Lambda, Amazon is making an attempt to abstract the “machine” completely out of our software design and deployment thinking.  Write the code that specifies what needs to occur when certain events happen, and let them worry about where it needs to run and how to scale it out.   The end result is a shift from an application consisting of multiple instances running the same or different operating systems, various work queues and worker instances, to one “cloud app” running on a “cloud OS” of AWS. Yes, just like choosing an OS for your application you get a certain amount of lock-in to a “cloud OS”, but it looks like Amazon is betting they can deliver enough value to make that a fairly easy trade-off. If Amazon can drive market adoption of Lambda, it may turn out to be the inflection point where we stop saying “our app runs in the AWS cloud” to “our app runs on the AWS cloud”. Vernacular aside, it seems the abstraction power of an event driven model like Lambda has the potential to allow for faster and more robust cloud app deployments.  Time will tell.

Mark CathcartOh the irony

Dallas Morning News

Oh the fake outrage of Democrat Lehmbergs DWI bust,  when one of Perry’s own senior staffers and head of the TX State CPRIT that Lehmbergs was investigating had been busted 3x for DWI.

Forgiveness must be either class, sex, ethnic or politics based then.


Gina MinksLet’s define “backups”

We all talk about backups. We all know we are supposed to have backups. But what are backups? Here’s my definition, from experience and talking to lots of y’all: Backups: Copying the data created and captured by applications and devices to a different location, so that it can be restored in the case something happens to the original  copy of the data. So backups are pretty easy right? All you need to do make a copy

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Gina MinksMusic to work by – what’s your poison?

I’m writing a blog post right now, and totally jamming to a concert on AXS – All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman. Man this show is amazing, you need to check it out. Perfect for a cold dreary Sunday morning – jamming out, drinking coffee, cuddling with Fred the Dog, and writing. If I’m working and plowing through things, Rush is my go-to music, and I’ve also been going to

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Gina MinksThe 1st story I never wanted to leave

My daughter Brianna asked me this morning what is the first story I didn’t want to leave. She blogged about it, and challenged me to do the same. And I’m sitting here trying to get started – but I don’t want to feel the feels. Darn kids. My first stories were books. Back in the olden days, we had movies, but we had to wait for them to come on TV once a year, we didn’t

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Gina MinksRebel music – check out four up and coming Native artists

MTV featured four up and coming Native artists in a show called Rebel Music. You can only watch it on Facebook, go check it out here. The four artists also have a new single that is on this site. A little frustrating that both of the videos are not embedable. What I love about these videos is the reference to 7th generation. My children are 7th generation from removal. I love that these kids are

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Dell TechCenterCoach is a Valued Member of The Dell Team

When Mack Brown suffered a knee injury, Augie Garrido came in as a replacement and has since remained a full member of the team here at Dell's headquarters.

If you're a fan of The University of Texas football or baseball teams, that sentence would seem rather odd. How are those two college coaches part of the Dell team? When their names are shared by two trained assistance dogs!


Dale Duty grew up playing sports himself, but at age 25, he was diagnosed with a condition called Ankylosing spondylitis, a hereditary inflammatory disease that has caused two of the vertebrae in his neck to fuse together. There is no cure for the condition, and as a result, Dale is greatly limited in the mobility of his head.

“When I walk, I can’t see above my head,” Dale said. “I have a sight-assistance dog that is trained to assist me by keeping me from hitting my head on things which might hang low, below my sightline.”

As a senior patent paralegal, the chair of Dell’s Patent Committee and part of a team that helps to maintain the Dell Patent Database, Duty has been a fixture in Dell’s legal department for more than 15 years. But for several years, he hasn’t been alone in his cubicle.

That’s where a 65-pound, full-blood boxer named “Coach,” in honor of the University of Texas’ head baseball coach Augie Garrido, comes into the story. Coach’s brother, known as “Mack Brown,” was Duty’s first service dog, but when he suffered a knee injury, Coach subbed in and has been a member of the Round Rock headquarters team since.

Although a handful of other service dogs have come through Dell, Coach made company history when he became the first service dog to have his own badge.

“A new security guard saw a dog enter the building on the monitors and sent another guard to investigate,” Duty said. “When I told the story to a Dell engineer friend at lunch, he suggested we get Coach a badge. His badge number is the same as mine, because he always has to be with me.”

And while Coach can’t “badge in” because his badge isn’t fully functional, he does have fans wherever he goes. His biggest fan, though is Duty. Coach accompanies Duty to meetings with inventors and engineers developing Dell’s latest technology.

His presence has allowed Duty to get the most out of his career, which is in line with the mission of Dell’s True Ability Employee Resource Group. True Ability is a group of Dell team members who have come together to educate, drive awareness, and serve as a resource for team members impacted by disabilities or special needs, both inside and outside of Dell.

“Our goal in True Ability is to harness the power of Dell to enable our team members impacted by disabilities to grow and thrive, and we welcome all Dell team members who believe in our mission to join us and make our impact even stronger,” said Suresh Vaswani, President, Services, and the executive sponsor of True Ability.

 “According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), companies don't have to allow service dogs. They are only required to make a reasonable accommodation for disabled people," Duty notes “I feel very fortunate that Dell has allowed Coach to accompany me at work. I’m more comfortable and productive when he’s with me. Coach makes me a better employee.”

Dell TechCenterTalking to Red Hat about how they are working with Dell on OpenStack

Last week I participated in Dell World with my trusty Flipcam (yes, I still have one, if it ain’t broke…) and caught a bunch of interviews. Several, not surprisingly, dealt with the cloud space.

The first  of these is with Red Hat Sr. Solution Architect, Ian Pilcher who was on the expo floor. Ian was talking to attendees about how Red Hat and Dell are working together in the cloud space. I got him to give a short overview.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Some of the ground Ian covers

  • How the two companies are working together around OpenStack
  • What are the use cases he’s seeing for the OpenStack solution
  • What is Red Hat doing with Docker (Hint: see Atomic Host)
  • What to expect from Red Hat and Dell vis-a-vis their OpenStack solution

Extra-credit reading

  • Red Hat goes nuclear in Linux container wars with Atomic Host beta – The Register

Pau for now…

 

Dell TechCenterJimmy Pike Leads Strategy Discussions and Breakout Sessions at SC14

Announcing information on the strategy discussions and breakout sessions Jimmy Pike is leading at SC14.(read more)

Dell TechCenterMBA Teams Crack a Case on Smart Cities

Dell, Intel and Booz Allen Hamilton sponsored the 4th annual technology case competition with Haas Business School at UC Berkeley last weekend. MBA teams came from around the country to tackle the topic of Smart Cities by selecting a specific area of application such as smart transportation systems, smart energy use, smart public safety or another area of municipal responsibility.

The student teams were asked to show how Internet of Things (IoT) projects could provide value in the public sphere, as well as to our respective organizations.  We wanted to see how they prioritized issues. We wanted specific, feasible recommendations that considered resource constraints and stakeholder needs.  We asked for innovation, with presentations that were well structured, creative and engaging.  And they had until midnight to crack the case.

Winning Haas Tech Challenge team: Tomer Poran, Amrit Acharya, Nathanael Chang and Babar Khan

The next day, we judged the results and were impressed by the depth and breadth of analysis and focused recommendations. The winning team (above) was the home team – Haas Business School (Go Bears!)  They presented an e-parking solution for the San Francisco Financial District, based on studies that show drivers seeking parking account for 30 percent of traffic. Their solution of showing citizens where parking was available would not only save individuals time, but would reduce overall congestion. They included an interesting gamification aspect that provided incentives to use public transportation and share information about upcoming parking availability. Importantly, they included a development platform on which to build a number of additional solutions to improve lighting, public safety and pollution levels.

Other teams provided a range of insights and ideas. The number two team, Kellogg, sketched out a connected street lamp solution in which lamp posts became gateways, sensing and communicating streams of data on traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, which could be packaged and sold to commercial entities. 

Several teams tackled water issues driven by the drought in California and leaky pipes from aging infrastructure, including the 3rd place team from UCLA Anderson. The billions of dollars in economic value estimated in these cases are profound.

It was energizing to chat with students afterwards and hear of their interest in post MBA careers in technology. These Millennial students – who grew up in a connected world – see great opportunity to instrument our cities and help them become more efficient, safer and more convenient. 

Haas Tech Challenge co-chairs Charles Guo & Will Lynn were pleased with the results. 

“The IoT theme is among the hottest trends in technology; Haas Tech Challenge was thrilled to bring together such an amazing group of sponsors and students,” shared Charles.

My colleagues from Intel and Booz Allen and I left Berkeley with new ideas around how workable business models could form around Smart Cities, and how technology could cascade from one use case to another, driving needed scale. Thank you to Haas and all the MBA teams that participated!

 Volunteers at the 2014 Haas Tech Challenge

Dell TechCenterDell PowerEdge R730xd – Easily scalable, high-density building block for Microsoft Exchange 2013 deployments

Generational improvements in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and Dell PowerEdge servers provide more ways for IT organizations to save money and time while meeting growing email capacity and performance demands. For example, IOPS have been significantly reduced in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, enabling you to use higher capacity, lower speed disk drives for storing multiple copies of Exchange databases.

Deploying Microsoft 2013 on servers with dense internal storage such as the Dell PowerEdge R730xd reduces the hardware footprint and associated administration and energy costs, while providing easy scalability. Compared to its predecessor—PowerEdge R720xd–PowerEdge R730xd supports 33% more storage capacity when using the large form factor (LFF) NearLine-SAS (NL-SAS) drives. This is made possible with the innovative internal drive tray design that supports up to four LFF disk drives. Using an internal drive tray, you can now deploy up to sixteen 4 TB[1] LFF NL-SAS drives in the PowerEdge R730xd to get up to 64 TB of raw disk capacity.

This additional capacity and disk IOPS translate directly into additional and bigger Exchange mailboxes. The following examples show how PowerEdge R730xd can help you increase the mailbox density or size of each mailbox or messages per day significantly as compared to PowerEdge R720xd.

Note: The following comparisons are independent of each other and represent the benefits gained using a specific hardware configuration. Each example lists the hardware specifications for the servers used in the verification. PowerEdge R730xd 3.5-inch chassis is available in different configurations. Please check with your sales representative for details on these configurations.

50% increase in user mailbox size

The illustration below shows the increase in mailbox size between similar CPU and memory configurations of PowerEdge R720xd and PowerEdge R730xd with 16 internal drives. On both these configurations, the number of mailboxes and the messages per day profile was kept constant.

33% increase in number of mailboxes

The graphic below shows the increase in number of mailboxes between similar CPU and memory configurations of PowerEdge R720xd and PowerEdge R730xd with 16 internal drives. On both these configurations, the size of the mailboxes and the messages per day profile was kept constant.

33% increase in messages per day

The last comparison illustrates the increase in messages per day between similar CPU and memory configurations of PowerEdge R720xd and PowerEdge R730xd with 16 internal drives. On both these configurations, the number of mailboxes and the mailbox size were kept constant.

PowerEdge R730xd as the new Exchange building block

These improvements demonstrate why the increase in internal storage capacity combined with the reduced IOPS requirements in Exchange 2013 make the PowerEdge R730xd with 16 x LFF NL-SAS drives an ideal server platform for organizations facing increased email capacity demands. To leverage these technology advances, the Global Solutions Engineering team at Dell developed a building block approach for Exchange deployments. This approach uses a Pod as a standardized configuration of server and storage resources sized to the solution requirement (for example, number and size of mailboxes, number of emails per day and expected IOPS). The Pod shown below consists of a 3-copy DAG that has two servers at the local site and one at the remote site hosting a passive copy of the Exchange databases.

Figure 1 PowerEdge R730xd at the heart of Pod Design

The Pod design includes the minimum server and storage required to meet the Exchange solution requirement, including the mailbox profile. The configuration within each of the Pod in a deployed solution remains the same and must not change.

Scaling out Exchange Deployment

To cater to more mailbox requirements, you just need to increase the number of Pods.

Figure 2 Scaling out a Pod to support more mailboxes

With PowerEdge R730xd at the heart of the Pod design (shown in Figure 1), the above Exchange deployment, shown in Figure 2, can support up to 16,000 Exchange mailboxes of 3 GB in size, with  4,000 mailboxes per Pod.

Scaling up Exchange Deployment

If your Exchange deployment requires larger mailbox capacity (up to 5 GB per mailbox), you can extend the above Pod design by attaching a JBOD, such as PowerVault MD1400 with similar size drives as the PowerEdge R730xd. In this updated Pod design, each Pod is capable of supporting 4,000 mailboxes of 5 GB in size. Therefore, the complete solution infrastructure with 4 Pods will be capable of supporting up to 16,000 mailboxes.

Figure 3 Attaching PowerVault MD1400 to increase Pod's storage capacity

Reference Implementations of the building block approach

While the Pod design provides a standardized configuration for the server/storage, it is important to architect all other components in the Exchange deployment. You need to adhere to the best practices and recommendations for each component in the tier in the solution infrastructure.

To show how these designs are made, we released a few reference implementations that illustrate deploying the best practices at each tier. These reference implementations not only describe the best practices to be followed for optimal application performance and complete solution high availability, but also illustrate how the solution infrastructure can be designed to adhere to these recommendations.

8,000 Mailbox Solution Deployment

By implementing two Pods, that is four PowerEdge R730xd servers at the local site and two at the remote site, you can support up to 8,000 mailboxes in the deployment.

This reference implementation is based on the 8,000 mailbox site resiliency solution.

Figure 4 External Data Center Architecture for 8,000 mailboxes

For more information on this reference implementation, read Microsoft Exchange 2013 on Dell PowerEdge R730xd 3.5’’ Chassis.

12,500 Mailbox Solution Deployment

By implementing three Pods, that is six PowerEdge R730xd servers with PowerVault MD1400 at the local site and three at the remote site, you can support up to 12,500 mailboxes in the deployment.

This reference implementation is based on the 12,500 mailbox site resiliency solution.

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Figure 5 External Data Center Architecture for 12,500 mailboxes

For more information on this reference implementation, read Microsoft Exchange 2013 on Dell PowerEdge R730xd 3.5’’ Chassis and PowerVault MD1400.



[1] At time of writing, 4 TB is the highest capacity available in large form factor NL-SAS drives.

Gina MinksWhat *is* AppAssure? (re-post from the Dell Tech Center)

I originally posted this on the Dell Tech Center, but decided it to re-blog it here, freshen up the content a little, and use it as the base for some other technical backup and recovery blog posts I’d like to write this month.   I get asked this question a lot. What is AppAssure? Since I won’t be at the Dell User Forum this year, I thought I’d write out what I usually tell people

read more here

Gina MinksEverything old is new again – what’s the ROI of social media

I’ve been “doing” social media for large companies for around seven years now. Five years ago, I wrote this post: “Is ROI an evil MBA term? More on the ROI of blogging“. Man I had some good ideas on how to measure the ROI of blogging in that post! A key theme I talked about (that I believe is still very valid) was if our organizational resources are more and more human (vs machines, objects, etc.),

read more here

Dell TechCenterThe Perfect Stocking Stuffer: More Secure and Efficient #ActiveDirectory and a Chance to Win a $500 AMEX Gift Card

Reduce Your Active Directory workload, strengthen security and enter to win $500 for holiday spending!

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But hurry, the Download & Win sweepstakes ends November 28.

Why Active Administrator? Here's what our customers said...

Dell TechCenterJimmy Pike Discusses the Upcoming Panels at SC14

Dell Fellow Jimmy Pike discusses upcoming panels at SC14 on a recent insideHPC podcast.(read more)

Dell TechCenterPost Season Analysis is Ready for BYOD

With the baseball season finally at its conclusion and the celebration of the San Francisco Giants as the World Series champs recently occurring, it is usually the beginning of teams’ reflection on the past season. It is a time when the executives and manager analyze how well they fared and what needs to be changed next year to finish play-off-bound.  And sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the betterment of the team.

What is going to put the team over the top? Is the current plan put in place a few years ago succeeding? Need to make adjustments? Power-hitter? Middle reliever? A Closer? This is the time to reflect and determine what needs to change to secure a dynasty or improve to make the playoffs.

Same can be said about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and how well companies have executed on their mobile security strategies. Have you really been able to take advantage of the BYOD trend? Is the company still issuing and managing mobile devices to employees?

man at baseball game watching football on his phone

Companies have attempted to take advantage of the BYOD trend for a few years now. Their strategy included the use of personal devices to access the corporate network through building a mobile security infrastructure. A lot of money has been spent addressing the challenges BYOD presents. And yet the growth of mobile security breaches is on the rise. The two biggest mobile security risks are malware infections and end-user negligence. And IT professionals and executives are expecting these incidents to continue to grow.

Mobile application security poses an enormous risk in securing access and data on the corporate network. Applications are not secured and shouldn’t be trusted.

“The challenge is to accommodate the 'work anywhere, anytime' productivity and user satisfaction benefits that consumerization and BYOD can bring, while retaining enough control to keep company data secure and compliance requirements satisfied,” said Charles McLellan, ZDNet Mobility & Telecoms newsletter.

Authenticating identity credentials to properly secure access while enforcing and reporting on the use of the company’s BYOD policy also remains a major concern.

Additionally, according to an August Pnemon Institute survey, it  found 60 percent reported that mobile devices have diminished employees' security practices and 52 percent said security practices were frequently sacrificed in order to improve productivity.

Clearly, something isn’t working.  The current plan of securing the use of Android and iOS mobile devices just doesn’t seem to be meeting the mobile security needs.   Utilizing Mobile Device Management (MDM) and container technology just doesn’t seem to be enough.

In fact, the survey also indicated that half of the IT professionals that responded are not satisfied with the mobile security solutions currently used. A scary 30 percent said they had no mobile security features in place.

Continuing existing practices that aren’t working is similar to a baseball team not filling their holes year after year  and  obtaining the same results. 

Now is a good time to consider other options. BYOD technology is evolving.  Dell Secure Mobile Access (SMA) secures the use of mobile devices. In addition to per-app VPN functionality, the use of Application Access Control technology in SMA, provides a higher level of protection than any other solution available today in the market. Being able to extend per-app VPN by further restricting and associating access to a specific corporate resource will lessen the risk of mobile device access.  Additionally, restricting access by end user identity, client device ownership, and specific application versions maximizes security access. Not only is SMA able to validate the authenticity of the mobile app, including the legitimacy of the container, but also assigns a unique digital signature to the app to ensure its identity using SHA 256 cryptology, the most stringent available. 

Combining SMA with Dell’s Enterprise Mobility Management solution provides the best possible solution by effectively managing the mobile device environment while securing the mobile access to corporate resources.

Don’t wait any longer. Make the adjustments today to maximize the use of personal devices and secure the access to host resources.  BYOD does not have to be unreachable.  The championship you seek is only a Secure Mobile Access away.

Dell TechCenter5-step framework to securely enable mobility

 While mobility can certainly provide an opportunity for unprecedented productivity and performance in the enterprise, it also can also come with security risk and added IT complexity. Enabling mobility—including bring your own device (BYOD)—can be done securely by following a five-step framework.

1. Develop a secure mobile strategy.

Mobility isn’t just about working remotely, it’s about working differently—working better. It has a human element to it, and your mobile strategy will impact the entire organization. Include business leaders, legal and H.R. in its development.

2. Provide secure mobile access.

Mobile security should include data and user access, not just device security. You can deliver secure access to resources while protecting systems from direct exposure with business-driven access control and governance for users and privileged accounts.

Provide policy-enforced mobile access by looking for solutions that offer one-click access to authorized corporate apps and resources, context-aware authentication and device interrogation, secure SSL VPN and granular network access controls.

3. Secure enterprise data.

Data doesn’t just live on the device, so don’t try to keep it there. Liberate the data! If you encrypt it at the file level, it's protected everywhere it is, from the device to the cloud. Use a solution that secures it at rest, in flight, on PCs, on Macs, on mobile devices, on removable media, in the cloud and more.

4. Secure the network.

Protect your network against the threats that come from viruses, spyware, spam and more. Look for a next-generation firewall solution with comprehensive protection against intrusion and malware.

5. Secure the endpoint.

Securing an endpoint, regardless of its form factor or operating system, seems easier when it’s corporate managed. A mobile device management or endpoint systems management solution can lock it down. But when you’re dealing with BYOD or BYOPC, that method isn't ideal. There's a more complete solution out there that can help you manage and secure your data on personal devices, too.

An endpoint can be more than a device—it can also be an application-based secure enterprise workspace. These can easily be downloaded on a personal smartphone, tablet or laptop. A secure workspace provides you with the management and control you need while giving users the flexibility and privacy they want on their personal devices. An enterprise mobility management solution will enable you to secure all the endpoints in your IT environment, from smartphones to desktops to workspaces.

Want to learn more about mobile security? Read our own Jason Moody’s post on CIO BrandPost: “7 Security Must-haves for a Successful Enterprise Mobility Management Solution.”

Converged InfrastructureDell Converged Infrastructure Solutions — Active System Reference Architectures

Active System reference architectures provide expert designs that make it easy to deploy integrated systems customized for your unique IT requirements.

Footnotes