WannaCry Makes Me Want to Cry!

As I read about the WannaCry ransomware attack, my brain is racing with thoughts about the causes and effects of this global incident. Here’s my two cents: To read the complete article, CLICK HERE

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Dell Swans IT Up At DEW17
May11

Dell Swans IT Up At DEW17

LAS VEGAS:  The second Dell EMC World, coming just 6 months after the inaugural event, and a short 8 months after the historic $60 billion acquisition of EMC, offered the typical mix of new and old — new products and services, and the old (in this case falling somewhere between 6-8 months marination) — the combined PC, server and storage powerhouse’s continuing focus on digital transformation. DT is another cute phrase beloved of marketers and headline writers, but it’s also one that will change everything, and whether we’re talking about business, IT, workforce or security transformation, Dell wants to be a major part of it all. “I say we’re going to be the trusted provider of essential infrastructure for the next industrial revolution,” said Michael Dell in his keynote last October. He reinforced that promise this week before 13,500 customers, partners and staff, the biggest event in the two companies’ history. From public-cloud bashing — it can be twice as expensive as on-prem — to new pricing options that change IT buying from CapEx to OpEx with the option to walk away after 12 months, Dell was his usual upbeat self, outlining the company’s string of successes in its multiple markets, while repeating their commitment to transformation. “Making digital transformation happen, making it real is why we created Dell EMC,” he said. “Dell Technologies is a force multiplier to digital transformation.” And the company’s value proposition — “number one in everything, all in one place” — resonates with their customers, he added. The company holds third place in PC sales, behind HP and Lenovo, respectively, but it grew 6.2% year-over-year, and has been increasing its marketshare for 17 straight quarters, while increasing its average selling price, said Dell. It also maintained its hold on second place in servers for the fourth quarter, with 17.6% of vendor revenue, while revenue increased 0.1% YoY to $2.6 billion. Dell was the clear leader in converged systems with 44.9% share of the market segment, and external enterprise storage, accounting for 32.9% of worldwide revenues. Dell made a number of announcements this week (which will be covered in subsequent articles), including Hyper-Converged Infrastructure advancements and cloud-like consumption models for IT from the desktop to the datacenter, the 14th generation of PowerEdge servers, open networking products, appliance and cloud data protection additions, all-flash storage systems, Software-Defined Storage and Internet of Things news. However a week prior to the event the company made a sizeable commitment to Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering. It announced Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, a turnkey, hybrid cloud platform — due out later this year — that offers ‘a simple...

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DEW17: Dell Utility Pricing Transforms CapEx to OpEx

LAS VEGAS: The products and services announced at Dell EMC World 2017 were interesting, but for me the star of the event was the flexible consumption offering, an extension of last October’s OpenScale Payment Solutions. Ranging from the desktop to the datacenter, the new releases included: PC as a Service and Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions; Dell Financial Services Flex on Demand for reducing the cost of over-provisioning storage solutions; DFS Cloud Flex for HCI; and a new Dell Technologies Transformational License Agreement that offers customized software contracts for flexible license and maintenance of software titles. “Many IT leaders worry about unforeseen costs and risks when adopting new or different technologies, but organizations that do not invest in IT Transformation initiatives risk falling behind their competitors,” said Howard Elias, President, Dell EMC Services and IT, in a prepared statement. “With flexible, simple and predictable payment solutions, we help organizations adopt the technology—from the desktop to the datacenter—that best suits their business needs today and allows a more pay-as-go model for modernizing and transforming IT.” Erick Brown, Senior Director, OpenScale Payment Solutions, Dell Financial Services, spent 20 years with EMC, the last few years working on complex deals and consumption models, and owned OpenScale there. He told IT Trends & Analysis this is a real unique and differentiated offering that provides tremendous flexibility to customers by not shackling them to a single technology or pricing plan. “More of our customers are asking us for OpEx solutions.” There are a number of customers already using the storage offering, but the cloud flex capability was just rolled out internally a month ago, he said. VxRail and XC customers can return the product at any time, after one year, with up to a 30% price drop in the monthly payments in subsequent years. “We’re hoping customer will keep it for more than a one year.” PC as a Service is a hot market according to IDC: over 40% of respondents say they have engaged in PCaaS in the past 12 months, or are considering engaging in the next 12 months. The companion VDI Complete Solutions, powered by VMware Horizon and based on VxRail Appliances or vSAN ReadyNodes, makes it easier to buy, deploy and manage. “Basically what this is is a wrapper of the product plus the services,” said Brown. The Transformational License Agreement collapses software licenses and maintenance into one contract that substantially increases simplicity and flexibility, i.e. customers can swap un-deployed software with any new title, including titles not in the agreement, and freely exchange any software, including titles that have already been deployed. Additionally, pre-paid T-credits can be redeemed at...

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DEW17: Storage On Steroids (& Cloud and Networking)

LAS VEGAS: Digital transformation is the (current) be-all and end-all, but for IT vendors, it’s all about building and selling the products and services that facilitate the DT journey, and in the second segment of our preview of a plethora of pithy product pronouncements, Part 2 we look at Dell EMC’s more mundane announcements, while Part 3 will focus on the revolutionary new payment program that turns CapEx to OpEx and might even help reduce the fear of vendor lock-in. As the dominant enterprise storage vendor, there were a number of storage announcements, including a heaping helping of software-defined storage news: a new release of ScaleIO; Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) platform updates; IsilonSD Edge enhancements; new and updated Dell EMC Ready Nodes; and a preview of Project Nautilus, a new software-defined solution for storing and analyzing high volumes of streaming IoT data. “While software-defined everything is a critical piece of IT transformation, the reality is that we’re still early with regard to the ability of enterprises to consume software-only offerings,” said Jeff Boudreau, President, Storage, Dell EMC, in a prepared statement. “Offering software-defined storage offerings for on-premises and the cloud, in a variety of deployment models including ready nodes, allows us to meet customers where they are today and take them where they need to be as they transform their IT and their businesses.” Available now are Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes, with availability on the new PowerEdge servers scheduled for mid-2017. Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes are scheduled for June, followed shortly on the servers, while Next, ScaleIO.Next, ECS Dedicated Cloud Service and IsilonSD Edge are also expected out soon. If IT is now all about transformation, storage is all about flash, and the two are inseparable, noted Mark Peters, practice director & senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a prepared statement. “… All-Flash and scale-out storage solutions — capable of delivering both the high performance and rich data services needed for today’s demanding applications — are critical elements for any enterprise that wants to achieve IT transformation.” Dell EMC made a number of flashy announcements: the VMAX 950F, up to 4x faster than the nearest competitor; XtremIO X2 delivers new levels of efficiency for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) and large scale snapshot use cases, with 3x higher capacity, 25% better storage efficiency on average and 80% better response times; Unity All-Flash storage models feature up to 4x larger file system capacity, 8x increase in density and sub 10-minute deployment; SC5020 midrange hybrid storage array offers up to 45% more IOPS, 2x greater capacity and market’s lowest hybrid array $/GB;...

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DEW17: It’s Mainly About DT… and IoT

LAS VEGAS:  In a preview of a plethora of pithy product pronouncements, Part 1 (PPPPPP1 or P61) I’ve taken the first set of Dell EMC’s announcements based on leading-edge hype, digital transformation (DT) and Internet of Things (IoT). The more mundane offerings like storage, appliances and cloud, have been relegated to Part 2, while a seemingly revolutionary new payment plan will get its own focus in Part 3. Only time — and the market — will tell if I got these right. However DT is the focus of both Dell EMC, and Dell EMC World 2017, so that’s where I’ll start. First, while there were DT-flavored announcements, i.e. Dell EMC Drives IT Transformation With the New 14th Generation of PowerEdge Servers and Dell EMC Powers IT Transformation with New Open Networking Products, there were no specific DT products and services announcements. That might be because digital transformation is more of a business phenomenon than a product or service that you can buy. It’s more about the people and processes; products and services are only a means to an end. The only DT-branded announcement, and IMHO that’s a stretch, is the upcoming 14th generation of the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio that help customers drive IT Transformations. The company says it delivers innovation in three areas: a scalable business architecture; ‘intelligent automation’ via expanded APIs and the new OpenManage Enterprise console; and integrated security. Availability is scheduled for mid-year, i.e. real soon. If DT was more a premise or promise than a product, there were a number of IoT announcements, including those from Dell’s VMware subsidiary and Atos. The company bills itself as an ‘IoT heavyweight’, the industry’s ‘broadest IoT infrastructure solutions provider’, and has a ‘complete edge-to-core-to-cloud portfolio of infrastructure for IoT solutions.’ The VMware Pulse IoT Center is a secure, enterprise grade (IoT infrastructure management solution that will enable IT and operational technology (OT) teams to control their IoT infrastructure and things. Due out later this year as both a standalone solution by VMware and partners as well as a bundled offering via partners such as Dell EMC and others, it will provide IT and OT teams visibility and control across their IoT use cases, while offering peace of mind with security capabilities throughout the IoT value chain, stated Mimi Spier, vice president, IoT, VMware. The Atos partnership revolves around an IoT service management framework (Atos Codex IoT Services), that will enable customers to be in control and assure that all users ‘can continuously create value from their connected devices.’ Although very much a work in progress, the framework is available now, combining Dell EMC hardware and software...

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DEW17: Emphasizing Fundamental Storage Principles

Most large IT vendor conferences — especially those held in Las Vegas — tend to resemble a three-ring information overload circus. Attendees can easily be overwhelmed with the breadth and depth of what is being presented. At times, focusing on the tried and true basics helps to refresh and clear one’s mind. As an example, let’s turn to the storage solutions that were highlighted this week at Dell EMC World. Naturally, Dell EMC continues to evolve its storage portfolio, but it is not doing so by abandoning the core storage products and principles that have been fundamental to its success for more than two decades. Now, Dell Technologies is the rubric under which all the businesses of the company fall. Dell EMC is the data center infrastructure business and incorporates Dell’s business servers and a midrange storage product line as well as EMC’s traditional high end, midrange, and scale-out (unstructured data) storage systems. In addition, converged infrastructure solutions, including hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) offerings falls with the purview of Dell EMC. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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