Intel Announces New Restructuring Initiative

Silicon Valley has been so successful in cultivating a mystique around technology that it’s easy to forget that most vendors are in the manufacturing business. That is, they make stuff, mostly by assembling commercial off the shelf (COTS) components, such as microprocessors, memory, motherboards and displays made by yet other manufacturers. As a result, the hardware portion of the IT industry is sensitive to the same yield/volume/margin pressures that impact other manufacturers. If acceptable quality (yield) products can’t be made in workable numbers (volume) and sold profitably (margin), the larger structure wobbles. If that situation persists or worsens, the vendor risks injury or even collapse. Though this dynamic is common across the IT industry, its effects are anything but equal. Consumer-centric products tend to be less stable since sales depend on often unpredictable customer preferences. But that’s balanced out by such products being generally cheaper and easier to build. In contrast, making business-focused products is typically more complex and demanding but is also considerably more profitable. So it’s quite common for large scale component manufacturers to develop product lines that span a range of consumer and business applications. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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This Year in Storage

Happy 2016! Is that still allowed in February? Or, if you are like me, are you stunned that just over 8% of the year went by already! Anyhow, while ‘predictions’ is an over-used word around this time of year, there’s another ‘P’ word that has had more than its fair share of deployment in IT circles generally – and storage specifically – over the decades: the word is ‘paradigm’. And especially shifts thereof! But sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason.. .Scott Sinclair and I recently sat down to chat about both P words with regard to the storage industry over the coming year and beyond. In our age of being attention-challenged, it is worth noting that the resulting video is around 7 minutes. But (and hopefully it is not immodest) we think it turned out as a useful overview! To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Intel Skylake… Deep Thoughts

While the Intel Skylake solutions presented at the event closely tied at times to Microsoft’s Windows 10 platform, the threat landscape seemed to overwhelm them. Still, the panel that I moderated praised Intel and Microsoft for the progress they have made. The representa-tives from Eli Lilly, Cerner Health, Booz Allen and Verizon all feel that the moves the two companies have made were solid steps in the right direction and will be a critical part of a far more comprehensive approach to keeping enterprises safe. Even so, I left the presentation thinking that investing in a good solid bunker would be an incredibly prudent strategic personal plan. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Intel’s 6th Gen Core – The Engine of the Modern Workplace

The new 6th gen Core processors [Skylake] are designed to fully leverage Windows 10’s capabilities and to extend them with silicon-based solutions like Intel Authenticate. As a result, Microsoft is showing significant flexibility when it comes to the new Core chips. While the company notes that Windows 10 is the best OS for 6th gen Core-based clients, it also announced support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on PCs, laptops, convertibles and tablets using Intel’s new silicon until the summer of 2017. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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EMC Unveils RackHD, Open-Source Version of OnRack
Dec08

EMC Unveils RackHD, Open-Source Version of OnRack

EMC may be just a little bit preoccupied with figuring out its future with Dell, but the storage giant still has to carry on in standalone — or federation — mode until the deal closes next year, which now includes its latest open source initiative, RackHD. Originally unveiled in May as Project OnRack, the company calls it an open source physical hardware management and orchestration (M&O) layer that automates discovery, description, provisioning and programming across a broad range of hardware – servers, switches and storage. RackHD  (Rack Hardware Director) is a new hardware administration level, said Brad Maltz, Sr. Director of Converged Infrastructure, EMC, that got a big boost with the Renasar Technologies acquisition earlier this year. He told IT Trends & Analysis EMC is “trying to build an agnostic programmatic layer to control server and storage hardware going forward”. According to the company, the technology stack provides cohesive APIs to enable automated infrastructure. Developers can use the APIs as a component in a larger orchestration system or to create a user interface for managing hardware services regardless of the underlying hardware in place. We`re trying to solve the hardest problem, breaking software away from hardware, said Maltz. There are a number of stackups — like OpenStack — and they’re all dependent on hardware at some level but none of them have any level of maturity to solve this problem. EMC has worked with multiple vendors, like HP and Dell, he added. “We have tons of experience in this space.” The company said RackHD makes it simple to update firmware and BIOS and install OSs like KVM, vSphere, ScaleIO and CoreOS. It’s secure, scalable, platform-agnostic and programmable via API, and “doesn’t step on the toes” of higher-level infrastructure M&O or software like Puppet, Chef and Ansibl, but can be integrated or even incorporated by them. RackHD offers a new layer of hardware-software abstraction, said EMC CTO John Roese, on today`s YouTube video. That abstraction capability is incredibly important to next-generation data center architecture, allowing pools of hardware resources to be able to support the growing diversity of traditional and next-generation application workloads. IT infrastructure software will be able to provide composable services for all types of workloads. RackHD is already playing a key role at EMC in things like VxRack, which runs on industry standard servers, enclosures and switches at massive scale. Virtustream and Pivotal are making use of it, as well. “OnRack is the EMC version of RackHD, but all of the development efforts will happen in the open source world,” said Maltz. Given that this is an industry-wide challenge, EMC believes RackHD will have broad appeal to...

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