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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Intel and the Era of HPC Everywhere

Anyone who follows the supercomputing/high performance computing (HPC) space knows that for all of their jaw-dropping capabilities these systems follow the same populist path familiar to every other technology. That is, thanks to ongoing technological innovation everything that was once exceptional and usually unaffordable becomes commonplace and available to increasing numbers of users and organizations. But a big question to consider is how long this process usually takes and, even larger, whether anything can be done to effectively speed the process. Those points are of particular interest to Intel and a central goal in the company’s Scalable System Framework (SSF) effort, including the announcements the company made at Supercomputing 2015 (SC15) this week. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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SDN/NVF A Work In Progress… And What Progress!
Jul28

SDN/NVF A Work In Progress… And What Progress!

The math is simple: mobility plus Big Data plus the Internet of Things/Everything plus analytics mean networks – datacenter, cloud and at the edge – must handle bigger workloads faster, and IT budgets can’t even come close to addressing these requirements with current technologies. Which brings us to this week’s OpenDaylight Summit, where software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) will be trumpeted as the technologies that can solve this equation. Whose vision(s) of SDN and NFV will prevail is still very much in question, but what isn’t is the need, and the progress that has been made so far. There are four use cases for SDN/NFV, said Neela Jacques, Executive Director, OpenDaylight, in a phone interview with IT Trends & Analysis. The first is visibility and a better level of unification and orchestration, and while it’s the ‘least sexy’, it represents the biggest opportunity over the next 3-4 years. Customers “are frustrated with existing network management”. The other three use cases are: “trying to do real time management of your network, which is closest to what we consider traditional SDN”; NFV; and the fourth is cloud. Each of these use cases bleed into each other, he said. “At the same time that SDN and NFV are coming up, you’re seeing a shift from proprietary to open-based solutions.” Which leads us to ODL. ‘OpenDaylight is a highly available, modular, extensible, scalable and multi-protocol controller infrastructure built for SDN deployments on heterogeneous multi-vendor networks. In English, instead of jargon, OpenDaylight is meant to handle any level of networking with pretty much any software or hardware. With top backers such as Brocade, Cisco, Intel, and Juniper, OpenDaylight has the business support needed to back up its technical boasts.’ Back in May Jacques stated that the networking industry has embraced open source as the right path forward for SDN, and that OpenDaylight has become the industry’s “de facto standard” open source SDN project. There are over 300 developers working across company lines to deliver a common and interoperable SDN and NFV platform that anyone can see, contribute to and use. ODL members include Brocade, Cisco, Dell, HP, Intel, IBM, Ericsson, Huawei, Oracle, NEC, Microsoft and VMware. A month ago ODL announced Lithium, its third open SDN software release. It also announced the OpenDaylight Advisory Group (AG), consisting of enterprise, telco and academic users who will provide technical input to the OpenDaylight developer community. Foundational members include representatives from Telefónica I+D; AT&T; Orange; CableLabs; JArizona State University; Comcast; Caltech; China Telecom; Nasdaq; Deutsche Telekom; T-Mobile; and China Mobile. According to recent numbers from IHS Infonetics: -the global NFV hardware, software and services...

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Cybersecurity: The Emperor’s New Clothes
Jul21

Cybersecurity: The Emperor’s New Clothes

Intel Security has just released a new report that once again illustrates the threadbare state of cybersecurity: most organizations believe they are better protected than the facts support. “We believe we have a degree of overconfidence, possibly complacency,” said Raj Samani, EMEA CTO, Intel. The survey of IT executives within critical infrastructure organizations, ‘Holding the Line Against Cyber Threats: Critical Infrastructure Readiness Survey‘, produced by Intel Security and The Aspen Institute, found that 41% of respondents are already experiencing physical damage from attacks, and that 86% want more public-private cooperation. “This data raises new and vital questions about how public and private interests can best join forces to mitigate and defend against cyberattacks,” said Clark Kent Ervin, Director, Homeland Security Program, Aspen Institute, in a prepared statement. “This issue must be addressed by policymakers and corporate leaders alike.” Critical infrastructure security – or its lack – has been all over the news recently, including: -Germany passes strict cybersecurity law to protect ‘critical infrastructure’ -Ireland gears up for cyber war with a new strategy to protect critical infrastructure; -Britain’s Ministry of Defence fends off thousands of cyber attacks every day while its military systems log more than a million suspicious incidents on a daily basis; -the government of Canada was the target of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that took down multiple federal websites, including those of the Departments of Justice, and Foreign Affairs; and, -Poland’s national airline had to ground 22 of its planes after finding hackers had attacked its computer system in Warsaw. At the end of June Tripwire reported that nearly all critical infrastructure industry executives recognize that their organizations are targets for cybercriminals, and more than half (61%) are confident their systems could detect attack in less than a day. The company questions this confidence. “The idea that these attacks would be detected quickly is basically a perception that’s driven from the ability of these organizations to deliver energy with very high availability,” wrote Rekha Shenoy, VP of business and corporate development for Tripwire. “However, in our experience, these organizations don’t have the visibility into cybersecurity issues that would allow them to detect an attack faster than other industries.” According to a new report a cyber attack on the US east coast could cost the economy $1 trillion. “The evidence of major attacks during 2014 suggests that attackers were often able to exploit vulnerabilities faster than defenders could remedy them,” Tom Bolt, director of performance management at Lloyd’s, said in the report from the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. A lot of money is being...

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