Forrester interviewed organizations that implemented VCE converged platform solutions. While they faced different challenges and situations unique to their sector, Forrester found that the surveyed organizations experienced quantifiable benefits of modernizing their infrastructure:Increased Application DevelopmentInfrastructure Cost AvoidanceIT Operational Efficiency IncreaseBusiness Productivity IncreaseSecurity and Compliance Cost ReductionAt EMC, our converged platforms mission is to break down the silos in the data center and help businesses usher in a new era in simplicity for IT infrastructure. Use this guide from Forrester Consulting to help you embark on modernizing your data center.*Source: A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Report Commissioned By VCE, “A Practical Guide for Evaluating the Value of VCE Converged Infrastructure for Data Center Modernization” March 2016 IT decision makers are increasingly asking the simple question, “Why build what you can buy?” as they seek to modernize data center environments. For many, this means a shift of some workloads to public cloud offerings, and a thoughtful IT transformation path for on-premise infrastructure. With a broad portfolio of converged and hyper-converged infrastructure platforms – VCE Vblock, VxBlock and VxRack Systems, and VxRail Appliances – EMC enables customers to optimize a hybrid cloud to achieve better business outcomes. Today I am pleased to announce the availability of a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by VCE, the Converged Platforms Division of EMC. This study provides insight on how customers can evaluate converged or hyper-converged infrastructure from financial and business perspectives.Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ report* offers practical, real-world tips for deploying converged infrastructure, informative details on the wide-reaching benefits of convergence for the entire business, and a worksheet that IT leaders can use to calculate the estimated total value converged and hyper-converged infrastructure can deliver for the unique needs of their organization. Time constrained CIOs who want a practical versus an exhaustive way to effectively evaluate the benefits of converged infrastructure will appreciate the guidance and actionable suggestions in this report. Key steps to take include:Identify prioritiesArticulate business objectives that the cloud solution will help achieve. Then look at additional technology objectives, such as a desire to consolidate infrastructure or eliminate rogue IT. Also consider what other initiatives — both IT and business — are underway that need to be supported in the private or hybrid cloud.Define scopeIs an initiative being used as a catalyst for overall operational change within the IT organization? Does the IT organization have the depth and control necessary to achieve this, or must other parts of the organization be leveraged? What are reasonable timelines?Define budget, including opex vs. capexThis should be done as part of an overall cost benefit analysis. Understanding what budget is available for both capex and opex is important before going through a future, more detailed evaluation and selection effort.Develop a short-term plan for rapid modernizationIt is important to set early-stage goals and quick wins. This contributes to the ROI of the project and gives the IT and business organizations the proof points needed to continue down the path.Maintain a long-term vision for continued successIt is important to tie the long-term vision back to the business objectives. A business case around this vision should be built. An important consideration is future flexibility, since these are still early days in the world of cloud computing, and many future initiatives will be built on top of this, such as big data and machine learning; tighter collaboration with customers, suppliers, and partners; emerging technologies; and new business directions.
This blog is co-authored by Bops Puliyanda, Senior Product Line Manager, VMware Network & Security.The evolution of networks has seen a shift from legacy, proprietary technologies that are hardware-bound to modern, open technologies that are software-driven and driving innovation. As seen with the rapid adoption of server virtualization throughout data centers, today’s organizations are embracing the concepts of a software-defined network based on virtualization concepts that bring enhanced efficiency, agility and security. The challenge that remains is how to ensure the physical underlay network is provisioned and optimized for these virtual environments.The Dell EMC SmartFabric Director, co-developed by Dell EMC and VMware, enables data center operators to build, operate and monitor an open network underlay fabric based on Dell EMC Open Networking PowerSwitch Series switches. SmartFabric Director automates and simplifies the provisioning and monitoring of the fabric using Openconfig based models and protocols. Tight integration with VMware vSphere and NSX-T allows SmartFabric Director to dramatically simplify fabric provisioning for dynamic virtualized workloads and overlays.Let’s take a moment to take a closer look at two key features within SmartFabric Director that directly contribute toward helping data center cloud, system and network administrators to automate and simplify management of both a physical and virtual network environment.Leaf-Spine Fabric AutomationSmartFabric Director uses a declarative model that allows the user to express intent of a given network topology with a set of well-defined fabric types. User input to SmartFabric Director is in the form of a Java Script Object Notification (JSON) formatted file that includes wiring diagram information.The three pre-defined fabric types that SmartFabric Director supports include:A layer 2 leaf-spine fabricA layer 3 Border gateway protocol (BGP) leaf-spine fabricA layer 3 BGP leaf-spine fabric with NSX-T overlayNetwork topologies with edge/border leaves with BGP as the peering protocol are also supported.Fabric discovery is an ongoing process by SmartFabric Director and ensures that the fabric wiring is consistent with the user-defined intent. The quick error-free deployment of the Dell EMC SmartFabric OS10 configuration on Dell EMC PowerSwitch switches takes away the guesswork and enables rapid auto-provisioning of fabrics. Complex Day N operations such as add/remove switch, links, etc. are easily handled with a few clicks.VMware vSphere® and NSX-T Data Center™ integrationTight integration of SmartFabric Director with VMware vCenter and NSX-T ensures that the physical underlay/fabric is correctly provisioned to help ensure seamless functioning of the application workloads in a VMware Software-Defined-Data-Center. This includes provisioning virtual LANs (vlans), auto-creation of Link aggregation (LAGs)/port-channels, auto-detecting add/remove of ESXi hosts and Maximum transmission unit (MTU) consistency checks.Dell EMC and VMware are working closely together to rebuild the network for the cloud era – with everything open, automated and software-defined. SmartFabric Director is a co-developed software-defined networking solution that enables the physical underlay infrastructure to keep pace with the changing demands of virtualized overlays and the Software-Defined-Data-Center. By simplifying the definition, creation and deployment of data center fabrics with intent-based auto-provisioning and enhanced visibility and management between virtual and physical network environments, organizations can overcome earlier challenges between these two environments and pave the way for the future.For more information check out DellEMC.com/Networking and vmware.com/products/networking-and-security read more
Co-author: James Singer – Member Technical Staff, Server and Infrastructure Solutions Office of CTO, Dell EMC The importance of any edge decision starts and ends with data. Using the industry’s build on the historical “V’s” of data (velocity, volume and variety), we highlight the edge’s importance: The velocity, volume and variety of data requires validity to value within a volatility window. In other words, the speed at which extreme amounts of disparate data is generated at the edge requires focused analysis to determine what aspect of the data is important before the worth of the data has expired. So, the edge is really a data management problem – understanding what to store or throw away, what to analyze, what to transport and how to secure it.These decisions require a company to weigh the cost of edge compute versus the cost of data transport. Cost can come in different forms; dollars are an obvious cost, but time is another cost factor — and attempting to transport large amounts data for analysis on a time-critical function is not realistic and requires more localized compute capabilities. Thus, the need to optimize server selection based on your edge use case.Choosing a server for your edge application is certainly based on the application needs, but the physical and environmental constraints your “edge” requires are also significant factors. In addition, the lifecycle management and service model of the infrastructure, as well as the resiliency expectations of the application are also key to choosing the type of infrastructure to manage your edge’s data lifecycle. Factors around workload requirements, environmental constraints and lifecycle management create a laundry list of questions for customers to address. Below we introduce three scenarios illustrating the changing and varied edges, and a few ideas on how to choose the right server for your edge.Use case #1 – The Retail EdgeSmart retailers are changing their tactics from mass marketing to personalized experiences and from mass advertising to omnichannel customer outcomes. The omnichannel shopper is the customer who uses multiple touch points before making a purchase through web, voice, digital, email and in-store shopping. In the future, those disparate activities will become smarter and will have the ability to share information between platforms, providing a seamless experience. Today, you no longer get demographically generated coupons from cutting edge retailers. Instead, you receive coupons for items you have historically used and are interested and intend to buy. This type of attention to the individual generates brand loyalty and a differentiated customer experience – something all retailers are striving to achieve.This has created a focused effort to understand compute, storage and communication requirements for the Retail Edge to provide a differentiated shopping experience. Shopping areas, while hospitable for casual perusing and optimized to move merchandise are potentially challenging compute environments. The server whose design depends on stable power, cooling and ample service space in a traditional data center will not be optimized in a retail environment. Reconciling traditional server designs and retail edge requirements takes a little effort and time to address.Although there are site requirements and constraints to consider, typically the larger challenge with the retail edge is around infrastructure management. Since the skillset is typically not IT focused, there is a need for remote manageability using the same control surface administrators use today when managing data center servers. Understanding this, Dell EMC has a set of remote administration tools using the latest version of Dell Remote Access Controller, iDRAC 9 Datacenter, where customers can remotely process streaming data analytics critical for understanding edge operations to meet their requirements for deploying, securing and operating edge environments. With the added telemetry streaming on iDRAC9, customers can discover trends, fine tune operations, and create predictive analytics to help ensure peak performance, reduce downtime and prevent risk. When integrated with other Dell EMC products, like VxRail, customers receive a solution that consolidates compute, storage and virtualization with end-to-end automated lifecycle management and simplifies the edge management experience.Use Case #2 – The Industrial EdgeData has been generated at the “industrial edge” for years, but the analysis of the data onsite was challenged. First, to perform the proper analysis you needed the appropriate level of compute and storage resources onsite. As an example, for years offshore drilling companies would carry volumes of drilling data stored on tape to a land-based data center via helicopter because the cost of localized compute and storage to process data in a relevant time frame outweighed the cost of data transport. The other problem was related to maintaining cost effective IT equipment in very harsh environments. While compute effectiveness has increased, the harsh conditions remain. This is obviously not isolated to the oil & gas industry, as we see similar challenges for factories where an increased amount of compute is needed to sustain operation in an environment requiring unique filtration for equipment, and also for military applications where data center environments need to be quickly established and mobile.Although standard data center equipment could otherwise be used, the environmental constraints of the industrial edge create the need for a level of ruggedness that could put a cost premium for onsite components. Instead of adding this premium to each IT component, customers now have the option to leverage Dell EMC’s Modular Data Center (MDC) and use a containment solution that allows standard data center equipment that is cost-optimized and readily available to be placed in a secure, ruggedized and manageable enclosure. Whether the need is for a few racks of equipment or for only a few servers, an MDC allows you to quickly establish an onsite, managed facility for the necessary compute and storage resources for your edge environment. A couple of specific products that address these needs are the MDC Micro 815 which provides up to 48 rack units of space and up to 30KW of power, and the MDC Micro 415 with 17 rack units of space and up to 8KW of power. These MDCs can provide customized capabilities for mobility, security, filtration, cooling/heating, ruggedness and power so standard data center equipment can be used in harsh conditions. This allows customers to choose any PowerEdge server based on workload requirements without being constrained by environmental conditions.If, however, an individual ruggedized server is the better option, Dell EMC offers PowerEdge products hardened for harsh environments like the PowerEdge XR2 which is purpose-built for extreme edge environments. Beyond the small footprint, the XR2 provides support for extended temperature range (-15C to 55C) and exceeds certifications in shock, vibration, dust, humidity and EMI for both military and maritime applications.Use Case #3 – The Automotive EdgeIt’s no secret the automotive industry is going through an IT led transformation. These changes include more compute, storage and networking capabilities not only in the vehicle, but at every stage of the data pipeline from the car, to the core, to the cloud. In-car compute systems will need to be coordinated with curbside aggregation devices with miniature roadside data centers performing a myriad of simultaneous operations for thousands of vehicles like computation, analytics, filtering and storage choices; choices that can only be accomplished when compute and storage are close to where data is created and consumed. Layering autonomous vehicle capabilities on top of the already connected ecosystem will dramatically increase sensor data from Radar, GPS, LIDAR, Ultrasound, and Video subsystems. Including infotainment options and the list of the right kind of compute, storage and communication in all the right places throughout the entire edge environment becomes vital to increase the amount of awareness, coordination, synchronization and movement of data.Educated customers don’t want to buy a singular hardware offering, they want to buy hardware that is integrated into a larger system that enables a uniform end-to-end experience. Right-sizing a server to fit into a larger edge environment requires a good understanding of not only the workloads, but the location and the physical environment, how data will be lifecycled and how the end-to-end management is enabled. The automotive edge encapsulates several of the requirements and considerations from the retail edge and industrial edge use cases. Servers must have I/O flexibility, varied processor offerings, provide distributed management, work with constrained power, operate in potentially harsh conditions and integrate into a broader solution.These diverse edge requirements are addressed with the recently announced PowerEdge XE2420 and Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform. The XE2420 is a short-depth, hardened hardware platform with the latest iDRAC system management and telemetry streaming that optimizes system latency, supports significant storage and provides support for network and acceleration flexibility. When this server is used with the Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform, customers can ingest streaming data and unify data regardless of source or type for analysis, giving customers the ability to generate insights and extract business value from edge applications. As you can see, choosing a specific server for one edge does not fit all. From a hardware resource and capability, design ruggedness or a lifecycle management model each edge has its own set of requirements. Customers must understand their workload requirements, their environmental constraints and their “cost” of data compute at the edge versus the cost of data transport to the core or cloud. This is precisely why it’s important to have a solid portfolio of choices for customers and a consistent, scalable management framework across all those portfolio choices. Dell EMC has achieved the #1 server vendor position by working with customers to understand these varied requirements and how best to address those requirements.When you buy a PowerEdge server, you’re not just buying a point product, you’re buying into a world-wide supported, extended ecosystem the enterprise administrators are already familiar that gives them a consistent control plane from edge to core to cloud. Additionally, the broader set of Dell Technologies products provide a set of offerings to store, transport, analyze and secure data across the edge data management lifecycle. As the edge matures, Dell EMC will be the right partner to help you choose the right server for your edge. read more
BEIJING (AP) — Rescuers in northern China have brought 11 workers safely to the surface two weeks after they were trapped by an explosion in a gold mine. State broadcaster CCTV showed workers being hauled up in baskets on Sunday afternoon, their eyes shielded to protect them after so many days in darkness. One worker was reported to have died from a head wound following the explosion that ripped through the mine on Jan. 10 while it was still under construction. The fate of 10 others who were underground at the time is unknown. Authorities have detained mine managers for delaying reporting the accident.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A senior campaign official tells The Associated Press that former White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders plans to run for Arkansas governor. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The official said Sanders plans to announce her candidacy Monday. The daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders had been widely expected to run for the office after leaving the White House. She joins a GOP primary that includes Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Current GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson barred by term limits from seeking re-election next year.
NEW YORK (AP) — While album of the year nominees at the 2021 Grammys include Taylor Swift, Coldplay and Post Malone, the real victor is Emily Lazar. The mastering engineer is nominated three times in the top category thanks to her work on HAIM, Coldplay and Jacob Collier’s album. Lazar made history at the 2019 Grammys when she became the first female mastering engineer to win best engineered album alongside Beck, and she could make history again in March. Lazar has mastered more than 4000 albums throughout her career, including releases by Björk, David Bowie, Sia, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Wu-Tang Clan, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Depeche Mode, Alanis Morissette and Vampire Weekend.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would abolish the death penalty. If passed into law, the measure would mark a major policy change for a state that has historically carried out numerous executions. The Democrat-controlled chamber approved the bill on a 21-17 vote Wednesday. It came after a lengthy, emotional floor debate. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said he supports a full repeal, and a House version of the bill is advancing in that chamber. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Virginia has executed nearly 1,400 people in more than four centuries, more than any other state.