During EMC’s annual customer and partner conference, EMC World, I spoke with numerous CIOs at various stages of moving their organizations’ workloads to the cloud. Those discussions confirmed that forward-looking CIOs recognize cloud’s potential and are eager to share and receive guidance on how best to maximize IT’s value. No surprise, since IDC estimates that at some point this year 80 percent of enterprise applications will be deployed on cloud platforms.Part of these CIOs’ motivation is to keep the IT function relevant and valuable in an environment where end-users not only bring their “consumer world” expectations to work with them – but also have new IT sourcing choices, through “X as a Service” and other public cloud options. This dynamic is exacerbated by “bring-your-own-device” and other mobility and consumerization trends. If an IT organization isn’t actively facing these influences, or lacks the agility to support new business and technology demands, business units may independently (and most already are) roll their own IT as a Service initiatives, thus creating “shadow IT.”Shadow IT is but one of the ways CIOs risk replicating IT sins of the past. Historically, IT often built infrastructure that optimized individual applications but resulted in rigid silos of inefficient, dedicated resources that were expensive to maintain, difficult to manage, and cumbersome to scale as the needs of the organization evolved.Cloud computing provides CIOs with the potential to build an agile infrastructure based on flexible pools of resources that can be shared to support the varied and changing needs of the business. Such a model may take the form of private (internal), public (external), or hybrid (a mix of internal and external) clouds, and include a growing ecosystem of compatible partner platforms that truly enables a consistent cloud experience – independent of where the infrastructure sits and who is managing it. However, even in moving to the cloud, CIOs still risk repeating those sins of the past if they don’t recognize the need to standardize on a consistent cloud architecture.This is a pivotal juncture for IT, and CIOs need to provide the strategic direction to realize the promise of cloud computing. CIOs must recognize that their role can change from a manager of technology assets to a manager of a portfolio of services – enabled by a standardized cloud platform. Without architectural discipline, IT may end up optimizing certain workloads by using a variety of purpose-built cloud-based offerings and public cloud providers, business unit by business unit, leading to “cloud sprawl.”The result? A sub-optimal infrastructure that prevents the movement of data across applications, limits the ability to govern and secure sensitive data and intellectual property, and dilutes the potential of comprehensive analytics.A better approach: standardizing on a common platform, such as VMware and their associated management and orchestration tools, EMC information infrastructure and data protection technologies, or Vblock converged infrastructure for ease of deployment and operations. Standardization makes it possible to federate and move workloads and data easily within a hybrid cloud environment. This common cloud platform provides the architectural flexibility and agility for IT to deliver “IT as a Service” that satisfies end users, while still being able to optimize across the organization. CIO’s thus become an internal service provider to the business, independent of where the infrastructure is located.Adopting this approach to cloud computing requires that the role of the CIO – and indeed of IT – evolve, from tactical technology implementer to strategic technologist and portfolio manager. It means the IT department has to transform from a behind the scenes staff to a front-and-center business unit that functions as an in-house service provider, offering a portfolio of services to the business, driven by service level agreements and evaluated based on business outcomes. In short, capitalizing on cloud is not just about adopting cloud technology; it also requires an architectural framework and the transformation of people and processes in order to avoid repeating IT sins of the past.
Building on the success of the Vblock Ready certification program we launched in 2012, VCE is further expanding its Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) Program with two new certification programs: VCE Validation Ready and VCE Vision Ready. The VCE Validation Ready Program is designed to help partners and their customers to test and validate their own software configurations on a dedicated test bed with VCE converged infrastructure solutions, while the VCE Vision Ready program is intended for certification of third-party software integrations with VCE Vision Intelligent Operations.The VCE Validation Ready test bed can be accessed directly or remotely from our testing and certification partner Superna. It can also be used to conduct Performance and Scalability testing or customer Proof of Concepts (POCs). This approach makes validations and certifications simpler, faster, and cheaper while also ensuring compatibility with VCE’s continually evolving technologies like the VCE Vision Intelligent Operations and those of our Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners.The VCE Vision Ready Certification Program has been established to ensure third-party applications leverage VCE Vision Intelligent Operations to successfully manage and interoperate with Vblock Systems as a single converged infrastructure entity. As part of the certification process, various criteria are customized based on the candidate application’s use of specific APIs to accommodate for specialized deployments.TAP Partners that have already taken advantage of these new certification programs include:BMC SoftwareEMC Clinical Archiving by EMC Enterprise Content DivisionKaspersky LabPerceptive SoftwareSupernaTrend MicroBoth the VCE Vision Ready and VCE Validation Ready programs are not exclusively for VCE Technology Alliance Partners though. The VCE Vision Ready Program is for any developer interested in creating a VCE Vision Adapter using the VCE Vision API and the VCE Validation Ready Program and its remote test bed can be used by any VCE Partner (including channel partners, service providers and global systems integrators), and their customers and prospects.There are currently two fully certified VCE Vision Ready adapters available with the VCE Validation Ready test bed:CA/Nimsoft: CA + Superna Eyeglass Connect for Nimsoft to monitor compliance in real time.BMC: BMC + Superna Eyeglass Connect for BMC Atrium for the management of configuration and patch management in real time, including asset management, product catalog, and service dashboard, and for compliance with integration with BMC BladeLogic/BSA.For more information on the new certification programs, please visit: http://www.vce.com/partners/type/technology-alliance-partners
As business continues to shift the expectations and types of demands it is placing on IT, our technology, roles and responsibilities evolve in equal measure. Whether you are a CIO creating IT strategy or an IT practitioner implementing the strategy, now is the time to prepare for the changes ahead.As an IT practitioner:You must be intellectually curious about the technologies rising up on the edges of mainstream. My best advice for today’s IT organization is to build your next internal application in a microservices model. Even if you don’t need to, do it anyway so you get experience using the new application languages, platforms, data fabrics, and cloud infrastructures. It will help you become an expert in things like Docker, Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes and Mesos. These are technologies that CIOs and other tech savvy C-suite executives have a desire to use because they’ve heard they can actually enable business disruption much faster than traditional IT. The last and most interesting is that if the currency of the next generation enterprise is data, then we need someone to know where all that data is. The value of big data is the ability to reason across many diverse datasets to gain interesting correlated insights, but the data in enterprise environments today is highly fragmented. This is a perfect opportunity for the CIO to be the person who understands how to access all the company’s datasets. IT can become the consolidating point where we actually gather an understanding of the data available to the enterprise and present that back to every business function so they have a complete picture.The exciting news for IT professionals continues to be that this transformation is happening. IT will be more important than ever as we go forward and there are many ways we can respond to the new demands. The bad news? We’re still not going to get much sleep for the next 10 years.This post continues John’s thoughts from IT Technology Evolution Over the Next 10 Years and both are based on his CiscoLive! keynote, “The Evolution of the IT Career.” A recording of the presentation is available here (registration required). Understand that the operating model on this disruptive side will be more like dev/ops, so you need to build expertise in that as well. For example, Cloud Foundry has no separate test cycle. The entire model is paired programming using a test driven development methodology. There are literally two developers working on every line of code – one writing the code and one critiquing the code in real time. It is a radically different approach that accelerates the time to business value in a dramatic way. If you know how to do it correctly, you can be the trusted partner who brings it into your organization and helps it take hold.Just like the opportunity for IT practitioners to develop new skill sets, there are several ways that CIOs can get ahead of these changes too.Going forward, CIOs are likely to operate as IT service brokers more than proprietors of all things IT. You need to understand which cloud (or combination of clouds) to use, which technology to use, which options have the best economics, and which can make your business move faster. The second change is less interesting, but equally important – prepare to become some variation of Chief Auditor. It isn’t feasible to expect a business unit or a marketing organization to police itself. For example, business units are not qualified to understand the IT impacts to Sarbanes Oxley or HIPPA compliance. They are focused on optimizing business processes and disrupting their industry. It is unlikely that you will be able to prevent certain behaviors from happening, but you do need to know where they are taking place, so you can help people mitigate risk and be ready to intervene. After you’ve established that expertise, become a tech advisor to your company’s business units. You will find developers in every enterprise that are thinking about how they are going to build the next app or software disruption. They are desperate for people to help them with that endeavor. And if you have the expertise, they will talk with you and value your insights.
Diverse factors, such as a growing mobile workforce, emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, etc.), increased field operations, and hybrid IT environments are all driving federal networks to the edge. And, as the definition of the edge expands, so does the attack surface.Mobile agencies are encountering new data protection challenges as they seek to ensure the right user can access the right data from the right device. This is especially important for defense and intelligence agencies, which require a heightened level of security to protect the hardware and software of devices – from hard drives in desktops and workstations, to laptops and mobile devices.How can the federal government facilitate data access across both classified and unclassified networks without compromising the user, data, or device?There is no simple answer. It often takes a unique approach to maximize mobility, while maintaining security. To meet the specific data protection requirements, our team at Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions collaborates with OEMs, federal agencies, and FSIs to design and engineer customized security solutions leveraging our Tier 1 infrastructure.Data Protection DevelopmentFor example, our customer, Hypori, was looking for a partner to provide the infrastructure for their Virtual Mobile Infrastructure solution, which secures mobile devices, including laptops and personal cell phones, wherever they are. Our teams worked together to determine how to best engineer and optimize Dell Technologies hardware to accommodate Hypori’s software, to ensure they were able to offer a solution that met the security needs of Federal agencies, and to help them bring the solution to market.As Hypori’s Chief Revenue Officer, Sebastian Shahvandi, put it, “Our software has plenty of requirements – the amount of memory, the speed of a processor, the amount of GPU, the storage necessary, etc. – so collaboration is key. Our engineers worked closely with the Dell Technologies engineers and developers to select the hardware products that would allow a seamless fit from a management server to our storage environment.”The end result? The Hypori solution is a virtual smartphone that offers military-grade security, enabling federal employees to connect to multiple network classifications from a single device. The software ensures even the most highly confidential environments are secure, while allowing employees to access the networks through their own devices (BYOD). By decoupling work environments with personal environments, agencies can ensure the privacy for both the private device and the various networks. Employees no longer need to separate work phones and personal phones; instead, they can consolidate to one device.From Theory to PracticeBut, even the best solutions don’t always see market success. Just like any off-the-shelf IT solution, it’s important to address a customized solution from not only a technical perspective, but also a pricing perspective. My advice to OEMs and FSIs is to select partners that can do both, so you can create the best products at the best price for agencies.Key Takeaway: CollaborationThe right customized data protection solution can help make mobile security a reality. For OEMs, agencies, and systems integrators, considering a customized approach similar to our partnership with Hypori – a deep, collaborative relationship is key.It is important that OEMs, SIs, and agencies can work together on both the technological design and the market factors. How will you distribute the product? Are agencies able to afford the solution? Who will manage deployment? How long will the base hardware model be manufactured? How will hardware lifecycles impact the security of the solution? These answers will be critical to the technology’s successful implementation.For more information about how to enhance your data protection capabilities to gain the tactical advantage, read this accompanying issue brief.
The devices people work on have become even more important with the rapid adoption of work from home by companies around the world. While we’ve been focused on offering the most premium, versatile and secure portfolio of PCs to help professionals work from anywhere, we’re driven by the possibilities to do more.Today we announced new devices across our Latitude, Precision and OptiPlex commercial PC portfolios that push the boundaries of first-to-market innovation. From 5G and AI-based productivity features to thermal innovations and commitment to sustainable designs, maintenance and operations, we are responding to what people want right now — to work more intelligently and efficiently while at the same time reduce their environmental impact.It’s an interesting concept. Pursuing small and light devices that offer more performance, longer battery life, reduced heat, powerful speakers, new antennas to support 5G — while delivering on our sustainability goals. From an engineering perspective, there can be challenges — the smaller you get, the less space you have to disperse heat. The lighter the device, the more you need to balance the weight of reclaimed materials, batteries and speakers. But we don’t believe it’s a choice of one over the other. In fact, to us, innovation includes sustainability.I’m proud to say this is our smallest, lightest, most secure and most intelligent commercial PC portfolio ever1. We added Dell Optimizer, our AI-based productivity software, across the commercial portfolio to help you focus on the tasks that matter most. We cleverly engineered our Latitude 9510 to include 5G antennas in our speakers for amazing connectivity and call quality. We re-designed our Precision workstations to put their power and performance into sleek and smaller designs. We re-engineered thermals on both Latitude and Precision. We launched our first 4K, low blue light panel on a business PC; re-designed keyboards for more comfort; now offer the same motherboards for PCs and 2-in-1s; the list goes on and on.And I’m also proud to say this the industry’s most sustainable commercial PC portfolio.2 All of our new products are registered as EPEAT Gold or Silver. But when we look at sustainability, we hold ourselves to our own high standards – pushing to find ways to reduce our environmental impact, not just by incorporating recycled materials in our products, but throughout the entire product ecosystem and lifecycle. Advancing sustainability is part of our Progress Made Real plan focused on how Dell Technologies will drive measurable change for some of the biggest challenges facing society over the next decade.Building upon the waterborne paints we used in our Latitude 7300 launched last fall, we’ve expanded the use of waterborne paint to 100% of the painted parts across more Latitude devices to reduce VOC emissions – and we plan to expand this across the commercial portfolio. We have made great strides in increasing our use of post-consumer recycled plastic and reclaimed carbon fiber across our commercial portfolio, achieving up to 60% recycled plastic in the OptiPlex portfolio3. We have a goal that 100% of our packaging will be made from recycled or renewable materials by 2030, and with our new Latitude 2-in-1s, we expanded our use of ocean-bound recycled plastic materials into newly designed 100% recycled product cushions. And we’re transitioning to sustainably forested cardboard across our product packaging.It’s not just for PCs either. On the displays side, we’re an industry leader with seven products that have registered as EPEAT Gold and many Dell monitors have been awarded the ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient Mark in 2020. On the server side, we’re running pilots that eliminate up to 520 pounds of packaging per rack shipment of our PowerEdge servers with the transportation tote.And most importantly, we are committed to accelerating the circular economy, offering responsible, secure commercial asset recovery where we handle everything from pick-up logistics to data sanitization, resale and recycling. Plastics and additional materials collected through our other takeback programs also get recycled back into new parts for new computers via a closed-loop process – helping foster a circular economy.There has never been a time in my more than 20-year career that I believe more in the power of the PC and Dell Technologies than I do now. We have the unique opportunity to deliver more for people wherever they are working, to help them take on their day, while tapping into their passion for (and our commitment to) sustainability. Turning challenges into opportunities drives innovation, which is what our customers demand. I’m incredibly proud of the products we are launching today, but also inspired by what the future holds as we continue to push the boundaries to deliver the best possible experience AND support a sustainable future.1 Based on Dell analysis, Nov 2019.2 Based on the design, manufacture, packaging, product lifecycle maintenance and number of ecolabel registrations, including EPEAT Gold registrations for the Dell Precision, Latitude and OptiPlex portfolio as of May 2020.3 Measured as a percentage of total amount of plastic (by weight) in the product as per guidance in EPEAT standard as applies to plastics parts.
HOUSTON (AP) — The families of a couple killed in a 2019 drug raid by Houston police are alleging in newly filed lawsuits that the deaths of their loved ones were the tragic result of a narcotics unit that for years was rife with corruption and no accountability and now has many of its members under indictment. Relatives of Dennis Tuttle and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, said on Thursday that filing the federal civil rights lawsuits is the only way they will get answers from police and city officials about how the couple was killed. Mayor Sylvester Turner says the overwhelming number of Houston police officers are doing an “outstanding job.”
BERLIN (AP) — The prosecutors, defendants and co-plaintiffs have all said they will appeal against the verdicts in the case of the 2019 killing of a politician that sparked outrage in Germany and an attack on an asylum-seeker three years earlier. Stephan Ernst, a 47-year-old German with a long history of neo-Nazi views, was convicted last month of murdering a regional politician and member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party who had advocated helping refugees. Ernst was sentenced to life in prison without the customary eligibility for release after 15 years, due to the severity of his crimes. But he was acquitted of the separate charges of stabbing and seriously wounding an Iraqi refugee in 2016.