Back in March in our Simplicity.Next launch, we shared VCE’s vision of the Converged Infrastructure market, and the expectation that you would see VCE deliver new platforms and solutions in rapid intervals as the market continues to evolve.In the two short months since then, we are seeing an even further acceleration of business to cloud speed. Rather than being an exception to the rule, operating at cloud speed is now the “new normal.” As fast as business is changing, IT leaders are challenged to respond even faster.Not surprisingly in this environment, IT organizations simply cannot afford to delve down into the build-out and operation of their data center infrastructure at the individual component levels of compute, network and storage.For enterprises and service providers, the operational complexity of their applications and services has increased exponentially in the cloud and big data era. We are seeing platform 3 (web-scale applications) being introduced alongside today’s mission critical applications. VCE’s vision of expansion with a full portfolio of converged infrastructure system choices, and vertically with greater factory integration of M&O technology and applications, is intended to bring simplicity and agility to our customers.To be clear, for the vast majority of enterprise and service provider customers, they are best served by VCE’s Vblock Systems and VxBlock Systems. However, these same customers are grappling with the introduction of platform 3 applications in their data center, and the urgency they are facing in addressing this need is growing.Today, VCE expands its portfolio with the introduction of VxRack Systems, the industry’s first hyper-converged Rackscale Systems, that come with the same unrivaled VCE experience that our customers have come to expect from us.The VxRack Systems address our customers’ need to meet the realities of their new normal with a hyper-converged offering that is optimized for massive web-scale applications, and can grow from dozens of servers and scale to many thousands of servers.Just as we’ve always provided our customers with rock-solid, classic converged infrastructure solutions, we now give them the additional capability to deploy Blocks alongside our new VxRack hyper-converged platform through the Vscale architecture and VCE’s Vision software for even greater flexibility and a unified data center approach.With the addition of the VxRack Systems hyper-converged offering, VCE and EMC extend convergence to cover all three categories – Blocks, Racks and Appliances – to make up the most comprehensive Converged Solutions portfolio in the industry and to accelerate and simplify the journey to the cloud.Exciting times!Nina
A critical time at the show for me, was sitting down with Jon Siegal (VP, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, Dell EMC) on Facebook LIVE after he addressed the industry at our Partner Innovation Showcase.I learned a lot from Jon in this interview – but at a high level, I’ll walk away from Cisco Live 2017 knowing this about our position in the marketplace:I: Our Partnership with Cisco Remains Strong Think about this: Over a decade ago, (former) EMC, CEO Joe Tucci and (former) Cisco, CEO, John Chambers sat down in a room. They discussed collaboration, and working together to redefine the data-center. Flash-forward to present day, and the Dell EMC and Cisco relationship is still incredibly strong with thousands of customers worldwide.As we look at the current state of our partnership, we’re still working together to simplify IT for our customers, and giving them more time to innovate. If you attended this show, or followed us on social media – we made it abundantly clear that we are not here as just Dell EMC, we are here with Cisco.II: Our Portfolio Is Positioned To WinAs I patrolled the Dell EMC booth, it was apparent that most of our conversations centered on VxBlock. The common theme amongst customers, and partners always came back to simplicity. Customers want everything to be simple – and in this current age of IT Transformation, simplicity is 100% essential when delivering converged infrastructure solutions. Not only is VxBlock popular and complex – but it thrives on delivering simplicity.Another key takeaway for me: Vscale is a big deal, end of story! Turnkey experience resonates best with our customers. Life-cycle is also equally important, and thanks to Vscale we’re extending the turnkey experience across multiple data centers. We believe this is the future of the data center. I enjoyed Jon Siegal’s (see above) analogy of the “self-driving car” to demonstrate transformation. In my opinion, this is one of the best (and coolest) ways to depict industry transformation. Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to my first ever (yes you read correctly), published testimonial from the road after 25+ tradeshows around the world. After spending the last 5 days in Las Vegas at Cisco Live US 2017 (my 4th consecutive year attending), I need to document all the conversations, and takeaways I learned about from our customers and partners.To say the least, Cisco Live 2017 was massive. Over 27,000 (official count) technologists, start-ups, big brands and innovators all gathered together in Las Vegas for a week full of breakout sessions, keynotes, and expo hall adventures. Engulfed in the center of this tradeshow was Dell EMC. Like most enterprise technology events, business transformation remained a trending topic amongst attendees (and not just on social media). If I have learned anything over the course of the Dell Technologies transformation, it is that we have a portfolio setup to win for our customers – and we have the market share to prove it.
The Clipper Race: BackgroundIn 1969, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was the first person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly. He was also the second winner of the Jules Verne Trophy, awarded for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht.In 1995, Sir Knox-Johnston conceived of the Clipper Race – a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on ocean racing yachts, now on their third iteration and are 70 feet long. Divided into eight legs and 13 individual races, 712 crew participate full circumnavigation or one or more individual legs. The race starts on August 20th, 2017 in Liverpool, UK. Forty-thousand nautical miles and almost 12 months later, sailors will have visited ports in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, United States of America, Panama, and Northern Ireland.A Diverse Crew With One Goal: WinEach of the 12 racing yachts are identical, and a fully qualified skipper is onboard to guide the crew. Oh, did I mention that around 40 percent the crew are novices who have never sailed before? That’s part of what makes The Clipper Race such a unique and amazing experience; people from around the world come together to train, compete, and win. They come from all walks of life; CEO’s, vicars, housewives, students, and even taxi drivers are given no quarter by the sea. The key to success is working together and focusing on winning. It is a visceral expression of our mantra to “Go Big, Win Big.”Dell Latitude Rugged Enters The RaceWhen Clipper Ventures came to us with a need for hardened computing products to help keep their captains and crews on the right path and stay connected to the world, we knew we had the right fit: Dell Latitude Rugged. Each of the boats are outfitted with a Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme – an incredibly durable and reliable 14-inch laptop that is up to the most extreme conditions that each boat will encounter during the race. From cold temperatures to oppressive heat, corrosive salt water and brutal beatings by waves, The Clipper Race is as much of a test for Dell Latitude Rugged as it is for the intrepid sailors on the boats.“The race and its crew will traverse some of the most inhospitable corners of the globe, and having the very best rugged performance technology on board each yacht will support the teams’ efforts to perform at their very best, whilst showcasing the Rugged capabilities in such extreme environments.” – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, FounderFor nearly a year, these laptops will be an integral part of the technology ecosystem on these yachts, and we’ll be cheering them on, with regular updates, blog posts, pictures, and videos from the crews onboard. Stay tuned, because it’s going to be a wild ride! In the meantime, want to see what makes Dell Latitude Rugged tougher? Check out this tour of the Rugged Labs based in Round Rock, Texas.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQlWrf4Zb-EPersonally, I’m very excited about this. I used to race catamarans in my teenage years, and was sailing solo at age 9. I have a great fondness for the sea and for sailing; it’s amazing to get to be involved with such a unique event, even if I’m just observing from the sidelines.Yours truly on a Super Sunfish, circa 1990.
Because my post about our 2014 pilot of accepting bitcoin on Dell.com is consistently one of our most-visited posts here on Direct2Dell, I know that our readers have a lot of interest in the topic.That’s why I wanted to bring to your attention today’s news about cryptocurrency cybercrime from Secureworks, our fellow Dell Technologies company.Image Photo by Farzad Nazifi on UnsplashA targeted “spearfishing” email campaign is attempting to trick financial executives at cryptocurrency firms to open an attachment that will install malware on their computers through the lure of a fake chief financial officer position.“While many digitally savvy people would presumably know better, such attacks can pay off if they hit just a few distracted recipients,” noted Bloomberg Businessweek.This particular campaign is targeted at a relatively small group of people within the cryptocurrency industry, so the average bitcoin user shouldn’t be alarmed. However, it’s a good reminder to all of us how important it is not to click on links sent to us from sources we don’t know.That’s just one of the five tips Angel Grant from RSA, another Dell Technologies company, recently shared with us to avoid finding ourselves on the Cybercrime Shopping list this holiday season.For businesses to protect against falling victim to this type of phishing and malware distribution campaign, ZDnet noted that Secureworks recommends you conduct training on social engineering, macros in Word documents are disabled and two-factor authentication is implemented across key systems.Erik Day, vice president and general manager of Small Business Sales at Dell, and Brett Hansen, vice president of endpoint data security and management at Dell, also offer a deeper dive on the top cybersecurity risks for small businesses and how they can keep themselves and their businesses protected.With the current rise in bitcoin prices and the increased interest that is creating among many who are new to cryptocurrencies, there are likely to be even more attempts at tricking victims than this one that is making headlines today.That’s why even though our trial of accepting bitcoin on Dell.com ended due to low usage of that payment option, I’m glad our Dell Technologies family of businesses are watching out for the security of our customers big and small.Be safe out there, and if ever in doubt, don’t click!
Just over 50 years ago, Bruce McLaren and his newly formed racing team set out to design and build Formula F1 racing cars that would bear the McLaren name. Armed with an immense passion for racing and a willingness to push the boundaries, the McLaren team work tirelessly to perfect their racing ability and dominate the sport. With 20 World Championships and 182 Grand Prix victories, the McLaren name is synonymous with the winning spirit of auto racing.Today, McLaren’s success extends far beyond the race track. Leveraging the same sensor technology that powers their race performance, McLaren is using predictive analytics and biometric data to drive game-changing innovations across other industries.I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Edward Green, Principal Digital Architect of The McLaren Group, to discuss McLaren’s digital transformation journey and what they learned along the way.When did you realize that digital transformation was no longer an option for McLaren? What was the driving factor?Digital transformation has been a natural part of our business for over 30 years, and as such has become part of our core DNA. From the early days in F1, we have always sought to find a competitive edge, capturing, analyzing and presenting data to find marginal gains on track. Transforming what we do has to have a direct correlation to on-track performance.Off track we have simulated, modeled, and predicted data, not only in F1, but across industries. We then applied this learning to other sectors including healthcare and public transportation. Across the rest of the business groups we must react to the pace of change and the level of customer demand. Hiring staff and developing talent has put pressure on our systems and tools. As such, transforming the way we do business is critical to ensuring we can sustain a pace of growth and satisfy demand. Operational technology and processes are often looked at first as a way to make efficiency savings, which mean we can operate in a more agile and responsive manner to our business requests. What were the biggest obstacles you encountered as you began your own digital transformation? How did you overcome those obstacles?Our legacy is growing and will continue to do so. It is hard to find the time in a busy technical landscape to migrate legacy systems used by few users. In some cases, those users are historic racing cars, which we need specialized dedicated hardware to keep running for classic and heritage display events. This continues inside the enterprise as more and more applications are bespoke and custom in-house developments by software teams are made. We are looking to take API driven approaches across systems in places where we can make use of common systems at a group level. Rather than replacing, we will look to renovate and create digital foundations which we can then build upon. Building relationships with end user communities through direct technical peering, or leveraging our partner community of experts, enables us to talk the same language as our diverse user communities. In addition, we have made investments in our technical estate with Dell and our VXFlex environment, allowing us to create a digital platform, which can provide cloud-like services for users, whilst harnessing performance and providing low latency for on premise systems. One of the biggest obstacles continues to be cybersecurity, which can often seem to slow down transformation. We have partnered and bolstered internal capabilities. Our logs and cloud infrastructure are analyzed by our partners at SecureWorks, whilst teams onsite work directly with users. With confidence that our partners are keeping us secure and providing actionable insight, our cyber teams can work with users to help understand their case for transformation or where legacy systems need to be migrated. What has been the biggest improvements McLaren has seen in their business because of your digital transformation? Any improvements you did not expect?Our culture has become more open and users spend more time engaging with each other around business challenges and not solely technical issues. As an IT team, we feel closer to the business and staff can now see or recognize the value of their work. With better planning, we have improved agility to respond and design future state architectures for the business to make better use of. This gives us greater time to react to market changes and stay ahead of our competition. An improvement we didn’t expect was our use of estates and facilities. We are now using more collaborative areas and work is now taking place in multiple locations. As more data and processes are transformed through automation and AI, we are spending less time working on data collection or processing and more time collaborating on the output of data. We have also noted closer relationships between teams and within departments, resulting in tighter service delivery and easier support models. What advice would you give another business just starting their own digital transformation journey?The journey doesn’t stop! That would be the first piece of advice I would give someone looking to start their own transformation journey. That might sound scary, but it really does bring a new way of thinking and approach to business challenges. The results that come from this approach are faster and the solutions are often delivered before they would traditionally be deemed ready for consumption. Find the right people, empower leaders and encourage change. Transformation is not just about technology, building trust and finding the right people is critically important. Work closely with estates and facilities, much of the transformation activities will result in both a physical and digital change. Working as a team helps make the implementation of new solutions or environments frictionless and provides a more seamless organizational impact. Finally, digital transformation means you might find yourself talking about domains or areas of business which seemingly have little to no relevance to your day job. They might seem disconnected or irrelevant, although often lead to a better ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes for the day, or better understand their business challenge or use case.McLaren is a great example of the success that can be realized when using data to drive better business outcomes. Transforming your business and putting data to work for you can be a complex process that can fundamentally change how you operate. As with McLaren, using data can open new doors to business success. Mr. Green said it best, “Digital transformation is about having fun and creating change, it should make you curious and provide a positive business challenge.’To learn more about McLaren and the success they have seen from their own transformation, visit our McLaren customer page or visit the McLaren website.
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Estonia’s two biggest political parties say they have clinched a deal to form a new government to be led by a female prime minister for the first time in the Baltic country’s history, replacing the previous Cabinet that collapsed into a corruption scandal earlier this month. The party councils of the the opposition, center-right Reform Party and the ruling. left-leaning Center Party were expected on Sunday to vote in favor of joining a Cabinet headed by Reform’s prime minister-designate and chairwoman Kaja Kallas. Both parties are set to have seven ministerial portfolios in the 14-member government which would muster a majority at the 101-seat parliament.
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Relatives of migrants from Guatemala believe that at least 13 of the 19 charred corpses found in a northern Mexico border state could be their loved ones. If true, the killings could revive memories of the 2010 massacre of 72 migrants in the same northern border state of Tamaulipas. Ramiro Coronado told The Associated Press his nephew was with a group of 13 migrants who left the province of San Marcos and were travelling together, before family members lost contact with them on Thursday. On Saturday, authorities in Tamaulipas found 19 shot and burned bodies near a town across the Rio Grande from Texas.