by Dirk Paessler

IT departments and technology vendors have two very distinct viewpoints. IT is laser-focused on “right now,” working diligently to assure business processes and providing services to end users. Technology vendors are in the futures business, constantly selling IT (or, as is often the case, investors) on how to solve “next generation” problems. The disconnect between the two is that in many cases, rank-and-file IT employees do not have next generation problems – they have “right now” problems.

The latest and greatest from leading technology companies promise IT a brave new world, but that doesn’t help an IT department fix a server hangup, improve VoIP call quality or right-size a virtual machine. Technology thought leaders have done a fantastic job winning over venture capitalists, public markets and media, but the IT departments, especially at small businesses, are left behind to do much of the heavy lifting themselves.

IT pros need technology companies that are in their corner, ones that understand the issues they face and have ready-made solutions that are available, not “in the pipeline.” Anyone in the trenches knows that it’s the everyday problems that keep IT up at night. As with many problems, it is important to be proactive in solving them. IT infrastructure is increasingly complex and needs to be operational 24/7. The only way to truly ensure services is to deliver a healthy dose of preventative medicine – the kind that comes from infrastructure monitoring. Outages and crashes are incredibly costly to repair, but preventing them is often times a matter of identifying a minor issue before it becomes a major problem.

While many technology companies are focused on tomorrow, infrastructure monitoring firms are focused on today, helping to solve the problems that IT departments struggle with on a daily basis.

Identifying hardware issues before they happen

IT infrastructure needs constant review, but short-staffed departments do not have the resources to manually check everything that needs attention on a consistent basis. And yet, there are a variety of ways to extract data from hardware systems to gain a deeper understanding of everything from why applications are running slow to the temperature of the servers. Through infrastructure monitoring, IT can get a grip on current trends and understand how resources are used, which makes it easier to prevent unexpected events like server outages. Improving access to the most important details of IT infrastructure is critical.

Less hardware, more problems?

Virtual machines are out of sight, but are never out of mind. It is difficult enough for IT to right-size and provision VMs when they deploy them, but they then have to maintain network speed and performance. Virtualization provides tremendous flexibility, but with that comes the real need to keep track of VMs, how they are used, CPU and RAM, and more. Technology has given IT incredible power through virtualization, but more needs to be done in terms of helping IT tame that power.

Failing Windows Services and Server Hang-Ups

For better or for worse, email drives businesses and most businesses run Outlook. Unfortunately, Outlook issues are one of the most common problems IT has to solve, and they are often time sensitive – lost productivity means lost business. In many cases, the easy fix to Outlook issues is to simply reboot the server it’s running on, which may sound simple, but if email hosted in New York goes down for a company that does business, or has offices, around the world, it’s a major problem. Giving IT the power to set customized alerts and receive them through email, SMS or push notifications gives them immediate notice when something is wrong and, more importantly, time to fix a minor issue before it becomes a major problem.

Spotting attacks and keeping data safe

It has become clear that antivirus alone is not enough to defend against the threats businesses face, but at many small businesses, antivirus is all they have. Yet, there is an enormous amount of network data available that can tip off IT to a cyberattack. Visibility into networks can reveal the types of behavior associated with malware, whether its uncommon traffic, CPU spikes, or brute force login attempts. IT needs all products, not just security products, to provide the kind of visibility that will let them address malicious behavior as well as run of the mill performance issues.

Being a friend to IT – even the little guy

The explosive growth of IT has not, and likely will never be, matched by an explosive growth in IT staffing. Especially at small businesses, IT professionals have to learn to do more with less. While technology vendors can’t change that, they can do more to support them. By focusing on everyday problems, infrastructure and network monitoring companies help IT proactively solve problems and keep an eye on the entire infrastructure, even when they can’t. It’s easy for technology companies to cast an eye to the future, but when it comes to what keeps IT administrators up at night, solving “right now” problems is just fine.

Dirk Paessler is the CEO and founder of Paessler AG, makers of the PRTG network monitoring software.

Emulex released Wednesday a new line of its network monitoring and visibility portfolio, architected to support the demands and complexity of 10Gb, 40Gb and 100Gb Ethernet (100GbE)-based networks.

The new EndaceProbe Intelligent Network Recorders (INRs) and EndaceVision 6.0 Network Visibility Software allows users to manage and make sense of the massive network traffic volumes created by continual business demands, while decreasing costs and effort linked with managing physical, virtual and software-defined networks by enabling network and security professionals to rapidly capture, analyze and diagnose potential and actual network and security issues in real-time.

When combined with EndaceVision 6.0, EndaceProbe INR network visibility appliances allow network operations teams to identify issues, and optionally pass the relevant data to third party tools, thereby enhancing root cause isolation and mean time-to-resolution (MTTR).

The ability to view network incidents with microsecond-level accuracy is unprecedented in the Application Aware-Network Performance Management (AA-NPM) and security space.

EndaceProbe INRs comes with a hypervisor to permit analysis management, and security applications to be hosted in a VM and have direct access to packet data at the point of capture. Since multi-gigabit capture files can be large and cumbersome to send to analysis applications, the ability to load third party software directly onto the EndaceProbe INRs enables analysis software to be added or moved to the data instead of moving the data to the software.

EndaceProbe 4104 and 8004 INRs provide 10GbE write to disk rates, minimizing total cost of ownership while providing the industry’s only 100 percent accurate packet capture on multi-10GbE networks. EndaceProbe INRs also include increased compute power and memory that reduces the hardware footprint needed to support the analysis of multi-10GbE networks.

The EndaceProbe INRs include three new options; the 4104, 4004, and 8004. The EndaceProbe 4104 INR – with highly reliable solid state disk (SSD) primary storage – is ideal for on-demand recording across multiple 10GbE networks or wherever physical access is a challenge. The EndaceProbe 4004 INR is a cost effective 1RU appliance for lower packet rate multi-1GbE or 10GbE network links, ideal for remote locations.

The EndaceProbe 8004 INR is a 2RU appliance providing ultra-fast, highly reliable disk storage for packet capture on 10GbE or higher networks.  It is ideally suited for the core, distribution, and access layers within data centers and large campus environments for continuous high-speed recording and fast retrieval during traffic analysis.

A purpose-built, web-based network history visualization application for high speed networks, EndaceVision 6.0 comes bundled with all EndaceProbe INRs. Using EndaceVision, network operations, security, or incident response professionals can navigate quickly through network history data – both packets and metadata – to identify the cause of network issues and take appropriate action – without guesswork.

EndaceVision includes Endace MicroVision to give network managers microsecond-level views into the captured packet data, allowing users to troubleshoot disruptive high speed network issues with more detailed and accurate inspection of shorter time periods. For 10GbE, the time to transmit each packet of information has decreased by ten times as the amount of traffic has increased by ten times, exponentially increasing the amount of data for an IT analyst to cull through when troubleshooting a network or application issue. Endace MicroVision allows analysts to focus on the problem in small timeframes, reducing the distraction of additional data and enhancing MTTR.

EndaceVision also includes the TCP Flags visualization and client and server breakdowns, leveraging TCP’s intrinsic statefulness and explicit signaling to assist in monitoring and debugging transport services across the network. It also meets the requirements of the utilities industry by including automatic ICS/SCADA protocol detection and visualization, apart from full packet-level decodes in the web-based EndacePackets viewer, enabling analysts to ensure the stability and security of utility network traffic.

Imation Corp. unveiled a new architecture which gives enterprises a holistic approach to actively manage their high-value data files and protect them from tampering, destruction, loss or leakage through their entire lifecycle. It also empowers end users to manage their own policy for protecting their high-value data in addition to enabling organizational control and management policies.

The Secure Data Movement Architecture (SDMA) safeguards high-value data from hand to cloud and creation to destruction, and manages it through policy-based control and security, Imation announced Tuesday. It also addresses the need to safeguard data files throughout the data lifecycle, including archive, remote workers, file sharing and collaboration, storage management and cloud and mobile device endpoints.

Leveraging Imation’s technique in both storage-side and client-side data security solutions, SDMA comprises a suite of security capabilities that provide protection at every stage of data’s lifecycle (storage administration, file sharing & collaboration, server archive and cloud archive). This results in enterprises knowing that data is protected from loss, destruction and leakage on any device – mobile to cloud with control and audit access to the data.

SDMA protects high-value data throughout the broader information ecosystem by drawing upon core capabilities found within Imation’s Nexsan Assureon Secure Archive, IronKey Secure Storage and IronKey Workspace with Windows To Go solutions that are currently in use. Assureon provides a comprehensive secure archive solution that protects and preserves high-value data.

Imation’s Nexsan Assureon secure storage solutions brings down storage costs by offloading from primary storage any data that is infrequently-accessed or has aged by policy. Through policy automation, Assureon can also eliminate or greatly reduce the size, cost and complexity of backups for both primary and seldom-used data. Assureon includes multi-tenancy—with secure copy creation, data movement and long-term storage—and chargeback capabilities for public and private cloud deployments.

IronKey Workspace with Windows To Go is a Microsoft-certified solution that comes complete with applications, security controls and access policies stored on a ruggedized, fully manageable USB flash drive. With IronKey, users will be offered a fully-functional version of Windows 8.1 and transform any computer into an IT-managed workstation, at a savings of up to 90 percent compared to the cost of a comparably-equiped new laptop.

IronKey Secure Storage solutions utilize hardware-encrypted USB flash drives to provide secure portable data storage for mission-critical mobile workforce and the invaluable data they carry.

Data integrity features like file-fingerprinting and automated self-healing integrity checks ensure that high-value data is constantly protected. Assureon’s security features comply with corporate and governmental regulatory requirement, thus making it well suited for medical, financial and government organizations.

IronKey mobile storage solutions enable users to securely access their workspaces and files remotely while adhering to corporate IT standards, and IronKey Workspace with Windows To Go is a PC on a Stick that equips employees and contractors with a portable Windows 8.1 corporate image.

A recent Imation survey of end users revealed 70 percent did not classify high-value data, highlighting the organizational disconnect of protecting critical files. Organizations attempt to define or dictate policies or deploy point solutions in an attempt to regain control over their high-value data; this has only succeeded in frustrating and hampering the end user’s ability to do more with their data.

End users want their data safeguarded, but they also want to be productive when they are away from the office or working with external contractors and consultants. When faced with cumbersome policies or solutions, end users either bypass them or limit their effort to the boundaries placed on them.

In addition, information technology and security professionals are increasingly challenged by the pace in which data files move both internally and externally. It’s hard for them to manage data across all of the physical and other storage devices that data lives on – personal computers, servers, mobile devices and/or the cloud – and to keep that data from being lost or stolen. These challenges only get more difficult as data growth continues to explode and more data files are seen as important or mission-critical business assets.

“Imation’s Secure Data Movement Architecture is an emerging real-world solution to today’s unstructured data management challenge. Data growth continues at exponential rates, and this data is an attractive target for cybercriminals looking to score big. Despite their best efforts organizations remain vulnerable to many potential problems relating to storing and securing their most important data, which is one of the reasons information security is the most important IT priority for 2015,” said Terri McClure, senior analyst, ESG. “Imation is uniquely positioned to lead the way forward for the industry with its pedigree in storage and security, its Nexsan family of data storage solutions and its IronKey mobile security solutions.”

“Security and storage can no longer be siloed. Imation is introducing comprehensive and innovative protection for high-value data files,” said Ian Williams, president of tiered storage and security solutions at Imation. “Organizations can no longer throw additional point solutions and hardware at the problem – we must take a holistic approach to data loss and leakage issues. The Secure Data Movement Architecture solves these problems in a comprehensive way and provides a framework to protect important data files. No matter where a user is, how much data they create or what device or solution they use to create and house their data – SDMA is designed to safeguard their most important information assets with the utmost confidence.”

VMware debuted on Tuesday its vCloud Air for government and public sector enterprises to purchase, both directly and as part of the G-Cloud 6 framework – the latest version of the government’s cloud-based services network. This offering will help boost efficiencies and bring down costs using VMware’s Hybrid Cloud platform to change their IT infrastructures.

G-Cloud 6 is a set of structures for the public sector to buy cloud-based services through a digital marketplace. Public sector bodies can review the cloud services available and buy them through the Digital Marketplace. VMware has been awarded a place on the Framework agreement for the supply of VMware vCloud Air Dedicated Cloud, VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud and VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery as a Service.

VMware vCloud Air enables public sector organizations to extend their on-premises IT infrastructure seamlessly to the public cloud. VMware vCloud Air can integrate seamlessly with the existing estate, giving the ease and flexibility to extend workloads, even mission critical applications, into the public cloud as and when additional capacity is needed. The resulting hybrid cloud is compatible with existing public sector applications and also makes it easy to build new cloud-native applications, delivering agility and efficiency in a secure, reliable and compliant manner.

IT departments can view, manage and operate this “best of both worlds” cloud environment in a unified way using the VMware vSphere platform they already know and trust. As the data center for the service is based in the UK, all citizen data is stored under UK and EU compliance and data sovereignty standards.

Vmware launched last month enterprise-class hydrid cloud service for U.S. public sector organizations to realize the government’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) provisional authority to operate. The general availability of VMware vCloud Government Service provided by Carpathia has achieved the Provisional Authority to Operate (ATO).

FedRAMP ATO is mandatory for any cloud service provider serving the Federal government, and VMware’s offering is now generally available to U.S. government and defense organizations.

VMware vCloud Government Service, an infrastructure-as-a-service hybrid cloud, is based on the VMware vSphere platform used by cabinet level agencies, military services, the Department of Defense, and the judicial and legislative branches of government.

“VMware vCloud Air is gaining rapid traction across the globe as IT departments see what can be achieved with true hybrid cloud,” said Andy Tait, VMware ‘s head of public sector strategy. “Many government services — such as passport processing or tax returns — have significant peaks and troughs throughout the year; yet have stringent data security requirements all year round.”

“vCloud Air enables the public sector to keep business-critical applications in-house and also take advantage of the enormous scalability of public clouds securely, without having to invest in new tools, skills or under-used on-premises capacity,” Tait added.

vCloud Air provides application interoperability with no changes to current applications, making the process of extending existing applications to the cloud easy. vCloud Air supports more than 5,000 applications and over 90 Operating Systems certified to run on vSphere – the largest supported base available in any cloud service.

vCloud Air also offers high availability and  consistent performance of packaged applications, whether they run onsite, offsite or across a combination of both. vCloud Air comes with interoperability needed to ensure application services run reliably across onsite and offsite infrastructure, using the exact same tools and processes.

vCloud Air extends security and performance of current onsite VMware environment to cloud-based application services, while adding capacity, allocating resources, and managing timing of upgrades and patches without having to worry about application support, interoperability and IT training. vCloud Air provides the perfect destination to deploy existing applications in the cloud while leveraging existing IT investments.

Red Hat launched Tuesday its new Cloud Innovation Practice, a global team of experts that will assist companies with more quickly on-ramping to the cloud, particularly vendors adopting Agile and DevOps best practices. The Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is designed to help users reduce project risks, expedite delivery, and manage the lifecycle of individual solutions.

 

Formed out of the storage virtualization vendor’s acquisitions of Ceph storage system provider, Inktank, and cloud computing services provider, eNovance, the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is born out of the integration of technology and engineering expertise gained through these acquisitions. Both companies provided the highly specialized skills, solution sets, methodologies and product expertise required to launch a truly forward-looking cloud practice capable of helping companies manage the complexities associated with the cloud.

 

With an eye on helping customers increase their business agility and ability to quickly adapt to changes in their environment, the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice can define and develop standard operational procedures, methodologies and governance for cloud and DevOps strategy development and deployments across Red Hat’s current portfolio of integrated products and services, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, OpenShift by Red Hat, Red Hat CloudForms, and Inktank Ceph Enterprise.

 

Additionally, the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice will aggregate product feedback and provide the technical leadership, evangelism, best practices, research, support and dissemination services needed to create relevant use cases outlining ways to help increase delivery efficiency, speed up deployments, and achieve a quicker return on investment.

 

Last week, Red Hat announced OpenShift Commons, its open source community initiative to collaborate and deepen engagement with OpenShift, Red Hat’s open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, and the open source technologies that OpenShift is built upon.

 

OpenShift by Red Hat adopts numerous open source technologies, including OpenShift Origin, Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic. OpenShift Commons brings together these communities and is designed to facilitate sharing of knowledge, feedback and insights into best practices across the OpenShift ecosystem and enable collaboration on the dependencies that can best advance open source PaaS.

 

OpenShift Commons operates under a shared goal to move conversations beyond code contribution and explore best practices, use cases, and patterns that work in today’s continuous delivery and agile software environments. For companies not yet deploying OpenShift, OpenShift Commons can help connect them to large scale delivery experts in the context of other common open source projects, including Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic.

 

There is no Contributor License Agreement, code contribution requirement or fees to join, just a commitment to collaborate on the new PaaS stack.

Global flash storage vendor SanDisk debuted Sunday its iNAND 7132 embedded storage offering for use in mobile devices, whose storage architecture allows 1Gb per second or higher data transfer speed on demand. The company also introduced its high endurance microSDXC memory card built to withstand up to 10,000 hours of full HD video recording, and its 200GB SanDisk Ultra video monitoring microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition to give mobile users the ability to capture, save and share photos, videos and other files without worrying about storage limitations.

 

Samples of the iNAND 7132 storage solution are currently available to customers in capacities up to 64GB. The SanDisk microSDHC/microSDXC cards come with a two-year warranty and are priced at an MSRP of US$84.99 and $149.99 for the 32GB and 64GB capacities, respectively. The cards will initially be available only in the United States, and select retailers in Europe and South Korea. The 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, features a ten-year limited warranty and will be available globally in the second quarter at an MSRP of $399.99.

 

The iNAND 7132 storage solution features SanDisk’s new iNAND Accelerator Architecture with SmartSLC technology, a storage architecture that responds on-demand to mobile users’ needs and boosts experiences for data-intensive applications. iNAND 7132 storage solution is supported by advanced simulation, trouble-shooting and engineering tools that enable mobile manufacturers to quickly and easily integrate the device into mobile device designs, thereby significantly reducing time from product development to product availability.

 

Available in capacities up to 64GB, iNAND 7132 storage solution enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to introduce a new generation of high-capacity smartphones, tablets and connected devices that improve user experiences.

 

iNAND 7132 storage solution is built with SanDisk’s 1Y nanometer 3-bit-per-cell (X3) NAND flash storage. When combined with the drive’s SmartSLC technology, this storage solution offers near single-level-cell performance when the user need demands it, with the storage solution providing sequential write speeds of up to 1Gb per second and beyond. It also brings performance to more data-intensive business, video, photography and mobile gaming applications, as well as supports 802.11ac and 802.11ad network standards.

 

The speed of the iNAND 7132 storage solution enables device makers to push the design boundaries of smartphone photography and video functionality. When used in optimized smartphones, the performance of the iNAND 7132 storage solution supports professional grade digital photography capabilities, including image capture in RAW format, thereby expanding the possibilities of image capture and processing. In addition, 4K Ultra HD video can be captured and played back with ease.

 

Using NAND flash and systems technology capabilities, SanDisk developed the microSDXC memory card using a proprietary technology and process to enable high-intensity recording. Through rigorous testing, the new technology has proven itself to enable the company to reach a new milestone — a 64GB microSDXC card that allows consumers to write and rewrite up to 10,000 hours of Full HD video recording.

 

The SanDisk high endurance video monitoring microSDXC/microSDHC cards are targeted at dash cameras and home video monitoring systems, ensuring drivers and homeowners have reliable video evidence at their fingertips. The card is also available in 32GB capacity, which can withstand up to 5,000 hours of full HD recording.

 

With the new SanDisk microSDHC/microSDXC cards, security-minded users need not worry about their card sustaining long-term, continuous recording scenarios. These cards have also been designed to weather the elements. Whether out in the rain or snow, or sitting on the dash of a hot car, users can expect seamless performance. The cards have been tested and proven to be shock and water proof, so they deliver in even the harshest environments.

 

Ideal for Android smartphone and tablet users, the 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card combines high capacity and quick transfer speed of up to 90MB/s to deliver premium performance.  At this transfer speed, consumers can expect to move up to 1,200 photos per minute.

 

Through SanDisk’s updated Memory Zone app users will more control over their mobile device’s memory storage. In the Memory Zone app, users can engage the OptiMem app feature to keep a check on the phone’s memory levels to inform users whenever the internal memory falls below a user-defined threshold. Once this threshold is reached, the OptiMem app feature will automatically transfer some of their old photos and videos to their microSD card, leaving them with more internal memory to continue making memories.

 

The app, available for free download from the Google Play store, is compatible with most Android-powered devices and allows users to locate, organize, transfer and backup data.

Red Hat 

Red Hat launched an open source community initiative to collaborate and deepen engagement with OpenShift, Red Hat’s open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, and the open source technologies that OpenShift is built upon. OpenShift Commons extends and facilitates network effect by empowering direct connections.

OpenShift Commons builds connections and collaboration across OpenShift communities, projects and stakeholders, while getting clients, users, partners, and contributors to work together. The community wants to bring together OpenShift’s diverse groups of customers, contributors, operators, cloud providers and partners directly with each other, and with open source technology initiatives incorporated in OpenShift.

At launch, the list of OpenShift Commons participants include over 30 member companies and spans multiple industries, technologies, and geographies including organizations such as Accenture, Amadeus, AppDirect, Dell, Docker, FICO, GetUp Cloud, T-systems and Shippable.

OpenShift Commons enables participants to collaborate, through special interest groups on various areas of PaaS innovation, such as containers, OpenShift 3 and PaaS operations. It also uses Commons Briefings led by participant organizations and OpenShift team members on a number of topics including DevOps best practices, containerization, PaaS operations, container networking and storage, OpenShift on OpenStack and big data. It also uses Commons mailing lists on several topics, encouraging participants to join the conversation.

OpenShift by Red Hat incorporates several open source technologies, including OpenShift Origin, Docker, Kubernetes, Project Atomic, and more. OpenShift Commons integrates these communities and is designed to facilitate sharing of knowledge, feedback and insights into best practices across the OpenShift ecosystem, and enable collaboration on the dependencies that can helped advance open source PaaS.

Participants in the OpenShift Commons program can deepen their knowledge through collaboration while enabling the success of OpenShift and its various stakeholders. Unlike the foundation approach, OpenShift Commons does not require a Contribution License Agreement (CLA) or large donation to join; it is a fellowship without any barriers to entry other than a willingness to engage.

OpenShift Commons operates under a shared goal to move conversations beyond code contribution and explore best practices, use cases, and patterns that work in continuous delivery and agile software environments. For companies not yet deploying OpenShift, OpenShift Commons can help connect them to large scale delivery experts in the context of other common open source projects, including Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic.

There is no Contributor License Agreement, code contribution requirement or fees to join, just a commitment to collaborate on the new PaaS stack.

“We want to extend collaboration beyond code development and foster a community of users, customers, partners, operators, service providers, contributors and others with an interest in OpenShift and help them share their experiences, best practices and knowledge related to PaaS,” wrote Ashesh Badani, a Red Hat executive in a blog post. “Having the source code available in the open is critical, but establishing and facilitating connections across the diverse communities that can help users, organizations, partners and other stakeholders be successful is very important and critical to support innovation and PaaS adoption.”

Open Interconnect Consortium 

The Open Interconnect Consortium entered into a liaison agreement with the Industrial Internet Consortium to share information aimed at restructuring interoperability for the Internet of Things (IoT). This technical collaborative between the IoT consortiums will help to accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade IoT architectural framework.

Through this formal liaison, the Industrial Internet Consortium will share its use cases and architectural requirements focused on the industrial market. In turn, OIC will ensure that its specification and associated open source project (IoTivity) will deliver the necessary features in an IoT communications framework to meet the requirements and make the use cases not just real, but also easy to implement.

The IoTivity project was created to bring together the open source community to accelerate the development of the framework and services required to connect these billions of devices. Sponsored by the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), the IoTivity will deliver an open source reference implementation of the OIC standard specifications, yet will not be limited to those requirements.

With 4.9 billion connected devices to be in use in 2015, the need to create industry standardizations in IoT is increasing rapidly.

OIC is working towards defining a connectivity framework that abstracts complexity. This standard will be an open specification that anyone can implement and is easy for developers to use, while including IP protection and branding for certified devices (via compliance testing) and service-level interoperability. There will also be an open source implementation of the standard. This open source implementation will be designed to enable application developers and device manufacturers to deliver interoperable products across various platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Tizen.

The OIC aims at connecting the next 25 billion devices for the Internet of Things through a secure and reliable device discovery and connectivity across multiple OSs and platforms. OIC has over 50 members that include Dell, HP, Siemens, and Honeywell, among others, while the Industrial Internet Consortium supports a diverse public-private ecosystem of 141 member companies in 20 countries.

Founded in March last year, the IIC aims to drive innovation through the creation of new industry use cases and testbeds for real-world applications; define and develop the reference architecture and frameworks necessary for interoperability; influence the global development standards process for internet and industrial systems; facilitate open forums to share and exchange real-world ideas, practices, lessons and insights; and build poise around new approaches to security.

“This liaison was developed as a result of both consortiums’ desire for interoperability in the industrial IoT,” said Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium. “OIC’s focus on developing standards through an open source project makes it an ideal partner for the Industrial Internet Consortium. By sharing use cases with the OIC, we will identify new scenarios that will ultimately result in systematic interoperability between devices.”

“This strategic liaison between the OIC and IIC is extremely complementary and a huge win for the industry,” said Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager, Intel Open Source Technology Center and vice president of the board at the OIC. “By ensuring the standards and associated open source software from the OIC support the use cases and requirements defined by the IIC, we can accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade communications framework for the IoT.”

altby Michael Gold

I’m obsessed with cloud apps. But it’s not any one app that interests me. Nor is it any particular category of apps. With thousands of SMB-focused apps in the world, I’m obsessed with the one point where all these apps potentially intersect: your business.

In its 2014 SMB Cloud Landscape Report, Intermedia and Osterman Research found that the average business now runs over 14 apps (and growing). This typically includes email, phones, file sharing, CRM, email marketing software, finance tools, social media accounts, and others.

The overhead required to manage any one of these apps isn’t terribly significant. But when you add 14 apps together, your overhead increases exponentially.

(more…)

NetApp 

NetApp added new software and solutions for hybrid IT deployments that improve data backup and recovery times, and give users more control over how, when and where they store their data throughout its lifecycle.

Customers can leverage the flexibility of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to address their backup, recovery and archive challenges. NetApp is also adding support for Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as a storage tier to StorageGRID Webscale for long-term archives. The company also released updates to its OnCommand Cloud Manager, OnCommand Insight software and Cloud ONTAP software subscription, enabling new abilities to speed business innovation and IT responsiveness.

NetApp also unveiled three new models of SteelStore cloud-native backup solution as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to offer a secure approach to back up cloud-based workload. Customers can also choose on-premises SteelStore physical appliances for seamless, secure data protection to the cloud.

StorageGRID Webscale 10.1 comes with the tools to securely store data in the right place, at the right time. Fully supported by a dynamic policy engine, StorageGRID Webscale leverages Amazon S3 to store data on AWS. Geo-distributed erasure coding reduces on-premises costs and increases security. The StorageGRID Webscale object storage solution is available in appliance and software delivery models, and both types can be mixed in the same grid.

NetApp also added three new models of its SteelStore cloud-native backup solution as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to offer an efficient and secure approach to backing up cloud-based workloads. Customers can also choose on-premises SteelStore physical appliances for seamless, secure data protection in the cloud.

NetApp OnCommand Insight 7.1 software delivers Storage Resource Management (SRM) for hybrid environments. Clients can ensure service level agreements are met through performance monitoring, capacity management, identifying reclamation opportunities and greater awareness of IT costs. The new software includes enhanced features for brokering and monitoring hybrid storage deployments as well as innovations that reduce storage OPEX and CAPEX costs and improve capacity planning.

NetApp also boosted usability through advanced data visualization features such as new widgets, dashboards, and additional data points.

Customers can now utilize Cloud Manager software and Cloud ONTAP software subscription to manage NetApp’s customer data replication to the cloud with a single application. In addition, customers can now simplify deployment of Cloud ONTAP software subscription and OnCommand Cloud Manager and automate NetApp service and support registration.

New versions of OnCommand Cloud Manager and Cloud ONTAP software subscription and NetApp’s three new models of SteelStore Amazon Machine Image (AMI) software subscription are currently available on AWS Marketplace. StorageGRID Webscale 10.1 and the StorageGRID Webscale appliance are planned to be available in April, while NetApp OnCommand Insight 7.1 software will be available next month.

NetApp’s new data lifecycle solutions allow users to control, integrate, move, secure and consistently manage it, while benefitting from the company’s investments and expertise in building enterprise-class hybrid deployments that are designed to evolve as customer needs change. More than 275 service provider partners are contributing to the development of the data fabric, enabled by NetApp technology.

The enhanced NetApp SteelStore and StorageGRID Webscale solutions provide the flexibility of Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier for long-term archiving. Customers gain an additional secure physical location to address single-site or local-site risks as well as tape risks. This addition to the NetApp portfolio creates ideal solutions designed to help customers integrate their storage with AWS resources.

NetApp offers Private Storage for AWS to give users the benefits of cloud elasticity and savings with the performance, availability and control of dedicated enterprise storage. NetApp Cloud ONTAP software subscription, an instance of NetApp’s storage OS running as a software subscription on AWS Marketplace, offers a cost-effective option for cloud bursting and disaster recovery.