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VMware expands European Cloud

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VMware has unveiled an expanded portfolio of cloud services and made VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS) available in Europe, bringing the service closer to South African companies.

The announcements are key to the VMware strategy of enabling customers to work seamlessly with, and better manage, hybrid clouds. This will in turn provide local VMware users with the opportunity to marry multiple clouds, manage them from a single interface, develop for them, derive quantifiable analytics on use and behaviour, and leverage more effective cost analysis.

VMware and AWS will also enable system integrator and system outsourcer (SISO) partners, managed service providers, and solutions providers to grow their cloud business and help their customers realise the full benefits of hybrid cloud.

AWS does not yet have datacentres or local cloud infrastructure in South Africa. However, according to Ian Jansen van Rensburg, senior systems engineering manager at VMware Sub-Saharan Africa, the VMware Cloud Provider Programme partners have many customers that make use of AWS together with VMware. As long as they are not forced by legislation to keep the data inside the boundaries of South Africa, they are able to use AWS points pf presence in South Africa.

“Customers are focused on digital transformation and that is a business decision on how they leverage cloud,” states Jansen van Rensburg. “The needs of applications are driving these cloud decisions, as customers need to support both new and existing applications, which is conversely also driving massive cloud adoption, even locally.

“VMware Cloud is unique in the sense that you can develop any type of application and deliver these applications to any cloud and deliver to any device. All of this can be done while having a consistent infrastructure across cloud environments. This provides the customers the flexibility they need when using multiple cloud environments, as well as a way in which they can better mitigate the security risks involved in doing this.”

He believes that, when VMware transformed the data centre 20 years ago, it inadvertently laid the foundation for how we build cloud environments today. VMware Cloud Services are designed to give customers the flexibility to leverage any cloud environment while providing consistent operations for how clouds are managed and secured. VMware’s growing portfolio of Cloud Services therefore provides visibility, operations, automation, security, and governance across any cloud.

“VMware’s focus is to break down obstacles and barriers for customers and deliver the ultimate Hybrid cloud,” he says.

The full announcement, as provided by VMware, includes:

  • New VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension Service for Private Cloud: A SaaS offering that provides application mobility and infrastructure hybridity across different vSphere versions, on-premises and in the cloud. Previously announced Hybrid Cloud Extension services for both IBM Cloud and VMware Cloud on AWS are now available, and VMware has now added a new service for self-managed private enterprise datacenters. Hybrid Cloud Extension provides the operational support that enables enterprises to complete large-scale workload movement in environments spanning multiple private datacentre locations. Hybrid Cloud Extension enables enterprises to manage secure application migration without modification, with little or no application downtime, and across heterogeneous VMware vSphere environments. Cloud migration is simplified by eliminating the need to replatform, retest, or change cloud tooling, all while maintaining business continuity, application uptime, network architectures, and performance. With the general availability of Hybrid Cloud Extension for both IBM Cloud and VMware Cloud on AWS, customers can also extend their VMware-based environments to the public cloud for on-demand capacity and geographical expansion.
  • Expanded Wavefront by VMware Service: This SaaS-based, high-scale, metrics monitoring and analytics platform supports cloud-native and enterprise applications, and both public and private cloud infrastructure, including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, workloads running on Azure, and now VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware has added 45 new Wavefront integrations, including GCP, Chef, GitHub, Spark, Nginx+, and Mesos, in addition to already supported integrations , such as AWS Lambda, Kafka, and Docker, expanding the set of information that can be unified, visualised, and monitored by Wavefront, helping customers better optimise applications and deliver more compelling reporting and dashboards for dynamic applications. Wavefront now supports Kubernetes in Pivotal Container Service (PKS), application platform services such as Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF), and enterprise applications running on VMware-based private clouds. Wavefront also now integrates with VMware vRealize Operations, empowering IT to partner with lines of business and application owners by providing rapid onboarding of Wavefront, agent lifecycle management and control, and shared visibility not only of the infrastructure, but also for the applications that run on top. Wavefront is free to try at www.wavefront.com/sign-up.
  • New VMware Log Intelligence Service: The newest offering for VMware Cloud Services, Log Intelligence will deliver deep operational insights into VMware-based datacentres and VMware Cloud on AWS. Log Intelligence provides rapid IT troubleshooting and centralised log management across multiple clouds including VMware Cloud on AWS. Log Intelligence uses machine learning algorithms and real-time log analytics to continuously scan for anomalies in datacentre and cloud environments. The service delivers high-performance log search and rich dashboards to give IT unified visibility into application behavior and the health of underlying infrastructure.
  • Expanded VMware Cost Insight Service: Adding to the existing support for AWS, Microsoft Azure, and VMware private cloud datacentres, Cost Insight now delivers detailed assessments for migrating workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS, calculating the capacity and the cost of running apps in private or public clouds. Cost Insight offers a deep understanding into the true cost of migration through integration with VMware Network Insight, giving IT a more accurate view of the total cost of an app, including the estimates on network egress and storage IOPS costs post migration. Cost Insight offers an array of savings recommendations, alerts, and reporting capabilities including the ability to set cost thresholds to manage costs and maintain budget.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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