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VMware helps customers into multi-cloud

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At VMworld 2017 Europe in Barcelona last week, advancements to its cloud management platform to help customers deploy, operate and manage IT infrastructure and application services across a multi-cloud landscape were announced.

The introduction of VMware vRealize Suite 2017 will integrate the latest releases of vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation, vRealize Business for Cloud , and vRealize Log Insight and feature new lifecycle management capabilities to support customers’ data center modernization and cloud integration efforts.

“As IT organizations strive to become more agile and innovative, VMware is helping them achieve these outcomes by modernizing their data centers and integrating public clouds with their private clouds,” said Ajay Singh, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Management Business Unit, VMware. “VMware vRealize Suite 2017 introduces new lifecycle management capabilities to enable IT to accelerate time to value for their cloud management platform, and deliver and manage application and infrastructure services faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

Digital transformation is accelerating as more companies across all industries take advantage of technology trends such as big data, cloud, social, IoT and mobility. In a 2017 VMware customer survey, 67 percent of enterprise customers said they foresee an ideal end state in which they rely on multiple clouds. Managing resources and applications across multiple clouds, however, raises new challenges including workload cloud portability and the need to monitor performance, manage capacity and achieve cost transparency across clouds.

VMware vRealize Suite 2017 will deliver a comprehensive cloud management platform that can manage hybrid environments across private and public clouds. It will speed up the delivery of IT services through automation and pre-defined policies, providing a high level of agility and flexibility for developers and lines of business while maintaining governance and control. The suite will also support heterogeneous environments that are a mix of both traditional and cloud-native applications across VMs and containers, running in a software-defined data center (SDDC) environment or multiple clouds.

The suite will help customers address three common use cases – intelligent operations, automated IT and developer cloud. VMware vRealize Suite 2017 will provide enterprises with advanced intelligent operations and automated IT capabilities to more easily stand up and operate a VMware-based cloud. Additionally, the suite will feature increased support for public clouds as well as containers and configuration management solutions to ease moving applications from dev-test into production. Updated capabilities in the suite include:

  • (NEW) Streamlined Day 0 through Day 2 Tasks – VMware vRealize Suite 2017 will take a leap forward with simplifying daily administration and operations of the suite with new built-in, automated lifecycle management of Day 0 through Day 2 tasks. The lifecycle management capabilities will help customers speed time to value by automating the deployment, configuration and upgrading of the products in the suite.
  • vRealize Operations 6.6 – vRealize Operations 6.6 offers substantial new intelligence to workload placement decisions to fully automate workload balancing across clusters and data stores based on business requirements. It also features predictive Distributed Resource Scheduler (pDRS) and native VMware vSAN management and monitoring capabilities for hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions powered by vSAN.
  • vRealize Automation 7.3 – vRealize Automation 7.3 features support for Admiral 1.1, the highly scalable and lightweight container management portal, Virtual Container Host instances generated by VMware vSphere Integrated Containers, Docker hosts, and for Docker volumes enabling users to create and attach volumes to containers. It also delivers increased support for VMware NSX® through advanced, fine-grained control for Day 2 operations across key network and security functionality such as load balancing, network address translation and security groups.
  • vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 – vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 is now included as a tab in vRealize Operations 6.6 for new insights that show how capacity utilization drives cost efficiencies by combining operational and cost metrics. Additionally, vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 delivers improved insight into the complete costs of AWS and Microsoft Azure instances alongside VMware-based private cloud costs.
  • vRealize Log Insight 4.5 – vRealize Log Insight 4.5 offers complete 360-degree log integration with vRealize Operations to deliver last-mile root-cause analysis with metrics and logs provided side-by-side and in context.
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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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