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Dell EMC updates the data centre

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New, enhanced products promise to enable flexibility, lower IT costs, and speed return on investment with Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers.

At Dell EMC World in Las Vegas this week – the first to combine the annual Dell World and EMC World events – the merged company unveiled new and enhanced software-defined storage (SDS) products that help customers modernise their data centres.

The company said it would allow organisations to lower IT costs, get quicker returns on their investments, and deliver new digital capabilities. The comprehensive software-defined storage portfolio will be further enhanced through support for Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers, “providing increased levels of performance and scalability across a wide spectrum of applications and workloads”.

The announcement featured updates to ScaleIO, ECS and IsilonSD Edge, along with the introduction of Project Nautilus and expansion of the Ready Node portfolio, to “allow customers to harness the power of Dell EMC as they move from traditional to modern data centers”.

These new software-defined storage capabilities provide a choice of deployment models. Software-defined storage makes the enterprise infrastructure programmable and, therefore, more automated and easier to scale and manage than traditional infrastructure.

Dell EMC provided the following information on portfolio enhancements :

Dell EMC ScaleIO.Next – The leading enterprise-grade software-defined block storage solution, ScaleIO will introduce new .Next features and enhancements.

  • Improved efficiencies by delivering inline compression, enhanced snapshots capabilities, granular thin provisioning and seamless volume migration.
  • Greater performance and reduced latency using the latest Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers with NVMe flash drives.
  • Simplified management for VMware with support for VMware Virtual Volumes.

Dell EMC ECS Updates – Multiple announcements related to Dell EMC’s scale-out object storage platform, which is designed to provide cloud-scale, global data access to traditional and next-gen apps.

  • ECS.Next, features enhanced enterprise data protection and management capabilities, as well as advanced analytics support. Additionally, ECS software is certified to run on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers.
  • The ECS Dedicated Cloud Service enables customers to use ECS through a hybrid cloud model. As a dedicated, single tenant offering hosted in Virtustream datacenters, the ECS Dedicated Cloud Service combines private cloud control with the hands-off operations and agility of the public cloud.

Preview of Project Nautilus: Dell EMC previews a new software-defined solution for storing and analyzing high volumes of streaming IoT data. Project Nautilus enables businesses to make real-time decisions based on streaming device data from across the globe.  Designed to work seamlessly with ECS or Isilon as its resilient storage tier, Project Nautilus brings real-time data processing capabilities to Dell EMC’s unstructured storage platforms.

Dell EMC Ready Nodes portfolio enhancements

  • Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes – Now validated for PowerEdge 14th generation servers, these vSAN building blocks are quick and easy to scale and are pre-configured with the required amount of CPU, memory, network, input/output (I/O) controllers and storage to help customers reduce deployment risks and lower costs of their vSAN environments.
  • Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes – Combines all the power of Dell EMC ScaleIO software with pre-configured Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to deliver performance, scale and flexibility. These easy-to-deploy building blocks will utilize the latest Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers, including NVMe Drives and NVDIMM options. Software feature updates include simplified management with auto-discovery, streamlined provisioning and storage node-only deployment mode.
  • New Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes – Pre-configured Dell EMC PowerEdge servers provide the storage density and compute power to maximize the benefits of Storage Spaces Direct and the advanced feature sets in Windows Server 2016. Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD) solutions use Microsoft-validated designs and follow engineering best practices for seamless deployment and a steady-state operational experience. Dell EMC gets customers up and running without lengthy design and build time and offers a single point of contact for implementation and support services.

Dell EMC IsilonSD Edge enhancements – IsilonSD Edge can now be deployed on a single Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation server, bringing increased efficiency and a lower-cost entry point for smaller remote offices. The updates to the IsilonSD Edge platform also include support for VMware vSphere version 6.5, as well as deployment using virtual storage platforms like Dell EMC ScaleIO and VMware vSAN.

Jeff Boudreau, President, Storage, Dell EMC, said: “While software-defined everything is a critical piece of IT transformation, the reality is that we’re still early with regard to the ability of enterprises to consume software-only offerings. Offering software-defined storage offerings for on-premises and the cloud, in a variety of deployment models including ready nodes, allows us to meet customers where they are today and take them where they need to be as they transform their IT and their businesses.”

Availability:

  • ECS.Next and ScaleIO.Next have planned global availability in the second half of 2017.
  • ECS Dedicated Cloud Service and IsilonSD Edge have planned global available in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes are available globally today and have planned availability on new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers in mid-2017.
  • Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes have planned global availability in June 2017 and planned global availability on new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers in mid-2017.

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ConceptD: Creatives get a tech brand of their own

The unveiling of a new brand by Acer recognises the massive computing power needed in creative professions, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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It’s a crisp Spring morning in Brooklyn. The regular water taxi from Manhattan pulls up at Duggal Greenhouse on the edge of the East River. It’s a building that symbolises the rejuvenation of Brooklyn as a hub of artistic and creative expression.

Inside the vast structure, global computer brand Acer is about to unveil its own tribute to creativity. Company CEO Jason Chen takes to the stage in faded blue jeans and brown t-shirt, underlining the connection of the event to the informality of the area.

“Brooklyn is become more and more diverse,” he tells a gathering of press from around the world, attending the Next@Acer media event. “It’s an area that is up and coming. It represents new lifestyles. And our theme today is turning a new chapter for creativity.”

Every year, Next@Acer is a parade of the cutting edge in gaming and educational laptops and computers. New devices from sub-brands like Predator, Helios and Nitro have gamers salivating. This year is no different, but there is a surprise in store, hinted in Chen’s introduction.

As a grand finale, he calls on stage Angelica Davila, whose day job is senior marketing manager for Acer Latin America. But she also happens to have a Masters degree in computer and electric engineering. A stint at Intel, where she joined a sales and marketing programme for engineers, set her on a new path.

Angelica Davila, marketing manager for Acer Latin America

For the last few months, she has been helping write Acer’s next chapter. She has shepherded into being nothing less than a new brand: ConceptD.

Click here to read more about ConceptD.

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Which voice assistant wins battle of translators?

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Take the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.

OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6. 

Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  (See chart). All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.

“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.” 

A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.

OHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard. 

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