While companies now understand that information drives their business, many have yet to consider the impact backup can have on their bottom line. IT organizations that drive a service-provider approach to backup can accelerate both IT and business initiatives. To deliver backup in an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model, however, the team must transform both their approach and their technology.Backup Matters to the Bottom LineWhy does backup matter to the business?At a recent manufacturing conference, the head of a cosmetics factory lamented: “With my virtualized environment, IT can set up a new application in 48 hours. Everything is set up automatically in one hour… except backups. This delays everything, and that’s unacceptable.” Conversely, organizations with service-oriented backup teams innovate more quickly because everybody is confident that, even if something goes wrong, their data will be safe and accessible. Backup affects the velocity of IT and business.IT organizations need a new service-provider approach. Unfortunately, legacy backup solutions tend to be architecturally monolithic, labor-intensive and absolutely centralized – the exact opposite of how to deliver anything as a service.Attitude Is EverythingOne step in transitioning to an ITaaS model is for the backup team to embrace a service provider mindset. This can be a huge shift for backup administrators who, for years, have had one mode of customer interaction: “What do you need backed up/restored? We’ll let you know what we can do.” As a result of this shift, backup teams worry about additional complexity, loss of environmental control and organizational irrelevance.Moving to an ITaaS model requires the backup team to change its approach. DBAs want to run their own backups and recoveries. Storage teams want to use snapshots, clones, and replicas. Virtualization teams want virtual machine-specific protection tools. These teams want more control over protecting their data because it gives them confidence to accelerate their innovation. The backup team’s concern is that if all those teams run their own protection tools, the organization will be plunged into chaos.In reality, it’s too late to try and stop the diversity of protection tools. When your backup team does an assessment, they’ll find that they don’t have to worry about losing control… because they already have. Every organization already leverages multiple protection technologies.The backup team has a new mission: to be service providers to the business. As backup teams adjust to their new reality, they understand the expanded value they can bring to their customers – application teams, virtualization teams and end users. Their focus now is not IT-centric: “How can I force fit you into my one-size-fits-all monolithic backup solution?” but business-centric: “How can the backup team help you?” They can develop a catalogue of service offerings (e.g., central reporting, cataloging, replication, and management) aligned with business goals.From Vision to Execution How can the backup team deliver their value-added services to drive the business forward?By shifting to an ITaaS-oriented protection storage architecture, the backup team can deliver the high-value services organizations need today while evolving to meet future requirements. This type of architecture leverages consolidated protection storage as a repository for the data; integrates across the IT environment (physical and virtual servers, applications, and storage); and is tied together with consolidated data management as a way to deliver a catalogue of services to application owners, business partners and other stakeholders.While much of the focus to date has been on the consolidated protection storage layer, data management will become increasingly important as organizations look to deliver backup in the ITaaS model.Data management services focus on visibility and value-added services. First, the backup team needs visibility across the environment. With a centralized view, the backup team can identify the challenges and opportunities for optimization across the environment. Visibility helps them understand their customers. Second, the backup team can then design and deliver the value-added services that the business needs.Companies who have taken this type of approach can:Deploy applications faster and more efficiently, while ensuring that they meet their SLAs – with consolidated protection reporting.Scale globally, across distributed environments, and be confident in the safety of their information assets – with consolidated backup management.Reduce costs by optimizing the capacity, performance, network bandwidth, and system management of their backup storage – with consolidated protection storage managementWhen this happens, backup stops being an organizational tax and becomes a service that accelerates business.For more on backup solutions from EMC, check out www.emc.com/backupleader.
*For an update on Dell EMC VxRack with Neutrino, please visit this blog.Today we are announcing VCE® VxRack™ System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes, an innovative, turnkey system that provides cloud native Infrastructure-as-a-Service. VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes is the first product of its kind from EMC, designed for enterprises, ISV’s and Service Providers looking to embrace the promise of digital transformation by shifting from developing traditional (or “second platform”) applications to cloud native (”third platform”) applications.Companies like Uber have become poster children of digital transformation through their use of technology to deliver a great customer experience. However, this embrace of technology to improve decision-making and to provide better services and products to customers is extending well beyond flashy startups. The speed of innovation that is possible with cloud native capabilities has put IT organizations under enormous pressure. Faced with the challenge of being more responsive to business demands, IT is looking for ways to modernize their technology, processes, skills and roles. Cloud-native applications are the driver behind this need to transform.The technology requirements of cloud native applications are quite different from those of traditional applications. Organizations who want to maintain control of their data with an on-premises infrastructure for cloud-native applications are faced with a choice of a DIY/Build-Your-Own model or buying a “ready-to-go” infrastructure. The DIY model for cloud native infrastructure poses some substantial challenges. Most organizations don’t have experienced staff that can architect, deploy and maintain the infrastructure that development teams need for cloud native applications, such as OpenStack, the VMware Photon Platform or Apache Hadoop. Without this expertise, offering better services and products to their customers or outpacing their competition has to wait. If siloed roles are still the norm in the organization, using OpenStack deployment as an example, it could take a large number of personnel to maintain both the physical infrastructure and the evolving cloud native software environment, which could translate into steep costs.Introducing VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes VxRack with Neutrino Nodes was architected with cloud native in mind: pairing the benefits of hyper-converged, rack-scale engineered systems with purpose-built management, provisioning and reporting software. With enterprises, ISV’s and service providers in mind, VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes was developed to be a key to success for DevOps teams worldwide.Check out the video below to learn more about how VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes simplifies the development of cloud native applications.Organizations using VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes will be able to deploy an enterprise-grade OpenStack environment in days versus weeks or months, knowing their infrastructure is enterprise ready with a fully engineered and tested complete stack solution. They will be able to easily maintain the infrastructure, because adding/removing/updating nodes can be accomplished with minimal disruption in just a few mouse clicks. Monitoring the infrastructure is made easy with dashboard visibility into both infrastructure and services, and out-of-the-box reports. VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes enables organizations to add new services and new development platforms on the same hardware to keep CapEx under control.To learn more about VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes, click here.Want to learn more? Check out the VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes home page and follow @VCE on Twitter for our latest announcements and content.This release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined under the Federal Securities Laws. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) risks associated with the proposed acquisition of EMC by Denali Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Dell, Inc., including, among others, assumptions related to the ability to close the acquisition, the expected closing date and its anticipated costs and benefits; (ii) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (iii) delays or reductions in information technology spending; (iv) the relative and varying rates of product price and component cost declines and the volume and mixture of product and services revenues; (v) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures and new product introductions; (vi) component and product quality and availability; (vii) fluctuations in VMware, Inc.’s operating results and risks associated with trading of VMware stock; (viii) the transition to new products, the uncertainty of customer acceptance of new product offerings and rapid technological and market change; (ix) risks associated with managing the growth of our business, including risks associated with acquisitions and investments and the challenges and costs of integration, restructuring and achieving anticipated synergies; (x) the ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; (xi) insufficient, excess or obsolete inventory; (xii) fluctuating currency exchange rates; (xiii) threats and other disruptions to our secure data centers or networks; (xiv) our ability to protect our proprietary technology; (xv) war or acts of terrorism; and (xvi) other one-time events and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in EMC’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. EMC disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
We are half way through 2016 and for the first time in as long as I can remember IT has rightly started to be placed front and center of most organizations as a key component in the success or failure of that business. The organizations that are doing this are reaping the rewards that this change in strategy delivers, while the ones that don’t are finding it harder than ever to be relevant or even survive in today’s market. Make no mistake about it, applications, data and services delivered by IT must be recognized (key word here!!) as the key to modernization, digitalization and growth of that business, and that excites me…greatly.Organizations of all shapes and sizes are all striving for agility, innovation, and speed to allow them to maintain and grow market share, profit and relevance in whatever industry they are in. This is to ensure survival, and is inspired by disruptive companies like AirBnB and Uber, that are changing the competitive landscape and driving this transformation. IT and the applications, services and data that are provided to both internal users, and external customers are vital to the success of this transformation. This is a massive step change for where we have previously found ourselves as an industry (remember when apparently all we did was provide email and access to corporate applications via Citrix!?) and one that we should all embrace.So this is great news right…absolutely, but it comes with some new expectations. Cloud computing and “Credit Card IT” has exploded and demonstrated how easy, responsive and agile services can be spun up and consumed and this presents a challenge to IT (note, I am not saying Cloud is the most economical or even the most appropriate platform but for speed and agility it has set the benchmark). CEO’s now want, no expect, a similar level of service from their CIO’s and it’s up to us in IT to deliver that. Here lies a challenge; many IT departments are unable to provide this cloud-like level of service and functionality, not because they don’t have the technical capability, but because they simply do not have time or resources to invest in the activities needed to provide platforms capable of this.There is good news though, and that is through the adoption of new technologies it is possible to free up both the time and resources required to invest and deliver this value back to the business. One of the areas that can have the most impact is around IT infrastructure, specifically the idea of whether you build or buy these platforms.Converged and Hyper-Converged platforms have removed the need to design, build and maintain IT infrastructure, giving the time back needed to invest in adding value to the business (think new applications and services, think Cloud, think everything Software Defined , think anything other than deploying and managing what is essentially incredibly boring pieces of hardware and operating systems). MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS IS A GREAT THING!! Building and managing infrastructure is essential but it adds little value to organizations and it’s not a good use of talented employee’s time (who actually wants to be building VMware hosts or spending their days figuring out how to upgrade the systems??). Don’t spend your time on repeatable tasks that deliver little innovation or value, don’t waste time fighting fires and keeping the lights on, don’t build what you can buy.True converged platforms (which today represent the fastest growing portion of the infrastructure market) deliver a pre-engineered, pre-validated solution that works from day one and continues to work through its lifetime. If it doesn’t you call “one” organization (or it automatically calls) and they fix it. When you want to move to the latest hypervisor version it’s done in a few clicks with no downtime as it has been pre-tested and validated by the vendor.Hyper-Converged delivers a new breed of infrastructure (one where storage and compute are integrated into the same appliance or node) but in the same way as converged, removes the need to perform many of these time consuming tasks, allowing IT to drive the innovation required to have a positive impact on the organizations they serve.We as an industry have a massive opportunity to impact and deliver bottom line value to the organizations we work for. To do this there needs to be a shift and change in service delivery that we provide and that requires an investment of time and resources, which can be difficult to find. It is vital that we spend most of our time on innovative projects and tasks that directly impact our businesses in a positive way. Using the latest technology and solutions (such as converged and hyper-converged platforms) is an incredibly simple way to achieve this. If we fail to make this change we run the risk of one day waking up to the decision of outsourcing IT or mass migration to a public cloud but even worse than that, as individual we will be irrelevant in a market place that is now so much more than infrastructure.
Organizations of all sizes need to shift their focus from a ‘cloud first’ strategy to a ‘cloud if’ mindset if they want to stay competitive. That’s the advice advocated in a new white paper published by leading industry analyst Moor Insights & Strategy.This is a message your customers need to hear. Too many companies, say the authors, have rushed to public cloud as the solution to all their IT problems. But public cloud options are not always best suited to all workloads and business requirements – and can often end up costing more than on-premises infrastructure.As a Dell EMC partner, you’re ideally placed to help organizations explore the benefits of hybrid IT based on the high-performing PowerEdge server platform – and give your own business a boost at the same time.Public cloud adoption isn’t always the answerTechnology is undoubtedly the key to enabling responsiveness to customer and market demands. And an IT department that can enable responsiveness by adopting new workloads, applications, and deployment methodologies is invaluable to a business.But it should be the business that dictates the applications and workloads required for success. A responsive IT department will then work with the business ‘as a service’, quickly building and deploying the required services to meet its ever-changing workload needs – and helping the business to retain competitive advantage.It’s all about IT dexterity, which can be achieved with a hybrid infrastructure model, where IT departments are able to choose strategically how and where to run their workloads.Workload placement strategies to suit specific business needsThe white paper argues that while public cloud plays a key role in IT transformation, true success will only be achieved with an optimal balance of cloud deployments and on-premises infrastructure.Modern enterprises need modernized infrastructure that’s purposefully designed for the software-defined datacenter (SDDC) – it’s the necessary foundation for any successful hybrid IT strategy.It means that a pragmatic workload placement strategy is also essential for all organizations.Rushing to bring outdated and antiquated applications to public cloud solutions doesn’t fix anything. In some cases, it can exacerbate performance and support issues – resulting in unpredictable operational expense (OpEx), management complexity, security, and lack of control.Instead, the public cloud option should be considered as a tool, not a strategy. Private cloud and on-premises deployments may well prove to be a better option, depending on specific business requirements.Many of the workloads and applications that drive modern businesses are well-suited for on-premises placement – the report details five key advantages that can be gained with on-premises infrastructure:Workload criticalityPerformanceData managementSecurityCostPowerEdge – the bedrock of the modern data centerThe Moor Insights report also suggests that Dell EMC PowerEdge server are ideally suited to form the foundation of a successful hybrid on-premises solution run on modernized infrastructure.That’s because the latest Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are the bedrock of the modern data center. Designed and built from the ground up to enable IT transformation without compromise, they’re powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and intelligent system management.Available in a comprehensive choice of configurations, PowerEdge severs deliver the scalability, security and intelligent automation that’s needed to give organizations the edge they’re looking for.The importance of modernized infrastructureAward-winning PowerEdge servers are also part of a broader portfolio of products and services – ranging from hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to fully integrated storage, networking, and data protection solutions, plus expert deployment services – that makes Dell EMC a leading provider of end-to-end modernized infrastructure.As the white paper puts it, “not all servers are created equal” – and hardware has never mattered more in these days of ‘software-defined’.Relying on outdated infrastructure is costly. Your customers are likely to discover this if they’re running underperforming applications and workloads on sub-optimal server hardware that consumes too much power and lacks the necessary security.Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are the smart choice for customers looking to fully embrace array of cloud infrastructure models – and the greater IT dexterity that it will bring to their business.> Read and share the key recommendations:Moor Insights report  Moor Insights & Strategy report, in association with Dell EMC,‘Shifting From A ‘Cloud First’ To A ‘Cloud If’ Enterprise Mindset’ February 2019. Not available in all countries – please contact your account manager for more information. 2018 ChannelPro Readers’ Choice Awards Gold Winner: Dell EMC for ‘Best Server Hardware’.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge in Alabama has given five years of probation to a white ex-policeman who admitted trying to obstruct investigators looking into charges that he beat a Black driver who had gotten into an argument with his wife. Former Selma police officer Matthew Blaine Till pleaded guilty in September to three federal counts of obstructing justice. He and former Dallas County sheriff’s deputy John Matthew Taccone face state charges of felony second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and obstructing governmental operations.
HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities say they’ll tighten measures against the spread of COVID-19 by requiring tourists and others who visit the island to isolate at their own expense for several days until tests for the new coronavirus come out negative. The announcement Saturday by Cuba’s director of epidemiology comes as the country is seeing a sharp rise in new cases. Officials say that as of Feb. 6, arriving tourists and Cubans who live abroad will be sent to hotels to wait for the results of a PCR test for the new coronavirus, which will be given on their fifth day in the country.
NEW YORK (AP) — As the U.S. economy undergoes an uneven recovery from the coronavirus, many small business owners face a tough decision on whether and when to take on employees. Many owners rebuilding or starting anew after losing companies don’t plan robust hiring anytime soon. Owners who laid off workers can’t make commitments because of uncertainty about when the pandemic will end. For many owners, it’s a question of how comfortable customers will feel about gathering in enclosed spaces like restaurants, stores and gyms. For owners who lost businesses and started over, it’s too soon to know if their brand-new companies will succeed.