Our leaders have time and time again emphasized a core aspect of the EMC Federation strategy and functioning model: “(we) offer best-of-breed, integrated, technology while preserving customers’ ability to choose…” In this blog, I reflect upon how this strategy applies to allowing customers the ability to choose Open Source Cloud OS – OpenStack.OpenStack is making rapid strides in both private and public cloud markets. The earlier skepticism on hype is waning as we see the momentum translate to tangible deployments. Let’s go over some numbers if you need convincing. A recent OpenStack user survey showed 512 total deployments; 209 of these being production deployments. This momentum seems even more impactful within the EMC customer base. A recent EMC pre-sales/field survey has revealed that 50% of customers are running OpenStack today; 53% of those are in production. So it is not surprising that EMC’s strategy of ‘providing of our customers with choice’ resulted in OpenStack being a viable option across our federated family. Let me explain this in more detail.Pivotal Customers Can Choose OpenStackPivotal offers a comprehensive set of application and data services that run on top of PaaS (platform-as-a-service) called Cloud Foundry®. Cloud Foundry is an open source platform that can run on any cloud infrastructure like VMware, OpenStack, or Amazon Web Services. Even though the Pivotal distribution of Cloud Foundry runs on VMware vSphere, there are many prominent members of the Cloud Foundry community who offer Cloud Foundry PaaS on OpenStack. Piston Cloud, which had originally contributed Cloud Foundry interface for OpenStack, now offers PaaS on Piston Cloud, which is based on OpenStack. IBM, with BlueMix PaaS cloud, and HP, with Cloud Application PaaS, have recently announced Cloud Foundry running on OpenStack infrastructure. Not only is it being offered by many prominent vendors, you can also choose to run Pivotal applications and big data services on any of these multi-cloud platforms. Watch out for the inevitable open source progression: OpenStack to Cloud Foundry!VMware Customers Can Choose OpenStackMany are perplexed by the complex relationship between VMware and OpenStack. I think the relationship is largely complementary; OpenStack is an open and flexible framework to pull all the cloud IaaS components together, whereas VMware provides the best-of-breed cloud components. As we see a rising number of OpenStack production deployments, there is also a broad demand for the integration of the two for Enterprise class solutions and use cases. It is for this reason that VMware is heavily investing in the integration, giving its customers the choice of having an open framework with best-of-breed cloud components. VMware is now the fifth largest contributor of OpenStack code in the current IceHouse release.Many immediately get network virtualization as an integration point, as VMware NSX is one of the founders of OpenStack networking, but the integration points are far more pervasive than just networking. You can now trigger complex vCenter functions like vMotion off the OpenStack compute module, Nova. vSphere storage policies and advanced vSAN capabilities can be facilitated through the OpenStack storage module, Cinder. vCOPs integration allows monitoring and troubleshooting through OpenStack. There are many more, and you can be rest assured that the roadmap will continue to get richer with time.EMC Customers Can Choose OpenStackEMC’s strategy for OpenStack is twofold:OpenStack projects allow vendors to add capabilities through “plugin” architecture. Every storage business unit at EMC is committed to providing direct plugins for OpenStack. We currently offer plugins for VNX, VMAX, and ViPR; plugins from Isilon, ScaleIO, and XtremIO are already available to customers for beta evaluation. OpenStack’s roots were with object storage over commodity hardware. However, as deployments mature, we now see it running a broad mix of production workloads. Plugins give customers the choice of a variety of EMC storage with appropriate service levels to run their workloads.ViPR is EMC’s software-defined storage platform and hence complements OpenStack by providing rich automation features, as well as integrated management of objects, blocks, and later files. In other words, you will get integrated access to EMC (what you get from direct plugins) and non-EMC storage, and on top of that you should be able to get enhanced automation features like provisioning, masking/zoning, FAST and VPLEX volumes, as well as rich data services. You can check-out my blog on ‘ViPR in the stack’ for more details.Returning to my original point, EMC customers can choose any cloud. I hope to have shown you that OpenStack represents as a viable choice across each of the EMC federation’s horizontal stacks.
There’s no denying that the workplace IT environment is more complex than ever before. To make the lives of you and your customers a whole lot easier, Dell offers a full range of devices that are easy to deploy, manage and maintain throughout their entire lifecycle. The lifecycle of these devices provides you with a number of opportunities to improve and secure your customers’ end-user experiences while consolidating their bottom line … and increasing yours.The newest generation of tech-savvy workers have well and truly arrived, with each worker now using an average of 3.5 devices to get their work done. So how do you help your customers keep up – especially when their IT budgets aren’t necessarily rising with the tide?Dependability That Keeps up With DemandWe understand that your biggest priority is maintaining a positive and effective relationship with your customers: encouraging their growth by helping them create and cultivate their personal Digital Transformation.That’s why at Dell, our focus is on handling the detailed enquiries your customers might have via our industry-leading, co-deployable co-delivery service. Not only will you get devices that can come from the factory pre-imaged, with free tools from Dell that make management of devices so much easier, but you’ll experience peace of mind knowing that we have the answers to any and all of your customers’ requirements – no matter what stage of the lifecycle they’re in.Redefining the PC LifecycleUltimately, your customers need a fresh approach: cost-effective solutions that keep pace with user demand while freeing up time, money and resources to reinvest in future innovation. That’s why we’re redefining the concept of PC lifecycle management. By moving from separated linear solutions to a fully integrated 4-phase cyclical process, we can help optimize your customers’ PC performance at every level. By eliminating redundancies, significantly improving security and streamlining the entire process end-to-end, your customers can save up to 25 percent on PC management as a whole.The cycle is simple and consists of four ongoing phases that span from planning to refresh and back again:Plan & DesignDeploy & IntegrateManage & SupportOptimize or Retire Plan & Design Dell provides you with experienced specialists to help you get everything right from the very start. Starting with a thorough assessment of your customer’s specific needs, a well-defined plan is created to optimize the existing IT environment, while managing complex transformations to newer technologies. Through this approach, Dell can help you migrate applications, optimize data and operating systems, implement cloud solutions and roll out critical infrastructure.Deploy & Integrate We’ll give you a clear focus on driving efficient modifications implemented as a frictionless user experience. Dell offers a deployment model that can scale to the needs of your customers, regardless of size:Dell ProDeploy Client Suite: a fixed price, off-the-shelf solution that delivers systems pre-imaged and configured.To ensure that your customers’ end users can exploit all the benefits of this deployment, you can also offer them Dell Education Services, which provides full-service training for both regular users and IT professionals.Manage & Support Once deployment and implementation have been established, you’ll want to maximize efficiency while minimizing downtime. Dell ProSupport provides fast proactive IT support for businesses of all sizes. Your customers get a team of in-region engineers who are available 24×7 and respond proactively to provide them with a single source for hardware and software issues, maximizing their user uptime. In addition to the right support, keeping devices secure is critical for everyone, and services like Dell Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise are specially designed to protect your customer’s most vulnerable processes.Optimize or RetireThe final phase of the lifecycle is where you can help your customers make informed decisions on which devices should be retired and which should be re-purposed or refreshed. Dell has the experience to help you calculate the optimum time to implement new equipment before it becomes a dangerous hindrance on both productivity and security. When devices need to be disposed of, worry-free services are available that include analysis of resell opportunities and secure data wipes – all compliant with the latest protocols and regulations.We want to help you make the most of your customers’ PC lifespan. We’ll work behind the scenes with you to ensure you deliver flawless planning right through to re-purposing of assets.Use the co-brandable PC Lifecycle content to take the message to your customers by downloading it on Campaign Builder here.If you don’t have access to Campaign Builder, please email the following regional teams:[email protected][email protected]@Dell.comWe also have these assets available on the Digital Marketing Platform, so that you can deploy the email and social content directly to your customers from the tool.If you don’t have access to the Digital Marketing Platform, please register here.
Is your organization still in love with your old Windows 7 PCs? Your loyalty is understandable — you’ve grown comfortable over the years and switching to Windows 10 means your organization has to learn a new operating system. Or perhaps some of your proprietary applications do not have guaranteed compatibility. And if your machines see relatively localized usage, the switch may not seem worth the effort.But sometimes, relationships must evolve whether you want them to or not. And with Windows 7 due for end of support in early 2020, you will have little choice but to rethink your commitment.The good news is you can keep the things you know and love about Windows 7 while making your old PCs even more secure, even if they aren’t Dell machines. You just need a little help from Wyse Converter for PCs.Get convertedWyse Converter for PCs is a Dell software solution that repurposes your Windows 7 (or Windows 10) PCs to operate like thin clients. And it’s great for organizations that want to transition to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with little upfront investment.The software locks down a device’s operating system and converts it into a secure thin client that you can manage remotely via the Wyse Management Suite. The exciting news for Windows 7 fans is that the converted endpoint looks and functions in much the same way you’re used to but with a secure experience that keeps your data isolated and safe even after Windows 7 support ends.What’s new in version 2.0?We recently released an updated version called Wyse Converter for PCs 2.0 that enables you to put PCs in “kiosk mode.” You can use kiosk mode to lockdown a PC and use it as a standalone machine running VDI or specific local applications. For example, customer-facing locations like doctors’ offices, banks and hotels can remotely configure PCs to become visitor check-in kiosks where the customer is prevented from doing anything other than checking in.We also introduced a Write Filter for Windows 7 that ensures no new information is saved on the PC once it’s restarted. Of course, your admin can enable or disable this function based on your individual needs using the PC’s administrative login. To make things easy, admins have the right to configure the PC and retain desired changes using Wyse Management Suite, irrespective of the Write Filter status.Getting started is easy!One of the features our customers like most is that Wyse Converter for PCs 2.0 comes with Wyse Easy Setup, a free utility that enables your IT admins to quickly and painlessly configure your newly-converted thin clients to your organization’s specific IT policy. Administrators can replicate a single device configuration across other devices using compatible operating systems for quick setup. They can also tailor end-user experiences to have configurable access to local applications. Moreover, individual users can control things like monitor, keyboard, mouse and Wi-Fi settings on their own, so they don’t have to bother IT.Perhaps the best part is that with Wyse Converter for PCs, IT admins don’t have to spend time searching for OS-compatible drivers — they simply install the software and it just works.Wyse Converter makes it possible to hang on to the technology you already have, and love, while updating it to be highly secure with a new lease on life. As far as Valentine’s gifts go, that’s much better than a box of chocolates.Learn more about Wyse Converter for PCs.
With new GPU-ready containers and server infrastructure, organizations are simplifying the deployment of artificial intelligence applications and the clusters they run on.Regardless of the domains they work in, researchers, data scientists and developers want to focus on the work they do, not the systems and tools they use to run their workloads. While that’s a simple proposition, the reality on the ground is often far removed from this ideal world.Those who have built artificial intelligence and other high-performance computing applications from the ground up — starting with bare-metal servers, computing frameworks, software libraries and more — understand that there is a lot of heavy lifting required up front. This work always comes first, before you can focus on the work you really want to do, like training your model, running your inference workloads and seeing the results.Together with its partners, NVIDIA is working to rewrite this story. It’s making the deployment of GPU-accelerated systems really easy with its NVIDIA GPU Cloud, or NGC.The NGC container registryVia the NGC container registry, NVIDIA provides a catalog of GPU-accelerated containers that deliver easy-to-deploy GPU-accelerated software for AI, machine learning and HPC. These containers, which are available to download at no charge, alleviate many of the headaches that come with setting up software. They help you get up and running quickly with tested, optimized and updated frameworks and applications. The containers are designed to take full advantage of NVIDIA GPUs, on-premises or in the cloud, and to work across a wide variety of NVIDIA GPU platforms.The NGC container registry is simple to use. When you visit the site, you are prompted to answer a simple question: “What are you interested in working on?” To move forward, you simply select one of six options from a catalog: High Performance Computing, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Inference, Visualization, or Infrastructure. Once a selection is made, you can begin working with, say, the Caffee2 deep-learning framework or the LAMMPS software application for molecular dynamics simulations. After that, you can move forward with the confidence that comes with knowing your software is correctly configured.The NGC-Ready hardwareSoftware, of course, is only part of the problem when it comes to deploying large-scale HPC and AI applications. You also have to find the right hardware infrastructure to run your workloads. NVIDIA makes this process easier with its NGC-Ready program. Through this program, hardware vendors validate that the NGC containers run correctly on their servers and workstations.Dell EMC is an active participant in this program. Our NGC-Ready infrastructure, including the Dell EMC PowerEdge C4140 server, has been tested and validated to run containers from the NVIDIA GPU Cloud. This back end work allows organizations to deploy GPU-accelerated Dell EMC systems with the confidence that comes with knowing they are ready to run NGC containers.And that’s just one part of the work that Dell EMC does with NVIDIA. My team works closely with the engineers at NVIDIA to optimize systems, perform benchmark testing and take other steps to help ensure that you and others can get the full value of GPU acceleration when deploying NGC containers on Dell EMC hardware.For example, some users worry that containerizing an application will hurt performance. Through our lab and benchmark testing, we’ve been able to show that little, if any, performance is lost when you containerize your software, as opposed to starting with software that you deploy on bare-metal servers. We put a special focus on proving the potential of using containers in large-scale simulations and deep learning applications. In our lab, we find containers to be portable and efficient as we scale out deep learning workloads.Even better, we’re demonstrating how the container approach makes life easier for data scientists and other users who are venturing into the brave new world of AI and machine learning. With the right frameworks incorporated into an NGC container and deployed on our NGC-Ready hardware, you can take advantage of GPUs for deep learning by adding just a few lines of code — literally. You add the lines of code and you gain the benefits of GPU acceleration, with no need to port your application code to a new platform.Ready Solutions for AIIn another ongoing initiative, our engineers at Dell EMC work closely with their counterparts at NVIDIA to bring systems to market that are optimized for GPU-enabled deep learning applications. That’s the case with our Dell EMC Ready Solutions for AI, which are optimized for deep learning with NVIDIA GPUs.These Ready Solutions provide a GPU‑optimized stack that can shave valuable time off of deep learning projects. If that’s your goal, Dell EMC engineers can help you configure, test and tune your GPU‑enabled hardware and software, so you can get up and running quickly with a top-tier deep learning platform based on a framework that can use both CPUs and GPUs. These solutions even include services to help your data scientists discover insights from data in less time.Key takeawaysIf you take a step back and look at the big picture, you’ll see that there are a lot of resources available to help your organization deploy AI and HPC-driven applications that take advantage of the power of GPU acceleration, and to do so with the confidence that comes with validated and optimized hardware and software solutions.I think you’ll also see that it’s becoming much easier to get into this game than it was just a handful of years ago. Today, end users no longer need to become experts in the underlying technology to capitalize on GPU-accelerated systems and the power of AI and other HPC-fueled applications. Instead, they can keep their eyes of the real prize — the work they do.To learn moreFor a closer look at the technologies that make it all go, explore Dell EMC solutions for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence.
The National Academy of Television Arts and Science has honored Dell Technologies with a 2020 Technology and Engineering Emmy® for the Dell EMC Isilon for driving early development of Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) systems. This is exciting news for those of you working with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) applications of all types. Here’s why.Back in the early 2000s, media and entertainment companies began to require large-scale shared storage to handle the increasing frame resolution demanded by viewers and to support a proliferation of media formats. Technology has progressed to accommodate the increasing demands of these workloads, and the result is advanced storage like Dell EMC Isilon.What’s exciting is that the same technology used to accelerate video processing can also serve as the critical foundation for modern data analytics applications. You can’t have Big Data if you don’t have Big Storage. But larger storage simply isn’t enough to deliver performance at scale.Let’s look at the financial trading industry. Today’s trading firms are transitioning their algorithmic models from intraday to multi-day trading. This, coupled with ongoing exponential growth in daily transactions, means that financial systems can no longer store their active trade data sets (> 10 TB) in memory. Without advanced storage, firms would need to reduce the data sets they are working with, give up near real-time performance, or limit the number of simultaneous processes (e.g. concurrency).This isn’t just a problem for financial trading. Utility companies need to work with increasingly greater data flows as more and more meters are brought online. Massive numbers of smart sensors are being deployed in Industrial 4.0 applications, smart buildings, and smart cities. There is more data to collect, and as a result there is more data to process. If this data is going to be useful, it must be processed in as close to real-time as possible. After all, it’s pointless to learn that a stock is a good buy or that a system is about to fail after the window of opportunity to act is past.What’s extraordinary about Dell EMC Isilon is how it overcomes the limitations of previous memory architectures. HSM automates movement of data between high-speed (i.e., high-cost) storage and lower-speed storage to balance cost with access speed. HSM requires massively parallel I/O to achieve this and avoid bottlenecking the system.With up to 945 GB/s and 17M IOPS, Isilon provides industry-leading storage efficiency of 85 percent. Isilon’s outstanding performance crosses the board, as shown by its impressive STAC benchmarks. When combined with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Nvidia GPU technology, the results are near real-time with high currency for even the most demanding AI and ML applications.Two other important factors are scalability and transparency. Isilon scales from 10s of TB to 10s of PB. In addition, HSM is handled transparently. With these capabilities, Isilon is able to serve as a Data Lake for running analytics, enabling developers to focus on what to do with data rather than expend their resources trying to manage it.The benefits to financial trading firms are significant. They can train, validate, and score models faster, reliably share access to a single copy of data, and deploy more advanced and iterative models. Enterprise security and compliance becomes easier to manage. And higher model accuracy directly impacts the bottom line. For example, one large New York city hedge fund has been using Isilon storage since 2007 and is now able to leverage 30.5PB of tick data analytics in their daily operations. They have also seen a significant performance increase (390% more) in throughput, allowing them to run larger, more sophisticated research jobs without any impact to performance. In addition, as the company grows, they are able to scale storage much faster than compute resources.Data analytics for applications like AI and ML are steadily becoming more important, and storage is the bridge to get there. With the throughput, scalability, and transparency of innovative storage technology like Isilon, there are no bottlenecks to innovation.Learn more about how to eliminate storage bottlenecks for algorithmic trading and other modern data analytics applications in this webinar Financial Quantitative Research in a Hybrid Cloud World or check out this Tick Data Analytics white paper. You can also register for a STAC summit near you to know more about how storage technology continues to evolve.