Beyond Robust: Resilient IT (Part 1)

first_imgIT is rapidly becoming an essential resource to corporations and societies. Recent ground breaking legislations have been introduced in Asia Pacific where companies in some industries are required to ensure that their IT systems function under stress. To ensure compliance, governments mandate that simulations and testing are carried out against the IT infrastructure and that the findings are audited and reported.Working with several industry leaders and governments, I have studied this problem to help develop the rules for this new mandate as well as assist customers and partners in how to prepare their IT environments for these new requirements.Typically, failure that results in end-user impact is rarely caused by a failed component alone. It is more likely that the root causes of failure are found in unexpected interactions between components during a failure event. For example: A bank had an older version of firmware in one of their IT systems. An operator got a warning that the network connecting to one of the IT components experienced intermittent disconnections and decided to replace a cable. The operator followed procedure for replacing the cable, unfortunately the operator used the wrong cable and while the procedure was correct for the most recent version of the systems firmware, it was incorrect for the version of the firmware the bank presently operated. This error became fatal when combined with the wrong cable. Subsequent events caused a cascading chain of failures which ultimately took down the entire system.  The natural instinct should have been to activate the business continuity plan. However, the bank had not exercised the plan for quite some time and with the state of the current system, the bank was afraid of activating the plan since they feared they could not contain the problem and it would cascade further. The architecture that was meant to be robust had with the introduction of a random event become weak.So how can IT protect itself from these types of failures? Historically, and perhaps typically, IT professionals have relied on staged and infrequent testing of resiliency by starting up backup systems as a form of test. I suggest that we need to evolve our thinking and learn to treat IT less as a static system that once deployed must be changed as little as possible and begin to recognize that modern IT systems more closely resemble an organic and evolving process where we emphasize flexibility and adaptability over rigidity and control. In this new world of IT we actually harden the IT systems by deliberately and consciously exposing them to ongoing degrees of stress and pressure. This allows us to evolve the system from being static and robust to a system that benefits from pressure and random failure, where failures by themselves are a benefit in that they evolve the system to go beyond robustness.Static IT systems of thirty years ago are a thing of the past and the flexible software-driven IT infrastructure of today needs pressure and stress to uncover hidden risks from random events. Just as the human body grows stronger when muscles are stressed by causing micro tears in muscles through exercise, we have found that IT processes and systems benefits from the same principle.last_img read more

Technological Transformation: The Magic Is Back

first_imgThe following is a guest post from Mark Schaefer, author of “The Content Code” and “Known,” and co-host of Dell Technologies’ newest podcast, Luminaries – Talking to the brightest minds in tech. Throughout Dell EMC World he had in-depth conversations with technology leaders across the Dell Technologies family of businesses, including Dell, Dell EMC, VMware and Pivotal.Do you remember when technology was magic?I recall that feeling I had when I plugged my first laptop computer into the kitchen phone jack and entered the internet through that dial-up connection.Back then, there wasn’t a whole lot to do on the web. I didn’t even know where to start, but a friend advised to me to try looking for NASA online. Apparently, they had photos of galaxies or something on their website. So I clicked on some mysterious looking file numbers and sure enough, over a period of about 10 minutes a photo of a galaxy began to download on my computer screen.I yelled out to my wife and kids to come observe this miracle — a galaxy coming through the phone line!It was magic. Pure magic.Since then, technology has become ubiquitous and something we take for granted — the invisible hand that enables our daily connections, discoveries, and commerce. And that’s a good thing. The most useful technology shouldn’t get in the way. It connects and serves us in a seamless, quiet manner.But the awe and mystery of your first online experience might just be coming back.I was fortunate enough to attend Dell EMC World recently, and the word that kept coming into my head was “magic.” The emerging capabilities on display at the event were so cool, so mystifying, so jaw-dropping, that for the first time in a long time, I found myself saying “wow” like I did those years ago when I downloaded my first galaxy.If you love to dream about what tech could be like at its most fun, you’re probably a fan of the movie Minority Report, especially the scene where Tom Cruise is pushing and pulling data around through the air.Turns out, this is within reach … literally and figuratively.Dell showed a promotional video that featured Nike designers donning Metavision Meta 2 glasses, grabbing thin air and manipulating a conceptual shoe projected onto the space in front of them like holograms. And then those holographic shoes … ran, jumped and walked through all types of environments in a virtual testing lab. Magic!Mixed reality is also coming to less glamorous places like the industrial workplace where safety helmets are fitted with comfortable shields displaying a digital overlay to their normal work environment. This helps workers complete assembly and maintenance tasks more safely, efficiently, and error-free with the help of real-time heads-up displays. Research shows that there could be enormous cost-saving potential from this technology.Immersive reality is also about to transform our home lives in magical ways. In a “guru session” at the Dell EMC event, Unreal Engine creator Tim Sweeney showed how the rapid improvement in displays, sensors, graphics, and digital human technology will enable an Augmented Reality metaverse revolutionizing human social interaction. Sweeney demonstrated the next wave of breath-taking virtual worlds that will forever change the way we work, collaborate, discover, and entertain ourselves. He forecast that virtual reality will be the next billion-user platform … and it’s easy to adopt that vision.These magical developments are coming at us fast, but it all depends on massive and reliable computing power, storage, and cybersecurity. At Dell EMC World, the company announced massive product refreshes for virtually its entire line of products, including a new 14th-generation PowerEdge server, new data protection tools, more powerful computers, and updates to its entire storage lineup.The show impressed upon me that Dell EMC is staying ahead of the game by becoming an expansive, end-to-end, and fully-unified technology company. Cloud, security, laptops, tablets, software, storage … there’s no piece of the digital transformation that isn’t available through the formidable Dell Technologies family of companies.Yes, haptic design, immersive new virtual reality worlds, and a collaborative metaverse may seem like magic, but it’s all dependent on the power, the storage, and the security provided by Dell Technologies.Mark Schaefer is a business consultant, university educator, and author of six books including “KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age.” He is a co-host of Luminaries, a Dell Technologies podcast exploring digital transformation. Dell EMC compensated him for his expenses at Dell EMC World.last_img read more

Global Alliances Accelerates into 2018 and Beyond

first_img2017 was a legendary year for us in Global Alliances. We achieved 28 percent growth year-over-year. More business is flowing through Global Alliances than ever before. And the results are not a fluke. We’re aligned to customer demands including Digital, IT, Workforce and Security Transformation. On behalf of the entire Global Alliances team, I say a huge THANK YOU to all of you!But we cannot rest, as the pace of change is relentless. We must accelerate our success. This week at Global Partner Summit I articulated our Global Alliances Acceleration Strategy. This four point strategy is what I often refer to as our incremental agenda. If we commit together, we can truly accelerate success.Global Alliances Acceleration StrategyStandardize – You have to make a bet on partners to standardize on, and we want you to bet on us. We know we need to earn that right to eliminate the white space, and we are up for the challenge. With Dell Technologies, our partners have access to incredible technologies and a sales organization with multiple specialties. We want to underpin your GTM and as-a-service offerings by taking advantage of these technologies. When you have an end-to-end Dell Technologies stack we can go to battle with you and win the war. You’ve heard a number of tremendous announcements this week around our portfolio. Learn everything you can about these products and services. This is our opportunity.Expand – We must capture new and incremental business, from new logos, expanding in underpenetrated accounts, breaking into new verticals and driving a transformation motion within our current customers. Know our ASD organization, and leverage them to drive the sales to sales “at the street” relationships we need to win new business.Scale – Speaking of the Dell Technologies portfolio, we must continue to scale across our Strategically Aligned Businesses, and create dedicated practices – harnessing your great people and our enabling technologies. The powerful combination is how we will help customers address Digital, IT, Workforce and Security Transformation.Leverage – We know that the IT industry is a complicated web, with fierce competition and cooperating at the same time. Nobody can deliver everything, but no one also has the portfolio like Dell Technologies. But our partners can also benefit from each other through Cloud Partner Connect, connecting Service Providers and Solution Providers to deliver as-a-service offerings to customers.With this acceleration strategy in place, we have the beginnings of a recipe for success. But we need to fuel the growth engine, and it all starts with a mutual plan. I might sound like a broken record by now, but I’ve said time and time again that we don’t prioritize partners, we prioritize plans. As you review your Partner Growth Plans, I encourage all of our partners to consider the following:Understand the acceleration strategy and align your plan accordinglyEnsure you understand our entire Dell Technologies portfolio and are leveraging our Strategically Aligned Businesses, both our portfolio and sellersWe have invested significant resources into creating training to help you. Take these trainings, and if you feel like you’re missing something, scream loud and earlyStay aligned to our Global Alliances sales teams, whose sole responsibility is to engage with our core sellers.We have the technology, the people and the plan in place to accelerate success together. Let’s make 2018 even more legendary than last year. This is our time for the taking, and it’s going to be incredible. And remember, the big won’t eat the small, but the fast WILL eat the slow. Let’s accelerate!last_img read more

Disruptive Technologies Permeate the Safety and Security Markets

first_imgA massive transformation is underway in the safety and security world. The days of DVR-like safety and security systems are long gone. Based on my more than 15 years in the business, I spot four key trends:Emergence of new devicesHigher pixel resolutionIncrease in device count and retention timesNeed to integrate safety, security and IoT dataA significant trend across safety and security is the evolution of the underlying technologies such as connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Edge Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). These technologies can be used to develop video analytics solutions which would help harness the value of safety and security data.Here are some intriguing data points to consider:There will be 41.6 billion IoT-connected devices by 2025, an increase of 75% over 2019.¹The data generated from IoT cameras and other devices will amount to 79.4 ZB in 2025, up from 13.6 ZB in 2019.²These data points illustrate that safety and security is now a data challenge. Organizations face escalating demands for accessing, managing, storing and securing massive amounts of safety and security data that is growing exponentially. We can broadly categorize the growing infrastructure challenges into these three categories:Management: The storage silos / separate islands of storage associated with the traditional IT infrastructure makes it hard to deploy, configure and manage.Scalability: As it is hard to scale efficiently with traditional storage, organizations find it time consuming and labor intensive to keep pace with growing data needs and evolving workloads.Availability: System uptime can be compromised in case of disk failures which may result in lost data and regulatory non-compliance.To tackle these challenges, organizations require a safety and security solution that is enterprise-grade, resilient, scalable and reliable. Organizations need to simplify the Edge Computing and IoT deployment to build an open foundation that scales to meet the demands of a connected world. The need to integrate with other applications like analytics and evidence management are part of the everyday demands placed on the safety and security department and the technology entrusted to deliver the video on demand.Learn more here.¹ and ² IDC, Worldwide Global DataSphere IoT Device and Data Forecast, 2019–2023last_img read more

Austria stops man trying to smuggle in 74 chameleons

first_imgBERLIN (AP) — Austrian authorities have stopped a man at Vienna airport as he tried to smuggle 74 protected chameleons from Africa into the country. They said in a statement a 56-year-old man, who was not further identified, had hidden the animals in socks and empty ice-cream boxes when he was caught at customs control in Vienna. He had traveled to Austria from Tanzania via Ethiopia. The chameleons were taken to the Austrian capital’s Schoenbrunn Zoo, which said that three of the animals did not survive. All the animals were from the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and ranged in age from 1 week old to adult animals.last_img

Second Brazil wave strains hospitals in Sao Paulo’s interior

first_imgJAU, Brazil (AP) — Just as Brazil has a glimpse of hope with the start of vaccination, it faces a dizzying second COVID-19 wave that is straining facilities ability to treat patients. Intensive-care units in public hospitals have been maxxed out in several states and municipalities across the country, including two state capitals in the remote Amazon and even some cities like Jau in Sao Paulo, the nation’s wealthiest state.  Each day, several patients like turn up to the doors of the Santa Casa de Jau hospital door, hoping to get treatment or to be hospitalized. But the facility, which also attends COVID-19 patients from 11 nearby municipalities, reached full capacity on Jan. 18.last_img