The Second Machine Age is redefining our relationship with technology. From healthcare to transportation, our lives will be nearly unrecognizable to our children. Underlying this change is the next generation of the social network: a Social Network of Machines. This Social Network of Machines will be a vast infrastructure built on the Third Platform (i.e. mobile, big data, social, cloud) and fueled by near-ubiquitous metadata about machines and humans.In this two part series, we’ll first examine what technology drives the Second Machine Age. Then we will explore how we can avoid an “Accidental Architecture” on a global scale.The Second Machine Age will insinuate technology into the most personal aspects of our lives. Many people already use devices to track and analyze their vital statistics – the metadata of the human operating system. Self-driving cars will obsolete automobile driving and track our every movement – the metadata of personal movement. While these changes should help reduce fatalities and increase our quality of life, they also pose a threat to privacy, freedom, and security.The Second Machine Age will create a vast Social Network of Machines. The “Internet of Things” is merely an interim step. Just as people were once content to simply “surf the Web,” so we are content to simply have machines send their metadata (e.g., telemetry and status) to central repositories. However, just as social networking like Facebook and Twitter brought the Internet to life, social networking between machines will transform passive data collection into a thriving ecosystem. Machines will begin to dynamically and automatically make decisions without human involvement. Even more, as the machines correlate their metadata with human metadata… today’s intelligent, automatic advertising placement will look like Stone Age technology.Metadata about humans and machines will enable the Social Network of Machines. Software needs input to make decisions; otherwise the command prompt will blink for eternity. To make complex decisions, software needs vast amounts of diverse information – the kind that is available when every device shares its status (e.g., environmental conditions, performance, usage pattern). To then extend those decisions to people, it needs information about us. And while people often worry that machines will plumb their innermost thoughts and dreams, they don’t need to. Human metadata like your health statistics (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns), location, and behaviors (e.g., text/email/social media/phone call targets, media access patterns, credit card charges) are sufficient. In short, the kind of information that is already available about both your machines and you.The Third Platform will deliver the Social Network of Machines. The explosion of mobile devices and connectivity enable the network to reach into every corner of your life. Big Data provides the power to analyze and make decisions at an epic scale; social creates the connections between machines and people; and cloud delivers the dynamically configurable physical resources to transform theory into reality.The Social Network of Machines will infuse (some may say invade) virtually every aspect of our lives. And whether you are enthusiastic about this new world or you feel trepidation, there are two questions that you have to ask:How do you make sure that the Social Network of Machines remains available and functional in the face of malicious (security attacks) or non-malicious (error, malfunction, natural disaster) threats?How do you make sure that the Social Network of Machines treats our personal metadata with the security that we demand?In our next post, we will explore these questions, and how their answers intersect with the world of data protection and software-defined storage. The Social Network of Machines is changing the world and ushering in The Second Machine Age. It would be comforting to be ready for it. It is absolutely critical, however, that we ensure that it is ready for us.The concept of “The Second Machine Age” comes from Andrew McAfee and Eric Brynjolfsson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as expressed in their recently published work The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.
However, achieving these goals requires:In most instances, storage is the limiting factor preventing organizations from taking full advantage of their data and analytics investment with I/O and bandwidth bottlenecks limiting the number of CPUs, the amount of data analyzed and concurrent jobs and users. Dell EMC and SAS, the leading provider of analytics software, recently joined forces to provide the ultimate combination of storage, computing power and software for modern, accelerated enterprise analytics.Dell EMC DSSD™ D5™ Rack-Scale Flash solution leveraging Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 servers Enables Analytics at Scale And Results Prove ItNew performance testing conducted by Principled Technologies using Dell EMC DSSD D5 rack-scale flash storage appliance with a mixed SAS analytic workload running on Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 servers powered by Intel Xeon processors E5‑2699 v4 and hosting SAS 9 instances demonstrated:Dell EMC DSSD D5 delivers extreme low latency access to data and can meet the bandwidth requirements of hundreds of cores (tested with 352 cores), allowing customers to consolidate SAS applications on a single platform, run more analytics in the same time period and enable more concurrent users and applications.DSSD D5 provides near-linear scaling with eight Dell R730 servers, powered by Intel® Xeon® processors E5-2699 v4, and running more than 800 concurrent analytics jobs, delivered a peak bandwidth of 22.8 GB per second.DSSD D5 kept up with CPU demand for I/O while ensuring that all computing power was fully utilized by illustrating SAS CPU/real-time ratios greater than 1.0, even with eight servers.In a nutshell, DSSD D5 provides game-changing performance and enables customers to leverage analytics at scale and accelerate time-to-value for their SAS workloads. Additionally, the validated Dell EMC storage and server configuration for SAS lowers risk for customers by combining unprecedented performance, reliability and flexibility with faster deployment time and a smaller data center footprint.In a second announcement today, Dell EMC made available PowerEdge Servers with the DSSD client cards packaged together to be offered as a drop-in-the-box shipment. In Q4’16, we will offer DSSD client cards factory installed in select Dell PowerEdge servers. Along with offering unprecedented performance, reliability and flexibility, the Dell EMC solution further accelerates deployment time and enhances ease of use.Want to learn more? Check out the DSSD homepage and the Principled Technologies Report, Executive Summary–Report and Infographic and follow @EMCDSSD on Twitter for our latest announcements and content. Why This Solution & Why Now?Today, organizations are under greater pressure than ever to take advantage of the ever-growing amounts and sources of data to deliver new business services, improve results and compete better. DSSD D5 Rack-Scale Flash Storage And PowerEdge R730 Servers Takes SAS Analytics To The Next LevelLast week, we announced the largest merger ever in the IT industry – the merger of Dell and EMC. Today, with our announcement of new Dell EMC DSSD™ D5™ Rack-Scale Flash solution leveraging Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 servers, we are providing a great example of how the innovative technologies and products from Dell EMC provide real world solutions to customers’ problems. This new solution is optimized for SAS applications and delivers game-changing performance for SAS 9, allowing customers to take full advantage of new innovative offerings from the SAS portfolio.
The start of every calendar year heralds a number of key activities in the form of Sales Kick-offs, previous year reviews, and setting up goals and objectives for the year ahead. But among all the events and initiatives one of the things I look forward to most is celebrating our strong and thriving partnership with Cisco at its annual European conference, Cisco Live in Berlin.The partnership between Dell EMC and Cisco goes back to 2009 and has resulted in billions of dollars worth of business and generated tens of thousands of customers around the globe. Together we have changed the face of the IT industry by creating a new market category – converged solutions. We’re the undisputed leader as the number 1 vendor in Integrated Systems according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker.There is no better validation of a portfolio than the testimony of satisfied customers who are happy to talk about their experience and the benefits they have realized from a technology they have deployed. Here are some of my top customer stories that showcase how we are enabling organizations to modernize and transform their digital journeys.Etisalat Misr Etisalat Group, one of the world’s leading telecom groups in emerging markets, provides innovative solutions and services in 19 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The company was keen to maintain a competitive edge in a fast-changing marketplace through agile IT and an ability to exploit third-platform technology and big data. By deploying Dell EMC’s converged solutions it was able to realize greater IT agility, higher user satisfaction, improved cash flow, greater scalability and lower costs. That’s what I call a slam dunk!Read more Unilin A flooring, panelling and insulation manufacturer, Unilin sees innovation as the path to growth. The company wanted to optimize manufacturing with an agile, high-performing data center platform. By deploying Dell EMC converged solutions, Unilin doubled performance of business applications and web servers, achieved up to 60 percent improvement in fault resolution times, and grew virtualization to 65 percent of total server estate.Read the full case study hereEDF EDF is the world leader in electricity supply and one of the largest energy companies in the world with over 39 million customers and 156,000 employees globally. The company wanted to provide its business units with more IT capacity and agility, and greater cost efficiencies. By moving to Dell EMC converged solution, EDF lowered the total cost of ownership, provided for quicker global infrastructure updates from months to days, faster provisioning from weeks to minutes and more time for higher-value work and innovation. That is an electrifying story!Find out more about how EDF did itProMedica is a locally owned, nonprofit health system providing quality healthcare services to people living and working in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Rapid growth had created numerous IT issues around availability, performance, management, and support. With the help of Dell EMC converged solutions, ProMedica has been able to realize significant benefits: unplanned downtime has been eliminated and 12 data centers have been reduced to four, resulting in cost and time savings. And further growth will be trouble free as virtual machines can be provisioned in minutes and upgrades are seamlessly applied.ProMedica is a fantastic success story where IT is delivering real business value. Click here for more details. Watch this video to find out how forming a converged infrastructure team delivered immediate benefits to the healthcare provider and view this video to understand how converged infrastructure led to improved patient care and supported rapid growth of the health system.In BerlinDuring Cisco Live we are presenting two breakout sessions – Ted Streete will put a spotlight on why networks are the secret sauce to successful converged and hyper-converged infrastructure and in the second session Tom O’Reilly will focus on customer success stories. Our booth will feature the latest kit from Dell EMC and incisive in-booth presentations which will educate the audience on our solutions and value proposition. Our social media team will live tweet from the converged platforms and solutions sessions at the main booth and breakout sessions. Get real time updates with our designated live tweeters including @youngP2, @nigelmou and @DellEMC_CI and join the conversation at #DellEMC!There is no doubt that 2016 has been a seminal year for us. We’ve changed in many significant ways. However, one thing that has not only remained constant but grown stronger is our partnership with Cisco.Cisco UCS in an essential component of Vblock and VxBlock and there are no plans to change it. Senior leadership on both sides have reiterated it several times, from Michael Dell, Chuck Robbins to Chad Sakac and Ravi Pendekanti from the Dell EMC PowerEdge server team, the importance and power of our relationship is unwavering.I’m tremendously excited about our joint future opportunities that will further strengthen this relationship and look forward to continue working with Cisco to deliver digital transformation for our customers.Want to know more? Read Ted Streete’s incisive blog comparing motorsport duality and the modern data center here and David Hayward’s insightful blog Thinking Outside the Box: Extending Converged Infrastructure Across Networks here
Dell EMC and VMware are working together to reduce the risk for new CSP workloads adoption: Next Generation Access, Network Operations, OSS, Network Edge and 5G Networks. Each of these areas are going through disruption spanning architecture, technology, operations and workforce transformation. Dell EMC and VMware are combining efforts with several vendors, open source communities and standard bodies to take a leadership role in this journey to accelerate the transformation and adoption process.We are working with traditional Network Equipment Manufacturers, software-only vendors and System Integrators to validate these workloads on Dell EMC NFV Ready Bundle for VMware. These collaborations result in completely tested and validated solutions with rapid deployment guides, scalability and sizing guide with benchmarking for accelerated quoting of the Build-of-Material along with worldwide deployment services from Dell EMC. This provides a total care solution from Dell EMC based on the VMware vCloud NFV Platform.We have done the hard work by building a carrier-grade foundational platform to minimize adoption time and cost while significantly reducing time to service from months/weeks to days/hours. The Ready Bundle provides a single point of contact for total care from Dell EMC. Ease-of-ordering, ready-to-use customizable solutions for long life cycle support of all components is facilitated with seamless customer experience responsible for all components and world-class professional services to accelerate the adoption cycle.We look forward to becoming a partner to help facilitate the CSPs in their transformation journey. As the industry gets ready for MWC-Americas, we at Dell EMC have also been getting ready. At the event we will be showcasing our latest pairing with VMware geared for Communications Service Providers and Mobile Operators—our Dell EMC NFV Ready Bundle for VMware. You might have heard that VMware is on a roll with a win @ Vodafone. The combination of the VMware software, vCloud NFV Platform, tested and validated on Dell EMC server, storage and networking infrastructure makes for a simplified solution to accelerate NFV deployments.The influx of new applications make mobile communications an essential element of our everyday life and businesses. However, legacy network infrastructure can’t keep up with the pace of change. The adoption of cloud services and the increasingly competitive landscape with Over-The-Top-Providers offering value-added services on traditional Communication Service Provider (CSP) infrastructure creates financial and operational challenges resulting in increased pressure on these service providers.Numerous technologies, open source initiatives, competing infrastructure/standards and the lack of an eco-system make it difficult for them to venture into a transformation journey. The current options available to them are at the extremes: too restrictive with full stack architectures or too disaggregated requiring a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach. The Dell EMC NFV Ready Bundle for VMware addresses this challenge by providing the best of both worlds with a platform comprising disaggregated elements from the leaders of their respective portfolios.Introducing Dell EMC NFV Ready Bundle for VMwareDell EMC, the leader in compute, storage and open networking, is collaborating with VMware, the virtualization and software-defined storage (SDS) market leader, to bring best-of-breed solutions designed to run CSP mobile workloads based on x86 infrastructure. Dell EMC offers the best-in-class infrastructure with their server, storage and networking products. These products offers a scalable, automated and secure platform for traditional and cloud-native workloads.The Dell EMC NFV Ready Bundle for VMware includes open standards-based Dell EMC Cloud Infrastructure (compute, networking, Service Assurance Suite and management tools) and a choice of a Virtual Infrastructure Manager (vCloud Director or VMware Integrated OpenStack) with vSAN or Dell EMC ScaleIO. For more details, a spec sheet can be found here.
In a matter of days, companies around the world showed incredible agility by moving from a limited remote workforce to a majority of their employees now working from home full time when their industries and work allowed. Because companies needed to act quickly, many established security standards were bypassed or hastily rushed through the process, increasing their exposure to cyber threats. Even the World Health Organization is warning against cyber attacks, citing a five-fold increase. This highlights that if you’re considering a data protection change, cyber recovery should be a key decision criteria that you validate before looking at other features and functionality. If the solution you choose does not allow you to quickly recover from all the different threats, including insider threats, then you could be putting your company at increased risk.The first step is to establish your definition and goals for cyber recovery, depending on your company’s security needs and desired outcomes. In today’s data protection landscape, while it’s great that most vendors can provide strategies and features around cyber recovery, if they can’t help you accomplish your goals, then the solution is unusable. If I were evaluating a cyber recovery solution, I would ask these five questions to help understand which vendor can best support my definition and goals of cyber recovery and help me reach my long-term desired outcome.1. Does the solution maintain a protected copy of data with physical and network isolation – a logical “air gap”? If so, how is the air gap opened and closed? Without an isolated, logically air-gapped environment, data is vulnerable to threat factors. If the air gap is controlled from production, it’s vulnerable. If the air gap is opened and closed through a firewall or switch, it becomes a point of vulnerability, and the contents of the vault can be fully exposed when data is flowing.Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery provides a truly immutable, orchestrated, and automated logical air gap to protect data. The isolated vault components are never accessible from production, and access to the vault target is extremely limited. Some vendors will claim to offer an “air gap” solution because their data is separate from the production network or sent offsite to tape or the cloud. However, these strategies remain fully accessible to bad actors and don’t provide sufficient protection to a wide variety of threat actors, or efficient recovery mechanisms.2. Does your backup software create or have access to the protected copy? Does your backup admin have access to the protected copy?Some offerings in the market have data sets that reside in production and can be accessed by an administrator with appropriate credentials. An insider or advanced threat actor will likely have access to the backup server infrastructure. If that infrastructure includes access to the protected copy, it can be deleted or encrypted. How does this setup protect against a disgruntled employee looking to delete data or a threat actor who has stolen employee credentials from a previous attack?PowerProtect Cyber Recovery has many layers to protect against advanced threat actors, including insiders. The vault itself is physically and logically isolated, and it cannot be accessed unless the person is physically in the vault. The vault also cannot be opened or controlled from the production side, so even an insider cannot gain access without physical access. Furthermore, in keeping with recommended best practices, only CISO-appointed administrators should have physical access to the vault. And this control can be further hardened through processes that – for example – require a second person when the vault is accessed to provide oversight.3. Even if your solution protects data with “immutable” or “locked” storage, how do you protect it from an administrator? Do you require a secure time (NTP) source to protect the immutability? Securing data against unauthorized changes or deletion is a good hardening practice, but it’s limited. While some immutability or locking capabilities are safe from regular users, an administrator can often override them. Vendors may claim that backups can never be changed, but they never say how this magic is performed. What happens if someone pulls drives, formats the appliance, or gains admin credentials?Others are dependent on a time source that relies heavily on a secure Network Time Protocol (NTP) server. NTP is used by many components of the customer’s environment, like VMware, network, storage, and backup. What happens if a cybercriminal or insider compromises that server and moves the NTP date ahead past the lock period? PowerProtect Cyber Recovery not only provides a compliance retention lock capability that is attested to comply with the SEC 17a-4(f)(ii) archival standard but also uses an internal clock to help protect against attacks on an often vulnerable NTP server.4. Do your analytics look at full content or just metadata?Most vendors only take a high-level view of the data and use analytics that looks for obvious signs of corruption based on metadata. Metadata-level corruption is not difficult to detect, and if a solution leverages this kind of analytics only, it will miss changes within the file.PowerProtect Cyber Recovery analytics go well beyond metadata-only solutions. The solution provides full-content based analytics, analyzing the file metadata, the document metadata, and the full content of the file itself – this is what sets PowerProtect Cyber Recovery apart from other vendors’ limited offerings. This solution uses more advanced capabilities such as the entropy (a measure of randomness) and similarity of the files. For example, a metadata-based analytics solution would not be able to determine that the contents of critical files have been encrypted if the file names have not been changed.For added security, the analytics operates inside the vault, where an attacker cannot compromise them. This also provides the ability to enable a more efficient recovery after an attack. Competing analytics solutions simply don’t offer this level of intelligence or security. If they determine a file is suspicious based on their metadata scan, to do a full analysis, they must then send the entire file offsite to a cloud provider, where a second pass on the file can be performed. During a ransomware scenario where minutes count, this is a problematic strategy. Similarly, in a large-scale attack, network access could be destroyed or intentionally shut down, so it may not be possible to send the file(s) or obtain the results. Knowing which files have been compromised and which are safe to recover is critical knowledge before recovering data back into production environments.5. Does your solution rely on a hidden share or view?This is a strategy that looks better on a marketing one-pager than in the data center. Even if the data sets are “hidden,” they are still accessible to administrators. What’s stopping an insider threat from deleting these “hidden” data sets?With PowerProtect Cyber Recovery, IT or Backup administrators can’t access or override security credentials or retention policies in the vault. You can rest assured knowing that you’re protected just as much from insider threats as from external ones.Hopefully, thinking through these five questions and asking the vendors you’re evaluating how they handle these scenarios will help you make an informed Cyber Recovery decision that meets your company goals.If you are interested in learning more about PowerProtect Cyber Recovery, click here.Additionally, if you would like more information on how Dell EMC Data Protection and Sheltered Harbor are protecting financial institutions, please register here for a webinar on Thursday, May 28th.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Sifis Valyrakis, a former minister and resistance fighter against Greece’s 1967-74 military dictatorship who twice made daring escapes, was found dead at sea Sunday night, the coast guard has announced. He was 77. Arrested for a series of bombings during the dictatorship, he escaped from prison twice, the second time by swimming from the island of Corfu to neighboring Albania. A dedicated follower of socialist leader Andreas Papandreou, he strongly denied allegations made by U.S. officials that he was a member of the November 17 extremist group.
NEW YORK (AP) — The American Library Association has announced its winners of the Carnegie medals for literary excellence. James McBride won in fiction for his novel “Deacon King Kong.” Rebecca Giggs won in nonfiction for “Fathoms: The World in the Whale.” McBride and Giggs each have strong childhood memories of libraries. McBride would visit them often because they were a “safe space” and because his family couldn’t afford to buy many books. Giggs remembers her mother getting into aerobics “in a big way” and, a few nights a week, dropping off her and her sister at a library near the workout space.