Advancing Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack with Greater Performance, Management and Flexibility

first_imgLast year at Inspire, Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft Azure Stack, a true hybrid cloud platform. At the time, Dell EMC had already announced that we were partnering with Microsoft to bring the value of a combined Dell EMC and Microsoft Azure Stack offering to market. Since then, we’ve seen a tremendous response to the offering.In less than 12 months, we have customers of all sizes, across multiple verticals including finance, manufacturing, public sector and cloud service providers. Not only have we seen such a great response to our offering, we’ve also heard from our partners and customers on what they’d like to see moving forward.While standardization is key to any successful hybrid cloud deployment, we recognize the need to allow for some flexibility built into our offering including configurations and integrations, as well as how the solution can be more flexibly acquired. With the feedback we’ve received, we’ve further strengthened our offer over the past few months. Our goal is to ensure that Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack helps provide an IT transformation path for our partners and customers by boasting the following enhancements:All-flash:  We now have an all flash VxRack Azure Stack (AS) configuration option, which includes 25G ToR (top of rack) switches. Predictable performance and low latency are just the beginning. Customers will also benefit from a smaller footprint, lower power and cooling requirements and more. We will continue to offer hybrid offerings, as well, allowing you to choose the storage components of your VxRack AS platform.Automated Infrastructure Patch and Update: Automated HCI Patch and Update is available in preview now! This is an industry exclusive feature—no other Azure Stack vendor offers this.  Why is this important? Remember, there are two separate processes for Patch and Update on Azure Stack.  The first is the Azure Stack software, which is handled via updates on a nearly monthly cadence from Microsoft through the Azure Stack Administrator Portal. That still leaves the hardware components, which need to follow a similar process as the Azure Stack software to avoid unnecessary disruption to the Azure Stack services. When manually done, this can be extremely time consuming as each node needs to be brought in and out of maintenance mode individually with multiple steps per-node. Each hardware vendor provides step-by-step guidance on how to do this, and the process takes several hours to complete. Dell EMC’s exclusive orchestration tool allows customers to update the firmware on their entire VxRack AS scale unit in one step.  This is the “easy button” that customers have come to expect of all Dell EMC HCI products and allows customers to spend more time focusing on business-value initiatives. To learn more, read this recent blog here, and see a demo here.SecureVM and Geo-fencing:  SecureVM is now integrated with Azure Stack and available through the Azure Stack Marketplace! You can run your key management in public Azure or Azure Stack, and the VM extensions for Linux and Windows VMs allow customers to enforce policies that dictate the circumstances under which keys are released—and it even includes geo-fencing.Our enhancements don’t stop within the infrastructure. We’ve also begun to add flexibility and choice to how our partners and customers can consume our Azure Stack offering:Flexible consumption: We now offer flexible consumption of hybrid cloud through Cloud Flex as a way to acquire Azure Stack, enabling partners and customers to leverage cloud-like economics by consuming Azure Stack as an operating expense. By extending Cloud Flex to the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, we are responding to our customers’ request for a consumption solution that drives lower costs, the ability to right-size technology and facilitates a smooth transition to hybrid cloud. The Cloud Flex Program for channel partners is simple to execute and provides partners with a predictable profit stream based on the duration of customer usage. To learn more about Cloud Flex, visit its home page on built on the industry-leading  hyper-converged infrastructure systems portfolio (with Dell EMC VxRack), Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack is now even more robust than before, and we expect customers and partners to continue to find success as they continue their IT transformations.We’ve come a long way in a short time but are very excited with what the future holds for Azure Stack.  We hope you are too!  To keep up to date with all things Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, please visit the website here: If you’re attending Microsoft Inspire this week, please visit our Dell EMC booth #623 to see our solution first-hand and meet with our leading minds driving the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack.last_img read more

Introducing the New Standard for File in the Cloud

first_imgFile data has experienced rapid growth in the data center. In fact, it often accounts for nearly 50 percent of the on-prem data footprint for an organization1. When it comes to the public cloud, adoption of file has been steady, but it is not as prevalent. This is a reflection of the state of the file services in the cloud today. As they become more mature and capable, more file-based workloads can be supported, and adoption will naturally accelerate.This is why I’m excited to introduce as part of the Dell Technologies Cloud family OneFS for Google Cloud, a fully integrated and managed native cloud file service that combines the power and scale of OneFS with the economics and simplicity of Google Cloud. OneFS is the battle-hardened operating system of Dell EMC Isilon storage arrays, and the industry’s #1 scale-out NAS filesystem2.The OneFS file service offers multi-protocol file access for NFS, SMB, and HDFS workloads. Capacity scales up to 50PB in a single namespace, with performance that scales along with it at a rate of 97 MB/s per TiB. Enterprise data management features include snapshots, native replication, Active Directory support, and high data durability and availability.Organizations can now run high performance file workloads in the cloud to take advantage of Google Cloud’s elastic compute, GPU instances and analytics services – all without having to make any changes to their applications.In addition, the OneFS file service is natively integrated with Google Cloud, making it simple and easy to use with predictable subscription-based pricing and guaranteed performance. Customers simply order it from the Google Cloud Marketplace, and once provisioned they can configure and manage their OneFS filesystems directly from the Google Cloud console. Customers receive a single monthly bill and support from Google while Dell Technologies experts manage the operations for you.OneFS brings game-changing performance for file data in the public cloudBased on third party performance testing with the IOzone benchmark, OneFS delivered sustainable read throughput of 200GB/s and write throughput of 120GB/s.Now to put that in perspective, ESG compared these results to another NAS vendor offering file services in Google Cloud, and OneFS delivered: ​​up to 46X higher maximum read throughput​3up to 96X higher maximum write throughput​3up to 500x higher maximum file system capacity3​Let’s take a closer look at the benchmark configuration and results.Figure 1: IOzone Benchmark ConfigurationESG began testing with the goal of measuring maximum sequential read and write throughput, running the industry standard IOzone benchmark. A 512K block size was used emulate the data processing characteristics of large file workflows such as high-definition video post-production, seismic data analysis, IoT, and genomic processing. The benchmark ran on Google compute instances, each of which mounted a single 2PB file share over NFSv3, which was sized at a 2PB usable capacity.The number of compute cores were scaled from 64 threads, doubling the thread count with each load step, up to 1024 threads where peak sustainable load was achieved, as shown in Figure 2. These I/O threads were hosted by 128 virtual machines at the peak, each having 8 CPUs (n1-standard-8 instances).Figure 2: OneFS for Google Cloud Performance Scalability Benchmark ResultsESG validated that Dell Technologies Cloud OneFS for Google Cloud achieved a maximum read performance of 200 GB/s and maximum write performance of 120 GB/s against a 2PB storage volume1.It is important to note that this is a scale-out filesystem, with linear scaling, which means if you want to double these performance numbers, double the size of the filesystem. OneFS can deliver massive throughput up to 945GB/s. ESG performed their benchmark runs with a 2PB configuration, and OneFS for Google Cloud scales up to 50PB. That’s the power of scale that we’re delivering!You can now run your high-performance computing file workloads in the cloud – with an enterprise grade, scalable file service that can go the distance. The new standard for file data in the public cloud has been set. Imagine what that can do for accelerating your business.AvailabilityOneFS for Google Cloud is available today. Customers in North America, Singapore and Sydney will be able to take advantage of OneFS for Google Cloud at launch, with additional global locations to be announced based on customer demand.1Source: ESG, Performance Testing of Dell Technologies Cloud OneFS for Google Cloud, May 20202Source: IDC WW Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, 2019 Q4. Ranking by 4Q2019 vendor revenue3Based on a May 2020 ESG Report commissioned by Dell EMC, “Performance Testing of Dell Technologies Cloud OneFS for Google Cloud”, estimate based on comparison of publicly available specifications and performance benchmarking results for a competing vendor’s NAS solution and Dell Technologies Cloud OneFS both on Google Cloud.  Actual results may vary. AD# G20000133last_img read more

Thriving in the Cybersecurity Chess Game

first_imgStart Strong, Stay Strong, Keep Your Opponents in CheckCyberattacks have the most impact and are a persistent threat to any organization, especially those leveraging information technology to achieve a competitive advantage. Just look at a few of the headlines over the last six months: “Tech Giant Down After Ransomware Attack,” “Cruise Line Suffered A Ransomware Attack In Which Guest And Employee Data Was Accessed,” “Business Giant Data Leaked After Ransomware Attack.” What is going on? There are so many safeguards available today to prevent this kind of impactful breach, what’s missing?It isn’t that there’s anything missing, per se, it’s that the IT security landscape is constantly shifting, and many IT teams struggle to keep up. Devon Ackerman, head of incident response at Kroll North America was recently quoted by ZDNet as saying, “The ongoing evolution of ransomware creators is constantly shifting the goalposts for those trying to defend data and systems, so vigilance must remain at the top of CIOs to do list.” One area emerging as a newer security threat is infrastructure security, including hardware and the associated firmware.The server hardware, consisting of the baseboard, memory, CPUs, storage, and so forth, is probably assumed to be the most secure part of the IT infrastructure. It takes some serious Mr. Robot kind of hacking to compromise a server’s hardware. Recent analysis by Forrester shows that 63% of companies have experienced a data compromise due to an exploited vulnerability in hardware- or silicon-level security.¹ Nevertheless, there are hardware hacking proofs of concept and the threat is real. Getting ahead of the problem is the best mitigation strategy.Start Strong – Validate Your Hardware Configuration from Day OneDell Technologies has a well-established supply chain and continues to address the evolving threat landscape. Suppliers for Dell systems are vetted, inspected, and validated continuously to meet stringent security requirements for the infrastructure portfolio. Key requirements encompass physical security, cybersecurity, and personnel security as well as risk management processes that incorporate continuous improvement. Providing a reliably secure supply chain reinforces the root of trust that serves as the foundation for our customers’ secure computing and storage environments.One recent enhancement to our PowerEdge line is the ability to automate the work required to inventory and deploy new systems. With Dell Technologies Secured Component Verification, you can validate the servers’ “as-delivered” hardware inventory compared to the “as-built” inventory, quickly identifying and correcting any changes from the expected configuration. A small detail in the bigger picture, but it’s an improvement with a significant impact to the chain of trust for server infrastructure.Simply put, when a new system is built in our manufacturing facility, we perform an automated inventory that is cryptographically signed and stored in that new system. When the system arrives, this same inventory process can be run again, and results compared with the trusted inventory stored on the system. Comparing these two inventories guarantees that if anything changed in transit, it can be inspected and corrected before deployment.Stay Strong – Enhance Your Firmware’s ResiliencyWhile we’re talking about hardware, let’s bring firmware certificate management into the mix. Certainly not the most exciting part of any system administrator’s day, firmware is an emerging “attack vector” for newer, more sophisticated cyberattacks. The big problem with firmware hacks – if successful, is that they can persist, undetected, because virus protection software is unable to check this level of integrity. Breaching the firmware’s security destroys the chain of trust, rippling into compromised applications and data storage. Some of the most secure computing environments we work with require higher security procedures when it comes to firmware certificate management and validation.To harden firmware security, we’ve extended the management capabilities for our platform’s secure boot process with Dell EMC PowerEdge UEFI Secure Boot Customization. This new capability enables granular control of the firmware certificate validation process. Customers may now select which firmware and OS bootloaders are authorized to operate on their PowerEdge servers, eliminating dependence on third party certificate authorities. While this level of independence does require more planning and server infrastructure management, it comes with the benefits of increased control, security and reduced exposure to related vulnerabilities in the boot process.It’s no surprise that the Dell Technologies’ implementation of UEFI Secure Boot Customization was highlighted in the National Security Agency (NSA) recent technical paper “UEFI Secure Boot Customization.” Given our industry leading work in this area, it was rewarding to see PowerEdge servers used to illustrate examples of how to use customization for UEFI secure boot.Outmaneuver Your Opponents – Enable Intelligent Automation for Your Secure EnvironmentDell Technologies makes extensive use of intelligent automation, so you can stay a step ahead of bad actors and keep your opponents in check. With these newest innovations, in addition to the automation capabilities already available in iDRAC, you can rest assured you have the right tools to help build a secure IT infrastructure. Secured Component Verification and UEFI Secure Boot Customization move the security bar higher, increasing the intelligence of the automated processes you rely on to keep pace with your organization’s demand for IT resources.Understand that your success is our vested interest, so delivering our portfolio of infrastructure products with a secure supply chain and intrinsic security capabilities is a top priority today and going forward. Learn more about our server security approach by reading our Server Security: IT Leaders Guide and Cyber-Resilient Security with PowerEdge Whitepaper.¹Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned by Dell, BIOS Security – The Next Frontier for Endpoint Protection, June 2019.last_img read more

Illinois officer fatally shoots suspect after being stabbed

first_imgEAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Police say an Illinois police officer fatally shot a 19-year-old man suspected in a domestic violence incident early Tuesday after he stabbed and wounded the officer during a traffic stop. East Peoria Police Chief Rich Brodrick says the suspect left the scene of a domestic violence call before officers arrived. He says an officer spotted a vehicle matching the suspect’s vehicle and stopped it at a pharmacy, where the suspect stabbed the officer early Tuesday. State police say the wounded officer then shot the male suspect, who was 19. Police say the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and the officer was hospitalized in stable condition.last_img

Florida: Slain FBI agent remembered for protecting children

first_imgMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — A slain FBI agent in Florida is being remembered for her strength, infectious laugh, love of family and commitment to protecting children. A memorial service was held Saturday for Agent Laura Schwartzenberger at the Miami Dolphins’ football stadium. Schwartzenberger and fellow agent Daniel Alfin were gunned down Tuesday while serving a search warrant at the home of a child pornography suspect. The suspect killed himself before he could be arrested. FBI Director Christopher Wray said Schwartzenberger chose a high-stress job and worked hard to protect children from online predators. A separate service for Alfin will be held Sunday at the stadium.last_img