For some time now, server unit sales have been steadily dropping for the major x86 server vendors as enterprises draw down their on-premises hardware in favor of cloud services.The response from the hardware vendors is if you can’t beat ‘em, clone ‘em. Vendors are adopting a pay-as-you-go model not unlike that of a cloud provider, where you pay for how much compute time you use and hand back the hardware when you are done rather than buying it outright.+Check out our review of rack servers from HP, Dell and IBM and tips on calculating the true cost of cloud migration+To read this article in full, please click here
If you’ve noticed a considerable increase in the price of memory in the last few months, you can thank (or blame) Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The explosion in growth among hyperscale data centers is great if you are a supplier of components to these companies, not so great if you are buying those same components.According to DRAMeXchange, a division of market researcher TrendForce, the price of server DRAM will continue to rise as the supply remains tight in the first quarter of this year. The server DRAM market has seen tight supply since the third quarter of last year due to massive construction projects by the data center market, especially the hyperscale data centers, data centers that are bigger than a football field.To read this article in full, please click here
Companies today face incredible challenges around compliance, security and analytics, as their data lakes fill with invaluable information from ever more sensors. And tomorrow’s challenges will be no easier. As the digital age expands to cover all facets of our lives, more and more computing power will be necessary to process all of the data created.Take the explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) as an example. We have only sampled the benefits that the IoT can provide. In the words of Dan Mitchell, a retail analytics industry expert with SAS, IoT can be fundamentally described as “a network of connected physical objects embedded with sensors. IoT allows these devices to communicate, analyze, and share data about the physical world around us via networks and cloud-based software platforms.”To read this article in full, please click here
Researchers have discovered several vulnerabilities in Dell EMC's data protection products that would allow an attacker to gain full control of the system. Fortunately, a fix is available now for download.The vulnerabilities, three in all, were disclosed on Jan. 4 by the security technology and services firm Digital Defense. They effect Dell EMC's Avamar Server, NetWorker Virtual Edition, and Integrated Data Protection Appliance, which use a common component called Avamar Installation Manager. This is the problematic app.In addition to this, a related problem in the VMware vSphere Data Protection backup product has also been uncovered, but it has already been patched.To read this article in full, please click here
If you thought storage was trending towards solid-state mediums and that magnetic drives were edging out, you may want to pause a moment. A slew of scientific breakthroughs in magnetism as it relates to storage and computing were announced last year.The multiple Eureka moments could change how we compute and perform Internet of Things and might, in one case, introduce magnet-driven neural networks — which is computing that mimics how the brain processes things.3D magnets
First on the list was last November's announcement of the invention of 3D nano-magnets that shift data transfers from traditional two dimensions to three dimensions. This kind of add-on could significantly increase storage and processing functions, say its inventors at the University of Cambridge in an article published by Sinc.To read this article in full, please click here
As the chip vendors wrestle to get their arms around the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, we’re slowly determining the exposure of AMD and ARM to the exploit. Intel, unfortunately, is totally vulnerable. With AMD and ARM, though, it gets complicated.First, let’s go over the Spectre exploit, which is a second class of attacks similar to Meltdown, the one we all know. Like Meltdown, Spectre exploits speculative execution in order to root out information from a CPU’s cache. Spectre is different because of how it runs.Also read: Meltdown and Spectre exploits: Cutting through the FUD
While Meltdown is based on a specific implementation of speculative execution, Spectre exploits a risk to speculative execution that requires more work to exploit but is also considered harder to mitigate. Because it’s more obscure and arcane, it’s not as well understood. That’s why Meltdown is considered the bigger risk.To read this article in full, please click here
As the fallout continues over the Meltdown and Spectre exploits in Intel and now some ARM processors, the issue of what to do about it is coming front and center. Clearly there is no fixing a silicon problem; Intel will have to adjust future chips to deal with it. So, for now, we have the software fixes.Linux distros are rolling out fixes, and Microsoft has issue patches for Windows — although the threat to consumers is minimal. Apple has also issued a macOS fix.To read this article in full, please click here
VMware's vSAN (virtual SAN) architecture is designed to be a significant step into software-defined-computing, where the vSAN component is responsible for providing software-defined storage.Previously, systems architecture was one server containing its own compute, operating system, networking and storage. Virtualization abstracted this so that more than one OS could run per server, if still bound by captive network functionality, and storage.+See our review of vSAN 6.6+What is hyper-convergence?
Hyper-convergence is the ability to abstract all of the components, be it the OS, storage, the network relationships a system has, and so forth. It’s the foundation of the software-defined-datacenter, distributed yet converged into a workload unit.To read this article in full, please click here
There is lots of information circulating about the new exploits of computer chips from Intel and others announced in the past few days. Some of it has been accurate, and some has been sensationalist and overblown. There is much technical information with high level of details available for both Meltdown and Spectre, so I won’t get into a lot of technical detail here. Rather, I’ll focus on the higher-level issues affecting business and personal computer users.+RELATED: Intel’s processor flaw is a virtualization nightmare; Red Hat responds to the Intel processor flaw+To read this article in full, please click here
2018 is off to a very bad start for Intel after the disclosure of a flaw deep in the design of its processors, dubbed Meltdown. And while the company has publicly said the issue won’t affect consumers, they aren’t the ones who need to be worried.The issue is found in how Intel processors work with page tables for handling virtual memory. It is believed that an exploit would be able to observe the content of privileged memory by exploiting a technique called speculative execution.Speculative execution exploit
Speculative execution is a part of a methodology called out-of-order execution (OOE), where basically the CPU makes an educated guess on what will happen next based on the data it has. It’s designed to speed up the CPU rather than burn up CPU cycles working its way through a process. It’s all meant to make the CPU as efficient as possible.To read this article in full, please click here
Yes, it's that time of the year again. Another year gone by, which means another batch of predictions for the future.As is always the case, I own up to my misfires by leading off with the predictions I made last year and admitting what came true and what didn't. So, let's get that out of the way.My 2017 predictions: some hits, some misses
Apple continues to lose its cool. — I think I got this one right. iPhone 8/X sales are not what they were expected to be, the list of complaints is growing and more and more people say the company has fallen behind. Hell, even I switched to a Galaxy after frustration with the poor quality of iOS 11.
Cloud adoption will slow. — Oh, boy, did I blow that one.
Some tech manufacturing will return to the U.S. — I don’t know about tech, although I did see Microsoft has moved Surface manufacturing to China. But overall, manufacturing has gained 138,000 jobs in 2017 vs. a loss of 34,000 in 2016. And we all know who will take credit for that.
China will lose its luster as a manufacturing hub. — Clearly that has Continue reading
The arrival of the holiday shopping season always brings sharp focus onto ecommerce, which just keeps disrupting how retailers and consumers shop. But it’s striking just how much running room remains in front of this trend, which already has a couple decades of Christmases under its big black Santa belt.According to eMarketer, ecommerce sales will grow more than 23 percent in 2017 – and still only account for a tenth of retail sales globally. Opportunities remain huge in the online shopping sector, but only if companies can continue to keep the digital payments at the heart of it simple, fast and secure for consumers and retailers alike. That’s a perpetual challenge.To read this article in full, please click here
Unable to even come close to SSDs in terms of performance, hard disk makers have chosen to compete with capacity. A SSD over 1TB in size starts to become expensive, especially for consumers, so HDD makers Seagate and Western Digital have gone for massive capacity, introducing drives with up to 14TB of capacity.But now Seagate promises greater speed thanks to a new drive head technology. Dubbed the multi-actuator technology, it’s a simple idea that’s been around a while but wasn’t economically viable in the past due to higher component costs.Hard drive heads are connected to an arm called an actuator. This moves back and forth across the disk while the disk spins. Hard drives have multiple platters for storing data, and the actuator arms have drive heads on both sides of the platter, since data is written to both sides of the platter.To read this article in full, please click here
With the happiest of holidays soon upon us and New Year’s right around the corner, now is an appropriate time to reflect on data center managers around the world so that all their days may be merry and bright. But wait, is that an IT staff member attempting to forecast capacity with his head buried in an MS Excel spreadsheet? And another, tiredly walking the data center with a Stanley tape measure hooked on his belt while daydreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones he used to know?Our hearts go out to them, knowing that without accurate intel these data center managers won’t be able to take timely and appropriate actions, to say nothing about missing out on their CFOs’ figgy pudding. But they are not alone.To read this article in full, please click here
Hypervisors often get overlooked as a technology in favor of the flashier concept of virtualization, but you can’t get to the fun of virtualization until you understand what a hypervisor does within a computing system.While the benefits of virtualization and cloud computing may now seem like old hat within the IT infrastructure, that wasn’t always the case, and it is hypervisor technology that has helped drive innovation in the world of cloud computing.Hypervisor definition
A hypervisor is a process that separates a computer’s operating system and applications from the underlying physical hardware. Usually done as software although embedded hypervisors can be created for things like mobile devices.To read this article in full, please click here
The lifecycle of a data center is measured in decades, yet the tech that’s inside is changing constantly.“Today’s data centers are really out of sync with the equipment that’s inside them. It would be like using the enclosure for a 1984 Macintosh with the current generation of iMac. It just doesn’t jive very well. The power, cooling and space requirements have all morphed,” says Jennifer Cooke, research director for IDC's datacenter trends and strategies teamTo read this article in full, please click here
The drive toward the cloud is lifting all boats. The need for capacity and new servers combined to lift the server market in the third quarter, with more growth to come, especially for the “white box” vendors.Gartner reported worldwide server revenue grew by a very impressive 16 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2017, while unit shipments grew by 5.1 percent. That gulf between revenue and units means more higher-end, more decked-out servers are being sold than cheap, commodity hardware.Also on Network World: REVIEW: How rack servers from HPE, Dell and IBM stack up
It helps that in recent months, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Dell EMC and Lenovo have all released new hardware, which is helping to drive sales as enterprises refresh their on-premises hardware. So all told, the third quarter was marked by new hardware and continued growth of the cloud.To read this article in full, please click here
Vapor IO, the data center technology startup previously featured for its plans to put mini data centers at cell towers, announced a new architecture for deploying and managing distributed computing power throughout cities.As previously announced, the company launched what it calls Project Volutus, a co-location and “data center as a platform” service, powered by Vapor Edge Computing containers. What’s coming out now is details on the modules.What is Vapor Kinetic Edge?
The actual data center module design is called Vapor Kinetic Edge. The idea is to install multiple interconnected edge computing locations around a city or a region and connect them to form a single virtual data center using centralized management and orchestration software.To read this article in full, please click here
It’s the "Dirty Cloud," says journalist John Vidal in a recent tweet. Vidal is referring to energy use by data centers, which he wrote about in an article for Climate Home News.In the story, published this week, the Guardian environment writer reveals a bleak picture of future global climate change emissions. Bleak, in part, because the discouraging projections he writes of are caused not by, as one might expect, fossil fuel power plants and internal combustion engine users, but by communications and data center power use.To read this article in full, please click here
Enterprise software’s days are numbered, and if you don’t adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, your data center will be useless.Those are the claims of Gartner Research Vice President Milind Govekar, who gave a presentation at Gartner’s annual conference for IT infrastructure operations professionals recently in Las Vegas.Govekar said that as soon as 2019, at least a third of the largest software vendors will have transitioned their products from cloud-first to cloud-only. Although he didn’t mention it by name, you have to think Microsoft is in that category because it is already cloud-first with its enterprise apps. Office 365 already outsells the packaged Office 2016, so I can see a major de-emphasis of the client product in the coming years.To read this article in full, please click here