Organizations buy storage infrastructure for one reason: meeting application service level objectives (SLOs). Applications look to storage for availability/accessibility, performance, and protection. While these functions may seem simple, a look at all of the different storage system and software offerings in the marketplace shows that it’s one of the most complex challenges for any data center.Most storage service level discussions begin with availability and performance. To meet those SLOs, teams deploy multiple storage personalities and configurations – high-performance block storage or scale-out object storage or raw, low-cost IOPs storage, etc. Then they consider protection.Protection is becoming exponentially more challenging to select and provision. Protection SLOs include a recovery point objective, a recovery time objective, version retention, and geographical redundancy. To try to meet the SLO, each storage array, hypervisor, and application offers multiple protection technologies (e.g., archival, backup, replication, clones, and snapshots). The result is a sprawling set of infrastructure configurations, which can be difficult and costly to manage, maintain, and adapt to the application environment.That’s why, in 2014, the storage market will begin the quest for SLO-Defined Storage with a real dragon to be slain around data protection. The answer won’t be a one-size-fits-all product, but a solution that configures the appropriate data protection mechanisms when setting up the primary storage.In 2014, customers will evaluate storage on how cost effectively their architectures deliver to their application SLOs across availability, performance, and protection.The battle cry will be: “I want to provision protected storage.”—More Tech Predictions for 2014SDx (Software-Defined Everything) by Amitabh Srivastava, President, Advanced Software DivisionSoftware-Defined in Two Architectures by Josh Kahn, Senior Vice President, Global Solutions MarketingBringing Hadoop to Your Big Data by Bill Richter, President, IsilonA Whole New World by CJ Desai, President, Emerging Technologies DivisionTargeting the Value Office to Transform IT Business by Rick Devenuti, President, Information Intelligence GroupIT’s Ability to Evolve Quickly by Vic Bhagat, Chief Information OfficerAs BYOD Matures, BYOI is Waiting in the Wings by Art Coviello, President, RSAService Orientation, Big Data Lakes, & Security Product Rationalization by Tom Roloff, Senior Vice President, Global Services
Business expectations for data protection have evolved more rapidly than IT can respond. Initially, CIOs sought to lower operational and capital cost and risk by covering the protection continuum (from availability to archive). Now, CIOs need protection to help accelerate the business and drive revenue.How can data protection meet these expanding demands? Metadata. The future lies with those who gather and leverage all the available information.Cost vs. RiskA few years ago, the person who said, “It’s not about the backup; it’s about the recovery” was considered a king of insight (in the ‘one-eyed man in the land of the blind’ sense).Today, customers recognize a continuum of recoveries: Cloud Compliance: Businesses will move some applications and infrastructure to the cloud. IT fears that the cloud solutions will not meet business and legal regulations, and that those shortcomings will be blamed on them. The data protection team needs to ensure that the application data in the cloud is protected, secure, and compliant – even when the business “forgets” to involve them.The data protection discussion bears little resemblance to the “backup window” conversations of years past. Companies expect end-to-end data protection and availability solutions that deliver insight to help IT better serve the business.Solving Use CasesDespite the overwhelming demands, protection teams can redefine themselves. Metadata, the information about your information, is the key. By leveraging metadata, customers create unified solutions that span the protection continuum. The result is that IT becomes a data protection service provider that tracks, monitors, analyzes, and manages the variety of protection techniques.IT then evolves to data management service provider by unlocking the next generation of use cases tied to the protection metadata. Security: Correlate infrastructure metadata (e.g., who is logging into what systems) with application metadata (e.g., what is running on that infrastructure) and content metadata (e.g. , what data are they accessing/creating) to flag security and compliance issues. Corruption recovery: Rollback an application to a previous point in time, due to a logical corruption (bad database schema, etc.) Availability: The line between “availability” and “recovery” is also blurring. Teams prefer to deploy continuously available infrastructure for disaster avoidance rather than disaster recovery. Furthermore, they want to know – “Will moving this workload compromise the data protection/security?” or “Are the application users and data in different sites, compromising performance?” Granular operational recovery: Extract a single object from a recent (90 days or less) point in time – (e.g., email, file) usually due to users’ ”oops”. Disaster recovery: Re-create an application due to unrecoverable failure. Increasingly, customers prefer disaster avoidance with continuous availability. Security: The line between “backup” and “security” blurs. Companies want protection from both accidental and malicious action, like “Has secure data leaked to unsecured servers?” or “Can we identify excessive data deletion because that may indicate an attack?” or “Can I put all information pertaining to this user and his contacts into a compliance/security case file?” Archival retrieval: Search and retrieve objects from a historical archive, usually due to compliance or legal need.To meet these needs, customers deploy mirrors, snapshots, replicas, backups, and archives. The complexity creates a conflict between reducing operational cost and reducing risk.Accelerating the BusinessBusiness demands an agile, analytic-driven IT environment. Unfortunately, small data sprawl, geographically distributed applications and users, makes centralized analytics nearly impossible. There is another option, however. Data protection consolidates both data and metadata across the organization. It’s time for that data protection lake to evolve from insurance policy to business asset.Over the past year, we’ve seen the following data protection extensions: Availability: Correlate application metadata (e.g., what applications are being created or moved) to the infrastructure metadata (e.g., where is the load going to run and be protected) to predict availability issues. Cloud Compliance: The flow is similar to on-premise security, with one additional requirement. IT must work with the cloud provider to access the infrastructuremetadata. Any cloud provider unwilling or unable to provide access to key log information is not mature enough to trust with critical application workloads.By collecting and analyzing the metadata across the environment, the protection team can expand the sets of services they can offer to the business. They can protect the company from the full array of both intentional and accidental failures and attacks. Even more, with the right strategy, people, process, and technology, IT can become a data management service provider. The future of IT is in accelerating business revenue; the path is paved by central protection metadata.
As I am sure you have read or heard about by now, EMC has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Virtustream, a clear leader in enterprise-class managed cloud software and services. Every business and business unit in the EMC family is absolutely thrilled that Virtustream will be joining our Federation.Why is this so important to our future? Without a doubt, our customers are rapidly moving to cloud computing, and our enterprise customers are overwhelmingly showing a preference for a hybrid cloud computing model, a model which encompasses a combination of on premise private and off premise public cloud capabilities. And, increasingly, enterprise customers are demanding managed cloud options for both on and off premise!The EMC Federation is doing well with both our Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and VMware public vCloud Air offerings, which are both steeped in highly automated software-defined architectures. The addition of Virtustream with its leading managed cloud software and services completes the picture.Just as importantly, Virtustream is highly focused where EMC lives: in our customers’ most mission critical applications, such as SAP. In fact, SAP has successfully partnered with Virtustream for some time now, and SAP is one of our most important and most strategic partnerships. With Virtustream, EMC will elevate our alliance with SAP as we deliver both on and off prem SAP/HANA application environments.Virtustream’s co-founder and CEO, Rodney Rogers, will be the leader of this new managed cloud services business, and he will report directly to me. Virtustream will be a valued resource for all members of the EMC family and our partner ecosystem. Our SI and service provider partners will receive access to Virtustream’s xStream cloud management software platform, which is tightly integrated with VMware software – and our partners will be able to quickly adopt this technology and deliver their branded services on top of this platform.For the EMC family of companies –and of course this is true for most of our IT peers – if you don’t have a cloud first strategy, you don’t have a strategy. We will do this with our partners and that will make us more relevant to our customers by doing it that way. We are incredibly excited. We believe this is a rich opportunity for us. We are all about the cloud.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of what many view as the first “personal computer” and over the decades, it’s become an integral part of our personal and professional lives…it’s how we get work done, how we share and how we stay connected. Dell has been committed to the PC business since day one and our global customers recognize it – as reported by IDC, we recently celebrated year-over-year worldwide PC share growth for more than 24 consecutive quarters.The mighty PC has empowered and connected people and communities, providing a portal to education and work. PCs make it possible to set up and scale businesses, create new experiences in entertainment, inspire new innovation for a safer, smarter world, and deliver major breakthroughs in science and healthcare.The PC is still evolving and how we use these devices in the future will change. We believe that the PCs of the future will support new ways to collaborate – delivering more immersive experiences and becoming even more intelligent, providing personalized experiences that adapt to our needs in the moment.So as personal devices become increasingly collaborative, immersive and intelligent, how do we design for the future? At Dell, we believe in an agile approach to innovation that leverages the brightest and most creative minds across our strategy, technology, business, research and design teams. Innovation, agility, creativity and velocity are core to the Experience Innovation Group I lead within Dell. The next generation of PCs requires experience-led innovation and we have built an entirely new, rapid prototyping process to iteratively develop concepts beyond the next generation of products. These multi-disciplinary teams are collaborating to envision and build the products and solutions that will fuel human progress.Innovation is born from new ideas that iterate in fast sprints. This is the fun stuff – no holds barred technology design and development that is focused on the devices and applications of the future. We’re talking about devices and solutions for the next 5-10 years ahead. We have our failures, of course – but we fail fast, learn what we can, and build stronger concepts and products designed to change the game.We believe in trying new ideas early and digging deeper quickly. At any given time in our various labs, we may have multiple new concept devices and solutions in progress.Dual screens and foldables have been in Dell’s design and innovation pipeline for the last few years, however, as with all concepts, the same thing always grounds – and excites – us; we want to deliver high-quality products that deliver the best, most complete experiences for our customers. That means spending time with customers, seeing how they work, forecasting future industry trends and asking tough questions along the way – will it make customers more productive? Is it intuitive and enjoyable to use? Does it serve a purpose now or could it help prevent future problems our customers may have?The PC experience goes far beyond form factors… it’s also about the innovation and technology on the inside that can be incredibly transformative. For example, our teams brought to fruition Dell ExpressSign-in to speed up the log in process, Dell’s ProSupport Suite using machine learning to predict system issues and engage proactive customer service, and the Dell Precision Optimizer Premium which uses AI to learn about the way you use applications on your workstation to optimize your system’s performance.Innovation is in the DNA of Dell Technologies, but Michael Dell wasn’t innovating for innovation’s sake – his vision 35 years ago was to help customers access powerful technology tailored to their needs. Since then, Dell Technologies has grown to serve customers across 180 countries, but our core values and mission remain the same – the customer experience is what matters. It’s an exciting time to be at Dell and we’re looking forward to sharing more of our design and engineering journey with you.
LONDON (AP) — House-by-house COVID-19 testing has begun in some communities in England as authorities try to extinguish a new variant of the coronavirus before it spreads widely and undermines a nationwide vaccination program. Authorities want to reach the 80,000 residents of eight areas where the variant first identified in South Africa is known to be spreading. They are dispatching home testing kits and mobile testing units in an effort to reach every resident of those communities. Public health officials are concerned about the variant first identified in South Africa because it contains a mutation of the virus’ characteristic spike protein that existing vaccines target. The mutation may mean the vaccines offer less protection against the variant.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The parents of a Connecticut teenager who accidentally shot himself to death at a friend’s home are hoping the new Democratic-controlled Congress will pass a federal law requiring gun owners to store their firearms in secure containers to prevent children from harming themselves. All seven Connecticut Democrats in Congress joined Michael and Kristin Song on Wednesday to announce a new push to win federal approval of “Ethan’s Law,” named after their son who died three years ago. The law includes fines and potential prison time for failing to secure guns. Ethan Song accidentally killed himself in 2018 with a handgun owned by a friend’s father.