Archive for May 1, 2018

VMware Advances Networking for the Digital Era with the Virtual Cloud Network

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

VMware today outlined its vision for the future of networking, and unveiled the Virtual Cloud Network. The Virtual Cloud Network will enable organizations to create a digital business fabric for connecting and securing applications, data, and users across the entire network in a hyper-distributed world.

To deliver on this vision, VMware announced the VMware NSX networking and security portfolio to enable consistent, pervasive connectivity and security for apps and data across software-defined data centre, branch, cloud, and telco environments. Global leaders in digital transformation and technology innovation demonstrated support for VMware’s vision and NSX portfolio launch (see below).

The NSX portfolio includes investments of resources to deliver new capabilities that include:

  • VMware NSX SD-WAN integration with VMware NSX Data Center and VMware NSX Cloud
  • NSX Cloud support for applications running in Microsoft Azure
  • NSX Data Center support for containerized cloud-native and bare metal applications
  • Telco/NFV and networking performance optimizations for distributed workloads in NSX Data Center

Virtual Cloud Network: A New Network Approach for the Next 20 Years

Organizations are embarking on digital transformation to create better experiences for customers, clients, and employees, and drive better business outcomes. These efforts introduce a new level of networking and security complexity as organizations move from centralized data centres, to hyper distributed applications and centres of data at the edge.

The Virtual Cloud Network will enable businesses to connect, better secure, and optimize the delivery of applications and data in an era when a majority of workloads exist outside the data centre. With a Virtual Cloud Network, customers will be able to create an end-to-end software-based network architecture that can deliver services to applications and data, wherever they are located. The Virtual Cloud Network will operate at global scale from edge to edge, and deliver consistent, pervasive connectivity and security for apps and data independent of underlying physical infrastructure or location. The Virtual Cloud Network will enable organizations to streamline the journey to digital business, and take full advantage of digital transformation, by unlocking value from today’s current networking technologies and significantly reducing network complexity.

VMware Advances Business Transformation with Networking and Security in Software

The VMware NSX networking and security portfolio provides a common operating environment to connect, secure and operate a Virtual Cloud Network. The portfolio will include new and enhanced capabilities for data centre, branch, cloud and telco environments, and will advance support for traditional and modern application frameworks. With the VMware NSX portfolio, customers will be able to manage consistent networking and security across private data centres, AWS, Azure, and IBM Cloud.

Network Virtualization: VMware NSX Data Center is the industry’s most widely deployed network virtualization platform for the enterprise data centre, adopted by more than 4,500 customers globally. NSX Data Center enables customers to design, build, and operate next-generation policy driven data centres that connect, secure, and automate traditional and modern applications, and help protect applications and data through security that is an intrinsic part of the infrastructure.

With the latest update, NSX Data Center will include new container and bare metal capabilities that will be able to provide consistent networking services to all applications and deployment models. Container integration rapid-releases will enable global security and more to new app platforms (e.g. PKS). VMware is also adding new accelerated performance optimizations for distributed workloads, which will better support telco/network functions virtualization environments.

Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN): VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud is the industry-leading SD-WAN solution that combines the economics and flexibility of the best real-time network overlay with the deployment speed, scale and automation of cloud-delivered services. With NSX SD-WAN, customers can deliver better cloud and application performance with full visibility, metrics, control, and automation of all device and user endpoints, with lower overall costs. NSX SD-WAN integrates with NSX Data Center and NSX Cloud, enabling customers to extend consistent networking and security policies from the data centre to the branch to the cloud, while providing operational visibility and control end-to-end. NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud provides an extensible platform for enterprises and telcos to integrate both on-premises and cloud services under the same consistent business policy framework. NSX SD-WAN is available to customers in three ways. Customers can purchase NSX SD-WAN as a service from VMware, or from more than 60 communication service providers worldwide. NSX SD-WAN is also available as an on-premises deployable solution. More than 2,000 customers have adopted NSX SD-WAN to date.

  • Multi-Cloud Networking: VMware NSX Cloud provides consistent networking and security for applications running in both private VMware-based data centres and natively in public clouds. NSX Cloud addresses operational challenges inherent with using multiple public clouds, such as inconsistent policies and constructs across clouds; manual operations requiring policy for each cloud, region, and VPC: limited operational visibility into East-West traffic; and operations tools that are specific to each public cloud.

With the latest release of NSX Cloud, VMware will add new native controls for customers that are using Microsoft Azure as part of their multi-cloud strategy.

  • Hybrid Cloud Connectivity: VMware NSX Hybrid Connect enables customers to solve one of the biggest challenges with hybrid cloud – consistent networking. VMware NSX Hybrid Connect enables customers to create a consistent, highly performant, and more secure software fabric that interconnects data centres and clouds while maintaining the same governance and control. With NSX Hybrid Connect, customers can seamlessly migrate workloads from any VMware environment to a modern software-defined data centre environment running anywhere — on-premises, in the public cloud, or operated by a VMware Cloud Provider partner.

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UAG Launches New Outdoor Ready Cases For Huawei P20 And P20 Pro

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

Urban Armor Gear has announced two new MIL-SPEC drop tested casesfor the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro.

 

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Designed to defend the P20 and P20 Pro’s AMOLED display and dual-glass metal frame body, thePlasma and Plyo series offer premium protection to Huawei’s latest flagship devices. UAG’srenown case protectionhas been engineered to provide uncompromised functionality to the P20 and P20 Pro’s ports andNFC connectivity.

UAG’sPlasma series offers a complete armor shellwith scratch-resistant skid padsand a non-slip ruggedized grip. WhilethePlyo series boastsa slim, impact resistant soft core, andtranslucent design that complimentsthe devices radiant color options. Both cases meet MIL-SPEC drop test standards providing Huawei customers with UAG’s acclaimed protection.

Plasma Series Case for Huawei P20 And P20 Pro 
Available in: Ash
MSRP: $39.95

●     Feather-light composite construction

●     Armor shell and impact resistant soft core

●     Non-slip ruggedized grip

●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports

●     Scratch resistant skid pads and screen surround

●     Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

Plyo Series Case for Huawei P20 And P20 Pro 
Available in: Ice
MSRP: $39.95

  • Armor shell & impact resistant soft core
  • Air-soft corners for cushioning impact
  • Feather-light composite construction
  • Oversized tactile buttons & easy access to touchscreen and ports
  • Protective screen surround

Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

Facebook Announces A Tool To Clear Your History From Facebook…. And A Dating App

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

No I am not making the last part up. But first, Facebook is introducing a new privacy tool called “Clear History” The CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has this to say:

Once we roll out this update, you’ll be able to see information about the apps and websites you’ve interacted with, and you’ll be able to clear this information from your account. You’ll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account.

To be clear, when you clear your cookies in your browser, it can make parts of your experience worse. You may have to sign back in to every website, and you may have to reconfigure things. The same will be true here. Your Facebook won’t be as good while it relearns your preferences.

But after going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have. It’s something privacy advocates have been asking for — and we will work with them to make sure we get it right.

If he really believed that, Facebook users would have had this control long ago. They’re only getting it because of the #DeleteFacebook movement. Now onto that dating app. No, seriously. Facebook has a dating app:

“There are 200 million people on Facebook who list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg said. “Today, we are announcing a new set of features coming soon, around dating.”

The feature will be opt-in, and will not match users with people they’re already friends with. Users can meet other single Facebook users interested in similar events and groups by unlocking their dating profile (built inside Facebook) to make it discoverable to others interested in the same events and groups. To start a conversation, you can pick a picture from a profile of the person you like and comment on it in a dedicated experience. That gets the conversation going. Friends will not be able to see each others’ dating profiles, Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg took a shot at his new competitors. “This is going to be for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups,” he said.

Of course one can expect that Facebook will pivot to Tinder style hookups if the money is there. But starting out with relationships is good PR. Something that Facebook needs right now.

UPDATE: Facebook has clarified that married people too can use the dating service.

BREAKING: Rogers E-mail Provider Yahoo/Oath Will Change Terms Of Service Due To Epic Backlash

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

I guess that all the negative press finally got to Rogers and their e-mail provider Yahoo/Oath and they decided to smarten up and do something about the terms of service that had upset users to a massive degree. In short, some changes are coming to the objectionable parts of the terms of service according to The Globe And Mail [Warning: Paywalled. I will find an additional source shortly].

However, this isn’t over yet:

However, Canada’s privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said Tuesday his office continues to investigate other concerns raised over new terms of service recently sent to users of @rogers.com e-mail addresses

I took a look around and early indications are that this change is specific to Rogers customers. Anyone else who uses the Yahoo/Oath platform don’t appear at this point to have gotten the same treatment. I’ll continue to look at that. But if that’s true, it will be interesting to see what the reaction to that is.

More as it comes.

UPDATE: I found this which confirms that this was a Canada specific change.

UPDATE #2: The Toronto Star has this story. It indicates an investigation by the Privacy Commissioner is what sparked the change in direction by Rogers Yahoo/Oath.

UPDATE #3: Mobile Syrup has even more detail on this including a quote from Rogers that the telco “is currently working with its customers to “help them use Yahoo’s opt out settings” to manage their preferences.” Which implies that you can somehow opt out of this.  It also has Yahoo/Oath doing a bit of a walk back as well.

UPDATE #4: One Rogers customer Tweeted me to comment on this. Or should I say, ex-Rogers customer:

UPDATE #5: The change of heart by Rogers and Yahoo/Oath may not be winning hearts and minds. This person just Tweeted me to illustrate that:

UK To Zuckerberg: We Will Make You Testify

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

Remember when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to testify in front of Parliament in the UK? Well, that didn’t go over too well. And they’ve sent him this shot across the bow. He’ll testify before Parliament the next time he’s in British territory if he does not volunteer to do so.

So, my question is does he avoid the UK forever? Or will he simply just go and testify? If I were him, I’d be doing the latter just to get this over with. Because if he does the former, this has the potential to get ugly. I say that because the UK isn’t going to give this up. They’re going to keep after him until he complies. Thus he should just comply.

 

Review: Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Posted in Products with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

I know it’s May which makes it a bit late for me to talk about a Windows 10 update that appeared in April. But to be fair, Microsoft released it on the last day of April. Thus leaving me with having to review it in May.

Now, with that out of the way, what are my impressions of the latest update from Microsoft? Well, let’s start with the upgrade process. Microsoft promised that it would be faster than previous updates to Windows 10 which could take as much as two hours to complete. On that front they delivered. While speed is a your mileage may vary sort of thing, it took about 45 minutes after downloading the required files via Windows Update to complete the update. That puts it on par with updates that Apple releases for macOS.

Windows 10 after the upgrade process looks only minimally different. But you have dig deeper to find the real changes to the OS. The big change is Timeline. It’s a new feature that lets you review and then resume activities and open files you’ve started on your Windows 10 PC, as well as any other Windows PCs and mobile devices you have, including iOS and Android devices. And from my testing, this works quite well. Assuming that you have apps that play nice with this feature because not all apps do. So I think you will only see the value of this feature when apps catch up. You can copy and paste that feeling when it comes to another feature called Focus Assist. If you hate those tiny dialog boxes that interrupt you throughout the day, you can get your flow back by engaging this mode via Windows Settings. Focus Assist has three modes:

  • Off: Notifications work normally
  • Priority only: You get only notifications from apps you’ve whitelisted.
  • Alarms only: Nothing gets through except alarms.

The problem is that when I tested this with Chrome, the alerts from the browser still popped up. #Fail. This is another area where apps will need to catch up.

The rest of the features that I came across are either more in the enhancement category, or I don’t have the hardware (VR glasses for example) to properly test them. For example Microsoft Edge has a new full-screen mode for reading PDFs and books Plus you can use a secure autofill for payment methods in the browser. And you can finally mute individual browser tabs, which other browsers have done for years. But I think Microsoft’s intent was to polish Windows 10 with this update as opposed to beating you to death with new features. On that front I think it succeeds. But the real value to this update will come when apps update to support these features.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update is a free download via Windows Update and is available. now.

 

 

Latest OpenText Release Delivers A Secure Platform For Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Content Services, & Extreme Automation

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

OpenText has announced the general availability of Release 16 Enhancement Pack 4 (EP4). This release further extends security, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and cloud support into the market-leading OpenText Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform.

This release expands OpenText’s commitment to helping its customers deliver on the promise of digital transformation, while focusing on their role as stewards of personal data and information.

This release is focused on enhancing key areas of the OpenText platform.

  • AI/ OpenText Magellan: the release extends data collection and loading options for business users, further democratizing access to AI across organizations and integrates deeper into Hadoop and Spark to enable machine learning applications. The release also extends AI into the OpenText Enterprise Information Management platform, including Documentum, Content Server, Archive Center and eDocs for integrated content mining.
  • Internet of Things: The OpenText Covisint IoT Platform helps companies manage their digital ecosystems and securely connect people, systems and things. It offers large industrial companies the real-time visibility they need for enterprise information across different business networks to help them make better business decisions. The latest Enhancement Pack adds new abilities to configure, develop and secure IoT solutions.
  • Cloud: This release makes it easier for organizations to move to the hybrid or fully managed cloud environment that is right for them. New cloud connectors continue to place the OpenText ecosystem at the center of digital business while seamlessly working with the best-in-breed technologies in asset and resource management, operations, content creation, and content collaboration.
  • Developer: OpenText provides tools for a global community of developers that are creating Enterprise Applications with the OpenText Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Suite. For the developer, this release will see the breadth and depth of low-code development expand with additional out-of-the-box integrations to OpenText products and a unified application development environment across AppWorks.

OpenText Release 16 EP4 is available now.