Archive for August 26, 2019

Dell Technologies Announces Solutions Portfolio Expansion At VMworld’19

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 26, 2019 by itnerd

Dell Technologies is announcing a host of advancements and new options that allow organizations to benefit from Dell Technologies Cloud for both traditional applications and cloud-native environments.

More than half of organizations formulating hybrid cloud strategies have cited seamless compatibility with their on-premises infrastructure as the most important consideration, according to new research from analyst firm ESG. Dell Technologies Cloud, from the No. 1 provider of cloud infrastructure, combines the power of VMware cloud software and Dell EMC infrastructure to remove cloud complexity by offering consistent infrastructure and operations across private clouds, public clouds and the edge.

 

Dell Technologies Cloud Adds Kubernetes Support

Organizations continue to accelerate cloud-native application development while also running traditional, virtualized applications. To help organizations balance both imperatives, Dell Technologies Cloud will support automated deployment of VMware PKS on Dell EMC VxRail, adding integrated support for Kubernetes and containers. This helps organizations to more nimbly adopt flexible and secure cloud-native approaches. This introduction offers Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms customers a single, consistent platform for both traditional and cloud-native workloads, streamlining deployment and operation with full lifecycle management of multiple clusters and enhanced automation, performance and security.

 

Introducing Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs

New Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs offer additional infrastructure options for organizations building hybrid cloud environments. Validated Designs consist of pre-tested infrastructure with deployment guidance using Dell EMC best-of-breed compute, storage and networking, validated with VMware Cloud Foundation. Organizations now can meet the varied demands of workloads by independently scaling storage and compute, allowing infrastructure-intensive applications to be supported most efficiently. New Validated Designs available now include:

  • Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs for Dell EMC PowerMax and Dell EMC Unity storage arrays – Dell EMC storage arrays are the first to be validated with VMware Cloud foundation for using Fibre Channel as primary storage, within workload domains, in addition to the Network File System (NFS) protocol. This offers customers deployment flexibility for workloads that have unique external storage-specific requirements including independent capacity and advanced features such as integrated data protection.
  • Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs for Dell EMC PowerEdge MX servers – With VMware Cloud Foundation interoperability, administrators can now gain maximum resource utilization, enabled by PowerEdge MX servers and OpenManage Enterprise – Modular Edition, allowing customers to dynamically provision storage and assign workloads to individual drives as needed

 

Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service now available

Introduced at Dell Technologies World 2019, the fully-managed Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service offering, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, is now available to U.S. customers, making it the first to market VMware “Project Dimension” solution in customer data centers. Additionally, Dell EMC is now a preferred partner offering data protection for VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, allowing organizations to benefit from the added support of key Dell EMC data protection solutions while leveraging VMware Cloud on Dell EMC.

By providing tight integration of VMware cloud tools and Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure, this solution combines the hands-off operational simplicity and subscription-based pricing of the public cloud with the security, control and performance of on-premises infrastructure.

 

Dell Technologies Cloud flexible consumption options, and expanded services accelerate customer success

The availability of Flex on Demand allows organizations to deploy Dell Technologies Cloud and pay only for the technology they use. This includes access to elastic capacity and payments that adjust up or down to match usage.1 Flex on Demand simplifies buffer capacity for customers, charging only for utilized capacity, so they can enjoy public cloud-like agility on-premises without paying for all deployed capacity. This approach also gives organizations the freedom to innovate more quickly by paying for technology resources as needed to support new projects.

Additionally, new ProConsult Migration Services for Dell Technologies Cloud use a mature, highly repeatable migration framework that helps organizations rapidly realize the benefits of Dell Technologies Cloud offerings. This proven approach speeds time to cloud and enables customers to focus on higher priority initiatives.

 

Dell Technologies Cloud Offers Consistent Operations for Hybrid Clouds Across Private Clouds and Leading Public Clouds

Organizations have a variety of options for Dell Technologies Cloud environments:

  • Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms – The combination of VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged systems offers the easiest and fastest path to a consistent hybrid cloud, complete with automated lifecycle management
  • Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs – Now available today, these integrate VMware Cloud Foundation with Dell EMC servers, storage arrays and networking, delivered as pre-tested infrastructure with deployment guidance, offering additional options to meet a diverse set of workloads and customer needs.
  • Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service – Offered as VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, this delivers a fully-managed hybrid cloud service for on-premises data centers and edge deployments
  • Dell Technologies Cloud Partner Clouds – Extending the consistent cloud experience to the public cloud, with support for VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Solutions, as well as the recently announced VMware for Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and more than 4,200 VMware Cloud Provider Program providers globally

 

Availability

Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms with VMware PKS on Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail has planned global availability in September 2019. Dell Technologies Cloud Validated Designs are now available globally with support for Dell EMC PowerMax and Dell EMC Unity XT storage arrays and Dell EMC PowerEdge MX servers. Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service, delivered as VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, is now available in the US. Dell EMC Data Protection for VMware Cloud on Dell EMC also is available as an option.

Additional resources

 

 

31% of Mothers Off-Ramped Careers After Having Children Because Their Jobs Were Too Inflexible: FlexJobs

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 26, 2019 by itnerd

According to a July 2019 FlexJobs survey of more than 2,000 women with children 18 and younger living at home, 31% of women who took a break in their career after having kids wanted to keep working, but reported that their jobs were too inflexible to remain in the workforce. Forty-two percent said it was either extremely difficult or difficult to restart their career after taking a break. The labor force participation rate for all women with children under age 18 was 71.5% in 2018, up slightly from the prior year.

Additional survey findings include:

Career paths and challenges:

  • 31% of women with children 18 and under who took a break in their career after having kids wanted to keep working, but their jobs were too inflexible to stay in the workforce
  • 70% who off-ramped their career after having kids said it was difficult to re-enter the workforce
  • 71% have left or considered leaving a job because it lacked flexibility
  • 40% are concerned that having flexible work arrangements will hurt their career progression

The importance of work flexibility: 

  • Work-life balance (82%), flexible work options (78%) and work schedule (77%) were ranked ahead of salary (76%) as the top factors they use to evaluate potential job prospects
  • Over half (56%) have tried to negotiate flexible work arrangements with their employers but only 32% have been successful
  • Just 13% are extremely confident in their ability to negotiate a flexible work arrangement
  • 86% said having kids living at home has affected their interest in a flexible job

Employer relationships:

  • 31% would consider taking a pay cut in exchange for the option to telecommute as much as they wanted
  • 85% would be more loyal to their employers if they had a flexible work arrangement, compared to 80% of general workers who say the same thing
  • 64% think they are more productive working from home than in a traditional workplace.
  • Nearly half (48%) have felt discriminated against in the workplace because of their gender

Mothers are confident in their dual parent/employee roles:

  • The majority report “needing” to work, but 73%—more than two out of three parents—also report “wanting” to work
  • 84% are entirely sure that they can simultaneously be both great employees and great mothers
  • 91% also indicated that flexible work arrangements would increase their volunteerism at their children’s schools or organized activities

The mothers who responded to FlexJobs’ survey were highly educated, with 70% having at least a bachelor’s degree and 28% having a graduate degree.

Earlier, FlexJobs released the full results of its 2019 Annual Flexible and Remote Work Survey with more than 7,000 professionals weighing in on work and life. To help moms (and anyone who’s taken a career break) return to work through remote and flexible work, FlexJobs has also created A Mom’s Guide for Returning to Work, a comprehensive downloadable guide. For more information please visit https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/survey-flexible-work-moms/.

Review: 2018 Nissan Qashqai SV

Posted in Products with tags on August 26, 2019 by itnerd

You’re likely wondering why I am reviewing a 2018 vehicle in 2019. The reason is simple. I’ve been driving this vehicle for about two weeks now and I have to admit that I think that Nissan has something intriguing here with the Qashqai SV. In fact it was intriguing  that I wanted to do a write up about it. Now it wouldn’t be fair to do my usual five part review on a vehicle that’s a year old. Thus I’m going to do a single part overview on it.

 

 

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The first thing that I thought of when I saw it for the first time was that it looked like a smaller scale Rogue. It looked good so and as a result the Qashqai looks good. And if you are wondering what Qashqai means, here’s a Wikipedia article on the Qashqai people. And for you Americans who are reading this and wondering why I am calling this vehicle the Qashqai, it’s called the Rogue Sport in your corner of the universe because I am guessing that the association between the name Qashqai and the county of Iran might have been a problem.

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This is the 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder that powers the Qashqai. It puts out 141 HP and 147 lb-ft of torque. But to be completely honest, you’d never know it as this thing really leaps off the line and has lots of power whenever you need it. The engine drives all four wheels and uses Nissan’s Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with manual shift mode. Now this is my first look at a CVT in years as I test drove a Saturn Ion coupe back in the 2000’s which had one of these under the hood. And to be frank it was horrible as it had a motorboat feel and sound to it. As a result, we didn’t buy that car. That’s not the case here with the Qashqai as for the most part, if nobody told you that this was a CVT, you’d likely never clue in. One thing that the CVT does is deliver great fuel economy. I got 9.2 L/100 KM under my watch in mixed city and highway driving.

Handling is great for the most part. The suspension is firm and ensures that body roll is well controlled and that you feel what the Qashqai is doing underneath you as well as giving it a bit of a sporty feel. However, the catch is that the Qashqai isn’t exactly compliant over rough roads as you may feel said roads a bit too much, which is code for that the suspension can crash over some bumps. Thus a test drive that includes rough roads would be in order to make sure that it is something that you could live with. Road noise is well muted and engine noise is well muted except under hard acceleration. The pedals are easy to modulate and braking is great.

As for the interior, this is a great place to be. Here’s why:

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The drivers seat is pretty good with grippy cloth seats with decent bolstering. The seats in the front are heated.

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The doors have good sized pockets with easy to use controls and soft touch materials that are broken up with chrome and glossy piano black materials.

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The button placement that’s left of the steering wheel is a bit weird. There’s a button for the heated steering wheel for example that’s in an awkward to reach place. Ditto for the eco button. Both could placed in an easier to reach location. The reason why I am pointing this out is that these buttons would be used somewhat frequently. Thus they should be in an easy to reach location.

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The gauges are easy to read for the most part. Though as you can see it is prone to glare. Between the two gauges is a TFT screen that you can customize to show the info that you need to see.

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The steering wheel is “D” shaped and leather wrapped. It feels good in your hands and is heated. You also get the controls for the infotainment system and cruise control.

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The infotainment system is kind of old school. It has a CD player and talks to your iPhone or Android phone via USB or Bluetooth. It plays nicer with the iPhone as it’s designed to interface with an iPhone and browse the music that’s on it. It’s not a touchscreen, nor does it have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The good news is that the 2019 variant does. Below it is a dual zone climate control system.

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There’s a USB port, and Aux port, and a 12V outlet below the HVAC system, and a cubby for your phone.

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The shift knob is leather wrapped an is surrounded by a piano black finish that is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. There’s two cupholders, a small cubby and the switches for the heated seats.

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The cupholders pass the Starbucks Venti test. Though the cup feels loose which makes me wonder what would happen if I did some “spirited” driving.

 

 

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A cloth covered storage area double as an armrest.

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There’s a decent sized glovebox.

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There’s also a decent sized power moonroof.

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The back seats are actually pretty roomy. I managed to take two adults back here and they were comfortable during the 30 minutes that they were in the Qashqai. And I didn’t have to adjust my seat which is usually pretty far back because I am 6 feet tall.

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There’s a HVAC vent for the rear seat passengers.

 

 

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The rear cargo area is configurable. Besides the 60/40 folding seats, you can divide the cargo space and use the space for storage.

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There’s a handle that allows you to close the hatch without getting your hands dirty.

In terms of safety gear, the SV trim level is a good value because it comes with the following:

  • Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Rear cross traffic alerts
  • Power Moonroof
  • Front air bags with occupant-classification sensors.
  • Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags
  • Supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for side-impact head protection for front and rear-seat outboard occupants
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display and Easy-Fill Tire Alert

All of that is more than what a lot of cars come with. And you can up the content level further by going up to the the SL trim level which adds ProPILOT Assist which is Nissan’s semi-autonomous driving system, The ProPilot Assist system brings the vehicle to a complete stop if the car ahead does, and then starts moving again if the vehicle in front starts moving within three seconds. If the stop is longer, the driver has to tap the throttle or hit the cruise control button to activate the system again. When driving, the system also monitors the steering wheel and the little nudges that indicate that the driver’s holding it. If this isn’t detected after a specific period, the system sends warnings that increase in intensity. Keep your hands off long enough, and the car will eventually slow down and stop. It also Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor which gives you a 360 degree view of the vehicle and what is around it. Plus there’s additional option packages to get LED headlights among other items. Which I would recommend that you get the LED lights as the halogens that come with this vehicle are only adequate.

Two things that I would like to note. The first is the blind spot monitoring system. One thing that I liked was this:

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When something is in your blind spot, this light which is on the A pillar lights up. Having this light in this location means that it is more likely in your field of vision and is more likely to be noticed. I saw something similar in Volvo vehicles that I have previously reviewed and I really liked it then, just like I do now. Now one thing that I didn’t like was the fact that the blind spot monitoring only detected objects that were already in your blind spot. It did not detect vehicles that were approaching your blind spot which may be a threat. If it did, it would make the blind spot monitoring more useful.

The second thing that I noted was that the emergency braking system had a tendency to activate randomly which was very unsettling. I attribute this to the system in need of service.

Let me go back to the value part of this review to wrap this up. The Qashqai SV for 2019 goes for $26,198 (the base price is $20,198) which given the content that it comes with out of the gate is a great value. For those who want to cross shop it, the Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, and the Hyundai Kona would be competitors that spring to mind. While it wasn’t perfect, I was pleasantly surprised by it and if you are in the market for a sub-compact crossover, the Qashqai has to be on your shopping list. Especially in the SV trim.