Tag Archives: 2018

HPE partners urged to tackle the ‘Super Six’ market opportunities

LAS VEGAS — At the HPE Global Partner Summit 2018, Hewlett Packard Enterprise laid out six market opportunities it wants to jointly pursue with channel partners.

HPE executives said half of the “Super Six” opportunities are ripe for HPE partners to immediately capture and half involve more long-term strategies and investments. The short-term opportunities include Gen10 servers, blade servers and all-flash arrays, HPE said. The forward-looking opportunities center on everything as a service, software-defined infrastructure and the intelligent edge.

“What the Super Six represents are six huge transitions that we see happening right now in the marketplace,” said Phil Davis, chief sales officer at HPE, at this week’s Summit.

He said HPE has been busy transforming its portfolio to align with Super Six opportunities, which he said collectively makes up a $65 billion market. Additionally, the company has received clear signals from its customer base the Super Six represents areas to double-down on. “The accelerated growth rates that we are seeing in these areas absolutely prove [the Super Six] is where our customers see … value,” he said.

Short-term opportunities for HPE partners

Davis described HPE’s immediate Super Six opportunities as having about a two- or three-year window that partners can exploit if they act fast.

Gen10 transitions: Customer refreshes to HPE’s Gen10 servers amount to about a $20 billion opportunity, Davis said. He noted that HPE partners that lead with HPE OneView, the vendor’s converged-infrastructure management platform, have “a great opportunity to refresh our own, as well as competitive environments.”

OneView “delivers a substantially differentiated experience for our customers in terms of ease of deployment of infrastructure in terms of automation of routine tasks, in terms of being able to take costs out,” he said. He noted that HPE recently shipped its one millionth OneView license.

Blades: Davis asserted that HPE essentially invented the server blade category and has led in it for every quarter.

It is critical that we lead with everything as a service [and] we lead with a consumption model with HPE GreenLake because it is what customers want.
Phil Davischief sales officer, HPE

The second strongest player in the market, Cisco, with its Unified Computing System (UCS) technology, is decreasing its focus on the blades market, he said. “If you watch what is going on with [Cisco’s] investments, it really seems like they are pulling back,” Davis said. “We haven’t seen the same pace of innovation for them and it looks like they are doubling-down on security and other places. It looks like Cisco isn’t looking to invest in the future.”

He said the server blades market represents a $6 billion opportunity for HPE and its partners and it’s “all coming up for grabs right now.”

Flash storage: As a $7.7 billion market growing at 15%, the transition to all-flash storage is “a huge opportunity” for HPE partners to disrupt, Davis said.

Among HPE’s differentiators in the flash market is its InfoSight predictive analytics technology, which HPE gained through its Nimble Storage acquisition. Now deployed in all HPE storage systems, InfoSight uses machine learning and AI to predict and remediate storage environment issues.

Davis said HPE has looked to gain a strong position by recently rolling out the HPE Store More Guarantee for the Nimble all-flash array. Launched in March, Store More Guarantee promises customers that the Nimble product “will store more data per raw terabyte of storage than any other vendor’s” all-flash array, according to HPE. The guarantee states that HPE will accommodate the customer’s additional storage for free if HPE Nimble all-flash array fails to meet the storage efficiency of a competitor’s array.

Long-term HPE partner plays

HPE’s Super Six long-term technology opportunities focus on generational changes occurring within customer organizations. Davis said these changes will be “long-lasting over the next three, five, maybe 10 years.”

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HPE executives discuss the flash storage market
at the Discover 2018 conference.

Everything as a service: HPE recognizes that the public cloud has transformed customer expectations of how IT should operate. The main expectations are that IT should be scalable and customers should pay only for what they use, Davis said. HPE’s solution for this market trend is HPE GreenLake consumption-based services delivered by HPE Pointnext. The company unveiled a partner program for HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity services on Monday.

“It is critical that we lead with everything as a service [and] we lead with a consumption model with HPE GreenLake because it is what customers want,” Davis said.

Software-defined infrastructure: HPE said it is looking to deliver an on-premises yet public cloud-like experience for customers at lower pricing compared with cloud. Core to that aim is the vendor’s software-defined strategy, which Davis said partners can think of as “going hand in hand” with HPE’s everything-as-a-service focus.

To cash in on the opportunity, HPE partners need to start customer conversations with HPE OneView, which manages the data center’s software-defined systems, he said. Synergy, HPE’s composable infrastructure platform, is another important piece for capturing the opportunity. Synergy “is really one solution for all of your customers’ workloads, whether they are virtualized, bare-metal [or] containers. It really gives a very flexible, automated experience to your customers with the maximum efficiency of resources,” he said.

HPE’s acquisition of Plexxi plays an important role, providing hyper-converged networking technology. “What [Plexxi] enables us to do is put that same composability that you have come to love in Synergy into hyper-converged,” he said.

Intelligent edge: The intelligent edge was a main area of focus at its Discover conference, held in conjunction with GPS. HPE revealed it would invest $4 billion over the next four years in intelligent edge technology and services.

“This is a massive, disruptive opportunity that we see,” Davis said, adding that the total addressable market is expected to reach $26 billion by 2020.

Antonio Neri, HPE’s president and CEO, told HPE Global Partner Summit 2018 attendees that “most of the data … is now generated on what we call ‘the edge.'” Seventy-five percent of data is generated on the edge, he added.

The edge is where “we live and work, where billions of people and trillions of things come together, interacting with each other but most importantly interacting with data in a secure way,” Neri noted. “That’s the opportunity: In this sea of 1s and 0s, how do we create value?”

Davis pointed to HPE’s Aruba Network’s portfolio as the means for HPE partners to jump into the intelligent edge market. Additionally, though HPE’s acquisition of Niara, Aruba IntroSpect user and entity behavior analytics technology can play a role.

“We see opportunities in every industry, everywhere around the globe,” Davis said.

For Sale – Macbook Pro Retina 13″ Late 2013, 2.8Ghz, 16GB, 512GB

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds‘ started by treblecel, Jun 19, 2018 at 4:52 PM.

  1. treblecel

    Active Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Products Owned:
    Products Wanted:
    Trophy Points:



    I’ve just bought a new 15″ Macbook thanks to a wee tax refund so I’m selling my 13″ that I’ve owned since purchasing new from Apple in Jan 2014.
    It has a high spec as it was made to order: Intel i7, 2.8Ghz, 16gb ram and 512 hdd. Battery count is just 17 cycles and battery health is 100%. It has been in a shell case since purchase so is in very good condition, but there are some minor cosmetic marks (and they really are tiny) which I’ve circled red in attached images. (The lid and base have no marks. The left side has no marks. The small marks are on right side, keyboard surface and front edge).
    It comes complete with original box and magsafe charger.
    Please note: It may be the weekend by the time I swap over and do a reset but will update post as soon as its done. Cost of delivery not included so buyer can arrange their own courier if they wish.









    Price and currency: £620
    Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
    Payment method: Bank Transfer
    Location: St. Andrews, Fife
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Watch the ForzaRC 2018 Series 1 Playoffs – Xbox Wire

This weekend, June 16 – 17, Series 1 of the Forza Racing Championship (ForzaRC) 2018 heads into its final lap with the ForzaRC 2018 Series 1 Playoffs. Broadcast live from Seattle, home of Turn 10 Studios, some of the best drivers from around the world will compete for the title of Series 1 Champion, a $75,000 prize pool and the opportunity to move a step closer to the Forza Racing World Championship 2018 this October.

We’ve got an exciting weekend of racing lined up with competition beginning tomorrow, June 16 at 9 a.m. PDT with the first day of playoffs. Throughout the day, drivers will race their way through the quarterfinals and into the semi-finals, with the field narrowed to just 12 drivers by the end of the day. The playoffs will continue for these drivers on Sunday, June 17 at 11 a.m. PDT as they head into the finals. Tune in all weekend to catch the action live, unlock in-game rewards and influence the day’s races through in-stream voting on our Mixer stream at watch.ForzaRC.com.

In addition to the weekend’s racing competition we’ve got even more excitement lined up for those tuning in:

Celebrating 24 Hours of Le Mans

As many racing fans will know, this week is host to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s (ACO), 24 Hours of Le Mans. In celebration, we’ll be putting a spotlight on the famous track during our Series 1 Playoffs. Famed for its raw speed and punishing effects on drivers in the world’s most famous endurance race, Le Mans will prove to be a test for all of the ForzaRC competitors. For those not familiar with the track, we have a special introduction hosted by legendary motorsport broadcaster, ForzaRC guest commentator, and “Voice of Le Mans” John Hindhaugh as well.

Special Guest Panel

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a career in esports or to be a professional streamer? How about starting your own streaming or esports career? Tune into our Mixer stream at watch.ForzaRC.com on Sunday, June 17, as special guests Celeste Anderson, Trisha Hershberger, and Steve “SuperGT” Brown join us, live on stage, to speak to these questions and more.

Voting and Rewards

Tune in to the playoffs livestream at watch.forzarc.com and you’ll have the chance to directly impact which cars and tracks are used during the event. Will you choose day or night? Sunshine or rain? The Ford or the Audi? The choice is yours (and the rest of chat) to make!

Anyone tuning in during the livestream at watch.ForzaRC.com will also have the chance to unlock awesome in-game rewards for Forza Motorsport 7. Just log into your account and participate in the in-stream quests to unlock a variety of in-game gear, including the new ForzaRC 2018 Series 1 Playoffs driver suit!

For those tuning in to ForzaRC for the first time and looking to catch up on all the excitement before the playoffs, check out the Series 1 recap on the official ForzaRC YouTube channel.

Participate in ForzaRC 2018

Interested in joining the competition? It’s not too late! Visit ForzaRC.com to register and you’ll be ready to compete when ForzaRC 2018 Series 2 begins on July 9! Not quite ready to compete at the ranked level? No problem, we’ve got activities for drivers of all skill levels in Forza Motorsport 7 with more to come all season long.

Catch every minute of this action-packed event beginning tomorrow, June 16 at 9 a.m. PDT and Sunday, June 17 at 11 a.m. PDT on our Mixer stream at watch.forzarc.com. For more information, head over to ForzaRC.com and follow us on Twitter for the latest news and updates. We hope to see you there!

Cisco Live 2018: Vendor opens management console to partners

At Cisco Live 2018, the networking vendor continued its emphasis on software, opening Cisco DNA Center to developers and talking up opportunities for channel partners in building solutions on its intent-based networking platform. The Cisco conference was held this week in Orlando.

Cisco said it is releasing developer tools and open APIs into Cisco DNA Center, the control console for the vendor’s intent-based networks. Cisco launched its intent-based networking initiative a year ago, shaking up its network design approach and underscoring its push toward network programmability. In opening DNA Center, Cisco encourages its partners to create applications that take advantage of data collected via Cisco DNA Center.

World Wide Technology Inc. (WWT), a technology solutions provider and Cisco Gold partner based in St. Louis, created a Mobile Ops Center to demonstrate the potential to build upon Cisco’s control center.

“We have only scratched the surface of what is possible with the extensive API set Cisco has built into DNA Center,” said Neil Anderson, practice manager of mobility and access at WWT.

Anderson said WWT plans to use the API capabilities to deliver IT automation on top of Cisco DNA Center and “speed the delivery of our deployments for customers.” In addition, he cited the possibility of integrating across multiple platforms: integrating Cisco DNA with security and IT service ticketing help desk platforms, as well as linking policy in the network with policy in the data center.

Chart showing how industry trends have influenced Cisco's strategy
Cisco’s move to make DNA Center an open platform is the latest move in the vendor’s ongoing software transformation.

Cisco Live 2018: Developer base grows

The networking vendor used the occasion of Cisco Live 2018 to point to its growing developer base. Susie Wee, vice president and CTO of DevNet innovations at Cisco, said the company’s DevNet developer program has reached the 500,000 registered members mark. “It means we’ve hit critical mass with a developer community who can program the network,” Wee wrote in a Cisco blog post.

We have only scratched the surface of what is possible with the extensive API set Cisco has built into DNA Center.
Neil Andersonpractice manager of mobility and access, WWT

According to Cisco, its developer allies include infrastructure developers, cloud developers, independent software vendors (ISVs), systems integrators and network automation consultants. Cisco’s traditional partners — networking resellers — have been retooling in response to Cisco putting software in the lead.

Jason Parry, vice president of client solutions at Force 3, an infrastructure and security solutions provider based in Crofton, Md., said network engineering is becoming more of a development and network programming endeavor. Force 3 is a Cisco Gold partner.

“I think the trend or the move towards software continues to be very evident,” Parry said.

Cisco DNA Center opens opportunities

Parry said Cisco DNA Center will likely follow the path to greater openness that Cisco technologies such as Application Centric Infrastructure have taken.

“We will see them continue to open that up as they have other platforms,” he noted.

The ability to access analytics and telemetry through the Cisco DNA Center APIs will let developers “leverage the network … access layer in ways they really haven’t before,” Parry said. That ability will enable use cases around security, he added.

Fifteen partners have already created solutions on Cisco DNA Center and have demonstrated them at Cisco Live 2018, according to the company. Several of those partners come from the IT services space, including Accenture, Dimension Data, HCL, Logicalis, Presidio, Wipro and WWT.

Cisco said Accenture is creating services around software-image updates, while Presidio focuses on power management and HCL concentrates on third-party device provisioning.

WWT’s Mobile Ops Center, meanwhile, aims to help IT engineers keep tabs on intent-based networks when they are away from the Cisco DNA Center management console.

“Today, DNA Center is a console-based experience — the IT engineer needs to be present at the DNA Center console at his desk to proactively manage and operate the network,” Anderson explained.

He said WWT Asynchrony Labs created a mobile app, using the Cisco DNA Center platform APIs, that lets engineers “take the DNA Center with them wherever they go.”

Dell reverses storage slide

On the heels of its first-quarter earnings report, Dell Technologies highlighted how channel partners are contributing to the company’s growth.

Dell reported $21.4 billion revenue for the first quarter with sales increases in its core technologies. Storage generated $4.1 billion in revenue, which represented a turnaround from a fourth-quarter slump.

“For the first time really since we brought [Dell and EMC] together … we saw phenomenal share gains” in storage, said Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of global channel marketing, at Dell EMC. “It is our first quarter of turning that business back to growth, which has certainly been a focus area for us.”

Among Dell EMC’s recent efforts to boost storage sales were a number of channel incentives and expanded resources such as sales performance incentive funds and the addition of storage sales specialists.

According to Cook, highlights of Dell EMC partners’ first-quarter performance included:

  • Fourteen percent revenue growth in Dell EMC’s distribution business. Distributors continue “to be one of our fastest growth areas of partner types,” she said.
  • Channel partners brought in about 14,800 new or reactivated customers.
  • Dell EMC approved about 120,800 deal registrations.
  • Partners earned more than 5,500 credentials.

Going forward, Cook said that Dell Technologies is looking to create a more integrated framework for partners for doing business across its strategically aligned businesses. That was a key theme discussed at the vendor’s Global Partner Summit in May.

She said Dell Technologies plans to maintain separate partner programs — for example, the VMware and Dell EMC Partner Programs — but will focus on developing ways to recognize partners’ training investments and benefits across programs.

“At some stage, we may drive … ‘loosely coupled alignment’ across the programs rather than [the programs] all living inside one hard program. But we’re very much focused on bringing the value proposition, the benefits and such that we can align our incentive structures similarly [and] recognizing training and credits in each of the programs so that it’s not redundant or repetitive,” she said.

Other news

  • Continuum, a managed service provider (MSP) technology platform provider, has acquired CARVIR to expand its cybersecurity offering. CARVIR provides monitored and managed security to MSPs targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
  • Rackspaceunveiled Rackspace Colocation, a service that lets customers deploy their own hardware in Rackspace data centers. The offering provides an average of eight carriers per colocation data center, the company said.
  • A whitepaper from AMI-Partners notes managed services providers (MSPs) are partnering with ISVs, such as BitTitan, Microsoft and SkyKick, to help migrate SMBs to cloud-based email and productivity offerings. “By using a suitable tool, MSPs reported being able to save an average of 18 hours on a typical SMB migration project,” AMI-Partners stated.
  • The vast majority of companies lack complete commitment to the DevOps process, according to a survey undertaken by 2nd Watch, a cloud consulting firm based in Seattle. The survey of more than 1,000 IT managers and directors found 78% of the respondents said separate teams still manage infrastructure/operations and application development. About 30% of the respondents said they use a manual process for deployment, while 70% use some form of an automated pipeline.
  • Tufin, a provider of network security policy orchestration technology, rolled out a program to support partners deploying, configuring and customizing its orchestration suite. The Service Delivery Partner Program has structured the program with two tiers — Service Delivery and Service Delivery Plus — and offers certification, professional services business referral opportunities, and access to best practices and tools among other benefits, Tufin said.
  • Data management vendor DefendX Software is targeting partners such as cloud and managed services providers with a new channel program. The DefendX True Partner Program provides deal protection, lead sharing and new customer incentives.
  • Chicago-based Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI) inked a distribution deal with Canadian communications provider Shaw Communications. Under the agreement, TBI’s agent and value-added reseller partners can offer Shaw’s data solutions in Canada.
  • Accenture has agreed to acquire DesignAffairs, a strategic design consultancy in Germany. The deal aims to bolster Accenture’s smart products and services initiative, Accenture Industry X.0.
  • Agosto Inc., a cloud services and development company in Minneapolis, said it has named Rick Erickson chief cloud strategist. Erickson, Agosto’s co-founder, focuses on the Google Cloud Platform in particular.
  • Atera, an IT automation platform vendor that targets MSPs, launched a chat feature that the company said service providers can use as a self-service tool for their customers.
  • Aparavi, a SaaS-based active archive startup, rolled out a program for service providers. Aparavi Advantage offers marketing support, training and sales assistance.
  • Telehouse America, a data center and managed IT services company, has expanded its alliance with Atlantic Metro into areas including SD-WAN and object storage.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Spectre v4 fix and Windows DNS patch in June Patch Tuesday

The June 2018 Patch Tuesday release addressed a total of 51 vulnerabilities, 11 of which were deemed critical, but the headline fix was a Windows DNS patch.

Experts uniformly pointed to the Windows DNS patch (CVE-2018-8225) as the most interesting fix of the month and the one that should take priority for most enterprises. Microsoft described the Windows DNS patch as addressing a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability that affects Windows desktop versions 7 through 10 and Windows Server 2008 and newer.

Microsoft wrote in the advisory for the Windows DNS patch that if an attacker used a malicious DNS server to send corrupted DNS responses to the target, the exploit could allow for running arbitrary code in the context of the local user permissions.

Craig Young, security researcher for Tripwire’s Vulnerability and Exposure Research Team, said the full impact of the Windows DNS vulnerability “is not entirely clear.”

“Microsoft describes it as a problem processing DNS responses. Normally, I would expect that to mean that the attacker must be in a position to respond to DNS requests from a victim. This would mean that the victim is either making a DNS request to a server the attacker controls or that the attacker has a privileged network position allowing them to spoof responses from a legitimate server,” Young wrote via email. “In this case, however, Microsoft’s CVSS v3 score indicates that there is no user interaction required to trigger the vulnerability. It could be that Microsoft did not score the vulnerability properly, but it could also mean that there are circumstances where a vulnerable system will process unsolicited responses.”

Jimmy Graham, director of product management at Qualys Inc., based in Redwood City, Calif., added in a blog post that “mobile workstations that may connect to untrusted Wi-Fi are at high risk” and the Windows DNS patch should be a priority for those users.

Spectre v4 gets OS fixes

Beyond the Windows DNS patch, another highlight of the June Patch Tuesday was an update to Microsoft’s advisory regarding Spectre v4 — the latest Spectre attack method discovered in May 2018.

According to Microsoft’s updated advisory, Windows now supports Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) in Intel processors, but this in itself will not protect against Spectre v4 and will require microcode patches from Intel to fully remediate.

Microsoft couldn’t provide a timetable for when those microcode updates would be available, but it did warn users that “in testing Microsoft has seen some performance impact when SSBD is turned on. However, the actual performance impact will depend on multiple factors, such as the specific chipset in your physical host and the workloads that are running.”

Another flaw to watch

The final critical flaw for enterprises to prioritize was CVE-2018-8267, a scripting engine memory corruption vulnerability in Internet Explorer. This patch should take priority because although there have not been any attacks seen in the wild, this flaw was publicly disclosed.

According to Microsoft, this RCE vulnerability could allow an attacker to run code in the context of the current user either by luring a target to a malicious website or by embedding a malicious ActiveX control in a Microsoft Office document.

All of the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing Videos – Xbox Wire

Yesterday’s Xbox E3 2018 Briefing featured a ton of big news, from our announcements of new studios joining the Microsoft Studios family to the reveal of the next chapter in the Halo saga. There was something for everyone in the briefing too, including first looks at hardcore shooters like Metro: Exodus and Battlefield V, family-friendly titles like Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Kingdom Hearts 3, and indie gems like Session and Tunic. Did you miss out on the action? If so, we’ve got you covered with trailers and demos galore. Take a look below or watch the entire briefing above!

Halo Infinite

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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Crackdown 3

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Sea of Thieves – Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores

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Forza Horizon 4

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Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

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Gears 5 – Cinematic Announce Trailer

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Gears 5 – Announce Trailer

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Fallout 76

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Devil May Cry 5

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Gears POP!

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Xbox Game Pass Catalog Preview

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ID@Xbox Games Montage

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Battletoads Announce Trailer

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Hyper Universe

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Xbox One X Enhanced Games

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Xbox One E3 2018 Montage

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Cuphead DLC Announce

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Captain Spirit Announce

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Jump Force Announce

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Just Cause 4 Announce

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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Tales of Vesperia: Remastered

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We Happy Few Story Trailer

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NieR: Automata Become As Gods Edition

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Metro Exodus Gameplay Trailer

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Kingdom Heart III Frozen Trailer

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The Division 2 Gameplay Demo

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Dying Light 2 Gameplay Demo

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Dying Light 2 Announce Trailer

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Battlefield 5 Single Player Teaser

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Microsoft announces 2018 Partner of the Year winners and finalists | Stories

Partners recognized for outstanding solutions built on Microsoft technology

REDMOND, Wash. — June 7, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the winners and finalists of the Microsoft 2018 Partner of the Year Awards. The annual awards recognize top Microsoft partners demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology. Award winners and finalists from around the world will be recognized at Microsoft Inspire taking place July 15–19, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year, Microsoft acknowledged partners in 39 categories celebrating each of the solution areas, industries and many more. The award finalists and winners were selected from more than 2,600 nominations collected from 115 different countries worldwide based on their commitment to customers, their solution’s impact on the market and exemplary use of Microsoft technologies.

“It’s an honor to recognize the 2018 Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists, which represent the best and most forward-thinking innovators coming out of our partner community,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft. “These companies are bringing cutting-edge solutions to complex business challenges and providing digital transformation opportunities for their customers. Congratulations to each winner and finalist.” Schuster has also congratulated the winners and finalists in a blog post on the Microsoft Partner Network website.

Categories, winners and finalists appear below. A complete list, including the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award winners for 2018, is available at https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/inspire/awards. See the highlights video.

Alliance Global Commercial ISV Partner of the Year

  • Winner: AT&T

Alliance SI Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade

Application Innovation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Larsen & Toubro Infotech
  • Finalist: Datacom
  • Finalist: Neal Analytics

Artificial Intelligence Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Insight
  • Finalist: KPMG Consulting Co. Ltd.
  • Finalist: eSmart Systems
  • Finalist: RedPoint Global Inc.

 Azure Compete Partner of the Year

  • Winner: GTPLUS
  • Finalist: Wragby Business Solutions and Technologies Ltd.
  • Finalist: Convergent Computing (CCO)
  • Finalist: Infront Consulting Group

 Big Data Analytics Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: WIPRO
  • Finalist: BlueGranite Inc.
  • Finalist: Neudesic

Customer Experience Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Content and Code
  • Finalist: Quadrasystems.net India Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: Insight
  • Finalist: Qorus Software

Data Estate Modernization Partner of the Year

  • Winner: pmOne AG
  • Finalist: Northdoor plc
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: Datometry

Datacenter Transformation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Ensono
  • Finalist: 10th Magnitude
  • Finalist: Hanu Software Inc.
  • Finalist: Rackspace 

DevOps Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Xpirit Netherlands
  • Finalist: Canarys Automations Private Ltd.
  • Finalist: InCycle Software
  • Finalist: Nebbia Technology

Dynamics 365 for Field Service Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Velrada
  • Finalist: eCraft Oy Ab
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions Ltd.
  • Finalist: DXC Eclipse

Dynamics 365 for Talent Partner of the Year

  • Winner: SAGlobal
  • Finalist: eBECS

Dynamics Customer Service Partner of the Year

  • Winner: eBECS
  • Finalist: Fusion5
  • Finalist: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies company

Dynamics for Finance and Operations Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: Infosys Ltd.
  • Finalist: AKA Enterprise Solutions (Formerly InterDyn AKA)
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions

Dynamics Sales Partner of the Year

  • Winner: NuSoft
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technologies
  • Finalist: KORUS Consulting
  • Finalist: Ecuity Edge

Education Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Campus Management
  • Finalist: ITWORX Education
  • Finalist: BrightBytes

Financial Services Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Vector Risk
  • Finalist: V.R.P. Veri Raporlama Programlama Bilisim Yazilim ve Danismanlik Hizmetleri Ticaret A.S.
  • Finalist: Finastra
  • Finalist: Insight

Government Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Axon Enterprises Inc.
  • Finalist: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Pythagoras Communications Ltd.
  • Finalist: EY

 Health Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Solidsoft Reply
  • Finalist: KPMG LLP
  • Finalist: DXC Eclipse
  • Finalist: KenSci

Indirect Provider Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Tech Data
  • Finalist: Westcoast Ltd.
  • Finalist: Ingram Micro

Intelligent Communications Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Sada Systems
  • Finalist: Communicativ
  • Finalist: bluesource
  • Finalist: Modality Systems Ltd.

Internet of Things Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Crestron Electronics
  • Finalist: Energisme
  • Finalist: Fathym Inc.
  • Finalist: Marquam

Learning Partner of the Year

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Platform Partner of the Year

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Teamwork Partner of the Year

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Disaster avoidance requirements ensure business continuity

We’ve seen the early predictions about the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Global Weather Oscillations, citing the “strongest cycle in 70 years,” is projecting 18 storms with six making landfall in the United States and three or four classified as major storms rated Category 3.5 or higher. Scientists and climatologists blame hotter ocean temperatures for the increasing number and severity of these weather events, and this year’s Atlantic currents are running hot.

These storms are a big concern for businesses and homeowners living along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. But that’s only a fraction of the land mass and the population of this country. The Midwest may face a much lower hurricane threat, for example, but it isn’t in the clear when it comes to weather-related catastrophes, such as tornados. Whatever the location and threat, disaster avoidance has become top of mind for everyone.

Chris Hood, IT director at First Enterprise Bank, a four-branch community bank in Oklahoma City, Okla., recalls how he took his position as “the one-man IT department” for the bank only a short time after the infamous tornado outbreak of February 2009. In that historical event, six of 15 tornadoes across seven states touched down in Oklahoma on Feb. 10, including the most powerful tornado on record, an EF4. Since then, Hood noted, disaster preparedness has been front-of-mind.

Tape backup was the backbone of the bank’s primary disaster recovery plan in 2009. The plan was to recover to one of the larger branch offices if a storm or other disaster hit the bank’s headquarters. But the bank had migrated its workloads to virtual machines, and Hood wanted to take advantage of that to implement a more proactive approach that would elevate disaster avoidance to the forefront of its continuity plan.

Time to modernize

The bank was already virtualizing its servers using VMware hypervisor technology and making some forays into software-defined storage and with StarWind Software hyper-converged infrastructure storage with iSCSI connections to virtual workloads. But Hood wanted to update the infrastructure to capitalize on the latest technology advancements.

One goal was to support WAN-based cluster failover among the bank’s four locations. “We liked the idea of replicating data among offices across a 300 Mbps link,” Hood said. “That would enable us to fail over workloads should one of the offices become compromised.”

Disaster preparedness can best be implemented as a build-in rather than a bolt-on.

Hood looked at replacing StarWind with VMware vSAN, “but it was simply too expensive from the standpoint of licensing and hardware cost,” he said. His research uncovered StorMagic’s SvSAN with dual-way stretch clustering. Implementation went smoothly, and the cost was 87% less than the VMware product, which also required more link bandwidth and more equipment. The steps involved in recovering from an outage went from “five pages of small print … to one page and a couple of steps for failing over,” Hood said. Better yet, it put the bank into full compliance with federal regulations.

Synchronous mirroring in a server failover cluster is an increasingly popular high-availability model for customers, said Bruce Kornfeld, chief marketing officer at StorMagic.

“Smaller shops may have smaller equipment stacks and less demanding workloads,” Kornfeld said, “but their data is just as mission-critical as larger firms. We provide high-availability solutions to the folks whose entire storage infrastructure totals between 2 TB to 20 TB of capacity.”

That same strategy and StorMagic’s technology are also finding play at the edge of larger shops, where they’re used to support stretch clustering of selected applications to provide service continuity, Kornfeld said. StorMagic’s magic is linked to its significantly lower cost compared with competitors, he added.

To sweeten the deal, StorMagic recently announced Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2-compliant encryption of data at rest in its storage pool “without the need for self-encrypting media,” Kornfeld said. This feature also encrypts data in flight between clustered nodes running StorMagic, and it fully supports the Key Management Interoperability Protocol standard so any KMIP-compliant encryption key manager can be used with the setup.

Not for everyone

Is this disaster avoidance technology sufficient for the likes of Citibank? Probably not. But with failover clustering and Veeam Software backup and replication software and tape, which First Enterprise continues to use, Hood is confident he has taken every reasonable disaster avoidance and DR measure to avoid preventable disasters and facilitate the bank’s recovery from one.

This month’s column isn’t an endorsement of any particular strategy or product. Rather, it’s testimony to the idea that disaster preparedness can best be implemented as a built-in rather than a bolt-on. As you begin planning your next storage refresh, consider adding requirements for availability and continuity so that the infrastructure’s resiliency is built-in, instead of needing to be added in after the fact.

Thanks to Hood, First Enterprise has an above average chance of surviving an EF4 tornado. He accomplished that by considering disaster avoidance requirements as design goals when creating storage infrastructure for his production environment. That’s the way it should be done.