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VMware vSAN HCI: Complete stack or ‘vaporware’?

Days after VMware’s CEO proclaimed his vSAN product the winner in the hyper-converged infrastructure space, the CEO of VMWare rival Nutanix countered that VMware “sells a lot of vaporware.”

“We’re crushing Nu … I mean we’re winning in the marketplace,” VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said during his opening VMworld keynote last week. “We’re separating from No. 2. We’re winning in the space.”

Two days later on Nutanix’s earnings call, CEO Dheeraj Pandey took a shot at VMware without mentioning the company by name. “We don’t sell vaporware,” he said, when referring to why Nutanix wins in competitive deals.

In an exclusive interview after the call, Pandey admitted the vaporware charge was aimed mostly at VMware’s vSAN HCI software.

Pat Gelsinger, VMware CEOPat Gelsinger

“VMware sells a lot of vaporware,” Pandey said. “A lot of that vaporware becomes evident to customers who buy that stuff. When bundled products don’t deliver on their promise, they call us. What we sell is not shelfware.”

Whatever VMware is selling with its vSAN HCI software, it is working. VMware reported license bookings of its vSAN HCI software grew 45% year-over-year last quarter, while Nutanix revenue and bookings slipped from last year. VMware’s parent Dell also claimed a 77% increase in orders of its Dell EMC VxRail HCI appliances that run vSAN software. Those numbers suggest Dell increased market share against Nutanix, even if Nutanix did better than expected last quarter following a disappointing period. IDC listed VMware as the HCI software market leader and Dell as the hardware HCI leader in the first quarter of 2019, with Nutanix second in both categories. Gartner lists Nutanix as the HCI software leader, but No. 2 VMware made up ground in Gartner’s first-quarter numbers.

Nutanix’s Pandey attributed at least some of VMware’s HCI success to bundling its vSAN software with its overall virtualization stack. Like VMware, Nutanix has its own hypervisor (AHV) and its share of hardware partners — including Dell — but VMware has a huge vSphere installed base to sell vSAN into.

Dheeraj Pandey, Nutanix CEODheeraj Pandey

Pandey said he was unimpressed by VMware’s Kubernetes and open source plans laid out at VMworld, which included Tanzu and Project Pacific. Both are still roadmap items but reflect a commitment from VMware to containers and open source software.

“That’s worse than vaporware, that’s slideware,” Pandey said of VMware’s announcements. “Everything works in slides. We’re based on Linux; we get a lot of leverage out of open source. AHV was based on Linux, and we’ve made it enterprise grade.”

Making vSAN part of its vSphere virtualization platform has paid off for VMware. Customers at VMworld pointed to their familiarity with VMware and vSAN’s integration with vSphere, and its NSX software-defined networking as reasons for going with vSAN HCI.

 “What really end up selling it for us was, we were already using VMware for our base product and the vast majority of the deliverables that our customers request is in vSphere,” said Lester Shisler, senior IT systems engineer at Harmony Healthcare IT, based in South Bend, Ind. “So whatever pain points we learned along the way with vSAN, we were going to have to learn [with a competing HCI product] as well, along with new software and new management and everything else.”

Matthew Douglas, chief enterprise architect at Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., said Nutanix was among the HCI options he looked at before picking vSAN.

“VMware was ultimately the choice,” he said. “All the others were missing some components. VMWare was a consistent platform for hyper-converged infrastructure. Plus, there was NSX and all these things that fit together in a nice, uniform fashion. And as an enterprise, I couldn’t make a choice of all these independent different tools. Having one consistent tool was the differentiator.”

Despite losing share, Nutanix’s last-quarter results were mixed. Its revenue of $300 million and billings of $372 million were both down from last year but better than expected following the disappointing previous quarter. Nutanix’s software and support revenue of $287 million increased 7%, a good sign for the HCI pioneer’s move to a software-centric business model. Nutanix also reported a 16% growth in deals over $1 million from the previous quarter.

However, operating expenses also increased. Sales and marketing spend jumped to $254 million from $183 million the previous year. Nutanix, which has never recorded a profit, lost $194 million in the quarter — more than double its losses from a year ago. It finished the quarter with $909 million in cash, down from $943 million last year.

Pandey said he is more concerned about growth and customer acquisition than profitability.

“Profitability is a nuanced word,” Pandey said. “We defer so much in our balance sheet. Right now we care about doing right by the customer when we sell them subscriptions.”

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For Sale – MacBook Pro 13″ Late 2016 256GB Space Grey (Non Touchbar)

As I’m not using my MacBook enough these days I’ve decided to sell.

MacBook Pro 13″ 2016

Intel i5 2GHz
8GB Ram
Intel Iris Graphics 540 1536MB
256GB Hard Drive

Apple Warranty Until End of November 2019

I’ve also just got it back from Apple as I got the battery replaced under a battery replacement program where they also replaced the top part of the bottom case (keyboard section) if that makes sense. Thats why you can see protective tape around the USB-C ports and the headphone jack.

You can see its been replaced as you can see in the photo the battery cycle is just 1!

I would say this is in excellent condition and the only mark I can see is a ting dent on the underside on the hinge which you can see in the photo circled red to help you see it. Other then that I can’t see a mark on it anywhere.

It comes fully boxed and will also included is a soft sleeve case and a hard case which it lived in.

Price will also include delivery by RMSD which will probably be over £25

Price and currency: £700.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: Manchester
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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How Technology Led Me to the Best Job in the World

There are many days when I’m convinced I have the best job in the world. That feeling is compounded in moments when I’m meeting with our team of engineers and creatives, reviewing game storyboards, character designs, and what’s next for the Master Chief, knowing millions of dedicated fans are eagerly awaiting the release of our next Halo game. Or I’ll be sitting with a team of creatives, reviewing scripts for our upcoming Showtime television series, and I’ll take a step back and think to myself, “this is the most phenomenal job! How did I get here?”

I’m Bonnie Ross and I’m incredibly honored to lead of one of the most iconic and beloved video game franchises in the world, in Halo.  Our team at 343 Industries tells epic sci-fi stories, we build incredible worlds and I’ve enjoyed a more of a creative career than I ever thought possible: one where technology empowers art. I lead the most amazingly talented team of engineers, computer programmers, artists, and storytellers – all working together to bring the world of Halo to millions of passionate fans globally. Halo is a universe worthy of devotion, a universe in which you can tell thousands of stories – and technology brings all this magic vividly to life.

Throughout middle school, high school and college, my dad encouraged me to think about pursuing engineering and science as a career.  In high school, he pushed me to take the advanced math and science classes, even though I didn’t understand the “why.”  I couldn’t see the opportunities that lie ahead.  I needed that push.  I needed those words of encouragement.  I couldn’t be more thankful that my dad gave me that support.

When I graduated from college, I managed to land a job with Microsoft working on operating systems. While it was an amazing job – especially for someone fresh out of college – I don’t think I would have stayed at Microsoft or in tech, if I didn’t eventually find my passion.  At that time, I wasn’t able to connect the dots and see why technology mattered to me.  Luckily, four years after I started at Microsoft, I found video games.  For me, video games made that connection to what I could do with technology…be creative. Gaming is this amazing merging of art and technology.  Gaming is technology empowering art, creativity, and storytelling.  Gaming opened my eyes to the extraordinary things I could achieve with technology. 

For me, pursuing and remaining in technology, as a career, wasn’t something I would have done without a little help. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to inspire and encourage girls and nurture other women to pursue careers in computer science and technology. There is such a need for talent – girls and boys – in technical fields, particularly in the United States.

Girls start losing interest in STEM in middle school:

  •  Studies show that girls lose interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and computer science as time goes on. In middle school, 31% of girls believe that jobs requiring coding and programming are “not for them.” In high school, that percentage jumps up to 40%. By the time they’re in college, 58% of girls count themselves out of these jobs.

And yet the opportunities for girls and women have never been greater:

  •  In the next two years, there will be an estimated 1.4M jobs in the US that require some form of technical experience or degree. Based on the number of students enrolled in technology and engineering degrees today, it’s predicted we will only be able to fill 400,000 of these jobs in the US. Such a profound worker shortage carries global implications for the US and our economy.
  •  Research shows a diverse workforce brings with it diverse perspectives that improve everything from better product development to better teams to better profits. We need women engineers. And it’s not just a nice thing, it can change everything. Anatomically female crash test dummies, with associated differences in physique and physics, weren’t used until 2011 and women were less safe for it. A 2011 University of Virginia study found that women had a 47% higher change of serious injuries compared to men and a 71% higher chance of a moderate injury.
  •  STEM jobs tend to be higher paid. The lack of women going into technology or engineering or science is contributing to the salary gap between men and women. And here’s the not-so-secret secret: If you have a degree in tech, companies around the world aren’t just looking for you. They’re fighting to hire you since we’re all competing for a very small pool of qualified female candidates.

We know how to get more girls into STEM: 
Microsoft recently conducted research
 to learn more about what causes the gender gap and how to close it. We know why girls or young women either don’t go into STEM or leave. The research echoes my own story growing up. And we know what girls need to stay in STEM. It’s also what I personally needed.

  •  Connect the dots for girls. Girls often leave STEM because they don’t understand the potential and opportunities a technology or engineering degree can provide. 91% of girls say that they’re creative and 72% say it’s important that they have a job that helps the world, so I’m sharing my story to show that they can achieve both of those goals with a STEM qualification.  As a parent or educator, you can do the same. Seek and tell the computer science story. When girls learn about real-world STEM jobs, their perception of the creativity and positive impact of STEM double. Coding is the fabric our modern lives, built on and technology, and continues to shape and improve our world. Let her know she can define, drive and be that change. 
  •  Be a mentor. Girls need encouragement to stay in STEM. I was lucky to have my dad and I’m convinced that without his encouragement of my STEM education, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  65% of middle school girls who are encouraged by a parent say they’re likely to study computer science in high school, compared to 36% who haven’t been encouraged by either parent. With mutual support from parents and teachers, girls are twice as likely to consider studying computer science in high school, and three times more likely to consider studying computer science in college. You don’t need to be an engineer to encourage girls to pursue STEM and inspire their confidence in math and science. Just help them imagine their future with a computer science education.

This summer, I had the privilege of spending the day with 11 amazing young girls to work on a project for the Ad Council’s latest communication campaign, to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM. These girls are our future.  They were surprised and enthused to discover how math and science can be creative and can lead to a career making video games.  We talked about what games they play, what experiences and stories they want to create, and I made sure to tell them that they could achieve that and that would change the world.

Technology is the most powerful and the most creative tool we have today to create impact; to change and improve the world. Join me in raising the next generation of world-builders and world-changers. Connect the dots and be a mentor for the girls and young women in your life. Please share your story, my story, share the #SheCanStem videos and inspire the next generation. #MakeWhatsNext.

Approaches for embedding human ethics in AI systems

SAN DIEGO — It may be early days for AI, but it’s not too early to start thinking about the ethical considerations around the technology. In fact, today is a defining moment for AI ethics, said Gartner research vice president Darin Stewart at this week’s Gartner Catalyst event in San Diego.

“The decisions we make now are going to sit at the core of our models for years and continue to evolve, continue grow and continue to learn,” said Stewart during his session. “So we need to set them on a firm ethical foundation so that as they grow through the years they’ll continue to reflect our values.”

The crux is that, right now, embedding ethics in AI systems is a low priority for most. The focus is mostly on AI control — making sure systems do what they’re supposed to do and having a few corrective measures if things go wrong. But, as Stewart said, putting in a “big red button” to hit when things go very wrong isn’t enough. By that time it’s already too late.

What we need in our AI solutions is something Stewart calls “value alignment.”

“We need some assurance that when these systems make predictions, come to conclusions, give us recommendations and make decisions that they’re going to reflect our values,” he said. “And not just our personal values as its creator, but the values of the organization we serve and the community or society that it exists within.”

Stewart admitted that value alignment might seem above IT practitioners’ paygrade, but he certainly doesn’t see it that way.

“The developers, the engineers and the designers are in the vanguard,” he said. “You all are best positions to take those steps to move us closer to that value alignment.”

What steps can IT practitioners take to embed human values and ethics in AI?

Darin Stewart, research vice president, Gartner
Darin Stewart talks about the urgent need to develop an AI ethics strategy at the Gartner Catalyst event this week.

A measure of fairness

For starters, they can make sure they aren’t directly inserting bias into algorithms. Bias is more or less ubiquitous in machine learning, Stewart said. It arises when the AI model makes predictions and decisions based on sensitive or prohibited attributes — things like race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

We need some assurance that when these systems make predictions, come to conclusions, give us recommendations and make decisions that they’re going to reflect our values.
Darin Stewartresearch vice president, Gartner

Fortunately, there are effective techniques for removing bias in data sets, Stewart said. But IT practitioners need to make sure it never gets in the model in the first place. At the very beginning, they need to articulate — and document — measures of fairness and the algorithm’s priorities. A measure of fairness is what constitutes equitable and consistent treatment for all groups participating in a system or solution. Stewart said there are a lot of guidelines available for use — many for free.

“At the very beginning, when you’re building the product, decide explicitly and intentionally what that measure of fairness is going to be and optimize your algorithms to reflect both the values statement you create and that measure of fairness,” he said. “Then use the boundaries as constraints on the training process itself.”

The United States has had a doctrine of discrimination since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which defines types of discriminatory intent and permissible use of race. Start there, Stewart said.

“Ideally, we will have higher standards, but the locally- set, legal definition of acceptable discrimination should be the bare minimum you work with,” he said.

Pay attention to your AI solution in the real world

AI and machine learning systems rarely behave the same in the real world as they did in testing, Stewart said. That can pose a problem for ensuring ethics in AI.

“The problem is that once we release our solutions into the real world, we stop paying attention to the inputs it’s feeding off of in the real world,” he said. “We don’t pay attention to the inputs that are still continuing to train and evolve the model, and that’s where things start to go wrong.”

He points to the now infamous case of the Microsoft Tay chatbot, which was the target of a malicious attack by Twitter trolls that biased the system beyond repair. That’s why Stewart emphasizes the importance of consistently and continually inspecting training data.

“Kind of like stalking your kids on social media, you need to keep an eye on your solutions once they are released into the real world,” Stewart said. That includes regularly testing and auditing the AI systems.

Instilling ethics in AI: The ‘centaur’ approach

At this point in time, Stewart said we usually don’t want to turn decisions entirely over to the AI system. If you are just trying to automate data entry into a spreadsheet or speed up the throughput of an assembly line, then it’s fine to do so, he said. But if you are creating a system that is going to “materially impact someone’s life,” you should have a human being in the loop who understands why decisions are being made.

“You don’t want a doctor performing surgery just because the AI said so,” he said. Decisions ideally are made by combining machine intelligence, which can deal with exponentially more data than humans can, with human intelligence, which can account for factors that may not have been in the data set. “We’re looking for centaurs rather than robots.”

Revenue ops main theme at Ramp by InsightSquared conference

Customers, potential customers and partners of InsightSquared Inc. gathered in Boston for two days for Ramp 2018, the dashboard and reporting software vendor’s second annual conference. The Pipeline podcast was there to take in the conference festivities.

Revenue ops was among the main topics discussed at Ramp, with keynotes and conversations dedicated to the idea of bringing together marketing, sales and service departments to improve ROI and revenue.

To help companies with that objective, InsightSquared also unveiled a new set of marketing analytics tools that may help companies uncover insights within the marketing process, including marketing attribution, demand management, and planning and analysis.

“There’s a natural tension between sales and marketing,” said Matisha Ladiwala, GM of marketing analytics for InsightSquared, on the conference stage. Ladiwala ran through a demo of some of the tools’ capabilities before two InsightSquared customers spoke about using the marketing analytics tools.

One of Ladiwala’s demos showed a dashboard that united data from the sales and marketing departments and determined how quickly sales followed up on leads and how many leads were making it into the funnel. This revenue ops approach is beneficial to companies that have traditionally used a more manual, time-intensive approach to reporting, according to InsightSquared.

Aggregating information from areas was very manual and time-consuming.
Guido BartolacciNew Breed

One InsightSquared user, Guido Bartolacci, manager of acquisition and strategy at New Breed, an inbound marketing and sales agency, told conference attendees: “Aggregating information from areas was very manual and time-consuming.”

By using InsightSquared’s new marketing analytics tools while in beta, the marketing and sales agency was able to pull together data from multiple sources quickly and with more insight, Bartolacci said.

Beyond discussing the revenue ops-focused conference, this Pipeline podcast also touches on some of the other speakers at Ramp, including Nate Silver, data scientist and founder of the FiveThirtyEight blog, and TrackMaven CEO Allen Gannett, who gave a lively, entertaining keynote on creativity.

For Sale – 5TB Seagate 3.5” HDD + External Caddy

Only ever used as an external drive for my PS4, which hardly gets any use these days. Have included a disk check which shows absolutely no bad sectors.

Price is £100 posted via bank transfer

Price and currency: 100
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Preston
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – Thinkpad Lenovo 13 (Gen2) – i3-7100U , 4GB – Upgradeble, 180GB SSD – Under Warranty

Lenovo ThinkPad 13

i3 7100U

4GB – Up gradable too not soldered

180 GB SSD

Under Warranty 312 days remaining.

Immaculate Conditon

Lenovo Thinkpad 13 – 13.3″ – Core i… | 20J10021UK | £519.99 | Insight UK Retails for £600

Asking for £400 or best offer

Price and currency: 400
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: bank transfer
Location: DORSET
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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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.

For Sale – Thinkpad Lenovo 13 (Gen2) – i3-7100U , 4GB – Upgradeble, 180GB SSD – Under Warranty

Lenovo ThinkPad 13

i3 7100U

4GB – Up gradable too not soldered

180 GB SSD

Under Warranty 312 days remaining.

Immaculate Conditon

Lenovo Thinkpad 13 – 13.3″ – Core i… | 20J10021UK | £519.99 | Insight UK Retails for £600

Asking for £400 or best offer

Price and currency: 400
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: bank transfer
Location: DORSET
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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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
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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.

For Sale – or Trade: 2017 15″ Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD

I bought a brand new 2017 15″ Macbook Pro few days ago but have decided I’d prefer a 13″ model. It’s the top spec model for £2699 on Apple’s website with the following spec:

  • 2.9GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage1
  • Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB memory
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

Needless to say it’s in mint condition, battery count is 4. It might go up to 5 whilst I factory reset it. Warranty until 29th June 2019.

I’m after a 2017 13″ Touch Bar model for trade (plus cash my way), not interested in any other models. I value my Macbook at £1750 for trade or sale.

Price and currency: £1750
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG/BACS
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: 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.

For Sale – or Trade: 2017 15″ Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD

I bought a brand new 2017 15″ Macbook Pro few days ago but have decided I’d prefer a 13″ model. It’s the top spec model for £2699 on Apple’s website with the following spec:

  • 2.9GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage1
  • Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB memory
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

Needless to say it’s in mint condition, battery count is 4. It might go up to 5 whilst I factory reset it. Warranty until 29th June 2019.

I’m after a 2017 13″ Touch Bar model for trade (plus cash my way), not interested in any other models. I value my Macbook at £1750 for trade or sale.

Price and currency: £1750
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG/BACS
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: 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.