Tag Archives: Sports

VMware vSphere update tweaks HTML5 client, bundles AppDefense

A stand-alone update to VMware vSphere 6.7 sports a few upgrades and a polished HTML5 client interface, while another version bundles the company’s AppDefense security product with a higher price tag.

Besides the new interface, vSphere 6.7 Update 1 contains a vCenter Server Converge Tool and additional vMotion and snapshot capabilities for Nvidia Grid vGPUs and support for field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Experts said these additional vSphere capabilities are useful, if not long overdue, but don’t elevate this release to a major one for vSphere customers.

“There are some nice things, like the vSphere Client, and the FPGA support for vMotion is good for people that will use the product every day … but it is a minor upgrade,” said Gary Chen, research manager for software-defined compute at IDC.

Gary Chen, research manager for software-defined compute, IDCGary Chen

Some of the higher-end technical improvements could attract some users who implement machine learning and AI capabilities, Chen said. However, the virtualization market is very well-penetrated, and the new release is more to evolve the product and keep customers on board.

Most end users will welcome the vSphere update’s tweaks to improve the HTML5 client, as well as vGPU vMotion additions, but those particular functions won’t drive greater adoption of the product, said Brian Kirsch, IT architect and instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

VSphere Platinum plugs in AppDefense

The bundled version, vSphere Platinum Edition, contains vSphere 6.7 Update 1 and AppDefense, with a vCenter plug-in for AppDefense, and it offers application-level security, according to Mike Adams, senior director of product marketing for VMware’s cloud platform business unit.

“AppDefense can offer a good known state for what should be running in the hypervisor from the applications’ perspective,” Adams said. “So, if there is any deviation from that, admins will get an alert right away and be able to do something about it.”

Most IT shops will appreciate VMware’s continued focus on security with the bundling of AppDefense, Kirsch said. This, combined with NSX’s attention to east-west attacks, should curry favor with larger IT shops.

Bargain hunters beware

Why would you [buy] the bundle if you can buy [vSphere and AppDefense] cheaper separately?
Gary Chenanalyst, IDC

What could steal attention away from the products’ new features, however, is the Platinum Edition’s price tag of $4,195 per CPU, per year. The current edition of vSphere Enterprise Plus goes for $3,495 per CPU, per year, and the current SaaS version of AppDefense is $500 per CPU, per year, totaling $3,995.

Asked to explain the higher Platinum price tag, Adams noted the package includes $10,000 in promotional credits for VMware Cloud on AWS. He added that this, plus the AppDefense vCenter plug-in, “is of significant value” to users.

The additional $200 per CPU, per year, is a significant sum for some large IT shops that have hundreds of servers, each with four, eight or more CPUs. Many might opt to buy the products separately and pocket the savings.

“Why would you [buy] the bundle if you can buy them cheaper separately, unless they are not telling us something?” IDC’s Chen said.

The promotional credits for VMware Cloud on AWS may offer some incentive, but workloads that require the aforementioned horsepower in AWS will use that up relatively quickly. Buyers also should be aware that the credits are good for only six months and can be used only toward single-server instances, Chen said.

SearchServerVirtualization site editor Ryann Burnett contributed to this story.

Watch McGregor Take on Mayweather on the UFC App on Xbox One

Are you ready for the most anticipated event in combat sports history? On Saturday, August 26, the current UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor takes on undefeated 11-time five-division boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., and the UFC app on Xbox One will be Pay Per View streaming all the live action, direct to your living room.

McGregor, a UFC legend in his own right with a 21-3 record, will be out of his comfort zone, conforming to boxing rules — no elbows, no round-house kicks, and no wrestling moves. Mayweather, the heavy favorite with a 49-0 record, will be re-entering the ring after his 2015 retirement. These wildly popular fighters have something to prove and are ready to face off on Saturday in this record-breaking event.

The showdown between these two giants has crossed over into a rare cultural event — where will you be when the bell rings? Pre-order the PPV event on the UFC app and watch live at 6 p.m. PT on Xbox One.

Catch all the action with the NCAA March Madness Live app on your Windows PC, laptop, tablet or phone

College basketball fans, are you ready for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship? We’re thrilled to share that you will be able to watch every game live with NCAA March Madness Live app that is available to download for free from the Windows and Windows Phone Stores. Now no matter where you are or which device you have with you, you can keep track of your favorite teams on your Windows PC, laptop, tablet or phone.

March Madness Live photo 2

It’s never been easier to make bracket picks on your phone.

March Madness Live photo

GameCenter with LIVE video streaming

NCAA March Madness Live is the place to watch all the best rivalries, upsets, and buzzer beaters! The app will feature a sleeker design, improved navigation, an all-new GameCenter experience, a new “run” game and new sections focused on providing fans with more content than ever before. Simply log in with your TV provider to enjoy unlimited access to live streaming video of all 67 games of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. NCAA March Madness Live will offer a temporary preview period giving you access to live game streaming before login is required.

Download NCAA March Madness Live for free from the Windows and Windows Phone Stores today.

The community of fans: Real Madrid brings their supporters closer to the team

In this digital age, the idea of community is changing rapidly. Online and social-based channels have created new ways of connecting with others who share similar beliefs, interests and passions. While some may be rightfully concerned that online social communications are not a substitute for human interaction, I continue to be fascinated with the ways people are finding to connect and share their passions.

Last November, Microsoft announced a collaboration agreement with Real Madrid – ranked the “best club of the 20th century” – that accelerates the digital transformation of the club through technology. A new digital platform is at the center of this transformation, supported by Azure, Office 365, Dynamics, among other key products. As I wrote in our company blog, this partnership is about so much more than a business partnership, but an opportunity to truly put fans at the center of sport, and revolutionize the way in which “Madridistas” follow their team and share their passion for the club. More important is connecting fans with fans in new ways to enhance and extend their community. Our first step in that journey has been taking place over the past several weeks.

Typically, fans collect trading cards or stickers of their favorite sports stars. But to really put fans at the center, we reversed the roles and asked fans to send their cards to the players. Together with Real Madrid, we helped fans create the first-ever digital “fan sticker album” by uploading their photo to www.connectyourpassion.com. Thousands of fans from over 100 countries came together to complete the album, which can now be seen online.

On Thursday, March 12, we bring together 12 lucky participants of the album who will have the chance to interview three of the Real Madrid players in a Q&A session live via Skype. The players can interact with fans as their “12th player” – signifying the importance of the fans during the entire game to show their support. All fans together are the “12th player” – as a community they are stronger than any athlete on the pitch.

Any “fan” would jump at the chance to meet their favorite celebrity from movies, TV or from the stadium. Yet what I find most remarkable, particularly about the sports community, is the magic of what happens when the community comes together. Fan to fan, there is a common bond, a sense of identity and shared passion that shapes our mantra for the partnership – “Passion Powers Passion.”

Strong communities are built on a sense of connectedness: people coming together and interacting on a shared and relevant purpose. This is what our partnership with Real Madrid is all about – bringing people together in a different dimension of community and connectedness. Technology is only an enabler, playing a supporting role while showcasing the community of fans as the stars of the show.

Watch the online event Thursday, March 12 – we welcome you as part of our community.

Get ready 2014 football season with NFL on Windows 8 and Xbox One

The 2014 football season kicks off on September 4th and starting today, you can get ready by downloading NFL on Windows 8 from the Windows Store and on your Xbox One. The NFL app on Windows 8 and the Xbox One gives you a more immersive and interactive means of experiencing North America’s most popular sport. You’ll be able to stay connected to all the latest NFL news, video highlights and stories around-the-clock, and keep tabs on live stats and scores from around the League. You can also personalize your experience to follow all the latest from your favorite team.

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It also works great with the Snap feature in Windows 8 and on the Xbox One!

For more, head on over to Xbox Wire and get the rundown on the amazing experience you can have with the NFL app on Windows 8 and the Xbox One!