IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of August 14th

A big bunch of AWS news from the Big Apple, a new reason to fear the Internet of (unsafe) Things, and a sleeping bag for smartphones that might help you get some shuteye too are among the stories we should have told you about this week but didn't. By James E. Gaskin

We’re past the middle of August, sliding downhill toward the three-day Labor Day weekend and soon, fall. Schools are swinging open their doors trying to snare students with the help of grateful parents. And just like kids will skip their homework (“I don’t have any homework—promise!”) we skipped over a bunch of news this week, so let’s all catch up.

AWS Migration HubAmazon Web Services celebrates big cloud announcements in the Big Apple. What’s hiding in your cloud? To help you track existing applications and plan for new ones, Amazon used its latest AWS Summit in New York City to unveil the new AWS Migration Hub (pictured), which helps clients discover all the apps out there, transfer servers and databases, and track them once ported. After the apps are loaded, you might need some AWS Glue, a new serverless and cloud-optimized extract, transform, and load service.

As clouds get more and more loaded, tracking S3 buckets can get confusing. If so, check out AWS Config Rules with dynamic compliance checking. Add in Amazon Macie, a new service powered by machine learning that monitors data to catch any suspicious activity. Activate the new Amazon Macie Console from your AWS Management Console.

Of course, cloud systems are only as safe as their configuration settings, and a mis-config seems to be behind the exposure of over two million Dow Jones customer records stored on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service. Drumroll please: McAfee announced a limited time free trial of their Virtual Network Security Platform (McAfee vNSP) for Amazon Web Services. Not to be outdone, AWS folks announced that the Amazon Elastic File System, just over a year old, now supports encryption of data at rest.

Microsoft puffs up their cloud tools. Azure users needing some “Big Computing” help should investigate Microsoft’s acquisition of Cycle Computing, “a leader in cloud computing orchestration” and ways to smooth High Performance Computing in the cloud. Visual Studio users should know that VS 2017 version 15.3 just went wide, including broader Azure sign-on support among a batch of other improvements.

WatchGuard FireboxesProducts to increase security, look at, talk to, and think about. ManageEngine announced general availability of OpManager Plus. New bits include Deep Packet Inspection bandwidth monitoring to find those bottlenecks now. Also, the company’s ADSelfService Plus, an integrated self-services password management and single sign-on solution, now supports over 80 enterprise cloud apps.

And as more of that web traffic gets encrypted, WatchGuard announced their new Firebox M470, M570, and M670 firewalls (pictured) have extra hardware to speed security analysis of encrypted streams.

Treat your eyes to the world’s largest OLED high definition video wall at the Dubai Aquarium. Built by LG Electronics Business Solutions, the 7,600 square-foot screen measures 164 feet wide by 45 feet tall. Smaller but also eye-opening, the new ViewSonic VP2785-4K monitor brightens the desktop with 3840x2160 resolution and is calibrated to Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color standards.

Those tired of desk phone leashes (cords) should check out Jabra’s new VXi V-Series line of office headsets that now include the V175 and V300 models. Need a new office phone system? VOSS just released just released the VOSS-4-UC v17 with lots of new voice and other unified communications goodies. RingByName, a cloud communications service in over 70 countries, now enables all company phone numbers to receive text messages.

Samsung SSDThink about these as you sip your coffee.

  • Nimble, the social media-slanted CRM, launched Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in for Microsoft Edge.
  • Box made its file sync and share solution artificiallu intelligent.
  • M-Files released M-Files HR, fortifying their intelligent information management tools for HR processes.
  • APC by Schneider Electric introduced introduced Local Edge Configurator to better design edge device protection solutions.
  • Zoho rolled out Zoho SalesInbox for Salesforce, adapting the first email client designed exclusively for salespeople to work for Salesforce users.
  • Ipswitch, fondly remembered from back in the day for their early graphical FTP software (hey, youngsters, file transfers used to be a pain), updated their iMacros web automation, data extraction, and web testing software.
  • Talend, big in cloud and big data integration, unveiled Talend Data Fabric tools for better real-time insights.
  • Faction released its second-generation Faction Cloud Control Volumes and NetApp Private Storage as a Service (bet that makes for a long SKU label).
  • Rackspace pulled the covers off its new Privacy and Data Protection (PDP) cybersecurity tools.
  • EnGenius Technologies debuted debuted the new EnTurbo Tri-Band 802.11ac Wave 2 Access Point (EAP2200) because we never get enough Wi-Fi speed for our streaming addiction.
  • Samsung introduced the Samsung Portable SSD T5, (pictured) in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities.
  • Kingston Digital, the Flash part of Kingston Technologies, pulled new DataTraveler 2000 encrypted USB drives out of their pocket.
  • Razer uncaged its new Razer Atheris “ultimate wireless notebook mouse,” which is optimized for gamers.
  • Brainshark floated some new product enhancements for its SaaS-based sales tools, including mobile support, screen recording, and a new interface.
  • SolarWinds updated its Pingdom digital experience monitoring solution.
  • Oracle jetted in with a significant expansion to the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud.
  • Dome9 Security procliamed its support for AWS Cloud Formation Templates with their automated security and compliance assessment tools.

Jim HaighNow think about these people and programs with your second cup of coffee.

This week’s stats ticker:

  • Gartner’s latest forecast says spending on information security projects will grow seven percent in 2017 versus 2016, topping out at about $86.4 billion. 2018 should hit or pass $93 billion.
  • Parks Associates expects 442 million connected devices to be sold in the U.S. in 2020.
  • Strategy Analytics found that 50.4 percent of consumers use their personal smartphone for business purposes. Maybe they left their biz phone at the office?
  • The CompTIA Industry Business Confidence Index in Q3 bumped up 3.2 points to 67.4 on the 100 point scale, making the first time a Q3 reading increased over the one from the previous quarter.

DashboardThe Internet of (unsafe) Things. The rolling network you call a car may be more hacker-friendly than previously thought, says Trend Micro in collaboration with Linklayer Labs and Politecnico di Milano. A design vulnerability in the standard defining the controller area network that links a vehicle’s sensors, airbags, navigation systems, and the like means attackers can disable any of those systems “in a way that is invisible to state-of-the-art security mechanisms.” Guess your new bumper sticker should read “Honk if you love hackers.”

InsomniaTo help you sleep. The start of school begins the bedtime battles between parents and children. Maybe the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project and its new Bedtime Calculator that outlines the sleep needed by children according to age group can help. Spoiler alert: school starts too early for teenagers.

Mobile devices in bed may seem comforting, but they will cost you shuteye, says the National Sleep Foundation. The latest Sleep Health Index “shows that bedtime electronics use is a problem.” If only there was a place to put your sleep-stealing phone…

BagbyThere is! First of all, have 160+ people really pitched in over $12,000 on Kickstarter for the Bagby (pictured), a little sack you place outside the bedroom door to keep sleep time phone free? Don’t people leave their phone charging in the kitchen overnight? Or on their night stand so they can see that last kitten video before wondering why they can’t sleep until they give up and check the next kitten video? (See previous story). Oh, you want the phone out of the bedroom? Kitchen it is, so you can start tweeting when you get your coffee.

If they have a sleeping bag for phones, how long before Bagby makes a tent? Your phone can’t sleep out in the open. And sleeping bags need air mattresses. No one over 10 can sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag, so maybe Bagby should make a phone-sized air mattress. At least you won’t hyperventilate blowing up that air mattress.

And for a camp, you need a campfire. Oh, wait, some phones ARE the campfire.

About the Author

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.