IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of August 29th

Massive news dumps from VMworld and IFA Berlin, the arrival of Intel’s Kaby Lake processor family, and an application of Big Data firepower to Labor Day traffic patterns with questionable results are all among the stories you may have missed this week. By Rich Freeman

Normally we have no excuse for failing to keep up with all the news in the technology industry. This week we do. THERE WAS NO WAY ANYONE COULD KEEP UP WITH ALL THE NEWS IN THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY. Really, the last time this many stories broke in the same week it happened in a nightmare we woke from screaming and drenched in sweat. See for yourself.

VMworld 2016Playing nice. The 800 lb. gorilla in the IT newsroom this week was VMware’s annual VMworld event in Las Vegas, and the big (or biggest, anyway) story out of VMworld was the introduction of VMware’s new Cloud Foundation and Cross-Cloud Architecture. The former offering is a private cloud solution based on VMware’s vSphere server virtualization platform, Virtual SAN storage system, and NSX network virtualization system. The latter is a platform for managing and running hybrid clouds that combine VMware-based private clouds (and other onsite infrastructure) with hosted in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the IBM Softlayer, among other public clouds.

And the overarching yet unstated message behind those releases is that as much as we would love it if all our customers based the public portion of their hybrid clouds on our own vCloud Air public cloud, that ain’t happening anytime soon, so we should probably make co-existing with those other, more popular environments easier for our many, many customers.

Not that VMware has given up on vCloud Air, exactly. It also announced some new features for its VMware vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager solution and a new disaster recovery offering for third-party providers of vCloud Air-based services.

And because it’s all about containers and workspace-as-a-service these days…VMware also previewed some enhancements to VMware Horizon and VMware Workspace ONE, the linchpins of its WaaS strategy, and VMware vSphere Integrated Containers, its virtual container host for vSphere users.

HP t630And now, brace yourself. Because here’s the first of what stands to be a lot of bullet lists in this post. It’s just been that kind of week. This first list offers up a few highlights from the many announcements made at or in conjunction with VMworld by vendors sensibly trying to glom on to all the media attention surrounding that event. Like, for example:

  • Cohesity, which revealed that its DataPlatform and DataProtect secondary storage products now combine with VMware’s primary storage-oriented Virtual SAN and vRealize Automation systems to enable end-to-end virtual storage solutions.
  • HP, which introduced three new thin client solutions (including the t630, pictured) with support for the high-performance VMware Blast Extreme display protocol.
  • Huawei, which shipped two new servers validated for use with VMware Virtual SAN.
  • IGEL, which joined HP in adding support for VMware Blast Extreme to its thin client solutions.
  • Supermicro, which released a passel of server and storage systems optimized for use with VMware Virtual SAN.
  • Zerto, which unveiled Virtual Replication 5.0, a forthcoming update of its flagship disaster recovery solution that will protect IBM Cloud workloads and support Microsoft Azure as a public cloud target. And no, strictly speaking none of that has a whole lot to do with VMware, but VMworld is as good a place as any to publicize it and we won’t tell if you don’t.

OK, just one more wafer-thin bit of news from VMware before you explode. The new releases of their Fusion and Workstation client virtualization solutions, due out next week, will support Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Windows Server 2016, and (in Fusion’s case) MacOS Sierra. Better yet, both updates are free, free, free to anyone running the current edition.

Huawei novaBut enough about software. Let’s talk about hardware, like the boatload of goodies showcased at the many press conferences held this week ahead of IFA Berlin, the European consumer electronics event getting underway today. They include:

Kaby LakeNeed a little more evidence that it was a big week for product news? Try this on for size. We’re just now getting around to mentioning that Intel has shipped its 7th Gen Core processor (pictured, but not actual size) Better known by its code name, Kaby Lake, it’s a speedier update to the 14nm Skylake platform that according to Intel is a great fit for watching 4K video and playing compute-intensive games on mobile devices.

As for the other half of the Wintel alliance…Their news kind of got overshadowed this week. But Microsoft did make some product announcements, including:

  • Additions to the online edition of Outlook designed to make finding, researching, and communicating with people easier for Office 365 users.
  • Enhancements to SharePoint Online that add team sites to Office 365 user groups by default and simplify team site customization.

HP Pavilion WaveNow take a deep breath. Because here comes one last giant salvo of product launches:

  • AppSense shipped Xtraction for DesktopNow, a dashboard and reporting tool for users of its DesktopNow Management Server and Enterprise Manager Personalization Server.
  • Avaya rolled out version 10 of IP Office, its unified communications solution for SMBs, with built-in encryption and new failover options.
  • Cortado issued a new release of its Corporate Server mobility solution with “virtual data room” functionality aimed at simplifying file sharing on the go.
  • Dell showed off three Alienware gaming laptops with shiny new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-Series GPUs.
  • D-Link pulled the wraps off a fresh new family of Layer 2+/Layer 3 Managed Gigabit switches.
  • Epson introduced two high-speed additions to its commercial document scanner portfolio.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced Haven OnDemand Combinations, which lets developers chain Haven OnDemand machine learning APIs together in customized groups they can paste into code and reuse, plus a new version of its Vertica analytics platform.
  • HP launched two stylish, compact desktop PCs, the Pavilion Wave (pictured) and Elite Slice. 
  • iManage released a new edition of its iManage Work document and email management solution with a totally re-tooled interface, analytics functionality designed to anticipate user needs, and more.
  • Kingston Digital announced the entry-level DC400 SSD in capacities running from 400 GB to 1.8 TB.
  • LG shipped three new UltraWide monitors, including a 38-inch curved model and a 34-inch flat one.
  • Logitech issued a new multi-device mouse that pairs with up to three computers at once, its first click-free “silent” mice, and a pile of new gaming gear.
  • MyCloudIT released a new remote application delivery solution for Microsoft Azure that, the company helpfully points out, makes a lovely replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued Azure RemoteApp.
  • OKI Data Americas rolled out a bunch of new software solutions for its multi-function printers.
  • Red Hat put the newest edition of its OpenStack Platform into general availability.
  • Salesforce added apps for B2B marketers, financial services firms, and others to its Wave Analytics portfolio (and, alas, disappointed its shareholders a letdown).
  • SAP announced its brand new BW/4HANA data warehousing solution. 
  • ThinPrint launched version 11 of its print management solution with new high availability functionality.
  • And last but not least, Xirrus launched Wi-Fi Inspector 2.0, a new edition of its Wi-Fi troubleshooting and management system.

Mike ChadwickWinded? Hang in there, because there are still a few vendor announcements not involving products worth knowing about. Like these:

This week’s stats ticker:

TrafficBig Data deal. The only thing most of us hate about Labor Day is the traffic, so we were excited to hear that the folks behind traffic and navigation app Waze have crunched some numbers and come up with specific, data-driven recommendations for avoiding roadway congestion this weekend.

Until we took a look at them. According to Waze’s Big Data wizardry, it turns out that yesterday’s pre-holiday traffic peak occurred between 7am and 9am. Yes, and we call that rush hour. Tomorrow’s heaviest traffic, Waze reports, will occur between 7pm and 9pm. Yes, and we call that going out for the evening. As for Sunday, Waze says, the traffic acme falls between noon and 4pm. Yes, and we call that going to the beach. Wouldn’t it have been more cost-effective for the well-meaning Waze team to save those wasted processing cycles and simply advise us to stay out of our cars when, you know, everyone else will be driving?

On the other hand, staying out of our cars altogether might be even better advice.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Senior News Editor