IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of June 27th

The latest step in the unstoppable march of containerization, the quiet demise of a once king-of-the-hill Office 365 plan, and the crazy expensive sale of a “vintage” Apple iPod are all among the stories you may have missed this week. By Rich Freeman

Keep moving, people. Nothing to see here. Oh, that? It’s nothing really. Just the latest armpits-high pile of tech industry news that we somehow managed not to report this week. And as long as you’re going to insist on paying attention to it, I suppose we might as dive in.

CONTAINERS!It’s your world, containers. We’re just living in it. Still into virtualization? Time to move on. The hip kids are all hot and bothered about containerization these days, and the news coming out of this week’s Red Hat Summit event in San Francisco is just one more piece of evidence (along with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s recent alliance agreement with containerization kingpin Docker) that the still youthful technology is a good deal more than a fad.

Did we say “one more piece?” Red Hat actually bombarded with us with evidence this week:

  • They renamed their Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise container development and deployment solution Red Hat Container Platform, and added a bunch of new tools to what’s now a family of Red Hat OpenShift solutions
  • They empowered developers to build persistent storage into containers by integrating OpenShift with the Red Hat Gluster storage platform
  • They deepened their integration of Black Duck Software’s container vulnerability scanning solution with OpenShift
  • They equipped their Red Hat Insights administrative analytics system to assess containerized workloads

There was more too. Get the message? No? Here’s a clue: It starts with “c” and ends with “er” and Red Hat’s all over it.

Oh, and by the way, Red Hat also updated its application server and cloud management platforms this week. Those announcements didn’t get as much attention though, because CONTAINERS!

.NET CoreEven Microsoft got in on the act. The Red Hat act, anyway, if not the container act. In a week that included the announcement that Windows 10 Anniversary Update will ship on August 2nd and the Worldwide Partner Group has a new chief-in-charge, Microsoft also proclaimed that Red Hat Enterprise Linux now supports the brand new .NET Core 1.0 and ASP.NET Core, demoed the recently released SQL Server 2016 running on Red Hat’s OS during a Summit keynote, and introduced a new Azure Resource Manager template that makes deploying Red Hat OpenShift in Microsoft Azure simpler.

Meanwhile, in other coopetition news out of Redmond this week. Microsoft also launched Lightning for Outlook, an add-in for Salesforce that lets users find, view, and update CRM data from inside Microsoft Outlook. Sounds a little like the Project “Medeira” solution the Softies have been previewing since April and a lot like CRM for Outlook, no?

R.I.P.No one made much fuss about it...but as long as we’re yakking about Microsoft it’s probably worth mentioning that yesterday is when they were scheduled to stop selling the Office 365 Enterprise E4 plan, per the plan they publicized last summer. Once the top of the Office 365 line, the E4 plan was rendered obsolete by the newer and more expansive E5 plan, which offers access to PSTN calling plans. Still have customers using E4? Fear not. Microsoft offers not one, not two, but three different ways to take action before they officially turn the lights out on E4 altogether.

And no, we’re not done with Microsoft just yet. Because this week also saw the company:

  • Add new support for Office 365 documents to its Arrow Launcher app for Android devices
  • Roll out substantial updates to its SQL PowerShell scripting tool

AMD Radeon RX 480Your turn, everyone else. Because you sure had plenty of product news this week. For example:

  • AMD unveiled the Radeon RX 480, a graphics card for big-time gaming fans
  • Archive360 announced Archive2Azure, which lets you store emails for regulatory compliance purposes in Microsoft Azure
  • Canon shipped Therefore 2016, the latest edition of its information management and workflow automation solution
  • Dell released a new 70” interactive conference room display, two new interactive projectors, and a new Google Chrome-based collaboration tool named Dell Classroom.
  • Intermedia added support for file backup and sharing, Skype for Business, and Microsoft SharePoint to its Dedicated Microsoft Exchange on AWS (as in Amazon Web Services, natch) solution
  • LawToolBox.com revealed that its LawToolBox365 legal collaboration solution is now available as a bundled Outlook add-in for Office 365 via Ingram Micro
  • NETGEAR introduced a new high-speed DSL modem for HD streaming and online gaming
  • The Norton division of Symantec launched Norton WiFi Privacy, a mobile app designed to safeguard passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information when transmitted from Android and iOS devices over unsecured wireless networks
  • Toshiba shipped a new UCedge softphone for Apple’s OS X operating system that lets users take and place calls on their Macs via three of the company’s business telephone and unified communications systems
  • Samsung began offering unlocked versions of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones through major retailers, not to mention Ingram Micro, SYNNEX, Tech Data, and Vertex Wireless
  • SAP issued a new edition of its SMB-oriented SAP Business One ERP application
  • Western Digital pulled the wraps off several 4TB portable hard drives and a family of speedy new 256GB microSD cards
  • Xirrus launched new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points

CloudLock FoundersElsewhere in vendor moving and shaking this week. We got word that:

This week’s stats ticker:

  • 82 percent of IT professionals are confident of their ability to secure laptops and desktops, while just 44 percent say the same about securing cloud services, according to Spiceworks
  • 87 percent of SMBs in the U.S. view online backup as equally or more secure than on-premises alternatives, according to Clutch
  • 67 percent of businesses already use the Internet of Things, according to 451 Research
  • The global software-defined networking market will grow at a 47 percent CAGR between now and 2022 to $132.9 billion, according to Allied Market Research

Get some sleep, people. Here’s one more stat for you: 14 percent of small business owners say they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to a survey by Endurance International Group. An exaggeration? We certainly hope so, though if it isn’t we’re guessing that the folks in that weary minority weren’t among the 70 percent of poll participants who called owning their own company the best job they’ve ever had.

Vintage iPodOne man’s (e-)trash is another man’s treasure. H/t to CNBC for alerting us to a recent article in The Guardian about the surprisingly (to us) robust market in “vintage” Apple iPods. In fact, one entirely overeager collector bought a boxed, unopened second-generation iPod on eBay for a whopping $20,000 (give or take a penny).

That then got us wondering what kind of prices even older technologies were fetching these days on eBay, and discovered that you can buy yourself a 1984 HP mainframe for $4,400, a Radio Shack TRS-80 (the classic “Trash-80”) for a mere $275, and an original IBM 5150, the very first of the company’s personal computers, for $1,800 (it would have cost you more than $4,000 in inflation-adjust dollars back when it shipped in 1981, according to Wikipedia).

Heartbreakingly, we also found a Commodore VIC-20 (the very first computer this reporter ever owned) plus cassette storage drive listed at a humiliating $35. Have we no respect for the classics anymore?

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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