IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

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

Virtual machine news from VMworld, physical machine news from IFA Berlin, and further proof that bears are never where you need them and always where you don’t are among the all-too-many stories we’ve finally roused ourselves to bring you this week By James E. Gaskin

The fall (well, not officially fall, but school started, so we’ll call it fall) conference season is in full swing. Hence the news from Berlin and Las Vegas. And, of course, vendors priming the pump for the big holiday shopping season. Who doesn’t put virtual cloud services on their wish list? Wait, maybe gifts lean more toward gaming monitors and faster routers. Whatever.

VMworld 2018A world of VM news at VMworld. The Internet of Things world is mashing against everything else, and VMware laid out its response at VMworld (held in the virtual world of Las Vegas). Check out VMware Pulse IoT Center 2.0 and the VMware framework that moves hybrid and multi-cloud environments out to the edge to cozy up to Internet of Things devices and other tech goodness—like the Dell Technologies IoT Solution for Surveillance we told you about earlier this week.

Another rollout: new innovations for the VMware NSX networking and security portfolio. Connect and protect apps, data, and users across an end-to-end, software-based network. Or as VMware calls it, a “Virtual Cloud Network.”

If you connect, you’d better manage. Hence the updates to VMware Workspace ONE, the intelligence-driven digital workspace platform. Be in control as you fully transition to Windows 10 and add Mac, iOS, Android, and Chromebooks.

Say howdy as well to the revved up vSphere Platinum Edition, a new release of vSAN designed to further ease HCI adoption, and new updates to the VMware vRealize cloud management platform. Add some of that nice integrated application security while you’re at it.

And because all those products aren’t enough, VMware also announced its intent to acquire CloudHealth Technologies, which delivers a cloud operations platform across AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

ThinPrint Mobile PrintAnd some news from VMware partners, of course. AWS and VMware announced Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) on VMware. Amazon’s nine years of experience running databases in AWS will make the transition to VMware data centers easier.

Using VMware Workspace One and want to smear ink on paper? Check out the ThinPrint Mobile Print solution (pictured), now cooperating with VMware better than ever.

Cloud infrastructure provider OVHcloud talked up the launch of VMware Cloud Foundation on OVHcloud. Big fun for the software-defined data center folks.

Acer Swift 5Oh yeah, physical machines made some news too. Like your power with portability? Good thing Intel announced additions to the 8th Gen Intel Core processor family. The U-series (Whiskey Lake) and Y-series (Amber Lake) chips have been optimized for connectivity in laptops and 2-in-1s.

At IFA 2018, the big tech show in Berlin, Dell rolled out a batch of consumer and SMB goodies. Such as: Inspiron 2-in-1s, the first Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1, an updated XPS 13 2-in-1 and XPS 13, Vostro 5000 laptops, Dell Mobile Connect, and Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin monitors.

Acer’s crop of IFA launches, meanwhile, included the Acer Swift 5 notebook (pictured), which has a 15-inch 1920x1080 thin-bezel screen and weighs only 900 grams. In American, that’s just barely under two pounds.

Acer refreshed multiple units across its Aspire Notebook and All-In-One PC portfolio too. Hot new processors, Intel Optane memory, and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics are just a few of the goodies included.

Not leaving out the gamers, Acer also boosted (powered up?) the Predator monitor line with the Predator XB273K, a new 27-inch ultra-high definition (2840x2160) unit with NVIDIA G-SYNC. Similar specs for the also new Acer Nitro XV273K monitor with AMD Radeon FreeSync. Don’t forget the Predator Thronos gaming chair with a steel structure that supports three 27-inch monitors too. Most of these will appear in Q4.

Lenovo got in the act too with four new Yoga laptops, the new ThinkPad X1 Extreme, mess o’ Chromebooks, monitors, and more.

Razer shipped some pro-grade gaming gear: the Kraken Tournament Edition headset, the BlackWidow Elite keyboard, and the Razer Mamba Wireless mouse.

Like those 2-in-1s? Toshiba has a new one called the Portege X30T. Hot new chips and large SSDs make for power in way less than two pounds.

NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro XR700Tie it all together with some network gear. Intel chips power the new TP-Link Archer C2700, a next-level AC2600 dual-band Wi-Fi router that whips up to 1733Mpbs at 5GHz and another 800Mbps on 2.4GHz.

Everybody needs more security, right? Say hello to the NETGEAR Insight Instant VPN Business Router (BR500). Small enough to use when traveling, you can link up to three offices into one network with firewall protection.

Since you’re safer, you can relax with some music. NETGEAR also debuted its Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Mesh Satellite with Built-in Amazon Alexa. Audio by Harman Kardon, and integration with all manner of IoT devices thanks to Alexa.

While they were at it, NETGEAR debuted it’s latest gaming router. The Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 WiFi Router (pictured) includes MU-MIMO and 60GHz 802.11ad WiFi tech among other gaming goodies.

Microsoft grabs the talking stick. Microsoft touts the general availability of Azure CycleCloud for creating, managing, operating, and optimizing HPC clusters of any size in Azure.

As the Azure IoT Hub gets more customers, Microsoft announced IoT Hub integration with Azure Event Grid can now be had.

Samsung SSD X5More and more product news. Leading cloud compute brands ServiceNow and Box are integrating their platforms for enhanced collaboration and content management.

Two other leading brands, Cisco and Veeam, want the world to know they can now deliver Veeam Availability on Cisco HyperFlex. Hooray, hyper-availability.

Trend Micro added advanced analytics capabilities to its network security solution, Deep Discovery.

But wait, there’s more:

  • Symantec Management Center got turbo-charged, helping the Symantec Integrated Cyber Defense Platform. Oh yeah, AWS support and virtual appliance licensing included.
  • The Samsung Portable SSD X5 (pictured) uses an NVMe-based solid state drive and Thunderbolt 3 technology for blazing fast transfers from the external drive. 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB models roll out after Labor Day.
  • Monnit and Cradlepoint teamed up to link Monnit’s wireless sensors and remote monitoring solutions through the Cradlepoint cloud-delivered 4G and 5G wireless network.
  • Schneider Electric added its most advanced and most accurate power quality meter, the PowerLogic ION9000 series, to its EcoStruxure Power Lineup.
  • Lenovo and Pivot3 teamed up to develop, market, and sell a new set of edge computing solutions for smart city security. For this project, the Lenovo ThinkSystem servers will be powered by Pivot3 HCI software.
  • G2 Crowd launched its new Momentum Grid Reports to help buyers select the best option in six product categories (to start): Video conferencing, business intelligence platforms, project management, core HR, infrastructure as a service, and low-code development platforms.
  • Jamf Now has been updated for better management and deployment of macOS, iOS, Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices.
  • Sennheiser launched its new “Trade-In & Trade-Up” program. Presto Chango—turn in your old Plantronics and/or Jabra headsets for new Sennheiser SDW 5000 headsets.

Kim LombardoMore news than just products. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (fresh from announcing some partner program changes) welcomed Tarek Robbiati as its new chief financial officer, starting mid-September.

Bomgar (identity and access management) rolled out the red carpet for new chief revenue officer and SVP Chris Jones.

Broadvoice (sounds like voice services) tapped Darrin Ingram as vice president of client and partner solutions.

Sandler Partners (distributor of connectivity and cloud services) greeted Kim Lombardo (pictured) as regional channel manager—Midwest.

OVHcloud launched the new OVHcloud Partner Program to expand the reach of its IaaS offerings.

Ivanti (digital workplace management and security) signed, sealed, and delivered an alliance with Zapier that will enable users of Ivanti Service Manager to create integrations with Trello, GitHub, Gmail, Slack, Twitter, and many other cloud apps in minutes.

SentinelOne did its own mating dance with Sumo Logic, in a deal that will result in direct integration of Sumo Logic's continuous intelligence service with SentintelOne's EDR platform.

This week’s stats ticker:

Intermedia (UCaaS and cloud computing) released info from its 2018 Workplace Communications Report examining the evolving work behavior of U.S. professionals. More millennials in the house, along with a growing number of “gig economy” freelance engagements, are changing employee behavior and expectations. Mobility tools give 71 percent of office workers peace of mind by providing timely updates no matter where they are, and 66 percent feel work apps allow them to be more efficient. Just over half begin their workday during their commute by checking emails and taking calls. Let’s hope they take mass transit or have their car insurance paid up. One in four respondents (of 1,040 surveyed) said they wouldn’t work for a company that didn’t offer modern communications tools like cell phones, audio and video conferencing, and instant messaging.

The Midyear Security Roundup 2018 from Trend Micro found cyberthieves are moving from ransomware to more covert methods to steal money and valuable computing resources. Your slow servers may have been cryptojacked and put to work mining bitcoins for hackers rather than crunching your spreadsheets. Cryptocurrency mining detections in the first half of 2018 are 96 percent higher than all of 2017, and 956 percent greater than 1H 2017. A 250 percent surge in TinyPOS malware may be due to the invader’s ability to breach companies that employ only one type of security protection. Trend Micro published more than 600 advisories in the first half of 2018 

Auvik Networks released a report titled Managing Network Vendor Diversity: The MSP Challenge based on data from nearly 100,000 network devices across 17,000 networks. About 1,000 MSPs manage those networks, and the report found they deal with a wide variety of switch, router, firewall, and access point hardware, with up to 40 vendors in each category. Some better management news: the top nine most commonly deployed vendors across all devices—Cisco, HP, Meraki, Ubiquiti, SonicWall, Aruba, Ruckus, Dell, and NETGEAR—claim around 80 percent of the market. Standard hardware stack across your clients? Nah, that would be too easy.

Bear in dirvewayWhen ecommerce delivery becomes a real bear. We’ve all gotten those “sorry we missed you…” tags from UPS, but they’re usually because a vendor demanded a signature, and no one was home. Imagine the fun of seeing “bear in driveway" as the excuse for non-delivery.

This wasn’t in Alaska or rural Russia or somewhere known to be wild, but Ashville, N.C. And the note was in the mailbox, not stuck to the front door as is usually the case. The driver stayed safe in the brown truck and no doubt made a quick getaway.

“We get bears all the time,” says Marcy Lanier, the lady who did not receive her package. She didn’t seem upset. Perhaps if bears surrounded your house, getting a package a day late would seem like a pretty small problem as well. But bears are not what we normally think of as a “first world” problem.

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

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

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