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.
Playing 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.
And 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.
But 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:
- Acer’s Iconia Talk S tablet, Liquid Z6 series smartphones, Swift and Spin series Windows 10 notebooks, Predator 21 X gaming laptop, and Revo Base Mini PC. Oh, and don’t forget the Chromebook R 13, allegedly the industry’s first convertible Chromebook with a 13.3-inch display.
- ASUS’s ZenWatch 3, 11.9 mm ZenBook 3, even thinner Transformer 3 and Transformer 3 Pro 2-in-1s, ZenPad 3S 10 tablet.
- Huawei’s stylish, curved nova and nova plus smartphones (pictured), which are reportedly targeted at female consumers, though you’d never know it from the website.
- Lenovo’s Yoga 910, (a 14.3mm thin convertible PC), Yoga Tab 3 Plus (a 10.1-inch tablet with a Technicolor-enhanced display and Dolby 3D sound), and Yoga Book (an impressively innovative 2-in-1 with a virtual keyboard/sketchpad combo.
- Samsung’s Gear S3 smartwatch, with a water resistant case, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass display, and conveniently non-exploding battery.
- Sony’s Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact smartphones, which feature high-tech cameras, and premium “Signature Series” Walkman models, which feature high-resolution audio at price points that are just plain high.
Need 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.
Now 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.
Winded? Hang in there, because there are still a few vendor announcements not involving products worth knowing about. Like these:
- Acronis named GoDaddy and Motorola veteran Mike Chadwick (pictured) its vice president of engineering and cloud operations.
- Cisco announced its intention to get in on the container craze by acquiring ContainerX.
- Jenne revealed that it’s the newest distributor of HuddleCamHD’s web conferencing cameras.
- SVA Software accompanied word that its storage optimization solutions are now available in North America with the launch of a new partner program.
- Tech Data proudly announced its receipt of a Gold Level Excellence in Operations Award for North America from Microsoft.
- Westcon Financial Services appointed Paul Christensen, formerly of Avaya and EMC, director of its North American operations
This week’s stats ticker:
- Global IT spending will reach $2.7 trillion by 2020, according to IDC.
- Also from IDC: PC sales will drop 7.2 percent this year, tablet sales will plunge 11.5 percent, and smartphone sales will grow 1.6 percent.
- Over 30 percent of notebook PCs shipped in 2016 will contain SSDs, according to DRAMeXchange.
Big 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.