Myopia (noun, my-o-pia, \mī-ˈō-pē-ə\): Nearsightedness, narrowness of vision. Also defines the condition that follows when Microsoft hosts a global partner conference that ChannelPro covers morning, noon, and night, leaving no time or energy for pretty much anything else happening in the industry.
And unfortunately for us, there was other stuff happening in the industry last week. Plenty of it, in fact. Let us show you what we mean.
“A Truly Big Day.” That would be last Tuesday, according to Intel, which launched what it called its “highest-performance, most versatile data center platform ever” that day. Officially known as the Intel Xeon Scalable family, the new chips boast up to 28 cores, are flexible enough to handle compute, storage, and communications workloads alike, and probably aren’t headed to any server you or your customers will be buying any time soon.
That’s because these new processors (which support up to 4.2x more virtual machines apiece than prior-generation equivalents and let storage arrays provide up to 5x more IOPS, by the way) are intended for companies with giant rooms full of servers, like public cloud operators and telco providers, not you or your SMB clients.
Still, they will have some impact on your world. Software- and infrastructure-as-a-service solutions powered by Xeon Scalable-equipped hardware from companies like IBM and Supermicro, both of which are early adopters, may have a little more spring in their step. According to Intel, in fact, Google Compute Platform customers have experienced up to 40 percent better performance when running workloads on Xeon Scalable instances.
Ah, Microsoft. We just can’t quit you. Indeed, we’ve been writing about your Inspire partner conference all week long and still aren’t done, because we never got around to mentioning that you’ve recently shipped:
- The Microsoft Relationship Series solution for Dynamics 365, which lets salespeople mine data in Microsoft’s LinkedIn social network.
- New tools for assessing a customer’s readiness for the European Union’s forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, the compliance nightmare most people haven’t heard of yet but will soon enough.
- A new 229-page, information-packed, and totally free playbook (pictured) for building a cloud security practice.
Meanwhile, though we wrote about the announcements Tech Data and Ingram Micro made at Inspire, we neglected to say anything about a bunch of news from other Microsoft partners, like the fact that:
- CafeX Communications has released a new edition of its Cosmos customer service solution for Dynamics 365 equipped with “bring your own chatbot” functionality.
- Quest has shipped a new cloud-based system for managing and securing Office 365 and Azure Active Directory.
- Rackspace now offers fanatical support for the Azure Stack private cloud platform that Microsoft started shipping last week as well as technical support for Azure infrastructure services from Lightstream.
- Yamaha has a new unified communications speakerphone that’s certified for use with Skype for Business.
And we still haven’t said a thing about the fact that CSP partners will soon have access to new Windows 10 subscriptions with use rights for running virtual Windows machines in Azure or third-party clouds, or the fact that Microsoft is spearheading a campaign to bring broadband connectivity to underserved parts of rural America leveraging a mix of satellites, unused UHF spectrum, private sector investments, and public sector funding.
And now, at long last, we’re done with Microsoft for the week. And Intel too, for that matter. Let’s take a look at everyone else’s product news:
- Amazon Web Services became the latest public cloud provider to sell server instances equipped with NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators.
- Arrow Electronics added solar-powered devices from V5 Systems suitable for use in outdoor industrial Internet of Things solutions to its line card.
- Cisco introduced the new M5 generation of its Unified Computing System (pictured), with faster hardware and software offering expanded automation capabilities and workload optimization functionality.
- Dell announced a new 13-inch Latitude 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge and up to 17 hours of battery life, plus an endpoint security suite designed for use with “air-gapped” devices that never touch the internet.
- eSentire shipped a new security event logging and management solution for use with its managed detection and response solution.
- Kaspersky Lab released a new version of its multi-tenant Endpoint Security Cloud with support for Apple Macs, despite the fact that system is unlikely to gain much traction with at least one prominent customer.
- IBM unveiled the first public cloud services platform that utilizes the company’s Watson artificial intelligence solution to predict, prevent, and rapidly address technical issues.
- NetFortris added SD-WAN capabilities to its cloud-based communication solutions.
- OpenText rolled out Magellan, a new artificial intelligence solution for acquiring, merging, managing, and analyzing data in its information management systems.
- Red Hat introduced a new public cloud application hosting environment based on its on-premises OpenShift Container Platform.
- Reinvent Telecom added CRM capabilities to its hosted unified communications solutions.
- Salesforce equipped its solution for field service personnel with slick new capabilities powered by its Einstein AI solution.
- Scality introduced a new data controller that lets companies manage information in multiple clouds through a single API.
- Trend Micro integrated its Mobile Security for Enterprise solution with VMware’s Workspace ONE and AirWatch offerings.
- Webroot made its BrightCloud Streaming Malware Detection system available for integration to makers of network infrastructure products and security appliances.
- Zoho launched a new electronic signature solution.
And what about everyone else’s non-product news, you ask? Got you covered there too:
- Avnet introduced a new artificially intelligent automated product advisor.
- Cisco announced plans to acquire Observable Networks, which makes cloud-based security forensics software.
- Citrix named former CFO/COO David Henshall (pictured) its new president and CEO, following the “mutual separation decision” between it and former president and CEO Kirill Tatarinov.
- CrowdStrike made Matthew Polly its new vice president of worldwide business development and channels.
- EventTracker launched a new partner program for managed service providers looking to become managed security service providers.
- Lexmark appointed Ying Liu senior vice president and CFO.
- Mist introduced a new partner program for its AI-powered wireless networking products.
- Nintex promoted former vice president of channels and marketing Josh Waldo to the newly created position of chief customer officer.
- Hot on the heels of buying Israel-based browser isolation vendor Fireglass, Symantec announced that it’s buying Israel-based mobile security vendor Skycure too.
This week’s stats ticker:
- Global IT spending will rise 4.5 percent this year (versus 2.5 percent last year) to $2.1 trillion, fueled by increased sales of infrastructure and smartphones, according to IDC.
- Also from IDC: worldwide PC shipments declined 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Unless, of course, they dipped 4.3 percent per the folks at Gartner.
- Employees fearful of being punished hide IT security incidents from managers at 42 percent of SMBs globally, according to Kaspersky Lab.
Just because they’re stereotypes doesn’t mean they’re untrue. We were trying to decide whether to spend some time telling you about the weirdest deals offered by Amazon on Prime Day last week, like this Bigfoot garden statue, or perhaps devote a little attention to China’s Kentucky Fried smartphone.
But then we came across this Washington Post story about how much time Americans spent playing games in 2016 (about 15 minutes a day), which in turn led us to the source of that article’s data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. Next thing you know we were wallowing in a deep pool of numbers offering precise statistical confirmation of your most commonly held beliefs about American life:
- Yes, we do watch a lot of television. 2.73 hours of it a day, on average, among those of us 15 years of age and older. Those same Americans, by the way, dedicate just 0.65 hours a day to “socializing and communication.”
- Yes, women do continue to perform an outsized share of household chores. For instance, 26.1 percent of women do some laundry on any given day, versus just 7.4 percent of men; 32.4 percent of women do some interior cleaning each day, versus 13.8 percent of men; and 69.7 percent of women do some food preparation daily, versus 45.1 percent of men.
What then do men do more of? Engage in leisure and sports (5.51 hours per day, on average, as compared with 4.77 hours for women) and work (4.39 hours a day for men versus 2.88 for women).
We assume the BLS meant those last figures ironically, by the way. In what possible universe do cooking, cleaning, and laundry not constitute work?