IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Our Channel News Roundup for the Week of March 23rd

AI products from Dell EMC, remote workforce software from Atera, alerts functionality from Liongard, and proof that no one is safe from supply chain headaches these days are all among the stories we neglected to report while hunting for toilet paper. By James E. Gaskin

We wish we had the luxury of complaining about the weather as our big story, but there are at least COVID-19 reasons we can’t. You might find our list of free software and services to help you and your customers deal with the coronavirus outbreak useful. Keep checking back for regular updates. In between times, here’s the news we missed this week while shopping for toilet paper.

Supermicro NGC ReadyAI news. Dell EMC says nearly half of CIOs are deploying at least some artificial intelligence this year. To handle more complex AI workloads, check out the Dell Cloud-Native One Convergence DKube deep-learning-as-a-service software. And Dell EMC HPC Ready Architecture for AI and Data Analytics. And Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Data Analytics—Spark on Kubernetes. And … well, you get the idea.

Supermicro has some new systems including a few with NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs for training AI models. Or perform inference using NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs. Take your pick of these and more from the line of new Supermicro NGC-Ready systems (samples pictured). Options range from 1U, 2U, 4U, and 10U rackmount NVIDIA GPU systems as well as GPU blade modules for their 8U SuperBlade enclosures.

Other product news. Have you noticed “remote workers” blowing up in Twitter, Reddit, and every other IT forum? Of course you have. RMM and more vendor Atera announced a new and easier system to deploy a remote workforce during this lockdown. How? Mashing the RMM, PSA, and remote access tools from Atera with Splashtop’s software giving MSPs and IT pros the remote workforce tools they need right now.

Thanks to its new Fast Track for VDI, Nutanix says, businesses that need remote desktops in a hurry can get them fully up and running in under five days

Documentation provider Liongard just launched custom actionable alerts, an addition to its automated documentation platform Roar. Better manage cloud, network, and on-premises systems, and get alerts about any data from any system across the stack.

The remote workstation surge happened quickly, and haste makes waste, not to mention new attack vectors. Perhaps the updated version of Kaspersky Security for Microsoft Office 365 will help. It widens protections for employee collaboration by protecting SharePoint Online and enabling secure file sharing within Microsoft Teams.

Epson Pro L1200QNLIf keeping your distance now includes your screens, check out the new Epson 4K 3LCD 12,000-lumen laser projector tagged the Pro L1200QNL (pictured). The ultra HD image quality is designed to deliver lifelike performance for higher education, corporate environments, and live events (remember those?). It accommodates a wide range of inputs including 12G SDI and DisplayPort.

Remote workstations have to deal with poorly behaved power supplied to homes and even new healthcare sites. Smooth some of that spikiness with the new CyberPower MPV615P Power Strip and the MPV615S Surge Protector, both UL 2930 certified for use in patient care settings.

Remote data is still valuable data and must be protected. IT resilience player Zerto just released Zerto 8.0, expanding disaster recovery, data protection, and mobility for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Strategic partners include Google Cloud, Azure, AWS, and some new innovations with VMware.

Cyber-defense company Illusive Networks announced an out-of-box integration with BlueCat Adaptive DNS. Result is speedier deployment of dynamically authentic deceptive Active Directory artifacts to deceive in-network attacks. Replace manual processes to keep the false environments dynamic and credible with automation. Thwart those attackers and get notifications full of critical resource forensics.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) firm OPAQ and PacketFabric, a network-as-a-service firm, partnered to provide on-demand, elastic NaaS connectivity with a suite of built-in security controls. Quickly and securely provision links between data centers, clouds, field offices, and remote users.

Tianna ShepperdNon-product vendor news. Communications enabler Broadvoice boosted its commitment to the channel with three new regional channel managers, a channel marketing manager, and the addition of a partner sales support manager role. Deetz:

  • Tianna Sheppard (pictured) joins Broadvoice as channel manager, southeast.
  • Andrew Hernandez has been promoted from partner sales manager to channel manager, southeast.
  • Oliver Kersey has been promoted to channel manager, mountain west.
  • Eva Mata, has been promoted from senior partner sales manager to the newly created role of sales support manager, which acts as a liaison between partners, channel sales, and operations to drive business forward.
  • Erica Mikulsky, an IT channel marketing professional, joins Broadvoice as channel marketing manager.

People may have more time when not working, but not more money. CompTIA’s eLearning course on the fundamentals of IT is now free of charge. In addition, CompTIA and BenchPrep are providing 30-day licenses for the CertMaster Learn eLearning course for CompTIA IT fundamentals (ITF+).

AVANT Communications deployed the 8x8 X Series unified communications-as-a-service product. Goal is to help enhance the employee experience for their mobile and remote workforce in the United States and United Kingdom.

Affirmed Networks has a fully virtualized, cloud-native mobile network solution to support 5G operators. The tools help them simplify network operations, reduce costs, and rapidly create and launch new revenue-generating services That’s why Microsoft just announced it’s acquiring Affirmed Networks. Terms were not disclosed.

Brother International just partnered with Kofax to deploy the Kofax ControlSuite on select Brother laser printers, MFPs, and inkjet models. The new Kofax-enabled products should be out in Q2 2020.

Apple’s planned spring operating system releases will not catch Jamf by surprise. The Apple management company promised all Jamf management workflows will be uninterrupted by any Apple upgrades. Jamf Pro and Jamf School customers will get to leverage features like Shared iPad for business.

This week’s stats ticker:

Now that remote collaboration jumped up to the top of the priority list, the new “A Love-Hate Affair: Overcoming Challenges of Workstream Collaboration,” from Unify Square comes at a good time. First of all, email remains a key player in day-to-day business communications, despite the aggravation at times. Two-thirds of employees claim their colleagues have mastered the balance between email and collaborative applications. However, 43% say preventing distractions caused by collaboration applications is shared between themselves and management. Odd, because it would be easier to just blame management. 60% believe stricter rules would help improve work-life balance, and 42% want a more enforced set of rules to help set expectations on usage for employees. Over 500 end-user employees were surveyed across a range of industries, age groups, and job levels.

Cybersecurity firm PC Matic released a report on another timely topic, implementing virtual private networks and their usage across the United States. VPNs increased 4x from 2010 to year-end 2019, with the biggest jump from 2018 to 2019. Notice these dates are before the rush to remote work caused by the coronavirus. Less than 1% of endpoints had a commercial VPN installed in 2010 (0.74%) and the number only increased a fraction of a percent by 2019. Personal VPNs totaled 0.13% of endpoints in 2010. The percentage increased substantially by the end of 2019, but no details were included. NordVPN dominated the market as the top VPN in 2019.

Slow growth is not a problem for evasive malware, unfortunately. The WatchGuard Technologies Internet Security Report for Q4 2019 found growth to be at record high levels. Over two-thirds of malware detected by WatchGuard’s Firebox security appliances in Q4 2019 evaded signature-based antivirus solutions. Obfuscated malware is becoming the rule, not the exception, as shown by the fact that evasive malware made up 68% of total malware in the fourth quarter. As you might guess, coronavirus phishing attacks are up. Attack scheduling is getting to be more of a thing as well, with 70% to 80% of attacks hitting all the Fireboxes in a single country at the same time.

Cartel Supply ChainSupply chain issues are affecting everybody these days. How bad is the supply chain disruption caused by the coronavirus? Mexican drug cartels can’t get the ingredients they need from China to make fentanyl. Building block chemicals for methamphetamines are in short supply as well

Anyone who’s spent time in purchasing knows a shortage brings out supplier favoritism. If you need green widgets and they’re short, you better hope the supplier likes you or you will go widget-less. But telling a Mexican drug cartel no, you can’t have what you want seems more dangerous than telling, say, a washing machine maker to go pound sand.

Of course, short supply means prices are going up. Isn’t that just adding salt to the wound when laid-off drug addicts have to pay more? Wonder if they can apply for relief? Do they call the FDA and complain that their normal suppliers are short on drugs, or the DEA?

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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