Citrix and AMD drive the Win10 experience in Azure and Azure Stack Hub

The first thing I noticed at Microsoft Ignite this year is that Win10 is all about the user experience: apps, OS, data and access all flowing together to present a seamless, continuously updated workstream.AMD was there to support Microsoft’s preview announcements of GPU-enabled NVv4 instances in Azure and the NV Series in Azure Stack. We have worked with Azure to enable GPU Partitioning, which allows a GPU to be subdivided into portions that can be assigned independently to a VM. The second thing I noticed is that cloud adoption is all about the deployment experience, which is where our friends at Citrix come in.

Spotlight

PCRx, Inc

PCRx, Inc. is a Microsoft Certified Partner & Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist, committed to delivering excellent Information Technology (IT) services and equipment to the businesses of Eastern Oklahoma. We believe in providing proactive solutions, and we make it our goal to reduce or eliminate your computer downtime and ensure the highest level of employee productivity.

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Virtual Desktop Strategies, Server Hypervisors

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated: A Year in Review

Article | April 27, 2023

The modern application world is advancing at an unprecedented rate. However, the new possibilities these transformations make available don’t come without complexities. IT teams often find themselves under pressure to keep up with the speed of innovation. That’s why VMware provides a production-ready container platform for customers that aligns to upstream Kubernetes, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated (formerly known as VMware Enterprise PKS). By working with VMware, customers can move at the speed their businesses demand without the headache of trying to run their operations alone. Our offerings help customers stay current with the open source community's innovations while having access to the support they need to move forward confidently. Many changes have been made to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated edition over the past year that are designed to help customers keep up with Kubernetes advancements, move faster, and enhance security. Kubernetes updates The latest version, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.13, bumped to Kubernetes version 1.22 and removed beta APIs in favor of stable APIs that have since evolved from the betas. Over time, some APIs will evolve. Beta APIs typically evolve more often than stable APIs and should therefore be checked before updates occur. The APIs listed below will not be served with v1.22 as they have been replaced by more stable API versions: Beta versions of the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration and MutatingWebhookConfiguration API (the admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1beta1 API versions) The beta CustomResourceDefinition API (apiextensions.k8s.io/v1beta1) The beta APIService API (apiregistration.k8s.io/v1beta1) The beta TokenReview API (authentication.k8s.io/v1beta1) Beta API versions of SubjectAccessReview, LocalSubjectAccessReview, SelfSubjectAccessReview (API versions from authorization.k8s.io/v1beta1) The beta CertificateSigningRequest API (certificates.k8s.io/v1beta1) The beta Lease API (coordination.k8s.io/v1beta1) All beta Ingress APIs (the extensions/v1beta1 and networking.k8s.io/v1beta1 API versions) Containerd support Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated helps customers eliminate lengthy deployment and management processes with on-demand provisioning, scaling, patching, and updating of Kubernetes clusters. To stay in alignment with the Kubernetes community, Containerd will be used as the default container runtime, although Docker can still be selected using the command-line interface (CLI) if needed. Networking Several updates have been made in regards to networking as well including support of Antrea and NSX-T enhancements. Antrea support With Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated version 1.10 and later, customers can leverage Antrea on install or upgrade to use Kubernetes network policies. This enables enterprises to get the best of both worlds: access to the latest innovation from Antrea and world-class support from VMware. NSX-T enhancements NSX-T was integrated with Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated to simplify container networking and increase security. This has been enhanced so customers can now choose the policy API as an option on a fresh installation of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated. This means that users will have access to new features available only through NSX-T policy API. This feature is currently in beta. In addition, more NSX-T and NSX Container Plug-in (NCP) configuration is possible through the network profiles. This operator command provides the benefit of being able to set configurations through the CLI, and this is persistent across lifecycle events. Storage enhancements We’ve made storage operations in our customers’ container native environments easier, too. Customers were seeking a simpler and more secure way to manage Container Storage Interface (CSI), and we introduced automatic installation of the vSphere CSI driver as a BOSH process beginning with Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.11. Also, as VCP will be deprecated, customers are advised to use the CSI driver. VCP-to-CSI migration is a part of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.12 and is designed to help customers move forward faster. Enhanced security Implementing new technologies provides users with new capabilities, but it can also lead to new security vulnerabilities if not done correctly. VMware’s goal is to help customers move forward with ease and the confidence of knowing that enhancements don’t compromise core security needs. CIS benchmarks This year, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated continued to see improvements that help meet today’s high security standards. Meeting the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks standards is vital for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated. In recent Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated releases, a few Kubernetes-related settings have been adjusted to ensure compliance with CIS requirements: Kube-apiserver with --kubelet-certificate-authority settings (v1.12) Kube-apiserver with --authorization-mode argument includes Node (v1.12) Kube-apiserver with proper --audit-log-maxage argument (v1.13) Kube-apiserver with proper --audit-log-maxbackup argument (v1.13) Kube-apiserver with proper --audit-log-maxsize argument (v1.13) Certificate rotations Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated secures all communication between its control plane components and the Kubernetes clusters it manages, using TLS validated by certificates. The certificate rotations have been simplified in recent releases. Customers can now list and simply update certificates on a cluster-by-cluster basis through the “tkgi rotate-certificates” command. The multistep, manual process was replaced with a single CLI command to rotate NSX-T certificates (available since Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.10) and cluster-by-cluster certificates (available since Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.12). Hardening of images Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated keeps OS images, container base images, and software library versions updated to remediate the CVEs reported by customers and in the industry. It also continues to use the latest Ubuntu Xenial Stemcell latest versions for node virtual machines. With recent releases and patch versions, the version of dockerd, containerd, runc, telegraf, nfs-utils had been bumped to the latest stable and secure versions as well. By using Harbor as a private registry management service, customers could also leverage the built-in vulnerability scan features to discover the application images CVEs. VMware is dedicated to supporting customers with production readiness by enhancing the user experience. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition has stayed up to date with the Kubernetes community and provides customers with the support and resources they need to innovate rapidly.

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Server Virtualization

How virtualization helped Dell make a pandemic pivot

Article | May 17, 2023

Danny Cobb, fellow and vice president of engineering for Dell Technologies’ telco systems business, remembers his company cruising into early 2020: Kicking off a new fiscal year with its operating plan in place, supply chain nailed down and factories humming; people coming into the office each day to the usual routine of looking for parking spots and taking laptops down to the cafeteria. Then came March, and the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit U.S. shores. In the course of one weekend, Dell pivoted to having more than 90% of its workforce working from home. That meant a dramatic shift in its network needs and operations – one that was only able to be accomplished so quickly because of virtualized infrastructure.

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Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors

Rising Importance of Network Virtualization

Article | April 28, 2023

Network virtualization combines network resources to integrate several physical networks, segment a network, or construct software networks among VMs. IT teams can construct numerous separate virtual networks using network virtualization. Virtual networks can be added and scaled without changing hardware. Teams can start up logical networks more rapidly in response to business needs using network virtualization. This adaptability improves service delivery, efficiency, and control. Importance of Network Virtualisation Network virtualization entails developing new rules for the delivery of network services. This involves software-defined data centers (SDDC), cloud computing, and edge computing. Virtualization assists in the transformation of networks from rigid, wasteful, and static to optimized, agile, and dynamic. To ensure agility and speed, modern virtual networks must keep up with the needs of cloud-hosted, decentralized applications while addressing cyberthreats. You can deploy and upgrade programs in minutes thanks to network virtualization. This eliminates the need to spend time setting up the infrastructure to accommodate the new applications. What is the Process of Network Virtualization? Several network functions that were previously done manually on hardware are now automated through network virtualisation. Network managers can construct, maintain, and provide networks programmatically in software while employing the hardware as a packet-forwarding backplane. Physical network resources, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), load balancing, firewalling, routing, and switching, are pooled and supplied in software. To do this, you merely require Internet Protocol (IP) packet forwarding from the hardware or physical network. Individual workloads, such as virtual machines, can access network services that have been distributed to a virtual layer. There are several kinds of virtual machines accessible. The finest virtual machines enable network administrators to access all parts of a network from a single point of access. Closing Lines Network virtualization will remain a critical component in both business and carrier network architectures. Network virtualization projects in the future will inevitably incorporate zero trust, automation, and edge and cloud computing.

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Scaling Your Business the Easy Way—with SD-WAN as a Service

Article | May 28, 2021

SD-WANs are a critical component of digital transformation. Using software-defined networking (SDN) and virtual network functions (VNF) concepts to build and manage a wide area network (WAN) helps businesses successfully transition their infrastructure to the cloud by securely connecting hybrid multicloud architectures. But SD-WANs can do more than just facilitate a transition to the cloud —they make it faster and less expensive to expand your business.

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Spotlight

PCRx, Inc

PCRx, Inc. is a Microsoft Certified Partner & Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist, committed to delivering excellent Information Technology (IT) services and equipment to the businesses of Eastern Oklahoma. We believe in providing proactive solutions, and we make it our goal to reduce or eliminate your computer downtime and ensure the highest level of employee productivity.

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Virtualized Environments

VeriSilicon Unveils the New VC9800 IP for Next Generation Data Centers

Business Wire | January 09, 2024

VeriSilicon today unveiled its latest VC9800 series Video Processor Unit (VPU) IP with enhanced video processing performance to strengthen its presence in the data center applications. The newly launched series IP caters to the advanced requirements of next generation data centers including video transcoding servers, AI servers, virtual cloud desktops, and cloud gaming. The VC9800 series of VPU IP boasts high performance, high throughput, and server-level multi-stream encoding and decoding capabilities. It can handle up to 256 streams and support all mainstream video formats, including the new advanced format VVC. Through Rapid Look Ahead encoding, the VC9800 series IP improves video quality significantly with low memory footprint and encoding latency. With capable of supporting 8K encoding and decoding, it offers enhanced video post-processing and multi-channel encoding at various resolutions, thus achieves an efficient transcoding solution. The VC9800 series of VPU IP can seamlessly interface with Neural Network Processor (NPU) IP, enabling a complete AI-video pipeline. When combined with VeriSilicon’s Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) IP, the subsystem solution is able to deliver enhanced gaming experiences. In addition, the hardware virtualization, super resolution image enhancement, and AI-enabled encoding functions of this series IP also offer effective solutions for virtual cloud desktops. “VeriSilicon’s advanced video transcoding technology continues leading in Data Center domain. We are working closely with global leading customers to develop comprehensive video processing subsystem solutions to meet the requirements of the latest Data Centers,” said Wei-Jin Dai, Executive VP and GM of IP Division of VeriSilicon. “For AI computing, our video post-processing capabilities have been extended to smoothly interact with NPUs, ensuring OpenCV-level accuracy. We’ve also introduced super resolution technology to the video processing subsystem, elevating image quality and ultimately enhancing user experiences for cloud computing and smart display.” About VeriSilicon VeriSilicon is committed to providing customers with platform-based, all-around, one-stop custom silicon services and semiconductor IP licensing services leveraging its in-house semiconductor IP.

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Backup and Disaster Recovery

Minimize the Cost and Downtime of Disaster With Scale Computing's Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Service

PR Newswire | October 25, 2023

Scale Computing, a market leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions, today announced its Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Planning Service, designed to help organizations establish a comprehensive, regulated plan for responding to unforeseen downtime. The service provides Scale Computing customers and partners with the tools, guidance, and resources to create a playbook for data backup and recovery, enabling businesses to endure a disaster scenario with minimal loss. Scale Computing also recently announced that it is a finalist for the Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Project of the Year in the 2023 SDC Awards for its work with Austrian managed service provider GiGaNet and its long-time partner the Zillertaler Gletscherbahn group. Voting for the SDC Awards is open at sdcawards.com/vote until November 10th, 2023. Data breaches are one of the biggest and most costly contributors to downtime for businesses. In 2023, the average cost of a data breach globally reached an all-time high of $4.45 million, a 15.3% increase from 2020. Simultaneously, the average length of business disruption following a ransomware attack in the United States reached 24 days last year, up 60% from just two years prior — a significant increase when downtime costs exceed $300,000 per hour for over 90% of mid-sized and large enterprises. For more than half of those businesses, the hourly outage costs range from $1 million to over $5 million. Recovery from an outage adds additional expense from which many enterprises are unable to bounce back. "Disaster can strike at any time, and every organization needs a consistently regulated playbook for how the business will respond — from action plans to recovery plans for bringing online the mission-critical servers businesses depend on," said Jeff Ready, CEO and co-founder, Scale Computing. "Knowing what systems need to be protected, planning for the ability to recover them, and having a full action plan for recovery should be at the forefront of every IT department's agenda, at the beginning of any infrastructure addition. With Scale Computing Platform, the plan for disaster recovery starts before equipment is even put into production, so IT leaders have a plan in place from day one that they can enact to ensure their business stays up and running, with minimal loss, should disaster strike. Our Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Service enables businesses to proactively classify systems based on their importance and implement a robust action plan, ensuring that our customers' and partners' critical systems are protected, validated, tested, and ready for recovery at any time." Whether a minor data loss or a business-wide shutdown, having a well-defined business continuity strategy is crucial to minimize financial impact, ensure continuous employee productivity, meet compliance and regulatory requirements, decrease liability obligations, reduce downtime, and minimize the risk of negative exposure. Scale Computing's BCDR Planning Service includes planning, deployment, documentation creation, and disaster recovery testing, covering every aspect to keep businesses prepared and resilient. The service is offered to Scale Computing Platform customers, which brings simplicity, high availability, and scalability together to replace existing infrastructure for running virtual machines with an easy-to-manage, fully integrated platform that allows organizations to run applications regardless of hardware requirements. About Scale Computing Scale Computing is a leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions. Using patented HyperCore™ technology, Scale Computing Platform automatically identifies, mitigates, and corrects infrastructure problems in real-time, enabling applications to achieve maximum uptime, even when local IT resources and staff are scarce. Edge Computing is the fastest-growing area of IT infrastructure, and industry analysts have named Scale Computing an outperformer and leader in the space, including being named the #1 edge computing vendor by CRN. Scale Computing's products are sold by thousands of value-added resellers, integrators, and service providers worldwide.

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Server Virtualization, VMware

StorMagic Introduces Edge Control Software to Simplify SvSAN Monitoring and Management

Business Wire | October 18, 2023

StorMagic®, solving the world’s edge data problems, today announced the immediate availability of a new Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that allows users to easily monitor and manage all of their SvSAN clusters around the world. StorMagic Edge Control simplifies the process and tools required for day-to-day SvSAN cluster administration. SvSAN customers with multiple locations can significantly reduce the time spent managing their edge sites, whether they are using VMware, Microsoft or KVM hypervisors. “ESG research shows increasing demand for data storage at the edge which fuels an increased need for monitoring solutions that can help address the complexity of storage at the edge,” said Scott Sinclair, practice director at Enterprise Strategy Group. “SvSAN customers can greatly benefit by adding StorMagic Edge Control into their toolkits; the dashboard views and list formats will make centralized data management much easier and more accessible.” Edge Control delivers centralized administration for SvSAN environments of all sizes. Customers can now manage all SvSAN deployments in any location from a single pane of glass. Dashboard and system views provide a fast but comprehensive status of all of their virtual storage appliances (VSAs), allowing them to keep their environment up-to-date more easily and react faster as needed. “StorMagic customers of any size can now manage their entire SvSAN estate, whether it’s one site or thousands of sites around the world,” said Bruce Kornfeld, chief marketing and product officer, StorMagic. “Edge Control is particularly interesting for customers who are considering switching from VMware to Microsoft or Linux KVM because SvSAN and Edge Control are both hypervisor agnostic.” Pricing and Availability Edge Control version 1.0 is available today from StorMagic. SvSAN customers can download and begin using the software immediately, free of charge. About StorMagic StorMagic is solving the world’s edge data problems. We help organizations store, protect and use data at and from the edge. StorMagic’s solutions ensure data is always protected and available, no matter the type or location, to provide value anytime, anywhere. StorMagic’s storage and security products are flexible, robust, easy to use and cost-effective, without sacrificing enterprise-class features, for organizations with one to thousands of sites.

Read More

Virtualized Environments

VeriSilicon Unveils the New VC9800 IP for Next Generation Data Centers

Business Wire | January 09, 2024

VeriSilicon today unveiled its latest VC9800 series Video Processor Unit (VPU) IP with enhanced video processing performance to strengthen its presence in the data center applications. The newly launched series IP caters to the advanced requirements of next generation data centers including video transcoding servers, AI servers, virtual cloud desktops, and cloud gaming. The VC9800 series of VPU IP boasts high performance, high throughput, and server-level multi-stream encoding and decoding capabilities. It can handle up to 256 streams and support all mainstream video formats, including the new advanced format VVC. Through Rapid Look Ahead encoding, the VC9800 series IP improves video quality significantly with low memory footprint and encoding latency. With capable of supporting 8K encoding and decoding, it offers enhanced video post-processing and multi-channel encoding at various resolutions, thus achieves an efficient transcoding solution. The VC9800 series of VPU IP can seamlessly interface with Neural Network Processor (NPU) IP, enabling a complete AI-video pipeline. When combined with VeriSilicon’s Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) IP, the subsystem solution is able to deliver enhanced gaming experiences. In addition, the hardware virtualization, super resolution image enhancement, and AI-enabled encoding functions of this series IP also offer effective solutions for virtual cloud desktops. “VeriSilicon’s advanced video transcoding technology continues leading in Data Center domain. We are working closely with global leading customers to develop comprehensive video processing subsystem solutions to meet the requirements of the latest Data Centers,” said Wei-Jin Dai, Executive VP and GM of IP Division of VeriSilicon. “For AI computing, our video post-processing capabilities have been extended to smoothly interact with NPUs, ensuring OpenCV-level accuracy. We’ve also introduced super resolution technology to the video processing subsystem, elevating image quality and ultimately enhancing user experiences for cloud computing and smart display.” About VeriSilicon VeriSilicon is committed to providing customers with platform-based, all-around, one-stop custom silicon services and semiconductor IP licensing services leveraging its in-house semiconductor IP.

Read More

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Minimize the Cost and Downtime of Disaster With Scale Computing's Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Service

PR Newswire | October 25, 2023

Scale Computing, a market leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions, today announced its Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Planning Service, designed to help organizations establish a comprehensive, regulated plan for responding to unforeseen downtime. The service provides Scale Computing customers and partners with the tools, guidance, and resources to create a playbook for data backup and recovery, enabling businesses to endure a disaster scenario with minimal loss. Scale Computing also recently announced that it is a finalist for the Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Project of the Year in the 2023 SDC Awards for its work with Austrian managed service provider GiGaNet and its long-time partner the Zillertaler Gletscherbahn group. Voting for the SDC Awards is open at sdcawards.com/vote until November 10th, 2023. Data breaches are one of the biggest and most costly contributors to downtime for businesses. In 2023, the average cost of a data breach globally reached an all-time high of $4.45 million, a 15.3% increase from 2020. Simultaneously, the average length of business disruption following a ransomware attack in the United States reached 24 days last year, up 60% from just two years prior — a significant increase when downtime costs exceed $300,000 per hour for over 90% of mid-sized and large enterprises. For more than half of those businesses, the hourly outage costs range from $1 million to over $5 million. Recovery from an outage adds additional expense from which many enterprises are unable to bounce back. "Disaster can strike at any time, and every organization needs a consistently regulated playbook for how the business will respond — from action plans to recovery plans for bringing online the mission-critical servers businesses depend on," said Jeff Ready, CEO and co-founder, Scale Computing. "Knowing what systems need to be protected, planning for the ability to recover them, and having a full action plan for recovery should be at the forefront of every IT department's agenda, at the beginning of any infrastructure addition. With Scale Computing Platform, the plan for disaster recovery starts before equipment is even put into production, so IT leaders have a plan in place from day one that they can enact to ensure their business stays up and running, with minimal loss, should disaster strike. Our Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Service enables businesses to proactively classify systems based on their importance and implement a robust action plan, ensuring that our customers' and partners' critical systems are protected, validated, tested, and ready for recovery at any time." Whether a minor data loss or a business-wide shutdown, having a well-defined business continuity strategy is crucial to minimize financial impact, ensure continuous employee productivity, meet compliance and regulatory requirements, decrease liability obligations, reduce downtime, and minimize the risk of negative exposure. Scale Computing's BCDR Planning Service includes planning, deployment, documentation creation, and disaster recovery testing, covering every aspect to keep businesses prepared and resilient. The service is offered to Scale Computing Platform customers, which brings simplicity, high availability, and scalability together to replace existing infrastructure for running virtual machines with an easy-to-manage, fully integrated platform that allows organizations to run applications regardless of hardware requirements. About Scale Computing Scale Computing is a leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions. Using patented HyperCore™ technology, Scale Computing Platform automatically identifies, mitigates, and corrects infrastructure problems in real-time, enabling applications to achieve maximum uptime, even when local IT resources and staff are scarce. Edge Computing is the fastest-growing area of IT infrastructure, and industry analysts have named Scale Computing an outperformer and leader in the space, including being named the #1 edge computing vendor by CRN. Scale Computing's products are sold by thousands of value-added resellers, integrators, and service providers worldwide.

Read More

Server Virtualization, VMware

StorMagic Introduces Edge Control Software to Simplify SvSAN Monitoring and Management

Business Wire | October 18, 2023

StorMagic®, solving the world’s edge data problems, today announced the immediate availability of a new Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that allows users to easily monitor and manage all of their SvSAN clusters around the world. StorMagic Edge Control simplifies the process and tools required for day-to-day SvSAN cluster administration. SvSAN customers with multiple locations can significantly reduce the time spent managing their edge sites, whether they are using VMware, Microsoft or KVM hypervisors. “ESG research shows increasing demand for data storage at the edge which fuels an increased need for monitoring solutions that can help address the complexity of storage at the edge,” said Scott Sinclair, practice director at Enterprise Strategy Group. “SvSAN customers can greatly benefit by adding StorMagic Edge Control into their toolkits; the dashboard views and list formats will make centralized data management much easier and more accessible.” Edge Control delivers centralized administration for SvSAN environments of all sizes. Customers can now manage all SvSAN deployments in any location from a single pane of glass. Dashboard and system views provide a fast but comprehensive status of all of their virtual storage appliances (VSAs), allowing them to keep their environment up-to-date more easily and react faster as needed. “StorMagic customers of any size can now manage their entire SvSAN estate, whether it’s one site or thousands of sites around the world,” said Bruce Kornfeld, chief marketing and product officer, StorMagic. “Edge Control is particularly interesting for customers who are considering switching from VMware to Microsoft or Linux KVM because SvSAN and Edge Control are both hypervisor agnostic.” Pricing and Availability Edge Control version 1.0 is available today from StorMagic. SvSAN customers can download and begin using the software immediately, free of charge. About StorMagic StorMagic is solving the world’s edge data problems. We help organizations store, protect and use data at and from the edge. StorMagic’s solutions ensure data is always protected and available, no matter the type or location, to provide value anytime, anywhere. StorMagic’s storage and security products are flexible, robust, easy to use and cost-effective, without sacrificing enterprise-class features, for organizations with one to thousands of sites.

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