Cloud native in NFVI: why it’s smart business for 5G growth

As telecom industry is moving through the 5G transformation, I’ve been thinking about automation, network flexibility, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and faster time to market. For the last two or three years, we’ve witnessed a massive growth in open-source software, related to cloud native. There are plenty of projects in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that have already graduated, while some are in the incubating stage and others have entered a sandbox status. Many of them are addressing the various needs of telecom networks and other vertical segments. One of the key areas for the telecom industry is Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI).

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LTI Information Technology

LTI-IT provides technological solutions to help achieve your business goals and to alleviate the fear associated with applying technical solutions. Working closely with our clients, we use our extensive experience and certification to design, implement, and optimize a network of any size and complexity, and to support internal IT staff in obtaining the knowledge required to truly understand their network.

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Boosting Productivity with Kubernetes and Docker

Article | September 9, 2022

Learn setting up a Docker and Kubernetes environment with the right considerations and choose the best-suited software from ten leading tools, softwares and platforms for your business needs. Contents The blog discusses how Kubernetes and Docker can boost software development and deployment productivity. In addition, it covers the benefits of the role of Kubernetes in orchestrating containerized applications and best practices for implementing these technologies to improve efficiency and streamline workflows. Docker and Kubernetes are both essential containerization ecosystem utilities. Kubernetes, an excellent DevOps solution, manages and automates containers' deployment and scaling, along with operating across clusters of hosts, whereas Docker is used for creating and operating containers. The blog covers tips to consider while choosing tools/platforms. It further enlists ten platforms providing Kubernetes and Docker, featuring their offerings. 1. Considerations While Setting Up a Development Environment with Kubernetes and Docker 1.1 Fluid app delivery A platform for application development must provide development teams with high velocity. Two factors contribute to high velocity: rapid application delivery and brief development cycles. Application platforms must support build processes that start with source code. The platforms must also facilitate the repetitive deployment of applications on any remote staging instance. 1.2 Polyglot support Consistency is the defining characteristic of an application platform. On-demand, repetitive, and reproducible builds must be supported by the platform. Extending a consistent experience across all languages and frameworks elevates the platform experience. The platform must support a native build process and the ability to develop and customize this build process. 1.3 Baked-in security Containerized environments are secured in a significantly different manner than conventional applications. A fundamental best practice is to utilize binaries compiled with all necessary dependencies. The build procedure should also include a directive to eliminate unnecessary components for the application's operation. Setting up a zero-trust architecture between platform components that orchestrate deployments significantly improves the workloads' security posture. 1.4 Adjustable abstractions A platform with paved paths and the flexibility to accommodate the requirements of software engineering teams has a greater chance of success. Open-source platforms score highly in this regard, particularly those with modular architectures that allow the team to swap out parts as they adjust. 2.Top Tips to Consider While Choosing Tools and Platforms for Kubernetes and Docker 2.1 Production-Readiness Configuring Kubernetes or Docker can be complex and resource-intensive. A production-ready platform will ensure having the necessary fully automated features without the need for configuration. Security is an essential aspect of production readiness. Additionally, automation is critical, as production readiness requires that the solution manage all cluster management duties. Automated backup, recovery, and restore capabilities must be considered. Also, ensure the high availability, scalability, and self-healing of the cluster's platform. 2.2 Future-Readiness As the cloud and software evolve, a system's hosting location may affect its efficacy. The current trend is a multi-cloud strategy. Ensure that the platform can support abstracting from cloud or data center providers and building a shared infrastructure across clouds, cloud regions, and data centers, as well as assist in configuring them if required. According to a recent study, nearly one-third of organizations are already collaborating with four or more cloud service providers. (Source: Microsoft and 451 Research) 2.3 Ease of Administration Managing a Docker or Kubernetes cluster is complex and requires various skill sets. Kubernetes generates a lot of unprocessed data, which must be interpreted to comprehend what's happening with the cluster. Early detection and intervention are crucial to disaster prevention. Identifying a platform that eliminates the issue of analyzing raw data is essential. By incorporating automated intelligent monitoring and alerts, such solutions can provide critical status, error, event, and warning data to take appropriate action. 2.4 Assistance and Training As the organization begins to acquire Kubernetesor Docker skills, it is essential to have a vendor that can provide 24/7 support and training to ensure a seamless transition. Incorrect implementation will add a layer of complexity to infrastructure management. Leverage automation tools that offer the support needed to use Kubernetes and Docker without the management burden. 3. 10 Tools and Platforms Providing Kubernetes and Docker 3.1 Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform: Aqua Security provides the Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform, a comprehensive security solution designed to protect cloud-native applications and microservices. Aqua offers end-to-end security for applications operating on Docker Enterprise Edition (Community Edition), protecting the DevOps pipeline and production workloads with complete visibility and control. It provides end-to-end security across the entire application lifecycle, from development to production, for both containerized and serverless workloads. In addition, it automates prevention, detection, and response across the whole application lifecycle to secure the build, cloud infrastructure, and operating workloads, regardless of where they are deployed. 3.2 Weave Gitops Enterprise Weave GitOps Enterprise, a full-stack, developer-centric operating model for Kubernetes, creates and contributes to several open-source projects. Its products and services enable teams to design, build, and operate their Kubernetes platform at scale. Built by the creators of Flux and Flagger, Weave GitOps allows users to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters and applications in the public or private cloud or their own data center. Weave GitOps Enterprise helps simplify Kubernetes with fully automated continuous delivery pipelines that roll out changes from development to staging and production. Weaveworks has used Kubernetes in production for over eight years and has developed that expertise into Weave GitOps Enterprise. 3.3 Mirantis Kubernetes Engine Mirantis provides the Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, a platform designed to help organizations deploy, manage, and scale their Kubernetes clusters. It includes features such as container orchestration, automated deployment, monitoring, and high availability, all designed to help organizations build and run their applications at scale. Mirantis Kubernetes Engine also includes a set of tools for managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters, including cluster deployment, upgrades, and patching. It also has security scanning and policy enforcement features, as well as integration with other enterprise IT systems such as Active Directory and LDAP. 3.4 Portworx by Pure Storage Portworx's deep integration into Docker gives Portworx container data services benefits directly through the Docker Swarm scheduler. Swarm service creation brings the management capability of Portworx to the Docker persistent storage layer to avoid complex tasks such as increasing the storage pool without container downtime and problems like stuck EBS drives. Portworx is also a multi-cloud-ready Kubernetes storage and administration platform designed to simplify and streamline data management in Kubernetes. The platform abstracts the complexity of data storage in Kubernetes. Additionally, it serves as a software-defined layer that aggregates Kubernetes nodes' data storage into a virtual reservoir. 3.5 Platform9 Platform9 provides a powerful IDE for developers for simplified in-context views of pods, logs, events, and more. Both development and operations teams can access the information they need in an instant, secured through SSO and Kubernetes RBAC. The industry’s first SaaS-managed approach combined with a best-in-class support and customer success organization with a 99.9% consistent CSAT rating delivers production-ready K8s to organizations of any size. It provides services to deploy a cluster instantly, achieve GitOps faster, and take care of every aspect of cluster management, including remote monitoring, self-healing, automatic troubleshooting, and proactive issue resolution, around the clock. 3.6 Kubernetes Network Security Sysdig provides Kubernetes Network Security, a solution that offers cloud security from source to run. The product provides network security for Kubernetes environments by monitoring and blocking suspicious traffic in real time. It helps organizations protect their Kubernetes clusters against advanced threats and attacks. The product and Sysdig Secure offer Kubernetes Network Monitoring to investigate suspicious traffic and connection attempts, Kubernetes-Native Microsegmentation to enable microsegmentation without breaking the application, and Automated Network Policies to save time by automating Kubernetes network policies. 3.7 Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge Rafay delivers a production-ready Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge, streamlining ongoing operations for edge applications. It provides centralized multi-cluster management to deploy, manage, and upgrade all Kubernetes clusters from a single console across all edge nodes. In addition, it offers comprehensive lifecycle management, with which users can quickly and easily provision Kubernetes clusters at the edge, where cluster updates and upgrades are seamless with no downtime. Furthermore, the KMC for Edge quickly integrates with enterprise-class SSO solutions such as Okta, Ping One, and Azure AD, among others. Other features include standardized clusters and workflows, integration and automation, and centralized logging and monitoring. 3.8 Opcito Technologies Opcito provides simplified container management with efficient provisioning, deployment, scaling, and networking. Its application containerization expertise helps containerize existing and new applications and dependencies. Opcito is well-versed in leading container orchestration platforms like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes. While it helps choose the container platform that best suits specific application needs, it also helps with the end-to-end management of containers so clients can release applications faster and focus on innovation and business. The container management and orchestration services include: building secured microservices, Enterprise-scale Container Management and Orchestration, Orchestration, and Container Monitoring. 3.9 D2iQ Kubernetes Platform (DKP) D2iQ (DKP) enables enterprises to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud-native Kubernetes while laying the groundwork for intelligent cloud-native innovation by simplifying Kubernetes deployment and maintenance. It simplifies and automates the most difficult parts of an enterprise Kubernetes deployment across all infrastructures. DKP helps enterprises easily overcome operational barriers and set them up in minutes and hours rather than weeks and months. In addition, DKP simplifies Kubernetes management through automation using GitOps workflow, observability, application catalog, real-time cost management, and more. 3.10 Spektra Spektra, by Diamanti, a multi-cluster management solution for DevOps and production teams, provides centralized multi-cluster management, a single control plane to deliver everything needed to provision and manage the lifecycle of multiple clusters. Spektra is built to cater to business needs, from air-gapped on-prem deployments to hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures. It also enables stretching resources across different clusters within the tenant. Furthermore, it allows you to move workloads and their associated data from one cluster to another directly from its dashboard. Spektra integrates with lightweight directory access protocols (LDAP) and Active Directory (AD) to enable user authentication and streamline resource access. In addition, it offers application migration, data mobility, and reporting. 4. Conclusion It is evident that Kubernetes and Docker can significantly boost software development and deployment productivity. By adopting appropriate containerization platforms and leveraging Kubernetes for orchestration, organizations can streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and enhance the reliability of their applications. Furthermore, following the tips to choose the tools or platform carefully can further improve productivity.

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Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated: A Year in Review

Article | April 28, 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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Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors

Network Virtualization: The Future of Businesses and Networks

Article | June 8, 2023

Network virtualization has emerged as the widely recommended solution for the networking paradigm's future. Virtualization has the potential to revolutionize networks in addition to providing a cost-effective, flexible, and secure means of communication. Network virtualization isn't an all-or-nothing concept. It can help several organizations with differing requirements, or it can provide a bunch of new advantages for a single enterprise. It is the process of combining a network's physical hardware into a single, virtual network. This is often accomplished by running several virtual guest machines in software containers on a single physical host system. Network virtualization is indeed the new gold standard for networking, and it is being embraced by enterprises of all kinds globally. By integrating their current network gear into a single virtual network, businesses can reduce operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and lay the groundwork for future growth. Network virtualization also enables organizations to simulate traditional hardware like servers, storage devices, and network resources. The physical network performs basic tasks like packet forwarding, while virtual versions handle more complex activities like networking service management and deployment. Addressing Network Virtualization Challenges Surprisingly, IT teams might encounter network virtualization challenges that are both technical and non-technical in nature. Let's look at some common challenges and discuss how to overcome them. Change in Network Architecture Practically, the first big challenge is shifting from an architecture that depends heavily on routers, switches, and firewalls. Instead, these services are detached from conventional hardware and put on hypervisors that virtualize these operations. Virtualized network services are shared, scaled, and moved as required. Migrating current LANs and data centers to a virtualized platform require careful planning. This migration involves the following tasks: Determine how much CPU, computation, and storage resources will be required to run virtualized network services. Determine the optimal approach for integrating network resilience and security services. Determine how the virtualized network services will be implemented in stages to avoid disrupting business operations. The key to a successful migration is meticulous preparation by architects who understand the business's network requirements. This involves a thorough examination of existing apps and services, as well as a clear knowledge of how data should move across the company most effectively. Moreover, a progressive approach to relocation is often the best solution. In this instance, IT teams can make changes to the virtualization platform without disrupting the whole corporate network. Network Visibility Network virtualization has the potential to considerably expand the number of logical technology layers that must collaborate. As a result, traditional network and data center monitoring technologies no longer have insight into some of these abstracted levels. In other circumstances, visibility can be established, but the tools fail to show the information correctly so that network operators can understand it. In either case, deploying and managing modern network visibility technologies is typically the best choice. When an issue arises, NetOps personnel are notified of the specific service layer. Automation and AI The enhanced level of automation and self-service operations that can be built into a platform is a fundamental aspect of network virtualization. While these activities can considerably increase the pace of network upgrades while decreasing management overhead, they need the documentation and implementation of a new set of standards and practices. Understand that prior network architectures were planned and implemented utilizing actual hardware appliances on a hop-by-hop basis. A virtualized network, on the other hand, employs a centralized control plane to govern and push policies to all sections of the network. Changes may occur more quickly in this aspect, but various components must be coordinated to accomplish their roles in harmony. As a result, network teams should move their attention away from network operations that are already automated. Rather, their new responsibility is to guarantee that the core automation processes and AI are in sync in order to fulfill those automated tasks. Driving Competitive Edge with Network Virtualization Virtualization in networking or virtual machines within an organization is not a new trend. Even small and medium businesses have realized the benefits of network virtualization, especially when combined with a hosted cloud service provider. Because of this, the demand for enterprise network virtualization is rising, driving higher end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business tools. These network virtualization benefits can help boost business growth and gain a competitive edge. Gaining a Competitive Edge: Network Virtualization Benefits Cost-Savings on Hardware Faster Desktop and Server Provisioning and Deployment Improved Data Security and Disaster Recovery Increasing IT Operational Efficiency Small Footprint and Energy Saving Network Virtualization: The Path to Digital Transformation Business is at the center of digital transformation, but technology is needed to make it happen. Integrated clouds, highly modern data centers, digital workplaces, and increased data center security are all puzzle pieces, and putting them all together requires a variety of various products and services that are deployed cohesively. The cloud revolution is still having an influence on IT, transforming how digital content is consumed and delivered. This should come as no surprise that such a shift has influenced how we feel about current networking. When it boils down to it, the purpose of digital transformation for every company, irrespective of industry, is the same: to boost the speed with which you can respond to market changes and evolving business needs; to enhance your ability to embrace and adapt to new technology, and to improve overall security. As businesses realize that the underlying benefit of cloud adoption and enhanced virtualization isn't simply about cost savings, digital strategies are evolving, becoming more intelligent and successful in the process. Network virtualization is also a path toward the smooth digital transformation of any business. How does virtualization help in accelerating digital transformation? Combining public and private clouds, involving hardware-based computing, storage, and networking software definition. A hyper-converged infrastructure that integrates unified management with virtualized computing, storage, and networking could be included. Creating a platform for greater productivity by providing the apps and services consumers require when and when they utilize them. This should include simplifying application access and administration as well as unifying endpoint management. Improving network security and enhancing security flexibility to guarantee that quicker speed to market is matched by tighter security. Virtualization will also help businesses to move more quickly and safely, bringing products—and profits—to market faster. Enhancing Security with Network Virtualization Security has evolved as an essential component of every network architecture. However, since various areas of the network are often segregated from one another, it might be challenging for network teams to design and enforce network virtualization security standards that apply to the whole network. Zero trust can integrate such network parts and their accompanying virtualization activities. Throughout the network, the zero-trust architecture depends on the user and device authentication. If LAN users wish to access data center resources, they must first be authenticated. The secure connection required for endpoints to interact safely is provided by a zero-trust environment paired with network virtualization. To facilitate these interactions, virtual networks can be ramped up and down while retaining the appropriate degree of traffic segmentation. Access policies, which govern which devices can connect with one another, are a key part of this process. If a device is allowed to access a data center resource, the policy should be understood at both the WAN and campus levels. Some of the core network virtualization security features are: Isolation and multitenancy are critical features of network virtualization. Segmentation is related to isolation; however it is utilized in a multitier virtual network. A network virtualization platform's foundation includes firewalling technologies that enable segmentation inside virtual networks. Network virtualization enables automatic provisioning and context-sharing across virtual and physical security systems. Investigating the Role of Virtualization in Cloud Computing Virtualization in the cloud computing domain refers to the development of virtual resources (such as a virtual server, virtual storage device, virtual network switch, or even a virtual operating system) from a single resource of its type that also shows up as several personal isolated resources or environments that users can use as a separate individual physical resource. Virtualization enables the benefits of cloud computing, such as ease of scaling up, security, fluid or flexible resources, and so on. If another server is necessary, a virtual server will be immediately created, and a new server will be deployed. When we need more memory, we increase the virtual server configurations we currently have, and we now have the extra RAM we need. As a result, virtualization is the underlying technology of the cloud computing business model. The Benefits of Virtualization in Cloud Computing: Efficient hardware utilization Virtualization improves availability Disaster recovery is quick and simple Energy is saved by virtualization Setup is quick and simple Cloud migration has become simple Motivating Factors for the Adoption of Network Virtualization Demand for enterprise networks continues to climb, owing to rising end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business software. Thanks to network virtualization, IT companies are gaining the ability to respond to shifting demands and match their networking capabilities with their virtualized storage and computing resources. In fact, according to a recent SDxCentral report, 88% of respondents believe it is "important" or "mission critical" to implement a network virtualization software over the next two to five years. Virtualization is also an excellent alternative for businesses that employ outsourced IT services, are planning mergers or acquisitions or must segregate IT teams owing to regulatory compliance. Reasons to Adopt Network Virtualization: A Business Needs Speed Security Requirements Are Rising Apps can Move Around Micro-segmentation IT Automation and Orchestration Reduce Hardware Dependency and CapEx: Adopt Multi-Tenancy Cloud Disaster Recovery mproved Scalability Wrapping-Up Network virtualization and cloud computing are emerging technologies of the future. As CIOs get actively involved in organizational systems, these new concepts will be implemented in more businesses. As consumer demand for real-time services expands, businesses will be driven to explore network virtualization as the best way to take their networks to the next level. The networking future is here. FAQ Why is network virtualization important for business? By integrating their current network gear into a single virtual network, businesses can reduce operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and set the stage for future growth. Where is network virtualization used? Network virtualization can be utilized in application development and testing to simulate hardware and system software realistically. Network virtualization in application performance engineering allows for the modeling of connections among applications, services, dependencies, and end users for software testing. How does virtualization work in cloud computing? Virtualization, in short, enables cloud providers to provide users alongside existing physical computer infrastructure. As a simple and direct process, it allows cloud customers to buy only the computing resources they require when they want them and to maintain those resources cost-effectively as the demand grows.

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Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors

Metasploitable: A Platform for Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

Article | June 8, 2023

Contents 1. Overview 2. Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing 3. Metasploit Penetration Test 4. Why Choose Metasploit Framework for your Business? 5. Closing remarks 1. Overview Metasploitable refers to an intentionally vulnerable virtual machine that enables the learning and practice of Metasploit. Metasploit is one of the best penetration testing frameworks that helps businesses discover and shore up their systems' vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them. Security engineers use Metasploit as a penetration testing system and a development platform that allows the creation of security tools and exploits. Metasploit's various user interfaces, libraries, tools, and modules allow users to configure an exploit module, pair it with a payload, point it at a target, and launch it at the target system. In addition, Metasploit's extensive database houses hundreds of exploits and several payload options. 2. Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing An ethical hacker is one who works within a security framework and checks for bugs that a malicious hacker might use to exploit networks. They use their experience and skills to render the cyber environment. To protect the infrastructure from the threat that hackers pose, ethical hacking is essential. The main purpose of an ethical hacking service is to report and assess the safety of the targeted systems and networks for the owner. Ethical hacking is performed with penetration test techniques to evaluate security loopholes. There are many techniques used to hack information, such as – Information gathering Vulnerability scanning Exploitation Test analysis Ethical hacking involves automatic methods. The hacking process without automated software is inefficient and time-consuming. There are several tools and methods that can be used for ethical hacking and penetration testing. The Metasploit framework eases the effort to exploit vulnerabilities in networks, operating systems, and applications and generates new exploits for new or unknown vulnerabilities. 3. Metasploit Penetration Test Reconnaissance: Integrate Metasploit with various reconnaissance tools to find the vulnerable spot in the system. Threat Modeling and Vulnerability Identification: Once a weakness is identified, choose an exploit and payload for penetration. Exploitation: The payload gets executed at the target if the exploit, a tool used to take advantage of system weakness, is successful, and the user gets a shell for interacting with the payload (a shellcode is a small piece of code used as the payload).The most popular payload, a set of malicious codes to attack Windows systems, is Meterpreter, an in-memory-only interactive shell. (Meterpreter is a Metasploit attack payload that provides an interactive shell for the attacker to explore the target machine and execute code.)Other payloads are: Static payloads (it enables port forwarding and communications between networks) Dynamic payloads (to evade antivirus software, it allows testers to generate unique payloads) Command shell payloads (enables users to run scripts or commands against a host) Post-Exploitation: Metasploit offers various exploitation tools for privilege escalation, packet sniffing, keyloggers, screen capture, and pivoting tools once on the target machine. Resolution and Re-Testing: Users set up a persistent backdoor if the target machine gets rebooted. These available features in Metasploit make it easy to configure as per the user's requirements. 4. Why Choose Metasploit Framework for your Business? Significant advantages of the Metasploit Framework are discussed below: Open-source: Metasploit Framework is actively developed as open-source software, so most companies prefer this to grow their businesses. Easy usage: It is very easy to use, defining an easy-naming conversation with the commands. This also facilitates the building of an extensive penetration test of the network. GUI Environment: It mainly provides third-party instances that are friendly. These interfaces ease the penetration testing projects by providing the facilities with services such as button clicks, over-the-fly vulnerability management, and easy-to-shift workspaces, among others. Cleaner Exits: Metasploit can cleanly exit without detection, even if the target system does not restart after a penetration test. Additionally, it offers various options for maintaining persistent access to the target system. Easy Switching Between Payloads: Metasploit allows testers to change payloads with the 'setpayload' command easily. It offers flexibility for system penetration through shell-based access or meterpreter. 5. Closing remarks From DevSecOps experts to hackers, everyone uses the Ruby-based open-source framework Metasploit, which allows testing via command-line alterations or GUI. Metasploitable is a vulnerable virtual machine ideally used for ethical hacking and penetration testing, in VM security. One trend likely to impact the future of Metasploitable is the increasing use of cloud-based environments for testing and production. It is possible that Metasploitable could be adapted to work in cloud environments or that new tools will be developed specifically for cloud-based penetration testing. Another trend that may impact the future of Metasploitable is the growing importance of automation in security testing. Thus, Metasploitable could be adapted to include more automation features. The future of Metasploitable looks bright as it continues to be a valuable tool for security professionals and enthusiasts. As the security landscape continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how Metasploitable adapts to meet the community's changing needs.

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Spotlight

LTI Information Technology

LTI-IT provides technological solutions to help achieve your business goals and to alleviate the fear associated with applying technical solutions. Working closely with our clients, we use our extensive experience and certification to design, implement, and optimize a network of any size and complexity, and to support internal IT staff in obtaining the knowledge required to truly understand their network.

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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.

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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.

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