The Business Benefits of Embracing Virtualization on Virtual Machines

The Business Benefits of Embracing Virtualization on Virtual
Neglecting virtualization on VMs hampers productivity of firms. Operations become complex and resource usage is suboptimal. Leverage virtualization to empower with enhanced efficiency and scalability.

Contents

1. Introduction
2. Types of Virtualization on VMs 3. Impact of Virtualized VMs on Business Enterprises 4. How can Businesses Scale ROI with Adoption of Virtualization in Virtual Machines?
5. Risks and Challenges of Virtual Machines in the Cloud
6. Overcoming Roadblocks: Best Practices for Successful Execution of VMs 7. Five Leading Providers for Virtualization of VMs 8. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Virtualization on virtual machines (VMs) is a technology that enables multiple operating systems and applications to run on a single physical server or host. It has become essential to modern IT infrastructures, allowing businesses to optimize resource utilization, increase flexibility, and reduce costs. Embracing virtualization on VMs offers many business benefits, including improved disaster recovery, increased efficiency, enhanced security, and better scalability. In this digital age, where businesses rely heavily on technology to operate and compete, virtualization on VMs has become a crucial strategy for staying competitive and achieving business success. Organizations need to be agile and responsive to changing customer demands and market trends. Rather than focusing on consolidating resources, the emphasis now lies on streamlining operations, maximizing productivity, and optimizing convenience.

2. Types of Virtualization on VMs

2.1 Server virtualization

The server virtualization process involves dividing a physical server into several virtual servers. This allows organizations to consolidate multiple physical servers onto a single physical server, which leads to cost savings, improved efficiency, and easier management. Server virtualization is one of the most common types of virtualization used on VMs. Consistent stability/reliability is the most critical product attributes IT decision-makers look for when evaluating server virtualization solutions. Other important factors include robust disaster recovery capabilities and advanced security features. Server Virtualization Market was valued at USD 5.7 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 9.04 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2019 to 2026. (Source: Verified Market Research)

2.2 Storage virtualization

Combining multiple network storage devices into an integrated virtual storage device, storage virtualization facilitates a cohesive and efficient approach to data management within a data center. IT administrators can allocate and manage the virtual storage unit with the help of management software, which facilitates streamlined storage tasks like backup, archiving, and recovery. There are three types of storage virtualization: file-level, block-level, and object-level. File-level consolidates multiple file systems into one virtualized system for easier management. Block-level abstracts physical storage into logical volumes allocated to VMs. Object-level creates a logical storage pool for more flexible and scalable storage services to VMs. The storage virtualization segment held an industry share of more than 10.5% in 2021 and is likely to observe considerable expansion through 2030 (Source: Global Market Insights)

2.3 Network virtualization

Any computer network has hardware elements such as switches, routers, load balancers and firewalls. With network virtualization, virtual machines can communicate with each other across virtual networks, even if they are on different physical hosts. Network virtualization can also enable the creation of isolated virtual networks, which can be helpful for security purposes or for creating test environments. The following are two approaches to network virtualization:

2.3.1 Software-defined networking

Software-defined networking (SDN) controls traffic routing by taking over routing management from data routing in the physical environment. For example, programming the system to prioritize video call traffic over application traffic to ensure consistent call quality in all online meetings.

2.3.2 Network function virtualization

Network function virtualization technology combines the functions of network appliances, such as firewalls, load balancers, and traffic analyzers, that work together to improve network performance. The global Network function virtualization market size was valued at USD 12.9 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 36.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 22.9%, during the forecast period(2019-2024). (Source: MarketsandMarkets)

2.4 Data virtualization

Data virtualization is the process of abstracting, organizing, and presenting data in a unified view that applications and users can access without regard to the data's physical location or format. Using virtualization techniques, data virtualization platforms can create a logical data layer that provides a single access point to multiple data sources, whether on-premises or in the cloud. This logical data layer is then presented to users as a single, virtual database, making it easier for applications and users to access and work with data from multiple sources and support cross-functional data analysis. Data Virtualization Market size was valued at USD 2.37 Billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 13.53 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 20.2% from 2023 to 2030. (Source: Verified Market Research)

2.5 Application virtualization

In this approach, the applications are separated from the underlying hardware and operating system and encapsulated in a virtual environment, which can run on any compatible hardware and operating system. With application virtualization, the application is installed and configured on a virtual machine, which can then be replicated and distributed to multiple end-users. For example, users can run a Microsoft Windows application on a Linux machine without changing the machine configuration. According to a report, the global application virtualization market size is predicted to grow from USD 2.2 billion in 2020 to USD 4.4 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 14.7% during the period of 2020-2025. (Source: MarketsandMarkets)

2.6 Desktop virtualization

In desktop virtualization, a single physical machine can host multiple virtual machines, each with its own operating system and desktop environment. Users can access these virtual desktops remotely through a network connection, allowing them to work from anywhere and on any device. Desktop virtualization is commonly used in enterprise settings to provide employees with a secure and flexible way to access their work environment. The desktop virtualization market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 10.6% over the forecast period (2018-28). (Source: Mordor Intelligence)

3. Impact of Virtualized VMs on Business Enterprises

Virtualization can increase the adaptability of business processes. The servers can support different operating systems (OS) and applications as the software is decoupled from the hardware. Business processes can be run on virtual computers, with each virtual machine running its own OS, applications, softwares and set of programs.

3.1 Virtualization as a Game-Changer for Business Models

The one server, one application model can be abolished using virtualization, which was inefficient because most servers were underutilized. Instead, one server can become many virtual machines using virtualization software, each running on a different operating system such as Windows, Linux, or Apache. Virtualization has made it possible for companies to fit more virtual servers onto fewer physical devices, saving them space, power, and time spent managing them. The adoption of virtualization services is significantly increased by industrial automation systems. Industrial automation suppliers offer new-generation devices to virtualize VMs and software-driven industrial automation operations. This will solve problems with important automation equipment like Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs) and Distributed Control Systems (DCS), leading to more virtualized goods and services in industrial automation processes.

3.2 Evaluating IT Infrastructure Reformation

IT infrastructure evaluation for virtualization needs to look at existing systems and processes along with finding opportunities and shortcomings. Cloud computing, mobile workforces, and app compatibility cause this growth. Over the last decade, these areas have shifted from conventional to virtual infrastructure. • Capacity on Demand: It is a concept that refers to the ability to quickly and easily deploy virtual servers, either on-premise or through a hosting provider. This is made possible through the use of virtualization technologies. These technologies allow businesses to create multiple virtual instances of servers that can be easily scaled up or down as per the requirement, providing businesses with access to IT capacity on demand. • Disaster Recovery (DR): DR is a critical consideration in evaluating IT infrastructure reformation for virtualization. Virtualization technology enables businesses to create virtual instances of servers that run multiple applications, which eliminates the need for robust DR solutions that can be expensive and time-consuming to implement. As a result, businesses can save costs by leveraging the virtual infrastructure for DR purposes. • Consumerization of IT: The consumerization of IT refers to the increasing trend of employees using personal devices and applications in their work environments. This has resulted in a need for businesses to ensure that their IT infrastructure can support a diverse range of devices and applications. Virtual machines enable businesses to create virtual desktop environments that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, thereby providing employees with a consistent and secure work environment regardless of their device.

3.3 Virtualization Impact on Business Agility

Virtualization has emerged as a valuable tool for enhancing business agility by allowing firms to respond quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively to market changes. By enabling rapid installation and migration of applications and services across systems, the migration to the virtualized systems has allowed companies to achieve significant operational flexibility, responsiveness, and scalability gains. According to a poll conducted by Tech Target, 66% of the firms have reported an increase in agility due to virtualization adoption. This trend is expected to rise, driven by growing demand for cost-effective and efficient IT solutions across various industries. In line with this, a comprehensive analysis has projected that the market for virtualization software was estimated to be worth USD 45.51 billion in 2021. It is anticipated to grow to USD 223.35 billion by 2029, with a CAGR of 22.00% predicted for the forecast period of 2022–2029, including application, network, and hardware virtualization. (Source: Data Bridge) This is primarily attributed to the growing need for businesses to improve their agility and competitiveness by leveraging advanced virtualization technologies and solutions for applications and servers.

4. How can Businesses Scale ROI with Adoption of Virtualization in Virtual Machines?

Businesses looking to boost their ROI have gradually shifted to Virtualizing VMs, in the past years. According to a recent study, VM virtualization helps businesses reduce their hardware and maintenance costs by up to 50%, significantly impacting their bottom line. Server consolidation helps reduce hardware costs and improve resource utilization, as businesses allocate resources, operating systems, and applications dynamically based on workload demand. Utilizing application virtualization, in particular, can assist businesses in optimizing resource utilization by as much as 80%. Software-defined Networking (SDN) allows new devices, some with previously unsupported operating systems, to be more easily incorporated into an enterprise’s IT environment. The telecom industry can greatly benefit from the emergence of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), SDN, and Network Virtualization, as these technologies provide significant advantages. The NFV idea virtualizes and effectively joins service provider network elements on multi-tenant industry-standard servers, switches, and storage. To leverage the benefits of NFV, telecom service providers have heavily invested in NFV services. By deploying NFV and application virtualization together, organizations can create a more flexible and scalable IT infrastructure that responds to changing business needs more effectively.

5. Risks and Challenges of Virtual Machines in the Cloud

5.1 Resource Distribution:

Resource availability is crucial when running applications in a virtual machine, as it leads to increased resource consumption. The resource distribution in VMs is typically managed by a hypervisor or virtual machine manager responsible for allocating resources to the VMs based on their specific requirements. A study found that poor resource management can lead to overprovisioning, increasing cloud costs by up to 70%. (Source: Gartner)

5.2 VM Sprawl:

82% of companies experienced VM sprawl, with the average organization having 115% more VMs than they need, as per a survey. (Source: Veeam) VM sprawl can occur in virtualization when an excessive proliferation of virtual machines is not effectively managed or utilized, leading to many underutilized or inactive VMs. This can lead to increased resource consumption, higher costs, and reduced performance.

5.3 Backward Compatibility:

Backward compatibility can be particularly challenging in virtualized systems, where applications may run on multiple operating systems than they were designed for. A recent study showed that 87% of enterprises have encountered software compatibility issues during their migration to the cloud for app virtualization. (Source: Flexera)

5.4 Conditional Network Monitoring:

A study found that misconfigurations, hardware problems, and human error account for over 60% of network outages. (Source: SolarWinds) Network monitoring tools can help organizations monitor virtual network traffic and identify potential network issues affecting application performance in VMs. These tools also provide visibility into network traffic patterns, enabling IT teams to identify areas for optimization and improvement.

5.5 Interoperability:

Interoperability issues are common when implementing cloud-based virtualization when integrating the virtualized environment with other on-premises or cloud-based systems. According to a report, around 50% of virtualization projects encounter interoperability issues that require extensive troubleshooting and debugging. (Source: Gartner)

6. Overcoming Roadblocks: Best Practices for Successful Execution of VMs

6.1 Unlocking the Power of Resource Distribution:

By breaking up large, monolithic applications into smaller, more manageable components, virtualizing allows organizations to distribute resources effectively, enabling its users with varying needs to utilize the resources with optimum efficiency. With prioritizing resource distribution, resources such as CPU, memory, and storage can be dynamically allocated to virtual machines as needed. Businesses must frequently monitor and evaluate resource utilization data to better resource allocation and management.

6.2 Effective techniques for Avoiding VM Sprawl:

VM sprawl can be addressed through a variety of techniques, including VM lifecycle management, automated provisioning, and regular audits of virtual machine usage. Tools such as virtualization management software, cloud management platforms, and monitoring tools can help organizations gain better visibility and control over their virtual infrastructure. Monitoring applications and workload requirements as well as establishing policies and procedures for virtual machine provisioning & decommissioning are crucial for businesses to avoid VM sprawl.

6.3 Backward Compatibility: A Comprehensive Solution:

One of the solutions to backward compatibility challenges is to use virtualization technologies, such as containers or hypervisors, that allow older applications to run on newer hardware and software. Another solution is to use compatibility testing tools that can identify potential compatibility issues before they become problems. To ensure that virtual machines can run on different hypervisors or cloud platforms, businesses can implement standardized virtualization architectures that support a wide range of hardware and software configurations.

6.4 Performance Metrics:

Businesses employing cloud-based virtualization must have reliable network monitoring in order to guarantee the best possible performance of their virtual workloads and to promptly detect and resolve any problems that may affect the performance. Businesses can improve their customers' experience in VMs by implementing a network monitoring solution that helps them locate slow spots, boost speed, and avoid interruptions.

6.5 Solutions for Interoperability in a Connected World:

Standardized communication protocols and APIs help cloud-based virtualization setups to interoperate. Integrating middleware like enterprise service buses (ESBs) can consolidate system and application management. In addition, businesses can use cloud-native tools and services like Kubernetes for container orchestration or cloud-native databases for interoperability in virtual machines.

7. Five Leading Providers for Virtualization of VMs

Aryaka



Aryaka is a pioneer of a cloud-first architecture for the delivery of SD-WAN and, more recently, SASE. Using their proprietary, integrated technology and services, they ensure safe connectivity for businesses. They are named a Gartner ‘Voice of the Customer leader’ for simplifying the adoption of network and network security solutions with organization standards for shifting from legacy IT infrastructure to various modern deployments.

Gigamon



Gigamon provides a comprehensive network observability solution that enhances observability tools' capabilities. The solution helps IT organizations ensure security and compliance governance, accelerate the root-cause analysis of performance issues, and reduce the operational overhead of managing complex hybrid and multi-cloud IT infrastructures. Gigamon's solution offers a deep observability pipeline that harnesses actionable network-level intelligence to amplify the power of observability tools.

Liquidware


Liquidware is a software company that offers desktop and application virtualization solutions. Their services include user environment management, application layering, desktop virtualization, monitoring and analytics, and migration services. Using these services, businesses can improve user productivity, reduce complexity in managing applications, lower hardware costs, troubleshoot issues quickly, and migrate to virtualized environments efficiently.

Azul



Azul offers businesses Java runtime solutions. Azul Platform Prime is a cloud-based Java runtime platform that provides enhanced performance, scalability, and security. Azul provides 24/7 technical support and upgrades for Java applications. Their services improve Java application performance, dependability, and security for enterprises. Azul also provides Java application development and deployment training and consultancy.

8. Conclusion

Virtualization of VMs in businesses boosts their ROI significantly. The integration of virtualization with DevOps practices could allow for more streamlined application delivery and deployment, with greater automation and continuous integration, thus achieving greater success in current competitive business landscape. We expect to see more advancements in developing new hypervisors and management tools in the coming years. Additionally, there will likely be an increased focus on security and data protection in virtualized environments, as well as greater integration with other emerging technologies like containerization and edge computing. Virtualization is set to transform the business landscape in future by facilitating the effective and safe deployment and management of applications as technology advances and new trends emerge. The future of virtualization looks promising as it continues to adapt to and revolutionize the changing needs of organizations, streamlining their operations, reducing carbon footprint, and improving overall sustainability. As such, virtualization will continue to be a crucial technology for businesses seeking to thrive in the digital age.

Spotlight

Luminis

Luminis is a software technology company founded in 2002; we’re dedicated to develop technology ahead of demand in order to apply this in innovative solutions for and with costumers. Identifying and mastering emergent technologies and techniques that offer the potential for exponential value creation is our core competence.

OTHER ARTICLES
Server Hypervisors

VMware NSX 3.2 Delivers New, Advanced Security Capabilities

Article | September 9, 2022

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Our newest release — NSX-T 3.2 — establishes a new marker for securing application infrastructure by introducing significant new features to identify and respond to malware and ransomware attacks in the network, to enhance user identification and L7 application identification capabilities, and, at the same time, to simplify deployment of the product for our customers. Modern day security teams need to secure mission-critical infrastructure from both external and internal attacks. By providing unprecedented threat visibility leveraging IDS, NTA, and Network Detection and Response (NDR) capabilities along with granular controls leveraging L4-L7 Firewall, IPS, and Malware Prevention capabilities, NSX 3.2 delivers an incredible security solution for our customers“ Umesh Mahajan, SVP, GM (Networking and Security Business Unit) Distributed Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP) Attackers often use multiple sophisticated techniques to penetrate the network, move laterally within the network in a stealthy manner, and exfiltrate critical data at an appropriate time. Micro-segmentation solutions focused solely on access control can reduce the attack surface — but cannot provide the detection and prevention technologies needed to thwart modern attacks. NSX-T 3.2 introduces several new capabilities focused on detection and prevention of attacks inside the network. Of critical note is that these advanced security solutions do not need network taps, separate monitoring networks, or agents inside each and every workload. Distributed Malware Prevention Lastline’s highly reputed dynamic malware technology is now integrated with NSX Distributed Firewall to deliver an industry-first Distributed Malware Prevention solution. Leveraging the integration with Lastline, a Distributed Firewall embedded within the hypervisor kernel can now identify both “known malicious” as well as “zero day” malware Distributed Behavioral IDS Whereas earlier versions of NSX Distributed IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention System) delivered primarily signature-based detection of intrusions, NSX 3.2 introduces “behavioral” intrusion detection capabilities as well. Even if specific IDS signatures are not triggered, this capability helps customers know whether a workload is seeing any behavioral anomalies, like DNS tunneling or beaconing, for example, that could be a cause for concern. Network Traffic Analysis (NTA) For customers interested in baselining network-wide behavior and identifying anomalous behavior at the aggregated network level, NSX-T 3.2 introduces Distributed Network Traffic Analysis (NTA). Network-wide anomalies like lateral movement, suspicious RDP traffic, and malicious interactions with the Active Directory server, for example, can alert security teams about attacks underway and help them take quick remediation actions. Network Detection and Response (NDR) Alert overload, and resulting fatigue, is a real challenge among security teams. Leveraging advanced AI/ML techniques, the NSX-T 3.2 Network Detection and Response solution consolidates security IOCs from different detection systems like IDS, NTA, malware detection. etc., to provide a ”campaign view” that shows specific attacks in play at that point in time. MITRE ATT&CK visualization helps customers see the specific stage in the kill chain of individual attacks, and the ”time sequence” view helps understand the sequence of events that contributed to the attack on the network. Key Firewall Enhancements While delivering new Advanced Threat Prevention capabilities is one key emphasis for the NSX-T 3.2 release, providing meaningful enhancements for core firewalling capabilities is an equally critical area of innovation. Distributed Firewall for VDS Switchports While NSX-T has thus far supported workloads connected to both overlay-based N-VDS switchports as well as VLAN-based switchports, customers had to move the VLAN switchports from VDS to N-VDS before a Distributed Firewall could be enforced. With NSX-T 3.2, native VLAN DVPGs are supported as-is, without having to move to N-VDS. Effectively, Distributed Security can be achieved in a completely seamless manner without having to modify any networking constructs. Distributed Firewall workflows in vCenter With NSX-T 3.2, we are introducing the ability to create and modify Distributed Firewall rules natively within vCenter. For small- to medium-sized VMware customers, this feature simplifies the user experience by eliminating the need to leverage a separate NSX Manager interface. Advanced User Identification for Distributed and Gateway Firewalls NSX supported user identity-based access control in earlier releases. 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This feature enhancement is applicable for both NSX Distributed Firewall as well as Gateway Firewalls. NSX Intelligence NSX Intelligence is geared towards delivering unprecedented visibility for all application traffic inside the network and enabling customers to create micro-segmentation policies to reduce the attack surface. It has a processing pipeline that de-dups, aggregates, and correlates East-West traffic to deliver in-depth visibility. Scalability enhancements for NSX Intelligence As application infrastructure grows rapidly, it is vital that one’s security analytics platform can grow with it. With the new release, we have rearchitected the application platform upon which NSX Intelligence runs — moving from a stand-alone appliance to a containerized micro-service architecture powered by Kubernetes. This architectural change future-proofs the Intelligence data lake and allows us to eventually scale out our solution to n-node Kubernetes clusters. Large Enterprise customers that need visibility for application traffic can confidently deploy NSX Intelligence and leverage the enhanced scale it supports. NSX Gateway Firewall While NSX Distributed Firewall focuses on east-west controls within the network, NSX Gateway Firewall is used for securing ingress and egress traffic into and out of a zone. Gateway Firewall Malware Detection NSX Gateway Firewall in the 3.2 release received significant Advanced Threat Detection capabilities. Gateway Firewall can now identify both known as well as zero-day malware ingressing or egressing the network. This new capability is based on the Gateway Firewall integration with Lastline’s highly reputed dynamic network sandbox technology. Gateway Firewall URL Filtering Internal users and applications reaching out to malicious websites is a huge security risk that must be addressed. In addition, enterprises need to limit internet access to comply with corporate internet usage policies. 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Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors

Efficient Management of Virtual Machines using Orchestration

Article | April 28, 2023

Contents 1. Introduction 2. What is Orchestration? 3. How Orchestrating Help Optimize VMs Efficiency? 3.1. Resource Optimization 3.2 Dynamic Scaling 3.3 Faster Deployment 3.4 Improved Security 3.5 Multi-Cloud Management 3.6 Improved Collaboration 4. Considerations while Orchestrating VMs 4.1. Together Hosting of Containers and VMs 4.2 Automated Backup and Restore for VMs 4.3 Ensure Replication for VMs 4.4 Setup Data Synchronization for VMs 5. Conclusion 1. Introduction Orchestration is a superset of automation. Cloud orchestration goes beyond automation, providing coordination between multiple automated activities. Cloud orchestration is increasingly essential due to the growth of containerization, which facilitates scaling applications across clouds, both public and private. The demand for both public cloud orchestration and hybrid cloud orchestration has increased as businesses increasingly adopt a hybrid cloud architecture. The quick adoption of containerized, micro-services-based apps that communicate over APIs has fueled the desire for automation in deploying and managing applications across the cloud. This increase in complexity has created a need for VM orchestration that can manage numerous dependencies across various clouds with policy-driven security and management capabilities. 2. What is Orchestration? Orchestration refers to the process of automating, coordinating, and managing complex systems, workflows, or processes. It typically entails the use of automation tools and platforms to streamline and coordinate the deployment, configuration, management of applications and services across different environments. This includes development, testing, staging, and production. Orchestration tools in cloud computing can be used to automate the deployment and administration of containerized applications across multiple servers or clusters. These tools can help automate tasks such as container provisioning, scaling, load balancing, and health monitoring, making it easier to manage complex application environments. Orchestration ensures organizations automate and streamline their workflows, reduce errors and downtime, and improve the efficacy and scalability of their operations. 3. How Orchestrating Help Optimize VMs Efficiency? Orchestration offers enhanced visibility into the resources and processes in use, which helps prevent VM sprawl and helps organizations trace resource usage by department, business unit, or individual user. Fig. Global Market for VNFO by Virtualization Methodology 2022-27($ million) (Source: Insight Research) The above figure shows, VMs have established a solid legacy that will continue to be relevant in the near to mid-term future. These are 6 ways, in which Orchestration helps vin efficient management of VMs: 3.1. Resource Optimization Orchestrating helps optimize resource utilization by automating the provisioning and de-provisioning of VMs, which allows for efficient use of computing resources. By using orchestration tools, IT teams can set up rules and policies for automatically scaling VMs based on criteria such as CPU utilization, memory usage, network traffic, and application performance metrics. Orchestration also enables advanced techniques such as predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize resource utilization. These technologies can analyze historical data and identify patterns in workload demand, allowing the orchestration system to predict future resource needs and automatically provision or de-provision resources accordingly 3.2. Dynamic Scaling Orchestrating helps automate scaling of VMs, enabling organizations to quickly and easily adjust their computing resources based on demand. It enables IT teams to configure scaling policies and regulations for virtual machines based on resource utilization and network traffic along with performance metrics. When the workload demand exceeds a certain threshold, the orchestration system can autonomously provision additional virtual machines to accommodate the increased load. When workload demand decreases, the orchestration system can deprovision VMs to free up resources and reduce costs. 3.3. Faster Deployment Orchestrating can help automate VM deployment of VMs, reducing the time and effort required to provision new resources. By leveraging advanced technologies such as automation, scripting, and APIs, orchestration can further streamline the VM deployment process. It allows IT teams to define workflows and processes that can be automated using scripts, reducing the time and effort required to deploy new resources. In addition, orchestration can integrate with other IT management tools and platforms, such as cloud management platforms, configuration management tools, and monitoring systems. This enables IT teams to leverage various capabilities and services to streamline the VM deployment and improve efficiency. 3.4. Improved Security Orchestrating can help enhance the security of VMs by automating the deployment of security patches and updates. It also helps ensure VMs are deployed with the appropriate security configurations and settings, reducing the risk of misconfiguration and vulnerability. It enables IT teams to define standard security templates and configurations for VMs, which can be automatically applied during deployment. Furthermore, orchestration can integrate with other security tools and platforms, such as intrusion detection systems and firewalls, to provide a comprehensive security solution. It allows IT teams to automate the deployment of security policies and rules, ensuring that workloads remain protected against various security threats. 3.5. Multi-Cloud Management Orchestration helps provide a single pane of glass for VM management, enabling IT teams to monitor and manage VMs across multiple cloud environments from a single platform. This simplifies management and reduces complexity, enabling IT teams to respond more quickly and effectively to changing business requirements. In addition, orchestration also helps to ensure consistency and compliance across multiple cloud environments. Moreover, orchestration can also integrate with other multi-cloud management tools and platforms, such as cloud brokers and cloud management platforms, to provide a comprehensive solution for managing VMs across multiple clouds. 3.6. Improved Collaboration Orchestration helps streamline collaboration by providing a centralized repository for storing and sharing information related to VMs. Moreover, it also automates many of the routine tasks associated with VM management, reducing the workload for IT teams and freeing up time for more complex tasks. This can improve collaboration by enabling IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives. In addition, orchestration provides advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling IT teams to track performance, identify bottlenecks, and optimize resource utilization. This improves performance by providing a data-driven approach to VM management and allowing IT teams to work collaboratively to identify and address performance issues. 4. Considerations while Orchestrating VMs 4.1. Together Hosting of Containers and VMs Containers and virtual machines exist together within a single infrastructure and are managed by the same platform. This allows for hosting various projects using a unified management point and the ability to adapt gradually based on current needs and opportunities. This provides greater flexibility for teams to host and administer applications using cutting-edge technologies and established standards and methods. Moreover, as there is no need to invest in distinct physical servers for virtual machines (VMs) and containers, this approach can be a great way to maximize infrastructure utilization, resulting in lower TCO and higher ROI. In addition, unified management drastically simplifies processes, requiring fewer human resources and less time. 4.2. Automated Backup and Restore for VMs --Minimize downtime and reduce risk of data loss Organizations should set up automated backup and restore processes for virtual machines, ensuring critical data and applications are protected during a disaster. This involves scheduling regular backups of virtual machines to a secondary location or cloud storage and setting up automated restore processes to recover virtual machines during an outage or disaster quickly. 4.3. Ensure Replication for VMs --Ensure data and applications are available and accessible in the event of a disaster Organizations should set up replication processes for their VMs, allowing them to be automatically copied to a secondary location or cloud infrastructure. This ensures that critical applications and data are available even during a catastrophic failure at the primary site. 4.4. Setup Data Synchronization for VMs --Improve overall resilience and availability of the system VM orchestration tools should be used to set up data synchronization processes between virtual machines, ensuring that data is consistent and up-to-date across multiple locations. This is particularly important in scenarios where data needs to be accessed quickly from various locations, such as in distributed environments. 5. Conclusion Orchestration provides disaster recovery and business continuity, automatic scalability of distributed systems, and inter-service configuration. Cloud orchestration is becoming significant due to the advent of containerization, which permits scaling applications across clouds, both public and private. We expect continued growth and innovation in the field of VM orchestration, with new technologies and tools emerging to support more efficient and effective management of virtual machines in distributed environments. In addition, as organizations increasingly rely on cloud-based infrastructures and distributed systems, VM orchestration will continue to play a vital role in enabling businesses to operate smoothly and recover quickly from disruptions. VM orchestration will remain a critical component of disaster recovery and high availability strategies for years as organizations continue relying on virtualization technologies to power their operations and drive innovation.

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Virtual Desktop Strategies, Server Hypervisors

How virtualization helped Dell make a pandemic pivot

Article | April 27, 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

Virtual Machine Security Risks and Mitigation in Cloud Computing

Article | April 28, 2023

Analyzing risks and implementing advanced mitigation strategies: Safeguard critical data, fortify defenses, and stay ahead of emerging threats in the dynamic realm of virtual machines in cloud. Contents 1. Introduction 2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing 3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise 4. Conclusion 1. Introduction Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate by providing flexible, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure for running applications and services. Virtual machines (VMs) are a key component of cloud computing, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical machine. However, the use of virtual machines in cloud computing introduces new security risks that need to be addressed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and services. Effective VM security in the cloud requires a comprehensive approach that involves cloud providers and users working together to identify and address potential virtual machine security threats. By implementing these best practices and maintaining a focus on security, cloud computing can provide a secure and reliable platform for businesses to run their applications and services. 2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: These are attacks that aim to disrupt the availability of a VM or the entire cloud infrastructure by overwhelming the system with traffic or resource requests. Insecure APIs: Cloud providers often expose APIs that allow users to manage their VMs. If these APIs are not properly secured, attackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to VMs or manipulate their configurations. Data leakage: Virtual machines can store sensitive data such as customer information or intellectual property. If not secured, this data can be exposed to unauthorized access or leakage. Shared resources: VMs in cloud environments often share physical resources such as memory, CPU, and network interfaces. If these resources are not isolated, a compromised VM can potentially affect the security and performance of other VMs running on the same physical host. Lack of visibility: Virtual machines in cloud environments can be more difficult to monitor than physical machines. This can make it harder to detect security incidents or anomalous behavior. Insufficient logging and auditing: If cloud providers do not implement appropriate logging and auditing mechanisms, it can be difficult to determine the cause and scope of a security incident. VM escape: This is when an attacker gains access to the hypervisor layer and then escapes into the host operating system or other VMs running on the same physical host. Side-channel attacks: This is when an attacker exploits the physical characteristics of the hardware to gain unauthorized access to a VM. Examples of side-channel attacks include timing attacks, power analysis attacks, and electromagnetic attacks. Malware attacks: VMs can be infected with malware, just like physical machines. Malware can be used to steal data, launch attacks on other VMs or systems, or disrupt the functioning of the VM. Insider threats: Malicious insiders can exploit their access to VMs to steal data, modify configurations, or launch attacks. 3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise To mitigate these risks, there are several virtual machine security guidelines that cloud service providers and users can follow: Keep software up-to-date: Regularly updating software and security patches for virtual machines is crucial in preventing known vulnerabilities from being exploited by hackers. Software updates fix bugs and security flaws that could allow unauthorized access, data breaches, or malware attacks. According to a study, 60% of data breaches are caused by vulnerabilities that were not patched or updated in a timely manner.(Source: Ponemon Institute) Use secure hypervisors: A hypervisor is a software layer that enables multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical server. Secure hypervisors are designed to prevent unauthorized access to virtual machines and protect them from potential security threats. When choosing a hypervisor, it is important to select one that has undergone rigorous testing and meets industry standards for security. In 2018, a group of researchers discovered a new type of attack called "Foreshadow" (also known as L1 Terminal Fault). The attack exploits vulnerabilities in Intel processors and can be used to steal sensitive data from virtual machines running on the same physical host. Secure hypervisors that have implemented hardware-based security features can provide protection against Foreshadow and similar attacks. (Source: Foreshadow) Implement strong access controls: Access control is the practice of restricting access to virtual machines to authorized users. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide more than one type of authentication method before accessing VMs. Strong access controls limit the risk of unauthorized access and can help prevent data breaches. According to a survey, organizations that implemented multi-factor authentication saw a 98% reduction in the risk of phishing-related account breaches. (Source: Duo Security) Monitor VMs for anomalous behavior: Monitoring virtual machines for unusual or unexpected behavior is an essential security practice. This includes monitoring network traffic, processes running on the VM, and other metrics that can help detect potential security incidents. By monitoring VMs, security teams can detect and respond to security threats before they can cause damage. A study found that 90% of organizations that implemented a virtualized environment experienced security benefits, such as improved visibility into security threats and faster incident response times. (Source: VMware) Use Encryption: Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. Encrypting data both in transit and at rest protects it from interception or theft by hackers. This can be achieved using industry-standard encryption protocols and technologies. According to a report by, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. The report also found that organizations that implemented encryption had a lower average cost of a data breach compared to those that did not (Source: IBM) Segregate VMs: Segregating virtual machines is the practice of keeping sensitive VMs separate from less sensitive ones. This reduces the risk of lateral movement, which is when a hacker gains access to one VM and uses it as a stepping stone to gain access to other VMs in the same environment. Segregating VMs helps to minimize the risk of data breaches and limit the potential impact of a security incident. A study found that organizations that implemented a virtualized environment without adequate segregation and access controls were more vulnerable to VM security breaches and data loss. (Source: Ponemon Institute) Regularly Back-up VMs: Regularly backing up virtual machines is a critical security practice that can help mitigate the impact of malware attacks, system failures, or other security incidents. Backups should be stored securely and tested regularly to ensure that they can be restored quickly in the event of a security incident. A survey conducted found that 42% of organizations experienced a data loss event in 2020 with the most common cause being accidental deletion by an employee (29%). (Source: Veeam) 4. Conclusion The complexity of cloud environments and the shared responsibility model for security require organizations to adopt a comprehensive security approach that spans multiple infrastructure layers, from the physical to the application layer. The future of virtual machine security concern in cloud computing will require continued innovation and adaptation to new threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations must remain vigilant and proactive in their security efforts, leveraging the latest technologies and best practices to protect their virtual machines, the sensitive data and resources they contain.

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Leostream Enhances Security and Management of vSphere Hybrid Cloud Deployments

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Leostream Corporation, the world's leading Remote Desktop Access Platform provider, today announced features to enhance security, management, and end-user productivity in vSphere-based hybrid cloud environments. The Leostream platform strengthens end-user computing (EUC) capabilities for vSphere users, including secure access to both on-premises and cloud environments, heterogeneous support, and reduced cloud costs. With the Leostream platform as the single pane of glass managing EUC environments, any hosted desktop environment, including individual virtual desktops, multi-user sessions, hosted physical workstations or desktops, and hosted applications, becomes simpler to manage, more secure, more flexible, and more cost-effective. Significant ways the Leostream platform expands vSphere’s capabilities include: Security The Leostream platform ensures data remains locked in the corporate network, and works across on-premises and cloud environments, providing even disparate infrastructures with the same levels of security and command over authorization, control, and access tracking. The Leostream platform supports multi-factor authentication and allows organizations to enforce strict access control rules, creating an EUC environment modeled on a zero-trust architecture. Multivendor/protocol support The Leostream platform was developed from the ground up for heterogeneous infrastructures and as the connection management layer of the EUC environment, the Leostream platform allows organizations to leverage vSphere today and other hypervisors or hyperconvergence platforms in the future as their needs evolve. The Leostream platform supports the industry’s broadest array of remote display protocols, including specialized protocols for mission-critical tasks. Consistent EUC experience The Leostream platform enables IT to make changes to the underlying environment while ensuring the end user experience is constant, and to incorporate AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, or OpenStack private clouds into their environment without disruptions in end-user productivity. By integrating with corporate Identity Providers (IdPs) that employees are already familiar with, and providing employees with a single portal they use to sign in, the Leostream platform offers simplicity to users too. Connectivity The Leostream Gateway securely connects to on-prem and cloud resources without virtual private networks (VPNs), and eliminates the need to manage and maintain security groups. End users get the same seamless login and high-performance connection across hybrid environments including corporate resources located off the internet. Controlling cloud costs The Leostream Connection Broker implements automated rules that control capacity and power state in the cloud, allowing organizations to optimize their cloud usage and minimize costs, such as ensuring cloud instances aren’t left running when they are no longer needed. The Connection Broker also intelligently pools and shares resources across groups of users, so organizations can invest in fewer systems, reducing overall cost of ownership. “These features deliver a streamlined experience with vSphere and hybrid or multi-cloud resources so end users remain productive, and corporate data and applications remain secure,” said Leostream CEO Karen Gondoly. “At a time when there is uncertainty about the future of support for VMware’s end-user computing, it’s important to bring these options to the market to show that organizations can extend vSphere’s capabilities and simultaneously plan for the future without disruption to the workforce.” About Leostream Corporation Leostream Corporation, the global leader in Remote Desktop Access Platforms, offers comprehensive solutions that enable seamless work-from-anywhere environments for individuals across diverse industries, regardless of organization size or location. The core of the Leostream platform is its commitment to simplicity and insight. It is driven by a unified administrative console that streamlines the management of users, cloud desktops, and IT assets while providing real-time dashboards for informed decision-making. The company continually monitors the evolving remote desktop landscape, anticipating future trends and challenges. This purposeful, proactive approach keeps clients well-prepared for the dynamic changes in remote desktop technology.

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Vuzix Introduces Z100 Smart Glasses to Seamlessly Connect Workers with AI Optimization Tools

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

Vuzix Corporation, a leading supplier of smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology and products, today announced the unveiling of Vuzix Z100 smart glasses, which will initially be offered as a developer's edition. Built using the Vuzix Ultralite OEM PlatformSM, these safety glasses-certified smart glasses are sleek and made for all day wear. Using them, workers get a human-centered connection to AI and work process applications, receiving critical updates, convenient workflow and task confirmations, and notifications in real time, all while wearing a pair of glasses that workers will enjoy having on. Vuzix Z100 smart glasses pair seamlessly via Bluetooth with Android or iOS IOT devices. They represent the first attractive, functional bridge between AI platform tools, where situational guidance can streamline workflows, and human workers can reap the benefits of a truly connected workplace. In addition to a lightweight AI interface, Vuzix Z100 glasses can augment the data feed from finger scanners, sensors, controllers, and other equipment with minimal native UI, making that data available in a new and highly accessible format. Tasks with sub-standard user feedback due to device or process limitations can now have their workflows displayed in the user's heads up display, providing human-centered outputs and real-time updates. Running up to 48 hours on a single charge, Vuzix Z100 smart glasses pack industry-defining heads-up waveguide technology into a sleek, fashionable form factor that weighs in at just 35 grams – the weight of a standard pair of glasses. Advanced monocular waveguide optics, combined with Vuzix' custom micro display engine, create a crisp, transparent, monochrome image that can deliver all the important information on a user's Android or iOS device, hands-free right before their eyes. Wearers get heads-up access to important task information, from language translation and closed captioning, to directions, to health and workout status, to messaging, workflow outputs and much more. Best of all, Vuzix Z100 smart glasses provide a sleek, attractive form factor that frontline employees will want to wear. "The Z100 takes enterprise use of AR smart glasses to the next level, providing workers with a hands-free wearable that is indistinguishable from a pair a standard glasses," said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix. "This rollout is in overwhelming response to interest expressed by enterprise customers in an attractive and light weight pair of smart glasses that can augment current workflows with AI optimization software. There are customers across numerous market verticals and use cases that we believe will embrace this product as fashionable and affordable productivity device that workers will enjoy wearing all day every day." About Vuzix Corporation Vuzix is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the enterprise, medical, defense and consumer markets. The Company's products include head-mounted smart personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high-quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and augmented reality, as well OEM waveguide optical components and display engines. Vuzix holds more than 350 patents and patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the fields of optics, head-mounted displays, and augmented reality Video Eyewear field. Moviynt, an SAP Certified ERP SaaS logistics solution provider, is a Vuzix wholly owned subsidiary. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2024 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company with offices in: Rochester, NY; Munich, Germany; and Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan.

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ARound and Immersal Team Up to Revolutionize Augmented Reality in Sports and Live Entertainment

PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

ARound, the pioneering shared augmented reality (AR) platform, part of Stagwell, is excited to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Immersal, leaders in spatial computing and AR localization technology, and part of Hexagon. By creating a turn-key WebAR solution for stadium AR, this partnership facilitates easier integration of shared AR experiences for teams, venues, and events, broadening the scope of interactive fan engagement. ARound and Immersal are poised to announce their inaugural collaboration with a major sports league next month, marking a significant milestone in bringing this innovative vision to life. This partnership combines ARound's connected, shared AR technology that has transformed live fan experiences for professional sports teams across three professional leagues – MLB, NBA, NFL – including the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Royals, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Immersal's visual positioning system (VPS) that creates centimeter-accurate, large-scale indoor and outdoor AR experiences. "This partnership is a game-changer in the world of sports and live entertainment as we collaborate to make stadium AR experiences more accessible and ubiquitous to all fans and types of events," said Josh Beatty, founder and CEO, ARound. "By integrating our fan engagement platform with Immersal's robust localization technology, we can seamlessly create dynamic digital experiences that put fans at the center of the action while scaling to new audiences around the world." The integration of ARound and Immersal technologies yields greater access and broader use cases of AR experiences through WebAR, enhancing the overall quality and ease of integration for in-stadium entertainment. Fans can interact with live events in real-time, participating in AR games, accessing real-time game content, and enjoying shared experiences with fellow attendees, all from their smartphones without the need for a standalone app. Brands and sponsors will also now be able to connect with audiences in innovative, meaningful ways, enhancing their marketing mix and creating new avenues for engagement. "We're committed to innovating and enhancing AR experiences at live events and our technology, combined with ARound's exciting platform, will set a new benchmark in how fans interact with live sports and entertainment, offering them an engaging and memorable experience like never before," Matias Koski, CEO, Immersal. This groundbreaking partnership heralds a new era in fan engagement, offering sports teams, venues, and brands an unparalleled platform to connect with audiences. Combining ARound's interactive fan experiences with Immersal's precision technology, the stage is now set for a revolution in live entertainment. About ARound ARound is a first-of-its-kind stadium-level shared augmented reality platform and is part of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, a proprietary suite of SaaS solutions built for the modern marketer. ARound keeps audiences engaged by capturing their attention through immersive, interactive and shared experiences with fellow fans across the venue. Where other AR products offer isolating, singular experiences, ARound's massive multi-user AR – which uses 3D spatial computing to localize content – redefines what it means to be part of a connected fan experience. It was the winner of Stagwell's annual innovation competition which invests in new product ideas proposed by the network's 13,000+ employees. ARound and the Stagwell Marketing Cloud are a part of Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing. About Immersal Immersal, part of Hexagon, is building world-leading spatial mapping and visual positioning tools — the foundation of the metaverse. Founded in 2015, Immersal's team is based in Helsinki, Finland, and working with partners, developers and creators across the globe to reimagine how we explore, interact and create. Immersal also has sales offices in Hong Kong and in Silicon Valley, California, and is expanding its presence and partner networks globally. The company was acquired by Hexagon in 2021 and continues to pursue the vision of a metaverse built and experienced by everyone on any device. Hexagon has approximately 24,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 5.2bn EUR.

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Leostream Enhances Security and Management of vSphere Hybrid Cloud Deployments

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

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Vuzix Introduces Z100 Smart Glasses to Seamlessly Connect Workers with AI Optimization Tools

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

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ARound and Immersal Team Up to Revolutionize Augmented Reality in Sports and Live Entertainment

PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

ARound, the pioneering shared augmented reality (AR) platform, part of Stagwell, is excited to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Immersal, leaders in spatial computing and AR localization technology, and part of Hexagon. By creating a turn-key WebAR solution for stadium AR, this partnership facilitates easier integration of shared AR experiences for teams, venues, and events, broadening the scope of interactive fan engagement. ARound and Immersal are poised to announce their inaugural collaboration with a major sports league next month, marking a significant milestone in bringing this innovative vision to life. This partnership combines ARound's connected, shared AR technology that has transformed live fan experiences for professional sports teams across three professional leagues – MLB, NBA, NFL – including the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Royals, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Immersal's visual positioning system (VPS) that creates centimeter-accurate, large-scale indoor and outdoor AR experiences. "This partnership is a game-changer in the world of sports and live entertainment as we collaborate to make stadium AR experiences more accessible and ubiquitous to all fans and types of events," said Josh Beatty, founder and CEO, ARound. "By integrating our fan engagement platform with Immersal's robust localization technology, we can seamlessly create dynamic digital experiences that put fans at the center of the action while scaling to new audiences around the world." The integration of ARound and Immersal technologies yields greater access and broader use cases of AR experiences through WebAR, enhancing the overall quality and ease of integration for in-stadium entertainment. Fans can interact with live events in real-time, participating in AR games, accessing real-time game content, and enjoying shared experiences with fellow attendees, all from their smartphones without the need for a standalone app. Brands and sponsors will also now be able to connect with audiences in innovative, meaningful ways, enhancing their marketing mix and creating new avenues for engagement. "We're committed to innovating and enhancing AR experiences at live events and our technology, combined with ARound's exciting platform, will set a new benchmark in how fans interact with live sports and entertainment, offering them an engaging and memorable experience like never before," Matias Koski, CEO, Immersal. This groundbreaking partnership heralds a new era in fan engagement, offering sports teams, venues, and brands an unparalleled platform to connect with audiences. Combining ARound's interactive fan experiences with Immersal's precision technology, the stage is now set for a revolution in live entertainment. About ARound ARound is a first-of-its-kind stadium-level shared augmented reality platform and is part of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, a proprietary suite of SaaS solutions built for the modern marketer. ARound keeps audiences engaged by capturing their attention through immersive, interactive and shared experiences with fellow fans across the venue. Where other AR products offer isolating, singular experiences, ARound's massive multi-user AR – which uses 3D spatial computing to localize content – redefines what it means to be part of a connected fan experience. It was the winner of Stagwell's annual innovation competition which invests in new product ideas proposed by the network's 13,000+ employees. ARound and the Stagwell Marketing Cloud are a part of Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing. About Immersal Immersal, part of Hexagon, is building world-leading spatial mapping and visual positioning tools — the foundation of the metaverse. Founded in 2015, Immersal's team is based in Helsinki, Finland, and working with partners, developers and creators across the globe to reimagine how we explore, interact and create. Immersal also has sales offices in Hong Kong and in Silicon Valley, California, and is expanding its presence and partner networks globally. The company was acquired by Hexagon in 2021 and continues to pursue the vision of a metaverse built and experienced by everyone on any device. Hexagon has approximately 24,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 5.2bn EUR.

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