VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated: A Year in Review

VMware
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 The APIs listed below will not be served with v1.22 as they have been replaced by more stable API versions: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.

Spotlight

BeyondTrust

BeyondTrust is the worldwide leader in Privileged Access Management (PAM), empowering organizations to secure and manage their entire universe of privileges. Our integrated products and platform offer the industry's most advanced PAM solution, enabling organizations to quickly shrink their attack surface across traditional, cloud and hybrid environments. The BeyondTrust Universal Privilege Management approach secures and protects privileges across passwords, endpoints, and access, giving organizations the visibility and control they need to reduce risk, achieve compliance, and boost operational performance. We are trusted by 20,000 customers, including 78 of the Fortune 100, and a global partner network.

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Addressing Multi-Cloud Complexity with VMware Tanzu

Article | May 2, 2023

Introduction With cloud computing on the path to becoming the mother of all transformations, particularly in IT's ways of development and operations, we are once again confronted with the problem of conversion errors, this time a hundredfold higher than previous moves to dispersed computing and the web. While the issue is evident, the remedies are not so obvious. Cloud complexity is the outcome of the fast acceleration of cloud migration and net-new innovation without consideration of the complexity this introduces in operations. Almost all businesses are already working in a multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud environment. According to an IDC report, 93% of enterprises utilize multiple clouds. The decision could have stemmed from a desire to save money and avoid vendor lock-in, increase resilience, or businesses might have found themselves with several clouds as a result of the compounding activities of different teams. When it comes to strategic technology choices, relatively few businesses begin by asking, "How can we secure and control our technology?" Must-Follow Methods for Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Success Data Analysis at Any Size, from Any Source: To proactively recognize, warn, and guide investigations, teams should be able to utilize all data throughout the cloud and on-premises. Insights in Real-Time: Considering the temporary nature of containerized operations and functions as a service, businesses cannot wait minutes to determine whether they are experiencing infrastructure difficulties. Only a scalable streaming architecture can ingest, analyze, and alert rapidly enough to discover and investigate problems before they have a major impact on consumers. Analytics That Enables Teams to Act: Because multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud strategies do not belong in a single team, businesses must be able to evaluate data inside and across teams in order to make decisions and take action swiftly. How Can VMware Help in Solving Multi-Cloud and Hybrid-Cloud Complexity? VMware made several announcements indicating a new strategy focused on modern applications. Their approach focuses on two VMware products: vSphere with Kubernetes and Tanzu. Since then, much has been said about VMware's modern app approach, and several products have launched. Let's focus on VMware Tanzu. VMware Tanzu Tanzu is a product that enables organizations to upgrade both their apps and the infrastructure that supports them. In the same way that VMware wants vRealize to be known for cloud management and automation, Tanzu wants to be known for modern business applications. Tanzu uses Kubernetes to build and manage modern applications. In Tanzu, there is just one development environment and one deployment process. VMware Tanzu is compatible with both private and public cloud infrastructures. Closing Lines The important point is that the Tanzu portfolio offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of where applications operate and how they are controlled. We observe an increase in demand for operating an application on any cloud, and how VMware Tanzu assists us in streamlining the multi-cloud operation for MLOps pipeline. Apart from multi-cloud operation, it is critical to monitor and alarm each component throughout the MLOps lifecycle, from Kubernetes pods and inference services to data and model performance.

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Metasploitable: A Platform for Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

Article | December 7, 2021

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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VMware NSX 3.2 Delivers New, Advanced Security Capabilities

Article | June 8, 2023

It’s an impactful release focused on significant NSX Security enhancements Putting a hard shell around a soft core is not a recipe for success in security, but somehow legacy security architectures for application protection have often looked exactly like that: a hard perimeter firewall layer for an application infrastructure that was fundamentally not built with security as a primary concern. VMware NSX Distributed Firewall pioneered the micro-segmentation concept for granular access controls for cloud applications with the initial launch of the product in 2013. The promise of Zero Trust security for applications, the simplicity of deployment of the solution, and the ease of achieving internal security objectives made NSX an instant success for security-sensitive customers. 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. With NSX-T 3.2, we’re introducing the ability to directly connect to Microsoft Active Directory to support user identity mapping. In addition, for customers who do not use Active Directory for user authentication, NSX also supports VMware vRealize LogInsight as an additional method to carry out user identity mapping. This feature enhancement is applicable for both NSX Distributed Firewall as well as NSX Gateway Firewall. Enhanced L7 Application Identification for Distributed and Gateway Firewalls NSX supported Layer-7 application identification-based access control in earlier releases. With NSX-T 3.2, we are enhancing the signature set to about 750 applications. While several perimeter firewall vendors claim a larger set of Layer-7 application signatures, they focus mostly on internet application identification (like Facebook, for example). Our focus with NSX at this time is on internal applications hosted by enterprises. 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. NSX Gateway Firewall in 3.2 introduces the capability to restrict access to internet sites. Access can be limited based on either the category the URL belongs to, or the “reputation” of the URL. The URL to category and reputation mapping is constantly updated by VMware so customer intent is enforced automatically even after many changes in the internet sites themselves.

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Server Hypervisors

Network Virtualization: The Future of Businesses and Networks

Article | September 9, 2022

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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Spotlight

BeyondTrust

BeyondTrust is the worldwide leader in Privileged Access Management (PAM), empowering organizations to secure and manage their entire universe of privileges. Our integrated products and platform offer the industry's most advanced PAM solution, enabling organizations to quickly shrink their attack surface across traditional, cloud and hybrid environments. The BeyondTrust Universal Privilege Management approach secures and protects privileges across passwords, endpoints, and access, giving organizations the visibility and control they need to reduce risk, achieve compliance, and boost operational performance. We are trusted by 20,000 customers, including 78 of the Fortune 100, and a global partner network.

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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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Virtualized Environments

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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Virtualized Environments

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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Virtual Desktop Tools, Virtual Desktop Strategies

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.

Read More

Virtualized Environments

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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Virtualized Environments

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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Events