VMware acquires Bitfusion to virtualize hardware accelerators

dailyhostnews | July 22, 2019

VMware has unveiled its plan to acquire the US-based startup Bitfusion to help enterprises more efficiently use artificial intelligence (AI) on-premises and in hybrid cloud environments.Founded in 2015, Bitfusion provides virtualization software for AI infrastructure, with a strong focus on GPU technology.Hardware accelerators like GPUs (graphic processor units), FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) provide efficiency and flexibility into the AI space. But the hardware accelerators generally used are deployed with bare-metal practices, which aren’t much efficient. Virtualizing the hardware accelerators can speed up the sharing of resources and optimize costs.With Bitfusion acquisition, VMware will be well-positioned to support AI workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators. Its solution brings more sophisticated management by “sharing of graphics card resources between isolated GPU workloads.

Spotlight

Last year, the rise of cryptocurrency prices – like Bitcoin – triggered a surge in boardroom discussions around blockchain. Although the crypto market has since fuctuated wildly, blockchain conversations remain. Analysts and industry experts have concluded that, despite the volatile and speculative nature of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology is undeniably valuable. Now, technology leaders around the world are exploring ways to leverage blockchain technology, create stable platforms and capitalize on decentralized networks.

Spotlight

Last year, the rise of cryptocurrency prices – like Bitcoin – triggered a surge in boardroom discussions around blockchain. Although the crypto market has since fuctuated wildly, blockchain conversations remain. Analysts and industry experts have concluded that, despite the volatile and speculative nature of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology is undeniably valuable. Now, technology leaders around the world are exploring ways to leverage blockchain technology, create stable platforms and capitalize on decentralized networks.

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VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES

Verizon moves commercial traffic onto its 5G core

Verizon | October 19, 2022

After initial testing and friendly user trials of Verizon’s 5G core, the company recently began moving customer traffic onto the new cloud-native, containerized design core, which will offer unprecedented levels of service agility, flexibility and automated scalability. The Service-based architecture of the core consists of software applications, compute resources, networking, and storage. It is the part of the network that enables IP connectivity between a customer on the Verizon network and the services that a customer wants to use such as Internet access, voice calls, and enterprise applications. A higher level of operational autonomy unleashed in Verizon’s 5G core design will be critical for the next generation of services being enabled by new network technologies to serve consumer and enterprise customers. “Our mission has always been to build and operate the best, most reliable, highest performing, and secure networks in the world, The 5G Core is a critical step in achieving our goal. From the densification and virtualization work in the Radio Access Network, to the architectural design changes in the core of the network developed specifically for telco workloads, we are working to ensure customers not only have access to 5G, but have the most advanced, secure, and robust network to support the remarkable new solutions being developed on 5G technology.” Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Network Technology, Strategy, and Planning at Verizon The Verizon Cloud Platform (VCP), on which the 5G core is built, is based on a Webscale software architecture with advanced technologies designed specifically for telco workloads. VCP is a distributed platform that supports edge services, private cloud services, Network Function Virtualization tools, Cloud Native Functions, Web applications, mapping and spatial analysis tools, orchestration tools, service assurance tools, auto-remediation, and compute offerings. Using VCP, Verizon’s 5G core will be able to achieve new levels of operational automation and adaptability to create differentiated customer experiences. This directional technology platform that enables MEC will support stand alone, non-stand alone, and VoNR services. Benefits of the 5G Core The advanced capabilities, high speed, increased bandwidth, and low latency of 5G is inspiring development of a wide variety of new use cases that include everything from massive numbers of IoT devices that use very few network resources, to smartphones with nearly infinite opportunities to use data, to more complex solutions such as AR/VR and mixed reality that will require massive computing capabilities and low latency on the edge of the network. Those solutions will each require different combinations of network capabilities. The 5G standalone core’s cloud-native virtualized applications, in combination with built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), will enable the dynamic allocation of the appropriate resources, referred to as network slicing. It will also allow for automated network configuration changes, including the ability to scale up or scale down network function capacity - to provide the right service levels and network resources needed for each use case. In addition to network slicing and dynamic resource allocation, Verizon’s new 5G core will provide other benefits: Real-time resource management of Radio Access Network and core virtual container-based network functions Advanced analytics of network data to improve network performance Optimized services between Verizon's fixed and mobile networks Scalable, more cost-efficient architecture Ability to move workloads to fit use case requirements “Bringing traffic onto the newly designed core coincides with the ecosystem development around us. With a critical number of customers now having devices that can access the advanced features of the 5G core and the solutions and applications development – especially for enterprise customers – really taking off, now is the ideal time to move traffic onto the new core,” said Koeppe.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

The End-User Experience Must Be the Top Consideration When Implementing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Says Info-Tech Research Group

Info-Tech Research Group | November 04, 2022

Global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group has released a new blueprint titled Considerations for a Move to Virtual Desktops. The industry resource was created to assist IT professionals in considering virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or desktop as a service (DaaS). These solutions can increase user satisfaction, reduce IT complexity, decrease management and storage costs, and maintain a secure and effective environment for both the end user and the business. Info-Tech's new research analyzes the user experience data that the IT industry tracks but often doesn't use or even consider. VDI or DaaS users expect the user experience to be at least equal to that provided by a physical desktop and typically do not concern themselves with the underlying infrastructure. If the experience is less, it means IT has failed in the considerations for VDI/DaaS. "If employees are the competitive edge and key differentiators for a business, Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) has a duty of care to ensure that the employees' digital experience enables and does not impede the value of that asset," John Annand, principal director at Info-Tech Research Group Hybrid work environments and the security concerns that come with them have accelerated the move to VDI and DaaS solutions, but implementation comes with its own unique set of challenges to consider when deciding which solution is best suited for the business. In addition to considering the user experience, IT must also ensure productivity standards throughout the process, both strategically and tactically. Common obstacles IT departments may encounter include complicated shared infrastructure, inadequate in-house training, or insufficient staff to execute migration or manage post-migration activities such as governance and retention policies and other security, compliance, legal, and data classification concerns. Info-Tech Research Group recommends that organizations define their end goals, frame solutions based on end-user workloads, and understand the pros and cons to decide which solutions will best meet business needs. The new data-backed blueprint offers self-evaluation tools and questions IT leaders can ask themselves in order to accomplish these steps: Define and build your value hypothesis/proposition\ What is the business case? Who is championing the investment? Identify the project management team and stakeholders. Set goals to be achieved based on value. Identify KPIs and metrics to measure success. Identify use cases and personas Identify possible user friction (e.g., emotional, cognitive, interaction). Understand current infrastructure shortcomings and capabilities (e.g., network, security posture and tolerance, staffing needs, qualified technicians, end-user devices, etc.). Articulate use cases into functional and non-functional requirements Separate must-haves and nice-to-haves. Categorize requirements into identifiable functionality capabilities. Review your outputs and identify "gotchas" using the MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) principle. Conducting a self-evaluation of the business and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of in-house technical skills and business requirements will assist IT leaders in making the right decision when it comes to VDI or DaaS solutions. About Info-Tech Research Group Info-Tech Research Group is one of the world's leading information technology research and advisory firms, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals. The company produces unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. For 25 years, Info-Tech has partnered closely with IT teams to provide them with everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations. Media professionals can register for unrestricted access to research across IT, HR, and software and over 200 IT and Industry analysts through the ITRG Media Insiders Program.

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VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES

OpsRamp Powers VSO’s Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Management Services

OpsRamp | September 15, 2022

OpsRamp, the digital operations management company, has partnered with Virtual Service Operations (VSO), a leader in hybrid and multi-cloud managed services, to power VSO’s virtual Service Quality Operations Division (vSQOD) Managed Services offering. VSO is using OpsRamp’s digital operations management platform for monitoring and alerting of hybrid and multi-cloud workloads and patching-as-a-service across its customer accounts. VSO manages a variety of technologies, both on-customer-premises and in public cloud environments, all unified in the OpsRamp platform. The OpsRamp multi-tier, multi-tenant SaaS-based platform allows VSO to monitor and manage Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, VMware, Kubernetes, and much more from a single pane of glass. “The benefit of OpsRamp is that it goes across all of those different cloud environments and our on-premises footprint as well, We are able to monitor globally, by region, and by customer.” Laura Richardson, Chief Technology Officer of VSO VSO supports multiple environments 24/7 through its vSQOD service, using OpsRamp for alert handling, event correlation and escalation, integrated with Jira Service Management. Improved uptime, greater resiliency and security, and lower operational costs are all benefits customers have enjoyed from working with VSO, powered by OpsRamp. “It all starts in OpsRamp,” said Richardson. “We use OpsRamp as a clearinghouse for alerts, then after event correlation it feeds Jira with actionable tickets. We can quiet the noise so the tickets that hit Jira get immediate focus.” More than 60% of the vSQOD are veterans of the US Armed Forces. VSO founders Steve O’Keefe and John Birch launched the company at the start of 2018 with a veteran-centric mission propelled by their past experience working with highly-trained and adaptable service members. While some of vSQOD’s hires come to the firm with subject matter expertise in IT that they gained in the military, VSO offers transitioning service members with an interest in tech the opportunity to train with Skillbridge before separation from the armed forces. They can then advance their technical training through internal skill-mapping or partnership courses once in the field. “We hire veterans, train them in teams and deploy them in teams,” said Richardson. “More than 200,000 people exit the military each year, after having spent years in one or more of the US military’s 4000 schools. It’s a great pool of talent to draw from. Veterans work well in teams, have excellent leadership qualities, and thrive as IT professionals. VSO’s Managed Services are outstanding because of them.” “OpsRamp is honored to be the IT operations management platform of choice for VSO and support its mission of hiring and training veterans for careers in IT,” said Jim Lampert, vice president of global strategic accounts at OpsRamp. “OpsRamp helps MSPs to grow their business, improve customer outcomes and reduce operational costs.” VSO is one of several recent customer success stories OpsRamp has announced in the MSP space including: Liquid IT: Reduced alert noise by 95% resulting in lower mean time to detect and resolve incidents and increased service availability. Pinnacle Technology Partners: Reduced alert floods so they now only have to respond to critical events, allowing them to reduce mean time to repair, and automate high-volume, time-consuming IT operations tasks. WinWire: Reduced event noise by 90%, automated 70% of routine IT operations tasks and managed the same number of clients with 50% less staff effort. About OpsRamp: OpsRamp is a digital operations management software company whose SaaS platform is used by managed service providers and enterprise IT teams to monitor and manage their cloud and on-premises infrastructure. Key capabilities of the OpsRamp platform include hybrid infrastructure discovery and monitoring, event and incident management, and remediation and automation, all of which are powered by artificial intelligence. About VSO: Virtual Service Operations is a U.S.-based Managed Services and Engineering firm for infrastructure, cloud, and hybrid environments. Its military veteran workforce provides reliable, secure, and cost-effective solutions for companies in need of a flexible, affordable approach to hybrid architecture and data management.

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