VMware and Google unveil strategic partnership

IT News Africa | August 01, 2019

Google Cloud and VMware have announced a new service that will allow organisations to run their VMware workloads in Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The Google Cloud VMware Solution by CloudSimple will leverage VMware Cloud Foundation infrastructure software.“Customers increasingly want to run their mission-critical workloads, including those from VMware, in Google Cloud,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. “We’re delighted to partner with VMware to support these workloads, enabling customers to leverage Google Cloud’s core competencies such as secure, performant, global and highly available infrastructure, AI, ML and analytics.

Spotlight

Virtualization initiatives have gained momentum as businesses seek ways to reduce operations costs and complexity in the face of a weak economy and rising power costs. Green IT initiatives are being launched in many organizations to help reduce the impact of rising costs on the overall enterprise bottom line. At the same time, increasingly complex IT infrastructures are demanding more management time and resources, which are already in short supply. Virtualization offers one way to help organizations address these demands.

Spotlight

Virtualization initiatives have gained momentum as businesses seek ways to reduce operations costs and complexity in the face of a weak economy and rising power costs. Green IT initiatives are being launched in many organizations to help reduce the impact of rising costs on the overall enterprise bottom line. At the same time, increasingly complex IT infrastructures are demanding more management time and resources, which are already in short supply. Virtualization offers one way to help organizations address these demands.

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VIRTUAL SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE

AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon EC2 Hpc6a Instances

Amazon Web Services | January 11, 2022

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) announced the general availability of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Hpc6a instances, a new instance type that is purpose-built for tightly coupled high performance computing (HPC) workloads. Hpc6a instances, powered by 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors, expand AWS’s portfolio of HPC compute options and deliver up to 65% better price performance compared to similar compute-optimized Amazon EC2 instances that customers use for HPC workloads today. Hpc6a instances make it even more cost-efficient for customers to scale HPC clusters on AWS to run their most compute-intensive workloads like genomics, computational fluid dynamics, weather forecasting, molecular dynamics, computational chemistry, financial risk modeling, computer-aided engineering, and seismic imaging. Hpc6a instances are available on demand via a low-cost, pay-as-you-go usage model with no upfront commitments. To get started with Hpc6a instances, visit aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/hpc6. Organizations across numerous sectors rely on HPC to solve their most complex academic, scientific, and business problems. However, effectively using HPC is expensive because it requires the ability to process large amounts of data, which demands an abundance of compute power, fast memory and storage, and low-latency networking within HPC clusters. Some organizations build infrastructure on premises to run HPC workloads, but that involves expensive upfront capital investment, lengthy procurement cycles, ongoing management of overhead to monitor hardware and keep software up to date, and limited flexibility when the infrastructure inevitably becomes obsolete and must be upgraded. Customers across many industries run their HPC workloads in the cloud to take advantage of the superior security, scalability, and elasticity it offers. Engineers, researchers, and scientists rely on AWS to run their largest and most complex HPC workloads and choose Amazon EC2 instances with senhanced networking (e.g. C5n, R5n, M5n, and C6gn) to scale tightly coupled HPC workloads that require high levels of inter-instance communications with thousands of interdependent tasks. While the performance of these instances is sufficient for most HPC use cases, as workloads further scale to solve increasingly difficult problems, customers are looking to maximize price performance as they run HPC workloads that can grow to tens of thousands of servers on AWS. New Hpc6a instances are purpose-built to offer the best price performance for running HPC workloads at scale in the cloud. Hpc6a instances deliver up to 65% better price performance for HPC workloads to carry out complex calculations across a range of cluster sizes—up to tens of thousands of cores. Hpc6a instances are enabled with Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA)—a network interface for Amazon EC2 instances—by default. With EFA networking, customers benefit from low latency, low jitter, and up to 100 Gbps of EFA networking bandwidth to increase operational efficiency and drive faster time-to-results for workloads that rely on inter-instance communications. Hpc6a instances are powered by 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors that run at frequencies up to 3.6 GHz and provide 384 GB of memory. Using Hpc6a instances, customers can more cost-effectively tackle their biggest and most difficult academic, scientific, and business problems with HPC, and realize the benefits of AWS with superior price performance. By consistently innovating and creating new purpose-built Amazon EC2 instances for virtually every type of workload, AWS customers have realized huge price performance benefits for some of today’s most business-critical applications. While high performance computing has helped solve some of the most difficult problems in science, engineering, and business, effectively running HPC workloads can be cost-prohibitive for many organizations. Purpose-built for HPC workloads, Hpc6a instances now help customers realize up to 65% better price performance for their HPC clusters at virtually any scale, so they can focus on solving the biggest problems that matter to them most without the cost barriers that exist today.” David Brown, Vice President of Amazon EC2 at AWS “We are excited to continue our momentum with AWS and provide their customers with this new, powerful instance for high performance computing workloads,” said Dan McNamara, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Server Business at AMD. “AMD EPYC processors are helping customers of all sizes solve some of their biggest and most complex problems. From small universities to enterprises to large research facilities, Hpc6a instances powered by 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors open up the world of powerful HPC performance with cloud scalability to more customers around the world.” Customers can use Hpc6a instances with AWS ParallelCluster (an open-source cluster management tool) to provision Hpc6a instances alongside other instance types, giving customers the flexibility to run different workload types optimized for different instances within the same HPC cluster. Hpc6a instances benefit from the AWS Nitro System, a collection of building blocks that offload many of the traditional virtualization functions to dedicated hardware and software to deliver high performance, high availability, and increased security while also reducing virtualization overhead. Hpc6a instances are available for purchase as On-Demand Instances or Reserved Instances, or with Savings Plans. Hpc6a instances are available in US East (Ohio) and AWS GovCloud (US-West), with availability in additional AWS Regions coming soon. Maxar partners with innovative businesses and more than 50 governments to monitor global change, deliver broadband communications, and advance space operations with capabilities in Space Infrastructure and Earth Intelligence. “Amazon EC2 Hpc6a instances are yet another exciting announcement from AWS that enables Maxar to continue to meet and exceed our customer requirements for big compute workflows—whether to accelerate the research and operations of Numerical Weather Prediction workloads or to create the world’s best, most up-to-date, and accurate digital twin models with our Maxar Precision3D product suite,” said Dan Nord, SVP and Chief Product Officer at Maxar Technologies. “Hpc6a’s AMD EPYC processors combined with the EFA networking capability provide us a 60% performance improvement over alternatives, while also being more cost efficient. This enables Maxar to strategically choose among the suite of AWS HPC cluster configurations that we’ve developed to best suit our clients’ needs while maximizing flexibility and resiliency.” DTN’s global weather station network delivers hyper-local, accurate, and real-time weather intelligence to empower organizations with actionable insights. “Our collaboration with AWS allows us to better serve our customers with high-resolution weather prediction systems that feed analytics engines,” said Lars Ewe, Chief Technology Officer at DTN. “We’re very excited to see the price performance of Hpc6a instances, and we expect this to be our go-to Amazon EC2 instance choice for HPC workloads going forward.” TotalCAE has over 20 years of experience with HPC for computer-aided engineering (CAE). TotalCAE helps eliminate IT headaches by professionally managing customers’ HPC engineering environment and engineering applications so they can focus on engineering, and not IT. “TotalCAE Platform makes it easy for CAE departments to adopt the agility and flexibility of AWS in just a few clicks for hundreds of engineering applications like Ansys Fluent, Siemens Simcenter STAR-CCM+, and Dassault Systèmes Abaqus,” said Rod Mach, President at TotalCAE. “As an AWS HPC Competency Partner, we help customers run their CAE workloads in the cloud. With HPC6a instances, we have seen up to a 30% performance boost for computational fluid dynamics workloads at a lower cost, enabling TotalCAE to offer customers industry leading price performance and scalability in the cloud.” About Amazon Web Services For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 84 Availability Zones (AZs) within 26 geographic regions, with announced plans for 24 more Availability Zones and eight more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. About Amazon Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon.

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VPN

Infotecs virtualizes ViPNet VPN via Docker Container for PLCnext Control by Phoenix Contact

Infotecs Internet Security Software GmbH, Phoenix Contact | September 15, 2021

Infotecs, the leading international vendor of IT security products from Berlin, provides its encryption solution for PLCnext Control by Phoenix Contact. With it, Infotecs virtualizes its encryption module via a docker container directly on the controller. Operators of distributed industrial manufacturing systems are increasingly integrating machines and systems into their IT infrastructure. This is necessary to control and continuously monitor the production flows and to register relevant statistics. Connecting production systems to IP-based networks is a technical challenge. In the industrial area, these systems are increasingly becoming a target of cyber attacks. Distributed production is a serious problem requiring a proven security solution. Phoenix Contact with its PLCnext Technology has created a prerequisite for the safe operation of machines and systems. This is possible, among other things, due to a VPN (virtual private network) solution by Infotecs GmbH. The software vendor deploys it directly on the controller and thus creates secure end-to-end encryption. As a result, confidential machine data transferred from the systems and connected network into a SCADA control system is protected against unauthorized access. PLCnext Technology enables an easy integration into an existing OT infrastructure. "ViPNet VPN solution by Infotecs, virtualized via a docker container, is now available for PLCnext Control by Phoenix Contact. Deployment of ViPNet VPN on these devices protects data transfer within production environments to the endpoint and thus creates a prerequisite for secure remote maintenance access to sensitive industrial systems and applications. ViPNet VPN is available as an on-premise or as a cloud solution," says Josef Waclaw, CEO at Infotecs. PLCnext Control AXC F 2152 is a part of the PLCnext ecosystem by Phoenix Contact. The control combines robustness and security of a classic SPS with openness and flexibility of the world of smart devices. With PLCnext Technology, Phoenix Contact responds to the challenges of the IIoT world and simplifies existing control solutions. This solution transforms automation as boundaries disappear and new possibilities for industrial automation emerge. AboutInfotecs A leading international security solutions provider and pioneer of software-based VPN solutions since 1991, Infotecs developed our Peer-to-Peer ViPNet technology to deliver greater security, flexibility, and performance. We strive to continuously deliver value to our customers through developing the most advanced, innovative security solutions that are also cost-effective and easy to deploy and maintain. The Infotecs ViPNet Security and Threat Intelligence Platform provides complete multi-layer security in one cost-effective solution that supports true endpoint-to-endpoint security and seamlessly integrates into existing networks.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Cortavo Revolutionizes Virtual Private Server Performance With a Data Center Refresh

Cortavo | September 14, 2021

Cortavo™, a leading IT managed services provider (MSP), has undertaken a full-scale infrastructure refresh spanning May to July of 2021. Cortavo's Engineering Leads Peter Miles and Paul Coad partnered with Tom Lasswell, their Vice President of IT Operations for the project. This internal team completely upgraded the Cortavo data center hardware supporting their VPS cloud service and all their hosted customers. Normally, hardware and software refreshes represent a standard routine of continuous system hygiene required of all data centers, yet this refresh was far from the routine. The overhaul included new cabinets, robust servers, the latest Intel® CPUs, more RAM, better cabling and generous storage hardware. The refresh also consisted of a host software upgrade to the latest version of VMware and vCloud Director, widening their storage capacity to operate faster with plenty of extra capacity for growth and upgrading their internet connectivity. Cortavo's technology refresh marks the debut of Cortavo Cloud®, its VPS cloud hosting service offered to small and medium-sized businesses. This refresh fortifies system capacity to shoulder the demands of Cortavo's new suite of cloud services, stepping up user experience through several key benefits, including: Processing Speeds: the overhaul replaced the previous processors with the latest generation of Intel 3.1 GHz processers, thereby raising the clock speed for better user performance and experience. SD-WAN: new hardware appliances allow for redundant internet connection through a vast peering network with other major data centers spanning a secure tunnel. This tunnel connects through a powerful backbone beginning with a major local hub, producing a short communications pathway with increased speed, resulting in a better browsing and phone experience with no latency. Cortavo Cloud's new hosting offers a full, redundant internet connection leveraging two channels and two different carriers for enhanced speed by prioritizing channels of least resistance. Enhanced Storage: accompanying a recent enlargement of storage, all primary workloads run on solid-state drives while nearline storage for archive and retention resides on advanced Seagate® hard drive storage. vCloud Director: allows for multi-tenancy in a VMware® environment. This environment grants console entry to view the machine's admin panel as a typical administrator, thus offering an access level currently unavailable with other major cloud providers. System security scales with usage and multi-tenancy, and NSX-TTM Data Center adds a virtualization layer to the network providing another layer of software protection. "As many project participants have realized, this is not simply a routine refresh, but also an upgrade," Tom Lasswell stated. "With this new infrastructure in place, our Cortavo Cloud VPS customers and users should experience lightning-fast interactions, proceed with the confidence of heightened security and enjoy console access seldom granted with big cloud providers. This is a huge leap forward for our clients and they're going to feel the difference as they use our services." About Cortavo Cortavo is an all-inclusive MSP solution created by Aventis Systems. Based in Atlanta, GA, Cortavo provides all the hardware, software and cloud services necessary to address small businesses' technology needs and challenges at a predictable monthly cost. Cortavo manages technology expansion and supports thousands of small business employees throughout the Southeastern United States.

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