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VMware Enhances vSphere with Nvidia AI Software Support

VMware | March 25, 2021

With the arrival of vSphere 7 Update 2 in early March 2021, VMware took a significant step into the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and now support for Nvidia AI software has arrived on its flagship platform.

This wasn't entirely surprising. Nvidia and VMware announced a collaboration during September's online VMworld event, intending to have Nvidia's AI Enterprise software accessible on VMware's platform for deploying and managing virtual machines.

With this latest release, vSphere is "exclusively certified" to run Nvidia's AI Enterprise applications and frameworks, which have now been containerized and can be run through an organization's infrastructure rather than in a silo. This, of course, means more support for Nvidia GPUs, which are needed to run the software.

"It opens up for both of us a good opportunity," Lee Caswell, vice president of marketing at VMware, told ITPro Today. "We're looking to go and help AI become mainstream in the enterprise. They're looking to open that up for all of our 300,000 vSphere customers, who can now have access to these new capabilities."

Access to this market is vital for Nvidia because it will improve revenues in their data center division, which generated $6.7 billion in the previous fiscal year.

Obtaining a position in the emerging enterprise AI market is also essential for VMware, which has spent the last few years expanding its offerings beyond the virtualization technology it pioneered, mostly by acquisitions; in 2018, VMware added cloud-native technology to its portfolio with the purchase of the Kubernetes startup Heptio, and about a year later bought back Pivotal a cloud-native platform. Access to this market is vital for Nvidia because it will improve revenues in their data center division, which generated $6.7 billion in the previous fiscal year.

Obtaining a position in the emerging enterprise AI market is also essential for VMware, which has spent the last few years expanding its offerings beyond the virtualization technology it pioneered, mostly by acquisitions; in 2018, VMware added cloud-native technology to its portfolio with the purchase of the Kubernetes startup Heptio, and about a year later bought back Pivotal a cloud-native platform.


Nvidia and Vsphere
Caswell explained that traditionally, AI software has been run on bare metal to prevent possible performance loss associated with moving compute-heavy workloads to VMs or containers. The issue with this approach is that bare metal deployments are not portable. As a result, AI workloads are limited to silos, which is a problem for enterprises who want to use AI on-the-fly throughout their IT infrastructure.

VMware and Nvidia were able to containerize Nvidia's AI Enterprise software with almost the same benchmarked performance levels as operating on bare metal by using properties inherent in vSphere's hypervisor. This makes Nvidia AI software easily available across an organization's infrastructure, resolving the issue of ensuring portability while sacrificing substantial efficiency.

To function properly, AI software must be able to take advantage of GPUs, which take most of the load off of a server's CPUs by doing much of the heavy lifting. VMware has added support for Nvidia's A100 Tensor Core GPUs, which are used in Nvidia-Certified Systems, Nvidia-tested and licensed server designs sold exclusively by eight equipment manufacturers, including ASUS, Dell EMC, HPE, and Supermicro.

In addition to running AI workloads, GPUs can be used for other vSphere features, such as Multi-Instance GPU, which enables GPU cycles to be shared by many users, and Distributed Resource Scheduler for automated workload placement to prevent performance bottlenecks.

"Up to seven VMs can now share a single GPU," Caswell said. "That's a more cost-effective way to deploy at the enterprise

Spotlight

The IBM Cloud Adoption and Transformation framework from the IBM Cloud Garage is an innovative, multi-dimensional, proven approach to accelerating your success in the cloud. The purpose of the framework is to help you transform faster with a strategy that enables you to overcome the challenges of using cloud technology in a way that best suits your readiness and priorities.

Spotlight

The IBM Cloud Adoption and Transformation framework from the IBM Cloud Garage is an innovative, multi-dimensional, proven approach to accelerating your success in the cloud. The purpose of the framework is to help you transform faster with a strategy that enables you to overcome the challenges of using cloud technology in a way that best suits your readiness and priorities.

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Dell Technologies Strengthens Cyber Resiliency with Multicloud Data Protection and Security Innovations

Dell Technologies | November 18, 2022

Dell Technologies is expanding its industry leadership in data protection appliances and software1 to help customers protect their data on premises, in public clouds and at the edge. The Dell PowerProtect Data Manager Appliance leads a series of advancements for multicloud data protection that are simple to use and easy to consume. Dell innovation in AI-powered resilience and operational security accelerates the adoption of Zero Trust architectures, helping protect organizations from the increasing threat of cyberattacks. The new solutions help address rising data protection challenges facing organizations. According to the 2022 Dell Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) survey, organizations have experienced higher levels of natural and modern disasters than in previous years, resulting in more data loss, downtime and recovery costs. In the past year, cyberattacks accounted for 48% of all disasters (up from 37% in 2021), leading all other causes of data disruption. The survey also revealed 85% of organizations using multiple data protection vendors see a benefit in reducing their number of vendors. Furthermore, it revealed that organizations using a single data protection vendor incurred 34% less cost recovering from cyberattacks or other cyber incidents than those who used multiple vendors. "With virtually everything connected to the internet in today's digital world, the need to protect valuable data is more important than ever, This digital landscape requires a modern data protection and security strategy to address cyber threats. Point solutions don't go deep or wide enough to help protect organizations. Dell helps customers strengthen cyber resiliency by offering integrated data protection software, systems and services to help ensure data and applications are protected and resilient wherever they live." Jeff Boudreau, president and general manager, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell Technologies The GDPI survey found that 91% of organizations are either aware of or planning to deploy a Zero Trust architecture – a cybersecurity model that shifts how organizations approach security from relying solely on perimeter defenses to a proactive strategy that only allows known, authorized traffic across system boundaries and data pipelines. However, only 23% are deploying a Zero Trust model and 12% are fully deployed. With embedded security features designed into the hardware, firmware and security control points, Dell's holistic approach helps organizations achieve Zero Trust architectures to strengthen cyber resiliency and help reduce security complexity. The simplest path to modern data protection Dell continues to deliver innovation for its data protection software, Dell PowerProtect Data Manager, to help organizations simplify their IT operations and reduce risk. PowerProtect Data Manager software addresses the increasing need for cyber resiliency and supports Zero Trust principles with new built-in operational security capabilities, such as multifactor authentication, dual authorization, and role-based access controls. The Dell PowerProtect Data Manager Appliance offers a simple path to adopt modern data protection. The debut system is ideal for small and mid-sized use cases with support that scales from 12 to 96 terabytes of data. The appliance offers customers a: Modern, software-defined architecture: Allows automated discovery and protection of assets and delivers unique VMware protection with Transparent Snapshots to ensure the availability of all VMs without business disruption. Secure, cyber resilient solution: Provides more secure access to restricted functions with Identity and Access Management to strengthen cyber resiliency. Simple, unified user experience: Delivers software-defined data protection, making it easy to deploy and use. "Dell PowerProtect Data Manager simplifies our backup environment, giving us the business agility needed to protect our data as we digitally transform," said James McNair, vice president, distributed systems manager, Trustmark Bank. "With the new PowerProtect Data Manager Appliance, we can more simply deploy Data Manager across our infrastructure, helping us be more efficient and strengthening our cyber resiliency." Dell expands cyber recovery for fast, easy-to-deploy public cloud vaults PowerProtect Cyber Recovery for Google Cloud enables customers to deploy an isolated cyber vault in Google Cloud to more securely separate and protect data from a cyberattack. Unlike standard cloud-based backup solutions, access to management interfaces is locked down by networking controls and can require separate security credentials and multi-factor authentication for access. Organizations can use their existing Google Cloud subscription for purchasing PowerProtect Cyber Recovery through the Google Cloud Marketplace, and the service can be acquired directly from Dell and its channel partners. The new offering marks the latest expansion of Dell's cyber recovery capabilities for public clouds, following this year's introduction of Dell PowerProtect for Microsoft Azure and CyberSense for Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery for AWS. Dell APEX simplifies backup storage with flexible consumption options Dell APEX Data Storage Services is expanding to offer a Backup Target option to provide more secure backup storage in a pay-per-use, flexible consumption model. The Backup Target service is easy for customers to adopt and streamlines the process of purchasing, deploying and maintaining backup storage. Building on Dell's leadership in data protection appliances and software1, the Backup Target helps reduce a customer's storage footprint and can increase data availability. The new Dell APEX Data Storage Services Backup Target offer will support the increasing reliance on as-a-Service offerings to help overcome data protection challenges. Nearly every GDPI respondent (99%) identified at least one as-a-Service offering as a high priority to help overcome challenges for their organization. Storage as-a-Service (44%), Cyber Recovery as-a-Service (41%), and Backup as-a-Service (40%) ranked as the top three as-a-Service priorities. Dell expands Future-Proof Program with new Cyber Recovery Guarantee With cyber threats increasing and data becoming more valuable than ever, Dell plans to introduce in January a new Cyber Recovery Guarantee2 to provide assurance to customers that their data will be recoverable following a cyberattack. Dell will provide customers up to $10 million in reimbursement for qualifying expenses to assist in the recovery of data from ransomware and other cyber incidents in the event restoring data is not possible with Dell solutions. The guarantee is designed to increase customer comfort and confidence in choosing Dell Data Protection Solutions, whether for data in production or, more securely, in a cyber vault. This new cyber recovery guarantee expands the Dell Technologies Future-Proof Program, which also includes a Data Protection Deduplication Guarantee3. Additional quote Seife Teklu, senior solutions architect, Arrow Electronics "The integrated Dell PowerProtect Data Manager Appliance is easy to use and quick to deploy. This system will be a compelling option for our small to medium-sized customers needing to modernize data protection to help reduce risk and ensure business continuity." Availability Dell PowerProtect Data Manager Appliance is globally available this month in more than 30 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Dell PowerProtect Data Manager software is globally available today. Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery for Google Cloud Platform is globally available today. Dell APEX Data Storage Services Backup Target will be globally available in the first quarter of 2023 in 16 countries across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Dell's new Cyber Recovery Guarantee will be available in the US starting in January 2023. About Dell Technologies Dell Technologies helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play. The company provides customers with the industry's broadest and most innovative technology and services portfolio for the data era.

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ExpressVPN confirms security of its desktop apps with three new independent audits

ExpressVPN | November 24, 2022

Leading consumer privacy and security company ExpressVPN has validated the security posture of all its desktop apps through three new independent audits by respected cybersecurity firms, Cure53 and F-Secure. The three new audits come just weeks after KPMG's audit of ExpressVPN's no-logs policy, underlining ExpressVPN's dedication to third-party privacy and security verifications. Cure53 tested both ExpressVPN's macOS and Linux desktop apps through white-box penetration tests and source code audits. The assessments confirm that the apps are secured against cyber security threats from malicious adversaries. This also validates the extensive work done by ExpressVPN's engineering and security experts in building a safer, more open internet for millions of people worldwide. F-Secure also reviewed ExpressVPN's Windows v12 app through penetration testing and source code auditing, and found no significant weaknesses. The audit verifies that ExpressVPN's latest Windows desktop app cannot be manipulated to leak information, such as a user's IP address, outside the VPN tunnel. It also confirms that the app is not susceptible to remote code execution attacks. Having all of ExpressVPN's desktop apps audited means that users can go online with the assurance that their privacy is protected, and do so confidently. The full audit report by Cure53 for macOS can be found here and Linux here. F-Secure's audit of ExpressVPN's Windows v12 app is available here. "As part of our continuous trust and transparency efforts, we're proud to announce that all of our desktop apps have now been audited, These audits are a testament to the efforts we put into improving and securing our product, and we're glad to receive the validation from Cure53 and F-Secure. We're committed to delivering audits on our mobile apps soon, and will continue to ensure privacy and security at every touchpoint of our product." Brian Schirmacher, penetration testing manager at ExpressVPN About ExpressVPN Since 2009, ExpressVPN has empowered millions of users to take control of their internet experience. The company's award-winning consumer VPN service is backed by its open-source VPN protocol Lightway, delivering user privacy in just a few clicks. ExpressVPN's Keys password manager and Aircove router make digital privacy and security easy and accessible for all. With a commitment to transparency, ExpressVPN products have been audited by PwC, Cure53, and others.

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HashiCorp Extends its Zero Trust Security Solution with Secure Remote Access Delivered in the Cloud

HashiCorp | October 10, 2022

HashiCorp, Inc. a leading provider of multi-cloud infrastructure automation software, today announced the general availability of HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP) Boundary, a secure remote access product. With this release, Boundary joins HCP Vault and HCP Consul to provide the industry’s first zero trust security solution to secure applications, networks, and people built for the cloud. As organizations move to the cloud and adopt cloud operating models, they require a different approach to security — commonly referred to as zero trust security — where the default security posture is to trust nothing, authenticate and authorize everything. But the gap between legacy security postures and the accelerated move to the cloud is contributing to a significant increase in security breaches. According to the HashiCorp State of Cloud Strategy Survey, 89% of respondents believe security is the number one determining factor for cloud success, which is driving organizations to adopt zero trust security postures. HashiCorp’s approach to zero trust security focuses on using identity to secure applications, networks, and people across multiple clouds, on-premises, and hybrid environments, which reduces the attack surface and automates complex security workflows. This ensures people, machines, and services are authenticated, every action is authorized, and data is protected. “As organizations continue to expand their cloud estates, they must shift their security strategies to keep up with the growth and complexity of applications, network components, and cloud-based systems, At HashiCorp, we have always believed that identity is the foundation for zero trust security for applications, networks, and users. With HCP Boundary, companies now have a modern solution for privileged access management, securing access in dynamic, ephemeral environments for their workforce. We think we’ve reached an important milestone for our customers by delivering a security solution built for today’s threat and infrastructure landscape.” Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO, HashiCorp As organizations move out of traditional datacenters and into multiple clouds, hybrid, and edge environments, securing their infrastructure becomes more complex at scale. The HashiCorp zero trust solution covers all three of these aspects: Applications: HashiCorp Vault provides a consistent way to manage application identity by integrating many platforms and identity providers. Vault enables fine-grained access control and authorization between applications and databases, including dynamically rotating credentials, PKI certificates, and API tokens, while also ensuring application data is always secure in transit and at rest. Networks: HashiCorp Consul secures network traffic between applications and services, enabling fine-grained access control policies, observability, and traffic shaping. Consul integrates with Vault’s identity platform to leverage application identity for the policies and to allow dynamic PKI. People: HashiCorp Boundary ensures the right people have access to the right systems and cloud services while removing the need to distribute and issue credentials, expose private networks, or manage static credentials. Boundary integrates with Vault to issue just-in-time credentials and ensure ephemeral access to critical systems. General Availability of HCP Boundary HCP Boundary provides a secure remote access solution for a cloud operating model, offering improvements over existing software-defined perimeter (SDP) solutions, like VPNs, and privileged access management (PAM) solutions that are IP-driven and highly manual. With HCP Boundary, teams gain fine-grained authentication and authorization controls, rapid user onboarding, and automated workflows for target discovery and credential management for ephemeral resources. As a cloud-based service, HCP Boundary benefits organizations struggling with security as they transition to the cloud, driven by people and skills shortages. HCP Boundary allows teams and users to access the critical systems they need while abstracting the session connection, establishment, credential issuance, and revocation. Boundary provides operations and security teams the ability to dynamically pull in cloud service catalogs and on-premises resources and map out policies to which systems, users, and groups should have access. To do this Boundary leverages Vault to provide passwordless connections, and after each use revokes the credentials. This helps ensure critical information like credentials, networks, and resources are never exposed to the user or outside actors. In addition to core secure remote access capabilities, Boundary also offers: Identity platform integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Okta, along with many other identity platforms that support OpenID Connect to onboard trusted identities and delegate authentication Role-based access control (RBAC) to provide broad or fine-grained access to people throughout your organization Passwordless authentication for seamless integration with dynamic secrets and Vault Automated service discovery for streamlined discovery and configuration of targets. Dynamic host catalogs are currently available with Microsoft Azure and AWS, as well as direct HashiCorp Terraform integration to pull in resources under management Session visibility and logging to get insights into session metrics, events, logs, and traces with the ability to export data to business intelligence and event monitoring tools About HashiCorp HashiCorp is a leader in multi-cloud infrastructure automation software. The HashiCorp software suite enables organizations to adopt consistent workflows and create a system of record for automating the cloud: infrastructure provisioning, security, networking, and application deployment. HashiCorp’s portfolio of products includes Vagrant™, Packer™, Terraform®, Vault™, Consul®, Nomad™, Boundary™, and Waypoint™. HashiCorp offers products as open source, enterprise, and as managed cloud services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, though most of HashiCorp employees work remotely, strategically distributed around the globe.

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