AI is changing enterprise SaaS profoundly, says Emergence Capital

Zdnet | December 22, 2019

The worst-kept secret about enterprise software is that it doesn't get used very much. Or at least, it doesn't get used nearly as much as you would think given that companies pay millions of dollars in seat licenses for the stuff. That's why a whole industry of startups has arisen such as People.ai to automate tasks like filling out forms in Salesforce. Thus, the great challenge of enterprise software is engagement, how to get people to use it. Is it possible that some kind of artificial intelligence code, by giving constant feedback on signals in data, can solve that problem? That's the bet being placed by venture capitalist Jake Saper, who is a partner with Emergence Capital, which has offices in San Francisco and nearby San Mateo, California. Saper has invested in a slew of startups that are using machine learning in ways he expects will change what it means for an employee to interact with software. They include Vymo, Guru, Textio, and Chorus.ai.

Spotlight

The first thing to clear up is defining what SDDN is. Most SDDN approaches follow a three-tier approach. The virtual or software-defined network itself is broken into three distinct layers: the physical substrate of the actual network components and the physical machines connected to it, the abstraction layer of the network virtualization software, and then virtual machines that use the software-defined network.


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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

x-cellent technologies Selects Lightbits for metalstack.cloud

Lightbits | November 21, 2022

Lightbits, the first software-defined and architected for NVMe® over TCP (NVMe®/TCP) data platform for any cloud, today announced that x-cellent technologies, a German-based technology consultancy, will integrate their high-performance, persistent storage running on Intel® high-performance technologies into their metalstack.cloud infrastructure. metalstack.cloud is a new cloud service offering that was initiated by x-cellent technologies on base of Open-Source solutions like Gardener as an alternative to public cloud solutions. metalstack.cloud targets customers and developers who require a secure tech platform to run Kubernetes as a Service for their applications from different industries and market domains, such as manufacturing companies, software companies, consulting companies, and startups. The service is produced and operated in Germany. metalstack.cloud is a set of microservices that implements Kubernetes (K8s) as a service on bare metal and enables elastic cloud infrastructure. It leverages K8s clusters so that end users can easily, securely, and cost-effectively launch their apps on the platform without having to worry about server hardware, networking, and storage management. The architecture is based on their open-source software, metal-stack.io, which was developed for the highly regulated financial sector and is being used successfully by CSPs, including Finanz Informatik Technologie Service (FI-TS), which is also the developer of metal-stack.io and a Lightbits customer. By using metalstack.cloud end users have access to a full K8s stack to develop and run their applications on and can be up and running within 15 minutes. “We have found Lightbits to be a perfect match for K8s workloads, a much simpler, and higher performing alternative to Ceph and other enterprise storage solutions, We have integrated Lightbits software with Intel high-performance hardware into our state-of-the-art Platform as a Service (PaaS), metalstack.cloud, because it allows us to manage the entire infrastructure of the data center with a lot of flexibility and in a highly available way.” Stefan Majer, Chief Technology Officer at x-cellent technologies GmbH The combined solution of Lightbits software with Intel high-performance technologies delivers an unmatched combination of performance, resiliency, and cost-efficiency for any cloud. Together, the companies are helping customers address their complex data center needs enabling CSPs, like metalstack.cloud, to deliver fast, resilient, and secure services to their clients. The solution can be used as a high-performance data platform for any orchestration environment, such as OpenStack, or to run container-based applications in a Kubernetes environment as well as virtualized applications in a VMware vSphere environment. “We are proud that x-cellent technologies have chosen Lightbits for their cloud platforms. It’s a good match, as their business philosophy closely aligns with our own—build state-of-the-art cloud data platforms that are simple to consume and deliver an unbeatable price-to-performance ratio at scale,” said Eran Kirzner, CEO at Lightbits Labs. “Our solutions help rid customers of the costly dependencies to hyperscalers, and vendor lock-in, but without compromising high-performance, security, scalability, and ease of use.” metalstack.cloud is in beta release, with general availability in 2023. About Lightbits Labs Lightbits Labs® (Lightbits), is on a mission to make high-performance block storage simple, scalable, and cost-efficient for any cloud. Lightbits offers a Cloud Data Platform that delivers efficiency, simplicity, and agility for modern data centers. Inventors of the NVMe® over TCP (NVMe/TCP) protocol, Lightbits is leading the digital data center transformation by making software-defined storage that is easy to deploy at scale and delivers performance equivalent to local flash to accelerate cloud-native applications in bare metal, virtual, or containerized environments.

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VMWARE

Vodafone in Oman Extends Partnership With Netcracker, Adding Analytics, Integration Layer, DevOps and Managed Services Engagements

Netcracker | October 19, 2022

Netcracker Technology announced today that Vodafone in Oman has added analytics, DevOps processes and an integration layer to its ongoing engagement with Netcracker. This latest expansion to the partnership will further add to the operator’s data-driven capabilities, allowing it to grow and enhance its business and deliver an improved experience for customers. Vodafone entered the Omani market in December 2021 as the Sultanate’s third mobile operator, leveraging Netcracker Advanced Analytics to achieve end-to-end visibility across its business and operations and gain improved system availability and resilience. Netcracker DevOps Enablement includes a number of components to help Vodafone improve its DevOps processes as part of an overall operational transformation. The operator will also utilize Netcracker Support & Managed Services to optimize and improve business performance and extend coverage for Netcracker’s products and surrounding third-party systems. Overarching these projects is a new integration layer that will be critical to improving customer management, including functions such as service onboarding. “After a successful partnership with Netcracker to support the launch of our mobile business less than a year ago, we are taking the next step to leverage critical data and bring in DevOps and managed services processes to further improve our business and operations, By using these functions alongside a robust integration layer, we are confident that we will achieve increased revenue, lower OpEx and improve our engagement with our customers.” Stelios Savvides, Technology Director at Vodafone in Oman “By extending our relationship with these new projects, Vodafone in Oman is placing a high level of trust in Netcracker, which is an honor for us,” said Benedetto Spaziani, GM at Netcracker. “Our cutting-edge work with data and analytics, along with DevOps tools, processes and managed services best practices, will give Vodafone the advantage in the market and with current and future customers.” About Netcracker Technology Netcracker Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, offers mission-critical digital transformation solutions to service providers around the globe. Our comprehensive portfolio of software solutions and professional services enables large-scale digital transformations, unlocking the opportunities of the cloud, virtualization and the changing mobile ecosystem. With an unbroken service delivery track record of more than 25 years, our unique combination of technology, people and expertise helps companies transform their networks and enable better experiences for their customers. About Vodafone in the Sultanate of Oman Vodafone Oman was established through a strategic partnership between the Oman Future Telecommunication Company and Vodafone Group, one of the largest providers of mobile, fixed, broadband and digital TV services. In 2021, the Company obtained a Class I License to establish and operate public mobile telecommunications services in the Sultanate, becoming the third telecom operator in the local market. Vodafone seeks to employ the latest technologies and digital solutions in the world of telecommunications, aligning its efforts to contribute towards the achievement of the Oman Vision 2040 objectives. This is made possible by giving individuals, companies, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to foster innovation. The Omanisation percentage within the Vodafone team exceeds 90%, showcasing the company's significant interest in developing local talent, knowledge exchange and localizing technology. These are further enhanced through the provision of a sophisticated work environment that stimulates self-development and creativity.

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VMWARE

Dell Technologies Delivers Industry-First Innovations with VMware to Power Multicloud and Edge Solutions

Dell Technologies | September 06, 2022

Dell Technologies is introducing new infrastructure solutions, co-engineered with VMware, that deliver greater automation and performance for organizations embracing multicloud and edge strategies. "Customers tell us they want help simplifying their multicloud and edge strategies as they look to drive more efficiency and performance from their IT," said Jeff Boudreau, president, Dell Technologies Infrastructure Solutions Group. "Dell Technologies and VMware have numerous joint engineering initiatives spanning core IT areas such as multicloud, edge and security to help our customers more easily manage and gain value from their data." Business data and applications continue to grow in multicloud environments comprised of edge locations, public clouds and on-premises IT. Many organizations have already adopted a multicloud approach, and the number of applications running at the edge will grow 800% by 2024.1 "IDC's global research shows many organizations are struggling to balance the rapidly rising complexity and cost of data center, edge and cloud operations with relentless business demand for better data integration, security and application performance, These organizations recognize the need for a consistent operating model tightly integrated with infrastructure platforms that support sophisticated, large scale data-driven workloads." Mary Johnston Turner, IDC research vice president, future of digital infrastructure agenda Dell VxRail delivers greater performance and smallest-ever systems at the edge Dell is introducing several new VxRail systems and software advancements that improve performance on-premises and at the edge including the industry's only jointly engineered HCI-based DPU solution with VMware.2 Improved system performance: A result of co-engineering with VMware and its Project Monterey initiative, VxRail systems support new VMware vSphere 8 software that has been rearchitected to run on DPUs. Customers can improve application and networking infrastructure performance and improve TCO by moving these services from a system's CPU to its new on-board DPU. Support demanding workloads: Select VxRail systems now support VMware's new vSAN Enterprise Storage Architecture (ESA). With up to 4x vSAN performance improvement3, customers can better support demanding mission-critical applications. Smallest edge systems: VxRail rugged modular nodes deliver high performance and scalability in the system's smallest form factor to date.4 Modular nodes are ideal for edge use cases including healthcare, energy and utilities and digital cities because of VxRail's industry-first, on-board hardware witness5, which will allow for deployment in high latency, low bandwidth locations. "The increasing demand for software-defined infrastructure services for networking, storage and security places more demands on already-strained CPUs. As more distributed, resource intensive applications are onboarded, there is a need to reimagine data center architecture to fully support the requirements of these applications," said Krish Prasad, senior vice president & general manager, Cloud Platform Business, VMware. "Dell VxRail with VMware vSphere 8 will deliver a foundation for next generation data center architecture by running infrastructure services on the DPU. This will enable greater network and application performance and a new level of sophistication in adopting Zero Trust security strategies to protect modern enterprise workloads." Dell APEX expands multicloud and edge support for VMware environments Dell is adding several offers to its APEX portfolio for VMware workloads that help speed development of cloud-native apps and better allocate compute and storage resources for applications at the edge. APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud adds managed VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid services, which allows IT teams to help developers move faster by using a container-based approach to application development. With Dell-managed Tanzu services, customers can provision Kubernetes clusters through the vSphere user interface. Organizations also will be able to help speed development efforts by building, testing and running cloud-native applications alongside traditional applications on the same platform. APEX Private Cloud and APEX Hybrid Cloud offer new compute-only options that allow customers to support more workloads and increase IT infrastructure efficiency by independently scaling compute and storage resources. Organizations can start small and scale their infrastructure as their IT needs change. Customers can use Dell's industry-leading enterprise storage data services by connecting compute-only instances to Dell storage such as APEX Data Storage Services. "APEX Hybrid Cloud lets us manage our multicloud environment seamlessly and gain better insights into our VMware workloads. It's allowed us to reduce the cost of supporting applications and workloads by 20%," said Ben Doyle, chief information officer, ATN International. "We stood up the Dell APEX solution quickly, and we easily moved 70% of our infrastructure to it in under three months. We look forward to working with Dell Technologies to expand our cloud footprint moving forward." Dell Validated Designs for AI – AutoML uses AI to democratize data science Dell Validated Designs for AI – Automatic Machine Learning (AutoML) uses automated machine learning models to help data scientists of all skill levels develop AI-powered applications. The solution includes tested and proven configurations of Dell VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure with H2O.ai, NVIDIA and VMware software to help customers speed time to insight from data with automation that delivers up to 18x faster AI models.6 Organizations report 20%7 faster time to value with Dell Validated Designs for AI, helping data scientists of all skill levels develop AI-powered applications faster. VMware Tanzu in Dell Validated Designs for AI helps provide greater container security and allows customers to run AI at the edge using VMware Tanzu services. About Dell Technologies Dell Technologies ( NYSE:DELL) 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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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Verge.io Continues Record-Setting Growth, 300% Growth Quarter over Quarter in ARR Bookings

Verge.io | November 09, 2022

Verge.io, a leader in private cloud software, today announced that it saw the second straight quarter of record quarter-over-quarter growth driven by both new customer acquisition and existing customer expansion. To further capitalize on these transformative opportunities, the company appointed Mike Wall as chairman of its board of directors. In Q3 Verge.io closed over 3x more annual recurring revenue (ARR) than Q2, for the 2nd best quarter in company history. This continued upward trajectory is the result of existing customers increasing their deployment of the Verge-OS virtualization software and acquisition of new customers replacing their incumbent implementations due to cost, complexity, inability to scale and lack of ransomware protection. Additionally, Verge.io increased sales velocity, even closing new logos in a matter of weeks. Verge.io also ended Q3 with the strongest pipeline in company history. Multiple transformative opportunities were added to the pipeline that would exponentially increase top line. In addition, numerous new distribution channels are under review that would dramatically increase sales velocity in 2023. These successful results are in part due to Verge.io’s recent expansion of sales and marketing efforts to educate potential customers on the company’s ability to simplify the software defined data center into a single, powerful piece of software that runs on commodity hardware. These efforts, a newly launched website and a new technical wiki and online self-paced training system have earned the attention of analysts and editors. To help continue the momentum that Verge.io is building, the company recruited Mike Wall to serve as its chairman. Wall spent 15 years at Intel, ran its storage division, then spent time at a few VC-backed early-stage ventures in the storage space. His repeated, high-multiple exits in the space further positions Verge.io to capitalize on recent growth to add market valuation. “Coming off of a record-breaking quarter makes this is an exciting time to be a part of the Verge.io team and I look forward to helping continue the sales velocity that we’ve achieved,” said Wall. “From increasing our market visibility to growing our pipeline of global customers to quickly closing sales opportunities, we’ve developed a strong foundation for success. The future is bright for further building our business and providing customers with the cost and IT simplicity that they need.” “Such strong quarter-over-quarter success shows that our efforts to provide a single piece of software that simplifies the data center process and offers a secure multitenancy for clouds is resonating in the marketplace, We are very pleased with the results of Q3 2022 given that we launched our website only 7 months ago and most of our sales team has only been in place for 6 months. From increased bookings with new and existing customers, expanded partnership opportunities and adding experience to our executive board, Verge.io is poised to continue its pattern of growth as we provide a better alternative to traditional legacy cloud architectures that are too complex and require too much management.” Yan Ness, Verge.io CEO Verge-OS software delivers virtualized data centers with more compelling economics and efficiencies than competing platforms. Verge-OS abstracts compute, network, and storage from commodity servers and creates pools of raw resources that are simple to run and manage by an IT generalist. A single license replaces disparate hypervisor, network, storage, data protection, and management tools to simplify technology stacks. Secure virtual data centers based on Verge-OS include all enterprise data services like global deduplication, disaster recovery, continuous data protection, snapshots, long-distance synch, and auto-failover. About Verge.io Verge.io provides a simpler way to virtualize data centers and end IT infrastructure complexity. The company’s Verge OS software is the first and only fully integrated virtual cloud software stack to build, deploy and manage virtual data centers. Verge-OS delivers significant capital savings, increased operational efficiencies, reduced risk, and rapid scalability.

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Spotlight

The first thing to clear up is defining what SDDN is. Most SDDN approaches follow a three-tier approach. The virtual or software-defined network itself is broken into three distinct layers: the physical substrate of the actual network components and the physical machines connected to it, the abstraction layer of the network virtualization software, and then virtual machines that use the software-defined network.

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