SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Collins Teaches First UT Class Delivered Via Virtual Reality

University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Haslam College of Business | February 14, 2022

On a Thursday morning in fall 2021, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville seniors weren't sure what to expect from the next session of their capstone marketing course at the Haslam College of Business. As they took in the scenic view of a desert landscape surrounding them, they watched their fellow students fill the class space, where instructor Mark Collins stood at the front of a futuristic-looking auditorium.

These students weren't on a field trip; they were in their apartments and dorm rooms, attending an experimental hybrid section of Marketing Strategy (MARK 460), which Collins, distinguished lecturer of marketing at Haslam and director of the college's Office of Technology-Enhanced Education, believes to be the first class at UT to utilize virtual reality as a regular delivery modality.

Engaging Marketing Students in a New Way
VR technology has become common in fields like medicine where training involves high risk or high price tags, but Collins was inspired by marketers who had begun using the related technology of augmented reality, enabling users to view their physical surroundings through a phone or tablet and see computer-generated content such as a brand mascot overlaid on the space. With the encouragement of the college's leadership, he obtained Oculus Quest 2 headsets to interface with the VR platform Spatial, which provides high-quality audio and video and integrates easily with smartphones and Microsoft Office.

For this hybrid section of MARK 460, Collins planned for six or eight class sessions in the middle of the semester to be delivered via VR and the rest face-to-face. In the same semester, he taught another section of the course that was completely face-to-face. He says that while both sections achieved the required level of learning for the class, he believes the VR class absorbed the material at a higher level.

"Because it was so different, it made them focus and pay attention a lot more," says Collins, who makes a clear distinction between VR and other types of remote learning. "The interaction and engagement by the students in VR is night and day compared to if we only had met on Zoom. Part of it, I'm sure, is the fact that they're an avatar, so they don't feel that self-consciousness."

Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major scheduled to graduate in May 2022, agrees.

Having an avatar makes the classroom experience feel personal and like we are all in the room together but also makes it less intimidating. Zoom sometimes makes me uncomfortable to have my camera on and [unmute myself] because I know everyone will see my face pop up on their screen, but using Spatial makes talking in class easier."

Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major

Potential for Teaching Across Disciplines
For future sections of the course, Collins wants to take his entire class on a virtual field trip to a store, using VR footage of retail aisles that has already been shot.

"I want to stand there with them in front of that and say, 'OK, what's happening here? Why are there 13 different types of Cheez-Its?'" he says. "Then we can go down the aisle and see how the competitors are reacting, and what they're doing that kind of matches up with what Cheez-It did."

Other Haslam faculty members have approached Collins about the feasibility of using VR in their courses, and he is enthusiastic about the possibilities, especially as more units, apps and software become available at lower price points. While he doesn't recommend teaching full courses exclusively via VR yet, he imagines financial reports in which students could reach out to pick up information and place it where it belongs, or a VR supply chain where they could identify and manipulate bottlenecks.

"Across all disciplines, there are moments where we want the students to understand something at a really deep and meaningful level, and we can use VR to make that engagement and interaction happen," he says. "I can see using it in a focused, short time span, to keep it really powerful rather than just becoming the new normal."

Spotlight

Introduction to Virtualisation with VMware. We give brief theoretical overview to answer the question what is virtualisation.


Other News
VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES

C3 Complete to Provide IT and Managed Services Across iM Critical’s Expanding Data Center Footprint

C3 Complete | June 23, 2022

C3 Complete, an award-winning technology service provider, and iM Critical, a data center and IT services company shaping the future of IT infrastructure, are pleased to announce the formation of a strategic partnership. Customers of iM Critical’s data centers will immediately gain access to C3’s extensive suite of technology services, and customers of C3 will benefit from the ultra-modern capabilities of iM Critical’s facilities. The combined services of these two companies will enable agile, turnkey solutions and provide next-generation IT results. Available initially in Miami and Pittsburgh, this partnership will expand to additional high-value markets in 2023. C3’s hybrid cloud services, available in all iM Critical facilities, includes Infrastructure, Desktop, Backup, Storage, and Disaster Recovery as a Service. Each iM Critical facility will also feature C3 Complete’s low-latency, high-speed, cloud on-ramp, data center interconnects, and premium multi-carrier Internet access solutions. For those organizations seeking a turn-key IT experience, iM Critical clients can select from a full suite of Managed Services, Network Engineering, Voice and Collaboration, and Information Security solutions provided by C3 experts. iM Critical recently acquired a premier hyper-connected data center in Miami, FL, with over 100,000 square feet of configurable colocation space and disaster recovery office suites and is repositioning the facility with a number of upgrades, all backed by sustainable advantages like on-site renewable power and unconstrained space and power. Strategically located outside of the 100-year floodplain and hurricane evacuation zones, iM’s Miami facility features a gated campus, 24x7 security, multiple independent utility power feeds and a Category 5 hurricane rating. Another iM Critical facility, an HPC-capable campus located in Pittsburgh, PA, offering the same extensive range of advantages, is slated to open in Q3 of 2022. As part of the Miami facility upgrades, C3 and iM Critical are deploying a highly secure, purpose built, Network Operations Center (NOC) / Security Operations Center (SOC). The state-of-the-art NOC/SOC will be staffed 24x7 and will offer deep monitoring, early detection and mitigation, and incident management and response services. “The iM Critical team brings an incredible amount of experience and strategic vision to the evolving data center market, and we could not be more excited about our partnership with them, We believe that the union of their modern facilities and our services capabilities will make C3 and iM Critical the go-to choice for customers and partners looking to achieve digital transformations with ease, efficiency and security.” Rick Mancinelli, CEO of C3 Complete “We are so pleased with our Miami acquisition, and with the improvements we are making, and are looking forward to providing a new level of security, reliability and interconnection to the Miami colocation market. We continually strive to look beyond those table stakes to understand where the market is going and how we can meet those needs for customers,” commented Michael Roark, CEO of iM Critical. “Partnering with C3 further enables our ability to become the premier single-source provider of end-to-end IT infrastructure solutions in the markets we serve, keeping iM, C3 and our customers ahead of a challenging, changing technology landscape.” About C3 Complete C3 is an award-winning technology consultancy headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida. Since 2009, we’ve delivered in-house, relationship-focused, outcome-driven solutions to hundreds of happy clients nationwide. C3 currently owns and operates a geo-diverse VMware Cloud Verified infrastructure that provides high-performance, secure, and compliant Infrastructure, Virtual Desktops, Backup, and Disaster recovery solutions. C3 also operates a state-of-the-art Cisco BroadWorks powered Hosted PBX, UCaaS and CCaaS platform as well as a nationwide SD-WAN network based on VMware’s industry-leading technologies. C3 maintains an extensive list of wholesale carrier relationships for connectivity and has a broad portfolio of technology-related authorizations and certifications. C3’s expert team of certified network engineers design and implement complex solutions and its bilingual service center is available for support 24×7. About iM Critical iM Critical is shaping the future of data centers, providing colocation with deep insight into IT managed service offerings and a specialization in High-Performance Computing (HPC). iM’s service platforms include Colocation, HPC, Cloud, Storage aaS, Network, 24/7 IT NOC Services with premier DR aaS, Cloud Connect, Data Security and IT Transformation aaS solutions. iM Critical provides access to strategic carrier-neutral networks and cloud onramps, risk mitigation, continuous uptime, and data security to deliver quality and sustainable innovation, saving customers time, money and resources.

Read More

VIRTUAL DESKTOP TOOLS

Yeahka Continues to Empower Commercial Digitalized Ecosystem as A Constituent of The Hang Seng China Metaverse Index

Yeahka Limited | June 06, 2022

Hang Seng Indexes Company launched the Hang Seng China Metaverse Index to track the performance of Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong-listed companies which has businesses related to the development of the metaverse. The index is aimed at helping investors capture innovative and transformative thematic investment opportunities that may emerge in the Mainland and Hong Kong stock markets. Yeahka continues to explore the metaverse to empower its commercial digitalized ecosystem and is selected as one of the 30 constituents, among other major constituents such as Tencent, NetEase, and Kuaishou. According to public information, Yeahka had previously launched a coupon cloud platform based on blockchain technology and was included in the fourth batch of national domestic blockchain information services in October 2020. The platform provides merchant solutions for store management, customer acquisition, and traffic attraction, with the blockchain technology-driven advantage of being a tamper-proof traffic attraction mechanism, allowing transparency in customer acquisition paths. In October 2021, Yeahka formally ventured into the metaverse through Yeahka Gaming, empowering the company's ecosystem with metaverse games and exploring the integration of virtual and reality. The metaverse incorporates a series of cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI). Users are exposed to a deeper degree of Internet virtualization and a stronger sense of experience and novelty: the communication and interaction in the virtual Internet world of the metaverse closely approximate the real world, and whatever obtained within the metaverse can also be recognized in the real world, blurring the boundaries between online and offline. The development and popularity of Web 3.0 would also support the open and decentralized nature of the metaverse. Compared with the "read-only" model of Web 1.0 and the model of user-led production and sharing of contents in Web 2.0, the public's vision of Web 3.0 is of a brand-new Internet world that is relatively decentralized, automated, and intelligent. On the premise that personal digital identities, digital assets, and data are completely personal for users, users can truly own their data and their transactions are protected by encryption technology. Therefore, Web 3.0 is considered to have tremendous potential in the future integration of online and offline, and metaverse is a virtual formation that can thrive under Web 3.0. As a payment-based technology platform, Yeahka has gradually expanded its business from one-stop payment services to merchant solutions and in-store e-commerce services over a period of 10+ years. It has served 7.5 million offline small and medium-sized merchants and reached over 900 million consumers. After the Pandemic, small and medium-sized offline merchants gradually realized the value of digitalization of their operations, and Yeahka has strategically seized this opportunity, launching QR Code ordering, integrated takeaway, and in-store e-commerce services under the "social + recommendation + selective" model, to solve merchants' pain points with smart operations, helping them to revitalize consumers and attract customers. On the consumer end, Yeahka enables the promotion of merchant brands through private domain and social recommendation marketing, promoting merchants' local lifestyle packages and inspiring consumers' desire to consume in-store. The interaction between merchants and consumers is not restricted to the real world, the combination of the virtual and the real world allows for more diversified interactions between merchants and consumers. Yeahka believes that, with the rapid development of Web 3.0, the combination of the virtual and the real world is a perfect area for Yeahka to involve in. Its social recommendation properties and the interactive nature between the virtual and the reality can empower the business ecosystem of Yeahka, adding more possibilities for the in-store e-commerce business and merchant solutions. Based on this, Yeahka Gaming launched the Year of the Tiger AR game during the Chinese New Year of the Tiger, and the game eventually had an exposure of more than 40 million times in the WeChat ecosystem, and the daily average WeChat index of related keywords was over 10,000, with the peak value exceeding 50,000. The community feedback on the game was also positive with the participation rate through sharing reaching over 26.6%, and the new customer acquisition rate through sharing was 50.1%. This further proves that the path of empowering merchants and consumers through the metaverse is viable and that Yeahka will continue to explore how to use "meta-universe + Web 3.0" to empower its business ecosystem. It is said that Yeahka will next launch a 3D store operation simulation game for consumers, in which players can build their own islands and operate stores related to real merchants on the islands; players can also visit each other and interact with businesses on the islands, breaking the barriers between the virtual and the reality through in-store incentives to achieve social media recommendation marketing and traffic attraction for the in-store e-commerce business of Yeahka.

Read More

VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES

Versa Networks Expands APAC and Japan Leadership Team to Continue Global Growth and Meet Accelerating APJ Region Demand for Versa SASE

Versa Networks | July 07, 2022

Versa Networks, the recognized secure access service edge (SASE) leader, today announced it has named former Commvault Software and Dell Technologies executive Rachel Ler as its first Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) Region Vice President. Ler joins Versa to lead the company’s expanding APJ team with a focus on sales and market expansion to meet rapidly increasing demand for Versa SASE in the region. “I was attracted to Versa Networks by its uniquely integrated approach toward security and networking that delivers these comprehensive services simply to customers,” said Ler. “I am excited to join at this important time for Versa, as I see tremendous opportunity across the APJ region, especially in this highly fragmented technology space. I look forward to helping the team establish itself as the trusted advisor to customers and partners in the APJ region.” Ler previously served as the Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific region for Commvault Software. She was responsible for driving sustainable sales growth with a focus on solution innovation and customer experience, including collaborating and strengthening Commvault’s broad and diverse partner ecosystem across all the distinct markets. She has a proven track record with more than 20 years of experience spanning direct and channel sales, as well as regional APJ leadership roles, at Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Nimble Storage, NetApp, IBM and Microsoft. Ler graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a Diploma in Information Technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. “We are very excited to have attracted someone of Rachel’s caliber and experience to lead our APJ regional business, Demand is increasing for Versa SASE as APJ organizations look to take advantage of the differentiated benefits offered by our uniquely integrated networking and security capabilities. We are committed over the long term to our customers in APJ, and under Rachel’s leadership we are excited about the growth we will enjoy in the region.” Martin Mackay, Versa Chief Revenue Officer Versa SASE delivers tightly integrated services via the cloud, on-premises, or as a blended combination of both via Versa Operating System (VOS™) with a Single-Pass Parallel Processing architecture and managed through a single pane of glass. Versa began delivering SASE services such as VPN, Secure SD-WAN, Edge Compute Protection, Next-Generation Firewall, Next-Generation Firewall as a Service, Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) more than five years ago. Versa uniquely provides contextual security based on user, role, device, application, location, security posture of the device, and content. As the leader in SASE, the fastest growing security and networking category, and executing on SASE services for years, Versa is the only solution proven to deliver the industry’s leading and differentiated architecture for high performance and security. Dell’Oro Group listed Versa as the 2021 SASE market share leader with 84-percent market share for the unified category in its 4Q21 Network Security Quarterly Report, and Frost and Sullivan ranks Versa as the Number 2 worldwide market share leader in SASE. Gartner has also identified Versa SASE as having the most SASE components out of all 56 vendors Gartner evaluated, while Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) found that Versa SASE has the most SASE supported functions, as published in its industry report. About Versa Networks Versa Networks, the leader in SASE, combines extensive security, advanced networking, industry-leading SD-WAN, genuine multitenancy, and sophisticated analytics via the cloud, on-premises, or as a blended combination of both to meet SASE requirements for small to extremely large enterprises and Service Providers, and via the simplified Versa Titan cloud service designed for Lean IT. Thousands of customers globally with hundreds of thousands of sites trust Versa with their networks, security, and clouds. Versa Networks is privately held and funded by Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, Artis Ventures, Verizon Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Liberty Global Ventures, Princeville Capital, RPS Ventures and Triangle Peak Partners.

Read More

VIRTUAL DESKTOP TOOLS

Red River Named as a VMware Regional Academy for IT Support and Training

Red River | July 01, 2022

Red River, a technology transformation company serving government and enterprise customers, announced today that it has been designated as a VMware Regional Academy for IT support and training. In partnership with the VMware IT Academy, Red River will provide instructors and students at academic institutions with training and learning resources for high-demand IT skills such as digital workspace, application modernization and multi-cloud. VMware academic programs have created positive change throughout the pandemic, providing next-generation technology to academic institutions, allowing instructors to teach virtually and giving students access to industry certifications. “Red River understands the evolving needs of the IT Industry and its talent,” said Jackie Barker, Director of VMware IT Academy. “VMware IT Academy is thrilled to work with Red River to provide educational resources and experience to students in academia.” As a VMware Regional Academy for IT support, Red River will contribute to industry and economic development, providing skills to students seeking high-demand careers in areas such as cloud, dev ops, data, mobility and security. Red River will also support the remote delivery of VMware courses, helping students excel through online certification opportunities, hands-on labs and other VMware learning resources. “We are pleased to be a part of the Regional Academy, sharing years of technology expertise to benefit the next generation of IT professionals, This opportunity enables us to invest in our industry, so we can better prepare students for work and career growth in a digital world.” Richard Ackerman, Vice President of Workforce Development for Red River Red River’s workforce development program offers extensive training programs, new career opportunities and dedicated partnerships. The company is set on making a positive impact on employees, customers, partners and communities. To learn more about workforce development at Red River visit www.redriver.com/resources/workforce-development. For more information on the VMware IT Academy, visit https://www.vmware.com/company/it-academy.html. About VMware VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company’s 2030 Agenda. About Red River Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in security, networking, analytics, collaboration, mobility and cloud solutions.

Read More