Futureproofing the legacy backbone Virtualizing mainframes with Microsoft Azure

Big changes are coming to a segment of IT that has hardly changed since before personal computers were invented.Mainframes, first developed in the 1950s and controlled by punch cards or magnetic tape, evolved through the computing eras of the 1960s, 70s and 80s and are still used by enterprises and long-lived SMBs to process transactions and data or run mission critical apps. While the mainframe's best days are long past, tens of thousands of organizations still rely on these systems. But a shifting security landscape and changing skillsets as well as the cost and performance benefits of cloud are steering a growing number of organizations to virtualize their mainframes.A specialized group of partners, often "born" in the heyday of mainframes are stepping into the void and helping to virtualize them on Azure, creating big opportunities to improve the performance and cost effectiveness of these IT departments.

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Server Virtualization

Panasonic Automotive Introduces Neuron High-Performance Compute (HPC) to Advance to a Software-Defined Mobility Future

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, a tier-one automotive supplier and a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, announced its High-Performance Compute (HPC) system. Named Neuron, this innovation addresses the rapidly evolving mobility needs anticipated for software-defined vehicle advancements. As vehicles become more software reliant, vehicle systems must support the extended software lifecycle by enabling software upgrades and prolonging the supporting hardware capability. Cars rely on hardware and software compute platforms to process, share, sense, and derive insights to handle functions for assisted driving. Panasonic Automotive's Neuron HPC allows for not only software updates and upgrades but also hardware upgrades across platform lifecycles. The Neuron HPC can aggregate multiple computing zones to reduce the cost, weight and integration complexity of the vehicle by removing redundant components. Panasonic Automotive's design supports effortless up-integration with high-performance and heavy data input processing capability. Importantly, the design is upgradeable, scalable and future-proof across today's evolving in-vehicle platforms. Neuron HPC Architecture & Design Panasonic Automotive's High Performance Compute architecture could reduce the number of distributed electronic control units (ECUs) by up to 80%1 – allowing for faster, lighter, cross-domain computing for real-time, cross-functional communications. The Neuron HPC design is suited for any mobility platform including internal combustion engine, hybrid, fuel cell or electric vehicles. "In collaboration with OEMs, Panasonic Automotive has designed and met some of the largest central compute platform challenges in the industry in order to make the driving experience evolve with technology," said Andrew Poliak, CTO, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. "Neuron maximizes performance, safety and innovation over the entire ownership of the consumer's vehicle and enables OEMs with a future-proof SDV platform for ensuing generations of mobility needs." Key Systems, UX Features & Technical Benefits With a streamlined design, the Neuron HPC incorporates up-integration capability by consolidating multiple ECUs into one centralized nucleus to handle all levels of ADAS, chassis, body, and in-cabin infotainment features. About Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America  Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is a division company of Panasonic Corporation of North America and is a leading global supplier of automotive infotainment and connectivity system solutions. Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America acts as the North American affiliate of Panasonic Automotive Systems Co., Ltd., which coordinates global automotive. Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is headquartered in Peachtree City, Georgia, with sales, marketing and engineering operations in Farmington Hills, Mich. About Panasonic Corporation of North America Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is committed to creating a better life and a better world by enabling its customers through innovations in Sustainable Energy, Immersive Entertainment, Integrated Supply Chains and Mobility Solutions. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation. One of Interbrand's Top 100 Best Global Brands of 2023, Panasonic is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies and consumers across the region.

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Virtual Desktop Tools, Virtual Desktop Strategies

Leostream Enhances Security and Management of vSphere Hybrid Cloud Deployments

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Leostream Corporation, the world's leading Remote Desktop Access Platform provider, today announced features to enhance security, management, and end-user productivity in vSphere-based hybrid cloud environments. The Leostream platform strengthens end-user computing (EUC) capabilities for vSphere users, including secure access to both on-premises and cloud environments, heterogeneous support, and reduced cloud costs. With the Leostream platform as the single pane of glass managing EUC environments, any hosted desktop environment, including individual virtual desktops, multi-user sessions, hosted physical workstations or desktops, and hosted applications, becomes simpler to manage, more secure, more flexible, and more cost-effective. Significant ways the Leostream platform expands vSphere’s capabilities include: Security The Leostream platform ensures data remains locked in the corporate network, and works across on-premises and cloud environments, providing even disparate infrastructures with the same levels of security and command over authorization, control, and access tracking. The Leostream platform supports multi-factor authentication and allows organizations to enforce strict access control rules, creating an EUC environment modeled on a zero-trust architecture. Multivendor/protocol support The Leostream platform was developed from the ground up for heterogeneous infrastructures and as the connection management layer of the EUC environment, the Leostream platform allows organizations to leverage vSphere today and other hypervisors or hyperconvergence platforms in the future as their needs evolve. The Leostream platform supports the industry’s broadest array of remote display protocols, including specialized protocols for mission-critical tasks. Consistent EUC experience The Leostream platform enables IT to make changes to the underlying environment while ensuring the end user experience is constant, and to incorporate AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, or OpenStack private clouds into their environment without disruptions in end-user productivity. By integrating with corporate Identity Providers (IdPs) that employees are already familiar with, and providing employees with a single portal they use to sign in, the Leostream platform offers simplicity to users too. Connectivity The Leostream Gateway securely connects to on-prem and cloud resources without virtual private networks (VPNs), and eliminates the need to manage and maintain security groups. End users get the same seamless login and high-performance connection across hybrid environments including corporate resources located off the internet. Controlling cloud costs The Leostream Connection Broker implements automated rules that control capacity and power state in the cloud, allowing organizations to optimize their cloud usage and minimize costs, such as ensuring cloud instances aren’t left running when they are no longer needed. The Connection Broker also intelligently pools and shares resources across groups of users, so organizations can invest in fewer systems, reducing overall cost of ownership. “These features deliver a streamlined experience with vSphere and hybrid or multi-cloud resources so end users remain productive, and corporate data and applications remain secure,” said Leostream CEO Karen Gondoly. “At a time when there is uncertainty about the future of support for VMware’s end-user computing, it’s important to bring these options to the market to show that organizations can extend vSphere’s capabilities and simultaneously plan for the future without disruption to the workforce.” About Leostream Corporation Leostream Corporation, the global leader in Remote Desktop Access Platforms, offers comprehensive solutions that enable seamless work-from-anywhere environments for individuals across diverse industries, regardless of organization size or location. The core of the Leostream platform is its commitment to simplicity and insight. It is driven by a unified administrative console that streamlines the management of users, cloud desktops, and IT assets while providing real-time dashboards for informed decision-making. The company continually monitors the evolving remote desktop landscape, anticipating future trends and challenges. This purposeful, proactive approach keeps clients well-prepared for the dynamic changes in remote desktop technology.

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Virtualized Environments

Ludium Lab, Access, and XPENG present Europe's first cloud gaming platform for in-car entertainment

GlobeNewswire | January 05, 2024

ACCESS, Ludium Lab, and XPENG today announced they have collaborated to make cloud gaming for in-car displays a reality. This project combines ACCESS IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) technology with Ludium Lab's cloud gaming platform to enable XPENG customers can enjoy state-of-the-art cloud gaming. The project sees SoraStream white-labeled as XPLAY from Ludium Lab, and enabled through the Twine4Car app store platform from ACCESS provided in XPENG vehicles. XPLAY gives users access to a large catalog of PC, mobile, and console games, including major AAA games and games exclusive to Ludium Lab. “In-car entertainment is an increasingly important part of the car-buying decision, so offering an exciting portfolio of audio, games, and video entertainment through XPLAY is critical,” said Brian Gu, Vice Chairman and President of XPENG. “The collaboration with ACCESS and Ludium Labs ensures that easy and enjoyable journeys in an XPENG will be engaging for everyone thanks to the high-quality cloud gaming developed specifically for our extra-wide infotainment screens.” A stand-out feature of the gaming performance is the 60 FPS Full HD games that can be played on XPENG infotainment screens. Users do not need to download any games, and the service includes parental controls. The XPLAY service also uses a monthly subscription model. “Our Twine4Car Platform and App Store is a content aggregation platform that for the first time brings together the latest in IVI technology and premium content in a fully OEM-branded interface,” said Aono Masahiro, CEO of ACCESS Europe. “The addition of Sora Stream from Ludium Lab ensures that XPENG car users have access to a truly engaging mobility experience” “The collaboration between all three companies has been essential in enabling the launch of this disruptive and innovative in-car cloud-gaming service,” says Juan José Martín, CEO of Ludium Lab. “Our SoraStream solution offers a large video game catalog for all kinds of players, making this project an exciting opportunity for XPENG customers.” About Ludium Lab Ludium Lab is a technology company founded in Spain in 2012. Expert and leader in cloud services and solutions, the company works in more than 60 countries around the world. Its activity is currently focused on adapting its technology to cloud gaming platforms (SoraStream development), automotive (ICE), metaverse solution, SaaS and XR (Vr/Ar). The team is working to perfect its software virtualization technology and implementation in different solutions and products, with high quality and low costs. About ACCESS Since 1984, ACCESS CO., LTD. (Tokyo Stock Exchange Prime Market, Index, 4813) has been providing advanced IT solutions centred on mobile and network software technologies to telecom carriers, consumer electronics manufacturers, broadcasting and publishing companies, the automotive industry and energy infrastructure providers around the world. The company develops mobile software solutions that have been installed on over 1.5 billion devices, and network software solutions that have been used by hundreds of companies. Utilising its network virtualisation technology expertise and knowledge, the company is currently focusing on the development and commercialisation of Internet of Things (IoT) and media solutions that combine embedded and cloud technology. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company maintains subsidiaries and affiliates in Asia, Europe and the United States to support and expand its business globally. About XPENG XPENG is a global smart electric vehicle company founded in 2014 in Guangzhou, China, developing clean, intuitive, and creative mobility solutions. With industry-leading R&D facilities, XPENG is bringing vehicles with superior safety, electric efficiency, and on-road performance to markets across the globe. The company is constantly working to advance its core technology offering, including autonomous driving capabilities, SEPA 2.0, and captivating in-car infotainment systems. XPENG has headquarters in Guangzhou and Amsterdam, with additional offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Silicon Valley. XPENG has started sales in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands with its P7 sports sedan and ultra-fast charging G9 SUV in 2023.

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Server Virtualization

Stellantis, BlackBerry QNX and AWS Launch Virtual Cockpit, Transforming In-Vehicle Software Engineering

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

Global automaker Stellantis N.V. led the creation of the world's first virtual cockpit platform as part of its Stellantis Virtual Engineering Workbench (VEW) enabling the delivery of infotainment tech to customers 100 times faster than previous processes. The new platform uses the QNX Hypervisor in the cloud from BlackBerry, which is now on early access release via AWS Marketplace within the QNX Accelerate portfolio of cloud-based tools. Stellantis can now create realistic virtual versions of car controls and systems, making them behave just like they would in a real car, but without needing to change the main software that runs them, taking what used to take months to be achieved down to 24 hours in some cases. Accessing QNX Hypervisor via AWS Marketplace enables Stellantis to include a virtual cockpit high-performance computing (HPC) simulation into a cloud environment. This industry-first platform for mixed-criticality and multi-OS embedded application development includes QNX Hypervisor Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and industry-standard hardware interfaces as defined in the VirtIO standard Trout v1.2. With tools such as virtualization of graphics, audio, and touchscreen/mouse/keyboard inputs, the solution offers little to no difference between running QNX Hypervisor-based systems in the cloud versus on real hardware. Software is a key building block for Stellantis to deliver clean, safe and affordable mobility, as outlined in the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, and the driving force behind the AI-powered STLA Brain, STLA SmartCockpit and STLA AutoDrive technology platforms. In 2022, Stellantis selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider for vehicle platforms and the companies began work on Stellantis' purpose-built, in-house VEW. Taking a software-driven approach and deploying the QNX Hypervisor in the cloud, Stellantis can accelerate customer feedback sessions, and with minimal effort, replicate the cockpit experience of a particular brand and vehicle, and make changes in real time to optimize the experience for the driver. This real-time feedback, underpinned by low-latency access to the cloud, allows Stellantis to solicit valuable feedback from its customer and developer base to build future infotainment features and applications. "Software is becoming increasingly crucial in vehicles, leading us to innovate in how we develop and validate it," said Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer at Stellantis. "With our virtual cockpit, we're revolutionizing not just our approach, but also that of our suppliers and partners in the industry. Essentially, we're able to get closer to our customer's needs through this technology with faster development cycles, faster feedback loops, and quicker delivery of the technology they use and love. It's a leap towards customer-first innovation and efficiency in the automotive world." "We're delighted to introduce early access availability of our trusted QNX Hypervisor platform in the cloud, leveraging the vendor and platform-neutral VirtIO standard that QNX has long-supported for its importance in creating a true-to-life virtual development environment for embedded software," said Mattias Eriksson, President, BlackBerry IoT. "Working with Stellantis to launch the world's first commercial hypervisor in the AWS cloud helps to reduce complexity, accelerate innovation and cut costs on in-car software development throughout the entire product lifecycle." "Software virtualization and abstraction in the cloud is vital to accelerating development and maintaining feature delivery on-pace with consumer demand," said Wendy Bauer, Vice President and General Manager, Automotive and Manufacturing, AWS. "With BlackBerry's QNX Hypervisor on AWS Marketplace, Stellantis can easily harness the power of the cloud to reimagine research and development processes, architect more insightful ways to solicit and integrate feedback, and deliver functions faster than before that delight drivers and further the industry." Standard VirtIO interfaces are also used by a suite of automotive partners to scale their offerings across OEMs and enable plug-and-play across the OEM landscape. Recognizing the benefits, AWS fully supports the VirtIO industry standard for cloud simulation of cockpit HPCs. BlackBerry QNX launched QNX Accelerate in January 2023 with its portfolio initially featuring QNX Neutrino RTOS 7.1 and the QNX OS for Safety 2.2.3, each provided as Amazon Machine Images allowing QNX customers to run a QNX OS natively on AWS cloud hardware. The early access release of QNX Hypervisor in the cloud is available now and general availability will be announced later in 2024. About BlackBerry BlackBerry provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. The company secures more than 500M endpoints including over 235M vehicles. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company leverages AI and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety, and data privacy solutions, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint management, endpoint security, encryption, and embedded systems. BlackBerry's vision is clear - to secure a connected future you can trust. About Stellantis Stellantis N.V. is one of the world's leading automakers aiming to provide clean, safe and affordable freedom of mobility to all. It's best known for its unique portfolio of iconic and innovative brands including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys. Stellantis is executing its Dare Forward 2030, a bold strategic plan that paves the way to achieve the ambitious target of becoming a carbon net zero mobility tech company by 2038, while creating added value for all stakeholders.

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