HPE Takes On VMware With AI-Powered HCI

SDxCentral | October 28, 2019

The next phase of software-defined infrastructure is artificial intelligence (AI) powered hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). And to this end, the vendor announced it started shipping its HCI product SimpliVity with Infosight, its AI-management tool, as well as one-click cluster upgrades and integration with its data protection software StoreOnce. “HCI already represents simplicity for the VM [virtual machine] administrator,” said David Wang, director of product marketing for storage at HPE. “You’re going to have faster time to market, you’re going to have easier management because you’re eliminating silos. But HCI hasn’t solved that problem of day two and beyond.” HCI improves resource efficiency by scaling compute and storage. But it still requires VM admins to react to unexpected disruptions and application delays, and also to make tradeoffs between efficiency and performance or resiliency and capacity as they scale their environments, he explained.

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The Dell EMC PowerEdge MX with VMware vSAN Ready Nodes delivered a 55.9% faster response time than a Cisco UCS® solution and a 41.3% faster response time than an HPE Synergy solution.


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VMWARE

Envoy Gateway Makes Using Envoy Proxy Easier for Developers and Reverses Fragmentation

VMware | May 16, 2022

Members of the steering group for Envoy Gateway (EG), including Envoy creator Matt Klein and representatives from Ambassador Labs, Fidelity Investments, Tetrate, and VMware, Inc., today announced their joint commitment to the project, which launched today at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Europe 2022, under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®). Envoy Gateway is a new effort within the Envoy proxy open source project to simplify Envoy use in cloud-native application development. Envoy Gateway will reduce existing, redundant efforts around Envoy and make it much easier for application developers to use Envoy as a basic API gateway “out of the box” and as a Kubernetes Ingress controller. Exposing a simplified set of APIs, and implementing the Kubernetes Gateway API, EG makes it easier to extend Envoy. Developers will now have a cost-free, unfettered way to provide external access to their work in progress. At the same time, Envoy Gateway will not replace API management features currently found in commercial products. “Envoy has achieved a great deal of success since we first released it in 2016,” said Matt Klein, founder of the Envoy proxy project. “And community has been at the heart of Envoy from the beginning. With the community-driven Envoy Gateway project, we see the opportunity to make Envoy accessible to many more users through the addition of simplified APIs and new capabilities explicitly targeted at north-south / edge proxy use cases.” Envoy is already widely used for traffic between separate services in a microservices application—that is, east-west traffic. With Envoy Gateway, Envoy will also be easy to use for north-south traffic—traffic between an application and the outside world, as with consumers of an application’s APIs. Envoy Gateway—Extensible Open Source Infrastructure for the Cloud-Native Future IT organizations worldwide want to establish and use a rich, robust, modern stack of open source software for cloud-native application development and delivery, under the management of organizations such as the Linux Foundation and CNCF. Commercial offerings and projects within each IT team can then add value on top of this core infrastructure. Envoy is fast becoming the go-to networking substrate within this modern, cloud-native stack. However, the need for API access, traffic routing, and other ingress capabilities has recently led to fragmentation in the Envoy ecosystem. Envoy Gateway will bring this needed functionality back into the main Envoy project and make it less confusing and time-consuming for developers to access Envoy. Implementation Via Kubernetes Gateway API Envoy Gateway will expose a version of the Kubernetes-native Gateway API, with Envoy-specific extensions. This is an expressive, extensible, role-oriented API well-suited to use by developers. Gateway API is either implemented, or in progress, for Istio, the Contour project (which originated at VMware), Emissary-ingress (which originated at Ambassador Labs), and others. When users create Gateway API resources, they will be translated into native Envoy API calls, so Envoy and xDS, its native API, will not need to be changed to add this new support. Advantages for Developers, Infrastructure Administrators and Business Decision-Makers Application developers will experience the most positive impact from Envoy Gateway. They will be able to run Envoy Gateway and begin routing traffic to their applications. They will no longer need to build their own control plane, or extend an existing control plane such as a Go or Java control plane, or bring in a vendor solution at the early stages of their projects. They can just configure routes for the application and share them. Infrastructure administrators will be able to easily offer an Envoy-native experience to application teams, without needing to adopt a vendor solution just to get basic gateway functionality. They will be able to manage instances of Envoy Gateway without interfering with developer access to them. Envoy Gateway will allow them to deliver consistent application networking capabilities across heterogeneous environments. Executives and decision-makers will have Envoy as a standard and, we expect, widely-used solution for API access and Kubernetes ingress. They will also benefit from faster and easier development and delivery of more secure and robust software and services. About Envoy Originally created by Matt Klein and built at Lyft, Envoy is a high performance C++ distributed proxy designed for single services and applications, as well as a communication bus and “universal data plane” designed for large microservice “service mesh” architectures. Built on the learnings of solutions such as NGINX, HAProxy, hardware load balancers, and cloud load balancers, Envoy runs alongside every application and abstracts the network by providing common features in a platform-agnostic manner. When all service traffic in an infrastructure flows via an Envoy mesh, it becomes easy to visualize problem areas via consistent observability, tune overall performance, and add substrate features in a single place. About Ambassador Labs Ambassador Labs, the cloud native developer experience leader, enables developers to code, test, ship, and run applications faster and easier than ever. Maker of top Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) open source projects, including Emissary-ingress and Telepresence, Ambassador Labs delivers a developer control plane for Kubernetes that integrates the development, deployment, and production infrastructure for developers and organizations worldwide including Microsoft, PTC, NVidia, and Ticketmaster About Fidelity Investments Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $11.3 trillion, including discretionary assets of $4.2 trillion as of March 31, 2022, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers. Privately held for over 75 years, Fidelity employs more than 57,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. 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.

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VMWARE

Cybercriminals Target Linux-based Systems With Ransomware and Cryptojacking Attacks

VMware | February 09, 2022

As the most common cloud operating system, Linux is a core part of digital infrastructure and is quickly becoming an attacker’s ticket into a multi-cloud environment. Current malware countermeasures are mostly focused on addressing Windows-based threats, leaving many public and private cloud deployments vulnerable to attacks that target Linux-based workloads. VMware, Inc. released a threat report titled “Exposing Malware in Linux-based Multi-Cloud Environments.” Key findings that detail how cybercriminals are using malware to target Linux-based operating systems include: Ransomware is evolving to target Linux host images used to spin workloads in virtualized environments; 89 percent of cryptojacking attacks use XMRig-related libraries; and More than half of Cobalt Strike users may be cybercriminals, or at least using Cobalt Strike illicitly. Cybercriminals are dramatically expanding their scope and adding malware that targets Linux-based operating systems to their attack toolkit in order to maximize their impact with as little effort as possible. Rather than infecting an endpoint and then navigating to a higher value target, cybercriminals have discovered that compromising a single server can deliver the massive payoff and access they’re looking for. Attackers view both public and private clouds as high-value targets due to the access they provide to critical infrastructure services and confidential data. Unfortunately, current malware countermeasures are mostly focused on addressing Windows-based threats, leaving many public and private cloud deployments vulnerable to attacks on Linux-based operating systems.” Giovanni Vigna, senior director of threat intelligence at VMware As malware targeting Linux-based operating systems increases in both volume and complexity amid a rapidly changing threat landscape, organizations must place a greater priority on threat detection. In this report, the VMware Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) analyzed the threats to Linux-based operating systems in multi-cloud environments: ransomware, cryptominers, and remote access tools. Ransomware Targets the Cloud to Inflict Maximum Damage As one of the leading breach causes for organizations, a successful ransomware attack on a cloud environment can have devastating consequences.(2) Ransomware attacks against cloud deployments are targeted, and are often combined with data exfiltration, implementing a double-extortion scheme that improves the odds of success. A new development shows that ransomware is evolving to target Linux host images used to spin workloads in virtualized environments. Attackers are now looking for the most valuable assets in cloud environments to inflict the maximum amount of damage to the target. Examples include the Defray777 ransomware family, which encrypted host images on ESXi servers, and the DarkSide ransomware family, which crippled Colonial Pipeline’s networks and caused a nationwide gasoline shortage in the U.S. Cryptojacking Attacks Use XMRig to Mine Monero Cybercriminals looking for an instant monetary reward often target cryptocurrencies using one of two approaches. Cybercriminals either include wallet-stealing functionality in malware or they monetize stolen CPU cycles to successfully mine cryptocurrencies in an attack called cryptojacking. Most cryptojacking attacks focus on mining the Monero currency (or XMR) and VMware TAU discovered that 89 percent of cryptominers used XMRig-related libraries. For this reason, when XMRig-specific libraries and modules in Linux binaries are identified, it is likely evidence of malicious cryptomining behavior. VMware TAU also observed that defense evasion is the most commonly used technique by cryptominers. Unfortunately, because cryptojacking attacks do not completely disrupt the operations of cloud environments like ransomware, they are much more difficult to detect. Cobalt Strike Is Attackers’ Remote Access Tool of Choice In order to gain control and persist within an environment, attackers look to install an implant on a compromised system that gives them partial control of the machine. Malware, webshells, and Remote Access Tools (RATs) can all be implants used by attackers in a compromised system to allow for remote access. One of the primary implants used by attackers is Cobalt Strike, a commercial penetration testing and red team tool, and its recent variant of Linux-based Vermilion Strike. Since Cobalt Strike is such a ubiquitous threat on Windows, the expansion out to the Linux-based operating system demonstrates the desire of threat actors to use readily available tools that target as many platforms as possible. VMware TAU discovered more than 14,000 active Cobalt Strike Team Servers on the Internet between February 2020 and November 2021. The total percentage of cracked and leaked Cobalt Strike customer IDs is 56 percent, meaning that more than half of Cobalt Strike users may be cybercriminals, or at least using Cobalt Strike illicitly. The fact that RATs like Cobalt Strike and Vermilion Strike have become a commodity tool for cybercriminals poses a significant threat to enterprises. “Since we conducted our analysis, even more ransomware families were observed gravitating to malware targeting Linux-based systems, with the potential for additional attacks that could leverage the Log4j vulnerabilities,” said Brian Baskin, manager of threat research at VMware. “The findings in this report can be used to better understand the nature of this malware and mitigate the growing threat that ransomware, cryptomining, and RATs have on multi-cloud environments. As attacks targeting the cloud continue to evolve, organizations should adopt a Zero Trust approach to embed security throughout their infrastructure and systematically address the threat vectors that make up their attack surface.” Methodology The VMware Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) helps protect customers from cyberattacks through innovation and world-class research. TAU is composed of malware analysts, reverse engineers, threat hunters, data scientists, and intelligence analysts at VMware. To understand how to detect and prevent attacks that bypass traditional, file-centric, prevention strategies, TAU focuses on techniques that were once the domain of advanced hackers and are now moving downstream into the commodity attack market. The team leverages real-time big data, event streaming processing, static, dynamic and behavioral analytics, and machine learning. TAU applied a composition of static and dynamic techniques to characterize various families of malware observed on Linux-based systems based on a curated dataset of metadata associated with Linux binaries. All the samples in this dataset are public and therefore they can be easily accessed using VirusTotal or various websites of major Linux distributions. TAU collected more than 11,000 benign samples from several Linux distributions, namely, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora, CentOS, and Kali. TAU then collected a dataset of samples for two classes of threats, namely ransomware and cryptominers. Finally, TAU collected a dataset of malicious ELF binaries from VirusTotal that were used as a test malicious dataset. TAU started collecting the dataset in June 2021 and concluded in November 2021. 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.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Dell Technologies Telecom Solutions Simplify and Accelerate Modern, Open Network Deployments

Dell Technologies | February 23, 2022

Dell Technologies introduces new telecommunications solutions and services to bolster the open telecom ecosystem and help communications service providers (CSPs) affordably ramp their transformation to open, cloud-native networks. The telecommunications industry's growing open ecosystem gives CSPs more choice in their technologies and partners as they modernize to cloud-native networks. CSPs need the various technologies of this open ecosystem to work together seamlessly to offer differentiated edge services and reduce costs. Dell aims to remove complexity and speed modern network deployments with its Dell Telecom Cloud Foundation, Dell Open RAN Accelerator and new telecom solutions and lab capabilities. Communications service providers are changing how they build and deploy open networks, establishing the foundation on which they can develop and deliver innovative services to capture the edge opportunity. Our expanded telecom solutions portfolio brings the open ecosystem together for network operators, giving them the simplicity and reliability they need to modernize their networks and monetize new services." Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation speeds network modernization, business growth The Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation is a turnkey, end-to-end, modern network infrastructure solution that helps CSPs build and deploy open, cloud-native networks faster with lower cost and complexity. The Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation includes Dell hardware, Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator management software and the CSPs' choice of integrated telecom cloud software platforms, including Red Hat, VMware and Wind River. Dell is adding new Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator Modules to its software, giving CSPs the ability to deploy and lifecycle manage the entire cloud foundation stack. Once implemented, CSPs will have a scalable cloud foundation spanning core, edge and RAN for their open hardware and software environment with the flexibility to design and deploy open network functions and differentiated edge services. ACG Research estimates an up to 39% OpEx savings for CSPs deploying the Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation in their networks. ACG Research found CSPs also save time on testing and certification, manual processes, server provisioning, software upgrades and cloud stack integration and testing. Dell and Marvell collaborate on new hardware to accelerate Open RAN With the introduction of virtualized and Open RAN architectures, 5G networks are undergoing a transformation that brings cloud scalability to the RAN. Existing virtualized and Open RAN alternatives have previously lacked the performance of established networks, hindering the ability for CSPs to implement cloud-native 5G. Developed in collaboration with Marvell, the Dell Open RAN Accelerator Card is a new inline 5G Layer 1 processing card for vRAN and Open RAN solutions. Designed for Dell PowerEdge and other x86-based servers, the PCIe accelerator card brings the same Marvell OCTEON Fusion technology and performance of today's leading 5G radio networks to the Open RAN ecosystem. CSPs can have better performing systems that lower cost and power consumption, allowing them to affordably scale high performing, modern radio access networks with an open architecture approach. "Marvell is delighted to partner with Dell Technologies to enable an open, virtualized 5G RAN architecture that delivers advanced features and performance built on our proven OCTEON® Fusion platform," said Raj Singh, executive vice president, Processors Business Unit at Marvell. "The new Dell Open RAN Accelerator Card is an innovative no-compromise, cloud-native, inline, Open RAN Layer 1 acceleration solution that addresses the shortcomings of existing vRAN alternatives." "We're pleased to see Dell Technologies and Marvell come together to innovate and create technologies that will enhance Open RAN platform capability and vendor diversity for operators," said Andy Dunkin, Open RAN RF and digital platform development manager at Vodafone. "The promise of virtualized Open RAN platforms will be enhanced with the Dell Open Ran Accelerator Card that should offer network operators like Vodafone a less costly and more efficient path to Open RAN." Dell and ecosystem partners help speed deployment of edge and core solutions Dell continues to grow its open partner ecosystem with new telecom solutions for edge and core. Dell Validated Design for Services Edge 1.2 brings together edge compute resources with private wireless connectivity, enabling the ease of deployment, scalable operations and security capabilities required for large numbers of edge locations. Enterprises can place sensors and devices at the edge of mobile networks to capture and process data in near-real time, and use the data to generate insights, optimize operations and help increase productivity. The open standards-based design now supports Airspan 5G RAN for a fast deployment of enterprise private 5G networks. Dell Validated Design for the 5G Core with Oracle and VMware gives CSPs the choice to build a robust, scalable 5G core on industry standard infrastructure, in a more secure and reliable way. The solution can help reduce the time needed to design, test and integrate network components from multiple partners. Dell expands telecom services and lab capabilities to drive faster ecosystem innovation Dell continues to grow its telecom services capabilities to lead partner integration and accelerate CSPs' deployment and adoption of telecom solutions. CSPs can quickly operationalize network infrastructure with Dell ProDeploy for NFVI. The service combines Dell factory integration and field deployment options to flexibly build the optimal NFV infrastructure specific to each customer's network. The service integrates compute, networking and telecom cloud software platforms, helping CSPs deploy workloads faster and at scale, saving them time and cost. Dell's proven processes enable 68% faster infrastructure deployment time with ProDeploy. The Dell Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab Solution Integration Platform helps CSPs and partners securely connect their lab resources to the Dell lab and infrastructure to develop and bring 5G and telecom edge services to market more quickly. With the labs interconnected to create a mini, open ecosystem, the Solution Integration Platform uses the latest DevOps techniques to conduct tests faster than manual testing, so services can be brought to market more quickly, with less risk and cost. CSPs and partners can use the new platform to conduct integrated testing and ongoing lifecycle management of Open RAN, 5G and edge services and applications. 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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CLOUD

D2iQ™ Kubernetes Platform Enhancements Speed Time-to-Value in Production Environments

D2iQ™ | April 22, 2022

D2iQ, the leading enterprise Kubernetes provider for smart cloud-native applications, today announced the newest release of the D2iQ Kubernetes Platform (DKP). With customer-led updates, DKP 2.2 gives enterprises more control and visibility when deploying and managing Kubernetes deployments in any environment, and enables customers to accelerate mission-critical production deployments. DKP now provides VMware vSphere infrastructure provisioning using Cluster API to simplify lifecycle management, a unified DKP user interface to improve the user experience, and access to Kaptain AI/ML to better support artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) workloads, streamlining the development of smart cloud-native applications. D2iQ is kicking off a customer technology preview of DKP Insights, a self-service troubleshooting capability that embeds D2iQ's industry-leading expertise in Kubernetes operations. DKP Insights analyzes the alerts, metrics, logs, and events from Kubernetes clusters managed by DKP and generates heuristic analytics for potential issues and operational challenges. This enables infrastructure teams to quickly identify and proactively resolve issues on their own providing greater support productivity, speed, and reduced costs, while preventing downtime and loss of revenue. In addition, DKP now includes access to Kaptain AI/ML as a catalog application that enables enterprises to deploy Kaptain to other Kubernetes distributions managed by DKP, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). With Kaptain AI/ML, organizations can develop, deploy, and run AI and ML workloads in production at scale with consistency and reliability. "As Kubernetes deployments begin to scale in production environments, complexity increases exponentially, often limiting the success and impact of cloud-native projects," said Tobi Knaup, CEO of D2iQ. "The latest release of DKP further enhances our customers' experience in running enterprise-grade Kubernetes. Customer-led innovations, such as DKP Insights for improved platform management, empower organizations to accelerate time-to-value and increase reliability for all Kubernetes deployments. As the industry's leading independent Kubernetes platform, DKP continues to power the cloud-native applications that have become a requirement in modern business operations." About D2iQ ™ D2iQ accelerates Day 2 success for smart cloud-native applications on enterprise Kubernetes. The D2iQ Kubernetes Platform (DKP) includes everything needed to adopt Kubernetes easily and expand Kubernetes use to multiple clusters across any infrastructure, whether on-premise, in the cloud, in air-gapped environments, or at the edge, and to enable smart cloud-native applications. D2iQ eliminates roadblocks to success, such as lack of skills, with our Kubernetes and cloud-native expertise, alleviates operational complexity with a simpler and easy-to-use platform, and addresses security concerns with military-grade security. D2iQ is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in London and Hamburg. D2iQ investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Khosla Ventures, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Microsoft, and T.Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

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