VMware Folds Pivotal Into New Modern App Biz Unit

Sdxcentral | December 30, 2019

VMware closed on its $2.7 billion purchase of Pivotal, folding those operations into a new business unit headed by a long-time VMware executive. The move also sets VMware up to take advantage of its newly acquired Kubernetes assets heading into 2020. Pivotal’s operations have been combined with VMware’s Cloud Native Applications team under the newly formed Modern Applications Platform business unit. Ray O’Farrell will lead that unit as EVP and GM. O’Farrell previously served as EVP and executive sponsor of VMware’s Cloud Native Applications business, and prior to that was EVP and CTO. He has been at VMware since 2003.

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Les Mills takes martial arts into the metaverse with BODYCOMBAT VR app

Odders Lab | February 07, 2022

BODYCOMBAT – the world's most popular martial arts workout, enjoyed by millions globally each week – moves into the metaverse as fitness and gaming converge Les Mills is bringing exercise motivation to the metaverse with the launch of the BODYCOMBAT VR app, fusing globally-renowned trainers with virtual reality (VR) for an out-of-this-world fitness gaming experience. The group fitness leader has teamed up with VR specialist Odders Labs to transform the world-famous BODYCOMBAT™ workout into a high-octane VR gaming app on the Quest Platform. Led by BODYCOMBAT's legendary program directors Rachael Newsham and Dan Cohen – the game pits players against martial arts challenges across a variety of levels, spanning intergalactic deserts and neo-city skylines. Players earn points for their effort and technique, with Rachael and Dan providing coaching cues and motivation to power them through the workouts. Rachael Newsham, Program Director of BODYCOMBAT, said: "The cultural convergence between fitness and gaming is sparking exciting collaborations and innovative products, so naturally we jumped at the chance to team up with Odders Labs to create something truly magical. "The BODYCOMBAT VR app transports you into the middle of the most popular martial arts workout on the planet. The gamification and stunning VR vistas combine with the incredible moves, music and instruction that BODYCOMBAT is famous for to create an exhilarating experience that's so fun you forget you're even exercising. "Our mission is to create a fitter planet and we hope the launch of the BODYCOMBAT VR app enables us to reach new audiences and break down barriers to exercise, helping more people to start their fitness journey and reap the rewards of an active lifestyle." After many years of taking BODYCOMBAT classes in gyms and at home, it's been an incredible journey to work on bringing the experience to VR.” Jaime Pichardo Garcia, Odders Labs Business Director “This is a new step towards the future of fitness, and a revolution for VR workouts by bringing one of the biggest IPs in the fitness world with the same focus as Odders: innovation as the key differentiation of our products." Standout features of the game include: Bodycombat’s Signature Style The BODYCOMBAT VR app goes beyond jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. Squat and slip to dodge walls, throw sky punches to break targets, ram home hammer punches, and grab targets to slam with your knee! Access all types of workouts – including boxing fitness, speed workouts, core exercises, lower body, and more. Unbeatable Results All workouts are scientifically-designed to deliver results, with players able to track their performance and progress throughout the app experience. First-class Coaches World-famous Instructors Dan Cohen & Rachael Newsham are on hand to help hone technique and motivate players to push through each and every workout. Amazing Music Specially-curated soundtracks featuring the hottest up-and-coming artists to keep players pumped throughout their workouts. About Les Mills Les Mills is the global leader in group fitness and creator of 20 programs available in leading fitness facilities around the world. Les Mills programs include the world's first group exercise resistance training workout BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT (martial arts), RPM (indoor cycling), BODYBALANCE (yoga), LES MILLS GRIT™ (30-minute high-intensity interval training) and the revolutionary immersive cycle experience, THE TRIP™. Each workout is refreshed and updated with new choreography and music every three months. The company was founded by Les Mills – a four-time Olympian and head coach of New Zealand's track and field team – who opened his first gym in 1968 with the aim of taking elite sports training to the masses. Today, Les Mills workouts are delivered by 140,000 certified Instructors in 21,000 clubs across 100 countries and are available as live, livestream, virtual and immersive classes, as well as via the LES MILLS+ streaming platform. About Odders Lab Odders Lab is an innovative VR development studio creating unique titles with a spin. Based in Seville, Spain, we develop consistent products with a spin by adding unique characteristics that make our titles stand out from the crowd. With this focus on innovation, it was just a no-brainer to create a partnership with LES MILLS to bring the most innovative fitness experience to the VR market.

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VIRTUAL SERVER MANAGEMENT

Netcracker Extends Strategic Relationship With T-Mobile, America’s 5G Leader

Netcracker Technology | February 02, 2022

Netcracker Technology announced that T–Mobile has extended its BSS and managed services partnership for its wholesale business, which includes the MVNO and IoT markets. Netcracker Digital BSS, including Netcracker Partner Management, and Netcracker Managed Services will help T-Mobile continue leveraging best-in-class capabilities for revenue management while optimizing a range of operations, such as reduced bill run times and improved billing accuracy. The complete BSS suite will allow T-Mobile to enhance customer experience across all channels. In addition, Netcracker will provide a comprehensive set of services, such as Agile and DevOps methodologies for development, configuration and delivery. Netcracker Digital BSS serves as T-Mobile’s billing platform for its wholesale line of business and is used to deliver the best possible offerings and customer experience across its growing subscriber base. “We are pleased to renew our partnership with Netcracker to help us realize current and future goals for our wholesale operations, including our industry-leading MVNO business as well as our IoT business, along with seamless operations and onboarding,” said Dan Thygesen, SVP and GM, Wholesale at T-Mobile. We are extremely proud to be the strategic partner of an industry trailblazer like T-Mobile, which continues to lead the increasingly competitive North American IoT, MVNO and wholesale markets with best-in-class technologies and differentiated service offerings for enterprise customers, partners and consumers. Our innovative and cutting-edge products and services provide T-Mobile with the tools to transform customer experience and support their business for future technologies.” Frank DeTraglia, Chief Customer Officer at Netcracker 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.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

New Audit Resources from ISACA Help Professionals Keep Pace with 2022 Audit and Compliance Trends and Updates

ISACA | December 22, 2021

As the year winds down, many audit professionals are shifting their focus to 2022 priorities—including developing dynamic new strategies such as agile auditing, revisiting established technologies from a remote or hybrid working environment perspective, and closing any gaps between compliance expectations and current practices—and how they can enhance their skills to meet the needs of the evolving audit landscape. To meet these needs, ISACA has released three new audit resources—its VPN Security Audit Program, Destination: Agile Auditing white paper, and a new edition of its IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley publication. During the pandemic, the reliance on virtual private networks (VPNs) was heightened as many shifted to working from home—as did the need to manage its risks and implement safeguards. ISACA’s VPN Security Audit Program provides a foundation for auditors to provide assurance around the effectiveness of implemented VPN controls, including pre-audit planning, governance and oversight, implementation and configuration, operations, and maintenance and monitoring, to avoid some of the following risks: The increase in number of end users combined with extended VPN use may put additional pressure on infrastructure and adversely affect performance. Failure to detect unauthorized VPN activity may cause denial of service due to excessive traffic or connection attempts. Lack of alignment of data classification requirements with VPN requirements and configuration may impair compliance initiatives that are reliant on data classification. During the pandemic, organizations embraced methods to increase agility and efficiency, including by using Agile. Destination: Agile Auditing outlines how audit professionals can incorporate Agile principles into their audit methodologies. Auditors can learn the basics about Agile auditing, its benefits, how Agile complements established assurance standards, how developing competency in Agile can enhance the planning, fieldwork, and reporting phases of an audit. The white paper also includes examples of elements from the Agile tool set, including an Agile road map and Agile audit engagement workflows and illuminates key components like sprints, audit backlog and daily standups. Internal and external auditors, IT auditors and managers, and financial and operational managers can also ensure they are keeping up with the latest guidance in complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a new edition of ISACA’s IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley publication. This latest edition incorporates updated guidance and standards from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its Auditing Standards Board, with updates including: Integrating guidance for implementing internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) using COBIT® 2019, for IT and financial management within enterprises and for their internal and external auditors and consultants Aligning with COBIT 2019 Focus Area: Information & Technology Risk Providing the mapping of the role of COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework, 2013 to COBIT 2019 Highlighting technological innovations and their impacts on auditing IT controls. The audit landscape is constantly shifting as technologies and regulations evolve, making it essential that audit professionals prioritize continuous learning to ensure they are applying the most current and effective audit practices. ISACA is committed to equipping the global audit community with the tools they need to deliver the highest audit standards at their organizations.” Robin Lyons, IT Audit Professional Practices Lead About ISACA For more than 50 years, ISACA has advanced the best talent, expertise and learning in technology. ISACA equips individuals with knowledge, credentials, education and community to progress their careers and transform their organizations, and enables enterprises to train and build quality teams. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. In 2020, ISACA launched One In Tech, a philanthropic foundation that supports IT education and career pathways for under-resourced, under-represented populations.

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VPN

A2i Selects BlastWave's BlastShield Passwordless Software-Defined Perimeter Solution

BlastWave | December 17, 2021

BlastWave, a developer of software-defined perimeter (SDP) solutions that protect networks from inadvertent and intentional threats, announced that A2i systems selected its BlastShield solution to protect A2i's internal network and remote customer access. BlastShield is the first all-in-one SDP patented solution that combines infrastructure cloaking and passwordless multi-factor authentication (MFA) for identity-based secure remote network access for organizations that've adopted a zero-trust security model. BlastShield enables organizations to hide on-premise and cloud workloads from outsiders and insider threats, concealing an organization's infrastructure from cyberattacks through software-defined microsegmentation without modifications to existing network fabric and hardware. BlastWave's novel approach solves the three most critical steps in the cyber kill chain for an attacker: (1) account takeover; (2) lateral movement; and (3) remote access compromise. In addition, BlastShield helps prevent and isolate attacks mitigating the spread of malware, reducing the blast radius. BlastShield also enables cloud-native app development by securing microservices, containers and Kubernetes clusters. A2i Systems provides the first secure pricing optimization solution in the retail fuel industry through their flagship product, PriceCast Fuel. A2i Systems utilizes customer-centric AI by detecting behavioral patterns in Big Data and dynamically mapping customer and competitor behaviors to identify the optimal price for consumers throughout the day. As a result, A2i can now help customers price strategically instead of tactically through their cloud-hosted services that move them on to the most advanced fuel price management system currently available. In the wake of recent supply chain attacks, we recognized that VPN-based solutions simply cannot provide the level of protection we require for our critical data and remote access. The security of our data and our customers' data is our highest priority and we needed a secure platform to provide access to our hybrid data services, hosted both in the cloud and on-premise. BlastShield filled both these needs for us with their patented solution." Emil Erlandsson, Vice President of Professional Services at A2i After a comprehensive proof of concept (PoC) using BlastShield's Free Starter Package solution, A2i selected BlastShield and began deploying BlastShield's Invisible peer-to-peer software-defined perimeter solution for initially for internal use for secure remote access. "We're excited to partner with A2i systems on this project," says Tom Sego, CEO BlastWave. "By combining A2i's revolutionary AI-based fuel pricing solution with BlastWave's patented invisible SDP, A2i customers will enjoy the benefits of state-of-the-art pricing optimization while mitigating the risk of supply chain attacks." About BlastWave Founded by former executives and technologists from Apple and Cisco, BlastWave is taking a fundamentally different approach to security aimed at protecting privacy and connected devices from cyberattacks. BlastWave's patented product, BlastShield, is an all-in-one-zero trust stack that combines state-of-the-art passwordless multi-factor authentication with high-performance, resilient encrypted connectivity and built-in microsegmentation. In addition to protecting servers and IoT devices, BlastShield also secures containers that are orchestrated with Kubernetes, enabling more agile and efficient cloud-native application development. BlastWave is backed by Rocket Strategies, Lucas Venture Group, and Millennium Investments. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. About A2i Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, A2i uses ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to make advancements in ways to interact with your customers at the forecourt. We are giving you the opportunity to transform your business and be ready for the next phase of Fuel Retail. Our product, PriceCast Fuel (PCF) is the world's first industry-specific retail fuel pricing, management and optimization solution developed by A2i. By combining state-of-the-art AI and Machine Learning with Big Data, PCF brings dynamic, predictive consumer-behavior-based pricing to the retail fuel industry providing a fully automated pricing decision system capable of achieving location-specific objectives optimally within any given corporate constraints. By applying self-learning capabilities, PCF continuously assures the highest accuracy prediction in an ever-changing market.

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