This week I had the privilege of participating in an event held in Sydney, Australia, with Bill Dawes, publisher and editor of Image & Data Manager, and Chris McLaughlin, Chief Marketing Officer of our Enterprise Content Division. During my presentation, I (hopefully) entertained the audience while advocating the importance of archiving.Prior to the event, Mr. Dawes had conducted a survey to better understand the challenges that organizations face around managing legacy applications and data. One of the most surprising revelations for me was that some organizations would rather maintain legacy apps, or migrate legacy data, than find a more efficient solution.I guess it should not be overly surprising. Newton’s First Law of Motion, often termed simply “the law of inertia,” states: “An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.ShareSo in a nutshell, organizations will have a natural tendency to keep on doing what they’re doing unless there is a catalyst to do otherwise.The reality is that there are multiple catalysts to start moving now:Find the hidden gem. Repurpose archived data to create new insights and business values using analytics tools. This is becoming increasingly important as organizations disrupt their current business models to be relevant in the new digital economy.Clean the garage. Up to 70% of IT budgets are being spent on maintaining legacy applications. Free up this budget for new innovation and SaaS solutions by retiring legacy applications.Stay out of jail. Regional and industry-specific regulations continue to multiply. It’s become critical that archiving solutions maintain compliance across all enterprise data.Boost performance. Don’t get dragged down by data you don’t need. Make production systems efficient by offloading static data into an archive.And if that isn’t enough, the right solution to these challenges can pay for itself. A great example of this is BMO Harris Bank.So while 75% of those surveyed by Mr. Dawes indicated that they are currently maintaining legacy applications and data, and more than 50% of them see value in having a single compliant repository for all information across an organization, some are still struggling to extricate themselves from the status quo.Those organizations that truly comprehend the value of archiving will thrive as the industry continues to be disrupted by digital transformation.So my advice to those of you who are maintaining legacy apps and data is this: never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The viability of your organization may depend on it.
Did you spend as much time watching television over the holidays as I did? If so, then you might have caught Nickelodeon’s first original animated TV movie, Albert. In the film, Bobby Moynihan (from “Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of a little Douglas fir tree named Albert who wants to become the Empire City tree.Albert’s 3.1 million total viewers in Live+7 (which in TV ratings talk means the number of viewers within seven days of first showing) helped Nickelodeon finish 2016 as the number-one kid’s network for the year, according to numbers released last week.Even if you were one of those millions of viewers, I bet you likely missed the story about how Dell Precision 5810 workstations helped them bring their first 45-minute movie to life, though.“Using the Dell Precision with NVIDIA Quadro M6000 graphics cards has allowed us to stay competitive with overseas studios because we’re able to turn around results much faster and we’re able to keep a smaller team longer and be more efficient,” said Jason Meier, animation director at Nickelodeon, in the video below. </p><p>The combination of Dell Precision workstations with NVIDIA graphics cards and Redshift software, which leverages a computer’s graphics card rather than its CPU, enabled Nickelodeon’s in-house team to see render times that they’d never been able to see before. While it used to take two-three hours to see a final frame, Meier said they were able to do it in just a half hour.“This movie in particular, doing as much work as we’re doing in-house, keeping as much work in Los Angeles, in the United States, has been a huge game changer,” said Macgregor Middleton, producer at Nickelodeon. “And I think showing people that it can be done at a reasonable price with a reasonable timeline is something that people are going to be most impressed with.”So while many of us enter the new year with plans to decrease our spending and do more with less (especially less holiday treats), the team at Nickelodeon already has a head start on such resolutions. Dell workstations like the ones they used for Albert are designed with creators and their visions top-of-mind; and, we’ve got more great products for creative professionals coming soon. (Hint: #ces2017)And if you missed it, or just want to hold on to that Christmas spirit and watch it again, the full Albert movie is available on Nick.com!
Next week at Mobile World Congress, Dell Technologies will be showing off how we can help CoSPs on their digital transformation journey. Our Extreme Scale Infrastructure (ESI) division will be there with our latest edge solutions, including our micro Modular Data Center (MDC). We’ll also have our DSS 9000 rack-scale infrastructure and we’ll be running a number of demos. Read on to get an inside look at what ESI has planned for the show.What’s driving the edge computing trend?The answer is simple…data. The huge amounts of data generated by IoT is accelerating interest in the edge. IDC estimates that by 2025 there will be 80 billion IoT connected endpoints and that the amount of data will exceed 162 zettabytes. When CoSPs need real-time data analysis, local solutions can respond faster than clouds or centralized data centers whose resources are utilized by a huge range of users spanning vast distances.What is the Dell EMC micro Modular Data Center? </p><p>Traditional data center architectures don’t work well for edge-oriented initiatives and it’s the reason ESI introduced a micro MDC. With a footprint smaller than half of a parking spot, Dell EMC micro MDCs are small, nimble data centers that are pre-integrated with compute, storage and networking as well as power & cooling.Dell EMC micro MDCs are complete, easily deployable solutions that can be built to your requirements and can be placed virtually anywhere in the world – indoors or outdoors, at the base of a cell tower or in a local neighborhood. They can leverage outside air or mechanical cooling technologies, be built with one rack or three or more racks, configured with all IT equipment or a mixture of IT and power and cooling.A look at the ITWhile each micro MDC can be tailored to meet your needs, at Mobile World Congress we will be showing off a three-rack solution that features one rack of IT (DSS 9000) alongside two racks of power & cooling and a Dell Edge Gateway that connects varied wired and wireless devices and systems to allow for local analytics. The combination allows you to speed the storage, processing and analysis of data at the edge – helping to generate business-driving insights faster while improving response times for end users.For those of you not familiar with our DSS 9000 rack-level infrastructure, this is an integrated rack that provides compute, storage, networking, power & cooling and rack-level management (via Redfish and a hardware resource manager such as Intel Rack Scale Design [RSD]). Designed to scale with your needs, it’s a leading example of the shift toward software-defined infrastructure and has been recently recognized by the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation as OCP-INSPIRED™. It provides the scalability, agility and manageability you need to distribute more processing power closer to the edge.Another key piece of DSS 9000, in combination with Redfish and Intel RSD, is that it enables composable systems – meaning users can allocate pools of compute, storage and networking dynamically across workloads as they need them and within the cloud environment of their choice. This becomes even more important in the IoT era when your underlying infrastructure needs to support a wide variety of workload requirements. We’ll be demonstrating this capability in an OpenStack environment at the event and you can find more details, including a step-by-step how-to in the following whitepapers:Transforming Management for Scale-Out InfrastructureOpenStack Kickstart Guide for DSS 9000Managing from a single-pane-of-glassWhile we’re very excited to be showing off our micro MDC and the associated IT at Mobile World Congress, one critical piece that should not be overlooked is the management of edge solutions. It’s one thing to build and deploy edge computing solutions; and another to manage these capabilities as they become more widespread.Our micro MDCs are managed as a unified, software-defined environment via software we call MDCi. This means operators can administer and manage multiple MDCs from all over the world as well as the associated IT and data center sensors from a single point of control. At Mobile World Congress we will be demoing the software alongside our development partner, OSIsoft, and showing how MDCi can provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for IT and facilities personnel.Visit us at Mobile World CongressThis will be our biggest year yet at Mobile World Congress and we’d certainly like to connect in person. You can find Dell EMC inside the VMware booth in Hall 3, Booth 3K10. Please drop by to check out our solutions in person, to request a meeting or to just say hello. And if you won’t be at the event, that’s ok too…simply email us if you have any questions. You can also learn more about the ESI and our edge computing solutions in this whitepaper from Heavy Reading (Dell EMC Extreme Scale Infrastructure Brings Power to the Edge). With Mobile World Congress less than a week away, we are sure to hear a lot about edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and 5G, among other trends this year. And rightfully so when you consider how communications service providers (CoSPs) are continually evolving their business models to add new products and services that bring additional revenue streams while also trying to:Better compete with Web-based service providersDeploy distributed infrastructure closer to the edge of the networkEnsure end-users receive instant access to applications and services
Choosing the right Software-as-a-Service application to consolidate and modernize your company’s Human Resource platform is a significant challenge under most circumstances. Making that transition to unite HR operations of two, newly merged high-tech heavy hitters (Dell & EMC) with approximately 160,000 employees around the globe is a downright monumental task.After heading up a 90+ member core IT team that worked across IT and the business to successfully bring together legacy EMC and Dell HR systems onto one common HR platform in 16 months, I can offer insights on how to find the right SaaS providers for your HR transformation.I can also tell you that selecting the right tools and technologies are only part of the process to forge a system that is so critical and fundamental to creating a happy and motivated workforce. Bringing the key players together to communicate and collaborate to define requirements to take care of the needs of your company’s human resources is even more important.After all, the ultimate table stakes in any HR application modernization program is ensuring employee paychecks are accurate and on time.Hopefully underscoring that reality, along with some other strategies we learned in the course of this project, will help you in your pursuit of creating a more efficient, cloud-based HR platform.Agreeing on the Future StateAt the time of the merger that created Dell Technologies, Dell and EMC were using different legacy HR vendor tools, applications and processes. We literally had two of everything from an HR and vendor management applications perspective.The first step in creating a new HR platform was to bring the various business stakeholders together to define what the end state of a unified HR application would look like regardless of which SaaS applications were chosen. Central to that effort was a strong partnership between IT and business leadership. HR and IT worked with teams from each BU to look at everything from job codes to recruitment to payroll—all the processes across the whole HR ecosystem—to determine what we wanted the new “digital” HR experience to be.These business teams were joined at the hip with IT, working to define IT requirements for how the new platform would interface with the many applications from both legacy companies.Once the HR team defined a set of operating principles for the new company, the next step was for HR and IT to join forces to evaluate each prospective SaaS provider. There were several large SaaS providers that could serve our objectives. We finally chose a provider based on how they scored on meeting our requirements laid out by both business and IT.Our IT requirements focused on performance, scalability, and how easy it would be to integrate with the different applications across the company with the chosen SaaS solution. We had more than 275 direct integrations into these SaaS applications, so they would have to scale across the whole IT ecosystem as well as from on-premises to the cloud.One of the things that I think played a huge role in the success of the program is that this wasn’t a matter of legacy-Dell’s app being pushed on legacy-EMC. Both companies were coming into the process with a blank canvas and team members focused on a unified vision for the new company. That became the key factor in determining the right SaaS providers. While there were debates, it didn’t become confrontational. We kept things focused on making logical decisions to meet our goals.At the end of the review process, we arrived at unanimous choices for three SaaS providers—one for our overall HR platform, another for an HR portal and a third to provide our vendor management process.We then set out to integrate the many applications, migrate files, and take the data from each legacy company and restructure it to match the new HR world going forward. We repeatedly ran conversions for some four million records until we achieved 99.5 percent accuracy, and ran extensive system integration and user acceptance testing.After 16 months, we launched our new HR platform—called My HR—as scheduled. The big bang launch—in which we deployed our HR platform, the portal, data analytics, and vendor management application in a 7-day span—went off without a hitch.Lessons Learned While a single blog can’t begin to cover the many facets of this project, there are some key pieces of advice you may find helpful.Get business groups aligned to speak with one voice on the requirements for your future HR platform before considering SaaS providers.Ensure that the Business and IT project leads work together towards a common goal and not separate agendas.Set a project completion (go-live) date, get everybody rowing in that direction and don’t blink.Communicate constantly with all stakeholders, across all aspects of the business. You can never communicate too much.Make sure team leaders “walk the walk” by being constantly involved in every aspect of the project.Limit the amount of history you include in your new HR system and archive the rest.You can never start too early to define the launch orchestration sequence, which needs to be precise to accommodate the many interdependencies of business and HR functions.Get feedback from other companies, similar in size, that have migrated to HCM SAAS cloud solutions.Certainly implementing the right SaaS applications were important to our HR transformation, but the IT/business partnership and the collaboration of hundreds of people both in our core teams and across the company were what really made this project a groundbreaking success.
Two years ago, Dell Technologies unleashed the world’s fastest storage array, Dell EMC PowerMax, delivering new levels of performance and scalability with the industry’s richest feature-set, helping customers address pressing IT challenges of today and tomorrow. Last year, we were the first vendor to introduce storage class memory as persistent storage.Today, we push the boundaries of high-end storage further with new PowerMax features and enhancements designed to help simplify the management of mission critical workloads, provide native cloud mobility and deliver even greater security.VMware and Dell EMC PowerMax Integration: Dell Technologies and VMware combined forces to add mission-critical availability and the highest scalability to VMware Virtual Volumes (vVols). As customers modernize their infrastructure and move from a hardware-centric storage approach to an application-centric approach for managing storage with VMware vVols, Dell EMC is delivering the world’s fastest storage array1, PowerMax, for running virtual volumes at scale (64,000 vVols) with the highest levels of data resiliency.Today, we are announcing that customers can deploy VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM 8.3) for vVols with PowerMax SRDF/A replication for automated VM movement between sites to ensure maximum availability for mission-critical applications. VMware vVols incorporates storage policy-based management (SPBM) to significantly simplify both storage and VM administration in provisioning storage, establishing replication groups, and automating site recovery operations in the event of a system failover.Combining PowerMax SRDF, the gold standard in remote replication, with VMware’s storage capabilities accelerates the IT modernization journey for our customers and delivers on the promise of simple, resilient, scalable storage.Cloud Mobility for Dell EMC PowerMaxDell EMC’s storage systems easily extend to the cloud to address rapid data growth and to optimize data center resources with simple and efficient data mobility to and from public and hybrid clouds. Today’s announcement, Cloud Mobility for Dell EMC PowerMax, offers seamless and transparent movement of data from on-premises to cloud, enabling PowerMax customers to leverage lower cost object storage in cloud for agile and economic benefits, reducing the cost per GB for long-term data retention by up to 50%2.“Using Cloud Mobility for Dell EMC PowerMax will help our organization optimize storage resources with on-premises high performance workloads, while leveraging private cloud for long-term retention in a way that meets our compliance requirements”, said Thorsten Tüllmann, Systems Engineer, KIT.Archiving and long-term retention are primary examples of how PowerMax customers can leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Dell EMC ECS for low-cost object storage. PowerMax data can be recovered back to the source PowerMax if needed. In addition to the economic benefit, archiving to the cloud frees up capacity for on-premises PowerMax arrays to support higher priority applications on-premises — extending the useful life of PowerMax.PowerMax data stored in the cloud can also be made available to an AWS system for secondary processing such as reporting, test/development, and data analytics. Customers can deploy the Dell EMC vApp free of charge from the Amazon Marketplace to transfer PowerMax snapshot data from Amazon S3 object storage to Amazon elastic block storage (EBS).PowerMax Smart DR Sets New Standard for Data ResiliencyDell EMC continues to raise the bar for delivering the industry’s highest availability storage systems. The latest PowerMax innovation extends SRDF/Metro active/active replication by adding Smart DR (disaster recovery) for unmatched data resiliency combined with increased efficiency.Smart DR copies data from both primary arrays to one remote array to maintain data resiliency (DR operations) even if one primary array becomes unavailable. Copying the data to one remote array saves 50% of storage capacity while reducing the SRDF/A network bandwidth needs³, helping customers realize data resiliency and efficiency from their SRDF/Metro Smart DR investment.Unmatched Security Safeguards Customer DataNew PowerMax security features deliver on the goal of safeguarding mission-critical customer data from unwanted intrusion or cyberattacks. PowerMax end-to-end efficient encryption enables customers to secure storage assets by encrypting data from the host to the storage media on PowerMax. Dell Technologies has partnered with Thales Inc., a leading security firm, to integrate host-based encryption and PowerMax data reduction technology to secure PowerMax data while customers receive 3.5:1 data reduction, guaranteed.“An organization’s most valuable and demanding application data needs robust security without compromising efficiency,” said Charles Goldberg, VP Encryption Product Marketing at Thales. “The latest version of Vormetric Transparent Encryption software from Thales enables security without impacting Dell’s industry-leading storage efficiency techniques. No other file-level encryption solution can accomplish these significant savings on PowerMax.”In addition, PowerMax has been through Cybersecurity STIG hardening that is required to get on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Approved Products List (APL). Both Federal agencies and non-Federal customers around the world will benefit from PowerMax security hardening.These latest security enhancements, when combined with existing security features such as secure snapshots, tamper-proof audit logs, secure access controls, assures customers that their data is safe with PowerMax.Flexible Consumption with Dell Technologies On DemandWith Dell Technologies On Demand, PowerMax customers can respond to workload spikes and new service requests with elastic capacity and cloud economics. Several payment solutions with short-and-long term commitment options are available, including a one-year term for flexible consumption.AvailabilityDell EMC PowerMax and today’s featured announcements are now generally available globally.Additional resourcesVisit this webpage for more information: Dell EMC PowerMaxConnect with Dell via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedInDell Technologies Press Release for VMWorld 2020PowerMax vVols SRM 8.3 integration blog on Virtual BlocksDell EMC storage with VMware blog for VMworld 2020 ¹ Based on Dell EMC internal analysis of max bandwidth (64K blocks) of the PowerMax 8000 (350GB/s) versus max bandwidth of competitive mainstream arrays, August 2020. Actual performance will vary.² Based on Dell EMC internal analysis, June 2020. Savings calculated comparing the cost of storing 6 months of Snaps (on avg. 55% capacity consumed) over 3 years on PowerMax 8000 for 1246TB vs. using Cloud Mobility to store snaps in the AWS Public Cloud on Amazon S3 Standard storage. Costs in US dollars. Actual savings will vary.³ Based on Dell EMC internal analysis, comparing capacity and network bandwidth for PowerMax SRDF/Metro redundant systems with full DR protection vs. PowerMax SRDF/Metro Smart DR redundant systems with full DR protection. Actual savings may vary. August 2020.