Conducting to Perfection

first_imgImagine how difficult it is to master an instrument. It takes long hours of tedious practice to make each note sound just right. Now consider how difficult it must be to make 100 instruments play together in a perfect rendition of a Prokofiev or Brahms masterpiece. It’s just as hard as making a datacenter operate smoothly.If you had a chance to see one of the performances of the Boston Symphony Orchestra while they were on tour in Europe this summer, I hope you looked closely at Andris Nelsons, their musical director.  It isn’t hard to be jealous of the way the musicians respond to his leadership and wish that the components in your datacenter were just as responsive and obedient.Current technology trends are not making things easy on the CIO. The digital orchestra in the datacenter is gaining new components, systems and subsystems every day that all need to work together seamlessly. The slightest change in one part will make a great difference to the ‘sound’ of the whole, and every element in your infrastructure needs to stay in tune all the time. Making things even harder is the geographic dispersion of your ‘instruments’: cloud computing has made storage and compute tasks fulfillable anywhere in the world.No False Notes in the Data CenterOrchestration is crucial in the workings of the software-defined datacenter. Even if all the instruments play flawlessly, a mediocre conductor will not succeed. The talent of an orchestra director stems from the ability to harmonize each individual musician into a complete sound system. As we have seen over time, the role of the CIO is also becoming that of a broker, bringing together onsite elements with cloud services.The role of “orchestration software” cannot be overestimated. Finding the right orchestration software can make the difference between delivering average services to the customer and blasting away the competition. This is especially the case for service providers, with huge datacenters that need to cater to the needs of hundreds of clients. Operations in such an environment have to run as if on a metronome and follow a set of rules as strictly as a cello player follows the conductor.Guiding the PerformanceOrchestration is a pain for most datacenter operations. While some parts may be fully automated, it is much more difficult to get storage, compute, and networking to work together.  This makes many datacenters sound like an orchestra where the string section is great, but the percussion seems to be playing a different score.Standardization and simplification of datacenter architecture are only part of the answer here. Installing common processes and tools to run in both cloud and on premise scenarios will reduce complexity and improve IT staff productivity. But orchestration needs to go further, proactively adjusting in real time to absorb spikes in capacity or meet performance requirements, while keeping a holistic view on the stability of the entire system. Hyper-converged infrastructure and a software-defined datacenter can help a great deal here. The EMC Federation also offers technologies and management solutions that enable this kind of high-level overview.And isn’t that what the conductor does too? He or she stands on the rostrum, looks out on all the musicians, guiding the performance while ensuring that string, woodwind, brass and percussion are all in sync.Our data centers really are not that different from the symphony halls around the world.EMC Corporation was the exclusive sponsor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first European tour since 2007.last_img read more

Dell EMC and Cisco Continue to Simplify the Path to IT Transformation for Customers

first_imgIntel processor technologies power data centers throughout the world, and the launch of Intel’s Skylake Xeon processors is an important industry event, not just for technology vendors but for all customers.  Customers depend on rapid integration of new technologies to be as competitive and agile as possible, and I’ve spent the past 8 years helping our customers quickly deploy data center technologies through Vblock and VxBlock Systems, which are solely based on Cisco compute technologies.Dell EMC and Cisco have a decades long commitment of working together on behalf of our customers, and the success of our partnership is evident through our $3B (and growing) Vblock and VxBlock business.  We’ve installed thousands of systems, resulting in undisputed market leadership in Converged Infrastructure, and a responsibility in continuing to serve our large and growing customer community.Today, more than ever, our customers rely on the combined technologies of Dell EMC & Cisco to meet their ever increasing business demands. The newly announced Cisco M5 UCS servers will be an important addition to the VxBlock Systems portfolio.  Together with Cisco Nexus, Cisco MDS, Dell EMC Storage, and VMware virtualization, the M5 servers will be fully integrated, supported and sustained as a single system.Our business continues to grow, as does our partnership.  We also continually work on future technology alignment for VxBlock and future architectural enhancements to the Vscale architecture. The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gain momentum, and it will serve as the foundation for our partnership in the coming years.last_img read more

Judge orders Uganda’s Bobi Wine freed from house arrest

first_imgKAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A judge ruled on Monday that Ugandan security forces cannot detain presidential challenger Bobi Wine inside his home, rebuking authorities for holding the candidate under house arrest following a disputed election. Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has been unable to leave his home since Jan. 14, when Ugandans voted in an election in which the singer-turned-politician was the main challenger to President Yoweri Museveni. Ugandan authorities have said Wine can only leave his home on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala, under military escort because they fear his presence in public could incite rioting.last_img

Police find no bias, terror motive in Portland road rampage

first_imgPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Investigators have identified the driver accused of killing a pedestrian and injuring nine other people in Portland, Oregon. And they say they’ve found no evidence that terrorism, politics or any bias motivated him. Sixty-four-year-old Paul Rivas has been booked into jail on charges of murder, assault and driving offenses after speeding along residential streets and apparently targeting pedestrians with his car on Monday. The woman who died, 77-year-old Jean Gerich, was dragged beneath the wheels. Her family says she beat cancer five years ago, got her first coronavirus shot last week and “was overjoyed to get out in the world again.”last_img

Pushed by pandemic, Germany seeks to boost technology use

first_imgBERLIN (AP) — The German government has agreed on a strategy to boost the use of data for commercial purposes and signed a deal with state education authorities to fund laptops for teachers. The measures are part of a drive to boost digitalization in a country that has fallen behind many of its peers due in part to concerns about data protection. Officials often refuse to communicate with citizens by email, but Germans were nevertheless surprised to learn last year that many labs were still transmitting coronavirus test results by fax. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany “didn’t look good” when it came to linking up over 400 regional health agencies, or in the use of IT for distance learning.last_img

French sailor wins solo global race after 80 days

first_imgLES SABLES-D’OLONNE, France (AP) — French sailor Yannick Bestaven has won the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race after more than 80 days alone and an unusually close final few hours to determine the winner. Bestaven wasn’t the first to cross the finish line. That honor went to countrtyman Charlie Dalin in the French port of Sables-d’Olonne late Wednesday. Bestaven was third across the line but given a time bonus of 10 hours for helping a fellow sailor who capsized off South America in late November.last_img

GOP’s Rep. Jim Jordan won’t seek Portman’s US Senate seat

first_imgCINCINNATI (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, a fiery Donald Trump supporter, won’t run to succeed Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who announced this week he isn’t going to seek a third term in 2022. The eighth-term congressman’s name surfaced soon after Portman’s announcement as a potential strong contender in what’s expected to be a crowded GOP field. Six-term Rep. Bill Johnson, from heavily pro-Trump southeast Ohio, former Rep. Jim Renacci from central Ohio and former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, and at least two current Ohio Cabinet officials are viewed as potential GOP candidates. Several Democrats are weighing a run.last_img

Thousands left homeless by storms, floods in Syria’s Idlib

first_imgIDLIB, Syria (AP) — The U.N. says a rainstorm hitting the last rebel stronghold in northwestern Syria has killed one child and destroyed hundreds of tents, leaving tens of thousands of internally displaced people homeless. Residents of the region spoke on Friday about harsh weather conditions that forced some of them to stay out in the open until they fixed their tents. The storm is the second to hit the region in two weeks and international aid groups have warned that reduced humanitarian access to northwestern Syria will impede response to the effects of the storm in a region already suffering from shortage of humanitarian aid.last_img

UK-EU talks aim to defuse Brexit tensions over N Ireland

first_imgLONDON (AP) — Politicians from Britain, Northern Ireland and the European Union have held talks to ease post-Brexit trade tensions that have shaken Northern Ireland’s delicate political balance. British Cabinet minister Michael Gove, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic and the leaders of Northern Ireland’s Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government held a video conference about the problems that have erupted barely a month after the U.K. made an economic split from the 27-nation EU. Northern Ireland authorities have halted veterinary checks and withdrew border staff from Belfast and Larne ports after threatening graffiti appeared referring to port workers as targets. Pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland strongly oppose new customs checks that are a product of Brexit.last_img read more