NEC Collaborates with UniKL to Gain an Early Advantage in the Malaysia SD-WAN Market

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • NEC completed its SDWAN trial with UniKL and was selected as the technology partner for the university’s SDx Center of Excellence.
  • While the collaboration offers an early-mover advantage, NEC needs to expand its ecosystem of partners to grab the bigger market opportunity in the country.

NEC Corporation announced the completion of its SD-WAN trial with the University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in Malaysia on March 22, 2019. The initiative, which was funded by the Japanese government, used NEC’s own solution, ‘SD-WAN Security Common Platform,’ and covered several use cases such as virtualization and monitoring of end-to-end network traffic in multivendor environments, dynamic routing optimization based on application requirements, and central configuration of network switches across the university campuses. Following the successful collaboration, NEC has also been selected as the technology partner for UniKL’s newly launched SDx Center of Excellence, which brings together industry experts and researchers to co-develop solutions based on the latest networking technologies such as SDN, IoT, and 5G. Continue reading “NEC Collaborates with UniKL to Gain an Early Advantage in the Malaysia SD-WAN Market”

Microsoft Adds New Solutions to its Hybrid Cloud Portfolio, as AWS and IBM Accelerate Their Hybrid Cloud Strategies

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• Last week Microsoft announced two new additions to the Azure family of solutions with the goal of targeting an even broader set of customer workloads.

• Microsoft needs to continue innovating with Azure Stack to ensure it remains competitive vis-à-vis a growing number of alternative hybrid cloud solutions.

It’s been a little over a year since the first distributions of Microsoft’s Azure Stack became commercially available, offered by hardware partners that include Dell EMC, Cisco, HPE, Huawei, and Lenovo. Azure Stack is Microsoft’s hybrid cloud play, allowing the vendor to target enterprise customers that, for various reasons, need to keep certain workloads on-premises, while still taking advantage of cloud-based services and resources, including developer tools. According to Microsoft, Azure Stack is now available in 92 countries/regions worldwide and, although the number of Azure Stack customers has not been disclosed, notable customers include Airbus, Royal Dutch Shell, Heathrow Airport, and InterContenential Hotels.

Over the past year Microsoft has continued to add more Azure Cloud features to Azure Stack as part of its regular updates. These updates and additions contribute to a more consistent experience for Azure Stack customers across both their on-premises and public cloud environments, thereby enhancing the utility and overall effectiveness of the solution for a range of use cases. One important new Azure Stack feature, currently in preview, is support for Kubernetes. Users will be able to deploy Kubernetes clusters using the same resource manager templates as in the Azure cloud. This means that applications built using containers can be deployed both on-premises and in the Azure public cloud, while using the same code across each platform. In addition, developers will have access to Azure’s existing service fabric, simplifying migration to and from the public cloud. Continue reading “Microsoft Adds New Solutions to its Hybrid Cloud Portfolio, as AWS and IBM Accelerate Their Hybrid Cloud Strategies”

SD-WAN is Maturing – Should Enterprises Change Their Expectations?

Summary Bullets:

• Customers should approach SD-WAN with an open mind when it comes to costs and understand that savings may come from knock-on benefits.

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

• Customers should conduct their own trials into whether the internet is appropriate for a given application.

Cost Savings vs. Quality

Much of the initial hype about SD-WAN focused on cost saving. However, those looking to buy an SD-WAN solution should keep an open mind to cost and be aware that if savings are realized they may not come from the cost of their WAN solution. Indeed, initial experience suggests that SD-WAN solutions sometimes increase the cost of an enterprise’s overall spend on WAN. The complexity of managing SD-WAN means that it is not an inherently cheap technology. WAN savings may come over time as more and more MPLS is phased out of WAN architectures, but initial experience suggests that abandoning MPLS from day one is a risky approach and often results in unsatisfactory network performance. Continue reading “SD-WAN is Maturing – Should Enterprises Change Their Expectations?”

HyperFlex 4.0 Will Help Cisco Address Emerging Edge IT Demands, but Cisco Must Also Pay Heed to Adjacent Concerns

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Cisco’s soon-to-be-launched HyperFlex 4.0 will come with simplified deployment options and an emphasis on enabling HCI in remote locations such as edge environments.
  • As part of its edge computing strategy, Cisco needs to be able to address adjacent customer concerns about security, architecture design, and workload placement.

On April 12, Cisco’s HyperFlex 4.0 will become commercially available, with the vendor planning to promote the latest version of its hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution as part of its ‘Data Center Anywhere’ strategy. This strategy is based on the recognition that the increasingly distributed character of enterprise data and applications requires a new approach to delivering data center resources, one that brings infrastructure to wherever it is required (see Cisco Targets Emerging Edge IT Opportunities with HyperFlex 4.0,” March 27, 2019). Continue reading “HyperFlex 4.0 Will Help Cisco Address Emerging Edge IT Demands, but Cisco Must Also Pay Heed to Adjacent Concerns”

Singtel Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance Its IoT Portfolio

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Singtel is strengthening its IoT portfolio through a partnership with Microsoft by integrating a range of Azure capabilities into its network.
  • Its service coverage is still limited in Singapore, China and Australia (Optus) compared to the global IoT networks offered by competitors.

Singtel announced its partnership with Microsoft in February 2019 to launch an AI-powered IoT network over Microsoft Azure. This is achieved through integration of Singtel’s IoT network into Microsoft Azure cloud capabilities, including IoT Hub, IoT Edge, and other machine learning and cognitive services. Singtel has a comprehensive IoT portfolio with software-defined network capabilities, a range of technologies including LPWAN standards, a private IoT network for added security (‘IoTConnect+’), competitive pricing (as low as SGD1 per month for 10 MB on NB-IoT) and various solutions across industry verticals. The additional capability gained from the partnership with Microsoft complements the carrier’s IoT portfolio. The AI capabilities enable the carrier to deliver more efficient services, especially in the orchestration and automation of applications and workloads across IoT stacks (e.g., devices, network and clouds), thus accelerating enterprises’ business outcomes and the ROI. The cloud services offer scalable deployments, addressing the high upfront investments required by enterprises to implement IoT use cases. It also enables Singtel to retain its IoT leadership in Singapore and address the increasing demand in the key Asian hub. GlobalData research shows that 62% of 1,664 global enterprises interviewed (including 65% of 57 in Singapore) are making major or large investments in IoT in the next three years. The access to Microsoft’s vast range of development tools, developers and other packaged solutions enables the carrier to further strengthen its own IoT platform capabilities, while IoT Hub offers an additional platform option to its customers in addressing diverse market demands. Continue reading “Singtel Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance Its IoT Portfolio”

As VMware Expands Its Multi-Cloud Reach and Toolsets, It Will Benefit from Sharper Articulation of Its DevOps Support and Flexible Consumption Options

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Additions to VMware’s multi-cloud portfolio reinforce the company’s ability to serve enterprises that require a mixture of cloud environments, including on-premises private clouds and two or more public clouds.
  • To succeed in an increasingly competitive market, VMware needs to continue innovating its developer and DevOps tool sets, as well as in relation to things such as price and flexibility.

VMware recently announced several enhancements to its multi-cloud solutions portfolio, which include the latest version of its hybrid cloud stack, VMware Cloud Foundation, and updates to multi-cloud management tools such as VMware vCloud Director and CloudHealth. The company also announced a growing number of go-to-market partners and the launch of the VMware Cloud in Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers in Canada, Paris, and Singapore, increasing the total number of AWS data centers where VMware Cloud solutions can be offered to 13 globally. Continue reading “As VMware Expands Its Multi-Cloud Reach and Toolsets, It Will Benefit from Sharper Articulation of Its DevOps Support and Flexible Consumption Options”

NTT Communications Opens Nexcenter Labs to Drive Innovations Through Solution Co-creation

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• NTT Communications’ Nexcenter Lab enables enterprises and technology providers to co-create solutions.

• However, the facilities are only available in Japan while the partner ecosystem is still limited.

NTT Communications launched the Nexcenter Lab program in two of its data centers in Tokyo earlier this month to drive innovation through collaborations among the carrier, technology providers and enterprises. The program enables development and testing of new solutions leveraging the latest services and technologies offered by the carrier and its partners including HPE, Dell EMC, RedHat, Intel, Oracle, and VMware. It also offers enterprises a free use of its server racks and cloud services. NTT group is well known for its research and development (R&D). It spends around US$2 billion a year in R&D to drive innovations, and has commercialized various products such as corevo (AI-based platform), COTOHA (AI-based virtual assistant engine), and CLOUDWAN (SD-WAN). While the group has a Global Innovation Center in California (NTT I3) with a focus on collaborations among technology players (end-user involvement is only in the commercialization stage), the Nexcenter Lab program is more customer-centric by providing enterprises with an opportunity to co-create solutions from the initial stage by sharing real-world requirements as an input to the product developments.
Continue reading “NTT Communications Opens Nexcenter Labs to Drive Innovations Through Solution Co-creation”

IoT Security is Still a Major Barrier to Adoption

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• IoT security still comes up as the number one deterrent to IoT adoption, year after year (after year!).

• While point solutions abound, the complex supplier ecosystem coupled with the diversity of IoT use cases and device types makes this a hard nut to crack.

Considering the fact that every survey ever conducted among enterprises over the last five years about IoT has shown that the number one barrier to adoption is lack of security, we would have expected the supplier ecosystem to finally “fix” this problem once and for all. But instead, with the advent of massive proliferation of IoT devices upon us, coupled with an occasional high-profile breach, enterprises are more cautious than ever and rightly so. Continue reading “IoT Security is Still a Major Barrier to Adoption”

HPE and Continental Target Vehicle Data Sharing with New Blockchain Offering

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• A new blockchain-based Data Monetization Platform from HPE and Continental promises to provide car manufacturers and drivers with a more secure and transparent way of sharing vehicle-generated data.

• Potential users should explore the operational, cost, and integration aspects of the new platform, while also investigating opportunities to productize the platform in ways that could benefit all platform participants.

HPE and German automotive manufacturing firm, Continental AG, recently announced a new Data Monetization Platform (DMP), which is based on blockchain technology, and which is designed to help car manufacturers and other partners share and trade data with one other. Data sharing and trading will be used to improve digital services for customers, or to monetize vehicle data (e.g., by helping manufacturers develop and differentiate their brands). By leveraging blockchain, the new DMP aims to address concerns about data sovereignty, security, and transparency, which currently act as barriers to data sharing among competitive automotive manufacturers. The new platform, which is expected to be available later in 2019, was jointly designed by HPE Pointnext and Continental’s Interior division. Continue reading “HPE and Continental Target Vehicle Data Sharing with New Blockchain Offering”

Deutsche Telekom’s Car SOC is Ready to Protect Drivers—Is the Auto Industry?

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• Connected cars are vulnerable to the same threats facing any Internet user or device

• Deutsche Telekom proposes its Car SOC to the industry, but as of today no one is responsible for protecting drivers from cyber attacks

Connected cars, like anything else using the Internet, are exposed to a range of vulnerabilities most drivers dare not even contemplate. Even without being connected, the digital technology in place is at risk from attackers, whether through the cloning of remote control key entry and engine starting, or from malware introduced to internal systems via infected diagnostic tools at the local garage. Continue reading “Deutsche Telekom’s Car SOC is Ready to Protect Drivers—Is the Auto Industry?”