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VMware Upgrades VMware Cloud

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VMware Inc. announced advancements to VMware Cloud that further the company’s vision for delivering the essential, ubiquitous Digital Foundation to support customers’ and partners’ digital transformation. These advancements include updates to VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware vCloud Director, and CloudHealth by VMware, and increased access to Cloud Foundation-based services via new VMware Cloud on AWS regions in Canada, Paris, and Singapore, and more VMware Cloud Verified partners globally.

Every organization is on a multi-cloud journey. According to Gartner, “by 2020, 75 percent of organizations will have deployed a multicloud or hybrid cloud model.” This journey is being supported by two primary cloud strategies: hybrid cloud and native public cloud. While each approach is unique, they are complementary, and most often exist simultaneously within the same customer. Each path is intended to open new opportunities for a business in a way that is differentiating, and to deliver tangible business outcomes. Looking for the best path forward on this multi-cloud journey, VMware’s research shows that 83 percent of cloud buyers are seeking consistent infrastructure and operations from the datacenter to the cloud.

“VMware is helping customers leverage the cloud to build, deploy and deliver the applications that drive their business, and no other vendor spans the cloud industry as broadly or as comprehensively as VMware,” said Ajay Patel, senior vice president and general manager, cloud provider software business unit, VMware. “VMware provides customers the ability to operate in this multi-cloud reality, providing consistent infrastructure and operations to help them match the needs of applications to the best resources available, without compromise.”

Delivering the Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware Cloud Foundation is the industry-leading solution for hybrid cloud that expands the definition of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) by unifying the essential cloud infrastructure capabilities of compute, storage, networking and integrated cloud management. Cloud Foundation is the only fullstack solution delivering consistent infrastructure and operations to help customers modernize their data centers; rapidly migrate applications and entire data centers to the cloud; scale on demand for disaster recovery, global expansion and seasonal spikes; and deploy next-generation applications in modern data center environments.

Today, VMware announced VMware Cloud Foundation 3.7, which is expected to be available on Dell EMC VxRail in VMware’s Q1FY20, offering customers the industry’s first jointly engineered, hybrid cloud infrastructure stack integrated with VMware’s flexible, full stack HCI architecture, ready for line-of business applications. Cloud Foundation on VxRail demonstrates the tight integration between Dell EMC and VMware, incorporating unique, jointly-engineered features that simplify and streamline operations, and deliver full stack, end-to-end lifecycle management, through an automated hardware-through software management experience. Optimized for performance, scalability, user experience and TCO savings, Cloud Foundation on VxRail can lower capital and operational costs while providing unrivaled resiliency, predictability and ease of deployment. New networking flexibility and integration, as well as deployment options including appliance and integrated rack offerings give customers flexibility when choosing Cloud Foundation on VxRail.

“Demonstrating the strength of Dell Technologies, this unique integration between Dell EMC VxRail and VMware Cloud Foundation builds on the history of co-engineering to offer our customers an experience unlike any other infrastructure running VMware Cloud Foundation.” said Gil Shneorson, senior vice president and general manager, Dell EMC VxRail, “With this combination, we have enabled the fastest, simplest and most seamless way to deploy and operate a hybrid cloud with VMware.”

Additionally, the new Cloud Foundation 3.7 release supports fully automated deployment of VMware Horizon 7 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Cloud Foundation accelerates the delivery of Horizon 7 benefits by providing complete infrastructure automation for Horizon 7 environments, including the installation of Horizon 7, App Volumes, User Environment Manager, and Unified Access Gateway. Cloud Foundation couples ready-to-use infrastructure with line-of-business application deployment, enabling customers to deliver infrastructure and applications to business customers at the speed of cloud.

Cloud Foundation is the foundation for cloud infrastructure as a service from VMware and VMware Cloud Verified partners as well as forthcoming VMware managed SDDC as-a-service offerings for on-premises and the edge. Today, VMware announced the expanded global availability of Cloud Foundation-based services from VMware and its partners, including:

  • More VMware Cloud on AWS Regions: VMware Cloud on AWS is powered by Cloud Foundation, and is delivered, sold and supported by VMware and its partners. With the addition of the AWS Canada (Central), AWS EU (Paris), and AWS APJ (Singapore) regions VMware Cloud on AWS is now generally available in 13 AWS regions globally. VMware and AWS continue to work to bring the service to major AWS regions worldwide by the end of calendar year 2019.
  • More Partners Offering Services for VMware Cloud on AWS: there are more than 60 partners building or delivering managed service offerings for VMware Cloud on AWS, and more than 280 partners have achieved the VMware Cloud on AWS Solution Competency, less than one year from the launch of the VMware Cloud on AWS partner program.
  • More VMware Cloud Verified Partners: VMware now has 35 VMware Cloud Provider Program partners that have achieved Cloud Verified status. VMware Cloud Verified partners are a set of strategic partners offering a complete VMware SDDC as a service as well as value-added services and support from their data centers via Cloud Foundation. The Cloud Verified trust mark gives enterprises confidence their cloud provider offers the most complete and advanced VMware technologies, with consistent infrastructure and operations across clouds.

Powering New VMware Cloud Provider Service Offerings

Collectively, VCPP partners serve more than 150,000 customers with millions of VMs deployed. These customers benefit from a robust, differentiated set of enterprise-class clouds using the latest VMware innovations to simplify hybrid cloud adoption and management with consistent infrastructure and new cloud services.

The new VMware vCloud Director 9.7 release will allow cloud providers to further differentiate their hybrid cloud offerings and deliver new services through centralized global cloud management, expanded scalability, and an enhanced extensibility framework. The vCloud Director platform will unify private and multi-tenant cloud management across a cloud provider’s global footprint of VMware-based environments, simplifying monitoring and management from on-premises vSphere environments to multi-tenant provider clouds. The updated extensibility framework will enable cloud providers to offer new, differentiated services on their multi-tenant platform from industry-leading third-party solutions from ecosystem partners such as Cohesity, Dell EMC and Rubrik.

The new VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 will unify onboarding, migration and disaster recovery services to and between multi-tenant clouds, helping cloud providers offer new availability services with compelling economics. The native integration with vCloud Director and a modern user interface will provide a simple customer experience for rapid service delivery and management.

Accelerating Cloud Success with CloudHealth By VMware

Enterprises turn to the cloud for its promise of agility, security and faster time to market, but all too often cost challenges derail these efforts and prevent businesses from capitalizing on the cloud’s full potential for transformation. With more than 4,000 customers, CloudHealth by VMware enables customers to manage, operate and better secure their multi-cloud environments. With CloudHealth, customers collaborate across lines of business to make intelligent decisions related to cost management, security, and governance while scaling their multi-cloud environments. CloudHealth delivers next-generation cost management capabilities that can increase return on investment in cloud by showing customers where budgets are spent, which applications consume the most resources, and how to right size their environments – even as they rapidly scale.

New features in CloudHealth will expand on the platform’s robust cost management functionality, and will include enhanced multi-cloud reporting, multidimensional reporting, workspaces reporting, enhanced amortization, convertible Reserved Instance (RI) exchanger automation, container cluster visibility, and cross-family rightsizing for Amazon EC2.Additionally, the CloudHealth platform now integrates with the Wavefront by VMware cloud analytics and monitoring platform. Through this integration, CloudHealth customers can access Wavefront cloud performance metrics via their CloudHealth platform for rightsizing and performance optimization via a business lens. By using CloudHealth and Wavefront together, CloudHealth takes advantage of Wavefront’s vast real-time, highly granular, multi-cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP) infrastructure usage metrics, and provides effective recommendations for cost savings to customers.

Customer Commentary

“HM Health Solutions is a Pennsylvania based IT Service Provider that delivers business solutions to health plan payers serving over 10 million members. To serve our customers, we give access to our in-house Windows applications to external customers through VDI running on VMware Cloud Foundation,” said Joe Elliott, Manager, VDI Services, HM Health Solutions. “With VMware Cloud Foundation, we have a scalable and consistent hyperconverged infrastructure that supports anywhere from 10-12 thousand virtual desktops in an active-active environment across multiple data centers. Cloud Foundation enables us to spin up new customer environments in as little as two hours where it used to take days, and we now have a much more resilient architecture. Most importantly, the automated lifecycle management enables us to simply click a button and patch our entire infrastructure stack, which is amazing.”

“VMware Cloud on AWS was a perfect fit for us when we made the decision to move to a new cloud environment,” said John Meyer, Chief Information Officer, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Getting the initial set up took just a few hours, and our entire environment was up and operational in just 3-4 weeks with zero downtime. This was critical as our small IT team had to migrate clouds during our high season of donations. We particularly like that we can manage our cloud environment through the vCenter portal and that we can access native AWS services. By moving to VMware Cloud on AWS we also now have a more highly available and more secure environment, and a better disaster recovery strategy.”

“Coinstar is one of the world’s largest fully automated networks of self-service kiosks for converting change into cash, e-gift cards or charitable donations,” said Jason Friedlander CTO, Coinstar. “Working with Rackspace, VMware Cloud Verified partner, we successfully migrated thousands of VMs off legacy systems to a modern Rackspace-managed software-defined data center environment based on Cloud Foundation in less than five months, improved business operations and reduced IT costs. We estimate Coinstar is saving 40 percent over our previous spend in our legacy colocation environment with a lot of other pluses to our partnership. In addition, our elastic virtualized infrastructure has allowed us to grow internationally and launch new products.”

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Enterprise News

Tata Tele business service hosts a Successful discussion with CXOs for resilience & business growth in Post COVID world

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Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS), hosted CXO Round Table Discussion with industry leaders on building a new mindset for business resilience and growth. The discussion centered around Respond, Reboot and Reinvent as key imperatives; with large Enterprises reinventing their business models as they continue to respond effectively to the aftershocks of the crisis.

 While the potential requirement for many organizations is to build digital competency, the larger goal is to be data-driven and leveraging the cloud capabilities. Moreover, witnessing variable cost structures, agile operations, and automation which could create stronger capabilities with digital presence and security.

According to an IDC report, ‘By 2022, 70% of all organizations will have accelerated use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.’

Industry representatives such asUpkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd., Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan, Yogesh Kothari – Sr. Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions shared their expertise upon business agility, examples from their professional career and how they are successfully driving the digital transformation journey for their organization.

Addressing the session, Mr. Shibhu Davies, Sales Head – North and East, Tata Communications Ltd. said, “There is a plethora of technology available in the market, understanding the most suitable one for a particular business is the key factor. To thrive in the next normal, companies must be data driven to make critical and timely decisions. While there is an uptick in the businesses investing in data and nimble technologies like cloud and AI, many are still struggling to maintain momentum. Businesses need to get out of cultural obstacles, address data privacy and governance challenges to enhance their degree of business transformation.” 

Elaborating further on increasing adoption of Cloud communication, Mr. Shibhu Davies explained, “Cloud Communication suite like Smartflo being offered by Tata Teleservices are inherently designed for a digital or hybrid environment and is well-equipped to deal with the growing overlap between digital technology and enterprise operations. Besides enhanced efficiency and operational flexibility, it offers more robust security to your business with a pre-configured unified threat management system.”

Mr. Upkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd said “Covid has created an unprecedented impact across all regions – organizations that are flexible both from technology and operational perspective have been able to RESPOND in time, REBOOT their functions and are now REINVENTING result oriented approach”

Mr. Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan said, “During times of catastrophes, leadership plays a very important role in adoption to change. Composure, calmness, honoring and supporting every internal and external stakeholder through thick and thin helps revive business and defines leadership by example.” 

Mr. Yogesh Kothari – Sr Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions said, “Challenges that enterprises are facing in the current times is resistance to change. There is a lack of vision for creating a digital journey for the customer and technology know how for their business” 

Highlights of discussion: 

Challenges in Technology Adoption 

The key challenges faced by enterprises for adopting new technologies extend both towards the changing customer experience along with employee pushback. Merely purchasing and implementing a solution in response to a localized issue does not equate to technology adoption and agility. Organizations are considering two key points, recognizing and responding to the shifting trends in consumer behavior and avoiding the initiatives that target specific issues.

The post-covid world has led to unexpectedly increased customer readiness towards trying new channels for interacting with businesses. 

Organizations adopting to technology, lead to driving changes strategically through an ongoing process where being receptive to changing consumer trends helps in the formulation of effective roadmaps. These roadmaps can then be used to build better value propositions by leveraging the right technological advancements, leading to business growth and benefits.

Role of Leadership In Bringing Organizational Change

Leadership plays a very critical role while dealing with catastrophes. From healthcare solutions to virtual classrooms, from facilitating remote work and learning, from re-imagining online business models and digital revenue lines, to stepping up the cyber security, organizations are working on new challenges.

The pandemic has accelerated transformation multifariously for businesses in India. Organizations are re-imagining their business models, relooking at talent management strategies, and fast-tracking digitalization efforts to be more resilient to disruption. 

Organizations are simplifying and enhancing their IT landscape, architecting systems for integration, balancing operational and capital expenses using the cloud. Investments are being made towards intelligent systems that provide incremental learning abilities. 

Technology Investments for a Digital Future

Over the last couple of months, it has become increasingly evident that digital adoption is not negotiable. Having the right technology to power up digital strategies is fundamental in today’s business world. It is a business requirement without which organizations are not able to grow in a rapidly evolving market landscape.

A good business continuity solution that delivers digital workspaces to access critical applications, have accelerated the performance of organizational applications on remote connections. With right platform and solutions clubbed with excessive trainings, organizations have managed to continue with their operations without major loss in productivity or efficiency.

Digital technologies have caused a shift in customer expectations, resulting in a new kind of modern buyer. Today’s consumers are constantly connected and aware of what they can do with technology. Bringing the employees up to speed to cater to the new age customers has been one of the key form of investments for various organizations. 

Respond, Reboot and Reinvent – The New Mindset for Growth

Organizations have taken immediate actions focused on keeping people safe and essential business functions operating. This has been relatively marked with high effort and possibly chaotic activity.

Organizations are adopting to the wholistic approach, recognizing evolving customer demand, channels of information consumption, building continued incremental intelligence including technology that provides agility. Agile decision making and strategy setting by enterprises have outsized performance and established a lead over the competition that sustains long after the initial disruption. By reinventing themselves, organizations have learnt to conduct operational processes and workflows in new, repeatable, and scalable ways.

Key Takeaways

  • Gaining New perspectives, relooking at business models and embracing new models of harnessing technology have become business priorities.  
  • Reinvent on an ongoing basis to build an agile, adaptive & resilient enterprise for a sustainable future. 
  • Uninterrupted connectivity between all stakeholders, internally within employees and externally with customers and vendors across platforms and touch points is of critical importance.

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Networking

Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network

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In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport. 

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.” 

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                  

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Networking

Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience. 

Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.  

The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.      

Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”        

Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.

Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities. 

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