The biggest challenge I see when discussing Converged Infrastructure (CI) with new customers has little to do with technology. The technology is ready; it is the people and processes that lag behind. This lag slows the adoption and benefits that technology has been created to deliver. However it does not have to be this way, if we learn from the past.Earlier in my career I had the opportunity to be part of a major disruptive technology – VoIP. The parallels of that disruption and the converged infrastructure revolution are amazing.Reflections on VoIPA typical customer interaction during the VoIP disruption days looked like this: PBX staff on one side of the conference table, networking staff on the opposite side, and executive management mediating the middle. Typically, there was no love lost between those two groups. The discussion would deteriorate into the PBX team saying “there is NO way you are going to run my voice traffic over that upstart Ethernet network. Phones are mission critical to our business, and we have been doing it this way for 50 years!”Look at the phone on your desk today and you can see which side ‘won’ the war. With VoIP, there was never much doubt. The economics and technology assured that.My colleague, John Lockyer, recently wrote about other technology shifts that have impacted IT teams and how Converged Infrastructure will change the game – again.I am going to dive deeper into two specific questions:As technologists on the front end of the disruption, could we have done more to ease the churn caused by technology adoption?If we understood the people and process issues, could we have helped speed adoption, helped companies retain valuable talent, tribal knowledge, and realized the benefits sooner?Looking back on the VoIP disruption, my answer to both is “yes”.Ease the ChurnWe misunderstood the people problem. The pushback on VoIP was not due to the actual technology, and we should have seen that sooner. Almost without exception, after one of those contentious meetings between the PBX staff and the networking staff, one of the PBX team members would approach, look to make sure none of his team was within earshot, and proceed to ask “so… if someone wanted to learn more about this VoIP stuff, where would they look?” Typically this person was an ambitious junior member of the team or a very perceptive technologist. In most cases, it is that person that survived the disruption and is thriving in the industry today.So what did we miss? We missed the point that when a person builds a career around a specific technology (or vendor), their value to an organization is based on that knowledge. They know how to install, fix, upgrade, and generally operate the technology; they have attended industry events, know the vendors, and have deep contacts in place. If you threaten to take that value away by injecting something new, they may fight tooth and nail against the change. Their perceived value, and therefore their paycheck, is tied to that knowledge.This situation is bad for the individual, the team, and the company as it slows adoption of the technology – and therefore delays the return on investment. A great quote by Upton Sinclair sums it up: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”Speed AdoptionWhen confronted by this dilemma, disruptive technology vendors need to go the extra mile to help evolve the value set to a new one that complements the disruptive technology. We need to implement training programs aimed at transitioning employees’ technology skills to the new set, offer access to friendly internal engineers who have already successfully made the transition from previous technology – and we need to do it immediately.While this will not solve every people problem, it will go a long way to reduce the period of disruption, engender much more good will, speed adoption and advance the ROI. Applying this lesson to the current CI revolution, we need to offer cross training to the storage team, networking team and application teams. We need to foster policy-based integration rather than individual hands-on application built around silos. We need to talk with each other and build confidence, perhaps by establishing internal change agents and mentors.As vendors, we need to be the champions that guide the direction of organizational value, and accelerate it. We have done a great job of kick-starting this process at VCE. In fact, we delivered thousand of training hours to our customers last year in addition to creating customer and technical advisory boards. This is just the start. I encourage you to take the reins to foster conversation within your organization.
Our product development efforts are geared to help our customers transform their IT environments and prepare their infrastructure for the next wave of innovation, often referred to as the Third Platform of IT.With this in mind, EMC is making a couple of organizational moves today that will sound like “inside baseball” to most outside the company. But the benefits to customers are worth calling out, so let me do that here.First, we are bringing together our VMAX and VNX product development teams into one division focused on enterprise and mid-range systems. We will maintain VMAX and VNX as separate product lines for different workload requirements. Offering customers a range of choices in one best-of-breed product family is a differentiator for our business. There are no changes to any products, product roadmaps or the way we take our products to market or how we support our customers. But we believe that bringing these teams together will make our portfolio and our business even stronger.Both VMAX and VNX are block and file transactional systems that support mission critical workloads, common hardware and the use of key technologies. In the auto industry, automakers that offer different product lines for different segments of the market have demonstrated the benefits of sharing platforms, and we intend to leverage those benefits here. Bringing these teams together will allow us to accelerate innovation and maintain our leading edge in the storage industry.Brian Gallagher, who has led our VMAX development team, will lead the combined division, while his VNX counterpart, Rich Napolitano, takes on an exciting new role leading an early stage initiative, focused on next generation information infrastructures for multi-cloud environments.On a related note, we are bringing together our VPLEX, RecoverPoint and Backup & Recovery Systems teams into a new Data Protection & Availability Division. This combined group will enhance our value proposition around protecting, recovering and ensuring data availability, and driving data protection across — and into — our primary storage arrays. This team will better position us to deliver data protection as a set of software-defined services on top of ViPR and provide a solid foundation for ‘Trust’ in the Cloud. Guy Churchward will lead this team.These changes are a natural evolution of our business and will come as no surprise to those who follow us closely. Over the last few years, we have continued to serve more and more customers, but there are still large untapped opportunities for us to help even more customers transform their IT environments and take advantage of the Third Platform. Today’s announcements help us align our awesome capabilities to better address the needs of customers on that journey.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, a student tells her father she will be a graphic designer. She now has access to a whole new world of learning thanks to a computer and the internet in a Dell Solar Powered Learning Lab. Her father talks about how technology is changing the lives of his daughter and her peers, as he sits outside the new lab. He believes in his daughter.In his words, “It has changed my child’s life so much.”Shipping containers arrive for the new labs now located in Boakmoso, South Africa and Diepsloot, South Africa.You can hear this father’s first-hand perspective and other great testimonials related to the Dell Solar Powered Learning Lab at Waverly Girl’s High School – built in partnership with Dell’s Youth Learning Partner, Sci-Bono – by visiting our StorysphereThis father and his family are part of the 30 million South Africans who live in poverty. Sadly, children are most vulnerable to poverty. If children are poor, they are less likely to go to school. The youth then bear the burden of unemployment – they graduate from poverty as children into poverty as adults, with little to no skills or future.Dell has been playing its part to try and break this cycle through its Solar Powered Learning Labs.These labs are made possible by Dell’s Youth Learning program, which partners directly with non-profits to provide innovative technology solutions, charitable donations and expertise to address challenges faced by underprivileged youth around the world.In 2014, the first Dell Solar Powered Learning Lab went live in Lagos, Nigeria.This fantastic initiative helps deliver sustainable and affordable connectivity to schools in some of the most underprivileged areas of the world. Using a combination of solar power, energy-efficient Dell Wyse technology and air-cooled servers, the labs are built into well-lit, well-ventilated shipping containers and help take electricity supply out of the equation while bringing internet connectivity into the heart of communities. This solution uses less than four percent of the energy of a typical PC.It’s a journey that began almost five years ago following one speculative email from a young man who had spent time traveling around Africa with his family and saw the poverty first-hand. He asked Dell to help. We did.Michael Collins, senior vice president of Dell EMC Channel EMEA, understood the issues and the limitations poverty can force upon young people, and wanted to make a difference. Together with other colleagues he helped bring the idea of the Solar Powered Learning Lab to the Dell Giving team, which leveraged its strong partnerships with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations to make the labs a reality.Collins says, “We needed a place where underserved students could come and access this technology and learn. I’m hugely proud of the incredible work the team has accomplished so far – but this is only the beginning. We want to bring more Learning Labs to more students around the world. As Nelson Mandela said, it always seems impossible until it’s done.”Dell also built a lab in Colombia in 2016 and by mid-October this year, we opened two more labs in South Africa, bringing the total to 13 across Africa. Dell Solar Powered Learning Labs is an ongoing project, with plans for four more new labs early next year in Kenya, Morocco and Mexico.Mmatebogo Makhubedu, principal of the Diepsloot Secondary No.3 in South Africa, shared her perspective on the Dell Solar Powered Learning Lab that opened at her school a few months ago.“As an underprivileged school, a school without infrastructure and resources, this is an experience we will always honor and keep in our hearts,” she says. “The fact that our students are taught how to code in high school is something we never thought would happen. Coding prepares our young people for careers, which are scarce. With this project, we have given them an opportunity.”The impact of the Solar Powered Learning Labs has been truly incredible to date. Nearly 7,500 students have benefited from the project, not including countless members of the community who also have access to the labs, which seat up to ten people. The technology access and subsequent learning of new skills, together with a renewed sense of self-confidence, has given people a huge boost in job opportunitiesI recently experienced our impact first-hand during my visit to the SHAWCO community center in Cape Town, South Africa. I met a young man named Evans and during a sharing session with the community, he talked about how he’d been teaching himself how to code – and how the Dell Solar Powered Learning Lab was helping him learn more. Evans has only one hand and despite his disability, he is a fast and passionate coder. Evans gained access to an apprenticeship with the help of Dell professionals that were inspired by his hard work.Dell pre-sales engineer Ruan Malherbe is a great example of an employee who has volunteered his time and expertise to help make our labs possible.Malherbe helped install all 11 of our Dell Solar Powered Learning Labs in South Africa. He traveled during his personal time to do so – and used his IT skills to coordinate things like the hardware and software installations and testing. Malherbe also helped our partners understand the lab technology so they may manage it.“It has meant a lot to me, to help the underserved to access the Internet and connect with people – and to give learners access to great technology while being environmentally friendly,” Malherbe says. “It is a great feeling to see the excitement on the faces of the community members every time we unveil a new solar lab.”I agree with him whole-heartedly! It is a great feeling.It’s a pleasure to be a part of the video featured below, highlighting the value our labs are providing around the world. For me, seeing the joy and the hope in these kids – when they access technology for the first time – reinforces my belief that in this world, we should give more than what we receive.Programs like the Dell Solar Powered Learning Labs reflect Dell’s DNA: To use our technology and expertise to enable human progress.This article shares one example of how Dell is committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet. We call this our Legacy of Good.Explore our FY17 Annual update on our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan at legacyodgood.dell.com.Related articles:https://blog.dell.com/en-us/bringing-tech-education-to-global-youth-via-volunteerism-and-re-imagining-the-classroom/https://blog.dell.com/en-us/dell-education-model-uses-technology-solar-and-shipping-containers/https://blog.dell.com/en-us/solar-powered-labs-take-tech-enabled-learning-off-the-grid/
Dell EMC partners continue to make the difference. Our partners deliver on the promise of IT, digital, security and workforce transformation. The Global Partner Summit at Dell Technologies World was the perfect opportunity for our partners to get the latest details on our plans and strategies moving forward.“It’s about leaning into the future because the opportunity is massive for partners if you think about what’s going to happen with digital transformation over the next several years,” Joyce Mullen, president, Global Channel, OEM & IoT, Dell EMC told CRN.We also leverage the time to listen to those partners, and that’s exactly what “The Source – Partner Spotlight” is all about. For this episode I’m joined by Scott Miller, senior director Partnerships at World Wide Tech (WWT).As a Dell EMC Titanium Black partner, WWT is a leading provider of advanced converged infrastructure, storage, private and hybrid cloud, virtualization, data protection and availability, security and big data analytics solutions.“Titanium Black Partners are innovating in incredible ways,” John Byrne, president, North America Commerical Sales, Dell EMC, noted here on Direct2DellEMC last year. “They understand the four transformations as essential, and are helping their customers prepare for tomorrow… today.”In this episode recorded at the Global Partner Summit at Dell Technologies World, Miller and I talked agile development, and transformation — both internally and with our end customers.For more information visit www.wwt.com or drop Scott an email [email protected] Dell EMC The Source app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, and Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play.Dell EMC The Source Podcast is hosted by Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)
Dell Technologies makes protecting virtualized applications simple with comprehensive backup, recovery and storage solutions for Google Cloud. On May 14th, Google announced Google Cloud VMware Engine, which enables users to seamlessly migrate VMware workloads to Google Cloud while lowering costs and freeing IT resources for innovation. Running VMware workloads natively in a dedicated, private cloud means you can use the same tools, processes and policies you used on-premises, making transitions faster and simpler.Dell EMC Data Protection solutions for Google Cloud VMware Engine are easy to deploy and offer our proven enterprise-grade backbone underneath, with features such as source-based data deduplication. Our engineering teams jointly validated this solution with our entire portfolio, including cloud-enabled software management capabilities across Data Protection Suite and PowerProtect Data Manager. Being able to deliver scalable backup and recovery of VMs in Google Cloud provides seamless integration with on-premises data protection and protection of vSphere workloads for increased resiliency.With Dell EMC PowerProtect DD Virtual Edition (DDVE) target backup storage in Google Cloud, VMware users get trusted protection storage and the simplicity, flexibility and efficiency of a software-defined solution. PowerProtect DDVE is simple to configure and deploy and can be up and running within minutes. Data owners can start small and grow as needed while using a single management interface for multiple instances. Underneath the Dell EMC solution, deduplication technology means the same TCO returns as on-prem configurations but with lower cost and cloud footprint.PowerProtect DDVE delivers great agility and scale, up to 96TB per instance and for many virtual workloads. An Electronic Licensing Management System enables flexible deployment and the ability to purchase in 1TB increments. The reductions in cost and storage footprint make this an economically attractive investment, especially as there are no upfront capital investmentsLooking for innovative solutions for your Google Cloud VMware Engine workloads? As a preferred Google Cloud vendor and VMware partner for Data Protection, the choice is obvious for protecting modern applications on Google Cloud.These powerful partnerships will enable you to:Accelerate Cloud Migrations Google Cloud VMware Engine is an integrated first-party offering build, sold and supported directly by Google Cloud. It delivers a fully managed VMware Cloud Foundation stack—which includes integrated vSphere, vSAN, and NSX-T—along with VMware HCX for cloud migration in a dedicated environment on Google Cloud’s highly performant and reliable infrastructure to support enterprise production workloads. You can deploy VMware vSphere-based workloads, natively, in a dedicated SDDC on Google Cloud and utilize the same applications, tools, processes and policies you use today with no changes. With Google Cloud and Dell Technologies, this includes a proven data protection solution across your SDDC environments with support for key workloads, whether Oracle, SQL or SAP Hana.Simplify Operations Google VMware Cloud Engine frees IT from the operational overhead of managing physical infrastructure and can help you spin up a dedicated cloud in minutes with per-second billing and automatic discounts. Improve performance through right sizing and grow or shrink on-demand to reduce costs. Unify management across your VMs and public cloud services to simplify IT operations and deliver a consistent experience from within your existing VMware management tools.Building Agile Multi-cloud FrameworksDell EMC, VMware and Google Cloud combined will provide users with an agile, multi-cloud framework. With their familiarity of VMware tools, rapidly bring new services to market and operate seamlessly and more securely. Take advantage of hybrid cloud architectures and solutions to provide intelligent insights into your customer behaviors with native Google services such as AI, ML and BigQuery.Today, 1000+ customers trust Dell Technologies to protect their data in the cloud¹. Get your cloud on now for those VMs in Google Cloud VMware Engine. ¹ Based on Internal Dell research, February 2020
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador says he hopes the success of extending the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control treaty will give a new boost to re-starting a strategic dialogue between Moscow and the Biden administration. Dmitry Polyansky told a press briefing Wednesday that “there are a lot of security and strategic issues on the table,” including arms control, which require “a serious, in-depth dialogue, on equal footing.” He said Russia is “cautiously optimistic” about Tuesday’s first phone call between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden and their agreement to work together to extend the New START nuclear weapons treaty.