Month: February 2021
For those of us who are seen as the technical experts in our circle of family and friends, we become the de-facto resource when things go wrong – whether it’s the blue screen of death or an application that freezes. At the end of the day, we all want answers from a knowledgeable resource and help with issues no matter where they stem from – hardware or software. After all, sometimes it’s hard to tell.Dell can help, wherever you are. We’re excited to expand Premium Support outside the US and Canada to 109 countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America on May 3, and in Japan on May 10. Now, even more of our customers will have 24×7 access to highly trained technicians for both hardware and software issues, onsite service when needed, and proactive automated support to help resolve problems much faster and easier. Check out our press release for more details.When you have an issue with your system, our award-winning SupportAssist technology automatically begins resolving your issue and we proactively contact you to discuss what we found as well as next steps. Dell starts the conversation with you, which is completely different from traditional support when you have to contact the vendor and answer a litany of questions before the resolution process even begins.With Premium Support enabled by SupportAssist, customers spend up to 86 percent fewer minutes on the phone with technical support and take up to 59 percent fewer steps in the support process compared to Dell’s basic hardware support. This returns valuable time to your day so you can focus on other important matters.Technical issues can be time-consuming to address – whether you’re facing these issues yourself or serving as the expert for your friends and family. That’s why we at Dell are serious about our responsibility to deliver intuitive support services that can help you resolve technical issues quickly and easily.Your input to us has been invaluable in developing and improving our support programs. We are excited to deliver Premium Support, but our efforts won’t stop here. Keep the feedback coming about how we can better serve you as your needs and technology evolve.Learn more about how Dell Premium Support is redefining customer support visit: www.Dell.com/PremiumSupportNote: Dell does not make unsolicited calls asking to charge to fix an issue a customer did not report or previously request help with unless they have signed up for our premium support services like Dell Tech Concierge, Dell Premium Support or Dell ProSupport services. If you have any doubt about an unsolicited tech support phone call, hang up and call Dell. Read this post for more information about technical support phone scams.
Dell EMC IT ProvenDell IT Proven allows customers to leverage Dell IT’s first-hand experience to accelerate their own IT transformation journeys.As the IT organization for a global tech company, we have an intimate view of the challenges IT faces and the opportunities ahead. Through IT Proven, we share our experiences and best practices to help you embrace cloud computing, IT as a service, and big data to further your company’s objectives.I sat down with Ajaz Munsiff, Sr Director IT Proven; we talked about the beginning of the program, over 7 years ago, how the journey has progressed and what the future holds. For more, visit the Dell IT Blog and the IT Proven landing page. Thanks for listening.The Source Podcast: Episode #71: Dell IT Proven Audio Playerhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/thesource/EMC_The_Source_Episode_71_audio.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Don’t miss “Dell EMC The Source” app in the App Store. Be sure to subscribe to Dell EMC The Source Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play and visit the official blog at thesourceblog.emc.comEMC: The Source Podcast is hosted By Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)
In my last blog, I explored the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in creating intelligent storage systems that learn via algorithms and make critical decisions with no human involvement. I described how the new PowerMax from Dell EMC uses a reinforced learning model to autonomously make resource allocation decisions at high-speed while serving millions of IOPS to achieve the latency targets of mission-critical applications. Taking this a step further, I will now describe the evolution of intelligent storage systems that are truly autonomous, akin to self-driving cars. If we can build self-driving cars, can we build “self-driving” storage systems?.An autonomous car and a storage system have fundamental similarities. Consider this:Both are very complex systems – dealing with a TON of simultaneously occurring events happening very fastBoth have a lot riding on them – human lives in one case and mission-critical business operations in the other that in many cases impact human lives as wellWhile the image most people have in their minds when they hear “self-driving car” is a vehicle that drives completely by itself, in fact there are multiple levels of automation, with Level 5 being the Holy Grail of 100% autonomous.I have a similar gradation for storage systems. I see the journey to a fully autonomous storage system as consisting of four steps:Level 1: Application-CentricWith the self-driving car, you tell it where you want to go, not which roads and turns to take and what speed to drive at. Similarly, the way you interact with the storage system has to be in terms of what you are trying to accomplish – the application you wish to run. You care about the application not what the storage system needs to do to run that application. You want to tell the storage system that you wish to run a web-based transaction processing application using a relational database and have it take care of the rest.Level 2: Policy-DrivenNext, you typically want to tell the car whether to take the direct fastest route or a scenic route through the backroads. Similarly, you want to set some service level objectives for the application you just told the storage system you want to run – is it a high priority production application or a best-effort dev-test instance? Does it need additional data protection via remote copies? How frequently?Level 3: Self-AwareNow the car has what it needs to get driving. But if it is to drive itself, it needs to be “self-aware”. For example, it needs to know whether it is in the lane or about to stray, if it is a safe distance from the car ahead of it, running low on fuel, etc. The storage system analog is telemetry about how the system is operating – how “close to the edge.” This is where the industry has been lagging. While we have a lot of telemetry, we typically haven’t been very good at analyzing the data to determine if we’re about to drive off the cliff – we still rely on humans to figure this out. And typically, the humans get involved after something has gone horribly wrong. The first step here is to make the system self-aware – instead of throwing a whole lot of data at the human, the system should be able to analyze the data and tell the user how close it is to the edge. And that sets us up for the next and final part…Level 4: Self-OptimizingOnce you know how close you are to the edge, the system needs to be able to adjust its behavior/operation to avoid going over the edge. In the self-driving car world, a very simple example is adaptive cruise control where the car regulates its speed to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead sensed by LIDAR. This is exactly what Dell EMC PowerMax can do as shown in the image below – the algorithms are designed to detect changes in the environment and change key system behaviors accordingly to try meeting the need of the applications, and prevent the system from getting into catastrophic situations. In other words, you may want/need to drive at 65 MPH, but right now you can’t unless you change your lane.Dell EMC’s solutions have had application-centric and policy-driven capabilities for years now as well as rudimentary levels of self-aware/optimizing capabilities in technologies like FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering). The new PowerMax takes this history of innovation in building intelligent storage systems to the next level by incorporating machine learning techniques. Just like in the general AI field, we are applying these techniques to progressively more complex scenarios inside our storage systems. As the scenarios get broader, there is a need for more contextual information to make the right decisions. In the car world, an example is relying on real-time traffic updates from a global information system to choose a route that incurs minimal delay. In the storage world, we have CloudIQ – our brain in the cloud. CloudIQ observes and remembers all operational information about the storage arrays in the field. It also uses machine learning techniques to learn how each system is behaving, how the workloads it is serving are changing over time, etc. It is also looking at the entire population of systems in the field to learn patterns of behaviors and/or environmental conditions to learn and predict – and thus avoid impacting a system’s health or behavior.Why does all this matter?At Dell EMC, we are on a mission to deliver the infrastructure for the next industrial revolution that accelerates human progress. AI is going to be a key tool in this mission, just like how social networking fundamentally changed the way we live, interact and work. With a long history of storage innovation, we have a unique value proposition that our customers rely on for their own innovation journey as we go on this mission together.So, who will get there first – a fully autonomous car or a fully autonomous storage system? My bet is on the latter!
Cloud is just about everywhere and in most companies’ strategies. However, getting and moving to cloud doesn’t always happen as quickly as we hope. The larger your infrastructure is, the more detail is required to plan and migrate while minimizing disruptions to daily operations.But is cloud, specifically public cloud, the best approach for every need, every application, and every company? Or is “cloud-like” a better route?As IT administrators evaluate their cloud options, they may find a number of criteria to support moving to public cloud. They may also find some aspects that are not so favorable. Security, data ownership or data lock-in, flexibility, choice of platforms, available applications, and so forth -– these are some of the key aspects to consider when moving from an on-premises environment, and which may prevent you from fully migrating certain applications, data, and policies to public cloud. But you still want all of the benefits that come with cloud.Enter “Cloud-like”A cloud-like approach could mean evaluating different options to obtain public cloud benefits – such as scalability, economics, flexibility, manageability – but without some of the risks or downsides you have discovered about public cloud for your business, infrastructure and workforce. Perhaps your IT organization knows that running certain workloads with on-premises servers will always provide faster results than cloud instances. Maybe IT also believes that maintaining the data close to compute/servers and not incurring data transfer costs or lock-in will reduce latencies and budgets over the long term. Or it could be that IT really wants to secure data and meet in-region compliance requirements for data privacy, for example, without risking data migration to or in the cloud. Unique scenarios indicate a cloud-like approach could benefit IT as they engage in hybrid IT models.Let’s evaluate servers in a cloud-like approach. To leverage servers in this scenario, a consumption component must be considered to deliver cloud-like economics. This can include approaches like metered consumption or pay-as-you-go, without embarking on buying servers. This approach would also mimic cloud, paying for CPU cycles when needed.Another aspect is how to ensure servers can scale in performance to tackle real-time burst demands for processing data. An expanded capacity (“bursting”) option could be useful.And with servers and data on-premises, businesses can experience cloud-like flexibility while reducing risk of outage or breaches while keeping latency low.Dell Technologies Flexible Consumption for Dell EMC PowerEdge servers enables cloud-like aspects as described prior. This solution from Dell Financing Services can enable you to get the technology you need today to drive business outcomes and predict your IT spend. One of the Flexible consumption solutions include Flex on Demand, which helps you address business requirements with payments that scale up or down to match your usage.*Deliver a similar, “cloud-like” experience on-premiseNot only does Flex on Demand provide a consumption model which is cloud-like while giving you the servers you want with all the bells-and-whistles and full management by Dell, but Flex on Demand also helps IT scenarios such as:Datacenter extension – whether consolidating colocation or hosted operations back into the domain to reduce costs or seeking to support additional workloads for a set period of time (months to years), IT can readily reduce external factors and maintain full control over operations without management overhead.Secured, fully independent environments – ideal for in-region or country requirements to support global privacy, security, compliance standards, servers in a Flexible Consumption program are fully isolated but fully manageable to support global business needsMixed workloads and mixed volatility – real-time, demanding, volatile and retail applications often push servers to maximum operations for a short time before settling back to a normal cycle. A dedicated Flex on Demand approach separates this strain from your infrastructure, and provides the right-sized server choices for your workloads, allowing for these bursts of activity as they appear.With Flex on Demand, IT has an additional consumption approach to obtaining the best PowerEdge servers for their applications, and in a cloud-like economics fashion.Now you have more choices to select the best compute nodes for your business needs. AMD-based PowerEdge servers with Flex on Demand provide new configurations for deployments including web front-ends, cloud hosting servers, and other high-demand, high-transaction environments. Furthermore, Flex on Demand is also available for Dell vSAN ready nodes, further extending the value of cloud-like consumption into your operations model. Learn more about PowerEdge servers and Flex on Demand here.Flex on Demand is a key offer and part of the larger Dell Technologies on Demand portfolio, enabling innovative, consumption-based payment solutions. For more information, learn more about Flexible Consumption here.* Payment solutions provided and serviced by Dell Financial Services L.L.C. or its affiliate or designee (“DFS”) for qualified customers. Offers may not be available or may vary in certain countries. Where available offers may be changed without notice and are subject to product availability, applicable law, credit approval, documentation provided by and acceptable to DFS and may be subject to minimum transaction size. Offers not available for personal, family or household use. Dell EMC and the Dell EMC logo are trademarks of Dell Inc. Restrictions and additional requirements may apply to transactions with governmental or public entities. Flexible Consumption: At the end of the initial term customer may 1) extend original term or 2) return the equipment to DFS.
WASHINGTON (AP) — There were fewer air travelers in the United States last year, but a higher percentage of them were carrying guns. The Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday that screeners found 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags in 2020, or about 10 for every million travelers. About 83% of the guns were loaded. That was double the rate of guns found in 2019. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had the most guns seized, 220, followed by 176 guns at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport checkpoints. Federal law prohibits passengers other than certain law enforcement officers from bringing guns or ammunition into the cabin, although unloaded guns are permitted in checked bags that go into the cargo hold.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri state lawmaker says she won’t resign despite being indicted on federal fraud charges. Republican Rep. Tricia Derges declined to step down in an email to the House speaker this week. The speaker asked her to resign after a federal grand jury indicted her on fraud charges for falsely claiming a treatment she sold contained stem cells that could help with COVID-19 and other illnesses. Derges says her innocence will prevail. She was removed from all committees earlier this week. She says she’ll continue representing her constituents by voting.