All posts by Praharsha Anand

Lenovo unveils new suite of edge-to-cloud solutions for midsize companies

Praharsha Anand

10 Mar, 2022

Lenovo has unveiled its new line of edge-to-cloud IT infrastructure solutions for midsize businesses.

A combination of cloud and on-premise server-based technology, the new solution suite includes server, storage, and service offerings that facilitate resource optimization and remote work.

“As the global digital transformation continues, the right IT infrastructure and services are at the heart of every business, unlocking intelligence that expands opportunities and fuels growth,” said Kamran Amini, vice president and general manager of server and storage at Lenovo infrastructure solutions group.

“Working with our broad system of channel partners and solution providers, Lenovo’s new IT infrastructure solutions and TruScale services for midsize businesses are optimized to help organizations improve customer service, accelerate sales and roll out next-generation applications so they can grow their business now and well into the future.”

Lenovo’s new single-socket ThinkSystem ST50 V2, ST250 V2, and SR250 V2 servers are all designed to be easy to configure for a range of business-critical applications, including, retail, manufacturing, and financial services.

Additionally, the new ThinkSystem DM5100F storage system complements the company’s server range with a feature-rich, all-flash storage solution that adapts to new workloads over time.

Through Lenovo XClarity, companies can standardize, simplify, and automate IT management tasks, enabling their systems to be configured within minutes, according to Lenovo.

The Lenovo TruScale for Hosted Desktops solution, also included in the announcements, enables remote workers to be productive, while ensuring enhanced security, from any location.

These new products will sit alongside existing services, including on-demand support services, device as a service, and data management services using all flash products powered by Intel.

Microsoft releases Defender for Azure Cosmos DB in preview

Praharsha Anand

4 Mar, 2022

Microsoft Defender for Cloud users can access an early preview of Defender for Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft announced on Tuesday.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud helps organizations identify and address weak points in their cloud infrastructure through cloud workload protection (CWP) and cloud security posture management (CSPM), the company said.

Defender for Azure Cosmos DB support has now been added to Microsoft Defender for Cloud, allowing for centralized management of database security across multiple cloud environments.

“Databases are constantly evolving to handle new use cases, incorporate more intelligence, and store more data, giving developers and organizations a wide range of database types to meet their varying needs,” commented Inbal Argov, senior product manager of Microsoft Defender for Cloud.

“Because aspects including architecture, capabilities, configuration options, and authentication methods are unique to each database type, so are the security threats—requiring custom security measures and protection capabilities to address the most common threats across databases,” added Argov.

The new Defender for Azure Cosmos DB proactively monitors Azure Cosmos DB accounts and protects them from a range of attack vectors, including attacks made from the application layer, SQL injections, unusual access patterns, compromised identities, and malicious insiders

Threat detections are made using Microsoft Threat Intelligence, the Microsoft Defender SQL query analysis engine, and the Microsoft Defender behavioral models.

A fully managed NoSQL database, Azure Cosmos DB also helps facilitate non-relational data models with multiple SDKs and APIs, ultra-fast response times, and instant scalability.

The service can be enabled at either the subscription level or the resource level.

AT&T and IBM co-develop AI, 5G, and hybrid cloud simulation centre

Praharsha Anand

2 Mar, 2022

AT&T and IBM have partnered to offer simulated environments for enterprises to test out AT&T’s 5G network capabilities alongside IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) and hybrid cloud technologies.

The firms noted businesses across all industries, including the public sector, manufacturing, and financial services can leverage IBM-AT&T’s strategic alliance to improve business outcomes and boost customer satisfaction. 

Enterprises can also address critical challenges such as supply chain disruptions and cyber threats through the jointly offered simulation centre located at IBM Bethesda Lab.  The environment is envisioned to serve as a testbed for varied technologies including secure cellular and cloud computing.

For instance, manufacturers can implement “safety zones” through video intelligence to identify product anomalies and improve inventory management.

Furthermore, IBM Yorktown, the headquarters for IBM Research, is now integrated with AT&T 5G to facilitate a co-branded customer showcase and 5G innovation centre, incorporating IBM and Red Hat industry solutions and offerings.  

At AT&T’s 5G Innovation Studio in Plano, TX, IBM and AT&T are working together to bring AI and machine learning (ML) to network insights to improve IT, OT, IoT, and 5G network visibility.

Open hybrid cloud computing in a low-latency, private cellular network edge environment is yet another joint offering by AT&T and IBM.

According to AT&T’s blog post, “using the network strength of AT&T and IBM Cloud Satellite, the two companies are helping enterprise clients get faster, improved data analysis by accessing data where it resides. As workloads shift to the edge, IBM Cloud Satellite will help clients deliver low latency, while still maintaining security, data privacy, interoperability and open standards found in hybrid cloud environments.” 

Zoom eyes bigger enterprise customers despite weak Q1 forecast

Praharsha Anand

2 Mar, 2022

Zoom reported impressive earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021 on Monday, but shares of the company fell precipitously following its weak outlook for Q1.

In contrast to the impressive growth the video conferencing firm recorded at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom’s latest earnings pale even as it pursues larger enterprise clients. 

Zoom reported a non-GAAP net income per share of $1.29 for Q4 2021. Revenue for the full fiscal year totalled $4,099.9 million, up 55% year over year, while revenue for the fourth quarter amounted to $1,071.4 million, up 21%.

Zoom’s board of directors also authorized a program to buy back up to $1 billion of Zoom’s outstanding Class A common stock.

Acquisition of new customers and expanding sales across existing customers accounted for the bulk of Zoom’s Q4 revenue. By the end of the quarter, the firm had 2,725 customers contributing over $100,000 in trailing 12-month revenue, up approximately 66% from the previous quarter.

However, enterprise clients take centre stage. Zoom served approximately 191,000 enterprise customers at the end of Q4, a 35% year-over-year increase. 

For Q1 2023, Zoom expects total revenue to range from $1.07 billion to $1.075 billion. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) are expected to range from 86 to 88 cents with approximately 309 million non-GAAP-weighted average shares outstanding.

For the full fiscal year 2023, total revenue is expected to range between $4.530 billion and $4.550 billion, and non-GAAP income from operations is expected to vary between $1.430 billion and $1.450 billion. A non-GAAP diluted EPS of approximately $3.45 to $3.51 is expected for the entire fiscal year based on approximately 312 million non-GAAP weighted average shares outstanding.

 “Looking forward, we are addressing a large opportunity as we expect customers will continue to transform how they work and engage with their customers,” said Zoom founder and CEO, Eric S. Yuan. “It is apparent that businesses want a full communications platform that is integrated, secure, and easy to use.

“We are proud to lead the charge of the digital transformation for communications. To sustain and enhance our leadership position, in fiscal year 2023 we plan to build out our platform to further enrich the customer experience with new cloud-based technologies and expand our go-to-market motions, which we believe will enable us to drive future growth.”

AWS launches carbon tracking tool for its cloud customers

Praharsha Anand

2 Mar, 2022

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced its new customer carbon footprint tool as part of The Climate Pledge.

The move builds on the firm’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. 

AWS’ customer carbon footprint tool, available for free, will help its cloud customers keep track of, measure, review, and forecast the carbon emissions associated with their use of AWS services. 

Enterprises can also monitor changes in emissions levels as they migrate workloads to AWS, upgrade applications, or retire obsolete resources. As a general rule, emissions are measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MTCO2e. Carbon emissions data in the customer carbon footprint tool adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO standards.

Emissions data is available from January 2020 onwards, according to AWS’ customer carbon footprint user guide.  There is a quarterly interval between data updates as AWS gathers and processes new information. The customer carbon footprint tool rounds all values to the nearest tenth of a metric ton.

To estimate emissions savings versus an equivalent on-premises workload, AWS draws upon data from 451 Research, which is a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“After I share information about our efforts to decarbonize with our customers, they tell me that their organization is on a similar path, and that they need to know more about the carbon footprint of their cloud infrastructure,” commented Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS. 

“Today I am happy to announce the new Customer Carbon Footprint Tool. This tool will help you to meet your own sustainability goals, and is available to all AWS customers at no cost,.

Cloud computing market to hit $1.95 trillion by 2032

Praharsha Anand

25 Feb, 2022

The global cloud computing market is projected to reach a valuation of $1.95 trillion by 2032, according to a new report from market intelligence firm Fact.MR.

A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% is anticipated for the market between 2022 and 2032, owing to the rapid digitization of workplaces and the increasing demand for software as a service (SaaS) applications.

Commenting on the 12% CAGR of cloud-based services from 2015 to 2021, Fact.MR said the COVID-19 pandemic spurred the adoption of cloud computing, as enterprises enforced widespread work from home policies. 

With the proliferation of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and SaaS-based solutions, the market for cloud computing has grown significantly. Adobe, Alibaba Group, and Amazon are among the top market players. 

Accordingly, cloud computing solutions in North America are expected to account for 40% of the global revenue in 2022. The region is dominated by global technology giants like Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon, who have been early adopters of cloud technology, including big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and machine learning, all of which have vastly impacted the market.

With a CAGR of 18%, the APAC market is forecast to grow the fastest during the forecast period. Emerging economies such as India and China are likely to contribute to the growth in the region.

For instance, Alibaba Group’s fast-paced expansion and Make in India initiatives have been notable factors facilitating market size growth in the APAC region. A number of cloud computing service providers, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google LLP, have also initiated plans to strengthen their presence in Thai and Indonesian markets.

Nokia debuts new SaaS services in security and analytics

Praharsha Anand

22 Feb, 2022

Nokia has announced two new software as a service (SaaS) offerings for telecom operators and enterprises: iSIM Secure Connect and AVA Network Data Analytics Function.

Centered on security, analytics, and monetization, the new services build upon Nokia’s recent venture into SaaS to help communication service providers (CSPs) and businesses drive greater value from their services by migrating to a subscription-based, agile model that replaces custom, expensive, on-premise software with purely on-demand software.

“As opposed to classic SIMs, embedded SIM (eSIM) and integrated SIM (iSIM) technologies can store and manage multiple subscription profiles remotely for authenticating users and devices on mobile networks,” explained Nokia.

iSIM Secure Connect, a new SaaS solution from Nokia, enables CSPs and enterprises to securely and centrally manage eSIM- and iSIM-enabled devices subscriptions. 

Additionally, the iSIM Secure Connect platform automates all aspects of the eSIM/iSIM management process and opens up opportunities to monetize services linked to trustable digital identities.

Nokia’s second offering complements its AI&analytics, virtualization, and automation (AVA) solution. The Nokia AVA Network Data Analytics Function (NWDAF), with its distributed architecture and open APIs, provides analytics at the network edge, implements 3GPP-compliant analytics services, and facilitates software-development collaborations.

Its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-driven closed-loop automation helps optimize network operations and improve customer experience, in addition to generating new revenue streams.

As for commercial release, Nokia said its AVA NWDAF service will be available later this quarter via a SaaS delivery model. iSIM Secure Connect is scheduled to launch as SaaS later this year. However, other deployment options will continue to be available to customers.

“Adopting Nokia AVA NWDAF and iSIM Secure Connect through the SaaS model will greatly improve the time-to-value that CSPs and enterprises can realize by having on-demand access to services. These latest Nokia SaaS services strengthen our leadership position in helping our customers change the very foundation of how our industry does business,” said Raghav Sahgal, president of cloud and network services at Nokia.

Cloudflare opens $3,000 bug bounty program to the public

Praharsha Anand

3 Feb, 2022

Cloudflare, a provider of web infrastructure and security services, has announced the launch of its public bug bounty program.

Bug hunters and security researchers can now report vulnerabilities found in Cloudflare products as part of the company’s latest program, which is hosted on HackerOne.

A private bounty program was previously launched in 2018, following a vulnerability disclosure program in 2014. The company paid $211,512 in bounties during the lifetime of this program, with 292 out of the 430 reports receiving a reward.

Rewards for Cloudflare’s latest program vary with the severity of the vulnerability. Each security flaw is assigned a severity rating based on the Common Vulnerability Scoring Standard (CVSS) version 3.

There is a $3,000 payment for a critical vulnerability report, while high, medium, and low vulnerabilities are worth $1,000, $500, and $250, respectively. However, rewards vary for secondary and other targets.

As a way to make vulnerability research easier, Cloudflare also developed a sandbox called CumulusFire, which provides a standardized playground for researchers to test their exploits. The sandbox will also assist Cloudflare’s security teams in reproducing potential exploits for analysis.

“CumulusFire has already helped us address the constant trickle of reports in which researchers would configure their origin server in an obviously insecure way, beyond default or expected settings, and then report that Cloudflare’s WAF does not block an attack. By policy, we will now only consider WAF bypasses a vulnerability if it is reproducible on CumulusFire,” explained Cloudflare.

A good place to start is to refer to the documentation on Cloudflare’s developer and API portals, the Learning Center, and its support forums.

The firm also aims to add additional documentation, testing platforms, and a way for researchers to interact with its security teams to ensure submissions are valid.

Citrix to be acquired by Vista and Evergreen in $16.5 billion deal

Praharsha Anand

2 Feb, 2022

Citrix is set to be acquired by affiliates of Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital in an all-cash deal valued at $16.5 billion.The transaction is inclusive of Citrix’s debt.

The deal also calls for the merger of Citrix with Tibco, a portfolio company of Vista. Tibco offers enterprise data management solutions that help businesses connect, integrate, and accurately predict business outcomes. 

Citrix’s digital workspace and application delivery suite, combined with Tibco’s data and analytics capabilities, will enable customers to access secure applications and insights to accelerate digital transformation and navigate hybrid workplaces.

The Citrix-Tibco merger will also accelerate Citrix’s defined growth strategy and shift to software as a service (SaaS)

In addition, the firm stated that the combined entity will be positioned to provide secure, optimized, and comprehensive infrastructure for enterprise application, desktop delivery, and data management to advance hybrid cloud computing solutions.

“Citrix and Tibco provide mission-critical software and services to many the world’s most successful businesses, and we see tremendous value in combining their respective world-class offerings to help companies gather insight from the growing volumes of data generated by the hybrid work economy,” said John Stalder, managing director at Vista.

“Both businesses have now completed transitions to approximately 90% recurring revenue, poising the go-forward combined business to drive future growth. We look forward to partnering with Evergreen and the Citrix and Tibco teams to ensure this is a seamless transition for all stakeholders,” added Stalder.

As per the terms of the acquisition, Citrix shareholders will receive $104 in cash per share. The firm’s board of directors approved the transaction unanimously, and the deal is expected to close mid-year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. Citrix shares will cease to trade on the Nasdaq following the transaction, and the company will go private.

LG Electronics joins the IBM Quantum Network

Praharsha Anand

10 Jan, 2022

LG Electronics has joined the IBM Quantum Network to expand industry applications of quantum computing.

IBM will give LG Electronics access to its quantum computing systems and Qiskit, in addition to the firm’s open source quantum information software development kit.

The resources will help LG electronics augment big data, artificial intelligence (AI), connected cars, digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics applications.

Further, with IBM Quantum technology, LG can capture the latest advances and applications from quantum computing, in accordance with IBM’s quantum roadmap. 

Using IBM Quantum technology, LG will also train its employees, allowing the company to examine potential breakthroughs for its industry.

“Based on our open innovation strategy, we plan to use IBM Quantum to develop our competency in quantum computing,” said Byoung-Hoon Kim, CTO and executive vice president of LG Electronics. 

“We aim to provide customers with value that they have not experienced so far by leveraging quantum computing technology in future businesses.”

As part of the IBM Quantum Summit in November 2021, IBM unveiled its Eagle quantum computing processor with 127 qubits. Eagle uses IBM’s 3D packaging architecture designed to support advanced quantum processors, including its 1,126-qubit Condor chip scheduled to be released in 2023.

The LG partnership further strengthens IBM’s quest for Quantum Advantage.

“We’re happy to welcome LG Electronics to a growing quantum computing ecosystem in Korea at an exciting time for the region,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM fellow and VP of quantum computing at IBM. 

“The relationship between IBM and LG Electronics will permit LG to explore new types of problems associated with emerging technologies and will help strengthen the quantum capabilities in Korea.”