How To Tune Parallels Access For Faster Performance

Guest blog by Support staff: Paul Christopher Nathaniel Looking for a faster Parallels Access performance? Sometimes you need access to your Windows on the go—whether you need to send some file, or just want to edit something on the fly. But network connection drops again and again when you are right in the middle of […]

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Announcing @ZertoCorp to Exhibit at @CloudExpo New York | #Cloud

SYS-CON Events announced today that Zerto will exhibit at SYS-CON’s 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Zerto is committed to keeping enterprise and cloud IT running 24/7 by providing innovative, simple, reliable and scalable business continuity software solutions. Through the Zerto Cloud Continuity Platform™, organizations can seamlessly move and protect virtualized workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds. The company’s flagship product, Zerto Virtual Replication, has become the standard for protection, recovery and migration of applications in cloud and virtualized data centers.

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Microsoft launches VC to drive inorganic growth

Microsoft To Layoff 18,000Microsoft has announced the launch of Microsoft Ventures, a new capitalist venture arm to engage start-ups and entrepreneurs in areas which the business does not currently operate.

Speaking on the official Microsoft blog, Nagraj Kashyap Corporate VP for the ventures business, highlighted the launch was in line with objectives to identify start-ups which can inspire the next technology evolution, as opposed to supporting the current portfolio and business objectives.

“In Microsoft’s history of engaging with and supporting start-ups, we’ve done a lot of investing, but not a lot of early stage,” said Kashyap. “Because we would often invest alongside commercial deals, we were not a part of the early industry conversations on disruptive technology trends. With a formalized venture fund, Microsoft now has a seat at the table.”

Technology acquisition has become an intense game in recent months, as a host of tech giants have built new business units to identify potential acquisitions. While this might not be considered an unusual business activity, the trends of innovation through acquisition as opposed to organic growth have seemingly becoming more prominent. Earlier this month, HP announced the launch of its own VC business unit, which could be perceived as a means for the business to diversify its portfolio, entering new markets. These new markets could lead to direct competition with HPE.

Microsoft has a history of creating initiatives to aide and invest in start-ups, having launched the Microsoft Accelerator program, which provides tools, technology and consulting, though this unit will aim to sit between the Accelerator and the function which oversees major acquisitions. Initially the team will have a presence in San Francisco New York City and Tel Aviv, and will also look to expand to additional countries in the future.

“Given that the move to the cloud remains the single largest priority for the industry, identifying the bleeding-edge companies who complement and leverage the transition to the cloud is key to our investment thesis,” said Kashyap.

“Companies developing product and services that complement Azure infrastructure, building new business SaaS applications, promoting more personal computing by enriching the Windows and HoloLens ecosystems, new disruptive enterprise, consumer productivity, and communication products around Office 365 are interesting areas from an investment perspective.”

Aside from technologies which can aide the company’s core capabilities, the team will also be responsible for investigating disruptions in more horizontal axis. Security and machine learning were two areas which were identified by Kashyap on the blog. “Our view is outward into the market — we focus on the inorganic growth of Microsoft, looking at where we can provide a step function, versus incremental progress.”

EU-US privacy debate continues as EDPS says try again

EuropeOn-going efforts to provide clarity and guidance on transatlantic data transmission are unlikely to be seen soon as the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has outlined concerns over the robustness of the Safe Harbour successor, EU-US Privacy Shield.

European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, outlined his concerns on whether the proposed agreement will provide adequate protection against indiscriminate surveillance as well as obligations on oversight, transparency, redress and data protection rights.

“I appreciate the efforts made to develop a solution to replace Safe Harbour but the Privacy Shield as it stands is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny before the Court,” said Buttarelli. “Significant improvements are needed should the European Commission wish to adopt an adequacy decision, to respect the essence of key data protection principles with particular regard to necessity, proportionality and redress mechanisms. Moreover, it’s time to develop a longer term solution in the transatlantic dialogue.”

This is in fact the second time in a matter of months an official body has expressed concerns over the EU-US Privacy Shield, as the Article 29 Working Group voiced its concerns over the mass surveillance and oversight shortcomings that it believes are found in the pact. Back in April, WP29 commented Privacy Shield had made progress but still hadn’t covered the cracks which had Safe Harbour kicked out last year.

“The WP29 notes the major improvements the Privacy Shield offers compared to the invalidated Safe Harbour decision. Given the concerns expressed and the clarifications asked, the WP29 urges the Commission to resolve these concerns, identify appropriate solutions and provide the requested clarifications in order to improve the draft adequacy decision and ensure the protection offered by the Privacy Shield is indeed essentially equivalent to that of the EU,” said the WP29 group in its official opinion at the time.

The new Privacy Shield agreement does in fact encourage European businesses and organizations to be more considered and conservative when sharing data with US entities, however critics of the new agreement have highlighted there are still too many exceptions where the US and its intelligence agencies can move around the agreement.

While the opinion of the WP29 is respected throughout the industry, it was not a concrete sign that anything within the Privacy agreement will change. This is the same for the EDPS. There are no guarantees the agreement will be changed following Buttarelli making his opinion public, though it may be a good indicator as to what need to be done to ensure the pact stands up to scrutiny under the spotlight from the European Court of Justice. This is certainly the case for David Mount, Director of Security Solutions at Micro Focus.

“Buttarelli talks of a need for significant improvements before the agreement can be viable, which raises a key point around the self-certification aspects of Safe Harbour as it once was,” said Mount. “In the past, businesses could self-certify as compliant with Safe Harbour by simply ticking a box. But this does not create a transparent and trusting climate – in fact it does the very opposite, as is the case in any self-regulated environment.

Twitter comments“Any new agreement must be more robust, as per Buttarelli’s comments, and addressing the key issue of self-certification would be a significant step. It will be interesting to see how the EU Commission responds to the EDPS and how negotiations will continue to address the varying issues of self-certification and trust.”

Support for the agreement has been mixed as some European corners have voiced concerns, and some US opinions have been relatively positive, though this may be considered unsurprising. MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht and Edward Snowden were two who demonstrated a critical stance (see accompanying picture), while Microsoft become one of the first major US tech companies to confirm its support of the EU-US Privacy Shield.

Back in April, John Frank, Vice President EU Government Affairs at Microsoft said “we recognize that privacy rights need to have effective remedies. We have reviewed the Privacy Shield documentation in detail, and we believe wholeheartedly that it represents an effective framework and should be approved.”

Although Microsoft has demonstrated a desire to bring the issue to an end, it has also found itself on the wrong side of data requests from the US government, proving it’s no push over. The company has been involved in a drawn out lawsuit, as Microsoft has refused the US government access to data which is has stored in its Dublin data centre, telling the government it “must respect the sovereignty of other countries”.

The company has also filed a lawsuit against the US government and its associated agencies, arguing the right that customers should have the right to know when the state accesses their emails or records, as well as creating the Data Trustee model. The Data Trustee model is seemingly an effort to rebuild trust in the US business, as it hands control of its data over to a European company, in this case Deutsche Telekom, who have to give consent for a Microsoft employee to access the data.

“Businesses have already started looking to alternatives for legitimate data transfers out of the EU in case the Privacy Shield option, once formally adopted, should be taken away,” said Deema Freij, Global Privacy Officer at Intralinks. “For example, Binding Corporate Rules and EU Model Clauses are still seen as strong alternatives. Businesses have been switching to EU Model Clauses to transfer personal data to the US, which they can continue to do on an ongoing basis.

“The responsibility for businesses is only going to increase when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into full effect in May 2018. The next two years will be a huge test for organisations across the world as they begin to realise that data sharing practices will continue to fall under close scrutiny as the concept of data privacy evolves further.”

The EU-US Privacy Shield has made progress in addressing the concerns voiced by European citizens, companies and legislative bodies in recent months, though it is unlikely to be the final answer. In three months, two separate, independent and widely respected opinions have highlighted the short-comings of the agreement, which doesn’t inspire a huge level of confidence. How the Privacy Shield creators react to the opinion is yet to be seen, though it could be one of the deciding factors on how long the transatlantic data transmission argument continues.

Netsuite localizes services in Asian markets

The globe close up, Asia pastNetsuite has continued efforts to localize services worldwide, announcing a number of new partnerships at CXO Summit in Singapore, as well as new product launches.

The company launched NetSuite OneWorld for companies based in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as multinationals specifically doing business across Asia. The NetSuite OneWorld solution provides companies with multi-subsidiary management and global financial capabilities to run business operations in the region in a two tier model. Netsuite suite can be implemented in the cloud at subsidiary level, while maintaining legacy, on-premise systems at the company’s headquarters. The offering is also localised to meet the business, regulatory and tax compliance needs of regional businesses.

“Our long history in Southeast Asia and the dynamic business environment that has emerged in recent years, make expansion in the region a strategic imperative in NetSuite’s next phase of international growth,” said NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. “Our announcements today demonstrate the success we’ve seen already and our deep level of commitment moving forward.”

Having launched its presence in Singapore in 2005, the company has made healthy gains in recent years, boasting a client list of 212 enterprises and subsidiaries in the city state alone. The new partnerships and product offerings appear to demonstrate Netsuite’s intentions in the region. Netsuite recently reported healthy growth over the course of the last 12 months, Q1 revenues were reported at $216.6 million, up 31% year-over-year, and since that point, Nelson has seemingly indicated the Asia market as a priority.

According to the South China Morning Post, Netsuite will be aiming to establish a number of data centres in the region, with Hong Kong and Singapore noted as possible locations. Netsuite’s tendency in entering new regions has been to open up multiple locations as a fail-safe, which could be seen during the company’s expansion in Europe last year. The company opened data centres in Dublin and Amsterdam within a short period of time during the expansion efforts.

While Hong Kong and Singapore represent healthy opportunities for the company to drive revenues, Netsuite has outlined China as a long-term target, with a Hong Kong platform offering a solid gateway due to its trade and political ties. “Businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore are already reaping the rewards of open trade and global expansion,” said Zakir Ahmed, GM of NetSuite Asia. “NetSuite OneWorld is giving these businesses the flexibility and agility to fully capitalise on the current cycle of growth.”

In terms of local partnerships, the announcement detailed new collaborations with 3PL Total Technology, a cloud warehouse management solutions company,, CuriousRubik, a previous Netsuite partner, and Doji Media, a company which helps local customers expand their remit to international markets.

How Asia Pacific businesses who are utilising cloud are forging ahead


Businesses in the Asia Pacific region who use cloud services are more than twice as likely to have a greater presence in international markets, according to new research from NetSuite and Frost & Sullivan.

The study, which surveyed more than 800 mostly C-suite executives across Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore, found 70% of cloud-enabled firms surveyed were “internationalised” compared to 22% of their non-cloud brethren, while similar figures appeared for businesses entering new geographic markets over the past five years (71% cloud, 31% non-cloud). Globalisation was seen as an opportunity, rather than a threat, by 83% of organisations.

According to respondents, the main competitive advantage of the cloud was lower operating costs, increased responsiveness to customer needs, and a greater ability to enter overseas markets. All features were seen as key to accelerate the push towards internationalisation.

And similar to companies that were ‘born in the cloud’, the NetSuite research argues there is a rise of firms which are ‘born global’ – businesses which have successfully internationalised by entering overseas markets at an extremely early stage of development. The top three challenges to internationalisation in Singapore were recruiting suitable employees, taxation issues, and IT issues, with almost three quarters (73%) seeing cloud as a competitive advantage.

For Frost & Sullivan, the findings are indicative of an evolving industry in general. “Our research has shown how industry change is not just continuing, but accelerating,” said Mark Dougan, Australia and New Zealand managing director at the research firm. “Two new key factors that are driving this change have emerged from this study: significant increase in business costs and evolving customer needs.

“These trends may create new challenges for organisations, but at the same time they also create significant opportunities for growth, with internationalisation topping the list,” he added.

In April, the latest paper from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) found that Hong Kong had overtaken Japan as the most mature Asia Pacific cloud nation. Singapore, Australia and New Zealand were all in the top five.

DT keeps data out of US reach with new mobility platform

UnternehmerinA Deutsche Telekom subsidiary has announced a new cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Management offering called Hosted MDM Basic, which has been built on MobileIron’s Cloud platform.

The offering will be hosted in Deutsche Telekom data centres located in Germany, using MobileIron’s platform, will create a Data Trustee proposition, which complies with German data protection rules, generally considered to be the strictest throughout the EU. The Data Trustee model was coined during the Microsoft’s dispute with the US government over access of data held by the company in its Dublin data centre.

Deutsche Telekom acted as a ‘trustee’ of the data, meaning employees could not access the data without consent from the Telco. The arrangement aims to put the data of Microsoft’s European customers outside the reach of the US government and its intelligence agencies.

The on-going discussion surrounding data transmission, access and residency has been a challenging area, following the European Court of Justice’s decision to dismiss the Safe Harbour agreement. The subsequent proposition, US-EU Privacy Shield, has also been dismissed by a number of individuals throughout the EU, as it apparently still does not offer the required levels of security and assurance. The Data Trustee model is seemingly a means for companies taking data protection into their own hands, as they do not appear to be willing to wait for assurances from the US.

“Mobile technology gives us the ability to get data and act on it more quickly so organizations that are serious about using mobile technologies can dramatically increase their velocity,” said Barry Mainz, CEO at MobileIron. “Our integration with Telekom Deutschland combines MobileIron’s industry-leading mobile security platform with Telekom Deutschland’s data trustee capabilities.”

The company claims the offering provides simplified security and control of Android, iOS and Windows devices, but also manages mobile apps, content, and devices, automatically enforce policies, and retire mobile devices when they are lost or when an employee leaves the company.

Apple to sell ‘personal cloud’ products instore from June

ApolloPromise Technologies has announced Apple will exclusively sell its Apollo ‘personal cloud’ appliances instore from June 7.

The product itself is billed by Promise as a safer way to share and save photos, videos and files, which can be uploaded from anywhere in the world through the Apollo Cloud App which are then stored on a physical device which is owned by the customer. While the device does allow customers to utilize the internet to upload files and data, the offering is seemingly very similar to an external hard drive.

“Promise has a relentless commitment to innovating new solutions that improve how we live and work,” said HC Chang, GM of Promise Technology APAC. “Apollo is our latest innovation, however, it is just the beginning as we are looking at building a whole new line of solutions for the IoT market. We are looking forward to showcasing Apollo to the many users passionate about technology and we are excited to hear their innovative ideas on what the next generation of Apollo should offer.”

The news was made public by the Promise Technologies team at Computex in Taiwan, and to-date there has been no comment from Apple.

Apple has been making efforts in recent months to bolster its position in the cloud marketplace, and this latest effort would appear to be a move towards the consumer market. The company does already play a role within the consumer world; iCloud is a similar offering to Dropbox; though the Promise technology would appear to an alternative for the security conscious customers. In the enterprise world, the company has recently announced a partnership with SAP, to develop iOS apps based on the SAP HANA cloud platform, as well as entering the e-Health market with the launch of CareKit, an open-source software framework.

The introduction of products geared towards the consumer market is not a new move for the industry, as there are already a number of tech giants fighting for market share. Statista estimates 1.74 billion people will be using personal cloud storage worldwide by 2017, with this number increasing to 2.04 billion in 2019.

Dropbox could generally be considered the market leader, announcing it had exceeded 500 million users in March, with Google’s Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive, also offering similar services. The Promise solution would appear to be a private-cloud-twist for consumers, with increased security claims as well as a customer’s maintaining oversight of their own data, though it is ultimately a ‘on premise’ product, as the company makes no mention of cloud back-up storage. As mentioned before, it would appear to be very similar to an external hard drive, with the added benefits of internet-enabled uploading features.

Disaster recovery as a service and how humans are often driven by fear


The media is rife with examples of how human nature is strongly driven by fear; fear of the unknown, fear of failure, even fear of success. Human nature doesn’t leave the equation when we put on our corporate badges and walk through the glass doors of corporate UK.

We’re still human. And we still fear.

One of the major fears that plagues even the most relaxed corporate employee is the fear of failure. We advise the new guy to stay away from political quagmires. We sell against our competition with the tried and tested fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) formula. We wield fear as a weapon and we call on fear as an excuse.

It’s important to drag that fear out of the shadows. In my line of work with disaster recovery, that means bringing someone face-to-face with the terrible, horrible likelihood of A Bad Thing Happening. To do that, it’s important to remember that people tend to confront their fears if they can see a solution – a good solution. We’re all turtles, hiding in our shells until someone shows us a sliver of dawn on the horizon.

In my world – disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) – the technology has shifted fundamentally in the last few years. It’s the difference between landlines and iPhones, between Model Ts and a four wheel drive, between the pony express and email – you get the picture.

But, given that it’s a bit of an esoteric corner of the tech space, the emergence of this new technology hasn’t manifested itself in lines of eager buyers, waiting in eight hour queues for the chance to sign up. Knowledge is slow to travel – and faith in the information takes time.

The same human responses – in far more corporate clothing – come out. It’s smoke and mirrors – it can’t possibly work. Sure, but what’s the catch? And who do I call if it fails – a call centre in Moldova? And, of course…we’ve never had a disaster. That’s the place we all retreat to in our core: denial. It has never happened to us – and it will never happen to us. Surveys show that upwards of 70% of companies have had to trigger some disaster plan in the past year – and yet, it will never happen to us.

And frankly, that’s how we all get by in this world. This is the protective part of our psyche that enables us to get behind the wheel of a car, ride an airplane, or invest our money without falling into paralysing levels of anxiety. But, it can be counterproductive to keeping an open mind.

So my job becomes a timing game of dancing between the synapses in the corporate brain. Show them the facts – it will happen to you. Most likely, it won’t be a calamity or widespread event. It will probably be a huge inconvenience triggered by a power outage or faulty upgrade. And, in the few moments before they retreat back into the shell of denial, I gesture wildly towards the horizon – the solution is easier than you think.

I should do the research, but I’m willing to bet that people are far more likely to get tested for ailments where a solution is understood to be routine. Why learn you can’t be cured? Denial is far more pleasant. That’s why quick fix answers to diets and exercise and smoking cessation are so popular – because the long hard road is too much to bear.

Corporate humans are just humans in suits. And, while they may never make it to the top viral videos list, seeing a company triumph over fear and obstacles to save themselves from peril is a no-less-inspiring story than those heartwarming videos of kids and dogs. At least, to those of us battling fear. 

Deploy a Private Cloud in Minutes | @CloudExpo @Accelerite #Cloud

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