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VMware and Equinix expand global cloud services offering

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VMware and Equinix expand global cloud services offering

Equinix and VMware have enhanced their global relationship to deliver new digital infrastructure and multi-cloud services.

At VMware Explore 2022 Europe in Barcelona today, the companies unveiled VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, a new distributed cloud service that will deliver a more performant, secure, and cost-effective cloud option to support enterprise applications.

The service will combine VMware-managed and supported cloud infrastructure as a service with Equinix’s interconnected, global Bare Metal as a Service offering. The service will extend customers’ cloud environments into distributed metro locations to satisfy business-critical performance demands at the edge while enabling them to preserve the integrity of enterprise workloads.

Dave McCarthy, research VP, Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services at IDC, said: “Customers to date have lacked a suitable cloud option that combines on-premises security and control with high performance, data locality, and low overall TCO.

“For mission-critical applications that rely on low-latency and high-performance network bandwidth, the default has been to retain workloads on-premises or perform real-time needs, such as data processing, at branch office or metro locations. With their combined strengths, Equinix and VMware are well positioned to deliver a distributed cloud service that will address the demands of enterprise applications where latency, performance, security, and data locality are key drivers.”

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VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal will be ideal for distributed cloud use cases including smart cities, video analytics, game development, real-time financial market trading, retail POS, and a variety of use cases using IoT and ML/Inference. The service will include VMware Cloud for consistent multi-cloud infrastructure and operations and Equinix Metal, an automated bare metal and interconnection offering delivered as a service across Equinix’s global International Business Exchange (IBX) footprint. VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal will provide private, low-latency access to both private and public cloud environments – as well as thousands of IT and network providers – via Equinix Fabric interconnection. This built-in private connectivity will deliver multi-cloud flexibility and choice with instantaneous connectivity to all public cloud services. Customers will be able to purchase the VMware Cloud software as a service from VMware and the Bare Metal as a Service capacity from Equinix.

Zachary Smith, global head of edge infrastructure services at Equinix, said: “As companies accelerate their digital transformation by adopting hybrid multi-cloud architectures, they require consistent application experiences that span private and public clouds, and reach from the core to the edge.

“We are pleased to partner with VMware to provide an on-demand, dedicated cloud infrastructure solution that can be deployed globally. Customers benefit from secure connections to their critical private or on-prem environments and also to the thousands of clouds, networks and other ecosystem participants that come together at Equinix.”

Narayan Bharadwaj, VP, Cloud Solutions at VMware, said: “Businesses across industries are seeking to become cloud smart by matching enterprise application needs to the best cloud environments. This approach will enable them to benefit from high performance and consistent infrastructure with low TCO.

“VMware and Equinix are uniquely positioned to co-innovate on a distributed cloud service that extends VMware Cloud to new locations to provide application choice and flexibility and accelerate cloud transformation for all enterprises.”

Equinix and VMware: Cloud-Smart Innovation for Thousands of Customers Globally

Over nearly a decade, Equinix and VMware have delivered solutions that meet business demands for fast, more secure, and consistent multi-cloud infrastructure. Thousands of mutual customers are accelerating their enterprise cloud transformation by running VMware workloads in Equinix data centers around the world. Equinix owns and operates a network of more than 240 data centres in 71 major metro areas around the world and serves as a transit hub, enabling secure network connections across private and public clouds. This has made Equinix an ideal digital infrastructure foundation for the multi-cloud enterprise. VMware Cloud is the industry’s first and only multi-cloud Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that runs as a native service in 100+ regions spanning major public clouds as well as 4,000+ partner clouds, in private data centres and at the edge.

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Tags: Equinix, VMware


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Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

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As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

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Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

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Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

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With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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