Archive for Maj, 2014

How to foster innovation and become a Transformer

By admin, 12 maja, 2014, No Comment

Christo Briedenhann, Regional Director at Riverbed Technology, offers 6 top tips on how CIOs can transform their IT infrastructure amidst the fast-paced change of the technology landscape.

Embrace change (or it will embrace you)

BYOD, mobility, cloud computing and big data. These are all buzzwords that have been bandied around the technology sector and can be singled out as key megatrends dominating the market.

A common thread running through these technologies is user empowerment and the fact, now more so than ever, users have freedom to make their own IT decisions. This can be scary thought for CIOs, who can feel powerless to the number of smartphones, tablets and laptops entering the organisation.

However, much is said of the threats over the opportunities, with the latter underlining how the advent and continued prevalence of these technologies can foster innovation and improve efficiency. The challenge, however, is to embrace change whilst ensuring that repeated adoption of the “next big thing” delivers maximum benefit and optimal value to the business and demonstrable ROI.

Make innovation a ‘business basic’

Organisations acknowledge that the levels of innovation needed to drive their IT strategies forward can only occur by using the right technology. It’s imperative that the C-suite highlight technology as a driver of innovation within the organisation.

Don’t ‘leak’ value

With significant investments being made across a range of technology areas and new technology deployment accounting for 25% of technology spend, the importance of maximising technology spend is evident, yet in practice, new technologies introduced are falling short of their expectation.

Infrastructure is imperative

As more diverse and varied applications are added to the network, IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly convoluted.

This churn can cause issues if your infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle leading-edge applications. This disparity becomes even more prevalent outside of IT, where business executives are demanding new technologies but aren’t tuned into the underlying infrastructure concerns.

Optimise technology investment

New technologies are the driving force behind innovation, and as such, if these applications underperform, so does the business. Particularly during times of austerity, wasted investment can have far-reaching implications for businesses. Almost half (46%) of those surveyed The Transformers Report said that looking at their spend on IT and networking over the past three years, they could have spent less money and achieved better results for the business.

Make data centre transformation your new ‘mega trend’

As innovation continues to be a top business priority, organisations are increasing their investment in new applications. But, before deciding to invest IT leaders must ensure new applications will meet their performance expectations and not undermine the business goals.

Businesses are investing in the right technology, yet they are not investing in their infrastructure to support the surge in leading-edge applications. IT leaders recognise that data centre performance is a key factor in application failure, yet only in a minority of cases are executives and Board members fully mindful of this. It’s time to put data centre transformation on the boardroom agenda.

With applications fully optimised and working effectively organisations can regain their certainty over ROI and continue to use technology to drive innovation across the business.

 

New brand campaign exposes retirement industry tricks

By admin, 12 maja, 2014, No Comment

At a time when less than 10% of the country’s population * has enough money to comfortably retire, a new brand campaign is lifting the lid on troublesome industry practices that are often not in the best interest of South African investors and which hinder them from reaching their retirement goals.

According to Steven Nathan, Chief Executive Officer of financial services provider 10X Investments, the new 10X brand campaign aims to highlight issues facing consumers, such as; too much choice, complexity of products, high investment fees and lack of transparency. “Ultimately, the purpose is to make consumers more aware of the dangers of the wrong retirement solution and highlight how simple retirement planning and investing can really be.”

The campaign, which was developed by award winning agency M&C Saatchi Abel, will feature TV, radio, print and digital adverts that focus on the 10X philosophy of offering one simple, optimal retirement solution. The new advertising campaign is set to go live on 12 May 2014.

Mark Winkler, Executive Creative Director at the advertising agency, says that it was imperative for the agency to develop a brand campaign that was clear, concise and understandable – especially taking into account the very technical nature of the retirement fund industry.

The new campaign includes headlines, such as; “What good is choice if you don’t know what you’re choosing?”, “Forty years is a long time for a rabbit not to appear.” and “Paying 2% more in fees for 40% less in returns? Now that’s mental arithmetic”.

In order to further drive home the message of proper retirement saving, the statements in each advert are accompanied by the pay-off line “Why settle for less?” and additional information on the unique investment approach taken by 10X.

Nathan explains that 10X determines a person’s investment based on their time horizon, with the company’s portfolios tracking the index, rather than the whims of a fund manager. “As a result of this, the cost savings allow us to charge less than half the industry standard in fees. What may have gone towards costs at any other institution is invested on your behalf (not ours), which then compounds over your investment period.”

He says that this approach means that over a period of forty years investors are able to look forward to returns of as much as 60% more than they might have received with another retirement investment.

In addition to this, 10X offers companies and individuals one simple, optimal retirement solution. “The simplicity in this solution allows for clarity and transparency in our reports to investors, which in turn gives them a very clear idea of how their investments are performing,” adds Nathan.

10X also provides simplified administration, investment management and benefit consulting services to companies, as well as retirement savings products to individuals.

*without having to compromise the standard of living, South African National Treasury, 2013

Early arrival of Business Uncapped Unshaped

By admin, 12 maja, 2014, No Comment

Due to growing demand, local Internet Service Provider OpenWeb has introduced a limited edition Business Uncapped Unshaped package with no shaping or throttling. This offering that runs on the MTN ADSL backbone, is ideal for business and home users who require unhindered Internet access.

OpenWeb’s CEO Keoma Wright says they do not log usage stats on their uncapped accounts. “Why should we care how much data our client has used on the account? Unlimited means just that. Some ISPs’s monitor client data so that they can enforce drastic throttling policies, making an account slow or even unusable. By default, we don’t monitor anyone’s usage on uncapped accounts.”

Unlike most other ISP’s, OpenWeb delivers ‘truly unlimited’ broadband with no download limits or throttling. Business Uncapped Unshaped includes the following options: 2Mbps for R449pm; 4Mbps for R699pm; 10Mbps for R999pm and 20Mbps for R1999pm.

For more information and pricing contact OpenWeb on 0861 22 44 66 or email admin@openweb.co.za or visit http://www.openweb.co.za/business-unshaped.html

RS Components expands 3D printer range to broaden customer accessibility

By admin, 10 maja, 2014, No Comment

Introduction of 3D Systems’ 3D printers, 3D scanners, and cartridges, sets RS among the foremost distributors of 3D printing products globally.

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has introduced an array of 3D printers and print technologies to its product offering, placing the company among the top distribution stockists of multi-range 3D printing products worldwide.

The new introductions are from 3D Systems, a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including 3D printers and print materials designed for professional, educational, and personal use. These products augment the existing 3D print offering from RS, which was the first channel supplier to stock the low-cost self-replicating Ormerod 3D printing kit, developed by RepRapPro.

The 3D Systems products now carried by RS include a range of 3D printers, 3D scanners and cartridges:

Second generation Cube® – a simple plug-and-play printer offering 3D printing capability with fast print speed and high accuracy for printed parts up to 5.5” cubed. Cube prints in two materials, compostable PLA and recyclable ABS plastics, available in a variety of colours. It offers a choice of print mode fill density: light, medium and solid in both PLA and ABS plastics with optional easy, peel away supports for the most complex prints. Certified to IEC 60950 for safe-at-home use, Cube uses a smart cartridge system that detects material type automatically based on the cartridge, so no adjustment of the print settings is required. RS is stocking PLA cartridges for Cube in a range of nine colours.

CubeX® – a desktop 3D printer, offering the largest print volume in its category and mono, dual or triple-colour printing. CubeX provides professional printability with 1,070 cubic inches of space, or 10.8” x 10.45” x 9.5”. There are several options for print modes, including a choice of accuracy: High Definition (125 Micron), Crisp Definition (250 Micron) or Standard Definition (500 Micron), and a choice of print fill density: light, medium or solid. CubeX prints in both PLA and ABS plastics, and is available in multiple colour options: the basic CubeX single colour: CubeX Duo, offering dual colour and materials; and CubeX Trio, the top-of-the range triple colour, multi-material option. Like all 3D Systems printers, CubeX uses the smart MoistureLock cartridge system. Ten CubeX PLA cartridge colour options are available to purchase from RS.

Sense™ – the first 3D scanner designed for the consumer and optimized for 3D printing. Sense is handheld, and delivers precise instant physical photography, processing data in seconds for an instantly 3D printable file. It comes with an intuitive user interface with easy and automated zoom, track, focus, crop, enhance and share tools. Sense can scan objects ranging from 20mm³ to 3m³, making it possible to capture people, objects and places on the go.

“By bringing the 3D Systems products into our 3D printing portfolio we are catering for a broader cross-section of users, spanning the consumer and professional sectors,” said Ben Lawton, Global Head of Tools and Consumables, RS Components. “Our aim is to provide customers from all walks of life with a complete, accessible 3D technology package, which combines our free, intuitive, DesignSpark Mechanical 3D design software, enabling engineers and enthusiasts anywhere to create 3D designs from scratch, and to see their work physically come off the 3D printer in as little as a few minutes.”

RS Components now stocking starter kit for the industry’s most energy-friendly MCUs

By admin, 10 maja, 2014, No Comment

Silicon Labs’ EFM32 Zero Gecko starter kit provides a feature-rich platform for evaluation, prototyping and application development for the EFM32 Zero Gecko MCU family

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has announced availability of Silicon Labs’ EFM32™ Zero Gecko Starter Kit, an excellent tool for engineers to get familiar with the EFM32™ Zero Gecko 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), the industry’s most energy-friendly MCUs based on the ARM® Cortex®-M0+ processor.

The EFM32ZG-STK3200 starter kit contains sensors and peripherals demonstrating some of the MCU’s many capabilities and can serve as a starting point for application development. The kit features an on-board SEGGER J-Link debugger and an Advanced Energy Monitoring system, allowing engineers to programme, debug and perform real-time current profiling of an application without using external tools.

Other features of the starter kit include:

  • Backup capacitor for RTC mode
  • USB interface for host/device/OTG
  • Low energy sensor interface (LESENSE) demo ready
  • Light, LC (inductive) and touch sensors
  • Free evaluation compiler versions

The Zero Gecko starter kit is supported by the Simplicity Studio software suite, a comprehensive graphical user interface environment for all major computing platforms including Microsoft® Windows®, Linux and Mac/OS X. Available with the kit at no charge, Simplicity Studio provides developers with one-click access to all the information, documentation, energyAware tools, and software and source code libraries needed to quickly develop energy-friendly applications.

 

Zero Gecko starter kit

Zero Gecko starter kit

 

Dell advances open networking initiative, expands program with addition of big switch networks

By admin, 10 maja, 2014, No Comment
  • Dell’s open-networking initiative disrupts traditional networking switch model, enables rapid innovation and customer choice through hardware and software disaggregation
  • Dell signs strategic agreement with Big Switch Networks to expand its open ecosystem to provide customer choice for networking hardware and software
  • Dell offers alternative to “white-box” switching with Dell-branded, validated and integrated systems, global scale, logistics, and enterprise-class services
  • Clemson University enthusiastic about potential industry benefits

Dell has announced plans to advance its open-networking initiative which redefines traditional networking switch models to help customers develop future-ready data centres. Dell announced a reseller agreement with software-defined networking (SDN) pioneer Big Switch Networks to extend its vision of a new, disaggregated model for networking hardware and software.

For decades, the networking industry has been stuck in the mainframe era mentality with a proprietary, monolithic structure built for pre-virtualized, client-server implementations using chassis-based switches. “The shift towards SDN in the data center represents the most transformative architectural trend delivering enhanced network agility, choice and optimized network operations for customers”, says Brad Pulford, Dell enterprise solutions group director. “Open networking contributes to the significant disruption occurring within the industry to more easily and efficiently deploy, monitor and adjust network services and performance”.

Dell and Big Switch Networks Help IT Embrace Open Networking

Dell’s agreement with Big Switch Networks helps deliver next-generation SDN fabrics and fills a critical gap in realising the true promise of the software-defined data centre. Dell will offer Big Switch Networks’ Switch Light OS on Dell Networking’s Ethernet switching portfolio, starting with the S4810 and S6000 series. Dell will also offer Big Switch Networks’ production-ready SDN controller applications starting with the Big Tap Monitoring – an innovative new SDN-based network monitoring solution unlocking hidden customer value and helping solve an age-old, costly networking challenge.

Dell with Big Switch Networks’ Big Tap Monitoring will introduce a powerful, SDN-enabled fabric monitoring solution that empowers tapping network traffic everywhere and delivering it to security and other appliances to:

  • Expand choice and capabilities for customers looking for best-of-breed Ethernet switch hardware, OS and SDN apps;
  • Enable a range of next-generation SDN solutions; and
  • Realise operational simplification for management, control and policies.

This combined Dell and Big Switch Big Tap Monitoring solution is a strong candidate for an enterprise’s initial SDN deployment as it operates on the monitoring network and can be deployed incrementally.

Dell Open Networking Initiative

Dell is driving a new open ecosystem that stimulates innovation with best of breed, standards-based network equipment, networking operating systems and network applications to serve customers unique business needs. Benefits and value of the open networking model include:

  • Best-of-breed networking for workloads, application and other networking needs including orchestration, automation and monitoring;
  • Consistent view across data centre resources with a common deployment and operational model; and,
  • Rapid standards-based innovation and availability of abundant open source data centre solutions.

Dell’s Alternative to “White Box/Black Box” Switching

Today’s networking offers exist at the end of two extremes. One extreme is “white-box” or “bare-metal” switching which is just that – simply a box with customers on their own to add an OS and other software, implement and service it. The other extreme is “black box” switching where everything is supplied by a single provider. This group includes brand name, traditional vendors.

Dell’s open networking sits between these extremes by offering another way to lower traditional switching hardware capital expenditure benefits with potential upside of better-than-“white box” operational costs.

Dell provides value customers want and differs from many “white box” vendors by providing the support of a trusted worldwide brand including:

  • Dell-branded, validated, tested and supported Ethernet switches with modern, fixed-form factor architectures;
  • Complete data centre solution with common acquisition, deployment and operational model from single vendor for server, storage and networking – global distribution and fulfilment;
  • Global services with accountability; and,
  • Networking expertise in pre- and post-sales scenarios including planning, deployment and support services.

Availability

Dell expects to begin offering switches with Big Switch Networks Switch Light operating system and the Big Switch Networks Big Tap Monitoring Fabric controller in the second quarter of 2014.

CommVault delivers complete data management for application and cloud environments

By admin, 10 maja, 2014, No Comment
  • Organisations modernising their Microsoft-based IT environments can cut costs up to 50 percent using CommVault’s singular software platform
  • Simpana software scales data protection and delivers a single view of information and management across Microsoft applications and infrastructure from Windows 8.1 to Microsoft Azure
  • Optimise manageability, availability  and network resources with new virtual machine life cycle management for Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V
  • Enhancements to Exchange archive, self-service search and access enable “infinite mailboxes” that reduce the long-term storage costs and complexity of e-mail management and eDiscovery needs

CommVault today announced an extension of its 15-year relationship with Microsoft to provide new, highly scalable solutions for managing and protecting data in Hyper-V virtual environments, managing workloads in Microsoft Azure, and new integration for Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint, and SQL Server applications.

The newest enhancements to CommVault’s Simpana singular software platform are tailored for Microsoft applications and infrastructure and designed to help enterprises cut costs by up to 50 percent, increase the value of data, drive business efficiencies and reduce risk. They include new capabilities for the management and access of data across the enterprise, from front offices to hosted cloud services, designed for the highest operational efficiency.

CommVault will showcase the enhanced Simpana software offering at Microsoft TechEd North America, Microsoft’s premier technology conference for IT professionals and enterprise developers, next week in booth #401 and in the session DCIM-B291, titled “Windows and Microsoft Azure Centric Data Management.”

CommVault has built a unique data management architecture that allows enterprises to securely and efficiently discover, protect, manage and create value from data. Simpana software extends Microsoft’s built-in archiving support by delivering enterprise-class compliance and eDiscovery features including a single management interface for federated search, legal hold, file and email analytics and content-aware, deep retention. With these powerful capabilities integrated with Windows Explorer, Outlook and other Microsoft applications, organisations can increase the availability of data for analytics, collaboration, cloud-based and mobile applications.

“Modern enterprises must keep their data operations running and respond quickly to business needs regardless of the size of the company or the vertical industry,” says N. Robert Hammer, chief executive officer and president of CommVault. “CommVault’s unparalleled integration and optimisation for Microsoft-based IT environments is a key reason why our customer, resellers and service providers trust in CommVault’s long-standing relationship with Microsoft for data management innovations that reduce cost, complexity and risk.”

“CommVault’s embrace of Microsoft’s entire stack – application, Operating System (OS), and Cloud offerings – provides a 360 degree view of your entire infrastructure. This single view is critical to organisations striving to deliver against the fast-changing business demands for secure and instantly available information,” says Bob Kelly, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “The combination of Simpana and the Microsoft stack gives customers the tools needed to extract value from business data and manage their information more efficiently, whether it resides on physical infrastructure, Hyper-V virtual servers or the Microsoft Azure platform.

Industry-leading Integration and Optimisation for Microsoft-based IT environments

The new updates include more automated ways for enterprises and service providers to holistically manage data with deep integration for Microsoft Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V and Azure hosted clouds and broad interoperability and support for Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, SQL Server, SharePoint and Windows endpoint devices.

Simpana software allows users and provider partners to unify data protection operations including backup, archive and Disaster Recovery (DR) and seamlessly move data from on-premises infrastructure to Azure cloud storage with a few mouse clicks.

Accelerating Hyper-V Adoption and Extending to Microsoft Azure

Working closely with Microsoft engineers, CommVault today introduced enhancements for Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V virtualisation that optimise manageability, data availability, storage efficiency and network resources for enterprises and service providers, including:

• Hyper-V Virtual Machine (VM) lifecycle management features that extend VM administration to end-users such as application owners or customers in multi-tenant environments, without requiring a call to the helpdesk. On demand, users can automatically provision their own new VMs with CPU, memory and storage resources; apply data protection to new VMs; and access, manage, recover and expire VMs — all based on pre-defined policies that control usage, cost and retention and managed via a single console.

• New block-based tracking support for Hyper-V, also known as Changed-Block Tracking (CBT), enables “incremental forever” backups that minimise the impact on production VMs, reduce network requirements and provide more effective data protection and recovery.

• Highly scalable data backup architecture that can protect hundreds of Hyper-V VMs in a single node, using the combination of new Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) proxy backups and an incremental forever methodology. Enhanced CSV support now allows customers to use a proxy node to backup VMs residing on other Hyper-V nodes within the cluster, enabling LAN-free Hyper-V backups and eliminating the backup burden from production server and network resources.

Eliminating Data Silos and Reducing Risk with a Single View of Data

A core component of the Simpana software platform is the ContentStore, which is the single repository of CommVault-managed information for all data on any storage tier from physical to virtualised infrastructure and hosted workloads. A converged Simpana backup and archive process reduces storage requirements and captures granular intelligence about the data, such as email subject headers and filenames, to simplify data recovery, search and business analytics. Key enhancements to the Simpana software platform today include:

• ContentStore Mail enables organisations to centrally house all Exchange data in the ContentStore repository to essentially create infinite mailboxes. New PST archiving reduces risk by collecting personal message folders for simplified search, eDiscovery and access even if they are stored locally on file shares and endpoint devices. Customers can also securely search and use their archived email through a web console and natively through Outlook.

• New Office 365 integration lets customers create on-premises copies of cloud-based files to simplify access and improve search and eDiscovery for legal hold and compliance requirements.

• Optimised protection for SharePoint supports externalised BLOB storage, which reduces the size of the SharePoint content database and efficiently archives and tiers data. Simpana software protects the entire SharePoint system, from the web farm to sites and documents, including the BLOB storage.

• New SQL Server 2014 support and simplified protection of SQL Server Always-On configurations reduce the impact to the application server. Additionally, automated provisioning of the SQL database from backup copies can accelerate testing and development.

• New Microsoft System Centre Operations Manager (SCOM) integration allows administrators to react faster to issues by managing Simpana software alerts via the SCOM interface.

• Windows endpoint protection, file sync and upload enable companies migrating their Windows XP client systems to Windows 7 or 8 to use CommVault Edge technology to easily and safely backup, recover and migrate data while maintaining continuous access to information for their mobile workforce. IT departments can wipe data on lost or remote laptops and lock sensitive documents. They can protect files created on tablets and smartphones with the ability to upload specific files to the ContentStore, sync them across devices and securely access and share data through web and mobile tools.

Availability and Time to Value for Microsoft Environments

The Simpana software enhancements are available immediately worldwide in the most recent Simpana 10 release directly from CommVault and its global channel network of PartnerAdvantage resellers, distributors, OEM and servicer provider partners.

CommVault Services are also immediately available to help customers achieve the fastest time-to-value over traditional in-house approaches. CommVault consultants help clients design, build and operate optimal modern data management environments for their business needs. As a result, customers are accelerating, extending and optimising the value of their Simpana Software ecosystem through a full suite of offerings ranging from Data Classification and Archive Policy Design to Architecture Design and Disaster Recovery Readiness.

SMEs express growing confidence in government support programmes

By admin, 9 maja, 2014, No Comment

Government support programmes for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) appear to be finding resonance with many organisations in their target audience. According to SME Survey 2014, more than half of the SMEs polled expressed satisfaction with the quality of these services.

SME Survey has contributed ground-breaking research into the forces shaping SME competitiveness since 2003. It is recognised as the largest representative survey of SMEs in South Africa and the final 2014 survey results are scheduled for release in June.

According to Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx and principal researcher for SME Survey, the satisfaction expressed by SMEs in the government support programmes is welcome news.

“We are seeing the most positive response in a decade to these support programmes. Ten years ago, the proportion of SMEs expressing satisfaction with these programmes was a mere 12%. By 2007, it had increased to 34%, but this still meant that only one third of SMEs were happy with such programmes,” he says.

“The 2014 interim results show that of those respondents who had used government support services, more than half (53%) claimed to be pleased with the overall quality of these services.”

Moreover, adds Goldstuck, sentiment is beginning to improve even amongst those entities that do not use these services. He points out that some 44% of all respondents said that they were confident about the use of government support services to grow their business, while only 39% of respondents had actually used such services.
Asked which government services were deemed to be the most effective in terms of business support, Goldstuck says that he was quite surprised to discover that the SA Revenue Service (SARS) is rated positively by 58% of those who have used these services.

“In addition to SARS, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) also offered a strong showing in the awareness of SMEs, with exactly a quarter of the SMEs rating it positive.”

According to Lusapho Njenge, Chief Strategy and Information Officer at Seda, the survey results indicate that the agency’s role in assisting SMEs to grow their businesses is becoming more widely known.

“Obviously, our aim is to grow the awareness of our role within the SME sector, and in so doing, also improve on the numbers of such organisations that view us in a positive light. To do this, we need to learn from the areas of dissatisfaction highlighted by SMEs in the survey, in order to continue to improve the services we offer to this sector.”

According to Goldstuck, SMEs expressed strong dissatisfaction with four particular areas of government support programmes.

“Turnaround time was the single biggest bugbear, with 46% complaining about it. Three other issues that cropped up were all cited by fewer than one in five SMEs, but nonetheless should be of interest to the programme providers. Accessibility was an issue for 19%; Communications for 15%; and Feedback for 10%. In combination, all of these suggest that support programmes clearly need to be more responsive to their users.”

Finally, Goldstuck suggests that there have also been some interesting sentiments expressed towards red tape and legal compliance.

“The most positive response was to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, with 77% of companies approving. This suggests an acknowledgement of the importance of looking after employees. Just behind this was SETA (Sector Education and Training Authorities) and the Skills Development Levy which has long been the most positively received Government incentive, with a 75% approval rating.”

“Bottom of the list, however, is the Registration of Entities, with only 54% of SMEs voicing their approval of this area of legislation. This emphasises the frustration SMEs often have with the most fundamental aspect of starting a business, namely the registration thereof. This, then, is clearly an area where government needs to pay a lot more attention, if it is serious about oiling the wheels of the economy,” he concludes.

SME Survey 2014 is sponsored by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), Business Connexion and Microsoft.

For more information, visit www.smesurvey.co.za

Fortinet unveils FortiOS 5.2 to fight advanced persistent threats

By admin, 9 maja, 2014, No Comment

Fortinet® – a world leader in high-performance network security – unveiled a major update to the company’s FortiOS Network Security operating system that powers the FortiGate platform. This release incorporates numerous innovations that strengthen Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework, providing enterprises with a cohesive and coordinated way to combat Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), zero-day attacks and other sophisticated malware. This Framework uniquely combines Fortinet’s new and established technologies with FortiGuard’s threat research and response to address increasingly complex cyber threats and reduce the risk of network breach and data loss.

The key elements of Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework are:

  • Access control: Reduces the attack surface by only allowing authorised users to access the network via authorized ports Threat prevention: Proactively stops as many attacks as possible by inspecting code, traffic, web sites and applications
  • Threat detection: Continues seeking out indicators of compromise in order to identify previously unknown attacks that bypass traditional defences
  • Incident response: Validates and contains incidents with expert security services, as well as automated actions and updates
  • Continuous Monitoring: Assesses and improves security posture against individual and industry baselines, while accommodating a rapidly evolving threat environment.

The threat landscape has seen a proliferation of highly targeted zero-day attacks and APTs that are designed to steal intellectual property or other critical enterprise data. Researchers at Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs have discovered more than 140 new zero-day vulnerabilities to date, including 18 found in 2013 alone. Fortinet’s ATP framework supports the recommendation of Gartner on protection from advanced targeted attacks.

Indeed, according to their February 12th, 2014 report, “Designing an Adaptive Security Architecture for Protection from Advanced Attacks,” authors Neil MacDonald and Peter Firstbrook wrote, “All organisations should now assume that they are in a state of continuous compromise. The report’s authors added, “Comprehensive protection requires an adaptive protection process integrating predictive, preventive, detective and response capabilities.”In such context, Fortinet has integrated significant new security features to its operating system for a more effective protection against APTs and other targeted attacks. FortiOS 5.2 – which will still be supported by current versions of FortiAnalyzer 5.0 and FortiManager 5.0 with a new patch release – strengthens Fortinet’s Advanced Threat Protection Framework at the following levels:

  • Access control: 
    • - A new graphical policy table manipulation feature allows easier and consistent configuration of firewall policies
  • Threat prevention:
    • -A new deep flow advanced malware engine that goes beyond traditional signatures and heuristics; combining the speed of flow-based analysis with the breadth of proactive detection technologies including unpacking and emulation
    • -A new inline SSL engine leverages the company’s CP8 custom ASIC for as much as 5 times faster content inspection of encrypted traffic (varies by model and previous version of FortiOS)
    • -An enhanced explicit web proxy with support for https and higher performance
    • -An enhanced IPS engine protects against the latest exploit techniques with enhanced decoders, dynamic analysis techniques and more
  • Threat detection:
    • -Deeper integration between FortiGate and an enhanced FortiSandbox for faster deployment and greater protection
    • -Enhanced client behavioural analysis with new indicators of compromise and severity rating for the threats to help detect previously unknown attacks
    • -More pre-defined reports, including botnet activity, pinpoint compromised systems
  • Incident response: 
    • -New dashboard views- based on user devices, applications, websites and threats- include severity ratings and drill down to speed response
    • -New role-based workflow modes to guide incident response among other activities
    • -Direct policy table manipulation from those views to take mitigating action
  • Continuous Monitoring:
    • -New consolidated views with identity-based policy (combining users and devices) and log cross-referencing for a more complete picture
    • -New access to FortiSandbox community leverages community intelligence
    • -Deep application control for cloud visibility

A full list of new features in FortiOS 5.2, which complement existing capabilities, can be found here: http://www.fortinet.com/technology/network-os-fortios.html “More than ever, enterprises require intelligent, integrated solutions to prevent data theft and network disruption caused by stealthy, targeted attacks. Despite what many vendors would have you believe, there is no one product or ‘silver bullet’ to solve this problem,” said John Maddison, vice president of marketing for Fortinet.

“Today, Fortinet has introduced important enhancements to its FortiOS operating system to help better protect against ATPs. FortiOS 5.2 supports the broader, coordinated framework for Advanced Threat Protection that we have established to guide organisations through a structured approach of defense. Only such a framework can allow enterprises to effectively protect themselves against the new generation of threats they are facing.” AvailabilityFortiOS 5.2 software, as well as the patch releases for FortiAnalyzer 5.0 and FortiManager 5.0, are all expected to be available in 2Q14. A release candidate of FortiOS 5.2 is available now for download and testing by registering at http://forti.net/beta

 

Strategy Analytics recognizes BlackBerry as the lowest TCO multi-platform enterprise mobility management solution

By admin, 9 maja, 2014, No Comment

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX), a world leader in mobile communication, today announced that BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) is the most cost effective multi-platform enterprise mobility management solution, according to a report by the global market research firm Strategy Analytics.

“Our detailed report found that the pricing offered by BES10 creates a lowest-cost migration path from a TCO perspective”, said Andrew Brown, Executive Director, Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics. “We attribute this to multiple factors, including the Enterprise Server License Trade-up program, the impact of BlackBerry Software Assurance across its Advanced and Premium support categories, and new tiered support categories.”

The Strategy Analytics report, “Enterprise Mobility Management: A review of Total Cost of Ownership,”[1] found that BES10 is the lowest cost Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution based on a five year total cost of ownership (TCO). Migrating from BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5 (BES5) to a BlackBerry competitor is, on average, more than double the cost over 5 years than migrating from BES5 to BES10. The Strategy Analytics report went on to note that the “all inclusive” nature of the BlackBerry offering provides a tangible cost advantage which is then sustained throughout the TCO period.

“BlackBerry customers consistently tell us that cost, coupled with world-class security, is a top priority when choosing a multi-platform mobility management partner,” said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Solutions, BlackBerry. “The report exemplifies why BlackBerry is the only company that can support the full range of EMM requirements, from the most secure to the most open BYOD environments. Customers also recognize the additional security provided from our global NOC infrastructure. No other company has this range of capabilities and we will work diligently to earn the trust of enterprise customers globally.”

Strategy Analytics analyzed the TCO of each solution and took into consideration multiple cost drivers, implementation, support and payment scenarios for enterprises migrating from BES5 to BES10 or to other mobility management platforms, as well as enterprises adopting an EMM solution for the first time. Based on the report, BlackBerry ranked the strongest in these categories:

  • Lowest TCO for commercial EMM deployments: BlackBerry offers an implementation and service package that is substantially cheaper than any of its competitors for the EMM package. (See Figure 1)Lowest TCO for EMM deployments in regulated and high-security environments: Even in a fully regulated environment where BlackBerry offers the highest form of security, it also proves to be the lowest cost solution based on a 5 year TCO.
  • Highest security: CIOs and IT decision makers listed BlackBerry as the most secure solution. The report concluded that competitors do not offer the same level of IT policies and compliance controls as BlackBerry and cannot deliver a similar end-to-end security model.
  • Scope of EMM capabilities: BES10 offers the most comprehensive set of capabilities for the broadest range of customers, including regulated, enterprise and SMBs. (See Figure 2)

BlackBerry EZ Pass Migration Program Gains Momentum

Customers are realizing the benefits and cost savings of the recently launched BlackBerry program, which provides free license migration and support for BlackBerry customers to move from BES5 and other MDM platforms to BES10.

Since the program launched on March 31, 2014, more than 800,000 BES10 client access licenses have been issued to customers worldwide. The enterprises participating in the program represent a cross-section of industries from financial services and healthcare, to telecommunications and government organizations. Migrations to BES10 include customers using other MDM vendors such as AirWatch, MobileIron and Good Technology.

The BlackBerry EZ Pass migration program is designed to help customers take full advantage of the BES10 multi-platform solution by seamlessly migrating from BES5 and includes access to BlackBerry’s technical support services.

For more information about the BlackBerry EZ Pass migration program, please visit: www.blackberry.com/ezpass. For more information about BES10, please visit: www.bes10.com.

For more information about the Strategy Analytics report, please visit www.blackberry.com/tco.

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