Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Mar 17

Cisco, Hitachi Vantara Workers Pink-Slipped in California

By | Managed Services News

Cisco’s layoffs follow the elimination of hundreds of positions since 2018.

Nearly 550 employees at Cisco and Hitachi Vantara are losing their jobs in California.

According to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices with the California Employment Development Department, Cisco is cutting 171 workers at its Milpitas facility and 224 workers at its San Jose facility. The layoffs were scheduled to take place on or within 13 days following Feb. 26. Any affected employees on approved leaves of absence will be laid off 14 days following their return.

None of the employees are represented by a union and don’t have any bumping rights applicable to their positions. Many of the impacted positions are involved in software engineering.

Cisco couldn’t be reached for comment on the layoffs.

Cisco laid off nearly 500 workers in California last August amid reporting a drop in sales to service providers and falling sales in China. That followed more than 400 Cisco workers being let go in November 2018 in San Jose.

Hitachi Vantara plans to lay off 151 employees, including 52 workers at its Santa Clara facility and 99 remote workers. The layoffs are expected to occur on March 31 and April 30. Terminated employees won’t be able to displace other workers based on seniority or any other factor. Impacted positions include software development engineers, master solutions consultants, senior software development engineers, specialist technical consultants and more.

Hitachi Vantara said with its recent integration with Hitachi Consulting and acquisition of Waterline Data, it is transforming into a “new kind of digital infrastructure and solutions company.”

“We are now simultaneously operating in the fast growth data management and analytics market and in the mature global data storage market,” it said. “The global storage market is currently delivering only modest growth – a trend many of our competitors have also noted. We remain committed to the success of both our infrastructure and digital solutions businesses; however, like many of our industry peers, we have had to make some tough decisions to simplify and streamline our operations, improve our financial performance and position ourselves for long-term success – this includes head count reductions to optimize our organization.”

These moves are important to accelerate Hitachi Vantara’s transformation and growth, the company said.

“To support our impacted employees as they transition, we are providing financial assistance and support for continuation of medical benefits, as well as outplacement services,” it said. “We remain optimistic that we can take share from our storage competitors with the recent introduction of the Hitachi VSP 5000.”

Mar 17

California’s Consumer Privacy Act and the Cloud

By | Managed Services News

Enforcement begins July 1 — it’s time to look to readiness.

Victoria Geronimo of 2nd Watch

Victoria Geronimo

By Victoria Geronimo, Product Manager, Security & Compliance, 2nd Watch

Since the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, all eyes have been on the United States to see if it will follow suit. While a number of states have enacted data privacy statutes, California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is the most comprehensive U.S. state law to date. Entities were expected to be in compliance with CCPA as of Jan. 1; enforcement begins July 1.

CCPA compliance requires entities to think about how the regulation will affect their cloud infrastructures and development of cloud-native applications. Specifically, companies must understand where personally identifiable information (PII) and other private data lives and how to process, validate, complete and communicate consumer information and consent requests.

How to Ensure CCPA Compliance

CCPA gives California residents greater privacy rights over their data that is collected by companies. It applies to any business that has customers in California and that either has gross revenue of more than $25 million or that acquires personal information from more than 50,000 consumers per year. It also applies to companies that earn more than half their annual revenue selling consumers’ personal information.

To ensure compliance, the first thing firms should look at is whether they’re collecting PII, and if they are, ensuring they know exactly where it’s going. CCPA not only mandates that California consumers have the right to know what PII is being collected, it also states that customers can dictate whether it’s sold or deleted. Further, if a company suffers a security breach, California consumers have the right to sue that company under the state’s data notification law. This increases the potential liability for companies whose security is breached, especially if their security practices don’t conform to industry standards.

Regulations regarding data privacy are proliferating and it’s imperative that companies set up an infrastructure foundation that helps them evolve fluidly with these changes to the legal landscape, as opposed to “frankensteining” their environments to play catch up.

  • The first is data mapping in order to know where all consumer PII lives and, importantly, where California consumer PII lives. This requires geographic segmentation of the data. There are multiple tools, including cloud-native ones, that empower companies with PII discovery and mapping.
  • Secondly, organizations will need to have a data deletion mechanism in place and an audit trail for data requests, so that they can prove they have investigated, validated and adequately responded to requests made under CCPA. The validation piece is also crucial – companies must make sure the individual requesting the data is who they say they are.
  • And thirdly, having an opt-in or out system in place that allows consumers to consent to their data being collected in the first place is essential for any company doing business in California. If the website is targeted at children, there must be a specific opt-in request for any collection of California consumer date. These three steps must be followed with an audit trail that can validate each of them.

The Cloud

It’s here that we start to consider the impact on cloud journeys and cloud-native apps, as this is where…

Mar 16

Why settle for just any IoT platform?

By | Managed Services News

Security, interoperability, IT/OT, and hosting are crucial considerations.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the evolution of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology that facilitates the interconnection of sensors, machines, IT systems and management platforms to enable the “smart world” around us. The leading technology behind this latest industrial revolution—Industry 4.0—IoT, is signalizing major changes and disruptions in both the internet and manufacturing industries. Wireless networks, sensor technology, and cloud-based and real-time computing make it possible to collate and analyze data across machines to make processes faster and more efficient. However, installing a system to monitor machines is only a first step. To capitalize on IoT, manufacturers need to make systemic changes across the organization.

Read more here.

Mar 16

VMware, Cisco Veteran Is Metallic’s New Channel Chief

By | Managed Services News

John Schwan will drive and grow the company’s fledgling partner program and bring in new customers.

Commvault’s Metallic SaaS backup and recovery subsidiary’s new stand-alone channel partner program is being headed by a channel veteran who previously worked for Puppet, VMware and Cisco.

Metallic's John Schwan

Metallic’s John Schwan

The new partner program recently hired John Schwan as Metallic’s head of global partner sales and programs to lead the effort, according to the company. The move comes five months after Metallic backup was created out of Commvault’s own tech incubator and made into its own subsidiary.

In his new role, Schwan will be focusing on the upcoming full launch of Metallic’s channel partner program as well as driving the company’s partner engagement and growth. Metallic’s creation was announced at Commvault’s GO conference in October 2019. Metallic is targeting its services to SMB customers that require fast, flexible and powerful data backup and recovery capabilities using a software-as-a-service delivery model. Customers can use the services to back up their data to Metallic’s cloud, to another cloud or to on-premises storage. The company uses a 100% channel-based sales program.

At October’s Commvault GO event, Metallic announced its first two distribution partners, Arrow and Ingram Micro, as well as several of its first VAR partners, including Insight, CDW and Sirius, Schwan told Channel Futures. “Partners are being added as the venture grows, with Zones being the latest addition. We’re currently working to build out and eventually launch an entirely new channel program.”

The company is preparing to launch its full partner program at scale in the next fiscal year, said Schwan. It will be completely separate from the parent company’s channel program, but it will be designed to be leveraged by existing Commvault partners, he said.

“I plan to expand Metallic’s partner program by providing partners with rich attack opportunities and a frictionless velocity sales model,” said Schwan. “My focus will be on empowering our partners to use Metallic to meet their customers’ evolving data protection needs, while at the same time growing their business.”

Schwan said he is excited to take on the new role after working on channel partner programs for a wide range of other companies in his career. “I am excited to take my learnings of global partner execution – most recently at Puppet, but also in roles at Tintri and VMware – to Metallic and to the hypergrowth SaaS market. The opportunity to lead the revenue execution for a 100% channel-based company and build a world-class team is something every channel chief dreams of.”

Metallic’s SaaS backup and recovery products use Commvault’s core technology to deliver its SaaS data protection capabilities. Metallic’s services are available in three…

Mar 16

Remote Workers Can Increase Cyber Threat to Employers

By | Managed Services News

MSPs and MSSPs can help companies stay safe as more employees work from home.

Cybersecurity is a growing issue as more companies require their employees to work remotely as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus.

It’s one thing to say that workers will work remotely, and access sensitive and confidential information via the internet. It’s quite another to be able to assure executive management that information is protected and compliance mandates are met, according to Janco Associates.

Janco's Victor Janulaitis

Janco’s Victor Janulaitis

“In talking with a number of our clients, as they rushed to allow a greater percentage of their employees to work from home, we highlighted several risks small and midsized companies faced,” said Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis. “The risks ranged from a more complicated record management, destruction and retention process to exposure of confidential and sensitive information to individuals within the companies that did not know what they could not do with that information.”

Getting telecommuting going is not as difficult as it may sound, he said. What is an issue is the volume of sensitive and confidential information that will be exposed without the proper infrastructure to protects those corporate assets, he said.

Bitdefender's Liviu Arsene

Bitdefender’s Liviu Arsene

Liviu Arsene, global cybersecurity researcher at Bitdefender, tells us remote workers can severely increase the risk of suffering breaches or inadvertent data leaks if their employer has inadequate security procedures involving access and handing of critical customer data.

“For example, an employee using his/her work laptop at home may use it for private activities, or even share it with family members,” he said. “Inadvertently copy-pasting sensitive data into the wrong window, installing an unsanctioned applicationor using an unsecure internet connection are just a few scenarios where an employee could pose security risks that could lead to compromise of on-device data or company infrastructure.”

Surveys have shown as much as half of SMBs have suffered a cyberattack within a single year, and that a data breach can be devastating, even potentially leading to the business’s permanent shutdown, Arsene said.

“Allowing remote employees to connect to and access critical infrastructure without having proper authorization, authentication and accountability in place significantly increases the risk of cybercriminals misusing that access,” he said. “The current cybersecurity skills shortage coupled with small cybersecurity budgets and the security challenges brought forward by remote employees can spell disaster for SMBs.”

SMBs that face the challenge of fortifying security while supporting remote employees can confidently turn to MSPs and MSSPs for expertise, support and 24/7 reliability in terms of deploying the right tools and procedures at a fraction of cost, Arsene said. Investing in an in-house cybersecurity team can drive operational costs well beyond the comfort zone of SMBs, while partnering with managed service or security service providers offers the same benefits with minimum expenses, he said.

“Another option that SMBs have is relying on managed detection and response (MDR) services that act as security operations center (SOC)-as-a-service,” he said. “Security operation centers are something that only large organizations have traditionally been able to afford for threat hunting of advanced and sophisticated intruders. However, through MDR, SMBs can also defend themselves…

Mar 16

The HE150: Small Footprint, Big Possibilities

By | Managed Services News

Scale Computing announced the HE150 appliance at the Gartner IO conference in December. This latest appliance in our HC3 Edge series is by far our smallest and maybe our most exciting. I personally think it is extremely cool, and I wanted to share my thoughts about the HE150 and why it might be of interest to you.

What is it?

The HE150 appliance is based on the Intel NUC, and it is small. Really small. The NUC could easily be mistaken for a thin client device rather than a hyperconverged virtualization host. It is only 1.5”H x 4.6”W x 4.4”D in size (38 x 117 x 112mm), and while you can easily fit three in the width of a 1U rack enclosure, the small size is designed to be used in spaces outside a typical server rack.

The HE150 is agile. What does that mean? It means it can run in ambient temperatures in remote office, store, warehouse, hospital, lab, classroom, etc. It is quiet, and it consumes less power than a typical server-class appliance. It is meant to go where it is needed without requiring its own special environment to be able to operate. It can live at the edge where larger servers may not fit well.

Inside this compact form of the HE150 is an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, up to 64GB of RAM, a 1GbE NIC, and an NVMe drive up to 2TB. For the small size, that is a lot of power, but, I know, not what you might expect for a full virtualization stack designed to run business-critical applications (for which it is designed, by the way). The real power comes not from being able to pack on more punch in the chassis, but by being smarter with the resource usage in the software—namely, the HyperCore operating system.

HyperCore is extremely lightweight compared to other hyperconverged virtualization stacks, mainly because of the storage architecture. HyperCore, in which the SCRIBE storage layer is embedded, allocates only about 4GB of RAM to operate. Compare this to other HCI solutions that require virtual storage appliances (VSAs), which are entire VMs consuming upward of 24 to 32GB of RAM before you even start creating VMs. You aren’t going to find those solutions available in a small appliance like the NUC, especially where you may be targeting an appliance with 16GB of RAM.

What is it for?

I’m guessing you are already formulating some scenarios as to where the HE150 might be a good fit. The truth is that the possibilities are hardly limited. I’ve been describing what a single appliance looks like, but it is probably best to remind you that this is not just a one-off little appliance. It is hyperconverged, which means you can seamlessly cluster it with two or more other appliances to create a fully redundant, highly available infrastructure.

The HyperCore operating system is designed to prevent downtime by making the storage and compute highly available across the nodes of a cluster. One appliance can fail, and you still have two nodes running with almost no downtime. This means those business-critical apps you need to run at your remote offices–stores, facilities, etc.–are going to be always on. When an appliance does fail, it is easily replaced while those apps are still running.

And, possibly the best thing about the HE150 is that

Mar 16

Everything You Need to Know About Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migrations

By | Managed Services News

Office 365 has grown tremendously since it was first publicly released in 2011. Over the last few years, Microsoft has invested a lot in making the collaboration between different tenants easier. While these features do make cross-tenant collaboration easier, they are not always enough. Unfortunately, Microsoft is yet to provide a toolset that addresses the challenges of moving users and data between one or more Office 365 tenants.

This eBook to Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration was created to alleviate some of the uncertainties, and better prepare you for this challenging task. Inside you’ll find guidance and insight for managing a Tenant to Tenant migration project.



Mar 16

VMware Partner Connect

By | Managed Services News


VMware Partner Connect

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The VMware Partner Connect program delivers simplicity, choice, and innovation.

Partnering with VMware has been simplified with the launch of the Partner Connect program which makes partnering and growing with VMware easy, intuitive and profitable.

Click here to learn more.

Mar 16

More than Half of MSPs Provide IoT Managed Services

By | Managed Services News

More than half of surveyed MSPs see a significant business opportunity in offering IoT managed services today.

Managed service providers see emerging technology as a significant source of business opportunity over the next couple of years. More than one-half of respondents to a recent CompTIA survey already offer IoT managed services.

The majority of MSPs have opted to take on IoT managed services as part of their portfolio, despite the fact that, according to Omdia data, enterprise adoption of IoT still hovers around 29%. But MSPs see significant business advantage in offering IoT managed services, according to the CompTIA report, “Trends in Managed Services.” Of 400 MSPs, 53% of respondents provide IoT managed services.

At the same time, MSPs are largely focused on traditional areas of IT: help desk (63%) networking (59%) and cybersecurity (55%).

Additionally, 52% say that skills in cybersecurity will be the No. 1 action to help ensure solid market performance over the next two years.

So while MSPs still place their focus on traditional services, market data indicates that their bet on IoT managed services makes sense.

The global managed IoT services market is expected to grow from approximately $21.9 billion in 2016 to $79.6 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.5% during that period (2016-2021), according to MarketsandMarkets.

CompTIA's Carolyn April

CompTIA’s Carolyn April

According to the CompTIA study, 55% of respondents say that IoT presents significant revenue opportunities today, while 37% say that business opportunities are still one to two years away. But respondents also cite several challenges associated with running a managed IoT practice — keeping IoT hardware updated (54%), hiring people with the right skills (51%), staying on top of security concerns (46%) and the learning curve with IoT technology (46%).

Ultimately, MSPs may experience the greatest success with a familiar combination — a hybrid set of offerings.

“We see real excitement over new areas that have the potential to help MSPs tap new recurring revenue streams, attract new business and expand engagements with current customers,” said Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis at CompTIA. “The successful MSP is likely to feature a combination of bedrock basic services and new, premium offerings.”

Mar 13

Avnet IoT Partner Program

By | Managed Services News


Avnet IoT Partner Program

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Unlock the power of scale for your IoT solutions.

Avnet’s IoT Partner Program creates a unique channel to enable partners – systems integrators, VARs, OEMs and ISVs – to address both hardware and software needs, deliver unmatched global reach and maximize revenue potential.

Click here to download