Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Mar 12

VMware vSphere Upgrade Supports AI Workloads On-Prem with Nvidia GPUs

By | Managed Services News

The new release makes way for virtualizing HPC servers running AI workloads.

A new version of the VMware vSphere server virtualization platform can now run on-premises artificial intelligence (AI) workloads. VMware’s vSphere 7 Update 2 supports servers with Nvidia’s A100 Tensor Core GPUs and its AI-Ready Enterprise platform.

VMware partnered with Nvidia to enable vSphere environments to support AI workloads cost-effectively and at scale. The companies announced the partnership last fall at VMware’s VMworld conference, a virtual event due to the pandemic. At VMworld, VMware and Nvidia CEOs described enabling vSphere to virtualize AI workloads as an opportunity to “democratize” AI.

AI workloads such as natural language processing, image recognition, predictive analytics and cognitive computing require high-performance compute infrastructure. That means those workloads must either run in public clouds, or on-premises with bare-metal servers with GPUs.

Depending on the use, running AI workloads in the cloud can be costly, especially if it results in moving data. Also, many organizations do not want to, or cannot host certain data in public clouds, particularly if it is sensitive.

Most organizations that do run AI workloads on-premises deploy them onto high-performance, bare-metal servers, which is also costly. Until now, the wide universe of organizations with VMware vSphere were unable to utilize their virtualized infrastructures for those workloads.

Impact on Enterprise AI

Lee Caswell, VP of marketing for VMware’s cloud business, said the new vSphere release will let more organizations use their virtual infrastructures to run AI workloads. Caswell predicts it will have the same effect on expanding AI as the original vSphere once had on server consolidation.

VMware's Lee Caswell

VMware’s Lee Caswell

“We’re bringing all of the value that VMware is known for to the AI user,” Caswell said in a recent briefing with analysts and media. “Increasingly, customers want to spend less time putting the pieces together and more time actually getting to it.”

Analyst Ashish Nadkarni, IDC’s group VP for infrastructure systems, platforms and technology, said the new vSphere release has that potential. VMware created vSphere because of the underutilization of server infrastructure, resulting in excessive compute costs to organizations.

“That problem is now recreated with AI infrastructure,” Nadkarni said. “Because when you have a server with six GPUs, if each GPU costs $10,000 a pop, you’re looking at a $60,000 investment for one server just to add those GPUs. And when you have AI workloads that cannot make use of virtualization, or AI workloads that cannot be virtualized because of the lack of support for the GPU, you’re getting the same underutilization and runaway costs for your AI infrastructure or accelerated compute infrastructure.”

Tested and Certified

To minimize the cost and complexity, VMware and Nvidia have performed validation and integration testing, Caswell said. Likewise, the hardware from Dell, HPE, Lenovo and Hitachi are all certified.

“We think it’s going to be incredibly powerful in reducing both real and perceived risk,” he said. “That’s really important when you go and drive new technologies in the mainstream.”

The new VMware vSphere release provides direct connection with Nvidia’s A100 Tensor Core GPUs and those servers certified by VMware.

“This is important for how we scale out, and that’s one of the things that you can get from an enterprise environment and a virtualized environment that goes past bare-metal servers,” Caswell said.

In addition to enabling the virtualization of servers with the GPUs, the Nvidia AI Enterprise will run on vSphere. Nvidia AI Enterprise is a framework and platform that allows AI solutions to run on VMware virtualized infrastructures.

Nvidia's Justin Boitano

Nvidia’s Justin Boitano

The new GPUs also support multi-instance GPU (MIG), which provides multiuser support. They also support vSphere vMotion for live migrations and with the vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), for automated workload management.

“For channel partners, the great thing about AI is it is strategic to every C-level executive at every enterprise in the world,” said Justin Boitano, general manager of Nvidia’s edge and enterprise computing group. “They aren’t asking why to do it anymore; they’re asking how to do it. I think this gives a very clear and easy blueprint for how to get started.”

Last month, VMware released vSAN 7 Update 2. With the vSphere update, the two have some shared capabilities. For example, vSphere Lifecycle Manager now supports management of vSphere with Tanzu clusters. Tanzu is VMware’s Kubernetes cluster management platform. VMware said the vSphere Lifecycle Manager also adds support for some Hitachi Vantara UCP servers.

Mar 11

iboss Rolls Out First Partner Program to Meet Demand for SASE Solutions

By | Managed Services News

In January, iboss received $145 million in new funding to fuel go to market.

iboss, the cloud-delivered network security provider, just launched its first channel program. Its goal is to help partners meet the growing demand for secure access service edge (SASE) solutions.

iboss wants to collaborate with partners with established networks and network security practices. The new partner program offers more rewards and growth opportunities for partners to help customers looking for SASE solutions.

Additionally, partners can ensure their opportunities are protected through deal registration. Furthermore, they can earn margins for reselling the iboss cloud platform and service offerings.

iboss’ partners include MSPs and technology providers.

Ease of Doing Business

May Mitchell is iboss‘ senior vice president of marketing.

iboss' May Mitchell

iboss’ May Mitchell

“This is about providing both new and existing partners with a wealth of support and benefits to foster growth, continuous enablement and innovation,” she said. “Partners will experience the ease of doing business with iboss to deliver their customers secure connectivity from anywhere.”

The program offers global resources, tools and training to meet customer needs. In addition, it takes a tiered approach to better support partners and reward them based on their commitment to iboss.

“There’s been a rapid acceleration of digital transformation due to remote work and the pandemic,” Mitchell said. “Our new partner program will help iboss better support new and existing channel partners with our … cloud security products. This program will allow even more organizations to modernize their security offerings in order to combat a number of rising threats and to ensure the productivity of their dispersed workforces.”

In January, iboss received $145 million in new funding that will fuel the company’s go-to-market efforts. Partner program enhancements will accelerate the company’s growth by supplementing current channel offerings and direct sales initiatives.

“In 2020, our focus was on our go-to-market strategy and developing key partnerships in the Americas,” Mitchell said. “This new program was formulated around those existing partnerships and with the idea of developing new ones. We wanted to develop a program that truly encapsulated what they find to be the most valuable and rewarding.”

Competitive Advantages

Incentives, services and support will provide partners with competitive advantages, Mitchell said.

“Partners will enjoy rebates and incentives for securing new business and delivering iboss services, as well as deal registration discounts,” Mitchell said. “Partners can also become eligible for dedicated iboss resources, training and account managers to help with strategic planning, and marketing efforts that will help them drive predictable profits.”

Scott Schindler is BlackLake Security‘s director of business development and partner management.

“There’s been a growing demand from customers for best-in-class cloud-based SASE solutions that can support a remote workforce or a hybrid workforce,” he said. “iboss has been a terrific partner of ours over the years. We look forward to the continued partnership in delivering comprehensive network security capabilities in the cloud, while also helping our customers reduce cost and complexity.”

Mar 11

Cobalt Partners Get New Benefits with Company’s First Partner Program

By | Managed Services News

The company saw demand for PtaaS surge across industries over the last year.

Cobalt partners now have access to the pentest-as-a-service (PtaaS) company’s first partner program.

Cobalt’s goal is to build out strategic relationships to ensure long-term success for its partners and clients. Partners can solve their customers’ pentesting needs, while driving growth and revenue.

The Cobalt Partner Program offers two partner options: referral and reseller partners. Tiers within each fit partners’ individual wants and needs, and various commitment levels.

Lauren Gimmillaro is head of channel at Cobalt. She said the program is launching amid the massive customer demand for an optimized and streamlined pentesting experience.

Cobalt's Lauren Gimmillaro

Cobalt’s Lauren Gimmillaro

“The cybersecurity industry is huge,” she said. “And it’s only continuing to grow and evolve from here. The Cobalt platform provides tremendous value. Supporting companies with fulfilling their clients’ pentest needs will ultimately result in mutual wins for every party involved. That’s why we’re really excited to enable Cobalt’s partners’ initiatives, while growing our own partner program.”

Cobalt partners will be eligible for referral fees, discounts and go-to-market benefits. The program will also offer new opportunities for partners to promote their business. Those include guest blog posts on Cobalt’s website, custom co-branded documentation, joint marketing campaigns and more.

“We took partner input into account when determining the benefits partners would receive,” Gimmillaro said. “Some partners were looking for only a referral fee, client discount or go-to-market benefits, while others were looking for a combination of the three. We decided the best way to keep partners engaged was to give them a combination of each, further ensuring their and their client’s success. On top of that, we’re continuing to take partner feedback into account. The security space is evolving so quickly that we want to make sure we offer the best possible benefits.”

Surging PtaaS Demand

The company saw demand for PtaaS surge across industries over the last year. It ended 2020 with more than 350 new customers. Moreover, it saw annual recurring revenue grow 75% and delivered more than 4,000 pentest credits, identifying more than 12,500 vulnerabilities.

Chris Sur is sales manager at Secureframe.

“Cobalt has been an instrumental partner for us in providing quality pentests to our customers,” he said. “Cobalt’s team performs tests thoroughly, and provides a clear and concise report that our customers can view directly on the Cobalt platform. Through the partnership, we’ve already seen how responsive and reliable Cobalt is in taking care of our customers and we can trust that Cobalt will continue to deliver on its excellent service.”

Mar 11

Oracle Cloud ERP Gains Market Share, Takes from SAP

By | Managed Services News

Oracle migrated several very large SAP ERP customers to Oracle Fusion ERP.

Oracle cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) continued gaining market share during the third quarter amid increasing migration from SAP ERP.

Overall, Oracle reported $10 billion in revenue, up 3% year over year. Profit was $5 billon, up a whopping 95% from the year ago quarter. The company’s ERP resellers are a big part of that.

Cloud services and license support revenue for the quarter was $7.3 billion, up 5%. That was driven by Fusion, Autonomous Database and Gen2 OCI cloud. Fusion ERP grew 30% and NetSuite ERP grew 24% during the quarter.

Safra Catz is Oracle‘s CEO.

Oracle's Safra Catz

Oracle’s Safra Catz

“Oracle’s rapidly growing, highly profitable, multibillion-dollar cloud ERP businesses helped drive subscription revenue up 5% and operating income up 10% in the quarter,” she said. “Subscription revenue now accounts for 72% of Oracle’s total revenues.”

During the quarter, Oracle expanded its cloud portfolio with Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure. It also developed and delivered a cloud-based national electronic health records (EHR) database, plus a suite of public health management applications. Those are helping U.S. public health agencies and health care providers collect and analyze data related to COVID-19.

In addition, Oracle launched Oracle Database 21c with more than 200 new features.

Stealing from SAP

Larry Ellison is Oracle’s chairman and CTO.

“In [the third quarter] alone, we signed contracts, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, to migrate several very large SAP ERP customers to Oracle Fusion ERP,” he said. “But this was not just a recent Q3 event. This has been going on for a couple of years.”

Ellison called out SAP, the once-dominant on-premises ERP market leader, as “not competitive” in cloud ERP. It never rewrote its ERP system for the cloud and it’s “too late for them to start now,” he said.

Oracle’s Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure business added customers and grew revenue in excess of 100% during the quarter.

“We are opening new regions as fast as we can to support our rapidly growing multibillion-dollar infrastructure business,” Ellison said. “On the applications front, analysts continue to rank Oracle the clear No. 1 in cloud ERP.”

Mar 11

US Government Advisory on Ransomware Payments: What Businesses Need to Know

By | Managed Services News

The United States Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory recently regarding the risks of paying ransom settlements in the event of a cyberattack. In addition to the inherent risk involved, facilitating a ransom payment doesn’t necessarily bring a business out of the woods during an attack.

This one-page summary makes the new U.S. advisory easy to adhere to and understand.

Sponsored by:

Mar 11

Thoma Bravo’s Talend Acquisition to Take Data Company Private

By | Managed Services News

According to the agreement, another buyer could step forward.

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo‘s planned Talend acquisition, a $2.4 billion all-cash deal, will take the French data company private.

Talend says it will continue investing in its cloud transition, as well as its products and solutions. It became a public company in 2016.

Talend provides software solutions for data preparation, data quality, data integration, application integration, data management and big data. Its competitors include Microsoft, AWS, IBM, Oracle and others.

Additional Capital, Resources, Expertise

Christal Bemont is Talend’s CEO.

Talend's Christal Bemont

Talend’s Christal Bemont

“The last 12 months have underscored the importance of digital transformation and the unique and vital role Talend plays in ensuring enterprises can trust the data fueling their business,” she said. “As we look forward, the transaction with Thoma Bravo … will provide Talend with additional capital, resources and expertise to execute against our mission and leverage a large market opportunity to help all organizations become data-driven.”

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

However, another buyer could step forward. The Talend acquisition agreement includes a 30-day “go-shop” period expiring on April 10. That allows Talend’s board and advisers to solicit alternative acquisition proposals.

Chip Virnig is a partner at Thoma Bravo.

“Data has become critical to every facet of the world,” he said. “And Talend’s data fabric empowers organizations to operationalize their data. Talend has built the leading cloud-native orchestration platform that helps organizations bring together all their data, wherever it may sit, to solve their most complex problems.”

Thoma Bravo’s portfolio includes numerous other tech companies such as Flexera, Riverbed and Barracuda Networks. It also features several security brands with its acquisitions of Sophos, ConnectWise, Imperva and more.

Mar 11

2020 State of the Ransomware Report

By | Managed Services News

Datto surveyed more than 1,400 managed service providers (MSPs) around the world about ransomware and published the key takeaways in this report. Download the report today to unlock new year over year trends, statistics, and recommendations for ensuring recoverability in the face of this growing cyber threat.

In this report, you will find:

  • New data on ransomware attack frequency across SMBs and MSPs
  • The true cost of downtime from ransomware attacks
  • Ransomware defense measures global MSPs are implementing
  • Popular ransomware recovery methods from your peers
  • And More!

Sponsored by: 


Mar 11

Why MSPs Should Consider TCO for BCDR Solutions

By | Managed Services News

Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions are a key offering for managed service providers (MSPs) of all sizes. With so many options available to MSPs at different price points, it may be easy to lean toward the least expensive solution. However, when considering the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a solution, the option with the lowest upfront cost may not be the cheapest in the long run.

Take a look at our one-pager to learn more about the total cost of ownership for BCDR solutions and the different factors that MSPs should consider before investing.

Sponsored by:

Mar 10

Security Alert Overload Plaguing Cybersecurity Pros, Creating Risks

By | Managed Services News

The high volume of false-positives inevitably leads to countless hours wasted.

Security alerts consistently bombard cybersecurity professionals, which means they could miss legitimate, serious alerts.

That’s according to CriticalStart’s third-annual Security Operations Center (SOC) survey. CriticalStart polled 100 SOC professionals across enterprises, MSSPs and MDR providers.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported personally investigating 10-20 security alerts each day. That’s a 12% increase from 2019. Moreover, one in four (25%) said they investigate 21-40 security alerts each day. That’s up from 14% the year prior.

Randy Watkins is CriticalStart‘s CTO.

Critical Start's Randy Watkins

Critical Start’s Randy Watkins

“What caught our attention was the shift in types and priority level of alerts,” he said. “Much of the shift can be attributed to the fact that the complexity of today’s work environment has changed significantly compared to a year ago. The rapid migration to remote work shifted the level of exposure, while much of the corporate world struggled to respond with the appropriate level of protection. This gap was exploited by targeted ransomware attacks and large nation-state level campaigns.”

False Positives

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly 70% of respondents said 25%-75% of the alerts they investigate on a daily basis are false positives.
  • Almost half said they turn off high-volume alerting features when there are too many alerts for analysts to process. As a result, they could miss legitimate, serious alerts.
  • Ninety-five percent now report receiving more than 10 hours of training each year.

The high volume of false positives inevitably leads to countless hours wasted, Watkins said. It also opens the door to real threats that security pros either miss or flat-out ignore.

“SOC professionals are inundated with alerts,” he said. “There is a shortage of professionals and there are too many alerts for an analyst to work through all of them, much less get ahead in an effort to focus on more strategic efforts.”

The remote work trend is significant, Watkins said. However, it likely only accelerated and exacerbated security trends that were in motion prior to the pandemic.

“Although these shifts were already well underway, there is no doubt that the staying power of COVID-19 has altered the security landscape, resulting in changes and impacts that will continue to be felt long into the future,” he said.

The COVID-19 Effect

Additionally, CriticalStart examined the impact of COVID-19 on the cybersecurity industry during 2020. Key takeaways include:

  • Two-thirds (66%) reported seeing an increase in alerts since the known spread of COVID-19 began last March.
  • Eighty-nine percent said they had been forced to work remotely as a result of COVID-19.
  • Four in five (80%) reported taking steps to change the security of their organization due to COVID-19-induced remote work.

“Respondents indicated a renewed focus on training in 2020,” Watkins said. “This could be due to COVID-19, as security team members likely had more time to focus on online training. Within cybersecurity, we are also seeing more MSS providers and professional services companies offering training to customers. They are also requiring more training within MSSP organizations. This could be due to more organizations realizing the need to amp up their offensive and defensive security strategies.”

In addition, CriticalStart gauged the impact of 2020 on the cybersecurity labor market.

“This proved to be a bright spot for the year, as respondents indicated turnover was remarkably similar to 2019 in spite of the economic and business challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic,” Watkins said. “While it would be reasonable to expect an increase in turnover due to COVID-19, security professionals may be seeking stability and not considering a job change in the current economic climate. These figures could also be due to the critical importance of cybersecurity during the dramatic increase in the global remote workforce. “

Mar 10

Datto Bolsters Cyber Threat Detection Arm with BitDam Acquisition

By | Managed Services News

The acquisition provides security technology to protect cloud-based applications for SMBs.

Datto has made another acquisition, closing a deal with BitDam of Israel, a cyber threat detection company.

Datto’s partnership with ThreatLocker, announced last month, was another move to better secure business operations for MSPs. That partnership allows MSPs to protect themselves and their clients’ data from ransomware, data theft and shadow IT.

BitDam is the developer of advanced threat protection (ATP) technology. The company offers comprehensive defense against malware, phishing and ransomware. 

Phishing in particular has become a real problem. Year after year, MSPs report this tactic as the most common cause of successful ransomware breaches, according to Datto’s annual Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report. BitDam’s threat detection technology was built to stop zero-day threats in their tracks. That includes those that don’t match any known malware signatures. This proactively defends against malware and phishing threats within a user’s inbox, chat, or cloud drive. 

The company released its most recent version of cyber threat detection, BitDam ATP+, this month.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Datto's Tim Weller

Datto’s Tim Weller

“Cyber resilience has been at Datto’s core since the launch of our flagship Continuity service and the Datto Cloud over a decade ago,” said Tim Weller, CEO of Datto. “This acquisition marks an important step on our security journey, coming on the heels of our recent launch of ransomware detection in Datto RMM. Both deliver new revenue and margin opportunities to our 17,000 MSP partners just as cyberattacks on SMBs are proliferating. We welcome the elite BitDam security team to Datto as we continue to execute on an ambitious security roadmap for our partners.”