VMware delivers industry’s only complete SDN and security stack built for the multi-cloud era

Today at VMworld 2019, VMware, Inc. announced a broad set of networking and security innovations and major milestones that further advance VMware’s vision of the Virtual Cloud Network.VMware virtual cloud networking is now deployed by 13,000 customers, 88 of the Fortune 100 and eight of the top 10 Telcos, and reaches more than 150,000 branch offices via VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud. With VMware virtual cloud networking, customers can experience on average of 59% reduction in capital expenditures and 55% reduction in operational expenditures.

Today’s announcement includes the introduction of VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer; new and enhanced network and security analytics capabilities, delivered through VMware vRealize Network Insight 5.0 and NSX Intelligence; and continued advancements of VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, the industry’s only hyperscale cloud networking solution.

Collectively, these solutions enable VMware to deliver the public cloud experience – a fully automated deployment of a data centre workload – across any infrastructure, spanning from edge to private data centres, to public clouds. This agility can only be achieved through the automation of all network services, which requires having all switching, routing, security and load balancing services defined in software, centrally managed, and running on distributed, general purpose servers.

“VMware brings the one-click public cloud experience to the entire enterprise through an automated, software-defined network architecture,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit, VMware. “VMware is a leader in next-generation software-defined networking and security, delivering consistent, pervasive connectivity and intrinsic security to apps, data and users wherever they reside. We extend this virtual infrastructure across public and private clouds, all the way to the network edge, and our advanced analytics capabilities provide the visibility and troubleshooting needed to make the Virtual Cloud Network easy to operate.”

VMware NSX advanced Load Balancer: Powerful Software-Defined application services

The new VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer (previously Avi Networks Platform) is a distributed application delivery controller (ADC) built for the cloud, with an architecture that mirrors cloud principles. NSX Advanced Load Balancer helps organisations overcome the complexity and rigidness of legacy systems and ADC appliances with modern, software-defined application delivery services.

NSX Advanced Load Balancer provides a software load balancer and intelligent web application firewall, combined with advanced analytics and monitoring to enable a fast, scalable, and intrinsically more secure application experience. The solution’s central control plane and distributed data plane deliver application services as a dynamic, multi-cloud fabric which intelligently automates decisions and provides unprecedented application analytics and on-demand elasticity. Customers can dispatch services, such as load balancing and web application firewall, to any application on any cloud, running on VMs, containers, or bare metal, using one centralised interface.

VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud delivers unique hyperscale architecture

Today the company announced VMware is the only company that delivers hyperscale SD-WAN through a highly automated, stateless, scale-out design that is akin to the architecture of public clouds like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. VMware achieves hyperscale SD-WAN by having thousands of gateways across every major cloud provider, and hundreds of underlay carrier networks around the world. These gateways are stateless, and horizontally scalable, meaning [...]

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5 Reasons why motor management can make or break your factory floor

Motors are the largest consumer of electrical energy in the heavy industry, devouring more than 90% of available power supply. They are the foundation of all industrial processes and directly impact electrical distribution and equipment which is why their design and optimisation is critical to everyone involved in the industrial sector, from end-users and design engineers to equipment manufacturers.

Poor motor management, such as out-dated installation design, and voltage selection, for instance switching to medium voltage earlier than necessary, could be what’s costing your project and being aware of these inefficiencies could help you achieve up to 20% savings in CAPEX.

This guide from Schneider Electric offers multiple strategies, recommendations and resources to help with decision making regarding motor management, choosing LV or MV voltage connections, how to optimise operating and maintenance costs and overall investment profitability, how to increaseuptime and energy efficiency.

Register and download the ultimate guide to motor management.

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The Linux Foundation’s LF Edge releases V2.0 of the Open Glossary of Edge Computing

LF Edge, an umbrella organisation within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, announced Version 2.0 of its Open Glossary of Edge Computing. This latest version of the Open Glossary adds a year of updates from the edge community while further iterating vocabulary across the entirety of LF Edge projects.

The Open Glossary of Edge Computing was created in 2018 as a vehicle to organise a shared, vendor-neutral vocabulary for edge computing to improve communication and accelerate innovation in the field. Launched as part of the first annual State of the Edge report, the Open Glossary is now an open source project under the LF Edge umbrella. The Open Glossary 2.0 is available in a publicly-accessible GitHub repo, and the new versions will be included in the State of the Edge 2019 report, to be released later this fall.

“The Open Glossary of Edge Computing exemplifies a community-driven process to document and refine the language around edge computing,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “As the diversity of LF Edge increases, we want frameworks in place that make it easy to talk about edge computing in consistent and less-biased ways. It’s imperative the community comes together to converge on a shared vocabulary, as it will play a substantial role in how our industry discusses and defines the next-generation internet.”

“Now that we’ve reached the v2.0 milestone, the next big task for the Open Glossary will be to recommend standardising the lexicon across all of the LF Edge projects,” said Matt Trifiro, CMO of Vapor IO and chair of the Open Glossary of Edge Computing. “The LF Edge projects span the continuum from cloud to device. Each project has evolved organically, often with its own vocabulary, and our goal is to both respect each project’s history but make it practical and possible to talk coherently across projects using terms and phrases that mean the same thing. This will be a long-term community effort.”

By cataloging the community’s shared lexicon, the Open Glossary fosters an adroit exchange of information and helps to illuminate hidden bias in discussions of edge computing. Moreover, because the project is freely-licensed, individuals and organisations may publish and incorporate the glossary into their own works. The Open Glossary is presented under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC-BY-SA-4.0) in order to encourage use and adoption.

To increase the diversity of viewpoints, the Open Glossary project welcomes contributors from everywhere, offering a publicly-accessible GitHub repository where individuals can join the community, present ideas, participate in discussions, and offer their suggestions and improvements to the glossary. By combining many viewpoints in a transparent process, the Open Glossary of Edge Computing presents a resource that can be used by journalists, analysts, vendors and practitioners.

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Sigfox partners with Alps Alpine to boost innovation in IoT market

IoT service provider and first global 0G network operator, Sigfox and Alps Alpine, a manufacturer of electronic products, have signed a Global Alliance Partnership Agreement. The agreement is the first of its kind for Sigfox, allowing it to work closely with Alps Alpine to drive forward technical innovation and expand their combined reach.

Alps Alpine is a manufacturer of components including sensors, HMI (human-machine interfaces), switches and connectivity devices to the automotive, industrial and smartphone industries. The Alliance combines Sigfox’s 0G network, which uses very little energy to connect billions of devices, with Alps Alpine’s mass production capabilities. This opens up huge possibilities to roll out connected devices to the mass market, enabling businesses to accelerate their digital transformation, develop new services and create value for the market.

The Alliance aims to speed up the adoption of connected devices by:

Providing Alps Alpine with early access to Sigfox’s R&D projects, allowing them to co-develop services in the future;
Encouraging joint investment in innovation, including the development of small, low-cost devices and energy harvesting technologies;
Developing a joint go-to-market strategy.

The two companies have already agreed on the common development of Sigfox’s Bubble Beacon/Tag for luggage and asset tracking. Bubbles are small devices that can be placed anywhere in a matter of seconds. These low-cost, low-energy Bubbles make it easy to accurately track the location of anything from luggage to pallets.

“We’re seeing a significant acceleration in demand for connected objects and industrial scale deployments of IoT solutions. Having a global, simple, low-cost, low-power connectivity solution is a critical success factor, and exactly the challenge that Sigfox is addressing right now. We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Alps Alpine, which is fast-tracking joint development and manufacturing of large volumes of high-quality connected objects.

This partnership has unlocked innovation, scale, quality and cost potential that is enabling us to deliver digital and economic benefits for our clients that were once unattainable. By combining resources, we are realising the future of a mass, mainstream IoT, while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible” explains Glen Robinson, chief business development officer at Sigfox.

Sigfox and Alps Alpine have already proved the value of their collaboration. Since 2017, they have partnered on common customer projects and earlier this year they launched their innovative tracking solution for Deutsche Post DHL Group. It will see 250,000 roll cages fitted with smart trackers to provide accurate information about their location and movements.

“Sigfox has already proven to be a trusted partner in delivering accurate, reliable solutions. We welcome moving onto the next stage, working together to develop more professional, industrial solutions, bringing the value of the IoT to more markets. By combining our mass production and engineering capabilities with Sigfox’s low-powered network, there is no limit to what we can achieve together,” says Yasuo Sasao, chief technology officer at Alps Alpine.

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6 ways AI and IoT is transforming business world in 2019

From managing inventories to improving personalised shopping experiences and assisting in data mining, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) is transforming how people do business today. 

People often use AI and IoT as interchangeable terms as they are similar, but these trending technologies can be differentiated, says Gaurav Belani, senior SEO and content marketing analyst, at The 20 Media.

In simple terms, AI can be understood as a technology that enables machines to imitate human behaviour in an intelligent way. It makes the machines smarter in executing tasks. IoT is a network of devices and sensors connected to the internet. You can connect any object starting from coffee makers to airplanes to enable them to collect and exchange data.

Now that you can tell the two technologies apart, how are they transforming the business world in 2019? Read further to get the answer.

But before we proceed, you might want to take a quick look at these vital IoT and AI statistics.

Every second, 127 new IoT devices connect to the internet. (Source: McKinsey Global Institute)

The international IoT market is estimated to be worth $1.7T in 2019. (Source: CBI Insights)

AI can boost business output by up to 40%. ( Source: Accenture)

41% of consumers deem AI will improve their lives in some way. (Source: Strategy Analytics)

After that, you can safely say that IoT and AI have found their way into the heart of businesses.

Here are 6 ways in which the business world in 2019 is changing with the introduction of IoT and AI:

1. Inventory tracking and management

Businesses that rely on storage and warehousing are benefitting a lot since IoT happened. It can aid in effectively tracking and managing inventory as it gives you automatically-controlled options. You simply have to install IoT software and devices in your storage units and warehouses. They will assist you in managing inventory changes. In retail, businesses also link AI with RFID and cloud technology to track inventory.

2. Data sharing and perception

If you own a business, you will know how vital data collection and exchange are for your business’ function and growth. IoT has totally transformed the way you handle data. Not only does it offer greater access to consumer data, but IoT devices can track and record patterns in which a user interacts with the devices. Users get a better experience while businesses can easily interpret that data for improvement and growth.

The statistic below shows the percentage of Bellwethers and other organisations who gain above-average benefits from the implementation of IoT in operations.


3. Improved customer experience

There are many ways in which companies use Artificial Intelligence to improve the customer experience. AI Chatbots is one of them. You can program chatbots to address any issue that your customers have and offer solutions. Unlike humans, chatbots can interact with limitless customers simultaneously and can both respond and initiate communication.

By 2020, it is estimated that 85% of all customer interactions will be taken care of by intelligent machines.

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IoT and embedded application developers to harness data efficiently and securely from edge to cloud with Actian Zen

Actian, a specialist in hybrid data management, cloud data warehouse, and data integration technology, has announced the availability of the new Actian Zen embedded database for mobile and IoT. Actian Zen is designed to support edge applications and analytics with a single, secure, modular and scalable platform.

As data proliferates at the edge, Zen offers the ideal solution for software developers who want dedicated application data management to deliver business-critical services across a wide range of operating environments, from Android and iOS phones to medical sensors and surveillance drones.

“Mobile and IoT applications are generating massive amounts of data that need to be managed all the way from the edge to the cloud” said Lewis Carr, senior director of product marketing at Actian. “We recognised a market need for an embedded, nano-footprint, NoSQL and SQL, multi-platform database to support a wide range of mobile and IoT applications. Zen fills that gap and enables developers to fully harness data at the edge.”

Actian Zen connects mobile and IoT devices to gateways, the cloud, and traditional on-premise databases and integrates with a broad spectrum of programming languages, offering common APIs and a single database across a wide range of data types, deployment targets and projects to reduce risk and streamline operations. With Zen, enterprises never have to compromise when it comes to performance and security at the edge, on-premise, in the cloud or in hybrid environments.

Actian Zen offers new features for mobile and IoT applications including:

  • EXIF data structure
  • JSON and BLOB support
  • Time-series data support
  • 64TB single file size
  • Quadrupled block size for faster data transfer between devices, gateways and cloud environments
  • 256-bit AES improved, military-grade encryption

Actian Zen offers best-in-class performance compared with NoSQL and SQL alternatives to help developers, data scientists, IT analysts and product managers support distributed analytics, data management and integration at the edge. Actian Zen is a zero-DBA, zero-ETL, architecture that supports Microsoft Windows, Linux/embedded Linux, iOS, and Android platforms, bringing enterprise-grade database capabilities and performance to the edge on any 32/64-bit Intel or ARM platform.

“When configuring Actian Zen for mobile and IoT, we knew IoT security was the crux of data management among edge applications,” said Desmond Tan, senior director, Zen Engineering at Actian. “Adopting a highly secure and no-ETL architecture is key to compliance and reducing risk. Actian Zen delivers unparalleled encryption and security in a single, scalable, modular platform with a host of added features to ensure performance and functionality are never compromised.”

Actian Zen creates value for customers

“With Actian Zen data management products, we’ve been able to scale our integrated solutions in the classroom and across campuses to enable collaboration and better track and manage students and institutional assets – extending our capabilities to IoT and mobile devices,” said André Beauchamp, CEO of Plurilogic.

“Actian Zen is critical to our application as it allows us to deliver an offline experience with data persistency, security and optimal data synchronisation between distributed devices and centralised school servers. We’ve been so impressed with Zen Core for Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows that we’ve developed a plug-in to Apache Cordova mobile development framework we use to enable us to use Zen Core for data management across Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows platforms from a single code base.”

“When developing architecture for real-time data processing and machine learning-based analytics at the edge, we needed a database that could seamlessly and adequately support complex IoT and edge data workloads,” said Dr. Chaitali Sengupta, founder of Cirrus 360. “Actian Zen supports a variety of operating systems, programming languages and data types, so we only need a single platform to connect from endpoint to gateway to cloud and analyse and store data locally and instantaneously.”

Actian Zen V14 is immediately available and is free to developers and for use in non-production environments. Perpetual and subscription licensing options are also available. For more information, click here.

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Software AG to become member of Open Industry 4.0 Alliance linking OT and IT

The topics of platform economy and digitalisation began making an impact on industry some years ago as part of the overall concept of Industry 4.0. But successful scaling and implementation of new business models have been hampered thus far by the heterogeneity of industrial components and systems.

The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance was started in an effort to accelerate the creation of value on the journey to digitalisation. The objective of this new alliance is to establish an open ecosystem and framework for interoperability between vendors. It enables IT and OT vendors to engage in open dialogue and generate common customer value. Software AG will position itself in the segments of IoT Connectivity, Open Edge Computing and as a Hybrid Integration Operator.

The positive effects of the digital transformation on production and logistics processes across companies and the establishment of the first digital business models have already been successfully tried and tested in the process industry and in discrete manufacturing. But the variety of different protocols, standards and frameworks is a hindrance to platform-based scaling and monetisation approaches.

In response to these experiences, well-known and powerful IT and OT organisations such as ifm electronic, Beckhoff, SAP, KUKA, Hilscher, Endress+Hauser and Multivac have partnered to drive cross-vendor standardisation of digitalisation projects in production and logistics. Their proviso is “One and Open.”

More than 21 manufacturing and software companies now belong to the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. Together, they are developing open, compatible and standardised solutions for industrial customers.

According to Bernd Gross, Software AG’s chief technology officer, “The members of the alliance have agreed on an open and pragmatic approach to ensure interoperability for industrial automation (Industry 4.0). This approach puts customer value front and centre. The interplay between IT and OT requires multi-vendor interoperability. That is the only way factories in the manufacturing and process industries can reap the benefits of Industry 4.0. The open standards-based approach is the perfect fit for our philosophy, Freedom as a Service.”

Dr. Stefan Sigg, Software AG’s chief product officer, added, “Distributed environment interoperability and connectivity are essential to an open Industry 4.0 environment. We look forward to contributing our expertise and experience in these fields to the alliance’ discussions and projects.”

Click here to learn more about the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance.

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u-blox technologies enable AddMobile’s connected construction site

u-blox, a global provider of positioning and wireless communication technologies, has announced that its Bluetooth low energy module NINA-B1 has been chosen by AddMobile, Swedish provider of devices and services for construction site management, as the basis of its short range equipment-tracking beacons, AddTrackers. This service is among the latest enhancements to the company’s AddMobile Toolbox platform and involves adding radio beacons to any tools or equipment that need tracking.

The AddMobile Toolbox helps site managers control mobile work orders, log fleet vehicle mileages, secure entry to work sites, register staff as they come and go, as well as handling fleet management and equipment safety. It uses a variety of hardware to enable these Connected Construction Site’s services, including stationary hubs and entrance control units with Bluetooth low energy and cellular connectivity, as well as an RFID reader, and mobile hubs with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Bluetooth low energy and cellular connectivity.

In addition to NINA-B1, the AddMobile Toolbox features the u-blox GSM/GPRS cellular module SARA-G3 and the u-blox MAX-M8 GNSS module series.

“The AddTracker beacons and hubs rely upon a combination of GNSS positioning, cellular connectivity, and Bluetooth low energy short range radio interfaces,” said Bo Lyvall, Business Development manager at AddMobile. “u-blox was able to provide all three key technologies for our solutions, as well as providing great local support in the Malmö area,” he added.

In use, the beacons equipping tools and equipment communicate with suitably equipped smartphones or other AddMobile hardware infrastructure. When one of these devices picks up an asset’s signal, the asset’s unique ID and GNSS coordinates are sent to AddMobile’s cloud platform, which can then show managers an image of the asset and its position on a map, list the equipment’s features, and show where it is on its planned maintenance schedule.

Trackers don’t have to be static. In one use case, a vehicle is fitted with a mobile hub that includes a GSM connection, GNSS positioning, and a Bluetooth low energy interface in the luggage area. Tools can be tracked on site by static hubs, and then followed as they are put into company vans for use offsite. This means that staff scheduling offsite jobs can know the location of all their mobile personnel, and whether they have the right tools with them to undertake each task.

The company was also attracted by the cost efficiency of u-blox’s offering, and what is already a vast installed base of interoperable Bluetooth low energy technology. In the future, the collaboration between AddMobile and u-blox may extend to the use of a longer range variant of Bluetooth, to further reduce the cost of asset tracking on large and complex sites, and exploring the appropriate use of cellular technology in asset tracking.

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