I’ve considered myself a multi-tasking master for most of my life, but digital transformation is creating a new breed – the mega-tasker. We’re talking about people who want to do 3D modeling, digital audio, live streaming, video rendering and gaming – sometimes all at once.For them, a computer with four cores is simply not enough. That’s why we’re excited now to start offering Alienware’s first 16-core/32-thread Area-51 with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X on July 27.First introduced at E3, it “has room for some truly ridiculous specs” and we’re the only major PC vendor to deliver Threadripper pre-built systems at the chip’s launch. Each overclocked from factory.How many cores are enough?A single core CPU is rare these days. The most basic new system is going to have at least two – very often four. And, as you might surmise, four is better than two. Continuing that logic, then eight is better than four, right?The number you need, though, will depend on what you plan to do with your computer. A 16-core processor would be excessive for simple web surfing and your basic school or office productivity software. However, if you’re creating high-end content with applications like SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Autodesk or Cakewalk you need more powerful core compute performance.Dell Precision workstations are tested to ensure such high-performance applications run smoothly on them; but, as gaming grows into more than just a leisure pastime for many creators, and gamers become creators themselves, sometimes you want a bit more. Creators and gamers want a system that is designed for a high performance gaming experience with the ability to carry-out their creative dreams, goals or everyday hobbies thanks to the monster truck-like power Area-51 will deliver.Why a triangle?The Alienware Area-51 triad design is far from a boring box. When it first launched in 2014 it created a completely new experience in desktop computing.“Alienware might call it Triad, but we’d actually call it pretty bad-ass,” said Hot Hardware. And The Verge called it “a spaceship disguised as a gaming PC.”So, yeah, this is really going to stand out on your desktop. It’s also a pretty intelligent design. You can easily access the rear ports to connect or disconnect cables by pivoting it on one of its corners, and there’s even a little light back there so you don’t have to find a flashlight to see what you’re doing.All the input/output ports face you directly making it easy to connect your headphones, media card readers or any other USB devices. The internal component layout is even designed to have a low center of gravity to help prevent it from tipping when being lifted.One of the biggest benefits to the angled design is how it keeps things cool. It provides a large space for hot air to escape where a traditional, rectangular chassis only leaves a small space between internal components and the wall. Oh, and it also has advanced liquid cooling.Isn’t water bad for a computer?Technically, what’s in the Alienware Area 51’s liquid cooling system is an environmentally friendly mixture of demineralized water and propylene glycol that has benefits ranging from anti-freeze, anti-corrosion and anti-bacterial. It’s totally safe and maintains your CPU temperatures as low as possible at all times.It’s not just sloshing around in there like an overturned energy drink, though. The liquid running through the system absorbs the heat from the CPU as it is pumped across a cold plate. That heated liquid is then pumped through the radiator, which acts as a heat exchanger. Heat from the liquid is pushed out of the chassis and then cooled liquid is returned to the cold plate. The new Area 51’s has been equipped with our highest performance liquid cooling unit as a result of having the thickest heat exchanger we’ve ever had.That’s important if you’re mega-tasking like rendering video while gaming in 4K. More energy is needed to run data-intensive workloads, and just as many of us humans tend to move a bit slower in the summer heat, the movement of electronic impulses in a computer chip can slow down when it gets warmer.Is Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition for me?Well, if you are looking for a new home system for you kids to do their homework on or to access your bank for online bill-payments. It’s probably more machine than you need. And if your teenager was only able to save less than $1,500 from his summer job for a new gaming system, you might want to show him our Alienware Aurora which comes VR ready for $1299.But, if you use high-performance creative applications and want to spend more time creating than waiting. If you’re a diehard performance enthusiast demanding the absolute best rig for 4K, 8K or virtual reality applications. Or you want to play your favorite games in 4K while broadcasting live HD streams around the world on Twitch. Then this is the pre-built system for you.So to recap the highlights of the new Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition Available July 27thAlienware’s first 16-core processor desktopFeatures Alienware’s Triad chassis – prioritizing thermal management and ergonomicsOffers “All Cores Overclocked” AMD Ryzen Threadripper processorsSupports up to 1125W (3x 375W) dedicated to graphicsNew Premium CPU Liquid Cooling, available on all configurationsOffers M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD options with additional 7200RPM storage drivesFeatures Dual Killer Gigabit Ethernet portsIncludes 802.11ac Wireless and Bluetooth technologyStarting price $2999 (with 16-core processor)Further Reference: www.alienware.com/desktopsAlienware Arena Experience Page: https://na.alienwarearena.com/products/area-51-threadripper-edition
Digital disruption is coming. Through my travels meeting with customers around the region, one thing is very clear – the current trend toward digitization is not a passing fad that will gracefully let any industry off the hook. To stay relevant, companies that want to play a major part in this fourth industrial revolution must digitally transform. To win this race to become digital, smart CEOs recognize that they themselves must evolve into the role of ‘Connected CEO’, and truly understand the value technology is poised to bring to the business.The CEO is after growth in both revenue and profit. This can only be realized by providing a top notch customer experience and bringing products and services to the market faster than the competition. To achieve this, two things are important: speeding up the business processes, which means reducing the number of steps, and letting technology do the lion’s share of the work.The ‘Appification’ of an EnterpriseIncreasingly, requests for products and services come in the form of an app – be it to order food, request a vehicle, book travel, manage an investment portfolio, etc. Even when placing business-to-business orders, buyers expect to use consumer-grade mobile applications. Internally as well, employees now demand a level of user friendliness and convenience in their company applications, as if they were designed by Steve Jobs himself. These apps are cloud-native and data-driven, and demand third-platform infrastructures to provision them quickly and seamlessly. The market relevance of a customer-facing enterprise is directly linked to the freshness of its apps. Miss a beat and you’re dead. Long product cycles are out. Both the organization and the technology must be geared towards rolling out apps at high velocity.Mainframe in the SkyMaking the right technological choices is not easy, and all members of the C-suite need to get involved. It goes without saying that the CIO is the person who has the inside scoop on the technical aspects of the solutions to be used. But the CFO, the CMO, the COO and all other business leaders have come to understand that their processes can be greatly enhanced by applying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. These new technologies have all found their way to the cloud, and any sound organization realizes we now live in a multi-cloud world where services are provided, by workload, from either in-house cloud, ‘ As a service ‘ offerings, mission – critical cloud, or Public Cloud, based on the need for agility, performance, cyber security and cost.Meanwhile, some of the early adopters of hyper-scale clouds have discovered that it is just as easy to get locked in the cloud as it was in the days of proprietary mainframes. Moving workloads from one place to another becomes a painful, if not impossible, exercise. And where cloud computing came with the promise of optimizing cost, investments are now spiraling as new data services are added. Most companies are finding out the hard way that negotiating a cloud contract is not as simple as a straight forward transaction, in fact many organizations expect enterprise support yet what they got was a common service…at a premium price.Architect for ChoiceHere’s why organisations are now implementing cloud-like concepts in their internal departments, keeping their data close to home and knowing they have a great partner in IT departments that can adapt quickly to changes to deliver both the necessary apps and infrastructure. The nature of our economy is such that companies must be able to anticipate or react swiftly to new conditions that arise. That’s why organizations need to design for change, both in their business processes and in their technology. Change is inevitable, so they need to architect for choice, avoiding mousetrap solutions.Technology has never played a bigger part in the success of an organization, and has become a top priority for any business leader. Today’s reality is we live in an apps driven, data driven multi-cloud world and by choosing the right partners to work with the CEO can discover the art of the possible. CEO’s need partners who speak the CEO’s language, understand their industry, their company and the company’s goals, and can help to efficiently navigate the upcoming digital transformation journey.
“I didn’t realize you were French” – that’s what the satellite engineer said to me as he finished hooking up my satellite TV in my new house. Now anyone who knows me (especially my team in France) will know that, being Scottish, sometimes even English is a challenge (search “Scotsmen trying to get to floor 11 in a voice activated elevator”). When I replied that I wasn’t, he asked why he had hooked up my TV to French satellite TV. I explained that really I should be asking him that question. “It’s what my job card says” was his response.Satellite providers don’t hold the monopoly for poor customer service. Some broadband providers are equally challenged. When we moved to London, I knew that of all services, the most important one was internet access. My 12 year old threatened not to move down without it, while promising to use all her mobile data on day 1 as an alternative (costing me a fortune in doing so!). So broadband was the priority.I put the work in upfront, scheduled the engineer, double checked her visit, but unfortunately my hub hadn’t arrived prior to her arrival. When I phoned, I was told not to worry as the engineer would have “lots of spares”. The engineer duly arrived and explained, “We haven’t carried spares for years”. So I am back on the phone requesting that it be immediately shipped to me. However, in their infinite wisdom, even though the whole point of the install was to support my move from Scotland to London, they decided to ship the hub to my old address… in Scotland.I know that the engineers and others were just trying to do the best that they could. In my opinion, they were let down by the lack of joined-up systems to support their work. According to Forbes, today’s agents are hindered by system overload. They’re working in ten different systems. Not only is this terrible for the employee experience but it’s terrible for the customer experience too. The same article states that customers’ number one frustration with customer service departments is constantly having to repeat themselves.An increased use of digital innovation to break down organizational silos is a prime means to improve customer experience. Digital transformation enables new organizational models, new technology and most of all, provides an opportunity for a new mind-set in relation to the customer. Within this structure, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to deliver value by uncovering new insights thus creating better customer intimacy and the opportunity to create more successful interactions.Getting a single view of the customer and a single version of the truth is a key focus area for our Dell sales team. We are working hard to improve this year after year to ensure our scores on this area in our Tell Dell employee survey rise every time. Our people too need joined-up systems to be able to do what they need to do.With regards to our customer experience at Dell I am delighted to say our latest customer NPS scores for global customers have improved 20% since we became Dell Technologies. Part of the improvements are down to the “customer first” focus of the global customer team, but also we are seeing improvements as the merger continues to mature.I am convinced of the fact that most customer service managers are already taking major steps to improve their services to become more customer centric. But I must conclude after my recent experiences that we are definitely not all the way there yet. The digital transformation of customer service departments isn’t done in a day. But it will be worth the effort. Both for the customer service agents and for future movers.As a footnote, I am happy to say my TV is in English but I still don’t speak French. Don’t ask me about my parking permit, gas supply, water supply, etc. My broadband now works and so my daughter is looking for the next thing for me to focus on (anyone got any tickets for KSI v Logan Paul fight in NYC? Anyone actually knows who they are?).
Dell redesigns the work space to bring people together and create a culture of conversation. Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, Grand Designs…the hottest trend in television these days is makeover shows. There’s something incredibly watchable about seeing an outdated structure rebuilt to fit modern lifestyles and tastes. At Dell Technologies, we’re doing our own kind of makeover; we’re transforming our workplace for thousands of employees.In a previous blog, we discussed how we’re in the process of turning our buildings into state-of-the-art environments. In that article, we focused on improvements to the dining areas and café spaces. Now, we’ve made the next move – preparing for the future of work by making our workplace into more than just an office. We see it as a tool, a force that can actively inspire our employees. To do that, we envisioned a workspace with more interaction and more freedom.Freedom of Choice “Options like remote work and telework are now part of Dell’s DNA,” said Dawn Longacre, Dell’s Global Workplace Strategist. “When people have the option to work from anywhere – home, Starbucks or wherever – when they come into the office, it’s with a specific purpose.”Today’s technology – laptops, skype and smartphones – allow us to skip the commute and handle our affairs from afar if we choose. However, the realities of business still require in-person meetings. When employees do venture into the office, we wanted to maximize opportunities for face-to-face encounters. “Once they’re here, we set up a lot of opportunity for ad-hoc happenstance meetings,” said Dawn. “If I’m walking down the hall and see someone I want to catch up with, we can grab a seat, talk for a few minutes and that way we’ve saved twenty emails.”To encourage even more impromptu meetups, we’ve built well-lit collaboration parks with a variety of seating in all four corners of our building. Employees can also enjoy new lounge setups with plush couches and easy-to-use monitors, or slide into the restaurant-style booths for a comfy, tucked away spot to talk.Come TogetherCollaboration is a key factor in a productive and innovative work environment. A recent study reported by Forbes magazine found that companies that promoted collaborative working were 5 times as likely to be high performing.To foster more collaboration, we’ve created common spaces that encourage different groups of employees to gather naturally. New white board walls and group seating might lead to ‘purposeful overhearing’ as Dawn phrased it. “Hey I don’t mean to eavesdrop,” she imagined how a scenario might play out, “but you hit on something I’m working on. Can we chat about it?”“Companies of our size always have duplication of effort,” she added. “We don’t want to work against each other. Our big hope is to combine people who might not normally interact.”Get Up, Stand Up Maybe you’ve heard the alarming slogan, ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Whether it’s hyperbole or not, it has been proven that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us. To remedy this, we’ve outfitted the new space with multiple treadmill desks and exercise bikes with attached monitors. They’re perfect for fitting in a quick workout between conferences, or just getting the blood pumping before a big presentation.If you’re not in the mood to sweat over spreadsheets, all new desks offer variable height settings with the touch of a button. Previously, standing desks required additional equipment or adjustments from the facilities team. Now, you can alternate between standing and sitting setups in mere seconds.To battle stress – another possible danger to our health – we’ve built multiple gaming areas in each building. “The gaming areas gives people a place to decompress,” Dawn said. “There are ping pong tables and private rooms with VMware systems and XBOX.”For plain old peace and quiet, the new layout includes multiple serene breakrooms. “These are places where you can find respite, where you can collaborate while you eat lunch, but they’re places where people actually go,” Dawn said. “They are a great place to get away if you don’t want to think about emails or just have a cup of coffee with a coworker.”Changes Ultimately, it’s up the employees to discover a building’s true purpose. While the updates are based on years of research, focus groups and employee surveys, “we’re always curious to see how people will actually use the spaces,” said Longacre.To the employees already on site, these changes have had a noticeable impact on the culture at Dell Technologies. Taking a quick walk through our Round Rock 1 headquarters, one can hear a chorus of conversations, view bustling hallways and read white boards full of scribbled brainstorming. With new studies showing that face-to-face interaction is important to attracting millennial and Gen Z workers, the remodel is proving its worth.This article is the second in a series about transformation on Dell Campuses around the world.
“Future of Work” as described by IDC is an evolutionary journey of how emerging technologies and demographic changes are impacting the way work is done. To boost productivity and foster innovation, companies are moving towards empowering employees with new technologies, offering them more choices and even embracing new office designs, all in the hopes for better talent attraction and retention. At Dell, the impact of technology and how it boosts productivity and innovation have always been at our roots. Because of this, we partnered with IDC to identify what key Future of Work trends impact monitors in particular and how that will continue to evolve over the years. The six trends, as outlined in the IDC paper, The Future of Work: Embracing New Dynamics, Creating New Experiences, are: Monitors are a key enabler for superior digital experiencesAs the war for attracting and retaining the best talent intensifies, organizations are placing an increasing importance on Employee Experience (EX). IDC predicts that by 2021, at least 60% of Forbes Global 2000 (G2000) companies will actively monitor and manage EX, utilizing EX as a key differentiator to build and maintain business relationships. We expect to see flexible working policies, better workspace designs, and employees given a choice of devices to help improve productivity and efficiency as part of providing a better employee experience. Giving employees choice of work device will have a direct impact on worker effectiveness.Monitors will continue to be the anchor point for productivity and remain the primary gateway to view, create and interact with digital content. Therefore, it is important to have a robust monitors strategy that keeps in mind the future needs of both employees and customers. Need for better monitor & visualization technologies are on the rise due to increasing use of artificial intelligence and 3D ToolsIDC forecasts that 3rd Platform technologies will drive information and communications technology (ICT) spending to more than US$6 trillion by 2022. According to the World Economic Forum, 133 million new roles will emerge that will reclassify work between humans and machines; AI alone is expected to create 58 million net new jobs in the next few years.As IDC notes in the paper, the unprecedented growth of AI and 3D tools, as well as the use of AR/VR technologies, will impact the use of monitors as most of the digital content creation, 3D modeling and data visualization continue to be done on desktop monitors by employees.These trends will continue to drive the demand for high performance monitors with richer color coverage, higher resolution, larger sizes and newer form factors with digital connectivity to support new workloads and technologies over the next few years for a variety of data-centric and design tasks. Monitors are adapting to new workspace trends and changing demographicsMobility in the workplace is an up and coming strategic approach that offers employees greater freedom to work anywhere and empowers them with technologies to be more productive. Hotdesking, hoteling trends, co-working and increased shared spaces in offices are fueling mobile tech discussions.IDC predicts that by 2021, demand for top talent will have resulted in 65% of G2000 companies offering coworking and remote-work options that leverage pervasive access to enterprise and collaboration applications.Dell sees monitors aligning with these trends, as they become slimmer, lighter and easy to connect. Several concepts — from modular designs, lightweight, easy to connect monitors with USB-C support and even foldable displays have emerged in recent years. As workspaces continue to evolve, we expect to see new form factors and more specialized monitors based on tasks or other productivity needs. Considerations for employee well-being and better ergonomicsOrganizations are now increasingly focusing on employee well-being for compliance and improving talent attraction and retention. The European Parliament formally proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights committed to providing a healthy, safe and well-adapted work environment for workers in the European Union. In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHAct) tools ensure that employers promptly correct hazardous working conditions. IDC forecasts that by 2021, 60% of G2000 companies will have adopted a future workspace model that is a flexible, intelligent, collaborative virtual/physical work environment improving employee experience and productivity2. This has led to the use of new practices and technologies to improve health and safety at work.We are seeing initiatives take advantage of new devices and form factors, simulated trainings, open workspace designs, standing desks, and ultrawide curved monitors for better viewing angles. There is also a push for better ergonomics in monitors. Features include height adjustability to support better posture and blue light emission reduction for a more comfortable viewing experience. This will continue to reshape the entire workspace design and move employers to recognize that monitors impact their health and well-being. Gaming and e-sports are driving consumer demand for richer contentIDC expects the number of active PC gamers between 2017 and 2019, to grow by 10%, approaching one billion gamers, while the gaming PC market and the PC games market are expected to grow to 25 million (+19%) and US$35 billion (+7%) respectively. The explosive growth of gamers and the rapidly expanding universe of creators are expected to drive the demand for higher performance monitors. These include graphic artists and photographers who require precise color accuracy and high pixel count, to game developers who need responsive and high-resolution monitors to enjoy the immersive feel of playing AAA titles. For data scientists to work productively, one monitor is not enough; they need multiple monitors to simultaneously view multiple data streams in real time. The content creation ecosystem continues to expand outward affecting everyone from device makers, to content developers, to advertisers and even consumers.The demand for monitors will continue to grow, with the rise of new gaming and content studios, and the use of richer content by knowledge workers and marketing teams. In 2017, only 7% of monitor shipments were above US$300. By 2022, the US$300+ end of the monitor market could approach 20%. USB-C: Power to the user, simplicity to ITPreparing for a future workforce entails a wider, more flexible device portfolio. Wider device portfolios likely spell happier and more productive employees, but they also spell massive I/O port, cable and dongle disruption which in turn incurs significant cost and headaches for IT.In 2018, USB-C was embedded in nearly half of all notebooks shipped. IDC expects this number to be closer to 1 in 3 by 2022. The consolidation of ports and protocols to one can help IT manage what has historically been clumsy I/O transitions.USB-C not only delivers a higher throughput, faster speeds and supports many protocols, but it also helps organizations simplify on accessories and cabling. It would be wise for organizations to look into enabling new, more powerful workloads for their end users ― while avoiding headaches for IT ― to start thinking about USB-C monitors, PCs and peripherals.All in all, the Future of Work, as viewed by IDC, means supporting a future workforce and powering future workloads. Supporting a future workforce entails democratizing the device chain to better allow employees to work on their terms. This will also drive organization-wide productivity and focus on employee experience and well-being, beyond just cost considerations. Driving future workloads necessitates better tools, specifically better ways to capture, visualize, process and collaborate on the impending data deluge.As emerging technology and demographic changes continue to impact the workplace, monitors will continue to evolve. Forward-thinking companies at the forefront of these considerations will witness productivity and employee satisfaction gains simply by putting a little bit more care and flexibility into their monitor strategies.Interested in reading more? Download the full paper here. Forbes, Editors Pick (June 2018), Global 2000: The World’s Largest Public Companies  IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Work 2019 Predictions
For the last two decades, I’ve enjoyed working at Dell Technologies focusing on customer big-picture ideas. Not just focusing on hardware changes, but on a holistic solution including hardware, software, and services that achieves a business objective by addressing customer goals, problems, and needs. I’ve also partnered with my clients on their transformation journey. The concepts of digital transformation and IT transformation have been universal themes and turning these ideas into realities is where the rubber meets the road.Now as I engage with customers and partners about Microsoft solutions, an incremental awareness of the idea of “data”, and how data is accessed and leveraged, has become evident. A foundational shift around data has occurred.We are now living in a new era of data management, but many of us were not aware this change was developing. This has crept up on us without the fanfare you might see from a new technology launch. When you take a step back and look at these shifts in their entirety you see these changes aren’t just isolated updates, but instead are amplifying their benefits within each other. This is a fundamental transformation in the industry, similar to when virtualization was first adopted 15 years ago.For many, this change started to become apparent with the end of support for SQL Server 2008 earlier this year (along with support for all previous versions of the product). This deadline, coupled with the large install base that still exists on this platform, is helping the conversation along but it’s not just a replace the old with the new in a point-by-point swap out. The doors opened in this new era force a completely different view and approach. We no longer need to have a SQL, Oracle, SAP, or Hadoop conversation – instead it becomes a holistic “data” point of view.In our hybrid/multi-cloud world, there is not just one answer for managing data. Regardless of the type of data or where it resides, all the diverse data languages and methods of control, the word “data” can encompass a great deal.Emerging technologies including IoT, 5G, AI and ML are generating greater amounts and varied types of data. How we access that data and derive insight from it becomes critical, but we have been limited by people, processes, and technology.People have become stuck in the rut of, “I want it to be this way because it has always been this way.” Therefore, replacing dated/expired architectures becomes a swap out story verses a re-examine story and new efficiencies are completely missed. Processes within the organization become rigid with that same mindset and, dare I say politics, where access to that data becomes path- limited. Technology is influenced by both people and process as “the old way is good enough, right?”The value/importance of “data” really points back to the insight that you drive from it. Having a bunch of ones and zeros on a hard drive is nice but what you derive from that data is critically important. The conversations I have with customers are not so much, “Where is my data and how is it stored?” The conversation is more commonly, “I have a need to get business analytics from my proprietary data so I can impact my customers in a way I never did before.”To put my Stephen Covey hat on, we are in a paradigm change. What is occurring is incredibly impactful for how customers should view and treat data. There are three key areas that we will examine with the new paradigm today and we’ll start with data gravity.Data Gravity Data gravity is the idea that data has weight. Wherever data is created, it tends to remain. Data stores are getting so big that moving data around is becoming expensive, time constrained, and database performance impacting. This in turn, results in silos of data by location and type. Versioning and lack of upgrade/migration/consolidation of databases also perpetuates these silo challenges.As with physical gravity, we understand that data’s mass encourages applications and analytics to orbit that data store where it resides. Then, application dependency upon the data’s language version cements the silo requirement even further. We have witnessed the proliferation of intelligent core and edge devices, as well as bringing applications to that place where the data resides – at the customer location.Silos of data based on language, version, and location can’t be readily accessed from a common interface. If I am a SQL user, how do I get that Oracle data I need? I cannot just pull all my data together into a huge common dataset – it’s just too big. We see these silos in almost every customer environment.Data VirtualizationThis is where data virtualization comes into the story. Please note this is not a virtual machine (a common confusion on the naming). Think instead of this being data democratization: the ability to allow all the people access to all the data – within reason, of course. Data virtualization allows you to access the data where the data is stored without a massive ETL event. You can see and control the data regardless of language, version, or location. The data remains where it is, but you have real-time source access to this data. You can access data from remote or diverse sources and perform actions on that data from one common point of view.Data virtualization allows access into the silos that, in the past, have been very rigid, blocking the ability to effectively use that data. From a non-SQL Server point of view, having unstructured data or structured data in a different format (like Oracle), required you to hire a specialized person with a specific skill set to access that data. With data virtualization, that is no longer a barrier as these silo walls are reduced. Data virtualization becomes data democratization, meaning that all people (with appropriate permissions) can access and do things with that data.From a Microsoft point of view, that technology came into reality with Polybase. Polybase with SQL Server allows access with T-SQL, the most commonly used database language. I started using this resource with the Analytics Platform System (APS) many years ago. After Microsoft placed this tool into SQL Server in 2016 and updated its functionality tremendously in SQL Server 2019, we now can ingest Hadoop, Oracle, and use orchestrators like Spark, to access all these disparate data sources. To visualize this, think of Polybase with SQL Server 2019 as a wrapper around these diverse silos of data. You now can access all these disparate data sources within one common interface: T-SQL using Polybase.Holistic SolutionThe final tenet of this fundamental change is the advent of containerization. This enablement technology allows abstraction beyond virtualization and runs just about anywhere. Data becomes nimble and you can move it where needed.It’s amazing how pervasive containers have become. It’s no longer a science experiment, but is quickly becoming the new normal. In the past, many customers had a forklift perception that when a new technology comes into play, it requires a lift and replace. I’ve heard, “What I am doing today is no longer good, so I have to replace it with whatever your new product is, and it will be painful.”I’ve been using the phrase that containerization enables “all the things”. Containerization has been adopted by so many architectures that it’s easier to talk about where you can’t do it verses where you can. Traditional SAN, converged, hyperconverged, hybrid cloud — you can place this just about anywhere. There is not just one right path here — do what makes sense for you. It becomes a holistic solution.There are multiple ways to address the business need that customers have even if it’s leveraging existing designs that they’ve been using for years. Dell Technologies has published details of several architectures supporting SQL Server and has just recently published the first of many papers on SQL Server in containers.The answer is, you can do all these things with all these architectures. By the way, this isn’t specific to Microsoft and SQL Server. We see similar architectures being created in other databases and technology formats.These three tenets are each self-supporting to the new paradigm. Data gravity is supported by data virtualization and containerization. Data virtualization allows silos when needed (gravity) and is enabled by containerization. Containerization gives access to silos (wrapper) and is the mechanism to activate data virtualization.From a Dell Technologies point of view, we are aggressively embracing these tenets. Our enablement technologies to support this paradigm are called out in three discrete points – accelerate, protect, and reuse. We will review these points in a separate blog.There is much more to come as we continue this journey into the new era of data management. Dell Technologies has deeply invested in resources around this topic with several recent publications and reference designs embracing this paradigm change. Our leadership on this topic is the result of our 30+ year relationship with Microsoft and our continuing “better together” story. A detailed white paper that further expands the ideas within this blog is available here:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose a modest 0.2% in December, held back by a big drop in the volatile aircraft sector. A key category that tracks business investment decisions slowed. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the 0.2% rise in orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, followed much stronger increases of 1.2% November and 1.8% in October. Orders for commercial aircraft, hard hit because of the sharp drop in air travel during the pandemic, fell 51.8% in December.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean officials are moving to limit travel and gatherings during next week’s Lunar New Year’s holidays by allowing train operators to sell only window seats and passenger vessels to operate at half capacity.,The Health Ministry announced the steps Wednesday while repeating a plea for people to stay home amid a steady rise in coronavirus infections.,Officials also plan to strengthen sanitization and install more thermal cameras at train stations, bus terminals and airports. Travelers will be required to be masked at all times and will be prohibited from eating food at highway rest areas.,Officials have also extended a clampdown on private social gatherings of five or more people, which they enforce by fining restaurants and other businesses if they accept large groups.,__,THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:,UK tests house-to-house in hunt for new coronavirus variant. WHO experts visit animal disease center in Wuhan. Study: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine appears safe, effective, Spain cancels San Fermin bull-running festival. Japan extends a state of emergency amid uncertainty over vaccine supplies and the hosting of the Tokyo Olympics this summer.,___,Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak,___,HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:,CANBERRA, Australia — Australian regulators have decided to place no upper age limit on use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine despite reports of dozens of deaths among the elderly in Norway.,Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration said in a statement Tuesday that it received reports on Jan. 14 of about 30 deaths in more than 40,000 elderly people vaccinated with Pfizer. But it added that “no causal link between vaccination and deaths could be established.”,The agency says that “elderly patients can receive this vaccine and there is no cap on the upper age limit.”,The regulaor last month gave provisional approval for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in Australia and the first doses are due to be administered to people aged 16 and older in late February.,___,WELLINGTON, N.Z. — New Zealand’s medical regulator has approved its first coronavirus vaccine, and officials hope to begin giving shots to border workers by the end of March.,New Zealand has no community transmission of the virus, and border workers are considered the most vulnerable to catching and spreading the disease because they deal with arriving travelers, some of whom are infected.,Regulators on Wednesday gave provisional approval for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for people aged 16 and over.,However, New Zealand’s success in stamping out the virus also means it will need to wait longer than many other countries to get vaccine doses for the general population. Officials say they hope to begin general inoculations by midyear.,___,RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s state Senate has passed a bill that would require every local school division to make both virtual and in-person learning available to students.,The chamber passed the bill Tuesday on a 26-13 bipartisan vote.,The measure’s chances in the state House are less certain. At least one similar but more narrow bill aimed at students without adequate internet access failed during last year’s special legislative session.,Virginia currently has a patchwork approach to schooling, with some public and private schools offering in-person learning while others offer only virtual school. Supporters of the bill say that is arming children whose parents don’t have the resources to pay for costly tuition.,A spokeswoman for Gov. Ralph Northam says he will review the measure if it reaches his desk.,___,JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says he’s skeptical about a new federal effort to reduce racial disparities in coronavirus vaccination rates.,Reeves said Tuesday that around 10% of Mississippi’s total weekly vaccine allocation will go to pharmacy chains like Walmart, CVS or Walgreen under the plan.,In the governor’s words, “While it’s probably true in Washington, D.C., or in New York City that you can walk a block in either direction and run into a Walgreens, or run into a CVS or a Walmart. … in Mississippi, there aren’t a lot of Walmarts in Issaquena County, and there aren’t a lot of Walmarts in very rural areas.”,As of Tuesday, 17% of vaccine doses in Mississippi had gone to Black residents, while 69% went to white residents.,___,KENSINGTON, Md. — A new study finds that cleaner air from the pandemic lockdown warmed the planet a bit in 2020, especially in places such as the eastern United States, Russia and China.,Tuesday’s study found the pandemic lockdown reduced soot and sulfate air pollution, but those particles also reflect the sun’s heat and help cool areas briefly.,The end result is that some places warmed temporarily as much as two-thirds of a degree last year and the planet as a whole warmed by about .05 degrees. The study’s lead author said that loss of cooling outweighed any reduction in 2020 of heat-trapping carbon pollution.,___,TOPEKA, Kan. — Republican lawmakers in Kansas are moving toward formally condemning Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision to give prison inmates COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of others.,The state Senate’s health committee agreed Tuesday to sponsor a resolution from its GOP chair, Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, that calls on Kelly to reverse her policy on inoculating inmates.,The full Senate could debate it later this week.,___,LANSING, Mich. — An athletic advocacy group, hockey league and parents of athletes have sued Michigan’s health director, seeking a reversal of 2 1/2-month state ban on contact sports that was issued to curb the coronavirus.,Let Them Play Michigan, a group of student-athletes, parents, coaches and school administrators, is among plaintiffs that sued in the Court of Claims Tuesday.,The complaint contends that the order, which was recently extended through Feb. 21, arbitrarily and irrationally singles out and deprives athletes of their constitutional rights and freedoms.,Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she’s optimistic that the state can move toward reengagement in sports. Spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin said the department and governor acted decisively in November as a surge in cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals.,___,MEXICO CITY — Mexico is on the verge of approving the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V following the publication of early results of an advanced study.,Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell, the government’s pandemic spokesman, says the health ministry signed a contract Monday for 400,000 doses of Sputnik V that will arrive this month.,Once approved, the Russian vaccine would become the third to receive emergency approval in Mexico. The regulating agency approved the Pfizer vaccine in December and AstraZeneca’s in January. Mexico turned to the Russian vaccine following delays in obtaining others it was counting on.,Mexico has so far given about 675,000 doses, all Pfizer, to a population of 126 million. On Tuesday, a second batch of the active substance in the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Mexico, where it will be packed and distributed through the rest of Latin America.,The Mexican government also launched a new website Tuesday for people over age 60 to register for vaccination appointments. However, the Mexican Health Department’s website was quickly overwhelmed and not working.,___,SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital says he tested positive for the coronavirus after undergoing an antigen test.,Miguel Romero says on Twitter that he is in isolation and awaiting the results of a molecular test for confirmation. He added the rest of his family has tested negative. He had planned to travel with his daughter to her university.,Gov. Pedro Pierluisi also is in isolation after having been in recent contact with Romero.,Romero is one of the highest-ranking government officials in Puerto Rico to test positive. The U.S. territory of 3.2 million people has reported more than 157,000 cases and more than 1,800 deaths.,___,BRUSSELS — The Belgian government says it won’t administer the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to people over 55, saying there’s still a lack of data about its effectiveness among the elderly.,Health authorities in France, Germany and other countries have raised concerns that the Anglo-Swedish company didn’t test the vaccine in enough older people to prove it works for them and indicated they wouldn’t recommend it for the elderly.,“We don’t have enough info to be sure to say that it is good for the elderly,” says Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.,___,BEIRUT — Lebanon has broken its single-day record of coronavirus deaths with 81 as the country continued its nationwide lockdown for the third week.,The health ministry has registered a total of 306,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.,Lebanese authorities are expected to hold a meeting later this week to decide whether to begin easing the lockdown.,___,LAS VEGAS — Nevada has recorded its deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in January after reporting eight additional coronavirus deaths over the weekend.,The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the additional deaths on Sunday boosted the statewide death toll for the month to 1,132. That’s more than a quarter of the 4,278 confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic.,The state surpassed the previously monthly record of 982 deaths set in December. Health officials also reported 838 new cases.,___,WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. pharmacies, part of its plan to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are starting to appear. White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients says the government will initially ship about 1 million doses to some 6,500 pharmacies around the country, starting next week.,That’s expected to accelerate as drugmakers increase production. Drug stores have become a mainstay for flu shots and shingles vaccines. The pharmacy vaccine program will be administered by the CDC and include outlets such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and Costco, and supermarket pharmacies.,The government has distributed nearly 50 million doses, of which about 32 million have been administered, or more than 60%. That’s a marked improvement from just a few weeks ago. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots, taken 21 to 28 days after the first shot.,___,PARIS — France’s top health advisory body is recommending the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine only be used on people under 65, citing lack of sufficient data about its effectiveness in older people.,The European Medicines Agency authorized AstraZeneca’s vaccine for use in adults throughout the European Union on Friday, amid criticism the bloc is not moving fast enough to vaccinate its population.,But health authorities in Germany, France and some other countries have raised concerns that not enough data exist to prove it works in older people.,France’s High Authority for Health issued its guidance Tuesday. It says it will review this guidance when AstraZeneca has more data on the vaccine’s effectiveness in older people.,___,NEW YORK — Some vaccination sites in the northeast U.S. remained closed Tuesday, but others were up and running again as the region dug out from a major snowstorm.,In Massachusetts, mass vaccination sites at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium opened and closed early on Monday, but both facilities planned to operate as usual Tuesday. In New York City, vaccination sites run by the city’s public hospital network were running, while others had another day of cancelled appointments. There were scattered closures in Pennsylvania.,Snowfall in the northeast ranged from just a few inches in Boston to 16 inches in New York and more than 30 inches in parts of New Jersey.,___,COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday in a procedure streamed live.,The couple was eligible because both are older than 70, the age group that can receive vaccines in Ohio this week. DeWine, a Republican, had said previously he wouldn’t cut in line for the shot but would wait his turn.,The Pfizer dose was administered by Dr. Kevin Sharrett in his southwestern Ohio office. Sharrett said he’s frequently asked about the vaccine’s safety. He says the vaccine is not only safe, it’s a better choice than coming down with the coronavirus.,More than 850,000 people in Ohio have received at least the first dose of the vaccine as of Monday, or about 7% of the population, according to the Ohio Department of Health.