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Softcat Tech Update: May 2015

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2015
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By The Softcat News Team

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Our fifth instalment sees Ben Scully and Oliver Neville-Payne from the Softcat Presales team highlight some of the recent changes and products that have been in development since last month. Starting off with the HP Split…

HP Split

HP is breaking up into two industry-leading fortune 50 companies, separating its corporate hardware and services divisions from the PC and printer business. The latter to be known as simply HP Inc. The former will become known as Hewlett Packard Enterprise Group. Among the vast number of changes that the HP split heralds, is Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s new Logo design.

The split certainly marks a significant milestone and the beginning of an exciting new journey. It means that we will be dealing with two smaller companies that are each going to be able to dedicate more attention to their relevant target markets. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Group is going to be able to emphasise more heavily on the SMB and Enterprise products that Softcat really focus on, delivering a higher quality of service and enhancing the customer experience across the board.

Nokia buys Alcatel-Lucent

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have confirmed rumours about a possible merger by saying it will happen at the round figure of €15.6 billion. This is possibly strong positioning for the future of 5G networking technologies, expected to be publicly available in 2020. The purchase brings possible changes to the “HERE Maps” entity within Nokia - the cloud-compute modelled mapping solution that powers navigation solutions for Garmin, BMW and others. The new business will operate under “Nokia” branding with HQ in Finland.

AMD’s Zen and Skybridge architectures set to release in 2016

AMD have released an array of details for their new Zen and Skybridge architecture through several press releases - set for product readiness over the next 2 years, AMD are making the jump across to multi-threaded cores. This is a feature only seen with Intel’s solutions in desktop and enterprise x86 offerings, currently. Flavours of the new chip designs stretch up to and including 16 cores - 32 threads and a whopping 32MB of shared Layer 3 cache, along with quad channel DDR4 support in the HPC market.

With 8-cores (16 threads) in the desktop market and 4 cores (8 threads) in the mobile market. All of these to be based on the 14nm manufacturing process. 64 3rd generation PCI-Express lanes will also be supported on the Greenland HBM APU offering - an introduction to High Bandwidth DRAM in the APU architecture.

Skybridge, meanwhile, looks to incorporating pin-to-pin compatibility for APUs and SoC ARM processors for the possibility of Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA).

We are looking forward to seeing the new products from vendors that utilise this upcoming range of processors and brand new architecture designs. Customers should hopefully see a competitive market once again, that’s otherwise dominated by Intel, hopefully bringing down pricing.

Microsoft announcements

On the subject of security, the SANS Institute has warned about a flaw in simple HTTP requests affecting end user and server Windows versions from 7 and 2008 R2 right through to 8.1 and 2012 R2, if these systems run Microsoft’s IIS service. For more information – see Microsoft’s TechCentre Bulletin MS13-039.

While we’re with Microsoft, 150MB attachments are now available in Office 365 - a jump of 125MB - very helpful for those who find the need to send very large attachments away from OneDrive. The default attachment size (that will remain as 25MB) can be adjusted through settings available to your Office 365 Administrator. Skype for Business has also been launched, which will replace Lync Online to provide customers with a more comprehensive and responsive communications solution. This transition will be complete for all Lync Online customers by the end of May (with switchable interfaces if you need more time to adapt).

Finally, don’t forget, Microsoft will be ending all security support for Windows Server 2003 on 14th July 2015.

Thats it for this installment, thanks for reading. Please contact your Softcat account manager or email us here to discuss any of the topics or products we have mentioned above.

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