Softcat Tech Update: December 2015

Posted on Tuesday, December 01, 2015
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By Oliver Neville-Payne
Pre-Sales Executive


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Welcome to our December Tech Update. This month’s edition is packed full of the latest tech news from the last month.

HP SPLIT NOW A REALITY, INC AND ENTERPRISE SPECIALISE RESPECTIVELY FOR THE END USER AND THE DATA CENTRE

As reported in our May Tech Update, the anticipated split of HP into two separate companies has become a reality after the plans were set into motion last year. HP Inc. is set to focus specifically on end user devices, such as printers and desktops, which the brand is renowned for. Conversely, the newly born Hewlett Packard Enterprise Group will concentrate on enterprise technology such as servers, storage and software, promising empowerment to data-driven organisations to fuel innovation and achieve greater productivity.

With an estimated $50 billion in sales from each company expected next year, there’s clearly huge potential in this development. Our understanding of the split is that it has occurred fairly seamlessly, which is to their credit and we like what we’re hearing having spent time recently in the company of Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO.  As long as each business stays true to its roots we believe it will be exciting times ahead for Inc. and Enterprise.

HPE RENEWS STOREONCE KIT, 3PAR STORAGE LEADS THE PACK IN BENCHMARKS

HPE has set a new ‘benchmark’ in all-flash array performance with their all-flash 3PAR StoreServ 20850s array claiming top spot in the SPC-2 benchmark charts. This test benchmarks array performance in terms of throughput (MB/sec) and (discounted) price/performance with an overall pair of numbers calculated from three component workloads; large file processing, large database query, and video-on-demand.   It’s an impressive result as these achievements come at half the price of competitor products, yet deliver a 13% performance improvement.  It’s pleasing as this occurs as the overall cost of HP all-flash storage on 3PAR arrays is reduced by 15%. 

Coinciding with this, HPE is also now offering a StoreServ 8200 Converged File and Block Starter Kit accompanied by some useful reference architectures.  Pre-tested solutions include SAP HANA, VDI and SharePoint, built to maximise the capabilities of this hybrid flash and disk product.

The string of storage announcements continue as the StoreOnce product line gets renewed.  New backup appliances are on the horizon, starting with the 8100 which delivers an impressive 8TB of storage at a compelling price point.  Whilst we’re still waiting on more technical information, the revamped product line is expected to be available mid-December. 

Finally, the 7th generation Linear Tape Open (LTO-7) also surfaces in the StoreEver range of media and tapes, its greater storage capacity supporting LTS and “Tape as NAS”.

 

FIGURES-A-PLENTY SEE UK GOVERNMENT AND CHARITY IT FUNDING, TARGETS SET FOR BROADBAND SPEEDS AND IT SKILLS INCENTIVES

As the role of and our reliance on technology is more prominent than ever, the government is emphasising a larger push for IT security-orientated programming with £20 million set aside for new funding opportunities. The Prince’s Trust is also incentivising programs to promote digital skills in disadvantaged young people through not-for-profit organisation, Young Scot.

Following recent research by the Tinder Foundation and Go On UK a further £14billion could be added to the UK economy if the 12.6 million UK adults without basic digital skills were taught how to use computers.  The income would be driven from the huge productivity benefits the UK would realise.  However, training in digital skills alone won’t cut it, as access to the internet and super-fast broadband speeds still lags behind many of our international counterparts. 

With this in mind, the government has also pledged it should be a legal right for every UK citizen to expect a 10Mbit/s broadband connection by May 2020.  It’s unclear however, whether past targets on upload speeds will be met also. The anticipated UK-wide broadband speeds are expected through broader FTTC deployment and the promotion of rural wireless point-to-point antennae schemes, which have seen positive results in remote areas of the UK, such as National Parks.

 

FLASH STORAGE TO BE COMMON PLACE WITHIN 5 YEARS, MULTI-VENDOR REFRESHES SEEN

Market researcher, IDC claims that Flash Storage will be common place by 2020, the shift already heavily underway in Europe’s current IT infrastructure. Hybrid flash array adoption has been headed by Germany, but the popularity of all-flash arrays looks set to catch up as technologies accelerate and the price of flash falls. A notable shift in the market was recently seen when WD made the purchase of SanDisk last month in a bid to assure continued market placement away from traditional spinning disk.

WD aren’t the only ones responding to the trends – NextGen and Pure Storage have also made the move to improve their line ups. The NextGen N5 is now completely devoid of 7.2K spinning disks to make way for an all-flash array, and Pure Storage has lowered their flash storage costs and improved flash availability across a range of their products.

 

FASTER, BETTER, STRONGER, MORE THAN EVER – BUSINESS BROADBAND, WIRELESS CHIPS AND ENTERPRISE FRAMEWORK ALL CREATE SPEED BOOSTS

Virgin Media Business is jumping up from 152Mbps to 300 Mbps availability, doubling its broadband speeds for customers. An investment of £3 billion in network expansion is being made with the aim of reaching 17 million more premises across the globe.

Broadcom is also making changes by giving the 802.11ac specification a makeover next year, by announcing a pair of chipsets for its OEMs.  As companies look to install 802.11 ac Wave 2 access points, the chipsets deliver 2.5Gbps on Ethernet over CAT5e cable, saving the need to replace potentially hundreds of miles of installed network cabling in existing offices. 

Intel’s Omni-Path is also joining existing technology InfiniBand with a 100Gbps solution at the heart of their Scalable System Framework, first announced at the pitch for the American government’s HPC “Coral concept” – a super computing solution required to deliver 180 petaflops by 2018. 

 

AND IN OTHER NEWS; THE BEST OF THE REST

Here’s a quick look at what else has caught our eye.

Nvidia announces the NVS810 digital signage card – 8 mini DisplayPorts

  • Nvidia CUDA Parallel-Processing Cores: 1024 (512 cores per GPU), that's two GM107 GPUs as featured in the GTX 750 graphics card series
  • Frame Buffer Memory: 4GB DDR3 (2GB per GPU)
  • Max Power Consumption: 68W

HP releases the Elite X2 Notebook

The 1012 sees BIOS level security, a fan-less Core-M processor and a 12-inch full-HD screen.

Fujitsu calling for more SciTech-related articles and features in mainstream media

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) requires far more promotion outside of the academic field, says Fujitsu’s Regina Moran.

Random Number Generator Woes? Try a Big Bang for an answer

Cosmic Background Radiation which has been left over from the beginning of the universe can be used for random number generation, with a potentially large enough number space to beat all existing computer decryption solutions. This potentially meets Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2.

 

So that’s your December instalment. For more news and insight, explore the rest of our blog posts and follow us through social networks. Please contact your Softcat account manager or get in touch below to discuss any of the topics or products we have mentioned above.

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