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In the Zone

Your customers’ client systems can now use latest Intel QLC 3D NAND SSDs

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by Peter Krass on 06/15/2021
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Do you have customers looking to upgrade PCs and other client systems with bigger, better storage? If so, Intel has an innovative new solid-state drive they’ll find interesting.

Known as the Intel SSD 670p, this client-system storage drive features Intel’s advanced QLC 3D NAND technology. The drive is available in the familiar M2 (22 x 80 mm) form factor. It offers lots of performance. And it’s backed up by Intel’s 5-year warranty.

Intel SSD 670p

How good is this SSD? Don’t take my word (or Intel’s) for it. Here’s what some leading tech reviewers have said about the Intel SSD 670p:

“Rather than chasing higher and higher stats for the sake of marketing brag points, Intel has instead refocused the ultimate purpose of SSDs… in the process, it has nearly dethroned some of the fastest PCIe 4.0 drives we’ve ever tested.”PCMag

“The Intel 670p is perhaps the first QLC SSD that simply doesn’t act like a QLC SSD. Not only did it pull off incredible performance … but also its low 4K random read performance is incredible.”The SSD Review

“Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine the 670p would run with the big dogs. QLC-based SSDs, even with Gen4 interfaces, have never been capable of delivering performance where it matters like this before. This is truly groundbreaking territory.”TweakTown

QLC for your MVPs

The Intel SSD 670p brings to your customers’ client systems the same technology Intel has been developing for data-center servers. QLC (quad-level cell) technology improves the storage density over previous approaches (TLC, MLC and SLC). And 3D means these cells get stacked vertically — in Intel’s case, up to 144 layers.

The industry is moving toward QLC technology in part to drive down costs. But the technology can deliver a balance of other benefits, too, including power, performance, speed and endurance. The new Intel drives are energy-efficient, too, drawing just 25mW while idle and about 3mW during sleep. That helps keep laptop batteries charged longer.

Another industry movement is toward PCIe interfaces, and away (probably forever) from SATA. Virtually all new SSD drives are now designed for PCIe. And today’s entry-level PCIe SSDs are now good enough for mainstream use.

Yet another industry shift that the Intel SSD 670p reflects is the requirement for more and more client storage. The days when 100GB was sufficient have passed. Intel is offering the new SSD in three SKUs offering 512GB, 1TB and 2TB of storage capacity.

Cache for performance

Caching is another aspect of PC storage tech that has become increasingly important. And sure enough, the Intel SSD 670p offers serious caching improvements.

It’s all about speed. With a feature known as Dynamic SLC, the drive’s cache allows whatever you’re running to go in faster SLC (single-level cell) mode. On Intel’s 1TB drive, for example, you get a maximum SLC capacity of up to 140GB.

Essentially, this means your customers can get SLC-like performance on a QLC drive. Intel does this with a combination of advanced firmware, 4-channel controller and more.

Intel says this allows the Intel SSD 670p to outperform all others for mixed workloads. Meaning storage no longer needs to be a bottleneck.

This SSD is affordable, too. Recommended retail prices are $69 for the 512GB drive, $119 for the 1TB drive, and $254 for the 2TB drive.

Replacing older storage drives can be a smart and affordable way to extend the life of your customers’ older client systems. And for that role, the Intel SSD 670p could be just the right drive.

Get storage-savvy:

> Check out the Intel SSD 670p drives

> Bust these 4 common myths about QLC storage

Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join now


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In the Zone

Tech Explainer: How a VPN can keeps your data private

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by Kevin Jacoby on 06/14/2021
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Remember when getting some privacy was as simple as shutting the blinds and taking the phone off the hook? Yeah, those days are long gone.

Welcome to the Internet Age, where everyone is snooping. From totalitarian regimes to the service provider that sends the internet into your home and office, someone is always looking over your shoulder.

There’s no simple solution. All you can do is employ some modern tech to stack the odds in your favor.

If you’re ready to start stacking, a virtual private network (VPN) is a cheap and easy way to go.

What’s this private network of which you speak?

Essentially, a VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a remote private server somewhere on the internet. Because that server obscures the origin of any data request you make, you can remain anonymous.

Reliable, modern VPNs such as Mullvad (recommended by The New York Times) install easily on your computer or mobile device. The automatic setup, with your permission, routes your internet traffic through a secure server that’s located somewhere, anywhere on the net.

Mullvad VPN app

VPN app Mullvad secures not only PCs, but also phones

You can also install a VPN on your router or hotspot. You may get slower speeds than if the VPN were right on your device, but it does bring the benefit of convenience. That way, once the VPN is installed, every connected device will enjoy the same level of security. You won’t have to set up each one individually.

By obscuring your browsing, watching and communicating habits, a VPN essentially hides you from prying eyes. Those could be the eyes of your ISP. Or, for that matter, of anyone that has gained access to your data stream, whether legally or otherwise.

VPN diagram

A VPN sits between you and the public internet (diagram via Privacy End)

For example, if Kim Jong Un demanded to know whether you watched the “Friends” reunion, your VPN could keep the Supreme Leader in the dark. Hey, it could happen.

Do I seriously need a VPN?

No, not really. But should you seriously think about getting one? Well, that depends. Do you…

> Have concerns about government surveillance or censorship?

> Need a remote connection to your company’s intranet?

> Spend a lot of time on public Wi-Fi?

> Want to stream movies from another country’s Netflix library?

If your answer to any of those questions is Yes, then it may be time to shell out $2 to $20 a month for a reliable VPN.

The risk is low. Because a VPN is just another app, there isn’t much in the way of commitment. If the VPN makes you feel safer, keep going. But if it turns out to be just another unnecessary monthly expense, cancellation is only a click away.

What’s the catch?

Yes, there’s always a catch. Always.

VPNs are designed to give you the warm-and-fuzzies while you’re surfing and streaming. But no security solution is foolproof.

Your data has to go somewhere. If it’s not going straight to your ISP, then it’s going to the company that provides your VPN.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. But you should know that law-enforcement agencies sometimes subpoena VPN providers to get data. And sometimes these VPN providers comply.

Another issue: A VPN can slow you down. Introducing other apps and servers into your data stream creates latency. With the VPN sitting in front of your internet connection, you could experience slower upload and download speeds.

The slowdown could be a remote issue, too. Your chosen VPN may boast thousands of fiber-optics-connected servers around the world. But the speed and efficiency of each server depends on several variables, including traffic, location, even local weather.

Watch what you don’t pay for

If you do go for a VPN, there’s one more catch: If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Many VPNs offer a free service tier. But ask yourself: If they’re not making money from your monthly subscription fee, then how exactly are they making money?

The answer might have something to do with selling your private data to the highest bidder. Buyer beware!

That said, a VPN you pay for could be your new best cyber friend. No, it’s not as easy as pulling down the blinds. But for our uber-connected age, it’s definitely a whole lot more secure.


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In the Zone

7 new trends for ‘extreme partnerships’ — and how to adapt to them now

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by Intel on 06/10/2021
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By Jason Kimrey

One side effect of accelerating the digital economy is significantly impacting the way companies do business: It’s bringing more people and companies together.

At last month’s Intel Partner Connect virtual event, John Kalvin, my colleague and new Intel global channel chief, talked about “extreme partnerships.” That’s a great description for the connections needed to deliver these complex solutions.

As we navigate new routes to market and a world of extreme partnerships, we must change our traditional views of partnerships, forge new ones, and recognize the changing landscape IT decision-makers now face. It also requires a new approach to selling — and new skills to help navigate and build new routes to market.

Here are 7 trends for extreme partnership:

Trend #1: Complexity is here to stay

I’ve said it before: Today’s solutions are much more complex, with many moving parts. No one company can do it all.

How to adapt: As the pace of transformation continues to accelerate, the only way to keep up is by bringing together best-of-breed companies. Together, they can deliver a complete solution and the best outcomes.

For our customers, it’s all about business outcomes, and that’s how we need to align our partnerships and solutions. This means bringing the right parties to the table.

We also need mechanisms for these diverse partners to connect and scale solutions. It's a key reason why we launched Intel Solutions Marketplace. It’s a platform to bring partners together in a more frictionless environment.

Trend #2: New collaborations are coming

Related to the complexity of the new solutions is the fact there are a lot of new companies coming into our ecosystem … both as new businesses that emerge to respond to market demands, as well as legacy partners who are adding new solutions to their portfolio.

How to adapt: Collaborative approaches to selling require strong communications, an ability to acknowledge you don’t know everything, and a willingness to defer to those with the greatest expertise.

For example, we’re seeing companies that are born in the cloud and have never lived in an on-premises world. By bringing our infrastructure knowledge and understanding of the value of optimized compute together with their cloud-first model, we can deliver the deep knowledge that end-user customers need to navigate the many cloud worlds.

At the same time we’re seeing companies with deep vertical knowledge. For example, industrial manufacturing companies that know manufacturing processes and workloads in an analog way, but need help with the technology capabilities. And no one knows compute better than we do!

Trend #3: Think service

XaaS is continuing to expand into new areas. Businesses are looking for help to rapidly deploy systems and manage capital expenses, all while leveraging the advantages of cloud solutions.

How to adapt: More and more vendors are selling their product as a service rather than a stand-alone system. That means rethinking how we work together, compensate and support each other.

We need to ensure that partner programs support the shift to a services-led model versus a more traditional procurement model. It also requires a change in the way we approach the sale. Services can be less tangible, and this requires a shift in how we position and talk to the advantages, ROI and outcomes.

Trend #4: Sales structures need to change

The breadth of technology becoming mainstream continues to grow, now including AI, HPC and IoT/Edge. But these technologies require specialized expertise and skills. In this environment, your existing team structure might not fit anymore.

How to adapt: Don’t get stuck in a rut. Be willing to create specialized focus areas that can dig deep and offer that expansive knowledge and expertise.

Sticking with your internal structures could be detrimental to delivering these new and advanced solutions. Stay nimble and stand up new teams as needed to support emerging market segments. I know I have.

Trend #5: Effective marketing tactics are shifting

When we moved from in-person to virtual, customer interactions abruptly changed. To adapt, we also needed to pivot our sales motions. Even as we return to the workplace, some of those changes will remain.

How to adapt: Just because we can return to pre-pandemic sales motions doesn’t mean we should. Consultants McKinsey & Co. find that 70% to 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service, and they find remote and online sales just as effective as in-person interactions. I suggest we take a best-of-both=worlds approach as we continue to navigate the post-pandemic world.

So what’s working? Well, virtually all (96%) buyers are looking for content that speaks to their industry. Nearly as many (91%) buyers want easy access to content without long forms, and 92% of buyers say their choice of vendor is influenced by an extensive menu of thought-leadership content.

But remember, customers are doing more research than ever before. The average B2B tech buyer today consults about 7 information sources before making a purchase. That’s up 35% over last year. So we need to provide the information they want in a self-service world.

What are the top sources of information? Top sources remain demos, vendor/product websites, user reviews and vendor reps.

Also, don’t overlook the importance of the customer experience. Over 40% of businesses cite poor customer service as the reason they look to change vendors, which is up from only 10% in 2019. Just because we’re virtual, you can’t drop the ball on service.

Trend #6: Buying decisions get bigger, take more time

Decision-making committees are getting bigger, and they will continue to include both IT professionals and line-of-business reps. Nearly a third (30%) of IT decision-makers expect the average number of IT people involved in decisions to increase; the line-of-business influence is expected to remain steady. Another survey finds that more than half (56%) of B2B tech buyers work outside IT.

How to adapt: Remember, when presenting a solution, you’re selling to both highly technical and non-technical audiences. Recognize that each of these audiences will have different questions and priorities. Ensure that you’re addressing both groups. And be prepared to include education from a trusted advisor, so your customers can make informed decisions.

Trend #7: Sales cycles get longer, too

More than two-thirds (68%) of buyers say the length of their B2B purchase cycle, compared with that of just a year ago, has increased significantly. Clearly, buyers are spending more time researching their purchases.

How to adapt: Your sales models need to respond to this extended review period. Don’t lose sight of leads just because they’re taking longer to close. Continue to be creative to stay top-of-mind during the sales journey — no matter how long it takes.

Navigating the route ahead

Lots of companies, including Intel, are talking about new routes to market and the need to understand who is driving decision-making around technology consumption and purchasing.

The pace of digital transformation means that technology companies and their partners must change the way we produce, sell and support solutions.

While change is a certainty in technology, so is the critical importance of forging partnerships. As we travel these new and winding routes to market, the best and most innovative solutions will be driven by those who embrace extreme partnerships.

Jason Kimrey is general manager of U.S. channel and partner programs at Intel.


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In the Zone

Meet new servers supporting 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs for mainstream workloads, HPC and AI

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by Peter Krass on 06/10/2021
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Intel’s two new server families are now available: The Intel Server System M50CYP family for mainstream workloads, and the Intel Server System D50TNP family for high-performance computing (HPC) and AI applications.

Introduced last month, thse server families both support the latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. These server CPUs deliver up to 40% higher performance than the previous generation, according to Intel. They also offer built-in AI with Intel Deep Learning Boost, and keep systems safe with hardware-based security features.

Both server families also support Intel Optane Persistent Memory (PMem) 200 Series. It delivers up to 512GB of persistent memory, extending capacity for memory-intensive workloads.

This latest generation of Intel Optane PMem technology also outperforms the first generation by delivering an average of 25% more memory bandwidth, according to Intel. The same Intel Optane PMem 200 Series has also been optimized to run with the latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

Hardware-based security is another feature shared by both new server families. This includes:

> Intel Crypto Acceleration: Speed data encryption with enhanced processing of AES, SHA and RSA/DH protocols.

> Intel Software Guard Extensions: Protect sensitive applications and data, and also protects against threats even if software layers or firmware are compromised.

> Intel Total Memory Encryption: Protect data and virtual machines with full physical memory encryption.

> Intel Platform Firmware Resilience: Protect firmware by first detecting corruptions, then restoring firmware to a known-good state.

Here’s a more detailed look at each of these two new Intel server families.

 Mainstream server, better-than-mainstream innovation

The Intel Server System M50CYP family is designed to run as a data center’s primary server platform. These servers are also designed for high performance, a wide range of workloads, and easy deployment.

All that’s important because mainstream workloads have grown increasingly diverse. These workloads now commonly include hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), storage, collaboration, database and business intelligence.

For this reason, today’s servers need to be adaptable, high-performing, secure and flexible. It’s with these needs in mind that the new Intel Server System M50CYP family was created.

What can your customers do with the Intel Server System M50CYP family’s advanced server technology? Quite a lot. These servers are designed for two broad categories of use cases:

> Cloud and analytics: IaaS, PaaS, web server, e-commerce, data analytics and AI

> Enterprise: HCI, database, BI, storage and collaboration

Other use cases include small and midsize business (SMB) and edge computing, as well as workloads such as email, remote desktop, web server and infrastructure.

Each Intel Server System M50CYP family member can take up to 2 of the latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. The server family also offers up to 8 memory channels per CPU, up from the previous max of 6.

For storage, the Intel Server System M50CYP family supports up to 24 x 2.5-inch SSDs or up to 12 x 3.5-inch HDDs. The system supports 2 mid-plane switches, enabling up to 24 NVMe drives without giving up a PCIe slot.

There’s also a new storage controller that offers higher performance and throughput, lower latency, new security features and “tri-mode” operation. The latter means that a single controller can connect to SAS, SATA and NVMe drives.

Chassis for the new servers are available in both 1U and 2U form factors. The 1U handles SSD drives only. The 2U chassis comes in 2 versions: 2.5 inches of SSD-only, and 3.5 inches supporting HDD drives.

Finally, the Intel Server System M50CYP family has been validated and certified for leading cloud enterprise software. These tools include Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, VMware vSAN and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI. All are now available as Intel Data Center Blocks.

A powerful, flexible platform for HPC and AI

The Intel Server System D50TNP family delivers a complete hardware solution for HPC and AI. Target use cases include workloads in life sciences, manufacturing, energy, finance, weather/climate and materials science.

Under the hood you’ll find a single half-width board that supports multiple module types, full support for the latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, up to 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity, NVMe-based storage, and optional liquid cooling for compute modules.

Depending on your customer’s workload, the Intel Server System D50TNP family is available in any of 4 modules:

> High-performance compute module: Packs up to 8 CPUs in a single 2U chassis, and keep things from overheating with a choice of air or liquid cooling.

> Management module: Increases I/O and storage, plus up to 270W CPU air-cooled support.

> High-speed storage module: Adds 16 E1.L “ruler” SSDs with direct PCIe connections for the maximum speed and storage per module.

> Accelerator module: Supports up to 2 high-performance CPUs and 4 300W PCIe accelerator cards within a single 2U chassis.

The new server modules are supported by the new Intel Server Chassis FC2000 family, first introduced with Intel Server System S9200WK product. It’s designed for improved power, cooling and flexibility.

This 2U chassis sports a wide (8.5 in.) node tray that supports the D50TNP family’s new module configurations. Its I/O design provides module access from the front, power supply and fan access from the rear, and the maximum cooling airflow for the highest performance.

Get connected:

> Introducing the Intel Server System M50CYP family

> Introducing the Intel Server System D50TNP family

> 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors product brief

> Intel Optane Persistent Memory 200 Series product brief

Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join now. 

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In the Zone

Scaling up your skills with Intel Partner University Competencies

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by Peter Krass on 06/04/2021
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Are you ready for the recovery? Right now is a great time to invest in that future by gaining knowledge, insights and capabilities. And one place you can do all that is Intel Partner University.

What recovery? The one that CIOs believe is coming. A new survey finds that more than half (56%) of IT decision-makers are actually increasing their tech budgets. And a third (34%) plan to accelerate their digital transformation projects.

The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Xerox, received responses from 600 IT pros. All respondents work for large organizations with at least 500 employees, based in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany and France.

Speaking of Canada, IDC recently predicted that digital transformation spending in that country will rise 7% this year, to hit C$28 billion (roughly US$20.5 billion). That’s less than IDC had forecast earlier, but an increase is an increase.

Get ready now

That’s the future. Today, with Intel Partner University’s in-depth Competencies program, you can get quick and easy access to the right training to develop and enhance your skills. Competencies are training paths with defined curriculums that delve deeply into the topic area and address related Intel products and solutions.

Then, when you’re done, Intel’s Competencies Badges will give you verified credentials to help increase your credibility and demonstrate your knowledge to both current and potential customers.

Adam Ariff, a Technical Representative from BMSTAR Technology SDN BHD: “The competency training presents information in easy chunks. The modules are well structured, and the material is presented in ways that are educational while entertaining, and easy to learn and remember. Because of what I’ve learned through the competencies, I’m able to highlight the benefits of Intel technologies and answer questions about how they compare to other vendors’ products. Customers see me as a credible, trustworthy expert because I can talk about what is important to them and speak knowledgably about how various Intel products and technologies can meet their needs.”

Intel Partner University Competencies can be taken by all types of Intel partners. You qualify if you’re a member of the Intel Partner Alliance (Gold or Titanium level).

Two ways to go

Intel Partner University offers not one but two types of Competencies.

One is Technical Competencies. They're for engineers, IT architects, developers and others who develop and deliver back-end systems.

The other type is Solution Competencies. These are for people working in sales, marketing and business development who need to position solutions for customers.

The two go hand-in-hand. First, you need to figure out whether you can handle a specific technology. Then you need to develop the business value proposition. Hence, two ways to be competent.

Currently, Intel Partner University offers no fewer than 17 Competencies with topics including cloud, high performance computing, IoT solutions, Edge AI, Client Managed Services, FPGA, Device-as-a-Service (DaaS), and others covering critical business areas.

These Competencies are fairly involved, with defined curriculums to get you the skills you need. For example, the Selling IoT Solutions Competency comprises four courses. Three of these courses take an hour each, and one takes 90 minutes. The Competency in FPGA Fundamentals is even more extensive. It offers 10 trainings of various lengths delving into the key aspects of FPGA needed for Engineers.

As mentioned above, complete a Competency, and you’ll earn a Badge. You can then display this badge on your company website, LinkedIn page, email or other online locations.

Each Competency Badge is typically valid for 18 months. To renew the badge after that, you’ll need to complete the refreshed training.

Look ahead

In the future, the Intel Partner University Competencies should become even more useful and valuable to you.

Intel is continually working on new and different Competencies to enhance partners skills in key business area. These should soon include on-premises storage and client platforms.

Skill up now with Intel Partner University Competencies.

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In the Zone

Research roundup: return-to-office resistance, WFH cyber worries, CISO insecurity

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by Peter Krass on 06/04/2021
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Workers don’t want to go back to the office. Cybersecurity pros don’t like WFH. And CISOs don’t feel secure about containers, DevOps and other advanced approaches.

That’s some of the latest, greatest IT research. And here’s your tech provider’s roundup.

Back to the office? Oh, no!

In the U.S., at least, companies are moving employees back to the office. Apple CEO recently told employees that they’ll be expected in the office at least 3 days a week starting in September, reports The Verge. But a new survey shows these companies could be facing some stiff resistance.

According to the survey, which reached 925 U.S. adults who work remotely, nearly half of consumers like working remotely so much, they’d take a pay cut to keep doing it. Nearly two-thirds say they’d even forgo a job promotion, finds the survey, which was conducted by workplace-software provider Ivanti.

What’s more, only about 1 in 10 consumers (12%) said they want to return to office full-time.

So what do people like so much about working remotely? A flexible work schedule, cited by nearly half (47%), tops the list. It’s followed by less stress around commuting (43%), and saving money (40%).

 “It’s clear that many employees have found ways to thrive in their remote environments,” says Chris Goettl, a product-management director at Ivanti, “and they’d prefer to have the freedom to work from anywhere moving forward.”

But hang on — WFH is insecure

That’s not to say the work from home (WFH) movement has everyone pleased. In fact, it has many cybersecurity professionals downright worried.

More than 8 in 10 of these executives remain concerned about the security risks of employees working remotely, a new survey finds.

They have reason to worry. Nearly half (47%) the respondents say they’ve seen an increase in the volume, severity or scope of cyberattacks in the last 12 months.

Among those who have experienced a cyberbreach, 41% had it happen in the last year. That’s nearly twice as many as those who had a breach in 2019. Retailers are most at risk, with just over 6 in 10 either experiencing a breach last year or failing a security audit.

The survey was conducted by 451 Research and commissioned by advanced-tech provider Thales. It reached more than 2,600 executives in 16 countries, all with responsibility for IT and data security.

Why security officers feel insecure

Speaking of insecurity, another survey finds that nearly 9 in 10 CISOs (89%) believe microservices, containers and Kubernetes have created security blind spots in their applications.

Also, nearly all the survey’s respondents (97%) say their organizations lack real-time visibility into runtime vulnerabilities in their containerized production environments.

The survey, which reached 700 chief information security officers working in large enterprises of 1,000 or more employees, was conducted by research firm Coleman Parkes. It was commissioned by Dynatrace, a provider of cloud software.

And despite the popularity of Agile development methods and DevOps approaches, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) say these make detecting and managing software vulnerabilities even more difficult.

Here’s one last finding to keep you up at night: Almost three-quarters of the CISOs (71%) say that when their organization pushes code into production, they’re not fully confident that it’s vulnerability-free. Yikes.


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In the Zone

5 top benefits of Intel Partner Alliance

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by Peter Krass on 06/02/2021
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If you’re an Intel partner, then Intel Partner Alliance is your new and streamlined platform.

Launched earlier this year, IPA has been designed to help Intel partners like you get the most benefit from Intel’s partner programs, learn about the latest technologies, and collaborate with other tech providers.

Here are 5 top benefits of the Intel Partner Alliance, courtesy of a recent “Pardon the Integration” video interview with Jason Kimrey, Intel’s GM channel scale and partners:

1) Unify & simplify: Intel Partner Alliance unifies all Intel partners under just 1 program. Previous programs, such as Intel Technology Provider and Intel IoT Solution Alliance, have now been brought under a single umbrella. That makes it easier for you to collaborate with others.

“Our goal was simple,” Kimrey says. “We wanted to arrive at a streamlined offering that allows partners to maximize the program benefits and enables them to embrace complicated new technologies and adapt with collaborative approaches.”


Jason Kimrey

Jason Kimrey: 'Our goal was simple.'

2) New roles: All members of Intel Partner Alliance are assigned one of 9 roles. These include cloud service provider, distributor, OEM and solution provider.

The point of the new roles is to make it easier for you to collaborate and innovate with other IPA members. Each role has its own requirements and benefits, based on its business competencies.

3) Tiers without tears: Under the new IPA framework, the tiers have been redefined to be simpler and deliver more benefits to you. The new membership levels are: member, gold and titanium. They’re based on revenue and training requirements.

As you move up the levels, you’ll gain new and increasingly valuable assets. These include lead generation, co-marketing campaigns, and pre-release product info.

4) Pain-free training: IPA includes a training facility, Intel Partner University. You can not only get trained on the latest Intel tech, but also earn points in Competencies and be awarded with badges you can use to promote your skills.

5) Partner solutions: Another IPA component, Intel Solutions Marketplace, is a robust B2B platform designed with matchmaking in mind. It connects partners like you with products and solutions to help you address your customers’ tech and business needs.

> Learn more about Intel Partner Alliance: Watch the “Pardon the Integration” video interview with Intel’s Jason Kimrey.

> Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join now.


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In the Zone

Video: How latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors make performance flexible

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by Peter Krass on 06/01/2021
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The 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are taking the market by storm. Learn more about these data-center CPUs in the latest video podcast of The Channel Co.’s “Pardon the Integration” series.

Entitled “Performance Made Flexible,” this video podcast is hosted by Ed Hannan, senior digital content manager at The Channel Co., in discussion with Jake Smith, director of data platforms marketing at Intel.

In this short (about 14 minutes) video podcast, Ed and Jake discuss how the latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors make performance flexible. They discuss the processors’ key capabilities and value proposition for channel partners; advanced AI and security features; and enhancements for cloud optimization.

Learn how the latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors make performance flexible. Watch this new video podcast now:



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In the Zone

5 top takeaways from Pat Gelsinger’s first 100 days as Intel's CEO

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by Peter Krass on 05/26/2021
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Today marks 100 days since Pat Gelsinger took over as Intel’s chief executive officer.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel

Since Gelsinger assumed his new role on Feb. 15, the mood and talk at Intel has changed. But what has the new CEO actually accomplished? Here are 5 top takeaways:

1) Announced Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy: In late March, CEO Gelsinger announced two big changes to Intel’s integrated device manufacturing model. First, Intel will invest $20 billion to build two new factories in Arizona, creating 3,000 permanent jobs. Second, Intel will for the first time become a foundry provider to other companies. Gelsinger also said Intel may rely on other companies for components required for its coming generation of 7nm chips.

2) Set new business goals for Intel: On his second day as CEO, Gelsinger sent a memo to all Intel employees that outlined 4 new priorities for Intel: lead in every category in which the company competes, execute flawlessly, innovate with boldness and speed, and attract and retain the world’s best engineers and technologists.

3) Working with Washington: Gelsinger in April joined Biden administration officials and other industry leaders to discuss ways to overcome the global semiconductor shortage. The move is important because the shortage is probably too big and complicated for either industry or government to solve alone.

4) Reinforced Intel’s social responsibility goals: Earlier this month, Gelsinger listed ambitious targets for Intel’s coming year. These include: increase the representation of women in Intel leadership roles to 40%; work with ecosystem partners to adopt responsible minerals-sourcing practices; and expand efforts to support the U.N. sustainable-development goals.

5) Moderated Intel’s stock price: Fairly or not, CEOs get judged by how much they raise their companies’ stock price. Gelsinger’s record here is mixed, but he has at least halted the stock’s fall. As of this morning, Intel was trading at about $57 a share; that’s above the 52-week low of $43.61, but below the recent high of $68.49.


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In the Zone

3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors + AI = a powerful pair

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 05/25/2021
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If you still think artificial intelligence is a specialized niche application for scientists, it’s time to update your thinking.

The new reality is that AI is “becoming ubiquitous across all functional areas of a business,” says Rity Jyoti, head of AI research at market watcher IDC.

As Jyoti explains, AI is no longer just a high-end tool for scientists. It’s now used to power a wide range of important business applications, including IT process optimization, predictions and recommendations, and improving the customer and employee experience.

All that leads IDC to predict that the worldwide market for AI software, hardware and services will top $327 billion this year, a year-on-year rise of 16%. Looking ahead, the growth is expected to continue. IDC’s expects global AI sales will top $500 billion by 2024.

Optimized for AI

No surprise, then, that Intel’s general-purpose processors for data-center servers are optimized for AI. The latest 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer built-in AI acceleration, and they’re built to work with the most popular AI frameworks.

What’s more, the 3rd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are the only data-center CPUs with these AI accelerations, hardware-enhanced security and software optimizations built into the silicon.

Powered by the open oneAPI standard, 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors make it easier and faster for your customers to build and deploy smarter models. This API-CPU combo can also simplify how your customers move from AI proof-of-concepts to full production.

With these new processors, your customers can choose from a broad selection of pre-integrated and verified enterprise solutions for data analytics and AI. That includes both enterprise databases and a broad range of applications.

Real-world intelligence

Don’t just take my word for it. Consider just 3 of the many real-world users now powering mainstream business applications with AI on Intel Xeon Scalable-based servers:

> Burger King: The home of the Whopper uses AI deep learning to create a fast-food recommender system aimed at improving both the customer experience and sales. The system correlates what customers order with the weather, time and location.

This recommender system integrates data processing with Apache Spark, an open-source analytics engine, with training via distributed MXNet, an open-source deep learning framework, all on a single Intel Xeon processor cluster.

> SK Telecom: South Korea’s largest mobile operator worked with Intel to build an end-to-end AI pipeline to analyze data from more than 400,000 cell towers. This pipeline now includes Spark; Analytics Zoo, Intel’s unified analytics and AI platform; and TensorFlow, a math software library. It runs on a server cluster based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 and Intel Deep Learning Boost.

> HYHY: Huiyi Huiying Medical Technology, a Chinese company that develops computer-vision and deep-learning tech, has created a medical-imaging system to help healthcare practitioners diagnose dozens of diseases, including COVID-19.

The system runs on Intel technology, including servers powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel Deep Learning Boost; Intel’s distribution of the OpenVino toolkit, designed for developing applications that use computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and more; and Intel’s distribution of the Python programming language.

Get smarter:

> Artificial intelligence and deep learning solutions

> Push to start AI snapshot

> Accelerate your AI today on 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors



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