Manual work for firmware updates and patches has mostly gone away. It used to take five days and 12 hours of downtime for system updates. Now we manage them through Vision with the VCE Release Certification Matrix (RCM), which does the hard work for us—all the latest updates are already documented and tested by VCE. So we now complete the RCM process in one day with zero downtime. Academic research these days is a 24/7 business, especially in the world of communication. News, information, and social trends are constantly developing around the world. Researchers at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication are immersed in a sea of big data generated by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, along with traditional broadcast media, websites, and publications. With this kind of environment, you just imagine the intense demands placed our IT organization.With our previous infrastructure, our small IT team spent most of their time just keeping the lights green. System maintenance tasks like firmware updates required us to bring down systems, which meant students and faculty couldn’t access email, research databases, and other online services. With students having so many competing research, teaching and personal priorities, they needed to get their academic work done at any time—day or night.So there never was a “convenient” time to schedule maintenance. To minimize the impact, in IT we would work on weekends and holidays when we’d rather be home with our families. Since schedules for students and faculty don’t follow the typical workweek, even weekend downtime could be disruptive to both their productivity and personal time. We had to find a better way that kept essential services online and didn’t steal family and personal time for IT staff, students and faculty. After evaluating various options, we decided to replace our old systems with a converged infrastructure from VCE.We deployed two Vblock Systems in an active-active configuration and VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations software to monitor and manage the environment, which is 99% virtualized with VMware. One of the great things about Vision is that we plug it into VMware vCenter for a single view of our converged infrastructure, virtual machines, and applications. These include a 250-user VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and an ASP.NET MVC development environment.Here are just a few of the things we’ve accomplished with Vblock Systems and Vision:Vision has helped us automate some extremely time-intensive system monitoring tasks. For example, we used to spend 10-15 hours weekly on things like health checks. Now it only takes an hour or two. Vblock Systems enabled Annenberg to create a Twitter repository that captures 1% of all global tweets 24/7. This provides doctoral students and faculty with invaluable data on social trends and perspectives to aid their research.The reliable performance and management ease of Vblock Systems, Vision, and RCM returned hours to our day, so we can handle more big data projects with our same small IT team. We now focus on innovation and what’s next instead of constantly tuning systems. Most importantly, this year our IT team will get to be home for the holidays.If you’d like to learn more about how we are using VCE technology at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, check out our case study and customer success video. Our researchers are extremely happy with the new private cloud environment. Since moving to Vblock Systems, application performance has been tremendous. Users stream YouTube videos, open files, and synch email faster than ever.
Deploying a new surveillance system? Test for the “what-ifs” of system-wide integration.Accelerate time to deployment, minimize risks, and overcome complexities of surveillance system integration with the most comprehensive lab validation services in the industry.“With the solution from Dell, we can guarantee 100% uptime, no data loss, and no service disruption, which means maximum business continuity.Share— Enzo Palladini, Sales and Engineering Office Manager, Bettini VideoThere can be no questions when it comes to the reliability of your surveillance infrastructure. Given what’s at stake—whether downtime in daily operations, loss of critical evidence, or worse yet, the safety of those under your watch—failure or data loss are not options. But given the complexities of today’s surveillance and IoT landscapes, what’s really being done to prevent it?Enter Dell Technologies’ worldwide surveillance laboratories. Our team of dedicated engineers has been helping businesses minimize deployment risks while reducing overall support costs through extensive validation of virtual and non-virtual architectures for well over a decade.While the fast-moving landscape of surveillance can leave any system with flaws and deployment risks, the unparalleled depth of our validation process combined with our network of major surveillance technology partners and industry-leading experience in complete surveillance solutions guarantees unmatched architecture support.The Goal: Zero Data LossSurveillance doesn’t offer second chances. Once the data from a video stream is gone, it’s gone for good.The way to help prevent data loss is by going above and beyond conventional testing approaches. By understanding the complete test-to-fail environment including compute, storage, networking, and software, we produce benchmarking results using true production workloads that result in a zero-data-loss system. We start by assembling your unique infrastructure and conditions, including specific ISV hardware and software, and building a performance baseline to further refine and repeatedly test against. Then we expand on that baseline up to the point where it reaches standard product and industry utilization levels and begin testing at scale, inserting errors to discover any points of failure.Figure 1. Validation Process. An application-centric approach to determine a performance baseline under normal and abnormal operating conditions.A completely validated system is designed to continue to capture each frame of video, even during those failure states. Whether failure stems from something like a failed hard drive, network port, controller from a controller-based platform, or single node on a scale-out storage platform, testing is designed to identify how any error impacts the rest of the system while at maximum utilization, and then we’ll go back through the workload to check for latency or loss.Simplify Scaling while Reducing Risk and CostWhile typical approaches to system validation begin and end the process with functionality tests, allowing for a basic view to determine whether the major components of your architecture are functionally operating together is only one step in our comprehensive validation process. Our Surveillance Validation Labs take several extra steps not only to validate your current infrastructure but also to reduce your future deployment risks, further protecting your investments. As your optimized surveillance solutions are bound to change with upgrades and add-ons, our proactive approach helps our partners and customers seamlessly scale their infrastructures while maintaining low-risk and consistent architectures.In conjunction with our industry-proven validated partners, we equip you with the tools necessary for you to simplify the process of scaling up or adding new functionality to your existing architecture. Following deployment, the Dell Technologies Surveillance engineering team will provide you with baseline data gathered during testing as well as your ISV-specific reference-architecture documentation, including white papers, technical notes, sizing guidelines, technical presentations, and best practices to aid in safely accelerating deployment.Security and Reliability from Edge to Core to CloudWhile workloads are growing more complex, incorporating tools like high-resolution video and IoT/AI, the need to secure every bit of data is more crucial than ever, but this growing technology landscape is making that data increasingly challenging to validate and therefore protect. As the #1 infrastructure provider of global surveillance solutions* dedicated to helping bring the edge, core, and cloud components together, Dell Technologies is uniquely positioned to provide unmatched surveillance solution testing, validation, and integration support. Our Labs are outfitted with leading technology from every major surveillance vendor, allowing us to validate security applications with our extensive portfolio of products and solutions and keep your system reliable and your data safe.Come See Us at NCS4Have questions about your surveillance-system deployment? Come visit us July 9-10 at the NCS4 conference in the New Orleans Marriott, booth #209.For more information and to learn more about Dell Technologies IoT Solution | Surveillance, visit us online.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has signed an executive order revoking a Pentagon policy that largely barred transgender individuals from joining the military. The new order, which Biden signed during a meeting Monday with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, overturns a ban ordered by President Donald Trump. It also immediately prohibits any service member from being forced out of the military on the basis of gender identity. Biden’s order says gender identity should not be a bar to military service. “America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception,” the order says.
ALBEMARLE, N.C. (AP) — A pet boa constrictor that became stuck behind the dashboard of car in North Carolina needed the help of animal control officers to wriggle free. The pet snake was ultimately released from its owner’s car unharmed, but not before some pieces of the dashboard were removed. The Charlotte Observer reports that officers with the Stanly County Animal Protective Services were dispatched Tuesday to free the snake. It’s not known how the snake became stuck in such a tight space. Authorities said the nonvenomous tropical snake is believed to have measured about 5 feet in length. Boa constrictors are a species of nonvenomous tropical snake capable of swallowing their prey whole.
DETROIT (AP) — Some pilots have emerged as victims of a deceased doctor who worked for decades at the University of Michigan. Robert Anderson is at the center of a scandal at the university. He’s accused of molesting hundreds of young men there, especially athletes who saw him for injuries. But Anderson also had another group of patients, made up of pilots and others in the aviation field who regularly needed physicals. Anderson was designated by the government as an aviation medical examiner in southeastern Michigan. It’s not known how many people in the aviation field will make assault claims about Anderson. The University of Michigan has acknowledged “credible allegations” against Anderson and expressed a willingness to settle cases out of court.
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden has given a pep talk to a California woman who was laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic. Michele Voelkert from Roseville, California, wrote a letter to Biden after she lost her job at a startup clothing company. He read it, then called her. The White House on Saturday released a short video clip of their chat. That video is kicking off a return to the tradition of presidents speaking to the American people weekly, which had lapsed under Donald Trump. Also Saturday, Biden’s doctor reported that fractures in the president’s right foot have healed. Biden broke the foot in late November while playing with his dog Major.