SiliconANGLE Extracting the signal from the noise. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:03:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Startup Reduxio launches a new kind of hybrid array that makes snapshots “obsolete” Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:01:52 +0000 Between the roughly half a dozen startups leading the t […]]]>

Between the roughly half a dozen startups leading the transition towards flash storage and all the traditional vendors that have jumped aboard the bandwagon, there isn’t much room left for new contenders. But Reduxio Systems Inc. thinks that the industry could make do with another hybrid array. 

The venture-backed startup is entering the game with the HX 550, a hybrid system that launched this morning with the promise to up the ante on the efficiency of flash storage several notches, starting at the most fundamental system level. The homegrown software that powers the array. dubbed TimeOS, automatically compresses data as it’s written to disk.

That means that the bits don’t have to be moved into memory before performing the operation like with traditional approaches, which kills two birds with one stone, saving resources while speeding up the optimization process considerably. Similar functionality is available in competing arrays from the much-better established Tegile Systems Inc., but Rudexio goes a step further and extends that compression to cache.

As a result, any given data block that repeats itself across multiple files will only be stored once on the expensive DRAM where the most frequently accessed information is kept, which allows organizations to accommodate more information. That functionality come tremendously handy in virtualized environments, where each instance comes with a dedicated operating system images.

The benefits become even more pronounced for virtual desktops, which typically not only share the same platform but also productivity tools and other software used by employees. Rudexio claims that its technology could theoretically enable organizations to serve hundreds of instances directly from cache, potentially saving workers many precious minutes of waiting during the morning boot storm.

But it’s administrators who stand to gain the most from the HX 550, which records every read and write operation to provide a rewind option akin to Apple Inc.’s Time Machine. That makes it possible to restore a storage volume to literally every moment from its creation, removing the need to spend time on planning and implementing snapshot schedules.

The system automates tiering too, automatically placing data in the most appropriate medium – whether it’s cache, flash or disk – to save administrators the hassle of optimizing capacity utilization on their own. Rudexio is currently showcasing its array at VMworld 2015, where SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE is streaming live from the show floor.

Photo via Reduxio
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Salesforce leads $108 million into partner Apttus in biggest investment yet Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:01:54 +0000 Salesforce Ventures made the biggest investment in its […]]]>

Salesforce Ventures made the biggest investment in its six years of operation this morning as part of a $108 million round into a little-known partner called Apttus Inc. that has quietly risen to prominence in the billing management space. That handily beats the previous record, the $41 million capital infusion that the cloud giant led into the startup only a quarter ago.

Handling the logistics of charging a customer for a product isn’t exactly the most exciting part of running a business, but it’s as essential a chore as any other that is subject to the same underlying operational imperative: speed. The faster a company can clear a deal, the sooner its salespeople can turn their attention to the others waiting in the pipeline.

But that’s a lot easier said than done for the likes of General Electric Co., one of the many global enterprises using’s namesake customer relationship platform, which have an unholy amount of details to work out before every transaction. Selling a wind turbine, for instance, involves not only the initial purchase but also the ongoing supply of spare parts needed to maintain it, support and potential upgrades.

That’s where Apttus comes in with its service, which integrates capabilities for handling such complicated transactions directly into The cloud giant tried to compete with the startup for a while, but eventually gave up its homegrown quote-to-cash functionality and handed over the reins entirely.

In addition to features for setting pricing and ongoing obligations, Apttus also provides the ability to make the details of each transaction easily accessible to all the necessary parties across the sales, accounting and legal departments. That kind of cross-division coordination hardly comes for granted in large organizations with upwards of thousands of employees scattered across multiple geographies.

The new $108 million in funding, which also includes contributions from K1 Capital, Iconiq Capital and KIA, will be used to add more features to the mix and expand adoption. Apttus intends to double down on hiring too with plans to close the year at a headcount of over 1,000, quadruple the number of employees it had in 2013.

Photo via Geralt
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Foreign firms “not ready” to relocate as Russian data laws come into effect Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:16:36 +0000 A new Russian law that forces U.S. Internet companies t […]]]>

A new Russian law that forces U.S. Internet companies to operate data centers in-country has come into effect today, but a significant number of firms are not ready to comply with the new regulations.

Although some Western journalists have voiced concerns over Russia apparently “tightening its grip” on the Internet, the authorities there say the move is aimed at protecting Russian citizen’s data privacy in the wake of ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s allegations of widespread spying.

Whatever the real motives of Russia’s lawmakers, it doesn’t change the fact that the law is now in effect. And it means that U.S. and other foreign firms operating in Russia will need to foot a big bill to move there operations in-country and comply with the new laws.

The vast majority of Internet firms have stored and processed the bulk of their ‘Russian’ data outside of Russia, taking advantage of the better-developed hosting services in countries like the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany, Russia Beyond the Headlines reported.

Most of the world’s big Web companies have already agreed to transfer any data they have on Russian citizens to data centers located in Russia. For example, Google recently agreed a deal with PJSC Rostelecom, Russia’s largest telecommunications firm, to host servers in its data centers. Firms such as Apple, IBM, Lenovo Group Plc, SAP SE and Samsung Electronics Ltd. have all made similar agreements and are in the process of transferring their operations to local facilities.

However the Russian Association of Electronics Communications told RBTH that as many as 46 percent of foreign Internet firms operating in Russia are unable to comply with the new laws. Twenty-seven percent said they need “more time” to comply, while 19 percent simply stated they are “not ready”, which could indicate that some might not even have any intention of doing so.

The cost of relocating

The main reason for many firms, particularly smaller companies, is likely due to the huge costs of relocating all of their Russian data. The problem is it’s not simply a case of transferring that data from point A to B – in many cases, companies will need to relocate their infrastructure too, and that means recruiting new staff to operate it when it’s up and running.

“For large companies, total costs may amount to several million dollars,” Alexander Volzhinsky, chief architect of Informzashchita, a Russian servicing company, told RBTH.

Volzhinsky cited the example of Google, which will rent Rostelecom’s servers at a price of $1,600 per server per month. Considering that Volzhinsky estimates Google will need from several hundred to possibly more than 1,000 servers, it’s a cost that quickly adds up.

Will Facebook comply?

A bigger question mark hangs over Facebook, which up until now has refused to commit to moving its data to Russia. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook told Russian regulators last week that it won’t be able to comply with the new law by September 1. It also said it had very few data centers and wouldn’t commit to building one in Russia. However, it did say it would be willing to discuss issues of privacy with Russian officials to address any concerns.

Where it gets interesting however, is that RBTH claims Facebook will insist that its user information doesn’t constitute “personal data” because it’s actually “public data”, and therefore it doesn’t need to be stored on Russian servers.

Although the law comes into effect today, The WSJ said Russian officials have apparently given Facebook a reprieve of sorts, saying it isn’t on the list of companies that communications regulator Roskomnadzor is planning to check before 2016.

This apparent reluctance to force the issue gives hope to Facebook, and other companies which haven’t yet complied, that Russia might at least be willing to compromise. Last year, a number of Internet firms resisted efforts by Brazil to implement similar laws, arguing that it would be too expensive to do so and would upset the way the Internet is structured.

Photo Credit: monojussi via Compfight cc
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You can now pair your Android Wear smartwatch with your iPhone Tue, 01 Sep 2015 07:12:33 +0000 On Monday, Google announced that Android Wear, the comp […]]]>

On Monday, Google announced that Android Wear, the company’s smartwatch operating system, is now compatible with Apple’s iPhone and iOS mobile operating system (via The Verge). The official Android Wear for iOS companion app is available via the App Store and is compatible with the iPhone 5 later running iOS 8.2 or higher.

Smartwatch users with Android Wear devices will find many familiar features when pairing their watch with an iPhone, including third-party watch faces, fitness tracking, notifications, Google Now and voice searches.

Google apps like Weather and Translate are also supported in Android Wear for iOS, but no third-party apps are supported due to restrictions imposed by Apple.

“Basically, like any other iOS developer, we work with Apple to make sure we understand and abide by their guidelines, what the policies for the apps are. That’s what we’re doing, and we’ll continue to do that as we make updates to the app in the future,” Jeff Chang, the lead product manager for Wear, told The Verge.

In addition to the lack of third-party apps, Android Wear watches paired with an iPhone will have access to only a small number of “curated” watch faces, no Wi-Fi access without a paired iPhone, and rich notifications limited to a few native Google apps.


As of now, Android Wear for iOS is compatible with only three Android Wear smartwatches – two of which are yet to be released: the LG Watch Urbane, the upcoming Huawei Watch (pictured above) and Asus ZenWatch 2. All future Android Wear watches will support Android Wear for iOS.

Limiting compatibility appears to be a move on Google’s part to negate the need for customers to perform software updates on older Android Wear devices. “In order to guarantee a good experience, where out of the box it will work immediately and you don’t have to do any fancy footwork, that’s why it has to be the newer watches,” Chang added.

Following the announcement, reports began to surface of older Android Wear watches – including the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R – working with Android Wear for iOS after their owners performed a factory reset.

Image credit: PROKārlis Dambrāns via Flickr
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Is Apple building its own version of Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens? Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:33:31 +0000 Microsoft’s HoleLens has done nothing but impress since […]]]>

Microsoft’s HoleLens has done nothing but impress since it came out, wooing spectators with dazzling demos of Minecraft on the living room table and less exciting but arguably more important turning holographic bodies inside out for educational purposes. HoloLens is going to be big, and while such a statement might be seen as a risky one, it’s one that is echoing throughout the tech media these days. Satya Nadella said that while Microsoft was building Windows 10 HoloLens was always at the top of the company’s priorities. “I don’t want to overhype it like Google Glass,” Nadella said, but the impressive demos themselves have acted as a preclusion to any kind of overhyping.

So it’s not surprising that augmented and virtual worlds are being treated seriously by the world’s biggest tech giants. Faceboook has its hands on Oculus; Sony Mobile Communications Inc. is working on Project Morpheus; Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has its Gear VR.

HoloLens however is what everyone is talking about and has got folks envisioning life inside a science fiction movie from the 90s. How has Apple Inc. dealt with Microsoft getting so much attention? Well, it looks like its coping mechanism is to create its own augmented reality headset. Not only did Apple acquire a German augmented reality company called Metaio in May this year, but the company can add that to the acquisition an Israeli firm, PrimeSense, that creates sensors that help you to see in three dimensions.

The icing on the cake is that Apple has reportedly been poaching employees from other AR companies, including a lead Hololens Audio Engineer at Microsoft. Reported in Street Insider Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said, “Based on recent acquisitions of augmented reality companies, hiring of a key Microsoft Hololens employee, and conversations with industry contacts within the virtual and augmented reality spaces, we believe Apple has a team exploring the AR space.”

Apple already has patents for mounted headsets but so far the company has been fairly reticent as to its plans in the augmented/virtual reality space. Given the above evidence expect to see Apple mounting (pun intended) a challenge in holographic technology soon.

Photo credit: gilipollastv via Flickr
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New leak confirms LG Nexus 5 specs: Snapdragon 808, 5.2” 1080p display, USB Type-C, more Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:42:48 +0000 It is expected that Google will unveil two new Nexus de […]]]>

It is expected that Google will unveil two new Nexus devices before the year is out, a 5.2-inch device from LG Electronics Inc. and a phablet-sized 5.7-inch device from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. On Monday, a “reliable source” provided Android-dedicated blog Android Police with “basic” details for LG’s upcoming Nexus device.

Dubbed the LG Nexus 5, Android Police admits to not knowing if that will, in fact, be the official name at launch. Another unknown is the price. The publication speculates it will be comparable to other “sub-flagship” handsets – something the sub-flagship specs seem to confirm.

As for the specs shared with Android Police, they are more or less in line with Nexus 5 specs leaked last week. The LG Nexus 5 will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 chipset made up of a dual-core ARM Cortex A57 at up to 2 GHz and quad-core A53 with 64-bit support, Adreno 418 GPU, LTE, 3GB of RAM, 16GB and 31GB onboard storage options, and a 2700mAh battery.

As for the display, it appears the LG Nexus 5 will come with a 5.5-inch full HD (1080p) display, further affirming its “sub-flagship” status.

Other specs include a USB Type-C port (although it is unclear if it is a full-blown USB3.0 device) and a 12.3-megapixel rear camera paired with a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. Color options are said to include black, white and blue.

Earlier leaks have claimed the LG Nexus 5 will sport an all metal body, front-facing speakers and a fingerprint sensor.

The new Nexus devices are likely to be the first to ship with Google’s latest version of Android, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

It remains unclear when Google and LG will launch the Nexus 5, but previous reports have pegged the date at September 29.

Image credit: PROKārlis Dambrāns via Flickr
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VMware, Rackspace build interoperable OpenStack cloud | #VMworld 2015 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:06:14 +0000 VMware Inc. and Rackspace Inc. have teamed up together […]]]>

VMware Inc. and Rackspace Inc. have teamed up together to create a new, interoperable OpenStack cloud platform that was unveiled at #VMworld 2015 yesterday. The new architecture is aimed at helping customers do away with the complexity of spinning up OpenStack clouds, particularly when it comes to hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

VMware’s senior product marketing manager Amr Abdelrazik spilled the beans in a blog post on Monday, saying the interoperable OpenStack cloud architecture allows customers to spin up a choice of VMware’s Integrated OpenStack or Rackspace’s Private Cloud powered by OpenStack. The platform further allows customers to create infrastructure automation using standard OpenStack APIs.

Abdelrazik promised that VMware and Rackspace will work alongside each other to ensure this automation works in both OpenStack environments. He said this was in line with the OpenStack Foundation’s move to enable multi-cloud environments via identity federation.

“We are collaborating with Rackspace on exactly this type of multi-vendor architecture for OpenStack – one that removes lock-in at the infrastructure layer,” Abdelrazik said.


Image credit: VMware Inc.

Rackspace chimed in to say that any enterprise which chooses this solution will gain significant flexibility without any complexity, because they’ll be able to deploy applications across both EsXi or KVM hypervisors, and choose how and where to provision workloads using common credentials.

“This interoperable OpenStack cloud architecture provides enterprises with a Rackspace Private Cloud powered by OpenStack environment running alongside their vSphere cluster with VMware Integrated OpenStack,” Rackspace explained.

The announcement came just hours after VMware unveiled version 2 of its Integrated OpenStack platform, which adds capabilities including “seamless OpenStack installation upgrading”, plus improvements introduced in the OpenStack Kilo release, the company said.

Image credit: Jason Ahrns via
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VMware intros “Microvisors” in new container embrace | #VMworld 2015 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:48:24 +0000 VMware Inc. showed it’s deadly serious about cont […]]]>

VMware Inc. showed it’s deadly serious about containers during day one of VMworld yesterday, with the launch of two new technology previews that enterprises can use to build and run containerized applications.

Containers are becoming increasingly popular among ‘hip’ enterprises as an alternative to virtualization, a technology VMware dominates, and one which has become almost standard in the enterprise.

The new vSphere Integrated Containers are built to run atop of the existing vSphere technology that allows virtual machines to be run on on-premise data centers.

“VMware vSphere Integrated Containers represent a complementary set of cloud-native technologies featuring Project Bonneville, Project Photon OS, and VMware’s Instant Clone technology that will bring together the best of VMware vSphere with containers,” the company announced in a statement at VMworld.

The idea is to improve the way vSphere hosts the infrastructure that containers need to run, and therefore help VMware customers get up and running, without having to build an entirely new stack. The big feature here is stateful services for containers like storage, as well as integration with software like Docker, Kubernetes, CoreOS Tectonic and Mesosphere Inc.’s Data Center Operating System (DCOS).

VMware’s essentially trying to promote the idea of one VM for one conatiner, which is not really surprising considering that the very idea of containers poses a potentially mortal threat to VMware’s virtualization software. VMware begs to differ though, stressing its belief that the two technologies work better together at last year’s VMworld, and yesterday it reiterated this idea, saying those wanting to get into containers will appreciate the added security that vSphere and NSX offer. Simultaenously, VMware is trying to keep the added overheads low with its Project Bonneville, which offers an instant clone feature that can spin up container VMs with minimal resources.

On stage at VMworld, VMware’s cloud native apps head Kit Colbert presented this idea of “Micro-virtualization” as the new virtualization, though it remains to be seen if companies will actually buy into it.

On the same note, VMware also rolled out a preview of its Photon Platform, which will become available in private beta mode later this year. Photon Platform packs three components – the VMware Photon Controller, which acts as a “control plane”, the VMware Photon Machine, which offers a new “ESX Microvisor” for running containers on Photon OS, a stripped-down version of GNU/Linux that VMware first unveiled in April.

The Photon Controller comes with features similar to those found in Docker and Kubernetes, although both platforms can be integrated (along with Mesos) with it. Meanwhile, VMware’s EMC Federation buddy Pivotal Software Inc. has rolled out a new version of Cloud Foundry that bakes in the Photon Platform as well. Readers can find more on that initiative from Pivotal’s James Watters in this blog post.

vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform are clearly designed by VMware to stave off the disruptive threat from containers, following the technology’s dramatic rise in the last couple of years. VMware made its first moves in this direction at VMworld 2014, but it’s still too early to tell if this defensive strategy will have the desired effect.

Image credit: Ben Roffer via
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Samsung unveils Gear S2, Gear S2 3G, plus bonus ‘classic’ version Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:35:13 +0000 After merely teasing its Gear S2 smartwatch at an event […]]]>

After merely teasing its Gear S2 smartwatch at an event last month, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on Monday officially announced two versions: the Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic. While much of what Samsung revealed matches previous rumors, the announcement details key differences between the two versions, how the bezel and UI navigation works and the inclusion of NFC for mobile payments.

According to Samsung, the Gear S2 classic (in black above) was “made for users who prefer a more timeless watch design, offering an elegant Black finish with a matching genuine leather band.” The Gear S2 (in white above), says the company is “ideal for those who are on-the-go and have an admiration for minimal and modern design.”

As far as the internal workings go, both the Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic feature a 1.2-inch circular AMOLED display (320×320, 302ppi), 1.0GHz dual-core processor, Samsung’s own Tizen based wearable platform, IP68 dust and water resistance, 4GB of onboard storage, 512MB of RAM, NFC, heart rate monitor, Wi-Fi (b/g/n), and 250mAh batteries claimed to last from two to three days on a single charge and can be wirelessly recharged.

The Gear S2 classic is smaller and lighter than the Gear S2, measuring just 39.9×43.6×11.4mm and weighing 42g compared to the Gear S2, measuring 42.3×49.8×11.4mmand weighing 47g.

Both smartwatches feature a rotating bezel and Home and Back buttons to navigate through the UI in order to access notifications and apps.

The Gear S2 is also offered in a 3G version with a 300mAh battery offering a typical use of two days. The Gears S2 3G incorporates what Samsung calls “the first-ever e-SIM with voice capability,” allowing users to perform functions on their smartwatch without being tethered to their phone. Samsung did not specify what functions will be autonomous of a connected smartphone.

Although the Gear S2 supports NFC to enable mobile payments, Samsung provided no further details on how this will work in relation to the company’s own mobile payments service, Samsung Pay, due to start roll out later this year.

In addition to standard Samsung S software features, the Gear S2 provides at-a-glance notifications for calendars, emails, news, and texts. Voice input is supported. The Gear S2 comes with the Nike+ Running app and Samsung’s own S Health app pre-installed.

The Gear S2 is available in a Dark Gray case with a Dark Gray band and a Silver case with a White band. The Gear S2 classic is available in a Black case with a Black leather band. Watch bands can be swapped with one click and Samsung says its plans on launching more options.

Samsung has not released any details regarding pricing or availability, but the Gear S2 range will be on display at IFA 2015 later this week, so we hope to learn more then.

Image(s) via Samsung Mobile Press
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IBM supporting storage for oceans of data | #VMworld Tue, 01 Sep 2015 02:21:46 +0000 The digital transformation of business is powered by da […]]]>

The digital transformation of business is powered by data, and that information must be stored in safe, high-performance storage solutions. IBM has entered the data storage market with a number of offerings to meet the changing needs of tech businesses.

To get an inside look at IBM’s data storage plans, Dave Vellante of theCUBE, from the SilconANGLE Media team, talked with Eric Herzog, VP of marketing at IBM Storage, at the VMworld 2015 conference.

The conversation started off with a question about the experience of partnering with Cisco Systems, Inc., another industry giant. Herzog replied that he was very happy with their relationship, as Cisco provided an excellent channel for their products with a great sales model. They have been partners for quite a long time, and would likely remain so.

A strategy of consumption

Herzog explained that IBM had a very strong commitment to data storage, one backed by considerable investment. It has built its data storage strategy around several different models of consumption, defined by how customers use their products. Some customers want an end-to-end solution, others favor a software-defined approach, and still others look toward the Cloud. Many accounts use several models to meet their needs.

Each model is balanced around the two factors of performance and capacity. Since the real value of storage is found in how software can make use of the data, the right model is necessary to properly optimize the data for the client’s software environment.

IBM’s vision of the data storage future

The discussion then turned toward what IBM might have in store for the future. Herzog mentioned it was all about innovation in this space and had a number of product releases coming up soon. Its strategy was to support everyone and keep the development going. Their goal was to help drive the business value of data well into the future.

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of VMworld 2015.

Photo by SiliconANGLE
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