Archive for the ‘enterprise’ Category

Intel’s new assault on the data center: 56-core Xeons, 10nm FPGAs, 100gig Ethernet

April 2nd, 2019
Left-to-right: Cascade Lake Xeon AP, Cascade Lake Xeon SP, Broadwell Xeon D-1600, and up front Optane DC Persistent Memory.

Enlarge / Left-to-right: Cascade Lake Xeon AP, Cascade Lake Xeon SP, Broadwell Xeon D-1600, and up front Optane DC Persistent Memory. (credit: Intel)

Intel today launched a barrage of new products for the data center, tackling almost every enterprise workload out there. The company's diverse range of products highlights how today's data center is more than just processors, with network controllers, customizable FPGAs, and edge device processors all part of the offering.

The star of the show is the new Cascade Lake Xeons. These were first announced last November, and at the time a dual-die chip with 48 cores, 96 threads, and 12 DDR4 2933 memory channels was going to be the top spec part. But Intel has gone even further than initially planned with the new Xeon Platinum 9200 range: the top-spec part, the Platinum 9282, pairs two 28 core dies for a total of 56 cores and 112 threads. It has a base frequency of 2.6GHz, a 3.8GHz turbo, 77MB of level 3 cache, 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 expansion, and a 400W power draw.

The new dual-die chips are dubbed "Advanced Performance" (AP) and slot in above the Xeon SP ("Scalable Processor") range. They'll be supported in two socket configurations for a total of 4 dies, 24 memory channels, and 112 cores/224 threads. Intel does not plan to sell these as bare chips; instead, the company is going to sell motherboard-plus-processor packages to OEMs. The OEMs are then responsible for adding liquid or air cooling, deciding how densely they want to pack the motherboards, and so on. As such, there's no price for these chips, though we imagine it'll be somewhere north of "expensive."

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Posted in 100gigE, CPU, datacenter, enterprise, fpga, hardware, Intel, processors, Tech, Xeon | Comments (0)

Microsoft’s latest security service uses human intelligence, not artificial

February 28th, 2019
Microsoft security experts monitoring the world, looking for hackers.

Enlarge / Microsoft security experts monitoring the world, looking for hackers. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has announced two new cloud services to help administrators detect and manage threats to their systems. The first, Azure Sentinel, is very much in line with other cloud services: it's dependent on machine learning to sift through vast amounts of data to find a signal among all the noise. The second, Microsoft Threat Experts, is a little different: it's powered by humans, not machines.

Azure Sentinel is a machine learning-based Security Information and Event Management that takes the (often overwhelming) stream of security events—a bad password, a failed attempt to elevate privileges, an unusual executable that's blocked by anti-malware, and so on—and distinguishes between important events that actually deserve investigation and mundane events that can likely be ignored.

Sentinel can use a range of data sources. There are the obvious Microsoft sources—Azure Active Directory, Windows Event Logs, and so on—as well as integrations with third-party firewalls, intrusion-detection systems, endpoint anti-malware software, and more. Sentinel can also ingest any data source that uses ArcSight's Common Event Format, which has been adopted by a wide range of security tools.

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Posted in azure, cloud, enterprise, machine learning, microsoft, security, Tech, windows defender advanced threat protection | Comments (0)

Beyond HoloLens: Microsoft expands its augmented-reality vision with iOS, Android apps

February 21st, 2019
Remote Assist, with its green augmented reality arrow pointing out something of interest, on an Android phone.

Enlarge / Remote Assist, with its green augmented reality arrow pointing out something of interest, on an Android phone. (credit: Microsoft)

With HoloLens 2's big reveal just around the corner, Microsoft has broadened its augmented-reality (AR) ambitions with new apps for Android and iOS.

Remote Assist is an app designed for service engineers operating in the field, letting them show what they can see to a remote expert, who can then use a mixture of voice and AR drawing and annotation on what they see to provide guidance, troubleshooting, and instruction. This feature is already available for HoloLens and is being used by real service engineers. A preview of Remote Assist is coming to Android; while it won't offer the same hands-free convenience as the HoloLens, it also won't require the $5,000 headsets, instead running on a smartphone.

Product Visualize is a sales app that salespeople can use to show customers the products that they're buying in context, letting them see how big machinery and equipment is, check if it will fit in the space they want to use it, and so on. It's similar to, but simpler than, a HoloLens app called Layout, which similarly allows 3D models to be placed and laid out in the real world. A preview of Visualize is being released for iOS; an Android version may follow, depending on customer demand.

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Posted in Android, augmented reality, enterprise, hololens, iOS, microsoft, Tech | Comments (0)

Itanium’s demise approaches: Intel to stop shipments in mid-2021

February 1st, 2019
Itanium 9500 dies.

Enlarge / Itanium 9500 dies. (credit: Intel Germany)

If you're still using Intel's Itanium processors, you'd better get your orders in soon. Intel has announced that it will fulfill the final shipment of Itanium 9700 processors on July 29, 2021. The company says orders must be placed no later than January 30, 2020 (spotted by Anandtech).

The Itanium 9700 line of four- and eight-core processors represents the last vestiges of Intel's attempt to switch the world to an entirely new processor architecture: IA-64. Instead of being a 64-bit extension to IA-32 ("Intel Architecture-32," Intel's preferred name for x86-compatible designs), IA-64 was an entirely new design built around what Intel and HP called "Explicitly parallel instruction computing."

High performance processors of the late 1990s—both the RISC processors in the Unix world and Intel's IA-32 Pentium Pros—were becoming increasingly complicated pieces of hardware. The instruction sets the processors used were essentially serial, describing a sequence of operations to be performed one after the other. Executing instructions in that exact serial order limits performance (because each instruction must wait for its predecessor to be finished), and it turns out isn't actually necessary.

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Posted in enterprise, HP, ia64, Intel, Itanium, processors, Tech | Comments (0)

Half of enterprise machines run Windows 10, as Windows 7’s end of life looms

October 25th, 2018
Who doesn't love some new Windows?

Enlarge / Who doesn't love some new Windows? (credit: Peter Bright / Flickr)

On Microsoft's earnings call for the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, CEO Satya Nadella said that "more than half of the commercial device installed base is on Windows 10."

A Microsoft spokesperson "clarified" this to say, "based on Microsoft's data, we can see that there are now more devices in the enterprise running Windows 10 than any other previous version of Windows." That description offers a little more wriggle room; Windows 10 might only have a plurality share of enterprise systems rather than the majority share Nadella claimed. But either way, a substantial number of machines in the enterprise are currently running Windows 10.

Equally, however, it means that there's a substantial number of machines not running Windows 10. Those systems are likely to be running Windows 7. Windows 7 is due to drop out of support in January 2020. Beyond that date, Windows 7 users will either have to pay for up to three years of patches or switch to Microsoft-hosted virtual machines, which will receive the three additional years of patching at no cost.

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Posted in enterprise, microsoft, support, Tech, Windows, Windows 10, windows 7 | Comments (0)