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Latest Blog Posts
  • Network, SRA and Email Security Blog

    Tech Data and SonicWALL Partner to Build Industry-leading Security Solutions

    The following is a guest post from Sid Earley, Vice President, Dell Solutions Group, Tech Data Corp.

      

    The Peak 2016 conference is taking place next week from Aug. 28-31 in Las Vegas. The partner education conference offers an opportunity to learn and explore how to push beyond traditional boundaries and safely dive into cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things. It’s an opportunity to gain insights about security trends, ways to grow their business with SonicWALL. As a distribution sponsor, Tech Data is proud to partner with SonicWALL to provide education and consulting for resellers focused on industry-leading solutions.

     

    As the need for security solutions have increased, so has the number and complexity of cyber threats. According to Gartner, the market for cybersecurity software and services is about $75 billion, and is expected to reach $170 billion by 2020. Tech Data is committed to developing security solutions that help identify, protect against and respond to this rapidly evolving landscape. Tech Data offers comprehensive security solutions that meet the evolving needs of this dynamic market, helping you protect your business and your customers’ data.

     

    While our Tech Data Cloud business unit has been enabling our customers for more than five years, and continue to innovate, we recently introduced two new dedicated teams to further support our customers in a very dynamic market. In May, Tech Data launched its Security and Information Management business unit, which is strategically focused on the delivery of customer enablement tools, including security assessments and professional services, to help solution providers build security practices and increase their overall knowledge of the market. In July, Tech Data launched its new Internet of Things (IoT) business practice, Smart IoT Solutions by Tech Data. The new practice is designed to aggregate IoT solutions and provides a simplified route to the rapidly expanding IoT market for solution providers.

     

    Tech Data also provides best-in-class customer service and customized partner enablement programs including sales and technical training, lead generation and marketing services. We are committed to arming you with the tools and services your business’s security network needs to grow your business and meet evolving market demands, reduce distractions and ultimately increase profitability.

     

    SonicWALL offers industry-leading security solutions. Together with Tech Data’s dedicated team of industry experts—including software licensing specialists, system engineers, and product sales champions—we will work with you and your sales team to establish a customized, value-added channel enablement strategy that works for your business.

     

    Please plan to visit us at booth #103 during the event for a one-on-one consultation. See you in Las Vegas!

     

    Engage in event activities and follow the conversation on Twitter at @SonicWALL and @Tech_Data using the conference hashtag #YesPeak16.

     

     

    Sid Earley

    Vice President, Dell Solutions Group, Tech Data Corp.

     

    Sid Earley has served as Vice President, Dell Solutions Group within Tech Data’s Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) division since March 2016. In this role, Earley is responsible for the strategic direction and go-to-market execution of Tech Data’s unified Dell, EMC, and VMware solutions teams. Earley has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, most recently serving as Senior Director, Global Partner Solutions at VMware for five years. Previously, he spent over seven years in leadership roles with EMC and four years with Nuvox, a managed communications, IT, and cloud services provider. Earley holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics and an MBA from the University of Colorado.

  • Dell TechCenter

    Is this the end of the line for Java? (And what about my PS array?)

    To quote the great American author Mark Twain, “The report of my death has been grossly exaggerated”, and this very much applies to Java.

    Java is very much alive and kicking, as is the management interface to the PS Series array. However, it is the end of the line for the Netscape Plugin Application Programing Interface (NPAPI), which has enabled many web browser plug-ins and extensions, including Java. So from Java’s perspective, the end of NPAPI is only a minor setback, one that is best summarized by the words of another great writer (and actor) John Cleese: "It's just a flesh wound!"

    NPAPI was first released in 1995 with Netscape Navigator 2.0, and was supported by every major browser released since then. This allowed plug-ins and extensions to be developed for web browsers, enabling a host of rich content to be accessed through a simple desktop browser. That was until 2014, when major web browsers announced that the end was nigh. This was mainly due to the API’s age, security issues and the strong adoption of plug-in free browser technologies such as HTML5. The end of NPAPI brings to an end the once-popular Java web browser plug-in used by many interfaces, including the one provided with PS Series storage.

    So what does this mean for managing your Dell PS Series array? This is not the end of the line for Java. It is just the end of the ability to launch Java applications from within a web browser. You can still manage your PS array using the same user interface as you always have. You just can’t launch it from a web browser:

    However, after some minimal ground work, you’ll be back in business — browser-free and using Java:

    1. Point any browser to http://<PS_groupIP>/groupmgr.jnlp and download the Java file when prompted.
    2. Save the file to a convenient location like your desktop, and rename it to reflect the PS group name. If you manage several PS arrays, you may want to place these files in a folder to keep your desktop tidy.
    3. Double-click the file and you are back in business managing your favorite SAN with the same UI, just outside of a web browser. As always, remember to keep Java up to date.

    And that’s it!*

    That is not your only option. For those who are also SC Series storage customers, earlier this year we released Dell Storage Manager (DSM) 2016 R1, the successor to the SC Series Enterprise Manager. While DSM is part of the SC Series ecosystem, it has been extended to manage Dell PS Series arrays running firmware 7.0 and above. You can take this a step further if you have both PS and SC arrays in your environment, and replicate in either direction between PS and SC storage. For more information, see this two-part video series on day-to-day management of PS Series with DSM, as well as this solutions guide and video series on replicating between PS and SC Series arrays.

    For those who wear the dual hats of vSphere and storage administrator, the Dell Virtual Storage Manager enables full management of PS Series storage from within the vSphere Web Client. This includes everything from provisioning VMFS, NFS (FS76xx required) or a VVol datastore, to protecting virtual machines with application-consistent, array-based snapshots and configuring block-based replication for disaster recovery of your virtual environment. You won’t ever have to leave the comfort of the vSphere Web Client.

    Finally, there is the ever-present CLI, which can be taken a step further using scripts. Windows PowerShell, along with the Host Scripting Tools, which support both Windows and Linux with Perl and Python. These scripting tools enable not only day-to-day management, but also extend PS Series capabilities into areas not currently covered by Dell Host Integration Tools for Microsoft, VMware and Linux.

    When the last of the browsers disables NPAPI, it won’t be missed. It has already been replaced and no one will shed a tear. But it will be remembered for the important part it played in the history of the internet and the richness it brought to our simple web browsers for over 20 years.

    *The fine print: Depending upon your OS, browser and Java versions and security settings, there may be additional steps. This KB article covers some additional combinations. But the essence is the same — get the Java applet and run it directly in Java.

  • Network, SRA and Email Security Blog

    Ingram Micro and SonicWALL at PEAK16: Innovating Security Solutions Sales Cycle

    Note: This is a guest blog post by Eric Kohl, Vice President, Advanced Solutions, Network Security, Ingram Micro

    With a proliferation of devices and increasingly sophisticated threats driving expanded opportunity around security, I think we can all agree that it’s worth the time and trouble to build a robust security practice. Our role at Ingram Micro is to show you ways to shorten the security sales cycle to help drive profitability while also positioning your business as a trusted security adviser.

    While we have a dedicated team of SonicWALL experts who will help you go to market with confidence, I’d like to challenge you to think beyond that to the other ways Ingram Micro can support your security practice. You can do that at the upcoming annual SonicWALL PEAK16 Conference, Aug. 28-31 at the Aria in Las Vegas where we are a platinum sponsor and looking forward to meeting all of the 700 attendees. We offer security consulting and education, channel enablement services, and marketing support that help you profitably sell SonicWALL solutions. We also provide real-time support, certified technical expertise, technology help desks, dedicated order management and more, so that you can provide your customers with the most up-to-date security solutions and support available. But what you might not know is how our portfolio of professional services can help you better protect your existing customers—and open the door to new ones. Identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your customers' infrastructure can provide a springboard for discussions about the impact of those gaps in security coverage, drastically shortening the sales cycle by providing tests and assessments as an extension of your team’s experts, and following up with reporting and consultation. Once we’ve identifies those weaknesses, our technology consulting team can back you up with proof of concept and demos—all geared to help you fully secure all of your customers’ environment—from devices through the network and right into the cloud.

    At PEAK16 next week in the Solutions Expo, stop by Ingram Micro Booth 101 to learn more about how Ingram Micro can help you shorten the sales cycle. (Plus, when you drop your business card at the booth, you could win a yeti cooler in our raffle!). Follow the conversation on Twitter with the conference hashtag #YesPeak16 @SonicWALL and @IngramTechSol.

    See you there!

    Eric Kohl, Vice President Advanced Solutions, Network Security, Ingram Micro

    Eric Kohl serves as vice president, Ingram Micro’s Security Business Unit, responsible for driving the strategy and execution of U.S. sales, vendor management, marketing and market development efforts for IT vendors and solution providers within that business unit.  Since joining Ingram Micro in 1998, Eric has served as senior vendor business manager for Ingram Micro U.S. and worked in various roles in both product management and purchasing.  Originally from the East Coast, Eric lives in sunny California with his wife and two children. He remains a die-hard Red Sox fan, is an avid reader and hack golfer.

  • Identity and Access Management - Blog

    Big Decline in Federal Leaders Confidence in Agency Cybersecurity

    We commission several surveys of the IT marketplace every year. It’s one of the ways by which we keep up with broader technology trends so as to make sure that our security solutions meet your needs.

    With so many changes taking place in technology, our surveys usually cover new ground. But this year, we took the opportunity to revisit a federal cybersecurity survey from two years ago, with some unanticipated results.

    This year’s Government Business Council survey of federal leaders, Achieving Holistic Cybersecurity: 2016 Progress Report, follows up on a similar GBC survey from 2014. More than 450 respondents, all familiar with cybersecurity efforts, completed the survey. These included representatives from over 30 federal agencies, including both defense and civilian agencies.

    The most significant change from 2014 to 2016 was the sharp drop in respondents’ confidence that  their agency’s defensive measures were capable of successfully combating cyber threats. That was a 30% drop, And it wasn’t just about overall confidence in agency cybersecurity. We saw a similar drop in confidence that agencies were able to secure the respondents own personal information from cyber attack as well.

    Sometimes we go into these surveys with a general idea of what to expect from the results. Sometimes we’re on the money, sometimes not. After all, the purpose of these activities includes finding out what we don’t know. In this instance, given the many publicized data breaches and cyber attacks against federal agencies, it was logical to assume that confidence would fall off somewhat. But we didn’t expect this dramatic a fall-off.

    As I mentioned up top, we often have multiple surveys in process.  While we’re still working on consolidating and analyzing the results, it’s worth noting that the drop in cybersecurity confidence appears to be much more significant at the federal level than in state and local governments or in the commercial sector. This, too, is somewhat surprising, given that data breaches and cyber attacks are prevalent across the spectrum of government, education, and private enterprise.

    Another takeaway from the GBC survey:  Individuals’ actions are just as important to cyber defense as is a secure identity and network infrastructure. Respondents identified email embedded with malware and phishing/spear phishing as top cyber threats. These techniques are most dangerous if users can’t spot them and respond without taking a moment to ask themselves whether the email is legitimate (my Tip of the Day: If an email Contains Lots of Sentences with Too many Inappropriate Capitalizations, be Very Suspicious). Cyber literacy, awareness, and workforce education are critical, and were noted by respondents as areas in need of significant improvement. We come back to the title of the survey report, “Achieving Holistic Cybersecurity.” Any approach to improving cybersecurity must, to be effective, include people and processes as well as technology.

    There’s more useful information in the survey report, including progress on agency implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and respondents’ view of organizational factors which are challenges to improving agency cybersecurity. Please take the time to read the GBC survey report:

     

    Our One Identity solutions and SonicWALL next-generation firewalls and other network security solutions can aid in your efforts to better protect your agency against cyber threats. Learn more at departmentofyes.com.

  • Network, SRA and Email Security Blog

    Mobile Workers and BYOD Are Here to Stay: Is Your Data Secure?

    The way business professionals work has changed dramatically over the last several years, and continues to at an ever-growing rate. They are on the go and working from different locations across all hours using many devices to allow for a work/life balance. We have become an “always-on” society.

    Workers are also doing more work remotely, whether it be at a coffee shop, on the train to work, or on a business trip from a hotel room. People want to stay in touch wherever they are and whenever they need to. They also want to use the device they like, whether it is a smartphone, tablet or laptop. In addition, they also need access to the applications they choose to use, some from their work, others of their own. And most importantly, they need access to the data required to do their jobs, whether it is online through the Internet or behind their company’s firewall on the intranet.

    Companies clearly need to find a way to provide their mobile workers secure access to any data from any device at any time. That said, companies’ IT organizations need to understand the risks they are opening themselves up to if they don’t take necessary precautions including data loss, malware, device proliferation, rogue applications, lost and stolen devices with data onboard, credential theft, etc.

    Today, IT can implement a number of solid mobile workforce management and mobile security management tools to help secure mobile data and devices, such as:

    • Mobile Device Management (MDM)
    • Mobile Application Management (MAM)
    • Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN)
    • Network Access Control (NAC)

    Learn more about what the industry is seeing around providing secure mobile access over BYOD by reading our executive brief, "Ready or not, mobile workers and BYOD are here stay."

  • Dell TechCenter

    Dell’s Path to Open Networking - Open sources OS10 Open Edition

    Earlier this year, Dell announced its collaboration with Microsoft on Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC). SONiC is a collection of open source software networking packages/modules that can be installed on Linux on a network hardware switch which makes it a complete, functional router. Dell’s collaboration with Microsoft is intended to encourage the open source community to innovate, collaborate, adopt and contribute.

    Today, Dell strengthens this collaboration by announcing significant contributions to the key building blocks of the SONiC architecture. We are also announcing that Dell has open sourced all of its software components in OS 10 Open Edition under the SONiC project in OCP. These enhancements are intended to elevate the platform, reinforce the synergy between the SONiC contributors, and provide maximum value to the development community.

    Dell offers a new object model schema to SONiC along with PAS (Platform Abstraction Services) and NAS (Network Adaptation Services). Platform Adaptation Services interacts with the hardware components of the switch such as power modules, fan trays and LEDs. Network Adaptation Services provides APIs to program the NPU/ASIC that support SAI standard ASIC SDK. These contributions can be found here. The following wiki provides further information on this submission.

    Figure 1:- Existing architecture showcasing NAS and SwSS

    Dell’s OS10 Open edition has been extensively tested to ensure integrity. This open edition acts as a building block of the commercial version of Dell’s Networking System (OS10 Enterprise Edition). For more information about OS10 Open Edition and access to architecture documentation, installation instructions please visit – OS10 Open Edition Documentation

    SONiC currently offers two ASIC switch control software components namely, Switch State Services and Network Adaptation Services.

     

    The NAS (ASIC switch control software) version comes with a full feature set including

    • Layer2
    • Layer3
    • QoS
    • ACL 
    • Monitoring using sFlow.

    The roadmap includes completion of integration of SONiC with OS10 Open Edition by the end of 2016. Dell welcomes the community to follow the integration effort closely in the existing SONiC forums. For more information about SONiC, and access to community resources please visit https://azure.github.io/SONiC/.

     

    Figure 2: Target SONiC High Level Architecture

    SONiC allows end users to rapidly prototype control plane applications and design purpose-built data centers, thus optimizing overall network design. Today’s SONiC feature set is focused on the datacenter. The move to open networking allows end users to focus on developing applications and opens the door to groundbreaking innovations.

    We welcome the participation of the open source community and we look forward to seeing SONiC being adopted to accelerate growth in the networking Industry. Together we can build network switch software and provide an open platform for applications to grow through the adoption of a disaggregated network stack.   

    You can learn more in my first blog on the topic here, and be sure to follow @DellNetworking for future updates.

  • Dell TechCenter

    Dell, Intel, Red Hat and Metaswitch developed first-class vIMS solution

    The ever increasing demand for high-quality communication and exponential growth in smart phone subscribers has put a tremendous pressure on Telecom service providers (TSPs) to continuously upgrade backend infrastructure. TSPs are also in heated battle with over-the-top (OTT) service providers, like Google and Microsoft, to provide the unified communications (UC) services to the same consumer. Complicating matters further, TSPs must also contend with roaming service options and the reallocation of existing 3G voice spectrum to more efficient HSPA or LTE.

    To meet this challenge of rapid growth in demand, traditional telco solutions are expensive and not easy to scale to growing demand. As a result TSPs are now beginning to utilize Network function virtualization (NFV) based virtual IP Multimedia Subsystems (vIMS). These vIMS reduce deployment and operating expenses while improving functionality and flexibility compared to traditional IMS solutions.

    Dell, Intel, Red Hat and Metaswitch have partnered to develop a best of the breed vIMS solution. The solution is built on Dell PowerEdge servers, storage and switches. Red Hat software provides a secure and very scalable platform to deliver public or private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions. Metaswitch provides vSBC technology to support voice/video calls as well as the analytics for real time statistical reporting.

     

     

    To learn more about this solution, please see the vIMS solution brief from Dell and its partners. To schedule a demo of this turnkey setup, please reach out to NFV solutions team at Dell at ask_nfv_plm@dell.com. Last but not least, more information on Dell NFV solutions can be found at www.Dell.com/NFV

  • Dell TechCenter

    Introducing SCOS 7.1 and Dell Storage Manager 2016 R2

    Written by Chuck Farah, Dell Storage Applications Engineering

    Earlier this summer, Dell released Storage Center OS (SCOS) 7.0 and Dell Storage Manager (DSM) 2016 R1, which included major features such as VMware Virtual Volumes, improved data reduction, PS Series bidirectional replication to SC Series (cross-platform replication) and volume Quality of Service (QoS). David Glynn wrote about those features in his blog post, which describes DSM as a single interface to manage the Dell Storage platforms including PS Series, SC Series and FluidFS.

    Now, with the release of SCOS 7.1 and DSM 2016 R2, we built upon those features and added enhancements to zero downtime, connectivity, disk support, and visibility into the age of disks. 

    Zero downtime

    New with SCOS 7.1 and DSM 2016 R2 is Federation Live Migrate. This feature takes advantage of the array statistics and intelligence of SCOS to provide the best placement of volumes in an environment with multiple SC Series systems. When a volume is live migrated to another SC Series system, the volume advisor can help the user to pick the most appropriate SC Series system for placement. The volume is then migrated without disruption to applications or I/O, improving the efficiencies of day-to-day management while at the same time optimizing the usage of the SC Series arrays. David Glynn demonstrates this in the SC Series Live Migrate best practices document.

    To follow the zero-downtime theme, our Dell Storage engineers enhanced Live Volume with the nifty Automatic Failover feature to include not only VMware vSphere (since SCOS 6.7) but also Microsoft Hyper-V. Designed with continuous operations in mind, Live Volume with Automatic-Failover (LV-AFO) does not have a downtime penalty during planned or unplanned outages. To get your hands on this feature, you will need at least two SC Series arrays along with SCOS 7.1 and DSM 2016 R2. Marty Glaser provides all the details in a very thorough video and solutions guide.

    In addition, be sure to read about the improvements made with VMware support for Site Recovery Manager (SRM) in the best practices document and video by Jason Boche. Jason and Mike Matthews also give specifics for Microsoft SQL Server disaster recovery with VMware SRM in this white paper. Jason has been very busy this summer and will quench your thirst for VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) best practices in this paper.

    Improved connectivity

    Our engineers have worked hard to improve connectivity options by providing the Dell Storage SC4020 with 12 Gb SAS front-end ports. Why is that important? SAS front-end connectivity allows you to redundantly, directly connect up to four servers each with two SAS ports, without the need for a single SAN switch. Marty Glaser shows you the way with Hyper-V as an example in this solutions guide, and Chuck Armstrong describes how to configure SC4020 SAS with VMware in this solutions guide. Speaking of connectivity, front-end throughput capability improves with the support of 32 Gb FC front-end ports for the Dell Storage SC9000 (of course, only the HBAs and switches listed in the Dell Storage Compatibility Matrix should be used). I should also mention that the limits have doubled for the SC9000 snapshots and replications, along with the ability to ingest up to a petabyte (PB) of data for deduplication.

    Disk support keeps getting better

    For some time, disks have been formatted with the relatively small sector size of 512 bytes. The trend of larger disk capacities has increased the complexity of the I/O operations dramatically. This is best put into words using a quote from Richie Lary, which describes flying a "747 1/100 of an inch off the ground at 2,500,000 miles per [hour], with the pilot able to read the spots on a set of dominos" (assuming a disk scaled to the size of a 747). With SCOS 7.1 and 4K native disk support, I/O can be better aligned for large disks, with improved I/O efficiency and enhanced media error correction, all while increasing format efficiencies.

    Data integrity has been a focus for some time for Dell Storage engineers, and features like disk scrubbing and background checking are core components of the SCOS base. Now with SCOS 7.1, the ANSI Technical Committee for SCSI Storage Interfaces Protection Information (PI) standard is supported on 4K-sector HDDs and self-encrypting drive (SED) SSDs. This support improves the data integrity verification across those 12 Gb SAS back-end data paths to the disks.

    How long have these disks been powered on?

    Have you ever wondered how long your disks have been powered on? As you know, the longer a disk ages, the probability of disk failure increases. Conveniently, the standard for disk manufactures is to track the power-on hours. Our Dell Storage engineers have exposed those statistics to DSM, as well as to Dell SupportAssist1. Of course, this is presented in a friendly fashion in DSM by indicating the number of years, months, days or hours each drive has been powered on. Since Dell currently warranties most disks to five years, this feature will provide insight into when disks are near their warranty life span.

    That’s all for now. Have a great day!


     1SupportAssist is the Dell centralized support collection and management system. Storage information is “phoned home” based on a user-defined schedule.

  • Network, SRA and Email Security Blog

    SonicWALL's PEAK16 Sneak Preview - The Art of the Hack Keynote

    Well, it’s Peak16 time again at the Aria in Las Vegas.

    Did you enjoy Peak 2015? Then check this out – they are actually putting me on the main stage this year. If you thought that last year was entertaining, wait till you get a load me this time.

    Don’t miss my main stage presentation on Tuesday, August 30 – The Art of the Hack.

    I have been analyzing the latest threats, exploits and breach scenarios, and between you and me, it’s pretty sinister out there. To highlight key information, I have some surprises in store. What better way to deliver a fresh look at the security threat landscape than on the main stage and the big screen. I would love to divulge the details but what’s the fun in that?

    Go to the PEAK16 site to get the latest agenda, with all of the keynotes, business and technical sessions on SonicWALL network security, access security and email security. This is going to be an awesome event with our channel partners.

    I can’t wait to see you there. In the meantime, check out these videos - and follow PEAK16 on Twitter at @SonicWALL #YesPeak16 on Twitter.

    Here is a great video of partners sharing their experience and key takeaways at Peak Performance 2015: