Google announces open source trademarks and confidential VMs, Dell explores a VMWare spin-off and experts share how to do virtual events right

July 16, 2020 | Posted by: Jin Woo

Published every Thursday, The Blue Print recaps the industry’s most intriguing news, unexpected shifts and developing trends that are defining the business and technology landscape.

ZDNet: Nokia aims for the data center with new switches, gear
Nokia is launching a set of data center switches, routers, and a new networking operating system and has landed a series of high-profile customers such as Apple, BT, and Equinix. Steve Vogelsang, CTO of Nokia’s IP and optical business, said the move into the data center switching market wasn’t taken lightly. “We have been looking at the data center market for a number of years as we were working with Web scalers,” said Vogelsang. “We think this is an opportunity to integrate DevOps tool chains and data center fabrics in an open way with IP networking, app, and microservices infrastructure.” Nevertheless, Nokia is facing a highly competitive market with data center switch giant Cisco, the market share leader, as well as Arista Networks, Huawei, HPE, and Juniper.

Why It Matters: When it comes to networking the incumbents are Cisco and Arista, then comes startups and even open source ecosystems led by tech companies. Taking the hyperscaler model these offerings are intended to ensure a smooth transition to 5G and the digital capabilities it will support from AI, IoT, bots and much more. Last week we saw discussed how Nvidia is working with Amazon, Google, Microsoft on cloud-based artificial intelligence applications. Now Nokia is repositioning itself to get a piece of that pie. We will surely see more pivots from legacy companies, startups emerging and M&A activity as 5G and other innovations get rolled out into the market.

Tags: Nokia, Apple, BT, Equinix, Steve Vogelsang, Cisco, Arista

CRN: Dell Confirms It’s Exploring VMware Spin-off, Stock Soars
Dell Technologies confirmed Wednesday the company “is in an early stage” of exploring whether it might spin off its 81 percent equity share of VMware. After weeks of speculation, the Round Rock, Texas-based $91 billion infrastructure giant issued a statement saying it believes “a spin-off could benefit both Dell Technologies and VMware shareholders, team members, customers and partners by simplifying capital structures and creating additional long-term enterprise value.” In that statement, as well as a 13D filing with the SEC, Dell said a spin-off wouldn’t happen before September 2021. Dell said it’s also still evaluating “a range of strategic options concerning its ownership of VMware.” Those include maintaining its ownership stake as it now stands.

Why It Matters: Dell assumed enormous debt when it bought EMC in 2016. Selling its majority stake in VMware will enable Dell to improve its credit rating, eliminate debt and save billions on taxes. Shareholders are largely in favor and allow the two businesses that are culturally different to operate independently.

Tags: Dell, VMware

SiliconAngle: As trade shows fade to black, virtual events explode: Here’s how to do them right
In this Breaking Analysis, we’ll talk about the virtual event landscape and share a few of the things that we’ve learned — not only in the last 120 days but in 10 years of doing events. And we want to share the new rules of events and event marketing that we see today and beyond. The first thing everyone found out is that they’re going to attract far more people online with a free virtual event than they do with a paid physical event. Removing time, timing and the expense of travel dramatically increases the participation total available market. New rule No. 1: It’s easy to get people to sign up for free online events, but it’s not so easy to keep them there.

Why It Matters: As tech companies, especially startups navigate how to create a compelling and engaging virtual event or presence, there are some great recommendations, best practices and what not to do.

Tags: DockerCon, Dell Technologies World, Google Cloud Next, KubeCon, VMworld, MIT CDOIQ, Snowflake, IBM Think, HPE Discover, SUSECON, Amazon Web Services Summits, DockerCon, VeeamON, PegaWorld, Vertica BDC, Oktane, SAP Sapphire

Cyberscoop: Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin found guilty on most serious charges after years of legal wrangling
A U.S. jury has found an accused Russian hacker guilty on charges that he hacked LinkedIn and Formspring in a pair of 2012 data breaches in which he stole credentials belonging to more than 100 million Americans. Yevgeniy Nikulin was found guilty after just hours of deliberation, roughly eight years after he first infiltrated the U.S. social media companies in a successful attempt to steal data about American web users.

Why It Matters: Nation state attacks are on the rise with government agencies, critical infrastructure, financial institutions and transportation being targets of hackers seeking to interrupt business operations, negatively impact revenue and leak sensitive data. These attacks also impact citizens and are often motivated by furthering political agendas. With the US presidential election upcoming and voting challenges due to the pandemic, hacking with international ties will be on the rise.

Tags: Russia, hacker, LinkedIn, Formspring, data breaches

LightReading: Use of multiple public cloud providers adds to security headaches
A new report released by cybersecurity specialist Sophos provides worrying figures about the poor state of cloud security at enterprises globally, claiming that 70% of organizations experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year. One interesting stat is that organizations running multicloud environments are over 50% more likely to suffer a cloud security incident than those running a single cloud. Some 73% of the organizations surveyed were using two or more public cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMWare Cloud on AWS, and Alibaba Cloud, and possibly also Google Cloud and IBM Cloud. They reported more security incidents than those using a single platform. Around 59% of the breaches were said to be the result of cloud misconfiguration, while 38% were from cloud account credentials being stolen. About 21% of respondents are concerned that current cloud security products cannot keep up with their company’s development teams.

Why It Matters: As COVID-19 has accelerated the rollout of digital transformation strategies and in support of remote workforces, multi-cloud adoption continues to rise based on location, data type and application. Cloud misconfiguration and stolen credentials remain the two biggest vulnerabilities.

Tags: Sophos, Vanson Bourne, multi-cloud, Microsoft, Azure, Oracle, Amazon, AWS, VMware, Alibaba, Google, IBM

ZDNet: Google open sources trademarks with the Open Usage Commons
Google has announced it is launching a new organization, Open Usage Commons (OUC), to host the trademarks for three of its most important new open-source projects. These are Angular, a web application framework for mobile and desktop; Gerrit, a web-based team code-collaboration tool; and Istio, a popular open mesh platform to connect, manage, and secure microservices. While it only covers three Google projects, for now, OUC is meant to give open-source projects a neutral, independent home for their project trademarks. The organization will also assist with conformance testing, establishing mark usage guidelines, and handling trademark usage issues. The organization will not provide services that are outside the realm of usage, such as technical mentorship, community management, project events, or project marketing.

Why It Matters: Open governance of open source projects ensures a neutral approach to supporting fair usage guidelines and handling trademark issues. The establishment of OUC by Google leads to questions about the company’s intent.

Tags: Google, Open Source, Open Usage Commons, Angular, Gerrit, Istio

SDXCentral: Google Cloud Gets Confidential With AMD at Next
Google Cloud rolled out two security products including a confidential computing service as well as a multi-cloud analytics tool today during its virtual Next 2020 event. The security products, Confidential VMs and Assured Workloads for Government, target highly regulated industries such as public sector, health care, and financial services. Meanwhile, BigQuery Omni, which is powered by Google Anthos, lets customers access and analyze their data across data stored in Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) with Microsoft Azure coming soon. With Confidential VMs — the first product in Google Cloud’s new confidential computing portfolio — Google joins rival cloud providers Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon (although AWS’ confidential compute isn’t generally available yet) in offering customers a service that encrypts data in use, while it’s being processed, thus further isolating and securing workloads in the cloud. And in a big win for AMD over Intel, which supports Azure and IBM confidential computing services, Google’s Confidential VMs, now in beta, use second-generation AMD EPYC CPUs.

Why It Matters: Cloud, security and analytics offerings, especially those catering to industry-specific needs, are more prevalent especially as hybrid multi-cloud adoption continues to support remote workforces and digital transformation initiatives.

Tags: Google, Cloud, cybersecurity, BigQuery Omni, Amazon, AWS, Microsoft, Azure, AMD, Intel

CNBC: Apple to spend $400 million this year to fight California’s housing crisis
Apple said on Monday it will spend $400 million this year to fight the California housing crisis in partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley and the California Housing Finance Agency. It’s part of a total $2.5 billion Apple says it will spend on the initiative over several years. Homes in many parts of California are too expensive for low-income and middle-income buyers, which has created a housing affordability crisis in the state. The problem is particularly acute in Silicon Valley, where Apple is located, as highly paid tech workers are able to pay more for limited housing stock, driving prices up.

Why It Matters: Some of the largest tech companies have employees finding creative housing options including sleeping in its parking lots due to the high cost of housing, leaving low and middle income residents unable to afford to live in the area.

Tags: Apple, California, housing crisis, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, California Housing Finance Agency