The Secret to an Easy Server Upgrade

hp-mediasmart-server-powered-by-windows-home-server-2Aren’t we all looking for the “Simple Sauce” and the easiest fix for our network issues? Jim Rapoza from HP identifies why architecting and maintaining a solid IT infrastructure is the true secret behind an easy server upgrade.

There are lots of ways to fix problems. The Internet and your local bookstore are full of five-step programs, self-help systems, and best strategies for fixing whatever your issue may be. But while most people will debate and argue about what the best strategies might be for a server upgrade, everyone can agree on what tactic is likely to fail. I’m talking about the easy fix, the half (you-know-what) job, the one simple secret.

Face it: if a problem has an easy fix or one simple secret, it probably isn’t much of a problem at all. And typically these fast solutions are designed to fail. To use more clichés, they’re all about leaping before you look or not having your eggs in order. There’s even a cliché unique to the world of IT infrastructure and server technology, namely “throw more hardware at the problem.” – See more at:

Veritas Suggests Data has “Personality”

big-dataAccording to Veritas, data is no longer ‘just’ data–they suggest it has a personality all its own.

To begin with, managing data is no longer solely the IT department’s headache. CEOs have a vested interest in understanding what data is today and how it affects their business. Even a non-techie like me comprehends the basic use and management of data because it affects the ‘apps’ on my smart phone and pushes my storage limits.

While most people will continue to remain blissfully unaware to the ins and outs of the 1s and 0s speeding around the center of their devices, a larger business audience is growing in appreciation for the existence of data and the information it provides to both their business goals and management.

Data takes on a Broader Importance

Because we now understand how crucial data is to the digitally connected world, we can start to classify data as more than just information. Plain old data is now targeted data:

  • mission-critical data,
  • geo-tagged location-specific data,
  • time series data specific to a point in time,
  • unstructured or semi-structured data,
  • log file data,
  • middleware data,
  • heavy input/output transactional data,
  • archived data not currently in use,
  • Other types of data in this ever-expanding list.

This list could go into much greater detail—it’s really just a snippet of a much longer conversation and I didn’t even touch on big data. Data takes on different purposes and missions these days. It’s why the information management company Veritas suggests that this diversity has created a world where we can think of different forms of data having different ‘personalities’ rather than just different values.


New Shared Storage Solutions Helps the SMB Market

hpe_storevirtual_3200Small and mid-size businesses often get overlooked when it comes to robust storage solutions. The newer and power intensive products are costly and out of reach and this mid-tier market has been left wanting with few options.

While Enterprise organizations have embraced the newest storage solutions: flash storage for mainstream application performance, software-defined storage for cost savings and hyper-convergence to accelerate time-to-value, smaller businesses have relied on older and less capable storage platforms. The frustrations of modernizing data storage on a limited budget have led to issues with spotty application performance, higher operational expenses in the long run, and unexpected downtime.

Fortunately, the paradigm has shifted with new shared storage solutions from HPE. Finally there is an affordable high-end solution that alleviates cost barriers and complexity concerns. Now smaller businesses can easily deploy flash storage solutions.

With flash storage, all of a sudden a process that often took eight hours overnight takes a half an hour, and the retailer can not only assure that stores are ready to open the next morning they can actually expand their business into new territories.

Enterprise customers who have already deployed flash report a dramatic impact on operational and administrative expenses and performance. Previously, business users would call systems administrator to complain that apps were running too slowly which in turn drove up maintenance and administrative costs. Now, those app performance problems have almost disappeared, and IT staffers can spend more time focusing on growth instead of moving data around.

While software-defined storage and hyper-converged solutions have not been around as long, IT is rapidly beginning to realize the potential for significant cost savings and accelerated processes.  With these technologies too, the costs have come down to the point where they are much more affordable.  The key with these new technologies though is for customers to be able to have a flexible path to get on (or off) of them without disruption. This requires designing for simplicity across different form factors which isn’t possible unless you are able to think strategically across servers, storage, software domains.

For SMBs, deploying flash and other modern storage solutions, can allow for monumental gains in application performance, the simplicity of storage management, resiliency and scalability as your company grows.

HPE Partners With Star Trek to Create the Future

Motivated by Star Trek’s theme to “boldly go where no man has gone before,” Hewlett Packard Enterprise partnered with Paramount Pictures to envision robotic technology 250 years into the future.

The HPE designers and researchers designed and created along with the Star Trek Beyond team to imagine three technological concepts of the future: the quarantine, the diagnostic wrap, and the book. To watch this technology come to life, view the exclusive, behind-the-scenes video.

HP Ushers in Device as a Service

hp-daas-710x434HP  has inaugurated a new service that offers its customers entrée into HP’s leading-edge PC technology, augments device management and maximizes valuable IT time and resources. HP Device as a Service (DaaS) was created to alleviate the stress from acquiring, deploying and managing business technology.

Leveraging a single contract across both devices and services, with no upfront investment, HP DaaS provides fixed annual costs and allows IT staff the ability to plan accordingly so they can then allocate funding to other projects as needed. The program was designed with global scalability in mind and adaptability to changing technology and workforces.  It also motivates businesses to provide their staffs across the globe access to the latest PCs for greater productivity, collaboration and innovation.

“HP DaaS allows businesses to lean on our technology and expertise to keep their PC infrastructure running while they focus resources on driving their businesses forward,” said Bill Avey, general manager & global head, PS Services, HP Inc. “Our new offering removes the complexity around device management and gives customers a simpler way to access and implement needed technology and support.”

HP DaaS gives customers the ability to pay one price per seat for their PCs on a monthly basis over a multi-year period. Within that subscription, they can receive the latest technology and customized services and support from HP, including PC configuration and installation, data migration, onsite support and technology recycling.

IT buyers are drawn to HP DaaS, because they can plan for a fixed and manageable cost  during uncertain or financially challenging times. In a recent study, over 40% of participating IT decision makers revealed that they engaged in or were considering subscribing to a PC as a Service model in the future.


The HP Device as a Service offering subscription is currently available through your channel partner. The offering is expected to roll out more broadly via HP Inc.’s Partner First Program later this year. Pricing will vary based on individual subscriptions.

The Ultra-thin Spectre Debuts

T-HPSpectre13--C-tcm245-2210158--CT-tcm245-1085601-32The thinnest laptop in the world recently debuted from HP—the .41 inch beautifully designed Spectre. That’s about the size of a pencil for a quick reference.

“The HP Spectre is the thinnest notebook in the world, and unlike the majority of other super thin PCs on the market, this laptop doesn’t compromise power or features,” said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc. “A beautiful Full HD edge-to-edge display, Intel® Core i processors coupled with Bang & Olufsen sound and a sexy and thin design, HP amazing engineers set a new standard with the all new Spectre.”

The Spectre challenges the laptop status quo with a re-imagination of every element to ensure the best user experience coupled with maximum performance. The result is a premium notebook PC that does not force users to compromise on style, function or performance with features such as:


  • Part precision cut aluminum (screen and body) and part carbon fiber (underbelly) creating a thin profile that is both rugged and lightweight weighing in at only 2.45 lbs.
  • Groundbreaking piston hinges (typically found in high-end furniture) create the illusion of a floating top.
  • A high-gloss polished copper finish adds an elegant feel to the design.
  • Stereo Speakers by Bang and Olafsen with HP Audio Boost technology
  • Full HD IPS edge-to-edge display featuring Corning® Gorilla® delivers a superb viewing experience for editing photos, perfecting a presentation, or watching a movie.
  • 6th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and a super-fast PCIe SSD with storage up to 512 GB with up to 8 GB of memory for maximum performance. Integration of Intel hyperbaric cooling system keeps the machine running cool even with powerful processors in a small package.
  • Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge
  • A Hybrid battery split into two thinner pieces delivers a battery Life of 9+ hours.
  • A Bright Sharp display Screen features a Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel
  • 3 USB-C ports all capable of charging the laptop of which two ports are Thunderbolt 3 to provide a fast, versatile I/O connection
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack

Pricing and Availability:

  • Sixth-Gen Intel Core i5 ($1169.99)
  • I7 ($1299.99)
  • 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD ($1499)

Russian Ransomware Web Growing


In Russia, it pays to be an internet thug.

The average Russian ransomware boss makes $90,000 (US dollars) a year–or 13 times the average income of honest citizens in the country who stick to the “straight and narrow,” reports a recent Flashpoint study.

So what is the job description for a ransomware Mafioso? Generally speaking, the job consists of supporting and maintaining the malware.

“The software has to be constantly updated so that antivirus systems won’t recognize it as malware,” explained Vitali Kremez, a cybercrime intelligence analyst with Flashpoint.

“It’s not a situation where you provide the malware and sit back on a couch waiting for your payments. You have to work on it on a daily basis,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The boss controls the source code for the malware

A Service vs A Commodity

The malware model is evolving, suggests the Flashpoint study, which focuses on the Russian ransomware scene.

“A new form of ransomware has been developed that is in effect ‘Ransomware as a Service’ (RaaS),” highlights the report. It “enables ‘affiliates’ to obtain a piece of ransomware from a crime boss and distribute it to victims as these affiliates wish.”

That’s a shift from the past, when ransomware was accessible only to criminals who paid a hefty deposit upfront for the malware—up to $2,000 to rent or $5,000 to buy. But last November the malware scene shifted Kremez noted.

“We started to see developers considering giving their malware free of charge to criminals and keeping 40 to 50 percent of each ransomware payment made,” he said.

The new business model has drastically lowered the barriers to getting into the online crime business. It is surprisingly easy to start spreading ransomware. Relatively unskilled criminals can attack corporations and individuals through botnet installs, email and social media phishing campaigns, compromised dedicated servers and file-sharing websites.

“It used to be a one-on-one business,” Kremez said. “At this stage, it’s all automated. We see marketplaces. We see services on the dark web where you deposit your money and buy what you have to buy without any direct communication with the seller.”

Ransomware Web Growing

Infoblox’s latest quarterly report reveals more bad news on the rapid spread of global malicious infrastructure. To accurately determine the scope of activity worldwide, Infoblox created a threat index. In the first quarter of 2013, when Infoblox launched, the threat index was 76. This quarters current level:137.  It’s the highest reading to date.

“While exploit kits remain a major threat, this latest jump was driven in large part by a 35X increase in creation of domains for ransomware over the previous quarter, which in turn drove an increase of 290 percent in the overall malware category,” the report states.

The expanding production of malware kits is also attractive to criminals. Kits are designed to infect devices with a variety of malware programs.

“A number of exploit kits and threat actor gangs behind them have started adding ransomware to their repertoire over the last few months,” said Sean Tierney, director of cyber intelligence at Infoblox.

“These are gangs that were using their kits to deliver other kinds of malware,” he told TechNewsWorld, that “have either started including or switched entirely to ransomware.”

It’s likely that the ransomware market will level off as security software makers get better at detecting it and consumers get smarter about avoiding it, suggested Tierney.

“Then the market will become saturated,” he said, “and the return won’t be able to support the amount of activity going on.”