- Four new appliances and integrated systems help companies of all sizes quickly stand up workload-specific applications and infrastructure
- Dell Acceleration Appliance for Databases lowers the costs of running leading enterprise-scale database applications in large to mid-size customer environments
- Dell Integrated Systems for Oracle 12c Database will dramatically accelerate database performance by pre-integrating industry standard hardware with Oracle 12c software
- Dell In-Memory Appliances for Cloudera Enterprise will provide customers with faster time to insight through an open, secure and scalable Hadoop solution
- Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances will benefit customers seeking an integrated IT approach, offering simple deployment, management and scale as needed
Dell User Forum, Dell introduced a series of new enterprise appliances and integrated systems to drive simplicity and ease of use across the data centre, and help customers achieve quicker business insights and agility. The new workload-specific infrastructure appliances and integrated systems dramatically speed deployment, management and time to results for companies of all sizes.
Dell is teaming up with leading enterprise software companies to integrate and optimise Dell infrastructure and management capabilities, with some of the most widely deployed applications and workloads in enterprises today. Dell is moving quickly to deliver appliances to accelerate the value customers get from their technology by simplifying the deployment and management of large-scale enterprise applications, while at the same time ensuring best-in-class performance, response times, and insights to critical business data.
In a recent report industry analyst firm IDC noted, the integrated systems and appliances market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the IT industry. As enterprises look to simplify and streamline IT capabilities, they will turn more and more toward these solution sets to help reduce the burden on their IT departments and provide a better SLA to their corporate users. Vendors will continue to develop more sophisticated tools to manage these stacks more efficiently and integrate more software packages for customers to choose from. In addition, they will continue to partner with one another to help bring these solution sets to fruition.
Dell Acceleration Appliance for Databases
Dell introduced the Dell Acceleration Appliance for Databases, a pre-built, pre-integrated appliance designed to accelerate leading database environments including MySQL, Sybase, Microsoft SQL and MongoDB. This solution includes Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell Storage and Dell Networking, with application acceleration technology from Fusion-io to improve database performance, enabling large and midsize customers to cost-effectively respond to business needs rapidly and reliably.
Dell also is shipping Fluid Cache for SAN, which brings data closer to the server while improving application performance and reducing response times for scale-out workloads that require high levels of concurrent usage.
Dell Integrated Systems for Oracle 12c Database
In addition to the Dell Application Acceleration for Databases appliance, Dell today announced a purpose-built appliance designed specifically for Oracle 12c database deployments. The Dell Integrated Systems for Oracle 12c Database appliance helps customers migrate to and accelerate current Oracle 12c environments. Now customers from small businesses to large enterprises can quickly stand up new Oracle database deployments with a high-performance appliance that meets their database management needs today, and can easily scale in the future.
Extending the base configuration available in the Dell Application Acceleration for Databases appliance with Oracle 12c databasepre-installed customers will experience significant performance gains and cost savings over similar pre-packaged appliance solutions available today. The Dell Database Acceleration Appliance for Oracle pre-bundles Dell infrastructure, with Oracle Linux,Oracle VM, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Fusion Applications removing from customers the hassle of hardware integration and fine-tuning of applications.
Dell In-Memory Appliances for Cloudera Enterprise
Dell is building on its deep expertise and relationship working with Cloudera and Intel to launch new Dell In-Memory Appliances for Cloudera Enterprise aimed at accelerating Hadoop deployments. The market for Hadoop is expected to grow to $50.2 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of nearly 60 percent. Businesses of all sizes are using big data to inform and make business critical decisions, so they need access to effective real-time data analytics.
The appliances will bundle leading Dell technology with Cloudera Enterprise (Data Hub Edition including Apache Spark), and Intel’s performance and security optimised chipset, to help organisations capitalise on high-performance data analysis. The solution represents a unique collaboration within the big data ecosystem to collectively deliver a solution that no single vendor can provide.
The Dell In-Memory Appliances for Cloudera Enterprise simplify and speed up otherwise complex Hadoop cluster deployments, enabling customers to gain critical business insights faster. It is also massively scalable, using an enterprise data hub to store and analyse any amount or type of data in its original form and for as long as desired or required. This ease of deployment and scalability meet the needs of small and medium businesses, all the way up to the largest enterprises.
It includes leading Dell hardware, Cloudera Enterprise (Data Hub Edition including Apache Spark) for easier management and compatibility within existing data centre environments, Intel Architecture for fast processing, and ScaleMP’s Versatile SMP (vSMP) architecture to aggregate multiple x86 servers into a single virtual machine to create large memory pools for in-memory processing. The Dell In-Memory Appliances for Cloudera Enterprise will be available in pre-sized, pre-configured options so customers can choose and quickly deploy the version that is right for their deployment.
Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances
Dell today also announced plans to deliver the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances powered by Nutanix. With the announcement, Dell extends its software defined storage portfolio with plans to offer customers a new series of appliances, which combine compute, storage and networking into a single offering. These new appliances will benefit customers seeking an integrated IT approach, offering simple deployment, management and scale as needed.
Dell Workload and Application Emphasis
Today’s announcements of new engineered solutions from Dell represent the next step in the company’s ongoing efforts to help businesses of all sizes realise greater returns on their investments in enterprise applications, and accelerate value from their technology. Dell recently introduced joint partner solutions, reference architectures and certifications with Oracle, SAP,Red Hat and Microsoft, and Scale Up Certifications for SAP HANA, for easy scaling of server memory capacity in deployments and helps reduce the need to “rip and replace” when systems are upgraded. And Dell has partnered with Red Hat to offer private cloud solutions based on OpenStack to help customers move to and deploy highly scalable cloud computing models.
“Dell is focused on making it easier for businesses to solve their IT challenges so they can spend more time thinking about their customers and less on operations. We do this in part by helping businesses quickly, reliably and cost-effectively stand up tier-1 applications, and the appliances and integrated systems announced today help accelerate the value customers can get from their technology,” said Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president of enterprise solutions, Dell. “The new solutions we have announced today with Oracle, Cloudera and Nutanix are first of many new workload-specific solutions Dell will introduce in the coming quarters.”
“Dell Acceleration Appliance for Databases combines industry-leading Dell servers and proven Fusion-io flash memory to maximise data-intensive application performance,” said Fusion-io CEO and Chairman of the Board Shane Robison. “Our technology collaboration enables enterprises to gain business insight from real time information by improving application performance and shortening application response times, ultimately increasing competitive advantage.”
“Data systems of the ‘80s and ‘90s were never designed for what is known as big data. It’s not that the world was never data-driven before – it’s that we are amassing more data today than systems are able to consume,” said Mike Olson, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Cloudera. “Traditional systems isolate data and create silos that make exploration and collaboration hard. By putting that data into a modern enterprise data hub, customers can combine it and analyse it in powerful new ways. The collaboration among Dell, Intel and Cloudera to build this new engineered system makes it easier than ever before for enterprises to deploy an enterprise data hub that’s fast, scalable and affordable.”
- Dell Application Acceleration for Databases will be available worldwide in 2H 2014.
- Dell Integrated Systems for Oracle 12c Database will be available worldwide in 2H 2014.
- Dell In-Memory Appliance for Cloudera Enterprise will be available worldwide in 2H 2014.
- Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances will be available worldwide in 4Q 2014.
- The new appliances will be available via Dell channel partners and directly from Dell.
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.
Dell, PowerEdge are trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.
 IDC “Converged and Integrated Datacenter Systems: Creating Operational Efficiencies” Doc # 246611 Feb 2014
 “Hadoop Market to Reach $50 Billion by 2020 – Allied Market Research.” StorageNewsletter.com, 3 Jun. 2014
Airbus CEO urges trade war ceasefire, easing of COVID travel bans
By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) – The head of European planemaker Airbus called on Saturday for a “ceasefire” in a transatlantic trade war over aircraft subsidies, saying tit-for-tat tariffs on planes and other goods had aggravated damage from the COVID-19 crisis.
Washington progressively imposed import duties of 15% on Airbus jets from 2019 after a prolonged dispute at the World Trade Organization, and the EU responded with matching tariffs on Boeing jets a year later. Wine, whisky and other goods are also affected.
“This dispute, which is now an old dispute, has put us in a lose-lose situation,” Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in a radio interview.
“We have ended up in a situation where wisdom would normally dictate that we have a ceasefire and resolve this conflict,” he told France Inter.
Boeing was not immediately available for comment.
Brazil, which has waged separate battles with Canada over subsidies for smaller regional jets, on Thursday dropped its own complaint against Ottawa and called for a global peace deal between producing nations on support for aerospace.
Faury said the dispute with Boeing was particularly damaging during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has badly hit air travel and led to travel restrictions or border closures. He expressed particular concern about widening bans within Europe.
“We are extremely frustrated by the barriers that restrict personal movement and it is almost impossible today to travel in Europe by plane, even domestically,” he said.
“The priority no. 1 for countries in general is to reopen frontiers and allow people to travel on the basis of tests and then eventually vaccinations.”
The comments come as businesses increase pressure on governments to reopen economies as coronavirus vaccine roll-outs gather pace across Europe.
France has defended recently introduced border restrictions, saying they will help the government avoid a new lockdown and stay in force until at least the end of February.
Germany installed border controls with the Czech Republic and Austria last Sunday, drawing protest from Austria and concerns about supply-chain disruptions.
Berlin calls the move a temporary measure of last resort.
Poland said on Saturday it had not ruled out imposing restrictions at the country’s borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic due to rising COVID-19 cases.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
Why a predictable cold snap crippled the Texas power grid
By Tim McLaughlin and Stephanie Kelly
(Reuters) – As Texans cranked up their heaters early Monday to combat plunging temperatures, a record surge of electricity demand set off a disastrous chain reaction in the state’s power grid.
Wind turbines in the state’s northern Panhandle locked up. Natural gas plants shut down when frozen pipes and components shut off fuel flow. A South Texas nuclear reactor went dark after a five-foot section of uninsulated pipe seized up. Power outages quickly spread statewide – leaving millions shivering in their homes for days, with deadly consequences.
It could have been far worse: Before dawn on Monday, the state’s grid operator was “seconds and minutes” away from an uncontrolled blackout for its 26 million customers, its CEO has said. Such a collapse occurs when operators lose the ability to manage the crisis through rolling blackouts; in such cases, it can take weeks or months to fully restore power to customers.
Monday was one of the state’s coldest days in more than a century – but the unprecedented power crisis was hardly unpredictable after Texas had experienced a similar, though less severe, disruption during a 2011 cold snap. Still, Texas power producers failed to adequately winter-proof their systems. And the state’s grid operator underestimated its need for reserve power capacity before the crisis, then moved too slowly to tell utilities to institute rolling blackouts to protect against a grid meltdown, energy analysts, traders and economists said.
Early signs of trouble came long before the forced outages. Two days earlier, for example, the grid suddenly lost 539 megawatts (MW) of power, or enough electricity for nearly 108,000 homes, according to operational messages disclosed by the state’s primary grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
The crisis stemmed from a unique confluence of weaknesses in the state’s power system.
Texas is the only state in the continental United States with an independent and isolated grid. That allows the state to avoid federal regulation – but also severely limits its ability to draw emergency power from other grids. ERCOT also operates the only major U.S. grid that does not have a capacity market – a system that provides payments to operators to be on standby to supply power during severe weather events.
After more than 3 million ERCOT customers lost power in a February 2011 freeze, federal regulators recommended that ERCOT prepare for winter with the same urgency as it does the peak summer season. They also said that, while ERCOT’s reserve power capacity looked good on paper, it did not take into account that many generation units could get knocked offline by freezing weather.
“There were prior severe cold weather events in the Southwest in 1983, 1989, 2003, 2006, 2008, and 2010,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability Corp staff summarized after investigating the state’s 2011 rolling blackouts. “Extensive generator failures overwhelmed ERCOT’s reserves, which eventually dropped below the level of safe operation.”
ERCOT spokeswoman Leslie Sopko did not comment in detail about the causes of the power crisis but said the grid’s leadership plans to re-evaluate the assumptions that go into its forecasts.
The freeze was easy to see coming, said Jay Apt, co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center.
“When I read that this was a black-swan event, I just have to wonder whether the folks who are saying that have been in this business long enough that they forgot everything, or just came into it,” Apt said. “People need to recognize that this sort of weather is pretty common.”
This week’s cold snap left 4.5 million ERCOT customers without power. More than 14.5 million Texans endured a related water-supply crisis as pipes froze and burst. About 65,000 customers remained without power as of Saturday afternoon, even as temperatures started to rise, according to website PowerOutage.US.
State health officials have linked more than two dozen deaths to the power crisis. Some died from hypothermia or possible carbon monoxide poisoning caused by portable generators running in basements and garages without enough ventilation. Officials say they suspect the death count will rise as more bodies are discovered.
THIN POWER RESERVE
In the central Texas city of Austin, the state capital, the minimum February temperature usually falls between 42 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 9 degrees Celsius). This past week, temperatures fell as low as 6 degrees Fahrenheit (-14 degrees Celsius).
In November, ERCOT assured that the grid was prepared to handle such a dire scenario.
“We studied a range of potential risks under both normal and extreme conditions, and believe there is sufficient generation to adequately serve our customers,” said ERCOT’s manager of resource adequacy, Pete Warnken, in a report that month.
Warnken could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Under normal winter conditions, ERCOT forecast it would have about 16,200 MW of power reserves. But under extreme conditions, it predicted a reserve cushion of only about 1,350 MW. That assumed only 23,500 MW of generation outages. During the peak of this week’s crisis, more than 30,000 MW was forced off the grid.
Other U.S. grid operators maintain a capacity market to supply extra power in extreme conditions – paying operators on an ongoing basis, whether they produce power or not. Capacity market auctions determine, three years in advance, the price that power generators receive in exchange for being on emergency standby.
Instead, ERCOT relies on a wholesale electricity market, where free market pricing provides incentives for generators to provide daily power and to make investments to ensure reliability in peak periods, according to economists. The system relied on the theory that power plants should make high profits when energy demand and prices soar – providing them ample money to make investments in, for example, winterization. The Texas legislature restructured the state’s electric market in 1999.
Since 2010, ERCOT’s reserve margin – the buffer between generation capacity versus forecasted demand – has dropped to about 10% from about 20%. This has put pressure on generators during demand spikes, making the grid less flexible, according to North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a nonprofit regulator.
That thin margin for error set off alarms early Monday morning among energy traders and analysts as they watched a sudden drop in the electrical frequency of the Texas grid. One analyst compared it to watching the pulse of a hospital patient drop to life-threatening levels.
Too much of a drop is catastrophic because it would trigger automatic relay switches to disconnect power sources from the grid, setting off uncontrolled blackouts statewide. Dan Jones, an energy analyst at Monterey LLC, watched from his home office in Delaware as the grid’s frequency dropped quickly toward the point that would trigger the automatic shutdowns.
“If you’re not in control, and you are letting the equipment do it, that’s just chaos,” Jones said.
By Sunday afternoon about 3:15 p.m. (CST), ERCOT’s control room signaled it had run out of options to boost electric generation to match the soaring demand. Operators issued a warning that there was “no market solution” for the projected shortage, according to control room messages published by ERCOT on its website.
Adam Sinn, president of Houston-based energy trading firm Aspire Commodities, said ERCOT waited far too long to start telling utilities to cut customers’ power to guard against a grid meltdown. The problems, he said, were readily apparent several days before Monday.
“ERCOT was letting the system get weaker and weaker and weaker,” Sinn said in an interview. “I was thinking: Holy shit, what is this grid operator doing? He has to cut load.”
Sinn said he started texting his friends on Sunday night, warning them to expect widespread outages.
‘SECONDS AND MINUTES’
Early Monday morning, one of the largest sources of electricity in the state – the unit 1 reactor at the South Texas Nuclear Generating Station – stopped producing power after the small section of pipe froze in temperatures that averaged 17 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius). The grid lost access to 1,350 MW of nuclear power – enough to power about 270,000 homes – after automatic sensors detected the frozen pipe and protectively shut down the reactor, said Victor Dricks, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
About 2:30 a.m. (CST), the South Plains Electric Cooperative in Lubbock said it received a phone call from ERCOT to cut power to its customers. Inside the ERCOT control room, staff members scrambled to call utilities and cooperatives statewide to tell them to do the same, according to operational messages disclosed by the grid operator.
Three days later, ERCOT Chief Executive Bill Magness acknowledged that the grid operator had only narrowly avoided the calamity of uncontrolled blackouts.
“If we hadn’t taken action,” he said on Thursday, “it was seconds and minutes (away), given the amount of generation that was coming off the system at the same time that the demand was still going up.”
(Reporting by Tim McLaughlin and Stephanie Kelly; additional reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Simon Webb and Brian Thevenot)
UK could declare Brexit ‘water wars’ – The Telegraph
(Reuters) – Britain could restrict imports of European mineral water and several food products under retaliatory measures being considered by ministers over Brussels’ refusal to end its blockade on British shellfish, the Telegraph reported.
Senior government sources pointed to potential restrictions on the importing of mineral water and seed potatoes, the report said.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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