Intel Debuts New Scalable Processors

What An IT Salesperson Actually Does

It’s about that time again when everyone is talking cores, threads, and gigahertz.  Intel is starting to roll out their newest line of Xeon processors, which are being referred to as “scalable processors” powered by the new Skylake-SP core.

The existing architecture had limitations around the number of cores and threads that Intel has been trying to solve for several years.  Rather than simply adding iterative improvements to existing processors, this latest processor family from Intel has been re-architected from the ground up to improve performance, efficiency, and security.

Outside of changes to the architecture, Intel has also moved away from the E# naming convention in favor of a metal-based tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Whether this new convention adds clarity or complexity is yet to be seen. I know what you’re thinking: “I have to learn a whole new naming convention all over again?!” But have no fear! Here is a quick breakdown of the new tiers, as well as a cheat sheet for deciphering full model numbers under the new system:

  • Platinum (8100 series)
    • Use Cases: Mission-critical applications such Enterprise resource planning (ERP), In-memory Analytics, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), High-Frequency Trading (HFT), Machine Learning, Virtualization, Containers.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 28
    • Socket Configurations: 8+
    • Memory: Up to 12TB
  • Gold (6100/5100 series)
    • Use Cases: OLTP, Analytics, Machine Learning, Hadoop/SPARK workloads, server-side Java, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), High-Performance Computing (HPC), Virtualization, Containers.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 22
    • Socket Configurations: Up to 4
    • Memory: Up to 6TB
  • Silver (4100 series)
    • Use Cases: SMB workloads, Web front end, network & storage applications for organizations who are anticipating growth.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 12
    • Socket Configurations: Up to 2
    • Memory: Up to 1.5TB
  • Bronze (3100 series)
    • Use Cases: SMB workloads and basic storage servers.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 12
    • Socket Configurations: Up to 2
    • Memory: Up to 1.5TB

Unlike the ring architecture used on previous processors, Intel has developed a new mesh interconnect architecture which allows a shorter path for data to travel by increasing the number of pathways.  Intel states that the new processors are 1.65 times faster than its previous generation.  Another big improvement for performance and efficiency in the new Intel Xeon processors is the increase in the number of supported PCIe 3.0 lanes to a whopping 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes per processor!

Security has been a focus of this release.  Key Protection Technology, which makes it more difficult to retrieve encryption keys by keeping the operations for encrypting and decrypting directly on the processor rather than offloading them to memory, is another great feature of this latest technology. For a complete overview of the new system, Intel has created a comprehensive guide you can find here. We look forward to seeing these advances in tech in action!

How Do You Protect Your Business When the Threat Landscape Is Always Evolving?

Security Ransomware

Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to security attacks can be a challenge many find to be nearly impossible to achieve. But why is it so difficult? Every day, attacks targeting juggernauts of industry are featured in breaking news. An example is the recent “Wannacry” ransomware attack, which affected thousands of computers all over the world—from Europe to Asia to North America, locking users out of their computers and demanding ransoms. What’s concerning about these attacks is not only the frequency of them, but how they quickly inspire imitators.  

New attacks using combinations of execution code to bypass defense systems are popping up. Even more concerning, ransomware/botnet attacks are now hijacking ICS to re-route ambulances causing life-threatening consequences. And the hard truth is this won’t stop; new malware will be written with multiple code execution paths that are designed to set off benign processes while under scan and then execute malicious code once your anti-virus deems it to be safe. 

You might be indignantly thinking why? My anti-virus is supposed to stop all threats—my vendor said so! Why is it so difficult to defend my organization? 

The short answer is that it doesn’t have to be. Having implemented and reverse engineered many security solutions, I can say honestly that you cannot adopt or rely upon a single strategy or single solution to defend your posture. It takes a holistic and tiered approach to be able to defend and take on attacks from different vectors. 

A long time ago, I was once on the offensive side acting out DDoS attacks while playing a game called “Counter-Strike.” Why is this relevant? It seems hard to believe, but this game helped me adopt a philosophy on cybersecurity that I will never forget and will use for the rest of my career. I hope you can take this philosophy to heart, and that it will also help you protect your business as well as yourself from being hacked. 

Know your risk. 

Designing a secure infrastructure starts with knowing your greatest risks and weaknesses. Think like a hacker. What is the most critical asset? What type of attacks are you vulnerable to? What would someone do to exploit it that risk? Knowing is the first step. 

Identify your risk. 

In the following tiers: Reputation, Operational, and Intellectual Property. Once you’ve identified your risk in these arenas, plan a defensive strategy accordingly.  

Defend. 

Your strategy should lead to you knowing your network better than anyone else. You are the first and last line of defense. Security solutions are simply technology, but without configuring that technology to its strictest potential, you will not win. Do not allow any attacker to exploit your posture. Conduct vulnerability assessments and risk audits. Conducting threat assessments regularly is a critical step in continually developing your security plan.

What I Do in IT Sales

What An IT Salesperson Actually Does

“Sweetie, can you help me get my printer to work?” my mom called from the kitchen while I was visiting for Father’s Day last month. “Umm, I can try?” I stammered. These scenarios with family and friends have become commonplace since I began my IT career five years ago.  I’m sure other people can relate—when you work in IT sales, for some mysterious reason, so many people think you can fix their printer, laptop, or broken iPhone. 

“So what do you do?” I might be asked by an older family member. Here’s what I say: 

     1. I am constantly learning.

In my first week of training as an Account Executive, we focused on an overview of networking, speeds and feeds, port counts and what things like “single-mode” and “POE” meant. Over the years, as Myriad has expanded, our training program has grown to cover systems/storage, security and cloud, and network services. (Alas, still no training on how to troubleshoot a printer…) All kidding aside, much of my knowledge has been tailored by the clients that I have the privilege of working with.  

Many of the companies that I work with are service providers who have extremely demanding SLAs and require immediate solutions since they are the people responsible for ensuring there are no issues with their office’s internet. As a result, I’m constantly listening to what the best and brightest companies need to keep their IT departments running smoothly and helping them fill that need. Over the last few years, I’ve seen across the industry that security (specifically surrounding ransomware and DDoS attacks) is of paramount concern to these companies. Introducing clients to our Engineering team—who can design a client’s environment that solves and prevents problems—is extremely gratifying and one of my favorite parts of the job.  

      2. I build relationships.

Without a doubt the most exciting element of sales for me is landing an initial order with a new client. Typically getting in front of a new company takes a multi-pronged approach leveraging shared connections and referrals. One of the most dynamic parts of sales is discovering shared interests with a client in addition to their goals and deal-breakers. Candor on both sides regarding strengths, areas for improvement, and measurements of success are fundamental to a mutually beneficial arrangement. 

Additionally, in the sales industry specifically, there is always staff movement, typically a salesperson moving on to a different role or being promoted to a manager. Those excited and committed to sales offer stability to our roster of clients. The ability for a customer to know that you will be their main point of contact for years to come is invaluable since no knowledge transfer is ever complete. Just like with any person you get to know, each client has particulars that are unique to them and tailoring our service to those specifics makes our business relationship stronger. 

     3. Above all, I help! 

The dynamic nature of sales and how each day presents new scenarios and challenges makes the job of a salesperson especially rewarding. Making real connections with clients and being able to be helpful while being yourself translates to a camaraderie that transcends time zones and miles. I work with people who have incredibly stressful jobs that keep them on call ‘round the clock. Being able to respond immediately, effectively and with empathy to let my client know that we are working on whatever they need together makes the burden for my clients feel just a little bit less heavy. It’s in those hard moments that meaningful, long-lasting business relationships are formed. Anyone can be there when you sign the deal for that new circuit or ship that shiny new router, but making it through and helping to solve customer challenges is something I am proud of when it comes to my team. 

And there you have it! While I might not be the first person to call when a printer breaks (sorry, Mom!), I’m thrilled to be standing with my team at Myriad, helping each other and our clients forge the right path in this brave virtual world.    

Myriad & Girl Develop It March Campaign Kicks Off today!

Just a reminder that the March 2015 Myriad & Girl Develop It Campaign kicks off today! Join us on Twitter to help raise money for GDI and enter to win a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook!

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  • We’ll post a question to Twitter each day starting today relating to women in tech
  • For every correct answer using our hashtag #MyriadGives, we’ll donate $1 to GDI*
  • We’ll also donate $1 to GDI for every retweet (RT) of our question*
  • Every time anyone answers correctly and/or retweets our question we’ll enter them into a drawing at the end of the month for a new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook!
  • Each day, tweets and replies are due at 11:59 EST.
  • Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on 3/30/15. Winner will be announced via Twitter (@MyriadSupply) at 12pm EST 3/31/15.

Questions? Email us at giving@myriadsupply.com. Good luck & thanks for helping us raise money & awareness for GDI!

 

*Myriad will donate up to $10,000 total. Each Twitter handle may reply to one tweet and Retweet once per day.

Myriad & GDI team up to support women interested in web and software development

Friends of Myriad –

It is with great excitement that we announce our partnership with the nonprofit organization Girl Develop It!

GDI’s mission is to help teach women around the globe how to code and develop software, thus empowering more women to enter the tech field. With only 25% of computer related jobs in the United States being held by women, we at Myriad believe that there is a clear gap that needs to be bridged. While the tech world is one that promotes innovation and creativity, it can be woefully gender restrictive when it comes to who is sitting at the keyboard developing that next great project. Myriad believes that by encouraging more women of all ages to pursue education and careers in web and software development, we’ll all benefit from seeing an increase in talent and diversity in the tech world. With this partnership we’re aiming to help GDI in their efforts to do just that.

So how are we going to help? Throughout all of March (which also happens to be Women’s History Month) we’ll be doing the following:

  • We’ll post a question to Twitter starting on 3/2/15 relating to women in tech
  • For every correct answer, using our hashtag #MyriadGives, we’ll donate $1 to GDI*
  • We’ll also donate $1 to GDI for every retweet (RT) of our question*
  • Every time anyone answers correctly and/or retweets our question we’ll enter them into a drawing at the end of the month for a new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook! (If you haven’t heard about the awesome XPS 13, see the Gizmodo.com review here.)

We invite you all to join in to help support GDI in their mission, and have a little fun while you’re doing it! Find us on Twitter and make sure to check in for the first question on Monday, March 2nd.

Sincerely,

Hilary DeCourcey

Head of Charitable Giving

VP of Purchasing & Client Support

#MyriadGives

*Terms and conditions for the donation and drawing will be posted on 3/2/15.

The Great WiFi Migration

Cloud this, virtual that… it’s the future, and mostly it’s a good thing! Welcome to the great WiFi expansion, folks!

The Past

Not too long ago, when people started deploying multiple wireless access points (APs) in a single location, they realized how cumbersome it was to manage all APs individually. The masses demanded a way of managing multiple APs from a single location, and so the Controller was born. A Controller is just what the name says: a device that ‘controls’ and manages all APs from one central location.

For some time, this was the only option for managing multiple APs, and there was no way around it. And it was a great thing. It still is.

Now 

[Read more…]