Recent Blog Posts

Visual Cloud & Remote Workstations in the Enterprise

From video streaming to remote workstations, more content is being delivered via cloud computing every day. Data centers everywhere are dealing with a flood of video traffic, and many enterprises are also dealing with the computing demands of complex design applications and massive data sets that are used by employees and contractors scattered around the world.

 

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For design and content creation companies to remain competitive in today’s global business climate, they need to employ technologies that help technical employees and contractors collaborate to solve complex and interconnected design problems. Their designers, sales people, customers, contractors and others involved in the design process need access to design information and tools – anywhere and anytime, and the enterprise needs to safeguard its valuable intellectual property. The enterprise is therefore faced with finding ways to securely share data models and content over a widely distributed workforce without breaking the bank.

 

Enabling the Global Design Workforce

 

Securing access to complex and sensitive design models and content, quickly and easily providing access to a highly distributed workforce and ecosystem and providing an excellent user experience to that workforce are the collaboration challenges faced by the IT organizations at design firms.

 

However, there’s a simple solution to these challenges. Cloud-hosted remote workstations allow engineers to use demanding 3D graphics applications from virtually anywhere in the world, with all data and applications hosted on servers based on Intel Xeon processors in a secure data center. Employees can safely collaborate with external contractors while avoiding sending designs from computer-to-computer and protecting enterprise intellectual property.

Remote users can also work from the same data set, with no need for high-volume data transfers. This allows the enterprise to deliver fast and clear graphics running on a dense, cost-effective infrastructure.

 

New Architectures and Ecosystems

 

To support the demands of remote workstations, new solutions and partnerships are absolutely necessary.

 

The Intel Xeon processor E3-1500 v5 product family offers hardware-enhanced integrated graphics capabilities that are optimized for remote application delivery workloads. These integrated graphics solutions cost-effectively accelerate video and enable secure, remote delivery of applications by combining the performance of Intel Xeon processors with integrated Iris Pro graphics.

 

Intel-powered remote workstation solutions allow technical professionals and content creators to have greater access to key applications on their computing device(s) while securely collaborating with colleagues. For IT, these solutions provide centralized management, more provisioning control, and easier patching and updating of applications.

 

The newly announced Intel Xeon processor E3-1500 v5 includes Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology (Intel GVT) to address multiple customer use cases. These include direct assignment of a given GPU’s capabilities to a single user; the ability to allow multiple local or remote virtual machines to share access to a GPU; and the ability to share a GPU’s resources through multiple concurrent users in a time-slice scenario.

 

Productivity and Progress: Central to the Enterprise

 

Organizations can increase the security of enterprise information by centrally hosting critical applications and data and avoiding delivering valuable visual content to contractors. The enterprise can also avoid provisioning powerful workstations to users who need infrequent access to graphic-intensive applications, such as salespeople who only occasionally need to provide design input.

 

Intel works with a partner ecosystem to enhance the delivery and minimize the complexity of high-performance remote workstations within the enterprise. For example, the enterprise can turn to VMware Horizon 7 to deliver virtual or hosted desktops or Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop to deliver secure virtual apps and desktops.

 

Adopting secure remote workstations allows the enterprise to deliver once out-of-reach workstation performance and visual content to designers, engineers, media creators, and other professionals. This enables major leaps in collaboration and productivity, further empowering each employee to drive progress for the enterprise.

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Smart Grid on the Edge – The Data Challenge

Utilities are facing an increasingly complex power delivery environment, with the need to incorporate renewables generation, electric vehicles, and complex demand response programs into their service area operations. In response, many are expanding their smart grid strategies to take advantage … Read more >

The post Smart Grid on the Edge – The Data Challenge appeared first on Grid Insights by Intel.

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Safe and sound—digital security with home desktop PCs

In today’s digital world, consumers face a barrage of online phishing attacks, new forms of nasty malware, and the risk of virus-infected desktops like never before. Unfortunately, cyber criminals do not discriminate, and it’s very easy to fall victim to their scams.

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But what if you could rest easy at night knowing all of your pictures, videos, and personal files are securely stored on a high-capacity, always-available desktop PC that stays safely in your home? [i],[ii] Here are a few ways that Intel Security is making this possible.

 

Built-In Protection for Stronger Security

 

At its core, Intel-based desktops build security in from the silicon up to help safeguard your files, online transactions, data, and identity on a device that can reside securely in your home. Desktop PCs that are running 6th gen Intel Core processors feature hardware-based technologies that protect against a wide range of malware attacks and exploits—and help keep your system and data free from hacking, viruses, and prying eyes.

 

As an added layer of support, the hardware-based security capabilities of Intel Identity Protection Technology can be found on more than 500 million PCs[iii] to support trusted device authentication. Now you can enjoy amazing computing experiences and more control over your personal content and information without worrying about the next Trojan horse.

  

password.pngSay Goodbye to Passwords

 

Creating one strong password that you can remember is hard enough, but doing it for every single online account is almost impossible—until now. Many people use the same password everywhere, so it doesn’t take a skilled hacker to break into an account, just a good guesser.

 

“More than 90 percent of passwords today are weak, predictable, and ultimately crackable,” says Dave Singh, product marketer, Intel Client Computing Group. “What we’re trying to do is help consumers develop good security habits when they’re browsing and shopping online, and password managers make this very convenient by decreasing frustration to provide a better user experience on their PCs.”

 

As one example, True Key comes preloaded on most Intel-based desktop PCs with McAfee LiveSafe software. Users can sync their data across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices and import passwords from all browsers and competitors. Advanced multi-factor authentication (MFA) and biometric security make it easy to sign into any account. Choose at least two different factors (e.g., trusted device, face, email, master password, numeric pin, or fingerprint) and the app will verify your identity. For additional security, you can add more factors and make your profile even stronger. Basically, True Key can recognize you and sign you in—eliminating the need for passwords altogether.

 

“With so many different ways to log in and get to your personal content and information, password managers can really help increase productivity by saving time and headaches,” adds Singh.

 

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Imagine being able to walk up to your PC and have one central app manage your mobile wallet, healthcare account, or hotel membership profile. You can now book travel, buy and ship gifts or upload photos to the cloud more conveniently and better protected against malware.

 

Some password managers can also store wallet items—credit cards, addresses, memberships—and make it easy to “tap and pay” at checkout for secure online payments and transactions. Intel technologies feature fast, end-to-end data encryption to keep your information safe without slowing you down, with built-in hardware authentication to provide seamless protection for online transactions.

 

“Your high-capacity, always-available desktop can stay safely at your home with all your locally stored files, but you can securely access the information from other devices, including your smartphone,” Singh says.

 

“Paired with new Windows 10 sign-in options like Windows Hello, desktop computing is truly becoming more personal and secure. It really shows how digital security is advancing to work better together for the best home computing experience.”

 

So the next time you log into your home desktop PC, you can do it with a smile. Download the Flash Card for more tips on how to safeguard your digital security. 

 


[i] Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at intel.com.

[ii] Requires an Intel® Ready Mode Technology-enabled system or motherboard, a genuine Intel® processor, Windows* 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 OS. Results dependent upon hardware, applications installed, Internet connectivity, setup and configuration.

[iii] True Key™ by Intel Security. Security White Paper 1.0. https://b.tkassets.com/shared/TrueKey-SecurityWhitePaper-v1.0-EN.pdf

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US Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearings on the FCC’s Proposed Privacy Rules

By John Kincaide, Privacy and Security Policy Attorney at Intel On May 11, 2016 the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law held a hearing on “Examining the Proposed FCC Privacy Rules”. The objective of the hearing … Read more >

The post US Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearings on the FCC’s Proposed Privacy Rules appeared first on Policy@Intel.

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Intel IoT Tech Drives Enhanced Store Intelligence Solutions at JDA Focus

Intel Internet of Things (IoT) technology drove robust smart and connected retail solutions and interactive brand experiences at JDA FOCUS in Nashville this month. JDA’s annual global conference brings together more than 2,000 retail and manufacturing professionals to network, share … Read more >

The post Intel IoT Tech Drives Enhanced Store Intelligence Solutions at JDA Focus appeared first on IoT@Intel.

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Rich Graphics for Virtualized Remote Applications — Powered by Citrix and Intel

By James Hsu, Director of Technical Marketing at Citrix

 

One of the great experiences in our industry is to see  products from different vendors—hardware and software—come together to solve  real customer problems. That’s what’s been happening with Citrix and Intel for  the last two years as we worked together to apply Intel Graphics  Virtualization Technology (Intel GVT) to the Citrix  XenServer virtualization platform. The result of that effort is Citrix  XenServer 7.0, which we are announcing at Citrix Synergy 2016 in Las Vegas. It’s  the first commercial hypervisor product to leverage Intel GVT-g, Intel’s virtual  graphics processing unit that can power multiple VMs with one physical GPU. As  well as announcing XenServer 7.0, Citrix is also announcing XenDesktop 7.9  offering industry-leading remote graphics delivery supported by Intel.  Let me tell you what that does for users  running graphics-intensive virtualized desktop applications, and then I’ll tell  you how we used Intel GVT-g to do it.

 

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Citrix XenApp and  XenDesktop lets you deliver virtualized desktop and applications hosted on  a server to remote workstations. Many desktop applications—like computer-aided  design and manufacturing apps and even accelerated Microsoft Office—require the  high-performance graphics capabilities of a graphics processing unit (GPU). In  XenDesktop 7.9 Citrix also added support for Intel Iris Pro graphics in the HDX  3D Pro remote display protocol.

 

Earlier versions of XenServer enabled Intel GPU capabilities  on virtualized desktops in a pass-through mode that allocated the GPU to a  single workstation. Now, XenServer 7.0 expands our customers’ options by using  Intel  GVT-g to virtualize access to the Intel Iris Pro Graphics GPU integrated onto select  Intel Xeon processor E3  family products , allowing it to be shared by as many as seven  virtual workstations.

 

With Intel GVT-g, each virtual desktop machine has its own copy  of Intel’s native graphics driver, and the hypervisor directly assigns the full  GPU resource to each virtual machine on a time-sliced basis. During its time  slice, each virtual machine gets a dedicated GPU, but the overall effect is that  a number of virtual machines share a single GPU. It’s an ideal solution in  applications where high-end graphics are required but shared access is  sufficient to meet needs. Using the Intel Xeon processor E3 family, small single-socket servers can pack a big  graphics punch. It’s an efficient, compact design that enables a new scale-out  approach to virtual application delivery. And it’s a cost-effective  alternative to high-end workstations and servers with add-on GPU cards.

 

The advantages go beyond just cost efficiency. Providing  shared access by remote users to server-based data and applications enhances  worker productivity and improves collaboration. It also tightens security and  enables compliance, because critical intellectual property, financial data, and  customer information stays in the data center rather than drifting out to  individual workstations and mobile devices. And security is further enhanced,  because Intel Xeon processors contain Intel Trusted Execution Technology  (Intel TXT) to let you create trusted computing pools. Intel TXT attests to  the integrity and trust of the platform, assures nothing has been tampered with,  and verifies that the platform is running the authorized versions of firmware  and software when booting up.

 

At Citrix, our goal is to provide our customers with the  computing experience they need to innovate and be productive—on a range of platforms  and usage models and in a way that enhances the security of their business. And  we want to give them the flexibility to access the computing resources they  need anywhere, any time, and from any device. Our collaboration with Intel has let  us deliver on that promise, and it lets us provide even more options for  platform choice and deployment configurations. It’s been a great experience for  us, and now it will enable a great experience for our mutual customers.

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Advantages of Telehealth: Better Patient Care

 

The shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-performance is changing the conversation around patient care. Reducing readmissions is one benchmark for analyzing the quality of care, and more discussion is happening around bringing telehealth into the mix to improve this metric.

 

Traditionally, when patients leave the clinical setting, interaction between the care team and the patient decreases. With telehealth and remote patient monitoring, technology allows the provider team to remain in contact with the patient to follow up on regiments and make sure instructions are followed. The result can be a shift in outcomes for the better.

 

To learn more about telehealth, we sat down with Fadesola Adetosoye from Dell Healthcare Services, who says telehealth allows patients to overcome challenges, like transportation issues, to obtain better primary care and stay in touch with clinicians following discharge.

 

Watch the video above and let us know what questions you have about telehealth? Is your organization using a telehealth strategy?

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Unleash the Power: Knights Landing Developer Platforms are here!

Developers –  your HPC Ninja Platform is here! HPC developers  worldwide have begun to participate in the Developer Access Program (DAP) – a  bootstrap effort for early access to code development and optimization on the  next generation Intel Xeon Phi processor. A key part of the program is the  Ninja Developer Platform.

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Several  supercomputing-class systems are currently powered by the Intel Xeon Phi processor  (code name Knights Landing (KNL))—a powerful many core, highly parallel  processor. KNL delivers  massive thread parallelism, data parallelism, and memory bandwidth with  improved single-thread performance and Intel Xeon processor  binary-compatibility in a standard CPU form factor.

 

In anticipation of KNL’s general availability,  we, along with our partners, are bringing to market a developer access program,  which provides an ideal, platform for code developers. Colfax, a valued Intel  partner, is handling the program, which is already underway.

 

The Ninja Platform

 

Think of the  Ninja Developer Platform as a stand-alone box that has a single bootable next-generation  Intel Xeon Phi processor. Developers can start kicking the tires and getting a  feel for the processor’s capabilities. They can begin developing the highly  parallel codes needed to optimize existing and new applications.

 

As part of  Intel’s Developer Access Program, the Ninja platform has everything you need in  the way of hardware, software, tools, education and support.  It comes fully configured with memory, local  storage, CentOS 7.2 and also includes a one-year license for Intel Parallel  Studio XE tools and libraries.  You can  get to work immediately whether you’re a developer experienced with previous  generations of Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors or if you are new to the Intel Xeon  Phi processor family.

 

Colfax has  pulled out all the stops in designing the education and support resources  including white papers, webinars, and how-to and optimization guides. Currently  underway are a series of KNL webinars and hands-on workshops – see details at http://dap.xeonphi.com/#trg

 

Here is a  quick look at the two platform options that are being offered by the Developer Access  Program – both are customizable to meet your application needs.

 

             


Pedestal    Platform

Rack    Platform

  • Developer Edition of Intel Xeon Phi Processor: 16GB MCDRAM, 6         Channels of DDR4, AVX 512
  • MEMORY: 6x DIMM slots
  • EXPANSION: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 (unavailable with KNL-F), 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (in a x8 mechanical slot)
  • LAN: 2x Intel i350 Gigabit Ethernet
  • STORAGE: 8x SATA ports, 2x SATADOM support
  • POWER SUPPLY: 1x 750W 80 Plus Gold
  • CentOS 7.2
  • Intel Parallel Studio XE Professional Edition Named User 1-year license

  

      
  • 2U 4x Hot-Swap Nodes
  •   

  • Developer Edition of Intel Xeon Phi Processor: 16GB MCDRAM, 6         Channels of DDR4, AVX 512
  •   

  • MEMORY: 6x DIMM slots / Node
  •   

  • EXPANSION: Riser 1: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, Riser 2: 1x PCIe Gen3 x 20         (x16 or x4) / Node
  •   

  • LAN: 2x Intel i210 Gigabit Ethernet / Node
  •   

  • STORAGE: 12x 3.5″ Hot-Swap Drives
  •   

  • POWER SUPPLY: 2x 2130W Common Redundant 80 Plus Platinum
  •   

  • CentOS 7.2
  •   

  • Intel Parallel Studio XE Cluster Edition Named User 1-year         license

  

 

Given the richness of the technology and the  tools being offered along with the training and support resources, developers should  find the process of transitioning to the latest Intel Xeon Phi processor  greatly accelerated.

 

The Ninja Development Platform is particularly  well suited to meet the needs of code developers in such disciplines as  academia, engineering, physics, big data analytics, modeling and simulation,  visualization and a wide variety of scientific applications.

 

The platform  will cost ~$5,000 USD for the single node pedestal server with additional costs  for customization.  On the horizon is our  effort to take this program global with Colfax and partners. Stay tuned for  details in my next blog.

 

You can pre-order  the Ninja Developer Platform now at http://www.xeonphideveloper.com.

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Enabling Anywhere, Anytime Design Collaboration with Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology

Graphics virtualization and design collaboration took a step  forward this week with the announcement of support for Intel Graphics  Virtualization Technology-g (Intel® GVT-g) on the Citrix XenServer* platform.

 

Intel GVT-g running on the current generation graphics-enabled  Intel Xeon processor E3 family, and future generations of Intel Xeon®  processors with integrated graphics capabilities, will enable up to seven Citrix  users to share a single GPU without significant performance penalties. This new  support for Intel GVT-g in the Citrix virtualization environment was unveiled  this week at the Citrix Synergy conference in Las Vegas.

 

A little bit of background on the technology: With Intel  GVT-g, a virtual GPU instance is maintained for each virtual machine, with a  share of performance-critical resources directly assigned to each VM. Running a  native graphics driver inside a VM, without hypervisor intervention in  performance-critical paths, optimizes the end-user experience in terms of features,  performance and sharing capabilities.

 

All of this means that multiple users who need to work with  and share design files can now collaborate more easily on the XenServer  integrated virtualization platform, while gaining the economies that come with  sharing a single system and benefiting from the security of working from a  trusted compute pool enabled by Intel  Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT).

 

Intel GVT-g is an ideal solution for users who need access  to GPU resources to work with graphically oriented applications but don’t  require a dedicated GPU system. These users might be anyone from sales reps and  product managers to engineers and component designers. With Intel GVT-g on the  Citrix virtualization platform, each user has access to separate OSs and apps  while sharing a single processor – a cost-effective solution that increases  platform flexibility.

 

The back side of this story is one of close collaboration  among Intel, Citrix, and the Xen open source community to develop and refine a  software-based approach to virtualization in an Intel GPU and XenServer  environment. It took a lot of people working together to get us to this point.

 

And now we’ve arrived at our destination. With the  combination of Intel GVT-g, Intel  Xeon processor-based servers with Intel Iris Pro Graphics, and Citrix  XenServer, anywhere, anytime design collaboration just a got a lot easier.

For a closer look at Intel GVT-g, including a technical  demo, visit our Intel Graphics Virtualization  Technology site or visit our booth #870 at Citrix  Synergy 2016.

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Making New Server-Virtualization Capabilities a Reality

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work at Intel is seeing the new capabilities built in to Intel silicon that are then brought to life on an ISV partner’s product. It is this synergy between Intel and partner technologies where I see the industry and customers really benefit.

 

Two of the newer examples of this kind of synergy are made possible with Citrix XenServer 7.0—Supervisor Mode Access Prevention (SMAP) and Page Modification Logging (PML). Both capabilities are built in to the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family, but can only benefit customers when a server-virtualization platform is engineered to use them. Citrix XenServer 7.0 is one of  the first server-virtualization platforms to do that with SMAP and PML.

 

Enhancing Security with Supervisor Mode Access Prevention (SMAP)

 

SMAP is not new in and of itself. Intel introduced SMAP for Linux on 3rd generation Xeon processors, SMAP is new to virtualization though. Intel added SMAP code to the Citrix Xen hypervisor in Xen Project. Citrix then worked with the code in Xen, and XenServer 7.0 makes SMAP a reality for server virtualization.

 

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Figure 1:  SMAP prevents the hypervisor from accessing the guests’ memory space other than when needed for a specific function

 

SMAP helps prevent malware from diverting operating-system access to malware-controlled user data, which helps enhance security in virtualized server environments. SMAP aligns with the Intel and Citrix partnership where Intel and Citrix regularly collaborate to help make a seamless, secure mobile-workspace experience a reality.

 

Improving Performance with Page Modification Logging (PML)

 

PML improves performance during live migrations between virtual server hosts. As with SMAP, PML capabilities are built in to the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family, and XenServer 7.0 is one of the first server-virtualization platforms to actually enable PML in a virtualized server environment.

 

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Figure 2:  With PML, CPU cycles previously used to track guest memory-page writes during live migration are available for guest use instead

 

Read More

 

I haven’t gone into detail on SMAP or PML or how they work. Instead, I invite you to read about them and how they add to the already strong XenServer virtualization platform and Intel Xeon processor E5 family in the Intel and Citrix solution brief, “New Capabilities with Citrix XenServer and the Intel Xeon Processor E5 v4 Family.” I also invite you to follow me and my growing #TechTim community on Twitter: @TimIntel.

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Intel Inside and Everywhere at Synergy16

Las-Vegas-Strip-1036x691[1].jpgBy Steve Sieron, Senior Alliance Marketing Manager at CItrix

 

 

Intel will be highly visible next week at Synergy as a Platinum Sponsor. They’ll be featuring a number of new solutions that showcase the broad technical, product and marketing partnership with Citrix across networking, cloud, security and graphics virtualization. And? There’ll be an array of innovative Intel-based endpoint devices running XenApp and XenDesktop across Win10, Linux and Chrome OS.

 

You won’t want to miss SYN121 on Wednesday May 25 from 4:30-5:15pm PDT in Murano 3204 for “Mobilize your Design Workforce: Delivering Graphical Applications on Both Private and Public Clouds.” This informative panel, hosted by Jim Blakley, Intel GM Visual Cloud Computing, will feature graphics industry experts, including Thomas Poppelgaard, Jason Dacanay from Gensler, Adam Jull from IMSCAD. and Citrix own “Mr. HDX,” Derek Thorslund.

 

Be sure to take advantage of Intel’s Ask the Experts Bar and daily tech talks, where you can network with a variety of industry experts. The tech talks will feature customers and industry experts along with Intel and Citrix product owners. Intel health care implementations will also be featured in customer presentations at the Citrix Booth Theatre from both LifeSpan and Allegro Pediatrics.

 

Visit these Interactive Demos and More in Intel Booth #870

 

Enhancing Netscaler Security and Performance with Intel Inside. Showcasing performance scaling and new security enhancements on Intel® Xeon® Processor based Netscaler MPX and SDX product families.

 

Intel® Solid State Drives (SSD) Enable a Secure Client. New endpoint security, storage technologies and capabilities with Citrix core product solutions.

 

Scaling XenDesktop with Atlantis USX and Intel SSD.  Featuring Atlantis USX as a storage layer with Intel SSDs for XenDesktop. Offering a robust performance architecture and high density with lower implementation costs and ongoing maintenance OPEX compared to traditional VDI Solutions.

 

Intel® Graphics Virtualization on Citrix (Intel® GVT). Learn about the new Intel Xeon Processor E3 family with Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics in the cloud and new graphics virtualization technologies and solutions powered by Citrix from leading OEM partners. Interact with ISV-certified rich and brilliant 3D apps on the Intel remote cloud and learn how integrated graphics offer a compelling alternative to add-in graphics cards. The technologies highlighted will include Intel GVT-d – direct deployment of Intel processor graphics running 3D apps and media as well as Intel GVT-g – shared deployment in a cloud-based environment, hosted remotely in a data center running Citrix on latest-gen Intel Xeon processor servers.

 

Intel Ecosystem Enables Citrix Across Synergy16

 

Of course, the broader Intel ecosystem will be on full display at Synergy, including the latest HP Moonshot m710 Series and Cisco M-Series offerings. These tools bring unmatched levels of price, performance and density in delivering graphics and rich apps to a wide range of professional users requiring access to apps with ever-increasing graphics capabilities. There will also be a broad array of Intel Xeon-based Netscalers running in the IBM Softlayer Cloud and across booths and learning labs throughout the event. Explore exciting Intel-based Storage solutions on Citrix with new offerings from partners such as Nutanix, Pure Storage and Atlantis. As always, Intel end points will be ubiquitous throughout Synergy and featured in many sponsor pavilions, including HPE, Google, Dell and Samsung.

 

Beyond being a technology leader and strategic partner, Intel will be supplying Intel Arduino boards for the Simply Serve program at Synergy. Promoting STEM programs for Title 1 middle school students. A big thanks to Intel on behalf of both Citrix and the Southern Nevada United Way!

 

Citrix is pleased to welcome Intel to Synergy 2016. We encourage all attendees to stop by Booth #870 to meet the Intel team, watch customer presentations at the Intel Theatre and interact with innovative technology demos. Don’t forget to pull up your Synergy Mobile App to mark your calendar for SYN121, the Industry Expert Graphics Panel on Wed May 25 at 4:30pm in Murano 3204.

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What Cybersecurity Data Should You Trust?

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The Limitations of Security Data

We are constantly being bombarded by cybersecurity data, reports, and marketing collateral—and not all of this information should be treated equally. Security data inherently has limitations and biases, which result in varying value and relevance in how it should be applied. It is important to understand which is significant and how best to allow it to influence your decisions. 

 

There is a tsunami of security metrics, reports, analyses, blogs, papers, and articles vying for attention. Sources range from reporters, researchers, professional security teams, consultants, dedicated marketing groups, and even security-operations people who are adding data, figures, and opinions to the cauldron. We are flooded with data and all those who have opinions on it.

 

It was not always this way. Over a decade ago, it was an information desert, where even speculations were rare. Making decisions driven by data has always been a good practice. Years ago, many advocates were working hard to convince the industry to share information. Even a drop is better than none. Most groups that were capturing metrics were too frightened or embarrassed to share. Data was kept secret by everyone while decision makers were clamoring for security insights based upon industry numbers, which simply were not available. 

 

What Was the Result?

In the past, fear, uncertainty, and doubt ruled. People began to dread the worst and unscrupulous security marketing advocates took advantage, fanning the flames to sell products and snake oil. They were dark times, promulgated with outlandish claims of easily eradicating cyber threats with their software or appliance products. The market was riddled with magic boxes, silver-bullet software, and turn-key solutions to easily fix all security woes.  I can remember countless salespeople asserting “we solve security” (which at that point I stopped listening or kicked them out).  The concept of flipping a switch and all the complex problems of compute security forever goes away, was what uninformed organizations wanted to hear, but was simply unrealistic.  Why customers chose to believe such nonsense (when the problem and the effectiveness of potential solutions could not be quantified) is beyond me, but many did.  Trust in the security solutions industry was lost for a period of time.

 

Slowly, a trickle of informative sources began to produce reports and publish data. Such initiatives gained momentum with others joining in to share in limited amounts. It was a turning point. Armed with data and critical thinking, clarity and common sense began to take root. It was not perfect or quick, but the introduction of data from credible sources empowered security organizations to better understand the challenge and effective ways to maneuver against threats.

 

As the size of the market and competition grew, additional viewpoints joined the fray. Today, we are bombarded by all manner of cybersecurity information. Some are credible while others are not. There are several types of data being presented, ranging from speculations to hard research. Being well-informed is extremely valuable to decision makers. Now, the problem is figuring out how to filter and organize the data so one is not mislead.

 

As part of my role as a cybersecurity strategist, I both publish information to the community and consume vast amounts of industry data. To manage the burden and avoid the risks of believing less-than-trustworthy information, I have a quick guide to help structure the process. It is burned into my mind as a set of filters and rules, but I am committing it to paper in order to share. 

 

I categorize data into four buckets. These are: Speculation, Survey, Actuarial, and Research. Each has its pros and cons. The key to managing security data overload is to understand the limitations of each class, its respective value and its recommended usage.

 

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For example, Survey data is the most unreliable, but does have value in understanding the fears and perceptions of the respondent community.  Research data is normally very accurate but notoriously narrow in scope and may be late to the game.  One of my favorites is Actuarial data.  I am a pragmatic guy.  I want to know what is actually happening so I can make my own conclusions.  But there are limitations to Actuarial data as well.  It tends to be very limited in size and scope, so you can’t look too far into it and it is a reflection of the past, which may not align to the future. 

I hear lots of different complaints and criticisms when it comes to the validity, scope, intent, and usage of data.  I personally have my favorites and those which I refuse to even read.  Security data is notoriously difficult.  There are so many limitations and biases, it is far easier to point out issues than to see the diamond in the rough.  But data can be valuable if filtered, corrected for bias, and the limitations are known. Don’t go in blind.  Common sense must be applied.  Have a consistent method and structure to avoid pitfalls and maximize the data available to help you manage and maintain an optimal level of security.

Below are a few examples, in my opinion, of credible cybersecurity data across the spectrum of different categories.  Again keep in mind the limitations of each group and don’t make the mistake of using the information improperly!  Look to Speculation for the best opinions, Survey for the pulse of industry perceptions, Actuarial for real events, and Research for deep analysis:

 

Speculation:

 

Survey:

  • Threat Intelligence Sharing surveyMcAfee Labs Threats Report March 2016
  • 20% jump in cybercrime in the UK since 2014 with nearly two-thirds of businesses expressing no confidence in the ability of law enforcement to deal with it, per PwC
  • 25% Americans believe they have experienced a data breach or cyber attack.  Travelers survey
  • 43% organizations surveyed indicated increases in cybersecurity will drive the most technology spending.  Source 2016 ESG IT spending intentions research report
  • 61% of CEO’s believe cyber threats pose a danger to corporate growth per PwC survey

 

Actuarial:

  • 3 out of 5 Californians were victims of data breaches in 2015 according to the CA Attorney General in the 2016 California Data Breach Report
  • ~35% of the US population. Top 10 Healthcare breaches of 2015, affected almost 35% of the US population.  Source: Office of Civil Rights
  • Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) annual report by Verizon
  • 2016 Annual Security Report by Cisco
  • 42 million new unique pieces of malware discovered in Q4 2015, bringing the total known samples to almost 500 million, per McAfee Labs Threat Report  (March 2016, Malware section)
  • Security Intelligence Report (SIR) bi-annual report by Microsoft

 

Research:

 

By the way, yes, this very blog would be considered Speculation.  Treat it as such. 

 

 

 

Interested in more?  Follow me on Twitter (@Matt_Rosenquist) and LinkedIn to hear insights and what is going on in cybersecurity.

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ITC Report Highlights TPP Benefits to the Digital Economy

By Lisa Malloy, director of Government Relations and Trade Policy for Intel Trade agreements have long been a major contributor to improving U.S. competitiveness and economic growth. That’s certainly true for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will help U.S. businesses … Read more >

The post ITC Report Highlights TPP Benefits to the Digital Economy appeared first on Policy@Intel.

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