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Will Dell Spinoff VMware? | Gestalt IT Rundown: June 24, 2020

Dell is reportedly investigating a VMware spinoff, a bill in the US Senate would require tech companies to help break encryption, Intel launched Gen 2 Optane DIMMs, and AWS mitigates the largest DDoS. Rich Stroffolino and Tom Hollingsworth break it all down on this week’s Gestalt IT Rundown.

This week on the Rundown:


Parallels on Chrome OS

Parallels announced it is working with Google to bring full Windows application support to Chrome OS enterprise devices. Parallels promised that this autumn full-featured Windows apps, including Microsoft Office will run seamlessly on Chromebook enterprise Devices.

Zoom Encryption Beta

Zoom will launch an option for AES 256 GCM transport end-to-end encryption on its beta version in July for all users. Previously Zoom said it would only launch end-to-end encryption for paid users. A toggle switch will be available for call admins to turn on or off. It will have to be off to let phone users join. Free users who want the feature will have to provide additional verification such as verifying a phone number by text message. Zoom says this is meant to stop mass creation of accounts.

A Big DDoS

Amazon announced its AWS Shield service mitigated a DDoS attack that generated 2.3Tbps of traffic in mid-February, making it the largest attack its seen. The previous record was a 1.7 Tbps attack in March 2018. Amazon didn’t disclose the target, but said it was carried out using compromised Connection-less Lightweight Directory Access Protocol web servers, which are usually used to connect, search, and modify Internet-shared directories.

Gen 2 Optane DIMMS

Intel launched its second generation Optane memory DIMMS, keeping capacity the same at 128, 256, and 512GB, but increasing performance. Compared to gen 1, read speeds increased 20% to 8.10GB/sec, while writes increased 37% to 3.15GB/second. Write endurance also increased around 35%. These DIMMS are designed for use in gen 3 Xeon 4-socket processing systems. Tom, given the workloads that Optane DIMMS are meant for, in-memory databases, dense virtualization, analytics, and HPC, is better performance needed, or more capacity?


Nvidia A100

Nvidia launched the A100, an Ampere generation GPU, with a 250W TDP and supporting PCIe 4.0. Inside is 40GB of Samsung HBM2 and is optimized for machine learning training and inferencing. Nvidia is claiming a 20x performance increase vs their Volta cards on FP32 training and interancing, with 2.5x performance ncrease on higher precision HPC workloads. Interestingly, only AMD’s EPYC platform supports PCIe 4.0, and is recommended to get full performance out of the card.


Microsoft Buys CyberX

Microsoft bolstered their IoT security portfolio with the acquisition of the Israeli security startuo CyberX. The company uses AI and behaivoral analytics to monitor network activity for IoT device in largely unmanned industries, like telecoms, oil and gas, etc. The assets will be integrated into Microsoft’s existing Azure IoT security stack. Azure IoT is quickly making a pretty convincing platform play, news or nah Tom?


Consumer Teams Feature

Microsoft began rolling out new consumer-focused Teams features in preview worldwide. This isn’t a consumer-facing Microsoft Teams app, rather the integration of adding consumer-focused capabilities into the existing enterprise Teams mobile apps. This will let users add a personal microsoft account to their work one, and toggle between the two. Features include chat/messaging and video calling; sharing lists and calendars; Office collaboration within the Teams app; location sharing; and password management. Tom, I get that right now this might be needed with people working from home, but doesn’t this buck the trend of trying to establish work-life balance?


ARM Supercomputer

Japan’s new Fugaku supercomputer became the first ARM-based computer to achieve the top spot in LINPACK benchmark tests, offering 2.8x the performance of the former #1 Summit supercomputer. Fugaku uses 7.3 million v8-A CPU cores in servers across 400 racks, with a total memory bandwith of 163 PetaBytes per second.


Dell Explores VMware Spinoff

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dell is investigating doing… something with VMware. According to sources, Dell is looking at possibly either spinning off the 81% stake it holds in VMware, or acquiring the rest of the company. Essentially, it seems that investors aren’t seeing a clear distinction between Dell and VMware, which is resulting in Dell’s assets in personal computing and data storage being perceived as undervalued. Buying the remaining stake in VMware would directly put the profitable virtualization giant onto their books, while spinning it off would help ease the $48 billion in debt Dell still has from going public. How do you see this playing out Tom?


Senate Encryption Bill

“US Senator Lindsay Graham introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act, which calls for an end to “”warrant-proof”” encryption. The bill does not explicitly mandate the creation of encryption backdoors, but would require tech companies to help investigators access encrypted data if that assistance would help carry out a warrant. There is an appeals process in the law, and the attorney general cannot give specfic steps on how companies must comply with the law. It also gives the AG authorization to create a prize for anyone who can develop a way to access encrypted data while protecting privacy and security.


The Gestalt IT Rundown is a live weekly look at the IT news of the week. It broadcasts live on YouTube every Wednesday at 12:30pm ET. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for the show each week.

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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