The State of Networked AV Systems in IT Departments

My TechDecisions | March 05, 2020

It will not surprise readers to hear that AV and IT are converging, at least in some senses of the term. It’s a drum that’s been beaten for several years in the AV industry, and for good reasons; IP-based AV solutions are more cost effective, easy to manage, and more flexible and scalable than traditional point-to-point systems. Nonetheless, the early years of AV-over-IP saw AV and IT departments still operating in separate spheres, maintaining the momentum built over decades. AV departments used closed networks without involvement of the IT staff. AV-over-IP grew in use, yet rarely touched the managed networks common in the enterprise space. Gradually, AV departments began to see uses that required buy-in from IT, and IT departments began to look seriously at how AV-over-IP solutions were designed in order to meet shared goals.

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Hackers Have Taken Over Baltimore Infrastructure, US Cities Need Better Cybersecurity. More than 20 US cities have been victims of cyberattacks since the start of 2019. Municipal governments are lacking in cybersecurity and it's costing taxpayers millions of dollars in new devices and network infrastructure.


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HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

Perforce to Acquire DevOps Pioneer Puppet

Perforce | April 11, 2022

Perforce Software ("Perforce"), a provider of solutions to enterprise teams requiring productivity, visibility, and scale along the development lifecycle, backed by Francisco Partners and Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, "Clearlake"), announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Puppet (or "the Company"), an infrastructure automation software platform which enables users to deliver, update, monitor, and secure software across physical and virtual machines. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. By increasing productivity, eliminating mistakes, enhancing security, and accelerating software delivery for DevOps teams, Puppet's solutions support customers on their digital transformation journeys. Puppet was an early developer of what is now referred to as "infrastructure-as-code." More than 40,000 organizations have benefited from Puppet's open source and commercial solutions as the Company's infrastructure automation technology provides solutions to strengthen its customers' security posture, compliance, and business resiliency beyond the data center to the cloud. Additionally, Puppet's annual State of DevOps Report is regarded as the informative source for updates on DevOps adoption and advancement across organizations by over 35,000 technical and managerial professionals polled via ten separate surveys since 2011. "This acquisition expands our product offering by adding new capabilities for enterprise DevOps teams to manage and secure their critical infrastructure," said Mark Ties, CEO of Perforce. "With Puppet, we will be providing our customers with access to a product portfolio that enables them to drive innovation on a global scale. We look forward to welcoming the Puppet team and continuing to offer the level of customer support, services, and community Puppet has established in the market." "Puppet has been in the DevOps space for over 15 years with a focus on infrastructure-as-code and operators. Going forward, however, we believe enterprise customers are looking for strategic partners who can provide more breadth and depth across the entire DevOps lifecycle. Integrating Puppet into Perforce does just that. As part of Perforce, we believe we will be better positioned to service the breadth of DevOps needs our customers have while accelerating our own innovation to ensure customers can deliver, operate and automate their infrastructures at scale in the data center, across clouds, and out to the edge." Yvonne Wassenaar, CEO of Puppet The addition of Puppet builds on Perforce's existing DevOps portfolio, allowing Perforce to continue its focus on DevOps at scale and solve some of the most difficult automation challenges in the world's largest enterprises. Like Perforce, Puppet delivers solutions to some of the biggest companies in the world, including, as of year-end 2021, 85 percent of the world's largest banks and 80 percent of the world's top technology organizations. Together, the combined company will be helping to drive innovation at its combined customer base, which includes 40 companies of the Fortune 50. "With this strategic acquisition, Perforce is positioned to capitalize on market tailwinds driving demand for IT infrastructure automation," said Evan Daar, Partner at Francisco Partners, and Sean Courtney, Senior Vice President at Clearlake, in a joint statement. "The addition of Puppet further enhances the capabilities Perforce can offer to its valued customers, and we look forward to catalyzing this opportunity to drive continued momentum for the platform." The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. Jefferies LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Puppet in connection with the transaction. Lincoln International acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Perforce Software in connection with the transaction. About Puppet Puppet empowers people to innovate through infrastructure automation. For more than a dozen years, Puppet has pioneered the way in which infrastructure and operations teams scale infrastructure in the largest and fastest growing organizations in the world. More than 40,000 organizations — including over 80 percent of the Global 5000 — have benefited from Puppet's open source and commercial solutions to strengthen customers' security posture, compliance and business resiliency beyond the data center to the cloud. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Puppet is a privately held company with offices in London, Belfast, Singapore, and Sydney. About Perforce Perforce powers innovation at unrivaled scale. Perforce solutions future-proof competitive advantage by driving quality, security, compliance, collaboration, and speed – across the technology lifecycle. We bring deep domain and vertical expertise to every customer, so nothing stands in the way of success. Privately held and funded by Clearlake Capital and Francisco Partners, our global footprint spans more than 80 countries and includes over 75% of the Fortune 100. Perforce is trusted by the world's leading brands to deliver solutions to even the toughest challenges. Accelerate technology delivery, with no shortcuts. Get the Power of Perforce. About Francisco Partners Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in more than 400 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With approximately $38 billion in assets under management, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. About Clearlake Capital Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit and other related strategies. With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to businesses that can benefit from Clearlake's operational improvement approach, O.P.S.® The firm's core target sectors are technology, industrials, and consumer. Clearlake currently has over $72 billion of assets under management, and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 300 investments. The firm is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA with affiliates in Dallas, TX, London, UK and Dublin, Ireland.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Netskope Achieves Key Milestone in Global Coverage and Connectedness with NewEdge Infrastructure

Netskope | February 03, 2022

Netskope, the SASE leader, today announced a major global milestone in the continuing expansion of its NewEdge security private cloud, which is now powered by full-compute data centers in more than 50 regions worldwide. Every data center is accessible to every customer without additional fees or surcharges, with all Netskope Security Cloud services available, including cloud firewall, secure web gateway, cloud access security broker, zero trust network access, and more. The milestone was achieved following another year of rapidly scaling out NewEdge across the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific regions to provide the lowest latency and highest-performing infrastructure backed by unmatched, industry-leading Service Level Agreements. Netskope will continue its aggressive expansion and commitment to world-class connectivity with additional data centers in Brazil, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia expected to come online in the first half of 2022. The NewEdge expansion supports Netskope's mission to deliver on security without the performance trade-offs. Placing data-centric security as close to the user as possible—with fast on-ramps, efficient traffic processing and optimized access to the applications and content that matter most to enterprises—is a key requirement of a SASE-ready architecture and delivering world-class Security Service Edge (SSE) capabilities. Netskope's expanding global coverage also addresses unique enterprise business requirements and compliance objectives, such as having a data center in-region for content localization, or to ensure customer's traffic stays within intent-based zones—for example, to address General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements in the European Union. "While some vendors claim large numbers of data centers, many of the dots on the map they call 'data centers' are just front doors to their network or locations they can emulate from far-away data centers. Either way, users suffer by incurring a 'latency tax' caused by backhauled traffic. Other vendors inflate their numbers by counting data centers that are off-limits or not accessible to every customer, or by counting one physical street address as multiple data centers for marketing purposes,With NewEdge, every one of our data centers is the real thing with full compute and all SSE services available. By strategically placing security traffic processing at the edge—now offered in more than 50 regions globally—NewEdge offers equal or better coverage than any other vendor, and delivers proven, SLA-backed leadership in performance that is critical to delivering on the SASE vision." Jason Hofmann, VP of Platform Architecture and Services at Netskope In addition to having the Netskope Client and the most flexible options to steer traffic to NewEdge—important for integrating with customer's existing investments like routers, proxies and firewalls—Netskope integrates with leading networking and SD-WAN vendors so customers can accelerate their security and network transformations through a best-of-breed and tightly-integrated SASE solution. For breakthrough performance, NewEdge also includes direct peering with the most commonly used web, cloud, and SaaS providers to maintain the highly connected nature of the Netskope infrastructure. The launch of new and expanded data centers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Raising the bar on the SLAs that customers should demand from their cloud security vendor with Netskope's industry-leading and industry-first Latency SLAs for traffic processing, including addressing encrypted traffic. The launch of Netskope Digital Experience Management, which provides network, infrastructure, help desk, and application administrators critical monitoring of all user traffic, with actionable insights into network and application performance. The achievement of critical industry certifications, such as IRAP in Australia, to address the unique requirements of government customers in various regions. Netskope is completely transparent with its support terms, including details of the Netskope SLAs, publicly available at www.netskope.com/support-terms. Netskope's Trust Portal provides status of Netskope data centers, services, and updates on incidents and maintenance. About Netskope Netskope, the SASE leader, safely and quickly connects users directly to the internet, any application, and their infrastructure from any device, on or off the network. With CASB, SWG, firewall, and ZTNA built natively in a single platform, the Netskope Security Cloud provides the most granular context, via patented technology, to enable conditional access and user awareness while enforcing zero trust principles across data protection and threat prevention everywhere. Unlike others who force tradeoffs between security and networking, Netskope's global security private cloud provides full compute capabilities at the edge.

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IT SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT

C3 Complete to Provide IT and Managed Services Across iM Critical’s Expanding Data Center Footprint

C3 Complete | June 21, 2022

C3 Complete, an award-winning technology service provider, and iM Critical, a data center and IT services company shaping the future of IT infrastructure, are pleased to announce the formation of a strategic partnership. Customers of iM Critical’s data centers will immediately gain access to C3’s extensive suite of technology services, and customers of C3 will benefit from the ultra-modern capabilities of iM Critical’s facilities. The combined services of these two companies will enable agile, turnkey solutions and provide next-generation IT results. Available initially in Miami and Pittsburgh, this partnership will expand to additional high-value markets in 2023. C3’s hybrid cloud services, available in all iM Critical facilities, includes Infrastructure, Desktop, Backup, Storage, and Disaster Recovery as a Service. Each iM Critical facility will also feature C3 Complete’s low-latency, high-speed, cloud on-ramp, data center interconnects, and premium multi-carrier Internet access solutions. For those organizations seeking a turn-key IT experience, iM Critical clients can select from a full suite of Managed Services, Network Engineering, Voice and Collaboration, and Information Security solutions provided by C3 experts. iM Critical recently acquired a premier hyper-connected data center in Miami, FL, with over 100,000 square feet of configurable colocation space and disaster recovery office suites and is repositioning the facility with a number of upgrades, all backed by sustainable advantages like on-site renewable power and unconstrained space and power. Strategically located outside of the 100-year floodplain and hurricane evacuation zones, iM’s Miami facility features a gated campus, 24x7 security, multiple independent utility power feeds and a Category 5 hurricane rating. Another iM Critical facility, an HPC-capable campus located in Pittsburgh, PA, offering the same extensive range of advantages, is slated to open in Q3 of 2022. As part of the Miami facility upgrades, C3 and iM Critical are deploying a highly secure, purpose built, Network Operations Center (NOC) / Security Operations Center (SOC). The state-of-the-art NOC/SOC will be staffed 24x7 and will offer deep monitoring, early detection and mitigation, and incident management and response services. “The iM Critical team brings an incredible amount of experience and strategic vision to the evolving data center market, and we could not be more excited about our partnership with them, We believe that the union of their modern facilities and our services capabilities will make C3 and iM Critical the go-to choice for customers and partners looking to achieve digital transformations with ease, efficiency and security.” Rick Mancinelli, CEO of C3 Complete “We are so pleased with our Miami acquisition, and with the improvements we are making, and are looking forward to providing a new level of security, reliability and interconnection to the Miami colocation market. We continually strive to look beyond those table stakes to understand where the market is going and how we can meet those needs for customers,” commented Michael Roark, CEO of iM Critical. “Partnering with C3 further enables our ability to become the premier single-source provider of end-to-end IT infrastructure solutions in the markets we serve, keeping iM, C3 and our customers ahead of a challenging, changing technology landscape.” About C3 Complete C3 is an award-winning technology consultancy headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida. Since 2009, we’ve delivered in-house, relationship-focused, outcome-driven solutions to hundreds of happy clients nationwide. C3 currently owns and operates a geo-diverse VMware Cloud Verified infrastructure that provides high-performance, secure, and compliant Infrastructure, Virtual Desktops, Backup, and Disaster recovery solutions. C3 also operates a state-of-the-art Cisco BroadWorks powered Hosted PBX, UCaaS and CCaaS platform as well as a nationwide SD-WAN network based on VMware’s industry-leading technologies. C3 maintains an extensive list of wholesale carrier relationships for connectivity and has a broad portfolio of technology-related authorizations and certifications. C3’s expert team of certified network engineers design and implement complex solutions and its bilingual service center is available for support 24×7. About iM Critical iM Critical is shaping the future of data centers, providing colocation with deep insight into IT managed service offerings and a specialization in High-Performance Computing (HPC). iM’s service platforms include Colocation, HPC, Cloud, Storage aaS, Network, 24/7 IT NOC Services with premier DR aaS, Cloud Connect, Data Security and IT Transformation aaS solutions. iM Critical provides access to strategic carrier-neutral networks and cloud onramps, risk mitigation, continuous uptime, and data security to deliver quality and sustainable innovation, saving customers time, money and resources.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Zain Kuwait resolute 5G investment delivers business success

Zain Kuwait | December 24, 2021

Zain Kuwait's 5G traffic currently accounts for more than 40% of its total wireless traffic, ranking the operator as number one in GCC countries in terms of 5G offload ratio. Zain Kuwait is one of the leading telecom operators in MENA and has been at the forefront of innovation for years as the first operator to launch commercial 5G services in the Middle East. From the 5G service development and business achievements of Zain Kuwait, it is clear that the focus on 5G development brings business success to operators. Zain Kuwait started deployment of 5G networks in 2018. After two years of continuous development, 5G services have entered a period of high growth. Users are continuing to develop rapidly, and the proportion of 5G traffic has also been increasing continuously. This has resulted in positive revenue and profit growth for the operator. Zain Kuwait has achieved the 5G subscriber penetration ratio of 23%, and the average DOU of its 5G subscribers is five times higher than that of its 4G subscribers. Zain Kuwait's mobile network also recorded revenue and profit growth of 4% and 13% year-over-year in Q2 2021. This is an outstanding achievement especially when there is no population dividend and the expatriate population in country has been continuously decreasing. Zain's 5G development leads the Kuwait telecom market, and its business success has been a result of its overall strategic objective to provide first-class 5G services for users in Kuwait. Zain Kuwait has firmly invested in 5G for the fastest network construction with the widest coverage, building a foundation for user experience Network coverage is the basis for user experience. Zain started 5G C-band construction in 2018. In Q3 2019, it completed coverage of major urban areas. By early 2020, it achieved 1:1 construction ratio with its LTE network. Focusing on fast and value-based network construction, Zain Kuwait was able to quickly exploit the benefits of enhanced 5G network coverage. Leading the network construction lays the foundation for creating 5G business advantages. For instance, Zain was the first operator to commercialize 5G networks in Kuwait. In the commercial release phase, Zain provided the most extensive 5G coverage and best services owing to its focus on network construction. Within six months of the commercial launch, Zain reached 100% coverage, forming the first-mover advantage of 5G networks for itself. User experience is the key In leading 5G experience targets to drive network experience leadership With the goal of providing a first-class 5G network experience, Zain insists on higher standards of 5G network construction to ensure high-speed and reliable services for all the users. As a result, the investment in network planning and network construction was increased, which enabled Zain Kuwait to win Ookla's Fastest Fixed Wireless Network Provider Award in 2020 and to lead the Open signal Global Experience Test reports as well. A great network experience enhanced Zain's brand and helped it achieve greater commercial competitiveness.

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Spotlight

Hackers Have Taken Over Baltimore Infrastructure, US Cities Need Better Cybersecurity. More than 20 US cities have been victims of cyberattacks since the start of 2019. Municipal governments are lacking in cybersecurity and it's costing taxpayers millions of dollars in new devices and network infrastructure.

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