Imagine you’re a data center operations manager. What happens if a mission critical e-commerce application crashes after an overnight firmware patch? If the application halts revenue generation, every minute wasted may lead to company losses. What would you do? The clock is ticking…If you’re operating a traditional data center environment you probably would:Identify a baseline software/firmware revision level before the patch or patches were made.Determine what change caused the failure.Take steps to remediate the failure.These steps are difficult and time consuming, causing company revenue to continuously tick away with the clock:4-6 hours – Manually determine and document pre-patch firmware levels.2 hours – Identify changes made and determine if capability with existing infrastructure components. This could involve calling multiple vendors’ tech support lines.2-4 hours – Remediate the failure and stabilize the infrastructure environment.If it takes the full twelve hours to resolve these problems, then money is lost, the company reputation suffers and the IT staff and company executives are left with an uneasy feeling of when the next shoe will drop. The worse the lifecycle management practices are at a company, the longer it takes to identify and resolve failures. Many companies do not keep accurate records of software/firmware levels in their data center environments. These baselines are critical to speeding problem resolutions.However, there is an easier, faster and cheaper way. VCE’s approach to lifecycle management within the Vblock System prevents most failures from happening in the first place. If however a failure does take place, operators can easily identify the cause of failures using VCE’s unique software management layer.All VCE Vblock™ System customers are armed with a complete fully tested package called a release certification matrix (RCM). Every RCM lists all the firmware/software versions of the infrastructure’s network, compute, storage and virtualization components that have been tested and guaranteed for interoperability by VCE engineers before the release package is distributed to customers.Similarly, VCE also delivers a solution for converged infrastructure management called VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations as part of a standard Vblock™ System. VCE Vision is an API-enabled software layer that sits between Vblock Systems’ and existing data center management tools. VCE Vision provides the following six core capabilities: discovery, identification, validation, logging, health and integration. VCE Vision discovers all the components and software levels of the Vblock System and stores them in the VCE Vision system library. This information can then be quickly and automatically compared against a known RCM level to determine variances. Actual versus expected software levels are organized and displayed so that operators can determine the appropriate course of action that may include updating software or doing nothing.Using VCE Vision software, the timeline for the scenario above now looks like this:20 seconds – Use the VCE Vision plug-in for VMware’s vCenter to discover all infrastructure components and run a compliance validation against a RCM level. VCE Vision is natively integrated with vCenter so all VMware customers have access to this functionality. The screen shots below illustrate this capability within vCenter. 1 min – Review the compliance validation report and identify firmware incompatibilities. See vCenter screen shot below. The timeline to identify and remediate the failure just shrunk from hours or days to even a few minutes through VCE Vision capabilities. The Vblock Systems’ RCMs, full integration testing and VCE Vision software are all part of the VCE experience that contributes to VCE’s lead in the converged infrastructure marketplace.Stop the clock. Did you beat it?
Low interest rate environments in many developed nations, alongside increasingly volatile equity markets, are leading pension funds to adapt their investment strategies and increase their allocation to foreign investments, according to a new report by the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI), produced by PwC Luxembourg.The report, which examines the growth of pension fund assets, their foreign investment limits, and other key trends, shows that pension fund assets globally are expected to grow at a 5.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2018 and 2025, rising from $42.2tn (€38trn) to $61.1trn.Latin American pension funds are expected to see the strongest CAGR with assets soaring by more than 12% to reach $2.4trn.Globally, regulations governing pension fund foreign exposure continue to differ drastically. While the majority of countries examined do not set any limits regarding foreign investments, some have set limits for non-OECD or non-EEA countries. Additionally, others have set limits for specific asset classes. Overall, however, there has been an increase in pension funds’ foreign exposure since 2014, rising from 31% to 34% at the end of 2018, the report showed.Corinne Lamesch, ALFI chair, said: “Pension fund regulations still differ from one country to the other. In particular, some countries restrict the amount pension funds can allocate to investment funds or foreign investments.“Consequently, navigating the terrain of complex local requirements can be challenging for asset managers.”“UCITS remains a key vehicle for many pension funds seeking exposure to worldwide markets”Corinne Lamesch, ALFI chairIn terms of asset allocation, equity continues to hold the crown, accounting for 38% of total pension assets at the end of 2018.However growth, in percentage terms, has turned negative – with allocation falling from 60% in 1998.Alternatives are expected to play an increasingly important role in pension funds’ portfolios as they continue to search for yield, the report disclosed.In absolute terms, pension fund alternatives assets under management have risen from $9.2trn in 2014 to $11.6trn at the end of 2018.Oliver Weber, head of asset and wealth management at PwC Luxembourg, said: “In light of the current global investment environment, pension funds, with their ability to weather periods of market instability, are also upping their allocations to alternatives, including notably illiquid assets such as private equity and infrastructure.”He said pension funds are seeking diversification not just in terms of asset class, but also geography. “They are going beyond their borders in search for growth – either through direct investments or, increasingly, using funds such as AIFs or UCITS.”Despite the strong growth, alternatives still only account for 5% of Latin American pension fund assets, the lowest of all the regions. North American pension funds hold 31% of their assets in alternatives, followed by Europe (27%) and APAC (8%).Lamesch said: “UCITS remains a key vehicle for many pension funds seeking exposure to worldwide markets. We expect this trend to continue given the sound regulatory framework, the high level of investor protection and the depth of global capability embedded in the structure.”
Juventus have been linked with a move for Manchester City striker Edin Džeko, reports sportsmole.co.uk.The Bosnian is rumoured to be heading for the exit door at the Etihad Stadium after struggling to live up to his £26m price tag since moving from Wolfsburg two years ago.The Bianocneri were believed to be tracking the 27-year-old before he joined the Citizens and are known to be in the market for another forward this summer.According to Il Sussidiario, Antonio Conte wants Džeko to partner the incoming Fernando Llorente, who is joining on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao at the end of the season.Džeko has scored 12 goals in 28 Premier League appearances this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) runs in drills in drills at practice during NFL football training camp at the team training facility in Latrobe, Pa. on Monday, July 29, 2013 . (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) LATROBE, Pa. (AP) – A day after moving atop Pittsburgh’s depth chart at running back, Steelers rookie Le’Veon Bell’s status is in doubt for Monday night’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins.Bell aggravated a left knee injury during a training camp practice Thursday. Pittsburgh’s second-round pick out of Michigan State was on the ground for several minutes while being attended by trainers after going down in a pile among multiple defensive players.“He’ll be evaluated shortly and we’ll have more information regarding his status once we get that evaluation,” head coach Mike Tomlin said after practice.Bell was eventually helped off the field and watched the final hour of practice with his knee heavily wrapped. Bell was walking under his own power but favoring his knee. He removed the wrap at the end of practice, slowly walked to a golf cart and was taken off the field. Bell was not available to the media.Tomlin has run a relatively physical camp with more live practices that feature tackling and more contact than he has in recent years. But the drill in which Bell was injured was not a live drill.Bell was held out of Pittsburgh’s preseason opener against the New York Giants on Saturday because of the sore right knee, a decision Tomlin said was “a precaution.” He missed a practice a week earlier and was limited in others over the past two weeks.Tomlin interrupted a question about whether it was a concern that Bell’s knee was repeatedly causing problems with a terse, “No.”Bell did not miss any of the 40 games Michigan State played over the past three years, starting the final 19. He ranks sixth on the Spartans’ career carries list despite forgoing his senior season for the NFL draft.Despite the knee issues, Bell has been dazzled at camp with his quickness, size and cutting ability. After ranking 26th in the league in rushing last season, the Steelers hope Bell will offer an upgrade to their holdovers at the position: Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch. The Steelers allowed former first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall to depart via free agency this spring.Bell impressed enough that this week he was promoted from fifth on the depth chart to the co-No. 1 with Redman – a remarkable leap for a player who had yet to suit up for a preseason game with a team and coach who traditionally have hesitated to give significant roles to rookies.Bell led the Big Ten in rushing yards last season and accumulated 4,114 all-purpose yards in his college career.Redman also was forced to leave Thursday’s practice early because of injury.“Just a little stinger,” Redman said afterward. “Everything’s good, just a little precaution sitting me out for the rest of practice.”Redman, the elder statesman of Pittsburgh’s running backs corps at 28, sustained a minor left shoulder injury.“As soon as he regains strength, he’ll be back and participating,” Tomlin said.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gregory Polanco waits his turn to hit against live pitching during the team’s baseball spring training workout in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Outfielder Gregory Polanco, considered the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top prospect, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday along with right-handed reliever Duke Welker.Polanco hit .273 (6-for-22) with two doubles and one home run this spring. Last season, he batted a combined .285 with 12 homers and 38 stolen bases in 127 games with Indianapolis, Double-A Altoona and Class A Bradenton.Welker struggled throughout the exhibition season, giving up six runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings for a 10.13 ERA. He walked five and struck out four. He made his major league debut last season with a pair of relief appearances.The Pirates have 51 players remaining in camp.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi doesn’t spend a lot of time focusing on the big picture. He prefers to stay attuned to the little one. It’s why he tries to divide each season into 12 separate but equal tests, one no more important than another.Yet Narduzzi also understands he’s not a perpetually plugged in 20-year-old player. Which is why he hasn’t felt the need to remind the Panthers (3-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) where they’re at heading into the stretch run.“They all have cellphones, look at the standings, I’m sure, besides other things on Twitter, the internet,” Narduzzi said Monday. “They understand where they are. I don’t have to emphasize it.”A painful 19-14 loss at unbeaten Notre Dame on Oct. 13 was an emotional blow but inflicted no real damage on Pitt’s long-term goals. The Panthers are still right in the thick of things in the crowded ACC Coastal Division race, tied in the loss column with Virginia and Miami and one game ahead of Duke (5-2, 1-2), which visits Heinz Field on Saturday.Of course, one misstep and none of it matters. Pitt’s margin for error is thin. Very thin.“After a week, if you don’t get your job done, standings don’t mean as much,” Narduzzi said.Narduzzi spent the team’s off week assessing areas that need work while allowing there is no one unit that is above reproach.The Panthers gave up at least 37 points to North Carolina, Central Florida and Syracuse, then kept the Fighting Irish in check on the road. The offense has looked balanced at times and totally ineffective trying to pass the ball at others. The special teams have been a mixed bag. Kicker Alex Kessman booted two 50-plus yard field goals in an overtime victory against the Orange , then missed a pair of short kicks against Notre Dame that could have provided the difference, and a fake punt attempt late against the Irish went awry when backup quarterback Jeff George Jr. threw incomplete on fourth down in the fourth quarter.George’s botched shot at a trick play may have served as a microcosm of his team’s erratic season. Narduzzi allowed that George probably should have just kicked the ball when nothing developed, but George wanted to try to make something happen.“That’s our fault as coaches,” Narduzzi said. “We didn’t coach that good enough. If he’s not doing it (right), it’s because we didn’t make him do it.”Narduzzi appointed George — who transferred to Pitt in August after a brief stopover at Michigan following three years at Illinois — the second-string quarterback behind Kenny Pickett. There does not appear, however, to be any sort of controversy in the offing. The starting job remains Pickett’s as Narduzzi searches for ways to get going a passing game ranked 117th in the nation to complement a running game that’s been effective behind seniors Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall.“First thing is we’re going to stand on the run,” Narduzzi said. “That’s what we do well right now. We’re going to run the football and set the pass up with the run. That’s Pittsburgh to begin with. That’s tough football. We certainly have to throw the ball better than we are, period.”Pitt is 125th in yards per completion (9.54). Only Indiana, Texas-San Antonio, Rutgers and Northern Illinois have a harder time getting the ball down the field. Narduzzi wouldn’t mind a more aggressive approach by offensive coordinator Shawn Watson but also doesn’t believe the Panthers need to start chucking it deep just to do that.“It’s a little bit of everything, period,” Narduzzi said. “It’s 11 guys out there. It’s protection, feeling comfortable. Who is in the game at receiver? Are they making plays? Are they open on time? It’s a lot.”___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Pittsburgh running back Qadree Ollison (30) runs for a touchdown run during the first quarter of an NCAA football game against Syracuse, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)