This is an ongoing series of blogs by Dell Ambassadors competing in the Clipper Race, a 40,000 nautical mile race around the world in 70 foot racing yachts. For background on Dell’s involvement, read our initial blog about this exciting race here.The Atlantic Trade Winds Leg 1 : Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay : 6,400 nautical miles : 33 daysHello! My name is Samantha Harper and I’m one of two Dell Ambassadors in the Clipper 2017 – 18 Round the World Yacht Race.I’m a member of team Dare To Lead (call sign CV25), one of twelve yachts in this years’ race, sailed under the watchful eye of Skipper Dale Smyth. We’ve just wrapped up the first of eight race legs, which has taken us from Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay, a journey of over 6,400 miles. It’s hard to condense a 33-day passage into a few pages, but I’ll do my best!Race start (August 20th) in Liverpool was a hive of excitement, and as our boat gingerly exited the Canning Dock area, we were thrilled to see the large crowd of friends and family wearing custom-made Dare To Lead t-shirts. As the boats snuck around each other to gain the best position off the starting line, our skipper Dale let out a warning: “Guys, just to let you know, I can be a bit of an aggressive racer – but don’t worry, I know what I’m doing”. This was met with a mix of both trepidation and gleeful anticipation – with the start line meters away, the engine was shut off and things were about to get real!“As our boat screamed into the tight turn with Garmin only a few metres away, we could literally see their crew ducking for cover.ShareOur teams first ‘test’ came shortly after when it was nearing time to round our first ‘mark’ and Garmin, who was alongside us, decided to turn, crossing in front of us. Picture someone on your right making a left-hand turn and cutting you off. This gave us one of two options: a) slow and bear away to end up behind them, or b) turn alongside even tighter and not give an inch away.You can guess what option Dale chose. Remember – “Don’t worry”, right?As our boat screamed into the tight turn with Garmin only a few metres away, we could literally see their crew ducking for cover. I’m sure they felt they would be skewered by our bow! Needless to say, Skipper Dale is a very skilled helmsman and he executed that turn with confidence and precision, as our bowman Justin, 70 feet ahead of him sitting in our pulpit, was calling out distances. With the fleet nipping at our heels, the next few hours became a co-ordinated team effort to optimize every tack as we zig-zagged out of the mouth of the river.Once at sea, we did our best to protect our early lead. Our rivals in the first few days were Sanya Serenity Coast, Unicef, and Visit Seattle, but as the first week came to a close some unfortunate changes in the weather forecast meant that the carefully crafted and tactically clever route we had intended to follow landed us squarely in a wind hole and relegated us to back of the fleet. Such is the life of ocean racing. Sometimes a gamble pays off, and sometimes Mother Nature has other plans!Fortunately, in true Dare To Lead fashion, we kept sailing along with our trademark good humour and teamwork. In a 33-day race, so much can change week by week. Friends and family following the race at home may not realize how little we know about other boats. Although each boat has an AIS (Automatic Identification System) number, that beacon only shows up on our ‘radar’ when boats are within a few miles of each other. Instead, every six hours, each Skipper must upload their boats’ latitude, longitude, and speed, which are then transmitted to the fleet. These updates (aka – “the Scheds”), also include a ranking based on those provided positions. At times these rankings seem completely arbitrary… Unless of course the latest Sched puts us a few positions ahead of our rivals– then naturally it must be accurate!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0px8hudgIsRacing is a 24-hour a day job, and our daily routine on board is broken down into two ‘Watches’; half the crew on deck at all times sailing the boat, and half the crew below, eating or resting.Life on board can become monotonous but there also becomes a certain comfort in the simplicity. Eat, sleep, sail, repeat. Small perks become the highlight of a day: the once-a-week bacon for breakfast, seeing a rival boat pop up on the AIS, weather calm enough to take a saltwater bucket shower off the stern (that’s right folks – no real showers for the whole time at sea!), or a surprise email from home.Emails from home have been a huge morale booster on board and we are very grateful to have reliable computer hardware to provide us with the connectivity to reach out to the real world. The crew shares a 14″ Dell Latitude Rugged laptop (aka ‘the Media PC’) for blog writing, composing emails, photo editing, and of course, reading the latest news updates (supplied in condensed form by the Clipper Race Office – sports scores on request!). Our ships Navigation Station is home to a second Dell laptop which runs our navigation, weather mapping, and communications software, and links to our satellite phones. Without these we would literally be lost!Our Trans-Atlantic voyage on Leg 1 has taken us through a variety of temperatures and weather. This has ranged from scorching heat off the Cape Verde islands, to pelting, icy rains as we closed in on Uruguay. The Doldrums, ironically, were anything but calm, and our worst weather came in the form of the 45 knot winds and squalls off Fernando de Noronha as our tired crew retraced our steps towards the Rhum Line after the successful MedEvac of a sick crewmember.The MedEvac to Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the coast of northern Brazil, was both a highlight and a lowlight for team Dare To Lead. For all of us, seeing the Jurassic Park-esque volcanic islands appear to rise out of the ocean as we approached was both beautiful and surreal. Having to say farewell to a sick crew member – who became perilously ill while we were in the middle of the Atlantic – was hard. But the race goes on, and we were determined to prove that you should always be on the lookout for Dale and his band of ‘Dark Horses’!With the bulk of the fleet crossing the finish line in Uruguay only hours away from each other, it is obvious that this years’ race is full of talent and competitive teams. We were the fifth boat to cross the finish line, in sixth place overall in the standings after a redress was given to Greenings. Considering we had to travel over 100 nautical miles out of our way for a MedEvac and still managed to overtake a few teams, we feel it’s a very respectable finish!They say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and as I sit here in Uruguay contemplating the rapidly approaching start of Leg 2 to Cape Town, South Africa, it’s dawning on me what an incredible journey this race has already been.With South Africa being the home country of both our Skipper and our Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador crew members, team Dare To Lead is ready to make this leg our glory leg! Keep an eye out for us on the official Clipper Race Tracker (we hear it’s addictive!). Thanks to all friends and family back home for following and stay tuned in a few weeks for my Leg 2 wrap up, where I’ll write a bit more about how we live life at 45 degrees, a summary of our Leg 2 adventures, and reveal the story behind the “Dark Horse” moniker!Thanks for reading,-SamanthaAbout Samantha Harper, crew member, Dare To LeadSamantha is a 37-year-old doctor from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Dell Latitude Rugged Laptop was made for people like Samantha; when she is not sailing 40,000 nautical miles around the world on board Dare To Lead, Samantha splits her time between working in remote communities as a GP, and pushing herself to the limits mountaineering and running ultra-marathons (she has done the infamous Marathon des Sables, a 250 kilometre race in the Sahara Desert, five times). However, the Clipper Race is Samantha’s first sailing experience, and after initially considering only doing three legs, she signed up for the whole circumnavigation, knowing that once she started, she wouldn’t be able to stop until she completed and experienced the entire thing.
Dell EMC’s storage teams were well represented this year at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 with a heavy focus on enabling Oracle DBAs and application owners to take advantage of Dell EMC’s modern infrastructure solutions. On the show floor, the Dell EMC booth contained both PowerMax and XtremIO X2 arrays with OLTP simulations taking place to highlight the powerful capabilities of our platforms. The multi-dimensional scale-up/scale-out arrays meet the most demanding production workloads and still have plenty of cycles remaining to consolidate test/dev, patch testing, near real-time analytics, data warehousing and more.PowerMax, the world’s fastest storage array with 10M IOPS and 150GBps throughput, was on display; the Oracle OpenWorld crowd was eager to ask questions and take pictures of it. The consolidation of Oracle databases has never been easier than with the 125,000 IOPS per U of rack space that PowerMax yields. One happy customer was caught hugging the array J and said, “So this is what it looks like… we have been running on it now for 2 months and performance has never been better.”The XtremIO X2 was also highlighted as part of the Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Oracle with Data Protection Ready Bundle. Announced the Friday prior to the show, this solution highlights the enterprise-class protection and provisioning that is possible when leveraging Dell EMC’s XtremIO X2 with Data Domain storage.The ability to run OLAP, OLTP, and test/dev in a single virtualized environment while safeguarding availability, lowering costs, and increasing productivity yields significant advantages. This Ready Solution for Oracle was designed to support the production OLTP and OLAP applications and test/dev environments simultaneously without sacrificing performance or storage space. With these Oracle databases and other applications coexisting and functioning optimally, you gain a wide spectrum of benefits, including:Enhanced IOPS with sub-0.85 millisecond response timesEfficient operation of multiple applications in the same rack while saving on licensing costsBreakthrough simplicity for deployment, management, and supportManagement by DBAs of their own backup and recovery processes without the assistance of backup administratorsExceptional performance, reducing backup times maintenance windowsMinimal impact on production workloads while performing backups or recovery, enabling DBAs to run production simultaneously with backup windowsIntegration of the hardware stack, drivers, and other components by the same common vendorReduction of the customer’s TCO due to purchase of an optimal hardware stack with this solutionOur strong storage portfolio was also on display during the in-booth theater presentations, happening every 30 minutes and always to beyond capacity crowds. Our presentations focused on not only the storage platforms but also Dell EMC AppSync, the complementary software that simplifies, orchestrates, and automates the process of generating and consuming copies of production data directly from the Dell EMC primary storage arrays. With AppSync, Oracle DBAs are able to take advantage of the scheduled and ad-hoc protection capabilities of our arrays via snapshots as well as manage multiple generations of database copies for repurposing of Oracle databases.Snapshots are the most space efficient way to repurpose a database and mount to different servers for use cases like test/dev, analytics, backup and more. Whether writing to production or the snapshot copy, both arrays are able to ensure space efficiency with thin provisioning, deduplication, and compression. Beyond that, policy-based QoS can easily be implemented to prevent noisy neighbor situations from non-mission critical databases and ensure that the production databases are getting the bandwidth and latency they require.We will see you back at the Moscone Center next year!
Artificial intelligence (AI) disciplines like deep learning have been the talk of the industry for the past several years and only continue to gain steam. The research is in: AI-enabled organizations see a 19 percent average improvement in decision speed and a 21 percent average improvement in decision accuracy. How can you best position your company to capitalize on the benefits? What server technology can differentiate your company as a top competitor?Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers accelerators one of the three essential compute technologies for AI pursuits. Along with the implementation of automated servers and converged/hyperconverged infrastructure, the widespread use of accelerators was seen by ESG as the key to whether an organization could be considered AI enabled.Why the emphasis on accelerators for AI initiatives like deep learning? To understand the logic behind the research firm’s criteria, it helps to comprehend the fundamentals of deep learning. Roughly, it can be broken down into two pursuits: training and inferencing. Training involves teaching your models to learn and develop accuracy. To train a model, you give your computer instructions on how to learn to do something. Inferencing requires running the model on new data in an application. You input the model into code and glean fresh insights. Training and inferencing work in partnership: As your model discovers new data, it must be retrained and refined.Diagram source: Retail Analytics with Malong RetailAI® on Dell EMC PowerEdge ServersTo complete the tasks involved in training and inferencing, you need super-charged compute power bolstered by accelerator technology. The two best-known operators in this space are graphics processing units (GPUs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Both rely on parallel processing to reduce processing time, but there are also significant differences between the two choices. GPUs work well for accelerating compute and are best suited for training. They were originally designed to handle the complex math operations needed for graphics. FPGAs have programmable logic blocks that can be optimized to run already-trained models quickly and are ideal for inferencing.Back to that ESG study: Researchers found that the most AI-enabled organizations are implementing initiatives directly tied to deep learning. Sixty-four percent of such companies are developing, deploying, and tuning AI models in production for natural language processing, while 58 percent are engaged in the same activities for image classification. These organizations accrue major business benefits from their AI pursuits. AI-enabled organizations are: 8x more likely than Stage 1 (the least AI-enabled) orgs to say AI has been very effective at driving value.2x more likely to tie 10 percent or more revenue to AI initiatives.2x more likely to experience a time to value shorter than expectations.It’s worth your while to invest in top-notch accelerator-enhanced servers for deep learning. The complex and ever-updating neural networks essential to this discipline demand immense processing power, and accelerators are a requirement to participate. To learn more about the platforms and technology that facilitate deep learning, as well as the best Dell EMC PowerEdge servers for the job, download our new eBook, The Server Technology Vital to Deep Learning.Follow us and join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCServers.
At Dell Technologies OEM Solutions, our OEM customers are at the very cutting edge of emerging technologies, responding quickly to changing market demands and customer needs. Together, we develop rapid and agile innovative solutions for a wide range of industries, everything from enabling remote work and near-instant database cloning through to customized, small form-factor servers that fit in an airplane overhead bin.Connecting the dotsOEM customers are focusing on designing solutions that meet the unique technology needs of their customers, operating in vertical industries or with specific use case requirements. So how do we help our OEM customers bring these designed and validated turnkey solutions to market even faster? Likewise, how do we ensure that our Dell Technologies customers have access to the latest and greatest innovation?Meeting end user needs with unique solutionsDell Technologies OEM Engineered Solutions are OEM customer validated solutions, designed on Dell Technologies infrastructure, and made easily available to purchase as Dell Technologies integrated single price configurations. These turnkey solutions offer end users unique solutions tailor made for specific use cases, designed and delivered with the technology, services, support, and even financing of a Tier 1 infrastructure provider.Designing for unique use casesWith over 35+ OEM Engineered Solutions, we’re helping meet additional end user needs in over 40 verticals, from industrial automation to telecom to defense. Our customers are designing solutions that are redefining the frontier of technology advancement, for use cases like AI, machine learning, big data, immersing cooling, augmented and virtual reality, cloud environments, 5G, computer vision, real time analytics and search, blockchain, telehealth, and cyber mobile network security.Easy and flexible purchasingOffering end users the ease of doing business they expect from Dell Technologies is critical for us. Offering a simple purchase experience, OEM Engineered Solutions can be sold either via our OEM customer or through Dell Technologies’ sales channels. For me, this joint GTM motion extends way beyond a product SKU. This is about bringing our OEM Solutions capabilities to the next level: Our OEM customer’s IP, powered by Dell Technologies and designed as an easy-to-purchase, turnkey solution. I view this as a win-win – good for both customer communities.I want to share a few Americas examples I’m particularly excited about:Deliver enterprise technology to the tactical edgeOEM customer, Tracewell Systems, has a suite of tactical solutions designed to deliver specialty and mission-critical solutions for strange and unusual places, all engineered on Dell Technologies server and storage infrastructure, powered by Intel. In terms of meeting end user requirements, just picture a short-depth server that fits in the back of a Humvee vehicle in a desert or within the confined space of a Navy ship in Pacific ocean. Transforming security and defenceLeading innovator, DIGISTOR also worked with us to bring a turkey solution to market, featuring its VaultDisk products, running on Dell Technologies mobile workstation and client products. The company’s robust solution allows for the quick, secure removal and reinsertion of non-volatile memory express (NVMe) SSD drives, again, an important security feature for military and defence customers.Compressing database provisioningThe list continues! Actifio’s Database Cloning Appliance is a highly scalable copy data management platform designed on Dell EMC PowerFlex or Dell EMC VxRail, and powered by Actiﬁo software. The result is an easy-to-run yet powerful platform, which allows customers to transform database test cycle rapidly, increase application quality, compress database provisioning and reduce production downtime, particularly in large environments. It is a must have solution for enterprise customers who are developing next generation software applications to support their digital transformation initiatives.Reducing manufacturing wasteOEM customer Noodle.ai launched the world’s first enterprise AI data platform to help manufacturing businesses transform their operations to reduce waste and increase cost savings. Using edge compute, servers, storage, plus an AI platform designed by Noodle.ai on Dell Technologies infrastructure, powered by Intel, leading steel manufacturers, Big River Steel is now regarded as one of the world’s first intelligent steel mills, embedding AI and machine learning into its manufacturing processes.Supporting BYOD programsOur OEM customer, Hypori takes BYOD to the next level for our military & defence customers. The Company’s software application solution, engineered on Dell Technologies infrastructure, allows users to securely perform business tasks on their mobile devices while leaving zero footprint, a critical component for successful Bring Your Own Device to Work (BYOD) programs for our military across US and globally.Simplifying logistic management through AI Active AnalyticsAnd, a turnkey solution featuring Kinetica’s distributed, in-memory database product, accelerated by GPUs, and designed on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers can analyze 3.8 billion records of text and tweets from social media, filtered by location, in real time. This capability is ideal for many real-time data use cases such as Telecom 5G planning and transportation logistics. Imagine the power of real time smart data at your fingertip to assist with your critical business decision!Making the complex simpleOEM Engineered Solutions now enable our OEM customers to quickly and easily accelerate their route to market, while providing a significant benefit to end users looking for unique solutions: With a single PO, they can purchase cutting edge solutions, backed up by Tier 1 Dell Technologies trusted secure supply chain, warranty & support for the consistent seamless purchase experience.Interested in learning more?Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM Engineered Solutions here.Learn more about what we do at Dell Technologies OEM Solutions.Stay in touch. Follow us on Twitter @DellTechOEM and join our LinkedIn OEM Solutions Showcase page
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is calling for political talks in Venezuela to set up new elections. The 27-nation bloc is also warning that it stands ready to slap sanctions on more senior Venezuelan officials if they undermine democracy or for any human rights violations. EU foreign ministers said Monday that “the only way out of the crisis in Venezuela is to resume political negotiations promptly.” Once a wealthy oil nation, Venezuela is mired in a deep economic crisis. The ministers say the EU cannot endorse the results of the Dec. 6 elections but stands ready to send an observer mission should new polls take place. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s team welcomed the statement.