COMING TOGETHER TO GIVE BACK – The UNICOM Engineering Golf Classic

Golf Event 2014 Golf Event_2 2014

UNICOM Engineering had the unique privilege of spending an afternoon with our closest technology partners, colleagues and customers to network and give back to the community. The annual UNICOM Engineering Golf Classic was held October 7 at The Tribute Golf Course in The Colony. Due to the generosity of our sponsors, our annual networking event was able to raise awareness and over $18,000 to support a few of our favorite charities.

An afternoon of golf intended to thank our partners for their continued support and unrelenting efforts on behalf of our customers became something more. We connected on a very human level and were reminded why we were there thanks to three very charismatic and passionate speakers. By the end of the evening, representatives from the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, the Will to Live Foundation and Allies in Service had everyone applauding, doing a pushup challenge, sharing a hug and walking away with the desire to give back. Here is a snapshot of what they shared:

Kate Goble from the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County shared a mission of hope and healing for children in need due to abuse and neglect. Their approach to safety, healing and justice brings together all of the necessary agencies in one building—minimizing the burden on the child to share their story and start again. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County opened its doors in 1992 and since then has served more than 50,000 abused and neglected children.

John Trautwein, founder of the Will to Live Foundation, shared his very personal story of loss and hope. Following the tragic death of his 15 year old son to suicide, he found himself surrounded by a network of “teammates” that were part of every major up and down in life. Through this realization, he created a foundation that would work with teens to prevent teen suicide by bringing that same level of awareness of their network of teammates that already exists. Through events, sports teams, etc., they share their mission of hope, love and the will to live.

David Whitley from Allies in Service shared their mission to provide jobs, healthcare, education and appropriate housing to our veterans returning from service. He spoke of men and women that have given of their time and lives but yet often struggle to transition back into civilian life. Allies in Service provides mentorship programs and business outreach to help veterans reach their full potential and improve their quality of life. Why is hiring a veteran good business? Veterans have the training, work ethic, and skill your organization depends on—learn more.

UNICOM Engineering was proud to organize the annual Golf Classic and appreciate everyone that was able to attend and support our event.

Choosing the Right Appliance Partner for Lifecycle Management

Lifecycle ManagementIndependent Software Vendors (ISVs) increasingly turn to appliance platforms to deliver their software applications and streamline lifecycle management. Appliances allow installation of software at a client’s site without utilization of client hardware, thereby avoiding compatibility issues. These pre-integrated, purpose-built, plug-and-play servers include the hardware, application software, operating system and any specialty components needed to deliver applications providing a standalone device for ISV’s to offer end users.

The advantages of the appliance model to product lifecycle management are obvious. The challenge for ISVs comes in finding a partner with the engineering expertise and production capabilities to manufacture and maintain appliance servers throughout an application’s lifecycle. Since designing, integrating  and deploying an appliance is not an ISV’s core business, vendors need to find a partner who specializes in the development of appliances. Here are three critical factors to consider:

1. Engineering Control and Manufacturing Quality – ISVs should seek partners with a highly proven record for solution design, systems integration, application management, global logistics, tech support, and maintenance programs. Such partners will execute best-practice processes in these key aspects of developing, manufacturing and servicing appliance platform solutions, integrating all aspects of lifecycle management for the appliance and application. The advantage to the ISV comes from the engineering controls and manufacturing quality that such focused partners offer.

A partner should handle regulatory and certification requirements, branding, packaging and international shipping for import and export. A global supply chain, product testing and evaluation, and software imaging should be available for application lifecycle management. The partner must possess the capability to interact and report to multiple levels of the ISV’s organization, including engineering, operations, product management, and supply managers so the appliance can be optimized, delivered and maintained for long-life operation.

2. Logistics, Tech Support and Training – ISVs must stay focused on client satisfaction and brand loyalty to survive in today’s globally competitive marketplace. Focusing solely on a manufacturing partner loses sight of the logistics and support services necessary for effective lifecycle management.  For the appliance model to succeed, it must maintain a robust forward- and reverse-logistics program and support organization to service end users in a timely manner. ISVs need to choose a partner with best-in-class logistics and support models capable of delivering reliably, and support staff to give clients confidence to keep buying.

3. Program Management – Success depends on the product management capabilities of the partner chosen by an ISV.  An appliance provider should assign a dedicated, professional account manager to lead a proactive account team to manage your program. An effective partner anticipates needs and looks to avoid problems rather than waiting for the ISV to identify them. The team should be experienced enough to identify and address technical and business issues before they become problematic. The partner should hold program managers accountable for the achievements of their clients.

UNICOM Engineering provides the kind of partner ISVs are looking for to develop appliance hardware solution to ease lifecycle management.

Learn More
Download our free white paper to learn how to deliver software as a purpose-built appliance at http://unicomengineering.com/how-deliver-software-purpose-built-appliance-wp. You can also contact UNICOM Engineering at www.unicomengineering.com or 800-977-1010.

UNICOM Engineering will also be at ASIS 2014 from September 29th – October 3rd. To set up a meeting with UNICOM at ASIS 2014visit http://www.unicomengineering.com/asis-2014.

UNICOM Engineering Aids Bandura®, a TechGuard Security® Company with International Rollout

UNICOM Engineering Aids TechGuard Security International RolloutTechGuard Security has protected U.S. government, financial and healthcare institutions for over a decade with its security solutions. Looking to take its flagship PoliWall® appliance into international markets, TechGuard Security needed a global technology partner that could help it manufacture and certify a new appliance for overseas markets.

PoliWall plays a vital role in the information systems security of critical networks. The appliance sits between firewalls and edge routers to stop threats at the network edge by blocking malicious traffic. Finding a reliable partner capable of developing the hardware platform suitable for international export was crucial to success.

TechGuard Security had worked with NEI, the company now known as UNICOM Engineering, and knew it could deliver. In addition to marketing the PoliWall internationally, TechGuard Security wanted to develop the next generation of the PoliWall appliance for both domestic and international markets.

They wanted to build a faster appliance with higher throughput, greater availability and a smaller footprint size. TechGuard Security knew that UNICOM Engineering’s proven experience with appliance manufacturing and expertise in international regulation certification could help them deliver a reliable solution to the global market quickly.

UNICOM Engineering takes a comprehensive approach to solution design and application deployment, utilizing standard technologies to build appliances that meet specific application requirements, accelerate time to market, and reduce total cost of ownership. Throughout the design process, the company considers all aspects of the solution lifecycle, including component life, energy efficiency and regulatory requirements.

“UNICOM Engineering had the platforms we needed to be able to support our new high-throughput product up to 20G per second,” said David Maestas, chief technology officer at Bandura, the company TechGuard Security created to market its IT security service. “The fact that the platforms were already pre-certified for export and for sale in the U.S. was a huge bonus for us.”

UNICOM Engineering has the capability to meet the demanding criteria of leading IT security companies like TechGuard Security in producing appliances for both domestic and international markets. To find out what UNICOM can do for you, visit our website at www.unicomengineering.com.

Read the full success story here.

Ready to deploy on an appliance? Looking to expand globally?

If you are looking for a design, integration and services partner to get your application to market, across the globe, contact UNICOM Engineering at 800-977-1010 or sales@unicomengineering.com.

UNICOM Engineering will also be at ASIS 2014 from September 29th – October 3rd. To set up a meeting with UNICOM at ASIS 2014visit http://www.unicomengineering.com/asis-2014.

Global Support Services Enhance Client Competitiveness

Global Support ServicesUNICOM Engineering provides global support services that enhance clients’ competitiveness. Just recently we expanded support for our stocking capabilities, which not only enables multinational return merchandise authorization (RM), but also gives clients the capability to streamline the repair and replacement of products globally. From the most challenging locations to the most heavily regulated BRIC countries, virtually the entire globe is within our reach—and our clients’ reach as well. This includes nations such as Russia, China, India, and Brazil.

Providing global IT services means our clients need access to parts worldwide. UNICOM Engineering maintains 25 stocking locations in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, and has access to more than 700 others as part of our Global Support Services network. This network gives our clients and us the ability to stock and ship mission-critical service parts and fully integrated solutions. UNICOM Engineering and our clients can quickly deliver replacement products worldwide within a four-hour or next-business-day delivery time. Our clients receive a fully integrated program with real-time inventory visibility and the response and repair bandwidth to offer competitive Service Level Agreements (SLAs) no matter how far they extend.

The unbounded growth potential of the global marketplace comes at the price of a dynamic regulatory environment and increased complexity. Knowledgeable and certified staff work on your behalf as Importer of Record (IOR)/Exporter of Record (EOR) in country, an essential element of our global support services. Otherwise, supporting mission-critical applications with completely integrated systems spare parts is time-consuming and difficult. UNICOM Engineering’s worldwide support stocking capabilities remove the risk and burden of technical support services from our clients, empowering them to remain competitive while successfully managing uptime.

UNICOM Engineering is a leading provider of deployment solutions, application platforms and lifecycle support services for OEMS and software technology developers worldwide. If you are in need of a partner that can build, ship and support your solutions on a global scale, contact UNICOM Engineering at www.unicomengineering.com or 800-977-1010.

UNICOM Engineering will also be at ASIS 2014 from September 29th – October 3rd. To set up a meeting with UNICOM at ASIS 2014visit http://www.unicomengineering.com/asis-2014.

EU Sanction on Dual Use Parts to Russia

EU Sanction on Dual Use Parts to RussiaGiven the current political climate, dual use parts are the subject of new EU sanctions. The reason for the sanctions is simple: dual use parts, while normally used for civilian purposes, can also have military applications and can be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Because of the current situation in Russia, the EU has placed a ban on exporting military equipment to Russia, and this includes dual use parts.

If you trade in the global marketplace, it’s important to be sure that your shipments are in compliance. Because breach of sanctions is a criminal offense, we wanted to create awareness of this issue before any problems arise. In terms of the products and services that UNICOM Engineering deals with specifically, we believe that our customers should remain unaffected.  What the sanctions are specifically saying is this:

–          Dual use items to military end users in Russia are prohibited.

–          In addition, spare parts for military use items or military end users are prohibited.

–          Dual use as defined by the EU in Annex 1 of EC regulation Number 428/2009 states that “This prohibition should not affect the exports of dual-use goods and technology, destined/designated for non-military use or for a non-military end-user.

In the interest of export compliance, it is strongly suggested that shipments of dual use and non-dual use items be separated.  As other countries strive for trade compliance, delays in the shipment of dual use parts should be expected. For example, Dutch Customs has announced that all requests for export document approval for shipments containing dual parts will be held. These requests will be forwarded to the Central Service of Import and Export in the Netherlands, and that organization will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not to issue export documents. As you can imagine, this will result in delays.

These measures taken by the EU are at the forefront of international efforts toward non-proliferation and must adjust as security risks and threats evolve. Regularly holding public consultations and maintaining constant dialogue with industry associations as well as academia and civil society, the European Commission strives to strike a balance between security and competitiveness. You can read the EU’s press release regarding these sanctions here.

UNICOM Engineering will continue to ensure compliance of sanctions and will inform clients of any delays caused by this issue. For a complete list of dual use parts, click here.

Our Global Logistics Services team is fully versed in global trade regulations, and we’re ready to help clients in every way possible. To learn more about UNICOM Engineering’s Trade Compliance capabilities visit our website and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

UNICOM Engineering will also be at ASIS 2014 from September 29th – October 3rd. To set up a meeting with UNICOM at ASIS 2014visit http://www.unicomengineering.com/asis-2014.

UNICOM Engineering Expands Canton Manufacturing Facility

UNICOM Engineering is proud to be a growing company. And with the growth of our business, we needed to expand our facilities. Earlier this year, we made the investment to double the size of our Canton manufacturing facility.

The expansion includes additional space in the manufacturing area which will also require additional staff to support the increasing demand on the facility. Breaking down the total budget of the expansion, over two-thirds was invested to improve the facility and the rest was used to purchase new equipment.

All these investments have been made to meet a growing demand we are seeing for post-sale services. Knowing the trend of the industry, the expansion will allow UNICOM Engineering to meet our growing demands and also provide additional capacity for future capital and equipment investments as we continue to grow. The facility improvements will not only help our manufacturing team, but will also benefit our customers by  allowing us to increase storage for customer owned materials. Additionally, customers will see benefits from our capital improvements as increased capacity for testing and pack-out operations which will reduce lead times.

With the new expansions, UNICOM Engineering is ready to serve your business, and expand business with our existing customers. If you are ready to find a global deployment and delivery partner, contact UNICOM Engineering at 800-977-1010 or sales@unicomengineering.com. To learn more, visit UNICOM Engineering.

 

 

Why is 12Gb SAS and 16Gb FC Storage Important for your System?

Why is 12Gb SAS and 16Gb FC Storage Important for your SystemWhen you think about your computer system, the chances are good that you aren’t thinking in terms of storage technologies like 12Gb/s SAS or 16Gb/s Fiber Channel (FC). You’re probably thinking about your operating system, or your software solution.  It has become a trend to rely on cloud-based data solutions, which leads to a lack of attention given to the system’s hardware.  Nonetheless, understanding your storage solutions is vital if you want to keep your hardware and software running at its peak potential.  Both of these new storage protocols will allow much better match to solid state drives and together can bring amazing performance for IO intensive solutions such as Big Data, data analysis, and high transactional solutions.

SAS storage is nothing new, and a SAS hard drive has long been understood as a reliable, efficient option.  What’s changed is the bandwidth:  12 GB/s SAS drives can improve performance and create new performance capabilities for your solution.  12Gb/s SAS is the third generation of the SAS protocol doubling its speed from the previous generation’s 6GB/s and carries over the ability to support SATA drives as well.

For many years, fiber channel (FC) has been the go-to interconnect technology, because it has excellent speed, performance, and extensive expandability and connectivity using Fiber Channel switches.  With a 12 GB/s SAS, you get performance somewhere between 8GB/sFC and 16GB/s FC, but for a far less prohibitive cost than 16GB/s FC. In other words, 12GB/s SAS doesn’t knock 16GB/s FC out of the running, but it does provide companies with a cost-effective alternative  especially for  direct attached soltuions.  Based on your solution’s needs, 16GB/s FC storage may be the best solution to maximize productivity, but 12GB/S SAS could be a viable alternative where a little less performance for a significant cost reduction could make  it easier to implement.  A common trend in storage environments is using tiered storage using SSD for high performance and  SAS drives for mid-tier performance, and finally large capacity  SATA  drives for bulk storage.   Both 16GB/s FC and 12GB/s SAS will allow seamless integration  of SSD solid state storage, rotational SAS drives, as well as SATA drives together to create an efficient, tiered storage environment.

It’s easy to get bogged down in technical details, like whether it’s better to have 12GB/s SAS or stick with Fiber Channel and go with 16GB/s FC. Rather than just trying to muddle through, it’s smart to join forces with a partner that can help you find the best hardware for your solution and integrate directly into your system. If you are looking for a partner to keep your business ahead of the crowd, no matter what your hardware requirements may be, contact UNICOM Engineering at 800-977-1010 or sales@unicomengineering.com. To learn more, visit UNICOM Engineering.

The History and the Future of Ethernet Speeds (40GE and beyond)

The History and the Future of Ethernet Speeds 40GE and beyondWhen Ethernet was invented by Bob Metcalfe and his colleagues at the Xerox Research Center in Palo Alto in the mid-1970s, 40GE Ethernet probably seemed like the stuff of science fiction. At the time, 3Mbps was considered a “convenient data transfer rate,” but soon, Xerox joined forces with Digital and Intel to develop a multi-vendor 10Mbps, and by 1995, 100Mbps Ethernet was released. Today, that seems archaic and certainly insufficient for all we need to do. What should your business expect from an Ethernet speed today?

Since the 10 Gig Ethernet (10gb Ethernet, or 10GE) was defined in 2002, it has slowly become the standard. Part of the slow roll out was due to technical issues, because the cost of a 10GE infrastructure was prohibitive, particularly for small businesses. Then, too, the speed was considered by some to be unnecessary. In fact, an article published on arstechnica.com in 2011 refers to 10gb Ethernet as “ludicrous speed”. Still, as technology pushes further, what seemed ambitious in the past merely becomes adequate, and costs adjust too: it’s now possible to find a 10gb Ethernet switch that’s affordable for even a small business. With the growing technology, however, there’s a push to still higher speeds.

Today, the most efficient solution for most businesses is 40GE. While 100GE has been the goal for many tech companies, 40GE is a more practical solution, having both design flexibility and a lower cost than 100GE. For example, 40GE requires 12 fibers, as compared to the 24 needed for 100GE. Yet, 40GE allows companies to maintain the competitive edge with the ability to increase bandwidth to keep up with a higher demand.

What’s next? 400GE Ethernet? 1000GE? Neither is particularly far-fetched, with 400GE poised to hit the market in 2016. Whatever your business requires, whether it’s 40GE or 4000GE, you can be confident UNICOM Engineering will lead the way. To keep your company ahead of the crowd, across the globe, contact UNICOM Engineering at 800-977-1010 or sales@unicomengineering.com. To learn more, visit UNICOM Engineering.

Tech Score | The Future of ATCA

UNICOM EngineeringThe Future of ATCA

The Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA®) specifications, denoted PICMG 3.X, is a series of specifications originally developed to set requirements for the next generation of carrier grade communications equipment. These specifications, which were developed over a decade ago, incorporate the latest trends in high speed interconnect technologies, next generation processors and improved reliability, manageability and serviceability. More than 100 companies participate in the AdvancedTCA effort bringing with them a wide range of industry knowledge covering everything from telecommunications equipment to power supplies. But after huge projections of adoption and more than a decade later, where does ATCA stand as a viable technology for the future?

UNICOM Engineering recently conducted a survey of more than 50 technology companies currently shipping their solutions on ATCA designs to answer this question first hand. What we found is that roughly one-third of those surveyed said they are unsure or do not plan to use ATCA in the next 5 years. Conversely, two-thirds of those surveyed plan to continue with the standard for future products. Those who are “opting out”  are either moving to standard off the shelf rack mount servers or may still leverage some portions of the standard to create a market focused vertical solution.  The top reasons that companies plan to stay with ATCA are reliability, payload options, and upgrade serviceability. The full redundancy and centralized management features of ATCA along with low mean-time-to-failure continue to make it a solid choice for mission critical applications. Companies using ATCA have also been able to leverage DSP, SBC, and Packet Processing blades that are not viable in other form factors. And after ten plus years of deployment, many of these companies have been able to upgrade end customers into higher performing platforms using new hardware blades and software without requiring a forklift upgrade of the rack or chassis.

So what’s the final score?   

Certainly ATCA has not lived up to the huge projections from it’s early years, but the companies that are leveraging the standard have reaped a competitive advantage. They have seen higher throughput (up to 100GE egress), lower cost upgrades, and improved field up-time performance. It’s clear why these companies plan to stay with ATCA for the foreseeable future.

Intel’s Investment in Cloudera

Intel's Investment in ClouderaIntel recently bought a several hundred million dollar stake in Cloudera, a player in big data. The investment reportedly makes Intel the biggest single investor and guarantees them a seat on the board once Cloudera goes public, a move that is expected soon.

The young company based in Silicon Valley produces a version a Hadoop, an open source program developed to process big data. Cloudera has been involved with the development of Hadoop for some time, and is reportedly committed to keeping it open source. Intel is said to have abandoned plans to develop its own distribution of Hadoop, and will instead promote the already existing version of its new investment with Intel servers.

The change seems aimed at making Intel a key player in the Internet of Things (IoT). With more and more devices providing huge amounts of data through the IoT, the ability to use analytics to extract useful information from massive data has become necessary for many enterprises to stay competitive.

For instance, in the automotive industry, current models can report on driver usage and maintenance. This is accomplished in real time through a wireless Internet connection. Manufacturers can use the information to identify potential design flaws or to improve designs of future models to better meet the needs and driving habits of customers.

Hadoop is big data software that utilizes a group of servers to more rapidly and efficiently mine for useful information. The software manages the data by spreading it among the servers, then using the processing power of each server to work on a subset of the data before combining results.

Originally developed by Yahoo!, Hadoop had been widely used by Internet giants such as Google and Facebook before Cloudera developed an enterprise version. This solution has already proved useful in the banking, hospital and manufacturing industries. Intel appears prepared to bundle Cloudera software with its servers to provide a value-added solution to data centers.