2017 IT Preview: What to expect from our top partners in the new year
We’re only a couple of weeks into 2017, but we’ve already got a lot of technology to look forward to. From the launch of new products to updates of old ones, here’s a glimpse into what we can expect from the biggest names in tech this year.
Apple has done a great job of keeping details surrounding upcoming releases under wraps, but the rumor mills are beginning to churn. This year, we can expect a trio of new iPad Pros in March with a slew of new features. Additionally, Intel’s Kaby Lake could be destined for the iMac and MacBook. This is all speculation, but stay tuned for the Apple Event in March, which will confirm or deny these rumors.
Last year’s AWS re:Invent was full of announcements and updates for the new year. Our CTO, Kevin Clements, provided a recap of the event, including what’s to come in 2017. You can check out both posts here and here.
According to our insiders, on Jan. 27 Cisco will unveil the Spark Board, along with some groundbreaking Cisco Spark innovations that the company says will completely change the way people create, share, and complete work together. This program will optimize Wi-Fi connectivity, prioritize business critical apps, and integrate voice and collaboration between Cisco and Apple products.
We can expect a lot of changes from Dell this year, since it’s the first full year since the EMC merger. One of these changes includes the switch to a USB Type-C docking station, which replaces their legacy E-Port docking station. Additionally, the company just debuted its first XPS 13 2-in-1 at CES, which takes one of its most successful laptops to the next level.
This year, HPE 3PAR Flash NOW will allow customers to benefit from all-flash storage performance, embedded data protection, and application availability at less than half the cost of public cloud. The new financing program will allow customers to migrate to all-flash storage seamlessly and without breaking the bank.
According to our insiders, the HP Spectre will no longer be just a commercial product available only through configure-to-order. Sometime this year, the convertible laptop will be available in a business model as well.
HP has also just introduced the HP Z2 Mini Workstation, a power mini PC that offers the performance of a workstation.
In the second half of 2017, IBM’s cloud service, Bluemix, will offer services to support Intel’s new 3D XPoint-powered non-volatile memory, Optane. Optane is an alternative to RAM and mass storage media, but much faster than NAND Flash storage. Read more about it here.
Optane is set to ship in Q2 and will be an option for new Intel-based client platforms like Kaby Lake. It’ll also be available as a standalone component in 15 and 32 GB expansion cards.
Lenovo will announce a product refresh in early Q1 that is built on Intel’s latest Kaby Lake platform. Exciting new features include USB Type-C and Thunderbolt docking, IR cameras that support Windows Hello face login, and narrow bezels, to name a few. To support customers who haven’t transitioned to Windows 10, Lenovo will also continue to offer Windows 7 options throughout 2017.
On the hardware side, you can expect to see the Surface Pro 5 and a new Surface Phone. On the heels of its successful predecessor, the updated Surface Pro 5 will feature a better battery, sharper graphics, and a USB Type-C port. The Surface Phone is still in the development phase, so all specs are speculative.
On the software side, Windows 10 users can expect two upgrades, named Redstone 2 and 3, in the spring and fall of this year.
At CES 2017, the company unveiled a number of smart home products, an updated Notebook 9, the Chromebook Plus and Pro, and a gaming laptop called The Odyssey—the first of its kind from the company. Businesses may be especially intrigued by the Chromebook Plus and Pro, since they promise high performance without a high price tag. The devices are set to be available for purchase late March or early April.
Symantec released Endpoint Protection 14 toward the end of 2016, adding artificial intelligence, advanced machine learning, and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) functionality to their existing multi-layered security approach, all from one single agent. With the integration of Blue Coat, we can expect to see additional network and cloud security offerings from Symantec, protecting users from cyber threats on the network, the web, the cloud, and mobile.
NetBackup 8.0, which was released in late 2016, is the root of Veritas’ true 360 Data Management platform, based on protection, availability, and insight. Veritas will expand the capabilities of NetBackup 8.0 in 2017, with the integration of three next-gen solutions: Information Map, Veritas Resiliency Platform, and Velocity. This family of solutions will reduce complexity, streamline operations, and deliver enormous business value.
The VMware and AWS partnership announced early last year will finally come into fruition in 2017. The two companies will join forces to deliver a seamless, integrated hybrid cloud offering–essentially the best of both worlds from two of the leading private and public cloud providers. We’re still waiting on the details and what it will mean for customers, so stay tuned!
Keep an eye on the SHI Blog throughout 2017 for more information about how to incorporate these and more changes into your IT environment.