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Dark web finds bitcoin increasingly more of a problem than a help, tries other digital currencies – CNBC

Criminals are dropping bitcoin in favor of other digital currencies that are harder for law enforcement to use in tracking activities in an anonymous corner of the internet known as the dark web, analysts said.

Although hard numbers on criminal activity in digital currencies are difficult to pin down, Shone Anstey, co-founder and president of Blockchain Intelligence Group, estimates that illegal transactions in bitcoin have fallen from about half of total volume to about 20 percent last year.

“Now it’s significantly less than that,” he told CNBC earlier this month, noting that overall transaction volume has grown globally.

A U.S. Homeland Security official confirmed to CNBC in a phone interview on Thursday that criminals are “looking more closely at other currencies like monero and ethereum.”

“What the criminals are starting to see, and some of the trends we’re picking up as well, is that bitcoin also works equally just as much against you as it does for you,” said the official, who didn’t want to be named.

Ethereum cybercrime revenue in $ millions

Source: Chainalysis

Bitcoin is built on the blockchain, a public record of all transactions available online. Users also need a public address of numbers and letters in order to receive payments. As a result, intelligence agencies can track the movement of funds to addresses that hackers provide and catch the criminals when they try to cash out through more regulated entities such as exchanges or banks.

Jonathan Levin, co-founder of blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, noted that recent law enforcement crackdowns have “made a dent in the trust” in dark web markets, where people primarily use cryptocurrencies for payment.

On July 20, the U.S. Justice Department and Europol announced the closure of two of the largest dark web marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, which listed tens of thousands of vendors selling illegal drugs, counterfeit identification documents and other illicit products.

The DOJ said AlphaBay transactions used bitcoin, monero and ethereum, while Europol estimated a minimum of $1 billion in transactions on AlphaBay since its launch in 2014.

A few days later, a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California charged Russian national Alexander Vinnik and the digital currency exchange he allegedly operated, BTC-e, with money laundering and related crimes. Once a major exchange, the BTC-e website now shows it’s been seized by U.S. authorities.

Screenshot of BTC-e landing page

“We’re getting a lot better through law enforcement tracking those [criminals] and holding the exchanges more accountable,” the Homeland Security official said. “I think [bitcoin]’s a lot more legitimate than people give it credit for.”

The average number of daily bitcoin transactions has climbed to 224,000 so far this month from around 206,000 last August, according to data from the Blockchain website. Daily trade volume in bitcoin has multiplied rapidly in the last year, climbing to an average of $2 billion so far this month from an average $86.7 million last August, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Bitcoin has more than quadrupled in value this year, to hit a record high of more than $4,700 on Tuesday.

Daily confirmed bitcoin transactions by seven-day average (2009 – 2017)

Source: Blockchain.info

In the last three years, new digital currencies such as monero have emerged in an effort to increase privacy. Unlike the open transaction record of bitcoin, monero’s technology hides the name of the sender, amount and receiver.

A representative from monero did not respond to email and Twitter requests for comment.

Monero hit a record high Monday of $154.58, up more than 1,000 percent this year, according to CoinMarketCap.

Digital currency ethereum is an increasing target for cybercrime as well, according to Chainalysis. Ethereum is up about 4,300 percent this year amid a flood of funds into the digital currency for initial coin offerings, which have raised the equivalent of nearly $1.8 billion in the last three years, CoinDesk data showed.

Cybercriminals raised $225 million in ethereum so far this year, Chainalysis said in a report posted Aug. 7 on its website. Phishing attacks disguised emails or other communication used to trick people into disclosing personal information make up more than half of all ethereum cybercrime revenue this year at $115 million, the study said.

The Ethereum Foundation did not return a CNBC request for comment.

That said, analysts pointed out that bitcoin is still favored by many criminals since its relatively more widespread use makes it easier for them to quickly convert the digital currency to cash without any intermediary.

The sharp gains in bitcoin’s price have also made it more attractive for hackers in recent high-profile attacks such as WannaCry, though analysts estimate the criminals have only received tens of thousands to a few hundred thousand U.S. dollars’ worth of bitcoin.

“Bitcoin basically introduced a situation where we could bypass the money mules,” said Rickey Gevers, cybercrime specialist at RedSocks Security, which detects and fights against malware.

But, Gevers said, “in the beginning [bitcoin] looks very anonymous, and in the end it doesn’t look very anonymous.”

Wall Street is increasingly interested in bitcoin. More investment funds are opening and the U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission is allowing bitcoin options to begin trading. Switzerland’s financial markets regulator in mid-July also approved Falcon Private Bank as the first Swiss private bank for bitcoin asset management.

“The whole use issue of digital currencies has become a big industry. Bitcoin isn’t this weird, odd currency that’s being used on the dark web,” said Paul Triolo, practice head of geotechnology at consulting firm Eurasia Group. “Since the early days of bitcoin on some [levels], the world has changed quite a bit.”

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Bitcoin Meets Zcash: Developers Test Tool for Trustless Trades – CoinDesk

An in-progress blockchain project could one day help users trade bitcoin for zcash without a trusted third party.

Created by zcash developers Jay Graber and Ariel Gabizon,ZBXCATis a new command-line tool that developers can use to exchange the two cryptocurrencies.

Withtoday’s bitcoin exchanges having a history of being vulnerable tohacks (leading to millions of dollars in customer losses), ZBXCAT uses a concept called “atomic swaps” to avoid the need to hold users’ funds.

Say Alice has bitcoin and Bob has zcash, and they want to trade the two. Rather than temporarily entrusting their cryptocurrency to acentralized exchange, atomic swaps would let them tradedirectly across blockchains. To ensure there is no cheating, both users would need to send the cryptocurrencies to each other by a certain time or the trade will fail.

Gabizon told CoinDesk:

“Basically, it seems a useful thing to me: To be able to exchange bitcoin and zcash directly with someone I don’t know without having to trust them. Especially, given recent technical problems some exchanges are having.”

In its current state, ZBXCAT users need to download bitcoin and zcash full nodes (with their full transaction histories), and use the command line to instruct the network to make a trade.

However, with the toolstill not finalized, ZBXCAT’s developers advise using “test” coins rather than the real thingfor the time being.

The projectis the latest in a line of similar ideas for experimental exchange-free trading.

Charlie Lee, the founder of litecoin, has previously said heis committed to atomic swaps, oncethe Lightning Network is activated on the cryptocurrency’s network. TheMimbleWimble projectalso plans to usher incross-chain atomic swaps, as well as other features.

“I can’t predict how it will be used exactly, I hope it will be integrated in other services in interesting and unexpected ways,” Gabizon concluded.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, developer of zcash.

Welding image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [emailprotected].

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Russian Regulator: Bitcoin Should Be Limited to ‘Qualified Investors’ – CoinDesk

Russia’s deputy finance minister, Alexei Moiseev, has spokenout onhow he believes cryptocurrencies should be regulated in the country.

According to reports issued by RTyesterday,Moiseev suggested in a televised interview that bitcoin should not be classified as a currency, but rather as a property or asset.

Moiseev further stated that bitcoin was a high risk “financial pyramid” and that, in order to protect consumers, bitcoin exchange should be performed only by “qualified investors” on the Moscow Stock Exchange. As such, “ordinary people” would be prohibited from buying and selling the cryptocurrency.

“We suggest not to call it currencies, do not regulate it as currencies, regulate how … other property, classify it as a financial asset and allow only classified investors to buy and sell them on the exchange,” Moiseev stated according to RSN.

On the stock exchange, bitcoin would be subject to “Rosfinmonitoring” a decree issued by President Vladimir Putin in order to collect and analysis financial transactions for protection against fraud.

Moiseyev indicatedthe proposal is currently being discussed with the Moscow Stock Exchange and the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, and that it could soon be passed onto government.

“I hope that we will soon submit this concept to the government, and in case of support we will write a draft of normative acts,” he said.

Notably, Moiseyev’s statements have provoked commentary from Pavel Durov, the founder of the Telegram Messenger app andVKontakte, a popular social mediasite.

As reported bySputniknews, Durovwrote on his VKontakte page that, with the arrival of bitcoin:

“For the first time in 70 years, the global financial system has a chance to escape from the hegemony of the U.S.”

Yet, rather than allowing cryptocurrencies the chance to replace the dollar, “the Russian government is voicing ideas to ban and restrict [use of cryptocurrencies],” hesaid.

It seems this charge will only apply to civilians, though, and only if Moiseev’s comments are adopted into financial regulations.

As such, Moiseev’s remarks build on what has generally been thestrict approach to cryptocurrency regulation favored by the Ministry of Finance, the country’s top financial regulator. In contrast, the Bank of Russia has generally been more supportive of the technology, though it remains to be seen which side will win out.

The statements in this article have been translated from Russian.

Alexei Moiseev image viaShutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [emailprotected].

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As bitcoin and rivals surge, so too have complaints to the CFPB – MarketWatch

Fixes the total number of complaints made to the CFPB in 2017.

As the price of bitcoin and its digital currency rivals surge, so too have complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Through August, there have been 277 complaints about virtual currencies lodged to the CFPB compared with just seven in 2016, according to student loan marketplace LendEDU.

That may be understating the complaints from consumers there have been another 288 complaints lodged against Coinbase, the leading bitcoin wallet.

The issues with virtual currencies are still a fraction of the 145,948 complaints made to the CFPB this year.

Consumer complaints do not necessarily mean that illegal activity has occurred, but regulators and researchers use the CFPBs database as an early warning sign of potential nefarious activity.

Bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.53% has surged 386% this year, and other digital currencies have surged in price as well.

Read: Value of all digital currencies surpasses $160 billion

The CFPB has said that consumers should be aware of potential issues with virtual currencies such as unclear costs, volatile exchange rates, the threat of hacking and scams, and that companies may not offer help or refunds for lost or stolen funds. It has not, however, taken any enforcement action.

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What are the key benefits of cloud computing? – Information Age

More and more businesses have been turning to cloud computing, which in turn provides consumers with huge benefits

Cloud computing, basically, is where computing based online rather than your physical computer or server. There are many applications that we use every day that are based on cloud computing. Even going on social media sites like Facebook involves cloud computing.

>See also:How to approach cloud computing and cyber security in 2017

When you go onto Hotmail to check your emails or log onto your bank account to check your balance its all down to the cloud. Even when you stream movies online, it is via the cloud. Some people dont even realise that they are using cloud computing but they are. So, what are the main benefits of cloud computing?

There are so many benefits to using cloud computing for businesses and consumers, which is why so many businesses and people have come to rely on it. Some of the key benefits of this technology include:

Improved accessibility: With cloud computing you are accessing information from the cloud and not from a particular server or device. This means that you can access it from any device and from anywhere. Whether you are a remote worker that needs to share information with colleagues or a personal user that wants to get online and check emails, it can all be done thanks to the increased accessibility.

>See also:10 trends that will influence cloud computing in 2017

Recovery of data: If you lose a laptop or device, there may be information that you cannot recover because it was on the device, which has been lost or stolen. However, if the information is on the cloud you can still recover that data from any device as long as you can get online.

Automatic updating: For businesses, one key benefit of using cloud computing is the ability to enjoy automatic updates. There are regular automatic software updates that are all taken care of, which means that there is one less thing for your business to have to take care of. It also means that businesses dont have to worry about investing in costly servers and equipment onsite.

Remote working: For employees and employers, cloud computing has made it simple to work from anywhere. This means that employees can enjoy far greater flexibility and can work remotely from another site or from home. It also means that employers can share information with employees from other sites without emails being sent back and forth.

>See also:How cloud computing can transform the pharmaceutical industry

Security of data: Both home and business users will know what a pain it can be when servers and systems go down, restricting access to information. If the information is on the cloud then this is an issue that you wont have to worry about because the information you want will be safely stored on the cloud.

More and more businesses have been turning to cloud computing, which in turn provides consumers with huge benefits. Another great thing to remember is that it is even considered eco-friendly because the infrastructure scales on demand in line with your business needs.

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It’s Only the Early Innings for Cloud Computing – Morningstar.com

That’s likely to change. All three main types of cloud computing markets–software as a service (programs people use), infrastructure as a service (virtual server space), and platform as a service (a virtual environment where companies can test their own apps and programs)–are expected to grow exponentially over the next few years.”There was a lot of hype around cloud computing a couple of years ago, but we’re still early,” says Margaret Vitrano, who co-manages ClearBridge Large Cap Growth , which earns a Bronze Analyst Rating from Morningstar.The software market will jump the most, growing from $39 billion in 2016 to an estimated $110 billion in 2020, but infrastructure and platform should soar as well, from $38 billion to $70 billion and $13 billion to $30 billion, respectively, according to estimates from ClearBridge Investments.This kind of growth should have investors salivating.”We think the single most important trend in technology remains the ongoing shift toward cloud computing, which is having ramifications for dozens of stocks across our coverage,” noted Morningstar analyst Brian Colello in his quarterly outlook.Indeed, many stocks have seen their prices climb thanks to their cloud efforts. The ISE Cloud Computing Index is up 35% since January as of this writing, compared with the S&P 500’s 8.5% gain. As more companies adopt this technology, investors are likely to see even greater gains.Slow to AdoptAs familiar as people are with cloud computing today–most consumers use some sort of cloud program, such as email or online file storage–enterprises have taken their time with adoption, says Walter Price, comanager of the Bronze-rated AllianzGI Technology .Many companies had been worried about security and whether they should store sensitive information on third-party servers. Plus, switching from expensive on-premises technology, like a server located in a company’s office or software that has been installed directly on a computer, is a slow process.”Trillions have been invested in existing infrastructure,” says Price. “That investment has to be depreciated and companies have to think about how they’re going to transition to a more on-demand or subscription-based cost stream. Like all revolutions, it takes time for people to agree that it’s ready for prime time, but once it’s ready it starts to move faster than expected.”Rodney Nelson, a Morningstar analyst who covers several cloud companies, says that it could take a decade for larger companies to shift their business processes to the cloud.”We’re talking about massive shifts of technology,” he says. “This is a story that’s going to play out over the next 15 years.”Cheaper and More EfficientMake no mistake, though, cloud computing is the future, says Nelson. The cost benefit to companies is too attractive to pass up. Rather than buying software for thousands of dollars that only some employees might use, companies can pay an annual fee based on the number of people who actually use a program. That fee covers software updates and technical support–things that companies used to have pay additional fees for.The same goes for storage space. In the past, companies would build internal servers that were often not used to their full capacity. Now, companies can buy server space from a third-party vendor and use onlywhat they need. If they want more space, they can easily add to what they have. Again, maintenance and upgrades are included in the price.”Companies are increasingly realizing that operating on-premises IT infrastructure is inefficient,” wrote Nelson in a recent white paper. “They’re turning to cloud … computing to streamline their processes and drive product and service innovation. We believe public cloud is a strategic shift that all companies will eventually embrace to varying degrees.”Profits Ramping UpJust as it has taken companies a while to embrace the cloud, it has also taken a while for cloud computing companies to generate profits. For the last several years, cloud operations have been focused on building products that are better than the non-cloud offerings on the market, and that has meant sinking millions into research and development, says Price.Even when these companies started selling their cloud capabilities, revenues were low–people paying $50 a month for a subscription isn’t the same as getting them to pay thousands of dollars up-front for a product. Now, though, those monthly subscription fees are adding up. Cloud companies are investing less in R&D, and the clients that have embraced the cloud are buying more services every year.”It took a lot longer for these companies to get profitable off a subscription revenue base, but now they’re on the other side of the mountain,” says Price. “Their cost for renewal is much lower, and they now have superior features to the on-premises product. The model’s only going to get more profitable over time.”Pick Your SpotsInvesting in this sector may seem like a no-brainer, but not every cloud enterprise will come out a winner. There are so many cloud companies out there, especially on the software side, that not all will succeed.”It’s like the PC era years ago,” says Price. “The growth of the industry looked wonderful, but really only five or 10 companies associated with the PC generated most of the wealth for investors. That will be true in the cloud as well.”At the moment, Nelson sees the most value in infrastructure as a service companies, with Amazon and Microsoft leading the way. While the two companies do more than cloud computing, their cloud operations–Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure, both considered infrastructure and platform as a service companies–are growing like weeds. AWS, for instance, saw its operating income increase by about 37% year-over-year in the first six months of 2017, and it accounts for most of the company’s overall profits.The two do face some competition, mainly from Alphabet and Alibaba , but they’re much better positioned to succeed than the others.”Amazon and Microsoft have already outlaid tens of billions in investments,” says Nelson. “They’re the only two firms that have done that so far.”Amazon and Microsoft are also developing the most value-added services, such as machine learning, server-less computing, and artificial intelligence capabilities, and that will make them even more powerful going forward. It’s one reason why the companies both have wide moats assigned to them, says Nelson. Both are also trading in 4-star range as of this writing, which suggests that the shares are undervalued relative to Morningstar’s estimate of their fair value.On the software side, a few companies look promising, such as customer relationship management programs Salesforce (rated 3 stars as of this writing, which suggests it’s fairly valued) and ServiceNow (rated 4 stars). Salesforce in particular has great execution and has been able to “penetrate its customer base beyond its core product,” says Nelson.Nelson also likes Adobe (3 stars), which has successfully shifted from offering store-bought software to online cloud-based services. It’s a good example of the kind of software company that Vitrano likes to own. The best buys, she says, are the ones undergoing a shift from packaged software to cloud-based programs. It’s during the shift when revenues fall and investors get nervous, making these companies undervalued. Then, as more people start buying subscriptions, revenues start to climb–and stock prices presumably follow.”When Adobe made the transition from boxed software that cost several thousands of dollars to a subscription offering, it was an immediate negative for their earnings,” she says. “But over the long term it’s been positive in terms of earnings power. It’s helped them open up to the consumer market that would have never paid for its software.”While investors do have to be picky, it’s hard to go wrong with the bigger, more promising names as the cloud is only growing form here.”We like the whole sector,” says Price. “And we’re only in the second or third inning.” Bryan Borzykowski is a freelance columnist for Morningstar.com. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Morningstar.com.

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Saudi Telecom Company creates cloud computing giant – ComputerWeekly.com

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has partnered with state-owned IT company ELM and the National Information Centre to create the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, which will drive the transformation of government services.

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By grouping resources and focusing on one objective through the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, the joint venture aims to provide all government services under one roof and provide users with a unified experience.

STC, ELM and the National Information Centre are addressing this with the alliance launching the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, said Tarig Enaya, senior vice-president of enterprise at STC.

The Saudi Cloud Computing Company leverages the reach of STCs networks, fixed and mobile, its interconnected datacentres, its experience in building cloud ecosystems, and its huge network of technology partners and suppliers, he said.

STC said the deal is aimed at helping to power the Kingdom of Saudi Arabias digitalisation strategy and is in line with the countrys National Transformation Programme 2020 and Vision 2030.

Enaya said by having all government services under one roof, hosted locally, ICT infrastructure management is more secure and cost efficient.

It is more secure because of the governance framework enforced by the National Information Centre, the physical security at the datacentres, the physical and information security enforced on the network interconnecting these datacentres, and how the cloud environment is spread out across several different locations with redundancy, he said.

He added that there are two aspects to executing both the National Transformation Programme 2020 and Vision 2030. One is management based and involves restructuring and re-engineering processes inside the public sector, and the second relates to business automation and service digitisation.

For us, our contribution is to the service digitisation part, which involves adapting all the business rules inherent in government policies and processes into e-services, he said.

The majority of government services are already online, but not all of these services are integrated. There is some integration between services, especially sensitive ones, but more can and should be done, said Enaya.

He added that the new company will be involved in every element of the digitisation value chain, starting from connectivity, IT infrastructure and systems integration. In the past, we worked with government agencies and treated them as separate entities, he said.

According to Enaya, ELM provides the venture with experience of addressing public sector digitisation projects. He believes the patronage of the National Information Centre is important because with it comes the required governance framework and integration with the Ministry of Interiors identity management databases of citizen and resident data.

It is these databases, which provide the trust and validation needed to guarantee the security of transactions run through government e-services, he added.

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Now with VMware and Pivotal, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is becoming the hub of enterprise tech – GeekWire

(L to R) Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware; Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal; Sam Ramji, vice president of product management at Google; and Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, discuss the decision of VMware and Pivotal to join the Cloud Native Computing Foundation at VMworld 2017. (VMware Photo)

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the industry group that directs the development of the Kubernetes container-orchestration product, gained two new members Tuesday at VMworld 2017: VMware and Pivotal.

The two companies joined the CNCF at the platinum level, which is the highest level of support offered by the CNCF and which requires members to donate time and money toward advancing the many projects under the CNCF umbrella. Kubernetes is the major project in that group, but it also contains several projects designed to make Kubernetes and containers easier to use, such as containerd and CNI.

VMware is definitely not the first company you would think of when listing cloud native companies, given its history. Before cloud computing, containers, and Kubernetes dominated the enterprise tech conversation, VMwares virtualization technologies revolutionized data center management by squeezing more performance out of existing hardware. But VMware knows the cloud is here to stay, inking a partnership with Amazon Web Services last year that resulted in the VMware Cloud on AWS product announced Monday during the first day of VMworld 2017.

Pivotal is a more natural fit. VMwares corporate sibling in the DellEMC conglomerate, Pivotal helps enterprise companies transition to cloud computing, and it was created from parts of EMC and VMware back in 2013 to further develop the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service.

As more and more companies join the CNCF (Amazon Web Services finally took the plunge earlier this month), the foundation could find it increasingly hard to manage contributors with a wide variety of business interests. So far it has avoided setting exact standards, preferring a light-touch approach toward developing and marketing the technologies it believes make for a cloud native experience.

Pivotal and VMware also announced a new container service in conjunction with Google called Pivotal Container Service. That service is a commercial version of Project Kubo, an open-source project for managing Kubernetes clusters between VMware on-premises hardware and Googles cloud services.

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VMworld 2017: Everything you need to know about VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy – ZDNet

Special Feature

The Art Of The Hybrid Cloud

Cloud computing is insatiably gobbling up more of the backend services that power businesses. But, some companies have apps with privacy, security, and regulatory demands that preclude the cloud. Here’s how to find the right mix of public cloud and private cloud.

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VMware increasingly sees itself as the glue in hybrid cloud deployments, as its partnership with AWS is now generally available and the company rolled out a series of advances the preserve and grow its position.

At VMworld 2017, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger rolled out a series of announcements and highlighted its customer base and partner network.

In a nutshell, VMware sketched out the following:

Here’s a look at what you need to know about VMworld 2017.

VMware’s primary strategy is to be a bridge between private and public clouds, as well as adopt new technologies, such as containers and OpenStack, as they arise, and maintain its customer base — all as it grows businesses, such as software-defined networking tools like NSX.

So far, so good for VMware. The company highlighted companies such as ADP, Cerner, Liberty Mutual, Medtronic, and Western Digital as customers. These customers are also increasing spending as VMware’s quarterly results shine.

Gelsinger sees VMware as a company that can clean up a “messy” app and infrastructure footprint. At VMware’s analyst meeting at VMworld, Gelsinger said referring to enterprise apps and delivering them:

And about the cloud Gelsinger said:

No matter what niche of the data center market VMware targets, the aim is the same: Abstract the complexity and put the moving technology parts together.

Stifel analyst Brad Reback noted:

The general availability of the VMware Cloud on AWS only covers AWS’ West region (Oregon) for now, but the broader rollout is on deck for 2018.

Read also: AWS cements hybrid cloud position with VMware partnership: Here’s what it means

What VMware is really hoping to do is be the enabler that breaks down cloud silos. This graphic tells the tale.

Read also: What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know from public and private cloud to software as a service

And if hybrid cloud deployments are indeed accelerating VMware is in front of integration curve. For now, VMware Cloud on AWS is priced as you go, but VMware will offer one and three-year subscriptions.

Add it up and VMware is clearly embracing hyperscale public clouds. VMware customers get an onramp to AWS and VMware keeps its installed base secure. The limited beta was oversubscribed, so its safe to assume there will be strong demand ahead.

Look for VMware to craft broader deals with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure on some level in the future.

Read also: Hybrid cloud: The smart person’s guide | Software defined data centers: The smart person’s guide

Speaking of deal making, VMware’s software is increasingly being delivered via integrated appliances.

Lenovo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Dell EMC all announced systems to couple VMware and hardware into one package. These hardware partnerships align to give VMware more of a play into high-performance computing.

VMware also announced partnerships with DXC, the combination of CSC and HPE Enterprise Services, as well as Fujitsu.

The general idea behind these partnerships is to offer integrated systems that can use private and public clouds, Cloud Foundry, OpenStack, and naturally, VMware’s own platform.

To VMware, the software defined data center is going to include a bunch of integrated systems.

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When it comes to security, VMware remained on message. Gelsinger’s take on security echoed the company’s approach with other areas: Make it simple and integrate. VMware again sees itself as the security linchpin between the private and public clouds. Gelsinger said:

Fundamentally, we the tech industry have failed you, the customer. It is simply too hard, too complex and breaches are growing far too fast.

We need a new approach.

VMware’s focus on cloud security was echoed by a bevy of other partners. Palo Alto Networks said its Next-Generation Security Platform is available to VMware Cloud on AWS customers. The VMware-AWS partnership has allowed a bevy of security software and service integrations.

Fortinet said its FortiGate virtualized security was available for VMware on AWS. In addition, HyTrust outlined a security policy to protect workloads and support VMware Cloud on AWS.

IBM launched storage software dubbed IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to protect data in cloud, virtualized, and data center environments. IBM timed it launch and demonstration for VMworld.

Trend Micro said its Deep Security lineup is available to VMware Cloud customers on AWS. Trend Micro said it is enabling multiple security techniques such as policy application and vulnerability scanning on VMware and AWS.

There were also a bevy of partners outlining wares connected to VMware.

Here’s the quick view:

In addition, VMware’s partnership with AWS cleared the decks for more vendors to participate with products. For instance, Faction is offering managed VMware Cloud services on AWS.

VMware’s positioning for 2017 and 2018 looks as strong as it has ever been. In the end, the hybrid cloud has bounced its way and the company has done well navigating various technology trends as well as a change in ownership via the Dell acquisition of EMC.

Cloud vs. Data Center decisions

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VMworld 2017: Everything you need to know about VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy – ZDNet

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