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“We want to compete with the large hyperscalars”

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Close the circle. This is what Akamai has managed to do in the last year, with two of its most interesting acquisitions in recent times: that of Guardicore at the end of 2021 and that of Linode, last February. Two names that not only complement their product portfolio, but as Francisco Arnau, VP of Akamai for Spain and Portugal, tells us, stand out spectacularly in their offer.

With Arnau we have had the opportunity to talk about how the company’s business has developed in the last year, the growth of investments that are being carried out in the field of information security and how they are preparing to become relevant players in the world of public cloud. This is what he has told us.

[MCPRO] What balance do you make of the year 2023 and what goals do you set for 2023?

[Francisco Arnau] It has been a very good year for Akamai as a company globally, regionally in EMEA and locally, with growth in the security area of ​​around 13-14% and for next year we expect double-digit growth as well. in Spain for next year.

[MCPRO] We are seeing a lot of movement in the cybersecurity sector, especially with the entry of private investment funds. How are you seeing the market?

[Francisco Arnau] Security is such a hot topic, and such a growing problem, that it is clear that we all need to invest. VCs, tech companies like Akamai, which has invested a lot of money in the last 4-5 years…but also customers are investing more and more in security. Threats are growing and more sophisticated and it is something that is more and more in our day to day.

[MCPRO] Speaking of purchases, your acquisition of Linode has been in the news in recent months. How does this acquisition fit into your strategy and how does it broaden your product and service offering? How do you want to develop in the cloud world from here?

[Francisco Arnau] It is an acquisition that fits spectacularly into our offer. Akamai is a company that has been talking about the edge for 25 years. And Linode is one of the pioneers in the world of cloud computing. The addition of Akamai, which has the largest distributed edge platform in the world, with the growing number of Linode cloud nodes, makes the solution perfect from the development itself, to the delivery and security of the application.

From here, the first step is full and complete integration with Akamai’s traditional solutions, positioning Linode as the perfect complement to Akamai’s distributed network. We plan to open 13 new data centers in 2023, also in Spain. First of all there will be one in Madrid and later, there will be another in Barcelona.

[MCPRO] Is this expansion in the number of data centers aimed at being able to share with the large hyperscalars?

[Francisco Arnau] Of course. Our intention is to play in the Champions League. It is true that it will take some time. Right now we are making a very important investment, firstly from Linode in Akamai’s DNA and then, what is going to be a brutal investment in infrastructure.

[MCPRO] What should companies be most concerned about in terms of security for next year?

[Francisco Arnau] What we are seeing, and what we have published in our latest report on Internet security, has been a significant increase in threats in three areas. One, a very large increase in denial of service attacks on distributed networks; on the other, we are increasingly seeing a bigger problem in the world of bots, which are generating brutal traffic in all companies (and much of it is aimed at stealing customer data or their credentials) and, of course, we have seen growth very important in the area of ​​ransomware.

They are no longer aimed only at large companies, but any company is likely to receive them.

[MCPRO] Precisely, you recently spoke in some reports about how DDoS and ransomware attacks were increasing for attacks that have not been seen until now. How do you help companies defend themselves in this field?

[Francisco Arnau] One year ago we acquired GuardiCore, the leading defense company against hacker attacks. ransomware. The company complements our suite of security solutions and if until recently Akamai was a little more focused on protecting from outside the firewall, now this acquisition also allows us to position ourselves within the infrastructure, the client’s perimeter.

In this way we provide a comprehensive security solution, from the DNS to the protection of applications and APIs, the protection of the client’s infrastructure regardless of where it originates, to its own internal perimeter.

[MCPRO] Don’t you think that the security market is now more fragmented than ever? That CISOS have more and more options to protect their assets, but perhaps there are too many companies that do very specific things? Would some market consolidation be necessary?

[Francisco Arnau] Yes, but one of Akamai’s goals is precisely that. Having a consolidation of all products and being able to offer a defense strategy from a single point of view. Hence the investment we are making in the development of new solutions, such as our “Bot Manager” for bot management, DNS protection, protection of user browsing… or the security of access to critical applications of business, in addition to multi-factor authentication.

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And it is true that there are more and more attack vectors, more things to protect. There is everything that teleworking has brought, which is distributing and increasing the risk… and we have to be increasingly aware of all this.

[MCPRO] If we go to investment, it is true that there is no digital transformation project that does not already take security as an absolute priority. So much so that IDC speaks of growth of 7.7% in Spain in 2022 and exponential growth for the period 2022-2025. In your case, how is this demand materializing?

[Francisco Arnau] Probably, the security division is going to be the one that grows the most in 2023. Akamai’s third-quarter results already anticipated a very significant growth in the security area, so that it is already the second area in business volume of the company behind that of CDN, and we expect that for Q1, Q2 of next year it will be the area with the highest billing of the company.

We have billed 400 million euros in Q3 and we expect that figure to grow in double digits over the next year, but not only in billing, but also in investment.

[MCPRO] At the same time, all this demand and concern for cybersecurity is causing two trends that are not nearly as positive: an alarming shortage of talent (with which we have been dealing for years) and widespread burnout in this specific sector.

[Francisco Arnau] I think that in Spain in general there is a lot of talent in the world of cybersecurity. Obviously there is a lot of competition to attract this talent and above all to retain it. We at Akamai are very concerned about this retention, for us it is one of the critical points in which we are immersed this year. For me personally, as the head of the region, for me this is absolutely critical.

And it’s not just about offering great salaries, but also about many other things that Akamai is trying to provide for its employees. Here we include, for example, the flexibility when it comes to working from the point of the country you want to work in, and a bit because of the very idiosyncrasy of the company in which in the end we all end up believing and which comes from above.

A relationship based on trust, on believing in the future of the company and of course on caring for the employee with measures such as our wellness dayseight days a year that the company provides us for our personal relaxation.

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EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S, new 24.1-inch professional monitor

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The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is a monitor aimed at professionals that mounts a 24.1-inch panel and has, as you may have imagined, a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. Its maximum brightness is 410 cd/m2, it has a contrast of 1,350:1, it reproduces 1,070 million colors and it is capable of covering the 99% of the Adobe RGB color space.

This EIZO model brings a series of clear improvements over the previous generation. Among the most important changes we can highlight the inclusion of a USB Type-C connector, that offers up to 70 watts of charge, and that we can use to charge a laptop while we use it with said monitor (simultaneous data and power).

Another important addition to the EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is that it comes with an adjustment report that measures the state of the screen at the time of shipment, a feature that previously it was only available on CG series professional monitors.

Maintaining its commitment to the environment, EIZO has eliminated any type of plastic from the packaging and materials that accompany the wiring. This monitor is also more efficient, as it It has a consumption of only 26 watts.

The rest of its specifications are completed with a response time of 19ms, it has DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, it has a USB Type-C connector, as we have already said, it has two USB 3.0 and it has two other USB 2.0 ports. we can use it both horizontally and verticallysomething that the most creative professionals will undoubtedly like.

This monitor is mainly aimed at content creators, designers, video and photo editors, illustrators and cartoonists. It is height, swivel and tilt adjustable, which translates into good ergonomics and great versatility when it comes to integrating into different work spaces.

The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S comes with a 5-year warranty covering each and every component, and is also subject to the zero bad pixel policy, which is covered for six months from the launch date. Taking into account the investment that we have to make to buy this monitor, it is totally normal, since its price in Spain will be around 800 euro.

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Microsoft Extends ESU Support for Windows Server 2008 and R2

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When an operating system ends its life cycle, Microsoft usually considers the possibility of offering extended support, which usually ends up being paid, or may be subject to some type of special condition. The latter is what has happened with Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, two operating systems that have ended their life cycle and are no longer supported in 2020.

The thing is that Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 still have a significant user baseand for this reason Microsoft has decided an additional year of support of the ESU type, acronym for “extended security updates”. This is good news for companies that still use the operating system, but it has one important condition, and that is that it will only be available to those who are Microsoft Azure customers.

This extended period of security updates will be active until January 9, 2024. If you are wondering if this will be a free program, I can tell you that it is not, and that Microsoft will bill it as it normally does with extended support programs.

In case you are wondering why so many professionals are still using Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 the answer is very simple, because in more than one case upgrading to a new operating system requires significant expenses that can derive from a hardware renewal, from a prolonged period of inactivity, from updating and developing new applications if necessary or from a little of everything that we have just said.

Microsoft has confirmed all the versions of Windows Server 2008 that will be able to benefit from this year of extended support, and we have listed them as is:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 7.
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7.
  • All Azure virtual machines (VMs) running Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 operating systems on Azure, Azure Stack, Azure VMWare Solutions, or Azure Nutanix Solution.

It does not seem that they are going to give more extensions once this is finished, so if your company is using any of those operating systems you should be clear that time is running out, and that in a matter of a year you will be tied to an operating system without support that could become a time bomb in terms of security.

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Apple will abolish the position of Head of Product Design

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The departure of Jonathan Ive from Apple was one of the most shocking news of 2019, not in vain are we talking about what was Head of Product Design in that company, responsible for some of its most successful products, and a professional who was part of the bitten apple company for more than 30 years.

It is true that at first there was no complete break between Ive and Applesince both continued to work together through an independent agency founded by the former executive, but in the end both parties decided to put an end to their adventure, and a final separation was confirmed last July.

The position that Ive left was filled by Evans Hankey, but we know that this executive also plans to leave the company in the coming months. What will happen then with the position of Head of Product Design? The normal thing would be to look for a new professional that lives up to that position, but according to a new report presented by Bloomberg it won’t be like that.

The apple company will abolish the position of Head of Product Design, and the product design team will report to and report directly to Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams. To avoid internal problems, Apple will give more important roles to the designers of key products for the apple company, but it seems that this has not been liked by everyone, and that some employees are upset with Apple’s decision.

The truth is that, if we analyze the situation that existed previously, it is not as important a change as it might seem at first glance. Evans Hankey acts as the liaison for the design team, but in the end it depended on Jeff Williams and had to answer to himso with this move Apple would be eliminating an intermediate position that in the end would not be “essential”, and would simplify the hierarchical structure of the product design team.

It is also important to note that this change reinforces the position of Jeff Williams, a high-profile executive at Apple who many see as Tim Cook’s possible successor. We’ll see how the situation evolves, and if Apple is really able to get on without a Head of Product Design.

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