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Cisco’s AppDynamics aims to create Central Nervous System for IT starting with a Cognition Engine

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Cisco’s AppDynamics outlined a vision to create what it calls a Central Nervous System of IT. It’s designed to automate applications, infrastructure, and network as well as integrate artificial intelligence with “AIOps.” The first volley of this multi-year effort is AppDynamics’ Cognition Engine. 

The vision of a Central Nervous System of IT will take years, according to AppDynamics CEO David Wadhwani. “It’s not a product but a vision we’re working toward,” he said. The primary pillar for this nervous system theme is AppDynamics Cognition Engine. “The Cognition Engine is part of AppDynamics to take us from visibility to visibility and the ability to remediate,” he said.

The Cognition Engine can trigger automated remediation such as opening tickets and sending messages to spurring third-party systems into action.  

ZDNet Special Features: Art of the hybrid cloud | A guide to data center automation (PDF) | How ‘cloud-native’ applications are transforming IT, and why it took so long | What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know about the cloud, explained

In a nutshell, the Cognition Engine is the next phase of AppDynamics led by machine learning. The Cognition Engine combines AppDynamics business transaction data model with application performance diagnostics as well as root cause analysis.  The Cognition Engine is the combination of AppDynamics Business Transaction platform and the technology from Perspica, which was acquired by Cisco in 2017.  

Here are a few screenshots of the Cognition Engine via AppDynamics.

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AppDynamics was acquired by Cisco two years ago for $3.7 billion. The purchase gave Cisco’s software efforts a boost as well as a way to capture analytics spending. AppDynamics melded analytics and monitoring since its software could monitor metrics flowing through applications.  The next phase of AppDynamics has to revolve around automation and machine learning because enterprises have so many moving parts. 

Wadhwani said:

AppDynamics is now 10 years old. We started on application performance monitoring and the depth of the visibility we provide. In the 2 years since the acquisition, we’ve added support for Kubernetes, Couchbase, Pivotal, network visibility and IoT. While we were focused a lot of our enterprise customers continued to remind us that they have a legacy investment and infrastructure to support. 

The Central Nervous System for IT is a vision that reflects the integration of multiple clouds, the Internet of Things, services, APIs, and agile development. Toss in the AIOps nomenclature and the vision reflects how artificial intelligence and agile development (DevOps and increasingly DevSecOps) will meld, too.

The core pitch from Cisco and AppDynamics is that visibility and the central nervous system model can provide visibility, insights, and automation.

Cisco and AppDynamics plan to make the Central Nervous System for IT an open platform that will work with third-party systems to absorb data, analyze it, and continually optimize.

Wadhwani, also outlined a few more pillars for the Central Nervous System for IT:

Visibility across applications, infrastructure and network. This pillar is largely provided in various forms across Cisco and AppDynamics today. AppDynamics can already provide visibility into SAP and IBM environments as well as cloud and IoT.

AppDynamics is adding a serverless agent for AWS Lambda to add monitoring like any other application. AppDynamics will also integrate with Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure in a move that highlights collaboration between the application and networking teams.

Insights to save time on troubleshooting to focus on business metrics and better experiences. Think of the insights pillar as a giant data ingestion effort that uses machine learning for analysis. Parts of this pillar exist within Cisco and AppDynamics today.

Action and automation to automate problem solving and optimize via the Cognition Engine.


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Analysis

Of those new products by AppDynamics, the Cognition Engine may have the most impact.The return on investment pitch for the Cognition Engine is that it’ll evolve and evaluate data in real time via streaming data and then detect anomalies as well as automate root cause analysis.

The integration with AWS Lambda highlights the rise of serverless computing as well as the heft of AWS.  AppDynamics is giving AWS Lambda first-class citizen status with more conventional infrastructure and applications. AppDynamics Serverless Agent for AWS Lambda is available as a beta trial. What serverless architecture really means, and where servers enter the picture

And the effort to integrate with AppDynamics with Cisco’s ACI architecture is overdue. Yes integration takes time, but Cisco’s ACI is a big focus for the networking giant and I would have thought it would have happened sooner. 

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Hertz massive Tesla Model 3 EV order sends interest rocketing

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Hertz today made a whopper of an announcement, revealing that it will be ordering 100,000 Teslas over the next year and adding those EVs to its fleet. Not only that, but Hertz will also install several thousand chargers at its network of locations around the US and Europe. With this move, Hertz says that it will “offer the largest EV rental fleet in North America and one of the largest in the world.”

Specifically, Hertz said today that it would purchase 100,000 Tesla Model 3s and those cars will start being available at airport and neighborhood locations across the US and Europe in November. At first, Hertz says its EV fleet will only be available in major markets within the US and “select cities” in Europe, but it seems the company is looking to expand availability rather quickly.

By the end of 2022, Hertz says it plans to have these Tesla Model 3s available in 65 markets, expanding further to 100 markets by the end of 2023. In all, Hertz plans to install 3,000 Tesla superchargers at various locations in the US and Europe as well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this announcement sent Tesla’s stock on something of a surge this morning, but even more important is the impact this could have on the public perception of electric vehicles.

Hertz says that EVs will comprise more than 20% of its global rental fleet when the order is complete. In addition to placing this order, Hertz has also hired NFL star Tom Brady for an ad campaign centered around renting, driving, and charging these Tesla Model 3s. On Hertz’s website, we see that charging will be included in EV rentals, but only for a limited time. Beyond February 1st, 2022, it sounds like renters will have to foot the bill for charging.

It’s an ambitious plan, but in today’s announcement, Hertz cautions that the order of 100,000 Tesla Model 3s may be impacted by factors outside of its control. Specifically, the company is talking about the global semiconductor shortage, which could impact the production of computing hardware for some time to come. In any case, look for the option to rent a Tesla Model 3 to start popping up at Hertz locations next month.

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Bently Mulliner to unveil new bespoke collections at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

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Bentley Mulliner has curated three new bespoke design collections for its American clientele. The Mulliner Nauticus Collection will debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this October 27 to 31, 2021. The Nauticus Collection includes four Continental GT V8 Convertible models dressed in a fancy yachting theme.

The Continental GT Nauticus Collection has Aegean Blue and Ghost White paint with custom 22-inch Aegean Blue polished wheels. Wearing Bentley Mulliner’s carbon fiber Styling Specification, each Nauticus Bentley also gets a carbon front splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser. Also, the interior is resplendent in Brunel, Linen, and Portland leather in bespoke color splits, while the center console is home to open-pore chevron light veneers.

“This timeless classic further highlights the infinite possibilities and abilities in which to blend art and technology into a unique emotion and experience,” said Peter Brandt, Holmann Automotive Vice President and General Manager of Bentley Fort Lauderdale. “The individuality and distinctiveness of the Mulliner design aesthetics perfectly align with our pursuit of creating unique customer experiences.”

Meanwhile, Bentley of Manhattan commissioned the Mulliner Skyline Collection for the Flying Spur, Continental GT Convertible, and Bentayga luxury SUV. As expected, the Skyline Collection draws inspiration from the breathtaking skyscrapers of the Big Apple.

All members of the Mulliner Skyline Collection will wear a unique Onyx black paint applied by hand and robots, said Bentley. Other noteworthy features include 22-inch black and silver alloy wheels, darker exterior trim, LED welcome lighting, and premium silver interior trim.

Last but not least is the Mulliner Miami Collection, inspired by Miami’s colorful lifeguard stations and pulsating art scene. The collection includes the Flying Spur, Bentayga, and Continental GT finished in bright Orange, Blue, and Lime Green paint. Inside, Bentley’s Miami Collection gets two-tone painted piano veneers, Klein Blue leather upholstery, and bespoke quilting, among many others.

“Our dealers are very involved in each of their local markets and communities with appreciation to maximize the ability to promote Bentley’s craftsmanship,” said Mike Rocco, Vice President of Sales & Operations for Bentley Americas. “The opportunity to expand inventory offering to customers and present a truly unique experience through the Personal Commissioning Guide is remarkable.”

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Vazirani Ekonk is possibly the world’s lightest electric car

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Indian electric automaker Vazirani is not as mainstream as Tesla and other legacy EV makers, but what will soon change with the launch of Ekonk performance EV. The Ekonk is a low-drag performance concept that signifies the birth of Vazirani’s assault in the burgeoning EV category. The name ‘Ekonk’ is a derivative from Indian scriptures representing the divine light, “where for the first time design and innovation comes together,” said the company.

From the looks of it, the Ekonk is a dedicated performance contender, and it’s doing it the old school way: By shedding weight. Vazirani claims Ekonk is the world’s lightest electric car, and losing pounds in an EV is hard to do without losing a wheel or two. Tipping the scales at around 1627 pounds (738kg), the Ekonk is almost as lightweight as other three-wheeled EVs like the Arcimoto (590 kg) and Daymak Spiritus (620 kg).

In addition, Ekonk is lighter than the Aptera solar EV (816 kg), and it has four wheels instead of three, so Vazirani may be up to something here. How did they do it? “Biomimicry – studying how animals and humans use breathing to regulate their body temperatures – combined with some ancient Indian manufacturing techniques resulted in the invention of the DiCo technology,” said Chunky Vazirani, CEO of Vazirani.

Vazirani’s proprietary DiCo battery cooling technology “allows the batteries to cool directly with the air, as opposed to needing liquid cooling,” adds Vazirani. The carmaker adds DiCo is the first solid-state direct cooling system that utilizes nanoparticle technology to enhance the range and performance of any EV.

The automaker did not mention the battery capacity, but it did say Ekonk can rush to 60 mph from a dead stop in 2.5-seconds and has a top speed of 192 mph. Also, we have no idea how many motors are hiding underneath Ekonk’s aerodynamically optimized body shell, but Vazirani claims 722 horsepower and mountains of torque.

Additionally, Ekonk is a proper driver’s car. Vazirani said Ekonk has no driver aids, with just the electric motors and the wheels separating the driver from the road. It’s not a bad-looking thing, either, but the absence of a fixed or foldable roof means this car is a genuine track toy. If you don’t like a speedster, Vazirani also has the Shul hyper EV (with two doors and a roof) with the same DiCo battery cooling technology.

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