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IBM believes in the hybrid cloud, and now it’s backing that with application and a promise.
First, the promise: IBM is committing to spend $1 billion to boost its application storage portfolio over the subsequent 5 years. As a down fee on that, it’s releasing a new utility package known as IBM Spectrum Storage.
Spectrum Storage is in part the software layer for IBM’s high-conclusion storage appliance, called XIV. XIV is intended for agencies with big facts storage needs and excessive-end requirements, but it’s designed in such a means as to facilitate groups’ moves in opposition t the cloud by means of serving as the “in-residence” cloud whereas assisting the specifications used through public storage cloud infrastructures. IBM notes:
IBM’s Spectrum Storage portfolio can centrally control greater than 300 different storage gadgets and yottabytes of information. This machine interoperability is the broadest within the business — incorporating both IBM and non-IBM hardware and tape methods. IBM Spectrum Storage can support in the reduction of storage fees as much as ninety % in definite environments through immediately moving facts onto probably the most budget friendly storage machine — both from IBM or non-IBM flash, disk and tape methods.
With such an omnivorous strategy to specifications and interoperability, IBM is evidently hoping Spectrum Storage may be greater than only a front conclusion for XIV, but will win a critical place in huge corporations’ datacenters as these huge techniques beginning to movement to a hybrid cloud architecture, with a combination of traditional on-premises storage systems, scalable in-condominium clouds, and public clouds.
The move towards application-pushed storage is deliberate, and parallels a much broader industry vogue. in keeping with a Gartner examine referred to through IBM, 70 % of existing storage array options can be obtainable as “application handiest” versions via 2019, and through the following yr, 70 to 80 p.c of unstructured statistics will live in low-cost storage hardware managed by way of software-described storage programs.
a part of IBM’s package, IBM Spectrum accelerate, is already getting used on 100,000 servers around the globe, IBM says, and is being verified by using Netflix, China State Grid, and city of Hope national clinical middle, among other purchasers. based on IBM:
IBM Spectrum speed up allows for purchasers to layer their infrastructure with clever features derived from XIV. These facets include unique structure with zero-tuning that can aid purchasers dynamically add storage capability in minutes versus the months it takes these days so as to add, deploy and run storage hardware programs
In Netflix’s case, it changed 16 current storage programs with three XIV programs, decreasing datacenter floor area utilization by 80 p.c. I’ve embedded a video from IBM at the bottom of this put up that describes Netflix’s use of XIV.
IBM is also open-sourcing the Spectrum speed up utility, which — possibly — it hopes will spur more pastime in XIV.
IBM dropped its quarterly wave of storage products this week, focusing mainly on latency-reducing NVMe applied sciences and managing growing to be volumes of unstructured information.
IBM adopted via on its roadmap to broaden guide for conclusion-to-conclusion NVMe from utility servers to storage arrays with the launch of a brand new Storwize V7000 gadget. The Storwize V7000 is the first IBM midtier system so as to add guide for NVMe-oF, providing a Fibre Channel (FC) alternative.
other IBM storage products launched or upgraded include Spectrum Virtualize, Spectrum find, Storage Insights, IBM Cloud Object Storage, a FlashSystem A9000R array and a TS1160 business tape drive.
"here's simply one more illustration that we're in the yr of NVMe," observed Scott Sinclair, an analyst at business approach neighborhood. "Storage companies are embracing the merits of NVMe know-how to deliver greater storage efficiency and more productive statistics entry."
Eric Burgener, an IDC analyst, mentioned it be vital for IBM to prolong NVMe help across its portfolio. IDC analysis predicts that, through 2021, methods that use NVMe rather than SCSI as a foundation know-how will generate at least half of external fundamental storage salary.
"we've had all this infrastructure modernization occurring and the brand new workloads that deserve to be managed include loads of real-time large information analytics that you simply definitely can't run on SCSI," Burgener observed. "There are workloads that fully have to have NVMe in the mix."
IBM's FlashSystem 900 enabled NVMe over InfiniBand early this 12 months, and the FlashSystem 9100 shipped in August with end-to-end NVMe assist.IBM Storwize V7000 is a midrange all-flash array that supports end-to-end NVMe. NVMe over Fibre Channel help
IBM now helps the NVMe over FC transport choice in storage items that use its Spectrum Virtualize software, including the new Storwize V7000. shoppers that bought IBM's SAN quantity Controller, FlashSystem 9100 and V9000 or Storwize V7000F after September 2016 can enable NVMe over FC via a nondisruptive replace of the IBM Spectrum Virtualize code. IBM plans so as to add support for NVMe over Ethernet via Spectrum Virtualize in 2019, in response to Eric Herzog, chief advertising officer and vice president of global storage channels at IBM.
Like many IBM storage items, the brand new Storwize V7000 ships with Spectrum Virtualize utility to deliver business information services to IBM and third-birthday celebration storage methods. These capabilities include snapshots, replication, at-rest encryption and artificial intelligence-based information tiering.
The Storwize V7000 now comprises hardware-based compression and encryption to minimize the performance affect of those features. Herzog stated IBM uses further processor chips in its new FlashCore Modules to allow the hardware-primarily based at-rest information encryption and compression.
a brand new NVMe-primarily based 19.2 TB FlashCore Module additionally serves to boost the density of the Storwize device. The all-flash Storwize V7000 offers a maximum uncooked potential of 461 TB per handle enclosure and as tons as 32 PB in a four-method cluster. Flash power means alternate options are 4.8 TB, 9.6 TB and 19.2 TB, and IBM claims it will possibly bring 5-to-1 records compression.Enabling off-the-shelf NVMe SSDs
Storwize ships with IBM's new 2.5-inch FlashCore Modules via default, but shoppers can select industry common NVMe-based mostly SSDs or add HDDs from third-birthday celebration vendors. Herzog noted IBM's FlashCore Modules present bigger performance, lessen latency and a longer seven-year guarantee than open-market SSDs that are typically guaranteed for three to five years.
Burgener observed IBM's shift to permit using off-the-shelf NVMe SSDs "definitely indicates that they don't believe there may be that a whole lot of a efficiency change linked to customized hardware anymore."
"if you want to run inline data functions, like compression and encryption, you could try this with reduce latencies on those FlashCore Modules. but if you might be now not interested in that, then the NVMe SSDs are basically a much less high priced alternative. That, to me, is their future course," Burgener noted.
additionally amongst new IBM storage items is a brand new 18 TB customized flash module that may double the maximum capacity of its FlashSystem 900. a brand new 15.36 TB flash module boosts storage density in IBM's excessive-end DS8880F arrays targeting the Unix, Linux and mainframe markets. a new DS8880 zHyperLink card improves latency.
IBM also brought an entry-level configuration of the FlashSystem A9000R system designed for cloud storage.Spectrum find product aimed toward 'statistics oceans'
IBM's new Spectrum discover product is designed to automate the cataloging of unstructured data via common metadata and newly created customized metadata to facilitate information analytics, governance and storage optimization. The application deploys as a VMware virtual appliance and contains an API to permit facts analytics, compliance and different applications to entry the metadata.
"forget statistics lakes. you've now received oceans of records. how are you going to leverage that ocean of records to get price out of it?" Herzog pointed out.
the use of customized metadata tags, Spectrum find can aid to pace the data scanning system, mainly with compliance applications that need to search through potentially billions of data, Herzog talked about. With analytics workloads, information scientists regularly ought to work with storage administrators to prepare the information, and Spectrum discover could automate and streamline the procedure, he added.
"The fastest array on this planet won't support if you have no idea what your information is," wrote Steve McDowell, an analyst at Moor Insights & approach, in an e-mail. "IBM's Spectrum discover will solve true-world issues in information administration. I suppose we are going to see others emulating IBM on this front."
Spectrum find is in keeping with expertise from IBM analysis and helps unstructured facts in IBM Cloud Object Storage system and IBM Spectrum Scale. IBM plans to add guide for Dell EMC Isilon next yr.greater updates to IBM storage items
An update to IBM's free cloud-based mostly Storage Insights resource management device provides capabilities to create and time table customized reports and diagnose SAN bottlenecks. AI expertise can become aware of storage network gridlock, triggering an alert for an IBM guide technician to contact the consumer. the primary version of Storage Insights grew to be commonly obtainable final February.
IBM's pay-for-what-you-use Storage Utility offering can now allow dual-system excessive-availability configurations at a starting monthly fee it truly is most effective 20% greater than the cost to rent a single system. The IBM Storage Utility offering additionally added guide for a data insurance policy product, the TS7760 digital tape library.
Updates to IBM storage items aren't restricted to flash. the new entry-degree TS1160 business tape force improves performance; helps write as soon as, capable many (WORM) for users in regulated industries; and boosts ability to twenty TB, a doubling of the prior TS1150 model. IBM's TS3500 and TS4500 libraries support the new tape drive.
IBM Cloud Object Storage also provides new WORM potential for cost-effective mirrored and concentrated dispersal mode configurations. The product additionally supports extra concurrent use cases with a 50% enhance within the optimum number of guide vaults per gadget.
subsequent yr, IBM plans to aid NVMe in its Cloud Object Storage, because the supported servers that run the application add NVMe-primarily based flash drives. NVMe over Ethernet help is on IBM's 2019 roadmap for Spectrum accelerate, with the FlashSystem A9000/R, and Spectrum Virtualize.
FlashSystem A9000/R is also anticipated to make use of AI expertise to automate records deduplication and ease potential administration next yr.
also in 2019, IBM plans to expand its AI reference architectures with an Nvidia option, building on the energy AI reference architecture the business unveiled in June.
The newest updates to IBM storage items also blanketed SAP HANA certification for its FlashSystem 9100 and new Storwize V7000, Spectrum give protection to, Spectrum reproduction data management and Spectrum Virtualize. IBM licensed FlashSystem 9100 with Epic electronic healthcare records management software this year and plans so as to add support for Meditech next yr. IBM additionally expects to extend options guide to blockchain next year.
Ayar Labs, a silicon photonics startup based in Emeryville, California, is getting set to tape out its electro-optical I/O chip, so that it will turn into the basis of its first industrial product. referred to as TeraPHY, it’s designed to allow chip-to-chip verbal exchange at lightning pace. The company is promising bandwidth in excess of 1 terabit per 2nd, while drawing just a tenth the power of general electrically-pushed copper pins.
The complications of copper pins and electrical signaling encompasses power, records attain, and chip real property obstacles. as the efficiency of processors boost, sooner records rates are required; extra information is needed to feed the chips and more information is generated all over processing. besides the fact that children growth in processor efficiency has slowed during the last a few years because of the erosion of Moore’s legislation, electrically-pushed chip conversation has nonetheless been unable to preserve tempo. in keeping with Ayar Labs chief strategy officer and business co-founder Alex Wright-Gladstein, there's a consensus that the highest data rate that may be capable of exit a chip package is one hundred Gb/sec. “The trade in reality didn’t even agree that we would reach a limit before 2018, however that debate has long gone away entirely,” she informed The next Platform.
looking just a bit into the future, a 10 teraflops processor that may well be the basis for an exascale supercomputer would want some thing on the order of 10 Tb/sec of chip I/O to be usable. however that could require around 2,000 copper pins, which together would draw about a hundred watts – no longer the chip simply the I/O pins. If that sounds complex, that’s because it is.a primary look at TeraPHY from Ayar Labs
Silicon photonics, the melding of optical communications and semiconductors for chip-level I/O, is broadly viewed because the answer. Intel, IBM, Hewlett Packard business, Fujitsu, and others were working on the know-how for years, however not pricey options were elusive, mainly as a result of these contraptions are usually built with exotic compounds and rely on particular semiconductor manufacturing strategies. That’s first-rate for lengthy-haul optical fiber communications, however for brief-haul electro-optics, charges should align with server and chip pricing.
right here is the place Ayar stands out from its competition. The startup has managed to construct its contraptions the use of general CMOS – the identical manufacturing know-how used to etch integrated circuits on industrial microprocessors. And it doesn’t should be a leading-area manner node both. the primary TeraPHY chip will use GlobalFoundaries’s forty five nanometer CMOS SOI system, the same one used by using the Blue Gene/Q processor back when IBM had this manufacturing technology in-condominium. As a consequence, the company has curiously avoided the essential can charge roadblock that vexes different electro-optical options.
Ayar’s expertise has its roots in a 10 yr, $20 million undertaking funded with the aid of DARPA that introduced in researchers from MIT, UC Berkeley and the institution of Colorado, Boulder. The project, referred to as Photonically Optimized Embedded Microprocessors (POEM), aimed to resolve the I/O bottleneck on the stage of the processor. The research group established a prototype electro-optical chip, which become subsequently described in an academic paper published in December 2015. Wright-Gladstein, an MIT MBA grad, convinced researchers Mark Wade, Chen sun, Rajeev Ran, Vladimir Stojanovic, and Milos Popovic that the know-how may still be commercialized and together they cofounded Ayar Labs.
in accordance with the company’s web site, the preliminary TeraPHY machine will be attainable as a 1.6 Tb/sec optical transceiver, comprised of four 400 Gb/sec transceivers per module. the entire componentry except for the gentle source (which is presented by way of a separate 256-channel laser module, known as SuperNova) has been built-in into the gadget. That comprises the electrical interfaces, the optical modulators, the photodetectors, and the dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) wavelength multiplexer/demultiplexer, as well as the entire driver and handle circuitry.
Wright-Gladstein says the answer now not only delivered a high performance electro-optical equipment, but was in a position to do so in a neighborhood 1/a hundred the dimension of a customary lengthy-haul optical transceiver. “on account of that 100X measurement change, you’re now crossing that threshold set via electrical SerDes, and also you’re making an optical I/O that’s smaller than your electrical I/O,” she says.
Forgoing the extra exotic designs of other silicon photonics solutions required some added tinkering. The design makes use of optical “micro-ring resonators” applied in CMOS to obtain the excessive density of the TeraPHY. These resonators can also be “finicky” because of thermal concerns and dimension, however according to Wright-Gladstein, they’ve implemented a patented thermal tuning know-how that stabilizes the resonators and makes them very authentic.
physically, TeraPHY is within the variety of an “chiplet,” a piece of silicon it is supposed to be built-in into the type of multi-chip modules that have become extra common in high-end processor programs. The TeraPHY tape out is slated for the conclusion of the existing quarter (Q1 2019), with the first integrated products from Ayar’s silicon expertise partners because of hit the highway in 2020.
The identity of those partners remains a mystery, although in recent conversation we had with Wright-Gladstein and Ayar CEO Charlie Wuischpard, they indicated that their first commercial providing will at the beginning display up in datacenter switches. that would make loads of experience, inasmuch as TeraPHY is almost an optical transceiver, something switch vendors would already be frequent with integrating into their boxes.
greater generally although, TeraPHY is meant to be built-in into all types of multi-chip packages — CPUs, GPUs, FGPAs, and custom ASICs, as well as DIMMs – destined for datacenter obligation. now not best will the optical communique enormously velocity up chip-to-chip and chip-to-memory facts transfers, it's going to additionally enable for the disaggregation of server processors, reminiscence, and native storage, paving the style for more productive and flexible designs. ‘What we [intend to] do is permit the Intels of the area, the AMDs, the Nvidias, the HPEs, and the Crays to build new architectures in response to this technology,” defined Wuischpard.
Ayar’s leading consumer base, at least firstly, could be the homeowners of high performance computers and hyperscale cloud datacenters. These are the clients with essentially the most insatiable needs for bandwidth, an obsessive difficulty for retaining vigor use in examine, and a fit appreciation for optical verbal exchange know-how. That makes them a good in shape for these first-technology silicon photonics products. Ayar pegs the total addressable market at $29 billion.
additional down the street, the business is eyeing different software areas, together with independent motors, IoT, and a considerable number of types of cellular gadgets. “We wish to get each chip speaking the usage of gentle,” says Wright-Gladstein.
Ideally, Ayar could be able to promote its wares to numerous chip and device carriers, but when the expertise is even half as equipped as Ayar portrays it, the business will be received before too plenty longer. despite the fact virtually any server, network, storage, or telecom vendor could improvement from possessing their own silicon photonics IP, the most value can be derived from chipmakers like Intel and AMD. If the TeraPHY chiplets convey as marketed, they might greatly improve the capabilities of their respective datacenter offerings: Xeon processors and Stratix and Arria FPGAs in Intel’s case, and EPYC processors and Radeon GPUs in AMD’s case. Heterogeneous programs (CPU-FPGA and CPU-GPU) would also be decent objectives.
Given AMD’s enthusiasm for the chiplet package conception in its EPYC line, and its need to come up with more suitable differentiation for its datacenter silicon relative to its more dominant rivals (Intel and Nvidia), it might possibly be the most efficient purchaser of an optical I/O chiplet enterprise. Intel, meanwhile, has its personal silicon photonics application in action, so might be reticent so as to add a competing expertise.
With the TeraPHY chiplets sampling later this year and 2020 commercial deployments simply across the nook, the next couple of years will seemingly exhibit whether Ayar has whatever thing price buying – either the entire company or its products. And if it does, the consumers will line up for that reason.
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Gigabyte’s AORUS brand is reserved for gaming-orientated products which offer a premium experience without any compromises. This division is going to become a crucial part of the company’s future plans and designed to take on similar initiatives from other brands like ASUS’ ROG series. Honestly, the AORUS name wasn’t integrated into Gigabyte’s line-up particularly well and needed to be deployed in every department including motherboards, laptops, graphics cards and much more. Thankfully, it appears this strategy is beginning to take shape and I’m looking forward to seeing how the AORUS range develops over time.
Evidently, gaming laptops have been a major part of AORUS’ history and the previous models set a wonderful foundation. Recently, Gigabyte refreshed the X7 DT and made a number of important refinements. The latest flagship now utilises NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture in the form of the GTX 1080. Unlike the previous generation, the mobile versions stack up rather nicely against their desktop counterparts. As a result, gaming laptops are now a proper alternative which can easily contend with the latest games.
On another note, the AORUS X7 DT v6 is powered by an Intel Core i7-6820HK and supports overclocking up to 4.0GHz. Not only that, the laptop has 32GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM, a 17-inch 2560×1440 120Hz WVA G-Sync display, impressive audio system and a Samsung SM951 NVMe boot drive. The unit weighs a respectable 3.2KG and comes with a large battery rated to 94.24Wh. Also, the laptop has USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity, an RGB backlit keyboard and maintains a gorgeous slim profile despite the exceptional horsepower on offer. Priced at £2999, the AORUS X7 DT v6 is an expensive proposition and engineered to be the ultimate desktop replacement.
Packing and Accessories
The laptop is neatly stored in a durable box which reduces the likelihood of any damage occurring during transit. Also, the box has an elegant, simplistic design which looks professional and exemplifies the product’s premium qualities.
Once opened, we can see the laptop is contained within another strong cardboard box which proudly displays the AORUS logo. Additionally, the hardened box is cushioned by four foam pieces and shouldn’t rattle around while being transported. Throughout the unpackaging process, the presentation is sublime and reinforces the idea of the laptop being a luxurious item.
Rather impressively, the lid is filled with a luscious, soft foam and gently brushes against the laptop’s protective cover. The accessories and documentation are held within different segments underneath the system. This logical arrangement is fantastic and showcases the company’s attentive approach to making the end-user feel a sense of pride about their new purchase.
In terms of accessories, the laptop is bundled with a power adapter, UK cord, recovery USB drive, additional feet, NVIDIA GTX badge, quick user’s guide and warranty information card. The power brick isn’t particularly compact but this is to be expected when you consider the laptop’s powerful configuration. The optional feet are handy to improve the laptop’s resistance against friction, although it’s not really necessary. Also, I’m pleased to see AORUS took my previous advice on board and made sure the drivers/utilities are stored on a USB stick instead of a DVD which consumers cannot use without another PC.
The power brick has an input rating of 100-240V at 3.A, 50-60Hz and the output is 19.5V, 11.8A. As you can see, it’s manufactured by Delta Electronics INC and passes all the relevant safety standards.
A Closer Look
The AORUS X7 DT v6 has a matte charcoal finish which looks absolutely breathtaking from every conceivable angle. Also, the smooth coating resists fingerprints remarkably well which helps to maintain a gorgeous aesthetic. The product’s styling is reminiscent of a military-grade aircraft and I instantly fell in love with the sleek design.
On another note, the AORUS logo is rather striking and injects a hint of colour into the neutral theme. The laptop’s aluminium construction and remarkably thin frame combine to offer a premium user experience. AORUS even went to the trouble of moulding a dedicated section which makes it easier to open the lid. More specifically, the shape surrounds your hand in a natural way and provides a strong piece to hold on to.
The laptop utilises a copious supply of durable rubber feet which proficiently holds the unit in position and prevents sliding. These are secured with a strong adhesive and shouldn’t come loose over time. Throughout the review process, the laptop doesn’t move in an abrupt way even when undue forced was applied. The bottom portion also houses various ventilation grilles which aid heat dissipation. The ventilation is rather impressive and spanned across a large surface area. This should maximise airflow and lead to better thermal results. AORUS embedded two grilles underneath the speakers as a way of enhancing the audio clarity.
Dismantling the product is a surprisingly simple task providing you have the correct tools. All you have to do is remove 12 Torx screws and gently lift the cover off. Unlike many laptops on the market, the cover can be pried away without a plastic tool and doesn’t require a lot of force. Perhaps, this is due to the reliance on screws instead of additional sticky strips. Please note, the screws are not the same size and it’s vital to write down where each screw should be installed. Furthermore, two of the screws have a security residue which needs to be scraped away. In an ideal world, I would have preferred and easy access flap to upgrade the memory, but this wasn’t possible due to the sealed, aluminium housing. While Torx screws are annoying, it’s a sensible precaution to discourage the end-user from opening a laptop worth so much money.
Once the bottom cover has taken off, we can see the screw points, supporting tape and ventilation arrangement. The cover is made to a high standard and doesn’t flex too much.
The laptop’s layout is exemplary and every millimetre of space has been used to maximise the unit’s cooling prowess. Of course, the thin frame restricts the kind of cooling hardware which can be installed. Despite the lack of room, AORUS managed to incorporate two relatively large fans which connect to a complex heat pipe system. These thick heat pipes dynamically cool the CPU and GPU while the air intakes work to improve the circulation around the internal components. On another note, a significant portion of the build has been reserved for the battery which has a rating of 94.24Wh.
Upon closer inspection, you tend to have a greater appreciate of the heat pipes’ mammoth thickness and the excellent PCB design.
Rather impressively, the laptop has two high-end 16GB SO-DIMMS from G.Skill running at a 2400MHz frequency. Not only that, you can install another two modules to achieve a memory capacity up to 64GB. This provides the end-user with a superb upgrade path to help the machine contend with extreme RAM-heavy workloads. The slots’ central position is easy to access and doesn’t require any cables to be removed.
By default, the Samsung SM951 NVMe drive is shielded by a ribbon cover. Perhaps, this is to help insulate the drive from other heat sources and prevent thermal throttling. Whatever the reason, it’s a nice touch and showcases AORUS ‘s attention-to-detail. It’s theoretically possible to install another Samsung SM951 drive and create a ridiculously fast RAID array. As you can see, the M.2 slot isn’t too challenging to access which makes storage upgrades a distinct option for the future. Next to the boot SSD is a speaker and Wireless card.
The laptop’s cable management is absolutely stellar as shown by the speaker’s wiring which connects directly to the PCB.
Connectivity-wise, the product has a Kensington Lock, RJ45, surround port, USB 3.0, headphone jack with S/PDIF out and microphone jack. Also, there’s an air vent and speaker out grille. Bizarrely, the laptop incorporates what appears to be a VGA port but it’s filled in by a rubber cover.
On the opposite side, AORUS included an SD card reader, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI 2.0 capable of a 4K 60Hz output and Mini-DisplayPort. Once again, AORUS integrated two air vents to improve the thermals around the entire machine.
Next up is the rear section which contains two hefty ventilation grilles, a DC in jack and another USB 3.0 port. Honestly, I think the DC in’s positioning is quite clever because it’s really simple to route the cabling without it becoming tangled. If the DC in jack was integrated on either side of the chassis, you’re likely to try to attach the cable to the wrong side without looking.
The AORUS X7 DT v6 employs a 2560×1440 WVA G-Sync enabled panel supporting a 120Hz refresh rate. Furthermore, the screen has a 5ms response time and is suitable for gaming purposes. During the testing phase, the display didn’t suffer from any input lag or ghosting and outputted a warm, vivid picture. The panel’s colour accuracy is superb which accentuates background details exceedingly well. I was really impressed by the distinctiveness of different shades and the sharp, crisp text thanks to a high pixels-per-inch rate. The viewing angles were better than typical TN panels but I did detect a slight colour shift. It’s not too dramatic and the colours remain fairly consistent at most viewing positions. The 120Hz refresh rate can revolutionise the gaming experience and make Windows seem more responsive.
NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology is a revelation and completely eliminates stutter caused by V-Sync and screen tearing. When combined with the 120Hz refresh rate, the end-result is phenomenal and helps demanding games to feel smooth even if there are sudden frame rate fluctuations.
Here we can see the laptop’s lid is supported by a heavy-duty hinge which prevents screen wobble and improves the unit’s structural rigidity. As a result, the product should be able to withstand a great deal of strain while travelling.
The laptop’s keyboard opts for a chiclet design which encourages you to adopt a more ergonomic typing position, resulting in fewer mistakes. The keys have a very clear, easy-to-read print which comes in handy if you’re not a touch-typist. Also, the keys have a pleasant tactile feel which requires just about the right amount of travel. As a result, you can actuate the keys without double pressing and be able to write large documents in a fluid motion. Thankfully, the macro keys are now closer to the main QWERTY layout and within finger’s reach. Previously, they required slightly too much hand movement which felt a little awkward.
In terms of audio, the laptop has two 2-watt speakers and dual 2-watt subwoofers. This is a pretty substantial solution given the laptop’s thin frame and the audio fidelity is surprisingly decent. While it’s not going to rival a set of budget speakers, the laptop has a balanced, rich sound and can output loud volumes without distortion. The sound is extremely clean, albeit a little too clinical for my liking.
At long last, AORUS has introduced per-key RGB backlighting supporting a whopping 16.8 million colours. The individual colours look spectacular and add a sense of character to the laptop. Mostly importantly, the RGB element doesn’t suffer from any light leakage or blending between the different shades. The backlighting isn’t overpowering on the maximum setting and has an appropriate amount of luminosity to aid typing at night. It’s also possible to customise the lighting through AORUS’ software package, which I’ll come on to discuss soon.
The AORUS X7 DT v6 has a brand new trackpad which is extremely responsive and a joy to use. In particular, the soft finish feels very comfortable and doesn’t exhibit any form of jittery movement. The tracking is perfectly stable and the large surface area allows you to position the cursor with a greater degree of accuracy. Also, the trackpad’s surface manages to repel grease from the user’s hands and maintain a lovely finish. The stealth buttons are passable but they tend to feel quite spongey. Not only that, if you gently glance at the mousepad’s edge, it’s unlikely for the buttons to respond in a rapid manner. To be fair, I’ve encountered much worse and the trackpad should be ample for most scenarios.
AORUS’ Command & Control utility lists a huge array of options to tweak key system characteristics. For example, you can change the fan control, mouse speed, volume, brightness levels, power mode and much more! The fan control contains different profiles which prioritise raw performance, quiet operation or a combination of both. Another great addition is the Colour Gamut which proves handy to adjust the display’s characteristics to your own personal preference. Overall, a great application which is packed full of settings and easy to use.
Here we can see OC Guage menu which automatically detects the laptop’s thermal loads and sets an appropriate overclock for both the GPU and CPU. If you’re unhappy with the configuration, it’s possible to select a more modest overclock to reduce the fan noise.
The AORUS Fusion software is handy to configure macro commands and choose from an enormous range of lighting effects including wave, marquee, neon and others shown in the image below. This level of customisation is exceptional and the software is more comprehensive than I expected. Additionally, you can change the brightness, speed and direction of each transitional effect.
In the Audio Equalizer menu, you can select between a number of pre-defined profiles designed for contrasting situations. Honestly, I didn’t hear see a major difference apart from a slight alternation to the audio’s mix.
———————–Testing & Methodology
To test each system or notebook, we want to stress every component of the system to check stability and performance, giving us an idea as to why those particular components were picked for this particular system. We use a wide variety of applications to gain a broad spectrum of results for comparing diverse aspects of system performance.
Unless specifically stated, all games are running at maximum settings but any vendor-exclusive features such as TressFX or PhsyX have been disabled to make the results fair. There are some titles where the maximum preset can be altered further in regards to AA, AF, Tessellation, and Draw Distance. To allow our readers to make the most informed decision, any additional options will be clearly labelled in this section. Please note each benchmark is run three times to maintain the highest level of accuracy.
PC Mark 8
The PCMark 8 Home benchmark includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks, and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system. Download here.
The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. Download here.
Grand Theft Auto V
Our GTA5 Benchmark is run on the standard benchmark with MSAA=Off, FXAA=On, Advanced Graphics Disabled and everything else set to their maximum values:
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Even though Rise of the Tomb Raider recommends graphics cards above 4GB for the Very High preset, we believe it’s the best option to stress graphics cards and distinguish between systems opting for different hardware. Of course, lower-end hardware can struggle with the benchmark and output some unusual results. FXAA is also enabled.
To properly test DirectX 12 performance, the integrated Hitman benchmark is used and everything is set to maximum with FXAA set to on.
Far Cry Primal
In this game, the Ultra preset is selected with the HD texture pack and FXAA. Once the settings have been dialled in, the game’s built-in benchmark is run on multiple occasions before recording the average data.
Cinebench is a widely respected benchmark for testing the performance of x86 CPUs. The program allows you to test single and multi-threaded performance as well as GPU performance by rendering with Open GL. Download here.
WPrime is a computer program that calculates a set number of square roots using Newton’s method for estimating functions verifying the results by squaring them then comparing them with the original numbers. Download
AIDA64 Engineer Edition
AIDA64 Engineer is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for engineers. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives. AIDA64 is compatible with all current 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyse system RAM bandwidth and latency. Download here.
CrystalDiskMark is a portable storage drive benchmark utility that enables you to measure sequential and random read/write speeds on different block size data. CrystalDiskMark will work with any storage drives including hard drives, SSDs and USB flash drives. Download here.
The PassMark Advanced Network Test (which is part of PerformanceTest) is designed to test the data transfer rate between two computers both of which must be running PerformanceTest. One of the computers must act as the server and will sit waiting for a connection. The other computer acts as a client. It connects to the server machine and sends data to it for the duration of the test. You can download a trial version of PerformanceTest from here.
The amount of noise produced by any computer is a vital consideration for most buyers, even gamers don’t really want a noisy PC because less noise is always better. We use an acoustic dBA meter held 2 feet behind our test system at idle and under load to get the idle and load noise levels for the system. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the acoustic measurements 5 minutes into both of these scenarios.
To accurately test battery life, the Powermark benchmark is run in balanced mode which emulates the typical usage scenario including web browsing, photo editing, light gaming and other basic tasks. From my experience, this is a pretty reliable tool and provides a great insight into a laptop’s battery life.
To test power consumption we measure the total system power draw during idle and load scenarios. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the power measurements from the “Killawatt” AC power meter 5 minutes into both of these scenarios at the same point.
To test thermal performance we measure average CPU and GPU core temperatures during idle and load scenarios. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the temperature measurements from within CPUID HWMonitor 5 minutes into both of these scenarios at the same point. For load we take the average of the maximum temperatures, for idle we take the average of the minimum temperatures.
PC Mark 8
When tackling the PC Mark 8 benchmark, the laptop obtained a commendable score which illustrates its abilities in a wide range of common tasks including photo editing, web browsing, teleconferencing and more.
Unbelievably, the AORUS X7 DT v6 is able to outperform two desktops which utilise a discrete version of the GTX 1080. This is a remarkable result for a laptop which outlines the monumental gains compared to the previous generation mobile chips. Of course, each system is returned after testing which means the laptop benefits from driver enhancements. Also, the i7-6820HK contributes towards the higher scores and can leverage the extra four threads in synthetic applications rather well.
Grand Theft Auto V
Even though Grand Theft Auto V isn’t a particular new title, it’s a firm favourite among the PC gaming community and looks breathtaking. Once the panel was manually configured to 1920×1080, the frame rate remained extremely consistent and rarely dropped below the 100 mark. Interestingly, the performance deficit to other GTX 1080-based systems during 1080p testing is larger than I anticipated but it’s not enough to inhibit the user experience. After setting the resolution to 2560×1440, the frame rate barely dropped and was much more competitive. Even more impressive, the laptop can contend with the Very High preset while being connected to an external 4K monitor. This is staggering for a portable device and would have been unthinkable not so long ago.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
During the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark, the laptop fared extraordinarily well and exceeded 120 frames per second alongside a 1080p render. This creates a perfectly fluid user experience and the frame rate doesn’t appear to dip in a noticeable manner. Additionally, the 1440p performance was superb and not too adrift of reaching the 100 frames per second mark. Also, the minimum frame rate stays above 60 throughout the most visually intense sections. When testing the game on a 4K display, the laptop maintained a stable frame rate which is fairly playable. However, like many other GTX 1080 systems, the ideal 60 figure cannot be achieved and some areas tend to result in some minor stuttering.
In Hitman, the laptop’s GPU excelled and managed to surpass 100 frames per second while running the game at 1920×1080. This is another fantastic result, especially when you take into account the ultra preset’s demanding effects. Also, the laptop offers similar performance to a number of premium desktops. When using the product’s native resolution, the frame rate falls just under 90 and doesn’t deviate too much. As expected, the laptop’s frame rate drops considerably once a 4K monitor is deployed although the gameplay feels relatively fluid.
Far Cry Primal
Here we can see, the AORUS X7 DT v6 easily copes with Far Cry Primal’s ultra preset and posts marvellous performance numbers. More specifically, the 1080p frame rate is very smooth and you’re unlikely to experience any kind of erratic drops. When using the panel’s native resolution, the frame rate is above 60 by a decent margin and G-Sync really makes any frame rate changes seem non-existent. Unfortunately, the laptop’s graphics solution begins to falter when trying to run the game on a 4K monitor at maximum settings. Thankfully, a few concessions in the options menu will make 60 frames per second a distinct possibility.
———————–CPU & Memory Performance
The AORUS X7 DT v6 has an overclocked i7-6820HK which offers very impressive multi-threaded performance. As you can see, this processor was able to defeat an Intel i5-6600K running at a hefty 4.6GHz frequency and remained within touching distance of the higher end i7 variant.
On a similar note, the laptop’s processor completes the Pi calculation task in an extremely quick fashion and uses Intel’s hyperthreading technology to pull ahead of the i5 6600K by a good margin.
The unit’s 2400MHz dual-channel memory configuration outputs commendable read, write and copy rates. Interestingly, the AORUS X7 DT v6 managed to defeat the MSI Vortex G65VR 6RE despite having a mobile processor.
———————–Storage and USB Performance
CrystalDiskMark – Sequential Read
The Samsung SM951 NVME boot drive is an engineering marvel and widely used in a number of premium laptops. It’s easy to see why with read a result of 2259MB/s which makes other storage solutions look quite ordinary in comparison. The laptop’s 2.5-inch secondary disk device reported an excellent read rate while the USB 3.0 was also quite strong.
CrystalDiskMark – Sequential Write
This time, the laptop’s boot drive came out on top and almost broke the 1600MB/s mark. I’m sure you can agree, this is a ridiculously high write rate and will prove quite challenging to beat. The mechanical disk achieved decent write speeds and the USB 3.0 performance deserves praise.
Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0
AORUS opted for the Killer E2200 networking solution which upholds consistently high bandwidth numbers within a small range.
The laptop’s WiFi performance was exceptional and the minimum recorded figure easily eclipsed previously tested systems.
———————–Acoustic, Battery, Power & Thermal Performance
During idle conditions, the AORUS X7 DT v6 is really quiet and I couldn’t detect any fan noise. It’s practically silent and makes the laptop a joy to use. Unfortunately, the noise output increases at a blistering pace under stress even when using the normal fan profile. The noise levels are difficult to adjust to unless you’re wearing a pair of noise-isolation headphones. Even though the noise output isn’t a shock due to the thin frame, I would have preferred a result under 50 dBA.
Despite incorporating a huge battery, the running time isn’t great and the laptop barely managed to pass the two and a half hour mark. I can’t pinpoint an exact reason why and it’s important to remember that NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology doesn’t impact on battery life.
When idling, the laptop is really efficient and consumes a mere 37-40 watts. During games and other demanding tasks, the wattage peaks at 270.3 before settling back to a 254.9 average.
In a disappointing turn of events, the laptop’s cooling solution cannot maintain the CPU’s 4.0GHz frequency during the AIDA64 stress test. The CPU begins to heat up really quickly and it doesn’t take too long before the frequency is scaled back to prevent hardware failure. According to HWMonitor, the 4.0GHz clock leads to a 100C maximum value before changing the frequency to 3.6GHz. Once this occurs, the temperatures begin to recover to more acceptable levels and the CPU dynamically adjusts the frequency upwards to 3.8GHz. Clearly, the 4.0GHz figure is not sustainable and I’d recommend either using the processor’s stock configuration or an overclock which requires less voltage.On a more positive note, the GPU thermals were excellent and easily within the chip’s maximum operating window.
Currently, the AORUS X7 DT v6 utilising the GTX 1080 is available from Overclockers UK for £2999.99 and Scan Computers for £2999.99. If this seems out of your price range, it’s possible to acquire the GTX 1070 version for £2483.99. Clearly, this is a massive sum of money and the only way to fairly judge value involves comparisons with similar products. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an identical configuration which complicates the process somewhat. One alternative is the MSI GT73 VR which retails for £2699.99 and has 32GB RAM, an Intel Core i7 6820HK and the GTX 1080. However, the screen is only 1920×1080 and doesn’t support G-Sync. Also, the memory runs at a slower speed although the RAID0 NVMe array might be a selling point to some.
The only other option is the MSI GT73 VR 4K GTX 1070 SLI edition which costs the same as AORUS’ creation. Interestingly, this product has a 4K IPS panel, dual GTX 1070s, 32GB RAM and an Intel Core i7 6820HK. Once again, the panel doesn’t appear to support G-Sync and you’re trusting developers to implement SLI scaling to outperform the GTX 1080. After assessing the competing options, I’d argue that the laptop is priced fairly and has a unique place in the current market. This makes it a great choice for someone with £3000 to spend on a desktop replacement.
The AORUS X7 DT v6 sports a really distinctive, elegant design which exudes a premium feel. In particular, the neutral charcoal finish is splendid and combines rather nicely with the silver AORUS logo. The product’s remarkably slim frame is surprising when you consider the mammoth horsepower at your disposal. While the laptop isn’t the most portable option available today, it’s lighter than competing models opting for a similar form factor. For example, the MSI GT73VR weighs 3.9Kg while the AORUS X7 DT v6 is 3.2KG. Judging a product’s visual appeal is difficult because it depends on subjective taste. Saying that, I personally believe that the AORUS X7 DT v6 is one of the most attractive laptops ever devised.
AORUS incorporated a 17.3-inch 2560×1440 120Hz WVA panel which supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology. The high refresh rate is a wonderful asset which makes cursor movements in Windows feel more responsive and allows for smoother motion when playing video games. On another note, NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology is fantastic and removes stutter as well as ugly screen tearing. This contributes towards a much more enjoyable and consistent user experience. The laptop’s panel has a stunning colour reproduction and good contrast ratio. Although, the viewing angles could be improved ever so slightly.
The laptop’s audio solution is surprisingly decent and able to deliver high volumes without distortion. Furthermore, the sound isn’t tinny or lifeless and has a good amount of bass despite the thin frame. Of course, it’s not going to compete with a pair of headphones, but the sound was much better than I expected. Connectivity-wise, the AORUS X7 DT v6 supports numerous interfaces including USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0 and Mini-DisplayPort. The only omission is Thunderbolt 3 which would have added a great upgrade path due to the advent of Thunderbolt 3 GPU enclosures.
AORUS also made significant strides forward with the keyboard which now supports RGB backlighting. As previously mentioned, the colours are gorgeous and add a spectacular twist to the laptop’s subtle design. Also, the keys feel responsive and the chiclet layout helps to position your fingers in a more proficient way. The macro keys are easy to reach without stretching and come in handy when playing MMOs or MOBAs. The laptop’s touchpad has a soft finish and large area which leads to a higher level of accuracy.
Successfully taming the laptop’s CPU while maintaining a slim profile was always going to be an uphill task. Upon inspecting the cooling hardware, I was impressed with the heat pipes thickness and logical arrangement. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to cope with the default 4.0GHz frequency. Subsequently, the processor downclocks to 3.8GHz and below due to thermal restrictions. Not only that, the noise output is huge and this even occurs when utilising the modest fan speed settings. It’s not a shocking revelation, but the noise output will be irksome to many people. Thankfully, the idle noise output is much better and almost silent.
On a more positive note, the Samsung SM951 NVMe boot drive offers exceptional performance which makes traditional SATA devices look painfully slow. The end result is faster rendering times and Windows reacts your commands instantly. The laptop’s WiFi and wired results were exceptional and didn’t exhibit any sudden packet loss or large speed drops. I wasn’t too pleased with the battery life though and expected more given the amount of space it takes up.
NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture completely destroys the previous generation chips and make gaming laptops a more sensible investment. The AORUS X7 DT v6’s GTX 1080 easily copes with demanding graphical settings and can even drive an external 4K display while achieving playable frame rates. Throughout the review, the laptop’s graphics card matched a number of premium desktops. Amazingly, the GPU offers a glorious user experience and complements the 120Hz panel rather well. The embedded GPU doesn’t encounter stutter or erratic dips. Honestly, it’s astounding to think this much performance can be crammed into such a thin laptop.
“The Gigabyte AORUS X7 DT v6 offers a premium gaming experience which rivals traditional desktops. While the noise output could be better, the product’s gorgeous slim frame, astonishing build quality and responsive 120Hz display should be an attractive proposition for users wanting the absolute best performance in a relatively portable form factor.”
Gigabyte AORUS X7 DT v6 GTX 1080 Gaming Laptop Review
Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this sample.
HP unveiled new storage products for the high end—new functionality for Zero Downtime Backup and a new NAS product. At the same time, the company announced the new SureStore E Tape Library 6/140 and a SAN backup solution.
The new functionality for the HP SureStore E Disk Array XP256-based Zero Downtime Backup solution from HP OpenView OmniBack II is now available on Windows NT for Microsoft Exchange and file systems applications and on HP-UX for Oracle Parallel Server, as well as for Oracle, SAP R/3, file system, and raw disk. HP also announced that the new solutions now integrate with VERITAS NetBackup with Business Copy XP across the same platforms. For NAS, HP is offering pre-packaged NAS solution templates and has expanded its services.
HP’s new HP SureStore E Tape Library 6/140, priced starting at $95,000, is a modular tape library available in four- to six-drive configurations. It offers slot capacities of 100, 120 or 140, and both SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces. The 6/140, currently offering DLT 8000 drive technology with native capacities of 4 TB, 4.8 TB and 5.6 TB, is upgradable to include new tape drive technology, such as HP’s Ultrium format LTO and Super DLT tape, when they become available. SAN backup, a pre-tested SAN backup solution for heterogeneous servers, will support HP-UX, NT and Solaris servers.
Pricing is hard to come by on some of the new solutions because, says HP, the Zero Downtime Backup Solution, the SureStore E NetStorage XP NAS solution and the SAN-based Tape Sharing solution are made up of a variety of components (hardware, software and services) and are not sold as a "set," or "whole package." Nevertheless, HP gives the cost of a typical configuration of the XP256 solution that the new solutions may encompass. A 1.5 TB system with 4 GB cache and one 4-port FC adapter: SureStore E Disk Array XP256 carries a price tag of $686,000. The XP software is $108,000 (Business Copy XP, Secure Manager XP, RAID, Manager XP, and LUN Configuration Manager XP).
HP also expanded a bit on its recent news that it was consolidating the two major parts of its storage operations as well as smaller storage groups under a single umbrella—the HP Storage Organization (HPSO). Bob McGraw, brand marketing manager for HPSO, explained that the new group is divided into five main units: data protection (tape libraries and formats), data management (disk systems, arrays, and direct attached storage, including NAS and SAN), extended platform (the high end, including high-end arrays and XP storage management software), networking (Ethernet hubs and switches), and integrated solutions (including SAN infrastructure and storage management software that is not device-specific). Networking was pulled under the general storage umbrella because HP "believes storage networking is where things are going, and we’re focusing on both NAS and SAN," McGraw explained.
2/8/2019By Christian Larsen
The Defense Department’s longstanding culture of internally sourcing and acquiring the best, most innovative capabilities is mostly dead; with the notable exception of some highly classified programs, commercial entities now drive leading edge technology and its refresh rate, creating a need for changes to the legacy acquisition culture.
The department needs to move to a system featuring broadly written requirements describing what it wants to do to encourage and incentivize companies from a broad spectrum of America’s commercial sector and universities to compete for contracts based on existing and technologically possible solutions. Accomplishing this, though, requires the department to embrace acquisition risk in ways it has been reluctant to do.
First, the Defense Department needs to restructure its requirements process to address gaps in its acquisition system that constrain broad-based innovative solutions. It is simply not discovering innovative solutions it could rapidly acquire to dominate contested environments where military applications of emerging technologies may determine winners and losers. Why? Its legacy acquisition system is outdated and closed, with incentives that drive some current participants to resist change. Without change, however, the U.S. military will lose its technological advantage in the coming years.
Historically, the Pentagon could develop strategies and plans assuming its forces operated the most effective weapons systems because it funded most of the research and development that led to new technology. It also employed scientists and engineers who could operationalize new technology for warfighters. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency provides a great example: scientists and engineers leveraged Pentagon-funded R&D and found partners in industry who could manufacture/deliver specific capabilities from innovation breakthroughs. This collaborative effort has worked for more than 50 years.
Today, near-peer competitors embrace a commercial-based model that leverages new technology developed by the private sector; meanwhile, the Pentagon limits participation in acquisition by so narrowly defining the requirements in capability development documents that most U.S. companies cannot compete.
Adding to the system’s rigidity, Congress lacks incentives to disrupt the current process because traditional defense companies’ existing offices and manufacturing plants support well-paying jobs while future jobs, and thus constituents, by definition don’t yet exist.
An unintended consequence is traditional players have the resources, knowledge and structure necessary to master the existing acquisition policies, processes and bureaucracies, while most nontraditional companies see significant barriers to market entry. More risk is needed in the acquisition process now to drive down operational risk during future conflict.
So what are the mechanisms by which the Defense Department must restructure this system? With congressional support, it must significantly restructure and overhaul the requirements process to drive the broadest pool of competitors to participate in its procurement process. It must adapt an open, competitive system that spurs collaboration and encourages innovative nontraditional companies to leverage their commercial investments to deliver war-winning capabilities.
"Simplifying and broadening requirements alone will not spur innovation."
Simplifying and broadening requirements alone will not spur innovation. The department must also encourage traditional and nontraditional companies throughout the nation to engage and to compete in the procurement process, signaling to the Pentagon the innovative capabilities they can offer. Through feedback, the department can then begin to adjust requirements, if necessary, to adapt a commercial solution to a military environment.
Not only will this create organic competition as the open process picks the winner, it harnesses future collaboration between innovation centers in Silicon Valley, public research institutions and successful traditional defense companies who adapt to this process. Increasingly, the Defense Department will need rapid access to new commercial technologies and prototypes that have military application.
The benefits of opening the acquisition system to a broad spectrum of America’s commercial companies and universities are many. It will provide the department with the broadest spectrum of solutions; it will drive the competition it needs but increasingly lacks. New rules should create fairness and simplicity in how contracts are written, cut bureaucratic red tape and increase buying power. The department should minimize programs with narrowly defined requirements to those with very specific security requirements.
Opening the acquisition process will link the Defense Department to new value chains and will offer more diversity to the traditional U.S. defense supply chain, with the potential of increasing and sustaining high-end U.S. manufacturing. Above all, reducing requirements barriers incentivizes nontraditional entities to work with the Pentagon instead of doing commercial work with near-peer competitors.
Developing acquisition policies and processes to encourage broad commercial sector competition is the only reasonable strategy for the U.S. military to maintain its technological advantage.
In order to successfully support the warfighter in a time of rapid technological change, the Defense Department needs to restructure its current bureaucratic process to ensure service members fight with the best, most capable weapons systems. Adversaries have already adapted to the new reality; the department must evolve or be at significant risk in future conflicts.
Christian Larsen is a legislative research associate on the NDIA Policy Team. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rachel McCaffrey, executive director of Women In Defense, contributed to this column.
Topics: Acquisition, Acquisition Programs, Defense Contracting, Defense Department
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