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See the full checklist of correct rack server carriersbottom line:
The IBM energy programs S922 server is designed from the ground up for statistics intensive workloads like databases or analytics. it might aid several key business facts-intensive situations, including mainstream purposes, leading-edge HPC workloads and evolving synthetic intelligence (AI) projects.
customers in search of fundamental compute vigor should be aware of this key reality: POWER9 options are the basis of the realm’s first and third fastest supercomputers, the U.S. branch of power’s Summit and Sierra installations.
IBM energy servers are likely to have a far better can charge of entry than x86 machines. although, in response to a look at by Quark + Lepton, IBM vigour methods running IBM I utility have 60% reduce total charge of ownership than home windows/SQL Server or X86 primarily based Oracle techniques. IBM’s pitch is that there are limits to what commodity architectures can do.
although, if you expect surges favourite and don’t have room for downtime, licensing fees, or occasional crashes an improved commercial enterprise structure can be required.Product description:
The S922 is a 1 or 2 socket server that presents a wide selection of core configurations and up to 4 TB of memory. Chip core speeds on the four-core are 2.8 to 3.8GHz, on the 8 core are three.four to 3.9 GHz and on the ten core are 2.9 to three.eight GHz. the single socket version offers up to six PCIe ( 2 x Gen4 and 4 x Gen3) slots and both socket edition offers as much as 9 slots (three greater Gen4 slots). One slot is used with the aid of a compulsory Ethernet adapter. reckoning on what's connected, up to three of those slots can be reserved for different purposes. IBM i is simply supported on the 6 cores and 8 core processors and is proscribed to four cores of IBM i with a software tier of P10.
power methods are popular for his or her RAS (resiliency, availability, serviceability) facets. IBM POWER9-primarily based programs are mentioned to convey up to 10X quicker bandwidth acceleration and 50% superior memory bandwidth than related x86 options. They additionally guide the latest in records switch applied sciences, together with PCIe four.0 and novel NVLink and OpenCAPI interfaces. This new server generation comes together with twice the reminiscence footprint than POWER8. changes in the reminiscence subsystem and using the newest DIMMs raise price/efficiency.elements:
number of processors:
up to 2
IBM POWER9 Scale-Out SMT8 processor (12-core, 10-core, 8-core, four-core choices)
Cores per processor:
4, 8,10 cores per socket
highest processor frequency/cache:
3.9 GHz/512k L2 and 10 MB L3
I/O growth slots:
the only socket version provides up to 6 PCIe ( 2 x Gen4 and 4 x Gen3) slots and both socket edition gives up to 9 slots (3 extra Gen4 slots). One slot is used by a mandatory Ethernet adapter. reckoning on what's connected, up to 3 of these slots may be reserved for different applications.
One entrance USB three.0 ports – Two rear USB three.0 ports – Two HMC 1 GbE RJ45 ports – One system port with RJ45 connector – 1x USB 3.0 front, 2x USB three.0 rear, 2x HMC 1 GB Eth RJ45 ports, one equipment port with RJ45 connector, 2x high speed 25 Gb/s ports
maximum memory/# slots/pace:
as much as four TB/32 IS RDIMM slots/as much as 2666 Mhz
maximum Persistent reminiscence:
S922/S924 has two interior direct attached storage connectors, an NVMe card and a SAS cardassist:
The digital services web portal is a single information superhighway entry aspect that replaces the diverse entry facets traditionally used to entry IBM internet services and help. This net portal permits you to benefit less demanding entry to IBM substances for assistance in resolving technical problems. The newly superior My systems and premium Search functions make it even less complicated for electronic carrier Agent-enabled purchasers to music device stock and discover pertinent fixes.
My techniques offers helpful stories of installed hardware and software the use of information gathered from the systems by IBM electronic carrier Agent. experiences are available for any system associated with the client's IBMid. premium Search combines the feature of search and the cost of digital provider Agent tips, proposing advanced search of the technical support knowledgebase.
“it's a transparent alternative if you already have a longtime IBM AIX environment and want to sustain compatibility and hold performance. There are similar alternate options now which may well be capable of get you to three nines for 1/2 the charges,” pointed out a Senior manager of IT in the manufacturing trade.Key markets and use circumstances:
IBM energy techniques S922 server without difficulty integrates into an organization’s cloud & cognitive method and offers superior cost efficiency for mission crucial workloads.
POWER9 is designed from the ground up for records intensive workloads like databases or analyticsrate:
20 core, 512 GB, $37,222. The utility is expensive.
“it's a product with high performance, efficiency and financial indices within the IT market,” mentioned an purposes Engineering in the schooling trade. "Deployment is very convenient, but took greater than three months. It proved cost effective in the long run.”
IBM energy S922
Max Processor Frequency
three.9 GHz/512k L2 and 10 MB L3
Max Persistent memory
2 POWER9 Scale-Out SMT8
true processing energy
ThinkstockShare interior the IBM X-drive Command advanced Persistent possibility CTF competition on Twitter Share inside the IBM X-drive Command superior Persistent danger CTF competitors on facebook Share internal the IBM X-drive Command advanced Persistent threat CTF competition on LinkedIn
On Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, the IBM X-drive Command superior Persistent risk (APT) capture the flag (CTF) competition kicked off on the IRISSCON 2017 convention in Dublin.
Forty-eight contestants across 12 groups battled it out in a free-for-all competitors that required hacking, defending and forensics advantage.what's a CTF competition?
A cybersecurity CTF competitors is designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in a security crew’s technical aptitude, response thoughts and time management. teams need to amass as many elements as feasible, which will also be completed via varied routes. Having numerous ways to rating features encourages teams to organize and believe carefully about the place the focal point of every team member should be.
The IBM X-drive CTF contest is broken down into four sections:
The CTF framework is designed around the concept of an APT. An APT is a network attack the place the attacker’s main purpose is to benefit unauthorized access to a gadget and stay there undetected for a long length of time. as soon as in the equipment, the threat actor can start siphoning out information or just lay in wait making ready for the subsequent stage.
To simulate an APT in their CTF, contributors ought to run the CTF’s custom-made malware to declare handle of a server and begin scoring facets. once a team has control of a server, it should do every little thing it can to cling onto it and give protection to it from other competing groups.
facets are awarded for every minute a crew can hold onto a server. As each group expands its botnet of inclined servers, it is going to harvest extra facets, pushing the crew up the leaderboard.
each server is mapped to a rustic, which lights up on the scoreboard when captured with the aid of a crew. This allows everyone to comply with the malware epidemic unfold around the online game globe.
teams can also ranking facets via finishing offline protection puzzles across the areas of packet trap evaluation, forensics, reverse engineering and steganography. while groups work on these facets, they also need to keep an eye out for one-off safety questions all over the video game, where most effective the first suitable reply is permitted.
read the document: the usage of gamification to enhance security advantageOn the Day of the competition
participants arrive with their laptops, assault equipment and any automation that they've developed to support them comprehensive the challenges. as soon as each person has related to the CTF’s sandboxed community and the suggestions were defined, a six-hour timer is started and the avid gamers are let out.
each inclined server is configured to file back to IBM QRadar, an event administration and log aggregation device. As players delivery to attack the vulnerable servers, QRadar’s dashboard starts lighting fixtures up. Brute-drive attacks, privilege escalation makes an attempt and more than a few different messages spotlight the participant movements for anyone passing by using to assessment.
The IBM X-drive Command crew also leverages QRadar to computer screen the competition for prohibited malicious undertaking. here's a hacking competitors, in any case.Hacking Hadley’s Hope
Bringing attention to cyberattacks can also be a tough affair, specially when your viewers is nontechnical. Most cyberattacks lack have an effect on and desiring to some companies, and extra to be able to the general public. here is a considerable hurdle to conquer when making an attempt to attract consideration to the growing to be extent of cyberthreats. How do you demonstrate the potential hurt of a cyberattack in a visual, tangible and noteworthy way? a captivating solution is to use hackable web of things (IoT) instruments and pair them with fashions created the usage of three-D printing expertise.
Hadley’s Hope is a science fiction-themed model city with physical, hackable capabilities which are managed via IoT instruments. When a hacker good points entry to at least one of these features, his or her moves are made visually apparent to anyone watching the mannequin metropolis. When the city’s coach starts relocating too quickly, for instance, or when its perimeter fence lights are flashing reputedly at random, it is terribly obvious that the system has been compromised. With these visual cues, it is a lot less demanding to display the advantage dangers of a cyberattack to each technical and nontechnical audiences.
On the day of the competitors, many teams tried the Hadley’s Hope challenge, with one team managing to hack in and take handle of the perimeter fence and educate. The a hit crew printed that this changed into one of the most pleasing challenges — so exciting, really, that the group wanted to continue triggering events in the city even after the video game had ended.
The value of CTF workout routines
A CTF competition challenges participants to find and make the most protection vulnerabilities, solve complications and fend off community attacks whereas conserving an eye on the video game clock. Many contestants create automation scripts on the day of the competitors to aid them gradual opposition teams taking handle of their servers or to assist them seize one other server.
team building is a huge part of a CTF competitors on the grounds that individuals ought to work together as a group to succeed. groups ought to communicate, divide work and aid one yet another to rating excessive on the leaderboard.
the way they instruct the present and next generation of cybersecurity experts can have a defining have an impact on on the level of protection all of us suppose when the usage of know-how. Fostering creativity and motivating your workforce can be difficult, however after they gamify these efforts, it takes potential of their competitive facet, improving their studying, innovation and education.The subsequent Step: red on Blue practicing
A CTF is one strategy to tackling the security skills gap. another is purple on blue incident response practising. throughout the CTF, they managed to preregister 15 groups from corporations within the business and faculties for their new crimson on blue adventure, which is beginning in January 2018.involving this text podcastsThe Hunter becomes the Hunted: The value of purple on Blue Cyber training
organizations of eight to 10 people will join us out at their Dublin campus, where they will be divided into two teams. The red team might be handed assault tools and small snippets of information in regards to the pursuits that it have to assault to disrupt normal service and exfiltrate mock customer statistics. The blue crew will be given a sandboxed community with servers and internet purposes that it need to safeguard from the purple team.
These situations offer members an opportunity to hone their technical skills, benefit a hacker’s perspective and look at various crew dynamics. They also supply IBM an opportunity to exhibit the IBM protection stack in reside, configurable situations and generate new connections with organizations and academia. all the way through the 12 months, they will grow and evolve the event to incorporate extra eventualities round malware, insider threats and social engineering.Tags: Academia | Cybersecurity working towards | training | IBM X-force Command core | Incident Response (IR) | protection recognition | protection professionals | security working towards | advantage gap Richard Moore Richard Moore leads up the IBM X-drive Command group in Dublin who's basic focal point is building arms on cyber protection... 1 Posts What’s new
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The rough end to 2018 put analysts on their toes as they looked ahead toward 2019. Some experts suggested that with U.S. GDP growth projected to slow, investors should rotate into more defensive sectors such as consumer staples and healthcare. However, others said the markets would surprise the pessimists with a robust recovery.
"Based on fundamentals, I don't think the pullback they had in this market was ever justified. Markets will do what they'll do. I think you have significant upside here," Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equities strategist at Credit Suisse, told CNBC on Dec. 31. "Therefore, they would think that the bottom has been put in this market."
If you lean toward 2019 being a bounce-back year, consumer stocks are an excellent choice to ride the wave.
One metric that drives the share prices of consumer stocks is the strength of the job market. If Americans are employed and their wages are growing, that will help consumer spending. Well, the U.S. has trounced expectations in two nonfarm payrolls reports announced this year (December and January), which should go a long way toward strengthening consumer spending trends.
Here are 10 of the best consumer stocks to buy for 2019. Some of these stocks are more defensive in nature - better suited for a volatile year. A few others are more aggressive and could ride a bullish wave better than most.
When it comes to beer, wine and spirits companies, only a couple of companies are near the size and scale of Diageo (DEO, $153.67) - the name behind Johnnie Walker scotch, Crown Royal Canadian whisky and Guinness beer.
However, regarding profitability, Diageo has it over the rest of the alcoholic-beverages industry. Its 31% operating margin is 500 basis points higher than Pernod Ricard (PDRDY), one of its peers in the spirits business, and a fraction higher than mega-brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD).
Diageo has plenty going for it at the moment. For one, it announced in December that it plans to build a new distillery in Kentucky to house additional production of hot-selling Bulleit bourbon. The $130 million facility should be up and running by 2021 and capable of producing 34 million liters of the American whiskey.
It also has a couple interesting "what-if" scenarios. Activist investor Elliott Management is going after Pernod Ricard at the moment, but Diageo could be the better target. Bernstein analyst estimates put Guinness' potential value at $10 billion as of 2015, and it likely could command more than that in a sale today. DEO also has been rumored to be looking for a partnership with a cannabis company similar to the ones Constellation Brands (STZ) and Molson Coors (TAP) entered. Nothing has materialized yet, but that may come in 2019.
Diageo boasts nearly two decades of uninterrupted dividend growth, making it a European Dividend Aristocrat. That makes DEO an excellent consumer stock for anyone seeking out stable income and reasonable capital appreciation.
Market value: $55.5 billion
Dividend yield: 1.1%
Forward P/E: 28.5
Analysts' opinion: 14 buy, 3 overweight, 10 hold, 0 underweight, 1 sell
In good times and bad, people can't seem to go without their lipstick and cosmetics, which is excellent news if you're an Estee Lauder (EL, $152.31) shareholder. 2018 wasn't a great year for the company's stock, which delivered a total return of just 3.4%, but that's far better than the 4.6% loss (including dividends) for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.
One area that should continue to drive Estee Lauder's growth in 2019 is travel retail, a segment of the retail industry that rarely gets any coverage, but one that continues to flourish. In December, the company opened a newly renovated 1,510-square-foot store at the Haitang Bay duty-free shopping complex in Sanya, China. It's Estee Lauder's largest travel retail location.
In addition to travel retail, the company continues to build an online presence both with its own e-commerce sites and through third-party sites which promote and sell its products. In more than 40 countries, customers can book appointments online to get makeup done in store, track company loyalty programs and use Estee Lauder's mobile sites to learn more about its products.
Estee Lauder typically provides ballast when the market is suffering, such as in 2008, when EL lost just 28% versus a 37% deficit for the S&P 500. But you can expect a much better year than that for EL in 2019.SEE ALSO: 11 Great Stocks to Buy and Hold for the Next Decade
Market value: $33.0 billion
Dividend yield: 1.7%
Forward P/E: 18.1
Analysts' opinion: 18 buy, 3 overweight, 5 hold, 0 underweight, 0 sell
If investors were asked which non-cannabis company made the biggest splash in the cannabis industry in 2018, the top answer likely would be Constellation Brands (STZ, $174.05).
STZ first jumped on the bandwagon in October 2017, taking a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth (CGC) for $179 million. Then in August 2018, Constellation went from mildly interested in the cannabis space to completely sold on it, by acquiring an additional 104.5 million shares for $3.9 billion, raising its stake to 38%. It also was given an option to exercise 139.7 million warrants over the next three years that would give it majority control.
The deal was good for both companies.
Canopy got access to a world-class manufacturer and distributor of alcoholic beverages while Constellation obtained the cannabis company's expertise, which will come in handy for developing cannabis-infused drinks in time for Canadian legalization of edibles in October 2019.
"We're going to see this shift away from a culture which has had one legal psychoactive for social and leisure activities, being alcohol, to a culture where there's now a second psychoactive that's acceptable in those same situations," Dooma Wendschuh, co-founder and CEO of Toronto-based Province Brands, told Canada's National Post in December.
This will be an exciting year for the cannabis industry. Constellation Brands will benefit significantly by having a front-row seat.SEE ALSO: The 25 Best S&P 500 Stocks of the Past 50 Years
Courtesy Elvert Barnes via Flickr
Market value: $19.6 billion
Dividend yield: N/A
Forward P/E: 33.8
Analysts' opinion: 23 buy, 2 overweight, 10 hold, 0 underweight, 2 sell
Lululemon's (LULU, $147.63) controversial founder, Chip Wilson, isn't involved with the business anymore, but remains its fourth-largest shareholder.
Where would Lululemon be with him still on board? "I think that the company would be a mindfulness company mostly that would be deep into yoga," Wilson told CNN Business recently. "I think it would be far more global than it is now. The company would have been worth 30, 40% more than it is now."
Wilson fails to mention that the athletic clothing company grew his wealth significantly since he stepped down from the company's board in 2015.
He also neglects to admit that the company's plan to hit $4 billion in annual revenue by the end of fiscal 2020 is ahead of schedule. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, LULU expects to generate annual revenue of $3.2 billion - 22% higher than a year earlier. Another year of 20% growth in fiscal 2019, and Lululemon will need just 4% growth in FY2020 to meet its ambitious target.
"We believe double-digit revenue growth can continue and see the 2020 objective $4 billion in revenue and implied earnings power of $5 as low hurdles," Stifel analyst Jim Duffy wrote in December. "With market tailwinds from growing global concern for health, fitness, and self-actualization, they believe Lululemon has a long runway for global growth and advocate owning shares as a core holding."SEE ALSO: 20 Top Stock Picks the Analysts Love for 2019
Market value: $15.5 billion
Dividend yield: 1.5%
Forward P/E: 25.5
Analysts' opinion: 5 buy, 1 overweight, 13 hold, 1 underweight, 2 sell
Church & Dwight (CHD, $62.58) - the consumer packaged goods company with brands such as Arm & Hammer baking soda, Oxi Clean stain remover and Trojan condoms - is the little engine that could. It delivered a total return of 32.8% in 2018, leaving most of Wall Street in its dust.
Longtime shareholders can attest to the stock's consistency. It hasn't had a negative year in the past decade, and it has generated a 10-year annualized total return of 17.7% - around 330 basis points clear of the index.
Why did Church & Dwight perform so well in 2018?
It continued to grow sales organically. In its fourth-quarter report, CHD said it grew organic sales by 4.3% in 2018, fueling overall revenue growth of 9.8%. The company sees organic sales continuing to increase by 3.5% in 2019. Conservative to a fault, Church & Dwight may just exceed this projection.
Internationally, business is even stronger, generating organic sales growth of 5% for the year. In August, Church & Dwight entered into a long-term cooperation agreement with Chinese consumer packaged goods company Shanghai Jahwa. It will be the company's omnichannel distributor for its baking soda, toothpaste, dry shampoo and feminine hygiene products for mainland China.
If you're looking to go defensive in 2019, you couldn't buy a better consumer stock.SEE ALSO: 15 Consumer Stocks That Deliver Dividend Growth Like Clockwork
Market value: $6.5 billion
Dividend yield: N/A
Forward P/E: 15.9
Analysts' opinion: 7 buy, 0 overweight, 3 hold, 0 underweight, 0 sell
If there's a stock on this list that flies under the radar, St. Louis-based consumer packaged goods company Post Holdings (POST, $96.63) would have to be it.
Post Holdings got its start in 2012 when it was spun off from its parent at the time, Ralcorp Holdings. However, the name Post has been around since the late 1890s, when C.W. Post introduced Grape-Nuts cereal.
The company finished its first fiscal year as an independent public company with $900 million in revenue. Six years and 15 acquisitions later, Post ended fiscal 2018 with more than $6 billion in revenue, operating several businesses in addition to its legacy Post-branded cereals.
Post Consumer Brands accounted for 29% of 2018's overall revenue, the largest segment of its business. In 2017, Post acquired Bob Evans Farms, a maker of vegetable-based side dishes and breakfast sausages, for $1.5 billion, adding a vital name to its refrigerated retail and foodservice business.
Although it did complete one acquisition in fiscal 2018, Post focused more of its attention on growing sales organically. It finished the fiscal year generating more than 50% of its EBITDA from businesses that are growing sales by more than 6% per year.
Post delivered a 12.5% total return for shareholders in 2018 - the third year of the past five in which it has produced double-digit gains.SEE ALSO: 11 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying or Selling
Market value: $6.1 billion
Dividend yield: N/A
Forward P/E: 86.7
Analysts' opinion: 12 buy, 0 overweight, 4 hold, 0 underweight, 1 sell
If you're paying attention to the trade war between the U.S. and China, you're probably familiar with Canada Goose (GOOS, $54.54), the Toronto-based maker of parkas and other clothing useful in cold weather. As the two countries continue their tit-for-tat fight over trade, Canada Goose's high-flying stock has gotten caught in the middle - despite rallying since the start of the year, GOOS still is off 20% from a high in early December.
Chinese consumers threatened to boycott the company's products after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. judicial system, which is seeking the executive's extradition to face fraud charges.
Not to worry. When Canada Goose opened its first Mainland China store Dec. 28, Chinese consumers lined up to buy the company's $1,300 parkas, putting aside any concern the boycott was gaining traction. Also, China currently accounts for just 10% of the company's revenue, but that should increase as more stores open on the mainland.
As they head further into 2019, Canada Goose's business is operating at full speed, with wholesale, online and brick-and-mortar sales growing by double digits in its most recent quarterly report. (It reports again on Valentine's Day.)
Investors are starting to believe again in Canada Goose's upside and should take it out of bear-market territory sometime this year.SEE ALSO: 101 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond
Market value: $2.9 billion
Dividend yield: N/A
Forward P/E: 14.2
Analysts' opinion: 4 buy, 1 overweight, 0 hold, 0 underweight, 0 sell
Investors might not be familiar with Helen of Troy (HELE, $115.21) - a consumer products company that has quietly built a stable of brands through acquisitions and organic growth, and that successfully competes on the global stage. Helen's brands should be more familiar, though: OXO kitchen gadgets, Vicks humidifiers, Honeywell air purifiers, Braun thermometers, PUR water filtration systems and Revlon beauty products, among others.
Over the last four years, Helen of Troy has grown its revenues by 3.1% compounded annually, adjusted earnings by 12.6%, and free cash flow by 15.9%. That's a big reason its stock has generated an annual total return of 25.9%, more than double the S&P 500.
In 2019, the company is focusing on growing its seven leadership brands -- the five mentioned above plus, Hot Tools Professional (curling irons, hair dryers) and Hydro Flask (water bottles, etc.) -- while also working to reduce costs through shared services between its different businesses to generate additional cash flow. It will continue to make acquisitions that strengthen its market share in its three operating segments: housewares, health & home, and beauty.
As consumer products companies go, Helen of Troy is one to beat in 2019.SEE ALSO: The Kiplinger Dividend 15: Their Favorite Dividend-Paying Stocks
Market value: $2.6 billion
Dividend yield: 1.0%
Forward P/E: 7.6
Analysts' opinion: 8 buy, 2 overweight, 2 hold, 0 underweight, 0 sell
BRP (DOOO, $27.49) is the corporate name behind powersports brands Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and CanAm. But while the company's seasonal products such as personal watercraft and snowmobiles continue to grow, it is the year-round ATVs and SSVs that are responsible for much of the stock's 36.0% annual total return over the past three years.
In BRPs most recent quarterly report ended Oct. 31, year-round-product revenues grew 21.1% year-over-year to C$562.4 million, accounting for 40% of its C$1.4 billion in overall sales. Seasonal products delivered 3.2% sales growth.
BRP also added a new operating segment in fiscal 2019, first acquiring Alumacraft Boat, a manufacturer of aluminum fishing boats, for C$85.4 million in June; it then paid C$97.4 million to buy Triton Industries, a manufacturer of pontoon boats under the Manitou brand. The creation of the Marine group provides BRP with a fourth revenue stream of growth in 2019.
Just one note of caution: While BRP's SSV business continues to outsell the competition -- between the three months of August to October, BRP grew SSVs in the mid-20s compared to mid-single digits for the industry as a whole -- it's starting to face increased competition from Honda (HMC) and others, making it more difficult to take market share.
Still, DOOO shares were particularly hard-hit in the back half of last year, losing more than half their value since Sept. 1. That has left BRP dirt-cheap, making it a strong potential rebound play in 2019.SEE ALSO: 10 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying (And 6 He's Selling)
Market value: $51.5 billion
Dividend yield: N/A
Forward P/E: 49.0
Analysts' opinion: 8 buy, 1 overweight, 8 hold, 3 underweight, 8 sell
Tesla (TSLA, $307.51) is the most speculative of the picks on this list. It's facing several headwinds, it has several self-inflicted injuries and it's not exactly an analyst favorite. But it managed a market-beating 7% return in 2018 while the S&P 500 was down despite a similar murderer's row of worries; it could surprise again.
Tesla announced Jan. 2 that it delivered 90,700 vehicles in the final quarter of 2018 - that's 8% better than the previous quarter, and a little more than triple the deliveries it made in Q4 2017.
Unfortunately, Tesla also revealed that it was lowering the price of all three of its models -- Model 3, Model S, and Model X -- by $2,000 to limit the impact as the federal government's tax credit starts to wind down. Tesla recently cut the price again to bring the Model 3 price down to $42,900.
But what really matters is the number of Model 3s that Tesla sells.
Tesla said more than 75% of its Model 3 orders in Q4 2018 were from new customers rather than existing reservation holders: a sign the carmaker is gaining traction with average car buyers, not just those who are tech-savvy.
While analysts were expecting 2,000 more vehicle deliveries in the fourth quarter, Tesla feels the Model 3 - including its expansion into China and Europe, lower-priced versions of the model, leasing options, and a right-hand drive option at some point in 2019 - have so far only scraped the surface of its opportunity.
This won't be an easy year - the company announced in late January that it lost its CFO, and that earnings fell short of expectations. But this exciting EV maker still should post plenty of growth in 2019.SEE ALSO: 10 Small-Cap Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond
Copyright 2019 The Kiplinger Washington Editors
The U.S. Air Force’s pilot training system has long been the envy of air forces around the world, but for the past several years it has failed to keep pace with increasing production requirements. Furthermore, the current training model is facing a widening gap between the capabilities of their primary training aircraft and the advanced fighter aircraft their pilots now employ. To close this gap, the current system has required the use of retraining programs and extended formal training courses that increase both the duration and cost of a new fighter pilot’s training.
New capabilities, such as the broad proliferation of airborne data links, and dramatic improvements in aircraft sensors, have seen the pilot’s role evolve from that of heavy equipment operator to a system manager, aerial tactician, and team leader. Given the magnitude of Air Force pilot production shortfalls, and the opportunity presented by a new trainer that will finally replace their half-century old T-38 trainer aircraft, the Air Force has an opportunity to radically overhaul its entire pilot production paradigm. My team and I have been working on a fighter aviator-training paradigm that will produce a larger number of better-trained pilots, and ultimately build a readier, and more lethal fighter force.
For context, the Air Force has consistently under-produced fighter pilots for the last two decades and is now well over a thousand short of requirements. In addition to pilot production shortfalls, retention rates for fully trained pilots have been beneath Air Force targets for years. Even aggressive enhancements to the past two rounds of incentive payment programs and changes to assignment and development processes are still failing to meet retention targets. In short, they are not making new fighter pilots fast enough, and they are not keeping enough of those they do make in the force.
Retention shortfalls have multiple contributors and this review only touches the most prominent. First, since the end of the Cold War, the Air Force’s combat forces have gotten smaller and smaller, and the forces that remain have faced continuously increased operations tempo to satisfy increased mission requirements.
Second, the major airlines are in a hiring surge and can offer financial compensation and family stability that the military cannot compete with. Finally, combat squadrons are operating at high tempo when not deployed (multiple squadron surveys show fighter pilots have average “work weeks” of between 50 to 60 hours per week). This is necessary to receive and train large numbers of inexperienced pilots, while still accomplishing the advanced tactical training required to prevail against the advanced threats posed by Russia or China.
In their all-volunteer force, a challenging retention environment combined with production shortfalls is a sure-fire recipe for a manning crisis. Solutions to this crisis should address both fighter pilot production and fighter pilot retention because these issues are inextricably linked. To be effective, a solution must address production, and the seasoning process, and allow front-line combat units to attain a higher quality of training at a more sustainable operations tempo.
The Air Force needs to approach how it produces, develops, and sustains fighter pilots differently. It needs to harvest the potential offered by technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to train better. The Air Force needs to insert technology that emulates advanced mission systems (radars, datalinks, and electro- optical targeting devices) into the early stages of fighter aviators’ training so that they can develop the skill sets they’ll need to help them succeed. Where possible, the Air Force should shift skills and training events from expensive combat aircraft into a less expensive platform so that new aviators can train more at a lower cost. And they need to do all of this while ensuring that it all contributes to a more ready and lethal Air Force.
Taking advantage of the new T-X trainer — which is so much more than simply a pilot trainer replacement for the aging T-38 Talon — and the lessons being learned through the Air Force’s “Pilot Training Next” experiment, it’s time to rebuild the forge that produces fighter aviators, particularly pilots, from the ground up.
Figure 1: The two production-representative prototypes of the Air Force’s new T-X trainer that will enter operational service in the early 2020s (Image: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs)
The Legacy Pipeline
The way the Air Force trains aviators has its roots in the training architecture that was built to churn out aviators in World War II. Pilot training in the 1930s lasted 12 months — and, despite the proliferation of GPS, glass cockpits, autopilots, and digitally aided flight controls — it still lasts 12 months today. All aircrew earn their wings through Undergraduate Flight Training. Whether they will fly a fighter, bomber, transport, tanker, or rescue aircraft, all student pilots go through 12 months of training. They begin with two months of “Phase I” ground training, ranging from aerospace physiology to aircraft systems to weather. Then all pilots move on to “Phase II” where they spend five months learning basic aircraft and formation handling in a T-6 Texan II, a two-seat turboprop used by the Air Force, Navy, and Marines for basic pit training. At that point, pilots assigned to fighters and bombers go on to “Phase III” training for another five months, essentially re-learning and refining the T-6 course of instruction in higher performing, supersonic T-38s. Pilots bound for other aircraft go on to a representative lead-in aircraft such as the T-1 Jayhawk or a helicopter for Phase 3. Upon successful completion of Phase III, all pilots earn their wings. Aircrew assigned to Undergraduate Navigator Training follow a similar path to multi-seat combat aircraft.
Figure 2: The T-6 Texan II (left) has been training student pilots since 2001 with modern avionics and a glass cockpit. The T-38 Talon (right) has provided a high-performance trainer — with no modern avionics — since 1959. (U.S. Air Force photo/T-6 and T-38 Fact Sheets)
The Texan II is decades newer than the T-38 Talon, which is more than twice the age of the average student flying it. When it was produced, the Talon’s similarities to the fighter planes it trained pilots for made it an excellent pilot training platform. Compare the legacy Talon cockpit with a contemporary fighter of the 1960’s — the F-105 “Thunderchief, or “Thud.” The Thud pilot’s job was to fly a high-performance aircraft with aeronautical characteristics similar to a Talon, navigate, and manage confederated aircraft sensor and systems without automation to reduce pilot workload. A pilot graduating from the Talon to the Thud had to learn new skills, but would only have to learn a few electronic systems such as the AN/ASG-19 radar. The leap from the supersonic trainer to the supersonic fighter was therefore a manageable one. Today’s fighter pilot must leap from the same supersonic trainer to a 4th or 5th generation fighter with flight characteristics very different from a T-38 and requires them to manage dozens of new tasks, from new sensors to smart weapons employment. The magnitude of this transition drives costs by reducing the carryover from basic to advanced training and forcing more of what could be learned in basic training into expensive advanced fighters.
Figure 3: A T-38A Talon cockpit (left) and an F-105 Thud cockpit (right). The prominence of navigation instruments is apparent in both, with the F-105 also adding a radar scope for the pilot to manage. (U.S. Air Force photos, T-38 credit Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz)
Only a decade after the Talon became the standard trainer for future fighter pilots, fighter tactics had become complex enough to warrant an additional training phase sandwiched between receiving wings and beginning training in a fighter. Since 1969, fighter aviators have accomplished an Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals course after completing undergraduate flying training. Consolidated introductory training is conducted in separate squadrons, and perhaps separate bases, than undergraduate pilot training, requiring an additional move for a student and family. Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals currently employs the T-38C, an upgraded Talon that provides a slightly more capable and reliable trainer aircraft but is still only capable of introducing students to the most basic fighter tactics.
In this course, students execute syllabi tailored to the aircraft the student is headed towards — the syllabus for an F- 15C Eagle or F-22 Raptor-bound student is different than the multi-role F-16, F-35 or F-15E syllabus, which is different from the A-10 course. The Talon performs more like a 1950-s era fighter than a modern fighter and is unable to present a student pilot with any of the systems, sensors, or weapons that modern fighter tactics are based on. In fact, learning to manage the many sensors, radios, and data links required to fight as part of a team provides most of the challenges that new fighter aviators must master to become effective.
Those systems and sensors, once so expensive that they could only be hosted on fighters, can today be emulated aboard the T-X for a fraction of the cost. Comparing the cockpit of a T-X to an F-35 Lightning II illustrates the changes. Today’s aviators employ their aircraft through Hands-on-Throttle-and- Stick (HOTAS) controls, menus and integrated displays. The airplane does not fly itself, but the preponderance of the fighter pilots’ job is operating their aircraft and systems rather than just flying it.
Figure 4: A T-X cockpit (left) and an F-35 Lightning II cockpit (right). Navigation and system monitoring are greatly simplified by automation, leaving the pilot free to operate either “virtual” sensors in the T-X or actual sensors in the F-35.
Beyond Fighter Fundamentals: Years of Churn
When today’s student aviator completes IFF, they can expect to relocate their families again for between six and eight months of training — finally in their fighter — at a “Formal Training Unit” (FTU). FTUs put brand new flying training graduates through a “basic” course, some six to eight months in length, producing qualified but inexperienced fighter aviators. FTUs also run shorter “transition” courses, where experienced fighter aviators learn a new aircraft or return to a fighter after some time outside of a flying assignment. The FTU enterprise represents a massive service investment that assigns around a quarter of all Air Force fighters to non-combat training squadrons.
After the aircrew completes FTU, they pack and move again to their new combat squadron as an inexperienced wingman. They are not yet qualified to go to war. To become “Mission Ready” for combat, they require an additional one to three months of local training. Most combat squadrons receive batches of new FTU graduates every three to four months, which requires a constant squadron training focus on the basic mission qualification syllabus.
After an additional year of seasoning, these wingmen will undergo a training “upgrade” from wingman to “flight lead” to command a formation of two aircraft, with a second upgrade months later preparing them to lead a four aircraft formation. This steady churn of basic qualification and upgrade training dominates the peacetime schedule of a fighter squadron.
Further increasing the training burden are the “direct support” sorties that require squadrons training for aerial combat to provide their own adversary aircraft. While some F-22 squadrons use T-38s as dedicated adversaries, and the Air Force is investing over 100 million dollars annually to rent adversary jets from private contractors, most squadrons must allocate a number of their own fighter sorties to role-play an adversary force for squadron mates to spar with. Every direct support sortie flown is one less sortie available for advanced training.
Figure 5: Two F-22 Raptors and a T-38 Talon from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, fly together during a 43rd Fighter Squadron Basic Course training mission Oct. 7, 2013 over Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. J. Wilcox)
With such a high demand for sorties to qualify and upgrade new wingman, it’s hard for squadrons to find the time required to focus on the advanced tactics that will give them the edge in a fight against the emerging threats presented by China or Russia. A typical fighter squadron spends about 25 percent of its allocated sorties on upgrade training and an additional 40 percent flown in “direct support,” either acting as adversaries or as the additional formation members required to support training of new or upgrading pilots. That means that most of a fighter squadron’s time is spent repetitively training in basic tactics, limiting the time available to dedicate to advanced tactics.
Enter the T-X
Before the T-X, this was simply a fact of life for the Air Force’s training methodology. The Talon couldn’t replicate modern systems and sensors, so students had to get their first taste of those things in the only place they could — modern fighters. The inefficiencies in this paradigm are clear. Because trainer aircraft did not evolve to keep pace with fighters, fighter aircrew had to learn elements of their craft sequentially — in three different aircraft and three different training programs — rather than simultaneously.
The breaks in training and expense of shifting a new pilot across five squadrons at three bases also takes a toll on the quality and pace of pilot production. For every three fighters the taxpayer buys to meet their defense commitments, they must buy another to support introductory training that their dedicated training aircraft can’t provide. Of the fighter forces that are available for combat, around two thirds of their time is spent on basic training rather than the advanced training required to ensure their aircrew are the best in the world. This is incompatible with their imperative to become readier and more lethal in fights against peer adversaries.
The pending introduction of a new fast-jet trainer provides an opportunity to change. The Boeing/Saab T-X that won the Air Force competition to replace the T-38 brings capabilities that the Talon never had. The Talon was conceived as a pilot trainer. The T-X is a mission trainer that will employ software to emulate some of the advanced sensors and systems that modern fighter tactics depend on. This allows the Air Force to keep the T-X continually refreshed with capabilities that allow a student to carry relevant skills learned in the T-X to their fighter.
This technological leap offers a truly unique opportunity to accelerate aviator production while directly contributing to more — and readier — combat units. With the T-X, a student doesn’t need to sequentially learn how to fly a high-performance aircraft and then learn sensors, systems, and tactics. They can forego a training syllabus that is an accumulation of compromises performed in a dated aircraft in favor of direct entry to tactical training in missions such as air combat maneuvering, close air support, surface attack, defensive counter air, and support to search and rescue.
The Proposal: Rebuilding the Forge
The re-forged model would repurpose Phase III of UFT, awarding pilot wings earlier after a phase II built on the lessons AETC is learning in UPT-Next. Phase III, essentially the first step of an apprenticeship into fighters, would occur after a new pilot gained wings. After learning to fly the T-X at the same training base, fighter-bound students would be re-assigned and enter tactical training in the T-X at a fighter base. IFF would be eliminated and students would proceed directly to a more robust apprenticeship in the T-X that qualifies them to execute realistic fighter tactics, first as a wingman, then as a flight lead, and possibly as an instructor in the last year of a tour in the T-X.
Having gained exposure and experience in each of the tactical missions, and having opportunities to both follow and lead, they will not need a long, costly transition into their eventual frontline fighter. This would allow the FTU to forego its “basic” course and convert all new pilots through a shorter transition course syllabus, and might allow us to forgo all FTU training and replace it with local aircraft checkouts at operational bases. Because the T-X can absorb, or “left-load” so much of the FTU syllabus, conversion courses will only teach the elements that are absolutely unique to the fighter itself. The T-X pilot will not need an introduction to night vision goggles, air refueling intercepts, or building-block tactical missions, having become proficient in each of them already as both a wingman and a flight lead.
In addition to flying and leading “blue force” sorties that accelerate fighter aircrew seasoning, the T-X can take over providing some or all of “adversary” aircraft requirements for nearby fighter units, allowing operational units to invest far more of their own sorties towards blue force training. This accelerated seasoning and increased adversary air sortie generation is possible because the T-X’s lower operating cost — presently expected to be less than half the cost per hour of a 4th generation fighter, and perhaps a fifth the cost of a 5th generation fighter — allows the pilots to train more for the same, or less, cost. Finally, because new fighter aircrew will arrive with more hours and more qualifications, the fighter squadron can shift its training emphasis away from basic qualification events to focus on countering advanced threats.
The model presented is well validated by other Air Forces, Israel and Finland among them. Finnish fighter squadrons don’t just have fighters — the 21st Fighter Squadron at Tampere had F-18C/D fighters, but also basic trainers (the Valmet Vinka & Aermacchi M-290), utility aircraft (Piper Chieftain) and Mk. 51 Hawk fast jets for fighter lead in, advanced training and adversary air. The Israeli Air Force employs the Leonardo M-346 to achieve similar efficiencies. That model provides flexibility and efficiency not currently matched by the U.S. Air Force, and provides personnel stability through long assignments to a single base. Instead of moving from UFT to the FTU, and again from the FTU to a fighter squadron, students and families would only move once from UFT to the T-X squadron that is down the street from their fighter squadron. This will provide more stability for families, better employment and education options for spouses and children, and accelerate the aircrew member’s integration into the tempo and culture of a fighter squadron.
Figure 6: A comparison of the traditional fighter development timeline with the proposed path. Note one less break in training. Also, time to “deployable” increases, but time to “experienced” decreases. This reflects a generally more experienced fighter force composed of forced more able to focus on high-end training (Author’s work).
We expect the new process to save time and reduce the number of front-line fighter aircraft dedicated to FTU training. As the T-X allows FTUs to offset much — or perhaps all — of their basic course, the Air Force has an opportunity to convert FTU squadrons back into combat squadrons. Considering the number of aircraft presently invested in FTU squadrons, if only half of the basic course instruction was left-loaded into the T-X, the Air Force could convert four fighter and attack squadrons from training-coded to combat-coded, helping to reverse the decline in combat force structure and build toward the Air Force they need.
Making it Work
The T-X program is well postured to enable this shift in training paradigms. Software can allow the displays and system functions to mimic those of the co-located fighter, radically easing a pilot’s conversion back-and-forth. With options already considered in the T-X design and contract, the T-X can provide the live, virtual constructive training that provides both a true mission trainer and a viable adversary aircraft for their fighters. This paradigm shift doesn’t require significant new investment because it does not disrupt the program of record design for T-X or eliminate T-X at training bases. There may be some cost required to spread the T-X role beyond centralized UFT activities; costs that can be reduced with advanced planning.
By following a version of this proposal, the Air Force can radically reshape the way they train, season, and support the Air Force fighter enterprise, producing more and better pilots by reducing the time between the day a new student shows up for flying training and the day that former student is mission-ready in a front-line fighter aircraft. By consolidating and streamlining the training path, new students can spend more time flying combat-relevant training missions and less time shifting between bases and relearning basic functions in new aircraft, all while flying more at lower cost. By taking advantage of the new capabilities inherent in the T-X, they can make a larger leap to reshape the entire fighter training enterprise and rebuild the forge in which they temper the world’s greatest combat aviators.
Gen. James M. “Mike” Holmes is the commander of Air Combat Command, responsible for over 158,000 total force military and civilian personnel operating 1100 aircraft in 1371 units at more than 315 operating locations worldwide. He was previously the vice commander of Air Education and Training Command and has commanded both an undergraduate flying training Group and a formal training unit Wing. Gen. Homes is a graduate of the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course and is a command pilot who has flown every variant of the F-15, accumulating more than 4000 hours and 530 combat hours over Iraq and Afghanistan. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or the U.S. government.
Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Sean M. Worrell
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ICAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ICDL [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
IEEE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IELTS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IFPUG [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIBA [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IISFA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Intel [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IQN [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IRS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISACA [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISC2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISEB [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
Isilon [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISM [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
iSQI [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
ITEC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Juniper [64 Certification Exam(s) ]
LEED [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Legato [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Liferay [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Logical-Operations [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Lotus [66 Certification Exam(s) ]
LPI [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
LSI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Magento [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Maintenance [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
McAfee [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
McData [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Medical [69 Certification Exam(s) ]
Microsoft [374 Certification Exam(s) ]
Mile2 [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Military [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Misc [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Motorola [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
mySQL [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
NBSTSA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCEES [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCIDQ [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCLEX [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Network-General [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
NetworkAppliance [39 Certification Exam(s) ]
NI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NIELIT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nokia [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nortel [130 Certification Exam(s) ]
Novell [37 Certification Exam(s) ]
OMG [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
Oracle [279 Certification Exam(s) ]
P&C [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Palo-Alto [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PARCC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PayPal [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Pegasystems [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
PEOPLECERT [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PMI [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Polycom [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
PostgreSQL-CE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Prince2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
PRMIA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PsychCorp [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PTCB [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
QAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
QlikView [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Quality-Assurance [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
RACC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Real-Estate [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
RedHat [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RES [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Riverbed [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RSA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sair [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
Salesforce [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
SANS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAP [98 Certification Exam(s) ]
SASInstitute [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCO [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCP [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
SDI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
See-Beyond [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Siemens [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Snia [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
SOA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Social-Work-Board [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
SpringSource [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUN [63 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUSE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sybase [17 Certification Exam(s) ]
Symantec [134 Certification Exam(s) ]
Teacher-Certification [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
The-Open-Group [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
TIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Tibco [18 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trainers [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trend [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
TruSecure [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
USMLE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
VCE [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veeam [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veritas [33 Certification Exam(s) ]
Vmware [58 Certification Exam(s) ]
Wonderlic [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
XML-Master [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Zend [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
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