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BCX launches first pay-as-you-go for Windows Azure

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Business Connexion (BCX) has launched the first pay-as-you-go service for Windows Azure Pack out of its carrier-neutral, certified Tier IV data centre.

The solution combines enterprise-class control and compliance with a fully managed service and self-provisioning, providing clients with flexibility and increasing their agility in the market.

“There is no doubt that local markets are becoming increasingly competitive,” says Jacques Loubser, Managing Executive of Converged Infrastructure Solutions, at Business Connexion. “Technology in itself is also no longer a differentiator, but has rather become an enabler. This, coupled with a need to be more innovative and agile, is driving cloud adoption across the continent and is transforming the data centre.

“One of the biggest benefits of this solution lies is that it is hosted locally. It reduces latency, or the amount of time it takes for a data packet to travel from source to destination and solves the issues around data sovereignty,” says Loubser. Comparing the movement of data to travel, he says: “Travelling to an international versus a local destination will naturally take longer and cost more and the movement of data is no different.”

According to IDC’s 2015 Top 10 ICT Predictions for Africa security concerns are increasing due the increase in mobile device, data and access methods. IDC believes this will drive governments on the continent to address cyber security legislation and look at further country-specific data protection that could require in-country presence and hosting.

“Clients are increasingly prioritising dealing with a local partner as it creates a sense of comfort being able to deal with directly with a person where the data resides. It also simplifies the support process and eliminates the need to bring an additional support partner into the fold. They are also looking to consolidate the number of vendors they deal with.”

“We are also the first COSN partner to make the self-service control panel available in Africa. Through this panel clients that know what they want can purchase the technology they need online, simplifying the procurement process,” he says. The Windows Azure Pack solution can also be deployed in the client’s own data centre.

The launch of this solution marks a major milestone in the Business Connexion journey. “We have evolved from being a system integrator to cloud integrator and our vision is to, by 2020, become the cloud integrator of the Internet of Things,” says Loubser. “We apply the same consistent framework that Microsoft uses in their data centres in our own. What is key, however, is that we can manage the subscriptions and services through one single pane of glass. As the cloud becomes more commercialised and we add more services, this will all be managed seamlessly through one interface that is easy to use and provides transparency to the client,” he concludes.

As a control panel for Windows Azure Pack delivery, Business Connexion chose Odin Service Automation, a leading end-to-end cloud enablement platform. “Business Connexion is the first in the market to offer a fully automated smooth customer experience for ordering and managing virtual infrastructure from the local cloud based on Microsoft Azure. Coupled with top-notch data center facilities and Business Connexion industry expertise, it creates for a unique offering for the South African market”, says Alex Fine, Sales Director Sub-Saharan Africa at Odin.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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