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EMC unveils Unity family, on mission to modernise

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At the EMC World conference in las Vegas this week, the global storage leader announced a new storage family designed to simplify and modernise the data centre.

At EMC World in Las Vegas this week, global storage leader EMC Corporation announced EMC Unity, a new family of storage systems that helps simplify and modernise the data center. Unity is the latest member of EMC’s all flash portfolio, delivering highly affordable file and block storage for small and medium-sized IT departments. Unity joins EMC’s portfolio of all-flash storage arrays – XtremIO, VMAX All Flash and DSSD D5. This, says the company, ensures that “no matter what a customer needs, EMC has a purpose-built solution to fit virtually any data center use case”.

EMC provided the following information:

EMC Unity offers cloud-like proactive management and monitoring through a modern HTML5 task-oriented interface that leads the user through daily operations and integrates with VMware and Microsoft ecosystems for easy third-party management. It features new Proactive Assist capabilities designed to give IT control, visibility and automated management of Unity storage systems. Unity service data can also be viewed within EMC MyService360, a new online service providing customers with real-time visibility into the health and wellness of their EMC environment. MyService360 provides IT with analysis of EMC product code levels, connectivity status, capacity alerts, service activity by site, and more.

Modern

With 3X the performance of EMC’s previous generation VNX arrays, EMC Unity can deliver up to 300K IOPS. EMC Unity is purpose-built to deliver value to customers with predictable all-flash performance and enterprise-class features including:

• True dual-active controller architecture

• Support for file, block and VVols

• Snapshots and remote sync/async replication

• Native, controller-based encryption

• New scalable file-system for transactional and traditional file use cases

• VMware VASA 2.0, VAAI, VVols, VMware-Aware Integration

• Complete REST-API for automation and DevOps use cases

• Integrated Copy Data Management with EMC iCDM

• Zero-impact garbage collection

Flexible

Since every business has its own unique storage challenges, Unity has been designed to offer greater flexibility and deployment options than competing data storage offerings.  With the ability to scale up to 3 Petabytes (PB) and up to 300K IOPS, EMC Unity is the industry’s first data storage solution for midsized IT to be available in all of the following unified configurations:

• Purpose-built: Unity is available as a purpose-built all-flash array, designed from the ground up for the flash data center. Additionally, Unity can be deployed in a hybrid configuration to meet individual business requirements

• Software-Defined: UnityVSA offers the advanced file and block storage and data management features of Unity to be easily deployed as a virtual appliance

• Converged: VCE Vblock and VxBlock System 350 configurations are orderable immediately

Affordable

Designed for all flash, Unity provides some of the best flash economics in the industry, starting under $18,000. Additional inline data services will be added in the future to further lower effective $/GB cost. Unity also introduces a new level of affordability for customers deploying hybrid arrays, with prices starting under $10,000. Unity provides incredible unified storage density, with up to 80TB of all-flash storage in a dense, 2U array.

Protected

EMC believes that data protection should be an integral part of the design and deployment of every data storage environment. Unity offers tight integration with EMC Data Domain® and EMC Data Protection Suite to ensure that workloads are seamlessly protected.

All-flash Unity options also qualify for EMC’s Xpect More program, offering lifetime maintenance price protection, flash endurance protection and three-year money-back warranty.

Availability

EMC Unity is available for purchase immediately. All-flash configurations start at under $18,000. Hybrid array configurations start at under $10,000.

“EMC Unity offers modern data center simplicity and all-flash performance in an affordable package,” says Jeff Boudreau, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mid-Range Solutions, Core Technologies Division at EMC. “Designed specifically to get the most out of all-flash media, EMC is making it simpler and more affordable for both SMEs and enterprises to modernize their data centers. With the launch of Unity, 2016 is truly the year of all-flash for EMC.”

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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