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Oracle gears cloud for customers in SA

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Enabling organisations to move workloads to the cloud while keeping their data on their own premises, Oracle has launched the Cloud at Customer solution in South Africa.

Oracle Cloud at Customer is designed to enable organisations to remove one of the biggest obstacles to cloud adoption—data privacy concerns related to where the data is stored. While organisations are eager to move their enterprise workloads to the public cloud, many have been constrained by business, legislative and regulatory requirements that have prevented them from being able to adopt the technology. These first-of-a-kind services provide organisations with choice in where their data and applications reside and a natural path to easily move business critical applications eventually to the public cloud.

“Oracle Cloud at Customer is a direct response to the remaining barriers to cloud adoption and turning those obstacles into opportunities by letting customers choose the location of their cloud services,” said Francois-Xavier Leclercq –  Senior Vice President Business Development EMEA & APAC applications. “We are providing a unique service that enables our customers to leverage Oracle Cloud services, including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, both on their premises and in our cloud.  Customers gain all the benefits of Oracle’s robust cloud offerings, in their own datacentres, all managed and supported by Oracle.”

Underpinning Oracle Cloud at Customer is a modern cloud infrastructure platform based on converged Oracle hardware, software-defined storage and networking and a first class IaaS abstraction. Oracle fully manages and maintains the infrastructure at customers’ premises so that customers can focus on using the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services. This is the same cloud infrastructure platform that powers the Oracle Cloud globally.

Customers will also have access to all of Oracle’s major PaaS categories, including Database, Application Development, Analytics, Big Data, Application and Data Integration, and Identity Management with Oracle Cloud at Customer These services take advantage of specific enhancements that have been made to the underlying Oracle Cloud at Customer platform such as servers with faster CPUs and NVMe-based flash storage, as well as all-flash block storage to deliver even better performance for enterprise workloads.

Oracle has also made available via Oracle Cloud at Customer, the ability to consume Oracle SaaS services such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Human Capital Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Supply Chain Management in their own datacentres. These best-in-class, modern applications help unlock business value and increase performance by enabling businesses and people to be more informed, connected, productive, and engaged. Major organisations are already adopting this new option to modernise their key enterprise operations and benefit from the speed of innovation in Oracle SaaS without having to move sensitive application data outside their premises. With the addition of SaaS services to Oracle Cloud at Customer, customers have access to Oracle Cloud services across the entire cloud stack, all delivered in a subscription-based, managed model, directly in their datacentres.

Also, newly available is the Oracle Big Data Cloud Machine, which is an optimised system delivering a production-grade Hadoop and Spark platform with the power of dedicated nodes and the flexibility and simplicity of a cloud offering. Organisations can now access a full range of Hadoop, Spark, and analytics tools on a simple subscription model in their own datacentres.

Oracle Cloud at Customer delivers the following Oracle Cloud services:

  • Infrastructure: Provides elastic compute, containers, elastic block storage, object storage, virtual networking, and identity management to enable portability of Oracle and non-Oracle workloads into the cloud.
  • Data Management: Enables customers to use the number one database to manage data infrastructure in the cloud with the Oracle Database Cloud, including Oracle Database Exadata Cloud for extreme performance and Oracle MySQL Cloud.
  • Big Data and Analytics:  Empowers an entire organisation to use a single platform to take advantage of any data to drive insights. Includes a broad set of big data cloud services, including Oracle Big Data Cloud Service, Oracle Analytics Cloud, and Oracle Event Hub Cloud.
  • Application Development: Enables organisations to develop and deploy Java applications in the cloud using Oracle Java Cloud, Oracle Application Container Cloud, Oracle Container Cloud, and Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud.
  • Enterprise Integration: Simplifies integration of on-premises applications to cloud applications, as well as cloud application to cloud application integration using Oracle Integration Cloud, Oracle SOA Cloud, Oracle Data Integrator Cloud, Oracle GoldenGate Cloud, Oracle Managed File Transfer Cloud, and Oracle Internet of Things Cloud.
  • Security: Enables organisations to use Oracle Identity Cloud to implement and manage consistent identity and access management policies.
  • Software-as-a-Service: Provides organisations with a complete suite of software to run their businesses, including Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle CX Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, and Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud.

Oracle Cloud at Customer

The Oracle Cloud at Customer portfolio of services enables organisations to get all of the benefits of Oracle’s public cloud services in their datacentres. The business model is just like a public cloud subscription; the hardware and software platform is the same; Oracle experts monitor and manage the infrastructure; and the same tools used in Oracle’s public cloud are used to provision resources on the Oracle Cloud at Customer services. This is the only offering from a major public cloud vendor that delivers a stack that is 100 percent compatible with the public cloud but available on-premises, ensuring that customers get the same experience and the latest innovations and benefits using it in their datacentres as in the public cloud.

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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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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