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Software-defined data centres key to digital business

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Global Big Data revenues are expected to grow to just under $38 billion and cloud computing service revenues to more than $4 billion in 2016. MATTHEW LEE, Regional Manager for Africa at SUSE, looks at the growth of software-defined data centres.

There are market and technology forces at play that are driving the evolution of the data centre. If companies are to remain relevant for their stakeholders, they need to be able to adapt to these changing data requirements. Not only is the role of data becoming more integral in the success of a business, but it has become an indispensable tool for interpreting and analysing the sheer amount of information at the disposal of decision-makers.

In essence, software-defined data centres virtualise all elements of the infrastructure such as networking, storage, security, and processing power and runs it as a service. With the focus being on flexibility, scalability, and redundancy, the potential impact this will have on business models is significant.

Inside the organisation, CIOs have to be even more responsive to new service demands than before. Given the pressure of ever-decreasing budgets, they no longer have the luxury of throwing resources at challenges if they have to start playing catch-up to their competitors. This means investment in technology is done based on how quickly it can benefit the organisation and how it aligns to the business strategy.

What this boils down to is the fact that legacy applications alone are no longer good enough to meet the on-demand requirements of today’s digital business.

One of the benefits of the software-defined data centre is the fact that it gives organisations complete control over their hosted environments and the associated resources utilised. And because many solutions are built on open source components, easier integration into many of the existing company processes and system are ensured. This minimises any potential disruption and gives decision-makers the peace of mind to remain focused on meeting their business deliverables.

This modern data centre also means companies get access to specialised applications that simplify tasks and provide them with competitive advantage. It extends to business models that are more flexible and cater for anything from pay-as-you-use models to self-service IT and the capacity to quickly scale up or down as business needs change.

A digital business is required to be more agile when it comes to IT solutions than in the past. Across industry sectors, companies can ill afford to be stuck with a legacy approach only that is inflexible and cannot provide the innovation required to move beyond complexity. A virtualised approach addresses these issues. While understanding the importance of Big Data and the cloud was a first step, moving towards these more innovative data centres has to be the next.

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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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