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SUSE manager boosts efficiency

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SUSE Manager 3 is now available to help customers reduce the complexities of managing their IT infrastructures, a key advantage as they look to cut costs and increase the responsiveness required to adopt DevOps and hybrid cloud solutions.

With 77 percent of enterprises adopting private clouds to increase agility and innovation, the corresponding rise in IT complexity requires the enhanced management, automation and monitoring of SUSE Manager.

SUSE Manager 3 is the latest Linux server management solution that provides comprehensive lifecycle management and monitoring for Linux servers across distributions, hardware architectures, virtual platforms and cloud environments. SUSE Manager 3 includes Salt automation software and features improved configuration management, easier subscription management and enhanced monitoring capabilities.

“SUSE Manager is built to improve IT responsiveness to changing business demands, enhancing configuration automation with the integration of Salt,” said Ralf Flaxa, president of engineering for SUSE. “SUSE Manager 3 is even more valuable to large and very complex data center environments where ease of management, scalability, performance and high availability are extremely important. Customers know manually updating, patching and configuring servers can be difficult and time consuming, but SUSE Manager solves that problem while reducing costs with automated, centralised management of their Linux systems.”

Mary Johnston Turner, research vice president for enterprise system management software at IDC, said, “SUSE Manager 3 represents an important extension of functionality that directly addresses the needs of today’s DevOps and hybrid cloud management teams. SUSE Manager’s new integration with Salt delivers customers a single integrated tool that moves beyond traditional Linux server provisioning and power management to enable much more automated and scalable configuration, provisioning, patch management, monitoring and reporting for mixed Linux platforms deployed in physical, virtual or cloud infrastructures.”

SUSE Manager 3 is the best open source IT management solution to manage multiple Linux distributions, hardware platforms including x86, IBM Power Systems and z Systems, as well as physical, virtual and cloud environments – all from a centralised console. Key new benefits include:

·         Increased IT efficiency with improved configuration management via Salt. Using Salt-based configuration management, customers can deploy tens of thousands of systems without compromising speed or security. With real-time configuration and monitoring, the time to patch hundreds or even thousands of servers in large environments is significantly reduced.

·         Optimised use and management of SUSE subscriptions. The new subscription management tool in SUSE Manager provides detailed insights into usage of SUSE products, identifying the over or under utilisation of subscriptions. This helps ensure customers pay only for subscriptions they need, when they need them.

·         Reduced IT complexity with enhanced monitoring capabilities using the Nagios-compatible Icinga monitoring server. Monitoring integration with Icinga enables additional reporting capabilities and provides easy-to-use monitoring solutions and flexibility to add-on management functions. Customers also have the flexibility to use existing in-house monitoring solutions with SUSE Manager, improving control and management of IT assets.

“SUSE’s use of Salt in SUSE Manager 3 enhances not only configuration management but also predictive orchestration needed for modern enterprise Linux environments,” said Mark Chenn, CEO of SaltStack. “With the highly scalable, flexible and real-time attributes of Salt automation software, SUSE customers will be able to more efficiently manage cloud, virtual and bare metal Linux infrastructure and application environments, resulting in reduced administrative effort, increased IT productivity and improved security and reliability.”

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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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