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Africa data flood set to shake off cloud lag

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Global cloud traffic is expected to rise almost fourfold, up from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 to 14.1 ZB per year by 2020, according to the recently released Cisco Global Cloud Index (2015-2020).

In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow a little more than fourfold in the next four years.

This rapid growth of cloud traffic is attributed to increased migration to cloud architectures and their ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centers.

With greater virtualization, cloud operators are also able to achieve greater operational efficiencies while flexibly delivering a growing variety of services to businesses and consumers with optimal performance. To better understand data center growth, new analysis on application workloads was developed for this year’s report.

The following business and consumer projections were revealed:

Business:

•          By 2020, business workloads will account for 72 percent (344.5 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 79 percent (142.3 million) in 2015 (2.4-fold growth).

•          By 2020, compute workloads will account for 29 percent of total business workloads, compared to 28 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, collaboration workloads will account for 24 percent of total business workloads, compared to 25 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, database/analytics/Internet of Things (IoT) workloads will account for 22 percent of total business workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

Consumer:

•          By 2020, consumer workloads will account for 28 percent (134.3 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 21 percent (38.6 million) in 2015 (3.5-fold growth).

•          By 2020, video streaming workloads will account for 34 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 29 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, social networking workloads will account for 24 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

By 2020, search workloads will account for 15 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 17 percent in 2015

“The IT industry has taken cloud computing from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible networking solution. With large global cloud deployments, operators are optimizing their data center strategies to meet the growing needs of businesses and consumers,” said Andy MacDonald, Vice President Global Service Providers; Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco. “In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers.

For the first time, Cisco also quantified and analyzed the impact of hyperscale data centers. These data centers are expected to grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020. Hyperscale[1] data center traffic is projected to quintuple over the next five years. These infrastructures will account for 47 percent of total data center installed servers and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.

A key infrastructure trend is transforming hyperscale (and other) data centers. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are helping to flatten data center architectures and streamline traffic flows. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of global hyperscale data centers are expected to deploy SDN/NFV solutions. By 2020, 44 percent of traffic within data centers will be supported by SDN/NFV platforms (up from 23 percent in 2015) as operators strive for greater efficiencies.

Middle East and Africa Global Cloud Index Forecasted Highlights and Projections:

1.      Data Center Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will reach 328 Exabytes per year (27 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 82 Exabytes per year (6.8 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow 4.0-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 32% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic grew 40% in 2014, up from 59 Exabytes per year (4.9 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 59.9% of data center traffic will remain within the data center by 2019, compared to 74.0% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 33.0% of data center traffic will travel to end users by 2019, compared to 18.9% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 7.1% of data center traffic will travel between data centers by 2019, compared to 7.1% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer data center traffic will represent 65% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 32% in 2014.

2.      Cloud Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will represent 86% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 61% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will reach 280 Exabytes per year (23 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 50 Exabytes per year (4.2 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will grow 5.6-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 41% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic grew 61% in 2014, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 61% of cloud data center traffic by 2019, compared to 30% in 2014.

3.      Traditional Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will represent 14% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 39% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will reach 47 Exabytes per year (4.0 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will grow 1.5-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 9% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic grew 16% in 2014, up from 27 Exabytes per year (2.3 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 89% of traditional data center traffic by 2019, compared to 35% in 2014.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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