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Cape Town gets faster push to digital city

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Alcatel-Lucent in partnership with Bytes System Integration will speed up Cape Town’s digital transformation with delivery of advanced IP routing technology.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its IP core routing network technology in Cape Town as it transforms itself into a fully digital city.

As the economic hub of the Western Cape, a major tourist destination and one of the most populous cities in South Africa, Cape Town is home to many technology start-ups and a base for many global software companies, retail chains and financial companies. To drive growth and encourage new businesses to the area, the City of Cape Town wants to reduce the cost of broadband in order to expand access.

The new IP-based ultra-broadband infrastructure will help to lower the cost of broadband connectivity, connect underserved communities and stimulate new digital business development, while facilitating high-speed local government services.

With just 34 percent of South Africa’s population connected to the Internet in 2013, the national government wants to see that number increased to 50 percent, connected at 5 Mbps, by 2016 and 90% by 2020 under the national broadband plan.

Working with its former subsidiary, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (divested to China Huaxin in 2014) and Bytes Systems Integration, Alcatel-Lucent is providing its IP routing portfolio – including the powerful 7950 Extensible Routing System – for the development of a high-performance IP network infrastructure.

This will initially enable high-speed government administration and management services including access for emergency services. In addition the City of Cape Town wants to encourage infrastructure sharing to allow third party communications providers to connect underserved communities, facilitate the delivery of e-services and drive socio-economic growth.

Key Facts:

* The City of Cape Town has signed a three-year agreement with Bytes Systems Integration to expand its broadband and IP routing architecture including the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 extensible routing system, 7750 Service Router Portfolio, the 7210 Service Access Switch and the 5620 Service Aware Manager for a broadband IP infrastructure project.

* Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise will provide OmniSwitch® Ethernet LAN switching portfolio to extend the services envisaged by the City of Cape Town to offices and remote locations as the network edge switches in connecting via Metro Ethernet.

* Bytes Systems Integration is seamlessly integrating the 7950 extensible routing system 

* Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the key priority areas in the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Technology Plan. The communication network will reduce costs, and make high-speed data, voice and video services available to municipal facilities, and provide government e-services. It will also enable the City of Cape Town to become a ‘carrier of carriers’ providing infrastructure for MVNO’s to deliver last mile broadband connectivity to homes and businesses.

* Alcatel-Lucent’s 7950 XRS offers class-leading switching capacity, port density and power efficiency (only 1 Watt per Gigabit traffic) on a single platform, allowing providers to grow capacity in minimal space and power footprint – power efficiency is a critical requirement in South Africa.

Quotes:

Leon Van Wyk – Telecommunications Manager, City of Cape Town said: “The development of this high-speed communications infrastructure will further reduce the cost of broadband services through enabling open access to the City’s broadband infrastructure for commercial service providers. This is facilitating easy access and driving competition hence reducing broadband services cost to the citizens. As a result of this, commercial ISPs are also using the City’s broadband infrastructure to provide internet access to the public via Wi-Fi® Zones.”

Rob Griggs, Managing Director, Bytes Systems Integration said: “As Bytes SI, we are entrusted with global technology collaborations by some of the world’s leading organisations to manage and support these world class product solution sets on behalf of our clients. We have the credentials and track record that will ensure that the City of Cape Town has the support needed for the network design and support services required in delivering a secure and reliable network that offers broadband for all.”

Daniel Jaeger, Vice President Alcatel-Lucent Africa, said: “This project highlights how our powerful 7950 XRS core router can serve the needs of governments and other organizations in addition to telecommunications service providers. This agreement builds on our growing momentum with governments in EMEA and around the world to develop more competitive nations and smarter cities, leveraging our expertise in IP networking, ultra-broadband and cloud technologies.”

Ravin Naidu, Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Emerging Africa, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, said: “Our aim is to deliver world-class technologies to our customers. Our products and expertise in LAN networking offer a compliment to the capabilities Alcatel-Lucent and Bytes Systems Integration deliver on this important network and adds to the growing momentum of work we’re doing with governments around the world as they use technology to enable more competitive nations and smarter cities. ”

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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