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Dell EMC updates the data centre

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New, enhanced products promise to enable flexibility, lower IT costs, and speed return on investment with Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers.

At Dell EMC World in Las Vegas this week – the first to combine the annual Dell World and EMC World events – the merged company unveiled new and enhanced software-defined storage (SDS) products that help customers modernise their data centres.

The company said it would allow organisations to lower IT costs, get quicker returns on their investments, and deliver new digital capabilities. The comprehensive software-defined storage portfolio will be further enhanced through support for Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers, “providing increased levels of performance and scalability across a wide spectrum of applications and workloads”.

The announcement featured updates to ScaleIO, ECS and IsilonSD Edge, along with the introduction of Project Nautilus and expansion of the Ready Node portfolio, to “allow customers to harness the power of Dell EMC as they move from traditional to modern data centers”.

These new software-defined storage capabilities provide a choice of deployment models. Software-defined storage makes the enterprise infrastructure programmable and, therefore, more automated and easier to scale and manage than traditional infrastructure.

Dell EMC provided the following information on portfolio enhancements :

Dell EMC ScaleIO.Next – The leading enterprise-grade software-defined block storage solution, ScaleIO will introduce new .Next features and enhancements.

  • Improved efficiencies by delivering inline compression, enhanced snapshots capabilities, granular thin provisioning and seamless volume migration.
  • Greater performance and reduced latency using the latest Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers with NVMe flash drives.
  • Simplified management for VMware with support for VMware Virtual Volumes.

Dell EMC ECS Updates – Multiple announcements related to Dell EMC’s scale-out object storage platform, which is designed to provide cloud-scale, global data access to traditional and next-gen apps.

  • ECS.Next, features enhanced enterprise data protection and management capabilities, as well as advanced analytics support. Additionally, ECS software is certified to run on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers.
  • The ECS Dedicated Cloud Service enables customers to use ECS through a hybrid cloud model. As a dedicated, single tenant offering hosted in Virtustream datacenters, the ECS Dedicated Cloud Service combines private cloud control with the hands-off operations and agility of the public cloud.

Preview of Project Nautilus: Dell EMC previews a new software-defined solution for storing and analyzing high volumes of streaming IoT data. Project Nautilus enables businesses to make real-time decisions based on streaming device data from across the globe.  Designed to work seamlessly with ECS or Isilon as its resilient storage tier, Project Nautilus brings real-time data processing capabilities to Dell EMC’s unstructured storage platforms.

Dell EMC Ready Nodes portfolio enhancements

  • Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes – Now validated for PowerEdge 14th generation servers, these vSAN building blocks are quick and easy to scale and are pre-configured with the required amount of CPU, memory, network, input/output (I/O) controllers and storage to help customers reduce deployment risks and lower costs of their vSAN environments.
  • Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes – Combines all the power of Dell EMC ScaleIO software with pre-configured Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to deliver performance, scale and flexibility. These easy-to-deploy building blocks will utilize the latest Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers, including NVMe Drives and NVDIMM options. Software feature updates include simplified management with auto-discovery, streamlined provisioning and storage node-only deployment mode.
  • New Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes – Pre-configured Dell EMC PowerEdge servers provide the storage density and compute power to maximize the benefits of Storage Spaces Direct and the advanced feature sets in Windows Server 2016. Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD) solutions use Microsoft-validated designs and follow engineering best practices for seamless deployment and a steady-state operational experience. Dell EMC gets customers up and running without lengthy design and build time and offers a single point of contact for implementation and support services.

Dell EMC IsilonSD Edge enhancements – IsilonSD Edge can now be deployed on a single Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation server, bringing increased efficiency and a lower-cost entry point for smaller remote offices. The updates to the IsilonSD Edge platform also include support for VMware vSphere version 6.5, as well as deployment using virtual storage platforms like Dell EMC ScaleIO and VMware vSAN.

Jeff Boudreau, President, Storage, Dell EMC, said: “While software-defined everything is a critical piece of IT transformation, the reality is that we’re still early with regard to the ability of enterprises to consume software-only offerings. Offering software-defined storage offerings for on-premises and the cloud, in a variety of deployment models including ready nodes, allows us to meet customers where they are today and take them where they need to be as they transform their IT and their businesses.”

Availability:

  • ECS.Next and ScaleIO.Next have planned global availability in the second half of 2017.
  • ECS Dedicated Cloud Service and IsilonSD Edge have planned global available in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes are available globally today and have planned availability on new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers in mid-2017.
  • Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes have planned global availability in June 2017 and planned global availability on new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers in mid-2017.

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YouTube Music announces Smart Downloads, SA playlists

The service has introduced Smart Downloads which takes allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically.

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The latest updates from YouTube Music, for subscribers of its Music Premium and Premium services, include a new feature that allows users to switch seamlessly between a song and its music video for an uninterrupted experience.

It has also introduced Smart Downloads which takes the work out of downloading music, allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically. YouTube Music has also announced new playlists for South Africa. 

The updates all reflect features that are popular on the global leader in music streaming, Spotify, and that have been key to its growth.

YouTube said in a statement on Friday: “Imagine listening to a new track by your favourite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video – no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple tap that keeps the music flowing. This standout new feature from YouTube Music allows YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers to make a seamless transition between a song and its music video for uninterrupted listening and/or watching. Whether you’re in the mood for listening or watching (or a little of both)… it’s all here – no app switching required.”

With Smart Downloads, YouTube Music automatically saves music at night, when connected to Wi-Fi, helping subscribers to use less mobile data, enjoy a smoother updating experience and save up to 500 songs offline using Liked Songs playlist as well as other playlists and albums. 


Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, they select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings. This means YouTube Music Premium subscribers with Smart Downloads enabled on their mobile devices can now access hundreds of tracks regardless of connectivity. 

This feature is currently available on Android, with plans to bring it to iOS in the future.

Click here to read more about YouTube Music playlists, and find out what is inside them.

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Make cars, not waste

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Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. 

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.

Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material. 

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**. 

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.

“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”

This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. 

Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Editor’s notes:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.

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