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Dell scales up data centre appliances

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Dell has announced its second wave of Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances with double the storage capacity and up to twice the rack density to support customers deploying a wide range of workloads.

Dell has announced its second wave of Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances to help streamline the data centre. The now offer more than 50 percent storage capacity and up to twice the rack density to support customers deploying a wide range of workloads, including virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI), private cloud and big data.

The new Dell XC Series Version 2.0 appliances offer customers hyper-converged solutions based for the first time on Dell PowerEdge 13th generation server technology combined with Nutanix software and Dell global services and support. The appliances integrate enterprise-class storage, compute and hypervisor resources into a single solution, and further expand Dell’s broad software-defined storage (SDS) portfolio.

Dell XC Series Web-Scale Converged Appliance (Model XC720xd) with bezel.

“We’ve seen strong customer interest in our debut Dell XC Series appliances, and our newest offerings substantially raise the bar,” said Francois Smith, Enterprise and Field Marketing for Dell South Africa. “The new web-scale converged appliances add greater configuration flexibility and pack more performance and capacity into our 13th generation servers, making them even more compelling for customers looking to adopt a newer, integrated systems model for delivering IT to their organisations.”

Customers’ interest in integrated systems continues to grow with the opportunity to deploy simplified yet powerful solutions that offer high performance, fast deployment and lower operational costs. In fact, the Dell XC Series offers up to 27 percent lower cost and up to six times faster time to value compared to a traditional VDI solution approach according to recent analysis from IT research firm Wikibon.

 

New Dell XC Series Appliances Improve Performance and Flexibility to Support Web-Scale Deployments

The next wave of the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances offers customers a broader range of integrated solutions for various workloads in virtualized environments. This includes the new Dell XC Series XC630 and XC730xd, built on Dell PowerEdge 13th generation server technology. The appliances offer substantial enhancements to the debut XC Series and support customers with:

 

•          Faster application performance—Higher performance servers and additional drives options (flash and hard disk) support more demanding workloads in VDI, private cloud and big data initiatives.

•          Greater density—Doubling the density to 16 terabytes per rack unit, supports the same amount of data in half the rack space, benefiting all types of customers, and especially managed service providers and those in co-located data centres.

•          Greater flexibility—Industry advances in processing and memory combined with multiple drive, memory and processor options per appliance enable more precise workload matching and granular scalability.

 

The new Dell XC630 introduces a compact 1U form factor to the XC Series portfolio and supports more virtual desktop users in half the rack space compared to Dell’s debut XC720xd, making it an even more attractive option for customers with limited rack space or those deploying VDI and other virtualized workloads. The new Dell XC730xd (2U) can support 60 percent more storage—up to 32 terabytes—compared to the previous generation, benefitting many customers, especially those deploying private cloud or big data workloads.

The Dell XC Series is designed to be easily deployed and incrementally scaled, lowering total cost of ownership and supporting the agility for customers to simply add new appliances in minutes in a “pay-as-you-grow” model. Customers can deploy multiple virtualized workloads using the same infrastructure and can easily respond to business changes by scaling their IT environment one node at time without the need to overprovision based on anticipated growth.

The appliances enable customers to manage their virtual environments at a VM level, making them ideal for VDI, private cloud, high performance server virtualization, and data centres using multiple hypervisor platforms. Initial customers hail from a wide range of industries including large financial services, manufacturing and media companies.

 

Availability:

•          The Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances, Version 2.0, will be available in North American and March 3 and worldwide later this March.

 

Additional Quote:

“Dell has emerged as a global leader in software-defined storage solutions, based on its unique, broad and embracing approach to work closely with key storage software vendors to deliver robust, validated solutions on Dell hardware that’s backed by Dell global services and support,” said Scott Sinclair, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “The Dell and Nutanix marriage is a win for both companies, and, ultimately, customers.  Nutanix gains by partnering with a global leader with proven server technology and services, and Dell gains by being the only large vendor integrating its servers with Nutanix’s market leading hyperconverged software.  Customers get the known quality and support of Dell plus Nutanix’s easily scaled and managed software for virtualized environments.”

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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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