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EMC debuts Native Hybrid Cloud

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At EMC World in Las Vegas this week, EMC announced Native Hybrid Cloud – a turnkey platform for cloud-native application development and deployment.

NHC enables enterprises to innovate and scale faster. It helps enterprise IT and operations teams to better collaborate with developers, allowing for rapid application development and delivery, while providing the needed protection, controls and insight to IT.

In today’s dynamically changing digital economy, rapid application development and shortened release cycles are the new normal. DevOps, leveraging continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) and a more integrated operating model and culture between developers and IT, can provide a competitive edge, but shifting to DevOps is difficult without the right development platform and tools. Cloud-native platforms address this need. Cloud-native refers to a new software architecture that enables agile application development that follows cloud-native principles, a shift toward microservices versus monolithic app stacks, and embraces container infrastructure abstraction models.

Many enterprise customers have spent months – and in some cases years – trying to “build” their own cloud-native stacks, and now realize that deploying these stacks is difficult, and maintaining them after “day two” operations (update/maintain/report/support) is nearly impossible. Many have also suffered seeing multiple waves of cloud-native employees come and go, leaving unfinished pilots that were unsuitable for full production, and were not adequately designed to be supported and sustained for future evolution and growth .

Native Hybrid Cloud helps enterprises realize the promise of cloud-native applications and DevOps with an “It Just Works” experience. The platform has the following components, all validated to work together:

·         Continuous Innovation Cloud-Native Platform – Native Hybrid Cloud leverages Pivotal Cloud Foundry, the industry-leading cloud-native platform. Pivotal Cloud Foundry delivers platform capabilities that enhance developer productivity, enable operational excellence, and provide enterprise grade security, scalability, high availability, and operational control, so customers can accelerate their time to market for software solutions. Developers can more quickly design, build, deploy, and scale cloud-native applications because of the tight integration of NHC IaaS with Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Applications built using Pivotal Cloud Foundry are truly portable and can elastically run on any cloud – private or public.

·         Developer and IT Ops Services – Native Hybrid Cloud brings developers a rich set of services for deploying, scaling, and managing the application life cycle while providing IT the visibility, control, and financial insights by including logging, monitoring, and reporting, showback, application performance, big data analytics, and management and automation through open APIs. For enterprises seeking real-time business insights, NHC offers an add-on option that produces a comprehensive toolkit for data scientists to perform big data analytics, delivering more differentiated value.

·         Turnkey – but flexible choices for On-Premises and Off-Premises IaaS Options –Native Hybrid Cloud is built on the VCE® VxRack™ System 1000, a hyper-converged rack-scale infrastructure providing a turnkey IaaS experience for application development, deployment, and operations. The VxRack System allows customers to choose the cloud software stack based on their preference: VMware vSphere with FLEX Nodes for customers looking to leverage what they know, a turnkey OpenStack® option for those wanting to leverage the OpenStack ecosystem with Neutrino Nodes. In the near future, VMware Photon Platform, a cloud-native infrastructure solution optimized for containers and modern applications, will be supported on Neutrino Nodes, along with data fabric options including, but not limited to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes provides a simple rack-scale management and orchestration capability for cloud-native IaaS stacks, dramatically simplifying “day two” operations and scaling infrastructure elastically to match the needs of the developers – making what used to be complex now simple and predictable.

·         For customer deployments that require an off-premise IaaS option, EMC Native Hybrid Cloud offers day one support for leading public clouds: Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, VMware vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Microsoft Azure.

For customers initially looking for a cloud-native IaaS system, VxRack System with Neutrino Nodes and FLEX Nodes for cloud-native IaaS is a great option because it speeds the provisioning of resources based on open source technologies to less than one hour.

For many enterprise businesses, Native Hybrid Cloud aligns closer to the agile development strategy as it delivers a turnkey developer platform for cloud-native applications.

Fully supported end-to-end by EMC, sustained as one product and deployable in days, Native Hybrid Cloud enables enterprises to significantly reduce the cost, time, complexity and uncertainty associated with building, deploying and maintaining a cloud-native solution and navigating the cultural shift to DevOps.

DELIVERING CLOUD-NATIVE APPS AT THE SPEED OF BUSINESS

Native Hybrid Cloud increases business agility and fosters innovation through an engineered platform that brings together infrastructure elasticity, self-healing, automated application runtime, and extended developer and IT Ops services. Key benefits include:

·         Deploy a cloud-native developer platform and infrastructure services in as few as two days, composed of Pivotal Cloud Foundry integrated with the EMC and VMware powered IaaS, making it ready for tailoring to a customer environment, if desired. Native Hybrid Cloud delivers 93 percent faster time-to-code compared to a practice where customers build a complete cloud-native platform from the ground up.

·         3x faster time to market. Develop and deploy cloud-native applications in days or weeks rather than months or years. Rapid application development from idea to production as a result of the extensive developer and IT Ops services and tools.

·         Improved DevOps collaboration. New DevOps partnerships made possible by self-service capabilities for developers while allowing IT to retain control and insights.

·         2x Boost to developer productivity. Developers can self-provision infrastructure for cloud-native application development and enjoy an “it just works” user experience. A streamlined workflow and the ecosystem of toolsets simplify how cloud-native applications are built, deployed, and managed.

·         Single-call support. EMC provides single-call support for the full solution.

·         Reduced complexity. The Native Hybrid Cloud platform is engineered, maintained and sustained as one platform. This means that as the software ecosystem continues to innovate, the Native Hybrid Cloud stack continues to get updated and supported as a singular platform for the customer.

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Homemation creates comfort through smart homes

Home automation is more than just turning the lights on and off, Homemation’s Gedaliah Tobias tells BRYAN TURNER

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The world is taking interior design notes from the Danish, in a style of living called hygge (pronounced hoo-gah). Its meaning varies from person to person: some see hygge as a warm fire on a cold winter’s night, others see it as a cup of hot coffee in the morning. The amount of “good feelings” one gets from these relaxing activities depends on what one values as indulgent.

But how does technology fit into this “art of feeling good”?

We asked Homemation marketing manager Gedaliah Tobias to take us through a fully automated home of the future and show us how automation creates comfort and good feelings.

“The house is powered by Control4, which you can think of as the brain of the smart home,” says Tobias. “It controls everything from the aircon to smart vacuum cleaners.”

The home of the future is secured by a connected lock. It acts like other locks with keypads and includes a key in the event of a power interruption. The keypad is especially useful to those who want to provide temporary access to visitors, staff, or simply kids who might lose their parents’ house keys.

“The keypad is especially useful for temporary access,” says Tobias. “For example, if you have a garden service that needs to use the home for the day, they can be given a code that only turns off the perimeter alarm beams in the garden for the day and time. If that code is used outside of the day and time range, users can set up alerts for their armed response to be alerted. This type of smart access boosts security.”

Once inside, one is greeted with a “scene” – a type of recipe for electronic success. The scene starts by turning on the lights, then by alerting the user to disarm the alarm. After the alarm is disarmed, the user can start another more complicated scene.

“Users can request customised scene buttons,” says Tobias. “For example, if I press the ‘Dinner call’ scene, the lights start to flash in the bedroom, there’s an announcement from the smart speakers, the blinds start to come down, the lighting is shifted to the dinner table. Shifting focus with lighting creates a mood to bring the house together for dinner.”

Homemation creates these customised scene buttons to enable users to control their homes without having to use another device. In addition to scene buttons, there are several ways to control the smart home.

 “Everything in the smart home is controllable from your phone, the touchscreens around the house, the TV, and the dedicated remote control. Everyone is different, so having multiple ways to control the house is a huge value add.”

We ask Tobias where Homemation recommends non-smart home users should start on their smart home journey.

“Before anything, the Control4 infrastructure needs to be set up. This involves a lot of communications and electrical cabling to be run to different areas of the home to enable connectivity throughout the home. After the infrastructure is set up, the system is ready for smart home devices, like lighting and sound.”

“For new smart home users, the best bang for their buck would be to start with lighting once the infrastructure is set up. Taking it one step at a time is wise.”

•    For more information, visit https://www.homemation.co.za/

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Face App grabs SA attention

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South Africans generated more than 100 000 search queries for “Face App” on Wednesday, while only generating 50 000 for “Mandela Day”. The Internet wentcrazy over the two-year-old app, which uses artificial intelligence to create a rendering of what users might look like in a few decades. Face App went viral as users posted their aged likenesses on social media in the #faceappchallenge. Privacy experts, however, warned that the app (made in Russia) may pose a threat to users’ privacy as it stores photos on its servers, with US Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, appealing to the FBI to investigate the app. 

In other top searches on Google this week, “Johnny Clegg” garnered more than 500 000 search queries on Tuesday as the news of his passing broke. The ‘White Zulu’ of Juluka and Savuka fame was an internationally acclaimed musician who was also an important figure in the fight against apartheid. Tributes to Clegg have been flooding media and social media over the past couple of days. Clegg succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 66.

More than 200 000 search queries were generated for “Mark Batchelor” on Monday after the former soccer star was brutally gunned down outside his Olivedale home in Gauteng. Investigations into the shooting are still ongoing. Batchelor played for Orlando Pirates, Wits University, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows and Bafana Bafana. 

“Jacob Zuma” also garnered more than 100 000 search queries on Monday as he made his first, much-anticipated appearance in front of the Zondo Commission on state capture. 

On Sunday “Macdonald Ndou” picked up more than 10 000 search queries after reports of theMuvhango actor’s arrest made the rounds. Ndou was held on various charges including extortion and kidnapping. The Hawks have reportedly provisionally withdrawn charges against the TV star, but a spokesperson said the decision to withdraw does not mean the charges will not be reinstated.

“Serena Williams” garnered more than 50 000 searches on Saturday as the tennis superstar suffered a 6-2, 6-2 defeat against Simona Halep in a Wimbledon final that lasted just 56 minutes. Williams later told Agence France Presse, “She [Halep] played out of her mind” and “I was like a deer in headlights”.

Last Friday, South Africans produced more than 20 000 search queries for “Duduzane Zuma” as the Randburg Magistrates Court found the former first son not guilty of a charge of culpable homicide. In February 2014, Zuma was involved in a car crash that took the life of Phumzile Dube when his vehicle crashed into the taxi she was travelling in.

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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