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EMC unveils Unity family, on mission to modernise

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At the EMC World conference in las Vegas this week, the global storage leader announced a new storage family designed to simplify and modernise the data centre.

At EMC World in Las Vegas this week, global storage leader EMC Corporation announced EMC Unity, a new family of storage systems that helps simplify and modernise the data center. Unity is the latest member of EMC’s all flash portfolio, delivering highly affordable file and block storage for small and medium-sized IT departments. Unity joins EMC’s portfolio of all-flash storage arrays – XtremIO, VMAX All Flash and DSSD D5. This, says the company, ensures that “no matter what a customer needs, EMC has a purpose-built solution to fit virtually any data center use case”.

EMC provided the following information:

EMC Unity offers cloud-like proactive management and monitoring through a modern HTML5 task-oriented interface that leads the user through daily operations and integrates with VMware and Microsoft ecosystems for easy third-party management. It features new Proactive Assist capabilities designed to give IT control, visibility and automated management of Unity storage systems. Unity service data can also be viewed within EMC MyService360, a new online service providing customers with real-time visibility into the health and wellness of their EMC environment. MyService360 provides IT with analysis of EMC product code levels, connectivity status, capacity alerts, service activity by site, and more.

Modern

With 3X the performance of EMC’s previous generation VNX arrays, EMC Unity can deliver up to 300K IOPS. EMC Unity is purpose-built to deliver value to customers with predictable all-flash performance and enterprise-class features including:

• True dual-active controller architecture

• Support for file, block and VVols

• Snapshots and remote sync/async replication

• Native, controller-based encryption

• New scalable file-system for transactional and traditional file use cases

• VMware VASA 2.0, VAAI, VVols, VMware-Aware Integration

• Complete REST-API for automation and DevOps use cases

• Integrated Copy Data Management with EMC iCDM

• Zero-impact garbage collection

Flexible

Since every business has its own unique storage challenges, Unity has been designed to offer greater flexibility and deployment options than competing data storage offerings.  With the ability to scale up to 3 Petabytes (PB) and up to 300K IOPS, EMC Unity is the industry’s first data storage solution for midsized IT to be available in all of the following unified configurations:

• Purpose-built: Unity is available as a purpose-built all-flash array, designed from the ground up for the flash data center. Additionally, Unity can be deployed in a hybrid configuration to meet individual business requirements

• Software-Defined: UnityVSA offers the advanced file and block storage and data management features of Unity to be easily deployed as a virtual appliance

• Converged: VCE Vblock and VxBlock System 350 configurations are orderable immediately

Affordable

Designed for all flash, Unity provides some of the best flash economics in the industry, starting under $18,000. Additional inline data services will be added in the future to further lower effective $/GB cost. Unity also introduces a new level of affordability for customers deploying hybrid arrays, with prices starting under $10,000. Unity provides incredible unified storage density, with up to 80TB of all-flash storage in a dense, 2U array.

Protected

EMC believes that data protection should be an integral part of the design and deployment of every data storage environment. Unity offers tight integration with EMC Data Domain® and EMC Data Protection Suite to ensure that workloads are seamlessly protected.

All-flash Unity options also qualify for EMC’s Xpect More program, offering lifetime maintenance price protection, flash endurance protection and three-year money-back warranty.

Availability

EMC Unity is available for purchase immediately. All-flash configurations start at under $18,000. Hybrid array configurations start at under $10,000.

“EMC Unity offers modern data center simplicity and all-flash performance in an affordable package,” says Jeff Boudreau, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mid-Range Solutions, Core Technologies Division at EMC. “Designed specifically to get the most out of all-flash media, EMC is making it simpler and more affordable for both SMEs and enterprises to modernize their data centers. With the launch of Unity, 2016 is truly the year of all-flash for EMC.”

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Rain, Telkom Mobile, lead in affordable data

A new report by the telecoms regulator in South Africa reveal the true consumer champions in mobile data costs

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The latest bi-annual tariff analysis report produced by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) reveals that Telkom Mobile data costs for bundles are two-thirds lower than those of Vodacom and MTN. On the other hand, Rain is half the price again of Telkom. 

The report focuses on the 163 tariff notifications lodged with ICASA during the period 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018.

“It seeks to ensure that there is retail price transparency within the electronic communications sector, the purpose of which is to enable consumers to make an informed choice, in terms of tariff plan preferences and/or preferred service providers based on their different offerings,” said Icasa.

ICASA says it observed the competitiveness between licensees in terms of the number of promotions that were on offer in the market, with 31 promotions launched during the period. 

The report shows that MTN and Vodacom charge the same prices for a 1GB and a 3GB data bundle at R149 and R299 respectively.  On the other hand, Telkom Mobile charges (for similar-sized data bundles) R100 (1GB) and R201 (3GB). Cell C discontinued its 1GB bundle, which was replaced with a 1.5GB bundle offered at the same price as the replaced 1GB data bundle at R149. 

Rain’s “One Plan Package” prepaid mobile data offering of R50 for a 1GB bundle remains the most affordable when compared to the offers from other MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators).  

“This development should have a positive impact on customers’ pockets as they are paying less compared to similar data bundles and increases choice,” said Icasa.

The report also revealed that the cost of out-of-bundle data had halved at both MTN and Vodacom, from 99c per Megabyte a year ago to 49c per Megabyte in the first quarter of this year. This was still two thirds more expensive than Telkom Mobile, which has charged 29c per Megabyte throughout this period (see graph below).

Meanwhile, from having positioned itself as consumer champion in recent years, Cell C has fallen on hard times, image-wise: it is by far the most expensive mobile network for out-of-bundle data, at R1.10 per Megabyte. Its prices have not budged in the past year.

The report highlights the disparities between the haves and have-nots in the dramatically plummeting cost of data per Megabyte as one buys bigger and bigger bundles on a 30-day basis (see graph below).

For 20 Gigabyte bundles, all mobile operators are in effect charging 4c per Megabyte. Only at that level do costs come in at under Rain’s standard tariffs regardless of use.

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Qualcomm wins 5G as Apple and Intel cave in

A flurry of announcements from three major tech players ushered in a new mobile chip landscape, wrItes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Last week’s shock announcement by Intel that it was canning its 5G modem business leaves the American market wide open to Qualcomm, in the wake of the latter winning a bruising patent war with Apple.

Intel Corporation announced its intention to “exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices”.

Intel said it would also continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business, sharpening its focus on a market expected to be dominated by Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson.

Intel said it would continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but did not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020. In other words, it would no longer be supplying chips for iPhones and iPads in competition with Qualcomm.

“We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realise the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.”

The news came immediately after Qualcomm and Apple issued a joint announced of an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, along with a six-year license agreement, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

Apple had previously accused Qualcomm of abusing its dominant position in modem chips for smartphones and charging excessive license fees. It ordered its contract manufacturers, first, to stop paying Qualcomm for the chips, and then to stop using the chips altogether, turning instead to Intel.
With Apple paying up and Intel pulling out, Qualcomm is suddenly in the pound seats. It shares hit their highest levels in five years after the announcements.

Qualcomm said in a statement: “As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT — including smart cities, smart homes, and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio.”

Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics released a report on the same day that showed Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia will lead the market in core 5G infrastructure, namely Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment, by 2023 as the 5G market takes off. Huawei is expected to have the edge as a result of the vast scale of the early 5G market in China and its long term steady investment in R&D. According to a report entitled “Comparison and 2023 5G Global Market Potential for leading 5G RAN Vendors – Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia”, two outliers, Samsung and ZTE, are expected to expand their global presence alongside emerging vendors as competition heats up.

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