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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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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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