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End for Server 2003

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Earlier this month, Microsoft discontinued its support for Windows Server 2003. Although this has left many companies in a panic, it presents an ideal opportunity to upgrade to a newer, more secure operating system.

The final chapter has been written in the story of one of the most widely deployed operating systems in Microsoft’s history. As of midnight last Monday, 14 July, the company ceased offering support for Windows Server 2003. This means that there will be no more security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options or online technical content updates from Microsoft for the ageing platform.

Over the course of the last twelve years, business infrastructure solutions built to run on Windows Server 2003 operating system (OS) helped prepare the way for the information age, by making the use of computing power omnipresent across enterprises as well as small to medium sized businesses.

The OS played the starring role in the success stories of many companies by computerising core business operations such as email and data servers for companies of all sizes over the last decade. New business trends such as mobility, cloud computing, the internet of things, and big data analytics, have along with the arrival of more advanced technology, reshaped the business environment to a point beyond Windows Server 2003’s capabilities and technological limits.

“Windows Server 2003 was not designed for the business requirements of the mobile-first, cloud-first world. Companies still using Windows Server 2003 need to implement additional workarounds to run components in the cloud or when they want to deliver a productivity boost to their employees by connecting them with suppliers and customers from anywhere, anytime, as well as any device,” says Leon Wright, Cloud & Enterprise Business Group Lead at Microsoft SA.

Wright added that many organisations will no longer meet many industrywide compliance standards and regulations after support ends. Running unsupported software also carries with it significant security risks, since companies will no longer receive notifications of vulnerabilities that may affect their servers.

Capitalising upon the modernisation opportunity

The end of support for Windows Server 2003 can have serious impact on your business, but it also represents an opportunity to modernise and upgrade to more powerful, more capable technologies that support improved performance for your organisation.

·       Upgrading to newer OS versions like Windows Server 2012 R2 will ensure that businesses have access to a scalable platform that is able to support the way business is being done in the digital era.

·       Modernising infrastructure by migrating workloads such as Exchange to Microsoft Office 365 will help staff experience the latest productivity innovations and also reduce your management burden.

·       Web applications can be migrated to Microsoft Azure for the improved reach, scale and cost efficiency.

“On the whole, the modernisation process should result in businesses experiencing significant benefits that include improved performance, higher reliability, enhanced security and increased flexibility in responding to business needs,” concludes Wright.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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