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Heat map for big data

A new wave of applications leveraging real-time data to provide accurate insights into challenges and opportunities is making an entry to Intelligent Enterprise, says JULIE TREGURTHA, Head of Database & Data Management at SAP Africa.

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The business world is undergoing a total transformation as new technologies enable the rapid processing and analysis of huge volumes of data in real-time, equipping business leaders with unprecedented insight into granular detail of every aspect of their business. A new wave of applications leveraging real-time data to provide accurate insights into challenges and opportunities is heralding the entry of the Intelligent Enterprise. But such changes do not come without significant challenges.

The escalating volume of data and the organisational complexity required to collect and store the data and then analyse it for insights that can deliver business value is forcing IT leaders to fundamentally rethink their data storage and database management strategies. As technologies such as IoT generate exponentially more data, IT leaders will have to transform their approach not only to how data is stored and managed right now but build strategies that can equip the enterprise with the agility to manage tomorrow’s challenges too.

The escalating challenge of data storage

Not too long ago, data scientists maintained that the volume of data would double every two years to reach 40 zettabytes – or 40 trillion gigabytes – by 2020. As the Internet of Things becomes increasingly pervasive, though, that figure has been revised to 44ZB, incorporating increasing volumes of non-text data such as video, graphics and other visual media.

A recent SAP study of more than 500 IT decision-makers around the world found that 74% of business leaders felt their data landscape is so complex that it limits their agility, with 86% saying they were not getting the most out of their data. When the billions of sensors connected to the Internet of Everything comes online (according to Gartner anything between 12 and 30 billion sensors will be active by 2020) the volume of data will increase exponentially, making it even more important to store data in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

Compounding the problem is the typical enterprise’s reliance on a mix of older and next-generation data storage tools, ranging from high-end in-memory computing platforms to tapes and external hard drives. Without integrating these data sets into a cohesive core, the data residing in such environments holds little to no value to the business. And considering the sheer volume of data a modern enterprise generates, data storage strategies need to evolve quickly to enable IT leaders to deliver real-time value to the business using accurate insights gained from verified data.

Plotting big data on a temperature heat map

One measure enterprises may take in storing and managing data more effectively is to classify data according to its ‘temperature’, from hot to cold. Hot data is the most accessed and includes the likes of the latest sales data. According to studies, this type of data accounts for less than 20% of a typical enterprise’s stored data. Hot data needs to be accessed frequently and as such performs best when stored in-memory where it can be retrieved quickly.

Cold data is the remaining 80% of an enterprise’s data which is accessed less than 10% of the time. It’s not typically cost-effective to store this type of data in-memory, despite the falling cost of memory.

Enterprises wishing to allocate a temperature to different types of data to more effectively store and retrieve such data need to look at a form of dynamic storage hierarchy. While it’s important to have experienced and skilled database administrators driving the initial process of developing the data storage strategy, it is impossible for humans to determine the heat of data manually.

Here, a database management platform that can support different data management strategies can deliver the best value. SAP HANA enables advanced analytics running alongside high-speed transactions in real-time for hot data while also integrating with cold data solutions such as Hadoop as well as other external data storage solutions. In one IDC white paper, businesses using SAP HANA realised a five-year ROI of 575% while enabling 40% higher productivity and 29% more efficient database management.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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