Riverbed Technology has announced the findings of its global snapshot survey that looked to see how companies would be approaching any potential critical business application and network strain from employees streaming Olympic coverage and accessing associated content online at the office.
The vast majority of companies, 85%, reported that they were likely to more closely monitor the performance of their applications and networks, including Wi-Fi, specifically because of potential strain due to employees accessing Olympic content, with 42% of these same companies being very likely to monitor more closely. Only 2% stated that they were very unlikely to monitor any differently during the Olympics.
“As athletes prepare for the games, IT organisations need to prepare for the significant increase in network traffic that will occur as a result of employees accessing and streaming online content and applications, and the related increase in volatility of that network demand,” said Mike Sargent, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SteelCentral at Riverbed. “It is crucial for companies to shine a spotlight on the current and anticipated end-to-end performance of business critical applications, especially during major events such as the Olympics. Riverbed delivers that spotlight with our SteelCentral solutions – which provides visibility from the end user device, across the networks, the cloud, the infrastructure, and the apps to help assure great app performance in times of high and volatile network demand.”
Companies expected employees to access Olympic content using the company’s networks, including Wi-Fi, most frequently via their desktops and laptops (48%); followed by smartphones (34%); and then tablets or other non-smartphone devices (18%). At 44%, Brazil was the only country surveyed that believed by a slight margin that most of its employees would access Olympics games coverage at work more from smartphones than desktop or laptop computers, tablets or other non-smartphone devices.
The reason for monitoring employees’ access to Olympic content could potentially be linked to companies being unable to quickly pinpoint and resolve performance issues of critical business applications: Less than half of the companies surveyed, 43%, were very confident that their organisations could safeguard critical applications during high network traffic events such as the Olympics, while 12% were not confident that their companies could handle the added strain and traffic.
In one of the most revealing statistics, companies were asked if they’ve had an issue, even once, with their networks, including Wi-Fi, specifically because employees were accessing content during a popular event such as the Olympics. The majority of companies responded yes (69%), with 30% of these same companies saying that they have experienced more than one episode of issues. The survey also found that the majority (70%) of companies said they would limit or probably limit employees from accessing Olympic content through company networks, including Wi-Fi, in some way, with 24% saying they will definitely limit content and 46% saying they would probably limit content.
Tips from Riverbed on how companies can alleviate strain on their networks:
· Implement real-time end-to-end monitoring for visibility into network and applications.
· Prioritize and optimize company network traffic while reserving bandwidth for business critical applications.
· Distinguish between company assets and BYOD. Allowing BYOD doesn’t mean that employees can bring any device of their choice and be given unmitigated access to the corporate network.
· Team spirit is not just for the athletes competing in the Olympics: Bring siloed IT teams together to plan for any high-priority network events during this time.
· Provide employees TVs for viewing in common areas to ease load on network.
SteelCentral and the Riverbed Application Performance Platform
SteelCentral is the Command Center of Riverbed’s Application Performance Platform, a complete platform that gives CIOs end-to-end application visibility, optimization and control, across the entire enterprise. Riverbed SteelCentral has been recognized as a “Leader” in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) for two consecutive years and “Visionary” in the Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (2014). In addition, Riverbed SteelHead has been recognized as a “Leader” in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization” eight years running
Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets
Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.
Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.
Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps.
Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.
Vodafone Smart Kicka 4
At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.
The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018.
Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games.
Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.
Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer.
The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past.
Huawei Y3 (2018)
The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are.
Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.
Comparing the 3
All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker.
Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.
SA gets digital archive
As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive.
The southafrica.co.za site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.
Designed as a nation building, educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.
The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.
At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.
Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.
“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.
Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.