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Intel goes partly cloudy

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Intel has announced a range of new technologies, investments and industry collaborations aimed at making it easier to deploy scalable clouds so businesses can deliver new services faster and drive revenue growth.

Businesses want flexibility and choice in cloud deployment models to support innovation while maintaining control of their most strategic assets. Despite a willingness to invest in modern software-defined infrastructure (SDI), businesses find the prospect of doing so themselves to be complex and time-consuming.

Intel is easing the path with new processors, solid state drives and a range of industry collaborations to help businesses deliver new services at the scale and speed previously found only in the most advanced public clouds.

“Enterprises want to benefit from the efficiency and agility of cloud architecture and on their own terms – using the public cloud offerings, deploying their own private cloud, or both,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Centre Group. “The result is pent-up demand for software-defined infrastructure. Intel is investing to mature SDI solutions and provide a faster path for businesses of all sizes to reap the benefits of the cloud.”

Key Ingredients for the Modern Cloud

SDI is the foundation for the most advanced clouds in the world. It makes the delivery of cloud services faster and more efficient by dynamically allocating the required compute, storage and network resources through intelligent software, carefully orchestrating the delivery of applications and services on-demand and across many users.

The Intel Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 product family, built on 14nm process technology, provides the key ingredients for SDI including Intel Resource Director Technology, which enables customers to move to fully automated SDI-based clouds with greater visibility and control over critical shared resources like processor caches and main memory. The result is intelligent orchestration and improved utilisation and service levels.

The new product family delivers improved performance for cloud tasks with more than 20 percent more cores and cache than the prior generation, supports faster memory, and includes other integrated technologies for accelerating a wide range of server, network and storage workloads. Security enhancements like workload isolation, security policy enforcement and faster cryptography have been added to help protect data more effectively.

For fast and reliable data access to the cloud, Intel unveiled new solid state drives (SSDs) optimised for the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 family, enterprise storage and cloud deployments. The Intel SSD DC P3320 and P3520 Series are the first Intel SSDs to use the industry’s highest density 3D NAND technology to provide users with a highly efficient, dense storage solution. The DC P3320 offers up to a 5-times performance boost compared to SATA-based SSDs.

The new Intel SSD DC D3700 and D3600 Series are Intel’s first dual-port PCI Express SSDs using the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol. The dual-port design provides critical redundancy and failover, safeguarding against data loss in mission-critical storage deployments. Customer systems using the D3700 can see up to a 6-times increase in performance over today’s dual-port SAS solutions.

Unleashing Tens of Thousands of New Clouds

As part of the Intel Cloud for All initiative, Intel is investing in others in the industry to accelerate SDI-enabled clouds, optimising key technologies, and aligning the industry to drive the development of standards and easy-to-deploy cloud solutions.

·         Intel is collaborating with CoreOS and Mirantis to bring together two of the most popular open source technologies to orchestrate container and virtual machine-based applications. The merging of these two technologies into a single solution will simplify choices for cloud operators to accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions.

·         Intel and VMware announced a network of Centres of Excellence aimed at accelerating cloud deployments. The centres will drive custom optimisations, facilitate proof-of-concept testing and integrate cybersecurity best practices in collaboration with The National Institute of Standards and Technology.

·         Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and Intel announced the world’s largest cloud application testing cluster for applications “born in the cloud.” The cluster will include more than 1,000 Intel Xeon processor-based server nodes designed to provide developers with the opportunity to test applications at larger scales and deliver the efficiency and portability of cloud native applications to businesses.

·         Intel is expanding its Cloud Builders programme to include SDI use cases and accelerate ecosystem optimisation efforts that allow customers to take full advantage of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) orchestration and automation. The new Storage Builders programme also aims to accelerate the industry’s use of cloud-ready, next-generation storage solutions by fostering greater innovation by matchmaking between in the cloud ecosystem. Intel currently has more than 300 member companies across its cloud, storage and network “builders” programmes.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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