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Intelligence map reveals holes in local Internet

Oracle has launched an Internet Intelligence Map that delivers unique insights into the impact of Internet disruptions.

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Oracle recently made its Internet Intelligence Map available to provide users with a simple, graphical way to track the health of the internet and gain insight into the impact of events such as natural disasters or state-imposed interruptions. The map is part of Oracle’s Internet Intelligence initiative, which provides insight and analysis on the state of global internet infrastructure. 

“The internet is the backbone of modern business, but it has changed a lot over the last ten years; as more workloads move to the cloud, business infrastructure is growing in scale, complexity and volatility,” says Niral Patel, Managing Director and Technology Leader, Oracle South Africa. “Add to this the Internet of Things (IoT), where connected devices now outnumber humans, and you’ll understand why today’s IT leaders including DevOps, administrators and architects have to closely monitor the internet if they are to build and deploy the next generation of cloud. They will need to understand the volatility of the internet, in terms of availability, performance and security, if they are to provide a high quality service to users, and avoid leaving their company exposed.”

Oracle’s Internet Intelligence Map provides users with a free simple, graphical way to track the health of the internet and gain insight into the impact of events such as outages, natural disasters or state-imposed interruptions. The map is part of Oracle’s Internet Intelligence initiative, which provides insight and analysis on the state of global internet infrastructure. 

Patel points out that South Africa’s broadband internet is delivered via several undersea cables, such as Seacom on Africa’s eastern coastline, the Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) linking South Africa with Kenya and Sudan, and the West Africa Cable System (WACS) spanning the west coast of Africa. 

“Subsea cable outages occur from time to time, which means South African internet users can experience higher latencies with a degradation of service. Although traffic can in most cases be routed via another cable system, a repair vessel needs to be mobilised and it can take a couple of days for it to reach the fault location, with weather and sea conditions impacting the time it takes for the fault to be repaired. 

“Volatility is the internet’s biggest challenge. We forget about the risk and vulnerabilities of infrastructure itself – the actual infrastructure we rely on to run our businesses. If your business relies on internet connectivity to ensure delivery of your services, understanding the health of the internet is very important.”

He has a clear warning for local businesses to be vigilant not only for local conditions, but global events too: “Many businesses don’t realise quite how reliant they are in today’s cloud era. They need better visibility into the health of the global internet so that they can understand how external events prevent them from reaching web-based applications and services. It is only when you have this insight that you can work around those issues to improve availability and performance and deliver a better experience for customers.”

For more than a decade, members of Oracle’s Internet Intelligence team have broken some of the biggest stories about the internet. From BGP hijacks to submarine cable breaks, Oracle’s Internet Intelligence team frequently publishes objective data and analysis that informs public understanding of the technical underpinnings of the internet and its effects on topics like geopolitics and e-commerce. With today’s news, Oracle is now making core analytic capabilities available to everyone via the Internet Intelligence Map. Using one of the world’s most comprehensive internet performance data sets and backed by years of research and analytics, Oracle has developed the premier resource and authority for reliable information on the functioning of the internet.

“The internet is the world’s most important network, yet it is incredibly volatile. Disruptions on the internet can affect companies, governments, and network operators in profound ways,” says Kyle York, vice president of product strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and the general manager for Oracle’s Dyn Global Business Unit. “As a result, all of these stakeholders need better visibility into the health of the global internet. With this offering, we are delivering on our commitment to making it a better, more stable experience for all who rely on it.”

The Internet Intelligence Map presents country-level connectivity statistics based on traceroutes, BGP, and DNS query volumes on a single dashboard. By presenting these three dimensions of internet connectivity side-by-side, users can investigate the impact of an issue on internet connectivity worldwide. 

“It’s important to have a global view of the internet in order to understand how external events prevent users from reaching your web-based applications and services. It is only when you have this insight that you can work around those issues to improve availability and performance,” says Jim Davis, Founder and Principal Analyst of Edge Research Group.

The Internet Intelligence Map is just one of many advanced awareness and visibility tools that help Oracle improve the experience of the cloud by making it better and more reliable every day. This offering is powered by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, which offers a set of core infrastructure services to provide customers the ability to run any workload in the cloud. Only Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides the compute, storage, networking, and edge services necessary to deliver the end-to-end performance required of today’s modern enterprise.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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