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re:Invent :: AWS gives IoT an edge with 4 new services

AWS IoT Events, unveiled in Las Vegas this week, gives customers the ability to detect and respond to events from large numbers of IoT sensors and applications, quickly and easily.

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At re:Invent in Las Vegas this week, Amazon Web Services, announced four significant services and capabilities that make it easier to ingest data from edge devices and build rich Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
* AWS IoT SiteWise is a new managed service that collects, structures, and searches IoT data from industrial facility devices and uses it to analyze equipment and process performance data.
* AWS IoT Events is a managed IoT service that makes it easy to detect and respond to changes indicated by IoT sensors and applications, such as malfunctioning equipment or a stuck conveyor belt, and automatically trigger actions or alerts.
* AWS IoT Things Graph is a new service that makes it easy to build IoT applications with little or no code by connecting different devices and cloud services, such as linking humidity sensors to sprinklers to weather data services to create an agricultural application, through a visual drag-and-drop interface.
 * AWS IoT Greengrass Connectors gives developers the ability to connect third-party applications like ServiceNow for service management, on-premises software like Splunk for log analytics, and AWS services like Amazon Kinesis for data ingest via common cloud Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). With this ability, developers can easily add more features like location-based services, replenishment, industrial data processing, alarm and messaging, repair and maintenance, logistics, and more, without writing code. To get started, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/iot.
“Customers tell us they want to spend less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of getting different devices and services to work together and more time innovating on full-featured IoT applications,” said Dirk Didascalou, Vice President IoT, AWS. “We are giving customers tools that remove the cost and complexity of building applications at the edge with rich data sources to drive better business decision-making. This frees them up to spend time innovating in their core business, instead of writing code to connect devices and applications and to ingest actionable sensor data.”
Industrial companies such as manufacturers, energy utilities, and food processors want to be able to utilise their device data to drive faster and better-informed decisions, but much of this data cannot be easily collected, processed, or monitored. Extracting data from thousands of sensors across different locations is time consuming and expensive and device data is often stored on-site in specialised servers. To help customers realise the value of their industrial data, AWS is announcing:
AWS IoT SiteWise (available in preview) is a managed service that collects data from the plant floor, structures and labels the data, and generates real time key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to help customers make better, data-driven decisions. Customers can use AWS IoT SiteWise to monitor operations across facilities, quickly compute common industrial performance metrics, build applications that analyse industrial equipment data to prevent costly equipment issues, and reduce gaps in production. Customers will be able to collect data consistently from devices, identify issues with remote monitoring more quickly, and improve cross-site processes with centralised data. To learn more about IoT SiteWise, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/iot/iot-sitewise.
AWS IoT Events (available in preview) is a managed service that makes it easy for industrial, consumer, and commercial customers to detect and respond to events from many different IoT sensors and applications. Events are patterns of data that identify changes in equipment like a conveyor belt becoming stuck or a motion sensor detecting movement after hours. Using IoT Events, customers can easily detect events like this at massive scale by analysing data across thousands of IoT sensors and hundreds of equipment management applications in real time. For example, when temperature changes indicate that a freezer door is not sealing properly, business logic can be used through AWS IoT Events to send a text message to a service technician. To get started with AWS IoT Events, visit https://aws.amazon.com/iot-events.
Bayer is a global enterprise with a core focus in the life sciences fields of health care and agriculture. “At Bayer, we constantly strive for the highest operational equipment effectiveness (OEE) within our manufacturing facilities by capturing, monitoring, and analyzing equipment metrics,” said Peri Subrahmanya, Product Manager, IoT, Bayer U.S. Crop Science. “AWS IoT SiteWise allows for a seamless data capture of relevant open platform communications (OPC) data streams via a gateway device and modeling of our shelling, treating, and chopping equipment in the cloud in order to help build analytical dashboards. We can then use these dashboards to identify inefficiencies and take corrective action.”
New capabilities make it easier to build IoT applications
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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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