Archive for Maj, 2011

Greening the data centre – it’s not just about saving the environment

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Going green may be a growing trend when it comes to IT and the data centre, but the current driving factor behind greening the data centre is not about saving the environment. While this may be a nice fringe benefit, the reality is that companies are running out of space, power, or cooling, or a combination of these. This means that ‘green’ technology has evolved not only out of the need to manage energy, but the need to actually keep businesses running.

The evolution of data centres from mainframes in the past to the server rooms of today has always been about making data centres smaller, cooler and quieter, and this evolution has not changed. New, greener technology not only helps to conserve energy, it takes up less space, requires less cooling and enables organisations to do more with less, essentially solving the current problems facing the data centre. As a result of this, and of ever tightening IT budgets, organisations are looking towards these technologies and solution providers are continuously innovating products to meet this need.

One of the developments currently supporting the green data centre is smart servers and computers that hibernate processors when they are not in use.
This not only cuts down on energy usage, it also dramatically lowers cooling requirements, especially during off-peak times when server demand is low.
Instead of constantly running at full speed the machines can automatically switch into energy save mode, intelligently managing power usage according to demand.

Another innovation that has changed the data centre is the growing adoption of Solid State Drives (SSD), which uses far less energy than standard hard drives and requires significantly less cooling as a result. This combination of smart computers with more efficient storage is enabling better performance using less energy, and when used in conjunction with virtualisation can deliver highly efficient, space economical and powerful data centres for the modern business. However, faster adoption of SSDs is hindered by cost as it is still a new technology.

Virtualisation as a technology has supported greener, more efficient data centres, by enabling organisations to run multiple databases across multiple servers that deliver a ‘consolidated’ view of resources rather than dedicating individual servers per a database. Virtualisation reduces the need to upgrade or add hardware, again helping to conserve space and better manage cooling and energy requirements.

Aside from the hardware, other developments have taken place such as innovative rack design that allows for more efficient channelling of airflow to decrease heat, and blade servers have evolved to become more compact and efficient than ever. Looking outside of the data centre, there is a strong move towards cloud based storage and services as well as software on demand.
This lessens the burden on organisations’ own physical infrastructure by reducing requirements on the data centre.

As international pressure increases for IT to become more energy efficient, larger organisations in particular are beginning to look towards greener technology in the data centre. In Europe, there are plans in place to begin penalising and taxing companies that do not decrease their carbon emissions by a certain percentage, and while there is nothing of the sort currently in South Africa, this could become a reality for local businesses. This means that businesses will need to become more conscious of their requirements and energy usage if they are to remain competitive.

Making data centres more energy efficient is not necessarily just about technology. Organisations need to think smart and learn how to use existing resources to full advantage. New services do not necessarily require more servers, and part of conserving energy needs to include an understanding of current usage and where improvements can be made to fully leverage the existing infrastructure.

Energy management may not be the biggest driver behind the adoption of green technology currently, but in the future this will be a key differentiator.
As space becomes more constrained and demand for more efficient energy usage grows, data centres will become more environmentally friendly while at the same time saving organisations money and supporting ever-increasing volumes of data.

By Pieter le Roux, Technical Director at Webcom

e-Commerce not as relevent as it could be

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

South Africa has, over the years, gradually moved towards providing an enabling environment for e-commerce to take place. Regulation such as the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002, which aims to facilitate e-commerce by creating legal certainty and promoting trust and confidence in the electronic landscape, and the recently passed Consumer Protection Act of 2010, has provided increased security and peace of mind for consumers which has allowed for more online trade to take place.

As a result, more South African consumers have gained confidence in online transactions. The latest MasterCard Worldwide survey on online shopping revealed that 51% of South Africans with Internet access are shopping online. According to the survey, online retailers remain optimistic about revenue growth and this is further supported by the fact that even 2 years ago in 2009 e-commerce sites such as Kalahari.net saw their revenues increase between 20-25% compared to the previous year. As optimistic as these figures may seem, a large number of South Africans still do not have access to the e-commerce trade. Out of a population of about 49 million people, only six million have access to the Internet – a reality that counteracts efforts to make e-commerce viable in our local economy. It poses a missed opportunity for a bigger market share for entrepreneurs who buy and sell in the virtual space.

E-commerce cannot thrive without access to a computer and an affordable broadband network. With almost half of the South African population living below the poverty line and 24% of it unemployed, the price of new computers is beyond the reach of most people. Companies that provide refurbished computers and peripherals that are sold at a fraction of the price of a brand new PC  enable the lower LSM market to afford the opportunity of accessing ICT when it was previously impossible and open a door of opportunity to provide technology resources that ultimately improve society’s ICT skills, create jobs and accelerate e-commerce activity. It is only when the man on the street has access to the virtual world that the potential and convenience of e-commerce will be understood and utilised on a broader scale.

Lower LSM consumers will need more guidance in understanding the dynamics of online transacting, security and how they are protected by South African law against unethical online businesses. Change management strategies need to be put in place to shift mindsets and change negative perceptions about buying products and services online. Entrepreneurs need to instil a culture of online trading by encouraging their existing customers to experience the convenience of virtual shopping on their portals. In time, if the experience is seamless and timeous, word of mouth will increase impact on usage.

T-Systems SA appoints Giancarlo Fenderico as new Strategic Partner Manager

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Giancarlo Fenderico has been appointed the Strategic Partner Manager for T-Systems South Africa – an appointment that represents the company taking a more strategic, focused and aligned approach to its partner model in the country.

Fenderico will in the next two months embark on a fact-finding mission, liaising with all stakeholders and partners to ascertain their immediate expectations and how T-Systems can address these – be it larger issues or smaller, daily challenges.

“Together with my team we are going to work very hard to develop an overarching model that ensures we establish partnerships that are not only mutually beneficial but also delivers true value to our customers.

“Indeed, we would like to establish a ‘One Portfolio’, which mirrors our global approach to partners, that effectively marries marketing, legal and accounts management in one cohesive unit,” he explains.

Fenderico also comments that there will be an increasing focus on governance models to ensure that all processes are ethical and transparent.  “We will ensure that our partners know exactly how they fit into our model – it will be a clearly defined tiered process.  Furthermore, there will be very clear rules of engagement backed by solid business plans going forward.  Again, this underscores are need for a strong level of transparency.”

Before joining T-Systems in the beginning of 2011, Fenderico was responsible for establishing and running the SAP Practice at Siemens SA.SAP best practices and business at Siemens SA.  His career also includes a tenure at KPMG in the US, and Germany, again specialising in the SAP environment.

“This role which will provide me with the opportunity to marry my people skills with my strong understanding of technology,” he concludes.

Asbis Africa now an Asus distributor in SA

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Components distributor Asbis Africa has been appointed to distribute the Asus range of components in South Africa with immediate effect.

Elsie Woods, product manager at Asbis Africa, comments: “Asbis continues to successfully distribute motherboards, graphics cards and monitors, among other components, for the world’s renowned component brands. This appointment will increase the Asus product portfolio availability in South Africa.”

“Asbis Africa will focus on product logistics and customer offerings, adding value to the Asus component products and adding further value in the supply chain to the channel,” says David Chen, product manager at Asus South Africa.

Woods says the Asus component range is comprehensive, catering for the needs of everyday light users right through to the specialised requirements of heavy gamers.

“The team at Asbis will play our part in assisting Asus to meet their growth targets for the South African market in 2011,” Woods adds.

Asus components are highly rated in the business and gaming market.  Asus prides itself on innovation and, at the CES show in Las Vegas this year, had eight products chosen for the CES 2011 Innovations Awards program in the Personal Electronics, Computer Hardware, Home Networking and Audio Accessories categories.

Asus has been active in developing the PC gaming hardware scene for years, creating the Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand to ensure the best technology and design are available to gaming enthusiasts worldwide. The new Asus components that were launched this year demonstrate Asus’ commitment to PC gaming and its determined drive in making the user experience more rewarding and accessible.

Fujitsu Celsius models combine power and mobility

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Fujitsu is addressing the growing market demand for mobile workstations by introducing two new high-end CELSIUS mobile models. The new Fujitsu CELSIUS H910 and CELSIUS H710 mobile workstations are targeted at user of processor-, memory- and graphics-intensive applications such as CAD/CAM and graphics rendering, by delivering power that was previously only available from desktop workstations.

Combining mobility with high levels of performance, the new Fujitsu CELSIUS H910 and CELSIUS H710 models offer a long battery run-time and powerful, professional NVIDIA® Quadro® GPUs with CUDA technology for advanced visualization, plus 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors to speed up workflows. ISV certification guarantees that professional applications will run smoothly and reliably. Both models have non-glare Full HD displays, essential for design professionals working on the move.

Workstation users often require multiple, large desktop displays since tasks such as high-end CAD and video production can be done much more effectively on a big screen. By way of example, film or video game production requires computing power-intensive adjustments to high-resolution video. Fujitsu took this into account when designing the new CELSIUS H910, which delivers the largest-ever CELSIUS mobile workstation display, at 43.9 cm (17.3-inches). Ultra-high-end users can specify top-of-the-range graphics, creating a new upper performance category for the mobile workstation field.

The smaller CELSIUS H710 is the successor to the popular CELSIUS H700 model, which found widespread popularity in a range of industries requiring workstation power and mobility, such as electrical design, electrical engineering, financial services, digital content creation, architecture, engineering and construction.

Ross Olver, Portfolio Manager, Business Clients at Fujitsu says: “The trend towards mobile workstations continues to grow. At Fujitsu, we understand that professionals in a range of industries need both mobility and computing power; the CELSIUS H910 and CELSIUS H710 address this.”

Fujitsu’s CELSIUS H910 and CELSIUS H710 are available in Japan and across the EMEA and India region, effective immediately.

Addressing the C in ICT

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Local ICT service provider, Khwinisa Technologies, has invested in Loocha Magazine, an initiative whereby Government and the private sector can communicate directly to the youth of South Africa, informing them of various opportunities. As South Africa’s official youth empowerment publication, Loocha will be launched and available in stores during Youth Month in June 2011.

Khwinisa CEO Collen Mashawana says this programme aims to address the C in ICT. “C stands for Communications and it is vital for Government to communicate effectively with our youth in order for them to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them today.”

The magazine’s pre-launch was held recently at the Da Vinci Hotel on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton and attracted the likes of former City Press editor and Government Communications and Information System boss Vusi Mona and also Uhuru Communication’s director Lebo Gunguluza, the publishers of this exciting magazine.

Loocha is the first of its kind through its eclectic editorial combination in covering themes ranging from lifestyle, entertainment, sports, to career guidance. But most importantly, it puts emphasis on education, life skills mentorship, entrepreneurship and legacy issues. Loocha is an aspirational youth publication that prides itself in providing relevant content with the objective of remaining informative, educational, inspirational, entertaining, interactive and empowering.

Floyd Shivambu, ANC Youth League (ANCYL) spin doctor who was one of the speakers, says the magazine is not in any way linked to the ANCYL, but will act as a platform where Government can communicate directly with the youth about programmes available to them. “As SA’s hottest youth empowerment and upliftment magazine for readers aged between 16 and 35, Loocha aims to inform, educate, entertain, empower and inspire young people.”

Mashawana says the name Loocha is inspired by the Nguni word ulutsha meaning youth. “One of our most crucial objectives is to bridge the information gap between the youth, Government and industry so prevalent in today’s society.”

“Loocha will act as a platform where Government and industry can communicate directly with the youth regarding programmes and opportunities available to the South African youth and in exchange the youth can use Loocha as their trusted tool to access information on youth programmes and opportunities available at different youth institutions, be it in the public or private sector,” he concludes.

The Loocha Youth Magazine will be distributed nationally throughout South Africa, it will be distributed to local all municipalities across the 9 provinces; through as many high schools and tertiary institutions as possible across the 9 provinces and will also be distributed to all government departments with youth divisions across the country.

Loocha will also be available at leading retail outlets (Shoprite Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay, Spar, CNA, Exclusive Books) and filling stations (Shell, Caltex, Engen, BP) at a subsidised affordable cover price.

MTN recognized as Top African Corporate Brand

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

MTN was capped as Africa’s most valued consumer brand, along South Africa as the continent’s most valuable nation brand in 2011.

South Africa’s recognition was on the back of its successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, among the contributory factors. MTN’s brand perception was also greatly supported by its affiliation to the FIFA World Cup, of which MTN was the first and only African global sponsor.

The announcement was made at the launch of the 4th BrandFinance Global Nation Brands league awards and the launch of the first BrandFinance African Nation Brand League in Johannesburg today.

The BrandFinance Global Nation Brands league covered a global sample of 138 nation brands, including 36 African nations.  The top 10 countries in Africa were South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Tunisia, Ghana, Kenya and Libya.

“MTN’s ranking as Africa’s most valued consumer brand is a pleasant Africa Day surprise for MTN, and news of the accolade will be well received across our global footprint, especially in Africa where we are equally the most admired brand and leading corporate in the vast majority of our markets,” says MTN Marketing Executive, Jennifer Roberti.

Coming hot on the heels of being included as the only African brand in the 2011 BrandFinance Global 500 league table, the latest accolade bears testament to our Africa and marketing know-how.

“This shows the phenomenal growth of the MTN business in most operations, whether measured in terms of value share or subscriber numbers – for example nearly 70% of MTN’s total subscribers are in African markets, with Nigeria contributing 40.2 million, Ghana 9 million, South Africa 19 million and Uganda 6.9 million and Cote d’Ivoire 5.4 million,” says Roberti.

MTN is Africa’s leading mobile operator, with 147.2 million subscribers on the continent and in the Middle East.

HP Personalises Customer Support Experience for Instant-On, Connected World

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

HP today announced a milestone in its evolution of Always On Support by empowering clients and HP partners to solve support issues on their own terms by providing access to the information, people and technology needed to personalise their support experience.

Enterprises need to optimise products, exchange ideas with peers and proactively prevent problems to succeed in today’s dynamic environment. The new HP Support Centre platform delivers one-stop access to IT professionals, online support tools and the industry’s first mobile technical support application.
In fact, deployments of the HP Support Centre platform have resulted in an 18 percentage point increase in web support customer satisfaction and a 30 percentage point increase in resolving clients’ support requests in the first attempt.

“Clients in an instant-on world expect a support experience that delivers immediate access to relevant people and information,” said Leon Erasmus, Technology Services Country Manager, HP South Africa. “Our approach to support has evolved to be more accessible and available – on our clients’ terms – so they can get the most value out of their IT environments.”

The HP Support Centre platform offers clients:
One-stop access to the HP Always On community to interact with thousands of IT professionals, exchange best practices in problem resolution, and submit content to the knowledgebase. In addition to standard keyword and product search capabilities, clients can rapidly locate information through a step-by-step troubleshooting tool and access the most popular support documents.

Instant mobile technical support to speed problem resolution for HP and select third-party products via mobile devices. HP is the first to deliver this patent-pending innovation, which leverages the capabilities of smartphone platforms. Expected to be available in app stores for webOS, Android and iOS 4 this summer.

Online support process management to troubleshoot issues, manage contracts and warranties, submit support cases and connect with HP experts online. These processes are integrated with HP’s call centre infrastructure, resulting in a convergence of service delivery models that improves a clients’ overall support experience.

Availability
All capabilities are available at no additional cost as part of warranty, HP Care Pack Services and contractual support agreements. Some capabilities require specific levels of support. HP Support Centre will be available globally next month. More information is available at [www.hp.com/services/supportcenterintro].

The enhanced HP Support Center is an enabler of the Instant-On Enterprise, which embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with whatever they need, instantly.

HP’s premier client event, HP DISCOVER, takes place June 6 – 10 in Las Vegas and Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 in Vienna, Austria. The event showcases how organisations can get started on their Instant-On Enterprise journeys.

DCC launches WD’s largest capacity 3 TB SATA hard drives for AV

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Distributor Drive Control Corporation has launched Western Digital’s addition of the 2.5 TB and 3 TB versions to its family of WD AV-GP SATA hard drives, serving the audio-video (AV) market. Shipping immediately, the 2.5 TB and 3 TB capacity, 3.5-inch, WD AV-GP hard drives offer 24X7 reliability, low power consumption and unrivalled storage capacity for storage-intensive AV applications such as digital video recorders, video surveillance, single-drive media servers and external multimedia storage.

“Designed to go the distance in high-temperature, always-on streaming digital AV environments, WD AV-GP drives store more hi-def audio and video than ever before with our new 2.5 TB and 3 TB versions,” says Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD’s branded products and CE business units. “Combine unsurpassed capacity, power-saving WD GreenPower Technology, and performance capabilities to capture up to 12 simultaneous HD video streams with SilkStream technology and the drive choice is made clear in optimising AV applications like PVR/DVR, IPTV and video surveillance.”

Says Linsay Narayanan, WD Product Specialist at DCC, “This latest addition to the WD range of products will allow our resellers to meet the demands of AV environments such as casino’s and corporates that employ security cameras. In addition, these products are energy efficient which also meets the requirement to reduce energy consumption which is high on the agenda of most businesses today.”

The WD AV-GP family of drives delivers 24X7 reliability along with power-saving WD GreenPower Technology. The WD AV-GP drives are field tested to have a 1.0 million hour MTBF rating. Drives with capacities in excess of 2.19 TB currently present barriers for certain PC hardware, firmware and software. For example, drives larger than 2.19 TB are not supported by systems running Windows XP; and systems with 32-bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7 relegate drives larger than 2.19 TB to be used as secondary drives. Thus, it is important to review existing PC specifications prior to installation of either the 2.5 TB or 3 TB WD AV-GP drives.

Frost & Sullivan Brings Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) to Africa

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Across the globe, CEOs identify growth as their number one priority. However, many feel that they lack effective tools to overcome the challenges that prevent them from achieving their growth targets.

Nowhere are these factors more evident than in Africa, where the enormous potential for growth is matched only by the challenges business face in achieving it. Issues such as restrictive regulatory environments, geo-political instability and difficulty in raising capital are uppermost in the minds of many CEOs on the continent.

Finding effective ways to address these challenges and accelerate growth will be the key messages of GIL 2011: Africa, Frost & Sullivan’s inaugural Growth, Innovation and Leadership event on the continent. As a high-level congress aimed at CEOs and their senior management teams, GIL 2011: Africa will help businesses to find ways of unlocking their potential and delivering effective growth strategies.

The keynote address at the event will be delivered by Frost & Sullivan Chairman David Frigstad, who will examine the CEO’s perspective on growth.

“The modern CEO operates in a complex business universe, in which many different factors are constantly moving and changing,” Mr. Frigstad says.
“Frost & Sullivan’s model provides an integrated industry perspective that gives the CEO a solid platform from which they can develop effective growth strategies.”

Importantly, the CEO needs support in this endeavor.

“No one person can handle this on their own,” Mr. Frigstad says. ” The CEO needs to create an independent group of senior managers focused on long-term growth strategies. This we call the CEO’s growth team, and it should be made up of people who are optimistic, dynamic team players and who think outside the box. This growth team must operate in an environment of growth, innovation and leadership.”

CEOs and their growth teams will be the key beneficiaries of GIL 2011:
Africa. Apart from Mr. Frigstad’s address, delegates will also have the opportunity to evaluate the most pressing factors affecting their companies over the next decade with Frost & Sullivan Partner Dorman Followill. His presentation entitled “Top 10 Mega-Trends – Insight into 2020 and Beyond”
will guide discussions on the changing global business environment.

This address will be complimented by interactive sessions on innovation and the keys to succeeding in African markets. Delegates will also have the opportunity to interact with Frost & Sullivan’s industry experts and their peers in six “Industry Think Tank Tracks” covering the areas of Energy & Power; Chemicals, Materials & Food; ICT; Healthcare; Mining; and Manufacturing Automation & Process Control.

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