Updates from September, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • jkabtech 8:17 pm on September 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Roy Hill turns to Azure, SAP for IoT insights 

    Miner’s computer systems take shape.

    Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine has spent the past year co-funding and piloting a data science platform created using Microsoft Azure components including the Azure IoT hub.

    The iron ore miner is the first user of a ‘business analytics’ platform and capability that was co-developed and funded by systems integrator Ajilon Australia alongside Roy Hill.

    It is understood the system is being mostly used to analyse sensor data from heavy mobile equipment (HME) and locomotives used to haul ore from pit to port.

    Typically, the data is being aggregated at Roy Hill – such as in a data historian or ‘data lake’ – and then fed through the business analytics system and up into Azure.

    However, the miner is understood to be also testing analytics on data that is streamed from the field in as near to real-time as is feasible. Ajilon’s national solution lead Peter Hawkins told iTnews this wasn’t yet a “production use case but it’s working”.

    Hawkins said that around the same time as Ajilon began building out an analytics practice in 2015, it learned of Roy Hill’s interest in trialling similar technology.

    The two partnered, and worked closely with Microsoft Azure engineers in Redmond to create a “templated, repeatable” analytics platform based on Microsoft components.

    “We had a direct line into Redmond and were able to call on their engineers building this stuff to resolve some of the challenges

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  • jkabtech 12:17 pm on September 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Avaya to sell networking business for $131 million 

    Extreme Networks emerges as stalking horse bidder.

    Avaya is set to sell its networking business to Extreme Networks for US$100 million (A$131.7 million) as it restructures to stave off bankruptcy.

    The vendor – which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January to reorganise its business – got into the networking market after buying a slice of Nortel in 2009 under similar circumstances.

    Avaya said other “interested parties” could still bid for its networking business, and if they did Extreme’s offer would “set the floor value” in an auction process.

    Any purchase of the assets is expected to close by June 30 this year.

    “As the stalking horse bidder, Extreme will be entitled to a break-up fee and expense reimbursement, if it ultimately does not prevail as the successful bidder at the required auction for Avaya’s assets,” Extreme Networks said in a statement.

    Extreme CEO Ed Meyercord said he expected Avaya’s networking business “to generate over US$200 million in annual revenue”.

    He said it would increase the company’s market share and “offer new opportunities for customers”.

    Avaya’s A/NZ managing director Peter Chidiac sought to reassure customers and partners in a separate statement.

    “While we understand this announcement may cause uncertainty in the market, we want to assure our Australian and New Zealand customers and partners there will be no change to the way we interact with and support them during the sale and ultimate transition process,” he said.

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  • jkabtech 4:17 am on September 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Melbourne Uni turns to wi-fi to limit students to their own faculties 

    Micro DC panel discussion at Cloud & DC Edge 2017. Reveals ‘edge’ processing plans and projects.

    The University of Melbourne is considering a plan to dissuade students from congregating in libraries outside their areas of study by limiting their access to campus wi-fi in those places.

    It is understood that undisclosed faculties have raised concerns that their students are unable to access faculty library resources due to other students using the spaces.

    The university is hoping to tap its campus-wide wi-fi network – which has about 5000 access points – to identify the study areas of students entering or sat in faculty libraries “on-the-fly”.

    Students entering a faculty library not related to their area of study could find their wi-fi access limited as capacity is prioritised to students actually enrolled in that faculty’s studies.

    “Deans of some faculties are not happy that their libraries are being filled with all sorts of students who aren’t necessarily in their faculty, so their own students are missing out,” data centre and facility services manager Will Belcher told the Cloud & DC Edge Summit.

    “They want to try and use the data from the wireless access points and controllers – we track

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  • jkabtech 8:17 pm on September 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Huawei replaces Australian CEO 

    Says strategy won’t change.

    Huawei Australia will replace its CEO James (Xichu) Zhao with immediate effect as part of a global policy to rotate its in-country executives.

    The vendor said Zhao nwould be replaced by Aragon (Xiaojie) Meng, a 12-year Huawei employee who has previously held high-level roles in Europe and Pakistan.

    Meng indicated the vendor’s strategic direction would remain the same despite the leadership change.

    “We will persist on our 4.5G and 5G journey and keep delivering innovative NB-IoT solutions for the energy, utilities, transportation and agriculture industries,” Meng said in a statement.

    “We will help the local telecommunication market to become more efficient, cost effective and create innovative solutions for telecom operators.”

    Meng also indicated a focus on building consumer brand awareness as the company continues to push for greater market share of its flagship handsets.

    Zhao had been Australian CEO for three years. 

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  • jkabtech 12:17 pm on September 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Riverbed buys Xirrus to reach the network edge 

    Strategic play at future of networking.

    Network management vendor Riverbed Technology will take over wireless provider Xirrus in order to be able to offer solutions spanning the full spectrum of a customer’s network.

    The acquisition will add an enterprise-grade wi-fi product to Riverbed’s SteelConnect SD-WAN offering and extend it to the wireless network edge.

    Riverbed chief Jerry M Kennelly said the enterprise network was becoming more difficult for IT departments to manage given the rise of “digital, cloud, and mobile”.

    “A fundamental rethink to networking is required and with this acquisition, Riverbed and our partners are uniquely positioned to provide CIOs and businesses with a software-defined networking approach that delivers unified connectivity and orchestration across the entire network,” he said in a statement.

    Riverbed sees being able to offer enterprises the full range of network solutions as a strategic play aimed at what it sees as a move away from configuring boxes and towards “policy, orchestration and automation”.

    “By combining the advanced wi-fi capabilities of Xirrus and SteelConnect’s intuitive and powerful orchestration, we’re taking a bold step to bring the power of policy-based network management out to the wireless edge,” Paul O’Farrell, senior vice president of the Riverbed SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion business unit, said in a statement.

    The company did not disclose financial terms of the deal. It is expected to close in April.

    Riverbed said Xirrus would continue to be available as a standalone WLAN solution.

    Its acquisition of Xirrus is the latest in a string of networking provider takeovers consolidating the sector.

    HPE acquired Aruba Networks in 2015 for A$3.5 billion, Fortinet took over Meru Networks in the same year, and Brocade bought Ruckus Wireless last year for A$2 billion only to sell it off in February to Arris.

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  • jkabtech 4:17 am on September 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Fibre, wi-fi keep most Shell Prelude staff onshore 

    Flying workers out to floating platform an “exception” rather than rule.

    Implementing a subsea fibre optic link to underpin automation and remote monitoring aboard Shell Australia’s forthcoming Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform means it will only need to fly people out to the plant “by exception”.

    The energy giant joined fellow LNG operator Inpex in 2014 as a foundation customer for a then-new subsea cable between Darwin and Port Hedland.

    The 2000km, $100 million cable was built by Alcatel-Lucent and managed by Nextgen Networks, which is now part of Vocus.

    The Prelude project is being closely watched by the LNG sector as a potential model for future gas extraction from increasingly remote offshore fields.

    Speaking at this month’s Gastech conference in Tokyo, Shell Australia’s vice president of production, David Bird, said Prelude’s systems would mean flying staff out to the remote floating platform “only by exception”.

    The enormous Prelude platform is being equipped with process control, monitoring and automation technology by Emerson. It is also fitted with communications and entertainment systems by Alcatel-Lucent, and both of these are backed by the subsea cable.

    Prelude’s operations will be monitored remotely from Shell Australia’s collaborative work environment (CWE) in Perth, which acts as the company’s main operations centre.

    Shell has set up other CWEs worldwide which provide similar remote support for offshore operations.

    “It’s incumbent on all of us that we minimise

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  • jkabtech 8:17 pm on September 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    NBN Co hits 1Gbps+ speeds in fixed wireless trials 

    Expands footprint by 100,000.

    NBN Co has demonstrated that it can push peak broadband download speeds on its fixed wireless network from 50Mbps to over 1Gbps.

    The company has been conducting a trial of the technology at a site in Ballarat; the same location from which it announced plans to accelerate peak speeds on its fixed wireless network from 50Mbps to 100Mbps.

    NBN Co achieved maximum peak speeds of 1.1Gbps/165Mbps in the trial. It also demonstrated that intermediate speeds of 400/55Mbps and 250/50Mbps were possible.

    The 1Gbps

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  • jkabtech 12:17 pm on September 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Sky TV NZ creates hybrid OpenStack-AWS environment 

    Uses sprints to bed down OpenStack.

    Sky Network Television NZ has set up a hybrid cloud environment using AWS and OpenStack that has cut the time taken to deploy new projects and make changes to its products.

    Created initially with the TV provider’s coders in mind, the environment can also be used by other business functions, which can spin up instances via a self-service portal.

    The project was initiated when developers were asked to create an online video player during last year’s Rio Olympics.

    Though Sky had an existing on-demand player called SkyGo, it backed onto on-premises physical and virtual hardware that the team believed would not scale or reach the performance benchmarks required, and was therefore re-architected to run on cloud instead.

    “We ended up going into AWS initially which turned out pretty well because the way we approached it was well-architected and there was buy-in from all the different stakeholders – including security and networks – right at the start,” infrastructure architect Jean-Pierre Senekal told the OpenStack Summit in Boston.

    “The way we did it was to template everything and automate it.”

    Senekal said Sky then decided it wanted to “transfer that capability that we had in the

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  • jkabtech 4:17 am on September 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Google opens cloud platform in Sydney 

    Long-awaited launch.

    Google has opened the new Sydney region for its cloud platform to customers, nine months after revealing plans to host infrastructure in Australia.

    The web giant today launched three local zones for high availability – as planned – and with services spanning compute, storage, networking and big data.

    PwC Australia, Monash University and Woodside Energy were among enterprise customers that welcomed the arrival of the local presence.

    Woodside revealed at the end of last month that it was working with Google to push the limits of the cloud service as it looks to improve the speed at which it can derive insights from seismic data.

    It is unclear whether it is using the local availability zone; the company today simply said Google cloud platform remained an “on-demand solution” for supercomputing resources.

    PwC Australia’s backing of the local arrival of Google cloud platform points to a potential expansion of the public cloud services used in its “cloud-only” IT infrastructure.

    iTnews revealed in March that PwC had adopted Google’s G-suite for workforce productivity, but the public cloud portion of its outsourced infrastructure was “mostly Amazon and a couple of small workloads in Azure”.

    “The regional expansion of Google cloud platform to Australia will help enable PwC’s rapidly growing need to experiment and innovate and will further extend our work with Google cloud,” PwC Australia CIO Hilda Clune said in a statement.

    Google said it had “thousands” of customers in Australia already using some of its cloud services.

    Since revealing plans in September last year to host its cloud platform in Sydney, the web giant has remained tight-lipped on when it would launch, and with how many services.

    Google said tests had already confirmed significant latency improvements for existing cloud customers that had been hosting workloads in other availability zones and regions, such as Asia or the United States.

    It promised further improvements once the Indigo cable system connecting Perth and Singapore is live in 2019. Google is part of a consortium of companies that has taken over the cable project.

    For now, traffic runs in and out via several east coast paths to Asia and beyond.

    Google said it had appointed Shine Solutions, Servian, 3WKS, Axalon, Onigroup, PwC, Deloitte, Glintech, Fronde and Megaport as certified GCP partners.

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  • jkabtech 8:17 pm on September 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Equinix to fit out remaining part of SY4 data centre 

    Stumps up $55 million.

    Equinix will invest US$42 million (A$54.7 million) into the phase two expansion of its SY4 data centre in Sydney’s south.

    SY4, which is located in the suburb of Alexandria, was announced back in April 2015. The build-out was split into two stages, each with a capacity of 1500 cabinets.

    The company officially brought the first 1500 cabinets online in August last year when it opened the facility, at a cost of US$97 million.

    Now it has announced plans to deploy the remaining 1500 cabinets in the space, bringing the total capacity up to that which it had initially planned for – 3000 cabinets and around 12,500 square metres of usable floor space.

    The operator said demand for cloud services continued to be a driver for expansion.

    Equinix – like others in the space – has established itself up as a major point of interconnection between third-party clouds and an enterprise’s own systems.

    The company’s Australian managing director Jeremy Deutsch said it supported “more than 100 local and multinational companies in SY4.”

    He said the commitment to fit out the remaining portion of the building would enable more organisations to gain “direct, private access to the leading cloud providers, as well as many specific cloud services” as part of hybrid cloud strategies.

    The investment comes as Equinix continues to dominate data centre rankings published by Cloudscene, a data centre directory business owned by entrepreneur Bevan Slattery.

    Equinix was ranked as the top operator across all four geographies tracked by Cloudscene, which covers North America, EMEA, Asia and Oceania, the latter of which encompasses Australia.

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