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Showing posts from July, 2018

Meeting the certificate requirements of the Medical Control Council

The Medical Control Council (MCC) has regulations that stipulates the parameters in which medical service providers operate. These are listed here . Service providers who provide medical services typically monitor the temperature of the environment and to ensure that the sensors used are correctly calibrated they are tested by an accredited laboratory. These are accredited by SANAS . Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Creating digital buildings using the Internet of Things

Buildings are a perfect use case for the Internet of Things (IoT). While the people that populate buildings have connected themselves to the Internet and the digital world using a vast number of social and digital services, the buildings themselves stayed largely unchanged. Here are some personal experiences. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Fork-lifting legacy monitoring systems and migrating to the cloud

Within data centres and telecommunications points of presence, many legacy monitoring solutions exist. The architecture is typically rack mounted hardware that has wired sensors or probes. The hardware has a built-in web server and in most cases also a text based cli. The connectivity is typically via an internal Ethernet network and optionally out of band connectivity via a GSM modem. The user is required to connect out of band to the web server or cli on the hardware. This connection entails an incoming session over the modem that requires approval from the service provider. The service provider usually discourages these type of connections due to hacking. Additionally, the network address of the hardware needs to be associated with a name resolution system and often this is a dynamic DNS type service. This architecture is the basis for many types of botnet attacks. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

The use of IoT devices in data centres

Large scale Internet of Things (IoT) useage in data centres is not prevalent. In most cases, the underlying reasons is a misunderstanding that deployment is not about technical optimisation but financial benefit. In this article we will develop the financial benefit and use case. An example use case would be in the data centre of a bank or financial service providers which has a significant amount of hybrid information technology. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Monitoring of perishable goods in a retail environment

Temperature control and monitoring is the one of the most significant tools in the handling of perishable goods. Maintenance of a high relative humidity, and modification of the atmospheric composition can have a strong add-on effect, but is no substitute for good temperature control. The solution allows the constant and online monitoring of temperature and humidity and provides extensive reporting capabilities for compliance and auditability. Read the article on LinkedIn here .

The Pareto of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an awesome deployment of technology but not a means to an end. It's primary purpose is typically to solve a problem. The most gain you receive from deploying an IoT solution is with the least effort. Put another way, to achieve a perfect solution is not effective as it will take a disproportionate amount of effort. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Puffing about power

Many moons ago as r00igev@@r , I came up with the concept of iBurst Notices . The concept was that a telecommunications company should have a separate social media handle that deals specifically with major incidents . This separates and removes the onus from marketing in dealing with operational issues. It is a great tool for the hard working Meerkats to be able to see a network or other status via a social media channel. Read the article on LinkedIn here .

REVIEW: Best VPN routers for small business

We evaluated five VPN routers suitable for small businesses from Cisco, D-Link, DrayTek, Mikrotik and ZyXEL based on price, features and user friendliness. Read the article over at Network World here . 

Why iBurst went titsup

I have previously written about why Novell and Madge went titsup. Well, I might as well complete the trifecta and write about iBurst whose obituary was written by MyBroadband and ITWeb . As a bit of a background on the Technology, you can read a description of the iBurst technology here . iBurst had a rich heritage, being invented by the father of mobile technology, Dr Martin Cooper . The standardisation of iBurst had its first hurdle in the standards committees where it stalled. The technology was then sold by ArrayCom to Kyocera who gave it the treacle treatment. As a technology it was effective as its planning was dramatically simplified due the manner in which towers were colour coded. Cost reduction cycle But the primary problem is that the hardware never went into a cost reduction cycle and all the major network operators threw their weight behind 3G. The death knell was sounded. In an am

Local insurance gets a Pineapple twist

L ocal insurtech start-up Pineapple has officially gone live with its insurance offering in the South African market, two years after coming up with the concept. The product offers insurance for individual items such as gadgets, cellphones, jewellery and home appliances. Read the article over at ITWeb here .

The trick to high availability - #keepcalm

If a plane's engines were to fail in flight then because most of them have two, the pilot the lands the airplane. Mostly its only one engine and rarely two as what happened with " The Miracle on the Hudson. " When the plane lands the aviation engineers then replace the failed component, test its operation and integration and the plane takes back to the skies. They do not do an inflight engine swap out at 10000 ft. However, network engineers seem to always try the latter with spectacular adverse major incidents . Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Proactive monitoring of the last mile in telecommunications

I have created a network troubleshooting checklist because faults and outages are typically always similar and this is where checklists are a great help. Download my troubleshooting checklist here . Checklists can be used in both a reactive manner as what would be the case in the above checklist but also in a proactive manner as what is described in " The bare necessities of a Network Operations Centre (NOC) Dashboard ". Read the article about proactive monitoring over at LinkedIn here .

“My god, I hope you find love…

  “My god, I hope you find love… And I don't just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favorite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for, I hope it sweel within your ribcage whenever you hear your favorite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything

High-speed Ethernet bargains help meet data center needs

Cisco, Juniper, Arista, and HPE are all vying to sell more enterprise data-center high-speed Ethernet, which is needed to handle traffic generated by smarter applications, IoT devices, and video. Read the article over at Network World here .

Strange and scary IoT hacks

The Internet of Things has provided a worldwide digital playground for hackers, pranksters and those who would thwart them and here are 9 of the most unnerving.  Read the article on Network World here . 

The importance of doing commissioning tests when provisioning a last mile link

Many moons ago I created a network troubleshooting checklist which you can download here . The purpose of the checklist is to provide a structured method to identify reasons for outages, errors and failures in a similar manner to those used by the aviation industry, namely checklists . However, one the most important steps predates any outage on a last mile link and that step needs to occur when it is provisioned. This is the commissioning test also known as the soak test. It is oft overlooked by fulfillment engineers in the hast to deliver the service to the client. However, the result is invariable a large amount of wasted time and effort during assurance. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

YMCA - Yet More Cr@ppy Apps

A coach from Mopi Luxury Coaches side-swiped me at the Ultra City in Polekwane and drove off without stopping. There was damage to my headlight and front bumper. We had to chase after the bus to take a picture of the registration number, BSP401L. Besides the driver not stopping, this article is not about that. It is about the app that Discovery Insurance uses for claims. It was a less that satisfying experience. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Speedtest by ookla

Access the web based speedtest tool over at ookla here .

nPerf qualify accurately your internet connection's performances.

This speed test relies on an exclusive algorithm allowing you to measure accurately download bitrate, upload bitrate and latency of your connection.  nPerf uses a worldwide dedicated servers network, which is optimized to deliver enough bitrate to saturate your connection, so that we can measure its bitrate accurately.  nPerf is compatible with all broadband and mobile connections: ADSL, VDSL, cable, optical fiber FTTH / FTTB, satellite, wifi, wimax, cellular 2G / 3G / 4G (LTE).  Access this speedtest tool over at nperf here .

Rising sea levels are coming for the internet

Rising seas threaten more than 4,000 miles of buried fiber optic cables in densely populated US coastal regions, report researchers. Seattle is one of three cities at most risk of internet disruptions. Read the article over at Futurity here .

The Canary Birding Guide

Download the Birding Guide over at Canary here .

Provisioning and managing white space within a data centre (the primary place where the rubber meets the Internet highway)

Data centres are often build and parameters are decided by external engineering and environmental factors and at the last possible moment the white space is shoe horned into the design. This is true of many co-location sites where the designs vary and change continuously during the life time of operations of tenant occupancy. These fundamental design choices are often problematic when populating a data centre or during migration. I have previous written about " 5 practices that need to be taken into account when migrating to a more modern data centre " but this article will expand on provisioning and managing white space within a data centre. The white space is afterall the primary place where the rubber meets the Internet highway. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Top 11 WordPress Captcha Plugins and How to Install them (2018)

While making a website, it is vital to make a website that is safe for both users and website owner. Everybody is aware of spammers flooding the internet. They misuse the website and keep posting spam comments . As a developer or designer it is vital for you to understand what is a Captcha, why are they used and where. So, In this article, we are shedding some light on What is Captcha, Why they are used, Where are they used and also a list of Top 11 WordPress Captcha Plugins .

KVM Switch - High Performance KVM-over-IP

KX III is ideal for Server Rooms, Test Labs, and the Largest Enterprise Data Centers . It offers high performance, Java-free, remote management of servers, workstations and serial devices. Deploy individually, or with Raritan’s CommandCenter Secure Gateway. Find out more over at Raritan here .

Retrenchments looming at Internet Solutions

Internet Solutions has begun a restructuring that is likely to lead to retrenchments. The company may lay off as many as 200 staffers, TechCentral has learnt from two separate sources with knowledge of the developments.  Support and installation teams are said to have been given letters and asked to reapply for their jobs. A well-placed source said the impending layoffs come after the Internet and telecommunications provider, which is owned by Dimension Data, failed to meet earnings forecasts. Read the article over at TechCentral here .

Modernizing the Data Center for Dummies

Today’s digital economy is rapidly changing business models and creating new demands for IT organizations. In this paper, learn to: Understand new demands facing IT organizations Recognize the challenges in building a modern data center Modernize your data center through virtualization, automation, and orchestration VMware and Intel enable IT organizations to realize a digital transformation and deliver IT infrastructure and application services with the speed and agility to support business innovation and growth while optimizing TCO and improving resource utilization. Download the Dummies Guide over at vmware here . 

Adopting ITIL/ITSM and leveraging Opmantek solutions to increase Performance Management

Managing a network can be expensive, time-consuming, and at times confusing. Mixing different software and hardware products that are meant to assist in network management can sometimes add to the confusion. Managing different software versions, vendors, and products that only work with specific OS’s can become a job in itself. Following the best standards and practices combined with a good network monitoring   and inventory software solution, can help you streamline the management process and increase performance management. No other IT standard is more valuable or praised than ITIL/ITSM (Information Technology Infrastructure Libraries, Information Technology Service Management). Adhering to this standard along with implementing Opmantek’s software solutions can reduce the number of tools your team uses, increase performance management while lowering noise and confusion. Read the blog post over at opmantek here . 

Data Centre Capacity - Actual power consumption vs. nameplate value

This paper is about data centre capacity planning and the impact from using actual power consumption vs nameplate or derated nameplate values. The paper, published by Tier44, was written by Val Sokolov, who managed R&D data centres operations and capacity planning at Brocade and VMware and is currently with eBay.   Val Sokolov  wrote this paper and published it on linkedin .   For those who prefer a pdf  file, Tier44 published it for everyone to download here .

Emerson: 10 Common Data Center Surprises

At Data Center World, Emerson Network Power has released a list of 10 common surprises for data center and IT managers and offered tips on how to be prepared for them. Will you be surprised by these surprises?    Check out the list here .     

Poynting’s MinePoynt antennas make wireless work underground

Poynting has a complete WiFi and cellular range of antennas which are supplied locally and internationally. Of particular interest, is the circular polarised helical antenna range used in mines and tunnels called MinePoynt antennas.  These antennas are specifically designed for mines and tunnels, as the circular polarisation has proved to significantly enhances RF propagation abilities in these intense conditions. Numerous customer tests in mines have been performed over the past 10 years showing MinePoynt antennas to achieve ranges 3x to 4x those obtained with a similar gain linear polarised antenna. Read the article on MyBroadband here .

Amazon servers are now in Cape Town, making for much faster stream for its cloud customers

An Amazon CloudFront Edge location is now live in Cape Town, Amazon announced on Thursday , joining its first such location on the continent, in Johannesburg, which it launched in June. Read the article on Business Insider here .

What are the options for securing SD-WAN? A look at SD-WAN security capabilities and partnerships from vendors, including Aruba, Cisco, Riverbed, and Silver Peak.

IT managers should consider their branch network security requirements and carefully evaluate the security capabilities of leading SD-WAN providers, include their native security features and their partnerships with network security providers. Read the article over at Network World here .

Otto Wireless Solutions introduces ICASA approved GSM boosters

Otto Wireless Solutions, a leading wireless industrial connectivity hardware supplier situated in Randburg, has introduced ICASA approved, non network-locked GSM Boosters to the local market.   The GSM Boosters are supplied as a choice of 2 fully installed kit options. Installation is carried out by a third party company who have extensive experience in terms of installing GSM Boosters for the service providers themselves. Read the article on MyBroadband here .

The simple idea that became Intel's secret weapon against Motorola

Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth , by John Doerr Author John Doerr began his career under the tutelage of the great Andy Grove, CEO of Intel, who transformed that company into the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors. It was Andy Grove who turned a simple method, 'OKRs', into a devastatingly effective business tool that became the lifeblood of Intel.  Read the article over a Fin24 here .

4 considerations when replacing managed WAN services with SD-WAN There are several implications to choosing to outsource SD-WAN to your carrier.

The enterprise wide area networks are mission-critical resources for most enterprises. And when it came to managing and running the WAN, enterprises could choose between two distinct models: Do it Yourself (DIY) or managed WAN services. But with the evolution of SD-WANs, we’re seeing a new type of telco solution that merges elements of both capabilities. Read the article over at Network World here .

Putting a nappy on the screaming baby - dealing with incidents in a telco using workarounds

People put nappies on babies because the longer term solution of teaching them to use the loo isn't going to work immediately and often neither in the not too distant future. Sooner or later they will be potty trained but it is not viable to deal with a screaming and wet baby who does not have a nappy until they are potty trained. The nappy is the workaround. This analogy applies to telcos and incidents that occur in that environment because although there are viable long term solutions to an incident, it will take too long to implement and services are required by the client almost immediately. Read about article over at LinkedIn here .

The Secret History of Microsoft Hardware

"Microsoft is not a hardware company." How many times have you heard this or read this? I'm guessing more than once. It's a simple lie we keep telling ourselves despite the underlying truth: Microsoft has been designing and selling hardware products for 32 out of its 37 years in business. And hardware has been a consistently successful venture too, even in the early days. (Little-known fact: Between 1983 and 1986, sales of Microsoft mice (in units shipped) matched those of the company's software products!)  Read the article over at PC Magazine here .

The Five Stages Of Tech Disruption

John Straw gives his take on the process, stage by stage. Read the article over at Disruption Hub here .