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Showing posts from November, 2018

Concorde's last flight: Is this the greatest aviation photograph of all time?

On November 26, 2003, supersonic airplane Concorde made its last flight, returning to the airfield near Bristol, in southwest England, where it's remained since.   As this marvel of modern engineering soared over the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, a landmark of Victorian engineering based on a design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it created a poignant moment witnessed by cheering crowds.   High in the sky, dangling out of a helicopter and buffeted by icy winds, photographer Lewis Whyld managed to capture it on camera -- an image that has become the defining shot of the golden age of faster-than-the-speed-of-sound travel .   Whyld, who now works as an aerial cameraman for CNN, reveals how he took one of the coolest airplane photos ever taken.   Read the article over at CNN here .

Monitoring Airport Security Operations with Canvas & Elasticsearch

At Crimson Macaw , we recently took on an interesting project with Manchester Airport Group (MAG). We were to create and implement real-time dashboards for Airport Security Operations at Stansted Airport.  This would give the control room and security staff a better view of the passenger flow and security performance, allowing them to quickly make decisions based on real-time data. Data needed to be ingested from a number of on-premises systems and external data sources and then visualised on a number of large screens.  Read the article over at elastic here .

6 ways IoT is transforming retail

These six trends cover everything from what you buy to how it’s sold and even how stores work — and those are only the ones we can see right now. Read the article over at Network World here . 

How to Spend The First Hour of Your Work Day on High-Value Tasks

Don’t begin the activities of your day until you know exactly what you plan to accomplish. Don’t start your day until you have it planned. — Jim Rohn   Every morning, get one most important thing done immediately.   There is nothing more satisfying than feeling like you’re already in the flow.  And the easiest way to trigger this feeling is to work on your most important task in the first hour. Read the article over at Medium here . 

The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen - It’s Zuora’s, and it’s brilliant. Here’s why.

The sales deck I showed Tim came from Zuora , the IPO-bound Silicon Valley company that sells a SaaS platform for subscription billing. If you pay for anything on a recurring basis (e.g. enterprise software), there’s a good chance that Zuora facilitates those transactions. Read the story over at Medium here .

The changing data centre: Impact of networking costs

Mattias Fridström, chief evangelist for Telia Carrier, says lower networking hardware costs are forcing data centers and metro networks to fundamentally change how they conduct their business: “Any location with fiber can now become a data center, opening up new opportunities for designing, managing, and operating cloud and on-demand computing resources.”   In the past the networking hardware costs were extremely prohibitive, and so connecting different data centers to each was often an expensive exercise. Organizations such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Intel have been at the forefront of the software designed revolution in computing, and they are now moving into the networking arena with SDN and SD-WAN. This is displacing the traditional costly propriety silicon purveyors on network equipment. With lower costs and higher speed connections, the dynamics are changing. In turn this is transforming the costs associated with data centers, public, hybrid and private clouds

MPLS vs. Ethernet: Which WAN connectivity option is best?

MPLS vs. Ethernet for the WAN Cost MPLS typically costs more than Ethernet but less than T1 lines. Ethernet is typically more affordable than MPLS. Scalability MPLS can scale to over thousands of sites. Ethernet can scale to up to hundreds of sites. Common applications MPLS is best and most widely used to interconnect data centers with branch offices and branches to other branches. Ethernet is best for interconnecting data centers. WAN routing MPLS allows businesses to leave WAN routing to the service provider and keep fewer WAN engineers on staff. Ethernet gives WAN engineers control and responsibility over routing. WAN protocol behavior MPLS can handle any-to-any connectivity, including voice and video. Ethernet offers low-latency and high-throughput, which is ideal for disaster recovery. Quality of service MPLS has quality of service ( QoS ) options to enable preferen

Data Centre Cloud Excuses, excuses: Furious MPs probe banking TITSUPs* *Terrible IT Threatens Services, Users, Pound

MPs have stuck a probe in banking IT crises after an "astonishing" number of failures, saying "measly apologies and hollow words" aren't good enough. Read the article over at el Reg over here .

Four Myths of SD-WAN

SD-WAN is the topic of everyone’s telecommunications conversations today. Unfortunately, the interest is being fueled by some misconceptions about what benefits SD-WAN provides. When discussing solutions with your customer, having your facts straight is an important step toward making the right recommendation and, ultimately, making sure your customers are happy.

The SD-WAN Vendor List

SD-WAN services and equipment  come in all shapes and forms today. As we discussed in our recent blog, you can buy SD-WAN equipment (and software) and do it yourself (DIY), subscribe to an over-the-top (OTT) SD-WAN service, or have your SD-WAN bundled with a carrier network, such as MPLS or Direct Internet Access (DIA). To help kick off your research, we’re creating this live page of SD-WAN providers.

The Security of SD-WAN

Perhaps we exaggerate, but IT professionals, especially those involved in telecommunications, should always beware of anything that's connected to the Internet, as well as services provided across the Internet. That includes websites, email, cloud-based applications, and of course, WANs.   The bad news is that the wild, unfettered Internet can indeed be a dangerous place; it's a good thing we have firewalls, universal threat defense, intrusion prevention systems, heavily encrypted VPNs and endpoint security to protect us. The good news is that SD-WAN, one of the fastest-growing technologies for connecting branch offices, data centers, cloud services and remote locations, are perfectly safe.  Read the article over at Security Now here .

Four Reasons Why SD-WAN Makes Sense

Virtualization has revolutionized the data center, and now the next step is revolutionizing the network. Central to the networking revolution is software-defined networking (SDN), which allows network administrators to virtualize their networking hardware and bring added agility and cost savings.  Although all networking of all types can benefit from SDN, one area ripe for adoption is the wide area network (WAN). SD-Wan, as software-defined WAN is called, can enable businesses to harness virtualization and reap the benefits not only of improved agility and cost, but also other benefits. Companies such as CloudGenix are pushing forward with SD-WAN technology and giving businesses an easy adoption path. Here are four reasons why SD-WAN makes sense .

4 steps to start a successful migration from MPLS to SD-WAN

Don't transition from MPLS to SD-WAN deployment without a migration plan. Follow these four steps as a guideline to avoid MPLS contract disasters, unexpected costs and delayed installation. Read the article over at SearchSDN here . 

The SATCOM primer for network engineers

In this episode, we’re going to go deeper on one facet of that conversation, satellite communications. PC Drew is back, and he brought along a colleague, Evander Cook, to educate us on SATCOM. Access the podcast over at Packet Pushers here .

Technical Assitance Guidelines on the employment of people with disablities

Inequality and discrimination in the workplace are some of the key elements of the legacy of Apartheid in South Africa. Persons with Disabilities have been excluded from the mainstream of society and experience difficulty in accessing fundamental rights. Legislation has in the past also contributed to the social and economic exclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Under our new democracy, the rights of the Persons with Disabilities are now protected in the Constitution. Using the Constitution as a foundation, the South African government introduced the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (the Act) to redress inequalities and discrimination in the workplace. To further ensure that the rights of Persons with Disabilities are protected in the workplace, my Department, on the advice of the Commission for Employment Equity published the Code of Good Practice on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities (Code) in 2015. The ai

9 uniquely South African street foods

There are many things South Africans do right, and near the top of the list is affordable street food. Found at your local spaza or the little tent at the end of the block, these foods are easy on your pocket, satisfying to your taste buds and inherently nostalgic.   Here are nine street foods only South Africans do well.

Hawk - Long range radio transmitter

The all-in-one, multi-panel- compatible Long Range Radio Transmitter that saves your business money. The Hawk makes use of the advanced FSK Multi-Router TCP, which is a VHF to GSM repeater and base station that reliably sends security messages to your Control Room. The HAWK features universal Contact ID interface, serial interfacing into leading panels and seven dry contact input triggers. Access the product brochure here .

Outing Your Outages

How are you supposed to handle outages? What happens when everything around you goes upside down in an instant? How much communication is “too much”? Or “not enough”? And is all of this written down now instead of being figured out when the world is on fire?  Read the blog post over at the Networking Nerd here .

Presenting To The D-Suite

Do you present to an audience? Odds are good that most of us have had to do it more than once in our life or career. Some of us do it rather often. And there’s no shortage of advice out there about how to present to an audience. A lot of it is aimed at people that are trying to speak to a general audience. Still more of it is designed as a primer on how to speak to executives, often from a sales pitch perspective. But, how do you present to the people that get stuff done? Instead of honing your skills for the C-Suite, let’s look at what it takes to present to the D-Suite. Read the blog post over at the Networking Nerd here .

Anatomy of a crisis: why SA is on the brink of rolling blackouts

Eskom has shut  down 11 power station units due for major maintenance because it lacks the funds to fix them.  This comes as the embattled power utility struggles to find coal to feed its coal-fired power stations — the bulk of its fleet.  Moneyweb earlier reported that 11 of Eskom’s 15 coal-fired power stations have less than the required 20 days’ coal stock — and of those, five have less than 10 days’ stock. Read the article over at TechCentral here .

Searching for technology writers in South Africa

After a few months of trying to syndicate some of my LinkedIn articles on South African publications such as TechCentral , MyBroadband and ITWeb and receiving the feedback for the stable door not to hit my ass on the way out I decided to start an open publication that caters for technology in South Africa. Thus I am searching for technology writers to write articles on Medium and to submit them to the publication “ The Technology Burrow ”. To be added as a writer to the publication, please send me a note or inbox me. My idea is to have community based news and articles available from a wide range of non-commercial contributors who enjoy writing. So if this is your thing, please sign up. Promise that you won’t encounter a Rinkhals or have the stable door smack your ass!

Cisco fuses SD-WAN, security and cloud services

Cisco secures SD-WAN software, bolsters cloud-based Office 365 application access, and offers DevNet SD-WAN development options.  Read the article over at Network World here.

2018 Cybersecurity Checklist

Preventing Initial Compromise.  The best defense against cyber attacks is to prevent attackers from gaining initial access to a machine in the first place. Access the checklist here .

Single point of failure analysis - reducing the risk of outages on business critical service

ITIL suggests three processes that can be used by an user of a data centre to determine reliability. It is not sufficient to look at the physical layer and make a determination as significant number of service are being abstracted and delivered in a virtualization fashion. It cannot be assumed that the configuration of the virtual infrastructure is resilient and neither can it be assumed that all services are being delivered in a generic fashion. Read the article over at LinkedIn here .

Why the legacy pricing models of network management are dated

Many network management products are licensed using a legacy licensing model. The significant majority still use the old and dated licensing model that Microsoft was familiar with before we knew about the cloud and starting using Office 365. Many of these products are packed with features that are never touched but you still pay for them. It's time to wake up, smell the roses and join the cloud generation. Ironic, as most of these packages claim to assist in managing the cloud... The full article was originally published over on LinkedIn: Why the legacy pricing models of network management are dated  

SD-WAN can be a smart solution—if you avoid the pitfalls

There are many benefits promised by efficient software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). From new agility and speed of provisioning to driving down total costs, it’s no wonder some of the world’s biggest companies are moving in this direction . But it pays to look beyond the surface value of any solution. SD-WAN, in particular, can appear deceptively simple. Often viewed as an out-of-the-box, set-it-and-forget-it solution, SD-WAN implementation and post-implementation management can be wrought with pitfalls. Read the blog post over at the Burwood Group here . 

UPS design and maintenance critical to ensuring uptime

Data centre resilience has become more crucial than ever before as increasing volumes of transactions move to the cloud and paper-based data is digitised. Whether an organisation owns its own data centre facility or outsources the service to a third-party provider, the principles of redundancy and resilience need to be applied to the power chain.   Read the article over at ee publishers here .

The world’s highest capacity AP designed for stadiums and events from Ubiquiti

Available in white or black, the sleek UniFi Wi-Fi BaseStationXG is a versatile access point with multiple mounting options to suit your application. Featuring maximum wireless performance combined with wireless security, the UniFi Wi-Fi BaseStationXG is ideal for ultra-high density environments, such as event venues, festivals, and stadiums, where there are numerous clients in a relatively small space. It supports up to 1500 clients with 12 MU-MIMO chains. True cellular Wi-Fi using multiple Aps – its selectable directional beamforming antenna allows for cell size optimization to maximize coverage. It also provides isolation for seamless parallel radio operation. The UniFi Wi-Fi BaseStationXG delivers unprecedented wireless awareness and security, including tools for real-time spectrum monitoring, airtime utilization analytics and intrusion detection/prevention. Using a persistent spectral scan, the AP constantly monitors the RF environment to check for both potentia


The Edgecore Network Appliance Platform utilizes standard Intel ®x86 architecture that provides openness and flexibility to fulfill various use cases in different vertical markets. With the advent of SDN and NFV, the platform supports open-source-based software or 3rd party VNFs that enable Service Providers to deliver and deploy innovative services and applications with agility and scalability. Find out more here .

Supermicro - SuperServer E300-9D-4CN8TP

  - Network Security Appliance   - SDN-WAN, vCPE controller box   - NFV Edge Computing Server   - Virtualization Server   - IoT Edge Computing/Gateway Find out more here .   


The NA-342 is compact network hardware platform for VPN, Firewall, UTM and other network security applications. It supports low power Intel® Celeron® J1900 processor and up to 8GB of DDR3L memory. In addition, the NA-342 features one internal 2.5" HDD for storing event log and a Mini PCIe for wireless card installation. The NA342 has an optional feature to support LAN bypass function through WDT and GPIO pin definitions to prevent sudden shutdown.  Find out more here .


Intel based network appliances for virtualized network edge, CPE, and wireless applications – low cost, high quality, scalable performance and latest generation Intel silicon Find out more here .

Lanner - vCPE/uCPE Platforms

Lanner vCPE/uCPE platforms are pre-validated with major VNF makers and built in open architecture for wide compatibility. Suggested desktop or rackmount appliances offer Intel® x86 multi-core CPU for running multiple VNFs, hardware acceleration like DPDK, Intel QuickAssist, SR-IOV and AES-NI, rich LAN port configurations including both RJ-45, SFP and SFP+ ports, as well as wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi/4G/LTE. Find out more here .


With Intel Bay Trail j1900 Processor and 4x Intel 1GbE, Qotom Mini PC Q190G4U can be configured as a firewall, LAN or WAN router, VPN appliance, DHCP Server, DNS Server, and so on. Small, quiet, compact and cheap, running 24/7, Qotom firewall appliance is a good solution for home, office, factory and so on. Find out more here .

Rhino - MIPS based network appliance

Rhino’s newly introduced SDNA (software defined network appliance) family of products is a unique enterprise-grade appliance able to perform multiple applications within a small form factor at low power and low cost. Find out more here .

Sapio Research Survey: 20% have SD-WAN project, but 48% of those are proof of concept

In a survey of 200 senior IT and networking managers in the US and the UK, Sapio Research found 20% of respondents said they have a software-defined WAN project in progress , while 32% haven’t explored the technology and 27% may look at it in the future. About one-third of respondents said they wanted to reduce network costs and to better manage their network infrastructure.  The research study found that 48% of those are running SD-WAN proof of concept at select sites or other limited deployments. That means only about 10% are transitioning fully to SD-WAN. Read the article over at IEEE here .