Displaying items by tag: storage

Huawei denies collecting data from Facebook users

Written on Thursday, 07 June 2018 08:39

Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has vehemently denied that it collected data from Facebook users after the Silicon Valley social media colossus confirmed that it granted the Chinese smartphone manufacturer with access to user information.

Huawei has been deemed a threat to national security in the United States by a number of leading US intelligence officials and Republican congressman. The Chinese vendor has been subjected to intense scrutiny over the last few months, and this latest revelation by Facebook will only serve to heighten concerns over national security.

Facebook confirmed that Huawei along with several other companies was allowed to access Facebook data to get the world’s leading social network to perform on its smartphones. Following a fierce backlash in the US congress, Facebook mobile partnerships leader Francisco Varela has leapt to the defense of Huawei, saying that the information utilized by the Chinese vendor was stored on the device and not on Huawei’s servers.

Varela said, “Facebook along with many other US tech companies have worked with them and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones. Given the interest from Congress, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei's servers.”

A spokesperson for Huawei told AFP that it cooperated with Facebook as part of a concerted effort to improve user services, and strongly denied it collected or stored the data of users. In addition to this, it also rubbished claims it had any links to the Chinese government and dismissed fears in the US over national security.

The spokesperson said, “Like all leading smartphone providers, Huawei worked with Facebook to make Facebook's services more convenient for users. Huawei has never collected or stored any Facebook user data. Our infrastructure and computing products are used in 170 countries and we’ve worked hard to become a trusted ICT provider for our customers.”

US Senator Mark Warner, who is also vice-chairman of the senate select committee on intelligence, expressed his concern regarding the revelations by Facebook that Huawei had access to users’ data.

Warner said, “Concerns about Huawei aren't new. I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers."

Contracts with phone makers placed tight limits on what could be done with data, and "approved experiences" were reviewed by engineers and managers before being deployed - according to the social network.  Facebook said it does not know of any privacy abuse by phone makers who years ago were able to gain access to personal data on users and their friends. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics has announced its plans to invest 21.4 trillion won ($18.6 billion) into South Korea in an effort to strengthen and extend its lead in memory chips and next-generation displays for smartphones. Samsung has claimed that the investment could create up to 440,000 new jobs from now until 2021 – which would significantly boost the South Korean economy.

Samsung is the world’s largest chip maker by revenue and has indicated it intends to invest 14.4 trillion won by 2021 in its new NAND factory in Pyeongtaek. In addition to this, it disclosed that it plans to invest 6 trillion won in a new semiconductor production facility in Hwaseong, but declined to elaborate further on the timing or product.

Samsung will also develop a new production line to its NAND plant in Xi’an, China, which investment analysts have suggested is in response to booming demand for long-term data storage chips. However, it has thus far not set an investment amount or time frame.

Industry experts have predicted that Samsung and other leading memory makers will post record profit in 2017 - caused primarily due to a persistent shortage and demand for more capability in smartphones and servers increase prices. Industry sources and analysts said the shortage is more acute for NAND chips due to increasing adoption of high-end storage products.

Analysts have also claimed that Samsung’s production technologies are much more mature and are at least a year ahead of its rivals such as Toshiba and SK Hynix. Samsung invests more than $10 billion in semiconductors on an annual basis, which has provided the foundations for Samsung to take the lead, and according to analysts this latest investment strategy will only widen the gap even further.

Samsung and its rivals Toshiba and SK Hynix has committed tens of billions of dollars to boost NAND output in recent years, yet analysts and industry sources have said that they believe shortages will persist through 2017 and new facilities created will not make any meaningful supply contributions until next year. However, some have suggested that additional capacity could lead to oversupply in early 2018, but that price crashes are unlikely as smartphone makers opt for greater internal storage.

"I believe NAND market conditions will continue to favor suppliers until 2020," said HMC Investment analyst Greg Roh. Any oversupply issues will be temporary and limited to seasonally weaker periods, he said.

Samsung's investment plan comes on the back of South Korean President Moon Jae-in plea for local businesses to create more jobs and help reinvigorate the economy. In China, some South Korean firms have suffered from sales decline or have been forced to scale down operations due to retaliatory measures from Beijing over the deployment of a US anti-missile defense system outside Seoul. However, China smartphone makers remain one of Samsung’s biggest customers and are among its biggest buyers of memory chips and displays.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Zain, Kuwait’s leading telecommunications company, today announced their collaboration to launch a new cloud disaster recovery service that will provide IBM and Zain’s enterprise customers with cloud-based business continuity capabilities and faster disaster recovery of their critical IT systems, without incurring the infrastructure expense of a second physical site. Through the new service, customers will benefit from the added flexibility of keeping their data in-country on IBM Cloud.

The disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) market size in the Middle East is $100.64 million and is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 44.8 percent through 2021. The Middle East region is experiencing a significant increase in DRaaS adoption due to the increasing number of cyberattacks and other data threats like security breaches, software and hardware failures, and power outages, according to MarketsandMarkets.

The new cloud disaster recovery service will help protect IBM and Zain customers against data loss from their own servers or from other cloud services, and can maintain readiness without the need to invest in additional physical space or stand-by hardware. The service will provide replication of critical applications, infrastructure, data and systems to IBM Cloud so customers can recover from an IT outage within minutes.

Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan, commented: “Unplanned downtime or data loss is a risk any business can face. Not only can this lead to business loss but present a threat to a company’s reputation amongst its customers, stakeholders, and the wider public. Having a resiliency plan in place should play an integral part in every business. Through the new cloud disaster recovery service, IBM and Zain customers can run their operations at ease, while we provide around-the-clock monitoring of the recovery environments.”

“Today’s announcement comes as part of our vision to transform Zain into a digital lifestyle provider," said Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer Eaman Al Roudhan. “The business needs of our corporate customers are continuously changing, and offering them innovative solutions to help maintain resiliency is a top priority for us.”

The cloud disaster recovery team will monitor developing disaster events 24/7 and help ensure that the infrastructure of IBM and Zain customers is equipped to handle the latest threats to keep data, applications and transactions secure. The new service will also enable customers to adjust and customize their resiliency strategies to their own requirements to optimize recovery time.

The new service underscores IBM’s expanding business continuity and resiliency services portfolio. In today’s “always-on” world, IBM offerings like DRaaS and Cloud Resiliency Orchestration are built to simplify and automate the disaster recovery process, increase workflow efficiency, and reduce risk, cost, and system testing time for clients around the world. With more than 50 years of business continuity and disaster recovery experience, today IBM has over 300 resiliency centers across 68 countries.

Zain’s strategy of being a sustainable digital communications company has long focused on the customer experience and using technology to create more value for the customer. The launch of this service is one of the major steps in the company’s strategic plan to introduce more distinctive digital services dedicated to corporate and enterprise customers.

Hewlett Packard: Tips for moving to all-flash storage

Written on Wednesday, 20 January 2016 08:07

Paul Shaw, general manager, storage with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, South Pacific offers five tips for organizations contemplating the move to all-flash storage.

Finding smarter and more efficient ways of managing data overload is now dominating investment decisions in technology departments across the region. With the digital universe experiencing unprecedented digital growth of roughly 40 percent a year[i], the demand for data storage has never been greater.

Coupled with ever-increasing expectations around "instant responsiveness" and "always-on availability", many businesses are looking for a miracle solution to alleviate their storage burdens.

Enter flash-based storage solutions - particularly all-flash arrays. These are being heralded as the way of the future, critical to helping organizations stay ahead of the data onslaught and accelerate business critical applications. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, the number of data centers that will use only solid-state arrays (SSAs) for primary data, instead of hybrid arrays, will increase from zero percent today to 25 percent.[ii]

However, many businesses have been hesitant to adopt all-flash solutions because of the perception of high costs and concerns about the reliability of all-flash storage technology.

The truth is that the cost of all-flash storage is lower than ever and performance has never been more robust. Ignoring the truth around all-flash storage means that you could be hampering your business's ability to effectively manage data and power the new workloads that drive innovation - thus giving your competition a head start.

Debunking the myths of all-flash storage

Concerns over the high cost and reliability of flash storage compared to hard disk drive (HDD) solutions have been key barriers to organizations embracing newer storage technologies. For many, the prevailing attitude has been to play it safe and stick with the proven technology - or use flash storage solely as point solutions.

But if you want to stay ahead of the competition you need to change your position quickly. Next-generation all-flash storage array architectures are now delivering greatly improved functionality and dependability - all at a lower price. Even IDC believes that any enterprise that still thinks flash is too expensive to deploy as its primary storage environment is doing itself a disfavor.[iii]

Higher performance levels are driving down the cost of all-flash storage to a competitive price point compared to HDD-storage arrays - in some cases to as little as $US1.50 per useable gigabyte of storage. Deduplication and data compaction technologies such as thin provisioning and granular allocation allows your investment to be stretched even further.

Unlocks opportunities, power innovation

The primary benefit of flash storage is increased speed: extremely rapid data transfers at sub-millisecond latency. This opens up performance capability so your business can leverage new applications and workloads such as real-time, predictive data analytics.

While speed is important, the value of all-flash storage technology goes far beyond this. It also opens the door to innovation by creating new capabilities for business processes and opportunities.

A high density, large capacity flash array can reduce the storage footprint within your data center by as much as 80 percent, with flow-on reductions in power and cooling costs.

Five tips on getting started

You might be asking yourself: "How do I choose the right all-flash solution for my business and where should I get started?"

With good planning, the switch to all-flash storage can be straightforward. The key is to identify an all-flash storage array that is architected to optimize flash's performance while delivering the required level of mature data and storage management services.

Here are some simple steps to help you decide what's right for your needs and start your all-flash transition:

1.Look for an all-flash storage solution that offers a combination of speed, resiliency, affordability and scale:

Speed - Aim for high input/output operations per second (IOPS) at predictable response times under one millisecond to drive more revenue-generating transactions.

Resiliency - Insist on enterprise-class mission-critical availability with zero data loss recovery from backup storage. Arrays should be proven capable of 99.9999 percent availability.

Affordability - Ensure there is price parity with high performance HDD.

Scale - Look for a flash storage system with petabyte scale to enable enterprise growth. The ability to scale is not always a given, but there is no point having the power of flash if future capacity is restricted.

2. Once you've chosen the right all-flash storage platform, catalogue your workloads and applications. Identify those that have the strongest links to customer satisfaction and employee productivity.

3. Prioritize these customer/employee-facing applications or workloads and move them to the all-flash platform first. Accelerating these workloads will have a positive impact on two important groups of users, and will provide confirmation to the business that all-flash storage really does work with both immediate and long-term impacts.

4. Ensure that your all-flash storage solution integrates seamlessly into your existing data center infrastructure.  Otherwise, you'll find yourself with isolated storage silos and an inability to migrate valuable business data in or out.

5. Anticipate future needs to predict the type of storage capacity your organization will require over the next 3-5 years. Ensure the potential solutions you investigate can meet these needs simply and affordably within the system you decide on from the outset.

Enterprises that have been agonizing over a shift to all-flash storage technology can relax and follow the above tips to start planning their transition with ease.

With all-flash storage arrays becoming more affordable, you can confidently invest in the latest flash storage platforms and start reaping immediate benefits of accelerated business performance.

All-flash systems are demonstrating proven reliability and can now be embraced by any company, regardless of size, budget, growth rate or quality of service requirements.

Investing in the right all-flash storage technology that is most relevant for your workloads will deliver scalable, flexible solutions that are reliable, efficient and easy to manage.

Ultimately, you'll be able to focus on driving outcomes that matter to your business and use your storage infrastructure to open the door to innovation in today's hyper-competitive environment.
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[i] Digital Universe Study, with data and analysis by IDC, April 2014
[ii] Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays, June 2015
[iii] IDC Evolving Flash-Optimized Storage Architectures, Doc # 256994, June 2015.

Published in Featured