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Five ways colocation can drive enterprise transformation

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While enterprise transformation is challenging for many businesses, Interxion’s Séamus Dunne examines how colocation can reduce complexity.

Global trends and an expanding digital economy are forcing enterprises in every sector to think differently about how they do business and deliver value. It’s all about reaching new customers, embracing new technologies and delivering new services.

These changing business requirements inevitably lead to changes for IT and, most of the time, this means increasing the use of cloud through the implementation of hybrid and multicloud IT environments.

Enterprise transformation is the fundamental change to the way an organisation operates, whether that be moving into a new market or operating in a new way. It aims to align an organisation’s activities relating to people, process and technology more closely with its business strategy and vision.

Minimising complexity

However, the challenge is that most of today’s enterprise networks and on-premise data centres are not designed to support these new environments. They are not optimised to accommodate interactive workloads, third-party infrastructure, soaring network traffic or data generated far away from where it is collected and used.

Each new addition causes added complexity, with multiple layers resulting in issues with latency, governance and cost.

Colocation allows enterprises to manage the complex connectivity challenges that this transformation brings. Using colocation will enable organisations to utilise secure, scalable multi and hybrid cloud architectures and processes to address unique business requirements due to large scale transformation.

When thinking about enterprise transformation, there’s no magic bullet or one size fits all. Each organisation has its own unique challenges in reaching the goal of efficient, transparent, reliable multicloud management and operations, and it’s generally a long, multistep process that requires a lot of planning and care.

Here are five things to consider when making this decision.

1. Transformation

Change in any organisation can be difficult, particularly when it comes to IT. Colocation is a well-established approach to transform an IT organisation. With direct and secure access to all public clouds and an array of network carriers, enterprises can reduce the complexity of realising its business objectives.

Colocation removes almost every aspect of physical plant operation from operations – construction and building maintenance, physical security, power, cooling, emergency failover systems etc.

IT is therefore only responsible for installing and maintaining its compute and storage hardware. Many facilities also have various service and installation packages for common use cases such as backup and disaster recovery.

2. Cost

The move to colocation will likely require a thorough restructuring of IT costs. Long-accepted buying and planning cycles will likely need to change and many well-practiced workflows and purchase orders may go by the wayside.

Organisations need a realistic assessment of how much business process change the move will entail along with the associated costs. They should approach the move to colocation in a rational way and at a controlled pace.

3. Flexibility

Colocation services provide flexibility on service levels. Services can start and end with facilities operations and maintenance or extend to higher levels of managed services and hosted IT infrastructure, or some mix thereof.

This can make it possible to consolidate and streamline the enterprise data centre while maintaining legacy systems. Another aspect of flexibility is the ability to gain direct and secure access to multiple public cloud providers and carriers. This just isn’t a possibility with enterprise on-premise data centres.

4. Flow of information

Many providers have become de facto hubs of enterprise information flow. They support interconnection between public clouds and private and hosted private clouds, often in the same facility creating cost efficiencies.

Colocation makes connectivity simpler and more secure allowing enterprises optimise network performance by bypassing the public internet and instead privately connect to all the platform and service providers they need.

5. Efficiencies

Colocation providers cultivate close working relationships with major vendors and IT service providers. This can therefore help shorten deployment and migration scenarios significantly if the enterprise is willing to engage with those vendors with the colocation provider.

Colocation also provides ways to short-circuit common tasks during a cloud migration. Colocation facilities are heavily consumed by cloud and IT service providers and colocation providers cultivate close working relationships with major vendors and those same IT service providers.

Colocation is increasingly playing a key role as the intersection of a hybrid cloud strategy for enterprises. Providers’ ability to harness vendor partnerships and interconnection means they can play a key role in supporting hybrid, multicloud and digital transformation efforts.

The combination of public cloud interconnection, private cloud enablement, vendor partnerships and available services make colocation a realistic option for enterprises to attain the benefits of cloud computing.

Providers will continue to adopt and facilitate sophisticated software-driven technologies with technology vendors, which means the enterprise doesn’t have to.

By Séamus Dunne 

Séamus Dunne is the managing director of Interxion Ireland. A version of this article originally appeared on the Interxion blog.

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Space missions to watch out for in 2022

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Monica Grady of the Open University looks at plans for a rocket system destined for the moon and a new rover beginning its journey to Mars.

Click here to visit The Conversation.

A version of this article was originally published by The Conversation (CC BY-ND 4.0)

Astronomers ended 2021 on a high with the launch on 25 December of the James Webb Space Telescope, a joint mission between the European Space Agency, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. It was a relief to hear that the precision drives that opened up the complex sunshield, which is about the size of a tennis court, worked perfectly.

The telescope is now on the way to its destination, 1.5m kilometres away from Earth, where it will begin a series of tests once it arrives in late January. If the mission goes to plan, we can expect to start receiving images from the telescope in mid-2022.

But what else lies in store for space science this year? Here are a few missions to watch out for.

Moon missions

NASA’s Artemis programme to send human astronauts back to the moon in 2024 should get underway in 2022. The last astronauts to step foot on the moon in 1972 made it there on a Saturn V rocket.

Now NASA has created a new generation of rockets, the Space Launch System (SLS), which will be tested for the first time in March with the launch of the Artemis 1 mission. This will be a three-week-long, uncrewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft, which will include a flyby 100km above the surface of the moon.

Part of a spacecraft is lifted into a testing chamber in a large room, with the NASA logo and a poster about moon exploration in the background.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is lifted into a thermal cage for testing. Image: NASA/Marvin Smith

Eventually, the SLS will transport astronauts to the Lunar Gateway, the next-generation international space station that will be positioned in orbit around the moon and act as a way station for missions to the surface.

The moon will also be targeted by other space agencies in 2022. South Korea is hoping to launch its first lunar mission, the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, from Cape Canaveral in August. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, plans to launch Luna 25 to the moon’s south pole in July – over 45 years since Luna 24 returned almost 200g of lunar soil in August 1976.

Psyche asteroid

Mid-2022 will be a busy time for space exploration, as NASA will also launch its Psyche asteroid mission. Psyche, which is orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter, is an M-class asteroid, made of metal, so it’s similar to the core of the Earth.

We’ve never been close to an M-class asteroid before, nor have we been able to study the core of the Earth because it’s too deep down, so once this mission arrives in 2026 it should give us a whole new understanding of asteroid and planetary processes.

DART mission

Not long after Psyche’s journey begins, the DART mission, which launched in November 2021, should arrive at its destination in late September.

DART – which stands for the double asteroid redirection test – is heading to asteroid Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos. The goal is to test what technology it would take to save the Earth from an incoming asteroid in future. DART will deliberately crash into the smaller of the two bodies, Dimorphos, to move its orbit a little bit closer to Didymos, the larger one. This could give valuable insights into how to shift any asteroid on a collision course with Earth in the future.

ExoMars

2021 was a busy year for Mars missions with NASA’s Perseverance rover and the Chinese Zhurong rover, both of which continue to send back incredible images and data from the surface of the Red Planet.

In September 2022, the European Space Agency is due to launch the next part of its ExoMars mission in collaboration with Roscosmos. The first part of the mission, ExoMars 2016, sent a Trace Gas Orbiter to orbit around Mars in late 2016.

ExoMars 2022 plans to send a Mars rover, the Rosalind Franklin, to the Martian surface to look for signs of past life. If the launch goes to plan, we’ll have to wait until 2023 for ExoMars to arrive and for the rover to start roaming the surface.

All in all, 2022 is looking to be a very exciting and fruitful time for space exploration.

The Conversation

By Monica Grady

Monica Grady is professor of planetary and space sciences at the Open University.

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‘You may feel your cortisol levels declining’: why Siri should be an Irish man | Life and style

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Inside my iPhone is a cornucopia of Irish men.

“It’s currently clear and 25 degrees,” Colin Farrell replies when I ask him the weather.

“A 7.45am alarm is now off,” says Michael Fassbender when I beg him for some extra sleep.

“Here’s what I found on Google,” Domnhall Gleeson cheerily answers when I screech: “I have spilt coffee all over my stovetop – how to clean white shirt and kitchen bench?” I feel like he is negging me – or playing hard to get, perhaps.

Changing my iPhone’s Siri voice to that of an Irish man has been an exercise in self-soothing. Generic American register begone; now I have a generic Irish lilt – or, if I suspend my disbelief hard enough, the rapturous musings of Colin, Michael, Domnhall, or Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh.

Niall Horan was (obviously) my preferred One Direction member as a boyband-crazy teen. As everyone swooned for Paul Mescal and his chain-sporting ways last year, I finally felt vindicated. Good old Pauly had been telling me the forecast for years.

Of course, being Irish is not the only virtue of these men. They also have great faces – which you, too, can conjure up at a moment’s notice by navigating the labyrinth of settings on your phone. The payoff is well worth it; with each gentle instruction from your personal Irish smooth-talker, you may feel your cortisol levels declining. (Your doctor may disagree.)

There are more tangible psychological ramifications to be found: a 2019 study by the United Nations revealed that the female voices of digital assistants – like Siri and Alexa – were entrenching gender stereotypes. “The speech of most voice assistants … sends a signal that women are obliging, docile and eager-to-please helpers,” the study found.

By altering your Siri’s voice setting, you are training your brain to unlearn the coded biases within its subconscious – or at least that’s what you can tell yourself.

No more women doing your bidding. Just make Ronan Keating do it instead.

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Tesla self-driving car data worries California DMV • The Register

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In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

“Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

FSD is now available to all Tesla owners, who are willing to fork over $12,000 for it. .

AI algorithms can figure out your chess moves

AI models can identify anonymous chess players by analyzing how they move pieces to play the game, according to new research.

A team of computer scientists led by the University of Toronto trained a system on hundreds of games from 3,000 known chess players and one unnamed player. After hiding the first 15 moves in each game, the model was still able to identify the anonymous player 86 per cent of the time. The AI algorithm could be used to capture different playing styles and patterns and be used as a tool to help players improve their techniques.

But the research has been cautioned by some experts, according to Science. It could be used as a technique to uncover the identities of people online. One reviewer of the paper accepted for the Neural Information Processing Systems conference last month, said: “It could be “of interest to marketers [and] law enforcement.”

The model could also be expanded to analyze the styles of players in different games like poker. The researchers have decided not to release the source code for now, according to Science.

GitHub’s Copilot AI programming model can talk to you whilst you code

A developer experimenting with GitHub’s AI pair-programming software Copilot shows just how sensitive its text-generated outputs are to its inputs.

Copilot is a code completion tool. As programmers type away, it suggests the next few snippets of code to help them complete the task more efficiently. But one developer has, instead, been trying to get it to write plain English.

It’s not surprising that Copilot can do this considering the model is based on OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model. GitHub’s software, however, is not really designed to generate text so it’s interesting to see how capable it is compared to GPT-3.

One developer, Ido Nov, found that Copilot was capable of holding a simple chatbot-style conversation, it could answer questions somewhat, as well as summarize Wikipedia pages, or write poetry. The model’s outputs, however, can vary wildly depending on the inputs.

“I noticed a bit of a strange thing,” he wrote in a blog post. “The way letters are formatted had an effect on its behavior, and I’m not talking about compilation errors. It might mean it understands the difference in tone between TALKING LIKE THIS, or like this.”

Here’s an example of the oddity in a fictional chat between the coder and Mark Zuckerberg. The prompt: Mark: FACEBOOK IS NOW META, Me: WHY? led to copilot generating Mark: FACEBOOK IS NOW META (which isn’t that great). But if you fed Copilot the same prompt now all in lower case, it replied “Mark: because it’s easier to implement” (which is much more interesting.) Weird. ®



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