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Western Digital, Dropbox Deploy Leading-Edge Cloud Infrastructure



Ultrastar-DC-HC650 Hard Drive

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading global collaboration platform, Dropbox, has become one of the first firms to qualify for the Ultrastarâ DC HC650 20TB, host-managed, shingled magnetic recording (SMR) hard disk drives (HDD) designed by the world’s most essential data infrastructures, Western Digital.

This has placed Dropbox at the forefront of leveraging data centre capacity, efficiency and scalability for meeting the increasing demands of cloud storage and services by businesses, teams and individuals around the world.

With Western Digital SMR HDDs serving as the storage foundation for its custom-built, multi-exabyte storage platforms, Dropbox continues its strategic path, taking advantage of the highest storage densities with the lowest TCO without sacrificing data durability and availability for its 600 million+ online customers.

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As the industry’s first 20TB HDDs, the Ultrastar DC HC650 delivers unmatched TCO for scale-out enterprise and cloud data centres through increased storage density and improved power efficiency.

Featuring the highest capacity in the industry, cloud and enterprise customers recognize the benefits of SMR HDDs and are adopting the technology to contend with the massive growth in data.

When considering exabyte-scale needs, and associated capital and operating cost of the data centre, the long-term value in terms of lower cost-per-TB, higher density, low power and high reliability can help benefit the bottom line.

Several complementary technology innovations are featured in the Ultrastar DC HC650, including the industry’s first energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) implementation, the industry’s first triple-stage actuator and the fifth generation of HelioSeal® technology.

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Commenting on the latest development, the vice president of engineering at Dropbox, Mr Andrew Fong, stated that, “We’ve been working with Western Digital for many years and throughout several phases of our storage platform development.”

“Online tools and services are more important than ever before, so we need to be able to quickly innovate, expand functionality and scale to help stay competitive.

“We look forward to deploying these higher-capacity 20TB SMR hard drives to further our cost savings and to provide our customers with even more value. Western Digital is an important strategic partner and we look forward to continuously pushing cloud infrastructure boundaries together,” he added.

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On his part, the vice president of enterprise hard drives at Western Digital, Mr Andrew Dorian, noted that “Dropbox was a pioneer in adopting SMR at scale, and their commitment has definitely paid off, giving them an early mover advantage by enabling rapid development of the highest capacity HDDs in the industry into their cloud infrastructure.”

“We are pleased to continue our long-term partnership with Dropbox to help them scale and capitalize on the growing customer demand for cloud services, online storage and remote collaboration tools,” he further said.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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NCC Kicks Against Sale, Use of GSM Boosters



GSM Boosters ban

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated that the sale, installation and usage of GSM boosters in the country is illegal.

The main aim of the GSM booster is to take the existing cell phone signal around places, car, office, workstation or home and amplify it. After amplification, the signal is rebroadcasted to the area with no reception or weak signal.

In a pre-enforcement notice published on its official website, the commission informed the general public, particularly banks and other financial institutions, government agencies, telecommunications service providers, private/public companies, and owners/occupiers of residential premises that the unauthorized use of the boosters was a criminal offence that could attract monetary sanction or imprisonment.

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The notice said: “In exercise of its mandate of ensuring the protection of consumers, ensuring good quality of service and maintenance of technical standards of maintenance equipment, and in accordance with the provisions of section 131 (1) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, the commission hereby warns the general public that it is a criminal offence to sell, install or use any equipment which may hinder network operations, or which has not been type-approved by the Commission.

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“Such acts may lead to monetary sanction and/or imprisonment, or both (fine and imprisonment) as well as the confiscation of any equipment used in the illegal enhancement of network coverage.

“The commission on its part will continue to deepen its collaborative efforts with telecoms service providers to facilitate the provision of ubiquitous telecoms infrastructure necessary to guarantee good quality of service across the nation.

“In view of the above, the commission hereby gives a 14-day Pre-enforcement Notice effective from the date of this publication to any person involved in the sale, installation and use of the device, to forthwith desist from such act.”

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The notice, signed by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Mr Ikechukwu Adinde, warned that the agency would, without further recourse and upon expiration of the deadline, take “appropriate enforcement action including, but not limited to prosecution, fine and confiscation of equipment used.”

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Nationwide Broadband Assessment Rates Airtel as Best in Nigeria



Airtel Nigeria SIM update

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A nationwide broadband assessment by Umlaut has rated Airtel Nigeria as the Best in Test after scoring 697 points, followed by MTN Nigeria with 663 points, 9mobile with 591 and Glo with 486 points.

Umlaut is an international, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end company that offers advisory and fulfilment services to clients globally.

According to Mr Hakan Ekmen, CEO of Telecommunications at umlaut, Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed among other mobile network operators.

He revealed that the tests were carried out with umlaut’s crowdsourcing methodology, which was used to evaluate the mobile networks in Nigeria.

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Consequently, an extensive analysis revealed two-hundred and sixty-three thousand (263,000) users have contributed 707.4-million samples in 24 weeks from October 2020 until early April 2021.

Speaking on the metrics of the assessment, Mr Ekmen stated that over 80 per cent of urban build-up and population areas were tested to arrive at the results. He went on to laud Airtel for emerging the best-rated, citing it as a remarkable feat and a positive step towards attaining digital equality in Africa.

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“In our nationwide assessment, 82.8 per cent of the urban build-up area and 83.9 per cent of the Population area were tested. We concluded that Airtel Nigeria is Best in Test, achieving the highest umlaut score with 697 points.

“Airtel achieved the best-rated broadband coverage and user download speed. This is remarkable in one of the largest telecommunications communities on the African continent, a positive step towards Digital Equality,” he stated.

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Mr Ekmen stated that umlaut’s sophisticated methodology enables the results to be comparable across network operators globally, emphasizing the transparency it provides in not only boosting network quality and performance but also improving the experience for every customer.

He further said while the results in Nigeria are quite impressive, there is still room for improvement in global comparison, however, the competition in Nigeria’s telecoms landscape is working favourably for consumers in the country.

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Software Engineer Favour Ori Disrupts Fintech Space With PayDay



Favour Ori PayDay

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The financial technology (fintech) space in Africa is getting disrupted with the introduction of a payments product called PayDay designed by a software engineer and entrepreneur, Mr Favour Ori.

The expert is keen on building and shipping innovative products geared toward simplifying, automating, and generally improving lives in Africa.

In 2016, he relocated to the United States to study Computer and Information Sciences at Southern Arkansas University. Since then, he has worked with the likes of Turing, GO, ABiTNetwork, CultureBase PBC, Saint Louis University, and Oklahoma State University.

The entrepreneur has spoken at several international conferences like the NCHC Conference in Atlanta, the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York, the YCBS Conference in Atlanta, and 1MillionCups in Tulsa.

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In 2018, prior to founding TalentMatch, he launched an IBM-backed non-profit called FavCode54, which aimed at empowering Africans and helping them launch their tech careers. IBM provided resources valued at $90 million to enable beneficiaries of FavCode54 to learn and deploy real-world cloud products.

In 2020, Mr Ori launched and sold College Situation and Tugure to ABiTNetwork. College Situation connects African students in Africa to renowned institutions, scholarship opportunities and fellowship programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries outside the African continent. On the other hand, Tugure allows Rwandese to trade new and fairly used items easily and securely.

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During the coronavirus pandemic last year, he was inspired to build WeJapa, a talent matching platform to help experienced software developers secure foreign jobs.

He partnered with companies like IREMBO, Quorum Control GmBH, and ABiTNetwork to recruit and the young entrepreneur is working tirelessly with his team at TalentMatch to ensure accessibility of employment in technology on the African continent with PayDay, which they believe is the fastest and most efficient way for technology talent and creatives throughout the African continent to receive payments from their global or foreign clients within minutes, all on their mobile phones or personal computers.

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PayDay is a product by TalentMatch, with team members including Dr Rex Idaminabo (co-founder), Chidi Nwaogu (co-founder), and many other competent African talents. Together, they are working to facilitate cross-border payments in Africa.

TalentMatch has raised over $100,000 in funding; $50,000 in pre-seed funding and $50,000 from angel investors. Though, TalentMatch, which will be joining a Canadian accelerator and will be setting up its headquarters there, is still seeking to raise a seed round of $1 million in the following months.

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