iTWire - iTWire - Networking iTWire - Technology news, trends, reviews, jobs Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:54:04 +1100 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Google to test millimetre wave transmissions Google to test millimetre wave transmissions

Google has filed applications with the US Federal Communications Commission to conduct wireless tests in the 'millimetre' wave bands.

The 24 GHz, 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz UHF spectrum bands are regarded as the Next Big Thing in wireless communications. They are short range and line-of-sight only, and can be affected by weather and atmospheric conditions, but they need only small antennas and are being touted as a replacement for fibre in some applications.

Google has not said what it might use the spectrum for, saying in its application that its proposed testing will avoid harmful interference to other users of the band. The tests will take place in the southern part of San Mateo County, between Silicon Valley and the sea.

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News agency Reuters says the tests will be for a potential ultra-fast wireless service, a wireless version of its Fiber Internet service. “It is unclear from the heavily redacted filing what exactly Google intends to do, but it does signal the Internet giant's broader ambition of controlling Internet connectivity.

“The technology it seeks to test could form the basis of a wireless connection that can be broadcast to homes, obviating the need for an actual ground cable or fibre connection, experts say,” says Reuters.

“By beaming Internet services directly into homes, Google would open a new path now thoroughly dominated by Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and other entrenched cable and broadband providers. It could potentially offer a quicker and cheaper way to deliver high-speed Internet service, a potential threat to the cable-telecoms oligopoly, experts said.”

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Networking Mon, 20 Oct 2014 04:56:15 +1100
intabank partners with Megaport intabank partners with Megaport

intabank, an Australian bandwidth performance platform, has signed a wholesale peering exchange and connectivity agreement with network interconnection provider Megaport.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will provide its intabank IP transit brokering and trading platform as an on-demand peering and connectivity service to organisations connected to Megaport infrastructure.

intabank CEO Andrew Sjoquist said the agreement hits an important milestone for the networking industry, particularly for organisations who want more flexibility and choice when it comes to network connectivity.

“There is a big shift happening in the provision of traditional telecommunications and network connectivity,” he said.  “As the dynamics of networks and applications delivery accelerates to ‘as a service’ models, so too are the demands of customers who want more choice, greater flexibility, secure data management, and better costs control on network services.”

He said Megaport and intabank can now offer organisations such as financial institutions, healthcare and the public sector a high level of flexibility on network connectivity. “Customers maintain full control over their own data and storage, while privacy and security of data is assured as it transits through private network tunnels via Ethernet connections intra-state, and virtual cross connect (VXC) technology inter-state.”

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Sjoquist said that by applying the cloud philosophy to network infrastructure, intabank offers a unique value proposition to organisations. “By virtualising the network, customers can achieve much more dynamic use of their infrastructure with added flexibility according to their requirements at any given time.”

Megaport, founded by well known Australian networking entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, connects data centres around Australia with a range of products including its VXC and Internet exchange products, which allow ISPs share Internet traffic with real time provisioning.

Powered by cloud provider ASE intabank is a provider of on-demand connectivity and peering services, enabling organisations to buy and sell excess Internet bandwidth and network connectivity with no long-term contracts.

In addition, intabank provides connectivity for additional services such as burst bandwidth; greater agility around how network infrastructure is managed on an as-needed basis or as required by the applications being run; and a global marketplace for buyers and sellers of excess bandwidth.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Networking Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:35:46 +1100
Pacnet deploys Network-as-a-Service at NSW Government data centre Pacnet deploys Network-as-a-Service at NSW Government data centre

Networking and data centre provider Pacnet has become one of the first providers of network services at the NSW Government’s GovDC data centre.

The new data centre, in the Sydney suburb of Silverwater, is part of the NSW Government’s strategy to consolidate IT services of its departments and agencies into two core facilities. The other is in the Wollongong suburb of Unanderra.

Pacnet says it has enabled government agencies to provision and scale network bandwidth on demand through its Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), a proprietary Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform tit announced earlier this year that leverages software defined networking (SDN) technology.

“Using PEN, NSW Government departments can build a hybrid IT environment by migrating significant workloads between GovDC facilities and other compatible locations,” said Nigel Stitt, PacNet’s ANZ CEO.

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Under the agreement, Pacnet will activate a Point of Presence (PoP) and host an Internet Gateway at GovDC, enabling NSW Government agencies to connect to Pacnet’s Sydney CloudSpace and other third party data centres.

Pacnet will become a member of the GovDC marketplace, enabling existing and future state government agencies to purchase connectivity solutions, such as Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), IP Transit (IPT), as well as managed services from Pacnet on demand, including hardware-as-a-service, unified communications and IP VPN services.

Pacnet’s as-a-service offerings are in line with the GovDC’s consumption based approach to telecommunications procurement and its capabilities will enable the NSW Government to deliver on its ICT Strategy and Data Centre Reform project in moving to a marketplace available to all NSW agencies.

“Opening a PoP and enabling the Pacnet Enabled Network at the NSW Government’s Silverwater data centre gives all agencies access to Pacnet’s full suite of managed services, and its bandwidth on demand network,” said Stitt.

“NSW Government departments can rapidly deploy to hybrid cloud services and adopt full ICT solutions ‘as a service’ in a cost-effective manner, utilising the range of offerings within the Government Marketplace.”

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Networking Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:58:12 +1100
Allied Telesis's latest switches stack up Allied Telesis's latest switches stack up

Networking vendor Allied Telesis's latest x310 Ethernet switches are designed for deployment at the edges of enterprise networks.

The Allied Telesys x310 switches are intended for applications such as IP video surveillance, building management integration, office connectivity, and IP telephony.

The x310 Series features Allied Telesis's VCStack virtual chassis stacking, allowing up to four units to be combined.

24 and 48-port models are available, with Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) offered as an option for use with devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

{loadposition stephen08}The x310 Series can be used with Allied Telesis Management Framework (AMF), which provides IT administrators with a unified network management console and zero-touch device installation and recovery.

"The x310 Series perfectly complements our existing range of xSeries products and provides another flexible option for network access connectivity," said Allied Telesis director of global product marketing Seiichiro Sato.

"It's the perfect choice for IP surveillance or high-density resilient wiring closet applications where reliability and simplified management are essential.

"Allied Telesis is committed to reducing network administration costs and the x310 Series achieves that with powerful built-in features such as VCStack and AMF."

]]> (Stephen Withers) Networking Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:59:56 +1000
HP launches ‘industry first’ SDN app store‘industry-first’-sdn-app-store‘industry-first’-sdn-app-store HP launches ‘industry first’ SDN app store

Systems vendor HP has announced ‘a new wave of open, software defined networking’ including what it says is the industry’s first SDN app store.

It is now a few years since HP went past IBM to become the world’s largest IT systems vendor (though Apple is bigger than them both). It has done this largely through acquisition, while IBM has been selling off assets.

But it has also grown organically. Because it has so many product lines it is easy to forget that HP is one of the world’s biggest networking companies. Now it has made a major play into the burgeoning software defined networking (SDN) market.

Market research firm IDC predicts that the market for SDN network applications will exceed $1 billion by 2017, “increasing network application vendors’ need for a scalable open marketplace to monetise their innovations.” HP now claims to have the first enterprise-grade SDN application ecosystem in the market.

Its announcement of an HP SDN app store indicates it intends to stake out a strong position in SDN. It says app store “redefines the networking business model, offering the developer community a centralised platform connecting to customers around the world. Customers can now easily discover, learn and purchase specific network applications and download them to their environment for testing and live deployment.” It’s a big call, but HP has the products and infrastructure to make it work.

 “Our customers are eager to transform their network architecture into a competitive advantage and SDN applications make that possible,” says HP’s Raymond Maisano, local boss of HP’s networking division.

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“With the HP SDN app store, we have completed the final piece of the SDN ecosystem by offering a vibrant, robust marketplace of innovations that supports more than five million users and provides support to customers as they migrate to SDN.”

Maisano says the move to SDN encompasses many technology transitions – security, cloud, mobility and big data. “HP remains focused on building an ecosystem of partners to create solution-driven applications that bring value and simplicity to customers. Examples of these offerings include the HP Virtual Application Networks (VAN) SDN Controller, which has been downloaded more than 3,000 times, and the HP SDN Software Development Kit (SDK), which has been downloaded more than 5,000 times.”

He says the HP SDN app store offers independent software vendors an “easy way to bring creative solutions to market, enabling IT managers who embrace SDN architecture to solve their unique network challenges through these applications.”

HP is offering four different categories of applications, defined by their support and test process:

  • The HP Circle, with applications built and tested exclusively by HP.
  • The Premium Circle, containing applications that are top sellers and jointly tested by HP and its partners.
  • The Partner Circle, encompassing applications that have been self-tested by HP partners and reviewed by HP.
  • The Community Circle, offering open-access and community-supported applications to demonstrate open source and concept SDN applications.

As part of the HP SDN App Store launch, HP is introducing six partner applications, in addition to two applications developed by HP:

  • BlueCat DNS Director – delivers network-driven enforcement of DNS policies that allow security infrastructures to gain complete visibility and control through IP address management data across all devices and applications.
  • Ecode evolve – an SDN orchestrator that facilitates dynamic service provisioning with built-in quality of service and denial-of-service mitigation. Streamlining network design, change simulation and automated policy provisioning, it accelerates operations.
  • F5 BIG DDoS Umbrella – allows customers to implement network, application, DNS and SSL DDoS protection near the network edge, closer to the attacker.
  • GuardiCore Defense Suite – provides highly scalable, SDN-based network security for software-defined data centres, detecting and mitigating advanced persistent threats, malware propagation and insider attacks, at an early stage.
  • KEMP Adaptive Load Balancer Application – integrated with the HP VAN SDN Controller solution, provides end-to-end visibility of network paths for optimal routing of applications across the server and switching infrastructure.
  • Real Status Hyperglance– a hybrid cloud and SDN simplified-management platform that provides a unified, full-scale, interactive topology view with 360-degree navigation, intuitive monitoring and context-aware controls for confident insight and action.
  • HP Network Protector – enables automated network posture assessment and provides real-time security across OpenFlow-enabled network devices.
  • HP Network Optimizer for Microsoft Lync – enables automated provisioning of network policy and quality of service to provide an enhanced end-user experience.
]]> (Graeme Philipson) Networking Fri, 26 Sep 2014 04:43:41 +1000
Infinera can deliver 21Tb/sec from your data centre Infinera can deliver 21Tb/sec from your data centre

Cloud Xpress is a 2U 1Tb/sec switch designed specifically for data centre interconnect.

Following the recent launch of their new Cloud Xpress product, iTWire took the opportunity to speak with Infinera's Andrew Bond-Webster, Vice President Asia Pacific and Vinay Rathore, Senior Director Solutions Marketing.

We first asked Rathore to describe the thinking behind the product.

We started talking to some internet content providers and they said 'when we go into the metro [ethernet], we have a different set of challenges. We still need 100 gig but we don't need a lot of functionality that you're providing in the core.' So as a result, we developed a whole new platform to address that demand.

{loadposition davidh08}iTwire: So, where is the growth demand coming from? Carriers? Content merchants?

Rathore: In the 2018 timeframe, the top six or seven Internet content providers will actually be investing just as much as Verizon and AT&T in their cap-ex. Verizon and AT&T are actually keeping their cap-ex relatively flat. They've got cloud as their core business and as a result they've got to have a ton of capacity that connects all of them together and we've essentially developed an optimised platform based upon their feedback; the platform is called Cloud Xpress.

Cloud Xpress is a 2U rack-mounted device capable of switching 1Tb/sec between data centres servers on 10, 40 or 100Gb/sec copper and external optical fibre trunks. This will result in a 21Tb/sec

iTWire: so, what is driving the growth? Is it video? Something else?

Bond-Webster: You're right, in a large part it is video, which is only going to increase in terms of bandwidth requirements and capacity given the likely direction of video with things like 4K and 8K and HD and the amount of content that people now collect and deliver from their smartphones.

There's also the increasing use of the cloud - the development of cloud-based services and the move from enterprises (rather than building their own) to make use of cloud services, is driving the use of data centres and cloud services themselves then generate a significant amount of bandwidth across networks. This requires those networks to support a significant amount of capacity.

… that's where we see the opportunity opening up within the market for data centre to data centre interconnect because any input into a data centre typically then gets replicated or delivered by data centres nearer to the consumers of that data.

We see the Metro cloud market opening up as the data centre to data centre interconnect and the need for very high capacity (from the Internet content providers and cloud services providers) between their different data centres; and that's the gap in the market that Cloud Xpress will fill.

In an attempt to offer some scale to the problem, Bond-Webster and Rathore offered out some back-of-the-envelope calculations. A typical modern data centre may have as many as 250,000 servers, each with a 10G NIC. Presuming the installation to be operating at significant capacity, the servers might be operating at 50% utilisation and the NICs at 20%. This means that the border equipment would need to be able to handle 250K servers x 20% x 10G = 500G/sec.

Larger data centres and those with greater server / NIC saturation would need even higher throughput.

The product is currently in customer trials and will reach general availability in December 2014.

]]> (David Heath) Networking Wed, 24 Sep 2014 01:22:35 +1000
Optus 10 and Jabiru-2 satellites launched Optus 10 and Jabiru-2 satellites launched

The sighs of relief from French Guiana were audible in Australia as two satellites were successfully launched Friday morning (AEST).

The satellites, Optus 10 and Measat-3b, were carried aloft on Flight VA218, an Ariane 5 ECA rocket launched from the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, on the northern coast of South America.

The satellites were originally due to be launched in June, but were delayed when Optus 10 needed additional testing. It is the tenth satellite launched by Optus since it began life as Aussat in 1985. Measat-3b is owned by Malaysia’s MEASAT (Malaysia East Asia Satellite), but carries on board as a discrete payload NewSat’s Jabiru-2.

It is the 61st successful consecutive launch for the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. That is the best record in the history of space flight, but one of its recent launches had problem when two Europe Galileo navigational systems were placed in the wrong orbit.

Jabiru-2 has 216MHz (6 x 36MHz) of Ku-band capacity to provide highly targeted coverage across Australia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. “It will help satisfy the growing demand for reliable and cost-effective communications from the oil, gas, mining, media, aeronautical, maritime, telecommunications and government sectors,” said NewSat’s chief technology officer David Ball, who was in Guiana to watch the launch.

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He said the satellite will now undergo in-orbit testing and will be placed in operational service in about four weeks.“Jabiru-2’s superior capacity will enable NewSat to transition many existing services delivered via third-party suppliers across to Jabiru-2.”

Jabiru-2 is an important step for NewSat after recent financial difficulties. Even more important will be the planned launch next year of its own satellite, Jabiru-1, which will provide Ka-band capacity to high demand regions over the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

Optus 10 is also important for Optus. It is the first satellite to be launched since the company tried to sell its satellite business last year. It has now decided, after being unable to find a buyer at the right price, to expand it.

Optus Wholesale and Satellite’s Rob Parcell said: “Optus 10 represents the next advance into space by Australians and is an exciting milestone for Optus.” Optus says it is “the only local company to own and operate satellites,” but that is no longer strictly true with the launch of Jabiru-2.

“Our satellite business holds a unique position,” said Parcell. “No other Australian telecommunications or satellite company can match the range of communications services we provide. Our satellites reach every part of the country, delivering subscription and free-to-air television and radio services, as well as voice and internet for emergency service providers and mining and agricultural industries.”

Parcell said the new satellite expands Optus’s satellite fleet capacity and provides an in-orbit redundancy capability. Optus now has the largest fleet of geostationary satellites in the region, servicing Australia, New Zealand and Australia’s Antarctic bases.

“Today’s launch demonstrates Optus’s commitment to keeping Australia and New Zealand at the forefront of satellite technology as we continue to invest in bringing communications capability to more households,” Parcell said.

]]> (Graeme Philipson) Networking Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:37:34 +1000
Pacnet accelerating cloud growth with PEN 2.0 Pacnet accelerating cloud growth with PEN 2.0

Global data centre and networking provider Pacnet has announced the "next evolution" of its PEN platform, dubbed PEN 2.0, due for a September release.

Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), a Network-as-a-Service platform, first launched in February and according to Pacnet was the first pan-Asian Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) architecture to power cloud deployments.

The platform uses Pacnet's existing cable infrastructure both locally and internationally to allow enterprises to manage networking services virtually and build a cloud-ready network.

Pacnet says PEN 2.0, available now, is a reaction to a growing need for bandwidth-hungry applications and a big boost in cloud growth. The new version boasts several features including Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), approval chains and Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN), in a bid to help Pacnet customers and service providers accelerate their adoption of hybrid clouds.

"PEN 2.0 widens the scope of software-defined networking, allowing a broader set of services in traditional network topologies to be deployed and scaled on demand," said Pacnet's Vice President of Architecture Jon Vestal in a blog post.

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"For example, the platform allows carrier customers to create an individual network topology at a very granular level, eliminating complexity to create a clear network infrastructure. PEN 2.0 further enables hybrid cloud deployment for our customers, facilitating connectivity from enterprise-class data centers and private clouds to any external cloud vendors and allowing customers to burst workloads from one end to another through our on-demand bandwidth.

"The PEN platform has proved to be a tremendous solution for our customers, enabling them to solve complex network challenges and build high-performance, cost-effective, scalable and cloud-ready networks. Due to strong market demand, the platform was also extended into the United States in addition to deployments in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. It is this same demand, coupled with new challenges spurred by rapid market advancement, which serve as the driving force behind Pacnet’s commitment to continued innovation."

Pacnet is headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore but also has a large physical presence in both Sydney and Melbourne. The company says it owns and leases Asia Pacific's most extensive network of interconnected data centres. The company operates data centre services across 18 locations, 14 cities and 10 countries.

For more information on PEN 2.0 see Pacnet's blog post here.

]]> (David Swan) Networking Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:54:16 +1000
Aerohive promises Wi-Fi scalability Aerohive promises Wi-Fi scalability

Aerohive is "the next generation mobility network company," ANZ country manager Peter Davison told iTWire.

That claim is based on the company's controllerless Wi-Fi architecture that makes the system "linearly scalable," he said.

This design means a network can scale from around five access points to thousands, with no bottleneck or single point of failure.

Other advantages include a simple bill of materials, and customers do not need to work out in advance how powerful a controller is required. Instead, the choices are along the lines of whether the AP is to be used indoors or outdoors, or whether router functionality is required.

{loadposition stephen08}The Aerohive access points are controlled from a management console that can run in Aerohive's cloud, on the customer's hardware, or on an in-house appliance. Even if there is a console outage, the network keeps running, Mr Davison pointed out.

Capabilities include policy-based access and application control. For example, marketing staff may be given unrestricted access to Facebook and Twitter, while the bandwidth available to these services may be severely limited for sales staff to help keep their minds on the job.

Aerohive is targeting organisations that are looking to migrate to 802.11ac networks, as well as greenfields sites. "We're up to 50% less expensive than the opposition," claimed Mr Davison, with access points starting at $699.

Existing Australian customers include MLC and other well-known schools, and the NSE SES (across 274 sites). The company also has local customers in the legal and healthcare sectors, he said.

Page 2: Home customers; 'aggressive growth'.

Aerohive is even selling to owners of large houses (typically in the $5-10 million range) that want excellent Wi-Fi coverage combined with ease of configuration and management.

For a small business looking for a step up from consumer-grade networking, Aerohive has several advantages, including built-in Bonjour support (important for Apple users), the ability to provide users with individual pre-shared keys, and guest access with login via Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts.

It even includes a light version of the Euclid marketing analytics software (the full product is available on subscription) which can be used to measure passing traffic, returning visits, dwell time and more, based on the presence of mobile devices.

"It's all built into the solution," Mr Davison told iTWire.

{loadposition stephen08}"We've got a solution for almost every angle," he said, pointing to large overseas clients such as Deloitte (UK), the largest assisted-living company in North America, and the largest independent bank in the US.

He said Aerohive was close to taking the number three position, and expected to achieve that rank globally and in Australia by the end of 2014.

The company's "aggressive growth plans" see it challenging for the number two spot during 2015, and the local operation is expanding its sales force and engineering capability accordingly.

]]> (Stephen Withers) Networking Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:34:02 +1000
RackCorp selects Brocade, Linktech joins partner network RackCorp selects Brocade, Linktech joins partner network

Sydney-based high-end hosted services provider RackCorp has started transitioning its data centre operations to a new network foundation based on advanced Ethernet fabric infrastructure from Brocade.

The deployment of Brocade solutions by RackCorp coincides with Brocade’s announcement that Linktech Solutions has joined the Brocade Alliance Partner Network (APN) Program with Premier Partner status, to meet growing demand for network convergence and further extend its footprint across Australia.

Rackcorp – which operates 21 data centres across nine countries - says it has embraced the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) capable family of Brocade VDX switches and VCS Fabrice technology to meet the high-availability and increasingly high-bandwidth requirements of its global client base.

“The primary driver for a new network was the ability to plan for more bandwidth. Whilst the RackCorp network is not currently experiencing large loads that impact performance, we could see that our previous capacity would be under stress within the next two to three years. This is a purely strategic deployment now to move to Brocade solutions that offer valid features and provide a roadmap for the future,” said RackCorp director and network operations manager, Stephen Dendtler.

{loadposition peter}“We have a renewed focus on the data network volume market and we need to scale up to cater for high volumes. This means moving to a 10 GbE footing, with the Brocade Ethernet fabric solution. We probably underestimated the significant benefits of Brocade fabric technology and now have a greater appreciation of how much easier it is to add more switching capacity and cloud-centric capabilities. As it is basically plug-and-play, this is going to be a significant benefit for RackCorp going forward as we scale our networks and it will also provide us the ability to deliver more complex customer solutions in an automated manner.”

Dendtler said that the Brocade solution was selected because it provides the “highest performance in its price range”, which allows the company to sell at a better price point resulting in better outcomes on both sides. “It also provides a greater incentive to grow our content delivery network and high-volume network services.”

“There’s a lot of talk in the market about SDN but a lot less productive use of the technology thus far,” said Gary Denman, Senior Director for Australia and New Zealand, Brocade.

“RackCorp’s deployment of the Brocade VCS fabric shows Brocade’s SDN implementation is mature enough to support dynamic 24×7 software-as-a-service capabilities, with millions of dollars per hour being transacted by financial service clients.”

Under partnership with Brocade, Linktech Solutions will gain access to a range of development and sales incentives to support the shift toward open, more flexible and efficient network infrastructure.

Founded in 2012, Linktech provides IT consulting and implementation services from its offices in Sydney and Melbourne, with strong expertise in enterprise mobility, unified collaboration, data centre, cloud computing and infrastructure solutions for a broad range of industries, including health, education, corporate, government and enterprise.

“As the market for network convergence continues to grow rapidly across Australia, we are constantly looking for new partners that offer extensive industry and vertical expertise,” Denman said.

“Linktech Solutions has a skilled team of consultants and engineers experienced in developing strategies that transform the delivery of IT services, which will enrich and extend our range of networking solutions in Australia.”

Denman said the Brocade APN Program rewards partners that invest in developing knowledge-rich practices to address new technology trends, and offers a full set of intelligent, customisable tools that will assist partners in selling Brocade solutions and supports the needs of partners as they help customers make the transition towards network convergence.

Linktech Managing Director Ahmed Latif said, “By combining our market knowledge with Brocade's leading networking solutions, we now have a compelling world-class offering for customers seeking to drive more efficient and flexible IT operations, through initiatives such as virtualisation, data centre transformation and cloud computing."

]]> (Peter Dinham) Networking Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:30:58 +1000