Business success and nimbleness accumulated in cloud gets serious

The outstanding business value delivered by cloud technology has seen numerous small businesses boom into global giants.

“Cloud computing is the not-so-secret key to a business’ success,” says Anton Jacobsz, managing director of value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited. “For years, the mantra for good business has been to have a brilliant support system in place so that execs can focus on the business at hand – and cloud offers an excellent IT core on which to build and grow a business.”

He highlights further benefits such as cost reductions, due to cloud-based operations requiring fewer staff and less hardware. “And, the cloud is the ideal playground for apps, the shop door to many businesses today,” he notes.

He points out that the cloud division of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile e-commerce company, showed a 96 percent growth from the first fiscal quarter of 2017 to the first fiscal quarter of 2018. “It has also been widely reported that it has been growing its investment in the cloud and building new data centres.

“Naturally, we are most pleased that Mellanox’s 25GbE and 100GbE ConnectX-4 EN family of Ethernet adapters is deployed in these new data centres,” says Jacobsz. “We hope African businesses and entrepreneurs are taking notice.”

Networks Unlimited distributes Mellanox solutions throughout Africa and has been an advocate of the company’s innovative technology since inception.

Mellanox’ ConnectX-4 Network Interface Cards (NICs) feature cutting-edge technologies including RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) and Data Path Development Kit (DPDK).

In essence, RDMA technology is designed to solve the delay of server-side data processing in network transmission. It enables network adapters to access the application buffer directly, bypassing the kernel, the CPU, and the protocol stack, so the CPU can perform more useful tasks during the I/O transport. This improves server performance, thus enabling application workloads to be highly scalable with high bandwidth networks.

RDMA is based on converged Ethernet and can be implemented on an existing open Ethernet network. Of benefit is that with RoCE, there is no need to convert data centres’ legacy infrastructures, which allows companies to save on capital spending.

RoCE also enables introducing RDMA technology seamlessly into an Ethernet data centre, which benefits applications by making them more efficient, without requiring massive changes to the current network infrastructure.

DPDK is a technology that provides a simple and complete framework for fast packet processing in data plane applications. The toolset allows developers to rapidly build new prototypes.

The Mellanox open source DPDK software enables industry standard servers and provides the best performance to support large-scale, efficient production deployments of Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) solutions such as gateways, load balancers, and enhanced security solutions that help prevent denial of service attacks in the data centre.

“We are encouraged by Alibaba Group’s utilization of Mellanox’ technologies and hope to see similar successes through our collaboration with Mellanox Technologies in our region of operation,” concludes Jacobsz.

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