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NetApp Releases IT Predictions for 2020

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By Atish Gude, Chief Strategy Officer, NetApp

2019 was a year of rapid innovation – and disruption – for both the IT industry and the broader business community. With the widespread adoption of hybrid multicloud as the de-facto architecture for enterprise customers, organizations everywhere are under tremendous pressure to modernize their infrastructure and deliver tangible business value around data-intensive applications and workloads.

As a result, organizations are shifting from on-premises to leverage public cloud services, building private clouds, and moving from disk to flash in data centers – sometimes concurrently. These transformations open the door to enormous potential, but also introduce the unintended consequence of rising IT complexity.

We predict that a demand for simplicity and customizability will be the number-one factor driving IT purchasing decisions in 2020. Vendors will need to provide customers modern, flexible technologies with the choice of how to use and consumes these technologies to meet evolving business models. As IT departments look to de-emphasize maintenance and hardware, reduce overhead, and adopt pay-as-you-go models, simplicity and choice will be key.

Achieving this simplicity will serve as the foundation for companies as they navigate the exciting technological trends we’ve identified below.

1) As the advent of 5G makes AI-driven IoT a reality, edge computing environments are primed to become even more disruptive than cloud was

In preparation for the widespread emergence of 5G, lower-cost sensors and maturing AI applications will be leveraged to build compute-intensive edge environments, laying the groundwork for high bandwidth, low latency AI-driven IoT environments with the potential for huge innovation – and disruption

The advent of 5G is what AI-driven IoT has been waiting for. 2020 will see many players in the technology industry and business community invest in building edge-computing environments to support the reality of AI-driven IoT. These environments will make possible new use-cases that rely on intelligent, instantaneous and autonomous decision-making, with low latency, high bandwidth capabilities bringing us to a world where the internet will work on your behalf – without even having to ask.

The AI-driven IoT revolution, however, will be dependent on a massive prioritization of edge computing, further disrupting IT infrastructures and data management priorities. As edge devices move beyond home devices (like connected thermostats and speakers) and become more far-reaching (such as connected solar farms), more data centers will be placed at the edge, and software such as AIOps will be necessary to help monitor complex environments across edge-to-core-to-cloud.

2) The impact of blockchain will be undeniable as indelible ledgers rapidly enable game-changing use cases outside of cryptocurrency

The world is quickly moving beyond Bitcoin to adopt enterprise-distributed indelible ledgers, setting the stage for a transformation exponentially bigger than the impact cryptocurrency has had on blockchain in finance

While the crypto frenzy continues to steal the limelight when it comes to blockchain, most in the industry understand the bigger picture of the technology and its potential: going into 2020, we’ll see a tipping point for larger implementations as the enterprise goes a step further to adopt indelible ledgers or “Hyperledgers,” which represent the maturation of blockchain for wider use-cases. Indeed, we’ll start to see blockchain go “mainstream” as it enables industries such as healthcare to create universal patient records, improve chain-of-custody pharmaceutical processes and more.

With use cases such as the above validating blockchain and hyperledgers, additional widespread adoption of the technology will drive transformation across society on a larger scale, building on the disruption cryptocurrency has brought to finance to touch nearly every industry. As a result, new data management and compute capabilities will encourage companies to invest in indelible ledgers to build differentiated applications and collaborate on critical, sensitive data sets.

3) Hardware-based Composable Architecture will have less short-term potential against commodity hardware and software-based Infrastructure Virtualization

Continued improvements in commodity hardware performance, software-based virtualization, and micro-service software architectures will eliminate much of the performance advantage of proprietary hardware-based composable architectures, relegating them to niche datacenter roles in the near future.

Hardware-based composable architecture is being hyped as the next evolution of hyperconverged infrastructure, allowing CPUs, networking cards, workload accelerators, and storage resources to be distributed across a rack-scale architecture and connected with low-latency PCIe-based switching. And while there is potential, standardization has been slow, and adoption even slower. Meanwhile, software-based virtualization of storage, combined with software-based (but hardware accelerated) compute and networking virtualization solutions, offer much of the flexibility of hardware-based composable architectures today with lower cost and consistently increasing performance.

Next year, attempts to build a true hardware-based rack-scale computing model will no doubt continue, and the space will continue to evolve quickly, but the majority of organizations that need to transform within 2020 will be best-served by the combination of modern HCI architectures (including disaggregated HCI) and software-based virtualization and containerization.

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Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India

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Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India. 

Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India. 

“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.

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ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament

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ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.

The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.

Tournament Structure

The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion. 

The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:

  • Country qualifiers
  • Country finals
  • Asia Pacific finals

Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.

Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals. 

Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.

Prizes

3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:

ROG Masters APAC ChampionshipAPAC Finals (USD/ team)
1st$10,000
2nd$3,500
3rd$1,500

Registration and Official Tournament Website

Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.

Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.

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Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars

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Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.

Tournament Format

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region. 

The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively. 

Invited Teams

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia. 

The team captains for each nation are: 

India

  • Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
  • Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
  • Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)

Bangladesh

  • Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
  • Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
  • Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)

Nepal 

  • Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
  • Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
  • Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)

Pakistan

  • RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
  • Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
  • The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)

Broadcast Details:

Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!. 

To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.

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