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Mellanox’ high throughput, low latency enable supercomputing bigger picture in Africa



  • Mellanox powers Africa’s supercomputer and supports SA team in International Student Cluster Competition

Many people are simply unaware that the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), which is based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Cape Town, is home to the fastest computer on the continent.

Africa’s most powerful supercomputer is currently ranked 167 on the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful computers. This list is published twice a year and the TOP500 list provides an important tool for tracking trends in high performance computing.

This was discussed recently at a Mellanox Technologies event in Johannesburg, at which the advantages offered by Mellanox’ intelligent interconnect solutions were presented. These solutions, which are distributed in Africa by value-added distributor Networks Unlimited Africa, increase data centre efficiency by providing high throughput and low latency, thereby delivering data faster to applications, and unlocking system performance, allowing the CHPC’s supercomputer to help drive new research, new innovations and new national economic benefits through its processing speed and computing power.

High throughput, low latency, agnostic technology

Speaking at the event, Yossi Avni, Mellanox Technologies VP sales EMEA, said, “Around 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years, meaning that the world has produced a ‘tidal wave’ of data which correspondingly needs to be managed. The future depends on the fastest interconnects, and with Mellanox, you are able to reduce your application wait-time for data, thereby dramatically increasing your return on investment on data centre infrastructure. Mellanox increases its performance approximately every two and a half years, and simultaneously cuts the latency.”

Mellanox Technologies offers a choice of high performance solutions: network and multicore processors, network adapters, switches, cables, software and silicon, that accelerate application runtime and maximise business results for a wide range of markets including high performance computing, enterprise data centres, Web 2.0, cloud, storage, network security, telecom and financial services.

Avni notes that Mellanox is able to work with any OEM, as its technology is agnostic. “We offer end to end interconnect solutions for all platforms, and support every CPU architecture in existence because we are standard.

Unlike other network vendors, Mellanox uniquely allows you to mix and match your software and hardware components, as opposed to some of our competitors who provide only proprietary solutions.”

Powering Africa’s supercomputer

One of these solutions is seen in the collaboration that has taken place in building the CHPC’s supercomputer, which was originally unveiled by the CSIR in June 2016.

Dr Happy Marumo Sithole, director at the CHPC, also gave a presentation at the event, in which he discussed Mellanox’ part in building the supercomputer, which is a Dell machine.

Dr Sithole clarified that Africa’s most powerful supercomputer cost more than R100 million and allowed the CHPC to enter the upper echelons of the global high performance computing arena – at the time it was unveiled, it was ranked just outside the top 100 supercomputers listed on the then TOP500.

The CHPC chose Mellanox HPC Testimonia to enhance and support the supercomputer, which provides high end computational resources to a broad range of users.

Dr Sithole elaborated, “The CHPC provides high performance computing and support to such areas in South Africa as the petrochemical, nuclear, mining, automotive and animation industries, as well as to science councils, government departments, universities, the financial sector and large-scale science projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project.

“The project is directly funded by the Department of Science and Technology, and we operate according to strict performance criteria as regards procurement. High performance computing brings competitiveness and drives down the costs of bringing an idea to market, for example by allowing for virtual prototypes to be created instead of physical.”

InfiniBand accelerates the majority of new high performance computing systems on the TOP500 supercomputer list (as at the November 2017 listing), explains Avni. “InfiniBand connects four of the top five supercomputers, including the world’s fastest supercomputer in the USA, unveiled in June by the US Department of Energy, the second-fastest supercomputer in China, as well as the fastest supercomputer in Japan. Mellanox connects all 25 Gigabit and above ethernet systems.

“Our collaborative Mellanox success stories include involvement in CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research; SysEleven in Germany, a leading provider of managed hosting, IaaS and Open Stack; TASE, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and of course here in South Africa the SKA project, the world’s largest radio telescope, as well as the CHPC’s supercomputer.”

Supporting the CHPC in the annual International Student Cluster Competition

In addition to its involvement in the supercomputer, Mellanox offers further support to the CHPC through its sponsorship role in the annual International Student Cluster Competition.

Every July, the CHPC trains computer science and engineering students from across South Africa’s universities in its annual winter school, teaching them to put together high performance computing systems. Some students are then selected to enter the national Student Cluster Competition, which takes place in December during the CHPC’s annual national conference.

The winners of the national competition – a team of six undergraduate students – then win a place to enter the annual International Student Cluster Competition, which takes place in Germany and is organised by the international High Performance Computing Advisory Council.

Entrants have included teams from Singapore, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, the United States, Spain and South Africa. Each team needs to showcase their own designs in building high performance computing systems, thereby demonstrating their prowess in a competition, which aims to showcase how high performance computing influences our day-to-day learning and living.

Avni clarifies, “Over the past six years, from 2013 to 2018, South African teams have won the competition three times – in 2013, 2014 and 2016 – and been runners up in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Mellanox is proud to provide support in the CHPC’s entry into this prestigious competition. During the 2017 competition, we sponsored R200,000 worth of network equipment. We are truly proud to support and encourage this skills transfer in South Africa with our partner, the CHPC.”

Anton Jacobsz, managing director of Networks Unlimited Africa, concludes, “As a value-added distributor, our company takes pride in offering only the best solutions within the converged technology, data centre, networking, and security landscapes. Mellanox is a true example of a company that is driven to embrace new frontiers and play a role in facilitating tomorrow’s technology developments today.

“We support Mellanox’s involvement in the CHPC supercomputer and its sponsorship of the South African team in the annual International Student Cluster Competition. With Mellanox, the bigger picture is always of paramount importance.”

Mellanox’ end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand intelligent interconnect solutions and services for servers, storage and hyper-converged infrastructure are available in Africa through Networks Unlimited Africa, a local value-added distributor of converged technology, data centre, networking, and security technology solutions. NASDAQ-listed Mellanox has its global headquarters in Sunnyvale, California and Yokneam, Israel and has been in existence for almost 20 years.

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How Kade Keyo is breaking down the basics of running a business, offering supports where needed



Kade Keyo
Kade Keyo founder, Tanho Attah

Early 2018, Kade Keyo introduced a singular product called ‘Community’ which embodied the composition of various solution modules.

Since then, they have evolved to repackage each product module to the specific demographic with the problems they aim for the solutions to solve., approached the Founder, Mr. Tanho Attah at their Surulere office in Lagos; he went down memory lane on how the team projected to the future. Even with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, Kade Keyo is still impacting businesses.

Kade Keyo

Tanho Attah of Kade Keyo, setting the agenda

According to him, Kade Keyo remains focused on the broad vision which is “to allow people to see our solutions and plug into the opportunities that they create, giving them more freedom to enjoy life and its little pleasures…”

One brand at a time, KADE KEYO intends to create businesses that serve clients with top quality and train the employees with the utmost respect for the customer needs.

How do they intend to achieve these?

Kade Keyo has business modules that are uniquely designed to offer support to clients. Some of these models are:

Business Services: This entails a simple business consulting, redesign and management service, accessible to all business owners, current and intending, who require professional help in running a sustainable business.

Partnerships: A service that allows individuals to directly partner with us on our operations which include features like Affiliate partnership, Financial partnership, Equity partnership and Venture partnership options.

Kade Keyo logo

Kade Keyo logo

Projects: “With our projects, people can participate in projects we embark on which cover a variety of focuses, as well as engage us to help them activate their own. One of such project is the success story of the “After the Dream” concert, held at the MUSON centre in February, 2015 for a client called Rantique productions, who at the time were looking to produce a concert for the ‘Iwe Kiko’ cross-over opera singer, Ranti”, said Mr. Attah.

Kade Keyo’s plug and play products:

In continuing the progress, Kade Keyo have introduced plug and play products that our clients can engage with on a very simple access process.

Some of them are:

Sales Active:

A simply designed sales solution platform that allows any business owner to rapidly increase sales using our sales network.

This platform also provides opportunities for people to earn extra income by becoming Sales Agents.

Grow Fund:

This financial partnership product allows people to become a part of our success as a company, being able to acquire Grow Fund units at an available listed price and earn real yields from their partnership, month on month leading up to a capitalizing growth value at the end of its tenure cycle.

Grow Fund

Grow Fund

Pitch Deck:

This program allows any business owner to present a pitch to prospective investors and access real-time funding and/or partnerships from interested investors who could be both professional investors or private individuals.

Business Fit:

Business Fit creates a regular business class in an informal setting, breaking down the basics of running a business successfully, earning profit and maximizing opportunities. The goal of the business fit program is to enable more business owners find success in operating their various businesses.

When asked about Kade Keyo’s vision 2020 and beyond, Mr. Attah said:

“Due to recent activities, we have evolved a large portion of our operations to a fully remote work model, allowing our employees to work remotely, in conditions favourable to their daily work needs and personal lives. As such, a large part of our company operates digitally.

“In order to serve our clients more efficiently, we would be creating a series of KADE KEYO solution centres, which will act as a direct interface between the company and our clients.

The solution centres will work as a simple access menu list where clients can walk-in, both digitally and physically, and request the solutions that have been best tailored to fit their needs. The first solution centre is already live and active and can be found online at @sckadekeyo or [email protected], but will be officially announced on August 1, 2020, with a few more centres to follow shortly after”.

Kade Keyo

…eyes on the next target

Beyond, Kayo Kade  intends to do this, one brand at a time, and have focused their recent investment efforts on two industries: Agriculture and Technology.

“With this, we have invested in setting up 2 ventures with a few more to follow before the end of this year, while opening one of them to private partnership for interested parties.

“They are as follows: TBX Farms: A fully functional citrus farm, focused on cultivating, processing and trading citrus crops. Investments can be bought in at 180,000 ngn per 1%, which we will soon close as we are running out of available units up for sale

“Our second target venture, is an aggregate venture between agriculture and technology, with an investment in multiple millions, primarily funded by Kade Keyo and our private partners. Updates on this venture will be announced when we are ready to go public”.

In all, Kade Keyo is highly focused on value addition to businesses. You can take these opportunities too to rave-up your services.

Kade Keyo can be reached via: [email protected] or call 08120398309.

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Sophos Survey: 86% of Nigerian organizations fall victim to public cloud cybersecurity incidents



  • Ransomware and malware, exposed data, compromised accounts, and cryptojacking to blame;

  • GDPR shows promise with Europeans suffering least

A new report, The State of Cloud Security 2020, a global survey from next-generation cybersecurity leader Sophos, shows more than eight in ten (86%) organizations from Nigeria experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year – including ransomware (34%), other malware (43%), exposed data (57%), compromised accounts (46%), and cryptojacking (26%).

Cybersecurity by Sophos

Cybersecurity by Sophos

Globally, organizations running multi-cloud environments are greater than 50% more likely to suffer a cloud security incident than those running a single cloud.

Europeans suffered the lowest percentage of security incidents in the cloud, an indicator that compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines are helping to protect organizations from being compromised.

India, on the other hand, fared the worst, with 93% of organizations being hit by an attack in the last year.

“Ransomware, not surprisingly, is one of the most widely reported cybercrimes in the public cloud. The most successful ransomware attacks ​​include data in the public cloud, according to the State of Ransomware 2020 report, and attackers are shifting their methods to target cloud environments that ​ cripple necessary infrastructure and increase the likelihood of payment,” said the Principal Research Scientist at Sophos, Chester Wisniewski. “The recent increase in remote working provides extra motivation to ​disable cloud infrastructure that is being relied on more than ever, so it’s worrisome that many organizations still don’t understand their responsibility in securing cloud data and workloads. Cloud security is a shared responsibility, and organizations need to carefully manage and monitor cloud environments in order to stay one step ahead of determined attackers.”


Sophos report on State of public cloud cyber security

How organisations unintentional open door: How attackers break in

Accidental exposure continues to plague organizations, with misconfigurations exploited in 64% of reported attacks in Nigeria.

Detailed in the SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report, misconfigurations drive the majority of incidents and are all too common given cloud management complexities.

  • Despite this, only around a quarter of organizations (25%) from Nigeria say lack of staff expertise is a top area of concern.

Data from Sophos Cloud Optix, a cloud security posture management tool, further reveals that globally 91% of accounts have overprivileged identity and access management roles, and 98% have multi-factor authentication disabled on their cloud provider accounts.

Where is the silver lining?

  • Nearly all respondents (97%) from Nigeria admit to concern about their current level of cloud security, an encouraging sign that it’s top of mind and important.
  • Appropriately, “Identifying and responding to security incidents” tops the list of security concerns for nearly half of respondents (45%) followed by “managing access to cloud accounts” and
  • “data leaks” (32% and 32% respectively).
  • Interestingly only 54% of respondent from Nigeria say they have full awareness of their cloud assets
  • And 22% say they are aware of only a minority.

What you should know about this Survey
The State of Cloud Security 2020 report highlights findings of an independent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne among more than 3,500 IT managers across 26 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa that currently host data and workloads in the public cloud.

The full report, along with a detailed list of cloud security recommendations, is available HERE.

Sophos also offers you the opportunity to take control of your cloud security with a free inventory assessment and security check

See the full report on the threat landscape and trends in the SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report

Sophos cloud

Sophos cloud optix solution

Here is also the Sophos’ recent global survey, The State of Ransomware 2020, which finds 59% of successful ransomware attacks involved data in the public cloud

Sophos’ superiority in global cybersecurity market

As a worldwide leader in next-generation cybersecurity, Sophos protects more than 400,000 organizations of all sizes in more than 150 countries from today’s most advanced cyber threats.

Powered by SophosLabs – a global threat intelligence and data science team – Sophos’ cloud-native and AI-powered solutions secure endpoints (laptops, servers and mobile devices) and networks against evolving cyberattack techniques, including ransomware, malware, exploits, data exfiltration, active-adversary breaches, phishing, and more.

Sophos Central, a cloud-native management platform, integrates Sophos’ entire portfolio of next-generation products, including the Intercept X endpoint solution and the XG next-generation firewall, into a single “synchronized security” system accessible through a set of APIs.

Sophos has been driving a transition to next-generation cybersecurity, leveraging advanced capabilities in cloud, machine learning, APIs, automation, managed threat response, and more, to deliver enterprise-grade protection to any size organization.

Sophos sells its products and services exclusively through a global channel of more than 53,000 partners and managed service providers (MSPs).

Sophos also makes its innovative commercial technologies available to consumers via Sophos Home.

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Two residents arraigned for theft of energy on Ikeja Electric Network



Ikeja Electric on Magodo Estate

A mother and her daughter, residents of Fatokun Street in Abule Taylor, off Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos, have been arraigned before Ogba Magistrate Court for alleged energy theft under the Ikeja Electric network.

The duo of Latefat Shofidiya, 65 and Ekundayo Taiwo, 40 were nabbed, after initially absconding from their residence, for allegedly stealing power supply by illegally tapping from a source and passing it underground for more than a hundred meters, right into their home.

The video of the theft showing staff of Ikeja Electric uprooting a long and shallow dug, hidden cable passing through the ground, went viral a few weeks ago.

They were arraigned before Magistrate Ogunsanmi of Ogba Magistrate Court 2, on a three count charge bothering on Conspiracy to commit felony punishable under section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State; Unlawful tampering with the private property of Ikeja Electric Plc. contrary and punishable under Section 340 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State; and unlawful underground connection of electricity punishable under Section 52 of the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law, 2018.

The Defendants pleaded not guilty to all counts and were granted bail in the sum of N200, 000 and two sureties in the like sum. Address of sureties to be verified by court officials. They were consequently remanded pending the perfection of the bail conditions and the case was adjourned to 12th August, 2020 for hearing.

While commenting on the issue, Ikeja Electric’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue pointed out that energy theft was a major challenge bedeviling the power sector.  According to him, “apart from the illegality and the negative impact of the activity on the bills of neighbors, it is also a major safety threat. That is why we deploy legal means to address the anomaly”

He advised customers to desist from acts that are inimical to the progress of the sector and habits that can hamper excellent service deliver.

He also commended the security agencies for providing dependable support and for the role they play in protecting IE infrastructure against theft and vandalism.

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