IBM brings quantum computing to the masses
By João Marques Lima Published: 10:07, 6 March, 2017 Updated: 10:07, 6 March, 2017
Big Blue builds on successful work around cognitive Watson and blockchain to ready the next big thing: quantum computing.
IBM has taken an historical step towards mass adoption of quantum computing by launching a commercialised quantum computing system aimed at businesses and the science industry.
Dubbed as IBM Q, the system and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform.
These computing systems entail a new era for mass data analytics in a world where extracting the right information with the smallest latency possible is becoming ever more crucial.
As IBM explains, quantum computing will deliver solutions to problems where patterns cannot be seen because the data does not exist and the possibilities that data scientists need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to ever be processed by classical computers.
IBM said it intends to build IBM Q systems to expand the application domain of quantum computing.
As a first step to increase Quantum Volume – which includes the number of qubits, quality of quantum operations, qubit connectivity and parallelism -, IBM is aiming at constructing commercial IBM Q systems with ~50 qubits in the next few years.
The company has also launched a call to the industry calling for partnerships to be formed in order to develop applications that exploit the quantum speedup of the systems.
The introduction of quantum computing will disrupt most industry with IBM first targeting the enterprise and the science and research fields.
The company believes the introduction of such systems in the drugs and materials discovery spaces will allow to untangle the complexity of molecular and chemical interactions leading to the discovery of new medicines and materials.
Financial services, artificial intelligence, cloud security and supply chain and logistics are other verticals posed to benefit from the adoption of quantum computing.
Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director for IBM Research, said: “Following Watson and blockchain, we believe that quantum computing will provide the next powerful set of services delivered via the IBM Cloud platform, and promises to be the next major technology that has the potential to drive a new era of innovation across industries.”
In addition to the launch of IBM Q, the company has also released a new API for the IBM Quantum Experience to enable developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (qubit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics.
Furthermore, IBM has released an upgraded simulator on the IBM Quantum Experience that can model circuits with up to 20 qubits.
In the first half of 2017, IBM plans to release a full SDK (Software Development Kit) on the IBM Quantum Experience for users to build simple quantum applications and software programs.
Apple’s $950m Danish data centre’s excess heat returned to local community heating system
By João Marques Lima Published: 01:56, 21 April, 2017 Updated: 01:56, 21 April, 2017
Hub in Foulum is quickly becoming a window into what the future of data centre infrastructure and its role in local communities will be.
Apple’s latest European venture is set to give humans much more than cloud power for the company’s products and services.
Following a growing industry trend, the iPhone maker is to use excess heat produced by its most recent data centre project to warm up homes and other buildings.
The company’s $950m data centre in Jutland, Denmark, will capture the mentioned excess heat and send it to the local heating system used to heat up the local community.
The 100% renewable powered data centre in Jutland is rapidly becoming a window into what the future of data centres will be: more community focused and environmentally conscious facilities.
Part of the project is a $3m investment into research around biogas and the transformation of waste material into energy to power the data centre. The research is being conducted with the University of Aarhus.
The basic idea is to use agricultural waste, pass it through a digester which will then convert the waste in methane ready to be used by Apple.
In addition, the digester is set to transform some of the waste into fertiliser, which Apple has vowed to give back to local farmers.
The 166,000 sqm data centre is expected to be brought online before the end of 2017.
Apple has recently been labelled by Greenpeace as one of the cleanest energy user companies in the world ahead of similar giants including Facebook and Google.
Brazil, Angola 6,165km internet subsea cable loading officially starts
By João Marques Lima Published: 15:56, 19 April, 2017 Updated: 15:56, 19 April, 2017
First submarine cable to cross the South Atlantic is set to be brought fully online in the second half of 2018 with a bandwidth of 100Gbit/s.
The loading of a cable connecting Angola to Brazil has been initiated on the African shore as related marine surveys conclude.
The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) will measure 6,165 Km in length and land in Fortaleza on the Brazilian side and at Sangano beach, Luanda, on the Angolan side.
Completion of the marine survey means that final manufacturing can be completed and any minor route and/or cable type adjustments can be fine-tuned based on the actual survey findings.
The cable has been designed with four fibre pairs with each fibre pair capable of transmitting 100 wavelengths with a bandwidth of 100Gbit/s.
The SACS is to interconnect with the Monet cable system — connecting the United States and Brazil — and WACS, the West Africa Cable System.
Owned by Angola Cables, the system will further links into WACS, a cable system which provides carrier level services to operators in Angola and Sub-Saharan Africa across 11 countries.
As a 14,530 km cable running from Yzerfontein (South Africa) to London (UK), WACS has four fibre pairs and includes 14 landing points, 12 along the western coast of Africa (including Cape Verde and Canary Islands) and two in Europe (Portugal and England).
Angola Cables has commissioned NEC Japan and contracted Ocean Specialists, Inc (OSI) to oversee the construction process, all to assure the highest levels of quality.
Antonio Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables, said: “We have worked closely with our partners and suppliers to ensure the highest possible value of the SACS network for our customers.
“As part of our global connectivity strategy, SACS will offer the first direct, high-capacity southern transatlantic connection.”
Artur Mendes, Chief Commercial Officer for Angola Cables, said: “These key milestones illustrate that the SACS cable is on target for completion as Angola Cables continues to build sales momentum for delivery of services on SACS by the middle of 2018.
“Increasingly, customers are turning to the southern transatlantic route for diversification and security. SACS, coupled with Monet and the existing WACS cable, provide unparalleled value for which we are seeing very high demand in the marketplace.”
Top 10 data centre operators in North America, EMEA, Oceania and Asia in Q1 2017
By João Marques Lima Published: Updated: 23:25, 18 April, 2017
41.6% of the world’s PoPs were in North America, 40.4% in EMEA, 9.5% in Asia and 8.5% in Oceania. Operators battled for the top places in each region.
The data centre industry has grown to be one of the most prosperous in today’s economy across most regions worldwide.
Such has led to an increase in recent years around the number of operators in each region and consequently increased competition between providers.
That competition has now been exposed by Cloudscene’s first ever quarterly leader board that ranks the top ten data centre operators in North America, EMEA, Oceania and Asia.
There were 33 companies that made the inaugural leader board, of which 55% were publicly listed companies. This number rose to 70% for North America and dropped to 40% for Asia.
Straight at the top in Q1 2017 is Equinix which ranks number one across all regions. Runner ups include Digital Realty in North America, Interxion in EMEA, NextDC in Oceania and SUNeVision (iAdvantage) in Asia.
Other providers that ranked well overall include Level 3 Communications and Global Switch which have both ranked in two separate regions.
CenturyLink, whose acquisition of Level 3 Communications has recently received the go ahead from its shareholders, also features in the ranking alongside Colt Technologies Services, Zayo, Metronode, Tata Communications, PCCW, Orange Business Services, and others.
Cloudscene has also unveiled that in this quarter’s leader board, the spread of connectivity was centralised to North America and EMEA.
Of the 14,000+ PoPs managed by the data centre operators, 41.6% of the PoPs were in North America, 40.4% in EMEA, 9.5% in Asia and 8.5% in Oceania.
Cloudscene said the leader board was launched following “increasing demand for more transparency and independent data comparing major colocation service providers worldwide”.
The results for Q1, 2017, are as follows:
NORTH AMERICA LEADERBOARD
|North America Ranking||Data Center Operator||Overall Score*|
|6||Level 3 Communications||365|
|10||365 Data Centers||228|
- Top Data Center in North America: CoreSite’s LA1
- Top Data Center Ecosystem in North America: Los Angeles
- Top Network Fabric in North America: Megaport
|EMEA Ranking||Data Center Operator||Overall Score*|
|6||Level 3 Communications||265|
|8||Colt Technology Services||114|
|9||Orange Business Services||108|
- Top Data Center in EMEA: Equinix’s FR5
- Top Data Center Ecosystem in EMEA: London
- Top Network Fabric in EMEA: NL-ix
|Oceania Ranking||Data Center Operator||Overall Score*|
|10||Data Centre Limited||39|
- Top Data Center in Oceania: Equinix’s SY3
- Top Data Center Ecosystem in Oceania: Sydney
- Top Network Fabric in Oceania: Megaport
|Asia Ranking||Data Center Operator||Overall Score*|
|6||GPX Global Systems||48|
|8||AIMS Data Centre||29|
- Top Data Center in Asia: Equinix’s SG1
- Top Data Center Ecosystem in Asia: Singapore
- Top Network Fabric in Asia: Megaport
Global picture for Q1 2017:
Africa’s tech scene is exploding across the whole continent
By João Marques Lima Published: 18:27, 18 April, 2017 Updated: 18:27, 18 April, 2017
New info graphic bares all for Africa’s booming tech scene across 42 countries.
As an emerging market, much attention is being drawn into Africa. With a population rapidly growing to 1.3 billion people, the need to connect and accelerate technology consumption grows day by day.
The data centre space is well aware of this we have seen recently large sums of money invested in the continent with operators starting to also talk more openly about building branded facilities in the continent.
As data centres and cloud operators make their entrance into this budging market, a new tech ecosystem is starting to emerge.
A recent info graphic from from GSMA [displayed bellow] shows that Africa is today home to 314 active tech hubs in 93 cities in 42 counties, with South Africa topping the list with the highest density of hubs at 54, followed by Egypt (28), Kenya (27) and Nigeria (23).
Yet, the ration between countries is still poor as 50% of the 314 hubs sit in just five countries namely the four aforementioned and Morocco.
Nevertheless, in accordance to what has been reported before, giants such as Microsoft and Google have already a strong presence in the continent.
According to the GSMA graphic, 49% of the tech hubs have partnerships with non telecom corporations, with Microsoft, Google and Ashoka being the most represented.
GSMA has also released a similar info graphic regarding tech hubs in south and southeast Asia, where these top 287 and where four countries alone account to 55% of the total.