Scandinavian aircraft manufacturer enters race to claim Air Race E title


Norway’s acclaimed pioneers in electric aviation, Equator Aircraft, have joined the world’s first electric air race, Air Race E, with a team including the group’s founder and CEO Tomas Brødreskift.


The group, best known for developing the world’s first electric seaplane in 2018, is a founding partner of the all-Norwegian team established as a new company called Electric Aircraft Propulsion AS (EAP). The racing team is comprised of pilot Rein Inge Hoff, chief designer Brødreskift and team leader Øystein Solheim-Aune.


EAP enters Air Race E as the only Scandinavian team in what is now a field of 10 teams from around the globe preparing to compete in the inaugural race next year. The trio joins the contest with an impressive track record of developing innovative aircraft designs and carbon composite construction techniques, having already conducted the first sea trials of their electric sea plane just last year.


Air Race E founder and CEO Jeff Zaltman, said, “We welcome Equator Aircraft into the series with wide open arms. This is an exciting validation of our racing series as a platform to develop technology for ultimate use in the commercial world. Equator is an accomplished industry player and we expect them to be an accomplished race team as well.”


Tomas Brodreskift: “The Air Race E initiative is a great opportunity to continue our work in electric aviation. The race environment allows us to explore the extreme performance characteristics of our electric powertrain, as we push the components to their utmost limits in a safe environment. Lessons from the championship will be transferred to the factory to improve the performance and design of our electric consumer based sea planes.”


Jarlsberg Airport, 100km south-west of Oslo, will serve as the team’s base where EAP plans to modify an existing Cassutt IIIM, and retrofit it with a novel electric powertrain.


Air Race E will host its inaugural race next year as the first in a series of formula one style international air races. Air Race E events will see eight planes fly simultaneously around a tight 5km circuit at just 10m above the ground and at speeds of up to 450kph – faster than any land-based motorsport.


The series is widely considered a test-bed to trial electric aircraft technology to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation. Skilled pilots, airplane builders and engineers from around the world are taking part, with the opportunity still open for those wishing to register their interest in competing.


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Nutanix Partners with Udacity to Offer Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree Program

Partnership Brings Educational Opportunities to IT Professionals with 5,000 Scholarships

Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced a partnership with Udacity, the global online learning platform, resulting in a new Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree program. This program will enhance learning opportunities in the emerging cloud technologies market that are essential for organizations to uplevel their IT infrastructure. As part of the collaboration, Nutanix will also sponsor 5,000 scholarships to help IT professionals advance their knowledge with this initiative.

As more services move to the cloud, IT teams require the knowledge and expertise it takes to properly manage these infrastructures that increasingly stretch across on-premises and public cloud in a hybrid model. Although hybrid cloud technology continues to grow and evolve, educational opportunities in this field remain at a standstill. In Nutanix’s recent Enterprise Cloud Index survey, 85% of respondents said that hybrid cloud is the ideal operating model. However, 32% of respondents reported a lack of in-house hybrid cloud skills.

To fill this educational gap, Udacity and Nutanix have collaborated closely to develop a Nanodegree program that will advance the knowledge of seasoned IT professionals. To strengthen professional development in this space, the Nanodegree program will cover modern private cloud infrastructure and the design of hybrid application deployment. Ideal students are those managing traditional business applications, legacy infrastructure, or cloud-native applications on public cloud infrastructure.

“One of our primary goals at Nutanix is to ensure that cloud technology professionals continue to stay on the cusp of innovation in this developing field,” said Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO at Nutanix. “We are excited to have worked closely with Udacity to develop the Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree program, and now open access to thousands of leading cloud professionals through this scholarship program.”

To ensure all participants looking to increase their education within the cloud environment have an opportunity to do so, Udacity is opening applications to the Nutanix Hybrid Cloud Scholarship program. For the first phase of the scholarship program, Udacity will select 5,000 applicants to participate in the Hybrid Cloud Fundamentals course. From those 5,000 students, 500 high-performing students will be awarded a full scholarship to the Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree program.

“At Udacity, we strive to empower professionals with the most demanded, forward-looking skills in their fields,” said Udacity CEO Gabe Dalporto. “We’re delighted to team up with Nutanix, a pioneer and leader in the cloud computing field, to create the new, cutting-edge Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree program.”

The Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree program will focus on four subject areas:

  • Modern Private Cloud Infrastructure: Learn to configure and manage a hyperconverged infrastructure cluster, providing a scalable, distributed storage, network, and compute fabric for virtual machines and advanced services.
  • Hybrid Cloud Application Design: Learn about the evolution of hybrid cloud workload management and design for multiple infrastructures.
  • Automating Private Cloud: Create a scalable web application and life cycle operational model with governance to enable on-demand, self-service workloads on-prem with fiscal oversight and quotas.
  • Designing Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure: Learn public cloud concepts, manage hybrid workloads, and drive to global load balancing of workloads.

More information on the Hybrid Cloud Nanodegree and Scholarship program is available here.


Terry Greer-King, Vice President Of Europe, Middle East And Africa (Emea) Sales

Armed with an authority on cybersecurity and with extensive experience in the technology industry, Terry Greer-King is currently SonicWall’s VP of EMEA Sales.

Terry has extensive experience providing cybersecurity solutions to partners and customers across the EMEA region with a dedication to direct touch results and business growth hence we speak to him about his current role and trends in the area of cyber security.

Which countries in the Middle East is SonicWall most active in currently?

Sonicwall has been in the region for over one and a half decades now. We therefore have vast experience and a huge customer base throughout Middle East. Since we are a fully dedicated channel company, we cover all countries in the region, supported by our distribution partners and their technical and business skills.

Our team is based in Dubai, while we attempt to grow our presence to Saudi Arabia and also in other countries. Our business focus today is on UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Oman from a Middle East perspective.

What type of threats are most common in the Middle East?

2018 was a year of high focus on the Middle East’s cyber threats. The strengthening economy, the additional wealth and an increased level of travel resulted in a malware surge mid-2018. This year, Middle Eastern governments have been working successfully on reducing the key threat vectors. Consequently, we saw a 60% decline this year of malware attacks, to 15 million malware attacks of our customers throughout the region in 2019, which we have blocked for our customers.

Dubai has been a focus target, and we expect a high interest during Dubai 2020 Expo and assume a sharp increase of attacks in 2020. Key malware variants detected were Trojans and viruses, that could be blocked with our technology, working in thousands of customer locations in Middle East.

What is driving your company’s business growth this year?

I would say there are two main drivers that are leading our growth. One, our ever-improving partner base that is armed with the technology, ability and knowledge to protect their customers by adding SonicWall services to our solutions and adopting the layered security needed.

Two, the push to the cloud. This will change the perspective of customers on their security immensely. Today, SonicWall is more than just a firewall vendor. Our solutions comply with  our customers’ need for micro-segmented networks with a mix of Hardware and virtual Firewalls, Endpoint security at the next-generation level, Cloud Application Security and Hybrid environments. Our customers also benefit from a single pane of glass management, a reporting and analytics platform for ease of use, and seamless integration into existing SIEMs and other tools. 

What challenges have you and your partners faced recently?

Legacy thinking about cyber security is probably the biggest inhibitor for every next-gen security vendor. “We don’t need security, there is no budget left to secure to current levels, we hear what you say, but we have not been hit yet”. What I like to say, if you secure your business with an old security solution, you will be protected against old threats.

Since cyber-attacks advance quickly, this is obviously not the right approach. Hence, we provide a bi-annual update of our threat report, to ensure, our partners can tell what is happening and support CISOs and IT Managers in their attempt to get the right budget. Security is not living in a silo in companies anymore. It is a matter of trust, brand, and business continuity more than ever. It has become a real matter for the board. This is not understood by some customers yet.

Can you talk about the strength of your comprehensive enterprise collaboration, vendor portfolio?

Our business exists to a major part due to the threat data gather every single day globally from our 1.1M sensors in over 215 countries and territories. This is the database of threats we use to protect our customers and advance our solutions. This is seamlessly integrated with all our products. A mix of on-premise and cloud solutions offers a variety of solutions for almost every use case.

Why is this important? Only a security solution, which is less complex, automated and can detect and prevent data breaches and other cyber-attacks, can deliver the least vulnerable security solution. Our layered security solution and platform, from the network perimeter to the cloud to the endpoint, discovers the known and unknown malware attacks, brings to light shadow IT use, protects against attacks using non-standard ports and easy deployment of encrypted traffic inspection.

All of that is managed through a single pane of glass, reducing complexity and increasingly visibility

In order to ensure right deployment, we not only have a number of skilled partners but, we also offer professional services delivered by partners. A simple starting point is the Network Health Check, which is a standardized check of current settings and deployment of the security solution. From there, a SonicWall Solution Architect can help to draft the best possible security layout.

What does the future products and services entail for SonicWall?

Being one of the most agile vendors in the security space, we have launched already 54 new products and capabilities in the past two years, with 160 Million lines of new code. This is a massive undertaking, but we will not stop. Look out for the coming announcements