Barracuda Launches UAE Data Centre Services Offering Local Cloud Data Protection

New offering in the United Arab Emirates, running on Microsoft Azure, will help meet the country’s growing demand for cloud data protection that complies with local regulations

  • Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup sales grew by 55% in the past 12 months, and the new services in the UAE, France and India will support this growth further.
  • Customers dealing with strict regulatory, industry, and data requirements in these three areas can now take advantage of innovative technology from Barracuda to store and restore their data in their own region.

As it looks to meet the growing demand for data protection in the Emirates and better serve its Middle East customers, Barracuda Networks, Inc., a trusted partner and leading provider of cloud-first security solutions, today announced that its Cloud-to-Cloud Backup solution will now be delivered to customers in the United Arab Emirates from Microsoft’s local cloud data centres. This makes a total of 10 regions for the solution, and customers’ Office 365 backup data will be stored locally within the country, a key requirement for customers operating in regulated industries, and in complying with local regulations.

In a recent study conducted by Barracuda, organisations disclosed that data protection is both a security and regulatory concern for them. A full 69% of respondents said they are concerned about storage of the data being backed up outside their geography (geo residency), and more than 7 in 10 respondents are concerned about compliance with data privacy requirements.  

With the UAE’s landmark personal data legislation that places new regulations around the processing of personal data for individuals in the UAE coming into effect this year, such concerns around geo-residency will no doubt be amplified for businesses in the country.

“At Barracuda, we continue to invest in our global infrastructure in order to help local organisations get access to protection against emerging threats,” said Chris Ross, SVP International, Barracuda. “As more organisations move to the cloud, they are looking to protect their data, while being able to handle and store data locally. Microsoft advises customers to use a third-party backup and recovery provider, and with these new regions, we will be able to serve our customers while helping them comply with data regulations and policies.”

Barracuda’s latest version of Cloud-to-Cloud Backup delivers a fast search and restore experience for Office 365 data, including Teams, Exchange Online, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Compared to traditional backup and recovery solutions, it is a cloud-first solution that provides scale and resiliency, fast performance, and wide global coverage to protect Office 365 data born in the cloud.

Necip Ozyucel, Cloud and Enterprise Business Group Lead, Microsoft UAE added, “We are excited about Barracuda making Cloud-to-Cloud Backup available on the Azure UAE Regions to provide data residency. Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup provides a flexible and scalable backup solution with its cloud native features running on our local datacentre regions in the UAE.”

The Need for a Zero Trust Edge Strategy

By: John Maddison, EVP Products & Solutions at Fortinet

Today’s hybrid workers require access to distributed applications deployed in the datacenter, multi-cloud environments, and SaaS locations. Digital acceleration involves adopting and implementing new technologies and practices to improve business agility and employee productivity. But it is also redefining the network edge—especially in today’s Work-from-Anywhere world where users move between on-premises locations, interconnected branch locations, home offices, and temporary locations during travel—thereby expanding the attack surface and exposing the business to new, advanced threats.

Unfortunately, most traditional network architectures were built using disparate and statically deployed point products that provide implicit access to all applications. However, such an approach is no longer effective at providing secure access to critical resources at scale, especially as users, devices, and applications are in constant motion. And the inevitable rerouting of traffic to fixed security points for inspection severely impacts user experience, especially when those tools cannot adequately examine encrypted application, data, and video streams. Far too often, the default response in many organizations has been to bypass security to not impact critical business operations. And the result has been disastrous, with ransomware, phishing, botnet, and other criminal activity now at an all-time high.

What’s needed is a secure Digital Acceleration strategy that ensures that new technologies can be adopted and new, highly dynamic edges can be established without compromising the protection of critical data or the security of users and devices. Zero-trust is based on the principle that every device or user is potentially compromised, and therefore every access request must be authorized and continuously verify. And even then, users and devices can only access those resources required to do their job and nothing more.

This same approach is now being applied to the remote edges of the network, a strategy known as the “Zero Trust Edge.” This new zero-trust approach to securing the expanding edges of today’s networks helps ensure that Security-Driven Networking – the critical convergence of security and networking – is everywhere. This enables security to seamlessly adapt to dynamic changes to the underlying network infrastructure, including connectivity, while providing explicit access to applications based on user identity and context.

Security-Driven Networking from Fortinet

Forrester recently described a solution they have dubbed the “All-In-One Zero Trust Edge” in the Now Tech Report published in December 2021. In that report, they described the future of next-generation networking infrastructure as bringing together networking and security in any combination of cloud, software, and hardware components, securely interweaving users, data, and resources using essential zero-trust principles.

Fortinet is recognized in this report. We believe that’s because we uniquely bring together all components needed to converge networking and security and can then deploy them on premises and in the cloud, including SD-WAN, NGFW and ZTNA. This ensures that we can deliver consistent convergence and zero implicit trust everywhere. We call this Security-Driven Networking.

Fortinet’s Security-Driven Networking approach starts with FortiOS-based innovations, including our on-premises SD-WAN and next-generation firewall secure access solutions, which also includes built-in ZTNA. It continues in the cloud with Fortinet’s cloud-based secure web gateway, CASB, and ZTNA solutions for remote users. 

Description: Graph of Fortinet’s Security-driven Networking Approach to Zero Trust Edge strategyFigure 1: Fortinet’s Security-Driven Networking approach to Zero Trust Edge

What is a Zero Trust Edge Solution?

Fortinet’s Security-Driven Networking innovations deliver the industry’s most complete Zero Trust Edge solution:

1. SD-WAN: Providing better path and user-experience to applications and services using SD-WAN is foundational for any Zero Trust Edge solution. Fortinet was the first vendor to blend advanced security and connectivity into a unified solution. Our Secure SD-WAN solution securely interconnects all offices to every datacenter, multi-cloud, and SaaS environment. And in addition to reliable connectivity and cloud on-ramp, it includes a full suite of advanced security, enables dynamic segmentation to prevent lateral threat movement for East-West protection, and maintains superior user experience through digital experience monitoring.

2. Hybrid Convergence of Networking and Security: Zero Trust Edge must also support today’s highly dynamic networks. Legacy security solutions struggle to provide consistent policy distribution, orchestration, and enforcement when the underlying network is in constant motion. Integrating security and networking into a unified system is essential for deploying consistent security everywhere, both for on-premises and remote users. Fortinet is the only vendor to deliver networking and security convergence powered by the same operating system (FortiOS) to offer seamless policy distribution and orchestration. We also provide the industry’s highest security performance using our purpose-built security ASICs, enabling the inspection of encrypted traffic, including streaming video, without impacting user experience.

3. Secure Remote Access: Cloud-delivered security that securely connects all remote users is essential to any Zero Trust Edge solution. Comprehensive web security from the cloud must provide multiple layers of defense with AI-driven web filtering, video filtering, DNS filtering, IP Reputation, Anti-botnet service including the ability to address data loss prevention and protect mobile users with in-line CASB integration.

4. ZTNA Everywhere: Finally, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is essential for securing access to the critical applications and resources today’s hybrid workforce demands. However, protecting a hybrid workforce that may be in the office one day, working from home the next, and traveling another requires a ZTNA solution that is available everywhere users or devices are located. Unlike traditional VPN, ZTNA provides explicit access to users per application based on identity and context. Fortinet is the only vendor with a ZTNA solution designed to protect access from any edge, not just a few edges.

Fortinet’s Security-driven Networking Approach to Zero Trust Edge

Fortinet’s innovative approach to Zero Trust Edge converges enterprise-class security and networking everywhere across the network. This unique ability ensures secure access to critical applications and resources, whether users are on-premises or accessing resources through the cloud. Our Security-Driven Networking approach—including our unique combination of exclusive purpose-built ASICs, cloud-delivered security solutions, and integrated networking capabilities—enables superior user experience combined with coordinated threat protection for every network edge.

Zero Trust Edge resolves one of the most enduring challenges facing today’s IT teams: extending enterprise-grade security and granular access control to remote workers. Fortinet’s Security-Driven Networking approach provides a unique solution to overcoming user experience, siloed and disconnected networking/security technologies, and implicit trust challenges that create obstacles for today’s organizations serious about digital acceleration and implementing an effective—and secure—work from anywhere strategy.               

Air Arabia named ‘Airline of the Year’ at Air Transport Awards 2022

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) operator, has been named ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2022 Air Transport Awards that took place in Athens, Greece with the participation of industry leaders.

The winners of the Air Transport Awards were voted for by the readers of Air Transport News and a jury of international aviation experts.

The honour recognises Air Arabia’s consistent efforts to enhance the customer experience and its focus on delivering exceptional value for its passengers. It also celebrates the airline’s commitment in building and pioneering a sustainably profitable business model.

Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said: “We are honoured to be named as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the Air Transport Awards, a prestigious recognition that underlines our commitment to operational excellence and customer service excellence. In addition to the value that we deliver as a low-cost carrier, we have consistently focused on enhancing the customer experience, and in further strengthening our operations during a very challenging period for the global aviation industry”.

He continued saying: “We are firmly committed to creating long-term value for our stakeholders, and continue to expand our operations to key global markets, thereby creating value for all the economies we operate in. This recognition is dedicated to everyone at team Air Arabia for their commitment, dedication and hard work.”

Air Arabia currently operates 170 routes from its hubs in the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt. Air Arabia Group has also signed an agreement with Lakson Group, one of Pakistan’s leading business conglomerates, to launch a new low-cost airline based in Pakistan and is also gearing up to officially start the operations of “Fly Arna” following an agreement with The Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to launch Armenia’s national airline.

The Air Transport Awards are conducted every year and cover all the main categories of the air transport industry.


Earlier this month, leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, chartered an Air Seychelles’ Airbus A320neo to fly the victorious Toyota Gazoo Racing Dakar Team back to Johannesburg, following the climax of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel stormed to victory in their Toyota DKR Hilux T1+, ably assisted by their large support team. Lyndee du Toit, CEO of ACS South Africa, commented: “We arranged the charter to fly the 96-strong team out from Johannesburg to Jeddah on Boxing Day, ahead of the two week race, which started on 1 January, 2022 and travelled the length and breadth of Saudi Arabia. “The gruelling 13-stage race covered more than 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) of Saudi Arabia’s dirt tracks and deserts and saw the Toyota team run out victorious on Friday, 14 January, 2022. A couple of days later the charter flew them back to South Africa, triumphant, on board the A320neo.”

Charles Johnson, Chief Commercial Officer of Air Seychelles, commented: “We are thrilled to yet again be working with ACS and to be the charter air carrier of choice for winning sports teams. In the case of the Dakar Rally, stretching our wings from Jeddah to Jo’ burg nonstop on our A320neo – teams around the world prefer the safe, reliable and friendly Creole spirit they receive when chartering with Air Seychelles.” A spokesperson for the Toyota Racing team said: “The charter flight to and from Jeddah was a remarkable experience. Getting all the South African competitors to and from the Dakar rally was a monumental task, but ACS was completely up to the job. The specific aircraft, flight crews and cabin crews were all modern, well-trained and dedicated, and the in-flight service and food was simply spectacular.”

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Welcomes Sofitel Spa With L’Occitane

Step out of the hustle and bustle of Dubai and into a sanctuary of bliss at Sofitel SPA with L’OCCITANE in Sofitel Dubai The Palm, the newly launched, ultimate wellbeing experience for the body and mind. 

Sofitel has joined forces with SPA L’OCCITANE to launch a new wellness concept at the resort which will introduce some exciting new spa treatments and therapies. Using L’OCCITANE en Provence’s signature beauty products that are rich in natural and organic ingredients, an exclusive range of rejuvenating, restorative and effective well-being treatments will be offered. 

The rebranded Sofitel SPA with L’OCCITANE offers a fully integrated and holistic well-being journey with a wide range of singular and pioneering therapies that include treatments with the signature floral and feminine Rose range. The spa combines exceptional worldwide ancient traditions, therapies, music and treatments using French flare and expertise to create the perfect space to revitalise, rest and rejuvenate in Palm Jumeirah.

“Sofitel Dubai The Palm is a wonderful destination to showcase our interpretation of holistic well-being inspired by nature. We are truly honoured with this partnership and look forward to launching our latest spa innovations supported by experienced professionals, committed to delivering our immersive and meaningful brand experience. We are thrilled to support Sofitel Dubai the Palm in becoming an exceptional wellness destination in Dubai,” said Catherine Tran, Director of Spa Business Development at SPA L’OCCITANE.

The newly renovated spa includes 28 treatment rooms, hammam facilities, steam room, sauna and female and male relaxation rooms. Body massages and face rituals including treatments using the delicately-fragranced Rose range, will leave skin soft, reinvigorated and truly radiant. Special packages and programmes combining an array of treatments are offered by trained SPA L’OCCITANE experts.

After the spa experience, guests can continue their wellness journey by enjoying hammam and a dip in the infinity pool, with striking views of the Palm Jumeirah. 

Guests will also be able to indulge in Sofitel SPA with L’OCCITANE signature treatments such as the Rejuvenating experience, Exhilarating experience, and custom spa rituals that include ‘Journey to Arabia’, which combines a body massage and exclusive Rose fragranced body scrub with massage. Transforming the beautiful Rose scent into a massage journey, the treatment combines Swedish effleurage, Chinese acupressure and Balinese massage techniques to release stress and tension.

“As the perfect addition to Sofitel Dubai The Palm’s exceptional offerings, Sofitel Spa with L’OCCITANE is a new concept that is sure to elevate the spa experience at Sofitel that many of our clients have already come to love with a more holistic approach to wellness – all set in a beautifully designed space. Here, guests can step into a world of indulgence from the moment they enter the newly renovated spa. We are looking forward to providing  an urban escape through a wellbeing journey encompassing the body and mind”, said Christophe Schnyder, Managing Director, Sofitel Dubai The Palm.

Sofitel Dubai The Palm’s spa is a place where time stands still. So, treat yourself to the French glow – from radiant skin-boosting experiences that detox, cleanse and revitalise to the chic, tranquil setting that combats the dem

San Marino Pavilion celebrates National Day at Expo Dubai with memorable events

Series of performances and activations held at Expo Dubai venues across two days

The Republic of San Marino planned a host of activities over two days to celebrate their National Day at Expo 2020. The National Days at Expo 2020 Dubai give country pavilions an opportunity to celebrate their culture and achievements while showcasing the special features of their pavilion and the San Marino pavilion highlights the country’s unique attractions, treasures, natural resources and heritage elements.

San Marino’s presence at Expo Dubai reinforces the country’s efforts to position itself as a resourceful country with must-see tourist destination nestled within Northern Italy and easily accessible via key airports such as Rome and Bologna. San Marino is an independent country founded more than 1700 years ago with 33.000 inhabitants.

The San Marino Pavilion, located in the Opportunity District is dedicated to the replica of the “Treasure of Domagnano” found in San Marino in late 1800. The most important piece of the treasure, the fibula is now at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The pavilion tells the History and tradition of the country as well as its modern economic system based on tourism but also in innovative companies.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence of the United Arab Emirates and Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai represented the UAE as the host country at the formal ceremony.

Officials attending the San Marino National Day at the Expo will be the two Heads of State, S.E. Francesco Mussoni and S.E. Giacomo Simoncini, the Republic of San Marino’s Minister for Tourism and Expo, Federico Pedini Amati, the Minister of Work and Sport, Teodoro Lonfernini, Minister of culture and instruction Andrea Belluzzi,Minister of Economy and Industry, Fabio Righi and GIAN Primo Giardi, The president of CONS – Sammarinese National Olympic Committee. Also attending will be the General Commissioner, Filippo Francini.

The celebrations on the 12th of February included the San Marino Flagwavers Show across different Expo Plazas (Arrival, Earth, Sea and Sun). The San Marino Crossbow Men’s Federation, an artistic ensemble founded in 1956 by Master Giuseppe Rossi, dressed in traditional medieval costumes performed a historical commemoration of a typical medieval show. 

This was followed by the San Marino Medalist Event at the San Marino Pavilion VIP Lounge to celebrate the first olympic medals for a small country in the disciplines of fighting and shooting. Present were Alessandra Perilli and Gian Marco Berti, winners at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics in the skeet shooting discipline who, together with Miles Amine, in the wrestling discipline, won the first three medals Olympic Games for the oldest Republic in the world. San Marino entered history as the least populous nation to have ever won the highest number of medals at the Olympics.

Another highlight on Day one was the Flagwavers and Medalists Evening Parade. An authentic and suggestive parade ventured around the streets of expo dressed in traditional medieval costumes, which included the crossbowmen along with noblewomen and noblemen, flag-wavers and musicians performing medieval songs and melodies using trumpets and drums along with the presence of the two olympic medalists. The elegance, the beauty, and the ability in their shows make the Republic of San Marino proud to be represented by them highlighting its oldest medieval heritage to the rest of the world.

San Marino’s National Day at Expo, 13th of February sees MSV + Giostremia Music in the Garden perform at Al Wasl Plaza. The ensemble was born from an all-female friendship story that binds the seven musicians of classical music education all together for the first time, for this extraordinary celebration of San Marino National Day in Dubai.

They interpret an unpublished repertoire of different musical genres, with strong theatrical combinations linked to Central European operetta, the French café chantant and Latin American rhythms. The proposed pieces are admirably adapted by the Master Marco Capicchioni who has exceptionally created a unique show performed for the first time at Expo Dubai.

The Official Ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza ceremony hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai was attended by delegations from San Marino and the United Arab Emirates. The ceremony, held at  the jewel of Expo 2020 included the flag raising and speeches by the San Marino delegates and UAE institutions. This Instrumental moment was followed by performances that saw MSV + Giostremia and The Flagwavers Cultural Performers enthrall the audience.

The flag and some videos of San Marino were projected on the most spectacular 360′ screen of the world with the anthem as a soundtrack followed by a Flagwavers and medalists Evening Parade to conclude the celebrations.

Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 has invited visitors from across the planet in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture. The Expo has been an ideal platform for the Republic of San Marino officials to communicate and engage with partners, media and sponsors about the deep cultural and economic ties between San Marino and the UAE as well as helped strengthen crucial relationships to  encourage  more  collaborations between the different countries and the Republic of San Marino.

Boeing Buys Two Million Gallons of Sustainable Aviation Fuel for its Commercial Operations 

EPIC Fuels to supply fuel blend with SAF component made from inedible agricultural waste for production, test, Dreamlifter and delivery flights

Largest SAF purchase to date demonstrates Boeing commitment to SAF as most immediate way to decarbonize aviation

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 8, 2022 – Boeing [NYSE:BA] today announced a supply agreement for two million gallons (7.5 million liters) of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with EPIC Fuels to power its Commercial Airplanes operations in Washington state and South Carolina through 2022. The agreement is the largest announced SAF procurement by an airframer and further demonstrates Boeing’s commitment to decarbonizing aviation. 

“SAF is a safe, proven, immediate solution that will help achieve our industry’s long-term commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” says Sheila Remes, Boeing vice president of Environmental Sustainability. “Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality. Through this agreement we will reduce our carbon footprint and have SAF available for customer deliveries as well as our own operations.”

Sustainably produced jet fuel, which reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 80% over the fuel’s life cycle with the potential to reach 100% in the future, is widely recognized as offering the most immediate and greatest potential to decarbonize aviation over the next 20 to 30 years. Made from several feedstocks, sustainable aviation fuel is certified for commercial use and can be blended with traditional jet fuel without modifications to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure. Approximately a year ago, Boeing committed to deliver its commercial airplanes capable and certified to fly on 100% SAF by 2030.

The purchase agreement with EPIC Fuels includes a SAF product made from inedible agricultural waste, blending 30% neat SAF with 70% conventional jet fuel. The purchase will enable broader use of SAF for Boeing commercial production, test, ferry, Dreamlifter and customer flights at facilities in Everett, Renton and Seattle in Washington state and North Charleston, South Carolina. EPIC Fuels will also continue to supply customized blends from 50/50% up to 100% SAF for the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program, which accelerates innovation by taking promising technologies out of the lab and testing them in the air to solve real-world challenges for airlines and passengers. SAF is currently approved for a 50/50 blend with conventional jet fuel for commercial flights.

“Our focus on environmental stewardship and safety is well known in the industry.” expressed Kyle O’Leary, VP and COO of EPIC Fuels, an independent aviation fuel supplier with primary operations throughout the U.S. and Canada. “EPIC and Boeing have been partners for decades and we are honored to be a part of this procurement. Working together, we are making sustainability more attainable for our customers.”

The purchase builds on Boeing’s long-term industry leadership and investment to develop SAF around the world, partnering with airlines, fuel companies, governments and research institutions to expand SAF supply and reduce its cost. Boeing began SAF test flights in 2008, helped gain approval for commercial use in 2011 and enabled airplane delivery flights with SAF starting in 2012. The 2018 Boeing ecoDemonstrator conducted the industry’s first 100 percent SAF commercial airplane test flight on a 777 Freighter in partnership with FedEx. In 2019, Boeing began offering customers the option to power commercial delivery flights with SAF to demonstrate commitment to reducing CO2 and further spur the use of cleaner fuels.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at

Kodak Alaris Expands Global Alliance with ABBYY

Kodak Alaris has announced a global strategic alliance with digital intelligence company ABBYY. The agreement expands the longtime partnership to now include the integration of Kodak Alaris’ award-winning information capture solutions with ABBYY’s industry-leading low-code/no-code, cloud-based intelligent document processing (IDP) platform, Vantage, to help organizations successfully transform documents into actionable data.

As part of the expanded alliance, Kodak Alaris and ABBYY will offer a technical integration of the Kodak INfuse Smart Connected Scanning Solution and Vantage. Together, Kodak Alaris and ABBYY will drive automation initiatives on a global level and create opportunities for both companies and their partners to solve a variety of document processing challenges for customers.

The INfuse Solution from Kodak Alaris integrates seamlessly with partner applications to create solutions that make it easy to capture data and deliver it directly into business processes. When integrated with intelligent automation platforms, customers achieve an automated end-to end solution for fast, effortless invoice processing. Kodak Alaris will also offer a connector to Vantage and have access to a library of document skills available from the ABBYY Marketplace this year.

The INfuse Scanner quickly digitizes documents of all types, and the data is delivered directly to the ABBYY Vantage platform. ABBYY Vantage provides pre-trained document skills that make it easy for businesses to read and understand the content and context from documents of any type with a high degree of accuracy. Vantage automatically extracts and classifies incoming documents, routes them to the appropriate business processes, and learns from every document to continuously improve straight-through-processing rates.

“We are delighted to partner with ABBYY and look forward to working together to help our joint customers accelerate their automation strategies and increase productivity,” said Don Lofstrom, President & General Manager at Kodak Alaris. “Our global partnerships provide customers and channel partners with access to best-in-class solutions to capture, extract, and process data from a variety of document formats and channels. The combination of Kodak Alaris’ expertise in information capture with ABBYY’s digital intelligence platforms will help customers accelerate their digital transformation and optimize their business processes.”

 “Vantage completely reimagines how Kodak Alaris can solve document processing challenges for its customers by now having a more agile, yet powerful IDP solution that easily integrates into INfuse,” commented Bruce Orcutt, SVP of Product Marketing at ABBYY. “We are pleased that Kodak Alaris’ ecosystem of customers and partners now have a low-code/no-code, easy-to-consume option and to expand our partnership with Kodak Alaris.”

For more information, please visit the Kodak Alaris website at

SD-WAN: The Bridge to a 5G future

By: Jacob Chacko, Regional Director – Middle East, Saudi & South Africa at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

After over a decade of 4G connectivity, leaders in global telecoms are now racing to roll out the fifth generation of broadband cellular technology and meet today’s twin challenges of increased network activity and bandwidth demands. The pressure to upgrade has only become greater due to the pandemic, which shifted the global workforce from the office to the home, and in doing so greatly increased the number of digital touchpoints.

Research conducted by Markets & Markets indicates that the enterprise 5G market is expected to grow from $2.1 billion in 2021 to $10.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 31.8%. In the short term, the task at hand for service providers involves enabling IoT communications, fixed wireless access, edge analytics and enhanced mobile broadband. To achieve this, service providers will have to lean on existing technologies. SD-WAN is one of the key technologies that has the potential to aid service providers in their delivery of a higher quality of network experience to meet ever-increasing user expectations.  

5G: Untapped Potential

According to a study conducted by IDC, it is estimated that there will be 51 million IoT devices by 2021. The advent of edge computing will serve to enable this influx of IoT devices. However, as connectivity increases, so too does the amount of data that must be processed, both in real-time and close to the source.

Facilitating huge volumes of data at high speeds is a key function and much promised benefit of 5G. Yet despite providing higher bandwidth to operations, 5G is limited in range. It is expected that 5G networks will be powered by hundreds of thousands of small cells. However, the denser the network of cells, the more difficult they become to manage, operate and maintain, therefore the crux of the issue becomes not only the optimization of these networks, but also the automation.

SD-WAN: The Enabler

Connection and integration across the relevant compute edges is integral to any 5G operation. SD-WAN platforms can help service providers by allowing for automation and aiding in the optimization of traffic and management of 5G cells. Unlike a traditional router-centric WAN architecture, a Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is designed to support applications in on-premises data centres, public or private clouds, and SaaS services, such as Microsoft 365, Dropbox and Workday. At its core, an SD-WAN is a virtual WAN architecture that aims to securely connect users to applications. It achieves this by enabling organisations to leverage a combination of transport services, such as MLPS, LTE, and broadband internet services.

As digital transformation tightens its grip on industry, many enterprises are making use of the cloud and subscribing to software-as-a-service (Saas), rendering the traditional WAN increasingly less fit for purpose. SD-WAN identifies applications and provides intelligent routing, with each class of application receiving the appropriate Quality of Service (QoS) and security policy enforcement. This quality in particular is vital in the enablement of 5G. Through SD-WAN’s ability to incorporate machine learning, it enables networks to adapt to varying circumstances and automatically route high-bandwidth traffic to 5G cells and the edge.

Ensuring high quality user experience for 5G is paramount, therefore it is vital that service providers evaluate SD-WAN vendors on the following:

  • Granular, intelligent application-driven routing. The ability to automatically prioritize traffic based on bandwidth should be a key area of concern. Lower bandwidth traffic should be routed to other available transport such as LTE or broadband, allowing for high-bandwidth traffic like video streaming to be routed through a 5G cell.
  • Centralized management. Facilitating the management, maintenance, and operation of edges and 5G cells by intelligently rerouting traffic during provisions and upgrades. When enterprises deploy new applications or when a security policy change is necessary, a business-driven SD-WAN enables these changes to be delivered in minutes, while simultaneously minimizing the opportunity for human error.
  • Machine learning. Automation is key. It is vital that any SD-WAN vendor guarantees that their network can adapt to varying conditions in real-time and provide optimal routing to the edges and 5G cells.
  • Security integration with business-intent networking. Cybersecurity is an ever-present issue. By directing traffic to the right security services and enabling application-driven security policies enforced from a centralized position, service providers will not have to compromise on either cost or performance.
  • Virtual WAN overlays. Quality of service is hugely important, and network resources must be flexible, and optimized. 5G networks depend on network slicing, whereby each slice receives a unique set of resources. By using both technologies in combination, service providers can steer critical traffic to the 5G network where it can be isolated to a particular slice depending on its specific requirements.

As 5G and edge computing adoption increases, so too will the demands of users. Service providers must be ready to provide an ever-present and high performing network. The initial success of 5G deployment will demand a network that has automation and security at the centre of its operation, like the one offered by SD-WAN.


Elegant simplicity and a total openness to the sea inside the new true-custom yacht

CRN releases further details about hull number 142, currently under construction at the Ancona yard.

This all-aluminium yacht has been designed by CRN in partnership with architecture and design studio Omega Architects, who conceived the taut, mellifluous external lines, and architects Massari Design, who created all the large outdoor guest areas and luminous interiors. The resulting bespoke design is built around the outdoor spaces, for a heightened sense of continuity and connectedness with the interiors.

The new full-custom yacht has a gross tonnage of 499 GT and is 52 metres long and 9 metres in the beam; she can host up to 10 guests across her 4 decks. Dynamic and sporty, this unique opus achieves a perfect harmony among the array of spaces. The palatial indoor and outdoor living areas are defined by satisfying symmetries and are linked up with care to create a visual and functional unity between indoor and outdoor zones.

CRN M/Y 142 reflects the character of a knowledgeable owner with a passion for the sea. He specifically wanted comfortable spaces in the open air, setting great store by the design of the social zones. The outdoor areas – like the 2 sizeable lounges with sunbathing area and spa pool, one on the sun deck and one on the main deck, and the ample al fresco dining area on the upper deck – are conceived as versatile convivial spaces to enjoy the open-air living to the full.

The interiors are extremely welcoming, revealing a contemporary lifestyle vision that mixes elegant simplicity and crispness of form. The comfort is enhanced by sophisticated details in an interplay of warm, natural colour combinations that blend to perfection with premier materials like marble, leather and solid wood.
The main deck accommodates a bright, elegant open space with an inviting saloon and lunch area. Here, the feeling of continuity between inside and out is underscored by large floor-to-ceiling glazing punctuated by mirrored surfaces that create a play of light and perspective for an immersive sensation of limitless space with spectacular ocean views.

The adjacent outdoor lounge is a great place for a relaxing chat gazing over the rectangular spa pool athwartships at the stern. Towards the bow, the owner suite with private study is a haven of intimacy bathed in light from the full-length windows.

The spaces exude a fluid flexibility on the upper deck too: the panoramic lounge can be used as a social area or converted into a fully equipped cinema complete with giant screen. The room opens right up to the outside with sliding glass doors into the al fresco dining zone. This can be enjoyed at any time of day, courtesy of the elegant glass panelling integrated into the superstructure to keep off the wind.

A triumphant addition to the sleek, sporty profile of this 52-metre yacht, the sun deck is a multipurpose space equally suited to evening entertaining and sunbathing by day. The deck’s centrepiece, a spectacular horseshoe-shaped lounge bar, separates the dining area with its generous sun terrace from the solarium and circular hydromassage pool at the tip of the bow.

The beach club on the lower deck provides an exceptionally spacious multifunctional leisure zone. This superb terrace extending right on to the water allows guests to dive right in or enjoy watersports with the wide selection of toys. The space integrates with an open-air living area featuring a relaxation zone with TV and bar looking on to the wellness area, an oasis of peace with a refreshing and stimulating hammam and shower experience.

Set to launch in spring 2022, CRN M/Y 142 is a masterpiece of nautical art that marries the finest Italian craftsmanship and savoir-faire with in-depth design and construction know-how.