NetApp Announces Intent to Acquire Instaclustr, the Industry Leading Platform for Deploying and Managing Open-Source Data and Workflow Applications as a Service

Acquisition Will Bring Management, Monitoring and Optimization for Storage, Compute and Data Together with Fully Managed Application Services to Provide Customers a Platform for Cloud Applications from the Datacenter to the Public Cloud

NetApp® (NASDAQ: NTAP), a global, cloud-led, data-centric software company, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Instaclustr, a leading platform provider of fully managed open-source database, pipeline and workflow applications delivered as a service. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

Modern cloud applications rely on a growing set of foundational services including multiple open-source databases, data pipelines, and workflow solutions. Efficiently managing the growing complexity and operational requirements of these applications and services adds new challenges for already overstretched infrastructure, database and operations teams, increasing application integration and delivery costs, slowing application delivery and limiting application innovation.

“NetApp has long been a leader in solutions enabling customers to run applications,” said George Kurian, CEO at NetApp. “The acquisition of Instaclustr will combine NetApp’s established leadership in continuous storage and compute optimization with Instaclustr’s fully-managed database and data pipeline services to give customers a Cloud Operations platform that provides the best and most optimized foundation for their applications in the public clouds and on premises.”

The acquisition of Instaclustr builds on a series of strategic acquisitions made by NetApp to deliver a leading best-of-suite platform for CloudOps. NetApp’s strategic acquisitions including Spot, CloudCheckr, Data Mechanics, Fylamynt and now Instaclustr have made Spot by NetApp a compelling platform for applications on one cloud and across multiple clouds–continuous optimization, automation, monitoring, and security combined with expertise deploying and operating open-source applications, all delivered as a service, on public and private clouds to give customers more cloud with less cost and less time.

“Data management technology platforms are an increasingly essential priority for today’s modern enterprise as companies look for new ways to accelerate application development for competitive advantage. Instaclustr delivers fully managed open-source solutions that give companies increased productivity and reduced cost,” said Peter Lilley, CEO and Co-founder at Instaclustr. “Instaclustr’s growth has been driven by the fact that companies want to leverage open-source databases, pipelines, and workflow applications without overwhelming themselves with the complexity and cost of managing and operating them. We are excited for organizations building applications for their multi-cloud and hybrid cloud reality to benefit directly from Instaclustr’s data PaaS solutions along with NetApp and Spot by NetApp’s infrastructure solutions, while minimizing operations burdens.”

“As companies race to modernize and digitally transform in the cloud, they must implement solutions that enable them to focus more on building and releasing cutting-edge applications at speed, spending less on infrastructure management and operations,” said Anthony Lye, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Public Cloud Services at NetApp. “Instaclustr does just that and will be a significant addition to our Spot by NetApp portfolio, solving common challenges of cloud complexity, cost overruns, single vendor lock-in, and customers’ lack of internal technical resources. The acquisition marks a critical advancement in our strategy to run application driven platforms and infrastructures.”

“From a technology and product perspective, NetApp’s powerful infrastructure solutions pair perfectly with Instaclustr’s data-layer-as-a-service solutions and services,” said Ben Bromhead, CTO and Co-founder at Instaclustr. “For enterprise customers operating applications in the public cloud or on-prem, NetApp and Instaclustr’s combined platform will offer an unparalleled solution for overcoming cloud complexities while eliminating vendor lock-in risks and the high costs of building and maintaining that same expertise internally.”

The Next Phase of Kubernetes Education will Drive Simplification of Deployment

By: Claude Schuck, Regional Director, Middle East at Veeam Software

Kubernetes is still in its early educational phase as a technology. On Gartner’s Hype Cycle, container management currently sits on top of the peak of inflated expectations. If Kubernetes and other technologies within this category follow the expected trajectory, they will enter the Trough of Disillusionment in the next 12 months – before climbing the Slope of Enlightenment.

This aligns fairly well with where Kubernetes currently is in terms of business deployment. In the Middle East, organizations are waking up to its potential and developing an understanding of where it can deliver real competitive advantage, in the light of the increasing rate of adoption of containers. According to Veeam’s Data Protection Report 2022 69% of organizations in the UAE and 76% of organizations in Saudi are already running containers in production, while 29% and 22% respectively plan to do so in the next 12 months. However, there is a lot of education to be done before IT teams have fully got to grips with how best to deploy Kubernetes.

Over the next 12 months we will see two things happen that will shift perceptions around Kubernetes. The first is that those deploying the technology will start to understand it more, gain confidence in building the business case, and start to demonstrate real ROI. The second is that cloud providers will find simpler ways to serve Kubernetes to organizations, reducing the need for deep technical understanding to deploy it effectively.

Education and enlightenment

Much of the appetite for learning about how to successfully deploy Kubernetes and the benefits of doing so comes from within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) community. The technical barriers to entry are still relatively high, which is why one of the top challenges identified by organizations looking to deploy Kubernetes is that they lack the necessary in-house skills.

It is often the case that relatively new technologies which experience unprecedented spurts of adoption outpace the market in terms of the skills and infrastructure required to support growth. However, when it comes to Kubernetes, we’re talking about one of the fastest-growing open source technologies of all time in terms of early adoption. It’s important, therefore, that this process of educating the technical community gathers pace.

Over the next 12 months, we will see the number of learning opportunities increase as the industry looks to address the emerging skills gap. An example of such an initiative is, a Kubernetes learning platform from Kasten by Veeam. The programme aims to equip technical professionals looking to upskill and the next generation of tech talent with at least a basic understanding of Kubernetes. This will shorten the learning curve for both experienced and entry-level technologists – burnishing enterprises with a pool of talent that understands Kubernetes and how to get the best out of it.

Making Kubernetes easy

As well as building a solid pipeline of people who understand and can capably consult businesses on Kubernetes, cloud providers are working on ways to make it easier for IT teams to consume and deploy them without in-house technical proficiency. This will ultimately be one of the major driving forces that takes Kubernetes from being an emerging technology in its experimental stages to established enterprise technology. The success of Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) proves that organizations are demanding simpler ways to consume and deploy IT through the cloud. Kubernetes will be no exception to this rule.

Currently, Kubernetes is acting as a management platform for containers and among the earliest adopters are established and regulated industries such as banking and financial services. Businesses from other industries are currently evaluating the pros and cons of Kubernetes, looking at whether they can incorporate it into their networks. To accelerate the growing interest of the broader market, major cloud service providers are beginning to offer Kubernetes-as-a-Service (KaaS) – making it possible to operate Kubernetes as a managed service. KaaS is commonly provided via the public cloud, but as its penetration grows organizations will be able to consume similar services through local managed service providers (MSPs) or deploy them on-premises.

The move towards KaaS will significantly drive-up Kubernetes adoption, taking away some of the initial pain and investment required to deploy Kubernetes and enjoy the benefits of delivering applications faster, at a greater scale, and with greater accuracy. No matter how Kubernetes is consumed, organizations looking to take advantage of the opportunity it offers must be aware of the data protection requirements which accompany it. Kubernetes does not significantly change the threat landscape or bridge any cybersecurity gaps. It requires the same Modern Data Protection capabilities as any other type of data on any other type of platform.

Fundamentally, the infrastructure is now closer to the applications with the help of containers, and data backup must be carried out differently to align with this. The number of workloads using stateful data in container environments is increasing alongside data services being deployed within the Kubernetes cluster. Other public cloud tools can be connected to applications running within Kubernetes, which changes the way data is protected. Simply put, backup works differently for Kubernetes than virtualized environments. This is where specialized data protection solutions for backup and recovery of Kubernetes environments such as Kasten by Veeam come into play.

Over the next 12 months, more businesses will get to grips with the many benefits of deploying Kubernetes, while cloud providers find more consumable ways of serving up Kubernetes including KaaS. As well as investing in the skills required to maximize ROI, businesses must seek the advice of data protection experts when deploying Kubernetes to ensure that they are not becoming exposed to new risks. Organisations in the Middle East must be equipped with Modern Data Protection solutions to ensure their data is protected across physical, virtual, cloud, SaaS and Kubernetes environments at all times.

Ramadan Festivities and Eid promotions announced by Line Investments & Property (LIP) malls

Festival Promotions planned across Dubai, Sharjah Northern Emirates in RAK Mall, Lulu Mall Fujairah, Mall of Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah Central and Silicon Central, Dubai.

The shopping mall and management division of Lulu Group International, Line Investments & Property (LIP) announces mall deco, facade lighting, Ramadan and Eid promotions at RAK Mall, Lulu Mall Fujairah, Mall of Umm Al Quwain and Sharjah Central and Silicon Central with the mall tenants offering exciting products and Ramadan sales.

Ramadan deco and facade lighting features in all five malls throughout the holy month and will conclude with Eid entertainment featuring different world class shows. With eight international artists, there will be four different and unique entertainment shows daily over five days starting from the first day of Eid

The ‘Spend and Win Eidiyah’ promotion in Lulu Mall Fujairah, RAK mall and Mall of UAQ starts 22nd of April and will continue until May 8, 2022. Based on the Ramadan theme, visitors who spend AED 100 in any store in the mall and AED 200 in LULU hypermarket stand a chance to win daily Eidiya prizes and the grand prize. The daily Eidiya prizes of AED 1,000/-, is offered in Mall Gift Voucher (LAKA Gift vouchers) each and there will be a grand prize worth AED5,000 in Mall Gift Vouchers  LAKA Gift vouchers.

All Line Investments & Property Malls place great emphasis on safety measures regarding COVID-19, ensuring the public areas remain a safe place to shop and dine in.

Stay Radiant in Ramadan: Beauty Tips for Healthy Skin During Fasting

Whether you practice cultural beauty routines, traditional tips or simply just devour every product you come across, one thing remains certain: we are all striving for the healthiest skin we can. 
Keeping your skin healthy is as important as having a healthy diet during Ramadan. These tips will help you detox your skin during the holy month.
Skincare can be overwhelming with over thousands of “must have” products or your favourite influencers swearing by methods that may not work for your specific skin type. We are here to relieve you of the “trend” with current, universal and most importantly, effective beauty secrets directly from local dermatologists. 
“As the seasons change, so should your beauty and skincare routine.” says Dr. Roya Pourghorban, founder of Roya Medical Centre in Dubai. “Your products and techniques that transform your skin over the cooler months may not provide the same protection and effect during Ramadan or the warmer season.” she added. 
In the growing world of social media and “skinfluencers”, it is important to be aware of the beauty routines that work for you and your specific skin type. To help you this Ramadan, here are 7 beauty tips and secrets Dr. Roya and dermatologists swear by for healthy skin during fasting:

  1. Daily SPF! 
    Did you know that 90% of how your skin ages is in your control and is directly linked to sun exposure? You may not be able to avoid the sun but you can’t avoid wearing your SPF. Wearing sunscreen is simply the easiest and most effective universal beauty tip and is not just for Ramadan but for each day of the year, including cloudy ones. Pro tip: for good protection, use SPF30 or higher.

2. Stop over-exfoliating

Over-exfoliating is one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to their skin-care regimes. You will find exfoliation is an essential step in any good skin-care routine, however, over-exfoliating can dry and irritate your skin quickly. Breakouts can be due to a buildup of dead skin cells and clogged pores and exfoliating effectively removes these buildups and promotes skin regeneration.

3. Topical Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is the supreme glow-getter that protects your skin from environmental stressors that can accelerate ageing, as well as working overtime to brighten your complexion. Pro tip: a few drops of Vitamin C Serum underneath your sunscreen increases sun-protection

4. Lymphatic Drainage Massage

This type of massage that can be achieved from anything from your hands to a jade roller or a gua sha stone has several health benefits. The form of massage helps maintain proper blood circulation in your face as well as balanced body fluid and supports your immune functions. Using a jade roller or simply massaging your face with your clean hands in upward circular motions can reduce puffiness, drain toxins from your skin and improve circulation amongst many other benefits.

5. Laser hair removal and resurfacing

Although there’s no scientific backup as to the myth that hair tends to grow much faster during warmer months, lasers are a highly recommended tool not just to prevent hair growth in certain body areas but also to improve various problems of the skin such as sun spots, acne scarring and more.

6. Jelly Mask Facial

It’s no secret that too much sun exposure can damage and make your skin breakout. To keep it under control, experts recommend a jelly mask facial to hydrate, moisturise and reduce redness and inflammation to your skin. They’re also incredibly fun because the masks feel exactly like Jell-O.

7. Hydration is key

Drinking enough water benefits your skin. Drink at least eight glasses between iftar and suhoor. Avoid drinking carbonated or sugary beverages such as soda and juices, as well as caffeine since it is dehydrating. If you do not like plain water, you can infuse it with fruits. It boosts your immune system, flushes out toxins, keeps you hydrated, and is calorie-free. Great combinations to infuse your water with are: lemon, cucumber, mint – orange, ginger, strawberries – blueberries, raspberries, mint, lime – lime, orange, lemon – pineapple, mint, orange.