May 19, 2020

Rwanda to host world's first “droneport”

Infrastructure
Rwanda
droneport
Drones
mahlokoane percy ngwato
2 min
Rwanda to host world's first “droneport”

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UK architect Foster + Partners, working alongside Afrotech have launched proposals for a “droneport” in Rwanda, enabling goods to reach isolated communities lacking in basic infrastructure.

Afrotech is a department of Swiss university Lausanne Polytechnic (EPFL) set up specifically to pioneer advanced technologies or deployment in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Afrotech, the first cargo robot route could be operating in Africa by 2016.

Two lines have been propsed, one delivering medical supplies along an 80 kilometre route between several towns and villages, with another operating a delivery service, bringing goods that were ordered online.

RELATED: Could drones be set to leapfrog Africa’s infrastructure problems?

Afrotech says that by 2020, drones will be capable of taking 20 kilograms across distances of several hundred kilometres. The initial plan for Rwanda is to build three buildings that will enable the network to send supplies to 44 percent of the country by 2020.

Subsequent phases of the project could involve more than 40 droneports, followed by expansion into neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Lord Foster, the chairman of Foster + Partners, said: “Africa is a continent where the gap between the population and infrastructural growth is increasing exponentially. We require immediate bold, radical solutions to address this issue.

“The droneport project is about capitalising on the recent advancements in drone technology to make an immediate life-saving impact in Africa. Rwanda’s challenging geographical and social landscape makes it an ideal test-bed for the project.”

Foster + Partners plan to supply droneports as a kit-of-parts, in which the basic formwork and brick-press machinery is delivered to site; raw materials, such as clay for bricks and boulders for the foundation, are locally sourced.

The project is supported by Swiss Robotics which will facilitate research into precision-based navigation, biomimetics, advanced materials, safety systems, landing systems and route optimisation.

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SOURCE: [Global Construction Review]

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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