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Mazars Deploys hybrid WAN with Silver Peak SD-WAN solution reduces WAN traffic by more than 40 percent

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Mazars Deploys hybrid WAN with Silver Peak SD-WAN solution; reduces WAN traffic by more than 40 percent

Top 10 UK accountancy firm deploys advanced Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution to support global, cloud-based IT environment

London, UK – Silver Peak, the global leader in broadband and hybrid WAN solutions, today announced that one of the top 10 accountancy firms in the UK, Mazars, has successfully deployed the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution to connect users at its international branch offices to cloud-based applications. Since deploying SD-WAN, Mazars UK has reduced bandwidth traffic by more than 40 percent at each site and benefitted from substantial cost-savings.

As a UK firm with a global footprint, Mazars UK runs multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) circuits from its data centre located at its headquarters in Tower Hill, London, to its sixteen UK offices and five international offices supporting 2,200 employees. When the company opened its international branch sites in Sydney, Delhi and New York, Quality of Service (QoS) across its existing MPLS WAN architecture impaired the performance of its cloud-based applications, including Citrix for printing, and Skype for video and voice calls.

As a result, Mazars UK sought an SD-WAN solution that would allow it to leverage a hybrid WAN approach, where lower cost, higher bandwidth broadband services could be used to complement MPLS and to eliminate the need to backhaul all application traffic to its central site. Starting with its Sydney office, Mazars is reducing its dependence on international MPLS lines by migrating to local internet breakout. This will deliver secure, direct branch to cloud application access and provide the highest levels of application performance.

Mazars UK turned to Silver Peak Summit partner, Solar Communications, for a solution that would support its digital transformation initiative. Solar proposed the Silver Peak EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution to enable more granular control of their WAN, delivering increased availability and improved application performance, while also enabling Mazars UK to leverage existing network investments to reduce overall WAN cost. Mazars deployed EdgeConnect hardware appliances across its international sites in Delhi, Sydney, Toronto, and New York, as well as in its UK sites, due to the need for high-performance and reliability.

“The existing WAN infrastructure was designed to support our UK operation however, it was starting to creak and was certainly not capable of supporting us internationally,” said David Bennett, chief technology officer (CTO) at Mazars UK. “With the introduction of a range of new cloud-based solutions, we knew that we needed to change our underlying infrastructure to support all our offices – and critical to that was a transport agnostic SD-WAN solution.”

Mazars UK is making use of Unity Orchestrator global management software for unprecedented visibility and control of data centre and cloud-based applications. Its unique ability to centrally assign business intent policies to secure and control all application traffic will help the company achieve its future mission of embracing a fully cloud-based environment using Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

“Silver Peak has become a fundamental part of our infrastructure,” concluded Bennett. “Building our global IT infrastructure from the ground up, we would not have been able to provide predictable levels of service to our users without the Silver Peak SD-WAN solution. What’s more, the implementation was pain-free and as we look to move toward a fully cloud-based environment, Silver Peak will help us to manage that transition – and our costs. We knew Silver Peak was reliable through previous work and that it does exactly what it says on the tin.”

“The innovative ways enterprises are going about transforming their businesses are very impactful. This is particularly evident for IT departments as they increasingly migrate workloads to the cloud to enhance business agility,” said Kristian Thyregod, vice president of EMEA sales at Silver Peak. “We are delighted that Mazars is able to embrace the cloud now and in the future, without compromising network or application performance and availability.”

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Duo glide around world’s largest fountain in Dubai

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Duo glide around world's largest fountain in Dubai 1

Paragliders Llorens and Goberna take magical flight above the Palm Fountain.

Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna defied gravity to perform The Breaking Pointe flight around the world’s biggest fountain at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Here is all you need to know:

– Spaniard Llorens is a five-time world champion and Infinity Tumbling Guinness World Record holder, who has performed a series of spectacular projects during the last five years including paragliding with a flock of starlings and with the beautiful Aurora Borealis as a backdrop.

– Brazilian Goberna was a Guinness Book of World Records winner at only 12-years-old and, in December 2016, he took to the skies above one of the seven wonders of the natural world when paragliding at Iguazu Falls.

– This time around, the duo teamed up in Dubai to showcase The Palm Fountain at the Pointe, Palm Jumeirah. They overcame a tricky preparation period to expertly glide between the fountain’s powerful jets of water.

– Spanning across the boulevard, the Palm Fountain features two giant floating platforms covering 14,000 square metres of sea water. Reaching an impressive 105 metres high and lighting up the Dubai sky with 3,000 LED lights, the fountain “dances” to hit songs from sunset until midnight.

– They undertook training first at Paramotor Desert Adventure on January 12 to test out their brakes and motors with technician Ramon Lopez finally arriving after being held up by the heavy snow in Madrid.

– Training was crucial for the challenge of flying during the night with low visibility as safety director Alan Gayton ensured they had a reserve parachute in case of a technical issue with the main parachute. Llorens and Goberna also had to study the movement of the water with great precision in order not to get caught up in the jets of water

– Flying over water, it was also mandatory to have a lifejacket with rescue boats, jet skis and divers on hand which came handy when Goberna suffered a technical malfunction on the first January 14 practice run.

– After repairs long into the night, they returned to Paramotor Desert Adventure to test out the motors again before completing the stunning flight on January 15 with Llorens and Goberna performing in harmony.

– Llorens, 38, revealed: “As soon as we got the opportunity, we wanted to fly there. We needed to know the area really well beforehand and we needed to know how to ‘play’ with the fountain – this was new for us. Such strong streams of water shooting 100 metres up is a lot, so we had to be really prepared.”

– Goberna, 26, explained: “The motor wasn’t flying so good because, prior to arriving in Dubai, it was last used in Europe at high altitude. I needed to adjust the carburettor in the air inside the motor. In the first practice flight over the water, I broke one propeller. I really couldn’t understand what was happening and then another one broke. Eventually, a backup motor was required. After a long journey, the final result was beautiful! The team worked incredibly hard to make it.”

– Llorens added: “The highlight for me was playing between the super shooters with Rafael, because it’s something we’ve never done before; it felt really new and really powerful.”

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EU sets itself jobs, training and equality targets for 2030

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EU sets itself jobs, training and equality targets for 2030 2

By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission on Thursday announced goals for the 27-nation bloc to reduce poverty, inequality and boost training and jobs by 2030 as part of a post-pandemic economic overhaul financed by jointly borrowed funds.

The EU executive arm said the European Union should boost employment to 78% in 2030 from 73% in 2019, halve the gap between the number of employed women and men and cut the number of young people neither working nor studying to 9% from 12.6%

“With unemployment and inequalities expected to increase as a fallout of the pandemic, focusing our policy efforts on quality job creation, up- and reskilling and reducing poverty and exclusion is therefore essential to channel our resources where they are most needed,” the commission said.

The goals, which will have to be endorsed by EU leaders, also include an increase in the number of adults getting training every year to adapt to the EU’s transition to a greener and more digitalised economy to 60% from 40% now.

Finally, over the next 10 years, the EU should reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 15 million from 91 million in 2019.

“These three 2030 headline targets are deemed ambitious and realistic at the same time,” the commission said.

The goals are part of the EU’s set of 20 social rights, agreed on in 2017, to make the EU more appealing to voters and counter eurosceptic sentiment across the bloc.

They say everybody has the right to quality education throughout their lives and that men and women must have equal opportunities in all areas and be paid the same for work of equal value.

The unemployed have the right to “personalised, continuous and consistent support”, while workers have the right “to fair wages that provide for a decent standard of living”.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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UK aero-engineer Meggitt eyes return to growth after pandemic slump

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UK aero-engineer Meggitt eyes return to growth after pandemic slump 3

LONDON (Reuters) – British engineer Meggitt said that it could return to profit growth in 2021 provided there are no further lockdowns, despite a weakening in the struggling aviation market at the end of 2020 and early this year.

Pandemic restrictions halted much flying globally last year and forced plane makers Boeing and Airbus to cut production rates, dragging down suppliers like Meggitt, which makes and services parts for such aircraft.

Meggitt’s underlying operating profit plunged by 53% to 191 million pounds ($267 million) in 2020, it said on Thursday, despite continued growth in its defence business which makes parts for military jets and accounts for about 45% of the business.

Meggitt, however, said it expected air traffic to recover in the second half of the year which would help it return to profit growth over the year, although its guidance for flat revenue disappointed analysts who had expected growth of 6%.

Meggitt’s Chief Executive Tony Wood said in November that he had expected flying to start to recover by Easter, but new variants have led to more restrictions and delayed the recovery.

“It has gone back a couple of months… it’s now very much in the summer,” Wood said of the recovery in an interview on Thursday.

Further in the future, Meggitt is positioning itself for the move to lower emissions flying, and its sensors and electric motors will be used on electric urban air mobility platforms, such as flying taxis, and in hybrid aeroplanes being developed.

But Meggitt said new tax breaks announced in Britain’s annual budget on Wednesday aimed at encouraging investment would not change its plans.

“Yes, it will be a benefit. Are we looking at any acceleration as a result specifically of that? Not really,” Woods said.

Shares in Meggitt were down 1% to 427 pence at 0943 GMT. The stock has risen by 50% since news of a COVID-19 vaccine last November, but is still down 23% on where it was pre-pandemic.

($1 = 0.7165 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Alistair Smout and Susan Fenton)

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