Saturday 30 November 2013

Mauritius 2 - The Return - Cufflinks

So, the cufflinks, well there is a vast mall on Mauritius located just up the hill from Paillies and about 3 miles from Port Louis on the way to the highlands, here there are European restaurants, such as KFC, Burger King etc and the usual array of shops for tourists. To be fair it is a lovely venue, but I would prefer to barter with the locals down in the central market or chow down on birani or other local delicacies for a quarter of the cost.
I needed a new pair of cufflinks as mysteriously mine had disappeared, well actually probably more mislaid.
So I went in armed with my limited French and asked, no gestured, that I needed cufflinks, scrub that, I asked if she could speak English, she could and she directed me to their "sister shop" over the way.
I like cufflinks, I prefer them over buttons as they seem to be a little looser around the hands, but I like a certain classic style, rather than modern designs, and unfortunately what were presented to me were all of a modern design and manufactured of steel with goldy bits and more importantly priced at R2500+, £50 upwards. I don't like to spend too much money on small items so I passed saying "I'll have a look around the mall to see if there is anything I like, if not I'll be back".
Just across the way there was a shirt shop, knowing that in the UK shirt shops usually have cufflinks, off I went, and there was the most red stripy set of cufflinks now I like Red, and these were perfect and would certainly go with the one tie I had brought with me, price? R750 or £15, thank you very much sir I'll be having them.
Back into my black cab for the trip back to the Vallee Des Pretres for a sleep and wash up later for the Launch Party at the SVICC.
The cab journey was fairly uneventful, until later I realised that I'd been bitten by one gang of hungry mossies, 30 bites in total , much pain and scratching later.
Anyway, quite tired today as I have been out to Tricolet in the north to see a set of apartments my fried Riad and his family have constructed for the tourist trade (more on that later) so the next installment will be about the Launch Party and first day of the INFOTECH 2013 event.


Wednesday 27 November 2013

Mauritius 2 - The Return - Customs

Where were we? Oh yes, so all my show materials are stuck in customs and I have to get them out, so off to the hosts office where after a fair few hours a cheque was raised as a guarantee that the goods were not going to be sold in Mauritius and were in fact going to be re-exported.
So off we went back to the airport, now we have to remember that this is Mauritius, a beautiful country and lovely friendly people but bedeviled with endless paperwork and bureaucracy.
My stuff was in Customs and to get to customs which is "airside" I needed a pass, so I went to the pass office and obtained same, then we wait, we wait, and we wait, then chap from office asks me to return pass but leave's me with the slip that issued the pass duly cancelled, then I go through to Customs !!!
Anyway, now in Customs I speak to the same guy that detained my stuff yesterday and he looked at me and said "yesterday you speak English today you speak French, why did you not speak French yesterday?" Now, dear readers, "Moi francais est pou", but I can understand enough to say "hello, goodbye, thank you, ok, and can I have three beers please", obviously I had tapped hidden depths to extract "Good Day, can I have my stuff back please? OK?
The cheque safely deposited in their safe, my stuff was released and off we go to the conference centre, where it was my intention to set up the stand (probably take no longer than 30mins) but whilst the stand was built, others had not, and i was not going to leave my kit there, back to Mon Choix it was then!
The next day I went to site, set up the stand, sorted out the tables and tablecloths, pulled up the pop ups and raised the banner, opened the z display unit and generally got stuff ready, then I wait.
And I wait, then I decide that I can no longer wait and sorted out a taxi, imagine my surprise when a London black cab turns up, brand spanking new as well, (Made in Coventry). Off we go to Bagatelle (shopping centre to get some cufflinks (left mine at home), but thats another story and it will be told later!.
Off to continue with some work and then its off out to the supermarket to get some supplies in.

Until next time... 

Sunday 24 November 2013

Mauritius 2 - The Return - The Trouble with Customs is....

It seems that I have a small problem every time I come to this beautiful island in the SWIO.
Readers will recall that the first time I came, back in May, that I did not have the full address of where I was staying, this resulted in what can only be called an adventure. First of all I was taken by the immigration officer through the customs post (much to the annoyance of the customs officer) and out into the passenger concourse to meet with my taxi driver to obtain the address, we returned having obtained said address to complete my entry formalities only for the customs officer to berate the immigration officer for letting me through without the usual checks, anyway dispute settled I got my entry visa and made my way to baggage collection.
On espying me, now with luggage, the same customs officer directed me for further baggage checks (I was carrying 300 USB sticks with the training materials, I was fearful that these could be detained).
A new customs officer told me to put my bag through an X-ray scanner, and of course the sticks were picked up, he asked to see them and I was thinking "here we go, these are going to result in a huge wad of customs duty or detainment) I showed them to him and he just smiled and said "Welcome to Mauritius" phew.
I arrived at the airport after a very long and tiring journey, and that is another story, but it needs to be told so.
I'd flown with Emirates and was seated next to a French woman and a Belgian woman, well it was a disaster from start to finish, first of all I accidentally spilled a full glass of Bacardi and Coke down my trousers, duly mopped up, dinner arrived, quite nice, in fact I'd recommend Emirates economy for any long distance air travel, much better than other airlines, however I digress.
After dinner coffee was taken and yes, it too ended up in my lap, much to the amusement of the women sitting next to me, an icy glare from me soon stopped the laughing, so nuts roasted and damp the rest of the journey was completed with a frosty atmosphere.
We arrived and this time, immigration was completed without any hitch but...
When I went down to collect my luggage, I discovered that one of the cases was encased in a plastic sack, because it had been thrown with such force that the hinges and side panels were completed destroyed.
So, off to baggage handling to find out what had happened, no explanation was forthcoming, but I was offered full replacement cost price as compensation, this I agreed to, the princely sum of R1150 (about £25)
This took about 30 mins to process and then it was off to Customs.
I took the red aisle as I was carrying commercial goods, and had been advised that everything had been arranged with the Prime Minsters office to allow me and my equipment in to Mauritius without any problems, how wrong I was.
Apparently, no such communication had been relayed to the MRA (Customs) and yes you've guessed it, everything except my personal items were detained pending a guarantee and a letter from my hosts, this despite my host being present at the airport and summoned to assist.
Off we went to my accommodation and we'd sort everything out the next day.
I arrived at Mon Choix, where I had stayed before to be met with a very welcome glass of Joan's rum punch and a very nice steak dinner.
And so to bed, the next installment of this saga will be written later tonight, but for now I must away to pick up my exhibition materials and to deliver the prize to the winner (more on that later!)

Thursday 14 November 2013

Brighttalk Answers & Review of the Week

First of all I am going to list some of the questions posted on my brighttalk webinar earlier today, then review the week (hence the title) and perhaps add a few lines about next week.

Ok, there was a question about training on energy efficiency in the DC environment, Carbon3IT Ltd does have a training department and we offer bespoke training to organisations, if you want to know more about our training offerings, please email and we'll get back to you with the information.

Secondly, there was a question about how to get executive buy in to undertake energy efficiency measures and more importantly budget. I feel that imparting the threat of energy prices rises in the EU and additional regulatory pressure or if you plan to try and sell cloud or data centres services into public sector you'll need to have and prove energy efficiency, there are considerable savings to be had by adopting the EUCOC or GGMM. We can provide an executive one day or morning/afternoon briefing to cover these, OR engage with you on a consultancy basis to assist you in applying for the code or just for general energy efficiency options through our Greenprint product, again use to get some information.

Thirdly the question about DCIM and interoperability, as Julius said go down a TCP/IP route or if you still have MODBUS connectivity use that, my preferred option would be to use wireless systems for the M&E plant and a system that uses IPMI from the servers themselves. However, there are many DCIM system providers out there and you should hear what they have go to say about how their systems work, and more importantly how much disruption they could cause whilst installing the system, basically get them to write a implementation plan.

Lastly, a question about energy efficiency being a shared responsibility between the company and the data centre, good question, personally I believe yes, it show be so, but this can only happen if the data centre has visibility of the energy bill and that there is a combined IT/Facilities management team. It is the first and in my opinion the most important of all the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres (Energy Efficiency) best practices.

Now onto a review of the week, so far.
Monday I attended a BSI standards conference, very interesting stuff and I am very please to be a part of the committee, I feel that there is a lot I can input.
Tuesday and Wednesday I was attending and spoke at the Teleco Energy and Infrastructure event, this was a very interesting couple of days, I met some great people and hopefully we'll be seeing more of some of them.
Today I made a site visit to a client to review a cold aisle configuration problem and hopefully we will have some excellent data in a few weeks from the array of temp sensors that were installed, more on this later.

Next week, I'll be in Mauritius, as previously mentioned we'll be attending the INFOTECH event, its been a very busy few weeks for my support team Rachel and Claire, who have been preparing leaflets, organising copy, picking stuff up, preparing and sending press releases out on our behalf and we'll be taking some photos and updating via twitter and our facebook pages.

This does of course mean that I'll be missing the DCD converged event at the EXCEL arena next week, this will be the first time in 3 years that I will not be around but I am sure that if you have any questions on BCS CEEDA, David Carter and Nick Morris will be able to help you, just ask for them by name at the DCD admin desk and they'll sort you out.

I shall be working for the first week and following up on various projects during the second week, so I will not be sunning myself, although I may come back with a tan.

Until next time...

Saturday 2 November 2013

The "RedEye"

Phew, what a week!
Last Tuesday I was in London for the BCS Green IT Specialist Group AGM, followed by the "Is a digital Britain, a greener Britain?" debate, between Prof Ian Bitterlin and I.
Not having had the time to prepare a really crisp presentation, the outcome was always going to be in Ian's favour, he does after all do this sort of stuff semi professionally.
I was also voted in by my fellow members to be Vice Chair, this is a job that I hope I'll be able to contribute more to the running of the group, especially to update the various professional qualifications we have worked on previously and to develop some exciting new certifications.
I'll be providing some updates via this blog and as always we'll provide links back to any information we feel is relevant.
This was followed by refreshments and then a dash to Euston to catch the Caledonian Sleeper, the late night train service to Scotland, where over the following two days I was to conduct a BCS CEEDA assessment.
The assessments went very well indeed, but the actual results are still to be announced and we'll keep you informed when they have been finalised.

We've also added a new product to our G-Cloud portfolio, it is "ISI Snapshot",ISI Snapshot is an Inventory Management Tool, it allows organisations to compile an accurate map of all ICT assets across their estates. Snapshot is an agentless, non-invasive, read-only discovery and inventory application with integrated data repository and collection libraries designed to provide and complete view of physical, virtual and cloud IT infrastructures. • Provides in-depth configuration and utilisation data for network attached IT infrastructure devices and their components (hardware and software). • Uses credentials and read-only O/S level commands to collect data (no foreign code is installed on the target host/device nor is anything written or cached there). • Integrated data repository, reporting, analysis and visualization tools with export functionality for common desktop environments. • Snapshot has never taken down a server or application or had an adverse effect on the network infrastructure.
If you're a Government customer you can find it on the G Cloud ISI Snapshot on the G Cloud.
And you can find out even more information on their website

Carbon3IT Ltd is working with ISI Europe Ltd to promote Snapshot across the EU.

On other matters, our trip to Mauritius to attend Infotech 2013 suffered a slight hitch when one of our intended partners pulled out, we don't have a problem with this, but we do think that it will prove to be a missed opportunity for them, we'll still promote their product line though.
Our stand space has been booked and you can find it here Our Stand we've been allocated C31.

Next week I shall be in London to present at a private function on the use of the design criteria within the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres to design and build energy efficient Telecoms network infrastructure, I shall also be going to Cambridge to visit a CEEDA client, followed by another visit the next day to another potential client requesting some assistance with the EUCOC.
That particular meeting has been arranged as a joint visit with one of our partners and will culminate later in the day with the first ever "UK Building Energy Management Interest Group", this is an invitation only event and I whilst not speaking will be in attendance.

The week after I shall be speaking at the Telco Energy & Infrastructure Efficiency Event and I have to complete my presentation this weekend, so I'll call a halt to proceedings there, until next time.