Category: infrastructure

Microsoft targets sensitive enterprise workloads with Azure Dedicated Host

Microsoft targets sensitive enterprise workloads with Azure Dedicated Host

Microsoft targets sensitive enterprise workloads with Azure Dedicated Host 1
The latest update to Microsoft Corp.’s Azure cloud platform has brought with it a new infrastructure service called Dedicated Host that enables enterprises to rent out isolated servers for important applications. Microsoft launched the offering into preview today. Normally, when a company deploys a virtual machine in Azure, the workload runs on hardware that’s shared by several other customers. […]

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Budget triples for Leslieville School utilities work

The new school being built in Leslieville has hit a road bump, now having to relocate a wastewater force-main and a natural gas line.

The lines need to be moved to run through the Leslieville School grounds to where the new building will sit.

Initially budgeted at $50,000, with new contractor quotes the project will now cost $174,140.

Clearwater County Public Works and Operations Director Kurt Magnus says there are several reasons for the significant jump in cost – the tight time frame, tendering so late in the year, only quoting a few contractors, and pipe and trucking costs have jumped.

Magnus expanded on the matter at a recent Clearwater County council meeting, and referenced his conversation with Wild Rose School Division Superintendent Brad Volkman.

“When we looked at other options, we were looking at tying this into other projects, but when I spoke to Volkman he said, that they were among many other schools for the grant and needed to get it done,”

Wild Rose School Division has also communicated that the Alberta Education/Grants Department declared that the force-main relocation and the Condor lagoon upgrades had to be completed to keep their position as high priority for grant funding.

“I’ve called the representative from the province and told them that no matter what, we will be doing this, I wanted to let them know that we’re serious about this.” says Volkman

The Wild Rose School Division has been very impressed with Clearwater County and their help, with Volkman noting that the county has chosen to fully support the new school without even knowing if they will receive the grant or not.

“We’ve been very impressed with Clearwater County and their support, it really enhances our possibilities.” Volkman reiterated.

Clearwater County Council decided that getting the project done in 2019 was imperative, and agreed to reallocate an additional $124,140 from their Sewer Reserve to the Leslieville School Wastewater Force-main/Gas Line Relocation capital project.

Amazon debuts a new cost optimization tool for its EC2 service

Amazon debuts a new cost optimization tool for its EC2 service

Amazon debuts a new cost optimization tool for its EC2 service 2
Amazon Web Services Inc. today rolled out a handy new feature for customers who may be concerned about overspending on its cloud infrastructure services. The new feature is called EC2 Resource Optimization Recommendations, which, as the name suggests, helps users to optimize the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud resources they use. It may not be the […]

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Wolf Creek seeks new 7-12 school in Blackfalds

A new Grade 7 to 12 school is the top wish list item for Wolf Creek Public Schools after the Board of Trustees passed the district’s updated Three Year Capital Plan.

The unanimous approval came Monday following a comprehensive review and study of all schools in the division commissioned this past spring though Group 2 Architecture.

The revised capital plan also comes from extensive and collaborative dialogue with the Town of Blackfalds, which has long advocated for a high school for the community.

“We greatly appreciate the level of dedication the Town of Blackfalds continues to show in growing educational opportunities in Blackfalds, which includes major commitments in their 10 year capital plan to support schools,” said Pam Hansen, WCPS Board Chair. “This kind of partnership is critical in addressing the need for classroom space and high school programming, as we plan for growing enrolments and a growing community.”

There is currently no high school in Blackfalds as students from the town are bused to cole Secondaire Composite High School in Lacombe.

With the revised Three Year Capital Plan, the Board continues to engage with Alberta Education regarding its priorities and the need for new schools.

“We are hopeful this alignment of priorities at the school board and municipal levels illustrates the imminent need for a new Grade 7 to 12 school in Blackfalds,” said Hansen. “The Board is eager to work with the Government of Alberta, in advance of this fall’s provincial budget, to address this need.”

A replacement school for Iron Ridge Elementary Campus in Blackfalds remains high on Wolf Creek’s capital priority list.

(With file from Wolf Creek Public Schools)

AWS makes its case for running Windows workloads on its cloud infrastructure

AWS makes its case for running Windows workloads on its cloud infrastructure

AWS makes its case for running Windows workloads on its cloud infrastructure 3
Amazon Web Services Inc. is pushing to handle more of its customers’ Windows workloads, citing new data from International Data Corp. and various customer examples as proof that its public cloud computing infrastructure is one of the most cost-effective and agile platforms for doing so. In a blog posted on LinkedIn this week, AWS Vice […]

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Red Deer, Halkirk residents win big in 2019 Hospital Lottery

Red Deer, Halkirk residents win big in 2019 Hospital Lottery

Two central Albertans are pinching themselves after finding out they’ve won the grand prizes for this year’s Red Deer Regional Health Foundation Hospital Lottery.

Draws were held at the dream home (68 Larratt Close) Friday morning for the lottery which sold around 80 per cent of all tickets available for the house, and sold out for the 50/50.

Gary Green, a 20-year Red Deer resident, is the winner of the $840,000 Sorento Custom Homes abode.

“I didn’t really believe it. I didn’t know what to say because I thought the draw was tomorrow,” he admits of taking the call from the foundation.

“I buy tickets on pretty much all the dream homes here. The hospital needs some more upgrades and whatever they can get there. I had a heart attack in 2003 and never stayed in there, but my dad did and so did my father-in-law.”

Green says he has to speak with his wife first before deciding whether or not they’ll move in.

Meantime, Doris Cordel, a lifelong resident of Halkirk, a village east of Stettler, is this year’s winner of $250,000.

“The first thing I thught was why is Red Deer Hospital calling me? Then it was oh my goodness, that doesn’t sound possible. It’s just a shock to win. I was thinking I must’ve won something, but to win that large of a prize is amazing,” she says, although she has no idea what she’s going to do with it just yet.”

“If we need a big hospital, Red Deer is going to be where we go. Stettler would be our first stop, but if we need anything else we’d be in Red Deer. Most of my family has at one time been in Red Deer Hospital.”

Funds raised from this year’s lottery will go towards the purchase of automated medication machines called Pyxis Medstations.

Full results will be available soon at reddeerhospitallottery.ca.

Rocky Splash Park fully approved

After many years of deliberation the splash park for Rocky Mountain House has finally been approved by council, but not before much debate and even an ultimatum from the Rocky Spray Park Council.

Carie Liebig and Kara Harvey from the Rocky Spray Park Council attended Tuesday’s council meeting, stating, “If council isn’t prepared to have construction completed by fall 2019 the Rocky Spray Park Council is prepared to consider stepping away from this project and return all funds raised thus far.”

The group has raised over $432,000 with the majority of funding being obtained through corporate, municipal and community contributions.

Town Council began their deliberation on whether should continue waiting for a possible $250,000 grant from the province, or if they should split the spray park into two separate projects – one being the splash park and the other the washroom and change room.

“If we don’t go ahead with things there’s no guarantee that, in fact, there’s probably not a guarantee that we’d be getting the Edward’s Garage investment and maybe not even a contribution from Coop towards it,” noted Councillor Jason Alderson.

Mayor Tammy Burke was concerned over what the park could end up costing the taxpayers.

“The cost overruns really alarm me,” she said. “We’re already going through our budgets with a fine tooth comb trying to find money to make sure we maintain our taxes. We have to be really sure about the scope of this project.”

The project was initially projected to cost around $900,000 but with the projects various additions the price jumped up to over $1.2 million.

“With the extra building and the field house it becomes an area that’s not only good for young families but for growing families and to have it seasonal to start with, I like it,” said Councillor Merrin Fraser

Although councillors and Mayor Burke were not able to come to a unanimous consensus, the motion to approve the spray park passed with a majority vote.

Lacombe County supports province’s planned QE II rest area

Lacombe County is giving a green light to the province’s plan to build a rest stop along the QE II Highway.

In March, the Alberta Government announced its intention to construct a commercial safety rest area on the west side of the highway (along the southbound lanes), just north of Lacombe where 14,000 vehicles pass by each day.

The City of Lacombe and the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce oppose the plan. They are concerned that it’s not located in a joint economic area (JEA) identified by the City and County, and also feel it will compete directly with plans for the Midway Centre commercial and industrial development near the QE II/Highway 12 interchange.

The City and Chamber are sending a letter to Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr to voice their opposition.

Lacombe County, however, is encouraged by the proposal. Council voted down a motion presented at their June 24 meeting to co-sign the letter.

“Though the site is currently being used as a rest stop, it’s limited parking area and lack of appropriate amenities, including restrooms, garbage receptacles, etc., render it inadequate in addressing the needs of commercial truckers and the motoring public,” County Manager Tim Timmons noted in a report to council.

“Depending on the extent of the commercial development that may complement this rest stop there certainly is the potential for it to compete with similar private developments at the Midway Centre and/or the JEA (Joint Economic Area). Notwithstanding, based on the urgent need for a rest stop along QEII near Lacombe, and the lack of certainty regarding the timing and type of commercial development that may occur at the Midway Centre or in the JEA, the Province’s plans to develop some type of a rest stop at this location has merit.

The County also feels a rest stop at the location, where the Wolf Creek Inn was once situated, will be safer and more convenient for southbound travelers, would be more appropriate for a large parking lot, and does not preclude a similar amenity being constructed at the Midway Centre.

Changes coming to busy Sylvan Lake intersection

The Town of Sylvan Lake is spending nearly $2 million on improvements to the busy intersection of Highway 20 and Erickson Drive.

The intersection is currently controlled by a stop sign located on the west leg heading east and on the east leg heading west before Highway 20. The north/south traffic along Highway 20 is free flow traffic through the intersection. There are currently no designated lanes for vehicles which want to make a left or right turn from Highway 20 onto Erickson Drive. There are signs posted along Highway 20 which direct traffic not to pass any vehicles on the right that are making left turns onto Erickson Drive.

Town staff noted that vehicles traveling along Highway 20 continue to ignore the posted signage stating that they are not to pass vehicles on the right at the intersection. It was also noted that vehicles exiting from Erickson Drive have considerable difficulties merging onto Highway 20.

Last year, the Town hired an engineering firm to take a look at the intersection to determine whether traffic lights or a roundabout would be best suited to improve the intersection.

McElhanney Engineering conducted a traffic study and consulted with Alberta Transportation and the Town of Sylvan Lake before deciding that a single lane roundabout treatment, with the ability to be expanded into a two lane roundabout, would be the best way to go.

The contract for the project has been awarded for $1.9 million to Pidherney’s, who stated they can complete the job within 90 work days. The Town is reallocating $1.14 million from reserves for the contract.

Total cost to the Town of Sylvan Lake for the project when engineering fees, Fortis costs and contingencies are accounted for is $2.4 million.

Growing cloud footprint, Google invests $600M in new Nevada data center

Growing cloud footprint, Google invests $600M in new Nevada data center

Growing cloud footprint, Google invests $600M in new Nevada data center 8
Google LLC today announced plans to bolster its U.S. data center network with a new cloud facility in Nevada that is slated to come online next year. The data center is being built in Henderson, a midsize city about 16 miles from Las Vegas. Henderson Mayor Debra March told local news station KLAS-TV that the project […]

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