Success Story: Using SUSE Linux for Arm with the Raspberry Pi to transform manufacturing

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Knorr-Bremse, a long time SUSE customer, is deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm (SLES for Arm) to transform their manufacturing operations with a goal of improving productivity, reducing downtime, and improving factory floor operations. The solution success story can be found here: https://www.suse.com/c/success/knorr-bremse-ag/

Knorr-Bremse is a German manufacturer of a variety of rail and commercial vehicle components including brakes, door systems, and air conditioning systems. Knorr-Bremse employs over 27,000 workers around the world.

Knorr-Bremse had a problem. Many of their manufacturing machines have service lives of up to 30 years.  Some older machines are not instrumented for remote monitoring, resulting in manufacturing outages and other problems. Knorr-Bremse needed to make their manufacturing operations “smarter” to improve production efficiency and reduce downtime.

The Raspberry Pi single-board-computers were a logical choice for a monitoring hardware platform due to their low cost, easy availability, and the wide variety of I/O sensing devices that are available. Knorr-Bremse experimented with Raspberry Pi devices running the community supported Raspbian operating system, but they soon concluded that they needed an enterprise operating system as part of their solution.

Knorr-Bremse needed an operating system that was secure and reliable. Since the Raspberry Pi-based monitoring systems would be running inside of their corporate network, security was a big concern. Because these systems were key to improving manufacturing efficiency, the systems also had to be reliable. They needed the operating system to be commercially supported, so that they could receive fixes and assistance resolving any operating system problems that might arise. Finally, they wanted a commercially supported management platform to deliver updates to these systems.

Knorr-Bremse seized on the commercial support of SUSE Linux on Raspberry Pi single-board computers as a cost-efficient way to add monitoring to their manufacturing. The solution consists of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm (SLES for Arm) running on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B single-board computers with management services provided by SUSE Manager.

Their monitoring solution also includes a number of custom built I/O boards that attach to the Raspberry Pi I/O ports to sense different operational factors such as temperature and machine status. These Raspberry Pi-based systems are IoT gateways that gather information and send that information to a centralized manufacturing operations team. Some of the Raspberry Pi systems include touch screens that simplify communications from manufacturing workers.

Although Knorr-Bremse is early in the process of deploying this solution to their manufacturing plants, the initial results made them confident enough to release this success story.

SUSE has a number of manufacturing and government agency customers implementing monitoring solutions based on SLES for Arm on the Raspberry Pi systems. All of them leverage the security and reliability of SUSE Linux as well as the SUSE Manager to deliver a monitoring solution that can be distributed in a wide range of environments. SLES for Arm on the Raspberry Pi uses the same common code base used for SLES on X86, Power, and mainframe servers. SUSE provides a SD-Card image with customers and use to quickly install SLES on the Raspberry Pi.

Customers can experiment with SLES for Arm on Raspberry Pi devices by using a free 60 day trial version of SLES for Arm: https://www.suse.com/products/server/download/.

Information on how developers can obtain a free Developer License for SLES for Arm can also be found here: https://www.suse.com/c/free-developer-subscriptions-for-suse-linux-on-arm-based-systems-are-now-available/

SUSE looks forward to helping other customers solve difficult problems using SUSE Linux with Raspberry Pi and other small devices. The combination of enterprise Linux with extremely low cost hardware can enable solutions to problems that previously were impractical to address.

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SUSE supports innovative High Performance and Edge Computing cross-industry initiative

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As the creator of the first commercially supported enterprise Linux distribution, SUSE is no stranger to open source innovation or working with partners to achieve industry goals.

SUSE is proud to join the Forschungszentrum Jülich research institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, Huawei, Mellanox, and E4 in a new initiative to develop open ecosystems for High Performance and Edge Computing.  This initiative brings together end users and solution providers to accelerate adoption of new technologies for HPC and Edge computing workloads including deployments of 5G networks.

SUSE contributions to this initiative will leverage our experience delivering three versions of our commercially supported Linux distribution for Arm. SUSE supports a variety of 64-bit Arm System-on-a-Chip processors including those from Marvell (Cavium), NXP, Qualcomm, HiSilicon, Ampere, Mellanox, and Xilinx among others. SUSE Linux for Arm is already being used by customers for workloads such as the Catalyst UK High Performance Computing project with HPE. Multiple manufacturing customers are also using SUSE Linux on the Raspberry Pi for industrial IoT automation and monitoring.

SUSE as a key player in High Performance Computing where SUSE Linux is the underpinning for almost half of the TOP 100 HPC systems. SUSE has already delivered an initial set of HPC infrastructure packages such as slurm, openblas, openmpi, and fftw that are supported as part of the HPC Module, available for Arm-64 and X86-64 platforms.

This new initiative is expected to improve the maturity of ecosystems across multiple industries and simplify using new technologies such as Arm processor technology to deliver innovative High Performance and Edge Computing solutions. ­­

Press release:  http://www.fz-juelich.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/UK/EN/2018/2018-10-10-hpc.html

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Product Management Reading List

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Recently I was asked: What Product Management books do you recommend?

As I dug through my Kindle list, I realized that most of my recommendations are less about the mechanics of product management and more about the process of creating and the right products for the right markets.

Every product manager will have their own list, but these books have been influential to my approach to product management.

Let me know what you think!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

In this perennial bestseller, embraced by organizations and industries worldwide, globally preeminent management thinkers W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success. Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”—untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth

BLUE OCEAN SHIFT is the essential follow up to Blue Ocean Strategy, the classic and 3.6 million copy global bestseller by world-renowned professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Drawing on more than a decade of new work, Kim and Mauborgne show you how to move beyond competing, inspire your people’s confidence, and seize new growth, guiding you step-by-step through how to take your organization from a red ocean crowded with competition to a blue ocean of uncontested market space. By combining the insights of human psychology with practical market-creating tools and real-world guidance, Kim and Mauborgne deliver the definitive guide to shift yourself, your team, or your organization to new heights of confidence, market creation, and growth. They show why nondisruptive creation is as important as disruption in seizing new growth.

Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

The bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets–now revised and updated with new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle–which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards–there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.

Badass: Making Users Awesome

Imagine you’re in a game with one objective: a bestselling product or service. The rules? No marketing budget, no PR stunts, and it must be sustainably successful. No short-term fads.

This is not a game of chance. It is a game of skill and strategy.

And it begins with a single question: given competing products of equal pricing, promotion, and perceived quality, why does one outsell the others?

The answer doesn’t live in the sustainably successful products or services. The answer lives in those who use them.

Our goal is to craft a strategy for creating successful users. And that strategy is full of surprising, counter-intuitive, and astonishingly simple techniques that don’t depend on a massive marketing or development budget. Techniques typically overlooked by even the most well-funded, well-staffed product teams.

The Art of Profitability

There are many ways to make profit and it is unlikely that your business does all of them. People will pay different prices for the same thing in different situations (think: Coke in the grocery store vs. Coke in a nice restaurant). Good profit models are easy to brainstorm and hard to execute.

As you read, continually re-focus on the implications for your organization. Make notes. Discuss with colleagues.

Here are some questions to get started:

  • How does profit happen for my company? For my competitors?
  • How well do all my people understand our profit models?
  • Is the organization aligned to help capitalize on them?
  • Are there new profit models that we could apply to improve profitability?
  • Which of our current initiatives could improve our profitability and should be accelerated? Which may actually impair it, and should be discontinued?
  • Which specific actions can my organization take in the next ninety days to improve our profit position

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team outlines the root causes of politics and dysfunction on the teams where you work, and the keys to overcoming them. Counter to conventional wisdom, the causes of dysfunction are both identifiable and curable. However, they don’t die easily. Making a team functional and cohesive requires levels of courage and discipline that many groups cannot seem to muster.

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

The difference between helping and selling is just two letters If you’re wondering how to make your products seem more exciting online, you’re asking the wrong question. You’re not competing for attention only against other similar products. You’re competing against your customers’ friends and family and viral videos and cute puppies. To win attention these days you must ask a different question: “How can we help?” Jay Baer’s Youtility offers a new approach that cuts through the clut­ter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.

The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator

The Art of Product Management takes us inside the head of a product management thought leader. With color and humor, Rich Mironov gives us a taste of Silicon Valley’s tireless pursuit of great technology and its creation of new products. He provides strategic advice to product managers and tech professionals about start-ups, big organizations, how to think like a customer, and what things should cost. He also reminds us to love our products and our teams. The Art of Product Management brings together the best insights from more than seven years of Product Bytes, Rich Mironov’s long-running series on product strategy, technology companies, and how the two interact. This collection is for everyone who builds or markets the next new thing.

This is more a “how to think about products” book a set of templates. Product managers (and others who are deeply committed to great products) will recognize themselves and their daily process struggles. How do we think about customers and solutions? Why do organizations behave the way they do? This book captures the inner life of product champions.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

42 Rules of Product Marketing: Learn the Rules of Product Marketing from Leading Experts from around the World

42 Rules of Product Marketing is a collection of product marketing wisdom and insights from forty-two experts from around the world. This book will expose you to the experience and knowledge of a group of the world’s leading product marketing experts with a range of perspectives in both consumer and business markets.

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Free Developer subscriptions for SUSE Linux on Arm based systems are now available

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Arm servers are here (to stay)

I’ve spent the last few weeks meeting with many customers and partners in Frankfurt at the ISC High Performance Conference, HPCast, and the GoingArm conference. We have worked with the Arm community for many years to build a 64-bit Arm server ecosystem. As a result, SUSE has delivered three releases of SUSE Linux for Arm. Now high end 64-bit Arm servers are finally coming to market.

Vendors such as Cray, HPE, Marvell, Qualcomm, and HiSilicon are working to deliver high end Arm systems for the HPC market this year. Last month, the HPE Apollo 70 became the first 64-bit Arm server to be SUSE “YES” certified. Customer are moving beyond the evaluation phase and are starting to place orders for systems. A key example of this is the recent Sandia National Lab announcement for the “Astra” HPC cluster based on HPE Apollo 70 systems running Marvell ThunderX2 Arm processors.

Meanwhile projects such as the arm Open Source Enablement Council, Catalyst UK, GW4, WorksOnArm (hosted by Packet), OpenHPC, and Linaro HPC SIG have been working to enable and validate open source software for Arm processor-based systems.

Mature 64-bit Arm systems for industrial, IoT, networking, and software defined storage workloads are becoming broadly available. These small but capable systems are delivered by ODMs (such as Gateworks) featuring Arm processors from Marvell, NXP, Rockchip, Xilinx, and others. SUSE customers are even using the Raspberry Pi Models B and B+ for industrial automation and monitoring.

Arm based systems are attractive for workloads other than HPC or IoT. Commercial applications are available for the Arm platform from vendors such as Cadence and even Microsoft.

Free developer subscription for SUSE Linux on Arm

SUSE is supporting the development of the 64-bit Arm ecosystem by expanding our free developer subscription program to include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for Arm.

Developers can receive a free one-year, subscription that entitles you to receive fixes and enhancements for SLES on Arm operating system. SLES for Arm runs on many popular hardware platforms including the Marvell (Cavium) ThunderX2, Qualcomm Centriq 2400, and even the Raspberry Pi 3. You can use this subscription to test, validate, and qualify your solution for SUSE Linux for Arm.

How to get started

  1. Go to the download site https://www.suse.com/subscriptions/developer/
  2. Read the information and select Arm by clicking the “Arm AArch64“ link at the top of the page
  3. You need to be logged to the SUSE Customer Center to download the media. If you do not already have a SUSE login, you can create one now.
  4. The site generates a one-year subscription key. Please copy it and save it for later. This registration key is good for both SLES 12 and SLES 15 releases.
  5. Proceed to the download page where you will find images for SLES for Arm 12 SP3. If you need a later release like SLES 15 or you want to download the SD card image for the Raspberry Pi, go to https://download.suse.com/
  6. When you install SLES for Arm, you need to use the registration key created in step #4 above to download fixes and additional packages

Where to get help

You can engage with SUSE and other developers via the SUSE forums for Arm and Raspberry Pi

Now is the right time

Customers are looking for solutions that run on 64-bit Arm platforms. Now is the time for you to start making your application available on SUSE Linux for Arm by using the free Developer Subscription for SLES for Arm (including the Raspberry Pi).

Have a lot of fun!

 

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It’s all coming together for Arm in High Performance Computing

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Creating a new computing platform is a colossal effort. It requires a new hardware architecture, processor design, processor fabrication, system design, operating system enablement and finally, application enablement. Historically, introducing a new computing platform was only attempted by large companies with the resources to attempt all of those tasks. Even then, most new platforms fail to achieve wide-spread use.

Arm used a different approach to introduce the 64-bit Arm server platform—leveraging many different partners to deliver parts of the solution. This allows each partner to focus on the area where they have the most expertise.

With today’s announcement of the HPE Catalyst UK program, the evolution of the Arm server program reaches an inflection point—customers can actually start using the 64-bit Arm platform at scale for high performance computing workloads. This program is the culmination of many years of effort by Arm, Cavium, HPE, SUSE, and thousands of other partners and contributors.

The three supercomputer clusters delivered by the Catalyst UK program will use over 12,000 Cavium ThunderX2 Arm processors in HPE Apollo 70 systems running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for High Performance Computing (SLES 12 for HPC) and SUSE Enterprise Storage.

These supercomputers are designed to enable new scientific discoveries and enhance the competitiveness of businesses by leveraging simulation and artificial intelligence on a large scale.

SLES 12 for HPC is tailored for HPC workloads by including the HPC Module. The HPC Module consists of a number of HPC packages that are fully supported on 64-bit Arm and X86-64 hardware. It allows customers to implement HPC environments faster because these packages use the same installation and update process as any other package in SLES.

SUSE uses the Module delivery mechanism to provide new and updated open-source HPC software more quickly than would be possible through standard release delivery mechanisms.The SLES for HPC subscription includes support for the packages in the HPC Module.

The HPC Module consists of dozens of HPC relevant packages such as slurm, openblas, openmpi, and hdf5. Quarterly updates are planned to deliver additional packages in the HPC Module.  As a premier enterprise Linux distribution, SUSE contributes to the HPC open-source community through projects such as OpenHPC. In fact, SUSE Linux is the operating system used for the OpenHPC 64-bit Arm build and test infrastructure.

SUSE also provides SUSE Enterprise Storage as part of the Catalyst UK program. SUSE Enterprise Storage is powered by open-source Ceph and OPENAttic to deliver a simple-to-use software defined storage solution with near limitless scalability.

SUSE has been delivering commercially supported open-source Linux and storage solutions for the 64-bit Arm platform for almost two years, using a common code base for all SUSE supported hardware platforms. The Catalyst UK program will allow participants to fully exploit the unique characteristics of the 64-bit Arm based HPE Apollo 70 systems in a real-world HPC environment.

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A small server for big companies – New Raspberry Pi support in SLES for ARM

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When SUSE created a Raspberry Pi image for SUSECon in 2016, there was a tremendous amount of interest. We saw thousands of downloads in just the first few days. Many people asked, “When are you going to offer real support for the Raspberry Pi?” The answer is Now!

Increasing customer demand drove our decision to offer commercial support for the Raspberry Pi to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM (SLES for ARM). A number of large companies decided to use Raspberry Pi based monitoring solutions in their industrial manufacturing operations.

Uses for Raspberry Pi with SUSE Linux

These customers chose the Raspberry Pi for many reasons, but low cost, wide availability, and widespread familiarity with programming the Raspberry Pi topped the list. Most of these companies started out experimenting with the free Raspbian OS but wanted SLES for the actual deployment because they needed a secure, reliable, and supported operating system for their monitoring solutions.

A typical use case is an automated manufacturing operation that uses longlived capital equipment such as robotic screwdrivers. This older equipment often does not have built-in monitoring capability to send a signal when something goes wrong – they just stop. The Raspberry Pi based solution can monitor this type of industrial equipment using digital and analog I/O and can send an alert to a centralized monitoring system.

Some customers are also using the Raspberry Pi as an inexpensive shop floor computer.  Workers use a simple touch screen interface on the Raspberry Pi to flag problems with a manufacturing line such as lack of parts or machine failure.

Both of these use cases are intended to provide more granular information about industrial operations with a goal of reducing downtime and improving productivity.

We have heard of other potential uses for Raspberry Pi in commercial environments including digital signage, network monitoring, and IT monitoring as done by Malavix xymon (Malavix Partner Case Study). After this announcement, we will probably hear about many new ways to use SLES on the Raspberry Pi.

Differences from previous SUSE Raspberry Pi image

The biggest change is that we are offering support for this new Raspberry Pi SD-card image as part of SLES for ARM 12 SP3. The new image is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for ARM, so will include some fixes and enhancements from the latest SUSE Linux release.

The SUSE Engineering team has worked to reduce the size of the image. The image that was delivered for SUSECon in 2016 included developer-type packages such as compilers and debuggers. The new image focuses on providing IoT infrastructure. A number of packages have been removed to reduce the image size to around 630MB. Packages such as compilers can be installed using zypper and yast post installation and registration.

The new Raspberry Pi image is just another platform for SLES for ARM, so it uses the same update and installation channels as SLES for ARM.  This means that users of the Raspberry Pi will have access to all packages in SLES for ARM, including SDK and source files.  This also means that the free evaluation period is sixty days, just like all other SUSE Linux evaluation downloads.

The new Raspberry Pi image based on SLES 12 SP3 for ARM is available now here.

What has stayed the same

The new image boots into a lightweight graphical desktop and includes Wi-Fi enablement by default. The I/O support is generally the same as it was before, including support for HDMI, Ethernet, and the GPIO ports. Like the previous image, we do not support audio, 3D graphics, Raspberry Pi touch screen, or camera. These restrictions are documented in the Release Notes and the Quick Start Guide.

Please note that the only the Raspberry Pi 3 Model 3 is supported. The new B+ model uses different I/O chips and will not work with the current SP3 image.

Order info

It will take a few more weeks to get pricing for SLES for ARM on the commercial price list. Partners and SUSE Direct Sellers that have significant opportunities for the Raspberry Pi should contact me, (jayk@suse.com) for instructions on how to order during this period. For others, please take advantage of the free sixty-day evaluation to start working with SLES for ARM on the Raspberry Pi.

Future

This is only the first step in SLES for ARM support for the Raspberry Pi. In the future we intend to broaden the I/O support and allow for network installation of Raspberry Pi without having to use an SD-Card image. We also want to add support to other 64-bit Raspberry Pi hardware such as the Compute Module and the B+. We have received many requests for SUSE Manager support and are working to bring that to market as well.

Resources

Resource Link
Raspberry Pi 60 day Evaluation download https://bit.ly/sles4pi
SLES for Arm Raspberry Pi Quick Start Guide https://bit.ly/sles4piquickstart
User Forum https://bit.ly/sles4piforum
SUSE Customer Center https://scc.suse.com
Replay of Raspberry Pi webinar https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/11477/311441
SLES for Arm Raspberry Pi product page https://www.suse.com/products/arm/raspberry-pi/
Raspberry Pi Foundation FAQ https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/faqs/

Summary

The introduction of Raspberry Pi support in SLES for ARM is a significant milestone for SUSE and for the Raspberry Pi. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance and encouragement of Eben Upton and his Raspberry Pi Foundation to bring this product to market.

Have a lot of fun!

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SUSE Linux now available on Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure for IBM Power

Nutanix_Certified

IBM® Hyperconverged Systems powered by Nutanix are now SUSE YES Certified for SUSE Linux. These certifications are for the 1U CS821 and 2U CS822 models. These systems will combine the performance of the IBM POWER8 chip architecture and the simplicity of Nutanix management software.

These systems are certified for the little endian SLES 12 Service Pack 3 and the big endian SLES 11 Service Pack 4. IBM and Nutanix certified both releases to ensure that customers have the broadest choices of application workloads.

These certifications give you the flexibility to start leveraging the Nutanix hyperconverged management technology for existing Linux on Power workloads. The Nutanix architecture allows you to start small and to scale your Nutanix Power environment as your workloads grow.

Hyperconverged infrastructure streamlines the deployment, management and scaling of datacenter resources by combining server and storage resources with intelligent software in a managed software defined infrastructure. The goal is to create an agile datacenter that easily scales with your business.

The YES certifications are available here:

https://www.suse.com/nbswebapp/yesBulletin.jsp?bulletinNumber=146616
https://www.suse.com/nbswebapp/yesBulletin.jsp?bulletinNumber=146615
https://www.suse.com/nbswebapp/yesBulletin.jsp?bulletinNumber=146596
https://www.suse.com/nbswebapp/yesBulletin.jsp?bulletinNumber=146585

 

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