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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

Smart Picture calculates measurements with smart phone photos – just snap, measure, and share!

 

BRAINTREE, Mass. – OnSource, the platform that connects insurance companies with third-party vehicle and property photo inspections via smart phone apps, has recently partnered with Smart Picture Technologies to improve the speed and accuracy of collecting and recording measurements, right from the photo.

Smart Picture Technologies' patent-pending technology platform enables users to capture Smart Picture images which contain millions of measurement data points. Measurements are calculated instantaneously and users can edit and share Smart Pictures directly from OnSource's portal. This process can save considerable time when collecting measurements in the field.

"Smart Picture has created powerful solutions in the home improvement and real estate industries so we're very enthusiastic to bring SmartPicture to the insurance industry, as well," says founder and CEO, Kari Myllykoski. "Our technology uses any smart phone and increases  productivity, improves accuracy, prevents human errors, and saves time and money spent  in any type of work or process which requires measuring and estimating, like processing an insurance claim"

This technology can be used by OnSource's photo inspectors and with their suite of customer self-serve inspection apps. By using OnSource's photo claims apps, customers can snap photos using a "smart target" and all measurements are automatically captured.

"We're really excited to partner with Smart Picture.  Adding this technology to our current inspection process makes a lot of sense for our clients who want to make collecting measurements easier and more accurate than ever before," says OnSource co-founder Tim Schneider.

About OnSource
Headquartered in Braintree, MA, OnSource enables companies to get fast, fair and efficient auto and property inspections through intuitive self-serve smartphone apps and an extensive national network of more than 14,000 photo inspectors. Backed by a team of quality assurance analysts and support professionals, inspections are completed quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively each and every time. To learn more, visit www.onsourceonline.com.

About Smart Picture
Smart Picture Technologies (SPT) provides a unique, powerful, and patented "measurement by picture" Cloud & Mobile platform for users to make measurement from smartphone pictures. Just snap a picture to start measuring on any smartphone - or upload the picture to the SPT cloud to make measurements on any device with a browser – and collaborate with anyone in the world. SPT radically increases productivity and eliminates errors in any industry or personal pursuit where measurement capture is important – Home Improvement, Insurance (claims and underwriting), Home and Commercial Real Estate, and many others. For more information, visit www.smartpicture3d.com.

Competitive Advantage Paper From DCIG Says Dot Hill's Hybrid Storage Array With RealStor Delivers Enterprise-Class Technology to Small and Midsize Organizations

 

LONGMONT, Colo. – Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today announced availability of a new Competitive Advantage report published by DCIG entitled, "Dot Hill AssuredSAN® 4004 Tops Nimble Storage CS500 in Real-time Data Center Efficiencies, Flexible Multi-Protocol Support and an Enterprise-ready Platform." Authored by Chuck Cook, DCIG analyst, the report analyzes the architectural designs and key features of hybrid storage solutions from Dot Hill and Nimble and concluded that the AssuredSAN 4004 is an exceptional platform.

Offering up to 84TB of storage capacity per rack unit, the Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4004 with RealStor™ offers 3.5X the storage density of the Nimble Storage CS500, which is limited to 24TB of raw storage capacity per rack unit.

"The versatility of the AssuredSAN 4004 allows it to fit in diverse environments while optimizing performance for business-critical applications," said Cook. "Superior data center efficiency, flexible protocol support and enterprise-ready features combine to make the Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4004 platform a better fit than the Nimble Storage CS500 for many enterprise deployments."

"This DCIG Competitive Advantage report validates what we've seen in our labs and in the field," said Bill Wuertz, senior vice president, products and solutions, Dot Hill. "Dot Hill's unique RealStor storage operating system stands alone in its ability to provide true autonomic, real-time data movement to accelerate storage operations delivering data where customers need it, when they need it—in real time. Real time matters."

Greater Efficiency

The Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4004 goes beyond the CS500's read caching, and utilizes flash for multiple functions including application as a high performance storage tier, along with read caching; and packs 3.5X the raw data into each rack unit. "Unlike Nimble Storage, network port types can easily be changed by replacing the SFPs provided by Dot Hill," the report says.

Enterprise-Ready

According to the report, the AssuredSAN's active-active controller configuration is an enterprise expectation. With active-active controllers, data requests are executed through concurrent access to all logical volumes. If one controller goes offline, the remaining controller services requests without interruption. "This architecture efficiently utilizes all of the system resources (CPU, memory and ports). With Nimble's active-standby configuration, half of its resources sit idle," the report states.

More Flexibility

Dot Hill's AssuredSAN 4004 provides concurrent iSCSI and Fibre Channel connectivity for block storage. "In contrast, the Nimble Storage CS500 is a block-only storage array supporting iSCSI or Fibre Channel but not concurrently," notes DCIG. "The AssuredSAN 4004's multi-protocol capability means the AssuredSAN 4004 can fit into a broader range of data center infrastructures and provide storage for a broader range of applications."

About Dot Hill RealStor

RealStor is Dot Hill's next-generation storage operating system that delivers simple, smart, and efficient storage management services. The AssuredSAN 4004 with RealStor utilizes flash to achieve up to 100,000 I/Os per second (IOPs). Included standard with powerful Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4000 Series hybrid storage solutions, RealStor fuels a powerful set of autonomic efficiencies including:

  • RealCache™ - SSD caching
  • RealTier™ - SSD and HDD tiering in real-time
  • RealThin™ - thin provisioning
  • RealSnap™ - zero-impact snapshots
  • RealQuick™ - rapid RAID rebuilds
  • RealPool™ - autonomic storage resource pooling

A new and improved management interface streamlines deployment and simplifies routine storage configuration and management tasks.

About Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4004 Hybrid Arrays

Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4004 hybrid arrays maximize capacity and performance while keeping costs at a minimum. Built on Dot Hill'sninth-generation RAID stack, Dot Hill 4004 storage systems deliver exceptional performance for sequential workloads. All highly reliable AssuredSAN systems deliver proven 99.999 percent availability and feature platinum-rated power supplies. With fully redundant and hot-swappable components, Dot Hill AssuredSAN storage solutions provide easy serviceability, resulting in lower support costs throughout the life of the product. Backed by a 36-month "bumper-to-bumper" warranty, AssuredSAN storage solutions are available with the latest high-bandwidth interfaces, including 12Gb SAS, 16Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb iSCSI or dual personality 16Gb Fibre Channel/10Gb iSCSI.

About DCIG

DCIG empowers the IT industry with actionable analysis that equips individuals within organizations to conduct technology assessments. DCIG delivers informed, insightful, third party analysis and commentary on IT technology. DCIG independently develops and licenses access to DCIG Buyer's Guides and the DCIG Analysis Suite. It also develops sponsored content in the form of blog entries, customer validations, competitive advantage reports, executive white papers, special reports and white papers. More information is available at www.dcig.com.

About Dot Hill

Leveraging its proprietary Assured family of storage solutions, Dot Hill solves many of today's most challenging storage problems - helping IT to improve performance, increase availability, simplify operations, and reduce costs. Dot Hill's solutions combine breakthrough software with the industry's most flexible and extensive hardware platform and automated management to deliver best-in-class solutions. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information, visit us at www.dothill.com.

SIEGEN – For the last 20 years, technology developed by INVERS, a world market leader based in Netphen near Siegen (Germany), has made it possible to turn a conventional vehicle into a smart car-sharing automobile. The company is now announcing an expansion to the product line with the addition of the INVERS CloudBoxx.

 

Starting in May 2015, the new solution will enable car-sharing operators to offer car-sharing based solely on smart phones and regardless of the vehicle’s manufacturer. The product was optimized for the seamless integration of customer smart phones in the car-sharing process. In this way, INVERS is following the “bring your own device” trend, and will ultimately make chip cards or user terminals in the vehicle unnecessary.

The development of the CloudBoxx is based on the wealth of experience INVERS has gained over the years in equipping 45,000 vehicles to date worldwide. All hardware and software components are developed by INVERS, certified according to automotive standards, and produced in Germany.

 

The INVERS CloudBoxx platform includes both the in-car technology as well as a cloud API and optimized communication solutions for the efficient interaction between the smartphone, vehicle, and the INVERS Cloud.

 

An always-on architecture allows for live communication between the components using minimal power consumption. Simultaneous GSM and Bluetooth utilization as communication channels lets users be independent of the vehicle’s location, and they can begin and end their drive without mobile phone reception. With that, INVERS has solved a currently widespread problem affecting car-sharing, while at the same time simplifying the use of underground garages.

 

A simple cloud API for the straightforward connection of the company’s own applications, such as leasing software, websites, and apps, is already available for use. For developers working on their own applications, there is already a special development kit for testing purposes. The flexible and appealing pricing models let customers choose a model that best fits their respective needs.

 

Multiple pilot projects with car-sharing and corporate car-sharing operators are already ongoing. INVERS CEO Alexander Kirn says, “The high level of interest in the market shows that the time for a reliable and purely smartphone-based solution has come. The scope of the projects extends from startups to automobile manufacturers, who can also license individual components. In the pilot projects carried out to date, we were especially impressed by how quickly our customers were able to develop innovative mobility solutions on the CloudBoxx platform – something they can now do in days instead of weeks. We’re excited to see what kind of creative ideas our customers can continue to generate using the CloudBoxx platform.”

 

To learn more about this product, please go to www.cloudboxx.invers.com.

KEMP, Texas – Industrial lighting specialist Larson Electronics has announced the release of a 1600 watt skid mount five stage light mast. This tower features a rotating boom that allows for 360° of rotation, a removable mast head, and a cube frame with skid pockets with 4-corner pick eyes for easy transportation.

The LM-SMDE-30-8-5S-4X400LTL-LED-RD-E2E light mast from Larson Electronics is designed to quickly and safely deploy 1600 watts of intense LED lighting in locations where elevated illumination is needed. This mast is equipped with four 400 watt LED lamps that produce a wide spread of intense white light, allowing this unit to effectively cover large work areas. This light boom can be extended to 30’ for maximum coverage, collapsed to 8.83’ and is constructed of square steel tubing in different dimensions for each section. The mast is elevated using an included 2,500 lbs. manual hand crank winch with 3/16” galvanized braided steel cable. The light heads on this tower are wet area suitable high output LED fixtures that produce a combined total of approximately 208,000 lumens of light while drawing 1600 watts of power. The thirty-foot tower and assembly is powder coated with a glossy blue finish for corrosion resistance and aesthetics.

The mast is bolted onto a 1/8” thick carbon steel plate via six 1/3” anchor bolts. The mast and controls are secured within a cube-style frame constructed of 2” by 2” by 1/8” thick and measuring 48” wide by 48” long by 53” tall. Four 4’ slide out outriggers with 1,200 lbs. manual crank leveling jacks allow operators to anchor the unit down, providing stability during deployment. Eight skid pockets allow this unit to be picked up from all four sides, and four-corner eyelets allow for stable deployment via crane operation. This mast is operated from a centrally located control box with power switches within the cube frame, allowing operators to power the LED light fixtures on or off. Wiring is provided via 150’ 10/4 SOOW cable terminated in a 30 amp L14-30P twist lock plug. A manual roll up drum mounted within the steel cage frame provides storage for the power cable. A waterproof L14-30C twist lock connector allows up to three units be daisy chained together on 120V circuit or up to three units on a 240V circuit.      

“This new design of our already popular light masts provides operators with a more mobile solution of lighting,” said Rob Bresnahan with Larsonelectornics.com. “We have incorporated a cube frame with skid pockets so that these masts can stand alone versus mounting them to a stable foundation.”  

Larson Electronics carries an extensive line of LED light towers, portable power distributions, explosion proof lights for hazardous locations, portable work lights and industrial grade LED area lights. You can view Larson Electronics’ entire line of lighting by visiting them on the web at Larsonelectronics.com. You can also call 1-800-369-6671 to learn more or call 1-214-616-6180 for international inquiries.

LM-SMDE-30-8-5S-4X400LTL-LED-RD-E2E-PR01

LM-SMDE-30-8-5S-4X400LTL-LED-RD-E2E-PR02

LM-SMDE-30-8-5S-4X400LTL-LED-RD-E2E-PR03

Disaster Solutions Houses Communities as Rebuild Begins

 

GREENWICH, Conn. – Nepal looks to rebuild after the recent earthquake devastation. The first responders aid efforts will come to a close, but millions of Nepalese remain homeless.

Disaster Solutions—a United States based 501(c)(3) non-profit—launched an initiative to provide 1,000 emergency shelters until more permanent housing is available. Through tax-deductible donations, Disaster Solutions brings a new era of emergency housing to displaced victims worldwide.

USAID and the Government of Nepal (GoN) reported on May 15 that the earthquake destroyed 488,530 houses and that number continues to grow.

A needs assessment by the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) reported the initial earthquake and aftershock rendered between 95 and 100 percent of houses of the village development committees uninhabitable. Much of the community infrastructure, including water systems and latrines are also destroyed.

Using fundraising dollars and the help of U.S. Veterans organizations, Disaster Solutions will deploy the emergency RescUshelter® for at least 4,000 displaced Nepalese.

Nance Martelli Hutter, Executive Director of Disaster Solutions, expressed relief urgency, "The shelter need in Nepal is dire, especially for women and children. Not only are these displaced victims fully exposed to the weather elements, but children could become targets for human trafficking. We can provide safe, lockable homes until a more permanent solutions is in place." 

RescUshelter® emergency housing is an easily deployed, temporary dwelling designed to comfortably shelter four people in a wide range of climates and conditions until more permanent housing is in place. RescUshelter® is efficiently transported, relatively lightweight and easily assembled. This makes it ideally suited to respond to the conditions immediately following natural disasters, emergencies, and other situations that create an urgent need for suitable shelter. 

For every $3,000 donated, a family of four can be housed for six months or more.

To donate funds for the Shelter Nepal relief effort, text SHELTERS to 71777 or visit www.disaster-solutions.org to donate online or for more information. 

LONDON, UK - GroundWork, Inc. (www.gwos.com), the leading Unified Monitoring solution for IT operations management and cloud monitoring, is expanding support for OpenStack Juno, Kilo and Mirantis via GroundWork CloudHub. Newly added support will give customers improved visibility into the entire OpenStack deployment, from the physical through to the virtual.

"OpenStack manageability continues to evolve rapidly," said David Dennis, VP of Marketing and Products for GroundWork. "We've seen a major expansion of the metrics available via the various APIs in the latest versions of OpenStack and have enhanced CloudHub to gather them. This provides much better performance and capacity management for OpenStack production deployments."

 

GroundWork Cloud Hub with added OpenStack support has the ability to monitor several components within the OpenStack framework enabling users to:

  • Monitor OpenStack Juno, featuring expanded compute monitoring metrics for Nova and Ceilometer
  • Have the improved ability to monitor hypervisor, network and storage
  • Monitor Docker on OpenStack
  • Have expanded OpenStack distribution support with the addition of Mirantis OpenStack
  • Monitor OpenStack Kilo as soon as it is released

To request a demo of OpenStack monitoring for your environment:
www.gwos.com/demo

 

About GroundWork, Inc.
GroundWork, Inc. (www.gwos.com) delivers performance and availability monitoring of hybrid cloud, container, application, server, network and storage data.

DataBank opens the highest-spec multi-tenant data center in the region

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – DataBank Holdings, Ltd., a leading custom data center, managed services and cloud provider based in Dallas, TX has announced the Grand Opening of the company’s sixth data center recently completed in Eagan, MN. To commemorate the event DataBank will be hosting an open house on May 21st. The event will give businesses in the Twin Cities an opportunity to view the latest technologies employed to deliver the highest spec multi-tenant data center in the region.

With the infrastructure completed in late April, the site then underwent a rigorous commissioning process which included an Uptime Institute audit to achieve Tier-III build certification. This ensures the entire infrastructure will operate in the most efficient and reliable manner with the highest levels of redundancy. Customer deployments are underway, as well as private tours for prospective clients looking to benefit from a zero-downtime environment for their critical IT infrastructure.

“DataBank is thrilled to open up the doors to the Twin Cities premier colocation facility,” said Jerry Blair, Co-Founder & SVP of Sales for DataBank. “We’ve found the region has a well-established and discerning IT presence which cultivated a demand for high-end enterprise data center space over the last few years.” Blair continued, “With this facility we can address the unique needs of a variety of enterprise users. From MSPs and cloud providers, to financial institutions and healthcare organizations - we can deliver the highest levels of redundancy and service.”

The East Twin Cities facility will accommodate over 50,000 square feet of raised floor across four ‘data-hall’ deployments. The facility is designed to be a 'Carrier-Hotel' and will employ two large scale MMRs (Meet-Me-Rooms) to support the built-to-suit cabinet, cage and private suite environments with unmatched connectivity.

To find out additional details or to schedule your own private tour, please visit the company website at http://www.databank.com. To register for the open house event please go to http://www.databank.com/MSP-GO-OH.

About DataBank
DataBank is a leading provider of enterprise-class data center solutions aimed at providing customers with 100% uptime availability of data, applications and deployed infrastructure. We offer a full suite of hosting solutions including colocation, managed services and cloud solutions that are anchored in world-class secure data center facilities with best of breed infrastructure and highly robust network architecture. Our customized customer deployments are designed to effectively manage risk, improve their technology performance and allow them to focus on their core business objectives. DataBank is headquartered in the historic former Federal Reserve Bank Building, in downtown Dallas, TX and has additional data centers in Dallas, Minneapolis and Kansas City. For more information on DataBank locations and services, please visit http://www.databank.com or call 1(800) 840-7533.

The task of staying on top of all of the alerts and alarms that security monitoring tools send out constantly is becoming an unsustainable burden to some IT departments. In balancing setting up and manning these alerts – sometimes millions of them -- while at the same time providing other mission-critical services to grow the business, something has to give. The problem has even been blamed in the massive 2014 Target breach, in which relevant alarms were not noticed in a timely manner.

Security monitoring tools are all but useless without human IT resources to follow up on them, and quickly. It’s become a specialized service area for some enterprises, who want to outsource the monitoring to experts who do nothing but, and know the ins and outs of setting thresholds and balancing monitoring of multiple systems.

Managed service provider Logicalis US has compiled five questions for CIOs considering bringing on a monitoring service provider to support IT’s security responsibilities.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/governance-and-risk/keeping-security-monitoring-in-house-becoming-riskier-for-some-businesses.html

The SMB Group released information on its State of SMB Adoption of Mobile Apps and Management Solutions recently. It was a relief to see that SMBs were finally recognizing the importance of mobile solutions to their businesses, with 55 percent of the small and 65 percent of the midsize businesses strongly agreeing that these are critical. However, Kapsersky Lab’s own report on BYOD shows that a surprising number of SMB owners “don’t see a danger” with their employees using personal devices at work.

The Kaspersky report provides data that shows that BYOD could be the real security issue for SMBs, according to CBR Online. In the report, 92 percent of those surveyed said they “keep sensitive corporate information on smartphones and tablets, which they use for both work and personal activities.” That is a dangerously high number of businesses that put a lot of trust in their mobile security efforts, despite the fact that they also think that “basic security tools provided within free solutions” are enough to protect that data. Most also say they don’t see a reason to budget more money toward better security.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/smb-tech/mobile-adoption-high-on-smb-list-but-mobile-security-isnt.html

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 00:00

BMC’s Remedy for IT Obsolescence

Of the companies I follow, one stands out with the singular mission of assuring that IT doesn’t again become obsolete in the face of ever more powerful direct to line management offerings like Amazon Web Services. Most firms tend to treat Amazon’s offering as a competitor or potential customer and miss that it is actually a very different beast. It isn’t really going after IT as customers for the most part, it is rendering IT obsolete by going after IT’s customers directly. If we were talking about this in terms of sales channels, this would be like talking about what Amazon did to retail; it made the retail store obsolete in order to sell directly to their user customers. In effect, Amazon changed the game. BMC is the only enterprise vendor that has figured out that the proper defense isn’t to fight Amazon or to sell to Amazon -- it is to protect IT.

The MyIT effort validates this strategy and the new Remedy 9 platform is the latest in the company’s quiver of arrows designed to help IT defend against obsolescence.

In short, BMC’s goal is to make IT a better choice for employees than any cloud service, partially by embracing them, but mostly by driving IT to focus on making IT’s own customers more satisfied.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/unfiltered-opinion/bmcs-remedy-for-it-obsolescence.html

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