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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

(TNS) — "A rising tide lifts all boats," John F. Kennedy said, in defense of the government taking on big public works projects for the greater good.

About 10 of Iowa's river towns will share a $600 million pot of state money based on the belief sales tax revenue will rise higher and commercial and residential development will flourish along riverfronts, if protected from flood with sophisticated green and hard infrastructure.

Flooding in Iowa is occurring more often, making the nomenclature 100-year or 500-year flood levels meaningless. The city of Burlington had 500-year floods in 1993 and 2008, a 15-year interval.

Cedar Rapids, which sustained $6 billion of the state's $10 billion flood damage in 2008, led the way in convincing the Legislature to establish a flood mitigation fund.



(TNS) — Until now, North Texas has been one of the least likely places in the country to have an earthquake.

But after the Dallas area suffered a series of more than 120 quakes since 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey is re-evaluating the metroplex’s “seismic hazard” — or the risk of experiencing earthquakes.

This year, for the first time, the USGS will include quakes believed to have been caused by human activity in its National Seismic Hazard Map, which engineers use to write and revise building codes, and which insurers use to set rates.

The map predicts where future earthquakes will occur, how often they will occur and how strongly they will shake the ground.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015 00:00

The Modular Approach to a Scalable Cloud

Following up on my previous post regarding hyperscale infrastructure, I feel I should point out that once the decision to go hyperscale has been made, it will most likely take place in a Greenfield hardware environment.

Unless you are already working with a state-of-the-art data facility, any attempt to convert complex, multiformat legacy environments will almost certainly lead to a morass of integration issues. The key benefit to hyperscale is that it is both large and flexible, allowing data executives to craft multiple disparate data architectures completely in software. This is why current hyperscale plants at Google and Facebook rely on bulk commodity hardware.

But as I mentioned last fall, the average enterprise does not have the clout to purchase tens of thousands of stripped down servers and switches at a time, and besides, all those components still need to be deployed, provisioned and integrated into the cluster, which takes time, effort and of course, money.



Epicure Selections deploys hybrid solution providing additional cost savings of running on-premises with the reliability and flexibility of running in the cloud


SAN MATEO, Calif.  SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com), maker of SAN and #SANLess clustering software products, today announced that Epicure Selections is using SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software to easily and cost-efficiently provide HA and DR protection for its business-critical SQL Server applications without the complexity of building out a remote DR site or purchasing costly SQL Server Enterprise Edition licenses. 


Epicure, Canada’s leading direct sales company, sells healthy, easy-to-prepare food products through a network of over 16,000 consultants.  Epicure relies on two websites for its critical business operations. Its public website provides product, company, and consultant enrollment information to customers and people interested in becoming a consultant. The internal website provides consultants with important product information and enables them to place orders.


The company uses two instances of SQL Server Standard Edition, one for each website running on a single server. “Our websites are vital to our business,” said Russell Born, senior network infrastructure administrator at Epicure.


As the company grew and expanded its products and services, the Epicure IT department needed to update and protect its business-critical websites from downtime. It decided to move both websites from a third-party hosted facility to its on-premises data center and Amazon Web Services. As part of this update, Epicure wanted an efficient, cost-effective way to provide high availability and disaster protection for both websites while continuing to run them on two instances of SQL Server Standard Edition.  


Using SIOS SANLess clustering software, Epicure IT staff created a two-node cluster in an active-passive failover configuration that enables each SQL instance to failover independently. One cluster node is in the on-premises data center and the second node is in an instance of the AWS EC2 cloud. Epicure IT staff created the SIOS SANLess clusters and configured them using the software’s intuitive graphical user interface.


The SIOS software provides Epicure with an easy, cost-efficient way to provide HA and DR protection for its business-critical SQL Server applications without the complexity of building out a remote DR site or purchasing costly SQL Server Enterprise Edition licenses. “The SIOS software has allowed us to create a hybrid solution providing additional cost savings of running on-premises with the reliability and flexibility of running in the cloud,” said Born. “Knowing that a website outage will result in an automatic failover allows our IT Team to focus their attention on other priorities to strengthen our business.”


“Whether you want to protect applications in a physical server, a private cloud within an organization, in a public cloud or a hybrid cloud, you need to protect applications, like Windows SQL Server, from downtime if the cloud instance or the cloud provider fails,” said Jerry Melnick, COO, SIOS Technology.  “Epicure is using SIOS to provide a fast, easy way to deploy applications in a high availability environment in the cloud while continuing to use Windows Server Failover Clustering.  I applaud them for their use case and innovation and look forward to continuing to provide value to their HA and DR strategies.”


About SIOS Technology Corp.

SIOS Technology Corp. makes SAN and #SANLess software solutions that make clusters easy to use and easy to own.An essential part of any cluster solution, SIOS SAN and #SANLess software provides the flexibility to build Clusters Your Way to protect your choice of Windows or Linux environment in any configuration (or combination) of physical, virtual and cloud (public, private, and hybrid) without sacrificing performance or availability. The unique SIOS #SANLess clustering solution allows you to configure clusters with local storage, eliminating both the cost and the single-point-of-failure risk of traditional shared (SAN) storage.

Founded in 1999, SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com) is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

Adds ability to manage unstructured content as well as Web Access and Directory capabilities to HealthStore ICA


WOBURN, Mass. – BridgeHead Software, a leader in healthcare data management, today announced the latest version of the BridgeHead Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Platform with the ability to manage unstructured content as well as key updates to the BridgeHead HealthStore™ Independent Clinical Archive (ICA). The new technical enhancements enable the BridgeHead HDM platform to create a standard view of all data, regardless of its origin and type, while at the same time make it easier to use.


Now standardized on XDS technology, the BridgeHead HDM platform introduces two new components to the BridgeHead HealthStore Independent Clinical Archive (ICA):

  • HealthStore Web Access (HWA) -- a web based search portal that securely allows access to all content and content types managed by HealthStore;
  •          HealthStore Directory -- a central registry of the metadata pertaining to the content stored in the archive, which provides rapid search and access to all content in the archive.


Managing Unstructured Content

Bridgehead has always had a strong data policy management engine that manages content and metadata separately, but the BridgeHead HealthStore Solution has formalized this functionality to meet Open Standards, most notably XDS. This allows a consistent way of describing data, across all data types to help power the patient-centric view.

With XDS at its core, BridgeHead HealthStore can ingest content in any format: DICOM, HL7 documents, native XDS documents and even unstructured content. All content is registered in the central Directory, which can be searched via single interface, greatly simplifying access to disparate content types. Moreover, because the BridgeHead HDM can now ingest items from a file system and at the same time query the environment to obtain metadata about the ingested item (e.g. patient ID), HealthStore can ingest items from file-based repositories in a consistent manner, and dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of content access.


Automated Deployment and Support for Multiple Environments

The BridgeHead HDM platform also has been enhanced by adding an intelligent installation and configuration graphical user interface, which automatically discovers and presents a user’s full IT server environment to enable a simple point-and-click server configuration for the HT Backup environment. HT Backup subsequently deploys all required software components and alerts the user when completed. As a result, software upgrades are much easier to deploy.

Finally, the BridgeHead HDM offers external support and new functionality for the following systems:

  •          Extending MEDITECH Backup Facility (MBF) for Recover Point ISB/IDR,
  •          MEDITECH View Only EMR,
  •          EMC ATMOS Cloud Interface,
  •          DELL Rapid Data Access.

“With the latest version of the BridgeHead HDM platform, BridgeHead continues to build on its vision for the HealthStore Independent Clinical Archive by simplifying the integration of all hospital data into an easily-accessed, standards-based data store,” said Tony Cotterill, Chief Product Officer at BridgeHead Software.  “In addition, BridgeHead is adding new functionality to its core platform that makes it easier for hospitals to view, search and drive more value out of their archive data than ever before.”


Interactive Resources

Find out more about BridgeHead HealthStore™ 

Read the BridgeHead blog: The Road to an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure


About BridgeHead Software

With 20 years’ experience in data and storage management, BridgeHead Software is trusted by over 1,200 hospitals worldwide. Today, BridgeHead Software helps healthcare facilities overcome challenges stemming from rising data volumes and increasing storage costs while delivering peace of mind around how to store, protect and share clinical and administrative information.

BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management solutions are designed to work with any hospital’s chosen applications and storage hardware, regardless of vendor, providing greater choice, flexibility and control over the way data is managed, now and in the future. For more information, visit http://www.bridgeheadsoftware.com or follow on Twitter at @BridgeHeadHDM.

North American Launch Comes in Advance of Windows Server 2003 Deadline


CLEARWATER, Fla. – Zynstra, the pioneer in enterprise-class hybrid IT for the SMB, today announced its expansion into the North American market with its first U.S. channel partners and customers. With this move, Zynstra makes available its enterprise-class hybrid IT solution for the North American SMB. Now, small businesses here can take advantage of enterprise IT without the enterprise cost — a lifeline in advance of the Windows Server 2003 end of support scheduled for July 2015.


Zynstra’s expansion into North America comes on the heels of great success abroad, where the U.K. company has already gained significant momentum with its innovative hybrid IT solution. Sold 100 percent indirectly through channel partners, Zynstra’s Cloud-Managed Server Appliances leverage the best of on-premises IT with the best of the cloud — sold as a service for SMBs. The solution can be designed, installed and put in production quickly, and is managed by the partner.


“Zynstra's Cloud Managed Server Appliances enable SMBs to quickly exploit some of the economic advantages of hybrid cloud operations at a very reasonable cost. Its channel strategy means that SMB customers are served with industry-specific expertise, something they always prefer,” said Carl Lehmann, research manager, Enterprise Architecture, Integration & Business Process Management, The 451 Group. “Zynstra does the heavy lifting, making the hybrid cloud work. Its channel partners can then focus on their offerings and SMB customers rather than the underlying IT infrastructure and services required for delivery. All in all, it's a compelling argument for the SMB end user and the channel partners that serve them.”


The availability of Zynstra’s hybrid IT solution in North America fills an immediate need for many SMBs that are grappling with the impending end of support for Windows Server 2003. Until now, their options were more limited: do nothing and risk security breaches and regulatory non-compliance; upgrade their on-premises server and OS at capex cost; or move everything to the public cloud, a choice that the vast majority of SMBs will not make for practical reasons and due to concerns for security, performance and control. Zynstra’s hybrid IT solution introduces a fourth option, whereby SMBs can affordably refresh their IT infrastructure on an opex basis while also positioning themselves for the future. Ultimately, with Zynstra, SMBs can face the Windows Server 2003 end of support with confidence.


Zynstra is led by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs with a strong track record of turning high-technology concepts into solutions that deliver value on a global basis. To help round out its U.S. presence, Zynstra also hired Andrew Morlidge as vice president of Business Development, Americas. Morlidge has more than two decades of experience in sales management, global account management, channel sales and business development working at marquee-name organizations. Most recently, Morlidge served as sr. director, HP Alliance at Microsoft. During his 14-year tenure there, he also held positions as Cisco Alliance director and sales manager, among others.


“The exploding hybrid cloud market, the timing of the Windows Server 2003 end of support and SMBs’ unmet need for affordable hybrid IT make now the optimal time for Zynstra to find success in the North American market,” said Nick East, CEO, Zynstra. “We are only beginning to realize the full potential of Zynstra, and expect this move to generate additional growth as word of our innovation spreads."


To learn more about how Zynstra is enabling SMBs to take advantage of enterprise-class IT without the enterprise cost, please visit www.zynstra.com.


About Zynstra

Zynstra enables SMBs to benefit from hassle-free, enterprise-class IT with built-in reliability they can afford. Its patent-pending hybrid cloud technology delivers the security and performance of local IT while taking advantage of the economics and ease of the cloud. Zynstra has offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Zynstra is backed by Octopus Investments, one of the United Kingdom’s leading investors in fast-growth companies that can scale explosively to create, transform or dominate an industry.

Sage Refurbishing Used Computers with Low-Cost, Genuine Microsoft Software


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) announced today that Sage Sustainable Electronics has been designated a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR), enabling Sage to equip used desktops, laptops and servers with affordable, fully licensed, genuine Windows® operating systems and other software.


“Sage leadership has a long history of partnering with Microsoft to provide consumers with a great out-of-the-box experience,” said Sean Nicholson, Microsoft Worldwide Manager for Refurbisher Programs. “We’re excited about their vision for helping businesses recover more value from surplus technology by refurbishing rather than recycling.”


As a MAR, Sage’s refurbished PCs include Microsoft online support and free security updates, which are critical to security and a good consumer experience, according to Susan Smith, Sage Vice President of Product Development. “Because Windows is the most popular operating system in the world and the overwhelming choice of business, we believe young computer users in particular need experience with the software,” said Smith. “Windows users not only enjoy a great computing experience, they also gain proficiency that will help them in the workplace.”


Smith brings deep knowledge of the program – prior to joining Sage she worked in international IT sales and marketing for the MAR program, managed Microsoft’s retail partners and led the Microsoft EMEA Reseller initiatives in Paris, France. Her understanding of reseller operational and remarketing requirements was further developed with roles at Hewlett Packard, Compaq and independent resellers.


“Selling fully refurbished computers is also fundamental to delivering better financial results compared to selling them as-is,” said Jill Vaské, Sage President. “At Sage our policy is to share all of that upside with our enterprise customers.”


The company has developed automated systems that allow Sage to efficiently refurbish an unprecedented percentage of everything received from business clients, and to reduce recycling to a minimum.


“Our overriding mission is to make the world more sustainable by extending the life of used electronics,” said Vaské. “That requires finding more value in the gadgets we already have, and nothing enhances value more than great software, properly licensed and supported, and ready to use right out of the box.”


About Sage Sustainable Electronics

Sage works with companies nationwide to conveniently and professionally transition their used electronics for further use by themselves or others, and as a last and final resort, recycling.

SAN FRANCISCOIObit, leader of PC optimization and security software, today unleashed IObit Malware Fighter 3, a brand new version of anti-malware, with browser security and network protection joined in, helping family users protect their security and privacy from network attacking and threats.



Nowadays, common users rarely take care of their home routers, and most of them set quite simple or use default passwords for home routers. Home routers could be easily entered, and that makes DNS more vulnerable from various forms of attacking. IObit Malware Fighter 3 protects DNS connection between the Internet and private network to make sure users won’t be redirected to a hijacked site while typing common domain names. Anti-Tracking ensures users' private information secured by removing malicious cookies. Take Tradedoubler Virus simply a tracking cookie as an example, it records users' personal information including credit card numbers and browsing habits, and sends it to their parent company. Also this version 3 blocks floating ads, removes malicious browser plug-ins & toolbars, and protects homepage from being changed. All those protection keeps users from the attack of fishing site, scam and other potential threats.


"Different from traditional Anti-malware software, IObit Malware Fighter 3 is redesigned into a light but protective tool," said Antonio Zhang, the Marketing Director of IObit, "User-friendly interface simplified malware detecting process; a silent mode can be automatically switched without interrupting. All those are designed to return a clean and secure online environment for our users and family members."


About IObit Malware Fighter 3

IObit Malware Fighter 3 is an advanced malware removal and browser secure utility that detects and removes infections and users’ most concerned online threats, and protects browser from potential scam and malicious behavior in real time. With IObit unique "Dual-Core" anti-malware engine, it detects the most complex and deepest malware, like Spyware, Adware, Trojans, Key loggers, Bots, Worms and Hijackers, in a fast and efficient way! With the enhanced browser protection, IObit Malware Fighter 3 ensures users a full online surfing & privacy protection by blocking the malicious pop-ups, reducing homepage hijacking and removing malicious toolbars/plug-ins.


About IObit

Founded in 2004, IObit provides over 250 million consumers in over 220 countries and regions with innovative system utilities for Windows, Mac, and Android OS to greatly enhance operational PC and mobile devices performance and protect them from security threats and malicious attack.


With the launch of its new .com website leading Oracle Platinum Partner Inoapps (www.inoapps.com) has reinforced its expanding global presence. The new web resource reflects the company’s on-going international growth which has seen new offices in Europe, the Far East and the US and inclusion by Deloitte in its Fast 500 ranking of the fastest growing EMEA technology companies.


The site, which is driven by a cutting edge navigation system, contains a wide range of high quality content including comprehensive sections on how Oracle Cloud Solutions and Services from Inoapps can transform business profitability and effectiveness. This includes details of the recently launched InClusive package that enables companies to obtain Oracle Cloud Applications with no up front cost. There is also a wide range of content and other resources aimed at vertical industries including: Engineering & Construction, Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Professional Services and the Public Sector. Thought leading insights and industry analyses from Inoapps management are also included as are details of upcoming events and webinars.


Commenting on the launch Andy Bird CEO of Inoapps noted, “With such significant expansion, Inoapps is now a truly global enterprise with recognition coming from organisations such as Ernst and Young and Deloitte. We needed therefore to ensure that the global online resources that we provide fully support the on-going needs of our customers and prospects. This new .com site delivers this and as such is an ideal platform to support our online presence as we expand further.”


About Inoapps (www.inoapps.com)

Headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland Inoapps is a global company with operations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

A leading Oracle Platinum Partner and Oracle Applications, Technology & Hardware specialist, Inoapps delivers the complete Oracle application-to-disk enterprise IT environment through the provision of consulting, and implementation together with hosting and managed services. The company has clients across a broad range of industry sectors including energy, engineering, construction, travel, financial services and manufacturing as well as local and central government.

Inoapps is proud to be recognized by Oracle as Specialized Partner of the Year for Accelerate Solutions: EMEA 2010 & 2012, Oracle General Business Applications Partner of the Year 2009, 2010 & 2011 and UK Oracle User Group Database Partner of the Year 2011/12.

Inoapps recently received a £10 million investment of growth capital from BGF (Business Growth Fund), the independent company established to provide growth capital to UK businesses.

Document Solutions Experts Have Demonstrated Success at Incorporating Enterprise Capture into Business Solutions



MUNICH, GermanyABBYY Europe, a leading provider of document recognition, data capture, and linguistic technologies, today announced Devo IT, based in Uppsala, Sweden, has joined the ABBYY European Solution Partner Programme. The certification is granted to organisations that attend and pass a full ABBYY FlexiCapture training course. Devo IT now gains full access to ABBYY’s Data and Document Capture solutions which provide a wide range of features for the extraction of business-critical information from customer documents in various industry sectors such as energy, insurance, financial services, healthcare, government, outsourcing and many others.


“As an organisation we made a strategic decision to adopt ABBYY’s enterprise capture solution in order to give us a competitive advantage in the market,” says Jan Lundqvist, Managing Director for Devo IT. “Nothing is more important to our clients in the current economic climate than improving efficiency, streamlining their business and in the end, adding to the bottom line. One of the fastest ways we can show a good ROI and help achieve these goals is to automate business processes that normally require considerable manual intervention. In ABBYY’s product portfolio, we believe we have identified a solution flexible enough for us to provide a solution for almost any data capture need.”


ABBYY FlexiCapture enables Devo IT to offer its clients services as a seamless process, from the time documents enter an organisation as post, to end-of-line business applications like SAP, Visma and various document management applications. Documents are scanned and essential data captured from business-critical documents, such as invoices, is automatically entered into the backend application while at the same time the original is digitally archived for fast and easy retrieval. This level of automation removes several of the most time-consuming manual tasks involved in paper processing. Additionally, a policy of “digitising everything” provides organisations with a robust strategy for disaster recovery.


“We place tremendous value on our relationships with partners, who help us deliver solutions and applications to customers. Devo IT has demonstrated a proven track record in providing expert and high quality customer service,” states Vladimir Tabachkov, Sales Director for ABBYY. “Customers need to rely on trusted service suppliers to help guide them through the available business technology options. Devo IT is such a service supplier and we are therefore pleased to have them as the newest member of our European Solution Partner Programme.”


To learn more about becoming an ABBYY Europe Certified Solution Partner please go to: http://www.abbyy.com/partners/trainings/


About Devo IT

Devo IT is a total document solutions service provider, including service and consultancy across:

  • medical journals
  • historical documents
  • top security documents from medical and energy industry
  • publication applications and archiving

Founded in 2005, Devo IT combines smart working processes and innovative technology with a strong focus on service and partnerships. Customers from major multi-site global companies, Government organisations and SMEs have all achieved the common goals of cost reduction and efficiency.

Technology keeps us competitive. Service gives us the edge.