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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

AWS Direct Connect Bundle Highlights this Combined Offering that Enables Easy and Secure cloud connectivity for enterprises

LAS VEGAS – Aviatrix Systems, a pioneer in Enterprise Cloud-defined Networking, and Megaport (USA) Inc, the US subsidiary of Megaport Limited (ASX: MP1) (“Megaport”), the global leading provider of Elastic Interconnection services, today unveiled a Secure
Remote Access AWS Direct Connect Bundle at AWS re:Invent 2016 in Las Vegas. With just a few clicks and within minutes, businesses will be able to securely configure all-inclusive, scalable, private connections with dedicated user access directly on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS Direct Connect (DX) Bundles are a set of advanced hybrid reference architectures proven to reduce complexity and provide peak performance highlighted by use case. The new Remote Access DX Bundle enables customers to procure secure VPN connectivity to Virtual Private Clouds (VPC) with Aviatrix secure cloud networking technology integrated with AWS VPC, along with Megaport’s software defined model for AWS Direct Connect. Benefits of this solution include:


● Scalable and elastic, direct access to AWS;
● Agility and fast time to service;
● Lower operating expenditures; and
● Reduced time spent planning network capacity through aligned networking costs and capabilities with AWS’ consumption-based model.


“Megaport and Aviatrix share a passion and technical aptitude for solving complex IT issues,” commented Denver Maddux, CEO of Megaport. “Enterprises are demanding a network model that aligns to their on-demand cloud consumption strategy. As security remains a top concern for cloud-enabled enterprises, Aviatrix is the natural fit for this bundle. Their remote user access software complements our Software Defined Network, which provides elastic interconnection to AWS Direct Connect. This unique bundle will create encrypted peering between Virtual Private Clouds and Virtual Networks across regions and clouds and seamlessly provide user VPN connectivity across AWS Cloud.”


“At Aviatrix, we believe that networking is a foundational element of cloud computing and, should be as dynamic, scalable, and disposable as compute and storage,” said Steven Mih, CEO of Aviatrix. “We are excited to work with AWS and Megaport to provide customers with an integrated 1-click option for all inclusive secure connectivity to AWS.”

More about the Remote Access AWS VPC bundle: http://aviatrix.com/aws-remote-access-bundle/

About Megaport
Megaport is the global leading provider of Elastic Interconnection services. The Company’s global Software Defined Network enables customers to rapidly connect their network to other services and data centres across the world. Services can be directly controlled by customers via their mobile devices, computer, or our open API. The Company’s extensive footprint in Australia, Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe provides a neutral platform that spans many key data centre providers across various cities.

Led by industry veteran Denver Maddux, Megaport has been built by a highly experienced team with extensive knowledge in building large scale global carrier networks and cloud connectivity. Megaport connects over 550 customers throughout its 132 locations in 36 markets in 19 countries. Megaport is an Amazon AWS Technology Partner. If you would like to learn more about Megaport, please visit megaport.com.

About Aviatrix
Aviatrix is a pioneer in Enterprise Cloud-defined Networking, simplifying scaling in the cloud and enabling secure connectivity across a wide range of enterprise cloud architectures. The Aviatrix software solution is built from the ground up for AWS environments and enables enterprises to realize the benefits of agility, scale, and mobility when deploying applications in the public or hybrid cloud. Aviatrix provides a comprehensive software solution for all-inclusive secure connectivity between: public cloud regions, leading cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud), enterprise data center and public cloud (hybrid cloud), and VPN user access to clouds. For more information, visit www.aviatrix.com.

Top International Non-Profit Powers Data Protection in the Cloud with Push-Button Simplicity Using Zetta

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Zetta, a leading provider of high-performance business continuity solutions, today announced that the The Salvation Army USA Western Territory has selected Zetta to provide cloud-first, end-to-end backup and recovery to protect its data-heavy IT operations. The Salvation Army selected Zetta because it delivers unmatched backup and recovery speeds, and is, therefore, able to meet the non-profit's stringent performance and reliability requirements.

The Salvation Army's mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. The Western Territory fulfills that mission in the 13 Western States as well as the Pacific Islands.

The Western Territory maintains a Phoenix data center, which supports the territory's 10,000 employees & volunteers at more than 600 physical locations. Applications include Point-Of-Sale software at over 150 thrift stores, financial and statistical tools, numerous specific line-of-business systems, as well as fire storage and email.

Prior to Zetta, the Salvation Army Western Territory was using a solution from a large, legacy backup software vendor to protect its data. However, recovery processes were slow and complex and maintenance costs were rising, leading the organization to consider other options.

The Salvation Army Western Territory chose to make the move to Zetta and its cloud-first solution, which is ideally suited to meet the needs of companies with large data sets and geographically distributed operations. Zetta is able to meet the Salvation Army's stringent performance requirements for backup and recovery operations with error-free restores that can be initiated from anywhere.

"Zetta gives us the confidence we need for the reliability and performance of our data protection environment. With its simple-to-implement-and-navigate-cloud-based-solution we know our data is available at a moment's notice, and not dependent on the reliability of physical media that would often cause issues with our previous backup solutions" said Tim Schaal, Territorial Information Technology Director for The Salvation Army Western Territory. "The Zetta cloud-first solution is a truly affordable, yet robust, option for our large IT environment. It's eliminated hardware, maintenance and expensive annual software support contracts related to data protection systems. It's truly been a cost-saving choice."

The Salvation Army Western US Territory was also pleased with how easy and fast the Zetta solution was to set up, reporting that they installed the solution on 100 servers and were backing up within just minutes.

"At Zetta, we've architected an enterprise-grade business continuity solution that's not only easy to use and fast to deploy but also exceptionally high performing and error free," said Mike Grossman, CEO, Zetta. "That's why more than 2,000 enterprise customers and partners have selected Zetta's Business Continuity suite to protect their environments. It's the cost-efficient choice for distributed enterprises with large data sets and stringent performance requirements like The Salvation Army."

For more information on Zetta Data Protection or to sign up for a free trial, visit: http://www.zetta.net/products/backup-recovery.

About Zetta
Zetta is an award-winning provider of high-performance cloud-first data protection and disaster recovery solutions that are a worry-free choice for businesses and managed service providers. The Company's direct-to-cloud approach provides businesses a fast and reliable way to protect, access and quickly recover their business-critical data and systems—both physical and virtual – without the need for costly extra hardware. For more information, visit www.zetta.com.

A recent CTERA survey of 400 IT decision makers and IT specialists found that 36 percent of respondents said the loss of data in the cloud would be more catastrophic than their data center crashing, and 14 percent said it would cost them their jobs.

At the same time, 67 percent of respondents deploy more than 25 percent of their applications in the cloud, and 37 percent plan to grow their cloud use by 25 percent or more.

Fifty-four percent of respondents are using a hybrid cloud strategy that leverages both on-premises and cloud services.

Still, 66 percent of respondents say there's less focus on backing up cloud data due to an assumption that the cloud is inherently more resilient than on-premises applications.

...

http://www.esecurityplanet.com/network-security/36-percent-of-it-pros-say-loss-of-data-in-the-cloud-would-be-catastrophic.html

(TNS) - Though there have been no reported cases of disaster relief money being used fraudulently in Brunswick, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) issued a statement this week cautioning Hurricane Matthew survivors to use recovery assistance only for its intended purposed.

“FEMA and GEMHSA work together all year round in preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation,” said Robert Porreca, a FEMA spokesperson.

According to Porreca, officials are reminding Georgia Hurricane Matthew survivors that improperly using the money could be a violation of the declaration survivors sign to receive the grants and could result in denial of future assistance.

Once approved for disaster grants, those who apply and are approved for disaster assistance receive FEMA aid by way of a check or direct deposit to their checking account. The money is accompanied by a letter from FEMA about the grant and how it can be spent.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/FEMA-encourage-disaster-grant-recipients-to-use-funds-for-intended-purpose-as-Dec-deadline-nears.html

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Georgia disaster survivors living in the 10 counties affected by Hurricane Matthew do not have to wait for an insurance settlement to apply for federal assistance.

Survivors have until Dec. 16, only three weeks away, to register with FEMA.

Registration is encouraged even if survivors are uninsured or have policies that don’t cover temporary housing while they’re repairing or rebuilding their homes. Waiting for an insurance settlement could mean missing out on federal grants or other resources.

Even if a survivor is insured, the policy may not cover everything. Providing FEMA with insurance information could mean consideration for additional assistance.

Federal assistance is available to eligible individuals and households in Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties. Damage or losses from Hurricane Matthew must have occurred Oct. 4-15.

Many of those with Hurricane Matthew damage have already filed claims through their insurance carriers. Recovery officials suggest they register with FEMA even while waiting for an insurance settlement.

Once registered, applicants with insurance policies covering storm-related loss and damage are mailed a "Request for Information" as part of FEMA’s verification process to avoid duplicating insurance payments. By law, federal assistance cannot duplicate assistance provided by other sources.

Applying for disaster assistance is a two-step process that ensures consideration for all FEMA programs and the U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans. First, register with FEMA. Second, complete and return the SBA loan application, if one is offered. There is no charge to apply for the loan and if approved, no obligation to accept it.

Disaster survivors may register the following ways:

For updates on Georgia’s Hurricane Matthew response and recovery, follow @GeorgiaEMA and @FEMARegion4 on Twitter and visit gemhsa.ga.gov and fema.gov/disaster/4284

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FirstEnergy, TNT among companies benefitting from Accenture solution to improve digitally enabled HR processes
 

NEW YORK – A year after its launch, Accenture (NYSE:ACN) announced that its High Velocity Talent and HR solution for SAP® SuccessFactors® HCM Suite continues to gain momentum and help clients in all industries accelerate implementation of SAP SuccessFactors at a reduced cost and with increased flexibility.

“Our High Velocity Talent and HR solution for SAP SuccessFactors helps companies shift the focus from configuration and transactional activities to strategic and performance-enhancing HR activities that are critical for business success.”

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There are now more than 10 clients across the U.S, Canada, and several countries in Europe, and in industries including in chemicals, energy, oil & gas, and consumer goods that have used High Velocity Talent and HR to achieve fully functional SAP SuccessFactors human capital solutions more quickly and at a lower cost. This includes:

  • FirstEnergy, an electric services company in the United States, went live with SuccessFactors Learning Management Systems in February 2016. Users now benefit from a unified learning experience aligned with their job, while management is now able to make more informed decisions on learning planning for the organization. The company also just went live with SuccessFactors Performance and Goals Management and Succession Planning in April 2016, using High Velocity Talent and HR.
  • TNT, an international courier delivery services company with more than 58,000 employees in over 61 countries, decided to implement a global learning management solution. In February, the company went live with SAP SuccessFactors Learning Management Solution, implemented with the help of High Velocity Talent and HR.

“Accenture’s High Velocity Talent and HR solution helped us take a more strategic approach to human resources and human capital management,” said Malcolm Pickup, global learning director, TNT. “Working with Accenture and SAP, we were able to turn a potentially complex and time-consuming project into a successful initiative that aligns our human resources processes with our business goals.”

The Accenture solution was recently updated to include new functionality in numerous SuccessFactors modules: Employee Central, Learning Management, Recruiting Management, Performance and Goals Management, Succession Planning, Compensation and Variable Pay, and Jam. The solution is now also integrated with Accenture Clone and Test for Cloud and HR Audit and Compliance Tool. Driving simplicity with a comprehensive global offering, High Velocity Talent and HR goes beyond configuration to include complete end-to-end project deliverables intended to successfully support all aspects of the implementation lifecycle of SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite.

“Digital technology is disrupting corporate human resources functions in a positive way, opening up new opportunities that require collaboration, insight, agility and speed to implementation,” said Arvind Mathur, managing director and lead for SuccessFactors business at Accenture. “Our High Velocity Talent and HR solution for SAP SuccessFactors helps companies shift the focus from configuration and transactional activities to strategic and performance-enhancing HR activities that are critical for business success.”

High Velocity Talent and HR is designed to help clients easily modify scope by including add-ons to requirements, and to lower risk with a highly predictive solution and Accenture’s leading business processes and proven methodology. High Velocity Talent and HR can generally be implemented in as little as three months, helping clients easily move processes into the cloud and accelerating time to value.

Accenture’s dedicated HR Transformation practice comprises thousands of HR, talent management, HR service delivery and change management professionals who bring consulting, technology and outsourcing capabilities to clients located in more than 40 countries. Accenture’s Human Capital Management Services for SAP is recognized by SAP as one of the largest system integrators globally delivering SAP SuccessFactors solutions for clients with mature HR processes and complex global requirements.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 384,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Matson closes final data centers as it moves its critical shipping and logistics businesses to AWS for increased performance, reliability, and security
 

SEATTLE – Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced that Matson, Inc. (NYSE: MATX), a leading U.S. carrier in the Pacific, is all-in on the AWS Cloud. Matson, whose shipping network reaches Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, China, and areas of the South Pacific, has closed all four of its on-premises data centers in its migration to AWS. Moving its applications from its on-premises data centers to the AWS Cloud has helped Matson achieve faster performance, increased reliability and security, and IT infrastructure cost savings.

“Companies large and small around the world are increasingly moving all-in on the AWS Cloud so they can focus their resources on differentiated work”

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The shipping industry requires advanced IT capabilities to enable precise tracking of assets and customer shipments as they move around the world. Matson’s vessels, shipping terminals, container equipment, and truck shipments all require highly reliable technology to ensure that its transportation network operates at world-class levels. In addition, Matson’s customers count on cloud-based applications to provide real-time visibility and analytics in managing their own supply chains. All of these mission-critical applications run on the AWS Cloud today, including Matson’s custom-built order-to-cash booking and billing systems, terminal operations, global equipment management, U.S.-wide logistics applications, and customer-facing website.

“Several years ago we set out on a journey to modernize our entire portfolio of enterprise applications and to upgrade and optimize every corner of our IT infrastructure. Once we completed our application modernization, we were ready to culminate this transformation by migrating onto a single cloud platform, which we view as the optimal strategy to sustain world-class customer service and operational reliability. We chose the AWS Cloud because it provides unmatched security, performance, and cost benefits,” said Peter Weis, Matson’s CIO. “Having moved one hundred percent of our enterprise applications from on-premises data centers to the AWS Cloud, we are now free to focus on further innovation.”

“Companies large and small around the world are increasingly moving all-in on the AWS Cloud so they can focus their resources on differentiated work,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Sales at AWS. “We’ve worked closely with Matson during its migration to AWS and are excited to congratulate them on the closing of their data centers. Standardizing on the broadest cloud platform available, Matson will be able to devote more of its time and resources to driving new and enhanced processes for its own customers.”

About Amazon Web Services
For 10 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 70 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise applications from 38 Availability Zones (AZs) across 14 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and India. AWS services are trusted by more than a million active customers around the world -- including the fastest growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies -- to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit http://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.

About Matson, Inc.
Founded in 1882, Matson is a leading U.S. carrier in the Pacific. Matson provides a vital lifeline to the economies of Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Micronesia and select South Pacific islands, and operates a premium, expedited service from China to Southern California. The Company's fleet of 22 owned vessels includes containerships, combination container and roll-on/roll-off ships and custom-designed barges. Matson Logistics, established in 1987, extends the geographic reach of Matson's transportation network throughout the continental U.S. Its integrated, asset-light logistics services include rail intermodal, highway brokerage, warehousing, and less-than-container load freight consolidation and forwarding to Alaska. Additional information about Matson, Inc. is available at www.matson.com.

4C Strategies – one of the world's most innovative providers of risk and crisis management solutions – is making the world a safer place through a capital contribution from Priveq Investment.

An investment in a safer future

4C Strategies endeavours to make the world a safer place. The company operates primarily in the Nordic, British and North American markets by enhancing its customers' readiness and resilience in a changing risk landscape.

"We are seeing a huge increase in the demand for our integrated solutions for building up, supporting, verifying and monitoring organisations' readiness. After sixteen years of organic growth, we have decided to accelerate that growth by seeking a minority partner. With Priveq, we get a financial base for rapid expansion as well as valuable experience and a relevant network to enable us to move forward in all markets", says Andreas Hedskog, Executive Chairman and founder of 4C Strategies.

Great market potential

Priveq Investment has successfully invested in more than 100 Swedish companies which has led to 24 of them being listed on the stock exchange.

"We have been investing in profitable growth companies for over 30 years and we have observed the growth of 4C Strategies with great interest. We believe that the combination of consultants who are leading experts in their respective areas and the proprietary software suite Exonaut™ has great market potential and we look forward to supporting the company in its continued journey", says Mats Hjerpe, Priveq Investment.

Accelerated global expansion

With the capital contribution, 4C Strategies gains a solid platform on which to scale up.

"Our expansion will give us greater innovative strength and allow us to invest in markets that we are currently unable to focus on. We are also pleased to note that the capital contribution will enable us to recruit new personnel for key positions in the company, so anyone with the appropriate relevant experience who wants to make the world a little bit safer and take part in an exciting global journey should get in touch with us", says Magnus Bergqvist, CEO of 4C Strategies.

About Exonaut™

Exonaut™ helps organisations to build up, support, verify and monitor the necessary capability to ensure strategic and operational readiness. The software provides integrated planning, management and decision-making support, in real time, for activities such as risk management, business continuity management, incident and crisis management, leadership and collaboration, compliance and audit and inspection work, as well as exercises and training.

About Priveq

For more than 30 years, Priveq Investment has invested in profitable growth companies. The business concept is to generate value through long-term investments and active ownership in unlisted growth companies. Since 1983, approximately SEK 3,5 billion has been invested and Priveq Investment and its employees have carried out 117 investments and been involved in taking 24 companies to an IPO. The current portfolio consists of 14 companies with a total revenue of SEK 6 billion and with approximately 1,700 employees. Some of the current portfolio companies are 21 Grams, Crem International, Ports Group, Mediaplanet and QleanAir Scandinavia. Behind Priveq Investment is essentially a number of long-term, institutional pension funds in the Nordics and Europe, for example Skandia Liv, Fjärde AP-fonden, Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) and Europeiska Investeringsfonden (EIF).

More information is available at www.priveq.se.

About 4C Strategies

4C Strategies is a leading international provider of risk management solutions. We provide our public and private sector clients with the skills, tools and End to End solutions they require to "Build, Verify & Track" their Readiness capabilities across the risk, business continuity and crisis management spectrum.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016 00:00

FEMA: Coping with Holiday Stress after a disaster

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The holiday season can be a stressful time. For individuals and families looking to rebuild from recent disasters, the approaching holiday may be especially difficult. 

Taking care of yourself and staying in touch with your family and friends during the holidays is an important part of maintaining your physical and mental health as you continue to recover from the Florida hurricanes. 

Some signs of disaster-related stress may include: 

• Feeling sad during a holiday season when you are seeking a new home or dealing with memories of a lost loved one. 
• Feeling lonely, especially when holiday activities are reminders of happier times with those who will be missing from this year’s festivities. 
• Feeling physically and mentally drained. 
• Having difficulty making decisions or concentrating on tasks at hand. 
• Experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns. 
• Increasing alcohol or substance abuse. 
 
Establishing a comfortable routine is helpful, but takes time. Here are some actions to undertake: 
• Ensure that you have a safe place to stay. 
• Maintain a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Too much holiday "cheer" can increase your stress. 
• Get adequate sleep and rest. 
• Stay positive. Remind yourself of how you have dealt successfully with difficulties in the past. 
• If you have children, be patient and give them extra time and affection. 
• Take each day one day at a time. Live in the present without burdening yourself with the things that you need to do in a week or a month. 
 

Ways to ease stress include: 

• Talk with someone about your feelings of anger, sorrow or other emotions, even though it may be difficult. 
• Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress.
• Do not hold yourself responsible for the disastrous event. 
• Use existing support groups of family, friends and religious institutions. 
• Honor your holiday traditions, but be flexible and prepare for new activities. 
 

Help can be found by visiting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline website at http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/contact-us, or by calling 1-800-985-5990 (press for Spanish). The national hotline is dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for individuals experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. You can also Text "TalkWithUs" to 66746 (Spanish speakers, text Hablanos to 66746) to connect with a trained crisis counselor. 

For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4280, fema.gov/disaster/4283, twitter.com/femaregion4, facebook.com/FEMA, and fema.gov/blog, floridadisaster.org or #FLRecovers. For imagery, video, graphics and releases, see fema.gov/Hurricane-Matthew. 

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. 

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish

There’s saving money, and there’s really saving a lot of money.

 

The distinctions aren’t always clear to budget enthusiasts who may sometimes enjoy drilling a little too deep to achieve arbitrary percentages of cost reductions by only trying to make the tiniest of trims here and there.

For instance, it’s not hard to thinly slice away at a few employee perks, maybe not send as many people to conferences/networking events, or switch from occasional catered employee lunches to less frequent potlucks. Some companies have considered minor cuts to hours, based on the hope that productivity won’t change drastically at 32 hours a week instead of 40, and they won’t have to pay as much in benefits.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/11/23/reduce-costs-improve-efficiency-infrastructure/

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