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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

BOTHELL, Wash. – Why is there so much activity right now at the FEMA Region 10 office in Bothell?

Partners from the American Red Cross to the Bonneville Power Administration to the U.S. Army, and many others, are joining FEMA for what is known as a table-top exercise, planning for a larger full-scale exercise in March.

A table-top is an exercise in which field and logistics movements are “simulated” – not actually performed – while planning and decision-making proceed as if they are. A similar scenario will play out in late March when many of the same partners participate in a full-scale exercise with real field and logistical activity.

The table-top brings more than 100 people to the Region 10 Response Coordination Center in Bothell through Thursday.

The scenario involves a magnitude 9.2 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Such a quake would be the second strongest in known history, and the largest in known U.S. history. In fact, that largest-ever U.S. quake inspired the scenario; the upcoming full-scale “Alaska Shield” exercise coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964.

The scenario projects the loss of hundreds of lives. Also, it has thousands displaced in an Alaska winter with no power or heat and possibly tens of thousands of buildings damaged. Other problems would include loss of communications and how to moving relief commodities to survivors despite destroyed roads and bridges.

Region 10 Administrator Ken Murphy said of the table-top, “This exercise is important for all of us to work with all of our partners leading up to Alaska Shield, and to make sure that all of our systems are working together smoothly and seamlessly.”

FEMA regularly tests procedures and practices in this way, together with local, state, tribes, and other federal agencies.

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.

Follow the Alaska Shield Exercise at #Akshield and FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion10, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Each January 28, Data Privacy Day is observed, with business owners and managers, vendors and concerned citizens taking time to raise their awareness of the most up-to-date approaches to keeping their companies’ and their own data safe. It’s an education effort that feels especially urgent this year, given the public’s focus on how their data is handled by the companies and vendors they have dealings with, not to mention the government and their own employers.

Today, with all of that being the case, I spoke with Jay Livens, director of product and solutions marketing for Iron Mountain, about the current state of data protection and IT’s priorities for the coming year. Iron Mountain recently conducted a survey of IT professionals that found that “with 68 percent probability, … data loss and privacy breaches are the most prevalent concern for IT leaders over the next 12-18 months.”

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/governance-and-risk/its-priorities-on-data-privacy-day.html

By now, everyone has heard some variation on the statistic about the data scientist shortage: By 2018, there will be a shortage of up to 190,000 qualified data scientists, to cite one version from the McKinsey Global Institute.

Organizations around the globe are trying to figure that one out, and the consensus seems to be that many will have to rely on a team approach when it comes to the tasks of mining Big Data.

Fair enough. But I’m beginning to think we have an even bigger problem ahead of us.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/the-data-driven-dr.-jekyllmr.-hyde-dilemma.html

Ever since the first virtual server went into production more than a dozen years ago, speculation has been rampant that enterprise hardware is doomed. But even though it is clear (to me, at least) that hardware will still play a vital role on the enterprise going forward, that role is changing. So the question for enterprise executives is not whether to give up on hardware altogether, but to assess what sort of functionality it is to provide and then to determine how to achieve that functionality at the lowest price point.

To some, developments like the cloud represent a threat not just to enterprise hardware, but software as well. Last year closed out with some pretty stark reports indicating that more money spent in the cloud translates directly into diminished revenue from enterprise users. The message to IT vendors is clear: Adapt to the new cloud reality, and fast, or face obsolescence within two years.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/white-box-infrastructure-what-does-it-mean-for-the-enterprise.html

Network World — Businesses with large data centers stand to net big savings in capital, power, deployment and maintenance costs if they follow server blueprints being made public by Microsoft.

The company plans to open-source a cloud server design that it says uses 15% less power than traditional enterprise servers and a 40% cost savings vs. those commercial alternatives.

The company says today that it is joining the Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) and revealing specs and documentation for Microsoft's most advanced data-center hardware that supports its Windows Azure, Office 365 and Bing cloud services.

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http://www.cio.com/article/747292/Microsoft_to_Reveal_Data_Center_Server_Designs_That_Save_Cash

It’s amazing what some companies will do to get your attention so they can sell you stuff. Take, for example, those companies that are spending $4 million for a 30-second ad to get your attention during Sunday’s Super Bowl. Did you ever wonder how much those ads boost the companies’ sales? Well, in the cases of four out of five of the ads, the increase is exactly zero. Absolutely nothing. What might that $4 million have bought if it had been invested in Big Data rather than a big ad?

According to a recent article on AdAge.com, a study by advertising research firm Communicus found that 80 percent of Super Bowl ads fail to actually sell anything. The problem with Super Bowl ads is that they tend to focus more on creativity, and less on the brand. That means we all may be talking Monday morning about the hilarious commercial we saw during the Super Bowl, but chances are we have no idea what it was trying to sell. In other words, despite the obscene amount of money the company shelled out, it failed to make a connection between its brand and the consumer. Enter Lisbeth McNabb.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/from-under-the-rug/super-bowl-advice-for-business-invest-in-big-data-rather-than-big-ads.html

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –– STORServer®, the leading provider of proven data backup solutions, is now offering customers the chance to upgrade their IBM Tivoli Storage Manager environments to version 7 for free with the purchase of any qualifying STORServer Backup Appliance. The newest version of TSM offers deduplication, node replication, high availability and more.

Using its proven method of upgrading data protection environments, STORServer will update customers’ existing licenses on to its faster, more robust hardware at no cost. The company will install, configure and build the environment to meet the customer’s exact needs. The offer will end on April 31, 2014. TSM 5.x and 6.1 will no longer be supported by IBM in April 2014.

“Because TSM v7 needs new, more powerful computing power, we can offer our customers an upgrade or migration to the latest version when we provide them with the appliance to host TSM,” said Jarrett Potts, director of marketing for STORServer. “We first install the new appliance with TSM v7, and then migrate the existing TSM server over to the new system, allowing customers to have zero down time. Best of all, their staff doesn’t have to spend weeks or months in planning and migrating.”

STORServer also offers a data recovery guarantee ensuring that customers will not only get their data back in the event of a loss, but the data will be useable once it is recovered. In addition, the company provides every customer the opportunity to try out a backup appliance risk-free with its 30-day money back guarantee.

Powered by TSM and CommVault, STORServer offers a complete suite of enterprise backup appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery challenges. STORServer EBA 3100, 2100, 1100 and 800 recently took four out of five top positions in the DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide. After evaluating 66 products, DCIG felt that no other backup appliance came close to the EBA3100, placing it in a category of its own.

For more information on the company’s line of data backup solutions, visit http://www.storserver.com. To download the full DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide, visit http://backupapplianceguide.com.

 

About STORServer®

STORServer, Inc. is a leading provider of data backup solutions. The company offers a complete suite of appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery issues once and for all, and reduce install and management time to just minutes a day. STORServer sells exclusively through a nationwide network of industry-leading backup partners. For press inquiries, contact Megan Lawler at (317) 202-2280 x13 or megan@dittoepr.com. For more information, visit www.storserver.com

New 50 and 60 Hertz 500kVA UPS System Supports Energy Efficient 400 Volt Installations

WARRENDALE, Penn. – Mitsubishi Electric, an industry leader in designing and manufacturing reliable, environmentally friendly uninterruptible power systems (UPSs), today announces its new 9950A UPS that provides mission-critical operations with an efficient UPS design for 400 volt power distribution infrastructures. Widely adopted in Europe and Asia, the 230/400 volt power distribution approach has gained traction in high-density data centers in North America due to significant increases in energy efficiencies – reducing a facility’s operating costs and carbon footprint.

Like all other Mitsubishi UPSs, the new 9950A is a three-phase, on-line double-conversion system and features Mitsubishi’s world-renown Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology for enhanced UPS performance and reliably. Offering over 96 percent efficiency, the 500kVA UPS supplies clean, continuous power to connected data center and other mission-critical equipment. The 9950A UPS was specifically designed for systems incorporating 380VAC, 400VAC, and 415VAC four-wire installations at 50 or 60 Hz.

The 230/400V electrical distribution infrastructure eliminates the need for expensive, heavy transformers and extra circuit breakers required for 120/208V power distribution.  The higher 230/400V power scheme has additional advantages such as eliminating possible failure points (circuit breakers), occupying less overall floor space (no transformers required), and increasing efficiency through increased power delivery. 

Our new 9950A UPS will help our customers running mission-critical applications reduce costs, weight and floor space while increasing efficiency,” said Dean Datre, general manager, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products’ UPS division. “More and more data centers – especially those running dense servers - are incorporating the 230/400 volt power distribution scheme in order to take advantage of inherent power efficiencies. Our new 9950A UPS will give these users a dependable power protection solution – reducing total cost of ownership and carbon footprint.”

Mitsubishi’s 9950A UPS can be paralleled with up to eight units for N+1 redundancy. Also featuring an easy-to-use LCD touch panel, users can quickly access system status, monitoring and control.

The 9950A UPS is available now and is fully supported by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products’ factory–direct, 24x7x365 services, training, and application expertise as well as a two-year parts and labor warranty. For more information on Mitsubishi’s award-winning UPSs, visit www.meppi.com/Products/UninterruptiblePowerSupplies/products/Pages/default.aspx or call 724-772-2555.

 

About Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. UPS Division

Since 1964, Mitsubishi Electric has manufactured precision-engineered, high quality uninterruptible power supplies to protect its customers’ mission-critical equipment during times of power instability. Mitsubishi Electric leads the industry in designing and manufacturing reliable, environmentally-friendly UPS systems to extend uptime, prevent data loss and protect against power surges. Mitsubishi Electric Power Products’ UPS division offers systems in both single- and multi-module configurations and a broad range of kVA capacities. Visit www.meppi.com for more information.  

Coca-Cola has admitted falling prey to bizarre slow-motion data breach in which an employee apparently stole dozens of laptops over several years containing the sensitive data of 74,000 people without anyone noticing.

The unnamed former worker, said to have been in charge of equipment disposal, reportedly removed a total of 55 laptops over a six-year period from its Atlanta offices, including some that belonged to a bottling company acquired by the fizzy-drinks giant in 2010.

Only after recovering these during November and December did Coca-Cola realise that they contained 18,000 personal records that included social security numbers plus a further 56,000 covering other types of sensitive data. All but a few thousand were Coca-Cola employees or otherwise connected to the firm.

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http://www.cio.com/article/747246/Coca_Cola_Suffers_Data_Breach_After_Employee_Borrows_55_Laptops

People are often cited as the most valuable resource of an organisation. The more capable an employee is and the better trained, the more an enterprise stands to profit – up to a point. Difficulties may begin when a person becomes indispensable because of unique expertise that is essential to the smooth running of the company. Those difficulties are then compounded if the expert tries to force the company to stay within that perimeter of expertise; perhaps for fear of being pushed to one side and even being made redundant. A situation like this runs counter to what business continuity is all about. What is the best way to handle it?

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http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/business-continuity-and-balancing-expert-resources/