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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Free Monitoring of Amazon EC2 Instances At Your Finger Tips
  • Monitors and manages EC2 instances (zone-wise)
  • Monitors performance metrics and alarms graphically
  • Monitors EBS volume details
  • Download EC2 Manager http://bit.ly/1ENVwim.

 

LONDONManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today launched EC2 Manager. Available immediately, the free Android app allows IT admins in SMBs and large enterprises to monitor the health and performance of EC2 instances remotely. EC2 Manager is available for download at http://bit.ly/1ENVwim.

 

The mobile app enables admins to perform the EC2 management tasks on the go. They can also monitor the performance of EC2 cloud instances on Amazon and receive alerts on the health of EC2 resources.

 

The EC2 Manager dashboard displays the monitored instances by region, enabling the admin to drill down to an instance quickly. The EC2 instance dashboard provides a snapshot of its status and health. Information on CPU utilisation, network I/O, and disk read/write performance helps admins easily assess the EC2 instance performance from the comfort of their workstations. Admins can also view the details of EBS volumes including its capacity and state.

 

"Proactive management is key to ensuring good health and performance of any resource on a network,” said Vidya Vasu, head of the ManageEngine community and free tools. “When it comes to managing EC2 instances, admins will find instant access to alarms quite handy. Threshold-based alarms usually give admins time to turn things around. Being equipped with a mobile utility cuts down the turn around time because the admin is able to act on the fault immediately"

 

ManageEngine also has a free desktop tool for EC2 management that monitors unlimited EC2 instances and can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1A9avPW. The mobile app provides the additional advantage of allowing admins to manage the remote instances even when they are on the move.

 

About ManageEngine Free Tools

ManageEngine tools monitor the health, availability and performance of the physical and virtual devices, services, system resources, and cloud instances for free. The ManageEngine suite comprises more than 50 free IT management tools that admins rely on for day-to-day system and network management. A complement to the free editions of ManageEngine applications, the company’s free tools suite is a collection of light-weight, C-based network management tools that startups and other financially constrained organisations can rely on to manage their IT. For more information, please visit http://www.manageengine.com/free-tools.html.

 

About ManageEngine

ManageEngine delivers the real-time IT management tools that empower an IT team to meet an organisation's need for real-time services and support. Worldwide, many established and emerging enterprises - including more than 60 percent of the Fortune 500 - rely on ManageEngine products to ensure the optimal performance of their critical IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, desktops and more. ManageEngine is a division of Zoho Corporation with offices worldwide, including the United States, India, Japan and China. For more information, please visit http://buzz.manageengine.com/; follow the company blog at http://blogs.manageengine.com/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ManageEngine and on Twitter at @ManageEngine.

Monday, 09 March 2015 00:00

'Spring Ahead' And Be Flood Ready

CHICAGO – You may be ready to enjoy more daylight hours after we “Spring ahead” an hour on March 8, but are you ready for the threat of flooding that warmer months can bring?

“With the change of seasons comes the risk of snow melt, heavy rains, and rising waters—we’re all at some level of flood risk,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA Region V administrator.  “It is important we prepare now for the impact floods could have on our homes, our businesses and in our communities.”

Take action with these simple steps to protect what matters before a flood threatens your community:

Your Home
• Ensure you’re insured. Consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home against the damage floodwaters can cause. Homeowners’ insurance policies do not typically cover flood losses, and most policies take 30-days to become effective.  Visit FloodSmart.gov for more information.
• Keep important papers in a safe place. Make copies of critical documents (mortgage papers, deed, passport, bank information, etc.). Keep copies in your home and store originals in a secure place outside the home, such as a bank safe deposit box.
• Elevate mechanicals off the floor of your basement—such as the water heater, washer, dryer and furnace—to avoid potential water damage.
• Caulk exterior openings where electrical wires and cables enter your home to keep water from getting inside.
• Shovel! As temperatures warm, snow melt is a real concern. Shovel snow away from your home and clean your gutters to keep your home free from potential water damage.

Your Family
• Build and maintain an emergency supply kit. Include drinking water, a first-aid kit, canned food, a radio, flashlight and blankets. Visit www.Ready.gov for a disaster supply checklist for flood safety tips and information. Don’t forget to store additional supply kits in your car and at the office too.
• Plan for your pet needs. Ensure you have pet food, bottled water, medications, cat litter/pan, newspaper, a secure pet carrier and leash included in your emergency supply kit.
• Have a family emergency plan in place. Plan and practice flood evacuation routes from home, work and school that are on higher ground. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

To learn more about preparing for floods, how to purchase a flood insurance policy and the benefits of protecting your home or property investment against flooding visit FloodSmart.gov  or call 1-800-427-2419. For even more readiness information follow FEMA Region V at twitter.com/femaregion5 and facebook.com/fema. Individuals can always find valuable preparedness information at www.Ready.gov or download the free FEMA app, available for Android, Apple or Blackberry devices.

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 FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/03/09/spring-ahead-and-be-flood-ready

Monday, 09 March 2015 00:00

What is Your Reputation Worth?

My reading and research includes white papers from the Big Four accounting firms. I note for the record that Deloitte, a firm that has consistently produced excellent white papers on risk, has upped its game past white papers with a weekday Risk & Compliance Journal for executives in the Wall Street Journal, a convenient daily reminder of what’s at stake for publically listed firms. But it’s Deloitte’s 2014 Global Survey on Reputation Risk that I’d like to discuss here, and then make note of several other useful and available white papers. 

It’s always been difficult to quantify reputation, whether individual or corporate. We claim to know when a firm’s reputation has been compromised, and often the market punishes that firm directly. Yet there are other cases where direct actions taken to save a reputation -- notably investigations, which may lead to the removal of the CEO or other executives – seem autocratic and insufficient. We express our own judgments by comment and retweet, often becoming part of a groundswell of distrust and dissatisfaction on social media that has a longer term impact on the firm in question. Social media in that sense is more innovative than traditional data analytics. [It is hard to know whether social media commented more upon the corporate reputation of NBC or the individual reputation of anchor Brian Williams, but that particular groundswell led to the six month suspension without pay of Williams, who is said to make $10 million a year. So far at least, NBC Evening News is holding its own in the ratings, but the company is making significant changes in its management staff; and it is not clear that Williams will ever return to the news desk.]

...

http://anniesearle.createsend.com/t/ViewEmailArchive/r/8F75A06D29FCCDC22540EF23F30FEDED/6F21BA1D1D483682/

Project managers—especially in the tech sector—know all too well how many factors can cause a project to miss its deadline or go over budget. Keeping a project within its projected scope is one of the most difficult challenges for project managers.

Issues such as project omissions, slow or no user involvement, customer over-expectation and lengthy application development times can often not be avoided. One thing that can usually be reined in is the scope of the project, which includes the objective, timeline, goals, resources, tasks, team and budget.

By properly defining these requirements, a project has a better chance of staying within these guidelines. Of course, often the collection of data to define these requirements can be a huge challenge within itself.

The book “Project Scope Management: A Practical Guide to Requirements for Engineering, Product, Construction, IT and Enterprise Projects,” provides instruction on developing and defining project requirements to keep projects on track and within scope. It deals with practical tools and simple techniques for project managers to use in the daily struggle to avoid scope creep.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-tools/the-three-most-important-documents-for-project-management.html

For most companies, the on-premise appliance sits firmly rooted at the center of their backup world--making disc-to-disc (D2D) the preferred data protection method for backup and recovery of critical data, servers and applications. While D2D isn’t a perfect solution--often characterized by its high cost, capacity planning challenges and finite storage constraints--it’s tested, trusted and reliable. 

With the cloud becoming more broadly adopted, many companies are considering cloud backup as a viable option for their disaster recovery (DR) strategy.  Who doesn’t want lower costs and increased efficiency?

Heeding the call, the backup industry, which has always let the appliance drive its product vision, introduced hybrid backup appliances to the market. These appliances, designed to deliver cost savings, act as your local D2D backup. The cloud becomes your replication repository.

...

http://mspmentor.net/blog/why-does-cloud-need-be-center-your-hybrid-backup-world

Outstanding customer service, flexibility and high-grade facility were key factors in decision

 

ATLANTA – Colo Atl, the leading provider of network-neutral colocation, data center and interconnection solutions at 55 Marietta Street in Atlanta, GA, announces today that Impact Telecom, a global provider of voice, messaging, and data services, has joined Colo Atl’s growing list of network operators and service providers. Impact Telecom will utilize the Colo Atl facility to expand cloud operations and enhance its commercial product offerings for enterprise and SMBs.

Colo Atl provides Impact Telecom with access to its 80-plus tenants, a “no-nonsense” pricing philosophy, and superior customer service.

“The Colo Atl colocation facility is top-of-the-line, and most surely meets our colocation needs as we look to further expand to the cloud market,” comments Chuck Griffin, Chief Operating Officer of Impact Telecom. “But what makes Colo Atl stand out the most is the strong relationship we have with the owner, Tim Kiser. We appreciate the flexibility Tim offers as our business needs evolve, and for working closely with us on our daily business initiatives. We admire Tim’s strong work ethics, meaning that what he says contractually is what he lives by every day.”

Impact Telecom is a leading provider of US domestic and international voice solutions for carriers around the world. As one of very few nationwide Feature Group D (FGD) networks with dedicated service to wholesale voice, Impact offers the most comprehensive solutions for carriers and businesses with wholesale telecommunications needs.

“With more than 300 carriers connected to its state-of-the-art Voice over IP network, I’m very happy to officially welcome Impact Telecom to our growing list of service providers,” states Tim Kiser, Owner and Founder of Colo Atl. “As providers of business-class voice and data services, Impact has a strong need for the best possible colocation and interconnection services available today. Staying true to our mission, we are pleased to be able to meet these needs, on top of offering exceptional customer support and personalized attention; factors that are much appreciated in our fast-paced industry.”

Established in November 2001, the Colo Atl colocation and Meet Me Area (MMA) facility is located across the 5th and 8th floors of 55 Marietta Street in Downtown Atlanta. Colo Atl is a reasonable, accommodating and cost-effective interconnection environment for more than 80 local, regional and global network operators. The Colo Atl facility is also home to the Georgia Technology Center (GTC), a test bed and live production facility for network communications equipment; and the Southeast Network Access Point (SNAP). SNAP provides next-generation Internet Exchange (IX) solutions, including SDN peering, testing and implementation.

For more information about Colo Atl, visit www.coloatl.com.

To learn more about Impact Telecom, visit www.impacttelecom.com.

Facing a future where extreme weather events are more common, cities on the East Coast are building up their resiliency to power outages. 

At-risk cities,  especially those on the East Coast that haven’t historically had to prepare for hurricane-induced problems, are trying to improve their infrastructure and emergency plans to prevent power outages.

A recent analysis from Johns Hopkins University ranked Philadelphia as the second most likely city in the United States to experience more power outages.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/How-At-Risk-Cities-Preparing-More-Power-Outages.html

Whenever a project is being planned, risk management has to be part of the equation – things rarely go smoothly or completely as expected, and there will always be areas that present more risks than others. Whether they affect the projected timeframes, budgets or outcomes, it is the job of the project manager to identify them and ensure that provisions are in place to limit their impact should they occur.

However, failures are made in risk management every day – they helped to trigger the economic crisis in 2008, demonstrating that even the world’s biggest banks, which take financial and logistical risks every day, are not immune to risk mismanagement. With this in mind, it’s understandable that smaller projects and processes might suffer from errors made in risk management.

Why aren’t we performing risk management well, then? With project management an ever-growing sector and more and more jobs being created every day, the next generation of risk managers needs to be able to identify issues in order to rectify them.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/why-arent-we-performing-risk-management-well/

It may seem a bit incongruous to talk about solar energy when nearly half the country is covered in snow, but the data center is still the energy hog of today’s economy and is constantly ratcheting up its consumption with every new hyperscale facility.

But even as Apple, Facebook and other top firms embrace solar power and other renewables, the question remains whether this is a viable option for the broader enterprise community. And if not, will the pressure to shed local data infrastructure still come from environmental corners anxious to foster greater dependence on cleaner, utility-style computing?

The key test of a technology like solar power is not in its ability to generate electricity, but in its ability to do so reliably. In a recent report, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) said that the influx of renewables into the bulk energy grid of the U.S. and Canada and the closing of aging coal-fired facilities is lowering energy reliability in the region. This could cause rates to increase as utilities up their reserve fuel stores to maintain adequate load. The report is disputed by many, to be sure, but it does point up the uncertainties that accompany changes to such fundamental infrastructure as the energy grid.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/solar-gains-popularity-in-the-data-center-but-reliability-questions-remain.html

By Joe Schreiber

Once you’ve come to terms with the harsh reality of the world, you come to understand that sooner or later, you will be the victim of a security breach. Chances are that it may not be this month, or even this year, but as the insightful Tyler Durden so shrewdly observed, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”

Getting breached doesn’t establish whether or not you have a decent security program in place: but how you respond to a security breach does.

If you come to accept Murphy’s Law; that everything that can go wrong will do so – and usually with the worst possible timing, there are several steps that can be taken today to help soften any future blows. These motions that you can set in place give you the ‘freedom’ to expect the unexpected.

Try to rid yourself of any notion that the work you do in network security is ‘protecting’ the company’s assets. Your mission is to look into and analyze how the network can be attacked, with the anticipation that you can control the battlefield smoothly enough to be able to respond to all attacks satisfactorily. So, think strategically about what can be done today and what can be delayed for later. The following are six key actions you can take to make sure you and your organization are more than prepared.

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1289.html