Ken Smith, the 911 coordinator for Williamson County in Herrin, Ill., remembers the state officials’ response when he and his southern Illinois colleagues wanted to explore a next-generation 911 system that would accept text messages, automatic crash notification data, pictures and streaming video.
“They looked at us like we were crazy,” he said.
The state had no plans to put in an Emergency Services IP network (ESInet), and the phone companies said they had no such plans either. That’s when Smith and his colleagues realized they’d have to figure out how to do it themselves. It was no easy task.
Many people use the terms “redundancy” and “duplication” synonymously. They are not synonymous, especially when it comes to how we should use them to describe actions that increase our disaster resilience.
The real problem we face is that modern business practices have sought to save money by wringing every dime out of the cost of doing business by eliminating what’s seen as duplicative processes and capabilities.
These changes have been manifested in a number of ways.
I recently shared some thoughts on my very first Work Area Recovery Test. I tried to explain (to the best of my knowledge) the different types of jargon being used and what to expect if you were yet to have this experience. On this occasion I was delighted to discover that many seasoned professionals were ready and willing to contribute via the LinkedIn Group. I felt like this was a real turning point in my blogging adventure. More experienced individuals were adding commenting on WAR arrangements, kindly explaining confusing terms, pointing out where I might be wrong on one or two things. It certainly helped to develop the junior professional knowledge-base and was EXACTLY the reason why I set up this platform up in the first place so thank you kindly for such input ladies and gents!
Anyway, I walked away from that very first test thinking I would be much better placed to go through the experience again. I mean why wouldn’t I? Surely by now I would have a pretty good idea of what to expect at the next one? I’m much more familiar with the IT terminology now and also some of the challenges I might face.
I couldn’t have been more wrong…
Fear is defined as the feeling or condition of being afraid, whether real or imagined. The fear that we are facing today, especially healthcare, is the Ebola virus. Are we prepared? Do we have the proper training for all of our staff? Do we have enough personal protective equipment (PPE)? What are the moral, ethical, communications, legal, financial and HR issues?
There have been many discussions around the value of enterprise risk management as of late. Some individuals may feel as if having a risk manager on board checks the box, meeting the company’s obligations. Others may feel that enterprise risk management is the start and end to all their challenges and, if things do not work out as expected, the risk manager is to blame. So where does that leave the risk manager?
In order to have a healthy enterprise risk management program, risk managers should think like salespeople. Risk management professionals tend to be very passionate about their vocation, but not everyone may be buying into the ERM process. The first step to selling your risk program is to find a champion. This person should be on your executive team—preferably the CEO. You need a strong voice in your organization that will support the change that an enterprise risk management program can bring. It is also a good idea to have support from the board of directors and, if applicable, the internal auditor. When building your risk team, keep in mind that the end goal is to have all employees of the organization support and apply risk management to their day-to-day challenges. The more risk champions you can find, the better your program will be advocated and supported.
LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Power management company Eaton announced it has been selected by MillerCoors to provide an integrated emergency communications solution for the company’s mega brewery in Fort Worth, Texas. MillerCoors has deployed Eaton’s ALERiTY® mass notification platform to enhance emergency communications capabilities at the brewer’s 150-acre facility, which has more than 700 employees.
“A facility of this size needs to be prepared for anything – from natural disasters to chemical spills that could require evacuations or lock-down notifications. MillerCoors wanted a system that would not only be reliable and flexible but also easy-to-use in an emergency,” said Ted Milburn, vice president, Marketing, Eaton’s Cooper Notification business. “From outdoor high power speaker arrays to indoor high fidelity speakers, our advanced technologies broadcast crisp, clear intelligible messages that can be understood in MillerCoors’ loud industrial environment.”
WAVES wide-area mass notification system (MNS), part of the ALERiTY platform, was installed in the spring of 2013 as part of a three-phase makeover of the notification system for MillerCoors. The outdoor system includes the WAVES command and control system, 10 high power speaker arrays and a mobile speaker array, which is used for broadcasting announcements to employees throughout the facility’s parking lot and can be mobilized for temporary events. ALERiTY’s system interface provides a one-click solution that can launch critical messages simultaneously across the different layers of the MNS.
The second phase of the rollout is now under way and includes ALERiTY’s latest line of integrated, Internet protocol (IP) network-based mass notification solutions, WAVES over IP, which was launched in December 2013. This indoor installation includes upgrading the current system with the latest software; adding an IP-based, in-building MNS with Wheelock® speakers and speaker strobes to cover the 1.2 million-square-foot facility; and integrating the in-building and wide-area MNS.
Installation of the third phase of the upgrade will include light emitting diode (LED) display signs to give employees in the loudest areas of the facility the information they need to take action. MillerCoors purchased the Eaton system from Great Southwestern Fire & Safety, a premier Eaton channel partner, which also conducted a comprehensive site analysis to gather critical data used in a phased approach for design and installation of both an exterior and interior solution to address life safety needs.
Eaton provides integrated, advanced technology and code-compliant solutions for life safety and mass notification, providing critical, emergency communications for higher education, industrial, commercial, government and military markets. To learn more about these solutions or other life safety and mass notification solutions, visitwww.coopernotification.com.
Eaton’s Electrical Sector is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.
Eaton is a power management company with 2013 sales of $22.0 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 103,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.
New virtual appliance enables businesses of all sizes to cloudburst, protect and migrate virtual machines
BURLINGTON, Mass. – Unitrends today announced Boomerang™, a powerful new virtual appliance that enables virtualization administrators to simply and affordably move VMs from VMware® to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Leveraging technology from its May 2014 acquisition of Yuruware, an innovator of data protection technology for AWS and other public clouds, Unitrends’ new offering allows businesses of all sizes to cloudburst, protect and migrate virtual machines (VMs).
Using Boomerang, virtualization administrators can leverage a hybrid cloud approach to protect and migrate VMs, and to work in the cloud or on-premise. Key features of the appliance include:
- Cloudbursting – Frees capacity in on-premise virtual environments by temporarily sending VMs to run in AWS. Administrators can easily copy VMs from AWS when they are ready to bring them back to VMware.
- Disaster Recovery and Backup – Replicates virtual environments and stores them in AWS. In the event of an outage, disaster or catastrophic failure, live VMs can be spun up to run in the cloud within minutes.
- Migration – Automates migration from VMware to AWS. Virtual environments are automatically re-created in AWS, reducing the errors and costs associated with manual processes.
“Virtualization and cloud computing have disrupted the data protection landscape, and Unitrends believes companies of all sizes should be able to take advantage of these technology advances,” said Dr. Anna Liu, director, research and development, Cloud Products and general manager, Unitrends Australia. “With Boomerang, even the smallest organizations can leverage AWS for load balancing, disaster recovery and migration. Being able to adapt data protection strategies to meet evolving data center requirements is no longer a benefit reserved for large enterprises with massive headcounts and budget.”
“Boomerang exemplifies the high caliber of innovation we consistently bring to market to solve complex problems with simple, yet sophisticated data protection solutions,” added Unitrends’ CEO Mike Coney. “Architected to specifically address the needs of virtual-only environments, this new appliance enables organizations to protect and migrate data to the cloud as well as tap the power of AWS to gain more storage and processing speed in just minutes—on the fly. Boomerang gives organizations remarkable flexibility at an unbeatable price point.”
Pricing and Availability
Boomerang is now available for online purchase at: www.vmBoomerang.com. The first VM connected to Boomerang is free forever. Monthly subscription pricing is $29.95 per VM. An annual subscription is available for $19.95 per VM. Prior to purchase, administrators can trial Boomerang for unlimited VMs for 30 days at no cost.
To learn more about Boomerang, visit: www.vmBoomerang.com.
Unitrends delivers award-winning business recovery solutions for any IT environment. The company’s portfolio of virtual, physical and cloud solutions provides adaptive protection for organizations globally. To address the complexities facing today’s modern data center, Unitrends delivers end-to-end protection and instant recovery of all virtual and physical assets as well as automated disaster recovery testing built for virtualization. With the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership, Unitrends’ offerings are backed by a customer support team that consistently achieves a 98 percent satisfaction rating. Unitrends’ solutions are also sold through a community of thousands of leading technology partners, service providers and resellers worldwide. Visit www.unitrends.com.
Here’s an odd economic indicator for you: Sales of master data management for product data grew only 8.7 percent last year. By comparison, MDM for customer data grew 12.2 percent.
That’s more than a 2 percent difference favoring customer data MDM, which suggests, according to Gartner’s market data, “that end users are, on the whole, comfortable with economic growth.”
Maybe, but I think this conclusion from the report is a safer bet: “Appreciation of the business value of MDM, which, though increasing, is still severely lacking.”
In 2013 Continuity Central conducted a survey to explore quality control methods that are being used within business continuity management systems. This survey is now being repeated to see how the trends in this area may have changed. The survey has also been extended to include BCMS measurement.
The interim results of this survey are as follows:
Senior executives within UK businesses say that critical data is not being protected, a new report from NTT Com Security shows. The Risk:Value report, based on a survey of 800 business decision-makers (not in an IT role) in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and the US, shows that UK executives believe that less than half (49 percent) of their critical data is fully secure.
The report, designed to assess the level of risk within large organizations and the value that senior people place on data security, reveals that the majority (56 percent) of respondents in the UK agree they are likely to suffer a security breach at some point: which rises to 63 percent on average globally.
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) believe it is vital that their organization is insured for data security breaches, but only half (54 percent) admit their company insurance currently covers the financial impact of both data loss and a security breach.
Garry Sidaway, Senior Vice President Security Strategy & Alliances, NTT Com Security, says: “The results provide some real insight into the minds of non-IT executives about the value they place on the data in their business and whether they feel this data is at risk. The report shows a kind of ‘security maturity’ scale developing among businesses who value their data, but do not always recognise the risks to critical information. When asked what they associate with the term data security, only half say it is as ‘vital’, while less than a quarter see it as ‘a business enabler’.
“Unfortunately, security at the board level still tends be associated with data protection and compliance, when in fact securing data properly is absolutely critical to enabling businesses to thrive and survive. There’s also a growing disconnect between the cost of breaches and the importance that organizations place on IT security to drive these costs down.”
The report reveals that UK executives are also underestimating the impact of a security breach. Almost a fifth (19 percent) think there would be no significant impact on their revenue, while 28 percent admit they do not know what the financial implications would be. On average, however, UK companies estimate a drop in revenue of 7 percent. A quarter (24 percent) say it would take between one and three months to recover, with five months being the average in both the UK and across all eight countries.
Read the report (PDF).