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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Crisis Communication Basics

Regina Phelps recently joined forces with Everbridge and recorded a webinar that explores in-depth strategies for improving your disaster and crisis management. Previously in part 1 of this five part series, Regina discussed why timely communication is important in a disaster, as well as some definitions to help get to the root of communication strategies and their effectiveness. If you missed part 1, you can access it here.

In this installment of the series, Regina discusses the basics of crisis communication. Specifically, how to establish and organize a communications team.



Prince George's County Partnership Expands With Backup Servers Placed in AiNET's High Security Tier 4 Data Center; AiNET Will Ensure Best-in-Class Disaster Recovery (DR) and Continuity of Operations (COOP), Making the Sensitive Data of County Employees and Taxpayers Alike Safe

WASHINGTON, DC – AiNET® announced that Prince George's County (Maryland) has completed colocation of their backup servers into a nearby AiNET Data Center. The colocation facility has nearly 50,000 square feet of dedicated data center floor space and carries the coveted Tier 4 classification -- the highest possible rating for design & security according to telecommunications regulations.

Prince George's County has partnered with AiNET to reduce the complexity of their IT infrastructure. The benefits include increased efficiency, vastly reduced downtime for critical services and applications, multiple levels of redundancy in a worst-case disaster recovery scenario, routine testing and validation and substantial cost-savings due to consolidation of data centers.

Critical systems will be colocated and backed up in the data center. AiNET will provide monitoring, maintenance, connectivity and managed services to the County.

"We know how critical these systems and data are," says AiNET founder and CEO Deepak Jain. "Prince George's County residents and employees will benefit from increased security of their personal and property data, the resilience of their emergency response, and the uptime of other critical services. As we think about the increasing threats to the security of critical and life-saving services, and threats to the electrical grid that supports them, we see how important it is that these systems are in the most secure, protected and resilient facilities possible."

AiNET's Beltsville data center protects Prince George's County's systems with federally approved security protocols to maintain the integrity of their data center services, multiple grid-tied power feeds (2N+1) and multiple on premise diesel generators (2N), infrared night vision cameras, and multi-layer biometric systems for identity verification. AiNET's disaster recovery and Continuity of Operations (COOP) services are underpinned by their regional network of four wholly-owned and managed data centers, providing additional layers of spill over and redundancy.

For more information regarding AiNET's network of data centers, managed services and privately-held fiber network, call 888-3AiNET3 or visit http://www.ai.net/.

About AiNET ®

AiNET is a leader in the design, construction, operations, and support of Internet data centers, optical fiber networks, and critical solutions. Among their data centers, AiNET owns and operates certified Tier 4 data centers, the highest level of data center reliability and maintainability.

AiNET is always expanding our data centers, and growing to connect buildings to our protected fiber communications networks for enhanced reliability and security. Customers that trust AiNET include the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Level 3 Communications, Comcast, Cox and many others. AiNET has over 100 lit or "on-net" buildings.


New Disaster Recovery Solution Provides Complete Multi-Cloud Resiliency Solution for E-Commerce Application Environments

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – In a move that fortifies the company's position as the leader in e-commerce and enterprise application control in the cloud, Webscale Networks today announced the launch of its Multi-Cloud Disaster Recovery (DR) solution. The first of its kind to offer complete backend disaster recovery services across cloud providers and regions, the initial release of the Webscale Multi-Cloud DR solution focuses specifically on the needs of e-commerce customers, enabling them to automatically failover during disaster scenarios to an alternate location with minimum downtime and data loss.

Webscale Multi-Cloud DR extends the feature set of the Webscale Pro and Enterprise products, to offer disaster recovery services in addition to complete application control, predictive auto-scaling, security, and single screen management of application delivery controller (ADC) and web application functions in the cloud. The tight integration of both application delivery and disaster recovery solutions, enables robust protection of the customer's entire application environment, including the application delivery controllers (ADC), application and data servers.

"Even the biggest cloud providers experience outages, and an hour of downtime can result in disastrous losses for an e-commerce business," said Sonal Puri, CEO of Webscale. "Our Multi-Cloud DR solution combines everything we know about delivering highly optimized, scalable and secure online storefronts in the cloud, with the capability to keep them live and available during outages, regardless of their cause."

Webscale Multi-Cloud DR provides two different options for disaster recovery -- Webscale Cloud Backup and Webscale Cloud Mirror.

Webscale Cloud Backup enables customers to make a copy of their entire backend -- the application and data server -- on a periodic basis. For mission critical e-commerce applications that require more frequent backup, Webscale Cloud Mirror allows customers to keep a near real-time replica of their backend in an alternate location, usually recommended to be in another region or cloud.

Webscale Cloud Mirror offers various levels of redundancy based on the customer's needs for failover time. These levels range from mirrored instances of the data server where only the application layer needs to be restored, to entire replicas of the active system, ready to accept all traffic as soon as failover is completed. Webscale Cloud Mirror also features an always-on global ADC tier that ensures the ADCs remain consistently available regardless of the status of either the data server or application layer.

Webscale provides an SLA for its Cloud Mirror service. Users are guaranteed to have their site up and running in the alternate location within 60 minutes and with no more than 15 minutes of data loss. These service guarantees are commonly referred to as a recovery time objective (RTO) and a recovery point objective (RPO) respectively.

Pricing and Availability
Webscale Multi-Cloud DR is available now across multiple regions of a cloud provider, offering customers the ability to backup or mirror their backend on the same cloud provider, but in a different region to minimize downtime during a service outage. The next release will support Multi-Cloud DR across multiple cloud providers where e-commerce applications can seamlessly failover to another cloud provider, regardless of their location.

Webscale Multi-Cloud DR, with Cloud Backup, is included with Webscale Pro and Enterprise. Webscale Multi-Cloud DR, with Cloud Mirror, is included in Webscale Enterprise or available as an additional service for Webscale Pro. Pricing and product information can be found online, and for more information on Webscale Multi-Cloud DR, visit the product page here.

About Webscale
Since 2012, Webscale has pioneered integrated web application delivery in the cloud. Its unique solution is the first to deliver complete application control from a single, integrated platform. Experts in cloud technology and e-commerce platforms, Webscale keeps users loyal and engaged by delivering a fast, reliable and secure web presence. Webscale is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, with offices in Boulder, CO and Bangalore, India. For more information, please visit: www.webscalenetworks.com

World's Most Popular Distributed Database to Be Available on DC/OS With One-Click Installation and Powerful Scalability on Shared Infrastructure Across Clouds

DENVER, Colo. – MESOSCON - Mesosphere announced today that it has partnered with DataStax, the leading provider of database software for cloud applications, to bring DataStax Enterprise (DSE) to the Mesosphere DC/OS (Datacenter Operating System) platform. DSE is built on Apache Cassandra, and delivers the functionality, tooling, certification, and support required by today's enterprises to power modern data-driven applications.

Like other DC/OS services, DSE on DC/OS Universe -- the platform's app-store-like library of available services -- will feature a simplified installation process, as well as performance and availability enhancements that make it a strong choice for production environments and the developer community responsible for powering applications that require real-time data at epic scale. Running on DC/OS, DSE can share infrastructure with other popular data systems and DC/OS services, such as Apache Spark and Apache Kafka.

"DataStax's mission has always been to deliver the enterprise's most secure, 'always-on' database platform whether in a single datacenter or across multiple datacenters and clouds, while also raising the standard for operational efficiency," said Barry Evans, Head of Technology Partner Development, DataStax. "Making DataStax Enterprise available on DC/OS is incredibly exciting because together we are accelerating the whole process of powering modern cloud apps with modern orchestration and deployment."

For years, Apache Mesos and Apache Cassandra have been a popular combination for distributed developers. The pairing of DSE and DC/OS takes things to the next level, adding advanced management, security, UX and other capabilities on top of the scalability and fault tolerance people already love with Cassandra and Mesos. At MesosCon, for example, Uber delivered a talk about "Running Cassandra on Apache Mesos Across Multiple Datacenters."

"Our customers are demanding DataStax Enterprise on DC/OS," said Florian Leibert, Co-Founder and CEO of Mesosphere. "Everyone knows that massive Internet players like eBay, Spotify, Netflix, and Apple are huge users of Cassandra -- but today we are also seeing an explosion in both Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise adoption in more traditional enterprises that are shifting their operations models from silos to the 'single computer,' clustered model with DC/OS."

In April 2016, a broad alliance of leading companies joined forces with Mesosphere to release DC/OS, the first open and comprehensive platform for building, running and scaling modern enterprise applications. An open source version of Mesosphere's revolutionary Datacenter Operating System platform, DC/OS offers powerful capabilities for microservices and container operations (including Docker), high availability, and single-click, app-store-like installation of complex distributed systems via the DC/OS Universe. Information about the Mesosphere Enterprise DC/OS platform is available here.

About Mesosphere
Mesosphere (Twitter: @Mesosphere) is leading the enterprise transformation toward distributed computing and modern applications with its Datacenter Operating System, and is the principal founding member of the DC/OS open source project. DC/OS is a production-proven datacenter-scale platform for container operations and simple installation of complex distributed systems -- including HDFS, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra and more. Mesosphere was founded in 2013 by the architects of hyperscale infrastructures at Airbnb and Twitter, along with the co-creator of Apache Mesos. Backed by A Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective, Fuel Capital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Triangle Peak Partners and Microsoft, Mesosphere is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in New York and Hamburg, Germany.

About DataStax
DataStax, the leading provider of database software for cloud applications, accelerates the ability of enterprises, government agencies, and systems integrators to power the exploding number of cloud applications that require data distribution across datacenters and clouds, by using our secure, operationally simple platform built on Apache Cassandra™.

With more than 500 customers in over 50 countries, DataStax is the database technology of choice for the world's most innovative companies, such as Netflix, Safeway, ING, Adobe, Intuit, Target and eBay. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., DataStax is backed by industry-leading investors including Comcast Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meritech Capital, Premji Invest and Scale Venture Partners. For more information, visit DataStax.com or follow us @DataStax.

Company First to Be Recognized as a Preferred Healthcare Network Partner


RAMSEY, NJ – Comport Consulting Corporation announced today that it was recognized as the first Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) partner to receive "Preferred Healthcare Network Partner" status. This acknowledgement was accepted by Comport's President and CEO, Jack Margossian and Executive Vice President, Mike Vencel. Comport was selected by HPE due to its long history of working with all aspects of healthcare, including individual hospitals and hospital systems, ACO's, insurers, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical enterprises.

Comport is focused on helping commercial and hospital clients transform the services their IT organizations provide. Comport's healthcare clients are located across the U.S., with a concentration in the Northeast. With numerous gold specialist certifications and best-in-class partnerships, Comport has the skills and experience to help clients adopt today's new methods of IT consumption, including hybrid cloud evaluations and replacing capital expenditures (CAPEX) with pay-as-you-go operational expenditure (OPEX) approaches.

"We are very pleased to name Comport as the first HPE Preferred Healthcare Network Partner," said Pete Stafford, VP, Global Accounts America for HPE. "We greatly respect and appreciate Comport's in-depth expertise and dedication to supporting these vital healthcare organizations."

"Thank you for acknowledging our strong commitment to healthcare and HPE. There is no other industry that impacts so many of us, and we are proud of our contributions towards more efficient, lower-cost operations and improved patient outcomes," said Comport's President and CEO, Jack Margossian. "We see our role as providing leadership and insight to help our healthcare clients navigate a rapidly-changing technology landscape."

About Comport

Comport is an award-winning HPE Platinum Partner and CRN Triple Crown winner recognized for helping clients more effectively deliver services to end users and customers. Comport has expertise in demanding, complex IT solutions including on premise, hybrid cloud, data protection and security, networking, and enterprise-level personal systems. Comport is a true IT partner that invests in clients to achieve the organization's strategy and maximize return on IT investments. For more information, visit www.comport.com.

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/6/1/11G100939/Images/hpe_plat_pi_PHPN_print_8x10-a541ba429fa58cb1a97bf9b9ad3e83b1.jpg

Fast-Growing Firm Hires Tech Veteran Dan Haley to Lead North America, Opens Office in Cambridge, Mass.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – StarLink, the world's largest and fastest growing "True" Value-added Distributor for network and data security, announced today that it has initiated planned investments into the US for 2016 as a part of the company's expansion strategy. Initial activities include the hiring of a seasoned CEO to manage the North America region, and simultaneously relocating its US headquarters to Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of North America's key technology hubs.

StarLink has appointed Dan Haley as CEO - North America, adding an unrivaled expert to its leadership team. Dan Haley brings with him a rich experience of 35 years in the high tech industry, with his previous role as the President and CEO of network security leader Bradford Networks Inc. Prior to that he served as CEO for four start-ups, and was also a General Partner in a global private equity company.

StarLink's True Value-Added Distribution sets it apart from other software distributors -- rather than just being a fulfillment house, StarLink offers the same services to channel partners and end customers as a software vendor would, from pre-sales through support. And though it never sells direct, StarLink works directly with end customers to help create and seed the market for security solutions. As a result:

  • StarLink channel partners benefit from an educated market that's primed for the partners' offerings.
  • Software vendors benefit from accelerated sales through the channel.
  • End customers benefit from StarLink's consultative approach and ability to assemble end-to-end security solutions.

Nidal Othman, Managing Director at StarLink, commented, "The US expansion is a fundamental part of our vision, and we are thrilled to have Dan Haley on board with us, further strengthening our management team, to spearhead the growth that we anticipate in North America going forward. We are also excited about the move to our new US headquarters in the Boston area, where the talent pool is second to none, which enables us to execute on our initial plan of replicating our True VAD business model in the US and eventually all of North America."

Dan Haley said, "StarLink's unique go-to-market approach is one the key reasons for its success in other parts of the world. I look forward to executing this recipe for success and become recognized as a Trusted Security Advisor in North America as well." He added, "We are in the midst of finalizing the extension of our initial vendor contracts, and beginning an aggressive recruitment drive across various functions including Sales, Sales Engineering, Channel and Operations. Our strategy for the remainder of this year is to create awareness about StarLink within the channel and customer communities."

Haley anticipates that StarLink will employ at least 10 full-time professionals in North America by the end of the year. To see current job openings with StarLink in North America, visit http://www.starlinkme.net/careers.

About StarLink
StarLink is acclaimed as the largest and fastest growing "True" Value-added Distributor across globe with on-the-ground presence in 14 countries. With its innovate Security Framework, StarLink is also recognized as a "Trusted Security Advisor" to over 1000 enterprise and government customers that use one or more of StarLink's best-of-breed and market-leading technologies, sold through its Channel network of over 250 Partners. The StarLink Solutions Lifecycle helps Channel Partners differentiate offerings, and assists customers to identify key risks and define priorities for addressing IT Security gaps relating to compliance and next-generation threat protection. For more information about StarLink, please visit www.starlinkme.net.

Thursday, 02 June 2016 00:00

9 Secrets Of Data-Driven Companies

The competitive landscape is shifting rapidly in virtually every industry, fueled by the intelligent application of technology and data. While nearly all companies have more data than they know what to do with, a powerful minority is discovering new ways of leveraging it.

"Everyone is trying to figure out what the best route is, and what value data science can bring to the business," said Vivian Zhang, CTO and founder of the NYC Data Science Academy.

Internal fragmentation is one of the biggest obstacles facing companies as they seek to become data-driven. Data remains trapped under the control of a given department or business unit. The fact often frustrates efforts to use data strategically across the enterprise.



Thursday, 02 June 2016 00:00

Outward-Looking Business Continuity

It is easy to indulge in navel-gazing when it comes to business continuity. We examine our business, its components, its requirements, its objectives and the risks that could affect it.

Then we draw up business continuity plans and put them into action. Yet a business only means something if it has customers it can serve.

It is remarkable therefore to see how FINRA (the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.) emphasises the notion of the end-customer when defining requirements for financial firms to create and maintain business continuity plans.

With its Rule 4370 (are there really 4369 rules before this one?!), it specifies that BCP procedures must be designed so that existing obligations to customers can be met.



Thursday, 02 June 2016 00:00

Turning a big storage ship

Storage is a funny old part of IT industry and a part of the industry that is going through change much quicker than most.

The rapid move to flash, the need to integrate cloud, issues over management, security and governance all make the storage industry a challenging place for vendors and those architecting and using storage solution alike.

If we add to that a change in how we view our infrastructure, we see technologies that are abstracting much of our infrastructure from end users and developers, we see tech like openstack, Azurestack and even tech like Vmware VVOLS all of which present a single look and feel higher up the technology stack, this move almost sees some parts of the decision making cycle have a view of “we don’t really care about storage.”



NEW YORK – Learning from leaders whose decisions changed lives and careers, who experienced a situation that took them to the brink and back — that’s the purpose of the newly-launched podcast series, “Resilient,” from Deloitte Advisory. The biweekly podcast series explores the story of real-life executives, board members and government officials who led through crises, navigated through disruptions, managed through significant risk events and came back stronger. Each “Resilient” episode is designed to help today’s leaders embrace risk and improve performance by becoming better prepared to manage confidently in this unpredictable world.

 “Clients routinely tell us that they want to hear the stories and experiences of their peers. But more often than not, those stories are kept quiet or only heard by a few,” says Mike Kearney, National Managing Partner for Deloitte & Touche LLP, and leader of Deloitte Advisory strategic risk services. “We lay it all out there for the benefit of the listeners and take them on the executive’s journey. Resilient leaders don’t get knocked down by disaster or disruption, they find ways to navigate through it and come back stronger, and that is what you’ll hear in each episode.”

In the first episode, Deloitte Advisory’s Mike Kearney interviews former Verisign CEO Bill Roper about his experience transitioning from a lead independent director to CEO during a volatile crisis. Roper shares the complexity of the short-term decisions that had to be made and frames the crisis with an eye on the long game as well.