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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Oracle is beefing up its services to marketing and advertising-focused customers with the acquisition of an Israeli company that tracks how users engage with advertising and media.

Oracle announced that it will buy Crosswire, a provider of machine-learning based cross-device data that can help marketers track cross-device advertising, personalization, and analytics.

Oracle did not disclose the conditions of the deal, but press reports say Oracle paid approximately $50 million for the venture-funded startup founded in 2013.



(TNS) - It has been nearly a year since heavy storms and rains in late spring of 2015 brought widespread damage and flooding to the region. With the floods on Father’s Day, which saw high water in areas not known for flooding, still a recent memory to many, city officials are looking for ways to prevent similar events from occurring again.

City officials are currently working on updates to Denison’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, which presents guidelines for development about how to prevent flooding issues at the site and further downstream.

“Our goal is to reduce the probability of flood damage happening around our drainage areas,” City Manager Jud Rex said on Thursday, referring to drainage ditches, culverts and other features designed to handle runoff from storms.



Virtualisation continues to grow in popularity as it offers different ways of backing up our data, in addition to being able to ensure that business-critical systems remain online in the event of an emergency.

Some people have even hailed virtualisation as the next frontier of computing. But do you know what is computer virtualisation and how can you or your clients benefit from it? Let’s take a step back and first review what virtualisation is and how it works.



After a billion dollars and many years spent deploying a state-of-the-art earthquake warning system, there are still important lessons to be learned from the Tohuko and Kumamoto earthquakes.

The Kumamoto Prefecture, located in the center of Japan’s southwestern Kyushu island, was recently struck by two sizable earthquakes. As of this writing, more than 40 people have been reported dead, with at least 11 missing. The damage sustained has been quite severe for earthquakes of this magnitude (6.4 followed by 7.3), which may, to some extent, be associated with older building stock that was constructed before modern seismic building codes were implemented. Some of the damage can be seen on the Japan Times website.

A number of people (including Emily Chang on Bloomberg West) are wondering how our earthquake warning capability compares to the Japanese system. I might summarize these concerns as:



Over the next four years, 35 percent of the core skills you have today will change. As a storage engineer, what do you think these changes might be?

I recently had an interesting meeting with storage engineers who were considering a move to a commodity type storage infrastructure with little or no data management capabilities.

They were so enamored by the technical specifications of the new equipment that they said they were quite comfortable giving all of the data management capabilities that were inherent in their existing storage array up to the virtualization layer or to the applications themselves. Basically all of the value that used to be offered like data management, data protection, and replication capabilities were going to be given to other teams in the organization.



Will the cold storage data center of the future include a DNA synthesizer? According to a new research paper by the University of Washington and Microsoft, it’s a strong possibility.

Today, we generate data faster than we can increase storage capacity. The volume of digital data worldwide is projected to exceed 16 zettabytes sometime next year, the paper’s authors wrote, citing a forecast by IDC Research. “Alarmingly, the exponential [data] growth rate easily exceeds our ability to store it, even when accounting for forecast improvements in storage technologies,” they said.

A big portion of the world’s data sits in archival storage, where the densest medium currently is tape, offering maximum density of about 10 GB per cubic millimeter. One research project has demonstrated an optical disk technology that’s 10 times denser than tape.



Pivotal kills its own Hadoop distribution. Google uses machine learning to help you reach your goals. Dell updates Statistica to make it easier for so-called citizen data scientists. Workday enhances its analytics -- and more in this week's Big Data Roundup.

This time let's start with Workday. This cloud-based HR software application provider -- or human capital management (HCR) as it's called today -- this week announced a new set of enhancements to its analytics capabilities. The company unveiled new finance and workforce-related scorecards and dashboards that enable customers to gain insight into real-time transactional data and predictive analytics, the company said in a statement announcing the news.

Specifically, Workday said, the new dashboards and scorecards will let customers predict and manage their customer collections. For instance, organizations can use the predictive capabilities to determine the likelihood of an invoice being paid on time. Workday said this can help revenue managers address accounts receivable issues and do a more accurate job of forecasting revenue.



“Quantum Leap” Over Aging Infrastructure Provides Business Advantage


Gridstore™ the leader in hyper-converged all flash infrastructure today announced that MacRoberts LLP, one of Scotland’s leading commercial law firms has chosen Gridstore’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) to manage over 40 million documents across the practice’s three sites as a result of a major infrastructure refresh.


The implementation of 4U of Gridstore flash-based hyper-converged appliances which replaces six racks of servers and storage, has drastically cut the physical footprint and power use, as well as bringing near real-time replication. The Gridstore solution replaced three racks of 42U each at its Glasgow and Edinburgh sites. These were comprised of approximately 40 HP DL580 and 380 G6 generation servers plus a HP Lefthand SAN deployment, all of which were over-burdened and beyond capacity.


This ageing infrastructure presented a business risk to the organisation, limiting its ability to meet its partner and customer demands for fast document access and responsive infrastructure. Limited scalability and onerous management overhead, along with slow performance caused multiple issues, including risk of losing data.


Data protection was also becoming a major issue. Given the fact that MacRoberts estimates it has over 40 million documents stored – a figure that grows each day – then the ability to run regular backups was business critical.


To address these issues MacRoberts conducted an evaluation of solutions from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Cisco, EMC, Nimble Storage and Nutanix, but none met its need for performance, simplicity, or integration with Microsoft.


Robert Crichton, Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, MacRoberts LLP, stated: “We had 40 different systems, with different VMs and in some cases, limited virtualisation, with direct attached storage. It was a business risk and what we really needed was to consolidate and reduce the complexity and gain capacity.


“Many factors were considered when choosing Gridstore including the simplicity of Gridstore’s system compared with different VMware-based systems. It is a solution based on Microsoft technology and this meant that not only were we working within an environment we knew, we were getting the benefits of working with Windows Hyper-V technology, while future proofing our investment.”


The company has around 75 virtual machines deployed on Gridstore HyperConverged Appliances across both key sites. It has also added additional storage capacity for a total of 112TB at each site using Gridstore Hybrid Storage Nodes. This additional bulk capacity is being used for backups at both sites. Following the implementation of Gridstore systems are now being backed up at least once a day, decreasing risk of critical data loss.


“We virtualised our physical workloads into the all-flash solution and we then added on DR replication. We’ve actually duplicated that technology across sites, so our Glasgow office is replicated instantly, and just five minutes over the wire to our Edinburgh site. We brought in the hybrid storage to back up that live production system as well as for replication on premise,” added Robert.


David Flint, Senior Partner MacRoberts, added: “When we came across the Gridstore solution the immediate reaction was yes, this is a quantum leap in what we're doing - this will provide the infrastructure advantage which we're looking for within the business. The fact that it is based on a Microsoft stack and the virtualisation is Hyper-V is really important because ultimately we were looking for a long-term solution.”


Watch the video of this story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b10bMVGDkvY


About Gridstore

Gridstore’s award winning HyperConverged Infrastructure, is delivered as an appliance that offers market leading price/performance, efficient scaling, and scale-to-fit design. The Gridstore HCI is easy and fast to deploy while reducing management time and effort. Leveraging its patented software, a Gridstore HCI delivers 75% less physical infrastructure and a 65% lower price-per-VM than traditional solutions. The Gridstore HyperConverged Appliance is an ideal platform for infrastructure refreshes and specific workloads such as VDI, SQL Server, Dev/Test, Private Cloud and ROBO.

Alfresco delivers its next generation of leading, tightly integrated ECM and BPM solutions with Ness SES development and test services


TEANECK, NJ – Ness Software Engineering Services (SES), a leading provider of software product engineering services, today revealed how it has contributed to the successful release of the latest versions of Alfresco One and Activiti by Alfresco Software, the leading open-source provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) solutions. Alfresco is enabling companies to meet their digital transformation goals through platforms its customers trust to take full advantage of their content, people, and business processes. Ness is helping Alfresco by providing ongoing software development, support and test engineering services.


Major organizations are choosing Alfresco’s software suite to increase user productivity because the solutions offer simplified business workflows that are better informed by content, easy to use, and readily integrate with other enterprise software solutions. Customers enjoy a smoother transition from their legacy systems to Alfresco’s modern, open standards-based ECM and BPM solutions because the company offers a flexible platform that supports current business requirements that readily adapts to future needs with enterprise scale and platform modularity and security.


These latest Alfresco software releases build upon the successful, advanced product engineering partnership established between Alfresco and Ness SES in 2014. A dedicated team of Ness SES software engineers has collaborated closely with Alfresco’s product development experts to utilize advanced testing techniques and extend the integration capabilities of Alfresco’s software platforms further.


Mark Heath, vice president of product development and engineering at Alfresco Software commented, “We're focused on delivering the best possible solutions to managing process and content in today's business environment. Our solutions deliver value faster with intuitive workflows that require very little user training. Instant access to Ness's software engineering expertise, including testing and integration resources has contributed to our growing business providing solutions that connect people, process and content in powerful ways.”


Pete Rogers, senior vice president & general manager, Europe at Ness SES said, “Working with technologists at the forefront of the evolving Digital Economy is extremely rewarding, and we’re excited to be contributing to Alfresco’s success in the ECM and BPM markets. Like us, they’re working with leading-edge organizations that are making major progress in how they are transforming their businesses digitally. For Alfresco and its customers, the assurance of software quality and exceptional performance is of prime importance, and Ness SES is proud to help Alfresco achieve this vital and challenging goal. We are looking to further extend our partnership with Alfresco in the coming months with a particular focus on helping deploy Activiti with Alfresco’s major clients.”


About Alfresco

Alfresco provides modern enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management (BPM) software built on open standards that enables organizations to unlock the power of their business-critical content. With the controls that IT demands and the simplicity that end users love, Alfresco's open source technology enables global organizations to collaborate more effectively across cloud, hybrid and on-premise environments. Innovating at the intersection of content, collaboration and business process, Alfresco’s software manages over seven billion documents, powering the daily tasks of more than 11 million users worldwide. Select Alfresco customers include: Amnesty International, Cisco, DAB Bank, FOX, NASA, PGA Tour, and Sony Entertainment. Founded in 2005, Alfresco’s U.S. headquarters are in San Mateo, California and European headquarters are in Maidenhead, UK. Please visit us at http://www.alfresco.com.


About Ness Software Engineering Services (SES)

Ness Software Engineering Services (SES) is a premier provider of digital transformation and software engineering services. Ness SES helps organizations compete and grow in today’s digital economy by providing deep expertise in products and platforms, data and analytics, and experience engineering. With access to world-class software engineering resources, Ness SES’s clients create advanced, new products and services, enter new markets, win new customers, and streamline operations to radically reduce costs. Ness SES delivers consumer-grade experiences with commercial-grade quality and stability through its global delivery model that offers the flexibility and efficiencies of on-site, on-shore, near-shore and off-shore sourcing, leveraging sophisticated distributed Agile techniques. Visit www.ness-ses.com for more information.

Avocent® LV5000 Series extenders enable secure, remote operation and management of high quality video, audio and other devices

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the world’s leading provider of critical infrastructure for information and communications technology systems, today introduced the Avocent® LV5000 series of high performance extender solutions at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters convention (NAB Show®), which runs April 16-21 in Las Vegas.

Designed to offer high-resolution DisplayPort video extension over a single cable, the Avocent LV5000 high performance extenders provide an “at the desktop” experience for critical applications. Capable of transmitting 3840 x 2160 pixel video with a single monitor or 1920x1200 pixel video in a dual monitor configuration, the high performance extender is ideal for use in traditional broadcast control rooms, as well as critical environments such as transportation and utility control rooms, emergency management centers and industrial settings.      

“In today’s world, engaging experiences and easy access to dynamic content on any device from any location, regardless of the channel, is a necessity,” said Jay Wirts, vice president and general manager, Avocent Core Products, Emerson Network Power. “The Avocent LV5000, the newest addition to our Avocent HMX KVM platform, is well-suited for applications that require pixel perfect video every time. It ensures users can securely access systems and applications remotely without sacrificing video and audio quality or device capability.”

The Avocent LV5000 provides a full-function connection that enables up to six USB 2.0 human interface devices, including mice, keyboards, graphics tablets, jog shuttles, joysticks and 3D explorers. Mass storage and isochronous devices, such as webcams and headsets, can be used through the transparent USB 2.0 high-speed port. It also supports high-definition audio for recording and playback. The extender is delivered in a zero configuration state so it can be plugged in and used without any drivers or software being installed.

The Avocent HMX digital high performance KVM platform, which was previewed during last year’s NAB show, provides Internet Protocol (IP) scalability, flexibility and reliability for broadcast and other control rooms where availability, security and video quality are critical. Along with the Avocent LV 5000, the platform also includes the HMX5000, HMX6000, LV3000, LV4000 and HMX Manager. The platform bolsters an Emerson KVM portfolio that also features analog and digital matrix systems—making Emerson Network Power the only KVM provider with solutions for any network application.

Emerson Network Power is showcasing the Avocent HMX digital high performance KVM platform, including the Avocent LV5000 series, in booth # SL9724 at the NAB Show, April 18 - 21.

To learn more about Avocent LV5000 high performance extender and the Avocent HMX digital high performance KVM platform, or for information on other hardware and software solutions from Emerson Network Power, please visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.


About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), is the world’s leading provider of critical infrastructure technologies and life cycle services for information and communications technology systems. With an expansive portfolio of intelligent, rapidly deployable hardware and software solutions for power, thermal and infrastructure management, Emerson Network Power enables efficient, highly-available networks. Learn more at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world.  The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions.  Sales in fiscal 2015 were $22.3 billion.  For more information, visit Emerson.com