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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

New Interoute Virtual Data Centre in Frankfurt enables secure business continuity in the cloud for companies who want data to stay in Germany

LONDON – Interoute, owner operator of Europe's largest cloud services platform, has today announced it will open its second German Interoute Virtual Data Centre (VDC) zone in Frankfurt on 1st of December this year. The Interoute VDC zone in Berlin has already been hosting data and applications for customers since its opening in 2012. The second zone in Frankfurt am Main, combined with Interoute's advanced private and public networking capability, meets growing customer demand for secure cloud enterprise grade cloud computing inside German national borders, with complete data control and ultra low, in-country latency providing a secure, flexible and in-country resilient platform for all computing needs. The addition of dual zone in-country capability to the Interoute Virtual Data Centre, available across 12 zones globally, means Interoute is able to meet the local needs of European businesses and also provide a global platform for growth and expansion.

Matthew Finnie, CTO, Interoute, commented: "Expanding the application universe that can be moved to the cloud is central to Interoute's approach. Critical from a German perspective is data control and location. Our dual zone approach and free network enables in-country resilience coupled with low latency, minimising code rewrites. Combine this with Interoute's unique public-private cloud capabilities and developers are able to create virtual environments with levels of separation unique in a cloud environment."

Interoute VDC lets customers provision and control compute, storage and network infrastructure on demand, on a global scale. Users can tailor how they provision Interoute VDC compute resources as either private, public or hybrid cloud. Interoute also offers a full portfolio of hosting, colocation, networking and communications services which can be seamlessly integrated with its cloud solutions.

Companies needing to meet data protection regulations can choose to host and store their data in any of the many cities Interoute offers VDC zones in, as well as benefit from free data transfer offered between Interoute VDC locations across the globe. The Interoute CloudStore provides a comprehensive online marketplace for enterprises to buy a wide range of applications to deploy on Interoute VDC. 

Interoute's cloud computing platform is rapidly expanding across the world. The new Interoute Virtual Data Centre in Frankfurt is the 12th zone to be added to the platform overall, and the 7th new zone to be launched in 2014[1]. Interoute maintains a certified ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 Quality and Enterprise Security Management System to operate its cloud solutions.


(MCT) — When Ortiz Middle School Principal Steve Baca ordered a lockdown after a security guard found a gun in a student’s backpack earlier this month, English teacher Alexandra Robertson knew exactly what to do. She locked her classroom door, got her kids to help barricade it and said she was ready to use books, staplers and any other blunt objects she could find to fend off anyone who might try to enter.

Robertson’s response was far from fear-driven. It was part of a new approach to dealing with on-campus threats from outsiders called Run, Hide and Fight.

For years many schools relied on a basic lockdown approach of sealing off doors, turning off lights, shuttering windows, and silencing cellphones and other technological devices as a way to deal with an outside threat. But the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left six adults and 20 first-graders dead — as well as a raft of other school shootings in recent years — have forced school safety experts to rethink their approach.



Riverbed Technology today extended the level of control IT organizations can gain over wide area networks (WAN) by incorporating a policy engine into its line of SteelHead WAN optimization appliances.

The upgrade was announced today at the Riverbed FORCE 2014 conference. Amol Kabe, vice president of product management for Riverbed, says Riverbed SteelHead 9.0 now allows IT organizations to define the class of WAN links they should use based on the performance requirements of applications.

Kabe says it’s now routine for IT organizations to deploy a mix of Internet and private leased lines in support of cloud applications. As such, they need WAN appliances that can dynamically route application traffic across those WAN links based on latency requirements.



Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:35

Flu Already Taking its Toll in Central Ohio

(MCT) — Hospitals already are seeing serious, sometimes life-threatening cases of flu this year, and early indicators show that a good chunk of those sickened are working-age adults.

In Franklin County, at least 28 people had been hospitalized for flu as of Oct. 25, the most recent date for which data is available from Columbus Public Health.

That’s more than double the number at that time last year, when there had been 11 hospitalizations in the county. In the flu season before that, 2012-13, just two people had been hospitalized at this point in the season.

Columbus Public Health looks at several factors to track flu, including hospitalizations, laboratory-test results, emergency-department visits and medication sales.

In the week ending on Oct. 25, there were upticks in pediatric visits for flulike illness and respiratory illness and in over-the-counter sales of cold and cough remedies.

Statewide, emergency-department visits, hospitalizations and thermometer sales were slightly above the baseline five-year average used by the Ohio Department of Health to assess flu activity.



The perceived security threats associated with cloud services become less of an issue as businesses adopt more cloud services. This is according to Databarracks’ fifth annual Data Health Check report, which surveys over 400 IT decision makers in the UK.

The report, which questions IT leaders from organizations of various sizes and industries, revealed that 81 percent of organizations that had adopted no cloud services rated security as a top factor to consider when selecting a potential provider, with core factors such as functionality scoring as poorly as 38 percent.

Once an organization has adopted two or more cloud services, however, the importance of security falls to just 44 percent with factors such as provider reputation becoming much more important overall.

Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, comments: “This isn’t a case of security becoming less important as you adopt more cloud services – data security is always going to be a priority for both the organization and the provider. What we’re actually seeing is organizations moving past the ‘fear of the unknown’, as they experience cloud services first-hand.

“We’ve been hearing it for years: security is the biggest inhibitor of cloud services. CSPs have been striving to change that perception, so it’s promising to actually see the attitudes change as the market matures. Once an organization actually uses a cloud service, they realise that the practicalities of working with a provider – the functionality, the location of their data centres - become far more important than the security risks they once feared.”

Download the full Data Health Check 2014 here.

As result of EDP Distribuição's responsibilities, its involvement was required in Portuguese efforts to comply with the European Council Directive 2008/114/EC, on the identification and designation of National Critical Infrastructures (NCI) and the assessment of the need to improve their protection.

EDP Distribuição is the Portuguese mainland Distribution System Operator, serving over 6 million customers in a regulated business with clearly defined responsibilities, being the holder of the concession to operate the Distribution Electric Power Network in Medium Voltage and High Voltage, and holding municipal concessions for the distribution of electricity in Low Voltage.

With EDP Distribuição under having responsibility for several assets and systems which are essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions - health, safety, security, economic or social well-being of people, the challenges were many. The selection of a manageable number of assets from a set of more than 400 main premises, the identification of their major threats and vulnerabilities, and writing down their emergency response procedures, were some.



Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:32

How Hackers Wreaked Havoc in St. Louis, Mo.

(MCT) — The first call came on a Thursday, 12 days after Michael Brown was shot. Patti Knowles and her granddaughter were watching “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”

The caller warned that the collective of computer hackers and activists known as Anonymous had posted data online — her address and phone number and her husband James’ date of birth and Social Security number.

Anonymous had been targeting Ferguson and police officials for days. But this seemed to be an error. Patti and James weren’t city leaders, they were the parents of one — Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III.

Within hours, identity thieves had opened a credit application — the first of many — using the leaked data.

The second call came on a Friday, nearly two months later. This time, it was their bank.

Someone, posing as James, the mayor’s father, had called in and changed passwords, addresses and emails. Then the individual sent $16,000 in bank checks to an address in Chicago.

The name on the address?

Jon Belmar. Same as the chief of the St. Louis County police.



Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:31

South Florida Gets Gigantic Hurricane Machines

(MCT) — Florida, the most storm-battered state in the nation, now is home to groundbreaking research that allows scientists to dissect the raw power of hurricanes.

Both the University of Miami and Florida International University have built complexes that recreate realistic hurricane conditions, including the enormous wind, battering waves and rainfall they can generate.

The idea is to provide scientists with a better understanding of how the storms work, information that should help improve forecasts and bolster construction.

Additionally, the Miami Museum of Science makes it easy for patrons to view the inner workings of hurricanes — and get a feel for flying into one.

It's not easy to witness the destructive power of a Category 5 hurricane up close and personal.

Yet that's what UM scientists can now do inside a tank the size of an indoor swimming pool, housed in the school's new $50 million Marine Technology and Life Sciences Seawater Complex.



Business continuity is, especially in the Anglo-American world, not that much a new concept. Being not new also means that it probably is due to be redesigned. Since the inception of Business Continuity Management in the late 80s and early 90s of the last century, the world has changed quite a bit. The main concepts, procedures and processes of BCM however have not changed that much in the past 25 or so years. We are still talking PDCA, we are still talking process-based business impact analysis, we are still trying to do the work of risk managers with our task in the fields of operational and reputation risks. We still have the BCM Lifecycle.

Those who are practitioners in the profession may have already realized that the theoretical strategies and tactics as outlined by the BCM Lifecycle approach may not always meet the needs and possibilities of an organization seeking to implement BCM. The business impact analysis for instance needs processes, since it aims to operationalize the damage because of failed process. But, which organization does have a complete and operationalized process document which allows it to just sum up losses and damages along process chains? And, how can the BCM organization define the so-called BCM-Strategies when they haven’t even asked the business what they think they need as workarounds to cover a resource which was lost or damaged because of some crisis situation?



Exclusive Dot Hill Platform is a Game-Changer for Growing Hybrid Array Market; Industry's First Ultra-Density Array Delivers Data Where Customers Need it, When They Need it, in Real-Time

LONGMONT, Colo. – Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today announced the Ultra48™ AssuredSAN® ultra-density, next-generation hybrid arrays are now available with Dot Hill RealStor™ version 2.0 application workload-aware intelligence. By combining RealStor 2.0, also announced today, with the Ultra48, Dot Hill is delivering a unique, robust family of hybrid arrays that challenges the current competitive landscape with game-changing enterprise management features and performance at an unparalleled price-performance point.

The Ultra48, incorporating dual high performance AssuredSAN 4004 controllers, is built on the industry's first ultra-density chassis, housing nearly 58 terabytes of data on small form factor disk drives and/or solid-state devices (SSDs), in only 2U of rack space while yielding exceptional performance density. Since its launch, the Ultra48 has been recognized with a number of awards and accolades. As StorageReview noted, "Given the density versus the footprint required for other all-HDD configured systems, the Ultra48 offers a performance per rack unit profile that may not be able to be achieved with any other storage system." Now this award-winning array is equipped with RealStor 2.0's real-time autonomic tiering, SSDs and other enterprise-class features.


Dot Hill's Ultra48 Next-Generation Hybrid Array with RealStor 2.0 Stands Alone

Other flash-based storage solutions fall short in their attempts to address the constantly changing data challenges faced by organizations today. All-flash arrays deliver expensive performance and unaffordable capacity, while competing hybrid storage solutions only offer read caching or batch data migration, rather than autonomic real-time tiering. Featuring multiple patent-pending technologies, the Dot Hill Ultra48 AssuredSAN next-generation solution with RealStor 2.0 raises the bar on hybrid array capability and stands alone in its ability to deliver high performance and optimal real-time data placement, while maintaining ease-of-use and best-in-class affordability and density.

"The powerful combination of the Ultra48 and RealStor 2.0 creates a unique hybrid offering which gives our customers enterprise management features and performance at an affordable price point," said Dana Kammersgard, president and CEO, Dot Hill. "This platform combines the best of Dot Hill software and hardware innovation to deliver next-generation hybrid array solutions. Our customers told us that they have extreme floor space constraints in their data centers and lack the time and skill sets to migrate data between flash and disk manually; most certainly do not have the budgets for all-flash arrays. That's why we developed the Ultra48 with RealStor 2.0."


Dot Hill Ultra48, the Industry's First Ultra-Density Array

The Ultra48 next-generation hybrid array takes advantage of powerful multiple embedded processors to provide accelerated, predictable performance for demanding workloads. With fully redundant and hot-swappable components, the Ultra48 provides easy serviceability resulting in lower support costs through the life of the product.

As with all highly reliable AssuredSAN solutions, the Ultra48 delivers proven 99.999 percent data availability. Backed by an industry-best 37-month "bumper-to-bumper" warranty, Ultra48 storage solutions are available with the latest high-bandwidth interfaces including 12Gb SAS, 16Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb iSCSI or dual personality 16Gb Fibre Channel/10Gb iSCSI.


Optimized Performance

  • RealTier™ autonomic real-time tiering allows organizations to save up to 75 percent on storage expenses by more efficiently using lower-cost storage. By providing real-time, autonomic data tiering, the powerful RealTier feature allows the Ultra48 to deliver performance comparable to all-flash arrays at a fraction of the priceWorkload optimizationis built into the tiering algorithm, which separates streaming and transaction workflows and places data on the appropriate tier immediately to increase both read and write operations.
  • RealCache™ SSD read caching provides on-demand performance for peak loads, far exceeding memory cache capabilities of the controller. SSD read cache allows SSD cache to become an extension of the controller cache, increasing effective cache capacity by up to 100x and increasing IOPS performance for read-centric workloads. Entire LUNs can also be assigned or "pinned" into solid-state storage in order to deliver predictable performance to a specific application workload.
  • SimulCache streamlines dual controller write operations for increased throughput performance.


Availability and Reliability

  • High Availability is delivered via fully redundant hot-swap components and active/active controller failover, resulting in proven 99.999 percent availability.
  • RealQuick™ rapid RAID rebuild improves system up-time and data protection by reducing the risk of data loss in the event of a SSD or HDD failure. Rebuilding only the data that is being used, translates into up to 10 times faster restore time. With nothing to set or configure, this feature restores complete fault tolerance faster to the volume and reduces the duration of potential application performance degradation due to one or multiple device failures.
  • RealSnap™ virtual snapshots dramatically streamline the action of creating point-in-time images, providing capabilities to snap volumes multiple times with no performance impact for improved backup and recovery. Snaps can be nested hierarchically and are fully writable.
  • EcoStor™ supercapacitor technology with battery-free cache backup is designed to surpass the life of the system, therefore eliminating batteries entirely. This makes the controller completely maintenance-free and keeps data in cache memory permanently stored even in the event of complete loss of power.


Driving Affordability and Ease-of-Use

  • RealThin™ thin provisioning for optimized capacity management offers advanced capacity management, which reduces the cost of capacity investments by up to 50 percent. Instead of reserving and consuming storage when host volumes are created, thin provisioning only consumes capacity as needed by applications.
  • RealPool™ simplifies disk management in heterogeneous environments and enables a wide array of advanced features. While competitors' products create one pool per device type (performance, standard, archive), RealStor 2.0's virtualized pools can combine any and all device types into a single, versatile pool. This enables users to leverage multiple device types for added flexibility and optimization.
  • Cost-effective scalability to over half a petabyte with no capacity-based license fees. Ultra-dense packaging that can be cost-effectively deployed with a hybrid mix of solid state and hard disk devices, or an all-disk array.

"The combination of RealStor 2.0 software with best-in-class tiering, caching and Ultra48 hardware configured with a right-sized mix of performance-optimized flash and cost-optimized disk delivers the best bang for the buck," said Brian Garrett, vice president, ESG Lab. "A next-generation hybrid array from Dot Hill is the perfect prescription for IT managers who are struggling to cost-effectively meet the exploding storage demands of the business."


Product Availability

The RealStor 2.0 base license is included standard now with all Ultra48 AssuredSAN models. Customers who have previously purchased Ultra48 systems can acquire the RealStor 2.0 software suite from authorized Dot Hill partners. The premium RealTier autonomic real-time tiering feature is available via a licensing key and upgrade charge. For details, go tohttp://www.dothill.com/storage-software/.


About Dot Hill

Leveraging its proprietary Assured family of storage solutions, Dot Hill solves many of today's most challenging storage problems - helping IT to improve performance, increase availability, simplify operations, and reduce costs. Dot Hill's solutions combine breakthrough software with the industry's most flexible and extensive hardware platform and automated management to deliver best-in-class solutions. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, India, Japan,Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information, visit us at www.dothill.com.