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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

These days, IT employees might have a background in theater instead of computer science. They’re more likely than ever to be part-timers and short-timers instead of career public servants. Some of them are even configuring networks on a phone rather than a PC.

What, exactly, is going on here?

These are all signs of the new normal for government IT departments. Public CIOs and their staffs face disruption from almost every angle — the long-anticipated baby-boomer retirement wave is beginning to crest, younger employees have new ideas about how and where they want to work, and rapidly evolving technology is rewriting the resume of typical tech workers.



(TNS) - U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., held a forum Friday at Skagit Valley College to discuss the region’s natural hazards with local officials and first responders.

The forum discussing hazards such as landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions was part of a series called “Community Preparedness & Resiliency: Planning Today for a Safer Tomorrow.”

“This is really something that’s important to all of us. The beauty of this region comes with a price. It’s a very active region,” U.S. Geological Survey Northwest Regional Director Rich Fererro said.



(TNS) - A denser, taller and better-built Silverdale would make Kitsap County more resilient to major earthquakes, according to a hazard mitigation report commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The report urges the county to use land-use policies, property owner incentives and construction budgets to steer development patterns away from steep slopes, unstable soils, tsunami inundation zones and other areas that amplify earthquake dangers. At the same time, the county should encourage growth in Silverdale, where quake damage is expected to be lower, the report states.

"When the earthquake happens, the county is going to have to spend millions and millions of dollars to repair the hazardous areas," said Bob Freitag, co-director of the University of Washington's Institute for Hazard Mitigation Planning and Research, which produced the report. "It's in their interest — and in the interest of reducing risk to people — to begin shifting development out of those areas."



(TNS) - Owners of hundreds of homes and businesses in unincorporated Ventura County will qualify for new discounts on flood insurance starting in May, county officials said last week.

The area qualified for discounts of up to 20 percent in 2011 after topping standards in a national rating program operated by the federal government. Now that's been upgraded to 25 percent based on a new evaluation five years after the original certification.

"I knew we would be close," said Tully Clifford, director of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District.

In the new evaluation, unincorporated Ventura County earned a ranking of Class 5 on the 10-point scale, in which 1 is the best and 10 the worst. The area scored Class 6 five years ago in what's called the Community Rating System.



As the venerable first responder saying goes: “All incidents are local.” Although this axiom serves as a core tenet typically describing the scope of state and national threats, the same perspective can be applied to any enterprise emergency action plan. After all, how much more “local” can a threat be if a business should suddenly go dark—followed by an even more frightening recognition that one’s response processes may be entirely useless?

After the incidents of 9/11, numerous commercial business continuity organizations began the serious work of developing action doctrines that could be digitally applied to enterprise operations. However, while most forward-leaning companies were in the midst of their deliberations, necessary technologies that supported more efficient ways to deliver emergency information continued to be largely behind the power curve.

Thankfully, mobility-adept smart devices emerged in the ensuing years, and today, these technologies have become central to omnibus emergency communications frameworks everywhere. Between that and the fact that the current business environment harbors threats well beyond those posed by the comparatively straightforward weather disasters, why should businesses regularly update their action plans, and perhaps more importantly, how?



We are at a crossroads in American Medicine where we are seeing the goal of the Triple Aim evolve in front of our practices.  The Triple Aim is the belief that for our healthcare system to evolve into a world-class, sustainable institution, three parts of a triangle need to be pursued simultaneously.  The three parts include: improving the patient experience, bettering outcomes, and reducing the cost of providing that care. 

This aim is encapsulated in the concept of healthcare value, which can be defined as the cost per unit of quality delivered.  This is what we are striving for. Health systems and medical practices are retooling themselves with the goal of delivering value, as this is how they will be measured. Because of this, even more sophisticated methods of measuring outcomes are being developed and implemented.



Visy becomes first to extend remote site backup to Microsoft Azure

SAN FRANCISCO – Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced Australia-based packaging company, Visy, is the first organization to deploy a Riverbed and Microsoft joint solution designed to eliminate the headaches of its branch office IT infrastructure, improve business continuity and minimize business disruption in the event of an incident. Visy selected Riverbed’s® hyper-converged edge solution SteelFusion™ to virtualize and consolidate its islands of remote and branch office infrastructure (including server, storage, and network components) in its data center. Microsoft and its hybrid cloud storage environment, based on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure StorSimple, was used to consolidate all branch office data for centralized storage, backup and recovery.

Tweet This: Visy leverages the #Cloud for data backup and recovery at branch offices with Riverbed SteelFusion: http://rvbd.ly/22hYFr4

Visy, privately owned, is one of the world's most prominent packaging, paper and recycling companies. processing recyclables from more than 3.2 million households that are ultimately given a new life. In FY2013-14 alone, they produced more than 730,000 tons of fiber packaging, 494 million steel food cans, 1.5 billion beverage cans, 823 million beverage cartons, 2.2 billion plastic containers and 1.8 billion plastic preforms. The company has an extensive international footprint, with more than 5,500 staff across 120 branch offices and facilities in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as trading offices across Asia, Europe and the USA.

Infrastructure Islands Left Branch Offices Stranded After Hardware Failures

For Visy, it is critical that branch offices – where business gets done and revenues are generated – are always up and running with the applications and services they need to stay productive. However, this had become an increasing struggle. Each remote and branch office effectively operated its own infrastructure island, and across the offices there was a wide variety of backup technologies and application servers deployed on-site. This not only made the backup process complex and time-consuming, it also meant significant downtime if a server was corrupted or went down.  What Visy needed was a single enterprise-wide solution for its branch offices and remote sites that would remove the complexity and cost of edge infrastructure while giving branch employees the high-performing applications they need to do their jobs.

Riverbed SteelFusion and Azure

To solve these challenges Visy turned to Riverbed’s SteelFusion hyper-converged edge solution built for remote and branch office IT. Instead of deploying branch services on traditional servers on-site, those services were migrated to SteelFusion Edge with a planned rollout across 20 of Visy’s remote sites. In order to consolidate data and achieve greater agility, data from the edge is continuously streamed back to the SteelFusion Core located at Visy’s central data center in Melbourne. The SteelFusion Core then pushes this data to Azure cloud storage via the StorSimple appliance, eliminating the need for traditional data center storage. By deploying this solution, Visy has significantly reduced its capital and operational expenses without compromising its business capability. 

“Microsoft Corp. is excited to collaborate with Riverbed to bring another Azure offering to our joint customers. SteelFusion gives our customers a unique way to get their distributed data centralized and backed up in Azure. We see the power that this solution can bring for cloud-based storage,” said Nicole Herskowitz, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Microsoft Azure.

Simplifying Management and Ensuring Business at the Branch

“We had been looking for a few years to extend cloud-based backup to our edge sites, but it was never possible before we found SteelFusion which, together with Microsoft’s StorSimple, gives us the ability to back up those files and folders directly to Azure. We’ve removed a great deal of complexity from our environment, which will significantly streamline IT management and administration. Ultimately, when you consider the competitive cost-per-gig we get from Azure and StorSimple, the productivity gains from accelerated recovery times, together with simplified management, SteelFusion was a no-brainer,” said Daymon Whitehead, IT Operations Manager at Visy. 

Riverbed SteelFusion and the Riverbed Application Performance Platform™
The Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ gives CIOs end-to-end visibility, optimization and control across an entire enterprise. A key part of the platform, Riverbed SteelFusion is the first and only hyper-converged edge solution designed with the unique challenges of remote and branch office (ROBO) IT in mind. Unlike hyper-converged solutions purpose-built to simplify data center infrastructures, SteelFusion is built to enable the “hyper-converged edge.” SteelFusion simultaneously meets the top requirements of businesses, IT organizations and employees by reducing the operational cost of managing remote locations, increasing data security through centralization and encryption of data at rest and in flight, improving business continuity and IT agility with 100x faster recovery times and 30x faster deployment of branch services and sites, and providing up to a 100x increase in application performance at the branch for greater productivity.

Connect with Riverbed

About Riverbed

Riverbed, at more than $1 billion in annual revenue, is the leader in Application Performance Infrastructure, delivering the most complete platform for the hybrid enterprise to ensure applications perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues can be proactively detected and resolved before impacting business performance. Riverbed enables hybrid enterprises to transform application performance into a competitive advantage by maximizing employee productivity and leveraging IT to create new forms of operational agility. Riverbed's 27,000+ customers include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 98% of the Forbes Global 100. Learn more at www.riverbed.com.

Global leader in information management introduces cloud disaster recovery and data restoration solutions aligned with critical IT requirements

NORCROSS, Ga. – Recall Holdings, (ASX: REC), a global leader in information management, including document storage, data protection, secure destruction and information governance services, today announced its expanded data protection portfolio, including cloud disaster recovery services. Recall’s data protection services provide comprehensive solutions to secure, manage and govern digital and physical information through a customer-centered service platform.

“The shift to more cloud-based solutions within the workplace has prompted a global market demand for solutions that enable businesses to quickly recover from a disaster without experiencing any downtime,” said Janson Hoambrecker, Vice President and Global Market Leader for Data Protection Services (DPS), Recall. “Additionally, Recall’s data protection portfolio can help organizations transition its on-site tape archive, necessary for maintaining compliance standards, to our secure Information Centers, freeing up valuable rack space and eliminating the cost of maintaining outdated legacy systems.  Recall’s new offering eases the burden on companies to store long-term tape solutions for information lifecycle compliance while adding the benefit of near real-time disaster recovery through the cloud.”

Recall’s Data Protection portfolio includes:

  • Tape Vaulting: Secure storage of backup tapes, archiving, chain of custody and secure destruction
  • Restoration and Recovery: Data restoration and conversion, including tape-to-cloud migration and catalogue management, data recovery and eDiscovery processing
  • Cloud: Instant on-site and cloud recovery, end-to-end encryption, screenshot backup verification, time-based cloud retention and cloud-to-cloud backup support

Cloud disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is a growing market, as evidenced by its progression to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant in 2015. The shift to the always-on business model has prompted the need for more on-demand business continuity solutions, as illustrated by Gartner’s prediction that DRaaS will surpass the traditional tape market by 2018.

“To help our customers meet today’s stringent and complex requirements and ensure business continuity, Recall has expanded its global portfolio of data protection services,” said Ron McMurtrie, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, Recall. “Recall is depended upon for its information security and compliance expertise, and these services build upon these requirements while ensuring our customers have access to the best technology available.”

In addition to its cloud disaster recovery and data protection portfolio, Recall has launched several innovative solutions to strengthen information governance for its customers, including RFID technology, Recall Portal and CommandIG™.

For more information on Recall’s expanded data protection portfolio, visit: http://www.recall.com/data-protection or download the Recall whitepaper, “Migrating to the Cloud: Eliminating Gaps in Data Protection Service.

About Recall

Recall is a global leader in information management solutions, offering customers complete management of its physical and digital information assets with one partner. Recall’s innovative solutions empower organizations to make better business decisions throughout the information lifecycle, while maintaining regulatory compliance and eliminating unnecessary resources, time and costs. Recall services more than 80,000 customer accounts in over 300 dedicated operation centers, spanning five continents in 25 countries. For more information, please visit recall.com.

Unique program provides tools for customers to easily learn how Software-Defined Storage can help increase business agility while reducing costs, and boost partner engagement 

TORONTO, Canada – ioFABRIC Inc. today unveiled its LEaD Program, providing channel partners with the online educational tools they need to enhance their sales activities and close deals in software-defined storage. LEaD stands for Learn Explore and Deploy and is a unique online educational tool that channel partners can brand and use to enhance their sales process. 

ioFABRIC channel partners can brand and use LEaD Program materials, including a hands-on demo and collateral, to help their customers research and make decisions. The LEaD program shows how software-defined storage can help get more life out of existing storage systems, deliver cost-effective and risk-free data migration, and enable custom workloads like high-priority Docker apps, whether deployed as a turnkey hyperconverged appliance or on commodity hardware for a distributed, enterprise-class storage platform.
“We know our channel partners want to start selling right away and our new LEaD Program provides the tools they need to educate their customers about how software-defined storage can help them,” said Nigel Miller, Vice President of Business Development for ioFABRIC. “We have created an online environment where our partners can engage customers, showing them how Vicinity handles the most common challenges in their environments. We have made it painless for our partners to start selling with us because we have everything they need to fulfill demand today.”

“We were eager to join the ioFABRIC partner program and start selling the solutions to our customers. We think the LEaD program is an innovative lead generation campaign that matches the way people research and make buying decisions today. We believe it will help us reach more prospective customers,” said Frank Kuschmierz, CEO of Xenium IT Corp. Xenium is a premium provider of IT services focusing on setup and support of networking infrastructure including storage systems. 

“LEaD gives me what I have been looking for. It’s the first time a vendor has provided the exact sales tools I need to get started out of the gate,” said Kuschmierz. “This is setting a new standard for software vendors. All I have to do is take a customer through the LEaD program and they will see and understand how Vicinity works. ioFABRIC has set up a series of demos and software downloads that won’t waste a customer’s time. I see real benefit in this.”

“We know IT experts do their own research and often have their buy decisions made before they contact a vendor. LEaD is providing educational tools to these experts, providing information to help with making that decision,” said Miller. 

The LEaD Program consists of three stages:
Learn: An innovative portal for customers to educate themselves on the storage challenges facing IT today and how software-defined storage innovation is opening up new ways to compete and grow. Customers will also see the key benefits of ioFABRIC Vicinity. They can view a product demo video and access introductory information on ioFABRIC Vicinity and the software-defined storage industry. 
Explore: Once a potential customer is ready to learn more they move onto Explore where they can contact us for a live demo of Vicinity, access more detailed collateral, and download a multi-node trial version. Customers will see how Vicinity intelligently moves data closer to the workload, and they can set up volumes with policies while adding devices and experiencing the ease of data migration.
Deploy: The final stage of LEaD is Deploy. Customers can use Vicinity in a real-world environment. Deploy ensures that users are comfortable with how the software works in their environment allowing them to see true network latency and how Vicinity handles challenges such as device failures. 
To get start started with the LEaD Program, visit www.ioFABRIC.com/Learn

About ioFABRIC
ioFABRIC Inc. is a software-defined storage company that increases business agility while reducing storage costs. Its vision is to transform storage into something a business can simply depend on, eliminating admin demands and freeing time to focus on true business innovation. Its flagship product, ioFABRIC Vicinity, drastically reduces storage OPEX and CAPEX with intelligent automation and growth through commodity hardware and the cloud. Vicinity is available to extend existing storage systems, solve migration problems, and deploy as distributed storage, hyperconverged, or Docker solutions. Vicinity is sold through ioFABRIC’s reseller and distribution channel and supported by its industry leading LEaD program. Partners sell Vicinity as licensed software with support or by white-labeling it with additional hardware and/or software. Founded in 2013 by an executive team that has worked together for more than 20 years, ioFABRIC is funded by private investors and Real Ventures. ioFABRIC is an industry leader in customer service and product development: agile and responsive. For more information visit www.ioFABRIC.com/Learn.
NIAP validates switches meet protection profile for desktop security, add to Approved Products List

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the world’s leading provider of critical infrastructure for information and communications systems, today announced their newest line of secure Keyboard, Video, Mouse (KVM) and Keyboard, Mouse (KM) switches gained National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) approval and was added to the NIAP Approved Products list.

Emerson recently worked with NIAP to update its protection profile for peripheral sharing switches. In April, 2015, Emerson was the first to release a line of new secure KVM and KM switches designed to meet the new protection profile. In May, 2015 these products were submitted to NIAP for validation.

“The validation from NIAP provides confirmation to our customers that their desktop systems can be safe from most modern forms of attacks with our secure KVM and KM switches,” said Jay Wirts, vice president and general manager of core products for Emerson Network Power.

The new line of products includes the new CybexSC family of secure desktop KVM and all-new KM switches — the most fully featured KVM and KM switches on the market today approved by NIAP. These switches enable easy, secure access to up to four systems through discrete processing paths, preventing data leakage, transfer or crosstalk between adjacent ports. Available in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, these switches are part of an ongoing launch of new and enhanced solutions that deliver best-in-class security capabilities for government, multimedia, broadcast, financial and IT operation center environments.

This approval by NIAP demonstrates Emerson’s leadership position on issues concerning network security from desktop to data center, and the heightened awareness within the industry of the vulnerabilities in today’s hyper-connected world. As security threats escalate, organizations increasingly separate sensitive information onto multiple networks. In these high-security environments, the Emerson portfolio of IT management solutions helps organizations streamline access to critical information and increase productivity.

To learn more about Emerson Network Power’s hardware and software solutions, 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.