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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau) — The market for external disk storage systems has recovered from a slump, with factory revenues up 2.4 percent to US$6.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to an IDC study.

Internal plus external disk storage systems produced $8.8 billion in revenue, up 1.3 percent from the last quarter of 2012 and jumping 17.2 percent from 2013's third quarter, which was seasonally slow.

IDC defines a disk storage system as a set of storage elements either inside or outside a server, including controllers, cables and (in some instances) host bus adapters, associated with three or more disks. It said total capacity of such systems shipped in the fourth quarter topped 10.2 exabytes (10.2 billion gigabytes), an increase of 26.2 percent from a year before.

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http://www.cio.com/article/749373/External_Disk_Storage_Market_Recovers_From_Slump

Remember last year, when we were all talking about the coming “data tsunami?” Heck, even CNBC wrote about it.

The data tsunami metaphor has always struck me as odd, particularly after 2011’s very real tsunami devastated parts of Japan. I gathered that it meant big, but it was hard to envision data creating tsunami-level chaos and destruction. I’m starting to rethink that.

Gartner recently came out with this rather startling statement that 33 percent of Fortune 100 organizations will face an information management crisis within the next three years. Think about that: A third of the top companies in the United Statesthese companies — so poorly manage information, they soon won’t be able to value, govern or even trust their own information.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/the-coming-data-doomsday.html

Although most would think that project management is bound by specific rules and technologies to get the job done, at least one person sees how creativity can bring about innovation and assist in overcoming obstacles that crop up while managing projects.

Author Ralph L. Kliem’s book Creative, Efficient, and Effective Project Management reveals the benefits to injecting creativity into the project management realm. The type of project management detailed in this book applies to creatively driven companies and other companies that rely on innovation and agility to achieve product success.

Kliem breaks the book into sections that include:

  • Benefits of Creativity
  • Opening Minds
  • Misperceptions about Creativity
  • Downsides of Creativity
  • What Is the Relationship between Creativity and Projects

In our IT Downloads section, you can read an excerpt from this book, Chapter 7, Creativity Life Cycle Models. In this chapter, Kliem discusses the various models that can be used alongside traditional project management techniques and tools to achieve a more effective method of management. According to the author:

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-tools/harness-creativity-to-break-through-project-management-challenges.html

IDG News Service (New York Bureau) — Organizations can now add machine-generated data to their palate of information sources that can be aggregated and analyzed, thanks to a new connector jointly developed by Tableau Software, a provider of business intelligence software, and Splunk, which sells a log-file search engine.

"You can do data mashups between marketing data from structured systems and machine data that comes from the actual interactions, and get insights on product analytics or customer experience," said Tapan Bhatt, Splunk vice president of business analytics.

Splunk Enterprise software gathers data from server and other device log files, which can hold copious amounts of information about what visitors do when they visit a Web page, or use a connected mobile application. Such data can be used to better understand how people are using these products, information that can aid in marketing efforts or to refine site design or operations.

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http://www.cio.com/article/749319/Tableau_Folds_Splunk_Data_Into_Business_Analysis

PC WorldCloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and SugarSync are convenient, efficient--and notoriously insecure. Files are rarely encrypted, data transfer is typically not protected, and companies are usually able to access your files (even if they state they won't, they may be legally compelled to do so).

Documents such as business plans or other sensitive files (say, a copy of your birth certificate) should be protected. You can utilize a special, ultra-secure provider such as Wuala or Tresorit, or you can encrypt files yourself before uploading them to larger storage services, such as Dropbox.

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http://www.cio.com/article/749317/Loaded_and_Locked_3_Seriously_Secure_Cloud_Storage_Services

Data doesn’t usually start flowing in one direction or another of its own accord; some action needs to be taken that enables that movement of data to occur.

With the immutable law of physics in mind, iboss Network Security has created a Secure Web Gateway that makes use of behavioral analytics to identify anomalies in the normal flow of data traffic in the enterprise that would signal that a particular system or application has been compromised.

Company CEO Paul Martini says that while trying to prevent all security breaches is next to impossible, limiting the amount of damage they cause needs to be a top IT priority. All too often, breaches are not discovered for months and yet, when they are discovered, it’s more than apparent that sensitive data was flowing between systems and applications in a way that was clearly abnormal.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/analytics-tool-from-iboss-identifies-abnormal-flows-of-data.html

Once an issue is discovered, it usually doesn’t take the average IT organization very long to resolve that particular problem. What can take forever, though, is actually discovering the real source of the problem.

Given all the interdependencies that exist between the components of an IT ecosystem, the root cause of particular issue is usually not immediately apparent. To help IT organizations discover the true source of an IT problem, Boundary has updated its IT operations monitoring software that is available as a service in the cloud.

Scott Fingerhut, vice president of marketing for Boundary, says the upgrades to the monitoring software not only help reduce the number of IT outages, but also can shorten the mean time to discovery of a core issue by identifying “patient zero” as the actual source of a problem.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-unmasked/boundary-extends-reach-of-it-operations-service-in-the-cloud.html

CSO — In today's network environments, malware that evades legacy defenses is pervasive, with communication and activity occurring up to once every three minutes. Unfortunately, most of this activity is inconsequential to the business. You would think that would be good news right? The problem is that incident responders have no good way of distinguishing inconsequential malware from (potentially) highly damaging malware. As a result, they spend way too much time and resources chasing red herrings while truly malicious activity slips past.

Add into the mix sleepless nights that result from compulsive viewing of malware alert dashboards showing hundreds to thousands of malicious activity alerts. With a daunting list of malware to analyze and only so many hours in the day, its no huge surprise headline making breaches are increasingly becoming the norm.

The reality is that advanced malware defense is a complex undertaking, one that requires not only the ability to detect malware -- which in complex network environments is already difficult -- but also to prioritize action where it will have the best security outcome. Reducing the lifecycle of an active attack by even a few days can reduce the economic impact of an attack by millions.

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http://www.cio.com/article/749364/5_Things_to_Know_About_Malware_Before_Driving_it_Out

Today is the anniversary of the most historic day of many in the history of the great state of Texas, the date of the fall of the Alamo. While March 2, Texas Independence Day, when Texas declared its independence from Mexico and April 21, San Jacinto Day, when Texas won its independence from Mexico, probably both have more long-lasting significance, if it is one word that Texas is known for around the world, it is the Alamo. The Alamo was a crumbling Catholic mission in San Antonio where 189 men, held out for 13 days from the Mexican Army of General Santa Anna, which numbered approximately 1,800. But on this date in 1836, Santa Anna unleashed his forces, which over-ran the mission and killed all the fighting men. Those who did not die in the attack were executed and all the deceased bodies were unceremoniously burned. Proving he was not without chivalry, Santa Anna spared the lives of the Alamo’s women, children and their slaves. But for Texans across the globe, this is our day to Remember the Alamo.

While Thermopylae will always go down as the greatest ‘Last Stand’ battle in history, the Alamo is right up there in contention for Number 2. Like all such battles sometimes the myth becomes the legend and the legend becomes the reality. In Thermopylae, the myth is that 300 Spartans stood against the entire 10,000 man Persian Army. However there was also a force of 700 Thespians (not actors; but citizens from the City-State of Thespi) and a contingent of 400 Thebans who fought and died alongside the 300 Spartans. Somehow, their sacrifice has been lost to history.

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http://tfoxlaw.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/remember-the-alamo-analogy-for-compliance-officers/

Not everybody chooses the cloud as the first option for backing up data. Despite the advantages of practically limitless storage area, pay-as-you-go pricing and resilience, a weak point for the cloud is the network speed for uploading or downloading all those gigabytes (terabytes, petabytes…). The alternative for organisations is to put their own solution in place, something that will let them blast large amounts of data backwards and forwards at high speed. In the old days of IT, an IT team would have been tasked with assembling the requisite components and tweaking them to make them work properly together. But now IT vendors have spotted the need and produced the PBBA, a solution whose popularity is growing steadily.

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http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/the-purpose-built-backup-appliance-comes-of-age/