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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 2-8

During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 2 to 8, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are calling on individuals across the country to Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step by preparing for severe weather and encouraging others to do the same.

Just one tornado can cause catastrophic damage. Last year, the EF 5 tornado that struck Moore, Okla., on May 20 killed 24 people and caused more than $2 billion in damage. In 2013, a total of 903 tornadoes were reported in the United States. Those tornadoes occurred in 43 states on 152 days, resulting in 55 fatalities and more than 500 injuries.

As more people move to tornado-prone areas, knowing what to do when severe weather strikes could save lives.

“With the devastation of last year’s tornadoes fresh in our minds and springtime almost here, I urge individuals to become weather-ready now,” said NOAA National Weather Service Director Dr. Louis Uccellini. “Make sure you have multiple ways to access forecasts and warnings from NOAA’s National Weather Service before severe weather strikes.”

“Being ready today can make a big difference for you when disaster strikes,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “It only takes a few minutes.  Talk with your family and agree to a family plan. Learn easy steps on how to prepare at Ready.gov and find out how your community can take action in America’s PrepareAthon through drills, group discussions and community exercises.”

Our severe weather safety message is simple: know your risk, take action, be an example.

• Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Sign up for weather alerts and check the weather forecast regularly.

• Take Action: Make sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather. Your family may not be together when a storm strikes, so plan how you will contact one another by developing your family communication plan. Make sure you put together an emergency kit and store important papers and valuables in a safe place. Visit Ready.gov/severe-weather to learn more about how to be better prepared and how you can protect your family when severe weather strikes.

• Be an Example: Once you have taken action, tell family, friends, and co-workers to do the same. Share the resources and alert systems you discovered through your social media network. Technology today makes it easier than ever to be a good example and share the steps you took to become weather-ready. Share these new videos to help your friends and families to prepare.

• Get Weather Ready: Before a Tornado - http://youtu.be/uE66ganofF0

• Get Weather Ready: During a Tornado - http://youtu.be/_5TiTfuvotc

• Get Weather Ready: After a Tornado - http://youtu.be/UQ94ESZulA8

NOAA and FEMA’s involvement in the innovative Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) project, a new text-like message system, is part of a national effort to increase emergency preparedness and build a Weather-Ready Nation. Last year millions of individuals across the country received WEAs with life-saving weather warnings via their cell phone. These geographically targeted emergency alerts have allowed people to receive weather warnings they would not have otherwise received, and many people took life-saving action. For more information, visit www.ready.gov/alerts.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. http://www.ready.gov/

With data from 15,000 customers and over 100 insurance executives, consulting firmCapgemini and Efma found that enhancing customer experiences directly impacted insurers’ profitability. “Given the increasing demand of internet and mobile channels in insurance, digital transformation is an effective approach to create positive experiences, secure customer loyalty, and ultimately improve insurers’ profitability,” the report states.

While many insurers say they are working to improve the user experience, ratings have only increased by about 2% worldwide, with only 32% saying they had positive experiences with their provider. Further, nearly 70% of customers reported that they are considering switching carriers. Digital presence is increasingly important in making customers happy, according to the study. For example, while internet-mobile is the least likely channel to offer a good experience, it has the greatest impact when successful. Overall, as Capgemini and the MIT Center for Digital Business found in 2012, firms with a strong digital presence and customer focus are 26% more profitable.

In addition to the new report, Capgemini released the following infographic with their findings:

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/digital-presence-may-improve-critical-customer-satisfaction-for-insurers/

 

Picture of a pharmacy counter taken from one of the aislesBy Katherine Seib, MSPH

The last time you were in a pharmacy did you notice advertisements for the flu vaccine? Signs like these will become more common as pharmacists take on an important role in administering vaccines to the general public. Have you also noticed how pharmacies seem to be everywhere? The ubiquity of pharmacies plus their extended hours of operation and streamlined access to preventative treatments makes them perfect for helping respond to emergencies, by distributing vaccines, medications, or protective masks. It’s encouraging to know that pharmacists in all 50 states can now administer vaccines and many are involved in emergency response training.

Research Supports the Role of Pharmacists

The Immunization Systems Project of the Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research CenterExternal Web Site Icon (PERCC) conducts research to determine how immunization systems could combat public health emergencies such as vaccine shortages or pandemic flu. Some of our recent findings highlight the importance of incorporating pharmacies into emergency planning as a valuable resource for reaching the public with important health measures.

During our research we explored differences in providers’ experiences administering vaccines during the H1N1 pandemic. We surveyed vaccine providers (e.g., pediatricians, obstetricians, hospital providers, pharmacists) in Washington State to examine topics such as vaccine administration, participation in preparedness activities and communication with public health agencies.

Based on our resultsExternal Web Site Icon, pharmacists:

  • Saw more patients on a daily basis than any other vaccine provider group
  • Reported lower coverage rates of their staff receiving seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines

Compared with other providers, pharmacists were:

  • Less likely to rely on local health departments for information about emergencies
  • Less likely to have participated in emergency training or response activities in the past
  • More inclined to rely on federal sources, corporate headquarters and professional organizations for information about public health emergencies
  • Willing to work with health departments in future vaccine-related public health emergencies

Our researchExternal Web Site Icon suggests that, given the broad reach of pharmacists and their high patient volume, pharmacists could become key first responders to improve the capability and reach of emergency response in the future. Encouraging pharmacists’ participation in emergency preparedness training as well as building connections between health departments and public health agencies are ways that can strengthen emergency response.  Public health entities are actively taking steps to add pharmacies into the pool of emergency responders. Doing so leverages the extensive community reach of pharmacists and the high level of trust people feel towards them.

Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers are funded by CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. To find more information about PERRC programs across the U.S. visit http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/science/erp_PERRCs.htm.

CIO — Anthony Bradley spends his days preparing for the worst-case scenarios that could occur on one of the seven campuses of Miami Dade College. Most of the school's 164,000 students -- and a large majority of its more than 3,000 employees -- spend their days thinking about anything but that.

As director of emergency preparedness, Bradley has conducted vulnerability assessments to determine the likelihood of various crisis situations and created detailed response plans for everything from fires and hurricanes to bomb threats and active shooters. Keeping students, faculty and staff informed of potential emergencies and disasters that they might encounter and what to do when they occur is a key ingredient of the program.

In the past, that would be accomplished through handouts, pocket brochures, and in-person briefings. But "handouts and brochures wind up in the trash or at home in a drawer," says Anthony, "and people forget the briefings over time."

But what they almost always carry with them is a smartphone or tablet.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/748963/Mobile_Emergency_Response_App_Keeps_College_Ready_for_Crisis

CIO — The obsolescence of enterprise security was at the core of McAfee's talk this week at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. The Target breach clearly showcased that you simply can't secure a company by trying to prevent unauthorized access, malware or any other internal or external security breach.

You have to step back and recognize that someone is going to break in and you must therefore focus on catching them before they can do any damage. This is a very different approach to security, and the lessons apply to both home and business and both electronic and physical security approaches. As an older woman who lives near me discovered this week when armed men pushed into her house and stole her safe, a perimeter approach to security is no longer adequate.

McAfee's presentation was so compelling it actually held my wife's interest because she could see how the lessons learned could be applied more broadly to personal defense.

McAfee argued it is in a war-like arms race, and its lead offering, which I spoke about last week (Threat Intelligence Exchange), is only the start of the first battle.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/748966/Everything_You_Know_About_Enterprise_Security_Is_Wrong

For a variety of reasons, backup and recovery over the years has not only become more complex, it’s become a lot more expensive. With the addition of multiple types of new platforms across the enterprise, backup and recovery offerings for each platform have proliferated.

Acronis wants to simplify backup and recovery with the release this week of backup and recovery software based on what the company dubs AnyData technologythat not only supports any platform, but also includes universal restore, de-duplication, and application support as part of the base offering. As an extension of that capability, Acronis this week also announced Acronis Backup-as-a-Service, a cloud-based backup and recovery service based on the company’s AnyData technology that the company’s partners can deliver via a variety of cloud service providers that Acronis has partnered with to create the service.

New high-sulfur fuel capability enables OEMs and operators to utilize leading-edge MTU engine technology in markets where ultra-low sulfur fuel is not available

NOVI, Mich., March 3, 2014 – As part of its continuous effort to provide the most advanced off-highway diesel engine technology to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and customers around the world, Rolls-Royce Power Systems has announced a new high-sulfur fuel capability for its family of MTU industrial engines.

MTU’s new Sulfur Tolerance Solution will be available in mid-2014 for Tier 4 interim MTU Series 900, 500 and 460 engines, followed by MTU’s complete lineup of Tier 4-final certified Series 1000 – 1500 engines in the future. This new solution will enable OEMs to utilize the latest MTU engine technology in countries where ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel is not available, and will also protect MTU engines from harmful effects of high sulfur fuel.

“The MTU Sulfur Tolerance Solution is designed to provide more than just our proven reliability and durability to OEMs and equipment operators,” said Bernd Krueper, vice-president of global industrial sales, MTU Friedrichshafen. “This new capability will also simplify design, ordering and installation processes for OEMs and repower customers around the world.”

 

About MTU America Inc.

MTU America Inc. based in Novi, Michigan, is the American regional headquarters of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG. It is responsible for the manufacture, development, sales and service of MTU and MTU Onsite Energy branded products in North and Latin America. Production facilities are located in Aiken, South Carolina and Mankato, Minnesota.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, based in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is a world-leading provider of high- and medium-speed diesel and gas engines, drive systems, distributed energy systems and fuel injection systems for the most demanding requirements. The product portfolio includes MTU-branded high-speed engines and drive systems for ships, heavy land, rail and defense vehicles and for the oil and gas industry. Under the MTU Onsite Energy brand, the company sells diesel and gas-based power system solutions: from mission-critical to standby power to continuous power, heating and cooling. The Norwegian subsidiary Bergen Engines AS manufactures medium-speed engines for ships and power plants. L'Orange completes the portfolio with injection systems for large engines.

Rolls-Royce plc and Daimler AG each has a 50 percent shareholding in the company via a joint venture–Rolls-Royce Power Systems Holding GmbH. The company, which employs over 10,000 people, has been fully consolidated in the results of Rolls-Royce plc since January 2013. www.mtu-online.com

Enhanced transformation technology creates VMware vCenter integration hub for hybrid networking management; expands capabilities of data protection policy engine

 

Santa Clara, Calif. – HotLink® Corporation, the market leader in transformation solutions for hybrid virtualization management, today announced the addition of HotLink CIMple™ software-defined networking (SDN) to its HotLink DR Express™ technology. CIMple SDN enables easier testing, greater automation and faster operational recovery in Amazon Web Services (AWS) following a failure in on-premise VMware data centers. Additionally, the new HotLink DR Express features enhanced backup retention and scheduling policies, as well as support for VMware vCenter and vSphere 5.5.

The award-winning HotLink DR Express is the only solution to enable low-cost, comprehensive VMware data protection by leveraging AWS for backup, replication, disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC), using VMware vCenter as the single point of administration and management. Within minutes of a failure, VMware virtual machines (VMs) can be transformed and fully operational in Amazon EC2, with AWS workloads managed side-by-side with on-premise vSphere VMs inside VMware vCenter.   

The new release extends VMware vCenter capabilities to include hybrid SDN, so on- and off-premise networking can be seamlessly and holistically managed and pre-configured with VMware vCenter as the integration hub. By automatically discovering, transforming and mirroring on-premise network configurations in AWS, the new HotLink DR Express removes the complexity and labor-intensive nature of managing hybrid DR networking, maintains networking consistency across application tiers in a recovery, and enables easy DR testing without disturbing production operations. The most important benefit is that with pre-configured, automated network provisioning in AWS, VMware workloads can be accurately and automatically restored in Amazon EC2 in minutes, so operations are minimally disrupted following an on-premise failure.  

“Businesses are accelerating their public cloud spending, with data backup and disaster recovery being some of the top IaaS usage scenarios. By enabling VMware shops to leverage Amazon Web Services for business continuity, HotLink is filling in the missing link (integrated management) that really makes BC/DR achievable – from a technical and a financial perspective. HotLink’s solution appears to be as elegant as it is powerful, which makes it a solution worth investigating as part of modernizing your data protection strategy,” said Jason Buffington, senior analyst for data protection at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Many CIOs and IT managers live in a continuous state of fear that their infrastructure will fail because the process of testing backup and business continuity plans is time consuming, resource intensive and rarely done effectively. When a failure occurs – whether it is hardware failure, software bug or security breach – it can take days or weeks for IT to reconfigure the infrastructure and restore normal operations from backup. HotLink DR Express democratizes DR/BC and makes it affordable for every VMware workload by leveraging AWS as the VMware mirror site. 

“Disaster recovery and business continuity are essential for our business, but the cost of a secondary data center using a colocation provider was prohibitive,” said Scott McGillivray, VP director of Information Technology at Seattle Bank. “HotLink DR Express lets us benefit from the attractive economics of Amazon to ensure that our VMware operations continue uninterrupted, and at only a fraction of the infrastructure and personnel cost of industry alternatives.”

Features of the new HotLink DR Express include:

  • HotLink CIMple SDN: Hybrid networks spanning VMware and AWS are intuitively administered and managed in VMware vCenter. Auto-discovery, AWS transformation, granular per-VM configurations and pre-configuration of test and production DR networks enable easy setup and testing ¾ with recovery in minutes in Amazon EC2.
  • Enhanced retention policies: HotLink DR Express offers configurable consolidation options for restore points, which enables faster recovery in a failure scenario, reduced storage requirements in AWS and assistance with compliance efforts regarding discovery policies.
  • Improved backup scheduling: Enhanced VM protection scheduling allows for off-cycle or non-recurring VM backups to accommodate events such as planned upgrades, security breaches or other periodic activity.
  • Support of VMware vCenter and vSphere 5.5: As companies evaluate and migrate from prior VMware versions, HotLink DR Express now readily supports the new VMware environments.

Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink, said, “Not only does HotLink make DR/BC accessible to cost-sensitive environments, we enable testing and implementing DR/BC plans to be as intuitive as day-to-day operations by seamlessly leveraging VMware vCenter management infrastructure. Our new release takes this ease-of-use even further by automating hybrid networking for the fastest possible recovery following any type of failure, whether it’s a large disaster or everyday hardware failure.”

Availability

The new version of HotLink DR Express is available on February 28 with subscription pricing at $300 per VM per year.

Supporting resources:

About HotLink Corporation

HotLink is on a mission to dramatically simplify IT management complexity with the first-ever transformation technology for heterogeneous and hybrid computing infrastructure. HotLink’s customers include organizations spanning technology, financial services, e-commerce, manufacturing, cloud service providers, education, telecommunications and more. HotLink’s advisory board includes visionary leaders from Facebook, E*TRADE, Equinix, AstraZenca, Electronic Arts, Clorox, Citrix and BMC. The company’s patented transformation technology has received many industry accolades, including: Winner of 2013 Best of VMworld awards in Public and Hybrid Cloud Computing, and Storage and Backup; 2012 VMworld Best of Show and Top Virtualization Management; Virtualization Review’s 2013 Best Cloud Application; Gartner Cool Vendor 2013 and Network World Companies to Watch 2013. HotLink is a privately held, venture capital-backed company based in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information, visit www.hotlink.com or connect with us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Annie Searle & Associates LLC (also known as ASA Risk Consultants) has just published Reflections on Risk II (ISBN 978-0-9839347-6-9) two years after the first volume was issued.

There are a total of 14 authors for the 26 research notes to be found in the new volume. The volume is edited by former ASA research associate Emily Oxenford, who organized the research into the following chapters: Critical Infrastructure, Privacy, Finance, Data Security, Building Resiliency in the IT Sector, and Policies and Governance.

Links to the book are available both on Searle’s Advice From A Risk Detective blog, and at amazon.com. The series is designed to be readable by senior executives as well as subject matter experts. “As they leave the university and become part of a new generation of practitioners, I expect [the authors] to begin to reshape public and private sector understandings of risk frameworks, ethics, policy, strategy and opportunity,” said Searle.

UW senior lecturer Mike Crandall says that the new volume provides “a glimpse into the minds that will be shaping our future” and “continue the tradition of bringing critical issues facing our society to the forefront through a careful combination of education, collaboration and inspiration.” Victoria Tozer-Pennington, editor of The Risk Universe magazine suggests that “the sheer range of current operational risk issues addressed in this book makes it required reading for all risk managers.” The authors of the Reflections on Risk II volume are current members or alumni of the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) program at the University of Washington Information School, where Searle is an affiliate faculty member: Daniel Arnaudo, Swati Chaturvedi, Andrew Hansen, Delbert Hazeley, Abbas Khambati, Ilya Krivulin, Devin Luco, Jess Mauer, Suzann Parker, Chitra Raman, Rashmi Shekhar, Rajesh Subramanian, Travis J. Warren, and Divya Yadav.

The first volume in the Reflections on Risk series was published in 2012 and includes 21 research notes. In addition to these two volumes from Tautegory Press, Searle has published both a first and second edition of Advice From A Risk Detective. More about the three publications can be found in the “Books” section of as well as on the www.advicefromariskdetective.com blog.

New Liebert® CRV Model Provides All the Cooling Capacity in Half the Space

COLUMBUS, Ohio  – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, today introduced the Liebert® CRV row-based cooling system in a smaller, 12-inch (300mm) footprint. The new Liebert CRV delivers superior efficiency with industry leading capacity per square foot to support small data centers and network closet applications. The compact cooling unit is available now for applications in North America. 

The new Liebert CRV model is an air-cooled, direct expansion (DX) unit with a nominal cooling capacity of 19.6 kW. It offers double the footprint capacity of the standard air-cooled row-based system, and fits seamlessly within a row of racks to deliver energy efficient, high capacity cooling close to the server heat source. The Liebert CRV contains a digital scroll compressor and variable speed fans, managed by Liebert iCOM technology, to deliver capacity-matched operation and enhanced efficiency. The digital scroll compressor features modulation to match changing cooling demand without cycling on and off, while reducing energy consumption. Five variable speed fans regulate airflow and reduce the fan input power based on the IT load, using up to 50 percent less power than centrifugal fans or two-stage fans that are typical in these applications.

“With the industry’s highest delivered row-based efficiency and most advanced control and performance, the Liebert CRV is an ideal solution for data center managers looking to reduce energy consumption and optimize operating conditions for IT equipment,” said John Schneider, vice president and general manager, thermal management, Emerson Network Power. “The new 300mm DX version of the Liebert CRV product line allows data centers to have a high capacity and high energy efficiency row-based cooling system in just half the footprint of a standard row-based system.”

The integrated Liebert iCOM control system adds intelligent control capabilities that allow the unit to adapt quickly to changing environmental conditions. It provides advanced control and monitoring capabilities that allow up to 32 cooling units to work together as a single system to precisely control temperature and humidity across a room while optimizing the efficiency of the entire cooling system. The system utilizes up to 20 rack sensors per unit to monitor conditions, including variations in temperature and humidity for up to 10 racks, and smoothly adjusts the cooling output to match the conditions.

Designed for hot-aisle/cold-aisle configuration, the Liebert CRV can be installed in data center or network environments with raised or non-raised floors. Two Liebert IntelliSlot communication card slots allow easy plug-in for multiple modes of communication and control. It is compatible with Emerson Network Power’s data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system, the Trellis platform, as well as the Liebert Nform and Liebert SiteScan monitoring and reporting systems.

For more information on the Liebert CRV cooling system, or other Liebert technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit www.Liebert.com.

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), delivers software, hardware and services that maximize availability, capacity and efficiency for data centers, healthcare and industrial facilities. A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands.  Our solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services 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 2013 were $24.7 billion.  For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.