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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

CIO — Operational intelligence specialist Splunk and visual analytics specialist Tableau Software announced a strategic alliance today that focuses on unlocking machine data for business users.

The joint technology investment is designed to leverage Splunk's recently released open database connectivity (ODBC) driver to make Splunk Enterprise available as a native data source in the latest version of Tableau's software.

"This integration is exciting for several reasons," says Ted Wasserman, product management at Tableau. "First, Splunk is one of those technologies that has truly disrupted the operational intelligence space and has provided IT professionals with incredible productivity gains and insights into their IT environments. Second, there is a wealth of potential value lying in the machine data that Splunk collects. This machine data could include server and application logs, as well as data from APIs and message queues, change events and sensor data from remote equipment. The integration now makes this new class of data available to business users in true Table drag-and-drop fashion."

...

http://www.cio.com/article/749218/Splunk_and_Tableau_Join_Forces_to_Give_Machine_Data_to_Business_Users

Computerworld — That someone had to take the fall for the massive breach at Target is neither surprising nor unexpected. The only question is whether more heads will roll in the aftermath of one the biggest data compromises in retail history.

Target on Wednesday announced that Beth Jacob, its CIO of more than five years, had resigned. The move comes less than two months after the retail giant disclosed it had suffered a data breach that exposed sensitive data on more than 40 million credit and debit cards.

Later, the company announced that emails, addresses and other information on another 70 million people might also have been exposed as the result of the intrusion, which occurred over the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company is searching for an interim CIO to help it through an information security overhaul that began after the breach.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/749279/CIO_Not_the_Only_One_to_Blame_for_Target_Breach

WASHINGTON, D.C— The U.S. Congress should mandate that banks, retailers and payment card processors adopt new security standards to protect against widespread data breaches, some lawmakers said Wednesday.

In the wake of several high-profile retail data breaches, some members of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee called for new cybersecurity mandates, with Representative David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asking if Congress should require the U.S. financial industry to adopt new card security measures used in other countries.

The U.S. payments and financial system makes "things easy for fraudsters" by relying on magnetic-strip credit and debit cards instead of moving to EMV cards that contain integrated computer chips and require customers to enter PINs at the point of purchase, Scott said.

...

http://www.cio.com/article/749258/U.S._Lawmakers_Call_for_Data_Protection_Standards_to_Avoid_Breaches

Dot Hill AssuredSAN is Ideally Suited for High Performance Digital Asset Management With Disaster Recovery and Replication

LONGMONT, Colo. -- Dot Hill Systems Corp.(Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise class storage systems, today announced that leading advertising firm Deutsch Inc. is leveraging Dot Hill AssuredSAN™ storage arrays as part of a digital asset management system with coast-to-coast data replication, supporting disaster recovery and business continuity while preserving network performance vital to ongoing creative work and administration.

Deutsch is renowned in the advertising industry for its award-winning and results-oriented campaigns for blue-chip clients such as: Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen, Taco Bell, Microsoft, Netflix and PNC Bank. In 2014 Deutsch was named one of the world's top 10 most innovative companies in advertising by Fast Company and to the "A-List" of Stand Out Agencies by Advertising Age. With offices in Los Angeles and New York, Deutsch specializes in digital, design, media planning and buying, direct, search, PR, communications planning, eCRM, experiential and data analytics.

Today's advertising pros are akin to data scientists, compiling data to construct a sophisticated understanding of customer demographics and behavioral characteristics to anchor their creative efforts. As such, they need proven storage solutions to manage and preserve digital assets and data, particularly as the advertising epicenters of New York City and Los Angeles lay subject to manmade and natural disasters.

"When we attempted to use a competing storage solution, we experienced a tremendous performance hit when we tried to replicate our data from site to site that was completely unacceptable," said Tripp McCune, executive vice president and chief information officer, Deutsch Inc. "We are really impressed that the Dot Hill AssuredSAN solution is able to accommodate our data replication and deliver the performance and support needed at a price point that's very affordable."

By leveraging two AssuredSAN arrays, JBODs and Dot Hill's AssuredRemote™ replication software, Deutsch now has an affordable disaster recovery solution in place for bi-directional site-to-site replication, offering a total of 240 terabytes of storage. The AssuredSAN 3920 features both 8Gb Fibre Channel and 1Gb iSCSI in one hybrid array; this enables Deutsch to leverage the benefits of Fibre Channel for local data management and iSCSI for cost-effective, long-distance replication. Dot Hill AssuredSnap™ instantly takes volume snapshots, creating point-in-time backups that can be used to instantly restore data in the event of a system failure. Dot Hill AssuredCopy™ protects against disk failures. The solution was introduced to Deutsch by NAPC, a reseller that fully understands the complexities and workflow of creative environments.

Despite the challenge of low-bandwidth links, which are a common occurrence in SMB data centers, the AssuredSAN 3920's efficient block-level replication is providing Deutsch with the data protection and network performance it needs. The solution enables approximately 300 GB/day of block changes to be captured via snapshots and sent overnight, with only minimal performance degradation during the work day.

"We're really pleased to be working with Deutsch, one of the most respected and successful advertising agencies in the country,” said Jim Jonez, senior director of marketing, Dot Hill. "Data and creative assets are the lifeblood of the advertising industry and firms can ill afford to operate without the requisite data protection or compromise their day-to-day network performance. Our Assured SAN 3920, equipped with AssuredRemote remote replication software, provides the easiest array-to-array remote replication solution on the market today. Now Deutsch has disaster recovery protection and business continuity, yet won't be impeded in day-to-day operations focused on delivering the 'wow factor' to clients."

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 atwww.dothill.com.

March 6, 2014

PreparedEx Launches

Providing Simulated Crisis Exercises to Help Organizations Prepare for and Manage Crises 
 

Middletown, RI: March 4, 2014 - Robert A. Burton, a recognized expert in crisis preparedness and crisis management, today announced the launch of PreparedEx, LLC, a crisis, emergency and security management company. 

 

PreparedEx features simulated crisis exercises that test, assess and improve organizations' abilities to manage crises. Formerly known as Blue Water Partners Global, PreparedEx has re-branded to reflect its wider array of services developed in response to client feedback.
 

"Preparedness can only truly be measured through realistic exercises," Burton, principal of PreparedEx, said. "Our goal in PreparedEx is to create simulations that are so convincing that they really test an organization's crisis plan and crisis response team. Then, our crisis experts can help assess the organization's plan and its response team's performance, and we recommend ways to improve both."

 

Both natural and human-made crises can strike any type of organization, and being fully prepared is a fundamental obligation regardless of whether the organization is a corporation or a not-for-profit, a government organization or an educational institution. Every organization's reputation, its ability to function, and its very existence can be at grave risk from a poorly managed crisis.

 

The PreparedEx team members, who developed their skills and gained first-hand crisis leadership experience from successful careers in the military, public safety and crisis communication fields, design and deliver a full array of simulation exercises through PreparedEx's proprietary software platform. Exercises include , ,  and . PreparedEx also provides a number of related additional professional services and solutions. 

 

Robert Burton, Principal at PreparedEx, has worked for the US State Department's Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program and has been a crisis management consultant in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he negotiated with the UN and Pashtun tribal warlords. He served with the United Kingdom Special Forces where he operated internationally under hazardous covert and confidential conditions. He was also part of a disciplined and prestigious unit, The Grenadier Guards, where he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Palaces in London. A highly trained and experienced infantryman serving in Desert Storm and commanding covert operational teams, Rob has a Queen's Commendation for Bravery. Rob has keynoted disaster recovery conferences and participated in live debates on FOX News regarding complex security requirements and terrorism. 

 

For more information on PreparedEx, LLC, please visit www.PreparedEx.com

STORServer’s Enterprise Backup Appliance 2202 receives No. 1 ranking with additional STORServer appliances taking seven of top 10 positions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.STORServer®, a leading provider of proven data backup solutions, today announces that the STORServer Enterprise Backup Appliance (EBA) 2202 has received the only “Best in Class” designation in analyst firm DCIG’s 2014-15 Integrated Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide.

Out of 72 integrated backup appliances evaluated, STORServer’s EBA 2202, powered by CommVault (EBA 2202-CV) achieved the highest ranking in the Buyer’s Guide for demonstrating impressive scalability, exceeding 1.4 petabytes of disk storage with additional tape storage if needed, and placing near the top in all four categories in the Guide: hardware, management, software and support.

“Together, CommVault and STORServer combine to deliver an even better backup appliance experience than what either of these providers could previously do on their own,” said Jerome Wendt, president and lead analyst for DCIG. “In STORServer, CommVault gets a company that offers backup appliances built for the enterprise as its software will now run on hardened IBM hardware that is tested and ready for deployment in these environments. In STORServer’s case, it gets enterprise, best-in-class software that is built for the specific data management and protection requirements of today’s enterprises.”

The EBA 2202-CV scored particularly well in the Management and Software categories with its Hardware score exceeded only by the EBA 3202, powered by IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (EBA 3202-TSM).

“Not only are we providing best-in-breed hardware, but we’re also now hosting the best software engines in the data backup space—CommVault and TSM,” said Bill Smoldt, president and CEO of STORServer.

“We’ve made vast enhancements in our TSM appliance since the previous survey with refreshed hardware and the superb new features in TSM 7. By adding CommVault Simpana to our powerful IBM hardware platform, we cover the entire appliance marketplace. We’re thrilled that DCIG recognizes the industry impact of the STORServer Backup Appliance, powered by CommVault Simpana and IBM TSM.”

In addition to the EBA 2202-CV receiving the “Best in Class” designation, the following STORServer models were all ranked in the Buyer’s Guide top 10: EBA 1202-CV, EBA 3202-TSM, EBA 801-CV, EBA 2202-TSM, EBA 1202-TSM and EBA 802-TSM.

STORServer offers a data recovery guarantee ensuring that customers will not only get their data back in the event of a loss, but the data will be useable once it is recovered. In addition, the company provides every customer the opportunity to try out a backup appliance risk-free with its 30-day money back guarantee.

For more information on STORServer’s line of data backup solutions, visithttp://www.storserver.com. To download the full DCIG 2014 Integrated Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide, visithttp://backupapplianceguide.com.

 

About STORServer®
STORServer, Inc. is a leading provider of data backup solutions. The company offers a complete suite of appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery issues once and for all, while reducing install and management time to just minutes a day. STORServer sells exclusively through a nationwide network of industry-leading backup partners. For press inquiries, contact Megan Custodio at (317) 202-2280 x13 ormegan@dittoepr.com. For more information, visitwww.storserver.com.

About DCIG
Founded in 2006, DCIG focuses on archive, backup, retrieval and storage systems. The firm analyzes software, hardware and services companies within the storage and electronically stored information (ESI) industries. It provides unbiased and informed evaluations on sponsoring and non-sponsoring companies to consumers, public relations firms, business analysts and other companies, as well as writing technology white papers, business solution briefs and market analysis reports.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. Amerimar Enterprises and Abrams Capital  announce the acquisition of 401 North Broad Street, a 1.3 million square foot fiber-rich building located in Philadelphia, PA.  Amerimar Enterprises and Abrams Capital are partnering with telecom industry veteran Hunter Newby to own and operate the Property. Debt financing was provided by Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD).   Ropes & Gray LLP, with a team led by partner Walter R. McCabe III, represented Amerimar and Abrams Capital on the acquisition.

“Over the past 30 years, 401 North Broad was strategically repositioned to become the preeminent telecom carrier hotel in the Philadelphia region under the stewardship of The Stillman Group. Amerimar looks forward to continuing with the repositioning of the property through our $70 million capital improvement program," states Jerry Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of Amerimar. "401 North Broad, with over 80 networks, is a logical addition to our portfolio of carrier hotels; and we are very excited to partner with Hunter Newby on yet another telecom property.” 

”We are delighted to enter the carrier hotel business with Amerimar and Hunter Newby and look forward to working with the City of Philadelphia to revitalize this historic property,” adds Travis Rhodes of Abrams Capital.

The 11-story, 1,300,000-square-foot property was originally developed in 1931. The property has since been redeveloped into the most fiber-dense, network-neutral facility between New York and Virginia. The building serves as a major hub for data and Internet traffic and provides data center infrastructure for carriers, service providers, and enterprise customers to interconnect with one another reliably and cost effectively.  The building’s location is of particular interest to telecom businesses, as it is a gateway to long haul fiber in the region, and offers direct access to fiber routes to Europe.  The building also provides highly reliable data center operations with its robust floor loads, power and HVAC infrastructure.

"401 North Broad Street is an extraordinary carrier hotel,” continues Newby.  “Not only is it a major junction point for the north-south domestic fiber routes on the east coast, but it is also home to several transatlantic submarine cable systems, making it a renowned international gateway." 

"We're very proud of what we've accomplished at 401 North Broad over the years, turning a somewhat bedraggled and relatively empty, but historically significant, building into this extraordinary asset. I am truly delighted to have passed it on to Jerry Marshall and his partners and team, who collectively will, I'm sure, take this property to the next level. They are very worthy and honorable successors, and we know they will meet with the great success they deserve," states Mr. Abbott Stillman, Chairman of The Stillman Group.

 

About Amerimar Enterprises, Inc.:

Amerimar Enterprises, Inc. is a real estate development, investment and management firm with offices in Philadelphia and New York. Amerimar is a recognized leader in the renovation and repositioning of office, hotel, retail, multi-family, mixed-use, and telecom properties throughout the US and UK.  Since 1993, Amerimar has acquired over 50 properties totaling approximately 10.7 million square feet of office/telecom, 870,000 square feet of retail, 3,200 hotel rooms and 2,600 residential units. 23 of those projects were either new development or substantial renovations.  For more information on Amerimar, please visit www.amerimar.com.  

About Abrams Capital Management, L.P.:

Abrams Capital is a Boston-based investment firm founded in 1999. The firm’s investment strategy is opportunist and follows a fundamental, value-oriented approach in making long-term investments across a wide spectrum of investment types, investment strategies, market cycles and industries.

About Hunter Newby:

Hunter Newby is a communications network business and real estate investor and developer with a highly-successful track record of creating value. He is recognized globally as a thought leader in the industry. Mr. Newby has held a senior role in over $600 Million of transactions, served on several Advisory Boards, is a published author, public speaker and the recipient of numerous awards including Global Telecoms Business’ “Top 40 Under 40” in 2010. For more information, please visit www.hunternewby.com.   

About Starwood Property Trust

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. is focused on originating, investing in, financing and managing commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities ("CMBS"), and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The Company through its 2013 acquisition of LNR now also operates as a special servicer in the United States and as a primary and special servicer in Europe and has expanded its product offering to include fixed rate conduit loans. Starwood Property Trust, Inc. also invests in residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS"), residential real estate owned and non-performing residential loans, and may invest in non-performing commercial loans, commercial properties subject to net leases and performing residential mortgage loans. The Company is externally managed and advised by SPT Management, LLC, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, and has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

DENVER, Colo.Peak® (formerly PeakColo), an enterprise-class IaaS Cloud provider for channel partners, announces today that it has achieved the Cisco® Cloud and Managed Services Advanced Certification (CMSP) for IaaS providers, allowing Peak and its partners to sell cloud based solutions based on Cisco hardware, services and support. This certification recognizes Peak as having the capabilities to sell and deliver cloud and managed services that help accelerate time to market and time to revenue.

“Peak is the first channel-only cloud service provider to pass the Advanced CMSP certification in the Infrastructure as a Service category, opening up an additional platform that our resellers and distributors may offer to their clients,” comments Luke Norris, CEO and Founder of Peak. “Now that Peak is Cisco-powered, Cisco VARs may easily re-sell, white label or become an agent and incorporate Peak’s secure cloud, into their current managed services portfolio.”

Comstor, the Cisco-dedicated business unit of Westcon, selected Peak for its Cisco-powered enterprise-class cloud offering. “Earning the Cisco-Powered designation for IaaS providers makes Peak’s cloud ideal for our product portfolio,” says Matt Karst, Comstor Senior Director of Cloud Solutions. “We have enjoyed Peak’s 100% channel centric model – as it ensures our partners’ sales teams don’t compete for the same clients.”

The Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Advanced Certification is part of the Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Program, focused on helping partners such as Peak envision, build, market, and sell cloud and managed services. As a Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Advanced Certified Partner, Peak offers a platform built on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework, and provides basic management capabilities that support Cisco technologies.

For more information about Peak’s Channel Program and cloud computing solutions, please contact sales@poweredbypeak.com or visit http://www.poweredbypeak.com for additional information.



About Peak

Peak® is an enterprise-class Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud service provider to channel partners. White-labeling Peak’s cloud services as their own, resellers and agents rapidly enter the cloud marketplace under their own brand without capital expenditure, enjoying a faster route to profitability. Peak operates Type II SSAE 16 and SOC 1 & 2 compliant cloud nodes in eight geographies across the United States and in Europe (Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and the United Kingdom). Its VMware vCloud® Powered cloud environment contains tens of thousands of virtual machines and multiple petabytes of storage for public, private, hybrid and disaster recovery solutions. Peak offers both Cisco UCS and Open Compute platforms, and is a Platinum-level NetApp Service Provider.

For more information, visit www.poweredbypeak.com call (855) 532-4734; or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

What should you do when an event or series of events is so overwhelming that it staggers your ability to evaluate, plan and respond to it or them? I thought about that question when I read an article in the New York Times (NYT) about the role of the Mayor of Rio De Janeiro in the upcoming World Cup this summer and the 2016 Olympics, entitled “Rio’s Mayor, Shepherd of the City’s Rebirth, Feels the Strains, Too” by Simon Romero. In the article, the Mayor, Eduardo Paes, discussed the strains he is under in tearing and then rebuilding his city in anticipation of the globe’s two greatest sporting events. He was quoted as saying “Don’t ever in your life do a World Cup and Olympic Games at the same time. This will make your life almost impossible.”

What if something happens in your company, corruption-wise, and your life as the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) or compliance officer is turned upside down, much like Paes?. My colleague Stephen Martin advocates having a 1-3-5 year plan in place to fall back upon. Martin believes that such a document would be an important item to produce to a prosecutor, who might be reviewing your compliance program in the event of a voluntary self-disclosure, a Dodd-Frank or other whistle-blower event, which has led your company to receive a subpoena or letter of inquiry or an industry sweep. He believes that such a strategic plan could well lead to the development of credibility for your company and your compliance program in the event of one of the aforementioned eventualities.

...

http://tfoxlaw.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/overwhelmed-planning-and-execution-in-compliance/

CHICAGO – Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere.

Spring flooding is common throughout Minnesota—whether along the Red River, Mississippi, or another one of the state’s many bodies of water. In addition, communities in Minnesota regularly face severe storms and tornadoes that leave behind costly damages for residents to recover from. Everyone should be ready for these risks.

March 2 – 8, 2014 marks the third annual National Severe Weather Preparedness Week – a partnership between FEMA and NOAA to encourage all Americans to learn their weather risks and take steps to prepare.

The first step is to know your risk – understand the types of hazardous weather that can affect your community, and the impact it may have on you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for alerts from your local emergency management officials. Consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio to get the latest updates on severe weather in your area.

Understand the hazards for which you are at risk and then take action: Develop an emergency plan based on your local weather hazards and practice how and where to take shelter before a severe weather event. Post your plan in your home where family and visitors can see it. Create or refresh an emergency kit for needed food, supplies and medication—make sure to keep a kit in your car, at the office and at home, so you are protected regardless of where you may be. For a list of items to include in your emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.

Don’t forget to consider pets when making emergency plans, and also take into account any unique needs you or your family might have so you’re best prepared for unforeseen emergencies.

It is also important to take the time to assure you’re fully insured. Remember, homeowners insurance typically does not cover flood damage, and there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy becomes effective. Contact your insurance agent to review your insurance coverage so your home is financially protected.

“Over the past several years, Minnesota has been significantly impacted by costly flooding and dangerous tornadoes,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “Taking steps now to prepare will ensure you are ready if severe weather threatens your area this year.”

For even more readiness information follow FEMA Region V at twitter.com/femaregion5 and facebook.com/fema. Individuals can always find valuable severe weather preparedness information at www.ready.gov/severe-weather or download the free FEMA app, available for Android, Apple or Blackberry devices.

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.

Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.