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Jon Seals

Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

Six-County 911 Outage Remains Unexplained

(TNS) - Around 6 a.m. Tuesday, 911 systems in six southwestern Pennsylvania counties failed because of what one emergency official called a software glitch that affected part of the interconnected network overseen by CenturyLink, a Louisiana-based global communications company.

Calls to 911 weren’t going through. Some computer screens at emergency operations centers went blank. Backup systems engaged — and in some cases, backups to the backups had to be activated.

Officials in the counties — Armstrong, Butler, Cambria, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland — undertook various emergency measures, posting alternate phone numbers through social media, asking local TV stations to alert the public and contacting facilities that have frequent contact with 911, such as nursing homes, to give them a heads-up.



As we approach Halloween, it seems appropriate to talk about some of the brain-dead stupid practices that can destroy projects and technology companies with evil glee. These monstrous practices can be mitigated by shining heroes armed with the mystical sword of common sense, but only if IT buyers and boards are skilled and brave enough to wield it. Without further ado, let’s talk about the Monsters of IT and Technology.



Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

School Safety: A Shared Responsibility

As classes resumed at schools across the country this fall, the issue of school safety is once again at the forefront of the national debate. How best to address school safety, both at the K-12 and higher education levels, is a weighty issue with no easy answers.

Simply trying to assess the level of school and university preparedness is challenging.

“As a country, we don’t have a good handle on where schools stand today because there is no good evidence of how safe schools really are,” said Amanda Klinger, director of operations for the Educator’s School Safety Network, a nonprofit that works with K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. “Save the Children did a report on what states require of schools, but we don’t know how many schools are meeting those requirements. From the research we do here, we generally find that schools are sorely underprepared, but we can’t say that in a quantified way.”



Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

MSPs: Moving Small Businesses to the Cloud

Many MSPs work to target larger companies or major public sector groups such as local or state governments. But you may be missing out on a potentially lucrative faction. Small businesses are an important market for MSPs looking to provide cloud services such as cloud-based file sharing. Most small businesses don’t have the room for large internal IT support needed to use other computer applications. Cloud services provide them with an easy-to-use platform that can be used to satisfy just about any IT need a small business would have.

As an MSP it’s easy to understand why a small business would benefit from cloud services, unfortunately it’s not as clear to the small businesses why the cloud is good for them. Here are a few points you should address when selling your cloud services to small businesses:



Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

The cyber threat to supply chains

The cyber threat to supply chains

Cyber threats to the supply chain have become increasingly prevalent due to the extensive sharing of digital information between organizations and their suppliers. With changing geopolitical landscapes and the rise of new global powers, outsourcing activities presents new and more complex challenges to businesses. In the latest edition of the Business Continuity Institute's Working Paper Series, Gianluca Riglietti investigates cyber supply chain resilience and highlights why business continuity is so important in helping to achieve this.

In an increasingly interconnected world, supply chains enjoy growing opportunities, while also being exposed to new threats. The paper outlines what these threats in the cyber field look like and how they can disrupt business, as well as demonstrating how to improve supply chain cyber security (SCCS) from a business continuity perspective. It highlights best practice to heighten security in SCCS, and makes suggestions for practitioners in order to practically apply this knowledge to everyday business.

The Paper concludes by emphasising that the business continuity profession can provide a significant contribution to overcoming the challenges, applying existing practices to a relatively new field and cooperating with other protective disciplines.

To download your free copy of ‘cyber supply chain resilience: a business continuity approach', click here.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and an excellent opportunity for MSPs and solution providers to educate their customers on how to protect their data, applications and IT infrastructure from cyber attacks.

One area that SMBs often struggle with is securing how remote workers access corporate data and applications. Many employees want and need access to company files while in the field, but if they access and transmit corporate data via an insecure device, server or network, they are placing the business at increased risk for a cyber security incident. So, what can SMBs do to curb this dangerous behavior, and how can MSPs help?

Here are four steps that will help MSPs create a more stable and secure remote workforce for their customers, without compromising flexibility or manageability.



HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For the second straight year, Gartner, Inc., has positioned Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the world’s leading provider of critical infrastructure for information and communications technology systems, in the “Leaders” quadrant of its Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Tools Magic Quadrant (MQ). Emerson Network Power improved its placement from last year’s inaugural DCIM Tools MQ.

This year’s MQ report evaluated 15 DCIM vendors and positioned Emerson Network Power highest for ability to execute within the “Leaders” quadrant. Emerson Network Power’s strategy is built around its flagship DCIM solution, the Trellis™ platform.

“We believe our positioning in the ”Leaders” quadrant is yet another objective validation of our DCIM portfolio and is confirmation that our solutions, including the Trellis™ platform, bring clarity and control to today’s increasingly complex data centers,” said Enzo Greco, vice president and general manager of software for Emerson Network Power. “Leadership recognition in the DCIM Tools Magic Quadrant, on the heels of other, similar independent evaluations, is significant we feel and reinforces our commitment to innovation for our customers and addressing their need for this infrastructure management tool to improve business performance.”

The Trellis™ platform is Emerson Network Power’s comprehensive DCIM solution, delivering the capabilities needed for intuitive, scalable enterprise-class infrastructure monitoring and management. This technology bridges the gap between facilities and IT operations in the data center, allowing IT to be a key player in planning and executing the organization’s growth initiatives.

For more information on the Trellis™ platform, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com/Trellis. To learn more about Emerson Network Power’s DCIM portfolio, 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

About Emerson
Emerson, 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 2014 were $24.5 billion. For more information, visit

New Incentives, Promotions and Tools Empower Channel Partners to Grow Business Amid Industry Migration to Cloud, Virtualization and Software-Defined Networking

MILPITAS, Calif. – (NASDAQ: VIAV) Viavi Solutions today unveiled its new global channel partner program to deliver increased value to its solution partners, resellers and distributors. The program, called Velocity, builds upon foundational elements of the platform built last year and features a series of enhancements designed to empower existing partners and new recruits to grow their business with Viavi's instruments, software, services and systems for both enterprises and service providers.

The rapidly changing nature of the networking industry and evolving customer expectations are putting pressure on partners to keep pace in order to better serve their enterprise and telecommunications customers. In turn, partners ask vendors like Viavi to provide better tools, insights and training to simplify and accelerate business while improving customer satisfaction.

With the Velocity program, Viavi aims to grow its footprint of sales derived from channel engagements and, as a new brand following the separation of Lumentum from JDSU in August, Viaviis expanding its presence in the enterprise-facing market. Velocity introduces several new ways to empower and simplify the sales process, improve marketing resources and ultimately grow mutual business between Viavi and its partners. Velocity also incorporates a flexible framework to help our partners adapt to a fast-paced industry with evolving business models:

  • Tiered Architecture. With three tiers -- Authorized, Premier and Elite -- partners who invest more for mutual success are rewarded with higher benefits.
  • Financial Rewards and Incentives. To help partners profitably expand their reach and capability, Viavi is introducing tiered pricing, deal registration, and stocking discounts that become more lucrative as partners move up the ranks from Authorized to Elite partner. Tiered pricing discounts vary depending on the partner level and product family.
  • Increased Marketing Development Funds (MDF). Partners must spend more time and resources with prospects and customers, demonstrating how to cost effectively upgrade, scale and navigate major technology transformations. To help partners initiate these engagements, Viavi is increasing investment in partner marketing campaigns through Marketing Development Fund (MDF) and discretionary fund programs. Examples of MDF uses include advertising, Web site building, events, demonstration equipment and direct marketing campaigns, among others.
  • New Sales Enablement Tools. Viavi is introducing a new web-based partner portal to provide its ecosystem of partners with the latest resources to grow their businesses. The new portal will make it easier for partners to access sales, marketing and pricing information and stay in close communication with their Viavi contacts.

"In this new software- and cloud-laced reality where network agility is increasingly critical, simply keeping up with customer demands can be challenging. At Viavi, we're providing our partner ecosystem with the tools they need to actually grow their business -- not just maintain the status quo," said Sergio Bea, Vice President, Worldwide Channels at Viavi. "It's more vital than ever to equip our respected partners with ample resources to help manage the unpredictable technology changes impacting our customers. It's time to motivate existing partners to sell, attract new types of partners, and demonstrate that we have the industry's most complete set of solutions."

"In the ever-competitive and evolving service provider and enterprise networking landscape, 'a better mousetrap' alone sometimes is not enough to win new business," said Aaron Joyce, Group Business Development Director, Butler Transtest Limited, an Elite Viavi partner. "Best-in-class support coupled with innovative solutions are vital for us, especially in the enterprise space where strong channel programs are the difference between winning and losing. We're excited Viavi has ramped up of several aspects of its channel partner program to empower us to grow our footprint, reach new customers and bring success to our businesses and that of our customers."

"Viavi's new first-class channel program comes packed with a slew of new incentives that will invigorate our sales force and help grow both our business and Viavi's," said Doug Dollenberg, Vice President of Product Management, TESSCO Technologies, an Elite Viavi Partner. "More marketing funds, deal registration and training are important to ensure our crew in the field can meet the evolving needs of our customers."

About Velocity

Viavi is proud to collaborate with approximately 240 Solutions Partners around the world. Viavi's highly capable solution partners offer a range of specialties in the areas of logistics, wireline telecommunications, wireless and mobile technologies, enterprise networking, unified communications, and cloud. Our ecosystem covers a vast regional customer base spanning North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. For more information about partnering with Viavi, please visit www.viavisolutions.com/en/corporate/partners.

About Viavi Solutions
Viavi (NASDAQ: VIAV) software and hardware platforms and instruments deliver end-to-end visibility across physical, virtual and hybrid networks. Precise intelligence and actionable insight from across the network ecosystem optimizes the service experience for increased customer loyalty, greater profitability and quicker transitions to next-generation technologies. Viavi is also a leader in anti-counterfeiting solutions for currency authentication and high-value optical components and instruments for diverse government and commercial applications. Learn more at www.viavisolutions.com and follow us on Viavi Perspectives, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

The New SFP+ Module Extends the Life of Any Switch Hardware Without Having to Change Existing Infrastructure

CHICAGO, Ill. – dataMate, a business unit of Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: MEI), a global developer of custom engineered and application specific products and solutions, today announced the release of the first 10G copper small form pluggable (SFP+) transceiver module.

dataMate's SFP+ transceiver pushes the limits of copper based technology providing 10 gigabits of data transfer over distances of 30 meters or less and replaces the need for cumbersome direct attach cable solutions that have limitations of up to ten meters. This innovative product is fully compliant to the IEEE 802.3az, SFF-8431 and SFF-8432 standards and will interoperate with other 10GBASE-T solutions. This new module will allow data center and network managers the ability to extend the life of their cabling infrastructure with a simple cost effective upgrade of their 1G SFP's with the new 10G variant.

dataMate's 10G copper SFP+ is available now through your switch provider. Ask for the new Methode 10G Copper SFP.

About dataMate
Methode Development Company (MDC) is an industry leader in the design and development of conductive inks. To learn more about standard and application-specific conductive ink solutions, visit our website at www.methode.com. dataMate is located in Harwood Heights, IL.

About Methode Electronics, Inc.
Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: MEI) is a global developer of custom engineered and application specific products and solutions with manufacturing, design and testing facilities in China, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. We design, manufacture and market devices employing electrical, electronic, wireless, safety radio remote control, sensing and optical technologies to control and convey signals through sensors, interconnections and controls. Our business is managed on a segment basis, with those segments being Automotive, Interface, Power Products and Other. Our components are in the primary end markets of the automobile, computer, information processing and networking equipment, voice and data communication systems, consumer electronics, appliances, aerospace vehicles and industrial equipment industries. Further information can be found on Methode's Web site www.methode.com.


SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Infinera, provider of Intelligent Transport Networks, announced that the National Supercomputer Centre (NSCC) and Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore have implemented the Infinera Cloud Xpress with 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) to connect the two datacenters in bustling research campuses in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, Singapore with hyper-scale density, operational simplicity and low power consumption. NSCC/A*STAR is the first publically announced customer using this newest member of the Cloud Xpress family.

A*STAR is a public sector agency in Singapore that spearheads economically oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical and physical sciences and engineering research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis. A*STAR's network provides high performance computational (HPC) resources to the entire A*STAR community of over 800 users currently. In addition to managing several high-end computers, A*STAR is responsible for rapidly growing data storage resources. The Infinera Cloud Xpress featuring 100 GbE enables A*STAR and NSCC to meet the most demanding application needs of their research users with a reliable, high capacity optical network.

Ideal for high performance datacenter interconnection, the Cloud Xpress leverages Infinera's unique photonic integrated circuit technology to support up to one terabit per second (Tb/s) of input and output capacity in just two rack units. The Infinera Cloud Xpress delivers a full 500 Gb/s super-channel of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) line-side capacity on a single fiber without requiring external multiplexers or amplifiers. With the 100 GbE platform, the Cloud Xpress family includes three solutions, optimized for 10 GbE, 40 GbE and 100 GbE interfaces. The Infinera Cloud Xpress remains the only deployed platform offering high capacity, ultra-low power and a rack-and-stack form factor enabling customers like NSCC/A*STAR to scale with minimal space and power.

"Working with our partner Dimension Data, we are pleased to provide NSCC and A*STAR with a datacenter interconnect solution that meets their bandwidth demands in space and power-limited datacenter locations," said Stu Elby, senior vice president of cloud network strategy and technology at Infinera. "Cloud Xpress is a purpose built datacenter platform that addresses the needs of Singaporean scientists, especially in the very fast growing area of genomics and bioinformatics."

"Dimension Data helps global IT, data and technology providers identify and implement the best-in-class solutions to accelerate our clients' ambitions," said Png Kim Meng, Managing Director at Dimension Data Singapore. "It is our first venture in the optical networking space and we are happy to partner with Infinera to help clients achieve their current and future business objectives. The Infinera Cloud Xpress is a powerful datacenter interconnect solution that delivers scale, operational simplicity and low power consumption, and is an excellent fit for constantly growing research infrastructure demands of the Singapore research community."

Infinera introduced the Cloud Xpress family in 2014 delivering a cloud-optimized WDM solution to cloud service providers, Internet content providers, Internet Exchange service providers and other large-scale datacenter operators. Infinera recently expanded the Cloud Xpress family by announcing the Cloud Xpress with 100 GbE.

About Infinera

Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) provides Intelligent Transport Networks, enabling carriers, cloud operators, governments and enterprises to scale network bandwidth, accelerate service innovation and simplify optical network operations. Infinera's end-to-end packet-optical portfolio is designed for long-haul, subsea, datacenter interconnect and metro applications. Infinera's unique large scale photonic integrated circuits enable innovative optical networking solutions for the most demanding networks. To learn more about Infinera visit www.infinera.com, follow us on Twitter @Infinera and read our latest blog posts at blog.infinera.com.

Infinera and the Infinera logo are registered trademarks of Infinera Corporation.

This press release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements relating to the benefits of the features and functionality of Infinera's Cloaud Xpress family of products. These statements are not guarantees of results and should not be considered as an indication of future activity or future performance. Actual results may vary materially from these expectations as a result of various risks and uncertainties. Information about these risks and uncertainties, and other risks and uncertainties that affect Infinera's business, is contained in the risk factors section and other sections of Infinera's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 27, 2015 as filed with the SEC on July 31, 2015, as well subsequent reports filed with or furnished to the SEC. These reports are available on Infinera's website at www.infinera.com and the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Infinera assumes no obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements.