• PROTECT AND ENHANCE THE VALUE OF YOUR ENTERPRISE

    FREE CUSTOMIZED DEMO

    The Continuity Logic customized demo provides an opportunity for qualifying organizations to evaluate Frontline Live 5™, with their plans, desired controls, policies, and procedures. This first-of-its-kind system for both business continuity and many other areas of Governance, Operational Risk and Compliance (GRC) is powerful, but often best viewed with some of your familiar plans, data and templates.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT FRONTLINE LIVE 5

Fall World 2015

Conference & Exhibit

Attend The #1 BC/DR Event!

Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Many businesses across the US score poorly on being prepared for severe winter weather, according to a new poll of America's workforce, commissioned by FM Global.

Nearly one third of full-time American workers (32 percent) assign their employers a grade of C, D or F when it comes to preparedness for a major winter storm, the research finds. Furthermore, more than half of US workers (52 percent) employed full time indicated they are dissatisfied with their employers' preparedness, wanting their company to be better prepared for a winter storm.

"America's feedback speaks to the need for businesses to be more proactive, and overall more resilient, when it comes to winter weather," said Brion Callori, senior vice president, engineering and research, FM Global. "Insurance won't bring back lost customers, market share or fix a damaged corporate reputation for unprepared businesses. A business continuity plan which has been well-tested and communicated to employees can address such risk and help companies avoid costly physical and financial losses."

FM Global recommends the following best practices for businesses to help prevent damage in severe winter weather conditions:

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07531.html

Recently, there was an online discussion where the question was raised if both Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) service and implementation can be quantified in terms of real dollar savings. I believe that to be a great question—one that anyone in those fields should be asking. And to be clear, I think the reply is a resounding “yes.”

In recent years, it would be very easy to say that dollars have become “scarce” from the standpoint of business planning and operations. Many of our clients have recently shifted their focus toward and improved cost/benefit ratio and greater overall savings in BCP and DR. This eye toward savings extends into both the tactical and—more importantly—strategic areas.

...

http://www.strategicbcp.com/blog/business-continuity-cost-savings/

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 00:00

What Does Bad Data Cost?

For Valentine’s Day, Talend published a fun infographic, “Use Big Data to Secure the Love of Your Customers.” It lists data quality as the second leading challenge with Big Data, but perhaps more striking is the  $13.3 million annual financial impact caused by data quality problems.

I’m not entirely sure from the graphic which research group provided that stat, but a 2013 Gartner research paper put the cost higher, at $14.2 million a year.

Actually, there’s no shortage of scary statistics and numbers on the high cost of bad data. For instance, this infographic by Lemonly.com and Software AG notes that bad data:

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/what-does-bad-data-cost.html

CHICAGO – Dangerously low temperatures and bitterly cold wind chills continue to be in the forecast for much of the Midwest this week. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants individuals and families to be safe when faced with the hazards of cold temperatures.

“Whether traveling or at home, subfreezing temperatures and wind chills can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA Regional Administrator. “FEMA continues to urge people throughout the Midwest to monitor their local weather reports and take steps now to stay safe.”

During cold weather, you should take the following precautions:

• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold;
• Dress in layers and keep dry;
• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance;
• Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
• Bring your pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water.
• Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight – and keep the fuel tank above half full.
• If you are told to stay off the roads, stay home. If you must drive, don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and stay on main roads.

You can find more information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

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/femaregion5, www.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.

Easy-to-Manage High Availability Protection for Business Critical SQL Server

 

SAN MATEO, Calif. SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com), maker of SAN and #SANLess clustering software products, today announced that Cayan is using SIOS DataKeeper™ Cluster Edition software to protect its important Windows applications.

Cayan is the leader in the payment solutions industry. The company's flagship Genius® Customer Engagement Platform® aggregates and integrates every conceivable transaction technology, payment type and customer program – both present and future – into a single platform. Customers include some of the world's largest online retailers. "Our top priority is ensuring that our customers can complete transactions continuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Paul Vienneau, chief technology officer, Cayan.

When the company decided to move to a larger, state-of-the-art data center, they looked for an affordable, easy-to-deploy way to provide high availability and disaster protection for the SQL Server database that their Genius platform and other important applications run on. The company considered using a traditional shared storage cluster, but did not want the cost and complexity of purchasing and managing a SAN storage array. As shared storage, a SAN would also introduce the risk of a single point of failure. "We needed a solution that could handle the large volume of transactions we process without slowing application performance," said Vienneau.

Cayan IT staff decided to use SANLess clusters. They built two-node clusters using standard Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) and adding SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition software as an ingredient. "The SIOS software has very intuitive configuration wizards that enabled us to deploy our platform and applications in the SANLess clusters quickly and easily," said Vienneau. "Since SIOS DataKeeper is completely integrated with WSFC, our IT staff did not have to change system administration or add complexity."

Because the SANLess clusters use local storage, there is minimal performance overhead and fast application response times. "We were able to run our applications in the new SANLess cluster environment in our new data center in a full production mode before we put it into full production. We set up a performance lab and tested the replication latency under heavy load. It ran great. The SIOS software met or exceeded our expectations. Implementation and ongoing administration is easy and we have had zero downtime since we implemented our SIOS SANLess clusters," said Vienneau.

“Results achieved by Cayan are common across SIOS’ customer base,” said Jerry Melnick, COO, SIOS Technology.  “SIOS DataKeeper adds replication for disaster protection in SAN-based Windows clusters and enables SANLess clusters in Windows Server Failover Clustering environments where shared storage clusters are impossible or impractical.”

 

About SIOS Technology Corp.

SIOS Technology Corp. makes SAN and #SANLess software solutions that make clusters easy to use and easy to own.An essential part of any cluster solution, SIOS SAN and #SANLess software provides the flexibility to build Clusters Your Way to protect your choice of Windows or Linux environment in any configuration (or combination) of physical, virtual and cloud (public, private, and hybrid) without sacrificing performance or availability. The unique SIOS #SANLess clustering solution allows you to configure clusters with local storage, eliminating both the cost and the single-point-of-failure risk of traditional shared (SAN) storage.

Founded in 1999, SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com) is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

Software-defined storage and data protection solution enables the cloud, and modernizes enterprise infrastructures

MELVILLE, N.Y. — Leveraging its 15 years of innovation in virtualization, data protection and migration, FalconStor Software Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) today introduced the first truly horizontal, software-defined storage platform for unified data services – FreeStor™.

FreeStor is a milestone product for FalconStor and an industry first, in bringing a horizontal data services approach to modernizing the enterprise. While virtualization has streamlined some common tasks associated with managing data resources, the introduction of a virtualization layer brings a whole new level of complexity to the protection, recovery and integration of both virtual and non-virtualized resources. FreeStor’s unified platform provides migration, continuity, protection, recovery and optimization for any storage environment through a single management interface – all for a single price based on managed capacity across arrays, servers, hypervisors, data centers, and the cloud.

FalconStor accomplishes this through the introduction of its Intelligent Abstraction™ core, which provides a massively scalable storage hypervisor, coupled with a data services engine and automation, to ease the provisioning and management of storage resources with the right level of performance, protection and recovery.  The Intelligent Abstraction core optimizes storage resources regardless of type, connectivity, brand or speed into a storage resource pool that can be provisioned to physical or virtual applications, along with common, unified data services across that pool.  FreeStor eliminates the complexity and incompatibilities of point solutions along with the time involved in managing disparate underlying storage found in today’s enterprise. 

FalconStor’s FreeStor is a breakthrough software platform that provides immense value to organizations in their storage environments today, while allowing them to embrace and integrate new technologies and capabilities, including flash at the pace their business and budgets allow. Data can be moved without disruption from any location to any location, and management is centralized for simplicity and ease of use. 

“IT organizations must deal with data services such as migration, continuity, recovery, efficiency and optimization with a vertical integration view – each aspect being something to stack on one another – which tends to add layers of complexity as well,” said Phil Goodwin, Research Director at IDC. “FalconStor, with its Intelligent Abstraction core, is aiming to simplify data services by horizontally integrating each of these into a single, converged platform that allows storage administrators to use the services and capacity they need when they need it. Simplicity and agility are foremost needs of IT managers. The FreeStor platform is designed to allow companies to simplify data migration, recovery, protection and deduplication without tying their business to specific hardware, networks or protocols.”

FreeStor delivers immediate business value to companies, such as:

• Simplifying the on ramp to, from and across the cloud – FreeStor’s converged data management services provide an efficient way to move, synchronize and protect data between organizations’ current on premise IT infrastructures and private, hosted or hybrid clouds
• Modernize legacy infrastructure without rip and replace – new, simple cost-effective tools work seamlessly on and across most platforms and data types while leveraging and modernizing existing hardware to further help organizations break the chains of restrictive vendor lock-in, vendor specific tools, and vendor-dictated business models
• Always-on business continuity – improved, enhanced local, active-active or multi-site high availability ensures files, applications, systems and even entire sites are consistently available
• Predictable, simple, flexible pricing with no surprises - all data management services are provided in an annual subscription-based price-per-terabyte model with 24 x 7 support and software upgrades

FreeStor features centralized management with monitoring, reporting and configuration available via a branded management GUI with enhanced REST API.  Enhanced performance provides more than one million IOPs per IO cluster using SSD-based storage and has upward scalability.  FreeStor’s increased deduplication and backup efficiencies improve storage utilization, reducing a company’s storage footprint, and WAN optimized replication and data movement can reduce costs by as much as 95 percent. 

“With the amount of data captured and stored in today’s disparate infrastructures, simplifying data management is more crucial now than ever,” said Gary Quinn, President and Chief Executive Officer, FalconStor. “With old storage technology ineffective for today’s enterprises and storage options that are inadequate for today’s data itself, we are pleased to offer breakthrough technology inspired by the advancement of our Intelligent Abstraction core.  Organizations are now free to do business in a way that makes the most sense by allowing them to choose the right storage infrastructure to match their business, operations and budget.  With our 15 years of providing field hardened virtualization, protection and migration technologies, we are able to bring to market the first true horizontal software-defined storage platform that converges and unifies data management services with predictable pricing and performance.” 

FreeStor is well suited for organizations using legacy technology and wanting to move to newer technologies, such as flash, or looking to leverage private or hybrid clouds; MSPs looking to move data into their cloud and provide common data management services; or OEMs wanting to provide a full, robust set of data management services.  FreeStor will be available for purchase in May through FalconStor channel partners and direct for Service Providers and OEMs.  For more information or to request a quote, interested parties can visit http://falconstor.com/page/567/request-a-quote-contact-falconstor

About FalconStor
FalconStor Software Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is transforming how enterprises move, store, protect and optimize data.  Founded in 2000, FalconStor offers an award-winning platform for data migration, business continuity, disaster recovery, optimized backup and deduplication.  FalconStor helps maximize data availability and system uptime to ensure nonstop business productivity, while simplifying data management to reduce operational costs. Our open, integrated software solutions reduce vendor lock-in and give enterprises the freedom to choose the applications and hardware components that make the best sense for their business. FalconStor solutions are available and supported by OEMs, as well as leading system integrators and resellers worldwide.  FalconStor is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. with offices throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit www.falconstor.com or call 1-866-NOW-FALC (866-669-3252).

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Cloudtract introduces a free and simple online contract management platform for small and medium sized companies, where they can store contracts and set alerts. Businesses often waste a lot of money, because they forget to cancel contracts they no longer want. “And we should know,” explains Angelique Schouten, co-founder of Cloudtract. “We forgot to cancel an IT contract and wasted 40.000 euro, paying for a software license we didn’t need anymore.” A market study revealed the absence of an easy-to-use solution to store and manage contracts for free.

Contract management neglected by SMEs
Most entrepreneurs and SMEs rightfully focus on running their day-to-day business and do not, or to a much lesser extent, pay attention to managing their contract administration. “When we researched contract management behavior at companies, we concluded that contracts are usually kept in a folder in the corner of an office or at a secretary’s desk. Sometimes a simple spreadsheet or calendar program is used. Especially facility and maintenance contracts lack attention. These contracts regularly do not make money, they just cost money and consequently are not top of mind,” according to Schouten.

The founders of Cloudtract experienced first-hand what it is like to forget to cancel a contract or even try finding all the contracts. When Schouten started working at an insurance company it took her two months to gather all the contracts that the marketing department signed during the previous years. “It is shocking to see that we did not know which contracts the marketers had signed and that the IT department had to pay for an unused software license of 40.000 euro,” says Schouten.

Absence of a simple and affordable solution
Both occurrences at the insurance company led to a market study which showed there were two categories of contract management solutions according to Schouten: “Contract management software that is either part of an expensive ERP-software package or an over-engineered pay-per-user license model. Not the solution we were looking for as we only needed a place to store contracts safely and receive an alert.” Contract management at SMEs often results in unwanted renewed contracts, double contracts or unfavorable conditions. It’s a problem that Cloudtract wants to tackle head-on with its free online platform that makes it easy to securely store contracts and set alerts.

While the ultimate goal of Cloudtract is to offer this solution to businesses and consumers as well, the company has launched its beta version for companies only. It is available in English and more languages will follow shortly.

About Cloudtract 
Cloudtract is a safe, simple and free online contract management platform for small and medium sized businesses. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Cloudtract believes that contract management should be possible without buying software, paying license fees or reading an extensive user manual. Just upload your contract, set an alert and you’re done. For more information visit www.cloudtract.com.

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Cloudtract introduces a free and simple cloud based contract management platform for small and medium sized businesses, where they can store contracts and set alerts. “Businesses often waste a lot of money, because they forget to cancel or re-negotiate contracts they no longer want. And we should know,” says Angelique Schouten, co-founder of Cloudtract. “We ourselves forgot to cancel an IT contract and wasted 40.000 euro, paying for a software license we didn’t need anymore.“ When trying to find a software solution, a market study revealed the absence of an easy-to-use platform to store and manage contracts for free.

Contract management neglected by SMEs
Most entrepreneurs and SMEs rightfully focus on growing their business and do not, or to a much lesser extent, pay attention to managing their contract administration. “As current contract management software is either part of an expensive ERP-software package or an over-engineered pay-per-user license model, many entrepreneurs and businesses just avoid the subject of contract management. This often results in unwanted renewed contracts, double contracts or unfavorable conditions,” explains Schouten. It’s a problem that Cloudtract wants to tackle head-on with an online cloud-based platform that makes it easy to store contracts and set alerts.

The founders of Cloudtract experienced first-hand what it is like to forget to cancel a contract, and how difficult it can be to even track down all the contracts within a company. When Schouten started working at an insurance company, it took her two months to gather all the contracts that the marketing department signed during the previous years. In addition Schouten slightly embarrassed adds “The IT department at this insurance company was reviewing all its software licenses and wanted to cancel one of them. But because no one remembered to cancel this contract in time, as the IT department was only focusing on the new license, we ended up paying 40.000 euro for a contract we didn’t need anymore.”

Cloud-based solution
As the founders of Cloudtract have a background in making cloud-based software for financial institutions, they have used the same technology to make a secure and scalable contract management platform in the Amazon Web Services Cloud. While the ultimate goal of Cloudtract is to offer this solution to businesses and consumers as well, the company has launched its beta version for companies only. It is available in English and more languages will follow shortly.

About Cloudtract 
Cloudtract is a safe, simple and free online contract management platform for small and medium sized businesses. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Cloudtract believes that contract management should be possible without buying software, paying license fees or reading an extensive user manual. Just upload your contract, set an alert and you’re done. For more information visit www.cloudtract.com.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 00:00

Europe's smaller VARs shine in tough conditions

LONDONSmaller resellers in Europe are growing faster than larger ones; helped by expansion in key vertical markets such as the Public Sector; Bank/Finance/Insurance and Manufacturing/Industry (58%). Healthcare is rising fast as a category of interest to resellers. Security is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the fastest growing area of business for VARs in Europe.

 

These features emerge from IT Europa’s latest database report: Solutions VARs in Europe - the Top 500. In the report, and looking back at the last year for which complete figures were available, total revenues of all companies included increased 29.13% in 2013 over comparable numbers for 2011. From 2012 to 2013 revenues increased just 3.98%, however. There has been considerable movement of names up and down the list as many of the larger companies have acquired, sold off divisions and moved work outside Europe.

 

In 2014, the most popular vertical markets which companies were catering to were: the Public Sector (67.2% of companies); Bank/Finance/Insurance (59.4%); Manufacturing/Industry (58%); Retail (49.6%); and Healthcare (39.4%). The fastest growing areas of activity for VARs were: security (68.23% of companies); mobility (30.17%); accountancy (13.22%); e-procurement (13.11%); and application infrastructure (13.02%). The only markets which declined were: e-commerce/Internet (-145.72%), and Supply Chain Management (-179.8%). Other notable horizontal segments include: storage (17.6%); Business Intelligence/analytics (13.8%); networking (9.4%); and virtualisation (9.4%).

 

Of the 500 companies profiled, 14 were parent companies of groups of companies, 55 subsidiary companies, 418 independents and 13 publicly listed and the total revenues for all companies in the report reached $44.7 billion. The parent companies saw total revenues decline by 6% while the best performers were subsidiary companies with 11.02% increase in revenues in 2012-2013; followed by independent companies with 6.15% increase; and public companies with 4.72% increase. Only 6.8% of the companies in the report have staff numbers greater than 1000, two thirds have fewer than 100.

 

Largest geographic markets in terms of 2013 revenue (the last complete year for which reported figures are available) are (in descending order): United Kingdom (total revenues of $11 billion); Germany ($8.36 billion); France ($5.95 billion); Spain ($4.34 billion); Italy ($2.56 billion); Netherlands ($1.89 billion); Austria ($1.61 billion); Denmark ($1.2 billion); and Norway ($1.18 billion). The 10 largest geographic markets covered in terms of numbers of companies profiled are: Germany (89 companies); United Kingdom (87); Italy (48); France (47); Spain (33); Poland (28); Netherlands (22); Russia (18); Turkey (15); and Austria (13).

 

In terms of revenue increases across geographic markets in the period of 2012-2013, Bulgaria is the best performer with 48.58% revenue growth. The second best performer is Belarus with 29.38%, followed by Lithuania (29.3%); Czech Republic (12.48%) and then Turkey (11.91%).

In this report, all Nordic countries experienced revenue growth: Sweden (8.85%), Norway (7.62%), Iceland (6.66%), Finland (4.06%), and Denmark (1.45%). In the previous report, Denmark and Sweden experienced revenue decline (-2.44% and -6.48% respectively).

 

The UK market is positioned at 31 and experienced revenue decline of -4.06%, compared to 21.48% revenue growth in the last published report. Similarly, in the last published report, Belgium experienced the highest revenue growth of 31.1%, but in this report experienced revenue decline of -1.71%.

The places where it was hardest to be a VAR, which experienced revenue decline in both 2012 and 2014 were: Slovak Republic (-29.26%; -25.61%), Portugal (-14.2%; -13.8%) and Greece (-17.41%; -2.77%) in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

 

The “Solution VARs in Europe – The Top 500” database report spans 33 countries and represents the most detailed view available of this key market sector. It has been compiled from detailed interviews by IT Europa’s own research team. The company profiles include sales breakdowns by company activity, which markets a company operates in, and detailed information on staff numbers and development plans, along with contact details for the top executives of each company. The report is available from IT Europa (www.iteuropa.com) costing from £2,350. Data can also be extracted and supplied by country, region or on a bespoke basis.

 

 

About IT Europa

IT Europa is the leading provider of strategic business intelligence, news and analysis on the European IT marketplace and the primary channels that serve it. It publishes European channel publications, such as the IT Europa, ISVEuropa and MSPEuropa newsletters, markets a range of database reports and organises European conferences and events for the IT and Telecoms sectors. For further details visit: www.iteuropa.com

Company recognized as vendor that powers, supports and protects today’s data centers through channel partners and takes exemplary approach to delivery of managed IT services

 

DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, a leading provider of hybrid colocation in North America, announces today that it has been recognized in The Channel Company’s annual CRN Data Center 100 List, as well as the Managed Service Provider 500 List as one of the MSP Hosting 100. The CRN Data Center 100 features technology vendors whose solutions are vital to today’s data centers. The MSP 500 List distinguishes the top technology providers and consultants in North America whose leading approach to managed services enables their customers to improve operational efficiencies, elicit greater value from their IT investments, and successfully leverage technology to achieve greater competitive advantage.

ViaWest was chosen due to its reliability, flexibility and efficiency. The company operates 27 data centers across the U.S. and recently announced plans for its 28th data center in Oregon.  Recognized as a trusted IT partner, ViaWest offers a comprehensive suite of data centers and an IaaS portfolio of colocation, dedicated private cloud, and virtual private cloud, all complemented by a broad range of managed services and an exceptional customer experience with 24x7 support. ViaWest’s data centers feature the latest in power delivery equipment, high efficiency cooling, and a 100 percent uptime guarantee. 

Selected by the CRN editorial staff after months of in-depth research and nominations from solution providers, each vendor is recognized for providing channel partners with an opportunity to grow their business by offering cuttingedge products and services to their customers. 

“At the helm of these leading-edge companies are forward-thinking executives who are envisioning and architecting the data centers of tomorrow,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “We applaud their accomplishments and anticipate their continued contributions to our dynamic industry.”

“Being named to the CRN Data Center 100 and MSP 500 is a great way for ViaWest to kick off 2015,” states Jim Buie, ViaWest Senior Vice President of Sales.  “We take pride in the fact that we are developing data centers that are recognized for being on the cutting edge of modern technology. We also believe in delivering solutions with an exceptional customer experience enabling us to develop long lasting relationships with our partners and customers. Our success is predicated on the hard work of our entire staff and their customer centric focus.  We are proud to have such a winning culture at ViaWest.”

Coverage of the Data Center 100 and MSP 500 will be featured in the February 2015 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com.