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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

ANNISTON, Al. – The Center for Domestic Preparedness is kicking of the new year with its new CDP LinkedIn account, a platform for emergency responders and training officers to get the latest news on new courses and CDP training and – of course – network.

The CDP’s primary mission is to train state, local and tribal emergency response providers, as well as the Federal government, foreign governments, and private entities, as available.  A popular aspect of the courses is the hands-on training with a multi-disciplined audience. In addition, the CDP is the only civilian facility that trains with toxic chemical and live biological agents. The center also has the only hospital facility in the United States dedicated solely to training hospital and healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.

The CDP’s LinkedIn account  includes announcements and information about upcoming courses and class seat availability; links to photos and videos of the CDP’s hands-on training; a forum for potential students to ask questions prior to training at the CDP; and a place to connect with CDP instructors and alumni.

“The CDP has trained more than 850,000 students in our resident, non-resident and train-the-trainer courses,” said CDP Superintendent Mike King. “All of our courses are relevant, realistic and advanced. We strive to provide training that most departments cannot offer through their local and state training programs.  A significant benefit of attending one of our resident training programs is the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other responders from across the country and, sometimes, with responders from other countries. CDP’s LinkedIn account will give students another forum on which to learn about CDP training, get answers to any questions they may have and to expand their professional networks way beyond the walls of their classroom.”

The center offers more than 40 courses covering 10 different disciplines of emergency response. All CDP courses are fully funded for state, local and tribal responders, including travel, lodging and meals. CDP training is also open to emergency responders working in private industry in the U.S. and other countries on a fee-for-service basis. Contact the CDP by calling 866-213-9553 or clicking http://cdp.dhs.gov. You can also connect with the CDP on Facebook, Twitter and at http://cdp.dhs.gov.

 

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.

Atlanta-Based Support Provider Introduces Maintenance-as-a-Service (MaaS)

 

ATLANTA – Today, the retail industry joins the growing movement of Anything-as-a-Service business models with the introduction of Maintenance-as-a-Service (MaaS). MaaS is a new service delivery model that changes how companies are charged for traditional Point of Sale (POS) support and how those services are delivered.

Source Support Services (Source), a leading global post-sales support provider, pioneered MaaS to address the financial challenges that technology convergence has brought to the retail industry.

“Today, retailers are challenged with everything from the impact of internet sales on brick and mortar locations to how technology will affect their in-store systems infrastructure,” says Mark Oldfield, CEO at Source Support Services. “We’re providing the retail market with a platform that is much more financially beneficial and therefore much more strategic for the retailer’s business objectives.”

MaaS offers flexible, pay-per-use repair services instead of long-term service contracts. It enables retailers to accurately monitor their spending on IT maintenance and significantly reduces their costs.

“Focusing on cost per call instead of annual contract costs will allow retailers to accurately manage their store IT support needs while significantly reducing their costs,” says Stephen Briscoe, Senior Director of Retail Managed Services for Source Support.

Retailers can access the MaaS solution through Source’s service automation platform, which brings all support functions together into one managed environment. The platform provides full visibility into service events with the ability to track a deployed part and an on-site technician before, during and after service events.

“This is a game changing business model, ” states Oldfield. “This substantially shifts business risks away from our customers and back to us as the service provider, meaning we’re continuously earning our customers’ business, one transaction at a time.”

For more information on the Maintenance-as-a-Service model, visit www.sourcesupport.com/retail or contact Nicole Durham at nicoled@schaeferadvertising.com.

As companies increasingly turn to the public cloud to house various components of their IT infrastructures, it will probably always be the case that other components will remain on-premise. So the question of how to best manage that hybrid environment becomes one that an increasing number of IT pros will have to be able to answer.

I discussed that question in a recent email interview with Lynn LeBlanc, co-founder and CEO of HotLink, a hybrid IT management software provider in Santa Clara. I started by asking LeBlanc what she finds companies tend to keep on-premise, and why they’re going that route. She said the reasons for hybrid cloud deployments vary from organization to organization, but it’s generally more a question of what they want to put in the cloud:

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/from-under-the-rug/growing-adoption-of-public-cloud-services-boosts-need-for-hybrid-cloud-management.html

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It may not come as a surprise that cyber security incidents are on the rise. Open any newspaper today and you will no doubt come across yet another article highlighting some organization that has become the latest victim of a breach in online security.

Quite by how much these incidents are on the rise is perhaps a little more concerning however, as a recent report produced by PwC on the Global State of Information Security has shown that the number of information security incidents reported by survey respondents has increased from 28.9 million in 2013 to 42.8 million in 2014 – a 48% increase. The report also cites additional research which suggests that 71% of compromises go undetected meaning that 42.8 million could just be the tip of the iceberg.

The Business Continuity Institute’s Horizon Scan report has consistently shown that cyber attacks and data breaches are a major concern for business continuity professionals with the latest survey highlighting that 73% of respondents to a survey expressed either concern or extreme concern at the prospect of one of these threats materialising.

The cost of security incidents can be high with the report noting that a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that the annual cost of cybercrime to the global economy could be somewhere between $375 billion and $575 billion. The report further notes that this doesn’t cover the cost of IP theft which could range from $749 billion to as much as $2.2 trillion.

You might think that with this significant increase in the number of security incidents and the financial impact these incidents can have, budgets would be also be increasing in order to protect against them, however the opposite appears to be the case as the report reveals that the average security budget among respondents had decreased by 4% from the previous year.

The Global State of Information Security Survey 2015 was a worldwide study by PwC, CIO, and CSO conducted online during the first half of 2014. Readers of CIO, CSO and clients of PwC from around the globe were invited to take the survey and the results discussed in the report are based on the responses of more than 9,700 CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, CISOs, CSOs, VPs and directors of IT and security practices across more than 154 countries.

The concept of digital transformation is not a new one, as technology has been used to augment business functions since the dawn of the computer age. However, these days, digital transformation means different things to different companies, requiring each company to tailor their integration of technology in a way that increases productivity and improves communication with internal and external parties.

Personally, I like the Altimeter Group’s definition of digital transformation, since it is the most appropriate for modern market-focused usage: “The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touch-point in the customer experience lifecycle.” In most cases, the goals of digital transformation include better engagement with digital customers, greater collaboration with internal resources, and improved efficiency.

...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/sungardas/2015/01/13/digital-transformation-is-being-led-by-the-cmo-not-the-cio/

There are times when you wish you could undo what you just did. Sometimes, you can’t. Financial investments, office reorganisations and even that too-hasty email you sent often cannot simply be reversed. With IT on the other hand, it’s a different story. From individual PCs to corporate data centres, the ‘Undo’ function has become a standard feature of many computing systems for making errors and problems disappear. As little as one mouse click may be enough to turn back the hands of time and begin again as though a mistake had never been made. But is this disaster recovery capability the magical solution it is often made out to be?

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/disaster-recovery-and-the-darker-side-of-the-undo-function/

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 00:00

Tackling the Unstructured Data in Big Data

There’s a lot of talk about Big Data as if it is one entity. We hear: How do you manage Big Data? How do you govern Big Data? What’s the ROI for Big Data? The problem with this is that it puts too much focus on the technology, while obscuring one of the major challenges in Big Data sets: the unstructured data. 

I suspect CIOs haven’t forgotten that component since about 80 percent of data in organizations today is unstructured data, according to Gartner. That’s a lot of value currently hiding in social media, customer call transcripts, emails and other text-based or image-based files.

That’s a problem, because that also happens to be where you may find the real value in Big Data. These disparate data sets were previously unanalyzed or sitting in application silos. Obviously, Hadoop will let you migrate that into one location, but what then? How do you turn that into valuable information?

This recent Datamation column by Salil Godika goes a long way toward answering these questions. Godika is the chief strategy & marketing officer and Industry Group head at Happiest Minds. I admit this gave me pause, because pieces by chief marketing officers can be too self-serving.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/tackling-the-unstructured-data-in-big-data.html

Not too long ago, organizations fell into one of two camps when it came to personal mobile devices in the workplace – these devices were either connected to their networks or they weren’t.

But times have changed. Mobile devices have become so ubiquitous that every business has to acknowledge that employees will connect their personal devices to the corporate network, whether there’s a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place or not. So really, those two camps we mentioned earlier have evolved – the devices are a given, and now, it’s just a question of whether or not you choose to regulate them.

This decision has significant implications for network security. If you aren’t regulating the use of these devices, you could be putting the integrity of your entire network at risk. As data protection specialist Vinod Banerjee told CNBC, “You have employees doing more on a mobile device and doing it ad hoc here and there and perhaps therefore not thinking about some of the risks that are apparent.” What’s worse, this has the potential to happen on a wide scale – Gartner predicted that, by 2018, more than half of all mobile users will turn first to their phone or tablet to complete online tasks. The potential for substantial remote access vulnerabilities is high.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/byod-three-lessons-to-mitigate-network-security-risks-in-2015/

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 00:00

CDC: Flu Season a Bad One

(TNS) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this year’s flu season is shaping up to be a bad one.

Already there have been 26 confirmed pediatric deaths and flu is widespread in almost “the entire country,” CDC director Tom Frieden said on a conference call with reporters Friday morning.

The number of hospitalizations among adults aged 65 and older is also up sharply, rising from a rate of 52 per 100,000 last week to 92 per 100,000 this week, Frieden said.

And there’s still more possible hospitalizations and deaths to come. The nation is about seven weeks into this year’s flu season and seasons typically last about 13 weeks, Frieden said.

“But flu season is unpredictable,” he said, adding it could last longer than 13 weeks.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/CDC-Flu-Season-a-Bad-One.html

Largest independent backup storage provider continues momentum with double-digit, year-over-year growth and record revenues

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. – Revolutionary backup storage provider ExaGrid Systemsannounced today that it had double-digit growth from 2013 to 2014, earning record bookings for its fourth quarter revenue and year. ExaGrid was also both cash and P&L positive for all four quarters in 2014 and for the year. The company consistently ranked ‘best at disk-based backup storage with deduplication’ by leading experts is positioned for a successful year in 2015.

The only vendor with a unique landing zone and scale-out architecture, ExaGrid offers the industry’s fastest backups; the fastest restores, recoveries, and offsite tape copies; VM boots in seconds to minutes; and permanently fixes the backup window length as data grows. ExaGrid also eliminates the forklift upgrades and product obsolescence of the big backup storage vendors.

Turning it up in 2014, ExaGrid highlights include:

  • ·         Surpassed 8,000 appliances sold.
  • ·         More than doubled the full backup capacity in its GRID architecture, announcing a 448TB full backup in a single scale-out GRID system.
  • ·         Became the industry’s first tech company to have over 350 published customer success stories, more than all of its competitors combined.
  • ·         Attained highest position in the visionary quadrant in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
  • ·         Took the majority of the top product positions in the DCIG under $50K and under $100K appliance categories.
  • ·         Was the first vendor to integrate with the Veeam Data Mover.
  • ·         Increased support to over 25 backup applications and utilities.
  • ·         Signed Ingram Micro as a major distributor for North America.
  • ·         Expanded sales channels in mainland China.

“ExaGrid achieved a number of great milestones in 2014,” said Bill Andrews, CEO of ExaGrid. “From day one, ExaGrid looked at all the other solutions on the market and saw that other vendors had simply added inline deduplication to already existing backup applications or scale-up storage platforms. ExaGrid looked at backup and instead of simply adding deduplication, designed and architected a purpose-built scale-out GRID-based backup storage solution that permanently fixes the problems of data deduplication in backup. ExaGrid’s unique approach not only provides the storage advantage of data deduplication, but eliminates the challenges of slow backups, painfully slow restores, recoveries, offsite tape copies and VM boots, and the need to keep replacing solutions every 12 to 18 months. ExaGrid looked at the problem from a backup point of view versus a storage point of view, and it is paying off as customers begin to understand that how data deduplication is implemented has a huge impact on cost and performance. For customers with hundreds of terabytes of data, ExaGrid provides two to three times the backup performance and up to ten times the restore performance at half the price of EMC.”

 

A Year of Technological Innovation
ExaGrid announced the company’s most innovative technology in 2014 with the release of EX32000E, was awarded a patent for “Method and Apparatus for Content-Aware and Adaptive Deduplication”, and entered into several new partnerships for software integration and increased flexibility for customers’ appliance needs.

EX32000E – The new appliance can take in up to a 32TB full backup and with 14 appliances in a scale-out GRID can scale to a 448 terabyte full backup in a single GRID system. A fully-loaded GRID has an ingest rate of over 100TB per hour, the fastest in the industry.

Adaptive Deduplication– This new approach is the best of all worlds. Inline deduplication impedes backup performance and stores only deduplicated data, resulting in slow restores, recoveries, offsite tape copies, and VM boots due to a compute-intensive and lengthy data rehydration process. Post-process deduplication allows for faster backups as well as faster restores and recoveries but waits until all backup jobs are complete to begin replication, resulting in a poorer disaster recovery point. Alternatively, ExaGrid’s Adaptive Deduplication technology writes the backups straight to disk for high performance, storing the most recent backup in its full undeduplicated form for fast restores, recoveries, offsite tape copies, and VM boots, and also providing a strong disaster recovery point by performing deduplication in parallel with backups.

ExaGrid-Veeam Accelerated Data Mover– ExaGrid and Veeam developed an integration that allows the Veeam Data Mover to run on the ExaGrid appliance. This greatly improves backup performance and decreases the time to perform a Veeam synthetic full backup by up to 6X.

Ten Mix-and-Match Appliance Models– ExaGrid now offers ten appliance models of various sizes that can be mixed and matched in a single scale-out GRID. An appliance of any size can work with any other appliance in a single GRID. This unique approach eliminates expensive forklift upgrades and product obsolescence.

Praise from the Experts
ExaGrid continues to receive accolades from renowned industry experts such as Gartner, DCIG, ESG, IDC, InfoTech, and Storage Switzerland. Gartner positioned ExaGrid first in the Visionaries quadrant of the first “Magic Quadrant for Deduplication Backup Target Appliances” in 2014. Gartner defines “visionaries” as companies that deliver innovative products with capabilities that are often ahead of the mainstream in the market. 

According to Jerome Wendt, President and Lead Analyst of DCIG, “ExaGrid provides a true solution, with a leading-edge approach that really meets the needs of customers.”

Brian Garrett, Vice President of ESG Lab says, “ExaGrid’s landing zone and adaptive deduplication give ExaGrid a leg up on the competition.”

And Storage Switzerland’s Senior Analyst Colm Keegan says of ExaGrid’s architecture, “In addition to providing better investment protection, the ability to add nodes ‘on the fly’ enables data center planners to perform non-disruptive upgrades to the backup environment. This means there is no need to plan for data migrations, which can be a big win for already overworked IT professionals.” 

Disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About ExaGrid Systems, Inc.
Organizations come to us because we are the only company that implemented deduplication in a way that fixed all the challenges of backup storage. ExaGrid’s unique landing zone and scale-out architecture provides the fastest backup — resulting in the shortest fixed backup window, the fastest local restores, fastest offsite tape copies and instant VM recoveries while permanently fixing the backup window length, all with reduced cost up front and over time. Learn how to take the stress out of backup at
www.exagrid.com or connect with us on LinkedIn. Read how ExaGrid customers fixed their backup forever.

ExaGrid is a registered trademark of ExaGrid Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.