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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

When you’re scouring your neighbourhood to detect possible risks to your organisation, a tool like Google Earth can be a valuable asset. Without leaving your desk you can tour streets and advance street view by street view, pinpoint addresses such as the nearest phone service and electricity providers on your map and spot vulnerabilities – that remote site with no surrounding fence, for example. That’s the good side of Google Earth. However, it also has its limitations and even potential drawbacks. Find out more about these below so that you won’t be caught short.

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http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/is-google-earth-a-good-tool-for-business-continuity-and-disaster-recovery/

The vision of the cloud as a magical realm of limitless scalability and customized, on-demand data architectures still runs strong in the enterprise industry. This view is not altogether wrong, even though many clouds with various levels of functionality will be created in order to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse data community.

But no matter how the individual enterprise chooses to implement the cloud or what applications it deploys, the fact remains that, as with any other infrastructure expansion, the migration process will be lengthy and complicated.

The good news, though, is that the cloud industry is highly motivated to absorb as much of the existing enterprise data environment as possible and, being already steeped in automated processes, it is working to take on the lion’s share of the migration burden using the latest software platforms.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/you-may-be-ready-for-the-cloud-but-are-you-ready-for-the-migration.html

Nearly two-thirds of CFOs are more confident in their ability to manage risk, with 25% reporting an increased appetite for risk, according to a new national survey from TD Bank. A number of respondents said their organizations have managed risk proactively since 2008 through internal controls and procedures and increased accountability.

“What we’re seeing, both through this survey and in our interactions with clients, is a more positive outlook about the economic environment and the business opportunities coming out of the recession,” Greg Braca, executive vice president and head of corporate and specialty banking at TD Bank said in a statement. “Well over a third of the CFOs surveyed expressed that they’re more confident in the U.S. economy, and more than half viewed their organizations’ prospects in the same vein. CFOs feel better equipped to manage risk, which will enable them to take a more active approach to investing and expansion, even if the economy improves at a slower pace than we’d like.”

CFOs are also apprehensive about the regulatory climate, with more than a third of respondents indicating that regulation is a top concern going forward.

The survey was conducted in September and October 2013 by ORC International. A total of 150 executives were surveyed, half at companies with annual sales of $50 million to less than $250 million (middle-market) and half at companies with annual sales greater than $250 million (corporate).

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http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/cfos-more-confident-about-risk-management/

CSO — As everyone knows, cloud provider Nirvanix recently fell apart, declaring bankruptcy and leaving its customers in the lurch. Nirvanix gave enterprises less than a month to move their data to a new home. To avoid the fate of those customers, follow these best practices for safely moving data in and out of the cloud.

Due diligence: financials first

The Cloud Security Alliance's February 2013 report, "The Notorious Nine: Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2013" has identified a lack of due diligence as a continuing threat to cloud computing. When enterprises do look into cloud providers, their view of things is a bit lopsided. "Cloud consumers place too much emphasis on information assurance and privacy, or focus on cost reduction and savings at the expense of investigating the financial health of candidate providers," says John Howie, COO, the Cloud Security Alliance.

"Perceived profitability does not imply stability for a company or a service provider," says Adam Gordon, CISO, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers; "the management strategies of a company can squander financial success overnight, driving profitability, the company and its partners over a cliff quickly if nobody is paying attention."

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http://www.cio.com/article/742976/Best_Practices_for_Safely_Moving_Data_in_and_Out_of_the_Cloud

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Data center energy costs and equipment efficiency is once again a top-of-mind issue for data center managers, according to a fall survey of data center users from Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure.

The fall installment of the biannual survey, sponsored by Emerson Network Power, polled members of the Data Center Users’ Group® (DCUG), an association of influential data center, IT and facility managers, and captured input from more than 150 respondents across North America. The questions covered a variety of data center topics including energy efficiency, data center monitoring, capacity constraints, third-party colocation providers and heat and power density.

As with the DCUG spring 2013 survey, the Fall survey results show that energy efficiency, availability and infrastructure monitoring are foremost on the minds of data center professionals. When asked to identify their top three facility/network concerns, 44 percent of respondents cited energy efficiency, making it the leading response to the question for the second time in the last two years for the fall survey. Availability (43 percent) and adequate monitoring and data center management (41 percent) were second and third on the list of top concerns this fall.Data center consolidations (24 percent) continued to be a growing concern, landing at sixth on the list, right behind heat and power density.

“The results of the Fall 2013 survey show that data center managers continue to focus on optimizing efficiency and maintaining or increasing availability to meet growing demands within today’s budget constraints,” said Bob Miller, vice president, global solution sales, Emerson Network Power in North America, and a member of the DCUG board of directors. “As the complexity and criticality of the data center continues to increase, data center professionals are increasingly turning to monitoring and data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools to provide the greater visibility they need to plan for growth and support changes to the data center without compromising availability, and while ensuring customers’ needs and corporate goals are met.”

The trend toward growth is reflected throughout the survey. While 28 percent reported no limiting factor on their organization’s ability to accommodate growth, 38 percent cited a lack of capital expenditure to either build new facilities or invest in infrastructure systems. When asked about equipment purchases for the next 12 months, 72 percent plan to purchase racks and cabinets, while 63 percent plan to upgrade or purchase monitoring software, and 43 percent and 41 percent plan to purchase cooling and UPS systems, respectively. Forty-one percent reported moving at least part of their operation to colocation or hosting providers.

Additional results include the following:

  • Fifty-three percent believe their existing data center capacity will suffice for three years or less.
  • Thirty-seven percent reported implementing rooftop air-handlers, while 28 percent have implemented evaporative cooling.
  • Fifty-six percent reported already implementing transformer-based UPS, while 21 percent have implemented transformer-free UPS.
  • The average power density per rack was 6.3 kW, up slightly from 5.9 kW in the Spring 2013 survey.
  • The top operational and efficiency-related metrics being measured in the data center are temperature (88 percent), power utilization (82 percent), humidity (66 percent) and cooling utilization (65 percent). Fifty-six percent of respondents currently measure power usage effectiveness (PUE).

Emerson Network Power uses the data from the DCUG survey to track market issues and inform programming at future DCUG and industry events, such as the DCUG Fall Conference held Nov. 11-14 in Dallas. This landmark 20th DCUG conference, which has been held twice a year since 2003, featured presentations by sixteen experienced users and IT industry experts focused on such topics as data center planning, the changing role of the data center manager, aligning IT and business objectives, strategies in thermal management, and efficiency across the power system.

Founded in 2003, the DCUG is a growing affiliation of approximately 2,000 organizations across North and South America; the group hosts several hundred attendees semi-annually to collaboratively discuss best practices, share experiences and address the most relevant issues affecting the reliability, availability and cost of operation for critical installations. The group’s membership comprises professionals with a wide variety of IT and facilities management expertise.

                                                                 

For more information on the DCUG, visit www.DataCenterug.org. For more information on technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

About Emerson Network Power

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

 

About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions.
Sales in fiscal 2012 were $24.4 billion.For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.

Maxta eliminates the need for storage arrays

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Maxta today unveiled a breakthrough virtualization-centric storage platform that eliminates the need for external storage arrays and dramatically simplifies IT, while delivering significant cost savings. Maxta’s new software platform enables the convergence of compute and storage on standard servers leveraging server-side flash and disk drives to optimize performance and capacity. Maxta’s software supports all server virtualization capabilities that depend on shared storage and delivers enterprise-class data services, capacity optimization and scale-out of storage and performance.

“The complexities and high costs of traditional enterprise storage are magnified in the virtual data center,” said Yoram Novick, Founder and CEO of Maxta. 
“After being told repeatedly that expensive storage arrays are the only way to support enterprise applications in virtualized environments, IT organizations finally have an alternative to storage arrays that significantly reduces complexity and cost. Maxta has broken the code for integrating storage and compute into a converged virtual data center.”

The Maxta Storage Platform™ (MxSP™) is a hypervisor-agnostic implementation of enterprise storage. It  fully integrates with server virtualization at all levels from user interface to data management, while supporting all possible deployments of virtual data centers, including private, public and hybrid clouds. Through its software-only solution, Maxta turns standard servers into a converged compute and storage solution. This results in greater simplicity, economics and availability over decades-old external storage arrays.

According to Mark Peters, Senior Analyst at ESG, “Maxta offers all the critical features that enterprise users are typically demanding of the storage infrastructure in their virtualized environments. But, rather than being just another rack or cabinet based storage system, the Maxta solution can essentially be seen as a server-based storage app; as such it’s a perfect fit for an increasingly converged, and yet heterogeneous, world where easy to deploy and use software management is crucial from both operational and economic viewpoints.”  

MxSP delivers best in class snapshot and clone technology. MxSP supports an unlimited number of VM-level snapshots and zero copy clones instantly without performance degradation, providing data protection without impacting production applications and instant provisioning of new VMs using VM templates. VM-level replication provides fast and affordable high availability and disaster recovery.

MxSP is optimized to utilize flash performance and hard disk capacity, eliminating the need for IT administrators to make difficult tradeoffs between performance and cost. It leverages any combination of magnetic disk drives and flash technology – including SATA, SAS and PCIe attached – to deliver competitive performance and high capacity at an attractive price for virtualized workloads. 
Cost is further reduced by eliminating power, cooling and floorspace expenses of storage arrays. MxSP employs state of the art capacity optimization capabilities like thin provisioning, inline compression and de-duplication to dramatically reduce the data footprint, improving effective storage capacity and reducing cost. It provides the ability to scale compute and storage independently on-demand, one standard server at a time without having to over-provision resources. Additionally, MxSP seamlessly co-exists with other storage solutions providing investment protection for customers. 

“We have been deploying Maxta in our data center and remote offices for quite some time. Maxta provided all the enterprise storage capabilites that we need without purchasing a storage array,” said Soumitra Ghosh, Director of IT, Driscolls. “We appreciate the ease of installation and simplicity of operation that Maxta is delivering by completely integrating our virtualized servers as well as the rich set of VM level features.”

“Maxta enabled our test and development teams to self-deploy and manage virtual machines accelerating time to market of applications and increased storage performance by 50% over our iscsi array,” said Michael Leland, the Virtual Infrastructure Manager at VSS Monitoring Inc., a Danaher company (a Fortune 200 company). “From an IT perspective, it has also reduced the amount of time I spend on mundane, day to day storage management tasks.”

“Maxta is all about software eating the storage array and profoundly changing the cost and complexity characteristics of the virtual data center,” said Peter Levine, partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “Creating a full-feature storage array through software alone has been one of the holy grails of the storage industry. Maxta is fundamentally changing the storage landscape.”
   
Maxta was founded by experienced entrepreneur Yoram Novick. Novick previously founded Topio, a provider of platform-agnostic enterprise-level data replication solutions and served as Topio CEO from its inception until it was acquired by NetApp. Maxta has raised $10M from Andreessen Horowitz, a top venture capital firm that provides seed, venture and growth-stage funding to the best new technology companies. To learn more about Maxta at (408) 212-9477 or email the company at info@maxta.com.





















New partnership enables global enterprises to easily scale their IT environments to Unitas’ Enterprise Private Cloud via Platform Equinix  

  • Unitas Global announces today it has become an Equinix Solution Partner and will offer its private cloud and managed services to customers inside Equinix data centers. As an Equinix Solution Partner, Unitas Global offers fully managed solutions, which includes the design, deployment and management of customers’ IT infrastructure.
  • After seeing a demand for single solution services, specifically fully-managed, custom-built private cloud on an enterprise level, Equinix partnered with Unitas Global to provide its same level of unmatched service and expertise in providing complex and managed IT infrastructure solutions to their customers.
  • “Unitas' past success with enterprise customers, especially those in the finance, retail, gaming and healthcare industries, made them a proven leader in the enterprise private cloud space and a natural choice as a Solution Partner for Equinix,” said Scott Walker, vice president of Global Indirect Channels & Alliances.


LOS ANGELES – Unitas Global, the leading IT Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, today announced it has become an Equinix Solution Partner and will offer its private cloud and managed services to customers inside Equinix data centers. As an Equinix Solution Partner, Unitas Global offers fully managed solutions, which includes the design, deployment and management of customers’ IT infrastructure.
 
“Unitas sees Equinix as the established data center market leader, which is apparent in both the organization's global reach and consistent exemplary service,” said Grant Kirkwood, CEO of Unitas Global. “Equinix’s leading global interconnection platform accelerates business performance by connecting companies to their customers and partners inside the world’s most networked data centers.”
 
With a broad base of expertise backed by a global team of technology specialists, Unitas provides single source solutions to enterprise organizations seeking to deploy complex IT environments. The cornerstone of Unitas’ single source solution is its Enterprise Private Cloud (EPC) service. Unitas’ veteran Infrastructure Architects design superior IT environments for each client, collaborating and communicating with customers throughout the entire design process. Unitas’ engineers then build out and deploy these infrastructures, completely vendor and provider agnostic.
 
All Unitas customer environments are managed via the unified management platform MISSIONCONTROL, which provides customers 100 percent visibility and control of their IT environments with a dashboard capable of global views of multiple data centers down to an individual virtual machine.
 
After seeing a demand for single solution services, specifically fully-managed, custom-built private cloud on an enterprise level, Equinix partnered with Unitas Global to provide its same level of unmatched service and expertise in providing complex and managed IT infrastructure solutions to their customers.
 
“Unitas' past success with enterprise customers, especially those in the finance, retail, gaming and healthcare industries, made them a proven leader in the enterprise private cloud space and a natural choice as a Solution Partner for Equinix,” said Scott Walker, vice president of Global Indirect Channels & Alliances. “Unitas Global’s ‘boutique’ mentality provides clients with a custom, flexible, and personalized experience with an expert IaaS provider, while producing economies of scale for growing organizations.”
 
Equinix clients can now utilize Unitas Global for enterprise private cloud, managed services, and dedicated hosting in more than 95 data centers within 31 established markets, while Unitas engineers monitor and manage these customer environments from 24x7 Support Operations Centers located across three different continents.
 
ABOUT UNITAS GLOBAL
 
Unitas Global is the leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, specializing in Enterprise Private Cloud (EPC), Data Center Operations & Management and IT Outsourcing solutions that are delivered as fully managed services. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Unitas has 3 Support Operations Centers in Los Angeles, Brussels and Hong Kong along with satellite sales offices in Chicago and New York. The cornerstone of Unitas’ single solution service is our Enterprise Private Cloud: EPC. Each client’s EPC is designed and built on a custom basis, completely vendor and partner agnostic. Unitas Global’s first goal is, and will always be, to make our customers’ businesses more productive, cost-efficient, and agile.

Cyber security has moved from operations to a concern of the C-suite and the board, EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young before getting carried away with hip rebranding), the consultancy, has found in its work across industries.

“For nearly three- quarters of organizations surveyed, information security policies are now owned at the highest organizational level,” the firm concluded in a recent report on cyber security, “Under Cyber Attack, EY Global information security survey 2013.” Because the attacks are becoming more numerous and more sophisticated, organization have to improve their defenses and get proactive. (For a fascinating look at how Obama’s security is protected — a tent that is erected in hotel or conference rooms with tools to protect against eavesdropping, see The New York Times.)


“The number of threat actors is increasing and each has a different high value target,” said Chip Tsantes, cybersecurity leader for financial services at EY. “Five years ago it was protecting money, but now threat actors, nation states and hactivists are looking to disrupt, embarrass, steal IP or help their domestic industries. The number of targets has increased, techniques have gotten better and they are going after a wide array of targets.”

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomgroenfeldt/2013/11/11/cybersecurity-threats-are-rising-ey/

By Brad Glisson

Experts from the University of Glasgow looked at a sample of mobile phones returned by the employees from one Fortune 500 company and found that they were able to retrieve large amounts of sensitive corporate and personal information. The loss of data such as this has potential security risks, inviting breaches on both an individual and corporate level.

The data yielded by this study on 32 handsets included a number of items that could potentially cause significant security risks and, lead to the leakage of valuable intellectual property or exposed the company to legal conflicts.

The study is an important step in proving that the increasing use of mobile devices in the corporate environments may be jeopardising security and compromising country specific data protection legislation.

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http://www.nmk.co.uk/article/2013/11/10/mobile-phone-use-may-pose-significant-security-risks-for-companies

Today is National Remembrance Day for Veterans who served their country and across the world. In the US we call it Veterans Day. In the UK, it is called Remembrance Day. Whatever it is called, it is designed so that we may never forget the sacrifices that the men and women made so that we can live in a free society. So today, I ask you to personally thank a veteran, buy them a cup of coffee or simply reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice to allow us all to go forward into the 21st Century.

My father is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean Conflict. I saw him this weekend and at 87 he is still kicking along, reading, studying and thinking about the relevant issues of the day. He gave to me a copy of the Fall 2013 issue of the University of Illinois, College of Law, Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal which had an article, entitled “Toward Joint Liability in Global Supply Chains: Addressing the Root Causes of Labor Violations In International Subcontracting Networks”, by authors Mark Anner, Jennifer Bair and Jeremy Blasi. So to honor my father’s continuing interest in anti-corruption compliance, today I will write about this article and how it informs anti-corruption compliance in the Supply Chain.

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http://tfoxlaw.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/honor-our-veterans-and-compliance-in-the-supply-chain/