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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

The new 2014 Annual Report on the State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council is an eye opener for IT professionals responsible for backup and recovery of their IT systems.  Based on hundreds of responses from organizations worldwide, the Annual Report provides a wealth of information about how prepared companies are in recovering from outages based on the results of our benchmark survey launched last year.

You can download the report for free at http://drbenchmark.org/

My last blog highlighted the “bad news” from the report:  three out of four companies fail to properly prepare for recovering their IT systems.  One-third reported that critical applications were lost for hours and sometimes multiple days—and one in four said they had lost most, if not all of their datacenter for hours and even days.



No matter what advances take place in enterprise infrastructure in the coming years, the largest cost center is likely to be storage. Even as infrastructure becomes more software defined, relentlessly increasing data volumes will require organizations to either buy or lease storage capacity in ever larger amounts.

The question, then, isn’t how to cut back on storage, as much as it is how to make more efficient use of available storage. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, even cloud infrastructure can start to cost dearly as time passes and data loads mount.



A new study from Ponemon and AccessData reveals a disturbing trend in cybersecurity. When hit with some sort of cybersecurity attack, most companies have no idea how to respond or resolve the crisis.

Threat Intelligence & Incident Response: A Study of U.S. & EMEA Organizations” (registration required to download) surveyed 1,083 CISOs and security technicians to find out how they deal with a data security event. The survey also wanted to know what these security professionals need to better detect such security problems, as well as what tools are needed to remediate problems after an attack.



Over the past several years, a lot of organizations have done a great job of dramatically reducing their IT costs by going to the cloud and adopting an on-demand computing model. As significant as that is, however, the fact remains that technology isn’t a company’s largest expense, not by a long shot—labor is. So why not dramatically reduce labor costs by adopting an on-demand labor model?

That’s the question I discussed earlier this week with Jeffrey Wald, co-founder and COO of Work Market, a provider of cloud-based contract labor management services, and a company that’s positioning itself to capitalize on what it sees as an inevitable shift to on-demand labor. I asked Wald to what extent he thinks the savings generated by on-demand computing is leading businesses to ask themselves, why not extend this model to the work force and implement on-demand labor? Wald said companies are making that connection:



February 17, 2014

Are CIOs Losing Power?

Computerworld — There's a school of thought that IT departments -- and CIOs -- are disappearing. As more and more businesses buy cloud-based services, and turn to self-service and bring-your-own-device models, IT decision making is spreading throughout an organization, some experts say.

A new study by Forrester illuminates the changing IT landscape. It found that the share of IT projects primarily or exclusively run by IT department will decline from 55% in 2009 to 47% in 2015.

The study did find a rise in the number of IT projects handled jointly by CIO-led teams and business groups. More than a third of IT projects today are collaborative ventures, handled at all stages by multiple parties in an organization, Forrester says.

Only a little over 7% of IT purchases are now done without involvement by the CIO, and they are mostly smaller tech procurements. Clearly, the Forrester study doesn't suggest that the CIO's job is headed for extinction, but its conclusions about how the CIO's role is changing are telling.



4C Strategies is pleased to announce that the Emergency Planning College (EPC) has selected
the world renowned Exonaut™ Training and Exercise Manager (TEM) software solution for the delivery of its training and exercise activities to UK and overseas clients. Our software will enable
the EPC to plan and deliver dynamic training and exercises using next generation software.

“This is an important and strategic step for both 4C Strategies and the EPC through which we will be able to provide our software solutions to organisations seeking to build, verify and track their risk, business continuity and crisis management capabilities." says UK MD Gary Collett. "It will also provide more organisations across the globe with the opportunity to take advantage of possibilities that exist within the market leading Exonaut™ product suite.”

This further reinforces Exonaut™ TEM's brand as the leading exercise management system of choice, and strengthens its use in the UK military, government and private sectors, increasing the number of UK clients using Exonaut™ software solutions.

“The EPC has undergone significant positive change over the last few years and the integration of the Exonaut TEM™ exercise management system is a key part of our strategy. It brings new, fresh and dynamic tools to support our drive to improve our service to the UK resilience community and is helping us expand into wider markets. Exonaut™ TEM and the extended product suite offer clients exciting and powerful new tools to complement and enhance their readiness and resilience.” Chris Bremner, EPC Exercise Director.

If you would like more information about the Exonaut™ product suite, or wish to speak to a consultant about how it can help your organisation, please contact Jessica at  jessica.bradbury@4cstrategies.com or on 020 7969 2990.



4C Strategies is a solutions-oriented company, providing consultancy services and in-house software for improved risk, business continuity and crisis management. The company already has a large international client base, including organizations such as the British Army, London Gatwick Airport, Everything Everywhere, Argos and Homebase. 4C Strategies launched in 2000, quickly establishing itself as a successful global brand, and is now recognized as one of the most innovative providers of risk management solutions.

The EPC are a global leader in training, exercising and consultancy, providing services to the resilience community worldwide. Their highly experienced industry leading experts provide a wide range of dynamic and diverse solutions that include training, assessments, advisory and support services as well as guidance, consultancy and academic accreditation to both the public and private sector in the UK and across the world.

IBM Beacon Awards recognize IBM Business Partners for driving business value with smart, innovative solutions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 11, 2014) ––STORServer®, a leading provider of proven data backup solutions, has been named a winner of a 2014 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Solution for Midsize Businesses. Each year, this honor is awarded to a select number of IBM Business Partners who have delivered exceptional solutions to drive business value and transform the way their clients and industries do business.

“We are honored to be recognized by IBM a as a leader in delivering advanced solutions proven to drive business value for our customers,” said Bill Smoldt, president and CEO, STORServer. “The true innovation behind the STORServer Backup Appliance is that the solution solves companies’ backup, archive and disaster recovery challenges once and for all. We’re proud to be a leader in this market and an IBM Business Partner.”

The Beacon Awards are IBM’s premier Business Partner recognition program. Announced at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, and selected by leading industry influencers and IBM executives from among hundreds of nominations, IBM's Beacon Awards recognize IBM Business Partners who have demonstrated business excellence in delivering IBM-based solutions resulting in client transformation and business growth. This year’s awards recognized Business Partner achievements across 27 award categories.

“This year’s Beacon Award winners are Business Partners who have truly demonstrated their ability to develop new, advanced approaches to solving challenges while also transforming the way their clients and industries conduct business,” said Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. “We’re honored to recognize STORServer for winning the Beacon Award for Outstanding Solution for Midsize Businesses and consistently delivering value to our mutual clients.”

Powered by TSM and CommVault, STORServer offers a complete suite of enterprise backup appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery challenges. STORServer EBA 3100, 2100, 1100 and 800 recently took four out of five top positions in the DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide. After evaluating 66 products, DCIG felt that no other backup appliance came close to the EBA3100, placing it in a category of its own.

For more information on STORServer’s line of data backup solutions, visit http://www.storserver.com. To download the full DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide, visit http://backupapplianceguide.com.

For more information about the IBM Beacon Awards, including information about this year’s winners and finalists, please visit https://www-304.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/servlet/ContentHandler/pw_com_prb_beacon

To learn more about IBM PartnerWorld, a comprehensive Business Partner program that offers marketing and sales resources, training, certification and technical support to help create new revenue and market opportunities for IBM Business Partners, visit http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld.

To find an IBM Business Partner with a particular set of skills, a technology reseller or a consultant with industry expertise, visit the Business Partner Locator at: https://www-304.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/bplocator/search.jsp.

About STORServer®

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

Unitrends Release 7.3 delivers private cloud DRaaS and meta-bare metal recovery for Cisco UCS servers, as well as virtualization and performance enhancements

Columbia, s.c.Unitrends, the industry’s fastest-growing multi-environment data protection and disaster recovery company, today introduced Unitrends Release 7.3, an enhanced version of the already robust data protection software powering the company’s portfolio of physical and virtual backup and recovery appliances. Release 7.3 combines the advanced functionality of private cloud Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and meta-bare metal recovery for Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) servers with enhanced performance, application and platform support.

Click to Tweet: Software powering @Unitrends #dataprotection appliances delivers private #cloud DRaaS, other enhancements: http://bit.ly/1dckv4d

Widely known for providing instant recovery for physical Windows® systems, Unitrends now extends this same feature to the private replication target of Unitrends Recovery Series physical appliances. This enables cloud service providers and companies using a private cloud to leverage physical DRaaS capabilities.

The launch of Unitrends Release 7.3 also positions Unitrends as the only data protection provider currently offering meta-bare metal recovery for Cisco UCS servers. This industry-first functionality maximizes protection of Cisco USC servers, networks, storage and configuration data, enabling customers to restore UCS fabrics more rapidly and intelligently.

“Release 7.3 underscores Unitrends’ fundamental commitment to helping our customers play IT safe with the next-generation capabilities they need to meet the challenges of an increasingly demanding IT environment,” said Subo Guha, vice president of product management and marketing at Unitrends. “With industry-leading solutions consistently delivered at a price point and level of ease that meets our customers’ needs, we truly provide the best cost-to-value ratio in the data protection industry.”

Additional features of Unitrends Release 7.3 include:

·         Simplified deployment of Unitrends Enterprise Backup™: Accelerates installations of Unitrends Enterprise Backup, the company’s software-only backup and recovery virtual appliance, through better storage integration capabilities.

·         Expanded application and platform support: Extends Unitrends’ existing compatibility with more than 100 different versions of servers, operating systems, storage platforms, hypervisors and applications with support for Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Hyper-V® Server 2012 R2 and VMware® vSphere™ 5.5.

·         VMware vSphere template protection: Enablesbackup and recovery of VMware vSphere templates, which can be quickly restored as new virtual machines.

·         Domain Name Server (DNS) support for Linux and Mac® OS X®: Provides optional use of a DNS instead of static IP when adding Linux and Mac OS X clients to a system.


Performance Enhancements Take Center Stage

Unitrends is committed to continually optimizing its data protection appliances so IT departments can manage ever-increasing storage demands despite limited resources and budget. Unitrends Release 7.3 includes the following performance enhancements that deliver on this mission:

·         Faster Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V backups residing on Clustered Shared Volumes: Improves backup performance by up to 200 percent by enabling parallel backups of virtual machines residing on Clustered Shared Volumes in Hyper-V 2012 R2.

·         Improved deduplication rates and replication performance for VMware vSphere: Achieves higher retention and up to 50 percent faster replication performance by optimizingdeduplication capabilities for VMware vSphere environments with high change rates.

·         Faster replication of synthetic backups: Expedites synthetics replication by up to 40 percent by optimizing communication between a replication source and target.

·         Improved deduplication signature algorithm: Offers 10 percent faster deduplication and replication rates by making signatures only one part of the deduplication algorithm.

For more information on Unitrends Release 7.3, please visit www.unitrends.com.


About Unitrends

Unitrends provides physical, virtual and cloud-based protection and recovery for every organization’s most valuable assets: its data and applications. Supported by a “crazy-committed” customer service model based on engagement, experience and excellence, the company consistently achieves a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating and delivers the best cost-to-value ratio in the data protection industry. Visit www.unitrends.com.

OTTAWA, Canada — Diablo Technologies, today announced that its Memory Channel Storage™ (MCS™)  has achieved VMware Ready™ status. This designation indicates that MCS has undergone detailed test procedures and is supported on VMware vSphere® 5.1 and 5.5 for production environments.

 “By using MCS Technology with VMware vSphere 5.1 and 5.5, enterprises can maximize storage performance to provide high levels of VM density and acceleration, all while lowering total cost of ownership,” said Riccardo Badalone, CEO and Co-founder of Diablo Technologies.  “Diablo deems vSphere certification for the MCS-based SanDisk ULLtraDIMM™ as essential in supporting our most important enterprise customers.”

“We are pleased that Diablo Technologies’ MCS  qualifies for the VMware Ready™ logo, signifying to customers that it works effectively with VMware vSphere®, and can be deployed in production with confidence,” said Sanjay Katyal, vice president, Global Alliances & OEMs, VMware.

The VMware Ready™ program is a co-branding benefit of the Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program that makes it easy for customers to identify partner products certified to work with VMware cloud infrastructure. Customers can use these products and solutions to lower project risks and realize cost savings over custom built solutions.  With thousands of members worldwide, the VMware TAP program includes best-of-breed technology partners with the shared commitment to bring the best expertise and business solution for each unique customer need.

Diablo Technologies’ MCS can be found within the online VMware Solution Exchange (VSX) at https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/memory-channel-storage-mcs.

About Diablo Technologies

Founded in 2003, Diablo is at the forefront of developing breakthrough technologies to set the standard for next-generation enterprise computing.  Diablo’s Memory Channel Storage solution combines innovative software and hardware architectures with Non-Volatile Memory to introduce a new and disruptive generation of Solid State Storage for data-intensive applications. 

The Diablo executive leadership team has been successfully delivering product solutions that enhance the performance and capability of memory system designs for over ten years.  Leveraging knowledge from the past to address the future, Diablo Technologies now turns its focus to MCS, an award-winning and disruptive platform set to revolutionize the storage enterprise market.

The Diablo team has decades of experience in system architecture, chip-set design and software development at companies including Nortel Networks, Intel, Cisco, AMD, SEGA, ATI, Cadence Design Systems, Matrox Graphics, BroadTel Communications, ENQ Semiconductor and Huawei.


Data management isn’t enough anymore — it’s time to think more broadly about data and how it’s managed, experts say. It’s time to shift to enterprise information management.

Why? (I feel like a broken record just saying it. But if you insist, I’ve found some new data to back me up.)

Ventana Research just released a benchmark research report on information optimization, according to Information Management. It includes this finding: While 97 percent of organizations say it’s important or very important to make information available to the business and customers, only 25 percent are satisfied with the technology they’re using to provide access to that data.