Integration remains a major concern for those hesitant to adopt SaaS, but a recent vendor survey shows a new top barrier: data privacy.
SnapLogic, which provides a cloud-based integration solution, engaged in a joint survey with TechValidate, a third-party research organization. We’ve seen a lot of vendor surveys on cloud and SaaS recently, but what sets this apart is that it targeted 100 U.S. companies with revenues exceeding $500 million.
Seventy-two percent of the organizations responding said they already have an active cloud application or data integration project. So, for the majority, SaaS is already in play as a viable option.
PEARL, Miss. – In the aftermath of a disaster, misconceptions about disaster assistance can often prevent survivors from applying for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration. A good rule of thumb: register, even if you’re unsure whether you’ll be eligible for assistance.
Registering with FEMA is simple. You can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or with a smartphone or tablet by downloading the FEMA app or by visiting m.fema.gov. You can also register over the phone by calling FEMA’s helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362). Survivors who are deaf or hard of hearing and use a TTY can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Clarification on some common misunderstandings:
- MYTH: FEMA assistance could affect my Social Security benefits, taxes, food stamps or Medicaid.
FACT: FEMA assistance does not affect benefits from other federal programs and is not considered taxable income.
- MYTH: I have insurance. I don’t need to apply for federal disaster assistance.
FACT: You should register for federal disaster assistance even if you have insurance. While FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
- MYTH: I've already cleaned up the damage to my home and had the repairs made. Isn’t it too late to register once the work is done?
FACT: You may be eligible for reimbursement of your clean up and repair costs, even if repairs are complete.
- MYTH: I didn’t apply for help because I don’t want a loan.
FACT: FEMA only provides grants that do not have to be paid back. The grants may cover expenses for temporary housing, home repairs, replacement of damaged personal property and other disaster-related needs such as medical, dental or transportation costs not covered by insurance or other programs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to renters, homeowners and businesses of all sizes. Some applicants may be contacted by SBA after registering with FEMA. You are not obligated to take out a loan, but you need to complete the application to continue the federal disaster assistance process. By completing the application, you may become eligible for additional grant assistance from FEMA.
You can apply with SBA online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information on SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit SBA.gov/Disaster, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.
- MYTH: I don’t want to apply for help because others had more damage; they need the help more than I do.
FACT: FEMA has enough funding to assist all eligible survivors with their disaster-related needs.
- MYTH: I'm a renter. I thought FEMA assistance was only for homeowners for home repairs.
FACT: FEMA assistance is not just for homeowners. FEMA may provide assistance to help renters who lost personal property or who were displaced.
- MYTH: Registration involves a lot of red tape and paperwork. I don’t have time to register.
FACT: There is no paperwork to register with FEMA. The process is very easy and normally takes between 15 and 20 minutes.
- MYTH: Since I received disaster assistance last year, I’m sure I can’t get it again this year.
FACT: Assistance may be available if you suffered damage from a new federally-declared disaster.
- MYTH: My income is probably too high for me to qualify for FEMA disaster assistance.
FACT: Income is not a consideration for FEMA grant assistance. However you will be asked financial questions during registration to help determine eligibility for SBA low-interest disaster loans.
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.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
If you ask IT executives about shifting the entire data infrastructure to the cloud, the most common reaction is something like: “Possible in theory, but not practical in real-world environments.”
But that perspective may be changing.
According to Network World, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, a Massachusetts firm that reported $81 million in revenues last year, has moved to a data center-free footprint by shifting its entire data environment to the cloud and BYOD. CIO Nathan McBride says this has halved his annual data center budget to about $1.4 million and reduced the IT staff to four: himself, a project manager, a Scrum/PMP developer and a “data center master.” At the same time, he says the company has been able to successfully replicate the five key pillars of IT in the cloud: backup, email, file servers, security and service.
“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” – Mark Twain
While spring officially sprung in late March, it’s only been in the last few weeks that we’ve seen the characteristically unpredictable weather that ushers in the fun-in-the-sun summer. During spring, temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy (high 80s in Georgia this week) and frigid (in the 40s in Wyoming). Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather; sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day.
Below are the most common types of severe spring weather:
- Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.
- Tornadoes, often called twisters, are rapidly rotating columns of air that are connected to both the ground and the cloud. Tornado Alley – the Great Plains region of the United States – is most active this time of year. Already in 2014, there have been more than 30 deaths due to tornadoes.
- Flooding, which is most common in and near mountainous areas due to snow melt, is another condition of spring. As are mudslides, like the one in Oso, Washington, in late March. Mudslides happen when heavy rainfall, snowmelt, or high amounts of ground water cause soil to be uprooted.
- Wildfires are most common in the Western United States and wildfire season usually starts in May and runs through August. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, this year’s wildfire season could be dangerous.
Because spring weather can be so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—especially if you live in a region that does not often experience these types of events. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.
Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and floods requires specific safety precautions. Still, you can follow many of the same steps for all extreme weather events. You should have on hand:
- A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
- An emergency evacuation plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
- A list of important personal information, including
- telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends
- insurance and property information
- telephone numbers of utility companies
- medical information
- A first aid kit may include:
- non-latex gloves
- assortment of adhesive bandages
- antibiotic ointment
- sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- adhesive cloth tape
- aspirin packets (81 mg each)
- First aid instruction booklet
- A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- An emergency kit in your car
Remember to help prepare your family members and neighbors for the possibility of severe weather too. Tell them where they can find appropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Make sure to run through your emergency plans for every type of severe weather. Show family members where emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.
Unfortunately, few of us get much advance notice of a severe weather event. Often times when we become aware of an approaching storm, we have little time to prepare for it. But, we know what season it is, and even if this spring doesn’t bring any severe weather to your area, being prepared can help you at any time of the year.
Are there any stories of your own spring preparedness that you want to share with us?
CloudSigma's Flexible Pricing, Green Hosting Initiatives and High-Availability Proves Ideal for Workshare's Application Testing and Development
PALO ALTO, Calif. – CloudSigma, a public cloud IaaS provider with advanced hybrid hosting solutions, today announced that Workshare, a provider of secure enterprise collaboration applications, has chosen CloudSigma's platform to host its application testing and development environment. By leveraging CloudSigma's highly available and energy-efficient public cloud environment, scalable resources, and flexible pricing for application testing, Workshare can benchmark the customer experience for new services or features before they're officially rolled out to customers, in the most sustainable way possible.
To ensure innovation is a core part of Workshare's product development, the company needed a cloud provider with a scalable, elastic environment like CloudSigma's. With this, new applications and functionality can be quickly developed and brought to market, ensuring Workshare is constantly meeting customers' changing business collaboration needs.
Additionally, with the ability to reserve fixed capacity and burst as needed, CloudSigma allows Workshare to test the performance of its applications in the most scalable, cost effective way possible without risking costly Virtual Machine overprovisioning from pre-defined bundles, as required by some other providers.
"CloudSigma is highly elastic, allowing us to easily scale up and down as needed so we can provision the exact capacity required of our testing environment," commented Ali Moinuddin, CMO, Workshare. "CloudSigma enables us to process data quickly, while saving money on resources we aren't using."
Workshare is leveraging CloudSigma's state-of-the-art infrastructure for testing and development, combined with its resource provisioning on a pay-as-you-go basis. As a result of these continued cost savings, Workshare has migrated some of its own internal IT systems into CloudSigma's environment, reaping the benefits of its well-balanced price/performance and efficient resource utilization.
"The bottom line is that Workshare's infrastructure and services have to be available 24x7 and regular testing and development is what guarantees this," said Robert Jenkins, CEO, CloudSigma. "We are able to provide an unmatched level of service, along with a neutral platform that is very open, allowing Workshare to test their software stack unmodified within our cloud. As a result, Workshare can continue to deliver its enterprise customers with secure collaboration options that meet their stringent business regulations."
CloudSigma's Swiss data center location with Equinix relies on clean power, as more than 90 percent of the Swiss electricity grid's generation capacity depends upon renewable energy. Equinix's efficient delivery of power from the grid to the rack minimizes loss and overhead, and meets CloudSigma's track record of using data center facilities that show consistent performance improvements in Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). This allows customers like Workshare to minimize the carbon footprint associated with the provisioning of IT infrastructure and services.
EPSOM – Tape is not dead. The nearly 60-plus year old storage device is the media of choice for storing a company's dark data, defined by Gartner as information assets organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes. Tape archives contain dark data that could potentially be monetised through the harvesting and analysis of data; however, Kroll Ontrack, a leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery products and services, received nearly 300 tape enquiries in 2013 related to legacy tapes where most of the customers did not know what was on the tapes and required a tape catalogue and restoration.
"Tape is a popular dark data storage medium because it is cheap and relativity easy to store," said Paul Le Messurier, programme and operations manager at Kroll Ontrack. "Situations, however, commonly arise, which require IT administrators to access and retrieve that data using up-to-date software, hardware and a current, organised tape catalogue. This is where organisations tend to get in trouble. For example, a recent Kroll Ontrack survey of 600 resellers revealed that almost two-thirds of respondents (60 per cent) said that customers have requested legacy tape services, but that they don't currently provide them."
The following five common situations define the tape recovery market:
- Compliance: Bound by industry regulations as well as a corporation's own document retention policy, a tape or series of tapes are put back into circulation before their end of life (compliance) date, effectively deleting data that is required for compliance purposes
- Litigation: The legal department requires data to be collected from tapes the company no longer has the software for or the hardware resources to extract the data in time to meet the deadline provided
- Migration: A new backup software is purchased, requiring a large volume of tapes and thus man hours to migrate to the new software
- Damaged: A natural disaster causes damage to a set of tapes, requiring cleanroom techniques and parts to recover the lost data
- End of Life: A corporation let their tape software license lapse or disposed of tape reading hardware, and the entity no longer has the hardware or software to perform the recovery
"Storing data on tapes does not mean that data is obsolete. Dark data on tapes is an enterprise goldmine, which requires care and continual vigilance," added Le Messurier. "Whether it is auditing, indexing and cataloguing tapes that are unmarked or required for compliance; providing software or hardware to access legacy tapes; or recovering data from damaged tapes, Kroll Ontrack has a dedicated Ontrack Data Recovery R&D staff that has been building and improving upon cutting-edge tape recovery tools that work independently of backup infrastructure/software for more than 20 years."
Kroll Ontrack recommends the following tips to protect your tapes or enhance the chance for a successful recovery:
- Keep legacy hardware and software for all types of tapes in storage
- Make sure your tapes are correctly labelled and catalogued so they can be easily located when needed
- Test your tapes at least once a year by reading a random sample
- Store tapes in a dry place and off of the ground. If tapes happen to get water damaged, keep them wet until they are received by a data recovery company
- Securely delete tapes that have reached their end of lifecycle leveraging a degausser since "normal" deletion will not be sufficient
- Keep the contact information for a third-party company who provides a comprehensive list of tape services
For more information regarding common tape recovery scenarios and how to avoid them, Kroll Ontrack is offering a webinar on 21 May at 3:00 p.m. Further, for a complete list of Kroll Ontrack's tape services, visit: http://www.krollontrack.co.uk/information-management/bespoke-tape-services.
About Kroll Ontrack
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyse and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack is an industry-leading provider of data recovery, secure data destruction, electronic discovery and document review services. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its data recovery services please visit: http://www.krollontrack.co.uk/data-recovery, or follow @KrollOntrackUK on Twitter or subscribe to the Kroll Ontrack Data Blog.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication v4 featuring Microsoft Exchange Objects Recovery, Exchange logs truncation, and backup verification is now available free of charge to VMware Professionals
CAMPBELL, Calif. — NAKIVO Inc., the fastest-growing provider of virtualization data protection software, has announced today that it provides free Not for Resale (NFR) licenses to VMware professionals: current VMUG members, VMware vExperts, VCIs, VCPs, VTSPs, and VSPs can receive a two-socket NFR license of NAKIVO Backup & Replication v4. The NFR license keys are available for non-production use only, including educational, lab testing, evaluation, training, and demonstration purposes. NFR licenses are available at www.nakivo.com/en/free_nfr_license.htm.
Version 4 adds impressive new features to NAKIVO Backup & Replication. Instant Exchange Objects Recovery enables browsing, searching, and recovering MS Exchange objects – such as emails – directly from compressed and deduplicated VMware VM backups, without the need to restore the entire VM first. Exchange Logs Truncation removes Exchange server logs after a successful backup thus saving disk space. Backup Verification checks VM backups at the block level and ensures that the data written to the backup repository is identical to the data that was read from the source VM, thus verifying that application objects, files, and the entire VM can be recovered.
“NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a fast and reliable solution to protect and recover VMware VMs onsite, offsite, and in the cloud. We are excited to support VMware community and provide VMware professionals with a free VM backup, replication, and recovery solution for their home and non-production labs,” said Bruce Talley, CEO and Founder of NAKIVO.
Built for virtualization, NAKIVO Backup & Replication has been certified by VMware and offers a complete VM data protection feature set for SMB, Enterprise, and Cloud Provider virtualized environments. The product is purely agentless, backs up and replicates VMware VMs onsite over LAN and offsite over (a slow) WAN, supports live applications and databases, enables granular and full VM recovery, speeds up data transfer with network acceleration, and reduces data size with global deduplication and compression.
- Overview: www.nakivo.com/VMware-VM-backup-replication-recovery-software.htm
- Datasheet: www.nakivo.com/Resources/NBR-DS.pdf
- Success Stories: www.nakivo.com/success-stories.htm
- Trial Download: www.nakivo.com/en/VMware-Backup-Free-Trial.htm
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, NAKIVO is a privately-held software company that has been profitable since founding in 2012. With more than 2,400 customers and over 450 channel partners worldwide, NAKIVO develops and markets a line of next generation data protection products for VMware virtualized environments. NAKIVO provides a fast, reliable, and affordable VM backup and replication solution for enabling SMBs and enterprises to protect and recover VM data onsite, offsite, and in the cloud. NAKIVO has also enabled over 50 hosting, managed, and cloud services providers to create and offer VM Backup-as-a-Service, Replication-as-a-Service, and DR-as-a-Service to their customers. NAKIVO was the first virtualization backup specialist to offer VM backup to public clouds such as Amazon to SMB customers and multi-tenancy to service providers and enterprise customers. For more information, please visit www.nakivo.com.
£4m investment to support on-going growth of rapidly expanding UK SME
LONDON – Skyscape Cloud Services Limited, the easy to adopt, easy to use and easy to leave Assured Cloud Services Company, today announced that it has secured a £4m minority stake investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund) to accelerate its growth in the UK Public Sector market.
The BGF investment reflects the confidence that this leading financial institution has in the Skyscape business, which is growing at 20% per month with Annualised Monthly Recurring Revenue approaching £10m. Founded in May 2011, and to date supported by private investors, Skyscape is a leading provider of cloud infrastructure services to the UK public sector. BGF is an independent company established to help Britain's high growth businesses.
Phil Dawson, Chief Executive Officer, Skyscape Cloud Services stated “BGF is the ideal investment partner to support the on-going growth of our market-leading, assured cloud infrastructure business, singularly dedicated to helping UK government achieve their digital agenda; delivering better, user-centric public services through more affordable and agile IT.
Focussed mainly on central government departments, supporting more than 70 projects, across 38 customer organisations engaging through over 100 partners, Skyscape will use the investment to enhance the capacity, scale and performance of our platform, extend our customer and partner care programmes, improve our SLAs and develop our Platform-as-a-Service proposition. Recognising the increasing awareness of the benefits of cloud services, Skyscape will also utilise the investment to accelerate our offering into healthcare, local government and research/higher education.”
James Austin, Investment Director, BGF commented: “We are delighted to be backing Phil and the team at Skyscape to help realise their ambitions for the company. It is a young business and one that is growing very rapidly due to its ability to deliver a unique cloud service model to a developing public sector market. The ambition of its founders is extraordinary. Skyscape has been built for significant scale, backed by a proven management team with very impressive track-records and a desire to grow Skyscape in tandem with the government’s policy for wider adoption of cloud based services.”
Capitalising on the government shift to cloud computing which forms a key part of its ICT strategy, Skyscape is a market leader in the provision of assured cloud solutions to the UK public sector and has made significant investment in designing a cloud platform that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of this market. Skyscape focuses on providing assured cloud services in an agile, secure and cost-effective manner. Its customers are able to eliminate the need for costly hardware or managed hosting services as well as benefit from simple hourly pricing and no initial set-up fees. This genuine pay-by-the-hour service delivers significant cost savings for Skyscape’s customers, who are able to turn servers off during evenings and weekends, or alternatively, rapidly scale services at times of peak demand.
Stephen Allott, The Government’s Crown Representative for Small and Medium Enterprises said “The Government’s IT strategy and the G-Cloud framework have been helping to provide increased access to SMEs, enabling them to compete for more government contracts. SMEs have won 60% of the business by value placed through the G-Cloud. Sales have now passed the £154m mark. This investment is a great example of government’s procurement reforms in action.”
Skyscape has achieved considerable success to date, winning a number of high-profile contracts directly with public sector organisations, including the Cabinet Office, Home Office, HMRC and MOD. Indirectly, via partners, Skyscape supports infrastructure hosting a large number of other central government departments, and a growing number of local authorities and independent government organisations.
The investment was managed for BGF by James Austin, Greg Norman and Edwin Davies.
Space at Intergate.Manhattan is designed by Sabey to meet market demand for generator-backed, storm proof operations centers
Building a “digital factory” for the Internet economy
NEW YORK – Seattle-based Sabey Data Center Properties, one of the nation’s largest privately-owned multi-tenant data center owners and developers, announced today that it is offering up to 500,000 square feet of high-security, technology-based office space at Intergate.Manhattan, the firm’s 1 million-square-foot facility at 375 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan.
By combining a brand new, 40 megawatt data center with technology focused, high connectivity office space at a single location, Sabey will create a “digital factory” in Lower Manhattan that is designed to meet specifications of the Internet economy.
The company can re-clad up to 15 stories, almost the entire upper half of the of the building’s 32 stories, with a new window wall façade in order to take advantage of the property’s 360-degree, panoramic views of Manhattan island and New York harbor. The new window walls will wrap around the north, east and south exposures of the building. Existing windows on the west façade will be uncovered from inside the structure. The building improvements, designed by Sabey in-house, will include pre-built interior space, as well. Construction will start in summer 2014.
John Sabey, President of Sabey Data Centers, said, “Sabey has a 40-year history of building secure, high-uptime work spaces for the nation’s defense industry, medical research, bio-tech and healthcare, and financial services sectors. Enterprise workforces that require an exceptionally high degree of physical protection and operational resiliency will be attracted to Intergate.Manhattan office space.”
Sabey Data Centers has designed the space as generator-backed, storm proof office space with larger than average clear heights and spectacular views. The space is being offered as a 24/7 workplace, ideally suited for technology, healthcare and biotech research or secure back office uses.
In addition, because the space is located within one of the nation’s largest data centers, it will offer virtually unlimited connectivity and capacity – a paramount requirement for conducting business in the Internet economy. Office tenants will have on-site access to Sabey Data Centers’ diverse Meet Me Rooms and multiple telecommunications carriers as well as the ability to separate their data center needs into a purpose built data center in the same building.
The new space offers interior design and finishes found in new, conventional office buildings as well as common area amenities such as conference rooms and pantries. The building’s lower half will continue to operate as the region’s newest, purpose-built data center.
Mr. Sabey added, “The Internet economy is writing a whole new set of specifications for office space. We are proud to be among the first developers to meet the needs of businesses that require very high levels of security, connectivity and 24/7 operational assets for their work forces.”
375 Pearl Street is located within walking distance of Wall Street, the New York City Civic Center and the culinary delights of Chinatown. The closest subway stop is at City Hall within a five-minute walk. The new Fulton Street mass transportation hub is less than a 10-minute walk from the property, with direct connections to most of the city’s subway system.
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is the exclusive leasing agent for Sabey Data Centers’ new office space at 375 Pearl Street. The NGKF team, led by David Falk, includes Danny Levine, Josh Gosin, and Jason Greenstein. NGKF’s Michael Morris leads the data center leasing team.
Asking rents for the office space are in the low $50s psf range.
Intergate.Manhattan represents an exponential expansion to New York City’s computing infrastructure capacity. The 32-story Intergate.Manhattan is also the most efficient data center in New York City, with brand new infrastructure and state-of-the-art climate control and electrical systems. The building’s Con Ed substation is on the second and third floors, eliminating a risk from storm surge damage that affected so many buildings in Lower Manhattan during Superstorm Sandy.
About Sabey Data Center Properties
With a portfolio of more than three million square feet of mission critical space, Sabey Data Center Properties is one of the oldest and largest privately owned multi-tenant data center owner/developer/operators in the United States. Sabey specializes in scalable, custom-built solutions including data center ready shell space and fully turnkey data centers managed by Sabey’s award-winning critical environment staff. Consistently recognized for its reputation for operational excellence through its world-class data centers and sustained uptime, Sabey is proud to provide data center services to many of the world’s top financial, technology and healthcare companies. www.sabey.com.
How do you invest, source and expand responsibly?
Picking the right place to do so may make or break your efforts. At least, that’s the theory of London-based property company Grosvenor. With that in mind, the company analyzed 160 data sets to assess the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the world’s “50 most important cities” to determine which are the most resilient, with resilience defined as “the ability of cities to continue to function as centers of production, human habitation, and cultural development despite the challenges posed by climate change, population growth, declining resource supply, and other paradigm shifts.”