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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

This is the time of year when CIOs shore up their infrastructure deployment and development plans for the next 12 months. Naturally, this is guided by at least a rudimentary vision of what you want your data environment to look like, not just next year but in the decade ahead.

But while most plans center on hardware, software and, now, services – in essence, what you want the enterprise to be – it wouldn’t hurt to shift the focus a little toward what, exactly, you want the enterprise to do. Viewing infrastructure through the lens of functionality can often lead to innovative solutions to problems that hamper data flow and productivity.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/what-do-you-want-the-enterprise-to-do.html

In my previous post, I shared the three business drivers for re-evaluating Ye Old Integration Strategy: Integration costs too much, it’s too complex, and you’re too slow at it, which annoys the business.

But how are you supposed to fix those problems? In its recent Integration 2014 Trends-to-Watch report, Ovum predicts four technology strategies that will play a key role in resolving these business problems. Let’s look at each and see which ones can help you with your integration challenges.

IPaaS. Ovum predicts iPaaS solutions will evolve more in 2014. That’s a safe bet since we’re already seeing it: Silicon Angle reports that MuleSoft upgraded its iPaaS this month to offer more enterprise support.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/how-it-will-solve-modern-integration-challenges-in-2014.html

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Take advantage of a new year to make your family safer in the face of future disasters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages Illinois residents to resolve to rebuild stronger and smarter, reducing the risk of potential devastation caused by events like the Nov. 17 tornadoes.

Through New Year’s Day, FEMA will offer simple tips and ideas to construct and maintain a home that can better withstand weather risks your community faces. This information will be posted and updated on FEMA’s Illinois recovery website FEMA.gov/Disaster/4157 as well as Facebook.com/FEMA and Twitter.com/FEMAregion5. Learn about rebuilding techniques and tips such as:                                                                                                                   

  • Reinforcing your Residence. Retrofitting your home can provide structural updates that didn’t exist when it was constructed. For instance, a homeowner can install straps to their roof’s structural beams to make it strong enough to resist the "uplift" effect of high winds that can cause it to lift and collapse back down on the house.
  • Fortify those Floors. Homeowners can secure their structure to its foundation by using anchors or straps. This can minimize the chances of a home moving off its foundation during events like tornadoes and earthquakes.
  • Trim & Tighten. Consider cutting away any dangling tree branches that pose a threat to your home and securing outdoor furniture and fuel tanks that can serve as projectiles during high wind events.
  • Elevation is a Smart Renovation. Flooding is a real risk in Illinois and elevating your home and its critical utilities can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Contact your local floodplain manager to learn your flood risk and elevation requirements for your residence.
  • Assure You’re Fully Insured. Take the time to review your insurance coverage. Are you adequately insured for the risks your community faces? Are you covered for wind, flood or sewer back-up coverage? Has your policy been updated to reflect the value of your home? Contact your insurance agent to get these questions answered and ensure your home is financially protected.                                                                                                  

Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or with a smartphone or tablet by visiting m.fema.gov. They can also register and get questions answered over the phone by calling FEMA’s helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362). Survivors who 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.                                         

For the latest information on Illinois’ recovery from the Nov. 17 storms, visit FEMA.gov/Disaster/4157. Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, facebook.com/fema and youtube.com/fema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

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.

With the steady rise of new cloud services, plus rapidly increasing solid-state deployment and advanced near-line and on-server solutions, storage had a pretty big year in 2013. The question for 2014, though, is whether we will see even more advanced technologies coming to the fore or whether this will be a year for capitalizing on the gains that are already in the channel. Or both?

For Instrumental CEO Henry Newman, 2014 looks to be a transitional year as the continued acceptance of solid state in the enterprise leads to greater consolidation in the industry, and possibly a few bankruptcies. As well, long-time storage solutions like native Fibre Channel and SATA will give ground to the improved performance and steadily declining costs of more advanced technologies. And if you have your heart set on finally putting PCIe 4.0 into play, well, think again. He expects the format to be delayed again until 2015.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/storage-in-2014-a-big-year-ahead-or-more-of-the-same.html

IDG News Service (Boston Bureau) — Target has confirmed that hackers obtained customer debit card PINs (personal identification numbers) in the massive data breach suffered by the retailer during the busy holiday shopping season, but says customers should be safe, as the numbers were encrypted.

Some 40 million customer debit and credit cards were affected by the breach, but until now it wasn't clear that PINs were part of the hackers' massive haul.

"While we previously shared that encrypted data was obtained, this morning through additional forensics work we were able to confirm that strongly encrypted PIN data was removed," Target said in a statement on its website Friday. "We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure. The PIN information was fully encrypted at the keypad, remained encrypted within our system, and remained encrypted when it was removed from our systems."

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http://www.cio.com/article/745098/Target_Confirms_Customer_PINs_Were_Taken_in_Breach_but_Says_Data_is_Safe

December 30, 2013

Are You Ready for BYOI?

By now nearly everyone is familiar with bring your own device (BYOD). Some people out there still aren’t sure whether BYOD was nothing more than a buzzword in 2013 or if it really was a popular movement with serious security implications. (My personal thought is that the trendiness of the acronym downplayed the very real security concerns that the concept brought upon the enterprise.)

But no matter what you think of it, BYOD is, as Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA, told me in an email, “so 2013.” According to Coviello, we should get ready for BYOI, bring your own identity. BYOI, Coviello added, is the next step in the trend that began with BYOD:

The next evolution will be the consumerization of ID or identity as employees increasingly push for a simpler, more integrated system of identification for all of the ways they use their devices.  Identity will be less entrusted to third parties and increasingly be something closely held and managed by individuals – as closely as they hold their own devices....

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/are-you-ready-for-byoi.html

As small businesses prepare for 2014, they shouldn't focus solely on increasing their bottom lines.

Paychex, a provider of payroll, human resource and benefits outsourcing solutions, says it's equally as important for small businesses to be aware of the legislative issues that could affect their operations in the year to come.

"Navigating all of the legislative and regulatory changes that occur throughout the course of the year can be challenging, taking business owners away from other important aspects of running their businesses," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. 

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http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5673-small-business-laws-in-2014.html?cmpid=556170

CIO — The holiday season is a great time to look back at the year, with an eye toward what we in the ever-changing world of information technology can expect in 2014. These three trends warrant your close attention in the new year.

In Light of NSA Revelations, Companies Will Be Wary of the Cloud

For most businesses, 2013 was the year of the cloud. Companies that still hosted their email in house would in large part move that expense and aggravation to someone else. Microsoft SharePoint and other knowledge management solutions could be run in someone else's datacenter, using someone else's resources and time to administer, thus freeing your own people to improve other services or, gasp, work directly on enhancing the business.

But then Edward Snowden came around in June and started to release a series of damning leaks about the United States National Security Agency's capability to eavesdrop on communications. At first, most folks weren't terribly alarmed. But as the year wore on, the depth of the NSA's alleged capabilities to tap into communications — both with and without service provider knowledge — started to shake the faith of many CIOs in the risk/benefit tradeoff for moving to cloud services.

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http://www.cio.com/article/745010/3_Ways_Enterprise_IT_Will_Change_in_2014

Data center infrastructure will undergo dramatic change across the board in the coming year, but while much of the focus will be on software-defined architectures and cloud computing, bare metal changes are on tap as well.

This is actually quite a heady time for servers in particular, given that the pressure to revamp data-handling capabilities is mounting as the enterprise struggles to meet the challenges of mobility, Big Data, collaboration and other macro forces.

For InterWorx’ Graeme Caldwell, the rise of high-volume/small packet data traffic will lead directly to the ARM architecture finally breaking the “x86 monoculture” that has gripped the enterprise for so long. ARMs thrive in the chaotic universe of mobile data, so if the enterprise wishes to scale resources up and down to suit ever-changing load volumes, they would be better off with legions of low-power ARM units at their disposal than highly virtualized x86 machines. And while Intel currently holds a slight edge with its 64-bit Avoton SoC, the coming year will see 64-bit ARMs from Caldexa, Applied Micro and others.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/the-role-of-servers-in-an-increasingly-cloudy-universe.html

The coming year will be a pivotal one for a wide range of data center components including everything from servers and storage to the virtual layer and cloud architectures. But before I get to all of those, I thought it would be a good idea to see what is likely to happen to the data center itself. After all, with enterprise infrastructure poised for some truly wide-scale distribution, the data center is increasingly being viewed as a single component of perhaps a global data environment.

And while some may argue that the data center will diminish in importance as responsibility for actual physical layer infrastructure falls to the cloud provider, the fact remains that for the coming year, at least, enterprises of all sizes will rely on their own data facilities to a higher degree than in years past.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/welcome-to-the-new-enterprise-data-center.html