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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 00:00

DevOps Done Right, the First Time

The benefits of converting to a DevOps model of IT operations are becoming plainer by the day, but the process of converting today’s management stack to an agile architecture is still mired in confusion.

DevOps alone, of course, will not make you agile, but it is a key enabling technology that allows for much of the continuous development and IT automation that will finally allow organizations to shed the hands-on control of data infrastructure to focus on more productive activities.

In today’s fast-paced economy, DevOs will not only be the preferred means of pushing new services to users, it will be the only way. As Datamation’s Andy Patrizio notes, the six-month or more time lag between request and fulfilment for new services simply will not cut it, particularly now that the cloud has provided a convenient alternative to IT. Under a DevOps model, everyone with a stake in the application – which includes developers, users, infrastructure managers and even the bean counters – gets a seat at the table to determine the scope and nature of the project and its implementation within the data ecosystem. In this way, services not only play a more pivotal role in the business process, but multiple eyes can track their progress to see exactly how they can be made more relevant or powered down if necessary.



There are three things you need in order to turn a technology concept into a viable revenue-generating services business:

  1. The market opportunity. The stars need to be aligned and momentum needs to be in your favor.
  2. The building blocks. The vision to capitalize on enabling technology. The tight-knit plan to get you to where you need to be, and the GTM speed to get there quickly and efficiently.
  3. Execute, automate and scale. In today’s modern era, speed-to-market has never been more important, and scale is critical to long-term business success. Think not only about how you can implement, but how can you automate.



AUSTIN, Texas – Businesses and nonprofit organizations that sustained damage or losses from the May-June storms and floods can apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help with their recovery.

“SBA disaster loans are the major source of federal disaster recovery aid,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III, who is in charge of FEMA’s operations in Texas. “The interest rates are low—as low as 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofits for the life of the loan.”

SBA offers two types of disaster loans to businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture and most nonprofits, including faith-based ones: physical disaster loans and economic injury disaster loans.

Physical disaster loans are used to repair or replace damaged buildings and business assets. Economic injury disaster loans help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofits meet financial obligations they cannot meet because of the disaster.

Business owners may also be eligible to refinance existing liens or mortgages.

SBA low-interest disaster loans for businesses have several advantages:

  • SBA requires no collateral for both physical loans or economic injury loans less than $25,000. SBA requires the borrower to pledge as collateral only what is available, plus satisfactory credit and the ability to repay.
  • Applicants don’t have to wait for insurance settlements to obtain loans.
  • Loans are written for a length of time appropriate to the type of loan, but SBA may make adjustments in the length of the loan to lower the monthly payments. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
  • SBA offers mitigation loans to help pay for improvements to reduce potential for future damage. These mitigation funds are available for up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage.
  • SBA never charges an application fee or points for its disaster loans.

By law, SBA business loans cannot exceed $2 million.  If a business is a major employer, SBA may waive the limit.

The deadline to file for a physical damage disaster loan is August 10. The deadline for an economic injury disaster loan is March 11, 2017.

No one is obligated to accept a loan if approved. SBA gives applicants six months to decide whether to accept a loan.

Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information, application forms and a list of counties eligible for assistance are available online at SBA.gov/disaster, from SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.

SBA representatives are also available at disaster recovery centers to provide information about disaster loans, the application process or help completing an SBA application. To find the nearest one, go online to the disaster recovery center locator at asd.fema.gov/inter/locator.

Completed applications can be mailed to:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd.
Fort Worth, TX  76155

# # #

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.

No matter what precautionary measures schools take, there are many risks and “fires” that need to be put out on a daily basis. To keep staff and students safe and to protect school assets, a proactive approach to mitigating risk in schools is a necessity. The keys to a successful risk management program include careful, strategic planning while taking all relevant and potential factors into consideration, but how can administrators get started?

By identifying potential risks and applying a process to assess them, schools can focus on their objectives more clearly, including top priorities like student and employee wellbeing. Effective risk management reduces the disruption of a student’s education, damage to a school’s reputation, lost time, stress from managing incidents, and the potential risk of legal intervention in an increasingly litigious world. School administrators can explore these strategies as they strive to enhance their risk management initiatives:



Joint External Evaluation team in Washington DC

The Joint External Evaluation Team joins U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) colleagues in front of the Humphrey Building, Washington DC, May 2016

A team of evaluators takes an independent look at our systems

The Story Behind the Snapshot

At first glance, this photo taken on a set of concrete steps in Washington, D.C., may look like an ordinary group shot—but it took an extraordinary series of events to make it happen.

The photo shows colleagues from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standing alongside a team of 15 international experts from 13 different countries, known as the Joint External Evaluation Team. The team had been invited by the U.S. government to assess how well the country is prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to major public health threats. The goal was to receive an independent and unbiased evaluation of our capabilities.

We would never have arrived at this moment without these things: a wake-up call, a historic agreement, and a renewed commitment to work together to protect the world’s health.


Leading up to now: A brief timelineInternational Health Regulations: Protecting People Everyday

Near the turn of this century, the emergence of diseases like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and H5N1 influenza was a big wake-up call and showed the world more clearly than ever that a health threat anywhere is a threat everywhere — what affects one country affects us all.

Eleven years ago, countries came together to sign the International Health Regulations (IHR), a historic agreement which gave the world a new framework for stopping the spread of diseases across borders. The IHR obligates every country to prepare for, and report on, public health events that could have an international impact.

However, five years after the IHR went into effect, nearly 2/3 of countries were still unprepared to handle a public health emergency.

Two years ago, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) gave countries common targets they can work toward to stop infectious disease in its tracks. This led to the need for the Joint External Evaluation Team, an independent group that travels to countries to report on how well public health systems are working to meet global health security goals.

Last October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) began working together to arrange for the team to visit the U.S.

In May, the team’s five-day visit took place. Two days were spent in Washington, D.C., assessing federal response capabilities. The remaining three days were spent at CDC, because the agency works in nearly all of the 19 technical areas included in the evaluation.

On the final day of their visit in Atlanta, the evaluation team shared their preliminary results.

What the team found

They recognized the high level of scientific expertise within CDC and other federal agencies, and the excellent reporting mechanisms managed by the federal government.

They also identified opportunities for improvement in some areas, such as:

  • Combining and utilizing data from multiple surveillance systems, including systems that monitor human, animal, environmental, and plant health
  • Conducting triage and long-term medical follow-up during major radiological disasters
  • Communicating risks quickly and consistently with communities across the country

They specifically recognized the challenges any federal public health system faces, and advised the U.S. to continue improving the understanding of the IHR among different federal and state agencies. Their observations will help drive improvements for programs throughout CDC and the nation.

The U.S. requested this unbiased review of its response capabilities and hopes that the entire world will do the same. Like other countries who have undergone this process, the U.S. will soon share the final report of the Joint External Evaluation with the public.

For More Information

ST. LOUIS – TierPoint announced today the national expansion of managed Microsoft Azure services.  The expansion builds on TierPoint’s acquisition earlier this year of Cosentry, which had previously rolled out these services.

This development enables TierPoint managed services on Microsoft’s Azure public cloud, including design, implementation, migration, and optimization. TierPoint also offers managed Office 365 services nationally, including initial environment assessment and performance recommendations, consulting and customization, hybrid environment design and synchronization of Office 365 with on premise Exchange.

“We’re seeing a steady increase in the growth of hybrid cloud solutions,” said TierPoint Senior Vice President of Products Shea Long.  “By offering managed services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we provide customers with greater flexibility in addressing their IT infrastructure needs. Our consultative approach, from solution design to migration, can help customers reduce time to market and minimize downtime risk through patching, monitoring, anti-virus, proactive notification, and more.”

Lansing Trade Group is a TierPoint client that has successfully migrated to a hybrid cloud solution, incorporating Microsoft Azure. Prior to the migration, Lansing faced a number of challenges including aging IT infrastructure, the need to auto-scale servers based on demand and only pay for what they used, and a need to shift traditional infrastructure tasks to a collaborative cloud provider.

 “We saw an opportunity to move to a more efficient cloud solution leveraging the Azure platform and TierPoint’s managed services,” said Lansing Director of IT Jason Sears. 

#   #   #

About TierPoint

TierPoint is a leading national provider of best-in-class IT infrastructure services that help clients improve agility, drive performance, and manage risk. TierPoint offers multi-tenant, private, and hybrid cloud solutions; disaster recovery, business continuity and other managed services; and colocation – all backed by a commitment to superior customer service and highly-redundant, carrier-neutral data centers coast to coast.

FARNBOROUGH – Datum Datacentres is delighted to announce that managed IT services company, Xiria, has selected Datum Farnborough as their primary co-location data centre.


Xiria’s key offerings are managed hosting, IT support, connectivity and back-up and recovery Formed in 2013, Xiria fills the gap between on-premise and public cloud for companies who want to host their infrastructure in the cloud but are uncomfortable with entrusting their business to a public cloud given the support limitations as well as the potential security and downtime issues.


Neil Sperring, Managing Director of Xiria, explains why they selected Datum as their primary data centre: “The ethos behind Xiria is that we work with our clients to provide customisable bespoke solutions that fit their business, delivering a cloud they can trust. When we were searching for a data centre that would be the primary site for the Xiria private cloud, Datum stood out due to the quality of the facility, the high levels of security and the connectivity options on offer. The location of the data centre on a government grade secure park provides the additional assurance that we wish to offer our clients. We may be in the early stages of our development but our expertise and personal approach has attracted national and global operators from retail, logistics and healthcare. The selection of Datum as our main data centre partner supports our objective to be the leading player in managed IT services and back-up and recovery within three years.”


Matt McCluney, Sales Director at Datum, adds: “We are delighted that Xiria chose to partner with Datum as the primary co-location site for their growing business. Xiria’s approach to working with their clients to deliver a customised solution is in perfect alignment with our flexible co-location service which is tailored to our client’s desired business outcomes.”


About Xiria

Xiria is a managed IT services company formed in 2013 to provide secure hosting and back-up solutions. Xiria provides bespoke customisable services to organisations who want to move away from on-premise IT. Current sectors served include SaaS, retail, logistics and healthcare.

For more information, go to http://www.xiria.co.uk or call +44 (0) 800 471 4965


About Datum Datacentres

Datum delivers service-enhanced co-location from its highly engineered secure FRN1 data centre within the ListX Cody Technology Park in Farnborough. The connection-rich facility is carrier and cloud neutral with latency to the City of London of less than one millisecond.

Part of the Attenda Services IT group, Datum data centres are trusted by enterprise and service provider clients as secure environments for content, data and business critical IT.

The environmentally efficient data centre supports hybrid compute, high power densities and connected DR. 2N power infrastructure delivers always-on availability whilst enterprise class service ensures client peace of mind.

Datum FRN1 has capacity for more than 1,000 co-location racks within a high security campus in Farnborough, which is fast developing as a strategic London-edge data centre hub. The facility incorporates a pressurised free cooling design that delivers enhanced environmental efficiencies and supports high density computing to 30kW per rack as standard. Always on availability is supported by resilience in both design and operations underwritten by a 100% uptime SLA with helpdesk and remote hands services which are available 24x365.



The Netwrix Auditor platform provides user behavior analytics across various storage systems to enable governance of unstructured data

IIRVINE, Calif. – Netwrix Corporation, the first to introduce a visibility and governance platform that supports both on-premises and hybrid cloudIT environments, announced today that the Netwrix Auditor platform provides user behavior analytics across EMC Isilon, VNX, VNXe and Celerra storage devices and NetApp filers, and supports all the latest versions of the clustered Data ONTAP operating system.

Netwrix Auditor applications for Windows file servers, EMC and NetApp empower enterprises with complete visibility and governance for unstructured data. Netwrix Auditor delivers deep insights into changes to files, folders, shares and permissions, and it reports on both successful and failed access attempts to simplify data governance. It also enables control over access to business-critical data, detects ransomware threats and helps prevent data exfiltration.

Netwrix Auditoris a visibility and governance platform that enables control over changes, configurations and access in hybrid cloud IT environments to protect data at rest regardless of its location. The platform provides security analytics to detect anomalies in user behavior and investigate threat patterns before a data breach occurs.

Extended visibility into storage devices complements systems that are already supported, such as Active Directory, Exchange, VMware, SharePoint, Office 365 and others. Netwrix Auditor consolidates data from various sources and provides a single point of access for analysis, alerting and reporting. Enterprises can get complete visibility into every action across the entire IT infrastructure so they can make better information management decisions, improve internal controls and resource planning, and comply with industry requirements.

I love Netwrix Auditorfor the complete visibility it provides for file servers. It helped me identify and recover files affected by malware. The software also comes in handy when employees accidentally move or delete other users’ files,” saidDotan Akiva, Director of IT, Miller & Milone, P.C. “Combined with NTFS permissions, files are safer and more reliable. When preparing for and passing internal audits, the software saves a great amount of time.” 

As the volume of unstructured data grows, enterprises experience bigger challenges while trying to keep this data protected,” commented Michael Fimin, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix. “Investing in data governance solutions can be useful, but effective data governance is more than a technology — it is a process that can’t be established overnight. Companies should pay close attention not only to what is happening inside critical systems such as Active Directory, but also to activities within their unstructured data. A systematic approach to user behavior analytics can help reduce cyber risks and fortify security.”

For more information about Netwrix Auditor for EMC and Netwrix Auditor for NetApp, please visit https://www.netwrix.com/go/emc_netapp.

About Netwrix Corporation

Netwrix Corporation was the first to introduce a visibility and governance platform that supports both on-premises and hybrid cloud IT environments. More than 150,000 IT departments worldwide rely on Netwrix to detect insider threats on premises and in the cloud, pass compliance audits with less expense, and increase productivity of IT security and operations teams. Founded in 2006, Netwrix has earned more than 90 industry awards and been named to both the Inc. 5000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 lists of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.

For more information, visit www.netwrix.com.

KEMP, Texas – Larson Electronics, an industrial lighting company, announced the release of a thirty foot horizontal light mast that provides a safe and effective way for operators to quickly deploy lights, cameras, and other equipment.

The LM-30-HZ-EW horizontal light mast from Larson Electronics features a two section assembly that extends to 30 feet for maximum area coverage and collapses to 17 feet when not in use. This tower is constructed of square steel tubing with a lower section 17 feet in length and four inches in diameter and an upper section 13 feet in length and three inches in diameter. This horizontal light mast is powder coated with a glossy blue finish for corrosion resistance and aesthetics.

The mast is extended to its full horizontal position by using an included 1,000 lbs. electric winch fitted with ¼ inch cable. This mast is equipped with pockets on each end for transporting with a skid loader, or other heavy duty machinery. This mast is typically mounted to trailers or other stable surfaces with a 12 inch square, ½ inch thick mounting base plate with pre-drilled holes to accept four ¾ inch bolts. A 24 inch wide, ¼ inch thick mounting plate is attached to the upper section of the mast allowing operators to easily and securely attach the desired electrical equipment.

“Larson’s new horizontal masts allow users to extend the reach of equipment in locations where it seems impractical,” said Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Larson Electronics. “This particular unit does not include lights, but it does have a mounting plate, allowing operators to install any electrical equipment desired.”

Larson Electronics specializes in portable industrial lighting equipment, high mast light towers, explosion proof light fixtures, power distribution systems, LED lighting and more. To view the company’s wide range of products, visit them on the web at Larsonelectronics.com or call 1-800-369-6671 for more information.

Please see below links for high resolution images of the product displayed in this release.







The Tohubohu Project, helmed by the nonprofit Texas Disaster Recovery and Relief organization, hopes to raise $5 million and attract corporate sponsors

DALLAS – A new Indiegogo campaign hopes to raise $5 million to assist families worldwide who are victims of natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Kicking off on July 12, The Tohubohu Project under the auspices of the nonprofit Texas Disaster Recovery and Relief of Dallas, Texas, hopes to support families by purchasing and installing storm shelters for homes in tornado prone regions; assisting with relocation, temporary housing and home repairs; and providing reemployment services, counseling, and flood-proofing modifications.

The Tohubohu Project is under the direction of C. Naomi Covington, a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and FEMA first responder. She knows firsthand the pain of suddenly losing everything and the gaps that can occur in getting help. She recalls, "After Katrina, many were not allowed access to their homes for weeks. … There was a disconnect between the local, state and federal government for over a month. So many of us were without money, jobs, and income, and taken in by strangers. Some of us even pitched tents and lived on air mattresses for weeks until local hotels either had availability or reopened. Some relief was immediate, such as food and water, but federal and state relief took months while recovery and rebuilding has taken years."

Covington says The Tohubohu Project wants to help as many needy disaster victims and families as it possibly can. Campaign details and pledge incentives can be accessed at https://igg.me/at/thetohubohuproject. Campaign videos and testimonials can be found on the organization's YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0CfWFeGFptN6cq6PTB1DQ.

People who contribute $50 or more will be entered into a drawing to win a new Apple iPhone 7 or iPad Pro. Corporate sponsors are also being sought.

In describing the purpose of the project, Covington says, "Tohubohu means chaos or discord and we're confident that our efforts will alleviate some of the confusion that occurs following a disaster and establish a sense of peace and order, something many didn't even know was possible after such horrific events. Ultimately, our goal is to offer long-term, sustainable solutions for people who have faced hardships after a disaster."

For more information, contact C. Naomi Covington w/ Texas Disaster Recovery and Relief at 214-530-0648; Email; www.disasterrelieftexas.org; 14241 Dallas Parkway, Ste. 650, Dallas, TX 75254