Premier Designer and Manufacturer of Customized Motors for Battery-Powered Vehicles Replaces Tape-Based Backup with StorTrends Storage Area Network (SAN)
NORCROSS, Ga. – StorTrends®, the world's proven leader in all-flash arrays (AFA), hybrid storage, and spinning disk solutions, today announced that Advanced Motors and Drives (AMD), a premier designer and manufacturer of customized motors for battery-powered vehicles, has deployed a StorTrends high-performance storage area network (SAN) across its primary and remote backup datacenters to support its continued growth and evolving product line.
In addition to serving industrial, recreational and utility vehicle manufacturers, AMD is also on the cutting edge of clean "green" motor manufacturing. Staffed by a team of hundreds of designers, engineers, IT professionals and administrative staff, its upstate New York design and manufacturing facilities are supported by a primary and remote datacenter. The datacenters utilize a wide range of enterprise applications, across a heterogeneous infrastructure made up of Red Hat Linux servers, a Blackberry Enterprise sever, and various IBM servers. In addition, AMD relies on Windows-compatible Samba to help support and manage its end user desktop, laptop and printer environment. Until the StorTrends SAN deployment, AMD had relied almost exclusively on tape-based backup. However, as AMD continued to grow it recognized that not only was tape backup a resource draining process, they also faced the risk that if they should experience an outage or disaster event, their information and applications would be unavailable for an unacceptable period of time, if not lost forever.
"The tape backup approach became a bottleneck, so we created a rotating schedule to backup different applications on different days. But, this led to periods of time when no backups existed for some apps," explained Tom Flood, IT Manager, Advanced Motors and Drives (AMD).
To augment, disk-based backup was also used but not moved to a safe location until the tape backup was moved. Restoration was complicated and time consuming, and consequently avoided whenever possible. As this was not a long-term tenable solution, given the company's rapid growth and business criticality of applications and information, Flood began the search for a technologically viable solution, which would also meet its stringent budget requirements. After a careful review of available solutions, and a successfully executed performance proof of concept (POC), Flood chose and deployed a StorTrends high performance SAN across its primary and remote datacenters.
"StorTrends, with its easy and intuitive GUI, makes SAN deployment and management really simple - we had it up and running in about 15 minutes," said Flood. "You don't need a special degree to create volumes in StorTrends. It's completed in just a few clicks. And, with a few more clicks, you've got that same volume replicated safely offsite."
AMD now has six volumes thin provisioned (StorTrends allows for both thin and exact) for a capacity of over 3.5 TBs. Each StorTrends has useable 11 TBs capacity, including a hot spare drive. Data is now consistently replicated every day, with StorTrends Snap-Assisted Replication (SAR) feature - where an original point-in-time copy of data is replicated. After which, only changed data is captured and replicated in order to expedite the backup process, reduce performance overhead, and eliminate backup storage redundancy.
"Whereas previously backup was a tedious chore that was time intensive, expensive, and less than reliable, StorTrends has provided AMD with a high performance solution for fast and consistent data backup, at a dramatically lower cost. For instance, a pdf directory of thousands of product drawings now takes just a couple seconds to be fully backed up - with future backups consisting of only the changes to these files," said Justin Bagby, Director of the StorTrends division of American Megatrends (AMI). "Moreover, StorTrends has provided AMD with the flexibility to grow its storage environment how and when it needs to, whether they require all-flash, hybrid flash or spinning disk to support their application and budgetary requirements."
To learn more about Advanced Motors and Drives (AMD), a Nidec Corporation, StorTrends high performance SAN deployment, please read the case study found at: http://www.stortrends.com/resources/customer-stories/
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StorTrends® from American Megatrends (AMI) is Performance Storage with Proven Value. StorTrends SAN and NAS storage appliances are installed worldwide and trusted by companies and institutions in a wide range of industries including education, energy, finance, state and local government, healthcare, manufacturing, marketing, retail, R&D and many more. StorTrends meets the challenges and demands of today's business environments by offering a wide variety of solutions from all-flash arrays (AFA), to hybrid storage, to spinning disk solutions. StorTrends is backed by 1,100+ customer installations, 100+ storage patents and nearly 30 years of IT leadership from a company that millions of people trust on a daily basis, American Megatrends, Inc. For more information, please visit: www.stortrends.com.
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To many, the data center is still the heart of the enterprise, responsible for pushing vital digital nutrients to an increasingly diverse organism. To others, it is more like an anchor, weighing down what would otherwise be a nimble craft as it trawls the data sea in search of treasure.
Both camps recognize that dramatic changes that are taking place within and outside data center infrastructure, but they come to radically different conclusions as to what they mean and what is the best way for the enterprise to engage the next-generation data environment.
According to 451 Research, 87 percent of those with O&O data centers in North America and Europe plan on maintaining or even increasing their facilities in the coming year, with a quarter of those set to increase spending within the next three months. The spread covered medium-sized and large organizations, particularly in the healthcare and finance industry, which is a strong indication that if any group is liable to shed direct control of data infrastructure it is the SMB market, which has relatively little infrastructure to begin with.
OKLAHOMA CITY – As the waters recede and Oklahomans begin to assess the damage caused by the severe storms and flooding that washed across the state this spring, questions start to arise about how and when those with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies should file claims.
The first step is notification. Homeowners, renters and business owners with NFIP coverage should immediately report flood damage to their insurance company or agent. A claims adjuster will inspect your damages, estimate the repair costs, and send an estimate to the insurance company for review and payment approval.
As part of their claim, policyholders are required to submit a “Proof of Loss” statement which includes an estimate of the damages on both your structure and its contents. Insurance companies usually provide this form and in most cases will help you fill it out. A “Proof of Loss” is not a release of claim, but a statement of loss facts and damages claimed.
Your claims package should be supported by photos of water in the structure and the resulting damage. You should also compile an itemized list of all flood damage and retain swatches of carpets or fabrics that were damaged. Be sure to make copies of the insurance claim, proof of loss and all other supporting documents for your own records.
An important point to keep in mind is that you do not have to accept the initial estimate of the damage prepared by the claims adjuster. All issues should be addressed with the adjuster and the company’s management. However, if you believe the claims adjuster did not address all of your flood damage in their estimate, you can file a supplemental claim for the additional damages. For example, there may have been hidden damage not detected by the claims adjuster during their property inspection.
Be aware there are strict deadlines for filing flood insurance claims. Regardless of whether you agree with the claims adjuster’s estimate, your proof of loss statement must be submitted to the NFIP or the insurance company within 240 days of the loss. This extension of the 60-day policy wording is specific to the current Oklahoma flood.
If your claim is denied, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established a formal appeals process. You can start this process as soon as the insurance company issues its final determination in the form of a written denial (in whole or in part) of your claim.
The written appeal must be filed within 60 days of the insurance company's final claim determination. FEMA will acknowledge receipt of your appeal in writing and advise if additional information or documents are required for full consideration of your appeal. Next, FEMA will review your documentation and conduct any additional investigation needed. Finally, the policyholder and their insurance company will be advised of FEMA's decision regarding the appeal.
Even if you file an appeal with FEMA, that does not relinquish or replace your right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company, nor does it expand or change the one-year statute of limitation to file suit against the insurer for the disallowed portion of your claim.
To avoid conflicting results and duplicated effort, a policyholder who files suit against an insurance company is prohibited from filing an appeal with FEMA under this process. As a result, homeowners are encouraged to file an appeal with FEMA first.
Oklahomans who don’t have NFIP insurance – and who sustained losses or damages in the May 5 through June 4 storms – may be eligible for state and federal assistance. You can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 (Voice or 7-1-1/ Relay) or TTY 800-462-7585. For information about U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, applicants should call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).
Even if you have a NFIP policy, you may also be entitled to FEMA Individual Assistance payments for housing allowance, contents losses, or moving and storage expenses.
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.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers services to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.
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. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.
The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing email@example.com, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.
More and more workloads are being shunted off to the cloud. It appears that the days of having an arsenal of in-house hardware are over. Gone, too, will be expensive offsite mirror Disaster Recovery (DR) facilities – at least for all but the largest, richest and highest-end businesses. So what does this mean to the storage manager?
The future of DR appears to be moving steadily away from the primary site and recovery site concept. It is being gradually replaced with the ability to migrate or burst workloads seamlessly from site to site. As the cloud gains ground, the ownership of the sites involved is becoming less of an issue. Some may be customer owned, such as in a data center, a private cloud, a hosted data center or a colocation facility; others may be completely in the hands of an outside party. The key is that data must be able to shift dynamically on demand between the various sites involved while being able to attain always-on availability.
Sometimes companies will set things up this way purely for DR purposes. But this kind of more loosely coupled arrangement enables them to do other things.
More than 70% of women in insurance believe the industry is making progress toward gender equality and, for the second year in a row, over two-thirds think their company is working to promote gender diversity, according to a new survey from the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation.
After the IICF Women in Insurance Global Conference, which brought together 650 insurance professionals, senior executive speakers, and CEOs to discuss how the industry can increase gender diversity in the workplace, the foundation polled attendees on the current reality of gender diversity and its evolution across the insurance industry.
Almost half of attendees agree that their company is working to promote gender diversity with another 19% strongly agreeing, but 24.5% disagreed, and 7.1% disagreed strongly. Biases in advancement (51%) and lack of opportunities for professional advancement (24.6%) remain the biggest barriers for women seeking leadership positions in their companies, respondents said. The industry may be making some progress on those issues, however, as the percentage of women who named “biases in advancement” and “lack of opportunities for professional advancement” as the chief barriers fell to 68% from 76% last year.
Disaster management officials from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have voiced support for the introduction of financial incentives to spur emergency preparedness among businesses in the Asia-Pacific as the risk of shocks to trade and growth rises in the world’s most natural disaster hit region.
An incentives-based approach was backed by officials over mandatory measures during a public-private sector meeting in Bangkok to promote business continuity planning. Focus is on lifting the low adoption rate by small and medium enterprises which account for more than 97% of businesses, 60% of GDP and over half of employment in APEC economies, and are an emerging yet vulnerable driver of cross-border production and supply chains.
“Small businesses play a significant and growing role in the international production and trade of goods, particularly as suppliers of component parts and equipment for larger manufacturers, but their disaster risk exposure remains disproportionately high,” explained Dr Li Wei-sen, Co-Chair of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group, which oversees member cooperation on related issues.
“The knock-on effects of small business disruptions or shutdowns can be substantial given the increasingly globalised nature of production and trade, as earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific have shown. The adoption of business continuity plans by small and medium enterprises is critical to mitigating the disaster threat within the sector and to the global economy but their recognition of this need and action to address it is often lacking.”
APEC economies are hit by more 70% of the world’s natural disasters and suffered US$68 billion annually in related costs from 2003 to 2013. But just 13% of small and medium enterprises in the region have business continuity plans in place which involve raising disaster risk awareness, identifying vulnerabilities and organizing teams to address them. This gap leaves the sector more susceptible to business disruptions, financial losses and bankruptcy.
“Possible financial incentives to encourage small and medium enterprises to adopt business continuity plans include tax cuts, reduced insurance costs and lower interest rates to help them overcome the initial investment of setting up their plans,” said Natori Kiyoshi, who is also Co-Chair of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach given variations in economic and financial conditions among the region’s economies.”
Have you noticed that you almost never hear about “green computing” anymore? It was all the rage a few years ago, but now, it seems, the topic draws about as much attention as a Palm Pilot. I don’t pretend to know exactly why that is, but my hunch is that IT professionals have so much to deal with in their quest to improve the efficiency of their operations, issues with labels that conjure up touchy-feely images of tree huggers and “Save the Planet” stickers simply don’t rise to a level that makes it on to a lot of IT department radars.
The irony, of course, is that, when you think about it, “green computing” and efficient operations are inseparable. Whether or not you call it something that makes for a good bumper sticker, it’s all about efficient enterprise facilities management.
Enterprise facilities management, or EFM, was the topic of my recent email interview with Paul Morgan, vice president and general manager of the Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) unit of Johnson Controls in Milwaukee. GWS is a provider of outsourced EFM services, and I thought it would be helpful to start off by clarifying how GWS defines EFM. Morgan prefaced his definition by noting that the facilities management industry and the business needs of building owners and occupiers continue to evolve.
John Ball, MBCI, describes how taking business continuity training in-house can pay dividends for public sector organizations.
I would like to take a few moments to consider how most organizations, particularly the public sector, approach the training of business continuity, and offer up a low cost, continuous improvement model to push that training further into the organization.
Generally speaking many public sector organizations develop or employ one expert, who is trained to a recognised standard and responsible for business continuity across the organization. In some cases business continuity is combined with emergency planning and risk under the title of ‘resilience manager’. Personally I think that putting three jobs into one is not ideal, however I understand that organizations have to ‘cut their cloth’ according to the pressures they face.
Whatever the setup, and depending on the budget, the business continuity programme will be delivered via a project team, a single manager, or a manager guiding a number of business continuity representatives (in addition to the day job) that receive training as they go along. These are all tried and tested processes, the result of which sees us where we are today. Many organizations aspire to align with ISO 22301 and, consequently, the business continuity programme is driven along those lines.
It is important that business continuity managers should be trained to a high level of expertise. This is a necessary, yet expensive process, but brings with it a measurable return on investment in the form of continued service delivery.
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named experts in business continuity planning and the post-disaster recovery of telecommunication networks to serve as NIST Disaster Resilience Fellows.
George B. Huff Jr., founder and director of The Continuity Project, Alexandria, Va., and Steve Poupos, AT&T’s director of technology operations, will assist NIST as it finalizes its Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure. They also will contribute to follow-on efforts to support US counties, cities and towns in implementing the guide.
Issued in April, 2015, as a draft for public review, the planning guide lays out a flexible approach that communities can adapt and use to set priorities, allocate resources, and take actions that will help them to withstand and bounce back from the shocks and stresses of extreme weather and other hazards. NIST plans to issue the initial version in September, 2105. The guide will be updated periodically.
Disaster management officials from APEC member economies have voiced support for the introduction of financial incentives to encourage businesses in the Asia-Pacific region to develop business continuity plans.
An incentives-based approach was backed by officials over mandatory measures during a recent public-private sector meeting in Bangkok to promote business continuity planning. The focus will be on lifting the low adoption rate by small and medium enterprises which account for more than 97 percent of businesses, 60 percent of GDP and over half of employment in APEC economies, and are an emerging yet vulnerable driver of cross-border production and supply chains.
“Small businesses play a significant and growing role in the international production and trade of goods, particularly as suppliers of component parts and equipment for larger manufacturers, but their disaster risk exposure remains disproportionately high,” explained Dr Li Wei-sen, co-chair of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group, which oversees member cooperation on related issues.