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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

As organisations evolve, they need to re-evaluate their degree of preparedness in the different business continuity management disciplines. In the networked partner model that has become common today, risk management, governance over recovery, crisis communications and talent management all need updating, compared how things used to be in the vertically integrated enterprise. Changes made in the way an organisation approaches these items then need to be mapped into the appropriate BCM documents. But is this as simple as it sounds?



In this age of data and science, it’s easy to underestimate the role of storytelling in human history. But the importance of storytelling is demonstrated by science, according to Louis Cozolino, a psychologist and professor of psychology at Pepperdine University.

In his book, “The Social Neuroscience of Education,” Cozolino says we’ve evolved to remember and tell stories as a way of retaining important information about our community, our world and ourselves.

In fact, a well-told story creates a “nexus of neural network integration” in all parts of the brain, Cozolino states.



Tuesday, 13 May 2014 14:51

How the RIMS Risk Maturity Model Works

Hack Wilson was an MLB star in the 1920’s, but he had a drinking problem. Realizing his potential, Hack’s manager pulled him into the dugout and said, “If I drop a worm into a glass of water, it swims around fine. If I drop it into a glass of whiskey, it immediately dies. What does this prove?”

Hack responded, “If you drink whiskey, you’ll never get worms.”

Hack’s observation, while misguided, provides a lesson in the difficulty of training and educating employees. Over the next several weeks, I hope to provide a step by step walk through of the RIMS Risk Maturity Model (RMM) for enterprise risk management (ERM), and while doing so provide a framework that can be used to educate, implement, and enhance the ERM program at your own organization.



Looking back at the 20th Century, the way that the World conducted its ‘business’ and managed its affairs seems far removed from what we have become in the 21st Century. The momentous political and social effects of two global conflicts (with clashes of ideology and encompassing acts of incredible inhumanity) and the alignments of nations, politics, economies and business endured for a significant time.  Only as the last century drew to a close did change on a significant scale become apparent, driven by exposures of the weaknesses of both capitalism and socialism. The growing awareness and dialogue of populations through technology and the media about the state of the World and what they could to influence it began to influence behaviours at a higher level.  However, even as we thought that a shift in attitudes was happening the ‘old’ ways of national self interest and competition continued unabated through so-called periods of change such as the 1960s.  Even the end of the Cold War only realigned the World to some degree, and despite the changes in international trade, commerce and private rather than state-driven enterprise, old mistrusts remain.   While the empires of the future have yet to fully show their hands, they will be compelled to emerge from a rigid, two-sided and confrontational past to direct and manage the diverse, mobile, connected and aware populations that either they serve, or that serves them.  Of course, recent events have highlighted some regressional thought and attitudes that reach far back into history.



Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:59

BCI Middle East Awards


The 2014 BCI Middle East Awards took place on Wednesday 7th May at a Gala Dinner to coincide with the inaugural BCI Middle East Conference in Dubai. The BCI Middle East Awards are held each year to recognise the outstanding contribution of business continuity professionals and organizations living in or operating in the Middle East.

The Winners of the Awards were:

Business Continuity Consultant of the Year
Thomas Keegan MBCI
Business Continuity Manager of the Year
Abdulrahman Alonaizan MBCI
Business Continuity Team of the Year
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
BCM Newcomer of the Year
Yasmine Elhamouly AMBCI
Business Continuity Provider of the Year (Service)
Most Effective Recovery of the Year
Etihad Etisalat – Mobily
Industry Personality of the Year
Ahmed Riad Ali MBCI

Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all those who were nominated. As always the standard of entries was high and the judges had some difficult decisions to make.

All winners from the BCI Middle East Awards 2014 will be automatically entered into the BCI Global Awards 2014 which take place in November during the BCI World Conference and Exhibition 2014.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:45

Executives and Risk: A Cautionary Tale

It’s been hard to determine a point of entry on the next book I’m writing.  What I thought initially would be a grand compendium of operational risk scenarios,  a reference manual of sorts for CEOs, has morphed into something more selective: identifying perhaps a dozen of the most costly forms of financial loss that are a direct function a failure to take steps that could mitigate, transfer, or otherwise manage risk.  From this book, CEOs and boards of directors will be able to identify proposals or programs with a high level of risk and determine cosciously at what level they should be involved.

I’ve been somewhat encouraged by reading lately of relevant neuroimaging studies which purport to explain how “the executive brain” works, [1] especially how it works under pressure, making decisions.  In one study by Bain, of 1,001 managers in global companies, [2] only 77% of those surveyed felt their company “chooses the right course of action;” only 68% felt their firm’s speed of decisions matched that of their competitors; and only 76% felt that their firm “executes decisions as intended.” In another study referenced by Blackman, he quotes the director of the research organization called NeuroLeadership Institute, David Rock, who says that “people who are good at strategy are better at sensing or feeling their way through strategies, rather than relying only on logic and being rational.”



Code Collaboration Tool Helping Distributed Teams Create Better Products Faster Sees Rapid Growth among Enterprise Customers

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Perforce Software today announced that its social code collaboration and peer review platform, Perforce Swarm™, is rapidly displacing legacy solutions in the enterprise as Continuous Delivery drives the need for faster code review and better collaboration.

Updated recently with full support for Git, Swarm is used by thousands of developers at global companies including Salesforce.com, Samsung Research America, Playground Games, Toshiba Medical Research Institute, Leica Biosystems Aperio, WMS Gaming and u-blox, among others. Swarm helps teams work together more efficiently, improving their Agile practices, sharing ideas in real time and receiving early feedback from peers.

"Swarm is a code collaboration tool our developers find easy to use," said Matt Lussier, game development software engineer at WMS Gaming. "It makes us faster as a team, improves the quality of our code, and it's tightly integrated out-of-box with our versioning repository."

According to Forrester Research, “rapid delivery cycles require real-time collaboration. In the dynamic, distributed world of modern application delivery, effective communication is essential to increasing speed and reducing waste.”[1]

“We first looked to Perforce because we needed a solid version control system, but now we’re hooked on how easily our developers can collaborate with team members across the globe to review each other’s code,” said Andreas Thiel, executive vice president, Wireless Product Development and co-founder of u-blox AG. “As most innovative companies, we have the vision of Continuous Delivery where collaboration is key to success.”

A recent survey on Continuous Delivery adoption found that 96 percent of IT professionals believe that their collaboration platform plays a very important role in Continuous Delivery. To release better products faster, development teams need to share creative ideas immediately, collaborate on the fly, and get early feedback from continuous integration and deployment. Swarm is centered on a more frictionless and natural social experience, allowing teams to work together with full visibility on pre- and post-commit changes to code and artwork.

[1] Navigate The Modern Application Delivery Landscape, Forrester Research, Inc, February 12, 2014

Manhattan-Based Cloud Hosting Provider Chooses vXchnge for its Next-Generation Data Center in Westchester County and Neutral Cloud Marketplace

SECAUCUS, NJ vXchnge, a leading, next-generation, software-defined, intelligent data center services company operating data centers in multiple markets across the US, announces today that Madison Technology (MTI) has chosen vXchnge as its newest performance-driven data center infrastructure provider as it expands its managed cloud hosting services into Westchester County, New York. Via its Chappaqua, New York facility, vXchnge is delivering MTI a unique solution, including space, power, and connectivity.

Based in Manhattan, MTI is a local provider of enterprise-grade Managed Hosting and Full-Lifecycle IT Services, specializing in compliance-based hosting solutions to financial, healthcare and legal industries. As more of MTI’s clients and prospects expressed interest in a secondary data center location, the company sought to diversify and expand beyond its initial data center facility in Somerset, New Jersey and focus outward to Westchester County.

“Upon learning about vXchnge in our search for a premier data center provider in the Westchester area, we were pleased not only with the prime location of the facility, but with its ability to deliver a high-density infrastructure solution that incorporates the latest technologies and monitoring systems, backed by a highly stable power grid and dedicated service team,” states Alexander Schmidt , Chief Executive Officer of Madison Technology. “Thanks to vXchnge’s flexible infrastructure and service options that are custom-designed to scale with any business, MTI was provided essentially our own Micro Data CenterSM, complete with power and bandwidth solution that works best for our growing company. vXchnge is also able to accommodate space for our clients as needed, allowing us to expand on our managed services offering – a clear win-win for MTI.”

vXchnge’s Westchester facility is one of five vXchnge data centers located throughout the New York City metro area. Located approximately 40 miles from Manhattan in Chappaqua, New York, the facility is SSAE16, SOC3-certified. As such, the vXchnge facility caters to the variety of server activities of MTI, as MTI primarily services healthcare, financial, and legal entities.

The vXchnge facility also provides MTI with the geographic diversity, security, accessibility, and redundant connectivity to the city that MTI requires.


“Designed for performance, vXchnge is enhancing the way our customers can do business – by building our data centers to best accommodate the fast paced growth for the cloud needs of today,” continues Ernest Sampera , CMO and Senior Vice President at vXchnge. “As MTI’s provider of choice, we deliver a true, neutral cloud marketplace for MTI’s managed services, offering security, reliability and scalability for its cloud applications.  Combined with our customer-first philosophy and our world-class technical support, vXchnge meets and exceeds MTI’s infrastructure requirements.”

To learn more about vXchnge, please visit http://www.vxchnge.com.

Information on the vXchnge Westchester Data Center facility can be found at www.vxchnge.com/data-centers/locations/chappaqua-ny.

A3CUBE introduces RONNIEE 2S, a Network Interface Card that can transmit four PCIe signals at 20Gb/s on standard Active Optical Cables (AOCs) with improved scalability and power efficiency over conventional solutions.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – In response to increasing demand for high bandwidth and on-demand applications within PCIe based networks, A3CUBE Inc. today announced an unprecedented partnership with FCI that introduces a remarkable improvement in standard PCIe based communication. 

A3CUBE’s RONNIEE 2S, is a PCIe Network Interface Card with 80 Gb/s of aggregated bandwidth and four external Mini-SAS HD ports capable of running four PCIe x4 Gen 2 links (4 links x 20 Gb/s) over Mini-SAS HD cables.  Connectivity options for the RONNIEE 2S include both copper and optical versions of the Mini-SAS HD cable.  Connections up to 9m can be established over a standard AWG24  Mini-SAS HD copper cable.  For longer lengths or for easier cable management, the RONNIEE 2S supports Mini-SAS HD Active Optical Cables.  With the support of FCI, A3CUBE procured state of the art optical cables of varying lengths that were necessary for successful field tests. 

A3CUBE’s innovative RONNIEE 2S card successfully overcomes all the current constraints that affect the development of working solutions for optics including, but not limited to, connector related constraints, PCIe related constraints and the communication constraints that are related to traditional optical receivers. 

“Historically, high speed data transfer over cable had too many physical limitations,” remarked Emilio Billi, CTO of A3CUBE. “With RONNIEE 2S, you can extend the real time connectivity between computation and I/O using only native PCIe protocol over standard optical cables.”

The realization of using active optical cables in a board that is usually equipped with passive copper cables presents a remarkable improvement for the PCIe Standard and enables the development of new and more powerful applications. A3CUBE’s RONNIEE Express is an innovative solution in this regard, due to the remarkable scalability in performance and number of nodes permitted by the technology.

RONNIEE 2S is a compact PCIe-based intelligent NIC designed to maximize application performance using a unique combination of hardware and software. RONNIEE 2S eliminates conventional communications bottlenecks and provides multiple channels with <1μ and fast direct remote I/O connections with nanoseconds level latency.

About A3CUBE 
A3CUBE Inc. was founded in 2012 as a result of more than five years of advanced research and development. The company has assembled an elite team of highly skilled and experienced engineers in hardware, firmware, software and system design engineering and management with proven track records of success in supercomputing and HPC environments. Every member of the A3CUBE team has deep-domain expertise in complex hardware-firmware product development, testing and commercialization. All A3CUBE design and development activities are internal to the company in order to maintain complete control of all aspects of the company’s products.

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About FCI
FCI Electronics design, and manufacture a wide array of hi-tech connector solutions for various market applications, including motorized vehicles, telecommunications, data storage, consumer electronics, as well as industrial and medical instrumentation. 
Aggressively eliminates the complexity associated with legacy storage, radically simplifies access to data when and where it is needed

AUSTIN, Texas – Caringo® today introduced a comprehensive approach to unified storage software, Caringo Swarm7, that leverages emergent behavior where all nodes follow simple rules to automatically manage complexity as the solution grows while supporting all major cloud, file and storage protocols for instant access and analysis. 

What’s new:
Uncomplicated massive scaling through architectural innovations
•	A new, patent-pending, dynamically distributed index in RAM that instantly locates and accesses objects using zero IOPS, reducing multicasting to a secondary role and reducing CPU load by 50% at nominal scale.
•	Architectural optimizations increase single cluster scale to over a hundred petabytes
•	Even faster post-problem recovery through rapid trimming.
•	Faster rolling, no-downtime upgrades with a 300% decrease in node boot time
•	True parallel uploads for massive object sizes.

Support for existing workloads and new use cases with unified storage interfaces
•	Incorporates and leverages nearly a decade of experience with CAStor™, the pioneer of software-defined object storage.
•	Caringo Swarm brings a shared pool of seamlessly scalable storage to the data center where customers can plug in the interface needed for any application use case.
•	CloudScaler® for multi-tenant, S3-like storage, where users control security and performance behind their firewalls.
•	FileScaler™ to support SMB and NFS file protocols on top of active archives with very large hierarchical namespaces.
•	New BlockScaler™ for iSCSI support providing pure block over object - available in Q3
•	All interfaces, including the existing CloudScaler that supports HTTP and S3 API access, write to Caringo Swarm. One storage infrastructure to support both legacy and true cloud applications.

Foundation for new data services through enhanced querying and Hadoop support
•	 Out-of-the-box Hadoop support. Caringo’s original and innovative approach implements a true read-only Hadoop file system, offering a high-bandwidth pipe straight from the storage cluster that entirely eliminates the separate ingest step from archive or filer into HDFS. HDFS may still be used to hold intermediate results.
•	 Enhanced metadata indexer to improve performance and scale for full metadata ad-hoc queries.

All-out attack on complexity, a shift to Caringo Swarm • Swarm is the only way to ensure uncomplicated scaling of capacity and throughput, and eliminate the complexity associated with legacy storage systems. There are no-single points of failure, no specialty nodes and no vulnerable metadata databases. The same software appliance code runs on all nodes. Nodes may be heterogeneous in model, brand and capability; they can be added and retired in flight. Quotes “Swarm7 frees data from hardware, location and applications. Now there is a shared, seamlessly scalable pool of storage that can provide access for all major protocols. The ability to support complex operations with the simplest ingredients perfectly describes Caringo Swarm,” said Mark Goros, CEO of Caringo. “Our core team has been developing storage software for nearly a decade, and Swarm7 represents our most comprehensive, significant advancement to date. Can your storage swarm?” “Given massive growth of unstructured information, and the value in that data, the ability to store efficiently and share across protocols is becoming increasingly important,” said Terri McClure, Senior Analysts at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Caringo Swarm fits the new profile for unstructured data storage, supporting this new paradigm.” “Once again, Caringo makes it easy for us to deliver a complete email and file archival solution to our customers. Caringo’s Swarm offers a very unique and very valuable combination of fast deployment, easy management, unlimited scalability, and guaranteed data integrity,” said Pierre Chamberland, Founder and CEO of Netmail. “Our partnership with Caringo gives us the ability to leverage their incredible experience in unified storage. Implementing Swarm natively into our Netmail Platform opened up entirely new market opportunities for us. Caringo truly enhances the storage ecosystem for partners and customers alike with their simple and affordable approach. We are extremely excited by the potential of Swarm and how it will help fuel our continued growth and success.” About Caringo Caringo ensures your data is available when and where you need it. Our Unified Storage Software, Caringo Swarm, turns standard hardware into a reliable pool of resources that adapts to any workload or use case while offering a foundation for new data services. We are helping organizations of every size by cutting the complexity associated with legacy storage while ensuring data is accessible from any application or device. Follow Caringo LinkedIn Facebook Google+ Twitter