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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) is an object-based storage solution and is one of the foundational elements for data management. It's been demonstrated to drive digital transformation and a building block in driving IT automation. With over 1,500 global customers, HCP is one of the fastest growing solutions in our portfolio. The use cases for HCP are as diverse as the businesses we serve whether it is the foundation for cloud services, workforce mobility, security, compliance or simply as a robust content repository.

A recent study from IDC validates how the Hitachi Content Platform addresses these digital transformation requirements for 3rd Platform workloads and applications. From the report:

"There are a few storage suppliers that have a robust solution to integrate the requirements of the new and existing applications. Hitachi Data Systems' (HDS') object-based storage solution, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), combined with Hitachi Data Ingestor (HDI) and Hitachi Anywhere, brings to market a robust solution that meets the demands of the 3rd Platform while maintaining the requirements of existing applications."

Powering Digital Transformation

The real strength of HCP is the ability to handle all kinds of data and almost any application and is a real asset to empower DevOps by automating routine IT tasks. It's highly reliable, scales massively, provides seamless data mobility and storage across private clouds and public cloud services, encryption, access control, easy provisioning, chargeback measurement and more.

Massive Scalability and Broad Public Cloud Support

At its core, HCP is a singular, massively scalable solution (up to 497 PB per cluster) for storing data from multiple applications and data sources. Unlike some other object storage solutions, it can also scale independently for either performance or capacity. Along with a tightly integrated Enterprise File Sync-n-Share solution (HCP Anywhere) and cloud gateway (HDI), the HCP portfolio is a foundational element to enable digital transformation. Policy-based automation provides significant cost benefits and enables easy data movement to a choice of lower cost on-premises storage, offsite to a public cloud provider or a combination of both. Hybrid cloud support includes Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure, Verizon Cloud, as well as our own Hitachi Cloud Service for Content Archiving and any public cloud that supports S3.

Security and Compliance

Digital transformation doesn't mean core business requirements should be disrupted. HCP was engineered to address compliance and archiving requirements. The robust security feature set enables governance and compliance with built-in WORM, secure delete, legal hold, audits, versioning retention and more. Based on numerous security and resilience features, HCP meets governance requirements and satisfies such regulations as SEC 17a-4(f) and Dodd-Frank.

Protocol Support

HCP provides extensive flexibility and superior interoperability through native API support for HTTP/REST, HCP RESTful, CIFS, NFS, SMTP, WebDAV, S3, OpenStack Swift and a REST based custom metadata query API. Data ingested via any one protocol gateway is fully accessible by every other protocol gateway.

Leveraging Metadata

HCP provides sophisticated metadata capabilities enabling data to be searched, stored, accessed and automatically moved in an intelligent manner. Custom metadata can be divided into multiple partitions so that multiple users and applications can work with the same object and not impact each other's metadata.

No More Forklift Upgrades and Downtime

Enabling a digital transformation strategy is about automating IT so that it doesn't create more work or downtime as adjustments are made to the environment. Autonomic Technology Refresh (ATR) in HCP is a feature that enables seamless upgrading of HCP physical servers and/or Storage at any time with no downtime. ATR is an integral part of HCP hardware maintenance strategy. It reduces the impact of storage churn and lets customers readily adapt new storage technology with no forklift upgrades, greater uptime, and less management overhead. The very real use case is when data outlives the hardware on which it's stored and the customer wants 100% data availability during a data migration to new hardware. Generally, the service process is to introduce new hardware, kick off migration, and then turn off and remove old hardware. HCP server nodes or backend storage can be selected for a tech refresh. Writes to old storage stop when tech refresh begins. Objects on old storage then auto-migrate to new storage non-disruptively.

Customer Validation

The ultimate validation doesn't come from a white paper or a blog post, It comes from the people who use our technology. Four out of the five largest banks in the world and four out of the five leading insurance companies in the United States are leveraging the Hitachi Content Platform to power their digital transformation.

One last note from IDC:

HDS has done an impressive job of integrating HCP into its industry-leading portfolio through continued development efforts. The company astutely recognized new opportunities and has created a unique ecosystem of offerings that supports requirements of the 3rd Platform. By way of HCP's tightly integrated solution ecosystem that includes HCP Anywhere, Hitachi Data Ingestor, and Hitachi Cloud Services for Content Archiving, HDS has demonstrated the ability to deliver suitable on-ramping and/or purpose-built capabilities for its solutions that leverage a single management interface. HCP thus provides unique resource and management efficiencies for customers.

Be sure to DOWNLOAD the IDC Technology Assessment of the Hitachi Content Platform here .

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (ended March 31, 2016) totaled 10,034.3 billion yen ($88.7 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in the Social Innovation Business, and it has approximately 335,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including Power / Energy, Industry / Distribution / Water, Urban Development, and Finance / Government & Public / Healthcare. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

New 770 and 790 Appliances Extend the Check Point 700 Series Family, Offering Advanced Threat Protection for the Unique Needs of Small Businesses Worldwide

SAN CARLOS, Calif. – Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) today announced two new additions to the Check Point 700 Series appliances, both addressing the unique security needs of small businesses. The new Check Point 770 and 790 appliances, together with the 730 and 750, provide advanced threat prevention features such as firewall, VPN, antivirus, anti-bot, application control, URL filtering and email security. In addition, the appliances deliver optimized network performance of up to 4 Gbps of firewall throughput and up to 330 Mbps when threat prevention functions are activated.

According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, cyber criminals use several avenues to infiltrate small businesses -- such as phishing, ransomware and denial-of-service attacks. With the cost of these attacks on a small business averaging more than $35,000 (according to First Data Market Insight), the impact of today's cyber threats can have a devastating effect in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

"With small businesses playing such a big role in the economic growth and innovation across the globe, there is a need for a simple solution that helps keep these small, often resource-strapped organizations a step ahead of today's cybersecurity challenges," said Gabi Reish, vice president of product management, Check Point. "The 770 and 790 extend the capabilities of our 700 Series appliance family, providing the advanced protection necessary to protect small business customer networks from threats and unnecessary exposure."

The new 770 and 790 deliver security optimized for small businesses. These compact appliances are simple to configure and manage, providing:

  • Advanced threat prevention against cyber-attacks. Known and unknown cyber-attacks are often stealthy and hard to detect. Along with the rest of the Check Point 700 Series, the new 770 and 790 appliances provide enterprise-grade threat prevention against malware, dangerous applications and websites, while maintaining full control over network traffic and application usage.
  • Uncompromised performance. These new appliances deliver full-internet performance without compromising the critical security needed to run the business. The 770 provides maximum firewall performance of 3.2 Gbps and real-world performance of up to 270 Mbps when full protections are turned on, while the 790 provides maximum firewall performance of 4 Gbps and real-world performance of up to 330 Mbps when full protections are turned on.
  • Security without the complexity. Designed for environments that do not have dedicated IT security professionals, the 770 and 790 appliances feature an intuitive, web-based interface that allows configuration within minutes. Simplified management and a managed service option provide additional flexibility for resource-constrained environments.
  • Technology for an on-the-go world. The new appliances join the complete family of 700 Series appliances all pre-loaded to include 802.11ac wireless security, allowing users to connect mobile devices on a partitioned Wi-Fi network, which separates employee and guest access.
  • Customizable, high switch port capacity. With 18 ports available in the 770 and 790 appliances, customers won't need additional switching gear to connect office staff. Ports can be split into separate network segments to match a unique organizational layout.

For the Managed Security Service provider, the entire 700 Series offers a security solution that provides leading protection including:

  • A robust, cloud-based security management system that scales to support up to 10,000 Check Point small business appliances, ensuring round-the-clock business availability, high performance and scalability.
  • Seamless provisioning with zero-touch configuration that enables customer appliance deployment without onsite presence.
  • Proactive management and advanced monitoring alerts along with custom activity reports.

"MBM has teamed with Check Point to provide comprehensive security services for our customers," said Lewis Ziesmer, president, MBM Technology Solutions. "It's easy to deploy Check Point's seamless and scalable security management for businesses of all sizes -- chain retail locations, health care facilities to branch offices -- businesses with a few or many branch locations."

Pricing and Availability

All the Check Point 700 Series appliances are available immediately. The 700 Series includes four appliance models: the 730 (starting at $499); the 750 (starting at $799); the 770 (starting at $1299); and the 790 (starting at $1999). Each model also can be equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi as an option. Additionally, VDSL connectivity and Power over Ethernet options will be available later this year.

For more information on product functionality and specifications, please visit: http://www.checkpoint.com/smb/.

Follow Check Point via:

Check Point Blog: http://blog.checkpoint.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/checkpointsw
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/checkpointsoftware
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CPGlobal
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/check-point-software-technologies

About Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (www.checkpoint.com) is the largest network cyber security vendor globally, providing industry-leading solutions and protecting customers from cyberattacks with an unmatched catch rate of malware and other types of threats. Check Point offers a complete security architecture defending enterprises -- from networks to mobile devices -- in addition to the most comprehensive and intuitive security management. Check Point protects over 100,000 organizations of all sizes.

RALEIGH, N.C. – Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers, has partnered with PrecisionHawk, a global, drone data platform, to enhance insurance assessments worldwide by providing faster response times and increased reporting accuracy in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The partnership was recently exercised following the April earthquake in Ecuador, where PrecisionHawk collected drone imagery of the entire disaster site within days of its occurrence. The images were processed and analyzed in PrecisionHawk's data software and delivered to Munich Re. Through this partnership, Munich Re aims to more effectively assess the extent of damages and respond to claims quicker.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160525/372325
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160525/372326

"The cooperation with PrecisionHawk will speed up loss assessment and estimation of losses in the aftermath of a natural disaster significantly," said Tobias Büttner, Head of Corporate Claims within Munich Re. "Our clients will benefit not only from the high resolution of spatial data, but also from processing the data with algorithms. Combining these new algorithms and modeling methods with Munich Re's claim expertise will enhance and accelerate existing loss adjusting procedures for example by helping to deploy loss adjustment resources more efficiently. Innovative technologies will considerably improve the efficiency of claims management in the insurance industry in future".

PrecisionHawk's service team uses a fleet of drones, including its own Lancaster 5, a small, fixed wing platform, to collect aerial imagery at the identified disaster site. The data is analyzed in DataMapper, the industry leading software platform that analyzes and manages aerial data. In one 45-minute flight that covers nearly half a square mile, the drones can collect imagery at extremely high resolution and deliver data that can reduce the need to deploy adjusters to affected areas. This increase in safety for employees, such as reaching areas that are dangerous or inaccessible for manual inspection, and efficiency in overall claims processing for members has piqued the interest of the insurance industry globally.

"The mobility and scalability of the PrecisionHawk service platform is opening up possibilities for insurance leaders, like Munich Re, to better serve their members in the claims assessment process while also increasing the speed of their reimbursement," said Christopher Dean, PrecisionHawk co-founder and President. "The addition of this platform to the insurance workflow will play a key role, not only in post-catastrophe environments, but also in enhancing pre-catastrophe databases that predict risk factors."

Munich Re will contract teams that cover North America and Latin America for its first deployments.

About PrecisionHawk Inc.

PrecisionHawk is a terrestrial data acquisition and analysis company founded in 2010. The company provides an end-to-end solution using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for data collection and analysis software tools to deliver better business intelligence to clients across a wide range of civilian industries. PrecisionHawk also owns terrestrial data software, DataMapper, satellite imagery provider, Terraserver, and the Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety platform for drones, LATAS. A privately held company based in Raleigh, NC and Toronto, Canada, PrecisionHawk's investors include Intel Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Verizon Ventures, a subsidiary of USAA, NTT Docomo Ventures, Yamaha Motor, DuPont and Indiana University's Innovate Indiana Fund. More information about PrecisionHawk can be found at www.precisionhawk.com or on Twitter @PrecisionHawk.

About Munich Re
Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2015, the Group – which combines primary insurance and reinsurance under one roof – achieved a profit of €3.1bn on premium income of over €50bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with over 43,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around €28bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world's leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. Its primary insurance operations are concentrated mainly in the ERGO Insurance Group, one of the leading insurance groups in Germany and Europe. ERGO is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of insurances, provision products and services. In 2015, ERGO posted premium income of €17.9bn. In international healthcare business, Munich Re pools its insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as related services, under the Munich Health brand. Munich Re's global investments (excluding insurance-related investments) amounting to €215bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.

Regroup Mass Notification, the award-winning provider of emergency and day-to-day mass communication solutions, announced the release of a versatile Application Programming Interface (API) Suite.

Advanced APIs empower organizations to integrate Regroup’s platform with third-party systems that are API capable to automate technical processes, saving administrators time and resources by eliminating unnecessary work that can be automated. The API integration also allows personnel to use familiar systems, which combined with automated processes will reduce the margin for human error during day-to-day and emergency communications.

“I’m very excited about the capabilities of our advanced API Suite and all of the ways it can be used by clients to meet their specific needs and objectives. This innovative technology furthers our mission to offer the best mass communication solution on the market today,” said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of Regroup.

Regroup’s API Suite allows administrators to manage groups, users and posts in Regroup through third-party systems, both existing and custom-built, as well as to:

  • Automatically send critical and non-critical notifications to one or more users via email, text/SMS, text-to-speech, voice alert and social media
  • Send a request from a third-party system based on defined criteria to trigger notifications through Regroup’s platform
  • Retrieve data automatically, as well as process and manage users, groups and approve pending requests

To learn more about how Regroup’s Emergency Notification System can provide rapid communications during a crisis, as well as streamline day-to-day communications, call 1-855-REGROUP or email inquiries@regroup.com.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:00

The Cost of Compliance

FINRA released advance warning of their 2016 priorities for broker-dealers with its latest Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter earlier this year, highlighting data quality and governance as primary areas of concern. But many firms are forgoing the investments needed to upgrade their compliance programs – even as regulators and data issues increase year over year. Is your firm’s passive ignorance a sure path to more fines this year?

The amount of data being created and stored by broker-dealers has increased over the past few years, and data is being stored in multiple and unstructured formats across a multitude of different systems. This has led to siloed processes and sloppy reporting – and FINRA has noticed, firmly outlining the top areas of concern in the new letter:



FMCSR stands for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

While companies are subject to many compliance related requirements, it can still be argued that not all compliance requirements are viewed to be equally important to the operations of a company.  FMCSR and its requirements can often fall into that “of less importance” category.

This posting assumes that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is a requirement where training is all too often incomplete and in some cases not performed at all ….even knowing that all training must be documented and available on request for internal or external audits.

Even worse — When nothing happens, no accidents, and no one performs a thorough audit, everything can often be perceived to be “OK”.  As a result, many companies are falsely lulled into believing they are in compliance when they are not.

In the middle of a critical event, it’s easy to forget who needs a notification and where they’re located. When time is of the essence, using groups can streamline the notification process allowing you to notify your users more efficiently. When you have a next-generation emergency notification system like AlertMedia, groups can simplify that process.

Groups are a collection of people that you can quickly and easily send a message to from your emergency notification system. Users can be grouped together based on common traits such as the user’s location, departments, their function, etc. – the possibilities are endless. Here are a few group must-haves you will want to incorporate with your emergency notification system:



The State of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles lost access to its IT systems for hours this past Saturday as a result of a data center outage that disrupted network access for more than 60 state agencies.

Caused by a faulty network switch, the outage was resolved about five hours after it started, Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The data center is owned and operated by Northrop Grumman, which resolved the issue by replacing a faulty part with one from a test environment that was running in the facility.

The switch failure “caused a widespread outage of inbound and outbound communications traffic through the information technology infrastructure for executive branch agencies,” Marcella Williamson, spokesperson for the state’s IT agency, told the Times-Dispatch.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:00

Symbolic IO Rewrites Rules For Storage

The defiant math of Radiohead's song "2 + 2 = 5" can now be found in an enterprise storage system called IRIS from Symbolic IO. With IRIS, which stands for Intensified RAM Intelligent Server, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That turns out to be an advantage because you can allocate less storage space for the parts than they'd require as a single set.

The four-year-old company, founded by CEO Brian Ignomirello, who served as CTO of HP, claims it has found a way to store data in substantially reduced form and to retrieve it without any loss in random access memory (RAM). Symbolic IO's technology, which the company says is the first computational-defined storage product, thus amounts to magic, in the sense that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," as author Arthur C. Clarke put it.

Indeed, Symbolic IO describes its storage system in magical terms when it refers to IRIS "'materializing' and 'dematerializing' data in real-time."



(TNS) - Federal officials on Monday announced new procedures for flood insurance policy holders to file appeals and internal steps to exert more control over the process following complaints that private contractors underpaid claims after superstorm Sandy.

The changes come amid lawmakers’ and homeowners’ continuing criticism of the way claims and appeals are handled by the FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program and the private insurance companies it contracts with to carry out its work.

“Fundamental changes need to take place in this program,” said Roy E. Wright, the flood insurance program administrator. He said he was rolling out “three elements” that would go into effect later this year in what he called “a long-term process.” Wright said they include: