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Spring Journal

Volume 29, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

FEMA: Winter Preparedness for Your Business

If a winter storm should strike, do you have safeguards in place to protect your business? Preparing your business for both short and long-term interruptions is important. Additionally, business owners should consider having an action or communications plan for their employees. 

In partnership with Agility Recovery, the Small Business Administration developed a http://www.citizencorps.fema.gov/cc/goodbye.do?url=http://www.agilityrecovery.com/assets/SBA/wntrweathersba.pdf" style="color: #0078ae; text-decoration: none;">checklist for business owners to consider when preparing their companies for emergencies and disaster recoveries:

Before the Storm

  • Check your insurance coverage protection against winter hazards;
  • Develop a procedure for restoring electrical services on an item-by-item basis; and
  • Develop a procedure for relocating salvageable and undamaged stock and supplies.

During the Storm

  • Keep driveways, walkways, and doorways clear of snow and ice;
  • Open water faucets to let them drip to keep water flowing through the pipes vulnerable to freezing; and
  • Have the names and phone numbers of your heating contractor, plumber, fire department, insurance agent, and building owner accessible.

You can read the entire business preparation checklist on the http://www.agilityrecovery.com/assets/SBA/wntrweathersba.pdf" style="color: #0078ae; text-decoration: none;">Agility Recovery website.

ContinuityLink will be in Denver, CO to deliver a ISO 22301 Lead Implementer Training and Certification.

This five-day intensive course enables the participants to develop the necessary expertise to support an organization in implementing and managing a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) based on ISO 22301.

Click here to see the complete description of the training

Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

AppTech to Release SmartDesk™ 2016

CARLSBAD, Calif. – AppTech Corp. (OTC: APCX) is pleased to announce that it will be releasing SmartDesk™ 2016, an updated virtual desktop powered by VMware®, by mid-February. After completing extensive data center configurations and installing an advanced CRM platform for all operations at AppTech, the SmartDesk™ 2016 virtual desktop is the first of many product launches scheduled for this year.

The 2016 version announced today utilizes more elements of the VMware® vCloud platform, leading to many improvements such as a faster login time, enhanced user experience, more efficient bandwidth usage, and additional security enhancements. If you have any questions about these updates, or would like to learn more, please contact our Cloud Services department at (877) 720-0022, or visit https://www.apptechcorp.com/smartDesk.

About AppTech Corp.

AppTech Corp. is a financial technology company. The company currently provides managed cloud services including virtual desktop and infrastructure services. AppTech also offers comprehensive payment processing solutions for retail, online, and mobile businesses -- including credit card processing, electronic check & ACH processing, gift & loyalty card programs, and merchant cash advance services.

The company is developing a consumer engagement and payment network for mobile users to access exclusive retail offerings through a social mobile app and patented mobile payment platform. AppTech will soon provide industry-leading proximity marketing engagement, data analysis, and mobile payment to consumers and businesses.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by words such as "estimates," "goal," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks" and similar expressions. Actual results may differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements due to a number of important factors, including but not limited to risks associated with hardware procurement and deployment. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including all business uncertainties relating to product development, marketing, market acceptance, future capital requirements, and competition in general that may cause actual results to be materially different from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. The Company is under no obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


New GSX for IronPort Helps Ensure Continuous and Secure Operation of Vital Enterprise Email Services

BOSTON, Mass. – GSX Solutions [www.gsx.com], the global leader in proactive, consolidated monitoring and reporting of enterprise collaboration environments, including Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync, BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), and IBM Applications, today announced the release of GSX for IronPort, to help ensure continuous and secure operation of vital enterprise email services.

A number of issues can affect the performance and health of IronPort's critical antispam, antivirus, and encryption services, including configuration, directory federation, looping processes, and network performance and latency. The continuous, proactive monitoring by GSX includes:

  • Automatic, regular testing of availability and performance by emailing to an echo service on the internet;
  • Continuous checks of system availability and performance, CPU & RAM usage, and disk IOs;
  • Monitoring of queue utilization and availability, including oldest message age, mail transfer threads, and active destination objects in memory;
  • Checks of available license options in real time;
  • Detection of cache issues before they become critical;
  • Continuous checks of incoming and outgoing emails, the number of active recipients, and message failure indicators such as bounced, rejected, and deleted recipients;
  • Spam metrics, including dropped messages, soft bounce, and hard bounce.

"We are expanding the scope of GSX Monitor & Analyzer to not only assess performance of the application itself, but to monitor all components that might impact the quality of performance of applications. When IronPort fails, the entire email flow is shut down -- meaning nobody can send or receive email in the company," explained Jean-Francois Piot, VP of product management for GSX Solutions. "Our solution provides overall system protection by proactively monitoring IronPort health, performance, and usage, as well as network availability and latency, while continuously testing and troubleshooting the messaging environment."

GSX for IronPort is now available
The new GSX for IronPort is available at http://www.gsx.com/products/gsx-for-ironport.

About GSX Solutions

GSX Solutions is the global leader in non-intrusive, agentless analysis and management of consolidated enterprise collaboration, messaging environments including infrastructure, cloud, networks, database, mobility, operating systems -- all from a single platform. Whether for on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environments, GSX's solutions are designed to not only assess the performance of applications themselves, but to monitor all components that might impact the quality of performance. GSX's goal is to enhance the end-user experience through agentless robot users to proactively collect all applications data; a modern platform to visualize and analyze the information with insightful reports and forecasts while helping IT administrators to meet ROI goals.

GSX is a Microsoft Systems Center Alliance Partner, and a Microsoft Silver Partner on Messaging competency. For more product information and partner opportunities, please visit www.gsx.com.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – RightScale® Inc., a demonstrated leader in enterprise universal cloud management, today announced that it has launched a new free tool to help enterprises quickly and easily compare top public cloud providers.

The new tool will be available within the RightScale product suite, as well as accessible via http://cloudcomparison.rightscale.com.

"Enterprises are using public and private in record numbers, and as we saw in the RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud Report, 82 percent of enterprises report a multi-cloud strategy," said Kim Weins, VP of Marketing at RightScale. "Now one of the big questions is how companies can pick the best, most optimized cloud for each specific workload or use case. We created RightScale Cloud Comparison to make it easier for IT to become an effective cloud broker of different cloud services across the leading public clouds."

RightScale Cloud Comparison is an easy-to-use tool that compares the features and capabilities of AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and SoftLayer. The tool highlights cloud functionality across several categories:

  • Basic cloud services: VM sizes, SLA terms, security certifications, supported operating systems, and geographic locations.
  • Core cloud services: Compute, network, and storage services.
  • Database services: Relational databases, non-relational databases, and other DBaaS (database-as-a-service) offerings.
  • Additional services: Application, security, and identity services.

Other resources from RightScale on optimization:

About RightScale
RightScale Cloud Portfolio Management enables leading enterprises to accelerate delivery of cloud-based applications that engage customers and drive top-line revenue while optimizing cloud usage to reduce risk and costs. With RightScale, IT organizations can deliver instant access to a portfolio of public, private, and hybrid cloud services across business units and development teams while maintaining enterprise control. RightScale Consulting Services help companies develop cloud strategies, deliver cloud projects, and optimize cloud usage. RightScale was named a "100 Best Places to Work in 2015" by Outside Magazine and was listed in "The Best Enterprise Cloud Computing Startups to Work For in 2015" by Forbes. Since 2007, leading enterprises including Audi, Pinterest, and Yellow Pages Group have launched millions of servers through RightScale.

Analysis Shows 33% Improved Performance Through Automated Decisions

BOSTON, Mass. – VMTurbo, the only real-time application performance control system, today announced the findings from a recent analysis conducted by Principled Technologies. The study found that by executing VMTurbo's automatable decisions, such as relocating VMs to less-congested storage to reduce latency, the performance of applications in Principled Technologies' virtual test environment improved by 33%.

"In our hands-on study, we found that adding VMTurbo to our virtual environment enabled us to control resource and storage allocation in a simple, straightforward way and ensure we get the most of our configuration," said John McMains, CEO of Principled Technologies. "By implementing the decisions provided by VMTurbo, we saw increased orders per minute by 33%, delivering a 23% better response time just one week after deployment."

During the course of the study, Principled Technologies deployed VMTurbo into a DRS and Storage DRS-enabled VMware vSphere 6.0 cluster to test its capabilities. The cluster represents a typical unit of deploying mission-critical applications within enterprise datacenters. To create a realistic environment simulating scale, Principled Technologies deployed test clients, requesting data from multiple Microsoft SQL servers running several different workloads on three different database sizes. VMTurbo was deployed across the application, virtualization, storage and fabric layers and was configured with full automation enabled.

"As environments scale and new workloads are added, assuring application performance, the life blood of nearly every company, becomes increasingly complex and near impossible for human beings to manage manually," said Yuri Rabover, Co-founder and SVP of Product Strategy at VMTurbo. "The results of the study prove that companies leveraging VMTurbo's decisions at the application, virtualization, fabric and storage layers can not only guarantee QoS but in fact improve the performance of their applications, while being efficient and cost conscious with existing resources."

Utilizing the additional insight the Application and Storage Control Module granted, VMTurbo recognized the I/O demands of the SQL servers in the environment. VMTurbo intelligently placed virtual disks based on the performance of the underlying storage. Throughout the testing week VMTurbo incrementally moved more I/O heavy VMDKs to flash or high-speed disk-based storage while shifting low-demand VMDKs to high-capacity low performance spindles. 

The Principled Technologies report was submitted and approved by the VMware benchmarking approval process and is compliant with their terms for publication. This process assures that VMware verified the testing configuration systems under test and final results to ensure testing produced the best performance possible and is free of pitfalls and misleading conclusions.

Principled Technologies is a leading provider of technology assessment and fact-based marketing services. For the full report by Principled Technologies, click here.

About VMTurbo

VMTurbo's Application Performance Control system is trusted by nearly 1300 enterprises to guarantee Quality of Service for any application while maximizing resource utilization in cloud and virtualized environments, including OpenStack. VMTurbo's patented decision-engine technology dynamically analyzes workload demand and automatically matches it to infrastructure supply, taking into consideration application priority and any business or technical constraint.

The VMTurbo platform first launched in August 2010, and users today include many of the world's leading financial institutions, social and e-commerce sites, carriers and service providers. Leveraging VMTurbo, our customers, including PNC, Travelport and Thomson Reuters, assure that applications get the resources they need to operate reliably, while utilizing their most valuable infrastructure and human resources most efficiently. To learn more, visit vmturbo.com

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/1/21/11G079625/Images/PTVMT-c701a2ad65dda1d6b68968b7934ca096.jpg

According to the latest predictions from analyst firm IDC, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud by 2017.” That means that your organization is likely to evaluate an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions this year, if you haven’t chosen one already. As you consider options, it can be difficult to evaluate the different management platforms and sort through the vendor claims. A team of technical experts developed a list of evaluation criteria to make it easier. They have recently published a white paper that provides a clear comparison between Cisco UCS Director and HPE OneView.  The paper looks at three critical areas of IaaS functionality:

  • Orchestration and automation
  • Self-service provisioning
  • Heterogeneous provisioning and management

A concise side-by-side comparison is provided in a table on page 5 of the document with details provided in the other sections of the paper.



QTS Realty Trust has been one of the fastest-growing publicly traded data center REITs since its 2013 IPO, and its shares returned more than 80 percent price appreciation to shareholders for the last two years.

Can the company maintain this momentum going into 2016? That’s the question we asked its CIO Jeff Berson and COO Dan Bennewitz in a recent interview.

Last week, JP Morgan selected QTS as one of two data center REITs with an Overweight rating, along with sector peer CyrusOne.



Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

Slack space, or the devil is in the details

When I told you in my previous email that the only way to successfully erase a file is to COMPLETELY overwrite it, I wasn’t just trying to be dramatic. A few months ago, my friend had mistakenly deleted some photos from her SD card, so I encouraged her to try out some data recovery software. She was very surprised to find not only the pictures that she’d deleted, but also some very old ones — including her parents’ holiday pictures from when they used the SD card with their own camera.

I mentioned before that when a file is deleted, the physical slot in which it is stored becomes free, and new data can be saved there. So it might be tempting to leave things to run their course and wait for the file to be overwritten by another. Don’t give in to that temptation — waiting is not enough. Here’s why:



If you use a cloud service or let your employees access company systems from their own smartphones, you’ve probably already noticed how your IT security world has expanded. What used to be a tightly defined domain behind a firewall has morphed into something that now extends to the far confines of cyberspace. As a matter of principle, any business data that travels outside the company perimeter is automatically at greater risk, even if enterprises make great efforts to keep the risk delta as small as possible. However, the macro style solution of a bigger firewall no longer works when you have to deal with the Internet at large. Micro-oriented approaches offer another approach.

In essence, the idea is to equip each piece of data, each application, each system and each user with the security required to function autonomously and securely, whether inside or outside the traditional IT security perimeters. Instead of an external blanket approach to try to shield everything from harm, security is built in from the inside towards the outside.