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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

CIO — HP CEO Meg Whitman provided a financial update this week during the firm's securities analyst meeting. It's a pleasure to see someone like Whitman speak; she prepares properly, articulates her points clearly and has been trained to pace a talk.

Often the folks giving financial statements seem ill-prepared. One, they don't rehearse enough. Two, edits are being made right up to show time. These are bad practices that distract significantly from the presentation and from the appearance of capability for both the CEO and the firm.



The first I ever heard of the WhatsApp mobile messaging app was a couple of months ago, when a friend told me she had downloaded it. Two days later, I began getting messages in my inbox telling me that I had voicemail on WhatsApp. Obviously it was spam, since I didn’t have that app installed on any of my devices, but it was an odd coincidence. I warned my friend about the spam, which was loaded with malware. She thanked me profusely; she was using her phone for BYOD purposes as well as personal, and you can imagine the problems that could have ensued.

As if the malware spam wasn’t enough for WhatsApp’s reputation, the site was one of several sites—including several antivirus software sites—to be hit with a DNS attack this week. As Grayson Milbourne, security intelligence director at Webroot, explained to me in an email:



A mere 16 percent of companies support full integration between CRM and other business systems, according to a recent survey by Scribe Software.

The integration vendor annually conducts a State of Customer Data Integration survey. This year, it received 900-plus responses.

If full integration strikes you as perhaps an over-ambitious goal, the findings are still troubling when you look at just general integration of CRM with any other business systems.



All too often, organizations that do have Business Continuity Plans (BCP) in place rarely test them.  Those that do, go through a typical tabletop exercise.  Organizations that have Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP) generally test them, but why?  I ask why because it has been my experience that the “tests” are an exercise in futility.  I say futility because they are tests to satisfy an audit that prove very little.

It is kind of like high school in that class you had to take.  It was being audited by the state so the administration made certain to put it on display.  Funny thing was that everyone knew the answers to the questions because they had taken previous tests over the same topics many times. This is what a great majority of Disaster Recovery (DR) tests mimic.



Network World — Orlando -- If your data center is reaching capacity and you're thinking about cracking open the corporate piggy bank to fund a new data center, stop right there.

By following some simple best practices, you may be able to take your existing data center and retrofit it to last pretty much forever, says Gartner analyst David Cappuccio.

"If you do it right, there's a good chance you could live in a fairly well designed data center for decades,'' Cappuccio says.

So, how do you get there? First, you need to identify the goals of the infinite data center. It needs to be energy efficient. It needs to be economical to build. It needs to be able to adapt to new technologies. And it needs to be able to support continuous growth.



CIO — Ah, the joys of being a project manager. From being treated like a servant of management and not being included in key decisions, to having priorities, tasks and deadlines constantly changed on them -- and then being blamed for delays and slipups -- IT project managers have a lot to deal with.But what if project managers could change all that? What if a genie could grant IT project managers three (project-related) wishes? What would project managers wish for?

CIO.com decided to find out -- and asked IT project managers, If you could have three project management-related wishes, what would they be? Here are the seven most-wished-for items.



For IT security professionals, the game is to always stay a step ahead of hackers, security standards and governing regulations. The best way to keep on top of everything is research—reading up on the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and secure hardware and software.

The book “Information Security Management Handbook,” is one detailed source for all things IT security. The integral security topics covered in this book include:

  • Networking
  • Telecommunications
  • Cloud computing
  • Policies and standards
  • Application development
  • Architecture
  • Training

It goes beyond typical security books and provides detailed practices for many areas for which IT provides security. The intro provides a look at threats and vulnerabilities that have cropped up since the last version of the book and that the publishers predict will pervade IT security for years to come:



In my previous post about Lionbridge, I wrote about how its enterprise crowdsourcing division is challenging the traditional outsourced services model with “business process crowdsourcing” for the enterprise. This managed crowdsourcing strategy adds governance and high quality to the crowdsourcing approach to provide an alternative that Lionbridge says is in the range of 30 percent cheaper than what traditional business process outsourcers charge. So how does Lionbridge do it?

According to Dori Albert, Lionbridge’s enterprise crowdsourcing practice manager, it starts with attracting qualified workers for the company’s private crowd. She explained that these workers are thoroughly screened and tested before they’re accepted into the crowd, and that they’re paid an “equitable wage.” I asked Albert if she could quantify what Lionbridge considers to be an equitable wage, and she said it depends on the task:



Deep Storage Appliance Delivers the Most Scalable and Cost-Effective Long Term Storage

BOULDER, Colo. — Spectra Logic today announced the BlackPearl™ Deep Storage Appliance that enables a new tier of storage to manage massive amounts of data indefinitely at an extremely low cost. BlackPearl is the first product to support the new DS3 interface (announced by the company earlier this week), which makes it easy for new data center architectures to store large data objects on tape via a simple RESTful interface. Spectra Logic also announced multiple ways data can move into a BlackPearl deep storage tier – a software client written specifically for Hadoop and big data environments, the Spectra Logic Developer Program for end users and ISVs that want to create their own clients, and the ability to export from nTier Verde NAS disk directly to deep storage in the future.

The BlackPearl Deep Storage Appliance provides intelligent data management and delivers low cost, ease of use and scalability advantages unmatched in the storage industry. It enables data-intensive, long term storage users, including those in Web 2.0, cloud services, big data, media and entertainment, oil and gas exploration, life sciences, federal and state government, social media and finance, among others, to save time and money by incorporating low cost, high density, scalable tape library-based deep storage into their fast-growth data environments.

“BlackPearl enables the use of tape to easily store massive volumes of data objects and is ideal for any compute environment that needs to store data for long periods of time. The appliance sets the stage for the adoption of deep storage tiers across new and expanding use cases that currently cannot easily access the absolute lowest cost storage option due to the historic lack of RESTful, web-based interfaces to tape library storage,” said Molly Rector, executive vice president product management and worldwide marketing, Spectra Logic.

BlackPearl:  Extremely Low Cost, Easy Data Movement, Massively Scalable

The BlackPearl appliance offers a RESTful, object-based interface to deep storage by leveraging the new DS3 interface and acts as an intelligent intermediary between online and deep storage environments. It was designed for very large data sets that scale from hundreds of terabytes up to petabyte or exabyte in scale, and delivers the lowest cost way to store long term retention data, the easiest way to move bulk data into deep storage, and the most scalable long term storage available.  

“BlackPearl significantly reduces the cost and restrictions of storing long term, relatively inactive data,” added Rector. “The deep storage tier offers the ease of use of cloud and web interfaces while removing the constraint of network connections that are too expensive or slow to handle migration of large data sets to the public cloud. Additionally, most customers want unrestricted access to the data in their deep storage, which is something they can’t always have with public cloud offerings.”

Spectra’s BlackPearl Deep Storage Appliance delivers the following benefits to users:

  • The absolute lowest cost way to store data. BlackPearl is integrated with Spectra’s tape libraries, which keeps the cost of storing data at the lowest in the industry.
    • Lowest purchase cost in the industry. List pricing for a BlackPearl with tape library solution ranges from $0.09 - $0.14 per gigabyte (GB) for typical configurations, and even lower for very large systems (10 petabytes or more).  When compared with public cloud offerings that charge on the basis of ‘per gigabyte per month’ into perpetuity, disk array storage costs that average approximately $1.00 per GB(1), and low-cost archive grade NAS disk of $0.45 per GB, Spectra’s deep storage solution is extremely economical.
    • Reduced operating expense and environmental impact. Because tape is the most dense and lowest power-consuming storage media, there are significant savings in floor space, power consumption and data center cooling requirements.
    • Direct, quick and cost-effective access. By leveraging the DS3 interface, the time, effort and costs associated with accessing large data stores is significantly reduced.
  • The easiest way to move bulk data. BlackPearl simplifies the movement of bulk data and efficiently manages how data is stored on tape. Once data targeted for deep storage is identified by the DS3 software client, BlackPearl fully manages the data transfer process and assignment of object metadata as it is moved to tape-based deep storage. BlackPearl also handles long term migration of data to new media formats.  Users will no longer struggle with how to migrate from today’s LTO-6 tape to a future generation of media as BlackPearl will manage the migration.
    • Easy to access. BlackPearl includes a DS3 server to which DS3 clients can connect and enable tape libraries to be used as object storage platforms accessible by Web applications.
    • Open data format. Data is stored in open, self-describing Linear Tape File System (LTFS) format so tapes can be read by any LTFS-capable system.
    • Secure and reliable. Integration with the Spectra BlueScale tape library management features ensures data security and reliability with functionality such as data encryption, data integrity verification, tape drive cleaning, system error detection and queued ejects to optimize export of data to offline/offsite storage.
    • No storage specialists required. BlackPearl automatically handles virtually all management of the deep storage system, including inventory, object locations, retries, error handling, and tracking ejected cartridges.
  • The most scalable long term storage available. BlackPearl’s automatic media migration feature, paired with tape’s typical 30-year shelf life enables data to reliably remain in deep storage forever. Tape also has the industry’s highest storage capacity per square inch, and its roadmap includes significant capacity improvements that span across future generations. By unlocking tape’s economies of scale for modern applications, BlackPearl enables new use cases and environments to massively scale long term storage in a highly efficient way.
    • Easily expands to exabytes and beyond. Supported by Spectra’s full line of T-Series tape libraries, BlackPearl offers deep storage configurations as small as 15 terabytes and scales into multiple exabytes in a single tape storage system.
    • Designed to keep data indefinitely. Automated migration capabilities will move long term retention data to new media formats as they become available over time.
    • Fastest transfer of large storage objects. Built-in solid state disk (SSD) drives act as a cache buffer to significantly improve performance as data moves from online environments to deep storage.

Click to Tweet: BlackPearl Deep Storage Appliance @SpectraLogic stores massive data at pennies per GB http://bit.ly/GDU0XW #SpectraSummit

Moving Data To and From BlackPearl

To make it ultra-easy for end users to deploy the BlackPearl appliance and gain the benefits associated with deep storage technology, Spectra Logic is unveiling a series of client options for enabling the transfer of data to deep storage.

  • Workflow specific, pre-written clients by Spectra or third party ISVs

Spectra Logic and the ISV partner community are working together to write clients to enable the ISV to migrate data to and from the deep storage environment. The clients enable data management applications to have a seamlessly integrated option for storing the data to an object-based, deep storage tier on tape.

Spectra also will work to contribute workflow specific, pre-written clients to the development community. The company released its first contributed client today, which is designed to offer deep storage tiering directly from the Hadoop environment. With the Hadoop DS3 client and the BlackPearl appliance data can be migrated out of active clusters for long term storage and be easily accessed again in the future. For the first time, Hadoop users can now grow massive data analytic projects and keep costs contained.  

  • Developer Program: User created clients for custom workflows

Spectra Logic’s Developer Program offers all the tools necessary to write a custom DS3 client for BlackPearl to move data to and from deep storage. This program makes available the API, a simulator download, the software development kit, documentation, client code samples and a developer forum. The program is designed to enable organizations to quickly and easily add a tier of deep storage into a storage environment and benefit from its low cost, power efficiency, high density and scalability advantages.

  • Export to deep storage option on nTier Verde NAS

Users deploying low-cost, ArchiveGrade NAS storage need the option to migrate or copy data to the deep storage tier. To address this, Spectra Logic’s nTier Verde will fully integrate a BlackPearl client and server to enable the NAS environment to seamlessly export data to deep storage.

The BlackPearl Deep Storage Appliance is available now within a beta program and will be generally available in December 2013. It is supported by Spectra’s full line of T-Series tape libraries. Current Spectra T-Series customers can leverage their existing tape library with BlackPearl by adding in a deep storage partition in the tape library that is currently in use for archive, backup or disaster recovery.  More information about Spectra’s BlackPearl appliance is available here.

The Spectra Logic Developer Program and the Hadoop DS3 client are available immediately to all qualified developers. More information about the program is available here.

The option to have the nTier Verde NAS storage act as a BlackPearl client and server to enable an “export to deep storage option” from the NAS environment will be available in 2014.

More information about Spectra Logic Corporation is available here.

Security-as-a-Service Company to Provide Security to Start-Ups in the AWS Cloud

HOUSTON, TX – Alert Logic, a marquee security provider in the cloud, today announced that its security solution will be included in AWS Activate, a structured package of resources for startups provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS will include Alert Logic’s Security-as-a-Service solutions as one of the special offers available to program participants, offering a cost-effective way to help startup businesses fulfill their role in the AWS shared responsibility security model.

Alert Logic’s solutions for the cloud help companies manage their security and compliance responsibilities, enabling them to detect and respond to security events in their cloud infrastructure, as well as meet compliance requirements, such as PCI and HIPAA. Alert Logic offers availability of intrusion detection, vulnerability assessment, log management and web application firewall (coming soon) on AWS, so companies can immediately and cost-effectively start protecting infrastructures running on the AWS platform.

Currently available on the AWS cloud:

Threat Manager provides 24×7 network threat detection, leveraging a patented expert system driven by global threat data to pinpoint security threats.

·         Log Manager seamlessly collects, stores, correlates and reports on log data in the cloud, generating a unified view of data for full security and compliance.

·         Alert Logic Web Security Manager (coming soon) delivers inline protection of web applications from dangerously common attacks such as SQL Injection and Cross Site Scripting, along with full coverage of OWASP Top Ten.

With its inclusion in AWS Activate, Alert Logic provides solutions to help meet the security requirements facing startups that typically don’t have the initial bandwidth to reach compliance in-house. Bancbox, a payment service provider that currently hosts ten servers in the production environment on AWS is one startup that is already benefitting from Alert Logic’s solutions.

“As a startup company in the payment services industry, compliance is critical,” said Praveer Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Bancbox. “Alert Logic provides a great solution for our needs. We can take advantage of the hosted solution that Alert Logic provides, and still meet all of the compliance requirements that are necessary.”

“As a co-founder of Alert Logic, I have firsthand knowledge of how important it is to have access to quality resources in the startup phase of a business,” said Misha Govshteyn, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Alert Logic. “We are excited to be facilitating startups by extending effective security products to reach necessary compliance requirements on AWS.” 

About Alert Logic

Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, provides solutions to secure the application and infrastructure stack. By integrating advanced security tools with 24×7 Security Operations Center expertise, customers can defend against security threats and address compliance mandates. By leveraging an “as-a-Service” delivery model, Alert Logic solutions include day-to-day management of security infrastructure, security experts translating complex data into actionable insight, and flexible deployment options to address customer security needs in any computing environment. Built from the ground up to address the unique challenges of public and private cloud environments, Alert Logic partners with over half of the largest cloud and hosting service providers to provide Security-as-a-Service solutions for business application deployments for over 2,200 enterprises. Alert Logic is based in Houston, Texas, and was founded in 2002. For more information, please visit www.alertlogic.com.