Sungard Availability Services has announced that it is now a standalone company, following its split-off from SunGard Data Systems Inc. The new company, with annual revenues of approximately $1.4 billion and operations in 11 countries, will remain headquartered in Wayne, PA.
As a result of the split-off, Sungard AS now has its own board of directors and a new brand.
"Now that we are an independent firm, we have the flexibility to evolve our culture, our industry relationships and our investments to maximize our business and best serve customers," said CEO Andrew A. Stern.
"Today's announcement is the next step towards creating a highly-focused IT services business that's dedicated to providing world-class managed / availability services to our customer base," Stern noted. "All of us here at Sungard AS are very excited about the prospects to accelerate our growth, and we look forward to continue partnering with our customers to deliver the business outcomes they need."
Sungard AS today revealed its new brand identity, which includes a new logo. The company, which pioneered the concept of shared IT disaster recovery infrastructure more than 30 years ago, will continue to leverage its ‘always on, always available’ brand positioning. Its new logo represents strength and dynamism. A forward-leaning angle in the logo conveys progression and growth, while a triangle in the logo represents stability and the support that the company will continue to provide its customers.
Sungard AS leverages its scale and global reach to address its approximately 7,000 customers' cloud, managed hosting and recovery-services needs. "Our company will continue to focus investments in our newer service offerings, which include Enterprise Managed Services, Enterprise Cloud Services, Recovery as a Service and Assurance, our next-generation business continuity management software offering," Stern said.
CIO — The perennial data center quest to beat the heat has sparked a wave of innovation in enterprise computing.
Densely packed computing facilities produce a lot of heat. Getting rid of it is a must for boosting the reliability of computing and communications gear. The trick is keeping things cool without running up utility bills and expanding the carbon footprint.
To that end, IT managers have an expanding list of options and measures to consider. Data centers may combine straightforward approaches (such as organizing centers into cold and hot aisles) with more elaborate components (such as cooling towers). Even water-cooled computers, once a staple of the mainframe world, appear to be making a comeback. Immersion cooling, in which servers are bathed in a nonconductive cooling fluid, has made an appearance in a few data centers.
Since the March 22 landslide, the Red Cross has mobilized five response vehicles and more than 300 trained workers – more than half of them from Washington State.
Through Monday (March 31), the Red Cross has served 15,000 meals and snacks in partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, handed out hundreds of comfort and relief items, and provided nearly 2,400 mental health or health-related contacts. In addition, our shelters have provided more than 130 overnight stays.
- Red Cross mental health and spiritual care volunteers are caring for families who have lost loved ones or are waiting for word on the missing.
- Red Cross workers are meeting one-on-one with people affected to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from other agencies. In some situations, the Red Cross may also provide direct financial support to people who need extra help, including assistance with funeral expenses and mental health counseling.
- Red Cross Family Care Centers that are open in Darrington and Arlington are places where affected family members can receive emotional and spiritual support, mental health assistance, and care for children after they receive notification of loss of a loved one.
- Red Cross workers are also providing emotional support and help with creating individual recovery plans at Joint Resource Centers in Darrington and Arlington.
With eight confirmed cases of Ebola reported in the Guinea capital, Conakry, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says that the country is 'facing an unprecedented epidemic in terms of the distribution of cases.'
“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country: Gueckedou, Macenta Kissidougou, Nzerekore, and now Conakry,” said Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF's project in Conakry.
To date, Guinean health authorities have recorded 122 suspected patients and 78 deaths. Other cases, suspected or diagnosed, were found in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
MSF continues to strengthen its teams on the ground in Guinea. By the end of the week, there will be around 60 international fieldworkers who have experience in working on haemorrhagic fever. The group will be divided between Conakry and the other locations in the south-east of the country.
Just got back from Orlando where I helped kick off the largest BC/DR conference in the world yesterday, Spring World 2014.
I previewed my talk in Orlando Sunday with an online webinar last week. If you were able to participate in last Wednesday’s webinar, (which is archived on the Disaster Recovery Journal’s website) entitled The State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness, you may recall this excellent question posed by one of the attendees:
“How do we convince upper management to fund disaster recovery?”
Getting the executive team on your side is a foundational step toward developing and implementing a sound DR plan. Like most things in life, I think communications is key — both what you say and how you say it.
The 2014 BCI North America Awards took place on Sunday March 30th as part of the Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ) Spring World 2014. The awards recognise the outstanding contribution of business continuity professionals and organizations living in or operating in the North America Region, including USA and Canada.
The winners were:
Business Continuity Industry Personality of the Year
Frank Perlmutter MBCI
BCM Newcomer of the Year
Leanne Metz AMBCI, Associate Director, Mead Johnson Nutrition
Business Continuity Innovation of the Year
Public Sector Manager of the Year
Brian Gray MBCI Chief, Business Continuity Management, United Nations
Business Continuity Manager of the Year
Dave Morgan MBCI, Senior BCP Manager, Delta Dental
Business Continuity Team of the Year
Franklin Templeton Investments
Most Effective Recovery of the Year
Business Continuity Consultant of the Year
Skip Williams, Owner, Kingsbridge Disaster Recovery
Business Continuity Provider of the Year (Product)
ResilienceONE® BCM Software
Business Continuity Provider of the Year (Service)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a new report that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.
The report, entitled ‘Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability’, from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. A total of 309 coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report. They enlisted the help of 436 contributing authors, and a total of 1,729 expert and government reviewers.
CloudEndure has published the results of a benchmark survey, entitled ‘2014 State of public cloud disaster recovery’. This presents best practices and success metrics reported by companies that host web applications in the public cloud.
The highlights of the survey report are:
- When it comes to service availability, there is a clear gap between how organizations perceive their track record and the reality of their capabilities. While almost all respondents claim they meet their availability goals consistently (43 percent) or most of the time (49 percent), 26 percent of the organizations surveyed don’t measure service availability at all. It is hard to tell how these organizations claim to meet their goals when they are not able to measure them.
- While the vast majority of the organizations surveyed (79 percent) have a service availability goal of 99.9 percent or better, over half of the companies (54 percent) had at least one outage in the past 3 months.
- The top challenges in meeting availability goals are insufficient IT resources, budget limitations, and limited ability to prevent software bugs.
- Load balancing and local (single region/zone) storage backup are the leading strategies to ensure system availability and data protection cited by 59 percent and 51 percent of the respondents respectively.
- There is a strong correlation between the cost of downtime and the average hours per week invested in backup / disaster recovery.
Complimentary copies of the report are available for download after free registration.
Avalution Consulting has announced the release of a new feature, ‘Catalyst Insights’, for its Catalyst business continuity software suite.
Catalyst Insights provides automatic business continuity metrics that enable business continuity and IT disaster recovery managers to quickly identify and address preparedness gaps and report on their organization's level of preparedness.
With Catalyst Insights users can:
- View granular business continuity dashboards, ratings, relationships, and dependencies for each element of the planning lifecycle by department, location, application, IT infrastructure, products and services, or the program as a whole;
- Examine individual elements of the organization to understand upstream and downstream dependencies, identify and address gaps, and report on their current level of preparedness;
- Visually map directional relationship dependencies for individual departments, locations, applications, IT infrastructure, products and services, or across the entire organization.
The Catalyst business continuity software suite can be trialled for 30-days before buying.
LOS ANGELES — It has been 20 years since Southern California experienced a major earthquake, a powerful 6.7-magnitude temblor that rolled through Northridge, killing 57 people. But this stretch of seismic calm, though welcome in obvious ways, has undermined efforts to force Los Angeles to deal with what officials describe as potentially lethal deficiencies in earthquake preparation.
That may be changing. Since two back-to-back earthquakes Friday evening — a relatively small one with a magnitude of 3.6, followed by a long and rolling 5.1 quake — Los Angeles has been shaken by nearly 175 smaller aftershocks. It is the first time this area has suffered an earthquake in excess of 5 magnitude since 1997, and it comes two weeks after a 4.4 earthquake jolted residents awake.
None of these quakes caused injuries or widespread damage, other than broken water pipes and some homes that have been declared at least temporarily uninhabitable. But geologists see them as the predictable end of a cycle: a return to what might be an uncomfortable normal in which 5-magnitude earthquakes become routine events.