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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

As I discussed in a previous post, for small to midsized businesses, cloud backup services can simplify the process of backing up data and storing it offsite. Such services are available in many service levels and fit the budgets and data storage needs of a variety of businesses.

Before a company signs on with a managed service provider (MSP) for backup services, however, it should answer questions to head off potential issues:

  • What type of service does the company need?
  • Will there be latency issues?
  • What is the service provider’s availability?
  • How will security be handled?
  • Are there compliance policies that will need to be followed?
  • How will cloud backups mesh with current policies for data recovery and/or disaster recovery?

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/smb-tech/smbs-when-considering-cloud-backup-service-ask-these-questions.html

Techworld — Enterprises should aim to create "business-defined data centers", according to IT analyst house Forrester Research.

In recent years, there has been a big push towards software-defined data centres, which aim to improve overall data centre performance by optimising the application layer and the hypervisor layer.

However, Forrester argues that the business-defined data centre cares about real services as opposed to less important applications.

Speaking at the annual Fujitsu Forum event in Munich today, Rachel Dines, senior analyst at Forrester, said: "Software-defined was a good step but it doesn't go far enough. We want to think about order to cash, payroll, supply chain management. Actual business processes instead of [applications like] ERP and CRM and HCM and a million other acronyms."

...

http://www.cio.com/article/742743/Software_Defined_Data_Centers_Aren_t_Enough_Says_Forrester

WILLISTON, Vt. – It usually takes a disaster like Tropical Storm Irene – which knocked out roads, electricity, water, and communications – to remind us how important our infrastructure is to our communities and our way of life.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging Vermonters to become more aware of critical infrastructure and the need to protect it from disasters or other hazards.

President Barack Obama has declared November Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, and officials say disasters like Irene and this year’s flooding events demonstrate the importance of expanding and reinforcing critical infrastructure security and resilience.

“The memory of Irene is still strong in Vermont,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Landry, the head of FEMA’s Vermont operations. “Now is a good time to think about how important our transportation, communication, and utility infrastructure is and what we can do to protect it.”

Critical infrastructure is the systems that form the backbone of America’s national and economic security, including the electric grid, communications structures, transportation systems, and utilities like water and sewer, as well as the cyber-security of these systems.

“In this day and age, protecting critical infrastructure means more than safeguarding electric substations or bridges,” said Ross Nagy, Deputy Director of the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “It also means ensuring that the control systems for these facilities are safe from cyber-attack or human error that could disrupt crucial networks.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security – FEMA’s parent agency – urges all Americans to do their part in ensuring critical infrastructure security and resilience by doing the following:

  • Learn about steps you can take to enhance security and resilience in your businesses and communities and how to handle certain events.
  • Make a plan with your families to keep your loved ones safe.
  • If you run a business, make a plan to keep your employees and community safe and enhance your ability to recover operations quickly. If you are an employee, ask your management whether there are plans in place and get a copy.
  • Report suspicious activity.

To learn more visit: http://www.dhs.gov/critical-infrastructure

On October 28, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the establishment of a new Emergency Disaster Protocol that insurers should expect to follow in the event of a future natural disaster. The protocol was communicated to insurers in the form of a circular letter on the same day. The new protocol includes many of the same measures that were put into place following Superstorm Sandy.

“During Superstorm Sandy these steps helped us speed up relief to New York families and businesses, and they will now become a standard part of our storm response arsenal,” said Governor Cuomo. “Insurance companies have a vital responsibility to promptly process claims for consumers hit by a natural disaster and this new emergency protocol will help make sure that they live up to that standard.”

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/new-york-institutes-new-disaster-protocol-for-insurers/

By Joshua Ottow, Assistant Principal, Yarmouth High School 

Yarmouth, Maine, Sep. 9, 2013 -- Assistant Principal Josh Ottow (center) talks about emergency preparedness with Yarmouth High School students on the opening day of school.

My name is Josh Ottow, and I am the assistant principal at Yarmouth High School in Maine. Yarmouth is a suburban town of approximately 8,000 residents and 1,400 students, with 500 students at our high school. I serve on a team of administrators that helps plan for security and emergency preparedness in our district. Currently, we have an emergency management protocol that applies to all schools, and has additional specific information and plans for individual schools.

We feel that Yarmouth High School is already a safe school, in that we foster a trusting and respectful school culture, where positive relationships between students and teachers are of the utmost importance. For example, we do not have locks on our lockers, bells between classes, or hall passes. It’s important to us to add measures that make our school more prepared for emergencies without losing that trusting culture.

This can be a challenge because, in the eyes, of students, things like locked doors, buzz-in systems, cameras in the parking lot, and lockdown drills can feel like we are assuming the worst in them, as opposed to trusting them to do the right thing.

At Yarmouth High School, the centerpiece of our emergency preparedness is having a strong Advisor/Advisee program. We believe in the innate strength and potential of a small group of students working together with an advising adult for four years. A student’s advisor is a person to rely on for advice, information, and genuine help and support in moments of distress.  Each teacher’s group of advisees comprises a unique combination of students, who might not otherwise have become friends. We see this as an opportunity for students to offer support and receive support from a group that will be a constant in students’ life for four years at Yarmouth High School. Because of our commitment to this program, we knew that it would be critical to our emergency preparedness implementation efforts.

Over the past year we spent considerable time in our Advisor/Advisee groups, talking about new emergency preparedness measures. The key is doing so in the context of keeping our school culture intact and making the school a safer place. One way we approach this is by employing discussion questions in our Advisor/Advisee groups to stimulate conversation, build understanding within our student body, and give students an opportunity to share their opinions and concerns. Example questions include:

  • What makes Yarmouth High School a secure place?
  • What makes the culture of Yarmouth High School unique?
  • Do you feel safe at Yarmouth High School?
  • Do you know what you would do in an emergency at school? Do you feel prepared?
  • What can we, as a school, do to ensure that we foster and maintain our positive, trusting, and respectful culture AND have a more secure school?

Teachers are advised to be sensitive to potential stress-level increase and emotional reactions surrounding these discussions, and are aware that student reactions may vary widely, and everyone’s opinion should be given its due. Our hope is that this conversation is honest and impactful for students as they wrestle with these tough issues.  We are also hoping that this conversation spills into “dinner time” talk with their parents at home. Parents are always invited to play a contributing role in these emergency preparedness plans via community-based forums, where they can express their opinions, make requests, and give suggestions.

Another method that we use to address emergency preparedness is collecting direct feedback from students. For example, we ask students (through their Advisor/Advisee groups) for feedback on our response plan and suggestions for future protocols each time we hold a lockdown drill. Advisors are given a detailed, play-by-play lockdown drill guide that they go over with their advisees after each drill. Sometimes, we get great suggestions from the students that we may not have thought about otherwise.

For example, during a recent lockdown drill we asked students to hand over their phones to their teacher. One student asked his Advisor why we did that, and he was told that one reason was to minimize light and noise coming from the classroom.  In response, he suggested that teachers should also close the lids of their laptops, because his teacher had his laptop open during the lockdown and it was emitting light. This was not something we had specified in the plan and may not have thought to add if this student hadn’t brought it up. Advisors have access to a shared online document where they can note these suggestions, and then we talk about the responses and potentially revising our plans at a school-wide faculty meeting.

Our emergency preparedness efforts in the past several months, from new plans and new equipment to authentic and honest discussions amongst students and staff, have shown me that involving students and being open with them about how preparedness measures could impact school culture is the best way to ensure a safe and positive school.

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily represent the official views of FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, or the United States Government. We are providing links to third party sites and organizations for your reference. FEMA does not endorse any non-government entities, organizations or services.

OTTAWA, Canada – Diablo Technologies and 60East Technologies today announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to deliver the world’s most advanced, low-latency electronic trading platform.  Both companies will partner closely to create a joint solution and align product roadmaps designed to leverage Diablo’s Memory Channel Storage™ (MCS™) architecture and the capabilities of the AMPS messaging platform from 60East Technologies®.  

By combining ultra-low latency, high transaction flash memory based MCS devices with the world’s fastest high-volume low-latency message streaming database, Diablo and 60East deliver on the promise of extreme performance and efficiency, set to disrupt the financial services sector.  Diablo’s Co-founder and Vice President of Strategic Customer Engineering, Franco Forlini and 60East’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey M. Birnbaum will share details behind the emerging partnership during their “drill down” workshop at the Low-Latency Summit Conference & Exhibition at Convene in New York November 12 at 4 p.m. EST. 

Diablo’s MCS architecture connects NAND flash directly to the CPU through the server’s memory bus, enabling linear scalability in performance at extremely low-latencies for the most demanding enterprise applications.  By placing high-capacity flash directly onto these massively parallel structures, MCS breaks the final latency and IOPS paradigm inherent to existing NAND-based storage solutions.  When combined with 60East’s AMPS messaging platform, the two technologies are able to deliver more than four times as much throughput and an order of magnitude of lower latency in the 99.9th percentile.  

Diablo’s MCS technology will be leveraged in SanDisk’s ULLtraDIMMTM SSD, and will be brought to market by SanDisk as part of an exclusive relationship between the two companies.  

“We’re always looking for the lowest-latency, highest-throughput storage devices and we’re excited by the results we’ve seen from running Diablo MCS in our lab and delivering performance that stays well ahead of the demands of our most aggressive customers,” said Birnbaum. 

“We chose to work with 60East because of their reputation for success in mission-critical, high performance computing.  The synergy between Diablo and 60East is amplified by our combined commitment to providing innovative, leading-edge solutions that can be leveraged across the entire enterprise,” said Riccardo Badalone, Co-founder and CEO of Diablo Technologies.  “Our dynamic partnership integrates the two-best-in-class technologies to deliver a joint platform built for the most demanding, low latency applications.” 

Diablo and 60East recently evaluated MCS performance on the AMPS storage engine to demonstrate low latency and low jitter that drastically surpass the leading PCIe-based technologies.  60East ran its standard I/O profiling tool and workload simulator to reveal transaction volumes on the order of millions of messages per second, with predictable latency and throughput.  A white paper detailing the testing and results is available for download at http://www.diablo-technologies.com/files/AMPSMCSInfoSheet-HQ%20ReExport.pdf

Forlini and Birnbaum will join forces to share their industry expertise during the “Extreme Messaging Performance with MCS and AMPS” presentation at the Low-Latency Summit Conference & Exhibition at Convene in New York November 12 at 4 p.m. EST.  This technical workshop goes in-depth with the creators of these architectures to detail the innovative blending of hardware and software that will set a new industry standard in trading technology.  Diablo and 60East will also be exhibiting their leading-edge solutions in Booth 102.  Additional information about the event is available at: http://low-latency.com/event/low-latency-summit-2013-nyc-fall

   https://twitter.com/DiabloTechInc 
   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diablo-Technologies/369582183128064 

About Diablo Technologies
Founded in 2003, Diablo is at the forefront of developing breakthrough technologies to set the standard for next-generation enterprise computing. Diablo’s Memory Channel Storage solution combines innovative software and hardware architectures with Non-Volatile Memory to introduce a new and disruptive generation of Solid State Storage for data-intensive applications. 
The Diablo executive leadership team has been successfully delivering product solutions that enhance the performance and capability of memory system designs for over ten years.  Leveraging knowledge from the past to address the future, Diablo Technologies now turns its focus to MCS, an award-winning and disruptive platform set to revolutionize the storage enterprise market.

The Diablo team has decades of experience in system architecture, chip-set design and software development at companies including Nortel Networks, AMD, SEGA, ATI, Matrox Graphics, Goal Semiconductor, BroadTel Communications, ENQ Semiconductor, IceFyre Semiconductor, Mosaid Technologies and Huawei.

Website: http://www.diablo-technologies.com/


About 60East Technologies

60East Technologies was founded in 2010 by a world-class tandem of system programming experts with a proven track record of delivering systems to the most demanding customers. The team’s experience and expertise building high performance systems over the past twenty years, has led to the development of a technology, AMPS, that will revolutionize how real-time messaging is used to build modern applications that scale into the future. 60East Technologies is committed to building the fastest real-time streaming database software and helping application developers deliver solutions that outperform their peers.

CAVERSHAM, UK – At the Royal Courts of Justice in London on the 6th November, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) hosted their Global Awards ceremony at their Gala Dinner, an event to recognize the outstanding contribution of business continuity professionals and organizations across the world.

The BCI Global Awards consist of ten categories – nine of which are decided by a panel of judges with the winner of the final category (Industry Personality of the Year) being chosen by BCI members in a vote. As expected the entries received during the year were all to a high standard and the panel of judges had a difficult task deciding upon a shortlist to go forward to the ceremony.

Inevitably there can be only one winner in each of the categories and those who went home celebrating were:

  • Business Continuity Consultant of the Year: Saul Midler MBCI, LINUS Information Security Solutions
  • Business Continuity Manager of the Year: Tom Clark MBCI, Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Business Continuity Team of the Year: Standard Life
  • Public Sector Business Continuity Manager of the Year: Alan Jones MBCI, West Sussex County Council
  • BCM Newcomer of the Year: Andrew MacLeod AMBCI, Needhams 1834 Ltd
  • Business Continuity Innovation of the Year: Vocal
  • Business Continuity Provider of the Year (BCM Service): SunGard Availability Services
  • Business Continuity Provider of the Year (BCM Product): eBRP Solutions Network
  • Most Effective Recovery of the Year: Etihad Etisalat – Mobily
  • Industry Personality of the Year: Richard L. Arnold

Steve Mellish, Chairman of the BCI said: “Congratulations to all the winners of a BCI Global Award and well done to all those who were nominated, this in itself is a tremendous achievement. The high calibre of entries has really contributed to the success of these awards, and this goes a long way towards raising the profile of business continuity as a profession and highlighting the need for organizations to recognize the importance of the industry.

The BCI Global Awards are held annually and coincide with the BCM World Conference and Exhibition, one of the premier events in the global industry calendar. Held over two days, the conference features fifty exhibitors, a similar number of speakers and over a thousand visitors.

Based in Caversham, United Kingdom, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) was established in 1994 to /promote the art and science of business continuity worldwide /and to assist organizations in preparing for and surviving minor and large-scale man-made and natural disasters.  The Institute enables members to obtain guidance and support from their fellow practitioners and offers professional training and certification programmes to disseminate and validate the highest standards of competence and ethics.  It has circa 8,000 members in more than 100 countries, who are active in an estimated 3,000 organizations in private, public and third sectors.

For more information go to: www.thebci.org

LONDON, UK – The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has named eBRP Solutions winner of the 2013 Global Business Continuity Product Provider of the Year award, for its flagship Business Continuity Management software eBRP Suite.

The award was presented at a gala Global Awards dinner concluding the open session of the 2013 BCM World Conference and Exposition on November 6th at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, UK.

The BCI Global awards are the culmination of a year-long program of Regional awards by BCI Chapters across the globe. Winners of each of seven Regional award competitions were entered as nominees for the Global awards. Earlier this year eBRP captured Business Continuity Product of the Year awards - honoring its flagship software eBRP Suite - in the North American, European, Middle Eastern and Asian Regional BCI award competitions.

“2013 has been proven to be a banner year for eBRP,” according to Jim Mitchell, eBRP Director. “Last year we were named the BCI’s North American Business Continuity Software of the Year, and this year we were delighted to pick up 4 additional awards. But the Global award is much more significant; it solidifies our standing a Thought Leaders in the Business Continuity industry.”

According to The BCI, “The BCI Global Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of Business Continuity professionals and organizations worldwide and pay tribute to some of the finest talent in the industry. Becoming a winner of a BCI Award gives international recognition for hard-earned achievements and is considered a great accolade within the BC profession.”

“More than ten years of hard work has gone into the design and continuing development of eBRP Suite,” added eBRP Managing Director Ramesh Warrier. “This award is shared with the entire eBRP Team – and with our Customers, whose collaboration has helped us evolve eBRP Suite to become a globally-acclaimed leader in the BCM industry.”

About eBRP:

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, eBRP Solutions – winner of the 2013 Global and 4 Regional BCI “Business Continuity Product Provider of the Year” awards - is the leading supplier of automated Business Continuity Management (BCM) Planning software. eBRP’s flagship product – eBRP Suite - is a complete package of easy-to-use, web-based utilities that addresses the entire BCM lifecycle. eBRP Suite is used by government agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations and businesses, including many Fortune 100 companies, on six continents. Available in either a self-hosted or SaaS configuration, eBRP Suite provides the flexibility and scalability to meet the needs of any organization – regardless of size or BCM maturity.

Visit eBRP Solutions on the web at http://www.eBRP.netor email them at info@eBRP.net. Follow eBRP on Twitter at@eBRPSolutions, and check out their LinkedIn company page at http://linkd.in/XKqm4b

About The BCI:

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) is the world’s leading institute for business continuity.  Established in 1994, the BCI has established itself as the leading membership and certifying organization for Business Continuity (BC) professionals worldwide. 

With circa 8,000 members in more than 100 countries worldwide, working in in an estimated 3,000 organizations in private, public and third sectors, the BCI truly is the world’s leading institute for business continuity. The BCI stands for excellence in the business continuity profession and its Statutory grades provide assurance of technical and professional competency in BC.

Visit The BCI on the web at http://www.thebci.org/, follow them on Twitter at @The BCEye, or connect to them on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/businesscontinuityinstitute/

 

Cloud-based ResilienceONE® BCM software solution
evaluated for ability to execute and completeness of vision

Plymouth Meeting, PA - September 4, 2013 | The newly released Gartner "Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning Software1" positions ResilienceONE® BCM software, empowered by Strategic BCP®, in the "Leaders" quadrant for combined completeness of vision and ability to execute. ResilienceONE was one of five solutions in that quadrant, among the 18 BCMP solutions evaluated.

Key criteria used in that Magic Quadrant evaluation focused on how vendors provided functionality to BCMP users, including:

  • "The ease of use in the hands of business users, not IT or BCM professionals only.
  • "The ease and extent of customization—through configuration (not code changes) by the customer, not the vendor—to your organization's production operations/continuity hierarchy, branding and terminology.
  • "The ease of reporting, including modifying report formats provided by the vendor and creating new report formats."

Multiple ResilienceONE features address those criteria. It uses versatile relational-database linking to identify relationships among business processes, associated assets, personnel, facilities, and vendors, while providing freedom for users to incorporate their own hierarchy labels. This provides functionality for Business Impact Analysis (BIA) with automatic calculation of Recovery Timeframe Objectives, for custom reporting, and for "what-if" strategic business analysis. ResilienceONE also uses jargon-free basic business questions for ease-of-use among non-BCM-specialists during data gathering and subsequent analysis.

"We are proud to be positioned in the Leaders quadrant," says Frank Perlmutter, president and co-founder of Strategic BCP, "since we designed ResilienceONE specifically to match the needs and practices of BC professionals. Our unique BCP Genome that gives customers the ability to execute compliant BCM plans against 101 criteria synthesized from leading industry standards, regulations and best practices, is just one example of how we have continued to push the envelope."

1 Gartner "Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning (BCMP) Software" (Roberta J. Witty, John P. Morency, August 26, 2013).

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Complete information about ResilienceONE is available at www.strategicbcp.com.

About Strategic BCP®

Strategic BCP, Inc. represents a team of business continuity management (BCM) specialists who elevate the productivity and relevance of BCM professionals across organizations of all sizes to build cost-effective, action-based plans that can be implemented immediately in the event of downtime. The company's BCM software, ResilienceONE®, is a true SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution featuring proprietary algorithms and metrics that automate cumbersome tasks and provide comprehensive insight into an organization's risk profile. Scalable cost and deployment options are available for customers ranging from small to enterprise-class organizations.

 

Proves deduplication scalability to highest performing enterprise storage systems

CAMBRIDGE, Mass – Permabit Technology Corporation, the recognized leader in data efficiency technology, announced today that its Albireo Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) software has exceeded the one million IOPS performance barrier for inline data deduplication enabling it to be integrated into the highest performing enterprise storage arrays.

The latest version of Albireo VDO has been updated to take advantage of today’s modern multi-core, multi-processor, scale-out architectures to deliver maximum performance. To demonstrate this performance, Permabit has assembled a reference storage system from industry standard components including a dual processor server based on the Intel Sandy Bridge architecture and off-the-shelf flash cards.

The reference architecture delivers over 1 million sequential 4K IOPS (4 GB/s) and 500 thousand random (2 GB/s) under workloads generated using the flexible I/O tester (fio).  These results are three or more times faster than the published deduplication performance numbers of other high-end storage arrays.

Today’s enterprises deploy high-end storage systems to increase the performance of mission critical and I/O intensive applications such as databases, virtual servers and virtual desktops.  While deduplication greatly reduces storage costs, the challenge up until now has been developing a deduplication algorithm that could run at the high-end of enterprise speeds.  Albireo VDO is the only inline deduplication technology that can scale to high-end enterprise speeds and petabyte sized deployments.
 
“Data efficiency has burst on to the storage scene as a high-value product requirement,” said Tom Cook, CEO of Permabit. “Breaking the 1M IOPS barrier with inline deduplication means even the highest performing storage arrays will have advanced data efficiency incorporated over the next two years. The result is a huge windfall for IT efficiency.”

“Permabit is once again raising the bar for data optimization,” said Mark Peters, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “By exceeding one million IOPS in its latest version of Albireo VDO, it is further proving the logic and value that means inline deduplication can, should, and will be, in every enterprise class storage system.”


About Permabit
Permabit is a recognized leader in data efficiency technologies, enabling OEMs to leverage their R&D investment, increase margin, accelerate time to market and achieve competitive advantage. Permabit Albireo software massively improves performance and efficiency of data creation, transmission and storage. Solutions built with Albireo are being delivered by leading hardware, software and service providers. Permabit was founded in 2000 by a technical and business team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more information, visit: www.permabit.com.