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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

CHICAGO – Monroe Capital LLC today announced the funding of a $14.3 million credit facility to support the merger of Venture Technologies with Information Systems Consulting Inc., along with the concurrent acquisition of Strategic Allied Technologies.

Based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Venture Technologies is an IT solutions provider that delivers infrastructure solutions, collaboration solutions, and cloud based services to both private and public sector organizations. Venture Technologies also owns and operates certified Data Centers (VTCloud®) across the United States from which it provides a comprehensive suite of cloud services to thousands of domestic and international customers.

The merger and continued channel consolidation strategy is supported by FlatWorld Capital LLC, a New York-based private equity firm that specializes in funding and advising middle-market IT firms. Partnering with FlatWorld Capital LLC and Venture Technologies demonstrates Monroe’s capabilities and commitment to the technology sector.

About Monroe Capital

Monroe Capital LLC is a leading provider of senior and junior debt and equity co-investments to middle-market companies in the U.S. and Canada. Investment types include unitranche financings, cash flow and enterprise value based loans, acquisition facilities, mezzanine debt, second lien or last-out loans and equity co-investments. Monroe Capital prides itself on its flexible investment approach and its ability to close and fund transactions quickly. Monroe is committed to being a value-added and user-friendly partner to owners, senior management and private equity sponsors.Monroe has been recognized by Global M&A Network as the 2013 Small Mid Market Lender of the Year and by Private Debt Investor as the 2013 Unitranche Lender of the Year.To learn more about Monroe Capital LLC, visitwww.monroecap.com.

Testing with CacheAdvance Application Acceleration Software on MySQL OLTP workload delivers 14X increase in performance and 93% reduction in latency
SAN CARLOS, Calif. — CacheBox, Inc. has announced the addition of Micron’s P420m PCIe SSD to the company’s Hardware Compatibility List. The P420m joins other Enterprise SSDs from Micron that are qualified for use with CacheAdvance™, CacheBox’s unique application acceleration software that enables significant improvements in application throughput and processing with no disruption to a company’s compute or storage infrastructure. CacheBox CEO Lorenzo Salhi, said, “Micron continues to deliver world class innovations in Enterprise SSDs. Our mutual customers benefit from the leading edge value that each of us bring to the market. We’re very pleased to work with an industry leader like Micron.” “When using ultra-high performance storage like our P420m PCIe SSD, it’s important to focus on the most critical workloads,” said Allen Holmes, VP of Customer Enablement, Storage Business for Micron. “We’re excited to work with partners like CacheBox who can deliver innovative software solutions that help end users get the most out of their storage investment.” CacheBox’s internal testing of CacheAdvance shows significant performance improvements and latency reductions with MySQL and enables customers to realize the most cost effective solution for bridging application requirements of performance and capacity. CacheAdvance is a software-only, application centric solution that removes application input/output (IO) bottlenecks in a targeted manner. It works by monitoring application IO requests and intelligently determines which data to accelerate to provide optimal performance and user experience. About CacheBox, Inc. CacheBox is a privately funded, early stage global company with offices in Silicon Valley and Pune, India that is focused on using its advanced application centric architecture to vastly improve application performance. The CacheBox team includes software and storage industry veterans from companies such as sTec and Symantec /Veritas. For more information, visit www.cachebox.com

New Cloud Locations Address Growing Customer Base with Improved Latency Performance, Redundancy and Access to Key Markets in the West, Southeast and Latin America

PALO ALTO, Calif. – CloudSigma, a public cloud IaaS provider with advanced hybrid hosting solutions, today announced that it is expanding its U.S. public cloud presence with new locations at Equinix’s Silicon Valley (SV5) and Boca Raton (MI3) International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers. Already with a cloud location hosted at Equinix’s Washington D.C. (DC6) data center, these additional points of presence will offer CloudSigma customers improved latency performance and redundancy while granting CloudSigma easier access to key Californian and Latin American markets.

Already with a strong West Coast, Southeast and Latin American customer base, CloudSigma’s expansion meets growing customer demand and satisfies low-latency requirements to offer the best possible compute experience. The SV5 and MI3 Equinix locations were specifically chosen for their advanced power efficiency, robust failover systems, diverse carrier selection and ability to support high-density computing. All of these factors played a significant role in the selection as CloudSigma looks to offer powerful hybrid hosting opportunities to companies in these regions to allow for a closer integration of both private and public infrastructure environments.

“Equinix is known for its vast vertical ecosystems that provide true business value by connecting companies within our facilities,” said Jim Poole, vice president, Global Service Providers. “By bringing one of the best-of-breed IaaS providers directly to our customers, we are generating even more high-performance computing options for them within our Silicon Valley and Miami data centers.”

Equinix’s Miami and Silicon Valley colocation facilities provide direct connectivity to a variety of network service providers, ISPs and content delivery networks (CDNs), among others, and connections to key metro areas, making them ideal locations for CloudSigma’s growing public cloud IaaS platform. Additionally, Equinix’s Miami data centers are at the heart of one of the largest Internet exchange points in the world and serve as a major communications gateway to the commercial centers of Latin America. CloudSigma is also supporting these expansions with executive ground support through CloudSigma VP of Business Development Viktor Petersson’s relocation to Silicon Valley and CloudSigma Director of International Business Thomas Redmond’s continued efforts in Latin America.

“Both Silicon Valley and Miami are regions where we are committed to serving with increased performance,” said Robert Jenkins, CloudSigma CEO. “Silicon Valley is already ahead of the curve in many respects when it comes to the cloud and cloud-based compute resources, but we also see a lot of promise with Latin America as companies go straight to the cloud to deal with the explosive growth they’re experiencing, especially in mobile services. These types of native cloud apps, alongside the progress we’re seeing with Internet of Things and Web services being developed in our cloud, will further the success of this expansion and lay the groundwork for more locations in the near future.”

Equinix customers at SV5 and MI3 will also have access to CloudSigma’s hybrid hosting offering, granting them use of its secure, private patching technology and reduced colocation expenses with a cloud spending rebate of up to 20 percent against customers’ private hosting costs. For more information, email info@cloudsigma.com.

About CloudSigma

CloudSigma is a pure-cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider that’s enabling the digital industrial economy through its highly-available, flexible, enterprise-class hybrid cloud servers and cloud hosting solutions, both in Europe and the U.S. CloudSigma is the most customizable cloud provider on the market, giving customers full control over their cloud and eliminating restrictions on how users deploy their computing resources. With CloudSigma, customers can provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources as they please, as well as extend private networks out of existing infrastructure and elastically into CloudSigma’s IaaS cloud to create easy to manage and transparent hybrid cloud solutions. For more information, please visit www.CloudSigma.com or find the company on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

New release simplifies deployment of multi-tier applications and adds support for latest versions of Windows, Apple, Linux and virtual applications

MAIDENHEAD, U.K. - Flexera Software, the leading provider of next-generation software licensing, compliance and installation solutions for application producers and enterprises, announced today the launch of InstallAnywhere 2014.  The new release simplifies deployment of multi-tier applications and adds support for the latest versions of Windows, Apple, Linux and virtual applications.

Simplifying Deployment of Web/Server Applications
Agile development is increasing the frequency of software releases and, as a result, the time and effort around developing software installers.  InstallAnywhere 2014 is the only multi-platform installation solution capable of automatically detecting and removing previous versions of an application, and correctly upgrading a previous version on an existing customer's PC. This new standard installation framework simplifies development and installation of upgrades for application producers.

In addition, InstallAnywhere 2014 is the first multi-platform installation solution to provide out-of-the-box support for the latest versions of MySQL and its supporting user dialogs.  This allows developers to install databases and supporting panels to MySQL locally and remotely in a simplified environment.

Moreover, Java web application archive (WAR) files are a common way of packaging a web application into a Java style ZIP file. However these files do not include a customer-facing interface for deployment, and they are limited in their ability to bundle supporting prerequisites, runtimes, and machine configuration tasks.  InstallAnywhere 2014 now provides new built-in panels that give end users more flexibility by supporting easier deployment of WAR files to local or remote Apache Tomcat 6, 7, and 8 servers.

Support for the Latest Versions of Windows, Apple, Linux, and Virtual Appliances
InstallAnywhere 2014 provides new platform support for:

  • Apple: Apple OS X Mountain Lion (10.8),Apple OS X Mavericks (10.9), plus Java 8 support for OS X;
  • Microsoft Windows: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2;
  • IBM: IBM SUSE Linux 11.3, Ubuntu 12.04, Solaris 11 Sparc, HP-UX 11i, AIX 7.1, IBM i5/OS, z/OS;
  • Red Hat: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and Fedora 16.

"Virtualisation and the cloud continue to deliver tremendous benefits for both application producers and their customers," said Maureen Polte, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software.  "InstallAnywhere 2014 accommodates both existing and emerging environments, enabling producers to support the physical configurations that customers still need and want, while delivering applications as cloud-based offerings."

 

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About Flexera Software
Flexera Software helps application producers and enterprises increase application usage and the value they derive from their software.  Our next-generation software licensing, compliance and installation solutions are essential to ensure continuous licensing compliance, optimised software investments and to future-proof businesses against the risks and costs of constantly changing technology.  Over 80,000 customers turn to Flexera Software as a trusted and neutral source for the knowledge and expertise we have gained as the marketplace leader for over 20 years and for the automation and intelligence designed into our products. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 14:18

Mobile device security - tackling the risks

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman Wick Hill Group, specialists in secure IP infrastructure solutions, looks at the risks involved with mobile devices and how to secure them.

Mobile devices with their large data capacities, always on capabilities, and global communications access, can represent both a business applications’ dream and a business risk nightmare.

For those in the security industry, the focus is mainly on deploying “solutions” to provide protection. However, we are now at one of those key points of change which happen perhaps once in a generation, and that demand a new way of looking at things.

The convergence of communications, mobile devices and applications, high speed wireless, and cloud access at a personal level, are driving functionality demands on businesses at too fast a rate for many organisations.

While for some, “lockdown” is an appropriate solution to this burgeoning situation, for others, the legitimate business benefits mean they must learn to live with it and try their best to make it work securely.

These demands, coupled with user skills and experience of deploying mobile devices at home, mean that even organisations on “lockdown” can have challenging times dealing with staff “guerrilla” deployments.

Clearly, part of the solution is deploying the right tools to both minimise and report on the risks (e.g. mobile device management, tracking and RF management, authentication, encryption, and behaviour management - as well as basic security measures on mobile devices). Solutions are available from a variety of suppliers, including Kaspersky Lab, WatchGuard, Check Point, SafeNet, Becrypt, VASCO and Allot.

However, a much larger and more important component is actually changing the way that we interact with the problem.

Currently, many organisations see dealing with these unprecedented risks as a challenge for the IT security team, whose role is to protect the organisation.

Traditionally, that was a good working model. However, in the new environment, with immense pressure for fast change and fast deployment of new applications, it is not possible for most IT security teams to carry the responsibility of securing the whole business and every user singlehandedly.

Security needs to be the responsibility of every individual user, every manager and every member of the Board. However, this is more typically honoured in the breach than in the observance, as evidenced by the fact that only a small number of staff are actually formally sanctioned or sacked for failure to comply.

Mobile security strategy

  • Risk analysis and risk acceptance

Before any mobile device, access, application or service is added, it should be signed off as accepted by the Board.

         

  • Planning

Planning for deployment should include security implementation or overt acceptance of the risk.

  • Embedding security

Security needs to be deployed with the solution, not post event.

  • Policies

Policies need to be clearly enunciated, not just contained in a policy document.

  • Processes

Processes need to be clear, as do consequences.

  • Education and staff involvement

Staff education is essential and should be ‘education’, not just a list of things staff can’t do. If employees don’t understand why they need to secure their own mobile devices or wireless connections, they certainly aren’t going to be overly concerned about yours.

  • Deployment

Deployment of mobile devices, including security elements, needs to be sold to staff i.e. get buy-in from staff that security is a key element of deployment, rather than presenting it as ‘security needs to be there, so live with it.’ Mobile device security and monitoring need to be introduced at the point of deployment. If this is a sign off/buy-in situation, it gets management commitment and cuts negative activities around mobile device usage.

  • Monitoring and feedback loop

It is crucial to not only monitor, but also to be seen to be monitoring mobile security measures. High visibility and regular feedback to all staff, on both success and failure, are very important.

  • Analysis

The Board needs to have regular reporting of the security landscape, so they are aware of the level of threat, and the levels of risk that they have accepted.

  • Forensics

After a breach, particularly for mobile devices, organisations want to understand what has happened, what the failure was and what action they can take. Forensic tools are key to success here, such as those provided by Guidance Software.

         

Implementing the strategy obviously then involves the deployment of the correct tools and reporting. Clearly this also raises issue of the integration (or replacement) of existing tools with broader management and reporting solutions - but that is a topic for another day!

Telstra today launched its global cloud-based unified communications service, enabling businesses to communicate and collaborate in real-time regardless of their location around the world.

Nathan Bell, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, Director of Marketing, Portfolio and Pricing, said Telstra’s global solution, launched in Australia last year in partnership with Cisco, is now available across four continents in 25 countries, consistently delivered over Telstra’s worldwide network extending to more than 2,000 Points of Presence (PoP).

“Our new global service is a significant development in global collaboration capabilities and has been designed specifically for today’s dynamic workplace where employees use the web, video and voice to drive innovation and improve productivity,” said Bell.  
 
“With Telstra Cloud Collaboration, businesses can roll-out extensive collaboration and communications tools to staff throughout the world, scale user profiles and functionality up and down depending on business requirements and ensure employees working remotely have identical resources to those working in the office – all while minimising traditionally significant upfront investment models.”
  
Mr Bell said the service would be delivered via Telstra’s cloud infrastructure, which now extends to seven locations throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

“Telstra Cloud Collaboration allows global customers to focus on their core business priorities whilst benefiting from a services model managed by Telstra, without the need for on-premise systems. 
 
“It is also a globally consistent platform ensuring that standardisation and collaboration are made that much easier for customers seeking to empower their teams, regardless of the location of their offices or data,” he said. 

“Cisco is excited to offer Telstra tools and capabilities for delivering rich collaboration experiences,” said Thomas Wyatt, Vice President & General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Infrastructure Technology Group. 

“Telstra is one of Cisco’s key global partners and we are happy to join Telstra in offering one of the most comprehensive portfolios of cloud-based services in the world to be delivered on a Cisco Unified Computing platform,” he said. 
 
Telstra’s service will be available from the end of August to customers on a monthly, “per worker” basis. Worker types are unique to Telstra and have been specifically designed to meet the different needs of employees, categorising them as ‘essential’, ‘office’, ‘information’ or ‘mobile’ workers, making deployments simple and easily scalable. 

Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing cloud partnership between Telstra and Cisco. In March, Cisco announced that it will build the world’s largest global Intercloud together with Telstra and other partners to address customer requirements for a globally distributed, highly secure cloud platform capable of meeting the robust demands of the Internet of Everything.

Maintaining a supply chain's resilience is a daunting challenge, especially considering the increasing scale and complexity of supply chains worldwide. To support business continuity professionals in helping to assess their supply chains, the Business Continuity Institute has just published its latest Working Paper which uses a series of statistical comparisons from previous studies to look at the influence the number of suppliers an organisation has on the frequency and cost of supply chain disruption.

The research concluded that supply chain complexity does influence the frequency and cost of disruption which represents an important step towards the better understanding of supply chain disruption. Establishing the relationship between the complexity of supply chains to the frequency and cost of incidents will validate efforts by supply chain planners to work towards greater visibility of their supply chains. This also provides additional proof that may be used to justify continuous investment towards further understanding an organisation’s supply chain.

The study does highlight however, that given the implications of this research to decisions made by organisations, it is recommended that further statistical analysis be done to other variables that affect supply chains.

The Supply Chain Resilience survey has been one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind. It has produced useful findings that have guided organisations into imparting resilience to their supply chains. A more thorough study therefore provides greater opportunities to refine this tool and make it even more helpful to organisations worldwide.

To download the full version of the BCI's 'Working Paper Series No. 2: A quantitative analysis of selected variables in the 2013 Supply Chain Resilience Survey', please click here.

To take part in the BCI's 2014 Supply Chain Resilience survey and help further this research, please click here.

You can contact the paper’s author – Patrick Alcantara of the BCI’s Research Department – with any feedback about this particular paper or with any suggestions for future topics.

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/working-paper-series-issue-2-supply-chain-resilience-90187

The main challenges in properly implementing business continuity management in an organisation can be expressed in four words: engagement, understanding, appropriateness and assumptions. In other words: senior management needs to be involved and committed to BCM; business continuity managers need to understand the essentials about IT operations; BCM processes need to link business objectives to operational realities; and any assumptions in BC planning need to be closely scrutinized. If this sounds like IT governance, you’re right. IT governance gives some good hints about how to make business continuity a practical, valued reality.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/it-governance-business-continuity-and-missing-links/

Maintaining the state’s trend of taking a leading position on new technological and legal challenges, a California Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that within the state,

“We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them. Whether the employees have cell phone plans with unlimited minutes or limited minutes, the reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills."

And with that, a fresh set of headaches for companies and IT departments managing or allowing employee-owned devices used for work purposes is born.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/governance-and-risk/california-ruling-on-reimbursements-to-complicate-byod.html

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:40

Ready CDC

http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2014/08/ready-cdc/

By Victoria Harp

CDC leads the nation in responding to public health emergencies, such as outbreaks and natural disasters. While the agency encourages the public to be aware of personal and family preparedness, not all CDC staff  follow those guidelines. In an effort to increase personal preparedness as part of workforce culture, CDC created the Ready CDC initiative. Targeting the CDC workforce living in metropolitan Atlanta, this program recently completed a pilot within the organization and is currently being evaluated for measurable improvements in recommended personal preparedness actions. Ready CDC is co-branded with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready.gov program, which is designed for local entities to take and make personal preparedness more meaningful to local communities. Ready CDC has done just that; the program uses a Whole Community approach to put personal preparedness into practice.

IMG_1043_sm

FEMA’s Whole Community approach relies on community action and behavior change at the local community level to instill a culture of preparedness. To achieve this with Ready CDC, the CDC workforce receives the following:

  • The support needed to participate from their employer
  • Consistent messaging from a trusted, valued source
  • Localized and meaningful personal preparedness tools and resources
  • Expertise and guidance from local community preparedness leaders
  • Personal preparedness education that goes beyond the basic awareness level to practicing actionable behaviors such as making an emergency kit and a family disaster plan

Are you Ready CDC?

When the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Learning Office conducted an environmental scan and literature review, as well as an inward look at the readiness and resiliency of the CDC workforce, the need for a program like Ready CDC emerged. Although CDC has highlighted personal preparedness nationally in its innovative preparedness campaigns, there have been no formal efforts to determine if or ensure that the larger CDC workforce is prepared for an emergency. After all, thousands of people make up CDC’s workforce in Metro Atlanta, throughout the United States, and beyond.

The public relies upon those thousands of people to keep the life-saving, preventative work of CDC going 24/7. When the CDC workforce has their personal preparedness plans in place, they should be more willing and better able to work on behalf of CDC during a local emergency. Research has shown that individuals are more likely to respond to an event if they perceive that their family is prepared to function in their absence during an emergency*. Also, the National Health Security Strategy describes personal preparedness in its first strategic objective as a means to build community resilience.

Local Partnerships for the CDC

Ready CDC intends to move the dial by using its own workforce to understand behaviors associated with preparedness, including barriers to change. This is the most intriguing aspect of Ready CDC for the local community preparedness leaders involved. Most community-level preparedness education is currently conducted at the awareness level. Classes are taught and headcounts are taken, but beyond that, there is no feedback or follow-up to determine if their efforts are leading to desired behavior changes. Ready CDC is currently measuring and studying the Ready CDC intervention and that has local community preparedness leaders around metro Atlanta very interested in its outcomes.

IMG_1072_sm

While CDC has subject matter experts on many health-related topics, CDC looked to preparedness experts in and around the Metro Atlanta community to help make Ready CDC a locally-sustainable intervention. After all, the best interventions are active collaborations with community partners**. Key community partners from the American Red Cross; Atlanta-Fulton County, DeKalb County, and Gwinnett County Emergency Management Agencies; and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency played ongoing and significant roles in developing the program content, structure, and sustainability needed for CDC’s Metro Atlanta workforce. CDC gets the benefit of their time and expertise while partners have the satisfaction of knowing their efforts are making a difference in and contributing to the resilience of their communities. Also, because of these great partnerships, one lucky class participant wins a family disaster kit courtesy of The Home Depot and Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Ready CDC is currently available to the CDC workforce in and around Metro Atlanta; however, efforts are underway to ensure that the broader CDC workforce is reached in 2015. For more information about Ready CDC, please email ready@cdc.gov.