I have experience with quality management and Six Sigma. Change, designed to gain efficiencies and better product/service quality has become a way of life in many industries. Many of the organizations that I have worked for have benefitted from the questions “Why?” and “Is there a better way?” ISO not only promotes standards and best practices, but also stresses continuous improvement.
Many companies measure their Business Continuity Management program against ISO22301, or some other standard. We may measure the result of our work against the standard; but do we do an adequate job of measuring the methods we use? Do we look for process improvements? Do we ask why we do things the way we do? Do we ask if there is a better way?
A cloud of many faces is taking shape before our eyes.
It is common knowledge by now that the cloud is not merely an extension of the data center but an entirely new data ecosystem that can grow, change, and yes, evolve into a wide range of configurations, just as any organic creature is able to adapt to changing environments. In many ways, this change can be anticipated and planned for, but as the market matures, you can bet there will be a fair number of unexpected developments as well.
But to get the kind of flexibility to handle both the expected and the unexpected, enterprises will have to shed much of the thinking that has governed cloud deployments so far. This is not merely an extension of current data infrastructure but an entirely new way to doing things. Much of the attention in the cloud is turning away from simple applications and infrastructure to fully cloud-based development platforms because of this new way of thinking.
Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 empowers users to protect, recover and permanently destroy data across the full information lifecycle, including virtual data
MINNEAPOLIS – Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery, ediscovery and information management, today announced the availability of Ontrack® EasyRecovery™ version 11. Complete with S.M.A.R.T. scan technology to monitor hard drive health, the ability to permanently delete data at the file/folder level, and support for data recovery and permanent data destruction in virtual environments, Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 is a full-scale solution for do-it-yourself (DIY) data recovery, protection and destruction.
“More than ever, organizations and home users are seeking cost-effective, DIY solutions to manage data across the full information lifecycle,” said Abhik Mitra, product manager, Kroll Ontrack. “Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 bolsters its functionality to proactively protect against data loss and conduct secure, permanent deletion, even in virtual environments. It’s data protection, recovery and destruction in one easy-to-use solution.”
Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 includes powerful feature enhancements, including:
- S.M.A.R.T. Scan: Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T. Scan) empowers IT professionals and home users to proactively monitor hard drive health to prevent downtime and data loss. In seconds, S.M.A.R.T. Scan identifies the amount and type of data being used, the condition of sectors, and other critical hard drive metrics (read error rate, spin-up time, reallocated sector count, seek error rate, spin retry count and temperature), allowing users to make informed decisions about whether to repair or replace hardware, budget for new hardware to mitigate a data loss situation, or simply clean out hard drive space.
- Permanent Data Deletion: Unlike standard data deletion that often leaves data still recoverable, Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 permanently deletes data at the file and folder level or across an entire drive at a much lower cost than other permanent erasure solutions. Whether retiring end-of-life computers or freeing up disk space, permanent data deletion mitigates the risk associated with lingering digital footprints.
- DIY Data Recovery and Permanent Deletion in Virtual Environments (Enterprise version only): To assist IT professionals with data recovery and deletion in virtual environments, Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 supports the recovery of lost or deleted virtual data and offers permanent and secure deletion of virtual files and folders.
“IT administrators and developers are increasingly utilizing virtual environments like VMware® Fusion® to run and toggle between multiple operating system platforms, generating an enormous volume of potentially critical data,” said Mitra. “Ontrack EasyRecovery 11 is an easy-to-use, DIY software solution that supports data recovery in such virtual environments, but also allows IT professionals to permanently delete virtual files and folders, protecting organizations from having critical data fall into the wrong hands.”
Installation of Ontrack EasyRecovery is fast with most users recovering data in minutes. The powerful scanning engine builds a file list of all recoverable files from local/external hard drives (HDD/SSD), optical and digital media, iPods, tablet devices and mobile phones that work as removable storage and disk image files. Recoverable files can be previewed and all recovery operations are secure. Supported languages include Dutch, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Chinese and Japanese.
Ontrack EasyRecovery is offered in three editions. It is available via an annual, renewable license, which gives users the benefit of performing unlimited recoveries from local storage, and external media, and the tool works on all drive capacities.
- Ontrack EasyRecovery Enterprise: A network recovery support solution for companies that need to protect multiple workstations. Key capabilities include: RAID recoverability for both hardware and software, VMware support for recovery and permanent data deletion, network support for recovering remote systems, and advanced features consisting of proprietary diagnostic utilities and tools.
- Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional: A business tool equipped with data protection, recovery and eraser tools, including a deep scanning utility suitable for all recovery situations as well as advanced configuration settings.
- Ontrack EasyRecovery Home: A comprehensive tool for home users who need a quick and easy-to-use tool to protect, recover or erase digital photos, movies, music and important documents. The software allows for recovery from local hard drives, including emptied recycle bins and trash, and supports most media types: hard drives, optical and digital media.
Users are now invited to download a free trial of Ontrack EasyRecovery at http://www.krollontrack.com/data-recovery/recovery-software/.About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyze and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review. Kroll Ontrack is a subsidiary of Altegrity, an industry-leading provider of information solutions. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www.krollontrack.com or follow @KrollOntrack on Twitter.
Improved SPARKS Tool Yields Substantial Efficiencies, Cost Savings and Improved Customer Experience for Alaska Communications
- Lone Star Corporate Services announces today it will work with Alaska Communications, Alaska's leading broadband solutions provider, to complete a data migration, consolidation and integration project, as well as an in-depth inventory analysis for Alaska Communications’ proprietary network inventory system, SPARKS.
- Working in close collaboration with a cross-functional Alaska Communications team, Lone Star Corporate Services’ dedicated experts leverage proven network inventory management methods and tools to accelerate the overall process while simultaneously reducing downtime and risk.
- “We are excited to support Alaska Communications in the creation of a feature-rich network inventory system that provides the company with real-time IT asset visibility and enhanced asset management by way of rapid deployment, eliminated redundancies and improved system quality,” adds Todd Lechtenberg, President & CEO, Lone Star Corporate Services.
TULSA, OK – Lone Star Corporate Services (‘Lone Star’), a managed services and strategic network operations resource provider based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, today announces it will work with Alaska Communications, Alaska's leading broadband solutions provider, to complete a data migration, consolidation and integration project, as well as an in-depth inventory analysis for Alaska Communications’ proprietary network inventory system, SPARKS.
Alaska Communications’ proprietary database system, SPARKS, combines cellular, VoIP, Data and SONET solutions and products, enabling Alaska Communications to deliver world-class, efficient wireless and fixed data solutions to meet the demands of its enterprise and other data-driven customers. Additional enhancements to the SPARKS provisioning and engineering database yield improved accessibility to high quality, accurate and timely customer data, enabling the provider to decrease its time to market and more efficiently satisfy customer needs - at minimum cost.
Working in close collaboration with a cross-functional Alaska Communications team, Lone Star Corporate Services’ dedicated experts leverage proven network inventory management methods and tools to accelerate the overall process while simultaneously reducing downtime and risk.
“Lone Star ensures each project is completed on time, within budget, and to quality standards,” says Steve Patin, Director of PMO and Process Improvement, Alaska Communications. “We value Lone Star’s commitment to meeting our needs.”
“We are excited to support Alaska Communications in the creation of a feature-rich network inventory system that provides the company with real-time IT asset visibility and enhanced asset management by way of rapid deployment, eliminated redundancies and improved system quality,” adds Todd Lechtenberg, President & CEO, Lone Star Corporate Services. “Our network solutions enable Alaska with the data accessibility necessary to make informed business decisions and sustain a healthy, profitable network operation.”
To learn more about Lone Star Corporate Services and its extensive portfolio of strategic solutions, meet with the Lone Star team at the COMPTEL PLUS Fall 2013 Convention & Expo, taking place September 23-26, 2013 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL. To schedule a meeting, email email@example.com.
About Lone Star Corporate Services
Lone Star Corporate Services is a managed services and strategic network operations resource provider that delivers highly dedicated, managed FTE professional services and solutions. Specializing in telecommunications, IT, software, financial, legal and engineering services, Lone Star’s experienced and certified personnel, systems, and software deliver operational efficiencies that reduce expenses, identify redundancies, and create effective work flow environments that streamline your network operations. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Lone Star’s international operations centers are located in Europe and India. The company’s key areas of service include Network Optimization and Fulfillment, NOC and Network Management Center Services, Consolidation and Integration, including Data Purification and Profitability Enhancement, Infrastructure Development, Procurement and Maintenance, and IT and Network Outsourcing. For more information, visit www.lonestar-cs.com.
About Alaska Communications
Alaska Communications is a leading provider of advanced broadband solutions for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data and voice network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States. For more information, visit www.alaskacommunications.com or www.alsk.com.
OTTAWA, Canada — Diablo Technologies™, a proven innovator in advanced memory system interface products, today announced it has joined the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program as an Elite level partner. Elite members of the TAP program collaborate with VMware to integrate and validate their products with VMware solutions to drive transformative business outcomes for customers. “We welcome Diablo Technologies as an Elite member of the VMware TAP program,” said Sanjay Katyal, vice president, Global Alliances & OEMs, VMware. “VMware and our Elite partners are driving the convergence of cloud infrastructure and virtualization for our customers, enabling greater efficiencies and reliability. Through the TAP program, companies like Diablo Technologies can extend the benefits of VMware cloud infrastructure to fuel transformation within customer environments.” Being an Elite member of the TAP program allows Diablo to provide certified drivers to our customers to be released with market availability of our Memory Channel Storage™,” said Riccardo Badalone, Diablo Technologies CEO. “VMware support is required for enterprise applications. Diablo is committed to strong support for VMware vSphere®, including future storage virtualization technologies The VMware Solution Exchange (VSX) is an online virtualization and cloud infrastructure marketplace that provides customers with a single point of entry to discover, evaluate and rate business solutions. Diablo Technologies product information, collateral and other assets are listed within the online VMware Solution Exchange at https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/companies/diablo-technologies-inc With thousands of members worldwide, the VMware TAP program includes best-of-breed technology partners with the shared commitment to bring the best expertise and business solutions for each unique customer environment. About Diablo Technologies Founded in 2003, Diablo is successfully delivering products that enhance the performance and capability of memory system designs. Diablo’s innovative Memory Channel Storage technology platform is leveraging the disruptive capability of NAND-flash and future Non-Volatile Memory technologies to enable increased levels of application performance supported by a new class of enterprise server and storage system designs. The Diablo executive management team, now developing its third family of memory interface solutions, 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.
FieldView Solutions Continues Compass’ Open DCIM Platform Strategy, Delivers More Functionality to Customers
Edison, NJ – Dallas, TX – Elevating data center efficiency to new heights, Compass Datacenters, a leading provider of dedicated, mission-critical data centers, and FieldView Solutions, a market leader in Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, today announced the integration of FieldView’s DCIM solution into Compass’ Building Management System (BMS). The fully integrated solution will provide customers with advanced management and monitoring capabilities of their Compass facilities —including both Facilities and IT assets.
Compass’ baseline MEP provides a use and status information resource, delivered via BMS software that ships with each of the Company’s PowerCenter modules. Unlike proprietary offerings, this web-based system has been developed as an open platform to support and integrate with DCIM tools such as FieldView.
FieldView provides a monitoring, management and alerting platform which integrates disparate vendors’ solutions and protocols into a single “pane of glass” view, including branch circuit monitoring, thermal mapping (environmental monitoring), trending (ex: power usage), performance management, capacity planning and business intelligence, whether for a single location or multiple locations around the world.
“Compass’ open DCIM platform strategy allows us to work with outstanding companies like FieldView Solutions that have compelling applications for data center management. The information and analytics provided by FieldView will give our customers powerful data that enhances their capacity planning and operations efforts,” said Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters. “FieldView has an open DCIM strategy that matches our own, which is part of what led to this collaboration and made this partnership make so much sense. FieldView has completed its software integration with our BMS and our customers now have access to FieldView apps that are truly customized to their Compass facility rather than just generic templates.”
“As the processing needs of data centers continue to grow, so too does the complexity associated with optimizing and managing these facilities,”said Fred Dirla, Chief Executive Officer, FieldView Solutions. “The integration of our two offerings will address these complexities by offering holistic visibility into facility and IT operations while simplifying the decision process through a single pane of glass view—across an entire data center portfolio.”
FieldView is offering Compass customers a six month test drive of FieldView Solutions’ applications at each new Compass facility.
For additional information, please contact FieldView Solutions at (732) 395-6920 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Compass Datacenters
Compass Datacenters builds natural disaster-resistant, Tier III and LEED Gold certified, dedicated data centers that address customers’ near- and long-term requirements where they need them. The innovative design of its facilities make it possible for Compass Datacenters to deliver state-of-the-art solutions that enhance control and simplify capacity planning for customers anywhere in the United States, serving the vast majority of companies that are not located in the few markets where geographically-constrained data center facilities are currently concentrated. For more information, visit www.compassdatacenters.com.
About FieldView SolutionsFieldView Solutions provides managers of today's complex, mission-critical data centers and Co-Lo facilities with browser-based, scalable software tools that deliver a real-time view into all aspects of data center infrastructure management (DCIM). The company’s flagship product, FieldView, has helped data center IT and facilities operations professionals in many of the largest data centers including six of the top 10 banks, three of the five top technology providers, and 12 of the largest Co-Lo facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia/Pacific since 2006 –monitoring over two gigawatts for the largest financial institutions, co-location facilities, government facilities, and telecommunications giants. The FieldView Solutions team is comprised of industry professionals with demonstrated experience in both the design and operation of data centers and the development of technology platforms that service them. FieldView Solutions meets the needs of a broad range of users, up to the largest-scale global corporate clients. For more information, visit www.fieldviewsolutions.com.
Dealing with IT outsourcers can be difficult under the best of circumstances, like when the scope of the project is relatively small, and only one or two key suppliers are involved. But when you’re thrust into a multisourcing situation where multiple suppliers are contracted to handle various parts of a large-scale project, it can be a nightmare of “not my job” buck-passing and finger-pointing when something goes wrong. Multisourcing can be a mega-headache.
The pain is likely to get worse before it gets better. According to Information Services Group (ISG), a Stamford, Conn.-based technology services consulting firm, the multisourcing model is becoming increasingly common, and we’re on the cusp of seeing a surge of these contracts being negotiated. A record 901 outsourcing contracts valued at $25 billion expired in 2012, ISG says, and another 886 contracts valued at $21.2 billion will expire this year.
I discussed all of this in a recent interview with Lois Coatney, an ISG director who has been in the trenches and has seen the challenges inherent in the multisourcing model. She has said that one of the biggest challenges lies in the fact that “providers are financially motivated to get the highest possible fee for the least amount of work,” and that “you often see individual providers conclude that it's in their best interest to protect their turf and to find ways to show that fixing whatever problem arises is the responsibility of another team.” Before joining ISG, Coatney worked at HP Enterprise Services, so I asked her if she could share any tips based on HP’s strategy in a multisourcing environment that would have been very helpful for the customers if only they’d known. She responded that she couldn’t speak on HP’s strategy, but she could speak from a supplier’s perspective:
If the Old Farmers Almanac is to be believed, we're heading for a seriously cold and snowy winter. In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast an active hurricane season.
You can't do much about the weather except be ready for it. That's why the American Red Cross designates September as National Preparedness Month.
Not that preparedness is just about weather: The Red Cross urges being ready for floods, fire, earthquake and other dangerous situations.
How prepared are you? If you lost power and/or water for three days, would you be able to stay warm, fed, hydrated and reasonably clean?
The good news is that preparedness doesn't have to cost a fortune. The bad news? Plenty of us don't seem to bother, at least when it comes to natural disasters. Experts say that people view those differently than they do dangers created by humans (e.g., radiation or terrorist attacks).
Reacting to Friday's elementary school shootings in Connecticut, Gov. Rick Perry wrote Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, “asking that you direct all school districts to review their emergency operation plans.”
Every Texas district has such a plan, and educators in San Antonio said they take as many precautions as feasible.
But they can't prevent all violent incidents, they said.
“It's a harsh reality of working in a public school you face every day, that something like this could happen,” said Herlinda Longoria, principal at Harlandale Independent School District's Gilbert Elementary.
Recalling an attack by one parent against another outside San Antonio Independent School District's Bonham Academy in August, she said schools, especially urban schools, must be ready to respond.
“We live in an area where crime happens and several students have witnessed violence in their homes and neighborhoods; so it crosses our mind often that we have to be alert and protect our students,” Longoria said.
Staying plugged in after a power outage can be the difference between comfort and chaos.
Whether the power loss is caused by a hurricane, blizzard, tornado, or another sudden natural disaster, communication and access to up-to-date information is critical for families during an emergency. Fortunately, with a little planning, there are ways to stay plugged in when the power goes out.
September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). All month long, GE Generator Systems — a coalition member of FEMA’s Ready campaign — is educating the public about the importance of home emergency preparedness.
Perhaps the easiest way to stay connected during an extended power outage is by supplying power to your home with a home generator system, which turns on automatically when a home’s utility power is interrupted.
“A standby generator system keeps a household powered, even if the neighborhood is left in the dark,” said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton® (BGG) Standby Power, exclusive licensee of GE Generator Systems. “This means you can power computers, TVs and radios, and charge cell phones or cordless phones — everything you need to stay connected during an emergency.”
Backup generators provide power to a household’s large appliances when the main power source is down. Common home appliances operated by a standby generator include air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, electric stoves, clothes washers/dryers and lights.
“A standby generator offers a backup power source for a home, but what it really gives a family is the peace of mind that their household will be prepared when disaster strikes,” Grandy said. “However, it’s important to remember that standby generators must be professionally installed, so planning ahead is important.”
Even without an automatic standby generator system, families can take steps to stay connected when the lights go dark. Online mobile devices and mobile smart phones with Internet access allow information to continue to flow into the home.
First, make sure you have a power source for these devices if the power goes out, such as an inverter, solar charger or car charger. Then, investigate local and national information sources, such as these:
- Local city, utility and public safety departments. Oftentimes, these departments allow citizens to sign up for mobile alerts via text messaging or email to notify them of impending emergencies and clean-up efforts.
- Local news stations routinely offer mobile alerts that can be sent directly to your phone for free.
- Sites such as Nixle.com allow you to sign up for a free emergency alert service and, after entering your zip code, receive tailored notifications and advisories via text message or email from local government and safety agencies.
- Several apps available for iPhones or Android smart phones including The Weather Channel and Storm Spotter have free mobile weather alerts offering local weather radar and forecasts — a big benefit if you’re stuck without power in the middle of a storm. The Pacific Disaster Center’s Disaster Alert app allows users to track impending natural disasters world wide — a great tool for those in hurricane-threatened states.
- Websites keep you informed, too. Visit ready.gov for a variety of additional emergency preparedness tips to get ready for the unexpected and keep your family safe.
To learn more about how a standby generator can prepare a home for an emergency power outage, visit www.gegenerators.com.
About Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Briggs & Stratton Corporation (BGG), headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include North America’s number one marketer of portable generators and pressure washers, and it is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris®, Murray®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents.
GE (GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.