As a recent graduate now working in a business continuity role within a leading investment firm, I’ve been looking for a good mentor; someone I could shadow; who I could learn from; and who would help me develop to become the best I could be in the business continuity profession. Looking back it’s not been the easiest process. The most notable advice I have received thus far is as follows.
- "Always look busy."
- "Always know more than the person in front of you."
My first mentor was a really great bloke who you would undoubtedly grab a beer with any day. He was considered a subject matter expert for BCM but when asked to develop a business continuity policy his words to me were: "Here is my pal's policy - just change the name and we're good". It was after 120 pages of sifting that I realised two things:
By Paul Clark, AlgoSec.
Security is always walking a fine line between enabling the business, and acting as a brake on agility and productivity. Unfortunately for many organizations, it seems that their security infrastructure has stepped over the line and is holding them back. When we surveyed 240 infosecurity, network operations and application professionals in autumn 2013, we found they were struggling with managing their critical business applications effectively, because of the sheer complexity involved.
Over half of the survey respondents reported that they had over 100 critical business applications in their data center /centre. This means a heavy workload of application connectivity change requests for IT teams, to enable those applications to keep up with the evolving needs of the business. 45 percent of respondents said they have to manage over 11 requests every week, and 21 percent have more than 20 changes per week.
A majority of respondents (59 percent) said each request takes more than 8 hours to process, with nearly a third saying that each change takes more than one business day. And the typical time needed to deploy a new data center application was over 5 weeks, and in some cases more than 11 weeks.
Internap Cloud Infrastructure Combined with SolidFire’s All-Flash Storage System – Both Powered by OpenStack – Offers Customers Guaranteed QoS, Tunable Performance and Interoperability
BOULDER, Colo. – SolidFire, the leader in all-flash storage systems designed for next generation data centers, today announced that it is powering Internap Network Services Corporation’s (NASDAQ: INAP) new cloud block storage offering, which delivers guaranteed high levels of storage and application performance. Internap leverages SolidFire’s deep integration with OpenStack to deliver finely tunable and guaranteed QoS that solves the traditional performance challenges associated with shared public cloud storage. With this launch, SolidFire is now the foundation for Internap’s block storage as a service.
Internap’s new block storage offering is integrated into the next generation of its public cloud service, AgileCLOUD, which entered beta availability in November 2013 and is based on OpenStack. Designed for large-scale use cases, AgileCLOUD is the first cloud platform that will fully expose both virtualized and bare-metal compute instances over a native OpenStack API. As a result, customers will be able to easily provision and manage thousands of virtual or bare-metal cloud instances via the Internap customer portal or programmatically via API to best fit their application and use case requirements.
“Our customers in performance-reliant industries, such as ad tech, big data, and mobile, among others, are asking for more control and higher levels of guaranteed performance for their applications hosted on our cloud platform. In the past, shared storage has been the performance bottleneck, but SolidFire’s all-flash architecture and performance benefits allow us to deliver the characteristics of dedicated storage on a shared cloud storage system,” says Gopala Tumuluri, vice president of hosting and cloud services, Internap.
Internap’s AgileCLOUD offers the complete OpenStack API to enterprise customers including the ability to manage fine-grained QoS and IOPS on the SolidFire storage system. SolidFire’s all-SSD platform allows Internap to guarantee performance and API control to thousands of customers within its shared infrastructure. “With its ability to manage performance and capacity independently, SolidFire gives us an edge in providing our customers with greater control, flexibility and performance,” added Tumuluri.
Key advantages of Internap’s cloud block storage include:
- Guaranteed QoS – All-SSD platform and sophisticated provisioning technology provide guaranteed bandwidth and IOPS for every volume.
- Separated IOPS/Capacity Scaling – Allocable IOPS or capacity allow for dynamically tunable block storage to meet specific needs of the application without purchasing unneeded storage space.
- 100 percent SLA for both availability and performance.
SolidFire’s all-flash storage architecture is appealing to global hosting service providers as the technology can scale out to over 3.5 PB and 7.5 million predictable IOPS. Additionally, SolidFire’s native ability to manage performance and capacity independently allows greater control and flexibility for providers’ services. With SolidFire, providers can offer a broad range of storage services with guaranteed performance all from a single platform, delivering a predictable application experience above and beyond legacy storage technologies commonly offered today.
“As Internap’s SSD storage solution provider, SolidFire is the secret weapon that will help Internap deliver next-generation cloud services to its customers, ranging from startups running data-intensive applications to large-scale enterprises,” said Dave Wright, CEO, SolidFire. “The powerful combination of SolidFire’s storage system and Internap’s high-performance public cloud compute and storage infrastructure ensures unmatched performance and flexibility for Internap’s customers.”
Internap helps people build and manage the world’s best performing IT infrastructure. Our global footprint of data centers, patented network technology and hybrid approach to hosting solutions that blends virtual and bare-metal cloud computing, managed hosting and colocation delivers a seamless end-user experience with the lowest latency every time. With a 100% uptime guarantee and award-winning customer support, Internap has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Most Trustworthy Companies. For more information, visit www.internap.com.
SolidFire is the market leader in all-flash storage systems designed for next generation data centers. Leveraging SolidFire’s all-flash architecture, with volume-level Quality of Service (QoS) controls, customers now can guarantee storage performance to thousands of applications within a shared infrastructure. Coupling this functionality with in-line data reduction techniques and system-wide automation results in substantial capital and operating cost savings relative to traditional storage systems.
NEW YORK, NY – Send Word Now, the leading worldwide provider of emergency notification and critical communications services, announced today the addition of Steag State Power Inc. (SPI), located in the Republic of the Philippines, to its long and growing list of energy and utilities clients. Send Word Now’s on-demand alerting service will allow SPI to communicate faster and more effectively in situations jeopardizing operations, service and safety.
“For years, Send Word Now has supplied power companies in the United States and abroad with an essential emergency communications tool,” said Lorin Bristow, Senior Vice President, Marketing, for Send Word Now. “Today, we are honored to assist SPI in its response to critical events, such as the recent, devastating Typhoon Haiyan.”
SPI owns and operates the most modern power generating plant in the Philippines’ southernmost island, Mindanao. It supplies 20% of the island’s total electric power needs, helping propel the country’s sustained economic growth and development through efficient, reliable and responsible power generation. SPI is majority owned by Steag GmbH, Germany’s fifth largest electricity producer and a pioneer of highly efficient generation technology using hard coal.
With the Send Word Now Alerting Service, SPI can immediately send incident-related messages to recipients using a variety of methods, including phone (landline and mobile), SMS, pager and email, as well as gather all-important feedback for auditing purposes.
“Though it faces some unique challenges, SPI shares with other power industry leaders the need to communicate quickly and reliably in emergencies,” said Bristow. “We are grateful they also now share Send Word Now as their emergency notification provider, and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
A partial listing of Send Word Now’s energy and utilities customers is available through the company’s website. Common uses of the award-winning alerting service within the power industry include natural disasters, accident-related outages, rolling blackouts, IT disruptions and planned power reductions.
About Send Word Now (www.sendwordnow.com)
Headquartered in New York City, Send Word Now is the leading provider of on-demand alerting for emergency communications. The company’s easy-to-use, web-based notification solutions and mobile applications are used by businesses, government agencies, universities and non-profit organizations globally to ensure fast, effective, two-way communication when it is needed the most.
Send Word Now's enterprise-class notification service is capable of transmitting tens of thousands of voice and text messages in minutes, while providing a full audit trail for after-action reporting and follow-up. It is designed to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime, with any device, over any type of connection. Send Word Now was recently awarded “2013 Notification System of the Year” by DRI International, and also received the 2013 Small Business Achievement Award from the Department of Homeland Security for its work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
WAYNE, Pa. – SunGard Availability Services, a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, saw an uptick in customer migrations across various lines of business (LOB) in the third quarter including Managed Services, Cloud and Recovery Services.
The company’s continued focus on evolving its customers’ IT strategies and delivering customizable IT solutions was executed through managing customers’ technology operations, cloud migration support and recovery initiatives to ensure operational resiliency. In addition, SunGard Availability Services has continued to increase its globalization efforts to better cater to customers’ needs through new leadership roles and outstanding customer service.
“The key focus of our business is our customers,” said Andy Stern, CEO, SunGard Availability Services. “We partner with our customers to provide a diverse and flexible range of solutions to fit their unique needs and to solve their IT challenges.”
Managing Customers’ IT Needs
Through its managed services offering, SunGard Availability Services help customers increase speed and agility, reduce expenses, minimize risk and ensure resiliency of their complex IT environment. Customer Drivers History provides insurance carriers with access to a real-time database of traffic and criminal traffic court records to help such carriers gain better insight into their customers’ potential risk profiles. Drivers History partnered with SunGard Availability Services for managed hosting services to maximize the safety and security of its data. SunGard Availability Services completed Drivers History’s migration to managed hosting services in the third quarter. Now, Drivers History is able to process transactions 24/7, running anywhere from 15-30,000 transactions a day with no concern for outages.
Supporting Cloud Migration
As more and more companies move to the cloud, SunGard Availability Services partners with its customers to provide tailored solutions to meet their unique application availability needs in the cloud.
In search of a partner willing to provide the leadership and expertise to help the company make the transition from a traditional hardware infrastructure to a hybrid IT environment, Advanced Energy (AE), a global leader in reliable power conversion solutions, turned to SunGard Availability Services to provide full support for 13 different SAP landscapes supporting all AE processes within a private cloud environment, along with disaster recovery. SunGard Availability Services assisted the company in its full migration to the SAP landscape which resulted in a 30 percent performance improvement in the cloud.
Since 1967, Shaw Systems provides complete solutions for loan and lease servicing, collections and recovery, and handling credit management finance software for many of the largest financial institutions. Shaw was looking for a provider that would help its clients meet financial regulations, including high uptime and recovery capabilities, and help Shaw continue to grow into the SaaS and hosting solutions market. To accomplish this, Shaw utilizes SunGard Availability Services’ Enterprise Cloud Services that offer flexibility and ease-of-use for customers with smaller IT departments.
“We needed to refresh our technology infrastructure and had planned to use colocation services,” said Stephen Brannon, director of business development at Shaw Systems. “Following a recommendation from SunGard Availability Services, we instead utilized cloud solutions. In doing so, we were able to meet customers’ financial requirements, reduce risk for both our company and customers and cater to a new customer market.”
SunGard Availability Services also signed LOGiQ3, a life insurance and reinsurance consulting and outsourced services provider, as a cloud customer in the third quarter.
Arming Customers with Recovery Capabilities
With a deep heritage in helping businesses solve complex disaster recovery challenges, SunGard Availability Services is applying its more than 30 years of experience to meet the markets evolving needs. Jonas Fitness, a leading provider of enterprise management software and billing solutions to a variety of industries, was seeking a partner to help position the company as a trusted provider of ‘software for life.’ SunGard Availability Services’ solution for Jonas is comprised of production managed hosting with replication to a disaster recovery environment, the SunGard Managed Recovery Program and consulting services for mainframe data migration.
In addition, SunGard Availability Services recently signed an agreement with Catalent Pharma Solutions, a provider of advanced drug delivery technologies, to deploy disaster recovery solutions for its ERP and production applications.
Magnifying Its Global Impact
The company continues to expand its global focus throughout the third quarter. As a result, SunGard Availability Services was recognized for global customer services and awarded the BCI Global Award for Business Continuity Provider of the Year (BCM Service) by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), an institute established to promote the art and science of business continuity worldwide. Within India, the BCI has since shortlisted SunGard Availability Services’ India operations for its Business Continuity Service Provider and Business Continuity Product Provider of the Year categories.
Additionally, the company announced Keith Tilley as executive vice president, EMEA and APAC. For 35 years, Keith has built up extensive knowledge and expertise in the industry as his remit within SunGard Availability Services has steadily grown from Managing Director UK to his new role.
For additional information on SunGard Availability Services, please visit http://www.sungardas.com.
About SunGard Availability Services
SunGard Availability Services provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software. With approximately five million square feet of datacenter and operations space, SunGard Availability Services helps customers improve the resilience of their mission critical systems by designing, implementing and managing cost-effective solutions using people, process and technology to address enterprise IT availability needs. Through direct sales and channel partners, we help organizations ensure their people and customers have uninterrupted access to the information systems they need in order to do business. To learn more, visit www.sungardas.com or call 1-800-468-7483. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Dec 04, 2013
When end users circumvent the IT department and start using software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications without permission, the IT pros complain about the plague they call "shadow IT." But it would seem the professionals are also operating in the shadows, according to a survey out today.
The report entitled "The Hidden Truth behind Shadow IT," was a collaboration of consultancy Frost & Sullivan and McAfee. The survey asked 300 IT pros and 300 line-of-business employees whether they used SaaS applications in their jobs without official approval. Eighty percent admitted they did, with only 19% of the business employees and 17% of IT claiming to be innocent.
I’m starting to see more pieces about using master data management (MDM) with Big Data.
If the very idea gives you a headache, you’re in good company — but stick with me. I’ve been juicing vegetables, and feel energetic enough to tackle some questions about the topic.
Do people really combine MDM and Big Data, or are vendors just piling hype on top of hype?
A recently released study by IBM that involved more than 4,000 C-suite leaders from 70 countries, including hundreds of midmarket leaders, gave interesting insight into digital strategies employed by various companies. Among the results are some compelling facts about how small to midsize businesses (SMBs) view their digital influence on their customers.
Of those SMBs who responded, 43 percent believe their company has an integrated physical and digital strategy already in place. The study identified that digitization of information is changing the way businesses relate with customers:
CHICAGO, IL -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) urge Illinois residents affected by recent severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes to be alert for potential fraud and to keep these points in mind:
- A FEMA inspector will first contact you by phone to arrange a visit to your damaged home or apartment to determine if you have uninsured, eligible losses. A FEMA inspector will always have an official badge visible during the inspection. Ask to see the badge before allowing him/her to enter your home.
- FEMA will not contact you requesting your personal information to process a prepaid credit card.
- FEMA does not charge for information that it gives out. Apply free online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
- FEMA does not send out text messages asking recipients to call fee-based telephone numbers. The toll-free numbers above are used for all contact with FEMA, including applying and follow-up.
- FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration do not charge fees for information regarding filling out the SBA loan applications. Free assistance is available by calling SBA’s toll-free number, 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339).
Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse may call the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603. You may also send an email to DHSOIGHotline@dhs.gov. Complaints may also be made via the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or with state or local law enforcement officials or consumer agencies.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.