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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Police, fire, public works radio systems rely on Exalt microwave backbone; city saves thousands of dollars in monthly operating expenses
 
CAMPBELL, Calif. ­ Exalt Communications, Inc., the leading innovator of next-generation packet microwave backhaul systems, today announced that the City of Danville, VA has upgraded an aging copper network infrastructure with high performance Exalt microwave systems. The microwave network provides radio service for police, fire, public works, and utility departments within the city and eliminates monthly recurring lease line charges.
 
Danville is a city of 43,000 located along Virginia’s southern border. The city had long used leased copper T1 lines to carry radio traffic for its public agencies, but the copper was degrading, and the city needed another solution. By choosing ExploreAir all-outdoor microwave systems from Exalt, the city not only reduced its monthly operating expense (OPEX) costs, but now “owns the network.”
 
“We replaced the copper with microwave for higher reliability and availability, and also to bring the network in-house,” said Erik Chambers, communications systems manager for the City of Danville. “Exalt supplied the zero-footprint, all-outdoor systems that we wanted, and we have saved thousands of dollars by eliminating the cost of leased circuits in our network.”
 
GCS Electronics & Communications of Martinsville, VA deployed the Exalt microwave systems. In addition to their all-outdoor design, the Exalt ExploreAir systems use Cat5e cabling, which was needed in the tight space in existing conduit at the tower sites. While the systems deliver four T1s of connectivity today, the City of Danville will ultimately use Ethernet data connectivity on the systems as well.
 
“Communications links are lifelines for first-responders and the communities they serve,” said Joe Schraml, Exalt vice president of product management. “However, municipalities are always under pressure to reduce costs. Exalt enables cities like Danville to stretch their budgets while, at the same time, support their first-responders and city services personnel with systems that deliver fiber-quality performance and the highest reliability under all conditions.”
 
About Exalt Communications
Exalt Communications provides next-generation packet microwave backhaul systems to mobile operators, broadband service providers, government agencies, and enterprises worldwide. Exalt wireless systems are used most often as a complement or cost-effective alternative to fiber. They also have been inherently designed to support the rapid build out of the 4G/LTE mobile Internet infrastructure driven by ever growing user-generated traffic and fueled by the accelerated adoption rate of smartphones and tablets. www.exaltcom.com

 

Tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters can bring your business to a screeching halt when the office is damaged or destroyed, and critical infrastructure is offline. Axcient, the leading cloud solution for eliminating application downtime and data loss, today outlined 10 disaster preparedness tips that can help your company prepare and respond to disasters, while keeping the business up-and-running and maintaining vital revenue.

“When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast last Fall, it resulted in $62B in damages and economic losses from businesses that were not able to operate because of flooded buildings, power blackouts and damaged communications infrastructure,” said Justin Moore, CEO at Axcient. “However, there were several success stories, where firms had disaster plans in place and were able to leverage cloud-based disaster recovery and business continuity solutions to weather the storm. Dozens of IT providers in Sandy’s path used the latest technology to spin up virtual offices in the cloud to keep employees productive while waiting for primary systems to come back online or be restored.”

These businesses had a clear emergency preparedness plan in place for their personnel and relied on technologies that can deliver real business protection exactly when it’s needed. 

Looking at examples of what enterprises did to successfully weather Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters, Axcient developed the following 10 Disaster Preparedness Tips for Businesses:

...

http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/axcient-it-emergency-preparedness-businesses-weather-storm-0001?atc~c=771+s=773+r=001+l=a

I continue to be astounded by one simple fact (candidly there are others) – companies do not understand that creating and maintaining an ethical culture improves bottom-line financial performance.  A commitment to ethics as an enhancement to an existing compliance program not only improves performance of the compliance program, but improves corporate profitability and long-term shareholder value.

From my days as a history major, I am reminded of the Luddites and their rejection of technology.  To me, the issue is remarkably similar – companies ignore ethics as a driver of compliance, but more importantly fail to recognize the importance of ethics a means to ensure business success and long-term viability.

There is an abundance of research proving that an ethical culture improves financial performance.  The link appears very logical and intuitive and research confirms the improvement to the bottom line.

...

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/instilling-ethics-in-a-compliance-program/

For most organisations, business continuity issues have more to do with breakdowns in everyday processes than with incidents in a nuclear reactor. However, events like the most recent catastrophe in Japan have catalysed discussions on the potential for using robots for recovery and continuity – discussions that could progressively include even ‘run of the mill’ incidents. The high radioactivity levels of the Fukushima reactor systems prevented human beings from being able to shut them off early enough to minimise damage. Correctly designed robots on the other hand might have been able to do this: however, while the use of robots in industrial applications and in space exploration is well-known, emergency situations require a different approach to robot programming.

The need to be able to issue simple, natural commands according to the need at hand, and the need for robots to respond to these commands are defining characteristics of these critical situations. Current pre-defined, pre-programmed robot activities do not allow for this. In tape archives for instance, robots organise tape cartridge picking, mounting, and storing, but do not step outside the narrow limits of an orderly process. Such robots are not designed to respond to abnormal situations such as fire or flooding. Recovery robots on the other hand would be expected to handle such events and understand spontaneous commands such as ‘shut the door’ or ‘go down the stairs’.

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http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/business-continuity-and-the-use-of-robots/

The all-Flash data center—it used to be considered something of a pipe dream. While solid-state storage has its uses, both costs and the complexity of modern data environments seem to demand mixed storage architectures for the time being. But as costs come down, more storage experts are looking at all-Flash, or perhaps Flash-dominant storage environments.

Storage has always been the laggard in the data-handling relay race, but recently the disparity has become stark. As virtual and cloud environments shift the burden away from processing power and even storage capacity, speed has become the determining factor in high-performance environments. According to Kaminario, more than 90 percent of the performance issues afflicting leading applications these days can be traced to storage. Whether it is web-facing OLTP or Big Data OLAP batches, the I/O culprit is almost always poor random read/write performance in legacy HDD arrays. The results were largely same across Oracle, SQL, DB2, MySQL and even unstructured data sets.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/the-argument-for-an-all-flash-data-center-becomes-hard-to-ignore.html

Instead of the teacher, I was the student.  I was “grasshopper”.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Dale Carnegie workshop that my employer hosted as part of our employee development program.  The course was titled “How to Say What You Mean to Get the Results That You Want”.

I was pleased (confident) when throughout the class we talked about several topics that we also cover in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer curriculum that I’ve been teaching for the past few years.

I thought I’d share with you some of the concepts, suggestions, and thoughts that I left the class with.

...

http://timbonno.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/trying-to-be-a-more-effective-communicator/

Posted by: Dan Watson, Press Secretary, Public Affairs 

At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.

Photos of the Week
Here are a few of our favorite photos from the past week. Check out our Photo Library for more.

Moore, Okla., July 29, 2013 -- The American flag stands as a sign of strength in the foreground of the devastation left in the wake of the May 20th EF-5 tornado.

Old Bridge, N.J., July 27, 2013 -- FEMA Mitigation specialist Jenai Jordan and External Affairs representative Susan Langhoff provide information on mitigating disasters like Hurricane Sandy at the Home Depot Hurricane Workshop in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

White River, Mich., July 30, 2013 -- Muskegon County Road Maintenance Superintendent Laurie Peterson, views this very dangerous road washout. FEMA Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grants become available following application and inspection and cover a significant portion of the cost of repair.

Weather Outlook
According to the National Weather Service, it doesn’t appear there will be any severe weather threats this weekend.  While there aren’t any significant weather threats at this time, weather conditions can change rapidly. We encourage everyone to monitor their local weather conditions online at www.weather.gov or on their mobile device at http://mobile.weather.gov.

While you’re out and about this weekend, take a few moments to make sure your family’s emergency kit is fully stocked as we head into the peak of hurricane season.  Last week we saw two Tropical Storms -- Dorian in the Caribbean and Flossie in the Pacific. These storms are great reminders that the time to prepare for tropical weather is now. Visit Ready.gov for a list of items that should be in your emergency kit and for safety tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Public-Private Partnership Conference
This week the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, in association with the United States Northern Command and the American Red Cross, hosted the “Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships” conference.

The conference highlighted successful public-private partnerships, identified coordination gaps between public-private organizations, and engaged both sectors to determine how to further promote teamwork to make our communities and nation more resilient.

Here are a few tweets from the @FEMALive account, which covered live the conference live on Twitter:

Thanks to everyone who was able to participate and follow the discussion online!

For more information on how FEMA engages with the Private Sector, visit www.fema.gov/private-sector.

Have a safe weekend!

http://blog.fema.gov/2013/08/what-were-watching-8213.html

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  –– STORServer®, the leading provider of proven data backup solutions for the mid-market, announces today the launch of its new online Appliance Wizard, which helps data protection shoppers determine which STORServer Appliance solution and associated products and services best fit their backup environment and business goals.

"The Appliance Wizard allows customers to find out about our solutions, while potentially uncovering some aspects of a backup solution that had not been thought of prior,” said Bill Smoldt, president of STORServer. “Simply put, the tool allows customers to get a better handle on their needs and provides a great starting point for considering any data protection solution."

All STORServer Appliance solutions can be customized to suit any environment and are:

  • Cross-platform and network friendly
  • Managed through a centralized console
  • Easy for anyone to learn and use

The Appliance Wizard, available at http://www.storserver.com/appliance-wizard, takes backup shoppers through a series of questions about their data environment. Once all questions are answered, the tool automatically shares the results of the brief survey, including:

  • The amount of data you need to back up
  • The appropriate-sized solution for your environment
  • Necessary storage requirements
  • What’s needed to comply with federal regulations, such as SOX and HIPPA
  • Disaster recovery needs
  • Necessary backup for virtual machines and storage area networks
  • Budget requirements

Built on TSM, STORServer offers a complete suite of enterprise backup appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery challenges. STORServer EBA 3100, 2100, 1100 and 800 recently took four out of five top positions in the DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide. After evaluating 66 products, DCIG felt that no other backup appliance came close to the EBA3100, placing it in a category of its own.

For more information on the company’s line of data backup solutions, visit http://www.storserver.com. To download the full DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide, visit http://backupapplianceguide.com.

 

About STORServer®

STORServer, Inc. is a leading provider of data backup solutions for the mid-market. The company offers a complete suite of appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery issues once and for all, and reduce install and management time to just minutes a day. STORServer sells exclusively through a nationwide network of industry-leading backup partners. For press inquiries, contact Megan Lawler at (317) 202-2280 x13 or megan@dittoepr.com. For more information, visit www.storserver.com

This summer’s floods in Alberta and Toronto highlight the importance of business continuity planning – a key part of any risk management strategy. It keeps employees productive and maintains essential business operations and customer satisfaction during any kind of interruption. However, according to IDC, only 44 per cent of Canadian large businesses, with more than 1,000 employees, had a continuity plan in place as of late 2011. Small businesses, with fewer than 100 employees, were even less prepared, with 25 per cent planning to launch business continuity plans in the next 12 months.

Here are some key steps to make sure your business operations can continue in the event of another major interruption:

1. Have executive buy-in. Support from executives or other senior leadership is critical for the success of a business continuity plan. Planning and execution will require their buy-in and attention to ensure that all processes are managed effectively.

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-tools/top-tens/ten-ways-to-prepare-for-business-disruptions/article13476574/

Big Data is playing a huge role in medical research—some even believe it will be instrumental in finding a cure for cancer. Though in its early stages, harnessing the power of Big Data obviously has the potential to change medical research in a major way.

The National Institutes of Health apparently agrees. This week, the NIH announced funding for the establishment of six to eight investigator-initiated Big Data to Knowledge Centers of Excellence. The funding will be for up to $24 million per year for four years.

“The centers will improve the ability of the research community to use increasingly large and complex data sets through the development and distribution of innovative approaches, methods, software, and tools for data sharing, integration, analysis and management,” Scientific Computing reports.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/nih-announces-big-dollars-for-big-data.html