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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

I wrote in a previous post about a data center survey that found that CEOs, not CIOs, are the ones who most frequently make data center-related purchasing decisions. I noted that I wasn’t particularly surprised by that finding, but there was another finding in the same survey that did surprise me: A whopping 61 percent of the companies surveyed don’t measure their power usage effectiveness, or PUE.

I discussed that finding with Matt Miszewski, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Digital Realty, the data center operations services provider that commissioned the survey. I recognize that measuring PUE isn’t the be-all and end-all of advancing green data center operations, but the number of companies that don’t bother to measure it still seemed awfully high to me. I asked Miszewski if he was surprised by the finding, and to what he attributes the lack of focus in this area. His response:



With June 1 signaling the official start of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, all eyes are on the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico for the development of tropical storms. Fortunately, conditions for a cyclone are currently unfavorable and there’s no sign of imminent risk. But, that may not be the case for long.

In its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook issued May 22, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecasted near-normal or below-normal activity with 8-13 named storms, 3-6 actual hurricanes, and 1-2 major hurricanes. Most will not take place until the peak of the season, which for the Atlantic Basin, runs from August through October. The greatest risk of cyclone development typically comes in early to mid-September.



Hybrid Storage Solutions With Tiering and Replication Services Deliver Performance and Data Protection for Customers

LONGMONT, Colo. – Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise class storage systems, today announced it has signed a reseller agreement with VMsources Group, Inc., a solution provider specializing in infrastructure virtualization services. VMsources is currently deploying multiple Dot Hill AssuredSAN™ Pro 5000 real-time tiering solutions to address the demanding, dynamic storage requirements of VMware environments.

VMsources specializes in designing custom VMware vSphere environments to suit clients' specific needs. VMsources addresses these environments by delivering tiered storage area network solutions that perform better, cost less and provide plenty of capacity. The company uses VMware Certified Professional (VCP) consultants to provide fresh and unbiased insights into storage and network solutions for clients throughout the United States.

"We have been implementing Dot Hill AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series solutions with great success at a number of local school districts, universities and financial services companies, as well as in our own data center," said Andrew Schaeffer, president of VMsources. "With real-time, autonomic tiering for dynamic workloads, such as those found in VMware environments, an easy-to-use interface and the ability to mix different drive types, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 allows us to provide superior solutions and service for our customers."

"With a heavy focus on consulting and training, we expect VMsources will help us keep momentum going for our AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series, and broaden our customer base in VMware environments," said Brad Painter, vice president of channel sales, Dot Hill. "Given VMsources has AssuredSAN Pro 5000 units installed onsite at their data center, the company is well equipped to provide remote replication services for its customer base, ensuring enhanced data protection and disaster recovery."

Smith Affiliated Capital, an investment advisory firm and VMsources customer, has implemented the Dot Hill AssuredSAN Pro. "Dot Hill's AssuredSAN Pro 5000's RealStor software manages our data in real time, and has significantly improved storage performance and network responsiveness," said John K. Smith, chief operating officer, Smith Affiliated Capital. "We can't afford any down time in our business, and thanks to the remote replication capabilities supported by Dot Hill and VMsources, our data is secure and available 24-7."

Through its award-winning Dot Hill Connections Partner Program and AssuredSAN solutions, Dot Hill enables the company's growing base of resellers to build successful storage businesses by solving many critical problems for their customers—managing storage growth, creating responsive virtual infrastructures, reducing operating expenses, and deploying new applications. The Dot Hill partner program has been selected as a 5-Star Winner in the CRN Partner Program Guide for five consecutive years.

AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series Provides Seriously Smart Storage for VMware Environments

The AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series features seriously smart RealStor™ software that responds to dynamically changing data without human intervention or policy settings. RealStor software takes tiered storage in a hybrid array to a new level—beyond other tiered storage systems that rely on off-hours batch migration, and into a new era of autonomic, real-time tiering.

The AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series offers distinct advantages over solid-state disks (SSDs) used in a read-cache configuration. With RealStor autonomic tiering, "hot" data is moved into the SSD tier to enable consistently fast access. This contrasts with most read-cache implementations that rely on a simplistic algorithm to optimize read-performance and lack intelligence to migrate cold data to more cost-effective storage tiers. Dot Hill's RealStor software detects priorities within the data set and delivers faster I/O immediately.

About Dot Hill

Leveraging its proprietary Assured family of storage solutions, Dot Hill solves many of today's most challenging storage problems - helping IT to improve performance, increase availability, simplify operations, and reduce costs. Dot Hill's solutions combine breakthrough software with the industry's most flexible and extensive hardware platform and automated management to deliver best-in-class solutions. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information, visit us at www.dothill.com.

ASHTEAD, UK – Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Homerton) in east London has selected BridgeHead Software (BridgeHead), the specialist Healthcare Data Management company, to implement its Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) for a comprehensive pan-organisational image management strategy, prior to its selection of a replacement PACS imaging system.

The BridgeHead VNA gives Homerton complete flexibility and neutrality on its ‘yet to be determined’ PACS as well as its underlying storage infrastructure. BridgeHead’s VNA also enables the Trust to take a more strategic approach to its data management, enabling it to more efficiently locate and share all patient data with multiple clinical teams across multiple healthcare departments.

Triggered by the imminent ending of its national PACS contract – June 2014 and fully decommissioned by 2015 – Homerton needed to review its long-term PACS strategy and decided upon the BridgeHead VNA as its primary data repository, initially used for radiology images, but with the intention of expanding the solution to manage images from other departments within the hospital.

Dzinja Kabambe, Head of Strategic IT Projects at Homerton, explains: “Homerton does a lot of work with neighbouring Trusts – we share clinicians, have joint patients and we are also closely aligned to social services and other third party care providers. As such, our solution had to facilitate better sharing of data between all of our stakeholders. We had several options, namely do we select a PACS solution with ‘bundled’ image management capability, or do we separate our image management from the PACS altogether and opt for a VNA solution? We decided on the latter because we wanted to de-risk our impending PACS replacement. BridgeHead’s VNA provides us with total PACS neutrality as, due to its vendor agnosticism, it is able to work with all major PACS providers in the UK. This means we will have the flexibility to make an objective decision about what PACS solution is right for us as an organisation.”

At the same time as its radiology PACS contract was coming to an end, Homerton needed to consider its data management strategy for other departments, namely cardiology and fertility, the latter taking referrals from across London and surrounding areas.

Dzinja continues: “We had a policy of keeping everything available all of the time on our primary storage environment and this was starting to have significant cost implications; there were also some specific storage related problems within our cardiology department which led to time consuming workarounds for the IT department to keep relevant images available. A strategy of keeping everything on fast local hardware all of the time is not sustainable. We needed to be far more strategic and BridgeHead’s VNA allows us to take a more objective view of our data. Now, less critical data, i.e. images and reports from patients discharged more than six months ago for example, can be moved to less expensive storage, or even out to the cloud with integrity and availability still intact.”

In addition to its requirement for vendor neutrality and the adoption of a tiered architecture capability, Homerton needed its VNA to support its wider Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy. Homerton, traditionally, has always had two data centres on site. However, given it is now running services within the community beyond the hospital site, even if the facility went down, it needs to be able to remain operational. BridgeHead’s VNA will now move data between systems and the hospital’s cloud environment. As such, if one site goes down, the VNA can be used to recall the data that is required and ensure that services to the community and its patients can continue.

Homerton also wanted its VNA to extend to other imaging specialties and departments, as well as handle other file types beyond imaging, so that clinicians can view all of the documentation they need for the diagnosis and treatment of a patient all from one system.

Dzinja concludes: “Whilst no decisions have been made about what additional data will be handled by the VNA, for Homerton we needed the flexibility and reassurance that it could become an organisational, cross departmental repository for all types of information delivered in a financially predictable way and not just an ever increasing bill. BridgeHead gives us that ability to plan for growth of the system in a coherent and transparent manner.”

Jim Beagle, CEO, BridgeHead Software comments: “I applaud Homerton for their strategic vision and their acknowledgement that a true vendor neutral archive can act as a key enabler to sharing information and improved cost efficiency, thereby supporting the drive for better patient care. The BridgeHead team looks forward to working with them on this project and ensuring its success.”

Interactive resources

Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Brochure

VNA Image Availability Whitepaper

What Should the NHS Expect from a VNA Whitepaper

About BridgeHead Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Solution

BridgeHead’s VNA is part of its Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Solution that enables hospitals to efficiently manage all of their systems and data, within one environment. BridgeHead’s HDM offers a VNA for DICOM images and a compatible archive for non-DICOM files, featuring a rich policy engine used for Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), and controlling features like encryption and compression. BridgeHead’s HDM also offers comprehensive protection of all manner of data found within healthcare environments, from medical images, scanned patient documents, and patient notes, through to email, PDFs and other office type files.

About BridgeHead Software

With 20 years’ experience in data and storage management, BridgeHead Software is trusted by over 1,000 hospitals worldwide. Today, BridgeHead Software helps healthcare facilities overcome challenges stemming from rising data volumes and increasing storage costs while delivering peace of mind around how to store, protect and share clinical and administrative information.

BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management solutions are designed to work with any hospital’s chosen applications and storage hardware, regardless of vendor, providing greater choice, flexibility and control over the way data is managed, now and in the future. For more information, visit http://www.bridgeheadsoftware.com or follow on Twitter at @BridgeHeadHDM.

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Department of Business, Innovation & Skills Minister, Right Hon David Willetts MP, has announced the certification framework for Cyber Essentials, the governments new initiative aimed at creating a minimum expected capability for cyber security.  

The Cyber Essentials Scheme (CES), announced in April, helps businesses  by clearly detailing five basic cyber controls that can be cost effectively implemented in most businesses and demonstrate the minimum that should be in place to combat crime and disruption.  

David Willets said “The recent GOZeuS and CryptoLocker attacks, as well as the Ebay hack, shows how far cyber-criminals will go to steal people’s financial details, and we absolutely cannot afford to be complacent.”



With the start of the World Cup less than a week away, employers are being urged to update business continuity plans ahead of football fever – particularly where they relate to staff absences.

Staff absences are more prone to rise during large sporting events, which has are more significant impact on employers whose staff are working shifts.

Jo Eccles, business adviser at the Forum of Private Business, says: “Sporting events such as the World Cup can bring a real feel good factor and many people will want to watch and get behind England. While the majority of matches may be in the evening out of office hours for most of us, the final fixture will be towards the end of the working day and employers may want to arrange plans to allow staff to be able to watch what could be the big decider for Hodgson and his team.”



Many organizations responded to the Heartbleed Bug by conducting the appropriate risk assessments and vulnerability scanning to determine whether they were running vulnerable versions of Linux containing the affected OpenSSL versions (1.0.1 through 1.0.1f). If the vulnerability was found, they quickly moved to close it, but many organizations determined that the servers or systems they were running weren’t at risk.

The simple fact is that for hundreds of thousands of sites that ran the vulnerable OpenSSL code – which was in distribution for a year – we will probably never know whether the vulnerability was exploited, or exactly what data may have been compromised as a result of Heartbleed’s memory scraping.



The US-based Transportation Research Board has issued a new report entitled ‘A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response.’

The report is designed to assist transportation organizations as they prepare for pandemics and other infectious diseases, such as seasonal flu. It outlines broad guidance on dealing with pandemic preparedness planning and provides information, tools, tips, and guidance on where to find up-to-date recommendations from federal agencies and other resources, prior to and during a pandemic.

Read the report here (PDF).

Continuity Software has published the results of its latest Service Availability Benchmark Survey, designed to enable IT infrastructure, business continuity and disaster recovery professionals to compare their organization's performance and practices to that of their peers.

The key findings of the report, based on responses from 155 IT professionals across a wide range of industries and geographies, are:

  • Over half of the companies (59 percent) had an outage in the past three months and 28 percent had an outage in the past month;
  • 41 percent of the organization surveyed missed their service availability goal for mission critical systems in 2013;
  • 66 percent of the respondents have initiatives for improving service availability management in 2014;
  • Proactive identification of risks is the top challenge 20 percent of the respondents face in ensuring service availability;
  • The most common and most effective strategy for ensuring service availability is virtualization HA, used by 72 percent of the respondents this year compared to 63 percent in 2013.

"It is discouraging to see that such a high percentage of organizations continue to miss their service availability goals, despite the tremendous effort and investment made across the infrastructure," said Doron Pinhas, CTO, Continuity Software. "IT teams are finding themselves in a never-ending chase to keep up with the pace of change across the IT landscape. As the survey results show, IT organizations are increasingly recognizing that a proactive approach to risk identification is more effective for outage prevention than playing catchup."

Read the full report, registration required.

Avalution designed the BCM 101 videos below to provide an overview of business continuity planning concepts and processes and answer the most common questions we receive, including: What is Business Continuity? Click any video below to start learning about business continuity right now.

Avalution is the leading provider of business continuity management consulting services in the U.S. and an expert at getting business continuity programs off the ground. We would love to have a conversation to discuss your business continuity and disaster recovery challenges. If you're ready to get started, contact us today.

- See more at: http://www.avalution.com/bcm-101#sthash.VkhLjwZS.dpuf

BCM 101 - An Introduction to Business Continuity Planning & Management

Whether you're an executive that's just been handed responsibility of developing/maintaining a business continuity program or a practitioner brand new to the profession, you've come to the right place to learn about business continuity!

Avalution designed the BCM 101 videos below to provide an overview of business continuity planning concepts and processes and answer the most common questions we receive, including: What is Business Continuity? Click any video below to start learning about business continuity right now.

Avalution is the leading provider of business continuity management consulting services in the U.S. and an expert at getting business continuity programs off the ground. We would love to have a conversation to discuss your business continuity and disaster recovery challenges. If you're ready to get started, contact us today.

- See more at: http://www.avalution.com/bcm-101#sthash.VkhLjwZS.dpuf

CIO — WASHINGTON — In many ways, the challenges of improving healthcare through technology revolve around data.

It's a boom time for health IT startups that have been developing mobile devices and tools to collect more data about patients' adherence to treatment plans, monitor anything from chronic conditions to caloric intake, and any number of other applications.

At their core, those businesses launched with the vision that more data can address public health issues, reduce the costs of care, improve patient outcomes — or all of the above.