So you need to do some Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) Planning, but aren’t sure how to start? Depending on the size of the task and the level of prior focus on BC/DR planning within your organization, this could involve anything from simply sprucing up your existing BC/DR plans to the overwhelming feat of creating new plan designs and implementations. If the latter is your situation, don’t feel alone. There are many data center managers, IT executives, and application owners that feel like they’re behind the 8-ball on their business continuity and disaster planning efforts. Rest easy and know that with the right steps, you can get things moving forward in the right direction.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning: The 60/40 Rule
One of my best mentors was an extremely successful leader in risk and resilience programming in both the federal government and commercial industry sector. He taught me early on (much to my initial chagrin) that the best programs start out with the 60/40 rule, meaning that you should start out and “sell” goals and objectives that are only 60% of where you would ideally wish to see the end-state. The “60/40 rule”??? As a devoted and overly ambitious “Business Continuity Professional,” I could conceivably accept the classic 80/20 Perato Principle, but 60/40 was difficult to swallow. But he was “the Boss,” so I figured I might as well go with the flow, accept his guidance, and ensure that all my programs targeted getting “60% there.” So how would this work?
The word “disaster” can be used to describe a broad range of events, such as violent weather, a catastrophic accident, or a natural event that causes great damage or loss of life. Disaster recovery is an equally broad term that encompasses both the planning and preparation prior to a catastrophic event, as well as the recovery and recuperation of those affected.
A seminal moment in disaster recovery occurred in 1988 when a fire destroyed a central office operated by Illinois Bell in the suburbs of Chicago. The Hinsdale Central Office handled 40,000 local phone lines, which supported the O’Hare International Airport and numerous businesses. Service wasn’t restored for weeks and, one by one, thriving businesses failed and were liquidated. Network planners and architects came to realize that there are a multitude of things that can negatively impact network operations in addition to natural disasters.
While disaster recovery and business continuity are similar in many ways and share many overlapping concerns, they are different subjects. Disaster recovery deals with the aftermath of a catastrophic event that affects an area or region. Business continuity involves the safeguarding of critical business functions.
Whether you operate a seasonal business or sales pick up during the summer months, summertime can be full of risks for small business owners.
From on the job injuries to extreme weather, there’s a host of things that can go wrong to hurt sales or worse yet derail the entire operation.
“Summer is a busy time for certain businesses, particularly those along the coasts,” says Judy Coblentz, VICe president and chief underwriting officer at Travelers. “In certain parts of the country the summer season brings more business and pretty big exposures for small businesses.”
To prevent your business from taking a hit this summer, Travelers put together a list of the biggest seasonal risks and ways to avoid them.
The following is CCI Publisher Maurice Gilbert’s interview with John Verver, VP, Strategy at ACL. Mr. Verver is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Consultant, and Certified Information System Auditor, as well as a member of the Center for Continuous Auditing’s advisory board.
Big Data is a hot topic right now – how does it relate to GRC and the practical issues of risk management and compliance?
The term Big Data is used in a wide range of contexts, but it generally refers to the gathering and integration of data from various sources, both traditional and non-traditional, in order to obtain better insights into customers, prospects, market opportunities, and corporate performance. Although it is not often used in reference to risk management, controls, and compliance, it’s interesting to note that analysis of very large volumes of data from disparate sources has played a significant role in GRC for at least the past 10 years.
CSO — Richard Ramirez is remembered all across southern California for the terror he invoked during the early 80's. The serial killer, who died in prison earlier this month, was nicknamed the 'Night Stalker' and was known for the ease with which he entered his victim's homes. He did not break and enter, he didn't shatter windows or climb down the chimneys. For the most part, Richard 'walked' into homes either through screen doors left unlocked or windows left open. Many of his crimes I've been told, were committed close to freeway ramps to facilitate a fast getaway.
What was very interesting to note about Ramirez's victims is that even though the city was aware of a serial killer on the loose, people still left their windows open or the screen doors open. I know I would batten down the hatches and take extra precautions until I heard the killer had been caught. So what makes people be lax and laissez-faire, in the face of a known and omnipresent danger?
Unique End-to-End Supply Chain Optimization Plays Key Role
Martinsried, Germany – ADVA Optical Networking announced today that it's won the prestigious Supply Chain Management Award. This annual award is presented to the company with the most effective value chain in the manufacturing industry. The awarding bodies believed that ADVA Optical Networking's global end-to-end and cross-enterprise segmentation is unique within the manufacturing industry and provides the company with a clear competitive edge. The award was presented by the management consulting unit of PwC and the trade journal Logistik Heute, in partnership with the Institute for Supply Chain Management and the House of Logistics and Mobility.
“Everything we do is driven by the customer, by providing the the best service possible,” said Dr. Paulus Bucher, senior vice president, Global Operations, ADVA Optical Networking. “That's why we've transformed our entire global supply chain management process. We've created something special, something no one else has. Our customers compete in some of the most fiercely competitive markets in the world and they must be confident that we can deliver what they need, when they need it. Ultimately, our end-to-end supply chain is not only our competitive edge, it's also our customers'. This is one of the key reasons why we're seen by service providers and enterprises as a trusted partner. ”
Since its implementation, ADVA Optical Networking's supply chain optimization process has achieved significant results. The company has recorded a reduction in supplier lead times of over 50%, an increase in on-time deliveries from 85% to 97% and an annual acceleration in stock turnaround times of 50%. The key to this success is in the end-to-end and cross-segmentation of the supply chain. This segmentation enables the teams at ADVA Optical Networking to effectively service a multitude of product and customer portfolios. Part of this process involves the decoupling of planning and production, providing enhanced flexibility to changing customer demands.
“The jury was impressed by the systematic integration of the business and supply chain models,” stated chairman of the awarding jury, Harald Geimer, partner at PwC. “The development-driven company created an agile supply chain organization based on the needs of its customers. The result is that ADVA Optical Networking can now serve its customers faster, with better on-time performance, and at lower cost than its competitors.”
“This award doesn't solely recognize our success in supply chain management, it recognizes countless hours of effort from our global team, it recognizes a commitment to delivering something extraordinary,” commented Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, ADVA Optical Networking. “We harnessed every possible resource to reimagine what our supply chain management could look like and, more importantly, what our customers needed it to be. This award tells the industry, tells our customers, that our team goes beyond every expectation to meet their needs, our objectives and our commitments. But this is only the beginning. From this base we're going to drive forward, refine processes and optimize further. This is what we do.”
About ADVA Optical Networking
ADVA Optical Networking is a global provider of intelligent telecommunications infrastructure solutions. With software-automated Optical+Ethernet transmission technology, the Company builds the foundation for high-speed, next-generation networks. The Company’s FSP product family adds scalability and intelligence to customers’ networks while removing complexity and cost. With a flexible and fast-moving organization, ADVA Optical Networking forges close partnerships with its customers to meet the growing demand for data, storage, voice and video services. Thanks to reliable performance for more than 15 years, the Company has become a trusted partner for more than 250 carriers and 10,000 enterprises across the globe. For more information, please visit us at www.advaoptical.com.
About Supply Chain Management Award
Each year since 2006, the Supply Chain Management Award has honored the best value chain in the manufacturing industry. It is presented by PwC and the trade journal LOGISTIK HEUTE in collaboration with the Institute for Supply Chain Management (ISCM) and the House of Logistics & Mobility (HOLM) to reward innovative solutions in supply chain management that have made significant contributions to competitiveness and paved the way for other companies. The award is presented to powerful end-to-end supply chain solutions and outstanding implementations within individual links in the value chain. An independent jury of 14 prominent industry experts, scientists, journalists, and consultants chooses the winner. Past winners: Siemens Electronic Assembly Systems Division (2006), Siemens Gerätewerk Erlangen (2007), international packaging and paper group Mondi (2008), Henkel Laundry & Home Care Business Sector (2009), BMW Group’s Motorcycle Division (2010), BASF (2011), and Infineon Technologies (2012). www.beste-supply-chain.de.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, today launched the CIO Topics podcast series. Through short interviews with Emerson experts, the series explores current IT-focused business issues and strategies and tactics for building a stronger and more agile data center infrastructure.
The first podcast, Creating a Data Center Crystal Ball, is available now. In it, Blake Carlson, vice president of global strategy and business development for Emerson Network Power’s Avocent business, discusses how companies can gain the visibility needed to stay ahead of business needs and make decisions based on real-time information.
Upcoming podcasts will address planning for the future, results of our CIO of the Future survey, how to choose a growth option for your data center, and more. The CIO Topics podcasts are available on Emerson Network Power’s site, along with Executive Briefs and Playbooks for Change designed to help CIOs and IT leaders better understand the evolving industry and IT’s role as a business asset. To subscribe to the podcast series, visit the CIO Topics podcasts page in the iTunes store. For more information about products and solutions from Emerson Network Power, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.
About Emerson Network Power
Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), delivers software, hardware and services that maximize availability, capacity and efficiency for data centers, healthcare and industrial facilities. A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands. Our solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2012 were $24.4 billion. For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.
CAMPBELL, Calif. – Exalt Communications, Inc., the leading innovator of next-generation packet microwave backhaul systems, spoke today for the first time about its early development of ultra-low latency microwave systems driving the evolution of financial trading networks to support high frequency trading (HFT). Already widely known and respected in telecom and other wireless networking markets for its low latency, high performance, and highly reliable microwave backhaul systems, Exalt was approached in 2010 by financial trading network operators interested in microwave as a better alternative to fiber for transporting data at very high speeds. Improving on fiber's speed with ultra-low latency was a natural next step for Exalt. The company, founded in 2004 and whose technical staff collectively has over one thousand years of microwave experience, not only developed the breakthrough technology that exceeds fiber's near-speed of light, but delivered its ultra-low latency systems to these network operators at 1/10th the cost of fiber.
"In high-frequency trading, where being ahead of the competition can mean profits worth millions, every microsecond shaved off a trade can make the difference," said Amir Zoufonoun, CEO of Exalt. "Microwave delivers this competitive edge. It's faster than fiber's near-speed of light, can go where fiber cannot over the shortest distance between two points, and it does all this for less cost. When we decided to apply our microwave expertise to this unique market, we committed for the long-term, recognizing that our unique expertise would allow us to make a significant contribution to the evolution of HFT networks by delivering the ultimate in speed, reliability, and flexibility."
HFT and the Need for Speed
The biggest driver of high frequency trading has been the growth of market participants and fragmentation of exchanges, creating dozens of venues quoting the same securities and resulting in massive amounts of data to review. Estimates state that more than 50 percent of all equity-trading volume in the U.S. is executed by high frequency traders, and global market estimates top 35% and growing. HFTs do not trade entire markets, but only a subset of symbols, funds, or contracts, with tens of millions of dollars at stake each day. These traders make money a fraction of a cent at a time, multiplied by hundreds of shares, tens of thousands of times per day, and the opportunity to make money may exist only for microseconds. HFT applications support the rapid turnover of positions through the use of sophisticated trading algorithms, which process hundreds of trades in fractions of a second on the basis of changing market conditions.
Positions are often held for an extremely short time, with no positions remaining at the end of the day. The faster a trading application responds to market signals - completing an analysis, arriving at a decision, and sending a market order - the higher the chances of getting an order filled. The ratio of orders filled to orders unfilled is a common metric for gauging the success of a given algorithm and infrastructure. To beat their competition, traders must identify and act more quickly on opportunities, and that translates to the need for speed. If a computer algorithm can spot a millisecond-level opportunity in which a stock is - instantly - worth more on one exchange than another, it can make quick money.
Microwave vs. Fiber
In the past, increasing trading network speed focused on various parts of the network infrastructure including switches, software, TCP offload devices, and other components. But to support HFT, obtaining and acting on real-time equities, options, and other financial information microseconds faster than competitors is paramount. For these networks, with trading and information centers often separated by hundreds of miles, the goal is ultra-low latency, and variations in transmission delay can make millions of dollars' worth of difference to high-frequency traders.
While fiber can deliver adequately high speed over short distances, such as found within a data center building, it suffers latency delays of about eight microseconds per mile over longer distances. For example, for one of world's most popular routes from Chicago to New York, typical round trip latencies with adequate transmission capacity measure around 16 milliseconds for premium "dark fiber" service (a connection that doesn't have to be shared with other customers).
Microwave, on the other hand, is nearly twice as fast as the speed of fiber over long distances, making wireless transmission the ideal choice for trading, not for the entire market but for a select group - such as HFT traders - with a clear strategy and algorithmic tools who can truly benefit from the faster transmissions. Microwave's advantage over fiber stems from two factors. First, microwave links are shorter, because signals can be beamed across the most direct path between two points, while fiber routes are usually much longer due to rights-of-way restrictions. Second, since electromagnetic wave transmission speed is inversely proportional to the density of the medium, microwaves are naturally faster than fiber optic waves due to the higher density of glass vs. air. In the Chicago - New York example, the currently installed Exalt microwave systems transport data at 8 milliseconds round trip vs. the fastest fiber network at 13.1 milliseconds. Furthermore, while fiber has already reached its minimum potential latency, microwave technology continues to evolve toward even lower latencies.
Not All Microwave is Equal
Once microwave has been chosen over fiber, the very next consideration is to choose the microwave radio vendor and type of systems. With the goal of minimizing the overall latency for a particular route, network planners must simultaneously seek to minimize the number of microwave links and the average latency per link, while maximizing system availability and transmission capacity. Other parameters in network planning are the choice of frequencies, site-specific conditions, and equipment configurations. To optimize this set of complex, interrelated parameters, Exalt has applied its advanced DSP and RF technologies specifically geared toward ultra-low latency designs. The company's unique technology, Exalt Adaptive Latency Control, is a breakthrough approach to slashing latency in HFT networks with superior ease of deployment, diagnostics, and economics. (For more specific information, refer to related press release at www.exaltcom.com/HFT-ALC.aspx).
To support the growing needs and the evolution of HFT networks over the long term, Exalt offers, in addition to ultra-low latency, the greatest flexibility in frequency band selection, radio form factor, noise characteristics, reach, and availability to create the optimum network path over hundreds of miles.
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 LTE mobile Internet infrastructure driven by ever growing user-generated traffic and fueled by the accelerated adoption rate of smartphones and tablets.
2012 was the second-worst year on record for extreme weather events, both in number and in cost, according to a tally released this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Eleven major events—including tornadoes, wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes—racked up a collective bill of over $110 billion, with cropland damage from drought in the Midwest ($17.36 billion in crop insurance payments alone) and Hurricane Sandy, with a $60 billion price tag, as the most expensive items.
More than half of mid-sized businesses across Europe would refuse to do business with an organisation which has suffered a data breach, despite the fact many see data loss as just another part of everyday business.
That is according to the second annual pan-European Information Risk Maturity Index by global information management firm Iron Mountain and professional services provider PwC, which examined how companies expect to respond to information risk.
It found that companies are experiencing up to a 50 per cent increase in data breaches per year. The report suggests European firms' approach to data management is marred by confusion, inconsistency and double standards.
The study reveals that despite the risks to business revenue and credibility associated with data loss, more than 60 per cent of organisations surveyed believe cutting costs is more important than investing in proper against the loss of data. Many of the businesses told Iron Mountain and PwC that they do not have a proper risk information strategy in place.