(MCT) — Florida, the most storm-battered state in the nation, now is home to groundbreaking research that allows scientists to dissect the raw power of hurricanes.
Both the University of Miami and Florida International University have built complexes that recreate realistic hurricane conditions, including the enormous wind, battering waves and rainfall they can generate.
The idea is to provide scientists with a better understanding of how the storms work, information that should help improve forecasts and bolster construction.
Additionally, the Miami Museum of Science makes it easy for patrons to view the inner workings of hurricanes — and get a feel for flying into one.
It's not easy to witness the destructive power of a Category 5 hurricane up close and personal.
Yet that's what UM scientists can now do inside a tank the size of an indoor swimming pool, housed in the school's new $50 million Marine Technology and Life Sciences Seawater Complex.
Business continuity is, especially in the Anglo-American world, not that much a new concept. Being not new also means that it probably is due to be redesigned. Since the inception of Business Continuity Management in the late 80s and early 90s of the last century, the world has changed quite a bit. The main concepts, procedures and processes of BCM however have not changed that much in the past 25 or so years. We are still talking PDCA, we are still talking process-based business impact analysis, we are still trying to do the work of risk managers with our task in the fields of operational and reputation risks. We still have the BCM Lifecycle.
Those who are practitioners in the profession may have already realized that the theoretical strategies and tactics as outlined by the BCM Lifecycle approach may not always meet the needs and possibilities of an organization seeking to implement BCM. The business impact analysis for instance needs processes, since it aims to operationalize the damage because of failed process. But, which organization does have a complete and operationalized process document which allows it to just sum up losses and damages along process chains? And, how can the BCM organization define the so-called BCM-Strategies when they haven’t even asked the business what they think they need as workarounds to cover a resource which was lost or damaged because of some crisis situation?
Exclusive Dot Hill Platform is a Game-Changer for Growing Hybrid Array Market; Industry's First Ultra-Density Array Delivers Data Where Customers Need it, When They Need it, in Real-Time
LONGMONT, Colo. – Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today announced the Ultra48™ AssuredSAN® ultra-density, next-generation hybrid arrays are now available with Dot Hill RealStor™ version 2.0 application workload-aware intelligence. By combining RealStor 2.0, also announced today, with the Ultra48, Dot Hill is delivering a unique, robust family of hybrid arrays that challenges the current competitive landscape with game-changing enterprise management features and performance at an unparalleled price-performance point.
The Ultra48, incorporating dual high performance AssuredSAN 4004 controllers, is built on the industry's first ultra-density chassis, housing nearly 58 terabytes of data on small form factor disk drives and/or solid-state devices (SSDs), in only 2U of rack space while yielding exceptional performance density. Since its launch, the Ultra48 has been recognized with a number of awards and accolades. As StorageReview noted, "Given the density versus the footprint required for other all-HDD configured systems, the Ultra48 offers a performance per rack unit profile that may not be able to be achieved with any other storage system." Now this award-winning array is equipped with RealStor 2.0's real-time autonomic tiering, SSDs and other enterprise-class features.
Dot Hill's Ultra48 Next-Generation Hybrid Array with RealStor 2.0 Stands Alone
Other flash-based storage solutions fall short in their attempts to address the constantly changing data challenges faced by organizations today. All-flash arrays deliver expensive performance and unaffordable capacity, while competing hybrid storage solutions only offer read caching or batch data migration, rather than autonomic real-time tiering. Featuring multiple patent-pending technologies, the Dot Hill Ultra48 AssuredSAN next-generation solution with RealStor 2.0 raises the bar on hybrid array capability and stands alone in its ability to deliver high performance and optimal real-time data placement, while maintaining ease-of-use and best-in-class affordability and density.
"The powerful combination of the Ultra48 and RealStor 2.0 creates a unique hybrid offering which gives our customers enterprise management features and performance at an affordable price point," said Dana Kammersgard, president and CEO, Dot Hill. "This platform combines the best of Dot Hill software and hardware innovation to deliver next-generation hybrid array solutions. Our customers told us that they have extreme floor space constraints in their data centers and lack the time and skill sets to migrate data between flash and disk manually; most certainly do not have the budgets for all-flash arrays. That's why we developed the Ultra48 with RealStor 2.0."
Dot Hill Ultra48, the Industry's First Ultra-Density Array
The Ultra48 next-generation hybrid array takes advantage of powerful multiple embedded processors to provide accelerated, predictable performance for demanding workloads. With fully redundant and hot-swappable components, the Ultra48 provides easy serviceability resulting in lower support costs through the life of the product.
As with all highly reliable AssuredSAN solutions, the Ultra48 delivers proven 99.999 percent data availability. Backed by an industry-best 37-month "bumper-to-bumper" warranty, Ultra48 storage solutions are available with the latest high-bandwidth interfaces including 12Gb SAS, 16Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb iSCSI or dual personality 16Gb Fibre Channel/10Gb iSCSI.
- RealTier™ autonomic real-time tiering allows organizations to save up to 75 percent on storage expenses by more efficiently using lower-cost storage. By providing real-time, autonomic data tiering, the powerful RealTier feature allows the Ultra48 to deliver performance comparable to all-flash arrays at a fraction of the price. Workload optimizationis built into the tiering algorithm, which separates streaming and transaction workflows and places data on the appropriate tier immediately to increase both read and write operations.
- RealCache™ SSD read caching provides on-demand performance for peak loads, far exceeding memory cache capabilities of the controller. SSD read cache allows SSD cache to become an extension of the controller cache, increasing effective cache capacity by up to 100x and increasing IOPS performance for read-centric workloads. Entire LUNs can also be assigned or "pinned" into solid-state storage in order to deliver predictable performance to a specific application workload.
- SimulCache™ streamlines dual controller write operations for increased throughput performance.
Availability and Reliability
- High Availability is delivered via fully redundant hot-swap components and active/active controller failover, resulting in proven 99.999 percent availability.
- RealQuick™ rapid RAID rebuild improves system up-time and data protection by reducing the risk of data loss in the event of a SSD or HDD failure. Rebuilding only the data that is being used, translates into up to 10 times faster restore time. With nothing to set or configure, this feature restores complete fault tolerance faster to the volume and reduces the duration of potential application performance degradation due to one or multiple device failures.
- RealSnap™ virtual snapshots dramatically streamline the action of creating point-in-time images, providing capabilities to snap volumes multiple times with no performance impact for improved backup and recovery. Snaps can be nested hierarchically and are fully writable.
- EcoStor™ supercapacitor technology with battery-free cache backup is designed to surpass the life of the system, therefore eliminating batteries entirely. This makes the controller completely maintenance-free and keeps data in cache memory permanently stored even in the event of complete loss of power.
Driving Affordability and Ease-of-Use
- RealThin™ thin provisioning for optimized capacity management offers advanced capacity management, which reduces the cost of capacity investments by up to 50 percent. Instead of reserving and consuming storage when host volumes are created, thin provisioning only consumes capacity as needed by applications.
- RealPool™ simplifies disk management in heterogeneous environments and enables a wide array of advanced features. While competitors' products create one pool per device type (performance, standard, archive), RealStor 2.0's virtualized pools can combine any and all device types into a single, versatile pool. This enables users to leverage multiple device types for added flexibility and optimization.
- Cost-effective scalability to over half a petabyte with no capacity-based license fees. Ultra-dense packaging that can be cost-effectively deployed with a hybrid mix of solid state and hard disk devices, or an all-disk array.
"The combination of RealStor 2.0 software with best-in-class tiering, caching and Ultra48 hardware configured with a right-sized mix of performance-optimized flash and cost-optimized disk delivers the best bang for the buck," said Brian Garrett, vice president, ESG Lab. "A next-generation hybrid array from Dot Hill is the perfect prescription for IT managers who are struggling to cost-effectively meet the exploding storage demands of the business."
The RealStor 2.0 base license is included standard now with all Ultra48 AssuredSAN models. Customers who have previously purchased Ultra48 systems can acquire the RealStor 2.0 software suite from authorized Dot Hill partners. The premium RealTier autonomic real-time tiering feature is available via a licensing key and upgrade charge. For details, go tohttp://www.dothill.com/storage-software/.
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.
RealStor 2.0 Software Suite Accelerates Storage Management Operations to Deliver Data Where Customers Need it, When They Need it - in Real-Time
LONGMONT, Colo. – Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today unveiled the latest version of its seriously smart storage management software, Dot Hill RealStor™ version 2.0, which delivers application workload-aware intelligence for today's next-generation hybrid flash storage arrays. Easy-to-use RealStor 2.0 accelerates storage management operations to deliver data where customers need it, when they need it in real-time.
This innovative Dot Hill technology delivers optimal data placement using autonomic real-time tiering, providing the highest performance to the most critical application data and aids the growth of virtual environments with a simplified user interface while improving data protection and system up-time. With patent-pending innovations that deliver better efficiency, higher reliability, enhanced cost-effectiveness, and fast access to "hot" data, RealStor 2.0 is now available across Dot Hill's entire line of storage systems equipped with the latest generation AssuredSAN® 4004 storage controllers.
From IT professionals to Big Data analytics providers who require efficient, virtualized, real-time storage management for today's dynamically changing environments, RealStor 2.0 delivers unprecedented access to data with greater predictability, reliability and affordability. Unlike other storage management solutions, RealStor 2.0 innovations offer three options to maximize flash utilization with autonomic real-time tiering, LUN-pinning and read-caching. RealStor also improves data reliability with advanced snapshots, thin provisioning and faster rebuilds, resulting in new and more efficient storage management capabilities for hybrid arrays.
"For years, the world's biggest names in the storage industry have leveraged Dot Hill's proven RAID hardware in combination with our innovative software for advanced data management," said Dana Kammersgard, president and CEO of Dot Hill Systems. "Our next-generation software storage management solution, RealStor 2.0, marks a major milestone in innovation for Dot Hill and provides new affordability and enterprise management capabilities for hybrid flash arrays."
RealStor 2.0 features and user benefits include:
- RealTier autonomic real-time tiering. Storage tiering allows organizations to save up to 75 percent on storage expenses by more efficiently using lower-cost storage. By providing real-time, autonomic data tiering, the powerful RealTier feature allows hybrid storage arrays to deliver performance comparable to all-flash arrays at a fraction of the price. Data is autonomically placed and subsequently moved across as many as three tiers, including flash, high speed disk and near-line large capacity devices.
- RealPool automatically virtualizes storage across device types and simplifies disk management in heterogeneous environments while enabling a wide array of advanced features, such as thin provisioning, rapid RAID rebuild, and tiering. While competitors' products create one pool per device type (performance, standard, archive), RealStor 2.0's virtualized pools combine any and all device types into a single, versatile pool. This enables users to leverage multiple device types for added flexibility and optimization, improving I/O operations by two and one-half times without impacting application performance.
- RealThin thin provisioning optimizes capacity management and offers advanced capacity management, which reduces the cost of capacity investments by up to 50 percent. Instead of reserving and consuming storage when host volumes are created, thin provisioning only consumes capacity as needed by applications.
- RealSnap virtual snapshots dramatically streamline the action of creating point-in-time images, providing capabilities to snap volumes multiple times with no performance impact for improved backup and recovery. Snaps can be nested hierarchically and are fully writable.
- RealQuick rebuild improves system up-time and data protection by reducing the risk of data loss after a drive failure. Rebuilding only the data that is being used, not the full RAID set, translates into up to 10 times faster restore time for drives based upon utilization. With nothing to set or configure, this feature restores complete fault tolerance faster to the RAID set and reduces the duration of potential application performance degradation due to one or multiple device failures.
- RealCache read caching provides on-demand performance for peak loads, far exceeding memory cache capabilities of the controller. RealCache allows solid-state drive (SSD) cache to become an extension of the controller cache, increasing effective cache capacity by up to 100 times compared to disk, increasing IOPS performance for read-centric workloads. In addition, one or more entire LUNs can be assigned (or excluded from) a flash or any other tier.
Customers Speak Out About How RealStor Solves Their Real-World Problems
"We pride ourselves on partnering with leading innovators in storage hardware and software to help our resellers offer storage solutions with tremendous business value as opposed to tremendously large price tags," said Rick Crane, president and CEO of PAC Data, a nation-wide distributor focused on storage, backup, and disaster recovery solutions. "RealStor enables organizations to gain greater management efficiencies and more ROI from their storage assets—a solution that many customers find compelling in terms of price point and ease of use."
Smith Affiliated Capital implemented Dot Hill RealStor to address the company's new uber virtual engagement models, which are essential to attracting and retaining a new generation of clients. As a result, all of Smith Capital's data is now managed in real-time with greatly improved overall storage and network performance.
"This is absolutely the best product we've purchased in the last 25 years," said John K. Smith, chief operating officer, Smith Capital. "A solution that figures out how my organization works and uses that information to provide the quickest access to my data, how I need it and when I need it—now that's brilliant!"
Faced with the challenge of monitoring 2,000 video surveillance cameras capturing high quality video that had required constant increases to costly storage capacity, the Bakersfield City School District implemented Dot Hill RealStor. The district was able to utilize real-time video compression without impacting application performance, and reduce storage requirements by more than 30 percent.
"We needed to replace our aging storage system, which was ill-equipped to keep up with demands," said Jonathan Foth, network systems engineer for the Bakersfield School District. "The system needed to handle fast transaction workloads consistently and also provide cost-effective archival storage for video files. On this, Dot Hill RealStor has really delivered."
Dot Hill Continues to Drive Storage Management Innovation with RealTier 2.0
The RealTier management component of Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 optimizes next-generation hybrid storage systems by responding to dynamically changing data without human intervention or policy settings. Using sophisticated algorithms and small, efficient sub-LUN block sizes, RealTier 2.0 places the data autonomically with granular precision in each tier to optimize performance for hot data in real-time. The most frequently accessed blocks of hot data are stored in the highest tier of SSD storage, providing extremely fast read and write access. The storage system's lower tier(s) use less expensive 10K and/or near-line large capacity drives to provide high capacity and value for "cold" data that is accessed less frequently. This contrasts significantly with competitors' read-cache implementations that rely on simplistic algorithms to optimize read-performance and lack the intelligence necessary to migrate rarely accessed data to lower, high-capacity tiers. Unlike other solutions that batch migrate data once a day, Dot Hill's RealStor 2.0 can invisibly move data through up to three tiers in real-time, automatically placing the most frequently accessed data at any given point in time in the flash tier, while simultaneously moving seldom accessed data at any given point in time down to a slower speed device.
"When it launched, Dot Hill's RealStor dramatically extended the potential for storage tiering to deliver real value; whereas tiering has invariably been done infrequently and in large 'data clumps', Dot Hill's RealStor provided a far more effective real-time and granular approach," said Mark Peters, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "Now Dot Hill is taking things up another notch with its RealStor 2.0 while offering new features to further optimize storage management and performance and getting the functional clout that will allow it to serve a broader range of markets and applications, in addition to its traditional midrange focus."
Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 is now shipping with all AssuredSAN arrays with 4004 storage controllers. Customers who have previously purchased AssuredSAN systems equipped with 4004 controllers can acquire the RealStor 2.0 software suite from authorized Dot Hill partners. Dot Hill RealStor customers with SSD drives can unlock the RealTier premium component via a licensing key and upgrade charge. For details, go to http://www.dothill.com/storage-software/.
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.
NEWARK, Calif. – Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for databases, virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, announced today two new entries into its line of IntelliFlash™ storage arrays that are designed for organizations looking to accelerate their businesses with flash-based storage configurations that fit their specific needs. Tegile’s new T3600 and T3700 all-flash arrays leverage the same patented IntelliFlash technology and industry-leading data reduction technologies found in the company’s flagship T3800 model but with less capacity and at a lower price point, helping customers ease into a flash-centric data center. The new arrays can serve as standalone units within a flash-driven architecture or can be deployed in front of any legacy storage that still has considerable service life to boost performance while deferring replacement of existing equipment. This broadening of Tegile offerings puts IT leaders into a position to standardize high-performance and high-capacity storage infrastructure on Tegile’s IntelliFlash architecture. “Organizations of all sizes are looking to take advantage of the speed, economic and performance benefits offered by flash storage but many are not currently in a position to implement flash – whether all-flash or hybrid – because they don’t want to pay for capacity they don’t yet need or because they aren’t in a position to rip and replace their existing storage systems that still have life left in them,” said Mark Peters, Senior Analyst at ESG. “With the introduction of these new arrays, Tegile is simply better positioned to serve these organizations by offering a wider range and allowing more users to start their flash journey.” Tegile offers a comprehensive portfolio of Intelligent Flash Arrays that allows customers to choose a flash storage solution that is right for them. The company’s hybrid arrays are faster than legacy arrays and less expensive that all-flash arrays to provide the ideal balance of performance and cost for a wide range of consolidated and virtualized business workloads. Introduced more than two years ago, the company’s All-Flash Arrays deliver enterprise-grade performance without the potential for any service interruption or delay, making them an ideal solution for applications that require the highest performance and low latencies. With the launch of Tegile’s T3600 and T3700 arrays, the company is introducing the 3rd generation of its IntelliFlash Operating System. Organizations in industries, such as healthcare and financial services, which require higher levels of data security, can optionally enable encryption on their systems. Just like Tegile’s award-winning data reduction technologies, IntelliFlash encryption runs inline and yields an unnoticeable change in performance. Tegile’s enhanced software improves day-to-day management as well. By cutting the number of steps required to provision a logical volume in half, organizations can deploy storage to applications easier and faster. Tegile’s Application-Aware provisioning tools allow customer to select a use case to instantly optimize the data path for the volume being provisioned, eliminating the time-consuming process of tuning storage configurations to maximize performance. The company also introduced its latest customer care offering that helps reduce the time and costs associated with managing storage infrastructures by providing feedback about system capacity, performance and general health. The IntelliCare™ customer analytics and support portal provides real-time system monitoring to enable a higher return on investment and more aggressive capacity planning. This industry-standard feature is available as part of the IntelliFlash software and can be turned on for existing Tegile customers as well. Like all Tegile arrays, the T3600 and T3700 are sold exclusively through the company’s reseller channel to provide customers with best-in-class products and services to meet their IT infrastructure needs. Tegile provides dedicated sales and technical resources to resellers to help close new business while its unique architecture offers the unparalleled functionality, flexibility and ease of use needed to cut storage expenditures in half, multiply performance 5-7X and easily manage storage without adding staff. Customers have the option to purchase units outright, lease them or go with a capacity-utilization model through Tegile’s Agility Pricing Program. “Tegile really gets what customers need and they realize that a storage solution that is right for one company may not be right for another,” said Matt Troka, SVP, product and partner management of CDW. “By giving more options – whether its hybrid arrays or all-flash units with various capacity offerings – Tegile ensures that we’ll have a solution to deliver the capacity and performance that organizations require at a price that’s right. For around the same price of a Pure Storage FA-400 array, customers are able to get double the capacity for a much better ROI.” “We’ve seen tremendous traction in sales of our all-flash arrays since the recent introduction of our flagship T3800 but many potential customers voiced an interest in smaller, lower-cost all-flash offerings,” said Rob Commins, Tegile vice president of marketing. “To answer these requests, Tegile is introducing the T3600 and T3700 all-flash arrays. These new additions to our product portfolio will allow us to continue accelerating the transformation from legacy disk-based storage architectures to all-flash environments that can satisfy the growing demand for bigger data and faster service. Combined with our enhanced data management software and IntelliCare analytics and support, we feel that enterprises will be able to find a solution that satisfies their storage needs without compromise.” About Tegile Systems Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of intelligent flash arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtual server, virtual desktop and database applications. With Tegile’s line of all-flash and hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that accelerate business critical enterprise applications and allow customers to significantly consolidate mixed workloads in virtualized environments. Tegile’s patented IntelliFlash technology accelerates performance and enables inline deduplication and compression of data so each array has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile’s award-winning solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of server virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than any other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in snapshot, remote-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and VM-aware features. Additional information is available at www.tegile.com. Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.
By Alistair Forbes
Backup seems simple: take the important files that you need, and make sure that they are duplicated in such a way that they can be recovered.
It’s clearly a necessity. Our own personal PCs nag us if we’re failing to backup our data, and everyone knows a dire tale of woe of failing to backup - and companies such as ma.gnolia that collapsed after losing all its customers’ data.
And yet simply having a backup isn’t enough: backup success rates today are between 75 and 85 percent. In some sectors, only three-quarters of backup recoveries are successful. The rest, despite having a backup solution in place, were only able to recover some, if any, of their data.
Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) has announced plans to open a new workplace recovery centre for central London. The facility, which offers capacity for over 700 customer staff, will be equipped with the latest conferencing equipment and IT infrastructure.
The centre, which will be situated just outside of the city, is part of Sungard AS’ ongoing programme of investment in its workplace recovery facilities to ensure they continue to meet the needs of today’s workforce.
Positioned within walking distance of the city, the City of London Workplace Recovery Centre will work as part of a ‘near-far’ continuity planning solution: with organizations also provisioning workspaces within Sungard AS’ alternative facilities across the country, including recovery centres in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and Hounslow, London.
Built for the future, users will have access to 10Gb-ready networking infrastructure, and will be able to cope with heavier data traffic and increasing workloads.
“The technology that businesses are using is changing but organizations still recognise that truly effective collaboration requires regular face-to-face contact between teams,” said Keith Tilley, executive vice president, Global Sales and Customer Services Management, Sungard AS.
“While the advances in enterprise mobility and remote working offer businesses more options, customers still want to provide space for their teams to work together. Sungard AS’ latest investments are part of a wider push in ensuring our customers have access to the services they need to maintain business-as-usual in even the most difficult circumstances.”
The City of London Workplace Recovery Centre is expected to be operational in January 2015.
Most organizations (67 percent) are facing rising threats in their information security risk environment, but over a third (37 percent) have no real-time insight on cyber risks necessary to combat these threats. This is one of the headline findings of EY’s annual Global Information Security survey, Get Ahead of Cybercrime, which this year surveyed 1,825 organizations in 60 countries.
Companies are lacking the agility, the budget and the skills to mitigate known vulnerabilities and successfully prepare for and address cybersecurity:
43 percent of respondents say that their organization’s total information security budget will stay approximately the same in the coming 12 months despite increasing threats, which is only a marginal improvement to 2013 when 46 percent said budgets would not change.
Over half (53 percent) say that a lack of skilled resources is one of the main obstacles challenging their information security program and only 5 percent of responding companies have a threat intelligence team with dedicated analysts. These figures also represent no material difference to 2013, when 50 percent highlighted a lack of skilled resources and 4 percent said they had a threat intelligence team with dedicated analysts.
GANTA, LIBERIA — The site of the U.S. military’s future Ebola treatment center is now an overgrown grassland next to an abandoned airstrip on the Guinean border.
Two miles away, in a converted eye clinic that now houses a makeshift Ebola ward, this county’s sole doctor is waiting. He will soon run out of protective gear. Some of his employees haven’t been paid for a month.
“We all know we need the new treatment center,” said the doctor, Paye Gbanmie. “I worry that we could run out of space here.”
The U.S. military aims to quell that anxiety when it erects the new treatment center, slated to be finished later this month and manned by newly imported doctors. Just the sight of American helicopters flying over Ganta, a city of about 50,000, has lifted hopes here.
Every historical era has its lessons, such as Don’t trust totalitarian dictators to respect diplomatic niceties, Avoid land wars in Asia, and You know what’s going to happen to Sean Bean in this movie. One of the lessons of the last decade is certainly Information is not intelligence. Unfortunately, many people who do software requirements, or depend on them to build and test software, have not seen the relevance of that maxim in their own work.
Requirements in software development serve much the same purpose as intelligence in national security: they are supposed to provide actionable, reliable insights. “Actionable” is largely a question of format, which software professionals can control directly. Older questions like, What is the Jesuitical distinction between a requirement and a specification? and newer questions like, What kind of words do we need to supplement the pictures that we’ve created in this wireframe? have the same purpose: make sure that the developer, tester, or some other species of technologist understands what action to take, based on the information provided. In a similar fashion, the US President’s daily intelligence briefing follows a format that its intended audience finds useful.
The reliability of the information is not under the complete control of software professionals. In fact, we should always assume that the information we have is, to some degree, unreliable. We can reduce the amount of unreliability, but it will never reach 100% certainty. People in the intelligence profession deal with this problem in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples: