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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Cloud Data Warehouse Disruptor Announces New Product Innovations, Latest Customer Wins and New Strategic Partnerships

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Snowflake Computing, the cloud data warehousing company, concludes its first half of 2016 with the acquisition of new customers, including Ask.com, University of Notre Dame, CapSpecialty and PDX. The wide variety of industries they represent reveal the growing demand for data warehousing and SQL database analytics of diverse-data as cloud services. These organizations require a flexible and reliable data warehousing solution to serve their consumers and advance their operations. 

In 2016, Snowflake also struck several new strategic partnerships with Looker, Tableau, MicroStrategy and Informatica. In addition, Snowflake developed native connectors for both Apache Spark and Python, expanding Snowflake's integration into the larger data and analytics ecosystem.

Traditional data warehousing and big data solutions lack the agility and adaptability needed to support ever-changing, data-infrastructure requirements. Therefore, they hinder decision-makers from acquiring valuable business intelligence needed to become or remain industry leaders.

Big data solutions developed over a decade ago also delay organizations from acquiring critical insight about their customers and their industries. These large-scale and complex on-premises data centers require specialized skills that increase overhead and represent the delay incurred to acquire critical business and customer insight.

Snowflake's key automation innovations, announced today, help organizations avoid these pitfalls. The latest features include scaling for concurrency, caching query results for reuse, ensuring continuous data protection, dynamically updating data distribution tasks and metadata information, and providing multi-datacenter resiliency with built-in fault tolerance and disaster recovery.

"Snowflake continues to experience rapid adoption in 2016 because our solution delivers measurable business value by reducing complexity, and leveraging SQL skills that are in abundance for data warehousing," said Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake. "Through product innovations, strategic partnerships, expanding our ecosystem and adding key, executive talent, Snowflake provides a revolutionary and unmatched cloud data warehouse.

Snowflake's corporate and product milestones for the first half 2016 include:

  • Enterprise-grade, security features, including support for HIPAA compliance and partner integration with security solutions provider Okta to deliver a new standard in built-in security for Snowflake.
  • Recognition by San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area's 'Best Places to Work' for two consecutive years, highlighting Snowflake's success and its unique and inspiring work culture.
  • Premier industry accolades, including the Startup Big 50, an in-depth honor of the 50 coolest tech startups founded in the last five years. Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia was also acknowledged as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal's Power Executives of 2016.
  • The addition of key executives, including Denise Persson, chief marketing officer; Sameet Agarwal, vice president of engineering; and Barbara Walkowski, chief legal officer. Snowflake also welcomed Jeremy Burton and Kevin Wang as the newest board members.

Tweet This: .@SnowflakeDB announces corporate momentum for H1 2016; #ElasticDW growing shift away from #datawarehouse legacies

Resources

About Snowflake
Snowflake Computing, the cloud data warehousing company, has reinvented the data warehouse for the cloud and today's data. The Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse is built from the cloud up with a patent-pending new architecture that delivers the power of data warehousing, the flexibility of big data platforms and the elasticity of the cloud -- at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Snowflake can be found online at snowflake.net.

CHICAGO – CNA today announced increased limits - up to $50 million - for Umbrella & Excess accounts.

"Building off the successful launch of CNA's new Umbrella & Excess policy forms, I am pleased to announce CNA now has the capacity to offer up to $50 million in limits for Umbrella & Excess policies," said Kevin Leidwinger, President and Chief Operating Officer, CNA Commercial.

This increased capacity will be available on a lead or excess basis, and allows CNA to respond to the needs of its agents and insureds by providing them the ability to build more efficient and streamlined excess towers.

"We are excited to bring this capability to the market," said Michael Kirchgessner, Vice President, Umbrella & Excess Underwriting, CNA. "Our customers asked for broader forms and additional capacity, and we are pleased to deliver both."

In May 2016, CNA announced two new, modernized Umbrella & Excess forms, which are available on a monoline basis and also as part of CNA Paramount®, the industry-leading Property and General Liability package policy. The new forms include:

  • Commercial Umbrella & Excess form (A/B form) to facilitate contract certainty through streamlined follow form coverages that include regularly requested endorsements and assist in eliminating potential gaps created by variations in underlying terms and conditions.
  • Follow Form Excess policy, which allows for enhanced follow form capabilities, helping facilitate the contract certainty and align coverages within the tower, including Shaving of Limits coverage.

For more information on CNA's new Commercial Umbrella & Excess forms or additional capacity please contact Michael Kirchgessner at 312-822-1179 or via email at Michael.Kirchgessner@cna.com

About CNA
Serving businesses and professionals since 1897, CNA is the country's eighth largest commercial insurance writer and the 14th largest property and casualty company. CNA's insurance products include standard commercial lines, specialty lines, surety, marine and other property and casualty coverages. CNA's services include risk management, information services, underwriting, risk control and claims administration. For more information, please visit CNA at www.cna.com. "CNA" is a service mark registered by CNA Financial Corporation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Certain CNA Financial Corporation subsidiaries use the "CNA" service mark in connection with insurance underwriting and claims activities.  

Follow CNA (NYSE: CNA) on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube

China’s leading aviation IT solutions provider streamlines and enhances passenger sales and service applications via modular open systems solution

 

LONDONUnisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) today announced that TravelSky has successfully cut over to the Unisys AirCore next-generation passenger system to streamline and modernise passenger sales and service (PSS) applications for its airline clients.

 

TravelSky is the leading provider of information technology solutions for China’s air travel and tourism industry and provides the reservations, inventory and departure control systems used by China's air carriers. The migration of its inventory and schedule management systems marks the completion of key components in the modernisation of TravelSky’s next generation PSS.

 

Unisys provided end-to-end solutions and services for this program including requirements analysis, design, development, testing and implementation across several applications including schedule management and inventory control. Air China is the first of TravelSky’s airline clients to migrate to the new system, generating approximately 50 million flight queries and one million booking requests per day.

 

AirCore is a comprehensive passenger services solution suite that covers both reservations and departure control for air carriers. The modular web-based applications are based on open technology and industry standards to make it easier to add new applications or integrate with other systems. AirCore supports a wide range of distribution channels including mobile, tablet and web, in line with IATA's New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative to enable the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to, and purchased by, air travelers.

 

Dheeraj Kohli, vice president and global head of Travel and Transportation for Unisys, said, “We have drawn on our deep domain capabilities in aviation, combined with our solutioning and IT expertise and best practices from related industries, to help TravelSky offer its airline clients greater flexibility in their customer-facing applications. As Unisys AirCore is based on open technology and has a flexible design, TravelSky is able to adapt to the unique processes of each of their clients and quickly implement changes they need to drive market demand.”

 

Andrew Whelan, vice president commercial industries, Unisys Asia Pacific, said, “Asia Pacific represents almost a third of the global international air passenger market, and China continues to record strong growth in domestic traffic[1]. So China’s airlines need flexible systems to quickly respond to capacity changes and to interact with their customers via a variety of channels. We are delighted to help TravelSky continue to grow and evolve the services it offers its clients to meet the remarkable passenger growth and changing customer demands in China.”

 

Unisys has more than 45 years of experience providing advanced, mission-critical IT solutions to the travel and transportation industry. A quarter of the world’s air passengers check in for their flights using Unisys systems.

 

[1]International Air Transport Association (IATA) global passenger data – April 2016

 

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that works with many of the world's largest companies and government organisations to solve their most pressing IT and business challenges. Unisys specialises in providing integrated, leading-edge solutions to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. With more than 20,000 employees serving clients around the world, Unisys offerings include cloud and infrastructure services, application services, security solutions, and high-end server technology. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.

Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Residents to Download FEMA Smartphone App Designed to Help Families Before, During, and After Disasters

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging residents across the nation to take steps now to prepare their families and communities for extreme heat, by reviewing important safety information and downloading the FEMA smartphone app. 

The National Weather Service announced today that “dangerously hot and humid conditions are expected this week across a large portion of the nation.” Additionally, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s latest outlook notes that most of the continental United States is facing elevated chances of well-above-average summer temperatures. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, heat kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods.

To help Americans stay safe during extreme heat, FEMA urges residents to consider taking the following actions in affected areas:   

  • Postpone outdoor games and activities and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine; limit alcoholic beverage intake.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Spend the warmest part of the day in temperature-controlled buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, or community facilities.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

FEMA also urges residents to download and use the free FEMA app, which provides valuable safety tips to help families prepare for and recover from more than 20 natural and man-made hazards. The FEMA app enables users to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation, making it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening family and friends. The app also provides family communication plans, customizable checklist of emergency supplies, and maps of open shelters and disaster recovery centers. The app is available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play. 

To learn more about what to do before, during and after severe weather, visit www.Ready.gov.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only.  FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications. 

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Residents to Download FEMA Smartphone App Designed to Help Families Before, During, and After Disasters

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging residents across the nation to take steps now to prepare their families and communities for extreme heat, by reviewing important safety information and downloading the FEMA smartphone app. 

The National Weather Service announced today that “dangerously hot and humid conditions are expected this week across a large portion of the nation.” Additionally, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s latest outlook notes that most of the continental United States is facing elevated chances of well-above-average summer temperatures. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, heat kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods.

To help Americans stay safe during extreme heat, FEMA urges residents to consider taking the following actions in affected areas:   

  • Postpone outdoor games and activities and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine; limit alcoholic beverage intake.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Spend the warmest part of the day in temperature-controlled buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, or community facilities.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

FEMA also urges residents to download and use the free FEMA app, which provides valuable safety tips to help families prepare for and recover from more than 20 natural and man-made hazards. The FEMA app enables users to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation, making it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening family and friends. The app also provides family communication plans, customizable checklist of emergency supplies, and maps of open shelters and disaster recovery centers. The app is available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play. 

To learn more about what to do before, during and after severe weather, visit www.Ready.gov.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only.  FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications. 

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Industries on average experience 3.2 non-fatal occupational injuries per 100 full-time workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some industries have nearly four-times this rate. Similar statistics exist for workplace illnesses and, unfortunately, fatalities. Could analytics be a solution for lowering these statistics?

Companies today gather huge volumes of operational and enterprise data, plus they have access to myriad sources of external data such as weather, traffic and social media. Unfortunately, this data is normally stored and analyzed in siloed data systems that are scattered across the enterprise. There are, however, steps a chief safety officer (CSO) can take to apply analytics to all available data to reduce incidents and, therefore, safety-related costs.

Here are five steps CSOs and other safety leaders can take to be smarter about data and safety.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/5-analytics-tips-for-your-chief-safety-officer/

Last week, Nevada data center provider Switch sued the state’s energy regulators and utility NV Energy, asking for $30 million in damages for getting what it feels was a raw deal on an agreement it made last year to buy renewable energy for its data centers.

The lawsuit is just the last development in the conflict between the company, the utility, and the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada that’s been ongoing since at least 2014, when Switch started pursuing renewable energy for its enormous data center operations in the state, which include an existing campus in Las Vegas and another one under construction in Reno.

The conflict illustrates a problem with procuring renewable energy for data centers – and other high-load energy users – that exists in many states across the country. Energy markets, regulations, and delivery systems for the most part have not been set up to enable these customers to get enough energy from renewable sources to satisfy their needs.

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/07/20/data-center-provider-switch-suing-nevada-nv-energy/

The financial services sector is increasingly taking interest in a new, innovative and potentially disruptive technology that could revolutionize how the industry operates. This technology, known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) or blockchain, was borne out of the operational platform behind bitcoin transactions and, according to many technology companies, is the future of the financial services sector. DLT is touted as an emerging technology that can provide a transparent way to digitally track the ownership of assets, speed up transactions, facilitate secure payment processing and electronically initiate and enforce contracts. With growing competition from financial technology companies, banks and traditional financial services entities are taking a closer look at how DLT can improve the efficiency, speed and security of financial transactions. As a result, DLT is quickly becoming a game changer for financial institutions looking to develop applications, standards and best practices to improve data management and security.

At a very high level, DLT is a data structure that creates a digital ledger of transactions that can be distributed through a network of computers, allowing details of the transaction, or the transaction’s database, to be accessed, viewed and potentially updated by a number of different parties. This differs from the traditional, centralized ledger system, where a single party was responsible for maintaining the details of the transaction. DLT allows companies to be registered on the distributed ledger, links those companies to real world identities and provides a historical record of all documents shared and compliance activities undertaken by each registered user.

...

http://corporatecomplianceinsights.com/waiting-fog-clear-blockchain-technology-regulatory-compliance/

Along with all the positives, the Industrial Revolution brought us congested cities, polluted rivers and urban ghettos. The automobile brought smog, road fatalities and a heavy dependence on the oil economy. While some may wish for a return to an idyllic rural pre-industrial lifestyle with horse-drawn transportation, there is no going back.

It’s the same with cloud storage. The cloud is a fact of life in enterprise data storage—whether storage managers like it or not. There is no returning to the old days of vast internal data centers holding row upon row of storage arrays. And yet cloud storage problems abound.

Here are the top ten tips for dealing with them.

...

http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-management/top-ten-tips-to-address-cloud-storage-problems-1.html

LinkedIn, the social network for the professional world that was in June acquired by Microsoft, has announced a new open design standard for data center servers and racks it hopes will gain wide industry adoption.

It’s unclear, however, how the initiative fits with the infrastructure strategy of its new parent company, which has gone all-in with Facebook’s Open Compute Project, an open source data center and hardware design initiative with its own open design standards for the same components. When it joined OCP two years ago Microsoft also adopted a data center strategy that would standardize hardware on its own OCP-inspired designs across its global operations.

Yuval Bachar, who leads LinkedIn’s infrastructure architecture and who unveiled the Open19 initiative in a blog post Tuesday, told us earlier this year that the company had decided against using OCP hardware when it was switching to a hyperscale approach to data center deployment because OCP hardware wasn’t designed for standard data centers and data center racks. That, however, was in March, before LinkedIn was gobbled up by the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant.

...

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/07/19/linkedin-pushes-own-data-center-hardware-standard/

Wednesday, 20 July 2016 00:00

Datacenter Security Attracts More Investors

Efforts to lock down security in datacenters continue to expand as operators seek to assure enterprise customers they can meet increasingly strict regulatory and other data governance rules even as operations are scaled. That requirement is generating interest among investors as security threats grow.

Among the growing number of internal datacenter security specialists is Guardicore, which announced a $20 million funding round on Tuesday (July 19) it will use to expand development of its datacenter security platform. Cisco System's (NASDAQ: CSCO) investment arm joined the funding round along with existing investors, Battery Investors and 83North.

Guardicore, which operates out of Tel Aviv, Israel, and San Francisco, said it has so far raised $33 million for product research and development on its datacenter security platform. Guardicore and others are pitching real-time threat detection capabilities in the datacenter, including bots and so-called advanced persistent threats launched by sophisticated hackers.

...

http://www.enterprisetech.com/2016/07/19/datacenter-security-attracts-investors/

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