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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

Report: OpenStack Hampered by Skills Shortage

More than eighty percent of enterprises plan to adopt OpenStack as a cloud computing solution or already have. Yet, half of organizations that have tried to implement it have failed, hampered by lack of open source cloud computing skills. That’s according to a survey out this week from SUSE, the Linux vendor, which sheds vital light on current OpenStack adoption trends.

The survey results suggest strong enthusiasm for open source cloud computing, with ninety-six percent of respondents reporting they “believe there are business advantages to implementing an open source private cloud,” according to SUSE.

Strong interest in private clouds of the type OpenStack enables is also clear. Ninety percent of businesses surveyed have already implemented at least one private cloud, SUSE reported.



Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

New Thinking in Data Lake Design

The closer the enterprise gets to implementing Big Data analytics, the more daunting it appears. Even organizations that are well-versed in data warehousing realize that building infrastructure for the so-called “data lake” is a completely different ballgame.

Not only does the data lake require large amounts of computing power and storage access, it has to be integrated with cutting-edge analytics, automation, orchestration and machine intelligence. And ideally, this state-of-the-art infrastructure should be accessible to the average business executive who has little or no experience in the data sciences.

But as we’ve seen many times, things that seem impossible at the outset are often possible once you put your mind to it. And data lake technology is already starting to make its mark at the top end of the enterprise market and shows every indication of trickling down to the lower tiers.



In response to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General, FEMA has posted a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register seeking comment on the concept of a disaster deductible for states and local governments in lieu of raising the threshold for disaster declarations.

The concept of the deductible would be tied to a predetermined “level of financial commitment” as a condition of eligibility for financial assistance under the Public Assistance Program made available through presidential disaster declarations.

The overall goal is to reduce the burden on taxpayers through mitigation incentives and risk-informed decisions that promote resilience.

Faced with the recommendations from the GAO and Office of the Inspector General that would raise the threshold for disaster declarations, which the agency thought would be regressive and put many states in a precarious position, FEMA staff came up with the deductible concept but is seeking details from state and local emergency managers. “This is not a done deal; this is a concept that we’re asking the state and local emergency managers to weigh in on,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “We still have to respond back to the GAO and Inspector General about how we are going to address their concerns that the threshold for getting a declaration is too low.”



A new survey of 402 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) indicated the majority of IT service providers received lower client satisfaction ratings than business-to-business (B2B) service industry benchmarks. 

The survey, conducted by B2B ratings and reviews website Clutch, showed IT services firms averaged a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 13; comparatively, B2B companies typically average a 20 to 25 NPS, according to Clutch. 

What factors are affecting SMBs' views of IT service providers? Clutch noted that specialized IT services firms "may lack the ability to deliver strategic, top-level recommendations for their clients."



Without skilled professionals running the operations, how effective are our security systems? More importantly, how mature are these security systems?

According to Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s newly released study, State of Security Operations Report 2016, companies are failing when it comes to security monitoring and goals. The report measured four areas of performance in security maturity: people, processes, technology and business function. As the report stated:

The reliable detection of malicious activity and threats to the organization, and a systematic approach to manage those threats are the most important success criteria for a mature cyber defense capability.



If you haven’t thoroughly analyzed your vendor resiliency and potential supply chain interruptions, there may be a gaping hole in your business continuity plan no matter how thorough your internal team has been according to the PwC whitepaper, “Business continuity beyond company walls: When a crisis hits, will your vendors’ resiliency match your own?” As the business world becomes more intertwined and dependent, it is essential for you to assess the resiliency of your vendors with these five steps in order to be sure you can count on your vendors when a crisis strikes.



Use of Liebert® DSE pumped refrigerant economization system reduces energy and water usage


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the world’s leading provider of critical infrastructure for information and communications technology systems, today announced that the deployment of the Liebert® DSEpumped refrigerant economization system in North America has saved over 1.4 billion gallons of water in the last 36 months, compared to using data center chilled water cooling systems, and is expected to save an additional 1 billion gallons of water in 2016.

“For nine months, Emerson and Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center solutions, worked together to explore the energy savings and operational performance of a pumped refrigerant system and compared it to that of a chilled water system. The results proved to be promising, and the companies shared them with the California Energy Commission and applied for a formal exception to the air- and water-only rule in place at the time,” said Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability at Digital Realty. “We found that, in addition to energy savings, the system delivered another benefit that has since come to be highly valued in California because of the current drought conditions – it saves millions of gallons of water.”

The Liebert DSE system is the first pumped refrigerant economization system for use in data centers, and it uses no water and introduces no outside air into the data center. Companies deploying the Liebert DSE cooling system have reduced energy usage by up to 50 percent, compared to using legacy systems.

“Companies have become increasingly focused on reducing both energy and water consumption,” said Kelly Quinn, research manager, IDC. “The Liebert DSE cooling system and its refrigerant economizer is an example of the innovations being adopted by the industry to achieve sustainability in their data centers. When you consider that the average data center uses approximately 4 million gallons of water per megawatt per year, the cost savings quickly add up with a water-free cooling system.”

A recent survey of U.S.-based mechanical engineers and contractors by Emerson Network Power showed that 55 percent expect pumped refrigerant economization to be the number one technology replacing chilled water systems over the next five years.

“The success of the Liebert DSE system underscores the speed at which the data center market is embracing alternative economization technologies that support their sustainability objectives,” said John Peter Valiulis, vice president of thermal management marketing for Emerson Network Power in North America. “It’s an important reason the California Energy Commission approved the use of the Liebert DSE pumped refrigerant economizers in the state’s data centers.”


About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), is the world’s leading provider of critical infrastructure technologies and life cycle services for information and communications technology systems. With an expansive portfolio of intelligent, rapidly deployable hardware and software solutions for power, thermal and infrastructure management, Emerson Network Power enables efficient, highly-available networks. Learn more at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

About Emerson

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 2015 were $22.3 billion.  For more information, visit Emerson.com.

About Digital Realty

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. supports the data center and colocation strategies of more than 1,000 firms across its secure, network-rich portfolio of data centers located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  Digital Realty’s clients include domestic and international companies of all sizes, ranging from financial services, cloud and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products. https://www.DigitalRealty.com

NEW ORLEANS - Phase One of the America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration Project is complete; one mile of Vegetated EcoShield™ has been installed and planted to create habitat and to provide protection from storm surge for the community of Larose and for critical energy infrastructure.
Phase One of the project stabilizes the Gulf-facing side of the GIWW where embankments are continuously lost to tidal surge, threatening freshwater marshes with saltwater intrusion and taking with it private lands bordering the canal.
The final strips of marsh grass begin to take root along the GIWW shoreline.
The project is a clear path for private investment that makes good business sense, protecting environmental, community and economic assets at an affordable cost. In past years, the private landowner has had to rebuild the embankment numerous times due to continuous erosion caused by tidal surge and other forces.
Both traditional and innovative technology were used in the form of low cost bucket dredges and the vegetated, recycled plastic matrix material called Vegetated EcoShield™, produced from recycled, post-consumer plastic, which protects shorelines and stabilizes banks while promoting vegetative growth. By providing a protective medium for vegetation to establish, grow and spread, it enhances the natural processes of the system by creating vegetative shorelines and important coastal habitats.
"The first phase of the project is in the ground before a freeze and now nature can do its job," Val Marmillion, AWF managing director, said, noting that planting in the fall allows the stalks of Roseau Cane to take root. "The plants are sprouting and the matrix is holding to the berm and protecting it." In April, AWF will replace any plants lost to the winter and will add some additional Roseau if sparse, adding grasses to the top embankments. "If observations prove good in April, we are on our way to completing Phase One of the project with a record time performance and for a fraction of the price usually associated with wetland recovery," Marmillion said.
The entire project involves a four-mile section of the GIWW shoreline, with Phase Two to begin in 2016 on the north-facing side. When complete, the restoration effort will help protect energy assets, secure seafood and recreational waterways and, at the same time, provide habitat for wildlife and waterfowl, while increasing protection from storm surge for nearby communities.
The project is supported with private funding through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), CITGOShellConocoPhillipsChevron and Community Coffee, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the State of Louisiana, the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association and private landowners.

For more information about the GIWW Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration Project, visit the Reports and Resources page on the America's WETLAND Foundation website, and view the project overview and project narrative.
To see the latest news covering the project, click here.

The America's WETLAND Foundation is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that has acted as a neutral arbiter for coastal interests since its inception in 2002, elevating issues facing the Gulf Coast, specifically those of coastal land loss, to regional and national attention. This message and other America's WETLAND Foundation activities are made possible by the generous support by our sponsors including the following: Shell; Chevron; ExxonMobil; Allstate; API; BG Group; blue moon fund; ConocoPhillips; Coypu Foundation; Ducks Unlimited; Entergy; Greater New Orleans Foundation; Hornbeck Offshore Services; The McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco© brand pepper sauce; The Nature Conservancy; the New Orleans Saints; the New Orleans Pelicans; the Walton Family Foundation; and thousands of individuals worldwide whose contributions support coastal replanting projects in Louisiana. If your organization would like to join this growing coalition of industry, conservation and environmental organizations across the globe that see wetlands protection as a key to economic growth, please contact us. The Foundation uses a variety of mediums to communicate with its supporters and the general public. Visit America's WETLAND on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AmericasWetland.

SAN FRANCISCOIObit, one of the world’s foremost system utility provider, today unveiled the brand new Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9. This new edition is not only a system optimizing utility but more competitive anti-virus software coupled with the new Bitdefender Anti-Virus engines and can fully protect Windows 10.

IObit Driver Booster 3

Recently, many Windows 10 users complained about anti-virus compatibility issues with Windows 10. After strict and detailed testing, IObit developers confirmed the anti-virus engine in Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 works well in Windows 10 and has not met any reject action from the operating system. In order to create a more comprehensive and powerful anti-virus feature, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 added DNS Protect in the Anti-Virus Module to protect DNS connections between the Internet and private networks which would avoid the legal domain from being redirected to a hijacked site. ASC Ultimate 9 also enhanced Browser Anti-Tracking for Windows 10’s Microsoft Edge to keep Win 10 users' private information secure by removing malicious cookies.

To improve PC speedup, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 added auto-RAM Clean that can automatically free up RAM when necessary and dramatically improve PC performance. A new Speed Up module was added to help users boost PC startup time and allow browsers to run more smoothly. Furthermore, ASC Ultimate 9 expanded IObit’s database for Spyware Removal, Registry Fix, Privacy Sweep, Junk Files Clean and Surfing Protection to make one-click optimization more effective and afford users a faster and more secure PC.

“The difference between ASC 9 and ASC Ultimate 9 is that the latter acts more like an anti-virus software that can help our users protect their PCs from viruses, malware, and cyber threats without impacting the PCs’ performance,” said Antonio Zhang, Marketing Director for IObit. “With the assistance of the Bitdefender anti-virus engine and IObit’s system optimizing and cleaning database, we believe Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 is the best choice for users to protect their PCs.”

Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 is now available on IObit.com and Download.com. It provides full support for Win 10, 8/8.1, 7, XP and Vista.

About Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9

Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 is all-in-one anti-virus software utility for PC Security and System Optimization. Combined with the latest Bitdefender’s anti-virus engine and Advanced SystemCare 9’s powerful system optimizing features, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 can fully protect users’ PCs from security threats, malicious attacks, privacy leaks, and fixes system slowdowns, freezes and crashes. To better protect Windows 10 system against various threats proactively and in real-time, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 9 added DNS Protect & Win 10 Reinforce and enhanced Browser Anti-Tracking for Windows 10’s Microsoft Edge.

About IObit

Founded in 2004, IObit provides consumers with innovative system utilities for Windows, Mac, and Android OS to greatly enhance their performance and protect them from security threats. IObit is a well-recognized industry leader with more than 100 awards and 500 million downloads worldwide.


Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

TierPoint to Acquire Cosentry

Transaction Will Scale TierPoint’s Operations to 38 Data Centers Nationally in 24 Markets

ST. LOUIS – TierPoint, LLC, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cosentry, a rapidly growing provider of cloud, colocation and managed services based in Omaha, Nebraska.

Cosentry currently operates nine data centers in several Midwest markets, including Omaha, Nebraska; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s “5000 Fastest Growing Companies” for eight consecutive years. Terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in March, were not disclosed.

Upon closing, Cosentry will become a subsidiary of TierPoint and operate under the TierPoint brand. At that time, private equity firm TA Associates, which acquired Cosentry in 2011, will become a significant investor in TierPoint, joining RedBird Capital Partners, Cequel III, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the Stephens Group, JZ Advisers and Thompson Street Capital Partners.  

“Cosentry is an excellent company with great people and this acquisition gives us a significant, strategic advantage in key Midwest markets, where there is an increasing demand for data center services,” said Jerry Kent, Chairman and CEO of TierPoint.  “We’re also extremely pleased that a leader like TA Associates, with a long and rich history of smart investments, has chosen to become a significant investor in TierPoint. The combination of TierPoint and Cosentry will bring economies of scale, which benefits our customers, and the addition of TA Associates to an already strong investor group brings additional financial firepower.”

Brad Hokamp, Chief Executive Officer of Cosentry, said that the acquisition will benefit Cosentry customers.  “TierPoint can offer our customers an even more robust portfolio of cloud and managed services than we currently have available,” said Hokamp. “TierPoint’s expanded data center footprint, which spans 19 markets coast to coast, will also give our customers additional geographic options to meet their growing business needs.”

“We are very pleased to be investing in TierPoint,” said Harry D. Taylor, a Managing Director at TA Associates. “With their complementary product offerings and service areas, we are confident the addition of Cosentry to TierPoint’s portfolio will prove to be an industry powerhouse.”

On behalf of the investor group, Gerry Cardinale, Managing Partner and Founder of RedBird Capital Partners, a lead investor, said, “We are extremely pleased with the team’s execution of our build-up strategy over the last year, culminating with this most recent acquisition of Cosentry.  Under Jerry’s leadership, the original TierPoint platform has been transformed through several key acquisitions and continued organic growth across its nationwide facilities base.  Today, TierPoint is a leader in delivering innovative colocation, managed and cloud-based data center services to its customer base in regional markets across the country.  We are also very happy to welcome TA Associates to the investor group and to continue our strong collaboration with management in executing our investment thesis.”

When the acquisition is finalized, TierPoint will operate 38 data centers nationally in 24 markets and serve more than 6,000 customers.

About TierPoint

TierPoint is a leading national provider of cloud, managed services, and colocation, helping organizations improve business performance and manage risk. With corporate headquarters based in St. Louis. TierPoint operates highly-redundant, carrier-neutral data centers in the states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.