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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

As a business continuity or disaster recovery professional you’ve probably put in a lot of effort setting up your emergency mass notification system. You’ve likely already:

  • Determined the different user types your system will support as well what security/permissions each user type will have.
  • Confirmed how to get your user/stakeholder information into the system...either via upload, integration with another software platform, or via self-registration of your users.
  • Set-up user groups, uploaded important crisis communication related documents.
  • Linked your ENS with the appropriate social media accounts
  • Integrated your ENS with various external notification devices such as digital displays, sirens, and desktop disruption.
  • Developed notification templates.
  • Tested the system, and more.

...

http://www.ermscorp.com/blog/have-you-promoted-your-emergency-mass-notification-system-you-should

If disaster, such as a flood or power outage, struck right now, would you be prepared to recover your vital data and applications to continue business operations? Do you have a business continuity plan in place to make sure you’re never left in the dark – unable to get work done?

Learn more about the great work Keith and his team at Procyon Solutions are doing to help prepare businesses in Little Rock for any upcoming disaster.

Keith Jetton from Procyon Solutions knows the importance of having a business continuity plan in place.

“We take a different approach to business continuity than most other IT companies. We’re seeing lots of technology move to the cloud – starting with email, file sharing, and phones, all hosted in the cloud,” he said.

...

http://mspmentor.net/backup-and-disaster-recovery/051215/disaster-recovery-keeping-customers-ready-any-disaster

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 00:00

Access Expands in Three Domestic Markets

Companies in New York, Oregon and California join the industry’s third largest provider

LIVERMORE, Calif. – Rob Alston, CEO of Access, has announced the company’s recent expansion in three of the company’s existing markets with the acquisition of North State Record Solutions in Chico, California, the records division of Tri-State Moving in Bohemia, New York (Long Island market), and the records business of MQI, Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon (Portland market). These transactions bring the total number of acquisitions Access has completed to 82 since its founding in 2004.
 
In Chico, Access will add records center facilities to its current presence there while in Long Island and Portland, the acquired client accounts’ inventories will be relocated to existing Access facilities in the market.
 
As Access steadily continues its growth-through-acquisition strategy and although locations are different, the story behind them remains very much the same. Access President John Chendo said, “In each of these cases the companies we have purchased are well-run, profitable operations where owners clearly recognized the value of partnering with a larger, international firm like Access in order to provide future opportunities for their team members and broadened service capabilities and a nationwide footprint to their clients.” He continued, “We are keenly aware of how hard these owners have worked to grow their businesses in reaching this milestone. We recognize how much they are dedicated to those they have employed for many years and the valued client relationships they have built with such care. We admire and respect that. We are firmly committed to the proper integration of their company into Access so that it is a smooth one that, in the end, benefits everyone involved.”  
 
As the largest privately held records and information management services provider in the United States, Access now serves 40 markets across the nation and in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 


About Access (http://informationprotected.com/)
Access is the largest privately held records and information management (RIM) services provider in the United States. A trusted partner to clients spanning multiple industries and markets throughout the country, Access’ complete suite of services includes records storage and document managementdata protection (electronic computer media), secure destruction, digital formatting and breach reporting services. The valuable business services Access provides allow clients to focus on their core businesses while reducing the costs and risks associated with document retention, management and final disposition.  Access is backed by growth equity investor Berkshire Partners.

NEW YORK - Sabey Data Centers, one of the nation’s largest privately-owned multi-tenant data center owners and developers, and AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange), one of the world’s leading Internet exchange operators, announced today that AMS-IX New York will use Sabey’s IGX Networks to provide extended cross connects (ECCs) from 375 Pearl Street to both 60 Hudson Street and 32 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan.

This arrangement will allow networks and carriers at both carrier hotels to connect to AMS-IX New York at Sabey’s Intergate.Manhattan data center at 375 Pearl Street.

AMS-IX’s subsidiary, AMS-IX USA Inc., and Sabey have reached commercial terms and are ready now to accept customer orders.

John Sabey, President of Sabey Data Centers, said, “By leveraging Sabey IGX Networks, Sabey provides ECCs on their private, managed dark fiber network that connects 375 Pearl Street to 60 Hudson Street, 32 Avenue of the Americas and 111 8th Avenue. Networks and carriers in those buildings can connect to Sabey at several meet me rooms in each building.”

Job Witteman, CEO of AMS-IX, said, “Sabey Data Centers’ IGX Networks is a great opportunity for us to get more value from our point-of-presence at Intergate.Manhattan. This arrangement enables us to improve AMS-IX New York’s accessibility to potential customers and increase its value to existing customers.”

Mr. Sabey added, “By partnering with Sabey Data Centers, AMS-IX will have a very compelling value proposition for networks in both 60 Hudson Street and 32 Avenue of the Americas that they could not reach before. To our benefit, we believe that these same networks will be interested in the space, power and telecom infrastructure that 375 Pearl Street offers.”

AMS-IX launched its New York point-of-presence within Intergate.Manhattan in April, 2014. At the time, it was the only distributed and neutral Open-IX certified Internet exchange in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area.

Open-IX is an initiative started by a group of Internet network operators, content owners and distributors, and other market parties that encourages the development of the neutral and distributed Internet exchange model in the US. The ultimate objective of Open-IX is to reduce interconnection complexity and associated costs in this country, which have been more complex and higher than in Europe, where the preferred Internet exchange model is more common.

About Sabey Data Center Properties

With a portfolio of more than three million square feet of mission critical space, Sabey Data Center Properties is one of the oldest and largest privately owned multi-tenant data center owner/developer/operators in the United States. Sabey specializes in scalable, custom-built solutions including data center ready shell space and fully turnkey data centers managed by Sabey’s award-winning critical environment staff. Consistently recognized for its reputation for operational excellence through its world-class data centers and sustained uptime, Sabey is proud to provide data center services to many of the world’s top financial, technology and healthcare companies. www.sabeydatacenters.com.

About AMS-IX New York
AMS-IX New York is a neutral and independent Internet Exchange, distributed across five data centers in in New York/New Jersey, U.S. This platform is modeled after AMS-IX in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, providing high quality IP peering and interconnectivity services.

AMS-IX New York is the first deployment of AMS-IX USA Inc., followed by AMS-IX Bay Area and AMS-IX Chicago. AMS-IX USA Inc. is a subsidiary of AMS-IX in Amsterdam. Founded in 1997, AMS-IX is the world’s leading Internet Exchange interconnecting over 700 unique IP networks from around the globe. Additionally, AMS-IX hosts the first mobile peering points worldwide: the Global GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX), the Mobile Data Exchange (MDX) and the first interconnection of IPX networks (Inter-IPX). For more information, visit https://nynj.ams-ix.net.

MELVILLE, N.Y. — As the needs and priorities of enterprise technology users have evolved to more flexible, mobile, and service-based models, software-defined and cloud data center infrastructures have captured increasing attention.  Regardless of the vendor, all modern infrastructures – characterized by standalone software suites or managed services that deliver advanced functions with greater simplicity, efficiency, and cost of ownership – must address how to non-disruptively evolve their infrastructure.  They cannot typically afford to start anew with “greenfield” deployments.  They must find a way to preserve existing investments and maximize ROI.

To do that, IT organizations need the capability to standardize tools, data services, and management horizontally across their infrastructure in a common way that is abstracted from the underlying hardware.  We call this concept, Intelligent Abstraction™.  This approach is the foundational enabler that will allow them to modernize while protecting investments and merge in new technologies without perpetuating new silos or adding complexity say experts at FalconStor Software Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC), a 15-year innovator in data protection, data mobility , and virtualization.  

Intelligent Abstraction refers to the de-coupling of applications, data, and workloads from physical hardware, networks and protocols using virtualization, data services, and policy-based automation. This software-defined approach to storage collapses the traditional storage, network and data services layers into a single unified layer.  However, it should not be confused with hyper-converged architectures that include compute as part of the abstraction.  The Intelligent Abstraction approach enables users to purchase a mixture of storage and compute that is optimized and tuned for business, application and budget requirements.  Removing the “storage intelligence” from the hardware frees the infrastructure from vendor lock-in, and allows the deployment of cost-effective and truly agile infrastructures. Fundamentally, Intelligent Abstraction empowers organizations to realize gains in multiple areas:
•	Agility - Data mobility, adaptability to new technology and platforms
•	Reduced Risk - Continuous data availability, reduce human errors 
•	Efficiency – Improved utilization, cost optimization of infrastructure
•	Productivity - Simplification and automation  

“Over the past decade, we have seen the services-abstraction approach deliver results for the compute and network layers.  Until now, this approach for storage has been more of a concept or only been delivered in pieces or parts. The reality is that it has not been fully unified across entire storage infrastructures in a truly agnostic manner that provides universal gains,” said Rob Zecha, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at FalconStor. “We no longer view the data center as a mass of complex hardware, networks, and protocols – we see it as aggregated, integrated resources or assets that can be provisioned and orchestrated as needed to solve problems and deliver consistent data access and services to the business. Data is the fastest growing asset a company has today.  They need a way to manage, move and protect that data in a way that optimizes their business while controlling costs. De-coupling storage management and intelligence from the hardware is critical to the path forward.”

When modernizing an infrastructure, most organizations cannot afford to throw everything out and start over.  They need the ability to improve the usefulness of the existing storage infrastructure and storage hardware. They need a full portfolio of data services that are common across the entire infrastructure and applications, not specific to individual storage systems.  The Intelligent Abstraction approach allows common data services to be integrated gradually, giving organizations the ability to evolve their infrastructure in a planned, predictable manner.  As a result, existing infrastructures can be utilized longer, providing a better return on investment.  New technology can be introduced in a less disruptive manner…from moving data to the new storage platform to having shared data services, all while minimizing device management silos, reducing operational complexity, and faster time to implementation.  

By having truly software-defined storage services abstracted from the hardware, those services can now be universally deployed as needed by data lifecycles.  These data services should be horizontal – across the entire landscape of the storage infrastructure – to eliminate silos and complexity and deliver unified, converged capabilities across the entire environment. Data mobility, continuity, protection, recovery, optimization, reporting, and provisioning processes can then be performed through a single management interface on any resource, including arrays, servers, hypervisors, and the cloud. Organizations need the ability to provision and orchestrate capacity and data services optimized to the application, business and budget, all without the constraints of having to stop and get additional licenses, or pay for additional services.  They need a way to deliver capabilities consistently across and entire infrastructure without restriction.  

Data services based on Intelligent Abstraction are implemented at the network fabric layer to dispense with firmware and storage licensing costs. As a result, everything from new storage technology, enterprise array-class storage, and existing assets, whether on-premise, remotely located or in the cloud, can be incorporated into modernizing the data center. 

Also central to Intelligent Abstraction is automation that removes the burden of day-to-day maintenance, reduces errors, and enables rapid problem resolution.  In addition to adding policy-based applications to enhance data protection and recovery, all backup processes are eliminated in favor of continuous protection at the Intelligent Abstraction layer.  Data services based on this layer can dynamically adjust to assure stringent service levels across all storage tiers and all applications. Migrating and mobilizing data or applications are also automated to provide service to any user, group, or location. 

“Intelligent Abstraction is a foundation for optimizing IT infrastructure and operations, and can have a dramatic, positive effect on costs, time, and complexity,” said Rob Zecha. 

For more detail on applying these principles in the modern data center, download the white paper, “Intelligent Abstraction: Optimizing Data Services in the Enterprise” at http://falconstor.com/intelligent_abstraction

About FalconStor
FalconStor Software Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is transforming how enterprises move, store, protect and optimize data. Founded in 2000, FalconStor offers an award-winning platform for data migration, business continuity, disaster recovery, optimized backup, and deduplication. FalconStor helps maximize data availability and system uptime to ensure nonstop business productivity while simplifying data management to reduce operational costs. Our open, integrated software solutions reduce vendor lock-in and give enterprises the freedom to choose the applications and hardware components that make the best sense for their business. FalconStor solutions are available and supported by OEMs, as well as leading system integrators and resellers worldwide. FalconStor is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. with offices throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit www.falconstor.com or call 1-866-NOW-FALC (866-669-3252).
Validates Market Solutions Against Key IT Requirements

 

NEW YORK – Talari Networks, Inc., the leading provider of Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions that help businesses perform brilliantly with the creation of a smart network that proactively manages capacity, quality and performance, today announced the successful completion of ONUG’s first testing program to validate market solutions against key IT requirements from the Open Networking User Group (ONUG) Conference at Columbia University. The ONUG use case validation testing is a landmark event in the networking industry, signaling the first time commercial solutions are being tested against requirements outlined by the ONUG Working Groups. This extensive, 3-month long testing process was conducted by Ixia in conjunction with ONUG.

The ONUG tests aim to provide proof of concepts, feature validation and demonstrations to ensure that the networking solutions in the network overlays, SD-WAN and network services virtualization areas deliver on the top ten requirements developed by the ONUG Working Groups.

“We were delighted to have Talari on board with ONUG this spring. These tests underscore our commitment to the ONUG Community of IT executives and vendors to validate product features that meet IT business leader requirements for enterprise cloud infrastructure,” said Nick Lippis, Chairman and Co-Founder of ONUG. “We are confident that this testing effort with partners such as Talari will assist in moving the open infrastructure industry from technology curiosity to operations.”

Talari successfully demonstrated SD-WAN requirements 1 through 8 using Talari’s Adaptive Private Networking (APN) operating software and the Talari Appliances T3010, T510 and Virtual Appliance T500. The following important criteria were successfully demonstrated during the verification test:

  • The ability to direct traffic across Hybrid WANs according to company policy and application type;
  • Ability to detect a link failure and move traffic to remaining links;
  • Ability to apply prioritization policies to specific applications under congestion caused by link failure;
  • Line, flow and application-level dashboards; and
  • Network consisting of a Talari physical appliance and a Talari virtual appliance.

“We were glad to participate in ONUG’s first testing program and we’re particularly proud that we were able to demonstrate almost instantaneous detection of the failed link and shift traffic to the remaining links with no loss, no out of order packets and virtually no jitter,” said Talari’s CTO & Co-founder John Dickey. ”The test conditions realistically mirrored those of our many customers who run hybrid WANs with a mix of applications and we were able to publicly demonstrate the functionality our customers take advantage of every day. With Talari, they have a THINKING WAN that adapts itself to changing conditions without any impact to end users and application performance, even in the face of failed or degraded network links.”

ONUG Working Groups

ONUG’s six current working groups represent the centerpiece of the IT community’s work toward bringing software defined networking to the larger networking industry. SDN has been a work in progress, requiring much-needed user input and leadership to affect the development of commercial products.

ONUG kicked off its initial three working groups, focused on Virtual Networks/Overlays, Network Services Virtualization, and Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), in the spring of 2014 to develop use cases and associated requirements. Headed by members of the ONUG Board and top IT business leaders, the working groups represent user-driven capabilities, a major departure from typical networking developments led by vendors.

At ONUG Fall 2014, each of these three working groups generated white papers that included six architectural design models mapped to uses cases with top ten requirements. The current testing program is the crucial second step toward validating market solutions against these ten requirements for each of the three groups.

Three additional working groups were formed in January 2015 to round out the broader SDN deployment across the enterprise. The new groups include: Network State Collection, Correlation, and Analytics; Common Management Tools across Network, Storage, and Compute; and Traffic Monitoring/Visibility.

To see the full, official testing report, visit http://opennetworkingusergroup.com/spring-2015-downloads/

About ONUG

ONUG is the leading user-driven community of IT executives focused on leveraging the power of their engineering and procurement to influence the pace and deployment of open networking solutions. The ONUG Board is composed of IT leaders from Bank of America, Cigna, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, FedEx, Fidelity Investments, Gap, Inc., JPMorgan Chase, the Lippis Report, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer, Symantec, and UBS. For more on ONUG, go to www.OpenNetworkingUserGroup.com or follow us on Twitter @ONUG_

About Talari

Talari, the leading provider of Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions, is changing the way companies think about, create and manage their WAN by giving the network brainwidth. Only Talari’s THINKING WAN  proactively manages capacity, reliability and performance, packet by packet—to keep critical applications running, reduce costs and liberate IT to innovate new ways for the company to be brilliant. To learn more about Talari, visit www.talari.com.

ORLANDO, Fla.Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, today introduced the Alber® Battery Xplorer software platform. This new software improves visibility and maximizes the availability of critical power systems dependent on stationary back-up batteries by translating data into actionable insights that enable smarter, faster decisions. Emerson Network Power launched the user‑friendly software platform at Battcon 2015, which runs through May 14 in Orlando, Florida.

Unplanned downtime is a costly challenge for organizations. A 2013 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Emerson Network Power identified battery failure as the leading cause of unplannedoutages. The Ponemon Institute also has reported that companies using monitoring and data center infrastructure management recover from outages 85 percent faster than those without it. The new Alber Battery Xplorer software platform provides real-time visibility across the entire battery infrastructure so organizations can view issues that previously were unseen and address them before they become problems that threaten the availability of critical power systems.

The Alber Battery Xplorer software platform is comprised of two software suites, Battery Xplorer (BX) and Battery Xplorer Enterprise (BXE). The Alber BX comes standard with Alber battery monitoring systems and is used to set up and configure these systems. Both the Alber BX and BXE provide real-time monitoring, alarm and event management, report generation, and data management capabilities. Reports have built-in decision support that analyzes the data and provides suggestions for the best corrective action. The Alber BXE software is web-based and includes additional functionality and management capabilities for enterprises with battery systems located at multiple sites. For example, it enables customers to manage distributed battery assets by centralizing alarms and notifications and aggregating and storing data from multiple sites or systems in a centralized database.

“The new Alber Battery Xplorer software platform simplifies the process of monitoring and proactively managing stationary batteries,” said Enzo Greco, vice president and general manager, software, Emerson Network Power. “The new intuitive interface shows more data on one screen for analysis during real-time viewing, and it has enhanced graphical views that make it easier to identify and diagnose impending issues before they become costly problems.”

For more information on the Alber Battery Xplorer software platform, Alber battery monitoring systems and battery testing equipment, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

 

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson, 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.

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 2014 were $24.5 billion. For more information, visit
www.Emerson.com.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Flowfinity Wireless Inc., a proven provider of enterprise mobile apps, today released a new case study featuring valuation consulting firm Marshall & Stevens. The firm replaced scanned notes with mobile apps to increase efficiency and reduce project timelines for large scale appraisals by 60%.

Previously, Marshall & Stevens appraisers in the field would collect data on site visits and submit it back to the office through scanned copies of paper, which required a team of employees to process. Now, custom mobile apps built with Flowfinity software have eliminated that processing time, as data is already pre-formatted and submitted from the field in real time. The solution integrates directly with existing back-end systems that perform valuations.

With Flowfinity, Marshall & Stevens has achieved more accurate real-time data, more efficient training for employees in the field, and better customer service with real-time updates and results delivered to clients faster.

Visibility into field operations has increased, as managers can review appraisers' work for accuracy immediately and provide timely feedback to employees in the field. The solution has also freed up valuable management time for working with clients or valuations, rather than reviewing field data.

"Before we started using Flowfinity I would spend hours of a week on minutiae while a project was in progress because of the way that we were capturing and verifying our data," said David Koller, National Practice Leader, Marshall & Stevens. "Now I spend very little time, and I am able to turn it over to the client much sooner."

When selecting a mobile solution, offline functionality, flexible workflows and robust integration capabilities were key requirements. The solution also needed to support rapid development and instant updates to existing apps.

"We were looking for a mobile solution with offline capability that could support all of our data collection requirements and interface well with our models at the back-end," said Jim Nutter, Manager, Marshall & Stevens. "Flowfinity was the only solution that met our requirements for mobile form flexibility, workflows and integration."

To read the case study, visit: http://www.flowfinity.com/customers/marshall-stevens.aspx.

 

About Flowfinity

Flowfinity provides a proven, fully customizable solution for building enterprise mobile apps without programming. Since 2000, Flowfinity has helped leading companies across industries improve productivity, engage management, and improve business insight through all areas of the organization. By making it easy and fast to mobilize day-to-day business processes on smartphones and tablets, Flowfinity enables mobile teams to access, survey, report, and share information when and where they need to. Top global brands in consumer goods and other industries rely on Flowfinity software as the standard technology for automating critical business processes. For more information, visit http://www.flowfinity.com.

I wrote a post last week about a study commissioned by Dell and Intel that provided some enlightening information about employees’ technology adoption and expectations.

Beyond what was covered in that post, Steve Lalla, a Dell vice president and general manager who contributed the commentary, was also able to address how this type of research helps guide Dell’s strategy, and what’s changed since Dell last conducted this survey in 2011.

The 2014 “Global Evolving Workforce Study” was commissioned by Dell and Intel, and conducted by TNS, a global market research firm. As for how this type of research aids Dell in its strategic planning, Lalla said that Dell launched the initiative to fully understand exactly how technology is shaping the workforce of the future and in turn, help its customers respond to the challenges and opportunities of the evolving workforce. He listed three “actionable insights” for Dell and its customers that came out of the study:

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/from-under-the-rug/global-employee-study-guides-dells-flexible-work-force-strategy.html

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 00:00

Where the Enterprise Is Cloud-Wise

How does the typical enterprise view the cloud, and will a consensus ever emerge as to how clouds are to be architected and utilized?

Believe it or not, we are still very early in the cloud transition, and the truth of the matter is, we could be a good two to three years away from seeing the cloud firmly established as the dominant form of IT infrastructure. In that time, expect to see a myriad of platforms, architectures, service configurations and other advancements, many of which will fail to gain traction or emerge as hot prospects only to fade over time.

But if you could take a snapshot right now, what would be the dominant themes within the cloud computing movement, and do they have the stuff to stand the test of time?

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/where-the-enterprise-is-cloud-wise.html