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Spring Journal

Volume 28, Issue 2

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

The proverbial stitch in time may save nine, but IT operations predicting problems before they occur saves more than just the budget.

TeamQuest, a provider of IT management software, has made available a predictive analytics offering that can be used to identify the root causes of likely future performance issues.

According to TeamQuest product advocate Dave Wagner, TeamQuest Risk Prediction helps IT organizations address the complexity of IT environments where multiple application workloads now routinely run on top of virtual machines that compete for a limited amount of physical resources. By applying predictive analytics to that complexity, Wagner says TeamQuest Risk Prediction can be used to analyze the data it collects as often as every 15 minutes.



Ray Abide looks at the concepts of detail complexity and dynamic complexity in the context of business continuity planning.

Over an extended period of time, I believe that a conventional instinct is to add more specifics and detail to our business continuity plans. This may be guided by increasing complexity in the subject business or by our improved understanding and planning maturity brought about by plan exercises or experience gained by plan activation during a crisis.

While this increasing detail and texture in the plan may seem to be an improvement or an enhancement, it is only true if the incremental planning addresses the type of complexity that can be reduced or eliminated, in advance.



Health care organizations are facing a much more challenging directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance market as they adapt to changes arising from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new report from Marsh.

It reveals that average primary D&O rates for midsize and large health systems increased by 9.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013, while total program D&O rates renewed with 7.9 percent increases on average.

Nearly all organizations – 91 percent – renewed with rate increases, according to its findings.



Computerworld UK — CFOs are frustrated with "excessive IT costs" and limited insights into their business despite IT investments, acccording to joint research from Oxford Economics and consulting firm AlixPartners.

The two organisations initially brought in CFO Research to survey senior finance executives at large and mid-size North American companies to examine their views on the value of their investments in IT.

Recently they added a further 50 CFOs across four European countries, including the UK, to the research. They found that senior finance executives across both continents were frustated about the same aspects of IT investment.



Thursday, 12 December 2013 17:09

How Much Can You Outsource a Risk?

A common corporate credo nowadays is: ‘make only what you cannot buy’. The idea is that if a supplier is already making an affordable, quality component or product, there is no sense in re-inventing the wheel. The company would be better off using its internal resources to develop more strategic advantages related to its core differentiating competences. Similarly, corporate activities such as accounting, logistics and procurement can also be handled by third parties offering different benefits to the purchaser – sometimes, but not always, in terms of cost reduction. But in such cases, does the purchasing company’s risk go down or up? And to what extent is it still responsible for the outsourced activity?



One of the major challenges with Big Data, I think, is figuring out your options. It is such a new space, so it’s a bit tricky to identify what type of tools you’ll even need, much less figure out which vendors actually offer them.

A large number of lists about Big Data are available: The Big Data 100, the Hot Start-Ups, the Most-Powerful Big Data Companies, and so on. All of these sites are informative, but they don’t necessarily help you piece together a basic Big Data architecture or list of solutions you must have, particularly when it comes to Big Data integration.

Organizations need to realize that not everything changes just because they’re dealing with Big Data.



Columbus, Ohio – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, today announced the Liebert® APS uninterruptible power supply system (UPS) earned ENERGY STAR® qualification.

Designed for small- to-medium-sized sites, the Liebert APS system supports power requirements of up to 20kVA/18kW. It eliminates the need to over provision, increasing operational efficiency and contributing to the UPS system’s low total cost of ownership (TCO). It is ideal for data centers that expect increasing power requirements as they meet growing demand for resource-intensive applications. The unit’s FlexPower modules allow power capacity to grow in 5kVA /4.5kW increments up to 15kVA/13.5kW or 20kVA/18kW. Battery modules may also be added as needed to increase backup time. FlexPower modules and battery modules are hot swappable, and can be added or replaced by the user.

“We’re pleased to announce that another Liebert UPS has received the ENERGY STAR qualification,” said David Sonner, vice president, marketing, Emerson Network Power in North America. “The Liebert APS is the highest efficiency UPS in its class, achieving up to 92 percent efficiency in double-conversion mode.”

As part of its larger electrical equipment efficiency improvement program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instituted its ENERGY STAR for UPS program in late 2012, affecting UPS products rated greater than or equal to 1500 watts. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, the Liebert APS was subjected to testing by a UPS-specific certification body recognized by the EPA. This certification process examines products based on average power, efficiency and efficiency variation for determination of steady-state, and UPS products meeting the EPA’s requirements use an average of 35 percent less energy than their standard counterparts.

For more information on the Liebert APSUPS, or other Liebert technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit www.Liebert.com.

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), delivers software, hardware and services that maximize availability, capacity and efficiency for data centers, healthcare and industrial facilities. A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands.  Our solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

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 2013 were $24.7 billion.  For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.

What links a brand's reputation, a railway sleeper and a telecommunications network? While these things may seem very different, according to experts working on a new International Standard they can all be seen as assets creating value for a company and can therefore be managed in similar ways.

The new International Standard ISO 55001 on asset management systems is set to be published in early 2014 and we asked Rhys Davies, the chairman of the committee developing the standard (PC 251) to give us his lowdown on the document.

So, Rhys what is an asset and why would someone need to manage it?

Well, in this new standard we have defined an asset as an item, thing or entity that has potential or actual value for an organization. This is vague, but in fact purposefully so. We wanted to make it clear to everyone that an asset can be anything from tangible and physical items such as rails, trains and vehicles to the more intangible such as the reputation of a company.

All of these things can bring value to a company and need to be well managed in order to make the most of that value.

These are quite diverse things, is managing rails really the same as managing a brand?

There are many similarities yes, and the fundamental principles are the same. If you do nothing with things, and this applies to both a brand and rails, they deteriorate. Their value, or potential value, decreases. All assets need maintaining so although the actions we take to maintain them might be different (e.g. for rails this might be renewing them, whereas for brands it might be choosing to sponsor new events), both will benefit from long term plans and strategies.

Asset management is about knowing what we want to achieve with an asset and how to make it happen, in addition to assessing risks associated with that asset. It is about having a long term strategy.

Most successful organizations and companies have long term strategies, complete with yearly objectives and so on. Why do we need a strategic asset management plan as well?

One of the key things with assets is that their life span can be much longer, or much shorter, than the average strategic plan. A brand's reputation will (hopefully!) outlast a five year plan, as will the physical infrastructure of a railway for example, so the long term strategic asset management plan has to take this longer life span into account and plan for it.

This longer term approach also forces us to get to know our assets much better. We may not always be aware of everything that has value or has the potential to create value for our organization. Identifying assets, what we want to achieve with them and how to get there, requires in-depth knowledge of the asset in question, which can help in operational decision making and an organization’s performance overall.

What are the benefits of using this standard?

The major benefit is of course being able to realize value from your assets, and one of the great things about this approach is that there are many quick wins early on in the process. Some are related to the improved knowledge of assets, as I have already mentioned. In addition, the approach can help improve the relationship with stakeholders. Value doesn't necessarily mean monetary gain and defining what the value is for an asset is often a conversation that happens with people outside the company or organization.

For example, there has been a lot of interest from cities in this standard. The notion of value from a public park will not be expressed in monetary terms and defining it will mean getting closer to those using the public park. This is very beneficial for many organizations.

Who is this standard for?

This standard can be used by many types of organizations and companies, public or private. Everything from a city or local service provider to a supermarket chain can benefit from good asset management.

You have been the chairman of the committee for the past 3 years. What is the most exciting thing about its development?

That the standard is soon finished and will soon be available for use. I was involved in the development of BSI PAS 55 (a British standard concentrating on physical assets) and I have seen that grow up and be adopted in lots of different industries. The ISO route and the inclusion of non-physical assets will open up new markets for that story, where previously companies and organizations wouldn't have used that document. This means we are able to get a good story out to more places - more industries and countries can benefit and we can get more feedback to improve the approach even further.

ISO 55001 (and two others in the family ISO 55000 and ISO 55002) will be published in January 2014. Watch this space for more information!


New Direct Attached Storage Solution Delivers Blistering Speed, Mobility, and Versatility to Creative Professionals and Multimedia Enthusiasts

HSINCHU, TAIWAN – PROMISE Technology, Inc. today announced the availability of Pegasus2, the first and only storage solution designed to work with Thunderbolt™ 2 enabled systems such as the all-new Mac Pro, which is built for the creative experience of photographers, video professionals, power users, and more. Thunderbolt 2 delivers 20Gbps of bandwidth, a game changer for content creators, allowing for simultaneous transfer and display of high-bandwidth 3D and 4K video files. Pegasus2 maximizes the available line rate of Thunderbolt 2, providing ultra-fast throughput for remote site, on set, or remote office mobile storage in 4K rich media workflows, post-production or broadcasting.

PROMISE develops high-performance solutions and cutting-edge Thunderbolt enabled devices optimized for the video bandwidth requirements in big data, rich media and the media and entertainment market. Incorporating security, mobility, and the blistering speed and versatility of Thunderbolt 2, Pegasus2 is the ideal external RAID storage solution for any marketing, advertising, or video-centric department that creates rich media video content such as training or commercials, and requires enterprise-class RAID protection. Additionally, the combination of incredible throughout and massive capacity makes Pegasus2 suitable for professional IT applications for workgroups, such as CAD Engineering, CAE Auto Design, and more. 

"Pegasus2 is truly one-of-a-kind, as there has never before been a storage solution that offered such an incredible combination of performance, mobility, and simplicity," said James Lee, CEO, PROMISE Technology. "We are thrilled that Pegasus2 is the first storage solution available with Thunderbolt 2 -- this further illustrates PROMISE's position as a leader in Thunderbolt technology."

Pegasus2 Highlights

  • Maximum throughput of Thunderbolt 2 (20Gbps) accelerated when attached to new Mac Pro
  • Supports simultaneous streaming, editing, and backup of 4K video
  • Dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining Pegasus enclosure units, Apple Thunderbolt displays, or Mini DisplayPort devices
  • Removable drive bays for effortless drive access and serviceability
  • Mobile, enterprise-class hardware RAID protection for offsite shoots
  • Massive storage capacity for backing up creative projects and digital libraries
  • Thunderbolt cable included

The Pegasus2 Series is now available as a 4-bay, 6-bay or 8-bay RAID enclosure through the PROMISE network of distributors and value added resellers including the Apple Online Store, B&H Photo Video, CDW, MelroseMac, PC Mall, PC Connection, Provantage, SHI Corporation, TigerDirect.com, Tekserve, Virtual Graffiti and many more.

Please visit www.promise.com/pegasus2 for more information and follow PROMISE Technology on Facebook or Twitter.

About PROMISE Technology Inc.
PROMISE Technology is a recognized global leader with 25 years of experience in the storage industry. PROMISE has developed its own enterprise-class hardware and software storage architecture and is committed to providing dynamic storage solutions for vertical markets, including cloud and IT storage solutions, video surveillance storage solutions, digital video editing storage solutions and much more. In addition to complete FC/iSCSI/SAS RAID storage products, including rack-mounted RAID storage systems for SAN and DAS applications, NAS/DAS network storage systems, and RAID ASICs, PROMISE is committed to the research and development of application platform software. With industry leading technology and research and development capabilities, combined with highly experienced global sales and after sales service teams, PROMISE is at the forefront of the industry with the highest levels of customer satisfaction. PROMISE Technology is an ISO-9001:2008 and ISO-14001:2004 certified manufacturer with operations and sales and support teams throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions providing unparalleled service and support to customers around the globe.

© 2013 PROMISE Technology, Inc. All Rights Reserved. PROMISE, the PROMISE logo, VTrak, SmartStor, SuperTrak, FastTrak, VessRAID, Vess, PerfectPATH, PerfectRAID, SATA150, ULTRA133 VTrak S3000, BackTrak, HyperCache, HyperCache-R, HyperCache-W, DeltaScan, GreenRAID, Pegasus and SANLink are registered or pending trademarks of PROMISE Technology, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Information regarding products, services and offerings may be superseded by subsequent documents and are subject to change without notice. For the latest information and specifications regarding PROMISE Technology, Inc. and any of its offerings or services, please contact your local PROMISE office or the corporate headquarters.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:15

Lessons from the future?

In this op ed thought experiment, David Lindstedt looks back from the year 2027 and highlights some pitfalls that the resilience road could lead to.

We should have been more careful, more disciplined.

But the idea of ‘resilience’ was so alluring.

Not like all the other stuff. IT DR was boring in the details, and it was all about the details. BCP could never get the proper sponsorship from executives. Life safety was tolerated, but never engaging in the corporate space.

But resilience? Now that showed promise.