EuroCloud UK’s 7-point draft manifesto calls on Government to work more closely with industry to promote and develop public sector cloud procurement
LONDON – Cloud computing industry champion EuroCloud UK (http://eurocloud.org.uk/) has called on vendors and government to work much closer together to ensure the future success of the G-Cloud framework for public sector purchases of cloud computing. Two former G-Cloud insiders have joined the non-profit trade body to help drive the new initiative, which begins today, with the launch of a draft Manifesto for G-Cloud.
Dave Denton and Peter Middleton, former members of the G-Cloud team, who between them have taken the G-Cloud vision and message to thousands of buyers and vendors, have taken a co-shared seat on Eurocloud UK's 12-member executive board and will head up a working group drawn from the UK membership of more than 60 cloud industry businesses. A third of EuroCloud UK’s members currently participate in G-Cloud, ranging from SMBs to larger players such as Amazon Web Services, Fujitsu Huddle and IBM, with many more planning to join in the next round (G-Cloud 6).
The seven-point Manifesto calls for:
- Ongoing commitment to G-Cloud from the Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Service as a way of enhancing public sector IT procurement and delivering proven benefits of cloud adoption including cost savings, rapid deployment, greater choice and agility.
- Vendors and buyers to publicly share best practices and celebrate success stories.
- A more aggressive programme of resources and education for public sector buyers demonstrating how to maximise the benefits of using the framework and drive the transition to cloud computing services. Government must take the lead but should actively enlist the help and support of the industry.
- Industry to work with government to develop and provide much-needed resources and education for vendors on how to be productive and successful as a G-Cloud supplier.
- Greater collaboration among vendors and with public sector buyers to fill gaps in market needs through enhanced and improved G-Cloud offerings, including development of innovative new services.
- Open dialogue with the Government Digital Service and Crown Commercial Service to ensure the framework iteratively improves, taking account of industry and buyer needs and feedback on its operation through the Digital Marketplace.
- Promoting and adapting best practices and products developed for G-Cloud to the private sector business market.
David Denton and Peter Middleton said:
"We’re delighted to be able to take up this role with EuroCloud to galvanise industry support, education and collaboration to build on the success G-Cloud has already achieved. Our aim is to use the invaluable insights and first-hand experience we’ve gained from two years of working in the G-Cloud programme to help the industry to positively influence how G-Cloud evolves and grows as it moves forward into the future.
"The public sector needs suppliers who understand the vision and principles that support G-Cloud and who can gain the confidence of buyers. Cloud based IaaS, PaaS and SaaS suppliers can make a huge contribution to help achieve greater value for money and deliver better public services.”
Chair of EuroCloud UK Phil Wainewright said:
"G-Cloud is a great UK success story that deserves the support of the industry to help it achieve even more in the future. With our broadly based membership drawn from across the breadth of the UK cloud industry, EuroCloud is uniquely placed to co-ordinate these efforts and maximise the benefits to public sector organisations and the taxpayers who support them.”
Launched in 2012, the G-Cloud framework provides a simplified mechanism for public sector organisations to procure cloud computing services and applications listed in the UK government's Digital Marketplace. The UK public sector has now spent over £270 million via the framework, resulting in estimated savings of an equivalent amount.
Membership of EuroCloud UK is open to all businesses involved in the provision of cloud services in the UK. Reflecting its maturity after five years in operation, the organisation is set to almost triple its annual membership fees for new members after its annual general meeting on December 3rd. Businesses that become members before this date will avoid the increase.
Founded in 2010, EuroCloud (http://www.eurocloud.org/) is the first pan-European network of cloud vendors and industry experts, with a presence today in more than 24 European countries. Its annual Awards program promotes best practice and innovation by cloud providers across Europe. EuroCloud UK (http://www.eurocloud.org.uk/) brings together companies engaged in cloud business activity to network together, share best practice and build the profile of the industry.
More organisations to access extended learning pathway that delivers return on investment
LONDON – insynergi, the bespoke coaching, mentoring and training company, today announced the launch of a programme of High Impact Learning events to help individuals and organisations to improve effectiveness and boost performance. The learning events include pre-training learning content, an intensive workshop on how to apply the training in the workplace and guidance to help each participant implement their post-training action plan.
Each High Impact Learning event is based upon insynergi’s extended learning pathway model, which aims to deliver a better return on investment by embedding learning and behaviours after the training through a 90-day specific, measurable action plan and mentoring programme. The model and learning content have proven to be highly successful in a number of the UK’s leading organisations; this new programme of events makes the training available to a wider range of public and private sector organisations.
Insynergi’s High Impact Learning programme offers 12 different events, covering Leadership, Personal and Team Development, Project Management and E-Learning. The events are delivered in an active-learning, workshop format for up to 12 people and are targeted at individuals who have a leadership or management role in any functional area, such as Operations, Sales, Marketing, IT, Project Management and Finance. The key differentiators include:
- Format: participants are expected to undertake preparatory work in advance of the training, attend the intensive workshop with specific objectives in mind, set a 90-day action plan, and work with a mentor who will challenge them to reach those objectives
- Topic: the courses are designed to address specific gaps in awareness or behaviours that impede personal and organisational success, such as “Commercial Awareness” and “Delivering Exceptional Service”, as well as “Building a High Performing Team” and “Project Leadership”
- Focus: the focus of each event is delivering return on investment. This is achieved through competency-based action learning, delivered by an experienced facilitator and linked directly to the participant’s functional responsibilities and business operations
- Mentoring: the events emphasize the importance of networking and mentoring in delivering change; each participant is expected to participate in networking groups and to have a coach or mentor within their own organisation or to use insynergi’s mentoring service to verify behavior change.
Eddie Kilkelly, Managing Director at insynergi says, “We developed the High Impact Learning programme to address two specific problems. First, to deliver practical, results-focused training that actually delivers a proven return on investment and secondly, to make highly effective training more easily available – and easier to implement - for busy leaders and managers who find it difficult to take time out of the office. The return on investment in traditional training courses is generally very low because the focus is on learning information rather than changing behavior. Research by various organisations consistently finds that up to 87 percent of new skills are lost within a month. The magic that transforms learning into improved performance only happens when learners apply what they have learned, which is why our events are so action-orientated. ”
The insynergi High Impact training programmes are based upon the 70/20/10 rule; 10 percent of the learning comes from the workshop or preparatory work; 20 percent comes from feedback and coaching within the workshop and in the workplace and 70 percent from practically applying the learning in the workplace. This means the events are intensive but short – between one and three days – so they are accessible to busy managers. Workshop participants are expected to be active learners and facilitate their co-participants in order to reinforce the learning. The learning content is concise and focused on improving each individual’s performance in their specific organisation.
Kilkelly adds, “Over the years, we have seen clear evidence that this highly interactive and engaging format is very successful in delivering a return on investment. We are delighted that our new programme of public events will enable more organisations to gain access to high level training which translates into tangible results within their organisation.”
Insynergi’s High Impact Learning events are facilitated by highly experienced leaders from a range of industry sectors and areas of expertise, including Finance, Media, Consulting and the Public Sector. For further information, including the dates of future events and booking information, visit http://www.insynergi.org/course-schedule/
Continuity Central recently conducted a quick survey into whether there is a change in business terminology taking place: from business continuity management to organizational resilience. The survey was a follow up to an article in which Lyndon Bird, the technical director of the Business Continuity Institute, claimed that such a development is under way.
306 respondents took part in the online survey which was conducted using Survey Monkey.
The results show that just over half of respondents (53.27 percent) agree that a terminology change from business continuity management to organizational resilience is taking place. 32.03 percent of respondents disagree and 14.71 percent don't know.
However, when respondents were asked about their own organization, the situation was somewhat different, with only 29.74 percent of respondents stating that their organization was starting to use 'organizational resilience' rather than 'business continuity management' terminology. 67.32 percent said that their organization was still using business continuity management terminology; and 2.94 percent didn't know.
Axway and Ovum have published the results of a global study that examined data security, governance and integration challenges facing organizations. Conducted by Ovum, the study highlighted how the growing complexity of governance and compliance initiatives challenge IT integration and C-level executives, and how isolation between IT integration and corporate governance forms economic and reputational risks.
Of the 450 respondents from North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA, 23 percent said their company failed a security audit in the last three years, while 17 percent either didn’t believe or didn’t know if they would pass a compliance audit today. The study also revealed that the average overall cost of a data breach was $3 million.
In examining the key priorities for chief information officers (CIOs), chief information security officers (CISOs) and chief risk officers (CROs), the study identified business continuity and disaster recovery as the top priority (87 percent), followed by protecting against cyber threats (85 percent), managing insider threats (84 percent) and compliance monitoring (83 percent).
Current infrastructure and governance silos, the need to manage an increasing number and type of integrations, and the problems with existing file transfer solutions have created data security and privacy concerns about file transfers. Respondents listed data/file encryption at rest (89 percent), defining and enforcing security policies (86 percent) and identity and access management (78 percent) as the most pressing issues. These concerns are particularly important as the study found organizations use file transfers for 32 percent or more of business critical processes, on average.
New research from Kroll Ontrack, reveals how companies that don’t regulate employee usage of business devices with effective IT policies are putting data security at risk.
The research highlights that in the last year, 38 percent of UK employees downloaded personal files and 29 percent of employees installed personal apps or programs on devices, which they also use for work.
Five percent of people used P2P file sharing services, such as BitTorrent and Gnutella, the same percentage temporarily disabled firewall/antivirus software and 4 percent of workers cancelled antivirus scans on these devices.
Paul Le Messurier, Programme and Operations Manager at Kroll Ontrack commented: “As the line between work and personal life continues to blur, employees will increasingly conduct personal activities on a device they also work from. This will raise a number of issues for organizations, from data security through to productivity uncertainties.
“As such, businesses must look to protect their assets, both digital and physical. Employers must educate employees on what activities are acceptable; develop a simple, but thorough IT usage policy; and ensure backups are in place and up to date for when disaster does strike.”
The survey was conducted by ICM and was the result of interviews with 1,151 UK employees between 18th and 20th July 2014.
A European study by information storage and management company Iron Mountain has discovered an unexpected downside to advanced data back-up and storage capability. The research revealed that employees have become more casual in their approach to saving documents, confident that, if required, they can call on IT support to help them retrieve missing data.
In a series of in-depth interviews with senior IT professionals in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, Iron Mountain found that IT teams are frustrated by the casual approach to storing data but are doing nothing to change employee behaviour.
The most common reason for the employee approach to saving documents is thought to be a simple lack of IT skills, although other explanations included general carelessness and complacency, poor version control of documents, an inconsistent or incomplete approach to naming files (making them difficult to find) and the challenge of unstructured data for creative teams.
According to IT professionals, Europe’s top ten worst document savers are as follows:
5. Business development
6. Creative teams
7. Customer support
8. IT and software development teams
9. Senior management
Very little quantitative progress has been made in Business Continuity Management since IT-Disaster Recovery programs began to morph into BCM programs in the 1980’s. Standards and best practices have been hashed and rehashed but nothing substantial has changed.
BCM programs still struggle to attain “management buy-in”. Newcomers to the industry (lacking any other meaningful bearings) cling to measuring their programs against ‘standards’ to justify their – and their own – existence. Industry analysts, consultants, certification bodies and practitioners continue to march to the same tune: BCM for BCM’s sake.
Lately there have been many conversations on BCM discussion forums regarding where BCM, as an industry, is headed. The consensus seems to be that many believe the industry has gone as far as possible down the present path – and desperately needs a new direction, a new vision.
Offer includes up to 6 months free service, 20% off annual contract
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Following Symantec's notice that the Backup Exec appliance line is being discontinued, cloud backup and disaster recovery provider Zetta.net today announced a migration program for those Symantec Backup Exec appliance customers whose devices are affected.
"Stability is essential to successful backup programs, and the discontinuation of a company's backup service can be very disruptive," noted Gary Sevounts, CMO, Zetta.net. "To help minimize migration interruptions, we're offering affected users an enterprise-grade cloud backup alternative, with potentially significant cost savings over their appliance."
The program allows Backup Exec Appliance customers to sign up for Zetta.net's cloud backup and DR service and receive up to 6 months free, as well as up to 20 percent off the cost of an annual contract. Previously, the company offered a migration promotion for Symantec BackupExec.Cloud customers following that service's announced shutdown.
Zetta.net provides customers a SaaS-based cloud backup and DR solution with built-in WAN acceleration, designed to rapidly move large datasets over the Internet. The company claims its customers have achieved transfer speeds of up to 5TB in 24 hours. Additionally, the service requires no appliance or other new hardware, allowing users to easily deploy and manage their backups, as well as avoiding the potentially costly recovery delay of waiting for a replacement appliance after a disaster.
"We were able to move 6 terabytes of client data from Symantec BackupExec.cloud to Zetta within a weekend thanks to its WAN-optimized performance," said Jeff Zdan, Network Systems VP, DataServ Corp. "The backups were reliable and the appliance-free approach made deployment simple and easy to manage, allowing me to focus on other aspects of my business."
The Zetta.net service uses several patent-pending technologies to achieve enterprise-level performance without a hardware appliance, and recently added support for server image backups streamed directly to the cloud. All customer data is encrypted in flight and at rest in SSAE16-certified Tier 4 datacenters, and the service is fully compliant with the HIPAA and ITAR regulations.
Current Symantec Backup Exec Appliance customers interested in migrating data to Zetta.net can find more information on the company's website.
Zetta.netis an award-winning provider ofenterprise-grade 3-in-1 backup, disaster recovery and archiving technologyfor small/medium enterprises, distributed organizations, and managed service providers (MSPs). The SaaS-based solution enables companies to simplify backups and instantly recover data through a single management point. With local, offsite, archiving and disaster recovery functionality integrated into one solution, Zetta.net delivers the value of multiple products at a fraction of the cost.
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Zetta was established in 2008 by successful serial entrepreneurs and technology executives from companies such as Netscape, VeriSign, Symantec, EMC, and Shutterfly.
Enterprise Solution Increases Total Capacity by More Than 50% to a 448TB Full Backup in a Single Scale-out GRID System
With 14 in a GRID, New Appliance Offers 3x the Ingest Performance and 10x the Restore Performance of Large Vendor Solutions at Half the Investment
LONDON – Today, ExaGrid Systems, a leading provider of disk-based backup solutions, announced the largest, most powerful appliance in its arsenal of backup solutions with data deduplication: the EX32000E.
Leveraging the strength of ExaGrid’s scale-out GRID technology, the EX32000E can combine up to 14 appliances in a single scale-out GRID, allowing for a 448TB full backup in a single system, representing a 52 percent increase in total capacity. With 14 in a scale-out GRID, this increase positions the EX32000E as one of the largest full-backup target systems on the market, with 882TB of usable storage and over 1PB of raw storage.
The EX32000E has an ingest rate of 5.6TB per hour upwards to 7.5TB per hour in a single system depending on CIFS, NFS, Veeam Data Mover, or OST. With OST, the EX32000E has an ingest rate of 105TB per hour with 14 appliances in a GRID system.
This rate (105TB per hour) is three times the ingest performance of EMC Data Domain with Boost. And with ExaGrid’s unique landing zone, the most recent backups are kept in their full undeduplicated form for restore, recovery, and VM boot performance of up to ten times faster than inline deduplication appliances, such as EMC Data Domain, which only stores deduplicated data.
“We are excited to announce the EX32000E with 14 appliances in a single scale-out GRID. We have spoken with many large IT departments that understand the challenges of inline data deduplication with a scale-up storage model and are looking for a solution that provides faster backups, a fixed length backup window as data grows, and fast restores – especially VM boots in second to minutes,” said Bill Andrews, CEO of ExaGrid.
The new appliance, which houses 72TB of raw and 63TB of usable data, can take in a 32TB full backup undeduplicated in a front-end landing zone for fast restores and recoveries and maintain a long-term historical version in a deduplicated data repository.
“Our unique landing zone and scale-out approach provides restores and recoveries that are up to ten times faster than the inline deduplication approaches of other vendors, and will provide two to three times the backup (ingest) performance when compared to a scale-up approach, which only provides more disk as the data grows. The backup and restore performance of the EX32000E is unmatched – and at half the price, is in a league all its own,” said Andrews.
The ExaGrid scale-out approach brings compute with capacity – adding processor, memory and bandwidth as well as disk – allowing the backup window to stay fixed in length even as data grows. This approach is unique to ExaGrid and makes it the only disk-based backup system that maintains a fixed backup window.
A Growing Network of Partners and Support
Understanding and appreciating the complexity of robust backup at organisations of all kinds, ExaGrid supports a growing number of backup applications and utilities.
At the enterprise level, ExaGrid works with a number of solutions, including Symantec NetBackup, EMC Networker, IBM TSM, and CommVault Simpana. Leveraging ExaGrid with any of these applications gives IT departments the best of all worlds with:
- The fastest ingest performance for short backup windows
- The most recent backups in their native, undeduplicated form in the landing zone for fast restores, recoveries, and VM boots
- A fixed backup window as data grows due to full appliances in a scale-out GRID with processor, memory, and bandwidth with disk capacity expansion
- Symantec System Recovery
- Unitrends Enterprise Backup
- Unitrends Virtual Backup
ExaGrid also announced support for additional backup applications and utilities, increasing the number of supported applications, utilities, and database dumps to more than 25. In addition to backup applications already supported, such as Veeam, Symantec Backup Exec, arcserve, HP Data Protector, Oracle RMAN, SQL Dumps, and many others, ExaGrid has added support for:
Additionally, ExaGrid has reduced the form factor of two of its models, the EX5000 and EX7000 appliances, from 3U to 2U, saving valuable rack space in the datacentre.
Organisations come to us because we are the only company that implemented deduplication in a way that fixed all the challenges of backup storage. ExaGrid’s unique landing zone and scale-out architecture provides the fastest backup — resulting in the shortest fixed backup window, the fastest local restores, fastest offsite tape copies and instant VM recoveries while permanently fixing the backup window length, all with reduced cost up front and over time. Learn how to take the stress out of backup at www.exagrid.com or connect with us on LinkedIn. Read how ExaGrid customers fixed their backup forever.
ACE Jumpstart will optimize data center performance
GLASSBORO, N.J. – DCIM Solutions, LLC (DCIM Solutions), a leading provider of Data Center Assessments and Infrastructure Optimization Solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Future Facilities to adapt ACE predictive modeling as part of DCIM’s Data Center Assessment Services.
The ACE Jumpstart Service assesses three critical indicators for optimal data center performance: Availability, Capacity and Efficiency. ACE scores data centers on how compromised its availability, physical capacity and cooling efficiency have become by analyzing and mapping the interrelationship between the three variables. The resulting ACE score determines how well a data center is performing, and in turn, how costly the facility is to build and operate.
“This partnership provides immediate benefits for data center owners and operators that are looking to treat their data centers as a business unit.” said Dan McDougal, Managing Partner, DCIM Solutions, LLC. “Using the ACE Methodology, DCIM Solutions will be well equipped to help data centers of all sizes plan for capacity changes and prevent negative trends before they begin.”
Data inputs from ACE can also be synchronized with any DCIM suite or other system monitoring toolkit and are mapped to a powerful 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model to create a Virtual Facility (VF). The VF allows for precise simulations for a variety of critical operational decisions, including: airflow distribution, temperature, physical resource collision and electrical systems.
DCIM Solutions has more than a decade of experience perfecting the calibration process, which is integral to establishing ACE goals and maximizing predictability. Through VF simulations, corrective measures are identified to bridge the gap between the data center’s current state and the aspired ACE Goals.
The calibrated VF produced by ACE Jumpstart will be imported into Future Facilities’ 6SigmaDC software and be available for immediate use, with a 90 Day Software License and formal training included. By engaging in an ACE Jumpstart assessment data center owner-operators will be able to utilize simulation and predictive modeling throughout the life of their data center to stay on track to reach their ACE Goals.
“Future Facilities is excited to partner with a data center infrastructure leader like DCIM Solutions,” said Sherman Ikemoto, Director, Future Facilities NA. “Through this partnership, ACE Jumpstart will be further optimized for the data center owner/operator. It’s gratifying to see the ACE Assessment becoming adopted as an important metric for data center efficiency.”
DCIM Solutions’ goal is to educate users on the opportunities to use predictive simulation to recover stranded capacity within the data center and maximize the real estate without sacrificing availability or efficiency.
Visit DCIM Solutions and Future Facilities at Booth 616 during the upcoming AFCOM Data Center World Expo in Orlando, FL -- Oct 19th through Oct. 22nd. Data Center experts will be available to provide information on ACE Jumpstart, the importance of modeling and predictive simulation, and the benefits of increasing data center efficiency through analysis within the Virtual Facility.
About DCIM Solutions, LLC
DCIM Solutions, LLC is the innovative leader for Data Center Infrastructure Optimization Solutions. With a focus on power, cooling, and space utilization, our products and services provide unparalleled optimization and efficiency resulting in cost avoidance, lower operating costs, and better utilization of assets. For more information visit www.nerdata.com.