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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

What is the scarcest IT resource today? Processor power, main memory and disk space all seem to grow unabated. But network bandwidth on the other hand is still comparatively expensive. Consequently, enterprises tend to have less of it, which is turn leaves them more exposed to possible outages. Luckily, other technology means that bandwidth can be made to do more, even if it’s not reasonable to have more of it. Routing voice and data over the same links is a prime example. This simplifies recovery and can also minimize outages. What’s missing in the equation is a simple explanation of terms involved. Here are a few to help you mix and match for the configuration that suits you.

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http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/integrated-network-technologies-make-disaster-recovery-simpler-sort-of/

After reading several blogs and articles this week, I’ve learned that many small to midsize businesses (SMBs) tend to learn as they go—especially when it comes to technology. And often, those lessons can be costly.

In a LinkedIn Blog written by Boost IT CEO Russell Shulin, I found a list of six major technology issues often overlooked by SMBs that can bust budgets and deeply affect business. Shulin explains that each is one lesson that he’s experienced, or seen experienced by others. Tips SMBs should consider include:

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/smb-tech/smbs-learn-from-the-it-mistakes-made-by-other-businesses.html

In the morning of Nov. 16, 2013, rural Ouray County, Colo., emergency responders were called to help miners in a nearby mine. Two were unconscious and 20 were suffering from oxygen deficiency. The two miners tragically died of carbon-monoxide poisoning, but a swift response got the other 20 to safety in a multiagency and regional effort.

The timing was uncanny. The coordinated response that ensued was practiced in a Mass Casualty Incident Command System (MCICS) training just the day prior to the incident, when those same responders were educated using an active shooter model. The training was applied to the mine incident in a structure that can be generalized to almost any mass casualty incident.

At the Revenue-Virginius mine, the county established a transportation unit leader and group for the first time to accurately track who was coming and going during the emergency.

In total, 30 responders navigated a snowy, narrow terrain to reach miners exposed to high levels of toxic carbon monoxide gases. The transportation leader and group helped especially to track and triage the miners and ensure quick treatment at three regional hospitals.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/training/Mine-Accident-Training-Learned-and-Applied.html

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, Canada – After decades of working undercover for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs Service, crime and risk expert Chris Mathers knows where companies are vulnerable and what it takes to protect them.

“In a world where popular culture tells us that the ends justify the means, crime is all about perception,” he said in a keynote address at the 2014 RIMS Canada Conference. “Young people are bombarded with it all the time, but we are in business, too. So the question is, how vulnerable is your business?”

Mathers, who joined the forensic division of KPMG and was later named president of corporate intelligence, shared his insight into how companies can best guard against “the business of crime, and crime in business.”

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http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/crime-expert-reveals-biggest-gaps-in-company-security/

(MCT) — The San Antonio River Authority has announced the first nationwide implementation of software to help emergency responders react to dangerous floods.

SARA and the San Antonio Fire Department will hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the FloodWorks system. It was developed in the United Kingdom and is operational via a “user-friendly, interactive website” at the San Antonio Emergency Operations Center at Brooks City-Base, officials said.

“We're doing the technology development; their role is the response,” Russell Persyn, SARA's watershed engineering manager, said of the joint project with the fire department.

The system, installed late last year and run through tests in the spring, uses historical flood data and weather forecasts to plan a day before a potential flood, with real-time radar updates from the National Weather Service helping responders track developments during a storm.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/FloodWorks-Prediction-Software.html

Reports are published almost daily about the gender pay gap in the UK. In 2013, women earned 19.7 percent less than men doing the same job. While in professional occupations, the pay gap is smaller (around 9 percent), at a senior level, the gender pay gap has not really decreased since 2005. Senior women earn 20.2 percent less than men in a similar role.

When examining the salaries for women in the resilience and governance sectors, recruitment agency BeecherMadden expected to see a similar trend.

However, surprisingly, salaries for women in resilience and governance roles buck the trend of women being paid less. Comparing recent appointments in the past year, women have been paid up to 30 percent more. This is for roles where men with comparable experience, have been appointed at a similar time, entering similar organizations.

BeecherMadden also found several examples of women with less experience in their role than men, who were earning around 10 percent more, for a similar role. The difference is most notable for those going into their second jobs; candidates who have 3 - 5 years’ experience are the most in demand and show the biggest pay difference. At senior levels, the experience gap closes when looking at comparable commercial experience.

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07359.html

To address critical gaps in knowledge about data center fire prevention, the US Fire Protection Research Foundation, an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA), has announced the release of a new report, ‘Validation of Modeling Tools for Detection Design in High Air Flow Environments,’ as the result of a project in partnership with Hughes Associates and FM Global.

The report validates a model that provides reliable analysis of smoke detection in data centers and guidance to the technical committees for NFPA 75, Fire Protection of Informational Technology Equipment, and NFPA 76, Fire Protection of Telecommunications Facilities.

Fire prevention and detection is critical to safeguarding data centers which hold critical business and organizational information around the world. Globally, spending on these facilities will be an estimated 149 billion dollars this year, according to Gartner Group.

In the past few years, the equipment in data centers has changed significantly, which has placed increased demands on HVAC systems. As a result, airflow containment solutions are being introduced to increase energy efficiency. From a fire safety design perspective, the use of airflow containment creates a high airflow environment that dilutes smoke, which poses challenges for adequate smoke detection, and affects the dispersion of fire suppression agents.

“While data centers have become increasingly important in housing digital information, sufficient smoke detection is a challenge with data center cooling systems,” says Amanda Kimball, a research project manager for the Foundation. “This research included a series of simulations with various smoke detector spacing, types of fires, and air flows which gave us important guidance on smoke detection placement and installation.”

More details.

(MCT) — Cities across California are struggling with how to convince property owners to retrofit buildings at risk of collapse during a major earthquake.

San Francisco this week is using an unusual tactic: trying to publicly shame building owners into shoring up their structures to better withstand shaking.

The city will slap large signs — in multiple languages, with red letters and a drawing of a destroyed building — on hundreds of apartment complexes that violate San Francisco's seismic safety laws.

No California city has gone so far to inform the public about potentially dangerous buildings and pressure property owners to make fixes.

Los Angeles is considering a similar approach. Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed what would be the nation's first letter grading system to alert the public about the seismic safety of buildings. He has also said he wants to require owners to retrofit buildings that are at risk but is still working out the details of his plan.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/San-Francisco-Public-Humiliation-Promote-Earthquake-Retrofitting.html

Acronis delivers a complete, easy and safe data protection solution, now with the ability to restore full system backups to cloud infrastructure

SAN FRANCISCO, Cailif. – Acronis, the global leader in new generation data protection, today announced the acquisition of nScaled, a San Francisco-based provider of Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service. Customers currently using Acronis Backup-as-a-Service solution will get a capability to restore their systems to the cloud in case of disasters, and quickly restore operations if replacement hardware is not available. The extensive network of existing Acronis partners will make the complete cloud backup and disaster recovery solution available to all customers in the world, significantly increasing the geography for nScaled technology.

Acronis, a leading data protection provider, offers a wide variety of backup solutions for individual users and organizations of various sizes, as well as solutions for secure mobile file access and sharing. Acronis’ technologies also enable service providers to deliver online backup and data storage to their customers using the Acronis Hosted Backup-as-a-Service solution. The acquisition of nScaled completes the Acronis cloud backup offering with a Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution. As a result, a single source for backup and disaster recovery protection for any environment will be available to existing and new customers around the world.

Serguei Beloussov, CEO and co-founder of Acronis, explained, “To protect their data, customers need a reliable backup technology, storage and infrastructure to restore systems in case of a disaster. Acronis has delivered an advanced backup solution for years with full system backup, and the ability to restore to any hardware. Then we added Acronis Backup-as-a-Service to provide cloud storage for backup data. With the addition of nScaled technology, we provide a capability to restore to the cloud, and customers can restore their operations without waiting for replacement hardware to restore on-premises. Now, Acronis provides the most complete, easy, and safe cloud backup solution for any infrastructure and any environment.”

nScaled, ranked as a leading DRaaS vendor by Forrester Research, provides a complete data virtualization and protection solution for both local and remote sites. The solution has the ability to fail over and run in the cloud and the ability to recover servers in a matter of minutes to ensure business continuity. nScaled’s product offers centrally managed monitoring and analyzing capabilities for disaster recovery readiness testing. Founded in 2009, the company now has hundreds of customers in North America and the United Kingdom. nScaled manages petabytes of storage and several thousand servers in a global network of geographically distributed cloud data centers based in Dallas, Ashburn and London. nScaled’s solutions are also viable as an on-premises appliance, managed as one seamless infrastructure with cloud data centers.

“Businesses have become ever more dependent upon data, and their operations can no longer afford downtime. Ensuring the availability and reliability of IT services is critical to supporting customers and internal users,” said Bradley Kolb, CEO of nScaled. “As part of the Acronis team, nScaled will have access to even more resources globally to further evolve our disaster recovery services, delivering enhanced protection of our customers’ IT infrastructure, applications, and data.”

Products developed by the nScaled team will leverage the advanced functionality of the Acronis AnyData Engine technology that enables customers to capture, store, recover, control, and access any data across any environment and to any storage device, providing an even better data protection service to end customers. The complete cloud backup solution will be available as a service from service providers, Acronis Cloud or an on-premises solution for private datacenters to customers of any size. Hundreds of thousands of existing Acronis users will enjoy the capability to restore their systems to the cloud, avoiding costly downtime. Acronis partners will be able to offer a complete hosted backup and disaster recovery solutions to their customers.

About Acronis
Acronis is a global provider of leading backup, disaster recovery, and secure file sharing and file access solutions. Founded in 2002, Acronis has established itself as a fast-growing international company with more than 650 employees in 18 countries and partners in almost every country in the world. Acronis provides complete, efficient, and reliable backup solutions for desktop, server, virtual and cloud environments as well as leading file sharing and sync solutions for mobile devices. More than 5 million of individual users and more than 300 thousand organizations rely on Acronis products for protection of their data.

About nScaled
nScaled provides an all-in-one solution for disaster recovery, data retention, and backup to customers with zero tolerance for data loss or downtime. Among nScaled’s customers are banks, law firms, hospitals, manufacturers, retailers, and universities – any organization that needs to be ready for the inevitable problems that lead to data or server loss. All services are based on the global network of remote cloud data centers plus our on-premises Local Cloud Appliance, all managed as one secure, seamless infrastructure. Founded in 2009, the company was funded by leading venture firms Almaz Capital and Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, known for backing innovative business infrastructure companies that set a new standard in technology application. nScaled has hundreds of customers in North America and UK, and manages petabytes of storage and more than 1,500 servers in a global network of geographically distributed cloud data centers.

For additional information, please visit http://www.acronis.com. Follow Acronis on Twitter to stay up-to-date with the most recent announcements http://twitter.com/acronis.

DIRECTV turns to ViaWest to support its critical network infrastructure and meet power needs

 

DENVER, Colo. – ViaWest, the leading colocation, managed services, and cloud provider in North America, announces that DIRECTV, one of the world’s leading providers of digital entertainment services, has selected ViaWest to support its critical network infrastructure.

DIRECTV serves more than 37 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America with state-of-the-art technology, programming and customer service. Because its business is growing rapidly within a competitive and dynamic marketplace, DIRECTV sought a strong technology partner that would deliver colocation space, reliable power and cooling as the company moves its production environment into a new location.

“We chose to work with ViaWest because they deeply understand complex data center builds,” states Paul James, senior vice president of Finance for DIRECTV. “We have extensive power needs and were impressed with ViaWest's ability to help us forward-plan our space, power and cooling needs, and the company’s willingness to make a long-term commitment to us. ViaWest has shown that their team is capable of handling these challenges, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership.”

ViaWest’s 27 enterprise-class data centers located across the United States support both production workloads and disaster recovery solutions. The company provides unmatched technical and customer support for its colocation, cloud computing and managed services suite. Its data centers are designed for fault tolerance, as well as high-energy efficiency across its power, cooling and operation systems.

“ViaWest has a long and successful history of working closely with customers to deliver tailored solutions that solve business problems,” explains Nancy Phillips, President and CEO for ViaWest. “We are proud to bring DIRECTV’s mission-critical enterprise production environment into one of our enterprise-class facilities. We look forward to a strategic long-term partnership with DIRECTV to support their data center strategy as their business grows.”

To learn more about ViaWest’s data center and operational strategies for creating fully compliant and green solutions, please visit www.viawest.com.

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