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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

New System Delivers Increased Edge Capacity to Keep Local Traffic Local

FRANKFURT, GERMANY DE-CIX, the world's leading Internet exchange operator headquartered in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), announces today it has upgraded its flagship Apollon Internet exchange in Frankfurt with powerful new 7950 XRS-40 routing systems from Alcatel-Lucent. The XRS-40 system combines two XRS-20 chassis back-to-back. This will allow DE-CIX to aggregate more customers on a single edge router and to keep Internet exchange (IX) traffic local within the data center. This will also reduce the amount of traffic that needs to be routed through the Apollon core nodes, which are based on XRS-20 platforms, keeping latency low and data flow manageable in a marketplace that is growing rapidly.

This installation by DE-CIX is the first deployment of the XRS-40 outside of North America and is designed to increase the density and scalability of the exchange, which continues to add capacity to better serve customers. DE-CIX has already added more than 80 new customers to its Apollon platform this year, with the number of exchange customers and ports growing.

The XRS-40 is highly space and power efficient, offering nearly twice the density of alternative systems. One XRS-40 currently delivers up to 160 x 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) ports or 1600 x 10 GE ports. DE-CIX deployed the first XRS-40 system on October 1, 2014, and will expand this setup to multiple data centers in the Frankfurt metropolitan area.

"We are pleased to see these powerful XRS-40 systems fulfill such a critical role in the delivery of global Internet traffic at the world's leading Internet exchange," said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Routing and Transport division. "This is the first XRS-40 implementation in Europe, one that is designed to deliver expanded capacity, simplify management and maintain high availability for the DE-CIX team. The XRS-40 will allow DE-CIX to grow for years to come."

"No other IXP continues to upgrade to the latest generation of available hardware at the same speed as we do," confirms Frank Orlowski, CMO for DE-CIX. "DE-CIX's core competitive advantage lies in our expertise in scaling and operating exchanges and our steadfast commitment to providing the highest-quality peering environment in the industry."

For more information about DE-CIX and DE-CIX New York, please visit http://www.de-cix.net/


About DE-CIX
DE-CIX is provider of premium Internet exchange (IX) services and operates several carrier-neutral and independent Internet exchanges internationally, including DE-CIX Frankfurt, Germany, DE-CIX New York, USA, and UAE-IX in Dubai, UAE. With 3+ Terabits per second of peak traffic, DE-CIX Frankfurt is the world's leading Internet exchange. Founded in 1995, DE-CIX has established an environment for the bilateral settlement-free exchange of Internet traffic, called peering. The company is serving about 600 carriers, ISPs and content networks from 60+ countries, including all leading international players. In addition to Frankfurt, New York and Dubai, DE-CIX operates Internet exchange points in Hamburg and Munich. DE-CIX is your one-stop-shop for Peering, Interconnections and additional IX services. For more information, please visit www.de-cix.net.

Europe’s largest cloud services platform prepares to roll out over England, Scotland and Wales

LONDONInteroute Communications Ltd, owner operator of Europe’s largest cloud services platform, has acquired the UK Vtesse group. Already serving business in Europe, USA and Asia this bold move will bring Interoute’s multi-award winning cloud service, Interoute VDC, and its Enterprise Unified ICT portfolio of advanced Computing, Connectivity and Unified Communications solutions to businesses across the UK.

Gareth Williams, Interoute CEO commented “When you look at the options for European businesses wanting to take advantage of flexible, scalable cloud infrastructure, they are often limited to the public cloud providers who think Europe can be served by one European data centre location connected by the public internet. With this acquisition Interoute is adding its twelfth Data Centre in Europe and over 7000km of UK network to its 60,000km pan-European global Cloud services platform. This provides a highly resilient, secure low latency Cloud platform that businesses everywhere can benefit from.”

The Vtesse network is one of the largest national networks in the UK, connecting 55 Data Centres and 48 major towns and cities in England, Scotland and Wales. The company provides metropolitan and Wide Area Network (WAN) solutions to some of the largest companies in the world both directly and via leading global system integrators, such as IBM, ARUP, Redstone and Logicalis. Its enterprise customers including Lloyds TSB, Poundland, Friends Provident, Invesco, DEFRA and the AA, will now have access to Interoute’s advanced Unified ICT portfolio of services.

The Vtesse Tier three Data Centre, situated 25 minutes from central London, with 2,700m2 space, capable of accommodating 877 racks at 5Kw each via a 5Mw power supply, is an ideal site for colocation, disaster recovery back-up for Interoute’s London City data centres.

Aidan Paul Chairman and Founder, Vtesse commented, “Over the past years Vtesse has provided enterprises, system integrators, carriers and cloud and data centre operators with a range of solutions from our data centre and extensive UK network. Becoming part of Interoute will give these customers access to the extended portfolio of solutions and international reach of Interoute, opening new opportunities and new markets.”


About Interoute

Interoute Communications Ltd is the owner operator of Europe's largest cloud services platform, which encompasses over 67,000 km of lit fibre, 12 data centres, 8 Virtual Data Centres and 31 colocation centres, with connections to 195 additional third-party data centres across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises, as well as every major European telecommunications incumbent and the major operators of North America, East and South Asia, governments and universities. These organisations find Interoute the ideal partner for computing, connectivity and communications and developing new services. Its Unified ICT strategy has proved attractive to enterprises looking for a scalable, secure and unconstrained platform on which they can build their voice, video, computing and data services, as well as service providers in need of high capacity international data transit and infrastructure. With established operations throughout mainland Europe, North America and Dubai, Interoute also owns and operates dense city networks throughout Europe's major business channels www.interoute.com

Risk assessment is, of course, the foundation of effective compliance measures. This has always been true as a matter of common sense.  And, since the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations went into effect two years ago this November, this has been true as a matter of legal expectation.

Risk assessment is also, in my view, the most challenging aspect of C&E work – both conceptually and as a practical matter.  Indeed, even though I’ve been writing this column for four years (the fruits of which are contained in this complimentary e-book issued by CCI), I can see no end of risk assessment topics in sight.  So, to attempt to chip away at the backlog, this most recent installment will look at some of the recurring questions C&E officers have on risk assessment methodology.



This post by O’Dwyers announcing that H+K Strategies (formerly Hill & Knowlton) has officially declared that digital public relations and marketing communications is now the backbone to any organization’s communications. O’Dwyers is quite snarky in their comments about this “announcement” by H+K. It’s obvious they say, and that H+K is clearly outdated by even having to tout their digital savvy.

While it is true that some agencies, like Edelman, have long established credibility in digital comms, what O’Dwyer ignores is the fact that most organizations, even some of the most powerful and sophisticated in the world, still do not really get this. Almost any crisis communication plan I look at is still “media first.” That is, the primary focus of the plan is preparing for and delivering info and messages to media outlets.



By John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance board of directors; chief Ethernet evangelist, CTO office, Dell Networking

Ethernet and its standards-based approach have been a fundamental pillar leveraged by the data center community from inception. CxOs and IT managers have embraced Ethernet and its strong history of seamless, multi-vendor interoperability. In today's data centers, Gigabit Ethernet for servers and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) for networking have been the proven workhorses – cloud-scale data centers are shifting to 10 GbE for servers, and 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE) for networking.

The introduction of 40 Gigabit Ethernet provided CxOs and IT managers with a cost-effective solution to deal with the never-ending traffic burden on their networks, while 100 GbE technology continues to evolve. The initial development of 40 GbE was intended as the next-generation solution for servers beyond 10 GbE, but its inherent architecture enabled a high-density aggregation for 10 GbE server connections. This interconnect scheme enabled the cost efficiencies fueling the phenomenal growth rates being seen in today's cloud-scale data centers. The same inherent structure also exists at 100GbE, and given the maturity in development of 25 Gb/s signaling to enable 100 GbE, industry forces are driving toward 25 GbE as the next high-volume deployment for servers. This will take today’s cloud-scale data centers to the next level of performance at the lowest cost per bit from a CAPEX and OPEX perspective.



Every once in a while, talk of the all-cloud data center starts to circulate throughout professional IT circles. While most people are quick to dismiss this notion, it’s important to note the distinction between fully cloud-based data architecture and the end of the traditional data center as we know it.

In short, many organizations will likely stick with in-house infrastructure for some time to come, but others could reap tremendous benefits by outsourcing their entire data environment, at least in the short term.

A case in point is Infor Inc., which built its software business entirely in the cloud and now specializes in application-centric business solutions that allow other organizations to do the same. The company claims its lack of a data center allows it to focus more of its energy on development and other business-facing concerns and gives it an edge against well-heeled competitors like SAP and Oracle. The company utilizes an open framework and public providers like Amazon, and is looking to port some of its Big Data needs onto Amazon’s RedShift platform or possibly the IBM cloud. Company executives say that manpower costs alone are enough to deter them from building their own facilities for the foreseeable future.



Mary Schoenfeldt is the public education coordinator for the Everett, Wash., Office of Emergency Management. She is a 2013 inductee into the International Network of Women in Emergency Management hall of fame and has written numerous books on school safety during her 30 years in the field.

Schoenfeldt is considered an expert in crisis management, helping communities assess response systems; writing crisis plans; conducting physical site safety audits; and designing school training exercises. She created the community preparedness campaign “Who Depends on You?” This interview has been edited for clarity and length.



Exercises are conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses; assess gaps and shortfalls in plans, policies and procedures; clarify roles and responsibilities among different entities; improve interagency coordination and communications; and identify needed resources and opportunities for improvement.

Do exercises achieve these goals? Probably not. Not because they can’t, but because the organizations planning and executing these exercises don’t use them as real tests. These organizations are engaging in “exercises in futility.” But organizations may be ready for a new kind of dynamic exercise, based on risk-reward principles.

The goal is to provide a deliverable: the after action report or improvement plan. What if we changed this deliverable to measurable improvement in actual policy, procedure, capability or technical assistance to support performance? This would change the conversation from planning exercises, to exercising plans or at least exercising the concepts in the plans. If there is no plan, consultants could help the organization by using dynamic exercises to develop hypotheses, reveal weakness, uncover strengths, innovate new approaches to problem-solving, and then support planning efforts to capture and implement improvements based on the exercise outcomes.



New model will help forecasters predict a storm’s path, timing and intensity better than ever

This is a comparison of two weather forecast models looking six hours ahead for the New Jersey area. Image on left shows the forecast which doesn't distinguish localized hazardous weather. Image on right shows the new HRRR (High-Resolution Rapid Refresh) model that clearly depicts where local thunderstorms (yellow and red coloring) are likely. (Credit: NOAA)

This is a comparison of two weather forecast models looking six hours ahead for the New Jersey area. Image on left shows the forecast which doesn't distinguish localized hazardous weather. Image on right shows the new HRRR (High-Resolution Rapid Refresh) model that clearly depicts where local thunderstorms (yellow and red coloring) are likely. (Credit: NOAA)

Today, meteorologists at NOAA’s National Weather Service are using a new model that will help improve forecasts and warnings for severe weather events. Thanks to the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model, forecasters will be able to pinpoint neighborhoods under threat of tornadoes and hail, heavy precipitation that could lead to flash flooding or heavy snowfall and warn residents hours before a storm hits. It will also help forecasters provide more information to air traffic managers and pilots about hazards such as air turbulence and thunderstorms.
Developed over the last five years by researchers at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, the HRRR is a NOAA research to operations success story. It provides forecasters more detailed, short-term information about a quickly developing small-scale storm by combining higher detail, more frequent radar input and an advanced representation of clouds and winds. The HRRR model forecasts are run in high resolution every hour using the most recent observations with forecasts extending out 15 hours, allowing forecasters to better monitor rapidly developing and evolving localized storms.

VIDEO: NOAA launches new tool to improve weather forecasts. (Credit: NOAA)

“This is the first in a new generation of weather prediction models designed to better represent the atmosphere and mechanics that drive high-impact weather events,” said William Lapenta, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the National Weather Service. “The HRRR is a tool delivering forecasters a more accurate depiction of hazardous weather to help improve our public warnings and save lives.”

High Resolution

Hyper local forecasts are possible with the HRRR because of higher resolution. The HRRR’s spatial resolution is four times finer than what is currently used in hourly updated NOAA models offering a more precise prediction of a storm’s location, formation, and structure. Using the HRRR, forecasters have an aerial image in which each pixel represents a neighborhood instead of a city. “This increase in resolution from eight to two miles is a game-changer,” added Lapenta.
What Goes In…

The HRRR starts with a full 3-D picture of the atmosphere one hour before the forecast and then brings in observations from surface stations, commercial aircraft, satellites, and weather balloons to create a more detailed and balanced starting point for the forecast. Another key innovation for the HRRR is adding in radar data every 15 minutes during that hour to help the model “know” where precipitation is ongoing. Integrating atmospheric data gathered before a model run, including radar data at a two mile resolution, provides a more accurate picture of what is happening in the atmosphere at the start of the forecast. This helps predict changes to storms and development of new storms faster than current models.

…And What Comes Out

The HRRR model’s hourly output includes more frequent snapshots, in 15 minutes intervals, of the atmosphere. With this information forecasters can better anticipate and predict the onset of a storm and critical details of its evolution, allowing for earlier watches and warnings. 

“The HRRR model will provide forecasters a powerful tool to help them inform communities about evolving severe weather,” said Stan Benjamin, Ph.D., a research meteorologist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory who led the research team that developed the model. "Being able to warn the public of weather hazards earlier and with greater detail is an outstanding return from NOAA's investment in research and observation systems."

Many NOAA scientists were involved with testing, optimizing, and implementing the model, including experts at NOAA’s National Weather Service and its National Centers for Environmental Prediction. NOAA’s partners at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University, Fort Collins helped with development. NOAA researchers partnered with users such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Department of Energy to significantly improve forecasts for aviation, energy among other industries through the HRRR model.

“Implementation of the HRRR is just one of many model improvements made possible with NOAA’s boost in its supercomputing power for weather prediction,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director, National Weather Service. “With advances in our forecast models, like the HRRR, we’re moving toward building a Weather-Ready Nation by improving our forecasts, providing better information to decision makers, and helping communities become more weather-ready and resilient against severe weather events.”

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Working with partners, NOAA’s National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit us at weather.gov and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and our other social media channels.

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- September is National Preparedness Month, and the latter half of the year is an ideal time for people to review their insurance policies. Understanding the details of what specific policies cover and what the policyholder is responsible for after a disaster is important as both clients’ needs and insurance companies’ rules change.

Insurers’ decisions and legislative changes have the biggest effect on changes in policies. Consumers should make themselves aware of possible changes in these areas and know what to look for while reviewing their policies.

What’s Covered

The first check is the most obvious: the actual coverage. Policyholders should look at the specifics of which property is covered and the type of damage that is covered. Property owners should know that floods are not covered by standard insurance policies and that separate flood insurance is available. Flood insurance is required for homes and buildings located in federally designated high risk areas with federally backed mortgages, referred to as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Residents of communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are automatically eligible to buy flood insurance. According to www.floodsmart.gov, mortgage lenders can also require property owners in moderate to low-risk areas to purchase flood insurance.

There are two types of flood insurance coverage: Building Property and Personal Property. Building Property covers the structure, electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning systems. Personal Property, which is purchased separately, covers furniture, portable kitchen appliances, food freezers, laundry equipment, and service vehicles such as tractors.

What’s Not Covered

Policy exclusions describe coverage limits or how coverage can be purchased separately, if possible. Property owners should know that not only is flood insurance separate from property (homeowners) insurance, but that standard policies may not cover personal items damaged by flooding. In these cases, additional contents insurance can be purchased as an add-on at an additional cost. Some policies may include coverage, but set coverage limits that will pay only a percentage of the entire loss or a specific dollar amount.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Standard Flood Insurance Program (SFIP) “only covers direct physical loss to structures by flooding,” FEMA officials said. The SFIP has very specific definitions of what a flood is and what it considers flood damage. “Earth movement” caused by flooding, such as a landslide, sinkholes and destabilization of land, is not covered by SFIP.

Structures that are elevated must be built at least to the minimum Base Flood Elevation (BFE) standards as determined by the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). There may be coverage limitations regarding personal property in areas below the lowest elevated floor of an elevated building.

Cost Impact of Biggert-Waters

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 extends and reforms the NFIP for five years by adjusting rate subsidies and premium rates. Approximately 20 percent of NFIP policies pay subsidized premiums, and the 5 percent of those policyholders with subsidized policies for non-primary residences and businesses will see a 25 percent annual increase immediately. A Reserve Fund assessment charge will be added to the 80 percent of policies that pay full-risk premiums. Un-elevated properties constructed in a SFHA before a community adopted its initial FIRMs will be affected most by rate changes.

In March 2014, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) of 2014 were signed into law, lowering rate increases on some policies, preventing rate increases on others, and delaying the implementation of Section 207 of Biggert-Waters, which was to ensure that certain properties’ flood insurance rates reflected their full risk after a mapping change or update. HFIAA also repeals a portion of Biggert-Waters that eliminated grandfathering properties into lower risk classes. Many of the changes have not yet been implemented because the necessary new programs and procedures have not been established.

Other Conditions

The General Conditions section informs the consumer and the insurer of their responsibilities, including fraud, policy cancellation, subrogation (in this case, the insurer’s right to claim damages caused by a third party) and payment plans. Policies also have a section that offers guidance on the steps to take when damage or loss occurs. It includes notifying the insurer as soon as practically possible, notifying the police (if appropriate or necessary) and taking steps to protect property from further damage.

“FEMA’s top priority is to provide assistance to those in need as quickly as possible, while also meeting our requirements under the law,” FEMA press secretary Dan Watson said. “To do this, FEMA works with its private sector, write-your-own insurance (WYO) company partners who sell flood insurance under their own names and are responsible for the adjustment of their policy holders’ claims.”

Policyholders should speak with their insurance agent or representative if they have any questions about coverage. For further information and direction, call the NFIP Call Center at 1-800-427-4661 or the NFIP Referral Center at 1-888-379-9531. Comprehensive information about NFIP, Biggert-Waters, HFIAA and flood insurance in general can be found at the official NFIP website, www.floodsmart.gov.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/FEMASandywww.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/FEMASandy, www.facebook.com/fema, www.fema.gov/blog, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.”

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