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Summer Journal

Volume 28, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:00

The Data Lake as an Exploration Platform

The data lake is an attractive use case for enterprises seeking to capitalize on Hadoop’s big data processing capabilities. This is because it offers a platform for solving a major problem affecting most organizations: how to collect, store, and assimilate a range of data that exists in multiple, varying, and often incompatible formats strung out across the organization in different sources and file systems.

In the data lake scenario, Hadoop serves as a repository for managing multiple kinds of data: structured, unstructured, and semistructured. But what do you do with all this data once you get it into Hadoop? After all, unless it is used to gain some sort of business value, the data lake will end up becoming just another “data swamp” (sorry, couldn’t resist the metaphor). For this reason, some organizations are using the data lake as the foundation for their enterprise data exploration platform.



TNS - Connecticut’s emergency dispatchers in the not-too-distant future will be fielding not only 911 calls and texts, but perhaps even viewing photos and videos of crimes or accidents.

The state’s changeover to the Next Generation 911 system has started at 10 pilot sites across the state, including locally at the Mashantucket Pequot Public Safety Department and Valley Shore Emergency Communications in Westbrook.

All of the state’s 104 public service answering points are scheduled for a changeover by next year.



Traffic video cameras were installed to keep the roads moving by letting transportation departments see trouble spots, dispatch assistance and arrange detours as quickly as possible. But this wealth of real-time video intelligence has proven to be an exceptional resource for emergency operations centers (EOCs) across the United States.

“Live traffic video substantially boosts our situational awareness,” said Michael Walter, public information officer with the Houston, Texas, Office of Emergency Management. “It makes a real difference to how we do our jobs.”



The web-based system used for federal background investigations for employees and contractors has been suspended after “a vulnerability” was detected, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced Monday.

OPM has been the subject of intense congressional probing following the cyber attack on the personnel records of at least 4.2 million current and former federal employees. The decision to suspend the agency’s “E-Qip” system, however, is not directly related to that hack or another one of a security clearance data base that was previously announced.

“The actions OPM has taken are not the direct result of malicious activity on this network, and there is no evidence that the vulnerability in question has been exploited,” an OPM statement said. “Rather, OPM is taking this step proactively, as a result of its comprehensive security assessment, to ensure the ongoing security of its network.”



ANNISTON, Ala. – Responders interested in training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness can now view video descriptions of courses, as well as news stories and podcasts on CDP training and events on YouTube.

The CDP’s primary mission is to train state, local and tribal emergency response providers, as well as the Federal government, foreign governments, and private entities, as available.  A popular aspect of the courses is the hands-on training with a multi-disciplined audience. In addition, the CDP is the only civilian facility that trains with toxic chemical and live biological agents. The center also has the only hospital facility in the United States dedicated solely to training hospital and healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.

The CDP’s YouTube account features several one-minute videos on CDP courses that will give prospective students a better understanding of the various courses, as well as video news stories that show the value and impact of CDP training.

“The CDP has trained more than 880,000 students in our resident, non-resident and train-the-trainer courses,” said CDP Superintendent Mike King. “All of our courses are relevant, realistic and advanced. We strive to provide training that most departments cannot offer through their local and state training programs.  A significant benefit of attending one of our resident training programs is the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other responders from across the country and, sometimes, with responders from other countries. CDP’s YouTube account will give students a means to see CDP training in action, to see what they – America’s emergency responders – will be doing when they attend training.”

The center offers more than 40 courses covering 10 different disciplines of emergency response. All CDP courses are fully funded for state, local and tribal responders, including travel, lodging and meals. CDP training is also open to emergency responders working in private industry in the U.S. and other countries on a fee-for-service basis. Contact the CDP by calling 866-213-9553 or clicking http://cdp.dhs.gov. You can also connect with the CDP on Facebook, Twitter and at http://cdp.dhs.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.

Double the throughput and lower latency than the leading global cloud providers between the US and Europe in independent comparison research


LONDON – Interoute has today announced that its global cloud platform Interoute Virtual Data Centre (VDC), has been proven to deliver nearly double the throughput across the Atlantic than the next best cloud provider in comparison research conducted by Cloud Spectator. The research from March 2015 compared Interoute VDC with three leading cloud providers (Amazon AWS, Rackspace and Microsoft Azure), testing network throughput and latency between Europe and USA and between providers' European data centres. In all of the comparisons, Interoute VDC demonstrated the highest throughputs and lowest latencies.


Cloud Spectator's full research report, and more information about Interoute VDC's performance and features, can be viewed here:  http://bit.ly/1GHyzwJ


Network performance is a significant factor in cloud computing for business services requiring the highest network capacity (throughput) and the shortest possible time from the server to the client (latency), to meet the needs of the businesses and their users. Innovating new applications and business services in the cloud needs network performance to match and this report shows the advantages of building the cloud into a huge global high performance network.


Key research findings:

  • Transatlantic:
    • Interoute VDC delivered 1.1 Gbit/s throughput, which was 96% better than Amazon AWS, 141% better than Rackspace, and 195% better than Microsoft Azure.
    • Interoute VDC had the lowest latency, between its London and New York data centres. Interoute was the only provider in the comparison with both of its transatlantic data centres located in key business cities, meaning that VDC users can access compute and storage resources, and deliver data to their customers, from two centres of European and US business activity.
  • Within Europe:
    • Interoute VDC achieved 1.3 Gbit/s throughput between its London and Amsterdam data centres. This was 52% better than Amazon AWS (Dublin - Frankfurt) and 73% better than Microsoft Azure (Dublin - Amsterdam)
    • Interoute VDC achieved a latency of 6 milliseconds between London and Amsterdam, over three times better than the inter-data centre latency of the comparison providers.

Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, commented: "This independent report confirms and validates our networked cloud strategy. Building cloud into a world class network provides our customers with significantly better performance when compared with the traditional cloud models. Businesses looking to grow between Europe and US should definitely be looking at the importance of these network characteristics for their ability to shift workloads into the cloud. Interoute's fourteen global zones are all built into high performance network with over 300 interconnects in Europe alone. So wherever you choose to put your data and connect to us, your services are typically going to perform faster on Interoute than on many other global providers."

Danny Gee, Senior Analyst, Cloud Spectator: "Users want to transfer large amounts of data between data centres quickly. Our study revealed that for a trans-Atlantic connection between cloud data centers, Interoute provided the highest throughput and lowest latency out of AWS, Rackspace and Azure. Interoute also had the higher network throughput and lowest latency in European testing compared to Azure and AWS (Rackspace was excluded, having only one location in Europe), making it a good option for users operating servers within this region. Interoute also provided the best latency, ideal for real-time communications. Users running geographically dispersed environments for such things as geo-redundancy would benefit from Interoute's high performance cloud connectivity."

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department moves toward Next Generation 9-1-1 capabilities with VESTA 9-1-1


TEMECULA, Calif.Airbus DS Communications, an entity of Airbus Defense and Space, has been selected by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) to upgrade the city’s emergency call taking system with the VESTA® 9-1-1 solution, making the municipality Next Generation ready.


An Airbus DS Communications customer since 1999, LVMPD selected the VESTA 9-1-1 solution due to the track record of its existing Airbus DS Communications system and the technical support the company provides.

“As the market leader in Public Safety communications, Airbus DS Communications continues to innovate and develop new products that deliver on our customers’ evolving needs,” said Mike Pavick, Vice President of Sales. “What is truly exciting for us is knowing that LVMPD is on the right path and is embracing the future of public safety communications. We are honored, at the home of VESTA, to be a part of their team and support them every step of the way.”

LVMPD’s new VESTA 9-1-1 solution includes 106 call taking positions responding to the approximately 3.5 million emergency and non-emergency calls received every year. The equipment configuration is geodiverse, making the system more robust in the case of a localized failure.

Michael Barnbeck, Director of Radio Systems Bureau said, “Our agency is very pleased that we are upgrading our system with a proven solution and reliable partner. We know our new system will ensure the safety of our citizens and the 42 million tourists who visit us every year. We have the right building block for next generation technology for our community.”

Included in the system are a number of expanded capabilities to increase the effectiveness of the city’s 9-1-1 operations. The VESTA 9-1-1 Activity View module is a powerful management tool that gives real-time insights into call volume, call duration and response times, among many others. The VESTA™ Analytics MIS solution will provide LVMPD advanced data mining capabilities so that supervisors know how their call center is performing at all times. Airbus DS Communications’ Managed Services will remotely monitor LVMPD’s VESTA 9-1-1 system 24/7 to ensure every piece is functioning at full capacity.

The agreement with LVMPD is for ten years and includes implementation, support services and full system upgrade. For more information on Airbus DS Communications, the home of VESTA, visit Airbus-DSComm.com.


About Airbus Defense and Space

Airbus Defense and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defense and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defense enterprises. It employs more than 38,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €13 billion per year.

Airbus DS Communications, an Airbus Defense and Space Holdings, Inc. company, is a global leader and trusted source for mission-critical communications technologies. The VESTA® product suite provides Next Generation 9-1-1 call processing systems, land mobile radio solutions and emergency notification applications, creating smarter ways to keep all our communities safe.

Solution meets growing need for cross-channel communication compliance


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Actiance (www.actiance.com), the leader in compliance, security, archiving and eDiscovery for all critical business communicationstoday announced it will enable archiving of non-Microsoft data in Office 365 from instant messaging, social media, collaboration, financial, unified communication and other sources. Actiance will integrate its governance platform with Microsoft Office 365 giving enterprises a comprehensive solution for active compliance, eDiscovery and archiving that enables real-time feature control and contextual capture of messages and data across more than 70 channels. Office 365 customers will easily capture and archive communication from these key sources, while Actiance customers--who include the top 10 US, top 5 Canadian, top 8 European and top 3 Asian banks--can automatically export content captured fromVantage® and Socialite® to the Office 365 archive.


“Email now accounts for only a portion of enterprise communication, and heavily regulated environments such as finance, healthcare and state and local government face an increasing need for cross-channel compliance,” said Adel Zahabi, director business development, Actiance. “Extending Actiance’s proven capabilities to the Office 365 environment lowers the cost of capturing and performing eDiscovery on all the conversations taking place across an array of communication channels, making it much easier to comply with strict regulatory and corporate governance policy.”

Through seamless integration, Office 365 users--previously unable to capture and store non-Microsoft --can achieve real-time policy enforcement, content monitoring and blocking, regulatory compliance and communication capture across 70-plus leading channels, including:

●      LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook

●      Cisco Jabber, IBM Sametime, Yahoo Messenger, and GoogleTalk

●      Salesforce Chatter, Jive, and IBM Connections

●      Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, and Symphony

●      Blackberry, Mobile SMS text messages

●      SDK for custom developed communications and chat applications

“As more large enterprises and regulated customers implement Office 365, they’re asking for easier ways to archive data from third party sources,” said Rudra Mitra, partner director, Office 365, Microsoft. “In response, we’ve made the Office 365 archiving platform more extensible.  Actiance has worked closely with us, and their solution makes it easy for customers to store a wide range of data types in Office 365.”

Available by the end of summer 2015, the offering will come free with Actiance Vantage® and Socialite® products for users who have deployed Office 365, along with training, support and deployment services. Actiance customers who currently use Office 365 as their long-term archive will be able leverage their existing Actiance deployment to capture and automatically export their non-Microsoft, or on-premise Microsoft content to their Office 365 environment, based on their compliance policy.


Additional Information

Stay up to date with Actiance: http://www.actiance.com/blog

Become a fan of Actiance: http://www.facebook.com/actiance

Follow Actiance on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/actiance


About Actiance

Actiance® is a global leader in communication, collaboration, and social media governance for the enterprise. Its governance platform is used by millions of professionals across dozens of industries. With the power of communication, collaboration, and social media at their fingertips, Actiance helps professionals everywhere to engage with customers and colleagues so they can unleash social business. The Actiance platform gives organizations the ability to ensure compliance for all their communications channels. It provides real-time content monitoring, centralized policy management, contextual capture of content and smart archiving which improves the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of eDiscovery and helps protect users from malware and accidental or malicious leakage of information. Actiance supports 72+ leading social media, unified communications, collaboration, and IM platforms, including Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), Twitter, Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), Skype, IBM, (IBM), Jive (JIVE), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco (CSCO), and Salesforce.com (CRM).

What does it take to get PC or server backups to work properly and bring computers back to operational status? Correctly stored data files are a critical component for most organisations. However, on their own they won’t let you get back to business. You’ll also need the applications that generated those data files and you’ll need the associated configuration and profile information. That includes user and account-specific information and any purpose-built software modules to link your system to others in your enterprise. The smart solution would be to back up all of this information within the same process.



AUSTIN, Texas – Texans will have the opportunity to assist with the state’s disaster recovery from the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that occurred from May 4 to June 19. Dozens of qualified Texans will be offered temporary jobs as local hires of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in its Austin, Denton, and Houston offices.

FEMA has partnered in this venture with the Texas Workforce Commission. Those interested may go to http://www.workintexas.com and create an account. Once logged in, click on “Search All Jobs” and type “FEMA” into the search bar.

Currently, there are six job categories posted:

  • Administrative/Clerical
  • Customer service
  • Logistics
  • Report writing
  • Switchboard/Help desk
  • Technical/Architecture/Engineering

FEMA positions with detailed job descriptions will remain posted through July 24 or until the jobs are filled.

Candidates must be 18 years of age or older and must be a U.S. citizen. Qualified applications will be forwarded to FEMA staff, who will select candidates for interviews. Selected candidates should have a valid government identification card, such as a driver’s license or military ID. Candidates will be required to complete a background investigation, which includes finger printing, and additional ID, such as Social Security card, birth certificate or passport. The hiring process may take up to 15 days from the date of application.

FEMA is committed to employing a highly qualified workforce that reflects the diversity of our nation. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, political affiliation, non-disqualifying physical handicap, sexual orientation, and any other non-merit factor. The federal government is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

More positions may be posted on the TWC webpage as the disaster recovery continues.

All are encouraged to visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4223 for news and information about this disaster.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

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 us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for childcare, medical, dental expenses and/or funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, those who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, transportation, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

Visit www.fema.gov/texas-disaster-mitigation for publications and reference material on rebuilding and repairing safer and stronger

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